Affirmations and North Stars

A list of timeless reminders about how l aim to be or just how life seems to work "I never want to be caught flat" A tongue-in-cheek comment by my trader friend Ollie which doubles as life advice
Enterprise and Expression

Related Writing:

Personal Heros

(public domain)
  • Macho Man Randy Savage
  • Mark Rober
Sal Khan
  • If you believe in trying to make the best of the finite number of years we have on this planet, while not making anyone worse think that pride and self righteousness are the cause of most conflict and negativity, and are humbled by the vastness and mystery of the universe, then I'm the same religion as you.
  • Elizabeth Shaughnessy
  • Trevor Noah
Jimmy Wales
Tim Ferriss: What motivates great [Wikipedia] contributors? And how do you keep them happy? Or what are the things that keep them happy?
Jimmy Wales: That’s a great question; it is exactly what we think about a lot, what the Wikimedia Foundation thinks about a lot, which is what we call community health. Are people having fun? Are they doing good work? Are they enjoying doing good work? Do they feel supported? Are they supported? And all of those things. So a great Wikipedian, in my view, is someone who really takes seriously the values and ideas of Wikipedia, like neutrality for example, quality for example, reliable sources. And they take all those things as more important than any particular, say, political opinion they might have.
And also just this idea of kindness and thoughtfulness to say, “I got into this debate, it’s gotten a little rough and tumble, but what can I bring to this debate that will actually help other people be calm, help this be productive? Maybe I can find a compromise between different people who have different perspectives.” And I think those are really great people to have in Wikipedia.
Tim Ferriss: And are there systematically, are there things that you can do with respect to the fostering of those values or the cultivation of the engagement of the people who have those values? Like what are some of the organizational decisions?
Jimmy Wales: [On hard cases of conduct] What about a contributor who’s like super productive in writing in some area but they’re also quite rude and kind of jerky to other people. Maybe they’re just on the borderline of the sort of thing that would get them blocked, they’re basically a negative energy in the space and they’re causing a lot of trouble. That’s the ones that the community really does struggle with. And I think any system would struggle with this because it’s like we appreciate the work that you’re doing, but you’re probably driving off more good work than you are able to contribute yourself by being a jerk all the time. And that is the kind of thing that the universal code of conduct is really meant to sort of help us step up and say, “You know what? Actually the fact that you’ve written 35 great entries about some obscure topic does not excuse you insulting people.” End of story. Like it’s just not okay. And we will find someone else to write those 35 things because it’s not necessary to be a jerk in the community. But no matter what we do, those are very human decisions. There is no simple formula. One of the things we’ve never done at Wikipedia, never would do, is have sort of points or likes or that sort of thing, because it’s just, it’s inhuman really. Human personalities are so rich and so varied. The kind of great Wikipedian in my mind is the person who is able to go in and hold hands with that contributor who is doing great work, but being difficult and kind of coach them into being nicer as a human being. It’s like, “Hey, you don’t have to go around with a chip on your shoulder all the time. I’m going to help you kind of deal with the problems that you’re trying to address, but you should probably stop yelling at people.” And we have great people in the community who are good at that. And that’s really kind of amazing.