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This user is no longer very active on Wikipedia.

Semi-retired: After taking an extended semi-wikibreak, it appears unlikely that I will return to my prior level of editing any time soon (perhaps I will one day). For now, I hope to channel my research energy into more academic and professional pursuits. But I'm certainly not leaving Wikipedia entirely, and you can always reach me by leaving a talk page message or by pinging me.

About me

I'm just a simple Wikipedian trying to make my way in the universe.



Before I semi-retired, the following were projects I started or planned to start. I may still work on these projects at my leisure.

Wikipedia historyEdit

I started editing Wikipedia not long after I stumbled across it several years ago. During my early days of editing, I focused mostly on articles related to Avatar: The Last Airbender and Florida politics. After getting burned out, I substantially decreased my editing for a while and became a bit of a WikiGnome. During that time, I did not have a main topical focus on Wikipedia, but I involved myself in WikiProjects and kept tabs on several articles that interested me. I returned to active Wikipedia editing in 2013, and among several other pursuits, I brought Voting Rights Act of 1965 to Featured Article status. I am now semi-retired. To the extent I am active these days, I am particularly interested in improving articles related to voting rights in the United States, but I continue to have eclectic editing interests.

Previous projectsEdit

My previous projects have included, but certainly have not been limited to, the following:

Major contributionsEdit

Noteworthy pages createdEdit


  The Civility Barnstar
For your consistently polite and constructive conduct. Sb101 (talk|contribs) 20:03, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
  The Million Award
For your contributions to bring Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (estimated annual readership: 2,160,000) to Good Article status, I hereby present you the Million Award. Congratulations on this rare accomplishment, and thanks for all you do for Wikipedia's readers. -- Khazar2 (talk) 01:51, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
  The Half Million Award
For your contributions to bring Voting Rights Act of 1965 (estimated annual readership: 568,168) to Good Article status, I hereby present you the Half Million Award. Congratulations, and thanks for all you do for Wikipedia's readers! -- Bobnorwal (talk) 22:52, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
  The Half Million Award
For your impressive quality improvement work to bring Voting Rights Act of 1965 to Featured Article quality, I hereby present you with The Half Million Award. Congratulations, and thanks for all you do for Wikipedia's readers! — Cirt (talk) 23:14, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

rights, protection and care
Thank you, professional lawyer trying to do the right thing including gender neutrality, for quality articles on legislation such as Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, for improving Democracy, University of Central Florida and Freethought, interested in the highest quality of sources, - you are an awesome Wikipedian!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:44, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

  The Instructor's Barnstar
This Barnstar is awarded to Wikipedians who have performed stellar work in the area of instruction & help for other editors.
For being helpful and thoughtful in discussions relating to citation policy. NickCT (talk) 18:01, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Views about WikipediaEdit

I may get around to turning these into essays sometime. Until then, if you want to discuss them, post on my talk page.

  • In the News criteria: The way in which items make it into Wikipedia's In the News section on the Main Page is severely inconsistent, even absurdly inconsistent. Wikipedia will post news about a United States Supreme Court decision invalidating a federal law that prohibited same-sex couples from receiving federal marriage benefits, but it will not post news about the United Kingdom's Parliament and Queen fully legalizing same-sex marriage a few weeks later, and yet it will post news about the United Kingdom's Duchess of Cambridge birthing a son. How such a facially absurd inconsistency can exist is, I suspect, because there are only two basic ITN criteria: "the quality of the updated content and the significance of the developments described in the updated content". This vague and limited criteria basically allows the small, dominant group of editors who pay attention to the Wikipedia:In the news/Candidates page to pick stories based almost entirely on how they subjectively feel about each particular story as it comes up. This degree of subjectivity easily produces inconsistency because decisions are based almost entirely on a small group of editors' interests, experiences, knowledge, and prejudices. (Sometimes, this group of editors' feelings applied over the long term to a select type of news story will be used to create their own unwritten customs—but the customs still originate from the editors' subjective feelings, not necessarily anything rational, and certainly nothing apparently obvious to outsiders.) To prevent this subjectivity from invading the In the News, editors should develop objective criteria upon which to guide decisions about what is worthy of inclusion ITN—and something more substantive than the unexplained notions behind the automatic-inclusions-list at WP:ITNR. Ideally, different categories of news topics should have their own criteria; for example, criteria about when a celebrity story is sufficiently noteworthy, criteria about when a court case is sufficiently noteworthy, criteria about when a sporting event is sufficiently noteworthy, etc. Likewise, criteria should be established for when something is not sufficiently newsworthy. Obviously, the categorization of news topics would take some effort and require community consensus, and then developing the criteria would be quite a task as well, but the relevant WikiProjects could (and should) be consulted lated to their Project. Such criteria needn't be so demanding or precise that their application becomes simply a mechanical exercise, but by replacing the current system in which ITN inclusion is determined by the personal whims and fanee the community toward consensus for ITN inclusion in a fair manner.
  • Social aspects: Wikipedia needs more social aspects, both related to the content of Wikipedia articles (substantive) and off-topic. More on this view coming soon...
  • Inclusivity: Wikipedia needs to take more proactive action to close the gender gap among its editors and be an inclusive community. More on this view coming soon...

Things to knowEdit

Basically, Wikipedia requires three things:

  • Quality sources that are cited to support content
  • Notability of a subject that has its own Wikipedia article
  • Due weight given to the different viewpoints on, and aspects of, a subject

Sources: Typically, the highest quality of source is:


  • Notability is a threshold issue for a subject to be worthy of its own an article on Wikipedia. The notability guideline requires that the subject receive "significant coverage" among independent, reliable, secondary sources.
  • Note: "The concept of notability does not govern to the content of an article; it governs only whether the article should exist. Content coverage within a given article or list (i.e., whether something is noteworthy enough to be mentioned in the article or list) is governed by the principle of due weight and other content policies."


Due and undue weight concern how much attention an article gives to a viewpoint on, or an aspect of, the article's subject.

  • Undue weight to particular viewpoints on the subject (see WP:UNDUE). In particular:
    • A fringe minority viewpoint should receive virtually no attention at all (see WP:FRINGE)
    • A significant minority viewpoint should receive attention, but less than the majority viewpoint (the article should not present a false balance between a minority viewpoint and majority viewpoint) (see WP:VALID)
    • Viewpoints that are equally prominent in reliable sources should receive equal attention in an article (see WP:Balance)
  • Undue weight to certain aspects of the subject (see WP:BALASPS). This commonly includes too much attention being given to:
    • Recent events (see WP:RECENTISM)
    • Isolated events
    • How the topic pertains to, or is viewed by, a certain culture, geographical area, sex, age, or other particular group (see WP:Systemic bias)
    • Other aspects of a topic that receive comparatively less attention among reliable sources.

Citing: See generally WP:ILC

  • As WP:MINREF describes, Wikipedia requires inline citations for the following types of article content:
    • Direct quotations
    • Any statement that has been challenged (e.g., by being removed, questioned on the talk page, or tagged with {{citation needed}}, or any similar tag)
    • Any statement that you believe is likely to be challenged.
    • Contentious material, whether negative, positive, or neutral, about living persons
  • Per WP:INTEXT, you must provide an in-text attribution (in addition to the usual inline citation) to a nonfree source if you:
Exception: Free sources, such as public domain sources, do not require in-text attribution when they are quoted or closely paraphrased. But they do still require an inline citation and an acknowledgment that the source is a free source, such as by using an attribution template. See Wikipedia:Plagiarism#Copying material from free sources.

Original synthesis: WP:SYNTH

Manual of Style: WP:MOS

Article review processes:

Content dispute resolution:

  • WP:DR - A description of how to resolve content disputes on Wikipedia.
  • WP:DRR - A list of the processes Wikipedia has established to help facilitate content dispute resolution.

Problems: Noticeboards

Information on reviews within the FAC process


Tools of debateEdit

  • Fallacies and cognitive biases: Learn them, avoid them, and point them out viciously in other people's arguments.
  • Cherry picking: Always put forth and refute opposing views.
  • Occam's razor: When various possible solutions have equal likelihood of being true, choose the simpler one to remove what is superfluous. This really helps to combat pseudoscience, the New Age, etc.
  • Scientific method: The best way we know to discover the truths of reality, and the best standard against which to hold claims of new knowledge.

Multi-licensed with all versions of the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License
I agree to multi-license my text contributions, unless otherwise stated, under Wikipedia's copyright terms and the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license version 1.0, version 2.0, version 2.5, version 3.0, and all future versions of the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. Please be aware that other contributors might not do the same, so if you want to use my contributions under the Creative Commons terms, please check the CC dual-license and Multi-licensing guides.
  Licensing rights granted to Wikimedia Foundation
I grant non-exclusive permission for the Wikimedia Foundation Inc. to relicense my text and media contributions, including any images, audio clips, or video clips, under any copyleft license that it chooses, provided it maintains the free and open spirit of the GFDL. This permission acknowledges that future licensing needs of the Wikimedia projects may need adapting in unforeseen fashions to facilitate other uses, formats, and locations. It is given for as long as this banner remains.