Open thread

Since I am pretty much unavailable now and for the foreseeable future, and since this has traditionally been a place for people to reconnect when various sites go down, or they are de-platformed somewhere, for now I am leaving this thread open for communications by trolls, real people, and whatevers.

I might write one or two posts more, as the spirit moves, but probably not. I will try to monitor email for a short time, in case anyone has problems with access. (It is currently set up to pass users who have already had a comment approved.)

I will try to stop by later and remove the creeps, death threats etc.

Cheers, and carry on.

-GD

Peter Bilhorn

Peter Bilhorn

Peter Philip Bilhorn (1862-1936) was an evangelist preacher and inventor of the portable pump organ. He founded the Bilhorn Bros. organ company in Chicago, which sold the  World Famous Folding Organ, a 49-note folding preacher’s organ.

 

Bilhorn also used the pseudonyms Irene Dur­fee and P. H. Rob­lin (an an­a­gram of his name).

Early life

Bilhorn’s mother, Katherena “Ca­the­rine” Nie­hardt

Bilhorn was born in Mendota, Illinois. His parents were George F. Bill­horn, and Ca­the­rine Nie­hardt, both born in Bavaria, Germany. [4][5] He had six brothers and sisters. A sister died in infancy; another brother died at the age of 4, by drowning, while the family was immigrating to the U.S. by boat. [6] The family name was originally Pul­horn, it was changed by a judge in Ot­ta­wa, Il­li­nois, named Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln. [3] His fa­ther died in the Am­er­i­can Ci­vil War when he was three years old, leaving the family in financial difficulty. When he was 15, the family moved to Chicago, and Peter and his bro­ther, Christian Felix Püllhorn-Bilhorn, formed a carriage business, the Eu­re­ka Wa­gon and Car­riage Works. [1][3][7]

In 1894, he married Nellie May McCaughna Bilhorn ( – 1932). [6]  Nellie M. Bilhorn is listed in the copyright as the author of the lyrics to the hymn “Happy in His love”. [10]

Happy in His love.; words by Nellie M. Bilhorn, music by P. P. Bilhorn. © Peter P. Bilhorn, Chicago, as the author. R 32485, Dec. 24, 1925.[9]

Bilhorn had a popular voice, and in the evenings sang in taverns and German concert halls. In 1881 he was approached in a German concert hall by a member of Moody’s church who invited him to attend the church. [11]

At the age of 19, Bilhorn started attending the Chicago Avenue Church (now Moody Church), where he came in contact with some the most notable religious personalities of the day, including revivalist preacher George F. Pentecost, and gospel songwriter George C. Stebbins.  He studied music under composer George F. Root, who was most known for his secular Civil War compositions, and was also associated with Moody. Bilhorn attended Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, founded by evangelist D.L. Moody. [1]

Career

Bilhorn was an evangelist preacher, preaching and singing throughout the U.S. and worldwide. He was song leader for Billy Sunday during the 1908 season. [1]

He wrote more than 2000 gospel songs and hymns, and compiled several song books. [1]

In 1900, he tra­veled to Lon­don to conduct a 4,000 voice choir at the Crys­tal Pal­ace.  Queen Vic­tor­ia in­vit­ed him to sing in Buck­ing­ham Pal­ace.[3]

From LOC: [8]

Portable pump organ

Bilhorn invented a portable pump organ for his travels and street meetings.

Peter Bilhorn founded the Bilhorn Brothers Organ Co. in 1885 with his brother George E. Bilhorn. (Might this be Rev. Johann Georg “John” Püllhorn-Bilhorn?) They made organs for Sears, Roebuck in 1902, and were active at least through 1941. [2]

They started manufacturing the small “Bilhorn Telescope Organ” in 1887.  It weighed 16 pounds. [1] (Or maybe 25 pounds).

From Sears Roebuck catalog

There is one in a museum in Alaska, courtesy of Commons.

Or you can watch them played in the wild (see videos at the end). They even turn up on ebay once in a while.

 
From Worthpoint:

“The first address on letterheads was 56 Fifth Avenue, Chicago, presumably expanding later to 518-520 Fifth Avenue. The next address to appear was 207 North Wells Street, Chicago, followed by 1414 McLean Avenue. These may have been additional buildings for sales or trade deliveries. Another known address was 77 West Lake Street, with yet another change – 136 West Lake Street. They were known to be t in 1925, as this address is on the later letterheads and envelopes. It is also possible that these were administrative offices away from the manufacturing complex. The company was still in existence in 1941, but we know nothing of it after that time. It is clear that the Bilhorn production reached huge proportions. They sold many instruments themselves and also made them for the big department stores, such as Sears & Roebuck (c. 1902). They bought their reeds and reed boards from Hinners Organ Co. – a company that was also producing reed organs, and big enough to make their own reeds….

“Bilhorn produced an astonishing number of different models in their portable folding styles. One catalogue of c. 1916 has 21 different types of instruments. There were organs with only one row of reeds and others up to three rows of reeds, making a pretty awesome sound! The keyboards were sometimes 4 octaves long, but could be 3 1/4 octaves if the buyer wished, or even 5 octaves. Such options were on many of the models.The reeds were tuned according to the likely use of the organ-for example: ”…reeds will be tuned Concert pitch or International, Loud, Pipe, Medium or Soft.” The tuners were obviously “voicing” the reeds to produce more or less volume of sound, depending on whether the organ was for indoor or outdoor use. That is indeed good service and also pretty ingenious!! The cases were built of oak: …

“The Junior Folding Organ was very small and slight. This had one row of reeds, 3 1/4 octaves, case of maple with legs of hard maple, costing $50.00 in the 1916 catalogue. T were those specially prepared for ”Tropical” use, with brass screws, keys specially treated against the damp and felts poisoned against the insect life!”

Selected publications

There is a partial list of hymn lyrics here.

  • Crowning Glo­ry No. 1, 1888
  • Crowning Glo­ry No. 2 (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: 1890)
  • Soul Win­ning Songs (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: 1895)
  • Sunshine Songs
  • Songs of Peace and Pow­er
  • Century Gos­pel Hymns
  • Songs for Male Cho­rus­es
  • Sacred and Sec­u­lar Se­lect­ions for La­dies’ Voices, 1900
  • Songs and Stor­ies of Mo­ther, Child­hood and Home (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: Bil­horn Bro­thers, 1903)
  • Hymns of Faith and Vic­to­ry, with C. Ma­son Jones & George O. Web­ster (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: Bil­horn Bro­thers, 1904)
  • Hymns of Hea­ven­ly Har­mo­ny (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: Bil­horn Bro­thers, 1910)

References

See also

Authority control:

Listen to the organ here.  Artis Wodehouse (red link) is a New York piano and harmonium player, and reed organ collector who specializes in performances on historical instruments. The NYTimes called her the “savior of the old and neglected”. She also rescues old piano rolls. http://independent.academia.edu/ArtisWodehouse

Here she demonstrates a 1925 Bilhorn Bros. 49-note folding preacher’s organ made in Chicago, starting at 3:20

Here she plays Rob Hollerman’s arrangement of Deep River, an American spiritual that supposedly has some jazz elements.

Unboxing the thing:

This is more recent, she dons a mask and travels to an abandoned stone church in New York for this little recital:

 

RIP RBG

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ginsburg also shared wisdom that she received from her mother-in-law on her wedding day for a happy marriage: “Every now and then, it helps to be a little deaf.”

“So that was the advice I followed through marriage of 56 years,” she said, “and to this day with my colleagues.”- https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=5563315&itype=CMSID

 

Defining “transphobia”

Wikipediocrazy….

<Sigh.>


For anyone who didn’t get it the first time, here is the translation, “If you are trying to hook up with someone you think is a woman, and then find out ‘she’ has a penis, you are not allowed to say ‘no’“.

See also: “Girl Dick, the Cotton Ceiling and the Cultural War on Lesbians and Women“.

Why anyone would even publish on twitter that they are engaging in these levels of deception is beyond me, but it does not surprise me in the least that Wikipediocracy is buying into it, complete with the usual violence-linked slurs against women, and defamatory thread titles, while trans are referred to as “persons”.  There has always been some kind of low level cat-fishing going on in the back room, but their most violent invective is always reserved for lesbians, who do not regard themselves as appliances for servicing males. There are a number of odd things that have gone on surrounding grants, but the only one they seem to care about is LH, who just happens to be married to a woman, and who did, after all, deliver on the deliverables, unlike some male grantees. And much has been made about an error with Spanish verb ending.  Again Wikipdiocray only cares to stalk LH’s edits —  I might take it more seriously if they had ever been concerned about all the errors introduced into BLP’s by a certain male admin, not to mention the thousands of bot errors that were cleaned up by someone else. It drives them crazy, a woman marrying a woman.  So it’s sad, but it’s also really no surprise that at the exact time the couple is expecting their first child, the Wikipediocrazies – and the mailing list – are exploding with concern trolling and hostilities.

Trans crime erasure?

The category for “transgender serial killers” has been deleted.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Log/delete&page=Category:Transgender_serial_killers

Bot deletions?  What is this?

Here is the discussion:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2019_July_7#Category:Transgender_serial_killers

Nominator’s rationale: There are only two entries, which could be handled by simply ==See also== linking them, and the category also seems unusual as there is not e.g. a Category:African-American serial killers or Category:Hindu serial killers: it seems serial killers are otherwise only categorized by nationality and by whether they are male or female, which both entries in this category already are. -sche

So wait, a transgender crime only has to be identified as “male” or female”?  And this was decided by five people?

And if they are trans, how is it decided which category they are put in?

Further discussion:

    • Purge – restrict this category to people who identified as transgender at the time of the crimes. If that leaves this category empty then delete. DexDor (talk) 16:33, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
    • It will leave the category empty indeed. Marcocapelle (talk) 21:16, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

So Wikipedia has two articles about people who identified as transgender after they committed a crime?  I wonder which articles these are.  And how they are classified now.

An interesting article here by Gender Abolitionist: https://gendercriticalwoman.wordpress.com/2020/07/14/thesearenotourcrimes/

In brief the defendant was caught with a substantial hoard of the most serious category of Child porn (Category A).  He attempted to use his “Gender Dysphoria” in mitigation, The judge dismissed this,  The offender received a suspended sentence.

He was also given the “courtesy” of female pronouns in the press coverage. This is because it is mandated by the  Independent Press Standards Organisation.

And this is a courtesy to exactly who?

Even more interesting to find if this has been recorded as a female crime. These are crimes of the type overwhelmingly perpetrated by the male sex. A male with an unhealthy, predatory, interest in female children….

Category A images

Category A images are considered to be the ‘most severe’….

Images classed in this category depict gross assault, sadism or bestiality – obscene images involving penetrative sexual activity. This category also extends to all images that depict a child subjected to pain.

Apparently it is still a step too far to correctly sex the perpetrator.  In both the above articles we are treated to the hijacking of female pronouns to define a very male crime….

#THESE_ARE_NOT_OUR_CRIMES!

I see Wikipediocracy has a thread about trans, where some claims are made about crimes. But how does any one know, when it seems like the crime statistics are being systematically covered up.

 

Get out your fursuit, here comes U-CoC

[Wikimedia-l] A Universal Code of Conduct draft for review

Patrick Earley pearley at wikimedia.org
Mon Sep 7 20:17:03 UTC 2020
Hello, everyone.

We are excited to share a draft of the Universal Code of Conduct <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Universal_Code_of_Conduct>…

Okay so this is from the mailing list.

First question, who made this guy manager of Trust & Safety? Everyone was saying the position should have gone to a woman. I didn’t question it at the time, and I should have.

Second question, “We are excited“??? Who is “we”?  And “excitement”? The mind boggles. Can this be interpreted as an endorsement from the entire T&S group?

Third question, ….sigh…the devil is always in the details….

There are ten, count ’em, ten, links on that email, but the text you are being invited to comment on is here: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Draft_review The comments go on the talk page.

Do a “find” on the page for “gender identity“.

Respect the way that contributors name and describe themselves. People may use specific terms to describe themselves. As a sign of respect, use these terms when communicating with or about these people. Examples include:…

…People who identify with a certain sexual orientation or gender identity using distinct names or pronouns;

I don’t really follow these things, but I understand that furries are now being officially represented by Stonewall. So now you can be globally banned by not showing the proper forms of respect for furries? Does anyone even know what they are?

And that is just one gender identity.

The newest, or perhaps oldest one is MAP (minor attracted person). It is a thing. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28885894/ This is I think what used to be called NAMBLA.  Is “pedophile” still politically correct? If they are British, can you be banned for not typing paedophile, or however they say it? If they do this, I think they are going to need a very long and detailed welcome message.

And while we’re at it, are any of these women? Karen White, Emilia Decaudin, Alex Drummond, Jessica Yaniv. (What is a woman?)


And which is correct, “Karen White raped four women with his penis” or “Karen White raped four women with her penis.” Or maybe Stephen Woods raped four women with his penis. (See Snopes).  This would not be the first time someone changed their name after being convicted of a crime. When does it become impersonation?

If you think this is a rhetorical question, some woman in England just lost her job (AND a lawsuit) for supposedly misgendering Scottish politician Gregor Murray.

 

How exactly does this fit the WMF mission.  There is a phrase I saw recently I am trying to remember, “case usage” maybe?  What problem are they trying to solve, and how do they intend to use this new U-CoC to solve it?

~~~~
Oh oopsie, good thing this isn’t Wikipedia or I would be in deep doodoo. Jonathon/Jessica “wax my balls” Yaniv has had another name change and is now Jonathon/Jessica Yaniv/Simpson. https://meowmix.org/jessica-yaniv-simpson-trolls-before-hearing-amy-eileen-hamm-legal-action-adjourned-indefinitely/

Baseball score prediction systems

“There is no crying in baseball.” –Elijah J. Ellis

Maybe he should get some kind of points for self-awareness.

Since the Gender Desk is now being trolled by someone who Wikipedia considers to be a “baseball statistician“, it’s time to brush up on baseball’s score prediction systems.

So, why try to predict baseball scores in the first place?  Isn’t it sort of, you know, boring?

For the answer to that, and all our other burning questions about baseball, we turn to academia, specifically a student paper that seems to have risen to the top, possibly because it is in the public domain instead of behind a paywall. Nonetheless, free information is free information, and since we are writing a blog and not a dissertation, we will take what we can get.

The answer is “gambling”.  The last statement in the abstract says, “Lastly, we compared our models to Las Vegas book odds to see if any teams represented an arbitrage opportunity.”

So no, it’s not for the love of the sport, or the joy of fitness, or even for America and Apple Pie, it’s for pure greed, and the thought of getting something for nothing.

But let’s skip ahead and see how it ends.

These are math students who have built a prediction system under the supervision of actual professors.  In the conclusion (section 9.2), they compare their own results to Nate Silver, which they were happy to report were not far behind his PECOTA projections, and which he has been using for a longer time. In the acknowledgements section,  they also thank “those statisticians that came before us, from which we drew inspiration. This includes Bill James, Nate Silver, and Joe Peta (red link) among others.”

Now back to the historical section. “Key historical figures” are:

  • Jerome Holtzman was one of the most influential sports writers, who wrote for all the major Chicago papers, and invented the “save” statistic.  He wrote the baseball entry for Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • Bill James is one of the most influential baseball statisticians. While his writing was not populist enough to enjoy a fan following, he wrote several serious statistics books: Baseball Abstract,The Baseball Book, The Player Ratings Book, The Bill James Golf Mind, and The Bill James Handbook. He  pioneered the idea of “sabermetric” for SABR (Society for American Baseball Research), the method is used today to build baseball teams.
  • Nate Silver is  an economic consultant and statistician specializing in baseball and politics.  While working as a writer for Baseball Prospectus, he developed PECOTA  (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test). He went on to predict outcomes of the Electoral College.  His book The Signal and The Noise covers mathematical models in a variety of fields.
  • Joe Peta (red link) was a Wall Street trader who studied “the intersection of the stock market, betting, and baseball” and eventually published Trading Bases. Using formulas he developed to predict teams’ wins and loses, based on individual player performance, “he found teams that were over and under valued by the odds makers and he would bet to exploit that arbitrage.” (Twitter: Joe Peta@MagicRatSF)

Also mentioned:

  • Jeff Luhnow, a Wall Street executive hired by the Houston Astros, used data to reorganize the team.  Four years later they won the World Series.
  • Billy Beane (who was the basis  of the book and film Moneyball), used  sabermetrics to build the Oakland Athletics team, which lead to its widespread acceptance.

Systems:

  • Sabermetrics.
  • PECOTA
  • ZiPs (red link) – Oh here we go. (The students tried this for their project but found PECOTA more accurate.)
    • “The sZymborski Projection System (ZiPS) is another extremely common tool used to predict baseball statistics. It was created by Dan Szymborski while he was at ESPN and Baseball Think Factory. ZiPS takes historical data from individual players and assigns growth and decline curves based on various player types to try to find trends. For players age 24-38, they use data from the last four years and weight the recent years higher. For players younger or older than that range, they only use the previous three years. The weights they use depend on the age curve assigned to that player and whether or not they think he will improve or decline going into next year. Additionally, they also factor in ball velocities, injury data, and play-by-play data into their calculations.”
  • Steamer (red link), is another projection system created by Jared Cross (red link), a former high school science teacher in Brooklyn, with the help of two former students, Dash Davidson (red link) who went to work as a sports data analyst on the Tableau and Peter Rosenbloom (red link) who is now a graduate of the University of Michigan.. See Twitter
    steamerpro@steamerpro.Random stuff:
  • Voros’s Law. “Any major league hitter can hit just about anything in 60 at bats.” A caveat about outliers, and a reference to sabormetrician Voros McCracken.

So what about this Dan Szumborski dude, the Baseball Think Factory, and the ZiPS system he supposedly invented.

The Baseball Think Factory,  according to its website, was established in 1996.  It was last updated in Oct 2000, although the last “quote of the month” was for September 2000. So even though it’s not being updated, someone must be paying for the servers. Szumborski’s column was titled “Transaction Oracle”, and was last updated in 2012. Szymborski also posts occasionally to FanGraph, the last post was two days ago.  https://blogs.fangraphs.com/author/dszymborski/

The ZiPs prediction system itself was ranked against some 18 other systems, as recently as last year. It ranked 13th for hitters, 14th for pitchers, and 12th over all.

Other than that, the guy and the prediction system don’t seem to have much of a back-story.  He doesn’t seem to have an economics degree or have written a book, or even talked about the development of his system much, before jumping on the Wikimedia mailing list and making a fool of himself.  He seems like the kind of guy who just spends his life partying, and building up enough good will with the party crowd to be able to find people to write his term papers for him, if you know the type of person I mean. He doesn’t seem to have much going in his life other than looking for some of the few women in the Wikimedia movement who have dared to have public profiles to harass.

Moi les hommes…

“It is better to be alone than in bad company.”
-French adage, according to Pauline Harmange
Pauline Harmange

The French government seems to be backing down on their attempt to censor Pauline Harmange‘s new book Moi les hommes, je les déteste .

For those who don’t read French, and can’t be bothered to crank up Google Translate, here’s what it says:

The book was published on August 19 by a small publishing house called Monstrograph. Also on August 19, Ralph Zurmély, in charge of missions at the ministry responsible for gender equality, sent an email to the publishing house, as quoted by the media:

 « Ce livre est de toute évidence, tant au regard du résumé qui en est fait sur votre site qu’à la lecture de son titre, une ode à la misandrie », écrit-il. « Or, je me permets de vous rappeler que la provocation à la haine à raison du sexe est un délit pénal ! En conséquence, je vous demande d’immédiatement retirer ce livre de votre catalogue sous peine de poursuites. »

[Translation: This book is obviously, both in terms of the summary that is made on your site and the topic of its title, an ode to misandry,” he wrote.  “Now, let me remind you that incitement to hate on the grounds of sex is a criminal offense!  Consequently, I demand you immediately remove this book from your catalog on pain of prosecution.”]

Martin Page (l) and Coline Pierré (r)

The publishers have so far refused to comply with the demand. This is not a small sacrifice.  Monstrograph is maintained by Martin Page and Coline Pierré, who are volunteer editors, and would find it impossible to secure the legal fees.

Coline Pierré emphasizes:

« Le titre est provocateur, mais le propos mesuré. C’est une invitation à ne pas s’obliger à fréquenter les hommes ou à composer avec eux. À aucun moment l’autrice n’incite à la violence. »

[Translation:The title is provocative, but the words are measured. It is an invitation not to feel obligated to associate with men or compromise yourself for them. At no time does the author incite violence .]

 

According to Pauline Harmange, the book was meant to be a private edition of around 400 copies for a small circle of friends, « à un public d’ami·es ».  It was not meant as a political treatise but was intended for a group already aware of these questions. But she is not at all surprised by Ralph Zurmély’s reaction, and finds it symbolic”

« Je ne trouve pas cohérent qu’un homme confronté régulièrement à “des dossiers de viols et d’agressions sexuelles” ait le réflexe de vouloir censurer un livre qui parle précisément de ces problèmes. »
[Translation: I do not find it coherent that a man regularly confronted with “cases of rape and sexual assault” has the reflex of wanting to censor a book which speaks precisely of these problems.]
It now appears that the email and legal threat were not official, but were taken on the personal initiative of Mr. Zurmély. According to Minister in charge of Equality, Elisabeth Moreno, this decision did not in any way commit the ministry, however the ministry did not distance itself from the action.

 

The “Observatory for the Freedom of Creation” ( L’Observatoire pour la liberté de création) put out a strongly worded condemnation, pointing out that only the Ministry of the Interior has the authority to have books withdrawn and called on Zurmély to reverse his actions and issue an apology to the publishing company.

Wikipedia survey:

But wait, you may ask, that’s about the Drama.  What about the men? (See “what about the men” in Derailment.)  And what about the book?

Pauline Harmange is apparently bisexual, married, and considers her husband to be the lone exception as to why men should be loathed.  The husband encourages her in that attitude, totally.

Here is something she wrote for the pre-sales of the book, in French: https://uninvincibleete.com/2020/05/essai-misandrie-precommande/

[Translation:]

[Myself, Men, I Hate Them is a book I loved to write. When Martin Page, author and co-creator of Monstrograph editions, contacted me to offer to write a text on misandry, I did not believe my luck. It must be said that being asked to write a book is quite rare, to say the least, and I didn’t think that was going to happen to me at all. But above all, writing on this particular subject was a project I had in mind for a while.]

[“Last July, I released the article “And then, exhausted” , in which I discussed among other things some weariness about men. Written just steps away from some kind of feminist burnout that didn’t speak its name, this post should have been a longer article, specifically meant to question the “ironic” use feminists make of the word “ misandry ”. I meant it was OK to hate men for real . I did not have the energy to pose a thought built on this theme at that time, so it was just my exhaustion that had shown in this article. An exhaustion, a cynicism, that I have not stopped feeling since.”]

Ah, poor dear. I don’t think I will ever get tired of men… it’s probably just about certain particular men.

But she gives a brief synopsis of the book (booklet?).

“By radically reducing our daily intake of men and toxic masculinity, we rediscover that female bonds are a real treasure.”

[Translation]

[Me men, I hate them, a misandry manifesto.]

[“In this short essay, I wanted to understand misandry and give it back the right to exist outside of humor, to anchor it in our realities . Feminists must constantly shy away from really hating men, on the pretext that it would harm our cause, that men must be our allies and that for that, they must not be excluded. For my part, I think that misandry is not only perfectly justified, but also necessary.]

[“An invitation to sorority]

[“But this book could not have focused only on men and the feelings they inspire in me. I wanted to take them away from the front of the stage to find my favorite subject: women, our strength and our energy. By radically reducing our daily intake of men and toxic masculinity, we rediscover that female bonds are a real treasure. I hope I have done us honor.”]

I should probably take this to heart.

The book itself is 96 pages, printed on quality paper, with a sewn binding — and I love those — and they sold for € 12, or about $15 USD, which is a lot for a hundred-page monograph.

Here is the essay about exhaustion, via google translate. It makes womanhood sound like a lot of work, stopping to question all our assumptions, all the time.  I know it’s important, maybe even necessary, but I wonder if I could just take a pass this time.  You don’t know if you are getting the right answers, and years later you might even find out you were asking the wrong questions.

Oh, here is the French:

Maybe what we really need is less thinking and more ice cream.

~~~~

Haha, Tatsuya Ishida is on it:

 

Is Dan Szymborski notable?

“I am a longtime, accredited journalist, possibly even slightly respected in the field — though there’s always that risk of Dunning-Kruger — ” -Dan Szymborski
Szymborski in 2016

This guy is suddenly all over the mailing list, but I have never heard of him before. So naturally I turned to his Wikipedia article. Unfortunately almost all of the links are dead, except for the last one, which does not mention his name at all, and the second to the last one, that says he makes baseball predictions.

So why is he even notable? Shouldn’t that be established in the very first paragraph? Donna Strickland couldn’t get a Wikipedia article until she had an actual Nobel Prize. Katie Bouman, of black hole fame, had to go through al kinds of drama to get an article. And the article for Clarice Phelps has been deleted at least three times….on and on.

Is this “a bad man saying stupid things”?

But as the saying goes, “God give me the confidence of a mediocre white dude”.

Maybe there are some clues in the article history…The article itself was created by an SPA in 2009, noting that Szymborski was a contributor to the now defunct Baseball Think Factory website, which was featured in a magazine writeup.

But even if you accept that as notability for the website, does that make the contributors notable?

He also invented some kind of score prediction system, no doubt useful if you are betting in a pool at your local bar, but again, even if the prediction system is mentioned in a blog somewhere, does that confer notability on the person who publishes the predictions on his own blog?

The “spilled french fry photo” wearing his favorite shirt at the food court at Towson Town Center in summer of 1996.

So many questions.

These edits didn’t make the cut:

So much for the vandalism, or “good faith edits” depending on your POV.

What does he say himself?

Oh dear, it looks like it’s not just the mailing list where he’s smarting off.

The interviewer here had to bleep his response…”Language Dan… please..or we will tell your Mom you said a bad word…”

LFC MIKE: Somehow I think a reality show starring you and your group of friends in your early 20’s would have been very watchable.

Dan Szymborski: Nah, it would’ve had too much smoking weed and gambling in goldeneye and monopoly

Dan Szymborski: Not pictured: lots of beer (none of us were 21 at this point)

Drunk and stoned, and all before even reaching legal age.

All I can say is, if this is the best and brightest of the opposition to the new Universal Code of Conduct, it’s going to be a cakewalk for the WMF.

Let’s just hope he finds the” Universal code of conduct” thread over at
Wikipediocracy, where he is being discussed. I don’t believe the popcorn value of this has yet been exhausted.

Larry Sanger’s book delayed

[Crossposted from RealWikiInAction]

For those who have been waiting impatiently, and with bated breath, for Larry Sanger’s new book, “Essays on Free Knowledge: The Origins of Wikipedia and the New Politics of Knowledge”, to be published on the self-publishing platform Gumroad, it seems to have been delayed.

“I’m having trouble getting the ePub and mobi prepared so I won’t be launching this today. Early next week, though!” Sanger reports on Twitter.

Eleven of the twelve essays have already been published, but the twelfth essay is supposed to be “a new essay on the problems facing the free Internet, available only in this book.”

If you want a sneak preview, here is the first chapter, “The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir”, first published by Slashdot in 2005:


With any luck, someone else will dig up the other 10 chapters to save me the trouble of googling it.  Done.

~~~~

Note: for anyone who wants to look for these, here is the list. I have added  several links for the long and short version of “Why neutrality”.

Since it seems like no one else could be bothered to do this, I have filled in the list, leaving only the last chapter, which you can fill in from his Twitter feed or from Wikipediocracy, at your leisure.

The essays:

  • The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir
  • Two Early Articles about Wikipedia- Wikipedia’s Original Neutrality Policy
  • “Why Neutrality?” long version: (deadlink) [archived]; republished from Balletpedia who commissioned the article [archived]; column version [archived].
  • Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism (2004) [archived]
  • How the Internet Is Changing What (We Think) We Know [archived]
  • Who Says We Know: On the New Politics of Knowledge [edge.org] [archived]
  • Individual Knowledge in the Internet Age (2010) [archived]
  • Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism? (2010) [archived]
  • Introducing the Encyclosphere (text of speech given October 17, 2019 at TheNextWeb’s Hard Fork Summit in Amsterdam) [archived] [YouTube – 18:20] [YouTube short version – 2:04]
  • Declaration of Digital Independence (2019) [Wired] [archived]
  • The Future of the Free Internet

As far as the last chapter, the ebook is now out, but you will have to wait for the paperback. In the meantime, if you want to join the devoted throngs of his  QAnon fan club, he tweets at Larry Sanger@lsanger.

And, as Wikipediocracy has been pointing out recently, the conspiracy group Q-Anon has now embraced Larry Sanger.  This one is from May 2020.

Oh my…you don’t say, and covered by Breitbart, no less…

Wikipedia Co-Founder: Site’s Neutrality Is ‘Dead’ Thanks to Leftist Bias

Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, published a blog post this month declaring that the online encyclopedia’s “neutral point of view” policy is “dead” due to the rampant left-wing bias of the site. Noting the article on President Donald Trump, Sanger contrasted its extensive coverage of presidential scandals with the largely scandal-free article on former President Barack Obama.

Source (no linky-love): https://web.archive.org/web/20200912020242if_/https://www.facebook.com/QAnon55UseLogicLab/posts/wikipedia-co-founder-sites-neutrality-is-dead-thanks-to-leftist-biaslarry-sanger/945861809190931/

 

 

r/RealWikiInAction: a status report from Evil Twin

Moi.

Almost two weeks ago, we embarked on this new Reddit thing, and it has been a busy two weeks.

We knew there would be challenges, but we just went ahead and did it. It will either work or it will not work. Maybe the time for Wikipedia subreddits is past, maybe the time for all Wikipedia criticism sites is past. Or maybe it is time to try something altogether different. We shall see.

So what are the challenges?

We don’t know. Yes, that’s right. Dozens of Reddit subs have just been purged, and no one knows why. Check out “Reddit bans r/GenderCritical“, or some of Strelnikov’s posts on Sucks about the Chapo Trap House subs that were banned.

And it’s not just the subs we happen to know about personally. There were 2000 subs that were just banned, or disappeared overnight, including the huge Donald Trump sub, r/The_Donald, where all the incels went after r/incels was banned.

On and on…

Pregnancy.  Why on earth would Reddit take down a sub about women helping each other through pregnancy?  It makes no sense.

So we don’t know what we have to do to survive.

There is some speculation that Reddit and other social media sites are hiring people who don’t speak English to enforce their rules.  Maybe they can save some money by hiring people in some place like India to evaluate comments, and their English skills are not the best.  We don’t know.

So  I really appreciate the people who are working with me behind the scenes to keep the content beyond reproach. You know who you are.

We do have some idea of why the old sub r/WikiInAction was destroyed.  One of their biggest hot buttons is child pornography.  Just before the sub was locked, one of Abd’s friends was posting and advocating for child pornography — and was in fact banned and created new accounts at least three different times before the sub was taken down.

We know that some previous Wikipedia sites, mostly on Proboards, were taken down for Terms of Service violations because of doxing.

We know that Augie’s site was taken down because of Graaf, who caught the attention of Wikipediocracy’s back room.

We also know that Wikipediocracy tried to take down Gender Desk and failed.

So we are hopeful that we can steer a safe course.

There will be people who try to take down the sub, or who don’t want to follow the site rules. If they don’t like the rules, they can always start their own sub, with their own rules. Yesterday, Graaf let it be known he was not willing to follow the rules, and has been blocked for 24 hours. A shame, really. I hope we sort things out. In the meantime, we shall try to soldier on without him.

In the meantime, I have just discovered the Truman Show Delusion…. https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman_Show-waan

 

This last video has some kind of weird embed code, but if you click on it, it works. It is a story told by someone who recovered from this syndrome.

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