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My name is Derek and I was born in 1958 which makes me the right age to have lived through the 1960s and to remember it. I lived in the town of Arbroath on the east coast of Scotland for twenty-four years but moved to Calgary, Alberta at the beginning of 2003. More recently I have moved to the South Shore, Nova Scotia.
I have a wide range of interests and regularly used to travel abroad on business. In February, 2002 I visited Hungary for a week. In mid-April I went to the Empty Quarter for three weeks. I was in the Algerian central Sahara from mid-August until September and again in early December. In October 2004 I visited the city of Daqing (pronounced Da tshing) in Northern China for a few weeks. During 2005 my trips have all been to the southern United States. However from late 2005 until 2016, I spent most of my time in Calgary. In 2016 I moved to the South Shore of Nova Scotia where I am now ensconced for the foreseeable future. Aaah, life is good!
Thus although I have contributed regularly to the Wikipedia since mid-October 2001, as an IP user for the first few weeks and as a named user from mid-November, there are times when I haven't contributed as much as I would like.
Note that I no longer subscribe to the Wikipedia mailing lists, nor do I use IRC or any other off-wiki forum. I just don't think it's worthwhile and in any case I don't have the time. So bear in mind that I'm only aware of discussions that take place on Wikipedia talk pages (and not even most of them). As a result bang goes my cabal membership! But it doesn't bother me: some people like the community; some prefer the encyclopedia. I'm one of the latter.
I've started a whole lot of articles, including some whose earliest history has unfortunately been lost -- the Anders Hejlsberg article
is was one of those -- but I don't see any point in putting down a big list here. We've all written plenty of stuff after all. Most of my work tends to be stubs, spelling, grammar and formatting changes since, sadly, I'm too lazy to like the effort involved in writing "big" articles. However I do sometimes forget myself and write a lot when I find a subject that I really like.
- meta:User:Derek Ross
- commons:User:Derek Ross
- wikisource:User:Derek Ross
- Calgary Wiki
- User:Derek Ross/Sandbox
Strange but True
It is possible to edit nearly every day since 2001 on Wikipedia and still be an unknown to other contributors (well, most of them but not the fine people who have given me an award).
Don't know what I did to deserve this but, hey, I'll take what I can get.
|The Scots Barnstar of National Merit|
Awarded to Derek Ross
It's usually seen as poor form to edit another editor's user page, but hey...
|The Original Barnstar|
|These seem to usually get handed out to those who actively collect them, but I can't think of anyone who deserves one more... cheers for all the good work! Catfish Jim and the soapdish (talk) 19:29, 24 December 2009 (UTC)|
Gosh, it must be Christmas! Thanks, Jim. You might be surprised at just how pleased I am to be given one of these. It's funny how such a small gesture can have such a big effect. Cheers!
All Too Familiar But True
A little bit of truth disguised as a poem
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
- (So Shines a Good Deed in a Naughty World)
- by Franklin Pierce Adams
- There was a man in our town who had King Midas’ touch;
- He gave away his millions to the colleges and such;
- And people cried: “The hypocrite! He ought to understand
- The ones who really need him are the children of this land!”
- When Andrew Croesus built a home for children who were sick,
- The people said they rather thought he did it as a trick,
- And writers said: “He thinks about the drooping girls and boys,
- But what about conditions with the men whom he employs?”
- There was a man in our town who said that he would share
- His profits with his laborers, for that was only fair,
- And people said: “Oh, isn’t he the shrewd and foxy gent?
- It cost him next to nothing for that free advértisement!”
- There was a man in our town who had the perfect plan
- To do away with poverty and other ills of man,
- But he feared the public jeering, and the folks who would defame him,
- So he never told the plan he had, and I can hardly blame him.
Machiavelli with Scientific Research and Laughs
If you want to Rule the World but fell asleep while reading The Prince, try this. It's entertaining and gives you the tools to identify the
useful fools minions Loyal Followers that every Evil Overlord needs; tools to identify worthless do-gooders and the amoral, manipulative, lying scum trying to drag you down your competitors; plus handy guides to what can go wrong with this world-dominating lark, including useful tips on achieving Nuclear War, Global Warming, Overpopulation etc. Or avoiding them. Whatever floats your boat. The Actual Case Studies were very informative. Warning! May cause paranoia in those of a pessimistic nature.
The rumours that I am actively trying to take over the world and only edit Wikipedia as part of my nefarious plan have been much exaggerated. However it just so happens that -- for no particular reason -- I came across yet another excellent work on ermmm... practical politics. No really. It's been out for a while but I've just read it and found it entertaining and informative. It explains a lot. Definitely another strong recommendation for those who might wish to rule their local parish with an iron fist! Here's a review from the Guardian -- The Dictator's Handbook.
SF Authors that I like
- Edgar Rice Burroughs -- Under the Moons of Mars
- E. E. Smith -- Spacehounds of IPC
- A. E. van Vogt -- The World of Null-A
- Cordwainer Smith -- Norstrilia
- Charles Harness -- The Paradox Men
- Philip K Dick -- The Man in the High Castle
- Ursula K. Le Guin -- Semley's Necklace
- Stanislaw Lem -- The Cyberiad
- Kurt Vonnegut -- Slaughterhouse-Five
- Iain Banks -- Consider Phlebas
I'm not sure what they have in common but I love them all for one aspect of their writing or another. Each of them has written at least one story (indicated above) which is in a class by itself.
It occurs to me that, whatever the calendar may say, the 20th century started in 1914 with the Great War and is still going on. I wonder what it will take to bring it to an end ? My guess is the coming Peak Oil crisis. (Almost right. Looks like the change is being effected by the ongoing Global Financial Crisis).
Yup. I would say the 21st century actually started in 2008. Not too keen on how it's going so far...
Sign me up
- It's Alive! - Alas! Corpse-Reanimation Technology Still 10 Years Off, Say MIT Mad Scientists
- Zombie OS - But while we're waiting... How to install Linux on a dead badger
- Squeezing the Taxpayer - Owning a moat isn't for everyone. But claiming it on your expense account requires a steely sense of determined self-righteousness and outright brass-neckery which (almost) no one possesses. How the other half (a percent) lives
You know you've been on Wikipedia a long time when...
- Larry Sanger welcomed you to Wikipedia.
- Your user page is the subject of missing edit research
- You remember when admins were "just a temporary solution" and the rest of the hierarchy wasn't even thought of.
- You still think of Jimbo as the "God-King".
- Community What ? - This research strongly implies that there is such a thing as society and that it makes sense to talk of a community as opposed to a group of individuals who happen to live near each other.
- The International Methodist Conspiracy - Methodism in Arbroath
- Safari Adventure - You want a safari holiday but you're scared of lions? Scotland's the place for you!
- Victorian Status Symbols - Without even trying -- and believe me: they don't -- wombats are cool. But Pre-Raphaelite wombats are subzero.
- Elementary, My Dear Postman - Sometimes the Royal Mail isn't just good; it's astounding!
- Prediction and its limitations are interesting.
- LVT success stories Keep on losing track of this one. Aaargh! they moved it again! To here
- An extremely interesting natural experiment in economics. Richard Radford's essay on The Economic Organisation of a PoW Camp.