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My name is Ben Hallert and my interests include space history, technology development, and reading. I am faster than a speeding building and can leap tall bullets in a single bound.

What am I?[edit]

I am a pilot and own my own airplane, a Piper Warrior. I live in Springfield, OR. My career is in Information technology.

PiperPA-28-236DakotaC-GGFSPhoto4.JPG This user is a licensed airplane pilot.

In addition to these riveting things, I also build elaborate Halloween costumes, flamethrowers, and entice electricity to do dubious things with the unstated promise that it will eventually consume me in a fiery ball of space twisting Armageddon. I have two children and a wife, and between all of the above, I remain quite active.

Wikipedia tools[edit]

  • Blockhelper Greasemonkey script - Adds a click menu to the left of the block user screen with common block criteria listed. Click the appropriate one and it will leave a comprehensive explanation of the reason for the user block in the reason field.
  • CSDHelper Greasemonkey script - Dirt simple Greasemonkey script to make deleting articles via CSD just a tiny bit easier. It lists the common WP:CSD criteria and prefills in the reason field. Better explanations for deletions than 'a7' are made easy.
  • Protecthelper Greasemonkey script - A little tool to make it a little easier to fill in common page protection rationale.

Interesting non-wiki projects[edit]

I am not a bot, but I have been called a tool.

' This user is a Libertarian.

Wikipedia Tasks[edit]

For Wikipedia, I've created disambiguation pages, written articles on various subjects I know well. I have worked a lot in the following areas:

  1. Developing consensus — Revert wars are disruptive, and I've begun working to create consensus whenever I find them. WP:AGF is vital, and often what appears to be vandalism is actually just two people with different viewpoints who, if they talked about it, might find common ground. Instead of just trying to 'out-muscle' the "wrong" edit, I like to start a discussion in talk to cool things off.
  2. NPOV — I've rewritten many articles to fix POV issues, with good results.
  3. Spelling — It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.
  4. Reverting vandals — I've got a few hundred pages on my watch list, and monitor all changes to them. Also, see the next item:
  5. RC PatrolRecent Changes is an exciting, non-stop ride of thrills, chills, and spills. To watch high-risk edits, I closely monitor anonymous non-robot edits on this page whenever I can. As this user page has been vandalized 96 times, I know I must be doing the right stuff.
  6. Disambiguation link repair. You can help!
  7. Das Blocken Lights and Article asplode — My use of admin tools are visible here. FYI, my RfA.


Jophur and other missing Startide Rising elements.

WikiTeach idea[edit]

I am interested in pursuing or developing a teaching curriculum based on Wikimedia. The idea of a WikiTeach program seems to be an obvious outgrowth from the Wikipedia with the stated goal of providing a syllabus to provide education to anyone interested. A fictional example with close approximation can be found in Neil Stephenson's book The Diamond Age, in which an open source educational tool provides to tools for wide-scale change and improvement. The cost and geographic limitations of our current educational systems mean that motivated people in poor or undeveloped nations do not have access to the same resources as those in first world countries. Another advantage of a WikiTeach system is that no governmental meddling is required, and no expensive large scale physical infrastructure is needed.

There are challenges associated, such as maintaining WP:NPOV and avoiding political indoctrination. The temptation to 'fix' problems with the power this tool would provide would be difficult to ignore. Likewise, language limitations would make it difficult to provide teaching to the people that could stand to benefit the most.

A suggestion for a loose structure and timeline:

  1. Establish a baseline in an agreed upon language.
    • I would suggest English as it is spoken by a wide variety of contributors worldwide.
  2. Structure considerations
    • Teach baseline skills needed to use the tool.
    • Offer paths
      1. General knowledge
      2. Specific skills
        • Farming
        • Survival
        • Electronics
        • etc
      3. Culture
        • History
        • Music
        • Art
    • Offer knowledge refinement through lists of recommended reading of Wikipedia articles
  3. Begin wide-scale translations
    • Even the use of robotic translation would be useful, with appropriate warnings.
      1. This depends on robotic translation being available to the necessary languages.
    • Human refinement of robotic translations to follow
  4. Begin conversion to audio
    • Any content available in audio will have a wider distribution net than that which is on the web. If the baseline skills and education can be provided in audio, they can be distributed by charity on cassette, CD, or even broadcast via radio. This provides not only a service, but also advertisement about the rest of the service so that people who can use the information would know to pursue further education.

External links[edit] - My personal home page

E-mail address