Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just what is a bureaucrat, anyway?

I've noticed that hits on my blog are up a bit despite not having posted anything in a while. Digging a bit, I see that my blog is getting hit from the request for admin page, which seems odd because I don't know what my blog would have to do with adminship as I haven't had much to say about that lately. And what do I see down near the bottom? My old friend, Riana, is running for bureaucrat. And various articles on my blog have been linked from her request, as some sort of evidence of her disqualifications to be a bureaucrat.

Now wait a minute. What does some nonsense I wrote about Grand Lady Durova have to do with Riana's qualifications to decide on administrative promotions? Apparently a lot, for some people. It seems that some people feel either that she was duped into nominating me somehow, or that nominating me shows some grave defect in character that disqualifies her from being a bureaucrat.

Well, I won't speak to what the character qualifications are to be a bureaucrat. It's well-known that the Wikipedia community has absurd standards for its admins and bureaucrats, and I'm not going to waste time analyzing this election to reach the same conclusion. As to being duped by me: I'm not that smooth an operator. Riana's a smart cookie, far smarter than most of the idiots voting for (and against) her. She knew exactly what the score was when she came to me to suggest a nomination. I didn't ask her to do that; I certainly didn't dupe her into it. If you think she was "trolled", then the person who has been actually trolled is you.

At this point it appears likely that her candidacy will fail, because a handful of people who really really dislike me wish to punish her for supporting me over people like SlimVirgin, Jayjg, and Jossi (all of whom, you will note, have opposed her nomination). You'd think, what with all the harsh language and demonization, that I had eaten Jimbo's baby, or something.

So vote for her, or against her, as it moves you. But if you think her participation in that little bit of political theater from last fall is in the least bit relevant to her qualifications, then you will surely reap the rewards of your vote, whether it be in support or in opposition.


  1. I think the WpCyberstalking clique is opposing more based on when she left WP for a while in the wake of Jimbo's power trip back in October. :( Of course they managed to instantly procure a diff of her retirement notice.

  2. I've been trolled for calling your RfA nom a troll of the nominators and of the community? I think not. You are cleverer than you give yourself credit.

    Your comments here and now do her candidacy a disservice, in my view. Surely you suspected that might be the case when you made them? But that may well have been your intent, who can say.

  3. Your comments do Riana a disservice. You think she's stupid enough to be unwittingly trolled by me. She's not. She wasn't trolled by me; she knew exactly what was going on and willfully agreed to participate. None of the nominators was trolled, duped, or otherwise fooled.

    You, and all the other voters who insult Riana by calling her stupid, on the other hand....

  4. That's a good story and you should stick to it. It might even fly with some... not with me, but with some.

    Riana's not at all stupid, she's just nice.

    You aren't stupid either. But you're not as nice as Riana.

    You can have the last word, I'm done.

  5. She wasn't trolled by me; she knew exactly what was going on ... So it's better that she participated in trolling (you did openly admit that the RFA itself was trolling)

    (anonymous because I can't be bothered to get an account. Random832)

  6. Random, it was "disruption intended to prove a point", which Wikipedia insists is the same as trolling.

    The fact that Wikipedia is a dramacracy means that creating drama through strategic disruption is often the best way to accomplish something in Wikipedia. You don't have to like this, but you do have to accept it. If you don't like it, work on coming up with a form of governance that is less susceptible to drama.

  7. Well, I believe you actually used the word "trolling" in your own description of the intent of that RFA a while back, so I think both I and others can be forgiven for being confused on that point.

    (me again)

  8. Yes, that was a bit of metatrolling on my part. It accomplished my goals admirably, and continues to do so.

  9. Kelly knew what she was doing. So did I. So did Riana. Sorry, Lar.

    Am I then a villain? To my mind, that RFA was a beautiful piece of constructive trolling - really exposed the sickness at heart in large chunks of enwiki's community. Don't regret it for a minute - besides, it was tremendous fun while it lasted.

  10. Wow, I was just directed to this.

    I don't know whether people are more likely to read this or my RfB talkpage (OK, I do know!) but I'll just say this much: Kelly didn't jinx me into this. Kelly and I have had next to no prior interactions, AFAIK, and remarkably few interactions since. I'm just an ordinary gal in an ugly world of big, bad grudges.

    I'm cool with being called a troll facilitator. If you know me even a little bit, you'll know that's not true. I'm not cool with being called naïve. Bruises the old ego something fierce.

    I did not have the same intention as Chris or Kelly. I make mine clear on the talk of my RfB.

    Now, I'm going to stop discussing unimportant shit all over the interwebz.

  11. Heh, I wouldn't have thought that me linking to this blog would result in another blog post.

    :"she knew exactly what was going on and willfully agreed to participate." (in the RFA)

    Does that mean she knew you were trolling (you used that word first, not me) all along? Somehow I can't believe that.

    :"Yes, that was a bit of metatrolling on my part. It accomplished my goals admirably, and continues to do so."

    So one of your goals is to prevent Riana from becoming a bureaucrat? Since that's exactly what your "metatrolling" seems to achieve.

  12. Conti, my goal here is not to cause Riana's RfB to fail. At the time I posted it was already failing, with the percentage support somewhere in the low 80s, which falls short of the 90% that is generally expected for RfBs. Since my post, the percentage has actually risen, although to conclude that my post is responsible for that would be post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

    In addition, I spoke with Riana before writing this post; my understanding is that if my comments somehow lead to her RfB failing, that will simply be an indication to her of how "fucked up" the process is, and nothing more.

    I would tell you how I feel about Riana's qualifications to be a bureaucrat, but if I said I though she'd be a good one people would vote against her because I supported her, and if I said she'd be a bad one, people would vote against her because either they believed me for some stupid reason, or because they figured I said she'd be bad so they'd vote for her. So I'm not going to say anything on that issue, and let the chips fall where they may. It's neither my fault nor her fault that Wikipedia's community is seriously fucked in the head.

  13. I'm sorry, I probably wasn't very clear. I didn't mean this blog post when referring to your goals, but then one you referred to with your metatrolling comment. The one about Durova, in which you "admitted" that your RFA back then was trolling. You said "It accomplished my goals admirably, and continues to do so." about it, indicating that admitting that your RFA was trolling somehow helps you in your goals. At least that's what I'm reading out of it. It also has the side effect of people opposing Riana's RFB, tho, and I doubt that that's one of your goals.

    By the way (assuming I get the different time zones right), her RFB was at 86,4% before this blog post (, and is now at 86% ( So this blog post didn't influence the RFB very much so far.

  14. I too doubt that one of my goals back in November when I wrote the post about Durova was to cause Riana's future RfB to fail. I fear my ability to predict the future does not extend to Riana's bureaucratic aspirations, nor did she see fit to drop me a note back in November saying "Hey, I plan to run for bureaucrat in February, you might want to do something now to make sure that fails".

    Frankly, I don't know what the hell you're trying to say here -- or why you're trying to blame me for your own faulty reasoning. Then again, that's not my problem, is it?

  15. The Clique seems to be much weaker than it used to be... even with a typical-style gangup in the oppose column, it's still 161/24/5. It's notable that Felonious Monk may now be the leader of the clique, as many of the comments say "Oppose per Felonious Monk", when in the old days it would be more likely to be "Oppose per SlimVirgin". But whoever's in charge, they seem to have much fewer troops to rally than they used to when it comes to torpedoing a nomination of somebody who is considered guilty of consorting with evildoers.