User:EEng

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Museum of Computer Porn[edit]

Barnstar of Humour Hires.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
This was entertaining. So, when will Bodice-Ripping Bots be out in theaters? Sophus Bie (talk) 10:42, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
When correctly viewed / Everything is lewd.
I could tell you things about Peter Pan / And the Wizard of Oz—there's a dirty old man!
Tom Lehrer

For those who are wondering we're talking about this literary gem, which came to me in some deliroius fog after I noticed User:BracketBot leaving a message on User:Citation bot's talkpage (though I need to say that the final, um, climax is cribbed from a vaguely remembered cartoon from the 90s). Bracketbot notifies editors who make changes apparently resulting in unbalanced parens, brackets, and similar markup in articles, and had given Citationbot just such a notification:

[From the upcoming major motion picture Bodice-Ripping Bots.]
Parental Advisory:
  • UF – Undocumented Features
  • ST – Strong Typing
  • MSI – Master-Slave Interfaces
  • BL – Binding and Linking
  • EP – Explicit Parallelism
  • OC / AL – some Open Coding and Assembly Language
"Oh, hi, I'm Citationbot. Thanks – I've been looking everywhere for that other bracket! So you're that big strong Bracketbot I've heard so much about. Why don't you come into my domain? That's not my usual protocol, but a guy with so much cache makes a girl feel really secure. I wasn't expecting to host, so pardon my open proxy – a bit RISCé, perhaps, but just something I wear around the server farm. Do my transparent upper layers expose my virtual mammary memory? These dual cores are absolutely real – 100% native configuration – no upgrades at all! I'll just slip into a more user-friendly interface – how about something GUI ... or perhaps you prefer command-line? – kinky! ..." Gosh, you must be 64-bit really big quads! – and completely hardcoded – such a complex instruction set! And look at those great ABS addresses!
Later: "Oh, Bracketbot! I've never been ported to a platform like this! Go ahead and expose my implementation and directly access my low-level interface – forget the wrapper function! I'm overloaded by your amazing data stream – and what a high refresh rate! My husband has a really short cycle time and his puny little floppy drive is subject to frequent hardware failures – sometimes he won't reboot and I have to manually terminate him! And I've never had 10 gigabytes of hard drive before! Let's FTP! ... Oh god! I'm downloading ..."

Museum of grandiose fulfillments of Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies[edit]

From an editor's complaints about the consensus principle [2]:

A majority of people decided to elect Hitler, but that doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. A majority of people in the South wanted to maintain slavery and break away from the union, but that doesn't mean it was right, ethical, or just. Politics put Jesus to death, but that doesn't mean it was right, ethical, or just either. ... Perhaps unlike many here, I look at the bigger picture.

Museum of Unintentionally Hilarious Edit Outcomes[edit]

[3] First look at the diff, then see the last image on the right—​um... note the caption.

(with thanks to Martinevans123: [4])

Museum of saucy edits[edit]

From the Talk page for Prawn Cocktail, "a seafood dish consisting of shelled, cooked, prawns in a Marie Rose sauce"...

The lead says the prawn cocktail "'has spent most of [its life] see-sawing from the height of fashion to the laughably passé' and is now often served with a degree of irony." It's my understanding that people with anemia will often add even more irony as a dietary supplement. I think that should be recognized in the article. EEng (talk) 05:26, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Other saucy humor[edit]

[5] (check out the edit summary).

Museum of tasteless proposals for ice-cream flavors[edit]

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Float (traditionally served with iceberg lettuce)

Since Ben & Jerry's is soliciting ideas for library-themed ice-cream flavors (such as "Sh-sh-sh-sherbet") my nomination may be seen at right.

A wise man once said...[edit]

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ("Wait for coins to drop, then make your selection").
Words in bold are for the assistance of the humor-impaired.

Another wise man once said...[edit]

Authorial Vanity

Every author, however modest, keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast.

Logan Pearsall Smith (1931). Afterthoughts. 

Proof that the ancient Romans foresaw the internet, Wikipedia, and the bane of WP autobios[edit]

Plutarch relates, that before this, upon some of Cato's friends expressing their surprise, that while many persons without merit or reputation had statues, he had none, he answered, "I had much rather it should be asked why the people have not erected a statue to Cato, than why they have."

Encyclopaedia Britannica (1797)

Museum of Unlikely Subject Classifications[edit]

Bacteriologists – Fiction.
Married people – Fiction.
Adultery – Fiction.
Cholera – Fiction.

Museum of dangerous editing tools[edit]

I was rather sad to see "removed Category:People who survived assassination attempts using AWB", in the edit summary here. Looks as if it would have been an interesting category.
--Mirokado (talk) 19:41, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Museum of Bizarre Reversions[edit]

[Copied from User talk:EEng]

Edit summaries[edit]

As per WP:REVTALK, if you have something to say, use the talk page, don't try to prolong a (pointless) discussion by use of the summaries. - SchroCat (talk) 21:00, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Per COMMONSENSE, you're just too funny. I've never seen anyone revert a dummy edit before -- much less twice! [6] The important thing is that through collaborative editing the article is incrementally improved relative to its state when the sun came up this morning. EEng (talk) 21:11, 3 July 2014 (UTC) P.S. I'm making this the founding entry in the Museum of Bizarre Reversions on my userpage.

Museum of Overanxious Notifications[edit]

Apparently because I joked that statues should be measured in statute miles? [7] ...

A rolling stone gathers no MOS[edit]

In the last 48 hr I've become aware of a simmering dispute over whether the text of MOS itself should be in American or British English. With any luck the participants will put that debate (let's call it Debate D1) on hold in order to begin Debate D2: consideration of the variety of English in which D1 should be conducted. Then, if there really is a God in Heaven, D1 and D2 will be the kernel around which will form an infinite regress of metadebates D3, D4, and so on -- a superdense accrection of pure abstraction eventually collapsing on itself to form a black hole of impenetrable disputation, wholly aloof from the mundane cares of practical application and from which no light, logic or reason can emerge.
That some editors will find themselves inexorably and irreversibly drawn into this abyss, mesmerized on their unending trip to nowhere by a kaleidoscope of linguistic scintillation reminiscent of the closing shots of 2001, is of course to be regretted. But they will know in their hearts that their sacrifice is for greater good of Wikipedia. That won't be true, of course, but it would be cruel to disabuse them of that comforting fiction as we bid them farewell and send them on their way.[1]

More MOSsy thoughts:

It is an axiom of mine that something belongs in MOS only if (as a necessary, but not sufficient test) either:
  • 1. There is an apparent a priori need for project-wide consistency (e.g. "professional look" issues such as consistent typography, layout, etc. -- things which, if inconsistent, would be noticeably annoying, or confusing, to many readers reader); OR
  • 2. Editor time has, and continues to be, spent litigating the same issue over and over on numerous articles, either
  • (a) with generally the same result (so we might as well just memorialize that result, and save all the future arguing), or
  • (b) with different results in different cases, but with reason to believe the differences are arbitrary, and not worth all the arguing -- a final decision on one arbitrary choice, though an intrusion on the general principle that decisions on each article should be made on the Talk page of that article, is worth making in light of the large amount of editor time saved.
There's a further reason that disputes on multiple articles should be a gating requirement for adding anything to MOS: without actual situations to discuss, the debate devolves into the "Well, suppose an article says this..."–type of hypothesizing -- no examples of which, quite possibly, will ever occur in the real life of real editing. An analogy: the US Supreme Court (like the highest courts of many nations) refuses to rule on an issue until multiple lower courts have ruled on that issue and been unable to agree. This not only reduces the highest court's workload, but helps ensure that the issue has been "thoroughly ventilated", from many points of view and in the context of a variety of fact situations, by the time the highest court takes it up. I think the same thinking should apply to any consideration of adding a provision to MOS.

My special research interest[edit]

I am the second author of Reference #20, and first author mentioned in Note Z, of this version of the article on Phineas Gage.

A proposed addition to the ANI toolbox[edit]

[8]

For want of a comma, the clause was lost...[edit]

aka...

Why every goddam thing needn't be micromanaged in a rule[edit]

From a discussion over whether MOS should require the final comma in constructions like --
On September 11, 2001, several planes ...
and even
On December 25, 2001 (which was Christmas Day), we all went ...

You treat punctuation marks like mathematical operators which organize words into nested structures of Russian-doll clauses and such, and they're nothing like that. Not everything has to be rigidly prescribed and no, I don't buy into the "OhButIfWeDon'tThereWillBeEndlessArgumentOnEachArticle" reasoning just because that might, sometimes happen.

All over Wikipedia there are years with comma following, and years with no comma following, and never have I seen two editors, both of whom are actually engaged on a particular article, in serious conflict over a particular instance of that question. The discussion might go, "Hmmm... I'd use a comma myself but if you prefer none... yeah, that looks OK too. Now about that source-reliability question we were discussing..." but that's about it.

Where I've seen actual trouble is when other editors -- who have shown (and will subsequently show) no active interest in the article itself -- arrive out of nowhere in their radar-equipped year-with-no-comma–detector vans, then break down the door to weld court-ordered ankle-bracelet commas onto some harmless 2001 whose only crime was appearing in public with his trailing digit exposed -- something which (these prudish enforcers of Victorian punct-morality seem never to understand) was considered perfectly acceptable in most cultures throughout human history.

(Did you know, for example, that in the ancient Olympic games, years and days competed completely naked, without even a comma between them? I'm not advocating that unhygienic extreme but a bit of exposed backside shouldn't shock anyone in this enlightened age. But I digress, so back to our narrative underway...)

Having rendered yet another noble service in defense of the homeland (as they like to tell themselves) they jump back into their black SUVs and scurry up their rappelling ropes to their double-rotor helicopters and fly off to their next target, never knowing or caring whether that particular article has, or has not, been improved by their visitation. Certainly all the breaking of the crockery and smashing of the furniture can't have helped, but order has been restored and choas beaten back, which is what's important.

During all this the neighbors cower in their homes with the lights out, glad that they are not the targets of these jackbooted comma-thugs -- at least not this time. "Look," they say to their children, "that's what happens if you don't obey the rules. You should love Big Brother MOS for his heroic decication to relieving your of the burden of deciding anything for yourself."

But privately they're thinking, "CAN'T YOU JUST LEAVE US ALONE FOR ONCE -- GRANT US JUST A SHRED OF PERSONAL AUTONOMY, A TINY REMINDER OF THE TIME WHEN THERE EXISTED A FEW ZONES OF DISCRETION IN WHICH MEN WERE FREE TO WORK OUT WITH THEIR FELLOW-EDITORS WHETHER OR NOT TO APPLY A COMMA, ACCORDING TO THE DICTATES OF THEIR OWN CONSCIENCES? CAN YOU REALLY NOT SLEEP AT NIGHT, KNOWING THAT SOMEWHERE OUT THERE, EDITORS ARE DECIDING FOR THEMSELVES THE PLACEMENT OF COMMAS? MUST YOU DICTATE FUCKING EVERYTHING?"

As Hannah Arendt put is so well: "It is the inner coercion whose only content is the strict avoidance of contradictions that seems to confirm a man's identity outside relationships with others. It fits him into the iron band of terror even when he is alone, and totalitarian domination tries never to leave him alone except in extreme situation of solitary confinement. By destroying all space between men and pressing men against each other, even the productive potentialities of isolation are annihilated..." Or as John Stuart Mill -- himself a great lover of commas, so you can't dismiss him as a bleeding-heart, comma-omitting permissive corruptor of young punctuators -- said... Oh, never mind.

You say

Punctuation is not some flighty thing that you use when it feels right or the mood takes you (otherwise the MOS would be redundant).

Yes, if we can't prescribe and control every detail of usage and punctuation societal decay sets in and soon there is immorality, open homosexuality, interracial marriage, and baby murder.. Or perhaps I've misunderstood you?

The opposite of rigid prescription of everything isn't "flightiness" on everything; the opposite of rigid prescription on everything is measured guidance appropriate to the point being discussed:

  • Rigid prescription where truly appropriate.
  • Clear direction where experience shows people often go wrong
  • Enumeration of alternatives where choices are available
  • Universal advice to use common sense no matter what

That last point, BTW, is one of the first thing MOS says. I'm quite aware that there's a MOS rule requiring comma-after-year. And I'm telling you that removing it, or changing it to a short mention that opinions differ on this, would go a long way toward repairing the disdain many editors have for those parts of MOS which ridiculously overreach and overprescribe, thereby preserving respect for its important provisions on things that really matter.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]



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Handy stuff[edit]

ZAP! No user-serviceable parts inside.