I value Wikiquote as a place where many statements from people embracing all manner of ideological perspectives can ultimately be put into their proper contexts, and many of the errors, omissions, extreme distortions and outright lies which often occur in social and anti-social intercourse exposed for what they are.
~ Accountability ~
I noticed that you created four usernames (or sockpuppets) in rapid succession:
- Accountability (talk · contributions)
- Ability (talk · contributions)
- Able (talk · contributions)
- Abel (talk · contributions)
While there are sometimes good reasons to have multiple usernames (e.g., matching names on other projects, preventing impersonations using very similar names), per Wikiquote:Username policy#Using multiple user accounts, one should not do general editing from more than one, as you have done with the first two usernames already. Active sockpupppets are nearly always used for vandalism, deceptive posts to discussion pages, and other mischief. Monitoring for and stopping such activity is challenging for an all-volunteer project, so sockpuppet use is discouraged. Unless you have a compelling reason you wish to share with the community, I would ask that you not use more than one of your usernames for general editing. Let me know if you have any questions about this policy, and thank you for your cooperation. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 02:34, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Horse sense and Horsefeathers
I have edited on many wikis and other internet sites under different names, but never for the purposes of vandalism or trolling, which is always an infantile activity that any person of good sense has no interest in at all, and I believe that all my edits have been responsible ones.
I made no attempt to edit on any of the same pages under different names with any of these, but simply edited different pages under different names. While editing with one name a dispute arose with the editing of one page, but I duly logged back in under the name I had previously used to do further editing on it, to avoid even the appearance that my aims were dishonest or dishonorable.
One can be understandably suspicious of behavior often employed by vandals, but if I had been interested in using these various identities for that I would not have created them so obviously in a series, and certainly not while logged-in so that the relation was plain and obvious to any administrator.
In any wiki a person might reluctantly enter into particular disputes such as often arise when dealing with extreme forms of religious or political fanaticism under one username and thus not be so subject to being regularly disturbed and interrupted as he or she goes about making less contentious contributions to many other articles under another. This had long been recognized as a legitimate reason for multiple accounts, as in the Wikipedia policies regarding : Legitimate uses of multiple accounts:
- Keeping heated issues in one small area
- Some editors use different accounts in talk pages to avoid conflicts about a particular area of interest turning into conflicts based upon user identity and personal attacks elsewhere, or to avoid harassment outside of Wikipedia. A person participating in a discussion of an article about abortion, for example, might not want to allow other participants an opportunity to extend that discussion or engage them in unrelated or philosophically motivated debate outside the context of that article.
Since I had last looked at that page and others there seems to have been recommendations for further restrictions that have accumulated in the advisories on various pages here and elsewhere. Of course, now that your notice has been made on this page, such options for legitimately dealing with separate disputes separately is now severely reduced under any of these 3 other names, but I will probably continue to edit as "Accountability" in relation to a dispute that has currently arisen, and perhaps occasionally afterwards. Though I continue to have an interest in using different names to separate my more sedate editing on articles from those where disputes are very likely to arise, I had no intention of addressing any single dispute about a page using more than one of them and so creating a "artificial majority" in such a dispute, as is a common strategy with vandals and trolls. I am a person who has very little interest in becoming involved in most voting activity here and under no circumstances have I ever used, nor would I ever use, more than one name to actually vote on any issue.
I don't believe in casually breaking necessary or useful rules that have been established anywhere, but neither am I inclined to support either the making or obeying of those that are needless, useless, or detrimental. Many rules arise out of the all-too-common impulse to casually and artificially control the will and behavior others, and often very little thought is given to many of their ultimate ramifications. Whenever possible, I always prefer the simple statement of truth to influence and persuade others to change their own personal will and aims, without resorting to artificial rules as a means of stifling or vanquishing them. This of course is not always possible, but it remains my strong preference.
Even though statements which can be made about them can sometimes be very simple, the tactics and strategies of life are always complex, and I see no reason to create or strengthen any rules that would allow vandals and trolls of a wiki to be the only ones who can remain "moving targets" because they are so blithely inclined to disregard or actually abuse all the rules which they can.
It has long been observed that where adversarial relations are likely to occur, sometimes those of very limited ability seek to appear far more powerful than they are to intimidate others, while those of greatest ability often seek to appear weak and impotent to avoid causing many of the needless and distracting contentions that often arise from vain concerns for impressive appearances, and to deal with very important conflicts as swiftly and effectively as possible when they do arise. The way of Taoism and the strategies of Yoda come to mind : “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”
- Whoa. I didn't expect the Spanish Inquistion! ☺ (Nor did you, I imagine.) You make a number of points and implications here, Accountability. I'm not known for my succinctness, but I'll try to tackle these briefly.
- Implied: w:WP:SOCK and its changing state are the operant policy here. While Wikiquote falls back on WP policy when necessary, we try to have greatly simplified policies to avoid the unmanageable baggage that a project 250 times our size has. Our policy is simple: please don't use multiple usernames without a good reason.
- Stated: You created multiple usernames per the WP "heated issues" argument, presumably because of the Rush Limbaugh dispute. Since even the longest and most substantive editors here have found no reason to adopt multiple usernames, despite being involved in many challenging disputes, this is not a practice that is likely to be welcomed here. (That's just my opinion, but I suspect it is widely shared.) Instead of continuing to fight it out locally and spawning a new username to do other work, it would be better just to bring up the dispute on the village pump, which is the usual way here for calling wider attention to a problem. You could also mention it at the administrators' noticeboard, but it's usually not necessary to do the latter unless the VP is of no help.
- Implied: Transparently created sockpuppets are not used for vandalism. Maybe Wikipedia is different, but many sockpuppeting vandals here do this. (We get the more clever ones, too.) I posted my request because I wanted to assume good faith in case you were one of the rare people here (none that I can recall offhand) who create materially different usernames (like "Accountability" and "Ability") in quick succession without subsequently (in minutes, days, or even months) vandalizing or otherwise disrupting.
- Indirectly implied (from w:WP:SOCK#Legitimate uses of multiple accounts): You are someone whom we should know to trust (because you have "edited on many wikis and other internet sites under different names, but never for the purposes of vandalism or trolling"). I'm sorry if you are someone I should recognize, but there are hundreds if not thousands of well-known Wikipedians, and no one can be expected to keep up with all the usernames, especially for those who regularly assume multiple identities. I also have edited on many wikis, but have avoided confusing people (even in "heated discussions") by always using the same name. Nevertheless, I do not assume when I enter a new project that everyone should know who I am. Furthermore, it is not unreasonable to expect that the more experienced a wikian one is, the more they should be prepared to learn the state of the project before they suggest things like…
- Implied: The rules here may derive from the "impulse to casually and artificially control the will and behavior others, and often very little thought is given to many of their ultimate ramifications". There are perhaps 20-25 frequent editors here, 2/3 of them admins. We have nearly 14,000 articles here, the majority of which need serious work to meet basic Wikiquote and Wikimedia standards. This leads quite logically to preemptive attempts to ensure that new editors, regardless of experience, learn and observe the vastly simplified policies of this project. I can only hope that you will see the legitimate concern.
- Implied: I am perhaps one of "those of very limited ability seek[ing] to appear far more powerful than they are to intimidate others". Well, I can hardly objectively assess this myself. ☺ But it is not my intent to intimidate, only to warn you that the community has a tremendous amount of negative experience with sockpuppets, that we would prefer that you not use them without a reason that applies to your work here, and that an ordinary content dispute is not generally considered a reason to spawn multiple active identities here.
- You might also be interested to know that English Wikiquote has a practice of not being overly concerned about reputations elsewhere, good or bad, unless they have a bearing on the work done here. Pretty much everyone gets a clean slate here, and what they do here generally determines how folks react to them. If you believe I am overreacting, I invite you to discuss this with any other regular editor here. Perhaps they can do a better job of explaining my stated concerns without offending. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 23:51, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I was not actually offended, though I was slightly irritated. I recognised that I was the unfortunate object of some of your suspicions, but I did acknowledge that they were understandable, and thus wasn't accusing you of overstepping your authority, even though in this case I believe the implied warnings without clear evidence of malicious intent were somewhat premature and unnecessary.
Any harshness I exhibited in my words was not intended to be directed at you personally but was simply giving vent to a strong sentiment against the general trends that exist in many places of making and enforcing needless and ill-devised rules. Even when rules people make are not innately harmful in themselves the sheer abundance of marginally useful rules that arise can often be detrimental to many of the most truly important concerns receiving the attention they require.
I realized just before posting that some of my closing comments might easily be construed to be directed at you, though these comments had arisen in my mind in relation to strategies sometimes used by trolls, and I had left out some remarks which would have made that more plain. I had also removed a few other points which I had not fully developed because they were not essential, and I had to get doing a few other things, so I went ahead and posted it, thinking the tone of the piece as a whole to be in plainly enough made with some humourous intent.
Though I tend to be a more of a studious observer than an active participant in many things, and generally remain serious about a few things of great importance, I do like a certain flow of whimsy to occur, and would never wish to encourage a "Spanish Inquisition" against anyone. ~ Accountability 02:20, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Helpful vs. hurtful strategies and aims
I would like to point out that even when I was writing some of the comments above I was well aware that both the tactics of appearing stronger than you are or weaker than you are are commonly employed by the skillful depending upon circumstances and aims, and that the "skillful" can be both well-motivated and ill-motivated. Fluidity of strategy is sign of humility and skill, rigidity is often a sign of arrogance and incompetence, but aims can vary greatly, ranging from those whose primary aims are to help others even to the disadvantage of themselves, to those who seek to help primarily themselves, even to the disadvantage of all.
The great arts of life are the arts of perception, appreciation, and expression — the last of which ultimately exists for the sake of the perceptions and appreciation of others. I refer to these abilities as arts because even native capacities for perception and appreciation are something that can be developed or crippled, and they all require some degree of skill based upon experience. Many people do not and cannot perceive, appreciate, or make expressions at anything close to the levels of their actual potential, because they have not developed many of the vital skills and attitudes that can often only be learned by the study of the wisest. I would certainly include myself among those who are still learning many important things, and make no claims of being entirely satisfied with my own very limited abilities to express my ideas and understandings.
I believe that most of the regular editors here prudently and understandably shrink from dealing with some of the more contentious pages on controversial works and personalities, in favor of developing ones of far more personal interest to themselves. Even by this can the range of opinions and ideas available to people gradually grow.
Thinking of how little interest I myself actually have in editing the pages of many people who are prone to delight in various extremes of vicious distortion and insults to the intelligence of humanity in general, whether they be considered to be on the "right" or the "left" politically, and ranging from professional "political commentators", rappers, politicians, to many other more forthright types of comedians, I stated to myself: Most people can recognize it is a very laughable form of human foolishness to focus on nothing but the positive in the world, when there are so many problems of which one needs to be aware, but it is a truly depressing form of human stupidity to focus on little else than the forms of stupidity that exist in people, and it surely must rank as one of the primary and most appalling forms of extremely depressing stupidity that exists.
I have usually been perceived to be extremely intelligent by those who know me, but though I certainly value intelligence and other forms of native ability and strength, I do not value any of these so much as a wise focus on what matters most in life, and that is something that is usually learned slowly by experience.
Those who focus on little else but the real or imagined negative qualities of others, are usually among the most negative of influences themselves, and often revel in and are actually proud of many of their most negative qualities. One can only hope that someday, most people will become wise enough to realize this, and the proud and arrogant reigns of various forms of extreme stupidity in this "Age of Confusion" will come forever to an end. Until that is so, the wisest can only go on focussing on many of the things that they perceive to matter most, promoting humility, courage, honesty and compassion, and sometimes taking a few wild risks in doing what they can to indicate how greatly appearances can often differ from reality, and proper aims from those that are most heavily promoted or excused by popular opinion. ~ Accountability 20:00, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I posted the above comment as Accountability to make very clear that the claims I had made some weeks ago on the Rumour talk page were actually true. I would have preferred to retain the 2 accounts without any clear and open association, but there have been contentions recently about the uses of multiple accounts, and I decided to sacrifice the independence of this account to more effectively argue upon the matter. I am vigorously in favor of not restricting or removing existing options for the editing activity of users so long as they do not misuse multiple accounts to engage in vandalism, trolling, spamming or other activity which has been explicitly forbidden by established policies. I won't have time to address the issue very much this week, but I might try to do so more extensively in a few weeks. ~ Rumour 03:39, 31 July 2008 (UTC)