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Welcome to Wikipedia! I am AstroCog.

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This user resides in the U.S. state of New York I live in the state of New York. I am a science teacher by profession. Editing Wikipedia and participating in the project is an ongoing hobby of mine. I find Wikipedia to be one of the most useful websites on the internet. Becoming an active editor requires practice and perseverance, but such effort is rewarded with a fulfilling community experience.

Five pillars[edit]

Are you a new editor? I think it would be valuable for you to familiarize yourself with the core principles of Wikipedia:

Blue pillar (1: Encyclopedia) Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia. It incorporates elements of general and specialized encyclopedias, almanacs, and gazetteers. Wikipedia is not a soapbox, an advertising platform, a vanity press, an experiment in anarchy or democracy, an indiscriminate collection of information, or a web directory. It is not a dictionary, newspaper, or a collection of source documents; that kind of content should be contributed instead to the Wikimedia sister projects.
Green pillar (2: NPOV) Wikipedia has a neutral point of view. We strive for articles that advocate no single point of view. Sometimes this requires representing multiple points of view, presenting each point of view accurately and in context, and not presenting any point of view as "the truth" or "the best view". All articles must strive for verifiable accuracy: unreferenced material may be removed, so please provide references. Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong here. That means citing verifiable, authoritative sources, especially on controversial topics and when the subject is a living person. When conflict arises over neutrality, discuss details on the talk page, and follow dispute resolution.
Yellow pillar (3: Free) Wikipedia is free content that anyone can edit and distribute. Respect copyright laws, and avoid plagiarizing your sources. Since all your contributions are freely licensed to the public, no editor owns any article; all of your contributions can and will be mercilessly edited and redistributed.
Orange pillar (4: Code of conduct and etiquette) Wikipedians should interact in a respectful and civil manner. Respect and be polite to your fellow Wikipedians, even when you disagree. Apply Wikipedia etiquette, and avoid personal attacks. Find consensus, avoid edit wars, and remember that there are 5,017,795 articles on the English Wikipedia to work on and discuss. Act in good faith, never disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point, and assume good faith on the part of others. Be open and welcoming.
Red pillar (5: Ignore all rules) Wikipedia does not have firm rules. Rules on Wikipedia are not fixed in stone, and the spirit of the rule trumps the letter of the rule. Be bold in updating articles and do not worry about making mistakes. Your efforts do not need to be perfect; prior versions are saved, so no damage is irreparable.

Wikipedia help[edit]

Helpful information for everything else can be found here:

Statement of Philosophy[edit]

I am here to contribute to the content, maintenance, and community culture of the encyclopedia. I originally started as an editor to improve a single article. It took two years, but that article was promoted to featured article status. Along the way, I learned how to edit, engage in civil discussions with other editors, and how to navigate the policy thicket of this website. I also learned how to do better library research, using databases and library collections to find source material.

Originally trained as a professional astronomer, I have a background and knowledge useful to projects involving science, particularly astronomy. I regularly contribute to discussions at WikiProject Astronomy, and I was the primary author of the notability guideline for astronomical objects. Writing the guideline, and shepherding it through the proposal and voting process allowed me to develop skills in diplomacy and argument building, as necessary for engaging in the culture of Wikipedia editors.

I am more interested in adding substantive content to the encyclopedia than in the busywork of minor edits, though I applaud and recognize the effort of those editors who fix grammar, spelling, and work tirelessly in the background on formatting, layout, infoboxes, etc. My relatively small edit count I think shows two things: While I edit regularly, mainly reverting vandalism and generally fixing pages on my watchlist, my best contributions come in spurts when I am engaged in a content project.

I believe strongly that Wikipedia should be comprised of information that is valuable to readers, and I have participated in deletion arguments for content that I think is unencyclopedic. Not every person should have a mainspace article. Not every rock or star in the cosmos should have a mainspace article. A tendency among some editors to create articles for, well, everything they come across, dilutes the encyclopedia, in my opinion. If this makes me a deletionist, so be it. I do agree with fellow editor DGG in that if a reader should find something useful if they search for it. However, what they find need not be an article. It could be a section of an article. It could be information in a list. My point is that not everything needs an article.

Because of its crowd-sourced nature , Wikipedia has lent itself to millions of articles on relatively esoteric and specific topics - depending on the interest of the particular editor. This is understandable. But this has had the unfortunate side-effect of creating a high number of articles pertaining to pop culture and niche phenomena (ships, planes, trains, hurricanes, etc) compared to what are considers vital articles for an encyclopedia. I admit to being a part of the problem, having edited many articles related to television and film. However, my involvement in Wikipedia encompasses many varied aspects of content editing and maintenance, and I think I do not ‘’always’’ limit myself to just those topics that are of immediate interest to me.

If the encyclopedia is to thrive and remain competitive in the future with other information sources on the internet, a strategic effort to strengthen its core, especially vital articles, must be sustained. Additionally, efforts to increase the number of female and minority editors ‘’who persevere’’ must continue. Education and outreach to new and potential editors must be sustained, especially in schools and public events.

Useful Tools[edit]

Ongoing Wikipedia Activity[edit]

Featured Articles[edit]

  1. Featured article The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. - With the exception of a few sentences, I researched and wrote this entire article, which was in bad shape when I found it.

Background of WP work[edit]

Pages I created[edit]




en This user is a native speaker of English.
ase-3 This user can communicate at an advanced level in American Sign Language.
Ring Nebula This user enjoys the subject of astronomy.
Spoorbaan houten dwarsliggers alphen aan den rijn.jpg This user is a railfan.
APP This user attends or is an alumnus of Appalachian State University.
MinnesotaGoldenGophers.png This user is a student or alumnus of the University of Minnesota.
MSUcolorvertlr.jpg This user attends or attended Montana State University.
BS This user has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics.
BS This user has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics.
MS This user has a Master of Science degree in Astrophysics.
MS This user has a Master of Science degree in Science Education.
Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomy This user is a member of
WikiProject Astronomy.
Wikiproject:Television This user is a participant of WikiProject Television.
Westernsfilm.png This user is a member of
Wikiproject Westerns
Delta-shield.png This user enjoys Star Trek.