User talk:Ghirlandajo

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A tangent from the steward elections page[edit]

My point is that we're editing Wikipedia in our free time, as volunteers, and people really shouldn't be telling us that we have to do anything, taking care of backlogs or not. Nobody pays me to do anything on there, and the whole admin-process is simply supposed to be "Do we trust this user with the ability to take care of problems we don't trust Random Joe to deal with? Are they going to go apeshit and destroy the Wiki?"
Now, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that in your case, the answer is "no", that you don't trust either myself or Lar to do the right thing. I'm sorry you feel that way, since I really do try to do what's right, though I dislike being told that I have to do something when I'm giving my time away as it is.
I checked my recent logs (they get purged automagically, sorry) and I find two conversations you came up in:
  1. Someone asked the source of the term "IRC fairies" that Giano was using in his "cute pink box" and the first instance in the case that I could see is where you used it, whereas Giano said that ALoan created the term. My reply: <kylu> actually, from what I can tell, Ghirla started the term. I don't know what conversations were slandering you, I apparently wasn't involved. Typically, I'll be working on something else, have IRC open, and simply ignore the window unless I come across a question and want a quick answer. ("What's the interwiki shortcut for wikiquote?" and that sort of thing. I've not asked for any real decision-making advice since the Giano incident.)
  2. I asked another admin if there were hard-working editors that were terribly unappreciated and deserving of some sort of recognition. Your name came up in the conversation, and I replied that I didn't think you'd appreciate me speaking to you, so I skipped you in that list. Quite honestly, I assumed bad faith there, envisioning you replying to me in a hostile manner or simply ignoring it if I tried to place a barnstar of appreciation on your talkpage. Honestly, Ghirla, if I had done this, can you tell me that you would've had a positive reaction, or would you have decided that I was trying to cozy up to you? See en:User talk:Kylu#Re: The Epic Barnstar for replies from those I did barnstar. The only reason I didn't give you one also is because I didn't want to cause further tension between us.
I haven't seen Lar do terribly much to others, either. Now, I'll admit that I've seen a bit of nasty name-calling in the channel, and I have the tendency to either leave or minimize the channel so I don't have to read it, but I'd rather challenge anyone to come up with a quote where I've disparaged you.
Here's another tidbit, if you'd like: After the ArbCom case (I'll get to that in a moment) I started looking at the contributions of those such as yourself, Giano, Bishonen, and Geogre. I'm actually quite impressed. When you're doing article-work, it comes across beautifully, and I'd really like to ask someone who does similar if they'd mind guiding me through the process of bringing an article to FA status. I've got two, last time I checked, and they were both improvements that I made to an article that just happened to be a FAC, not something I was consciously working towards.
I've considered asking one of you four to help, but it's really rather difficult to find the courage to ask someone who you think sees you as an "enemy" for advice, and so I've stuck with making my stubs and translating articles from elsewiki.
I have friends, many of them not Wikipedia editors at all, on IRC (Freenode hosts channels dealing with nearly every open source project available, and while I have a Wikimedia IRC cloak, I'm actually involved in a couple other projects as well. I have no desire to leave them behind and forego the spontaneous brainstorming that occurs there simply because some people can't keep a civil tongue in their mouths when they chat.
While I'm not, as Giano put it on my ArbCom candidate questions page, a "frightened little girl", I am (hopefully understandably) hesitant to communicate with your circle of friends. I don't typically go out of my way to provoke a fight. I was actually quite thrilled when I placed a note on Geogre's talkpage ([1]) and he replied with a thank you! ([2]) I'm not here to make enemies and am deeply troubled that I seem to have done so quite easily when it came to Giano's friends after the one incident.
Last point, then I'll stop babbling on your talkpage and let you get back to your important work: I was hesitant to be involved in Giano's arbitration case. True. Arbitration is defined as the last step in dispute resolution, and I find my dispute with Giano regarding his block to be entirely premature to be brought to ArbCom. I've offered to talk to him on my candidate elections page, and I'm serious about it. If Giano is willing to sit down and type out his frustrations, on-wiki, off-wiki, or wherever, I'm up for it. If he wants the structure of mediation, that's fine. If he wants to bring me to arbitration and propose that I be desysopped, I'll obviously argue my case against this outcome, but I won't state that he has no right to the arbitration. Hell, I'll take a punitive block for the 48 hours that I blocked him with, with the message "Bad Kylu! No blocking Giano for incivility!" if that'll get him to view me as neither threat nor enemy anymore. Not to sound like a Saturday morning cartoon, but I'd much rather just be friendly with everyone and learn how to improve my contributions rather than deal with inter-clique squabbles and wiki-politics.
Now, here's the questions: Have I deeply misunderstood and maligned the four of you, assuming that there's no way any of you would be willing to put aside past differences to help someone who wants to improve their article work? If I'd had placed the barnstar on your talkpage thanking you for your contributions to the project, would you have assumed some ulterior motive? Most importantly, are you willing now to try to work with someone that you've had past differences with?
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I'll watchlist your talkpage here in case you decide to answer. ~Kylu (u|t) 05:15, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Kylu, I assure you that I have nothing against you or Lar personally. You are wrong in assuming that I view you as an enemy. I have neither friends nor enemies in the project; only people who help me in editing articles and those who interfere. I think you and Lar are fine people but your preference for secretive methods of communication tend to spoil. I view openness and transparency as a best check against unethical behavior. Secrecy breeds corruption. Openness eliminates it. This is not to say that everything should be public. There are few issues that should stay private such as the issues that discuss personal information and serious threats, and probably some of arbcom deliberations. Most of what goes on IRC is unrelated to these. --Ghirlandajo 18:03, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Of course. My point is more along the lines that on-Wiki chat should be reserved for that discussion that's related to the project. If, for instance, you and I decided to write a new vandal-fighting program (hypothetical. I don't know about you, but I distrust my own code from connecting to the internet for the most part) we should make it separately from Wikipedia and its related sites. I could see chatting about concepts, brainstorming if you will, on IRC or via email or on a separate wiki dedicated to this project. I'd prefer to leave my off-wiki life...well, off-wiki. The last few things I talked about on IRC, if you're interested, were fairly in-depth conversations about gender-based systemic bias and a couple conversations with on-Wiki article writers about what I can do to improve my current in-progress article.
If, by the way, you feel like taking a look at the article and giving advice, I'd happily accept the assistance. While I do have a bit more article-writing experience than most think, due to my editing sockpuppets, the only articles that I've contributed to that were brought to Featured Article were by accident. I'd really rather like an article that was FA by design. :)
All of that, of course, is immaterial. The Wiki Way, in my opinion, is discussion and constant vigilance against treating our fellow editors as if they were employees. If, for instance, you decided to take three months off to become World Tetris Champion, while I might disagree with it being more important than your Wikipedia contributions, I would both realize that it's quite your decision to do this, as well as it not being either the decision of the community nor a situation the community really has any right to pry into. I would fight for your right to do whatever you please with your free time.
Now, given my previous statement, I have to also grant a caveat: Where that free time intersects with (specifically) editing pages on Wikimedia Foundation projects, those edits should be related to the furthering of the project in question, or in the case of projects such as Meta, Commons, Mediawiki, and the like, the furtherance of Foundation goals and resources for the community. You may well recall the MfD on English Wikipedia for the Esperanza organization; While I support the idea of a group whose function is primarily increasing support and raising morale for other editors, some of the sections of Esperanza I was ... let's call it "wary" of. I find the concept of a chess lounge, for instance, to have no place in an encyclopedia project. Happily, we have Wikia now for those sorts of pursuits, and I encourage those who were involved in side-projects to perhaps relocate there.
The question then boils down to what functions are in support of who and what communications should be held where and for what reason. I happen to have a firm conviction that Wikipedia would be best served by having a minimum of frivolous activity unrelated to the project, though I do not believe that simply authoring articles is the only way to serve the community, though it is certainly quite an important one. Article updates, keeping our lifeblood sourced and up-to-date is obviously quite important. Keeping vandals from destroying our articles is, in my opinion, just as important as actually writing articles. If there were no people specializing in vandal-fighting, articles such as this one on TheOnion would seriously lack any humorous value they currently have. People performing stub sorting work are important. Wikignomes and wikifairies are important. Those admins who sit and toil on the various deletion, undeletion, protection, unprotection, and other backlogs are important. Those people who try to keep articles such as Renaissance architecture and Great Fire of London free from the insanity of Willie on Wheels are important. Those who write them are important.
There is a place for everyone on the list, and in my opinion each of these positions is just as important as the next, though some of these tasks require extra technical tools, such as administration or stewardship, and some require simply more trust from the community at large, such as those entrusted to sit on the Arbitration Committee. However I'd caution others to not misinterpret this as stating that those in these positions are more important than others by virtue of these abilities, though some may well be considered such by those that trust them with that authority.
This boils back down to the locus of communications, trust, and the utilization of those tools that are available to us. IRC, for instance, is quite often used by the Stewards (and in this case, rightly so in my opinion) as an emergency avenue for communication. If, for instance, somehow a user on the Russian Wikipedia managed to hack steward access and proceeded to strip the bureaucrat and sysop flags from each of those users who had them, then continued by bureaucratting (can we verb that?) his friends and running amok in the Wiki, I'd heartily encourage you to take that discussion to IRC without delay so that the stewards and developers could stop the destruction and contain the issues.
I'd have to ask you to trust me that this situation is not nearly as far from impossible as we would like, though for obvious reasons that you already understand, discussing these on-wiki would be a blatant exercise in stupidity. You may well be willing to find a developer who would explain different methods of obtaining this sort of access, but for your own sense of comfort and continued plausible deniability, I would suggest against it. :D
There are probably hundreds or thousands of IRC networks around: Closing the Wikipedia channels on freenode would just shunt those paranoid, secretive, and cabalistic members of our project into spaces where we would have even less oversight than we do now. As I stated in the steward elections discussion, I would imagine it would be far more sensible to encourage more people into the public channels that way more viewpoints are available and, importantly, more eyes are watching the conversation as they edit. I don't think the solution is destroying the means of communication: I think the solution is uncovering the secrecy from the channels. I imagine everyone from Brandt to Giano to your average editor would quite appreciate knowing that Wikipedia has taken steps towards enhanced transparency, even in our emergency and informal communications.
Anyway, I imagine by now you're rather tired of listening to my personal viewpoints and rants, and I'm starting to itch to work on the article I mentioned a bit more, so I'll sign off and let you decide for yourself. I quite understand that you may well continue to disagree with my opinions, and I have no problem with this. I'd simply ask that we can work together despite these disagreements. If I could, as I said before, I'd even like to somehow bring this annoying conflict involving Giano to a peaceful closure. Can you imagine what Wikipedia would look like if he were able to transmit his skills regarding article-writing to new editors? If he could, say, tutor even one user per year to the point where they could bring one article per quarter to FA status? Instead, we're stuck listening to both sides of the dispute gripe and gnash their teeth about each other and nobody is getting anything done, editing-wise. Giano himself, for instance, seems to have been so besieged by his detractors that he hasn't been able to make a single article-space edit since the 11th of this month, yet has the time to liken myself and Cyde to infamous criminals, implying that I would abuse administrative tools because of a disagreement on how the election should be performed, and berate Lar about his lack of article-writing. Eh, I apologize, but I'm starting to feel as if he's doing less editing lately and far more proselytizing.
Sorry to waste so much of your editing time! Again, if you'd deign to collaborate on an article with me, I'd quite appreciate it. Send an email or, dare I say? leave a talkpage message on Enwiki, and we'll set something up! I'd quite like to learn from someone whose article contributions quite eclipse mine.
Take care of yourself, Ghirla, and Happy Holidays to you and yours! ~Kylu (u|t) 04:02, 20 December 2006 (UTC)