Gateway to Chaos, Confusion, and Complexity

I spent years as a very active Wikipedia editor. My contributions there don’t reflect well the level of work that I did — some users accumulate large edit counts with brief reverts based on immediate appearances, it’s very quick, sometimes even computer-assisted, I once tracked the contributions of an administrator who obviously sat at his computer pressing Save several times a minute for simple edits suggested by a program. He did this for many hours.

You can see the total numbers of my contributions on all WMF wikis on the global account display. Because my “community ban” on Wikipedia has come up recently– the situation being misrepresented in the new RationalWiki article on me — I will cover this on a page here, Wikipedia/Bans/Abd (draft, not complete)

There is a theme, revenge. In theory, Wikipedia is not a battleground. In practice, it is. Continue reading “Gateway to Chaos, Confusion, and Complexity”

An avalanche of sock puppets

The last few weeks I have been investigating disruption on Wikipedia and Wikiversity. This has a peripheral relationship to cold fusion. I’ll get to that.

For years, I was active on Wikiversity, supporting that community to build deep resources on sometimes-controversial subjects. Wikiversity, like all the WMF wikis, has a neutrality policy, but Wikipedia enforces it by, in theory, excluding the expression of points of view by users; rather, Wikipedia depends on “reliable sources,” with editors merely reporting what is in them, with emphasis on the “mainstream view” (which creates problems; the original idea was that the mainstream view would be reflected by the balance of sources, but when sources are preselected according to a judgment of whether or not they appear to support the “mainstream view,” a circular argument is set up. Pushing the mainstream view is theoretically contrary to Wikipedia policy, but,in practice, it is often tolerated, while similar behavior re views considered minority by adminstrators is quickly sanctioned.)

Wikiversity, instead, allows users to create resources and express opinions, and handles neutrality by attribution and framing. It is thus closer to a university library, including lecture notes of seminars and student work, which can report “primary source,” and can include opinion and unsourced analysis.

Some years back, I supported the creation of a Wikiversity resource on Parapsychology, because there were scientists and others interested in the topic.  I designed this to be neutral, and created a subpage for a young user who wanted to create his own list of sources on the topic, this was [redacted], who had gotten into trouble on Wikipedia and was blocked there. The user happily worked on his resource, and was not, in the least, disruptive on Wikiversity. However, the resource was attacked, a number of times. These attacks were always handled, it is not difficult on Wikiversity, if a resource has been created with care.

(I should add that I’m highly skeptical of many claims called “parapsychological,” but, then again, so are at least some parapsychologists. Parapsychology is a field of investigation, not a body of belief.) Continue reading “An avalanche of sock puppets”

Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

Draft. If you are reading this on an archive site, be sure to check the original URL for updates, corrections, retractions, etc.

If coming here from the Wikipedia discussion, perhaps read this first.

Development 12/29/2017. Due to continued and very personal attack on me, now including attack by Joshua Schroeder, but also attack on scientists, I have restored the information given in the original post on a page: wikipedia/joshua-p-schroeder/accounts/. This is explained there.

This is not the original post, which was created October 4, 2017, as private, the same date as the same information was posted on Thunderbolt. It was later made public. I’m guessing, from the blog activity log, that was November 8, 2017. Why this administrivia? Because a sock of Anglo Pyramidologist is claiming that the date on this post is misleading, because it was edited December 2, 2017 but the post shows the original date of October. (This is just how WordPress works.)

This is a blog post, not a “page.” Blog posts appear in date order, date of creation (not open publication) and I deliberately did not want to make this post very visible. When it was made public, it did not show up in the latest posts display. So, while I have a means of changing the date, I’m not doing it. I don’t want it to show up in recent posts. There will be comments below that will display.

This is a response to the fuss made over the original post, which demonstrates the use of charges of doxxing as an attack method. The active person here, accusing doxxing, was also cementing the revelations in archives it so it is difficult to hide, is known as Anglo Pyramidologist. There may actually be two people (or maybe three). Real names are known but I do not personally have direct evidence, not yet. I do have strong technical evidence linking these socks, aside from what is on Wikipedia, my WMF global study on meta, and a study of RationalWiki socking here.

Update 12/29/2017: the study on meta has been deleted out-of-process and is currently under a review of the deletion. If the deletion stands, I will open the material to public view here. As on meta, it will be open to correction, but, so far, the only actual correction attempt has come from an obvious sock who had not actually been accused — and the new version will include this account. Certain facts were omitted from the meta study in order to clearly comply with WMF privacy policy. There is no such restriction here, though I will not allow gratuitous outing. If I am convinced that there is strong evidence of illegal or unethical abuse of anonymity, I will reveal or allow the revelation of what would otherwise be protected and private, based on the public need to know.

I have been assisted in my own research by private information that administrators on other sites published as to attacks on them. It’s confirmed. They were telling the truth.

(Initially) Two IPs, now WMF globally blocked as open proxies, starting November 30, made a huge fuss on Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and the meta wiki, attempting to once again attack Ben Steigmann, and, when, once again, I exposed this, they again attempted to attack me. The IPs were:
Having asked (last edit but one on Wikipedia) to be blocked (obviously because he knew he would be blocked very soon), and claiming that he was done, his mission  being to stop Ben Steigmann from disrupting Wikipedia, within ten minutes of being blocked, he began again with a new IP, same source of open proxies. He was lying, as usual.
(more IP socking continues, stewards are getting swift at noticing them and blocking.)
dot-9 admitted being dot-10. AP does not care about being blocked (he’s been blocked hundreds of times). In this case, these were expendable open proxies. The user also creates many single-purpose accounts, and just did that as part of this sequence on RationalWiki.
This is not about “skeptics,” as AP pretends. It is about a single person (or possibly two brothers, based on early claims made by the socks) who is highly disruptive, commonly impersonates his enemies, libels them, and harasses them. I have issues with Joshua P. Schroeder (JPS), but he is a saint compared to AP.
You are honestly going to get in trouble for this []. You are shaking in your boots abd. You think you can get away with doxing people names, locations and harassing them? Btw your abuse has been archived, no point in deleting it. I also didn’t reveal anything apart from public knowledge. His account name change is public knowledge [link redacted]. It was changed yesterday by an admin [link redacted]. Because of your stalking and abuse he had to change his username. You are a bully abd. More and more skeptics are going to be informed about your harassment and stalking. You are really not a nice guy. You claim to be a devout Muslim but you just sit online all day writing slanderous statements about people on your website and stalking them. Remember cyber bullying is a crime. [[Special:Contributions/|]] ([[User talk:|discuss]]) 05:54, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
The material was hidden out of concern for JPS, not about any threats. JPS has not been particularly appreciative. He may understand more about that later [note added: apparently not!]. I’ve taken this material down and I requested moderators where it was originally posted take it down. That’s about what I can do, though I do own copyright on the material, so maybe I can assist him in removing it from archives. However …. he hasn’t asked and is just blaming and angry. He knows a lot about starts and astrophysics, but apparently not much about people. Maybe he will come around.
{He did not and publicly accused me of harassment for my email offering cooperation, see the page linked above.]
And dot-9 posted claims about this page in a number of places. “Archived.” Who archived it? He did, of course. There is clear evidence of that. When I saw this I decided to contact Dr. Schroeder (who now has a different last name). I emailed him and perhaps he will respond. I decided to take my page on Schroeder down. There is also a copy of the information that went on a public forum. My guess is that if it were requested, they would take it down. Or maybe not. [After some discussion, they took it down. So the only available copies are those created by Anglo Pyramodologist (who claimed to be Schroeder’s friend. Some friend, eh? Schroeder claimed not to have any idea who he was. My guess is that Schroeder has not looked at the meta study of Anglo Pyramodilogist. If he doesn’t recognize at least one name, he is nearly brain dead. How about Goblin Face?
In fact, it was all readily available public information. But that is not the same as being easily accessible. That post on the other forum was obscure. My blog post was obscure. Now the information is right in the face of many who might not be friendly. If this was offensive doxxing, AP just made it far more offensive, showing that what matters to him is attacking people — in this case me –, not protecting people like Schroeder. (I have since recreated, on another page, the Wikipedia account information, I wanted to think about that before putting it it. Reviewing Schroeder’s activity, he is still a POV-pusher on Wikipedia; he has been blocked less frequently than before, but he’s still at it, same agenda.)
There are two pages, both archived and clear evidence that both were archived by AP. Not by me. Archive copies are timestamped and that can be put together with other information, public and private. I know who archived my pages, and this is clear enough, and is public:
On RationalWiki, user Astrophysics (a reference to Schroeder, his field) began to edit the article on me on November 30. 02:44, 30 November 2017, he added a reference to the JPS mention on the original forum, using an archive copy.
Lomax is known to attack skeptics on forums. He joined the thunderbolts woo forum to complain that astronomer Joshua P. Schroeder is a “pseudoskeptic”.<ref>[redacted]</ref>
That archive copy was created at 30 Nov 2017 02:36:09 UTC
This is obvious: he created an archive preserving allegedly offensive material and then immediately linked to it on RationalWiki.
This is simply SOP for AP. Highly disruptive, and he, very personally, attacks anyone who frustrates his agenda, and I did (see the meta study and the massive eruption of sock puppets it led to), and he threatened that if I continued documenting what he did, he’d get even.
He has claimed to have created 700 socks on RationalWiki, and from what I have documented so far, which is only the surface, it is believable.
This is not a “conspiracy theory.” However, he has claimed to be supported  (even paid) by a major skeptical organization, and he has referred to other users, and an organization called the Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia. There may be some level of off-wiki collusion and coordination. My study of AP is not about that, it is about this user who freely creates attack socks, who creates attack articles on RationalWiki and who may have influenced Wikipedia articles toward violations of biography policy.
Skepticism is essential to science, that is one of the themes of this blog. What AP does is far, far from genuine skepticism. It’s libel, and his impersonations (what he did with Ben Steigmann on Wikipedia that got me started on all this) are illegal.
If he’s not quaking in his boots (what he thought I should be), he’s crazy, which is, in fact, plausible. He has claimed to be schizophrenic. Because these socks freely lie, it’s difficult to tell what is true about him. But the behaviors can be seen.
The references to JPS are now in many places, because he put them there. He also notified JPS himself, on his new changed-name Wikipedia account, waving a big red flag to it. And then he claims that I was harassing JPS, forcing him to change his name. If I actually were, he just handed me the new account name with no fuss. Normally, JPS has requested name changes on the page for it, but that made it easier to find them. This time he made the request by email, according to the link that AP handily provided.

Open discussion on Wikipedia

This is being discussed on Wikipedia, and by allowing that discussion on his user talk page, started by the now-blocked IP, Schroeder has made it necessary to point to it. (though this could easily be removed here.) Calling public attention to alleged doxxing or outing is massively naive, at best, and can show that the real motive is attack on others. If he deletes that discussion (and he can ask for rev-del), I will remove this reference. Schroeder is not my target or enemy [was not as this was written]. I am exposing the activity of a massive family of sock puppets who have long disrupted Wikipedia and other sites. libelling, and commonly arranging for others to be blocked when they respond as normal human beings to his outrages.
I call these “attack dogs,” and AP is not the only one. They are anonymous and take high risks, but what I’ve seen is that they get away with things that would get ordinary users blocked or even banned. Those whom they attack are often blocked or banned and, in fact, I’m an example. So there is something like a conspiracy, some systemic factionalism operating, but that is only a loose hypothesis at this time, not a developed theory with as-yet clear evidence.
My only related recent WMF activity has been addressing the disruptions of the two IP users listed above, both using the same provider, with open proxies. Longer-term, originating in the damage at Wikiversity, and to protect users there (and others), I have been documenting the activity of this LTA, documented here as to RationalWiki and here as to WMF socking and locks and blocks. Schroeder had not been mentioned, and my comments about his account history were obscure. No other WMF “skeptics” have been documented, only Anglo Pyramidologist socks, so the IP is admitting to being Anglo Pyramidologist, clearly block-evading, and block evasion is continuing, using the open proxies (four of them so far) for this talk page discussion.
The original version of this post was written Oct 4, 2017. However, it was private, not public. It was based on a post on the Thunderbolts forum, the same day. I later opened it. Because of that sequence, it did not appear in normal blog display (which was deliberate). When attention was drawn to it, I made it private again, then edited it to remove all the personal information and republished. If there are any questions, comments are allowed here, and an easy way to email me is through the WMF interface, global user Abd, accessible on Wikipedia and most WMF sites to any registered user with email enabled. (and autoconfirmation is not required to email, I believe.)
See also
 A study of JPS edits to the Wikipedia article on cold fusion. I had never looked at this before. He was far more involved than I knew.