Wikibooks:Arbitration/Panic2k4 vs. SBJohnny/Defendant Reply

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I have been racking my brain to imagine a way to improve the general mood people have on this subject and also to modify any perception they have of me, and so this is an effort to avoid being boring and to provide you a swell read, this will not be the end of Wikibooks, this is not the beginning of the end of Wikibooks this is only part of the beginning of Wikibooks, you (fellow users), should take a step back and see that we are also creating history (in a very small scale) here, collaboration and cooperative developing is the future, this is indeed the beginning of the end of a world were International Corporations, Governments and other selfish and controlling entities decide what people should know about and in what format, we are now at the start of an era were content will be produced by the masses for the masses, but I hope that they hurry up the next phase were they will be ranking all this content because most of the stuff is really a waste of time.

An Arbitration, this stuff is serious, but people do give so much more importance to this simple problems than they merit, it is a minority indeed the ones that can have a dispute or resolve a conflict and keep their sense of humor intact... and so with all the respect possible and intended, I will now start my rebuttal of the accusations presented against me...

The "problem"

We are here in this situation at present, well, because of me, even if some people do consider me "the problem", I must assure you I'm not, and will try to prove to you that the reality is not as it has been depicted to you or as you are perceiving it (no you are not entering the TwilightZone), I don't like conflicts nor actively seek them (I'm lead to believe that they do seek me, trough), but probably because I can't let a wrong deed pass or something that I don't think proper without a comment and I'm not here to socialize or make friends (yep, this is a bit of a social network but I really, really don't have the time or inclination to get into it) and so I have no problem agitating the water. I can pass also for being a bit crazy, but I assure you I'm not, I'm fully aware that I'm fighting a decision of an administrator that probably has many supporters and I'm fairly unknown or do have a bad reputation (I personally don't care but I can understand that as a problem, so I will grant you that I may be a bit crazy, but aren't we all), and this is why I'm taking the time to try to explain you a bit about me, since most of you have probably never exchanged a word with me (please don't start now, it is fine as it is), and when you do it is only to deal with "problems" I'm involved with (well in a few years people tend to step on a few toes if they are active), ok that's enough about me.

So the problem is (I will tell you now, just bare with me), after what I see as a bunch of misunderstandings, probably some abuse (not by me, well you did expect me to say that didn't you?) and because I DO have a bad reputation. I got blocked, well, not this one time but tree times now, at the last block I had no choice but to push the envelope further (I seem to do it a bit more than others and then get even more of a bad reputation, well we will see), but I can live with it, I'm not fighting only for my sake but to improve the infrastructure to all Wikibookians, heck I see myself as the "creator" of the "fork problem" (hmm well that didn't end well and the infrastructure in that respect is almost as bad or worse), so one more discussion if for the good of the community will not scare me, my only problem is the time consumption this kind of processes lead to, this kind of policy making and discussion is not why I chose to participate on the Wikibooks project, but, because I haven't just yet lost all my trust in the project and see that the biggest problem we have is the lack of interest of most users, on just getting involved.

Block log

  • 22:56, 3 January 2007 User:SBJohnny blocked "Panic2k4" with an expiry time of 2 weeks (same reason, different week.)
  • 23:04, 10 December 2006 User:SBJohnny blocked "Panic2k4" with an expiry time of 2 weeks (continued disruption, see user's talk page)
  • 22:43, 9 December 2006 User:SBJohnny blocked "Panic2k4" with an expiry time of 2 hours (trolling)

Please take note of the dates that they may be important to reconstruct the events, I will try to give them in all steps, but I will deal the subjects in order of relevance to me, not chronological and not in order to the actual discussion on the table


I place my self at the mercy of this "court", because I have wronged and made huge mistakes (well probably not so many as they try to convince you but at least two and one was not that great) and so I must make reparations to the people I've so greatly "annoyed", first and foremost I will address the one I mostly wronged, and who I most respect of all persons that have taken the time to express their views, he in his magnanimousness (maybe he probably didn't noticed), decided to spare me from his wrath, he is User:Whiteknight, it was with real dread that I have read his fantastic report on the subject that have placed me on this situation and his words couldn't be more correct and ring with more truth, truly a fantastic report of the events and an example to be fallowed.
(I must remark that some of the report doesn't deal directly with the issue under discussion, and the user doesn't seem to be doing any accusation, it is only a correct, complete and probably instructive report of the events, or at least the ones the user has taken notice, one that I will make use further on. I also take this chance, since the user commented on the first stage of the proceeding, and since it is my understanding and he seems to indicate so on some of his posts outside of the arbitration, I have broken some of his warnings, I request him to state what and where in the next step if he wishes and if they aren't addressed in Error 1 or Error 2, if he doesn't wish them on the log of the Arbitration and as I don't seem to have big problems talking to him, please leave them in my talk page, at least I will try to see what I could have done differently, txs)

Error 1

What made me fear so much his comments on the matter was that I indeed was rash in a comment I made to him, after he spent time sending me a warning (here) I was very rude on my reply as can be seen [here], for it I'm truly desolated and will presently take the chance to apologize, I was way way out of line, but as I said this was an error and I admit it, I take the chance to publicly correct it (had I made the same remark to SBJohnny I probably would have been blocked for yet another reason). My reply in this case is important as part of a sequence of events were I was becoming a bit out of control due to a interference from Darklama (he did got me going for a moment there), but this I will explain later on. (the issue is not related with the problem that brings us here, but should be noted for the record as part of a sequence of events, the post and consequent conversation was about a tag for deletion, VfD, I added to a page Darklama created on the book namespace consisting on a copy of content from several other pages, it was in my view a duplication of content inside the book namespace and could constitute a corruption of the contribution history since it was intended as a replacement on the book, he did not only added it to his new TOC but to the "main" TOC replacing the original pages, he later moved the page to his user space and that was probably what User:Whiteknight saw and motivated the first post)

02:59, 8 December 2006 Whiteknight's post.
19:47, 8 December 2006 Panic's last edit of the related reply on the same day.
18:42, 10 December 2006 a late post by Panic about this matter to Whiteknight after the first block, and that explains a bit about the next user and the other error I committed.

User:James Dennett

I have nothing but respect for the user, I consider it a very welcomed contributor the the C++ Programming book, I recognize him as fellow author as he has for a long time contributed his own content and insights to the project, I even think that I was responsible for his participation (I may be wrong), due to some posts I made to the newsgroups related to the book topic asking for participation on the book, I recognize the users extensive and deep knowledge on the subject (I do know he has more knowledge and experience on the subject than I do), I see in him as in myself the willingness to invest effort in writing and editing, and to foster the evolution of that particular project.

It is with some pain that I have read the user comments and his views regarding myself, I never did engage the user in any other subject before this post [here], regarding his contributions to the book or in any other matter, and he has been contributing even before the "fork" (2004).

I take his comments very personally and think he was lead to those observations not only because he was unaware that other problems existed, and (as I was before I run into my first problems with Paddu) he didn't seem very interested in the social structure and wasn't actively engaged on Wikibooks as a whole, until now (if he was I didn't noticed), I've noticed that the user seemed to be unaware for example how to use templates or that he should signing his posts (as I was at the start, and I also didn't particularly care about understanding these nuances) or to avoid changing other users signed posts, this provided me with a feeling that the user was willing to participate on the content but didn't give much importance to the particulars (I have no problem with that), and I value his contributions very much. My feeling is that the users interpretation of my post were not probably one of an user with more experience on Wikibooks and he was, as I, a casualty of an attempt to fabricate an event and instrumentalized with intention by other parties in specific due to darklamas interference after my post, that was the only instance that I've stepped out of character and I'm very sorry in having been lured into a more hash debate on that same talk page (and committing Error 1). Because I could see the matter form the user point of view I took the first and even the second block without contesting their validity, and since then I have watched darklamas actions with much distrust.

The user also mentions another problem on another post I made, were I stated that he didn't have the time to correct the problem (It may have been my wrong interpretation of the post he made in his talk page) but I don't see that as a problem, he changed my statement as he felt was correct and I do think that he may be giving more importance to what I said that he should but I have no problem in having him correcting the post and can even empathize with him that because of his views of the events he took it as attempt of attack (it was not my intention, I was expressing my interpretation of his post not more no less), anyway I took in my hand the page changes the user made and corrected them as can be seen [here] and the user accepted the changes as can be seen [here] and after the first block I asked apologies for any wrong doing to the user as can be seen [here]. (as a side note I would encourage readers to examine the history and the posts made to the users talk page).

Error 2

Taking in consideration the user knowledge of what was going on, I should have avoided engaging Darklama on the same page I was addressing the user and by doing that getting him involved and giving the user an impression that his contributions weren't of value or in error (on content), I still affirm that they were on format (but I will address them later with the user if he so wishes, they are not a factor on the problem nor do I have any dispute with the user, I think the perception of the problem the user has of events are valid and I tried to address them, but I think it is was based on lack of experience and I didn't break custom practice at Wikibooks as I will extend on the examination of block 1).

05:47, 5 December 2006 James Dennett changes that generated Panic's post.
00:22, 8 December 2006 Panic's post that resulted on block 1.
03:57, 10 December 2006 Panic's apologies to James Dennett.


Now that I have addressed the issues that I think were of an higher importance to me and should merit an extra attention I will address the issue that generated this proceeding. I must start by stating that in no way my participating in this process is intended to humiliate or degrade User:SBJohnny image in the community and not even is it meant to evaluate the user's performance in the past or in other subject, not even on the one that lead to me being blocked, the issue at hand only relates to the outcome or the "sentence", I don't see that as a reevaluation of his decision and is intended to address my rights to recur from that decision, since I and the user didn't agree on the outcome. Any other results will be up to the Arbiter and the Wikibooks community, I had annexed a request that was based on my interpretation of events, I don't think that even it should be taken in consideration in the outcome of the Arbitration, it is probably a subject that would have to be addressed in a broader discussion as such I will proceed to state facts and try to reply to the accusations and statements he did commit to this Arbitration.

I still can't understand how the user can make some affirmations if he doesn't have a conscious intention in provoking confusion on the readers (to say the least), but once more I will try to point out were his logic is flowed and why (this is not the first time I do so, I assure you I didn't lure him into that position, I have repeatedly stated and tried to show that some of his comments regarding me were not correct, alas, this will be the last time, but I really wish to understand his motivations).

Reading his comments one notices that he mentions the dispute between me and Darklama, that is correct as I and Darklama have been having been discussing Darklama's changes to the structure of the book since I posted my first messages on Darklama's talk page [here] (in 14 September 2006) (when the Darklama deleted some content on a few pages, and did start to reformat the book), but then User:SBJohnny states that Darklama wishes to make some changes and become involved in the book, well, to be honest he should have said that Darklama did made some changes and that I did not objected to his participation (he could even saved me some trouble by pointing out that I did not made any revert of Darklama's changes until just before block 3, but I see how that could be hard to manage since I'm a Wikibooks demon), my objections to Darklama's changes are stated on my talk page since I and Darklama were able to establish the bases for our dispute (and it was going more or less well, until block 2, but I'll deal with them by steps later), as can be seen on my talk page, this statements predate any involvement of User:SBJohnny, even the call for comments for the dispute and clearly show that since then the User:SBJohnny misrepresented my views and intentions, as an later example you can see [here] (there are many more, even in his previous comments), (I've tried to be politically correct and avoid calling it a plain lie, as I can't attest to the user's memory recall capabilities, and I wish not to be involved in personal attacks, heck, this here are probably the first words I write about his person).

User:SBJohnny seem to understand his involvement on the "dispute" as moderation (but it's clear he was not) and that a knowladge of the topic of the book was necessary (as it will be clear it wasn't). I admit to have called users (in this case 3 administrators) to comment on the problem, from all tree, User:SBJohnny was the more unfriendly on his comments (he clearly didn't agree with any of the points I was making, and that wasn't a requirement) but did came into the discussion with a clear premade idea about my defense for an abuse of the be bold policy (I will not get into it now as it is outside of the scope of the Arbitration), calling the defense I was making against the alterations as a "shot down" of any changes Darklama wanted/wants to make (that was clearly incorrect) more information on that can be seen [my talk page], one of the things that irked me was that after, he did clearly started an indirect personal attack to me stating and I quote "Follow this policy and you'll have no worries.", this is, as is correctly stated on the talk page of that policy "just a passive-aggressive proxy for personal attacks" and very unbecoming of any wikibooks user, let alone an administrator, and clearly wasn't intended to solve anything, only to shush me, (am I'm to agree with the last line of the policy, is this the kind of helping hand one wishes on Wikibooks?!?), more, as User:SBJohnny continues thinking he is "moderating" it becomes clear that he is intent on only providing protection and validity for the other party actions, and as he clearly states the help he provides is directed on "picking on me", this is sad and out of character for the user as I can't believe someone that acts in this way could be welcomed and granted administrative rights (I would like very much to comprehend what lead the user to treat me in that "special" way), that culminated in a fantastic post We're done talking now, (what did he expect after that), I had the right to revert the changes I hadn't agree with and that Darklama (with knowledge of that) performed during the strange block 2. Even if User:SBJohnny states that he asked the user not to do so, until now no action was done on my behalf, why am I so lucky to get such differentiated treatment ?!?
(I don't think any answer from my questions will be provided during this arbitration, but I think only a blind person can't see that something very strange was happening, what aggravates me even more is that even if some or all of my points were incorrect a simple analysis of the actions Darklama performed was clearly an abuse of standard policies, any of the administrators that commented could have resolved and diffused the situation, geezz he starter moving and deleting content of the book, I really can't begin to comprehend how/why was this allowed, the restoration of disputed changes should occur even if talks are under way, if agreement if reached, reversion is always possible, by allowing changes to remain future contributors may be allowed to build upon contested pages/structures, this even considered common practice as can be seen [here] )

  • I did never became hostile except on Error 1 and Error 2 but never did break Wikibooks guidelines or policies, I may have been incorrect at most.
  • I don't "bite" newcomers. (but I'm generally well feed and have all the shots in order)
  • I don't like but did never avoided discussions related to the stated events.
  • I think that wikilawyering is only a trow-in almost as bad as the one used for personal attacks, I can even become offended by being called, addressed or compared to a lawyer :), but I do seem to have an understanding of the GFDL that User:SBJohnny and Darklama don't agree with.
    • What is the cover page
    • authors vs contributors
    • having Wikibooks generating print versions without the GFDL and/or the authors list
  • It should by now be clear that I do respect Wikibookinas, what I refuse to do is give special treatment to administrators or specific users.
  • I will not compromise on GFDL matters, the license is the core of what we do here and was the base for my participation on the project, I even have taken personal compromise in getting other authors to contribute content and that the license would be used. (I'm open to changing my interpretation if proven wrong or with valid arguments, and I don't use it to justify any user bashing or any evil deeds, but it seems the reverse is open game)
  • I'm not in a "battle" with the community. I do think we (the community) have a need for clear policies and guidelines and need to be more clear in specific points.
    • be bold
    • forks
    • voting and what consensus means (I don't particularly like how it is being used)
    • establishing specific bookcommunities

block 1

Since SBJohnny depict the 3rd block as a the result of a sequence of events and not on one specific charge I will address the other blocks. I have tried to explain to the other user the reasons of the post that lead to block 1, I will now show that it is a common practice and that the interpretation SBJohnny tried to extract from it is a bit overdone.

It is common practice if another editor doesn't "like" (he must have a more valid justification) any contribution, he is entitled to revert it (it is a corner stone of the be bold guideline, without it the guideline couldn't exist), in this particular case the user did several edits (very small, and during 3 distinct edits), consisting on changes of the meaning of phrases or just word replacement, I saw it (at the second edit) and noticed that they broke the logic of a single statement, I knew the user and did know who I was addressing (see comment to him above), for respect to him and his contributions I didn't revert (that would have been cleaner and would have avoided the exploitation of the event), and gave user the chance to explain the logic behind that change in a very simple way (and did not force him to do anything as is alleged), as I said somewhere else the "obligation" was simply to provide a feedback or not, like "call me in 3 minutes or I will call you back", it is common practice for programmers to ask for control of a structure before they commit changes to it, in projects with several contributors or even when programming and so again I state that there were problems with my actions.

If anyone is guilty of trolling on that matter is darklama it is clear that the intent was to cause disruption, in the form of posting a messages that are inflammatory, insulting, or off-topic, with the intent of provoking a reaction from others. (well, he succeeded, but not even his actions would be worth a block or interpreted as a violation of Wikibooks policies or guidelines)

block 2

On this one I'm as clueless as you are, I can't understand it, the only explanation to it is a reevaluation of block 1 but not on the reasons User:SBJohnny presented, he stated [here], fantastic, I did not cause any problems on this because Christmas was at the door and the community could be best served if I kept my mouth closed on this one.

The problem is bigger yet, this block resulted (probably on some offsite conversation, I'm now led to believe) since I was talking with another user (yup it was darklama) talk page, and explaining the problem of block 1, this violates my freedom of expression and even if your interpretation was correct, my point of view had the same value as yours, since I was talking to a third party on a private page, that is, by User:SBJohnny action any person that disagrees with any policy can't talk about it or express the wish for changes (not the problem here but the final result is that).

block 3

Well this one was tipping point, as it was now clear to me that User:SBJohnny was (I will not call it moderator since on Wikibooks that entails that some power of decision is given to him by the disputing parties) acting as mediator (a forced one at that), and his actions only seemed to be directed at me and was actively validating Darklama actions and even enforcing them and acting only on the the other users behalf and with a excellent timing at that, he did not engage me to clear any of the reasons he used to decide any of the previous block with me (action was taken on the spot and I don't think any of the 2 blocks were intended on stopping disruption of Wikibooks), after the post We're done talking now, I was left with no solution to the ever increasing problems I had and that were aggravated during block 2, and so my last resort was to as was my right revert the changes (my option is based on comment of other administrators and common practice), I only reverted part of the changes made during block 2 and it was my intention not to initiate a revert war (this were my first reverts during all this time) and I informed Darklama that I would do them also as a way to bring the user to the table again (we were doing more or less fine up to block 1 and his actions on block 2).

The user made mention to a warning he made that validated the block, I can't find or remember such warning, probably I suffered from the same problems Darklama experienced during his actions on block 2. (strangely enough only I got diagnosticated)

My actions in no way violated any guideline or policy and were minor, even if they didn't fallowed standard policy, compared to darklamas previous changes to the work.

(I don't provide more information as it is readily available on my talk page and most of the participants, even the Arbiter know this facts already, I only stated some more relevant events as to demonstrate and be clear that not all that was said on the accusation seems to agree with the way I see the events)

22:45, 9 December 2006 SBJohnny's post informing me of block 1.
23:11, 10 December 2006 SBJohnny's post informing me of block 2.
18:44, 28 December 2006 SBJohnny's post that clearly demonstrates dissemination of misinformation.
21:00, 28 December 2006 Panic's reply to another post with misinformation. (not related to the events on the table, but prove my point)
18:40, 3 January 2007 SBJohnny's post We're done talking now and my reply.


I do think I can understand User:Darklama, I've also been a newcomer with even less knowledge about Wikibooks that he seems to have in such a small time(heck, he is an administrator and I even voted in support), at the time our roles were reverted in a similar situation (not in the particulars) I was the new user full of ideas and Paddu defended the existing structure but at least the solution we found did not cause any problem to both parties and ended the dispute. I have no personal problems with Darklama, only a divergence that is, for some time now, clearly stated and for what I can say, well defined in the evolution of the format of the book and some interpretations about more general legal matters, but since the second block, I have some suspicions about his behavior and the specific the way he has gone about "resolving" the problem, I will not address any of Darklama accusations, I did just that on the reply to SBJohnny, they are only an amplification for what SBJohnny wrote (or see it has the reverser, SBJohnny is a tuned down report of the same things, you pick what best suit you), a funny thing though, Darklama was the first to write in the Plaintiff Charges (well it's probably my paranoid side acting out), but since the event involving the other user (James Dennett) and going to the trouble of contacting Paddu, I think I can have some reasons to see some webbing and plotting, heck I even don't have a problem if they did talk about me being blocked or discussed how to proceed on IRC, I think that SBJohnny was pretty clear in his actions, how does User:Darklama puts it on is comments "I do not believe SBJohnny was taking sides", well, I let the readers decide on that one.

The user actions immediately after block 2 were abusive in relation the what we had agreed and against the "normal" way to resolve issues, as an example you can look how such edits are considered by actual policies [here], they were even more grave as the user was aware that I was opposed to the alterations and took advantage of the administrator actions (he his also an administrator), no action was taken against the user due to his alterations of the work.

As a solution to my divergences with Darklama I can only propose an Arbitration or a moderation (I like the first better because all things are stated more clearly, but it takes to long and his to formal, we can probably ask the moderation to address in a similar fashion), I'll be opened to a similar process if the users wishes, since I don't trust my self control to continue being civil in case of an escalation of events, I have done all I could.

23:27, 14 September 2006(+- hours) Panic's first posts to Darklama.


Ha, the third element of the axis of good in the fight against the evil empire... (it calls to my mind images of North Korea :)

Well I don't have anything in particular to say about Paddu comments, as I said before (couldn't find the post), I don't have any personal hill filling about Paddu and consider our dispute closed as the time of the "fork", my problems and probably Paddu's are more how the Wikibooks community let our dispute evolve at that time, we did try everything, the time to address that problem has passed and the user did stop to participate on Wikibooks and I can't be blamed for it as the other work remained there and the solution was not an imposition of anyones will, it was a mean to end the dispute and did just that, any way, I see his involvement as an irony of destiny, his situation was similar to the one I am on dealing with Darklama, I'm defending format as he was, but the time to discuss the problem as I said has passed I think none of us were truly satisfied with the outcome.

I take this chance to inform Paddu that I even took into my hands to defend his points of views for the original work and tried to show the administrator that forced the merge that your vision (objective) was not the same, not even the intended audience. I'm even sorry "my" version or "my" vision substituted "yours" in the end, on that regard you can still read all my argumentation of that time to avoid the merge. (Paddu had a more restricted approach to the evolution of the book, this is a bit more technical but I will only say that some of the things I added and are now part of the book were not wanted on the "version" Paddu defended, the structure is also was different, Paddu, wanted a hands-on approach a kind of FAQ with a step by step introduction to the language) my first contribution to Wikibooks and to the book can be seen [here].

The involvement of Paddu in this case is yet another example of the somber actions of Darklama, but I think in the long run it will probably backfire, he (Paddu) is a very picky (as he do have low level of threshold to changes), I remember him causing a stir because I was archiving post with 30 days in a full page. I can positivity say that if doesn't start calling "Broddy Murder" because Darklama moved his posts he will be very out of character :), If Darklama thinks I'm leading him to desperation because I don't like some of his changes, he surly would love to have met Paddu when I was in that similar situation, my solution was the "fork" and so I can understand in part Darklamas motivations.
(Paddu's talk page may also provide some more information, take the chance to also check it's history)

A "funny" post of mine can still be seen on Paddu's talk page, if Paddu takes the time to read all this mess and understand what my divergence is with Darklama, he will be having a laugh about it all. (I don't remember if Paddu had a sense of humor but other people will may find it funny in relation with the problem, I do)

Closing words

I think I have addressed all the problems but probably not all accusations made, as some don't even merit a response, I'm plainly evil and my motivation is the downfall of Wikibooks, I will savagely attack any who wish to participate on the project and if the events don't speak for themselves I don't think anything I may say will make you see them differently.

I wish that any of the parties of the accusation that think I didn't address any specific and "reasonable" accusation to state it on the next step of the Arbitration, I wish that if I stated something wrongly or made a bad assumption that they will clarify it, not only to me, but to any other reader, some of the events are particularly murky and others do seem to show bad intention, at least that is how I have become to see them, I truly think I have a good feel on how and why some events were presented and I'm even able to understand some of the view points that lead to some actions I don't think were proper (that was why I pushed this thing so far)

I did no personal attacks (if I did it was not my intentions and I tried to avoid doing them) and made clear where I was making interpretations and not stating facts so to prevent further confusion, regarding Darklama in particularly as I have stated before I have now a great level of mistrust as for SBJohnny, I can't piece it together the user seems to be one thing but his actions and some comments sometimes are very out of character or at least that is how I perceive it.

I did not try to evolve other users on this or related problems, I have only asked some users that were already partially aware of the problem to check this page, and I never talked to another Wikibookian outside of the Wikibooks structure (anything I have written so far on all subjects are public record).

People that write books, should have fun doing it... but this is not writing books, this is more like politics and I hate politicians.