When I was first introduced to Everything2 , I was a bit of a cynic... I should have stayed that way.

Initially, I was critical of a site which touted an open forum and the principles of high-minded quality knowledge sharing and appeared to be nothing more than a community rampant with cronyism where true effort appeared too few and far between. Contributing to it, I was sure, was an exercise in futility and I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to subject themselves to this kind of arbitrary sophomoric herd mentality interspersed with literary snobbiness ...

I simply couldn't comprehend why some nodes flew in the face of the Everything FAQ and University, and yet, were insanely popular, or why anyone cared to read, let alone ching pathetic GTKY logs poised as prose. Many nodes which seemed to violate the principles of the place were held in high esteem... Earn your bullshit. Right. In an attempt to understand, I read many of the initial write ups of many of the higher ups, and found more detritus than I expected. Surely those spouting such esteemed standards must keep them in their own work, even the earliest. Hmpf. Earn your accolades, then earn your bullshit, seemed to be the rule. Many of those who have earned their bullshit have done so with questionable material... Nodes and nodes full of pathetic unintegrated, half-baked three line wonders that would never make it off the new writeups list today, and yet they have the audacity to disperse their judgment on others without first remedying or culling their own prolific debris which litter the database.

I was curious why the individual who had introduced me would ever invest the time and effort it took to appease perfect strangers who were so lenient with themselves and strict towards newbies. He is self-assured, brilliant, driven and insightful. He has a fervor for knowledge that I have rarely, if ever, had the pleasure to witness and here he was, spending his time on e2. There are many here who have cited him as a knowledgeable source that has contributed to their nodes enough to be noted as such, but I digress... Like me - like many of us, he enjoys a challenge and that's an aspect of e2 which attracts a singular kind of person. It's a large part of the reason why e2 is so addictive.

But I lingered and I found a few gems and I read, I came to understand the rules and eventually... I believed...

What did I believe exactly? That somehow, this community of users, for the most part, really was dedicated to sharing, educating and a basic code of excellence. That the gods and editors, though tough, tried to be fair. That there was a genuine desire to raise the bar. That somebody out there thought it needed real content. I was careful to learn the lay of the land, to follow the rules, and to understand what was being asked of me as a noder. I wanted to contribute because I believed in the conviction and passion that I read about.

What I've witnessed today has called a great deal of that into question.

Today, the person who introduced me to e2 has, through the actions of a fledgling god, been demoted an entire level by the destruction no less than 54 nodes from his body of work. This individual took it upon himself to add to the database just as many other noders have done by integrating individual word write ups from the Devil's Dictionary into the nodegel. He has been contributing these nodes for no less than six months. Apparently the Management has suddenly and feverishly taken issue with these nodes as duplicative because Saige noded entire letters of the dictionary in sections. Ambrose Bierce was a satirist. If you find him offensive, you aren't getting it. I wonder what word he'd apply to this situation?

At no time did anyone suggest, editor or otherwise, that he terminate his efforts. Though there have been inquiries from the likes of dannye, who, and I quote, replied 'OK. I hope you're convinced this is time well spent. Good luck.' Furthermore, no other individual write ups containing integrated Devil's Dictionary definitions have been touched, though they are numerous. My point here is to take issue with singling out one user, and relying on reasoning which is will of the whim to destroy their work. (Don't even get me started on the Administration's apparent support of numerous projects in our corpus which contribute nothing but copy and paste tomes such as Webster 1913, Magic: The Gathering Cards, D&D Magic Items and Monsters and the Alice in Wonderland Project).

To me, this had the feel of a personal vendetta. This appeared, at first glance, to be a fledgling god individually targeting a user and decimating his body of work; effectively destroying nearly 70% of his nodes, which, I might add, were all *shockingly* systematically downvoted before getting eaten by Klaproth, to add insult to injury. This swipe of this scythe had the sound of a god applying justice as he saw fit to cull a user, rather than as it should be; to address nodes which may or may not fit a certain criterion.

After nosing into it myself, this definitely has the smell, fellow noders, of bullshit.

Shall we examine the evidence? Not to be pedantic, but no one ever accused me of not doing my research... Let us refer to the database for clarification...

Abasement      Abatis         Abdication          Abdomen         Ability      
Aboriginies        Abracadabra           Abridge              
hmmm... that's funny, most of the 'A' words have integrated, duplicative write ups... let's look at oh... how about Z?
Zany               Zanzibari       Zeal                 Zenith               Zeus      
  Zigzag            Zoology

you don't say... several of the 'Z' words have integrated, duplicative writeups.... must have slipped past him... actually, there are over fifty (I quit counting at that point... there are more, if anyone wants the list) writeups which are of the same ilk and noded by the likes of:

Pseudo Intellectual
These are untouched, unscathed, apparently left to 'clutter' the database, said god's hand having mysteriously passed over them. Such is the mercy and the charity of the gods?

Raising the bar indeed... no one mentions that occasionally that bar is used to bash individual noders exclusively, turning a blind eye to all those which have noded in the same manner. Well, I refuse to ignore this *coincidence*... and I'll live with the consequences.

So what am I calling for? What's my point? Well, unfortunately, I think the damage has been done. Is there a precedent for such an occurance? Are we basically dealing with a hydra? There is no recourse and no accountability. If this had been a careful, unemotional, targetless, methodic, across-the-board destruction of all integrated Ambrose Bierce definitions, so be it. I would have nothing to bitch about, and the noder in question would not be alone in having garnered an insane node-fu. It would have been an unfortunate oversight that no editor or god had discouraged this noder sooner, considering the amount of time it took to contribute. I'm calling for acknowledgement. I'm calling for exposition. No one ever said the gods weren't human. There is one who has been acting a rather poor example, and he should acknowledge his actions as such.

You say, erevapisces, you silly, lowly novice! It is folly! It is futile to question the whims of the gods... they bless, they are compassionate, they are tough yet tender... yes, in most cases they are. Unfortunately, in this case, one has shown himself to be singularly vindictive and his actions beyond indictement or reproach.

A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.

Ambrose Bierce
The Devil's Dictionary

Roninspoon has since explicated his actions in this matter in Editor Log: March 2002. The writeups in question have been marked for destruction. I encourage everyone to read it.