09 December, 2009


My responses in Red

Examples of Bias in Wikipedia
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The following is a growing list of examples of liberal bias, deceit, frivolous gossip, and blatant errors on Wikipedia.

1. Conservapedia posted the news about liberal corruption of global warming science (climategate) on its Main Page on the very first day: November 19th. But it took Wikipedia over two weeks to give priority to this bombshell, and even now its entry is remarkably biased against it.[1]

Unsurprisingly, Wikipedia does not automatically cowtow to the whims of conservapedia. As I have not read Wikipedia's take on the controversy, I cannot comment on the assertion of bias either way. If one chooses to use the word "remarkably", one would expect remarks to follow.

2. Isaac Newton translated parts of the Bible, and considered this effort to be the source of his scientific insights, yet Wikipedia's 10,000-word entry completely omits this.[2]

If Newton's religiosity were directly responsible for the conclusions he drew, I would be interested in seeing more evidence of this. It is no secret to any serious student of history that Newton held deep religious convictions. Conservapedia is omitting Newton's life long pursuit of alchemy. Why?

3. The "Pioneer anomaly" contradicts both the theory of relativity and Newtonian gravity, but the Wikipedia article describes it as a potential defect for only Newtonian gravity.[3]

Conservapedia does not grasp the meaning of the term "theory".

4. Wikipedia uses anti-religious examples for its entry on "argumentum ad populum" (Latin for claiming that something is true if it is popular). Conspicuously absent from Wikipedia's examples are atheistic arguments based on popular opinion, such as misleading people into thinking the theory of evolution must be true if others accept it.

While some may accept the fact of evolution because of peer pressure, evolution remains a fact (and a theory). On the other hand, the general acceptance of the idea of the tooth fairy among 6 year olds makes such a being no more real than Santa Claus or God.

5. Wikipedia's article on engineering[4] features a photo of ... an offshore wind turbine, which is an inefficient liberal boondoggle and certainly not a representative example of engineering. None even exist off the shores of the United States because they are not competitive.

Ironically, creationists insist on using fossil fuels from animals they believe to have existed 6,000 years ago, not millions. I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to consider the folly of this argument.

6. Amid the libel controversy against Rush Limbaugh during his bid to purchase an NFL team, the St. Louis Rams, Newsbusters revealed the false quote's Web source appeared to be from Wikipedia.[5] The quote has been removed and replaced several times since 2005. And the Wikipedia entry did not provide a transcript link to Limbaugh's show with the citation, because the quote did not exist but was part of a bias strategy by Wikipedia to label Limbaugh a racist. While the talk host criticized the website that bills itself as an "online encyclopedia," Wikipedia editors were busy discussing their strategy for handling the controversy.[6] It was later revealed that the quotes were added by a highly controversial, bias user with the IP address of[7]

If it is not apparent to you that Rush Limbaugh is, indeed, a racist then it is likely that you are also a racist. Examples of Mr Limbaugh's racism could fill volumes. I applaud any researcher charged with the unpleasant task of pouring through the writings and speeches of Limbaugh who is an odious and reprehensible human being.

7. Wikipedia has a large article detailing anti-abortion violence committed around the world,[8] but there is no article about pro-abortion violence, like that which resulted in the September 11, 2009, death of peaceful protester Jim Pouillon. There is no article for "Pro-choice violence"[9] and "Pro-abortion violence" bizarrely redirects to the "Pro-life movement" article section about "Term controversy."[10] Before being redirected, the "Pro-abortion violence" article was biased towards downplaying the reality of violence committed by supporters of abortion.[11] For example, while the "Anti-abortion violence" article matter-of-factly begins: "Anti-abortion violence is violence committed against individuals and organizations that provide abortion." ...the "Pro-abortion violence" article dismissingly began: "Pro-abortion violence (or pro-choice violence) is a term used in the pro-life movement to characterize acts of violence committed by abortion practitioners or abortion advocates against those who oppose abortion or against pregnant women. The former is regarded as factual while the latter is just "a term used in the pro-life movement."

The murder of Jim Pouillon was tragic and unnecessary. The violence in the abortion debate is, however, overwhelmingly directed toward health care providers and toward women. It is crass for conservapedia to attempt to portray the debate as a zero-sum, equal fight. Reproductive rights are civil rights, and to deny women those rights goes against the founding principals of this nation.

8. Wikipedia omits that there are serious contradictions within and objections to the Theory of Relativity, instead presenting it as scientific gospel. (Example of contradictions and objections needed.)[12]

This claim is primae facie false.

9. Wikipedia lists Factcheck.org as a "non-partisan" "'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics."[13] However, two attempted edits were deleted pointing out factcheck.org falsely claims that Barry Soetoro (aka Barack Obama) has produced his birth certificate: "FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate."[14] This claim contradicts the fact that the document they refer to is a copy of a Certificate Of Live Birth, produced in 2007, as opposed to a Birth Certificate. While later in the page, it states that detractors claim it is a "'certification of birth', not a 'certificate of birth'" (actually "Certificate Of Live Birth" and "Birth Certificate" respectively). Factcheck.org clouds the verbage by getting the actual terms wrong and presenting the two items as synonymous.[15]

I'm not sure where to begin with this one. I am not sure whose hat someone pulled the name "Barry Soetoro" out of, but I suspect it may be Orly Taitz's. Barack Hussein Obama is a native US citizen and he was born in Hawaii (which happens to be an actual US state much to the chagrin of the Dole family, I'm sure). He is our president. Get used to it, you lost.

10. Wikipedia's article about Bernhard Riemann, perhaps the greatest modern mathematician, contains little discussion of Riemann's faith and tries to downplay his fundamentalism as though it were merely a passing interest as a teenager.[16][17]


11. Wikipedia savages anyone who criticizes the theory of evolution, such as Dr. William Dembski, whom Wikipedia introduces with outlandish, unsupported quotations by liberal critics.[18] For example, Wikipedia describes David H. Wolpert as a "prominent mathematician" in order to insert a scathing, unjustified quotation by him about Dembski.[18] In fact, Wolpert does not even hold a math degree and his (non-math) doctorate was from the University of California at the weak Santa Barbara location.[19] Dembski's PhD is in math from the preeminent University of Chicago.

Anyone? Everyone? Savages? UCSB is somehow worse than Regent University?

12. Noting that Al Gore's 2009 statement that he won a 2007 British court case about An Inconvenient Truth ran contrary to the actual ruling and, especially, the judge's statement that the claimant won the case against the film is considered "original research" and "POV" on Wikipedia.[20]

Don't know about this case.

13. Wikipedia often treats conservative figures and sites with contempt, characteristic of the liberal double standard. Compare, for example, Wikipedia's smear of Conservapedia[21] with its straightforward description of Scholarpedia.[22]

I cannot find the words contempt or smear in the wikipedia article about conservapedia. The article suggests a bias that conservapedia does not seem to deny or shy away from. In the reality based world, I would consider that to be a factual report.

14. Wikipedia cites vulgar blogs and liberal rants as though they are encyclopedic authorities. For example, its entry about Conservapedia claims that "[s]everal articles on the site have reputations for bias and inaccuracy,"[23] but its citations for that falsehood consist of a vulgar blog, a liberal rant, and an article that takes a neutral position. None of Wikipedia's three "authorities" make any statement about the "reputation" of Conservapedia as Wikipedia claims.

If vulgarity invalidates authority, no one should believe the Bible, one of the most grotesque, pornographic pieces of literature ever committed to the printed page.

15. Wikipedia bias against movement conservatives is intense. Michele Bachmann won reelection in 2008 by 3% in a state that went heavily Democratic, but instead of crediting her conservative positions the biased Wikipedia entry states, "Despite fallout from controversial statements that she had made, Bachmann defeated her Democratic opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg in the 2008 election."[24]

"argumentum ad populum"; it is also evident that Bachmann is a dangerous ideologue whose understanding of the US Constitution, history and body of laws is tenuous at best. Many third graders probably have a better understanding of the Constitution than Bachmann. That she was elected is a black eye on the otherwise great state of Minnesota.

16. In its entry on the heavily Christian Gothic architecture,[25] Wikipedia credits Islam before Christianity, does not even mention Christianity until after more than 1500 words, and then does not mention Christianity again.

Someone call a whambulence, we have a butt-hurt emergency!

17. In his article entitled Wikipedia lies, slander continue, journalist Joseph Farah supports his observation that Wikipedia "is not only a provider of inaccuracy and bias. It is wholesale purveyor of lies and slander unlike any other the world has ever known."[26]

Well, that sounds fair and balanced to me.

18. Wikipedia's evolution article certainly does not have robust and relevant "Criticism and controversy" section its evolution article which is not surprising since liberals are rather enamored of the evolutionary position despite the evolutionary view having a total lack of evidence supporting it.

Keep that in mind next time you give your kids antibiotics. You see the stuff in red here? No, you don't, and you likely never will. That's my opinion. So I can make a blanket (and probably false) statement like "anyone who believes anything conservapedia says is a fucking idiot." This is not appropriate for a reference resource like an encyclopedia (online or otherwise). To make that blanket statement about liberals is equal in value to saying blacks are lazy or Jews are stingy - in that the statement has no value at all.

19. Wikipedia's article on atheism fails to mention that American atheists give significantly less to charity than American theists on a per capita basis even when church giving is not counted for theists.[27] In addition, Wikipedia's article on atheism fails to mention how key proponents of atheism have been deceptive. Wikipedia's article on atheism also fails to mention that Christianity and not atheism was foundational in regards to the development of modern science. Wikipedia's article attempts to associate atheism with scientific progress.[28] In addition, Wikipedia's article on atheism fails to mention that atheism is a causal factor for suicide.

Atheism causes suicide? Fuck you. I'm not going to bother with the rest of this bullshit statement.

20. The Wikipedia entry for homosexuality is adorned with the a rainbow graphic but fails to mention the following: the many diseases associated with homosexuality, the high promiscuity rates of the male homosexual community, the higher incidences of domestic violence among homosexual couples compared to heterosexual couples, and the substantially higher mental illness and drug usage rates of the homosexuality community. In addition, the Wikipedia article on homosexuality fails to mention that the American Psychiatric Association issued a fact sheet in May of 2000 stating that "..there are no replicated scientific studies supporting a specific biological etiology for homosexuality."[29]

..and here's where I stop. You dear reader are welcome to plumb the depths of conservapedia in all it's glory, "citations" and all. I cannot stomach any more.

Big, small and indifferent

I wouldn't qualify working in "the bigs" as a total disaster.. professionally.

However one of the biggest disasters to happen to a large organization like the one I work for happened a bit ago, a news making, lawsuit generating, fuck all snafu.

So I've entered the world of job candidacy again, going on interviews, proving my worth, etc.

Going to interviews is a chore no matter how you slice it.

After what I've been through, it's damn well like pulling teeth.

Let me explain.

I can't go to a single interview without answering the uncomfortable question "so.. I see you work at XXXXXX.. I read about that on Gizmodo (or insert other tech blog here).. so, what was that all about?"

To add insult to injury, I'm expected to answer all kinds of hypothetical questions, solve problems, etc -- the usual interview stuff -- knowing that the interviewer knows about the complete breakdown of the service that I in part was charged with the care of.

It's humiliating.

So, in order to relieve some stress, I'm currently fixing this at my old job:
me@sql01 [1:27am]:6:~> sh foo.sh
env env.c foo.sh ports.txt post.sh program.c program.o resolv.conf sudoers w00t.so.1.0 FreeBSD local r00t zeroday
by Kingcope
November 2009
env.c: In function 'main':
env.c:5: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of built-in function 'malloc'
env.c:9: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of built-in function 'strcpy'
env.c:11: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of built-in function 'execl'
/libexec/ld-elf.so.1: environment corrupt; missing value for
/libexec/ld-elf.so.1: environment corrupt; missing value for
/libexec/ld-elf.so.1: environment corrupt; missing value for
/libexec/ld-elf.so.1: environment corrupt; missing value for
/libexec/ld-elf.so.1: environment corrupt; missing value for
# id
uid=1001(me) gid=1001(me) euid=0(root) groups=1001(me),16(dba)

01 November, 2009

Take this job and shove it

From: PHB
Sent: Saturday, October 31, 2009 12:10 PM
To: PHB Staff
Subject: please acknowledge and respond
This job requires you to be reachable (EVEN IF NOT ON CALL) 24 x7.
Naturally you take vacation and go away but you need to notify someone.
I have tried 2 employees and an manager today with no response.
This is a condition of employment. - we are running a SERVICE!!!
Please acknowledge and commit to informing your Teams.

17 October, 2009

Datacenter Confidential: A Memoir?

Once the lawsuits have settled, I think I am going to write a book about working the worst outage in recent Internet history. An outage that is a real game changer.

Microsoft. Danger. Sidekick. October 2009.

02 October, 2009

Stargate: Universe drinking game!

* use of jargon
* slowmotion + mood music
* gate dial / wormhole opened
* jive talk / wise cracking wacky ethnic person and/or alien

and that's just the cold open!

* any member of the original SG1 team on-screen, double for Jack
* "the hammond"
* beaming anyone up (double if to the hammond)
* radar (radio guy)
* space sex

25 September, 2009

Sun vendor-class-identifier a limited list

It pisses me off to no end that this shit is not search-able on sun.com:

SUNW.SPARC-Enterprise # Sun M5000, M6000, M8000, M9000, etc
SUNW.Ultra-80 # Sun Enterprise 420R, V420R(?)
SUNW.Sun-Fire-T5220 # early model T5220
SUNW.Sun-Fire-T5120 # early model T5120/T5220
SUNW.SPARC-Enterprise-T5220 # late model T5220
SUNW.Sun-Fire-T1000 # early model T1000
SUNW.SPARC-Enterprise-T1000 # late model T1000
SUNW.Sun-Fire-T200 # AC200, DC200, Netra T200
SUNW.Sun-Fire-V125 # Netra V125R

09 August, 2009

Datacenter Confidential: Apartment Networks

As I type, I am acting out the most stereotypical (and stereotypically lazy) Unix/network admin behavior in my very own home:

My Macbook in the living room is on the Internet via my Airport (yes, I love Apple), I have a terminal open to my other Macbook (the one that my job bought for me for work), which is sitting on top of a machine racked up in a 4-post 19" rack in my bedroom, which in turn is connected to a HP Procurve switch and a 4u, 16-bay, 2 3ware raided FreeBSD machine whose only purpose for the time being is to jumpstart a 1u Rackable PC that is destined to become my new home firewall.

Let me repeat..

inet -> airport -> personal mac, work mac ( -> raid box )

And just to gild the lily, I'm running the copy of data from my laptop onto my server in screen.

I'm such a nerd.

06 June, 2009

An urgent plea to peers in my age group with children..

Much hash has been made lately of the "death of so-called Conservatism". Anyone who believes such nonsense is as deluded as Karl Rove when he speaks of the "permanent Republican majority."

I blurted this short missive out in response to an article on Salon.com (whose track record for delusion is worthy of note):

College Republicans and the Millenial Generation

I have faith that a new generation of right-wingers [are] waiting in the wings.

After all, feel-good "Positive Self Image" schooling has profoundly damaged a generation of children, producing selfish, narcissistic little sociopaths whose lack of critical thinking skills combined with their inflated egos are primed to gravitate to the self-affirming message of modern "conservatism".

We live in a nation that tolerates the shallow platitudes of charlatans like "doctor" Phil McGraw, and suffers the theatrics of smug, self-serving Ayn Rand freaks and fringe idiologues like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.

It is only a matter of time before this new generation of brats, unable to tolerate challenges to their delusional sense of self worth, cling to the hysterical "me first" rhetoric of the privileged yet "victimized" right.

This is cult initiation on a mass scale. An army of "true believers". It's going to be ugly, believe me.

Let us ponder for a moment the tendency of people everywhere to remember the hits and forget the misses.

This is of course a extremely curt version of the concept of Confirmation Bias: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

Confirmation bias, tied with the insipid and now discredited theory of child development and education that a positive self-image leads to better performance in school leads to a toxic combination of self-serving delusion and an intolerance toward challenges to ones ego; to wit, ones personal perceptions of truth tied to feelings of self worth, and critical analysis of fact becomes a personal attack against which individuals naturally resist.

Strategies for neutralizing any aspect of primary education that would be traditionally considered merit-based are literally dumbed-down: honor rolls are eliminated, competitive sports, even basic educational requirements in the form of "social promotion".

And parents who naturally want to believe that their child is special, by becoming doting "stage parents", actually help inhibit their child's development.

Without getting into too many of the painful details, I feel I made it through this gauntlet of meaningless "good feelings" by being truly tortured as a child; and while I have many scars and crosses to bear, I feel that I am at least more prepared than the majority of happy coddled children that preceded and followed me during this dark period (which is hopefully coming to a close).

In other words, I am better suited to win at an emotional or existential knife fight than the kid who grew up with Dr. Phil-esque platitudes that did not ever match their achievement.

So, parents, please.. please please please.. do not buy into this positive-image, law-of-attraction hooey.

The only way we learn is by making mistakes. And someone who thinks that they are incapable of being "bad" or "wrong" is someone without guilt, shame or empathy.

06 January, 2009

Feliz nuevo año

2008, good riddance.

I have been the deadly (and blog unproductive) combination of sick and busy at work.

But, I am still alive. Oh, oh. So alive.