Professionally I'm a systems administrator and systems architect with a strong commitment to the ideals of open source software. I recently resigned from the board of Software in the Public Interest. I did this as my primary focus outside of work and family has been Men's Rights Activism for the last few years.
I'm the managing editor of A Voice for Men.
My preferred OS for personal use is Linux and has been for well over 20 years. Having said that, I dream of the day when many of today's theoretical concepts in OS design can be rolled out into production. The OSes we have available today are good, but we can do better. In 1995 I founded the Home Unix Machine - Brisbane User Group.
I have a smart and beautiful daughter, Amelie.
No, I'm not this Robert Brockway.
Unfulfilled Life Goals
I'm happy to say I've actually achieved most of the life goals I've set myself. Fortunately I keep adding to the list which keeps life interesting. Life goals that I am yet to fulfill include:
My position on recentism is that Wikipedia is a living document. At any moment it should be relevant to the people who are reading it at that time. As a result I have no problem with including information without an historical perspective, even if it is later removed since it is no longer of interest. This occurs with Wikipedia articles anyway, which undergo constant revision even in cases when they could arguably be considered complete.
Problems with Wikipedia
I think Wikipedia is great. I caught the open source bug a long time go so as soon as I saw it I realised the value. Having said this I do feel there are problems:
1. Anonymous edits
Anonymous edits cause far more harm than good as far as I'm concerned. People who care about Wikipedia will create accounts so they can edit articles. Just like crime most vandalism on WP is opportunistic. A minimal physical barrier will prevent most crime and similarly a minimal barrier to editing (creating an account) will prevent most vandalism. From now on I will comment on the problems with anonymous editing in the edit summary whenever I revert anonymous vandalism.
Some liken anonymous editing to the open source philosophy of allowing anyone to modify source code but this turns out to be a false analogy. All but the smallest open source projects restrict "commit" privileges on the source tree to trusted coders - open source is very much a meritocracy. The ability for anyone to edit the source tree comes from the ability to create a code fork. Those that do not agree with the privileged coders for the project may make their own project. To maintain the same level of openness WP does not need to allow everyone to edit the encyclopedia but rather it need only allow others to create a fork of the encyclopedia if they wish.
This very page was anonymously vandalised recently. The vandal made a series of anti-semitic and hateful statements against me (see the page history for details). I'm not actually Jewish so the anti-semitic statements were a bit odd, while still being offensive.
2. Lack of Consensus
I fear there is a rise of some who do not seek consensus. I have recently seen a concerning instance of this:
A memorial to Steve Irwin (http://www.ripsteve.com) was repeatedly removed from the page despite a consensus that it should stay from among those discussing the matter on the talk page. As each argument to remove the page was shot down another would take its place. So much for consensus.
3. Votes for Deletion
It is far too easy to nominate an article for VfD IMHO. Too many articles are being nominated. My position is that deletion should only be used in extreme circumstances.
Maui Cluster Scheduler was actually nominated for deletion and the result was "no consensus". Many of the comments claimed the article was spam (for an open source project?) or made comments that since the software was not used on a home PC it did not warrant inclusion in WP. At the very least this is parochialism.
Maui is a specialised piece of software. It has as much right to an article as any specialised subject. Much of the encyclopedia is taken up by specialised articles.
Donkey vote was once nominated for Speedy deletion. People need to stop nominating articles for Speedy deletion just because they don't know anything about the topic.
I tend to edit all over the place. I have a wide range of interests. Outside of computing I'm not a specialist in any area although I am well read in many areas of science and the arts. I have a strong interest in the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Articles I Started
- 07:37, 18 April 2004 - Archibald Fenner Brockway
- 01:27, 14 June 2004 - Redback spider
- 09:35, 25 October 2004 - Oera Linda
- 22:43, 27 March 2005 - Schapelle Corby
- 09:31, 28 March 2005 - Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement
- 01:42, 3 April 2005 - Document of Identity (Australia) - Merged in to Australian Document of Identity
- 05:29, 15 May 2005 - E3 Visa - Merged into E-3 visa
- 06:01, 17 May 2005 - Kfar Blum
- 21:03, 19 March, 2006 - Buffalo Castle
- 02:42, 13 February 2006 - Coso artifact
- 04:03, 1 April 2006 - Merchant of Venus
- 02:59, 16 April 2006 - Innocent passage
- 20:53, 5 October 2006 - Julian Moti
- 07:49, 7 January 2007 - LedgerSMB
- 12:16, 13 November 2010 - Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement
- 04:04, 2 August 2011 - OSUNIX
- 17:28, 18 August 2012 Mass For You At Home
- 17:13, 10 February 2013 Steven Hydes
- 05:41, 4 November 2013 Bhyve
Other Articles I've largely rewritten
Articles Saved from Speedy Deletion
- List of survival films
- List of dystopian films
- List of apocalyptic films
- List of historical drama films
Places I've been
Nations I've visited, in order of first arrival: