Billionaire ascension and the blockchain.
One of the fun things about cryptocurrencies, ICO’s, finance tech and all things “blockchain” as an entrepreneur is that it’s not just a wild west “cowboy” – it’s space cowboy. It’s the Mars exploration of finance.
The potential of the upside, something coin enthusiasts rave about, often reaches utopian levels of excitement. Billionaire ascension for all. With that type of enthusiasm, there is bound to be both extreme criticism as well as lots of misinformed hype.
Trusted, credible, reliable information.
A topic like this is going to be getting lots of searches from people like me, and Wikipedia is likely to be one of the first stops for anyone interested in learning more about currencies.
I have every reason in the world to be highly suspicious of what I can learn from them on Wikipedia.
The Wikipedia articles on cryptocurrency and blockchain are guarded again by the “skeptic activists” on Wikipedia, especially grand wizard skeptic David Gerard who is also apart of the”RationalWiki” braintrust, a website featured extensively here primarily for its abuse in targeting individuals in misinformation campaigns, attacking their reputations on the internet.
Antagonists of cryptocurrency want, like any agenda, influenced or ideological editor on Wikipedia, to control the narrative of the blockchain on Wikipedia, and the blockchain community knows it.
This is exactly where Wikipedia finds itself vulnerable to “wiki wars”.
David Gerard, in real life, certainly has an agenda when it comes to the blockchain. He’s not a fan and wants Twitter to know it.
David Gerard has been an antagonist, perhaps even a Luddite of cryptocurrency, for over five years. Not just interested in valid criticism of blockchain technology, but adding “snark”, insult, and verbal abuse to those who disagree with him. An extreme viewpoint on finance tech.
Gerard is a virtual and outspoken critic who hypes the blockchain and “smart contracts” up as nothing more than “ponzi schemes or pump and dumps” only good for criminals.
He is even writing a book about the blockchain, warning the world that “literally all of it is terrible garbage you shouldn’t go within a mile of.” RationalWiki, for years – has supported this message.
The Ethereum community is concerned, and they should be. And this is the man controlling the narrative on Wikipedia’s Ethereum article as well as running antagonist persuasion campaigns on RationalWiki.
David Gerard has been criticized for this type of behavior even from within his own peers. He has also lost privilege within WikiMedia and Wikipedia, himself red flagged for abusing users private information.
Yet when faced with criticism of his behavior, David’s response tends to be to attack someone’s character, similar to Trumptonian political persuasion.
And where possible, David will then begin to edit the Wikipedia articles of those he disparages, which he also does with the “Less Wrong” article on Wikipedia as another example.
Whatever David Gerard cannot get away with on Wikipedia, he moves over to RationalWiki, another MediaWiki he manages a highly toxic troll farm.
David Gerard is a political activist, and views cryptocurrency through the lens of a political dialectic as a “libertarian” agenda, completely unable to distinguish between innovations in finance technology and media with his own ideological “liberal versus libertarian” worldview.
The “liberal versus libertarian” political discussion has extremes. RationalWiki is to the left of the political spectrum (SJW) to what 4chan/pol “alt-right” is to the right of the political spectrum.
Don’t let the ideologies fool you.
Both are loud, abusive, toxic, misinformed and aggravated communities who weaponize digital media to promote their agendas. Before you think I am coming at this from an ideological place myself, let me stress – both groups are highly problematic online.
David Gerard, like many skeptic activists I’ve encountered on Wikipedia, comes off to others as an abusive and abrasive individual online. His skill set lay in being able to navigate in and dominate toxic communities online through creating competitions to see which user can “snark” the other for dominance.
Snark has no place in establishing rational or collaborative consensus building. Used in consensus building, it is weaponized – used for shaming those with opposing viewpoints, often using weasel language to lessen their participation or suppress them altogether.
RationalWiki is edited for this purpose.
Set up to look like an encyclopedia, RationalWiki publishes opinion based editorials masquerading as wiki-based articles constructed by a rational consensus, but are often just abusive rants and emotional polemics embedded into each article.
It is a “fake encyclopedia”, running off of WikiMedia software (like Wikipedia) that is often weaponized in wiki wars.
It also solves no real-world educational problems, RationalWiki solely serves the purpose of information and propaganda from one group of ideologues usually directed towards another group of ideologues.
As someone who is a pro-science progressive, probably on the same side of the fence on many issues RationalWiki publishes, I have no problems agreeing that RationalWiki is just a “wingnut” publication.
One of the core problems with Wikipedia editors like David Gerard are not his ideology as much as his psychology and behavior.
If you’ve had the pleasure of having to attempt and build a consensus with this crowd like I have, you will quickly find that the core of their arguments tend not to be sources, logic, or open questions as much as snark and personal attacks.
Get them to remove the snark from their argumentation and usually their arguments collapse like a house of cards. But they don’t, because often their goal is to dominate an online consensus around any subject of their interest.
I’m fine with having that as one voice in a consensus, however, the other problem with this collective of editors is their intention to dominate, not collaborate. They practice editor suppression on Wikipedia. And they do this by attacking reputations of other editors, sometimes going to extreme attempts (as in the case of yours truly)
Offer them a valid criticism, and they will attack your personal reputation viciously with the “RationalWiki dossier” on their targets already prepared. True stuff I am not exaggerating.
“Skeptic activists” on Wikipedia have been emboldened by their success in other areas on Wikipedia like medicine and biographies. The blockchain and cryptocurrency community should be concerned.
How it starts
The cryptocurrency communities will naturally find the fact that Wikipedia articles are guarded by critics of the blockchain a serious issue. Some members of that community will eventually attempt to balance the articles related to cryptocurrencies.
The skeptic activists on Wikipedia will do what they do in other verticals, they will get these blockchain editors sanctioned, banned, or removed from those articles.
Next, those individuals sanctioned from Wikipedia will either attempt to game Wikipedia in return, or go off to create their own “wiki”, running of course on WikiMedia’s software, and continue the informational down spiral as so many other niche communities who get involved in wiki wars.
Who gets to control the narrative of the blockchain on Wikipedia?
Should it be disinterested editors? Yes. Is it? No.
On Wikipedia, in many cases, it is the critics or the proponents of a subject that can control the narrative and context of the article. You either get one side of the argument or the other.
The “Your jilted ex-lover is editing your Wikipedia article” conundrum
Let’s say you have an ex-significant other, things didn’t end well. She’s bitter or he’s agro pissed. The two of you had a horrible falling out. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and all that huff. You find out that your ex now is now editing your Wikipedia article. They even claim to be following Wikipedia’s policies.
What do you do?
This website details a year-long case study where I intentionally attempted to edit solely basic, non-controversial biographical facts about two individuals extremely and passionately hated by “skeptic activists”.
I worked directly with two individuals who had to deal with the reality that their Wikipedia biography articles were literally controlled by their antagonists.
When detractors of an individual or subject control the narrative on Wikipedia, it will guarantee a “wiki war” just in the attempt to return an article to neutrality.
This is the initial cause of all wiki wars, and why left uncorrected only ensures that Wikipedia will eventually be nothing more than a “DIY” propaganda engine masquerading as a global knowledge center completely dominated by agendas and POV’s in a continual war and battle of information.
Los Angeles, June 2017
Responses, notes, and follow ups:
Response from RationalWiki?
Found at the “RationalWiki Saloon”
“But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!” Drink! RW wasn’t founded by David Gerard and we don’t claim to be an encyclopedia. This guy’s an idiot. Christopher (talk) 12:57, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
In general, drama is not a goal of ours to document, unless that drama happens to represent something important in terms of: pseudoscience, woo, or authoritarianism. Drama focusing on one of our editors seems to double-down on bad-idea stuff. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:54, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
David Gerard may not be a founder, but he is on the Board of Trustees of the RationalWiki Foundation.
RationalWiki doesn’t claim to be an encyclopedia? Does it need to when it looks just like Wikipedia? Is there a disclaimer on the website anywhere that says all articles are not intended to be used for research?
Even if I allowed RationalWiki that grace, it still changes nothing in the point of this article.
The RationalWiki editors respond:
Just because something looks like Wikipedia doesn’t mean it shares the same mission.
::::#Maybe he should read RationalWiki to understand it’s not an encyclopedia.
::::#Just because something is not an encyclopedia doesn’t mean it’s not research-worthy.
I never said RationalWiki shares the same mission as Wikipedia. It just looks like Wikipedia to an unsuspecting visitor.
And I said it “looks like” an encyclopedia, because it just happens to follow the same format as actual encyclopedias, with the exception it focuses on one or two verticals and ads “snark” to what look like encyclopedic articles.
See: Dictionary; Encyclopedia. 1.
Just like fake news sites don’t shout “Hey, this is a fake news site!”. They don’t need to. They format themselves to look like a real news site, because most people can’t tell the difference.
Response from David Gerard?
Somewhat typical David’s response on Reddit, and why I wrote this article about him in the first place. On Reddit and elsewhere, David Gerard is spreading the RationalWiki narrative about yours truly, designed to ruin my reputation and credibility so no one takes my voice seriously. David Gerard responds to criticism with attacks on reputation, and is sharing false information, originally planted by Oliver Smith on RationalWiki.
This is banned Wikipedia crank Rome Viharo, who tried the same on RationalWiki and we told him to go away too. He musta seen the /r/ethereum post that was outraged that I edited Wikipedia according to Wikipedia rules.
This is all because I am totally acting in my rational interest to secure the entire annual Paycoin bonus from our Goldman Sachs (((corporate masters))).
David might not have edited my article – but he has endorsed it as a trustee of the RationalWiki Foundation and promoted it on social media. And he uses my article as a weapon on social media, an easy way to dismiss sincere criticism, giving him the ability to “scale” damaging reputations with a simple copy and paste – where agitated RationalWiki editors like Oliver Smith do all of the dirty work for him.