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The Journal That Speaks Truth to Wikiality

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Let's Review... [Jan. 23rd, 2011|10:31 am]
The Journal That Speaks Truth to Wikiality

_omega_man
[mood |exanimateexanimate]

The Decade Year In Review

As Dikipedia celebrates its 10th anniversary, a milestone created by our decimal numerical system, there will be much back patting, anal-lingus and looking back on the past decade of edit wars and MUD slinging. So, just to be different (and since in my last entry here I already, basically did that) I'd rather look back on only the last year.

Overall, it was a pretty boring fucking year. Even if I still cared, I'd be hard-pressed to find anything that stood out as truly memorable or meaningful. The only event which came closet to becoming the next Essjay or Marsden-Gate was the porn war on the Commons, and that didn't even take place on WP-proper, though there was a slight bit of spill-over, but nothing nearly approaching BP-levels.

For the uninitiated, the Great Porn War of 2010 had three main causes:
* The existence of a plethora of porn of questionable, encyclopedic value over on the Commons.
* Der Jimbo's continued public belittlement of his former friend, colleague and Wikipedia's co-founder Larry "Goldstein/Trotsky" Sanger. That reached a new high of low on Jimmy's talkpage the previous year.
* King Jimbo's heavy-handed (and ham fisted as usual) lording over Wikiversity a couple of months before.

It basically went down as follows:
Mr. Sanger, butthurt (and justly so) by his mistreatment, after some informal brainstorming with the Ghouls over on WP-Review (moar on them below), brought the fact of the existence of large amounts of "Child Porn" on the Commons to the attention of the FBI and major media. The response from the WMF and the Jimbots was the usual panic, circle the wagons, PR-cluster fuck we have seen before in these situations.

What was unusual was King James hisself, getting his hands dirty by deleting large amounts of the pr0n personally (oh the irony). But the "community" didn't just bend over and take it, this time. On Meta, one of Wikiland's most boring sites (and, again, not WP), a RFC against his Jimness had been filed over his Wikiversity purge a couple months prior. It was dying the usual slow, dull death, with little attention and even fewer supports to curb the Godhead's powers.

But following his actions on Commons, it suddenly sprang to life and transformed into a full-scale uprising. Now hundreds of Wikipedes and Peons from across the political spectrum were saying "Off with his Godhead!" Even more surprisingly, Jimmy Bond, being more like unto King Richard II than Charles I, backed down, and abdicated his self-granted "founder" powers on all Wikimedia sites.

While this might seem a significant victory over petty tyranny, it was really only symbolic and short-term. By year's end, the unstoppable Wiki-love machine was rolling again as if it never missed a beat. This would not have been the case had the English Wikipedia community shown the backbone that those on Meta had. The provinces, the Sun king can afford to give up, but so long as he retains control of the capital, he remains in power. The Wiki-kingdom is a sort of Cerberus in reverse; with only one head but multiple tails, none of which wag the dog.

The lesson here? You can take away Wiki-peons' fundamental rights to question authoritah, but you better not mess with their pr0n!

The only other event of any significance to me, which may or may not be related to the events related above, is the sudden resignation/removal of Mike Godwin as the WMF's Head Legal Eagle. Hours of fun was had discussing whether he jumped or was pushed. Or did his cheeky reply in an earlier confrontation with the FBI over high resolution rights to their logo, have anything to do with it? And was said confrontation, in turn, part of the fallout from the pr0n embarrassment? Or did the crack investigative team of the Flowers By Irene, simply make the common mistake of confusing Wikipedia with Wikileaks? Regardless, the end was still the same; He gone...the deckchairs got reshuffled and the band played on.

Of course, the issue of what constitutes Encyclopedic Porn remains unresolved. And given the glacial pace in resolving the issues associated with biographies of the still living, it will likely remain thus even if WP reaches its 2nd decennial- A ticking timebomb of scandal and embarrassment for some, the gift that keeps on giving for others.

The Review In Review

I have been a member of teh Wikipedia Review for well over a year now. For a long time I was reluctant to take the plunge and join for various reasons, but when I finally did I was pleasantly surprised how much fun it was going from lurker to participant.

I made some cool friends (a few of whom I've been a secret admirer of for sometime), I racked up over 600 posts working my way up to the illustrious title of "UberMember". However, my proudest accomplishment there so far, (aside from trolling producer Don Murphy about the crapfest that is Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen) is starting the topic that will not die on the General Discussion forum.

After a few months, though, the honeymoon began to wind down and the hangover to commence. I started to notice a disturbing convergence between WR and its target:
Click me if you dare!Collapse )

Within hours of posting the above, I suddenly noticed I had access to a "Sooper Sekret" forum, from which I'd been previously excluded and was now in a new user group-the Regulars (my high fiber diet prolly didn't hurt either). I even received a congratulatory private note from the legendary Poetlister. I had arrived and the honeymoon resumed...for a while.

Then the discomfort began to return with a vengeance. And now with the added convergence point of an exclusive, semi-secret group with privately posted proceedings. I guess, like my hero Groucho, I don't want to be part of a club that would have me as a member.

But for us Wiki-dissidents seeking eyeballs, quality critical discourse and a place to blow off steam, there really is no substitute for The Review now. My beloved and oft-cited WikiTruth now exists as a "dead" site that can only be accessed via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. The once vibrant Wiki-critical Blogosphere scene has all but dried up too (With the notable exception of Seth Finkelstein's Infothought). Even Cade Metz and the gang at El Reg rarely turn their critical eyes at WP anymore.

This is a disheartening state of affairs, and one likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future. The Review is just another fucking forum at day's end, with a shitty signal/noise ratio, spotty coverage and more than its share of toxic personalities. A monster fighter increasingly captured by that which it purports to battle and now appears to be tearing itself a new one.

Or to wax Clausewitzian; Wikipedia Review is merely a continuation of Wikipedia by other means. But unless Encyclopedia Dramatica suddenly grows a brain, grows up and gets a modicum of class (he said 'cum' huhuhuhuh), or much more likely Akahele or The WikiTruth suddenly spring back to life, The Review's successor site Wikipediocracy is it for our likes, dear reader.

The Reviewer In Review Winter

I was a dedicated Wikipedian for 6 months, a disgruntled Wiki-Peon for a year and I've been a rabid but ribald Wiki-critic for nearly four years now.
So what have I learned in that time? The only bigger, more pathetic time-sink than contributing to Wikipedia, is bitching about it from the sidelines.

At best, such activity is a catharsis...at worst, a waste of precious time you will never get back. This blog community, for instance, has managed to change exactly one mind to my knowledge-my own. I once thought this was a worthy and useful, if not always enjoyable or fruitful, endeavor...now not so much. It has taken me years to come to the realization of what a fool I've been; of the ill-spent hours I've wasted.

And what has it all accomplished? Zilch, zero, nada, rein and captain kangaroo jack shit by my reckoning. The best I can hope for is that some distant future internet archivist/archeologist will dig up WP_FNORD and find it a slightly interesting record of a confused and troubled mind in confusing and troubling times. So to you, in the future, from the time of Little Big Jimbo, the politeness police and OTRS I send greetings, in what is most likely my final post here.
Please try and learn from our mistakes...please try and build a better world!

Since this blog has now become a time capsule, I shall make some predictions for your future amusement. The Wiki-empire will continue its slow decline and be overshadowed by the "Next Big Thang"(tm). It will come to be seen as a largely forgotten relic of "Web 1.5". The first big sign of this will come when its Alexa rankings begin to slip. At first, the zealots will deny it's happening and shoot the messenger, by poo-pooing Alexa and how unreliable she is (oh pot meet kettle...glass house meet rock!). But when WP falls from her top 10, expect a great wailing and gnashing of keyboards. Followed by a plethora of wholehearted and half-brained attempts to reform the Wikidom's governance. But these will come to naught without a corresponding change in the Wikidum's culture, and even then twill be too little too late.

The next great scandal to rock WP and its environs, will not be of the types we have become used to and this blog has chronicled. It will involve someone stupid and ill-informed, doing something stupid based on something stupid they read on Wikipedia. This could take many forms-Bad medical, diet or legal advice, etc. and result in said consultant coming to or causing harm...maybe even death, either to themselves or others. Regardless of the details, it will hit WP in one of its two Achilles' Heels-Its reliability and accuracy, in much the same way EssjayGate wanged it in its credibility heel. And just as Essjaygate marked the beginning of WP's long decline, this scandal(s) will send it into high gear.

In the meantime, once Jimmy has had enough, he will sell out or be pushed out by those who want to, and Wiki Media will be bought by Google if it's lucky, by Microsoft, Apple or maybe even FacialBook if it isn't.

And if I'm wrong, hey I'm not claiming to be Carnac the Magnificent or Negrodamus here...I'm not nearly as funny.

As for WP's epitaph, there will be many to choose from, but my favorite has to be: Mostly Harmless. Because to the overwhelming mass of humanity, that's exactly what it is. It only harms the few who are unwell, unwise, or unlucky enough to find themselves sucked into its event horizon. And even then the harm it causes is more emotional/psychological than physical or monetary. For we already have, you see, the "sum of all human knowledge"...It's called the Internet. The 'Pedia, is merely a selective snapshot thereof...a Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Nerdiverse. Anything you find on there is only as good as the last hands to have touched it.

WP is simply the latest attempt to come to terms with the vast amount of information out there. And it CAN be useful, if used carefully and skeptically. The problem is, of course, that too few do. The desire for quick information is usually greater than that for reliable information. Tis all part of the rich pageant that constitutes the human condition. So...Hey, give em what they want!

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The Five Faces Of Jimbo [Jan. 16th, 2010|07:19 am]
The Journal That Speaks Truth to Wikiality

_omega_man
[mood |accomplished]

In honor of Wikipedia's 9th anniversary (or "Electromagnetic Pulse Anniversary" as my wag colleagues over at the Review have dubbed it) I'm posting this retrospective and tribute to the man behind the curtain, and sometimes embarrassingly in front of it as well.

Gaze now, if you can, at the 5 faces of Jimbo!

Or: The Evolution and Devolution of A God King

Or: A Case Study of Internet Celebrity

*The Interfering Landlord: 2001-02

Wikipedia grew out of Nupedia, which was a side project to help generate content and draw eyeballs to Jimmy Wales' porn portal Bomis. The idea was that folks couldn't masturbate all the time, so while recharging, with the blood beginning to flow back to their brains, they might wish to learn something; such as the biographical data on that hot Bomis babe to whose naked images they just got off.

His money was running the show, but the show was moving very slowly since articles were being created at a glacial pace due to a constipated editing/fact checking process. Larry Sanger, whose idea it was to use the Wiki software to build an encyclopedia and even came up with the name Wikipedia, worked for him at the time. So he felt he had every right to interfere with "his" baby right from the start, from expressing his doubts about the Wiki software to his own idea of forming a "cabal" to secretly, informally control the project. Such interference was a contributing factor in driving Sanger to resign from the project in 2002.


*From Community To Cult Leader: 2002-04

The ship was now without a rudder, but Capt-n Jimbo did not miss a beat in taking over the helm. This was a very important phase in Wikipedia's history, when many of its core policies, practices and institutions were formulated and the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation founded to supposedly run the show. The Jimbo played a key, although often low one, role in this process. It was, arguably, his finest hour as head of a small but growing online community. It was also the point where WP began to really go wrong and a cult of personality began to develop around "The Leader". As his cabal grew more cultish and, along with the newly formed admin corps and Arbitration Committee, took a greater role in directly controlling things, he began to develop his trademark style of working behind the scenes and making "suggestions" instead of giving orders. All the while maintaining a public face of casual approachability.

*The Monetizer Sanitizer: 2004-05

As Wikipedia begins to appear near the top of Google searches and "take off", Jimbo realizes he might make money off this thing after all. He only had to figure out exactly how, so he forms the for profit Wikia Inc. Meanwhile he began to market the Wiki Brand (tm) himself, under the aegis of raising funds for his non-profit charity project. It was at this point where Larry Sanger's important role in WP's founding began to be downplayed and the myth of the "Sole Founder" to take hold. Jimbo began to become increasingly concerned with his own image and also developed a paranoia about lawsuits. As best illustrated by his attempts to "sanitize" his own Wiki-bio, by changing the description of Bomis from a "Softcore Pornography" to an "Adult Entertainment" to eventually a "Glamor Photography" site. This period culminated in the Seigenthaler affair, where he found himself for the first time on the front lines of major media scrutiny, defending his projects.


*The God King Gone Wild: 2006-08

During this phase Jimbo became not only increasingly greedy but arrogant. Wikipedia was riding high on a tide of mostly positive mainstream media hype and its Alexa rankings continued to soar. Much like Scarface snuffing up his own product, J-dog began to believe his own hype and partake of his own Kool Aid. The result was a near continuous display of hypocrisy, personal excess and bad judgment punctuated by corruption, conflicts of interest and petty power abuses.
As he traversed the globe building and enjoying the fruits of his new found fame, he simultaneously became more of an absentee landlord, while his "property" slid further into both anarchy and authoritarianism.

*JimBozo Agonistes: 2008- Whenever

After a series of very public and humiliating scandals, combined with the epic fail of his Wikia Search effort, Jimbo began to adopt a new face...perhaps his most complex one to date. It is a face that is both more humble (at least publicly) and yet more combative. Friendlier, yet somehow more aloof. Confused, yet simultaneously more certain. Is this current face the product of Jimbo's introspection on his prior experiences as an online entrepreneur, community leader and bull god? Or does it simply represent a genuinely confused man, who has no plan B as his plan A (as in Accidental) slowly crumbles around him? Interestingly, he has tried to turn his new weakness into a source of strength. By acknowledging his greatly diminished influence in the community, he now has gained a strange sort of immunity from Wikipedia's many dysfunctions and failings. The basic argument goes that it makes as much sense now to blame Jimbo that Wikipedia sucks, than to blame Ronald McDonald because you are unhappy with your happy meal. The big Macdifference, of course, is that Ronald was never on the board of directors or claimed sole foundership of the company.

Given that Jimbo seems to change faces about every two years or so, we might soon see yet another begin to emerge, from this Rorschach of the inter-nerds.


"To resolve such cases in a satisfactory fashion, one needs a thorough understanding of philosophy, history, law and ethics; having some hard-earned worldly wisdom wouldn’t hurt either. So far, Jimmy Wales, a co-founder of the project, has served as Wikipedia’s deity-in-chief, adjudicating the cases he saw fit."--EVGENY MOROZOV in a New York Times OpEd
November 27, 2009





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Happy New Year! [Jan. 1st, 2010|08:04 pm]
The Journal That Speaks Truth to Wikiality

_omega_man
[mood |accomplished]

And what a way for this lil blog community o mine to start the new year!

First let me officially welcome thekohser (AKA Greg Kohs) aboard!
He has been fighting the good fight against Wikiality and Jimboism since before I started it here. So welcome Greg, and let me know if you are interested in becoming a maintainer, I know the guy who runs the place and will gladly put in a word or two for ya;).

Second, this blog is now sitting proudly atop Wikipedia Review's list of Important Wikipedia-related blogs.

My friends, we have now officially arrived.

A happy and hairball-free year of the tiger to each and all!

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If I Dood It I Get A Whoopin... [Dec. 1st, 2009|10:06 am]
The Journal That Speaks Truth to Wikiality

_omega_man
[mood |accomplished]

So I dood it.

After some urging (and not the usual, friendly sort I get in G mail either) I finally joined teh Wikipedia Review.

And I'm glad I did so far. I've been warmly greeted (maybe a little too warmly by some, right Horsey?:) and seem to be fitting right in.

QoD (which friend of the blogger and fellow Reviewer Casliber seems to like):
"Encyclopedias are written with brains and pens, not mops and brooms."--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine 1 December 2009
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Happy Meaningless Milestones! [Aug. 29th, 2009|02:25 pm]
The Journal That Speaks Truth to Wikiality

_omega_man
[mood |V For Vindication]

Today marks the third anniversary of this commune's founding by yours truly. When I started it back in 06, it was originally intended to be a place where disgruntled Wikipeons could gather to vent and conspire. Sort of a Wikipedia Review Lite for those who didn't care for Wiki-review. It turned, instead, into my own personal Wikimedia criticism blog and bitch fest.
The ghouls at WR seem to grok this, since they still don't include it on their sacred blog roll and I know for a fact several prominent members do read it. I guess they don't regard it as important enough, even though they see fit to include numerous dead blogs and those no longer even about WP, such as Sister Kelly Martin's. Me hurt :((

But somehow I will find the strength to carry on.

The big WP itself has also recently passed a milestone divisible by 3 of its own-its 3 millionth article. It passsed it with far less fanfare than the last two millionth milestones (can anyone recall, off hand, what those articles were?) and that's a pity because it has taken over 2 years to reach compared to only 17 months to hit the 2 million mark. It might be due to the fact that the world has changed considerably since that last millionth.

When I started this blog back in 06, only a few months after the first million was hit, WP was generally viewed positively by the press and the public. Kinda like the Cheney-Bush administration was in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. Even its obvious flaws and failings were pretty much given a free press pass. It took scandals and wars to kill the thrall in which they were held by it. And although it took nearly 6 years for people to wake up about the Dushbag administration, for Jimbo's it took only 3.

People soon realized that Wikipedia is a triumph of quantity over quality. Of those 3 million articles, less than 10% are on topics of true encyclopedic merit. Less than 3000 are considered of high enough quality to be regarded as ''featured'' content.

The Bell Curve Tolls?
A reason for this may have been found by the good folks over at the legendary Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), who gave the world the Graphic User Interface, the computer mouse, Ethernet and most everything which makes the virtual world as we know it rotate. In an interesting and widely reported study posted on the PARC's Augmented Social Cognition group blog they have found that Wikipedia's growth has plateaued.

Jimbo's magic formula is based on geometric growth. This means it is "no big deal" if the talented, prolific content contributor with a dozen featured articles since 2003, leaves due to the fact he was blocked by some tweenage control freak administrator for 3RR on the "Battle of Thermopylae" because he refuses to accept the validity of "Randy" from Boise's Skeleton Warrior theory. He will just be replaced by 2 more new, fresh Wikipeons, each of whom will be replaced by 2 more pieces of fresh meat and so on...expendable cogs all. The numbers now clearly show this isn't happening anymore. At best, our flustrated former senior editor will be replaced by a single Wikipeon of equal, or much more likely lower, quality.

If true we know what comes next, don't we kids?...that's right, stagnation and decline. At last empirical evidence provided by some of the best research brains around has confirmed what your friend and humble narrator, along with his fellow "Chicken Littles" have long crowed about and expected. In fact there may have been a canary inside Unca Jimbo's coal mine of knowledge who detected this trend before any of us-Dragons Flight, who in his 2007 study found WP's bell curve's peak and the beginnings of its taper. In fact the PARC's Dr. Ed H Chi confided to yours truly that their study was based on and a follow up to that of the flying Dragon.

So you are stagnating, Wikipedia, what are you going to do about it?

Personally, I've come to the conclusion that, short of a massive salvage operation and fork exodus, nothing can or will be done until the culture of WP changes. Although this is slowly starting to happen, it is too little too late. Besides that there are still far too many obstructionist apparatchiks and Drama Queens of Denial to block any meaningful reforms. These are the true toxins that must be purged before the patient can start to recover.

As a footnote
Since we are playing catch-up here with low key events, Wikia Search (originally Wikisari) is finally, officially dead...as if it were ever really live in the first place. The whimper with which it passed is a stark contrast to the roar with which it first hit the fan, and yet another sign of how the virtual world has changed. It too was a product of that brief, heady time when anything with Wiki in its name could do no wrong and the Jimbo juice flowed like pink champagne flavored Kool aid.

The official culprit is the global recession, and rightly so. For without it, Wiki-Sorry could have cruised by for a few more years losing its investors' money due to inept management and an utter lack of a business plan or technical design. But in this economy the poor fools no longer have the luxery of losing money. I will say this for Jimmy Wales, he does know when to fold em, cut bait and bail. Wikiasari may not have been a Google-Killer, not even on Bizarroworld, but it was a sort of anti-Google. Everything the big G got right it either never had or managed to get completely wrong. If teh Goog is a model to be emulated, Wikia is an exemplar of what not to do. In this way much of the world's knowledge is generated-via failed experiments.






FadingEnthusiasm
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Rule Of The Robots! [Jul. 24th, 2009|11:32 am]
The Journal That Speaks Truth to Wikiality

_omega_man
[mood |Fully automated!]

All of the proposals to reform Wikipedia's governance, regardless of their other virtues, have one common, fatal flaw-They all depend upon the agency of imperfect, biased, slow humanoids. Therefore I boldly proposed the following radical leap into the future:

Bots are our friends. More than that, they are indispensable tools. Without their help Wikipedia would simply become unmanageable. They already do many of the tasks which used to be reserved for humans (henceforth referred to as ''meatbots'') and admins. Why just look at the top editors list; it's dominated by bots! And this should come as no surprise, after all, they are fast, efficient and completely objective...in short everything that Wikipedia's current governance establishment is not. Their numbers and lists of functions are growing by the week. So let us not only recognize but embrace the inevitable reality and Turn Wikipedia over to its bots!

Fully automate governance! Take away all powers, along with all the corrupting influences, worries and higher responsibilities from all the meatbots, so they can focus solely on writing and improving this fine encyclopedia. Imagine the possibilities:

*AdminBots would swiftly and fairly deal with unruly meatbots.
*'CratBots would keep the unruly AdminBots in line!
*RFABots would decide which ordinary bots become AdminBots.
*ArbBots would overrule or endorse the actions of the other bots.
*BauderBot would write the decisions for the ArbBots and tell them how to vote.
*SandyBot would review all feature article candidates.
*RaulBot would let SandyBot do most of his job and decide which articles go on the mainpage.
*BotApprovalBot would decide which bots will be allowed to operate.
*RickBot would randomly Rickroll the meatbots, to remind them it is all in good fun.
*BarnstarBots would award random barnstars to random meatbots to keep their moral up.
*SlummyBot and DurovaBot would handle checkuser.
*DannyBot and DaveyBot would handle oversight.
*Jimbot would randomly interfere with the other bots' operations just to keep things interesting.

So let us, then, embrace the rule of robots, because, let's face it; robots rule, and that's The Wørd!

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A Truthful Tribute To WikiTruth [Feb. 23rd, 2009|12:28 pm]
The Journal That Speaks Truth to Wikiality

_omega_man
[mood |accomplished]

A heart-felt, though tongue-in-cheek (fittingly;), homage to my once and future favorite Wikimedia criticism site. The embed contains the original. Apologies in advance.
Love, laughs, truth and hot Japanese singing chicks forever,
R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine)


When there's trouble you know who to call-
TEAM TRUTHER!
From their tower, they can see it all
TEAM TRUTHER!

When the truth comes under attack
From King Jimbo and his cabal on crack
They'll be right there telling it like it is
Team Truther GO!

With their Truther powers they unite
TEAM TRUTHER!
Never met a con or cultist that they liked
TEAM TRUTHER!

They've got the god kings on the run
They'll never stop 'till their job is done
'Cause when the Wiki-world is losing all control
TEAM TRUTHER GO!

With your lying intentions you better watch out
When they catch you there will be no doubt
You've been beaten by the team!
(and eaten by the teens!)

T-E-A-M T-R-U-T-H-E-R! TEAM TRUTHER! Let's go!
T-E-A-M T-R-U-T-H-E-R! TEAM TRUTHER! Let's go!
T-E-A-M T-R-U-T-H-E-R! TEAM TRUTHER! Let's go!
T-E-A-M T-R-U-T-H-E-R! TEAM TRUTHER! Let's go!


WikiTruth.info GO! WikiTruth.info GO!
1, 2, 3, 4 GO! Team Truther!


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This Just In: Money Talks! [Jan. 27th, 2009|11:24 am]
The Journal That Speaks Truth to Wikiality

_omega_man
In our last episode, last year; after an exchange of pleasantries and kind words, Patrick Byrne invited me to peek into part of the deep dark rabbit hole he and his Deepcapture colleagues have uncovered regarding corruption on Wall Street. In particular Jimmy Wales' part in it, about which I'd been speculating.

http://www.deepcapture.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/deepcapture-the-story-v1.pdf

Page 29 makes it clear what Jimmy's stake is, or at least where his perspective on the issues of Naked Shorting, Byrne, Bagley, Weiss et al comes from.


Did Jimbo Wales give special protection to Gary Weiss and Slim Virgin, allowing them to hijack this (the article on Naked short selling) and other (on phantom stock, Patrick Byrne, Overstock.com, Gary Weiss ) Wikipedia pages? It is perhaps too early to say for sure, but it is worth understanding a little bit about Jimbo Wales' prior career.

To summarize: Before (co) founding Wikipedia, Wales owned a soft core porn site. Before (co) founding a soft core porn site, Wales was a key player in the precise area of the Chicago options market where naked short sales are often negotiated.


"But Jimmy has not worn his magical options trader hat for over a decade!" you say? True, but he still has cronies and connections to his old life (such circles are a lot like the Mafia, in that you never really leave completely). Most interesting of whom for our investigations here is one Michael E. Davis.

Let's see what the WikiTruthers have to say about Jimmy's old bud Mike E:


"Michael E. Davis, who worked with Jimmy at Chicago Options Associates as the CEO, that is, the grand poobah, the big kahuna.

Mr. Davis was sued by a Brian Dowling over contract agreements of compensation in lieu of negotiations to join COA. Ultimately, Davis lost this case and was found at fault, and was told in October of 2002 that he was to pay Mr. Downing the paltry sum of $817,830.45. That's a lot of money.

After losing the court case, Michael Davis shifted a lot of money into a lot of directions, all of which he claims are legitimate, but which basically made it very hard for the winner in the case, Brian Dowling, to get his money. So Dowling filed appeals and tried to get the money back, including a lot of money that was given to Davis' lawyers as a "retainer".

Now, why do we give a flying goddamn about what happened to some ex-co-worker of Jimbo Wales 10 years ago?

Because Michael E. Davis is now on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia foundation and Chief Operating Officer of Wikia, Inc."


When that article on Wikitruth was written back in August 06, thus was his status. He later became Treasurer of both for profit Wikia and the famously non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, until he mysteriously stepped down late the following year, right about the same time that Jimbo began musing on the Wikia mailing list about the possibility of Mantanmoreland being Gary Weiss.

So to whom do you think, oh best beloved, is our mercurial, money-loving Jimmy Fudpucker going to listen to on these matters? Patrick Byrne and Judd Bagley? Wake up and smell the moohla! The correct answer is his old compadre, boss and treasurer, of course.

"The first impression one gains of a prince and his brains, is from those he surrounds himself with."--Niccoló Machiavelli

If we follow the money trail still further, it is no secret that Amazon.com was an early, big investor in Jimmy and Mike E's baby Wikia. To the tune of over $2 million.

Byrne's company Overstock.com has been trying to give Amazon.com some fair competition, which according to Econ 101 is healthy and good for consumers and everyone all around and in the spirit of a free market besides.

Of course Amazon does not see it this way, and thanks to their kissing Jimmy and Mike E with over 2 million tiny George Washingtons, they don't see it that way either.

And hence neither did Wikidpedia.

The lesson here-Money doesn't only talk, it yells, screams and throws temper tantrums.

Listen to the money!

A fact that was recently reiterated by the appointment of Venture Capitalist and mystery sugardaddy Roger McNamee to the new board of advisors.

Rodger Roger is half the reason (actually about 3 million little reasons) why this year's money beg fest succeeded as opposed to last year's which badly tanked.

Nor will he be lonely on the board as the only Daddy Warbucks, but will be joined by a Mama Warbucks in the form of Neeru Khosla, who just so happens to be the wife of another well endowed VC and big time recent wiki donor Vinod Khosla.

Here I was, silly boy, thinking the advisory board would be elected rather than appointed. But I guess after giving so much you can't really deny them a seat...or two or three. But how long until, for their continued support, they start to nicely hint at asking for more? Say, for instance, seats on the BIG BOARD. Can't really deny them that either, after all they've already sat on the advisory board, so they've done their time. And as long as their checks don't bounce.

Now I'm not saying that Mr. McNamee and Mrs. Khosla aren't necessarily nice people, they are certainly generous. But are they necessarily the right kinds of people to be running a non-profit virtual share-cropping foundation?

Oh well, the board could do, and has certainly done, worse. At least it won't get completely overrun by SueSue and Jimbozo cronies.

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The Bittersweet Sound Of Vindication [Nov. 13th, 2008|05:43 am]
The Journal That Speaks Truth to Wikiality

_omega_man
[mood |sympatheticsympathetic]

Amid the catastrophic cacophony of the world's financial industry crashing, there is the tiny tune of vindication for one Patrick Byrne. Mr. Byrne is a remarkable man who has lived more lives in his 46 years than most of us do in a lifetime; He's studied at Dartmouth, Cambridge and Stanford, earning a fridge full of degrees in the process. He's a cancer survivor with a black belt in tae kwon do, who tried his hands and fists at professional boxing and as a Philosophy teacher. In the meantime, he's also rode his bike across the US to raise money and awareness for cancer research. He's been an education reformer and held top management and executive positions in umpteen large companies and corporations. In short, Patrick Byrne is a lot like Forrest Gump, except he is a genius instead of retarded and from Indiana instead of Alabama.

And he is not quite as lucky nor likable to some. Mr. Byrne has long warned about the dangerous and corrupt practice known as "naked short selling". Naked shorting, as it is known to crack dealers on "the street", basically involves people selling stocks they don't yet own to drive down a stock's price so they can cash in later. It is essentially gambling with counterfeit money, or more precisely IOUs (Playing the market with IOUs?! What a great idea!). It is one of the reasons why we are in this current clusterfuck to the poorhouse and over the last few months the practice was first halted, then finally outright banned by the SEC.

As with many early warners; Cassandra, Laocoön, Chicken Little, the Coal Mine Canary and the Radarman at Pearl Harbor, Byrne was largely ignored or mocked. Worse yet, he was often persecuted for his warnings by, among others, the Wallnut Street Journal, and former BusinessLeak reporter Gary Weiss along with Weiss' enablers in the Wikidpedia Cabal.

Now, at last, Cade Metz of The Register has confirmed what Patrick Byrne and his supporters, along with the rest of us non-Kool Aid drinkers, have long suspected- "Mantanmoreland," who for over two years ruled over the wiki articles on naked shorting, Patrick Byrne, and Byrne's current company Overstock.com, with the ruling Cabal's blessing, really was a sockpuppet of Gary Weiss.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/01/wikipedia_and_naked_shorting

Moreover:
A single Wikipedia edit also links the Mantanmoreland account to a PC inside the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC). Owned by Wall Street investment banks that may have benefited from naked shorting schemes, the DTCC oversees the delivery of stocks on Wall Street.


Thanks to Mr. Metz we now know who, but that only begs the more important question-WHY?

Weiss' motivation in going after Byrne is simple and obvious-$$$$. Slim Virgin's motive is not as simple nor obvious, but is still fathomable; she has an old grudge against Byrne dating back to their days as students at Cambridge (the world is small, the virtual one smaller still).

But what was Jimmy Wales' motive in allowing Weiss to continue his smears, lies and charade for so long? I know we are not supposed to assume malice where incompetence is the culprit, especially where King James is concerned, but with him sometimes it really is difficult to tell the difference.

One of the questions I intended to ask Jimmy had he called me back in March was-"Can you assure me that no money, promises, threats or bodily fluids were exchanged between yourself and Gary Weiss?"

The only other motivation I can fathom is, like too many of his subjects, he allowed himself to be manipulated by a crooked ex-journalist and a mentally unstable, vindictive woman (certainly not for the first or last time either). That still does not reflect very well on his judgment and leadership ability.

It is certainly not what a man such as Patrick Byrne deserves, which would be an open and sincere apology from the co-founder. I won't hold my breath waiting, though, and I'm sure Patrick isn't either. Jimmy does not do apologies, at least not in any meaningful way. To do so would be to admit he was wrong and he can't allow that. Which is one reason why he keeps making the same mistakes and will continue to do so until enough people in the right places finally get tired enough of him and give him the royal flush.

So I guess, Mr. Byrne will have to content himself with the cold comfort of being right. That along with a great deal of respect which he has earned for making the world a better place and trying to make it a safer, less corrupt one as well.

Cheers to you, Patrick Byrne!

This one's for you:

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Replacing Queen Jimmy With President James [Oct. 14th, 2008|02:49 am]
The Journal That Speaks Truth to Wikiality

_omega_man
Jimmy has repeatedly claimed that he is nothing more than a Constitutional Monarch ("Like the Queen of England"). And he certainly seems to be acting more as one of late; Traveling around the world, waving his scepter at the crowds (and in private to the occasional, lucky groupie), all the while managing to avoid doing too much of substance...A nice gig if you can get and keep it.

And a fairly nice arrangement for the projects he supposedly reigns over, as well, since it keeps him from meddling, as much, in the day-to-day operations and exercising his considerable talents for mucking things up.

Unfortunately, this arrangement is not viable in the long term. Eventually, we just know his Jimness is going to do or say something that even "The Wolf" wouldn't be able to clean up. It is no longer a question of whether Jimbo Fails, but when and how hard?

If nothing else. the costs of shuttling him around the globe in the lap of luxury will begin to outweigh the benefits of the PR, press coverage and what ever cash he manages to con. In short, there will come a time when we must dare to consider a post-Jimbeau Wikimedia.

Question the first is; Who will replace Jimmy?
The answer to this is made even more complicated because two of the most frequently whispered names have recently taken themselves off the list: Mademoiselle FloFlo Devouard, my personal favorite, has chosen to step down as WMF Chair and even as a board member (Aurevoir et bonne chance, ma chere! Even her arch foe Danny Wool expressed some sadness at her parting. While Erik "The Mole Man" Moeller, has chosen to become a champion of pedophilia. For fair or foul, this has easily overshadowed his recent fund raising triumph and He'll be lucky if the only thing he loses over it is his place in the line of succession.

That leaves Sue "Spider Hand" Gardener, who has been steadily weaving her web and seems poised to take the throne for a test drive. But she is a Lady Jane-come-lately to the kingdom, and has little to do with the community down in the "trenches". Thus, she is rightly seen as aloof, conniving and looking after numero uno. Besides, she is about REAL power...a figurehead's mantel is not for SueSue, she would never be satisfied as a mere constitutional queen.

What the Wacko Media Foundation really needs is an outsider, and not just any outsider, but a highly talented and experienced one, and I know the perfect candidate, if he is foolish brave enough to take the job-James Burke.

So why do I think Mr. Burke would make such a great replacement for Massah Wales?

*He is an educator extraordinaire, who has devoted most of his life to the pursuit and popularization of knowledge, especially with regards to technology.

*He groks technology better than almost any human on the planet. Not only how it works and the connections between different technologies, but its implications for good and ill.

*He is a true visionary...this is a word which gets bandied about far too casually but James Burke is the real deal. One need look no further than his work to see this. He saw the computer revolution in his signature series Connections. At the end of The Day The Universe Changed he foretold online communities. In After The Warming he was one of the first major media/scientific voices to sound off about global warming, and one of the first to suggest the idea of "Carbon credits" as a possible solution.

*He already runs his own non-profit educational institute, so he has experience with management, delegation and politics.

*His work with the "K-web" (Knowledge Web) further demonstrates his suitability along with the vision needed to take Wikimedia to the next level.

*There are tremendous potential synergies between Mr. Burke's projects and the various Wikimedia ones.

*He is a native English speaker but also a non-American. Thus he is ideally placed to help bridge the growing gap between American Wikimedians and the rest of the world, especially the Euro-Chapters whose influence is on the rise.

*He can give entire lectures without once saying "uhhh" and can even play the guitar while doing so.

*He is a man of maturity and character, and thus is unlikely to squander his speaking fees, trying to live out repressed, adolescent rockstar fantasies.

*Who better to oversee the construction and maintenance of a massive, online encyclopedia, than a man who is a walking encyclopedia, with the amazing ability to point out the connections between everything and anyone.

*He has inspired generations and all ages, including mine, to think about technology and history in new and exciting ways.

*He would be far more likely to govern as a duly elected president than rule as a self-proclaimed monarch.

But of course, before this Dream President can take over, the manipulative, megalomaniac, mental midget, man-ape monarch must vacate his throne of lies. And his Canuk Goth Dolores Umbridge, will very likely have to go as well.

In this year of change, when we are picking the most powerful elected leaders on earth, the choice is yours Wikipedians.
Who would you rather see with the keys to the kingdom; this?



Or this?



If your choice is the latter, then let your fingers do the talking. Start petitions, post to your blogs and mailing lists, write to James Burke to see if he might be interested. Get out the word. Wikimedia can no longer move forward without a head who truly understands and believes in its mission. The communities must demand better than a clueless, RANDroid con man as their self-proclaimed king.
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