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User talk:Abd/Archive3

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Cutting through the Gordion knot[edit]

Why not just read it, so you can say "I have finished reading it and am therefore now equipped to offer a more well-informed decision than before"? Otherwise it just makes you look lazy. It's not all that difficult or long of a read.

As mentioned in the essay, I hate the nebulous terminology people use with regard to this issue. This is reflected too in court proceedings; you'll notice, page 12 of this PSIR speaks of "an ob[s]ession with sex-especially with girls (not women)". I believe the term "girls" (and, for that matter, "boys") is commonly used to describe even adults; e.g. in some sexual situations someone will say to a grown man, "Hey there, big boy." Therefore, to reach an assumption of pedophilia based on an expression of interest in "girls" is inappropriate because the term is simply too ambiguous. My interest in the topic currently under discussion is purely as a political activist.

Or mostly, anyway; although to describe in detail what I mean by "mostly" would be similar in level of complexity to explaining what Ford Prefect meant by referring to humans as "mostly harmless." In any event, this whole flap is another reminder of the importance of adhering to the mediawikianist philosophy. Sometimes one simply has to use software to find one's way around difficulties arising from the human factor. Tisane (talk) 05:34, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Improper block[edit]

read my comment again. I did not threaten anyone , simply asked what harm would it really do if a hypothetical happened. Same thing really as his essay. ;) Hamster (talk) 04:27, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

I read your comment carefully. I know what I'm doing. Do not graphically describe harm to a user, "hypothetically." I'm not going to give you an example, but it was tempting. It is highly offensive, and Tisane did nothing like that. This is what your insanity leads you to. You think that you are justified because you think someone else did it. If I see you do that again, I'll do what I've never done, I'll take you to the coop. Not hysterically. I was about to ignore it, but realized I'd been resysopped, so I have no fucking excuse not to do something about it.
If you think my block improper, an abuse of the obligations of a sysop, coop me. I'd love to be relieved of that bit. Now, go fuck yourself. Be nice, don't use a crowbar. It's very rude, and the damage can be permanent. I know, because I've had a TRUSP biopsy, and a crowbar might have been more pleasant, and might have done less damage. --Abd (talk) 04:37, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

section moved[edit]

to User talk:Abd/Temp talk. --Abd (talk) 19:30, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Relieved of duty[edit]

Thanks. Weaseloid promoted me, so I can take a rest here. However, if repeated graphic threats of physical violence to a user doesn't justify a block, what does? In any case, the autoblock, I think it was from Psygremlin, prevents me from editing for now. Notice: two users make absolutely disgusting threats, the first "hypothetical." I.e., "How about if I ... " This, legally, would be considered the same as without the "how about." The second actually threatened to track the object of the threat down to injure him. It's easy to find, reviewing contributions for Hamster (first threat) and Psygremlin (several threats).

People who tolerate that -- or do it -- are allowed the tools, people who don't are promoted. Again, that makes perfect sense. Bye. --Abd (talk) 17:02, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Sadly, no one on this site cares about graphic threats of physical violence like you describe. The culture of the site is that it is "no biggie". Which is sad, but it's hardly the only sad thing about this place. Zack Martin HolyMaratreanSigil.png 20:49, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Get over yourselves. --Revolverman (talk) 20:53, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
A response which proves my point. Zack Martin HolyMaratreanSigil.png 20:56, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
It is connected to the site ethos, and is directly contrary to the stated site purpose, because "constructive dialog" is impossible with massive incivility. A certain level of "banter incivility" may not be harmful (though it may drive away professionals and other experts), and is common among adolescent and young adult males (especially), but this site does not evenly discriminate between that and hate speech and vicious verbal attack, including graphic threats of real-world violence, rape, etc. --Abd (talk) 21:01, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Are you still here? How many times have you said "Bye"? Have you nothing better to do than to just tell people you're going to leave but not actually do it? -- Seth Peck (talk) 21:03, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I stopped to work on other things, and I said "Bye." I came back. I never said I was not coming back. But right now I can't edit other than here (without messing with IP, etc.), because I was autoblocked by Psygremlin, and Weaseloid promoted me for being "trigger happy," and even though that was S T U P I D, I thanked him because of the salutary effect. I'm working on something. I'm sure you will LOVE it. You love rational discussion, right? --Abd (talk) 21:12, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Abd, please try again, according to the blocking page you aren't blocked any more. Zack Martin HolyMaratreanSigil.png 21:17, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, thanks, but ... the autoblock would have to be lifted. I'd give you the IP but I can't be arsed. --Abd (talk) 21:29, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Your ban was reversed nearly right away, you overdramtic fuck. --Revolverman (talk) 21:19, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Ignorant asshole. I unblocked myself, but I neglected to undo the autoblock. So when I was desysopped, I cannot edit, until that expires or is lifted. Just sayin'. I look up right now, and the message says, as I write this, "This user is currently blocked." But I can edit my Talk page. That's fine for me right now. You guys can rave at each other in the coop. Enjoy. --Abd (talk) 21:29, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I think I've removed the block on your IP, I hope. I'm a bit confused about how all this works. Try again, anyway. Zack Martin HolyMaratreanSigil.png 21:34, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, that did it. You could also have resysopped, so I could do it myself (and I think sysops don't see this, they have the bypass-autoblock power). If you look at the history, what I did was mild compared to what others did, including Psygremlin, with no such response. I even announced the block where it would be seen and I did not desysop Psygremlin to prevent him from unblocking himself. I wanted to make sure I got his attention. This place is weird. On the other hand, never mind. I don't spend nearly as much time here when not opped. --Abd (talk) 21:48, 27 August 2012 (UTC)


metawikipedia:Meta:Requests_for_help_from_a_sysop_or_bureaucrat#Unblock_for_Abd – In case you weren't aware of the discussion. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:41, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Look, that block at meta was insane. However, beyond the initial unblock template -- denied because of "no change" -- I have not pursued remedies available to me, for a simple reason. I'm no longer an administrator on Wikiversity and have far less need to use meta processes. Aside from those activities, I was active on meta defending other users against being blocked and banned unfairly, and, in fact, the original request for my block came from a steward whose actions I had questioned. He clearly did not understand the comments, and filed a block request with diffs that did not support what he claimed. (He asserted I'd made a legal threat, far, far from my intention and actions.) But he was a steward, and meta admins aspire to make nice with stewards, and to become stewards.
Only a few users, such as you, Michael, asked about the evidence. Like, what the hell had Abd actually done? Basically, since I had a history of challenging admin actions -- largely successfully, -- there were administrators waiting for the opportunity to block, and they took it. There is no sign of any independent admin, not involved before in some kind of dispute with me, looking at the evidence and confirming the block as legitimate.
At the same time, other users who actually harassed people, sought for them to be banned, lied to the community, etc., have been unblocked, simply because a request was made. No, they remember, Michael. It is not about policy and reasons, it's about what they like and dislike.
Did I do anything wrong? Perhaps, and from one point of view, obviously. But it was never specified. So I could not promise not to do it again! I have to guess at the reasons, which I do above.
Thanks for trying, but I'm not taking the time to request unblock again. No change, remember? The last reason for denial. That's totally illegitimate, according to long-standing meta tradition, but these people, and way too much of the community, don't care.
Blocks are supposed to be justified by a specific need to protect the community, and meta was long resistant to indef blocks. I'm not banned there, but might as well be, if an attempt to review is denied out-of-hand.
You know that the substance is that I requested review of the block, and the unblock denial, with no response to the last part. Okay, I'll put up a minimal unblock request. You can do with it what you like, I actually don't care.
Increasingly, users came to dominate meta and to use problems at to justify bans at meta. In my case, on, the last straw for me was when my successful request for removal of from the meta global blacklist was used, on, as a demonstration of writing too much. The meta request was brief and to-the-point. It was, however, opposed, with a series of spurious arguments from "respected users." Meta admins were about to accept those arguments, so it was necessary to put up the evidence. That always takes space, a single piece of evidence will only rarely carry the day. The result: my request was accepted, but an admin looked at the meta request, and moving outside strong traditions, issued a topic ban at on cold fusion, citing the meta discussion. I respected that ban, and clarified with the admin that I was allowed to mention cold fusion with users, on their talk pages. In hindsight, he did not actually approve that clarification, he ignored it. Later, I requested a lifting of the ban. Not only was that request denied a hearing by ArbComm, my contributions were reviewed and what I had considered allowed -- and that had been tolerated for many months-- was considered a violation, and my ArbComm request was also considered a violation, and I was blocked. At this point, I totally gave up on due process at Wikipedia. I used the opportunity to explore something I'd suggested long before as a way for banned users to cooperate with a wiki, establishing a path to return. This had actually been accepted for a time. I proved that it worked, both on and then on Wikiversity, successfully resulting, on en.wv, in the unban of a user. With no resulting harm.
So I used self-reversion, a process that creates no mess to clean up, that only works if other users see and bring back in the edits. That requires cooperation between a banned user and the rest of the community. It worked, by the way. But I was IP blocked, then range blocked, because of "ban violation." Not surprising. I documented all of this on wikiversity, it's still there, as part of a study on self-reversion. But admins are not actually interested in the welfare of the wiki, they are, as a group, interested in their own power, and "a ban is a ban." No matter what benefits might result from some level of exception. They not only used wide range blocks, they set an edit filter to block any edit with "Abd" in it. That's because I was using "self-revert due to ban of Abd." Of course, once they did that, I stopped self-identifying and self-reverting. The filter caused substantial collateral damage. Abd is part of a common Muslim name (and that is my name, Abd ul-Rahman, but many other names have Abd in them.)
They also started to use revision deletion to hide my edits, so that others would not be tempted to read them and revert them back in (or otherwise waste their time looking at them). That, then, led to an examination of this practice, which was rejected by consensus. That was part of my purpose. However, the rejection, as is common on Wikipedia, had an exception in it that any admin could drive a truck through. Still, the basic principle, that revision deletion isn't used to hide edits unless the material is truly offensive or illegal, was re-affirmed.
I then created a sock puppet, the only one actually created without disclosure. That sock managed to coordinate consensus in a number of places -- violating the original topic ban. But successfully, and, for a time, the edits stood in spite of efforts to revert some of them as "being from a banned user." I probably prevented a Nobel Prize Winner from being blocked. (But I also communicated with him by email, and the main thing I did was to counter his impression of some conspiracy to repress the truth on Wikipedia. No, my friend, they are just stupid.) That sequence was interesting. At one time, checkuser could not be invoked without evidence. You could not just fish. However, in this case, an arb checkusered with no visible request. Increasingly, checkusers became prosecuting attorneys. That shift is part of an overall shift that took place there. When I started working on wikipedia, my views were often in the minority in discussions, initially. But I was very successful in getting results, because I knew how to negotiate consensus. Increasingly, though, those who did not like those results sought to ban me, from about 2008 on. Gradually, others stopped participating, and, when I've looked, many of these older users have left Wikipedia. Sometimes before leaving they try to speak out or remedy the problems and have been banned.
There are many people who worked long and hard for Wikipedia who have been banned or left, mostly the latter. What remains are the dregs, plus bright-eyed newcomers who believe that policy is enforced, and the policies are generally great. As long as they don't personally run into the vicious exceptions, it can seem so for a long time. They want to believe that Wikipedia is the amazing, cooperative, collaborative community that it could have been. It still is that, sometimes and in some places. As long as you don't run into one of the cabals.
I confronted the cabals, and successfully. That's what is missed. JzG was sanctioned, and William M. Connolley was desysopped. WMC has the distinction of having been called the leader of a cabal in newspaper sources. But when a cabal is confronted, and when the central decision-making process is not willing to look at the issues (which are quite different from who is bad and who violated policy), the cabal still has power, and can still use it. A "cabal" on a wiki, aside from possible off-wiki cooperation, is simply a group of users who mass in related discussions. It takes no specific coordination, and these users often think that they are the wiki. Since they have so many friends who agree with them, and, hey, look at all these discussions where they prevailed (and they would call any discussion where consensus was avoided against them, because of them showing up and arguing entirely opposed to evidence, a "confirmation" of their views). It's self-reinforcing.
Allowing cabals to exercise power like that may be inevitable on wikis, but the remedy was available central process that requires deliberation and careful consideration of evidence. In my first ArbComm case, I made certain charges. The cabal screamed that these were made-up, and in the preceding RfC, two-thirds of those commenting, instead of commenting on the substance of the claim (JzG admin action while involved, with full evidence), voted to "ban Abd." So it went to ArbComm, and, I'd say, ArbComm might have sided with JzG, he was very popular -- in spite of a long history of gross incivility and reprimands -- which he ignored. What made the difference? *One arbitrator* actually independently compiled the *same evidence.* It was not at all ambiguous.
Later leaks from the ArbComm mailing list showed that many Arbs wanted to ban me from the get-go, but not necessarily a majority, and they had no excuse. In the next case, excuses were generated, so, even though the basis of that case (WMC action while involved) was confirmed, I was also topic banned for a year and site-banned for three months, and they made up an entirely new sanction for me, never used before or since, the "MYOB ban." As proposed, I favored it, because it had a mentor exception. An arb actually volunteered to be my mentor. ArbComm told him that, no, he could not do that. But, of course, they did not say that publicly! That Arb, not long after, resigned, and privately told me it was because he'd received real-life, face-to-face, threats of violence against his family. Folks, what is underneath the facade can be very, very ugly. In some disputes on Wikipedia, there is a possibility of huge sums of special-interest money, with some evidence of actual involvement of that. Anyone who followed Wikipedia Review could see this -- if they are inclined to actually look at evidence. By the way, I did not encounter this problem. The cabal I confronted was later, more or less, confirmed by ArbComm in the Climate Change case. It could also be called the "anti-pseudoscience" cabal. -- thus a connection with RationalWiki, where rational consideration of pseudoskepticism is just about impossible. Truzzi got it and wrote about it, wrt the skeptic community.
And what this all showed (in the Wikipedia RfC:JzG 3) was that a substantial local process, with substantial participation, maybe 40 people voting, could completely disregard evidence and vote based on knee-jerk impressions and what they liked and disliked.
We just saw the same thing on RationalWiki. A decision was made based on claims that were *never* investigated, with a sober review of actual evidence. I noticed this way over twenty years ago, on the W.E.L.L. Even though, for the first time, seemingly revolutionary, the entire record of a discussion was readily available, people believed what they wanted to believe about what had happened, and this was *impervious* to evidence. Social phenomenon. In prior organizations, it was all vague, people could rationally argue about what actually happened, but, here, the *entire record* of interactions was available. Useless, because most people will not look at it. Much less compile that evidence.
It's a lost cause, Michael. Thanks for trying, but I can't afford to waste more time with this. The foundations that would make the wikis actually work are missing. From time to time and place to place, I might work to set them up, but that is entirely vulnerable, on WMF wikis -- and here -- to forces that absolutely don't want the systems to work as designed and conceived. They want something else. --Abd (talk) 17:04, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Poking it with a stick[edit]

Hey. Why the fuck do you think blocking Ace hours and hours after anything fresh had happened was a good idea? That's a bitch move, Santa. Look, I don't agree with what Ace did this morning (my time), but poking it with a stick way after the fact does nobody no good. Think. Theory of Practice Haters gonna hate. 02:38, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Adb is in charge now. Acei9 02:39, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Nope: Mikal is.
ToP, the block had nothing to do with this morning.
The way I see it, if you unblock someone, you are responsible for what they do. But it often isn't seen that way.
Ace has probably trashed his future here, my guess. It might have been stopped, if my blocks had been allowed to stand. I was pushing it with a second block.
I wasn't "poking it with a stick." Ace was deliberately trolling, the same as he always does. It was explained. --Abd (talk) 02:50, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
That's why we have a Coop. That's why we have mods. Show me any "trolling" he did in, say, the hour before that last block. but it wouldn't matter, because we don't block trolls, as a rule. Theory of Practice Haters gonna hate. 02:52, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Ace knows that policy here is that Talk page posts aren't just deleted, unless "outrageous trolling," they are left or archived. He does it anyway. He revert warred to keep his posts -- which were outrageous trolling -- on my Talk page, open, blatant. So I was simply enforcing with him what he'd insisted on with me. I got dinged for deleting trolling from my talk page. So that's it. It was plainly visible in his edits yesterday, first the removal of the comment, I think it was, then his removal after I replaced it, then -- to compromise -- I added it to his archive, since he'd archived all the content, and he removed it from there. So, simple. I replaced it and blocked him, he was unblocked and he removed it again. People are so accustomed to Ace doing Whatever Ace Wants that they don't even see it, hence the comments here.
I also described this on the Coop. Nobody cares. So why should I? --Abd (talk) 03:05, 22 October 2012 (UTC)


You aren't[edit]

helping anything. stop it. --Mikal Harass Follow 02:51, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

I'm not taking any more sysop actions tonight. Mikal, you did not help. There was reason for what I did, attempting to prevent Ace from committing wiki-suicide. Enjoy the results of your thoughtless actions. --Abd (talk) 02:53, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
If you want to blame me, go ahead. I don't honestly like anything thats been going on since last night; from either side; but i sure as hell don't like one person just blocking people and unilaterally promoting others, and i only agreed with Ty's doing it because it helped end the back and forth from this morning, that is all. --Mikal Harass Follow 03:01, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
What the hell kinda person are you? I mean, jesus, what a weird freak. Acei9 02:55, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
That is so funny. I mean, this is Ace McWicked. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Ace, get some sleep. As so many have told you, you are not helping yourself. --Abd (talk) 02:59, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
What makes you think I am in the business of helping myself? Acei9 03:00, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
You aren't. That's obvious. Just sayin'. --Abd (talk) 03:02, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Mikal has a point. You've been pointing to Ace all day as if everything was his fault, but it takes two to tango and your continued poking of Ace here and at RWW has completely prevented what should have been a natural dying down of the argument. I told you to stop hours ago, and the fact that you haven't leads me to the conclusion that you are trolling and enjoying it. Peter Subsisting on honey 03:13, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
What Peter said. Acei9 03:17, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
It is not Ace's fault that Ace is Ace. This is what I see here: Ace does X and I point it out, which is most of what I've done. Ace does X over and over with lots of people, it's just Ace and many love him for it. Pointing it out is trolling? Ace is not responsible for the way that RatWiki is, the community is responsible. I've gotten email to the effect of, "If you want Ace run out of town on a rail, shut up! You are distracting from The Point, that Ace is a Total Asshole and Dangerous." As if that's what I want.
I spent one day pointing to what was happening, in a few places, and, when it was consistent with community practice, I used the sysop tools. But Ace is Special. Ace can do what would get any ordinary user blocked immediately. And Ace complains if anyone does with him what he and his friends regularly do with others. That's just what's so. Looks like he went too far, he lost his moderator position, but the community that put him in place is still in place, and runs this place, routinely. Ace is their pet, and they don't care that he might be, in effect, killing himself.
I have no power here other than the power to write and, sometimes, as tolerated, push a few buttons. What I've done (and what I've been promoted for in the past) is just what others, not identified as "cranks," have done. RW is a mobocracy, that's obvious, the biggest difference between RW structure and that of Wikipedia is that the pretense is much thinner here. That's refreshing. I wouldn't bother at all with RW otherwise.
Peter, if it "takes two to tango," where are your comments to Ace about this? Is there something wrong with "trolling and enjoying it?" If so, why are you (and Mikal), effectively, protecting Ace? And if not, why are you complaining about me doing it? --Abd (talk) 16:21, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
So much typed for so little value.Mikal Harass Follow 16:28, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
You are probably right. The operative expression could be "pearls before swine." Mikal, if you had any idea .... --Abd (talk) 05:41, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Telling a lawyer to "go ask a lawyer..."[edit]

Was that trolling or ignorance on your part? Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 15:49, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Not trolling, for sure. How about a combination of ignorance and knowledge? I don't know who is a lawyer here. If there is a lawyer, let the lawyer issue a legal opinion, as a responsible lawyer. Otherwise it's just fluff. What I wrote is, my understanding, simply common law. Members of the board and executives wielding corporate power are responsible for due diligence, they cannot hide behind some excuse like "the community did it." We haven't been discussing specifics, but actual practice here recognizes this, sometimes. If someone libels another on the wiki, and the libelled person objects, and the libel is not taken down, the RWF might have to defend a lawsuit, and if the suit is successful, and the RWF cannot pay a judgment, it is possible for the corporate veil to be pierced, under some conditions.
The WikiMedia Foundation has established OTRS where volunteers handle disputes with legal implications, and the WMF is responsible for how OTRS does this. OTRS is a special process that takes place outside of community supervision, and OTRS decisions override normal community process. OTRS is operating with Board authority, and the Board knows that if OTRS acts irresponsibly, the WMF is at risk. The WMF has deep pockets, and I'd be surprised if they don't have insurance to cover the risks to board members and officers.
I do know that I pointed out a risk to a WMF steward from his actions. The WMF does not shield stewards from lawsuits. His response was, first, to resign, then to come back and claim I'd threatened him legally (which was preposterous), and he demanded that I be blocked on the meta wiki.
I was simply asking, in fact, that he disclose checkuser information to the user whom he had checkusered, which was allowed by policy, explicitly (which he'd denied). If he'd disclosed the information, he'd no longer have any risk (under the circumstances). He could make mistakes, not a problem, as long as the errors were made in good faith.
As he was a steward, local admins jumped. I was blocked, lasted almost a year, never was based on anything other than a steward shot the messenger. So what if I was wrong? You'd think that some clarification would be useful. But I don't think I was wrong. There was a real named person involved here, he could have sued if he'd cared to, but what actually protected the steward was that the injured person did have, or didn't care to spend, what it would take to sue. That's all. Offend someone enough, or cause them an actual and significant loss, or someone has a lawyer who will take the case pro bono, you'd find out what the real legal situation is.
The user also could have appealed immediately to OTRS. I don't think he did. --Abd (talk) 16:16, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Nutty is a lawyer. I don't care about the Wikimedia foundation. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 16:20, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Cool. How do you know that Nutty is a lawyer? And last I noticed, Nutty has LANCB, and his actions indicate instability. If Nutty is giving free legal advice to the RWF, it might be worth what they are paying for it. Let him accept some token retainer, so that if the advice is "bullshit," they can sue him to recover any losses resulting from bad advice. Make sure he's actually in practice, and has errors and omissions insurance. And ... we don't know if Nutty has given any advice on this issue at all. I do know that looking at Nutty's contributions, I get no sense of a clear legal mind operating.
I have studied common law and I've written briefs on legal issues, accepted by lawyers. I don't rely on my own research, I have always consulted with a lawyer before going ahead with action. Because I'm not a lawyer, sometimes I'm thinking outside the box. Real lawyers are interested, and one took one of my ideas and ran with it. I was working for the defendant, and when the argument was presented, the plaintiff, previously intransigent, caved and settled, which was the whole purpose. But go right ahead, ToP, and believe whatever you like. After all, I'm just a crank and, besides, tl;dr. --Abd (talk) 16:34, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Known the guy for years. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 16:37, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
(ec with below) And you are, that we should accept your testimony as meaning anything?
Your comments in my block log and elsewhere seem to assume that I should have known this. How?
I see no legal opinion here contradicting what I'd written. None. When you "ask a lawyer," if the lawyer is in practice and is actually responsible for giving a sound opinion, you would not get "bullshit" as an answer unless there were no conditions under which what was said could apply. You'd get a careful statement of the actual legal situation, the true risks, and an assessment of probabilities. A real and responsible lawyer might say, "Well, yes, what Abd wrote is true, but the risk is very low." And the lawyer would go on to advise you as to what you could do to reduce risk. "Bullshit," if taken as legal advice, would mean "There is no risk, do whatever you like, you can't suffer any negative consequences." I.e., "la, la, la." ToP, you are demonstrating, effectively, that you are an idiot. Go ahead, continue I don't care. This is RatWiki, designed to allow people to demonstrate that they are idiots, and even to enjoy it.
Real lawyers, by the way, also become senile or otherwise lose it. --Abd (talk) 16:48, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Let me be clear--my interest in the entire question goes no further than my amusement at you telling a guy whom I and most regulars here know is a lawyer to "consult a lawyer." Beyond that, I have no interest/stake/horse in the race/dog in the fight. None whatsoever. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 16:40, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Excellent. So, how do "most regulars here" know that he's actually a lawyer? Because he said so? Because you said so? Further, when I wrote "ask a lawyer," I was not addressing him. I was addressing the RatWiki community, with something of possible special interest to RatWiki board members and corporate officers. Now, if they want to rely on "bullshit" as a legal opinion, that's up to them, but ... I've done my duty raising the issue. If Nutty is actually a lawyer, he could provide a legal opinion in a place appropriate for that. The page in question is about sysop structure, and what I wrote was about what must underlie a sane and practical structure. Nutty seized on a detail, that was not central, diverting attention from what was central. Without understanding the basic issue of control and responsibility (which must go together), the community will continue to spin its wheels, it could go on for decades. --Abd (talk) 16:57, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Why are you blocking a non-sysop for nine hours?[edit]

Why? Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 16:27, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Why are you wasting my time by asking questions, when the block log explained it? But, okay, providing some allowance for clueless idiots who are too effing lazy to look around:
  • The user was blocked by Seth Peck for nine hours (block log), because he'd been filling recent changes with dithering.
  • I considered that premature, since lesser measures had not been tried.
  • I saw that vandal binning had been used in the past by "respected users," to stop flooding of recent changes.
  • So, to allow this clueless editor some opportunity to practice careful editing and develop some clue, I put him in the vandal bin, and announced that I'd remove him if he showed some useful edits, or in a day in any case.
  • And then I unblocked him.
  • Mikal removed him from the bin because I was the one who put him there. He's been doing that both here and on RWW, reversing my actions solely because I made them, not because they were harmful and even if they are positive. He was quite explicit about it this time.[1] (If somebody else wants to vandal bin him go ahead, but i won't tolerate Abd doing it)
  • So I reblocked, with explanation -- which you ignored -- and went and washed my hands. I was returning the situation to the status quo ante. I didn't want to take the time to shorten the period to show time served. Anyone could do that.
  • Mikal unblocked.
  • And you are again demonstrating, ToP, that you dislike what I do, when what I do is exactly the same as another user has done, about whom you make no complaint or even show notice. You really are quite like Mikal, the actions are judged by the person, rather than the person by the actions. Pure ad hominem.
  • I have obvious cause to take Mikal to the coop, easily documented, he's been doing this frequently. But it's too much trouble. I'm satisfied to have placed an alternative to blocking Dirk before the community, and it will decide. Or ignore. Or whatever.
  • Enjoy the traffic today.
  • Ah, one more point. Any user should be allowed to undo what they have done, without question. If done quickly, it should be without consequence, except in certain narrow situations. In blocking Dirk, I was undoing my unblock, which had been done in consideration of the vandal bin option. --Abd (talk) 16:59, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh no, it wasn;t just because it was you, although that is part of it; it's also because that isn't what vandal bin is for and; as Top Said to me, he isn't a sysop so that isn't how we block (normally) --Mikal Harass Follow 17:03, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Just don't do it anymore. Guy's a crank, not a vandal. Thanks. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 17:03, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
I researched the history of the vandal bin, and I was explicit that I was using the vandal bin outside its normal use. The above is mindless formalism. I don't repeat rejected actions, when the community has confirmed the rejection. Otherwise, if I see another usage that, as well, is better than a long block, I'll do it. A crank who fills Recent Changes with drivel and dithering is harming the wiki, with no redeeming value except as an opportunity for you and Mikal to demonstrate your hilarious cluelessness, while you all the while imagine that you are perfectly sane. The problem is that crank, Abd. That's getting old, ToP. Put up or shut up.
Mikal, you have been making my point. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 17:11, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Don't block non-sysops unless they commit egregious vandalism. Also, the vandal bin is for vandals. Dude didn't vandalize anything, so don't bin people unless they vandalize the site. Thanks. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 17:14, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
(ec with below) Don't waste my time with repetitions of your non-authoritative pronouncements. Any tool here can be used for any purpose that improves or protects the site or the community. --Abd (talk) 17:29, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Why is someone who is doing no actual harm to the wiki, just talk pages, being blocked or binned. You all have this obsession over "recent changes" as if it's really fucking hard to hit "show more" and work through it. He's a crank. but he's been stopped from editing articles, and that is what we should be protecting, not how many posts people make, or even how often they edit one post. Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 17:24, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Ask Sethpeck who blocked originally. His reason was sound. Flooding Recent Changes is an actual problem that impacts many users. "Work through it" takes time. What is the returned value? WfG, I do know what I'm doing. the vandal bin action should be seen, not in isolation, but as an alternative to a long block. I see a problem, and many others have seen a problem, with this user's editing. The vandal bin actually might allow him to practice better editing. I was explicit that I'd remove him after a short period. --Abd (talk) 17:29, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Additionally, the user had requested sysop tools so he could get revenge, and had also requested to be blocked because he couldn't stop himself from trolling. Accordingly, I have promoted him and have reblocked for three months; this has been explained on the user's talk page. His talk page access was left open, so he can troll there as much as he likes, -- or request what he likes -- unless it becomes sufficiently annoying that someone removes his Talk page access. I've also promised that I would not personally reblock, and that if he is unblocked and stays unblocked for one day, I'd demote him. I had not noticed the request to be blocked before trying the vandal bin option.
It's entirely possible that everything I've done will be reversed before I look next at Recent Changes. That's the hazard of doing anything on a wiki with no structure encouraging personal responsibility for actions and their consequences. Indeed, this is why having the tools is called a "demotion." --Abd (talk) 17:58, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
(ec with below)
Yup. by Nx. No explanation. Unless Nx had been following the situation, he didn't have time to check out the reason. I have discovered a very effective form of trolling. Do the right thing, tempting others to reverse the right thing. You get the wiki you make.
Dirk's "request" was sarcasm, you idiot. There's your explanation. -- Nx / talk 18:15, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Nx. Look, the sarcasm was obvious, I didn't think I needed to mention it. If I mention all that I see, my already-long comments would be true tomes. And I've already spent too much time on this today. My action considered the welfare of the wiki and the user, and yours did not. That's okay, it's actually normal on RatWiki. However, perhaps I'm wrong, because perhaps I'm unclear on the purpose of RatWiki. If the purpose is purely lulz, then enabling disruptive users is perfect. If I get that this is the core purpose, and being quite cooperative, I will then create as many socks as needed to troll as effectively as possible. To me, it's all play (and that includes "serious scientific work," some of which I'm avoiding by puttering around here.) --Abd (talk) 18:35, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
How does blocking a user for 3 months, without even giving a proper reason, improve the welfare of the wiki and the user? Many people find you annoying. Would you like to be desysopped and blocked? One could argue that getting rid of you and your tl;dr derailing of every discussion on the wiki would be very good for the welfare of the wiki. -- Nx / talk 18:50, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
User request is not a proper reason? I.e., some opinion that the request is purely sarcastic, and that it means nothing -- a definite encouragement of lack of responsibility -- is supposed to somehow cancel the request? The user is clearly aware that he's trolling. "Derailing of every discussion on the wiki?" Hello? I intervene in a tiny fraction of the discussions on this wiki. In any case, I knew that if the user requested unblock, that's how long the block would last. My first block on Wikipedia, the admin wrote "Indef as in, until reversed, not as in infinite," and recused promptly. That was perfect. Three months is simply the local equivalent of "indef" with that meaning.
If we actually had a collection of responsible sysops, they could set conditions on unblock, and enforce them personally. Below, I give my view that a wiki user may always undo their own action, making the situation as if they had not acted. That obviously goes for blocks, but it also goes for unblocks.
As to tl;dr, many don't like that, for sure. Wikis that try to prohibit it, though, lose gravitas. There are functional ways to deal with truly excessive text. That was known on Wikipedia, when tl;dr was proposed as a reason to sanction me. It was rejected, by ArbComm, but the more volatile "community" accepted it, more than a year later, based on edits that were not even on Wikipedia. That was a beaut! The edits were a necessary presentation of evidence on the meta wiki, made necessary by very brief comments that were essentially lies, oft-repeated and oft-rejected -- by the community -- (but believable in context from the status of the liar). It's generally true that to refute a lie, with evidence -- necessary in the situation -- takes many more words than to simply assert one. That discussion succeeded in convincing a meta admin to remove an abusively blacklisted web site, but was still the reason given for my renewed topic ban. I love history that makes situations clear.
RatWiki is not particularly different from Wikipedia in how the mob functions in the presence of disagreement and conflict. It's more open, though. --Abd (talk) 19:04, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
and TheoryOfPractice is wheel-warring on this, opping a user who threatened to use it for revenge, and ToP knows that because he responded. That is absolutely perfect, if the goal is maximum lulz. Have a great day! --Abd (talk) 18:11, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
He's a sysop now. He can block himself if he chooses. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 18:01, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Also: "a wiki with no structure encouraging personal responsibility for actions and their consequences." Interesting point coming from the guy who thought that Mikal was responsible for Nutty, that Nutty was responsible for Ace, etc. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 18:03, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely, thanks. Everyone is personally responsible for the consequences of their actions, and even more so if those consequences can be reasonably forseen, and even more so if they are obviously what is likely to ensue. A rapist is responsible for rape, but someone who releases a rapist with a declared intention to rape, or a clear and not reformed pattern of rapes, is also responsible as well, and that's the real world. A politician who does that finds that his career is toast. A police officer who "kindly" lets the drunk driver continue home, and an accident is caused thereby, is likely to lose his job. Here, the user's declared intentions, and the user's actual request, are being ignored in favor of "whatever Abd does must be wrong, and I'll make up whatever reasons are necessary to keep asserting this, and I'll even assert it with no reason at all, because the point here is really that Abd is Not One of Us, and should just go away. Hey, that would be easy to do: just promote me twice, get it to stick, and I get to spend my time on stuff that's actually more useful.
I have this crazy idea that if I have tools, and see an opportunity to prevent harm with them, I have an obligation to use them. That is, in fact, part of my idea of responsibility. People who don't understand responsibility, and who take no responsibility for the consequences of their actions -- and non-actions -- find this quite threatening, and want to make the idea go away. It won't work. Lack of responsibility, in the real world, is thoroughly correlated with lack of power. --Abd (talk) 18:21, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
I was not going to give Dirk's sysop bit back, but ToP did it, so I let it be. I also briefly considered desysopping you. -- Nx / talk 18:28, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Darn! What a missed opportunity! I can still hope, though, that your comment will encourage some other asshole to do it.
You do realize that I promised not to act again, right? I had clear cause for each of my actions, they were explained and clearly intended -- right or wrong, if anyone looks -- to support the wiki and the community, and I'd be happy to be cooped. Supposedly getting attention is my game (it isn't, but so what?), and the coop would be superb for that. But also a colossal waste of time, most likely. --Abd (talk) 18:42, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

How about you stop trying to police this site, Abd? There's people around who understand the community a lot better than you do; like pretty much everybody. Stop handing out long blocks, stop desysoping other users, stop undoing other sysops' actions. This is a warning, and you've had plenty. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:55, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Cool. Weaseloid. If you don't want me using the sysop tools as I see fit for the welfare of the wiki, if you see that as harmful, you know exactly what you can do. You are, after all, a moderator. I have no crystal ball. I call them as I see them, and what I did was well within reasonable discretion, and was either harmless or was better than harmless, but frustrated by the actions of others. In general, my actions mirrored or confirmed (or mollified!) the actions of others, but I don't see them being dinged. I acted openly, everything was documented, and certainly not sneaky or difficult to follow, for anyone paying a modicum of attention.
If asked, I'll document anything I've said (or retract it!), and justify anything I've done (or apologize!)
I'm announcing this clearly: if I'm a sysop here, I will use the tools to pursue the welfare of the wiki and the community, as I see fit, and if I abuse this, I fully expect the tools to be removed.
I also understand that this is a wiki, and is operated 99.9% through a mobocracy, and my kind of comment and action is commonly detested by mobs. That situation has existed for centuries, probably forever.
Used to be, on Wikipedia, that if I claimed that the sky was blue, there would be a 2/3 "!vote" (by "reputable editors" including many administrators) to ban Abd for lying. I could easily take responsibility for that situation, but ... it also served as a demonstration, observed by many, of the true situation at Wikipedia, which was unable to realize its stated site mission because of the dysfunctional structure, a natural consequences of the "wiki" concept, in naive application. (Wikis can be great, don't get me wrong. But if they are to serve some purpose other than massive waste of time, with unreliability in spite of massive effort, they need structure to deal with what can't be handled with quick, knee-jerk actions.)
Weaseloid, I understand this site quite well. I'm surprised by practically nothing here, including your comments. You think that I don't understand because, in fact, you don't understand, in spite of your few years of experience. That is, you don't understand me and what moves me, and you are unlikely to do so, unless you, yourself, stop and take a look. It might require dropping your assumptions of smug superiority and validation through popularity. --Abd (talk) 21:55, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

LessWrongian pseudosciences[edit]

Please explain your position on the obvious pseudosciences and crackpottery memes popular among the LessWrong cluster, such as singularitarianism and cryonics.

To call yourself a "rationalist" seems like an easy marketing ploy to attract certain people. Perhaps I should start to sell such PR advice to various think-tanks?--Baloney Detection (talk) 23:07, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't have a "position" on singulitarianism and cryonics. To relate these topics to the LessWrong community, I'd need to know the expressed positions, and to distinguish between individually expressed opinions, and some judged (by whom?) to be collective opinion.
Any community will have "memes," complex ideas that are commonly accepted in the community and not so commonly elsewhere. These are part of what would define a "community" as distinct from other communities.
I do accept that the LW community is "rationalist," because it's founded on the writings of Yudkowsky, apparently, most strongly, and he is clearly a rationalist. That does not mean that every idea that drips from his pen is rational, only that his approach is rationalist, and is about the best I've ever seen in the field, consistently. But I'm not a philosopher, as such, I'm pragmatic, I work with people, real people, and am concerned about personal and social transformation, moving beyond the limits of social expectations.
As such, you should not be surprised that I'm not offended by this or that idea that could be claimed to be "crackpot," because I know that rational inquiry can sometimes lead to what will be so considered by "normal people." In this case, those are ignorant people, and this can include "scientists" and even "rationalists."
In fact, I'm seeing what might be such knee-jerk reactions from some elements in the LW community, since I've got my toe in the waters. This means, to me, only that the LW community is still a relatively normal human community, or, alternatively, that I've got my head wedged. Rationally, that is always a possibility.
To the point, Baloney Detection, you have been inserting commentary about the LessWrong community that you have invented, describing Yudkowsky and the community in ways that are misleading. You've misrepresented sources, presenting your own highly biased interpretations as if the source said those things. On a normal wiki, I'd be acting to expose this, strenuously. Here, it's almost normal, it's done all the time, it's part of the community snark. --Abd (talk) 23:33, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Give it a fucking rest already[edit]

Please desist, no one wants to read your walls of text so fucking quit it already. Acei9 05:02, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Abd is possessed of a Great Mind, and we should revel in every word he deigns to share with us. We should feel privileged at having so many walls of so much text. All of it Brilliant and Important. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 05:06, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
No, he should shut the fuck up. He is turning into Maratrean. Acei9 05:08, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

The Ace Policy[edit]

Writing on RationalWiki must not tax the deliberative capacity of a drunk. All comments must be 100 words or less, using only short words, preferably four letters, like quit and fuck. --Abd (talk) 13:40, 10 November 2012 (UTC)