RationalWiki:Summer Holiday 2009

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The 2009 RationalWiki Summer Holiday was the result of the worst server crash in RationalWiki 2.0's history. It combined the "perfect storm" of what might have been a minor hardware or software glitch with Trent's absence from our dedicated server for a huge drunken bender in Cancun visit with family and friends.

Signs and portents[edit]

On Sunday, August 16, a few days before Trent was to leave on his biennial trip home, the server crashed and was inaccessible for a short time. He reported difficulties with MySql connections.[1] Meanwhile, Pi was allegedly seen tampering with the server. This came as a great surprise to Trent, who couldn't work out how Pi had got into his apartment, and to the Canadian immigration authorities, who couldn't work out how he got into the country without a passport. Some have accused him of being the cause of the crash;[2] whilst the police say he slipped across the border from the US where, even after 9/11, they still have not fixed security holes that allow undocumented Antipodeans entry to the country.

The long night[edit]

On Wednesday, August 19, the server crashed again. Having already left, Trent did not have physical access and was unable to reach the server through the internet.[3] There was nothing he could do, short of hopping on a plane and getting back home ASAP, but he didn't do that, the lazy bastard.[4]

Several users invited the mob to their own websites, including Bob M, who turned over his wiki, teflpedia, to the mob. This was the most popular destination for refugees,[5] and versions of some of the WIGOs were recreated, along with a replacement for the Saloon Bar, the Student Bar. This had the effect of sending Teflpedia's editing rate through the roof and eventually burning through the last of its bandwidth on the final day of August. In addition, several articles were created there, to be imported once RationalWiki came back up.[6]


Many theories have been advanced about the "real" cause of the problem.

  • Pi's robot is suffering from Alzheimer's and has been misplacing its keys and forgetting its daughter's name.
  • The powerful Astrologers Union had used their Mafia contacts to intimidate Trent, leading to suggestions that his "holiday" is actually a cover for him entering the witness protection program.[7]
  • "Moslim" terrorists had taken control of the server, in an attempt to obtain the names of all the atheists.[8]
  • ListenerX's contacts from the coven have cursed the wiki in response to members of RationalWiki challenging the witches to curse them.
  • It is part of a social experiment by Trent to study the responses of users when they find that their addictions cannot be fulfilled.
  • This is the beginning of the final phase of Ken's Operation Flying Fortress And Ladies Undergarments. In order to defeat evolution on the Internet in a convincing way, he has started a massive denial of service campaign against pro-evolution websites, beginning with RationalWiki.
  • The evil memos did it.
  • Anonymous user was playing with losers, which, as we all know, can bless up a server.

Other destinations[edit]

Besides Teflpedia, there was extra activity at a number of places including; Liberapedia (where Proxima Centauri & SuperJosh rolled out the red carpet for exiled RationalWikians),[9] A Storehouse of Codswallop (where Toast lost her temper and got a one-month ban, changed to three days by Human, and back to one month by some YECretinist), WikiSynergy, and various RWians' blogs. Rumors that some RationalWikians and fans of the site turned off their computers and got lives cannot be confirmed.

Proxima Centauri's "reporting" of the Exodus on Wikiindex resulted in dust up over there, but inspired an idea for a new WIGO.

One might speculate on why it was that Teflpedia - a wiki for English teachers - became the preferred summer holiday location instead of other locations which might, at first glance be more appropriate. Reasons may include:

  • It was fully owned by "one of the gang" who would not object.
  • It had no pre-conceived stance in respect of the issues in which RW is interested.
  • It was simply the first place people went when they had an offer.
  • The wiki is not highly active anyway, and in the summer it was even more quiet.
  • The website is wiki-based, and attracted the wiki-comfy users.
  • Everyone loves Bob.

Resolution and collateral damage[edit]

  • On Sunday, September 6, Trent arrived home and kicked the server, and Nx ported over the babble from teflonwiki.
  • While we were away, we crashed teflonwiki for a day and a half at the end of August by using all of Bob's bandwidth. In the 6 days of editing in September, we used up more than half that month's allotment.
  • It wasn't really our fault, but WikiSynergy was pulled down due to threats to its owner.
  • We totally mucked up things at WikiIndex, causing strange things to be done to the RationalWiki and a few closely related articles.

See also[edit]


  1. http://rationalwiki.blogspot.com/2009/08/server-down.html
  2. http://www.astorehouseofknowledge.info/index.php?title=User_talk:WebOfLies&diff=prev&oldid=22893 Moreover, someone claiming to be Pi speculated that something he had done may or may not have been related and so decided to play it safe.
  3. http://rationalwiki.blogspot.com/2009/08/pretty-much-worse-case-scenario.html
  4. Just kidding!
  5. For example, this article was written there.
  6. To make the importing process easier, this article was written in the past tense and as if it was on RW, not Teflpedia, slightly surreal hilarity ensued. A RW template was also issued to try and keep things separate.
  7. Anyone can see these RationalWikians are being deliberately unpleasant. Only close insiders know what the real problem is though if the problem is what it seems RationalWiki will probably be back on or soon after the 6th of September. I don’t rule out that there may be a worse problem, I don’t rule out that there are legal problems involving those connected with Conservapedia or with any of the many who RationalWiki has branded practitioners of Pseudoscience. Many astrologers and other similar people quite likely have their livelihoods affected by what RationalWiki says and they will pay large sums of money to lawyers to stop what RationalWiki says about them. Yes, she really wrote this. [1]
  8. In some Moslim if it comes out that a person isan atheist that can mean a death sentence, therfore users need a warning that their privacy isn't safe at RationalWiki. Yes, she said this too [2]. Despite accusing RationalWiki of grassing to Al-Qaeda, Proxima Centauri has taken no action to hide the same information on her Wikipedia user's page.
  9. Nobody went to Liberapedia despite Proxima's pimping of it.