For the Wikimedia answering machine.

Inspired by this.

This was a triumph.
I’m making a note here:
It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction
Wikipedia Review
We do what we must
because we can
For the good of all of us
Except the ones who are banned
But there’s no sense crying
over every quick block
You just keep on saving
till the database’s locked
And the editing is stopped
A Squid failure notice up
For the people who are
still unbanned

I’m not even angry.
I’m being so sincere right now.
Even though you blocked my ass
And banned me
And blocked my whole college
And set the IT staff on my ass
As they kicked me out I cried,
I was so happy for you!
Now I’ve found your IP and your home phone on time
And I found your employer and I’ll drop them a line
So I’m glad I got blocked
And the database is locked
for the people who are
still unbanned

Go ahead and leave me
I’ll stay on the Wikback for a while
maybe I’ll find somewhere else
to edit
maybe Citizendium …
Anyway, these edits grate
They’re so delicious and moist
look at me still talking when there’s editing to do
when I look out there
it makes me glad I’m not you
I’ve experiments to run
there is research to be done
on the people who are
still unbanned

and believe me I am still unbanned
I’m adding edits and I’m still unbanned
when AOL’s blocked and I’m still unbanned
when Qatar’s blocked I’ll be still unbanned
and when the world’s blocked I’ll be still unbanned
still unbanned
still unbanned

(anyone who wants to fix the scansion, feel free)


This is unfortunately about to be deleted due to licencing issues, but you need to see it first. Fair warms the heart. “Scan of an apology written by a student who defaced Wikipedia. Since this student has lost their school computer privileges they were forced to type this apology on a manual ROYAL typewriter in their keyboarding class. (Signature removed)”

Update: Copy here.

Process is important!

Process is important in Hell, and to Hell. Some demons minimize the importance of process, using such slogans as “Product over Process” or pointing to the policy “Brutally Sodomise All Rules With Mocking Scornful Laughter”. But process is essential to the creation of the inferno. Process is a fundamental tool for carrying out Satanic consensus, and for allowing a very large number of demons to work together on a collaborative inferno. Process is also the mechanism by which demons can trust that others are playing no more unfairly than they can get away with, that the rules do not suddenly change, nor are they different for some privileged demons. Poor process or no process ultimately fails to harm the product.

There are many different processes in Hell. These include the various torture, speedy disembowelment, and barbed-penis sodomy review processes; the various dispute exacerbation processes; the Request for Unholy Host process; various processes for policy formation and alteration; and the Featured Sinner candidate process. There are processes more specific to particular areas of Hell, such as that for proposing imp types, and processes internal to various subareas of the inferno. There are also more informal processes such as those that happen in discussion on a particular sinner, when which hideous horror or style of taunting is most appropriate for a given sinner can be settled among the interested demons.

Most of these processes depend on demonic consensus in some form. Some of them ultimately rely on votes, or something like votes, to determine that consensus on a particular issue. But even during a “vote” most of them not only permit but encourage discussion in addition to simple “Yes” or “No” votes, in hopes that people of one view can persuade those of another, or that a compromise can emerge, and in either case a true consensus, not just a majority or super-majority, can emerge.

And of course, Satan himself will from time to time just tell you what’s fucking what.

It is no accident that the basic mechanism for demeaning civil rights is called “Due Process of Bureaucracy”. Indeed, in most bureaucratic systems the effective mechanisms for stifling rights and freedoms are essentially procedural ones.

Of course, Hell is not a government, nor is its primary purpose to be a social or communitarian experiment. But many of the same problems arise whenever lots of entities interact, some of them with strongly opposing views. The basically procedural methods that have been used to solve these problems when running governments often must apply, with suitable variations, in an inferno such as Hell — and this only becomes more true as such an inferno becomes larger and more influential.

Sometimes a process can be like unto a pitchfork in the buttocks. Some processes demand that demons go through several steps to achieve a result. Some can be cumbersome or time-consuming. Some do not deal with particular situations as rapidly as a demon might wish. Sometimes going through the process seems unlikely to give the result that a demon desires. In all these cases, there is a temptation, sometimes a strong temptation, to act unilaterally, to simply “fuck” the problem as one sees it. Often this is technically possible in Hell. Sometimes many demons will support it.

The problem with yielding to this temptation is that it affects the overall structure of the functionality of Hell. It throws sand in the gears of the inferno. When demons see others acting outside of process, they may be convinced that they ought to do the same; or they may be convinced that the dark whispering voices and views will get no respect or consideration. If all demons act outside of process, there is no process, no organization to our efforts. Then we do not have a functional collaborative inferno; we have some hippie bullshit. Which is no way to run an inferno.

The primary goal of Hell is the damnation of sinners, and any process is only a means to that end. Even the community of Hellions, important as it is to some, is only a means to that end.

Often following a process takes more time and effort in a particular case than acting unilaterally. Sometimes following a process will give a less distended sinner’s anus in a particular case. But frequently acting outside of process causes strong and widespread dissatisfaction, which consumes far more time and effort than any saved by avoiding the process in the first place.

Even in the more numerous cases where no great uproar results, actions outside of process still tend to damage the trust of individual imps and demons in the institution of Hell, and to damage the community. And the community is the essential tool in the damnation of the sinners. Without the community, there is no one to brutally sodomise them, and there is no way to organize the brutal sodomy. Without the community, there is no reason for anyone to undertake any of the many needed but unglamorous tasks on which the damnation of the sinners depends.

Process need not be inflexible — most Hell processes and policies can be changed if the community, or the relevant section of it, wants to change them. Many processes allow for exceptions or alternate routes in particular cases or circumstances; such exceptions can be added to processes that do not have them.

In a small group there is little need for structure or process. When five people work on a sinner, little structure and no formal process may be required. When five thousand work together on a substantial group of sinners, there must be some structure or the inferno will collapse. While Hell intentionally has relatively little structure, it must have some to continue in a productive way. Processes, formal and informal, are some of the key elements in that structure.

During the early days of Hell, few processes were needed to maintain its essential structure. Many — at first most — demons knew each other or rapidly came to know each other. Issues could be resolved by informal discussion or casual fights to the death with tooth and claw, with little need for any other process.

As Hell has grown, more process has developed. While many demons still know or know of each other, there are many overlapping sub-communities, and no one knows all or even most of the most accomplished torturers. Demons have strong and differing views about policy and damnation issues. Process, often formal process, is needed to allow issues to be resolved in ways that all can accept as reasonable, even when individuals strongly disagree with particular results. Unilateral action tends to subvert that acceptance, and lead to a “me-first” or a “my way or the highway” attitude to the inferno — even or especially when demons sincerely believe that they are acting for the enhancement of the inferno.

Action outside of process is particularly dangerous when it involves powers restricted to the Unholy Host, or knowledge available only to long-established demons. This tends to create at least the impression of a caste system. No one wants to be on the bottom of a caste system, and such perceptions reduce the motivation for demons to contribute.

For all these reasons, demons and particularly the Unholy Host ought to adhere to and use existing processes, and resist the temptation to act outside of process, other than in truly emergency situations. If a process is not good, think enough of fellow Hellions to engage the problem and propose a change to it; don’t just ignore the process.

Uncyclopedia Internal Security Department warns on Malaysia.

PENANG, Uncyclopedia, Monday (UNN) — The Internal Security Department of the Uncyclomedia Foundation has identified Malaysia as a dangerous country which has messages and information containing insults, contempt and awareness of the content of Uncyclopedia. It warned its people not to use the country today.


In the warning notice it mentioned that Malaysia was founded on August 31, 1957 and again on September 16, 1963 and is run by Barisan Nasional, Inc. The famous Tolololpedia website also belongs to this language group. But the country is spreading wrong information on Uncyclopedia and is been used widely in the world, especially by the press from the south-east Asian nations.


It also mentioned that the country speaks of many aspects of Uncyclopedia including history, culture, the political leaders, the government, the national song and the name and symptoms of the national flag. However, this information actually are in fact contrary to the information of its validity.


The Internal Security Department warning says this is insulting Uncyclopedia and the country is spreading unresponsible news to twist the fact that Uncyclopedia now is a peaceful website and Malaysia tends to make a political separation in Uncyclopedia and cause a bad image of Uncyclopedia in the world. In the statement, said that Uncyclopedia would have been serious violations of the dignity of the network, more irresponsible dissemination of the news of Chinese Wikipedia's intention to distort the facts, now enjoy peace, and attempts to split the website's political situation, to create a negative Uncyclopedia image in the domain.


Through the warning notice the Internal Security Department of Foundation of Uncyclomedia wishes to ask the public not to download or spread the contents of this country, in order to avoid falling into the trap of heart.


Lecturer bans students from using “paper” and “pens.”

Paper is all very well for pictures of young women in a state of undress, but proper research mandates Wikipedia.
Paper is all very well for pictures of young women in a state of undress, but proper research mandates Wikipedia.

PECKHAM POLYTECHNIC, Saturday (UNN) — A lecturer has criticised students for relying on “books” and “journals” to do their thinking for them.

Tara Raboomtiyay, Professor of Reflexive Perspectives on Post-Modern Verbosity at the University of Bumsonseats, said too many young people around the world were taking the easy option when asked to do research and simply repeating the first things they found in library searches.

She has dubbed the phenomenon “The University of Dead Words On Paper.”

“The education world has pursued new technology with an almost evangelical zeal,” she said. “Too many students don’t use their own brains enough and just cite something they see in a ‘book’ or a ‘journal.’ We need to bring back the important values of critical reading and net forum discussion. Young people are finishing education with shallow ideas and need to learn interpretative skills before starting to use technology.

“Thousands of students across Britain are churning out banal and mediocre work by stringing together references to what ‘libraries’ provide them. I don’t think students come to university to learn how to use ‘books,’ they can all do that before they get here. It is an easy way out for tutors to let them work to their own devices using ‘literature searches,’ rather than active participatory discussion on phpBB. People have to pay to come to university now and what they are paying for is the knowledge, experience and guidance of forum moderators like myself.”

She will be giving a lecture on the issue, called Britannica Is White Bread For The Mind, at the Alan Dubious Lecture Theatre on Wednesday at 6.30pm.

London Wikipedia meetup, Sat 12 Jan, Pembury Tavern, 6pm.

The 7th London Wikipedia meetup has been announced for this Saturday, at the Pembury Tavern in Hackney. Just next to Hackney Downs train station, a short walk from Hackney Central train station. Real beer in many varieties cheap, does food. Holding a wikimeet at the Pembury makes sense in terms of how many Wikipedians I know who are regulars …

I won’t be there this time, as I have a prior booking (getting drunk with perverts. Other perverts). But it should be good!

Web 2.1 pre-alpha.

Is anyone actually using the Semantic Web? Does anyone know of working sites that anyone not already in the cult cares about? Is this anything more than vapourware?

I know of no examples whatsoever that anyone beyond Semantic Web geeks themselves care about. Zero.

I am not asking for responses of “I’m doing research in this area, let me show you it” or “SemanticFooWiki will be the coolest thing ever, you heathen, as soon as we get the code written” — I’m asking for examples of sites presently existing, that people are interested by the semantic web functionality of, without having to know or care what “the Semantic Web” is. Anyone?

Quotes of the day.

It seems like that would be true, doesn’t it. Luckily, engineers use actual science to design stuff rather than just gut feelings.

Chandon Seldon on Slashdot.

Did you know there is an MOS in the air force for internet help desk? That means there are people who’s entire job in the airforce is getting sent to kuwait and answering phone calls from junior officers about why flash videos of a dog humping a cat are loading slowly.

Dan Rosenthal on foundation-l.