This user has administrator privileges on the English Wikipedia.
This user has bureaucrat privileges on the English Wikipedia.
This user has been editing Wikipedia for at least fifteen years.
This user is a WikiDragon.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This user is no longer very active on Wikipedia.
Anscombe's quartet, a beautiful and elegant case for always visually inspecting your data.

Thoughts on editing


My philosophy in Wikipedia is "No data is better than garbage data." In statistics you know you cannot extrapolate too much from nothing; but given something, one is tempted to build complicated statistical models. Same with Wikipedia; I would rather have a smaller set of useful, verifiable (and verified), clean articles than a large set of borderline trash. This does not mean I prefer to throw out the baby with the bathwater; if an article is sufficiently notable, and has room for improvement, it should be kept. Unfortunately, in my experience, I have found that to be the exception, and not the rule. ` For every article like V. Kalyanasundaram, there are a hundred others that are blatant advertisement, or {{db-bio}}'s.

Updating references

One of my favorite wiki-pastimes is to find an article which is poorly referenced, and to update it with proper, and perhaps better, citations, like St. Petersburg paradox [1] and Anti-Zionism [2].


I am also a very strong believer in having sources in articles, and quoting them. When an article is unsourced, by nature it is suspect. If it can point to a verifiable source, it is as if it says "Go ahead, check it out." We need more articles of the latter type. There are too many unsourced, or poorly sourced articles that people may take for real research on Wikipedia.

Humorous edits

Every once in a while, I come up with an edit which I (and usually only I) find funny.

Thoughts on sysop and bureaucrat nominations

This is an essay. It is not a policy or guideline. Please update the page as needed, or discuss it on the talk page.

Over my time here in Wikipedia, as an editor and then an admin, I think I have finally crystallized my thoughts on RFAs and RFBs. In a nutshell, a request for adminship/bureaucratship is a request for the community to comment on the judgment and trustworthiness of the individual under discussion. Do we feel that the candidate will uphold wiki policy and guidelines where they exist, and will make reasoned decisions where policy and guideline is vague?

Wikipedia seems to have a tendency to regress to number counting and cold statistical analysis when faced with difficult decisions. See Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship/Archive 79 for a prime example, although there are many others. Personally, I think that is an error. Anything that can be relegated to nothing more than bean-counting can, and should, be handed off to bots. We have admins and bureaucrats in Wikipedia because there are times we need a human being to make a decision. Usually, those times are when the decision will be unpopular. When we opine on RfAs, RfBs, and ArbCom elections, we are actually saying "we trust so-and-so's judgment, and are willing to allow him or her to make the difficult decisions."

Of course, egregious behavior needs to be addressed, which is why we have WP:ANI and WP:RfAR. Further, it is always a good idea for the admin or b'crat in question to discuss difficult issues beforehand, but that is not a requirement. Exercising judgment is what we ask our admins and b'crats to do, and if that judgment is exercised in a non-capricious, impartial, and reasoned fashion, we cannot fault them for that.

Ask yourself before you opine on a RFA/B/etc., "do I trust this person's judgment?" Then if you do, while you may disagree with it, and post vociferously why so when that occurs, remember that is why you placed your opinion on their nomination. And if you don't, then you should have acted on that during the nomination process.

Maintenance work

English Wikipedia administration-related

I used to be a checkuser and oversighter for the English Wikipedia, and served on Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Audit Subcommittee. However, due to real life, I find I have less time to volunteer, so I have returned those privileges. I remain an administrator and bureaucrat.

Administrative statistics
Crat statistics
Action Count
Edits 49348
Edits+Deleted 54531
Pages deleted 1865
Revisions deleted 138
Logs/Events deleted 33
Pages restored 167
Pages protected 224
Pages unprotected 46
Protections modified 27
Users blocked 1353
Users reblocked 91
Users unblocked 142
User rights modified 197
Users created 21
Abuse filters modified 22
Users renamed 964

Bureaucrat activity

Cross-wiki support

I was a steward of the Wikimedia Foundation between 2010 and 2018, and have served as an oversighter and sysop on the Wikimedia Commons and as a sysop on Meta. I served as a member of the Wikimedia ombudsman commission during 2014 and 2015. Due to real life demands on my time, I have returned all of those privileges. I remain a global renamer to support my continued role as a bureaucrat.

Identity and secure communication

Unified login: Avraham is the unique login of this user for all public Wikimedia projects.

If a key is signed by this one, it means that I have either met face-to-face or performed an encrypted challenge-response with the user.

The fingerprint of this key is 167C 063F 7981 A1F6 71EC ABAA 0D62 B019 F80E 29F9

Committed identity: 19cb1cb9cc3170fe56da8484ac1e1e62a69fde78ebfdcfad7fad73031deb2b6d2e62b6a539587d29241b4d5f763e21a4e04621bd274f01cc0b9dc8f7535c1f7a is a SHA-512 commitment to this user's real-life identity.

Doppelgänger accounts


49,000+This user has made more than 49,000 contributions to Wikipedia.
+This user likes getting friendly notices.
This user is a WikiDragon. of the last of a dying breed...

Barnstars and other thoughtful gifts

The Working Man's Barnstar
Your dedication to the nightmarish task of updating the sources on circumcision is positively stunning. Hence this barnstar. Jakew 20:47, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
A Barnstar!
The Barnstar of Good Humor

For your attempt to cool down the discussion at [3] :-). --Kim Bruning 20:04, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
The Random-Acts-of-Kindness Barnstar
When I changed user names and was inadvertantly locked out of editting, you tried over and over to help me over a sustained period of time until final success. I really appreciate it. Thank you. LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 04:52, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
The Random-Acts-of-Kindness Barnstar
Thanks for going to bat for my little effort re: Deborah Frisch. Sinsblog 14:44, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
The RickK Anti-Vandalism Barnstar
I award you this barnstar for your tireless and effective vandal combat. Best regards. Payple--Payple 15:40, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Avraham has been identified as an Awesome Wikipedian,
and therefore, I've officially declared today as Avraham's day!
For being such a beautiful person and great Wikipedian,
enjoy being the Star of the day, dear Avi!

00:22, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

A record of your Day will always be kept here.

The Half Star of Cooperation. For your cooperation alongside Fayssal at WP:CSN.
The admins' T-shirt. Acalamari 22:22, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The Barnstar of Good Humor
Aprils fools day was a blast. Loads of users lightened up to have good old fashion fun. I want to thank you for taking part in editing this page in particular and even though I may not know you, embrace the same talk pages, or even edit with you in the near future, I'd like to award you this Barnstar for making Wikipedia a fun environment in which to contribute. Until next year. :) SynergeticMaggot (talk) 13:40, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
The da Vinci Barnstar
I'm thoroughly delighted to offer this barnstar (of which I have never crossed paths with before) to Avraham for excellent work in almost every area on en.wp. Apparently this barnstar is to be awarded to those that oil the Wikipedia cogs well and perform their functions brilliantly. This then, is well deserved. Seraphim Whipp was our last nominee (and only child to date :P) but I hear we have a new one… :) Rudget (review) 09:08, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
The Socratic Barnstar
For your great answers and communication with other users throughout the RfB. Acalamari 20:47, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
is hereby awarded to Avi for being so kind and wasting his precious WP time resolvng my archiving problems. brewcrewer (yada, yada) 22:32, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Avraham has been identified as an Awesome Wikipedian,
and therefore, I've officially declared today as Avraham's day!
For being such a beautiful person and great Wikipedian,
enjoy being the Star of the day, dear Avi!


A record of your Day will always be kept here.

Civility Award
For being kind enough to solve the mystery of my 3 deletes. It put my mind at rest that I had not done incorrect edits, as such. BSTemple (talk) 17:32, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
For defending the Values of Wikipedia----mbz1 (talk) 16:46, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
The E=mc² Barnstar
For your simply awesome work on Nicholas Metropolis LoveMonkey (talk) 14:22, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
The Admin's Barnstar
Thanks for sticking around at SPI even though the bot is down. It's more work, with suddenly less clerks and CUs, so thanks! Nathan T 12:21, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
The Resilient Barnstar
For patiently and persistently explaining policy and guideline, for putting up with an awful lot of abuse in the process, and for the boundless good humour that I've come to see as characteristic of you, I think you've earned this Resilient Barnstar. Jakew (talk) 19:00, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
The Anti-Spam Barnstar
Many thanks for your tireless efforts at SPI, keeping Wikipedia clear of abuse and other nonsense.--Hu12 (talk) 16:10, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Avraham, Thank you for the way you and the other Crats are handling the RfB . . . regardless of the outcome.

Thanks Again - Ret.Prof (talk) 23:16, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
Awarded to Avraham for his willingness to sacrifice of his time and for his extraordinary efforts making Wikipedia a safe and fair place to write and edit and for ensuring total fairness whenever the tide of unreason rears its misguided head. Whenever the applecart may be up-ended Avraham will judge fairly and set it straight. Congratulations! IZAK (talk) 01:22, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
The Barnstar of Integrity
I was looking over a couple of your edits, and was really impressed by them, especially the diff on the "Anti-Zionism" article that you linked to from your user page. This is such a difficult and polarized issue, and I cannot even tell what you personally believe from your very neutral and excellent edits, which greatly improved the quality of that article. I was also impressed by your participation in the debate over whether User:Palestine Remembered should be blocked, because I think that too often users with strong points of view get blocked when they are willing to constructively work on improving the quality of the encyclopedia. Well done, you seem to be a great Wikipedian with a remarkably even temper. CordeliaNaismith (talk) 01:35, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
The Invisible Barnstar
Thank you for all you do that the general public does not see Moxy (talk) 20:44, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
The Special Barnstar
For being willing to act as a mentor, despite the difficulty it would entail. While it is unfortunate that the mentorship was not allowed to progress, and the user in question reverted to actions that caused the blocks in the first place, your willingness to extend the offer of help and put yourself in an uncomfortable position to try and better the English Wikipedia project is a testament to your character and a asset to the project. Thank you. -- Spartaz Humbug! 16:26, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
The Helping Hand Barnstar
This is technically for people helping "new editors" but thank you for your recent assistance. The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 01:40, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for always having been civil, for not having filled the conversation with ad hominems, or misquoted/misread either Talk or sources, or refused to give straight answers. I wish you well and enjoy seeing your contributions on Wikipedia in other articles. In ictu oculi (talk) 11:41, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
For fixing my top icons, which is of course the job stewards are meant to do... :) Cerejota (talk) 00:19, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your leadership.PumpkinSky talk 07:47, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
The Civility Barnstar
Good job on keeping a cool head with this age situation. It's starting to give me a headache. Skamecrazy123 (talk) 03:46, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
The Bureaucrat's Barnstar
Time and time again, the bureaucrats of en-wiki demonstrate their levelheadedness and expertise. Like an anesthesiologist in an operating room, you spend most of your time screwing around reading a magazine, but stand ready to spring into action when needed, only to fade into the background once your important work is done.

Or perhaps that's more like Batman? Whatever your preferred metaphor, I am consistently impressed by the bureaucrat corps. Thank you for your service. HiDrNick! 12:46, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

The Civility Barnstar
Just wanted to thank you for your top work clerking this RfA. You ventured into the unknown, and it was hardly a walk in the park (even as RfA goes!) While redactions can always be contentious, I think you dealt with the whole process very well, and managed to keep things on track and pretty civil. Thanks! Harrias talk 19:26, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Hawkeye7 RfA Appreciation award
Clerking is not easy. You handled it well. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:18, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Your clerking works so well that the disruptive minority had to use cheap metaphors to describe it. Well done.

Esquivalience t 02:25, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Your work here is greatly admired by me. Yo have done a lot for the community and the world. You strictly deserve something more than this which I am currently unable to find! Thank you so much! VarunFEB2003 11:48, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
The Admin's Barnstar
Thank you for your well-reasoned, thoughtful closing of the recent ANI discussion based on consensus and policy. What a polarized discussion (and one so lengthly that it seemed unapproachable), but you exemplified the levelheadedness of bureaucrats on Wikipedia. Appable (talk | contributions) 05:44, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
Ten years!
Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:25, 30 December 2018 (UTC)