[maemo-community] Explaining karma

From: Dave Neary dneary at maemo.org
Date: Thu Aug 14 16:06:09 EEST 2008

Jonas Hurrelmann wrote:
> On Thursday 14 August 2008 11:57:53 Dave Neary wrote:
>> Some people have said in https://bugs.maemo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2481
>> that their contributions haven't been counted fully, and we should of
>> course ensure that the karma plug-in is working if we're going to use it
>> for anything more serious than giving unofficial kudos to people.
>> There are some other issues with karma - this is something of a list:
>> https://bugs.maemo.org/buglist.cgi?query_format=specific&order=relevance+de
>> sc&bug_status=__open__&product=&content=karma
> So in short, karma is currently broken and hence should not be used to entitle 
> one to vote or getting elected.

That's not how I'd summarise - I'd probably say "karma is somewhat
flawed, there are some unconfirmed reported problems with it, but it's
the best we have right now".

> For now there still seem to be two points:
> 1) Getting a vote in the election process, which in my opinion is out of 
> question to be limited by some (faulty) karma value and is dangerous for the 
> perceived legitimacy of the council.
> 2) Getting a chance to be in the council. I think most people can live with 
> some karma value as a basic burden (me too). Anyway, what I said in my 
> previous argument still seems valid to me: If the candidate has done nothing 
> relevant (measured in "human perception" not in "karma"), the "democratic 
> process" should stop him from becoming a council member. So I do not see your 
> eager "need" for this measures in the first place.

While I disagree with "dangerous", I am not opposed now to using only
the existence of a maemo account 3 months before the election date as
the eligibility condition. I will generate a list of eligible voters
based on this.


Where I take huge issue with your logic is your blind faith in the
"democratic process" - the unstated principles that you depend on are
that "all people's opinions are equal", and "our community must be
all-inclusive for its elected representatives to have legitimacy".

In free software communities, all opinions are not equal. There is a
barrier to entry, which is participation. Prove your worth, you get the
keys to the kingdom. Mob rule does not equate to democracy. Most
civilisations have a minimum age requirement for voting in elections
because children are not considered to have sufficient life experience
to make that decision. In free software communities, new members are not
considered full card-carrying members straight away, for the same
reason. There is a culture to maintain. And allowing anyone to vote is
not democracy at work, it is mob rule.

I want the council to represent doers in the maemo community, not the
ranks of observers out there who don't really contribute to improving
things in any meaningful way.

I agree with you that we need to improve how we measure contributions,
but doing away with any measurement on the grounds that it's
"democratic" is not something I want to do.


maemo.org docsmaster
Email: dneary at maemo.org
Jabber: bolsh at jabber.org

More information about the maemo-community mailing list