User talk:JWSchmidt/2009 discussions

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Please check Wikiversity:Project_incubator for an update on HHF. HHF stands for Highschool Help Forum. The link is Highschool Help Forum. It is basically designed to help students with Physics, Maths and Chemistry. I want Biology over there as well to complete the set, but I have no background in biology.

Your suggestions and involvement in the project would be much appreciated. Thank you! --Dharav talk 12:15, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

There's no explanation needed really for the forum. It's a forum. That is it. People come and ask questions, we solve them. YOu may have a question as to how is it different from Wikiversity's help desk and all that i can answer is the volumes.
Having said that, I don't think I've sold the forum well to you. Well, since the forum can be publicized as a forum and there are a lot of takers of online forums in India, this project has a huge potential. Potential in terms of helping people directly and potential in terms of generating content through discussions for wikibooks and wikiversity.
Currently, there's a lot of work required to fix the site's aesthetics. It's a major problem. Since the site is not completely ready in terms of navigation and text, I am not willing to give the links away online and then make a bad first impression that people don't return at all. Even you were disoriented, so I am not sure about a dumber audience.
So, before the project starts off in full bloom, would you like to help me out with setting up the site? I am sure that it's not a huge task, but I am horrified by the prospect of doing it all alone by myself.
If not that, can you suggest me some people whom I should contact who'd help me out with setting up HHF
--Dharav talk 05:45, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
You can read more about the forum on Right now, I just want help setting up the forum so that I can send the links to people and make it fully functional. --Dharav talk 13:33, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the help with biology. Go for the major categories, the traditional ones. What's more to it after that? I know genetics, zoology, botany, human anatomy (?) etc. Just the major traditional divisions that someone will find in a biology 300$ biology textbook. You can do that.
Apart from that, I'm also looking for some help to give HHF a nice makeover - a "looks" makeover. Presently, the webpages do not familiarize the user with the site, it is patchy as of now and there are hundreds of other minor issues. I was thinking of creating the category pages and the home page using a page creation template from somewhere. If we do that, we just have to deal with inputting text. I'll put up an example on biology now to give you an idea. Once that's done, can you help me sort out the forum as well? Or is it just the biology discussions that you want to help with? Do let me know. And let's continue the discussion at Talk:HHF --Dharav talk 06:32, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

In reference to what I said above for giving the forum a looks makeover, you should check out HHF/Biology. I've pasted a template from over Page creation templates category. Maybe this way, we can easily

  • tell the what the page is about
  • have an "ask a question" column
  • have a column/cell where you can check on the last 100 threads that have started in the category.
  • Organize puzzle/discussion of the week etc. to encourage participation.
  • Be more organized in general.
  • tell them how we can leverage the content on commons for our discussions.

Would you like to go ahead and make your own version of the biology homepage on HHF? I am a little busy these days, so won't be able to contribute "creatively". If you are willing to help, you can turn commons for some images we might use for our homepages and then actually implement them. If not, I'll do it myself at a later time. Thank you again. --Dharav talk 07:18, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject study before editing[edit]

Hi John,

I intend to continue with the congress on science and creationism (Intelligent Design) in september this year. You didn't became a participant for this congress, but you did became a participant for the WikiProject study before editing. Barry was the one who became a participant for the congress, but I don't know if he is still available on Wikiversity due to the problems of last year. Maybe the congress has to be abandoned and we will have to wait for another congress to be organized, which could take a couple of years.--Daanschr 15:46, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I remain available per my commitment to bring a credentialed scientific and academic perspective to your project. If the repressive political climate here impairs your studies, we can host them in a more hospitable site for academic research. —Barry Kort 16:55, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Great Barry. I don't think the repressive political climate will pose a threat, but we will see.--Daanschr 17:43, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I ever noticed WikiProject study before editing:Science and creationism (Intelligent Design). I'm a bit puzzled about how the "congress" idea might relate to pages such as Study project on Intelligent Design. --JWSchmidt 17:07, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Congress is just a name. The idea is to study for a year and than have a congress of a month, to edit and study more thoroughly. What i intended with this structure is to get an end to a topic. On Wikipedia topics are being fought over eternally. With my project, the gathering will be temporarily and can also be split in groups. The topic of creationism can be part of a new congress, either with the same title and purpose, or within a new context. It is also possible to have a reading group. That is more free and informal. The structure of this project and of reading groups can change if desired.--Daanschr 17:43, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Be civil[edit]

Guillom is welcome to voice his opinion like anyone else. Yes, he was perhaps wrong-headed in his assessment of WV's scope and the educational value of your blog, but his comment was about the content, your response was about him. Next time, respond to the comment, rather than the person making the comment. --SB_Johnny talk 11:50, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Guillom engaged in an egregiously incivil act in summarily deleting educational content here that clearly served the educational needs of those scholars who are interested in learning about fundamental concepts such as Rule of Law, Due Process, Civil Rights, and Scholarly Ethics. It is not acceptable for an agent of WMF to blithely disregard the advertised Mission of WMF, for which donors are induced to provide operating funds. —Barry Kort 14:50, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
He didn't summarily delete anything, he just brought it up on that page for discussion, presumably for the reasons he gave: he didn't feel it was in wv's scope, and he didn't think it had any educational value. Again, respond to what he said, rather than making assumptions about his ulterior motives and/or membership in imaginary conspiracies.
BTW Barry, if your ears are burning, you might want to look at WV:CR. --SB_Johnny talk 21:02, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
How can you lecture me about civility without feeling absurdly hypocritical? I'm amazed that you can prance around Wikiversity calling people "troll" or suggest that I go fuck myself while going out of your way to label my perfectly civil discussions as "uncivil". Do you think your bits give you warrant to impose a double standard? I think it is disingenuous to simply label Guillom's proposal as "voicing his opinion".
Do you know what voicing an opinion is? Voicing an opinion would have been Jimbo coming to Wikiversity and suggesting that a policy be implemented to make it clear that Moulton should not use people's real world names in conversation at Wikiversity. Voicing an opinion would have been you proposing to the community that I be blocked from editing and banned from #wikiversity-en before you performed those actions.
Wikiversity has become, in large part due to your actions, a target for unwelcome and counterproductive intervention by outsiders who have little or no understanding of the Wikiversity project.
My view is that anyone who claims a special role at Wikiversity (custodian, steward or god king) should certainly be willing to discuss the ideas that they propose. I view the use of "learning blogs" at Wikiversity as an experiment in using wiki technology as a tool for online learning.
I respect Guillom's proposal and his opinion and I called upon him to participate in discussion of important issues that his proposal raises.
There is nothing uncivil about my comment. Maybe Wikiversity should outlaw blogging or maybe it is just my blog that should be destroyed. I was uncertain exactly what the implications are of Guillom's page deletion proposal and I asked for clarification (and I did so in a civil way).
I'm tired of working in the dark under conditions where people like you and Jimbo feel free to block, ban and censor content without any prior community discussion or even discussion of your actions after the fact.
In order to shed some light on conditions at Wikiversity I am always going to challenge and carefully examine any proposal or action that I feel runs counter to the Wikiversity mission, and in case it is not clear, I would put deleting a learning blog in that category.
Here is my opinion: page deletion is for vandalism and pages that actively doing damage to the Wikiversity mission. In my view, it goes far beyond "voicing his opinion" when I see a good faith effort (my learning blog) to use wiki technology in support of the Wikiversity mission put up for deletion by someone like Guillom, someone who, as a Steward, has a special obligation to respect local conditions at projects.
For me, Guillom's proposal fits in with a disturbing pattern of other attempts to impose the standards of another community on the Wikiversity community. I have always in the past, and I will continue in the future, attempt to engage people in discussion of ideas for shaping Wikiversity and deciding on which uses of wiki technology are not allowed at Wikiversity.

your response was about him

I think you have a fundamentally erroneous view of the meaning of civility. It is not uncivil to ask a fellow editor to explain their actions. It is not uncivil to attribute an idea or a proposal to the individual who proposed that idea. It was not uncivil to ask Guillom to take part in a discussion of issues raised by his page deletion proposal.
If you really think that my comment was uncivil then you are going to have to break that down in greater detail for me. From past experience, I know that your preference is just to wave your mighty ban hammer and not have to explain your views, but I request that you abandon the Jimbo method (taking the high ground from which you need not discuss your "obviously" correct personal viewpoint) and explain in detail how my comment on Guillom's page deletion proposal was uncivil.
If either you or Jimbo or Guillom do not want your actions questioned and critically examined then you should give up your bits. As long as you exercise a special role at Wikiversity it is your obligation to explain your actions.
Further, when you make an error you have the obligation to set things right. I'm still waiting for you to repair the damage done by the bad ban you imposed on me at #wikiversity-en.
You have published false charges against me and used those false charges to "justify" blocking, banning and desysoping me and you have made grossly uncivil comments to me.
I think you have a special obligation to explain yourself and your past behavior to me, but rather than meet your obligations you continue to come to my talk page in order to leave new messages about civility that I find as incomprehensible as your past actions.
I take the time to respond to your statements on my talk page and ask for clarifications, as I have done here. Please do me the courtesy of engaging in an adult discussion rather than repeating your past behaviors such as saying "I do not have to explain myself" and deleting my comments from your talk page.
--JWSchmidt 17:15, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
JWSchmidt - a quick reply. Normally, if you mention a phrase like "absurdly hypocritical" when talking about civility, you aren't meeting the definition of civility. Accusations are not part of conversational decorum. They are antagonistic. You would be better served if you stated your case without resorting to them. As, JWSchmidt, your comments to guillom were completely unnecessary. So, lets not focus on the civility part. Lets look at the Utilitarian aspects. The page was kept. No one besides the requester felt that it should be deleted. Thus, your actions were unnecessary. Please take a breath, try to only exert yourself when needed, and relax a bit. If you need to talk, you can always email me. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:24, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
It was uncivil to imply that he's out to "censor" Wikiversity... Sxeptomaniac pointed it out already. People contribute to projects like this because they want to create and/or facilitate, and questioning the motives of everyone who doesn't see things your way is just plain nasty of you, and you need to stop it. --SB_Johnny talk 20:57, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
If you say someone is "trying to censor wikiversity", this is an opinion, which may be accurate, or skewed. I think academics who have spent a long time in college like John Schmidt are used to sharp questions and others would mistake them as "thinly veiled accusations". However, I see nothing inherently wrong in "accusations", so long as they are relevant, done in context and not personal attacks. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 03:03, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
On the other hand, John, you can serve yourself well if you can keep your wit and be brief. A healthy dialogue consists of talking and listening; and as you probably know, very very few can keep more than 5 things in their head. If you like, keeping your comments brief and to the point is a kind of respect to other wikiversians. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 03:09, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
It occurs to me that we could go a long way toward developing more comity by exploiting the voice conferencing system that I have in operation on the streaming audio server at Utah State. Most people who have tried voice conferencing agree that people come through as a lot more human and with a lot more mutual empathy when communicating in live voice. —Barry Kort 05:05, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

I like to echo Hillgentleman's recommendation that you work on being more succinct, and add some organization to your longer rants, JWSchmidt. At this point, I just haven't had sufficient desire to wade through what you're writing, and I'm laying odds I'm not the only one. Use paragraphs, and stick to one topic at a time, rather than wandering from one grievance to another.

I saw some claim about others trying to prevent you from speaking out about issues, but I'm not seeing it, or a need to. Keep posting material like this, and few will bother reading it in full, and even fewer, if any, will take you seriously. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 20:46, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

I'll translate for you, if that helps. Do you prefer Moultown Records Wall of Music, or Barsoom Tork's Antique Nickelodeon Sound? —Montana Mouse 22:12, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
That's not a helpful comment, Barry. I did think you were helpful when you "translated" for John on Jimbo's page a while back. I don't think John would have a problem with you doing that again, and it would help him get his point read and noticed. --SB_Johnny talk 22:38, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Hang on a sec... Moulton's twenty miles away at another computer. Lemme shoot him a telegram and see if he can give youse guise a hand. —Barsoom Tork 23:05, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Uh, ok. Tell him I said thanks... that's a lot easier to read now. --SB_Johnny talk 12:58, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

JWSchmidt, I already replied above, but just to clarify: Guillom's deletion request mentions concerns about using the wikimedia resources for blogging. Your response was an accusation of his motives. Rather than accusing, you could have simply asked him: "is your concern bout blogs in general, or my blog in particular?" He would probably have answered that... I doubt he's going to bother replying to out-of-the-blue accusations, particularly accusations phrased in that manner. --SB_Johnny talk 12:58, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Stop x nuvola with clock.svg
You have been blocked from editing for a period of one week in accordance with Wikiversity's blocking policy for attacking the motives of participants and making negative assumptions about people's motives, instead of discussing specific actions or edits, per WV:CIVIL and WV:AGF. Once the block has expired, you are welcome to make constructive contributions. If you believe this block is unjustified, you may contest the block by adding the text {{unblock|your reason here}} below. --mikeu talk 17:28, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
What is your motive in executing a summary block, without due process, without justification, and without a shred of credible evidence to support your claims about JWSchmidt's assumptions? How did you form a theory of mind of his assumptions? Did you employ the protocols of the Scientific Method to falsify your theory about his assumptions before adopting and acting on that theory of mind? —Barry Kort 18:49, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Unblock request[edit]


JWSchmidt/2009 discussions is asking that their block be reviewed.
Note: You may have been autoblocked if there are no blocks listed or logged, or the latest block has already expired.

  • Reason for unblocking:

It is a bad block for several reasons. For one thing, the blocking administrator did not identify himself. Further, the blocking administrator provided no evidence to support the false charges he made against me. I do not know what got the blocking administrator upset, but just about the only thing I have done lately at Wikiversity is call for needed development of policy. There are no grounds in policy for blocking someone who is trying to develop policy and who is doing so by discussing facts about the history of Wikiversity and the past actions of Wikiversity administrators who have violated policy and taken actions that are damaging to the project, actions with no basis in policy. I've described events as they have happened at Wikiversity and I request that the blocking administrator be civil by not making false charges against me and I request that he participate in an adult discussion of the facts rather than impose a bad block after making the assumption that his interpretation of reality is correct and mine is wrong. My comments have been civil and I'm prepared to defend my use of the English language and the factual basis of my statements. --JWSchmidt 18:01, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Responses to unblock request[edit]

Above you were warned to stay WV:CIVIL, and yet you have continued. Here are a few examples, but many of your recent posts contain similar statements.

  • "Think of me as a witness to a lynching." [1] - are you suggesting that the actions of wikiversity contributers are similar to "Any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person which results in the death of the person"? [2]
  • "Here is one: I reject all attempts to put Wikiversity in the front ranks of wikis that are ruled by a gang of deletionists and censors who cannot be bothered to write down as policy what the rules are for their practices of deletion and censorship." [3] - discuss the edits, not the editor. Repeatedly calling people names like "gang", "deletionists" or "censors" is not a civil and productive discussion of the issues.

These, and other, recent posts of yours are hardly an "adult discussion" of the "facts". --mikeu talk 19:55, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Clarence Thomas, a sitting Justice of the US Supreme Court, testifying at his confirmation hearings in the US Senate, characterized his treatment as "a high-tech lynching." He was not blocked, gagged, censored, or redacted for uttering those remarks. Instead the Senators listened to his complaint, and then confirmed him for seat on the US Supreme Court. If Clarence Thomas can use the term while under oath in the US Senate, then it occurs to me that JW Schmidt can use it here in a comparable context, if only for the purposes of reprising a civics lesson from American History. Barry Kort 20:11, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd agree that it hardly seems fair that mikeu should block JWS and only then, after the block, respond to him re: his intentions. Surely blocking a significant editor and former custodian should require a bit more dialogue than what has been engaged in here so far between the blocker and the recipient of the block. Discussions around censorship and deletionism are without a doubt going to be contentious and policy development is always such, but can this place please renew some sort of civility and restraint and can custodians loose their fingers from the button a bit please! Countrymike 02:10, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not particularly impressed by the block explanation timeline either, but mikeu has absolutely no experience with this sort of block (and I don't think this is the sort of thing he signed up for in any case). However tardy, the explanation was clear. --SB_Johnny talk 13:38, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
It's not only a miscarriage of justice, it's an arrogant disregard for the fundamental concepts of justice. The idea of due process dates back to the advent of the rule of law itself. Summary judgments, in which a single admin, acting alone, plays the role of plaintiff, arresting officer, bailiff, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner, all in a single pre-emptive move, is an example of the kind of despotic arrogance that felled many a power-hungry ruler of yore. That's hardly the behavior agents of the Wikimedia Foundation should be portraying to impressionable 21st Century youth. —Barry Kort 02:48, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
User:Mu301: When I constructed my analogy to "lynching" my thinking about that term was close to "extrajudicial punishment meted out by a mob". Wikiversity has no policy for banning editors. An unruly group of people has been punishing Moulton without bothering to work within policy. In the context of a wiki, going outside of policy to impose a ban is worthy of being described in analogy to a lynching, as I did. I stand by my analogy as a reasonable and civil way of discussing what has happened at Wikiversity. Do you intend to forbid the use of analogies at Wikiversity? Using the terms "gang", "deletionists" and "censors" in the way I have is a way of accurately describing recent events at Wikiversity. In particular, you participated in a gang that conspired off wiki to assemble a large collection of false charges against me which you then published and used to "justify" blocking me and going outside of policy to have me desysoped. I've lost track of how many Wikiversity pages have been deleted by deletionists acting outside of policy. It has become a sickeningly common activity at Wikiversity to censor discussions by proclaiming factual discussion comments to be violations of the civility policy. I stand by my use of the terms "gang", "deletionists" and "censors"; there is nothing uncivil about factually describing and discussing events at Wikiversity. If there are words like "gang", "deletionists" and "censors" that you do not want to hear then encourage Wikiversity editors to not gang up to make false charges against other editors, stop deleting pages with no basis in policy for the deletions and stop censoring accurate and factual discussions. --JWSchmidt 02:42, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
John, if you wanted to have a discussion about Moulton's block, you should have just opened a discussion on WV:CR, rather than continuing to describe the other contributors as having evil motives. If you want to help improve the policy structure, you should engage in policy discussion (again, without accusing people of bad faith if they don't see it your way). In general, if you disagree with someone, just state that you disagree. If you don't know why someone does or says something, just ask them (without premising your question by accusing someone of bad faith). --SB_Johnny talk 13:38, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd be curious to know what the motives are of the contingent who have made it a practice of blocking, baleeting, and burying the academic studies of those of us who began to construct scholarly analyses and reviews of prevailing political practices vs Peter Senge's notion of Ethical Best Practices. My theory is that they are averse to hosting such studies. But I fail to seen how Peter Senge's concept of The Fifth Discipline: The Theory and Practice of the Learning Organization is beyond the scope of Wikiversity and other Wikimedia-sponsored projects. —Barry Kort 15:02, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
The "unruly gang" that John refers to are not only acting outside of policy, they are acting in arrogant disregard for the most important lessons of human political history. Concepts such as due process, impartial review of evidence, cross-examination of witnesses, and a decent respect for the contributions of great thinkers about civil rights and scholarly ethics are indispensable elements of an authentic learning community. —Barry Kort 03:01, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


Let me say that I find this block troubling, because it looks like the real purpose is crushing dissent, and that the relatively minor "violations" of WV:CIVIL were used as an excuse to achieve this end. I've seen this type of over-reaction, over at Wikipedia, actually cause the very acrimony it's ostensibly supposed to prevent. StuRat 14:39, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Any block is troubling, Stu, but it's not an issue of voicing dissent, but more like an issue of voicing disdain. He's essentially making very negative caricatures of real people, and trying to convince the community that the caricatures are accurate descriptions of those real people. While each instance is minor out of context, a review of his last 100 edits provides a rather strong picture of why he needs to change his approach. I don't think John is a bad guy, and I don't think he'd say the sorts of things he says if he didn't honestly believe it, and that's what makes this such a difficult situation. Assuming good faith takes effort sometimes, and perhaps it takes more effort for some people than it does for others. A lot of people have tried to work with him, and he's become hostile to them. There's just not that many options left, so the "wikipedian-style" approach of escalating blocks is worth a try, since nothing else has been successful. --SB_Johnny talk 18:34, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
There seems to be the germination of a feeling that this is a bad block. And I can't accept the approach of User_talk:SB_Johnny that 'oh well .. it's worth a shot'. I don't think that User_talk:SB_Johnny has 'helped' any of these recent issues and to tell you the truth it is starting to look like a bit like a vendetta. I would like to request that User:Mu301 remove the block asap, and that blocks of this nature get quite a bit more discussion before they happen. Countrymike 01:02, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

The Rules

Rule #1: No Narcissistic Wounding.

Rule #2: No Narcissistic Wounding.

Rule #3: No Narcissistic Wounding.

Violators will be summarily stigmatized, reverted, humiliated, scapegoated, blocked, banned, baleeted, blacklisted, bound, gagged, locked up for a week in the janitorial hall closet, and thereafter made to stand in the corner with a dunce cap and a scarlet letter.

Indeed the fascistic practices of the so-called "ruling cabal" are ineffective at best and counter-productive at worst. All they do is ramp up the liminal social drama. Then again, I happen to be one of those rare scholars who actually studies the phenomenon of liminal social drama. —Barry Kort 14:49, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

The "real" purpose[edit]

"the real purpose is crushing dissent"

I do dissent from some practices that have been introduced at Wikiversity during the past 6 months, but I have no great interest in playing the role of "dissenter".

I've spent years of my life contributing to and developing wiki projects because I have a fascination with — and commitment to — using wiki technology to support learning.

I've spent years working with honest wiki colleagues to get rid of abusive administrators and tricky vandals who do damage to the wiki projects I love.

I know that process can sometimes take years.

I helped write the Wikiversity proposal and get it approved and I continue working to develop this project because I think the world needs a place where learners can come together to collaborate and find ways to explore their learning goals.

For my trouble, I've gotten to watch scholarly colleagues treated like vandals, I've been called a troll, called insane, called a whiner, listened to other "colleagues" suggest that I leave the project or go fuck myself, had my work censored and threatened with deletion and I've been blocked, banned and desysopped by "friends" who have published false claims about me and who prefer to promote policy violators as custodians.

I find it amusing that after witnessing all this "civil" behavior displayed by the Ruling Party I get blocked for speaking the truth about my learning experiences at Wikiversity.

Yes, Wikiversity is an amazing place full of opportunities for many learning experiences that I've never gotten from 50 years in the real world.

So rather than play "dissenter" I will continue to play the roles of wiki project developer and learner...between getting banned, blocked and censored. --JWSchmidt 01:11, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Who is the Ruling Party, and what precisely is its role? --SB_Johnny talk 14:54, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
The "Ruling Cabal" (or ad hoc ochlocracy) started with Cary Bass and Jimbo Wales, when they arrived here last summer with their dictats and established the unseemly precedent of blocking, banning, baleeting, and blacklisting serious scholars without due process. Thereafter, any number of others drank the Kool Aid. Among them are the (four?) Custodians who conspired to block JWS (I'd have to go dig up the names, but as I recall Cormaggio was one of them). Then there were the ones who clambered aboard the Jimbonic Jackboot Juggernaut and began speeding down the Puerile Pogrom Parade. These include Guillom, Ottava Rima, Mike Umbridge, Mike.lifeguard, Darklama, Sxeptomaniac, and Dark Obsidian. I sense that you were caught in the middle, SBJ, and have been at a loss for how to heal the bloody rift opened up by Cary and Jimbo. The characters to watch are those teetering on the razor's edge. —Barry Kort 08:46, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Barry, has it ever occurred to you that John is caught in the middle between you and everyone else? A minimal amount of honest effort on your part to make peace and build bridges would take a lot of pressure off of him. I realize being earnest isn't really your forté, but it wouldn't hurt to actually listen to him once in a while rather than just letting him defend you. --SB_Johnny talk 10:06, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
SBJ, he wouldn't have to defend me if this site embraced modern concepts of Due Process, Civil Rights, and Scholarly Ethics, whereby a scholar presenting a thesis is entitled to respond to other scholars who have questions on their mind. The main reason that John spoke up in the first place is because the fascistic ruling cabal gagged and censored me, in blatant violation of the Mission of WMF and in blatant disregard for the principles of Scholarly Ethics. I would much prefer to handle a scholarly review of the issues firsthand, responding directly to and dialoguing directly with my critics. —Barry Kort 10:56, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I unabashedly dissent from contra-indicated practices such as those introjected into this community over the past 6 months. For reasons unbeknownst to me, there arose here a clique of harshly draconian characters who inexplicably and haphazardly blocked, baleeted, buried, and blacklisted a wide array of academic materials drawn from and inspired by Peter Senge's model of Best Ethical Practices for Learning Organizations. In the 1930s when notoriously harsh and draconian regimes rose to power in Europe, a journalist asked Einstein if the rise to power of such jackbooted regimes had slowed down the pace of scientific research, Einstein replied, "No, the pace of scientific research has not slowed down; it's ground to a complete halt." —Barry Kort 12:45, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Ruling Party[edit]

From above:

Who is the Ruling Party

Sometimes I use the term "Ruling Party" as a place keeper term for more meaningful descriptions that have upset the self-appointed censors of Wikiversity.

About 6 months ago a group of administrators took over Wikiversity and started inventing and enforcing unwritten policies, blocking the development of needed policies, imposing bad blocks and bans and censoring Wikiversity pages for several reasons, including an effort to prevent discussion of their outrageous actions. That core group, and others who demonstrate that they approve of the methods of the Party, are what the term "Ruling Party" refers to.

"what precisely is its role?"

What is a good study question; it would be interesting to get an answer from the Party members themselves.

From my outside perspective, the main function of the Ruling Party seems to be keeping the Ruling Party in power so that it can continue to freely exercise its repressive style of ruling.

Party Members are free to do anything they like (even if it has no basis in policy or even if it violates policy) while enforcing an absurd double standard by which non-Party members are punished for doing anything that upsets the Ruling Party members.

I intend to fully study and document the activities of the Ruling Party since it is dictating the rules that Wikiversity participants must follow while we try to work together towards our learning goals.

I find it fascinating to explore the topics that being excluded from study at Wikiversity by the Ruling Party and the methods that they are using to inform scholars that they are not welcome here.

For two years, learning how to learn at Wikiversity meant developing new learning resources, now it includes the need to learn which subjects of study and types of learning projects have been ruled off-limits by the Ruling Party.

The Ruling Party likes to dictate what is not allowed but it is not very efficient about documenting their mandates. I'm trying to help out in that area. --JWSchmidt 18:15, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Who are the people you think belong to the Ruling Party? It's impossible to ask them anything if you don't know who they are. --SB_Johnny talk 19:27, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
In light of Barry's interjections above, let my explain why I'm asking. I'm honestly not sure what group you're talking about, or what exactly you think was censored, in the academic sense of censorship. Speaking for myself, I don't see a synonymy between the issues related to Barry and the issues related to you, let alone agreement about those issues. Just because people agree on something doesn't mean they're part of a party, nor does it mean they agree on everything. --SB_Johnny talk 14:10, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not trying to suggest that members of the "Ruling Party" agree on everything...or anything. However, it might be a defining feature of the Ruling Party that its members are comfortable imposing on the Wikiversity community certain rules and methods that have become popular at Wikipedia...and doing so without discussion or bothering to make explicit what those rules are.
It is an interesting phenomenon: when I recently used precise language that describes one member of the Ruling Party and his acts of censorship, my comments were censored and I got blocked from editing. It is strange that when I use the code term "Ruling Party" to refer to the same people then you do not understand who I'm talking about. Maybe if you would remove your bad ban against my participation in #wikiversity-en then we could have a meaningful conversation about censorship.
It is a dangerous practice for rulers to prevent free speech and hunker down in a bunker where all they hear is echoes of their own thoughts.

"what exactly you think was censored"

It's a rather long list which I think you are familiar with....and I've been advised not to bore, I'll just mention the censorship issue that I'm most concerned be reflected in Wikiversity policy.
When I started participating in Wikimedia projects, even before there was a Wikimedia Foundation, one of the topics I started concerning myself with was biographies of living people. Over the years I've dealt with the problem of editors using Wikimedia projects as a means to publish false and libelous information about living people.
Last year my attention was drawn to an example of where some Wikimedia administrators were actively working to prevent false information from being removed from wiki pages. I started participating in a Wikiversity research project in which I studied how it was possible for administrators to conspire to keep false information about living people on wiki pages.
I soon found out.
My research was censored for being "an attack page". Jimbo showed up and suggested a modification to the scope of Wikiversity research, a change that would make impossible the kind of research I was engaged in. I started to explore his suggestion by discussing possible changes to the Wikiversity policy pages for research and soon found myself blocked, banned and desysopped.
So, my research had been censored and I am learning that I do not even have the freedom to discuss the unwritten rules of censorship that I have been subjected to.
I intend to fully document how censorship works at Wikiversity.

"I don't see a synonymy between the issues related to Barry and the issues related to you"

I don't see it as a matter of "synonymy of issues", but it was Moulton who drew my attention to the specific BLP problem I started researching last year. It was the same abusive Wikipedia admin that censored my research and got Moulton banned from Wikiversity.
As far as I can tell, both of these events were attempts to prevent the actions of abusive admins from being examined. It was when I was working with Moulton to discuss modifications to policy, in response to Jimbo's suggestion, that you imposed a bad block on me and used the excuse that I needed to be blocked because of my association with Moulton. --JWSchmidt 16:53, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
You still haven't answered the question: who are the people in the Ruling Party? If they don't agree on anything, how can they be a party? This:
"However, it might be a defining feature of the Ruling Party that its members are comfortable imposing on the Wikiversity community certain rules and methods that have become popular at Wikipedia...and doing so without discussion or bothering to make explicit what those rules are."
...seems like a theory about a group that might or might not exist, but then you're accusing people (e.g., Guillom) of being part of the Party. It reminds me of a sci-fi movie, to be frank.
It's fine to research and discuss whether there's censorship, or even an organized effort to censor. Just do it without making wild accusations, and if you have a question about someone's motives, just ask them about it, rather than accusing them of acting in bad faith. They probably just see things differently than you do, but they might be willing to hear your side of it if you didn't dismiss their viewpoint out of hand, or ascribe to them a motivation that they don't acknowledge having. --SB_Johnny talk 13:48, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but someone summoned Guillom to #wikiversity-en and to this Wiki to enforce Jimbo's express wish that I be summarily stifled and suppressed. The identity of the members of the Evil Censorship Cabal is hardly in doubt. —Barry Kort 15:25, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Ruling Party 2[edit]

"You still haven't answered the question"

I answered the question, you just do not like my answer. "Ruling Party" is just a label that came to my mind as a way to refer to the gang that decided to bring bad blocks, bans and censorship to Wikiversity about 6 months ago and like-minded people who have joined in to assist that original gang. If you cannot understand the use of the term "Ruling Party" then get the self-appointed censors of Wikiversity to stop censoring, banning and blocking me when I use more precise language to discuss events at Wikiversity. You can start by lifting the bad ban you imposed on my participation in #wikiversity-en.

Usernames, please. --SB_Johnny talk 16:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

you're accusing people (e.g., Guillom) of being part of the Party

Please provide a link to the edit where I made this "accusation". Anytime I do apply the label "Ruling Party" to a particular person I'd be happy to use more precise language.

Just get the censors to let me speak.

Your response to guillom on the RfD page. Stop pretending you don't know what people are talking about. --SB_Johnny talk 16:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

"do it without making wild accusations"

Are you accusing me of making wild accusations? If so, please list them.

Paraphrase: "I wonder if Guillom wants to censor this that and the other thing on wikiversity". --SB_Johnny talk 16:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

accusing them of acting in bad faith...ascribe to them a motivation that they don't acknowledge having

When I describe someone's actions at Wikiversity it does not mean that I am accusing them of acting in bad faith or having a particular motivation. If you do not agree with my description of events at Wikiversity then let's discuss it.

I'm ready to defend my use of the English language against the charges of the censors. Wikiversity should be a place for discussion, not a place where bad blocks, bans and censorship replace discussion. --JWSchmidt 16:04, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Then discuss it, with civility. For example, you could have asked Guillom: "Do you object to blogs in general on Wikiversity, or to my blog in particular? Also, would you mind telling us how you came across the blog in the first place?" I bet he would more likely to answer a question like that, wouldn't you? --SB_Johnny talk 16:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Pbbbbtttt!!!!! Not only did Guillom not respond to my similar questions when he summarily baleeted my contributions, his allies in the Evil Censorship Cabal baleeted my questions! —Barry Kort 16:53, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I haven't the faintest idea what you are talking about now. Hence the problem. --SB_Johnny talk 17:45, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Obliviousness does not become you, SBJ. —Barry Kort 23:04, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


John, I'll help you learn what you want to learn, but you'll need to start by identifying who you want to learn something about, and what you want to know about them. "Who" as in people (not organizations), and "what" as in what exactly you want to know (I'll help you phrase the questions and get their attention). Fair enough? --SB_Johnny talk 17:45, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Now you're just baiting him! On the one hand the block was for talking about editors rather than edits and now you're asking for names to be named? Its pretty obvious isn't it who at least one of the supposed "ruling party" is isn't it? Its also becoming pretty obvious SB that you are a part of the problem you're claiming you wish to resolve and that in a way you don't really want the civility you suggest, what you want is to instigate an outburst that you can then condemn. I'm getting a bit sick of it. Countrymike 00:14, 20 January 2009
Countrymike insightfully identifies a problematic practice that is known in the literature as the double bind (damned if you do, damned if you don't). The term was introduced into usage by Gregory Bateson, a pioneer of 20th Century Systems Thinking and Cybernetics who was married to anthropologist Margaret Mead.

A double bind is a dilemma in communication in which an individual (or group) receives two or more conflicting messages and one message negates the other—a situation in which if they succeed at responding to one message they fail with the other and the person will be put in the wrong however they respond—and the person can't comment on the conflict, or resolve it, or opt out of the situation.

I don't know that SBJ is intentionally baiting John; probably not. But it's not that uncommon for adversaries to place each other in an impossible situation; in a chess game, that's the main strategy: to trap one's opponent so that there is no escape.
While it's a sign of cleverness and intelligence to successfully trap one's opponent, it's not the kind of tactic that belongs in a scholarly community, except in the context of a fair contest of wits.
What's been going on here is not a fair contest but the unseemly machinations of an oppressive regime inspired and led by Jimbo Wales, and executed by his sycophantic lieutenants (including the blocking admins whose identities are not in doubt) and their loyal (if misguided) cheerleaders.
It's time to fish or cut bait. Is Wikiversity going to devolve into fascistic political regime that blacklists sincere scholars, or is it going to throw off the Pharaonic yoke and define itself as an authentic learning community that subscribes to scholarly ethics?
Barry Kort 09:35, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not baiting him, nor am I fishing. John is at least in part accusing people of following an agenda which was set by Jimbo. While there are indeed some people on Wikipedia that do that, I don't think there are many people involved locally that are willing to toe the line out of simple loyalty (in fact, Jimbo went ahead and did the deleting and blocking himself because he couldn't find such people). I would like to help John clear this up, and he needs help to do that (for one thing, I don't think Jimbo himself will even give him the time of day at this point).
I'm reasonably certain that there is no Party, but the only way John can find that out is if he asks people why they think/say/do this or that, and they answer him. They won't answer him if he jumps to conclusions first, insists that his conclusions are correct, and then demands that people defend positions that they don't actually hold.
Countrymike's statement above has a similar tone. He could have asked me (either in public or in private) whether I was baiting John, rather than accusing me of it. Sheesh. --SB_Johnny talk 12:20, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
There is no question that Jimbo set an agenda and then came here to carry it out. And there is no question that Guillom, Mike.lifeguard, Darklama, and Mike Umbridge (among others) got into lock-step with Jimbo's Jackboot Juggernaut and went galumphing down his Puerile Pogrom Parade. There is no mystery why they follow his lead. Mike has made it very clear that I am "not welcome here." —Barry Kort 14:05, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I can see how what was asked could seem like SB_Johnny is trying to bait JWSchmidt, or like a double standard is taking place. I don't think that is the intent at all. Consider this example: "John X's edit contains factual errors. The Battle of Gettysburg did not happen in 1804, but in 1863." verses this example: "John X is a liar, the Battle of Gettysburg happened in 1863, not 1804!" The first talks about the edit while identifying who made the edit, which allows John X to respond to the criticism about the edit. The second is focused on John X rather than the edit, and accuses John X of being a liar. --darkYin yang.svglama 15:35, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
This confusion goes to the issue outlined below, regarding the distinction between correctable errors in scholarship vs. willful intellectual dishonesty. Terms like "baiting" or "sarcasm" may carry with them an unfair or unwarranted summary judgment of willful insincerity. Part of the protocol of scholarly ethics is to provide a graceful recovery from such confusions. —Barry Kort 15:57, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Your model of the human mind; yours and others, is woefully inadequate. WAS 4.250 08:33, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Freedom of speech and civility[edit]

Usernames, please

Freedom of speech, please. The last time I mentioned a username associated with the Ruling Party I was blocked from editing and you supported the block...and threatened more of the same. Wikiversity is supposed to be a place where we can figure out how to use wiki technology for our learning goals. The Ruling Party has forced my main learning goal to be learning how to get a boot off of my neck. Tear down this wall.

Are the bombers on their way, Mr. President? --SB_Johnny talk 11:55, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Your response to guillom on the RfD page

I just read my post again. It is perfectly civil. Wikiversity is supposed to be a place where we can discuss things, but rather than allow discussions, the Ruling Party falsely calls civil discussion a policy violation.

No, it was an accusation of bad faith on Guillom's part. --SB_Johnny talk 11:53, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Guillom has a history of making summary judgments of that nature, arrogantly asserting that some material is lacking in educational value and then summarily deleting it, without seeking or examining scholarly peer review by impartial reviewers. To my mind, such inexplicably censorious actions are an unseemly and shameful departure from scholarly ethics. Barry Kort

"Stop pretending you don't know what people are talking about"

I do not think it is constructive for the Ruling Party to try to define discussion of past events and the asking of questions as violations of policy. I'm always going to study deletionism and censorship at Wikiversity and invite others to collaboratively explore these topics. Get used to it.

These topics do not go away no matter how much the Ruling Party deletes and censors, in fact, that just makes these topics all the more important.

That would make more sense to me if I knew who the ruling party was. --SB_Johnny talk 11:53, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Thou art the man.Barry Kort 15:40, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Nein. Ich bin ein Berliner! --SB_Johnny talk 16:14, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
You're a jelly donut?!? —Barry Kort 16:32, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I'll help you learn what you want to learn

Thank you. Please start by lifting the bad ban you imposed on my participation at #wikiversity-en.

Not while you continue to accuse people of bad faith. --SB_Johnny talk 11:53, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I repeat: Thou art the man.Barry Kort 15:40, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

John is at least in part accusing people of following an agenda which was set by Jimbo

I'm not comfortable having those words put in my mouth. I'm not privy to the secret meetings that have replaced open discussion at Wikiversity. I have no knowledge of who is setting agendas, I only get clues about what is happening when lame excuses get offered for bad blocks, bans, deletions and acts of censorship.

--JWSchmidt 16:27, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

If someone is setting secret agendas, I'm just as clueless as you. --SB_Johnny talk 11:53, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Here is a clue. The secret agenda was initially leaked (via e-mail) by none other than Jimbo Wales, himself. Notwithstanding his express wish that I keep his disturbing anankastic agenda a secret, I defiantly published it, as an instance of a perplexing ethical conundrum that was frankly beyond my limited ken to fully think through. —Barry Kort 12:22, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Remembering Martin Luther King's Call For Civil Rights[edit]

Today, Americans are remembering the historic contributions of Martin Luther King and his contributions to the advance of Civil Rights in American consciousness.

As is our custom, we recall the words of Martin Luther King in a timely parody of his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

I Have a Scream[edit]

There are those who are asking the devotees of academic research, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the scholar is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of anankastic control freaks. We can never be satisfied as long as our avatars heavy with the costumes of Po-Mo Theater, cannot gain stagecraft in the talk pages of the wikis and the blog pages of the nitty gritties. We cannot be satisfied as long as the scholar's basic modality is peripatetic migration from a smaller post to a larger tome. We can never be satisfied as long as our avatars are stripped of their costumes and robbed of their anonymity by a sign stating: "For Furries Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a goat herder in Pennsylvania cannot note why a scholar in Phoenix believes he has done nothing remotely of note. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until insight rolls down like thunder, and empathy like an enlightened dream.

I am not unmindful that some avatars have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some avatars have come fresh from inexplicably bad blocks. And some have come from wikis where the quest — quest for academic freedom — left them battered by the storms of Seahaven's hurricanes and staggered by the eclipse of Bomis totality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Wikipedia, go back to Meta-Wiki, go back to Wikipedia Review, go back to Moulton Lava, go back to IRC, go back to the Spammish Inquisitions of our sister wikis knowing that somehow this situation can and will be lampooned.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my fellow fiends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of slaying the Godzilla-King and his fearsome Basilisque, I still have a scream. It is a scream deeply rooted in the post-modern scream.

I have a scream that one day this Internet will rise up and live out the true intention of its creators: We hold these protocols to be self-referential, that all Internet hosts are creative prequels.

I have a scream that one day the red meat of ArbCom, the Someys of corny Iowa and the silly songs of atrocious bloggers will be able to canoodle together at the table of snickerhood.

I have a scream that one day even the staff of WMF, a staff bleating with the cry of obliviousness, sweltering with the heat of antipathy, will be transformed into an oasis of insight and transformation.

I have a scream that embattled detractors will one day thrive in a wiki where they will not be judged by the color of their animal costume but by the content of their character.

I have a scream today!

I have a scream that one day, down in Wikipedia, with its vicious PoV pushers, with its Cabalistas having their fingertips clicking with the words of "banhammer" and "desysop" — one day right there in Wikipedia little puppy dogs and little fingerlings will be able to join the circus with little clowns and ringleaders as amateur performers.

I have a scream today!

I have a scream that one day every study shall be exalted, and every anankastic control freak shall eat crow, the rough passages will be made smooth, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of Thoreau, Gandhi, King, and Borat shall be revealed and all furries shall see it together.

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to this talk page with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our wikis into a beautiful symphony of avatarhood. With this faith, we will be able to study together, to think together, to struggle together, to endure bad blocks together, to stand up for academic freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day to write atrocious song parodies and utterly idiotic speeches.

Gastrin Bombesin 14:12, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Page too big[edit]

This page is ridiculously big (400KB+).
Can someone PLEASE PLEASE archive some old discussions?
Not everyone is forunate enough to be able to view this page let alone edit it.
(This is more than likely why some people have not responded.)

Threads from last year are now at User talk:JWSchmidt/Second half 2008 discussions. --JWSchmidt 19:45, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

US elections[edit]

I saw you linked to this on your blog page before you were interrupted. Do you have an objection to the project? --SB_Johnny talk 11:21, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Why discuss on beta? The community there is much smaller than it is here. --SB_Johnny talk 14:12, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Heh, OK :-). I'm actually not interested in studying the elections, but rather how the articles about the elections were created and refined. I've been helping to "keep an eye on" the w:Sarah Palin article (it was protected, now under "probation"), and it's quite a process. --SB_Johnny talk 14:21, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Politics in general (and election politics in particular) are a turbulent and tumultuous travesty of Narcissistic Wounding and Narcissistic Rage, a malevolent mockery and murderous maelstrom of malicious mendacity. Surely you cannot expect Wikipedia to cover the caustic contretemps with decorous deadpan demeanor and cyanotic civility. —Montana Mouse 14:54, 23 January 2009 (UTC)


Hey there.

I'm back from under my rock. Hope to run into you soon.

Historybuff 07:11, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

  • I'll try to find some time to spend in IRC -- but it might be a week or so. Happy New Year! Historybuff 07:32, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Willful Intellectual Dishonesty[edit]

I have a new pheromeme to begin working on this weekend...

In academic work, it is not uncommon to make (and correct) mistakes in one's understanding, analysis, or model of the subject being studied.

There are unrecognized or unidentified mistakes.

There are persistent self-delusions.

And then there is willful intellectual dishonesty.

This weekend's topic in Epistemology would be this:

How can a reviewer recognize an instance of willful intellectual dishonesty on the part of another scholar?

What is the best practice for identifying, confirming, and remediating an instance of willful intellectual dishonesty?

By way of example, did Jimbo and his jejune sychophants from IDCab engage in willful intellectual dishonesty when they engaged with me and JWSchmidt? How can that be objectively determined? What does it take, beyond identifying a mistake, to classify it as willful intellectual dishonesty (rather than simply a careless error by an imperfect instance of otherwise sincere scholarship)? In particular, is there a variety of willful intellectual dishonesty that recurs systematically (rather than haphazardly) in the WikiSphere?

I would nominate haphazard theories of mind as a candidate for recurring willful intellectual dishonesty in WikiCulture. In particular, I would nominate it as an unscholarly practice that spiked in the wake of the development of the Course on Applied Ethics that JWSchmidt and I participated in developing here last summer.

Moulton 13:51, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikiversity research guidelines[edit]

Hi JW,

Thanks for the invite. I'm not sure how much time I have in the near future, but I did take a look at the Research guidelines page. What is Beta Wikiversity used for nowadays, if regular Wikiversity has made it into a separate Wikimedia project?

Also, I think we have some interests in common. I've been working on the Cell Biology course page that you've done a lot of work on. My goal is to create a basic cell biology learning resource that can be shared with the course I've created, Fundamentals of Neuroscience. Neuroscience depends on a basic fundamental understanding of cell biology. Most of your edits were from a while ago, and I was wondering if you're interested in keeping going over there. --AFriedman 20:18, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Nonkilling Barnstar[edit]

NK Barnstar.png For your initiative improving significantly the School of Nonkilling Studies' course on Nonkilling Human Biology.

NK Barnstar.png Nonkilling barnstar
Cgnk 00:51, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Life round Red Dwarfs[edit]

Did you know about The Aliens of the Flaming Red Sun? Proxima Centauri 16:26, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

The Octopuses of Earth[edit]

What did you think of Speculation about Why a female octopus dies after her eggs are hatched. Proxima Centauri 16:42, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


Hi JW,

Thanks again for the invite to go to WV Beta. I've been over there and the policies look pretty well developed to me, especially compared to the undeveloped nature of so much else in WV. I think that the most important thing to develop right now is a way for research mentoring (and course mentoring, subject mentoring, custodian mentoring, markup language and content development mentoring) to be recognized and coordinated. There's almost nothing in this area and IMO a better mentorship program might increase interest in WV. I've been working on the Wikiversity:Mentors and Research Mentoring Program pages, and please give them your input if you have time. --AFriedman 01:58, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Maybe checkout melange from Google SOC - they seem to have had a few successes on the mentoring front.... Paulmartin42

self programming & evolution[edit]

Dear JW Schmidt, initially people who were reluctant to look at the self programmability of genome are now opening up. The very few who tried to argue against proved pale or got irritated when I had to stop the discussion? Has Stuart Kauffman or his associates created a platform to discuss the self ordering or self programming vis a vis evolution? Or on thermodynamics of evolution? Or on the evolution of consciousness? If a platform is not already existing, I think it is time to create it. Will you be interested? You may also contact me at: ,thanks, DMR Sekhar.


My dear Prof. Schmidt,

Let me begin with your observations that limits of terminology and methodology often delimit The scope of exchange of ideas across the spectrum of a theme like Consciousness or Evolution. The overemphasis on formal research background normally impedes dialogue among intelligent and Educated scientists, despite their commonalility of interests. The ideas (Theories!) of Genopsych, Evolution and Consciousness are such examples which need to be debated among Evolutionary Biologists, Molecular Biologists, Statisticians, Mathematicians, Sociologists, Psychologists and Philosophers who have dwelled and contributed out of their concern and interest for integrating The Philosophy with Science with a passion to envision the path of Evolution of human societies. This fundamental exercise has a potential application in evolution of a reverential coexistence of Humanity with all biotic and abiotic components of planet earth.With this agenda in mind I am thinking to bring out an edited book on “Philosophy Of Evolution”. I invite you to join me as first Editor. As Editors we shall invite experts from diverse and seemingly unrelated fields to contribute articles, and shall strive to coordinate thoughts and explore coherence. While there would not be any hurry to draw conclusions, there would be a sincere effort to bring the ideas on a plinth of a round table. The tentative topics may be: 1.Self ordering and evolution 2.Plant intelligence and plant neurobiology 3.Plant signals 4.Genopsych, 5. Structure/organization of genome and measurement of genomic information 6. Thermodynamics and evolution with special reference to Human thermodynamics 7. The evolution of society with special reference to the human society 8. Consciousness from the points of view of Jain, Buddhist, Christian and Hindu philosophy 9. Bio-rhythms and evolution 10i. Origin and evolution and consciousness

The Blogs are doing a great service, but a book in print, would further complement the Effort to initiate a dialogue which can be transformed into an International Transcience Symposium Sometime during 2010.I request you to give your consent to become first editor. After receiving your consent we would be planning publication modalities.

I may be contacted at

Thanking you, AK Purohit

Dear Schmidt, I have been discussing the issues related to evolution with friends like Prof. AK Purohit. As the subject goes across several areas a face to face discussion will be more fruitful. AKP is of the opinion that it is time to invite all those interested to contribute their papers and publish them in print as very senior scientists may not be interested in web discussions. This should be followed up by an international symposium that may help the creation of a permanent platform [such as Transcience Society] competent enough to take up contradicting scientific views. I fully agree with Prof. Purohit. I request you to kindly respond to the invitation of Prof. Purohit. DMR Sekhar 03:48, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""

Request For Wikiversity Moodle Teacher Acess[edit]

Hello, my username is Koman90 i am an apprentice editor on the English Wikipedia, and i would like access to the wikiversity moodle server to create an Introduction to wiki-text course. In this course users would Learn the basic fundamentals of Wikitext as learned for the English Wikipedia. including Links, Referencing, Info boxes, template design, media fair use rationale, compatible media, and other basic, "how To wiki" course material. --Koman90 02:30, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Wikinews item needs assistance[edit]

Not sure if insect biology is your field, but I noted you had been involved in the development of some scientific news coverage previously.

Your input or developments to a section of :,_2009

which was developed in response to a BBC New item -

Would be much appreciated.. Sfan00 IMG 11:22, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

The academic concerned appears to have a contact page here -

'Sunosi'- 'Silent Spring -The Sequel?'[edit]

I feel that research and the area of Bee population collapse might make a good subject for the 'Sunosi' podcast planed in connection with the audio projects...

However, I am not some one with the confidence to do what might be biological literature review (given that my degree is computing). I am however, quite prepared to read a script if someone writes it.

In terms of length, although BBC Horizon programmes can run for 60 mins, I wasn't envisagaing Sunosi being longer than 10-15mins (Purely because of the amount of effort needed)

The suggested title, is in reference to a book calledSilent Spring which if recall correctly made links between pesticides and a decline in bird species.

Sfan00 IMG 12:11, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

CQ is yeoman[edit]

I'm getting back on line thanks to a lot of friends in Memphis. I'm working at a ministry that recycles computers and instructs folks how to use them. I'm also working on getting some resources online and it's finally coming together this time. Memphis is working much better than New Orleans for my idiosyncratic schemes!

Anyway, I tried to set up an account at the Sandbox Server with no luck yet. I'd like to use yeoman instead of CQ 'cuz it's more *nix-friendly. Can ya give me a hand up? Yeoman 05:41, 28 April 2009 (UTC)


Yes, I want a account. Jan Luca 18:31, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Wikinews item needs assistance[edit]

Hi, Given your experience in reading scientfic journalism, and in caereful reporting of biological results, I was wondering if you could take a look at :

and make it more neutral. This is an important story, but journalistic ethics imply that before doubt is cast on a company reputation, the evidence must be exemplary? Sfan00 IMG 13:31, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Copyright problem with Image:Garageband keyboard.png[edit]

No license warning Thanks for uploading Image:Garageband keyboard.png, but:
1.svg This file may soon be deleted, unless some copyright information on the file can be determined. The Wikimedia Foundation is very careful about what files are included because of copyright law (see Wikiversity's Copyright policy).
2.svg Wikiversity accepts three types of copyrighted works, open content, public domain, and fair use. Please signify what type of copyright the file uses by placing a copyright template on the file page like this: {{TemplateName}}
3.svg Wikiversity requires that the work's copyright holder be acknowledged. The copyright holder is usually the work's creator, the creator's employer, or the last person who was transferred ownership rights. Please include this information by placing {{information}} on the file page and filling it out.
4.svg Please signify the copyright information for any other files you have uploaded or will upload. Remember that files without this important information or with incorrect information can be deleted by a custodian.
5.svg If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on my talk page or the Wikiversity community at the Colloquium. Thank you.

Crochet.david 10:50, 10 June 2009 (UTC)


Re: Wikiversity_embodying_the_concept_of_University of the World ~ Philosophy of Wikiversity (Antecedents)

You responded two years ago to a post I placed HERE, I only now happened upon your comment due to an opportune happenstance. Would you have any directives for me?
B9 hummingbird hovering 17:52, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
NB: best to contact me on my Wikipedia chittychat page of same name.
I need to memorize all the interwikies...


Do you mean to have female genitals on the main page? Has someone vandalized the template? Proxima Centauri 08:10, 28 June 2009 (UTC)


User:Unstoppable Fandal needs a block. I've sorted out the Main Page and reverted all his (I doubt if that was a woman) edits. Here's one vandal edit that appeared on the Main Page and here's a second vandal edit that appeared on the Main Page, I've checked and the image is one of yours. Proxima Centauri 08:29, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

User:Silentassassin hasn't vandalized (yet?) though the account was created almost at the same time as Unstoppable Fandal. I don't know if that is an acceptable username at Wikiversity but the account certainly needs to be watched. Proxima Centauri 08:34, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Juan de Vojníkov (full custodian) and Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Jade Knight (full custodian)[edit]

Please do not reinstate comments which were added after a bureaucrat had already made the decision on whether or not to grant custodianship. It is at that point that the discussion is concluded. These pages should be preserved without the later comments because they weren't taken into account by the bureaucrat and so to leave them could be misleading, and any comments added later are pointless, the decision has been made. After this point the pages do not continue to exist as a venue for users to comment on the candidate.

Here you say that "This community discussion was never properly still needs to be evaluated by an unbiased observer" but it is unclear what exactly you mean. The only omission in the way it was closed was that the archive box wasn't added. The discussion was closed here when the decision was taken to grant custodianship. It is also not clear what you mean when you say that "still needs to be evaluated by an unbiased observer". No further evaluation is needed, the bureaucrat has already evaluated the discussion and acted appropriately, all that needed doing was the later comments removing and the archive box adding, neither of which require "an unbiased observer". It is also not clear why I would not count as "an unbiased observer" since I had no involvement whatsoever in this discussion.

Here you say "SB Johnny and Adambro falsified the record of this community discussion". That is completely incorrect. At the point at which SB Johnny closed the discussion and took the appropriate action, no one had voted in opposition. Unless SB Johnny has a time machine, how on earth do you expect him to know that you would later go on and voice your opposition? By removing your belated comments I haven't "falsified the record of this community discussion" either, I've done the complete opposite, I've preserved the page as a record of the discussions which led to the candidate receiving custodianship.

I am going to revert your edits and hope that you will discuss this further with me here before altering these concluded discussions again. Adambro 15:04, 5 August 2009 (UTC)


B9 hummingbird hovering 00:30, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

review, topic bans[edit]

Thought you might want to chip in at Wikiversity:Community Review/Topic bans for User:JWSchmidt‎ before it goes on WV:C. --SB_Johnny talk 14:28, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

honest criticism[edit]

I have always assumed that the positions that you take on issues are due to a good faith effort on your part to improve wikiversity. I might disagree, sometimes strongly, about the benefit that some of your suggestions might have on the development of wv, but I have never doubted your dedication to improving wikiversity.

At the top of this talk page it states: "If you have a complaint about something I have done, please feel free to let me know what is on your mind. I strive to assume good faith and improve my behavior in response to honest criticism."

I have a complaint about the language that you have been using in recent discussions. Here is just one example: never going to quietly let thugs and bullies...

My first point is that it is unconstructive to the debate and discussion to resort to such name calling. Others who have contributed to the WV:CR have not used such language. The use of the term wikt:Thug implies violence and criminal activity ("A criminal who treats others violently and roughly, especially for hire.") Please discuss the issues without using such appeals to emotion and maintain an assumption of good faith on the part of other contributors, as they have of you.

The issues in the review are not about your intentions, it is about the effect that you are having on debate. At one point I counted three dozen uses of the term abuse (or variations) and had to specifically ask you to clarify what you meant. [5] These are not contributions about the issues, but unsubstantiated claims. You can't expect everyone who reads the review to be familiar with all of your past statements and your edits have been heavily laced with accusations of abuse without being clear about what you mean. This is a Community review (emphasis on the word Community) and you need to realize that some members of wikiversity might not have been around when you wrote your blog.

BTW, the point that I was trying to make in this edit is that the majority of comments from the community in the listed pages shows disagreement with the conclusions that you have drawn and the points that you have emphasized. Regardless of the strength of your convictions you do need to consider your contributions in light of the others who have participated. --mikeu talk 17:06, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

I think expecting people to shut off or refrain from relying on emotions in arguments is unreasonable because people are emotional beings. I think emotions aren't harmful. I think not articulating emotives when relying on emotional arguments or reasoning can be and has been harmful. I think language can be used to acknowledging and expressing emotions in a way that allows scientific inquiry into the motives and reasons why people feel a certain way about a subject. I think the problem is not acknowledging and expressing emotions in a way that allows scientific inquiry which I think shuts down communication. -- darklama  18:15, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Point taken. I should have worded that different. I was trying to suggest that communication might be clearer with more emphasis on the issues. --mikeu talk 18:28, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

"Provide me with a reason why I should assume that you acted in good faith..." <- "To assume good faith is a fundamental principle on Wikiversity." --mikeu talk 13:11, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

needlessly confrontational[edit]

This edit is not a constructive addition to a debate on policy. "Also, I am sometimes blunt and and terse and my actions might seem needlessly confrontational. Let me know when I "cross the line" and start to disrupt the atmosphere of collaboration rather than support it." <- You are crossing the line and disrupting collaboration. Please explain how you think we should develop policy. --mikeu talk 21:00, 27 August 2009 (UTC)


"Part of the problem is that other people who might object to the policy violations have been blocked from participating or otherwise driven away from the project or intimidated into silence." These are serious unsubstantiated claims that you have presented. To do so without evidence is to partake in "Ill-considered accusations of impropriety of one kind or another" (WV:CIVIL)

"lies spouted" "Calling someone a liar, or accusing him/her of slander or libel. Even if true, such remarks tend to aggravate rather than resolve a dispute." (WV:CIVIL)

"targeted for abused" (sic) This and many other recent edits that lack WV:AGF ("maliciously fabricated" among others)

You are blocked for two weeks per WV:AGF and WV:CIVIL. Please refrain from similar comments after the block has expired. Once the block has expired, you are welcome to make constructive contributions. If you believe this block is unjustified, you may contest the block by adding the text {{unblock|your reason here}} below. --mikeu talk 15:01, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

"the project is being distracted" <-- I do not understand how this addresses the unblock request. Is this your reason for leaving a bad block in place? If so, you have the obligation to remove the bad block and re-block me for "distracting the project". "If, as you suggest, the project has been taken over by abusive custodians, then it is difficult to see how your constant repetition of the same accusations will have any positive impact." <-- I do not understand how this addresses the unblock request. Are you saying that any time you have difficulty understanding something then you have the right to impose a bad block on a Wikiversity participant? "The hostile atmosphere that your constant accusations are contributing to is damaging to the efforts to further the project." <-- Please list the "accusations" that you are talking about. I have described the actions of admins who have violated policy, told me to fuck off and leave the project, called me a troll, published false claims about my Wikiversity participation and tried to use those false claims to "justify" imposing bad blocks and bans. Discussion of such abuses of power is an important way to "further the project" and work to prevent additional abuses in the future. I dispute your claim that my comments contribute to a "hostile atmosphere". How can speaking up to make a defense against the abuses performed by others contribute to a "hostile atmosphere"? Are you saying that I should be blocked because I object to being abused?
User:Adambro never addressed the reasons for my request for unblock. I see no evidence that User:Adambro even read my unblock request. I still request that an honest custodian read and respond to my unblock request. --JWSchmidt 17:04, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes I did read your request. Despite your characteristically lengthy comments both in the request and in response to my comments, I find no compelling reason to consider the block inappropriate. As seems usual, some of your comments are incredibly bizarre and that doesn't give me a great deal of confidence that allowing you to edit would be in the interests of the project. Your apparent wish to further the project by highlighting the abuses of custodians may well be an honourable mission, but the way you are going about it is now simply detrimental to the project. You seem to keep repeating the same accusations and that doesn't benefit Wikiversity. The community can read your "blog" of all your observations about the project and decide whether or not they wish to, for example, propose a particular user has their custodian rights removed. You cannot expect to be able to indefinitely continue to use practically every discussion as soapbox for your misgivings about the project and particular users. You have to learn to be able to work on Wikiversity despite some of these misgivings since we all have to accept that we can't have everything our way all of the time. If you cannot do so, as it seems is the case, then yes, you should as has been suggested sometimes less elegantly then is appropriate, leave the project. I cannot condone the wording that has previously been used but I can completely understand the frustration and general sentiment that led up to it. That sentiment seems to be shared by many of the community and you need to understand that. Adambro 20:27, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
"your comments are incredibly bizarre" <-- I wish you would list everything that you find "incredibly bizarre" so we could discuss it. I find it "incredibly bizarre" not being allowed to discuss Wikiversity's problems. "the way you are going about it is now simply detrimental to the project" <-- if you have a suggestion for a better approach then I wish you would discuss it with me. I think it is detrimental to the project when custodians refuse to answer questions and do not have discussions and instead just impose bad blocks and bans. It is always beneficial to the project to discuss problems like policy violations by custodians, bad blocks and bans and the use of false charges in show trials as a way to "justify" bad blocks and bans. Wikiversity is a place for thoughtful reflection and discussion, not tantrums by admins ending in "fuck you" and a bad block or some show trial. "we can't have everything our way all of the time" <-- if you are characterizing my Wikiversity participation in these terms (as if I need to have everything my way all of the time) then I reject your characterization. It is not having everything my way if I defend myself and others against fabricated reasons to delete our Wikiversity contributions, if I object to show trials or if I object to bad blocks. "as has been suggested sometimes less elegantly then is appropriate, leave the project" <-- I reject the idea that people who defend Wikiversity against abusive practices should just leave when told to fuck off. The correct course is to prevent the abuses. "I can completely understand the frustration and general sentiment that led up to it" <-- I'm not sure exactly what you are saying...if you are saying that you approve of what has happened in the past, then I have to disagree with what you find acceptable and best in a wiki community. Anyhow, you hold the mighty ban hammer and I'm going to be busy in the real world. I hope that when I get back and have more wiki time that some needed policies like deletion and ban policies are in place as "official". --JWSchmidt 00:51, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I'll just add my 2¢ that I would rather have had a warning issued before a block; this feels too sudden for me, and I don't like it. However, I will respect Adambro's decision to keep the block in place. This does, however, underscore the need Wikiversity has for enforcement policies; right now all administrators have no choice but to play everything "by ear". The Jade Knight (d'viser) 08:16, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

BTW, I'm not sure you ever saw this. Just wanted to show you. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 19:24, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
I've reached the age where it never hurts to remind me of past events. I spent years working to get Wikiversity going and I always imagined it as a place for thoughtful scholars who would be able to discuss differences and peacefully work towards the project's goals. I'm sickened and astounded that vandal fighting tools are now used by the Ruling Party to put an end to discussions. As long as such abuses continue at Wikiversity I'm going to be resisting the folks who think blocks and bans are an acceptable way to impose their will at Wikiversity. I'm grateful to all the participants at Wikiversity who have spoken up and helped to shorten the length of the bad blocks and bans that have been imposed upon me. I still trust that Wikiversity community should be able to turn back the clock and get back to the peaceful learning environment that existed before last summer. Praise and Punishment at Wikiversity <-- I'm not sure where you intend this project to go, but I fully support attempts to study wiki in general and the dynamics of specific wiki communities. The Wikiversity project proposal explicitly mentioned studying Wikipedia as a worthy goal for participants at Wikiversity. Self-reflection and study of what has gone wrong at Wikiversity is of critical importance to the health of this community.
  • "..... the idea here is to also host learning communities, so people who are actually trying to learn, actually have a place to come and interact and help each other figure out how to learn things. We're also going to be hosting and fostering research into how these kinds of things can be used more effectively." (source)
I suspect that some of the horrors of Wikiversity are unique and have never been replicated at another wiki community. For example, that a suicide bomber from another wiki could come to Wikiversity, vastly disrupt on-going scholarly work and then be made into a custodian needs to be studied, understood and protections put in place that will prevent similar catastrophes. I suspect that people who resist learning projects designed to study wiki communities are only trying to prevent their own abuses from being examined by the community. As long as they continue to abuse their power so as to block open discussion of community problems and the free development of wiki study projects this community will just continue to attract more abusers who see this as a safe haven for treating scholars and learners like vandals. Honest wiki participants are not afraid to have their actions discussed and examined by others. --JWSchmidt 23:05, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
What "suicide bomber" are you referring to? The Jade Knight (d'viser) 05:29, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
suicide bomber??? --mikeu talk 16:10, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Someone who comes to a wiki website with the goal of causing a participant there to get banned, while not caring if they also get banned, is the wiki equivalent of a suicide bomber. --JWSchmidt 04:54, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Who are you referring to? The Jade Knight (d'viser) 05:01, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
If this is a topic that is of interest to you then I suggest you start your study of the matter here. Before coming to Wikiversity, Moulton had come upon a gang of POV pushers who were violating Wikipedia's policy on biographies of living persons. Because of Moulton's efforts to correct some biased Wikipedia BLPs he was blocked from editing at Wikipedia. When Moulton came to Wikiversity, several of the folks from Wikipedia who supported the bad block on Moulton came to Wikiversity in an attempt to prevent him from participating at Wikiversity. "I could obviously use technical means to ban Moulton from any page I wanted to. I am more than proficient enough with Pywikibot to make that happen. I suspect that would quickly lead to Moulton and myself being blocked - and let me make this as clear as I can - I would have no problem at all with just banning the both of us." The idea that someone like this could come to Wikiversity as part of an effort to get a Wikiversity participant banned, greatly disrupt Wikiversity and then be made a custodian is astounding and sickening. --JWSchmidt 15:36, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I will say that I am of the opinion that Wikiversity generally has ushered in new Custodians much more quickly and easily than I am personall comfortable with. Salmon of Doubt was only one example where I felt that granting Custodianship was premature. There have been several others, but that appears to simply be the culture here: anyone that seems to be doing well can get tossed into the role of Custodian, and if they end up being disruptive or abusive, they lose their tools. Not my preferred method, but oh well. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 18:59, 2 September 2009 (UTC)


Hey John! It's been a while (nearly 11 months, in fact) since we last talked; I apologize for that. I got preoccupied with school and other things, then my PC crashed. I, in my unadulterated ignorance, not only neglected to back my Word files up onto a flash drive, but also never even thought to post my additional work to the meta page! So, I lost it all. But, we still have our archived discussions and from this site and the fiction wiki to help get us back on track.

I am seriously considering handing the bulk of the project over to David and yourself, with myself being relegated to a "story consultant" who does occasional polishes/re-writes as needed. I would like the story to continue to reflect my initial vision, but you and David can play around within those parameters and make it a true three-pronged effort. KirbyPuckettFan 06:32, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm glad you are back. I sent you an email. Please let me know if the email does not reach you. --JWSchmidt 16:22, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Disruptive edits[edit]

You've got an inexperienced kid or a vandal. Proxima Centauri 18:51, 22 October 2009 (UTC)