To no one in particular Edit

The following was written in this thread

People do often misunderstand each-others and by only interacting in writing this problem is exponentiated, but sadly what I've read in this thread is unshakable intention to be unreachable, that is why I state that you have a problem accepting others opinions as having value if they don't conform to your views, rare is the case where you have made a compromise and here again is demonstrated that you are not willing to accept to grant me and my view point an expression, even considering that you will not block my freedom to in the next RfDs express my position as I will, and the point that I was proposing that was in fact originated by our discussion of your talk pages (going from "pushing" the content to request a "pull") first you state that as your preferred option and then object to it, again how is this productive or the derailing the discussion with references to matters outside of the scope of the discussion or has taken place in your talk pages under a specific context...

Again I refuse to participate in this game. I think my time attempting to reach an understanding has been lost especially if after all I attempted to demonstrate as the goals and benefits you only see that "this discussion is about icons". Geez Louise... --Panic (talk) 22:08, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

It is perhaps a personality defect of mine that I feel the need to defend myself even though I understand full well no good can come of it. Rather than escalating tensions further by reply directly on a discussion page I will use this page to blow off some steam.

When I read the above paragraph I think to myself that I am not cut out to contribute on a wiki let alone be an administrator on one. Indeed the first thought to go through my mind was to voluntarily lay down my admin tools, as a symbolic gesture. If I am really being this disruptive I see it as a serious problem. There can be little doubt about the fact that I argue my positions with great vigor and vim, and this seems to have caused many "dark clouds" over conversations I have had recently. To the point I had almost come to the resolution to not participate in any further conversations. Actually I did decide to stay away, but was just very bad at it.

So what bothers me about the "charges" above? First and foremost the idea that I do not accept others opinions as having value if they don't fall in line with mine. I would like to provide counterexamples to this idea. I always thought my interaction with Kayau about the Geometry for Elementary School was an example of me showing respect to someones ideas that were different than mine. We disagreed about the definitions the book should take, the tools it should discuss, British/American Spelling, etc. We talked about these things, and in the end I believe we just simply disagreed. He has made the changes he saw fit, and I respected them.

More recently Tomato86 wanted to update the manual of style for LaTeX. Initially I was not pleased with his suggestions. Then I decided to accept them, whether or not they agreed with my point of view. He urged me on to find a compromise we could both live with, and I feel that went very well. And I am sorry to say I haven't had the time to help him out yet.

Sometimes very fiercely argued positions lead to compromise. My personal favorite example was a recent RfD with Hagindaz about Happiness. I was solidly convinced the book did not belong here. And Hagindaz argued quite well, and found a reference on Positive Psychology. I spent a few hours reading the reference (as much as amazon would allow anyways), decided happiness didn't quite cover this topic, but it was certainly part of this topic. This inspired me to look to see if we had a book and the answer was we did, I asked Hagindaz if a merge was acceptable, and he seemed to think it was a good idea. In the end, others did not agree and I eventually had to close the conversation as not having a consensus and so both books where kept.

It is in the training of my profession not to be easily convinced, and to pick apart arguments quite carefully. Otherwise you can never tell a correct proof from an incorrect one. So I tend to have many replies to what people say. Perhaps this part of the problem?

But these as I say are just examples. I am sure many can find places where I have not compromised. One example that comes to mind was the recent proposal to reconfigure wikibooks. I was simply set against having the ReaderFeedback Forms enabled on the Main Space pages. I saw this as a problem pretty quickly and tried to convince everyone to split the conversation so I could hold my stance against this, but support the other changes. But it was not accepted, as having everything done in one fell swoop reduces the work of the wikimedia folks, which is hard to argue with. My explanations as to why I thought ReaderFeedback where a lost cause clearly were a lost cause. I even admitted defeat even as I argued on this point saying something to the effect that "I probably haven't convinced anyone" and tried to offer a compromise. It was rejected by the community. This is fine but I felt I couldn't support the changes. I admit it would have taken something pretty impressive to change my mind. But on the rest of the proposal I thought I showed I was willing to compromise a lot. (As did everyone involved, good show!) But to make matters worse I felt things went south at some point. It started when I noticed, what I thought was some innocent but inappropriate canvassing going on trying to get everyone on board supporting one configuration. At first I just ignored it, I was the sole objecting person so I can understand why I was not part of the canvass. But I maintain that is inappropriate. So I updated my opinion as I saw was being suggested to other people. This seems to started a discussion where I needed to restate my opinions again, and was basically told they were not valid. There was also the feeling (but maybe never said explicitly) that I should move my objections aside so I wouldn't stand in the way. I must admit I didn't like being pressured into changing my mind. And things when very south when someone else decided to add themselves to the oppose side. He was descended upon by multiple editors and told his opinions couldn't possibly make sense, or were contradictory. Individually maybe each comment was innocent, but it is my opinion it would be impossible to be on the receiving end and not be insulted. To me this made the innocent acts before seem less so, and I felt I had to cry fowl. Not to disrupt the process, nor to block the process, but to make clear to everyone that maybe we should be very careful to not let something like this happen again. Since that edit (check my edit summary) I have hoped these changes get made quickly. I can understand why my actions in this event might be looked upon as bad. But what can I say?

Since this particular incident the dark clouds have been getting worse. I argued very fiercely at an RfD for Drugs:Fact and Fiction a.nd the community opted to keep. After a bit of soul searching I decided it was necessary for me to clean up this book, since no one else had made the effort in the time following the RfD. But I am afraid my edits are seen by some as disingenuous POV aimed at subverting community consensus. What can I say to defend myself? This is not how I see them.

Later I was rather upset about what I saw as some very bad edits by Panic, and I told him precisely and in no uncertain terms what I thought of them. Unfortunately I decided to compare them to vandalism, which is offensive to Panic. I had the further bad judgment to do this on another users talk page, which panic was understandably upset about. All I can say in my defense was this talk page is where the bulk of the conversation about the book was happening and I wasn't thinking about how it would come across. I maintain that one editor here should be able to constructively say to another, 'that is a really crappy job' in appropriate language. But I failed on every level, and was never quite able to set things straight.

Finally in this recent conversation Panic made a comment "All Wikibookians are volunteers it is not up to you to impose a requirement on any Wikibookians, I was politely excluding myself from that particular game that wasn't leading to what I requested in the first place,... " I felt it was entirely unclear what game he was discussing. I also disagreed with the comment, so I said so, but provided references back to the appropriate conversations where it was felt I was playing games. I wasn't intending to derail the conversation with references outside its scope, but if someone is going to publicly accuse me of making requirements as if I had some special authority I felt the need to defend myself. (Which went badly, as I am sure this will.)

I am not really sure what the last sentence means, but I think he is done attempting to explain to me so I shall forgo asking.

Finally, the only thing I can definitely say definitively is about my intentions. I never intended to be unreachable, if I had wanted to I would have left my oppose icon and not bothered any more. But I think there is little I can do to convince anyone of my good intentions. The fact is others will see my edits at Drugs:Fact and Fiction as biased POV. The next time I am in a fierce debate with someone, if they read this conversation they will say "yeah he doesn't value others opinions". An accusation is a powerful thing, whether or not it is correct.

Finally, why would I argue so hard or long over something I thought was really about just an icon? We have really miscommunicated somewhere.

Anyways, despite everything I bear no ill will toward Panic for his statements. The only reason any of us show up to edit here is to improve the project. Panic and I may have different opinions about how to do this, but on some fundamental level our hearts are in the same place. Which is why I don't choose to defend myself in this original conversation. It is better to accept looking like an ******* and try to salvage what working relationship we have then to damage it further by continuing to argue. Time to take down the wikistress monitor, I am in a whole new galaxy of whatever it is I am feeling. Thenub314 (talk) 00:18, 16 July 2010 (UTC)