Zero reply ruleEdit

After making an initial contribution to community discussions, this user generally tries to follow a zero-reply rule, for much the same reasons as the zero-revert rule. This user believes that if this user's contribution is worthwhile, someone else will build on it. And if that contribution isn't worth building on, the less time spent on it the better. (If a reply from this user is specifically desired for some unusual reason, a ping will help.) This user recommends this practice to others as well, since it helps to keep discussions from becoming personal. Personalized conflicts are harmful to the community and the project.

This user is not always successful in following this rule.


V. viva in its natural habitat.

This user recently had a fungus growing in its brain. Ask me anything!

This user is a former wiki-optimist, now in recovery. This user has logged over 30,000 edits and has started over 1100 articles. But a lot of that was a long time ago.

This user believes that the worst insult any Wikipedian can give another is "your work is incapable of being improved upon".

This user is not a fan of userboxes.

This user does not enjoy spending time in policy or deletion space, but has found that there is no real alternative to doing so. You may not think you care about policies or deletion, but if the human impulse toward hierarchy and exclusion isn't held in check, policy and deletion will come for things you do care about eventually.

This user has received formal credentials attesting to at least passive fluency in languages that include German, Korean, French, Portuguese, Italian, Danish, Dutch, and Swedish. This user is a native speaker of English.

This user has sometimes been misgendered or misraced based on its username or areas of activity. If you are making such assumptions, they may well be incorrect. If you have evaluated the credibility of this user's arguments based on such assumptions, you should examine the particular sexist or racist reasons that led you to do so.


Before I came to Wikipedia I was a contributor to the Open Directory Project, where I logged over 25000 edits. ODP was a great place in many ways, but its hierarchical structure could never really make good on the promise of openness and collaboration. After rdkeating25 destroyed several weeks of my work with a single unaccountable and irreversible keystroke, I went looking for something else to do with my time.

When I had first seen Wikipedia pages submitted to the Open Directory, they were indistiguishable from the other EB1911 clones that cluttered the early-2000s web. But by 2004, it was clear that something remarkable was happening at Wikipedia, as the pages in my topic areas increasingly provided unique value, and in many cases gave a better overview of the topic than anything else on the web. It seemed like an incredible thing to be part of. How could anyone not want to be part of writing a free and open encyclopedia? So here I came. And here I have, to some extent, remained.

Many of the problems that plague Wikipedia today were already apparent in the mid-2000s. Looking back, one of my most lasting contributions to the project (which also was one of the most controversial things I've been involved in) was the creation of the deletion sorting wikiproject as part of a broader effort to reform the deletion process in 2005. In the beginning, I maintained all the deletion lists manually, using some unholy combination of Excel and NoteTab Light tricks. Of course that quickly proved unsustainable. I am profoundly grateful that people with greater technical skills and staying power have kept the project going for all these years.

Even then, it was apparent that while article space attracts people who like to collaboratively create and improve articles by seeking out positive-sum solutions, deletion space attracts people who enjoy deleting things and winning zero-sum debates. Unfortunately, the effort to tackle this problem by bringing more topic-editor voices into the conversation was not successful in changing the overall dynamics. Indeed, over time the presence of topic editors in deletion debates has simply led AFDers to resort to more innovative forms of gatekeeping, such as ignoring community consensus unless the !votes are phrased in specific terms that the AFD clique has deemed acceptable.

A huge number of people left Wikipedia around 2007. Alas, shortly after my successful RFA in that year, I became one of them. As Wikipedia had itself become an increasingly unpleasant environment driven not by positive-sum collaboration but by zero-sum dynamics, many of which flowed (as they still continue to flow) from the uniquely toxic zero-sum environment of AFD, I took my energies to Wiktionary. There I logged another >25000 edits and also passed RFA.

I could never leave Wikipedia entirely, however, and so I have still come back occasionally to work on particular topic areas and to shake my fist at clouds in policy and deletion space. But neither have I ever been able to return to the level of joyous immersion in the project that I achieved in 2005-2006.

As of 2022, it has been 15 years since I could last have claimed to play any significant role in Wikipedia's work as a whole. But I still try to do my part here and there, as I am able.

Recently I have been prompted to look back on all the things I have done or attempted to do in life thus far. It seems that my contributions to Wikipedia, in the aggregate, have been of greater and more lasting value to my fellow humans than anything else I have done. So I hope to continue building on that.

On redlinksEdit

  1. Wikipedia is a connected system; topics are not covered through a single article, but through many related articles.
  2. Just as the presence of an article on one subject foretells the presence of articles on related subjects, the absence of an article foretells the absence of related articles. (This phenomenon manifests with greatest force in systemic bias.)
  3. Therefore, when creating or expanding an article, if your draft does not contain redlinks, you aren't done. -- Visviva (talk) 14:56, 24 November 2017 (UTC)


All contributions by this user hereby released into the public domain
  I, the author, hereby agree to waive all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in all content contributed by me, the user, and immediately place any and all contributions by me into the public domain; I grant anyone the right to use my work for any purpose, without any conditions, to be changed or destroyed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to the creator.
  1. ^ Hofmann, Wenzel (1995). "Motion and Inertia". In Barbour, Julian B.; Pfister, Herbert (eds.). Mach's Principle: From Newton's Bucket to Quantum Gravity. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9780817638238. By virtue of its inertia, every body that is in motion has the capacity to do work; we call the corresponding quantity its vis viva (lebendige Kraft).