Wikipedia:Association of Members' Advocates/AMA IRC Meeting log (1-23-05)/Pt II

This is a continuation of Wikipedia:AMA IRC Meeting log (1-23-05).

[15:00] <WallyAMA> Seconding a motion does not bind one at all, parliamentarily.
[15:00] <Sam_Spade> I like wallys second statement better than the first motion he made
[15:00] <Toby_Bartels> point of order: Robert's Rules states that there is no discussion on a motion to table, only a majority vote. (We may or may not wish to follow RRO.)
[15:00] <Sam_Spade> so I wanted to make that clear, that I didn't oppose it
[15:00] <WallyAMA> My first motion was with that in mind.
[15:01] <Sam_Spade> as far as I know, we are deciding if we will discuss the AMA generally, or wallys proposal specifically?
[15:01] <Sam_Spade> I prefer general, casual discussion
[15:01] <alex756> Toby has made a point of order and I concur. Let us just vote on the motion to table. I would like to get on with discussing the AMA, we can come back to this motion when we start getting close to making any kind of decisions or proposals.
[15:01] <Sam_Spade> at this juncture
[15:01] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:01] <alex756> I think that my suggestion to table the procedural motion is in that spirit Sam.
[15:02] <WallyAMA> I will withdraw my motion, with the caveat that it be discussed at the conclusion of all other discussions.
[15:02] <Sam_Spade> I second that
[15:02] <alex756> All in favor of tabling the procedural motion of Wally until we discuss the AMA respond with a Y all opposed with a N.
[15:02] <Toby_Bartels> To withdraw with that caveat is (I believe) precisely to table. I vote yes to table.
[15:03] <alex756> We have one vote in favor of tabling. Other votes?
[15:03] <Sam_Spade> aye
[15:03] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:03] <WallyAMA> My vote not being necessary, I abstain.
[15:04] <Sam_Spade> Y*
[15:04] <alex756> Y, I vote in favor of tabling. So maybe we can now have a more informal discussion regarding the AMA.
[15:04] <Sam_Spade> ok
[15:04] <Sam_Spade> so far this meeting has been a perfect example of why we don't need more rules
[15:05] <Toby_Bartels> I second the motion to begin informal discussion.
[15:05] <Sam_Spade> maybe if we had 100 members present the formal format might be necessary
[15:05] <Sam_Spade> sorry, thought it had already started
[15:05] <Sam_Spade> I vote in favor
[15:05] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:06] <alex756> So far we discussed having six items on the agenda (this was before you joined in Toby)
[15:06] <alex756> 1. That the association should be more proactive.
[15:06] <alex756> 2. That we should somehow figure out what the members are doing.
[15:06] <alex756> 3.That we might be able to benefit by some written rules of organization (like a constitution) for our own group.
[15:06] <alex756> 4. Tnd that we needed to communicate better within the group.
[15:06] <alex756> 5. Our relationshipo with the mediation and arbitration committee should be discussed
[15:06] <alex756> 6. There's also the establishment of some permanent guidelines, including terms, for the office of the Coordinator.
[15:06] <alex756> Can we adopt this as the preliminary agenda for our discussion now?
[15:07] <Sam_Spade> so long as #6 involves ofices and elections, including that of the co-ordinator, but not limited to that
[15:07] <alex756> And I would also like some idea of time limits, as our meeting has already lasted over an hour.
[15:07] <Sam_Spade> yes, I won't be here much longer
[15:08] <alex756> We can change six to be:6. There's also the establishment of some permanent guidelines, including terms, for the office of the Coordinator and other possible offices.
[15:08] <alex756> Can we set the top of the next hour as the end of the meeting for today?
[15:09] <Sam_Spade> ok
[15:10] <WallyAMA> If that is a tenable deadline, certainly.
[15:10] <Toby_Bartels> I can stay that long (or longer too).
[15:10] <alex756> And maybe we can agree to meet again in two weeks?
[15:11] <alex756> We might try a different day of the week as at least one AMA member can't make it at this time ever.
[15:11] <WallyAMA> I can stay as well, but two weeks is too long.
[15:11] <Sam_Spade> well, I agree there should be regular meetings
[15:11] <Sam_Spade> 1 week sounds better
[15:11] <WallyAMA> Perhaps in the middle of the week?
[15:11] <WallyAMA> i.e. on Thursday?
[15:11] <Sam_Spade> and I may not be here
[15:11] <Sam_Spade> more often is better, I agree
[15:12] <alex756> Saturday and Sundays are really the only days I have time, that also makes it possible for the European members to join in.
[15:12] <alex756> We can do it next Sunday again and see if anyone else joins in.
[15:12] <WallyAMA> Well, we just need a meeting to finish this all.
[15:12] <WallyAMA> Perhaps it would be better if we simply open a page for AMA-related proposals on the site.
[15:13] <alex756> But we also need as many members to participate, the more participation the better it would develop.
[15:13] <WallyAMA> Each proposal has a one week time period for on-board debates, and then a quickpoll vote.
[15:13] <alex756> I had suggested that but no one started those pages.
[15:13] <WallyAMA> Within two weeks we could have everything wrapped up.
[15:13] <WallyAMA> Well, you're the Coordinator. Coordinate. :)
[15:14] <Sam_Spade> haha
[15:14] <alex756> I don't think that is really what the AMA is about. I think we want to foster more communication between members, not just come up with more proposals.
[15:14] <Sam_Spade> we don't need a coordinator to do stuff
[15:14] <Sam_Spade> I do just fine w/o anyone telling me what to do
[15:14] <WallyAMA> We're not discussing ideology or doctrine here.
[15:14] <alex756> As far as I can tell we have enough structure, we might need one or two projects to help the association, but I am not interested in making the AMA some kind large organization.
[15:14] <WallyAMA> Simply an ability to make proposals to change the system in order to make it more effective.
[15:14] <Sam_Spade> but we need somebody to be.. we.,. coordinator
[15:15] <Sam_Spade> if we were to set up a page, it might well be one about the co-ordinator election
[15:15] <WallyAMA> All right, well if we can't agree on anything else we need to agree on setting a date for the Coordinator election.
[15:15] <Toby_Bartels> The only thing wrong that I know of with the AMA, is that it's not very noticable. There are probably more needs for it than we are ever aware of.
[15:15] <Sam_Spade> in which case alex shouldn't be expected to do that
[15:15] <alex756> Maybe we can discuss how to be more proactive. That is the first issue on the agenda.
[15:15] <alex756> ORDER ORDER
[15:15] <WallyAMA> We will not have time to go through the agenda.
[15:16] <alex756> There is already a page about the next AMA election, I already set that up.
[15:16] <WallyAMA> We need to set a date.
[15:16] <alex756> That is the last point on the agenda, we already decided to discuss these points in order.
[15:16] <alex756> Wally, you are out of order.
[15:16] <WallyAMA> Then may I make a motion?
[15:16] <alex756> The whole point of my calling this meeting was not discuss the organization. There isn't even anyone running for coordinator.
[15:17] <WallyAMA> Because no election has been called.
[15:17] <alex756> The point is for the members to talk to each other. That is not something a coordinator can force people to do.
[15:17] <alex756> You guys are obssessed with an election.
[15:17] <alex756> I will just resign, o.k.?
[15:17] <WallyAMA> No one is asking you to resign.
[15:18] <alex756> I am trying to suggest something useful and all you want to do is have formalities. We need to discuss the advocacy work of the members and how to improve that.
[15:18] <Sam_Spade> who the hell else would be coordinator?
[15:18] <WallyAMA> Six months was the 'de facto' term. It has expired. Concensus was for an election.
[15:18] <alex756> That is the whole point of the election.
[15:18] <alex756> There was never any statement about the term of the election.
[15:18] <Sam_Spade> are thre any candidates?
[15:18] <Sam_Spade> nominations?
[15:18] <WallyAMA> That is why we set the election.
[15:18] <WallyAMA> We can't know unless we do that.
[15:19] <Sam_Spade> wtf? I thought we were discussing pro-activity?
[15:19] <alex756> The point is, shouldn't we be discussing the usefulness of the organization and the coordinator's role before we have an election?
[15:19] <WallyAMA> You just said you didn't want to discuss the organization.
[15:19] <WallyAMA> [15:17] <alex756> The whole point of my calling this meeting was not discuss the organization.
[15:19] <WallyAMA> I think that's precisely what we need to do, and we're not.
[15:19] <alex756> The idea of a coordinator was not to be "in charge" of anything. Just to make sure that there were people making requests that had someone to talk to if they weren't able to find an individual coordinator.
[15:20] <WallyAMA> So I feel we at least must advance this issue. There is a clear mandate for election.
[15:20] <WallyAMA> Not against you, Alex, for an election.
[15:20] <alex756> That only happened once in the last six months and it was an anonymous request and the person, as far as I know no one
[15:20] <Sam_Spade> ok, so wally disputes the agenda, clearly
[15:21] <Sam_Spade> should we vote on the agenda again? or what?
[15:21] <alex756> I am on the verge of resigning from this organization Wally, you don't get it, do you. I was trying to help to have a discussion about ADVOCACY not about formal organizations.
[15:21] <WallyAMA> The reality is we cannot get through it in the time offered. This is an issue I feel we can get through.
[15:21] <Sam_Spade> I don't agree
[15:21] <alex756> I think you are out of order.
[15:21] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:21] <WallyAMA> Then I will yield to you.
[15:21] <alex756> When we were talking about the agenda Wally you did not even bring up the urgency of an election.
[15:21] <Toby_Bartels> point of order: Does anybody have any ideas about how to become more proactive?
[15:22] <alex756> Yes.
[15:22] <Sam_Spade> yes
[15:22] <Sam_Spade> I defer to the chair
[15:22] <alex756> Sam, since you are not the chair, I recognize you. You have the floor.
[15:22] <Sam_Spade> ok, if you insist
[15:22] <alex756> Thank you, go ahead.
[15:22] <Sam_Spade> I have dozens of ideas
[15:22] <Sam_Spade> a veritable cornocopia
[15:22] <alex756> Can you summarize them simply?
[15:23] <Sam_Spade> firstly, I don't think much of anybody is doing anything
[15:23] <alex756> Give us your best three.
[15:23] <Sam_Spade> and keeping track of who is doing what would be a good step
[15:23] <Sam_Spade> also giving some prestige and status to those who do well
[15:23] <Sam_Spade> a meritocratic hierarchy of sorts, within the AMA
[15:24] <Sam_Spade> consisting mainly of various positions
[15:24] <Sam_Spade> that sums up by 3 ideas
[15:24] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:25] <alex756> OK Sam has presented three ideas, (1) not a lot of activity of any members is a problem (2) we should keep track of member activity and (3) there should be some kind of reward to members who do well (he suggests various positions).
[15:25] <alex756> Have I restated your ideas clearly Sam?
[15:26] <Sam_Spade> let me try
[15:26] <alex756> You have the floor again.
[15:26] <Sam_Spade> #1. that we must keep track of who is doing what
[15:26] <Sam_Spade> #2. that we must reward results, in a meritocratic fashion of hierarchy within or organization
[15:27] <Sam_Spade> #3. that said hierarchy would consist of various positions of responsibility (and fancy titles)
[15:27] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:27] <Toby_Bartels> I like (1). I don't see the need for (2). I don't like (3).
[15:27] <alex756> OK I will respond briefly and then anyone else can respond or make other suggestions.
[15:27] <Toby_Bartels> Actually, I like (1) very much!
[15:27] <Toby_Bartels> OK *
[15:28] <alex756> I also stated that we should have some way of keeping track of AMA member activity within the limits of any kind of confidentiality between the Advocate and the user.
[15:29] <alex756> This could be done statistically or just by everyone reporting to the Coordinator when they take up a new case and when they finish that case.
[15:29] <Skeptic> oh sorry am I late
[15:29] <Skeptic> looks like it
[15:29] * Sam_Spade is now known as Sam_Spadeaway
[15:30] <alex756> Regarding No. 2, I was thinking about something like "Advocate of the Year" or "Advocate of the Month" to reward the good work of AMA members.
[15:30] <alex756> I am not sure about No. 3. I know Sam has a penchant for titles, I personally do not see how that will motivate anyone, but that is just my own opinion.
[15:31] * Sam_Spadeaway is now known as Sam_Spade
[15:32] <alex756> I should also mention that one of our members, Michael Snow is writing at the Wikipedia Signpost about Arbitration Committee decisions, this is also very proactive (it also touches on No. 5 of the agenda indirectly).
[15:32] <WallyAMA> I believe, if I may, that number 1 is only possible through increased responsibility to the Coordinator, and that numbers 2 and 3 are not desirable based on Wikipedian ideals.
[15:32] <alex756> Wally, you are out of order again.
[15:33] <WallyAMA> I was not given a chance to speak.
[15:33] <alex756> I am going to ask Toby to finish expressing his views as he started, then you can have the floor Wally and then Skeptic.
[15:33] <Toby_Bartels> OK, I will be brief, then Wally.
[15:33] <alex756> I am assuming Skeptic can go back and read the log of what happened while he was away.
[15:33] <alex756> Toby, you have the floor.
[15:34] <Toby_Bartels> #1. "that we must keep track of who is doing what" :
[15:34] <Toby_Bartels> This would be a very good idea, so that we know how active the AMA is.
[15:34] <Toby_Bartels> I like Alex's suggestion that AMA members report start and stop times to the coordinator.
[15:34] <Toby_Bartels> If this works, then these could be reported and that would give us a good idea of the state of things.
[15:35] <Toby_Bartels> (There could also be a WP page for self-reporting.)
[15:35] <Toby_Bartels> #2. "that we must reward results, in a meritocratic fashion of hierarchy within or organization"
[15:35] <Toby_Bartels> I see no need for rewards, but I know that many people enjoy such recognition.
[15:36] <Toby_Bartels> I'll go along with any rewards that people want, as long as they don't lead to ...
[15:36] <Toby_Bartels> ... recognised power or authority by the rewarded person.
[15:36] <Toby_Bartels> Bronzestars are an example of such a reward system currently on WP.
[15:36] <Toby_Bartels> #3. "that said hierarchy would consist of various positions of responsibility (and fancy titles)"
[15:37] <Toby_Bartels> Positions of responsibility sounds really bad to me.
[15:37] <Toby_Bartels> Fancy titles are fine if they do not denote positions of responsibility, and are used only for fun and prestige.
[15:37] <Toby_Bartels> Again, I don't see the point to them, but I know that many people enjoy them.
[15:37] <Toby_Bartels> * (Wally's turn)
[15:39] <alex756> Before I give Wally the floor I just want to state as Coordinator I will put in with the next meeting notice that everyone has to give an activity report to me before the next meeting of how many people they have helped since they joined AMA.
[15:39] <WallyAMA> I have stated my position, and it is essentially in concurrence with Toby's. My only divergence is that I believe the Coordinator's office needs to be defined and strengthened in order to execute #1, which is emphasis I will save for point 6, despite the fact that I do not believe we will reach that stage. I would add that I find point 3 especially damaging, and contrary to Wikipedian ideals of equality where possible.
[15:39] <alex756> I think that does not require any vote and it is reasonably within the AMA.
[15:40] <WallyAMA> And I must object, Alex.
[15:40] <alex756> Wally, you now have the floor.
[15:40] <WallyAMA> We agreed that nothing we did here would be binding upon members.
[15:40] [Toby_Bartels:#AMA PING]
[15:40] <WallyAMA> This must surely fall into such a category.
[15:40] <WallyAMA> And I am concluded.
[15:40] <Sam_Spade> I object generally to what is being said
[15:40] <WallyAMA> *
[15:40] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:40] <Skeptic> sorry, what's the asterisk mean?
[15:40] <WallyAMA> Oh, sorry.
[15:40] <alex756> It is not binding on the members it is just a reasonable request that members tell the Coordinator how many people they have helped as members.
[15:41] <WallyAMA> It means you're finished with your statement.
[15:41] <Skeptic> ok
[15:41] <alex756> And you yield the floor back to the Chair (currently me).
[15:41] <WallyAMA> Still, I don't feel it's appropriate, but I will voluntarily comply myself.
[15:41] <alex756> I will mention in the notice that it is a voluntary request for members to provide information about their activities.
[15:42] <alex756> And I will not be asking for names of the people they worked with, just the number of different situations they found themselves in since AMA was founded. It is just for statistical purposes.
[15:42] <Toby_Bartels> I share Wally's concerns about the phrasing "everyone has to give an activity report", but I think that changing it to "it is a voluntary request" turns it into a really good idea.
[15:42] <alex756> That might help us have a better discussion. If we found out that there is a lot of activity it might change the discussion; likewise if there is very little activity.
[15:43] <alex756> Personally I cannot see how anyone can be a member of the AMA in good faith and not tell the rest of us what they are doing they really do have an obligation to let the membership know the level of their activity.
[15:44] <Sam_Spade> objection
[15:44] <alex756> Maybe this perception about membership needs to be changed so that members have more responsibility towards the association.
[15:44] <alex756> Anyway, I think that Skeptic now has the floor.
[15:45] <alex756> Sam, if you are going to make an objection, please state the grounds for the objection at the same time.
[15:45] <Sam_Spade> do I have the floor?
[15:45] <Sam_Spade> if not, I simply onbject
[15:45] <alex756> No you main an objection but did not state what it was about.
[15:46] <alex756> Skeptic has the floor.
[15:46] <Sam_Spade> I will wait until my turn, mr. chair
[15:46] <Sam_Spade> until then simply be aware of my general objections, if you please
[15:46] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:46] <alex756> Skeptic?
[15:47] <alex756> I think Skeptic has gone back to lurking. Since the hour is short I will give Sam the floor. Sam go ahead.
[15:47] <Sam_Spade> ok
[15:47] <Sam_Spade> I object to most of what has been said since I last spoke
[15:47] <alex756> OK, that is out of order.
[15:47] <Sam_Spade> I object to charictarizations of wikipedia ideology
[15:48] <Sam_Spade> ?
[15:48] <Sam_Spade> me?
[15:48] <alex756> You can disagree with what was stated, but not object that is a formal thing.
[15:48] <alex756> You can go ahead with your opinions sam, I thought you were objecting to the discussion.
[15:48] <Sam_Spade> I formally object in particular to your wording regarding request of details of AMA activities
[15:49] <Sam_Spade> I do not intend to be forthcoming w/o incentive
[15:49] <Sam_Spade> I have a great deal of activities
[15:49] <Sam_Spade> when I compiled a listing of 2 weeks worth of such advocating, it took me 1/2 hr
[15:49] <alex756> Can I speak as Coordinator and respond to you Sam. I have an idea.
[15:50] <Sam_Spade> I don't intend to spend the time necessary to complile the amount of information you seem to be expecting, particularly not w/o incentive
[15:50] <Sam_Spade> ok
[15:50] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:51] <alex756> I think that is a good point. And maybe the other members present can respond to this, we don't have to get too formal, but how about our first "outstanding arbitrator" award.
[15:51] <alex756> I ask the members to submit information about their activities and also to get someone they worked with to submit statements about how useful the work was to help resolve a dispute.
[15:52] <alex756> We would need a committee that could decide who the "outstanding advocate" would be. (sorry for the typo above, I didn't mean outstanding arbitrator, forgive me).
[15:52] <alex756> Anyway, it is just a suggestion. You have the floor again Sam.
[15:53] <Sam_Spade> I don't have much more to say, other than that my 3 proposals will be necessary of we expect to increase activity
[15:53] <Sam_Spade> I feel we have precious little activity generally
[15:53] <Sam_Spade> and incentive is needed
[15:53] <Sam_Spade> humans act based on incentive, or in order to prevent conflict
[15:54] <Sam_Spade> AMA does very little
[15:54] <Sam_Spade> I feel this is due to lack of incentive
[15:54] <Sam_Spade> I cede the floor
[15:54] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:54] <Toby_Bartels> may I respond?
[15:54] <Skeptic> I'd like the floor for a minute or two if nobody wants it as well
[15:54] <alex756> OK Sam, good points. I would like anyone else that wants to make some comments now to ask to be recognized.
[15:54] <Toby_Bartels> yield to skeptic *
[15:54] <alex756> I am going to give the floor to Skeptic as he has not had a chance.
[15:54] <Skeptic> Thanks, and sorry I've been so lax in responding
[15:54] <alex756> Toby, you are out of order. You cannot yield the floor if it has not been given to you.
[15:55] <Sam_Spade> haha
[15:55] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:55] <Sam_Spade> ;)
[15:55] <Sam_Spade> *
[15:55] <Toby_Bartels> shut up, alex. i just said skeptic should talk.
[15:55] <Skeptic> I'm Andrevan on Wikipedia by the way, in case anyone doesn't recognize me
[15:55] <alex756> Thank you Toby, Go ahead, Skeptic.
[15:55] <Skeptic> Anyway I skimmed the earlier log, and I have a few thoughts on it
[15:56] <Skeptic> First of all let me state that I have never participated in anything AMA-related since joining it, and I imagine many of the members would say the same
[15:56] <Skeptic> Now I think there are several reasons for that
[15:58] <Skeptic> First of all, since the AMA, uses a WikiProject-style signup rather than a Mediation Comittee-style signup, people can put their names on the list and not do anything at all, yet remain in good standing
[15:58] <Skeptic> Is this a flaw? Not really, but something could be done to encourage activity
[15:59] <Skeptic> Reports are a good idea, for a start, though some brainstorming should be done to think about what to do with the information gleaned from them
[15:59] <alex756> POINT OF INFORMATION: We agreed that the meeting would end at at the top of the hour in one minute. We can change that.
[15:59] <Skeptic> No reason to have hard and fast ending time, imho
[15:59] <Skeptic> I'll yield to discuss that
[15:59] <Skeptic> *
[16:00] <Sam_Spade> I will stay, things are picking up since we became informal
[16:00] <Sam_Spade> but I have a test tmr morn ;)
[16:00] <alex756> I can keep going for another half hour, but we have been meeting already for two hours. I know were were off to a slow start, but we are having a good meeting now.
[16:00] <Toby_Bartels> i can stay at least one more hour
[16:00] <Sam_Spade> so I only have so much patience ;)
[16:00] <alex756> Sam how much longer can you stick around?
[16:00] <Sam_Spade> it varies
[16:01] <alex756> Andrevan, can you stay for a while too?
[16:01] <Sam_Spade> essentially i'll leave when i want to
[16:01] <alex756> And what about you Wally?
[16:01] <Sam_Spade> I think we should all agree on that ;)
[16:01] <WallyAMA> I shall remain as long as will any other advocate.
[16:01] <alex756> It is just Sam that we are discussing your points.
[16:01] <Sam_Spade> praise the lord
[16:01] <Sam_Spade> :D
[16:01] <Skeptic> Yeah I can stick around, but I tend to appear to zone out a lot in IRC because I'm multitasking
[16:01] <alex756> Skeptic, have you any more points to make?
[16:02] <Skeptic> Well I was going to mention that in Wikipedia we have a tendency to lean towards meritocracy, and that's not always the best path
[16:02] <Skeptic> but that's it
[16:02] <alex756> If not I'd like Sam to tell us how we are going to find out more about what AMA advocates are doing.
[16:02] <Sam_Spade> w00t
[16:02] <Sam_Spade> *
[16:02] <Skeptic> oh and *
[16:03] <Sam_Spade> may I have the floor, most honorable chairperson?
[16:03] <alex756> Sam, since you objected to me asking the members for information about their activities without some reward I am assuming you have some suggestion in this regard, Imperator.
[16:03] <Sam_Spade> indeed
[16:04] <alex756> Yes, Sam, but keep it short, I want the other members to respond to any concrete suggestion you make.
[16:04] <Sam_Spade> firstly I insist that meritocracy is the best of all possible styles of governance
[16:04] <Sam_Spade> secondly I insist that both the wikipedia and the AMA have styles of governance
[16:04] <WallyAMA> I object - this is not a debate on systems of government.
[16:05] <Sam_Spade> thirdly I insist that lack of incentive or prevention of conflict causes the AMA to do almost nothing (on average)
[16:05] <alex756> Wally, I will take that objection as a request for the floor. You are first on the list. OK?
[16:05] <WallyAMA> I thank the Chair.
[16:05] <Sam_Spade> I am done
[16:05] <Sam_Spade> I cede the floor
[16:05] <Sam_Spade> *
[16:06] <alex756> Chair, floor, table, anyone for a window?
[16:06] <alex756> Sorry guys just a joke.
[16:06] <Skeptic> I'll be the ceiling
[16:06] <WallyAMA> We can call you the Lamp?
[16:06] <alex756> OK Wally, you have the floor, you can respond to Sam, but I thought he was going to make some kind of concrete suggestion.
[16:06] <WallyAMA> You spread your light to the room!
[16:06] <alex756> I am the chair now you want that I am the lamp?
[16:06] <WallyAMA> Thank you.
[16:07] <alex756> Maybe I can be the floor lamp? Or table chair?
[16:07] <alex756> Go ahead Wally.
[16:07] <WallyAMA> I object to the entire idea that we need to make the AMA meritocratic or imbue it with some sort of hierarchy or deluge of "fancy titles". Quite frankly, I think this would be detrimental to the entire organization.
[16:08] <WallyAMA> Wikipedia was founded not upon meritocracy, but on altruism - our only ambition is and should be to provide free, accurate and up-to-date information to all those who might make use of it.
[16:08] <alex756> Here, here.
[16:08] <WallyAMA> The AMA is no different, and should be a beacon of these ideals because the standards to which we must hold are that much higher.
[16:08] <WallyAMA> We must be motivated not by a desire for glory, but by one for justice.
[16:08] <WallyAMA> That is the advocate's reward.
[16:08] <WallyAMA> And I am done.
[16:08] <WallyAMA> *
[16:09] <Sam_Spade> I of course object*
[16:09] <alex756> Well, I think both Wally and Sam have made good points.
[16:09] <Toby_Bartels> may i have the floor?
[16:09] <alex756> Go ahead Toby.
[16:10] <Toby_Bartels> I am not very concerned with what motivates advocates.
[16:10] <Toby_Bartels> I'll side with Wally (and alex, i think) on hierarchical organisation of the AMA: to wit, as little as possible.
[16:11] <Toby_Bartels> But if there are members motivated by glory, ...
[16:11] <Toby_Bartels> ... then they should be free to give and get recognition.
[16:11] <Toby_Bartels> I'll support whatever fancy titles Sam likes, ...
[16:11] <Toby_Bartels> ... so long as no power goes with them.
[16:11] <Toby_Bartels> If prestige accrues to them, then so be it.
[16:11] <Toby_Bartels> *
[16:12] <alex756> I have a suggestion regarding titles, maybe not as officious as Sam's suggested Imperator title, but perhaps if an advocate has done a certain amount of work we can give them a title like Senior Advocate.
[16:13] <alex756> Or some kind of certification process, certain number of hours, recommendations from three or more of their "clients" and they become certified.
[16:13] <WallyAMA> I object to any such pomp and circumstance.
[16:13] <alex756> I don't know if the word "Senior" is good.
[16:14] <alex756> Well I am not suggesting pomp and circumstance but one thing that I was always suggesting is that there be some kind of training or certification for advocates, because as Skeptic pointed out anyone can join and that is not an indication of giving anyone any service.
[16:15] <alex756> Something that shows that a lot of people have used an advocate is not a necessarily arbitrary title.
[16:15] <alex756> What do you think Wally?
[16:16] <WallyAMA> I disagree completely. Practicality, for one.
[16:16] <alex756> Can you explain that in more detail?
[16:16] <WallyAMA> Everyone will mob "Senior Advocates", and new ones will never be able to find work.
[16:16] <Sam_Spade> object
[16:17] <alex756> Well, maybe it would be harder to get a Senior advocate to work on someone case, and they could be paired with a junior advocate to hand cases off to them?
[16:17] <WallyAMA> Furthermore, it will assign Senior Advocates some holier-than-thou position based upon criteria that is subjective at best and arbitrary at worst.
[16:17] <WallyAMA> Too complicated, and too much oversight.
[16:17] <WallyAMA> Beyond that, I also object to the whole notion of special titles.
[16:17] <alex756> Sam, I am assuming that the objection is a request to be recognized after I finish my discussion with Wally.
[16:17] <WallyAMA> I can speak for myself that if offered such a title, I would refuse it.
[16:18] <WallyAMA> And I wonder why Sam is so passionate for such titles.
[16:18] <alex756> OK, I think that clarifies your position Wally, so I am going to give Sam the floor, maybe he can convince us why titles are a good idea. It seems that practically everyone is against it.
[16:18] <alex756> Sam, you have the floor now.
[16:18] <Sam_Spade> firstly, I agree w alex that my ideas are at least opposed by he and wally
[16:19] <Sam_Spade> the others seem milder in their criticism
[16:19] <alex756> Sam, can I make a suggestion?
[16:19] <Sam_Spade> regardless, there is enough opposition that I feel a need to refrain from pressing the matter
[16:20] <Sam_Spade> however, I do insist that little progress will be made until these matters are addressed
[16:20] <Sam_Spade> go ahead, alex
[16:21] <Sam_Spade> Z*
[16:21] <alex756> Can you give us a specific proposal about titles and hierarchy. Toby does not seem to object to titles, I seem to think only utilitarian titles that have some merit are useful and it is only Wally that seems to be 100% against any titles (except that of coordinator).
[16:21] <WallyAMA> My position is not mischaracterized.
[16:21] <Sam_Spade> the matter of the coordinatoir title is of prime import
[16:21] <Sam_Spade> this creates hierarchy
[16:22] <Sam_Spade> we have one
[16:22] <Sam_Spade> my suggestion involves creating more responsibility, and more meritocracy
[16:22] <alex756> Could you please be specific?
[16:22] <Sam_Spade> if this is not explicitly accepted, I will agree to titles alone
[16:23] <Sam_Spade> but specifically, I feel that we need more titles (secretary, researcher, etc...) than simply coordinator
[16:23] <Sam_Spade> and that the process of determing them ought be meritocratic
[16:23] <alex756> These are not titles, but positions. They are not the same thing.
[16:23] <Sam_Spade> not majoritarianism, or democratic
[16:23] <Sam_Spade> which is anti-wiki
[16:24] <Sam_Spade> we don't agree
[16:24] <Sam_Spade> with titles comes responsibility
[16:24] <Sam_Spade> *
[16:24] <WallyAMA> I would like to speak, if I may.
[16:24] <alex756> For those positions we need job descriptions more than names.
[16:25] <alex756> I do not agree with the fact that a coordinator creates a hierarchy. If I remember correctly that was discussed when we decided to have an election for a coordinator and not a president or board.
[16:26] <alex756> I do not feel I have any status as coordinator of the AMA. I volunteered because I thought the organization had merit to provide an needed service to Wikipedians, but I think that the title of member maybe needs to be more closely looked at.
[16:27] * Sam_Spade is now known as Sam_Spadeaway
[16:27] <alex756> As Skeptic points out, being an AMA member really does not mean much. It should mean a lot.
[16:28] <alex756> Does anyone want to respond?
[16:28] <WallyAMA> [16:24] <WallyAMA> I would like to speak, if I may.
[16:28] <alex756> Yes Wally, go ahead.
[16:28] * Skeptic is now known as Skeptic[away_for
[16:28] * Skeptic[away_for is now known as Skeptic[away]
[16:29] <WallyAMA> I feel that what Sam suggest - that majoritarianism and democracy are inherently anti-wikipedian, strikes at the very heart of the project.
[16:29] <WallyAMA> I will say also that with titles do not, inherently, come positions.
[16:29] <WallyAMA> The British peers prove that fairly conclusively.
[16:30] <WallyAMA> What's more, if democracy is so anti-wikipedian, and so anti-AMA, then perhaps we should have some sort of coup d'etat contest, and whoever wins may be Coordinator-for-Life.
[16:30] <WallyAMA> In any case, titles will merely encourage publicity-seekers to attempt to use AMA as a vehicle for their ambition as, so often, the legal and political professions in the real world do.
[16:30] <WallyAMA> I apologize if any of what I say seems harsh, but it needs saying.
[16:30] <WallyAMA> *
[16:32] <alex756> I don't disagree with anything you have said Wally except the first point, but this is perhaps not the forum to discuss the underlying philosophy of Wikipedia, we are here because we want the AMA to be more successful at what it does.
[16:32] <alex756> Toby, do you have any comments?
[16:33] <Toby_Bartels> Yes, a few.
[16:33] <alex756> It appears that both Sam and Skeptic are away.
[16:33] <alex756> You have the floor.
[16:33] * Sam_Spadeaway is now known as Sam_Spade
[16:33] <Toby_Bartels> People are unclear as to whether or not I disagree with Sam regarding titles. I would like to clarify my position by making a distinction between TITLES and POSITIONS.
[16:33] <Toby_Bartels> (Perhaps I should pick different words, since others have started to make this distinction; so these are ad-hoc definitions only for purposes of clarifying my position.)
[16:33] <Toby_Bartels> A POSITION is a specific role within the organisation, such as coordinator, that a person must perform. A TITLE is a specific name that a person may take up.
[16:34] <Toby_Bartels> Generally, positions have titles -- this makes it easy to talk about them. A title without a position is meaningless in a sense -- but it may also be used for recognition, and to accrue prestige.
[16:34] <Toby_Bartels> I see the need for the position of coordinator, and thus for the title of coordinator. I don't see the need for any other position, or for any other title.
[16:34] <Toby_Bartels> I object to creating any position without clear consensus for it. Additionally, I object to creating any position for the purpose of providing incentives to participate.
[16:34] <Toby_Bartels> I have no objections to creating additional titles, and I don't even mind if Sam creates one on his own initiative without others agreeing.
[16:34] <Toby_Bartels> Of course, in that case, there would be no position with that title; and nobody else would be required to pay any attention to it. But some may choose to pay attention anyway, if they like.
[16:35] <Toby_Bartels> (BTW, regarding governing style, I disagree with both meritocracy and majoritarian democracy. So there. ^_^)
[16:35] <Toby_Bartels> *
[16:35] <Sam_Spade> I requewst the floor after toby*
[16:36] <alex756> You have the floor Sam.
[16:37] <Sam_Spade> the AMA has already accepted majoritocracy, oligarchy, and hierarchy
[16:37] <Sam_Spade> we added our names to alist
[16:37] <Sam_Spade> thereby leaving out those not listed
[16:37] <Sam_Spade> we voted
[16:37] <Sam_Spade> and we installed alex as coordinator
[16:37] * Skeptic[away] is now known as Skeptic
[16:37] <Skeptic> I'll take the floor after Sam, please
[16:37] <Sam_Spade> I disagree w most of what you say, toby
[16:38] <Sam_Spade> but I will acce3pt it if it creates consensus
[16:38] <Sam_Spade> I don't agree that titles lack responsibility
[16:38] <Sam_Spade> but if it takes accepting your view that they do, I will tolerate it
[16:38] <Sam_Spade> consensus is what wikipedia is based on
[16:38] <Sam_Spade> not majoritocracy
[16:39] <Sam_Spade> I cede the floor
[16:39] <Sam_Spade> *
[16:40] <alex756> Before you get the floor Skeptic I would just like to say that Wikipedia is based upon making edits, it is not consensus, but those who come on line, there are lots of contributors that just contribute and then go away.
[16:40] <alex756> Skeptic, you now have the floor.
[16:40] <Sam_Spade> objection @alex
[16:40] <Sam_Spade> *
[16:40] <Skeptic> Alright, well, it seems to me that Toby's distinction is a valuable one
[16:40] <alex756> Sam, I assume that your objection is to speak after Skeptic.
[16:41] <Sam_Spade> not necesarilly, but iof you wish... *
[16:41] <Skeptic> Do we stand to gain by creating new titles that merely represent merit, and perhaps prestige?
[16:41] <Skeptic> And furthermore, are there responsibilities that aren't being fulfilled, that we need new positions for?
[16:41] <Sam_Spade> yes there are!*
[16:42] <Skeptic> I run a small business (really small, we're talking <10 employees) and from my experience there is nothing to be gained from creating new positions unless there is a need.
[16:42] <Skeptic> I don't see a need. But maybe you do. We need to define the need before we address fixing it.
[16:42] <alex756> Sam, you are out of order, you can speak next after Skeptic is finished.
[16:43] <Skeptic> As for titles, if it would motivate members, go for it.
[16:43] <Skeptic> Nominally a position would go with a title, i.e. the coordinator. But giving honorary titles in the same vein as barnstars could be useful.
[16:44] <Skeptic> Now as for consensus, that's a dicey issue on Wikipedia as a whole, especially when it comes to RfAs and so on.
[16:44] <Skeptic> I'm going to relate a brief personal anecdote that I think will shed some interesting light on this whole issue
[16:46] <Skeptic> A few months ago I put myself forward to become a bureaucrat, and I had around 75-80% support votes. The bureaucrats decided this wasn't a consensus, but instead stated that 85-90% would be a consensus.
[16:46] <Skeptic> So is consensus just another word for a certain majority?
[16:47] <alex756> Good point.
[16:47] <Toby_Bartels> The word has often been MISUSED on WP in this way.
[16:47] <alex756> Toby, I will put you on the list to speak after Sam, OK?
[16:47] <Skeptic> As for oligarchy, I don't think that the AMA is oligarchical at all
[16:47] <Skeptic> Oligarchy is rule by a few. Does the AMA rule anything? No
[16:47] <Skeptic> The AMA has no power over the population of Wikipedia
[16:48] <Skeptic> Now shrinking the population down to the AMA itself, it's a monarchy
[16:48] <Sam_Spade> no hereditary power*
[16:48] <Skeptic> True enough, but monarchy doesn't necessitate hereditary power
[16:48] <Sam_Spade> (I know, I'm out of order, but this is informal)
[16:48] <Sam_Spade> *
[16:48] <alex756> You don't want your titles to pass to your offspring Sam?
[16:48] <Sam_Spade> LOL
[16:49] <Sam_Spade> *
[16:49] <Skeptic> The AMA is presided over by one elected person, so it's a majoritocratic monarchy
[16:49] <Skeptic> As for the AMA in contrast to Wikipedia, it's absolutely nothing
[16:49] <alex756> I object!
[16:49] <Skeptic> What's your objection?
[16:49] <alex756> You are out of order alex756.
[16:49] <Sam_Spade> LOL*
[16:49] <Skeptic> heh
[16:49] <alex756> I am not presiding over anything, hey really.
[16:50] <Skeptic> Well ok, but using the analogy of a government, you're the top banana
[16:50] <alex756> I thought I was made coordinator because I came up with the AMA idea and only Ed Poor ran against me to make it appear like an election.
[16:50] <Sam_Spade> damn near unanimous vote too... ;) *
[16:50] <alex756> If someone else wants to perform a "coup d'etat" they should let me know.
[16:51] <WallyAMA> So we have to file papers?
[16:51] <alex756> I might even fund it! ;)
[16:51] <Skeptic> I don't think anyone does, but it's not really that important how you were made coordinator
[16:51] <WallyAMA> Like coup d'etat permission slips?
[16:51] <alex756> LOL
[16:51] <alex756> I think we should have someone in charge of coup d'etats.
[16:51] <Sam_Spade> how bout we do a meetup and fight for it? ;)
[16:52] <Sam_Spade> f voting*
[16:52] <alex756> But you are right Skeptic, really compared to Wikipedia we are not much of an organization.
[16:52] <Skeptic> So yeah, I guess that's really all I have to say. To sum it up, we can create positions if there's a need, and we can create titles if it would motivate, but the government analogy only holds so much water.
[16:53] <Skeptic> But I have to stress that we shouldn't create positions for its own sake - think of the need first.
[16:53] <Sam_Spade> here here
[16:53] <Skeptic> &
[16:53] <Skeptic> er
[16:53] <Skeptic> *
[16:54] <alex756> That is a good point Andrevan, if same wants a title, I suggest we let him use one, but if we are going to create titles with positions we should discuss what the positions are.
[16:54] <Sam_Spade> here here
[16:54] <alex756> Sam, you have the floor, can you tell us your preferred title?
[16:54] <Sam_Spade> I agree strongly w most of what andrevan said, and all of what alex said since andrevan spoke
[16:54] <alex756> I suggest Imperial Wizard Advocate of the Third Realm
[16:55] <alex756> Or maybe that should be fifth realm.
[16:55] <Sam_Spade> indeed, I sense that my main argument w this quorim here is in matters unrelated to policy proposals
[16:55] <Skeptic> Third Realm is obviously too much like Third Reich
[16:55] <Skeptic> :P
[16:55] <Sam_Spade> but rather is ideoligical
[16:55] <WallyAMA> I hate to stop the fun, but can we move forwards?
[16:55] <Sam_Spade> which is in most ways unimportant
[16:55] <alex756> Yes, it could also be Royal Wizard Advocate of the Seventh Star.
[16:55] <Sam_Spade> I think we need to leave things hanging
[16:56] <Sam_Spade> and finish uyp next time
[16:56] <alex756> OK Sam, I think Toby gets the floor now and then Wally.
[16:56] <Toby_Bartels> point of informatoin: 4 minutes 'til the hour.
[16:56] <Sam_Spade> we should alert other members what weve bveen up to
[16:56] <Sam_Spade> what weve discussed
[16:56] <alex756> Should we post the log of this anywhere?
[16:56] <Sam_Spade> and let a concensus form as to what we should do when
[16:56] <Sam_Spade> sure
[16:56] <Skeptic> A log might be usefu
[16:56] <Skeptic> l
[16:56] <Sam_Spade> let everyone know
[16:57] <Toby_Bartels> i don't think that i need to anything officially on the floor now.
[16:57] <Sam_Spade> but if voting needs done, it needs discused on the wiki 1st
[16:57] <Toby_Bartels> but as for the log, definitely post it!
[16:57] <alex756> Along with the notice of the next Sunday meeting and a Request for Information.
[16:57] <Sam_Spade> that includes walls ideas
[16:57] <Sam_Spade> they should be announced
[16:57] <Sam_Spade> separately
[16:57] <Sam_Spade> because I liked most of them
[16:57] <alex756> I will also post the agenda points from the beginning.
[16:57] <Sam_Spade> and the ones I didn't like I didn't understand
[16:58] <alex756> We can just put it on a discussion page and see if anyone comments.
[16:58] <Sam_Spade> so he needs to explain them in detail, before we'd vote on them
[16:58] <Sam_Spade> yeah
[16:58] <alex756> He can comment on them if need be.
[16:58] <alex756> OK Wally?
[16:58] <Sam_Spade> we should meetevery weekend, or more often
[16:59] <alex756> Anyone else have any points to add, we have two minutes to go and then I am off.
[16:59] <Sam_Spade> maybe have formal and informal meetings
[16:59] <Sam_Spade> we got something done here
[16:59] <Sam_Spade> mainly having had a discussion
[16:59] <WallyAMA> I'm not so sure.
[16:59] <Sam_Spade> talking is progress, no matter how modest
[16:59] <WallyAMA> We got one agenda item cleared, out of six.
[16:59] <WallyAMA> In three hours.
[16:59] <alex756> Well, that shows there is a lot to discuss, no?
[17:00] <Sam_Spade> cleared was it?
[17:00] <Toby_Bartels> after the log is posted, i will put up a short summary of what I think the meeting amounted to. (this is because the log will be too long to make good reading.) others may wish to post their own summaries. (that won't be too long to read, since there are few of us.)
[17:00] <Sam_Spade> I think not
[17:00] <Sam_Spade> it was discussed
[17:00] <alex756> Thank you Toby, that would be useful.
[17:00] <WallyAMA> So 0/6.
[17:00] <WallyAMA> That's hardly better.
[17:00] <Sam_Spade> right
[17:01] <Sam_Spade> but we have 6which is better than before
[17:01] <alex756> I will call the page Wikipedia:AMA IRC Meeting log (1-23-05) (editorial note: typo changed)
[17:01] <Sam_Spade> having a list, a set of ideas...
[17:01] <WallyAMA> Again, I do not agree.
[17:01] <Sam_Spade> thats alot of progress
[17:01] <WallyAMA> And I cannot confess to being happy with the meeting's outcome.
[17:01] <alex756> ops, it is 1-23-05.
[17:01] <WallyAMA> But I am glad others are satisfied.
[17:01] <Sam_Spade> we shouldn't be doing anything here, not making any descions for the group
[17:01] <alex756> I abstain from judging the meeting.
[17:01] <Sam_Spade> but rather discussing, brainstorming, etc...
[17:02] <WallyAMA> If you like.
[17:02] <Sam_Spade> ok, I'm off
[17:02] <Sam_Spade> guten nacht
[17:02] <alex756> After all we are hardly a consensus or even a majority.
[17:02] <alex756> Thanks to everyone who participated.
[17:02] <Toby_Bartels> i'm not SATISFIED, but i have hopes for next week. i hope that wally and sam will both be there!
[17:02] <alex756> Yes, and if we can get a few other members to come that would be great!
[17:03] <Toby_Bartels> (also alex and skeptic and me, of course, but it would be a real loss to diversity of opinion to lose either wally or sam)
[17:03] <Sam_Spade> if I'm not here next week, I will be sometimes
[17:03] <Sam_Spade> I have alot going on
[17:03] <Sam_Spade> cheers
[17:03] * Sam_Spade has quit IRC
[17:06] <Toby_Bartels> if nothing more to do, goodbye
[17:07] * Toby_Bartels has quit IRC ("Chatzilla 0.9.67 [Firefox 0.10.1/20040913]")
[17:08] <WallyAMA> I bid all farewell also.
[17:09] * WallyAMA has quit IRC (""Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something." - last words of Mexican outlaw Pancho Villa, 1921." )