Thursday, July 05, 2007

What do Wikimedia and bananas have in common?

Well. The rhetoric has been turned up a notch: Gerard Meissner (or however his name is spelled), well known to be Erik Moeller's attack dog, has called for the Board to repudiate the election results if Danny is one of the winning candidates. He further suggests that this notion has the support of Jan-Bart. His argument seems to rest on the incoherent theory that it is somehow a conflict of interest for Danny to run for the Board after previously having been an employee. What the argument really is is that Gerard, Erik, Jan-Bart, and presumably Florence do not like Danny and do not want him elected; apparently they are willing to go to any length to ensure that he is not. I suppose we should be thankful that the Wikimedia Black Ops Squad that we occasionally joke about does not actually exist....

Gerard's hypocrisy is especially obvious in his criticism of Greg Maxwell's get out the vote activity. Gerard has no similarly harsh words for the similar activities pursued by Wikimedia Germany, presumably because Germans are simply expected to support other candidates (see, for example, well-known German Wikimedian Elian's comments on the candidates; in German; curious that the German Wikipedia allows editors to maintain blogs in their userspace). His anti-American attitudes are also quite apparent, underscoring my own comments earlier in this blog.

As to why I call Gerard Erik's attack-puppy: On many occasions, back when I used to read the Wikimedia mailing lists, I would notice a pattern of someone asking Erik a barbed question, which would be answered not by Erik, but by Gerard. These replies from Gerard would generally be vitriolic in nature. Erik might then later come along and add some comments that would appear far less vitriolic by comparison. After seeing this pattern over and over again, and not seeing it with any other combination of contributors, it became the inevitable conclusion: Gerard is essentially the "bad cop" to Erik's "good cop".

Update: In response to the individual who wrote about the legal repercussions of ignoring the results of the vote, I point out again that the Foundation restructured itself last year so as not to have members. This means that the only people who can sue the Board or any member for such matters would be the Florida Attorney General, and perhaps other members of the Board. The election is technically totally advisory; the Board is free to do whatever it wants with the results, including ignoring them entirely. We, the supposed members of the Foundation, only have their good faith that they will not do this. Of course, if they do do that, I imagine the negative publicity might have an impact on fundraising; while there are no longer any legal recourses against the Foundation for such tomfoolery, the Board must needs consider that its actions might have an impact on its ability to continue to raise the capital it needs to finance its silly little games, not to mention continue publishing Wikipedia and its related projects. I, personally, stopped donating to the Foundation last year, in order to save up for Wikimania; I did not reinstate my pledge when I was in a financial position to do so because I was dissatisfied with the direction things were going at that time. I am certainly not renewing it now, and I believe my decision not to renew my pledge has been justified time and time again.