User:Art LaPella

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I'm Art LaPella. Born in 1951. I live near Seattle, U.S. When I was a kid I did well in most any class that didn't require an essay, but essays made me feel almost suicidal, because I didn't feel I had anything worth saying until I was about 30. Now it's a lot easier, although I haven't written any Wikipedia articles. I did write this financial article elsewhere. But mostly, I get a kick out of just skimming thru for typos, spelling etc., and many of the articles are fun to read anyway. When everyone else misses simple errors like these on what was then Wikipedia's most read Vital Article, I almost feel as if I'm creating Wikipedia by myself. Doesn't someone have to make edits with as many details as this one? I do as much, or more, than anyone else to keep simple errors off the Main Page.[1] [2] But I should really be getting back to my real job. That's playing the stock market, controlled by a program I wrote and keep maintaining.

Here are my Points Of View on the screamier subjects no one ever agrees on: I lost my faith, but I still believe in traditional ethics, most anyone's traditional ethics, justified as kinship altruism rather than spirituality. So what you think is hostility could be what I think is justice. It would be nice if ethics could be taught rationally, but often one gets a better understanding of human interactions from the religious extremists than from the political correctness cult that has taken over the "social sciences". If we can't talk about racial differences honestly, we can't investigate what probably caused the current (2008) financial crisis for example, although the Community Reinvestment Act article hints at it. Conservatives should put less effort into persuading a majority of fools to vote for them. Instead, they should be organizing a new civilization where free lunch believers, and the demagogues who lead them, don't make the rules. See Seasteading for instance. Or even the Mars Colonial Transporter. Honesty is part of both religion and the scientific method, but dishonesty in religion is called faith, and dishonesty in science is called political correctness. I often agree with Ayn Rand, but I don't call myself Objectivist, mainly for fear of being mistaken for a dogmatic true believer.

Also see the end of a page from my wife's genealogy website, and my Devil's Dictionary of Wikipedia Policy.

If Wikipedia dies, it will be because: 1) An influential faction, and close to a consensus, has decided that experienced Wikipedians don't need to be as civil as newcomers. What's worse, is that so many otherwise respectable Wikipedians are pretending that we have the opposite problem, which makes a constructive discussion impossible, as well as making it hard to believe them about anything else. Or 2) Wikipedia:Link rot. Wikipedia:Verifiability is a joke when half our references are dead links. And elaborate instructions for how we can fix one link at a time are not a serious solution to millions of dead links. Nothing should be considered really referenced until we can come up with a reference that doesn't self-destruct.

"Encyclopedic" obscurity[edit]

Bill Gates died and went to the pearly gates. Saint Peter said "We've been waiting for you", presenting a key with the name "Bill Gates" on it. Gates confidently inserted his key into the gate to unlock it. His confidence fell suddenly to concern, as the key wouldn't turn. Concern yielded to panic as he wiggled the key and the gates, and frantically looked all over his key. The key had a help button that said: "I've got great news! Now for the first time with Key version 6.6.6, you have the power to choose your own interface between the key's tumbler pins, the encryption algorithm, and the QXZ! Enter your interface's identifier or its alias in the field below."

The Good Samaritan[edit]

A man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho was beaten and robbed, and left half dead. A conservative came and said, "Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps", and passed by on the other side. Then a Good Samaritan came, bound the man's wounds, and paid to take him to an inn. The man said, "But you are the same person who beat and robbed me." The Good Samaritan answered, "Where do you think the government and the IRS get my program funding?"