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Sam Eagle, Sr.
Wikipedia Patriot
Ignored all rules
"I am not exaggerating when I say it is the closest thing to Kafka's The Trial I have ever witnessed, with editors and administrators giving conflicting and confusing advice, complaints getting “boomeranged” onto complainants who then face disciplinary action for complaining, and very little consistency in the standards applied. In my short time there, I repeatedly observed editors lawyering an issue with acronyms, only to turn around and declare “Ignore all rules!” when faced with the same rules used against them. -- David Auerbach, "Encyclopedia Frown", Slate, December 2014

  • Iron Law of Oligarchy: An empirical study of 683 Wikia wikis found support for the claims that the iron law of oligarchy holds in wikis; i.e. that the wiki's transparent and egalitarian model does not prevent the most active contributors from obtaining significant and disproportionate control over those projects. In particular, the study found that as wiki communities grow 1) they are less likely to add new administrators; 2) the number of edits made by administrators to administrative “project” pages will increase and 3) the number of edits made by experienced contributors that are reverted by administrators also grows. The authors also note that while there are some interesting exceptions to this rule, proving that wikis can, on occasion, function as egalitarian, democratic public spaces, on average "as wikis become larger and more complex, a small group – present at the beginning – will restrict entry into positions of formal authority in the community and account for more administrative activity while using their authority to restrict contributions from experienced community members".[1]
  • From a book review of Dariusz Jemielniak's Common Knowledge: "Declaring the notion of an administrative cabal is laughable on the surface.. but there is a grain of truth to it – admins talk to one another, including privately, "secretly" and off wiki, and they act, more or less consciously, as a part of a group that holds power over regular editors. Jemielniak argues that the notion of editor equality is a subconscious, invisible and unrealistic pillar of Wikipedia, one that when confronted with the reality of editors not being equal leads to problems and growing divisions within the community. Thus the inequality between editors, which in the "ideal Wikipedia" would not exist, subconsciously annoys editors, and is significantly responsible for the problems with retention of editors, electing new administrators, and cohesion of the community, of whom a significant portion entertains some notions of the existence of a "real cabal" (see WP:CABAL). In this, his research fits into the wider paradigm of scholarly literature concerned with social inequality, and with its common conclusion that inequality is the major cause of the vast majority of problems in human society.[2]
  • The Unblockables, a class of elitist editors who get away with incivility because they make good contributions. As Wales said, "it's a shame that some in the community think that it's worthwhile putting up with nasty people if they make good contributions."
On different notes..
  • "Crowd Governance", a study finds that after the creation of a Wikipedia article about a publicly traded company, its stock price drops. Apparently, insiders and institutional investors see an article (ie. transparency) as signifying they no longer have an edge on investing information.
  • "Wikipedia is fixing one of the Internet’s biggest flaws" (Washington Post) - a terribly encouraging article. Wikipedia is emerging as a model of what works for Internet discourse on controversial topics. Might our guidelines and policies be enshrined someday into a broader generic set that could be applied for any website who wished to adopt them in a Constitutional manner?
  • Martin, Brian (2017). "Persistent Bias on Wikipedia: Methods and Responses". Social Science Computer Review
  • "The longer a person has lived the less he gains by reading, and the more likely he is to forget what he has read and learnt of old; and the only remedy that I know of is to write upon every subject that he wishes to understand, even if he burns what he has written." -- Thomas Young, polymath, deciphered Rosetta Stone

Article for Deletion
Article for Creation

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