(This page shows the original commentary, before Oliver Smith wrote a new spate of emails, shown at anglo-pyramidologist/emails/
There is a new analysis at anglo-pyramidologist/emails/analysis
Below is the original content in the emails I received from Oliver Smith, who wrote to me, I had not written to him, but we then had considerable back-and-forth. If anyone is interested, I will also provide my replies. I was attempting to warn him against continuing his attacks, because they could be reputation suicide for someone aspiring to be an academic. He obviously did not accept the warning. I suggested that he could recover by simply telling the truth, the whole truth, what he knows.[Comment added 2/17/2018: In a new email, Smith denies “aspiring to be an academic.” The statement still stands, Oliver apparently does not know how to separate a hypothetical from an actual claim of fact. It would be reputation suicide, and, as well, the coverage of an individual by articles on RationalWiki or elsewhere can also be damaging. It can cause rejection for any position where the employer or agency does a Google search for the individual.]
- January 24, 2018
- January 25, 2018
- January 27, 2018
- January 30, 2018
- January 30, 2018
- January 30, 2018
- January 31, 2018
- February 14, 2018
(I considered carefully whether or not to publish the emails. There was no promise of confidentiality. However, it may be, under many conditions, reasonably expected. I originally took Oliver’s email as a possible attempt to clarify the reality, and I would never “punish” that. However, one attempting to create cooperation (as I did with Joshua P. Schroeder — who claimed this was “harassment”) does not sanely proceed by insulting the correspondent, and does not tell the correspondent they are lying or stupid or paranoid. One might question statements, requesting clarification. For others, if you want to send me something with the expectation of confidentiality, say so in the original mail. I’m a journalist. I report fact and analysis. I will use what I receive, and anyone who intends to restrict that must specify it before revealing it. I’d suggest, in fact, obtaining consent to confidentiality before sending me the information. That would be mature behavior. Otherwise one would be attempting to coerce confidentiality, which is actually offensive. I have no subpoena power. I cannot force anyone to reveal anything to me, but people choose, for their own reasons, to reveal. There are many people with whom I have agreed to maintain confidentiality, I know many facts (or allegations) that I’d love to publish, but don’t.)
I will add commentary, interspersed. He misrepresents much, exaggerates. I’m not sure he is lying, but he is clearly careless with the truth, and is minimizing. His comments to and about me incorporate false assumptions. He denies accusations that were not made. My studies identified many suspected socks, some with technical evidence, some by the duck test. The original WMF study, based on Wikipedia and then meta cross-wiki checkuser reports, simply reported what had already been published by others. The original concern — on Wikiversity — was the behavior of SPAs, single-purpose accounts, and how they could warp administrative decisions, it was not about Anglo Pyramidologist himself, but when I study a topic, I attempt to become familiar with the elements involved. And when this attempt was vigorously attacked, at a level I had never before seen (and combined with threats, later acted out), I then realized I was definitely onto something. That impression has been amply confirmed by subsequent events. I will eventually turn back to Wikiversity to remedy the massive damage done there, to the very core identity of Wikiversity, as it had been founded and long operated, as a bastion of academic freedom, with overall neutrality -by-inclusion — which can create voluminous resources — rather than the neutrality-by-exclusion that Wikipedia attempts.
The distinction between Oliver and his brother was long ago noted, in the study that is still on the meta wiki. They both use the confusion, “that wasn’t me.” (which may be true! But by sharing internet access on occasion — and also by a level of topic cross-over and mutual support, they become responsible for each other.) It can be seen in the correspondence that Smith does not understand that he might be responsible in some way for his brother’s actions, he excuses himself by claiming he has no control over his brother. That’s not the point. He has control over himself, we must assert, and he then becomes responsible for omissions that create and perpetuate confusion.
With these mails (taken together with his new blog post under his real name), this is the first time in a long time, though, that Smith has acknowledged that it has been his brother doing the really disruptive stuff — which he also minimizes, as if impersonation socking with intention is to defame and harm were not illegal.
So he might as well be lying. He is attempting to create misleading impressions. He is utterly careless at best, taking his brother’s position on impersonation (which is very well-established, through the technical evidence that he and his brother deny exists, not only the duck test, and toward the end we can see him defending his own blatant impersonation of [redacted]. Oh, that is such a whopper!).
He started out seeming somewhat reasonable. By the last mail, he was practically frothing at the mouth, as it were. He refers to recent checkuser findings without being specific. Those accounts was very, very clearly him, though if they were his brother, he did a great job of impersonating him. The pattern of creating many socks in a short time is characteristic of AP. One or both brothers?
(So … he really does lie. I’ll cover this in more detail when I add commentary. I do maintain the possibility that he was impersonated, but he had created the underlying issue that these socks were promoting, the RationalWiki article on Emil Kirkegaard. He admits that — and this was what others had claimed, and that I had similarly seen independently. I did *not* get my original information from the others exposing him. And AP socks had claimed that my investigations and the claims of others were a “paranoid conspiracy theory.” Yet they are now confirmed, by Oliver himself.)
It might seem trivial (and he minimizes it all), but real-world damage has been done. If I had not known how to recover it, years of my work would have been vaporized through AP actions (on Wikiversity). The long-standing use of Wikiversity to create balance where an encyclopedia cannot thoroughly cover a project, while maintaining overall neutral, has been trashed. It may take quite a bit of time to fix that, if, indeed, it ever is fixed. There is a faction that has used AP for its purposes, just as he used RationalWiki in turn, and those purposes are antithetical to academic freedom, which is essential to science and more.
January 24, 2018
Someone informed me about the allegations about myself on your website. I’m not the person leaving messages on your website, and they read stupid. I have a new blog where I will cover my side of the story to Emil Kirkegaard; hopefully this post will be up in the next few days. The problem is explaining myself in more detailÂ or clearing myself of other allegations, because this will take a longer period of time. The reason I am focusing on Kirkegaard is because he was in the newspaper headlines recently, and some journalists contacted me, and I may be of help to the UCL inquiry. All will be explained in my post.
I think he may be telling the truth here. It was his brother Darryl. However, Kirkegaard is particularly in the headlines because of the RationalWiki article on him, which Oliver created, demonstrating the harm of sloppy news coverage. The RationalWiki article, which “exposed” Kirkegaard as a “pedophile apologist,” is now pointing to the news coverage as “source” of the claim, which is highly biased interpretation, not fact, and actually irrelevant to the news stories, it was merely salacious sensationalism. Of course he was contacted by journalists, because Kirkegaard had exposed him as the author of the accusations.
(Minor possibility: the comments on my blog were from another troll, but on the other hand, the IP evidence connected the comments to known AP characteristics, very difficult for some other troll to manage this, though one very, very sophisticated might pull it off. AP has made many enemies, so this must be considered. It does not therefore become likely, at all.)
January 25, 2018
Subject: Re: Allegations
From: Oliver Smith
Date: 1/25/2018 1:50 PM
Michael Suarez just deleted the ED article on me.
However, view how many times it has been deleted and re-created: http://archive.is/jprUo (but again deleted today).
I presume Michael knows none of those MetaWiki/Wikiversity accounts are mine, with the exception of Za Frumi and possibly one other when I left him a comment on his user talk – this was months back. And the only reason I showed up there is because mistaken identity. The fact is, I don’t post on these websites and have never disrupted them. 99.9% of those accounts are my twin brother. I have no idea what any of that stuff is and it doesn’t involve me. I’ve tried explaining this to Rome Viharo about Wikipedia for ages, but he never listens. For example, I was never “Dan Skeptic”/”Goblin Face” on Wikipedia. Yet I’m named on his website when I never spoke with him on Wikipedia.
In an old comment Michael says that even if I’m telling the truth – I’m still to blame since my twin brother edits from my house. However, that was mostly years back when we were young. Regardless, I have no control over his activities, he doesn’t now live with me, although does sometimes visit. I cannot comment on allegations of his disruption since I don’t know nor am interested in what he edits on wikis. The overlap between us is actually very minor. We both have different qualifications, interests etc; for example I have no interest in debunking the paranormal, while he does. What little I do know is that he is linked to ‘skeptic’ organisations, supposedly is either paid or works with other people. I do not see any ‘real world’ harm by what he does though, if he’s just refuting or criticising spiritualists or ghost-believers where is the harm?
I do not know what MDS knows. Hey, I’ll ask him! (I have not depended on him for information. I rarely look at ED. However, what I notice is the context. Oliver points to a discussion where he requests the article be deleted or cleaned up. He was apparently involved on that page before, using at least one other sock. The sock claims “I never harassed Joshua Moon’s family by emails. Its nothing to do with me, if that even happened. I sent one email to Candy Potter’s employer and her being fired had nothing to do with her having an account on Kiwi Farms” Only one, eh? How many emails must be sent to a critic’s mother’s employer to be harassment?
In the picture that is developing, the highly disruptive meta and Wikiversity accounts would be Darryl, the brother. However, there are cross-connections. His brother, if that’s the case, has edited articles created by him. They support each other. These kinds of linkages cause Wikipedia to tag the accounts as his socks, i.e., Anglo Pyramidologist socks. They don’t care which brother did it. These will be considered meat puppets for a blocked user, thus effectively evading the block. Because of the mutual support, it is not easy for anyone not one of the brothers to be sure who did what in all cases. The meta/Wikiversity/Wikipedia socks recently claimed that the accounts involved were not “Anglo Pyramidologist.” But they never say who they actually are. They use the “not-AP” claim in an attempt to discredit the studies as “erroneous,” when the existence of two brothers (at least, plus other family members who might occasionally edit Wikipedia) was established in 2011 and the studies were clear about this possibility. On Wikipedia, the claim was rejected by some as “what they all say, My Brother Did It.” That’s true, but another pointed out that it might be true, sometimes.
“Refutation” on Wikipedia and Wikiversity, done as AP did it, is against policy. Editors seeking to “refute” are “POV-pushing.” Criticism is certainly allowed on Wikiversity — which they killed. The topics (Cold fusion and Parapsychology are now prohibited there, very new and very remarkable and a violation of site neutrality, never before done on with any academic subject. (There was some precedent for deleting “wiki studies” when they were reasonably alleged as platforms for attacking editors on other wikis.) I am neither a spiritualist nor a ghost-believer, and I was harassed and attacked, so Oliver is being quite selective in how he describes his brother’s activities.
January 27, 2018
Subject: Re: Allegations
From: Oliver Smith
Date: 1/27/2018 11:16 AM
I can respond in full when I get the spare time. http://emilkirkegaard.blogspot.co.uk/ will be where I make the post on Kirkegaard in the next 24 hours, if not sooner.
My advice at the moment to you – is its not a good idea for you to side with neo-Nazi paedophiles like Kirkegaard.
I’ve had a look at your blog, and you’re disturbingly defending neo-Nazis and paedophiles. Also, my brother provided evidence [redacted] is a neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier *right now*. He never changed his views, since there are comments he posted in 2017 (less than a year old) which show this. [redacted] is also a borderline paedophile who thinks girls should be married and “impregnated” about 16 by much older men. rationalwiki.org/wiki/[redacted] This is the guy you consider your “friend”, so I don’t need a lecture on morality from you.
Actual posting time was 2018-01-30T09:13:00-08:00. Times from my email system are UT – 7. So he actually took over three days. Minor point. Lots of people don’t do what they say will do.
An opinion regarding marriage at 16 is not even borderline pedophilia. It’s a common idea in many cultures. The person in question repudiated and retracted his old views.
The blog post was quite long, a rant. It has now been taken down (which I expected. I cover the post on this page, under construction.) If Emil objects to my coverage, I will work with him to redact it. But the cat is out of the bag, because the post was archived (archive.is) at 30 Jan 2018 17:23:10, that is, ten minutes after he posted it. He archived it, knowing that blogspot would consider the blog (by its very name), a violation of policy. So, then, this is a continuation of long-term AP behavior: violating host policies, excusing it by his strong point of view. The violation was blatant.
Defending “neo-Nazi pedophiles”
The evidence for such is an article authored by Oliver. D. Smith on RationalWiki. That’s covered elsewhere. Here I have a series of responses (I have long known that I could reply simply, I could just say “That’s a lie!” Responding with evidence that addresses the basis for such a claim takes far more words, which are then attacked by Oliver and the like as a rant or too long or other irrelevancies. If something is too long, don’t read it! But be careful about coming to conclusions without someone reasonably neutral reading it!
Smith pointed elsewhere to coverage of Emil Kirkegaard. He created that by mailing probably libelous letters to media, that’s admitted by an obvious sock of his on RationalWiki. His mail to me here was libelous.
Copies with full headers will be supplied to persons with a need to know.
“pedophile” is the easy one. There is no evidence I have seen — at all — that Kirkegaard is a pedophile, which is an actual medical term. It is used casually and sloppily by the ignorant or careless to refer to anyone interested in or “defending” age-of-consent reform, as well as certain freedom-of-speech issues, which has been an ongoing process for some centuries now, with legal and sociological realities being quite surprising to many. If I point this out, I have myself been called a pedophile or, slightly less offensive but still defamatory and inaccurate, a “pedophile defender.” However, were I an attorney, and a pedophile were charged with a crime (pedophilia is not a crime!), I might defend one.
I was also an officer in the Cal Tech chapter of the ACLU, probably as a sophomore there. (I picketed the House Unamerican Activities Committee meeting in Los Angeles then). The ACLU has defended Nazis and other groups widely considered reprehensible, as action protecting civil liberties. Civil liberties are not just for those with politically correct or popular views, but for everyone, and if it becomes an offense to defend the unpopular, democracy is in double trouble.
I have not “defended” Kirkegaard, though. Rather, as far as I recall, I have described what happened with him and his article on RationalWiki, and then recently pointed to his blog post outing Oliver Smith. (Right now, I’m not finding that page, but I will come back.) It is always possible that somewhere I wrote something inappropriate. One who writes a lot and who never does that is being self-suppressed, not self-expressed. However, key would be how one responds when it’s pointed out. I asked Oliver Smith to be explicit, over and over, if he finds something erroneous or inappropriate. With very, very few exceptions, he remains vague, as he is here.
I have written to Kirkegaard and may have mentioned elsewhere that his 2012 blog post was … “young and foolish.” Kirkegaard is very intelligent (as is shown by sources criticizing him) and from his comments, my guess would be that he could be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a developmental disorder, a cloud with a silver lining. (I’ve been so diagnosed.) A common symptom is an insensitivity to social cues, connected with another trait, hyperfocus. Kirkegaard was “thinking out loud” without regard for what could be expected and normal social responses, and has defended what he wrote as a “thought experiment,” and advocates open public discussion of highly controversial issues — like pedophilia. His comments were clueless and not based on any deep consideration of the issues. I recommended to him that he very clearly disavow them, but he has not taken this advice. Not yet, anyway. His full discussion did hint at problems with his ideas, and he never worked this out. “Promotion of” or “apology for” pedophiles was obviously not any significant part of his concerns. What has happened is that the most shocking sentences have been taken from that context, making it look far worse than it appears to have actually been. And that was six years ago, not recent, and completely irrelevant to the issues in the news, which would more legitimately be concerned about hereditarianism.
There is a connection with hereditarianism, though. In that blog post, which is still up (now amended from the archive copies which Smith quotes) Kirkegaard had this bit of argument:
if sexual orientation is something one is born with (it is), then the preference for children is as well.
He was taking a hereditarian position, as someone with little or no knowledge of how real people deal with real paraphilias, and about the full range of human possibility.
So, no law can make people become not pedofiles. Sad situation.
He has little imagination about possibilities. Yes, law will not, itself, change what might be called “natural sexual preference.” It is only sad, however, if one’s happiness depends on sex. The level of choice involved in sexual activity is not commonly understood, and, as well, how to handle situations where sex is not available. The same argument could be made about rape of any kind, by the way.
Now comes the saddest part: Suppose one is born a pedofile.
Nobody is “born” a pedophile. Nobody born with any developed awareness of other people. How sexual consciousness arises is not well understood at all. But he is simply thinking out loud. Suppose the sexual preference for prepubescents is intrinsic, genetic, which would be a hereditarian position, and that it is fixed, immutable. (Neither of these are known; it makes a handy excuse, though, “My genes made me do it.” which is why this might be called “pedophile apology,” but that isn’t his intention as far as I can see.) Genes do not have exclusive control of our behavior, that I know. Most of our behavior is learned.
What to do? If one is a moral being, then one will avoid actually raping children. One can have sex with some rather young ones (say, any consenting child in puberty) without any moral problems, especially when one is young oneself.
What he describes as “sex with a consenting ‘child’ in puberty” is not pedophilia. It is, in fact, normal sexual behavior (or “attraction”) for humans and societies everywhere. By calling such a person a “child,” when many cultures consider this the beginning and boundary of adulthood, the very definition of the end of childhood, Kirkegaard fell into a trap that has caught many.
Kirkegaard is describing sex as a compulsion, when that is not how sex is developed and expressed in mature cultures. It is obvious that the basic function of sex is procreation, but that is not, as we evolved, the only function. Sex is also social glue, and creative of bonding that is life-enhancing. Kirkegaard’s primitive idea of sex is not uncommon, though.
Notice that he clearly suggests that “a moral being” will avoid “actually raping children.” However, his mind runs in certain tracks, which I recognize.
For the rest, one is left to masturbate to porn, perhaps child porn (animated or not), and regular porn. That sucks, and there is nothing to do about it.
Again, this is a primitive view of sex, from someone probably with narrow experience. The concept of total sexual abstinence does not exist for him, and the entire realm of what is possible in life without ordinary sex is missing, the whole realm of tantra yoga, realms of causeless and joy beyond measure. He is revealed, though he probably does not realize it, his own impoverished sexuality. But then he says something: “there is nothing to do about it.”
My mind is dialectical. When a proposition comes up, the opposite immediately comes up. (I just wrote about Neils Bohr and his comments about opposites.)
So when he said, “nothing to do,” he began immediately thinking of what one might do. The ideas that come up will not be restrained by logic or depth, he is “brainstorming.” And the first thing he thinks is a doozie:
Kirkegaard also wrote about “animated child porn,” a legal issue. His views might seem shocking to some, but they are not uncommon and were similar to findings of the U.S. Supreme Court when it considered the issue. (And the law is in flux on this.) His views would be typical for those who seek to emphasize freedom of speech and expression, which, they will think, should only be limited where such causes real harm (not merely some potential or imaginary harm). Hence advocacy of violence is prohibited, but ideological expression, not likely to lead to immediate violent action, is not.
January 30, 2018
Subject: Re: Allegations
From: Oliver Smith
Date: 1/30/2018 1:28 PM
I was busy, but it’s now up. I submitted a legal report to Google complaining about defamation on Kirkegaard’s website; they’ve blocked the article for UK (and possibly that applies to all CommonWealth countries). I will do the same to your website.
Pretty much everything you’ve written about me is misinformation and lies, so not sure how you want me to proceed. For example the claim I “send harassing phone calls” – just garbage. If Michael Suarez is saying that he’s lying. I’m in UK, do you really think I would waste $$$ phoning overseas, phone numbers I don’t even know?
You listed like 10 IPs + accounts that are not mine on your “identity” article on me. So your MO just seems to be to write lies about people like the RationalWiki accurately described you. You’re banned on tuns of wikis and forums and then use your blog to harass people you quarrel with by writing falsehoods and made-up stories about them. It is very clear what you are doing that can only be described as harassment.
I had taken the Identity page private, but I’ve now restored it as a result of these communications and Smith’s failure to make it clear what was him and what was his brother. I will examine the identity page and include his denial, but he is lying here.
There is strong evidence that Smith sent an email to Joshua Connor Moon’s mother’s employer, what appears to be a sock of his on ED admitted that (denying that he got her fired, but … what was that email and why was Oliver emailing the employer? Smith has pointed to that page here, and if that was impersonation, he’d have said so. He is tangled in a web of lies and misinformation, he created over some years. It is coming unglued.
“Tons of wikis and forums?” One is an actual ban, en.Wikipedia, that was in 2011 and I have never appealed it. I was indef blocked on RationalWiki, by an AP sock, him or his brother, I’m not sure. I am not banned, that takes a particular community process, and AP is unlikely to want that. And I was recently indef blocked on Wikiversity as an apparent result of intense complaints, privately, by AP socks and two Wikipedians with long-term grudges, totally out of process. My unblock request was denied by the same administrator who blocked me, very irregular, but I have not yet undertaken a serious review process because I don’t need to edit Wikiversity at this point; the problem is long-term and will be addressed in time. My first priority was recovering the content and that is under way.
I have accounts on something like 600 WMF wikis. I have been active on a fair number, and I have taken on controversial issues. Until the Wikiversity action, I was blocked on one only.
Oliver would know that I know all this, and that the representations on RationalWiki are basically lies. So does he think he will convince me of something by lying to me about what I know, and calling me a liar?
Trolls do that. Oliver Smith has recently been amply confirming what had been very strong suspicion before. He has created massive harm by libelling many, expecially through RationalWiki articles. And now he is experiencing blowback.
January 30, 2018 (second)
Subject: Re: Allegations
From: Oliver Smith <email@example.com>
Date: 1/30/2018 4:14 PM
To: Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well certainly not me, I’m an antinatalist and have had those views even when I was young- I don’t have nor want children. The fact you said you have 7 children IMO is disgusting.
I don’t know if my brother left you comments, it was probably not even him but someone fooling around.
I’ve made the Kirkegaard page because it made mainstream newspapers and people contacted me over it. I really have no interest in responding to the ‘allegations’ now I’ve seen its like 100,000 words. What I wrote about Kirkegaard answers some of the allegations about accounts, I did explain this earlier. I’m simply though am not wasting time going over every single account. Its pointless and nobody cares.
To ordinary people who click on your blog – you just look like disgruntled and a looney-tunes who is spending far too much time on this stuff that is all irrelevant.
You have no legitimate criticism against my brother or myself. We simply have used RW to document and refute pseudo-science. No laws broken.
Also – I’m now inactive on RW.
So, who is SkepticDave? January 10, first edit to Laird Shaw waves big flag: Smith brother. And then his next edits to the Talk page of that article. Then he immediately reveals, on the Saloon Bar, confirming what I’ve been working on,suspected, that the recent negative coverage of Emil Kirkegaard in “mainsream media” was a result of the RationalWiki article being taken as factual. It was not “independent journalism.” It was repeating rumor with only the thinnest of evidence, and with sources actually contradicting the claims, unless one reads very shallowly, with a conclusion already in mind (and, after all, the thinking would go, all racialists are Racists and Bad People and therefore it is immediately believable that they would be pedophiles or something else bad, they probably blow their noses in their hands and then squeeze the fruit at the supermarket.)
The Saloon Bar announcement by Skeptic Dave claims: “The person who wrote those RationalWiki articles sent a tip-off to some newspapers.” From Oliver D. Smith’s recent blog (now apparently deleted by blogspot), Smith admits creating those articles. In his correspondence, above, he claimed he was contacted. No, he sent in a “tip.” He actively set it up, sending them to RationalWiki, I’d assume. Then when they reported that tip as fact, he added their comments to RationalWiki. AsianDude I had already tagged as a likely AP sock from his constellation of interests (same as Skeptic Dave). This is how AP has operated, creating disruption, and when a target is hit (admins or others respond as he wants), he then cites it back on RW as evidence of the claims. He has gotten away with it many times. And he lies about “being inactive.” (Or the statement is true, the day made. SkepticDave created a user page “joking” about how many accounts he has made, January 19, 2018. He did not then edit until February 1, when he removed the joke and then immediately began editing the Kirkegaard article furiously. (This is an AP pattern: many small edits instead of making small changes and accumulating them and then previewing them.)
So the statement above, as to SkepticDave, was true for the previous eleven days. It remained true for another day or two. Smith commonly relies on vague “truths.” He avoids being specific, because specificity would reveal too much. AsianDude, however, had continued editing. Could this be Darryl? Also Nick Lowles Fan, with interests that appear to be Oliver’s. And Anti racist skinhead. And Hope not Hate member. (Hope not Hate is Nick Lowles’ organization.) These are definitely AP socks; but they could be Darryl, but all this then indicates that the duck test does not necessarily distinguish between Darryl and Oliver.
The sock activity has been starting to irritate other RW sysops, see the discussion on User talk:Merkel.
That page, by the way, provides a ready list of AP socks (most already identified from other editing.. The edit that started the section (at the top of what I linked) describes how AP works:
We will just shut your neo-Nazi troll website down – multiple reports sent to its host.
Hosts can be overworked and underpaid, the same as WMF administrators. Some of them will act simply to shut up the complainers. That’s what apparently happened on Wikiversity. Eventually, I suspect, the truth will come out, it’s already visible if anyone looks. What it may take is users who want academic freedom to stand for it; most remain silent. “It’s not my issue!” So, then, the Niemöller insight. Only now it is “first they came for the racists.” And that is why the ACLU defends the civil liberties of racists, while detesting their views.
Smith is confirming what some have written about him (“asexual”) but “antinatalist” adds a new dimension to it. It is a remarkable admission. “Antinatalism, or anti-natalism, is a philosophical position that assigns a negative value to birth. Antinatalists argue that people should refrain from procreation because it is immoral.”
This is distinct from a moral concern about overpopulation, which would be situational and dependent on conditions.
Anti-natalism is the very opposite of life-affirming. Not a fun person to hang out with. (The general argument is that Death is Bad, and that we must avoid creating what is Bad, and the only way to avoid creating Death is to avoid creating Life. It is assumed that Death is a process of such horrible pain and agony and suffering that to allow it is the ultimate moral crime. Yet the antinatalist has not (yet) directly experienced death. I met a man who had an absolutely horrible childhood, but he overcame it and was successful. Then he had a skiing accident and was in pain for many years as a result. He kept a gun by his bed in case the suffering became unbearable. But he did not kill himself, and he was sharing his experience in a 12-step program, and I saw him over some time. From being in a wheelchair, last time I saw him, he was walking with a cane.
I can tell many more stories, including very personal ones. Life is a rare opportunity, well worth the pain and “suffering” that the Buddha wrote was intrinsic to existence, if we take advantage of the opportunity. Pain is inevitable, so are old age, disease, and death (“the three messengers:” But suffering is optional, and the Buddha showed the end of suffering and the path to it, which all those “negative utilitarian philosophers” completely neglect.
Smith, I’m sure, trusts none of this.
Is “Smith” now inactive on RationalWiki? Maybe. I’ve noticed a decline. But then someone is carrying the torch in his absence. His brother? Or is he simply lying? How would we know? He has not provided verifiable information, nor even clear testimony, personal assertion. He actually avoids the issues by providing excuse after excuse, while issuing general denials. At the same time, he calls relatively simple documentation, sourced and attributed, “lies.” He is not trustworthy.
Whoever wrote the article me on RationalWiki — I would think his brother, from the initial “parapsychology” interests that brought me to expose AP activity — appears to be recently active, but last edits were . Who was Skeptical? Just another sock of Darryl? Skeptical vanished when he was called “Oliver,” by someone who was not-me. Oliver is quite vague about when he stopped editing, or what accounts were his, beyond Krom and BenSteigmans. I think there were many more, and a common sign by which I’ve recognized the socks were SPAs that would show up, full-blown, on articles like Kirkegaard and Fuerst. Many of them. Those would not be the Darryl interests, generally. But Darryl might continue his brother’s work, maybe. There were many who wrote on the Racialism article, but that also showed wider interest. Often the only people interested in the AP article creations are AP socks, with only a few general comments, no serious work, by RationalWiki regulars.
Mikemikev has edited the Racialism article, one can tell by characteristic Korean IP, apparently at that time he lived in Seoul.
It is not simple to disentangle this, the complication created by the history of these brothers. Wikipedia decided to ignore the “brother” claims, and simply treat them both as “Anglo Pyramidologist,” though AP was Oliver and Darryl was more blatantly disruptive — but both were disruptive.
January 30, 2018 (third)
January 30, 2018
Subject: Re: Allegations
From: Oliver Smith
Date: 1/30/2018 5:48 PM
There are no impersonations by me or my brother, never was. I & my brother typed some silly things online when I we were teenagers – difference is, what I/we typed was innocent and no one cared. Kirkegaard however made some obscene pro-child rape comments when he was 22 – they will haunt him forever, and there’s much evidence he is a paedophile.
Smith is defending himself, he imagines, by claiming that someone else is worse. That almost always fails, in real life, especially when we look at life long term. Truth comes out.
But I have seen nothing like the grossly offensive, lying libels of the Smith brothers, coming from Kirkegaard. He has defended himself, and was attacked by socks on RationalWiki, impersonation socks, which then led to Kirkegaard’s personal real-named and acknowledged account there being blocked.
Elsewhere he claims that he doesn’t know what his brother was doing. So how could he know that his brother did not impersonate anyone? This whole AP study began with impersonation socks, who successfully convinced Wikipedia administrators that they were [redacted], and then one of them took this to Wikiversity and succeeded in getting [redacted] blocked there and his work deleted– and another AP sock on Wikiversity stirred this up and fomented it. All these were identified as the original filer of a checkuser request on [redacted], who had been stalking [redacted], obviously, reading everything looking for clues that could be used to attack him. The sock master later acknoweldged that he “had to” create those socks because nobody was taking his [redacted] report seriously. Oliver, below, repeats some of the information from those reports. It was him, or his brother told him or he has actually followed it. And all of this resolves with: He is lying.[redacted] is an online pseudonym, anyone can use it.
Not to defame the owner of that account, which is what has been done. Using a deceptive account name — and making it appear that the user is the original account owner, is widely rejected. On Wikipedia, if such names are detected, they will be blocked on sight. It is not necessarily illegal, unless there is an illegal purpose, such as defamation.
The person who often uses that alias has a different real name: [redacted], and its unclear if his real surname is actually [redacted] because he uses a different surname on Facebook. So who cares if some stupid accounts were created with variants of this title? I see no impersonations. No crimes committed. Have I been impersonated? yes, in silly wiki wars with mikemikev e.g. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Oliver_D_Smith its all in the past though.
These arguments would be ridiculed to shreds on a RationalWiki article on Oliver D. Smith. As I wrote the other day, that article has been “salted,” which means that it is protected from creation. Why? There had been no prior creations deleted (repeated creation of an improper article is often addressed by salting. It then takes an admin to create the article.) This is part of a growing body of evidence that Smith has been enabled and protected by others. Definitely, others have aided and abetted his activities, but how much they knew is unclear. The story of AP can seem preposterous, if one doesn’t actually look at the evidence, and there is a shortage of those on many wikis who will actually look at evidence. It makes their heads hurt. Too much to read!
The Oliver D. Smith account does not appear to be Smith, for sure. It was first blocked by Weaseloid, after a single act of vandalism, first edit. That was a short block, a few days. Then the account edited a bit until David Gerard indef blocked, October 10, who identified it as mikemikev. On what evidence?
That the account was an impersonation, obvious obvious. That it was disruptive, obvious, hence the block. However, what I’ve seen on RW is that anyone opposing the Smith activities is called a sock of one of the standard enemies, generally Rome Viharo or mikemikev, sometimes other article targets. Indeed, the Wikiversity socking was transiently attributed there to mikemikev. It is very, very unlikely from the IP evidence. The hint that led to that attribution was provided by a checkuser-identified sock of whoever was behind that huge mess.
Oliver D. Smith had a user page, deleted by JorisEnter. Familiar name in this research, I may check further on this later. The content of that page:
Hi I’m Oliver D Smith.
I studied classics at Roehampton in London.
My dissertation was on Atlantis and I believe Atlantis exists.
I’m here to contribute to refuting pseudoscience.
This was true as to most fact (Roehampton, Atlantis, but “I believe” would refer possibly to Smith’s earlier position. His peer-reviewed paper on Atlantis, published before that user page was written, considers the Atlantis story a myth invented by Plato. So this would be what someone might write who was holding to older ideas from Smith — and attempting to discredit him on RationalWiki, where “believing” in Atlantis would be knee-jerk rejected. Not what Smith would write.
In this case, the Smith User page was created by IP (contributions). That was probably an open proxy. Mikemikev commonly edited, at that time — I should check this — from Korea, but he, like any other troll, might use an open proxy. So might AP. The IP had three edits to Racialism, and I found many Seoul Korea IP edits to that article, it stood out. But, of course, AP socks also edited that article.
An edit of “Oliver D. Smith”:
I’m sorry about all of the sockpuppets. I just want a second chance. Everything on the ED page is true. I just want this one account from now on. I don’t have any friends and my only interaction with people is on the internet. But nobody there likes me either. I’m asexual and live with my mom. Please be my friend. [[User:Oliver D Smith|Oliver D Smith]] ([[User talk:Oliver D Smith|talk]]) 09:24, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
This could easily be mikemikev, It is written in more or less Encyclopedia Dramatica style, and it requires the perverse reverse to suspect it was not impersonation. This would be very unusual. So I think Oliver is telling the truth here and that this was likely mikemikev. Very unlikely to be michaeldsuarez, this would be utterly out of character, and certainly not Rome Viharo. (MDS writes sarcastic ED articles, that is what that project is about, but I have never seen him post the material elsewhere. He is a WMF user in good standing except on Wikipedia (he was indef blocked in 2008. Vicious sarcasm is written on RationalWiki, with a level pretense that it is all “rationally based and verifiable.” RationalWikians know that the standard there is not truth, but snark, but the public doesn’t know that. They don’t make this mistake with ED.)
It could, perhaps, be Joshua Connor Moon, with whom I have had no contact. It could really be anyone who has been offended by Smith, or just some random troll. The edits to Racialism did not clearly identify who it was. They were certainly anti-racist is about all I could say. (Smith critics claim that Smith was racist, supporting fascists, politically. I have not verified this; if it is true, then his apparent anti-racism and anti-fascism could be a cover, allowing him to use RationalWiki to attack personal enemies. It is very obvious that Smith is motivated by high personal animosities, not by some more neutral desire to “combat pseudoscience” or “fascism”.
There’s no evidence viharo has been impersonated. Of course someone can claim they have been impersonated to get sympathy and viharo does this a lot since he has a self-victim complex. I do not know anything about new accounts impersonating Viharo on RationalWiki.
The best I can do, is ask my brother re-write your article intro or other pieces you take issue with and possibly remove your photo. There’s no way the article though is going to be deleted unless you want to submit a coop case thing. Up to you. I made very few edits to your article.
“There is no evidence” is a classic troll argument, because there clearly exists evidence. What this would legitimately mean is that the evidence is not convincing to the person saying that, but saying “there is no evidence” shuts off the conversation, denying that there is any basis for a claim. Rome Viharo did not claim to have been impersonated, I saw the sock puppet investigation on Wikiepedia and looked at the accounts and page histories and saw some blatant Viharo impersonations, account names that anyone who knows the Viharo history would connect to Viharo. So I asked Viharo to make sure. He confirmed that the accounts were not him (though I already thought that, because those accounts did not act in his style. They were vandals, he never did that, to my knowledge. This is what an impersonation sock will often do, something to attract immediate negative attention. More subtle impersonations are relatively rare.
It often works on Wikipedia, because some administrators will assume that someone who is indef blocked must be Bad, and Bad people vandalize, Wikipedia administrators are often quite clueless about real human psychology. They don’t bother to look back at the person’s actual behavior to see if it matches. That’s too much work!
I’ve now studied a bit of Viharo’s history, and “self-victim complex’ is a very poor description. He’s not a victim. He is someone who has been learning from his experience and attempting to do something about the situations he has encountered. He made mistakes, and he admits them.
His criticism of Wikipedia reflects what many highly knowledgeable critics of Wikipedia have written for years, books have been written about it. Some of these critics have held high positions in the WMF structure.
If I want RW to delete the article, I’ll send them a legal demand. However, I voted to Keep the article when that was considered. Rather, what I’d want is for the AP socks to stop editing it, and, indeed, for them to be blocked on RationalWiki for long-term creation of disruptive material that has brought RationalWiki into disrepute. I’m not particularly hopeful that this will happen, because it appears to me that those behind RationalWiki have supported AP for their own purposes. And this connects to a Wikipedia faction and to paid editing (which is a violation of the WMF TOS if not disclosed). The AP socks have claimed to have been paid, and Oliver roughly confirms that. There is an obvious suspected agent of this, which I’m not accusing, not yet. I don’t have clear evidence on it, merely a growing suspicion based on patterns I have seen. Rome Viharo has been writing about this and appears more certain than I.
I did not ask Oliver to ask his brother anything. I suggested that he clear the air by disclosing what he knows, fully, and by ceasing his vituperative attacks — and cleaning up his own messes in this way. He is apparently not interested in that, but in trolling. Telling someone they are lying, in a personal communication, is generally trolling. It would be intended to outrage or enrage, not to communicate, and that intention is what trolling is about. If one believes someone is lying, why even communicate with them? There can be reasons: a counselor might do it, but Smith is attacking, and I’m not his patient. If one wants to terminate all useful communication with someone, under normal circumstances, tell them they are lying. It is normally a profound insult. You’d better know what you are doing!
January 31, 2018
Subject: Re: Allegations
From: Oliver Smith
Date: 1/31/2018 10:34 AM
I’ve now spoken with my brother:
* Denies any impersonations.
* Says he finds you boring and won’t be editing your RW article anyway.
As to my suggestion we revise or edit things you take issue with: he declines and says everything he wrote is accurate. Therefore if you have an issue you will have to email the RationalWiki foundation or create another account and raise the issue.
I’m aware of the fake report by Kirkegaard or Viharo; the accounts now filed on that AP sock archive – are not mine. No technical evidence, and the method these accounts were put there was external and dubious. Kirkegaard or Viharo just emailed an admin their lies. A admin even commented it was an unusual block and there was no real evidence.
I will cover this in another blog post. However, beyond that I won’t be responding to allegations because like I said, no one cares about random accounts on RationalWiki.
Not on that blog, he won’t be writing. As I more or less expected, it has been taken down. There was no “fake report.” There was a checkuser filing by a checkuser, who is certainly not Viharo or Kirkegaard. There may have been some request privately. In the old days, checkusers would not allow that, but one of the last things I did on Wikipedia was that the old rules were dead and checkusers did whatever they pleased. Doesn’t mean it is wrong, and the checkuser involved, Callanec, certainly would not be lying about what he saw with the tool. Someone was socking and that was clear, there were six accounts all run by the same user. Then Callanec stated that the connection with Anglo Pyramidologist was “possible.” All previously tagged AP accounts would be stale, the specific checkuser evidence (i.e., the underlying raw logs that the tool accesses) is dumped after a time. But sometimes individual checkusers keep information and sometimes information is logged on the checkuser wiki, particularly for LTAs, which AP is.
I know enough about suspected AP IP information to know what Callanec may have seen. It would indicate possibility, from technical evidence. As an example, AP edited on Wikipedia, on Wikiversity, and on meta, using a collection of mobile Orange IP, geolocating to the known vicinity of the brothers. Checkusers will not, by policy, reveal this data. I may, I am not bound by Wikipedia policy, nor by law in this matter, as far as anything I know.
Oliver did not link to the alleged comment. Someone was watching that closely, more closely than I. Who would have such a high interest? And who would have an interest in claiming there is “no real evidence,” when there obviously was, and evidence like this could be introduced in a court if needed; it would simply take “attestation,” which is how all evidence is introduced in court. Smith is, it appears, a basement dweller/internet troll with little knowledge of real life.
He claims that “no one cares about random accounts on RationalWiki.” Someone obviously does, because I was indef blocked on RationalWiki for no action there, but for making a list of suspected RW socks on this blog. And he knows who did that, so he knows who cares, so he is lying.
Liar, liar, pants on fire!
So, I looked for that “admin comment” alleged. What I found was this.
If that was the source of the claim, it was misrepresented, as have been many such claims by AP, in many places.
Checkuser was used at the private request or provision of information from Captain Occam, emailed to the Arbitration Committee. This did not include the account “I have a big foot”. Callanec explains that the identification was “definitely confirmed.”
I know what evidence checkusers look at, it’s well-known. I would never call a checkuser result “certain.” However, the probability of a match can be great. In this case, the user claims that he lives in a set of flats with shared IP. That would only give an IP match, and the probability of truly independent users from that set of flats, with the same interests, at the same time, is very low. Then there is the additional information that checkusers can see. From such additional evidence, on my own blog, I can tell that a set of users, all taking the same action (commenting here) and using open proxies, are, probability of perhaps 0.9999 or higher, the same user. Put that together with “duck test” behavioral evidence, the probability of error is very low.
I notice that big foot did not put up an unblock template. Here is why not: it is easier to create a new account! If he avoids the same article areas, he is unlikely to be detected, even if he does this within the checkuser window (before the user logs are dumped). His user talk page access was not revoked (and that has generally been true for AP socks — but the accounts I had checkusered on meta were globally locked, which essentially kills account access entirely (the lock tool is crude, but fixing it has had a very low priority), but it appears that appeals are nonexistent, in recent years, or entirely absent. Why bother? The account’s cover has already been blown, so write it off!
Captain Occam is neither Rome Viharo nor Kirkegaard, but someone with a history of involvement with Race and Intelligence, a favorite AP (Oliver) topic. Again, Smith is lying or, in this case, perhaps claiming as fact what he does not know.
February 14, 2018
From: Oliver Smith <redacted>
Date: 2/14/2018 6:38 AM
None of the comments posted on your blog are mine. Would appreciate if you stopped impersonating me like a nutcase and writing foolish things, or ban the trolls (if you’re not impersonating me) to prevent them posting there and misattribute these accounts or comments to me.
He is referring to comments copied to Anglo Pyramidologist/Comments. These have been posted as blog comments here, generally in an inappropriate place. They are copied there, into a “page,” where they do not appear as featured on the home page (as with the list of recent comments there).
Oliver has not taken on board the fact that “Anglo Pyramidologist” is not just him, but includes the activity of his brother. He has not distinguished which accounts were actually him, and which were his brother or impersonations, and I have, from the beginning of these studies, considered and have often been explicit about possible impersonations.
I have not impersonated anyone, and I would not ordinarily even consider it. However, AP has demonstrated that impersonation can be an effective tool for demolishing the work of perceived enemies, so I’m not making an absolute pronouncement that I never would impersonate. However, as with any act of war, it would take extraordinary necessity, because of the massive damage it can do to credibility. Ordinarily, impersonation is thoroughly reprehensible, and that the impersonated one is somehow considered reprehensible as well does not change that.
That Smith leads with an assumption that I have been impersonating him — with no evidence at all for that, neither direct nor indirect, as in past demonstrated impersonations — indicates that he is either trolling or reactively blind.
Those comments might be misread as ‘defending’ me to fool you, but they are posting libellous things and misinformation mixed with the phony defences.
The comments are what they are, and I have analyzed them. All have used open proxies or the equivalent. They are trolling, no question, and could indeed be hostile impersonators intending to cast blame on the Smith brothers or Oliver specifically. However, Oliver has himself posted libel in his emails and in the blog post he mentions. He also created libelous articles on RationalWiki, apparently, and all of this has been replete with misinformation, particularly “proofs” that weren’t.
Oliver has information that could help clear up the mess. He is not disclosing it. Instead, he is dismissive and hostile.
It is his right to refrain from careful response and correction, but he is then responsible if the mysteries continue to cast him in a very poor light.
For example I’ve never been a “fascist”. My politics has always been ‘populism’ and I’ve supported parliamentary democracy and pressure groups that want more direct democracy (e.g. proportional representation/ referendums/ an English parliament) for as long as I can remember. You present zero evidence for your fascist smear. Plenty of other falsehoods about me on your blog, but I don’t like wasting time typing out long responses to your nonsense.
How about pointing to an alleged error with a very brief explanation? “Plenty of falsehoods” is zero information, and useless. The incorporated assumption here is that I have posted a “fascist smear.” He does not point to where this is. However, what’s on the Comments page?
Whether or not I agree, even if I think he might be lying, Oliver Smith has a right of response here. This is very different from the situation on RationalWiki, where he has been extensively defended, and those he has attacked are banned for frivolous reasons. Nobody is banned here. Comment is open to anyone, including trolls. If there were flooding, I could edit .htaccess to block IPs, but that would be largely useless. Rather, all comments are moderated until one from a source is approved, then they are open. I can still trash them easily. I keep all trashed comments — that is, I don’t “empty the trash.” Unfortunately, WordPress does not keep edit history for comments.
His right of response does not extend to libel of others; however; that can be a tricky judgment call that all publications face.
I found this on the Comments page, written by “David Smith.”
Smith was a former fascist who later became a strong anti-racist and mikemikev considered him a ‘traitor’ and ‘anti-white’. Why is Abd now citing racists and white supremacists as a ‘valid’ source of information about people on a blog dedicated to cold fusion?
In my response:
Here, we get evidence for a story that I had largely developed: Smith’s agenda comes from his history as a fascist. His attacks on [redacted] would come from that. [redacted], if I’m correct, has also claimed to be a former fascist. So conflicts stemming from all that are being maintained outside of that context, “David” is confirming all that. [redacted] was attacked, not because of his “pseudoscientific beliefs,” but because this was a way of retaliating against him. Vendetta, and quite obviously. What he accuses others of.
I consider this story likely to have an element of truth, but I keep in mind that AP socks commonly lie.
That is, a personal history as a fascist is a “story,” a possible interpretation, not a known fact. Further, the existence of the two brothers complicates it all. The explanation that Smith gives here is plausible, but this is the irony: the evidence for a fascist history for at least one of the Smiths is stronger, in my recollection of it, than evidence that, say, [redacted] is a fascist (present tense) or other similar and common claims. “Evidence” is not “proof” unless examined in toto and with caution. Here, Smith claims “your fascist smear” but I have merely presented, as a hypothesis, an appearance, not fact, what he is denying.
I have not researched the history such that I could make the “fascist” claim based on clear evidence. My research proceeds like this: I look at the record first, often just reading it over. From that, some ideas may arise and sometimes I present them. I am normally careful to distinguish these ideas from fact. The facts are what is in the record, and it is necessary to keep in mind the possibility of impersonation. From continued study, what is clear begins to emerge. Smith, in this email, is suggesting an interpretation of his old editing patterns, an interpretation that I could then research, if I actually cared that much about his thinking. I don’t. It is mostly irrelevant to the work I have done with this situation.
Was David Smith mikemikev? I rather doubt it, but it is not impossible. I have no direct communication with mikemikev. I consider it more likely, though, if this was not Oliver, that it was his brother. However, the evidence is not yet clear on that point. I have private studies I have not yet published. I do know that there is impersonation going on; I was just impersonated on RationalWiki, and similar impersonations of Rome Viharo and Emil Kirkegaard have appeared recently on Wikipedia.
Wiki administration can be radically naive on this. The sock IAmBannedUser, editing disruptively, will often be blocked and sometimes tagged as BannedUser, with no evidence other than the name. As if that is how BannedUser would behave. A few do. Very few. Most will attempt to hide identity. To be sure, the main goal on Wikipedia is to block disruptive users, and such an account is normally disruptive, but the habits lend themselves to attack impersonation.
Wikipedia is lousy with exceptions. I socked on Wikipedia for a brief period, first as IP, and disclosing my identity, and then as one non-disclosed sock, all to study community response. That was part of a long-term project, see the documentation that was openly maintained on Wikiversity. The basic purpose was to study how banned users could make positive contributions without complicating ban enforcement. The study demonstrated that fundamental Wiki policies, established very early on, had been abandoned in favor of ObeyMaAuthorite.
But a silly inaccuracy written about me on your blog is the bizarre claim I consider myself an “academic”. That seems to be your psychological projection since you don’t even have a degree. I don’t and never have called myself an academic. I’m a postgrad student and write a few independent research papers in my spare time; its a hobby, nothing more. Jobs I’ve done are the complete opposite of academia, unless you think bookbinding, other arts and crafts and some basic digital archivism is somehow “academic”.
This is, indeed, silly. So what? There is evidence that Oliver (and I mean “Oliver,” not merely “AP”) has defamed individuals, distorting evidence, from a very personal and essentially insane agenda, and he’s concerned about this trivial business? I did not claim that he considered himself an academic. He should learn to read. I made a statement about possible consequences to such a person. This is in the introduction to this page, above. I have annotated it, reflecting the denial above.
There’s also a now a full rebuttal to your lies concerning Kirkegaard and the London Conference on intelligence = https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/London_Conference_on_Intelligence Basically you take a comment out of context – I didn’t even write then invent a wild allegation I am the single person responsible for the news coverage. You’re losing your marbles old man? Finally blogspot never removed the emilkirkegaard blog, I simply did for the reason I can simply link to it on RationalWiki as an archive. I have no intention of writing about this stuff off RW since this “drama” means little to me. Unlike you, I don’t waste my personal blog writing about petty internet feuds.
First of all, what do alleged “lies concerning Kirkegaard and the London Conference” have to do with “a wild allegation that [Oliver] is the ‘single person’ responsible for the news coverage.” That came from an obvious AP sock on RationalWiki. That doesn’t make it true, merely plausible. And Oliver may well have decided to remove the blogspot blog, just as he says: he can maintain the outrageous claims from that blog by archiving it, and now admits the archiving, essentially. I wrote that I predicted it would be removed. By the way, the first appearance of the claim that the removal was voluntary came from one of the trolls commenting. This is an indication that the troll would be, if not Oliver, his brother, Someone with inside knowledge.
And he is acknowledging that he is continuing to write about all this on RW, though he claimed above that he had stopped writing there. The account this time is EvilGremlin, totally obvious as an AP sock from interests. And putting in an amazing level of work for a “petty internet feud.” Over a very minor incident, not actually worthy of much note, a transient and overheated protest — that also happens to be an attack on academic freedom. The essential “crime” appears to be a failure to disclose the identity and content of expected speakers, which would be rather routine as an “error,” if it was an error. The conference was allegedly “secret,” but the topic has long been highly controversial and I don’t wonder at some level of hush-hush. The hereditarian position was once mainstream science, though some of the research behind it has been heavily criticized. Eugenics is a hot-button issue, when some kinds of eugenics are normal and not racist. And some are racist. There is no discrimination in the protests. Scientifically, the issue is not actually absolute, “intelligence” is poorly defined, often, but if it means “intelligence as measured by specific tests,” there is strong evidence for association with “race,” also poorly defined, but in the more recent scientific studies, that, took, becomes defined, meaning largely “ethnic identity,” with, then, what level of genetic involvement? The research is difficult to assess, and claims of bias fly freely. What Smith relies on is ad-hominem and straw man argument.
If this were merely a “petty internet feud” I would not have gotten involved at all. Rather, serious damage was done to the academic freedom and integrity of Wikiversity, as well as long-term damage (with many others involved) on Wikipedia and elsewhere This affects real people, with, again, academic freedom being at stake.
It is totally obvious that the news coverage was based on the RW article and that reporters did not carefully investigate; they took statements ripped out of context and presented them with identical conclusions to the RW ones. Was there private communication? Oliver has acknowledged it. Was this the instigation? Absent testimony from the reporters, there is only the claim on RW from
No “lies” are pointed out. This is typical AP vague allegation, without specifics that can be addressed. The page here would be a subpage of this page: “well-sourced”
I have already covered on that page claims on the RW article. The description of the RW article as “a full rebuttal” is typical for AP, there is an assumption of “truth” on matters that are actually highly politicized opinion. Evidence, neutrally presented, is called “lies” or “defending the conference.” Or, in some places, “defending fascists and pedophiles.” My comment about defending pedophiles, were I an attorney, is presented out of context, as if my goal would be about pedophilia and not about the rights of anyone accused, at law, to a defense. My mention of being an officer in the Cal Tech chapter of rhe ACLA is ignored, as well as the mention that the ACLU defends civil liberties, because to protect civil liberties, it is necessary to protect the free-speech rights and other civil liberties, of all, not just those with “acceptable opinions.” The loss of civil liberties that can happen always begins with the unpopular.