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But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? Or, the text window.

Inside the Apple ][+

Editor Log: October, 2002

Ahh. I see there has been a bit of a ruckus regarding the use of editor logs. A disagreement, of sorts, over how much information to offer, to avoid the seeming public exposure of 'failed nodes' - and thus, by implication, noders.

thwpppbbbbbbbbbbt.

I will be censoring any kill messages that are rancorous, smackdown, or otherwise ungentle. However, in the interests of disclosure, those kills which I feel should be listed simply for reference (as well as links, edcools, miscellaneous twiddlin' and the like) will be placed here.

Firmlinked:

Softlocked:
  • JSF (see above)
Fodder for the Node .45:
  • Mossad (thing) by DrugFrog (mercifully) The writeup is nearly incomprehensible due to errors, and the noder has been gone 5 months.
  • pungie stick (thing) by Grayman (mercifully)Already noded under Punji stick
  • No (thing) by masterdlx (mercifully) Doesn't add any information not in Webby1913 writeup.



Note: This will be my final Editor Log.

Hah. Gotcha.

As I am no longer a Content Editor, I may (and in fact already have been) forced to perform several acts of editing for reasons other than my own personal idea of what the content of this site should be. Since (as far as I can tell) the prime purpose of my editor logs has been to explicate (through example) what I feel hasn't made the grade, or needed help, or in fact anything that was straying from the path to database nirvana, then to log such acts as I have been called upon to do in time of need would distort said example.

Since I do not intend to shirk my responsibilities, especially now, I therefore should stop logging. Don't think this means the Node .45 lies quietly in a case somewhere; be wary indeed, for this merciless tool of kinetic doom may this very instant be itching to speak.

History of a Character

Years ago, long before I encountered the E2 universe, I created a character. It was so long ago that I barely remember the roots of the story. Because I am a self-confessed "method writer" I have a tendency to "become" my characters. I know them so well, down to every detail of their lives and personalities. I can plug myself into them all too completely. A long time ago I created a character that grew into a monster. This character started in chat rooms in the mid-1990s and branched into letter writing and absolutely absurd sales pitches. He was, as someone later told me, my very own Laszlo Toth (oddly enough, his name is also a perversion of an historical character). This character was a man nearly impossible to hate as he blindly stumbled through life. His ideas on love and dating were the opposite of "cool." His political views were like an acid trip through the newspaper. He felt strongly about strange things and worried that he was out of touch with the world. He would assume someone was his friend just because they responded to his request for information at their website. If you told him to leave you alone he would flip out, interchangably throwing religion and abusive language at you in alternating e-mails. He is the essence of something we all have inside of us, the frail person within left without social convention.

In many ways I believe in the existence of such a character within us all. Remove your natural tendency not to "say the wrong thing" in front of other people. Shake yourself down to the Id within and say the first thing that comes to mind. Think at full speed without any quality control and write down your train of thought as it happens. Don't go back and don't edit. And then, well, please don't post the results here. You will find yourself somewhat surprised with what comes out. There are thoughts in there you never realized you were thinking.

The Truth of the Matter

Berhardt Goates is an absolute terror. He rambles, makes assumptions and becomes obsessed with everyone he talks to. He'll e-mail you daily, wondering why you haven't responded to his last e-mail, cursing you and calling you names, because he cares so much. He just cannot accept that the world isn't fair and doesn't run by his rules. Of course, he isn't real. I am Berhardt Goates. I am civilwaractionfigure. He's become a weird alternate personality I have fun with, and in the early days when I first found E2 I opened an account with his name to run the tables. You see, Behr isn't a troll. As he might say in his infamous run-on sentence nightmare of punctuation: "I want to do very good in that it is important to do well in life and please people and make certain that what you do is remembered for being good and not for being bad." There you have the Berhardt Goates philosophy of life. So, you may ask, why the hell is this an Editor Log?

Free your mind
And the rest will follow
Be colorblind
Don't be so shallow
(Before you can read me you gotta learn how to see me)

Testing

The return of Behr to E2 was a carefully considered experiment. Taking all the data I have accumulated in my mind about this place, I wanted to see if I could indeed think like a newbie. What better way than through Behr, a character I knew everything about and could play very convincingly. He fit the parameters for my experiment. He was the kind of person who tried real hard and wanted to learn, grow and get better. He also fit the parameter of not being all that skilled in writing, grammar or spelling. What would happen if Behr fell into the heart of the E2 universe?

Well, a year and a half ago, Behr first came to E2 and he was run off quickly. He was greeted with very cold, rude messages about how his offerings weren't up to par and his account would be in danger if he did not read and understand the rules of this place. He was confused and ran off, which prompted me to come here as myself and give E2 my full attention as a real person.

Free your mind
And the rest will follow
Be colorblind
Don't be so shallow
(Before you can read me you gotta learn how to see me)

The Experiment Rolls

There were several things I wanted to see from the viewpoint of a relative newbie who wasn't a skilled writer or researcher who wanted to do well.

  • Would his fumbling writing style bring massive downvotes?
  • Would he receive attention from editors wanting to help him or run him off?
  • Would anyone pay attention to him and would they care?
  • If he made minor factual errors in his writeups, would anyone point them out? If so, how would they handle it?
  • Would even Behr feel as if he was part of a community or would he be alienated due to his odd nature?

A Kinder, Gentler E2?

Look at the questions I pose above and then check out the factuals and daylogs of civilwaractionfigure. Check out the fact that at the time he retired from E2 on September 24, 2002, every single one of his factuals had at least 7 upvotes and no downvotes. That is the strangest result of the experiment and it tends to tell me that a lot of downvotes are personal. The quality of Behr's writeups are not high enough to merit zero downvotes based on the general examination of voting and degree of difficulty I ran last month. Nine very loosely written and strange factual writeups with no downvotes. Strange. (For the record, I withheld votes on any of Behr's nodes and no one who voted knew he was me - unless someone outsmarted my dumbass).

Whereas a year and a half ago, Behr was insulted and told his writing was substandard and did not belong here, a different song was sung this time. You see, an important part of the experiment was to determine if E2 has changed. The editors here have worked diligently since I joined the ranks to become kinder, gentler and more helpful to new users. This was a problem in the past I am told and I experienced hostility here myself when I first signed on for an account (as myself, as well as Behr).

Behr received a warm welcome with a few stray sarcastic comments, which he didn't understand but I laughed at. Nearly a dozen noders reached out to him. Some offered to help him with factuals and suggested other writeups he might like to do. Some were concerned about him after reading his wacko daylogs. Noders from Baltimore welcomed him to the fold warmly, appreciating that Behr is supposedly from Baltimore. Yes, he likes mackerel and cognac and yes he does buy women a full tank of gas after they meet him for dinner. However, as he said in his final daylog, he isn't really real. He is in a way but he isn't actually a person.

Are Editors Friendly?

Behr is the kind of noder I usually reach out to and try to help. Under the circumstances this was not possible. The fact that he is not truly a newbie and due to his account having been opened over a year ago he doesn't have the newbie brand on him (we know when you've been here less than a month). This may have something to do with the fact that only one member of the editing staff spoke to him. Mad props go to dannye for his work in trying to help Behr. Curse the man all you want for his lack of tolerance for bullshit, but the reason I cut the Behr project short was that dannye was investing too much time in helping him out (as well as drownzsurf and others). The others that tried helping were not Content Editors or gods. They were "ordinary" noders who had solid suggestions and helpful ideas. You can be very proud of your efforts. A new noder will find many helpful people here to light the way. Behr was not an ordinary noder, being a middle-aged man of Middle Eastern descent who grew up in post-war Germany and now resides in Baltimore. That is hardly the standard noder background story here. His run-on sentences cried for attention and every one of his writeups contained a minor factual error at the time of submission. Five of nine were caught by other users and the other four I corrected myself later. Only one of the factual errors was caught by an editor, that being dannye. The others weren't that difficult to spot but the four I corrected would have slipped through the cracks if Behr had been a real person.

Free your mind
And the rest will follow
Be colorblind
Don't be so shallow
(Before you can read me you gotta learn how to see me)

E2 is a Community

Damn straight, and after the Behr experiment if you tell me any differently I'll laugh at you. Yes, if you are hostile you will not find anyone changing your bandages for you. Yes, if you submit a whole lot of crap and scream censorship you will be laughed at. You are violating the standards of the website as well as the community. You are insulting the people who labor over their writeups for hours and days until they get them right. Is this your idea of a writeup: "I like to hit squirrels with sneakers. This is called sneakering squirrels." Damn right we'll give you the smack down.

If Behr had been real in the greater sense he speaks of in his final daylog, there might have been no limits to how he could have fit into the community. The Behr character has always been lonely and emotionally unstable. He may have attended noder meets in hopes of finding new friends to ease his loneliness and social awkwardness. Of course, that might not have gone so well. Behr's personality is evolutionary from the moment he meets you. He starts out serious and businesslike. Then he decides you are his friend. Then he depends on daily communication and love from you. If he doesn't get what he expects he flips out. Therefore, Behr could not have stayed any longer than he did without changing into a different kind of person. I'm not so sure that wouldn't have happened if Behr had been a real person. And he could have very well have been a real person.

In Conclusion

Those of you who reached out to Behr know who you are and I've gained an new respect for you. Those who spoke to Behr were mostly people I personally have never had any conversation or dealings with. That warms me. Someday there will be a real Behr that comes to E2 and I feel pretty good about the fact that he will be received warmly here.

I apologize for the deception and if I offended anyone in anyway. Many thanks to you for what you showed me. There is a heart here at E2. There are people who care. Anyone can find a home here if they are willing to play by the rules and give something worthwhile back to the community. Those who think E2 is prejudiced in favor of flowery writing and long, academic factuals have it all wrong. Behr's Node-Fu and Merit is rather impressive for a level one noder who doesn't know how to properly punctuate a sentence.


Yeah, I stole the lyrics from En Vogue
Free Your Mind is a fucking kick ass song
In 1993 I saw a hardcore band perform it.
They had a black lead singer and the band was white.
There happened to be a lot of skinheads in the crowd and they were throwing shit.
So for the band's last song they did a twenty minute version of Free Your Mind.
That's the shit.


Picture of Behrhardt Goates on my homenode for a limited time. This is the one he sends when he signs up for internet dating services.

This month begins with the Cool:
  • Eric Burdon is the marriage of the quintessential E1 writeup and an equally impeccable E2 contribution. It is pleasing to mine eye.
  • Anasazi made me think about factual writeups three times.
  • Please set aside some time to read about Autism.
  • Survivor2 is a sweet stab from the past. It's one of the things that trapped me here early on.
I've been hunkering down a bit, wading through a bunch of short, linkless writeups. Many of these are by fled noders. This work makes me a bit sad, because quite a few of the writeups are perfectly good and admirably concise summaries of subjects that don't need an epic tome written about them. I'm fixing a few spelling errors and adding a few <p> tags to spiff them up a bit. I'm also adding some hardlinks, because after all, this place is fueled by linkage, but it makes me a bit uncomfortable. Hardlinks are an integral part of the content on this site, and messing with them seems as intrusive as adding a metaphor to someone's writing. Even so, I go forth with this work, for they are worthy writeups whose authors have abandoned them. They are orphans, and we are their guardians.

Not all of these waifs find succor:
Killed: I rabbited away a few hours correcting spelling errors, /msging users with unbidden advice, and otherwise striving to make myself useful. As always, the jury is out.

As mentioned in my previous editor log, I've decided to stop posting links to nuked writeups and their authors because it amounts to negative nodevertising, which is lame. So, feeling ambitious, I started out this month's editing by going back and removing links in all of my old editor logs. Suffice it to say I'm glad this fancy took me after only seven months on the job.... but going back to all those old logs has taught me a few things about my editing style, which I'm going to inflict on all y'all now, if only just to show myself that I'm learning from my mistakes and suchforth:

  • Around half of my deletions, maybe a bit more, are due to nuke requests or other interactions with their authors, or because a writeup was superceded by newer content of higher quality. The other half offended my delicate sensibilities, the anal-retentive English teacher who lives in my forebrain (fear her), or fell victim to some other whim.
  • I'm getting soft in my old age: I used to nuke with penalty a lot more often.
  • No one has ever accepted my offer to remove records of embarrassing writeups: this is probably because I have not remembered to include it in all of my editor logs, and also because most people who get Klaproth messages don't go looking to see if the editor who kicked their puppy made a public note of it. Hrm.
  • I like having editor logs, if only for my own edification, so there.

That said, back to business, more or less as usual:

Softlocked

Deleted

  • Batman Forever (thing) by artful (mercifully) because it was superceded by BrianShader's writeup. The author of the deleted writeup appears to have never made the switch to e2.
  • How to tell the difference between Socialism and Communism (idea) by iandunn (mercifully) because it was factually incorrect.
  • Libertarian Communism (idea) by cosmonaut (mercifully) because it was factually incorrect. Performed fled user node audit.
  • Brothers Karamazov (thing) by cosmonaut because the exact same text was also at The Brothers Karamazov, which is the correct title of the book. Filed nodeshell deletion request as well.
  • Real Numbers are Uncountable - proof (idea) by hodgepodge (mercifully) because it was incorrect.
  • E2 Nuke Request (idea) by jasonm (mercifully) because I was on my way to working on the writeups in question.
  • water has negative calories (idea) by jasonm (mercifully) by nuke request
  • E2 Nuke Request (thing) by LaggedyAnne (mercifully) because I was on my way to working on the writeups in question.
  • suicide bombing (thing) by LaggedyAnne (mercifully) at the author's nuke request. I talked to LaggedyAnne about it, because I actually kind of liked the writeup in question, but she had a good reason for wanting it gone, and so it (and the obnoxious comments a topic like this are unfortunately bound to attract) will trouble her no longer.
  • ice you make me ache like a ice inside, it is lonely makes my forehead tight, hurts (idea) by Jpers36 (mercifully) because we discussed it and here it goes....
  • Marcie (person) by karfung because cut and paste writeups will die, especially ones that openly announce themselves as such.
  • You're an Asshole! Here's my phone number. (idea) by MissCreant (mercifully) because it was replying to a writeup that no longer existed. User has been gone for 2 years, or I would have asked for it to be amended.
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? (thing) by Tonic (mercifully) because it was one long spoiler that added very little to the node. Talked it over with the author first.
  • The worst childrens book ever (idea) by TAFKAH (mercifully) by discussion with the author.
  • sometimes, i need this. (idea) by benchappel (mercifully) because it was an unformatted, mispunctuated ramblerant and the author hasn't been on e2 in 2 years so I can't ask for a revision.
  • Punky Brewster: A human contradiction (person) by musicaljon (mercifully) because it was stupid and mispunctuated and the author hasn't been around in two years to fix it.
  • How to Fight Loneliness (idea) by 0x45 after messaging the author, who agreed that it was in pretty poor taste.
  • I know all the cannabis activists would like you to believe differently but by Kallen because the writeup doesn't match its title and the author has't been around for two years to explain it to me or edit it.
  • The latihan of Subud (thing) by OZielke because it's a cut and paste from subud.net (http://dev.web.ca/home/subud/index.html) and the noder in question isn't around to make it more clearly attributed to its author.
  • Cover letter (thing) by Speaker because I asked the author to edit it a month ago and never got a reply. The noder in question hasn't been around for 6 months but I encouraged re-posting with new and improved formatting.

Corrections/Collaborations

I'm trying to keep better track of my noder interaction in my editorial capacity, and in particular to increase it. Discovering that I only communicated with writeups' authors for about half of my deletions has me feeling kind of self-conscious.

all day every day
motherfucker BANG BANG

(who stole my -5 XP Staff of Zot, dammit?)

Reward Wisdom.

  • None found, yet.
Correct Ignorance.

Scourge Stupidity.

In my previous logs, I have discussed topics such as:

The debate about detail levels in editor logs continues among the admins (and shows no sign of concluding in the near future). As per my personal style, I will continue to offer a fairly high level of detail. I do this for a number of reasons:

  • Accountability - I sign all my nukes and /msg all users whose WUs I edit. I may miss some, or forget to sign them (largely through failure to check the correct box), however, but they will be listed here.
  • Didactic reasons - One way to learn is to watch other people's mistakes. It may not be the best way, but it helps more than it hurts - unlike the best way (learning from your own mistakes), which hurts a lot.
  • Editorial style - Personally, I like to keep a fairly open record of what I do.
  • For future reference - I like to know which users I have had, (ahem), "dealings" with.
  • Behind the scenes - In my opinion, a lot of users who aren't of admin level derive considerable enjoyment from getting a glimpse of the activities of an editor. I will not deny them this vicarious pleasure.

I am currently considering adding a new listing - of writeups which have been the subject of a warning issued to the user (because they're too short, too uninformative, unintegrated, rude, etc.). This would fall under the "for future reference" reason, mentioned above. Periodically, I'd go back over old warnings, and check up on them. If they still failed to meet the standards set, they'd be nuked.

I'll be happy to hear from anyone who has an opinion on this matter.


Nose to the grindstone:

Since I've become an editor, I've mainly been your friendly neighborhood typo fairy, tidying up misspellings as I've run across them. I've also talked with a few newbies and have hopefully left warm, fuzzy edification in my wake.

But occasionally, I turn large and green and go on a hunt for cut and paste writeups, because I take plagiarism seriously. So far, the vast majority of my nukes have been C&Ps that I've discovered.

Cut-and-paste writeups -- writeups that are mainly composed of text the poster has copied verbatim from a book or website, with or without the addition of hardlinks and formatting -- really make me and other editors see red and lunge for the "nuke" button. Why?

  1. It's seen as being lazy.

    Some schools of thought here say that anything you post should be your own work and your own words, and they feel that anything else deserves a downvote.

    My own personal philosophy as an editor is that if you properly cite your source, have copyright permission, (see below), and properly format the writeup, any piece of writing that provides quality entertainment or valid information is a worthwhile addition to the database.

    Note that I said valid information. Just because you find something on a website that sounds cool doesn't mean it's accurate. What are their sources? If they don't cite any, be wary. Of the C&P writeups I've seen, solidly half of them have been parroting advertising copy from dodgy commercial sites. Don't seek to reprint a piece just because you think it'll take too long to do your own work -- make sure the piece truly is better than what you could do before you bring it here. Respect the database. Don't propagate misinformation.

  2. It's seen as being deceptive.

    If you post someone else's article under your own username without proper attribution, you're trying to pass that work off as your own. That's insulting to both the voters here at E2 and to the person whose words you've stolen, and once you've been caught doing this, your reputation here is close to ruined. Just don't do it.

  3. It's plagiarism.

    Even if you cite your source, if you don't have explicit permission to repost the piece you're using, it's still plagiarism. Permission is everything here. It's like the difference between knocking on a stranger's door and asking to use their phone, and just jimmying the lock and going on in to use it when you find they're not at home. At best using other people's writing without permission is rude; at worst it's a crime that could potentially get E2 sued.

Now, having said all that, there are three instances in which you are allowed to post other people's writing here at E2 without it being considered outright plagiarism, provided you properly cite your sources.

  1. The work is not and never was copyrighted.

    Unclassified documents published by the U.S. federal government are not copyrighted; anyone can republish them for nonprofit purposes as long as the source is cited. Other sites (state governments, non-profit orgs) may allow the free copying of their materials with citation. However, don't ever assume that just because you don't see a copyright notice on a site, it isn't copyrighted. Always assume you need permission unless you see something stating otherwise.

  2. The work has fallen out of copyright and is now in the public domain.

    In general, materials written by authors who died at least 70 years ago have fallen into the public domain and can be freely copied by anyone. People often look at the date the work was published, assuming anything written before 1923 is public domain, but this isn't always the case. Make sure nobody's updated the copyright before you repost it; if you're working with a book, check the copyright page for notices. The author's death date is a better guide than the publication date.

  3. The work is offered for free reprinting via a Creative Commons license.

  4. You have gained permission from the author.

    In this modern age of email, most authors are contactable. Read something cool? Don't just post it -- ask the author first. If the article's been reprinted elsewhere on the web, and you send the author a polite message, chances are good they'll give you permission to use their work. Make sure you emphasize that E2 is a noncommercial site -- nobody's trying to make a buck off their labors.

    But if they turn you down, don't get upset. And if they don't reply, don't just post the piece anyway, assuming they'll never know the difference.

    Permissions should always be sought, but they do get difficult if the author's no longer there to communicate with you. And more fundamentally, there's no longer a creator's livelihood at stake, though the estate might certainly growl and make lawsuit noises at infringements.

Once you're sure it really is kosher to repost the piece, you need to cite it properly. Otherwise, an editor will eventually notice that the piece is on X website and might assume it's cut n' paste, and nuke it without a second glance. Using regular term paper-type citations doesn't work here, because those imply you've put the information from your sources into your own words; if you're copying someone else's writing in its entirety, you need to make that clear.

If the piece is in the public domain, add a citation like this:

This writeup contains public domain text written by Dead Author and taken from http://www.wherever.org/

If you have permission from an author, or if a site gives global reproduction-with-citation permission, put a citation, right at the beginning of the writeup, that says something like:

Written by John Doe and used with his permission.

Written by the U.S. Social Security Administration and used with permission.

always a work in progress.

Last month I never really established what I hope to do here on e2 as an editor. Let’s take a moment for that.

My freshman year of college, I had a near-complete and literal nervous breakdown. My life was in what I perceived as total shambles (parts are nodded here, parts are not). I had chronic insomnia for almost an entire semester and failed the whole damn thing for the two of those. Two things kept me sane that semester. Mcc, the love of my life—although the long distance part of that was part of the pain—and e2/#everything.

I had people here to listen to me, to take care of me, check up on me. Writing nodes was one of the few things I could still do. E2 gave me a lot that year. I still believe I’d have been institutionalized if it hadn’t been for those two stable points in my life.

This said, I want to make e2 be, for someone else, what it was to me. That sense of community, of caring. A place to belong and know somebody was there.

I nuke things that I think are total garbage—at this point I’m often getting second opinions from those older and wiser than me while trying to figure out where the line between art and crap is. I have no mercy for copy and paste, and blatant trolling. Other than that, I can be convinced of the benefit of the doubt.
I am always open to be messaged with questions, comments, requests something be looked at, etc. If you need help, let me help you. I’m here to serve. And to repay a long-overdue debt to this wonderful place.

Ed-cooled:
Dia de los Muertos
a little bit tired, a little bit drunk, all yours

Have not decided to record all nukes yet or not. However, large-scale cases, yes.
cleaned out fled user media's writeups. Nearly all of them were uncited direct copy/pastes. I'll record a list here in a day or so (when I've got time) because a number of them are nodes that should be filled. Just legally.

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