[WikiEN-l] School of Hard Knocks, or, what I learnt from my RfA

Earle Martin wikipedia at downlode.org
Fri Oct 20 23:24:48 UTC 2006

After reading David Gerard's post "RFA has gone weird"[1]  two weeks
back, I decided on a whim to nominate myself for adminship. [2] My
principle was that I would largely ignore the existing process for the
calcified barnacle that it is and apply a no-nonsense stance towards
self-important questioning. The process has just closed, and I was of
course unsuccessful. I would note that I did not enter into this
process with the realistic expectation of success. (Although I was
pleased to discover that I polled almost as many positive votes as
negative, most of which seemed to agree with my take on the

What I learnt from reading (and occasionally replying to) comments were:

1) ZOMG how dare you not answer the questions??!!1!!1
2) One has to have "a specific reason" for wanting admin tools. Being
generally concerned for the good of the project is not enough to
satisfy the razor minds of the RfA voters.
3) Editcountitis is actually a mindset of self-improvement, not a
pointless obsession. You must have as many edits as is humanly
possible before even considering being an admin. ("Storkk" lays it out
straight: "390 mainspace edits isn't really evidence of gnoming. I am
really looking for something like 3000 - 4000.")
4) You must participate in all existing processes whether you like it
or not. You must also get into discussions with people on their talk
pages. Why? Shut up with your questions already. You just have to. I
don't qualify, notes "(aereopagitica)", because I have "less than 100
XfD discussions participated in and less than 50 user Talk
5) Answering questions, and replying to critical comments, bluntly and
to the point is "arrogant", "contemptuous", "insulting", "proud", and
"incivility of [a high] magnitude". Also symptomatic of needing
"self-improvement" and "a thicker skin", advises "Dlohcierekim".
6) Life as an admin is a hellish, Kafka-esque nightmare of continuous
inquisition from a swollen, all-powerful bureaucracy. ("[W]hat you
experience here is only a taste of what one will face as an admin",
comments "Physicq210".)
7) It is somehow useful for people to cast a "neutral vote", rather
than just leaving a comment, which is of equivalent logical value.
8) Despite there being over a thousand administrators already, one bad
egg is enough to cause havoc, disaster, dogs and cats living together,
and mass hysteria. The solution to this is obviously to keep the
number of administrators as small as possible, thus maintaining the
status quo and preventing more potential bad people from becoming
9) Even stating "I promise not to go batshit" and signing it with your
real name is not enough to sway the high muck-a-mucks. Consider taking
classes in advanced boot-licking before responding to comments.
("[C]andidate is... plainly in that class of admin who would
immediately set out causing grief and bloodshed.", declares "Splash".)
10) This is all going to go on your permanent record, son. Don't let
your mouth write a check that your butt can't cash. ("Would recommend
not returning to RfA in future", adds "Splash", ominously.)

So I guess it's back to the edit mines for this particular peon....

[1] http://mail.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2006-October/054960.html
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_adminship/Earle_Martin

Earle Martin

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