From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A cartoon centipede (a Wikipede) reads books and types on a laptop.
I try to be a diligent Wikipede.

I'm Peter Benjamin Meyer. I'm a big fan of Wikipedia, its software and its international descriptive community. I'm on the Wikimedia DC chapter's board of directors. I help run editathons. I edit on many subjects, notably early aviation, economics and economic history, technology history, U.S. government institutions, and things related to our chapter. I took a special interest in the Alice case on software patents, created that article, and attended the Supreme Court hearing of the case. Assisting teaching copyright: In fall 2019 I'm a Wikipedia assistant for this legal writing course taught by Sean Flynn at American University's Washington College of Law. Formal teaching with Wikipedia is new to me.

My research: Professionally I research the sources and effects of technological inventions, economic history, and productivity statistics. For many years I've focused on the invention of the airplane, which came about from the efforts of a large network of experimenters, authors, and others. Their stories are wonderful, spectacularly well documented, and there is straightforward useful research to quantify these efforts in new and interesting ways.

Government use: For many years I've been pressing for this software to be available across the U.S. government for defining terminology and brainstorming, as is done in the Intellipedia, Diplopedia, Bureaupedia, and Canadian civil service GCPEDIA. We started an internal U.S. federal government site called Statipedia for definitions and procedures and other information that government staff would benefit from sharing broadly with one another. The site was good but never notable enough for Wikipedia, and tragically has now been shut down for reasons beyond my control. Creating a U.S. Federal government web site was astonishingly difficult and heroic; resistance was amazing. It was a joy to develop it and recruit for it. Someday it will come back I hope. To get more users, we'll need a single-sign-on system within the U.S. government so that URLs to the site work directly when a civil servant tries to go to one in their browsers. Statipedia, or whatever MediaWiki reference work/encyclopedia/workspace takes its place, will be a wonderful time-saver and cost-saver and morale-booster for government staff.

My username, econterms, has a history. In 1997-8, as a suffering economics grad student with experience in databases and programming, I started as a searchable database of economics terms. It was cited on Wikipedia. The program running on the server was a "CGI" program in C, and ran fast. It had a simplified HTML syntax like wikitext for internal hyperlinks. It doesn't work any more, and I haven't tried to fix it because the great Wikipedias have made it obsolete. The main content is available as a static web page.

Subpages here[edit]

my toolbox | my milestones | my conflict of interest (COI) statement | my CSS | my subpages | experimental infobox for journals | experimental doc for that infobox | /ANOVA tables

See also: Wikinews wikinews:user:econterms | /Wikipedia visit spikes | /Wikipedia prehistory | /Achilles paratendinitis | /Fay-Herriot model draft | /FABRIC computer network

Essays by myself and others[edit]

Hopeful plans (to-do's)[edit]



  • Possible record for most errors in an edit summary. A text deletion was summarized thus: "Walter Shaub was fired by McGahn. His tweets are not objective." But (a) Shaub wasn't fired, (b) McGahn didn't fire him, (c) the text referred to wasn't from tweets, (d) objectivity isn't required in a critique, rather it needs to be informative.