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Quarterly Report on the activities of the CMF

By Fictional CMF Audit Commission in Meta
Mon Nov 18, 2002 at 09:19:36 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

The Fictional CMF Audit Commission is pleased, in accordance with our fictional charter, to present you, the K5 community, with our first quarterly report on the activities of Kuro5hin.org's parent organization, the Collaborative Media Foundation (hereinafter referred to as the CMF).

Previous Quarter

The previous quarter was an eventful one, as it was the first in the history of the CMF. The CMF was founded, as many of you will remember, as a result of K5's historic fundraising drive, in which the donors made it abundantly clear that they preferred that the funds raised, which eventually came to some forty-odd thousand US dollars, be administered by a non-profit corporation, rather than turned over directly to the chief executive officer of K5 Inc in the form of salary.

In a communiqué dated 19 Aug. 2002, details of that non-profit organization, the CMF, were published on K5. Site users learned that a lawyer and an accountant had been hired to make the CMF a legal and financial reality, and that a provisional five-member board of directors had been appointed. The members were charged with the task of establishing the structure and drawing up the bylaws of the CMF. This task was to be undertaken on an email list, an archive of which was to be made public as soon as technically possible. More data, including a draft of the CMF bylaws, a CMF website, and "more K5-related news" was promised "Soon," "eventually," and "within a few days," respectively.

There was a single brief update on CMF activities dated 5 Sept. 2002, in which we learned that a few things that one might expect to be discussed while writing bylaws were, in fact, being discussed. Information on what aspects might be contentious, or which representatives might hold this or that opinion, were not made available.

Current Activities

The Fictional Public Commission would like to stress at this point that we understand that forming a non-profit business is a glacially slow process, and that it is common for a full year to elapse between the formation of a non-profit and a meeting of its first duly-selected board. We encourage readers to keep this in mind for the remainder of this report.

To date, the email discussions of the provisional board have not been made public. While it is of course possible, the Fictional Commission finds it quite difficult to believe that some technical difficulty has for an entire quarter prevented the publication of a common listserv archive. In good faith, however, we will reject any sinister explanations, and assume that this is mere oversight; perhaps, e.g., no-one has been assigned the relatively simple task of making the archive public.

Absent an archive, the Fictional Commission has been forced to rely on other sources, such as the K5 user accounts of the provisional board members, for information regarding their CMF activities.

  • Karsten Self has been relatively inactive in the previous quarter. His last diary entry, it seems, was an explanation for a bit of "mod-bombing" he engaged in over a year ago. This doesn't tell us anything new about CMF activity.
  • Robin Bandy, practical anarchist and ostensibly the voice of the public interest in the CMF provisional board, has posted one diary entry since his appointment. It concerns a K5 pin-up calendar. Again, the Fictional Commission finds little relevant information here.
  • Peter Whysall, apparently a more technical appointee, has posted a single diary entry since the formation of the CMF, which concerns a computer game. No luck there.
  • Scott Reents is not a regular K5 user, and a fair amount of internet searching didn't unearth any recent information regarding his activities on the CMF board.
  • Rusty Foster has been doing all sorts of things since the formation of the CMF board. When we look at his diary, we see he's writing a novel, he's running ten miles a week, he's competing in blogging contests, he's climbing a mountain, he's listening to pop music... and so on.
The Fictional Commission would humbly suggest that rusty look no further than his own diary when wondering why some users seem to think he no longer cares about K5 :).

The Fictional Commission, however, understands that rusty's diary is meant to be more of a personal outlet, a record of nifty things he's done, and in general an effort to project an image more like that of Jason Kottke and less like that of Rob Malda. So be it.

There is quite a bit of additional information contained in comments made by rusty attached to the Aug 19 communiqué, and the brief Sept. 5 update. A few highlights:

There have been no additional sources of CMF funding announced since the K5 subscription drive, so it would appear some of this information is slightly contradictory. In particular, election of CMF board members will, at a minimum, incur the cost of a large international mailing. These costs, together with any expenses that may have been incurred due to legal and accounting consulting, will presumably be drawn from the $40k+US raised by K5 subscriptions. While this is understandable in the "bootstrapping" phase of the organization, some future plan is needed for paying CMF overhead and operating costs without tapping K5 income.


1.     While the Fictional Commission is satisfied with the initial statements of intent provided by the CMF, we are disturbed by the fact that the record of the deliberations of the provisional board has not been made public. This transparency was promised, and we strongly suggest it be effected immediately. The deliberations of the provisional board are of no small interest to the public.

2.     The Fictional Commission politely requests that a full statement of expenses incurred to date by the CMF, if any, be made publicly available immediately. Further, an estimate of the projected costs associated with the completion of the CMF and the election of its first full board would be most appreciated

In all, the Fictional Commission feels the previous quarter has been most satisfactory, barring the minor quibbles addressed in these recommendations. We look forward to progress in the next quarter, and wish all the best to the provisional board members of the CMF!


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


CMF performance to date?
o Exemplary 8%
o Most satisfactory 18%
o Somewhat satisfactory 23%
o Unsatisfactory 48%

Votes: 80
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o Collaborat ive Media Foundation
o communiqué
o made public
o update
o Karsten Self
o Robin Bandy
o Peter Whysall
o Rusty Foster
o Jason Kottke
o Rob Malda
o used exclusively for K5, and not for other CMF activities
o non-K5
o project
o ballots via mail
o Also by Fictional CMF Audit Commission

Display: Sort:
Quarterly Report on the activities of the CMF | 55 comments (45 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
a big surprise from the Fictional Commision (4.18 / 11) (#3)
by khallow on Sat Nov 16, 2002 at 08:50:10 PM EST

The Fictional Commission would humbly suggest that rusty look no further than his own diary when wondering why some users seem to think he no longer cares about K5 :).

What? Some K5 users think?!

Seriously, what "image" is rusty supposed to project in his diaries? "Today, I devoted every waking moment to the edification and glorification of Kuro5hin, my pride and joy. Uhm, I guess I didn't do anything else today except eat and sleep. Maybe I need a virtual pet or something - see the poll."

Stating the obvious since 1969.

Indeed. (5.00 / 9) (#5)
by Fictional CMF Audit Commission on Sat Nov 16, 2002 at 09:41:41 PM EST

The Fictional Commission quite agrees that Diaries need not be dull transcriptions of a day's arduous work.

We were forced, unfortunately, to scan various secondary sources of information, including diaries, in the absence of the promised archive of the provisional board's mailing list.

This experience gave us some insight into the reasons that some members of the public might mistakenly come to believe that Rusty "doesn't care anymore."

Of course Rusty cares. This should be clear to anyone who gives the matter more than a moment's thought.

The misapprehension to the contrary is distressingly common, however, and it is one of our many reasons for recommending the prompt publication of the provisional board's discussion archive.

[ Parent ]

They would post the discussion archives, except... (3.75 / 8) (#6)
by roam on Sat Nov 16, 2002 at 10:49:56 PM EST

the discussions seem to always degenerate into a flamefest on "who would win in a fight between sailor moon and princess mononoke" or how big the XBOX is...

I'm not sure that would solve the misapprehension problem...

Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman

[ Parent ]
Now, now. Be nice. (4.83 / 6) (#7)
by Fictional CMF Audit Commission on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 12:25:58 AM EST

As stated in the report, the Fictional Commission has no reason to suspect any base motive for failing to publish the archive, and we will contitinue to give the provisional board the benefit of the doubt.

After all, the provisional board knew from the inception of their mailing list that an archive of the list was to be made public, and we are confident that their comportment has been accordingly civil, and appropriate to the task at hand.

We feel that our confidence will soon be proven fully merited, when the archive is published and available for all to examine.

[ Parent ]

He still posts... (3.00 / 3) (#9)
by etherdeath on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 01:22:52 AM EST

I'd get sick of working on the same project too.  He does seem to still post and listen to people here.  I think you'd be hard pressed to find another forum where the people who run it don't display seething contempt for their user base and give a damn what they think.

It'd be nice if the code was update to deal with the edit queue crap flood, of course.

[ Parent ]

Oh yeah, that crapflood is so horrible (4.12 / 8) (#10)
by fluffy grue on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 01:41:38 AM EST

I mean, look at how many bad crapfloody articles are clogging the edit queue right now!
"Is a sentence fragment" is a sentence fragment.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

yeh, 3 articles are clogging the queue (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by sye on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 03:02:24 PM EST

right now: 1. "Quarterly Report on the activities of the CMF" 2. Electric Souls 3. Thoughts on a dog, a stick, and a lacerated pharynx. They've been clogging the queue as early as 5:13 am Saturday!
Personally, i don't have any problem with that. But i do have problem that queue is limited to three for stinking in the queue that long.

commentary - For a better sye@K5
ripple me ~~> ~allthingsgo: gateway to Garden of Perfect Brightess in CNY/BTC/LTC/DRK
rubbing u ~~> ~procrasti: getaway to HE'LL
Hey! at least he was in a stable relationship. - procrasti
enter K5 via Blastar.in
[ Parent ]

Those weren't in the edit queue (5.00 / 1) (#27)
by fluffy grue on Mon Nov 18, 2002 at 03:56:55 AM EST

They were in voting. When stories are "clogging" the voting queue, there's only the K5 readers to blame.

Also, a queue of 3 is comparatively nothing. Back in the "good old days" of no-lastvote and usercount-relative thresholds, the queue often got to be really big. I think at its worst it was around 30. (Keep in mind that this was also pre-edit-queue.)
"Is a sentence fragment" is a sentence fragment.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

how to resist stereotype readers and writers? (3.00 / 1) (#30)
by sye on Mon Nov 18, 2002 at 09:29:18 AM EST

there has to be a random seed in the process of natural selection. i don't know how K5 can implement it in its engine. It is only too obvious to me the pattern of K5 youngster's editing and voting habits. How to beat that is the key to the success of K5. So i believed.

commentary - For a better sye@K5
ripple me ~~> ~allthingsgo: gateway to Garden of Perfect Brightess in CNY/BTC/LTC/DRK
rubbing u ~~> ~procrasti: getaway to HE'LL
Hey! at least he was in a stable relationship. - procrasti
enter K5 via Blastar.in
[ Parent ]

the only thing wrong with CMF is the name (2.16 / 6) (#4)
by sye on Sat Nov 16, 2002 at 09:03:57 PM EST

it should be MGK ( the mother goose of kuro5hin)

commentary - For a better sye@K5
ripple me ~~> ~allthingsgo: gateway to Garden of Perfect Brightess in CNY/BTC/LTC/DRK
rubbing u ~~> ~procrasti: getaway to HE'LL
Hey! at least he was in a stable relationship. - procrasti
enter K5 via Blastar.in

Heh! What CMF? (3.18 / 16) (#14)
by dopehead on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 05:45:48 AM EST

If you were a poor carpenter, and a bunch of people suddenly decided to give you 40gees for no earthly reason, wouldn't you lie your hat away to keep them from coming after you and your money?

Dude, Rusty took that money and went on a spending spree. When the money runs out, Rusty will be back for more hand-outs.

Give a man a compilation tape and he'll dance for a night. Teach a man to scratch, and he'll be dancing for generations!

Fictitious Account Flaglrantly Foul (3.27 / 11) (#15)
by cavalier on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 07:13:48 AM EST

I see no mention of monocle polish, pecan pancakes, yachts, or sharks and how/when to jump them. I demand an integral internal informal review of this incendiary insight immediately.

Obvoius astroturf! (1.75 / 12) (#16)
by delmoi on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 07:56:11 AM EST

This Fictional CMF Audit Commision person has only posted two comments, no diaries, and made one comment rating. Obviously this person is an astroturfer and in no way part of the Kuro5hin community!
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
Diaries don't tell all (3.66 / 6) (#17)
by imrdkl on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 08:26:27 AM EST

In an open letter about TCP, Bandy mentioned his co-founder position in an Public CA which is starting up through the auspices of OpenNIC. Bandy manages OpenNIC as network administrator if I recall correctly, and I imagine there's a "regular job" in there somewhere, as well.

My guess? Real jobs are likely the reason why our investment monies are being spent so slowly. I just hope that the time which they do have is also being used wisely. There's really no substitute for the amount of writing and form-filling which must be done (and redone) to establish a business, especially a non-profit. But more-frequent updates, which are of a much less formal nature than the business writing, would be great.

I'm looking forward to the announcement of the public CA, as well.

yes, the Real Job (none / 0) (#53)
by Arkady on Fri Nov 22, 2002 at 03:36:31 PM EST

That takes a bit of time, usually in the form of a phone call inturrupting whatever I'm trying to get done that I don't get paid for.  ;-)

As does my normal role in OpenNIC and the fact that (as readers of K5 may have noticed) this month I'm managing an annual NetHack tournament my brother and I started 4 years ago.  The CA policies are proceeding as well, but slowly.

I just haven't had much time to participate here very much lately.  Not that I ever really used the diaries much at all, but I haven't had the time to read in much detail and I don't generally want to comment on something here unless I can take the time to really discuss it.

I agree that we should be trying to get more time into CMF, though, and I've been more guilty of neglecting it than the others have.  I also agree that more updates to the K5 readership would be better, but that really depends on having an update to give and all of us (myself more than the rest, I must say) have not been giving the CMF documents the attention and priority they deserve.


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.

[ Parent ]
LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT (1.48 / 29) (#18)
by turmeric on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 09:34:54 AM EST



Heh heh (3.00 / 6) (#24)
by br284 on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 06:35:38 PM EST

I see you stumbled on the Caps Lock key again. Groovy.


[ Parent ]

One correction (3.80 / 5) (#19)
by QuickFox on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 10:22:54 AM EST

the donors made it abundantly clear that they preferred that the funds raised [...] be administered by a non-profit corporation, rather than turned over directly to the chief executive officer of K5 Inc in the form of salary.

On this point I disagree, I think it was made quite clear right from the start that the money was for costs including the salary for Rusty's full-time job -- that is, his job maintaining Kuro5hin, changing Kuro5hin's status to non-profit, and creating CMF.

He declared that it would take half a year to create the CMF and arrange for the transition to non-profit. This means the money can't be administered by the non-profit until that half-year transition period has passed. The non-profit doesn't exist yet.

By the way, that was in June, so it's been an unusually long quarter.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi

From "The Start?" (5.00 / 6) (#23)
by Fictional CMF Audit Commission on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 03:37:51 PM EST

Th Fictional Commission arrived at the conclusion you object to via a study of the communiqué which appeared one day prior to the comments you cite.

It appears from the comments attached to the missive of 17 June that the users of K5 were the first to suggest a non-profit organization, a suggestion that was adopted by K5 Inc by the time of rusty's 18 June announcement.

In defense of this assessment, we would point to the fact that in earlier communications from rusty regarding the funding of K5 Inc, there was no mention of non-profit status.

Again, we see nothing sinister in this. The Fictional Commission finds it quite likely and indeed reasonable that the notion of dissolving K5 Inc and transferring assets to a non-profit corporation simply hadn't occurred to the owner of K5 Inc prior to the fundraising effort in question.

It is a testament to his good sense that rusty immediately saw the advantages of the new business model when it was suggested by the K5 readership.

Incidentally, we observe that the CMF was not announced, let alone formally constituted, prior to 19 August 2002. Given this fact, the Fictional CMF Audit Commission is, if anything, jumping the gun slightly in issuing its first quarterly report.

Those who have some familiarity with financial statements will note that the 10Q reports required by the SEC are generally issued long after the end of a given quarter. We, however, are a Fictional Audit Commission rather than a publicly traded corporation, and thus able to issue reports in a more flexible and timely manner.

[ Parent ]

Yes, from the start (4.66 / 6) (#25)
by QuickFox on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 09:49:10 PM EST

Rusty's June 17 communiqué that the Committee refers to made it clear that it was for salary:

I found out last week that K5 is out of money. [...] I won't get a paycheck this month.
But at last, in this category, we have a single remaining expense. That is, me.
Like the rest of you, I have rent to pay, and car payments, and credit card bills, and all the economic detritus of modern life. If I didn't have to pay the bills every month, I'd gladly run K5 for free. Sadly, that's not an option.
So what, ultimately, does it all cost? With the massive elimination of expenses, to the point where this whole circus can get by comfortably on simply the cost of a single full time employee, our annual budget works out to about $70,000. That includes my salary, [...]

Rusty presented the plans for non-profit on June 18 (as suggested by the community, yes) and from the start, in the text that presented the plans, Rusty said that it would take a long time:

Becoming a non-profit is not an easy thing. It will probably take at least six months to clear the legal hurdles and fill out all the forms in triplicate.

Clearly he wanted salary for that time. And in my opinion the comments by the community did not protest this -- but maybe my conclusions on this reflect my own bias. There are more than a thousand comments below the June 17 and June 18 communiqués counted together, so balancing the variuous opinions against each is inevitably a matter of opinion (and memory, time has passed...).

For the rest, I agree with the Fictional Commission, including its correction on my assessment of the length of the quarter.

I would like to point out that I feel that the Fictional Commission is doing a good job of reporting its findings in a careful and balanced way and with a positive attitude. I find it a little distressing that there is so little reporting on the progress of the CMF et al. In this context the work of the Fictional Committee may prove fruitful. It will be interesting to see what further debate or other events may ensue.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
[ Parent ]

Oops (4.21 / 14) (#28)
by rusty on Mon Nov 18, 2002 at 07:38:49 AM EST

I shouldn't vote before coffee. My -1 was a rather hasty mis-vote based on an assumption about the tone. Sorry -- this was actually excessively fair.

I'm going to get a draft of the bylaws up for public comment this week. I just bugged the lawyer about it.

Also, I want to get the website up. If anyone would like to volunteer to work up a design (or, even better, to host or administer it) I'd like to hear from you. I think Scoop is probably a good platform (well, I would of course), but if you have other ideas, I'm not going to say it has to be Scoop.

Not the real rusty

Let us unvote! (2.33 / 3) (#36)
by johwsun on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 01:59:31 AM EST

...unvote function is usefull...

[ Parent ]
Design: (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by spcmanspiff on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 01:16:15 PM EST

<title>The CMF</title>
Stuff goes here.

That would be just fine. Why waste time on eye candy?


[ Parent ]

Design != eye candy (3.50 / 2) (#42)
by rusty on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 05:24:22 PM EST

Design is the structure and presentation of information. It makes the difference between a useless mess of pages and a useful site. Whether you want them to be or not, all websites are designed. The only choice you've got is good design or bad. I'd prefer good. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Cart before the horse (none / 0) (#45)
by spcmanspiff on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 08:41:06 PM EST

I'd rather see the information first, then start making decisions about its structure and presentation.

A useless mess of pages is far more useful than a handful of concept sketches, interactivity diagrams, and other forms of time-wasting noodling.

Not that you're necessarily guilty of this, but it does happen on approx. 99.999% of all "let's make a web page!" projects.


[ Parent ]

Heh (none / 0) (#47)
by rusty on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 10:06:30 PM EST

I don't know who you've been doing web dev with, but tell them to knock it off. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Forgot to post the following yesterday: (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by ennui on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 08:27:51 PM EST

I'm going to get a draft of the bylaws up for public comment this week.
$20 says it doesn't happen. And no slapping whatever haphazard mess you have kicking around your hard drive into your diary and claiming the Jackson, if you're having a lawyer review it (dunno why) it shouldn't look and read like you or CmdrTaco wrote it.

"You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone." -- Al Capone
[ Parent ]
The lawyer says (none / 0) (#48)
by rusty on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 10:16:58 PM EST

The lawyer says she'll have a second draft for me this week. I'm going to be in New York Thursday night through Sunday morning, so it might be Monday.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Thank You. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by Fictional CMF Audit Commission on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 09:35:48 PM EST

The Fictional Commission are of course happy to hear that progress is being made, and that a draft will soon be available to the public. With that said, we note that the provisional board has not addressed the substantive concerns raised in our report.

None of the members of the Fictional Commission seriously doubted that work on the bylaws was underway, or that a draft would be made public prior to the formal adoption of those bylaws.

Though a few of our members are in fact looking forward to a close reading of what is bound to be a rather dull legal document, its publication schedule is not presently of any great concern to the Fictional Commission.

Our primary concerns, again, are twofold, and we do not believe that they will be fully addressed by the publication of a draft of the bylaws.

1.     When the CMF was announced, it was indicated that the deliberations of the provisional board would be a matter of public record. If this policy has been reversed, we confess that the Fictional Commission would be sharply divided.

A few members would find such a reversal unacceptable, no matter what explanations were offered. A few others wouldn't care at all. Most, of course, would reserve judgment pending an explanation for conducting the deliberations in secret.

At present, however, the Fictional Commission will assume that the provisional board does, in fact, intend to make its deliberations public. If this is no longer the case, then an announcement should have been made as soon as the policy was changed, and must certainly be made now. If the policy has not changed, then the Fictional Commission awaits the prompt publication of the provisional board's deliberations.

2.     The members of the Fictional Commission with paid K5 Subscriptions are especially concerned with the financial status of the CMF. As the full and particular accounting details of the CMF will eventually be made public as required by law, the Fictional Commission sees no reason for withholding such information at the present time.

How much has been spent? Does the CMF still plan to reserve K5 subscription money soley for K5-related expenditures? If so, is there a plan to secure some other source of funding for the operation of the CMF? Could we have some hint as to what that plan might entail? Please? If a full, audit-worthy report isn't available, could we at least have some ballpark figures?

[ Parent ]

order of operations (none / 0) (#49)
by aphrael on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 11:37:23 PM EST

As the full and particular accounting details of the CMF will eventually be made public as required by law, the Fictional Commission sees no reason for withholding such information at the present time.

The accounting details of K5 prior to the incorporation of the CMF are not required to be made public, except in the same vague and not-very-informative high-level view that one finds in the annual reports of large corporations.

That said, I expect that there will be an accounting of the way money raised last summer was spent; it is certainly in the spirit of the discussions at that time that it be done.

However, I suspect that releasing a financial accounting before demonstrating actual progress towards the creation of the CMF would be impolitic; it seems to me that it is likely that an accounting which says that 65% of the money has been spent (likely if you consider the amount of time involved) would, in the absence of things (like drafts of corporate bylaws, a CMF web page, and a preliminary plan for an election of a permanent CMF board), result in widespread disgruntlement, complaining, and other noise which would be deleterious. Under the assumption that such indica are close to being at hand, I would much prefer that Rusty first produced them, then a financial accounting.

[ Parent ]

Naturally. (5.00 / 2) (#50)
by Fictional CMF Audit Commission on Wed Nov 20, 2002 at 04:19:58 AM EST

The Fictional Commission has no complaint with the notion that a statement of expense need not be made prior to a statement of progress (within reason, of course, but we are, as stated, willing to wait at least a year for the finalization of this matter).

With this said, we are again obliged to insist that some statement or action indicating the public or possibly secret nature of the provisional board's deliberations be issued immediately.

Though a statement of expenses to date might be "impolitic," we humbly suggest that such a statement might also be "moral," "fair," or "expected," particularly in light of the intended usage of K5-generated funds as stated by the provisional board at its inception.

The Fictional Commission assumes, of course, that the CMF is not engaged in any improper financial shennanigans, let alone any "Enron scale" subversion. So long as expenditures are reasonable (and the Fictional Commission is well aware of the rates typically charged by CPAs and Attorneys), there is no reason to suppose that estimates of accrued expenditures and accounts payable would be in any way "incendiary."

If the CMF has spent improperly, or funneled monies off into personal accounts, then there will, of course, be some public outcry sooner or later, but the Fictional Commission has no reason to believe that there has been any improper conduct in this matter whatsoever.

If all financial conduct has been above board, as we believe it has been, then there should be no reason for withholding the financial particulars of the CMF at this time.

Again, the full fiscal details of the CMF must, by law, be made public eventually.

So why not publish an accounting summary now?

[ Parent ]

politics. (none / 0) (#51)
by aphrael on Wed Nov 20, 2002 at 12:42:01 PM EST

If the CMF has spent improperly, or funneled monies off into personal accounts

Of course it has funneled money off into personal accounts: one of the primary purposes of the money raised in June was to pay Rusty's salary.

There is nothing improper about this; it is in direct accordance with the reasons the money was raised, and the announced intended purpose of the funds.

However, if it is revealed that 65% of the money has been used for such a purpose (which is reasonable) before some substantive work on the creation of the CMF is unveiled, there will be a public outcry along the lines of what is the point in paying this salary if there is no progress?

This outcry can be avoided by prudently demonstrating progress and then releasing a financial accounting.

[ Parent ]

Salary vs. Embezzlement (5.00 / 2) (#52)
by Fictional CMF Audit Commission on Wed Nov 20, 2002 at 03:57:54 PM EST

We had assumed in our previous message that everyone understood the distinction between a proper salary and embezzlement.

Again, the Fictional Commission does not believe that any embezzlement has taken place. Nor do we have any complaint with the notion of the CMF paying people to do specific jobs. An attorney has been retained and an accountant hired; we assume these people are being paid for the work they are doing, as there has been no mention of any pro-bono arrangement. We would like to know how much these people have been paid for their work, and whether there is any planned source of CMF funding apart from K5.

While it seems reasonably clear that the primary impetus for the K5 fund drive was to provide a stipend for rusty, we were under the impression that this was to occur according to due process via the CMF, perhaps through a grant, but more likely through the creation of a salaried "K5 administration" position, which rusty would then be hired to fill.

If the provisional board of the CMF has already created such a position, or given rusty a grant, or otherwise transferred money to him, then we are confident that this would have taken place in an irreproachable manner, which would no doubt be verified by the impending public release of the record of the deliberations of the provisional board.

Then again, we are equally certain that any such grant or hiring would be announced publicly either by rusty or by the provisional board, so in the absence of any such announcement, we assume that no funds have been paid or granted to rusty at this time.

The Fictional Commission does not begrudge rusty (or, for that matter, any other K5 developer or administrator) a bit of cash for the work he has done. That is not an issue which concerns us.

While the tactic of waiting to announce finances until visible progress has been made might indeed be "politic," the Fictional Commission does not believe such an approach is "proper."

Public firms, after all, are not permitted to withhold their financial details pending the completion of product design, manufacture of the first thousand units, turning a profit, or some other milestone.

We frankly expect even greater financial disclosure from a non-profit company.

[ Parent ]

Due to lack of sleep (3.60 / 5) (#31)
by Craevenwulfe on Mon Nov 18, 2002 at 09:49:52 AM EST

I don't follow or understand this post.
Anyone care to explain it to me in small words?

Less verbose explanation (4.20 / 5) (#33)
by JyZude on Mon Nov 18, 2002 at 02:34:53 PM EST

Last May (or so) there was a membership drive in which 40,000$US was raised. This money was to support Kuro5hin. rusty announced that Kuro5hin would be administered by a new non-profit organization called the CMF.

The author of this piece is basically asking why there's no info on the CMF, and essentially no proof that rusty or any other CMF member is doing anything.

The author concludes with "okay, so you guys should, like, do something with this CMF thing cuz we're, like, worried."


k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye

[ Parent ]
I love being right (3.75 / 4) (#38)
by MicroBerto on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 12:07:03 PM EST

How's it feel to buy rusty's car? Glad I was never suckered into it. It's not like he's paying for bandwidth or hosting or servers. There's plenty of technical volunteers as well.

Hey rusty, the job market's picking up. What's your excuse now?

- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]

YHBT (1.71 / 7) (#32)
by levsen on Mon Nov 18, 2002 at 12:36:26 PM EST

This post looks like a major troll to me. In any case, it strikes a chord with those programmers, that realize multithreading widens the gap between competent and not so competent ones and are finding themselves on the wrong side of that gap.
This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
Oops (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by levsen on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 11:35:56 AM EST

comment posted to wrong story. Dunno how this happened.
This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.
[ Parent ]
Oh the irony... (3.40 / 5) (#34)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Nov 18, 2002 at 05:58:52 PM EST

My nickname was slaughtered by 7 or 8 inane people that can't see the ironic side of somebody demanding accountability by means of using an account created only for that purpose (check my editorial comment to this article if you want to glee in how many 1s I got. It is telling that while tehse people did not get the point any trusted user that read my comment did, since nobody 0ed me).

Accountability comes both ways: from whom provides a service but also from whom demands explanations. The only way to account fo who is who in a site like this is by means of a nickname. Or was perhaps the same person punishing people that did not like this diatribe?

European? Say no to software patents.

Irony is a double-edged sword (5.00 / 5) (#35)
by Fictional CMF Audit Commission on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 01:36:14 AM EST

The irony is not lost on the Fictional Commission. In fact, we think the observations of irony ought to go a little further, if you please.

Suppose we take as a sample the accounts that voted on the Fictional Commission's report. Suppose, further, that those who have never published a diary entry, have never had a story posted, and have contributed fewer than five comments to the site in total, might be considered "non-contributing," and perhaps in some way "suspect."

Of the 333 non-abstaining voters on the Fictional Commission's report, 35*, or approximately 11%, meet the stated criteria.

13 of 131 voted "FP," representing about 10% of such voters. 7 of 86 voted "section," comprising 8% of that vote. Finally, 15 of 122 voted against, representing 12% of those who cast their vote with user "Tezcatlipoca."

Despite the fact that a larger proportion of possibly "suspect" accounts cast their vote against the Fictional Commission's report, we do not feel that such accounts need be censured. We are, frankly, a little less paranoid than that.

We realize that with a large site, there will be a few "legitimate" users who register an account solely for the purpose of voting on stories, just as there will be a few who register only to comment, only to post diaries, or (heaven forbid!) only to submit carefully researched reports to the queue.

We do have an additional reason for posting under this account, which should be quite obvious. We are, in fact, comprised of many K5 "regular" users, and a story can not be published under multiple accounts.

The Fictional Commission is comprised of different people with different opinions. Some are more critcal of the CMF than others, some are more patient, some have longer memories, some have fancier trousers, and so forth. We have each established our various K5 "personalities," an we have agreed to maintain the integrity of those personalities, as well as that of the Fictional Commission, via a regretable but unavoidable policy of strict anonymity. The Fictional Commission seeks results through a pragmatic, depoliticized approach, and this approach would in all honesty be most "out of character" for many of its member "personalities."

As to your insinuation that those who voted "1" on your comment were not "trusted," and thus "irony-impaired," Tezcatlipoca, we would point to the fact that as of this writing, nobody has given your precious editorial comment a rating greater than "1." Think about that for a moment, please?

When you have finished your ruminations, we would appreciate it if you stopped to consider the fact that if a proof of Certified Bona Fides were required before submitting an article to K5, the front page today would be as blank as it was on the day it was born.**


* For those who wish to confirm this figure independently, we invite you to examine the following accounts:

Adam Procter, asking, bigpimpdaddy, Dark Helmet, decrocher, FoxCat, Gen Seizure, hunin667, Jawyr, kinenveu, kurodink, Levesque, little pests mother, lokilocke, Martinofka, midas2000, missing link, mmq, Mr Spot, My Momma Sewed My New Blue Jeans, noproblema, OdinX, onallama, philwise, phony, Professor Collins, qhill, sbisson, scotek, Sekhara, ShadoWolf, strabo, StuartHurley, thedexman, themenace

** Those who were there will remember that the site launched without a "Diary" section.

[ Parent ]

tradition holds otherwise for meta articles (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by aphrael on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 07:22:41 PM EST

we would appreciate it if you stopped to consider the fact that if a proof of Certified Bona Fides were required before submitting an article to K5, the front page today would be as blank as it was on the day it was born

This is true but not necessarily relevant; there has been a long-standing tradition that 'meta' articles submitted by people without certifiable bona fides are viewed with suspicion. (Some of this, to be sure, was the result of a period where every newbie's first article was a 'meta' article, and the vigorous defense of the principle which was needed in that time may not be now). The F(CMF)AC's article is, of course, a meta article, and so invoking that tradition is appropriate in a way that it would not be if the F(CMF)AC were writing, say, a 'science' article.

That said, it was obvious to me at first reading that this article was not the work of a newbie, but rather of a K5 regular who wished to make a point without people's preconceptions about said regular interfering with their perceptions of his point; it demonstrates a knowledge of the history of the CMF, and a sensitivity to the politics of the community, which could not be expected of a newbie or a troll.

[ Parent ]

Now now (4.00 / 2) (#40)
by johnny on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 02:08:01 PM EST

let's be nice.

I endorse the intent of the F(CMF)AC's memo, I like the writing, and I think that overall the memo is a step in the right direction. At the same time I feel a bit in the dark and excluded. I mean, I've posted about 150 diaries, two FP stories, and about 1,000 comments. So I consider myself a member in good standing of the K5 community. And yet I have no idea who you are. Which is fine, I guess, but nevertheless the opacity of the F(CMF)AC is in some ways similar to the opacity of the CMF, which is, I suggest, unfortunate. So I'm also sympathetic to Tezcatlipoca (a little).

Unlike your story, the parent comment, I think, tends toward "pissing contest" territory, and I think risks undermining the good-faith that you wish to establish. This is a crucial time for us, so I suggest that we all try extra hard to be civil.

Apologies to anybody who finds this post too earnest.

yr frn,
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.

You are correct (4.75 / 4) (#41)
by Fictional CMF Audit Commission on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 02:54:37 PM EST

We deeply regret the tenor of the comment you refer to. We stand, however, by its substance.

The Fictional Commission has made no promises to anyone, in contrast with the provisional board, which has in fact failed to act in a manner consistent with certain of its stated intentions.

While the Fictional Commission understands the view that that non-anonymous criticism is more "accountable," we would meekly suggest that a community with no tolerance for anonymous criticism is more "repressive."

We do not think, of course, that K5 is such a community, as the demand for non-anonymity (or perhaps, rather, for the removal of a degree of anonymity) seems to be coming from a small but vocal minority.

[ Parent ]

As opposed to the Unreal Job? (none / 0) (#54)
by Fictional CMF Audit Commission on Fri Nov 22, 2002 at 06:24:53 PM EST

The Fictional Commission would gently remind all concerned that though it is not a paid position (indeed, if we understand things correctly, it will rather be a dues-paying one), a seat on the board of the CMF is every bit as much a "real job" as any other, and deserves to be treated as such.

We have assumed that much of the work to be done consists of the sort of mundane paper-shuffling and bureaucratic hoop-jumping that must take place when any new organization is formed. For that reason, as stated in our report, a certain amount of delay is inevitable, and a commensurate degree of patience called for.

The Fictional Commission has faith in the provisional board. We believe that all members understand that there is a very real job to be done, and that there is very real money involved.

If prior commitments should reach the point where they seriously impair the ability of any board member to perform his or her duties, then we are confident that that member will be serious and conscientious enough to step down from the board for the good of the organization. We are equally confident that board members will set aside personal projects when there is CMF work to be done.

There are, in the Fictional Commission's considered opinion, two items of CMF business to be addressed at this time, neither of which would require more than a few hours work. To those who are as weary of reading them as we are of repeating them, we apologize.

1.     The promised public archive of the provisional board's email discussion list needs to be published. In the event that a decision has been made to reverse the stated policy and conduct deliberations in secret, this decision needs to be announced, preferably with some very good explanation for the reversal.

2.     A brief statement of the fiscal status of the CMF needs to be made, and any announcement of non-K5 funding sources for the CMF would be most welcome.

Our apologies. (none / 0) (#55)
by Fictional CMF Audit Commission on Fri Nov 22, 2002 at 06:37:37 PM EST

The forgoing was of course intended as a response to Arkady's comment entitled "yes, the Real Job."

[ Parent ]
Quarterly Report on the activities of the CMF | 55 comments (45 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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