User:Rusl

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About RUSL[edit]

Basics[edit]

My name is RUSL Bicycle, I live in Vancouver, BC. I'm a single Dad and have been a bike activist. Currently I'm a bike repair mechanic.

I started making a Critical Mass Vancouver website in 1998, after a friend of mine made the first version. At that time Critical Mass information shared on the web, by email and listservs was quite innovative. When I attended the 1999 Seattle WTO protests a friend of mine involved in its' setup turned me onto the first Indymedia. Eventually I was using the Vancouver version of Indymedia quite heavily. Not long after that time my friend also showed me wikipedia, and I saw it as a logical extension of that democratisation and decentralisation of media. The slogan by Jello Biafra "Don't hate the media, become the media." is how I viewed it. I've been using Wikipedia and editing it (a little here and there) since very early days (2002 at least, probably earlier but I don't really remember). I did not sign up an account until 2006, partly out of laziness, and partly due to a preference for online anonymity at that time.

I really enjoyed some of the earlier versions of wikipedia. At that time if you wanted the dirt on a large immoral corporation you could get all the dirt on them in a pretty well informed way. Often the articles would be fun to read with one paragraph arguing one perspective and the next paragraph or sentence clearly written by a different perspective trying to counter the first. Nowadays all of that is hidden away on the talk pages.

Anyway, I saw Wikipedia change over the years. The direction of change was a lot more obsessive detailing of old entertainment media catalogs and a de-politicisation of Wikipedia. Now Wikipedia is so big, established and respectable that large corporations pay full time staff to manage their Wikipedia presence and are very clever --to spin or downplay-- such that the story of any corporation is not all that juicy to read.

At one point i tried to rail against that change. But ultimately I didn't have the time or really strong commitment to do anything significant about it. The modern wikipedia is more "objective" (Though, like E. H. Carr I dispute that possibility. I also agree with Howard Zinn, you can't be neutral on a moving train). I guess I lost that argument but I still believe in the utility and achievement of what wikipedia has become. I'm less of a strident techno-utopian than I once was, but then I also am more realistic. Or maybe I'm just getting old and have kids now ;-) Rusl (talk) 02:14, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

Interests[edit]

ubuntu cargo bikes metal welding and fabrication serigraphy historiaography edible plants kenneth patchen etc...

Some links[edit]

rusl.ca

Useful section:[edit]

This is where I put links to interesting stuff I've recently come across:

Old Baloney I wrote many years ago when I tended to rant too much[edit]

Please take everything below with a grain of salt, I wrote it quite a while back, usually with not enough sleep. My full name is: Rusl Bo Busl Fo Fusl, Mee My Mo Muscle

Talk to me on my talk page!

I like bicycles. I like critical mass I like ubuntu linux

As you can tell from reading my ramblings, I can get a bit ranty. Sorry to people who don't understand my humour. Don't take anything I say too seriously please.

don't delete it[edit]

Hey I just found this speedydeletion.wikia.com which is a pretty great thing in my opinion. Too much 'cleaning up' of wikipedia IMHO. And to change anything is impossible as the governing structures of wikipedia have become byzantine. I found it because it has this: Leeenux Linux Well, I guess now that wikipedia supplies so much of the free content on the internet [3] and there is a war on the free internet we gots to keep the rabble orderly. Notice even that Concentration of media ownership has a banner complaining "original research." After all, we can't have wikipedia contributing anything original to the issue of free information. If wikipedia were to plug a Memory Hole that would be a problem.

stuff:[edit]

PySoulSeek pyslsk why are these deleted???

Copyright Expansion is not NPOV!!![edit]

Stop ruining Wikipedia you Fascists![edit]

Censored from wikipedia[edit]

I think that [link redacted] is something that is funny and sadly has too much true in it. It is wrong because wikis do not suck. But it is sucky that wikipedia has a spam blacklist filter preventing me from hyperlinking there. I suppose it makes some sense in that the page is a parody of the wikipedia and thus it could be inserted into the wikiweb maliciously. However, it is sad that the problem is not being resolved, simply censored.

My wikipedia projection idea[edit]

I am sick of hearing the typical criticism of wikipedia: "but ANYBODY can edit it?!"

It is a real symptom of our weakness as a democratic culture and our undereducated [but overschooled] populace that such a rudimentary criticism is focused on exclusively, to the exclusion of other perspectives.

Of course that is the very essence of the system, it is weak and stronger because of being open to all. And the whole system includes many mechanisms to deal with that issue. Of course, as the system gets bigger and bigger from millions of users to tens of millions, the burden of that mass is apparent and the solutions need to be modified to scale. But all in all, it is a tremendously sucessful exercise in voluntary cooperation and design to reduce inevitable conflict [which even spam is a form of, essentially]. It is such a boring topic if that is the only thing you think about. What would people prefer, elite staff aka the same heirarchical top down structures providing a service for free? Some kind of legal authority? Stand up people! You will die one day and so will I. We can't rely on this irrational servitude any longer. This debate is so often confined to such banal "facts" like stephen colberts example about the number of elephants. The real political and interesting information is not such easily verifiable trivia. And again, what a sorry state that so many consider intellectualism to be equivalent to accuracy at trivia.

Philosophically my biggest criticism of wikipedia is not that. I am proud that the thing is open. It is something more subtle.

Wikipedia is object oriented. It strives to be objective and have a Neutral Point of View NPOV. But mostly my problem is with the infrastructure of the object, something inherent in the medium of binary computers perhaps, but different from writing, language and thinking as we normally understand them.

Of course, absolute objectivity is absurd and impossible. I think NPOV is only understood as "objective" by the naive. In reality it is a political consensus, a compromised ideal of objectivity embodied by a policy set by a group. One of the fundamental establishing principles of the project to enable a universal character.

However, the object in the computer, the object story that must be created or referred or have a section group applied to it is the wikipedia model. The technology of the database treats it all as objects. This is useful of course, to make it work. But it sets up a philosophical approach I think to be problematic.

For instance, if I want to write about something that departs from the text of an existing article, then I must create a new object or alter an exsisting one. If I alter an existing object, this may erase or at least draw focus from and priority in the article away from the input of others. So they may be hostile to this change.

My example is the Critical Mass article. Critical Mass is something I know much about, having been intricately involved for almost a decade. It is, similar to wikipedia, an anarchistic decentralised project that has fundamental unifying prinicples only somewhat. The debate, similar to the NPOV simplification, is boring. It is about legality and a narrow view of the thing. The list of other cities with CM has been removed from this article. Outside views of those that have never expereinced the ride are taken to have the same weight as perspectives of participants. Participants are innacurrately grouped to have a certain consensus when the point is in fact that the ride is the opposite, a decentralising project. Similar to wikipedia yet somehow this article has not matured over the years with the encyclopedia. Instead the tone had become more refined to be like that of mainstream media coverage that basically "just don't get it" and describes the event in very superficial ways. older versions of the page reflected the event better.

I have more to write on this, just not now. Anyways that is the basic idea. Do I create many more CM entries for each city, as all are different? This is the obvious. However, then, where does that go? who wants to read all that?


answer, many years later, is the wikia pages about critical mass.

links to things I make[edit]

blogs I done[edit]