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Wiki-revolution

Dror Kamir
Sat, 2 Apr 2011 15:14:17

Hello,

I found this link *http://destour.org *on the Wikipedia-ar mailing list, and thought it might interest people who don't speak Arabic as well. This is a Wiki inviting Tunisian citizens to write the country's new constitution the Wiki way. The site is entirely in Arabic and it includes a constitution draft, which the Tunisian public is supposed to change and amend collaboratively. According to their "about", this is an initiative of the Tunisian Internet Association (/Jam'iyat Tunis lil-Internet/), which is a non-official non-profit Tunisian organization. According to them, the project is run by volunteers.

To be honest, I don't give much chance to this initiative, but it is an interesting development nonetheless. As far as I remember, Florence told me about similar initiative in France by the French government, but it seems to be the first of its kind in the Arab world. Perhaps the close cultural ties between Tunisia and France played a role here, but this is nothing more than a speculation.

Dror K


Gustavo Carrancio
Sat, 2 Apr 2011 15:54:48

Well, as far as I see, it seems to be a charming, naïf initiative, but very interesting anyway. Destour has a local and not easy to translate meaning. I think it means both a political party involved in Tunis independence and also an aspirtation to become a constitutional country. I don't really know if this initiative is lead by members or supporters of the former Destourist Socialist Party.

Anyway, the draft seems to be like an old constitutional text shown in their wiki in order to take it as an starting point. If I were to launch such an idea, I also shall put some discussion about political, constitutional and comparative law, and not just a draft. This worries me a little bit.

But the statement that the purpose of this initiative is *exerting your citicenship* by taking part in the new constitution discussion and developement is a very inspirating one.


Tunis Rus Halfaouine

Tunisia, according to Fred Bauder

Fred Bauder
Sat, 2 Apr 2011 15:58:48

If everyone in Tunisia had good internet access, knew how to edit a wiki, and had experience doing so that would be a no-brainer. As it is, a mechanism like that disenfranchises 99.999% of the population. Good goal to work for though.

Fred


Dror Kamir
Sat, 2 Apr 2011 18:17:39

In Modern Standard Arabic, the word "destour" or "dustur" denotes "constitution". I don't think there is double meaning intended here. Tunisia is one of the more modernized countries in the Arab world and people there have relatively good connection to the Internet. I don't know the exact numbers. And yet I agree that this is somewhat a naive initiative if only because it assumes developed Internet culture in a society where many people are not too acquainted with the Web.

Dror K


Gustavo Carrancio
Sat, 2 Apr 2011 22:25:25

Well, I lived the spanish transition [1]. I don't know if it is the same thing, but, let me say that it was a very confusing time. People thought sometimes that constitution must be done by teachers in primary schools. That counciousness of the individual role in public things, although naive, was a very good thing.

I'm very interested because this topic has been held in the whole arabic wikipedia mailing list. In my opinion, one of the greatest scholars and expertised in constitutional law, and also born in Morocco, is this guy [2]. I think is the best person to contact with. And I know that he is very engaged with NGO movements.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_transition_to_democracy
[2] http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Sosa_Wagner


Ray Saintonge
Sat, 2 Apr 2011 22:27:54

On 04/02/11 8:58 AM, Fred Bauder wrote:
> If everyone in Tunisia had good internet access, knew how to edit a wiki, and had experience doing so that would be a no-brainer. As it is, a mechanism like that disenfranchises 99.999% of the population. Good goal to work for though.

I don't expect that this sort of initiative will be a complete success even with full internet access for everyone. We know from experience that getting everybody to agree to anything, even to no-brainers, on line is not an easy task. If the Internet is to be a force in democratising political institutions for the future it needs to start somewhere. It's an improvement over the Internet as a massive bitching forum. At this time recognizing where strong agreement exists, and isolating the issues that need work will be enough to label this effort a success. There are too many preconceptions about the meaning of democracy for us to expect more.

Ray


Tunis The city

Tunisia, according to Wikipedia

Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 05:02:16

At 16:58 02-04-2011, you wrote:
>If everyone in Tunisia had good internet access, knew how to edit a wiki, and had experience doing so that would be a no-brainer. As it is, a mechanism like that disenfranchises 99.999% of the population. Good goal to work for though.

>Fred

I'm always amazed at the depthness and breadth of knowledge shown on these posts. The precision, accuracy of the quantitative data on which posts to this listed are based, making it one of the most reliable, highly educated and respected fora of the Internet. They are a true mirror of the high intelectual level of the discussions carried on most Wikimedia projects. They are a source of mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence around the world. We should all be proud and/or blessed for having such an elite of contributors to this list. Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_in_Tunisia

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Dan Rosenthal
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 05:14:37

On Apr 3, 2011, at 1:02 AM, Virgilio A. P. Machado wrote:

> intelectual

  • cough*

-Dan


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 05:47:28

When I misspelled the word intellectual I wasn't referring to certain people whose language skills revolve around being spell checkers. It is always a thrill to trample on somebody else's language, mostly when they can't utter a single word on any other except their own language, much less address you in your own language. Misspelling or mispronouncing any other language except my own? What, me worry?


widiyanto
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 05:51:34

Unreadable message


Dan Rosenthal
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 06:26:57

I think you're missing the humor in the "choice" of word misspelled. If you're going to criticize Fred's intelligence, you should take care to ensure that you spell intellectual correctly. Otherwise, it puts quite a damper on your argument. If I was getting heart surgery, I would want my surgeon to know how to spell the body part he is working on. Is it too much to ask that someone making a statement about someone else's intellectual level actually be capable of "intellectual"? Finally, considering I don't have the slightest clue what your primary language is and you seem to use complex English words quite well, your defensiveness about it being a second language is rather perplexing. That being said, I have no interest in taking this further off topic, I just thought the error was funny. Apparently, sarcasm is a one-way street on this list.

-Dan


Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 07:35:50

I'm glad to learn that you're already feeling better. That post is a lot better than *cough*. There's no humor in the "choice" of word misspelled. It just so happen that I was "betrayed" by my mother tongue. That's how intellectual is spelled. That is a common mistake both in words or numbers. I didn't criticize anybody in particular. This is not a place for personal attacks, and that should not be a one way street. Unfortunately, in practice, it is, and I can bear witness to that. Please be so kind as to remember that next time you feel like coughing. It is terrible manners to cough on any list, and even worse on anybody's post. If spelling mistakes puts a dumper on an argument, there is a serious case of discrimination on this list against those that don't have a perfect command of the English language, and there are plenty. Please consider this other version of your example, a bit rough on the edges : "If I was getting heart surgery [in France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway (should I go on?)], I would want my surgeon to know how to spell the body part he is working on [in English]." Good luck. :-) I don't have to be defensive about English being my second language. Considering that I only have three years of formal schooling in English, and that it was over 46 years ago, I take it as compliment that I can perplex anybody with my English skills. Just think of what I could do using my mother tongue, with nine (three times as much) years of formal schooling completed also that long ago. I concur that this friendly and polite exchange might be off-topic, but it's certainly not off-list.

Please accept my best wishes of a complete recovery from you cough.

Warmest regards,

Virgilio A. P. Machado


Fred Bauder
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 09:10:19

> I'm always amazed at the depthness and breadth of knowledge shown on these posts. The precision, accuracy of the quantitative data on which posts to this listed are based, making it one of the most reliable, highly educated and respected fora of the Internet. They are a true mirror of the high intelectual level of the discussions carried on most Wikimedia projects. They are a source of mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence around the world. We should all be proud and/or blessed for having such an elite of contributors to this list. Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_in_Tunisia

> Sincerely,

> Virgilio A. P. Machado

This is not a meeting of your cell.

Fred Bauder


Dan Rosenthal
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 10:03:56

Virgilio:

Your userpage claims you speak American English at an en-4 "near-native level". Want to try again?

-Dan


Andrew Garrett
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 10:13:26

On Sun, Apr 3, 2011 at 8:03 PM, Dan Rosenthal [...] wrote:
> Virgilio:

> Your userpage claims you speak American English at an en-4 "near-native level". Want to try again?

Your messages are deliberately obnoxious, unpleasant, and off-topic to boot. Cut it out, please.

--
Andrew Garrett
http://werdn.us/


Nikola Smolenski
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 12:19:57

Дана Sunday 03 April 2011 12:03:56 Dan Rosenthal написа:
> Your userpage claims you speak American English at an en-4 "near-native level". Want to try again?

My observation of the natives shows that they commonly commit errors of this magnitude :)


aude
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 12:56:57

On Sat, Apr 2, 2011 at 6:27 PM, Ray Saintonge [...] wrote:
> I don't expect that this sort of initiative will be a complete success even with full internet access for everyone. We know from experience that getting everybody to agree to anything, even to no-brainers, on line is not an easy task. If the Internet is to be a force in democratising political institutions for the future it needs to start somewhere. It's an improvement over the Internet as a massive bitching forum. At this time recognizing where strong agreement exists, and isolating the issues that need work will be enough to label this effort a success. There are too many preconceptions about the meaning of democracy for us to expect more.

In Egypt, I saw a wiki or two setup for the same purpose, but what seemed to work well is the use of Google Moderator:

http://www.google.com/moderator/?hl=ar#15/e=581e0&t=581e0.40&f=581e0.154b45

-Katie


Sarah
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 12:58:07

On Sat, Apr 2, 2011 at 23:14, Dan Rosenthal [...] wrote:
> On Apr 3, 2011, at 1:02 AM, Virgilio A. P. Machado wrote:
>> intelectual

> *cough*

> -Dan

I hope the next time I write in Portuguese, the only mistake I make is a typo! :)


Ray Saintonge
Sun, 3 Apr 2011 23:34:08

Funny enough I didn't read the "cough" as critical of the spelling. I know that Portuguese and other languages have a more economical attitude than English toward unnecessarily doubled letters. The chosen spelling presents no ambiguities, and no malapropisms to pique my humour, as someone elsewhere recently did by using a wide-angel lens.

No, I read it as an ironic cough in the context of the praise for the "true mirror of the high intelectual level of the discussions carried on most Wikimedia projects."

Ray


Muhammad Yahia
Tue, 5 Apr 2011 17:40:59

> In Egypt, I saw a wiki or two setup for the same purpose, but what seemed to work well is the use of Google Moderator:

> http://www.google.com/moderator/?hl=ar#15/e=581e0&t=581e0.40&f=581e0.154b45

> -Katie

Actually IMHO the reason Google moderator worked is that it was advertised and actively used by Wael Ghonim and the other admins of the Facebook group that sparked the revolution. This group has amassed a hugh following (over 1 million subscribers last time I checked) and has massive reach. Of course, I am not sure if they chose a wiki instead it would have been a good idea, I can't imagine the majority of people willing to participate also willing to learn wiki syntax and protocol.

--
Best Regards,
Muhammad Yahia


Fred Bauder
Tue, 5 Apr 2011 17:47:45

Yes, mass participation is the key element, the vehicle used is almost irrelevant. Motivated people can learn anything, indeed, do anything.

Fred

Request for moderation of Dan Rosenthal and Andrew Garrett

Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam@fct.unl.pt>
Tue, 5 Apr 2011 00:32:49

After a cool off period of about 48 hours and considerable reflection, it is my conviction that the posts of two above mentioned editors should be moderated from now on.

Werdna with shirt

18 years old Andrew Garrett (2009)

Andrew Garrett wrote, Sun Apr 3 10:13:26 UTC 2011, "Your messages are deliberately obnoxious, unpleasant, and off-topic to boot." it is unclear what messages he is referring to, but these are not acceptable terms to classify anybody's messages, unless it is acceptable that others classify Andrew Garrett's or anybody else's messages as "deliberately obnoxious, unpleasant, and off-topic to boot." and therefore asks him or them to "Cut it out, please." "What is good for the goose is good for the gander."

After engaging in a "friendly and polite exchange" with Dan Rosenthal, he saw fit to send me an e-mail, Sun, 3 Apr 2011 05:26, concerning "[Foundation-l] Wiki-revolution," using language unbecoming to a gentleman, that I'll not repeat. This kind of behavior cannot and should not be tolerated from members of this list. Should everybody start sending unspeakable messages to other members of the list? I do have experience of exchanging off list messages with other members, but those were used for clarification, to reach a mutual understanding and establish new bridges and avenues of communication. They were used to improve relations with other members and, as a result, improve the peaceful and cordial exchanges that should take place on this list, despite any disagreements and differences of opinion. There can never be any disagreements or differences of opinion as far as the level of education and manners used on this list, and towards members of this list both on and off list. This is no army barracks, farm stables, or brawl among drunkards on the town fairgrounds.

Swatjester

25 years old Dan Rosenthal (2008)

As Dan Rosenthal might wish to present evidence that no harm was intended or done, by making public his message, I authorize that he so does. I have no trouble in reproducing Dan Rosenthal's message on this list, provided he grants me, here, in public, on this list, authorization to do it.

I believe that Dan Rosenthal's action called for more severe sanctions, but I have many reservations concerning all sorts of so called severe sanctions on this list and Wikimedia projects in general. We all know how easily they can be circunvented by the less scrupulous. Therefore, as in the case of Andrew Garrett, my request is that their posts to be moderated from now on. That should be sufficient to prevent Dan Rosenthal from coughing again on this list and hopefully at least make him hesitate before sending unworthy messages off list.

Sincerely,

Virgilio A. P. Machado (Vapmachado)


Phil Nash
Tue, 5 Apr 2011 00:40:58

Oh dear. In the hurly-burly of Wikipedia especially, trenchant, even strong, language seems to be accepted from some but not from others. Some give and take should be allowed but when a top 100 contributor is desysopped for little else by WP's ArbCom, who knows where the limits may be? This is a mailing list, and not a discussion forum or chatroom, where little really persists for that long, so perhaps higher standards might prevail. However, if the comments were that gross (and I don't see that they are), a temporary moderation might be seen to be fair by some, although my gut feeling tells me that a warning should siffice, lest such a reaction be seen to be punitive.

wp:User:Rodhullandemu (retired, although I can't even put that on my own user page at present!)


Casey Brown
Tue, 5 Apr 2011 00:42:36

On Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 8:32 PM, Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam at fct.unl.pt> wrote:
> Andrew Garrett wrote, Sun Apr 3 10:13:26 UTC 2011, "Your messages are deliberately obnoxious, unpleasant, and off-topic to boot." it is unclear what messages he is referring to, but these are not acceptable terms to classify anybody's messages, unless it is acceptable that others classify Andrew Garrett's or anybody else's messages as "deliberately obnoxious, unpleasant, and off-topic to boot." and therefore asks him or them to "Cut it out, please." "What is good for the goose is good for the gander."

Wow, Andrew was defending you. I'm sure this is going to be the last time he attempts to do such a thing though.

> After engaging in a "friendly and polite exchange" with Dan Rosenthal, he saw fit to send me an e-mail, Sun, 3 Apr 2011 05:26,

[snip]

And he has since stopped after nearly all of the other list members who responded disagreed with his comments, so there's no need to bring it up again and try to cause more problems.

--
Casey Brown
Cbrown1023


Sarah
Tue, 5 Apr 2011 00:49:09

> On Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 8:32 PM, Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam at fct.unl.pt> wrote:
>> Andrew Garrett wrote, Sun Apr 3 10:13:26 UTC 2011, "Your messages are deliberately obnoxious, unpleasant, and off-topic to boot."

Andrew was sticking up for you, Virgilio, not addressing that comment at you, so that part of things was just a misunderstanding.

Sarah


Dan Rosenthal
Tue, 5 Apr 2011 00:57:25

Andrew was clearly referring to me, lets leave him out of this please.

-Dan


Fred Bauder
Tue, 5 Apr 2011 01:16:08

Machado initiated this matter by posting a sarcastic message directed at me to the effect that I was ignorant.

I'm sorry if someone has overdone it in responding to him, but the ugliness started with him.

Fred Bauder


Austin Hair
Tue, 5 Apr 2011 09:39:22

On Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 2:32 AM, Virgilio A. P. Machado <vam at fct.unl.pt> wrote:
> After a cool off period of about 48 hours and considerable reflection, it is my conviction that the posts of two above mentioned editors should be moderated from now on.

As administrators, it's our policy not to take punitive action. We only use moderation to prevent likely repeat offenders from further disrupting the list.

Andrew Garrett (who, as others have noted, was actually defending you—I understand that this isn't something you're used to, after all these years) is not a troll and, while blunt, is generally not disruptive.

Dan Rosenthal is not always the friendliest in his interactions with the list, and has been moderated before, but I see no reason to do so again at this time.

And that's all I intend to say in reply. You don't even get my traditional folksy "guys, be nice" line for this one.

Austin


Sarah
Tue, 5 Apr 2011 09:51:04

On Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 19:16, Fred Bauder [...] wrote:
> Machado initiated this matter by posting a sarcastic message directed at me to the effect that I was ignorant.

> I'm sorry if someone has overdone it in responding to him, but the ugliness started with him.

Okay, I missed the sarcasm in that. I thought it was a genuine compliment about the intelligent discussion on this list. If it was a personal attack that puts things in a different light.

Sarah