Please Dont Go Sam

"Sam" refers to SamGentle (RealName still around but masked out to preserve privacy), a former Wiki user who was a Microsoft developer and an active supporter of MS and MS-related programming technologies (ComponentObjectModel, ActiveEx?, etc...) His advocacy of such drew quite a bit of catcalls and hoots from the largely pro-Smalltalk (and anti-Microsoft) crowd which dominated WardsWiki at the time...apparently some of the criticism got intense, and it may have gotten personal. At any rate, Sam got sick of it and decided to leave Wiki - but before he did so; he engaged in a WikiMindWipe - deleting all of his prior contributions to the site. He has since let it be known that he wants nothing further to do with WardsWiki.
OK, we need you more than you need us. So, please, remain.
I agree, remain. But if you won't, at least leave us with your past comments. Removing them is like trying to unmake history - you can't. Also, Wiki is a kind of collective history, and removing part of it is stealing from all of us.

It's also a bit childish.
I admit that I'm not that sophisticated in wiki editing and syntax and the like. But isn't a basic functionality of most wikis the ability to undo someone's changes? Isn't the goal of the wiki to provide the best possible content, even if it means restoring user contributed content that was intentionally destroyed by the contributor?

Yes, but a part of WhyWikiWorks is respecting other people's wishes. The goal is to provide high quality content, but the ends do not justify the means. If someone wants to remove their contributions, they should be disagreed with but respected. There is a balance to achieve.
Besides, these are ThingsOnWikisMind... you wouldn't want your mind raped, would you? This is a real TragedyOfTheCommons.
Sam, I find that if I'm talking to a group of people, especially over a period of time, and they aren't receptive to my ideas, the best strategy is to just listen. If someone asks me advice or I can offer something helpful I'll speak. If my ideas are valid they'll be born out in time. If my ideas are invalid and fall down, I'll learn that but keep on good terms with the people who were trying to tell me. Just a gentle suggestion.
Have fun, Sam. See you around.
I hope Sam comes back sometime, not that I particularly expect it. I also hope good can come of this. Perhaps it may help us learn things that can prevent us from driving other people away in the future. Disagreement is inevitable, and often fertile, but people could reflect upon whether the tone, content, or frequency of their comments on some topics may occasionally be less than welcoming. I made a couple of minor changes to postings of mine today in light of Sam's departure, not really to change the content, but to take the edge off a bit. I probably wouldn't have done that before.
What pissed him off so bad? -- RandyStafford

One can only presume, but the evidence is that he felt there was excessive anti-Microsoft feeling here, reflected in numerous pages on which there was much back and forth about things Microsoft. Unfortunately, it is hard to tell that now, as he removed all of his comments, making it hard to recover the context.

This is to suicide as IdentitySubversion is to theft.

(last edited April 12, 2000)


I can relate. I have been called every name in the book and put on trial (ObjectiveEvidenceAgainstTopDiscussion). Sometimes it seems like everybody is ganging up on you, but really it may only be 5 percent of wiki participants. The silent majority are generally more polite and simply ignore people or topics that they disagree with rather than start an intimidation war. Regarding Microsoft, I have even defended certain accusations against some of their development tools. It is not that I love Microsoft by any stretch, but I will correct falsehoods when spotted. The most virulent wiki personalities often tend to be those with the least amount of inspectable evidence. I don't think that is a coincidence; lack of reverse scrutiny is the shield militant wiki personalities hide behind. -- top
CategoryWikiHistory ThoseWhoWereThere

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