Re: [ox-en] Re: Business opportuities based on Free Software
- From: crox iac-research.ch (Christoph Reuss)
- Date: Sun, 28 May 2006 20:38:07 +0200
Michael Bouwens wrote:
Interesting: I didn't realize to what extend the wikipedia process had
such a personalistic process at its core. In peer governance, the issue
of leadership is 1) voluntary; 2) based on either historical or
meritocratic authority; 3) needs to combine participation and efficiency.
It all starts from a group of people putting their stake in the ground
and saying: "this is the common project I want to undertake, will you
participate". This is what Jimbo Wales did, and why he is the
historical leader of the project.
Ultrademocratic processes are not always to best way to achieve this.
It will always be about finding the right balance between hierarchy and
participation. In the case of Wikipedia, it works now because of the
peculiar qualities of leadership of Jimmy Wales, but such a
personalistic system is indeed dangerous. But any misbehaviour would
also be noticed and reacted against by the community. So far, it seems
to be broadly accepted.
Your last 2 sentences contradict your first -- if even you have been unaware
of "such a personalistic process at its core", then how can people "notice
and react against any misbehaviour" ? One can only control things of which
one is aware. How many users will even try to find out about arbitrary
decisions by Wales or _his_ committee, while thinking that everything is a
democratic process? And since anonymous editing is allowed in Wikipedia,
any amount of behind-the-scenes editing by hired guns (hired by Bomispedia
or 3rd parties) is possible, distorting the true Free content written by
idealists sacrifying their leisure time for what they think is a good cause.
Of course the founder of a project has every right to treat it like his
personal kingdom, but this should be clear to all participants, and not
concealed behind Potemkin Elected Committees for democratic appearance.
I'm a bit allergic to that because it happens more than acceptably often
that NGOs misuse and exploit the idealism of naive people of good will.
Every time you'll find predators at the wheel, if you just look close enough.
So what I'm saying is. It is not ideal, but at the same time, it's the
workable and pragmatic solution that this community has accepted and chosen.
Acceptance and choice must be based on full information (especially in the
Open Source domain), or else it amounts to fraud. That some people are
very gullible to be defrauded, doesn't make it less of a fraud.
Contact: projekt oekonux.de