Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Abd 2

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Abd (talk • email • contribs • stats • logs • global account)[edit]

See previous nomination and discussion at Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Abd

I'm enthusiastic about Wikiversity and prospects for it to become a very important part of the WMF family, supplementing and enhancing Wikipedia with deep educational resources, interactive learning, etc. I'm using it actively to develop a topic of high interest to me, expect to bring many new users to Wikiversity through AERO and other academic and scientific connections, and have continued helping with other resources, making sure that new users are truly welcomed. (I'm not big on welcome templates, but will personally help a new user who runs into difficulties.)

I consider it incumbent on myself, then, to help with routine cleanup and custodial tasks.

My previous custodianship was afflicted with controversy because, to my chagrin, I found it necessary to warn my mentor regarding what I considered blatant incivility, and I backed this, when there was utter disregard of the warning, and repetition of the incivility, with a 2-hour block. My mentor pulled the plug on my custodianship, not surprisingly, though this was out-of-process (By policy, I should have been allowed a period of time to find a new mentor if he withdrew). Nevertheless, I did not contest the desysopping. The community, out-of-process as well, decided to consider my candidacy anyway, which, given all the controversy, failed.

The custodian in question, my former mentor, lost his sysop tools as a result of a later community discussion, over similar issues as covered by my warning.

There is coverage and a little discussion of my prior sysop actions at User talk:Abd/Custodian actions.

While my noncustodial work has often been controversial, few of my custodian actions were, and there wasn't any complaint until the incident with my mentor. I'm been working on guidelines regarding custodial recusal, and did not and would not wheel-war; I understand that I may, if not personally involved in some conflict-of-interest way, take original actions according to my perception of the welfare of the wiki, in expectation of consensus support, but this does not extend to carrying on a tug-of-war with other custodians, and I would generally recuse upon any reasonable request (as will be described in the guidelines, if that can be completed), and take any issues of importance to the community (if not handled by another custodian). The rules I've been proposing do allow emergency action even when there is an appearance of involvement, but only with prompt notice and consultation.

Jtneill, last month, kindly offered to mentor me, but I was traveling and haven't gotten to this until now. Thanks for the opportunity to serve. --Abd 04:13, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Questions for the Candidate[edit]

  • "Wiki common law -- and all common law -- allows executives discretion." <-- Is it your intention to function as an "executive" or as a custodian who cleans up vandalism and performs other boring and uncontroversial tasks as directed by the Wikiversity community? --JWSchmidt 14:05, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, JWS. My answers:
  • The vast bulk of my work on Wikiversity does not require admin tools. I have a tendency to become involved in controversy, for reasons I won't explain here, but my Wikipedia history would show this; I tend to raise issues where some faction or individual is acting contrary, in my considered opinion, to what would be consensus if there is a full and informed discussion. I don't raise issues in depth where I don't expect this. I can be wrong, I'm sure, but apparently, from prior history, not usually. It can be difficult to arrange that discussion, most people do not want to get into the gory details of a dispute, and some will attempt to shoot the messenger. Often the process of dispute resolution requires a lot of facts to be assembled, that's a process, and many people don't have the patience for it. However, if needed, I'll open Wikiversity:Community Review/Abd to cover this, and I consent to my full history being covered there, though, in the end, any recommendations coming out of such a review should only be with regard to Wikiversity behavior. Different rules apply in different contexts. (I'm not opening that review because I'm not aware of any current issues that would require it, and I don't want to waste community time, but others may differ.)
  • I would not use custodial tools unless I expect confirmation by consensus, but the proof is in the pudding. As my history shows, when a controversy over my tool use appears, I stop and proceed with caution and, in due time, consult the community. I do not consider "not getting my way" an emergency, ever. Gross incivility can be an emergency because it can drive away participants, even those not involved. There is policy on blocking and it should be followed with care. I've been blocked twice on Wikiversity, you will note how I responded, if you are interested. My response would have been identical if I'd been a custodian when blocked.
  • I sometimes see problems that could be immediately fixed if I had the tools. These are no controversial situations. Sometimes, not having the tools, I simply do nothing, because I don't have the time to file a report. Sometimes I request custodian action; generally, these requests show what I'd do with the tools, except that, sometimes, because of recusal requirements, I'd not have acted. I will present some record of my requests for review, it will be a clue as to what I'd do, prospectively. Retrospectively, there is the page I referenced which lists all of my custodial actions.
  • Any editor can clean up vandalism, custodial tools are not normally needed, except for a certain kind of vandalism that requires revision deletion.
  • That custodians act "as directed by the ... community" is a misunderstanding of wiki structure. We don't have practical decision-making processes that allow the community to make coherent decisions in time to deal with current problems. We could create them, and, indeed, that's one of my interests. Until then, we are following what I've called "wiki common law," which allows privileged users to user their tools ad-hoc, without prior direction. They may, in this, even ignore guidelines and policies, if they believe that the welfare of the community and the wiki require it. This is extremely well-established, but JWS has long argued against it. Until we have a more established executive process, we are stuck with this, and it's essential. The community, if it considers that a custodian acts foolishly, abusing this discretion, or are threatening to abuse it, neglecting warnings and reminders, has ready remedies, as we have seen. The community, indeed, has sovereignty here (generally delegated from the WikiMedia Foundation), but it cannot routinely handle executive tasks, requiring privileged tools. I'd argue that a few of the tools should be extended to non-admins, but the block and delete tools are dangerous and should only be entrusted to those who will be restrained in their use. In my opinion, they have been both over-used and under-used, in the past. And I'll explain that elsewhere, but briefly, in the rare cases where I'd use the block tool, it would be, first, to deliver a credible warning that specific, described behavior is crossing acceptable limits, secondly, to enforce that one time, if needed, to make this presumably first block short, to make sure that the user knows why the user was blocked and how to appeal and get help, and beyond that, to only use the tools with respect to that user in an emergency, which requires prompt consultation of the community. Please read the recusal policy page, I'm suggesting this as generic policy for custodians. Any custodian, including myself, who abuses "emergency" can be and should be desysopped, just for that reason. It's crucial that custodians present an appearance of neutrality and fairness, in addition to the reality of it.
  • I will be, in any mentorship period, subject to constant review of my decisions by my mentor, and I believe that a mentor has a generally unrestricted right to undo the actions of a mentee; a exception would be actions where the mentor was specifically and clearly involved, where general policy is against the action the mentor is taking, and there is no emergency requiring immediate action. The mentor has the right, by our policy, to withdraw support for the probationary custodianship and, after the lapse of a period allowed to find a replacement mentor, to request withdrawal of the sysop privileges from the custodian. I'm in favor of establishing a standing process that applies to all custodians, but detail on that will be too much for this page at this point. I certainly don't need custodian tools to work on policy and guidelines.
  • I understand the basis for some of your long-term concerns, JWS, and, you might note, I worked for the unblock of Thekohser. The case of Moulton (Caprice) was more complex, but I did what I could to put it on the table, and to avoid the conversion of his block into some kind of generic censorship; as you will recall, I provided you with copies of files that had been deleted, even when other custodians seemed opposed.
  • I do not see blocking as a tool for dispute resolution; rather, I vastly prefer channeled and focused discussion, preferably facilitated, on pages created for that purpose. It's foolish to expect two disputants to be able to resolve their differences, here, without help, when that's difficult in the real world. The process can be messy and protracted, but handling this is exactly what the skill of facilitation involves. How about we solicit participation from people who are good at this? A block represents, to some degree at least, or often, a failure, if it's long. If it's short, it imay merely be a "time out," which is often helpful in dispute resolution, and short blocks, when necessary (I know of no current circumstance that would call for one), should be designed for that purpose, never for punishment or retaliation or the assertion of personal power, which is a temptation that all custodians may face at times. It should be vigorously resisted. --Abd 20:13, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
I ask anyone concerned to review what JWS linked to (last two links), carefully. I do consider short blocks appropriate on occasion. Not as a tool for dispute resolution, no dispute is resolved through blocking, ever. It's the equivalent of a sergeant-at-arms at a meeting conducting someone outside who is being disruptive. Membership in an organization is never removed by that action, it's temporary. Possible abuse of power by Wikimedia functionaries is not something we can locally address; we can and have addressed it at meta. Your "opposition" to "abuse" is well-known, but indiscriminate and thus ineffective. For a time, JWS's "opposition to abuse" was filling this wiki with rambling, nearly incomprehensible complaints, that was the context. The second link above ("this one") was my !vote, the fourth, to block there, and was designed, if followed, to allow JWS to return quickly to editing. There were four oppose !votes at the point where I voted to support. Thus the community was evenly divided. I also made a comment in the Oppose section.
However, I'm shocked that JWS would present such cherry-picked evidence. He pointed to an obsolete revision of that CR, not to the final version. See [1]; I struck my !vote for a (temporary) block and explained why. I had first proposed a topic ban for JWS, probably with a regulating mentor (I'd have wanted him to approve the mentor, a mentor should be a supporter, not a probation officer). That was ignored, and even opposed, by some, apparently because they thought it would fail. So it's not surprising that these custodians proposed an indef block. What I've been arguing for are modest remedies, applied with civility and caution and respect. Two of the three custodians who supported the block are now gone, JWS's nemesis, Adambro, resigned, and Ottava was desysopped. Both of them had, in my view, harassed JWS.
My detailed review of the situation with JWS and the specific topic ban proposal is at [2]. I was a custodian at this time, but, you'll note: no hint of threat that I'd use tools with JWS. If someone wants to study my qualifications, it's all visible there.
JWS appears to hold a view that blocking a "scholar" is never appropriate. Wikiversity is highly averse to blocking, and I'm aligned with that. My view, however, is not so extreme as to exclude all blocking under all conditions. If we don't want custodians to block, we should arrange the privileges that way, and we could. But I'd oppose it, even though we have one or more custodians who may, my opinion, lean a bit too quickly on the block button. It's simply not enough of a problem at this point, and errors can be fixed. Block policy should be clarified, and Recusal policy is part of this. Hey, check my block log and how I responded to being blocked! Blocked by Ottava Blocked by Darklama.
I do recommend reading my Talk page comments, they explain a great deal of my philosophy on blocking. I eat my own dog food.
As well, see my log of block actions. Those actions are explained on the page I created, cited above, to review all my custodian actions, but if there are any specific questions, this would be a place to ask them. --Abd 23:15, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Abd, you say that you "consider short blocks appropriate on occasion", but in the first example I linked to above, you suggested an indefinite block, and did so without making reference to any Wikiversity policy that justified a block, which amounts to you calling for an unjustified block, which is a serious violation of Wikiversity policy. In the second example, you also joined in to support Adambro's unjustified call that I be indefinitely blocked from editing. Now, when you want to be given "executive" powers, you claim that sometimes a short block is useful, but given your history of violating the Wikiversity civility policy (by calling for unjustified indefinite blocks) why should you be trusted with Custodial tools? You've also stated your intention to ignore the Wikiversity policy on Custodianship which was designed to limit abuse of power by Custodians...I stand firmly against anyone who adopts the attitude that Custodians can do anything that they think they can get away with. Abd, as you say, my efforts against abuse of Custodial power might by ineffective, but I've consistently used my best judgment to prevent policy violators and other questionable candidates from becoming Custodians. You might not be in the same class as others who have disrupted Wikiversity, but given your record, why should anyone trust you with the tools? Just because we can name others who are even less qualified? --JWSchmidt 01:16, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Suit yourself, John, but from my point of view you have simply opposed all candidates for custodianship who have dared to express any opinions on the issues you are concerned with. We are now looking at probationary custodianship, not full custodianship, and if my mentor wants to restrict my powers -- or if the community does -- they can. You do not represent community consensus, JWS, and my positions, even controversial ones, have been confirmed time and time again, when I took them through consensus process. If the community wants to limit custodial blocking powers, it can. You may or may not be able to prevent me from being trusted with the tools, but I'm not concerned, because I don't need the tools for myself. Has it occurred to you that what I wrote above might be sincere? It is not a violation of civility policy to suggest, for community discussion, review of a user's behavior. Was any part of that uncivil? What part? To point to your edits? To point to your incivility, and you were, indeed, uncivil. You saw what I did with the tools when I had them. Whom did I improperly block?
No, John, as you've been doing for a long time, you are shooting yourself in the foot.
You are repeating arguments about me that are the same arguments you have made about others, that you have been raising for a long time, and the community doesn't accept your positions, indeed, it obviously rejects them. (There are parts of what you say that are accepted, or would be accepted, but you mix them so thoroughly with your own emotional reactions to what happened years ago that it doesn't happen.) I objected to some of the same things that you objected to, but there is a difference: I did something about it, and I got the job done.
The open community, the freedom from censorship, the community of scholars, that you want, is what I want. Enough. I've discussed this with you many times and I've found you impenetrable. There was once a point where you'd have been a 'crat if you merely accepted it. You lost your tools because you didn't know how to negotiate conflict with overall WMF management, but you could easily have had them back. Instead, you prefer to stand aside, powerless except to complain about others who are willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in. Your choice. You have misrepresented my actions above, for I will not ignore policy except as any sane custodian would when policy prevents necessary action, and custodian policy can and should cover how to handle that (it should always be reviewed, my opinion, if anyone complains, and policy modified if that's appropriate, or the custodian corrected).
I believe this is my final response to JWS on this. If anyone else has questions, please, this will probably remain open for some time, because Jtneill is on wikibreak.
This discussion, at this point, is largely dicta. I have an agreed mentor, unless he decides to withdraw. Policy doesn't provide for a community discussion now. (However, I'm willing to allow it if the community wants it; there is a reason to avoid this, but .... maybe some important issues will come forward.) If there are serious community concerns about my probationary custodianship, specific restrictions could be set to avoid conflict and inspire trust. But it would only be for reassurance, I highly doubt that my use of the block tool, JWS's apparent concern, would be controversial. If you look at my record, what may have been controversial was unblocking, not blocking, with one exception. (One block, for example, was of Ethical Accountability, and that was an agreed-upon and negotiated step toward the unblocking of Thekohser, in a manner that would reflect community consensus, as happened. The block was necessary to satisfy certain elements of the community ad interim, the goal was unblock, or, more accurately, a demonstration of responsibility on the part of the user, and proof of an ability to self-restrain and cooperate, so that the community had something to consider in lifting the ban. If Moulton had been able to cooperate in that way, he'd have been unblocked sooner. However, all's well that ends well, eh?)
The exception was my two-hour block of Ottava. Boy, that was complicated! However, this was reviewed by Jtneill, see my page covering custodian actions, cited in my candidacy statement. The block was within policy. Jtneill noted that he might not have done the same, but later events showed just how deep the problem was, it was ultimately necessary to desysop, and consensus for that was obtained, and Jtneill's own efforts to restrain the user were spurned. If Ottava continues with his incivility, it could conceivably become necessary to review that again, but my preference is strongly to give him time to recover, I'm sure that was traumatic, and he's a long-term contributor, worthy of our patience (as is JWS). In any case, I would certainly not be the one to decide. Recusal policy, after all. Ottava has claimed, as I recall, that we don't have a recusal policy, when it was his actions being questioned, and he's correct. We should; but, in any case, I have a recusal policy, because I don't want to be King. --Abd 02:08, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Why do you think such hostility is appropriate of a response to questions when you are seeking a position based on community trust? Ottava Rima (talk) 02:11, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
What hostility? Probationary custodianship does not require "community trust," it requires the trust of a mentor, who must be someone trusted by the community. I.e., a custodian. Wikiversity is very special this way, and it's a great feature. Okay, that's Ottava, who is welcome at any time to review the situation and recognize what actually happened. Anyone else? --Abd 02:32, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Nothing can override community consensus. After all, you claimed I abused ops by pointing out things that were not part of policy. It seems that your self serving hypocrisy exists merely to undermine this community. Your attitude above is outright nasty and incivil, and your attacks on Moulton here and on WR are completely unbecoming of anything that can be called scholarly. When multiple people said that Moulton had a strong background and supported him, you continued your crusade. Not one person has sided with you on Cold Fusion yet you constantly attack all others. That is poisonous and inappropriate for this community. Ottava Rima (talk) 04:05, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Abd, you say, If the community wants to limit custodial blocking powers, it can, but the fact is this community has limited custodial blocking powers. Your stated intention to ignore those explicit limits makes you unfit for Custodianship. Abd, you ask, Has it occurred to you that what I wrote above might be sincere? <-- I judge you by your actions and in particular I've stated the fact that your past violations of Wikiversity policy make me question why anyone would give you access to custodial tools. Personally, I'm sickened by people who disrupt this scholarly learning community with their abuses of power. I don't question your sincerity, I simply fear your declared intention to abuse Custodial power. As a Wikiversity community member, I must express my dismay at the possibility that you could be added to the already too-long-list of abusive functionaries who have brought this learning community so low. --JWSchmidt 04:59, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • How is community consensus applied to solving difficult matters under discussion (i.e. the definition of consensus)? How does one interpret consensus?
Because of problems with participation bias, "consensus", which might begin somewhere around two-thirds approval of some position, is used for decision-making, but, in fact, on a wiki, decisions are always actually made by an "executive," someone who has the power to actually implement the decision. The executive interprets consensus, but, generally, an executive is never bound to decide against his or her own considered opinion. In theory on Wikipedia, an executive may ignore the proportion of !votes in a poll and instead decide on the basis of evidence and cogency of argument. It's not common on Wikipedia, but the theory there would be that it should always be done on the basis of evidence and argument. The systems are not mature. I can take this question as a general one or as specific, applying under current conditions, so to turn to the immediate and specific, I understand consensus to represent some proportion of those who are informed on a topic and express an opinion, that starts somewhere above a majority. In the matters I've mentioned, it was about 3/4. That's "poll" consensus. There is another form of consensus on a wiki, which is what remains stable while exposed to editing, and this often applies to policy pages.
Technically, an admin who "ignores the majority of !votes" is not necesarily "ignoring community consensus," unless a truly large percentage of the community participated. The admin is probably asserting that there is participation bias, and expects that the action will be confirmed if reviewed, and I've seen this happen on Wikipedia. I would never act in contradiction to poll results if I did not believe strongly that the community, with careful review, would not support my decision. We are looking at unusual circumstances, it should be realized, I'm describing the envelope, not the normal behavior.
What is sometimes overlooked is that this is a wiki, every decision can be reversed. Errors are only a problem if they are concealed, or, more often, if aggrieved persons don't have access to community review, if the problems escape attention. Bad blocks are the most serious problem with new users; one of the triggers for the recent desysopping was an excessively harsh block of a newbie. Experienced users, we expect, should be able to tolerate a little restriction-in-error. I know that I can. A block is not an insult, unless it is accompanied by insults.
Personally, I prefer the term "supermajority" to refer to ratios well in excess of 50%, and would leave "consensus" to either complete agreement or something close to it, and I believe that wikis are well-served by seeking absolute consensus, by attempting to approach it as closely as possible. This, however, can require a lot of discussion, so I look for means to allow the deep discussion to take place in small groups. Finding consensus on a difficult topic with a large group, including some who just pop in to offer uninformed opinions, is a classic Bad Idea. It almost never works. So, long term, I'll work toward more efficient and more effective systems. It can be done.
  • How do you plan on using custodian powers to carry out the will of the community? If, say you block someone who is not a clear-cut vandal, what actions do you plan to take?
Custodians are servants of the community, but not "directed servants," they are, rather, free executives who offer to serve the community. (We are all "executives" over content, sysops have just a little more technical ability.) I would never block someone just because "the community" tells me to, and, in fact, would consider that a kind of "wiki war crime." I'm responsible for what I do. On the other hand, if the the community supports a block, I would not unblock. Essentially, where consensus is known, I would not use tools in contradiction of it. If the community consensus deviated radically from my own position, consistently, I'd resign, not defy consensus, forcing the community to take action to desysop me. If I block someone who is not a clear vandal -- hey, it happened, and it's been reviewed, so why are you asking the question? There are other causes for blocks; generally it requires repetition of a disruptive action after warning. Common causes (rare here but common on Wikipedia, because our structure doesn't set up intrinsic conflict the way Wikipedia's does) would be revert warring and incivility. I would not block someone for a lower-level offense ("tendentious editing," perhaps) without community support, I'd think, in which case the decision would not really be mine alone, it would merely be that I'd be an executive of it, agreeing with the consensus and enacting it. I then would become a default "mentor" for that user, seeking to negotiate a return to collaborative work, because (contrary to some opinion I've seen), a blocking admin is a "supervisor" of the block, not merely a robot implementing a community decision. What the admin can do, the admin can undo. I got my first block on Wikipedia because I asserted this position to an admin there, who was stressed at that time and thought I was making demands of him -- and I was probably too pushy, but I'd just seen some serious injustice done. He ended up being a good friend, got elected to ArbComm, is a scientist, supported my work on Cold fusion, and retired from Wikipedia, all in short order. (No, he's not the one who gave me the money.)
Take a look at my stricken vote to block JWS, and the other comments I made there, you can see how I think about blocking. You would really have to work hard to see an indef block from me, and, in fact, you'd never get there, almost certainly, because long before then I'd be recused. I suppose I might, some day, close a community discussion clearly calling, by supermajority and cogent arguments, for an indef block, if I were previously uninvolved. This is a rare necessity at Wikiversity, and I'm not sure I've seen a case where I agreed with existing blocks, other than as temporary measures.
Wikipedia painted itself into a box by grilling admin candidates and requiring them, in practice, to be free of controversy. Then, once they are admins, it's extraordinarily difficult to remove them. It's easy to game. It should be far easier to become an admin on Wikipedia, and far easier to lose the bit, so Wikipedia has many abusive admins, and no practical process to address the situation, ArbComm is way, way too inefficient, and tends to shoot the messenger. People figure that out!
This discussion is amusing, because, if you look at my history and philosophy, I am very unlikely to make a controversial block, far more likely to make a controversial unblock. Or I'd have said that at one time. Now, who's left to unblock and who is left to block controversially? I only knew of two controversial bans/blocks here. I managed to set up conditions for the first (Thekohser) to be lifted, and I tried with the second (Moulton/Caprice), and would have succeeded except it was pretty clear he wasn't willing to agree to reasonable conditions for temporary behavior as part of the unblock process. He was unblocked anyway, unconditionally, by Ottava as one of his last custodial actions, which was fine with me, though not without hazards. My goal was allowing positive contributions from this user, not trying to control him, per se. He's making positive contributions sufficient in value to outweigh any "acting up." --Abd 08:11, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
One more take on the question. If I block a user, other than a blatant vandal, I consider it an obligation to provide (1) a clear explanation for the block, which serves two purposes: it allows the user to understand the reason for the block, and it allows a reviewing admin to see the reasons, it should be sufficient for review without my further participation. It's bad enough to be blocked, but when the blocking admin then argues against unblock, it's worse. It can intensify the perception that the admin is biased. (2) An explanation of how to request unblock through an unblock template. (3) Generally, an offer to unblock immediately if the user agrees to avoid the behavior that caused the block, or, at least, to avoid it pending discussion. Normally, the user would have been warned before blocking, I'd skip that only in a case of massive damage that was ongoing, like a flood of edits to lots of pages, disruptive, spamming, etc. I've only seen that from IP, here.
I consider it essential for a blocking admin to be rigorously polite and civil. If he or she is furious, absent emergency, they shouldn't touch that block button. If it's an emergency, no explanation would be better than an uncivil explanation. The Wikipedia community has gotten stuck in this "AGF is not a suicide pact" trope. AGF and block! The block, if short, stops damage, except for damage to the user's personal freedom. Because of AGF, the block can be explained as necessary for the protection of the wiki against what must be, of course, "inadvertent improper action" on the part of the user. "Let's discuss how you can properly do what you want to do!" And if he swears at me anyway, "I apologize for the inconvenience, I understand why you might be upset, and here are the instructions for getting an unblock consideration, and here is pointer to a page about how to put up a successful unblock request." I.e., don't attack the blocking admin, etc.... But I wouldn't say that to him, I'd let him find it for himself. "Good luck, and my own slogan has been 'if you've never been blocked, you aren't trying hard enough to improve the project. Thank you for trying. I hope we can meet under better circumstances."
And I've just made a nice connection with a banned editor from Wikipedia. He was banned before I was there, but I tangled with several sock puppets of his. I did, in fact, arrange for one or two IDs and blocks of his socks. We later found some common interests. Frankly, people are far more important to me than POVs and the MMPORG of win/lose on Wikipedia. Or here, for that matter. Wikipedia has territories to fight over, but it desperately needs real consensus process. It's much safer here, and I wish that JWS would realize that. Jimbo is not going to descend from the heavens again, wielding the banhammer. That's over. We won. And, in fact, he won too. It's not a zero-sum game. --Abd 08:11, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Discovery Learning is most definitely not a zero-sum game. My holy grail for Competitive or Collaborative Discovery Learning is Simultaneous Epiphanies. They are rare, but I've either observed them in others or experienced them myself a modest number of times in the past 30 years. —Caprice 11:20, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Arbitrary section breakage[edit]
  • Could you explain, very briefly, why you're interested in custodianship in general, and in particular why you made this request at this particular time (since, as noted, Jtniell is on wikibreak)? --SB_Johnny talk 16:34, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I made the request at this time because I'd been intended to do it for a month, and finally got around to it. I only noticed that Jtneill was on wikibreak after filing this. So it can sit, or someone else can offer to help with mentoring.
  • There is the reason I gave, to help Wikiversity with the routine stuff. But there is, in fact, another reason, I've realized. I was intending, last June, to bring in a host of people I'd met from AERO, they were interested, and I've been looking at similar things with other organizations. I put that off because I realized that Wikiversity wasn't necessarily safe, I was seeing occasional blocking or speedy deleting that was questionable. As a custodian I could more directly help with that. It's not crucial, because I can do about the same thing without the tools, and part of the problem may have been resolved. But it would be more reassuring to newbies that a custodian takes an interest in helping them. Conflicts would still have to be resolved by discussion. --Abd 17:35, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • The notion that conflicts are resolved by discussion is not particularly well-supported by the evidence. —Caprice 17:41, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • It's like Cold fusion, "The evidence," i.e., common experience, conventional "wisdom," has only been gathered outside of the conditions of high confinement, i.e., ordered, facilitated process. This is what people skilled with dispute resolution use, and, these people, and those who have worked with them or have parallel experience, understand what those without the experience don't. Those without the experience think it preposterous. After all, they think, "they" -- the other side -- will never agree to any sane consensus, so it would be a waste of time to try discussion with "them." I know the processes, but I'm not a "neutral facilitator," and it's important that someone seen as such participate. The goal of facilitation, long term, is not "decision," it's "consensus." Consensus can do whatever it wants, it's self-implementing. -Abd 22:15, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I have no idea what the above paragraph is saying, but I imagine (by means of Abductive Inference) that whatever it means, you sincerely believe that. —Caprice 19:37, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your AGF, Caprice. I'm not going to try to explain it here, I already wrote too much. --Abd 00:07, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Do you think your status as a custodian will make Wikiversity "safer" for everybody, or just for the people you're inviting? I'm actually going through a similar dilemma (deciding whether to ask people to take part in a project here on these servers), but I don't think I personally can make it "safe". --SB_Johnny talk 19:15, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
On the same theme, I had 5 people that were to work on things during this fall but I stopped all related matters primarily because of Abd's hostile approach as demonstrated on this page and in relationship to Moulton. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:20, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Ottava, did you ask them to look at Cold fusion, where a strong and rather abstruse academic debate is taking place? If so, why? That's going to be very difficult for anyone to understand at this point, unless they want to put in a lot of time or already have a lot of knowledge. Ultimately, it will all become clear, one way or another. Hostility on "this page"? You mean this candidacy page? I've asked before, "What hostility?" I don't see Moulton complaining! Finally, someone is taking him seriously, is what I expect would be his position, more or less. Even writing atrocious song parodies with him. But he can certainly speak for himself, falsify the null hypothesis, or confirm it. Some of the debate spilled out, but that wasn't my doing. We aren't debating with each other here, AFAIK.--Abd 00:07, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't be so cruel as to send anyone to try to digest (let alone make sense of) the material here on Cold fusion. The main reason I bother at all is because part of my research is to study the learning process in general (and science education in particular), with a special interest in how misconceptions in the course of learning generate predictable affective emotional states. —Caprice 01:09, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm confused as to why Abd would think I would send 5 Professors of Literature to look at Cold fusion nonsense when we have very little going on in terms of core topics including Literature. Ottava Rima (talk) 02:34, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
  • About the only reason I can think of would be to take a look at an eye-glazing example of post-modern pseudo-science jibberish in the style of the Sokal hoax, where someone strings together a superficially impressive word-salad of largely meaningless technical jargon. —Caprice 04:24, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
SBJ, my goal has been to make Wikiversity safe for everyone, and I think I could prove that with my history. You are correct, you can't do it by yourself, nor can I, but I've come to hope that this community can do it, if people, including your good self, lead the way, as you have, to a degree. Isn't this exactly what we've been doing over the last few months? --Abd 00:07, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Abd, I don't doubt your intentions, and I'm glad you're one of my "wikicolleagues" here at Wikiversity. My main concern with you is that you tend to see complicated solutions to simple problems (e.g.: "banned" editors self reverting and being reviewed, userspace noticeboards, etc.). I've made my feelings clear on the tl;dr thing elsewhere, but when it comes to being a custodian I do think simplicity (and brevity as a part of simplicity) are important virtues, and frankly I'm just not confident that you will use your buttons and position in a neutral, "git 'r dunn" way.
I'm not sure you could say something to change my mind about that (since I've come to that opinion after watching you in action for a time), but I want my concerns to be clearly understood. --SB_Johnny talk 00:43, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Your hostile approach has done the opposite and poisoned the atmosphere. It is one reason why actual academics are so hesitant to enter sites like this filled with amateurs. Ottava Rima (talk) 02:34, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Surly? You must be joking, Mr. Rima. Why Abd is one of the most amiable, affable, and congenial chaps I've ever met on the English Wikipedia. —Moulton (talk) 20:06, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I can't tell if you are joking, mostly because I know the amount of hostility many have shown towards you in general. Ottava Rima (talk) 03:21, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Issues raised by Enric Naval[edit]
  • (question from a wikipedia editor that had past conflicts with the candidate) Here you pointed Moulton to an off-wiki analysis of your banning in wikipedia, which includes a detailed analysis of every editor you interacted with (still in construction). I think that this sort of list prevents the existence of an atmosphere of collaborative editing. Admins are supposed to have exemplar behaviour, and this sets a very bad example. People will abandon or refuse to start editing the project if they know that having disagreements with an admin can make them appear in that sort of list. It allows you to comment on other editors without having to follow Wikiversity practices. So: do you agree that this list could affect negatively your interactions with other editors and damage wikiversity? will you be keeping that list even if you are named admin? If you have a conflict in wikiversity, will you be making a similar list, making pages-long analyses on specific editors? If a user expresses discomfort about being in such a list, and asks you to remove all mention of him, how will you react? What if they complain about damage to their real-life reputation? --Enric Naval 18:38, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
NK is an open wiki, and the overall resource pointed to there is designed to be neutral, so that what is posted by individuals is clearly their opinion or report. Yes, I can comment elsewhere on what happens here or on Wikipedia. There are comments now appearing on Wikipedia Review about me, from someone who is even a 'crat here. It's irrelevant. "Having disagreements" with anyone on-wiki can lead to off-wiki discussion. That's always been true. So, I'd suggest getting over it! This is an aspect of academic freedom, that people can be criticized for what they do, rightly or wrongly. If something on netknowledge.org is improper, misleading, etc., it's a wiki! However, on Wikipedia, factions were able to coordinate and establish bans, to prevent local discussion, it's part of the problem, in fact. It could even happen here. But it can't happen everywhere.
If a link here to an outside discussion is improper, then it can be removed. If it's bad enough, it can even be revision-deleted. However, the link above was placed by Enric. There is a page under Cold fusion where the article on Wikipedia can be studied. It specifically asks for the avoidance of study of the alleged misbehavior of individual editors on Wikipedia. That should not happen here (except under ethical guidelines that have not been written). NK may or may not be linked; if it's going to be linked, it should be in a neutral way. Notice, above, that I pointed to NK as part of my effort to discourage Moulton from criticizing WP editors here.
What is on NK.org is actually preliminary evidence being gathered for a possible ArbComm case on Wikipedia. I haven't decided whether or not to actually file the case. If, however, I make any mistakes there or unfairly criticize someone, I'd want to know, and contrary comments are quite welcome. How about addressing any actual problems instead of trying to chill disclosure and discussion, as you did on Wikipedia, Enric?
Welcome to Wikiversity! You have been reading about cold fusion for years. How about helping us out at the resource here? I did generically invite all the editors at Wikipedia to join us, but I'll repeat that specifically for you now. The top level resource, Cold fusion should be as neutral as a Wikipedia article, but we do have more flexibility about sourcing, perhaps, and we have even more flexibility with subpages. Take a look! If you see errors, fix them! If you have questions, ask them! Through the resource here, there is access to the major experts in the field, to people who know the field intimately. --Abd 19:35, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I think that he's trying to determine how you will use the revdeletion tool and how you will attempt to redact your comments if it ever goes in contravention of WP:OUTING (but again, the rules are a bit more lax and not policy here), not "chill[ing] disclosure and discussion" as you might think. TeleComNasSprVen 19:41, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
If I used revision deletion to benefit myself personally, I'd be promptly desysopped, I expect. I've argued strongly against admin abuse, on Wikipedia, and here. My recent comments on Wikipedia Review were about revision deletion on Wikipedia, used with no apparent reason ("banned editor" is not enough, by tradition); it, then, causes unnecessary suspicion to arise. Given my very strong position on recusal policy, the fear simply is not reasonable. I'd never get away with it. One admin here revision deleted his own block log, he was trout-slapped for it, promptly, and he eventually lost his sysop bit, though not directly for that. I had custodial tools for more than a month here, and no example of recusal failure has been alleged, so far, even though I was involved in some quite controversial issues. I simply didn't use my tools, I behaved as an ordinary editor, except when I was neutral. And that's how it should be. --Abd 19:52, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
To answer a specific question, no, I would not abandon that project on NK due to my custodial status here. Hierarchy of values, Enric. I benefit from Wikiversity's existence and policies, and the work that others do to maintain it. So I've offered to help. If the community says to me, "Only if you abandon your academic interests and related work can you help sweep out the halls and throw out the trash," I'd say, well, if you ever need help, ask me, and if you want to set restrictions, I'll consider them! Like, how about, "You can't use your tools to block anyone with whom you had conflict on Wikipedia, nor to delete their pages." That one I would not only accept, but I've already tried to make it general policy here, Recusal policy. Avoiding even the appearance of bias. --Abd 19:43, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Removing the links from wikiversity is good. The real problem is that the off-wiki pages appear in google when people search for the usernames of the participants. I'm not sure of how you are going to convince academics to join wikiversity, when academics become aware that crossing one of the admins (meaning you) can make them appear in a list like this one. Googling their username will pop up a detailed blow-by-blow criticism of every action that the admin believes to be incorrect. (and all usernames are eventually associated to a real life name, specially if they enter in conflicts) --Enric Naval 14:46, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Eh? First, I'm not an admin. I was for a time and may be again, but this has nothing to do with my admin behavior. And Enric Naval is someone to talk about this. He distorted and exaggerated the history on Wikipedia, before ArbComm. He's been behind the banning of a number of experts, it's not just me. Those bans involve libel of the real people, and, eventually, this will come out. But not here! This comment about Enric is only because he's insisting that I'd abuse admin tools -- or, what, the "prestige" of being a custodian at Wikiversity?
The NK resource is designed to examine, neutrally (the Wikiversity kind of neutrality, which is inclusive), the actions of editors and the community with respect to the Wikipedia article on cold fusion. It was not started by an admin, but by a user. If someone thinks it's inappropriate, the place to complain is NK admin. No, Enric, you can't hide what you and your friends have done. You can't censor either Wikiversity or NK, as you've been able to manage on Wikipedia. (Yes, I hold you responsible for what you allowed to happen, as well as for what you did.) If you think I've acted improperly with respect to cold fusion, or with respect to other editors at Wikipedia, hey, register an account and document it on NK. Wikiversity is not going to be used as a platform to attack editors, and if I'm allowed to serve as an admin, that's totally irrelevant, and this looks like an attempt at revenge to me. I was an admin for more than a month. What abusive actions did I take? How about discussing reality instead of bitter allegations, bitter because what was really going on was that your total incompetence to understand the issues behind cold fusion was frequently exposed. And so you retailiated, and this had been going on for years, long before I was aware of the cold fusion article. Truth comes out, Enric, as you seem to realize about "real life names." You can't hide. So stop.
My candidacy here is a kind of test, though I didn't set it up that way. I just offered to help, as Salmon of Doubt offered, and SBJ knew how to handle that. Wikiversity mentored adminship is not like WP adminship, it's typically revocable in a flash, even without a special agreement. I can help as a mentored custodian, and the risk to the community is very small, because Jtneill, if he's the mentor, could flip the bit easily. I will agree to conditions he sets, and if he wants me to waive the delay allowed after withdrawal of mentor support, for me to find another mentor, that's easy. (This is what Ottava bypassed, essentially misleading the stewards as to our policy.)
Mentored adminship is an excellent Wikiversity policy, allowing people to assist with the tools without having to "prove" themselves through a consensus process that is not based on actual experience with using them, and I've just seen an admin on Wikipedia basically going on a rampage, a few months after finally passing RfA, fourth try. The WP process is a setup for this and for a host of long-known problems.
It was a tragedy that Diego Grez wasn't promoted, because of canvassed !votes that were not properly deprecated. It should always be an option that mentored custodianship continues, provided that the mentor is active and willing. Multiply-mentored custodianship is even safer, because there will be more supervision. Supervision is efficient because the supervisor does not need to review every action; the community can do it for him or her, complaining about errors. I haven't notified Jtneill by email of this discussion; perhaps he knows, but I'll be asking him to go ahead, unless, of course, there is a genuine community consensus against him doing that. I'd ask that such a consensus be formed through CR, not this page, because, at this point, this page is only going to attract people opposed. There is no process for a priori community review of mentored custodianship, to mentor is a privilege that every custodian has, and I could have avoided this discussion easily. But I think it's better that opposition and concerns be visible, just as I've argued that IRC should not be used to discuss Wikiversity business; the excuse for IRC would be emergency situations requiring immediate action, and, in such a case, the logs should become public. Want privacy, use email.
I find it ironic that allegations of expected abuse are being advanced about me, when confronting admin abuse was long my history at Wikipedia, and that's really why I was topic banned there. I was good at it. And I did the same here. And it's not surprising that, of the two custodians whose actions I criticized, one is very active here with claims of "hostility," etc. The other resigned, which I regretted, it wasn't necessary. If Wikiversity cannot see through situations like this, I don't have much hope for its long-term viability. But I'm confident that it will, and I hope to be a part of setting up process that can resolve conflicts, instead of burying them by banning editors. Or, alternatively, ignoring them, which is what's happened in some cases. Consensus was not found, merely lack of consensus. And so those particular problems get worse.
Most of this discussion should be moved to Talk, because, procedurally, it's irrelevant. The time to debate my candidacy is when full custodianship is on the floor, if that happens, it might not. --Abd 16:17, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
OK, you answered most of the question. Only this part remains: if you enter a similar conflict in wikiversity, will you be creating a similar off-wiki list, but this time with wikiversity participants? --Enric Naval 14:46, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Highly unlikely. I can discuss Wikiversity behavior on-wiki, if necessary. NK was created at least partly because of meta interference with Wikiversity process, due to "cross-wiki issues," as a place to conduct academic studies, particularly what's been called "wiki studies" or "Wikimedia studies" or "Wiki ethics," free of censorship. We had two banned editors here because of such meta interference and bypass of Wikiversity process. I worked to undo that damage, and was successful. (Thekohser is unblocked, and there has been no problem. I prepared the way for Moulton to be unblocked, but had not completed that process; there was more basis in prior discussion for Moulton's ban here, so I'd have required certain specific agreements first, but it became moot when Ottava unblocked, which was fine with me -- except that there may be further problems down the road as a result, but we can deal with them as they arise. Adambro reblocked Moulton, and I suggested that he'd more properly recuse, given the history, and he unblocked.)
I can certainly understand why stewards (and Jimbo, originally) would want to avoid the use of one of the WMF wikis to host what can be alleged to be personal attacks against editors on another wiki, and I've argued that Wikiversity should avoid this and take preemptive action that still preserves what is essential for Wikiversity: academic freedom. Some level of study of wikis and wiki ethics can be and should be allowed here, but ethical guidelines for this should be developed. Pending that, I assisted a little with some study of "action research," with caution intended to avoid personal criticism of editors or planning of disruptive action.
My view is that wiki problems are generally structural, not personal. Get rid of the "bad people," and the problems will simply reproduce themselves through someone else. But it's also very difficult to study a subject in depth without looking at specific cases, so there is a place for that. To avoid unnecessary conflict, that kind of study can go to netknowledge.org. What comes here, then, can be abstracted from what is at NK, depersonalizing it. It's not necessary to name people here, usually. (And, absolutely, this is not a place to "out" someone.) I'm now starting a regular practice of commenting on certain edits on Wikipedia, relating to the cold fusion article, on a page dedicated to that purpose, [[3]]. This study is designed to not attack any individual, the content of the edits is the issue, not the person who made the edit. It could have been anyone. Where it seems appropriate to go over an individual editor's history, that will be done on NK. In general, subpages under Cold fusion allow deep exploration of topics and issues, and, with time, the hierarchy will be arranged such that detailed study is buried lower in the structure, with summaries above. It takes time to do that; those familiar with Wikipedia and the "article" concept there may be disconcerted by the process, expecting to see summaries appear first with detail later. That's not how research actually progresses. Summaries and reviews are abstracted from much longer published works, and published works are themselves abstracted from much longer personal research. I'm modeling what could be process for many Wikiversity resources, making them far deeper than anything possible on Wikipedia. But the deeper parts of this will be quite uninteresting to the general user base, being highly specialized and often requiring some prerequisite knowledge. Ironically, Wikipedia has ended up with articles in some subjects that are far to abstruse for the general reader, with editors who created them vigorously resisting "popularization." Placing pages in a hierarchy would solve that problem, there, with general audience articles at the top level, linking to ever-deeper coverage. But they don't allow subpages in mainspace. We do.
Enric should realize that what is on NK could be placed on Wikipedia, as evidence for an ArbComm case. (Though it would be edited and boiled down first.) In theory, those pages could be on Wikipedia, but common practice there is to insist that such pages be promptly converted to a filed case, and that, then, requires the investment of a huge amount of work in a short time, or the pages will be deleted. I could, of course, compile all of this privately, but that doesn't provide opportunity for correction. My case evidence pages in RfAr/Abd-William M. Connolley were generally blanked, with arguments being made commonly that they were "attack pages," but they had, from the beginning, invited correction, and there was no such correction. I'll invite Enric again: if there is something improper on NK, please fix it. Either delete it (if it's truly wrong and offensive) or add additional evidence that places it in better context. The former might result in some transient conflict, or not, but the latter will almost certainly be allowed to stand.
My view is that detailed examination of history is essential to wikis moving beyond the impasses they have encountered. It is not necessary, it is not desirable, that everyone be familiar with every conflict, but consensus process requires that some do so with each conflict. The main failure of the wikis is in not providing expert facilitation for dispute resolution. I was pleasantly surprised to see Hipocrite, pretty much my bete noir as to Wikipedia behavior, making some very sound proposals on October to arbitrator Newyorkbrad about moving to "Inquisitorial" process at ArbComm, from the present "Prosecutorial," adversarial process. "Inquisitorial" sounds awful, but it simply would mean that arbitrators would actually investigate and not just sit back and depend on what opposing parties present -- which then leads to victory for the more skillful or more politically connected parties. Once one realizes that the investigation task could be delegated, the practicality of this could become apparent.
Some of us are highly intolerant of detailed examination. Just get on with it! While I understand and sympathize, this approach is precisely what has maintained the problems on wikis. Conflict is buried, not resolved, so we end up with hosts of zombie conflicts, supposedly dead horses that are still walking. True consensus seems impossibly inefficient, but not when we realize that true consensus resolves conflicts, and is thus self-enforcing. So, to me, the problem reduces to how to find true consensus, and that's well-known and understood among experts. Sometimes it only takes a few questions from someone skilled, sometimes very detailed and deep discussion is needed. And I'll write more about this, with detailed and specific suggestions, and demonstrations, where possible, on Wikiversity pages, suggesting guidelines and procedures for us.
SBJ, here, has objected to some of my proposals, but he probably doesn't realize how those proposals have worked in practice. They can seem complex because they are unfamiliar. In practice, they worked, and they brought opposing editors together in cooperation. Look, I've been involved in this field, with on-line and off-line conflict resolution, for more than thirty years. It's not surprising that some of what I think and propose isn't immediately obvious to others. Give it a chance! (I was shocked to see harmless experiments on Wikipedia, where only those who wanted to participate would put in some (small) time, where there was no effect on policy, only the development of additional information and support, shut down as "wastes of time." Biggest example was w:WP:Esperanza. There was also the Association of Members' Advocates, addressing the problem that Hipocrite raised, expertise of representation before ArbComm, and, indeed, WP:PRX, which was proposed by an editor based on my off-wiki work, who was so shocked by the community response that he went completely off the rails and got himself banned. Visible in that process was highly selective enforcement; what he'd done, in each of his escapades, would normally result in nothing more than a warning; he was immediately indef blocked, each time, for three different "offenses." No warnings, no intermediate remedies. Wikipedia does not like anyone, especially someone seen as an outsider, to propose serious changes, and we should prepare for this, it's a problem of scale. --Abd 16:17, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
tl;dr[edit]

Abd, Enric Naval is a new contributor that you apparently have some history with. He raised some issues with you that you apparently don't think are problems.

My problem is that you've met this new contributor with a rather astounding "wall of text", and I'm wondering why you did that.

Again: my concern is that your approach to things tends toward the complicated and long-winded (if not perhaps politely vindictive), which really is a major turn-off to the average new contributor. By "filling the room with your words", you set the tone, and I worry a bit that you would bias the impression of the new contributor if you were "representing" the "management". --SB_Johnny talk 22:46, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

  • The issues, as I array them, are: 3) Judgment. 2) Accountability. 1) Neglect of Compelling Evidence. —Moulton (talk) 13:28, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
SBJ, Enric Naval has specifically been welcomed here by me, and I'd invited him to contribute here before. His concerns were addressed, in detail, in that "wall of text," and it can be abstracted if needed. Indeed, that wall is not going to stand as-is. I can fill a page with my words, but not the environment, and my words can easily, if excessive, be reduced to a single collapse or even, sometimes, to a reference to history, with a summary placed. This whole discussion is dicta, as I'll show in a few minutes. If you want to see how I treat true newcomers, take a look at how I've treated newcomers!!! Enric Naval is not a true newcomer, he's a long-time experience Wikipedian, and he's bringing Wikipedia controversy here. He's asserting that behavior with Wikipedia is relevant here. You know the bankruptcy of that argument. True newbies don't drop in and ask inflammatory questions on a page like this, they don't even know that these pages exist! Only people with prior involvement do that. --Abd 17:39, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Custodians willing to mentor[edit]

Jtneill's offer to mentor. In the past, a reference to an agreement like that has been considered sufficient for a 'crat to promote; however, because Jtneill is on wikibreak, this would leave me unsupervised for a time, it's better to wait. However, any other custodian could agree to mentor ad interim, until Jtneill returns, and thus this phase could be completed. An ad interim mentor could request that I first agree to any specific conditions. --Abd 02:17, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Cripes! (have read over most discussion above but skipped over esp. cold fusion technical stuff). I personally don't have a problem mentoring Abd - I think he means well and generally does more good than harm. I am concerned, however, by the community concern above. This seems to arise because Abd doesn't shy from controversy. However, I don't see why Abd shouldn't be offered probationary custodianship - he is an experienced WV editor and WMF contributor, he means well for WV and wants to help with custodial tasks. In addition, I am encouraged that Abd has indicated that he will abstain from using custodial tools when he's involved or asked to do so by the community. As for "judgement", I suggest we allow a probationary period and focus review/discussion as appropriate around that. Hopefully as per Abd's previous custodianship, he will be actively involved in custodial tasks - so the community should have plenty to review and consider with regard to possible full custodianship. I also also welcome any other mentors participation. As the proposed mentor, I would prefer not to be the acting bureaucrat for any aspect of Abd's proposed mentorship. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 19:55, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

A bureaucrat must act on community opinion, not personal. Jtneill's own admission is that the community has a major concern yet would proceed anyway. This is an abuse of status and not acceptable at Wikiversity. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:09, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
As per [4]: "I trust the community to indicate it's degree of trust in Abd if he is granted probationary custodianship and is subsequently nominated for custodianship by the end of a probationary period. I am offering as a custodian willing to mentor and will not be acting as a bureaucrat with regard to this matter." -- Jtneill - Talk - c 20:15, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
As per policy, candidates that aren't recommended by their mentor for full custodianship after 4 weeks do not get a second chance. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:26, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
  • If your mentor evaluates you as unfit for permanent custodianship at any time during your probationary period, you will have 48 hours to find a new mentor. Your mentor may request removal of your custodianship at the end of the 48 hour period if you are unable to find a new mentor, without any further notice or discussion by the community. You may however reapply at a later date.
  • (About full custodianship) If you are not approved, you are free to request another mentorship or withdraw your request.
Disruptive misrepresentation of policy by an experienced Wikiversitan is a serious matter. This is blatant, see [the policy that Ottava cited], quoted above. --Abd 20:45, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • Oppose any mentorship or candidacy - recent hostilities with Moulton/Caprice suggests that this individual is not ready for the position of Custodianship or a trial position of Custodianship. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:07, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Obviously I would recuse myself from any commentary, review, or balloting here. But to the extent that Ottava (and others) would like to take a measurement of Abd's faculties of good humor, peaceableness, or skills at conflict resolution, I stand ready to engage in Action Research with him on those frontiers. —Caprice 15:37, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
  • @Ottava: Our policy does not call for a vote or community support at this point. Jtneill or any other custodian deciding to mentor may, of course, take comments here into consideration. There is an intense discussion taking place, mostly confined to one resource, a few subpages of Cold fusion, between Caprice and I (and Dr. Edmund Storms made a couple of comments) which involves areas of long-term interest (cold fusion for me, the scientific method for both of us). I did not expect it to get this hot, but, apparently, it's necessary. I'd urge that others avoid concluding that this is "hostilities," please reframe it as vigorous, even passionate debate, appropriate sometimes in an academic environment, but, if necessary, the whole process can be reviewed. Neither one of us has requested custodian assistance, nor do I expect it; it should go without saying that I would not use tools with respect to Caprice -- absent emergency, and we aren't close to "emergency." To the extent that this spills out into other resources, I fully support restrictions to prevent a dispute on one issue from infecting irrelevant pages. There is one page where that may have happened, and I certainly did not start that discussion, nor has it continued. --Abd 20:44, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
  • @Caprice: Thanks. Caprice has been cooperative with a few edits I've made to refactor discussion and move it to relevant pages, away from irrelevant pages. To me, that's a good sign. The discussion now is vast and sprawling and, for that reason, not very useful unless someone has a very high specific interest. The discussion will be refactored, I assume, to develop it for learning purposes. Caprice is saying what a lot of scientists, not specifically familiar with the last twenty years of research in the field, and especially certain crucial findings, think but do not say. So it's useful, whether or not Caprice and I ever come to agreement. Facilitation, i.e., neutral participation, is invited, if anyone has the time and interest. I'll be bringing in outside experts, including skeptics. I'll be bringing in students, people who have expressed interest in learning about cold fusion. This will be, I forsee, a vibrant and productive resource. This would be possible, within the WMF family, only on Wikiversity. --Abd 20:44, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
  • General comment: that someone would think that vigorous and spirited discussion is reprehensible, per se, is part of a general wiki problem. I do think that Caprice has crossed behavioral boundaries, but, in the current discussion, only about me and Dr. Storms, and I'm not complaining, nor is Dr. Storms. (And neither is Caprice complaining about me.) I've warned Caprice about going to extremes, off-wiki, as I long did -- here and off-wiki -- before we were personally involved in any dispute. Otherwise, if this is allowed to complete naturally, or better and more efficiently with facilitation, Wikiversity will benefit, future readers of the Cold fusion resource here, will benefit. Dr. Storms, I believe, trusts me and my judgment. --Abd 20:44, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
  • General comment: Caprice is allowed to express an opinion here, recusal is not required, but this isn't a community decision, yet, our process allows any custodian to mentor, and that's the only condition. Tradition allows some discussion first, an opportunity to consider and object, particularly if someone has particular fears that might be allayed by discussion. !Voting comes later, with a consideration of full custodianship. --Abd 20:44, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
Our policies require consensus. Your long, negative and rambling response is another reason why you are unfit for Custodianship. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:00, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
You want full disclosure or not? Negative? Eh? Where? --Abd 22:15, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
  • "Long and rambling" might be likened to mind-numbing filibustering, which I imagine (by application of Abductive Reasoning) some people might be tempted to call "disruptive" (and hence blockworthy). As to the locus of anodyne activity, the negative charges are donated (to the battery charger) at the oxygen-sucking anode, thus leaving the poor cathode reduced to tears (because that's where the damnable negative charges inevitably turn up). —Caprice 02:22, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • "Filibustering" implies an attempt to postpone decision by preventing vote. Filibustering cannot occur in preliminary informal discussions that are not under a motion for action ready for vote, and, in fact, filibustering on a wiki doesn't work. One person's "long and rambling" is another person's "detailed response and discussion." Wikipedia has no tolerance for detailed discussion, period, of whichever kind. Wikiversity is different, in resources in particular, we don't block people simply for long, rambling posts anywhere, that I've seen, vide JWS. (We might block for disruption if a person insists on putting these -- or even shorter posts -- in inappropriate places after warning.) We may, however, refactor discussions for clarity or better organization, later, if it's worth the effort. The anode doesn't "suck oxygen," it generates it, extracting it from water, and releasing it to the atmosphere. Just so we get it straight. --Abd 03:00, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
The anode sucks the Oxygen out of the room (the room being the cell full of heavy water). That reduces the water to Deutronium (Heavy Tears). —Caprice 03:32, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I dunno that my opinions matter much. What I appreciate about Abd is that he obliges me to go back to subjects that I studied some 45 or 50 years ago. I was reading up on a nice essay comparing Cold Fusion to Phlogiston. For those who never heard of Phlogiston (or recall very little about it), it's the name of a long discarded (and largely forgotten) theory in the annals of Physical Chemistry that arose when Joseph Priestley and Antoine Lavoisier were on the verge of discovering Oxygen. Although the analogy is imperfect, Abd (and Storms) are more like Joseph Priestley and I'm more like Antoine Lavoisier in this analogy. But I was thinking about Abd's remarkable ability to suck the oxygen out of a discussion. In chemical terms, he's like a Reducing Agent, leaving his widely dispersed ashes as Oxides (or Calces) of Abd. At times, he reduces me to tears. —Caprice 21:52, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Glad to be of service, Caprice. The process isn't complete. Sure, we are determining the caloric content of the material, that requires complete combustion. But what's left behind may contain more than ashes. We'll go through it (I certainly will and you certainly may) and see if there are any diamonds in it, like relics of the Buddha.
I reckon that Brené Brown may have already found the ghost in the machine. —Caprice 23:25, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Probationary custodianship granted[edit]

YesY Done As per agreement between the two parties involved. And sheesh, can we please try to be a bit more brief?

Let's review and discuss on Feb. 11. --SB_Johnny talk 20:47, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, SBJ. To avoid contributing to increased train wreck here, I'll avoid the normal responsiveness of a candidate, here, until the discussion is opened for full custodianship. If anyone has concerns about my custodial actions, my Talk page is open, and anyone may also ask my mentor to review any action. Thanks. --Abd 20:52, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure there really is that much of a history of candidates being responsive. In your case, I think very taciturn responses might help. Very taciturn. Very, very taciturn.
I'm not suggesting that just to vent my own annoyance with you, Abd (much as I do indeed find your tl;dr postings rude and discourteous), but a recent opportunity to attract people from WP was (IMO) lost when you buried simple questions in floods of text. That's neither here nor there when it comes to your button access, but it does give some background to the advice I gave you in the previous paragraph :-). --SB_Johnny talk 21:02, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Probationary custodianship ended[edit]

As per this Community Review Wikiversity:Community Review/Abd and this subsequent request on meta, this probationary custodianship was terminated. [5]. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 13:08, 1 February 2011 (UTC)