Subtopic: Asexuality. Off topic, actually, but fun to notice.
So, looking at the Dr. Witt user page, I see that he has retired, using the same template as many RW AP socks. I am not the only person to notice this. The page shows my name, as a file link. (Later, another RW user nowiki’d this out so that it would not display, the page not qualifying for “fair use.”) Looking at page history, the first edit, January was the text: “The man with a million accounts, apparently.” Then the next edit added a photo of me, with the caption, “Crazy old man.” The connection?
That has been a theme of AP socks. See the more recent account names on the WMF study. Where did “millions of accounts” come from? Apparently from this Coop filing, by Merkel, with the headline:
A man with millions of accounts here (many which are admin) is creating articles with doxxing to harass his personal enemies.
It was hyperbole. I have not recently counted the accounts I have identified, but one sock claimed there were 700, that’s quoted above. What was complained about has clearly been happening, and for quite some time. I was not involved in that posting, I don’t know who Merkel is (though there is some evidence on RationalWiki), but this is actually widespread knowledge, even if many RationalWikians are playing osterich in the wiki play. Then, that he puts my image on that page indicates that he blames me for the claim. I wrote about that Coop filing the other day and clarified that it was hyperbole. AP may think that the charges came from me, but they were not written as derived from my research, which has almost entirely referred to Anglo Pyramidologist. No, it comes from other studies or posts, by other people, referring to him as Atlantid.
First of all, Dr. Witt wrote this, which is AP telling the truth about himself (at least in round outlines):
quality of sysops
I currently have about active 8 users who are sysops; de-sysop this one makes no difference. And its plain common-sense who is a quality or poor sysop based on article creations and constructive edits. I would rate you as “quality” since you are actually adding informative or useful content; if you look at GrammarCommie: zero article creations and his edits don’t benefit anyone. He wrote an essay, but its about 5 lines as if he took 10 seconds. Dr. Witt (talk) 20:13, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
So of course he retires. He has plenty of other accounts. However, if “they” use the sysop tools as Dr. Witt did, and it is noticed, they might also be “promoted.” This kind of gratuitous attack is common AP editing, he goes after anyone who frustrates his agenda. The prime problem for him: he gets away with abuse because few notice, and obviously others were looking at his extensive revision deletions.
(The argument about quality or poor sysops based on article creation, is an old one and that argument being accepted on WMF wikis has caused a lot of damage. Good content creation and regulation of community behavior per policy are quite different skills. A good sysop is skilled at dispute resolution. A poor one wields a meat-axe and creates disruption. Content creators are typically attached to their own content…. and good writers are often opinionated! Even more so, experts.)
The discussion went on:
75% of article creations since October 2017 by examining the past 500 new-page edits, are by the same person. You just don’t realise because he is on dozens of accounts. If you traced this individual back to 2012, you would find most article creations on this site are by him.Epigram (talk) 23:24, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
Really? That is higher than I’d expect. However, I knew there were many. I looked at New page creations on a subpage.
Epigram was exaggerating as to what the page he linked currently shows. The difference of a few days would not make that difference, but it is possible that a burst of pages just before the log started could make his claim closer to the truth. The actual figure for clear AP sock page creations was 14/96, or about 16%. If all suspected accounts are included (very unlikely), the percentage would become 29/96 or 30%.
To get to a higher percentage, it would be necessary to include accounts with no cause for suspicion that I could see, and perhaps long-term regulars, with high RW investment of time. If so, it would be totally useless to make unsubstantiated claims on RW, especially like this. (The regulars will take you down quickly.) But the basic idea behind what Epigram write is correct, if exaggerated, and the long-term effect may be as the user claims.
I do not suspect the regulars, nor, contrary to AP claims, do I suspect anyone merely because they are a skeptic. I am, in fact, a skeptic myself, though a Truzzi-style skeptic, not a knee-jerk debunker. I hope! But I do not suggest any account is an AP sock merely because of appearing to be such a debunker. It takes far more than that.
The discussion continued:
Above he admits he has many sysop accounts here. I mentioned this fact and everyone flung venomous insults at me. Elsewhere he said, “I’ve used this site since the beginning of 2012;” he finally admitted.
Merkel revealed in that discussion that he was reactive. He’s not lying, but he uses hyperbole routinely. Unskilled, his diff is not to that “admission,” but to the whole coop filing. This is what a skilled user would have diff’d.
Dr. Witt and User:Anti-Fascist for life put that they retire on their user page at the same time. The second account didn’t get its sysop powers removed like the first. Merkel (talk) 02:12, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Right. Those are AP patterns, and it’s all happened before, and I had already identified these accounts as AP, in the study, page supra. Most of the retired accounts kept their sysop tools, if they had them, and not only can AP then see what is otherwise hidden, but he could return at any time, and occasionally does.
There is this problem with creating a pile of accounts. Keeping them active is far too much work. So one of the signs of an AP account is a burst of activity, followed by disappearance. By itself, that is not uncommon.
What is remarkable here is that DrWitt was disparaging a regular user for not being a strong contributor, while that user has edited since July 2017 and has almost 1200 edits, whereas Dr. Witt edited from December 15, 2017, to January 9 with roughly 250 contributions. In order to claim he is more productive, he must include those many accounts Merkel and Epigram are claiming.
Yes. The fact is> Rationalwiki is protecting a real schizophrenic maniac who owns thousands of accounts on this site since 2012. It was mentioned by Rome Viharo based on a tip-off that this person is also a paid editor, so that explains the large volume of his article creations. “Skeptic” individuals pay this guy to create articles on paranormal-believers or spiritualists, looking at the recent article creations and you can see more of his accounts, an example. Epigram (talk) 02:28, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
The example he gives is Debunking spiritualism, which I listed as “Possible but unclear.” It is reasonably clear who Merkel is, perhaps, not so who Epigram is. The non-AP RW editors, as happens all too frequently, make a very dumb assumption, that keeps them stupid, not seeing what is in front of their faces.
Clearly, GrammarCommie doesn’t understand what is being claimed, and he is not actually researching the affair, lacking curiosity.
It was not claimed that “RationalWiki” editors are “paid editors,” but that “this guy” — the sock master — is paid. Is he? Epigram is not a reliable source, but … AP socks have claimed that they are supported, including offers of payment, and it is plausible.
There is no link to Rome Viharo’s statement (and mentioning it would be very, very unskillful, though there is another possibility: that Merkel and/or Epigram are AP socks. I don’t consider this likely, merely possible. AP does things like this, particularly where he knows his audience and how they will react.
Most likely, Merkel is relatively clueless and is the person Dr. Witt claimed he was in the Coop filing, linked above.
“Its nonsense from a troll. Merkel is a neo-Nazi who administrates Rightpedia named “A Wyatt Man”
(Quoting this is not accepting that Merkel is a “neo-Nazi,” merely that Merkel writes like someone without extensive general wiki experience, and would have a motive to write what he wrote on RW. Merkel did not disclose his specific interest, just dropped in swinging.)
(But what is hilarious here is that Dr. Witt, in his last edits, mostly confirmed the Merkel claims as having substance — even if exaggerated.)
This is standard on RationalWiki. Socking is not grounds for sanction there, unless one is what might be called a Favorite Target. However, “I don’t really care” seems to assume that the situation is understood. There is no sign that this is the case.
@BabyLuigiOnFire is also possible these rather paranoid rumors of a conspiracy have given rise to an actual conspiracy. Either that or inviduals such as Rome Viharo are playing both sides off each other in order to justify their paranoid babbling. Regardless, speculating without further proof is pointless and as you say the individual(s) in question appear to lack any malicious intent thus far. Comrade GC (talk) 02:41, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
What makes alleged facts a “rumor,” and what, then, makes it a “paranoid rumor”? That there is a massive sock farm (called Anglo Pyramidologist on Wikipedia, the “Smith brothers” on RationalWiki (by AP socks! — describing the “conspiracy theory,” when it is not a conspiracy theory, unless combined with claims of paid editing or the like) is supported by massive evidence, and what journalists do is confirm or disconfirm rumors, based on evidence. What happens on RatWiki is acceptance or rejection, not based on investigation of evidence, but what makes for the best snark.
The ready description of others as “paranoid” is not skeptical, it is clearly pseudoscientific, unless the claim has been examined and one is qualified to make such a diagnosis. A implicit demand for “proof” is characteristic of pseudoscience, whereas a scientific approach looks for evidence — and tests the ideas. Is what is being presented “speculation” or is it conclusion based on evidence?
“lacking any malicious intent” demonstrates that GrammarCommie has no idea what has been happening, what is being claimed by real people, under their real names, with reputations to protect, but is accepting the story of “Rome Viharo” disruption so often told by AP socks — which commonly impersonate their enemies, like Rome Viharo.
Ha. You have no idea… Dr. Witt (and his countless aliases) was the one responsible for temporarily shutting down Kiwi Farms by phoning the employers of the owner’s mother, that resulted in her being fired, as well as bombarding the owner’s family with threatening emails; he even created the Kiwi Farms article here. He then managed to get his own thread on Kiwi Farms removed – a first, since virtually no threads there are deleted and Kiwi Farms’ policy is never to delete them, notice how Mike’s (his main enemy) remains up.
This general story could be confirmed. Certainly I have seen it. I consider it established that AP has real-life harassed, and he has certainly threatened it. He threatened me and carried out the threat. (But not in “real life,” though what he has done has real-life effects, as have been reported by others. What AP claims about my blog on the article about me is true in spades for RW articles, which are much more visible than my blog, generally.
So basically a digital stalker and doxing community as notorious as Kiwi Farms is even scared of this guy, or finds him too malicious for even their community. Of course though, if you post anything about this individual here – you end up banned for doxing! He’s bizarrely protected here, having made friends with the owners. However, plenty of information you can dig up about him on the web such as the fact he was treated for schizophrenia at Nightingale Mental Health Hospital London. He was/is friends with Ian Keith Gomeche (just Google), who was arrested in 2005 for cyber and real-world harassment (such as phoning people over 300 times in a single day.) Gomeche used to run the website “noncewatch”, and Dr. Witt is also obsessed with not only fighting paedophiles online, but virtually anyone normal who shows an interest in sex, since he’s an asexual and finds sex disgusting. As noted elsewhere by Merkel, Dr. Witt has an Encylopedia Dramatica article, that notes a lot more about this individual.Epigram (talk) 03:08, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Ah now you’ve just overplayed your hand, since I’m an asexual and while I do not find the act of sex disgusting, I also have no inclination to engage in it. Furthermore I checked into the claims of an ED article and found none. Please cease treating us as if we’re morons who will believe literally anything you say without verifying it. Comrade GC (talk) 03:14, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
The comment by Epigram did not attack “asexuality,” but rather claimed that Dr. Witt was “obsessed with fighting pedophiles” (this connects with lulcows wiki and other cross-wiki activity that I have not investigated yet — though I’ve read much). ED articles are written for lulz, and Epigram did not mention ED. Epigram does not provide evidence, but claims and some clues. For example, the claim about schizophrenia may have originated with an edit by a suspected AP sock.
what this user has done in other sites has no bearing here. stop poisoning the well. also, your comment about how “asexuality is not normal” is disgusting and i suggest you redact that immediately (also am an asexual too) БaбyЛuigiOнФire(T|C) 03:39, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Notice how a comment is attributed to Epigram, with quotes, even, that Epigram did not make. AP stirs shit and loves it when others then generate more shit.
Epigram may be reporting mere rumor, but “morons” would be properly those who refuse to look at what is being claimed, what is in front of them and obvious if they look with open eyes, but attack the claims as silly and preposterous, without themselves investigating.
“Do you think I’m stupid?” is a common response of the less than intelligent and curious (and incurious people tend to not develop high intelligence but remain as reactives.) That, in fact, is pseudoskepticism in a nutshell, or crankcase. It would be stupid to believe anything without evidence, and the particular claim is a damned nuisance, because, quite as Epigram has claiming, RationalWiki is being used as a personal attack platform, and how to deal with this would be work, and RationalWikians often detest work. They would have to look at the articles and make decisions, but unless they actually investigate, those decisions will be based only on the most obvious appearances. No, much more comfortable to sit in the pile of shit and blame the flies on someone else.
By the way, this is a blog page. While I tend to push opinion to blog posts, and use pages for evidence, it is still a blog and users with the edit privilege here may post opinions in either place. And I’m not the only one with such privileges, there are two who are well-known as skeptics on cold fusion, but they are real skeptics, interested in the science.
I would not believe what Epigram wrote just because he wrote it. After all, he is anonymous and may have some agenda. AP has pissed off many people! The article AP created on me is full of claims that I was disruptive and did this and that, based on rare incidents in about thirty years of high internet and forum activity. AP is himself widely blocked and banned. I’ll look at the many-site claims on a subpage, but I’m not going to personally investigate them, beyond finding such investigations by others. Many of these sites are themselves sewers. Some are not. (As an example of one that is not, Rome Viharo’s WikipediaWeHaveAProblem is sane and, as a real person, with a real reputation to protect, his claims are evidence (they would become admissible evidence in court if he attested to them under oath). The claims of the anonymous are disregarded and inadmissible, unless verified — or attributed as “an anonymous source,” journalists do that, but will only refer to an “anonymous tip” if they don’t know and reasonably trust the source — so the credibility of the claim then depends on the credibility of the reporters, and reporters who lie or are reckless on this, if it is discovered, lose their career.
(Wikipedia depends on responsible sources, called “reliable source.”) RationalWiki often depends on anonymous claims to slander the subjects of articles. But to notice that requires actually reading and investigating sources. Trolls cherry-pick and cite sources that do not actually vefify the troll’s claims. And AP is a Troll Extraordinaire, not for brilliance, but for sheer persistence in his agenda, which is to harm and smear his enemies.)
I don’t know who Epigram is, I would suspect mikemikev or maybe michaeldsuarez, or … AP himself, he does stuff like this. He attacks himself in such a way as to discredit attacks. But the only thing he did here was to make claims without citing evidence, and he’s probably going to be blocked anyway (though he hasn’t been, yet), so why bother?. It’s work to collect and cite verifiable evidence. But he could quickly link to pages where others have done that, preferably relatively neutral collections, made with caution (which AP attacks with extra vigor, those are the worst! — Such as the WMF collection, about which he raised a huge ruckus — they had to be neutral or they’d have been immediately deleted!
(However, deliberately, that study did not link to non-WMF socking nor did it claim the real-name identity. From many examples, anyone mentioning the well-known name of the “brothers” will be blocked for socking, and revision deletion is liberally used. However, if the one mentioning it is one of the brothers, not all such socks are blocked. Who created “Smith Brothers conspiracy theory”? Ah, that’s a story all by itself. I was desysopped merely for commenting on that page, apparently, and then blocked by another AP sock. I’ll cover that in detail elsewhere. Another AP sock requested deletion, and then an AP sock also deleted the deletion discussion. Anyone can verify the round outlines of this from logs, and any sysop can verify what was deleted.)
Evidence makes pages long and then morons don’t read them. It’s too hard! (A sane skeptic who doesn’t expect value from reading may ignore a long page, but the curious — and genuine skeptics are at least mildly curious, because lack of curiosity is, defacto, accepting existing personal beliefs — could ask for a summary! “tl;dr”, though is used as an insult. What I found was that if I took the time to create summaries, mostly, the summaries were then rejected without review of evidence, and in the case of AP and certain others, the summaries were claimed to be baseless, lies, or paranoia.
“What’s the point, man! Get to the frigging point!”
But this is where science leaves reactivity and anti-intellectual annoyance. Science actually spends years gathering evidence, and never considers what the evidence shows as “proof,” the exception being math (where rigorous logic is used according to clearly stated assumptions and process.)
The process of science as the study of reality is never complete, unlike some old and widely-discredited imaginations. However, evidence can become very strong, such that avoiding obvious conclusions, when it comes to practical decisions, can become denial. I would stake my life on the earth not being flat!
Too often, science and “wiki” are in conflict (unless there is protective structure, which is very rare.)
RationalWiki pretends (main page)
Our purpose here at RationalWiki includes:
- Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement;
- Documenting the full range of crank ideas;
- Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism;
- Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.
There is an anti-science movement, and it takes on a primary form, which RationalWiki “refutes,” as if “anti-science” were some hypothesis subject to refutation. “Peudoscience” is not subject to “refutation,” because, by definition, it involves untestable theory or belief.
So the secondary form of “anti-science” confuses belief with science by posting a contrary belief, in “science.” Yet in “anti-pseudoscience,” the scientific method is not followed. Rather, and this is obvious from many RW articles, there is some posited “truth,” usually of the form “they are wrong,” if honestly expressed, and then hosts of ad-hominem and knee-jerk impressions are asserted as if factual.
This is political speech, not science, per se. It is founded in a belief in a certain class of models as being “true,” but no model is truth. “Anti-pseudoscience” activists will often oppose research to test what they call “pseudoscience,” and they label, as a clear example, Parapsychology as a pseudoscience, even though it is literally the scientific study of claims of the paranormal. They confuse a field which is a scientific study with belief in the claims studied, and they confuse “belief” with “evidence.” The latter is the product of investigation, which some may then interpret. Belief is either prior to that study — in which case we could call it “pseudoscientific” if it falsely claims “proof,” or after the study, in which case it could again be pseudoscientific or merely normal rationality, an operating assumption based on evidence.
The standard claim made about RationalWiki is that it is “not rational,” and anyone who knows the wiki would know extensive evidence for this.
RW is not a person, though there is a person who has control over it, if he chooses to exercise that control. But it would be a colossal nuisance. Herding cats. What is interesting as a possibility is that the owner or major managers consider AP socks “useful.” Rome Viharo has been exploring that. So far, I see a level of circumstantial evidence that it is so, but this does not mean that I “believe” it. I merely think it possible, and if study of the evidence shows a probability in this direction, I will publish it.
This is actually science, there is a hypothesis (which could be called a conspiracy, to distinguish it from the sock studies, which show almost an anti-conspiracy — “there is no conspiracy, but only one highly disruptive and active user, or close family of users.”
The RationalWiki response to this is moronic. Lies — directly and verifiably false claims — put up by AP socks are trusted, and claims by others, not accompanied by evidence, are rejected. Attempts to put up evidence are blocked and the evidence is deleted. That’s the reality in the AP world, and he knows how to play this violin. “Too much violins on Rational Wiki.”
And then an IP shows up:
“Epigram” is just a sock of Rome Viharo who was recently blocked on another account. Just ignore and collapse this. All this nonsense is found on Rome Viharo’s website who has written 100,000 words on Dr.Witt and has been stalking him for years. It was also Viharo who invented this misinformation & conspiracy theory about Dr. Witt. No evidence however is ever provided, its all hearsay, rumour and just Viharo’s delusions. Futher according to Viharo, Dr.Witt has been reported to the FBI for his RationalWiki edits. LOL. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 13:25, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
IP information: Proxy server. This is AP, and would be immediately blocked on WMF wikis on notice, as a proxy server but also by the duck test. The other edit shows this, clearly, for anyone familiar with AP patterns and special interests. From that other edit:
You also think you got a “confession” from Dr. Witt he has used this wiki since January 2012; that’s public knowledge, something he’s said for years. You’re incredibly dumb.
This is a troll, this is how trolls write: to grandstand and enrage. This is on Merkel’s talk page, and was thus harassment. Does anyone notice? No sign. There is no protection for perceived cranks. When the IP claims “something he’s said for years,” to whom is he referring? It could only be to other accounts. Which ones? Merkel did not claim that “he got a confession” from Dr. Witt, but he claimed that Witt had confessed to extensive socking. The IP is actually confirming that, claiming it is “public knowledge.” It is public knowledge, actually, once one knows that Dr. Witt is an AP sock and then sees what AP socks have written, as well as having reviewed independent evidence.
And he believes that the RW users he is communicating with are morons. The claims:
“Epigram is just a sock of Rome Viharo.” That’s unlikely for many reasons … to explain this would take even more words. But this is a common AP claim about anyone pointing to the obvious.
“… who was recently blocked on another account.” This would refer to these accounts:
As I discuss on the main RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist study, these were impersonation socks, not Rome Viharo. This is a common AP tactic. It has often worked, and the discussion shows this. Familiarity with these gruesome details is a common AP trait. Who else is so interested? Well, me, perhaps. Bwaa haa haa haa haa! What is of interest to me, so far, is that the “attacks” on AP have not cited this blog, which could be the most careful study of AP socking done so far. And I did not get my information from Rome Viharo. His work has supplied a few hints, but what I report here is what I found. AP claims that all this is taken, variously, from Encyclopedia Dramatica or Rome Viharo. It’s a lie designed to appeal to knee-jerk impressions. There is material there, therefore any similar material must be taken from there.
However, I mostly avoid reading ED except through archive links. Rome Viharo’s site is safe.
“… Rome Viharo’s website who has written 100,000 words on Dr.Witt and has been stalking him for years.” Viharo has been researching the AP socks for years, because they attacked him, first on Wikipedia. However, one would only describe Viharo’s research as “stalking Dr.Witt [sic]” if one believes that Dr. Witt is AP. Which this IP actually knows, being an AP brother.
“It was also Viharo who invented this misinformation & conspiracy theory about Dr. Witt.”
No. Much documentation was compiled before Rome started to look at it. My study started before I was aware of Rome’s commentary. Dr. Witt was totally obvious as an AP sock from first glance. All one has to do is know AP obsessions and then look at his contributions. And then there is Dr. Witt’s “confession,” and what the IP has written; he is contradicting himself (which AP often does).
There is no mention of “Dr. Witt” on Rome Viharo’s blog. (If anyone finds one, existing as of today, January 14, 2018, please let me know!) Now, is this IP AP? It’s an open proxy, it could be anyone, and it is not impossible that an enemy of AP has posted it. But the effect is what AP would desire, not the enemies of AP. While it is not always correct, it is a decent place to start, moving toward understanding, to look at the effect of an action, not imaginations of motives.
“No evidence however is ever provided, its all hearsay, rumour and just Viharo’s delusions.”
When evidence is provided, it is deleted as “doxxing.” Even if it is not doxxing, but merely equating accounts, which has never been considered doxxing. Has Viharo provided evidence? Does it matter? I will review what Viharo has written, and one thing I will be looking for is evidence. However, I provided evidence on RationalWiki, and it was deleted by an AP sock, who showed classic AP behavior, Skeptical. Notice that he disappeared, quickly after being “harassed” on-wiki, harassment that was only confronting him with the obvious. AP socks often do this, it’s easy and AP does have many sysop accounts on RW.
The discussion continued:
Asexuality and RatWiki regulars
One factoid that comes out in this discussion. Two or three very recognizable RatWiki sysops declare that they are “asexual,” or equivalent, at the same time as they decry an imagined claim that “asexuality is not normal.”
This confirms an easy stereotype: those who edit RatWiki enough to become sysops may tend to be socially dysfunctional basement-dwellers with no life. (The same may also be statistically evident for some sysops elsewhere.) I am not claiming that a “stereotype” is real, and with any stereotype, individuals may vary widely. I’m just noticing the coincidence.
GrammarCommie: I’m an asexual and while I do not find the act of sex disgusting, I also have no inclination to engage in it.
BabyLuigiOnFire: (also am an asexual too)
LeftyGreenMario: Sex is gross [of course, this may merely be standard RW sarcastic snark].
Allegedly, as well, this was the position of Dr. Witt, but I haven’t seen the evidence for that.
“Normal” is not a synonym for “good” or “bad.” It is a population description. There is no specific level at which “normal” ends and “not normal” begins, however, Kinsey found roughly 1.5% of the adult male population as asexual. See the Wikipedia article for details.
From this, the chance that the correlation is random is low. By no means is this a claim that “most RW editors are asexual,” nor that this is Bad, and asexuality may be conditional and temporary, as well. However, it is counter-survival, if by “survival” we include survival through descendants. It cannot be “normal” for a full population, or that population with the trait would likely go extinct.
(But there may be a species benefit to a trait that does not directly reproduce, and this is sometimes claimed about homosexuality. There may be a benefit to a subpopulation not being “breeders.” This would preserve the “disposition” genes, if they exist, or the social memes, if the variation is not genetic.)