Rational Wiki is a collaborative wiki that looks like an online encyclopedia, somewhat like Wikipedia. It might even fool you into thinking it’s a Wikipedia page if you arrive from search. It uses WikiMedia software and has the same identical architecture. Part of the Rational Wiki brand is ‘snark’, their mission statement encouraging Rational Wiki editors to ‘comment in the Snarky Point of View’, or SPOV. Any Rational Wiki editor who thinks any subject or individual is stupid, is therefore free to use the platform to broadcast dissent or personal grudge against that individual or subject.
Rational Wiki has a Google page rank of 5, so it can show up decently in search returns as is emerging as an influential online publisher.
Rational Wiki presents itself as a trusted publisher, promoting a ‘pro science’ viewpoint. Rational Wiki claims to defend attacks online made by conservative or religious groups in the matters of pseudo science, quack medicine, and environmentalism. Rational Wiki’s history shows it came from a community known for trolling Conservapedia, another ideology driven wiki.
The veneer of an encyclopedia and rational thinking is misleading. Behind the scenes at Rational Wiki their are abuses and personal vendettas that rule it’s community – and they have overstepped their boundaries or sphere of relevance into online harassment inside of a peculiar culture war and can employ any number of ‘dirty tricks’ found in political campaigns.
My experience with Rational Wiki is direct and personal. While WWHP has focused on the harassment and abuses that occurred on Wikipedia – I’ve left out the harassment and abuse that is leveraged on Rational Wiki, which has a dedicated article page to yours truly.
Immediately after I was banned on Wikipedia, as the clear and irrefutable evidence holds, the pattern of harassment I received from a community of self declared skeptic activists continued. Within days, there were two websites that were registered on wordpress (romeviharoisanidiot and romeviharoisamoron) and an entry on Rational Wiki in the Rupert Sheldrake article for ‘Rome Viharo’.
When I confronted members of these communities on Facebook publicly, Tim Farley told shrugged me off and told members to not link to this site, and use the ‘snarky’ Rational Wiki article on me to promote.
Rational Wiki’s current article on me today contextualizes me as a media strategist (true, one of my skill sets but not my current occupation), a ‘known internet troll’ (which references back to the accusation made about me on Wikipedia as evidence) – and somehow ‘red flagging’ me to the world as a supporter of the pseudoscience of Rupert Sheldrake, of course linking to my editing history on Wikipedia editing Rupert Sheldrake’s biography as the definitive reference on the matter.
Of course it’s easy for me to verify how ‘rational’ this article on me on the site is, as I have the benefit of actually knowing my own intentions, history, thoughts and beliefs for certain.
As a media producer, technologist and entrepreneur living in Los Angeles the majority of my life – it’s probably not hard to imagine that I have very progressive viewpoints, political or otherwise – so it’s disturbing to me to see an online community that professes progressive ideals collaborate using such abuses in communication and media that is the lowest of our ideals online.
The first problem with the Rational Wiki article is the clear lack or disregard of evidence that is available about me online to anyone to fact check. The actual data online does not support this narrative they have published. Data available online about me is ignored, while cherry picking creative works I’ve done in the past, some 8 -12 years ago and not even online anymore to frame an embarrassing picture.
The article on me fails to mention that I am a serial entrepreneur – having sold one company and with a new one currently funded with a US patent pending, have been twice CEO and held very responsible officer positions in various media or tech based industries. It fails to note that I’ve developed a prototype for online digital libraries that offers collaborative curation.
It fails to mention that I have a creative writing and development past as both a music producer and a filmmaker and producer of comedy shorts and viral videos. Links for these things are still online to this day, yet none of them used while links no longer available, referring to obscure discussion forum posts, less than a dozen in nature over 8 years ago, are evidenced in the entire article.
I’ve had a personal blog since at least 2008 – and anyone can see what I personally blog about and which kind of ideas I support.
There is no mention of Rupert Sheldrake, parapsychology or pretty much any new age topic ever, yet because I edited biographical facts about a living notable person on Wikipedia, I am red flagged in their communities.
I’m also pretty open, when asked, about being an agnostic. If there is a fringe topic that I blog about, it’s usually in futurism, science, collective intelligence, longevity and space travel as my blog will clearly show. I don’t mind if someone wants to criticize me for my views, actually I would be honored. The problem with Rational Wiki is they are incorrectly identifying my views, especially in a way they believe should discredit me in the world.
The second problem is that they somehow justify this kind of behavior if people do happen to have those views. That this sort of bias exists in society, where abuses are justified because of the nature of someone’s belief system – seems archaic to the progressive position.
The article completely fails to mention why I would be notable at all, which is ‘Wikipedia we have a problem’. I have published and exposed, using clear data and evidence that is virtually irrefutable, patterns of abuse, reputation distortion, online bullying occurring both on Wikipedia and Rational Wiki with members of their communities.
The contextualization the article wants you to believe about me is that this is a ‘conspiracy theory’, therefore, I am now a ‘conspiracy theorist’ – a new age wacko and now bullshit artist. Words like these not only are libelous, professionally harmful, are also used as weasel words to inflame a response in their communities.
Remarkably, there is nothing about me online promoting any conspiracy theory, about anything, ever.
I’ve been very transparent about my involvement with Wikipedia and the online harassment there and my motivations for doing so. I could care less about the war between parapsychology and a few sceptic organizations. I exposed their behaviors, not their belief systems.
More disturbingly – the writers at Rational Wiki take creative works I have done in the past, fail to note their self declared narrative or artistic natures, cherry picked random comments about them – and intentionally distort the context to further support their narrative of me. This is not only harmful to me personally, but it’s also highly irresponsible publishing.
For example, I was fortunate to give a TEDx talk in 2011. The entire talk is a narrative about a ‘meme’ partner Maf Lewis and I created and launched on stage at the event called ‘Google Consciousness’. The talk was a story, not a thesis – and played with different examples of how ‘Google search’ is similar to completely two radically different viewpoints on consciousness and that share the same medium in common. We used this story and meme to talk about the potential evolution of social media to replace government as we know it today. Although I do not mention it by name, the TEDx talk is really about something like aiki.wiki.
‘Are spirits just metaphors for memes?‘ was a question in the talk posted on one slide. It asked the question, posed no answer, and marveled about how Daniel Dennet’s description of consciousness and the brain is remarkably similar to how Google Page Rank operates while ‘Google search’ became a metaphor used by Ayahuesceros to describe how their plant spirit medicine retrieves knowledge in their ceremonies.
We explore the idea of a ‘Google Consciousness’ in the talk in a clear tongue in cheek fashion, and state in the talk that what ‘Google Consciousness’ meant to us was a metaphor for productive online collaboration to evolve how we govern ourselves. The talk went viral and it was the #1 most popular TEDx talk in the world for 8 months, additionally getting the TED editor’s pick of the week. To summarize our talk as suggesting that memes are spirits and the Google is sentient is a clear distortion using weasel language to incite members of their community.
It’s easy for any independent third party can verify these things – and that’s what so disturbing. Rational Wiki claims to defend a ‘rational evidence based’ paradigm, yet actually fail to review evidence to publish personal vendettas.
It’s reasonable to criticize me for my views. I’m vocal about my development of aiki wiki. But the facts are they’re simply nothing online yet to criticize about this project other than the project website. Finding anonymous discussions from over 8 – 10 years ago and random picking comments is stalking, not editorializing. Other than my work in exposing editing abuses on Wikipedia – there is nothing in my life to be ‘red flagged’ and harassed by on Rational Wiki.
Google’s Knowledge Graph hopefully will start punishing sites like this that abuse their page rank to publish harassing material and personal grudges disguised as encyclopedia articles.