|PinkAmpersand is away on vacation until December 29th and may not respond swiftly to queries.|
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Personal things that used to be expressed in userboxen
In real life I generally go by Tom, or "T. H. Kelly" when I want to look fancy. I'm 17 years old, gay, Jewish, depressed, and liberal. I was born in Washington, D.C., and after thirteen years of living in Massachusetts, now reside there again (for an as-of-yet-undecided length of time). I speak passable conversational French.
Some completely random things about me:
- My eyesight is so bad that, without my glasses, I have to lean in to my computer to see the words on the screen.
- I cried at the end of Independence Day, and almost did at the end of White House Down. That fucking flag-waving scene.
- The night of the 2012 election, I wandered around D.C. and got lost, until finally getting my bearings on the 1800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, where I found a Capital Bikeshare bike that had been left unlocked, and rode it past the White House. (Don't worry, I returned it to a station when I was done.)
- The prettiest thing I ever saw was a view of a city in Vietnam from the top of a mountain, where you could see the lights of cars flowing in and out of the city, through the rice paddies, in front of the remnants of a beautiful sunset. My cousin took a picture of it, but it didn't come out well. I'd happily go back there just to take that picture (though first I'd have to remember precisely which city it was.)
- I once watched all of Weeds in like two weeks.
- I think Tatiana Maslany is easily the best actress (or actor) on television.
- I met President Bush when I was little.
- There was once a guy who liked me, who I'd've had really good chances with, at a time when I was desparately searching for a boyfriend... and then he said something very unintelligent, and I cited Wikipedia to show him that he was wrong. He said you can't trust Wikipedia, and I think we've exchanged like 20 words since.
- I have a little piece of metal that fell off some of the anti-suicide/people-throwing-things metal mesh at the Eiffel Tower. Since it's the same color as the building itself, I like to say that I have a piece of the Eiffel Tower.
- I once lost $300 to a compulsive liar.
- I once stabbed my cell phone repeatedly with a pocket knife. It was a Samsung Blackjack, one of those old-fashioned incredibly thick phones, and to this day I think you could still place a call from it.
- During the First Gulf War, the current President of Iraq saved my father's life. Someday I'd like to meet that guy, since without him, I'd've never been born.
- I love the play Dog Sees God.
- I suffer from chronic nosebleeds. How come my non-serious medical issue has to present so spectacularly (picture cupped hands full of blood, and emergency clothes purchases), while my serious issue—depression—has to be subtle enough that people can ignore it at their leisure? Seriously, imagine if depression manifested itself the way nosebleeds do; I feel like people would have much more appropriate reactions to it.
- My best score on Countries of the World is 100% in 9 minutes, 12 seconds.
- I think the world is on course to becoming something similar to the Sprawl trilogy. All things considered, there are a lot of worse futures we could have.
Wiki(p|m)edia things that used to be expressed in userboxen
My feelings about Wikipedia's structure and my role in it are rather complex. My work here is often very gnomeish, and while I think behind-the-scenes folks often aren't given enough credit, I also think it's important to acknowledge that this is an encyclopedia. In many ways, I think we're a victim of our massive size: If you edit Wikibooks or Wikisource or Wiktionary or what-have-you, your job is pretty clear; anything unrelated to the project's goal is something you do in a little bit of your spare time. But we've grown so large that we wouldn't survive without people who spend their days doing "trivial" things like working on templates, adding categories, correcting typos, and fighting vandals and spammers. That said, I'd really like to actually write a DYK or a GA someday. Will I ever? Who knows, I'm a horrible procrastinator. But I really should, since that's what we're here to do.
In terms of cabal membership, I am a sysop and translation admin on Wikidata (verify), and a reviewer, rollbacker, and template editor here (verify). I have some other hats, including adminship on two Wikimedia test projects, but none that is really important. (Even my admin work on Wikidata is painfully boring; I think we could easily deter most hat collectors by giving them a mop there for a week, and seeing if they're still interested. Still, boring doesn't mean unimportant, and I love being able to play a role in the smooth running of a valuable project.) For details on those minor hats, and an overview of my global edits, see sulutil:PinkAmpersand.
- I strongly support the rights of IP editors, and think that when many people discuss IP editors and/or vandals, they forget what it's like to not be a Wikipedian.
- I think that the PROD system is broken, and that contesting a PROD should automatically trigger an AFD.
- I think that it should be possible to desysop an administrator with a 50% consensus of good-faith contributors, and I actually think that a lot of our other problems (RFA, criticism of ArbCom, trollishness, AN/I, etc.) would be lessened if we were to do this.
- I think that once it's been established that an editor is being seriously disruptive, the degree to which they've contributed should not play a significant role in the decision of how to respond to them. The most disruptive editor I've ever met had an absurdly high edit count on Wikidata (the project on which we came into conflict), and holds adminship here. I'd never really gotten the whole "no vested contributors" argument until I saw my fellow Wikidata admins argue that his edit count somehow mitigated his harrassing behavior. I understand the temptation to believe this, but once you've been on the receiving end of that kind of behavior, I think you'll see things my way as well. That said, I think that, up to a certain degree, it is acceptable to cut more experienced users some slack. The question is: Are they throwing around a few too many curse words, and being a bit unfriendly, or are they deliberately trying to make the project a worse place for other users?
- Speaking of my last point there... I think that, almost always, the worst personal attacks are the ones that don't contain profanity. If someone calls me a "fucking idiot" or a "faggot" (the latter of which you can see tons of examples of in my page's history, from my old vandalism-patrolling days), I can shrug it off easily; if someone calls me a "revoltingly pretentious narcissist who might as well do us all a favor and crawl back into whatever sewage-filled hole he oozed out of" (that's not a reference to any particular comment anyone's ever made, for the record), then that's gonna hurt my feelings. And if they say "whatever fucking sewage-filled hole", that's not gonna make it hurt much more.
- I think that homophobic trolls are cut more slack than racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic trolls, but at the same time I acknowledge that homophobia is more common in the English-speaking world than racism, sexism, or anti-Semitism. I also think that attempts to minimize our coverage of homosexuality comes from the fact that parts of our society have just re-packaged old-fashioned heterosexism as "It's so normal that no one should even talk about it", which is a logically untenable position, since there are fundamental differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals. (Anyone who's ever tried to find someone of the same sex to dance with at a high school dance knows what I'm talking about.)
- While I'm strongly opposed to outing anonymous contributors, I encourage all editors to free themselves from the shackles of anonymity. Openness makes the community stronger, and shows your commitment to contributing in good faith. I once summed up my views as follows:
what, are the inclusionists/deletionists/spambots gonna show up at my door with guns and machetes, Purge-style? Sure, there a few things I've said on here that might come back to haunt me in real life, but there's also a lot of stuff I've said in real life that might too. My on-and-off personal motto is "Never forget; never hide", and I try to stay true to that. Secrets are dumb.
I get stressed when I don't archive my talk page, so lately I've just removed some large chunks of it. As an incentive to get my archives in order, I'm removing all my barnstars for the time being. You can still see them in this page's history and my talk page's history, if you really care (which you don't).