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I used to mostly to contribute to troubadours pages. I have created from scratch the stubs about
- Giraut de Bornelh
- Peire Cardenal
- Gaucelm Faidit
- Raimbaut of Orange
- Rigaut de Berbezilh
(and possibly others I don't remember). However, with less time to waste on wikipedia, I have turned into a notorious WikiShark. I don't see my edits as vandalic, or excessive, but they do usually reduce the size of an article rather than enlarging it. I have deleted dozens of errors, brainfarts, idle chat, factoids, nonsense, folklore, truism, propaganda, vandalism, pseudoscience, local colour, practical tips and a number of things nobody in his right mind would ever give a crap about. I am actually growing increasingly tired of wikipedia. While it is both a good idea and it is one of the beacons of modern culture, it does have problems, and these problems are addressed only by an enormous set of rules nobody knows or cares about and by endless discussions. The fact that really, totally, ridiculously irrelevant articles like Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice and Teaneck Kebab House exist is an example of that.
If any editor feels like following the Way of the Shark, here are a few areas that can always use trimming:
- Edits by religious cranks. Basically, everything happening in catholic countries will have somebody starting a coatrack about a priest that was passing there. Whatever happened in Quing China will have somebody writing how brave muslim fighters were, usually half a dozen times per article. Pretty much everywhere else, people will be digging to see if there was a missionary they can mention. When the two things combine, it becomes ridiculous: the Siege of the International Legations appears to be an event where heroic christian missionaries fought heroic Kansu braves where the rest of the Quing army, and eight nations combined to provide one global background villain.
- RACRBEs (I created the term, in case you were wondering).
- Recursive Repeaters. These are (usually) good-faith people that haven't quite understood that you should not cut and paste everything concering a category in all its sub-categories. To give a more concrete example: the word "pivo" means beer in all Slavic languages (allegedly); a RR finding this fact interesting will post it under East_Slavic_languages, West_Slavic_languages and South_Slavic_languages, then go on to clutter every single language with things like "in Bulgarian, like in all other Slavic languages, the word for 'beer' is 'pivo'". RR are most common in biology, politics and pop culture articles.
- DIY instructors. These are people who hunt articles about plants, mushrooms and animals that you can keep at home, and tell you exactly how to keep them, in blatant violation of WP:NOTHOWTO. For some odd reason, they are particularly pernicious when it comes to fish.
The core of the problem, as far as I can tell is that expert editors do not edit: they discuss, with no result whatsoever; now, me planning my retirement from wikipedia is not a childish way of giving up on free education: it is a way of saying that I can do more for it by, for example, working at my own website, which is an important primary source.
My next goal here? Earning the Remover of Hogwash barnstar; however, this doesn't exist, and creating it would be against my destructionist policies.