User:DOSGuy

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DOSGuy hosts a website called RGB Classic Games, devoted to popularizing and preserving DOS games.

Most Wikipedians don't understand proper comma usage. DOSGuy's primary contribution to Wikipedia is serving as a member of the Grammar Police. DOSGuy has also declared war on a number of common typographical errors, and has, on occasion, completely removed the following typos (and their suffixes) from Wikipedia:

beleif, beleive, breif, releif, releive, retreive


Deletapedia[edit]

Thousands of excellent, well-researched articles are deleted from Wikipedia every year, and I think that people should still be able to enjoy them. Once an article is deleted, it can no longer be viewed by the general public, which prevents Wikipedians from contributing useful edits that would make it worthy of resubmission.

When an article you love is about to be deleted, save a copy of it and you can nominate it for Deletapedia by leaving a note on my Talk page. Deletapedia articles can be edited by anyone, but please don't put them back on Wikipedia unless you can overcome the original objection that led to their deletion. The ultimate goal of this project is to get each deleted article back on Wikipedia once the reason for deletion has been overcome. Think of Deletapedia as a rehabilitation center for good articles that need a bit of work.

RIP Dedicated video game consoles template[edit]

Before the recent change, this was the best template on Wikipedia. I mean, how awesome is this?

The "You Inspired Me Today" Barnstar[edit]

When someone on Wikipedia does something that inspires you to take action, give them the You Inspired Me Today Barnstar and give them a link to the work that they inspired you to create. Maybe someone will even be inspired to improve the You Inspired Me Today Barnstar!

Inspirational Barnstar.png


You're Smarter than You Think[edit]

Half of all human beings have below-average intelligence. This is nothing to be ashamed of, and many of them go on to be incredibly successful, becoming heads of state, CEOs, and writing policy on Wikipedia.


The Beginner's Guide to Wikipedia[edit]

Many people attempt to apply logic to Wikipedia, which is usually a mistake with regard to any organization that is run by humans. For instance, some of the most trustworthy tests fail on Wikipedia.

A newcomer may feel lost, or feel that they need assistance in dealing with a dispute with another editor, so they will attempt to identify someone in a position of authority using the duck test. The duck test states:

If a bird looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck.

In this context, a user who looks like an Administrator, acts like an Administrator and talks like an Administrator is probably an Administrator. Actually, that person is almost certainly not an Administrator. If you see them contributing useful edits, they can't be an Admin because Admins mostly edit outside of the "mainspace", debating policy. To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, "Those who can edit — edit. Those who can't edit become Administrators."

Another well known test that fails on Wikipedia is the elephant test, which is used when something is "difficult to describe, but you know it when you see it." Despite diversity of race, religion, language, creed, and national or ethnic background, most people can recognize concepts that are difficult to describe when they see them, and there is broad agreement between all human beings. For instance, Justice Potter Stewart famously said that he wouldn't attempt to define pornography, but "I know it when I see it". Wikipedia fails the elephant test because influential Wikipedians often do not recognize good editors when they see them, and fail to recognize a consensus when they see one.

For instance, let's say that you received a peer review at work and more than twice as many people thought that you were doing a good job as thought you were doing a bad job, and an equal number of people had no strong opinion either way as those who thought you were doing a bad job. Those who thought that you were doing a good job were very happy with your performance and thought of you as an "employee's employee"; a friend to the Everyman. Since you had found favor with a greater than two-thirds majority of decided voters, and voters deciding that you were doing a bad job didn't even outnumber those who held a neutral opinion, this would be regarded by any reasonable human being as an excellent review and a ringing endorsement of your abilities. Given that your proponents identify with you and feel like you're one of them, you would naturally be seen as an excellent candidate for a leadership position within the company — someone who your subordinates would be happy to see promoted.

On Wikipedia, if you were to apply for a position as an Administrator and received more than twice as many supporting votes as opposing votes, less opposing votes than neutral votes, and the supporting voters felt that you were an "editor's editor", your application would fail for lack of "consensus". More than 67% of decided voters supported you, but it was deemed that there was no consensus. "Now wait a minute!", you say to yourself. "That can't be true because of the elephant test. I don't know if I could define a consensus, but I know one when I see one, and a greater than two thirds majority is a consensus." That would be true anywhere else, but not on Wikipedia. Since Wikipedia is run by humans, who are not logical by nature, tests designed for ducks and elephants have no meaning.

Wikipedia instead applies the Catch-22 principle to nominations for Administrator. To be an Administrator one must be editing outside of the mainspace. Editors prefer Administrators who mostly edit within the mainspace, while Administrators prefer candidates who mostly edit outside of the mainspace. A nominee who edits within the mainspace will be popular enough to win the popular vote, but will not be deemed qualified by Administrators. A nominee who edits outside of the mainspace will be deemed qualified by Administrators, but will lose the popular vote. The candidate would have won the vote by editing in the mainspace, but lost the nomination for failing to meet the standards of Admins; and he would have been deemed qualified by Admins if he had edited outside of the mainspace, but lost the popular vote. He can be popular by not being qualified, or qualified by not being popular, but not both. One condition fails unless the other succeeds, but having the other succeed causes the first to fail. Since the conditions are both mutually dependent and mutually exclusive, the equation collapses under the weight of the paradox and can never succeed. There is only one catch, and that is Catch-22. This way Administrators keep their club exclusive, preventing anyone else from joining using one criteria or the other.

Now — you may say to yourself — if there are so few Administrators (which is true), Wikipedia must also be a paradox! If there are no Admins, who is running this place? Why, the editors of course! The editors are largely ignorant of the enormous number of policy pages that supposedly govern Wikipedia, and use their best judgment to determine what is and is not appropriate for Wikipedia. They use common sense, and apply well known tests such as the duck test and the elephant test. Using nothing more than good intentions and the mental gifts endowed upon them by their Creator, they managed to create a free, accessible, global resource with over two million articles, and they almost never come into conflict with Admins. While the Admins debate policy, regular editors revert vandalism, copyedit articles, correct errors, create new articles, and keep Wikipedia running like a well-oiled machine. The only rule of logic that actually applies to Wikipedia is that the government that governs least, governs best. And so it is that Wikipedia grows and thrives, and most editors never knowingly meet an Administrator in the course of their editing. In fact, one must imagine that the majority of editors are unaware that Wikipedia has Administrators! And so it should be, since authority figures are neither necessary nor desirable in an open forum.

So, if you ever discover that there are people called "Administrators" who have access to buttons that you don't have, and you suppose that having those tools would make you a better editor, resist the urge to apply for Administrator privileges. You want those tools so that you can be a better editor, but to be an Administrator you must prove that you don't intend to edit. If you start editing outside of the mainspace and become a wikilawyer, you may gain Administrator privileges, but you will no longer need them. You can have the extra buttons if you don't need them, and if you need them, you can't have them. If you want to debate policy, you don't need to be an Administrator, so again you have no reason to apply for Administrator privileges. They aren't necessary to be a bureaucrat, and won't be awarded to an editor, so you either do not need to be an Administrator, or you won't be allowed to be an Administrator until you no longer need to be one, and if you never needed to be one in the first place, then you still don't.

My advice to all newcomers to Wikipedia: just edit Wikipedia! That's what it's for! If you ever stop believing in Wikipedia's vision, you can always become an Administrator, but why stick around if you no longer believe in the vision? Stay true to the vision and just edit. Contribute to the best of your ability, donate only the time you can truly spare, and don't take it too seriously. Taking Wikipedia seriously leads to becoming an Administrator, and that's bad for Wikipedia. Just have fun for as long as the fun lasts, and stop editing when you get bored. It will always still be here if you become interested again. That is, unless you become an Admin. ;P


The preceding has been a humorous manifesto by DOSGuy. Anyone who is offended is probably an Administrator, and should seek medical help immediately. :)