Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Barney Frank Interview

I just finished listening to an interview with Barney Frank on NPR. I am less than convinced that that man is lucid.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Americans are nice people

I forgot my wallet yesterday so I had to go up to some guy I see on the train from time to time and say "Hey mister, can I barrow 4 bucks?". With just about no expectation that he would see his money again (he will) he gave me the money. I had to print something out in the University library but didn't have my card and it was really important so I went up to a computer bank of strangers, held up my arms and said "people! I really need the money to print this". Instantly some guy in the front row who I have never seen before and never will again says "I got this" and handed me the money. A friend paid for lunch and another friend paid for the bus fare. I'm glad I was born in such a prosperous, generous place.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Caesar Rodney Institute


They're still in the building process but there is the potential for these folks to have a huge positive impact on Delaware politics and I for one have high hopes. What do you folks think?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Senate Bill 27

Everybody needs to remember that homosexual marriage is already illegal in Delaware and will be for the foreseeable future. This bill would not "illegalize homosexuality" it would just move the definition of marriage (which isn't going anywhere in this state) from the civil code to the State Constitution so that the people, and not the courts, can change it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Anonymous Editors on Wikipedia

As someone who has put a lot of work into Wikipedia, I have reluctantly concluded that in order to move forward as a project we have to stop letting people edit as anons.

I believe in the spirit of the project but I am unconvinced that the current requirements for account creation form any real barrier to being the free encyclopedia that "anyone can edit". On the other hand, many good editors have the valuable time that they are able/willing to contribute eaten up by fighting anon vandals. Probably 1/5 of what I do on Wikipedia is revert or rollback vandalism by anons to the pages on my watchlist. While that looks great for an edit count, in terms of productivity it only represents wasted time. Someone indicated to me that the turn-over rate for seasoned administrators has become unusually high. I have no hard evidence but I don't think it is unreasonable to think that part of it is being bored with just blocking anon vandals and not having time for much else. If the project were able to free them up to do more productive, interesting things more of them would stay longer.