Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Some facts about me:
- I sometimes work in Manhattan when I'm not going to law school in Washington, DC. I used to be an art student in Columbus, OH. Strange.
My brushes with greatness:
- This guy is the only individual with a wikipedia article who has ever ridden in my car. He was wearing a lovely pastel blue suit and didn't particularly strike me as a tax cheat, but obviously you never can tell.
- I debated this guy on stage in front of audience of about 200 or so, and informally over a span of years while wandering around somewhere.
- I shook the hands of this guy (after volunteering to collect tickets for a speech he gave on something or other), this guy, this guy, this guy (after taking his class), this guy (after pestering him for what turned out to be a really uncomfortable looking photo with one of my friends, a friend whose grandfather looks exactly like this guy), and probably this guy (though I can't remember for sure).
- I was paid $75 to be an extra in a movie directed by this gal on location at this place and sat in the background of a scene with this gal. Regrettably, I was always outside the range of the camera. Easiest $75 I ever made. Since then, I have done absolutely nothing to deserve an article for myself.
- None of the above mentioned people have been in my kitchen.
My Big Fat Wikipedia Contributions
Court case information box
I have created an info box to be used on all articles on American court decisions, that presents in a concise format the complete history of the case, the ruling, and the judges who decided it; it is similar to the one used for animal taxonomy. Look here for a sample and instructions on how to use it.
Articles I created
Articles I have substantially contributed to
My categorization philosophy/obsession
I also categorize things a hell of a lot, mainly because I don't want to see it done wrong. Doing it wrong is being too general, so that articles end up getting cluttered by a laundry list of redundant categories (which looks really dumb when you're reading an article, as if the author couldn't figure out the relationships), and categories get dumped indiscriminately with tons of articles that end up bearing little relationship to each other and look like a confusing mess. Doing it right is creating a sensible taxonomy that allows the information to be restructured and formed into new relationships by recategorizing categories, rather than having to go back and retag every article because you were too general the first time. Doing it right establishes groupings and series that help point out where new articles in wikipedia need to be filled in, and also can point out articles that need to be merged or made consistent with other articles on the same specific topic.
Categories are important because they function to classify the subjects of articles—they appear with an even greater claim of factuality and objectivity than the content of articles. They should be limited to what is somehow integral to understanding a subject, rather than something that simply happens to be true about it. Trivial information can be buried at the bottom of an article with no problem, but trivial categories bury the article itself.
I created nearly all of the subdivision organization of Category:Politics of the U.S. (separating it into branches, cataloging all the agencies, and getting started on many of the officials), Category:United States law (by topic), many in Category:United States history, and just about every last one of the U.S. states. You may also know me from such categories as Category:Continental Congressmen and Category:Continental Army officers, Category:International law, Category:Corporate subsidiaries by company, Category:New York City and Category:Washington, DC and their subdivisions, and many, many others.
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