I've decided to quit the project. I'm not doing this out of anger or resentment, though I do have a bit of both. This has been long thought out and planned for over a year. I've lost interest in the project, mostly in being an admin. I don't feel I can turn in the admin hat without the issues I was involved in as an admin not haunting me and paying me special visits. I'd rather just call it a day completely. I love this project, I love it's idea, and I love it's spirit. Thank you all for being great friends and sharing a great ideal. For the most part, my experience on this has been very positive.
I don't know that I've achieved much of anything lasting here. Many of my contributions could be described as a MMORPG style participation. I was active in ANI and AN, enforcing discretionary sanctions, closing RFCs, ect. I spent some time closing AFDs, doing CSDs, patrolling UAA, but none of that lasted longer than six months. At my RfA I said I'd fight deletion and UAA backlogs and I don't think I did any of that well. I lost stamina early. I haven't been an admin in anything other than name for a very long time. I average perhaps five tool actions per month for over a year with the exception of a hour here and there of "I'm going to try to make a difference today" in some backlog. So, as an admin, I'm not sure I did my part. Perhaps my biggest achievement as an admin is in finding other potential candidates to encourage to run. I'm happy that those people were successful and I'm sorry for what the hell I've encouraged them to volunteer for.
As a content contributor, I fell even further behind. I've created a few articles that I am proud of, I've saved a few from deletion that I am proud of. My biggest contribution though was to military-related subjects in Hawaii. If I do come back at all, it'll be to work on these articles. Thank you to everyone who helped me get Ford Island on the main page on Dec 7th, there is no way at all that I am qualified to write a featured article and it was only by the grace, patience, diligence, and guidance of everyone involved on that article that it even remotely passes as an FA. I am sure that the talents of Malleus/Eric could still find plenty to fix and that there were some shortcomings in my writing. In fact, I'm not entirely sure I'd be offended if someone were to decide that it wasn't FA material and demote the article.
I wanted to stray from the norm and speak out to a few very special people who have influenced me not only on this project but their perspectives have changed some of my life opinions. Many of these folks have acted as mentors, as a tiller, as a sounding board, as a critical dissenting opinion, as a double check, or simply as a growing opportunity for me. There is no particular order to this list, I mostly just wanted to say thanks and appreciate people for their time and friendship. Apologies to anyone who felt that we've had a personal connection and I've forgotten to mention you.
User:Dennis Brown — Dennis, you are a mentor in so many ways and I think your are the epitome of administrators here. Not just because you keep a cool head, but because after so many years on this project I still have no idea what your politics and pet issues are. I really don't know much of anything about you. And if you've managed to avoid labels, then you must be doing something right. Thank you for always being a sounding board, a calm voice, a peace builder, and a partner on a lot of issues. Even in times where we have disagreed, you have shown no less than your highest respect for me and I've always felt comfortable being completely honest with you.
User:NE Ent — I don't think we've agreed on just about anything. But I've always recognized you are a sound mind with good insight. Even when we disagree, you've always managed to get me to rethink and question my position. I think you are undervalued on this project and I hope that at some point you'll be recognized for your attempts to seek fairness and justice.
User:Bbb23 — It has been a pleasure knowing and working with you. We've disagreed so many times and every time you've shown immense amounts of respect and understanding and I just cannot think of anyone I'd rather disagree with.
User:Drmies — Doctor Mies, what can a guy say? Like Bbb23, you are one of the best guys to not agree with. Thanks for covering my back even when we've disagreed. You've described me as reasonable and thoughtful even when you've considered some of my decisions to be wrong. I think you give me too much credit, and I've always enjoyed hearing your point of view and considering the points on where it contrasts with mine.
User:Floquenbeam — You are the epitome of everything right with this project. I've always appreciated your mentor-ship and I'm sorry we've had a few quibbles in the past that left you with a poor feeling about me.
User:Gamaliel — If I had an equal and opposite, it would be you. Our politics are almost completely opposite and yet you've always treated me kindly. I don't always agree with the actions you've taken, but you've kept an open ear to my concerns and have been willing to consider them. I was just rereading an heated issue I got into about a year ago and you were there to speak up for me and you gave a solid perspective that convinced a lot of people that I wasn't crazy and there was legitimacy to my thinking at the time. Thank you for treating me like a partner on this project instead of an enemy.
User:Ponyo — On the subject of people who aren't noticed for their hard work, someone needs to make you administrator of the year. You do so much behind the scenes with a level of stamina that I was never able to sustain. You're one of Wikipedia's unsung heroines. I so much appreciate you making UTRS a success and ensuring that it didn't die a sad death after the developers (including me) went inactive.
User:Joefromrandb — I don't think we'll ever agree on what the circumstances were that led me to block you initially. But what we can agree on is that I was arrogant and rude during and after the event and that wasn't how I want people to think of me. I'm sorry that our feud lasted so long, but I appreciate that you were polite enough to avoid me for that entire period and we were not always at each others throats. There were even a few times when we stood up for each other despite our feud and I appreciate your honesty and integrity at those times. I'm happy we were able to put it behind us.
User:Cyberpower678 — I don't see myself returning to the project in the future - at least not to the level I am involved with it now. However, I could see myself coming back specifically to nominate you as an administrator. You have a nom from me if you ever want one. You are hard working, you know this project upside down and blindfolded, and I'd trust you explicitly. You had a very rough start and I'll admit I got upset a few times, but you've turned out to be an essential part of this project. Your technical expertise is superb. You are the man, dude.
User:Mark Miller — I really hope that one day you can visit Hawaii and enjoy learning about your heritage. It's a rich heritage. I recommend you learn your native tongue before you make the trip because a lot of the oral traditions only exist in Hawaiian and you'll miss out.
User:Dainomite — I think you'll make a great administrator one day. Thanks for your service and thanks for being an expert in residence on down-range military topics.
User:Viriditas — It's tough meeting someone you disagree so strongly with when you first meet them and ending up building a friendship out of it. Thank you for your support on Hawaii topics, thank you for the kind words you've said about me, and thank you for being a voice for minorities on Wikipedia.
User:Kudpung — I don't know why I originally opposed your candidacy. I found something worth opposing at the time but clearly whatever it was hasn't reared it's head in your entire time as a sysop. I've enjoyed counting you as a friend on this project and working through issues with you. It was always a pleasure seeing you at ANI.
User:Worm That Turned — Thank you for keeping an open ear to me during your time on Arbcom. I think your adoption program should be a model for adoption all over Wikipedia. You clearly know how to crank out great editors.
User:A Quest For Knowledge & User:The Devil's Advocate — There are times I've wanted to slap you two and other times I've wanted to hug you for being the minority voice in an endless echo chamber. Thank you for standing up for what you think is right. I know I've chewed you two out plenty of times, but I did always read your perspectives on everything I encountered you at. Keep being thoughtful and critical - even if I think you're wrong. This project needs dissenting voices to keep everyone grounded.
User:Dream Focus — We've disagreed so many times on subject notability but you've, for the most part, always been polite about it. I think you do good work and I feel like you're a bit disillusioned with the project. Even though we disagree, I wanted to let you know that I respect what you do. Keep up the solid effort.
User:DeltaQuad — Had tons of fun with you hanging out in Berlin and working on UTRS together. Good luck in the future, you're a smart guy and will do great things.
User:Accounting4Taste — You're gone now, but I hope that you might still be around on a clean start account. If you are, know that I always appreciated your early guidance and well thought out advice in my early days on this project.
User:Andrevan — I honestly don't know you that well but I was surprised when you described us as having a feud. I'm sorry that I gave you that impression that I ever thought of you negatively and if I had known you had that impression of me sooner then I would have sought you out sooner. I still disagree with your close of that RfA, but I'm happy we were able to move on. This project needs less feuds and more people willing to let things go and I'm happy we were able to do that.
User:MONGO — I'm sorry that things are ending on a bad note between us. The timing of the issues that were raised could not have been worse as far as my retirement goes. I hope that someday you can see that I gave the issue as much impartiality as I could muster. I'm a huge Chris Kyle fan and I'd hate to see his article trashed with pages of ignorant dribble by political hacks but I also think that your perceptions aren't entirely accurate. I know you were hoping for more help than I provided, I'm sorry I couldn't do more.
User:SandyGeorgia — Thank you for all those times when you were very friendly to me despite the other times I showed less appreciation for content writers than I ought. You've set me straight a couple of times but you've never shown me any sort of contempt and I appreciate that. Thank you for your help getting Ford Island to FA status as well.
User:GorillaWarfare — I disagree strongly with how you do what you do, but I support you all the same. I don't know what it'll take to solve Wikipedia's gender gap and what it will take to convince the community that it exists and we can benefit from solving it. I've always felt my way was the gentler approach, but who knows, your way could be better. Keep fighting that fight because there aren't many people as vocal as you are and if our goal is an unbiased encyclopedia then we need to fight even unintentional biases by having a more diverse user base. Your fight is a good fight, I encourage you to keep going and not lose faith.
User:Fluffernutter — Thank you for always being sounding board for me and sending me those curt emails to knock it off when I've lost my mind. I've always appreciated having somebody watching my back and telling me when I'm not thinking straight.
User:Black Kite — Thank you for being open to discussion and keeping me straight with your thoughtful arguments. I appreciate having your critique and your support.
For those of you who have a hard time accepting perspectives that differ from your own, you can skip to the finally - you won't be happy with anything I say anyway. Anyone else who is interested in my perspective on this project should continue to read.
One of the primary reasons I am leaving is because of the harassment I received and the community's lack of response against it by Coretheapple, Smallbones, Figureofnine and Atethnekos. In 2013, I wrote an article off-line and emailed it to a client who paid for the writing with the intention of the client posting it on Wikipedia. I, personally, have never made an edit on Wikipedia for money or used my identity or reputation to add content to Wikipedia that otherwise would never survive on it's own merits. Despite that, these editors have insisted on calling me a paid editor. Coretheapple, particularly, has gone around the project into topics I haven't even been involved into mention how he knows of at least 1 administrator who gets paid to edit. The constant hounding and harassment by these four really just shows me that editors have nothing better to do than to attack each other with venom and can expect nothing out of the community for it. In 2014, the WMF passed new terms of service that allowed each Wikipedia project the option to opt out of certain COI disclosure requirements. SlimVirgin and Jytog attempted to start an impartial and unbiased RFC on the subject after I voluntarily terminated my own RFC in favor of their efforts. When these four realized the RFC would happen, they filibustered and derailed until both SlimVirgin and Jytog had enough and decided they wouldn't volunteer their time. It was one of the worst cases of gaming the system and bad faith I've ever seen on this project - and no one cared. What incensed me the most was a comparison of paid editing to drunk driving - a clear personal attack and BLP violation. The fact that editors can make intentional attacks and then play it off like they had no idea it would or could be offensive, even denying the history of the attack, is one of the major contributions to the failure of the civility policy. It has created an expressway out of the civility policy: say your attack, deny it's background, and good faith will protect you.
Another of the major issues that has disillusioned me is the blatant and no-apologies-made liberal bias in political articles. Editors with a liberal slant have been going to articles on conservative organizations and people and have made an effort to add "conservative" as a pejorative to these articles as early on and as often as possible while simultaneously insisting that there is no reason to mark liberal personalities as liberal. The article I encounter this most often is RealClearPolitics where editors have attempted to assert that it was "founded by conservatives" despite the living people never identifying themselves as conservative. Another examples are the lead paragraphs of the liberal-learning Newsweek and the conservative leaning The Weekly Standard. Immediately in the first sentence, The Weekly Standard is described as neoconservative. On Newsweek, there is a single sentence under media bias about a report describing it as liberal-leaning and an entire paragraph and a sentence by liberal organizations such as Media Matters for America, which happily describes itself as anti-conservative on it's very own about page, used as an independent neutral third party to refute the claims.
Greek_government-debt_crisis#Alleged_pursuit_of_national_self-interest is a Marxist defense of Greece and attack on Germany's success in a clear NPOV violation to push the socialism viewpoint and attack capitalism. It quotes Paul Krugman making an ad hominem assault on Germany without science or academics to back up his claims and amounts to "don't listen to them" and using "Nobel prize winning" as an appeal to authority. The entire section contains an entirely slanted point of view and several clear instances of original research such as:
"Germans see their government finances and trade competitiveness as an example to be followed by Greece, Portugal and other troubled countries in Europe, but the problem is more than simply a question of southern European countries emulating Germany."
"These October 2013 Treasury Department observations would germinate in the very poorest of soil, however, because the year before, in October 2012, Germany had chosen to legally cement its dismissal of these repeated pleas by legislating against the very possibility of stimulus spending, "by passing a balanced budget law that requires the government to run near-zero structural deficits indefinitely."
"Even with such policies, Greece and other countries would face years of hard times, but at least there would be some hope of recovery"
"By May 2012, there were signs that the status quo, and "it's tough to overstate just how fantastic the status quo has been for Germany", was beginning to change as even France began to challenge German policy,"
"Battered by criticism, the European Commission finally decided that "something more" was needed in addition to austerity policies for peripheral countries like Greece. "Something more" was announced to be structural reforms—things like making it easier for companies to sack workers—but such reforms have been there from the very beginning, leading Dani Rodrik to dismiss the EC's idea as "merely old wine in a new bottle."
This whole section was very clearly written by someone in the EU, and possibly Greece itself, with an point of view to push. I'm thinking it was some University student's essay in an economics class that they then adapted for Wikipedia.
I've also witnessed a surprising number of editors arguing that Media Matters for America is a neutral unbiased reliable source while Fox News is not. Media Matters for America openly declares itself anti-conservative on their about page. That's not unbiased, they are targeting conservative news. Anyone using MMfA as a reliable source for facts, and not opinions, is not here to write a neutral encyclopedia. In fact, the article on Fox News has an entire paragraph dedicated to opinion by MMfA. Go over to the article on CBS and there is a single paragraph about CBS flubbing the facts that, for two years, contained a cheap "Well, Bush probably lied anyway" on it until I removed it myself. It's interesting that on a CBS article, not only does it contain significantly less criticism but it also contains an unsourced negative BLP attack cop-out that no one cared enough to remove. And on the subject of opinions, one of my greatest pet peeves is the insistence to include negative personal opinions in articles about conservatives but to argue that such things from the conservative 'blog-o-sphere' is undue and not important on liberal articles.
Regarding politics, I have recently been equally disappointed that the article on Chris Kyle went the other direction. Although I support Chris Kyle, I think there has been a conservative effort to protect the article from negative information. Enough content exists to write two solid paragraphs and for it to be weighted properly for the article. On another article, I was impressed that Casprings offered up cutting out MMfA in return for cutting out Breitbart. Neither should exist and kudos to Casprings for showing some impartiality there.
Ultimately, the reasons in this section are secondary to my real reason for leaving which is disinterest.
None of that really matters though. Those are just the reasons I don't feel happy here. But even when I was happy, my energy level was waning. I have other interests outside of this project to pursue. I love to read and I want to get back into that. I love to game and I want to do that also. But most importantly I want to spend more time with my family and I believe they are on their last nerve with me and this project. They've supported me during Wikimania 2012, they've supported me while trying to get Ford Island to featured article class, and they've had patience when I was heavily involved in some Wikipedia issue or another. It's time that I devote more attention to them.