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.
Don’t forget to tell your readers how happy I am without a complete madhouse called wikipedia in my life anymore.
Because wikipedia is like a onion. Every time you peel a layer you find a new one what makes you cry and makes you feel deep, deep sad. – Graaf Statler
A few days ago Graaf tried to post a comment here as “De Kolonel”, and as usual, my Evil Twin deleted the comment.
So Graaf wrote to me and said
I am eating now high cholesterol Belgium food, am living like a tramp next to the railway and are cooking my food with a wood fire.
That is the life for me! And I am very good with cooking over a campfire.
I told Graaf to go forget Wikipedia, it is not good for anyone, and do something that makes you happy.
So Graaf told me about his business plan and gave me permission to post his emails on genderdesk blog.
Charleroi Marchienne-au-Pont and tramp tourism is absolute the future, we are already planning courses living like a tramp.
So what exactly does that look like? This should be it right here:
That is very nice, the canal and the bike path. This time of year will be chilly but not cold, and maybe there will still be some fall color. It is good campfire weather.
Here is the weather, translated to Fahrenheit and Celcius.
I don’t know if you sometimes follow De Kolonel his blog but he absolute stands for healthy food in our course survival as a tramp under a Belgium bridge. That sandwich was a exception and cheap.
We expect a lot of students in the near future, so our business plan is professional. Collect wood when it is dry. How to become friends with a Romanian copper thief. De Kolonel got nice fish conserves from him. How to fix a free meal with starling scream. Dit you know De Kolonel last year was enen interviewed on Belgium TV? He had told there he was the champion starling screamer of Belgium.
Not sure what that is about.
“Central Park in New York City is where a group of Shakespeare enthusiasts released approximately 100 European starlings in the early 1890’s. All the European starlings in North America descended from those original 100 birds. Today, more than 200 million European starlings range from Alaska to Mexico.”
Starlings are great vocal mimics: individuals can learn the calls of up to 20 different species.
Birdist Rule #72: It’s Okay to Hate Starlings. Audubon.
Graaf also has some advice about Wikipedia.
Wikipedia is a nice, fine gift of the devil, the complete bullshit money and wiki honour will make no one happy at the end, Madam. I thank the lord I am not trapped in that snake pit.
It is wikifaust, it promise you gouden bergen, and at the end it takes you anything! Wikipedia seems innocent but it can destroy lives just like drugs and alcohol can.
“Wikifaust”, great neologism.
If you stop and think about it, there is a lot of wisdom wrapped up in that.
AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, 5
Strong and content, I travel the open road….
Allons! whoever you are, come travel with me! 115
Traveling with me, you find what never tires.
Don’t forget the s’mores.
Instructies voor s’mores (in Dutch)
Ingrediënten: Je hebt grahamcrackers, grote marshmallows, chocoladerepen, een stok om de marshmallows te roosteren nodig, en natuurlijk een kampvuur.
1) Neem een grote grahamcracker en breek deze in twee.Hiermee maakt u de boven- en onderkant van de sandwich.
2) Pak de reep uit en leg een stuk chocolade op een van de grahamcrackers.
3) Rooster je marshmallow en draai hem een of twee keer om.Je wilt de marshmallow aan de binnenkant smelten en bruin aan de buitenkant. Laat het niet in brand vliegen!
4) Leg de geroosterde marshmallow op de chocolade.Het chololaat smelt een beetje.Gebruik de bovenste grahamcracker om de marshmallow op het broodje te trekken.Plaats dan de tweede grahamancracker erop.
5) Eet.Neem dan wat meer “some more” s’mores.
Since we have been doing bassa nova, how about starting our walkabout with a little Antonio Carlos Jobim, the one with the giraffe on the cover…
I saw this notebook today while shopping, with the dictionary definition of “gratitude” on the cover. It said something to the effect of “take time to be surprised, think of the things you are grateful for, and write down 5 of them every day…”
And suddenly I thought of all the amazing people I meet online by writing this, people who read what I write and take it seriously, who get my jokes, who sometimes even take my words to other forums to discuss. My readers are curious and smart and funny. They are educated and come from all over the world and speak all kinds of languages. Even my trolls are fascinating, educated, and complex people, and although they don’t speak much here anymore, I know they do sometimes still pass by to read (hi, R). I am grateful for all of you, and for the exchange of ideas you are dedicated to.
There is a darker side too, a few people who swarm around hellholes like Stormfront and Brietbart, who have decided to go after me. These kids are Nazi wannabees, KKK sympathizers. These are the people who thought the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was a good idea. They move from forum to forum to Discord, looking for someone who will allow them on their platform. As one is cleaned out, they move to another. They want someone who is naive enough to post direct links to Breitbart, and not just through an internet archive, as you often see on Reddit. They are doing this as an SEO strategy, planting links to artificially inflate the rankings. They never talk about my ideas, or try to disagree, they only try to silence me by looking for my identity, and encouraging others to do the same. Then the people on Wikipedia who they try to link with me suddenly start to have problems–problems with Fae, problems with checkusers. It’s an ugly business.
And business it is, they are being paid to do this. Yes, they are doing this for money. And probably very little money. How much money do you think it would take to get some little kid from an Arab immigrant family in, say, BooFoo Missouri to buy a cheap tablet with Windows 8 and start typing. Some kid who didn’t quite fit in and wanted to feel important. Probably very little. But while the criticism sites are death on wheels to Wikipedia users who don’t declare their conflict of interest, they do not have the same expectations of their own users.
So I am grateful that the people who have chosen to go after me are Nazi sympathizers, and can only post childish insults. I must be doing something right, if they think I am worth their attention. I will continue to try to hold up my little piece of the sky, and try to make the world a little more human, a little more humane.
If it hadn’t been for Fram’s ban reversal and failure to regain admin status, there wouldn’t be very much to report this month.
Fram, as you may recall, was desyssoped and banned from English Wikipedia for one year, but by the Trust & Safety group, and not by the en.wiki arbitration committee, as has always happened in the past. T&S has in the past banned individuals, but only globally and only indefinitely, and for egregious and unnamed reasons. For this reason, they are generally known as “pedo bans”, although more recently it has become obvious that not everyone banned under this system is a pedo. But since T&S doesn’t give any information about their reasons for bans, speculation will continue, and people will assume the worst of anyone banned under this system.
The en.wiki arbitration committee reviewed the T&S Fram ban and reversed it. However, they did decide that if Fram wanted to continue being an admin, he would have to run in a new RfA.
As soon as the reversal of the ban was announced, Fram’s new RfA went live. (See Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Fram 2; the nomination statements also have links to the community discussion about the T&S action.) Even though a goodly number of “support” votes had been canvassed for the beginning of the vote, the RfA quickly tanked, and by the time Fram withdrew, the percentage was well below 50%.. The final vote was (108/122/14) (support/oppose/neutral).
Birthday on Wikipediocracy
There is a birthday this week on Wikipediocrazy, but I’m not sure whether I’m allowed to say who it is or how old. However I did promise to find something popping out of a cake, so here it is. Very appropriate, since one of the few decent things the “Wikipedia criticism” boyz clubs are doing is paying off bets to anonymous people with donations to animal shelters. With such empathy for animals, can empathy for women be far behind? But since they are also known for posting a lot of sweary, tasteless cruft, I am compelled to add this one. Many happy returns, you know who you are.
This is now formally finished, the original being a collaboration between Isarra and Harej, which Isarra continued alone when Harej hired on with the WMF. I don’t believe I have ever seen anyone make such an extraordinary statement about their own project [mailing list] [and especially meta], and I believe it to be unduly harsh: the project was part of a larger conversation about WikiProjects, in-person events, and machine evaluation of articles (think ORES), which have largely been successful, in a good part exactly because these people were part of the mix.
Wil Sinclair, of Lila Tretikov fame, has turned up on Facebook.
Last winter he changed jobs from Crunchyroll to Burning Man Project, prompting some comment about the “this is fine” meme.
He has also become an extreme athlete and finished the 2018 Ironman in Cozumel, an event consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, followed by a 26.22 mile marathon. So some congratulations are in order.
These are grueling events, and you have to train hard for them. I must say he does look very fit.
Below: Left, before the race. Right, at the finish line.
Strategy: Tunis “Harmonization Sprint”
The Harmonization Sprint in Tunis was supposed to be the final push for the Strategy, but it has turned into more of a limp. (Announcement on mailing list. From Wikimedia Netherlands, thus adding another detail to Jimbo’s Dutch orange conspiracy theory “jokes” at Wikimania 2015. Cue the stroopwafels.)
But check this one thing on meta, the list of people at the event. Do you see any names at all from Trust & Safety? Pretty sure there were some T&S staffers who were members of the working group in the past. And there was this resounding endorsement from an affiliate group, as short a time ago as last June. But is there a shift in the wind? IMO T&S is now brown-nosing the functionaries, and protecting them from necessary supervision, instead of protecting the volunteers and affiliates. The only name I recognized on the attendance list is WMF newbie Valerie D’Costa.
So back to T&S. Here is an overview of staffers on meta, that includes the newer ones. At the top of the heap is the German language Jan Essfield, who nobody ever sees. Next down in the food chain and answering to Jan, is Patric kEarly, who has been regularly appearing at events. The rest seem to answer to him directly, including a couple more German-speaking individuals, in case you need someone who is good at following orders. Now, who was in place when the Fram thing went down? The two of them most certainly. It has also been stated that senior management signed off on it all the way to the top. Certainly the upper management would have to back their lower management in something like this, otherwise they had better be looking for some new staffers they can trust.
So here is the page for staff and contractors. You can’t see what was edited or when, you can only see what is current; everything else is down the memory hole. (And I haven’t checked to see if anyone has been archiving it).
So here is the current lineup. There are ten names in trust and safety, listed alphabetically, including Essfield. Six white faces, plus four without photos. Guebo is from Africa, Poore is white, newbies Hargove and Nair are unknown. Nair is unlikely to be this user, but since the name is Asian, she is very likely Asian. So seven white, one black, one Asian, one unknown. The management is 100% male. They answer to Community Engagement, which consists of newbie Valerie D’Costa, the indispensable Maggie Dennis, who has been out on medical leave since approximately the Jurrasic era, and who was recently promoted, after holding down both her position and D’Costa’s for an extended length of time as “acting manager”; also Lauren Miranda, of unknown vintage, currently billed as “project manager”.
So who else do you recognize on the Tunis attendance list? Valerie D’Costa for one. You can hardly go to Africa without some diverse faces, but more than that, I believe they mean to get her up to speed, and without the rest of the T&S team whispering in her ear, or more likely, trying to freeze her out of the loop. What they did was strictly “fishing in muddy waters”, putting the FramBan into place while Maggie was on sick leave and D’Costa was newly in charge, and thus very dependent on her existing staff. When we next see the reborn T&S, or SuSa, or Community Health constellation – and they are always reorganizing those things – I predict her face will be still be in the organizational chart. Only Brown, Hargrove, Sutherland, and Poore are direct hires, the rest are contractors, and presumably their contracts can be allowed to expire without drama, whenever the WMF wills it. Interestingly enough, several T&S members seem to be slated for WikiConference North America 2019, since the Foundation just sends whoever they want (or are willing to pay travel expenses for) and the organizers pretty much have to accept it. It also looks like this is the only event that has not specifically invited Katherine Maher.
This year the German-speaking WikiCon gathering is the same weekend as WikiArabia, and WikiCon North America is the same weekend as WikiIndaba. This means there’s always going to be a sense of missing something important!
I would also agree with what Leila shared. I was very appreciative to be invited to Wikiconvention, WikiArabia, and WikiIndaba this year.
LOL, but it’s their loss, she’s an interesting speaker, and even more so when she’s addressing a specialized techie audience.
Wikipedia criticism sites
There are only two active boards left, Wikipediocracy and Wikipediasucks(DOT)co
Wikipediocrazy has grown totally boring, and dedicated to stirring up a lynch mob against any Wikimedians who are 1) female 2) gay 3) express displeasure at being stalked and harassed. The charge is being led by Vigilant, who has acquired a lot of social capital by being Wikipediocrazy’s sexy Bad Boy, but has now gone into deficit, by carrying water for Breitbart. Sucks has been documenting his feverish rate of posting — a gargantuan effort — but they have yet to discover who is paying him.
Laura Hale’s Wikipedia account has now been officially “vanished” She is certainly not the first, and she probably won’t be the last. Where oh where is T&S? No doubt they are still tied up admiring the mistletoe on the shirttails of some of the less savory functionaries.
Vigilant is also the Wikipediocrazy “enforcer”, and in spite of not being a mod, decides who can stay and who can go. He recently went after Eric Corbett, who has drastically curtailed his postings, and even more recently went after the perpetually wounded Kumioko, who promptly decamped to Sucks.
Sucks is going through some growing pains with their new blood. Up until now, the site has survived with Crowsnest’s insightful but long-winded rants, plus the Dutch-speaking Graaf, the quality of whose contributions varies greatly, but who has usually been left alone on any new threads he has started.
But now that Kumioko is back, Crownest has decided to go all Tough Love on him, and Graaf is acting drunk, posting more of the rainbow all caps stuff that got Auggie over at Wikirev shut down. Barbour is smarter than Augie though, I suspect he will be okay.
Kumioko is a military contractor for the Pentagon, who is very well known locally, but is still very triggered by his negative experiences on Wikipedia years ago, constantly talking about the same things over and over. At the same time, he is still a Wikipedia insider, having created innumerable sock puppets, so he tends to just repeat the Wikipediocrazy insider mantras, without giving them much thought. For instance you will see threads on whether Katherine should smile more, or smile less, or whether she should have stomped her foot and done this thing or that thing, in the same way that outsiders used to go on Jimbo’s talk page and say ‘why don’t you just put such-and-such policy into place’, without realizing Wikipedia is community-driven, not authority-driven. He has been around long enough to know better, but hey, she is female, and in the World of Wikipediocracy, that is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.
Crowsnest might be able to handle Kumioko by himself, and get him to do some honest criticism, but the notorious Wikipedia insider and faux pinko-commie Carrite has now jumped in the ring and is tag-teaming him. Crowsnest usually watches the Bishonen crowd, which is really an unreasonably huge number of so-called “legitimate” socks to have on a watchlist, plus he keeps a few other people honest, so to have him tied up trying to reform Kumioko is unfortunate. But I do hope he tries, since Carrite and Kumioko both represent the mainstream misogynist Wikipediocracy. He might be the only one who can talk any sense to Wikipediocracy. At the same time, they might be able to get Crow to post more effective rants, really they are too long to read.
Last night Auggie wrote a new post, saying he took it down as soon as he saw it. So thank you for that.
Originally he put it in a members-only forum to keep it out of the search engines, then removed it completely, and blocked the participants. Anyhow, thank you to the participants who defended me, and I’m sorry you were blocked.