William elsewhere: Existence

People don’t talk about me much, so I’ll point you at ocham.blogspot.com. It is even kind, in parts, but the problem he points out – the difficulty of maintaining an article like [[Existence]] – is quite genuine. I’m currently hacking through various “esoteric” bits of wikipedia removing cruft (I even started [[Gurdjieff Foundation]]), and Existence was but one minor victim of my ghastly surgery. I don’t agree with “Ockham” – my attitude is that maths doesn’t really belong in an article that is predominantly philosophy, but I don’t care enough on that subject to argue hard.

Update: now with exciting not-very-secret backstory.

You might ask, incidentally, why the blog author doesn’t just get off his bum and fix it up himself, but the answer is (alas) that he is banned, for reasons I forget right now. As an exercise in archaeology I decided to find out. The last cause is this ANI thread (and if the only person defending you is Ottava Rima, you’ve upset a lot of people, far more than the usual). Going back a step I think we find this where PD has been nasty to FT2. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing: even amongst a generally bad crop, FT2 stood out as a truely appalling arbitrator. Going another step backwards to December 2008 we have some interminable discussion, and if you look closely you’ll find me noting that I’ve blocked PD for violating his parole (I used to be an admin, you know, in the good old days; funny I’ve forgotten how insane wiki was even in those days). You can also look me up in block
– std 3RR stuff. Going a bit further back is the Ayn Rand arbcomm case in March 2009. But PD appears to have come out of that unscathed. And now I realised that my timeline is twisted. Perhaps there is some new-accounting going on; PD talk doesn’t really clarify. See-also the list of naughty boys.

ps: http://www.mywikibiz.com/Directory:The Wikipedia Point of View/Flavius Vanillus may or may not be relevant.


  1. #1 Nate

    People don’t talk about me much
    I went to a seminar yesterday where your blog was mentioned…

    [Oh go on… what did they say? -W]

  2. #2 Plonkerinn

    As terse as you are on other subjects, when you discuss the internal workings of Wikipedia dark clouds gather around my mind. Is there perhaps an online course I could take which would make intuitive the connection between people named Ocham and Peter Damien, how to evaluate arbitration which links to forbidden pages, why the most important information seems reduced to numbers in square brackets and how so many people seem intimately familiar with issues spread over multiple independent articles.

    [Long experience trying to explain wikipedia to people convinces me that it isn’t possible; you have to do it. Somewhat like yoga.

    In this case PD (the ex-wikipedian) is using [[Peter Damian]] as his pen-name, presumably out of some fellow feeling, or quite likely a connection which the initiated (not me) will find obvikous. PD-the-w-in-person is a philosopher-type -W]

  3. #3 Nate

    [Oh go on… what did they say? -W]
    It was a talk about the “hockey stick”. There was one slide about the role of blogs. I don’t remember exactly what was said about what role you played (if any?), but I remember hearing “Stoat” (as well as RC, CA, and a few others). -~~~~

  4. #4 Edward Ockham

    I have something about Ayn Rand and Wikipedia here http://ocham.blogspot.com/2009/01/ayn-rand-and-wikipedia.html .

    The full story of junk science and junk philosophy on Wikipedia has yet to be told, though.

    [There is a book to be written about the overt and covert wars, like the submarines duelling under the Arctic ice -W]

  5. #5 Antiquated Tory

    objectivists:philosophers::”contrarians”:climate scientists ?

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