Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/March 2011

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Live example of a banal political drama

Some characters here might not think there is sufficient demand for a Dramaturgy Department, so let's gin up a cockeyed example to demonstrate the idea. —Moulton 13:01, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Where shall we present the example? —Barsoom Tork 13:01, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Some place where participation is both voluntary and open to all. —Palomino of Certainty 13:01, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
That works for me. —Montana Mouse 21:56, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
What a jip! Wasn't I supposed to get a pony or something? --SB_Johnny talk 23:34, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Oratorical Summation

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


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

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

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

Moulton 18:48, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

NewYorkBrad's Guiding Principles

Here is today's pop quiz.

1. NewYorkBrad is:
a) One of Moulton silly muppet characters
b) A New York Ciy lawyer who is a prominent Wikipedian on ArbCom
c) Never heard of the guy
2. NewYorkBrad's Guiding Principles are:
a) One of Moulton's silly flights of fancy from one of his silly mupppets
b) A carefully crafted set of guiding principles for Wiki admins
c) Never heard of such a thing
3. Studying and reviewing NewYorkBrad's Guiding Principles would be:
a) Silly
b) A worthwhile exercise for would-be Custodians
c) Beyond the scope of Wikiversity; better off summarily deleted and forgotten about

Logic Puzzle

Here is today's Logic Puzzle for all you intrepid precision thinkers out there.

This puzzle was sent in by Bilious Kid, (aka Billy the Kid) of Brittle Rock, Arkansas. Billy offers this logic puzzle for everyone here to review and analyze.

Let's say that Moulton (perhaps with the help of Tarantino) comes to the (possibly erroneous) conclusion that Bilious Kid's real legal name is William F. Kidd of Brittle Rock, Arkansas. Let's say that Moulton goes to Beta.WV and posts a haphazard item there linking User:Darklama to the "street name" William F. Kidd of Brittle Rock, Arkansas.

What would User:Darklama do?

If, per chance, the posted information happened to be correct, and would in fact lead someone to find William F. Kidd in Brittle Rock, would Darklama:

  1. Discreetly send a private note to a trusted Bureaucrat to oversight the post on Beta.WV.
  2. Let it stand rather than confirm the identification by quietly arranging to have it oversighted.
  3. Rush over to Beta.WV to prominently post multiple public complaints and adamant requests for oversight, loudly claiming Moulton's post indeed reveals Darklama's real name to be William F. Kidd of Brittle Rock, Arkansas.

Now let me post a (possibly incorrect) solution. Can you find the logic error (if any) in this suggested solution sent in by Barsoom Tork.

Barsoom's reasoning goes as follows.

If Moulton were mistaken about Darklama's identity, then Bilious Kid would clearly say nothing, but let the misinformation stand, as such misinformation helps to conceal his real identity by misleading people and possibly sending them in the wrong direction.

But even if the information happened to be correct, Bilious still might not even discreetly request oversight if he thought that doing so would resolve Moulton's uncertainty (or Tarantino's uncertainty) that he'd gotten it right.

If you observed someone else doing Option #3 above, (prominently posting multiple public complaints and adamant requests for oversight, loudly claiming the post indeed reveals their real name), what would you conclude?

Would you conclude that the person is not in their right mind to post such public complaints?

Or would you logically conclude the person is haphazardly gaming system by exploiting the policies to entrap a dim-witted custodian into enforcing a questionable policy that no longer even applies, since the plaintiff has just publicly posted an assertion that they are laying claim to the "street name" in question?

What's your bottom line? And whose bottom would you spank?

Palomino of Certainty 12:43, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Some questions to consider

The curious events of the past week or two have created a good opportunity to review some fundamental ideas.

The Colloquium seems to be as good a place as any to present these ideas for scholarly consideration.

Moulton 17:43, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Hypothesis Testing

Consider the following hypotheses:

H0: Everything in Wikiversity is copacetic. No one was annoyed with Abd, Moulton, Darklama, TCNSV, or SBJ, and some (or most) were even amused and entertained by their antics.
H1: SBJ alone was annoyed with Abd. No one else was concerned, annoyed, or disturbed. Some may even have been amused or entertained by his antics.
H2: Almost everyone was disturbed or annoyed by Abd's allegedly disruptive antics which they saw as impeding progress in solving important problems at hand.
H3: The whole escapade was an unmitigated disaster for everyone involved and an embarrassment to the project.

Feel free to add hypotheses, but do not remove any that have been suggested. To eliminate an individual hypothesis, you must expressly falsify it by providing undeniable evidence, cogent analysis, and/or coherent reasoning to demonstrate why any suggested hypothesis should be dismissed as untenable.

Barsoom Tork 17:43, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Alternate Exercise in Hypothesis Testing

In lieu of, or in addition to the above, consider this set of hypotheses:

HA: No one was disruptive.
HB: Abd alone was disruptive.
HC: Moulton alone was disruptive.
HD: Both Abd and Moulton were disruptive.
HE: The customary practice of blocking fellow scholars and locking discussion pages is an inherently disruptive process for all concerned.

How would you test, affirm, refute, or falsify any or all of the above set of alternate hypotheses?

Albatross 17:43, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Discussion of Hypothesis Testing Paradigms

Q1: Did anyone learn anything from last week's exercise? If so, please outline what you learned and how you became aware of something important that you didn't fully appreciate before.
Q2: If you answered Q2 in the affirmative, what practices do you plan to revise, going forward?
Q3: What are the fundamental differences between Scientific Hypothesis Testing (Martian Style) and Babysitting (Earthling Parenting Style)?

Montana Mouse 17:43, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Advice Column

American Visceral Society

Dear Troubled Wikiversitans,

Sometimes you have a gut feeling that all is not well in our community. But what can one person do? Not much. Not much individually, this is. But together we can purge the system of the rot of social detritus.

Those are the words of Dr. Irving Mazloh-Freen, the founder of the American Visceral Society. Dr. Freen is a dedicated American who deeply believes in the beneficial aspects of this visionary program. A deep thinker and planner, Dr. Freen has has been called "... one of the truly great emetics of our time."

Please joint Dr. Freen's movement today. You'll sleep better tonight.

Respectfully yours,

Wordsworth R. Moribund
Acting Director

Established as a non-profit-sharing organization, the American Visceral Society is a temporal concept of IMF Worldwide Industries, Fast Feuds Division of International Malefactor and Fulminator.

At IMF, We're Into Everything.

The Speed of Enlightenment of an Ethically Challenged Learning Organization

Peter Senge has a concept that he calls the Learning Organization. Some organizations (especially highly successful ones) learn quickly and learn well. Other organizations don't learn as well, and gradually fall behind the curve.

Just as the speed of light slows down in denser media, the Speed of Enlightenment of a Learning Organization similarly slows down with the density of the organization.

It's not hard to measure the speed of light in different media. The more refractory the media, the slower it goes. Every medium has its characteristic index of refraction which can be readily measured.

My interest in participating in Wikimedia Foundation projects like Wikiversity depends on what I am able to measure of the site's Index of Refraction and the corresponding Speed of Enlightenment, in the sense of Peter Senge's concept of the Fifth Discipline as applied to the concept of a collegial, congenial, and democratic collaborative learning community.

At the present time, the status of the comity, collegiality, and congeniality of Wikiversity leaves something to be desired.

Moulton 20:11, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Block of IP

FYI: I have performed an emergency block of IP address for 1 week due to adding personal information to pages. I have also performed two oversights relating to this incident. fr33kman t 22:46, 13 March 2011 (UTC)


-- 19:09, 1 March 2011 (UTC) i want someone help me in my research


-- 19:14, 1 March 2011 (UTC) i want someone help me in my research Ghada Ahmed

  • Contact Abd. He's your man. —Moulton 11:26, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Lesson Corner

An email has been received in the OTRS system from the company, offering a free lifetime premium membership to as a result of Wikiversity's work helping teachers find online resources. They had come across Appropriate technology designs and suggested as a possible addition to the list of resources there. Should an educator here wish to make use of the offer, simply visit and then let me know the username you chose so that I can forward it back to them for the upgrade to lifetime premium membership. The content can't be used here at Wikiversity due to the terms of use, but if you are a real-life educator it could be useful for your classroom use. Adrignola 20:07, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Yet another community review

As usual, feel free to add comments, questions, concerns, modifications and the like to Wikiversity:Community Review/Custodianship process‎, provided they are somewhat constructive. TeleComNasSprVen 05:27, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Reuse of Wikiversity content


I have been wandering around to try to find information but have not. Are you aware of any type of data regarding reuse of the teaching material available on wikiversity ? This might be stats such as "download" of data, or report from an institution using material for its courses. Have you directions to suggest me to explore this ? Thanks Anthere

  • one could ask at the talk here your question: Wikiversity:School and university projects
  • reusage on other wikimedia projects, e.g. on commons you can see on the media page which wiki project uses a file (example)
  • here (I remember there was another tool which showed access of pages better) are most edited pages (there is a time lag of a few months), perhaps some of them could be found when searching in a search engine, ----Erkan Yilmaz uses the Wikiversity:Chat + 22:15, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I guess I could find some good leads on Wikiversity:School and university projects. Neat. Thanks ! Anthere 22:49, 17 March 2011 (UTC)


Hi, I found this back in my archives.. I was wondering if anyone could suggest where might be an appropriate place to mention or move it to outside of User space? Sfan00 IMG 23:40, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Publishing email addresses on the web and spam

I've started a resource called Preventing email spam to alert people to the misuse of published email addresses on websites, including wikis. This is aside from general WV:Privacy concerns and only discusses methods to make it more difficult for automated w:E-mail address harvesting to misuse email addresses posted on Wikiversity pages or other sites. --mikeu talk 17:05, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Pedagogical limits?

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

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

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

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

The term, Resistant Learner, comes from the research of Margaret (Maggie) Martinez on Learning Orientations. Maggie identifies four types of learners: Maggie provides guidelines for best practices for the first three types of learners, all of whom function normally in traditional classroom cultures and collaborative learning communities. The fourth type (the Resistant Learner) is allergic to traditional classroom (teaching) models and learns primarily by direct experience, including interpersonal drama and competitive rivalries such as those that arise in gladiatorial games, computer games (like Farmville, Mafia Wars, and World of Warcraft), political rivalries, and lunatic psychodramas. These are basically dopamine-driven contests, where winning a round against a rival opponent is the primary objective. Last week, George Lucas of GLEF (the George Lucas Educational Foundation and Edutopia) published an Op-Ed in Edutopia proposing more use of drama and storycraft to transform education. Also last week, Jane McGonigal of the Institute for the Future gave a similar TED Talk on adapting the power of the gaming culture for worthwhile education. Regarding the shaming and blaming issue, Brené Brown has been speaking widely on that. Saturday night, she was the featured speaker on PBS during one of their overnight pledge drive interludes. Brené Brown is probably the world's leading expert on this issue of shaming and blaming in our nit-picking culture. Here is her recent TED Talk on the subject. Those are just three high-profile examples from the past few weeks on evolving pedagogical methods for 21st Century education. These are issues and opportunities that some of the best thinkers in educational pedagogy have been addressing for a long time. It's hard to argue against Edutopia, TED Talks, and PBS when it comes to appreciating leading-edge thinkers. Leigh Blackall is also (independently) looking at similar paradigm shifts and discussing them with me. Let's widen this discussion and bring in Leigh, JTN, Choconancy, JWS, Mike, and others who have a stake in developing these 21st Century paradigm shifts in Multimodal Ubiquitous Learning. Moulton 13:52, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • The discussion is on the Colloquium, so unless I'm mistaken it's open to all. My own question is more about whether Wikiversity is a good forum for these approaches, and whether these approaches are good for Wikiversity. Though I'm sure there could be all sorts of learning projects about these methods, I don't think they should necessarily be practiced on every page of the wiki. --SB_Johnny talk 14:48, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, it's open, but we probably have to ping them to draw their attention here. It's about 2 AM in Canberra, so I don't expect to hear from Leigh, JTN, or Choconancy before nightfall in the US Eastern Time Zone. So first of all, let's get up to speed on the current thinking, per such leading lights at Maggie Martinez, George Lucas, Jane McGonigal, Brené Brown, Barbaran Ehrenreich, Michel Bauwens, Clay Shirky, Henry Jenkins, Yochai Benkler, Kevin Kelly, Howard Rheingold, Tod Machover, Nicholas Negroponte, Frank Moss, Tracy Kidder, Alan Kay, Mitch Resnick, Arnold Greenberg, Danny Bobrow, Danny Hillis, Seymour Papert, Marvin Minsky, Ray Kurzweil, Frank Thissen, Kelly Martin, Umberto Eco, et al. Then we can discuss how to evolve Wikiversity forward from an anachronistic pre-Hammurabic tribal ochlocracy to something more in line with 21st Century concepts of a high-functioning democratic Collaborative Learning Community. —Moulton 15:15, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I had a long chat with Leigh early this morning (late night his time) on this very issue. He suggested I summarize the issues both for him and for JTNeill, Choconancy, and Robin McConnell. Samuel Klein should probably also be brought in, partly because he's an affiliate at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and partly because he's logged into the IRC channel most of the time, so he sees the shenanigans that go on there. Klein works with Clay Shirky and Joseph Reagle at the Berkman Center, along with Danah Boyd. We very much need their input and participation here. —Moulton 15:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree with your analysis, SBJ. Thanks for raising the issue, and I'll answer your question. Wikiversity is a terrible forum for these approaches, except maybe as confined to specific studies, under well-established ethical guidelines. Even there it's iffy as hell. If there were even a teacher in my kid's school, who directly called a student a "resistant learner," I'd want the teacher fired, for gross incompetence. Maybe if he or she immediately apologized, not, but if the teacher then repeated it everywhere, in the local press, over the internet, on his or her blog, and in the school assembly? "The problem with our school is that Johnnie Smith, I've used the real name because we need to frankly discuss these things, is a Resistant Learner, and the parents and principal refuse to do anything about it and have even reprimanded me for Telling the Truth."--Abd 15:31, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Right. I think in that case it would be good for the teacher to discuss it privately with the parents, but certainly not at the front of the class. I'm also fairly certain that therapeutic psychodrama is generally not carried out on a public stage, but IANAT, etc. Wikis are essentially used for the collaborative creation of documents, and I'm just not sure that this approach meshes with that. Documenting the approach isn't the same as practicing it. --SB_Johnny talk 15:42, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Lunatic Psychodrama is a staple feature of WikiCulture and WikiPolitics. I'm proposing we establish a Dramaturgy Department to allow people who insist on generating endless reruns of Vexagonistic Lunatic Scapegoat Psychodrama a supervised venue for their angsty dopamine-driven urges, so that it doesn't overrun other parts of the community where traditional scholars (like JWS) wish to study in peace. —Moulton 16:00, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, if the idea is to confine that sort of thing to dark corners or userspace, that's quite fine by me ;-). --SB_Johnny talk 17:43, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Following the theory, shouldn't that comment be moved to the dramaturgy department or userspace? --SB_Johnny talk 18:14, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Putting theory into practice is harder in practice than it is in theory. —Moulton 18:18, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • No, the opposite. Putting theory into practice is impossible in theory, but easier in practice. --Abd 19:16, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • That's your theory. But then, according to your theory, cold fusion cells are now supplying the world's energy needs, too. —Moulton 19:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
This is part of what Moulton does. He misrepresents what others believe, or the theories they hold. And asserts it in places where the claim is utterly and totally inappropriate. Cold fusion is an observed phenomenon, fragile and difficult to set up and maintain, and is nowhere near being something that could supply the world's energy needs, at this point it is effectively a scientific curiosity, but a lot of people, like Moulton, believe that it is a fantasy, though this isn't current opinion in mainstream journals, it's old hat. And this is all out of place here, except as an example of the disruptive dramatization that Moulton always brings. Spillover and spinout. --Abd 22:06, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Telephony was similarly considered to be a curiosity, a parlor toy. Western Union had no interest in it, since it would never replace the telegraph. But telephony was as real as the "excess heat" in McKubre's cells. There was a lot of noise about McKubre's "excess heat" and the the chatter about it pegged a lot of VU meters. —Moulton 10:52, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • If you can find the will, I'm sure you can find the way. --SB_Johnny talk 18:21, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • A while back, I presented the theory for best practices in managerial ethics and social contract theory. Alas I did not discover a way to reduce it to practice. A while back, I suggested to JWS that we do a project on Music in Learning. Alas, I did not discover a way to reduce it to practice, in the face of strong opposition from Adambro. And so it goes. —Moulton 18:28, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • "If at first you don't succeed...." Your failure to convince Adambro of the merits more or less proves the theory that self-appointed tutors to people that the self-appointed tutor considers to be resistant learners is not effective. The fact that he decided to throw up his hands and leave was not a "win", but rather a loss for the community. Your dramaturgic approach accomplished nothing aside from ticking the guy off (which is pretty much how you feel about blocks, no?). --SB_Johnny talk 20:01, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • The Music and Learning Project had nothing to do with Adambro. It was a project that JWS and I were collaborating on, for our own edification. I was frankly startled when Adambro stuck his banhammer into it and struck it down. Why should JWS or I need approval from Adambro to study the role of music in education? I have no idea why Adambro later decided to bail from the project, but if (like Ottava) he decided it was better to return to his studies at the University, then it was a wise decision on his part. I don't care if Adambro wants to hang around and watch other people learn, but what the fuck was he doing blocking others from engaging in a perfectly innocuous project on Music in Learning? —Moulton 20:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm wary of popping my head into this, I find the behavior distasteful, clouding my judgement on the people who engage in it, and I can't and don't want to spend time on this. But so far it has remained mostly civil here, and ideas driven, promising something useful to my interests. Moulton, I think your references to drama theory are interesting, and the suggestion to create a specific space in the wiki for this to play out seems a worthwhile suggestion. I think you should do it. Set it up. I'm not sure how you will encourage or even insist people go to that space, or stop it from spilling over into user pages, project spaces, or community reviews, but at least some of us will have the space to take a dispute and avoid embarrassing ourselves in more exposed areas. One idea, would to simply start by commenting on dramas there, hopefully drawing the fire into the space and away from the other areas. Yet, it might simply become another ingredient for people leveling abuse at each other. "You said that! Go to the naughty corner". If you and others were successful in developing and sustaining the space, helping people reflect on their behavior and to either embrace or reject their inner beast, not to mention further theories and teachings around this issue, I think that would be a wonderful achievement. People like me could visit there, find commentary and insight, and your comical ways of interjecting might be given more respect than it sometimes gets in the more dispersed arenas. Leighblackall 21:33, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Leigh. There is a question whether or not the kind of drama that Moulton specializes in can find a place anywhere in a WMF project, and the reason is partly that his motives are not purely educational. However, if anywhere, they would be in a Drama Department or the like. He also wants a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, so to speak, and it seems he wants to combine the two, which just plain won't work. Universities, in their Drama Department, do put on plays with highly political content. And sometimes they get in trouble with the political supervision of the University! In the end, the WMF must decide what it can tolerate, and I've suggested that Moulton participate in developing ethical guidelines. Unfortunately, the guidelines that he's tried to develop are those which would regulate others, but not him. So, bottom line, if there is any hope for this here, it would have to be confined. Since other areas already exist where Moulton may post his atrocious song parodies, freely, and may create extended discussions and examinations of whatever he wants to examine, for those who want to read them, doing this on Wikiversity, in the absence of regulatory guidelines, is iffy. These activities are inherently disruptive, they are designed to be disruptive! (I.e., to offend. He calls getting people angry "trying to educate them.") Further, Moulton revert wars when someone objects to content by reverting or redacting it. This is quite equivalent to a Clown barging into a physics class, and demanding that they pay attention to him, and no, he won't take No for an answer. Maybe once, it would be funny! Day in and day out, no, not at all. --Abd 22:16, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Would you rather have it in a dark corner in the basement of the [[|Dramaturgy|Dramaturgy Department]], or would you rather have it here in the Colloquium and in WV:RCA? —Montana Mouse 10:52, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I dunno if we can create an ethic that says, "What happens in Schadenfreude Theatre of the Absurd stays there," or (perhaps better yet) "What happens in Zeitgeist Theater of the Ridiculously Sublime is only play acting, and nobody is obliged to play." In college, do athletes who kibosh each other on the gridiron otherwise play nice in the regular classroom? —Moulton 21:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, Moulton, they do, or they get kicked out of the university. Mostly they just do. --Abd 22:17, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm not a jock. I'm an anthropologist from Mars. You gonna kick me out too? —Barsoom Tork 10:52, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Creating an ethic will be the hard part, but perhaps we (and you in particular) could pretend that the ethic has been successfully created and abide by it? Just an idea, etc. --SB_Johnny talk 21:51, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I had little problem with Moulton and his antics as long as he confined them to Cold fusion, to criticism of me and the scientists I work with, and I addressed that within the sphere involved, i.e., by discussion on WV and elsewhere. In the resource. The recent problems arose when he began, again, his truly intemperate attacks on Wikipedia administrators, his outing, his use of grossly insulting language, and his revert warring to maintain the Moulton Way. I.e., in-your-face and nothing-you-can-do-about-it-but-demand-that-I-be-blocked, in which case you are obviously Sick, banhammer-crazed. --Abd 22:21, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, don't take this the wrong way, Abd, but your habit of biting every worm on the hook probably didn't do much to discourage him from putting more worms on the hook. I know you mean well (in a much more earnest way than he means well), but your part in this really did play a part in this. Double entendres fully intentional, as always :-). --SB_Johnny talk 22:36, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • SBJ, if I weren't here, someone else would fill the role, and, if not, Moulton would continue to escalate until someone jumps in -- like the people he attacks who aren't normally watching these pages -- or everyone was gone. He and others like him, absent some kind of restriction or regulation, cause serious, long-term damage. I do not bite every worm on the hook, but, sure, I bite more than others, because I can turn them into fertilizer, and, indeed, as Moulton earnestly desires, learning opportunities. I did not create the situations I've reported, and Moulton has created the same kind of disruption, eventually, wherever he's gone (AFAIK). He is exactly what Jimbo called him, a "troll," and I mean that as the technical term, not as some vague insult. He pokes people, seeking response, and the way he pokes creates outrage in ordinary people. He may believe that he's just setting up "educational dramas," but that's his own rationalization. He's angry, and he's getting back. Otherwise, why would he call a Wikipedia administrator, a fairly mild one, when he's prevented from using her real name here, and when she's conducting herself civilly and even beginning to participate in a mediation, a Death Eater Bitch? And revert war to maintain that edit? She wasn't going after him, and she merely made a decision on Wikipedia that he disagreed with, a decision years ago, implementing consensus, which, had she done nothing, would have ended up happening anyway, with someone else pushing the button. No, he's angry, that's the bottom line, and he's using Wikiversity as a cudgel.
  • "Putting worms on the hook" is trolling, SBJ, so you clearly recognize it. And you are tolerating it and enabling it, and this isn't the first time you've been told that, you were told it in 2008, by someone who was probably a highly experienced Wikipedia administrator. Was he right? Aren't you concerned about that possibility? The damage from how the situation was handled then, in 2010, and now, has been practically incalculable, Wikiversity is now a pale shadow of what I think it would have been, and you have resisted all attempts to handle it differently. If there is to be some "limit" on how people like Moulton participate, it must come from somewhere and there must be some enforcement mechanism. Moulton and the other dramas this year have almost completely burned out the administrative enforcement functions, to the point that WV:RCA can have a relatively urgent request that sits for, what, weeks?, with no response from any custodian. "No, I won't do this, I don't agree that there is anything wrong" is a response. I mean no response. With matters that are obvious as to policy and normal custodial response. That is a situation that you, very much, helped to create, intensified, and which you are effectively justifying now. "If only that nasty Abd would stop harassing poor Moulton, filing RCA reports, responding to his nonsense, it would be fine, Moulton would learn to be cooperative, and we could all have a nice time." Ain't gonna happen, SBJ, not like that. I'm not harassing Moulton, I'm responding to messes he creates. And, it seems, we have some kind of a dispute here, needing mediation. I'll be thinking about that. Meanwhile, if you want to look at those who poke bears, how about looking at your post above? It invites response. Why did you post that? Physician, heal thyself.
  • But thanks for the AGF, anyway. --Abd 00:43, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I have my sincere doubts that calling someone a troll is merely a "respon[se] to messes he creates" rather than an instance of childish name-calling disruption/personal-attack or harassment. TeleComNasSprVen 00:53, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
What word would you suggest, TCNSV, for someone who deliberately irritates and enrages, and persists, even more intensely, when he sees that it has this effect, to the extent of commonly revert warring with users to keep his harassment on their talk pages? For how many years has he been doing this kind of thing? How about this Google search? And you imply I'm harassing him? You are transparent, TCNSV. --Abd 03:30, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Look up Artistotle's Poetics. The words you want are Protagonist and Antagonist in a generic drama. —Moulton 03:39, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Transparence is an oft-underappreciated quality I find in many people who would otherwise be a sad opaque shade of a character they could express. As to trolling, there have been many many a perfectly reasonable person who would see me the wrong way and irritate or revert war with me, some who may be responding to me as we speak, and yet I'm civil enough to hold back any claims of trolling, no matter how substantiated they may be (c.f. w:Wikipedia:No personal attacks / m:What is a troll?#Misidentified trolls) because the result is better learning. No comment on the duration of trolling. TeleComNasSprVen 15:30, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Moulton said: "I dunno if we can create an ethic that says, "What happens in Schadenfreude Theatre of the Absurd stays there," or (perhaps better yet) "What happens in Zeitgeist Theater of the Ridiculously Sublime is only play acting, and nobody is obliged to play.". I think you're right. No need to create an ethic like that, I think commentary and constructive discussion on things going on would be a good start, and would no doubt attract people into the space. Whether it dilutes the activity in other areas is probably unlikely, but at least it would demonstrate the idea, lead by example some of the ideas Moulton proposes, and hopefully build a deeper understanding for the behavior. So, the ethic is to lead by example. Use the space to document and develop ideas and practice, but avoid at all costs starting or being dragged into dramas elsewhere. Acceptable, I think, would be to simply drop a link in the dramas, back to the Drama Department, indicating that commentary has been made. But now that I think of it, this could simply spread the venom. This is why it is so important for the 'faculty' in that department, to exhibit cold objective distance, not engaging in the drama, but offering considered perspective. Is it possible? I have my doubts, it could too easily be taken as teasing, but always hopeful Leighblackall 22:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Leigh, I think the problem with this particular community is that most of the people with the extra buttons don't want to be leaders, because most of them prefer to just be equals (with buttons). We're probably "evolutionarily selected" for that because the community at large is radically libertarian, and any attempt to try to "lead" (even if it's just leading a conversation) is met with scorn, more often than not accompanied by unkind comparisons to war criminals or unpopular presidents and prime ministers. The only people left are the thick-skinned and relatively undecisive few that still see some promise despite all evidence to the contrary. --SB_Johnny talk 23:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

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

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

Maintaining a reasonable level of discourse

I think perhaps we should really just have some simple and clear rules for dealing with the issues that have come up above:

  1. No parodies of other wikimedia contributors.
  2. No unkind comparisons of wikimedia contributors to criminals, child abusers, dictators, etc.
  3. No w:loaded questions.
  4. No amateur and/or unsolicited diagnoses of other wikimedia contributors' cognitive abilities, mental illnesses, or neurotypes.
  5. No cussing out other contributors.
  6. Allow people the opportunity to disengage if they feel they are unable to work with someone else.
  7. No mocking, taunting, belittling contributors you disagree with.

These behaviors (as well as the issues this is aimed at addressing) have been responsible for most of the hostility that has plagued us for the past 4 years, and I think it would be nice to bring a stop to them. I think these should apply to the IRC channels as well. --SB_Johnny talk 12:27, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Some of the recent interactions have been toxic to our community and tolerating such behaviour sets a pretty low bar for civil discourse. --mikeu talk 14:16, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
(e/c with mike) BTW, all of the above can be "nutshelled" to say: "When discussing a dispute, focus on the matter of dispute, not the person you disagree with. Play the ball, not the man." I think if it's going to be a policy, it should have the specifics too: I understand the reasoning behind w:WP:CREEP, but I think the fear of creep has the price of creating fertile ground for wikilawyering, so having things a bit more black-and-white may help reduce drama. --SB_Johnny talk 14:21, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I think both the nutshell version and the examples should be added to Wikiversity:Civility. In fact, I suggest that page be downgraded back to proposal, worked on some more, discussed, and consensus reached before making a policy again. I think part of the problem with recent interactions that have been toxic is due in part to there seeming to be not much of a consensus behind that page and what it means. -- darklama  15:17, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I almost completely agree with you, Darklama, though I think we shouldn't chuck the policy "as-is" until we've come up with a replacement through resolutions (or whatev). At this point I think we should maybe have Wikiversity:Play the Ball, not the Man rather than civiity, because that's really more to the point ;-). --SB_Johnny talk 21:22, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Great ideas: I support them fully. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 21:23, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Concern/Idea about Wikiversity information structure

Hello everyone. I just discovered Wikiversity today after having spent a fair amount of time pondering the subject of community-created educational material. I have a big concern I would like to share. If you're heavily involved here, I'd appreciate it if you considered it and gave me some feedback.

To try and summarize, this site seems to be trying to imitate a university using the technology of Wikipedia, where I think this project would be far more beneficial (to humanity, society, what have you) if it simply tried imitate Wikipedia with the goal of teaching. I will try to illustrate with the subject of Computer Science as an example.

If you go to Wikipedia to read about Computer Science, you are getting facts on the subject, with links to related entries, presented in an encyclopedic manner, with the goal of providing quality reference material. If you go to Wikiversity, you get an encyclopedia-like description of Computer Science, links to a study guide, and an overwhelming assortment of somehow-related information. The study guide itself links to lessons that start out by assigning you to read Wikipedia, write summaries, take a quiz, and then go onto the next lesson. It starts by talking about circuits, operations, memory, processor speed, etc, without any links or any prior teaching besides linking you to Wikipedia.

What I would envision is that if you go to Computer Science, or any other page, it would be like Wikipedia, but with the goal to teach you about the subject, rather than provide you with a thorough reference. Along these lines, there would be various policies to guide contributors, e.g. try to teach each subject assuming no prerequisite knowledge wherever possible (and when not possible, provide links for prerequisites, vocabulary, or areas of study) and provide alternative ways of understanding each subject (written, visual aids, video of a university lecture, provide ideas for hands-on demonstrations, or interactive features). In the case of Computer Science, as a category of subject matter, there could be detail about introductory topics (electronics, binary, computers, etc.), outlines of different categories of CS subjects (algorithms, operating systems, programming languages, computation, data structures, etc.), and even suggested paths for gaining a solid understanding of the field. Tests, quizes, goals, etc. would be tools provided to those who benefit from them, not as part of the structure of information.

I'm very interested in pursing a design as I just described. I wonder if it may be too late in converting Wikiversity, but I would also be interested in spearheading a new site with these principles in mind. I'd probably begin by asking the Wikimedia foundation if they were interested and, if not, trying to start something myself. Then again, I don't know everything that's out there, so any feedback would be great.

--Kecr 00:34, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Welcome to wikiversity, WV was created with the intent to create learning resources, projects and research. Its not meant to be a copy of wikipedia but people have done some of that, there are several approaches people have taken, myn is similar to yours i believe, with trying to organize resources by a topic, school, or class. There is a lot of work to do on some areas and WV has had trouble holding on to new users at times due to what at times can be a daunting task. ATM i'm focused on cleaning up and better organising the School:electronic engineering and School:Electrical engineering.Eadthem 02:42, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Well I welcome your comments, even if I don't really agree with them. I don't think that the site is trying to be like a university, in fact I am not sure what it's like! Or, to put it another way, it is not homogenous enough to be like any one thing, more like the Blind men and an elephant. Certainly from my understanding of educational theory, there has been a move a way from a teaching-centred approach towards a learning-centred approach, and that is certainly the way I want to work. In fact there is much in wikiversity which is not to my taste, but I would rather focus on what does work for me and develop that. I would advise you to check out wikieducator. After much consideration I weighed up whether to put my energies here or with wikieducator - ideally I would like to see the two come together. In the end here won out, but it was not an easy choice. In fact it is the connection with wikipedia which helped and the steps forward particular the GLAM-WIKI event in London, which marked an iconic breakthrough.Leutha 21:54, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Please, create the content you wish to see. Do not feel limited by what you find here already. The Jade Knight (d'viser) 21:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Ban proposal: Moulton

Per the recent activity over the past few weeks, culminating in the massive rangeblocks against Moulton, subsequent ban from Wikiversity:Chat-related channels, and similar steward intervention over at betawikiversity:, I hereby propose Moulton is to be indefinitely site-banned from the English Wikiversity unless and until he learns not to use real names and to abide by the Privacy policy. TeleComNasSprVen 05:05, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

  • For your information, Moulton was previously banned from all Wikimedia projects by Jimbo and from the English Language Wikiversity by SB Johnny.
  • Moulton was stalked off-wiki by misguided Wikimedians who subjected him to vicious online harassment. Why? Because Moulton objected to their violation of the Wikipedia policy on Biographies of Living People. Moulton was blocked from Wikipedia for trying to fix damage done to Wikipedia by policy-violators. Moulton came to Wikiversity and worked on a learning project that explored how it is that Wikipedia can be used to publish false information about people. One of the policy violators from Wikipedia followed Moulton to Wikiversity and stated his intention to get Moulton banned from Wikiversity. SB Johnny banned Moulton and made the policy-violator from Wikipedia a Custodian.
  • Jimbo banned Moulton from all of Wikimedia because the policy-violators from Wikipedia had gone to Moulton's personal website to harass him and had revealed the fact that they were using their work computers to carry out online harassment. In an effort to save their jobs, they wanted to prevent Moulton from linking to his website where there was evidence that they had violated the terms of their employment. The policy-violators gamed Jimbo into acting so as to hide their misbehavior.
  • Later, the Wikiversity privacy policy was put into place. It is only used to prevent Wikiversity community members from telling the truth about misguided Wikimedians.
  • — (This email was sent to me, TeleComNasSprVen, by JWSchmidt, released into the public domain.) TeleComNasSprVen 06:32, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support - This editor has been banned from SlashDot, Word Crossing (for outing), meta.wikimedia, etc; with a history of trolling, outing, revealing personal information; considerable history at en.Wikipedia which does not agree with JWS's views of circumstances, above; he has shown no remorse for outing others, no desire to learn to work with others within policies. He was banned from all Wikimedia projects already, and only here recently because a sysop decided to give him another chance - which he spent in outing others. He has now been re-locked globally, but as that did not stop someone from being taken in by him and allowing him to troll, attempt to out, and disrupt here recently, I think it would be best to also ban him here. I see no improvement nor any likelihood of any improvement. KillerChihuahua 14:30, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
--I want to object to the use of the accusation of "trolling," as we are proving that it means the opposite. --JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 02:58, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
KC, Moulton wasn't re-locked, as far as I've seen. The discussion you pointed to was my request for that. It was denied because of the intervention there of SBJ and Mu301, local 'crats, here, pretty much claiming to be on top of the situation, which they certainly were not at the time. That was the problem, really. Moulton was just returning to being Moulton. As long as he believed that outing would absolutely not be tolerated, he refrained from that. But he can also be expected to periodically test any limits, that's why human supervision is needed if he is to be allowed to edit. I was willing to monitor his work, because I did see value to some of his work, but my custodianship was abruptly terminated and, when Moulton found that the custodial community was asleep or unwilling to act, and started up his pressure, my requests to RCA and on IRC were ignored or worse. In spite of being totally obvious. --Abd 16:31, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Completely false. Your request was rejected precisely because a) stewards do not overrule local community consensus nor the authority of local custodians and/or bureaucrats, which you were attempting to use said stewards to try to circumvent, and b) Moulton was already locked in the first place, which rendered your request invalid. TeleComNasSprVen 19:49, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Note that this was specifically addressed through the advice of bureaucrat Mikeu, in the link provided above, that to you Abd, "It is time for you to stop running to meta every time you disagree with how things are handled at wv. This is getting disruptive." You apparently have a history of doing this. The single-user login account in question has already been locked, and it was a mere block of the un-merged account located here that would simply do the trick. TeleComNasSprVen 22:44, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support - multiple repeated violations of wv privacy and civility, not to mention basic common decency. --mikeu talk 17:18, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Having been away for a couple of months, it's almost reassuring to see that nothing much changes ;-) - I haven't had the chance to read up on this latest stuff yet, but will do so presently, and fwiw, my instinct is that a block or ban probably isn't really the best plan - meanwhile, a healthy 'G'day' to everyone round here going about their business :-) Privatemusings 02:04, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Closing the wikilegal loophole in the privacy policy (i.e., that you need to identify yourself in order to object to somebody identifying you) would be better than just going through a ban vote every time. He's already blocked, and I believe he's said he's "giving up on en.wv" anyway (though he seems to have simply moved to beta instead). Policies that apply to all are much better than bans that apply to individuals, and those who refuse to abide by policy (including those who think the policies are bad and/or invalid) should simply be blocked until they change their behavior. --SB_Johnny talk 15:30, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Support. There is only one practical difference between an indef block and a ban, which is that with an indef block, any individual administrator may unblock. A "ban" is established by community discussion, and should be closed by a responsible custodian (who may reverse that decision upon new evidence, for example). (A "ban" should have high consensus, otherwise it is fine to leave a user indef blocked; "ban" is decided to reduce future useless debate. There should never be a rush about determining a ban.) With a ban, such an individual unblock -- unless tightly controlled -- is clearly contrary to consensus and thus reversible on sight by any custodian. Ottava Rima, as one of his last actions as a sysop here, unblocked Moulton. Adambro reblocked, but it had become unclear whether or not the community wanted the ban/block to continue, and Adambro was, by me, considered "involved," so I questioned it; Adambro unblocked. With a clear ban, Adambro's action would have been clearly legitimate: a ban should not be undone without adequate discussion (that was, by the way, his explicit position with regard to Thekohser). If Moulton is "banned," rather than merely "blocked," this should not otherwise affect the situation at all. Content by Moulton is not, per se, excluded, it is only that Moulton may not, himself, add the content, and that any user may remove such content on sight, as being the block-evading contributions of a blocked or banned editor. Moulton's Talk page should not be blanked or deleted merely because he is "banned" rather than blocked. --Abd 16:58, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Comment. Elsewhere, TCNSV proposed a revision of WV:Bans (I reverted it) that would create, based on Wikipedia precedent, a substantial difference between a block and a ban. I supported this proposal here as simply being a confirmation that the present blocked state of Moulton represents a community consensus that the block is proper for now. But the extended differences proposed by TCNSV make a ban a much more serious affair, and much more difficult to undo. Since it is not actually necessary to "ban" Moulton to protect Wikiversity, I am withdrawing my original support for this. Regardless, a closer of this discussion should clarify not only a conclusion, i.e., "ban" or no ban, but the consequences of the conclusion. Should, for example, the Talk page of Moulton be blanked, as TCNSV previously attempted to do, from the mere fact that Moulton was blocked? Should custodians be prohibited from unblocking without prior community approval, as distinct from normal process? Given that any custodian could quickly reblock if needed, I don't see sufficient grounds for that rigid requirement. Moulton was previously considered banned, and Ottava unblocked him without conditions. The community accepted that, and, for a time, Moulton wasn't truly disruptive. I see no reason to abandon flexibility. I do see plenty of reason for caution, unblocking Moulton without conditions and without some kind of ongoing custodial supervision -- rapid response to complaints -- was a Bad Idea. --Abd 16:19, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support Perhaps I am a bit too late in joining this conversation, I certainly have missed a bit of what has been going on. I gather from there has been some further difficulties with Moulton and privacy here at wv. It should have been clear to him that many people take privacy concerns seriously and being too cavalier with other peoples information is not tolerated. If it has happened again, I support a community ban (if not please let me know that my assumptions are incorrect). The points made by SBJ about closing loopholes also seems very pertinent and should be addressed. In the mean time, I don't intend to split hairs between the letter of the policy's and their spirit. Thenub314 18:45, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

What Wv is

I just want to share some thoughts about what I think the Wv is from my experience and the Wv recent history (~2 yrs). At one point, I expressed that I thought that Wv should decide if it wants to be a wiki or a mental hospital. I got past that because, unlike WP, Wv has revolutionary-level respect for other-POV. Then, in combination with my other ideas, I began to think of Wv in terms of a restoration of education from the monopoly of capital-driven institutions that are shown to be equally as ruinous as medicine. Then I realized that there is a link there and an embryonic thought of a Wv medical school came to my mind. Well, if we have a medical school, then there is no reason not to have a psychiatric unit! My educational goal is psych counseling, which is not too much different from psychiatry in the final analysis. Just to go a little further, nearly all psych theorists agree that "threat" is what motivates maladaptive behavior, and Rogers (below), created the currently accepted therapeutic environment, which is empathic, accepting, safe, etc. Point being, if the Wv is not a threatening environment, then those behaving oddly because of previous threat (WP can be VERY threatening) will stop behaving oddly--with a little time.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 00:05, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Universities often operate training hospitals.... I'm far from sure what that means for us. Sometimes, John, people are carrying the "threat" around in their heads as an oft-told story; a basis for it may have existed years ago, but to some, it's still very real. And with such a story being told over and over, they will find plenty of evidence for the continued reality, that's how the mind works. --Abd 00:50, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Abd, lets be real, we are the real thing--not somebody else's thing, but our thing. My experience with the autistic is that as soon as you make a natural emotional connection, they stop fighting, self-mutilating, running away, etc. That was interrelation to Rogers. Now there was a small minority of autistic that did not respond that way, in fact they went the opposite no matter what you did to interrelate, in fact it made it worse! But, they were in the minority, which shows that there is no actual autism because that attitude is found in the people who are openly threatening Wv. (I can't debate too much, as I have to get to work w/ psych research methods.)--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 15:57, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
It has been nagging me: the most threatening in the autistic environment was the staff, and they nearly universally fit the description of "the nicer you are, the meaner they get." They were also 100% "diversified," which implies to me that the liberal Northeast (US) oligarchy is scraping the planet for the worst people they can find to operate its institutions.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 17:26, 4 May 2011 (UTC)