It is not so much Wikipedia that is failing, it is the Wikipedia "business
as usual" attitude that is failing. The challenge we face is now that we
know and expect that things are to change, how do we introduce change and
steer it in a way where people feel less threatened by the usual suspects.

What I have noticed is that there has been no room for real arguments,
arguments where points of view are floated and considered for their merits.
So what does it take for people to consider the merits of proposals without
immediately reverting to "but that is not how I/we do things"?

Important when you want to consider points of view is the way in which we
converse. There is a huge difference between calling a point of view
bullshit and calling the person a bullshit artist. Even so, calling a POV
bullshit is acceptable when arguments are provided WHY you consider
something bullshit.

Technically many things have progressed to a point where Wikipedia could
take them seriously. This does not happen even when it is all too obvious
how our public would benefit. As our intention is to share in the sum of
all knowledge, we do not need to have it all available, we can point to
partners eg Open Library where publications are available written by the
subject of an article. We do have the data in Wikidata and we could
experiment by including Open Library in the {{authority control}}. Many
more practical opportunities exist where Wikipedia would objectively
benefit from a different modus operandi.

Given that as always, there are those who insist that Wikipedia has failed
let us prove them wrong. Let's consider what is needed to make Wikipedia
innovative again, what it takes for our community to be considered as not
toxic. We can and, as a community we will benefit but as important
Wikipedia, the project we all care for will turn a page.

On Sun, 16 Jun 2019 at 14:18, Mister Thrapostibongles <
thrapostibong...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> The discussion triggered by recent WMF T&S actions has tended to focus on
> the merits or otherwise of that specific action (even though as I have
> pointed out elsewhere this is very much a case of those who know don;t talk
> and those who talk don't know).  So I though it might be helpful to try and
> abstract some more general points for discussion.
> The long-term future of the Community, and the relationship between the
> Foundation and its volunteers is under discussion in an elaborately
> structured consultation announced already here in September 2017.  It would
> not be particularly helpful to try to run a parallel discussion here.  But
> in the short to medium term, it seems that it will be necessary for the
> Foundation to take a different stance with respect to the management of the
> various projects, and the English Wikipedia in particular.
> It is often said that "The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in
> practice. In theory, it can never work."  Well, that's half true.  What the
> experiment has proved is that the theory was indeed correct -- Wikipedia,
> as currently constituted, does not work.  There are two inter-related
> aspects to its failure: content and conduct, inextricably related in a
> project founded on crowd-sourcing.
> Let's look at the content first.  Even on Wikipedia's own terms, it has
> failed.  It is a principle that Wikipedia is founded on reliable sources,
> and by its own admission, Wikipedia itself is not such a source.  That
> bears repetition -- a project aiming to be an encyclopaedia, that compares
> itself with Britannica, explicitly is not reliable.  Foundation research
> has shown that about one fifth of Wikipedia articles are supported  by
> references that are inadequate to support the text or simply are not
> there.  That's about a million articles each on of the larger Wikpedias.
> Some thousands of those are biographies of living people and in view of the
> risk of defamation, no such articles should exist on Wikipedia at all.
> There are several thousand articles that are possible copyright violations:
> again such articles should not be there.  And when I say "should not", I
> mean according to the rules adopted by the Wikipedia volunteer community
> itself.
> This links to the conduct aspects.  The self-organising policies of the
> "encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" have flattened out the formal
> hierarchy to the extent that it has been replaced, necessarily, by an
> informal but strong hierarchy based on a reputation econiomy.  This creates
> an unpleasant and hence ineffective working environment, and makes it all
> but impossible to organise a volunteer workforce into coping with the major
> violations of content policy alreay mentioned.  Indeed, the conduct policy
> makes it all but impossible to effectively handle cases of major abuse,
> witting ot uwitting.  For example, one reason for the failure to manage
> copyright violations is that some thousand of articles were written by a
> volunteer who was unable or unwilling to comply with the copyright
> requirements applicable to their contributions   There is simply no
> mechanism that allows for contributions to be effectively checked either
> when contributed or subsequently, bcause there is no mechanism that makes
> it possible to manage or organise the work of the volunteers, and existing
> community norms will not accept such a degree of organisation.
> These mutually reinforcing failures make to necessary for some degree of
> organisation and management of content and conduct to be imposed from
> outside the volunteer community.  The Foundation has the resources and is
> the only entity that can acquire and deploy the expertise required to do
> so.  No doubt this is unpalatable to some of the more vociferous members of
> the community -- those who stand highest in the reputation economy and have
> most to lose by it being replaced by an effective management policy.  But
> the fact remains -- Wikipedia is failing, and in its present form will
> inevitably continue to do so.
> Foundation or failure -- which is it to be?
> Thrapostibongles
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