Conservapedia: Things to Consider
TK has taken it upon himself to brand me a sock-puppet of “pink”, whoever Pink may be, and to ban me for five years, and also to rangeblock huge IP ranges of some of the largest ISP’s in the United Kingdom.
As those of you who have worked with me will know, I have no political agenda in the way most people here would interpret the term. Modern ideologies and politics are not my concern. Conservatives can bow down before Palin and make little offerings of Alaskan crude and factory farmed chicken all they want, I don’t give a toss. And liberals can bow down before Al Gore and make little offerings of fair trade coffee and solar phone chargers, and I still wouldn’t give a toss. Sorry TK, but you are totally wrong about me. Maybe if more people stood back from these modern ideologies, they would see how petty and spiteful they have made people become.
As I state in my userpage, my reason for wanting to edit at CP was to expand and correct articles concerning Egyptology, which I did. The fact is, that there is not one example of “vandalism” or “liberal deceit” that can be ascribed to me. Up until the posting of this letter, forced to be through an anonymous proxy and sock-puppet by virtue of aforementioned blocks, I have never used either a sock or proxy on CP, or any other wiki.
I neither know nor care about the political motives behind my ban, though it is obvious to me that they exist. Rather, I think users and editors at CP need to ask themselves what they truly believe in. Is it right that a handful of sysops can impose completely arbitrary rules, with absolutely no accountability, transparency, and absolutely no proof of wrong doing? Are these the values you truly hold to?
More importantly, would you allow your children to have CP as their primary or main source of educational material? Would you let your children take the CP World History Assignments as the primary part of their history syllabus? I know my answer, and I believe it is time you considered what yours would be.
You are participating in a project to educate children, primarily on World History. The project leader does not understand even basic concepts of primary and secondary sources, language and the flow of ideas and cultural practices between civlizations. This project is supporting an educational approach that is detrimental to the knowledge and development of these kids. I hoped that my contribution would help reverse that harm, and minimise it’s impact, at least in my field. That even if they performed poorly in other areas, they would have a basic grasp of Egyptian culture and history, and that they could apply the principles and analysis in my entries to others. Clearly, such an approach is not possible, and I’m forced to conclude that any participation is this project is detrimental to those it purports to help. I urge all of you to listen to your heart, and think carefully.
Once I realised I was banned, a made a polite request to TK asking why. As he’d also banned me from using CP email, I had to go back through my own Email archives to get his address from previous correspondence. Here is what happened:
To: TK <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, May 3, 2009 at 10:39 AM
Subject: Conservapedia e-mail
Can you please unblock me (user: krysg) at Conservapedia. You blocked me for 5 years for having the same IP as another banned user (it was not specified who). I have two issues I would like to raise regarding this:
1. As I'm sure you will know from looking at my account, I have multiple IP addresses, as I have campus, accommodation, cellular/3G and several others access points for the Internet, including my parents home and my local coffee shop. As such the chances are that at some point my IP is the same as some unspecified other user who also accessed this site at some unspecified time is quite high.
2. A check of my contributions clearly shows that my user account has never been used in an act of vandalism, and I have regularly contributed comprehensive, properly researched articles to the encyclopaedia, and have enjoyed a productive relationship with the sysops.
As such, can you please unblock my account?
This brought silence… Nothing… Nada. Not so courteous! So I look a bit deeper and discovered the full scale of the rangeblocks he had imposed…
To: TK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, May 4, 2009 at 10:17 PM
Subject: Rangeblock against British Telecom.
I have investigated the block, and I see you have made an IP rangeblock against British Telecom IP's 188.8.131.52 through 184.108.40.206*. I'd just like to point out that British Telecom is one of the largest ISP in the UK and this rangeblock effectively means that a sizable chunk people in UK won't be able to edit CP.
Please reconsider this.
- The way I read the data at the time meant I mistakenly thought this was the case, in fact it was much more wide ranging than this suggests. I have kept this error in for the sake of accuracy in relaying what was said.
This brought a quick, and rather impolite, reply:
From: TK <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, May 4, 2009 at 10:33 PM
Subject: RE: Rangeblock against British Telecom.
Please respond with documentation of just how many people in the U.K. want to edit Conservapedia. Also, how many have even heard of it? And what percentage of the population of the U.K. is “conservative” as we define it here in the United States?
Your argument isn’t one, really, and without logic.
Could you tell me which Conservapedia Administrators you have had a “productive” relationship with? I cannot find evidence of this, nor can I find evidence of any conservative ideology in your edits, so I don’t quite understand your desire to edit at CP.
Also, your IP showed up in recent changes on the vandal site wiki. User “Pink”. As CP doesn’t allow anonymous proxies, it is a moot issue anyway, no?
To which I replied, attempting to maintain some semblance of civility:
To: TK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, May 4, 2009 at 11:19 PM
Subject: Re: Rangeblock against British Telecom.
I believe you are aware that you request for documentation on showing how many in the United Kingdom wish to edit CP is unrealistic, though I know of a few. The fact that most of us in London (and probably in the other cities too) now face difficulty in editing is unlikely to encourage many more to join in, though, do you not agree?
Please explain how my argument is illogical. Though I didn't run it past any professors, I am reasonably confident it is a valid and logical argument that blocking a user who wishes to contribute is counter-productive for a wiki project.
I find you comments about the UK being conservative irrelevant. Firstly, I have no idea how many British people are US-style conservative. Secondly, it is not CP policy to only permit editing by users who have a US - Conservative point of view as part of their personal beliefs, rather that they respect the point of view/style of CP.
As for my personal ideology, I re-iterate the point above that CP specifically states that personal ideology is irrelevant, only that one respects the POV of the project. By not putting any particular POV in my work, it is not in violation of the commandments. I don't discuss my religion and politics formally.
If you are unable to find evidence of my productive relationship with sysops, then I suggest checking my user talk page, and those the articles I created on the CP project, and their associated history/talk pages, though I assume this was done as a standard procedure before blocking me? I refer you to Sunni Islam and Hieroglyphics.
I have no idea who user "pink" is. Given that, as per my original Email, I have different IP's, and that all of them are shared as part of wider networks (halls of residence, campus, library, cafe, 3G etc.) then my having the same IP as some other person who vandalized CP is really not that surprising. There is no shortage of activists in London. I don't bother with anonymous proxies, as I have no need of them.
TK has yet to respond to me.
Please think and consider what you really believe, and if supporting Conservapedia is in keeping with that.