Atvelonis's recent activity

  1. Comment on A Simple Way to Reduce Harassment in Online Discussion Groups in ~tech

    Atvelonis (edited ) Link Parent
    Those approaches aren't mutually exclusive, though. In fact, I would suggest that prominently displaying the rules goes hand-in-hand with being very tough about enforcing them. I agree with...

    Those approaches aren't mutually exclusive, though. In fact, I would suggest that prominently displaying the rules goes hand-in-hand with being very tough about enforcing them.

    I agree with @Cosmos that being a sticker about the rules inevitably causes a certain amount of backlash against the moderators on any forum. I've dealt with this quite a bit myself. But the moderators are the ones who hold the power; call me authoritarian, but on a website with consistent enough traffic (like Reddit, or in my case Wikia), it is literally impossible for users to have any long-term effect on the tone of the site if the moderators are more proactive about rule enforcement than users are about rule-breaking.

    Mods can ban people. Users can ban no one. Mods can delete posts and comments. Users cannot. Mods have all of the power and users have none of it, at least beyond sheer numbers, an advantage which can be offset by getting more mods and making use of automated moderation techniques. Accusations about arbitrary rule enforcement don't actually change traffic in a significant way; /r/politics (for example) is still an incredibly popular sub, despite constantly being accused of bias from various perspectives. Most people don't ever read these accusations, even if they make it to the press, or just don't care.

    People can whine all they like, but if the moderators want to enforce a specific point of view on a community (e.g. "no harassment"), they can definitely do it, and there's very little that can be done to stop them.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on The Remarkable Story of a Woman Who Preserved Over 30 Years of TV History in ~tv

    Atvelonis Link
    This is incredible. I'm fascinated by archival projects; the web in particular is something that's fairly easy to archive with the help of the Wayback Machine extension, which lets you archive any...

    This is incredible. I'm fascinated by archival projects; the web in particular is something that's fairly easy to archive with the help of the Wayback Machine extension, which lets you archive any page you're on, but broadcast television is a completely different beast, especially in Stokes' time.

    In 1975, Stokes got a Betamax magnetic videotape recorder and began recording bits of sitcoms, science documentaries, and political news coverage. From the outset of the Iran Hostage Crisis on November 4, 1979, “she hit record and she never stopped,” said her son Michael Metelits in Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project, a newly released documentary about his mother and the archival project that became her life’s work.

    The year 1980 brought the launch of CNN, and the 24-hour news cycle. Soon, three, four, five, and sometimes as many as eight tapes were spinning away at once in Stokes’s apartment, recording news broadcasts, commercials, and everything in between on multiple networks. While many people assumed that television networks held on to everything they aired, that wasn’t the case. Studios were constantly erasing and recycling broadcast tapes in order to save money and free up storage space.

    I think it's valuable to retain all of the television of past eras for posterity. It's the equivalent of the many millions of books and plays and poems that ancient artists have created that have since been lost to history. People have surely already made use of resources like the Internet Archive to research cultural phenomena from the 1980s and thereabouts; Stokes' contribution here is clearly massive.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on Wikipedia’s Refusal to Profile a Black Female Scientist Shows Its Diversity Problem in ~tech

    Atvelonis Link Parent
    It would count as a primary but non–self-published source if released by a third party. Wikipedia does allow the use of primary sources, so long as editors are not analyzing or synthesizing any of...

    It would count as a primary but non–self-published source if released by a third party. Wikipedia does allow the use of primary sources, so long as editors are not analyzing or synthesizing any of the material in that source, only reiterating it. Editors are cautious about using such sources, but they aren't overarchingly disallowed. Depending on the perceived reliability of the publisher, this source may be accepted by Wikipedia or ignored. This additional step does present a challenge as far as fighting the good fight is concerned, but it also makes it a little more difficult to insert potentially misleading information onto the site in general.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Wikipedia’s Refusal to Profile a Black Female Scientist Shows Its Diversity Problem in ~tech

    Atvelonis Link
    I know a lot about Wikipedia and wiki editing processes in general, so I feel slightly qualified to talk about this. I'm very sympathetic toward Phelps here, and really anyone in her...

    I know a lot about Wikipedia and wiki editing processes in general, so I feel slightly qualified to talk about this.

    I'm very sympathetic toward Phelps here, and really anyone in her position—academia is a stingy enough place without having to deal with being snubbed because of your ethnicity. Wikipedia definitely is a very typical "straight, white, male, Western" website (not that this is an unusual quality for the internet, unfortunately). And, as @Yugioh_Mishima points out, its editors tend to be "overly hostile and poorly socialized," or at least the more vocal ones are. (I have to deal with the latter issue a lot on the wiki that I run. I think it's more of an internet poweruser thing in general.) These qualities can be really problematic in talk page discussions.

    But I begin to question the author's knowledge of Wikipedia's editing systems when they go on to suggest such solutions as:

    Wikipedia could start by allowing more flexibility in its citation and sourcing criteria for notable figures from underrepresented groups. At the very least, it could protect those pages from anonymous flags—as it does for other potentially controversial pages—and grant the entries a grace period to address issues raised by a flag before being marked for deletion. It could also remove user anonymity to help stem the impersonal nastiness seen in page debates and deletion wars—nastiness that likely discourages underrepresented groups from sticking around in the Wikipedia community.

    I'm sorry, but if there aren't a decent number of trustworthy sources about a given figure, it doesn't make sense to allow lower-quality ones to bridge this gap (nor to rely on fewer sources, thereby decreasing the overall balance of an article) for the sake of representation. These goals are admirable, but encouraging poor citation practices in one sphere of Wikipedia devalues the accuracy of the site as a whole. Citations aren't valuable if the site's underlying citation policies are weak.

    More specifically, perhaps the editors in this situation were acting under racist/sexist inclinations and Phelps should really have an article. This is likely true, but there is also a case to be made for the deletion reason: "Being a technician on a project being led by others is not grounds for a wikipedia page." James Andrew Harris, another African-American scientist involved in the discovery of elements whom the article refers to, was the head of his research group. That distinction is probably what allows his article to remain up despite requiring more citations. But this isn't a hill I'm going to die on.

    The author's next suggestion is also a little strange. Protect all pages about people in underrepresented groups from editing by unregistered users? This only makes sense if you think that the only thing editors on Wikipedia can do is tag articles for deletion... but they can also edit articles, and expand upon them. Considering Wikipedia's lack of diversity among registered users, barring people who are not part of the "in-group" (i.e. barring a greater number of people from minority groups) will just make the matter worse. To remove anonymous editing altogether is just as ridiculous; most people start off editing without an account! It's that rush of satisfaction you get from contributing to something greater than yourself that encourages you to actually join the community. Yes, the option of anonymity can cause issues in talk page debates, but it's also the lifeblood of the site and the way it continues to get editors.

    I personally think that Phelps' involvement here is notable and wouldn't have deleted the page, but I would be hesitant to boil it all down to discrimination. It's also just bureaucracy. When you edit wikis enough, you stop assigning your personal values to articles tagged for deletion and the like, especially as an administrator; there are just too many to consider subjectively. Hence the strict adherence to the letter of the law; that's not necessarily in the spirit of the encyclopedia, but it's the reality of running a site this large.

    36 votes
  5. Comment on One Punch Man is awesome! Suggest me similar animes please in ~anime

    Atvelonis Link Parent
    Thank you for the suggestion! I'll have to check them out.

    Thank you for the suggestion! I'll have to check them out.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on One Punch Man is awesome! Suggest me similar animes please in ~anime

    Atvelonis Link
    I'm in a similar boat as you as far as anime is concerned; in my case I think I just don't enjoy Japanese humor, and I find their weird over-sexualization of female characters extremely...

    I'm in a similar boat as you as far as anime is concerned; in my case I think I just don't enjoy Japanese humor, and I find their weird over-sexualization of female characters extremely off-putting. Not that this doesn't happen in Western media, but it's often a focal point of many scenes in bad anime; a combination of incel-level pandering and comic relief in place of character development that ultimately comes across as extremely boring when done repetitiously. In the shows that I deign to watch (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Steins;Gate, etc.) it's generally not as much of an issue, but you still get hints of it with contextually inappropriate camera angles and other such things occasionally.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on One Punch Man is awesome! Suggest me similar animes please in ~anime

    Atvelonis Link Parent
    I think this depends on specifically why one would like One Punch Man. The main reason I enjoy it is because it makes fun of common superhero tropes in anime and comics; it's a comedic critique of...

    I think this depends on specifically why one would like One Punch Man. The main reason I enjoy it is because it makes fun of common superhero tropes in anime and comics; it's a comedic critique of what I consider to be an incredibly stupid genre (I struggle to find an appropriate adjective; they often just take themselves too seriously for their subject matter). I found that My Hero Academia had its moments—I like the entire idea behind All Might's weakness very humanizing, and more than appropriate—but, as with many other shows, it suffers from an awful case of "people literally do not talk to each other like this" syndrome. Character archetypes are obviously going to be exaggerated in any work, but the dynamic between the main figures in the show always felt off to me. I think this is related to my inability to watch most television, but others might feel similarly as well.

    5 votes
  8. Comment on How Bad Is It to Let Your Cat Outside? in ~enviro

    Atvelonis Link Parent
    Something that no one has mentioned here is that not every cat likes to go outside. Both of my cats are absolutely terrified of the outdoors; even just stepping onto the grass for more than a...

    Something that no one has mentioned here is that not every cat likes to go outside. Both of my cats are absolutely terrified of the outdoors; even just stepping onto the grass for more than a second freaks them out. I've tried just plopping them down out there as a trial run, but with or without leashes they aren't fans. I think they have enough space to roam around indoors that they are comfortable with it.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on I miss Facebook, and I'm not ashamed to admit it in ~tech

    Atvelonis Link Parent
    They will never stop changing it unless they design it for the specific purpose of never being changed to suit the needs of advertisers to begin with, à la Tildes. Given the opportunity, almost...

    They will never stop changing it unless they design it for the specific purpose of never being changed to suit the needs of advertisers to begin with, à la Tildes. Given the opportunity, almost anyone would decide to prioritize corporate profits over a genuinely good user experience. Look at how wealthy all these tech startup CEOs are! How could anyone resist that? You have to have to mindset of, "I'm creating this website for the sake of the experience that it will provide my users, not for personal gain" in order to escape this, which is noble, but extremely uncommon.

    18 votes
  10. Comment on Disney+ launches on November 12 for $6.99/mo, plus new Marvel, Star Wars series in ~movies

    Atvelonis Link
    No thanks! I'm quite alright paying for the subscriptions I already have. This splintering of streaming services is going to continue to happen as long as people keep forking over cash for them,...

    No thanks! I'm quite alright paying for the subscriptions I already have. This splintering of streaming services is going to continue to happen as long as people keep forking over cash for them, and I am content to use any of the free resources at my disposal if I really want to watch a Disney movie. Any local library certainly has classic films like Star Wars on DVD, and probably topical films like the MCU too, not to mention the old Jolly Roger.

    7 votes
  11. Comment on Black hole picture captured for first time in space ‘breakthrough’ in ~science

    Atvelonis Link Parent
    I dunno, I actually really like the picture as a picture. If I look at a high-resolution version, not some compressed copy that keeps floating around news articles, I actually find the color...

    I dunno, I actually really like the picture as a picture. If I look at a high-resolution version, not some compressed copy that keeps floating around news articles, I actually find the color gradient visually fascinating, and the contrast is immediately striking. Their coloring of the image gives it this fiery intensity that corresponds pretty closely with the way we tend to romanticize black holes; these massive, scary, world-ending structures out there in the universe. I've been staring at it for a while now and the more I look, the more emotions I associate with it. At the center of the image is the unseeable darkness itself, staring right back at me (courtesy of Nietzsche). I would love a higher-resolution image, but I think the emotional magnitude of viewing such a picture would actually not be very different from what I get out of this!

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Battery Reality: There’s Nothing Better Than Lithium-Ion Coming Soon in ~science

    Atvelonis Link
    The title of this article makes this seem quite negative, but I'm not so sure that's the conclusion to be drawn. As with any product, more production means lower prices. On its own, is this not...

    The title of this article makes this seem quite negative, but I'm not so sure that's the conclusion to be drawn.

    The batteries pouring from new factories in China, the U.S., Thailand and elsewhere will further drive down prices, which have already plunged 85 percent since 2010. And the billions spent on factories will create a powerful incentive for the industry to keep tweaking lithium-ion technology, improving it bit by bit, rather than adopting something else.

    As with any product, more production means lower prices. On its own, is this not justification for car companies to start developing more electric vehicles over diesel? Surely, even luxury brands like Tesla would love to offer more inexpensive models for those who are environmentally conscious but are not wealthy; it just increases market share.

    I also realize that one of the reasons electric vehicles are being held back is because of their range. However, as the article says, battery companies are not only ramping up production, but are "improving it bit by bit." So if prices are falling and the batteries are still getting better, what's the issue?

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Mapped: The world’s coal power plants in ~enviro

    Atvelonis (edited ) Link
    This is a cool visualization, though I think it would be more useful if the "future" option were dated in some way. It does make a difference whether a coal plant is opening in one year or ten....

    This is a cool visualization, though I think it would be more useful if the "future" option were dated in some way. It does make a difference whether a coal plant is opening in one year or ten.

    Regardless, it's interesting to see how rapidly China's coal economy is increasing; the only other "regions" it maps that are increasing in production are India and "Other Asia," and not by nearly as much. What worries me especially is that both areas are set to open a pretty huge number of coal plants in the future.

    I keep seeing reports about how the cost of solar and other renewable sources of energy are starting to dip below the price of coal, so what's driving this continued investment in the latter? Of course, renewables aren't as stable as fossil fuels, but surely that can't be the only factor at play here. I can't imagine the difference between peak and off-peak is big enough that any country is going to need to rely on coal to such an extent in the coming years.

    5 votes
  14. Comment on Stop Asking Kids What They Want To Be When They Grow Up in ~life

    Atvelonis Link
    If I asked a kid what they wanted to be when they grew up, and they gave the article's example of, "A person of integrity" (or even just, "A good person"), I would be pretty surprised. Not just...

    If I asked a kid what they wanted to be when they grew up, and they gave the article's example of, "A person of integrity" (or even just, "A good person"), I would be pretty surprised. Not just because they're specifically trained to give a job-related answer to this question, but because this sort of answer requires an acknowledgment that what's important to them is self-actualization, rather than the idea of collecting a bunch of objects.

    I think working a job that you really enjoy certainly isn't mutually exclusive from this idea of self-actualization and moral character, but the train of thought among most people is, "Get as much money as I can so that I can do any of the things that I want to do," not, "Always do the things that I want to do." Being able to step away from that as an automatic answer shows a lot of wisdom, especially as a child.

    I disagree with is assertion that such an answer is socially unacceptable; I think many adults would be a little confused and repeat the question, but they would probably accept it if it were to be restated. It's definitely an unusual response, but it isn't a bad one, and I think this is something that we're collectively ready to start embracing.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on Oh No! The Depressing Truth About the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory Workers in ~books

    Atvelonis Link Parent
    I only agree with this in a superficial sense. We can both agree that blatant racism/discrimination is, by and large, an extremely socially unacceptable behavior to exhibit in today's world....

    I only agree with this in a superficial sense. We can both agree that blatant racism/discrimination is, by and large, an extremely socially unacceptable behavior to exhibit in today's world. However, that doesn't mean that racism as a whole is an "opt-in" phenomenon. The most common problems we're facing today in terms of racial divides can be categorized as some form of microaggression, which, to varying degrees, still have very negative effects on the psyches of targeted persons. They are also much more difficult to prove, and, importantly in the context of this discussion, difficult to notice in oneself.

    We all hold a ton of implicit biases about people and the groups to which they belong; while not as openly harmful as, say, Jim Crow, these biases are still very much an aspect of racism that needs to be discussed. I personally think it's a little disingenuous to suggest that they are necessarily deactivated in every person by default unless they consciously will themselves to become a racist. I grew up in a pretty liberal area, but still fall prey to stereotyping and the like more than I should. I can only imagine that it's worse for people in regions of the world where egalitarianism is less of a focus; racism, in some form, is still very much the norm for a lot of people these days.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on Megathread: April Fools' Day 2019 on the internet in ~misc

    Atvelonis Link Parent
    I totally agree. It was a time when the internet was primarily a fun place, and a very personal one, compared to today's hyper-aware and hyper-commercialized web. I appreciate the lengths that...

    I totally agree. It was a time when the internet was primarily a fun place, and a very personal one, compared to today's hyper-aware and hyper-commercialized web. I appreciate the lengths that modern web design has gone to ensure a smooth experience, but I also can't help but miss the spontaneous nature of how things used to be.

    6 votes
  17. Comment on The Elder Scrolls: Blades Beta has begun for a select few in ~games

    Atvelonis Link Parent
    You know, I find the implications of your comment pretty disrespectful. I mean this in the most non-hostile way possible, because I realize that you were probably not trying to upset me, but the...

    You know, I find the implications of your comment pretty disrespectful. I mean this in the most non-hostile way possible, because I realize that you were probably not trying to upset me, but the "UESP good, TESWiki bad" mantra that I see espoused in various places on the internet is rather misleading and is not conducive whatsoever to knowledge-sharing, the primary goal of both encyclopedias. Most people on both sites are perfectly fine with having a "rival wiki," if it can even be described like that; it encourages them to out-edit each other, and as a general rule has been pretty successful on either side of the aisle. We even collaborate sometimes!

    As I've noted elsewhere before, I've been an administrator on the Wikia for some time now, having stepped in at a time at which it was in need of some serious repairs (in pretty much every way you can imagine!). At this point, I quite enjoy working with the community there, and the content has come a long way. I feel compelled to improve and uphold the quality of information on the site because, regardless of whatever opinions powerusers hold about it, it will always exist in some form to be absorbed by casual readers. Given that, I may as well ensure that it is as comprehensive as possible. I edit the UESP a little more intermittently, and have a number of friends on there as well. It just isn't my focus, and I don't think they particularly need my help anyway.

    I can't deny (and in fact agree with) the common supposition that many of the Wikia's articles are a bit shoddy in comparison to the UESP's, particularly the ones surrounding certain lore topics. But to discredit the entirety of TESWiki based on this is frustrating, because it implies that the UESP is somehow a perfect bastion of knowledge and that TESWiki is the exact opposite (anecdotal evidence indicating that this is faulty reasoning may be seen in articles such as the Shezarrine and its UESP counterpart; both are good articles, but one is clearly better than the other). They are both wikis editable by anyone, and in consequence they both have a lot of errors lurking around. The constant elevation of the UESP annoys me because it encourages users to take anything written on there as Truth (TM), disregarding the entire methodology of encyclopedic content documentation in the first place, which is based on reliable source analysis over blind trust.

    Again, I don't mean to offend in return, but the idea you've expressed is one of my pet peeves, being a little insulting to me on a personal level, and its frequent repetition really doesn't help anything.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on The Elder Scrolls: Blades Beta has begun for a select few in ~games

    Atvelonis Link
    Shameless plug: if anyone would care to join me, I'll be documenting any and all Blades content over on the wiki now that I've gotten early access (they're apparently doing it in waves). Game...

    Shameless plug: if anyone would care to join me, I'll be documenting any and all Blades content over on the wiki now that I've gotten early access (they're apparently doing it in waves). Game mechanics, quests, characters (including dialogue), locations, items, etc.

    2 votes
  19. Comment on It’s not just the isolation. Working from home has surprising downsides. in ~life

    Atvelonis Link
    I think the issue here is mostly an inability to separate working life from family life, not that working in your own home is necessarily the root of the problem. Lay out a specific timeframe that...

    I think the issue here is mostly an inability to separate working life from family life, not that working in your own home is necessarily the root of the problem. Lay out a specific timeframe that you're going to be in "working mode," and dress the part, as if you were going to the office. Set up your laptop/working area somewhere that is not the same room/spot that you typically relax in; maybe the kitchen table or something instead of an armchair in the living room. When your allotted time is up, stop working.

    Of course, the article does point out another issue with working from home, and that's a social disconnect from your colleagues. This is definitely a real issue, but it can be solved by working from home only some of the time, instead of all the time. I remember my father mentioning a while back that he would go into the office three or four days out of the week, and work from home for the remainder. This allowed him to keep in close contact with his colleagues, but still gave him a break from the commute every so often.

    11 votes
  20. Comment on What are you an "expert" on? in ~talk

    Atvelonis Link
    This is pretty niche, but I'd consider myself an expert in the realm of wiki editing. I've been an administrator on a fairly large wiki for about four years now and have a solid grasp on the...

    This is pretty niche, but I'd consider myself an expert in the realm of wiki editing. I've been an administrator on a fairly large wiki for about four years now and have a solid grasp on the general operation of the site: a content review system, detailed staff and community management processes, automatic and semi-automatic bots (using pre-existing frameworks like AutoWikiBrowser sometimes, but also hooking up custom scripts to a bot account), etc. None of this is really back-end MediaWiki stuff, since the site is hosted by a wiki farm, but I do also have some experience with the API from my bot work.

    On my home wiki, I'm familiar enough with the style guidelines to be able to look at pretty much any article and know by sight whether or not it's formatted correctly, down to fairly minute details. If a friend looks over my shoulder while I happen to be editing, they might see me glance at a page for a second or two, make an edit of my own, and save, then repeat that process ten more times in a minute.

    The question I get is consistently, "But how do you know what to edit?" As far as formatting is concerned, it's just pattern recognition! This stuff has simply been drilled into my brain after spending four years of my life staring at that website. And we have pretty advanced organizational systems in place to keep track of what actual content needs to be added or improved, so it's not like I have to memorize huge swaths of information. You just have to know where to look and which processes to apply, and then you can do anything!

    10 votes