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Sam Ley, also known as Phidauex is a male homo sapiens of average size and disposition. He resides in St. Louis, Missouri, a provincial level state of the United States of America. Sam has a diverse set of skills, and an eclectic education that attracts him to sources of information such as Wikipedia. Feeding chiefly on vegetarian food and new information supped from the world around him, Sam's primary byproducts are human waste, and concise, accessible information.

Sam hates user pages written in the third person, and is currently wondering why he is even typing this. Stop, stop it now! OK. That's better.

My goal on Wikipedia is to facilitate others in their goal to disseminate accurate, up-to-date information. I often contribute to articles, but since I am not an expert on many topics, I frequently find myself in a supporting role, researching images, adjusting formatting, or offering advice and constructive criticism as a neutral, but thorough reviewer or mediator. If you need help on a project, or want a neutral mediator, let me know, and I'll try my best to help.

Feel free to edit this page! I'll trust that your additions or revisions are factual and appropriate. If they aren't, well, I'll just revert'em anyway!

To-Do list[edit]

Got a suggestion for something you think I should be doing?? Add it to the "Others think I should:" section.

edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for User:Phidauex:

Biographies to improve[edit]


Off to the side[edit]

Others think I should[edit]

  • Get a hold of Frank (koozman gmail), he wants to get a hold of you (with as obscure methods as possible, apparently).

Feel free to edit this section with suggested to-dos!

Quotes that guide my edits[edit]

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style

  1. The primary aim of an encyclopedia should be to teach. It should seek only secondarily to inform.
  2. An encyclopedia should be primarily a work of art. It should be only secondarily a work of reference.
  3. The point of a view of an encyclopedia should be primarily human. It should be only secondarily historical and/or scientific and/or literary.
  4. The ideal reader of an encyclopedia should be primarily the curious average man. He should only secondarily be the specialist and/or the high school student.
  5. An encyclopedia should be primarily a document that hopes to change the world for the better. It should be only secondarily a document that accurately reflects the knowledge, opinions and prejudices of its time.

Charles Van Doren, The American Behavioral Scientist, 6, No. 1, September 1962, pp 23-26

A novice was once curious about the nature of the Edit Count. He approached the Zen master and asked, "Zen master, what is the nature of the Edit Count?"

"The Edit Count is as a road," replied the Zen master. "You must travel the road to reach your destination, and some may travel longer roads than others. But do not judge the person at your door by the length of the road he has travelled to reach you."

And the novice was Enlightened.

Wikipedia has made me...[edit]

  • Smarter - I now research topics of interest on Wikipedia first. When I find the existing article lacking, I extend my sphere of research, both in an attempt to educate myself, as well as an attempt to improve the article for the next researcher. This means my absorption rate of new information is higher than it was before, and my retention rate even higher still.
  • A better writer - While I'm still far from a perfect speller or grammarian, my general writing skills have improved greatly in my time editing Wikipedia. The strict requirements for clear, concise prose, and accessible language means I feel held to a higher standard than even prior classroom experiences.
  • A furious skeptic - While some cite the large number of {{npov}} tags as an example of why Wikipedia is fraught with bias, I see the exact opposite problem. The inability to tag the rest of the world means that bias in newspapers, books, magazines, television media, and printed reference material is at best, ignored, and at worst, encouraged. I prefer to trust a Wikipedia article that lacks NPOV disputes than a commercial encyclopedia article. If the Wikipedia article has problems, someone will tag it, if the commercial one has problems... Well, you are left to find those all by yourself... I'm seriously considering making {{npov}} rubber stamps so I can tag the dubious world around me.
  • A more critical thinker - The resolution of complex disputes has given me a greater ability to critically analyze differing information. My Bullshit detector is higher sensitivity than when I began, and I can telescope my mind deeper into a topic's nooks and crannies than previously possible. This comes in handy all the time, while baffling others in my life who simply lament, "Sam thinks too much..."

Random Data[edit]

Good Articles[edit]

Articles I've reviewed and promoted[edit]
Articles I've reviewed and rejected[edit]


Created (or rewritten from scratch) pages[edit]
Other contributions[edit]
Helpful articles[edit]
Mindless maintenance tasks[edit]