Funny old wikiworld
Hi Morag. Thanks for the edit to the Lockerbie conspiracy page. I haven't ventured down that particular rabbit-hole for a little while, but am aware of your excellent work in that field. I see you've been accused of being SlimVirgin! After I wrote his bio, I was accused of both having a grudge against, and being, Stu Campbell! --Hillbillyholiday talk 02:02, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
- Jeez, yes, I think it was Patrick Haseldine who decided I was SlimVirgin. He is of course absolutely stark staring bonkers. He maintains a Wikispooks page on me that I just ignore though I see it coming up on Google from time to time. It's probably actionable but you know what they say, never sue a man of straw.
- I was quite disturbed by how inaccurate and how out of date the Pan Am 103 pages I looked at are. I hadn't gone near them because I didn't want to get into an edit war, but it almost looks as if people have given up entirely. Stacks of really old stuff I haven't seen out in public in years, and a lot of new stuff simply not there at all. The whole damn thing needs a complete re-vamp, but if I did it I'd be accused of bias. I did kill the bit about the radio transmission triggering the bomb because it's demonstrable nonsense and it's not really worth the space to detail the claim and then debunk it. I suppose I'll have to debunk it if someone insists on putting it back.
- Then pretty much the first thing I did to the main page, removing a reference to a newspaper article that was clearly wrong, was promptly reverted by someone, saying "why is this article wrong?" Well if he'd read the detailed explanation I put on the talk page he might have had his answer!
- What's going on with the McTernan thing anyway? Stuart's article on McTernan's abysmal prediction record is meticulously sourced and nobody has produced any comparable list of predictions he got right to counter it and support the suggestions of cherry-picking. But Black Kite just repeats calls for a reliable source. In what way is the Wings article not reliable? Morag Kerr (talk) 02:14, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
- I think you are okay to attempt a revamp of the Lockerbie articles as it's clearly a subject with which you are familiar, certainly more than most (SV excluded!). If you want to reference your own book, it might be better to bring it up on a talkpage first.
- Re Wings, I just added a (hopefully final) response at the BLP noticeboard. I read Wings and have followed Stu's career since 1992, in fact, he was something of a childhood hero of mine. I can assure you, the reasons for the removal are not based in any anti-Wings sentiment, it's more of an attempt to hold the BLPs here to a high standard of sourcing, especially when it comes to negative statments, of which McTernan's already has its fair share. You can perhaps imagine what an article about Stu sourced from certain cherry-picked outlets might look like (anyone remember Wangs over Skintland?), or indeed how an article on your good self might read were it sourced to Haseldine! --Hillbillyholiday talk 02:40, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
To get back to the Lockerbie thing, I'd like to see decent articles on this, but there are quite a few pages involved and in general complete re-writes are needed rather than tinkering. The pages have grown like Topsy over the years, much of the stuff near the top is thoroughly out of date and newer stuff has been added piecemeal at the bottom if at all. Some points that are virtually irrelevant are delved into in tedious and sometimes semi-literate detail, while important things don't even get a mention. I'm not sure I'm up for it at all, and I'm even less sure when I realise that even if I did it, anyone with an agenda could simply come along and delete the lot.
It's not particularly about referencing my own book, as that is only the primary reference for a single issue - the location of the bomb suitcase in the baggage container. In my opinion this is the central issue of the case as it stands, as recognising the correct position leads to the realisation that the entire investigation was up a gum tree from about day nine and the eventual police theory of the bomb coming from Malta was itself a giant conspiracy theory which was wholly untrue. But it's still only a single point. Everything else that needs said is referencable to multiple other sources and in particular to the trial transcripts themselves and John Ashton's invaluable work. It's the amount of work that's daunting, topped by the thought of getting drawn into sterile pointless late-night arguments with people who have an agenda but pretend they haven't, and who try to pull some sort of nebulous Wikipedia rank.
I have resisted going near the pages for a long time for all these reasons, but I know that Wikipedia is the first port of call for many people looking into a new subject for the first time and the Pan Am 103 pages are doing that group of people a grave disservice. There really should be better material for them to access. It's just - oh God, spare me!
Maybe we should get SlimVirgin to do it. That might set a few cats among the pigeons! (She was sincerely commended for her work on the page about the murder of Meredith Kercher, I know that.)
(By the way, I think my book is only £3.75 as an eBook. Or if you show up to one of my infrequent free presentations about it, you can have a print copy for £10.) Morag Kerr (talk) 22:55, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
- I just went and looked at the articles on Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox. Despite this affair probably surpassing Lockerbie in complexity and sheer adversarial venom, the articles are models of clarity and informativeness. If this is a result of SlimVirgin's work, I take my hat off to her. I'd love to see the Pan Am 103 articles in that condition. Sigh. Morag Kerr (talk) 23:26, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
- Slim's work here has been commendable as far as I can see, though that is still probably considered a heresy by many seasoned wiki-critics. Your thoughts about the madness and futility of contributing here made me chuckle, I think much the same thing most days and I expect a lot of other people do too. The site is an utter, utter mess, an inherently stupid concept in so many ways, yet it still attract so many readers...Blame google! Occasionally I set my heart on a total revamp of a biggie like the Ancient Olympics or something, but as you say, it's far more enjoyable to find a nice wee corner and potter away on something you love. Apologies if I was coming over high-handedly or whatever, the day-to-day lunatic mobocracy of this place means an attitude easily becomes ingrained. Good luck out there. --Hillbillyholiday talk 00:11, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
- Her connection with the Pan Am 103 affair is a bit nebulous but as far as I remember she claimed her fiance was killed on the plane, but the family of the lad in question denied all knowledge. Could have been a secret affair, or a clandestine unrequited crush, but people speculated she was a security services plant in the group of bereaved family members. Of course, Patrick Haseldine believes I work for MI5 so we know how seriously to take that sort of stuff. I don't know whether she has kept up with the case or not. I was just struck when I came across her name in a conversation about the Meredith Kercher wiki page being rescued and everything sorted out, and I laughed and said, don't you know she's me?
- I think this place almost forces people to adopt a high-handed attitude, because otherwise they find themselves on the bottom of the heap the whole time. When everyone is equal, he who shouts loudest and comes over most domineering will win every time. Just look at the arrogant way Black Kite is behaving on the McTernan page - but it works. He's managing to dominate the discussion by accusing everyone else of bias and agenda-running. Par for the course. Morag Kerr (talk) 00:28, 2 December 2016 (UTC)