Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

That Was Easy

I just turned down the interesting job, after a first phone interview, after mentioning my salary requirement (65k, which wasn't a problem) and demand for my own office (which is apparently a dealbreaker). The interview otherwise went pretty well, and I think if I had been willing to bend on the office part, I probably would've gotten the job. Oh well. I'll learn to cope with my current office until the time seems right to leave Pittsburgh (early next summer, when the current students leave, some of whom I'll miss, acquaintances and friends, seems particularly likely). It's not like there are not non-students I'll miss whenever I go, but part of the idea of leaving, for me, is minimising the number and depth of breaks that I go through. It's still possible I might meet someone and date them before I go, which might or not might not delay my leaving (I would follow them or stay here with them if things felt right)... but I really am eager to try either warmer weather or European culture.

During the foundation elections, I had a number of conversations, some continuations of things at Wikimania (it was good timing to have wikimania and elections so close together), on the topic of care for other languages on the foundation board. Being an American with an internetionalist bent, the topic is particularly interesting to me - one particular complaint I heard was that even though many of the conversations on managing the project are freely available, they're not very open to outsiders. For English speakers, the only barrier is time/dullness -- the conversations go on and on, most of them are uninteresting, and it takes a lot of effort to understand them. For people who are not native English speakers, another barrier is present -- the foundation discussions are in English, and because there are (among others) a lot of smart and well educated people on the list, a passing familiarity with English is often not enough. With some encouragement by Danny Wool (who despite some rough edges strikes me as the most sensible, clear-thinking person involved in foundation matters, and who I like on a personal level as well), I started a project called LSS to do weekly summaries of the main foundation mailing list. So far, I've done two summaries, one for all of september as a proof of concept, and one for the first week of October. They're not perfect and they take a good bit of time, but they should make at least English speakers better able to understand what goes on on foundation-l (and give pointers for more reading as interests go). The English version, despite being kind of useful, isn't the point of LSS -- the primary good I think will come from getting it translated to other languages. There's the problem that the translation committee doesn't actually seem to do much, so I went to the main discussion boards on some other wikipediae (called the Village Pump on the English Wikipedia, things like the Bistro and similar on others), asking as best I could in the relevant languages, with much better success so far than using the translation list. I have a few interested Spanish translators and one interested French (my call to the French Wikipedia was done with help of a present boardmember from France who strikes me as the most ethical person on the board that I've met), giving me some content already, and I'm talking to some Germans to do the same. This makes me happy - it's good to actually get things done, and hopefully this will prevent the horrible mess that caused half the Spanish Wikipedia to split off and start their own project (which in the end was based on miscommunications and mistrust, partly due to language barriers) from ever happening again.

I'm looking forward to having weekends free after this coming weekend, when my present study ends. I intend to visit my mom and grandparents on the weekend of the 20th (a la Amtrak), and the weekend of the 27th I'll be in Columbus, at least partly to do Halloween at Outland, but also to visit with people. I regret that I can't also be in Athens Ohio for their Halloween parade, but Outland means more - the music is much better (being a club *for* Gothic Industrial) and the atmosphere compares well to good clubs in NYC. I have a certain fondness for Columbus, even though I don't think I'll ever live there again.

In other news, spamhaus won't be going away quite yet. I wonder if there's a way to decentralise spamhaus so spammers won't have anyone to sue for their spam being blocked. It's disappointing how when we make societies that are strictly based on law and have an adversarial legal system, we end up with such a strong incentive for and traditions towards abuse that remains within the limits of the law. There must be a better way to deal with spammers than blocking them.

Tags: wikipedia, work
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