- 1 My CP departure of August 2011
- 2 "Blogging" CP
- 3 A note about parody
- 4 Material related to my CP departure of April 2010
- 5 Note to TK
- 6 The "Farewell Notice" that Caused This
- 7 Power Corrupts
- 8 What Happened, Background
- 9 The "Multivariate Calculus" Course, and my Recent History
- 10 The End
- 11 Things That Senior Sysops have Said to me, in Private, About TK
- 12 Sysops I have dealt with
- 13 My letter to Ed Poor
- 14 References
My CP departure of August 2011
First, for those who are curious about the reasons (including user SeanS at CP), there is no bombshell here. The main thing is that the reform attempts of RobS made the place interesting, and I even weighed in (carefully!) in the discussion. Then that collapsed, and it became clear that Karajou blocks people for completely fabricated accusations of sockpuppetry. And he got Andy to revoke RobS's checkuser rights, so that Rob would not be able to expose Karajou's perfidy.
I recently changed my network provider. By logging in through it, I could expose hundreds of people to ignorant or deceitful blocks. So my last few edits were made from a nearby college. Which somehow isn't rangeblocked. But I'm not going to continue with this thankless and masochistic task under those inconvenient conditions.
I notice that the current form of the "reforms" has degenerated into detailed discussions of the exact duration of blocks (with, of course, manchild DeMyer hilariously trying to maneuver himself into a leadership position in this) with scant attention to issues of making CP better. The sysops seem to think that blocking is the major work of CP. How about writing content? How about making new users (yes, I'm talking about MRellek) welcome, and helping them?
I intend to write at some length here about my experiences. Especially related to the math/science shenanigans of Andy and Ed Poor. Let me start by saying what a relief it was to see Ed's compliment while blocking me:
- 15:24, 16 August 2011 Ed Poor (Talk | contribs) changed block settings for SamHB (Talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 1 week (autoblock disabled) (Trolling: Cool off for a week ... you have potential as a contributor if you stick to what you know)
He tells the person who probably wrote more correct, sensible, well-pitched math and science articles than everyone else put together that I "have potential as a contributor"? What a relief! But I have to stick to what I know. How does Ed know what I know? When did I write about something I don't know? Anyway, thanks, Ed.
A note about parody
- Special note: I know that exposing Conservapedia parody is frowned upon here, but this is such an example of the efficiency of CP sysops that I can't resist. There is, somewhere on this page, a reference that can lead to some parody/vandalism that was inserted into a CP page and reverted. It was put back in and taken out several times since then, including being taken out by a senior sysop. A number of the reinsertions were by an obvious vandal who was reported on the user page of another senior sysop. And who then admitted on that page that he was a parodist. He was eventually blocked. But the vandalism is still in place today.
As you, dear reader, have probably figured out, I am a recent (3 April 2010) refugee from Conservapedia, specializing in mathematics. I recently withdrew from the place, posting what I thought was a perfectly reasonable note on my talk page, and expecting that my account would not be banned, or my pages deleted. I really tried to end on a friendly note. Of course I knew, from an earlier fight with TK, and from an explicit warning that I had received from JacobB, that TK could ban and delete me, but I thought I'd give it a try. Of course I saved everything.
My tenure at CP was long and, uhh, interesting. I saw a lot of monumental stupidity, and tried to make decent math articles in spite of everything. Many smart mathematicians left CP, usually through banning by ignorant and brutish people. I was probably the last one left. Well, they still have JacobB, but he seems to have gone over to the dark side, as so many people do, when he was promoted to administrator.
The farewell notice that I posted (see below) was as sincere as I could be. I really did want to succeed at this. Several people here at RW asked me questions along the lines of "Why on Earth do you persist in trying to edit there?" It was actually exciting, aside from all the garbage, to write educational math articles. I polished them and polished them some more. It of course became clear that there would be no plausible audience for this (more about that later), but I polished them anyway, for the day when they could be published in a more appreciative forum. That day has arrived. I have just created a Wikiversity account.
It happens that it is just a year since the previous blow-up with TK over the Riemann integral page. At that time, I created an account at "aSK", on Easter Sunday, to continue my work there. Once again I have created an account on Easter Sunday. Call me super-religious, call me superstitious. I like to think that I just appreciate good symbolism.
Note to TK
OK, Terry. You have succeeded at doing what several people here at RW could never get me to do. You have driven me to create an account here.
Until now, I have resisted coming here, because (a) I find much of what goes on here distasteful, and (b) having an account at RW is a banning offense at CP, and I really did try to follow the rules. Not that that stopped you from outrageous hypocrisy.
One thing that may now happen at CP is that the sysops will go on a deleting/reverting frenzy. The note I left on my page was a good-faith attempt to prevent that, by explaining why sysops should trust me. If it weren't for your deletion, I would probably have succeeded. I explained that JacobB had looked over my prior edits and found them satisfactory (he told me so in email.) But, since you've deleted my explanation, the reversion frenzy will now begin. Perhaps spearheaded by you. Have fun.
I have saved everything I've done. In fact, it will be taken to Wikiversity.
The "Farewell Notice" that Caused This
The incident precipitating my coming here was the following notice placed on my user page. TK found that dangerously subversive, and deleted it (with comment "inappropriate content") a few minutes later. He also banned me (of course) and deleted my user page and user talk page.
This user has left Conservapedia. Godspeed!
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 2-category or Exterior derivative (since fixed) or 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 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)
One of the more fascinating observations about CP is the stark way it shows the truth of this adage. A very common activity consisted of doing things calculated to please Andy, either by becoming another mouthpiece for his delusions or by engaging in brutish behavior toward users who disagree, and rising through the ranks as a result. People seemed eager to engage in brutish behavior, as though that was some kind of initiation ritual for the corridors of power. Promotions conferred more power to be brutish and more authority when echoing Andy's delusions, and the effect intensified, like the crimes of MacBeth.
This pattern was repeated by many sysops, but the ones most noticeable to me were Foxtrot and JacobB, the former because of his uncanny alignment with Andy's delusion profile, and the latter because I got to see the Jekyll-to-Hyde transformation with my own eyes.
Andy's Delusion Profile
The delusions that were of most interest to me were the ones relating to science and mathematics:
- A young universe and young Earth.
- Relativity is wrong.
- Mathematical proof by contradiction is wrong.
- Complex numbers are wrong.
- Something about elementary proofs, apparently having to do with #4, but "elementary proof" was never consistently defined.
- The axiom of choice is wrong.
- The study of certain scientific fields leads people away from reading the Bible; college professors teach these fields specifically for the purpose of leading their students away. This reason alone dictates that, independently of their scientific merit, such fields should not be studied. In fact, fields of intellectual endeavor are to be evaluated according to Andy's (totally subjective, unsupported, and fictional) notions of the degree to which that field's practitioners read the Bible.
Of course there are many others, having to do with religion, evolution, homosexuality, education, and a wide variety of social and political issues. But the ones listed above are the ones that particularly interested me because, aside from #1, they are all very obscure positions to take. The odds against a given person embracing even one of these delusions are quite high. And yet, time after time, wherever one looks, one sees sysops and sysop wannabees spouting off on whichever one of these issues is the topic of the day. And being rewarded for it.
What Happened, Background
I won't go into my first life, April 2008 to December 2008, because it's all out in the open, on my "old" user page and "old" talk page, and, in any case, the people and events that I dealt with have been publicly chronicled in Conservapedian mathematics. After much unpleasantness, I was finally blocked by TK for being a sock of AlanS. I was not. During the hiatus, I followed things from time to time, and occasionally sent email, mostly to sysops, suggesting minor edits. These people were, without exception, polite to me. They included JPatt, Joaquin, AddisonDM, RJJensen, Ed Poor, Geo.plrd, and probably others. (Though I never succeeded at getting Ed Poor to understand that the reason I was emailing him was that I was blocked. But he made the edit anyway.)
In March 2009 I sent email to the Featured Article Committee, suggesting improvements to the Riemann Integral article, which was at that time a featured candidate. The initial response (from Geo.plrd) was polite and positive, but then TK stepped in, and things went to hell with amazing rapidity. Finally, I took exception to him calling me a liar over the AlanS issue, and he deleted and protected ("burned and salted") the Riemann page. And did the same to my user and talk pages, of course. This blowup, with the email messages, has been described in detail here.
On Easter Sunday I created an account at aSK (PJR had had a falling-out not long before, and had created his wiki), but it wasn't the right place to be. I didn't know about Wikiversity.
Much of my mathematical writing had done in "sandbox" pages under my user page, while I attempted (unsuccessfully of course) to get Ed Poor to either reverse my probation or at least say whether it meant I wasn't allowed to edit mainspace. After the Riemann incident, another user apparently found those pages and copied a few of them to mainspace. TK chewed him out, and deleted the sandbox pages (I saved them all; they're going to Wikiversity.) He also botched something in his deletion spree. He apparently thought I had illegally created a page I wasn't allowed to create, so he deleted it, and the "injection" page now has a redlink. But I digress.
The "Multivariate Calculus" Course, and my Recent History
Then, on 26 December 2009, I sent a message to Andy, suggesting improvements related to conservative vector fields, line integrals, and Stokes' theorem.
What happened since then involves a lot of email out of the public's eye. In my message to Andy, I of course warned him about my checkered history, as seen in my block log, assured him that I had never harmed CP in any way, and of course denied that I was AlanS. Andy sent a nice reply about 2 hours later, and unblocked me. I had not requested or expected that. Andy made some of the proposed changes himself, and I did the others.
Then I got into a discussion with JacobB about some of the material in the "multivariable calculus" course he was writing, and, before I knew what was happening, Andy had restored my user and talk pages (requested by Jacob, not me) and assigned me to assist JacobB with the multivariable calculus course. Those "new" pages (but without the "farewell") are here and here. They have of course been burned at CP.
Jacob and I exchanged a few emails about the general situation. I first sent him a warning about my checkered past:
- "You have a right to know this information about your assistant in the math stuff, and I don't want there to be any surprises, should you see stuff elsewhere [meaning this, of course]."
- "I have not been a good boy."
Followed by a description of the conflicts with Foxtrot and Ed Poor, the blowup with TK over the Riemann integral ("I went ballistic"), and my consenting to have the TK correspondence hosted at RW.
Jacob said everything was OK. He told me that TK hates me, but Andy would protect me.
There were, of course, numerous exchanges about the calculus lectures.
During this period, emails gave the impression that I was part of an inner circle of junior sysops playing power games. The other members of this cabal were DouglasA and JimR, both junior sysops. (I was of course a civilian.) Jacob assured me that they were on the side of the good guys. I was assured that, barring misbehavior, Andy would protect us, and the math articles, from the likes of TK and Ed Poor, because Andy really wanted the calculus course to succeed. It was heady stuff. Made more exciting by the knowledge that the second most powerful person at CP positively hated me, and would ban me in an instant if it weren't for the fact that the most powerful person was protecting me. Of course, this extremely weird situation made me doubt that the calculus course would have a good outcome.
Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor
On 10 Jan 2010, Jacob said "I'm not an admin (yet)."
On 20 Jan, he said "but soon that [his lack of power to stand up to TK] will change, I believe. Maybe a month or so.
Jacob's behavior started to change in early February.
After a big blowup over BMcP's astronomy articles, in which he insisted that that there is overwhelming evidence that the Andromeda Galaxy is 2.3 million light-years away, BMcP was of course banned. JacobB then reverted a large number of BMcP's "old universe" edits. The height of this censorship frenzy seems to have been around 10 Feb. At this time, Jacob was removing all references to time or age for stars, galaxies, and such. Stars were no longer "young" or "old". There seemed to be no passage of time in the cosmos. At some point in a heated argument on a talk page (I can no longer find it; it may have been oversighted; but I certainly remember it), he said that astronomers say that the Andromeda Galaxy is that far away for the purpose of leading people away from the Bible [emphasis mine].
- This was certainly a remarkable statement, especially noteworthy for its uncanny conformance to one of Andy's pet delusions. To believe that the scientists who look through the telescopes and analyze the data are deliberately falsifying the observations in order to drive people away from the Bible is an absolutely staggering conspiracy theory. It would require that observatories and scientific laboratories apply some kind of religious test to people applying for internships or jobs. Wouldn't someone have noticed this?
- Why did he make that statement? Was he just sucking up to The Man? For what purpose? What has it accomplished? Has being an admin on a two-bit delusional wiki made him a more successful person?
On another occasion, that I also can't find and may also have been oversighted, he bullied someone with a threat to run MarkGall's "liberal style detector" program over his edits, thereby revealing his liberal tendencies. There was never any such program. Just a bullshit-laden formula.
Promotion and Plagiarism (No, not a Jane Austen Novel)
On 28 Feb, shortly after he reverted some vandalism and then requested that Andy provide him with the tools (which sysops have) to revert mass vandalism more easily, he got promoted to admin. His brutishness continued.
At 14:29, 10 Mar, he deleted the article on Joseph Lagrange, last edited by "PhilG".
One minute later, he recreated the article, copying the same text into it, but under his own authorship.
At 15:12, he blocked PhilG.
At 15:30, he added the article to his "trophy case", that is, his listing of accomplishments on his user page.
PhilG sent mail to Andy, asking that the article either be deleted or set back to the correct authorship. At 11:32, 13 Mar, Andy deleted the page again, saying it's "obscure".
On 13 Mar, I posted a public complaint on Jacob's talk page about the Lagrange issue.
- I'm very concerned by your recent actions regarding the Joseph Lagrange page. Your deletion of the article, and recreating it with the same text but with the history expunged, constitutes theft of intellectual property. PhilG added the item about calculus of variations, and you have deleted his contribution from the record, and made the article your own.
- As your collaborator on the multivariable calculus course, I am particularly vulnerable to having you use your admin powers to do a similar thing to me. What assurance can you give me that you won't do this?
- SamHB 14:57, 13 March 2010 (EST)
Then at 15:04, I requested, on Andy's talk page, that he restore the articleimg, pointing out that Lagrange is not "obscure". Andy invited me to recreate it myself, which I did, putting PhilG's credit in the edit history.
At 22:03, 14 Mar, Jacob sent me an email, saying, in part:
- "There are some users who intentionally insert false information into articles, to destroy our credibility and to make Conservapedia less valuable as an educational resource. When a user is banned forever, like PhilG was, his contributions are suspect. Sysops have a button (which is literally labeled "nuke") which removes some or all contributions of an editor. Once I had reviewed that material for errors, intentional or not, I re-created the page.
- As a legitimate contributor, you need not be concerned with this happening to your contributions. I would appreciate it if you could remove your comment from my talk page, and in the future, contact me through email - for one, I check my email more often when I'm, say, out of town, and two, even a misunderstanding like this can reflect negatively on me when the questions are made in a public forum."
This doesn't wash. If he had one button that nuked everything, it would have nuked everything. He must have chosen his targets individually. None of PhilG's other edits were touched. In fact, the page on "Urgell" had been created by PhilG, and would surely have been a candidate for suspicion. Jacob didn't delete that, and in fact had fixed a typo at 16:12, 10 Mar, two hours after deleting the Lagrange page. Jacob singled out the Lagrange edit, deleted the page, and added it to his personal "trophy case".
He also placed a public reply to me on his talk page, making essentially the same point, that different sysops have various ways of responding to vandalism. The point presumably being that I should cut him some slack for what may have seemed an unorthodox reaction.
Andy chimed in below that, saying that my accusation was inappropriate and not consistent with CP's spirit of cooperation, and demanding that I apologize and remove the accusation.
I did so.
The whole section was then oversighted.
There was another omen of things to come. Shortly after the plagiarism, but before I had made any complaints at all, Jacob went all ideological on me over another issue. As part of the dispute over the exponent of gravity (here), I had created some images to upload, and mailed them to Jacob. He had always uploaded things for me in the past, but this time he treated me with suspicion. At 22:49 on 12 Mar, he wanted to know what position they were in support of. As though mathematical or scientific truth depends on who's position it supports. I assured him that the person being supported was Andy, and pointed him to the debate page (which Jacob created!!!!) to see the details of the issue. Then he uploaded the images.
In addition to the events listed above, it had been clear for quite some time that the Multivariable calculus course would not succeed, if for no other reason than the fact that no sensible person would go to Conservapedia looking for mathematical education.
There is no reason why a person surfing the internet, looking for serious educational articles on high-school / undergraduate level mathematics, would be attracted to a web site that has, on its front page, such things as:
- Crudely photoshopped images of Al Gore breathing fire.
- Crudely photoshopped images of Barack Obama with an amateurishly-wrong-size cigarette dangling from his mouth.
- Crudely photoshopped images of Barack Obama's head placed on a historical painting of Napoleon.
- Crudely photoshopped images of Barack Obama made up to look like the arch-villain of a popular fantasy movie.
- Well-known Obama campaign posters with words like "socialist", "fraud", or "failure" placed on them.
- 19th century drawings of Charles Darwin looking like an ape.
- Crude photo-montages of Hitler and Darwin.
- Photographs of bullfights, with cryptic captions about skewering "evolutionism".
- Childish cartoons showing a donkey with a hammer and sickle on its rear end.
- Childish cartoons showing children wanting to shovel Al Gore's driveway, apparently disproving global warming or something.
No sensible parents would allow their children even to look at such an appalling website, much less go more deeply into it for the purpose of learning mathematics.
On the other hand, if one goes to the front page of Wikiversity, one will see something that clearly looks like the work of people trying to make a professional impression, and trying to take education seriously.
So, on 27 Feb, I posted this:
- 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)
Then, on 18 Mar, I posted this note on my talk page, and disappeared for a couple of weeks:
- There are many questions and concerns. I need to step back and think about things. SamHB 22:47, 18 March 2010 (EDT)
At 15:37 on 3 Apr, I issued my "farewell" (above), and all hell broke loose, with TK banning me, and deleting my user pages again.
Then JacobB deleted ElizabethK's user and talk pages. Was he trying to censor the "epitaph"? no such luck. Did he think that I was such a horrible person that anyone I even mentioned needed to have their pages deleted? Did he really think he was helping Conservapedia by doing this to a college student in Ohio? By the way, I just checked, and she removed her share of vandalism/parody.
Things That Senior Sysops have Said to me, in Private, About TK
- "TK likes to use checkuser, but doesn't seem to understand dynamic IPs."
- "You want my honest opinion? TK is a raving madman who should be chased away from CP as quickly as possible."
- "He's a jerk, and the Lord knows he's been incredibly rude to me in a dozen emails I could show you."
- "I think I can suck up to him enough to take care of anything he does to you."
- "Makes me sick to kiss up to him like this."
And things that one of the few decent sysops said, about the other sysops in general, not specifically TK:
- They are seriously nasty people.
- I am trying to use my position to make [positive] changes, but at the same time I am required at times to pull on the jackboots and stomp around.
Sysops I have dealt with
I'll say this about him. Unlike TK, he is not in the business of treating people cruelly. If you don't drink his particular flavor of Kool-Aid, he can't deal with it, and will tell you that you are hopelessly closed-minded. But on a personal level, he has (almost) always been nice to me. In particular, his correspondence with me, relating to the reactivation of my account last December, was extremely gracious and polite. He acts completely oblivious to the evil things that his
sycophants goons sysops are doing, though of course he is actually not the least bit oblivious.
A waste of perfectly good oxygen.
There's really not much to say here. The comments that people have made elsewhere at RW are accurate. The man has no idea how ignorant he is. I have no idea how he got other CP people to call him "Professor Poor". One other thing: He has the attention span of a cockroach. Whenever he complained to me about the level of math articles being too high, I attempted to discuss this with him. I could never get him to engage in a single round of discussion. He would say something, I would reply, and he would go away for a few weeks, and then come back with some new complaint, completely oblivious to my earlier comment.
He has claimed all kinds of mathematical expertise, of course, including the statement that he scored in the 99th percentile in the math SAT. Is that possible? I think it might be. But it's clear that whatever promise he had in high school has totally disintegrated in the intervening years.
He was actually a fairly minor player on the mathematical stage, though he certainly threw his weight around back in 2008 when math editors were being banned left and right. The only reason to take note of him is that he was particularly obnoxious to me, stalking me, for example, in his "what a surprise" comment.
- Look at the history of that page, by the way. The next edit was from Ed Poor, with the comment "An experienced math teacher comes back". I can't for the life of me figure out who Ed was talking about. But I digress.
Foxtrot seemed to be very insecure in his mathematical knowledge, and covered that with bluster. And banning, since he was a sysop. Of course, we know that insecurity and great power make a deadly combination, and Foxtrot was a prime example of this. As far as subject matter went, he covered his ignorance by slavishly following Andy's example, as in, for example, the axiom of choice or complex numbers. The uncanny similarity between Foxtrot's "mathematical insanity profile" and Andy's can't be a coincidence. Foxtrot was simply following the custom of so many people at CP who want to get ahead—be an echo chamber for Andy.
I believe he was not actually a parodist, but occasionally made edits for amusement value. He was just goofing off. But there is no excuse for a sysop ever to do that. And, when called out for this, he of course hid behind his sysop powers.
Interestingly, he left Conservapedia just at the time that I was having my big fight with TK, that ended with TK deleting the Riemann Integral page. Perhaps Foxtrot was disgusted that TK would let a personal vendetta lead to such a destructive act. Perhaps he didn't know that, by leaving at that moment, he was actually siding with me in this controversy.
Ignorance and insecurity aside, he seemed genuinely to want CP's math offerings to succeed. Once, when Ed was going on one of his rampages and threatening to delete all topology articles, Foxtrot pleaded with him not to. Of course, Ed has an attention of zero, so nothing happened.
He is actually very knowledgeable in mathematics, finishing his undergraduate work at University of San Francisco, and applying to graduate schools. He has done impressive work at proofwiki.
- (There is an interesting note at the bottom of his talk page, from a user "Chris3145", who had created his account for the sole purpose of leaving that note. He complains that he has been blocked at "another wiki", and wants to discuss it. No response.)
It is utterly incomprehensible that such an erudite person, who writes so well about such advanced topics as the Ostrowski theorem, would need to steal a 4 sentence, stub-grade, biographical sketch of Joseph Lagrange, on a two-bit banana-republic-grade wiki.
He is widely held, here at RW, to be a parodist. I'm not sure. In any case, the definition of parodist is not well-formed when it comes to Conservapedia. There is so much misinformation running around, to the exclusion of common sense, that one can't really label things properly.
My letter to Ed Poor
Since it wouldn't do to have Ed Poor not see my December 19 2010 criticisms of him due to of some deceitful deletion and oversighting, the following email was sent to Ed, with copies to Andy and JPatt, at 18:37 EST, Dec 18, 2010:
Ed (and Andy and John):
I recently expanded two of your articles on computers ("drag and drop" and "docking"), that I thought had been poorly done, and I chided you on the talk page over this. I also attempted to propose deletion (while calling as little attention to it as possible in the article itself) your article on "algore". I placed a serious criticism of your action on your talk page.
Since both of these criticisms were reverted and oversighted by John P, it is possible that you might never see them, so I am providing them below. It is possible that John thinks you aren't mature enough to handle criticism. From my many dealings with you over the past 2-1/2 years, I know that you are capable of frank and critical discussion, albeit with the normal amount of prickliness that we expect from you, me, or anyone else.
In any case, even if John hadn't perma-banned me, it would be impossible for me to make further contributions to Conservapedia. After months of prodding, you still haven't engaged me on the next step for the "algebra" article, so it will be entirely in your hands. As will any creation of a "propositional calculus" article. Also, I'm serious about the usefulness of an article on the Peano axioms. I believe that you once got into some kind of fight with someone over this topic, in which he may have accused you of ignorance over not knowing, or not caring, what they were. I don't remember the details, or who it was. This may have contributed to your disdain for this topic. If so, that is unfortunate. If you want to see what they are, look at http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Peano_axioms#The_Peano_axioms
[In Talk:Drag and drop]
Please do your homework and attempt to make your edits more encyclopedic. This is supposed to be an encyclopedia of concepts, not a personal blog of individual computer operations that one person has learned. It took me about 5 minutes with Google to do the homework for my recent edit, and somewhat longer to write it. ~~~~
[In your user talk page]
Shame on you! A page that you created (I'm sure you will have no trouble figuring out what I'm referring to) is perverse, disgusting, crude, obscene, filthy, and an abomination against the precepts of this family-friendly web site. It is not the least bit funny, even with your reference to April 1. Your reference to a former senator from Pennsylvania makes it unmistakably clear that you knew exactly what you were doing. ~~~~
- Thanks, "Karl". I can now look at that page without feeling ashamed.
- The "retired" template used to say "God Bless", which is innocuous and pleasant, even to someone who is not religious. On 12 January, TK changed it to the very ambiguous "Godspeed". This would normally be considered innocuous also, if somewhat quaint. Outside of Conservapedia, it means "May God protect you on your upcoming journey." But at Conservapedia it also has a sinister meaning, as in "He was arguing with me, so I Godsped him."
- By JacobB, after email discussion with me.
- Sorry, just found another one. See here. But it was also fixed.
- That would be RationalWiki, of course.
- The links pointed to the original versions at CP, now burned. I have redirected them to saved copies at RW.
- JimR left CP on Feb. 11.
- Jacob referred to Ed's actions as a "mathematical holocaust".
- On January 8, Andy said "I'll intervene. I have been busy with other matters, particularly wrapping up the Economics course on the site and tidying up end-of-class issues. I'll follow up with Ed now".
- Hi! I've enjoyed chatting with you.
- I'm shocked!
- Just sayin'.
- Logo of the Democratic party.
- Logo of the Communist party. Get it? Me neither.
- Snow happens. Deal with it.
- Not really. She was one of my socks. And, notwithstanding what I wrote elsewhere, she's not going to medical school.
- Informally called a "sysop" because of his blocking privileges, but not formally endowed with that title. Perhaps "sysop lite" is a better term. The higher class are "administrators", informally called "senior sysops", like TK and Ed Poor. The senior sysops frequently let the junior ones know what the pecking order is.