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The biggest threat to Wikipedia
Ever since I started editing Wikipedia, I have noticed a tendency among a certain class of editors - and they are in a minority - to use this as a place to exercise as much authority as the place affords them. They are prone to obstructionist behavior while self-righteously hiding behind guidelines and policy, typically by picking nits in other people's work rather than doing any of their own. And whenever they are called on this, they demand that others assume good faith.
This behavior typically provokes a response in kind, and we get bogged down in endless posturing in various conflict resolution stages, all too often ending up in Arbcom cases that tend to focus on eliminating the conflict rather than improving behavior.
Good Wikipedia editors should be guided by the credo that they first be helpful. If we see something that should be improved (and there is plenty of it), improve it rather than pointing out its limitations the way an armchair football fan would. And if you choose to be the kind of editor who criticizes other people's good efforts, you have to be prepared to be criticized for the way you do this.
Obstructionist behavior, no matter how well-founded it is in policy and guidelines, discourages editing. We should commit to each other's editorial skills, so editing becomes fun and rewarding rather than painful and frustrating.
Who I am
I am a management consultant, presently working with a niche firm that focuses on clients that participate in market-intermediated capital formation. In the past I've worked with clients in a wide range of industries on problems on the best use technology to solve business problems. I've helped pharmaceutical companies with medical research programs, banks with risk and compliance issues, media and entertainment companies with new business development, and a number of companies on topics related to intellectual capital formation. I've had my own firm from time to time, and also been part of the consulting staff at McKinsey & Company, Accenture, and a now defunct but lovable firm known as Viant.
My interests include cooking, photography, ethics, current events, and various religious issues.
A native of Norway, I was raised there, Canada, and Austria. I have my university education from San Francisco State University and Columbia Business School. I live in the suburbs of New Jersey and commute to New York City.
Now an inclusionist
I got off the fence and joined the Association of Inclusionist Wikipedians, for all the reasons the association provides. The debacle over the article on Solveig Fiske finally convinced me, as I realized that deletionists want articles deleted simply for reasons that simply don't make any sense to me.
If you're going here because you're irritated by my edits
- Slow down, take a deep breath, and relax.
- No, Wikipedia is not a place for you to promote your version of the truth
- A neutral point of view means, among other things, that a reader should walk away from an article with a clear sense of what the controversy is all about.
- It is a true statement to say that "some people believe the earth is flat," even if the earth isn't flat.
- Too many articles in Wikipedia are cluttered by editorial asides that belong in other articles.
- I'm sorry - well not really - if facts don't fit your sense of reality.
- Having said that, I appreciate that the same events look different depending on your point of view. This means that a neutral point of view should be recognizable to to both (or all) sides, even if there is much else they disagree about.
- Looking to the majority to decide political issues makes sense; looking to the majority for the truth is foolish. Everything we hold to be true now was once only believed by a heretical minority.
- The next question after someone says: "The majority of people/nations/experts believe X" should be "why?" not "why do you believe differently?"
- I tend to strive for MECE structures. Look it up.
- I am not above these standards myself, and I am far from infallible. But you still have to convince me that I'm wrong.
- I do get annoyed sometimes. I shouldn't, but I care about the things I write about.
Places I've been and lived
|Lived for years:|
|Lived for Months:|
|Hours to days (Visited):|
|Idea and layout stolen from via User:Inge via User:White Cat viaUser:Guettarda|
- (Ctrl-click)">Heretics' Almanac My blog
Did you know articles
- Louis Kaufman, whom I heard about on NPR - fascinating story about one of the most heard musicians of all time, yet until a Wikipedia entry until I wrote it.
- Alta controversy, a controversy that was way more interesting than I realized at the time
- Damsgård, a small architectural treasure in Norway that was a gaping red link in the Architecture of Norway article
- Trondheim prelature, a small Catholic jurisdiction that caught my interest on account of the controversy about Solveig Fiske's notability
- Siege of Lathom House, a fascinating bit of English history I learned about from the Steeleye Span song They Called Her Babylon
- Edwy Searles Brooks, aka Berkeley Grey and others, a prolific action adventure writer active in the 1930s through the 1960s
- Kunstnernes Hus, an interesting building in Oslo.
- Jewish Children's Home in Oslo, a compelling episode in Norwegian and Jewish history
- Svinøy fyrstasjon, one of a series of articles on Norwegian lighthouses
- Plateau Station, a research and support station in Antarctica
- Ruth Maier, an incredibly talented writer lost in the Holocaust at age 22.
- Odd Nansen, an architect and humanitarian who deserves more publicity and recognition than he's had
- The organization he founded, Nansenhjelpen, which worked tirelessly and bravely to rescue Jews from Czechoslovakia before it was too late
- Kjesäter, now a tiny little hamlet, but once the main center for refugees from Nazi-occupied Norway.
- Knut Rød, the subject of one of the strangest trials in Norwegian history
- Karl Marthinsen, a committed Norwegian Nazi during World War II, assassinated by the Norwegian resistance
- Wanda Hjort Heger, a Norwegian war hero(ine) who functioned like a one-woman Red Cross to Norwegian prisoners in German concentration camps
- Lysakerelven, a suburban river in my immediate neighborhood growing up.
- Nic Waal, a pioneering pediatric and adolescent psychiatrist who was also a war heroine
- Henry T. Waskow, an interesting story of leadership
- Carl Fredriksens Transport, a clandestine refugee operation during World War II
- Niels Christian Ditleff, the driving force behind the White Buses operation
- Jørgine Boomer - a rags to riches story from a remote valley in Norway to the Waldorf-Astoria
- Anna Krefting - an accomplished Norwegian woman active in the last 17th, early 18th century
- Olav Selvaag - a Norwegian contractor who made a decisive difference on the housing crisis after World War II
- Otto Eisler - a Czech architect with nine lives and an important contribution to his home town of Brno
- Rats in New York City - more of them than humans, and at least as impressive
- Eiliv Austlid - war hero who posthumously got overdue recognition
- Kyriacos Demetriou - old-fashioned barber on Manhattan's Upper West Side who cut my hair, too. After interviewing me.
|The 25 DYK Creation and Expansion Medal|
|Awarded to myself :-) Leifern (talk) 12:49, 20 April 2010 (UTC)|
Norwegian Barnstar of National Merit
|The Norwegian Barnstar of National Merit|
|For your fine contributions to Norwegian articles, in particular the less lauded sides of Norwegian World War II history. Manxruler (talk) 17:29, 27 September 2008 (UTC)|
|this WikiAward was given to Leifern by Manxruler (talk) on 17:29, 27 September 2008 (UTC)|
User:Leifern has been identified as an Awesome Wikipedian,
A record of your Day will always be kept here.