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My name is Mike. Currently, I'm from metropolitan Cleveland, Ohio; but I've lived in many places in the United States: Chicago, Illinois where I went to university; Detroit, Michigan, where I went to high school; I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama; and was born in Reno, Nevada to expatriate Californians.

Perspective on Wikipedia[edit]

9pointedstar.png This user is interested in the Bahá'í Faith.
World citizen badge.svg This user is a Citizen of the World (Terra).
Small Flag of the United Nations ZP.svg This user supports the United Nations.
Cleveland From The Lake.jpg This user lives in or hails from Cleveland.
Flag of Chicago, Illinois.svg This user lives in or hails from Chicago. Sears Tower ss.jpg
DetroitSkyline.jpg This user lives in or hails from Detroit.
Vulcan statue head icon.jpg This user lives in or hails from Birmingham, Alabama.
ISTJ This user's MBTI type is ISTJ.
ESTJ This user's MBTI type is ESTJ.
School and Professional
Northwestern n logo.jpg This user attends or attended Northwestern University.
ΤΒΠ This user is a member of Tau Beta Pi.
BS This user has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.
MS This user has a Master of Science degree in Project Management.
Golden Gate bridge pillar.jpg
This user is a
Structural Engineer
Sustainable development.svg
Engineering WikiProject Logo1.png
This user is a
Professional Engineer
Sustainable development.svg
ASCE This user is a member of ASCE.
NSPE This user is a member of NSPE.
O This user is a member of the Order of the Engineer.
ΓΔΙ This user was a ΓΔΙ in college.
AΣΣ This user has been mistaken for a AΣΣ repeatedly, and still doesn't have a clue why.
Outlook and Positions
Lq-dna.png This user understands biological evolution.
evol-3 This user accepts the theory of evolution.
This user believes that the pro-life and pro-choice philosophies are not mutually exclusive.
Dome 1.jpg This user believes in the separation of church and state. ReligionSymbolAbr.PNG
to¦go This user chooses to sometimes use split infinitives.
A, B, and C This user prefers the serial comma.
they This user considers singular they standard English usage.
dis This user thinks that using "disrespect" as a verb is disrespectful, except informally.
Wikipedia Related
<ref> This user recognizes the importance of citing sources.
Nuvola apps korganizer.svg This user thinks that registration should be required to edit articles.
excl This editor is an exclusionist.
exo This editor is an exopedian.
Wikignome crop.gif This editor is a WikiGnome.
Treble clef.svg This user plays his or her music in the treble clef.
Bass clef.svg This user plays his or her music in the bass clef.
Euphonium1.JPG This user plays the euphonium.
Posaune.gif This user plays the trombone.
Recorder.jpg This user plays the recorder.
Berzerk-mosht.jpg This user enjoys heavy metal music.
KemetismSymbol.PNG This user is doomed to love goth music.
Stratocaster detail DSC06937.jpg This user likes grunge music.
Stratocaster detail DSC06937.jpg This user likes alternative rock.
80s This user rocks out to totally rad 80s new wave music.
The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg This user listens to World Music
Celticharp x44.png This user fancies Celtic music.
EV-In.svg This user was brought to life by Evanescence.
Dm logo2 2013.png This user is unable to Shake the Disease.
Clegg This user is a Johnny Clegg fan.
Qÿ This user is a fan of Queensrÿche.
Misc and Meaningless
IQ This user's Intelligence Quotient is the subject of much heated debate..
Metric seal.svg This user prefers the metric system.

ft-lb This user uses American Measurements.
trek This user is a Trekkie or Trekker.
gk This user is a geek.
Red Green This user is a fan of the Red Green show.
Koebel.jpg This user STRONGLY advocates the use of more cowbell.
See the main articles: Criticism of Wikipedia, and Wikipedia:General disclaimer for additional details.

Out of the blocks: If you are using this as a reliable source then caveat emptor!

You should be aware that: "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth." [Emphasis is Wikipedia's!]

Seriously. There are editors here who are not at all interested in truth. If they can find a citation, in it goes; even if demonstrably false, banal, or represents a perspective shared by 0.1% of the population. Call them Wikisith because they are using the rules to defeat the rules' purpose.

Larry Sanger makes several cogent observations of the project, especially with respect to anything remotely controversial,[1] which are well worth considering.

Pop culture articles are generally good. (Who knew there were seven forms of lightsaber combat?) Militaria, math, science, history, and classical studies are not bad — but be careful in obscure places. And the math and science can be almost impossibly opaque — and that's from an engineer. But pseudoscience, and people grinding axes on even remotely controversial topics, run amok here. Beware of obscure topics.

I have found a consistent anti-expertise, "don't bother me with silly facts", and "how dare you ask me to produce my sources" bias among several editors I've run across. (Take a look at Chiropractic (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) for a really in-depth example.) The damage that only a few editors can do is astounding, and is totally unseen by the casual reader.

And despite the belief, taken as axiomatic by some, that these contributions will all wash out in the end, I haven't really seen evidence of that. The best I've seen is that one can try to bury these with reliable and verifiable sources. The trouble is, is that I've seen many editors confuse a verifiable source for a reliable one. Some do so deliberately. And that difference means all the world to the veracity of what you'll find here. So don't take a "sourced" statement here as necessarily reliable. Remember, "attributable, not the truth" is the motto.

If you're going to be editing here for any length of time, bear in mind that we are all volunteers and this from Henry Kissinger: "University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small."[2]

Therefore, despite my having edited here since September of 2005, made what I think are good contributions, and seen quite a bit of yeoman's work of others, I would never consider Wikipedia an acceptable source for academic work. (I'm not alone.) In a lot of ways wikipedia is tantamount to a readable Google search. If you are going to use wikipedia for research, try the article's sources and start from there. Better yet, go to the libes and ask your librarian.

These articles on evaluating primary and secondary sources are well worth your time.

So dear reader, like everything you find on the internet, if you don't know the source to be trustworthy, don't trust what you're reading — even if I wrote it.


If you're here you're probably looking to see if you can pick out my point-of-view. In the interest of full-disclosure, and recognizing that the first way to overcome bias is to name it:

  • I am a Bahá'í, and have been one since birth. I seem to be following these articles with interest
  • I am an Anglo-American, male, middle-aged, family man; and a masters-degreed, licensed civil and structural engineer. My specialties are project management and bridge design, particularly movable bridges.
  • Academics run very deep in my family. Both grandfathers, my father and my only aunt hold doctorates. (I have no uncles.) My mother, one grandmother, sister, wife, and I all are underachievers and only hold master's degrees.
  • Military service ran in my family. Both Grandfathers were career officers.
  • I may have grown up in the American South, but I'm a Union man, and think Robert E. Lee etc. betrayed their country.
  • An open dictionary can cost me half-an-hour.
  • An open encyclopedia can cost me an entire afternoon.
  • I arange visits to the mall to avoid Borders if I'm (or She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed is) in a hurry.
  • My family and I are members of:
  • Sloppy logic, fuzzy journalism, and innumeracy make my teeth itch.
"I exist,"
"God exists,"
"Therefore I am God."
… it's nonsense.
  • If inflation this past quarter rose from 1.0% to 2.0%, this is not a 1% increase — it's a 100% increase, or one percentage point increase.
  • On the other hand, elegant logic, clear and well-documented journalism, and precision are things of beauty.
  • I claim no expertise other than what I've earned and is recognized by my peers. I generally do not recognize others claims unless they can demonstrate likewise. That doesn't mean I won't listen to a well-researched and cogent argument — in fact I rely on that when I'm outside of my areas of expertise. But please don't stand alone on a claim of expertise. That's argument from authority.
  • I have formally, and informally, studied logic and rhetoric; ergo I have a nose for logical fallacies, and have no problem noting them in a discussion.
  • I consider chocolate to be a food-group — and the darker the better. White chocolate, on the other hand, is evidence of the existence of evil.
  • I am eagerly waiting for Tim Horton's to finally come to northeast Ohio — and wondering why it's taking so long.


Everybody's got them. It's the variety that makes life interesting.

(Personal Notes: My paternal grandmother was born in Saskatoon; and I spent my high-school years in Detroit — where the prettiest places were in Windsor — that is until the casinos came and ruined both downtowns.)

Quotes and Maxims[edit]

I'll leave it to you to figure out what I think are words to live by — or words to laugh by.

  • "The unexamined life is not worth living." — Socrates [7] [8]
  • "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. ..." — Frank Herbert's Bene Gesserit littany against fear in Dune
  • "Your pretty brave in cyberspace, flameboy!" - Wally
  • "To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it."[9]Henry Kissinger
  • "Morning team. My name is Edmund Blackadder, and I'm the new minister for religious genocide." — Rowan Atkinson as Edmund, Lord Blackadder in Black Adder II
  • "I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do. That is character!"[10]Theodore Roosevelt
  • "I have a cunning plan that can get you out of your problem." — Baldrick in various Blackadder episodes.
  • "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."[11] — Mark Twain
  • "Quando omni flunkus moritati" — Possum Lodge motto.
  • "The problem is not that we have too many fools, it's that the lightning isn't distributed right."[12]Mark Twain
  • "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death." — Mame Dennis in Auntie Mame
  • "I despise people who go to the gutter on either the right or the left and hurl rocks at those in the center."[13]Dwight Eisenhower
  • "I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war." — British Army Major to soldier in Beyond the Fringe
  • "Always do right - this will gratify some and astonish the rest."[14] — Mark Twain
  • "I deplore the need or the use of troops anywhere to get American citizens to obey the orders of constituted courts."[15] — Dwight Eisenhower
  • The Man's Prayer: "I'm a man. But I can change. If I have to. I guess." The Possum Lodge Benediction.
  • The Scout's Prayer: "I'm a scout. But I can lighten up. If I have to. I guess." The Possum Lodge Scout's Benediction.
  • The Woman's Prayer: "I'm a woman. Hear me roar. I'm in charge. Get over it." The Possum Lodge Women's Auxiliary Benediction.
  • "Good evening godless sodomites. … It (reality television) warps the minds of our children and weakens the resolve of our allies. … Kneel before your god, Babylon! … I lost to Barry Manilow!" — Stephen Colbert at the 2006 Emmys.

Favorite Wikipedia Articles[edit]

To get one thinking:

To make one laugh:

Ones that I've made major contributions to, and to which I'm probably ego bound:

Sockpuppets and Meatpuppets I've known and loved[edit]

"You're pretty brave in cyberspace, flameboy!"

{{ Sockpuppet|SecretChiefs3 }}

I Make a Usenet Discussions for This[edit]

[16] "The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here! I'm a real person!" - Steve Martin as Navin Johnson in The Jerk

North American travels[edit]

Spent years:

Flag of Alabama.svg Flag of Illinois.svg Flag of Michigan.svg Flag of Nevada.svg Flag of Ohio.svg

Weeks to Months:

Flag of Arizona.svg Flag of Arkansas.svg Flag of California.svg Flag of Florida.svg Flag of Mississippi.svg Flag of North Carolina.svg Flag of Ontario.svg Flag of Pennsylvania.svg Flag of South Carolina.svg Flag of Quebec.svg Flag of Virginia.svg


Flag of Colorado.svg Flag of Florida.svg Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg Flag of Indiana.svg Flag of Manitoba.svg Flag of New York.svg Flag of Tennessee.svg Flag of Utah.svg Flag of Washington, D.C..svg Flag of Wisconsin.svg


Flag of Iowa.svg Flag of Kentucky.svg Flag of Louisiana.svg Flag of Maryland.svg Flag of Missouri.svg Flag of Nebraska.svg Flag of New Mexico.svg Flag of West Virginia.svg Flag of Wyoming.svg

Idea and layout taken from User:jpgordon, who borrowed it from User:Calton, who appropriated it from User:Salsb, who stole it from User:Guettarda who borrowed it from User:White Cat


A Barnstar!
9-Pointed Barnstar

I award this 9-Pointed Barnstar to MARussellPESE for his tireless efforts creating and maintaining high-quality Bahá'í articles. --Managerpants (talk) 03:51, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

This editor is a Journeyman Editor and is entitled to display this Service Badge.
All rights released to all text
I agree to release all rights, unless otherwise stated, to all my text contributions to the English Wikipedia, enabling anyone to use them for any purpose. Please be aware that other contributors might not do the same, so if you want to use my contributions under free use terms, please check the Multi-licensing guide.