User:RadioKAOS

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PULP The truth is...you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin' Ringo...I'm tryin' REAL HARD to be the shepherd.
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UPDATE — December 2016: It's crunch time in my life. My attitude thus far has been one of continuing to do the work I've been doing, with the community deciding whether or not it wishes to benefit from that work. As it stands right now, the community is deciding against that. Lately, too much of my limited time has been consumed by very active users indifferently pushing their WP:POV and WP:OWN agendas and brain-dead script editing, by my watchlist constantly filling up with those and other edits which reflect activity but not real progress, and by the WMF filling my screen with incessant begging for money every time I don't log in right away. For as long as Wikipedia has been around, it's not at the level it needs to be in order to survive. In fact, too many corners of the encyclopedia have actually retrogressed compared to when I was first here over a decade ago, simply to support the views of certain OWN warriors and/or policy-shoppers. Anyone with reading habits beyond whatever's trending on the web today or Jack Reacher novels can see that. Hell, "even Ray Charles can see that". I don't need to be on here to kill time. I also don't need to make meaningful content contributions solely to provide cannon fodder to those editors who make it obvious that they're here for other reasons, stretching the concept of "collaboration" beyond all reasonable logic. I wouldn't have this attitude if not for browsing revision histories of numerous articles which have existed for ten or twelve years or more and witnessing one editor doing all the real work and the same editors showing up afterward to make the same edits, time and time and time again. You should thank WMF for providing you with a venue for that, because I've worked too many jobs in my life where you would be run off within five minutes for bringing that sort of work ethic with you. While I thank those of you who have offered positive comments to me recently, it's just not enough. I'll see you around if/when things change.
(It gets better – while previewing this before saving, I see that one of the userboxes I've been using was deleted under WP:G10. So some admin living in Canada believes that criticism of the U.S. government is an "attack"? Still better yet, G10 addressed attacking or harassing a person. Uncle Sam is a person? Wow...in the immortal words of Rod Serling, "you just crossed over into The Twilight Zone".)
UPDATE — November 2016: I don't know if "discouraged" is quite the correct term, but I couldn't find a better template to use (in so many cases I've seen, "retired" is a lot of nonsense). Events in my life the past year have affected the amount of free time I have and my outlook towards the project, which have seemingly gone hand in hand. I'm now 50 years old (which no one believes because I still have a full head of hair and no gray hair, a full set of teeth and a clearly defined jawline, but that's a whole other story...). I think of Kirk West's introduction of Gov't Mule in their concert of December 31, 1999: "Comes a time in each of our lives when we have to decide whether you're going to be part of the problem or you're gonna be part of the solution". For too many years now but especially as of late, my watchlist constantly reveals evidence that Wikipedia is part of the problem and not part of the solution. This wasn't the case so much when I first came here in 2006. For the past five years or better, it's only gotten worse and worse. The most active Wikipedians are typically the ones who do the absolute least to move content forward and move the encyclopedia forward, and in some cases appear proud of that distinction. We're hardly "reflecting human knowledge" when concepts such as notability and reliable sourcing long predate Wikipedia's existence and yet most content reads as if we invented those concepts. WP:ABOUT, a high-profile project page, mentions collaboration in each of its first two paragraphs. Pretty much all I've seen as of late is agenda pushing (to include pushing particular sources at the expense of others) and content dumping, but precious little collaboration. Easily seven or eight of every ten articles I read for the first time are noticeably deficient. The attitude shown by the most active editors towards improving content begs for the creation of WP:ITSNOTMYPROBLEM to describe it. I'll be happy to do my part when I see evidence that this attitude changes, as opposed to seeing these editors standing around waiting for me and others to provide them cannon fodder for their piddling around. Have a good day and thank you for reading this.


I'll start by offering a selection of pertinent quotes:

"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion."Thomas Jefferson

"Knowledge is right there, we don't even look."KRS-One

"Burn down the ghettos of the mind. Think; it's not illegal yet." – James Wesley Jackson

"All these things, you can look up in case you don't understand what I'm saying."Rahsaan Roland Kirk

"When it's time to function as a feeling human being, will your bachelor of arts help you get by?"Terry Kath

"Turn off the news and read."Immortal Technique

"When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children?"Bill Hicks

"We should not make policy to avoid people's psychological dislike of messiness...In the case of an active editor it is inevitable that drama, hurt feelings, administrator involvement, visits to WP:ANI, and inevitably active editors becoming in-active editors would occur in a non-zero number of cases, making the policy a net negative."Thparkth

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced."James Baldwin (that one goes out to all the do-nothing admins and other active editors who fiddle away on drama boards and mindless script editing while Wikipedia's hope for credibility continues to burn)

"If creativity is a field, copyright is the fence."John Oswald

"(Skill in writing) is not a gift, it is something you struggle to learn."Fred Chappell

"If you have an unpleasant nature and dislike people, it is no obstacle to work."John G. Bennett

"It's not important to even be remembered. I mean, the people who worry about being remembered are guys like Reagan, Bush; these people want to be remembered. And they'll spend a lot of money, and do a lot of work, to make sure that remembrance is just terrific. I don't care."Frank Zappa

"Imagine a Warren Miller ski film consisting of random footage of skiers at the Olympic trials superimposed through CGI on equally as random footage of mountainous wintertime scenery taken from the Superman films. That's what Wikipedia resembles far too much of the time." – me (and as long as I'm making film analogies, too much of Wikipedian process resembles Brazil-meets-Idiocracy, with just enough of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble thrown in for good measure)

Finally, this one is for all of the excessively bitey Twinkle warriors out there, especially the ones who don't appear to care when the people they bite aren't newbies and don't appear to be doing a whole lot themselves to actually build an encyclopedia:

"Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! For ye lade men with burdens grevious to be borne, and ye yourself touch not the burdens with one of your fingers."Jesus in Luke 11:46 (KJV)

About me[edit]

I was born in Canton, Ohio on November NOYGDB, 1966. I was born the same week that Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California, as well as roughly the same time the D.C. punditocracy were proclaiming that George Romney would be the next President of the United States. Don't get me started on what I may think of his son. I spent my earliest years living close to Interstate 77, nearly "in the shadow" of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I was in Canton long enough to where if I went back today, I wouldn't get lost in the wrong part of town, which these days appears to include the very first neighborhood I lived in. See urban decay for further information, but Canton is Beverly Hills compared to some parts of Cleveland and many parts of Detroit.

At a young age, our family moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, which is where I've spent a good portion of my life. This place produces some rather strange "brain chemistry", so thankfully, I've "escaped" here and there to different places over the years. I returned to Fairbanks "for good" near the end of the 1990s. After too many years of rotting away in town, recently{{when}}in the spring of 2014, I took advantage of an opportunity to relive my semi-rural upbringing in the outskirts of Fairbanks. I currently live[needs update] in Two Rivers, Alaska (approximately 21½ miles from Walmart, what a great feeling!) in a tiny cabin (I can't call it primitive because it has electricity – some of you will understand what I'm talking about). We've been dealing with a critical cost of living situation in most of Alaska outside of the Anchorage metropolitan area since approximately 2008, which is a large part of my motivation to live so far from town. Nonetheless, my place of residence is subject to change at any time, depending on how desperate I may feel. My family tried to get me to move to Mesa, Arizona back in 2011, but that rather spectacularly fell apart. I'm sure I really wanted to meet a nice young girl in a place like that anyway, huh?

(At this point, the biography is still rather unfinished. In fact, it reminds me of a certain influential recording from the 1960s: "I was born in Adams, North Dakota a long time ago, see? And now I'm lucky enough to be here with you." "Yeah, but what's happened in between?" "Yeah, what has happened?" "Well, it went pretty much like this." If you're sufficiently ancient enough or "hip" enough to actually remember this recording, of course "what happened in between" isn't quite like one would expect.)

I have been a "hobbyist historian" since the mid 1980s, and have been using the Information SupertoiletInternet and predecessor entities since 1989. I initiated my Wikipedia account in 2006. Most of my editing activity has occurred since 2009, when the economic downturn combined with taking a desk job allowed me an opportunity to become more involved. The former situation still applies to me, though the latter no longer does. Often, my activity on here is impeded by paying work, in order to provide for basic (or trivial? you tell me) needs such as sleeping indoors and eating. The income possibilities from e-books may also deter me from spending time doing research and writing on here, when I consider that I'm doing this for free, yet others are eager for me to do that work for free so they can then copy it and profit from it. I'm still on the fence about that, since it seems as if everyone I know these days is writing a book or trying to write a book.

My experiences have led to a perhaps somewhat unorthodox approach towards Wikipedia. From observation over the years, Wikipedia has headed in the direction of having more and more articles, which more often than not serve less and less purpose. The hangup many editors have over web-based versus non-web-based sources has served as a major impediment to moving Wikipedia forward. Having spent lots of time in library basements doing detailed research, it's obvious that a lot of what's out there on the Internet is pure and utter crap. Of course, there's lots of good stuff, too. There's too much of a reliance upon PD sources to fill content. That stuff comes with POV baggage, too. Most of the articles which I deal with appear to have been written so as to show as few dimensions of a subject as possible, backed by as few sources as possible.

My first experience in accessing the online world from the "comforts of home" was logging in to BITNET from a VT100 terminal connected to a 280 baud acoustic coupler. This was in late 1989 or early 1990, if I remember correctly. The point I'm trying to make here is that I've seen a lot of "information revolutions" come and go in a fairly short amount of time. Don't think that Wikipedia can't be next. I came along at a time when there was sufficient interest amongst the real world in making this happen, much of which has dissipated over the years. There is still plenty of real work to be done, and seemingly fewer and fewer people willing to do it.

About my username[edit]

My username is derived from Radio K.A.O.S., the 1987 album by Roger Waters. Many people have assumed over the years that it actually refers to KAOS (FM), the radio station at The Evergreen State College. It's a fair cop, I suppose. As I mention below in more detail, I've been fooling around radio stations for decades, at times even actually serving a useful purpose at one or another station.

Areas of interest[edit]

"The Projects"
Flag of Alaska.svgThis user is a member of
WikiProject Alaska.
Wrightflyer thumb.jpgThis user is a member of WikiProject Aviation.
American Eskimo Dog.jpgThis user is a member of
WikiProject Dogs.
A coloured voting box.svgThis user is a member of WikiProject Elections and Referendums.
Zappa.jpgThis user is a member of
WikiProject Frank Zappa
Radio Transmission Towers Atop Mt. Wilson.jpgThis user is a member of
WikiProject Radio Stations.
This user edits articles about Alaska Routes.
Legislature128.png
This user is a member of the
WikiProject US State Legislatures
OTVbelweder-front.jpgThis user is a member of WikiProject Television Stations.

I tend to write about what I know. A highly respected Wikipedia administrator, whom I won't name (if you're good at searching, you can probably figure it out for yourself), once strongly implied that I'm a part of the problem FOR THAT VERY REASON. I chose to let that go, as the "three monkeys syndrome" and gaping contextual holes large enough to drive a 747 (or in certain extreme cases, more like the Space Shuttle) through are so prevalent on Wikipedia, they speak for themselves. No use in wasting my time with yet another pointless argument, as I seem to do enough of that as it is.

My major interests on Wikipedia are as follows:

Alaska, particularly its history, political structures, physical geography, etc. One of my major ongoing projects is to shore up biographical coverage of Alaskans, as many important figures are missing from the encyclopedia. There has been a dangerous tendency to give undue weight towards modern-day pseudo-celebrities (for example, the kind of people who earn their living making stupid comments on cable television shows watched by few people), which I hope to correct.

Professional wrestling, mostly centered on its history. Very little of the current product interests me. A lot of recentism and undue weight, as well as the lack of quality sources, exists in these articles, too.

Modern music of various genres. Most of my musical tastes lean towards jazz and rock music.

Television and radio broadcasting, mostly in Alaska. I spent 2½ years as a volunteer announcer on public radio, and have been involved in radio in various off-air capacities on and off over several decades.

Politics, particularly elections and political biography. I studied political science in college. Glad I didn't graduate, because in retrospect, a degree in basket weaving may have actually been more useful. I see lots of people with Bachelor's degrees working in convenience stores, making less money than I do. Anyway, an issue I've dealt with in election coverage on Wikipedia is as follows: election coverage on this, a non-commercial entity, should not closely mirror the coverage provided by the corporate media, who may be biased in their coverage for reasons having to do with advertising revenue, or other bottom line concerns. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that many other people get that point. I think that in a lot of cases, their poli-sci education may have altered their perspective and thinking too much.

Alternately, I do a lot of what could be considered WikiGnome-type work, primarily in the interest of maintaining things which otherwise would have left to languish. Since sports analogies are so popular, you can call me a utility player, I guess.

Ongoing/in progress stuff[edit]

My sandbox is here. A lot of times, I edit articles with no particular rhyme or reason. Formerly scattered about my userspace, now collected under this subpage, are other projects I've initiated which may require more time to do properly than what I may have at any given time. These are in various stages of completion. Maybe if I beg for donations to replace my laptop, this stuff will be completed quicker. Actually, I think I stand a better chance of having winged monkeys fly out of my ass every time I fart. There is no deadline, correct?

The obligatory self-congratulatory stuff[edit]

"Honors"
Symbol support vote.svgThis user helped promote the article Alaska Airlines to good article status.
Newspaper.svgThis user nominated Meadowlark Lemon for the In the news section on the main page, which was included on December 29, 2015

As I previously allude to, this quest is perhaps a bit solitary in nature. Wikipedia, and really for that matter the "free information revolution", has so much more potential than being just another form of video gaming or one huge portal to other websites. Out in the real world, I regularly deal with people who lack enthusiasm for free information, for myriad reasons. No doubt a lot of these reasons center on how time-consuming it is to properly build a product such as this, and for free, no less. Time spent in the "real world" tends to be far more rewarding. You can hardly blame people for that. I mean, when I see user pages which consist of nothing but self-congraulatory accolades, I have to keep one thing in mind: scores of FA/GA/DYK/etc. awards plus a dollar or so will get me a cup of coffee from the convenience store or a ride on the bus for perhaps longer than two blocks. There's also the aspect of a whole lot of go-along-and-get-along Kool-Aid drinking on Wikipedia, sometimes masked as "consensus", which I haven't been eager to be a party to. Nonetheless, below are some of the accolades received from fellow users:

Writers Barnstar Hires.png The Writer's Barnstar
Great work on furthering the Alaskana info around here! If you ever need assistance for detailed info, let me know- I spend a lot of time in the Alaska Wing of the Loussac Library in Anchorage. Zaftig82 (talk) 19:06, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
Thanks for the heads up. I did not realize I was violating the COI policy. I'm new to posting on WikiPedia. Just didn't seem right to be excluded. All announced candidates should be covered. J.R.Myers John R.Myers (talk) 06:29, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
A Barnstar!
The Alaskan Barnstar

For updating all those mayors, and all the other great work you do for AK-related content. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:23, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Barnstar of Diligence Hires.png The Barnstar of Diligence
For your excellent comments on the Alaskan Thunderfuck AfD Winner 42 Talk to me! 20:55, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

We'll be back with more...stuff[edit]

No, not exactly. However, more information on what I'm up to or have been up to can be found here. Take care. I would advise "don't take any wooden nickels", but in this day and age, they're probably worth about as much as any given fiat currency. How many loaves of bread will I get for a billion dollars in Zimbabwe, anyway?

(Oh yeah, that reminds me of a story. Nowadays, there's this one radio station which plays all the same songs I used to hear on another radio station when I was a kid. It's so funny listening to "Master Blaster (Jammin')", particularly the dated lyric "Peace has come to Zimbabwe". While more appropriate these days, it would be rather awkward were Stevie to sing "Hyperinflation has come to Zimbabwe".)