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Conservapedia:Parthian shot/SamHB

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There are many questions and concerns. I need to step back and think about things. SamHB 22:47, 18 March 2010 (EDT)

R   E   T   I   R   E   D
This user has requested that their pages be archived and left untouched.
This is due to a private decision to leave RationalWiki and never come back.
Please honor their request. (Inquiries here)

Some seriously disappointing occurrences have caused me to decide that I must leave Conservapedia. Departures often seem to involve extremely bitter recriminations in both directions, with "Parthian shots", bans, deletions, and reversions of edits. I hope there won't be any of that. This is not a "Parthian shot". Think of it as a bittersweet farewell.

Some people reading this may know the details of my disappointment, though most of it was in edits that have been deleted, or in private email. There's no need to go into details here—doing so could be taken the wrong way, and could lead to deletion of this. I hope that that will not happen.

I hope that the powers that be will not block me. It is not necessary to do so, and doing so will not make Conservapedia a better encyclopedia.

I hope that this page (and this edit) will not be deleted. It is not necessary to do so, and doing so will not make Conservapedia a better encyclopedia.

Another thing that sometimes happens when people leave is that their edits are reverted. You should not do this. I realize that mathematical and scientific edits can't easily be checked, because few people have the necessary expertise. I have, on several occasions, some public but mostly private, become aware that sysops are frequently concerned over whether people (always people other than myself) might be inserting parody, nonsense, or vandalism into math and science articles. This concern is exaggerated. Inserting undetected mathematical parody is very difficult (I, for one, wouldn't know how to do it.) It is nearly nonexistent at CP. Contrast that with the enormous amount of parody in other areas. "Flaming" (perhaps more politely known as "showing off") is another matter—there's been a certain amount of that. See cp:2-category or Exterior derivative (since fixed) or cp:Equivariant cohomology.

I have never harmed CP in any way. I have never vandalized anything, or inserted any parody or flaming. Now there aren't many people who can pass judgment on that. In fact, JacobB is probably the only currently-active person really qualified to evaluate my work. Before permitting me to work on the multivariable calculus project, he looked over my past contributions. He would have said something if anything had been amiss.

I believe that all of my writing has been accessible to (ambitious) high-school-level students. I have removed a fair amount of flaming, and made some articles, written by others, more accessible. See cp:tensor (and its talk page) for an example. I have removed parody, including parody by a former sysop. (There's no need to chase him down. I've checked his stuff. There was one other case, but it was fixed by someone else.)

Activities of which I am most proud: Limits, complex numbers, complex analytic functions, Cauchy sequences, Dedekind cuts, conservative/irrotational vector fields, the wave equation, and Green's theorem. (Some of these were written in "sandbox" pages while I was on probation, and moved to the main space by someone else while I was blocked.)
Activities of which I am least proud: Getting in fights with sysops. See my archives here and here. Not a single atom of any of this did anyone any good. Not a single atom of it made CP a better place.

So that's what my experience with CP has done for CP. But what has it done for me? To be sure, there were bad times, but there were a lot of really good and constructive times too. I've had the opportunity to think very very carefully about how one would teach various mathematical concepts at a high-school level, in a written internet wiki medium. How to do this wasn't at all obvious when I started (I'm not an educator; this has all been a recreational/hobbyist activity.) I expect to use these skills elsewhere in the future.

I'd like to end on a lighthearted and, dare I say, humorous, note. Back when I was blocked over an IP conflict, one of my contacts at the Wiki That Is Not To Be Named offered to place an "epitaph" on my user page, and ElizabethK's as well. (We had both been caught up, separately, in the same IP dragnet. We had been communicating by email prior to that. BTW, she's going to medical school in the fall.) Both epitaphs were immediately deleted, and the perpetrator banned, by JessicaT ("Kotomi".) I contacted her by email about this. She had assumed that it was some random "drive-by vandalism", of the sort that is very common here. When I explained that it was not, and had been done with our consent, she was chagrined at what had happened. But I could see that it could easily be taken the wrong way. Anyway, I thought they were mildly amusing. They are still in the page histories, and are here and here. Well, I thought they were funny. :-)

Take care. I wish you the best.

SamHB 15:37, 3 April 2010 (EDT)

User:SamHB/Archive 1

To whom it may concern: I was recently unblocked, and my user and user talk pages restored, after having been blocked for about a year. Neither of these actions was requested by me! It started when I saw some edits of math articles (conservative vector fields, Stokes' theorem, that kind of thing) over Christmas weekend, and sent Andy an email about it. To my surprise, in addition to giving a gracious reply, he unblocked me. Then I sent mail to JacobB, using the now-enabled "email this user" mechanism, about the "multivariate calculus" course. A discussion ensued, and he apparently asked Andy to restore the pages. I did not ask JacobB to do this. The pages both turned out to be extremely dreary and unpleasant to look at, so I have archived them. So here we are. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an appointment with the wave equation. SamHB 20:09, 7 January 2010 (EST)

Being invited to participate in the "Multivariable Calculus" lectures has been an exciting experience for me. I had no idea, when my account was restored, that I would be invited to participate in this. Focusing my creative efforts on a large project is a very different, more challenging, and more rewarding experience than the miscellaneous pages I had worked on previously. However, because of the uncertainty of working here, and the uncertainty of this course's acceptance in the internet community at large, it is necessary to diversify my audience. Therefore, I will be creating an account at Wikiversity, and submitting my work to both sites. I will, of course, not copy anyone else's writings without permission. SamHB 23:52, 27 February 2010 (EST)