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A vandal mistook
a user page for talk page
and bangs for discourse

The error arose from
words at VfD obscure
to one in life's spring


No, I don't particularly want to tell you who I am. If you know me from one of the other fora I contribute to, you'll recognize my nick, but if you google it you'll go down a lot of blind alleys. I like having a forum where I can be relatively anonymous.

What I will share:

  • I'm a trivia junkie going way back, with an ADDer's tendency to get immersed in a subject for a short period of time. I have more useless information going around in my head than any one person needs, and Wikipedia is the perfect forum for showing it off without gloryseeking.
  • I live in Massachusetts, self-identify as a bleeding-heart liberal, and am a reluctant Democrat. I didn't really want to register for a party affiliation (I was an independent when I first voted), but I do lean liberal and have leaned further and further to the left over the years, and I don't think the American Green party is a viable choice right now. So I vote Democrat, and curse the clueless party leadership who are going to screw liberals over and over again by refusing to take a definite stand on far-right idiocies and corruption. (That said, I despise extremism of all sorts and hope to see Pat Robertson burning in hell next to Ayn Rand and Josef Stalin, but then I don't believe in Hell.)
  • I post off and on on Articles For Deletion, though I don't identify as either inclusionist or exclusionist. My biggest pet peeve is people who think they're entitled to a Wikipedia article (see below). I do think high schools are not inherently notable (except for magnet and charter schools, and some prep schools), but the consensus on Wikipedia is to the contrary, so I respect that.
  • I take a strictly neutral position on issues such as BC/AD vs BCE/CE and spelling and vocabulary variants, and feel that as long as it's reasonably clear to all concerned it may as well stay as it is (consistency is nice but not worth an edit war). I think people who make minor changes to an article solely to comply with their idea of "correct" English need to get a life. And I'll be happy to spell it 'aluminium' for Wikipedia's sake as long as I don't have to pronounce the second 'i'.
  • I consider myself a deist humanist, an agnostic, and a skeptic. I have a deepseated loathing for bad science and "alternative" medicine -- if you can't prove it logically or empirically, you shouldn't be asserting it. I am therefore in the minority that believes that "scientific POV == NPOV". It is perfectly okay to say you don't know the answer.
  • I'm not good with straight yeses or noes. My y-or-n answers tend to be infuriatingly qualified (I'd like to think "nuanced").
  • I can write haiku. I usually do not, though. Name is long story.

A message for those scorned by Articles for Deletion[edit]

Here's the deal, folks. Your article got brought up on AfD for a reason. The reason it's there, well, that's for AfD and the consensus-building mechanism to judge. But most likely I'm writing this to people who have their articles on the chopping block for one of three reasons: either it's vanity (or appears to be that way), it's original research, or it's just flat out nonnotable, i.e. there aren't enough people who have heard of it that would look it up in Wikipedia. Well, the main message is that it's not personal.

What it comes down to is that what you're trying to accomplish goes against one of the most important points about Wikipedia -- Wikipedia is not a promotional venue. You may have the grand unified theory of quantum gravity and be right in every respect, but we don't want to see it until it's been peer-reviewed by the scientific community. You may think your podcast/website/blog is the greatest thing since the invention of sliced Arpanet, but you have to realize that you exist within a greater context wherein much of what you are noted for is out of your hands. It's like nicknames -- a nickname is given to you, you don't choose it. Similarly, like Vince McMahon learned with the XFL, the issue is not how much you promote it, but how seriously it's taken. In this context, Slashdot, Fark, Yahoo, Google are taken very seriously indeed. My little corner of Geocities (no, I'm not going to post it here, I like being semi-anonymous on WP), not so much. (I got slashdotted once. I don't pretend that's an accomplishment worthy of wikification.)

Cruise through AfD sometime and see what I mean. There's guaranteed every day to be at least a dozen garage band articles on the block because people think that being famous the next street over means you're notable. And every once in a while you'll get someone who harangues most voters on a debate because their pet article is up for deletion; all they succeed in doing is annoying people and maybe getting censured by the admins for harassment and abuse of process. And there are entire categories of articles that people have extended debates about the value of; you will find people with passionate feelings on both sides of many an issue, but ultimately consensus is built or the admins err on the side of keeping what's under dispute.

Wikipedia is a meritocracy, but one with a very low barrier to entry; all you have to do is be a good contributor and a civil debater. That means assuming good faith and not taking things personally when your contributions are changed or deleted. Those who try to bend the system ride a fine line; many of them are good contributors despite being problematic. Those who try to break the system -- vandals, POV pushers, people on a vanity crusade -- are shown a great deal more mercy than they deserve most of the time (as it should be), but eventually get shown the door. Haikupoet 04:18, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Click here for my final word on the Wehatetech mess (NSFW language used)[edit]

Please direct all comments to my talk page.[edit]