I promised you an answer, and here it comes finally. Sorry it took me a
while :)

Why do I want to be in this movement and not in another one?
Because I find the people here as crazy idealist as I am. Because the tasks
give us something to do that allows us to have something in common. Because
it satisfies this excessive (pathological?) curiosity I have for
everything. Because we have built something that the world admires, and we
are respected for that.

What could do everyone in this movement better to satisfy my sense of
To be even more daringly idealist, to bring it to the extreme and beyond.
To be able to find things in common with other volunteers without having to
do anything. To go beyond curiosity for the world and have also curiosity
about one another. To use the respect that the world has for us to
effectively activate global changes.

What is the reward I expect from this movement?
To be transformed. To come here with a limited vision of reality and to
have it expanded. To be challenged, to challenge others, and to learn from

Is it wrong to look for meaning/purpose in the Wikimedia movement?
As it is now, yes. The movement is not well equiped to provide meaning, but
with enough will and perseverance, everything can change.

Do you know what I really like about the people in this movement?
That they really care, about *everything*, and that when I care about
something in particular, they understand the feeling, and I don't have to
explain the burden that it is. And from this conversation and from the
messages that I received in private, I also can tell that there is care for
one another too. Sometimes I believe that we might not have the tools to
express this care. I know this because I wish the best for everyone and it
is hard to show, and since we are not that different, that must be the
situation of everyone, right? :)

If money is not the "silver bullet" to address the problems, what is it
I think it is a combination. I'm too humble to say "give me money, give me
power, I am the right person to help you". No, I don't feel it works that
way. The only thing I can do is enable the structures that allow *anyone*
to step forward and start challenging our wrong ideas, but to do that I
strongly believe they need community support, material and immaterial. Not
to do whatever they want, nor to do whatever anyone else wants, but to
bring about at least personal growth and wisdom.

Wikimedia doesn't complete me either. I come here complete, yet I see in
here a window to the world. If the importance to listen deeply is
understood here, and its benefits felt, then it will be a matter of time
that it will spread everywhere. If the capacity to embody ideas, and bring
them forward, not with the intention to impose them, but with the will to
improve them and understand better how they fit into our lives, then that
also will spread. If all this spreads into the world, then no matter where
I am or with who, I will feel the effects of the Wikimedia community in my

I also have experience with feeling alone with my crowd. And my realization
has been that no matter where I go I will feel alone unless I learn to be
*inquisitively* curious about the other, while encouraging them to do the
same with me (it has to go both ways). Only then true mutual understanding
is built, and then there is trust to share more, and to forget about all
judgments and misconceptions. And then through others you also learn to get
to know yourself better, and then you become your best friend, and then it
is awesome because that is the person you spent most of the time with. I
like others very much, and I like myself too :)
Of course this takes effort, and not everyone is ready or in the situation
to engage in this process, so I feel that to have a handful of people that
know you really well is already a lot.


On Sun, Jun 10, 2018 at 3:06 PM Andrea Zanni <>

> On Sat, Jun 9, 2018 at 10:25 PM, David Cuenca Tudela <>
> wrote:
> Dear David,
> your mail is very long and dense, I don't know where to start:
> so I'll start from a random point ;-)
> > You say that that WMF bears responsibility in the "failure" of our
> > Wikisource community project, and that it is not important now. I do not
> > agree about the timing, I find it is very relevant now, because the same
> > pattern that has happened before, it is happening again now. And the
> > pattern is that of the individual voice vs. the organization. We are like
> > ants next to a giant, we complain and say what we need, but we are so
> > little in comparison that our voice doesn't reach any ears.
> I don't agree with this, because I think that the WMF was the least of my
> problems with Wikimedia, when I decided to take my "wiki sabbatical".
> I actually have problems with the *Wikimedia movement*: with the whole
> thing (volunteers, chapters, WMF, everything).
> I think that our mission is so ambitious, transcendent and great that we
> sometimes forget that there are some negative side-effects.
> One of them we can call "volunteer burn-out", for lack of a better term,
> but I think it's little bit deeper than this.
> I maybe repeat myself, but: I think that if you (me) look for Meaning and
> Purpose in Wikimedia, you (me) are wrong.
> It's not the place where you should look for that.
> I think that many of us, in certain difficult moments of our life, turn on
> Wikimedia and invest a lot of time and effort there, because we feel that
> it's the "right" thing to do, and maybe, secretly, we think that we'll get
> some kind of reward in the future. We "invest" our time, hoping for a
> return, we "expect" something (what is it I don't really know).
> The harsh truth, for me, is that, often, there no sure reward to "doing
> good". There's no sure and real reward in putting too much effort in
> collaborative wiki projects. I think we as a movement could do more to
> recognize this, to understand when people are not balanced and they "use
> and abuse" wikimedia.
> I remember the Dutch chapter doing something like provide counselling for
> wikipedia admins, and I found that one the best ideas ever.
> We can build on that and find new ways of providing support for our
> volunteers.
> You see, this is why I think you are conflating different problems here.
> One is issues between movement and WMF, another one is "volunteer burnout".
> I don't think that WMF is perfect, and as I said it played a little but
> significant role in my disillusion regarding Wikimedia, but I definitely
> don't think it's the culprit here for larger problems of wiki volunteer
> base.
> You just cannot expect too much by your work in Wikimedia: you need to
> damper you expectations.
> I don't think you can expect to create a real community from a bunch of
> people that like to edit an encyclopedia online.
> If it happens, it's great: but it's not like you can expect it. I've met
> many wikimedians in my life: very few I can call "friends".
> I actually discussed with my therapist abut this: I remember feeling very
> lonely at wikiconferences, wondering why that was.
> Wasn't I with my "people", with my "tribe", the people that shared my
> delusions in a more open and better world trough online and relentless
> editing of a website┬╣? Was I wrong not feeling "whole" in such a company,
> finally in my element?
> Eventually, I figured out I was wrong: I discovered that I could find
> friends, but they were few. If you think about it, how many wikimedians you
> know you could talk of personal stuff? For me, I count an handful.
> With the rest of our community, I find myself always talking about projects
> and wiki staff, which is...*work*. We talk shop when we are are discussing
> wikimedia stuff.  And that's ok. For me, at least, recognizing this was a
> big step.
> Wikimedia doesn't *complete* me:  and there are very, very few people for I
> could say this could be true (and of these few, majority is WMF, so at
> least they can pay their bills with their wiki work).
> This is my major source of disagreement with you.
> I think you are addressing the wrong problem, because I don't think there
> is a "silver bullet" in giving money to volunteers.
> I'll let other more knowledgeable than me try to explain this and discuss
> complex models to improve the current situation.
> I don't have an answer to this specific problem: I just know that improving
> the hierarchy issue in wikimedia is not gonna solve the major issue I see
> at the core of your messages. This is not to say that creating Meta pages
> about volunteers is a bad idea: I think it's a great one, but it will not
> solve the problem I think you want to solve.
> I hope this helps,
> Aubrey
> ┬╣ it's a joke, I do believe this is often true, but let me use some sarcasm
> from time to time ;-)
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