User:The Ungovernable Force
I'm not too active anymore, but pop in from time to time
My username is taken from one of my favorite albums--The Ungovernable Force by the anarcho-punk band Conflict (a review of the album can be found here). In addition to anarcho-punk, I listen to a bit of crust and folk punk. My username is sometimes shortened to "TUF" (and sometimes even "UGF") by other editors, which is understandable since it's long. I would prefer "Force" or "Ungovernable" though. Actually, "The" would be cool too. I have no alternate accounts, and I rarely edit as an anon (when I do, it's probably because I'm logged out without knowing it). I did edit as an anon off and on for several months before setting up my account on December 31, 2005.
Wanted: Dead or Alive!Thewolfstar (talk · contribs), RJII (talk · contribs) or Hogeye (talk · contribs).
Wikipedia Politics and Philosophy
First off, I don't know about all of the wikipedia editing philosophies that people talk about, largely due to my never looking into it that much. I think the two main ones are probably Deletionist and Inclusionist, and based on the names I'd say I'm in the latter category. I tend to like including more information than less, and this is connected in some ways to my views on objective truth (see below).
My first (and so far only) major journey into the politics of wikipedia was as a result of the userbox purge of February. As the issue was just heating up I wrote the Consensus Manifesto, which has been signed by 60 people so far (including myself). Although it was written in the context of that particular debate, I tried to address many of the generalized problems I had seen with the projects' functioning, and I stand by what I said.
At the same time, I do understand that this debate is pretty much settled, in the sense that most of the userboxes brought to Deletion Review nowadays have their deletions endorsed. I believe that this is not necessarily that bad, since people are still allowed to substitue the templates on their userpages. I really don't care whether userboxes are kept in the template space all that much as long as people are allowed to express their opinions in the userspace as they please. I am afraid that this deletion of userbox templates could lead to a general curtailing of expression in user space as well though, which makes me a little concerned. Of course, this is a slippery slope with no independent justification, but still....My other complaint with the current deletion of userboxen as templates is that only some are deleted, while many are still there. Although there is a steady stream of deletion for userbox templates, I think that if they are going to be deleted, then we should get it over with.
I have more I want to write later, but I'm out of energy on this topic. I plan on adding my thoughts on appropriate sources (should be expanded), policy creep (good and bad), apathy amongst editors (bad, but somewhat understandable), and notability (standards should maybe be expanded in some situations, especially with regard to independent music artists). I might make this wikipolitics thing a subpage, because it's getting long.
Objective Truth and World Views
Warning: Insane rant ahead, proceed with caution! This is a topic that has gotten me into numerous debates with others, both here and in the real world. I think I should do what I can to clarify and explain my position on the idea of truth. I would love to discuss/debate these ideas with others, so if any of this interests you at all, please drop me a line on my talk page.
First off, I am merely an amateur philosopher, with little formal training (two summer courses in philosophy at community college, and a month in my high school philosophy club, if you can call that formal). I do however have a good deal of interest in many areas of philosophy and spend way too much time thinking of weird things. These are my thoughts on epistemology (and perhaps some other stuff).....
I do not believe there is any objective truth. As far as I'm concerned, nothing can be proven beyond any doubt. As such, it is pretty hard to say something is definitely true. Most people reading this can confidently say "wikipedia exists" and believe this to be objective truth. But is it? Are you sure you're not just dreaming? Or perhaps this entire world is a fabrication designed to deceive you (ever seen The Matrix?).
In no way does this mean that I do not make judgments about the truthfulness of things, or that I never take positions on debated topics--I'm taking one right now, and as you might be able to tell from the rest of my user page, I am highly opinionated. To not make decisions regarding what is and is not true will lead to an absolute lack of, well, anything--everything would be so uncertain that there would be no point to living. Obviously this causes serious problems. Basically, we do need to make numerous judgments on what is and isn't true, but we should be careful with our conclusions and should question everything. Nothing should go without a serious examination (of course this is impossible, we have to take some things for granted, but this idea should always be kept in the back of our minds). We need to be mindful of why we believe what we believe, and should try to understand why others believe what they believe. We should also be willing to reevaluate our decisions and should try to keep an open mind.
A common argument on wikipedia is that _____ should not be included because it is "merely an opinion". As far as I'm concerned everything is an opinion. A fact is nothing more than an opinion that most people agree on (or an opinion where the people holding it are viewed as superior to the people holding a competing opinion--in other words, an opinion held by the elite). Conservative Christians hold that creation is a fact, whereas scientists hold that evolution is a fact (btw, I agree with the scientists). Both groups are just as convinced that they have truth on their side. So who's right? I think society as a whole (at least in my cultural and geographic region) would agree with the scientists, since most people hold that opinion and because scientists are often viewed as an elite class, higher than your average fundamentalist Christian.
But what's the real difference? The answer comes down to world views. Christians have one and scientists have another. The scientific world view is based on what can be perceived and quantified in our world, whereas the Conservative Christian (and religious world views in general) are based more on qualitative assumptions of varying degrees of reliability. Neither is perfect--religion (especially fundamentalist religion) makes absurd claims with no perceivable proof, whereas science will overlook anything that is currently unable to be measured or seen. Personally, I would err on the side of science in this case, since there is some rationality to it, as opposed to most religious world views which are often based on nothing but sheer speculation and crazy claims (though there are some exceptions in my opinion, including "shamanism", and various branches of neopaganism, all of which do seem seriously concerned with the pursuit of knowledge). The more fundamentalist the religion, the more absurd the justifications for it are (c'mon, do you really want to base everything you believe on a book that has been compiled, edited and translated by countless human beings, often with clear intent to influence society and politics, for roughly the last 2000 years?)
The question then becomes, "what world view is wikipedia operating under?". As far as what we consider "true", we tend to present what most academics would consider to be the truth. Our world view is an academic one. Is this right? I can't say for sure, but I do think it's better than what it could be.
Selected Pages on My Watchlist/Stuff I've Worked On
Note: Yes, there are racist groups on this list. No, I'm not racist.
Articles I've Created
General Topics of Interest and Knowledge
Ideas, Concepts and Phenomena I Find Interesting
Note: Just because I find an idea interesting doesn't mean I agree with it. Some of these I don't agree with or like. If you want my stance on any of them, ask. This list is not exhaustive and is in no particular order.
This page has been vandalized numerous times. Some have been humorous, other have just been annoying.
Now, just to be fair, I'll admit I vandalized a user's page once too, so yeah, no one's perfect.
Biases (and other random stuff)
I'm a fairly open-minded anarchist. I take influence and inspiration from most types of anarchism, from anti-civilization and post-leftist politics, to traditional syndicalist and communist strains. I can accept just about anyone regardless of their opinions or beliefs, with the notable exceptions of blatant racists, sexists, heterosexists, and judgmental religious fundamentalists.