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Personal information[edit]

My name is Daniel Eisenberg. I grew up and attended elementary and high school in Canisteo, New York, though due to my father's participation in the Korean War, I attended third grade (1953-54) in a U.S. Army school in Sendai, Japan. I have a B.A. in Romance Languages from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Spanish from Brown University. I was from 2000 to 2008 the editor of the journal Cervantes, published by the Cervantes Society of America ( or In 1976 I founded and until 1992 edited and published the Journal of Hispanic Philology. I was a Contributing Editor of the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, published by Garland in 1990.

I was Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University, where I taught from 1974 to 1996. I am now retired.

You can find my personal page at*/ You can find my Vita (Résumé) there. My articles on homosexual topics are at*/, though an article from the "Encyclopedia of Medieval Iberia" is on my main page. Also there is a page on me in the Spanish Biblioteca Virtual Cervantes ( My email address at present (2015) is danielbeisenberg(at)

Correspondence and other papers of mine are found primarily in the Florida State University archives (Special Collections, Strozier Library). Some early correspondence is at the Hispanic Society of America.

Wikipedia's principles[edit]

The following are principles of Wikipedia which appeal to me very much. I have deduced these from people's behavior, though no doubt they are written somewhere, or somewheres.

  • It is totally democratic. No one is better than anyone else.
  • Work is recognized.
  • It is the most anarchic organization, and I mean that in a good sense, that I've ever heard of. No one rules. There are no elections. The people themselves set up the structure. (Curiously, the only country in which Anarchism has been a real political force was Spain.)
  • A principle is "don't assume the worst, assume the best".
  • Knowledge is an unqualified good.
  • If you know something, you'll probably want to share it. In fact, there's a subtle pressure on you to share what you know.
  • No field of knowledge is better than any other. It doesn't matter what crazy thing you're interested in, if it's significant, write it up.
  • This is more than an encyclopedia project.
  • Interactions with other Wikipedia editors feel like a brain talking to someone else's brain.

Here are two things I don't like, or at least am ambiguous about:

  • The burden of ascertaining the truth of Wikipedia's contents has been offloaded to externals: journals' editors and editorial boards, newspaper editors, and the like. I don't know a better system, but journal editors, newspaper editors, etc., are not exempt from influences on: what is acceptable, what will sell more papers, what is "politically correct", what will lead to the editor's career success.
  • Wikipedia does not want original research. Because it would then have to set up a structure to determine whether the original research was correct.

The following addition of mine was reversed in the article "Campaign for 'Santorum' neologism" because it constituted original research:

"After Savage began his campaign, Santorum was never to win another election, although the extent to which Savage contributed to the defeats has not been studied."

The election results are public documents and easily accessible, but I had to find _someone else_ who had made this observation. This may be according to policy, but I don't think it's good policy if it prohibits this.

Also there is a case cited somewhere in which an author was not allowed to say what was in his own book, it had to be said by a third party. This is silly and wastes time, at least as seen from the small part of Wikipedia that I hang out in. If the question is authentification (is that really the author?) then attack that.

As we have seen in the case of computer viruses (originally there were none), there is something criminal, evil, or at least mean in human nature -- not in everyone, but certainly in some -- and that shows up in Wikipedia just like it does in other places. Yet there is lots of altruism too.

(This added later.) Wikipedia's software is a delight. Fast, clean, and so intuitive! (That's a computer term for "makes sense" "easy to understand and use" "The command you think will probably work, it'll work.")

I would encourage everyone to read Criticism of Wikipedia, Wikipedia:Systemic bias, and Wikipedia: The Missing Manual (

My contributions[edit]

Articles created[edit]

Major improvements[edit]

"Major" roughly means "more than a paragraph".

Smaller improvements[edit]

(My smaller contributions to es:wikipedia, in Spanish, are located at es:Usuario:Deisenbe.)

Some of my edits have been reverted. Those I am aware of are annotated below. Some of the reversions include explanations: I was wrong. FM broadcasting is one example. Other reverts I believe were wrong-headed. However, in general I have avoided "edit wars". If someone reverts me, in most cases I leave it alone. I don't need the stress of edit wars. Better things to do with my time and energy. Particularly egregious cases I mention on the article's talk page.

(Needs entries)

Below this point links are in the approximate order I made the edits. Since it grew tiring to scroll through all of these to add a new one at the end, I started adding them at the beginning. So those above have the newest changes first.

Minor edits only (selection)[edit]

Articles where I'm particularly unhappy at reverts made to my edits[edit]

Articles I intend to work on[edit]


This user is a
Wikipedian in the United States of America

Wikipedians in the United States

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fr-2 Cet utilisateur peut contribuer avec un niveau intermédiaire en français.
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Star of David.svg This user is of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry but is an Atheist. Confusing, huh?
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JHU This user attends or attended The Johns Hopkins University
B This user attends or attended
Brown University.
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and drink tea whenever she
wishes – she's retired!
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This user is a professional editor.
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Category:People from Canisteo, New York

Category:Florida State University faculty Category:Northern Arizona University faculty Category:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty Category:Excelsior College faculty Category:Johns Hopkins University alumni Category:Brown University alumni Category:City College of New York faculty Category:Bisexual men Category:American people of Ukrainian-Jewish descent