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Gone Fishin'[edit]

This is a notice that, though I'd always like to continue editing, I'm on a de facto hiatus. Somewhere around 2012 I stopped finding the time to edit and take part in the community. I still like to edit when I see something I can quickly fix, but that is now rare. And large contributions like the ones I'd been planning below have stopped. As soon as I find the time I'll be more active, but that time is not in sight yet. I also moved to Pennsylvania, so I can't participate in DC meetups, though I reserve the right to pop in if I'm in the area!

Old text[edit]

Who am I?[edit]

I am an avid Wikipedia reader. I read much more than I edit. I read almost every day, [too] often for hours. As for editing, in 2009 I averaged 8 edits per month, just to give you an idea. I'd like to find the time to contribute more substantially, though.

Why do I edit?[edit]

Mainly, I'm just a big fan. You can learn an incredible amount on these pages, from what Westphalian sovereignty is to how nuclear power plants work to what the internet infrastructure is.

And there's a multitude of smaller topics that you never knew about but which are fascinating. To give just a few examples I'd name the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the Omphalos hypothesis, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, and Kowloon Walled City. And these are still far from trivia. Because of the standard of notability, most articles you run across will educate you on some significant facet of our world.

We've got a nascent Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy here, just as the web always had the potential to be. This is why I list this site high on my personal reasons for why it's already the future.

So that's why I edit. I think this project is an incredibly positive development in society and I relish any opportunity to further it.

Have I messed something up?[edit]

Then it's probably simply out of ignorance. Please revert and, if you could, let me know what I did wrong. There's a lot of policies and I'm no wikilaw expert yet.

Announcement: Working on a new article, Help Wanted[edit]

Steve Duncan

Famous urban explorer. As you can see from my links there, he's been written up many times by newspapers and magazines. He even co-hosted a short-lived Discovery Channel show on his vocation. If you have anything to contribute, your help would be much appreciated.

Cord Cutting

Also, here's another idea I just had. I don't have any content or references yet, but a quick Google search shows it will easily pass notability criteria.

Oh, and here's an interesting citation for HBO's stance.

Ok here's another with actual statistics.

And another good analysis.

Soapbox: Wikipedia, I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down.[edit]

I've really been getting frustrated with Wikipedia lately. It's because so many articles are written so that they are incomprehensible to anyone who's come there to learn about a subject. To put it more bluntly, it often seems that articles aren't written for anyone's benefit except those who already know about the subject. I used to be a huge fan of learning about a whole new field through Wikipedia, but I find myself doing that less and less. I actually go elsewhere to learn things sometimes! I know! The very idea!

A pretty good example is the "what the internet infrastructure is" topic I referred to in my little essay above (written a while ago now). It took a long time and going back and forth between many articles before I could even glean a major feature of the modern internet: the fact that since many of us live behind routers, we aren't actually on the public internet (we're on private networks). I look at those articles now and yes, I understand what they're saying, but that's because I already know what they're "trying" to tell you.

I think the problem is both an abundance of jargon and a tendency to spend most of the article obsessing over little details and distinctions before we've established a general-terms overview. Before you can understand the exact definition, it really really helps to know what sort of thing we're talking about, what it's usually like, and what people usually mean when they use the term.

I just don't understand what the point is of what we're doing here if not to educate the non-knowledgeable. Reminding experts of the details is useful, I suppose, but is that all we want to be?


Just had to get that off my mind, I guess. Also, the first step to doing something about it is to at least get talking about it first. If you have thoughts, pro- or anti-, or are even interested in taking action, feel free to leave me a note. For now I'll direct your attention to a fantastic essay I just discovered: Wikipedia:Readers first. Gives me hope that others are interested in this too.

Update: I've found my home! Wikipedia:Make technical articles understandable (or WP:MTAA for short!) seems to be exactly what I'm talking about. Someone else gets it!

Also, I've started to do actual, constructive work to change this state of affairs. So that helps a lot.

Great article or Greatest article?[edit]

And now for some needed levity. There is an article on this here Wikipedia called Rotating locomotion in living systems. It is a long, well-cited, very complete discussion that can be summarized as "Why animals don't have wheels." I am a fan of this. That is all.

areas of interest[edit]

I have a B.S. in molecular biology, so that's my one accredited area of expertise.
Another area where I have some academic knowledge is the world of global energy sources, especially bioethanol.
Related to the above topics, I attended Georgetown for four years, and know quite a bit about the history of the campus.
Then I moved to "real" D.C. and learned the same stuff about the wider city - the physical history of the place.
Also, I've spent way too much time procrastinating on the intertubes, resulting in a great familiarity with the webcomic community. Ok, let me clarify: the quality webcomic community. Nothing to do with the vast hordes of horrible webcomics.
  • Tech
Much as I try to keep my distance, I'm usually nauseatingly current on tech news. My blog & periodical intake is flush with terms like HTML5, Chrome OS, The Long Tail, new media and yes even those twitspace and youface sites.
Another side of this coin is my anthropological interest in those real denizens of the internet, or more accurately the internets*. Look, for instance, at the roiling pot of creativity and culture creation that is 4chan. Or the spontaneous organization of these people into the amoeba-like organization Anonymous. Or, for a slightly different angle read/listen to danah boyd describe academic research on how young people use the internet.
And finally, in my further online procrastination I've come to embrace and explore all the wonderful things Google brings to our world.

*also known as the intertubes, interwebs, intertron, interwebs, interblag, intertweets, the tubes, or (rarely), the interbutts.

to do[edit]

Other pending actions[edit]

Posted in talk page, waiting for approval/objections[edit]

Ideas bin:[edit]

  • ***DNA sequencing*** IMPORTANT Ok so people want this article to be understandable (see the talk page). And I could make that happen. This is probably going to be the first place laymen come when trying to find out what sequencing is, so I could have a very significant impact. So: Priority #1.
  • ROFLCon - Write "External Links" references into article, move to "References" section

Potential work[edit]


(I didn't know where else to put this)

This is useful for resetting the indent of a thread on talk pages!

─────────────── See?
There's a template for it: {{outdent|::::}}
(the number of colons should be the same as the number of indents of the preceding text). You can also use the simple version: {{outdent}}

See Also[edit]

a blog where I write about anything that interests me (mostly frivolous fun things from the internet)

Internal Links[edit]

(mostly for my own purposes)

personal editing milestones
major edits

  • old versions of this page:
1st version
2nd version

Cryptonerd Stuff[edit]

Committed identity: 10c182e8eb66c759cdf8c58e6d2ef0dc8fb75d7a7281a3bbaca9128b7b836843818d99d602da1b51346795be437b89ca917ec460ad2f2410998499d180e73896 is a SHA-512 commitment to this user's real-life identity.