Hi Ben, Arnnon -

There will be at least two bay area editathons in March, which I'll
announce when I finalize the details of.  At least one of them is going to
be at least partially closed due to the nature of the host, but one should
be fully open... and Arnnon, you are invited to both of them.  I realize
full-well the board needs your skillset - really pretty badly - but don't
see a way right now you can possibly serve as a trustee.  I hold no grudge
against you and would be happy to see you at March's editathons and help
introduce you more directly to the community and editing Wikipedia about
subjects you're interested in... it's just really hard to see you
successful in a fiduciary role, and my doubts here are magnified by other
ongoing situations.

----
Kevin Gorman

On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 9:16 PM, Ben Creasy <b...@bencreasy.com> wrote:

> Arnnon Geshuri <ageshuri@...> writes:
>
> >>>>>
>
> Hi Arnnon - nicely worded message! I can't imagine that you're feeling too
> great
> right now, but I want to give you a little hope. Wikipedia can be a
> forgiving
> place - many have been blocked and banned only to return later for second
> or
> third chances. We take who we can get, because we can't afford to be too
> picky.
>
> If you're really looking to prove yourself, we are in a weird way
> fortunate.
> Some of the appointed (and even nonappointed) board members don't seem
> highly
> engaged with the English Wikipedia, and you're actually facing the
> consequence
> of board neglect of the community right now. My concern with someone like
> yourself, given that you don't seem to have prior interest in Wikipedia,
> is that
> you're actually looking for little extra conversation filler when you're
> rubbing
> elbows with powerful folks at cocktail parties. I hope you prove me wrong.
> Jimbo
> Wales gets a lot of flak, but I appreciate the fact that he's there on
> Wikipedia. I prefer him over someone who is basically "phoning it in" once
> or
> twice a year.
>
> So, the "SF Bay" group of Wikimedians could use some extra love. I gather
> you're
> not too far from San Francisco? I've been in San Francisco for a year and I
> think I missed one or two meetups, but that's not very many and I hear DC
> is
> much more active. When I went to the 15th anniversary meetup, there were a
> fair
> number who had never edited and most of the veterans had never been to an
> editathon (and neither have I). I collected as many emails as I could, but
> I
> imagine you'd have more connections of potential new volunteers -
> let's connect and try to get a regular (even as rare as quarterly or twice
> a
> year) meetup/editathon happening in San Francisco. I've done a fair bit of
> editing on corporate governance and nonprofits, and I'd be happy to show
> you
> around.
>
> I understand that the antitrust settlement is, in the scheme of corporate
> scandals, somewhat mild. It's not Arthur Andersen and Enron or subprime
> mortgages. Although people do go to prison for antitrust violations (which
> is in
> some cases a felony, per the Sherman Act), this case didn't involve
> criminal
> charges. Despite what the textbooks say, I believe it's difficult to
> succeed as
> an executive without being unethical. In picking my battles I've been a
> part of
> things I'm not proud of even in my limited career.
>
> Power does funny things to people. It's been shown that powerful people
> are 3
> times as likely to help a stranger in distress.[1] Powerful people focus on
> the rewards and take risks but they lack broader perspective and can easily
> objectify people or ignore social norms or laws, as we see over and over
> with
> executives.
>
> We need a powerful person on Wikipedia's board to help steer them towards
> sensible decisions. The board's judgment seems to be lacking, especially
> when
> they made the remarkably poor decision (for their reputation) to spark this
> controversy by removing James even though he was upholding their odd
> omerta by
> not leaking to the community the 90% disapproval of the executive director
> among
> staff and the new (yet to be fully revealed) partnership with the Knight
> Foundation. In the end, it's actually worked out for the best since it
> sparked
> a conversation that needed to happen.
>
> I'm not sure you're the powerful person who can pull WMF out of this
> ditch, but
> if you are, I'd say a worthwhile step would be to take a shot at getting
> your
> hands dirty in the trenches of Wikipedia as an editor and join me in
> trying to
> recruit volunteers in the Bay. Plus James should be appointed back to his
> rightful place on the board.
>
> [1]
>
> https://web.archive.org/web/20080908051020/http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/
> news/whatsnew/mbaupdate08.htm
>
>
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