User:Dtobias

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Dan T.'s User Page... Now with more obsessive trolling idiocy from the gadfly sucking the joy out of Wikipedia!
Ewwww! Userboxes!!!!
(or is that userboxen'?)
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Wikimedia-logo.svg Unified login: Dtobias is the unique unified login of this user for all public Wikimedia projects.
51 This Wikipedian is 51 years, 1 months, and 17 days old.
Noia 64 apps karm.svg This user has been on Wikipedia for 9 years, 8 months and 4 days.
INTJ This user has an INTJ personality
per the Myers-Briggs typing system.
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M This user is a member of Mensa.
ie This contributor uses any browser other than Internet Explorer.
BAD This user is a member of Wikipedia Review
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Essay: Why BADSITES is bad policy... or link bans considered harmful
Essay: Sauce for the goose is (not) sauce for the gander

I'm a bit like Adrian Monk; I've got a strong obsessive-compulsive streak to my personality, and have lots of "pet peeves" about stuff that others don't seem to care about. Some of the things that bug me:

  1. Top-posting in e-mail
  2. Other non-standards-compliant or inelegant formatting of e-mail
  3. Invalid HTML in Web sites
  4. Misconfigured Web servers sending incorrect MIME types for documents
  5. Any use of proprietary coding or data formats where a nonproprietary open standard exists; examples include MSIE-specific Web sites and MS Word or Excel e-mail attachments
  6. Misuse of domain name structure, such as putting noncommercial sites in .com domains and using Stupid Unnecessary Domain Names™ where logical subdomains would make more sense. The ".com" address of Wikipedia Weekly particularly bugged me for a long time, but they've finally begun using the more logical wikipediaweekly.org address... congrats to them!

Wikipedia has a surprisingly good record of not triggering my pet peeves very often... for instance, it uses lots of logical subdomains within a .org domain, almost always has HTML and CSS code that validates, and so on. (See my own Web sites for more notes on these and other subjects.)

However, I have at times gotten distracted from the task of improving the encyclopedia by getting myself into the middle of a whole heap of silly "wikidramas", where I felt strongly about some issue (like heavyhanded censorship of criticism) that ran against the pet issue of others on the opposite side, leading to big fights that really had nothing to do with anything encyclopedic. Then I sometimes try to get out of that rut by doing something useful again... hearing about various sites and programs that show Wikipedia articles geographically spurred me to get active in trying to add geographical coordinates to all articles that relate to a particular location, so that such things will be even more useful. That in turn brought me out of the wikidrama doldrums for a time and led me to start making useful mainspace edits again! But my interests seem to have mostly gone elsewhere; I'm not too active on Wikipedia any more.

I also run Mpedia, the wiki-based encyclopedia of Mensa (not affiliated with Wikipedia, Wikimedia, Wikia, or any related entity, or for that matter Mensa or any related entity). And I'm an administrator on the Just Solve the File Format Problem wiki, which documents file formats of all sorts (without the "notability" criteria Wikipedia has; it'll take any file format, no matter how obscure).

At any rate, while I've edited stuff all over the place, here are some of the major things I've been doing:

  • I was also involved in getting the Template:Infobox Pope into all the popes' articles; I didn't create that one, but others seemed to have mostly lost interest in adding it after working their way back to around the 15th century or so; I took it up myself and finally completed the task. I'm not even Catholic (or any sort of Christian, for that matter), but I still found it to be a worthy goal to present that 2000-year succession of popes in a consistent manner.

I've also worked on pages related to magazines (especially computer magazines, disk magazines, and children's magazines):

Some other articles I started or worked on:

  • And, as I mentioned above, I'm concentrating especially these days on adding geographical coordinates to every article that needs them, as well as touching up other things like categories in those articles as I find them.

I try to concentrate on places where I can do productive stuff without getting into an edit war, but I haven't always succeeded in staying out of conflict and controversy; like, I've jumped into the snake pit of the Anarchism article a few times.

Speaking of controversy, I was (unjustly) included in two people's lists of "cyberstalkers" and online evildoers:

  • Jeffrey Vernon Merkey's list of "Internet Stalkers" (no longer online)
  • Daniel Brandt's "Hive Mind" list (which for a while used referer-checking to redirect links from Wikipedia, which in turn added the site to its "spam-filtered" list so I couldn't link to it)

This inclusion says more about them than about me. Some of the stuff they say about me is downright libelous, which is funny given how prone to threats of litigation they are.

I think I was reasonably on the "good side" of the (supposedly nonexistent) "Wikipedia Cabal" as long as I was just attracting the ire of outside nutters, but once I started taking issue with the cliquishness of some of the personalities and factions here, I started being disliked by some powerful people on Wikipedia (but fortunately still not blocked or banned as of now).

Getting back to more productive and less contentious things, I've also contributed a few images of my own creation to commons.

"There's drama and inspiration everywhere I look!" — Lisa Simpson
I am the very model of a modern Wikipedian,
My knowledge of things trivial is way above the median,
I know, and care, what Kelly Clarkson's next CD might just be called,
And all the insults Hilary and Lindsay to each other bawled.
I'm very well acquainted, too, with memes upon the Internet,
I think the dancing hamster'd really be fantastic as a pet.
About the crackpots' physics I am teeming with a lot o' news,
The Time Cube has but four sides and it's not got a hypotenuse.
I'm very good at grammar, and I spell all words right to a "T",
Even when they're done all weirdly from the far side of the sea.
In short, in matters big and small, minute or sesquipedelian,
I am the very model of a modern Wikipedian.
I know how to "Ignore All Rules", except when I'm enforcing 'em,
I know which version's wrong to be protected by those bossing 'em.
I show respect for all admins, except the ones who have gone "rouge",
But I still wish they'd let us keep the U.K. girl whose face has spooge.
Jimbo is our own God-King; the things he says are always right,
But I still think that Brian Peppers should be listed in our site.
The distinction 'tween GFDL, CC, and PD I understand,
But still I don't think fair-use celeb photos all need to be banned.
I'm good at edit-warring, and I stay within the 3RR,
I know just how to make you show just what a troll you really are,
In short, in matters big and small, minute or sesquipedelian,
I am the very model of a modern Wikipedian.
In fact, when I know why the elephant count changes really fast,
Why anarchists are socialists... or not, based on whose edit's last,
Is Oscar Gutierrez 5'2", 5'3", 5'5", or maybe 5'4"?
I need to know so I can win that very lamest edit war!
But when I know at least as much on conflicts Peloponnesian,
as I do about characters in Galactica's latest season,
When I finally learn something that matters in academia
You'll say a better Wikipedian has never came by here.
For my formal education, though I'm certainly no fool,
Has not yet been advanced anywhere further than high school;
But still, in matters big and small, minute or sesquipedelian,
I am the very model of a modern Wikipedian.

(Note that the above song is purely satirical, and doesn't actually describe me; for one thing, I'm fully college educated! Opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent my own true beliefs.)