On 2/25/16 1:08 PM, Milos Rancic wrote:
> And the first part, as it wasn't well formatted initially: There is
> specific Board culture, transferred from generation to generation of
> Board members.  The culture of siege, where the community is the
> archenemy.

As the longest standing member of the board of directors, I can say that
this is categorically not true.  The board does not view the community
as a whole as the archenemy, not even a small enemy, not even as a problem.

The community is our greatest strength and the sole source of the
greatness that is Wikipedia and all the Wikimedia projects.  This is
something that everyone I have ever known on the board believes, and
something that I have passionately advocated for over the years.

That doesn't mean that every single person in the community agrees about
everything at all times, and when people disagree - particularly about
matters of empirical fact - they can't all be right at the same time.

> As Denny is repeating the same thing I heard from some of
> the previous Board members, while Jimmy is the only one with more than
> year and half of being in the Board, I suppose it's about Jimmy.

Well, that's pretty hilarious. I laughed when I read this.  No,
virtually nothing is about me.  The most consistent criticism I have
received from board members over the years is that I don't put forward
my own views forcefully, and tend to be a very moderate board member.
Indeed, I actively try to seek the middle ground and find harmonious
compromise solutions.

The idea of me as a Machiavellian manipulator secretly controlling the
board to ram through my own ideas is... well, it made me laugh out loud.

> The second option is possibility that that culture is so strong, that
> it already assimilated almost everybody else up to the level of being
> able to transfer the mythology to Denny.
> The third option is possibility that Jan-Bart and Stu have such
> powers, that they were able to indoctrinate Denny for six months of
> being together in the Board.

The fourth option is that you are just simply wrong about the facts.
The board is not opposed to the community.

Even the statement that Denny made which seemed to confirm for you this
silly idea is one that he's already retracted and clarified.  I'd like
to speak to that specific point.

Board members sign a pledge acknowledging our legal responsibilities.
Those responsibilities mean that board members should NOT act as
political operators, trying to get advantage for their voting base
against others.  This means that chapter representatives aren't on the
board to push the interests of chapters over other parts of the
movement.  This means that editor-elected representatives aren't on the
board to push the interests of editors over other parts of the movement.
 This means that appointed members aren't on the board to push whatever
agendas they may have in other parts of their lives.

No, instead we are all bound by both morality and the law to understand
the whole of the movement and the Foundation's role in it.  My personal
view is that there is no valid concept of "the Foundation's interests
versus the movement/community interests" because the Foundation is
nothing without the movement/community (considered very broadly indeed),
and the lead organization within the movement/community.

I commented this recently on the concept of "investment in technology
VERSUS investment in the community" - I think that's a false
alternative.  Investment in technology to benefit the community versus
investment in other things to benefit the community is a valid and
difficult policy decision, a decision that has to be measured
thoughtfully against our longterm goals as a movement.

Pitting the community versus the Foundation - if anyone at the
Foundation is doing that, they are doing the wrong thing.  Pitting teh
Foundation versus the community - if anyone in the community is doing
that, they are mistaken.  (Note: identifying and talking about cases
where the Foundation has failed the community is not pitting the
Foundation against the community - it's earnestly working to help the
Foundation do a better job - it should proceed vigorously.)


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