- Special note: edit my page if you see any spelling mistakes, broken links, section mismatches, or other things that just plain don't make sense. Discussions should go on the talk page, though. Be bold—but vandalize only if it's really, really funny. :-)
Who I am
My name is Joost R. Meerten. The 'R' doesn't stand for anything, like the 'S' in Harry S. Truman. I'm Dutch. You'd expect me to be on the Dutch Wikipedia, but somehow that doesn't interest me in the slightest - probably because most local topics don't interest me, and the English Wikipedia is much bigger, and translating back and forth is a fairly thankless job. (Nevertheless, I am listed as a translator on Wikipedia:Pages needing translation—let it not be said I shirk from thankless jobs.)
There used to be a fairly cryptic outline of my personality here, followed by a fairly self-humbling account of what I do on Wikipedia. I decided it's too unfriendly. It's still in the history, if you really want to know. A more appropriate outline is obtained by VeryVerily's Conflicting Wikipedia philosophies page (a very nice catalogue). I'd classify myself as:
- A moderate eventualist. I believe in evaluating and respecting all input, no matter how wrong I think it is, but also believe in boldly editing any bad material.
- A moderate anti-statusquoist. Nobody should have to justify themselves to get an edit in. The onus is on those who'd like to see it go. You're far more prone to make poor and rash decisions when it comes to "kicking bad stuff out" than "keeping good stuff in".
- A communityist encyclopedist. This is not contradictory; the original is a false dichotomy. Wikipedia is a de facto community, and we should be kind to newcomers, because where else are editors going to come from? We should be wary of personal attacks—how on earth will we create a workable atmosphere to edit in if people are out to get each other? But: the purpose of Wikipedia is to build an encyclopedia. This is good to keep in mind when the personal attacks do start to fly: remember what you're here for—it's not to bolster your ego or to prove to the world that you're right after all.
- An anti-authorist. A sense of ownership is unavoidable, and may even be a good thing for quality management, but if it gets in the way of good editing, it should just go.
- A rehabilist. I know it's rare, but I've seen vandals reform. Is your time really so precious that you won't risk wasting a few minutes on a moron over turning in a vandal for a potential newcomer? That said, there will always be bad apples who abuse good faith—but that's what we have blocks and bans for.
- A WikiPacifist. Edit war! Huh! Good God! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Say it again! There are more constructive ways of reaching a good article. In fact, it's hard to think of anything less constructive than point-blank reverting. Pissing contests are never going to establish anything beyond the immaturity of all participants. The three revert rule is going to be more consistently applied, and I think that's a very good thing.
What I'm at
I'm an irregular and fickle editor; you'll rarely catch me sitting down and spending a long amount of time on a single article. Similarly, I've more than once had a plan for bringing some articles up to featured state, but "more important things" always seem to interfere. I typically browse Wikipedia to and fro and fix any deficiencies not related to content (unwikified text, typos, broken links, links to disambiguation pages, missing categories). I rewrite the odd paragraph if I see any obvious way of improving it. I rarely make sweeping changes or indeed add new articles.
I'm a perennial newbie
I haven't yet built enough confidence to think I've "seen it all" on Wikipedia, I don't think I ever will, and I secretly suspect that might be a good thing. If you see me do something stupid, kick my ass on my talk page. If I make an edit you don't agree with, ten to one I've left a note on the article talk page.
I never revert anything that isn't clearly vandalism. I will occasionally revert edits that are not vandalism, but only if the explanation fits in an edit summary. And though I'm not a member of the Harmonious editing club (mostly because I don't feel dedicated enough), I obey the one-revert rule and will encourage others to do so: never revert a revert, take it to the talk page instead.
I strive to never take things personally, because I really don't know you and you really don't know me, so go ahead and say whatever you want. I'll take it like a Wikipedian.
I'm a former administrator
Perennial newbiehood notwithstanding, the fair community of this here Wikipedia determined that I made for a good administrator. I (voluntarily) left Wikipedia in 2007, and my last act before leaving was to request de-adminship (since having admin accounts just lying around is a security concern). Since I haven't been a part of the community for 5 years, whether or not I'd still make for a good administrator is something best decided by a future RfA, if that ever becomes relevant.
I'm an inclusionist
I'm an inclusionist, but not the kind that stalks VfD and votes Keep on everything just to tick off the deletionists. Though I'm fairly lazy, I would instead improve an article if it should be included. I started off with very clear opinions on "notability" (namely, that Wikipedia is not paper, and notability is no criterion for anything) but recently I've recognized that this position, in its extreme, is untenable. This is why I no longer vote on articles to which I can apply no other criterion than notability; I need to work it out first. I won't vote by gut instinct.
Recently I've started to show signs of having worked it out, or at least one possible way of working it out. I'm still not convinced what it all should be about. Is it a good idea to include articles on porn movies not notable for anything else but being porn movies, for example? You can certainly argue that we can, but should we? Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Faites l'Amour avec Clara Morgane records the first and possibly only AfD nomination I've ever made (or even supported) on grounds of inclusion criteria. There's a dynamic tension between seeing Wikipedia as an encyclopedia with certain minimal standards, and seeing Wikipedia as a knowledge base for everything that could possibly be described in an accurate, neutral, verifiable way. Neither way is "right", examples of both philosophies can easily be found in Wikipedia as it is now, and it's unlikely there will be an ultimate resolution without a fork.
I'm the Lord High Assigner of Titles
This is mostly my own fault. During a Wikimeet, Jimbo expressed the need for "more titles"—ways for Wikipedians to identify themselves to the outside world, as opposed to "just another volunteer". I jokingly suggested first assigning the title of Lord High Assigner of Titles, and Kim Bruning insisted it be granted to me. Jimbo jocularly agreed, and now I'm stuck with it, at least until Kim Bruning decides the joke is wearing thin and I can remove this without him sticking it back in again.
I have not yet granted any serious titles, and frankly, it seems unlikely I ever will. It's a wiki. Assign yourself a good title. People will revert you if you take it too far.
What I've done
I really don't keep track of everything I do, because it's mostly small potatoes. I recognize that it's nice for people to see what, if anything, you're contributing to Wikipedia, without plowing through the contributions list. So here are some subjective selections of "my" work (in quotes, because Wikipedia is all about collaboration). These are articles I've made more-or-less significant contributions to. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive and is no indication of my interests. I'm not distinguishing between articles I started and articles I just notably contributed to; I've never understood why the distinction is important.
- Blunsdon United and the associated AfD nomination. Since deleted anyway.
- Elizabeth Barry—not so much for the content as for the social process
- Insanity—rewritten to make it more factual and a whole lot more stuffy and pretentious
- Iron Gate (Danube) (translated from the Dutch WP)
- John Hancock
- Jos Verstappen (translated from the Dutch WP)
- List of appearances of God in fiction—my first Useless List (tm)! Actually, I was really interested in seeing this grow... but it got deleted.
- List of atheists—I contributed without making a single edit to it, how lazy is that?
- Orange (disambiguation) and Orange (word)
- Sollog, spawning alt.usenet.kooks in the process, the latter surprisingly getting involved in a dispute of its own. Both have since been deleted; notability concerns have gained more of a foothold with the growth of the encyclopedia.
- Washington Crossing the Delaware
Then there are things that are not articles, but reside in the Wikipedia namespace, where they now lurk, and bide their time... I'm not one of those people who has to see his ideas voted in place and cemented in policies; I prefer letting them percolate. All good things will get their day, or not, in which case they weren't good to begin with.
- Wikipedia:Countdown deletion, a spinoff of Wikipedia:Preliminary Deletion, yet another attempt at streamlining VfD. I mentioned this in a very off-hand way and it got almost no attention, but Bishonen convinced me to revive it. It seems more people are interested in it after all. Personally, I'm no longer convinced it will really help address the problems people have with VfD—but it might be a useful tool on its own, and the idea has a sort of obviousness to it that's quite attractive.
- Wikipedia:Edit this proposal—as far as new proposals go, we're going about it in all the wrong ways, and it's no small wonder almost all new proposals are either ultimately ineffectual or completely dead on arrival. The big emphasis on voting now, voting often, voting early is what kills any attempt at consensus. I wrote this up as the complete antithesis of how things are usually done, in the hope it would be picked up on. So far it seems to be creeping its way along already...
- Wikipedia:Fancruft. Rewrote and expanded this while having long discussions on what fancruft is, and why people think it's good/bad/harmless.
- ^ If you got this reference, you are too nerdy for your own good, and I should know. I suggest taking up some trendier habits, like, say, extreme ironing.
Wikipedia on the side
Here's what I think about things in Wikipedia.
- The gripping tale of one man's struggle against his own ineptitude. A moving epic of growth and silliness.
- What would happen if Wikibooks was put up for deletion? Why, it would get eliminated like the fancruft it is, of course.
- These are personal notes to articles; a sort of sidebar encyclopedia. Most of this is not very serious, all of it is quite personal, none of this really belongs in Wikipedia to begin with, but who's gonna stop me?
- /Featured captions
- OK, so getting good images is important, but writing good captions is an art too.
You are hereby awarded the Atlas Award for your work in removing undesirable things from the sandbox and not allowing the bullies of the world to kick sand in our collective face. It is now yours. You are therefore entitled to display it prominently, and are encouraged to award it to other deserving editors who have likewise raked the sand clean. Thank youPedant 22:30, 2004 Nov 9 (UTC)
I award JRM this barnstar for wonderful editing and patience during the VfD, save and redevelopment of the Sollog article!
I hereby slap you for engaging in excessive shit wittery, boo-ya-ka-sha! ;) Arm 04:53, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Talk 10:14, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
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