Why does this remind me of Dan Rather claiming that the admittedly fake
memos contained true information? ... Or of Clinton saying "the answer I
gave was untrue but legally correct?"
We have to start banning people who put accurate information in
Wikipedia, if we can't prove they copied it correctly from the source.
Or that they wrote it themselves, or that the prunes are in the
shinbone, or -- arrrgh!
It's all too weird for me, man....
I just found out today that there was a formal arbitration
case against me, yet I had no idea such a case was going
on. It is grossly improper to do this without me being part
The arbitrator of this case against me, Raul654, refuses to
read any of the Talk sections of the articles in question,
and is accepting without question charges against me made
by Zero, Simonides and a handful of others.
Raul654 was unaware that Simonides was himself nearly
banned for his non-stop damage of several Wikipedia
articles. Simonides launched into abusive polemics against
nearly everyone on the [[Philosophy]] and [[Anti-Semitism]]
articles. (Many people are upset with the way that
Simonides's kept hurling ad homenim attacks at so many
people, so many times.) Since I was one of the many people
who did not allow him to unilaterally rewrite all of our
articles to match his own peculiar POV, he tried to ban me.
When I merely asked the arbitator, Raul654, to check on
this, he refused to do so, and shockingly accused me of
making an ad homenim attack. That is just too much. It
seemed a clear indication that the facts do not matter to
him, the history of the people in question do not matter,
and that he is just going to try and get me banned
regardless. That alone is reason to recuse him from his
The case with Zero is both puzzling and disappointing. We
rarely have any conflict. Zero does have a great deal of
anger, and I am sure that he is a sockpuppet for another
user. So what did I do? Fight? No. Argue? No. I instead
did the following:
* I requested that in the one area we have a significant
difference, we mediate (i.e. the [[Israel Shahak]]
article.) For whatever reason, nothing occured. For this I
should be banned?
* I've thanked Zero a number of times for good suggestions
he has made.
* As for many other articles that we could have had
disagreements on (relating to the Arab-Israeli wars), I
unilaterally removed nearly all of those articles from my
Watchlist! I let him have his way on over a dozen
articles, no matter how I may disagree. I did this of my
own accord; if this is not a sign of compromise and good
faith, then nothing is.
What was Raul654's response to learning this? He accused
me of making ad homenim attacks! Such a response is
indicative of imparital hostility to me. Raul654 makes it
clear, further, that Jimbo is supporting these efforts to
ban me, which is news to me! (Simonides is claiming that
Jimbo is on his side, which Raul654 unquestioningly
At this point, I have to formally make a request for
arbitration against Raul654, Zero and Simonides. Given the
way that I am being harassed and threatened, I don't see
much option. But isn't this a huge waste of time? For the
good of Wikipedia, and to save everybody's time so we can
actually work on articles, please stop this nonsense. It
is hard to move forward when two people get an arbitator to
bring progress to a halt based on their personal animosity.
In distress at this time-wasting nonsense,
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> Message: 6
> Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 23:30:32 +0100
> From: Rowan Collins <rowan.collins(a)gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] A future for Nupedia?
I would PLEAD with everyone to '''not''' go the road of requiring
academic certifications for approval (or even to value them
Granted, I agree there is some need for an approval/review mechanism,
but once again GNU/Linux/BSD lead the way:
We should IMHO simply adopt the current common Open Source software
development practice of having '''stable''' and '''current/unstable'''
branches -- ''of each article'', in our case. Periodically, articles
would be subjected to similar processes like Peer review and/or
Featured article candidates. They would then (if successful) have a
certain version declared stable (ie. promoted to the stable branch).
(The criteria for "stable" should however not be "brilliant prose" but
"factual correctness and NPOV".) This would greatly extend review
activity as contributors would be motivated to have their contributions
approved for stable and would thus increasingly participate in review
processes. Once a sufficient number of articles have stable versions,
the respective Wikipedia's default user setting could be switched to
"display stable branch".
But we should not, definitely not, ''require'' academic accreditation
in any way -- or even attach substantial value to it. Let
contributions, not certificates be our decisive factors. Accepting
something because A says it and A is academically accredited as xyz is
the reverse of an [[ad hominem]] attack -- and it's equally flawed
logic, IMHO. There are a lot of reasons why under the "academic model"
of a knowledge economy a lot of potentially good ideas are lost and
wasted. One example of this might be that an otherwise brilliant head
may just not be capable of concentrating for hours and months on end
and thus might never have a chance of becoming academically recognized.
I thought our core strength was just the very fact that we are able to
merge each and every bit of input from each and all comers.
As I recently wrote to one of our detractors:
>> Many of us believe that it is beneficial to make it as EASY as
>> possible to contribute to our encyclopedia.
>> The traditional approach to writing encyclopedias, to aggregating
>> human knowledge, has been to make it as DIFFICULT as possible to
>> contribute. You have to obtain formal certifications and undergo
>> formal training to be even allowed to contribute. This is done in the
>> hope of reaching and maintaining high standards.
>> Many of us believe that this however stifles progress as it excludes
>> all knowledge and knowledge-based skills obtained in any other way
>> (than formal accreditation).
>> We put a process in place that will accept all comers in the first
>> instance -- and combine and distill these collective contributions to
>> reach high standards.
>> Our daily growth and quality improvement shows that the traditional
>> approach -- only allowing very few select individuals to contribute
>> -- wastes enormous talent, potential and opportunity for progress in
>> all fields of human knowledge. Thus, one of our core operating
>> principles is to lower any bars to entry as much as possible, if not
>> to outright abolish them. Anyone can contribute. You don't need to
>> provide certifications. You don't need to show ID or a credit card.
>> You don't need to give an email address. You don't even need to log
>> in or create an account. You can edit. Because you have UNIQUE
>> knowledge skills. Dr. Pyotr Anokhin calculated that the number of
>> possible combinations in the human brain was 10 to the power of 799
>> (seven hundred ninety nine). In short, NO ONE on this planet will
>> ever have the same thoughts as you. It thus makes sense for us to be
>> as inclusive as possible. We would be honored to welcome your
>> contribution to our modest but growing record of human knowledge.
I would be very disappointed to say the least if this community now
turned around to go the "traditional academic" way and proved my view
of things wrong.
-- Jens [[User:Ropers|Ropers]]
I was trying to imagine what [[template:In the News]] is going to
look like come election night, and my mental projections are not good.
I'd like to suggest a few common sense things that we should agree upon
*now* while we still have plenty of time to agrue about it:
1) Template:In the News should have a single link to [[2000 election in
or a page to that effect. Rather than having people in a deathmatch to edit
the main page template, they can fight there instead.
2) Absolutely no one is allowed to call any states until 24 (or more) hours
3) I also suspect there's going to be a lot of vandalism to the main page
(especially in-the-news), so we might consider protecting it in advance (or
sign of trouble) for the duraction of the election.
I don't believe that Jimbo (or the Arbitration Committee) would ever
give any single Wikipedian "the authority to ban". If you find access to
Wikipedia blocked, please e-mail me privately, and I'll simply un-block
(And if that results in me getting de-bureaucrated, de-sysopped, or even
banned myself -- so be it.)
Every mediation I've been involved in, has been successful. And as a
member advocate, everyone who agreed to follow my advice has managed to
avoid being banned. So if you want my help, you are welcome to it.
> That said, if this case has been going since August 1st,
> why didn't anyone leave a note on RK's talk page until
> a month into the case?
Because Zero, Simonides and their sockpuppets want me
banned for good.
In a court of law, when someone says, "What is your
defense?", and you say "Here it is", and they respond
"Well, I refuse to listen to what you ask me to hear" that
is a clear sign that the court is rigged.
Apparently, Zero and Simonides have dug up every quote they
could find in the last year to make it look like Jayjg,
Jimbo and the entire Wikipedia community want me banned.
Funny, though, how they never say any such thing
themselves. Worse, they take entire discussions, and cut
sentence fragments out-of-context. More disgustingly,
Raul654 admits that he will refuse to read the actual
articles, and admits that the context of the sentence
fragments means nothing to him. That is not merely wrong,
it is mean-spirited and unjustifiable.
When I look at the "evidence" presented against me, all I
find are sentence fragments, out of context, usually in
which I am asking other people to stop being abusive, and
to stop censoring pages. Further, many of those are about
old disagreements WHICH HAVE LONG BEEN RESOLVED, and with
people that I now HAVE FRIENDLY RELATIONS WITH. If these
facts mean nothing, then the entire process is obviously a
Raul654 again let me know that Jimbo has given him the
authority to ban me, and that he is probably going to do so
unless I spend hour after hour rebutting each comment, one
at a time. As far as I can tell, this entire arbitration
process is a set-up meant to have me banned no matter what
These three people (Raul654, Simonides and Zero) are
treating me like a troll or vandal, and this is totally
outrageous. In the meantime, real trolls and vandals get
unbanned as long as they pester this list with multiple
e-mails. Even Jimbo admitted that the process is broken,
and he allowed back a real troll just because he was tired
In the meantime, I might be banned any moment now, for
absolutely no reason at all:
1* I am not involved in any flame wars.
2* I am not involved in any revert wars or edit wars.
3* The supposed problems are in articles in which the
articles HAVE ALREADY BEEN RESOLVED.
4* I repeatedly take week-long (or longer) Wiki-breaks
(like the last 10 days) to let things cool down and allow
other people to have their say without any problem.
5* I have taken many contentious articles OFF of my
Watchlist, and simply let others do what they want, rather
then engage in multiple arguments.
6* I have asked for and successfully used mediation when
7* I have been successfully working with a large group of
others on potentially acrimonious articles, without revert
wars, and with great progress being made on many articles.
And in this situation Raul654 is threatening to ban me?
This has NEVER happened to anyone else in this situation
before. There is no reason for a ban, and the current
situation is clear and obvious harassment. The Request for
Arbitration process does not work if the arbitrator is
dishonest, which he must be if he ignores the seven
critical facts listed above.
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Ed Poor wrote:
>Anybody remember Guru Maharaj Ji?
>Well, there's a long running controversy at Wikipedia over how to
>characterize him. Apparently, it's the single biggest edit war we've
>One scholar has spent over 8 months researching the man, and a group of
>several dozen ex-followers is reverting like crazy.
>I think the way we handle this has important implications for our
>Bureaucrat and NPOV Maven
I do not think that there is a need to worry about Wikipedia's
reputation. User Gary D is doing excellent work on the articles
[[Criticism on Prem Rawat]] and [[Prem Rawat/temp1]]. For everybody's
information, I am the most vocal critic of [[Prem Rawat]] here in
It is not true that ex-followers are reverting like crazy. This has
never been the case with this article.
I became a member of the university library, just to get more reference
about him and I even went to a meeting of his students/followers.
I regret that one contributor received emails with threats because of
his edits on this article. I also regret that some ex-followers
discontinued contributing to the article because their edits were
reverted, sometimes without good reason.
It's really, really bad. Everyone's going to hate it.
1) Take the fact that people create vanity pages and prank pages about
their friends. Often when they come up in VfD they will even say "Sure,
remove it, I just wanted my friend to see it."
2) Add a dash of the International Star Registry and a soupçon of
Google sponsored links, and you have my really bad idea.
*** Put your friend in the encyclopedia for a week! For just $X.00! ***
Make your PayPal or credit card donation here, then email to this
address (that of a responsible sysop), giving your friend's name and
whatever you want the article to say, as long as it's decent and not
insulting. Feel free to submit as Wikimarkup if you happen to know it.
If your is unacceptable for any reason, your money will be promptly but
grumpily refunded. Otherwise, within three business days, your friend
will have a handsome article about them in Wikipedia, complete with a
garish and un-missable banner that explains that this is a Paid
Article, that the information in it is not to be trusted, and that it
will be removed by thus-and-such-a-date.
But wait, there's more! Act today, and you can also attach a .jpg image
of up to 240x320 pixels in size! NOW how much would you pay?
But email today! Sysops are standing by!
Yes, I know. I'm ashamed of myself for even thinking about it.
Daniel P. B. Smith, dpbsmith(a)verizon.net
"Elinor Goulding Smith's Great Big Messy Book" is now back in print!
Sample chapter at http://world.std.com/~dpbsmith/messy.html
Buy it at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1403314063/
### ANNOUNCE ### ANNOUNCE ### ANNOUNCE ### ANNOUNCE ###
The '''Diderot''' WikiWriter alpha is soon to be released.
'''Diderot''' is going to become the first full-featured, offline-online
Wikipedia Editor with
* Source Coloring
* Source Folding
* integrated Browser Window
* Category Browser
* Asynchronous Put and Get of Wikipedia Pages (you dont have to wait
until a page is saved)
* Parallel Editing of Multiple Articles
In the future, we plan to add a variety of new features:
* Recent Change Agent with Notification Function, able to process RegEx
* Search & Replace with RegEx
* Integrated Watchlist with automated update
* Automatic resolving of Redirects
* and many other ... participate and submit a Feature Request on our
Project Summary Page at http://wikiwriter.sourceforge.net!
On the Project Homepage at http://wikiwriter.sourceforge.net you can
find some Screenshots.
The package will currently only run under WinXP, but in the future we
will try to support unix platforms as well.
This will depend on volunteers to tackle some developement tasks.
Any pythonists are welcome to participate.
The project is based on python and comes with a PSF licence.
Sources can be found on the project page on
This announce is in some way a test on how many interest there is in
such a tool. So please put your vote on
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Dedicated Dedicated Wikipedia
If there is positive feedback from the community, the project should
soon grow into some stable beta release.
Please use the sourceforge trackers to submit your feature requests or
The final alpha release announce will be posted in the next days.