Status quo

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Crystal wordprocessing.png This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

The status quo is a report on how far, right now, we have slid towards the worst cases. It incidentally makes note of progress towards best cases, and may use terminology or commentary from threats or visions. An important aspect of the quo is to assess the groupthink of the wiki, and whether the cliques are really respecting its value system. Another important aspect is to give the cliques a place to complain about each other, so that they cooperate on at least that one thing.

You must consult, and read thoroughly, in this order, all these files before assessing the status quo:

First, read worst cases. Then read it again. If any of these things are happening, in your opinion, you really should focus your report just on that.

If you have an issue or complaint to focus on, skim best cases and visions to see if there is anything new there that this issue prevents - that will help rally supporters of those cases and visions to wiki's defense. Write your report specifically to those people whose best cases and visions are being cut off by the ignorant or selfish or oblivious behavior of a few others, or cliques who set themselves up clearly above all others. Finally, add threats that extrapolate wildly into the worst possible way this could go, making sure to show how all visions would be sabotaged by the worst cases going unheralded.

If you have no such focus, i.e. no worst cases are currently going on, then read the threats - maybe something so bad is going on that you are not really capable of noticing it? If so, you have a focus, go back a step.

If there really is no such focus, i.e. no worst cases or threats are being realized at the moment, then you have some freedom. Use it. Think ahead. Skim visions. Then forget them. Look for ways that best cases or cliques clash or are about to clash, and suggest specific articles that should be written in a specific order to resolve the potential clashes and infighting.

Or, alternatively, and maybe better, suggest strongly in best cases that individuals with extreme contrasting views should collaborate on some of these articles and then someone with a third orthogonal view should edit it. Try to play matchmaker and create some working relationships that didn't exist before, between or across cliques.

When you're done with that, you have probably started in the road to new visions. Go to that file and write a wholly new and refreshing story of how your status quo assessment will prevent worst cases and threats from happening, and cause all best cases to converge to a pure utopia.

If you wrote the last status quo report, get your worst enemy to write the next one.


Status quo as of April 4, 2002... go ahead!!


Eighteen months later, on October 10, 2003, here is the first such report.

There is an increasing tendency for factions to form, and reinforce each other strongly, whenever any hard ban is discussed. This may not be a bad thing. Perhaps it will lead to some better ways to deal with factionalism, like perhaps electing (or using en:consensus democracy to select) a responsible group, probably responsible only to the Wikimedia foundation. This limits powers of the GodKing and moves us more to a en:constitutional monarchy model.

The press release function is under control, and it proves we can speak with one voice to the outside world. That is good. Nothing needs to change there. Hopefully Wikimedia's second press release will start to streamline writing and translating.

The Simple English Wikipedia has launched, and is now growing fast enough to be worth paying attention to. This will probably make translation easier.

That seems to be the most important elements of what is going on right now. Anyone else can write this report next.


The international wikipedias are increasingly trying to set themselves free. This due in particular to server overload, making wikipedia impossible to edit for hours. Some wikipedia wish to have content on separated servers, possibly in Europe. Some also suggest to launch independent foundations, which would make it possible to attract donations from countries other than USA, as well as allow localized promotion.

There are some discussions as well toward diffusing some international content on CD Rom for demonstration purpose, for external "professionals" to give their opinions, or to diffuse to not-connected people. This could possibly be very detrimental to the project, should a whole unchecked content be roughly pressed.

(next report)