Values/2016 discussion/Transcripts/K

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1 == your three values ==
2 === 1 ===
3 Had listed 11, then sorted them through
4 Diversity - of opinions, of race/creed/color/gender, of solutions
5 The WMF is the first place that I’ve worked in my professional career that is actually diverse, not just fake-diverse to meet some guideline. Maintaining, expanding, being mindful of that is very important for our work. Primarily because the vision is so diverse. You can’t get all the world’s knowledge if you only see through one set of eyes. Close to home, the projects are so diverse, and the participants, and the reasons for participating. If the foundation accidentally becomes a monoculture on any of a gazillion axes, it’s going to become a big problem for the movement.
6 Inquisitiveness -  see new solutions to old problems; gather more knowledge to share with the world
7 Fundamental in our vision. If we’re going to catalogue all the knowledge, we have to be inquisitive to find the knowledge. Support people coming for the knowledge. Not lock ourselves in … maintain beginner’s mind (Zen), always on balls of our feet [not complacent?].
8 Thoughtfulness - for the needs and feelings of others; for the use of the resources we are entrusted with; for the bias that we unconsciously bring to all things from our heritage & experience; for the projects we leave for others to carry on
9 I came here not as a movement member, but as a novice-level free software nerd, and knowing th expand my view of the universe to encompass the (diversity?) that we have. Mindful … about what the things I might say translate across barriers (language, culture, age). Working with X when I arrived here was an adventure because they hadn’t been americanized as much as previous colleagues.
10 We sometimes ask “is this a good use of donor money” but we need to be generally mindful about the resources, the things we leave behind.
11 (bonus) Wonder - for the works that the communities create with and without our support
12 That has become the reason that I’m still here. I came to get a paycheck writing OSS, but the reason I want to stay at the foundation year after year is because of the awe and wonder that I get from seeing what people build and that I help maintain.
13 === 2 ===
14 Kindness - in communication and interaction with and about people and ideas
15 This and the next one are related. What I’ve experienced throughout my career is that tech people in particular don’t necessarily have a problem expressing their ideas quite strongly, and that’s sometimes to the detriment of civility and compliment (?) and making sure that other people are interested (?)
16 I’ve noticed that I keep this mental catalogue about who most frequently responds that way, and how to judo that against them. I think this is a waste of time and brain space. I know it’s not something that’ll go away… but I do think it’s a problem and it’s something I try to embody myself. It was one of the reasons I was hired. In addition to technical skills, it became clear to me that the foundation was looking for someone that was kind and empathetic.
17 Compassion/Empathy - in communication, consideration for the work and personal challenges of others, reflection on the utility or impediment created by technical decisions
18 Compassion for users who use our software…
19 Everyone comes with their baggage (?)
20 Transparency - in communication, work completion/priority, personal motivation
21 We never talk about how to manipulate others to get what you need (?). I wish we could get to a point where our motivations are clear and the things that we’re saying to each other are clear, compassionate enough to …
22 Say what we actually mean.
23 Interpersonal transparency
24 === 3 ===
25 Empowerment - This is an outcome of many different values but one of the things learnt over recent times is that people operate at their best when they are empowered to deliver their work. Things like access to information, ensuring the provision of spaces to share, learn and develop from each other and enabling people to lead. It’s a deliberate inward focus but not navel gazing but also equally valid for our volunteers.
26 One of the things that I’ve learned is making sure that people feel empowered to do their job. Not just in a traditional sense (manager empowering an employee). There’s also a responsibility to make sure that the person across the table, or another team, is empowered to do their job.
27 Trying to find how to get the best out of people. Relates to empathy. Trying to balance the fact that everybody in the org has different needs, and at all sorts of different levels. Not just jobs, but the way they work, conversations. A lot of that is inward looking, but also outward looking: applies as much to volunteers as staff members. They’re still people, regardless of the designation we give them. Make sure that can deliver what they want to contribute to the movement.
28 Openness - A word that has multiple meanings from both transparency in the way we work and the way the we give back to the world
29 Transparency is an absolute and something we can never completely attain for lots of reasons. Openness covers a lot more instances. It’s about both what we produce and how we produce it. The way in which we work, and the way people can see how we’re coming to ideas, how we’re working to deliver those, that is as important as being able to ensure that everybody can enjoy the fruits of one’s labor indefinitely.
30 Bold - A word of almost mythical status on the English Wikipedia but it’s more than about than simply being a douche and ignoring some rule. It is about being innovative, it is about holding yourself to standards beyond that would simply be expected but those that we should strive for. Providing all of the knowledge to all of the people isn’t going to be something done by being tepid or tiptoeing around the issues we face in our world. Starfleet captains didn’t simply waltz around idly they went boldly.
31 I use the word to describe how the other values should be. I.e. we should be bold about openness, bold in our innovation… etc. we should try to reach the peak of … of our work.
32 We’ve set ourselves not an impossible goal, but it’s so high and so grand a vision that we have to be willing to make those difficult choices and those difficult steps towards reaching it. We shouldn’t be afraid, we shouldn’t languish in simply the mundane. Nothing was ever achieved by being mundane other than being mundane. Access to everything by everyone everywhere is nothing mundane.
33 === 4 ===
34 Transparency - Benefits include: not reinventing past work, letting people find info without having to ask. Drawbacks include: increasing the info deluge, increasing the number of docs that ought to be kept updated
35 Similar to 3: different personal and org values.
36 Foundation values: They’re the values that are the most difficult. They’re the most worthy of focus. It’s all about the balance in nonbinary actual spectrum.
37 E.g. transparency: It’s good to acknowledge the drawbacks in software and outreach endeavors, interpersonal communications.
38 Diversity - Of people, of ideas, of solutions, of phrasing. - Benefits include: multi-perspectivism, increased empathy, increased neutrality. Drawbacks include: increased need for patience/tolerance (of people who think differently, or have different expectations or habits)
39 Wanting people to speak on the same wavelength as us. The most diverse set of people you have, the more difficult it is to see from other people’s perspective. E.g. people in and out of the foundation that have habits of communicating that are seen as hostile, poorly phrased. We ought to have more patience and tolerance for people who aren’t good at adapting to what the majority expects from them. It’s an interesting systemic and worldwide issue. How do we take the good things that people who otherwise have problem can contribute. Is it “change or be gone”? This is one of the reasons I participate in this movement; in the long run we’re educating people.
40 Cooperation - The hardest part of working in groups of humans. The best part for multiplying output.
41 The force multiplier for everything that we do. Software, open data….
42 (bonus) Eventualism - The only reason our projects (and similar) succeed. Patience, respect of others' time, the long-view.
43 Not adhering to crazy deadlines from the business world. Long view related to the movement strategy (e.g. “20 years is too big”). The long view cannot be underrated. We’re building this for generations.
44 F: a 20 year strategy with a destination would be dumb, but a 20 year strategy with a direction is interesting.
45 === 5 ===
46 Civility - value spaces where anyone can participate without fear of backlash; I’m excited around the harassment work that ___ is taking on and think it’s super important
47 I feel that that’s an issue that the broader we is focused on. It could be at odds with the diversity that 4 just described. E.g. limit free speech. I look atht cost/benefit. If we do have this vision of the sum of all knowledge, we can’t get there if we aren’t inclusive, and we can’t be inclusive if we’re uncivil.
48 Inclusiveness - related to civility, perhaps a layer of it; our projects are better when we have diverse participants; we cannot achieve our mission without perspectives from all corners of the world, all walks of life; inclusiveness hits on different aspects of our mission and vision as well, things like access (readership must be inclusive, not just editorship)
49 Could be the core bit of (civility?)
50 Coming at it from the perspective of my work and community members that I work with . Barriers of entry to contribution (geography, language fluency, fluency in movement culture). I see the learning-Wikimedia-culture bit playing over and over again for newcomers. Participation, access, lots of dimensions.
51 Excellence - we should strive to do everything well, and be proud of what we do; What we do is important, we should treat our work with some reverence; Impact on day-to-day work as well, things like response time to inquiries, delivering quality whenever possible
52 As the foundation, we should be delivering excellence. I’m not sure everything we’ve delivered has been excellent. Mistakes will never be avoided, but if you approach this from the goal of being excellent, maybe we can approach it closer (?)
53 I want to be part of a foundation that is known for excellence. We’re known for our vision and mission, and I want us to be known for delivering excellence as well.
54 == why are those good things? ==
55 1: Diversity: show me that it’s not good. I keep my business cards on my desk with the vision on the back. Diversity of participants and knowledge. We’re at the bedrock.
56 5: Related to what I was saying and what 4 was saying. Diversity also means you’re including hostile people. Mostly playing Devil’s advocate.
57 4: I’m good at rephrasing things and taking the bad out and keeping the point behind it so I sometimes look past microaggressions. IF we exclude or ignore people who have more frequent bad days than the majority. It’s particularly a problem in our movement because the job of volunteers focusing over the long term on very complicated tasks such as writing articles, resolving disputes, educating newcomers. People who are good at repetitive tasks and not getting frustrated about it. But maybe not the best at communication.
58 F: These are values within the foundation, so it would be great if we could encapsulate something so beautiful that others would adopt them as well. But we’re focusing here on foundation values to perhaps support those people.
59 4: people who have critical / cynical viewpoints are sometimes the best at noticing or preempting certain kinds of problems. If we exclude them, are we excluding a whole set of problem solving skills, as well as poor communication.
60 2: Kindness is the most important from my section. Working, thinking, behaving from a place of kindness can lead to civility that would be helpful for us. The goal for me is not to aggravate anyone’s existing difficulties that they’re having at any given time. Even if I’m communicating in the most straightforward way possible, if it’s not framed in a way that is being kind, it can ruins someone’s day/week/etc. In the past year we haven’t necessarily spoken kindly to each other. People were really upset, but just the way that interactions were occurring made me wonder, is this how I can expect people to behave when they’re pushed to their limits, when they’re extremely aggravated. Even there some kindness would have been useful and helpful.
61 Sometimes I realize I’m too quick to judge too; I need to not necessarily assume people are rude (?)
62 Making room for a broad spectrum of personality expressions.
63 F: two layers of it: kindness in discourse is good for us, humans, projects, and then the other layer of kindness, for people who might be acting out.
64 2: Yes, because people will remember how they were treated. E.g. “I feel awkward about how I messed up, but I also don’t feel comfortable about how I was treated, how the others handled conflict”
65 F: If somebody’s making a mess, it’s because they don’t know how to do it another way. If they had better tools, they would have put them to use.
66 4: +1 to the idea that all perspectives should be welcome. We can’t educate grumpy people to always communicate properly, and we can’t thicken the skins of people with lower-thresholds for poor communication.
67 3: I chose all of my 3 words because I couldn’t summarize org values in only 3.
68 Openness: It’s almost a given that the things that we produce are freely available and freely reusable by the public. That’s just accepted as fact. But in some ways we’re so comfortable in that that we’re blind to the fact that a lot of people who use us don’t see that. They’re not aware of that, they don’t see that, they don’t see the importance of that. When 20% percent of our users think that we’re a commercial entity, it means they don’t see us for what we stand for. We shouldn’t be so naive about the importance of the being open, free, reusable, etc. It’s difficult because none of the words we use are in and themselves the base of that. When we talk about the software, we use “free” and “open” because there’s no one word that covers that.
69 The word “open” has so many meanings … and we need to add more qualifiers .
70 F: do you feel like openness is the final good? Is it a means to another end?
71 3: Potentially. I suppose the question is whether… are we happy that “open” truly sums up what we are? If that is the endgame, then yes, that is the base unit, the bedrock. But the trouble is that I don’t know if that’s actually the case.
72 F: Values are ultimately a matter of morals, ethics. It can be intensely personal. Think about what should be. Should it be open?
73 3: Yes. There’s no better alternative. I feel that I’m never happy with the word “open” because we always have to explain it, but there’s no better alternative.
74 1: What I hear 3 talking about I might colloquially call the free culture movement, but that has the same problem; is it free gratis, or free libre, or all at the same time… English sucks. Actually probably all human languages suck. Let’s define this in mathematics!
75 4: Eventualism is the art of the long view. The philosophy itself is that things slowly get better, and that we should avoid rushing. Haste makes waste. Civilizations slowly progress over time, it’s not going to be done tomorrow. For the foundation in particular, it helps avoid problems like deadlines, hasty software releases, helps understand the volunteer’s perspective about what they/we are working for. Not an IPO. It’s a good value in an out itself because it also applies outside the movement.
76 F: It’s not just about patience and the long view; it’s also about not getting too caught up in the short term.
77 4: yes.
78 1: Trying to figure out if for me it’s a means or an ends. From my personal world view it feels more like a means. Realizing that TIND is good, but /taking/ a long time isn’t in itself a good thing.
79 4: So it would be more of a guiding principle?
80 F: Is there an end that comes to mind, then?
81 1: We set out an infinite goal in our vision (we mean “all”, twice). It’s difficult to think in centuries. But perhaps … not fucking up the things we do now.
82 5: Inclusiveness could be another dimension of openness. Access to participation.
83 3: I kind of saw the inclusivity in line with empowerment. Being inclusive doesn’t mean that the floodgates are open to everyone. We should be diverse, but there are people who…  we should be careful about why the door should be shut, because that is potentially a very dangerous thing. You have to make sure that, when someone comes to an organization, yes, there are standards of behavior and expectations, but we should also make sure that we bring out the best in that person as well.
84 5: We have limited perspective… and we don’t know who we're excluding…
85 Thinking of the New readers work. Exploring for the first time audiences who don’t know who we are. We don’t know how to reach that group otherwise.
86 There’s an aspect of inclusiveness. It’s getting outside outside perspective informing what we’re doing as well. Trying to get feedback loops. If we don’t have someone looking at us and giving feedback, we can’t even know if we’re being inclusive or not.
87 For example, how we write our job descriptions impacts how applies and who we hire. Having some sort of feedback loop to challenge our assumptions about how things operate. Even if we’re being diverse and inclusive, we might be alienating groups that we don’t even know about.
88 F: Why is inclusive a good thing?
89 5: If we’re looking at the foundation and the projects, inclusiveness will keep us alive. Even if we have excellence and all that, we still need… In order to be relevant, to serve a greater population, we have to …
90 F: Sustainability?
91 5: Heading in a similar direction. I feel that inclusiveness could be a part of sustainability; but wouldn’t trade it for it.
92 4: Personal values might not be the ones for the Foundation
93 == feedback on the discussion itself ==
94 Liked:
95 * Size of the group
96 * Diversity of people, from outside my team/department +1
97 ** +1, conducive to discussion
98 * Enough structure to keep this going but free discussion / good format +1
99 Didn’t like so much:
100 * The “Why” thing. Felt repetitive to dig into values after describing them. Would have been easier to be more inquisitive, rather than offering to pick one. I do better when challenged.
101 Ideas
102 * I like the Where/Why/How/What slide. Can we merge those keywords into somehow? Or set it up as a main hub disambig-type page?
103 ** Ah, I see it's in a box at and - templatize this?
104 *** Template:It’s a wiki ;)
105 **** But, but, translation markup! >.>
106 * Directed-graph or other infographic of the Values List? I want to see which could-be-considered subcomponents of the others.
107 More Post-meeting notes
108 4: I hate to think that we might have lost from the org, or might in the future lose, ___ or ___ or ___ or other card-carrying members of the grumpy old person club, because others can't handle their frequent cynical remarks, or steadily increasing in volume/passion demands for fixes to perennially broken processes.
109 The grumpy people have to be (somewhat) patient with buzzwords and optimism; shouldn't the optimistic people have to be (somewhat) tolerant of the naturally grumpy folk, too?
110 However, I also hate to think that we might lose any great people who can't handle even low-to-medium levels of regular grumpiness and cynicism... and I know that we do. They leave IRC channels and mailing lists and talkpages and rooms, when they get overwhelmed with the negativity. Some people thrive with a portion of snark in their week, and some people are exhausted by it. It's like the different expectations of "acceptable humor".
111 It's a very difficult spectrum to reconcile!