28 Nov 2005 mirwin   » (Master)

Wikiversity

Looks like it might be finally happening. About 200 of a little under 300 validated voters (Wikimedia Foundation project participants in good standing) (69% reported in favor) supported the proposed Wikiversity that many of us hinted at or requested years ago. Unfortunately this is not binding upon the Board, which long time readers will remember was allegedly stacked initially by the benevolent Owner/God King/Founder with business partners and cabal members in good standing. Since all of Wikimedia Foundation's sponsored projects have been frequently limited and/or negatively impacted by insufficient internet infrastructure capacity there is a good chance that some government or corporate or dot.com funded entity will step in to act as an effective global focal point. Too bad we did not plan for success after agreeing/choosing to GPL/FDL all the software and data goodies developed or donated by "community" volunteers and philanthropists.

Should governments ever get serious about this I doubt they are going to wait a few years or decades for Wikiversity to get its act together. However, governments are notoriously slow and unreliable, so perhaps there is still time for motivated collaborators to shine helping establish the first best world class free online university while accomplishing personal goals such as: learning new software languages, augmenting personal studies, using convenient online reference texts, developing newly identified features and utilities critical to online learning environments and peer based distributed grids.

Personally, I am investigating whether I can grandfather into Oregon's recently proposed regulation of Systems Engineers or whether I am going to have to retake the EIT (the one I passed at graduation in 84 expired sometime 2001) so I can take the Oregon P.E. in some appropriate engineering discipline. Combat engineers brushing up on necessary skills for any contemplated current or future revolutionary activities are extremely welcome. Be subtle and discrete. Maintain appropriately arms length tradecraft. One of the alleged founders spends a lot of time shouting troll at me any time the concept of financial planning comes up or any suggestion that others in disagreement with the cabal may not actually be entirely troll like and therefore irredeemable within the scope and parameters of our published mission statements, goals, and charters.

Note also the attempts to divert professional journal publishing and other traffic to wikicities.com which is allegedly associated somehow with members of the stacked board of the Wikimedia Foundation. Of course Florida is notoriously beneficial to corrupt capitalists so perhaps this is not actually an apparent conflict of interest resulting in slow rolling promising projects ... or even if it is, it probably does not matter to any applicable authorities.

Interestingly .... freepedia.org has been put online apparently by a for profit entity earning income from advertising by relaying content requests to wikipedia.org. No doubt someone is selling books via Amazon off of Wikibooks.org while the primary communities creating the content put up with service delays and downtime due to lack of funds for equipment, bandwidth and professional staff support. Well to paraphrase what our mentor Heinlein has noted god, girls, and governments are all mysterious and it is not given to mortal to truly understand their ways.

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Directors allegedly has gods, kings, girls and is authorized by another government so it is [{(Mysterious-MYsterious)X(mystERious)^2}(Mysterious/50)^FTC}]convolved with several nationalities regulated via the WTO agreements regarding internet content and various standing armies enforcing anti terrorist and anti peasant uprising regulations locally .... seriously murky if not outright opaque. Solivy.

I sure hope something like this or some of the emerging globus grid components and/or utilities turn out to be useful at distributing workload in case the Board decides a free online university is too challenging in terms of explosive demand growth upon the overstrained Wikimedia Foundation's server farm. It would be cool if it turned out a properly implemented Wikiversity Grid could scale with each new serious participant's loan of a few meg and gig via a screensaver until they needed. Even better if it turned out that accounting systems could prioritize and allocate dynamic resources preferentially to past contributors ... gnunet ready for alpha, beta or omega yet?

I sure hope some participants manage to kick our Wikiversity:School of Computer Science and our Wikiversity:School of Informatics into critical mass pretty soon. Where are our founding all stars seeking fame, fortune and fun study buddies available from being in on the ground zero? We are probably going to need to honor them before launching any serious projects within the Astronautical or Space Physics Engineering Departments. It seems that every rocket engineer and future space settler wannabe that I have met knows that software is cheap, easy, and free to develop while rocket feul has real opportunity costs.

You know ... I think somebody may have forgotten to establish the School of Hackers or the Hacker Hangout or whatever your dudettes decide you should call it ... I am not going to coordinate or do it. I spent too many years pulling hair out trying to get precise answers out of software engineers, systems analysts, and technicians regarding fuzzy customer requirements to be visibly associated with a horde of chaotically creative evolutionaries. It would totally destroy any future ability to rest on my laurels in a cushy corporate or government project management job and coast to retirement. Later lovers.

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