Hello. I'm Cosmic Latte, the colour of the universe. No, this has nothing to do with race or skin tone or anything like that. In fact, we're all made of the same old stardust. I just happen to delight in the idea that we're not only stardust, but also Starbucks.
Because I haven't found (or made) a userbox for it yet: This user is opposed to ageism of all kinds, and believes that kids from 1 to 92 should be eligible to be editors, administrators, or even bureaucrats or arbitrators as long as they display the necessary skills.
By the way, those rectangles you see above, on the left, are called Userboxes. I wanted to make it easier for less experienced users to access them in general, but I ran into some peculiar obstacles. So, for those of you who might like to add some Userboxes to your own user page, here is my own link to the Userbox Gallery.
I feel that I have contributed in useful or important ways—whether through copy-editing, content-addition, or criticism—to the following articles, among others: 2008, 2009, 20th century, Astrology, Becky Taylor, Beginning of human personhood, Chesley Sullenberger, Eric Nance, February 2009 Victorian bushfires, George W. Gill, History of depression, Major depressive disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Psychology, Race (classification of human beings), September 11 attacks, Sigmund Freud, Sociology, Soul, US Airways Flight 1549, and YFZ Ranch. I created the articles on Becky Taylor and George W. Gill, and helped to promote Major depressive disorder to featured status. I have also been involved with several article-deletion discussions.
Before you read further, I ask that you forgive me in advance for sounding off about the pitfalls of...well, sounding off. There is, alas, no easy way to speak about the benefits of silence.
I mention above that I take a darwikinist approach to editing; that is, I see Wikipedia as a dynamic and evolving ecology of ideas. But, as some people have failed to understand, there is a difference between evolution and development. Evolving doesn't necessarily mean improving; bigger isn't always better; and, as the eugenicists really failed to understand, that which appears "better" in one context may be at a severe disadvantage in another. Like the earth, the human mind--even in a collective sense--has its limits. Patience and memory are finite resources. I find Wikipedia philosophically interesting, then, for two conflicting reasons. First, because so many people collaborate on it, it allows the ecological nature of ideas to become truly manifest. Second, again because so many people are involved, it easily permits these ideas to exceed their carrying capacity in human intelligence. The boundaries between knowledge and information, between trivial and notable, become obscured. As Wikipedia acquires more articles, so the earth receives more and more people who, themselves feeling irrelevant to the grand scheme of things, come to see Wikipedia as a chance to gain their 15 kilobytes of fame through vanity articles. These articles often evade detection for far too long, because such activity simply contributes to the wealth of information in which importance is obscured in the first place. Others add their birthdays and anniversaries to year and date pages. (Evidently the ability to encapsulate one's identity into an absurdly customizable cell phone, and then to alert everyone to that identity with, say, a Klaus Nomi ringtone, still leaves people wanting more. Curious, isn't it?) This sort of activity actually bothers me more than "witty" vandalism, because the latter vandals are at least aware that they're tagging a quantitatively ridiculous amount of information with some qualitative baloney. The "vanity vandals," in contrast, are dishearteningly oblivious to the fact that this is what they're doing. So, I think we will do ourselves a favor to take a relatively exclusionist, and maybe even a deletionist, approach to editing, in the belief that as mere information is winnowed from true knowledge, we'll begin to gain a sense of which ideas really matter and, in so doing, of why and how we matter.
Because an encyclopedia is a compendium of knowledge, and because most of what we know concerns the past--after all, it's been around for quite a while--most encyclopedic material deals with prior people, events, and discoveries. Due to my interest in time-related material, however, I've found myself working with an unusual quantity of knowledge that is either unfolding or expected to unfold sometime in the future. So, in addition to the general views noted above, I've done some thinking about how to handle present- and future-related material.
For some of my thoughts about current events, here is part of an entry that I made on an article's talk page:
As for writing about the future, here is a discussion that occurred on my own talk page, followed by an afterthought of mine (also left on the talk page) for other editors for whom it might be beneficial. Briefly, I think that a literal and straightforward, but close and careful, reading of the WP:FUTURE policy is enough to guide future-related writing on Wikipedia.
The sociologist Emile Durkheim argued that healthy doses of moral regulation and social integration/solidarity are necessary for a functioning society. To modify and simplify this line of reasoning for our purposes, we might say that both authority and equality are vital components of a community. (We're really simplifying Durkheim, who actually distinguished between two types of solidarity, the "better" of which could be characterized more by equity than by equality. Read up on him if you're interested.) On Wikipedia, the bureaucrats have an exceptional degree of (technical) authority; IP users and registered users have a respectable degree of equality, insofar as they can edit most of the same articles. Adminship is, to me, a middle ground, where a potentially enormous group of users (equality) can share a special set of tools (authority, at least in a technical sense). When I participate in RfA's, I will generally support, as long as it appears that the candidate will not overmphasize authority at the expense of equality or solidarity. This means that I will tend to support as long as the candidate does not meet criteria such as:
Because I haven't found (or made) a userbox for it yet (although, interestingly, I've come across a userbox for the opposite idea): This user thinks that race is a biological reality, but strongly denies the popular idea that racism follows from such a belief.
And, last but not least...
I hate to admit it, but...