Note: This article was originally written as a first person "open letter" to users. However, some editorial re-writing has been applied, so not all words may be the author's. See the history if you are interested in the literal text.
Ideas about the management of Anarchopedia / soliciting perspectives
Anarchopedia is small, and doesn't have more then ten contributors (as of 2004/10/03). Contributors have a very meta question: 'How can we know that the founder is not, himself, authoritarian, or that he doesn't have some other inclinations that are in conflict with the general principles of anarchism and the declared principles of Anarchopedia?' Perhaps it is possible to guess (or even know) after some time of collaborative work, but it is not at the beginning.
I (Millosh) have a difficult position as the founder and primary maintainer of the operating system where Anarchopedia exists. (The position would be very good if the project was based on hierarchical relations, but...) So I want to find the model: how can we organize our work? I have some very basic ideas, but I release that all of them may present big problems:
1. The simplest, and most ethically unambiguous solution would be to
- The problem with this approach: How can we be sure that all contributors want what is best for Anarchopedia?
2. The second option is to give all permission to only that group of people who have my (or each other's) confidence. The main problem of this model is potentially creation of oligarchy or leninist "revolutionary vanguard". We don't want either an oligarchy or a revolutionary vanguard.
I understand that we can find some kind of model which would be the nearest to the second choice (with bigger group of mainainers) and with... Actually, if we are talking only about sysop privileges on Meta-Anarchopedia, the solution is simple: All of the contributors will have sysop permissions (if the persion is destructive, taking permissions back is easily done). We need to find solution "only" for the last two questions.
Please, let's talk about two questions: (1) control of servers where Anarchopedia exists and (2) control of Anarchopedia's domains (anarchopedia.org, anarchopedia.net, anarchopedia.info; about AnarchApedia females should talk there.
Infrastructure owner's trust is the only reason most sysop power structures have any power at all. Whoever "owns the computers and the domain name" chooses personal friends to exercise arbitrary power over everyone else.
On Anarchopedia:Itself, we hope that the infrastructure owners will be committed to keeping Anarchopedia:Policy and even who Anarchopedia:We are open to constant challenge and edit. The New Troll point of view and Anarchopedia:Lowest Troll ideologies suggest that outsiders must have more power than insiders. So maybe you get powers until you abuse them, but then lose them VERY quickly and find it almost impossible to get them back, since, new volunteers will be getting them first? or something like that.
On most wikis, the term "sysops" is equivalent to power structure. This is because the sysops manage (control) the wiki. On Anarchopedia, the sysops should be limited to Anarchopedia:Cleaning duties, such as defending against Anarchopedia:Vandalism. Hence, on Anarchopedia, it is hoped that sysops will not be a power structure. This will require eternal vigiliance and permanent revolution on behalf of the user base, and if a power structure begins to emerge, the users will take their content and move elsewhere. Of course, the ideal would be to have no sysops, but this would leave Anarchopedia open to vandalism.
Anarchopedia:Trolls in general must agree that control of servers or domain names isn't that important, and it's very different to answer questions about developers and net admins than it is to answer questions about web admins like the sysops. Control on servers or domains is almost worthless if the GFDL corpus or some other free documentation license lets a new web service be set up easily, and googling for certain keywords lets you easily find it.
By contrast, insidious abuse of sysop powers (sysop vandalism) is much worse, because it prevents the actual GFDL corpus from being corrected, and may not even be noticed for a long time. Even sysop vigilantism is not as bad as that vandalism, since social exclusion of some Anarchopedia:Faction can just cause it to go somewhere else: as with Wikipedia factions, many of which left early to do something else. So controls on sysop vandalism are highest priority, as with all other vandalism - the only reason to need any kind of sysop.
Ask for permissions
All logged-in users have sysop access.