About Me

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"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"
Evelyn Beatrice Hall, on Voltaire. "There are people who have good sense. There are idiots. A consensus of idiots does not override good sense. Wikipedia is not a democracy." — Jimbo Wales[1]

"Everything I needed to know in life, I learned from Wikipedia." — me

I sincerely wish to be kind, congenial, gracious, and forgiving to everyone, although that is not always within my easy reach. I do a lot of extremely hard, high quality, high volume work; and I occasionally address Wikipedia's vandalism and abuse through processes of the Countervandalism Unit. It's almost nothing to the whole of Wikipedia but it's a lot to me, and yet I don't even seek it out. These activities which I intend for the neutral greater public good, will sometimes soak up my normal goofy friendliness, so I apologize in advance and sometimes in retrospect. If I legitimately step on someone's feelings (not their victim/entitlement/enabling mentality), I feel badly and try to address it. At the least, I try to be respectful and correct—however direct, literal, and terse it may sound. Sometimes if I'm not concisely direct, then the lid would come off and I'd be babbling verbosely. Additionally, I don't deal well with blatant stupidity, vandalism, busybodies, and neglect of policy and collegial principles. As a matter of countervandalism procedure, I may investigate the editing history of anyone with dubious behavior, and I may document it on the user's talk page either to benefit the offending user or the future investigating community.

Please understand. Don't sperg out.

Since my first edit on March 24, 2010, I spent years as a WikiGnome. Since February 2013, I have authored and reformed several high quality articles and I'm now also a hard core WikiPlatypus (a WikiDragon who also cares for others under my WikiGryphon wings). As an extreme researcher and completionist, I am learning every bit of tedious wikiminutia (technically, socially, and organizationally). I take delight in going to tremendous lengths to complete the templates and metadata, to correct every typo (spelling, grammar, formatting), and to concisely optimize every thought from all angles. I gleefully seek collaboration with other friendly editors even down to the 'thank' button, including any opportunity to mentor newer users. I'm dtm on #wikipedia-en on IRC.

I'm following the rabbit hole all the way down. My body is ready.

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Saving the universe, one article at a time.

It's magic.

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This editor is a Tutnum and is entitled to display this Book of Knowledge.
List of articles that I've started
List of documents that I've totally rewritten
List of documents that I've significantly contributed to
List of essays I've started

Articles where I do a periodic sweep of the diff since my previous edit, to mass-review everyone's changes. Nintendo, NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Shigeru Miyamoto, Robin Williams


  • Multimedia: Enhance articles with multimedia content from real life experiences and demonstrations, including photographs, audio clips, video clips, animations, tables, and timeline graphs.
  • Neutral inclusionism: Ensure the objectivity, completeness, and lack of historical revision, of the history of computing and gaming. Convert condemnations into explanations.
    • Translation: Explore the English-translated accessibility of Japanese video game history. Non-Japanese-speaking historians are suffocating inside of a non-Japanese goldfish bowl of video game history, especially with Nintendo's intricate innovations and experiments. I wish we had a translation task force as has been done with ancient classic texts on WikiSource, but I don't know if it's legally possible to do with modern texts due to copyright. Can we bend the rules by citing or externally linking to an unauthorized third party translator, as we sometimes link to external fan-maintained wikis?
    • Controversies:
      • Controversy over the intricacies of system programming (excessive negativity is given to N64 but not to PS2 or PS3, framed as endemic flaws instead of optimizations)
      • Controversy over software quality (excessive negativity given to E.T.).
      • Controversy over physical media for video games (why Nintendo used cartridges for so long; examine copy protection in their cartridge vs. disc systems and copy protection in competitors' previous CD-ROM systems; mention cartridge format's ability to be cheaply reloaded prior to the Internet era, as with Nintendo Power (cartridge), mention the Nintendo's history of often failed attempts to introduce complementary media, mention the commercial failure of almost all other CD-ROM-based systems)
      • Controversy over product unpopularity and market failures (as with explaining and characterizing video game crash of 1983, particularly with E.T.)
    • Tense: Correct the nostalgic past tense of articles about retro products such as old TV shows, computers, or video games. These are the reasons: the products will always exist, fictional content is referenced in the everpresent, and only a specific mark in time is past tense. My essay on the subject is here. See also WP:TVLEAD, WP:TENSE, and this on "'is the first' or 'was the first'".
  • Nintendo
    • NES launch history
      • add Vs. System as an pre-test-launch
      • list of A, B, and C test launch cities in Steve Lin's materials
      • "We're launching in New York because that's where success happens." -- Yamauchi[2]
      • pre-launch party in NYC at The Visage on October 9[3] or October 10[4]
    • Consider consolidating a few articles into one about NES multitaps
    • Explore Yamauchi's online vision (Ultimate History of Video Games with talk about becoming a communications company, and translated article about Famicom Modem)[1]
    • Explore the history of Nintendo's online strategies
    • Ensure the stating of the case of why the NES's release was delayed: initially seeking outside American distributors such as Atari; the video game crash of 1983 and its subsequent fallout (not wanting to release "the right product at the wrong time")
    • Clarifying the reasons for the delay of the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 in America, and the existence of the transfigured American release. Cite which sequel Miyamoto spent more time on.
    • Nintendo 64 Game Pak
      • add quote from Peter Molyneux
      • "For games, you need backup and flexibility, CD-ROM doesn't have that but the 64DD will. We aren't making movies, so we have chosen the disk system instead of CD-ROM."[5]
      • timeline of the increase of Game Pak storage size
    • Nintendo 64
      • Miyamoto said, "We think that the Nintendo 64 will be better in every respect than PCs. We were plug-and-play long before the PC (market) ever heard of such a thing. And since we use a TV monitor for display, we don't need extra hardware for running movies and such things." Tezuka said, "For games, you need backup and flexibility, CD-ROM doesn't have that but the 64DD will. We aren't making movies, so we have chosen the disk system instead of CD-ROM."[6]
      • Eliminate the bias about programming characteristics and cartridge media, importing my previous work from the relevant articles
      • Establish the Dream Team: Paradigm Entertainment[2]
      • Square and Enix moving to Sony[3]
    • 64DD
      • "For games, you need backup and flexibility, CD-ROM doesn't have that but the 64DD will. We aren't making movies, so we have chosen the disk system instead of CD-ROM."[7]
      • Explain the delays, individually and cumulatively (pending the development of more games, and delays with hardware development)
        • Nintendo interview (possibly Howard Lincoln) stating Nintendo's directive that all new software development should target 64DD (including Ultra Donkey Kong), and that the 64DD wouldn't be released until there was sufficient software for it.
      • identify the manufacturer of the 64DD prior to the 1997 contract with Alps; describe the reason for partnering with Alps
      • subscription details
      • Mention the role of the Expansion Pak and its development alongside 64DD
      • Find reviews and descriptions of Game Boy's camera and portability interaction with 64DD, via Transfer Pak (Cabbage, DT Bloodmasters, Talent Studio)
      • Reconcile Cabbage (video game) with Nintendogs
      • Why did they terminate the entire Randnet online service and all truly unique platform assets (Mario Artist series, audio/video capture), rather than adapting it all to GameCube or Internet? Why was Randnet anchored only to 64DD? Why is there nothing comparable to Mario Artist on subsequent platforms like GameCube?
      • Is Randnet Nintendo's first ecommerce, after buying Nintendo Power subscriptions?
      • Resurrect and translate individual pages from Randnet.co.jp.
      • Were there downloadable Famicom games for use via emulation? If so, who developed the emulator? Maybe that's where Animal Crossing's NES games come from.
      • Did any users attempt to archive Randnet content? Are there any Japanese communities specific to 64DD, particularly to reverse engineering and emulation?
      • more screenshots, product photographs, and gameplay videos
      • graphical timeline of delays
      • selling
        • retail prices of all related products
        • It started as a subscription bundle model? See 64DD Laboratory and nintendo.co.jp archive and Randnet Fan
        • The rest could be ordered online from RandnetDD (only via the Randnet service, or via any web browser?)?
      • low level hardware details: readable and writable partitions, 7 kinds of colored disk formats, manufacturer information, better sources for performance information
      • reception: usability, game performance, online experience (gaming, ecommerce, performance, content sharing), papercraft and postcards, any other critical and consumer perspectives
      • cite and describe Yamauchi's online vision and 64DD's place in it
  • Percussion
    • Start articles about more of the core rudimental percussionists
    • Improve drum corps articles to Wikipedia's standards, rather than their generally promotional and otherwise non-neutral state

To doEdit

Wikipedia philosophiesEdit

I find these philosophical statements to be notably interesting and mostly favorable.

Editing notesEdit

  • Common linguistic faux pas
    • "Despite". There is far less motivation by spite in the world, than many editors' hyperbole would have one believe. Did the statement happen because of spite, and is it encyclopedically neutral for us to say so? Rarely, and no. Instead, say "regardless of", "aside", "instead of", or just nothing at all.
    • "Also". In a crowdsourced document, feature creep will often produce an "also" for each additional idea that seems additional or novel to each editor. The result may be an article with several "also" statements. Often, de-also-ification can consist simply of deleting the word.
    • "/". This character of punctuation is not a word. The term "and/or" seems explicit and logical but is not encyclopedic prose, whereas usually "or" is inclusively logical.
    • "items have sold X copies". Games, movies, and other items do not sell themselves. People sell them. This is a best effort basis, because of logistical complications.
    • See User:Smuckola/Tense
  • B class evaluation: Wikipedia 1.0 assessment, FAQ, and checklist

Wikipedia wishlistEdit

These are my wishes for that which should exist, so let me know if it does. Here's my wishlist, after my rationale:

Wikipedia culture is presently completely at odds with the goals and personality of a normal, well adjusted, and even well qualified, person. Wikipedia tends to be either strict or chaotic, and it is a giant magnet for incompetents and jerks.

Wikipedia popular culture exists in a backward, nomadic, agrarian, bureaucratic, ironically asocial, and sometimes dystopic state. It's based on the now fallaciously obsolete concept of scarcity from 2001, as if we'll never have enough content or enough editors or enough legitimacy, and so absolutely everybody must be allowed to edit everything and all ideas are valid and everyone must tolerate everything. It's based on an anti-Friendster mentality that social networking is trivial spam. The software platform is also generally extraordinarily primitive, ugly, fragmented, and difficult to use. Altogether, these factors result in a culture of hostile worthlessness—a needlessly strife-ridden primordial struggle for survival against a race to the bottom.

If everything is seen as valuable (as in foraging for each scrap of an edit from each passerby) then everything is worthless. If everybody's ideas are seen as valid and subject to consensus, then nobody's ideas are valid. It results in endless vandalism and erosion and it requires the constant rebuilding of content (if ever), and generally a WP:BATTLEGROUND. In this culture of scarcity, scrounging, foraging, bureaucracy, hostility, and disrepair, devout editors must forage for a place to make their contribution where it will simply be least likely to be torn down by incompetents and jerks. In reality, nobody would ever operate any personal endeavor this way, because a person would require a modicum of quality or it's not worth doing.

Because we don't (or can't?) have a single point of final crosscultural leadership or even a benevolent dictatorship like a Steve Jobs or a Linus Torvalds, we need technology and policy to cull and prevent chaos and WP:BATTLEGROUND. We need the ultimate in cat herding. And we need toys. Lots of toys.

  • Portals and "My Wikipedia"
    • Personal portal (My Wikipedia): notification center, control panel, social networking. A quasi-realtime threaded feed of statistics, notifications, and headlines of what's happening around me in Wikipedia. An inviting ethos that Wikipedia is here for you, the user-centric public (see Fedora's "freedom, friends, features, first"). Notification center to display a collapsed feed of watchlist changes, friend list, new users who've started contributing to my watchlist, Talk threads, vandalism (and what's already been reverted), ANI, SPI. Possibly ordered by priority (size, time, friends), and notifications, with "thank" buttons. Have a section for discussions (scan for Talk pages and forum thread syntax) with a preview of each message.
    • Wiki status portal: news aggregation of recent major wiki-wide edits (Wikipedia 1.0 articles) and stats of various wikis. Show a number and graph of outstanding items at AfD, AfC, ANI, Arbcom, etc. With generic graphical statistical widgets (edits per second edit-o-meter), maybe this could become part of the Main Page.
    • Multiple, optionally expiring, prioritized, watchlists. Some for core articles and some for vandals, etc.
  • Wikipedia Enhancement Suite
    • A standardized framework of userscripts, browser extensions, or gadgets like that of Vada. Combine for maintainability, standardization, scalability, and performance. Evaluate all current add-ons such as userscripts and applets, and integrate the good ones. Make it as ubiquitous and indispensible as Reddit Enhancement Suite.
  • Social networking
    • Break down corporate denial of the fact that Wikipedia is actually a social network. Barnstars and badges should be tangibly valuable. Bad: on-wiki chitchat and cliques. Good: reputation, achievement, mentorship, cohesion, flow, collegiate collaboration, friends.
  • Wikipedia University: a comprehensive orientation and training program for all new public volunteer Wikipedians.
    • Orientation: Beginners, casuals, patrons, and refreshers. How to read both the encyclopedia (with all its symbols and warnings) and Wikipedian culture. FAQ with known concerns. What an encyclopedia is and is not, and the relationship with Wikia. Collegial behavior, tech support, and problem resolution. Add videos to everything.
    • Countervandalism Unit training
    • Materials created in conjunction with WikiProject Video (or whatever it's called about adding video content to Wikipedia).
    • I don't know anything about Wikipedia Adventure, as I've only seen its occasional deployment to new users's Talk pages, which appears to be chaos as usual.
  • Quality assurance: increase the level of stability and trust of the veracity of the encyclopedia
    • Reputation system
      • Create a voluntary reputation system for editors. It can start as an optional participation model, like user-created RPGs inside of Second Life. Categories of users and achievements, not unlike WP:Service awards.
      • Incentivize users to privately identify their real identities to WMF, to increase the security of accounts and to incentivize authenticity.
      • Create a gamified roadmap to building reputation. Create scored categorical activities that people can complete in the fashion of side quests. This includes groups to join (Wikiprojects, task forces, Teahouse, etc); newsletters to subscribe to; "make this many copy edits"; "make one contribution to Wikipedia 1.0"; "read so many policies or guidelines and write your comment about them". Volunteer staff of stewards. Incorporate WP:Service awards and WP:Barnstars
      • Consider a prototype of a statistical score card, amalgamated like a credit score but for informational purposes only, created in conjunction with various universities. Crawl each user's Talk page history to analyze the number of anti-abuse templates and awards the user has received. Create a pro and con list of this idea, showing every realistic factual downside, or any fatal flaws.
      • Create all kinds of advanced visualization tools for analyzing activity by user, article, WikiProject, or Wikipedia 1.0 goals.
      • Increase the detail of WP:WikiFauna (a voluntary status for things like WP:GRYPHON), but similar in systematic flair to the WP:Service awards and WP:Barnstars
    • Wikipedia 1.0
      • Find a way to align the reputation system with the quality system of Wikipedia 1.0. Make WP 1.0 membership into a supreme goal for all. All roads lead to WP 1.0.
      • Roll the WP 1.0 article target concept back into live Wikipedia, such that all articles of a certain quality level are set to "review" or "protected" status.
  • Forge a more formal connection to Wikia. Even slightly, via a template which directly links a Wikipedia article to a Wikia article, in the style of Template:details3. Write a guideline on migrating content between the encyclopedia and a fansite.
  • Workflow management:
    • Todo list (with notes) the articles I'm wanting to work on. Easily maintainable via the mobile app.
    • Article drafting: for any article, provide sandbox revisioning like a "work in progress" that's attached directly to the article which everyone can see in a list, with easy transfer of a sandbox draft of an article into a personal buffer or sandbox which can then be referenced with its own URL. We can start editing an article, suddenly decide that the edit is disruptively significant, transfer it to personal draft space, copy this draft's durable URL into a discussion, and apply it (possibly just copy/paste) to the article.
      • Multiuser edit support: Provide activity feed notification about this article, that someone else has likewise initiated a draft, or has published any changes to the article while another user is editing. Provide better diff support to more automatically resolve editing conflicts, especially if multiple editors opened the entire article but only each changed a different portion of it. See Google Docs for inspiration, even though that may be a lot more sophisticated. In some cases (especially when covering live events), this may result in more thoughtful and patient contributions, rather than hasty competition.
    • Reader management. Have a selector UI for the configuration of what the reader user sees. The low end of the range is pure content, similar to the current mobile UI, with no inline markup such as citations and warnings, and few wikilinks. At the higher end of the range, we'd have everything, where "everything is a link".
    • Edit commit window UI: Have increased prompting for the verifiability, notability, and reliability of the contribution; have choice summary of WP:NOT WP:FANCRUFT. CVU: have a warning about vandalism or unproductive editing and that editors may be observed, recorded forever, and banned. Include encouragement to create an account. In the case of a blank edit message: surround the edit message box with a note on how to create an edit description, and integrate the userscripts which provide pulldowns for categorically predefined edit messages, which insert the text into the message box for further editing; provide popup confirmation for a blank edit message.
    • Is there any way to improve the diff technology to be more accurate? Or to provide a UI for a user-refined diff mechanism? It's sometimes wildly inaccurate by mistakenly comparing two different sections.
    • Find my old comments on some other Wikimedia wiki about how everything should be a wikilink. Maybe that can enhance translations to other languages. Editors should maintain maximal metadata, and readers should configure how much they want to see. Disable or reduce inline citations and wikilinks in the reader display.
  • Countervandalism Unit
    • Training: overview slides depicting the objectives, social values, and flowcharts; then step by step slides or screencaptured movie showing the tools; then a multiple choice battery test with mocked up scenarios and weighted answers. Periodic refresher and recertification.
    • Better investigative tools, for investigative and tracking insight into each suspected vandal and transaction. In the "contributions" page, we need to see which edits have already been reverted. Advanced watchlist, with automatic notification of repeat warnings applied by others to the same user. Show a timeline of their offenses, showing activity since the last warning, or activity on articles for which they've received warnings.
    • Vizualization-based reporting the impact of vandalism. Show a record of historical vandalism. Show what would happen to Wikipedia if the countervandalism tools and efforts were disabled for one day, one week, or one month. Show how much is performed by registered users, IP users, how much happens in series, and how much was stopped after a warning or not. Show what an absurd impact it all has, and what an absurd effort it takes, and how much of it could be easily alleviated with the adjustment of policy without losing any freedom. Trace back from a banned user, and show how many editors were involved and how much of their involvement was automated or not. Show who actually performs the work for building the tools, policy, and then the daily enforcement.
    • Update the Twinkle warning templates. There needs to be a greater variety of reasons given, and there needs to be broader range of verbiage. Instead of having an automatic templated message which is falsely stated as being the user's own words from their own point of view, it needs to be neutrally stated with a footnote stating that this was in fact an automatically generated template although the posting user takes personal responsibility for its content. The recipient really needs to know that the message wasn't completely typed just for them. There needs to be an additional selection of verbiage available for the higher numbered issuances, which is of a tone that's neutrally collegial but still less flippant, less jovial, and which is not coddling and enabling. I may want to be cool with someone, without encouraging or agreeing with them, and without picking a totally terse warning. There needs to be an option for leaving out the lengthy verbiage about "if you are engaged in a dispute" etc, because that'd only apply toward conscientious and teachable people, and only in certain situations that may not be afoot. Encouraging people to abandon the present thread at their own Talk page, in favor of starting a redundant thread on my Talk page just to reply, is nonsense.
  • Further incentivize the creation of user accounts for both reading and editing. Present a clear list of pros and cons, some whimsical; someone has probably made this.
  • Proper sandboxing, supporting exact copies of production articles without allowing anything into production (such as categories)
  • Mobile
  • Derive mathematical and logical proofs of the pillars of Wikipedia. Test the project's fundamental assumptions: verifiability vs. truth.

Retro motivationEdit

I want to help make a better world.

I do research and writing for a lot of classic gaming and computing articles. Part of my motivation is that these are essential elements of our culture, and they bind us together and inform the future. In a hit-driven, innovative culture where perception is reality, there are more ideas forgotten on the cutting room floor than could ever possibly be released. Many times, the ideas were ahead of their time, and so the reason for market rejection was not simply "no" but rather, "not yet". One way to create a better future is in the past, learning through the gift of hindsight. That nonetheless requires a lot of forward and innovative thinking in its own right, and an analysis of long term patterns, to identify which forgotten and wayside ideas of our past are essentially viable regardless of their past market performance. I want to illuminate and learn from the past in order to help make a better future.

I want to reconnect with myself.

I was an innovator and researcher as a kid in the 1980s and 1990s, when toys transcended to the level of magic and supercomputers. I saw most of my favorite (sometimes the best) ideas in technology and gaming shot down in cold blood at the hands of endemic technological limitations, sinister monopolists, bad luck, and cruel market forces. I sympathize with the genius toymakers (even megacorporations) who were forced to compromise or give up. I want to gather a constellation of the laments of video game and computing journalists who chronicled the countless promises of toymakers, one magazine sidebar at a time, like a message in a bottle from Wonderland. I want to combine those laments along with the hopes and dreams and pleas of a renewed consumer culture of 80s and 90s kids, who now are all grown up and know better than to believe the old sound bite party line of why they couldn't have everything that they knew was possible. I know we were spoiled, drowning in a sea of innovation and conspicuous consumption, but our dreams were even bigger still. I don't want to go to bed with "sorry kid, no Disneyland this year (or this decade), now eat your ice cream".

I don't want to argue which team is best and who won what game console war or format war or whatever. That is business junk, a war waged with our minds as the battleground. I do have my favorites and my resentments, and many are for good reasons. But that divisiveness is for playground prattle, and is mainly a result of marketing tactics and of the fog of war waged by corporations, to win our hearts and minds. The truth is much more subtle, in a backroom struggle for balance between vast technological and business tradeoffs that we often knew nothing about. The Internet is uncovering many of those sources for aggregation and synthesis on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is for making those nonfree or arcane sources, haphazardly trapped within dead trees and in foreign languages, a bit more organized and free.

I don't even like collecting old toys and machines. I like collecting the facts, perchance the truth. I just want to know what could, and thus should, have been, and maybe could be now. I try to uncover the truth, to recapture the idea and the hope. I want to give feedback to well-meaning toymakers (especially those who survived having their own dreams crushed as well), telling them that we read their message in a bottle and we still want it. We can indulge our dreams.



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The motto of the AIW is conservata veritate, which translates to "with the preserved truth".
This motto reflects the inclusionist desire to change Wikipedia only when no knowledge would be lost as a result.

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