Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Some last-minute sucker punches.....Averted!

Originally I was going to use this space to cattily mention some skeevy facts about the private life of Derrick Coetzee (Wikipedian "Dcoetzee") but files on the person he did things with are still easily available on the Internet, and I'm not ruining that person's life just to lash out at the nincompoop who caused THIS. I will write that the skeeviness I'm keeping to myself is probably the main reason why Coetzee has been banned "from editing Wikimedia sites" according to a Wikimedia Foundation tag here. I will write that the Wikipediocracy crowd thinks "Demiurge1000" was a sockpuppet of Derrick's, because it has the same WMF "talk to legal" tag. Tarantino (of Wikipediocracy, not the film director) deserves a medal of some sort, but I'm not saying why.

This little link is a lot of fun if you know something about Neo-Tech/Zonpower; for the confused, this ancient FAQ page (which is a copy of a copy) should tell you more than you need to know about that "ethical card-cheating" mixture of Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard.

Never forget that Paul de Man was a Nazi mouthpiece, a swindler, and unworthy of his American college position.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wikipedia Tags and Eastern European Politics

If you look at Wikipedia, you notice at the top of article pages (and sometimes within articles!) these goofy tags chiding the nameless editors to "merge" this with that, or calls for deletion or extreme rewrites because of bias, etc. It would have been far more intelligent to make these tags visible only to the editors/contributors than leaving them out for the hoi-polloi to see, but then true intelligence has never been a Wikipedian strong suite.

Notice in this article on the fringe political ideology of National Bolshevism (which combines Fascism with a degraded Marxism-Leninism) we have two tags from June of 2007 and one from April of this year. In seven years they haven't been able to figure out if the article contains "original research" or what additional citations it needs.

Above is a sub-section of the same article, on the Russian National Bolshevik Party run by novelist/provacateur-intellectual Eduard Limonov (Savinko), a party which has been banned from participating in Russian presidential elections; Limonov himself used to write hilarious broken-English columns for the defunct eXile magazine in Moscow. Notice the circularity of the section below the tag, and the fact that the "verification" request was posted in 2010; my screen shot dates from late 2014.

But enough of the introduction, let's hit the center-mass of this flabby moose: the Holodomor and Ukrainian nationalism - as seen on Wikipedia. The Holodomor was a famine in the Ukraine in 1932-33, and that's as far as you can get before everything becomes contested and people are willing to label you a "Holodomor denier" if you don't go along with all of it.....because unlike the Nazi-run Holocaust, there were no Holodomor camps with crematoria, piles of shoes, etc., just photos of starved people and others of dead bodies on streets with unheeding passers-by. There are no "verification" tags on the Holodomor article, but there are tags on this:

Possibly because it mentions famine in other areas of the USSR at the same time as the Holodomor, but then if you read the article, it re-uses photos from the Holodomor article! Related to this is are the articles on Douglas Tottle and Lubomyr Luciuk, who are handcuffed together in Wikipedia-land. Both are Canadians; Tottle was a trade union activist who wrote a book on the famine, Luciuk is the Canadian-Ukrainian history professor who called Tottle's book "...a particularly base example of famine-denial literature..." The book in question is Fraud, Famine, and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard (1987), a work that is now very hard to find outside of harsh-looking pdfs, and badmouthed on Wikipedia,, and Metapedia. The Wikipedia page on Luciuk has this:
at the top of it (because it reads like a semi-hagiography), while Tottle's BLP is mostly a denunciation of his book, and right now has defaced quotations. As far as I can tell, Douglas Tottle is either quietly dead, living under another name, or avoiding the Internet entirely because it is impossible to find any reference to him outside of his book and the storm it caused (it was examined by the 1988-90 "International Commission of Inquiry Into the 1932–1933 Famine in Ukraine"; one of the participants thought Tottle had Soviet help, Tottle was invited to speak but declined.)

The article above features a bit of weirdness at the end of lumpy writing:

"Yevhen Konovalets, the former commander of the elite Sich Riflemen unit of the Ukrainian military, led the UVO. West Ukrainian political parties secretly funded the organization. Although it engaged in acts of sabotage and attempted to assassinate the Polish Chief of State Józef Piłsudski in 1921, it functioned more as a military protective group rather than as a terrorist underground.[12] When in 1923 the Allies recognized Polish rule over western Ukraine, many members left the organization. The legal Ukrainian parties turned against the UVO's militant actions, preferring to work within the Polish political system. As a result, the UVO turned to Germany and Lithuania for political and financial support. It established contact with militant anti-Polish student organizations, such as the Group of Ukrainian National Youth, the League of Ukrainian Nationalists, and the Union of Ukrainian Nationalist Youth. After preliminary meetings in Berlin in 1927 and Prague in 1928, at the founding congress in Vienna in 1929 the veterans of the UVO and the student militants met and united to form the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. Although the members consisted mostly of Galician youths, Yevhen Konovalets served as its first leader and its leadership council, the Provid, comprised mostly veterans and was based abroad.[13][14] 9+10 =21"

Does that bit of weird math have some symbolic meaning, like the fraction 14/88 does to Neo-Nazis?


I've been told that all of the Slavic-language Wikipedias are run by flaming nationalists, and that the Hungarian Wikipedia is full of direct translations from the English-language Wikipedia with anti-Semitic gobbledegook thrown in to make the Arrow Cross wannabees happy. Wikipedia dysfunction: a feature, not a bug.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Before Wikipedia: Search Bastard and 3Apes

Jimmy Wales has been desperate to hide "Search Bastard"; it probably reminds him too much of his days with the "Brotherhood of Old Men In Suits" before Wikipedia and the WMF swept him into the stratosphere of being the "Internet-savant guy" the rich idiots invite to their parties.

Search Bastard ( existed from August of 2000 to the summer of 2006; it was like a dirty version of, or Netscape Navigator if you are old enough.

As it says, Search Bastard was considered "the best motherfucking search engine on the net"....probably by the dateless college freshmen the site was aimed at. It had an obnoxious front page:

As you can see, it was all insults, calling the potential user a "dumbass", a "motherfucker", and a "pussyass motherfucker" for good measure. Somehow this was to trick or goad "websurfers" to use Search Bastard, and it would have been seen as revolutionary had the website come out in 1996. But this was 2000, and the web was flooded in search engines already, and links to porn websites were easy to find. Did I mention that the site had odd, "photo phunny" style joke ads? Well it did.

Later on the website was linked to a similarly-named site called "Stock Bastard" which gave out stock quotes. That site was the product of a Canadian company called Samcom, which like Bomis is now defunct. Bomis' name and URL is featured prominently at the bottom of Search Bastard's page

"Another Demented Production of" indeed. SB was one of the last things Bomis made at 4455 Lamont Street in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego, California. Down the street from the now-defunct taco stand where "bros" Jimbo Wales and Larry Sanger came up with Wikipedia.

Above is an example of 3Apes, which was Jimbo's first attempt at a search engine (registered in October of 1999.) It did "pay per clicks" like a number of websites in the pre-2000s, and died a year after Search Bastard, in 2007.

That was from; 3Apes was cancelled under Section 8 in late April of 2007, and this confirms that Bomis of San Diego was behind it.

And something I found in the ruins of


My point isn't to harass Jimbo (though he will take this that way); it's that everything has echoes, predecessors, and failed prototypes. Mr. Wales has gone out of his way to wipe Search Bastard off the Internet; you have to ask Mr. Peabody nicely to get what I have brought here. He should just fess up.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Roshuk asks: "Was Wikipedia Ever Meant to be Transparent?"

Seven years ago Alex Roshuk, a lawyer who was also one of the first Wikipedians, decided to bare his soul about the project he was no longer a part of. He did so on a blog with only two posts. Below is the second one:

"When I first became aware of Wikipedia sometime in 2002 I did not fully realize the potential it might have offered. It took me until the late winter of 2003 to begin to appreciate the option I had to contribute to a collective work. At first I just started writing or editing a few articles and slowly, after a few weeks I began looking around at various user and talk pages and I began to discern that there was a definite community forming. I learnt the names of individuals like Mav and others. There seems to be a few people who must have been spending an enormous amount of their time on Wikipedia (which I calculated based on the amount of time I had spent). I began reading the archives of the mailing lists (really there was one main list at that time) and started making comments about things relating to copyright, mostly the issues of fair use which popped up quite often on Wikipedia and the issues relating to page histories and copyright infringements (something that I think most people really did not understand). What I began to glean from these early reviews of the Wikipedia database that what was being offered was a truly transparent opportunity to work as a community.   As a Canadian and communitarian I saw the possibility of people working together even on their disputes as many of the early discussions on Wikipedia (mostly on the wiki called meta that was distinct from any of the other encyclopedia projects and designed as a place of debate) that there were healthy transparent debates going on between Wikipedians. I found this refreshing and I found the talk of transparent governance on the mailing lists also refreshing. Being a jaded New York and litigation lawyer I really did not have much faith in the world in general any longer.

So I volunteered to help with some legal tasks. I helped Jimbo pull together some information regarding the organization's application for tax exempt status (which was supervised by Jimmy Wales) and I spent time discussing the options of making Wikipedia a membership or non-membership board controlled organization. What we came up with was compromise solution based upon the need for input from all the volunteer editors (whom we also called members) to reach up to the top of the organization's board of trustees. I convinced Jimbo to put a dispute resolution mechanism into the board structure (that was not the same as the arbcom and mediation committee structure that had been developed on the mailing list to deal with editorial disputes) and I think Jimbo had an appreciation of the need to have an organizational feedback mechanism to deal with member disputes or management issues.

While it was true that some of the structure aspects of the bylaws (which were submitted to the IRS) were never implemented by the Board (who was originally Tim Shell, Michael Davis and Jimmy Wales) it was clear that there were members because the organization had several elections.  I personally don't think these elections were valid because no proper notice was given to the many members who were eligible to vote and the only people who did vote — I believe — were mostly administrators who were active. I actually never voted on these "elections" because I did not know about them. I had never received any notices of these elections (even though I monitored my email from the foundation) because I don't think any email was ever sent to the "members". How these people got elected I will never understand because Jimbo and his appointed CEO Brad Patrick announced in 2006 that there had never been members of Wikipedia or Wikimedia. Suddenly with the appointment of Mr. Patrick all the openness of Wikipedia's early years had disappeared.

What was the reason for this? I cannot be sure but when I looked at Brad Patrick's talk page and various information about Wikia, Inc. (the for profit start up that Mr. Wales created after starting Wikipedia) I discovered that what was going on was that Mr. Patrick and his law firm had been hired by Mr. Wales to start Wikia, Inc. and help it get venture capital funding (Mr. Patrick was an associate in a top corporate law firm).  It seemed that his law firm decided that Mr. Patrick was not needed at the firm and that he would better serve the legal interests of the partners if he was appointed a paid employee of Wikimedia Foundation Inc. Strangely enough he became both the CEO and Corporate Counsel even though there is a clear issue of conflict of interest that was never addressed.

What really started making me upset was that Jimbo Wales had stated on the foundation mailing list that sounded like was part of the discussion to hire Brad Patrick.  About a year earlier I suggested that he might talk to someone locally in St. Petersburg to act as standby in case someone filed a lawsuit against Wikimedia Foundation not hire a full time lawyer.  Mr. Patrick was not very forthcoming about anything he was doing in the foundation even though Jimbo had promised that Mr. Patrick would be working with all us volunteer lawyers to continue to do what we had done in the past. Nothing of the sort ever happened. The private lawyers mailing list became dormant (until six months later when I tried to discuss my dispute with Wikimedia on it and I was kicked off the list by Eric Moeller because I was "hurting" the foundation by being critical about it.

This is exactly the problem. Around the time that Mr. Patrick became CEO and General Counsel (two jobs that I believe are fundamentally incapable of being handled by the same person) communication really stopped happening in the "internal" wikis of Wikimedia (this was also the point that Angela Beesley resigned)."

(5 Dec 2007, on the defunct


More abuse of Wikipediocracy, talking about ancient Wikipedia article tags, Eastern European politics, and pointless "naming names" sessions to come.....

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

As above, so below....

The reader may or may not know that Wikipedia has a  "banned users list" (until they deleted it, of course.) What nobody but the little birdies know is that the Wikipediocracy message board, that bastion of sanity and good judgement under the leadership of Stanistani, I mean William "Monty" Burns, also has such a list!

The following fifty accounts have been banned from the Wikipediocracy message board as of December 2014:

wllm (abandoned the site a while ago, but ban him all the same, right?)

Willbeheard (possibly William McWhinney, Wikipedia big wheel.)




Triptych (thrown out, brought back, then thrown out again!)

Tippi Hadron (wife of HRIP7, was fighting with Greg Kohs on messageboard.)


The Wife (another old-timer bites the dust.)

Tarc (ditto.)

Stierlitz (even though he has been locked out of his account for four months.)

Sidereal (alleged Wikipedia troll.)

russavia (aka "the Russian airplane guy" on Wikipedia.)


rd232 [addendum: Robin de la Motte of Wikipedia Commons.]



Off2delhiDan [addendum: AKA "Youreallycan" and "Off2riorob", noticeboard pest.]

my two pence



MathSci [addendum: banned Wikipedia insider, a nasty person.]




Kumioko (Wikipedia old-timer; tossed for "personal agenda", whatever the fuck that is.)

Kiefer.Wolfowitz (SWEET JEEBUS, they shitcanned him for "relentless assholery"!!)




In the Gulag





Faye Kane girl brain (a real ranter; has Venus symbol in middle of name)


Duke Olav III (why?)




Daniel Brandt (they threw out the GodKing over a "personal agenda.")


Charmlet [addendum: a teenaged brown-noser.]


Bonkers the Clown [addendum: Singaporean kid with an imagination.]

badmachine (Wikipedian; doesn't know why he was booted.)


Abd (even though he's been AWOL for months.)

3 to 20 characters


Certainly some of these people were crazy, or wankers, or tools. Certainly as a board admin you have to ban people from time to time. But having a secret list, like you are Richard Nixon in 1971, is the sort of chickenshit you can expect from a man who is attempting to run for Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee (aka Jimbo's Kangaroo Supreme Court.)

If the criticism website is as bad as the thing it criticizes, is it even worthwhile to keep it running?

[My sources claim that some of the people listed are sockpuppets of each other, so the journey to Wikipedia behavior is complete.]