User talk:Kiefer.Wolfowitz/Archive 27

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Archive 26 Archive 27 Archive 28

A statistical issue

Hi K.,

there is a statistical discussion at User talk:Geometry guy, where I am afraid I am spouting nonsense. When you have a few minutes, could you please have a look with a professional eye?

Best, Sasha (talk) 23:24, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi Sasha!
It was my pleasure pleasure! Predictably, I suggested that WMF authorize a randomized experiment with say 30 GA articles, of which half would be randomly promoted to FA and the others left at GA, for 1-2 months.
I of course can say that promotion will increase page views, certainly the first day, among regulars; it would be surprising whether it had any affect on the public. How much of a difference would make any difference in practice, to be worth discussing further?
It may be worthwhile to ask Google whether their algorithms ignore ratings....
Best regards,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 17:32, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Hi K.,
thanks! What you wrote is indeed a more important issue than what I was discussing with Geom. guy before. I think I understand the "randomised experiment" reasonably well (I do not know whether WMF would approve this, but this is a separate issue). The observational study is non-intrusive, but is probably much harder to do (properly). At least, it is now clear to me that an observational study (esp. one that is not very carefully performed) can not be used as a valid argument for/against changes in the FA process.
Sasha (talk) 01:40, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Dear Sasha,
The ASA and RSS guidelines for a first course in statistics emphasize the distinction between randomized experiments and observational studies. Empirically, randomized experiments are more reliable. For randomized experiments, inferences can use the objective probability distribution induced by the randomization design specified in the experimental protocol, rather than a subjective so-called "statistical model". (See first David A. Freedman's hardshell Statistics and secondly David S. Moore and George McCabe's softshell Into to the Practice of Statistics.)
Observational studies are essential for generating hypotheses, but then such hypotheses should be studied deductively: What are the consequences of the hypotheses? The consequences should be evaluated in thought experiments, etc. If the consequences seem likely and especially if other observational studies concur, then maybe it's time to do a properly randomized experiment, allowing statistical inference using objective probabilities.
Cheers,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 11:28, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
My thanks also to you both. I would like to add that I am not interested in using statistics to make an argument, and have strongly opposed TCO for doing so. In such a position, the protagonist chooses the experiments and the statistics in order to make their case.
I am interested instead in providing information. Of course there is always too much information, so we have to extract from it information that we believe is useful/informative. I accept the biases involved in deciding that, so I can only say what information I believe is useful/informative, and communicate what that is and why. Geometry guy 01:53, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Dear Geometry guy,
I am glad that you shall think about doing a properly randomized experiment.
Your statement about choosing experiments to prove an existing point seems cynical. If randomized experiments were so subjective and corrupt, how can you explain their success in improving agriculture, medicine, psychology, etc.? A Baconian experiment specifies the hypothesis and the outcome before the performance of the experiment. (There are discussions of experimental protocols in Hinkelmann & Kempthorne and in Rosemary A. Bailey, whose article has a picture with her wearing an association scheme dress!) The experimental protocol specifies exactly how the data should be analyzed, before the experiment is conducted.
Sincerely,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 11:28, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
You're tilting at shadows again KW, commenting on a position I do not hold and did not express. Remember this is text-based communication: understanding the text is hard enough, without looking for subtexts. I have actually already conducted randomized experiments, though perhaps not in a truly rigorous sense, as I lack the training. I'm on a journey here, rather than a mission. I may need to do some observational studies to understand what hypotheses interest me, but I will for sure not forget your advice about the merits of randomized experiments. Geometry guy 00:48, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

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Dear DPLbot,
You have better people skills than many administrators. Have you considered becoming a leader of RfA Deform 2011? There is a leadership vacuum....
Sincerely,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 12:35, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

The Signpost: 23 January 2012

Thanks for your comments

You are no doubt aware of the famous article by Barry M Staw, explaining how disastrous events like the Vietnam War can happen through escalation of commitment. This is something that happens at all scales, from the trivial to the global. At the more trivial end of the spectrum, I find that C. Northcote Parkinson offers hilarious yet informative reading. Geometry guy 23:59, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Onoes! The first thing I noticed about that article was the huge lack of inline citations, etc.! I've patrolled so many damned new pages that it seems I now can't read any article how a "normal person" would! OCD rules OK (and I resisted the temptation to multiple-tag it ;P ) Pesky (talkstalk!) 10:40, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

One of my favorite books is a Swedish conference proceedings, Surviving failures: Patterns and cases of project mismanagement (Bo Persson, ed.). It has great political essays by independent leftists:
  • Serge-Christophe Kolm's précis of his (French) "The Transition to Socialism", which emphasizes that every (actually existing) radically egalitarian government has failed, and been replaced either by "ballots or bullets",
  • Alec Nove on USSR economics and British universities (emphasizing classics) and British trade unions,
  • Alvin W. Gouldner on "nightmare Marxism",
  • a Finn on "Communist sado-masochism", about the eagerness to change one's beliefs (with the party line) and subject oneself to self- and mutual-criticism, etc.,
  • and a bunch of essays on the psychology and sociology of failures, discussing the Concorde, War gaming, etc.
The ideas you mentioned, of sunk costs, are emphasized by many writers.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 10:50, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
The current approach to creating / maintaining / improving the civility policy is a good (bad?) example of lock-in; the way it's currently (mis)managed is never going to be effective. Nobody Ent and I are having a very friendly and civil discussion over the inclusion or otherwise of one sentence; he's pointed out that of course civilised discussion is never going to achieve anything, and what we really need here is a damned good free-for-all snarkfest with the screaming hordes throwing insults at each other and bringing it to AN/I before anything could ever get done ... hehe! If ArbCom ever need an example as to why we need a dedicated rebuilding/rewording team on it, this is the one! Community-build of something like this is as ineffective and tortuous (torturous, as well) as ... hmmm ... can't think of a good example outside of Wikipedia ;P the rest of the world has already discovered that this doesn't work! Pesky (talkstalk!) 12:06, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
The organizational culture must change from monomaniacal rules-orientation to a total-quality management style focus on improving our product by empowering stake-holders (especially writers, but also readers as has been done somewhat with some of the new tools)---more anachronistically, we could try to emulate craft cultures with guild structure, apprentice journeyman, master, grandmaster, etc., with an appropriate system of increasing (reciprocal) powers and duties.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 13:25, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Good batting, Thinkman. Pesky (talkstalk!) 16:23, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
On second thoughts, if we're talking about "increasing duties", you can leave me out of it! Pesky (talkstalk!) 09:34, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
"With great powers come great responsibilities"(Nordic syntax, btw).(Everything I needed to know in life I learned from Stan Lee.)  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 12:21, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I want neither the powers nor the responsibilities! I'd rather have influence than power, any day. But that's just me. Pesky (talkstalk!) 12:36, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

The Signpost: 30 January 2012

Kvetching about administrators' double-standards

The 4 humors no doubt inspired the theories of quarternions and fundamental interactions.
Cosssacks writing their reply to the Sultan of Istanbul
Writing their "Civility enforcement" decision may provide less fun for Arbcom than did the drafting of the reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks:

As the Sultan; son of Muhammad; brother of the Sun and Moon; grandson and viceroy of God; ruler of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Upper and Lower Egypt; emperor of emperors; sovereign of sovereigns; extraordinary knight, never defeated; steadfast guardian of the tomb of Jesus Christ; trustee chosen by God himself; the hope and comfort of Muslims; confounder and great defender of Christians—I command you, the Zaporozhian Cossacks, to submit to me voluntarily and without any resistance, and to desist from troubling me with your attacks.

—Turkish Sultan Mehmed IV

"Thou art a Turkish imp, the damned devil's brother and friend, and a secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight art thou that cannot slay a hedgehog with your naked ass? The devil shits, and your army eats. Thou son of a bitch wilt not ever make subjects of Christian sons; we have no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee, fuck thy mother.

Thou art the Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, Armenian pig, Podolian villain, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, a fool before our God, a grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig's snout, mare's arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow, screw thine own mother!

increasingly bores even KW

Whether cause or symptom, the ArbCom Civility enforcement case has been associated with an increase in the (yellow) bile around Wikipedia....  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 17:52, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

From RfA Deform to RfA Reform...?

Kiefer dearest [hugz] – if you have some really good ideas on reducing the snark at RfA, and trying to make sure that those who are going to have a landslide and epic fail don't apply in the first place, consider joining us! You have an excellent mind, and input from what some people may see as "the other side of the fence" (provided that the input is constructively aimed at improving the whole RfA debacle, and not destructively aimed at bringing down peoiple who want to see it improved) would be incredibly useful. I particularly liked your idea at ArbCom that RfA could be made into a community-wide instant sanctions area for serious misbehaviour; no favourites, no scapegoats, same rules for everyone, and zero-tolerance for genuine incivility and personal attacks. (And an absolute veto on "oppose per cabal" votes!) Pesky (talkstalk!) 12:38, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Hi Pesky,
The main problem, as usual, is political. (I am glad that you have asked me, because you show your usual thoughtfulness and experience.)
RfA Reform/Deform is dead until it enlists the recognized leadership of a serious article writer, like the mighty Carrite, or Malleus, or SandyGeorgia, or Marek69, or Volunteer Marek, or Piotrus, or Geometry Guy. Having such a writer as a leader would make it hard for RfA Reform to be dismissed. Their proposals should at least get feedback and preferably support from recognized writers of content, to be worth the community's time.
RfA Deform has hurt itself in 2011 by its unsavory behavior at RfA towards Malleus, towards Keepscases, in my RfC, in the RfC against BadgerDrink, and in pushing for banning Malleus. I should have hoped that WTT and other RfA-Deform leaders would have stopped turning the current "Civility Enforcement" ArbCom case into another attempt to silence critical voices at RfA.
I think that RfA Deform must first engage in self-improvement and probably adopt a code of internal conduct and external conduct. (I am thinking of the groupthink at the RfA Deform talkpage followed by thuggish removal of Keepscases innocuous/unconventional question and mobbing of Keepscases on his talk page, which was probably worse than the most idiotic "external views" signed at BadgerDrink's RfC.) Its members should also stop writing or signing stupid things. (Similar efforts at cleaning house benefited U.S. conservatism, when William F. Buckley, Jr. and The National Review attacked the libertarian and racist/Agrarianist/anti-Semitic branches of conservatism, and so made conservatism welcome in polite society, according to the usually sharp John Judis.)
Right now, my assessment of RfA Deform is that it would be a waste of time to engage with them, unless they have leadership that strives to make Wikipedia and RfA Reform attractive to writers, even weirdos. Also, as I have been hinting recently, my time is more and more constrained, so I don't want to take on more non-writing roles. (Right now, I am tired of the non-mainspace part of WP, and am now acting to protect my friends against a self-destructive mob.)
Cheers,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 15:42, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Could you gradually make a shortlist of people you think should be included, who fit your criteria (sensible criteria, btw), who might be interested in nudging the current RfA Reform group into "more acceptable" lines from the view of the "anti-RfA Deform" people? There's been a lot of stats-gathering and background work, and some good ideas, which it would be a shame to waste. Having put together working groups in the past, I'm all too aware of the fact that for a group to be functional and effective it needs to include some seen-to-be-antagonists kind of people, who nonetheless share the same fundamental aims / goals. The ultimate aims of RfA Reform when it was first set up was to prevent people who'd be subject to mass pile-on opposes (for good reason) getting nominated, and to rein in the unnecessary snark (hmm .... is snark ever really necessary?) An injection of fresh blood with a somewhat different viewpoint but sharing the aim of cleaning up the unpleasant atmosphere (and addressing and eliminating the causes of that) could be extremely helpful. All groups become subject to a degree of groupthink after a while, and fresh blood can produce huge benefits in reducing any extremism. If you have time, maybe you could contact a few people who might possibly be interested? You're more likely to know who'd fit well for changing the effect and image of the group than I am, and as mother's dementia is now at the moderate/advanced threshold I have just as little time as you do, besides not being particularly acquainted with the "right kind of people". (Not to mention the fact that the right kind of people would be more likely to give serious consideration to an approach from you than to one from me ;P) heh!) No hurry, obviously, but worth a few minutes' thought from time to time. Pesky (talkstalk!) 08:30, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Hi Pesky,
An analysis of the political problems of RfA Deform should precede and largely inspire the selection of writers for leadership roles. I would suggest that SandyGeorgia by herself could calm the nerves of writers, if she argued on behalf of a change.
The deformers, even usually gentle Kudpung, seem to be freaking out about "incivility at RfA" when we have 90% approval rates for candidates who seem like nice people but who have never written much. Where in life does one have 90% success? Salespersons are happy with 30% or less success? One wonders about the experience of the deformers with dating? Perhaps the RfA deformers are all super-models, heirs and heiresses, or future Nobel/Fields medalists? I don't see a problem with 5 out of 50 people suggesting that the candidate wait 6 months and try to write more. On the contrary, I suppose that we should be glad to have a minimum expectation of maturity (emotional equilibrium) that our administrators are not so dependent on group approval that they are afraid of 5-10% of the voters raising objections.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 09:06, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think anybody really wants admins who don't have the level-headedness and emotional maturity for the job, or admins who don't have a clue about content work of one kind or another. I see a lot of use for admins who specialise in dealing with problems in one particular area (e.g. templates) as they are more likely to make good use of admin tools in that area than another editor who knows next-to-nothing about templates. Nobody should need to be frightened off by a reasonable oppose which is factual and rational; it's the snarky, snidey, NPA-violation opposes, and the pile-on opposes after one editor has said something untrue (or wildly exaggerated), either deliberately or not, when the pilers-on have done no research of their own and take the initial oppose as gospel and unvarnished truth ... that kinda thing, we need rid of. Some candidates are absolutely excellent and should clearly have been admins long ago (I'm thinking of people like Fluffernutter, here), and some candidates are the opposite, and shouldn't (yet / ever) be nominated. I have no problem at all with a number of people opposing on the grounds of lack of experience, that's fine, but some people are extremely good at gnoming around behind the scenes doing valuable work despite the fact that they aren't from-scratch article-writers, or even really writers at all. Gnomes can make excellent admins provided they have the required level-headedness and emotional maturity, and don;t bring their admin tools to bear in areas where they don't have much personal strength. If we could just get some editors to realise that there is no mandate (or even reason) for RfA to be an anything-goes free-for-all snarkfest, much of the problem would just disappear. Having it as an AE strict-sanctions area, applying to the entire community, would be extremely good. I personally liked my own idea of people not being allowed to !vote for a period after a genuine civility violation, with the period of non-voting being extended for each violation; I also really liked the ideas which came up of people having to acquire some kind of voting rights before weighing in there, and the idea of page clerks was also a good one. It's a huge subject; if we could get away from the "them and us" atmosphere which has developed around trying to improve it, and get a really representative team working together on improvement, putting aside (at least on the team pages!) all old enmities and wounds for the greater good, that would work. We could "fix" it. And I never was a supermodel, or an heiress, and unlikely ever to be a Nobel/Fields nominee, but I do care about the fact that the RfA arena is, at present, a thoroughly nasty one to walk into at times, even just to read what's going on there. Pesky (talkstalk!) 12:47, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

More thoughts

Hi KW - I noticed this thread whilst I was on my wikibreak and since I didn't have sufficient time/internet access, I made a note to comment. Before I begin, I'd like to apologise for the accusation of harassment, whilst I was feeling harassed by your comments I believe I over reacted due to the off-wiki stress of moving house. With that agreement above, I'm hoping we can move on. I'm hoping to get RfA Reform wrapped up 2012, there's been some very good research done, a few very resonable proposals which will be brought to the community to decide on them (even if I don't personally agree with them).
You mention above that the RfA Reform project is dead without an an article writer as a leader, though you and I disagree on what constitutes an article writer, I would love to see one of those names helping in the project - even as co-ordinator. However, since none of them has shown any interest in RfA Reform and they are all busy with other things, I'm not going to hold my breath. Please do feel free to nudge any of them though - I'm sure a comment from you would go down much better than one from me, since I haven't interacted with any particularly.
As for the unsavoury behaviour towards editors, I am actively trying to minimise this. For example, Keepscases, I did much research into his questions in the last quarter of last year, who removed them, how they were answered and so on. I don't believe I published it on wiki, though I could dig it up for you. From that, I came to the conclusion that Keepscases questions were not a major issue - and discussed that with a few of the editors who had issues with that user. I don't believe there has been any comments regarding Keepscases since, though I know there are still editors who are unhappy with the questions at RfA.
Regarding Malleus Fatuorum, I do endorse a topic ban from discussing administrators, as I believe that would remove the majority of problems and would be a much better solution than a blunt instrument like a block. Unfortunately, that does mean also topic banning him from RfA, which is a pity because his votes generally appear to be well worded (it's the comment's outside the votes, and the comments at WT:RfA which are problematic). In any case, that's a personal opinion, which I've explained with evidence at the the ArbCom case. If ArbCom choose to disagree, I'm not going to persue that further.
All in all, I'd love to see RfA Reform actually improve RfA - I'm not 100% it can, because of project wide failings, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. I'm hoping to do some work improving the de-sysop process too, I'd like to see a more clear system there too. Finally, would you mind laying off the "RfA Deform" comment? It belittles the project and only serves to make things more difficult, you are the only editor who uses that phrase - so I'd appreciate it if you could drop it. WormTT · (talk) 10:40, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

I am in a hurry.
Change the name from the question-begging RfA reform to something NPOV, like RfA Working Group.
C.f., Ralph Nader calling "tort reform" tort deform.
 Kiefer.Wolfowitz 13:13, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

GiantSnowman's RfA

Don't get me wrong, I'm every bit as anti-status quo as yourself. But with your current stance, you're very strongly implying that GS is a crap candidate, but that you daren't oppose him for fear that you might be banned. If you want to link this back to Malleus, then minus using the c-word it's the equivalent of saying "I think so and so is a useless cunt, but wouldn't dream of calling somebody that." While not a personal attack, it is close enough to one that sooner or later one admin or another will take it further, whether the letter of policy explicitly allows them to or whether they claim to be invoking the spirit.

For what it's worth, I suspect you already knew all that, and that it's your intention to poke holes in what is admittedly a subjective and inconsistently enforced area. I can't blame you; RfA and civility are both in a mess. It may very well be that there is no other way of drawing attention to the problems than in a demonstrative manner, and if that is the case then technically you can't break WP:POINT.

To be honest I don't really care how your actions work out for you, what concerns me more is that you might be playing into "RfA deform's" hands. —WFC— 18:07, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi WfC,
Thanks for writing.
Nobody is (even weakly) "implying that GS is a crap candidate". Would you explain your contrary assertion?
Editors have had little incentive to vote in a landslide like the current RfA, which now has 89 supports and no opposes or undecided. What difference does my vote make? The biggest difference is to improve my conformity to the majority, and so evade an attempt to ban me from RfAs, following previous muzzling attempts.
In the current ArbCom case, Malleus F has been urged to be banned in part because of his voting statistics. I am posing questions such as
  1. whether we wish to conduct RfAs under the cloud of such consequences?
  2. whether it is proper to argue for banning Malleus from RfAs because of discordant voting statistics, etc.?
I wish that such banning motions and such arguments should no longer appear on Wikipedia. (It would be proper to discuss allegations of violations of policy, of course, but I should have wished that such discussions were not focused on one target, for the sake of justice and productivity.)
Sincerely,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 19:52, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  1. Thanks for using "RfA deform", thereby providing a new counter-example to a recent assertion of WTT/David. ;D
  2. At RfA, you stated that you would reply here to "avoid further disruption". This is rather loose use of "disruption", which is a blocking offense, particularly when this candidate has 100% support. I have posed the question before of whether RfA candidates should have fragile egg-shell personalities or whether RfA should exhibit the tolerance that exists in democratic fora in free socities (e.g., "public comment" sections ending city-council or school-board meetings).
I wish that your description of the reasoning and behavior of some administrators were false: However, dumb mistakes can be corrected by administrators with sense. 20:27, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Administrative leaning on non-administrator


As the header on my talkpage should clearly indicate, I'm no member of the imagined "civility police"; regardless, this is completely beyond the pale. If you really don't know what Kudpung's name means, I'd be quite happy to enlighten you, but if I saw a new user make a comment like that I'd have immediately indeffed the account as a troll. Had I seen it closer to when it happened, I might have just blocked you then, but I don't think that would be fair this far after the fact. Don't do that again. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:09, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I have believed that Kudpung's name referred to a Thai village, but have no interest in his name. I have no idea to what the other editor was referring when he/she wrote "Saint Kud of Pung". My comment asked for an explanation, and I suggested the most likely homonyms of Kud and Pung known to me.
To understand that my suggestion need not be pure evil, the reader is invited to read discussions of double entendres involving 1200s vikings and cunt on Malleus's page. Medievalists can make jokes in 20 languages.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 19:07, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Have you blocked Kudpung for his recent trolling?
 Kiefer.Wolfowitz 18:36, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Now that's a really daft question KW, of course not. He's an administrator and you're today's (supposedly) soft target who isn't. Malleus Fatuorum 18:47, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
No, I haven't, lest I have to block everyone else involved (not going to single anyone in particular out, I'm pretty sure you can discern who I mean). I'm not interested in being dragged before ArbCom right now. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:45, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Are you referring to me, the target of Kudpung's recent trolling? Malleus Fatuorum 18:49, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Given that it's your talkpage, not you specifically. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:50, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) What does "not me specifically" mean exactly? So Kudpung comes to my talk page and starts throwing around unsubstantiated accusations and your first thought is to block me? Nice! Malleus Fatuorum 19:02, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
If you had bothered to read what I said, I wouldn't block you. It's your talkpage, and I think users should get a lot more leeway on their own talkpages. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:11, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
No, I haven't, lest I have to block everyone else involved (not going to single anyone in particular out, I'm pretty sure you can discern who I mean). I'm not interested in being dragged before ArbCom right now. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:45, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
First, if you are discharging your duty, why do you care about being dragged before ArbCom? You have a very low opinion of ArbCom and your fellow administrators if you are worried about leaving a note on Kudpung's talk page that he should not behave like a child needing milk, cookies, and a nap, by leaving a nasty note on Malleus's talkpage and then saying he's taking a Wikibreak.
First is enough.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 18:52, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I have a fairly low opinion of ArbCom. I also don't want to see Kudpung leave, because he has done a lot of great work (i.e. he was one of the driving forces behind getting WP:ACTRIAL worked out before the WMF decided they knew more than us about what we do) and we need all the help we can get. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:57, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Be that as it may, ArbCom is an intellectual utopia in comparison to Wikipedia.
I suspect that you are tired. In the morning, you shall read your note, and your admission of bias in not reminding Kudpung to return to his habitual civility, with a more self-critical eye, I believe.
Best regards,
 Kiefer.Wolfowitz 19:00, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Of course I'm biased; everyone in any given situation is, and I know where my sympathies lay. New Page Patrol is an extremely broken process, and I don't want to see one of the few people trying to pick up the pieces driven away by people who refuse to recognize the good he's done here. I can list plenty of things he's done outside of RfA reform that you'd have a hard time disagreeing with, and to be so vitriolic towards him isn't going to help anything. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:04, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
good. encourage him to do more good works. Encourage him not call for banning our best editors on BS charges, and then violate NPA and bait said editor before announcing a wikibreak. Aren't you shocked at his recent behavior? (I am. I had considerable respect for him previously.)  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 19:16, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I can say I was somewhat surprised. I've had a little off-wiki conversation with him, and he's trying to decompress. Hopefully he'll be back at full-strength; I don't know how much you know about the ACTRIAL and the IEP fiascos, but those have badly drained us; the WMF people have contributed greatly to this as well. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:19, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Kudpung's other hats were somewhat known to me. I remember him being articulate and standing up on behalf of the English Wikipedia against the WMF, with authority based on his knowledge and dedication, at least in the WP Newspaper coverage.
Well, I suppose his perspicacity and self-knowledge are far better than most of ours, and we should be thankful that he knew enough to take a Wikibreak only an hour later than he needed to. Most of us probably wait weeks too long.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 19:45, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────[Pesky offers either soothing hugz or suffocation-by-cleavage] Though I haven't had any private communication with him, I'm sure Kudpung's a bit burnt-out. He's been doing a lot. ACTRIAL and IEP has been responsible for a lot of editor-stress (I can immediately think of one other very experienced editor who still goes up in smoke about ACTRIAL, and, from my view, quite justifiably). And I now feel creepingly guilty for not having been doing my share at NPP [Pesky cringes and tries to find sofa to hide behind] I will try to get back to it. Blade, you must be not far off burning out, too, I think. I think WikiStress has got to a lot of people recently. Pesky (talkstalk!) 08:38, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm doing better than you might think; Burmese articles keep me going. When I need a quiet moment, I edit Zoya Phan, and that always gets me back on track. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:57, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I used to find helping editors at GA whose first language wasn't English to be quite therapeutic. By and large they were committed and knowledgeable about their subjects, just needed a bit of help with some of the commas; Santikhiri comes to mind. Same with the Singapore editors and their articles, but they seem to have drifted away ... Malleus Fatuorum 03:17, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Although the forms of politeness change, the extreme politeness of Asian and many Pacific civilizations is refreshing. It is also refreshing for me to detect delicate occasional sarcasm or irony among Chinese friends.
Nothing beats an evening of Gamelan!
Born-again or even church-going Christians are usually very nice, much nicer than one would expect watching Swedish public television's documentaries about the U.S.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 10:34, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Y'know, I still haven't been able to work out whether the Wikipedia Script was written as a surrealist modern tragedy, a cautionary tale, or a sitcom; nor whether my own part is that weird genius in the basement, the disposable security officer who gets killed within seconds of beaming down, Falstaff, or just yer bog-standard cameo appearance or comic relief ... Perhaps, when all's said and done, I'll turn out to have been Gaspode, after all ... Pesky (talkstalk!) 10:57, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Use diffs when commenting on edits

A general request

Hi Kiefer - this is just a general request when you are commenting on conflicts. It would help greatly if you (a) presented diffs and (b) adopted a more neutral tone. In the various comments that have been made recently you have raised a number of potentially valid and serious issues, but it is very hard for me to unscramble what is going on without diffs. Also by making statements that clearly indicate your position on a matter, you only give others the opportunity to escalate the rhetoric, which achieves nothing. The evidence always speaks for itself. Regards Manning (talk) 02:01, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi Manning,
I don't provide diffs when they have already been provided. The first diff presented was the one in which L said that female editor SG should get a boyfriend or a dog or otherwise have contact with the real world.
No explanation can be given for such a sexist insult, but it was kind for ANI to give the opportunity, indeed many and probably too many opportunities, for L to retract and apologize for the statement(s). Diannaa's statements bordered on enabling behavior or surrealism.
I do not adopt a neutral tone when editors are subjected to e.g. racist, sexist, or anti-semitic insults. You may start an RfC requiring editors use a neutral tone when responding to WP:NPA violations with such group insults, which the present policy singles out as particularly objectionable, if you wish to have this be a policy or guideline.
Sincerely,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 13:41, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I didn't even look at that kerfuffle; KW I agree in the broadest sense that it was "sexist", simply because it referred to the gender of the proposed partner, but (remember I haven't read the thread!) telling a man/boy he should get a girlfriend or a dog or a life would be just the same. From that one phrase alone, it's not what I'd see as demeaning-to-women. Now if someone had said "Go back to your knitting, it's all your good for," that would have annoyed me!
Manning does have a fair point (ish) about the way you word things; because I "know" you, as 'twere, I take the trouble to read underneath the Kieferism and see what your actual points are, and they're generally very sound. But I think maybe other editors take one look, think "Oh, that's KW going off on one again ...", and maybe don't take the trouble to understand your underlying points. Which is a shame, really. Pesky (talkstalk!) 09:00, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
My time is short, so I would rather invest time in sweetening my notes to newcomers. Lis a Brazilian lawyer, hardly to be cowered by my remarks.
I would be more receptive to your concerns if they were stated after agreeing with me that L was out of line. Let me spell out my reasons for viewing his statement with contempt:
  1. Consider remarks to the effect that L should get a girlfriend (or boyfriend). In general, that is bad advice for straight women, most of whom answer that they are happier outside of relationships. (And there are more women then men, so the utilitarian argument fails to support heterosexual relationships.) I am happy that I am an outlier, as you can imagine from beholding my saintly behavior here.
  2. If in the 1980s Morrisey had listened to such advice, instead of listening to his inner muse "I know I am unloveable", then Manchester and world music would have been poorer. Narcissistic celibacy may be necessary for some celebrities.
I was once one of two men in a lecture hall (in the last row!) in which Mary Daly began by invoking the moon, etc. At one point, she told how her group of (all female) friends was having dinner, when a man came up and began to join them by asking, "Are you here alone?" In particular, some women don't want male partners, and shouldn't be given idiotic advice about their personal lives by puppies walking on their ears in their first steps along the path of condescension.
I'm in a hurry now, so I won't sweeten this. My back is sore and time is short.
Best regards,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 00:56, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Good points; well made. [Pesky offers long-distance back massage] Pesky (talkstalk!) 10:42, 31 January 2012 (UTC)


Could make a preacher cuss