User:Antaeus Feldspar

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Click here if you want to read my thoughts on a new wiki design.

Hello, my name is Antaeus Feldspar.

I am proud to be the recipient of a WikiMedal for Janitorial Services, awarded by Topbanana.

WikiMedal for Janitorial Services, awarded by Topbanana

I have been accused of being a "cult PR agent" by anti-cult activists and an anti-cult fanatic by cult supporters. I must be doing something right. Strange; one might conclude that I must enjoy working on cult articles, but such is not the case...



GOOPTI is the term I use for what others call "fancruft". Because so many people had it in their heads that "fancruft" was automatically a pejorative term, and even started editing pages that described fancruft and other such terms to declare that it was a pejorative term (which is equivalent to assuming bad faith of anyone using the term) it became clear that those of us who used the term simply as a quick way of saying "too much detail for something that has not yet become notable enough to deserve this level of granularity" had lost the battle.

Therefore, GOOPTI is what I will be using from now on, to denote Granularity Out Of Proportion To Influence. This is based on the principle that there is a place on Wikipedia for descriptions for television shows and video games and webcomics, but how much detail these things actually deserve is proportional to how much influence they have actually had on the real world. Examples of fictional properties that have had influence significant enough that they might deserve multiple articles: Sesame Street, The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and others I probably haven't thought of yet. On the other hand, if not much more can be said about a series than that the people who like it really like it a lot ... then perhaps it is not yet at the level where multiple articles are appropriate.

Walking Out Naked[edit]

... if people would wait four minutes to write one decent paragraph before creating an article, they wouldn't be so apt to get listed on VfD. Posting something like the first version of this article is like walking out the front door naked, and then complaining that people didn't even give you a chance to get dressed. Dpbsmith [1]

I support the proposal for Managed Deletion. The six criteria there close up many of the loopholes by which troublemaking morons can, with minimal effort, create valueless articles that under the current rules, take us a week to eliminate. Note: it appears this proposal didn't pass, which is disappointing. It also appears that the voting was already closed at the time that the proposal's existence was made known to most of us...

Feldspar's Blade Guard for Hanlon's Razor: Never be hasty to attribute to stupidity what can be adequately explained by someone knowing something you don't.

Double-check your own work, if you can. If you're going to be calling someone else wrong, it's a good idea to triple-check to make sure that you are in fact right. If you have the bad judgement to be snotty about calling someone else wrong, have the good judgement to quadruple-check.

Why I support merging[edit]

Very often the difference between "facts" and "knowledge" is context. One article, eight paragraphs long, may create more actual understanding than the same material divided in eight one-paragraph articles.

Protect yourself from falsehood[edit]

I used to believe (and tell others that I believed) that "When your goal is to act in an ethical and moral manner, your first and foremost enemy is always yourself."

I now know I was wrong. If you have the basic desire to act ethically in the first place, then you have to take second place in line to a whole lot of other people out there who can do a lot better of a job twisting your good intentions into bad deeds than you can. To be hoist by one's own petard is not necessarily the easiest or most common way to go, only the one with the most irony.

Beware of approaching a problem by trying to find its identifying characteristics. What is truly needed, and what should be the goal of your search, is distinguishing characteristics.

Let your reach exceed your grasp, or what's a heaven for?[edit]

One of the central dilemmas of life for those who want to act ethically is the knowledge that we can never reach that perfection: we will never see a situation with complete clarity; we will never think of all the possible angles on a situation. Most disturbingly, we will never be sure whether we are seeing the situation as we would if we were not personally involved.

The worst way to approach this dilemma is to refuse to do anything at all about it; to simply refuse to do anything to compensate for your own POV. This is obvious. What should be equally obvious, but eludes many people, is that it is not any better to acknowledge that you have a POV and then refuse to do anything to compensate for your own POV. Some people actually do take this route; they believe that because perfect compensation for one's own POV is impossible, that they have no obligation to even try. Such all-or-nothing thinking is hardly plausible, but it seems to sucker in some people anyhow. Some even make the self-interested mistake of claiming moral superiority based on not trying to do anything about their biases. "Aha!" they crow. "I know the truth, which is that attempting to do anything about your POV is impossible! Therefore I am morally superior to you, because you have not given up the battle as fruitless, and therefore you must be ignorant of the truth to which my eyes are open!" How many of them actually believe this? How many have allowed themselves to believe it because it gives them a smug sense of being morally superior for ignoring their responsibilities? Who knows.

The fact is that there is something which people who care about the effect of their actions can do to minimize the effects of their own biases. That is to establish and live by standards that apply in all situations, whether its application in a particular situation happens to favor us or not. Just as canny mothers let one child decide how the treat shall be cut into two pieces and let the other child decide who gets which piece, deciding on your rules before you know which side of them you'll be on encourages you to make rules that are fair as you can manage for all parties.

Does this mean that the task of acting ethically is as simple as determining rules in advance and then adhering to them, come hell or high water? If only it were that simple! But that would be simply trading one form of arrogance (our belief that we will never be swayed by our own emotional investment in a situation) for another (our belief that we can foresee all factors that will ever be relevant to a situation ahead of time.) We must in fact be ready to ever ask ourselves "Had I foreseen the current situation when I was drawing up my standards, would I have drawn up the standard that I did?" We must give our best effort to adapt our standards in the fairest manner we can, in response to possibilities we simply did not foresee. It is a difficult balancing act, and it is not made easier by the fact that those who hate the other side will be eager to claim that we have failed (for if we had been looking at the situation fairly, they say, surely we would see it exactly as they do!) But no one said that acting ethically was easy.

People who amuse me with their pettiness[edit]

  • People who take it upon themselves to pass judgement that others have "fail[ed] as human beings." When you believe yourself entitled to pass a judgement of that magnitude, rest assured that you have reached the point where your time is not best spent on the mote in your brother's eye.

What "ad hominem" is and isn't[edit]

The modern educational system doesn't, in my opinion, give nearly the importance that it should to the subject of critical thinking -- particularly of learning to recognize logical fallacies and other invalid forms of argumentation. Many people know nothing at all about the subject -- and many others only know enough to (wittingly or unwittingly) misapply it.

On the subject of the latter, no fallacy is so relentlessly mis-recognized as "ad hominem" argumentation. Ironically, it is well-known to poor debaters as exactly what it warns against: a club with which to bludgeon your opponent rather than to refute his/her argumentation. Simply wait for your opponent to say something that can be interpreted as un-nice and then pounce, screeching "ad hominem! ad hominem! you must be wrong!"

"Ad hominem" is only committed when you are stating criticism of a argument's proponent in order to suggest that the argument itself is thereby weakened. If you aren't doing that, you aren't committing ad hominem. Saying "X must be crazy to insist that Y is true" is not ad hominem; it is "Y is untrue; after all, X who is crazy insists that Y is true" that is ad hominem. Which means that the sophist's favorite trick of trying to provoke frustration from an opponent, and then leaping on the first sign of frustration as "You're resorting to ad hominem! Your argument is clearly weak!" is ... itself ad hominem.

What NPOV means to me[edit]

It doesn't mean "creating an artificially balanced situation, such that if the reader comes away convinced of one side or the other, the article must be failing at being NPOV." Instead, it means honestly conveying not only what each side believes, but why a reasonable person might believe it to be true (without necessarily being correct in that belief.)


Interiot's tool


Frequently used formatting[edit]

  • External links
    • {{imdb title|id=0000000|title=The Title}}
    • {{imdb name|id=0000000|title=Name as it will appear}}
    • {{gutenberg|no=000|name=Title}}
  • Stub notices (Full list)
    • Biographical: {{bio-stub}}
    • Comics: {{comics-stub}}
    • Computer: {{compu-stub}}
    • Television: {{tv-stub}}
  • Special formatting
  • Wikipedia:Citing sources/example style
    • Lastname, Firstname (Month Day, Year). "Article Title". ''Periodical Title'', p. PageNum.
    • Lincoln, Abraham; Grant, U. S.; & Davis, Jefferson (1861). ''Resolving Family Differences Peacefully'' (3rd ed.). Gettysburg: Printing Press. ISBN 0-12-345678-9.
  • Listed for deletion: {{subst:afd}}
  • Stub: {{stub}}
  • Spoilers: {{spoiler}}
  • NPOV: {{NPOV}}
  • Factual errors: {{Disputed}}
  • Inclusion dispute: {{inclusion}}
  • Protected: {{protected}}
  • Editing in progress: {{inuse}}

Note: though I'm not sure why anyone would complain, I would just like to give credit to head off complaints; I copied this 'Boilerplate text' section from Exploding Boy.

Wikipedia:Boilerplate text seems like a better resource, however. Closer to the source, and all.

Other useful links:


Wikipedia:Template messages/All

My Scratchpad[edit]

My Scratchpad notion stolen from David Gerard

Access Panel
Shared watchlist at Wikipedia:Redirects to be made (Edit | History)
Check shared watchlist
To create an access panel to the same watchlist page elsewhere, copy and paste the following code:
{{public watchlist|Wikipedia:Redirects to be made}}
Access Panel
Shared watchlist at Wikipedia:WikiProject Scientology/publicwatchlist (Edit | History)
Check shared watchlist
To create an access panel to the same watchlist page elsewhere, copy and paste the following code:
{{public watchlist|Wikipedia:WikiProject Scientology/publicwatchlist}}

Wikipedia:WikiProject Computing[edit]

Sample of my work[edit]

The following are articles where I am either especially proud of my contributions, or I was the creator of the article, or both (bold indicates an article that I created):

A. B. and C. - Anthony Godby Johnson - Augmented assignment - Blood Sucking Freaks - Boyer-Moore string search algorithm - Candida Royalle - Cilk - City of Angels (1976 series) - David Bauer (actor) - Denial (psychology) - Doctrine of substantial truth - Dr. Mabuse - Elias delta coding - Elias gamma coding - Elias omega coding - False balance - Femme Films - Fibonacci coding - Fighting Whites - Hash table - Lauren Stratford - Mary Morris - Mongo the Magnificent - Narbonic - Rejected - Solar Pons - Template:Movedetail - Template:Public watchlist - The Cold Equations - The Body of Christ - The Chimes of Big Ben (The Prisoner) - The Testament of Dr. Mabuse - Thunderbirds Are GO - Toys in the Attic (film) - Under color of authority - Wikipedia:Content forking - Wikipedia:Redirects to be made

(Note: Because Wikipedia articles are not for promoting their subjects, only for describing them, to claim that an editor is "particularly proud of his use of the dictionary [sic] to promote" a particular subject, because that editor is particularly proud of their work on the article, is false and irresponsible.)


/In Progress