I have a particular interest in local area and New Jersey governmental topics. I have been gathering information about New Jersey and its municipalities, and I am looking to create a structure to load expanded information into pages for all of New Jersey's 565 municipalities, as well as consolidating other encyclopedic information about New Jersey.
I bizarrely came across an article in the Brown Alumni Magazine written by Jamie Metzl, in which he discusses my participation at AfD.
Alansohn came to my defense. "Maybe we read different articles or found different search results," he said, "but this is clearly a leading scholar in the field and published author, whose work has been published in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Boston Globe, which confers a strong degree of notability.... The person is clearly notable in full compliance with and passes the 'multiple non-trivial published works' standard with flying colors. Strong Keep." I loved Alansohn.
We all have our pluses and minuses, both in real life and in Wikipedia. The problem is that most admins treat people on a binary basis -- you are either good or you are evil -- failing to recognize the positives in the people they deem evil and failing to see the negatives of the people they have judged good. The goal ought to be to seek ways to maximize the positive from each editor. Wikipedia:Blocking policy's mandate is that blocks are intended "to protect the project from harm, and reduce likely future problems", an approach that might have some success with vandals. The unfortunate reality is that blocks to experienced editors end up being punitive. They are applied in an "all your edits are bad" approach that fails to solve the issue at hand and only ends up creating more problems than they seek to solve. The real problem is finding admins who have the common sense needed to apply blocks that push people from areas where there are challenges to areas where they genuinely benefit this project.
Between Huggle and AWB -- and I've used both -- we have turned so much of Wikipedia editing into a mindless game in which undoing the addition of the word "poop" counts as progress. Spending even a few minutes on Huggle, let alone an hour, it's clear that the vast majority of IP editors have no interest whatsoever in improving this encyclopedia.
The issue I have is not with those fighting vandalism. Just as in the real world, we need people who will scrub off graffiti and replace shattered windows. The problem is that we have no barrier to entry for vandals, which means that people who could be devoting time to creating new content and expanding Wikipedia end up spending inordinate amounts of time cleaning up the messes the vandals create. Imagine if you removed every window and outside door in your home, allowing anyone to enter at any time. Sure, some of them would come in to your home, wash the dirty dishes in the sink, make your bed and vacuum the floors, and some may even volunteer on their own to build you a new bookcase or extra bedroom. But most won't. While many will just walk through and have little effect (positive or negative), perhaps sharing a snarky remark about your decorating choices, a small number may decide to trash the place. The time you spend cleaning up after those vandals is pure wasted effort that is not counteracted by the positives of those people who make your home cleaner and better.