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I'm Dave, AKA Pollinator, AKA a kinder, gentler curmudgeon, also known to my wife and many others as "The Old Drone." (Could that mean I'm a has-been who's missed my main purpose in life, or does it make me a suitable target?) I'm a retired commercial beekeeper, who specialized in pollination service for fruit and vegetable growers. I am now occupied with writing and photography, particularly about nature and local interest themes. I've written a couple non-notable books and free-lanced some magazine articles. Since I "retired" I have also become an editor of a small town newspaper.
I live in South Carolina, USA. Started as a Wikipedia editor on September 9, 2003. Confirmed Wikiholic. Wikipedia Administrator since March 27, 2004. I'm pleased to be identified as a tree hugger. But don't call me a Redneck. I'm a proud Appalachian-American.
I have thousands of photos of flowers and their visitors, as well as many others on nature-oriented themes. I have posted some of these on Wikipedia. Some examples of my photography can be seen at User:Pollinator/Images. Photos of unidentified species can be seen at User:Pollinator/unidentified species, and assistance would be appreciated to identify and place in helpful locations in Wikipedia. (After identification, the images will be linked to: User:Pollinator/gallery/identified.
Besides my interest in natural sciences, I'm also interested in History, Geography, Philosophy, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and many other eclectic topics. I would like to poke around...and possibly contribute...to the Spanish Wikipedia, but so far the English version has kept me busy.
Y'all come by the talk page... Pollinator 19:34, 14 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Odds 'n ends
- My dog always circles before lying down. I've noticed that it is always in a counterclockwise direction. Could this be due to the Coriolis effect?
- Hurricane Hugo was a wild and unforgettable night. It has been said that it started over Africa with the fluttering of a single butterfly whose wings stirred the air at just the right time and place to stimulate a long sequence of building events that culminated in the hurricane. Could it be possible, as my wife accuses, that El Nino is caused by the same Butterfly Effect as a result of my snoring?
A major pet peeve - Citations - a sometimes wiki problem
At a medieval monastery the question arose as to the number of teeth in a horse's mouth. The monks began a furious debate, with the "brothers" perusing their great library and quoting one ancient expert or another. After a long and unfruitful argument, one young monk spoke up with the comment, "Why don't we look in a horse's mouth and count its teeth?"
The rest of the monastery was furious and the young monk was in great disfavor for a long time after.
An apocryphal tale can sometimes illustrate a common-sense truth.
In the same way the demand for citations (coupled with a denial of personal research) can backfire on Wikipedia. Much of the time, citations are a good thing. But it's not always the best way to ascertain the truth. In some areas one "expert" may have made a statement which was picked up by other "experts" until it became the "truth" known to all. In such a case, citations, and more citations, are useless.
Sometimes citations are demanded by an editor to "prove" a negative, which simply cannot be done.
A good example of the problem with the demand for cites is the article on the Ku Klux Klan, in which, among other things, says (twice) that the Klan was "destroyed" by the Klan Act.
I suspect this was a wishful thinking statement made once, and picked up by others until it became a standard quote. Partly because of the secretive nature of the Klan, and the modern embarrassment of many of the descendants of Klan members, direct citations to refute this whacky statement are probably non-existent. But the statement is simply untrue, and it's not worthy of Wikipedia to disseminate false information.
Another side of this Wiki problem is the compulsion of some Wikipedia editors to run around and slap citation needed on articles that are not questionable or in dispute. It's just plain silly to cite for every aspect of everything written here. Many of the Wikipedia editors are experts in their own right, and should not be discouraged or driven away by the arrogance of others who demand citations.
Certainly it is an Internet problem that anyone can write anything and much is on the Internet that is of questionable value. If a Wikipedia editor is constantly putting questionable or POV material into articles, that's one thing. But if an editor is writing carefully, it becomes apparent to readers. Any good teacher should be teaching his student the skills needed to separate the wheat from the chaff. The Wikipedia demands for citations ultimately will not substitute for good judgment.
There is so much material "out there" today, that anyone could provide a citation of someone saying "anything." Furthermore it's easy to provide a citation that is a statement taken out of context. Such cites actually proves nothing.
How to keep me agreeable (ie. taming the curmudgeon)
If you want to make me nod and smile, fix my typos, misspellings, bad grammar, or wiki formatting, or, better yet, add relevant additional information. I think it's fun to collaborate, and it certainly helps me learn.
If you want to make me grind my teeth, use a phrase like "fungicides and pesticides," or "Catholics and Christians."
Periodic flossing is necessary to remove the plaque. I don't enjoy doing it, but it seems a necessary task of Wikipedia administrators.
To add a site with advertisements
Hello, I have a website, ******* which has hundreds of pages and links to information about ****** which cannot be found on any of the linked pages in this article. I realize the implications of allowing links to commercial websites in an article ostensibly about a government body, but feel our website offers real value to people seeking information on the ***** area. I feel that wikipedia is a valuable resource and a stage in the evolution of the internet. *****(signed)
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Spam is trying hard to remove links to sites that are making money off Wikipedia. You may check there for additional guidelines. Making a request on the talk page is the right way to start, however, if you have a really exceptional site. Some questions you need to ask yourself: Is the primary purpose of my site to earn income? Could I remove the ads? Or could I add the content to Wikipedia? Is my page really exceptional? Am I emotionally involved with my own creation to the point where I overvalue its quality?
- If you still feel that it is worthy of inclusion, despite ads on the site, contact a couple unbiased Wikipedia administrators to review your site. Then one of them can add your site, if they feel it justified. It is a good idea to include a hidden note to that effect. I won't remove sites that have met this standard, though I cannot speak for others on the spam team. Pollinator 19:10, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Apostrophes are ubiquitous and pestiferous. They are useful in the proper place, but have the same propensity for multiplication as a cancer cell. If you catch me using "it's" (the contraction for "it is"), when I actually mean "its" (the possessive of "it") or writing "bee's" and "tree's" as plurals, please take a ruler and whack me on the knuckles until I see the light. You also have my permission to do the same, if ever I write "alot" when I mean "a lot."
The coveted Mail Pouch barn award
Only the most select of Wikipedia Editors (4 so far) will win the coveted barn award. Who will be next?