User:Arch dude

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I am a 72-year-old American (WASP, male.) I have been a systems architect in the field of data communications software since 1970 and am now retired. I am interested in computers, Open Source, Linux, science, science fiction, the singularity, nanotechnology, history, and just about everything, in approximately that order.

I am a radical Singularitarian. "Radical" means that I think the singularity is inevitable and that it will occur prior to 2020. I feel that human civilization is building a technological infrastructure that makes it increasingly easy to create a superintelligence, either explicitly or by accident. Wikipedia is possibly an important part of the infrastructure.

My first contribution to Wikipedia occurred on 10 July 2006.

Wikignome crop.gifThis editor is a WikiGnome.

In reviewing my edit history, I realize that I tend to edit primarily obscure areas having little to do with my stated interests, and much more to do with "cleaning up" in a broad sense. I add PG and Worldcat links, disambiguate, and occasionally add missing articles, mostly from material over 100 years old. I have created more than 125 articles, but many of these are simple DAB pages.

I have linked about 500 Project Gutenberg Authors: (Wikipedia:Project Gutenberg author list.)

I am also a disambiguator. Disambiguation has come along way since I started doing this. If you want to help, please go to Disambiguation pages with links and just start working.

Curmudgeon projects[edit]

In reviewing my edit pattern, I find that I am particularly concerned with articles whose subjects are large projects that have failed to live up to initial expectations after the time the project first appeared in Wikipedia. These articles were started and initially maintained during the "wild enthusiasm" project stage, using sources that were heavily marketing-oriented. Our articles ended up with wildly optimistic projections that did not bear fruit. In the end, the real facts for each subject needed to include the demise of the project, but the original editors had lost interest in the articles. This is a form of systematic bias that is largely ignored.

As a curmudgeon, I spent a lot of time cleaning up Itanium and the Zumwalt class destroyer, and I am now working on the Space Launch System. All three projects had extreme cost overruns, extreme underperformance, and extreme schedule slips.

The problem with curmudgeon editing is maintaining a neutral point of view. Making sure my edits are factual is easy. It is harder to make sure the resulting tone of the article moves from over-optimistic to objective, without becoming overly negative.


I became interested in Itanium because I vividly remembered the hype when it was first announce by Intel and HP, well before Wikipedia was founded. This hype suppressed innovation in my professional field. When I started editing, the articles still included the hype and discussed how Itanium would dominate "real soon now", even though the press was paying more attention to the skeptics and the schedule had continued to slip.


I became interested in Zumwalt as a taxpayer. I watched as the program cost increased dramatically as the capabilities were reduced and the schedule slipped.

Space Launch System and Artemis[edit]

I became interested in the SLS while reading about the SpaceX Starship. SLS is the latest iteration of NASA's effort to produce a follow-on to the space shuttle. SLS itself is now (2021) in its eleventh year, and has not yet launched, costing about $US 2 billion per year in development and with an estimated launch cost of $US 2 billion per launch and an estimated launch frequency of from 1 to 4 launches per year. As a taxpayer I am appalled. After 5 years of development, Starship will be more capable, reusable, was privately developed, and will have a per-launch cost as low as $US 2 million, which is 0.1% of the SLS launch cost. Even if the per-launch cost rises to $US 20 million, one SLS launch will cost as much as a hundred Starship launches. Dependence on NASA (and congress) has created a 50-year delay in humanity's access to space.

SLS is part of the larger Artemis program. It appears that almost all aspects of the program are in disarray and in need of curmudgeon editing, removing peacock terms and adding objective descriptions of their current schedules.

other Wikis[edit]


I needed an article from the Dictionary of National Biography, so I went to Wikisource to find it and found the DNB project there to be non-existent, so I created the project as a place to keep my article source. (s:Wikisource:WikiProject DNB.) Others joined and the project took off, eventually resulting in all 30,000 or so DNB articles being present on Wikisource. The project continues, with the aim of ensuring a Wikipedia article for each DNB article (with very few exceptions.) Here at Wikipedia, the associated project is Wikipedia:WikiProject Dictionary of National Biography.