User talk:Caprice

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hello Caprice, and welcome to Wikiversity! If you need help, feel free to visit my talk page, or contact us and ask questions. After you leave a comment on a talk page, remember to sign and date; it helps everyone follow the threads of the discussion. The signature icon Button sig.png in the edit window makes it simple. To get started, you may

And don't forget to explore Wikiversity with the links to your left. Be bold to contribute and to experiment with the sandbox or your userpage, and see you around Wikiversity! If you're a twitter user, please follow --JWSchmidt 22:25, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Alternate Functioning Login[edit]

OK. As I promised, here you have your new account. Use it to negotiate with the rest of the custodians. I know you will be unblocked! Please use this account for anything you need, and don't use any other account. This is your main account now. Have fun! Diego Grez 22:28, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Thank you, Diego. My plan is to use the voice of Caprice in Geoff Plourde's upcoming course on Types and Shadows. I only need this login account to work with Geoff and the participants in his seminar.
If there are any responsible Custodians here who wish to resolve the long-festering issues with the User:Moulton account, they may contact User:Moulton through normal academic communication channels.
--Barry Kort 23:28, 6 July 2010 (UTC)


Caprice, the Fantastic Flying Scape-Goat for Azazel

Midwifing the Epiphany Since The Dawn of Consciousness

Caprice the Flying Scape-Goat is an iconic character who rises up whenever there is a pathological instance of the hoary Scapegoat Drama underway in these Motets.
Caprice will take the hit and die as many times as it takes, until humans tire of reprising the unbecoming and dispiriting practice of rerunning the ungodly scapegoat drama.
In the annals of Hero-Goat Dramas, Caprice is not a SuperHero.
No mes frères et mes amis. Caprice is a SuperGoat.


Nice name, but given your claimed objective, "Sisyphus" seems more apt. - WAS 4.250 01:01, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Are you referring to the objectives of Caprice, or the objectives of Moulton? --Montana Mouse 01:45, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Fictional characters act in ways that reflect the goals of their real-life script-writers. WAS 4.250 11:04, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
I suppose all of Moulton's Muppets (Caprice, Barsoom Tork, Gastrin Bombesin, Original Spin, Azazel Nation, and Albatross) reflect his utterly hopeless didactic goals as a schmeggegy scientist. Perhaps that's why he keeps me around, to document his silly adventures. --Montana Mouse 11:37, 7 July 2010 (UTC)


Do you intend to request that you are unblocked? Adambro 11:49, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Which account are you referring to? --Barry Kort 11:51, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
User:Moulton, but since this account is also blocked, if not User:Moulton, do you intend to request this account is unblocked? Adambro 11:58, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
As I indicated above, this account (User:Caprice) is a response to Geoff Plourde's express request for me to work with him in his upcoming course on Types and Shadows. Do you, Diego, Abd, and Ottava intend to facilitate and support that planned collaboration, or do you (individually or collectively) intend to impede, disable, or disallow it? In order to plan for the course, I will need to be able to work constructively with Geoff, in the namespace where he and I will be setting up and hosting the course. Given that both Geoff (the course organizer) and Diego (a responsible Custodian) are working with me in a collegial and congenial manner, I am unclear on what your unresolved issues are here.
As far as I am concerned, it is up to the local community to establish the customary operating norms for resident scholars here at Wikiversity to work with invited guest speakers in their courses, seminars, workshops, and colloquia.
As you know, the User:Moulton account has been rendered unusable by the unilateral out-of-process actions of Jimmy Wales and Mike.lifeguard. Even though it is now possible to log into the User:Moulton account, no one (other than a local Custodian) can leave messages at User_talk:Moulton even if the account were unblocked.
In any event, I would suggest the Custodians and members of the resident community of scholars here first review and discuss the analysis here, regarding the curious practice of blocking and banning, as it relates to the functionality of an online learning community. (See also this parallel article for even more analysis.)
Barry Kort 12:28, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Note: I have removed from this section inappropriate remarks which are unbecoming, inconsiderate, and/or incivil. Caprice 11:19, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

User talk:Moulton[edit]

I've now removed the relevent global title blacklist entry so you should be able to log in under your proper account and edit your talk page. If there is anything here you wish to respond to, please move the section over there before doing so. Thanks. Adambro 21:38, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

I have tested it, logged in as User:Moulton, and I find there is a variant of the error message saying that I still don't have permission to edit that page. —Moulton 21:48, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Excessive Dissembling[edit]

If you are not a Custodian, try to create the User:Caprice page. You will get an error page that states:

This page is currently protected and can be edited only by custodians.

This title has been protected from creation by Adambro. The reason given is "Excessive vandalism".

Excessive vandalism?!? Really?

It occurs to me that the "reasons" being deposited into the logs are evidence of excessive dissembling by dishonest admins.

Moulton 01:04, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

The correct reason would be "Excessive Civil Disobedience" because that is precisely what Moulton is doing. He is demonstrating the use of Civil Disobedience to expose corruption in the power structure. It's a classic technique used in the 20th Century by Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, but it has roots in bible stories, too. —Montana Mouse 01:18, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
The above (Montana Mouse is Caprice/Moulton) was outside the boundaries of what this page may be used for. To answer the point, yes, "Excessive Vandalism" was an incorrect protection reason. Perhaps Adambro should be taken out and shot for using an incorrect reason to protect a page?
Not quite sure why he protected it, but that page wasn't needed for the purposes of this account, and Caprice was allowed to put the material above, I think. In any case, this kind of continued argument over administration here is why Moulton continues to be blocked, and why I have now reblocked Caprice to prevent Talk page editing. If Moulton wants Caprice to be unblocked, he has a simple course: agree to avoid using this account for trying to reform Wikiversity (i.e., through "exposure" of "corruption,") but use it only for positive contributions, as with the proposed cooperation with Geoff Plourde. Moulton is not censored, he has means to write to the Wikiversity record, and almost all of it can be read by anyone who wants to.
Moulton never agreed to this restriction, it was merely an offer, an attempt to see if he would restrain himself in this harrow forum. As not, so not. --Abd 05:00, 13 July 2010 (UTC)


Unsacrificing a sacrificial goat - it is advent, we look to the coming. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:35, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Umm... this could be a controversial use of tools. However, I was the custodian who last blocked Caprice. I consent to this action, though not without some trepidation. I urge Moulton (Caprice) to use this account with caution and prudence. I no longer have tools, but will support non-disruptive editing. Please avoid, for the time being, provocative statements not clearly necessary in context, and please avoid using Wikiversity as a device for "exposing" the problems of other WMF wikis and especially of criticising users at other wikis. This does not mean that you must avoid all controversial statements, nor that you cannot, when relevant, describe your own experience in a cautious way. This is merely advice, I'm not the boss here, I'm not currently a custodian, nor was I ever your boss, as none of us are but maybe you. is probably a better place to host serious and involved "Wikipedia studies," where it may be necessary to consider individual actions, as distinct from principles. Good luck. --Abd 23:46, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I see I was not the last custodian to unblock Caprice, I misread things. So I can't help with that, but perhaps others will see that it's time to move on and try again to seek the "common welfare." Or not, I can't predict. Good luck anyway. --Abd 23:51, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Stealth Reincarnations[edit]

Charles Ainsworth notes that several of the editors involved with the Intelligent Design furore have apparently changed their account names in an attempt to escape the stigma of having been members of the notorious "ID Cab", one of the most bullying and fascist cabals ever to disgrace Wikipedia with its corrupt machinations.  Ainsworth acknowledges that these stealthy reincarnations appear to have been successful, because he hasn't seen the new account names revealed anywhere. —Moulton (talk) 11:19, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

I suppose I should post the results of my investigation into "ID Cab" puppet accounts. --JWSchmidt 14:27, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Not here, I hope. would be a fine place, I assume. Until clear guidelines are in place, Wikiversity should avoid seriously controversial "wikistudies," because we have a great deal of other work to do, and such studies are naturally disruptive here. Limited work in that area is fine, with it being clear that it comes to a screeching halt if disruption appears over it. Academic freedom is not absolute where it causes a riot, the safety of the institution must be considered, and, where nondisruptive alternatives exist, such as netknowledge, it is clear that overall community welfare requires discretion. We may be able to link, here, to certain resources there, or to specific revisions that are free of what might violate our own policies and guidelines.
The urgent task here is to develop such research guidelines and publication policies. With such in place, much more may be possible. I do believe that Wikiversity may be the key to overall reform, it is peculiarly placed to blaze paths. So, please, Caprice and JWS, let's pitch in and build the future, here. And there. --Abd 17:41, 26 November 2010 (UTC)


This is incompatible with this. Please cease assuming that the past will repeat, but judge people, if you need to judge them at all, based on their most recent behavior.

And, in return, we will endeavor to judge you in the same way. Please do not make it necessary to interfere with your freedom to edit here.

Please stay off of Adambro's Talk page, as he has requested, that is a normal courtesy when difficulties arise. If you have a current complaint about this user, ask someone else for help mediating it, or use a noticeboard.

Geez, man, the guy just unblocked you! How about a little sign of generosity in return?

Thanks. --Abd 22:22, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

I expect anyone who is functioning in a capacity of leadership or authority to do so with the utmost of grace, humility, collegiality, and congeniality. An expectation is not a judgment. It's an expectation.
If, in the fullness of time, someone demonstrates that they are unable or unwilling to live up to reasonable expectations for the role they have assumed, then (and only then) will I conclude a judgment that they are demonstrably incapable of comporting themselves in a manner appropriate to their assumed role.
I expect every official to be open to honest, fair, and sincere feedback, just as I welcome your feedback on this talk page. Honest, sincere, and constructive feedback is always welcome.
However, I do not appreciate threats or warnings, as that establishes an uncollegial and uncongenial atmosphere that is not an appropriate demeanor in an authentic learning community.
Moulton (talk) 22:44, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

And this is intolerable, do not revert war or the like with a user on their own talk page. Period. It is not required by academic courtesy that you are allowed to barge into someone's office and harangue them, and if you continue that, the person may call the campus police and have you ejected. I think being blocked and banned for so long has caused you to lose sight of normal courtesy, so I'll cut you some slack. But not a whole lot more!

As you know, I'm not a custodian, but I know some. I'm not threatening you, I'm warning you of the inevitable if you continue on this course. --Abd 22:29, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

An official who cannot tolerate honest, concise, and sincere feedback, offered in good faith has no business in an official capacity. I don't understand why you are proxying for an adult academic over a simple matter of feedback from a community member.
Once again, I remind you that threats and warnings are not an appropriate demeanor in an academic culture. I am happy to listen to your grievances, Abd. I do not appreciate threats and warnings, as such unbecoming practices undermine the collegiality of the community.
Moulton (talk) 22:58, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Never confuse warnings with threats. And Adambro isn't really an "official," he's more like some kind of hybrid between a janitor and a campus cop, a servant, and he has some right to privacy. Suit yourself, Moulton, and you can write stuff like the above here. Just not on Adambro's Talk page. If you believe that he is required to personally receive you in his office and take his time to talk with you, you can file a complaint with the Academic Committee, but I think the AC will not rule favorably to you. People have the right to have personal likes and dislikes, and, so far, admins have that right as well. He is recused from acting with respect to you, so your personal grievances with him are no longer relevant.
I would, however, urge caution in taking advantage of your new freedom to pursue old grievances in any forum. We do not have adequate protective structures in place, so there could still be negative consequences if an appearance of disruption arises. Instead, I suggest, let's use your extensive experience to set up functional conflict resolution process that may make all that old ugly stuff no longer a risk.
If you jump the gun, there are other custodians, and custodians tend to protect their own. It's human nature. Don't expect it to change soon!
Politically, as well, I have to personally aim for the center, for what benefits the largest number of users, while, at the same time, adding weight toward my vision of the future here, leading, at best, but never coercing outside of necessity supported by consensus.
As I explained to him and have explained to others, recusal policy is protective of custodians as well as of other users. --Abd 00:12, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
  • What concerns me is not redress of old grievances, but a climate change, going forward, that transforms WV from a variant of Mafia Wars into something that more closely resembles an authentic learning community. I hope you agree that such a vision is both desirable and possible to achieve. As you may know, Geoff Plourde has already done some work to craft a model community agreement that embraces both collegial norms and a functional conflict resolution process. Perhaps we can begin by reviewing that and developing it further. —Moulton (talk) 00:41, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't know that, show me where, okay? In any case, this is the approach that I'm encouraging. I also have many ideas about how to accomplish the goal you speak of. Let's work on it, and not be distracted by nightmares from the past. Let these inform us, but only as to what we need to avoid, not to continue the old entanglements and imagine that, by fixing blame, we have made progress. In fact, the habit of blame is what was laid upon you, i.e., you were blamed for disruption that often had other causes, just as harm that it was necessary to address. It's all understandable, and all too common. We have to stop the whole blame game. Not just their blame game. --Abd 00:52, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Blame is a political concept. I'm a scientist and a scholar. I don't believe in blame or punishment. I believe in scholarship and education. There is a copy of Geoff's first draft of a model community agreement here. A later version can be found here, together with further development of an associated conflict resolution process. —Moulton (talk) 01:21, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. You may believe that blame is a political concept, but it is also a social and psychological concept, particularly associated with anger and avoidance of personal responsibility (unless it's self-blame, a different problem which can go too far in the other direction). Sometimes we can project an appearance of blame, even without actual blame as an intention, it's particularly easy with writing where people cannot see the physical signs of our state.
Any time we rehearse the failings of others, and imply that their actions were reprehensible, we are either falling into blame or we are at least creating the appearance of it, and thus, especially on-line, we may trigger defensive responses, one of which is rejection.... --Abd 03:10, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I wrote an essay about the subject on Akahele. In academia, when a student doesn't score 100 on a quiz, we don't bother with blame. We just return to the portion of the material not yet mastered. Just as Caprice will return as often as necessary, we return to a difficult subject as often as necessary until we are able to master it. Caprice is a storybook character who is immune to rejection. Her role is to be rejected as many times as it takes before it dawns on people that scapegoating is a rather silly and banal game that doesn't really solve the underlying problem. —Moulton (talk) 09:05, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

I know you're more versed in the Socratic argument part of the process, but I suspect even Socrates had an amphora or two with his friends after the debate was through. I think the best "positive reinforcement" you could give to Adambro at this point would be to just leave the guy be (and maybe send him an amphora or two on the next longboat out of port). --SB_Johnny talk 02:10, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Did Socrates ever sit down for a friendly round of Hemlock on the Rocks with the Senate, after the spellbinding play was over? Caprice 09:05, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

BTW, any reason you need this page protected? It's still closed to IP editing. --SB_Johnny talk 02:12, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I've never asked for protection from my critics or adversaries. I am happy to dialogue with them until doomsday, if that's how long it takes to complete our mutual education. —Moulton (talk) 09:05, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
It was full protected by a sysop who believed that Caprice was way too frisky, I reduced the level to semipro, because full protection wasn't necessary. If Moulton wants it unprotected completely, that's fine with me, and I doubt there will be objection from anyone else. My opinion is that you can go ahead, the protection is not needed, and the default should be unprotected so that IP users can ask Caprice, as an experienced user, for help :-). --Abd 03:10, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikiversity:Privacy policy[edit]

Given my usual level of paranoia, and the specific information your privy to about me, I thought I might explicitly point out that the privacy policy is now an official policy. Thanks. Thenub314 15:57, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I'm unclear on what your goals are here, as there are scant clues on your user page. Are you here to join in collaborative learning on academic subjects of mutual interest, or are you here to engage others in an adversarial manner by spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt? Could you clarify that for me? —Caprice 16:20, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
He just wants his personal information to be protected. It would seem that using personal information can spread fear, uncertainty, doubt, and an adversarial system. Be gentle on the boy, Moulton, you have bigger fish to deal with. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:24, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
  • His first name is his personal information? What about his gender? Normally, in an academic community, one addresses their fellow scholars by name. In a drama, one addresses the other players by the name of the character they are portraying. Are we doing academics here, or is this an instance of dramaturgy, where everyone wears a mask and speaks the lines ascribed to them? —Moulton (talk) 16:51, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
My gender is personal information. By the way, in academia, you address people per standards and honorifics - Mr, Dr, Professor, etc. There is no real difference. Names are social customs, meaning you follow the social norms. And Moulton, if we were doing academics Abd's and SB Johnny's actions wouldn't have any place here, nor would any of the non-academics even be allowed here. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:55, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Is Thenub314's gender personal information? Above, you referred to him with a masculine pronoun. —Caprice 17:10, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Boy, you really got him there! Ooops! Caprice, the casual use of "him" is not sufficiently personal to be considered outing, except under unusual circumstances. Many editors, in fact, will use "him" and will, on average, be correct. But they might also be incorrect. I am aware of some accounts where the editor is female, but does not wish this revealed, and to deliberately reveal this would indeed be a problem, but ... that's not what we are seeing here. Caprice, please don't debate Useless Stuff, just to win. It's unbecoming, even for a goat, and it is possible that it could cause some Actual Harm.

On the other hand, maybe skewering silly arguments is an educational purpose. hmmm....

As to "academics," I'm accepted by and work with academics, real ones, with my contributions being recently recognized in a major and very special mainstream peer-reviewed journal, but not by certain immature grad students who imagine that their narrow experience is the universe. Wikiversity is a part of my return to academia after many years of absence. And I do intend to amplify and increase the connections between Wikiversity and brick-and-mortar academia, there is a great deal of work to be done on that. Moulton, you may be able to help with M.I.T., which is a major institution in one of my fields. More later! --Abd 17:35, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

  • You can probably tell that I'm just pointing out that these various policies being used not so much as sensible guidelines, but as weapons to be used to kibosh rival players in a rather tedious and banal political drama which has little or nothing to do with academics, unless one is engaged in scholarly research on drama theory and dramaturgy. —Caprice 17:42, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Welcome back.[edit]

Welcome back to enwv. I look forward to seeing your contributions. --Draicone (talk) 16:24, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

After we somehow convince them to let you back on Wikipedia, can we break out the champagne? Ottava Rima (talk) 16:32, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
In the last two years, I've written some two dozen articles on Google Knol, including some that are original research. It occurs me to that Knol is a more suitable venue for me to write articles on subjects where I claim to know what I am talking about. —Moulton (talk) 16:55, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Google Knol sucks. I already showed you how awful some of the pages are. I wouldn't associate with such things. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:56, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Many of the books found in a library or a bookstore are of low quality, too. Does that mean that libraries, bookstores, and books in general are a deprecated medium? —Caprice 17:12, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
I prefer my university's library over my public library because one is 90% academic books and the other is 90% non-academic. Remember, God gave man the ability to distinguish between different choices ala free-will. Ottava Rima (talk) 17:24, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Would you agree that the same faculty of free will allows people to make choices of behaviors that vary in their degree of concordance with principles of best ethical practices for an authentic learning community funded by donations to a tax-exempt educational foundation? —Caprice 17:34, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Free will is only the ability to do what is right. Discernment with the wrong decision is not discernment. And I don't remember when Wikiversity ever received any proportion of the funding or any necessary attention required from the WMF. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:15, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support the sentiments of Ottava's last sentence ;-). --SB_Johnny talk 18:20, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, Wikiversity isn't receiving specific funding, but is hosted courtesy of the WMF, paid for by those donations. However, it's not particularly relevant. The cost of hosting is trivial compared to the value of the volunteer labor, and, if we needed, to, we could easily move to a new host. As long as we are reasonably free, as we are, I don't see that as necessary at all. I do believe we should be prepared to do it if necessary, but I very much doubt that it will become so. The preparation is mere prudence, and can be done with little cost, or no cost, except a tiny amount of attention by a few. --Abd 18:33, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Additions for Wikiversity:Community Review/Mikeu[edit]

Moulton, Mikeu has a long history of using ops abusively against you and JWS, and to create a poisonous atmosphere to discourage academic pursuits here. Wikiversity:Community Review/Mikeu was opened up over it, but I would like any input regarding abuse of status regarding you and JWS. Ottava Rima (talk) 02:00, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

To the best of my knowledge, the only person who ever contacted MIT in an effort to cause trouble for me there was Paul Mitchell (aka User:FeloniousMonk, User:Centaur of attention), who phoned the MIT Media Lab on March 11, 2009.
Professor Picard's Administrative Assistant notified me that, "Paul Mitchell from the Wkimedia Foundation would like to file a formal complaint against Barry. He claims that he's been taking advantage of his position at the Lab in a continued 'campaign of harassment'."
The staff at the MIT Media Lab summarily dismissed the call as a crank, and nothing came of it. If anyone cares, I can provide a copy of the messages from Picard's Administrative Assistant.
I have no idea whether there is any linkage between that March 11 phone call to MIT and the discussion you cited from January 27, 2009. As far as I am concerned it's ancient history. ArbCom already dealt with Paul Mitchell, and to the best of my knowledge, he's no longer active in WMF-sponsored projects.
With respect to Mike, if there is any old unfinished business to clear up, it would be documented here. I'm not interested in punishment or revenge, but I am interested in solving any residual mysteries regarding what actually took place behind the scenes, so as to ensure that any corrupt practices that may have occurred do not become a recurring practice going forward.
In other words, I am interested in a Truth and Reconciliation Process.
Moulton (talk) 04:21, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
I am not in the mood for revenge, but it is clear that Mikeu has been instrumental in the destruction of the academic atmosphere here dating back to 2007. He is not alone, but it is a start. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:29, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • The challenge (and it's a difficult one) is to build a collegial atmosphere here, notwithstanding the disturbing history of uncollegial and uncongenial wikiculture that has weakened and undermined the resident academic community here for the past three years. —Moulton (talk) 16:48, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
A collegial atmosphere requires collegial people. They were disempowered and alienated long ago. That is what happens when you allow non-academics in an academic community. Ottava Rima (talk) 16:55, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • That's why I favor a social contract community model, where those joining the community understand the local academic community model, and sign on to it upon entry into the project. —Moulton (talk) 16:59, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Social contracts don't work. I prefer an inalienable declaration of rights. Ottava Rima (talk) 17:06, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • How do you get people to respect an "unalienable declaration of rights" other than by encorporating them into a Community Agreement that everyone voluntarily agrees to abide by? —Caprice 17:27, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Unalienable rights are only defended through the sacrifice of the just and honorable who put their community before their own lives. As Jefferson said, we have to spill the blood of patriots every so often to insure the liberty of the people. Ottava Rima (talk) 17:33, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Isn't that a recipe for endless reruns of the hoary scapegoat drama? Wasn't the whole point of the most famous such drama to introduce a new community covenant that evolved to the next stage beyond the one that kept calling for annual scapegoats like Caprice? —Moulton (talk) 17:39, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Cognition, affect, and learning[edit]

FYI, I've started this page - I am interested to learn and obviously need to start by reading the knol. However, please forgive my likely tardiness as I've still got a pile of marking/editing and a rapidly shortening timeframe. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 08:23, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

AAPT Winter Meeting - Session Information[edit]

American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)
Winter Meeting 2011, Jackonsville FL

Session GC: Research on the Effect of Anxiety, Frustration and Annoyance on Physics Learning
Location: Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, City Terrace 7
Sponsor: Research in Physics Education Committee
Date: Wednesday, January 12
Time: 1–3 PM
Presider: Karen Cummings, SCSU

Talk GC01: 1–1:30 PM Cognition, Affect, and Learning: The Role of Emotions in Learning*

Invited - Barry W. Kort, Visiting Scientist – Affective Computing Research Group – MIT Media Lab, Bedford, MA 01730-1200;

Our species, Homo Sapiens, is the being who thinks. But we are also the beings who learn, and the beings who experience a rich spectrum of affective emotional states. This talk presents research and theoretical models relating emotions to learning and cognition. As we learn, we acquire units of knowledge, much like pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, and arduously weave them into a “fabric of knowledge” in which all the pieces fit neatly together and a “big picture” emerges. The “big picture” (which is hidden from view until we are nearly done) is called “insight.” There is a dynamic process called “learning” that takes place as we build a knowledge base. The rate of learning is generally not steady. We learn in fits and starts and occasionally have to “unlearn” a misconception or two. That is, our “learning curve” does not gracefully ascend but has “wiggles” in it as the learning process advances and retreats. There are identifiable emotions that appear along the way. Among these we especially note: curiosity, fascination, confusion, anxiety, surprise, perplexity, frustration, chagrin, despair, hope, satisfaction, and elation. In this talk I will review a mathematical model of the interplay of emotions and learning and extend the model to encompass drama theory as well.

* This work was funded in part by the National Science Foundation. Additional support for this presentation comes from the IEEE Education Society.

Talk GC02: 1:30–2 PM Affect and Physics Learning: Recent Developments
Invited - Donald R. Franceschetti,* The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152;
Elizabeth Gire, Sidney D’Mello, Vasile Rus, Art Graesser, The University of Memphis

It is a truism that the student’s emotional state plays an important role in determining the efficacy of instruction. Experienced teachers and tutors can often pick up from verbal and non-verbal (body language) clues, whether a student is engaged, bored, anxious, or preoccupied, and respond in an adaptive and effective way. For intelligent tutoring systems, this determination can be made to some extent based on measurements made while a student sits at the computer. In this presentation we will review some of the relevant literature on the connection between affect and learning, including some of the rich literature on “math anxiety” and discuss some measures of affect that seem promising to aid both human and machine teachers.

* Sponsored by Karen Cummings.

Talk GC03: 2–2:10 PM The Coupling of Emotion, Epistemology, and Substance of Students’ Reasoning in Physics
Luke D. Conlin, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742;
Ayush Gupta, Andrew Elby, University of Maryland

Recent work in cognitive science has strongly argued that cognitive processes influence and are influenced by emotions. Learning scientists and science educators have steadily paid greater attention to the role of effect in learning over the last few years. Despite these efforts, it has been challenging to connect emotions to students’ personal epistemology and the conceptual substance of their reasoning at fine-timescales. We aim at such integration via fine-grained analysis of clinical interviews and classroom discussions, focusing on episodes where emotions seem to play a strong role. In this talk we will present episodes from a small-group discussion among students doing physics tutorials, arguing that students’ in-the-moment beliefs toward knowledge and learning and their emotions mutually support one another leading to implication for how we design and implement reform curriculum in physics.

Talk GC04: 2:10–2:20 PM The Impact of Self-efficacy on Student Performance
Lauren E. Kost-Smith, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80305-0390;
Steven J. Pollock, Noah D. Finkelstein, University of Colorado at Boulder

Our work on gender differences in introductory physics[1,2] has focused on student performance (exam scores, course grades, and conceptual surveys). In first-semester physics we find that males outperform females on the post-FMCE by about 12% on average over 13 semesters. In second-semester physics, a similar, but smaller, gender gap exists on the post-BEMA. Regression analysis suggests that background differences of males and females can account for a large fraction of the gender gap, but not all of it. Our more recent work has been to identify factors other than student background that impact performance. In this talk we focus on differences in males’ and females’ sense of physics self-efficacy (students’ beliefs about their ability to complete the tasks necessary to be successful in physics) and how self-efficacy impacts students’ performance in the course. We find that males have significantly higher self-efficacy and these differences are correlated with course performance.

1. L. E. Kost, S. J. Pollock, & N. D. Finkelstein, PRST-PER, 5, 010101.
2. L. E. Kost-Smith, S. J. Pollock & N. D. Finkelstein, PRST-PER, 6, 020112.

Caprice 14:25, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Mr. Rima...[edit]

No need for the "real name" thing there, Mr. Moulton ;-). Really not worth stirring up the shitstorm that you know it will stir up, and just making annoying jobs for me to do even though I think they're silly jobs. --SB_Johnny talk 23:22, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Mystery? Moi?! Harrumph. —Albatross (talk) 00:33, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Look, Barry, if you want, you can reveal my Super-Sekrit Real Name(s). No problem! But it would be Just Plain Silly to insist on using the Real Name for Those Whose Names Cannot Be Spoken. For any of them. Unless you have a Very Good Reason. Look, my thread on Wikipedia Review got crumpled up and tossed in the Tar Pit and Feather Barrel, all in a wad with Other Stuff, because I even used an indirect reference to you. But I knew that could happen, and didn't care. Like, I need Wikipedia Review for something? (I wasn't banned, but ... might as well have been. I don't like wasting my time writing decorations for wadded-up paper balls.)
If you are done here, go ahead! But, boo hoo, I'll miss you! Seriously. That was very nice what you said about me on the Custodian candidacy page, and you have added a level of entertainment that was only occasionally obtainable while they were playing whack-a-mole with you. I suppose I can still contribute atrocious song parodies on your blog. I bet I can write worse ones than you! And there is always self-reversion!
Oh, wait, I just looked! That nice stuff was revision-deleted because of the name! And now I get your diabolical plot! Never mind. --Abd 23:55, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I know I ham, but water hue? —Albatross (talk) 00:33, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Blue, today. --Abd 01:43, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Repeated edits on my Talk page[edit]

[1][2]. Please do not block Caprice for revert warring on my Talk page, I'll handle it and ask for help if it's needed. It is not needed. From the above mentioned "outing" and the insistent edit to my Talk page, I abduce that Caprice is trying to get himself blocked, he knows the rules very well. Why? Well, being free to edit, he's free to stick his foot deeply in his mouth, he's been taken seriously and allowed to pursue arguments deeply, and he doesn't like where it's leading. Easier to have an excuse not to continue.

Or maybe it's something he ate, or something ate him, or he's trying on a new clown outfit. Whatever, there is no harm for what happens on my Talk page, at this point. While I removed it, because it isn't WV business, I rather like the parody poem about me, except "surly." Moi?

Surly you're joking, Dr. Kort. --Abd 01:43, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Not to worry, Mr. Lomax. I don't plan to block myself (or even abandon the truly obnoxious practice of writing utterly atrocious song parodies). —Caprice 01:51, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Blocking yourself would be a serious abuse of power!!! (Should I be using more emoticons or something?) --SB_Johnny talk 03:18, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Whew! for a while I was worried. However, there is always "suicide by police," which is what I was talking about. Fortunately, a wikibreak will not stop you from writing those parodies, so I really shouldn't fret. Still, I was glad to see that you could write parodies even though you weren't blocked, though not quite up to your normal standards of atrocity. What's next? Actually creating, like, a normal resource? Nah, that is probably too horrible a thought! B o r i n g. Carry on, Barry-san. --Abd 03:41, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
  • My normal creative juices (which at my age tend to be whimsical flights of fancy), typically end up on Facebook or on my blog. —Moulton (talk) 04:15, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Maybe it's time to do the rename trick. Caprice has a life mission to be the scapegoat.[edit]

[3] really looks to me like Moulton is setting himself up to be the "victim." It occurs to me that Caprice originally, almost as soon as the account was created, with the cooperation of Diego Grez, acted up, doing what he knew would get him blocked, outing Ottava. He knows about outing and he knows about repeated, insistent edits to a user talk page, and he knows about misrepresenting what users have done, which he does, most certainly, in the cited edit to Enric Naval talk. (I.e., claiming that I was trying to get him blocked, when the absolute opposite was true, I was heading off a possible block by giving him permission to do what he was doing with my talk page.) Caprice is a "role account," in a way, designed from the beginning to be blocked, see User:Caprice, and it would be better if Moulton is unblocked, as Moulton, his major on-line persona. Or, it would be even better, if he registers an account here for Barry Kort, and the Moulton and Caprice pages point to Kort. His academic work is published under Kort, and it is his academic work here that could be most valuable. Maybe there is room, as well, for Clown Socks, so to speak. Mmmm... WV:Clown socks. Fun. No university is complete without fun.

The Wikipedia standard that it's the person who is banned maybe should not apply here to role accounts, which would be blocked for what is done with the account, and, indeed, we have some blocked accounts where the user is not blocked and is not evading a block by using their main account. I have one of those on Wikipedia, as a matter of fact, w:User:The Community. I set that up so that I could point out that "The Community" is blocked. That was fun! But that account also had a more serious purpose, too bad it didn't take off. I may explain that purpose here at some point.

To be explicit, this is not any kind of solicitation for Caprice to be blocked, which is the opposite of what I want. If Caprice is to be blocked, it should be with respect to offenses against others, not me, and this particular suggestion, to do with Moulton what Adambro wanted, if there was going to be edit access for Moulton, to rename and unblock, is intended to reduce some possible motion toward self-immolation. --Abd 17:40, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

  • To be explicit, this is not any kind of solicitation for Caprice to be blocked, which is the opposite of what I want.
What is the opposite of a solicitation for someone to be blocked? —Montana Mouse (talk) 17:52, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
An action designed to prevent the user from being blocked, waiving complaint for a possibly blockable action. To be more specific, though, "opposite" was with reference to "what I want." I want Moulton to remain unblocked, unless he presents cause with respect to other users, in which case I have no right to waive blocking, I can only waive it for possible offenses against my own rights, and I'll recuse from participation in discussion of such a sanction, unless I can find good cause to defend his other actions. I have in the past defended them, and I might again. I want him unblocked, which is the opposite of blocked. Q.E.D. --Abd 18:04, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
  • You'd have to go to Meta to deal with SUL locking there. Or you'd have to propose detaching the local User:Moulton account from the SUL. If that's what you want, no one is blocking you from pursuing either of those agendas. —Albatross (talk) 18:12, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Merry Christmas[edit]

And here is a link as a present. Ottava Rima (talk) 06:07, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Thanks. I appreciated Dekker's comments on negligence, judgment, and accountability. —Caprice 10:28, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
I heard his choice of language and rhythm and my first thought was that you might. :D It would be interesting to have someone (hint, hint) create brief summaries of his lectures and put them on a page with each youtube lecture in a different subheading. It could be an added set of theories for the "learning civility" project. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:47, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Need for a Wikiversity educator for kids[edit]

[4]. It occurs to me that you might be interested in helping out dealing with "kid" issue, being one yourself.

Seriously, you work with kids, if I'm correct, and the discussion shows a problem here, an approach to education and the educational environment that is actually bankrupt, rejected within the academic field of education, an old model that is punitive, overcontrolling, insensitive, etc. But lots of people were still raised with this, and pass it on, it's what they know, and some of them, even, end up as teachers, unfortunately for their students. Sometimes a subject is totally ruined for a kid by exposure to this.

We have the opportunity at Wikiversity to handle matters differently. Care to be a part of that?

By the way, what I've written isn't a personal condemnation, because most of us were affected by the old models growing up, and we pass some of it on helplessly. I can easily forget to listen to my kids when I'm stressed, I start bossing them around, demanding that they do what I want without question, etc. Even, sometimes, that might be necessary, but it's crucial that the kids know, from experience, that normally I'll listen to them, and explain things when I can, considering their questions and needs, so that they will then trust me the few times I need to lay down the law, do it immediately, no time for questions.

Wrote more here about that, but discretion is the better part of valor, there is some possibly sensitive personal information in what I wrote, so I'll email you with it, check your WV email in a bit.

If you do decide to participate, take it easy, okay? --Abd 21:11, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

  • As you know, I have a distinctive style of interaction that works reasonably well with young learners who are genuinely curious to understand things. It doesn't work so well with "jokers" whose agenda is something other than discovery learning. —Caprice 21:34, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Hey, how about enabling email for Caprice? I used the Moulton email. As long as you are using the Caprice account, it would be nice if people not privy to the Super Sekrit Real Pseudonym could also email you.... --Abd 21:30, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

  • I'd rather they fix the systemic dysfunctionality in the User:Moulton account. —Caprice 21:34, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Join me for a spot?[edit]

Come Along, Tea-Time.jpg

How about it? :) - Ottava Rima (talk) 16:57, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Can you affix a pennywhistle to your tea kettle, so I can reckon the timbre of the toot? —Caprice 17:08, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Vaccines, etc.[edit]

Heya! I assume you probably listened to "On the Media" today as well... I have just about zero time to look into it, but I'm wondering about how the vaccines/autism thing has played out on WP. Could be a great Wikimedia Studies thing if you have time to sift through page histories and such (assuming your head might be aching from banging it against the cold fusion wall).

Also, if you want to do the SUL cutoff thing for the Moulton account, would you mind bringing it up on the colloquium or a noticeboard somewhere for a re-discussion? Absolutely silly to keep the block in place since you're here anyway. --SB_Johnny talk 16:45, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Yes, it's a big news story about atrociously bad science. I probably won't have time to look into WP coverage of it very much before my trip to Jacksonville to give a talk to the American Association of Physics Teachers. As to the SUL nonsense, that's Wiki-Politics, which is way beyond my pay grade. I'm just a schmeggegy scientist trying to figure out why we are failing so badly at teaching science to would-be scientists who don't seem to be able to do science without burying their mistakes in a barrage of mind-numbing rhetoric. —Caprice 17:06, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

You may be on to something[edit]

Anthropologists Trace Human Origins Back To One Large Goat 'Wait, That Can't Be Right,' Scientists Say, The Onion. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 00:58, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

  • There's a reason SBJ is fond of me. —Caprice 01:05, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

An Imaginary Dialogue[edit]

XtraNormal™ Cartoon Animation

Moulton: Things have gotten uncharacteristically quiet of late. Perhaps people are taking some time off to think. Then again, I could just be engaging in a haphazard flight of fancy about that.

[Time passes.]

Moulton: Oh, that's interesting. A college drop-out who has spent his life engaged in Junk Science and Cargo-Cult Science just got blocked for impersonating a Nobel-Prize Winning Physicist who is one of the leading contributors to the Theory of Quantum Mechanics. Actually, it might have been amusing to see Abd have an imaginary conversation with his imaginary friend.

BlockHead: Moulton, maybe you and Abd should try a role reversal imaginary conversation.

Moulton: Actually, BlockHead, that is not far from what I had in mind in my Imaginary Dialogues (and other Silly Flights of Fancy) that I've penned as Atrocious Song Parodies. What I try to do in those exercises is to find a tiny parcel of common ground, a tiny glimpse of empathy for the other person's suffering. When you blocked him just now, I was saddened for both of you, because it was a baletocratic maneuver that, to my mind, went a skosh too far as a regulatory intervention. I would have done something a bit more democratic, to give Abd the opportunity of self-correction, rather than to assume he is incorrigible and in need of custodial restraints.

BlockHead: The psychodrama is rapidly descending into farce.

Moulton: Yes, psychodrama is a curious kind of farce, after you have witnessed it a few times. It took me decades before I could muster the fortitude to watch Edward Albee's famous psychodrama, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. And it was very uncomfortable to watch the first two times. But it's basically a farce, dressed up as a Scary Movie. Literally "Much Ado About Nothing," since "The Little Bugger" is an imaginary baby whom they made up out of whole cloth as a joint flight of fancy. They spend most of the play viciously blaming each other for the death of the imaginary baby they never really had.

BlockHead: What does "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" have to do with Abd's silly psychodrama?

Moulton: Here, the imaginary baby is the Epiphany that never happened. False Labor, as SB Johnny called it, when he was midwifing the pregnant goat who, in fact, did not have a kid inside her belly waiting to be born. It was False Labor, he said. And by some Mysterious Symmetry, BlockHead, the long-awaited Epiphany that Caprice was hoping to midwife was False Labor, too.

BlockHead: How disappointing.

Moulton: No Epiphany arrived. And so I am disappointed.


It would be interesting to make lists that try to categorize Wikiversity participants according to the reasons why they came to Wikiversity. This wiki-based community is devoted to exploration of how to use wiki technology to promote and support learning. Why are we "blessed" with wiki participants such as KC and Adambro who show no interest in learning, folks who seem to not be concerned with the mission of Wikiversity? Wikiversity attracts people who imagine that Wikiversity is a place for collaborative learning, but it all too easily becomes a place where misguided Wikimedians like KC and Adambro engage in their baletocratic maneuvers. I call this "Wikipedia Disease"...Wikiversity cannot protect itself from the abusive sociopaths that Wikipedia attracts. --JWSchmidt 15:48, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

  • The key observation is that there is a small subset of people who are characterized as Resistant Learners. They prefer not to learn by traditional academic processes, but rather by engaging in real-life encounters (e.g. Lunatic Psychodrama). As near as I can tell, the only way to facilitate their educational journey is to humor them and let them play out their silly psychodramas until they determine that more conventional educational processes are considerably more congenial. —Caprice 16:15, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • "Resistant Learners" <-- But can the analysis end there? Wikiversity has participants who claim to have academic credentials, but they allow the baletionists to freely disrupt Wikiversity and they even give sysop tools to people like Abd who promise to misuse their tools and continue disrupting Wikiversity. One Wikiversity Functionary who claims to be in academia even joins in the silly psychodramas, madly waving his toy banhammer as energetically as some random high school dropout. Here is where I am forced to ask: do such "academics" merely want free webspace for their online projects? As long as their use of Wikiversity is not disrupted are they happy to let the sociopaths disrupt the rest of Wikiversity with lunatic psychodramas? --JWSchmidt 17:20, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oh the analysis of the Zeitgeist never ends. The Zeitgeist continuously evolves, calling for continuously updating the System Model of the Zeitgeist. —Caprice 18:41, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Pedagogical limits?[edit]

I'm considering requesting a CR about this, but I'm not really all that sure how to pose the questions involved. There are a couple of pedagogical approaches that have become fairly common over the past few years, and I don't think they're very healthy ones for the community.

The first one involves "resistant learners". I don't know if this is a recently fashionable term of art or something, but I've seen (on wiki, on irc, and through other channels) a lot of referring to others as "resistant learners". While some of this seems to be in the spirit of a playground match of "I know you are, but what am I?" (see below), I wouldn't be surprised if there really are some "resistant learners" around. Assuming there are, is it really appropriate on a wiki to "hound" resistant learners, rather than just allowing them to work without interference from an unwanted and self-appointed tutor?

This second one is what you might call the "neener-neener" approach to communication. This tends to take the form of repeated name-calling, rude comparisons, public and unkind diagnoses regarding mental health or ability, etc., which seem to move fluidly from page to page. So, for example, someone working on Phrenology might get into a discussion with a Phrenology skeptic on the content talk pages, and then one or the other brings it to user talk, and eventually to the colloquium (etc.) for a game of "dogpile on the wabbit" in the apparent hope of shaming someone into changing their opinion. We've also seen both mainspace pages as well as policy pages be altered to either single out a particular person or to make sarcastic statements about "the management".

I really feel that both of these pedagogical (and/or conversational) approaches are creating a very hostile atmosphere that is stunting the growth of our community. --SB_Johnny talk 11:14, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

The term, Resistant Learner, comes from the research of Margaret (Maggie) Martinez on Learning Orientations. Maggie identifies four types of learners: Maggie provides guidelines for best practices for the first three types of learners, all of whom function normally in traditional classroom cultures and collaborative learning communities. The fourth type (the Resistant Learner) is allergic to traditional classroom (teaching) models and learns primarily by direct experience, including interpersonal drama and competitive rivalries such as those that arise in gladiatorial games, computer games (like Farmville, Mafia Wars, and World of Warcraft), political rivalries, and lunatic psychodramas. These are basically dopamine-driven contests, where winning a round against a rival opponent is the primary objective. Last week, George Lucas of GLEF (the George Lucas Educational Foundation and Edutopia) published an Op-Ed in Edutopia proposing more use of drama and storycraft to transform education. Also last week, Jane McGonigal of the Institute for the Future gave a similar TED Talk on adapting the power of the gaming culture for worthwhile education. Regarding the shaming and blaming issue, Brené Brown has been speaking widely on that. Saturday night, she was the featured speaker on PBS during one of their overnight pledge drive interludes. Brené Brown is probably the world's leading expert on this issue of shaming and blaming in our nit-picking culture. Here is her recent TED Talk on the subject. Those are just three high-profile examples from the past few weeks on evolving pedagogical methods for 21st Century education. These are issues and opportunities that some of the best thinkers in educational pedagogy have been addressing for a long time. It's hard to argue against Edutopia, TED Talks, and PBS when it comes to appreciating leading-edge thinkers. Leigh Blackall is also (independently) looking at similar paradigm shifts and discussing them with me. Let's widen this discussion and bring in Leigh, JTN, Choconancy, JWS, Mike, and others who have a stake in developing these 21st Century paradigm shifts in Multimodal Ubiquitous Learning. Moulton 13:52, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Live example of a banal political drama[edit]

Some characters here might not think there is sufficient demand for a Dramaturgy Department, so let's gin up a cockeyed example to demonstrate the idea. —Caprice 11:20, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Where shall we present the example? —Barsoom Tork 11:20, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Some place where participation is both voluntary and open to all. —Palomino of Certainty 11:20, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • The discussion is on the Colloquium, so unless I'm mistaken it's open to all. My own question is more about whether Wikiversity is a good forum for these approaches, and whether these approaches are good for Wikiversity. Though I'm sure there could be all sorts of learning projects about these methods, I don't think they should necessarily be practiced on every page of the wiki. --SB_Johnny talk 14:48, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, it's open, but we probably have to ping them to draw their attention here. It's about 2 AM in Canberra, so I don't expect to hear from Leigh, JTN, or Choconancy before nightfall in the US Eastern Time Zone. So first of all, let's get up to speed on the current thinking, per such leading lights at Maggie Martinez, George Lucas, Jane McGonigal, Brené Brown, Barbaran Ehrenreich, Michel Bauwens, Clay Shirky, Henry Jenkins, Yochai Benkler, Kevin Kelly, Howard Rheingold, Tod Machover, Nicholas Negroponte, Frank Moss, Tracy Kidder, Alan Kay, Mitch Resnick, Arnold Greenberg, Danny Bobrow, Danny Hillis, Seymour Papert, Marvin Minsky, Ray Kurzweil, Frank Thissen, Kelly Martin, Umberto Eco, et al. Then we can discuss how to evolve Wikiversity forward from an anachronistic pre-Hammurabic tribal ochlocracy to something more in line with 21st Century concepts of a high-functioning democratic Collaborative Learning Community. —Moulton 15:15, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I had a long chat with Leigh early this morning (late night his time) on this very issue. He suggested I summarize the issues both for him and for JTNeill, Choconancy, and Robin McConnell. Samuel Klein should probably also be brought in, partly because he's an affiliate at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and partly because he's logged into the IRC channel most of the time, so he sees the shenanigans that go on there. Klein works with Clay Shirky and Joseph Reagle at the Berkman Center, along with Danah Boyd. We very much need their input and participation here. —Moulton 15:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree with your analysis, SBJ. Thanks for raising the issue, and I'll answer your question. Wikiversity is a terrible forum for these approaches, except maybe as confined to specific studies, under well-established ethical guidelines. Even there it's iffy as hell. If there were even a teacher in my kid's school, who directly called a student a "resistant learner," I'd want the teacher fired, for gross incompetence. Maybe if he or she immediately apologized, not, but if the teacher then repeated it everywhere, in the local press, over the internet, on his or her blog, and in the school assembly? "The problem with our school is that Johnnie Smith, I've used the real name because we need to frankly discuss these things, is a Resistant Learner, and the parents and principal refuse to do anything about it and have even reprimanded me for Telling the Truth."--Abd 15:31, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Right. I think in that case it would be good for the teacher to discuss it privately with the parents, but certainly not at the front of the class. I'm also fairly certain that therapeutic psychodrama is generally not carried out on a public stage, but IANAT, etc. Wikis are essentially used for the collaborative creation of documents, and I'm just not sure that this approach meshes with that. Documenting the approach isn't the same as practicing it. --SB_Johnny talk 15:42, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Lunatic Psychodrama is a staple feature of WikiCulture and WikiPolitics. I'm proposing we establish a Dramaturgy Department to allow people who insist on generating endless reruns of Vexagonistic Lunatic Scapegoat Psychodrama a supervised venue for their angsty dopamine-driven urges, so that it doesn't overrun other parts of the community where traditional scholars (like JWS) wish to study in peace. —Moulton 16:00, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, if the idea is to confine that sort of thing to dark corners or userspace, that's quite fine by me ;-). --SB_Johnny talk 17:43, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Following the theory, shouldn't that comment be moved to the dramaturgy department or userspace? --SB_Johnny talk 18:14, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Putting theory into practice is harder in practice than it is in theory. —Moulton 18:18, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • No, the opposite. Putting theory into practice is impossible in theory, but easier in practice. --Abd 19:16, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • That's your theory. But then, according to your theory, cold fusion cells are now supplying the world's energy needs, too. —Moulton 19:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
This is part of what Moulton does. He misrepresents what others believe, or the theories they hold. And asserts it in places where the claim is utterly and totally inappropriate. Cold fusion is an observed phenomenon, fragile and difficult to set up and maintain, and is nowhere near being something that could supply the world's energy needs, at this point it is effectively a scientific curiosity, but a lot of people, like Moulton, believe that it is a fantasy, though this isn't current opinion in mainstream journals, it's old hat. And this is all out of place here, except as an example of the disruptive dramatization that Moulton always brings. Spillover and spinout. --Abd 22:06, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Telephony was similarly considered to be a curiosity, a parlor toy. Western Union had no interest in it, since it would never replace the telegraph. But telephony was as real as the "excess heat" in McKubre's cells. There was a lot of noise about McKubre's "excess heat" and the the chatter about it pegged a lot of VU meters. —Moulton 10:52, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • If you can find the will, I'm sure you can find the way. --SB_Johnny talk 18:21, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • A while back, I presented the theory for best practices in managerial ethics and social contract theory. Alas I did not discover a way to reduce it to practice. A while back, I suggested to JWS that we do a project on Music in Learning. Alas, I did not discover a way to reduce it to practice, in the face of strong opposition from Adambro. And so it goes. —Moulton 18:28, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • "If at first you don't succeed...." Your failure to convince Adambro of the merits more or less proves the theory that self-appointed tutors to people that the self-appointed tutor considers to be resistant learners is not effective. The fact that he decided to throw up his hands and leave was not a "win", but rather a loss for the community. Your dramaturgic approach accomplished nothing aside from ticking the guy off (which is pretty much how you feel about blocks, no?). --SB_Johnny talk 20:01, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • The Music and Learning Project had nothing to do with Adambro. It was a project that JWS and I were collaborating on, for our own edification. I was frankly startled when Adambro stuck his banhammer into it and struck it down. Why should JWS or I need approval from Adambro to study the role of music in education? I have no idea why Adambro later decided to bail from the project, but if (like Ottava) he decided it was better to return to his studies at the University, then it was a wise decision on his part. I don't care if Adambro wants to hang around and watch other people learn, but what the fuck was he doing blocking others from engaging in a perfectly innocuous project on Music in Learning? —Moulton 20:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm wary of popping my head into this, I find the behavior distasteful, clouding my judgement on the people who engage in it, and I can't and don't want to spend time on this. But so far it has remained mostly civil here, and ideas driven, promising something useful to my interests. Moulton, I think your references to drama theory are interesting, and the suggestion to create a specific space in the wiki for this to play out seems a worthwhile suggestion. I think you should do it. Set it up. I'm not sure how you will encourage or even insist people go to that space, or stop it from spilling over into user pages, project spaces, or community reviews, but at least some of us will have the space to take a dispute and avoid embarrassing ourselves in more exposed areas. One idea, would to simply start by commenting on dramas there, hopefully drawing the fire into the space and away from the other areas. Yet, it might simply become another ingredient for people leveling abuse at each other. "You said that! Go to the naughty corner". If you and others were successful in developing and sustaining the space, helping people reflect on their behavior and to either embrace or reject their inner beast, not to mention further theories and teachings around this issue, I think that would be a wonderful achievement. People like me could visit there, find commentary and insight, and your comical ways of interjecting might be given more respect than it sometimes gets in the more dispersed arenas. Leighblackall 21:33, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Leigh. There is a question whether or not the kind of drama that Moulton specializes in can find a place anywhere in a WMF project, and the reason is partly that his motives are not purely educational. However, if anywhere, they would be in a Drama Department or the like. He also wants a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, so to speak, and it seems he wants to combine the two, which just plain won't work. Universities, in their Drama Department, do put on plays with highly political content. And sometimes they get in trouble with the political supervision of the University! In the end, the WMF must decide what it can tolerate, and I've suggested that Moulton participate in developing ethical guidelines. Unfortunately, the guidelines that he's tried to develop are those which would regulate others, but not him. So, bottom line, if there is any hope for this here, it would have to be confined. Since other areas already exist where Moulton may post his atrocious song parodies, freely, and may create extended discussions and examinations of whatever he wants to examine, for those who want to read them, doing this on Wikiversity, in the absence of regulatory guidelines, is iffy. These activities are inherently disruptive, they are designed to be disruptive! (I.e., to offend. He calls getting people angry "trying to educate them.") Further, Moulton revert wars when someone objects to content by reverting or redacting it. This is quite equivalent to a Clown barging into a physics class, and demanding that they pay attention to him, and no, he won't take No for an answer. Maybe once, it would be funny! Day in and day out, no, not at all. --Abd 22:16, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Would you rather have it in a dark corner in the basement of the [[|Dramaturgy|Dramaturgy Department]], or would you rather have it here in the Colloquium and in WV:RCA? —Montana Mouse 10:52, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I dunno if we can create an ethic that says, "What happens in Schadenfreude Theatre of the Absurd stays there," or (perhaps better yet) "What happens in Zeitgeist Theater of the Ridiculously Sublime is only play acting, and nobody is obliged to play." In college, do athletes who kibosh each other on the gridiron otherwise play nice in the regular classroom? —Moulton 21:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, Moulton, they do, or they get kicked out of the university. Mostly they just do. --Abd 22:17, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm not a jock. I'm an anthropologist from Mars. You gonna kick me out too? —Barsoom Tork 10:52, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Creating an ethic will be the hard part, but perhaps we (and you in particular) could pretend that the ethic has been successfully created and abide by it? Just an idea, etc. --SB_Johnny talk 21:51, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I had little problem with Moulton and his antics as long as he confined them to Cold fusion, to criticism of me and the scientists I work with, and I addressed that within the sphere involved, i.e., by discussion on WV and elsewhere. In the resource. The recent problems arose when he began, again, his truly intemperate attacks on Wikipedia administrators, his outing, his use of grossly insulting language, and his revert warring to maintain the Moulton Way. I.e., in-your-face and nothing-you-can-do-about-it-but-demand-that-I-be-blocked, in which case you are obviously Sick, banhammer-crazed. --Abd 22:21, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, don't take this the wrong way, Abd, but your habit of biting every worm on the hook probably didn't do much to discourage him from putting more worms on the hook. I know you mean well (in a much more earnest way than he means well), but your part in this really did play a part in this. Double entendres fully intentional, as always :-). --SB_Johnny talk 22:36, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • SBJ, if I weren't here, someone else would fill the role, and, if not, Moulton would continue to escalate until someone jumps in -- like the people he attacks who aren't normally watching these pages -- or everyone was gone. He and others like him, absent some kind of restriction or regulation, cause serious, long-term damage. I do not bite every worm on the hook, but, sure, I bite more than others, because I can turn them into fertilizer, and, indeed, as Moulton earnestly desires, learning opportunities. I did not create the situations I've reported, and Moulton has created the same kind of disruption, eventually, wherever he's gone (AFAIK). He is exactly what Jimbo called him, a "troll," and I mean that as the technical term, not as some vague insult. He pokes people, seeking response, and the way he pokes creates outrage in ordinary people. He may believe that he's just setting up "educational dramas," but that's his own rationalization. He's angry, and he's getting back. Otherwise, why would he call a Wikipedia administrator, a fairly mild one, when he's prevented from using her real name here, and when she's conducting herself civilly and even beginning to participate in a mediation, a Death Eater Bitch? And revert war to maintain that edit? She wasn't going after him, and she merely made a decision on Wikipedia that he disagreed with, a decision years ago, implementing consensus, which, had she done nothing, would have ended up happening anyway, with someone else pushing the button. No, he's angry, that's the bottom line, and he's using Wikiversity as a cudgel.
  • "Putting worms on the hook" is trolling, SBJ, so you clearly recognize it. And you are tolerating it and enabling it, and this isn't the first time you've been told that, you were told it in 2008, by someone who was probably a highly experienced Wikipedia administrator. Was he right? Aren't you concerned about that possibility? The damage from how the situation was handled then, in 2010, and now, has been practically incalculable, Wikiversity is now a pale shadow of what I think it would have been, and you have resisted all attempts to handle it differently. If there is to be some "limit" on how people like Moulton participate, it must come from somewhere and there must be some enforcement mechanism. Moulton and the other dramas this year have almost completely burned out the administrative enforcement functions, to the point that WV:RCA can have a relatively urgent request that sits for, what, weeks?, with no response from any custodian. "No, I won't do this, I don't agree that there is anything wrong" is a response. I mean no response. With matters that are obvious as to policy and normal custodial response. That is a situation that you, very much, helped to create, intensified, and which you are effectively justifying now. "If only that nasty Abd would stop harassing poor Moulton, filing RCA reports, responding to his nonsense, it would be fine, Moulton would learn to be cooperative, and we could all have a nice time." Ain't gonna happen, SBJ, not like that. I'm not harassing Moulton, I'm responding to messes he creates. And, it seems, we have some kind of a dispute here, needing mediation. I'll be thinking about that. Meanwhile, if you want to look at those who poke bears, how about looking at your post above? It invites response. Why did you post that? Physician, heal thyself.
  • But thanks for the AGF, anyway. --Abd 00:43, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I have my sincere doubts that calling someone a troll is merely a "respon[se] to messes he creates" rather than an instance of childish name-calling disruption/personal-attack or harassment. TeleComNasSprVen 00:53, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
What word would you suggest, TCNSV, for someone who deliberately irritates and enrages, and persists, even more intensely, when he sees that it has this effect, to the extent of commonly revert warring with users to keep his harassment on their talk pages? For how many years has he been doing this kind of thing? How about this Google search? And you imply I'm harassing him? You are transparent, TCNSV. --Abd 03:30, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Look up Artistotle's Poetics. The words you want are Protagonist and Antagonist in a generic drama. —Moulton 03:39, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Moulton said: "I dunno if we can create an ethic that says, "What happens in Schadenfreude Theatre of the Absurd stays there," or (perhaps better yet) "What happens in Zeitgeist Theater of the Ridiculously Sublime is only play acting, and nobody is obliged to play.". I think you're right. No need to create an ethic like that, I think commentary and constructive discussion on things going on would be a good start, and would no doubt attract people into the space. Whether it dilutes the activity in other areas is probably unlikely, but at least it would demonstrate the idea, lead by example some of the ideas Moulton proposes, and hopefully build a deeper understanding for the behavior. So, the ethic is to lead by example. Use the space to document and develop ideas and practice, but avoid at all costs starting or being dragged into dramas elsewhere. Acceptable, I think, would be to simply drop a link in the dramas, back to the Drama Department, indicating that commentary has been made. But now that I think of it, this could simply spread the venom. This is why it is so important for the 'faculty' in that department, to exhibit cold objective distance, not engaging in the drama, but offering considered perspective. Is it possible? I have my doubts, it could too easily be taken as teasing, but always hopeful Leighblackall 22:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Leigh, I think the problem with this particular community is that most of the people with the extra buttons don't want to be leaders, because most of them prefer to just be equals (with buttons). We're probably "evolutionarily selected" for that because the community at large is radically libertarian, and any attempt to try to "lead" (even if it's just leading a conversation) is met with scorn, more often than not accompanied by unkind comparisons to war criminals or unpopular presidents and prime ministers. The only people left are the thick-skinned and relatively undecisive few that still see some promise despite all evidence to the contrary. --SB_Johnny talk 23:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

The last thing I want is some kind of tin badge that grants me political power over others. To my mind, Knowledge is Power. My ethic is to freely give away any and all knowledge in my possession, because I want everyone to be at least as empowered as I am with respect to the Power of Knowledge. And I don't mind saying that I have utter contempt for people who foolishly believe that a tin badge on their chest trumps authentic knowledge acquired the hard way, by means of conscientious study and diligent research. And most people who know me can attest that I will occasionally express that contempt by means of satire, parody, and other forms of lampoonery that are part of humankind's literary and cultural heritage. There is a reason people write literature, including comic operas. When that reason obtains here, I'll turn to the Bardic Arts even if my song parodies are utterly atrocious. After all, they're only song parodies. No one is obliged to pay the slightest attention to them. —Moulton 00:03, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

You say no-one is obliged, but if they remove them from their user talk pages you put them back with taunting edit comments. In some cases, you put them on their talk pages on multiple projects. Freely giving is an honorable act, but forcing yourself on people isn't so honorable. --SB_Johnny talk 00:11, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • How do you feel about the allied editors of IDCab plastering scarlet letters on my Wikipedia user page and talk page? How do you feel about Mike or Ottava or Abd plastering anankastic conditionals on my talk page here? —Moulton 00:34, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • So it's an eye for an eye and we'll all blindly follow one another down the nearest convenient rabbit hole in the hopes of keeping our tails away from the farmer's wife? --SB_Johnny talk 00:50, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • You want an eye for an eye? I'll give you an eyeful for an eyeful. I'll even give you an earful for an earful. See A Dueteronomic DescantMoulton 01:17, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
See User:Abd/Esoteric glossary#Anankastic conditional. There is no comparison between making a logically incomplete statement, and revert warring with a user on his own Talk page, including ignoring requests to stop. And, SBJ, didn't you just say that Moulton had agreed to not use real names? His word is not worth the paper it's not written on, when are you going to notice that? --Abd 00:57, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Oratorical Summation[edit]

The above thread is evidence that there is an insatiable demand for utterly banal lunatic psychodrama in which every protagonist with an objective, intention, proposal, or agenda encounters an intrepid antagonist to oppose or argue against him. Is this not evidence that we need a dramaturgy workshop to learn how to craft considerably more edutaining material than the above eye-glazing, mind-numbing steaming pile of horse dookie? —Gastrin Bombesin 10:52, 8 March 2011 (UTC)


In a chat a few hours ago with Leigh Blackall, he asked me to compile a list of relevant theory to ground this example of the adaptation and leavening of dramaturgy. Here is what I provided to Leigh in the course of that conversation:

  • The classic short story, per Fyodor Dostoevsky, which repeats endlessly in Wiki-Culture about every six months. Six months ago, it featured Ottava and Adambro. This time around, it's Abd and Darklama, with Laura as their current understudy.

Many of the above resources were originally crafted here on Wikiversity, but were summarily baleted at the express direction of Jimbo Wales, in response to adamant and voiciferous objections from IDCab.

Moulton 18:48, 7 March 2011 (UTC)