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So, naturalists observe, a flea
Hath smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bit 'em;
And so proceed ad infinitum.
Thus every poet, in his kind,
Is bit by him that comes behind.
Jonathan Swift, On Poetry: A Rhapsody (1733)
No, not these small bones, it's a family name

Thank youEdit

I've seen how much you hate paid editors, and continuously making an effort to stop them, I really grateful to have you here on English Wikipedia :D .--AldNonUcallin?☎ 15:43, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

@Aldnonymous: Thanks for noticing! It's always good to get positive feedback. I will correct you, however, I don't hate paid editors, rather it is paid editing that is hateful. It is tearing down a wonderful structure that has been built up by many volunteers, that provides good information to whoever has access to the internet. If that information is poisoned, and people can't trust us, then the whole structure may collapse.
Your post reminded me of a news story from a couple of decades ago. After the fall of the Soviet Union people started cutting down and selling copper cable from high power electrical transmission systems (nominally still in use). I don't hate those folks who cut down the cable - they were doing what they had to do to survive. I did hate the fact that the transmission systems were being destroyed. It just seemed like there must be a pretty simple enforcement system that would stop the destruction. Everybody likely knew who was buying the cable - these folks could be stopped fairly simply if anybody took the obvious steps. Similarly, most people likely knew who was cutting the cable or where to look to stop folks from cutting more. So the system was messed up, but the parts of the system that led to the destruction of the cable could easily be fixed. The actual folks who cut the cable, in my mind, were less responsible than the authorities who couldn't be bothered to take a few minimal steps. That's my reading in any case.
Thanks again.
Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:32, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
That was insightful, I'm the one who should thanking you (again :D), and... You're welcome.--AldNonUcallin?☎ 19:54, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Editor of the WeekEdit

  Editor of the Week
Your ongoing efforts to improve the encyclopedia have not gone unnoticed: You have been selected as Editor of the Week, for integrity and valiance in the fight against paid editing. Thank you for the great contributions! (courtesy of the Wikipedia Editor Retention Project)

User:Coretheapple submitted the following nomination for Editor of the Week:

I nominate Smallbones as Editor of the Week for the integrity that he brings to the project, and for his yeoman work - unsung, unrecognized, unappreciated - fighting to preserve Wikipedia from encroachments by paid editors. He has been an editor for more than eight and a half years, and during that time has edited a staggering 11,337 articles at last count. He is not an administrator, heaven only knows why (too much sense?), but a content contributor par excellence, with in excess of 31,000 edits, 65% of them in article space. He is a generalist's generalist, with his top contributions ranging from Bernard Madoff to Media, Pennsylvania. But his prodigious talents as a contributor are not the only assets he brings to the project. No one has fought longer and more valiantly against paid editing. It is a great pleasure to nominate Smallbones for Editor of the Week.

You can copy the following text to your user page to display a user box proclaiming your selection as Editor of the Week:

{{subst:Wikipedia:WikiProject Editor Retention/Editor of the Week/Recipient user box}}
A Favorite Photo
Editor of the Week
for the week beginning August, 2014
A content contributor par excellence known for integrity and yeoman work fighting encroachments by paid editors.
Recognized for
Contributions ranging from Bernard Madoff to Media, Pennsylvania.
Nomination page

Thanks again for your efforts! Go Phightins! 16:04, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Thanks for your continuing concern over the issue and your calm, level-headed approach. ```Buster Seven Talk 18:36, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Wow! It's always great to get feedback like this. Thanks Coretheapple and Buster7 Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:49, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Hey Smallbones, just wanted to express my thanks as well for both for your contributions and your engagement with others on broader ideas with Wikipedia that I've seen on Jimbo's talk page and other spots. I often find it difficult to jump into those conversations myself, but I do read them, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I, JethroBT drop me a line 02:02, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Very pleased to propose this. Your contributions are tremendously appreciated. Coretheapple (talk) 19:55, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Merry ChristmasEdit

Season's GreetingsEdit

200px FWiW Bzuk (talk) 02:54, 23 December 2019 (UTC)

Happy HolidaysEdit

Spread the WikiLove; use {{subst:Season's Greetings1}} to send this message

Belated holiday greetingsEdit

Belated holiday greetings. Merry Christmas and happy new year.
↠Pine () 05:56, 27 December 2019 (UTC)

On behalf of everyone at The Signpost: past, present, and future because I asked all of themEdit


You've been whacked with a wet trout.

Did I miss a discussion about who we collectively honor?
No trout from me, sorry. How 'bout an otter instead? ☆ Bri (talk) 16:17, 27 December 2019 (UTC)

Happy New Year!Edit

George Bellows, North River (1908), Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2020.
Thank you for your contributions toward making Wikipedia a better and more accurate place.
BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 12:39, 30 December 2019 (UTC)

Happy New Year!Edit

Happy New Year
Dear Smallbones, Best wishes to you and yours in 2020! Happy New Year! Mary Mark Ockerbloom (talk) 16:58, 1 January 2020 (UTC)

A supposition and a suggestionEdit

A supposition: the material oversighted from Pete Buttigieg was not removed because it contained a link to this Slate article. It was removed because it named a person and their alleged Wikipedia username. The link is not the issue (as I keep demonstrating). Saying that a reliable source has alleged that Pete Buttigieg may have edited his own Wikipedia page is not the issue. @Levivich: Sounds reasonable?

A suggestion: Drop the hyperbole about censorship of the press. Report the story as you would any other news item involving Wikipedia. See what happens. If there are any threats or blocks, you will have your censorship story. If there aren't, you will have reported the original item as you had intended before this all started. What do you think? Bitter Oil (talk) 18:26, 1 January 2020 (UTC)

@Bitter Oil and Levivich: BO, I really don't know what you want me to do. I would like to have a real discussion of the issues raised by Ashley Feinberg's recent Slate article. These issues include what should we consider "outing" when somebody like Feinberg can find out in a half-hour on the internet, essentially all the info included under our definition of outing, without breaking into anything or breaking any laws. Now when she asks a Wikipedia editor his/her real name and the editor responds, why are we supposed to ignore the material she reports? It's not in our policies and guidelines e.g. Wikipedia:Linking to external harassment.
Now when 3 other reliable sources report her conclusions, including the Washington Post, are we really supposed to blacklist those articles as well? No, there's a link in there to something we don't like, so we can't even discuss that article, can't even mention the words "Washington Post".
Of course there's a cost to (supposedly) having such bizarre rules. One cost is that any admin or oversighters feels they have the right to look at my draft articles and say "no you can't publish that." If those people want to censor me, they should at least have the decency to let me come up with a final version and censor me *after publication.* . Another cost of such censorship is that we can't have a reasonable discussion of paid editors. Those folks are a real menace on Wikipedia. There's a huge amount of fraud going on on Wikipedia. Submitting to those supposed rules - we can't even suggest who those people we're talking about by linking through a reliable source that links through another reliable source - leaves us with a case of lockjaw. I'd much rather link to reliable sources and have a serious discussion about the cost to Wikipedians of allowing free-reign to those crooks. So obviously this isn't a case just about Pete Buttigieg. This is a case of let me at least be about to link to the Washington GD Post! Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:13, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
Which article is already linked from another Wiki-in-media list (not The Signpost). Smallbones' link in the Signpost draft was seemingly/constructively singled out for suppression. Which just compounds the shittiness. ☆ Bri (talk) 22:51, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
Since it’s an oversight issue, it might be for the new arbcom to decide. Generally I don’t understand the logic of oversighting a link to WaPo. Levivich 23:00, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
Don't misunderstand me. I am not saying that anyone should drop the larger issue of as raised by Levivich. I think we all pretty much agree on that. But as far as the Signpost goes, I am suggesting that perhaps there was a misunderstanding of sorts, created by very poor communication on the part of overly circumspect oversighters. But having given it more thought, I now agree that the issue should be resolved so that you can freely write about the Buttigieg instance without concern that you are going to get blocked (even if I don't think it is a possibility). I will will strike my suggestion. Bitter Oil (talk) 04:58, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

Food for thoughtEdit

User:MER-C/AdminStats - what was deleted, blocked or protected in 2019?

Quick conclusions:

  • Biggest problems are spamming, vandalism and sockpuppetry in that order if you sum up deletions, protections and blocks.
  • I was somewhat surprised to see G5 to be the number one CSD in mainspace.
  • Spam deletions are G11 only. Given that the underlying reason behind some of sockpuppets is spam and UPE the numbers should really be bigger. Also some G13s, U5s, copyvios, PRODs, AFDs and saltings are also spam but aren't reflected in the logs. (Deletion reasons are not mutually exclusive. I count all reasons if multiple reasons are taken.)
  • Lots of spambots being locked on Meta out of our sight.
  • Portal deletions show up in a big way.

It's not likely that I will have enough time to do a writeup for the next Signpost. MER-C 08:38, 3 January 2020 (UTC)

Administrators' newsletter – January 2020Edit

News and updates for administrators from the past month (December 2019).

  Guideline and policy news


  • The fourth case on Palestine-Israel articles was closed. The case consolidated all previous remedies under one heading, which should make them easier to understand, apply, and enforce. In particular, the distinction between "primary articles" and "related content" has been clarified, with the former being the entire set of articles whose topic relates to the Arab-Israeli conflict, broadly interpreted rather than reasonably construed.
  • Following the 2019 Arbitration Committee elections, the following editors have been appointed to the Arbitration Committee: Beeblebrox, Bradv, Casliber, David Fuchs, DGG, KrakatoaKatie, Maxim, Newyorkbrad, SoWhy, Worm That Turned, Xeno.


Sent by MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 20:07, 4 January 2020 (UTC)

Hot tip...Edit

Read this and then check out the history here. Bitter Oil (talk) 22:27, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

historic Presbyterian churches and other sitesEdit

FYI, I have followed your lead and your use of source in List of Presbyterian churches in Pennsylvania to develop American Presbyterian/Reformed Historic Sites Registry (in progress), which will list all the Presbyterian historic sites. And in progress about adding items to corresponding disambiguation pages like First Presbyterian Church and Buffalo Presbyterian Church. It will further then be a big job to mention all those that are churches then in the corresponding state sections of List of Presbyterian churches in the United States. And to change all the NRHP-listed ones' articles to mention the APRHS listings. I am hopeful this is worthwhile; hopeful that the sources are substantial; not completely sure.

By the way I emailed request for copies of the two volumes " On holy ground" and "On holy ground II" about the first 200 American Presbyterian/Reformed Historical Sites, published by the Presbyterian Historical Society in 1982 and 1999. So far I have gotten just an automated reply. I am hopeful about these being good sources. Did you happen to get these? --Doncram (talk) 19:01, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

Six millionEdit

  • here are my answers to Bri's questions. hope they are acceptable.

I don't know if you remember it, but it looks like you are about to win Wikipedia:Six-million pool. ☆ Bri (talk) 20:58, 3 January 2020 (UTC)

  • There's still a chance he might not, if Wikipedia hasn't reached six million before 26 March 2020. JIP | Talk 22:30, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
    • Ok, Bri suggested a brief interview for The Signpost. I don't know exactly where we'll put it, but at least part of it will make it into the next issue.
  • Q1: What are you going to do with the $6,000,000 prize? (just kidding!)
I don't know, but if i get in a catastrophic test plane accident and have my legs, one arm, and one eye destroyed, I know what I am doing with $6,000,000. Gentlepersons, they can rebuild me. They have the technology. They have the capability to build the world's first bionic Wikipedian. Mercurywoodrose will be that editor. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster, with more reliable sources.
  • Q2: Do you remember why you made the December 2019 prediction 6 years ago?
I figured I knew just enough about mathematics to make a somewhat accurate back of the napkin estimate for the date, factoring in a bit of the slowdown in new article creation, and believing that this downward trend in new articles would continue. I'm sure I must have done an actual calculation, but the methods I used would probably give an actual statistician apoplexy. It was a miseducated guess.
  • Q3: What's the biggest change you've seen in Wikipedia you've seen in that time (other than a couple of million articles)
A team of editors with way too much time on their hands created an automation system for creating new Portals. What's a Portal, you ask? Exactly... On a side note, the biggest change that did NOT occur is that the Deletionists and the Inclusionists are still engaged in a Manichean struggle, with neither side winning. The proof of this is that the number of articles has not gone to zero, decreased by a factor of Thanos, or expanded to infinity and beyond.
  • Q4: How many articles have you created?
310. using created by me, and adding up the total articles by HAND. Computers! Ha! Who needs them! I did get into the top 400 editors by edit count, which of course is a meaningless measure, but it was fun while it lasted.
  • Q5: What's your prediction for the 8,000,000th article? (the 7,000,000 pool is closed)
I cannot predict that, its beyond my processing capacity as a quasi-quantum computer, but I know what i would LIKE it to be. An article about ME, of course. Hopefully for something worthwhile, not notorious. First Wikipedian to be shot into the Sun for being too sarcastic? Well, that's sort of both...
  • Q6: Is all the effort going into creating all these articles worth it? Shouldn't we be concentrating on quality over quantity by now? (Sorry, if that one is too serious)
I will answer with an entirely unrelated story: Paul Krassner, in his autobiography Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut, wrote about Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog confabulator, "He could be more of a minimalist than Bob Dylan. I told Brand about the time I went to hear Ram Dass speak, and in the audience a heckler shouted out his capsule critique, "Words!" I told Brand I later learned that the heckler had once ***** a goat. Brand scoffed, "Deeds!""
  • Q7: What's your favorite article out of the last million created (since November 1, 2015)?
Aside from my own articles created during this time, of which my favorite subject is Jen Bartel (she rocks), I don't know. How about new articles on things i like? My first thought, I really loved Joker. That article was created, oh, wow, on my birthday! I didn't expect that!.
  • Q8: Anything else you want to add? Feel free to be serious, philosophical, sentimental, humorous, thank your mother, etc.
I'm a little sad that new editors will be facing an ever more complete work, with fewer areas to expand without being an expert. Perhaps we should consider erasing Wikipedia every few decades, and recreating it from scratch, to give new editors that initial experience of joy and wonder that they can be part of this, not just an observer, by clicking that innocent little "edit" tab. But maybe there is hope, maybe that sense of wonder will persist into the future. I know I fell in love with Wikipedia, and while I'm no longer obsessed with editing, I may fall in love all over again.


Smallbones(smalltalk) 05:08, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Mercurywoodrose (talk) 02:56, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Jan 22: WikiWednesday Salon NYCEdit

January 22, 7pm: WikiWednesday Salon NYC

You are invited to join the Wikimedia NYC community for our monthly "WikiWednesday" evening salon (7-9pm) and knowledge-sharing workshop at Metropolitan New York Library Council in Midtown Manhattan. Is there a project you'd like to share? A question you'd like answered? A Wiki* skill you'd like to learn? Let us know by adding it to the agenda.

7:00pm - 9:00 pm at Metropolitan New York Library Council (8th floor) at 599 11th Avenue, Manhattan

We especially encourage folks to add your 5-minute lightning talks to our roster, and otherwise join in the "open space" experience! Newcomers are very welcome! Bring your friends and colleagues! --Wikimedia New York City Team 20:08, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

(You can subscribe/unsubscribe from future notifications for NYC-area events by adding or removing your name from this list.)