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Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome!

This is my user page. As such, it contains my point of view, my opinions on certain aspects of the Wikipedia project and life in general, and stuff about my time at and contributions to Wikipedia. However, if you want to, and do so in good faith, there is no reason why you cannot edit this page. I like it when people help; after all, that's what this encyclopaedia is all about. If you want to contact me, about anything, please feel free to:

About me
A few of the people and institutions for whom I often have great respect

The Supreme Court of the United States; The Supreme Court of Israel; Alan M. Dershowitz; Jeremy Paxman; Bjørn Lomborg and his The Skeptical Environmentalist; John Williams; John Rawls; Alasdair MacIntyre and his After Virtue; Private Eye; David Hume; Plato and Socrates; A. J. Ayer and his Language, Truth and Logic; Immanuel Kant and his Critique of Pure Reason and Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals; Tottenham Hotspur F.C.; Adam Gilchrist; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; the British Civil Service; Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister; Niels Bohr; John Maynard Keynes; Jared Diamond and his Guns, Germs and Steel; Michael Crichton; William Beveridge and Clement Attlee; Richard Feynman and his Feynman Lectures on Physics; Daniel Dennett and his Consciousness Explained; Steven Spielberg; Sir Isaac Newton; Augustus

And remember the three things that get me through life
  • "In science there is only Physics; all the rest is stamp collecting" Ernest Rutherford, Nobel Prize winner 1908, in Chemistry ironically
  • "Only when all kings become philosophers, or philosophers kings, will the ills of the state be ended" Plato, The Republic, written in the first half of the 4th Century BC
  • "Nothing is real" John Lennon and Niels Bohr (in somewhat different circumstances)
My Wikipedia opinions on: Articles for Deletion; Requests for Adminship; Userboxes; The Arbitration Committee; Other Random Annoyances
Some of my contributions to Wikipedia

I have been around for quite a while by Wikipedia standards, and am certainly not the most active or prolific editor. I spend an awful lot of time just browsing this amazing project, doing what it is designed for (reading and learning). In terms of numbers of edits, I have something over 3,000 (with about half of those in the article namespace); enough that my opinion is valued around here, but not that many compared to many other editors. I have tried out most jobs available to regular editors, so at various points I have done referencing, have resurrected stuff from PROD/AfD doom, attempted to write policy, commented on all sorts of proposals, done a voice recording for the Spoken Wikipedia project, voted in elections, nominated things for PROD and AfD, nominated articles for Cleanup, actually done some cleanup, created pages on request, done hundreds of minor spelling, grammar and punctuation corrections, done RC and New Page patrol, taken and uploaded a few photos (mostly to the Commons); and of course written my fair share of Wikiprose.

Some personal milestones:

I would wish that all of my contributions would be released into the public domain; I do not believe in the existence of intellectual so-called "property", and thus it would be morally unjust of me to force anyone else in the future to acknowledge their existence as well. I understand that the GFDL is meant to ensure that no-one in the future can use Wikipedia for commerical or unfree ends. However, I believe that, if everything were simply released into the public domain, the situation would be pretty much identical (after all, if someone were to charge for a fork of Wikipedia, who is going to pay when they can get the same information for free?). I know that my demand for public domain release is probably legally not possible given that by clicking the "save page" button, I agree to license my contributions under the GDFL. However, if in a future legal dispute anyone wants to know my position, it is that I wish I could release everything into the public domain.

I also closely guard my anonymity, and have on a number of occasions made it clear that I would leave Wikipedia was I ever forced to reveal my "real world" identity. At the present time, I estimate that half a dozen or less Wikipedians know who I am in real life, and I would wish to keep it that way; both for reasons of privacy and impartiality when evaluating my contributions. You may be able to guess my first name from my username, which is fine, but I will never (except if I was forced to, for legal reasons) reveal any more about myself than is on this Userpage. I hope this does not sound unreasonable, because it is non-negotiable (at least for the time being). It is fortunate that the Arbitration Committee agrees with me that anonymity is an absolute right for any user, if they wish to exercise it.

What I am up to now

My current big project is to create an in-depth and well-referenced article for (the currently non-existent) The Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence. It is an exchange of letters (and a sometimes frank exchange of views!) between Gottfried Leibniz and Samuel Clarke, first published in 1717, in which the two argued over the nature of time and space. I am doing a major course about the Correspondence as part of my University course, and so am ideally placed to, over the next few weeks, make this into a really good article. I have created a subpage here to help me to organise this project. If anyone else wants to help please use the page too; the more the merrier. Wish me luck...

Vandalism Watch
  1. This page was vandalised for the first time on 8th January 2006. The IP address responsible was swiftly banned. The edit is this one: [1].
  2. It was then vandalised again on 15th January 2006 (this edit: [2]). The edit was quickly reverted by one of the faithful RC patrollers.
  3. The third time was on 16th March 2006, when it was changed thus. RC patrollers again reverted the vandal's edit.