I am a registered Wikipedia user since June 15, 2006. In the spring and summer of 2007 I joined several other wikis (both Wikimedia Foundation's and others), and have at times shown clear signs of developing into a serious wikiholic (I took the Wikipediholic test on November 29, 2006, and again on November 3, 2007 :-).
However, I am currently (autumn 2013) mostly lurking, as Real Life keeps me busy.
- 1 Interests on the English Wikipedia - maybe yours, too?
- 2 Miscelaneous en-Wikipedia related
- 3 Interwikipedia and transwiki interests and goals
- 4 Me, myself and I
If you wish to collaborate on any of the tasks listed below, drop me a line on my talk page or go ahead and be bold. I am going to do as much of these as I can myself when I can take the time, if nobody else gets around to them first.
These tasks are conceptual challenges, and it is not too clear to me where and how to look for solutions to them.
- Figure out how to create "concept thesaurus" a.k.a. "concept synonym" pages. One example of such confusing synonymous concepts is the large group of concepts that mean emergency population warning. For example, "public warning", "emergency announcement", and "citizens alert" are all used, in the USA, Finland and the Netherlands, respectively, and the list sure does not end there.
- Once we/I have an idea what a "concept thesaurus" could look like, check if there is an already established place for pages of similar nature
- If no established place for such pages can be found, ask for a discussion on both Wikipedia and Wiktionary about where to place them
- Check that all open access journals, e-libraries etc. that you know of are at least mentioned in Open access journal, Hybrid open access journal & Co. My most pressing concern: Berkeley Electronic Press and their Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (I have to remember to e-mail Jack Harrad about explicitly using his comment at ISCRAM2007 on how their "semi-open" access affects citation count and how getting a Thompson impact factor listing affects authors' reactions to rejections)
- Help update and clean up Status of religious freedom by country - I'm keeping an eye on the entry on Finland, can you do the same for your country?
- Rewrite Military-industrial complex into more encyclopedic, easier to understand English (10:35, 23 February 2011 UTC the language is still quite complicated - parts of the article read more like a college or university essay, which is intended to impress a professor who likes big words)
- Keep an eye on featured article (FA) Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner - this is a great article that shows, among other things, how free speech can reveal that the emperor has no clothes
- Expand 84 Charing Cross Road to worthy of two pages, one for the book and one for the film. Make those pages better. Long term goal: FA, maybe some day even FA-of-the-day.
- Help work Nero Wolfe to FA status (if I can contribute anything to the already quite classy article).
WikiGnome types of tasks:
- Fix footnotes where the citing of sources has been done sub-optimally
- Wikilink, especially make "See also" sections better
- Fight link rot
WikiFairy types of tasks:
- Look for weak introductions (long, incoherent, self-contradicting or otherwise unappealing) and list them on own user page and comment on them on the relevant talk and/or project page (so, hopefully, one day they will get fixed)
Kindness campaign types of tasks:
- Publicly thank others for good work, ideas, help, and other constructive activities, whenever I/we stumble upon those
- New articles:
- Edits and editing experiences I am pleased with and/or learned a lot from:
- Heart of the Beholder - adding infobox + conscientiously filling it
- Irène Joliot-Curie - structuring the article with headings, adding one more reference, some language and style tweaking.
- Jokela school shooting - watching over the article against vandalism and adding new info when it becomes available to both en-WP, sv-WP and fi-WP (good teams on all three)
- Status of religious freedom by country - adding a summary on religious freedom in public schools in Finland.
- Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner - shortening the introductory section, globalizing and rearranging the content, wikilink cleanup, language and style polishing.
- Medium-size edits: Sieve of Eratosthenes - a new fact, two reference updates, picture fine-tuning, some text and structure clarification
- Working with pictures: Falkland Islands, Mute Swan, Vuosaari Harbour
- Small content or structure edits: Annie's Baby, Baptism, Battery cage, Devil's Bayou, E. Nesbit, École nationale d'administration, The Enchanted Castle, Influenza pandemic, List of Finns, List of international schools, List of women warriors in literature and popular culture, Mistress (lover), Occam's razor, Out Campaign, Placeholder name, The Railway Children, Rodney Howard-Browne, A Simple Twist of Fate (film), The Story of the Treasure Seekers.
- Minor, technical or policy-based edits: Amelia Earhart, Apollo 13, Battery cage, Biblical infallibility, Charles Darwin, Cyclol, Daniel Dennett, Girlfriend, John Shelby Spong, Mary Ward (scientist), Miyamairi, Nell Gwyn, Nesbitt, The Passion of the Christ, Portal:List of portals, Racak incident, Rex Stout, Tithe, Treatment Advocacy Center.
Neither my interwikilinkings nor reverted edits nor pages that have since been deleted are listed here. There are already too many interwikilinks to bother to list them, and concerning the reverted edits and deleted pages: usually someone had a good reason to revert or delete them, and therefore I don't really feel like boasting about them...
Index of my subpages
"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing - and you can help!" That is one of the most powerfully motivating statements/invitations that I have seen in my whole life. Even though a more modest version is closer to objective truth, the effort is laudable allthesame.
Truthfully, though, as long as there was only the English Wikipedia and its information content was mostly presented as text and pictures, we were (and to some extent still are) closer to: "Imagine a world in which every literate person with good enough eyesight
on the planet who is fluent enough in English and who has uncencored access to the Web is given free access to the sum of all important enough human knowledge that we can't merge, transwiki, or find an excuse to delete. That's what we'rethe Wikimedia foundation doing hopes to do but can not do without your support."
One of my goals in life is to develop my courage to change what I can, the serenity to accept what I can not change, and especially my wisdom, so as to more clearly see the difference. This is relevant even for Wikipedia:
I can't fix the problem of censorship in many countries - I can be vigilant in my own environment, vote, promote candidates with sound human rights agendas, and donate money to e.g. Amnesty International, but that is about the extent of my influence. I won't even try to fix the problems here at Wikipedia that stem from mergists clashing with essentialists, inclusionists, deletionists etc. (I do not have the temperament or disposition required for calming down edit wars), but I can help in fixing the "fluent enough in English" part, at least a little.
Within my areas of interest, during 2008, I started to cross check different language versions of Wikipedia articles for textual content, referenced sources and illustrations. Rationale: a different language version of an article may be the fastest source for a succint and clear expresion, an essential reference or a beautiful and/or informative picture. I do cross checking between the Wikipedias in English, Finnish, French, German, and Swedish, when I can find the time.
If you know enough Finnish (or Estonian) or Swedish (or Norwegian or Danish), you can check out my user pages on the Finnish or Swedish Wikipedias for what I do there. Maybe you will find something we can do together?
I also have a user page on the French and German Wikipedias, but they are mere stubs.
I have registered on these other Wikimedia projects, and do at least something at least sometimes on each of them:
- Commons: see my Commons user page for details
- Wiktionary: the English, Finnish and Swedish ones, though I haven't done anything in a long while
- Wikibook: not really active now
- Meta - user since August 31, 2007, not really active
I can not claim that I would always live up to the ideals that these mottoes represent. But I keep trying.
- Goals matter: choose them carefully, then hang onto them like a bulldog.
- Do the menial tasks conscientiously - then the inspiring tasks will start rendering results, too.
- If you have to scold others for doing something wrong, then tell them also how to do it right.
- Practice timely acts of praise and decisive acts of beauty.
- Put your money where your mouth is - practice what you preach.
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I am actively trilingual and passively multilingual. This is not that unusual for Europeans who come from a bilingual or multilingual country, and who have traveled or lived abroad during their youth.
You may, however, view my Wikipedia:Babel list (on the right here) with some incredulity: how can anyone be familiar with that many languages, even if it is only on a basic level?!? The simple and short answer: most of these languages are related. Thus, if one is fluent in a language that grew out of an older proto-language, the chances are that one can understand, at least rudimentarily, some of the other languages with the same roots.
In practice, if I list my language knowledge as
- level 3 or more, I trust my ability to write for a Wikipedia in that language
- level 2, I trust my ability to choose from related articles the most fitting one for interwikilinking
- level 1, I trust my ability to understand written information in that language for the purpose of checking that a cited source addresses the issue(s) claimed in connection with the citing. I do not trust my ability to understand written information in that language so far that I could correctly evaluate the tone of the cited document or decipher any idioms used in it. I am quite likely to misinterpret such aspects of the cited document as irony or sarcasm, or religious, cultural and historical references.
A slightly longer and more personal answer:
I have heard five languages in my childhood home: Finnish, English, Swedish, German, and French. Of these I spoke English and Finnish daily and could read and write them before the age of six, and used Swedish fluently enough by the age of twelve. All these first five I have also studied in school and/or at language courses. The strongest base of my German comes from a childhood stay with my aunt, who married to Germany. I learned Norwegian during my childhood, too, mostly from listening to a neighbor mum converse with her bilingual kids. After having a fluency in Swedish and some grip of Norwegian, reading Danish is not that hard - but do not expect me to understand spoken Danish! (I wonder if anyone who was not born in Denmark really does...) With my background in English, two-three Scandinavian languages, and German, I found that following our neighbor's son-in-law conversing in Dutch with his bilingual kids is surprisingly easy, and I also can understand written Dutch tolerably well. The rest of my language ability comes from studying dictionaries and travel guides. Having a good base in French makes reading Spanish rather straight-forward (but do not expect me to follow a conversation too well) and my lifelong affection with Latin combined with French and Spanish helps me to decipher written Italian well enough, even tough following spoken Italian is hard.
It is sad that my German and French have atrophied so badly due to lack of use during the last 20 years. Also, I have intentionally not included in my Babel box those languages in which I would not be comfortable checking even the general content of a reference: Turkish and Estonian, even though I have studied them a bit, a long time ago. I also learned some sign language (the Finnish version) as a kid, but I have unfortunately forgotten practically all of it.
Since September 1983 I have used three languages actively every day: Swedish, English and Finnish.
I am currently (autumn 2011) self-employed, doing public safety, information technology and health related translations and editing/proofreading. More importantly, though, I am an academic free radical. This means, among other things, that I am a university student and that I do research, and sometimes teach, too, but I do not hold a permanent faculty position. My main area of interest is multi-channel early warning, MCEW (also called public warning or emergency alert) - emergency population warnings sent via several communication channels simultaneously. Together with fellow practitioners, students and faculty, I have thus far published one article on MCEW in Communications of the ACM (the March 2007 issue), four conference articles that focused on security related requirements, and one conference paper and one workshop paper on the usability related requirements for MCEWs received through mobile phones and other mobile devices (mobile early warning, MEW). MCEW systems are not widely adopted yet, even though MEWs are already working in several countries and regions. Despite of this, I find studying the concepts and theory interesting and motivating: maybe one day our work will help save lives.
I have also helped a little in research on how to thwart unisolicited bulk e-mail (UBE) - also called spam, junk mail or unisolicited commercial e-mail (UCE). I have co-authored one journal article on spam, and several conference articles on other network security issues. For details, see my publication list.
I have taught the fundamentals of scientific research and writing both in English and in Finnish since 2002, and continue to do so.
Limited rant on how to teach research
From the teaching experiences mentioned above grows my motto: "It takes a research community to train a researcher". I see myself less and less as a teacher (a giver of information to those who know less) and increasingly as a facilitator and a coach (an intellectual "ball plank" for those who certainly know more than I do about their own research topics, and about many other things, too). In my honest opinion, the best learning for fledgling researchers - high school and doctoral students alike - comes from three learning/teaching experiences, when they are combined:
- guided group discussions in groups that include also older and more experienced researchers,
- individual or group research projects, the results of which someone actually needs, and
- being personally tutored by older and more experienced researchers while working on those projects.
I predict that those schools, universities, faculties and laboratories that have or can develop traditions that build and maintain such inter-generation research communities will be the ones to produce the best graduates and doctoral candidates, the most highly valued peer-reviewed research and the most innovative solutions to many of humankind's most pressing problems. rant over
I was born in May 1964 in Helsinki (Finland, EU) as the eldest of three sisters, and originally named Päivi Hyvärinen. I lived from October 1967 to December 1969 in Baltimore, (Maryland, USA), where both my parents did postdoctoral research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. During our time in Baltimore I forgot everything about Finland except the language and came to view myself as an American. Not surprisingly, returning "home" was not easy. Today I have a Western - mainly cross-Atlantic - identity, with some roots here, some there, and most of my strongest roots in the international scientific-scholarly community.
In Baltimore I attended Cedarcroft Kindergarten (Montessori method), the best school I have ever had the honor to study at - though Helsingfors svenska sjukvårdsinstitut (the Swedish-speaking nurse school in Helsinki) in 1983-1988 came close.
I changed my name in 1993 to Ronja Addams. This name comes from the protagonist of Astrid Lindgren's book Ronja Rövardotter (translated into English as Ronia the Robber's Daughter), from Jane Addams, whose life and work I greatly admire, and the Addams Family cartoons and films (I love them, especially the 1991 movie). In 1997, when we married, I took also my husband's family name in use.
I am a Bright, and so is my husband. We have brought our children up in the spirit of humanism and respect for all life, intellectual and emotional honesty, creative curiosity, constructive argumentation, and religious tolerance, which they from time to time test to the hilt by both proclaiming that they believe in one or more gods, or fairies, or angels. I find the irony of this simply delicious.
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