User:Bigtimepeace

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Hello good person (you are a good person, aren't you?) on my user page. My name is Geoff and I am a doctoral student studying U.S. history in New York City. I've been a Wikipedia fan for years and got serious as an editor around the beginning of 2007 I guess, though my first edits were in mid-2006 when I was surprised to find a certain article did not exist and thus decided to create it myself. In the past, but not so much anymore, I did a good amount of recent changes patrol (usually reverting vandalism, but improving random articles I come across as well). I've edited a number of articles related to history or politics, among other topics.

In late April of 2008, my request for adminship was successful and I became an administrator. I believe that admins should ultimately be accountable to the Wikipedia community. If you feel I've used my admin tools improperly please take a look at my criteria and process for administrative recall.

Article work[edit]

I haven't done nearly as much work starting and expanding articles as I would like (there are a number of ways to get distracted from those tasks) but I am a firm believer in the idea that we are here to write an encyclopedia—an obvious point which unfortunately sometimes gets lost as we fight vandals, argue Wikipedia policy, etc. Below is a list of articles I have started as well as some of the others I have put significant time into improving. These lists will grow in the years ahead.

Created from scratch[edit]

Some of these are pretty stubby (stubbish?) but hopefully I (or better yet others) will build on them.

Significant expansion or reworking[edit]

On Encyclopedias[edit]

A stray volume of the Encyclopedia is like the mind of a learned madman—stored with correct ideas, between which, however, there is no other connection than the fact that there is a “B” in both. From orach, or mountain spinach, one passes direct to oracles. That one does not oneself go mad, or become, in the process of reading the Encyclopedia, a mine of useless and unrelated knowledge is due to the fact that one forgets. The mind has a vast capacity for oblivion—providentially, otherwise, in the chaos of futile memories, it would be impossible to remember anything useful or coherent....Let us thank heaven for our powers of forgetting. With regard to the Encyclopedia, they are enormous. The mind only remembers that of which it has some need. Five minutes after reading about mountain spinach, the ordinary man, who is neither a botanist nor a cook, has forgotten all about it. Read for amusement: the Encyclopedia serves only to distract for the moment. It does not instruct, it deposits nothing on the surface of the mind that will remain. It is a mere time killer and momentary tickler of the mind. I only use it for amusement on my travels; I should be ashamed to indulge so wantonly in mere curiosity at home, during seasons of serious business.
--Aldous Huxley, from his 1924 book Along the Road, quoted in Volume II, Number 3 of Lapham's Quarterly

Musings[edit]

Thinking about Wikipedia in a more "meta" fashion can, I think, be useful, and essays can be a good way to do that. So far my only contribution to that genre is an essay called Why We Are Here that arguably takes a less-than traditional approach to that question. Another item of possible interest, while not an essay, relates to a multi-hour outage of the Wikipedia web site in March of 2010. I compiled a list of tweets from Twitter which give one a flavor of just how important Wikipedia is to many web users (and how much people apparently take it for granted). I'll leave it up to others to judge whether that is a good or a bad thing.

Symbol question.svg This user has written or expanded 6 articles featured in the Did You Know section on the Main Page.
This user is a recent changes patroller with Twinkle!
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