User:BRG

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A notice to anyone who sees this page[edit]

As of today, March 7, 2010, I am cutting back on my Wikipedia work greatly. I am deeply distressed with many of the things that are happening on Wikipedia, and I am simply tired of getting into arguments with people who actually think these changes are good.

When Wikipedia was started, there had been a previous attempt to create an online encyclopedia called Nupedia. It was a failure, and the people who had been trying to create Nupedia transferred their energies to Wikipedia. The reason it failed was clear. Trying to institute the procedures of a conventional encyclopedia, such as Britannica, to the Web did not work; the Wikipedia model, with everyone who had expertise on a subject able to contribute, and contributions by people who didn't know what they were talking about being revised by those who did, was a far better way to do it.

But now people, in their misguided zeal to make Wikipedia a more trustworthy reference, are killing it, unknowingly. By introducing such concepts as "reliable source" and "notability," the people who have taken it upon themselves to give Wikipedia a direction are doing immeasurable harm to what used to be a good thing. For example, "personal web pages" are not "reliable," despite the fact that nearly all references on Wikipedia have been to such, so that just about no article really qualifies by their lights. And "notability" arguments are so draining -- notability is really in the eye of the beholder, and anyone who really believes otherwise is totally misguided.

I cannot give up editing Wikipedia; it's still something I feel a need to do. But it's not the fun it used to be, so I will be doing much less. Perhaps if someone starts a new project that is what Wikipedia used to be, I may shift my efforts there, but there really isn't such a project.

Back to my previous user page[edit]

Hi! I've actually been around much longer than my registry would indicate. I first started contributing without registering, and many of my earlier contributions are simply shown as from 64.26.98.90 as a result.

When I first registered in May of 2003, I couldn't think of much to put here, so I just put in a list of some of the articles I've created or substantially edited. Now, in July of 2005, I've had a chance to look at some other people's User pages, so I'm finally getting around to putting something more.

This editor is a Senior Editor and is entitled to display this Rhodium Editor Star.

Gnome-help-browser.svg This user rescues articles for the Article Rescue Squadron.
Wikipedia:Babel
en This user is a native speaker of English.
de-1 Dieser Benutzer hat grundlegende Deutschkenntnisse.
fr-1 Cet utilisateur peut contribuer avec un niveau élémentaire de français.
Wikipedia Wikipedie
Me skripte kontributiones por li Novial Wikipedie.

I support Novial language Wikipedia with my contributions.
Search user languages
en-us-n This user is a native speaker of American English.
General description
Male.svg This user is male.
73 This Wikipedian is 73 years, 10 months, and 20 days old.
ISTJ This user's MBTI type is ISTJ.
GOP
This user supports the
United States Republican Party
Star of David.svg This user is Jewish.
Geography
Flag of New York City.svg This user was born in New York City.
  This user lives in Maryland, but is not a native Marylander.
Flag of Maryland
Musical preferences
Musical notes.svg This user is a traditional pop music lover.
fan-3 This user loves Doris Day.
fan-3 This user loves Patti Page.
fan-3 This user loves Rosemary Clooney.
fan-2 This user likes Perry Como.
fan-2 This user likes Alma Cogan.
Education
CCNY This user graduated from City College of the City University of New York.
Atom.svg This user has advanced degrees in chemistry.
Graduation hat.svg This user has a Doctor of Philosophy degree.
Other notes
its This user understands the difference between its (of it) and it's (it is or it has).
US This user uses American English.
A, B, and C This user prefers the serial comma.
Phonetik.svg This user is interested in linguistics.
25 railtransportation.svg This user supports public transit.
Baseball swing.jpg This user is a baseball fan.

My philosophy about Wikipedia[edit]

I have developed a certain philosophy about Wikipedia. Since the English language Wikipedia has, at the time of my writing these words, nearly two thirds of a million articles, it can, more than any paper encyclopedia, become a storehouse for information that may not have interest for large numbers of people. I think that the strength of Wikipedia is that anything that anyone might want to find out about can be covered, and of course this means both some of the rather obscure things that might tweak my interest and many things that I couldn't care less about, but other people care passionately about.

As a result, if I vote on a VfD question, of course, it will almost certainly be to keep the article; it takes a lot to convince me that something should be deleted. It also means I end up writing a lot of disambiguation pages, because something, or somebody, that I might want to write an article about has the same name as something someone else has written about. And while I'd never propose deleting that article, it means I work pretty hard to disambiguate.

Since I'm probably older than the overwhelming majority of Wikipedians, I actually remember some of the 1950s popular songs and baseball players I've written articles about. And this, of course, colors my feelings about some of the articles. Not only do I write articles about a lot of older topics, but I try to keep coverage of such topics even by others at a high level. And this has led to some disputes with other Wikipedians who don't seem to think a 50-year-old song, or some other such thing, deserves an article. But I'm not threatening to put their articles up for VfD; I just want to see some balance. (This comment written 18:38, July 28, 2005 (UTC))

This user is a member of the Association of Inclusionist Wikipedians.

The motto of the AIW is conservata veritate, which translates to "with the preserved truth".
This motto reflects the inclusionist desire to change Wikipedia only when no knowledge would be lost as a result.

AIW


Other Wikis[edit]

You might like to see some of the Wikis I maintain:

  1. the Metro Wiki
  2. the Radio-TV Broadcast History Wiki
  3. the Cheese Wiki
  4. the Sausage Wiki
  5. the Units of Measurement Wiki
  6. the Calendar Wiki

I also help maintain the Novial Wikipedia

Primary interests[edit]

(I used to put a list of some of my contributions here; it has long become obsolete, so if you want to see specific contributions, see this listing.)

Primary interests include

  • Science (especially chemistry)
  • Politics
  • Political geography
  • Baseball
  • Popular music (especially traditional pop music)
  • Language, communication, writing systems
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