I'm a professional geek, of the maths/engineering variety. 'Calair' is a handle of convenience, because there are just a few too many crazies out there for me to feel comfortable giving out my real name.
Things I like removing from Wikipedia (and I've been guilty of most of these myself at one time or another):
- Scare quotes.
- False precision.
- "Notably, ..." at the beginning of sentences. Every sentence in Wikipedia is there because some editor thought it was notable. If it really is notable, it'll speak for itself.
- "Controversial" as a descriptor of people - about 90% of interesting people in Wikipedia are controversial for one reason or another. Just cut to the 'one reason or another' part, please?
- "However, ..." - occasionally this helps the flow of ideas, but often it's just padding.
It seems to me that the Wikipedia process often generates a sort of point-counterpoint style of article - "his detractors say X, his supporters say Y". This isn't entirely a bad thing; it's one of the easier ways for people with widely differing opinions to agree on an article, and it provides a certain sort of balance. But I'm not convinced it's the best way to write an article; when everybody's concentrating on representing two separate extremes, there's little attempt to show how those extremes may meet in the truth, and other dimensions to the discussion are often missed.
One pet peeve: please do not 'correct' my signed comments. If you think I've made a mistake, you're welcome to let me know on my Talk page or suggest a correction below the comment where that mistake appears. But it's misleading to put things I didn't write into something that has my signature attached. (Also, a lot of these 'corrections' aren't, and adding mistakes to my comments is particularly irritating.) Obviously, this doesn't apply to article text, which isn't signed. --Calair 14:22, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Sadly, I'm spending less and less time on Wikipedia lately as the climate here gets more and more irritating. I can put up with anonymous vandalism, and systematic POV-pushing, but people are getting far too legalistic and bloody-minded about Wikipedia policies; they're important, but they're not a replacement for common sense. --Calair 12:05, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
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