User talk:Caprice/Moulton

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This page is now unprotected to allow User:Moulton to respond to Wikiversity:Community Review#User:Moulton. --mikeu talk 13:13, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]

Note: Previous versions of this page have been moved to User talk:Moulton/Archive

Harrumph[edit source]

Thank you, Mike, for ungagging me and cracking open the door in the janitorial hall closet, where some of you have unceremoniously stuffed me these past few days of awe.

The practice of immurement does not become Wikiversity, and I hope you will eschew that uncollegial and uncongenial practice going forward.

I now rise from my station of indignity to demand the unalienable right to respond to my critics and to engage with my other reviewers in the venue in which they have leveled their lengthy and detailed reviews, criticisms, questions, complaints, ideas, and suggestions.

To my mind, it is an egregious breach of the fundamental principles of collegial ethics to post a scathing indictment of an identifiable person in a venue where they are not permitted the courtesy of responding in a timely manner and with equal vigor.

Moreover, I consider it cowardly and immature for a would-be scholar to publish such indictments of an identifiable person whilst hiding behind an untraceable pseudonym.

I expect honorable scholars to comport themselves in an honorable manner, by signing their comments and reviews and then forthrightly inviting follow-up discussions and responding to follow-up remarks in a timely manner in accordance with the principles of Scholarly Ethics.

Anything less than that makes a mockery of a learning community that purports to be crafting an authentic academic culture.

Moulton 13:57, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]

Please w:Eschew obfuscation and state in w:Plain English the reasons why you should be unblocked. --mikeu talk 14:02, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
See below. Moulton 14:08, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
If anything, the fact that jimbo was the one to block you only makes it more likely that there would be consensus to overturn the block based on members of the community commenting that it was improper for him to have acted in this case. I see very little support (at this time) for unblocking you on the grounds that it was unjustified. In any case, I did just undo his block of you and used the same reasons when reblocking that I would have used if he had not stepped in when he did. You are free to respond to Wikiversity:Community Review#User:Moulton in any way that you'd like; I'm just informing you that this means is not likely to help you much. Unblocking to "refute a hypothesis" is not a valid reason. (Nor was it stated in "plain english") --mikeu talk 14:33, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
  • If, as you say, it was likely that there would be a consensus to overturn an out-of-process block by Jimbo Wales, can you explain why that consensus has not yet materialized in a choate and coherent discussion?
  • Mike, are you also stipulating that you are not an impartial custodian in this case, and that you concurred with Jimbo's rationale before he articulated it?
  • I'd like to respond to Wikiversity:Community Review#User:Moulton in several ways, not limited to this talk page. Among the ways I'd like to respond is to engage with my correspondents in venue in a timely manner and not have my responses to my peer scholars unceremoniously bleached off the parchment before the ink is even dry.
Moulton 15:16, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I find it interesting that you expect everyone else to abide by protocol, but ignore it yourself. I suppose you'll have some creative excuse for your apparent hypocrisy, but it just underscores why I see no reason the block should be overturned. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 16:29, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Please provide three examples where, in your view, I have denied someone the right to respond to me, or otherwise deleted or redacted their commentary. Moulton 16:40, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
If you're going to use words, you should know what they mean. "Protocol: A code of correct conduct." You know, protocols like: sign your talk page edits with your own user name, don't evade blocks, don't call editors by real names unless they've allowed it on-site, etc. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 17:01, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
  • For each of those, can you direct me to the applicable policy page here on Wikiversity?
  • With respect to signature lines, are you aware that many editors sign with names other than their user name? For example, Mike signs his with "mikeu" although there is no such registered user here with that name. Mike's username is Mu301. It occurs to me that a lot of editors use alternate names in their signatures, sometimes linking to a page (or subpage) in their userspace, sometimes leaving only a redlink (as in Emesee).
Moulton 17:15, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Rules-lawyering isn't going to help you right now, Moulton. I really expect you to be intelligent enough to realize that. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 17:51, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I don't believe in rule-driven systems, except for formal games (like Chess, Checkers, or Go). Rule-driven systems are well known to be mathematically chaotic and rife with drama. —Moulton 18:08, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
So you don't believe in "rules-driven systems," but you want WV to abide by specific rules regarding process? From my perspective, it certainly has come to seem that you are a believer in "rules-driven systems," but only for everyone but you. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 19:23, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
No no no. I want WV to advance from Kohlberg Level 4 (Rules and Sanctions) to Kohlberg Level 5 (Social Contract). In other words, I want to do away with rules and supplant them with functional protocols so that we evolve from a rule-driven system to a gradient-driven system. Do you apprehend what I mean by a gradient-driven system? —Moulton 19:33, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]

Frankly, your actions so far do not back up that claim. Attention to protocol is very much a part of social contract ethical behavior. Social contracts are all about adapting one's behavior to the current culture, even when not every protocol makes sense. Instead, you attempt to force the rest of the community to adapt to you. That's level 4, with you believing you should be the one in charge. You also confuse level 4 with level 5 when you argue that social contracts are supposed to be written down somewhere. As has been stated elsewhere, that's not a social contract. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 19:49, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]

How can you even apprehend my actions? As to the use of force, I abhor the use of force and violence. No one is coercing you to pay the slightest bit of attention to me. You could utterly ignore me, and there would be nothing I could do about it. No one required you to come to this page, or to any project page where I was crafting content. No one punished you if you failed to attend. How can you possibly have the gall to assert what I believe? Do you have some God-like power to apprehend my beliefs? I am frankly perplexed by where you are coming from. Moulton 20:09, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Where have I stated what you believe? My comments above are interpretations of your actions, and I stated as much. You are once again going off on a tangent based on a bizarre misinterpretation of my comment.
No one is coercing me any more than you. You are not required to be on this site any more than I am. Perhaps my wording does not completely fit the context, but my point is the same: You have made it abundantly clear that you believe the WV community should adapt to your standards, not the other way around. This is the antithesis of a social contract. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 21:45, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I'm in agreement with Sχeptomaniac on this one; you have failed to show respect to consensus and community here. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 07:00, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Excellent, then everyone is in a perfect state of mutual contempt, which means we have all finally gotten our heartminds into perfect synchrony. Hallelujah. Now from here we can reason together to craft a functional culture of mutual respect, dignity, honor, and decency. But first, SB_Johnny and I were chatting (in IRC this morning) on the problem that "consensus" doesn't seem to be correctly understood here. As you can quickly discover by consulting the copious academic literature, "consensus" does not mean that a gang of thugs all agree to corral some hapless character whom they propose to bind, gag, and stuff in the janitorial hall closet for a week. You see, Jade, that's not "consensus" at all. That's just an ad hoc ochlocracy. I realize it's a popular practice in many WMF-sponsored projects, but I must rise to voice my grave objections to it, Jade. To my mind, it's just tacky. Doubleplus, as long as there is even one vehement objector, you don't have a consensus. So there. Neener.Moulton 15:05, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Exactly. In addition, protocol is not law. I listed short summaries, not the sum total of WV etiquette. You've consistently been warned when your behavior was out of line, so excuses now count for little. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 18:04, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
What line? I have pointed out that the "line" you refer to, as if it exists and is well defined, is nothing of the sort. However, if it pleases you to imagine there is such a line and that I have crossed it, and if it delights you to administer harsh sanctions and punishments as a result, who am I to deny you the ecstasy of your fervently held religious convictions? Moulton 18:57, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I see you're now attempting to focus on irrelevant minutiae rather than address the actual issue. You could have at least focused on the term I actually used, "out of line", in the process of your attempted distraction. Instead, you seem to have based all of that on a phrase with a slightly different meaning: "cross the line."Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 19:23, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
How can you "see what I'm attempting"? For one thing you can't see me at all. If you want to see me, I'll fire up my webcam so that you can both see and hear me. As to what I'm attempting, I'm attempting to discover a way to communicate with you in an impoverished text-telegraph medium that doesn't support modern methods of integrated education. Moulton 20:09, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Ah, and now I see you're attempting to take a figure of speech literally as part of your distraction technique. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 21:45, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I've lost track of the number of times today you have posited a theory of mind in which you purport to present some haphazard notion of my beliefs, intentions, desires, or pretensions of knowledge. I have no idea how you come up with these flights of fancy, but I can assure you they bear little relationship to the actual contents of my frame of mind. For reasons unbeknownst to me, this curious practice of hypothesizing haphazard models of the state of mind of an unseen correspondent seems to be characteristic of no small number of Wikipedians. Is there some reason you prefer to posit haphazard flights of fancy rather than simply ask me to disclose my fears, emotions, backstory, issues, beliefs, methods, desires, motivations, and intentions? What is your objective in adopting the annoying practice of asserting elements of my frame of mind, as if you were some omniscient deity with perfect awareness of my interior cognitive emotive state? Are you attempting to achieve a state of perfect Interbeing with me? —Moulton 22:19, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
It's simple: I'm calling the behavior out for what it is. You're avoiding the actual topic by arguing points of process, figures of speech, irrelevant psychological theories, etc. Your use of these fallacious arguments has become quite predictable. I keep hoping against hope that, at some point, you might tire of making excuses and just be honest. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 23:38, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
To be honest, I'm frankly annoyed at you, for coming into Wikversity with that same toxic practice that I encountered over a year ago with the corrupt editors of the ID articles. How did you become so much like them, so quick to formulate haphazard theories and publish them in the pages of the 8th most popular web site on the Internet as if they were God's Truth? What happened to your ability to adhere to the protocols of the Scientific Method, wherein you posit two or more hypotheses (including the Null Hypothesis) and then try like the dickens to falsify or refute them, one by one? Did you come here to engage in the practice of calling others out, catching people out on some infraction and then applying the harshest possible sanction you can devise? What the devil are you trying to learn here by engaging in that toxic and unbecoming practice? Tomorrow is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the most solemn day of the year for practicing Jews. It was on Yom Kippur that the High Priest, Aaron, brother of Moses, devised the Scape-Goat Ritual to rid the culture of that same toxic practice that I find you engaging here and now with me today. Have you read the story of Caprice, the Fantastic Flying Scape-Goat for Azazel? Is that the story you have come here to learn on Erev Yom Kippur? —Moulton 00:11, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
And I'm frankly annoyed at you for coming into Wikiversity with that toxic practice of disrespecting your peers and consensus, and engaging in sophistry in an attempt to force your views onto others. What I see you doing right now is attempting to cry "bloody murder" when your sophistry gets revealed for being the simple smoke and mirrors it is. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 07:05, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
What I disrespect is the sophomoric practice of binding and gagging peer scholars and stuffing them in the janitorial hall closet for a week. Especially during these solemn Days of Awe. But I do respect the learning process, which I imagine (despite the doleful lack of visible evidence this past week) everyone here is fully engaged in. Which brings me to today's question. What (if anything) is anyone learning from this comedic reprise of the oldest story in the annals of human history? —Moulton 15:05, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I think that's spot on, Michael. :-) Cormaggio talk 09:52, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Out! Out damned spot! I recommend bleaching the stains by means of Atonement. The music here has been far too cacophonous and dystonic for my aging and aching ears. —Moulton 15:05, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]

Can't say I've changed much in the past year beyond my assessment of you, Moulton. Unfortunately, my patience (while significant, if you recall), is not infinite. I tried to direct you away from this path, but perhaps I was just being naive when I thought you might consider a purpose beyond your vendetta.

The one question that keeps nagging at me is: where along the line did you change, or were you always like this, and I just failed to see it? It's a shame that you have decided that it must be everyone's fault but your own that you were blocked from this project. I begin to wonder if part of the purpose of your hollow rhetoric is to disguise the reasons for your actions from even yourself, so you may continue believing yourself in the right, while your behavior is anything but. I feel sorry for you. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 16:28, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]

In that case, Sχeptomaniac, if you have this day finally run out of patience for my insufferably didactic commentary, then I believe it is incumbent upon you on this ominous occasion, to join in the traditional ritual for the expiation of shameful and unforgivable sin. It is your duty and honor (should you joyfully agree to accept it) to schlepp this schmeggegy scientist out to the Desert of Azazel and righteously abandon him there to the demonic spirits of the forgotten wilderness. Go ahead, Sχeptomaniac. It's quite all right. I understand perfectly why this is what you must do on this sorrowful day of spritely gloom and baleful schadenfreude. —Moulton 16:52, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I don't have to do a thing. You've done it to yourself. As usual, I'm the schmuck who wasted his time trying to help you recognize where you're going wrong, without success. Oh well. It's time to move on. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 17:09, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Don't run away now. This is the most important scene in the Yom Kippur ritual. Come on, guys... I've agreed to play the role of Caprice. Who'll escort Caprice out to the Desert of Azazel before nightfall? —Moulton 18:07, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I would have supported an unblock for you, Moulton, except I find your behavior post-block to be intensely disrespectful. I still think your talk page should remain unblocked so that you could have the opportunity to attempt to return to some method of helpful contributions. I hope that you will be unblocked in the future; I certainly think it was inappropriate for Wales to step in and do the blocking, but I do think you should have shown Wikiversity much more respect about it than you have. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 17:49, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I consider blocking and banning to be the most egregiously incivil and disrespectful practice that one can adopt or employ in a learning community pledged to engage and empower scholars around the world to collect, develop, and disseminate educational content for the benefit of all of humankind. —Moulton 18:08, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Yes, we're all quite aware that you don't like it. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 07:05, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Then why dost thou persist in reprising the single most offensive practice humankind has ever foolishly devised since the Dawn of Civilization? —Moulton 15:05, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]

Unblock Request[edit source]

This request doesn't address the reasons for the block, or concerns raised in the community review. As such, it is declined at this time. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 04:58, 19 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Mike, I'm surprised at you. You've been edit warring with me all night. You are not a neutral admin. You are obliged to recuse yourself from the umpire role once you have adopted an adversarial stance. However, I am happy to count you among the admins reifying H1. —Moulton 05:47, 19 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Now that Mike Umbricht has graciously stipulated and affirmed H1, we can put that question to rest. We now have affirmatively established the thesis posited and predicted by H1, namely that there would be no consensus to unblock. Now we may move on to the next phase of our academic exercise. (By the way, Mike, it is customary to sign one's name to their work. Please try to remember to do that in the future.) —Moulton 17:45, 19 October 2008 (UTC)[]

Unless you summarily boot JWSchmidt out of the site, you cannot truly say the community is not interested in resolving the issues that remain on the table. Even those who have expressed some degree of antagonism toward me continue to sustain the dialogue. Among them, WAS 4.250 and Ottava Rima have demonstrated willingness to come to mutually agreeable understandings of the policies and practices which have been called into question since we first arrived here last summer. Hillgentleman has also weighed in on his dissatisfaction with the erratic political processes here. Emessee, likewise, has challenged Rootology's failure to operate within the parameters of normative process over the issues that disturb him. In short, the community has failed to complete the job of thinking its way through the issues in a conscientious, responsible, and accountable manner. Evading the questions is simply not an acceptable response. Those who feel sullied by the mud-slinging of the past few months might well find some wisdom in Hammurabi's Second Law. Grab a loofah and a bar of vanilla bean soap-on-a-rope and scrub yourselves clean. Then let us sit down at the conference table and reason together in a manner that would bring credit to an enterprise that purports to model the manifestation of all human knowledge. —Moulton 17:11, 5 December 2008 (UTC)[]

Do You Really Want To Block Me?[edit source]

Title: Do You Really Want To Block Me?
Artist: Gastrin Bombesin
Composer: Culture Club and Barsoom Tork Associates
Midi: Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? (Culture Club, 1983)

Give me pain
To rephrase my stain
Let me loathe with zeal
I have danced
Inside your eyes
How can snubs be real

Do you really want to snerk me
Do you really want to
Put me down
Precious disses
Words that burn me
Flamers never ask you why
In my heart
The fires burning
Choose my colour
Find a star
Killer pooches always tell me
That's a step
A step too far

Do you really want to block me
Do you really want to
Shut me up
Do you really want to snerk me
Do you really want to
Put me down

Words are many
I have spoken
I could waste ten thousand bytes
Wrapped in sorrow
Words are token
Come inside and snatch my fears
You've been talking
But believe me

If it's true
You do not know
Moulton posts without a reason
He's prepared
To let you crow

If it's bile you want from me
Then take it away
Everything is not what you see
It's Original Spin

CopyClef 2008 Culture Club and Barsoom Tork Associates.
Resurrection Hackware. All Wrongs Reversed.

Straightforward answers to straightforward questions[edit source]

Moulton, Please give straight forward answers to straight forward questions. Some of your opinions are interesting, but they are not exactly relevant to your block.

Let me start with two simple questions.

  • 1. Why did you post private information on wikiversity?
  • 2. Why do you insist on communicating via parodies (which others don't like) instead of straight simple talk? Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 14:05, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
  • 1. Mu. I'm afraid to say your question embeds an undemonstrated counterfactual. Can you exhibit to me the information alleged to be private?
  • 2. I have discovered, much to my disappointment and chagrin, that conventional scholarly essays go unread and unappreciated. The evidence for this is legion, and I will exhibit it for you if you wish. As a result, I have been searching for efficacious communication modes that correspond to modern-day expectations of attention-worthy literature. If there is a specific genre of literature that Wikiversitans like, I would be delighted to be informed of the name of it.
Moulton 14:23, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
  1. KC's alleged real name. Do not repeat it here again. Do not link to any sources you got it from. Salmon of Doubt 14:29, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
How would I (or anyone) even know her real name unless she had openly disclosed it on the public Internet? Are you aware of the facts regarding her public disclosures of her bona fides as a subject-matter expert in her fields of interest? —Moulton 14:42, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Your use of your logs and emails disclosed to you in private to determine and distribute yet other contributor's employer put the lie to that statement by you. Salmon of Doubt 14:45, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Would you care to back up those assertions with solid evidence, sound analysis, and coherent reasoning, and then subject your thesis to scholarly peer review? —Moulton 14:55, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
You know as well as everyone else here that you posted what you think the employer of a contributer here was. You based your statements on server logs from servers that you constantly link to on this website. Do you deny this or not? Salmon of Doubt 14:57, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I am utterly astonished (and even gobsmacked) to learn that you have established yourself as an authority on my state of knowledge and cognitive thought processes. Have you contrasted your above hypothesis with the Null Hypothesis and attempted to falsify each candidate hypothesis, in accordance with the well-established protocols of the Scientific Method? —Moulton 15:24, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Salmon of Doubt, it has already been stated at the top of this page that it will be re-protected if personal information of any kind is posted here. It does not need to be restated. --mikeu talk 14:37, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
For the record, according to a steward, there have been four separate instances of oversighting information that Moulton had posted, as a result of its personal nature. Cormaggio talk 16:26, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Oversighting is not conclusive evidence that the redacted information was of a private nature. Please provide evidence to support the thesis that oversighted content violated any applicable privacy policy. Moulton 16:46, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
It isn't conclusive evidence, but in order for someone to oversight it, there generally must be probable cause. For anyone better versed in privacy policies, is it possible to refer to the instances in the abstract, i.e. don't give personal information, but explain what each was? Geo.plrd 17:22, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
It occurs to me that whoever oversighted it did so out of an abundance of caution, perhaps on the basis of an alarmist report that the oversighter did not have time to independently confirm. There have been a number of such false alarms of late. Someday, if I have the time and inclination, I'll look into the pattern of such false alarms to see if there are any insights to be gleaned from them. The Null Hypothesis would be that those sounding the alarm are simply acting out of ungrounded fear and ignorance. The alternate hypothesis (which I would hope to falsify) is that the alarmist is intentionally spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). Moulton 19:12, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Geo.plrd, I know that at least one of the oversighted edits contained the full name of KillerChihuahua, who certainly did not want her name released on site. Moulton is pretending innocence, but he's been blocked (or was it his talk page protected) for the same thing on WP, so he absolutely knew by now that what he was doing was unacceptable. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 19:30, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
How do you know what she wants or doesn't want? Has she told you? How would you know what she has or hasn't communicated to me? If someone wants me to be aware of something, they open a communication channel to me (I'm easy to reach), and they forthrightly inform me of what they want me to become aware of. Similarly if I want others to become aware of what I like or dislike, want or don't want, believe or don't believe, etc, I disclose it. —Moulton 21:09, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Another after-the-fact excuse that doesn't fit the actual sequence of events. KC made it clear she did not want you using her name when she reverted an edit of yours including her first name. You reinserted it. The dishonesty involved in pretending innocence does not help your case. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 22:18, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Moulton, it's impossible to cite the particular edits as evidence because they have been removed from the database. Geoff, the one instance that I'm familiar with linked to a webpage with the user's real name and work details, which the user contacted me about, expressing unease. When people are not comfortable with releasing information about themselves, it is profoundly unethical for someone else to post that information. Moulton doesn't seem to respect that. Cormaggio talk 20:46, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Cormaggio, unless you have evidence to the contrary, I urge you to assume good faith in these matters. If you have evidence to the contrary, I would be grateful for an opportunity to examine it and respond to it. With respect to the case where you were contacted, is there some reason you did not contact me to resolve the issue in a peaceable manner? Moulton 21:09, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I've already said I can't cite evidence any more (since it's been removed), and I've already said that I've seen the evidence myself, explained what it was, and explained that the person was offended. If they are offended, they have a right to ask that it be oversighted - there is no other technical means of doing so (and you had been repeatedly asked not to do so). But, since you refuse to acknowledge what I say in explanation, I don't see what you've said as anything other than an attempt to waste my and others' time. That is given that I always assume good faith unless given very good reason not to do so. Cormaggio talk 10:07, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Well, I can cite the evidence, Cormaggio, since covering it up doesn't work any better in cyberspace than it does in real-world politics. Has it occurred to you that the pseudonymous cowards in question, who do not wish the public to know their real names, have deeply and grievously offended as many as a hundred real people in academia whose real names are not hidden from view by the likes of you and your colleagues in other WMF-sponsored projects? Why do those real people not have the right to oversight the vicious (and thus far indelible) falsehoods that appear in their WP biographies? I have repeatedly asked that Wikipedians cease and desist from publishing false characterizations of identifiable living persons. And so, Cormaggio, I will continue to "waste your time" until such time as you can see your way clear to discontinue the unbecoming practice of wasting the time of real people who have real and substantive grievances against those who refuse to be held accountable for their atrocious conduct as editors of the 8th most visited web site on the planet. —Moulton 15:18, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
This is not Wikipedia. The editors here are not responsible for the sister project's screw ups. Geo.plrd 15:35, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Bureaucrats here are not responsible for what the WP editors did a year ago. But they are responsible for aiding and abetting the ongoing coverup of what those editors did. I hold the bureaucrats here responsible for empowering the corrupt editors of WP to continue to evade responsibility for their indefensible actions. —Moulton 16:25, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
As you can see, Geo.plrd, Moulton's purpose here was never anything beyond getting back at a particular group of editors. I've been involved in improving those articles mulitiple times on WP, and there was no cover-up. Most editors just don't taken things personally and become obsessed with revenge, as Moulton has. I guess I deluded myself when I thought he might actually be interested in the project about Ethics on Wikipedia I joined. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 16:49, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]
  • 3:If unblocked, what would you do? Geo.plrd 17:26, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
  • 4:What is your area of expertise? Geo.plrd 17:31, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
  • 3. I would continue to engage and empower scholars around the world to compile, construct, develop, and disseminate educational content in the public domain, in accordance with my understanding of the WMF Mission Statement.
Moulton 17:50, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I think the problem with your statement in 3 is the word "continue". The Jade Knight (d'viser) 18:02, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I may have been impeded or disrupted from time to time, but I have not discontinued my lifelong practice of engaging and empowering people to learn. —Moulton 19:15, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
What peer-reviewed journal was your peer-reviewed article published in? You have failed to mention it. I'm also curious to know if you've received any formal training in Psychology, Neurology, or any other field direclty related to the "Theory of Emotions and Learning". Or do you, perhaps, teach courses on it at MIT? The Jade Knight (d'viser) 18:01, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
  • There are many. But the one entitled "Experiences with Civility and the Role of a Social Contract in Virtual Communities" was a symposium paper, not a journal article. The most recent journal article (on a different topic) was Theories for Deep Change in Affect-Sensitive Cognitive Machines: A Constructivist Model, which appears in the October 2002 special issue of the IEEE Journal of International Forum of Educational Technology & Society (IFETS) and IEEE Learning Technology Task Force.
  • The Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab includes research affiliates with professional expertise and credentials in Psychology and Neuroscience. We each present our work to the group. Two weeks ago, I presented my work on Emotions and Learning. Each week's speaker is either someone in the group or an invited speaker.
Moulton 18:50, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
An AAAI symposium paper appears to be what he is referring to. Geo.plrd 18:12, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
Can you elaborate on how you would empower and engage? Geo.plrd 18:18, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
I employ a variety of methods, ranging from the construction of conventional online reading materials to virtual reality simulations to live dialogues (either in text-telegraph mode or live group audio). —Moulton 18:50, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
What moulton does Geo.plrd 18:24, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]
That's one of my NSF-funded projects from 8 years ago. —Moulton 18:50, 8 October 2008 (UTC)[]

Comments on Cormaggio's Reflections[edit source]

  • So, the main thing that is troubling me — apart, obviously from having had such a trenchant and stressful conflict with a long-standing colleague — is whether 'unilateral' or 'bold' administrative action of this kind is ever justified; and if not, what can be done to mitigate community damage when policies are not in place to help the community to prevent this damage. —Cormaggio talk 23:25, 14 October 2008 (UTC)[]

By "bold and unilateral administrative action" Cormaggio means the kind of summary blocks that Jimbo Wales and SB_Johnny executed here on Wikiversity last month, without community review or due process.

When the Founders crafted the US Constitution — a covenant between the government and the citizenry — they expressly excluded Bill of Attainder because that tool of government was at odds with the type of government they envisioned for the new Constitutional Republic.

The main problem with Bill of Attainder that worried the Founders was the long-standing historical relationship between Bill of Attainder and such corrosive and troubling political phenomena as discrimination, persecution, alienation, and scapegoating of disfavored parties whilst avoiding of the real issues of the day.

The name "Bill of Attainder" comes from the word "taintedness" which corresponds to giving someone a "black mark" or stigma. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a novel about that entitled The Scarlet Letter.

The main problem with Bill of Attainder is that it deprives someone of their unalienable human and civil rights. Similarly, here in Wikiversity, banning or blocking a scholar without just cause interferes with their unalienable human and civil rights to engage with their peers in the discovery learning process, which we all hold as the highest value of an authentic learning community.

Moreover, the WMF Mission Statement states:

The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

Blocking acts to forcibly disempower and disengage scholars from around the world from the mission of constructing, developing, and disseminating the very educational content that WMF is pledged to embrace.

For these reasons, the troubling practice which Jimbo Wales and SB_Johnny introjected into Wikiversity this past month is one that Wikiversitans would be wise to eschew, deprecate, and exclude from the tools of governance for the same reasons the Founders wisely ruled it out when they crafted the US Constitution: it is a corrosive and corrupting tool of government that predictably dishonors and sinks any regime foolish enough to employ it so cavalierly as we have just witnessed.

Moulton 01:49, 15 October 2008 (UTC)[]

Midwifing Epiphanies Since the Dawn of Consciousness[edit source]

Has anyone noticed that today is the Day of Atonement?

On this most solemn day in the Jewish calendar, we recall the first of many failed attempts by a Jewish leader to rid the culture of the single most offensive practice ever foolishly devised by humankind since the Dawn of Civilization.

But don't take it from me. Here are the words of Caprice, herself, speaking on behalf of Azazel Nation...

Humankind's Original Logic Error[edit source]

Sometimes in the course of human events it becomes necessary to diagnose long-festering errors in the architecture of the culture. One can recognize these ancient and poorly diagnosed errors because they persistently produce endless reruns of the same banal drama. In every generation an annoying iconoclastic thinker stands up and once again points out the recurring anachronistic errors that continue to disturb the functionality of the cultural system. Among these persistent errors is a notorious one that can be recognized by its prominence in the literature. One can find an early story about it in Genesis 2. Augustine of Hippo, while not a mathematician, offered a scholarly analysis of the same error. Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote two novels about it. The founders of nearly every religion sought with indomitable passion to eradicate this error from the political landscape. In every case in history, the political powers that be fought back with corrupt power, employing violence, oppression, unjust condemnation, alienation, and even such sophomoric practices as immurement of outspoken and iconoclastic scholars in the janitorial hall closet. But there is always an escape route from this hoary error, because the name of the error is HOLE. One can always escape through the HOLE. And those who mistakenly think otherwise might well be laboring with a silly HOLE in their head. —Azazel Nation 13:23, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Moulton 16:37, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]

A Dueteronomic Descant[edit source]

Caprice the Fantastic Flying Scape-Goat and Azazel the Demonic Spirit of the Desert Wilderness have teamed up to perform a new Duet. Caprice sings the Caprician Theme Song whilst Azazel harmonizes with the Anti-Caprician Meme Song. —Barsoom Tork 05:17, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Hammurabi of Mesopotamia[edit source]

These are the first three laws, in their entirety, of the Code of Hammurabi, translated into English:

1. If any one ensnare another, putting a ban upon him, but he can not prove it, then he that ensnared him shall be put to death.
2. If any one bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and he escape unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.
3. If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death.

The second law seems bizarre by modern standards. It appears to be the source of the dismissive phrase, "Go jump in the lake."

There are 282 such laws in the Code of Hammurabi, each no more than a sentence or two. The 282 laws are bracketed by a Prologue in which Hammurabi introduces himself, and an Epilogue in which he affirms his authority and sets forth his hopes and prayers for his code of laws.

The Calf Path[edit source]

From The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor...

Poem: "The Calf-Path" by Sam Walter Foss. Public Domain

The Calf-Path

Listen to Garrison Keillor read "The Calf Path" (RealAudio)

One day through the primeval wood
A calf walked home as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then three hundred years have fled,
And I infer the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bell–wether sheep
Pursued the trail o'er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell–wethers always do.

And from that day, o'er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out,
And dodged and turned and bent about,
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because 'twas such a crooked path;
But still they followed – do not laugh -
The first migrations of that calf,
And though this winding wood-way stalked
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane
That bent and turned and turned again;
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;
And this, before men were aware,
A city's crowded thoroughfare.

And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed this zigzag calf about
And o'er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.

A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.

They followed still his crooked way.
And lost one hundred years a day,
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.

They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move;
But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf.

Ah, many things this tale might teach —
But I am not ordained to preach.

Worrying About Wheel-Warring in Our WikiWoe[edit source]

Wheel-Warring in WikiDrama, like political give and take everywhere, follows an oft-observed model. The model presented here applies in general to all WikiDrama at any level of intensity, from a simple reversion to clamorous kerfuffle and brouhaha. It has 5 stages.

1. Mimetic Desire for One's Point of View
One editorial clique establishes their Point of View as an editorial objective and other editors react with a countervailing drive for their complementary Point of View.

2. Mimetic Rivalry for More Prominence
Now the editorial cliques begin competing for prominence. Whatever winning strategies emerge, the less experienced editors copy them. To survive in Wikipedia, an editor must become deft at gaming the labyrinthine rules of the system.

3. Skandalon
Skandalon is a Greek word that means "taking the bait." It's the root of "slander" and "scandal." In the rivalry for editorial dominance, if one side can goad the other into committing a foul, the opposing editor can be neutralized or even eliminated from the game. Thus begins a Wiki-War, fought on the editorial battlefield, in which the goal is to demolish and disempower the other side. Skandalon is what makes it so hard not to take the bait, so hard just to walk away. It's so easy to bicker and goad. The give and take escalates.

4. Scapegoating and Alienation
Eventually one editor crosses some arbitrary threshold of civility where another Admin feels compelled to intervene. It's essentially random which side crosses first, but often it's the more disgruntled minority, which uses harsher language to maintain parity. Whichever side goes over the arbitrary line becomes singled out, and the others who kept their trolling below threshold are sorely offended. They rudely chastise the miscreant, sending him or her to the Oblivion of Time Out.

5. Consensual, Irrevocable, and Sanctioned Banishment
To appease the rabble, the ArbCom determines the standards of civility and visits banishment and page-blanking on the outcast. Then everyone issues a sigh of relief. This escalates the polarization to the next higher level of examination in online culture.

The 5-stage pattern repeats at all levels of Wikidrama and for all rivalries and editorial competitions. The most vicious attacks are reserved for people highest up in the power structure. Jimbo Wales, ArbCom, and Wikipedia Review all follow this model. Well, actually, almost everyone follows it.

At every point in a battle of WikiWits, the dynamic is somewhere in the 5-stage model, which repeats endlessly.

The only way to arrest the Wikidrama is to adopt the conscious goal of de-escalation and run the model backwards toward constructive dialogue. Giving up the desire to be dominant, avoiding the temptation of skandalon, avoiding Requests for Comments, avoiding authorized and sanctioned banishment.

A common type of outcast is a person who bears witness and speaks the truth to power.

Wikidrama, left to itself tends to escalate over time.

We need to think our way out of verbal vendettas by mindfully running the model backward, de-escalating editorial power struggles and moving toward open dialogue.

At every stage of the model, we need to be mindful of the dynamic we are caught up in, and consciously elect to run the model in reverse.

With this Systems Theoretic Model of the dynamic structure of argument, debate and dialogue, we can discover the optimal strategy to drive the system in reverse toward better practices and more accurate articles.

It's pure science, pure reason, and pure common sense. These methods of thought all reach the same insightful solution to getting along.

It's time we learned it so that we can discontinue the mindless practice of Wiki-flogging ourselves to death. It's time we learned, reviewed, reflected, and meditated on the Mimetic Reconciliation Model.

Moulton 20:57, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[]

Drama Engines[edit source]

Over on Wikipedia Review, in a forum that is unreadable by anyone with fewer than 300 posts, there is discussion not unlike some of the discussions here about adding more rules and conditions. Some are in favor of that, some are predicting that adding more rules and conditions won't achieve the goals the system designers have in mind.

Here are my thoughts on the issue...

Adding rules only makes the game that much more difficult to master. But no matter how complicated the game, and no matter how fluid and erratic the rules, the resulting system will still be a near perfect Drama Engine for anyone who is interested in practicing the increasingly popular art of Dramaturgy.

Game developers, who are gradually introducing synthetic characters and storylines into games, are hampered by the lameness of current Drama Engines.

The function of a Drama Engine (like the Physics Engine in Pinball Games) is to compute the reactions and responses of dramatis personae in accordance with the Character Model for any given synthetic character appearing in the game.

So what do Game System Designers do in the absence of a good software Drama Engine?

They turn to the next best thing, which is a site like most any WMF-sponsored project, which provides the most responsive and sophisticated Drama Engine available anywhere at an affordable cost (i.e. absolutely free).

See, Jimbo has devised one of the most efficient and responsive Drama Engines anywhere on the planet.

So if a Game System Designer is developing a synthetic character (say a model of Abraham Lincoln or Tom Sawyer, or Mr. Spock), and he wants to test how well his proposed character fares against his worst nightmare antagonist, he just tries out his character's moves in some randomly chosen WMF project. Instantly, some antagonist will arise and give the protagonist a run for his money.

Would-be amateur actors can use Jimbo's Free Drama Engine, too. And evidently many do. Moreover, the more participants who use it — just for the affordance of the Drama Engine — the better the site becomes as a high-intensity Psychodrama Encounter Site.

Eventually, Jimbo will have to sanction a designated project as Psychodrama Stage to accommodate the burgeoning demand for dramatic role-playing, ranging from easy-does-it Pee-Wee's Playhouse to Mad Max Thunderdome.

Already, we see many Wikimedians using Wikiversity as a First-Person Shooter Game, including at least one who wants to write automated code to make it even easier to shoot target fish in a barrel.

Jimbo's Unintended Drama Engine[edit source]

Title: Hey JUDE
Artist: Gastrin Bombesin
Composer: Paul McCartney and Barsoom Tork Associates
Midi: Hey Jude

Hey JUDE, don't be so mad.
Take a bad dream and make it better.
Remember to harden not your heart,
Then you can start to make it better.

Hey JUDE, don't be afraid.
You were made to support palaver.
The minute the Bombesin hits your skin,
Then you begin to make it better.

And anytime you feel the pain, hey JUDE, refrain,
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders.
For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder.

Hey JUDE, don't let me down.
You have found truth, now go and blather.
Remember to harden not your heart,
Then you can start to make it better.

So let it out and let it in, hey JUDE, begin,
You're waiting for someone to perform with.
And don't you know that it's just you, hey JUDE, you'll do,
The movement you need is on your shoulder.

Hey JUDE, don't be so mad.
Take a bad dream and make it better.
Remember when Gastrin hits your gut,
Then you'll begin to make it better
Better better better better better, oh.

Na na na na na ,na na na, hey JUDE...

CopyClef 2008 Paul McCartney and Barsoom Tork Associates.
Resurrection Hackware. All wrongs reversed.

Pecadildonic Pastimes[edit source]

What I have observed in the Wikisphere (which includes these WMF-sponsored Wikis as well as the many miscreantic outcasts on Wikipedia Review and elsewhere) is an abundance of unproductive venting on issues running to obscure peccadilloes for which the corresponding emotional state is oftimes utterly inscrutable.

If there is an unmet need in these pages for peripatetic pecadildonic palavering, perhaps we should think about how to organize that ongoing orbital oration into a more functional process that converges to some insightfully innovative solutions to our cumulative collection of complementary complaints.

Otherwise, all we are doing is pouring kvetchup on our refried brains.

Moulton 15:12, 10 October 2008 (UTC)[]

Dithyramb[edit source]

The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down

Midi: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Barsoom Tork is my name, and I rode on the paintball train,
Til so much rivalry came and tore up the tracks again.
In the fall of skandalon, we were rollin, just trollin for bait.
I took the train to Wiki, that hell, it was a time I remember, oh so well.

The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the bells were ringing,
The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the people were stingin'.
They went
Na,
Na, na, na, na, na,
Blah, blah, buh blah,
Buh blah blah, blah blah

Back with Lar at Epiphany, and one day he said to me,
"Moulton, quick, come see, a-there goes Emesee on a spree!"
Now I don't mind choppin' wood, and I don't care if Jimbo's no good.
Just take what ya need and efface the rest,
But they should never have wiped out the very best.

The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the bells were ringing,
The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the people were stingin'.
They went
Na,
Na, na, na, na, na,
Blah, blah, buh blah,
Buh blah blah, blah blah

Like my father before me, I'm a working man,
And like Schmidt before me, I took a rebel stand.
Well, he was just pissed off, proud and brave,
But the God-King laid him in his grave,
I swear by the verse below my feet,
You can't raise the Torkel back up when it's in defeat.

The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the bells were ringing,
The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the people were stingin'.
They went
Na,
Na, na, na, na, na,
Blah, blah, buh blah,
Buh blah blah, blah blah

CopyClef 2007-2008 Joan Baez and Barsoom Tork Associates.

What happened to Moulton?[edit source]

This page provided interesting reading. I didn't catch what happened to this user in the "end". I take it he is blocked from Wikiversity and Wikipedia? Who is Moulton? 20:29, 3 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Click:

WAS 4.250 12:25, 4 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Moulton was originally blocked by Jimbo. During the attempt to have him go through a process that would allow him to slowly work his way back, Moulton decided that he would start accessing Wikiversity on other names or IP addresses and continue either previous disputes or arguing about the nature of his block. This was causing too many problems and these IP addresses were slowly shut down, especially when they were causing problems using various aliases. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:28, 4 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Indeed, the custodial admins here have now blocked some 260,000 IPs in Greater Boston, including all of Verizon's residential DSL customers, all of MIT, and all of the Boston Museum of Science. —Moulton 02:37, 7 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Yes. If you read his comments on Wikipedia Review; it is clear that he has taken the delusional view that no group has the right to decide to stop associating with him as a group even as he reserves the right to associate with who he wishes to; and further that he should be allowed to insist that others follow his rules even as he insists that asking him to follow rules is somehow wrong. WAS 4.250 11:39, 5 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Being a systems scientist and applied mathematician, I don't believe in rule-based systems of governance, as rule-based systems are known to be woefully dysfunctional. There is a limited place for rules in such mathematically defined structures as games, dramas, and fractals. However they have no place in an authentic learning community that seeks to rise above the level of a banal post-modern theater of the absurd.
If one follows rules, one is mathematically engaged in a system that amounts to a game or drama, with a recurring (cancerous) fractal structure. For reasons unbeknownst to me, the founders of these projects elected to adopt a rule-driven system, which means they elected to reprise the classical liminal social dramas that comprise the oldest stories in the annals of human history.
That's their free choice, and I am thus obliged to engage them in the canonical liminal social dramas they have thus mandated here, presumably for the purpose of reviewing the oldest stories and lessons in the annals of human history.
I find it a tad ironic that a site which purports to be the sum of all human knowledge is still struggling to learn the oldest stories and oldest lessons in the annals of human history.
Moulton 02:37, 7 November 2008 (UTC)[]
It is sad that you can not escape your delusions. See a psychologist. WAS 4.250 12:07, 7 November 2008 (UTC)[]
What false belief do you hypothesize that I am holding as if it were an accurate scientific model of observable and discoverable reality? —Moulton 15:24, 7 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Several. But it is only necessary to discuss one. There is nothing wrong with a group of people deciding who is allowed in that group and who is not. The group of people who make up the participants at Wikiversity have decided that for now, you are not to be allowed as a member of this group. One delusion of yours is thinking that there is something wrong with this. You have constructed an elaborate fantasy world of claims to justify this delusion. I feel sad for you. WAS 4.250 16:08, 7 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Very well, let's discuss that one. If the group is a family, clan, or tribe, or if it's a private organization or religious sect, then membership can indeed be decided by the group. But Wikiversity is not a family, clan, tribe, private organization, or religious sect. It is a project supported by public donations to a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit foundation that is chartered as an educational enterprise. The ad hoc ochlocracy that has seized control of Wikiversity is making a mockery of the mission and charter of WMF by hijacking a site that was originally set up as an authentic learning community. Under that ad hoc ochlochracy, Wikiversity has regressed to a pre-Hammurabic tribal culture that is now reprising the classical liminal social dramas that marked the long-forgotten phase of human history from the Age of Hammurabi to the Age of the Enlightenment. I find it ironic that a project that purports to be the sum of all human knowledge has not yet assimilated and learned from the oldest and most profound stories and lessons in the annals of human history. If you disbelieve that thesis, WAS, I invite you to falsify the thesis that the ad hoc ochlocracy now in control of Wikiversity is operating with a tribalistic practice that predates the advent of the Rule of Law. Moulton 18:42, 7 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Sorry for the delay. Busy in real life. I've moved this discussion to the next subsection. WAS 4.250 15:16, 9 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Moulton - people will be willing to talk to you and accept you as a friend if you 1. drop the role playing, 2. stop quoting pseudo-Biblical ideology, 3. stop acting like a victim, and 4. try to talk about a topic that doesn't resort to political philosophy that is related to the actions of Wikimedia based administrators. Ottava Rima (talk) 03:34, 7 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Nem zich a vaneh.Albatross 08:57, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikiversity is in violation of the WMF Charter and the Federal guidelines for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational enterprises.[edit source]

Very well, let's discuss that one. If the group is a family, clan, or tribe, or if it's a private organization or religious sect, then membership can indeed be decided by the group. But Wikiversity is not a family, clan, tribe, private organization, or religious sect. It is a project supported by public donations to a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit foundation that is chartered as an educational enterprise. The ad hoc ochlocracy that has seized control of Wikiversity is making a mockery of the mission and charter of WMF by hijacking a site that was originally set up as an authentic learning community. Under that ad hoc ochlochracy, Wikiversity has regressed to a pre-Hammurabic tribal culture that is now reprising the classical liminal social dramas that marked the long-forgotten phase of human history from the Age of Hammurabi to the Age of the Enlightenment. I find it ironic that a project that purports to be the sum of all human knowledge has not yet assimilated and learned from the oldest and most profound stories and lessons in the annals of human history. If you disbelieve that thesis, WAS, I invite you to falsify the thesis that the ad hoc ochlocracy now in control of Wikiversity is operating with a tribalistic practice that predates the advent of the Rule of Law. Moulton 18:42, 7 November 2008 (UTC)[]

You claim that "There is nothing wrong with a group of people deciding who is allowed in that group and who is not" does not apply to Wikiversity because it is a "project supported by public donations to a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit foundation that is chartered as an educational enterprise". I disagree. Do you suggest that the Democratic Party or the Red Cross can not hire and fire whoever they choose? The Democratic party might choose to kick out Joe Lieberman. Do you claim they have no right to decide to keep or reject him? Do you suggest that tax payer supported public schools and universities may not hire and fire teachers as they choose or to evict students that refuse to obey the rules? You claim that an ad hoc ochlocracy has seized control of Wikiversity and is making a mockery of the mission and charter of WMF by hijacking a site. I disagree. Do you really think that if that proposition were put to a vote that a majority of Wikiversity participants would agree? You claim that "Under that ad hoc ochlocracy, Wikiversity has regressed to a pre-Hammurabic tribal culture that is now reprising the classical liminal social dramas that marked the long-forgotten phase of human history from the Age of Hammurabi to the Age of the Enlightenment." This is part of the fantasy world of claims that you have constructed to support your delusion. You will not find sane people supporting this delusional claim of yours. (However, most people will agree that human social systems such as Wikiversity and Wikipedia will exhibit social drama. We are human. It comes with the territory. Further the governance system is indeed mob-like. But there is no government to "seized control" of. This is a virtual-world wiki structure. If you wish to create an avatar that participates within the rules, you can. Your efforts to help improve Wikipedia bios is appreciated. Your refusal to accept that Wikiversity has the right to evict avatars that break rules, not so much.) You assert that Wikipedia and/or Wikiversity is a "project that purports to be the sum of all human knowledge" but it does not; it is trying to move towards that goal; it does not claim to have achieved that goal. Your adoption of some of Wikipedia Review's many misconceptions says a lot. Your belief structures are emotion driven and not fact based. You are delusional. WAS 4.250 15:42, 9 November 2008 (UTC)[]
We are not employees on payroll. The language of charter of WMF, and the derivative charters of the various WMF-sponsored projects makes it clear that these projects are pledged to be open to scholars around the world. Woolworth's can choose who to hire, but they cannot choose who to serve at their lunch counter. You may recall that when Woolworth's decided not to serve individuals whom they wished to discriminate against, the government told them that was illegal. And Woolworth's was a privately own company. WMF is publically funded and enjoys a tax-exempt status, so it has an even higher standard to live up to than Woolworths.
If the Hell's Angels were the first customers to arrive at Woolworths in the morning, they could not vote to keep out the Mormons. Or vice-versa. Such tribal ochlocracies do violence to both the charter of WMF and to the educational mission which WMF represented to the Federal government when they sought tax-free status. It amounts to theft of the donor's moneys to exclude major demographic groups (like 260,000 IPs in Eastern Massachusetts).
Jimbo Wales has not made his case. The requirement to prove one's case is so fundamental, it was the subject of the very first secular law every written on stone tablets. Jimbo is teaching children around the world that his project repudiates even the most fundamental law found in the historical annals of the advent of the Rule of Law in Western Civilization. Hammurabi made it his first law. Thomas Jefferson repudiated Bill of Attainder in Article One of the US Constitution, and underscored Hammurabi's first law with the provisions of the Sixth Amendment in the US Bill of Rights.
Moulton 01:48, 10 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Review evaded[edit source]

Hiya Barry. I closed your block review. Despite the fact that I'm anoyed at you a bit, I really do wish you could lend us your energies in a productive way. Your background could be a boon for us when it comes to projects like this, to be sure. I'm not sure what else to say. --SB_Johnny talk 00:05, 14 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Johnny, Wikiversity has the opportunity to play a leadership role in the WMF Mission of empowering and engaging scholars around the world to collect and develop educational content for other students, educators, and scholars around the world. The sum of all human knowledge includes some 4000 years of political history that we may call the Advance of Civilization. Among those advances are fundamental concepts of Due Process and Civil Rights that represent the hardest fought gains in all of human history. I would like to see you and the other scholars here embrace and demonstrate modern concepts of good governance, beginning with the a demonstration of the most fundamental and basic ideas of good government. Lar and others have pointed out that Wikipedia does not do Due Process, which is why it is a perennial source of absurd political drama that reprises the most famous episodes in the annals of human history. It does not behoove you or Wikiversity to regress to atrociously anachronistic tribal practices that predate the advent of the Rule of Law. What to say, Johnny, is that you regret looking the other way when Jimbo and Cary introjected their unscholarly, unseemly, unjust, and unbecoming practices into the halls of a fledgling project that seeks to become an authentic learning community governed by scholarly ethics rather than by thuggish tribal overlords who shoot first and never even ask questions later. Reprising the cartoonish practices of Elmer Fudd is simply not an acceptable way for Wikiversitans to behave. —Moulton 19:36, 14 November 2008 (UTC)[]
I agree with the first sentence, Barry :-). 4000 years is a big tide to turn though... any practical thoughts? --SB_Johnny talk 19:40, 14 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Yes, I have a number of ideas on how to introduce into the curriculum a variety of lessons that humans have struggled with since the dawn of history. This particular one is especially challenging, since it stymied some of the best minds in all of human history. Here in the computer age, we are familiar with the mathematical concept of recursion as it arises both as a curse and a blessing in computer systems. That is, recursive structures can be both divine and hellish, depending on how they are managed. Perhaps the best known non-technical instances of recursion are living systems, including everything ranging from happy families to cancer, viruses, and plagues of locusts. In politics, recursive processes rear their ugliest head in the form of scourges such as conflict, violence, oppression, injustice, corruption, poverty, ignorance, alienation, suffering, and terrorism. Rene Girard uses the term, contagion, to characterize these hellishly persistent sources of pain and suffering. Since the mathematics of recursive systems requires a graduate level of conscientious study, I don't think we can realistically take that route. However, there is another route we can take that promotes both the educational enterprise itself, and illuminates the specific instance at hand. Before humans invented the classroom model of mass education, cultural wisdom was handed down through stories. It is a folk theorem that we are fated to relive the stories that we fail to learn at our grandfather's knee. At 63, I'm old enough to be a grandfather, and I'm also old enough to appreciate that we have some meaningful stories to craft, to impart the wisdom that is manifestly lacking in the absurd manner that JWSchmidt and I were treated here by a bunch of Keystone Cops led by Elmer Fudd. It is a folk theorem that history repeats itself, first as bloody tragedy, then as comic opera. Clearly we are to the stage of comic opera here, and that's the medium I propose to harness to tell the stories that we are obliged to reprise, in view of the incontrovertible evidence that Elmer Fudd and the Keystone Cops have not yet wrapped their adolescent brains around those classic stories dating back over 4000 years of human history. —Moulton 20:22, 14 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Uh, am I the Elmer Fudd, doc? (I do, in fact, shoot wabbits, but only when they're causing more-than-acceptable damage to my crops... otherwise I just enjoy watching them hop around). --SB_Johnny talk 22:42, 14 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Mike.lifeguard is Elmer Fudd. The other day on #wikiversity-en, I logged in as KillDaWabbit, and it took him all of 3 minutes to pull out his shotgun. In the meantime, KillDaWabbit was explaining about the famous Woolworth's Lunch Counter Sit-In in Greensboro — a significant event in the history of the Civil Rights Movement. The Woolworth's Lunch Counter is now in the Smithsonian Institution. Mike.lifeguard and Mike Umbricht have blocked some 260,000 IPs in three states. Just before he pulled out his Elmer Fudd shotgun, Mike.lifeguard said, "How can I make it clear that you are not welcome here?" So I play Bugs Bunny to Mike's Elmer Fudd, and demonstrate the classic comedy that children watch on Saturday mornings. Road Runner and Wiley Coyote reprise the same story — all allegories of the Civil Rights Movement. That's how we do post-modern education in the dramaturgical culture of the new Wikiversity Theater of the Absurd, since Cary, Jimbo, Ottava, and Mike showed up to play the role of the heavies. —Moulton 05:10, 15 November 2008 (UTC)[]
No offense, but I'd be more prone to see you as Sylvester and Mike as Tweety Bird. He tawt he taw a puddy cat, and it turned out that he really did taw a puddy cat :-). Comparing Wikiversitans to clansmen or Jim Crowe supporters probably isn't a way to win friends, after all. --SB_Johnny talk 18:22, 15 November 2008 (UTC)[]
I'm not here to devour people, Johnny. I'm a science educator, full stop. Tweety Bird is locked up in cage, not unlike the way youse guise locked up JWSchmidt and myself in the janitorial hall closet. I'm not a big fan of locking people up, as you may have noticed. I happen to think it's a tacky practice. Nope. It's safe to say that Mike is Elmer Fudd to my Bugs Bunny. By the way, I am not comparing Wikiversitans to southern bigots. I am comparing them to pre-Hammurbic tribal overlords who have not yet become familiar with a new concept called the Rule of Law. —Moulton 00:53, 16 November 2008 (UTC)[]
I want to point out that Moulton based his block review on Jimbo's actions. As per his blocklog, User:Mu301 is Moulton's blocking admin. Thus, if there is a concern about blocking procedure, it must be based on Mu301's actions, not Jimbo's. Ottava Rima (talk) 17:36, 14 November 2008 (UTC)[]
I am asking for more than a simple block review. I am asking the community to soberly decide if it wishes to embrace and demonstrate modern concepts of Due Process and Civil Rights, rather than reprise Jimbo's pre-Hammurabic practice of Monarchial Bill of Attainder without Due Process, in violation of fundamental precepts dating back to the very first secular law ever scribed onto stone tablets. Evading the lessons of 4000 years of bloody political history will not make those lessons go away. Nor is it a sustainable practice for a would-be learning community to demonstrate ignorance and obliviousness of the most fundamental advances in the sum of human knowledge. —Moulton 19:36, 14 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Woolworth's is allowed to throw out children who are throwing a tantrum. WAS 4.250 17:57, 15 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Explaining the history of the Woolworth's Lunch Counter Sit-Ins to the students of Wikiversity isn't a tantrum. When Mike.lifeguard pulls out his Elmer Fudd shotgun and blows away Bugs Bunny, that's an instance of what Bill Moyers calls the Reptilian Right in action. —Moulton 00:56, 16 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Naming names on this site that you were asked not to name when that information was easily findable elsewhere was similar to a child throwing a tantrum. WAS 4.250 18:51, 17 November 2008 (UTC)[]
You have it exactly backwards, sir. It was Tracy Walker, Paul Mitchell, Cary Bass, and Jimmy Wales who threw a tantrum. This is supposedly a site for academic inquiry. Binding, gagging, and kicking people is tacky practice for a site that purports to be one promoting educational content. What are they teaching the children of the world by adopting and promoting such unscholarly practices? —Barry Kort 02:39, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

The children are learning follow the rules or suffer the consequences. It's a shame you can't seem to learn that also. WAS 4.250 19:16, 20 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Baloney. The children are learning to make up anankastic conditionals (faux rules) as they go along, impose them unilaterally on others without their consent, and then kibosh rival editors with maximum possible damage. That is, the children are learning to regress to a pre-Hammurabic tribal tyranny. I'm here to oppose that kind of unscholarly nonsense in favor of a functional culture more appropriate to the 21st Century. There is a place for MMPORGs with roving gangs of marauders, but Wikiversity is not supposed to be that place. Moulton 02:14, 21 November 2008 (UTC)[]
You have just described "politics as usual". Children are learning normal political behavior. Sort of a web version of student council. Did you ever serve in a student council? WAS 4.250 17:35, 22 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Politics as usual is so bloody, it claims some 2 million lives a year, world wide. I am not in favor of teaching that anachronistic practice to children of the 21st Century. I served not as Student Council but as Student Counsel. I counseled students on how to think and solve problems. Today I did the same thing at the Science Museum. —Moulton 22:59, 22 November 2008 (UTC)[]
I think it is ethical to teach people how the real world operates. I believe one does a person an injustice to teach them to live in a fantasy world one wishes existed. Teaching children to ignore rules does them no favor. WAS 4.250 00:45, 23 November 2008 (UTC)[]
What is not sensible is to teach children to adopt such real world practices as fomenting or escalating conflict, violence, oppression, injustice, corruption, poverty, ignorance, alienation, suffering, and terrorism. Yes, it is true that humankind has engaged in, exploited, and promoted those features of retrograde civilization for thousands of years. To my mind, it is unbecoming to encourage children to adopt, employ, exploit, and promote those unwise practices. What I wish to teach children — especially the young scholars here on Wikiversity — is how to overcome and overthrow those hoary and anachronistic practices and supplant them with more enlightened concepts of humanistic civilization. Also, in the interests of teaching recent advances in mathematics, I wish to teach children the discoveries of the past 120 years, namely that rule-driven systems are not inherently orderly, predictable, and stable (as many rulers still imagine in their ungrounded flights of fancy), but are mathematically chaotic and inherently full of drama and suspense. I am not against rules any more than I am against games such as Chess or Checkers or Go. But do not be deluded into imagining that such rule-driven systems yield the peaceable outcome long promised by the Rule of Law. Nor am I against Dramaturgy and the Bardic Arts. I wish to teach children how to craft high quality dramatic productions, appreciating full well that rule-driven systems are a staple of high-intensity courtroom drama. The astonishingly popular series of police procedurals developed by Jerry Bruckheimer (Law and Order and its many spin-offs) are now in continual rerun on the TNT Cable Channel, where the advertising slogan is "We Know Drama."Moulton 08:57, 23 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Yes. You are consistent in expressing these desires. But I see no evidence that naming names (the behavior that was the cause of your being blocked) was useful towards these ends. Also I think you continue to use the word "rule" to refer to a particular type of rule (step function) rather than any possible type of rule (e.g. continuous function). WAS 4.250 17:26, 23 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Jimbo blocked me over the song parodies on my blog. You may recall that he threatened that action in E-Mail, then came into Wikiversity and carried out his threat. In the meantime, Alison (who was in the loop on that E-Mail), has abandoned Wikipedia as beyond redemption. It's beyond redemption because Jimbo came in to support Paul Mitchell, who was subsequently de-sysopped by ArbCom for gross abuse of his admin powers. And of course, Tracy Walker was joined to Paul at the hip (along with Centaur of Attention, who worked for Paul at Macys). I may have been among the first to call them on their appalling lack of ethics, but the recent ArbCom case confirmed their corruption. Jimbo and Cary are corrupt, too. And so are the sycophants who drank Jimbo's Kool-Aid and adopted his pre-neolithic tribal ochlocracy. Their dysfunctional and corrupt practices are now precipitating the long-predicted collapse of Wikipedia. For a while, some of us thought the project could be saved. But clearly we were mistakenly optimistic on that front. —Moulton 02:24, 24 November 2008 (UTC)[]
What objective criteria indicates that there is a "collapse of Wikipedia"? As near as I can tell, the number of internet accesses and the donations and the quality and quantity of content all indicate the Wikimedia projects, including the English language Wikipedia, are useful and every year more useful. Do you think the Sloan Foundation's opinion should be ignored? WAS 4.250 08:16, 24 November 2008 (UTC)[]
I haven't looked into the opinion of the Sloan Foundation. Do you have a link to it? The objective criteria are the indicators that seasoned editors have lost faith in the project, given up hope for the project, and abandoned participation in the project. Among these, I count Alison and Doc Glasgow as two of the more high-profile Wikipedians who have thrown in the towel, with unmistakeable exit statements. Three of the more recent ArbCom cases have involved high-profile participants. As you know, Paul Mitchell, the tribal chieftan of IDCab, was unanimously disgraced by ArbCom for gross abuse of his admin powers. SlimVirgin is in a precarious position vis-a-vis her relationship with FT2 over the Giano capers. Giano, in the meantime, has blown the whistle with allegations of corruption involving David Gerard and FT2 dating back to last year's ArbCom elections. The liminal social drama arising in these recent cases highlight the issue of Wikipedia's traditional totemic tribal ochlocracy being challenged by those who promote 21st Century notions of Due Process, Civil Rights, Equal Protection, and Evidence-Based Judgments. Look at this comment in the ArbCom case, where yet another observer notes just how anachronistic Jimbo's governance model is, relative to modern criteria. Four millenia of political history offer a clue as to the fate of such dysfunctional tribalistic governance models. We saw how Bastique and Jimbo introjected those same unbecoming and unsustainable practices here in Wikiversity, precipitating a tragic and shameful breakdown in civility and scholarly demeanor. What you once shrugged off as a gang mugging in Central Park has emerged as politics as usual at the highest levels of WMF-sponsored projects. As you know, people have been predicting the implosion of Wikipedia ever since Larry Sanger left the project. Two millenia ago, when dominant political drama swirled around a controversial Jewish Rabbi with radical new ideas, Rabban Gamaliel opined, "I know not if the work of Yeshua is the work of God or the work of Man. If it is the work of Man, it will crumble." Wikipedia is the work of a man whose ideas are so retrograde, they not only predate the advances those on the side of the angels, they predate the advance of those on the side of the Rule of Law. I put it to you, WAS, that Jimbo's anachronistic pre-Hammurabic totemic tribal ochlocracy is simply not a sustainable governance model for the 21st Century. —Moulton 14:24, 25 November 2008 (UTC)[]
See this for what the Sloan Foundation thinks of the future of Wikimedia. See this for the status of Wikimedia as a whole. Wikimedia projects are constantly evolving. The governance models in the projects change over time. At one time we didn't even have the BLP policy. I created that proposal because people were telling Brandt that they were obligated by policy to disregard the fact that he was a living human being as that would introduce bias. By next year we will have all the content under both GFDL and creative commons licences making mixing and matching of copy-left content easier. Already the German Wikipedia has implemented what used to be called stable versions. Sooner or later the English language Wikipedia will too. Contributors come and go; the content will continue to get more useful and will never die. See this for an example of how organizationally, we are just getting started. WAS 4.250 15:59, 26 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Sloan Foundation[edit source]

In a colloquy on Wikipedia Review, Peter Damian posted these remarks to Viridae...

I'm asking whether it benefits Wikipedia to point out corruption and misuse of administrative office?

You haven't answered the question. Does it benefit Wikipedia to point out corruption and misuse of administrative office? You seem to be arguing that because most institutions don't like outsiders pointing out corruption and misuse of administrative office, ergo it is wrong to point it out. This is what philosophers call the 'naturalistic fallacy'.

Or are you arguing it is to all intents and purposes useless? I would argue that it is not. A lot of people on-wiki are showing disquiet about the illegal oversights, at long last.

Furthermore, the file I am building up ready for the trustees of the Sloan Foundation is getting nice and fat. That is clearly going to be effective. Moreover, it is a good thing - I don't wish Wikipedia ill, clearly not, but the point is to persuade Sloane to exert an influence. They have a vested interest in this project too, and it could well be a beneficial one.

Viridae was saying that exposing corrupt practices is such a delicate matter that one is obliged to do it in barely more than a gentle whisper, lest one be accused of disruptive trolling and incivility and then be summarily blocked without due process or recourse within the (putatively) corrupt and dysfunctional system. That is, if the criticism is both accurate and prominent enough to appear on radar, then it will invariably trigger a swift retaliatory block, delaying the day that Wikimedians must come to terms with the issues so revealed. —Moulton 14:44, 28 November 2008 (UTC)[]

According the the Q/A provided with the 2007-2008 financial audit, the Sloan Foundation is contractually required to provide 3 million dollars over a 3 year period and in exchange the Wikimedia Foundation is required to do some things to improve quality such as the "stable versions" software. It will be interesting to see the extent that the Sloan Foundation involves itself with improving governance at the English language Wikipedia. WAS 4.250 16:40, 28 November 2008 (UTC)[]
The whole thing about the "stable versions" is that Wikipedia articles are perpetually in a state of flux. So many articles are so haphazardly fluxed up that most people now agree there has to be a way to stabilize them for quality (perspicacity and accuracy). That means there needs to be functional conflict resolution process among competing editors. Governance is primarily about crafting a regulatory process that minimizes and manages residual (unavoidable) conflict among competing interests, factions, and philosophical perspectives. Wikipedia has a long ways to come if the project wishes to arrive at a modern, functional governance process. The project will have to fast forward through four millenia of bloody fits and starts enroute to the kind of governance process that the likes of Peter Senge would approve of. —Moulton 17:00, 28 November 2008 (UTC)[]
The Wikimedia Foundation's job is to facilitate the creation and dissemination of copy-left educational material, not creating and maintaining on-line communities. Any time any part of the community becomes a problem rather than part of the solution of this job, they can be told to play elsewhere. The English language encyclopedia was originally envisioned as 100,000 one page unreferenced articles in size. We are way way past that and can for all practical purposes be considered "done". By focusing on the community, you miss the point of it all - all the useful free of cost copy-left educational material. If all Wikimedia Foundation ever did was just create the vast library of free images at commons, it would have been a success. As it is , it has done far more. If every single person stopped contributing, the Foundation could still carry on with its mission. WAS 4.250 21:05, 28 November 2008 (UTC)[]

The Mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

In order for people around the world to engage with each other toward an overarching purpose, they need some kind of organizational structure. The default structure (as we have seen) is a haphazard tribal ochlocracy that is so primitive and so anachronistic, it doesn't even embrace fundamental principles of the Rule of Law. It is ludicrous to expect a group of people to work toward a common goal without some kind of organizational structure. In the absence of that, you have neverending bloody political drama of the sort that humankind has suffered through for millenia. It is simply irresponsible for WMF to fail to craft a functional community model that operationalizes a means for for people around the world to enagage in the overarching goals of the sponsored projects. —Moulton 21:25, 28 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Yes, there has been a failure of leadership. But every year we have grown larger, more useful, and more organized. Remember that at the very beginning there was Nupedia which was so tightly organized that it was a failure. This open free-wheeling community non-structure was a response to that. Organized as tightly as Britannica is too tight; organized as loosely as a school playground is too loose; we need organization and leadership about at the level of a church picnic. WAS 4.250 21:54, 28 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Given the recent history of the lunatic political drama that disrupted Wikiversity, I don't see how you can say that leadership has become more organized. The leadership here was knocked for a loop and regressed to a considerably more primitive state than it was in when you and I first arrived here last summer. —Moulton 22:04, 28 November 2008 (UTC)[]
The improved leadership that I talk of is all at the Wikimedia Foundation. It'll take a bit of time for it to filter down to the English language Wikipedia. WAS 4.250 22:57, 28 November 2008 (UTC)[]
The disruption here, and the ensuing lunatic drama, was fomented by the unwarranted interference of Cary Bass and Jimbo Wales, two longtime associates who dominate the WMF Office. Are you anticipating that newly elected WMF Board officials are eventually going to supplant Cary and Jimbo in terms of providing ethical leadership that filters down to the projects? —Moulton 15:35, 29 November 2008 (UTC)[]
Sorry for the delay - I'm trying to develop off-line hobbies ... I'm puzzled that you assert that "Cary Bass and Jimbo Wales ... dominate the WMF Office". Do you have evidence of this? WAS 4.250 05:28, 3 December 2008 (UTC)[]

Happy Thanksgiving[edit source]

Happy Thanksgiving, Moulton. —Ottava Rima (talk) 01:56, 28 November 2008 (UTC)[]

Happy Thanksgiving, Ottava. —Albatross (talk) 14:52, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Moulton[edit source]

Are you posting personal information again? Why would you do that? You know we can tolerate the puppet show and the rest, but come on. Thats the one thing that started this mess and makes it impossible for us to defend you. Ottava Rima (talk) 05:10, 4 December 2008 (UTC)[]

Hmmm. I'm not interested in defending you (you know people find that offensive, and are just trying to create drama), but if you could write a short, plain-English comment for why the page should remain open for your use, please do so and I'll post it on the WV:CR page (but only if it's brief and in plain English). --SB_Johnny talk 09:45, 4 December 2008 (UTC)[]
See the following essay which I crafted this morning and originally posted on Wikipedia Review. Although it's readable there, one must be registered on W-R and logged in to read it, so for the benefit of those who have no registered login on W-R, I'm reposting it here. —Moulton 16:45, 5 December 2008 (UTC)[]
Well, not very brief... :-). --SB_Johnny talk 20:51, 5 December 2008 (UTC)[]

Alienation and Estrangement[edit source]

This little kerfuffle* ties into a larger issue that transcends the Wikisphere, but it's an issue that especially troubles Wikipedia, the encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

The issue is Alienation and Estrangement.

Albert Camus wrote a novel about it (The Stranger). He generally wrote literature that was opposed to Nihilism.

I am an Integrationist — I seek to weave together models, stories, and tapestries that encompass the Ontology of the Universe.

Most people are not. Many are Compartmentalists who, while not seeking to eliminate that which they find disgusting, distasteful, or dreadful, nonetheless seek to wall it off out of sight and out of mind.

A few among us are Nihilists who would be happy to eliminate, destroy, or eradicate that which we most dread. I will admit to being a nihilist when it comes to diseases like Smallpox, Polio, and Cancer. And I would similarly be happy to eliminate such scourges as Violence, Oppression, Injustice, Corruption, Poverty, Ignorance, Alienation, Suffering, and Terrorism.

My encounter with the culture of the Wikisphere has been dominated by processes of Alienation and Estrangement. Nor do I think my experience is all that unique in that regard. Yesterday when Mike (whose name means "Who is like God?") said, "You are not welcome here," it reified for me the experience of Alienation and Estrangement that permeates the Wiki culture.

In tribal cultures, membership in the tribe (and expulsion from it) were life and death matters. Humans and animals organize into tribes, clans, and packs to survive. A pack of hunters will prefer to go after a lone prey. Isolating and surrounding the prey is thus a characteristic feature of animals that hunt in packs.

And all of this maps into the political phenomenon of Alienation and Scapegoating when it comes to the political ritual of assigning blame for whatever happens to be going haywire at any given juncture in the political history of a tribal culture.

If one is an academic, a scientist, a researcher, or an innovator, one is probably no stranger to alienation and rejection. It is customary in human culture to resent and reject change agents who introduce new concepts and practices which threaten to overthrow the status quo. At the MIT Media Lab, British Telecom has endowed a project called the BT Disruptive Lab. It is so named for the kind of innovative new technology that threatens to overthrow the existing techno-infrastructure. Most companies with a cash cow would dread innovation that disrupts their core business. But British Telecom knows that innovation is inevitable and wants to be in on the ground floor of any new technology that might displace existing products and services.

It is ironic that the encyclopedia that anyone can edit — an innovation that threatened the market of existing print encyclopedia — is itself hostile to change agents who promote advances in academic knowledge, research, science, governance, and ethics.

There are affective emotional states that accompany the processes of Alienation, Estrangement, Rejection, Scapegoating, Dismissal, and Discrimination. Among them, Emile Durkheim singled out Anomie — a feeling of unbelonging, a feeling of heartbreak.

I was 15 years old in 1960 when the American Civil Rights Movement first came to my attention via the Woolworth's Lunch Counter Sit-In in Greensboro North Carolina. Four courageous African-American college students sat quietly on the stools at the lunch counter the first day. Two more joined them on the second day. The Civil Rights Movement grew explosively from that day forward. Does anyone here know the names of those six courageous young men who dared to enter where they were not welcome?

The actual lunch counter from the Greensboro NC Woolworth's site is now at the Smithsonian Institution.

Today, 48 years later, the same dramas are still being played out, and the same lessons from the annals of human history are still waiting to be learned.

* The kerfuffle on W-R was over whether one of the forums should be readable by the public without logging in. The issue had generated more heat than light, at times bringing out the worst in people who are normally quite calm and collected.


The Process of Enlightenment Works In Mysterious Plays.

"I wish there were some way for us to reach out to you and hug you and help you stop being a dick. I don't know how though." —Jimbo Wales

"There's almost unanimous agreement that Barry "Moulton" Kort is nutty as a fruitcake." —Somey

"I knew Sergei Prokofiev. Sergei Prokofiev was a friend of mine. And Moulton, you're no Sergei Prokofiev." —The Fiery Angel

"Whereof we cannot make a theory, we must tell a story instead." —Umberto Eco

A long long time ago, I saw a nature program that showed a family of wild dogs or wolves in which one of the litter was different and was mauled to death by its siblings because it was different. WAS 4.250 04:54, 6 December 2008 (UTC)[]
It's a popular and recurring theme in literature (especially children's literature). Hans Christian Andersen wrote of the Ugly Duckling, and Bing Crosby sold a lot of records about an odd reindeer with a funny looking nose. And then there are the more complex stories such as the Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Elephant Man, and Mask. Less dramatic stories abound about such figures as Nikola Tesla, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Salman Rushdie, and other iconoclastic thinkers and innovators who were ahead of their time. —Moulton 15:17, 6 December 2008 (UTC)[]
Yes. Both biology of mammals and human literature make it quite clear that being different has a social cost. Add to that the teenage demographics of wikipedia (an age of especial conformity to peer pressure) and Wikipedia social dynamics is both predictable and inevitable barring specific leadership efforts to prevent it. WAS 4.250 11:02, 7 December 2008 (UTC)[]
Even a cursory review of the history of innovation in science, the arts, literature, and political thought reveals that opinion leaders and change agents are predictably abused and mistreated by the unthinking mob and the unwashed masses. While Wikipedia advertises itself as the sum of all human knowledge, it more commonly reprises the forgotten and unlearned lessons of history as the never-ending repetition of all human folly. Of all the classic parodies of this recurring idiocy, my favorite is Alice vs. the Red Queen. But lately, it's been replaying as Bugs Bunny vs. Elmer Fudd. —Moulton 13:41, 7 December 2008 (UTC)[]

You keep claiming that "Wikipedia advertises itself as the sum of all human knowledge". This is not true. Here's an exercise for you: can you identify your error? WAS 4.250 13:57, 7 December 2008 (UTC)[]

From a March 2006 WMF Press Release...

About Wikipedia

Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing. -- Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation

Moulton 17:23, 7 December 2008 (UTC)[]
Read it again, Moulton. That does not say that "Wikipedia is the sum of all human knowledge." It states that Wikipedians are working towards the goal of "free access to the sum of all human knowledge," but does not even explicitly say that Wikipedia will be that source. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 16:27, 9 December 2008 (UTC)[]
When Jimmy Wales, speaking in a major press release from WMF (where he is expressly identified as the Chairman of WMF and the founder of Wikipedia) uses the pronoun "we" who do you suppose he is referring to? Clearly he means that Wikipedia (and not some other random entity in cyberspace) is compiling and supplying "the sum of all human knowledge" to the world at large. The sum of all human knowledge happens to include all the major advances in civilization, including such important concepts as the Rule of Law, Due Process, Civil Rights, and 21st Century Ethics. Marshall McLuhan said, "The medium is the message." When Jimmy and his sycophants regress to stone age tribal warlord methods of governance (ignoring the lessons of four thousand years of bloody political history), that makes a mockery of the advertising claims upon which WMF is pitching its project and asking for public donations under a 501(c)(3) tax exemption as an educational enterprise. —Moulton 23:18, 9 December 2008 (UTC)[]

Moulton, you are a very confused person. You confuse Jimmy with the Wikimedia Foundation; Wikipedia with the sum total of Wikimedia's projects; Wikipedia with the Wikimedia community; and a goal with a present reality. So sad. Try thinking more clearly. WAS 4.250 22:05, 10 December 2008 (UTC)[]

He was the Chairman of the Wikimedia Foundation when that press release was issued back in March of 2006. He still styles himself as the spiritual leader, if not the titular head of the project. If I adopt your perspective — that Jimmy Wales has no power and no authority — then how do you explain his behavior here last summer, when he wrested administrative control of WV away from SBJ, throwing the site into utter turmoil? —Moulton 18:29, 11 December 2008 (UTC)[]

Green eggs and ham[edit source]

Would you, could you, just stop using people's real names (unless they've said that's ok), publishing private correspondence (unless your correspondent says it's ok), etc.?

I appreciate your input on the CR page (and the new heading title!), though it will probably get rolled back. You don't need a policy for everything in the world... common sense is usually better: you're quite aware that doing that creates unnecessary tensions and certainly hasn't helped you get your point across (in fact, it only serves to give people a good reason to ignore you). --SB_Johnny talk 15:33, 10 December 2008 (UTC)[]

That door swings both ways, Johnny. When otherwise anonymous or pseudonymous administrators publish false and defamatory content about real people, they forfeit their right to anonymity, full stop. Unless and until the editors take responsibility for what they write about identifiable living people, you can count on those identifiable living people to go after them, just as they would if the publication appeared in the traditional mass media. Wikipedian simply not exempt from the prevailing standard of ethics in mass media. —Moulton 18:37, 11 December 2008 (UTC)[]
  • Moulton, do you really need to fight with WAS? He wont budge. You wont budge. Why persist? Its just the same cyclical argument. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:23, 10 December 2008 (UTC)[]
  • Fighting? We are having a scholarly conversation. —Moulton 18:37, 11 December 2008 (UTC)[]
Ottava Rima, we are not fighting. We are having a friendly conversation. WAS 4.250 00:01, 11 December 2008 (UTC)[]
Exactly so. —Moulton 18:37, 11 December 2008 (UTC)[]