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This user is no longer active on Wikipedia.

White-tailed prairie dog holes.jpg This editor has gone underground.

This editor has gone underground to a new signon that is not so identifiable to person or to gender, and has scaled back their efforts to produce useful educational content in Wikipedia and associated environments.

Lesson learned[edit]

I will keep this account active in Commons because I hope to help with identifying plant photos, and my academic credentials might have some utility in that context. However, as has been discussed over many years, for example here, here, and here, a scientist, and particularly a female scientist, probably shouldn't bother trying to contribute to the English Wikipedia.

Sadly, the voluminous and eloquent discussions cited above seem to have had little positive effect on the group social behaviour, so that the knowledgeable, rational, or diplomatic editors probably inevitably become demoralized by the overwhelming task of prevailing on even tiny points of fact or decency against the nincompoop faction and the raving-looney faction, but worst of all the out-for-blood faction.

The particular circumstances that led me to see the futility of my participation centred around an individual with enormous energy for copying text from many sources, much of it copyright violations, and almost entirely automatically translated from Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or French (according to this person's own statements in the Spanish Wikipedia). Some of the results were hilarious, the fauna of one locality included nerds and charcoal, the fruit of a plant was said to be a Bay (link included), but much of the material made very little sense. Several editors tried to combat the efforts of this enormously energetic individual. When the "contributions" were copyedited or deleted or tagged with [citation needed], this person became abusive, and eventually their accounts (three that I know of) were blocked, but anonymous IP addresses with the distinctive editing style were active for quite some time (and at least one with a similar style was active as recently as August 2012). This all might have been manageable eventually (hope they get blocked, hope they lose interest, eventually find all their or similar material and clean it up ...) but to have my efforts dismissed by a "good-faith" editor because "women are impatient" was the final straw.

The conclusion that I draw from this is that near-anonymity will be an exciting experiment that might finally permit a real step forward in public education, and I look forward to the launch of