User talk:WAS 4.250/1

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My main account is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:WAS_4.250. WAS 4.250 14:58, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Welcome[edit]

Welcome!

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


And don't forget to explore Wikiversity with the links to your left. Be bold to contribute and to experiment with the sandbox or your userpage, and see you around Wikiversity! ---- WAS 4.250 16:38, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


>"I welcome me!"

That is nice, so we save this step - welcome aboard, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat (try) 16:40, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. WAS 4.250 16:51, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Insight Into What?[edit]

On the talk page for the BLP on David Berlinski, you respond to FeloniousMonk and Hrafn's remarks mischaracterizing Berlinski with this terse comment:

Interesting and insightful. Thanks. WAS 4.250 (talk) 19:50, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Which begs the question: What insight do you glean into the character and mindset of FM and Hrafn?

Moulton 01:20, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I hate it when people use the phrase "begging the question" as you just did. That's not what the phrase originally meant. But now everyone uses it as you just did. Ah, well. ... language changes over time. As for an answer to your question ... well, what's it to ya? Trying to cause trouble? WAS 4.250 04:47, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Coming up with an accurate and insightful model of an adversary is known to be a hard problem. Since FM and Hrafn might not bear the same relationship to you as they do to me, you might be in a considerably better position to glean an accurate and insightful model of their character. Thus what it is to me is the long-sought solution to a vexing perplexity. —Moulton 05:29, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Oh. ... I don't give two hoots about "an accurate and insightful model of their character". So don't ask me. I don't care about that. I don't know why you care; but I don't care why you care. It seems petty and pointless. But I'll spend my time as I choose and you'll do the same. WAS 4.250 09:42, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, it's in the nature of us atypical characters who are like unto anthropologists from Mars to craft system models of earthlings and their ferchachta culture. —Barsoom Tork (Talk) 11:55, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

WAS, you might have missed this recently posted thread section: How Hrafn and Odd nature blew it, too. —Moulton 23:25, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I saw it. And I think it is inappropriate. You should be a bigger man than that. Be above that sort of thing. Move on. We have bigger fish to fry. Stop dwelling on the mud on your shoes and look to the horizon. Have you read the Timetable? It's possible. We can aim for it. It will be inspirational and motivating for us and others to keep in mind how much an impact we can make if we do this right. Don't blow it all by being so petty as to use your userpage as a billboard for attacking other people. It feels ... unethical. WAS 4.250 23:35, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
What I'm aiming at there, ham-handed as it might be, is some insight into what it takes to open the eyes of those who are most blind. This is the problem that Caprice the Flying Goat has to solve. —Moulton 00:23, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
In that case, may I gently suggest you try to be more clinical in your choice of words in that attempt? WAS 4.250 13:31, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Would you settle for "missed the mark" in lieu of "blew it"? —Moulton 15:26, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
That's a start. The issue is not what I think. The issue is politics. People will use any tool you hand them to make claims that give them political power. Obama's name is used to imply things for example. So it is simply unwise to hand people weapons against you. Read what you write thinking "if some one wants to derail this project, could they use this to 'prove' that this project is a mere coat-rack to excuse personal attacks against our valued contributors?" Before this is all over, someone will make that accusation. Don't help them. WAS 4.250 16:05, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Revised. —Moulton 16:25, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I tip my hat to you, Sir![edit]

Obviously, we're on the opposite sides of the fence, but that doesn't mean that we can't learn from each other. Thank you for being inclusive. Hopefully, we'll teach each other things that we hadn't thought of before! The Fieryangel 23:03, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Since I'm the "man in the middle" here, let me say that I rely on each of you to anchor me to opposite banks of the chasm that I'm attempting to bridge in this ambitious project. I rely on WAS to promote the reduction of abstract theoretical ideas to concrete practices that can be implemented and measured. Conversely, I rely on The Fieryangel to help me fulfill Umberto Eco's edict: "Whereof we cannot make a theory, we must tell a story instead." To the extent that some of the theory is too abstract, too elusive, too inchoate, I hope to express it initially in story and song. In the end, the whole story — whether it be a smashing success or a smashing failure — might well be told as an epic ballad. —Moulton 06:17, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

RE: People resources[edit]

Thanks for reminding me about adding myself to that list. I have added myself. Anonymous101 17:18, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

RE: Ethics on Wikipedia and the internet[edit]

OK, I probably just removed it because that is what I do on Wikinews when I have written something. If I write any essays in future I won't remove it from the list. Thanks for notifying me of my mistake, Anonymous101 talk 19:16, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I am thinking that this is an important subject to clarify. And I am also wondering if the different essays might be combined to created a kind of synthesis of expressed ideas, which may or may not express consensus?

Another idea that I had was to write the same essay from two different viewpoints, regardless of what one personally believes, to try to see what a NPOV version of such ideas might express.

I'm just brainstorming here. The Fieryangel 12:29, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I've been thinking that maybe the subpage listing the essays should say something along those lines. That while others may edit an essay, don't change the viewpoint of an essay too much - if you want a very different POV, just write a different essay. Why don't you come up the actual words to some such effect and add them to the second paragraph of the main essay page? WAS 4.250 18:26, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
In the event we end up with two or more essays which are at odds with each other, a useful method to deal with that would be to craft a dialogue that employed synthetic dramaturgy to compare and contrast the dissimilar views. —Moulton 05:10, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I think it is inevitable that we will have a variety of viewpoints. If you wish to write an essay whose viewpoint is a dialogue that employs a synthetic dramaturgy to compare and contrast other views then that is simply one more viewpoint; neither more nor less valid than other viewpoints as far as representation on the project is concerned. What will make one essay more valid than another will be in its contents as decided by the mind of the reader. So be convincing. Original research is allowed here. WAS 4.250 05:37, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Pssst![edit]

Hi WAS. I'm looking through WP for recruits now that the buzzards have found other dead horses to eat. Be careful to assume good faith, please... the folks I'm likely to invite are very much of the mellow sort :-). --SB_Johnny | talk 14:38, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Wonderful! WAS 4.250 01:18, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

An Idea...[edit]

Since you don't have or use E-Mail, we lack a way to exchange private messages. From time to time this a problem, as I have no way to communicate with you via a secure channel.

I have an idea how we can do this, without the need for you to have or use an E-Mail address.

We can communicate privately on my derelict Motet forum, The Blooming Lotus.

Normally, when one registers for an account there, one provides an E-Mail address. The Motet software generates a random password and sends it to that address. Obviously that won't work in this case.

But since I have custody of the Motet forum server and am the only Admin on it, I can manually create accounts and change passwords.

So here is my proposal...

You go to The Blooming Lotus site and click on New User Registration. Instead of giving your name and E-Mail in the usual way, do this:

Put whatever you like in for First and Last Name.
Put in whatever you like for a UserID. (Lower case alphabetics, no spaces or special characters.)
Put in my E-Mail address so that I will receive the notification of your automatically generated password. (Do you know my E-Mail address?)
In the box for "Code" where you normally put in a password reminder phrase, put in the secret password you want. I will be able to read whatever you write in the "Code" box.

I will then manually replace the automatically generated password with the one you specify in the "Code" box.

Voila. You will have a posting account on Blooming Lotus where I can set up a private forum for just the two of us. No one else will have access. There, you can post private messages to me in a very easy-to-use and secure forum.

Does that work for you?

Moulton 19:38, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I have zero interest in private communications on the web. Say it in public or not at all works well for me. WAS 4.250 19:45, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
The idea, the affordance, and the opportunity stands, should you ever find the need for it. In the meantime, there will be some messages that neither of us can communicate to the other without invalidating the utility of message. So be it. —Moulton 20:00, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the opportunity. The choice to go left avails one of opportunities to the left and forgoes those to the right. I am happy with foregoing the opportunities afforded by private messaging. But thanks anyway. WAS 4.250 20:26, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Should these Wikimedia meeting points ever go dark for either of us, you now have an emergency backup option. —Moulton 23:19, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for that. Also, please note that you can always go to a library and leave a message on my user talk page. Banned people I talk to have done that at rare times and no one goes ape over it. Even if deleted, I can read it in the history and respond. Oversight rules would not cover oversighting a banned user's edit unless it outed someone or was libel. Most people at WikiMedia are very practical. I do not foresee me getting banned, and if I did, I would promise not to do it again (even if I did not do it in the first place) and would be unbanned. It is the practical thing to do. There are more creative and interesting ways to respond than to get into the bowels of Wikipedia resolution processes (which, when I'm in a bad mood, seem mainly to serve to keep game players too busy to screw with articles). If you plan to act in ways that will get you banned, leave me out of any such plans. I think that would be childish. WAS 4.250 08:54, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually I can pull down a fresh Verizon DSL IP address anytime I want, and I have an idle DSL router on my LAN that I can use for that purpose without disturbing any of my existing IPs. I can also use VPN into MIT and pull a random IP from that pool, too. So I have no shortage of IP addresses if I ever need a random one. —Moulton 00:42, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
"Go to a library" was not meant literally; I am aware of your technical background and university resources. WAS 4.250 07:03, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

That brings up an interesting point. I've used metaphors and had people take them literally. And I've interpreted metaphors (like Urim and Thummim) which other scholars either took literally or idiotically. Even worse, I've had people read scientific predictions (from a scientific model) as if they were political threats. It's strange when a scientist is treated as if they were some kind of god able to control the laws of nature. Politicized cultures are crazy-making cultures. —Moulton 04:36, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

I laughed out loud at "idiotically" and "political threats". As for "crazy-making cultures"; well, it may sound like I'm making a joke; but in all seriousness, I've studied algorithms for intelligence for a lifetime (and wrote some in assembly code) and I have concluded (among other things) that all intelligence is necessarily "insane" in that perception involves throwing away 99.99% of the data, looking for data that is relevant to one's known data needs, resulting in behavior that appears insane when you know what data should be looked for that is being overlooked. Multiple independent minds, openness to new ideas, and tolerance for differences is the solution to this. WAS 4.250 01:40, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
It's common to look for evidence that confirms one's sacred beliefs while ignoring pesky evidence that refutes one's beliefs. It takes a certain amount of discipline to be a scientist, examining all evidence, pro and con, and being especially skeptical of one's own pet theories. Like Socrates, I tend to be an annoying gadfly when it comes to rigorously examining all evidence, pro and con (and occasionally finding it necessary to speak the scientific truth to corrupt political power). I can report that I have overwhelming evidence that the self-deluded political powers-that-be don't care for that practice on my part. No they don't. Not one bit. —Moulton 02:05, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree entirely. But pay attention to this: Even when one wishes to "examine all evidence", one throws away data that is believed not relevant - I ignore the phase of the moon and other astronomical phenomenon when balancing my checkbook - but someone who believes in astrology may not. It is impossible to not throw away most the data most the time. WAS 4.250 02:13, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Of course what's interesting is the liminal data that lurks just below radar, the next significant datum slated to come to light. This is the other definition of information: the difference that makes a difference. One way to tell that some data is significant is that some hysterical power broker is anxious to suppress or delete it, and to silence those who provide it. —Moulton 04:09, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Information theory says that the amount/value of information in a message depends on the probability of its contents. Telling me what I already know is telling me nothing. Trustworthy data that a certain number is a losing lottery bet is one thing, that a certain number has won is another, and that a certain number will win is indeed yet another matter. And those who would seek to influence what others know or don't know would do well to heed the lessons of w:The Purloined Letter. WAS 4.250 04:40, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
When I was quite young and metaphorically challenged, adults would say things like, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." I would file away these cryptic non sequitirs until I could figure out how to decode their meaning. It occurs to me that if you lead a horse to water, but then withhold the water, the horse will develop a thirst for that which is just tantalizingly out of reach. —Moulton 05:46, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Is Cary Bass acting in bad faith?[edit]

WAS, what do you make of this? Is Cary acting in bad faith? —Moulton 04:42, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

He appears to be acting as if BADSITES were a Foundation policy. Is he overstepping his authority? Perhaps we need to ask the Foundation Board members. I'll ask the chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees here. WAS 4.250 11:59, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
He's not acting in any way other than as a user voicing an opinion. Again, I misinterpreted a strong statement of opinion as an imperative statement, and I'm sorry about that. Guys, please stop pushing people's buttons, because all of Wikiversity is going to feel the hammer if your actions bring it down. --SB_Johnny talk 12:14, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd be thrilled to stop pushing people's buttons. But first people have to disclose where their buttons are hiding beneath their cloaks of invisibility. —Moulton 12:23, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Cary badly over-reacted in the Duova incident also. WAS 4.250 13:14, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
http://underground.musenet.org:8080/bkort/bedford/globe.html WAS 4.250 13:26, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Ayup. I wrote a comic opera about that one, too. —Moulton 18:30, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Glad you joined[edit]

I am happy to see your participation at the new project. I want to assure you that it is not intended to be a fight, rather a rational and academic analysis of an example of conflict and proposed methods of resolution and , ultimately, prevention. Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 17:38, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Wonderful. Please let me know if there is anything specific you think I can do to help. WAS 4.250 17:54, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

I would like to ask you a number of questions if that is alright:

  1. Are you a custodian
  2. How can we increase the number of participants in the project?
  3. How do we avoid conflict within the project itself?
  4. Do you think a portal could be created in relation to the project? At the minute there are policies which are official, up for vote, proposed etc. The whole system is a mess (IMHO). The portal would contain learning projects in which participants could study the community and decipher whether or not certain problems exist and, if they do, how they can be combatted. I think a studious approach to policy and procedure is better than someone (and I have been guilty of this in the past) just proposing a policy on a whim. We could analysis existance of a problem, decide (on the results) if it needs a policy and/or a procedure, write a policy and/or procedure (based on the results), present it to the community and have a vote. Obviously, such projects would require the participation of several members of the community, especially the custodians, who have a huge combined experience here. It would obviously need to follow the scientific method if it is to be widely accepted. This is not a policy proposal, just a learning project as an experiment. Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 19:22, 20 August 2008 (UTC)


  1. I am not a custodian and do not wish to be one.
  2. One can try to increase the number of participants in the project by telling others about it.
  3. We can try to minimize conflict within the project by allowing everyone to have their say, with no one alloowed to delete others' opinions.
  4. A portal could be created in relation to the project.

WAS 4.250 20:08, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Brief, but helpful Donek (talk) - Go raibh mile maith agaibh 20:32, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Welcome![edit]

Does your welcome warning to me apply as well to Moulton, who is "completely changing the meaning" of my section six - using it to debate what a disruptive user is, rather than discussing what should be done to get rid of disruptive users. Plese tell him to stop "completely changing the meaning," of my section. Salmon of Doubt 17:41, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

You are right. Moulton has no right to change the meaning of the section that is representing your point of view. I will tell him so. Feel free to revert anyone who changes the meaning of any section you add that is representing your point of view. WAS 4.250 18:41, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

With respect to your question[edit]

With respect to your question asked here, my answer is here. My version was a compromise. I understand that it is Moulton's MO to get compromises, then push farther. Since my preferred version is vastly different than the existing version, I am unwilling to compromise further. You told me not to edit other people's "educational resources." I did not do so. They are now editing mine. I will commence editing theirs. Salmon of Doubt 23:42, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Now comes the whiner of our discontent. —Moulton 05:47, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Moulton, you are also troublesome to deal with, so you got no room to talk. WAS 4.250 05:57, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Uffda. —Moulton 06:54, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you would like to create your own WikiVersity Project at http://en.wikiversity.org/w/index.php?title=Moulton&action=edit WAS 4.250 05:43, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Are you saying that your initial statements, telling me to create my own sections was incorrect? That actually, people OWN the pages they create, and that I should go ahead and colonize a lot of pages? That would work, I guess. Salmon of Doubt 10:53, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, if you can modify someone elses words without getting into a revert war then do so; else if you can create sections on a page someone else created without causing edit wars then do so; else if you can add new pages without the creator of the project saying you are creating resources not covered in that project's area then do so; else if you can create a Wikiversity project within the goals of Wikiversity then do so. The point is that Wikiversity allows you to do original research and present your own point of view. It is a waste of time to get into revert wars. So do what works. WAS 4.250 14:16, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
It takes two to edit war. Pursuant to your earlier request, I claim all sections started by me in pages that are substantively edited by multiple people as mine, and will ruthlessly revert war to retain them. I claim all pages started by me that are not substantively edited by other people to be mine in perpetuity and will ruthlessly revert war to retain them. I grant all other editors the right to do as well. Problem solved! Salmon of Doubt 15:04, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Am I to understand that you are propounding the principle of ownership of a Wiki page (or a section of a Wiki page), along with the notion that you have an unalienable right to ruthlessly revert any and all edits not to your liking, in perpetuity? Have I fairly understood and restated your position here? —Moulton 15:34, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Not "Wiki page"; but a page that is part of this specific project. I fully support Salmon of Doubt on this. Also see User talk:Hillgentleman#edit war solution. Also note that if Salmon of Doubt reverts other content while maintaining a section, his section might be kicked off that page - so either make sure you are only changing content in your section, Salmon of Doubt, or else just move that section to its own page. WAS 4.250 15:54, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
How do you propose to enforce that, WAS, if Salmon of Doubt is prepared to revert ruthlessly, l'olam va-ed? —Moulton 16:40, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
The custodians here do enforcement, not me. I'm organizing and coordinating. And babysitting lately. Grow up guys. WAS 4.250 16:55, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
The custodians are unlikely to drop the Hammurabic Banhammer on anyone, or otherwise engage in Machiavellian Machinations, because such enforcement regimes are well-known to be iatrogenic — ineffective at best and counter-productive at worst. That's why we have initiated a research project to discover ethical best practices to supplant the iatrogenic and dysfunctional practices that have turned Wikipedia into a toxic waste dump. Moulton 17:52, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Speaking of metastasis, it occurs to me that with three different versions of the Case Studies subpage, we need a Content Management System (CMS) here. In addition to the original Case Studies, we now have Case Studies alt and Case Studies2, each presenting a variant model of reality. How many different models of reality are there in these alternate unrealities? More to the point, how may we apply the Tools of Epistemology to distinguish the Ground Truth from Haphazard Flights of Fancy and Cloud Cuckoo Land? —Moulton 13:13, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
You do realize that we would just wind up with multiple Content Management Systems if there is any editorializing or assessment making in the Content Management System? How many different models of reality are there? As many as people care to add that fit within the project's scope. Any attempt at creating learning resources that are obvious parodies of other learning resource or any such thing would be outside the scope of this project and would need to be in a new project - something like a "Criticism of the Ethical Project Project". You and Salmon of Doubt could each create your own; be off and running your own little personal Arbcase-like place to present your opinion on the world destroying behavior of your chosen nemesis. By the way, Case Studies alt redirects to Case Studies2 so they do not each present a "variant model of reality". Do try to get your facts straight. WAS 4.250 14:16, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
I would be happy to go with Joomla, or whatever CMS our resident expert recommends. That might be a functional way to keep the versions straight. —Moulton 17:52, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
WAS, See my reply here. I recommend the {{disclosure}} template:disclosure Hillgentleman|Talk 16:41, 24 August 2008 (UTC)