User talk:Abd

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Because of disruptive editing here by SPAs, this page has been semi-protected so that only participants who have registered and who have met other requirements -- which takes some time -- may edit it. If an user wishes to contact me and is prevented from doing so by this restriction, email is invited, which will also be confidential. Sorry for any convenience --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:21, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Archives, by approximate date of last post

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)

response by Abd, last comment 16:53, 14 September 2015
  • you are welcome to express your opinion, Leutha, though it is not surprising. This is now the third time you have brought up that commitment, see User:Abd/References to my unblock request without mentioning that it was withdrawn, long ago with notice to the unblocking custodian, and see the and see second mention. That is misleading and that kind of misleading information is, in fact, a personal attack. You have been personalizing disagreements over content and procedure. Read the policies.
  • I have long been working on Wikiversity governance and structure (sine I became active in 2010). Custodians must be amenable to criticism, it's essential. Your assertion that I'm claiming "Dave is at fault" for the block is the kind of misinterpretation and misinformation that has been spread. Dave is involved, and that's obvious.
  • An involved custodian may block, in an emergency. Involvement has been used to overturn blocks ipso facto, but that was poor process.
  • That's why I have not asked for unblock based on Dave's obvious involvement, in itself, contrary to Leutha's claim. Rather, my request is for what Dave should have himself asked for, given his involvement: neutral review. If that is not possible, then review by the community, at least. Prior policy required consensus to maintain a block, though. Otherwise an indef block is an effective ban, which, on en.wikiversity, requires a WV:Community review. We have users, unblocked, who have been far, far more clearly uncivil than what was in my comment, and they are not blocked.
  • So, then, unnecessary action-while-involved, if tolerated and supported, can lead to selective enforcement, with a policy being interpreted to cover very weak incivility, or to define legitimate commentary or criticism as incivility, for a disliked user, while other incivility by users is ignored. This is part of how wikis become warped and dominated by factions.
  • Normally, i would not raise all this as part of an unblock request. The request itself, however, is minimal and does not depend on all this. An unblocking custodian (including Dave or Leutha) may place any restrictions they choose, and those restrictions will either be rejected (in which case the custodian may decide to "undo their unblock") or accepted by me, or will be reviewed by the community, with or without my being unblocked.
  • There is no emergency here. Because I am highly active, in uncontroversially productive work, there is some level of damage from the block, but not to me. I'll get other things done, it's a bit of a break. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:53, 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)\
extended discussion by Abd, last edit 17:21, 14 September 2015
Dave is semantically correct. However, that level of semantic error is routinely tolerated. We may assume that Dave knows what he knows and does not know what he does not know. Therefore, if what I say he knows or does not know is incorrect, he's completely free to deny my claim, which, for me, could mean that I have misinterpreted evidence. In this case, what was actually said was this:
Dave knows almost nothing about dispute resolution procedures on a wiki.
I also said that I was "astonished to find that," and this was based on two things: the many comments Dave has recently made that show a lack of knowledge of that topic, and a review of his apparent wiki experience, as well as a review of my own observations about Dave over the last two years. The "knows almost nothing" had not been apparent to me, I had more or less assumed his competence on this, but ... when I look back, I saw little to show use of standard and well-known dispute resolution procedures, and he has recently actually opposed them, including in that very discussion.
The "astonishment" was from my chagrin at finding Dave to be as he is, after a period when he was almost the sole maintainer of Wikiversity. Instead of resolving disputes, he's been inflaming them. I never saw that before.
My statement was not gratuitous, it was a response in a discussion on the Colloquium about dispute resolution procedures, a discussion forced by Dave's insistence on WV:Deletions that the community be consulted before making even unopposed changes. Dave did not seem to be aware what a massive change this was to wiki practice. The comment preceding my response was
Every organization has to delegate authority, somehow. Dave knows a lot more than me about how it's done here.
Well, does he? That statement was literally true, because the custodian making the statement is openly ignorant of the topic. He doesn't have the experience, and it takes time and experience to learn these things. However, the custodian was voting as Dave had voted, apparently because of that belief in Dave's knowledge, and voting opposite to two users with much more experience (i.e., me and another permanent custodian). Notice that he also made a comment beginning with "Dave knows" So this was completely on topic.
Dave appears to believe that all statements "about the user" are illegitimate, and he's made that clear.
That is not policy, Dave invented that, and his comment here shows it. He really ought to carefully read our policy and the WP policy, which is more explicit. They both recommend response very different from his. This response from a custodian, willing to personally act on it, is chilling. --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:21, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

So what am I doing, being blocked? When I was first blocked on, I was "obsessed." It's a sign of high involvement. Hit me this time too, to a degree. I had been spending many hours a day working on Wikiversity.

Well, today I noticed I had about 80 notifications waiting on Quora. Great site. One of them was that one of my answers had been sent to 13,000 people in Quora Digest (which I get by email). Great answer. Wordy. I seem to be able to write as much as I want on Quora, and if people don't read it, no problem. But well over 1000 people a day do read my posts there. Since the end of September, 2014, when I started writing for Quora at the suggestion of a certain WMF banned user -- who promptly got himself banned there as well -- I have 472k views, 1.72k upvotes, and 10 "shares." Shares involve things like tweeting an answer.

Obviously, people upvote much more often than they share. I don't think I've ever shared a post from Quora. So I'll reduce that notification queue.

It includes requests to answer questions, as well as notifications of upvotes. Quora does have downvotes, but users are not notified of them. Smart. If a post is downvoted without upvotes, it becomes somewhat hidden.... I've seen that happen when I posted on cold fusion. There are a lot of physicists out there whose heads are stuck in 25 years ago. Little by little, we move into the future.

On Quora, as elsewhere, some answer questions without doing any research, believing that what they "know," which might come from a long time ago and stories repeated, is current knowledge. To a question about cold fusion (where I do have an upvoted response), "What is the status of cold fusion," a user answered with a link to a Scientific American article of 1999. Which was ambivalent, in fact. My response pointed to a w:Naturwissenschaften paper, "Status of cold fusion (2010)" Ya think that might tell ya somethin'? Actually, now that I see that answer, written in October, 2014, I think I'll update it with references to the Current Science journal of February, 2015, with a pile of reviews on cold fusion, including one I wrote... YesY Done Ah, there is life outside of Wikiversity. So thanks for the reminder. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:35, 16 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)
Quite the story... Well... whatever works best for you, you should stick with it! ----Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 02:15, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Please help to reactivate the Pashto Wikipedia,s Beaurucrat[edit]

(copied from request posted to Archive 10 in error.[6])

hello sir! I need your help to re activate the Pashto wikipedian beaurucrat because he has got 38 votes allready, please help in this regards also because the vandalists destroy the articles . hope you answer soon kind regards Afghanwrites (discusscontribs) 19:49, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

I did attempt to help, with some success, but this was not supported by stewards. You have asked on the meta Stewards requests page, which is the appropriate place. My concern would be that the discussion you point to may not reflect the full community, and I would specifically make sure that those who had problems with the existing administration had an opportunity to give opinions. For all I know, they did, and that is a clear indication of community support, but I'm not getting involved, I have generally retired from attempts to develop open communities and genuine consensus administration, under the WMF umbrella, unless new leadership appears.
I am very busy elsewhere.
Fiy aymanullah. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:14, 3 December 2015 (UTC)


I've sent you an Email. --Michaeldsuarez (discusscontribs) 15:36, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Implicit groups[edit]

Wikiversity and Wikipedia might avoid a lot of the drama associated with sysoping and desysoping if they made more use of implicit groups (i.e. groups that people become members of automatically by meeting certain criteria).

Where I come from, we give all users the power to browse the history of deleted pages, and we give all autoconfirmed users the power to read the text of deleted pages. Besides autoconfirmed users, there is another implicit group, elders, that users automatically became members of when they have 90 days' tenure and 1,000 edits under their belt. Elders have all the powers of sysops except for the power to block and unblock users.

The idea behind the elder/sysop dichotomy is that blocking and unblocking are the quintessential sysop powers that make sysops higher up in the hierarchy than other users; everything else is a maintenance task whose abuse can be more easily worked around.[1] Blocking and unblocking are also the sysop tools whose use tends to stir up the most controversy, since they can be viewed as attacking a user personally (i.e. by saying that he is doing more harm than good to the project) rather than merely attacking some of his work.

Elders are set up as an implicit group because it's assumed that anyone with enough of a commitment to the wiki to hang around for 90 days and make 1,000 edits probably knows the wiki's norms, and therefore if they mess up badly, it was probably willfully. For this reason, the remedy in such situations is to ban the elder, rather than to demote him. It is similar to how once a child becomes an adult, he never gets demoted back to the status of being a minor (i.e. someone without the right to marry, to sign binding contracts, etc.), although he can be given "adult" punishments such as getting terminated from his job, thrown in prison, etc. On the other hand, in order for an adult to be put in a position of authority (such as a police officer), he needs to not only attain a certain age but also be chosen for the position.

Where I come from, sysops are chosen based mostly on loyalty to the site's leadership. (If they know enough about wikis to know how to use templates, they're considered to have enough technical knowledge to do the job of a sysop.) Thus, the difference between elders and sysops is like the difference between career officers and political appointees in the civil service. Someone with much less experience than an elder can be chosen to be a sysop, who will have more power than an elder. But a sysop can be stripped of his powers for misusing them (or because there was a change in leadership that made him fall out of favor), while an elder can't (unless he gets banned completely).

  1. Allowing most users access to view deleted pages also makes page deletion less of a big deal, because anyone can re-create the page using a retrieved copy of the deleted page.

Elder Wally Kessler (discusscontribs) 22:22, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

I do not see sufficient possibility for reform on Wikiversity to warrant the investment of time that it would take. One thing is clear: it will not come through a user who has no other contributions, anywhere in the WMF family, than the above. Thanks. All the best. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:16, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

Added note: The above user was globally locked as a sock of a globally banned user. Currently I am looking at developing policy about SPAs. Edits like the above would be allowed, this is expression of opinion and not, in itself, disruptive. This user would be allowed, by us, to create an account on Wikiversity and participate, but if the user has truly been globally banned, two issues: stewards may enforce it in spite of what we would do. And secondly, some Wikiversity staff apparently believe that a ban elsewhere should be a ban here, even though whenever the community has been faced with a genuine user here, actually making contributions of possible value, it has resisted this. And that is how it stands. We should not support any attempt here to ban a user because of allegations (or reality) of behavior elsewhere. This does not give users license to use Wikiversity as a platform from which to libel others, and that is also clearly established, but we may study wikis and genuine research does not exist in thin air, it requires looking at actual human behavior. It is possible to do this without libel, and misleading impressions from evidence may, here, be balanced with deeper evidence. As with any topic here.

SPAs that are blatantly here to attack and disrupt, or even to immediately participate in Wikiversity decision process other than merely having a voice, should be promptly handled accordingly. If an admin discerns disruptive intention, such accounts have no investment and blocking them does no harm, it will only prevent harm (and notices, if issued -- they are not always necessary -- should provide guidance about how to participate non-disruptively). Otherwise Wikipedia practice should be followed, by adding Template:SPA to comments in Wikiversity process. The normal Wikipedia deprecation of SPAs as necessarily "POV-pushers" is not appropriate here, because "POV-pushing," is not an offense on Wikiversity, if a POV is advocated non-disruptively. As well, on Wikipedia, self-expression at length is disliked. Here, it is channeled into resource creation, appropriately organized (or simply allowed in user space). --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:33, 29 September 2017 (UTC)


Check out You may find phase 3 of the roadmap particularly interesting as it seems to propose implementing some of your ideas. Aguy Samok yati (discusscontribs) 00:34, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Maybe. seems like it could be interesting. Thanks. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:11, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

Dummy section as a precaution[edit]

against the possibility of the web site, mentioned above, being globally blacklisted, which sometimes happens with Wikipedia alternatives. It might make my talk page impossible to add a new conversation to, I think, without going to the Wikiversity whitelisting page to whitelist the link. Or removing the link by mentioning the site without the http prefix. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:15, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

Has been quite a while since we've last talked[edit]

How has everything been with you? It's certainly has been quite a long time since I last dropped a message on your talk page. How's your children, may I ask? -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 01:09, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Share the wealth, Atcovi, how are you?
I'm having fun. Had a reminder of my mortality in October, in the hospital for three days. Quick summary: heart blockage, no symptoms except under stress, plus had a deep venous thrombosis from a long plane flight attending my oldest sons' wedding. Priceless it was, but now I know that I need to be careful about hours of immobility in a plane seat. Bad Idea at my age! I ended up with multiple lung emboli, I'm on a blood thinner and taking a beta blocker Just In Case, getting ready to start an exercise program so, hey, I will be healthier after than before.
I was published under peer review in 2015. That was fun! Pretty good for no college degree. The reviewer was initially very negative, so ... I rewrote the paper! He ended up suggesting part of the conclusions.
Lately, I've been creating a community resource for people interested in Low Energy Nuclear reactions, Mostly, at this point, it's about the $270 million lawsuit, Rossi v. Darden, filed last April and now bringing out, in public, what had been hidden for years. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:11, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
I've been doing quite marvelous honestly, a lot of religious stuff at school (Jummah salat and such), and studies have been over decent! Currently expanding the resources here on Plate Tectonics and Continental Drift and such...
My, it's good to know you didn't suffer too much, hopefully you'll be back up on your feet.
No College Degree? How did you get money to support yourself? College seems like a lot of unnecessary work... -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 20:11, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
They tell you that you need a college degree to make money. The reality is that those with college degrees do make more, on average, but .... they also spent and often borrowed a lot of money to go to college and spent years of their life. Then there are other factors that may be much more important. Just going to college in order to make money probably doesn't work very well. Going to college to pursue an education in a field you love, that might do it! So here was my experience:
When I got married, I had no job and no income to speak of, but was living very, very cheaply. When my wife got pregnant, we got welfare for a little while, but in short order I was hired by someone who wanted me to move to Arizona to support Sufi activities there. Then I created a printing business. Then I started designing electronic circuit boards. That led to a job and then to becoming an independent contractor, and then to finding a designer in Brazil to actually do the work, and the upshot is that even after I stopped doing design work, I still make some money. Now I have social security, earned by the taxes I paid all those years. And I got a grant because of my writing, people with money, strangely enough, seem to like it. And I started a nonprofit to receive that grant, and will, I assume, be raising more money for that, to support low-energy-nuclear-reaction research, not to directly fund it, but to communicate with scientists and connect them with researchers. I am having a boatload of fun, at 72.... And, yes, I feel fine, I just need to be very careful not to break anything. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:50, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

I think next time I get on a plane, even if I have the window seat, I'm going to tell the people next to me, "Just so you know, I'll be getting up about once an hour to walk around so that I don't get a blood clot from sitting still for too long." Maybe that'll encourage them to do the same as well. Or I'll just pay the extra $28 or however much to get an aisle seat. It's kind of ironic that the airlines spend so much time teaching how to survive if, say, the plane crashes into a body of water, but they don't teach about blood clots. Blood clot avoider (discusscontribs) 01:03, 13 October 2017 (UTC)


i've sent you an email. i've would also like to remain anonymous, since the person you're dealing with is extremely obsessed. -- (discuss) 16:53, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

That is okay with me. I will not break confidentiality, unless the email itself is abusive enough to warrant it. It would have to be very abusive, not merely some opinion I don't like. If you would like fuller anonymity, I could request revision deletion of this section. Say so by email as well. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:06, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Note to others: Mail sent through the Email this user link must come from a registered user, and so I knew, when I saw the mail, who had done this. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:16, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

Personal Information[edit]

Your study at User:Abd/SPA disruption contains personal information that does not appear to have been made public by the users involved. An SPA user has requested [7] hiding of this personal information. The content will be emailed should you choose to continue working on your study privately. Please be very careful with this study and personally identifiable information. At this point it would appear that the study itself is having a net negative effect on Wikiversity. Posting the content publicly during the study is not enhancing its value. It is only serving as a honeypot. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 21:34, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for this. And thanks for also removing the other conversation. The above IP has admitted he is a sockpuppet of Michaeldsuarez. The problem is this troll (he an admin from enclyopedia dramatica the troll site) was emailing Abd with doxing and libel to stir things. I appreciate that your removed it all.Englisc (discusscontribs) 21:45, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict with above) @Dave Braunschweig: your response is proper, thanks. Yes, please email the text to me, there would then be no harm from your hiding of it. The "personally identifiable information" that might have been in that study -- at most a small part of it -- is far less than what one of these obvious socks just posted to this page, which gave a real name, personal life details, and threatened to contact the user's parents. However, it is not -- at this point -- necessary here to provide that information, and if it is to be provided, would probably be provided to the WMF privately. It's already in many places on the internet, and we don't need to know. We can work out later what is allowed and what is not; I attempted years ago to develop standards for this, with little interest being shown.
Right now, what is most urgent is recognizing that there is an intensifying and obvious attack on Wikiversity and Wikiversity users and others, and acting to protect the wiki and its users. Thanks. --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:54, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
thanks for the e-mail, Dave. Yes. One sentence, I think. I will ask you on your talk page, if you don't mind, how I may move forward with what is useful there. I think it will be very simple. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:12, 26 September 2017 (UTC)


Hope everything is alright with you Abd. Great to see you back... sucks you had to get sucked into this! -Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 22:37, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Atcovi. When I stood up for you, back in the day, they also attacked me for it. Similar forces are at work now, in some ways.
I came into activity now because I learned a young man was being attacked unfairly, by impersonators who created disruption and claimed it was him. I don't like that, and I'd helped this young man, years ago, to find a way to contribute non-disruptively. Remember what that was like?
But this was far nastier than those who wanted to block and ban you; after all, you were actually disruptive, in their thinking, though mildly and quite understandably, and they didn't understand that, they thought of me as supporting a "vandal." I have children and could see the likely reality. And you responded and trusted me. As did that young man. He seems to be, himself, maturing, moving beyond immature thinking and attachment to some crazy ideas. People do that if given the opportunity, at least often they do.
But in this case those on the attack knew very well what they were doing, they were impersonating and attempting to destroy their target and his actually good work -- or at worst harmless -- out of an obsessive hatred. So, because I know and because I have some necessary skills, I have an obligation. It's also fun, but I have to watch out for that!
In any case, it was also fun to watch you grow and develop and mature and I'm proud that I supported you when others did not understand. Maybe you will pass that on, in fact I'm sure you will. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:11, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

Cold fusion[edit]

Hi Abd!

Your resource on Cold fusion appears well-developed and ready for learners! Would you like to have it announced on our Main Page News? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 02:07, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

From my point of view, it is a colossal mess, a farrago of pieces put together over the years. But I'll consider it. "Ready for learners" could mean "ready for people to learn by organizing the material!" In any case, thanks. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:07, 8 November 2017 (UTC)