Saturday, September 17, 2016

Erik Möller's friend Gerard Meijssen: The Cactus Peacock

The more of these I write, the more I notice they seem to follow patterns; if we know their real names, we can give a biographical sketch, if not, we can report on the sleuthing done by others to find out how this "handle" started (usually as an IP). So when I deal with a known clown like Gerard* Meijssen (GerardM), it's just very easy. I'm trying to not turn this site into a "rogues gallery" like the gone-but-not-forgotten Conservative Babylon, but the story of Wikipedia is a story of people, shitty people, and to truly know Wikipedia you have to talk about its players.


                                                       Unofficial Wikipedia motto.


The Meijssen File

Not as cool as The Ipcress File, what we know about Gerard Meijssen can be scraped off the Internet, but there are things both Meijssen and Erik "Kinder sind Pornos" Möller have hidden from view. Meijssen is Dutch, lives in Amsterdam, and has been on Wikipedia since 2003, his first edit was to the Cactus article that December. He's really into cacti, says so on his userpage. Paul Laney and Peter van der Puyl had this to say about a non-Wiki cactus database Meijssen wrote: "The cactus database which come the closest to my wishes was the database of Gerard Meijssen (which, by the way, can be freely downloaded from the Succulenta E-group). But that database works only under Access 98, and is more specialised in the scientific side of the plants." Meijssen quickly became a Jimbophile, broken-English Wikipedia-I emailer, and status-quo defender to the extreme, which made sense because Essjay hadn't been outed yet. Somewhere along the line he became a friend of Erik Möller, proving that even the 1940 Rotterdam bombing can be forgotten somehow. By 2007 both of them started a Dutch non-profit called Stichting Open Progress, a group dedicated to creating open source/free software and open source/free content; Erik Möller was the Chief Technology Officer, Meijssen was Director. This is now the thing that they are trying to hide as of 2016; links are impossible to find connecting both men to SOP, a group which came and went like a fart in a windstorm.

Back to Wikipedia, GerardM got further and further involved with the machinery thanks to his friend. Remember "Flow", the threaded discussion system that ultimately went nowhere? Eloquence (Möller) was the guy behind that and a previous incarnation of it, and during the Flow portion of this quixotic quest Meijssen was talking the thing up like mad because his friend was in charge. (I'm afraid to give links because GerardM might gank them like the information on Stichting Open Progress.) The Wikipediocracy Blog did a good writeup on the subject; the author is not stated. Kelly Martin had this to say about the relationship: "Gerard has long been Erik's designated attack-puppy; they collaborate frequently and Gerard has been used by Erik to float test balloons....Of course, both Erik and Gerard are thick in the wikicult, so for either of them to exhibit nonrational attitudes is to be expected." Meijsssen's ditsy use of Wikipedia-I for easy questions was mocked in a Wikipedia Review thread back in 2009; he was also mocked for being angry at a New York Times article on Wikipedia the same month - Greg Kohs mentions how Meijssen seems to hate his guts. He was a supporter of Wikidata from 2009 onwards but only started editing it in 2013; Greg Kohs had this to say on the Wikipediocracy forum (WO-MB): "I cringe that we are trusting the world's largest pile of open data to people who can't even respond to a mailing list thread without trimming the copy of the 16 messages posted prior to their response. That Gerard Meijssen guy is especially guilty of this, and he seems to be a really uppity tool, doesn't he? I think there's a correlation." Meijssen's peak was his 11-month stint as a WMF employee; he was a "Internationalization / Localization outreach consultant", i.e. "the foreign-language advertising guy" in regular English. I wonder if he had "street teams" slapping up stickers all over Amsterdam and sliding flyers under doors. Probably not. Why was he fired? Damned if I know.

Some Quotes

"Hoi, Reliable is not an absolute. Wikipedia is in the final analysis an encyclopaedia. It is not original research. Studies have indicated that Wikipedia is as reliable as its competitors. Wikipedia does link ever more to the VIAF indicators by the OCLC and thereby it links to the sum of all knowledge as it is available in libraries. I think you have it backward. Given that Wikipedia is best of breed, people do care about Wikipedia Zero. It is why Wikipedia Zero is not part of any walled garden; it is there for every company who cares to provide it free of charge. For the rest I find that I am getting annoyed. Thanks, GerardM Gerard Meijssen Sun Apr 5 05:36:48 UTC 2015"

"At Wikidata we have always been open to collaborating with external resources. This open attitude now results in relevance. A relevance that will expose every Wikipedia in every library of the world that is linked to the OCLC through VIAF. How wonderful is that?" (Source: his blog.)

"I certainly welcome Mr Kohs absence from this list. His brinkmanship is well known, he is not welcome on two projects as well and he boasted recently that there are still projects open to him. Getting rid of a troll is imho beneficial to the atmosphere. Mr Damian uses hyperbole to the extend that you would believe there is nothing good to be found in Wikipedia. His posture as a superior mind has become increasingly boring. I hope he will consider his options and decide to tone down this rhetoric. This might make him relevant again I hope. If not tough. So I am one to welcome the move by the list administrators and I am happy to support their action. Thanks, GerardM" (Source.)

"He's consistently a smug prick on that list. I have yet to see him add value to a conversation there."
  - Vigilant, in a WO-MB thread

"He's not any better in person. I ran into him at Wikimania 2006 in Boston. He would only talk about himself and his pet projects; it was impossible to engage him on any topic other than those."
 - Kelly Martin, responding

***

Beyond all the blather he has written the the back rooms of en.Wikipedia, he has the aforementioned (under-read) blog, a Facebook page with a ton of Wikipedian "friends" on it - all the modern inconveniences of the online life. His ordinariness outside of his Wikipedia role is so dulling to the wits, it was hard to write about the guy.




__________________

* To borrow a Harry Plinkett quip, "What is it with Gerards?"

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Beeblebrox Speaks! The Wit and Wisdom of a Wiki-Jerk

As we recently wrote, Beeblebrox left behind/has produced a wealth of just mind-bendingly dumb statements peppered with scads of profanity. Below we will look at his outpourings in non-chronological order.


The Fuck Off Essay

This one was from 2013, repeatedly deleted and posted again:

05:23, 14 August 2013 Beeblebrox (talk | contribs) deleted page User:Beeblebrox/fuck off (because assholes keep trying to use it to try and attack me. find a real reason next time, or just fuck off) 

User:Beeblebrox/fuck off

Once or twice in my wiki-career, I have told another user to fuck off. In each instance there have been several who felt the need to tell me what a bad idea that was, that it didn't help, that it was uncalled for, etc. I don't make a habit out of telling people to fuck off, I only do it when they've really earned it. I deal with the real world, I don't live in the fantasy world some Wikipedians would have us believe in where no matter how ridiculous someone is acting we all have to talk like kindergarten teachers lest somebody be offended. In each case of me using this term the circumstances were as follows:
  • The other user and I were in some sort of dispute
  • I had tried to break off discussion with them as it was not working
  • They persistently posted to my talk page after being asked nicely to stop doing so
  • I told them to fuck off
If that seems wrong to you, then you probably haven't worked a job where you deal with the general public. I have. Sometimes you have to tell somebody that they are too drunk, too loud, too angry, or whatever, and that they need to leave. Usually they feel suitably embarrassed and they do leave without any further fuss. Sometimes they would rather argue about it, embarrassing themselves even further with their inability to understand that they are acting like an ass. That is when it becomes appropriate to resort to using strong language. It has its place and purpose and anyone who thinks it's absolutely never acceptable is free to not use it themselves but should not try and enforce that draconian prohibition on others or endlessly berate them when they do use it.

That being said, don't do this

I really believed in this for a long time. I still believe in the underlying principle, but let's face it: Wikipedia is not a bar, even if people do edit while drunk at three in the morning. What is entirely appropriate behavior in one context may (in this case absolutely will) be seen as entirely inappropriate in another context. Doing this will only change the focus on to you for daring to use a bad word. The persistent jerk who prompted you to say it will get to just walk away while everyone yells at you for telling them to fuck off. A better approach is to just remove the offending posts. If needed, find an uninvolved admin to talk/warn/block them.
So fuck off from fucking off, it just is not a good idea in this environment.


Beeblebrox vs. Bwilkins

Beeblebrox oversight from January 22, 2013: 

 "Beeblebrox (talk • contribs) and his talkpage are on my watchlist. Having viewed the most recent series of edits to his talkpage, including the final one with the edit summary "FUCK OFF YOU PETTY FASCIST IDIOT", I have blocked Beeblebrox indefinitely as a possibly compromised account. This spate of behaviours does not appear to be consistent with Beeb's usual behaviour. Does anyone think we need an emergency desysop? (✉→BWilkins←✎) 21:51, 22 January 2013 (UTC)"

"Couple thoughts here: First, no, he's not got his account compromised, that's Beeblebrox's style that we're seeing. Second, ugh, why must it be Beeblebrox's style. This is the sort of thing people complain about when they say that admins call people names, etc. It's not ok for Joe Editor to do it, and it's not ok for Joe Admin to do it, and it doesn't matter how upset or frustrated either of them claims to be to excuse it. Third: This immediate unblock has made things even more uncomfortable - Bwilkins had already been informed that the "compromised" bit was an error, and whether that part was or not, Beeblebrox has indisputably violated our civility policy. It pains and embarrasses me to have to say it about another admin/functionary, because we're supposed to be the people who know better, but a block for personal attacks was called for here. I would much have preferred letting the blocking admin (or AN) reconsider the block as an NPA block instead of what's now likely to be a bouncing ball of blockage because of the immediate unblock. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 22:05, 22 January 2013 (UTC)" 

"I don't react well to bullies. I'm referring to Kosh here, not B. Not content to just go away, he appointed himself the civility police as well as the content police, and was equally inept in both roles. So i told him to fuck off. Then he tried to re-open the closed thread, so I told him to fuck off, and that he was a petty fascist idiot. That is in fact exactly what he was acting like. A user persistently posting to my talk page after being asked to stop is the only situation that has ever compelled me to tell another user to fuck off, and I completely stand behind my right to do so. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:17, 22 January 2013 (UTC)"

"Administrators and holders of advanced user rights should set the example, and not dish out personal attacks when feeling frustrated. I stand behind your right to behave like this once in a while, I do not stand behind you doing so in a position where you're representing this project. Snowolf How can I help? 22:20, 22 January 2013 (UTC)" 


The Idiotic Nightscream Arbitration

This one goes on for a while, but that knuckleknob Beeblebrox decided to take Nightscream down a peg for no real reason. Some good quotes:


While reviewing unblock requests a few days ago I came across a block placed by Nightscream on User:Rtkat3. The block was for their edits to the article Gotham City. They edited the page on 7 November. Nightscream edited the page themselves, and then issued a two week block on 6 December. I should think it would be obvious what is wrong about that as there is little preventative purpose to issuing a block a month after an action, and Nightscream was involved in editing the same article so blocking at all for anything but obvious vandalism is completely inappropriate. When I went to speak to Nightscream about this I found that they were also blocked at that time for edit warring at the article Jessica Nigri. A close look at the page history reveals that the final edit before the block was made after the page had already been protected by another admin and Nightscream edited through protection in order to restore their preferred version. It is true that the protecting admin another admin also reverted, to a pre-edit war version, after the page was protected corrected per Salvidrim but that does not seem particularly relevant. Any responsible admin will never make substantive edits to a fully-protected article, and especially not to one they were already involved with in an editorial capacity.

If these were isolated, one-off incidents that would be one thing, but a search of AN and ANI archives quickly reveals a long-term pattern of ignoring WP:INVOLVED going back at least five years. Additionally, they seem to believe that if they perceive a violation of any Wikipedia policy that their subsequent actions related to that content are not subject to the edit warring policy. This would be bad enough in a "regular" user, it is a dangerous and destructive attitude when coming from an administrator. Above are just a few examples demonstrating this pattern, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.

In short, I do not believe Nightscream should continue to be permitted to serve as an administrator as they do not respect important policies regarding both editorial and administrative actions, they have repeatedly abused thir position of trust in the community, and in recent times have been utterly unrepentant and refused to even acknowledge their errors in judgement. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:13, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Nightscream's response:

Hello, everyone. First let me apologize for not having been able to provide my full response here sooner. The research needed to comb through all the relevant edit histories and diffs, coupled with some issues that I’m experiencing in the non-virtual world prevented me from doing so sooner. I understand the related guideline that requires admins to respond to Arbitration cases “promptly”, though I don’t know why this was interpreted by some here to mean that my earlier message here was not prompt enough, or that my full response now was insufficiently prompt. Is that guideline defined somewhere to mean “within 48 hours”? The need for promptness or not, the posts that need to be composed here are not those that can necessarily be produced within a day or two of their demand. This does not apply to the minor edits I’ve made since I was notified, nor to the ANI post, which required only the summary of things I had bookmarked in a single folder, and was brought about by the fact that the admin who suggested I post in that thread did so at the last minute, after much had already been said in that thread, and when the window for me to get my two cents in edgewise there may have been closing. In any event, SilkTork’s attempt by play Thought Police by claiming to know what I “take seriously”, and Beeblebrox’s unsubstantied accusation that I have engaged in a “delaying tactic” are unwarranted, and are violations of WP:AGF. Simply put, you don’t know me, you don’t know anything about my state of mind or what’s in my heart, and you don’t know anything about how long it took to comb through various edit histories to find the diffs and other material I needed to compose my response here. Putting aside that I have never been accused of this in any of the ANI cases or any other matter in which my response has been required, and the fact that I have a tendency to be comprehensive (so much so that I placed my 2010 evidence against Asgardian on its own page), just because my speed doesn’t match your arbitrary and whimsical time limits doesn’t mean you can gauge anything else about me. That you, SilkTork, would act this way despite being a member of ArbCom is astonishing to me. Let’s hope cooler and more well-reasoned heads prevail here.

Because of the various different accusations and arguments that have been brought up here, my response has grown too large to place here on this page, so much as I did with my evidence in the 2010 Asgardian Arbitration case, I placed it on its own page, divided into the three main areas that have been brought up against me, along with the Conclusion. I apologize for its length; but its in my nature to be comprehensive in matters like this, and I honestly don’t know how to compose such responses more succinctly without sacrificing what may be vital information. Nightscream (talk) 04:39, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

I was not able to compose a more condensed version before the "within 24 hours" request by Newyorkbrad expired, but if those here would prefer that I do so now, I can do so. Let me know. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 16:41, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Beeblebrox's hope was to have Nightscream drummed out of Wikipedia; instead they just de-sysoped him in January of 2014. Pure idiocy.


Bear-hatred 

Found on the WO-MB: 

"I have a Remington 870 12 guage short barrel that is very similar to this one, other than the pistol grip. Other than just enjoying a good shotgun, the reason I have it is simple: bears. Black bears come right into town where I live. Last year one was pooping on my property about once a week. I never actually saw it, but the evidence indicates it found my place to be a quiet oasis for napping and crapping, while still close to town were some people are still dumb/inconsiderate enough to leave their garbage out where bears can get into it. There are a variety of 12-gauge slugs designed specifically for taking down bears, they are quite devastating at close range and substantially less expensive and easier to master than a large caliber revolver or a big hunting rifle. I personally know someone who has had to do this in his own front yard." 

"For those same reasons it is also an excellent home defense weapon. I sincerely hope never to use it for either purpose, but if confronted by an angry bear or a desperate junkie trying to invade my home I'd like to be able to do something about it." [sic]



BASC-hatred

This was the "Ban Appeals Subcommittee" and Beeblebrox wanted it gone because it made getting unbanned "too easy" or some-such Internet Tough Guy rationale. The BASC had been around since 2009, and my notes thought it was "one of the sillier functions of Arbcom"; Beeb put forward his request in October, 2014. Risker had this to say:

"Oppose. First off, if you're planning to include functionaries in a committee, it would be a good idea to poll the functionaries and see if they're interested in taking on this work. You've not done that, and in fact haven't informed the functionaries about this proposal at all. Secondly, BASC is unnecessary. The only reason Arbcom is at all involved in block appeals is that it took it upon itself back in 2007 to review certain blocks, without any mandate from the community, and without any really good reason except that it seems they wanted to unblock someone with the intention to trap them and reblock them. BASC has resulted in almost no unblocks and a massive amount of work for arbitrators. The community is perfectly capable of handling unblock requests through existing processes. The Arbitration Committee should narrow the scope of BASC to review of blocks directly linked to Arbcom cases only, and devolve all other unblock requests. Just remove them from your portfolio. Risker (talk) 00:46, 16 October 2014 (UTC)"

After a lot of hemming-and-hawing the BASC was abolished in November, 2015, almost a full year after Beeblebrox's Arbcom term ended that January. Six years of "work" down the toilet thanks to one idiot.


Pointless Slams of Professor Edward Buckner

On Jimbo's talkpage during the Jagged 85 fiasco, Beeblebrox could not stop hitting Edward Buckner like a child's punching dummy:

"I don't know anything about Jagged 85's case, but I can tell you why Peter Damian/Buckner remains banned: he won't stop evading the ban. For someone who claims to not like this project much he certainly is obsessed with posting to it. If he could just act like a grown up with some self control and stop sockpuppeting for a few months I have no doubt he could get unbanned and be welcomed back, but he apparently can't do that, the most recent evidence being that it is fairly obvious he is the IP who opened this thread and then proceeded to personally attack me, citing my opposition to unbanning him in the most recent discussion, thereby proving my point about his apparent inability to just go away for a while, which he has been told again and again is something he needs to do to get unbanned. He would have us believe that he is so important that WP:SOCK should not apply to him. The community has repeatedly rejected that notion, so he remains banned. Simple as that. he was not banned because he is an expert but in spite of it. His behavior was found to be causing more problems than his contributions were solving. Since that time he has dedicated an absurd amount of time and energy into trying to publicly embarrass Wikipedia instead of following the fairly simple requirements of the standard offer. Apparently the view from his ivory tower does not permit him to see the possibility that he might have behaved poorly and has nobody but himself to blame for the fact that he remains banned. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:45, 26 September 2012 (UTC)"

Some hidden replies:

"Beeblebrox, I just looked at a few stubs you created. It looks like you don't personally know much of anything. It's okay. Not everybody is an academic. What isn't okay is do not let experts to improve Wikipedia . Do you believe that by preventing Peter Damian from editing Wikipedia you are preventing a disruption by a banned editor? No, you are preventing Dr.Edward Buckner from sharing his knowledge with Wikipedia's readers. Unblock Dr. Edward Buckner. Wikipedia will survive, and Dr. Edward Buckner will fix the article mentioned in the Baltimore Sun.--109.123.115.221 (talk) 21:49, 25 September 2012 (UTC)"

"Who says Beeblebrox doesn't personally know much of anything. He knows at least something about sizes of weiners (sic) but I do not think this knowledge will be helpful in improving Anselm_of_Canterbury.--216.119.153.205 (talk) 01:44, 26 September 2012 (UTC)"


Fighting Cla68 in 2013

After Cla68 posted a link to a notorious Wikipediocracy article about the beautiful Mathsci, Beeb attempted to indef-block Cla. Since Beeb was an oversighter, he had no problem making the original posting disappear. The mess turned into a lengthy thread on the Wikipediocracy forum, wherein numerous complaints about Beeb's abuses were posted. As Cla said, "Beeblebrox is a good example of why WP's administration needs more adult/professional supervision." Editor Wer900 called for administrative reform on Wikipedia, and was threatened by Beeb. [Link to WO-MB.] [Link to Wikipedia.].

(The above was taken directly from the notes, I did not write it.) 


Final Thoughts 

After reading though all of this, would you trust this idiot to run a popsicle stand?








Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Guest Post: "The NSA Was Hacked", or Only Idiots Need "Security" by Friendly Rich

This guest post is rather timely, seeing as how the new American college semester has begun and a million new laptops and tablets are in circulation.
 
"The NSA Was Hacked", or Only Idiots Need "Security"

by Friendly Rich


Someone I know recently sent these links on various mailing lists, and they deserve some outside comment:

> https://theintercept.com/2016/08/19/the-nsa-was-hacked-snowden-documents-confirm/
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/19/snowden_docs_shadow_brokers_nsa_exploits/

Not mentioned in the articles, but visible in the main FOXACID document: this stuff is almost exclusively aimed at Microsoft Windows. The basis is a set of tools to break into Internet Explorer via Javascript/XML malware. Just disabling Javascript on a browser, or using Firefox with NoScript, will probably stop FOXACID exploits. The NSA does have exploits for Linux, Solaris and Free-BSD, and so presumably OSX as well, but other OSes aren't mentioned anywhere in this set of documents. The NSA uses Linux heavily for internal systems, especially Red Hat/Fedora and their own SELinux, so I assume they have break-in methods for various versions of Linux. But I will bet you it is more difficult than cracking a Windows machine.

Evidently most of the NSA's "secret methods" depend on the idiocy of browser users, just like any common hacker malware. The "CNO Course" document talks about handing out infected flash drives to random people and leaving them in internet cafes. Really? That's what the mighty Uncle Sam uses to crack PCs? Obviously it works. Because there are idiots in every organization.

The FOXACID server runs Windows Server 2003. Which is just hilarious. Ten years behind the times. And they get MIT to load the software on the servers before deployment. Why? Do they not trust their own employees and customers? They even have bogus SSL certificates. Hey, isn't that illegal in some places? Not that anyone seems to care.

All of this shit was originally aimed at breaking into PCs in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Pakistani government's Green Line network was explicitly mentioned as a major target. So where's the diplomatic complaint? And the CNO Course shows a BLINDDATE PC using a wireless packet-injection exploit while driving around....Kabul. Again, it depends on web browser weaknesses to install malware on a PC. Field personnel aren't expected to know how to write malware nor understand how all the tools they use actually work. This is a classic case of idiots hacking other idiots.

It's an old "joke" and rumor: Microsoft has grown to such size and arrogance because Bill Gates cheerfully negotiated "special deals" with the US government back in the late 1980s. And they've gotten closer and closer since then. The NSA, CIA and Microsoft's operating-system division routinely exchange developers and knowledge. This is supposedly why the 1997 attempt to prosecute MS for breaking antitrust laws failed so massively.

Their "Shared Source Initiative" in 2001 was an attempt to calm their big corporate users, and I'm not sure it really helped much. Googling gets plenty of Microsoft press releases and very little honest discussion of the SSI. "Shared source" is Microsoft official jargon; nothing is "shared". Accessing the source code is very costly, there are numerous restrictions, and extremely harsh nondisclosure agreements are demanded of anyone allowed into the SSI.

But bring any of this up in mixed company and IT "professionals" will accuse you of being a conspiracy freak. Even though the signs have been visible for many years online.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data

http://falkvinge.net/2013/11/17/nsa-asked-linus-torvalds-to-install-backdoors-into-gnulinux/

http://www.eteknix.com/nsa-has-code-running-in-the-linux-kernel-and-android/

This Gates interview from 2014 is notable. He ever-so-delicately tiptoes around the issue of surveillance and security. But does manage to splutter about Ed Snowden being a "criminal". An interview that communicates very little otherwise.

"Even so, do you think it's better now that we know what we know about government surveillance?"
"The government has such ability to do these things. There has to be a debate. But the specific techniques they use become unavailable if they're discussed in detail. So the debate needs to be about the general notion of under what circumstances should they be allowed to do things." LOLWUT?

And here's a 2004 article about Windows vs. Linux security. Despite being 12 years old, I've never seen any indications that the general situation has changed much. PC operating systems became more-or-less "stable" a long time ago and any updates tend to include new hardware support, new multimedia formats, and other improvements outside the kernel.

This is the glorious state of the glorious software world today. It's all badly designed, insecure, and sooner-or-later compromised by our wonderful government. Because there is so little real choice in the way of modern operating systems for PCs today, the NSA spooks have a variety of ways to break into machines. Evidently they don't even need "sneaky back doors" any longer. If you don't want anyone to sort through your hard drive, either don't connect your machine to the internet, or use a VPN exclusively; and don't do stupid things with a browser. Think before clicking on things.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Back on the Chain Gang - UC Chancellor Linda Katehi Screws Around with Wikipedia

Just before August vanishes off the calendar, let's talk about Linda Katehi, who resigned as Chancellor of  the University of California at Davis on the second Tuesday of this month. She was involved with Wikipedia as far back as 2009, completely focused on her own Biography of a Living Person (BLP) article. The problem was she possibly had underlings at UC Davis do all the work on that piece.

The Background

Katehi (born Pisti Basile Katehi; Athens, Greece) was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University who left Indiana for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she taught the same subjects while also getting sucked into the endless white-walled makework machine that is college administration (Prof. Katehi was provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at UIUC). However that machine gives enough time for politicking and she was able to impress the UC Regents and they made her Chancellor of UC Davis, with her husband (chemistry professor Spyros Tseregounis) brought along as well to teach. (By the way, if two academics are married and one accepts a position somewhere else, the college will often hire the spouse, especially if they have been tenured before. So this move for the Katehi-Tseregounises is common.) Linda Katehi's BLP first appeared on Wikipedia as a stub before she was hired on in California in May 2009. It didn't remain a stub for long.

Two years later Occupy Wall Street brought back the sit-in protest to national news, and Occupy groups appeared everywhere, including UC Davis. On Thursday, November 17, 2011 Occupy UC Davis held a sit-down protest in the Quad over tuition hikes and the violent treatment Occupy Cal protesters got at UC Berkeley earlier that month. The next day the protesters were still in the Quad; they had camped out overnight. Chancellor Katehi called in the UC Davis police and by 3pm the famous images of Lieutenant John Pike pepper spraying students sitting on the ground were being snapped by cameras. Quickly his nonchalant action became an internet meme.

                           The Beatles are somehow involved, as always. (Stolen from the sadly-defunct Gawker.)


There were claims that doused people were vomiting blood and that the UC Davis and UC Berkeley police were shooting pepper spray in students' mouths. There were investigations and Lt. John Pike was later fired, but Davis was still stuck with Linda Katehi. And this is where Wikipedia and PR really come in.

Conflict of Interest Editing, the UC version

We can't find the real names, but we know the Wiki-handles of a number of probable COI editors or sockpuppets of one smart paid editor.


The first COI editor was Mtang6, who started the article on May 7, 2009. That probably was Katehi, because it was only a couple of lines. Possibly it could have been her children, working at her behest.

Next was Eve2500, who added bulk to the BLP in June of 2011.

In early November 2011 before the pepper spray incident, two IP addresses did some "embarrassment cleanup" and made the article larger; they were 65.91.100.51 and 169.237.220.84 - now there is a gap in the record from July 22 to the 18th of November.

After the outright barfight of edits (mostly with IPs, not accounts) following John Pike's claim to fame, Jokestress (Andrea James) took the semi-protected version of the article and began re-editing it, but remained neutral - we are not claiming she is a COI editor, just that a "name" editor showed up to tinker with things for a day and then dropped the article like a hot rock.

Spin the watch hands to October 2013, and there was Linda F UC Davis, who tried to get the editors to include more mentions of Linda Katehi's STEM background in the BLP and stated outright that she worked for UC Davis in the article's talkpage. Linda F UC Davis has not been seen on Wikipedia since.

Move forward another year to November 2014 and the unpronounceable Wvxihjazb acts mostly like an SPA (single purpose account), editing the Katehi article along with the Larry N. Vanderhoef article (chancellor of UC Davis before Linda Katehi), an article on Greek academic John Panaretos (which had a link to the Linda Katehi), "improving" the list of notable alumni in the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science (I give you one guess who got mentioned), and finally the article on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (adding a list of Commissioners, one of whom was Linda Katehi.) All of Wvxihjazb's edits were done from the 5th of November to the 26th of November skipping every two days. Like H.P. Lovecraft's vowel-less monsters, Wvxihjazb utterly disappeared after wreaking havoc, back to the Void.

Last but not least was KianaHooper. For a paid editor, "she" played the part of the neophyte Wikipedia editor very well: "Hi! I'm Kiana Hooper. I was urged to create an account so here I am! I think Wikipedia is really awesome and I can't wait to improve it. I never knew Wikipedia was run by such an intricate and well though out set of rules. It's really cool!" is what the first line of "her" userpage ran. Nobody noticed as all she did was edit in bursts, first on "Hispanic-serving institutions" redirect page, then UC Davis, then Linda Katehi....and that's all "she" focused on. Notice how the editor came and went until the fateful day of June 5, 2015 when the explosion of text erupted and "she" more than doubled the size of the article. Then KianaHooper vanished, or went back to being Linda Katehi's administrative assistant, or a paid-off grad student, or a hired hack, whatever the truth is.

Paying for a Spotless Reputation

Realizing that the photos from the pepper spraying had been posted to the Internet, UC Davis hired Nevins & Associates at $15,000 a month for six months to massage the internet and make the problem go away. Problem was, they did it in January of 2013. There went  more than 90,000 dollars down the drain. Then they hired Purple Strategies, a public relations firm in Virginia to "Get me off the Google" as chancellor Katehi demanded. (I can only hear that demand in Arianna Huffington's voice.) Purple Strategies were paid 44,600 American dollars total for three months of work; in the end with more cash burned in a pyre for another PR firm, the university urinated away $407,000.

                                Not actual UC Davis money burning, but a realistic approximation.

Did I mention this idiotic vanity site was part of the cash expended? None of it worked, of course, and you would think a person trained in EE and computer science would know how the Internet functions in the early 21st century. Her other "footbullet" element was a predilection for international travel; according to the Sacramento Bee, she cost UC Davis over S174,000 in 26 international trips to drum up business for the college, going to Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Dubai, France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus over a five year stretch from 2010 to 2015; very little came of these trips for the college, and Chancellor Katehi flew first class every time. Meanwhile, she was a board member at the corporation behind the for-profit DeVry University, and had previously spent time at textbook publishers John Wiley & Sons, raking in $420,000 for three years work, making the costly textbooks (which the publisher makes obsolete constantly) part of the UC Davis scene if they weren't already. And this is a person that makes $420,000 without the need to part-time it in private industry! In the end Linda Napolitano put her on ice this April, then gave her the axe this month, nearly three weeks before the UC Fall 2016 semester began.

Conclusions?

Wikipedia was useful once for building a reputation, but in a world of "gotcha" journalism, everybody having a camera on a cell phone, and Google caching it has become insanely easy to ruin yourself. Linda Katehi might be out of a job, only because she never took Thomas J. Watson's command to THINK seriously. But then, IBM leased punch card machines to Nazi death camps, so what did he really know?

                               Neither of the two men above are Greek, but dance along anyway.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

MORE IMPORTANT THAN WIKIPEDIA: "ICANN Can't", a Guest Post by E.A. Barbour

Because he's always looking at things under the radar, things that are barely noticed are massive mountains to E.A. Barbour, who shares with us the fiasco of the forthcoming ICANN internet takeover.


ICANN Can't

By E.A. Barbour

What is ICANN? It's the special organization which is being given control of all the domain-name assignments and technical standards which the Internet depends on. It was created in 1998 out of whole cloth, because original ARPANET sysop Jon Postel was "overworked". ICANN is essentially a nonprofit government contractor which exists by fiat order of the Department Of Commerce. The Net was opened to the public in 1994 and domain names were handled by Postel and other ARPANET sysops for the first four years. (Amusingly, right in the middle of setting up ICANN, Postel died of "undetected cardiac problems".) And its first chair was Esther Dyson, venture capitalist and one of the most connected women in Silicon Valley (plus an early cheerleader for Wikipedia). A later chair was Postel's fellow "Original Internet Father" Vint Cerf; whose display case at home is bulging with bowling trophies given to him by the computer industry for his magical awesomeness. His ass tastes like fine wine, judging by the millions of kisses he's gotten since the 1980s.

For two decades the system for Internet domains has more-or-less worked passably well. The US government, its contractors, and other large corporations worked with ICANN to keep the DNS/IANA system running. Although here have been complaints about large registrars like Network Solutions/VeriSign, RegisterFly, and GoDaddy, nothing was deemed "problematic" enough to call for major reform of the "system". It was open enough to make open-source cheerleaders happy and it was stable enough to keep corporations and other major financial interests content (and profitable). New domains and systems were introduced to keep things flowing. The gold-rush of the early Web insured that people were willing to allow laissez-faire--until recently. When the US federal government stated that it wished to get rid of all domain control, and have ICANN handle it exclusively. Although little reported anywhere else in the media, these Register articles give some pause.

This happened right in the middle of the US government handing over the final governance controls to ICANN. Under the government's relatively benign control since the 1980s, the Internet grew with a remarkable level of free speech, openness and freedom from graft. These stories suggest that when ICANN has full control over TLDs and governance, they will start acting like FIFA or the Olympic Committee -- playing favorites, taking bribes, and covering everything up. And the product will decline. (And most "customers" won't care, as long as they get their damned football games/websites.)

Thus:

Last month it was reported that the transition of the IANA to ICANN control is being fought by the Republicans. It was even put in the2016 GOP official platform. Not many people noticed or commented on it. Of course it's being blamed on outgoing president Obama, and of course it's being used as a "political football". Admittedly the GOP is full of shit and this is merely a pretext. But one still has to wonder; once domain-name controls are fully in the hands of ICANN, what will happen to them? No one seems to know---or care.

I suspect we have already seen the best days of the Internet. Its future will likely be a dark, broken Third World chaos with dominance by large corporations. Getting a domain name will probably involve paying large bribes to creepy outfits with no fixed address. Legs will be broken and heads will be chopped. And DNS lookup will get more and more unreliable. Just like getting a Class A broadcast license from the FCC, or a taxi license in New York City. The rot is inevitable when big money and monopoly control is involved, and one small organization has the keys.

BTW, there's a Wikipedia angle here. The ICANN article itself was greatly expanded in the last 3 years, mostly by a succession of random-looking IP addresses and SPAs. And if someone tries to insert information of a negative nature, an anonymous  administrator named "Cenarium" removes it. Cenarium is a vandalism patroller who evidently has some knowledge of advanced mathematics. A very weird combination.

And that's not all. The WMF has very close relations with the Berkman Center at Harvard (Jimbo Wales is a "Fellow" thereof), the EFF, Creative Commons, and the Sunlight Foundation. The number of "common friends" they have in these organizations is truly remarkable: Berkman's Wendy Seltzer was an ICANN delegate, MIT professor Ethan Zuckerman has connections to the EFF and is on the WMF Board of Advisors, Jonathan Zittrain cofounded the "Chilling Effects" group with Wendy Seltzer and is on the EFF Board. Rebecca MacKinnon and Peter Suber are on the WMF Board of Advisors and also Berkman Center fellows. (MacKinnon edits her own Wikipedia bio with apparent impunity.) Tamar Frankel, a lawyer who helped set up ICANN in the first place, is also a Berkman fellow. All of these connected people have Wikipedia biographies, which are carefully watched by Wikipedia insiders.

More? Harald Alvestrand, a former ICANN Board member and current Google employee, is a Wikipedia administrator AND has been allowed to edit his own Wikipedia bio. Former WMF Trustee and current WMF Advisor Matt Halprin (his seat was bought for him by his boss Pierre Omidyar) was also on the Board of the Sunlight Foundation--with Esther Dyson and former WMF Director Sue Gardner. On the Advisory Board at Sunlight: Jimmy Wales. Also on Sunlight's Board, as well as the WMF Board of Advisors: Craig Newmark of Craigslist. And I won't even get into the Google connections. You get the idea.

The WMF is already corrupt in third-world ways. Some of these "free culture" Internet organizations have built-in conflicts of financial interest. Is it really surprising that ICANN is likely to go the same way?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Stuff That Has Nothing to do With Wikipedia: Inside Boston University. Plus Board Nonsense!

This was one I wanted to do for a while, and now that it looks like the site owner has walked away from it, the blog needs to be mirrored. The website in question is Inside Boston University, and the author is Raymond "Ray" Carney.

"....A Man of Constant Sorrow"

Ray Carney is a Professor of Film at Boston University; he has written rafts of books on independent filmmaking and is an expert of the films of John Cassavetes, whom he interviewed repeatedly before the director/star died in 1989. The problem with Carney is that he is utterly disenchanted with film school and the cinema mainstream; he was yelled at by fellow BU film professors for telling also-disenchanted film school students to switch to the creative writing program - one prof howled "You are sending students to other departments!!!!???? You are taking food from my baby's mouth!" He is the only professor in America that I know of that has had his professional website taken down because of his opinions and his opinions alone. (Thankfully, most of it has been restored, but there are chunks of it where you have to use the Wayback Machine to recover them.) That he wrote a very critical article in a 1995 issue of The Baffler didn't help matters.

"....Now, fans of films like Schindler’s List will claim that they reveal new truths too. But I can’t see much difference between Spielberg’s so-called serious movie and his boy’s-book movies. Schindler’s List simply rehashes Spielberg’s inflatable, one-size-fits-all myth about how a clever, resourceful character can outsmart a system. Is that what the meaning of the Holocaust boils down to—Indiana Schindler versus the Gestapo of Doom? Schindler is a Hollywood producer’s self-congratulatory fantasy of how giving people a chance to work for you is doing them a big favor. What real courage did it take to make this movie? What new understanding of the Holocaust did it reveal? Spielberg could have made a really courageous film if he had dared to make a movie sympathetic to the SS, a movie that deeply, compassionately entered into the German point of view in order to reveal how regular people with wives and children could be drawn into committing or silently consenting to such horrors. How about a movie that showed that, at least potentially, we are them? A film that didn’t locate the bad guys in an emotional and historical galaxy far away? Of course, Spielberg could never make that film even if he tried to, because it would require too much insight on his part. And if he did make it, it would not get Academy Awards. It would require viewers to think. And thinking, real thinking, is always dangerous. Audiences might be forced to confront truths that they would rather avoid. Instead of affording them another opportunity to revel in their own virtue, they just might be made to squirm a little." - From "Pulp Affliction", The Baffler.

The real killer was an interview with the UCLA Daily Bruin's Devon Dickau where he told the student that film schools should be replaced with auto mechanic's courses ("A modest proposal") because most film school grads never make a film afterwards. That set the stage for the great shift Carney had with his department shortly afterward, but more on that later.

Bizarre battles: Gena Rowlands and Al Ruban, Mark Rappaport

Outside of academia Ray Carney has been embroiled in a series of weird battles with people whom he either respected, or were related to or worked with people he respected. We don't want to go into great detail with all of it, but we will leave links for deeper reading.

Gena Rowlands was married to John Cassavetes, Al Ruban was his producer on a number of films, acted in some, is the business manager of Rowlands' estate. Both of them loathe Carney for destroying chunks of their control over Cassavetes' legacy. Mostly this has to do with the fact that Carney discovered a first version of Shadows (1957, second version 1959), and he holds that uncopyrighted print. This hunt took seventeen years and as a reward Rowlands and Ruban wanted Carney to hand over the print so that Ruban could destroy it or Rowlands could hide it away. The other jab was how Carney also found that the Library of Congress had an unseen earlier version of Faces (1968) in 2001, proving that Cassavetes would come up with multiple versions of films that he would screen for test audiences, and that he did not throw the "lesser" versions away. For the sin of knowing way too much about John Cassavetes, Carney's contributions to a Criterion Collection DVD set in the early 2000s were scrapped at Rowlands' insistence. Al Ruban spent the early 2000s badmouthing Ray Carney at a series of Cassavetes film showings. We can only say that the conflict between the two parties was "ego versus rationality" that desperately needed an arbitrator, but nobody in LA would touch it with a barge pole.

The fight with Mark Rappaport started simply, then spiraled out of control. Like with Cassavetes, Rappaport is a independent filmmaker, and after years of living in New York City, he decided to move to Paris around 2005. Carney claims that Rappaport told him that there was this stuff he didn't want, and that there were no-strings-attached and so Carney had the stuff mailed and he paid for the shipping, film reels in metal pans and disks and other bits and pieces of cinematic detritus. He cleaned the things up, allegedly spent "tens of thousands" setting up a display and storage space for the material, kept Rappaport updated by email....then seven-and-a-half years later Rappaport demanded all the stuff back, after Carney had returned some video masters back in 2010. It got very ugly very quick, because Rappaport and his lawyer went online to the various cinephile websites, and all the indy cinema people that Carney wrote about began demanding that he just turn the "films" over. Independent filmmaker Jon Jost claimed that Ray Carney had perjured himself in his legal descriptions of the Rappaport material, and therefore should stop teaching and undergo therapy for his "psychological demons." This went on for about six months; news pieces and blog posts about it litter the internet from 2012-13. In the end, I still don't know if Carney returned everything; it really doesn't matter because the drama it created burned bridges between the professor and the two directors. It also made Carney's relationship with Boston University worse.

The Blog Itself

Laid out sequentially from March 2013 to April 2015, Inside Boston University is a simple recounting of how Ray Carney's professional life fell to pieces when John J. Schulz was appointed Dean of the College of Communication in 2003. Thanks to the history of Boston University he easily built a collection of yes men who backed everything he did and brooked no compromise. Even when he was replaced in 2008 by Thomas Fiedler (main claim to fame: exposing the Gary Hart-Donna Rice tryst in 1987), nothing changed because of the unspoken system created by one man forty years ago.

Carney is very open about the role John Silber had in creating a system of "Nixonismo sin Nixon" (to modify a 1980s Nicaraguan phrase* about the Contras) at Boston University. Silber (a former University of Texas philosophy professor) was appointed BU president in 1971 and immediately began running the place in ways that would have pleased then-President Nixon or then-Governor Reagan; the Students for a Democratic Society chapter was given the boot, he would not relent when it came to having US Marine Corps recruiting on campus even though there were large demonstrations about it and the students later voted against having USMC recruiters on campus. Silber's response? "I would be much more impressed by a thoughtful document that was brought in by one single student than I would by a mindless referendum of 16,000." And that comment was to The Daily Free Press, the student newspaper! To 60 Minutes, the CBS news-magazine, he said "[a] university should not be a democracy. . . . The more democratic a university is, the lousier it is." Because of his loathing of tenure all the professors joined the AAUP, the professor's union, and Silber had to waste funds hiring lawyers to nullify the move to form a BU AAUP local, all in vain. Beyond the contempt for student protestors (whom he called "primates") and successful attempts at starving the student press, he was in love with nuclear power, banking, defense contractors, and he was able to continually defeat votes to have him removed by sucking up to the trustees. He survived as BU President until 1996 and was Chancellor until 2002, and as he lasted so long, he was able to create a Mafia within the administration and Right-leaning faculty. In 2003, Daniel S. Goldin, the former NASA leader was appointed BU President, but that was immediately scuttled when he said he would "clean house." The college paid him off to the tune of $1.8 million. Silber was willing to break labor law and not give raises to professors who opposed him; Carney claims the same tactic is used against him today, that his pay is stuck at 2004 levels.
Beyond the money, Carney goes into great detail about how badly he's been treated under both deans, the idiotic anti-intellectualism of BU's administration, etc. This blog is a must read for anyone who wants to become an American professor in the era of Massive Open Online Courses, college over-financialization, mindless expansion of the unaccountable administration class, etc. Professor Carney has stopped answering emails; I hope that he is not being pressured by the college to stop updating his blog.

Board Nonsense

Because the Wikipedia Sucks! forum allows guest commenting, we get the occasional oddball. One of the members that continually takes attacks from nowhere by nameless nobodies is wwhp, mainly because of RationalWiki's idiot article about him. That lone bit of online trash has prompted attack page after attack page, and I don't see the nonsense ending soon. As it is wwhp keeps a low profile. We have people on that board who have been so badly burned by Wikipedia and its spawn that they are terrified to admit who they were on Wikipedia and other wiki sites, and that is one of the reasons why the board and this blog exist. If you know the truth about Walesville, you will never want to have an online life there.

______________________

* The Nicaraguan phrase was "Somocizmo sin Samoza", "Samoza-ism without Samoza" - a reference to the overthrown and assasinated former dictator of that country, and the Contra attempt to build a new dictatorship through their civil war.

 


Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Cop and the Spaceman Call it Quits

We had a choice after the last post: either continue detailing awful Wikipedians [a reference to Ekman, this post is that old], or write about Commons pedophiles. It's summer and Strelnikov would rather write about  these gawdawful people than discuss the brotherhood of Marc Dutroux. What is interesting in both of the following cases is that they both quietly quit in the recent past.

The Long Dorky Arm of the Law

Tiptoety is almost too well-known to write about; he has a page on Encyclopaedia Dramatica (though it isn't up to date). Tyler Van Wormer is his true name; during his seven and a half years on Wikipedia he posed as an adult police officer even though he was in high school when he started being a Wikipedian in May 2007. The truth was that after 2008 he was a cadet officer at the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, which meant he was wandering the outskirts of Portland, Oregon as a sub-trainee. All of Tiptoety's actual additions to Wikipedia were either about Oregon law enforcement or the Sheriff's Office he "worked" out of. What made him useful to the regulars during the post-Essjay collapse/reshuffling of the deck was that he was the ultimate catspaw; he did anything the powerful people asked him to do. Such as this 2008 blocking of four accounts as sockpuppets of Anti-Gorgias, who "turned out" to be Herschelkrustofsky (Daniel Platt). If it was or if it wasn't, Platt was banned before, thanks to the edit war over Lyndon LaRouche (notice that Will Beback was involved in the blocking). Here he is "indefinitely blocking" Jennavecia (now Indubitably) in 2009, which was overturned. He also liked undoing good edits done by banned users, just because he could. He became an unlisted clerk in Sockpuppet Investigations sometime in 2008; there is no record as to why he was allowed to be an unlisted clerk nor why they needed an unlisted clerk. It seems they "let the cop be a cop" even though he wasn't a cop.  He went through the Request for adminship process three times (first, second, third) before he made it in early March of 2008. He could get away with this because he would block all access by a user in dispute before the user could post a formal complaint, so there are few actual complaints about his doings in AN/I, 3RR, or SPI. His style of action is common among the worst patroller types and Wikipoliticians. You can see this in his block of Boodlesthecat, which was part of the Polish antisemitism battle that was raging at the time. (We need to write about that.)

Once he was in as part of the Admin crew, Tiptoety went further and became an Arbcom clerk in April of 2009, ran for checkuser power in 2009 and 2010, making it in May, 2010, even though he only had a positive vote of 64 percent. Five years pass and in September, 2015 Van Wormer is sent a reminder to sign a confidentiality agreement on "non-public information." He ignores it. Gets another notice in October, "please sign this by the 15th of December." Out of nowhere on November 4th, 2015, Tiptoety just up and quits, resigning his adminship and advanced permissions, leaving this note: All is well (not planning on leaving forever, not disgruntled). I simply don't have the time I once did for Wikipedia and don't want my idle account to sit around with so many advanced permissions on so many projects. Thanks for the kind words, User:Tiptoety 10:48, 4 November 2015 (UTC). Why?

Thanks to the anonymous poster below the "secret" is out that Tyler Van Wormer is a campus cop in Oregon. I'm not going to link to the place, anyone can now do a simple search; we've had issues with people showing up to "doxx" Wiki-admins over at the Wikipedia Sucks! board, and I'm not going down that road. But back to Van Wormer - all I can think is that he got his campus cop job sometime after 2012, didn't want to answer questions from co-workers who found the Dramatica article, so he quit Wikipedia, rev-deleted the stuff on his userpage (which itself has vanished) and began forgetting. This post won't let him.

Douglas Adams Would be Ashamed

We don't know his real name, but Beeblebrox (possibly of Homer, Alaska) was a definite nominee for "Asshole King of Wikipedia"; that clown blocked more than 2400 users from 2009 to around 2013. Little to nothing is known about the actual person behind the handle Beeblebrox, which is the name of the erstwhile President of the Galaxy and starship-stealing two-headed alien Zaphod Beeblebrox from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of satirical novels. All we can say about the Wikipedia "Beeb" was that he was about 40 years old, possibly worked some sort of customer service job, and may have been a videogamer.

Beeblebrox showed up five months after the Essjay scandal in 2007, doing minor gnoming of random articles in August of that year, mostly removing things he disliked. He liked copying articles he worked on to edit them offline, then pasted or retyped the "improved" versions back into Wikipedia. That "technique"  increased his statistics immensely, though the clod was a heavy misspeller. Did I say that he likes to write the word "fuck" in edit summaries? Well, he does. He tried a Request for adminship in May of 2009 through self-nomination and it utterly failed. According to here, it fell apart over a nasty thing he did to the now-banned Bambifan101: "He put a "suspected sockpuppet" template for Bambifan101 on an IP editor's talk page with the edit summary "you little shit, stay off my talk page"." So claimed Scott Martin (Hex aka Scott) on the Wikipediocracy messageboard, March 20, 2013. We can't find the evidence now, of course - things like that seem to continually vanish. He would do incredibly stupid crap like claim that Gavia immer, one of the good editors and well-known to boot, was a vandal. As a very poor joke, he did the same to Drmies (Michael Aaij) a few years later in February, 2013: "You have been blocked from editing for a period of forever and ever for being an evil vandal who fooled us all for years, before finally revealing your bad intentions today. Bad Drmies. Go to your time out corner." He did another RfA in August, 2009 and was successful. In that Request he wrote the following: As the owner of a small business, I have personal information regarding my coworkers (I've never liked to think of myself as the boss, we work as a team) including their criminal and driving records. I am also privy to sensitive information regarding our clients, up to and including their home addresses, medical and mental health conditions, medications they take, when they come and go and who they are with when they do so, and sometimes other details that I don't need or want to know. I have to keep all this information to myself, and make sure my coworkers do the same, and have been pretty successful at doing so for the past nine years. In 2000, I also worked for the United States Census Bureau as an enumerator, a person who goes door-to-door finding people who did not fill out a census form and convincing them to fill one out right there on the spot with me. Obviously, this entailed a lot of sensitive information about my neighbors, which I had to listen to, record for posterity, and then forget all about it and never mention it anyone lest I be fined thousands of dollars and thrown in jail. So I'm pretty darn comfortable with keeping other people's personal information to myself." If the above is true, then this is all we truly know about that man from his own admission.

The notes I have on Beeblebrox are twice as long as the ones on Tiptoety and are heavy on quotations because the Alaskan liked sticking his foot in his mouth a lot. He is so infamous, he was discussed on Wikipedia Review, the aformentioned WO-MB thread, this "electric universe" forum, and a page I had to pull up through the Wayback Machine. There was even a now-defunct Facebook page dedicated to following the antics of MuZeMike, AussieLegend, and Beeblebrox. What I have decided to do is publish all of these quotations, fights, and other nonsense as a separate post, the first for September 2016.

His user talk page claims he is taking a long "wikibreak", but he resigned his checkuser and oversight powers on May 7, 2016 and has not been seen since. If he returns we will change this post to reflect that.


                                               A fitting song for the subjects of this post.