User talk:Moulton/Archive

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Archives[edit]

Ottava Rima's Exercise[edit]

Here is a trial exercise that Moulton has finished. Below is a trial Peer Review process that will welcome all members of the community to respond so that Moulton can have the appropriate feedback. The Peer Review process will follow three days, focusing primarily on positive and negative assements, followed by an analysis of Moulton's philosophical understanding and how it compares to community standards, and then finished with a community discussion and interaction between Moulton and the Peer reviewers, allowing Moulton to ask a limited number of questions for each of his reviewers. The reviewer will then be asked to respond. This will then be followed by a community discussion over our development through this process and to determine the positives and negatives of this process as a whole, including the benefits to Moulton. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:21, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Moulton's three-day trial research project[edit]

I have approached Moulton and I feel that it would be in the best interest of the community that Moulton participates in a three day trial ethics research project, as defined below. However, I believe that it would be best that Moulton devotes himself to this project, and that others refrain from responding directly to Moulton during this time. I would ask that if there are any developing problems or concerns, to contact me first, and I will discuss the issue. This will take place at User talk:Moulton, which is in my user space, and I ask that people please respect my user space in this way in order for this task to be completed.

At the end of the three days, I will establish a makeshift peer review process and welcome those to respond to Moulton's research project and to then discuss philosophical issues afterwards.

Day One: Definitions.

I would like you to define the following terms. Please limit your responses to two or three sentences each and no mention of specific users or actions that have taken place on Wikipedia/Wikiversity. Do not discuss their application at this time. Terms: Ethics (general), Ethics (research), Ethics (response), Ethics (editing), Civility, Discourse (general), Discourse (scholarly), Revert, BLP (ethical responsibility), Respect, Commitment.

Day Two: Application.

I would like you to come up with three answers for how to deal with each situation (without talking about particular individuals or past experiences): Someone edits other people's comments, Someone removes content, Someone follows another and attacks others, Someone responds aggressively to another, Two people constantly responding aggressively to each other. After this, apply the terms above and how they become involved in these situations.

Then answer these philosophical questions: When is blocking appropriate during an edit dispute? When is blocking appropriate during a fight between two editors? Is the individual greater than the community?

Day Three: Personal analysis.

For each of your situation's three responses, list two positives and two negatives to each of these responses. Weigh the pros and cons, especially considering how each would make you feel (integrity), make others feel (community), and what kinds of emotional problems could come out of each.

Then, try to come up with an alternate answer to each of the philosophical questions in which you think other people may hold (ones you may not agree with but you find perfectly acceptable).

Peer Review: When Moulton has completed this task, I will ask that the community then respond in a peer reviewed analysis. I will welcome each person to produce their own section without interaction with the other sections. This section will have a short response to the tasks of Day One, Day Two, and Day Three. After enough people have weighed in, I will open up a discuss on what other people's responses were, and focus on what people think are the positives and negatives of what Moulton has come up with, and how we can incorporate these ideas into our own understandings and habits to create a better system of interacting with others.

I feel that this would be beneficial to Moulton and to the community, and that the structure will help us determine what kind of Peer Review system could work in the future. I had a few ideas on how to work out a Peer Review system, and this seemed to be the easiest to put together and try. Remember, this is in user space and not part of any official project right now. This is a trial process. Ottava Rima 17:36, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Day One: Definitions[edit]

Definitions.

I would like you to define the following terms. Please limit your responses to two or three sentences each and no mention of specific users or actions that have taken place on Wikipedia/Wikiversity. Do not discuss their application at this time. Terms: Ethics (general), Ethics (research), Ethics (response), Ethics (editing), Civility, Discourse (general), Discourse (scholarly), Revert, BLP (ethical responsibility), Respect, Commitment.

Ethics. Ethics is a branch of Philosophy that seeks to develop best practices so as to maximize value and mininize harm. Examples of harm include harmful side effects (e.g. collateral damage), and long-term negative consequences that eventually swamp or undercut any short term gains.

Ethics in research. Ethics in research is a branch of applied ethics where the field of endeavor is research. The most important concern in ethics in research is research with living subjects (especially human subjects).

Ethics in responding to others. Ethics in responding to others in a community such as Wikiversity concerns the development of best practices in terms of one's operating point on Integrated Kohlberg-Gilligan Model. The primary thrust is to hone one's skills at ethical reasoning, which is an instance of Model-Based Reasoning.

Ethics in editing. Ethics in editing content in a site like Wikiversity is one of three pillars of good writing. The three pillars are Accuracy, Excellence, and Ethics. Ethics in writing seeks to maximize the beneficial value of the writing while minimizing any conceivable harm.

Civility. Civility is a cultural practice derived from Politeness Theory, which derives in turn from Facework Theory. The application of these ideas to online communities leads to insights on how best to build a civil community which minimizes undesirable conflict.

Discourse. Discourse is a process of social dialogue undertaken for some overarching objective, such as education, investigation, or group decision making.

Scholarly Discourse. Scholarly discourse is discourse for the purpose of scholarly review, investigation, research, or programs of education. In Wikiversity, the Colloquium is a venue of discourse.

Reversion. Reversion is the act of discarding an incremental change to a document, policy, or practice in favor of an earlier version of the same.

Ethical considerations of BLPs. Ethical considerations of BLPs (Biographies of Living Persons) pertain to the application of ethical principles in crafting biographical accounts of living persons, for publication in mass media such as Wikipedia.

Respect. Respect and Contempt are opposite ends of an axis of regard that applies to interpersonal relationships. The Respect-Contempt Axis is one of six axes that arise in Facework Theory.

Commitment. Commitment is a stage in the development of communities. The sequence is: 1) Communities of Interest, 2) Communities of Practice, 3) Communities of Commitment, 4) Centers of Excellence. At the Commitment stage, the members of the community make promisory commitments to each othey by way of a Social Contract. Communities of Practice which fail to advance to Communities of Commitment sometimes devolve into Communities of Malpractice.

Day Two: Applications[edit]

Application.

I would like you to come up with three answers for how to deal with each situation (without talking about particular individuals or past experiences): Someone edits other people's comments, Someone removes content, Someone follows another and attacks others, Someone responds aggressively to another, Two people constantly responding aggressively to each other. After this, apply the terms above and how they become involved in these situations.

Then answer these philosophical questions: When is blocking appropriate during an edit dispute? When is blocking appropriate during a fight between two editors? Is the individual greater than the community?

  • Someone edits other people's comments
  1. Let it be.
  2. Summarily revert it with a terse edit summary.
  3. Discuss the issue with the concerned editor.
  • Someone removes content
  1. Let it be.
  2. Summarily restore it with a terse edit summary.
  3. Discuss the issue with the concerned editor.
  • Someone follows another and attacks others
  1. Ignore the attack and carry on as if it never happened.
  2. Issue a stern "cease and desist" order.
  3. Discuss the issue with the troubled editor.
  • Someone responds aggressively to another
  1. Ignore them entirely.
  2. Strike back with equal and opposite intensity.
  3. Ignore the aggressive aspect, search for the underlying issue, and discuss it with the troubled editor.
  • Two people constantly responding aggressively to each other
  1. Ignore them entirely.
  2. Set up the lawn chairs and popcorn concession.
  3. Offer to mediate their dispute in accordance with the community's Conflict Resolution Protocol as set forth in the the Community Social Contract.
  • Discussion of applicable vocabulary terms
Each of the above scenarios calls for a spectrum of imaginable practices. I've generally tried to bracket the range of practices from maximally attenuated responses (e.g. the null response) to maximally intensified responses (e.g. aggressively bellicose). Generally one expects to find ethical best practices within these extremes. In terms of sophisticated ethical reasoning, one might strive to ascend to higher rungs on the Kohlberg Ladder. In terms of Gilligan's orthogonal axis of Antipathy-Empathy, one might strive to be more sympathetic or empathetic with the issues and concerns of an adversarial or antagonistic editor. Civil discourse is the preferred method of discovering the concerns or anxieties of others. In civil discourse, the overarching objective is to migrate to the left on each of the following six axes from Facework Theory:

1. The Respect-Contempt Axis

2. The Approval-Condemnation Axis

3. The Cooperation-Antagonism Axis

4. The Freedom-Taboo Axis

5. The Trust-Mistrust Axis

6. The Comfort-Anxiety Axis

In the Argument/Debate Culture, the participants tend to drift to the right on each of the above axes, generating mutual and reciprocal disrespect, disapproval, antagonism, and mistrust.
In the Dialogue Model, the participants seek to create common ground, and seek to conscientiously migrate themselves to jointly shared respect, and mutual approval and cooperation.
In order for a community or culture to advance from the Argument/Debate Culture to the Dialogue Model, the members of the community must be prepared to commit to that paradigm shift in the core architecture of the culture.
  • Philosophical Question #1: When is blocking appropriate during an edit dispute?
Blocking may be the best practice if an editor has departed so far from ethical best practices as to be in a psychotic state (comparable to an out-of-control robot, incapable of processing functional diagnostic messages).
  • Philosophical Question #2: When is blocking appropriate during a fight between two editors?
A referee's time-out may be appropriate when two or more editors are ensnared in an escalating cycle of reciprocal reversions and there is no evidence of fruitful diagnostic discourse underway amongst them.
  • Philosophical Question #3: Is the individual greater than the community?
That depends on the nature of the community. In a combat unit fighting for material gains, it is customary to sacrifice a chess piece for the sake of winning the game. In a spiritual community, saving the individual is an overarching goal. In an educational community, the dilemma is comparable to the one faced by Mrs. Zajac in Tracy Kidder's book, Among Schoolchildren. In that story, the teacher spent an enormous amount of time and energy trying to save two problem children (Clarence and Robert). In the end, Mrs. Zajac failed to reach them, and so everyone lost, including the other children in the class who were neglected while Mrs. Zajac spent so much time on a futile effort to reach Clarence and Robert.

Day Three: Personal analysis[edit]

Personal analysis.

For each of your situation's three responses, list two positives and two negatives to each of these responses. Weigh the pros and cons, especially considering how each would make you feel (integrity), make others feel (community), and what kinds of emotional problems could come out of each.

Then, try to come up with an alternate answer to each of the philosophical questions in which you think other people may hold (ones you may not agree with but you find perfectly acceptable).

  • Someone edits other people's comments
  1. Let it be.
    Positives: No drama. Possible beneficial copyedit improvements.
    Negatives: Possible loss of identity/integrity. Facilitates evasion of responsibility.
  2. Summarily revert it with a terse edit summary.
    Positives: Quick. Preserves authorial integrity.
    Negatives: Unfriendly. Possible loss of good faith editorial improvements.
  3. Discuss the issue with the concerned editor.
    Positives: Collegial. Could produce substantial improvements via collaboration and discussion.
    Negatives: Possible protracted disagreements. Possible excess coverage of minor points of disagreement.
  • Someone removes content
  1. Let it be.
    Positives: No drama. Possible removal of erroneous content.
    Negatives: Possible loss of good content. Possible loss of good will.
  2. Summarily restore it with a terse edit summary.
    Positives: Quick. Asserts importance or relevance of material.
    Negatives: Possible reversion war. Reasons may not be spelled out clearly.
  3. Discuss the issue with the concerned editor.
    Positives: Positives: Collegial. Could produce substantial improvements via collaboration and discussion.
    Negatives: Possible protracted disagreements. Possible unbalanced coverage of points of disagreement.
  • Someone follows another and attacks others
  1. Ignore the attack and carry on as if it never happened.
    Positives: Less interpersonal drama. Stays focused on the real subject.
    Negatives: Attacks may be effective at hurting their target. Attacks may be distracting to third parties.
  2. Issue a stern "cease and desist" order.
    Positives: Assertive. May be effective in arresting the attacks.
    Negatives: May fuel the conflict. May require invocation of a sanction, anathema to collegiality and learning.
  3. Discuss the issue with the troubled editor.
    Positives: May resolve the issue. May arrive at a detente.
    Negatives: May escalate the conflict. May polarize the community.
  • Someone responds aggressively to another
  1. Ignore them entirely.
    Positives: Avoids unwanted drama. Stays focused on the primary objective.
    Negatives: Unchecked aggression could persist and spread like kudzu. By the time it becomes clear that unmitigated aggression is destroying the planet, there may not be any good options left.
  2. Strike back with equal and opposite intensity.
    Positives: Potentially the problem quickly, at least in the short term. Illustrates the idiocy of recursive WikiDrama for the benefit of the next generation.
    Negatives: Perpetuates wars of mutual reciprocal aggression ad infinitum. Consumes scarce resources without producing any lasting value, other that the lulz of the dramahz itself (for the benefit of future historians of such liminal social dramas).
  3. Ignore the aggressive aspect, search for the underlying issue, and discuss it with the troubled editor.
    Positives: May lead to valuable insights. Demonstrates a high level of ethics, professionalism, and emotional maturity.
    Negatives: May require more education, more cognitive focus, or more emotional maturity than the parties are currently able to manifest. The dialogue may never make and significant progress, and may never terminate.
  • Two people constantly responding aggressively to each other
  1. Ignore them entirely.
    Positives: Others stay out of the cat and dog fight. The warring parties are free to learn to solve their differences by their own preferred methods, on their own timetable.
    Negatives: It's hard to continue to ignore warring parties when they are nuking the planet. Their excess consumption of system resources may cripple the rest of the system for everyone else.
  2. Set up the lawn chairs and popcorn concession.
    Positives: Hastens the learning process for those in the audience who are enthralled by such dramas. Provides an entertaining diversion from the daily drudge work of thinking long and hard about challenging ethical conundrums with insufficient familiarity with the consequences of failing to think them through.
    Negatives: Whoever is footing the bill for the originally intended project might pull the plug. Thinking generally grinds to a halt while munching popcorn and watching the idiotic cartoon dailies.
  3. Offer to mediate their dispute in accordance with the community's Conflict Resolution Protocol as set forth in the the Community Social Contract.
    Positives: Solves the problem efficiently in a near-optimal manner. Saves wear and tear on the amygdala, hippocampus, gut organs, and fists.
    Negatives: Provides no outlet for excess adrenalin or testosterone. Provides negligible entertainment value.
  • Alternate Views on Philosophical Question #1: When is blocking appropriate during an edit dispute?
Blocking is the standard tool for solving disputes. There are no other viable options. Block early and often. Leave it up to the community to decide if and when to overturn a rapid block.
  • Alternate Views on Philosophical Question #2: When is blocking appropriate during a fight between two editors?
Blocking is the standard tool for arresting edit wars. There are no other practical options.
  • Alternate Views on Philosophical Question #3: Is the individual greater than the community?
We are building an encyclopedia. Anyone who is not helping to build an encyclopedia doesn't belong. Those who do not respect community norms should be shown the door. If they return, they should be watched and be shown the door again, rapidly, if it becomes at all clear that they are still up to their old tricks.

Peer Review[edit]

I would now at this time welcome community feed back. This will happen in three phases that represent the three days that Moulton has worked on this. Each phase will have a three part process. Please put a level four subheading beneath each Peer Review part when responding and please don't respond to any other responders at this time. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:21, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Peer Review Part One[edit]

I would like to welcome all to respond to this. However, I would like to ask anyone who responds to one part of this to respond to each part. We shall look at the positives and the negatives of his basic responses.

Day One

Please list one positive statement and one negative statement based on how well Moulton has answered the definitions. Please focus on clarity of the response, any particularly interesting statements, and how Moulton has interpreted this task.

Day Two

Please respond to Moulton's possibile responses to the various situations (Someone edits other people's comments, Someone removes content, Someone follows another and attacks others, Someone responds aggressively to another, Two people constantly responding aggressively to each other) by stating where Moulton has shown an adequate understanding of possible responses to these situations. If there is a situation in which Moulton has not produced a positive way in dealing with the situation appropriately, please provide an alternate answer and briefly explain the positives of acting in this manner.

Day Three

Please add one more positive or one more negative to Moulton's analysis. However, if there is a response from Moulton that you feel is more than appropriate, please feel free to highlight that instead.

User:Privatemusings[edit]

Day One
  • Positive statement - the definitions are concise (per the suggested task), and clear.
  • negative statement - though the task sort of leads one in this direction, the answers seem to me in some ways confident to the point of maybe finding it hard to recognise that other definitions of these terms might exist. To put it another way, these are very 'thought through' definitions in some ways (facework / Kohlberg-Gilligan etc.) - it might be handy to 'pan out' occasionally.
Day Two

It's harder for me to parse this one! In terms of the 1) 2) 3)s - obviously the 3)s are the way to go (I think that's the point?) - overall, particularly the bit after that section seems great to me! - I've got a nagging thought about how attached to a particular paradigm some of the reasoning may be - I wouldn't want the perception that WV may (or may not) have (or lack) a cohesive 'social contract' to act as a sort of trump card in discussion - especially if that ever runs the risk of being circular / self fulfilling. Perhaps another pinch of feedback is to not go too far down the road of explanation / detail in any particular model - sometimes it's hard to follow along!

Day Three

Speaking of the final three 'alternative viewpoints' - I think that's a pretty good summing up of schools of thought out there.

Overall

I think this has been quite an interesting process (and I've only really dipped my toe in, to write the above). The elephant in the room may be the issue of identity and ethics - and the tension between a considered belief that it's necessary (or at least acceptable) to call someone by their full (real) name, and participation in various wiki projects.

Thanks for your work, Ottava and Moulton - and (of course) feedback on my feedback is most welcome :-) Privatemusings 02:53, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Responder Two name here[edit]

Peer Review Part Two[edit]

Five of Seven, meet Seven of Nine[edit]

There is an interesting model of the Five Big Personality Traits of Successful Managers. They go by the acronym "OCEAN":

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

Of these, the second one is the one most interesting to me.

When I was in grammar school, my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Brown, wrote on my report card a big word that I didn't know. I had to ask my parents what it was. The word was "Conscientious". It was the first 4-syllable word I ever learned.

There is a Sixth Trait not listed among the Big Five.

The Sixth Trait is Insight.

The Seventh Trait is Compassion.

Put them all together, you get OCEANIC.

I reckon that successful business managers have five of those seven traits.

There are two more character traits that are worth mentioning, elusive as they often are.

The Eighth Trait is Absolution.

The Ninth is Love.

Put all nine together, you get OCEANICAL.

Many of us are still looking for the last two.

Five of Seven, meet Seven of Nine.

Moulton 08:47, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Final Warning[edit]

The next time you link to a malicious site or a link to a link to a malicious site on my talk page, you will be banned from my talk page. If in doubt, do not link. Salmon of Doubt 22:44, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Are you issuing a terroristic threat, in contravention of your pledge to commit to scholarly ethics? Moulton 22:54, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

System Failure[edit]

Well, that was fun. You wrote a SodBot to automatically revert anything I posted to your talk page. But your bot failed to remove my question (I asked you if you were the same Salmon of Doubt as the one on Encyclopedia Dramatica). So you manually removed my question, whereupon your SodBot helpfully swung into action and put it back. :)

Whereupon you immediately logged off of Wikiversity and IRC rather than suffer through the humiliation of system failure.

Moulton 00:39, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Have compassion for those among us who are so blind to their human-ness that they inadequately debug their beliefs and bots. WAS 4.250 05:44, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Can you tell me the name of the affective emotional state of those who feel inadequate? I'll see if my Empathy Function is adequately equipped to feel the same way. —Moulton 07:13, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Unjustified feelings of superiority lead to inadequate double checking of one's efforts; which leads to failed efforts; which leads to anger at others if there are psychological mechanisms in place that were the cause of the initial self over-estimation. It is a sad cycle. WAS 4.250 07:25, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
That's a good insight. I had not looked deeply into the issue of complexes of inferiority/superiority and had not thought about that issue very much. Do you have a thesis regarding Salmon of Doubt's level of confidence/doubt of his own competence and proficiency? Would it be healthier for him to be more skeptical of his beliefs, and check them more rigorously before acting on them? —Moulton 07:43, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

(<---) It is a very complicated issue. Sometimes it is more useful for an individual to be certain than right. Women are attracted to men who are certain for example. Leaders are often chosen for their confidence more than their intelligence leading to people who know less seeming to have greater confidence than someone who knows that a situation is not black and white. Further sometimes vigorous efforts in a wrong direction can have unexpected benefits by confusing an enemy or revealing previously unknown opportunities. Thus nature has equipped us with many emotions and instincts that regulate our confidence levels. It is not an easy question to answer. WAS 4.250 08:00, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Let's simplify the problem then, by restricting it to one or two scenarios.
Scenario #1: You are part of a team writing articles for an encyclopedia. How important is it to write articles that are accurate? How important is it for the author of an article to feel certain they are right, rather than carefully check their story for accuracy?
Scenario #2: You are part of a team crafting a learning exercise, together with live laboratory experiments to test your current level of knowledge. How important is it for a scholar to have a comprehensive understanding of the subject? How important is it for a student to have the courage of his convictions to test them in full view of his peers?
Moulton 08:50, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Those are cases where due diligence means taking great care to get it right. WAS 4.250 09:19, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Amen, bro. And now, what are the best practices for embodying due diligence to get it right? —Moulton 13:29, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Different situations call for different means. Situations can be distinguished based on resources and the full set of goals and priorities involved. What happens when an important goal has only volunteer resources available? WAS 4.250 13:46, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Excellent question. I answered that earlier this morning on Wikipedia Review.

Anankastic Control Phreaks, Redux

As an author, Baxter not only controls his characters, he skillfully operates his characters to manipulate people at Wikimedia sites and at Wikipedia Review. So, as I see it, it's all about control and manipulation. Using rules, threats, and punishments is the bully's way of doing that. Using emotional manipulation is the artist's way. I'll give Mr. Baxter credit for one thing. He is more artistic than the ham-fisted rule-bound control freaks at WP.

Compare Baxter's allegories of exploitation and sexual abuse to Jimbo Wales and Cary Bass, who now exploit volunteers to run an operation off of which Jimbo skims donations to fund his globe-trotting escapades. The reward to volunteers? Power to abuse people the same way those fictive sadists control and abuse helpless females in the stories penned under the nom-de-screwem of Miss Vicky London.

They guy is writing allegories that parallel the abuse of people on WP. It took me a long time to figure out why Jimbo didn't care if FeloniousMonk was an abusive admin. They have no more empathy for their victims than Dr. Brian has in that salacious story of sexual abuse by Miss Vicky London.

Moulton 14:00, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

(<---) You are drinking too much Wikipedia Review Kool-aide. Jimbo does not skim any money out of WikiMedia funds. He pays his own way on his trips these days. As for empathy, he demonstrates more empathy than you did just now in making fun of Salmon of Doubt on his user page. It is unethical of you to throw around these unsourced libelous claims about Jimbo and lacking in compassion to make fun of others. You and Salmon are both setting a very bad ethical example. WAS 4.250 14:40, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

That doesn't come from Wikipedia Review. It comes from Danny Wool, who used to do the books at WMF. —Moulton 16:06, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

The 9/11 Report[edit]

Today is 9/11 the seventh anniversary of one of the most notorious terror attacks in recent memory.

Today is 9/11, the first anniversary of one of the most notorious terror attacks in recent Wikipedian memory.

Yes, it was exactly one year ago today that KillerChihuahua executed an indefinite block of Moulton on the English Language Wikipedia, on the grounds that he had "no interest in writing an encyclopedia" (notwithstanding the fact that he was already the co-author of one article in a prestigious print encyclopedia ("Electronic (Virtual) Communities"), and subsequently the author of 20 articles in Google Knol. And here we are, exactly one year later, and KillerChihuahua is still defending her disgraceful actions of a year ago, acting as an agent of the WikiClique on Intelligent Design (IDCab) — 14 allied editors who acted in concert as Plaintiff, Arresting Officer, Bailiff, Witness, Judge, Jury, and Executioner, all in the space of one week (September 4th to September 11th, 2007).

The evidence of corruption in the ethically challenged editors of IDCab has been accumulating for over a year now, and yet the erratic and dysfunctional community at the English Language Wikipedia still cannot decide the case.

Montana Mouse 21:56, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Comparing Moulton's block with the 9/11 attacks seems a bit over-the-top to me. Dtobias 02:48, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd compare it to Tisha_B'Av, but that's a different calendar date than 9/11 and I doubt anyone here even recalls what happened on that date. —Moulton 05:42, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject study before editing[edit]

Hi Moulton,

Which article, or couple of articles would you like to choose as participant of this project?--Daanschr 06:54, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I would propose the BLP on David Berlinski and the article on Icons of Evolution (specifically on the section regarding the Coldwater video of that title). In both cases, I found that a modest amount of study made a significant difference in the level of accuracy, excellence, and ethics in those two articles. Moulton 12:49, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

John also liked to take those articles, so i will prepare a project for them. I have never heard of them before.--Daanschr 14:35, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Are you aware of the links to the analysis and review of those two articles that I had previously posted, prior to the initiation of our studies here in Wikiversity? —Moulton 14:43, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I wrote something down on this issue on this special page dedicated to the topic.--Daanschr 16:32, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Names[edit]

Moulton, it is pretty rude to refer to someone by an alternate name than they have given, unless they've requested to be referred to by that name. I don't see the purpose in this, for example. If she's given you permission to call her by that name elsewhere, and I missed it, then my apologies. At the moment, though, it makes you look bad, IMO, and lowers your chances of actually getting her to respond to you, if that's what you want. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 19:26, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

It is even ruder for anonymous and pseudonymous editors to publish blatantly false and defamatory characterization of 103 scientists, researchers, and academics who have never done anything to harm the utterly irresponsible and cowardly editors of the WikiClique on Intelligent Design. —Moulton 19:33, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
True, but what does one have to do with the other? You've made no direct connection between the use of anonymity and pseudonymity and the BLP problem surrounding the petition signers like Picard. So far you're only rationalizing this behavior for editors you consider opponents, when I and others edited Picard's article pseudonymously, too.
From where I stand, it's like one of those feuds between neighbors, where one guy slashes the other's tires because that guy mowed over his flower garden. After a while, it doesn't matter who started it or is more in the wrong, because both are behaving inappropriately, and any outsider looking in at the conflict just sees two guys behaving like jerks.
From what I see, KC is attempting to communicate in a straightforward manner regarding the problems she has with the project, so why not meet her halfway? Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 20:32, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I have offered to negotiate with her to reach a mutually agreeable account of the events of 9/11 of last year. So far she has rejected that overture. —Moulton 22:40, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I see you were blocked temporarily. I went out on a limb and edited her name out, as it clearly did bother her, and we don't need that to escalate any further. I would much rather you have done it, as I don't like the idea of editing someone else's comments, but it seemed better for me to do it than anyone else. As always, the door's open for discussion if and when you're ready. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 20:59, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I was on the phone with SBJ at that hour, and then I had to leave for the evening. —Moulton 22:40, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

At Ottava Rima's request, I grant him permission to move the above thread from this talk page to his, under the proviso that everything already here remain intact, and if anything is subsequently edited after the move, I have the right to alter, amend, or extend my responses accordingly, so as to maintain the illusion and pretense of civil discourse. Moulton 03:33, 16 September 2008 (UTC)


I have moved the section here. I divided it into the previous entry that was here, and a section for later responses so we can differentiate between what is moved and what was not. This is to allow this entry to be returned back to this page after Moulton has had time to finish his task. If there are any questions, please contact me. Ottava Rima (talk) 04:43, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Scholarly Peer Review of Managerial Practices Demonstrated in the singular contributions of Jimbo Wales[edit]

I would like to add as a study case in the Ethics Project the singular contributions of Jimbo Wales, as introduced and discussed today in the Wikiversity Colloquium.

Proposed questions for review:

Moulton 02:42, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Community-Wide Peer Review of Exceptional Practices[edit]

There is underway a community-wide peer review of exceptional practices that I would like to participate in, both as plaintiff and as a defendant in regard to the collection of practices currently under review.

  • With respect to Case #33, where I am named as a miscreant, I would like to be afforded a fair opportunity to respond to my critics, in the venue where they lodge their criticism, at the time they lodge them, so as to maintain timely continuity of the discourse there, in accordance with the protocols of scholarly ethics.
  • With respect to Case #34 where I am accused of engaging in collaborative studies and collaborative research with another scholar, I would like to be afforded a fair opportunity to respond to my critics, in the venue where they lodge their criticism, at the time they lodge them, so as to maintain timely continuity of the discourse there, in accordance with the protocols of scholarly ethics.
  • With respect to Case #40, I would like to add my name as an aggrieved party and plaintiff, and name Cary Bass, Jimbo Wales, Cormaggio, McCormack, SB_Johnny, Centaur of Attention, Salmon of Doubt, Jim62sch, KillerChihuahua, Sxeptomaniac, and Guillame Paumier as respondents who have, at times (and in varying degrees of impropriety) acted in a lamentably uncongenial, uncollegial, unscholarly, unprofessional, unethical, unbecoming, incivil, and ultimately unsustainable manner so as to alienate, aggravate, disturb, annoy, frustrate, dispirit, vex, and perplex me (and perhaps other scholars engaged in their quiet studies) beyond reasonably tolerable levels of adaptation to a hostile learning environment whilst I am striving to address and solve nearly intractable ethical conundrums and dilemmas.

Moulton 13:35, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

You can add my name to the list above if you are going to seriously add Cormaggio, McCormack, or SB Johnny. I've yelled at you plenty of times over many of your actions and have told you straight up when I thought you were far over the line. Ottava Rima (talk) 13:43, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
As long as you understand that this is not an indictment in which I seek harsh sanctions or punishments (such as spanking or gagging or other forms of S&M bondage), then I would be happy to include you in a scholarly peer review of the issues raised in these three cases involving elements of candor, collaboration, and inclusion. —Moulton 18:58, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I feel that any complaint that you file against the aforementioned names should also include me. I was directly involved as one of the 3 bureaucrats that supported your block from this site. I also participated in the decision to kickban you out of the #wikiversity-en irc channel. But, it is really up to you if you feel that these constitute a complaint for #40. I just wanted to remind you of these things in the name of a thorough and balanced review. --mikeu talk 20:15, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Mike, as long as you understand that this is not an indictment in which I seek harsh sanctions or punishments (such as spanking or gagging or kicking or other forms of S&M bondage and discipline), then I would be happy to include you in a scholarly peer review of the issues raised in these three cases involving elements of candor, collaboration, and inclusion in the sober process of conflict resolution.
In particular, I would like to propose a scholarly examination and peer review of the following two scientific hypotheses:
  • H0:Benign AGF (Assume Good Faith) that nothing sinister, nothing unusual, nothing extraordinary has happened here in Wikiversity or in the associated IRC channels.
  • H1:Speculative (and as yet unproven) hypothesis that "an unknown number of (unidentified) admins requested that Jimbo be the one to make the block" on the (reliable) theory that there would then not be an immediate consensus to overturn the block, even if the consensus were that it was inappropriate for Jimbo to have been asked to make the block on their behalf (and improper for him to have acceded to doing so).
H1 is a falsifiable and testable hypothesis, so I have (elsewhere) proposed a simple experiment to test it. Those here who are systems scientists, can figure out the experimental test without much difficulty. Those here who are actors in a constructed reality soap opera will probably have little or no idea what I'm talking about.
So far, the acknowledged actions of the majority of resident scholars here has reified (rather than refuted) H1. It is still possible for H1 to be falsified, but to the best of my knowledge and awareness, that has not yet happened as of this moment in the remarkable history of Wikiversity.
Moulton 12:35, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Scholarly Peer Review of Proposed Analysis from Cary Bass[edit]

Template:Cquote

I would like some help in reviewing Bastique's soliloquy, above, as I am unclear on his agenda.

I agree with the sentiment that there is a systematic program of alienation underway at Wikiversity. I propose we review the sources, causes, and time-dynamics of that process of alienation.

Although Cary Bass and I have had zero direct communication, he has nonetheless tendered his remarkably original theory of mind regarding my interests, methods, and objectives. I am unclear how Cary could form such a haphazard theory of mind. Upon what evidence, reasoning, or analysis does his curious theory repose?

Finally, what is the name of the fear that Cary is projecting in his fascinating soliloquy on Cormaggio's subpage?

Moulton 12:52, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

ArbCom Review of FeloniousMonk[edit]

The Wikipedia Administrator, FeloniousMonk, who relied on the unexamined testimony of Don Hopkins and Bela in his scathing indictment of Moulton, has been unanimously adjudged by the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) as guilty of corruption and gross violations of policy, including "meritless accusations against other editors on multiple occasions."

Moulton 21:11, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Do you feel vindicated? Do you think you can stop fixating so much on this and move on to helping improve things yet? Ottava Rima (talk) 03:07, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
No, I do not feel vindicated. Here are two items of evidence for that:

Template:Cquote

Note: personal names and email addresses have been removed from the section below. --mikeu talk 12:52, 23 September 2008 (UTC) Template:Cquote

I will feel vindicated if and when the serious scholars here eschew the unbecoming, unprofessional, unwise, unwarranted, and unsustainable culture of incivility, narcissistic wounding, anankastic conditionals, binding, gagging, and kicking people, and petulantly refusing to adopt and abide by the sensible protocols of scholarly ethics.
Moulton 12:06, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Inherit the Windmills[edit]

When it comes to quixotic quests, perhaps none is more intractable than nudging a hopelessly dysfunctional system in the Bokononic direction of enlightenment.

A year ago, Dave Souza had reminded me of Augustine, who is notable for having introduced the term "Original Sin" into the conversation. Of course, being a systems scientist rather than a theologian, I'm more inclined to analyze systemic errors rather than reckon anything as mortifying as "Original Sin." Still, it occurred to me that Augustine might have been on to something, so I took a closer look at what he was blathering on about with all of that godspeak.

Turns out a few of those pioneering oligarchs (e.g. Solon and Hammurabi, among others) had introduced a tragic logic error into their calculus. Rather than call it "Original Sin," I'd rather call it "Hammurabi's Original Logic Error" or "Humankind's Original Logic Error." Either way, the acronym comes out HOLE, so that one can smile and say that those who embrace their flawed paradigm have a HOLE in their head.

But I digress. It's difficult to do peer-reviewed original research in the field of Neuro-Mathematical Systems Theology, so one is obliged to follow the lead of Umberto Eco. Eco said, "Whereof we cannot make a theory, we must tell a story instead." And I say, even if we can make a theory, we damn well better present it as a story anyway, since theory tends to make most people's eyes glaze over. Alas, I suck at storycraft, which is why I like to hang out around journalists. Mebbe some of their gift will rub off on me someday.

Meanwhile, I struggle with a compromise somewhere between scientific essay writing and amateurish comic opera. I figure it can only get better, cuz it can't get much worse.

The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down

Midi: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Barsoom Tork is my name, and I rode on the paintball train,
Til so much rivalry came and tore up the tracks again.
In the fall of skandalon, we were rollin, just trollin for bait.
I took the train to Wiki, that hell, it was a time I remember, oh so well.

The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the bells were ringing,
The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the people were stingin'.
They went
Na,
Na, na, na, na, na,
Blah, blah, buh blah,
Buh blah blah, blah blah

Back with SBJ at Epiphany, and one day he said to me,
"Moulton, quick, come see, a-there goes Guillaume on a spree!"
Now I don't mind choppin' wood, and I don't care if Jimbo's no good.
Just take what ya need and efface the rest,
But they should never have wiped out the very best.

The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the bells were ringing,
The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the people were stingin'.
They went
Na,
Na, na, na, na, na,
Blah, blah, buh blah,
Buh blah blah, blah blah

Like my father before me, I'm a working man,
And like Awbrey before me, I took a rebel stand.
Well, he was just pissed off, proud and brave,
But the God-King laid him in his grave,
I swear by the verse below my feet,
You can't raise the Torkel back up when it's in defeat.

The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the bells were ringing,
The Night They Drove Old Moulton Down, and all the people were stingin'.
They went
Na,
Na, na, na, na, na,
Blah, blah, buh blah,
Buh blah blah, blah blah

CopyClef 2007-2008 Joan Baez and Barsoom Tork Associates.

Moulton 01:36, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

The Ring of the Neener Bomb[edit]

Previously, Schadenfreude Theatre presented a pair of seemingly unrelated operas, one entitled Fear and Loathing in Lost Vagueness and one entitled No One Expects the Spammish Inquisition!.

Those two productions were in addition to an earlier Soap Opera entitled, Bildungsroman in the Age of Character Assassination, which featured Bela, Klaatu, Moulton, and a variety of walk-on cameos by various and sundry characters from the Original ATI/RI/PDR Soap Opera which Bela graciously kicked off some five years ago.

Now the third opera in the Ring of the Neener Bomb is getting underway at the English Wikipedia and here at Wikiversity. This one is tentatively called The Final Absolution and promises to have considerably better music than the utter atrocities previously composed by Barsoom Tork Associates.

Montana Mouse 12:56, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Blog[edit]

Moulton, I highly suggest that you open a wordpress.com or blogger.com account and move ("only") some of these sections (hence, "not all") to that blog. In fact, this link will help you get started. Please don't take this offensively, as I know you have sites in mind that you prefer to post content upon. I think others will agree to the link to blogger.com here on your userpage, and it may help avoid vandalism. Dzonatas 19:16, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I have a personal blog called MoultonLava on Blogger. I also post on the Media Ethics Blog at Utah State University. Montana Mouse also has a blog called the Musings of Montana Mouse. I can also post material on Google Docs as well. —Moulton 19:30, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Let's go with http://aggieblue.blogspot.com. I hope it will be fair with others to agree upon at least this one. I suggest to link to blogspot site, just once, on this page or on your front userpage (where it may be protected). Dzonatas 19:38, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
The USU Media Ethics Blog is associated with the course on Mass Media Ethics at the USU School of Journalism and Communications, where I am a Faculty Adjunct. My personal blog is where I post generic items (such as personal memoirs) not connected to the Media Ethics course. —Moulton 19:49, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Are you familiar with how to use the "citation" template and harvard refs? I'm pretty sure I'm not suggesting something that would prevent you from expressing what you just replied about. On the Albert Einstein page, at the bottom there are uses of the citation template that you can refer to. Just copy-paste it here on your talk page and replace the content of the tags. Dzonatas
Yes, I've used it before, although the last time I used in on WV, I found it was broken. —Moulton 00:13, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
[removed uncivil comment, summary below]
(The preceding unsigned comment was added by Darklama (talkcontribs) .) 14:24, 17 September 2008

Unanswered questions about claims on User:Centaur of attention user page[edit]

One month ago, WAS 4.250, Lar, and I each independently asked Centaur of attention to provide evidence, reasoning, and analsyis to support a variety of unsubstantiated claims posted on his Wikiversity user page. See the edit summary of WAS 4.250 and the more detailed questions from Lar and myself on the discussion page. It has now been a month, and there is no response from the author of the questioned claims. —Moulton 14:44, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Let's continue[edit]

Here is an example {{harv|Moulton|2008}}. It renders as: Template:Harv. One section appears kinda redundant since it is already on your blog, so I think you could replace your entire "9/11" section above on this page with a single citation: Template:Harv.

And, the citation template works:

Is this fair? Dzonatas 17:12, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Try using the {{Citation}} template with two or more authors. As I recall, it failed for the second and subsequent authors. —Moulton 17:30, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

2 authors: Template:Harv

3 authors: Template:Harv

It appears to work. Dzonatas 18:23, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

It's good to know the citation template is working now. I had given up on it before, as it was beyond my ken to diagnose the problem. —Moulton 21:06, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

User:Moulton Biographical Sketch[edit]

A miscreant has tampered with the biographical sketch on User:Moulton. I am the author of that biographical sketch, which sets forth my bona fides in academia. Unapproved edits which distort my credentials have a corrosive and corrupting influence on the integrity of academic records which other scholars rely on to familiarize themselves with the background, interests, and publications of their fellow scholars.

If it becomes necessary to protect the User:Moulton page from continued vandalism and unauthorized tampering, then I request that the protected version be one that I have approved as authentic, accurate, and germane to my participation here. At this time, this version is most appropriate.

Moulton 04:16, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Moulton, Since there are people who don't like your site for some reasons, I suggest a compromise: Use an unwikified link http://example.com; users enter at their own risks. That would work for your curriculum vitae; What do others think? Hillgentleman|Talk 18:25, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I would like to know the reason. They make up reasons which, upon examination, prove to be synthetic flights of fancy unconnected to reality. Are we in a constructed reality soap opera here, or is this an authentic learning community? —Moulton 19:07, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I would suggest a short mention on the biography to state that Moulton has a private blog, and that he can be contacted directly if people would want it. This would keep the link off the website and Wikiversity will no longer be a host for the link. Ottava Rima (talk) 19:59, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I would suggest we examine two hypotheses:
  • H0:Benign AGF (Assume Good Faith) that nothing sinister, nothing unusual, nothing extraordinary has happened.
  • H1:Speculative (and as yet unproven) hypothesis that "an unknown number of (unidentified) admins requested that Jimbo be the one to make the block" on the (reliable) theory that there would then not be a consensus to overturn the block, even if the consensus were that it was improper for Jimbo to have been asked to make the block on their behalf (and improper for him to have acceded to doing so).
H1 is a falsifiable and testable hypothesis, so I have (elsewhere) proposed a simple experiment to test it. Those here who are systems scientists, can figure out the experimental test without much difficulty. Those here who are actors in a constructed reality soap opera will have little or no idea what I'm talking about. —Moulton 20:15, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Keep it under the counter like it's hardcore porn or something? That seems troublesome for anybody who favors free inquiry. Dtobias 03:20, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
The unexamined scholar is not worth paying attention to. —Moulton 03:52, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I doubt it can be considered responsible to let someone stand on a street corner and be allowed to hand out Hustler mags to every man, woman, and child of any age. Dzonatas 03:49, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
And there are some who want Harry Potter books to be placed under the counter, available on special request only, so as not to expose the kiddies to "anti-Christian" witchcraft and wizardry. Where do you draw the line? Dtobias 04:11, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Even if some can draw a line, others are too blind to see it. Dzonatas 05:15, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Even a lowly blind worm can follow a gradient. If Homo Schleppians would replace their ferchachta Heaviside Switch Functions with Graceful Error Functions, this silly issue would evaporate like an infinitesimal black hole in the SBD (Small Bogon Decider). —Barsoom Tork 11:52, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
You know, although I defend your right to link to your own writings against those who want to enforce some form of BADSITES against it, I also wish you would, once in a while, link to something other than the stuff you wrote yourself. When you continually introduce terminology that might be unfamiliar to readers, like "anankastic conditionals", "Heaviside switch functions", and so on, then it might be a good idea to find some explanatory links to sites that define those things, perhaps written by people better than yourself at explaining them in a manner accessible to laymen and not overly polemical regarding the particular clashes you're in. Dtobias 14:28, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I first learned about anankastic conditionals by reading an article about them in Wikipedia. The most interesting one is the instance where Cla68 was accused of making threat, when he was in fact making a scientific prediction. That's the curious thing about anankastic conditionals. They have the same grammatical structure whether issued by a bully leveling a threat or by a scientist making a prediction based on a realistic theoretical model. —Moulton 19:09, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Gracefully, I agree with Dtobias on this. Also, consider the edit above for Exceptional Practices[1], you know, its pretty hard to say that the reply[2] demonstrates a professional level such that your reply can easily been seen as contradictory to your request in case#40. You lost me on that one, Moulton. Dzonatas 16:28, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Barsoom Tork, being an Anthropologist from Mars, can be excused for employing more math than most earthlings are accustomed to seeing in political discourse. There simply isn't any reliable way to introduce mathematical concepts to non-mathematical readers. It basically takes at least an hour to present those ideas to college students. And even then, only about 20% of the class will understand it. —Moulton 19:09, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Controversial case studies[edit]

Continuing the offsite conversation here, regarding removing the material from en:Wikipedia Ethics/Case Studies1‎, I consider my position quite simple:

The page is for case studies, not essays arguing your case. I hadn't touched it before because it's been a bit unclear what collaborative editing should look like on WV. However, it seems apparent to me that recent consensus is that the ethics project has been off-course and needs major cleanup and redirection. As a result, I decided removing that section would now be the right move.

I have nothing in particular against using your conflicts as a case study, but that's what it would actually need to be. No attempts at clever titles, no arguing for one side, neutrally worded, few or no links, and it probably would be anonymized. I may write one up eventually, but it would need to be started from scratch, because your essay is just too far from what is needed to be easily adapted.

I can't say emotions play into it much, as I knew your "case study" was useless the minute I saw that you had referenced Kristalnacht as a comparison (removing that over-the-top reference didn't change the overall problem, though).

Overall, my motivations now are pretty much the same as when I have opposed what you refer to as the "IDCab". I have opposed them several times because I believe their behavior harms the Wikipedia project. In the same way, I believe much of your behavior here has been harmful for the Ethics project and Wikiversity as a whole. As with them, I do not oppose the person, but the behavior. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 23:48, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Case 4 is authored primarily by User:Moulton, with some introductory and bridging passages authored by en:User:WAS 4.250, who are jointly responsible for its content. Case 5 is authored entirely by User:Moulton, who is solely responsible for its content. Reviewers who wish to comment, challenge, or offer suggestions on either case are requested to do in accordance with the Wikiversity Policy on Scholarly Ethics.

Case 4 — Concordances, Dossiers, Scathing Indictments, and Ethics[edit]

This section is authored by User:Moulton and by en:User:WAS 4.250 who are jointly responsible for its content.

This area of study encompasses ethical issues arising from on-wiki publications of non-article space compilations of an individual's identifying information, linking avatar names, screen names, e-mail names, Skype ID, geographical identifiers, IP identifiers, business or career identifiers, photographic identifiers, educational identifiers, real name, address, phone number, age, rap sheets and prior conflicts, etc.

Overview[edit]

Wikipedia has many groups (which are sometimes labeled as "cliques" or "cabals", particularly by opponents), each with varying and overlapping memberships based on interests, points of view, and friendships. They communicate though varying means: email (example: Jayjg sent a "back me up on this Israel article" message to the Wikipedia public mail list by accident instead of some other private email list), Wikipedia projects (such as IDcab = Intelligent Design Wikipedia project, members mostly against Intelligent Design. More information about "IDcab" and how it relates to Wikipedia:WikiProject intelligent design is in the next section, below.), off site coordination sites (such as the Wikia "anti-harassment" site made famous by Durova), Internet Relay Chat (made famous by Giano's efforts and Arbcom's broken promises), or other means (example: London pubs). The groups differ greatly. There are two groups that have stood out from the rest for their brazen waring. SlimVirgin and friends (main 2008 edit war interests: Israel, animal rights) and IDcab (main 2008 edit war interests: evolution and creation "science"). Both currently (as of August 7, 2008) have Arbcom cases pending (see links in the next page section, below). Both have years of abusive behavior. Now notice the tricky part: Both also have years of wonderful constructive behavior creating great content and blocking others who are even more abusive. So what to do? There is no consensus. So the cases stay pending. And both abusive and wonderful behavior by both groups continues. So Moulton claims the solution is something called "ethics". WAS 4.250 likes learning new things so he talks to Moulton about it at Moulton's Wikipedia talk page. Which gets protected from editing. So they talk about ethics at Meta. Which gets protected from edits. Someone mentions Wikiversity, and it looks like the right place to take the talk. So here we are.

  • Suggestion: Part of the problem with Wikipedia is that its form of wiki "culture" does not support the needs of its editors, particularly editors who are involved in conflicts over article content. Wikipedia editors are told to resolve content disputes by discussions on article talk pages, but this is inadequate. Article talk pages where edit wars are common often contain statements such as, "This talk page is to discuss the text, photographs, format, grammar, etc" and editors are told to go off-site for other types of discussions. One possibility is for such Wikipedia article talk pages to be linked to Wikiversity where we could have "study groups" such as en:Wikipedia Editing disputes related to Intelligent Design and en:Wikipedia Editing disputes related to Biographical articles. Wikiversity has a much broader range of content and could function as a "relief valve" to take pressure off of Wikipedia. For example, some editors have problems working within Wikipedia's rather restrictive rules for article creation. Wikiversity could have learning projects on conflict resolution and be a center for educating people about Wikipedia's NOR and NPOV while at the same time showing Wikipedia editors that there is a Wikimedia wiki where original research is welcome and learning resources are allowed that do not follow the NPOV restriction.

The players and the game[edit]

See also: w:Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/Mantanmoreland#Statement by User:WAS 4.250 and Wikimadness XVII: The Return of Byrne

While the name IDcab comes from the Intelligent Design Wikipedia project, the IDcab members are actually those individuals that continually vote as a block and is not identical with the membership list of the Intelligent Design Wikipedia project. "IDcab" is more of a shorthand for "wikipedians who usually show up on evolution or creationist articles and talk pages to back each other up with votes, intimidation, hypocracy, blocking, uncivil comments and/or false accusations when maintaining in articles the point of view that creationism is religion and not science and evolution is a fact" (that point of view is fully backed up by the best sources; it is their methods, not that goal that is the problem). For example, Filll has claimed that incivility should be allowed and not punished. The point is to deliberately drive away, ban/block, and claim anyone with similar opinions is a sockpuppet who then is also blocked/banned. The strategy is to make it a bannable offense to believe certain things and thus control article content. Creating content based on consensus means anyone can get their friends together and edit any article and make it say what they want it to say. These methods are being used because good people and not so good people both find the combination of anon editors and rule by consensus on divisive claims to not be working. Wikipedia has a problem. The system works good enough on most articles most the time. But when people try to game the system, we get this mess. Both this case and the current (August 7, 2008) C68-FM-SV arbcom case illustrate and document this.

Hypocrisy - privacy violation accusations as a weapon[edit]

See also: Wikimedia Foundation Privacy Policy, Draft of June 19, 2008

Disclaimer The Wikimedia Foundation believes that maintaining and preserving the privacy of user data is an important value. This Privacy Policy, together with other policies, resolutions, and actions by the Foundation, represents a committed effort to safeguard the security of the limited user information that is collected and retained on our servers. Nevertheless, the Foundation cannot guarantee that user information will remain private. We acknowledge that, in spite of our committed effort to protect private user information, determined individuals may still develop data-mining and other methods to uncover such information and disclose it. For this reason, the Foundation can make no guarantee against unauthorized access to information provided in the course of participating in Foundation Projects or related communities.

Moulton's user page provides a brief biographical sketch that includes links to off-wiki pages where collaborating editors can validate Moulton's bona fides. However, Moulton is careful not to publish an on-wiki concordance linking personal information in a tight paragraph that would appear on a Google listing, though such paragraphs are published by Moulton elsewhere. The reason for this will soon become apparent. In particular Moulton does not use his surname on-wiki (even though articles he works on may occasionally include bibliographic citations in which he is an author or co-author).

In a recent event on the English Wikipedia, Moulton responded to a set of interrogatories posted by an adversarial editor, User:Filll, from the IDCab. The adversarial editor had posed a question in the course of an RfC that referred to an earlier round of e-mails that he had initiated with faculty and staff at a major university, whilst inquiring about the veracity of questionable claims appearing in a Wikipedia BLP. In posing his interrogatory at the RfC, he asked why the faculty member had not expressed the same concerns as Moulton. Moulton went back to the e-mail and quoted from it, verbatim, revealing that the faculty member had, in fact, expressed the identical concerns in e-mail as Moulton had expressed on-wiki. In that referenced e-mail, the WP editor had identified himself by his Yahoo screen name, which differed from his WP avatar name. The adversarial WP editor and his allies on IDCab then cried foul, because Moulton's response to his interrogatory at RfC supplied a concordance linking his WP avatar name to his Yahoo screen name (as it appeared in the referenced e-mail). Upon his cry of foul, his allied admins summarily executed an indef-block of Moulton and, in an act reminiscent of Kristalnacht, swooped in and erased everything in Moulton's user space, including all the evidence Moulton had compiled for use in that RfC and two or three other ongoing proceedings including two high-profile RfArs.

Previously, two of the adversarial editors had blithely published similar concordances linking Moulton's WP avatar name to his real life surname, thereby committing the identical "crime" that they had accused Moulton of.

  • One adversarial WP editor from the IDCab, FeloniousMonk, prepared an extensive on-wiki document in which he compiled a dossier in which he and Filll undertook to file a scathing indictment of Moulton at multiple RfAr's and RfC's, whilst denying Moulton the unalienable right to respond at RfC and RfAr. The indictment relied on "testimony" from anonymous and pseudonymous posters on forums at WorldCrossing, including one forum in which the pseudonymous characters were engaged in a faux soap opera.
  • Another adversarial editor from IDCab, Dave Souza, posted an item on RfC/ID in which he similarly appended Moulton's real name, thereby linking Moulton's real name to Moulton's WP avatar name in a tight paragraph. The link to that remark is found on the author's talk page.

In defending these lapses, a third adversarial editor from IDCab, Filll, writes:

To the best of my recollection, Moulton has repeatedly linked to his blog where he reveals his name, or to his Wikipedia Review posts where he reveals his name, or to articles of his where he reveals his name. I believe that Moulton has also directly posted his name in late summer of 2007 on Wikipedia. I also found this post that revealed his name: [3]. I am sure there might be many others if a person was willing to diligently search out all the potential posts and links on Wikipedia since Moulton has never made a secret of this. I challenge anyone to show me any post or writing by Moulton where he has claimed or even suggested that this is a secret or should be treated as as secret.--Filll (talk ¦ wpc) 16:37, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Filll is mistaken in his recollection; Moulton's blog does not reveal Moulton's surname - it is Moulton's MuseNet homepage, linked from his Wikipedia user page, that does. Note also that Filll's reference is to a page of entities named "Moulton"; the item there refers only to a "Moulton" on a 1990's educational site called MicroMuse. Thus the only Wikipedians either posting or defending the on-wiki posting of a concordance linking Moulton's WP avatar name to a real name are the three aforementioned adversarial editors from IDCab.

Both of the above lapses were either deleted outright or blanked from the current version of the same page, but both remain, either in static.wikipedia.org or in history pages.

All of the above is merely to illustrate the hypocrisy of the three WP editors who commit the same infraction for which Moulton was indef-blocked without hearing and without due process and for which everything in Moulton's WP userspace was summarily deleted.

Moulton says: "And I haven't begun to tell the part of the story that will really curl your hair."

See also[edit]

Case 5 — IDCab systematically publishes false and defamatory content in BLPs[edit]

This section is authored by User:Moulton who is solely responsible for its content.

A neutral WP editor recently asked Moulton to provide information on a BLP hatchet job by IDCab. In particular, he asked for sources to support the claim in the Rosalind Picard BLP that she supported Intelligent Design.

Here is the evidence and information Moulton provided:

Identifiable People Who Have Published Claims
That R. Picard Supports Intelligent Design

After reviewing the above, Moulton's correspondent replied:

I'm sorry, but I couldn't find one reliable source. All I see is original research that extrapolates her signature to mean something besides her signature.

I need statements in news articles that directly mention her signing, not lists her among many. They also need to discuss what it would mean.

Moulton responded:

There are no published reliable sources upon which to accurately establish what her signature in 2001 on an untitled 2-sentence 32-word statement means. However, I have an E-Mail from her that does explain what her signature means. While that E-Mail is ineligible as a WP:RS on WP, it (privately) establishes that all the haphazard speculation and WP:Synth is utter bollocks.

There is exactly one recent news story (cited in the BLP) wherein Picard comments on ID in response to a reporter's question on the subject (but not on the meaning of her signature in 2001).

See also: FeloniousMonk Blows It Again in which yet another BLP is similarly hacked by a leading member of IDCab.

See also: w:Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia/Moulton, JWSchmidt's investigation, an attempt to understand this case.

In particular, take note of this compilation of all of Picard's edit summaries on her own biography:

Picard's IP Edit Summaries

  • 23:20, February 4, 2007 (hist) (diff) Rosalind Picard ‎ (focus on the entry)
  • 23:19, February 4, 2007 (hist) (diff) Rosalind Picard ‎ (the deleted material has nothing to do with the person in the entry)
  • 22:35, June 29, 2006 (hist) (diff) Rosalind Picard ‎ ("anti-evol" is POV of the writer. the organizers of the petition support many aspects of evolution such as microevolution so to label it anti-evolution is an attempt to sell more newspapers)
  • 23:29, April 27, 2006 (hist) (diff) Rosalind Picard ‎ (Read the petition. Calling it anti-evolution is not accurate, even if the NYT tried to label it that way.)
  • 23:24, April 27, 2006 (hist) (diff) Rosalind Picard ‎ (→Intelligent Design Support: The petition does NOT say anything about intelligent design. Read the petition.)
  • 00:21, March 31, 2006 (hist) (diff) Rosalind Picard ‎ (→Showing Skepticism and Asking for Critical Examination of Evidence)
  • 15:28, March 13, 2006 (hist) (diff) Rosalind Picard ‎ (→Showing Skepticism and Asking for More Critical Examination of the Evidence)

The above edit summaries make it abundantly clear that Picard's on-wiki complaint (spanning 11 months from March 2006 to February 2007) coincides in substance and detail with Moulton's complaint (spanning 13 months from August 2007 to September 2008), that the Picard BLP erroneously connects her (and the notorious petition) to Intelligent Design, and utterly fails to apprehend the text of the 2001 pre-publication petition, as circulated in private E-Mail among academics, to be a sincere and sober call for rigorous adherence to the protocols of the Scientific Method when examining the evidence for any theory.

Question for Dark Mage[edit]

According to the Administrator's noticeboard on Wikipedia he's been permanently banned from that site and other wikimedia sites - what is the situation on this site is he banned completely for being uncivil or is it a temporary ban which the foundation have initiated. Dark Mage 09:59, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Dark Mage, I am baffled where you found that on the WP AN. Can you unpack for me the evidence, analysis, and reasoning that drew you to report that I've been "permanently banned from WP and other WMF sites"?

See, for example, this comment on WP from Admin Viridae:

Just a clarification. Moulton is not, and never has been, banned. ViridaeTalk 11:06, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Moulton 12:19, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately no, I've only read half of the comments about you on WP:AN all I know is what other's have said on various wikimedia sites so I presumed that you were blocked permanently that's all I know, I want no problems with you Moulton nor with any other users - but as stated previously I may support or oppose the unblock depending on the situation, but only if you remain civil and stay within the foundations policy. Dark Mage 20:35, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a reliable source, Dark Mage. It is possible to get to the ground truth in these matters, but not by blindly accepting the word of unreliable sources. —Moulton 04:26, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
That maybe so Moulton, but don't forget that some editors on wikipedia are trying his/her best to make it reliable, but there are those who are trying to damage it for us, don't presume that all on wikipedia isn't reliable some of it could be from a reliable source. Dark Mage 19:11, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
And there are those who are simply misinformed, and who naively propagate misinformation without bothering to validate it. If you would like to learn how to avoid naively propagating misinformation, I would be more than happy to share with you the techniques we use in science and journalism to ensure the accuracy of our stories. —Moulton 20:56, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Not at the moment, but thanks for asking. Dark Mage 21:09, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Sherry Turkle: Falling for Science: Objects in Mind[edit]

Sherry Turkle gave a talk last Friday on her new book Falling for Science: Objects in Mind. The book, which is about science, technology, and love, is a collection of stories written by her own students and by a small number of distinguished scientists, each recounting transformational episodes in their early life that turned them on to science.

Because the stories are memoirs of events early in life, they almost all involve interactions with objects that fascinated and intrigued the budding young scientist, and for which they had an early and memorable "Aha!" moment of insight.

For Seymour Papert, it was a gear train that captured his fancy, including the remarkable differential gear that is at once simple and understandable, yet not deterministic like linear gear chains.

One child, a young girl, obtained her epiphany from playing with My Little Pony. She first divided the pony's tail into three strands and braided them. Tiring of that, she divided the the pony's tail into nine strands, made three sets of braids and then braided those into a plait. Next she started with 27 strands, made three plaits, and braided those. Then she did it with 81 strands and four layers of recursion. Yes, she was learning about recursion by braiding the tail of My Pretty Pony. You can look it up. It's in Sherry's book.

Another youngster used Legos to create a fantasy world. There was a King, who was a fool who ruled his empire until it fell apart. His Queen couldn't stand him, and so she spent her time playing with the Prince, instead. The Prince was a smart-alec who got his lulz playing jokes on the stupid palace guards.

Alan Kay spoke of a teacher whom he calls "Mrs. Quirk" who had at the back of her room a table of junk. Mrs. Quirk never spoke of the table or the junk on it. But one day young Alan Kay started playing with the junk, and fell in love with the curiosities on that table.

The stories all have a few recurring elements in common: Teachers, Love, Memoirs, and the Inner History of Devices.

Turkle points out that in most cases, parents or teachers would have been hard pressed to appreciate what these children were learning or discovering through their intrigue with their curious objects of fascination.

Moulton 20:15, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Purple Haze[edit]

Sherry Turkle asked me to review her book and help construct any insights emerging from the collection of stories. Among the stories in her book is one contributed by another colleague of mine, Rosalind Picard. It's a brief essay in which Picard describes significant episodes in her youth when she found opportunities to purse her interest in science. Here is one passage, from Sixth Grade:

Then in sixth grade, I led the science class debate team, arguing for Evolution against a team who argued for Creation. I showed an image with a sequence of monkeys turning into men, and everybody knew that Evolution was the only scientific argument there was. After the debate, the class voted to see who "won." I knew we would win because we were the only ones who used any scientific arguments, or so I thought. But we lost. The class voted for the Creationists, led by a cute popular girl with pigtails who played the guitar, had a great tan, and had a house with a pool. She spoke passionately about things that I didn't even want to hear. I couldn't believe it. I really had my nose out of joint after that, but maybe that was when I began to think people should know more science. —Rosalind Picard, "Purple Haze", p. 229 in Falling for Science: Objects in Mind, edited by Sherry Turkle, MIT Press, 2008.

Moulton 04:43, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

In other words, debates are often "decided" more based on the likeability of the people supporting one or the other side, and social-networking considerations of which side one's friends are on and whose side one has the most to gain by supporting, than on the logic of the arguments. Dtobias 13:25, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Harrumph! What an ugly thought! Gastrin Bombesin 14:21, 20 September 2008 (UTC) P.S. Your avatar costume is ugly, too. Mine is way cooler.

New Kid on the Block[edit]

There are those who are asking the devotees of academic research, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the scholar is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of anankastic control freaks. We can never be satisfied as long as our avatars heavy with the costumes of Po-Mo Theater, cannot gain stagecraft in the talk pages of the wikis and the blog pages of the nitty gritties. We cannot be satisfied as long as the scholar's basic modality is peripatetic migration from a smaller post to a larger tome. We can never be satisfied as long as our avatars are stripped of their costumes and robbed of their anonymity by a sign stating: "For Furries Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a goat herder in Pennsylvania cannot note why a scholar in Phoenix believes he has done nothing remotely of note. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until insight rolls down like thunder, and empathy like an enlightened dream.

I am not unmindful that some avatars have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some avatars have come fresh from inexplicably bad blocks. And some have come from wikis where the quest — quest for academic freedom — left them battered by the storms of Seahaven's hurricanes and staggered by the eclipse of Bomis totality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Wikipedia, go back to Meta-Wiki, go back to Wikipedia Review, go back to Moulton Lava, go back to IRC, go back to the Spammish Inquisitions of our sister wikis knowing that somehow this situation can and will be lampooned.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my fellow fiends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of slaying the Godzilla-King and his fearsome Basilisque, I still have a scream. It is a scream deeply rooted in the post-modern scream.

I have a scream that one day this Internet will rise up and live out the true intention of its creators: We hold these protocols to be self-referential, that all Internet hosts are creative prequels.

I have a scream that one day the red meat of ArbCom, the Someys of corny Iowa and the silly songs of atrocious bloggers will be able to canoodle together at the table of snickerhood.

I have a scream that one day even the staff of WMF, a staff bleating with the cry of obliviousness, sweltering with the heat of antipathy, will be transformed into an oasis of insight and transformation.

I have a scream that embattled detractors will one day thrive in a wiki where they will not be judged by the color of their animal costume but by the content of their character.

I have a scream today!

I have a scream that one day, down in Wikipedia, with its vicious PoV pushers, with its Cabalistas having their fingertips clicking with the words of "banhammer" and "desysop" — one day right there in Wikipedia little puppy dogs and little fingerlings will be able to join the circus with little clowns and ringleaders as amateur performers.

I have a scream today!

I have a scream that one day every study shall be exalted, and every anankastic control freak shall eat crow, the rough passages will be made smooth, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of Thoreau, Gandhi, King, and Borat shall be revealed and all furries shall see it together.

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to this talk page with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our wikis into a beautiful symphony of avatarhood. With this faith, we will be able to study together, to think together, to struggle together, to endure bad blocks together, to stand up for academic freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day to write atrocious song parodies and utterly idiotic speeches.

Gastrin Bombesin 14:12, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Can I quote you on that and attribute it to the author who actually wrote your speech? —Montana Mouse 23:29, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

MicroMuse[edit]

FYI w:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/MicroMuse --mikeu talk 13:55, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

The result was no consensus. [4]

Thank you, Mike, for presenting to the editors the documentation that they had inexplicably overlooked.

I note that when both sides of a case are fairly presented on a level playing field, the outcome is predictably one of "no immediate consensus".

There is similarly "no immediate consensus" on the rather bold actions of Jimbo Wales last week. It was predictable that there would be no immediate consensus to overthrow the Godzilla-King, even when he comes galumphing into Wikiversity like some kind of testosterone-crazed Jabberwocky. No one is willing to wield the vorpal sword and behead the monarch whose costumery is one robe shy of traditional scholarly garb.

Moulton 18:14, 22 September 2008 (UTC)