User talk:Moulton/Archive 1

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Hello Moulton, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you have any questions, check out Wikipedia:Where to ask a question or ask me on my talk page. Again, welcome!  bd2412 T 04:14, 21 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]


Welcome to Wikipedia. Please do not add unreferenced or inadequately referenced controversial biographical information concerning living persons to Wikipedia articles, as you did to Rosalind Picard. Thank you. Hrafn42 18:05, 22 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]


Nuvola apps important.svg You currently appear to be engaged in an edit war according to the reverts you have made on Rosalind Picard. Note that the three-revert rule prohibits making more than three reversions in a content dispute within a 24 hour period. Additionally, users who perform a large number of reversions in content disputes may be blocked for edit warring, even if they do not technically violate the three-revert rule. If you continue, you may be blocked from editing. Please do not repeatedly revert edits, but use the talk page to work towards wording and content which gains a consensus among editors. ornis (t) 04:04, 23 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Is it true that 3RR does not apply to WP:BLP?
No. it applies to everything. ornis (t) 09:18, 4 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
According to WP:3RR#Exceptions there are a number of exceptions to 3RR, including this notable one...
  • reverts to remove clearly libelous material, or unsourced or poorly sourced controversial material about living persons (see Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons)
  • Moulton 08:55, 7 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    If you have a US or Canadian phone number I will call you. Email it to me and let me know.--Filll 04:35, 23 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Moulton, please do not revert edits on the article. The rules (sorry I know you hate the rules) are that you cannot revert more than 3 times in 24 hours or your access will be blocked. You are well over that limit I am afraid. You can end up getting blocked for days, or even have your IP blocked. So just let things continue as we investigate. Do not get overanxious, or they will block/ban you.--Filll 13:47, 23 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Removing or editing others comments[edit]

    Information.svg Please do not delete or edit legitimate talk page comments, as you did at talk:Rosalind Picard. Such edits are disruptive and appear to be vandalism. If you would like to experiment, please use the sandbox. Thank you. ornis (t) 14:24, 24 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    The vandalism was the insertion into the page of a controversial issue which has no bearing on the subject of the page. The material had evidently been inserted because some previous editors erroneously believed and took at face value some recent propaganda published by a Seattle public relations firm that had no connection to the subject. The previous editors evidently adopted the unwarranted assumption that the propaganda amounted to a verified fact.
    Moulton 06:52, 25 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Request to Wikipedia Administrator[edit]

    Joshua, would you be kind enough to nominate an ombudsman or mediator to resolve a perplexing conflict between myself and User:Hrafn42 regarding alleged violations of WP:BLP? I am concerned about the recurring publication of libelous falsehoods causing serious harm to scientists and academics with whom I am affiliated. Please feel free to E-Mail me if you need further information. Many thanks. Moulton 05:16, 25 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]


    I don't think I can help you out with that since having reviewed the issue, I completely agree with Hrafn42 and Guettarda and disagree with both your position and actions there. My advice is take some time to better learn how Wikipedia actually handles these issues then revisit the articles; I think you'll find then your concern is unwarranted. FeloniousMonk 05:53, 27 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Is there a higher authority than you that I can appeal to?
    Is there some way we can talk over the phone so that I can explain to you (or anyone else you care to nominate) what I am concerned about and why? I am frustrated by my inability to get to the ground truth in this vexatiously crippling rule-bound system, as it only seems to be able to get to what most editors happen to believe, without providing any reliable functional process for getting past misconceptions into the ground truth. Science itself provides such a functional process known as the scientific method, but Wikipedia doesn't operate on that paradigm. Instead it operates on an anachronistic rule-based paradigm that wobbles to what the most dominant Wikipedia editors believe. When it comes to characterizing living persons, that paradigm is demonstrably fraught with errors that are nigh impossible to fix.
    There are famous cases in history when the vast majority of people held laughable misconceptions. But science is an arduous process, and many dedicated scientists have suffered grievously for having the temerity to displace a popular misconception with a superior theory grounded in evidence and reasoning.
    Getting people to honestly question their assumptions and conscientiously examine both their assumptions and the evidence for them is one of the recurring challenges in science education.
    As a science educator, it pains me beyond words to observe how badly we have failed to inculcate a scientific mindset into the educable public.
    Moulton 13:02, 27 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    For more information on how Wikipedia works, please refer to the highest authority on truthiness and wikiality:
    Hopefully this helps clarify the inner workings of Wikipedia. :) (Coincidentally and conversely, one could also apply such theories to the re-emergence of creationism, i.e. it doesn't need to be true for it to become fact as long as enough people insist it is.) Romperomperompe 08:25, 29 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I appreciate your perspective and your levity. Please see Wikipedia and Ethics in Online Journalism for a more analytical version of the same sentiment. Moulton 12:58, 29 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]


    Please make yourself familiar with WP:POINT and avoid stunts like this again [1][2]. Odd nature 22:15, 27 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    So-called "anti-evolution" petition controversy redrafted[edit]

    Having had a look at your concerns, I've added a section Talk:Rosalind Picard#Anti-evolution petition controversy redrafted. Feel free to comment. Please realise that Wikipedia is a tertiary source, and can only reflect published information that can be verified from reliable sources. .. dave souza, talk 16:18, 28 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I appreciate your assistance, Dave. I'll go take a look at your suggestions now. Moulton 21:53, 28 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]


    Information.svg If you have a close connection to some of the people, places or things you have written about in the article Rosalind Picard, you may have a conflict of interest. In keeping with Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy, edits where there is a conflict of interest, or where such a conflict might reasonably be inferred from the tone of the edit and the proximity of the editor to the subject, are strongly discouraged. If you have a conflict of interest, you should avoid or exercise great caution when:

    1. editing articles related to you, your organization, or its competitors, as well as projects and products they are involved with,
    2. participating in deletion discussions about articles related to your organization or its competitors,
    3. linking to the Wikipedia article or website of your organization in other articles (see Wikipedia:Spam);
      and you must always:
    4. avoid breaching relevant policies and guidelines, especially neutral point of view, verifiability, and autobiography.

    For information on how to contribute to Wikipedia when you have conflict of interest, please see Wikipedia:Business' FAQ. For more details about what constitutes a conflict of interest, please see Wikipedia:Conflict of Interest. Thank you. Hrafn42 08:57, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I was not writing about a person there. I am writing about two competing practices. One is the practice, which I support, of adhering to the protocols of the scientific method. The other is the practice, which I abhor, of adopting the propagandist technique of negative reframing which is both dishonest and unethical. I am utterly appalled that you would engage in the insidious and pernicious practice of negative reframing, in gross and egregious violation of WP:NPOV. Moulton 09:35, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    The statement which she put her name to was anti-evolution when she put her name to it, and it remains anti-evolution today. No reframing need be involved to reach that assessment. But regardless of that, you violated the WP:COI guidelines by making a controversial edit to the article on her, and none of your hair-splitting can change that fact. Hrafn42 09:57, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    That's your personal interpretation, your spin, which agrees with DI's intentional negative reframing of a statement regarding the appropriate application of the protocols of the scientific method. You are free to engage in the insidious, pernicious, and unethical practice of intentional negative reframing if it pleases you, but it would be unworthy of an ethical editor of Wikipedia to adopt that abhorrent propagandist practice. Since I would rather see you in a positive light than a negative one (and the same for Wikipedians in general), I urge you to abandon the contentious practice of negative reframing. Moulton 10:06, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Talk:Rosalind Picard[edit]

    If you want to change talk page headers in a situation where there's a continuing argument, it would be best in this particular case to discuss the proposal first and seek consensus to avoid any suggestion of disruptive editing. Thanks, .. dave souza, talk 11:16, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Dave: changing section headings seems to be a standard 'debating tactic' of Moulton's. He's already done it several times on both Talk:Rosalind Picard‎ and Talk:A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism‎. I think a n explicit warning is now warranted. Hrafn42 11:27, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    My paragraph was moved out of the section to which I had inserted it and into a new section which unfairly reframed it under a different headline. So I 1) moved my paragraph back to the section it originally appeared in and 2) revised the heading of that section to establish a more neutral POV framing the controversy in that section.
    I take exception to framing a discussion by highlighting one side in the headline. A headline should be a non-partisan NPOV framing the controversy, not framing one side of a controversy. The questionable practice of negative reframing is at the core of the controversy over how to frame the context and interpretation of a statement made within one scope and context and then ballyhooed years later in a substantially different scope and context. Moulton 11:51, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Look, fighting with people who could well be your allies doesn't help to get the changes you want. Note that disruptive editing can lead to a block, as will 3 reverts in edit warring, so both of you please stop and think before making too many edits. .. dave souza, talk 12:06, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I need all the allies I can get in support of the goal of crafting accurate and well-written articles that demonstrate exemplary professional standards of excellence in journalistic quality. And I appreciate the efforts of those who strive toward that goal, whether they view me as an ally, adversary, or meat-puppet. Moulton 04:36, 31 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I learned last night that well over a year ago (June 29, 2006), Picard took the initiative to edit her own bio page to excise the false characterization of "anti-evolution" ...

    21:35, June 29, 2006 ("anti-evol" is POV of the writer. the organizers of the petition support many aspects of evolution such as microevolution so to label it anti-evolution is an attempt to sell more newspapers)

    12 hours ago, I passed that obscure bit of intelligence along to User:Filll in E-Mail, as evidence both to support the objection that the petition was not accurately characterized as anti-evolution, and to satisfy him that Picard was on record (albeit semi-anonymously) as taking exception to that particular detail.

    See also this similar edit from six months ago (which I also told User:Filll about) ...

    22:19, February 4, 2007 (the deleted material has nothing to do with the person in the entry)

    It's illuminating to see what another editor has now done with that intelligence. The bureaucratic machinations utterly fascinate me, notwithstanding WP:BURO...

    Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia and, as a means to that end, an online community of people interested in building a high-quality encyclopedia in a spirit of mutual respect. Therefore, there are certain things that Wikipedia is not.

    Wikipedia is not a moot court, and rules are not the purpose of the community.

    Bureaucratic rules may not be the purpose of Wikipedia, but one would be hard pressed to find a more transparent example of a rule-driven system gone into metastasis.

    Moulton 07:27, 1 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Thank you for making public your assertion that Picard edited her own bio page on two occasions.[3][4] While the IP numbers are registered to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that doesn't prove who made the edit, and of course Wikipedia isn't a reliable source. If these edits are by Picard, they indicate that she takes exception to the label "anti-evolution" used by the NYT on the basis that the DI, as the organisers of the petition, "support many aspects of evolution such as microevolution so to label it anti-evolution is an attempt to sell more newspapers". This is an unwarranted and unsupported attack on the journalistic integrity of the NYT, and repeats a typical line about "microevolution" used by the "creationist" side in the creation-evolution controversy. That the NYT chose to describe it as anti-evolution is unsurprising in light of the repeated statements of ID proponents. If Picard wants to dissociate herself from the anti-evolution side, a reliable published source is needed. .. dave souza, talk 14:57, 1 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I dunno that it was unwarranted. The NY Times had just carried a positive story about some of the research, but the story also had six factual errors, including several errors of attribution that garbled who had done which parts of the work and what their titles or positions were. If you've never had your work featured in a newspaper story, you might not be aware how many mistakes they typically make. Newspapers publish on a short deadline, so lots of errors get into print, and headlines (which are often added at 3AM by a page layout editor who didn't work on the story) can often misrepresent the content of the story itself. That Wikipedia is so cavalier as to intentionally publish as fact a known error in a headline is very telling. Moulton 00:17, 2 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]


    I do not know if this fighting with other editors seems like fun to you or not. I am starting to think that it does. However, I am asking you to just relax and cool it for a few days here. Let's allow the facts to unfold. Then we will have more information on which to base any changes to the article.

    This is what I have been seeking now for a week, and why I stopped basically editing the article. When you get in these mini-edit wars, you make more cruft for others to have to read through, and you manufacture ill-will, as I fear you already have in some quarters.

    I realize you are quite QUITE fervent about this, and have your own views about what Wikipedia is and should be and how it should be run and what rules it should have. However, your thoughts are just those; your own. Your ideas on how Wikipedia should run and what rules it should follow are not consistent with the way Wikipedia really runs, whether that is correct or incorrect.

    Now if you want to change the Wikipedia culture and rules, if that is your true goal, you will not do it by the path you are taking. Become an experienced member. Learn a bit about the rules and systems in place. And the mechanisms for changing the culture. And then introduce your suggestions to the venues where they might do some good.

    I have tried to shepherd you through this process. I have gone above and beyond what anyone would normally expect. I have your and Picard's and MIT's and the science community's best interests in mind here. I am not trying to pillory Picard. I am trying to gather more information so we can address all concerns. A win-win solution. Isn't that optimal? Isn't that reasonable?

    I told you this a week ago. And I am telling you the same thing now. Let's work together, not at cross-purposes. Do not go out of your way to make the situation worse. Please.--Filll 11:38, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    It's not fun. It's exasperating. I don't like to play competitive games. My joy is in creative problem-solving, not chess games.
    The facts are unfolding, albeit slowly. In the meantime, doesn't it make more sense (from the point of view of Wikipedia) to hold off publishing controversial (mis)interpretations on the main page? What is the rush to publish potentially false and defamatory content derived from DI's pernicious reframing of a statement that six scientists view as an expression of the protocols of the scientific method (and not as an expression of support for any partisan political agenda).
    My passion is for science and science education, and for functional systems. As you may know, my discipline is Systems Theory. I don't believe it is possible or practical to change the architecture of Wikipedia's structure, which is why I join with others who predict the failure of systems with that kind of dysfunctional architecture. That's a scientific prediction, grounded in model-based reasoning. I don't wish for Wikipedia to fail, but I fear it will fail for the same reason that any system with that architecture is doomed.
    In order to arrive at a win-win (cooperative) solution, we have to shift the paradigm from an adversarial zero-sum game of competition to a positive-sum game of cooperation. As you may know, there is no known strategy for stimulating such a paradigm shift. I wrote about that in my essay on "A Beautiful Mind." To this day, I don't know how to solve that problem. That's one of the reasons I don't care for adversarial rule-based paradigms -- they generally yield zero-sum games.
    I wish you had not taken the initiative to contact anyone at MIT. Your message was viewed as being part of the previous campaign of harassment of MIT people. I had to explain that you were not of the same stripe as the sociopaths who previously disturbed MIT staff with reactions to what was found on the DI web site. You see, that previous campaign of abuse and harassment, which caused considerable harm, ended up being investigated by the MIT Police, and now you have engaged in an act that, on the face of it, looks similar to them.
    That's why I am seeking to get back to solving the original problem, which is lifting Wikipedia out of the trap that the DI sucked them into.
    My plea is to cease and desist from publishing false and defamatory interpretations that play right into the hands of the DI. Keep in mind that DI is not just anti-evolution. It's anti-science. They are happy to undermine anyone in science, because science is against them from the gitgo.
    A lot of people see DI as a tar-baby. They worry (and with good reason) that anything you do only draws you deeper into their tar-pit.
    That's why I'm trying to avoid tackling DI directly, and do an end-run around them by establishing the critical thinking skills that enable a responsible person to sift scientific fact from political fiction.
    I don't care if Wikipedia (like the NY Times) writes an article about political fiction, but it's crucial not to end up publishing an account of some political fiction as if it were scientific fact.
    Moulton 12:28, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    We have different views on the world, that is for sure...And you are already taking on the DI directly. You are naive to think that the DI is not here editing the article right alongside you.--Filll 12:45, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    You may be right about that. Do you have any clues who, among the active Wikipedia editors, are moles for the DI? The one partisan editor with whom I have been most entangled acts as if he is working for the DI, against science, and against any protocols designed to arrive at the ground truth. Can you share with me (presumably in confidence, offline) who you suspect or know to be an agent of the DI? Moulton 13:21, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Editors can only be judged by their edits, and suspicions can easily be mistaken. For example, I notice you've been grateful for the assistance of an editor in removing statements critical of the credibility or truthfulness of the DI's presentation of this petition. Said user proudly displays a quotation from Sun Myung Moon, which immediately brings to mind the reason that Jonathon Wells took up anti-evolution and supported ID. However, that's likely to be entirely coincidence. ... dave souza, talk 23:46, 30 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    People can hold partisan personal views and still maintain professional standards of ethics when wearing the hat of a Wikipedia editor. Steve appreciates the difference between opinion and fact, and seems conscientious about maintaining a neutral stance when the article requires facts. I agree with him that the biography of a living person is not the place to present opposing views of the controversy that had previously dominated the page.

    To my mind, a number of people conducted themselves in an honorable and respectable manner, and worked hard to achieve the overarching goal of crafting an accurate portrayal of the subject in a manner suitable for an encyclopedia. I didn't always agree with some of the maneuvers, but I thought Dave, Steve, and Filll were among those who did their level best to achieve a respectable outcome meeting reasonable standards for journalistic excellence.

    Moulton 04:04, 31 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]


    Wikipedia really just has to rely on using reliable sources.

    If NYT says something, then we report NYT says so.

    We can't read between lines, or add disclaimers. I appreciate you trying to paint Picard in a good light, but that simply isn't what wikipedia is for.

    It's on the record she signed a petition that is on the record as being used in a very anti-evolution (education) way.--ZayZayEM 09:35, 4 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    No one objects to reporting what the headline in the NYT said. What is objectionable is elevating that erroneous characterization to the level of fact. When you cite the NYT article, the citation, down in the References, exhibits the disputed headline and identifies the WP:RS that penned it. That suffices to disclose what the NYT said, without elevating it to the status of fact.
    Note that Kenneth Chang, whose name also appears in the citation, ends up bearing the burden for the headline, even though he probably never saw the headline, nor approved it.
    Many people put their names to something in one context that's perfectly reasonable. And, as you well know, it's not uncommon for a partisan to reframe the statement within a different context. This is a classic way to change the way something is understood. Reframing is a classic feature of three-sentence jokes. The first two sentences of the joke are understood in one context, but the punchline changes the context, so that the first two sentences are now understood in a different light. In a sit-com, the classic response to a reframe barb is, "That's not what I meant," (or body language to that effect).
    Consider a stage play like Equus or a novel like Wicked. These are dramas that exemplify reframing, so that by the end, the audience understands the protagonist in a completely different light.
    See this version of the James Tour biography for an illuminating example of reframing as it is used more ethically to remove a stigma.
    Moulton 13:25, 4 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Your input is requested at the following RfC[edit]

    Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Moulton--Filll 19:43, 4 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I'll begin working on that today. I have a number of previously unpublished comments to provde. It will take me a little while to format and compile them into a collection. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Moulton (talkcontribs)
    Post your response here, not on the subpage in filll's userspace. I've moved your response to the appropriate section. ornis (t) 12:28, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Please do not tamper with my response. Moulton 12:56, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Listen very, very carefully because this is important. Revealing other users personal details, even if they aren't wikipedia editors is harassment and will get you blocked indefinitely. Read these two guidlines very carefully before you decide what to do next.
    Thank you. ornis (t) 13:02, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    If you want to destroy yourself, then neither I nor anyone else can stop you. All I can do is warn you in all seriousness that what you are doing is going to get you banned for good. ornis (t) 13:06, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Ornis, I need an impartial administrator to referee this competing guideline...

    Off-wiki harassment

    Harassment of other Wikipedians in forums not controlled by the Wikimedia Foundation creates doubt as to whether an editor's on-wiki actions are conducted in good faith. As per WP:NPA#Off-wiki personal attacks, off-wiki harassment can and will be regarded as an aggravating factor by administrators and is admissible evidence in the dispute-resolution process, including Arbitration cases.

    Moulton 13:29, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    (outdent) Moulton, your response was a pasting of emails and articles. Please view other Rfc's and the Rfc instruction page for how to respond. You need to address the issues raised in the Statement of the dispute and subsections of that, not argue a content dispute. This is not an article Rfc, this is a User conduct dispute, and even if it were an article dispute, emails are not reliable sources for anything. KillerChihuahua?!? 13:14, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Am I not entitled to introduce evidence that one or more of my critics has engaged in the aggravating practice of baiting via incivil remarks? Am I not entitled to introduce evidence demonstrating that my critics are not acting in good faith? Moulton 13:29, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I told you this before, in the strongest possible terms in a private email. What is wrong with you? You were warned. You did not understand that? You did not absorb that information? You responded back to my warning email about this topic. You do not seem to learn. I am outraged at this egregious and careless behavior, frankly.--Filll 13:33, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    If you are outraged at the exhibition of evidence which speaks for itself (without any need to spin it, reframe it, or editorialize on it), then perhaps you can appreciate how identifiable living persons feel when they are subjected to the publication in the pages of Wikipedia of demonstrably false and defamatory material that has been spun, reframed, and editorialized from here to doomsday. Moulton 13:40, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I tried to help you. I tried to advise you. You betrayed this trust in multiple ways. And this is only compounding the problem. It is too bad this is not a legal proceeding. I think you would be a good candidate for 2 or 3 weeks worth of deposition, under oath.--Filll 13:57, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Of course we feel mutually betrayed. That's another demonstration of our common feelings for each other. It's a conjecture (not yet a theorem) that adversaries eventually arrive at a state of mutual empathy, because they eventually arrive at the same affective emotional state, through the mechanism of a social drama. Moulton 14:21, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Meanwhile, here is what I find on RfCs for Users...

    • RfCs brought solely to harass or subdue an adversary are not permitted.
    • An RfC may bring close scrutiny on all involved editors.
    • In most cases, editors named in an RfC are expected to respond to it.

    It occurs to me that I am entitled to demonstrate evidence that an RfC may have been initiated (or exploited by some) to harass or subdue another editor. There is no shortage of evidence that many of my critics have sought to subdue me. And there is striking (and stricken) evidence that some of my critics have sought to harass me, as well.

    It occurs to me that if some adversarial editors wish to bring close scrutiny on me, they must be prepared to have that same close scrutiny applied to them.

    I have made a good faith effort to respond in a timely, accurate, and professional manner, to what the above headline of this section bids me to do:

    Your input is requested at the following RfC : Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Moulton

    I went to that page, found the Response section, and posted my response there, as requested.

    Now Ornis is saying not to post my response there, but here.

    Color me confused.

    Moulton 14:21, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    The world is a confusing place isn't it. You where NOT posting to the RfC that Filll gave a link to, and when I said "here" I assumed ( a mistake I won't make again ) that you would have the perspicacity to follow the link that I provided to the correct page. ornis (t) 14:30, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Tell me about it. Are there two different pages with the same RfC on them? This place is like a hall of mirrors. Moulton 14:49, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    No. The page you where posting on was a subpage Filll created as a scratchpad in his userspace, where he could format and copyedit the RfC before posting it in the correct place. Why you posted there I don't know, since at no time has anyone given you links to anything but the correct live RfC. ornis (t) 14:57, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    That's where I saw everyone else posting. The multiple venues where these battles are being waged further illustrates the cancerous nature of these conflicts. They metastasize to multiple tumor sites, both on and off Wikipedia. Moulton 15:34, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Like most other things on Wikipedia, this is something else you do not seem to be able to understand. However, I am confident that with persistence, you will see your way through to the correct page, by actually following the link that was posted above for you to follow. I am not sure why this is a difficult task for you, but I am seeing that it is. And after lecturing us for 2 weeks about how inadequate and incompetent we were in various ways too...--Filll 14:36, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    So I can repost my response there? Moulton 14:49, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes that's where you respond, in the section labeled 'reponse'. Keep it on topic please, just your counter-arguments, and a statement of your purpose and intentions. Discussions or arguments should go on the talk page of the RfC. ornis (t) 14:57, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Warning: unless you have the express permission of the individuals who sent you those emails, do not post them again. If you wish to reference the blog, a simple link will suffice. None of your busy pasting has a thing to do with the rfc, so I don't know why you persist in pasting it. If you do not understand the process, and what is expected, please let me know and I will attempt to assist you. But pasting emails is not an appropriate response. KillerChihuahua?!? 15:09, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    It appears to me that some of the editors may be abusing the RfC process in order to harass or subdue other editors, while avoiding scrutiny for their own misconduct. I am laying a record to rebut my critics, in part by demonstrating that at least some of them are acting in bad faith. If you or Ornis believe I am cooking my own goose, do I not have a right to introduce evidence on all sides of the issue, including evidence that undermines my own personally preferred POV or fervently desired outcomes? In science, when one has a theory, the first thing a good scientists does is look for evidence that one's own preferred theory is not well supported by the evidence at hand. Demonstrating that practice is a more important objective than winning a minor skirmish, or defeating an opponent in a chess game or social drama. Moulton 15:34, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Please follow the directions on the Rfc page. Discussion goes on the talk page. Do not edit any section, other than your own, except to endorse. You place only relevant material in your own section, not emails or blog entries. This is a user conduct Rfc about your behavior, it is not a boxing match. Their behavior is almost irrelevant in this Rfc.
    Let me try to explain: Lets say there was a user conduct Rfc on User:Foo. The problem is NPA. Desired outcome is no more personal attacks. Lots of links to Foo making personal attacks. Now, Foo gets his own section. In that section he may say "I was driven to it!" (not a very helpful response) or "My error, I will be more polite in the future" or heck, maybe Foo is a complete troll and he may place further personal attacks in his section (in which case he'd probably be well on his way to a site ban). What is not appropriate is emails, blog posts, or posting in any section other than your own, except to endorse someone else's view. Please let me know if you are still confused about Rfc. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:24, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    How do I challenge assertions like those purporting to characterize or represent my thoughts, desires, beliefs, or psychological state of mind? As far as I know, no one on Wikipedia is a mind reader, and no one who is making claims like "suffers from obsession" is professionally qualified to render such gratuitous diagnoses. And if, perchance, there were a qualified psychologist here, he would not venture any public diagnosis of an identifiable person, as that is a gross breach of professional ethics. Do I not have a right to challenge both the assertions and the ethics of those publishing such outrageous assertions and framing them as facts for the purpose of demonizing or stigmatizing a fellow human being? Doesn't Wikipedia have any standards governing that kind of misconduct? Moulton 20:40, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    You have the Response section to present your challenges, and if you wish you can also discuss matters on the talk page. Regarding your enquiry about a "social contract", Help:Contents/Policies and guidelines lists the conditions on which users get the privilege of editing. Hope that helps, ... dave souza, talk 21:12, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    You may certainly challenge an assertion which makes assumptions about your thoughts or psychological state of mind, in your response section, although that might not be the best use of your time - sometimes its better simply to let that pass. If you do, be concise and clear. Your desires and beliefs might be reasonably inferred from your edits (and I admit freely I have not waded through the entire Rfc so I don't even know if that has been done), so if you disagree with how that has been characterized you first must determine whether you can see how that might have been inferred from your edits. It is usually a good practice to acknowledge if there is merit in the assumption, and then suggesting or stating outright how you plan to handle matters in the future so such assumptions are not erroneously made. KillerChihuahua?!? 21:20, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    It would be a largely fruitless use of my time. Now I know how Gulliver must have felt when he was assaulted and tied up by a small army of anonymous Lilliputians, none of whom could be personally held liable for anything.
    About 20 years ago, a professional clinical psychologist told me about something he called "Soviet Psychology." That's where political adversaries seek to demonize or stigmatize their opponents by hanging gratuitous psychological diagnoses on them. It's an insidious and corrosive practice, and unworthy of a culture or community that seeks to achieve any kind of excellence beyond being a perpetual source of low-grade liminal social drama.
    When I came into this fray, a coupla weeks ago, I saw some disturbing examples of that unbecoming practice in a handful of articles that sought to demonize and stigmatize a few scientists (one of whom I happened to know personally). Now the same cabal of anonymous editors are repeating that same objectionable practice on the RfC. Is that the prevailing culture of Wikipedia? Is that the real story of the Wikipedia culture and community? Moulton 21:33, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    (outdent) An example may help: take a look at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Gnixon. See how he responded? That's how to respond to an Rfc. Regarding all that content dispute, the Rfc is not the place to take that argument. It is a user conduct Rfc, and not the place for content disputes. Read the issues, address them - and set the content dispute aside for now. This is about your conduct, your behavior, do you understand that? So far in this Rfc you have mocked other editors in their sections, pasted emails with private information (for which you could be banned from Wikipedia), and pasted in a blog article which had NOTHING to do with your conduct or behavior. You have added fact templates to the statement of the dispute section, which is NOT yours to edit, and which is inappropriate anyway as those are for articles - and btw ignoring that many of the assertions you tagged with fact, if not all, had corresponding diffs linked. You have failed utterly to modify your behavior, or even try to address the concerns raised at the Rfc. Now you're nattering on about "Soviet Psychology" and a "cabal of editors" - are you trying to get site banned? Because if you are, you're doing an awfully good job. Now take the advice Dave and I have given you, and address the issues raised at the Rfc. KillerChihuahua?!? 21:40, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]


    Speaking of WikiCulture, someone posting as Fuckin Broc left a "notable" comment on my personal blog. He has no personal profile, but he posted his remarks from []. A Google search on comes up with just two entries, both from Wikipedia. It turns out that is "indefinitely blocked" on Wikipedia. That's anecdotal data of something but I dunno what. Moulton 21:50, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Legal threats[edit]

    Hi, I've noticed that on the Rosalind Picard case you've repeatedly used the word "libel" and variants thereof. Legal threats are never acceptable. Please see WP:LEGAL for further information. JoshuaZ 23:23, 5 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Your RfC[edit]

    Keep in mind that my position over at your RfC is a condemnation of some behavior on Wikipedia you happen to have run afoul of, but it's also not an endorsement of your actions. While I can sympathize with your issue, I think you have fundamentally misunderstood the goals of Wikipedia. It is not journalism. Wikipedia only uses sources, rather than original research, for good reason.

    I think we all are aware that our sources aren't always going to be right, but that's what we have to work with. People come here with some bizarre claims, and there has to be a way for the rest of us to verify them. Expecting journalistic work here just isn't realistic, as it would create more problems than it would solve.

    I realize that you have run afoul of some particularly difficult editors, but you have gone about your dissent in a way that will easily end with you being banned. They're right about policy, even if a few of them tend to be dicks about it at times (that's not unique to Wikipedia, or even the internet, though).

    It is still quite possible to work with difficult editors, but you have to really try to do so, through doing your best to follow all of the Five Pillars. Harping on Wikipedia's flaws isn't going to change anything at this point. I recommend creating a response over at your RfC, but keep it as concise as possible, stick to addressing the accusations against you, and be willing to accept your mistakes.

    Regarding your problems with the Rosalind Picard article, I recommend you avoid the article for a while, in order to cool off and consider what you think should be done, and even if/when you return to it, you should avoid editing the article directly. You are clearly passionate about the subject, and the perceived conflict of interest will cause problems for you. Decide what you really want out of Wikipedia and the article; if you can't accept the flaws (at least for now), this project just may not be for you.

    I'm willing to help you, but you have to realize that the way you've gone about things up until now has been counter-productive. Sxeptomaniac 00:17, 6 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Actually, I haven't even tried to edit either the Rosalind Picard bio or the similar James Tour bio for close to a week now. There's no point, unless one wants to ride herd on it on a daily basis forever. I only looked at the article for the first time a coupla weeks ago. But the contention on it dates back about 18 months. Even Rosalind Picard herself, tried to correct the errors, way back in the beginning. The Picard article is only the tip of the iceberg, only one anecdotal datum in a huge database that I hadn't really looked at before. Even if I prevailed on getting the errors and libel out of the Picard article, there are all the other cases, where I don't have enough personal knowledge to tell how error-ridden they are.
    I honestly don't believe that the flaws of Wikipedia can be fixed, because the architecture of the system is too weak to self-correct.
    What seems to be a more worthwhile objective is to document the character of the inherent dysfunctionality by collecting as much data as possible before the cabal finishes its hatchet job (which will be just another data source) and then write it all up -- first as a personal memoir, and then as a technical analysis.
    I checked the logs on the Op-Ed article. It's only been up since last Friday, and already it's been viewed 106 times. Most of my writings don't draw that many views over their entire lifetime.
    One of the things that amused me was that the faculty editors re-wrote the headline. It now reads Wikipedia makes for a nightmare in online journalism ethics which is considerably more eye-catching than the rather bland headline I originally provided.
    Anyway, there's no need to try to save my hide. That's not what this is about. It's about the culture itself. I'll post a brief critique of the culture, and then they can have their ritual barbecue.
    Moulton 01:39, 6 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Well, I can say that if this is the first place Picard has tried to set the record straight, then of course it got reverted. It would be quite easy for a clarification of her reasons for signing, or retraction of the signature, to be added here, but she would need to get it published elsewhere first. Since it is about herself, even her own blog, if she has one, would most likely be acceptable (see WP:SELFPUB). If you do know her, I recommend letting her know this. Publishing it elsewhere, then pointing it out on the talk page (to avoid conflict of interest accusations), would most likely result in the addition of that information rather quickly. Again, it isn't journalism, but more like library research here.
    I think you've only seen a very small piece of Wikipedia's culture, so it's unfortunate that you seem to already have made up your mind. Many of the editors are actually excellent people to work with (including some you've already met, though you have, unfortunately, made it difficult for them to help you). There are a number of people who work quite hard at this project, are a pleasure to deal with, and produce excellent articles. I really haven't seen much in the way of evidence for a cabal. What you ran into was a subset of editors who strongly believe they must fight any perceived Intelligent Design agenda. The problem is, they tend to be uncivil to editors that find themselves in conflict with them (not seriously enough to get in trouble, but just generally uncivil).
    I have seen in some of the article histories that others have tried to find a solution that would be acceptable for you. I'm sorry it seems I was unable to help either. Sxeptomaniac 03:11, 6 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    James Tour is in pretty much the same boat as Picard, and he is not only on record the way you suggest, he is on record in the very NY Times article itself. It made absolutely no difference to the WP:CABAL. They treated him the same way they treated Picard. I was the only editor who bothered to interpolate into the James Tour article the quote from the NY Times that refuted the absurd claims of the WP:CABAL, characterizing those 103 scientists as "anti-evolution." When I saw there was no hope for editing the James Tour article to eliminate the hatchet job they did on him, I realized the problem was much more pervasive than I realized.
    Look at what several of the editors wrote in the RfC... One wrote, "Moulton has characteristics that Wikipedia would normally find to be of great value in an editor: intellect, education, and a dedication to science and truth. However, these are apparently coming into conflict with Wikipedia's fundamental principles and the result is proving disruptive and distracting to all concerned." Another editor followed up with, "His intellect is certainly fine, but I completely disagree with his "dedication to science and truth." I conclude that Wikipedia is simply uncongenial to the enterprise of science and science education. This is hardly a new observation. From Socrates to Archimedes to Galileo to Darwin to Freud, scientists have not been given a particularly warm reception. Why should I be received any more warmly than them?
    Moulton 03:54, 6 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Your conclusion seems to me to be directly at variance with the work I've seen going into science articles. Of course, if by "the enterprise of science and science education" you mean "teach the controversy" then you will find WP uncongenial. The list of martyred scientists seems an exaggeration to me – Darwin was given a warm reception on return from the Beagle voyage, and publication of The Origin got a mixed reception, both for and against. It must be admitted that Behe has not had a favourable reception within the scientific community, though he's had rave reviews from certain religious groups. If, unlike Behe, you produce valid scientific work supporting your claims, I'm sure there would be both interest and controversy. Anyway, regarding Picard your concern seems to be that having signed up to publicly support the DI's petition in a way that they use to support intelligent design, any publicity for her public position could do her harm. Essentially you're asking that Wikipedia exercises censorship without any published support for that argument or any published indication that Picard holds other views. The question has been discussed at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Rosalind Picard and you are free to present your concerns in relation to Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons there. ... dave souza, talk 16:44, 6 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I don't have any sympathy for "teach the controversy." I prefer that educators empower their students to develop good critical thinking skills, and also encourage them to become familiar with the scientific method as a reliable means of establishing the credibility of any theory (be it a controversial one or not).
    My concern about the harm is not about her "public position" (which as far as I know has never been published), but about the effect of gratuitous and unsupported misportrayals in the public media. Such misportrayals tend to induce cranks to bombard scientists and their associates with hate mail and other (unpublicized) forms of "retaliation" that require time-consuming investigation by the police and other civil authorities. If you go back to the two edits of the bio page from and, you will see that Picard does not object to a brief and factual mention of the NY Times article. Her comment on the edit objected to the non-neutral point of view that amounted to the writer's preferred interpretation and amplification of a controversy to which she is not a party.
    Thanks for alerting me to the NoticeBoard link. I'm frankly having hard time locating all the different venues where aspects of this dispute are being discussed.
    Moulton 17:30, 6 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Unfortunately, Moulton, I believe many of your results have been essentially self-fulfilling prophecies. You are eliciting the responses you expect through your behavior. There isn't a cabal at work here, as the editors you found yourself in conflict with are not secretive, nor particularly powerful. I simply consider them to be overzealous in their cause, but with a good grasp of Wikipedia's policies.
    You quoted User:SheffieldSteel, for example, who commented that your qualities, normally considered good, were causing problems [5]. I believe his intention was simply that you were using your good qualities to work against Wikipedia, when those same qualities could just as easily be an asset. The difference is whether or not you can come to understand the system and work with other editors. I think it's unfortunate that you lost that support [6], as my experience has been that Sheffield Steel is one of the good editors I mentioned previously.
    The comment against your "dedication to science and truth" was by one of those who believes you to be supporting Intelligent Design, and I believe he meant it sarcastically [7]. I don't think the sarcasm was appropriate, but it's not serious enough to deserve a warning at this point.
    I have attempted to give you some options, but journalism just isn't going to happen on Wikipedia. Continuing to criticize the project for not having "ethics in online journalism" is not going to affect anyone who knows Wikipedia well. It's like complaining about an apple because it's not more like a banana. Sxeptomaniac 21:48, 6 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Can you fix the last sentence of your first paragraph? It's clipped.
    I'll share with you a true story from my days when I was doing systems engineering at Bell Labs. One of my managers, in a rare moment of candid mentorship, said to me, "Barry, you're almost always right, but you are impatient. You push your thinking and your ideas too hard and too fast, instead of patiently waiting for people to absorb them. You would be wiser to give people more time to come around to your way of thinking." I'm afraid to say it's a mistake I still make when I'm engaged with people I don't know very well.
    I completely missed the sarcastic tone in that comment you cited, nor did it occur to me that the writer had such a ridiculous misconception about my beliefs. But it raises an interesting question: who planted that misconception, and who cultivated it? One of the things I don't like about text-only interactions on the Internet is that it completely filters out non-verbal and sub-verbal signals that, in face-to-face communication, gives away the affective state of one's correspondents.
    I'm inclined to believe your estimate, that authentic journalism isn't likely to ever become a feature of Wikipedia. Which begs the obvious question. If Wikipedia is not an instance of journalism, then what the devil is it? Is it sui generis?
    Moulton 22:46, 6 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Sorry about the missing part in my last addition. It's fixed now.
    My own personality is quite different, I think. "Patient to a fault" has not always been a figure of speech (or a compliment) when used to describe me. Patience is sometimes necessary around here, though we are also encouraged to not be timid, either. The project has grown to such a large size (in terms of people as well as articles) that any proposed change to Wikipedia as a whole will meet with resistance, sometimes simply because it is change. That's not to say that change can't happen, but a radical change takes time. Wikipedia:Flagged revisions is one that's being considered at the moment (my current feeling is that it will be implemented in some form eventually, and will most likely be a change for the better).
    I'm not sure where the perception that you are trying to promote creationism came from, but some of the editors you've come in conflict with will jump to that conclusion rather rapidly. I've had to defend myself against that same assumption previously. Filll put his evidence up in the Inside view by User:Filll section of your RfC, but it didn't seem to be very good evidence, in my opinion. I think that group has good intentions (and they seem to be quite knowledgeable), but I fear some of their current habits may be damaging to Wikipedia in the long term.
    I don't think Wikipedia is that unique in its intent, though. Ideally, it's a compendium, rather than a source. I think most editors would agree that, while Wikipedia may never become an acceptable academic source, good articles will hopefully be useful for researchers looking for further resources. Obviously, that goal hasn't been acheived, as many articles lack necessary sourcing, but Wikipedia is continually a work in progress.
    Wikipedia can be quite useful for those looking for information informally (particularly on pop culture, but I've been surprised at some of the quality articles on more obscure subjects at times), and for learning about conflicting beliefs, in my opinion. The best articles are often produced when editors with conflicting viewpoints are able to work together, thus allowing the reader to learn about the views of multiple sides of a debate. This attempt to document as many viewpoints as possible would be very difficult with a smaller number of editors, as in traditional encyclopedias. There are also weaknesses to this, of course, such as when editors are unable to resolve differences of opinion peacefully.
    I really think Wikipedia is an interesting project, flaws and all. It just takes some time to get a feel for the people involved and how things tend to operate, if you really want to understand it as a whole. People take on different roles within the greater project of building the encyclopedia, and most tend to stick to one or two areas of interest, so working on a different type of article may mean meeting completely different personalities. Sxeptomaniac 23:35, 7 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Your observation about people "jumping to conclusions" reinforces my own perception that a goodly number of the editors I am in conflict with exhibit a propensity to do that.
    Scientists with conflicting theories or viewpoints routinely organize conferences to examine their differences. Einstein and Bohr had theories that clashed with each other, yet they were able to discuss those differences with congeniality and cordiality. Philosophers love paradoxes, because they often lead to new insights.
    I am frankly vexed and perplexed by the alacrity with which some participants in the Intelligent Design Project demonize and stigmatize individuals whom they deem advocates of positions adverse to their own POV. I'm hardly a fan of CSC, but at least they avoid the unbecoming practice of demonizing and stigmatizing individuals on the other side of the fence from them.
    Moulton 18:34, 9 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    <undent>I think that the creationist controversy is often far more heated than scientific discussions because it's more of a socio-political dispute. Most of the group you find yourself in conflict with seem to feel that the intelligent design side is a threat that must be fought. Whether or not it needs to be fought is their concern, but I just think they are turning articles they are involved with into a battleground, which is clearly not appropriate.

    It comes back to the reason I posted my comment in your RfC about the group you find yourself in conflict with. I actually was editing on Wikipedia over a year before running into a couple of them over at the Noah's Ark article. That's why I highly recommend getting to see how things are in other areas of the site, because those guys tend to stick to a pretty narrow range of topics. I suspect this whole issue with their behavior will come to a head eventually, but it will probably still be a while. Sxeptomaniac 21:55, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I don't see the ID movement itself as a threat (at least to science). But the unbridled fanaticism of the WIDP cabal alarms me not because they fight ID, but because they fight against science itself, using the same techniques that Pope Urban used to fight against Galileo. Whether and how their oligarchical tendencies will be brought to light is anybody's guess. I'm certainly not going to predict the advent of civility, decency, or any reasonably enlightened standard of accuracy, excellence, and ethics here anytime soon.
    It occurs to me that about the only practical course of action now is to invite a real journalist to write an objective story about the liminal social drama that Filll and his colleagues have just perpetrated. Moulton 22:24, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I agree that a group of editors involving Filll and some of his associates use bullying and harassment as a "tool" in their editing of Wikipedia, which sadly they seem to see as a battleground more than a fun and informative encyclopaedia project. I agree that these editors are often incivil, aggressive, hostile and adversarial. But please don't take my comments as a personal endorsement of you or your position- it's rather an endorsement of Sxeptomaniac's statement, which was not entirely favourable towards you either. Badgerpatrol 18:47, 10 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    No problem. It's not really about me. None of the tactics I've tried have proven effective in addressing the problems as I have outlined them. I'm not looking for cheers and jeers, but for ideas on how the problems might be addressed, under the assumption that a feasible course of action remains to be discovered at all. Moulton 19:01, 10 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Try reading and carefully (and humbly) following WP:5. Seems to work for me. .. dave souza, talk 21:27, 10 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I've read that, Dave. I don't see how it helps solve the problems I've run into. Moulton 21:38, 10 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Small advice[edit]

    Your attitude at times can be perceived as condescending at times (c.f this edit summary [8]).

    This perception (whether intended or not) is probably partly responsible for your increasingly icy reception at wikipedia.--ZayZayEM 23:10, 6 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I really wish there were some kind of face-to-face affordance here. Trying to relate to people I've never met in real life, through plain text, without non-verbal and sub-verbal cues makes it hard to meet each individual on just the right level. But one thing does perplex me. There are editors on Wikipedia who think nothing of penning scathing criticisms of strangers whom they are writing biographies of, and who think nothing of leveling scathing criticisms of other editors with whom they have established an adversarial relationship, but who are very thin-skinned when they are the subject of even mild criticism. That just doesn't make sense to me. Moulton 23:37, 6 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I suggest understanding the politik of Internet forums would be a good start. A multi-user forum is a little different from just running a blog. I cut my teeth in SparkNotes [9], in which I've experienced arguments pretty worse than most I've dealt with on Wikipedia. The problem is that Wikipedia has a purpose and also carries some illegitimate authority so it is important that the purpose be enforced. A simple advice would be to attempt to meet somewhere with the parties in dispute, except a topic ban (particularly minding your WP:COI, and enjoy editing other wikipedia articles (Take a look at Influenza pandemic, it needs serious attention) and get used to the system in areas that aren't going to make your blood boil, and then when you feel like you understand the processes a bit more, come back and double check on the articles in question - and if they still seem off-kilter raise the issue on the talk page first. I think enough broader community awareness has been made of this issue that a genuine WP:CONSENSUS will be achieved abiding by wikipedia policies.--ZayZayEM 04:04, 7 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    It might amuse you to learn that I've co-authored and presented peer-reviewed conference papers on that very subject. See, for example, Experiences with Civility and the Role of a Social Contract in Virtual Communities, which I presented at the AAAI 2002 Fall Symposium on Etiquette for Human-Computer Work. One of the things I've learned over the past few days is that adherence to current policies and practices here is unlikely to yield articles that achieve any respectable level of accuracy, excellence, and ethics in journalism, as that is evidently not an objective goal of Wikipedia. Moulton 09:21, 7 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Wikipedia is NOT Journalism. Scoot over to Wikinews.--ZayZayEM 00:31, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    It's not Law and Order, either. Moulton 00:41, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Response to ZayZayEM's comments about "attitude"[edit]

    I'm still looking for an appropriate clinical expression to characterize the "attitude" you allude to. One adjective that comes to mind is "disdainful attitude". The objectionable practice that arises from such a "disdainful attitude" is the unbecoming practice of lambasting, stigmatizing, or demonizing any individual whose role in this liminal social drama our vocal critics find at odds with their own preferred objective in this fascinating drama. Moulton 10:13, 9 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]


    I am perplexed by the existence of 170 articles on Wikipedia, all sponsored by thirteen signatories of the Intelligent Design Project, 157 of which articles are assessed as of no importance. These articles primarily reprint the essential PR messages of a partisan/theological public interest lobby, including such lovingly crafted pamphlets as Intelligent Design Movement, Irreducible Complexity, Specified Complexity, Fine-tuned Universe, Intelligent Designer, Theistic Realism, and Teach the Controversy. Don't the promoters of those synthetic ideas have their own webhost to publish their own soap? Moulton 22:09, 7 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    The fact that you have even claimed this indicates to all and sundry that you do not know what you are talking about. Are you only good for giving advice and issuing assorted fatwahs, or can you take advice as well? If you are not too hide-bound yet to take some advice, you might consider taking some sometime. How many warnings will it take? Or do people have to get really rough with you? Because I hate to say it, but you are heading for trouble. Not a threat, just some friendly advice, and a word to the wise. Everything I told you so far has come true, and this will be no exception. So take it from me...keep pushing it, and you will get your "reward".--Filll 23:17, 7 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I'm not impressed by self-fulfilling prophecies. You have taken a leadership role in causing your dire predictions to come true. Moulton 09:09, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    You seem to have a good record for being wrong. I will not bother to argue this point with you however, you have clearly shown that you are resistant to reason.--Filll 14:04, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I recommend the WP:TIGER essay as a good explanation for the existence of the articles, Moulton. The scientific validity of a view isn't what we use to determine if it should be included. Instead, we look at whether it's significant. The Intelligent Design movement is culturally and historically significant, so we should do our best to document beliefs and incidents relevant to it, along with significant criticisms. Sxeptomaniac 23:59, 7 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    If the Intelligent Design Project designates 157 of its 170 articles to be of no importance, that would seem to be prima facie evidence that the articles don't belong on Wikipedia. But more importantly, there is a difference between giving a brief mention of some synthetic idea that a partisan/theological PR firm has dreamed up vs providing a feature length article that reproduces that idea in all its glory. An encyclopedia can mention a notable partisan pamphlet without becoming a puppet pamphleteer on behalf of a special interest lobby. Moulton
    Wrong again as usual Moulton (you certainly make a habit of getting your facts wrong). The vast majority of ID project articles are rated as "unknown importance" (not "no importance"). This is for the simple reason that nobody has gone to the trouble of assigning an importance to them (not surprising given that the template doesn't actually show this information on the article talkpage). Oh, and I think this is yours:

    Neither was Stanislaw Ulam, John von Neumann, or Douglas Hofstadter. Yet they all had something valuable to say on the points expressed in the 32-word statement. Moulton 19:22, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

    Please do not dump your random junk onto my talkpage -- it's not welcome, and will be returned to sender forthwith Hrafn42 09:59, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Thank you for providing a useful anecdotal datum on the affective state of the reluctant or resistant learner. Moulton 10:26, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    <Chuckles> "Wrong again as usual Moulton" -- whatever my hangups may be (and I'll admit that I've got a few), they are in no way related to "lack [of] a fundamental belief that academic learning and achievement can help them achieve personal goals or initiate positive change." Many would claim that my problems lie in a diametrically opposite direction. But do continue hypothesising -- after all, even a broken clock is right twice a day, and you may one day aspire to equalling that level of accuracy. Hrafn42 10:46, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    What is the name of the axis along which "many would claim your problems lie at the opposite" end? Moulton 12:34, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I don't think any of them have articulated a name for such an axis, nor have I, as I have only briefly considered the notion. I would hypothesise that it might be correlated to the iNtuitive/Sensing axis in the MBTI, but that would be mere idle speculation. Hrafn42 13:24, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    You and I are both INTP. The extreme opposite (on all four MBTI axes) would be ESFJ. The opposite of Resistant Learner on the axis that Maggie Martinez defines in her model of Learning Orientations is Transforming Learner. Moulton 13:53, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Transforming Learner is a reasonable fit. I said "correlated to" one axis of the MBTI (not equivalent to the entire MBTI). I would suspect that Resistant Learner would be more likely to be more closely correlated to SP rather than SJ MBTI types. My sister is an ESFJ and never had any problem with academic learning. Hrafn42 14:02, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Notice what Maggie Martinez says about those two extreme categories. A person can flip from Transforming Learner to Resistant Learner depending on the local prevailing culture. I do well in a culture that values model-based reasoning, and poorly in a culture that values rule-based methods. See, for example, this illuminating memoir. Notice the appearance of the Lamb Baste toward the end. Moulton 14:14, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    <undent>The bottom line is, WP is under no obligation to accommodate the mental difficulties, idiosyncracies and shortcomings of all those who get accounts here.--Filll 14:45, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Do you subscribe to the view that Wikipedia styles itself as an exemplary benchmark of community? Moulton 15:01, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    No. I would consider Wikipedia to be more an archetypal community (with all the bad that this entails as well as the good) than an ideal one. But then I've always been more of curmudgeonish pragmatist where human societies are concerned than an idealist. Hrafn42 15:11, 8 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    A lot of would-be communities fail to achieve their full potential, for reasons that beg diagnosis and analysis. Moulton 09:19, 9 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]


    Since it appears as though you do not wish to take the collective advice from the editors on your RFC, what would actually have to happen in order for you to be satisfied with this whole process and for you to begin to edit in a constructive manner? Baegis 01:14, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Thank you for asking. Please see my Response to Filll's RfC where I set forth my objectives. Moulton 01:27, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes, yes. I have read all of that, but I really believe that there is much more to it than those issues. I think the sticking point is on what you believe is NPOV and what would constitute the libelous edit that would be exempt from 3RR. When reliable sources are used and sourced, the edit would not be libelous no matter whether you agree with it or not. That being said, while your objectives may be of merit, you cannot achieve them with your current attitude with regards to editing. I probably sound like a bee buzzing around you, as you have heard this several times prior, but it bears repeating. With regards to your first objective, it is being violated by your actions whenever you argue for the exclusion of sourced material because you may believe it has some sort of a demeaning effect on a person who has made little to no effort to remove themselves from a situation. A situation that, I may add, is completely within their power to resolve. Ethically, you should be aware that one's ethics or viewpoint can be skewed by close involvement with a particular issue. Having a relationship with the person in question can severely cloud your judgment (see here). Secondly, the next two objectives are impossible to achieve from this tiny little level, if they could even be achieved period. You are advocating wide sweeping changes to the way that Wikipedia operates. Philosophizing with a collection of editors that have worked with the utmost diligence to ensure the ID articles (and all sub-articles) are maintained to a high level of accuracy and explaining to them, in a somewhat condescending manner, that their policies are incorrect will only be met with opposition. If you truly believe that there are changes to be made to the way this whole project (the project of Wikipedia) operates, you should be addressing your concerns elsewhere and not on 1 or 2 talk pages of certain articles.
    On a final note, it appears your edits and actions here are falling well short of the best practice for resolving this issue. If you read further into the article you linked, it clearly states that best practices can also be defined as what is the most efficient for the largest number of people. Nowhere does it state that a best practice involves tediously disagreeing with the tiniest of details and causing entire articles to be brought to standstills while your concerns are placated. I do not mean to sound aggressive, but I wanted to point out how you are failing to achieve even your stated objectives, yet are achieving a bit of notoriety as a disruptive editor. Baegis 01:55, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I suggest you take a look at US and Florida law governing libel. Your belief about what constitutes an adequate defense is at odds with the law. But we can set that point aside for now, because there is something more fundamental that can be done to arrive at a resolution.
    Take a good look at my primary objective, Baegis...

    My primary objective is to achieve a respectable level of accuracy, excellence, and ethics in online media, especially when the subject at hand is an identifiable living person.

    Now the Wikipedia Intelligent Design Project has two simple alternatives. On the one hand, the Wikipedia Intelligent Design Project could embrace that objective and establish a good faith process for achieving it, both in letter and in spirit. Or the Wikipedia Intelligent Design Project could go on record as expressly rejecting that objective. In the latter case, I would accept that declamation and go away, as long as every article which they sponsor carries a prominent tag at the top disclosing that the authors make no pretense to achieving those objectives.
    The way things stand now, the Wikipedia Intelligent Design Project has not caucused on the question of whether they embrace or reject that objective for their articles. I'd like for them to caucus and vote on the issue, straightaway, up or down.
    Moulton 02:16, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    No, I'm afraid you need to take a better look at what would constitute an adequate defense. There is a source (multiple I believe) that has Picard as a signatory on the DI petition. It is in no way libelous to claim that she signed it, since she clearly did do so. The only one who does not agree with her signing the petition is you yourself. Being that truth is the absolute defense in cases of libel, it is true she signed the petition and her name is now recorded as doing such, therefore I fail to see how the statement is defamatory. You are the only one who seems to have a problem reconciling that with your personal beliefs. I really wish you would educate me on what is wrong with that statement. Do explain how it would be potentially libelous.
    With regards to your primary objective, I have taken a good look at it. In fact, I have taken several. Perhaps you are the one who should take a better look at it as it seems to run contrary to what you are practicing. Unfortunately for you, the WIDP has already decided to embrace the objective of establishing good faith for achieving the most accurate articles possible. In fact, they have achieved this with what could be called great success, as the ID articles are some of the more detailed articles that grace these pages. It is only in your own mind that they have failed to do this. Every one of the articles is presented as neutral, factual, and precise as possible. Not all articles can conform to the "Moulton I say its true and am going to believe it no matter what" standard. The WIDP group has to actually go out and find the sources to back up what is actually mentioned in the article. I really don't know what I can say or do to help you. I would hate to see an editor get banned for actions that are completely within their realm of control. Baegis 02:36, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    That's not the false and defamatory element. You seem not to have grasped the elements of the biography that are false and defamatory. Did you go back to the edit Picard did, some 18 months ago, to remove the part she considered false? She left in the fact of her signature on the 32-word statement. Go take a good look at what she took out.
    As to the standards of accuracy, excellence, and ethics achieved so far, would you be willing to allow a neutral professional in media ethics to examine a small sample of the 170 articles sponsored by the Wikipedia Intelligent Design Project? Moulton 02:50, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    The elements that you seem to have a problem with are 1) her name being on the petition 2) the actual nature of the petition. Her edit is [10], I gather. There are mountain loads of evidence that point to the contrary of her very statement. ID is inherently anti-evolution and is actually creationism, which is the diametric opposite of evolution, at least in this case. If this is her particular edit, her summary provides all the clues necessary to deduce at least her tacit support for ID. Claiming to believe in micro-evolution, or many aspects of evolution is a classic tactic used in the argument against evolution. Since you appear to pass yourself off as an expert on many things, you should know this. Secondly, no I would not be willing to allow a neutral professional to examine a small sample because such a person would not need my permission nor anyone's permission to examine the articles. Being that this is a free encyclopedia edited by volunteers, they would have as much of a right as anyone to examine the articles and tag them if they believe they do not adhere to a neutral point of view. However, the caveat to that is that they have to show, with supporting evidence and sources to boot, why it may not adhere to a certain level of accuracy or excellence. And, through the talk page, the other editors can discuss the merits of the qualm and edit as needed. However, when POV-warriors, as you appear to be, pop up and try to nudge or shove articles in certain directions, the failure of the articles to conform to your ideas are not due to the perceived lacking in the articles but with your own idea of what the article should accomplish. Sure there are parts of the 170 articles that can be tweaked, but nothing is perfect. Except, I guess, your personal beliefs on this issue..... Baegis 03:10, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Here is a quick summary of libel law... Online Defamation Law.
    I have no idea why you going on about ID. Where do you construct the theory that Picard believes in or supports ID, or any other element of the political agenda of the CSC? If you wish to "deduce" something, you had better consult a mathematician or logician to ensure you don't arrive at an erroneous conclusion. Deducing "tacit support" amounts to publishing a "theory of mind" of someone you have never met, never conversed with. Publishing a falsehood, no matter how innocently computed, as fact leaves Wikipedia liable. And if it's false and harmful, it's not acceptable by any standard. Moulton 03:49, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    What you have from that history page is that Picard has no objection to this version...

    Controversial Petition Signer
    Recently, The New York Times reported that Dr. Picard signed the Dissent From Darwin Petition (see page 6 of the petition for her signature). This petition has received criticism since although all of the signers hold doctorates in science and engineering disciplines, only 154 of the 514 signers have biological science backgrounds.

    Moulton 03:49, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    First off, lets hold our horses here. There is no actual proof that Picard herself edited the article. So your assertion that she agrees with the current statement, whether it be with merit or not, has no bearing on the article. I'm sure most public figures, which is what she became when she signed the petition, would like to minimize any possible negative publicity in their articles on here, if they even had one. So lets just throw out your idea of her editing her article. Secondly, I am not arriving at any sort of a false conclusion regarding the standing of the editor who made the edit. The micro-evolution comment is a classic case of creationism argument against evolution. However, since I made that assumption based on your statement about her edit I took for granted that it was true. Since your statement cannot be proved or disproved, my statement could be considered erroneous depending on the truth of yours. But, since your statement cannot be proven true or otherwise, it is not admissible for this argument. If you want to debate this point further, it will fall on deaf ears. Even a court would not allow this little piece of evidence of yours as proof of her editing her own article without more evidence. Thirdly, the burden would fall on her to prove that this article was in some way edited with a malicious intent. Since we are not stating any falsehood, Picard would have a dandy of a time proving it libelous. Picard signed a statement saying she questions important underpinnings of evolution, this statement was sponsored by the DI, Picard has made no attempt to distance herself from the statement. Btw, you keep posting links to things but I don't think you actually read them. I would advise you to throughly read through your links before adding them because they only help further establish how off-base your claims are. Cheers!!! Baegis 04:23, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    What you have is that someone at the MIT Media Lab made the edits from IP and IP You also have User:Hrafn42's tags which assert as fact what you now claim there is no proof for. Please agree among yourselves what the evidence shows. Ken Chang identified three of the signers as prominent scientists, which is what they were both before and after he wrote his NYT article. Your opinion regarding the lack of distinction between micro-evolution and macro-evolution is your opinion, and not a reliable basis for making editorial judgments on behalf of Wikipedia that contravene scientific conventions. Moulton 11:06, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    No, No, No!!! We have no way of knowing if it was her actually doing it. Therefore we have no idea if she agrees with it or not. Frankly, I don't care if she agrees with it or not, because her ultimate problem lies with the NY Times article. You really should face facts and admit it was a pro-ID petition. And while my opinion about the micro/macro argument may be my opinion, I am not the only one who shares it. Dave mentions the same thing all the way up at the top and it is generally acknowledged as a tool in the creationism debate. Just because you fail to see this in no way makes it not true. Cheers!!! Baegis 19:07, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I would like to note that I came here in a sincere effort to help you in some way especially since it appears that the community may soon be moving for harsher actions against you, which may include being banned from ever editing again. I would much rather see that not happen, but you have thus far confounded yet another editor. If you would like to talk about helping out with the editing of articles, please feel free to seek out help from other editors. However, if you wish to continue on your path, you may find yourself short of allies and out of the project. Please, please listen to what the community has to say with regards to your RFC. Baegis 04:48, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    The reason you are confounded is because I am challenging your critical thinking skills, which are not yet up to scientific or journalistic standards appropriate to a responsible editor crafting articles for a public encyclopedia. Also, please be aware that I am not now, nor have I ever been a participant in the Wikipedia Intelligent Design Project. Moulton 11:06, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    No, I think you and your own critical thinking skills are the ones that need to be evaluated to see if they are up to a standard needed for this article. Doesn't it seem strange to you that nearly no one agrees with what you are mentioning? You are NOT some sort of a messiah, sent here to teach us how to correct our ways. Please, please, get off of your high horse and stop adding your smarmy "I have more education than you so naturally I am right" line of reasoning to your edits. Perhaps you should take a look at this with regards to your objectives (yours is not the uphill battle, fyi). Also, while I do doubt your critical thinking skills for very, very obvious reasons, please work on your God complex as well. Might want to tone it down because not all audiences are amused by it. Cheers!!! Baegis 19:07, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    What is your evidence for the assertion that "nearly no one agrees with what I am saying?" Since I have no clue how much education you (or anyone else) has, how can I logically conclude (let alone state on the public record) who has more than whom? Why would you even imagine me to say anything like that, since I have no reliable evidence upon which to base any such notion? What, pray tell, is a "God complex"? Moulton 19:15, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    1) How about your RFC and the fact no one is actually supporting your objectives.
    2) Its the general tone of your edits. You obviously are not one who values reliable evidence, based on the sum of your edits to the articles, so you probably just assumed it and plowed ahead.
    3) Wikipedia has an article on it, I am sure you can look it up.
    4) Does MIT pay you to constantly edit the articles on here? Baegis 19:24, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    1. The "fact" that my adversaries are not supporting the objective of achieving a reasonable standard of accuracy, excellence, and ethics in online media is evidence that the Wikipedia Intelligent Design Project does not embrace the objective of achieving a reasonable standard of accuracy, excellence and ethics in online media.
    2. What is the name of the "tone" of my edits? Do you have any reliable evidence upon which to ground your beliefs about my values?
    3. An article on what?
    4. I am not an employee of MIT, nor do I receive any remuneration from MIT (or from any other institution of higher learning).

    Moulton 19:52, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Here is a question for you. Where is the evidence that Picard edited her own article (giving me the IP address that is registered to the media lab is not sufficient)? Where is the evidence that she does not believe in the ID message? If she has such a problem with the article, why has she not contacted the DI or the NY Times? Why has she not released a statement regarding the topic? Baegis 19:27, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    My evidence is her own personal communication to me, at which time she directed me where to look for her edits from the 18.85.10 subnetwork associated with the VPN tunnel for the Media Lab. What is the "ID" message you allude to? I am not familiar with the "ID" message as I have never heard anyone present, describe, or argue for such a message. How would I (or anyone else) have knowledge of who she may have contacted? Why do you discount the best evidence you have regarding the misrepresentations on her bio page, which is the note she left for the editors of that page, pointing out the errors to which she took exception. Moulton 19:52, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Pure OR Moulton. And you know that is not allowed. You are not her knight in shining armor, sent forth to defend her. She is a big girl. She can do it herself. Baegis 20:21, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I didn't come here to defend Picard. I came here to defend science itself, and the integrity of science journalism. I came here to contribute to the goal of achieving a reasonable standard of accuracy, excellence, and ethics in online media, especially in the field of science and science education. Moulton 22:30, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]


    Stop x nuvola.svg
    You have been indefinitely blocked from editing in accordance with Wikipedia's blocking policy for repeated abuse of editing privileges. If you believe this block is unjustified you may contest this block by adding the text {{unblock|your reason here}} below.
    This blocked user's unblock request has been reviewed by an administrator, who declined the request. Other administrators may also review this block, but should not override the decision without good reason (see the blocking policy). Do not remove this unblock review while you are blocked.

    Moulton (block logactive blocksglobal blockscontribsdeleted contribsfilter logcreation logchange block settingsunblockcheckuser (log))

    Request reason:

    It is unbecoming for Wikipedia to eschew the goal of achieving reasonable standards of accuracy, excellence, and ethics in online media.

    Decline reason:

    You have shown no intention of abiding by Wikipedia policies and guidelines. — Yamla 20:07, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    If you want to make any further unblock requests, please read the guide to appealing blocks first, then use the {{unblock}} template again. If you make too many unconvincing or disruptive unblock requests, you may be prevented from editing this page until your block has expired.

    Are you saying that Wikipedia has no policy or guideline for achieving a reasonable standard of accuracy, excellence, and ethics in online media? Moulton 20:12, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    If I may, I believe Yamla is staying that you, Moulton, have chosen to disregard our policies, which actually do relate to every one of your gripes, and have repeatedly failed to listen to the community's input. Baegis 20:17, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I would like to hear from Yamla who asserts a novel theory of my intentions (or lack thereof), notwithstanding a clear expression of my objectives here in the Response section of the RfC. Moulton 20:29, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    You were warned about this at least 20 or 30 times. And I predicted it, if you will recall, if you did not mend your ways. I told you to pay attention to my predictions before, and you aggressively dismissed my warnings and predictions, seeming to display an arrogant attitude. This did not help, to be honest. Sorry. However, you had the benefit of much much more community hand-holding and attention than we would normally lavish on someone like yourself with your kinds of agendas.--Filll 20:55, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Yes, I am familiar with your self-fulfilling prophecies, Filll. But I'm still interested in learning why Wikipedia declines to embrace the objective of achieving a reasonable standard of accuracy, excellence, and ethics in online media. Moulton 21:07, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Actually, it does. But here's the lowdown: if Wikipedia has 8 verifiable sources that say the sun is yellow, and one crusading editor who says it's blue and has not verification or cites to back him up, the 8 verifiable sources are the ones we use. It's really quite simple. Really. &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149; 23:16, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    No One Expects the Spammish Inquisition[edit]

    If I had been present in the time of Pope Urban's Inquisition, I'd like to think I would have stood up for Galileo, even though all the reliable sources kept assuring the Pope that the Sun went around the Earth.

    If I had been there at the trial of Socrates, I'd like to think I would have stood up for the principle of skeptical examination of the evidence, principles of ethics, and critical thinking.

    Moulton 23:42, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    You are not a martyr. Do not try to pass yourself off as one. Do not besmirch those great names of scientists you used reason, not inane ramblings, to arrive at their conclusions. Baegis 23:47, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Did you know that the Greek word, martyr, means witness? I happen to believe in bearing accurate witness. Not because Moses proposed it, and not because of some rule of evidence at trial. I believe in bearing accurate witness because of the Fundamental Theorem of Feedback Control Theory. Moulton 23:54, 11 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I hate piling on, really do have an unhealthy opinion of yourself. Galileo? Give me a break. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 00:04, 12 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    One of the things I like about Socrates, Galileo, and Darwin is that they were all redheads (like me). Moulton 00:07, 12 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Unfortunatly, my dear Moulton, those men used reason and logic in order to reach their lofty status and their accomplishments in science. I guess those abilities passed you by on the evolutionary path. Perhaps your intelligent designer meant for that to happen. Baegis 01:19, 12 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Lofty? Socrates was sentenced to death by the "community" and Galileo was placed under house arrest by the Inquisition. They were hardly viewed as "lofty" figures by their contemporaries, although Galileo did schlepp a cannon ball or two up to the lofty heights of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to do some original research to dispel the widely believed misconception that heavier objects fell faster than lighter ones. Lucky for Galileo he didn't have to deal with the likes of Wikipedia to publish his findings. As to what any "intelligent designer" has in mind, I would simply note that the Process of Enlightenment works in mysterious plays. Moulton 01:28, 12 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Incorrect again.--Filll 01:40, 12 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Inherit the Windmills[edit]

    When it comes to quixotic quests, perhaps none is more intractable than nudging a hopelessly dysfunctional system in the Bokononic direction of enlightenment.

    Dave Souza had reminded me of Augustine, who is notable for having introduced the term "Original Sin" into the conversation. Of course, being a systems scientist rather than a theologian, I'm more inclined to analyze systemic errors rather than reckon anything as mortifying as "Original Sin." Still, it occurred to me that Augustine might have been on to something, so I took a closer look at what he was blathering on about with all of that godspeak.

    Turns out a few of those pioneering oligarchs (e.g. Solon and Hammurabi, among others) had introduced a tragic logic error into their calculus. Rather than call it "Original Sin," I'd rather call it "Hammurabi's Original Logic Error" or "Humankind's Original Logic Error." Either way, the acronym comes out HOLE, so that one can smile and say that those who embrace their flawed paradigm have a HOLE in their head.

    But I digress. It's difficult to do peer-reviewed original research in the field of Neuro-Mathematical Theology, so one is obliged to follow the lead of Umberto Eco. Eco said, "Whereof we cannot make a theory, we must tell a story instead." And I say, even if we can make a theory, we damn well better present it as a story anyway, since theory tends to make most people's eyes glaze over. Alas, I suck at storycraft, which is why I like to hang out around journalists. Mebbe some of their gift will rub off on me someday.

    Meanwhile, I struggle with a compromise somewhere between scientific essay writing and amateurish comic opera. I figure it can only get better, cuz it can't get much worse.

                     The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down
        Barsoom Tork is my name, and I rode on the paintball train,   
        Til so much rivalry came and tore up the tracks again.   
        In the fall of skandalon, we were rollin, just trollin for bait.   
        I took the train to Wiki, that hell, it was a time I remember, oh so well.   
        The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the bells were ringing,   
        The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the people were stingin'.   
        They went   
        Na, na, na, na, na,   
        Blah, blah, buh blah,   
        Buh blah blah, blah blah   
        Back with Dave at Epiphany, and one day he said to me,   
        "Moulton, quick, come see, a-there goes Filll on a spree!"   
        Now I don't mind choppin' wood, and I don't care if Hrafn's no good.   
        Just take what ya need and efface the rest,   
        But they should never have wiped out the very best.   
        The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the bells were ringing,   
        The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the people were stingin'.   
        They went   
        Na, na, na, na, na,   
        Blah, blah, buh blah,   
        Buh blah blah, blah blah   
        Like my father before me, I'm a working man,   
        And like ZayZay before me, I took a rebel stand.   
        Well, he was just pissed off, proud and brave,   
        But paintball laid him in his grave,   
        I swear by the verse below my feet,   
        You can't raise the Torkel back up when its in defeat.   
        The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the bells were ringing,   
        The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the people were stingin'.   
        They went   
        Na, na, na, na, na,   
        Blah, blah, buh blah,   
        Buh blah blah, blah blah  
        CopyClef 2007 Joan Baez and Barsoom Tork Associates.

    Moulton 02:29, 12 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]