User talk:Abd

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Pre-block discussions[edit]

Currently blocked, so most of the Talk page is archived to history. Will restore later, with most content going to the regular archives. full version before blanking.

Remainder archived to history,[1] excepting only block discussion. --Abd (discusscontribs) 12:21, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Blocked For Continued Personal Attacks[edit]

Personal attacks such as [2] are not welcome at Wikiversity. Please let us know when you are prepared to discuss issues rather than editors. Until then, your account is blocked from editing except your user page. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 12:24, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support Please see also: here. Problems seem to have re-emerged after Abd moved away from his commitment:

"To avoid what led to the block I have a clear intention: not to become involved in Wikiversity governance and general maintenance. It was not welcome, even where I was enforcing long-established policy. I will work only on educational resources of interest to me and value to users."

This block should be considered in light of his failure to follow his own clear restrictions which he proposed when he was last unblocked.

His claim that Dave is at fault for instituting the block is part of his modus operandi - attack a custodian and then claim that any response they make is "highly involved".

Abd is long standing Wikiversitan who has also a long history of disruptive bevaiour. His suggestion that he should have been blocked before being warned is wikilawyering].

His response shows that he does not yet understand what is problematic about his behaviour, and indeed further illustrates that he wishes to focus on editors/custodians rather than issues. Leutha (discusscontribs) 16:19, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Request for unblock[edit]

The claim here is "continued personal attacks." I see no warnings here. Further, the linked comment is not a personal attack. Who was attacked, and how? The concept that any discussion of an editor is a "personal attack" is very strange, given that this custodian has been, again and again, discussing me and my motives and is now clearly violating recusal procedures without emergency. However, that's moot. This is procedure:
It is stressful for me to have this be open. I have identified what is missing from my Wikiversity participation, and that is adequate support for the work I do. Accordingly, absent expression of support and request to respond here or elsewhere, I am moving my work off this wiki. I am not adding links to where this is taking place, but any other user may request such or place links. See #Requests. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:10, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Some more explanation of why that edit was not a "personal attack." All that is said there is that Dave has little experience -- at least on WMF wikis -- with dispute resolution and editing in the presence of disagreements and conflict. This was stated as a response to a comment that assumed high experience for him, from another user with even less experience. He does have high experience with wikitech, and, at one time, seems to have understood recusal policies, because he followed them, and particularly with regard to me.[3]

Note to administrator considering unblock. Please do not unblock based on "bad block," i.e., solely because Dave is obviously highly involved, blocking me based on his own judgment of whether or not a comment from me about him was a personal attack and worthy of a severe sanction. Rather, consider the issue raised and whether or not the community needs protection from repetition of what I did, because if I don't understand it as a policy violation or blockable offense, this not having been made clear, I will very likely repeat it.

I absolutely had no expectation that I would be blocked or even warned for that comment.

I have been preparing to file a Custodian Feedback on Dave's behavior, I've mentioned that elsewhere and this, of course, requires discussing the behavior, which I see as having already damaged the wiki -- which will be documented --, and as being likely to continue damage unless the community guides Dave.

Consider, as well, whether or not an indef block without warning was justified (and "warning" means a specific diff'd and clear warning on my user talk page, not much more vague discussion elsewhere. In the RCA request diff'd above, there was no clear warning issued, no consensus about personal attack.). Thanks. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:13, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

The relevant policy is WV:Civility. This was approved as policy as part of a mass policy establishment move, in 2006, and this was the approved version. What is there does not apply to the comment I made, certainly not clearly. If a comment is made knowing that it will be offensive, that could be considered a personal attack. It is intention to offend that makes what might otherwise be a legitimate comment a "personal attack."

w:WP:NPA is much more explicit, and the comment "Comment on content, not on the contributor," (which Dave has mentioned elsewhere, and which he rephrases above, is from the summary there, not our policy.) As the rest of the policy makes clear, there are exceptions. The examples given in w:WP:NPA#What is considered to be a personal attack? are all far more of the nature of attack than my comment. Then the WP policy has: "Discussion of behavior in an appropriate forum, (e.g. user's talk page or Wikipedia noticeboard) does not in itself constitute a personal attack." In this case, the comment I made was very relevant to the opinion I was responding to. It was an informed opinion, which did not disparage Dave, since lack of experience of a certain kind is not an offense or reprehensible. If wrong, that could be shown. If I believed that my comment was a personal attack, I'd have thanked Dave for the reminder, and this would all be simple. I don't. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:32, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

A sentence that begins with 'Dave knows' is a statement about the user rather than about the issue. Since it would be impossible for a writer to know what a user knows, it is therefore inappropriate in this venue. A more appropriate statement about the issue might be, "There has been little evidence of Dave resolving disputes". The user may disagree with that, but it would be a statement about the issue rather than about the user.
It is important for us to be able to have discussions about issues without making assumptions and statements about the users involved in those discussions. Let us know if you still have questions, and whether you are prepared to discuss issues rather than editors. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:37, 14 September 2015 (UTC)\
In my research into why Wikipedia is loosing female contributors, I've also become aware that it has dropped from being in the top five internet properties to number 6. So far it seems the number one reason for this is personal attacks and overall contention which I've loosely defined as not neutral and not a compliment. For example, a user updated here some images on resources I've been working on. All but one were great. I put the old image back for the one without discussion. This is an example of one instance of contention. The contributor has gone along with that one change so far since the original replacement was not discussed. My second point here is not tolerance but neutrality. If I were to write recommendations for Abd or Dave I might use the phrase "Abd knows" or "Dave knows" but I would not follow either with "almost nothing" or some variation. This would not help either to get a job. Instead, the phrase is a personal attack, an insult, fightin' words. If Wikipedia cannot find a way to reduce contention it may continue to slip down the internet top ten. Dave has provided one possible solution. If contention is a personal attack and others agree, which has occurred, then a custodian should block, which has occurred. I haven't investigated this very thoroughly but I agree with Dave's block for now unless the blockee understands the significance. I apologize in advance for possibly including this in my research. If this eventually works out amicably I'll put my Guinea Pig logo here if that's okay. It's a cute picture! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 15:32, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Marshall, for standing for civility. However, low levels of incivility are common in human conversation. It is not normal to indef block a user for them, rather, the most that is normal is a warning from an uninvolved user and a short block if the warning is disregarded. If I had not been blocked, and the complaint about my edit were made (and even just by Dave, with a diff), and even if I thought the edit was within propriety, I'd have struck it. The block prevents healing, then. The issue is not whether or not you "agree with the block." (However, are you claiming that it is legitimate for a custodian to block a user for allegedly insulting that custodian? That does not need to be decided here.)
The issue is the unblock request. Are you rejecting it? If so, you would edit it, see instructions on Template:Unblock. As you can see from the request, you or any custodian may set any conditions for unblock that they see fit. So the problem is? --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:48, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
@Abd: I am willing to participate in this discussion, but you need to say very little. Could you please keep your comments down to ONE LINE? I like the way you applied {{cot|summary}}..{{cob}} on most of what you have said on this page. You were blocked for a personal attack, but the big problem isn't what you say, but how much you say. Look at the this current permalink to the Colloquium. To put it bluntly, it is impossible to hold a conversation with you in it.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 00:41, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
I will keep this comment down to one line. No. The intention of your Colloquium link is unintelligible. If what I write is too long, you are free to ignore it. Thanks. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:09, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
The permalink to the Colloquium documents that you write much more than anybody else. It is hard for a person who likes to skim prose to even find what other people have written; the signatures are lost in the prose. Your two line response was sufficiently brief. Thanks.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 02:20, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
I already know that I write much more than anyone else, normally (not always!) I also research, probably, much more than anyone else, what I'm writing about. It was only two lines because of indent and that default signature. Anyone can organize text for readability, it's simple, as you have noticed, and never a problem if done with respect. I'd do this with the Colloquium, since you mention it, but ... I'd have to evade the block at this point.
I wasn't blocked for writing too much. The cited comment was very brief. A longer response would have been more explanatory, less laconic. and maybe less vulnerable to offense being taken. So ... what does all this mean? --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:25, 19 September 2015 (UTC)


Requests for Abd may be sent by email or placed in this section. Please respect all Wikiversity policies. Requests by IP that do not identify the requestor might be ignored or reverted. Responses may be off-wiki, and this section will only maintain active requests. Others will be blanked. Thanks. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:10, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Unblock request[edit]

I have abandoned the effort to create the Wikiversity I envisioned, as I failed to create the necessary conditions. I am now heavily occupied elsewhere, in ways that are far more rewarding, routinely. However, there are resources here that are valuable, with incoming links, and which should be maintained; for example, a "citation needed" template was added to one, and a citation is easily supplied. Thanks. --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:41, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

The block itself was very specific. Additional restrictions on the unblock would not be appropriate. However, I sincerely hope that we will be able to avoid disruptions and discussions that have a net negative effect on Wikiversity. I appreciate your understanding. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:43, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Dave. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:38, 16 October 2015 (UTC)


I'm sorry to hear that you've abandoned your vision (a vision that I was rather fond of), but I'm glad to hear that that you're engaging in activities that you believe are far more rewarding. --Michaeldsuarez (discusscontribs) 20:17, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. What I have abandoned is a personal effort to make it happen. I will support the efforts of others. I did not succeed in creating the community that is required, and, specifically, leadership other than my own. I'm trained in creating community projects, that was a big red flag.
In hindsight, it's obvious. I'm now active on Quora, where the quality of regular participation is astonishing, and where my work is not only accepted, it is requested and acknowledged. Quora provides statistics, and my page views are now running above 6000 views per day (from about 1000 when I was neglecting Quora for Wikiversity, and ). I am profusely thanked, every day. I'm making a difference in the lives of people, and engaging with teenage kids, mothers, people seeking relationship advice, as well as some of the best thinkers on the planet, some of whom are welcoming me and acknowledging me. This is my profile page there: [4] (Quora requires real names, by the way.) (I haven't edited my Quora bio since the block).
The block and reaction to it demonstrated that Wikiversity isn't safe, as more or less the last straw in a series of incidents showing this (involving others). --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:38, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome, and thanks for the clarification. --Michaeldsuarez (discusscontribs) 21:12, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
The problem is Wiki studies/Wiki disease. It is likely intrinsic to wikis, when naively created. To move beyond it will take an awakened community and structure. Community takes more than one person. Classically, following Brafman and Beckstrom w:The Starfish and the Spider, there is a visionary, someone who sees possibility, and who connects with a leader, who is inspired by the vision and who then works for it. In successful broad movements, the leader is the most active and becomes the best-known. In my training in community projects, identifying leaders is a crucial activity, the turning point that transforms the project from a personal activity to a community one. Creating oneself as a leader typically runs into opposition. That is likely intrinsic, also, for good reasons.
In my training, however, interactions are always face-to-face or by voice. Coaching by text (messaging or email) is actually prohibited. The WMF wiki model does not encourage this, though it's possible to set up independent communication. This is highly inefficient, if the goal is creating true, functional human community.
I knew, years ago, that reforming WMF wikis would probably take off-wiki structure, because of wiki disease. Off-wiki structure is routinely used by the oligarchy (see also w:Iron law of oligarchy, oligarchy is inevitable), but, when created by "outsiders," is heavily sanctioned on en.wikipedia, if discovered.
I had created an example of what is tolerated, while far less disruptive off-wiki organization has been crushed. But, there was a power failure here, and that was lost. And I'm not bothering to recreate it. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:12, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

It's interesting that the word "depressed" is spoken phonetically as "deep rest".[edit]

We can view depression not as a mental illness, but on a deeper level, as a profound (and very misunderstood) state of deep rest, entered into when we are completely exhausted by the weight of our own identity. It is an unconscious loss of interest in our story. It is so very close to awakening - but unfortunately rarely understood as such. Or as one friend put it, "depression has awakening built-in..."' JFoster1048576 (discusscontribs) 10:29, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Yes, clever. Depression can indeed be a harbinger of awakening; that, in fact, is a useful reframe.
I'm writing a great deal on "personal issues" now on Quora, Very rewarding site. I'm now running about 4K views per day on my answers, and what really makes a difference for me is the personal acknowledgments from others, not only upvotes (which are running about 15 per day). --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:49, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Why aren't you as active as before?[edit]

I miss seeing you on the Recent Changes board a lot! ----Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 14:22, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Thanks. I was very active, involved with site governance, but the kind of work I had always done -- as I did with you, Atcovi -- is not necessarily popular, and problems developed with Team Volleyball, one girl or a set of girls (using some level of common access, thus considered by checkusers and stewards to be socks), from the Philippines. I had channeled their activity into subpages of Sport/Volleyball, but they were being blocked for copying templates from Wikipedia without crediting the source. Which is a technical violation of no legal consequence at all (and common, mostly ignored), but because the templates were also being deleted, I could not identify source and provide it, to support them. I was also stopped from being a probationary custodian, contrary to standing policy, even though a custodian had offered to mentor. (This would have allowed me to fully handle the issues with those users.)
  • Working on policy, I was warned about "canvassing" for edits that were not canvassing, but rather a request for certain persons with interest or experience to comment. I was concerned that the warning admin might block me, so I brought it up on the Colloquium.[5] I specifically expressed concern about being blocked. The admin involved wrote, among other things, about that request for discusion: "... regarding the unnecessary drama, hysteria, and personal attack included in the post above ..." The admin made a complaint on Request Custodian Action, about Disruption by Abd. His brief complaint had "Based on recent hostility by Abd toward me, I can't respond to the issue without seeming already 'involved'." His restraint was totally appropriate, even though he was not involved in the particular incident. He then, just a bit later, discovered that lack of restrain had no consequences at all.
  • The original issue on Deletion policy went nowhere, even though the change which I had made had zero actual opposition, the only opposition was from this admin, who was opposing on purely procedural grounds, and there was support.
  • So, since Colloquium discussion of a policy change was considered needed, I did start the discussion, but not on that point, yet, rather on policy change procedure, since policies had routinely been edited and consensus was assumed if it was allowed, the editing was not an offense if not disruptive in itself. This was that discussion. Notice that the entire topic is collapsed. That was poor procedure. This was actually a poll, and participation had been very limited, so far. There is no close, and the upshot of this is that policy change policy is not clear. The collapse was done without comment. This was effectively a close, by an involved admin, with no result given.
  • In that discussion, A new custodian wrote: "[the admin] knows a lot more than me about how it's done here. I responded with "[The admin] knows almost nothing about dispute resolution procedures on a wiki. I've been astonished to find that, but it's not terribly surprising, given his history. His high activity in site maintenance would not teach him this. Wikiversity mostly avoids conflict, so one may not gain much experience in this here."
  • The admin indef blocked me for personal attack, "Please let us know when you are prepared to discuss issues rather than editors.: There is discussion of the block on this page, above. Normally, it is completely allowed to discuss administrative qualifications and behavior. Normal policy would be, as well, if considered necessary to block a user while involved, to notify the community, for review. The admin had done that in the past, in another case. Notice that the section header here refers to 'continued personal attacks." No personal attack had previously been verified by the community. No RCA filing was attempted. There was no emergency.
  • I requested unblock. Blocking policy had been grossly violated. Nobody was willing to unblock. On Wikipedia, any admin doing this would be desysopped, I saw it many times, where the alleged offense was far worse. What they say is that admins should have thick skins.
  • My conclusion: Wikiversity is not safe. To be safe, there must be an active community watching site governance. I was that community, effectively, and one person is far from enough. I had some level of support, and knew how to attract attention. That, however, was becoming more difficult and was itself under attack. (The "canvassing" claim).
  • However, since there is content here that I have created which is important off-wiki, referenced, in one case, in a peer-reviewed journal, I then decided to request unblock so that I could maintain the content. I have abandoned all efforts to generally maintain Wikiversity. I have stopped inviting scientists and others to participate on Wikiversity. I am also not active with any content at all here, it's simply the way my day goes, but I would respond to edits there, and also may create or improve pages from time to time for certain topics of personal interest.
  • This is what happened while I was blocked. I had previously registered and wrote some answers on Quora. See My Quora profile]. I began allocating my time in there. The result was quick.
  • Quora is not user-governed. It's a for-profit corporation and will eventually monetize the content, I assume. However, Quora has rules and procedures that are similar to what I worked to establish on Wikiversity, i.e., you can write material and if it is attributed to you, it can be kept as-is, the only issue being some sort of educational utility and how it is presented overall. Wikiversity is neutral by inclusion, rather than by exclusion, as on Wikipedia. The way that Quora works is that any user may post a question (including anonymously, but the user's real name is supposedly known to administrators, accounts are blocked if they are discovered to be phony). Anonymous posts are labeled as such, i.e., attributed to Anonymous. Anyone may edit Questions, or Merge Questions, but Answers essentially belong to the user who wrote them. Long answers are generally appreciated, if the content is of interest. My single most popular answer, so far, actually did not answer the question (but I fixed that in a comment)! (It now has 164,000 views, 896 upvotes, and 5 Shares). You can edit your own answers, you cannot edit the Answers of another, but you can comment on it or write your own Answer. You do not need to maintain your content, it cannot be hacked up by someone else, and deletion is rare, reserved for truly offensive content.)
  • And Quora then presents users with Upvotes and Page Views and Thanks and notifies users if people Follow them. Private messaging is private, only admins can read it other than the involved users.
  • The most common complaint about me here has been long posts, that consider issues in detail. They are completely welcome on Quora, even specially appreciated. Long posts offend users who imagine that they are obligated to read them!
  • So, while I was busy with Wikiversity, my page views were more or less stable at about 1000 per day, which, by the way, is far more than any content on Wikiversity, I think. Putting my time in on Quora, it almost immediately jumped to about 2000 per day. It goes up and down, but it is now running at about 3500 per day. It snowballs, because if one has a popular post, people will look for other content written by the user. The page views so far have peaked at 9000 views in one day. Current upvoting for my content is about 170 upvotes per day. Those are people who not only read the content, but actually pressed the Upvote button, and then Upvotes (and Downvotes and some other factors) control the sequencing of answers, and possible hiding of some. (Hidden answers can be read, but display is suppressed.)
  • Further, the Quora user community is astonishing. There are the usual trolls and ignorant people, but ... Quora accounts are real-name, and the users are real people, often with very high accomplishment in life. Have a question about astronauts? Okay, answered by an astronaut. Have a question about science? Often answered by someone specializing in the field, often by more than one. Have a question about life advice? Answered by published authors and others who obviously have high experience. Have a question about Jimbo Wales? Answered by Jimbo Wales. I am being followed by people with high experience, of high popularity, and high intelligence and skill as writers, people with far more page views than I. This, then, works to raise my writing in prominence. I can effectively write on any topic I choose, I can create questions if they don't exist, though I have only done that three times.
  • Users ask for life advice on Quora. What I find astonishing is how many then show that they carefully considered the advice, and often that they are taking it, even when what I wrote could be considered critical in some way. Basically, when people ask questions, many of them actually want answers that open up the world for them.
  • Quite simply, Wikiversity is an impoverished place by comparison. I had a vision to make it otherwise, Wikiversity could become more active than Wikipedia, but I cannot create that by myself. I will support and advise others, if asked. Hey, you could even ask on Quora! While I was blocked here, nobody showed support. That's fatal. I had helped countless users, including some who became custodians. That did not come back, hence, time to let go. It is not their fault. It's wiki structure, which does this unless special features are designed in.
  • Thanks, Atcovi, your concern is appreciated. --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:32, 27 November 2015 (UTC)