to my attention on another thread. Many thanks, PD!
Secondly, while I do not personally agree with all of Mr. Byrne's conclusions concerning the developing ArbCom whitewash in the Mannisox affray (or as Byrne calls it, "
"), I still regard this essay to be well-reasoned, well-written, and worthy of wide dissemination. This is why I reproduce it in full below.
Lastly, a textual note: I have "de-wikified" all of Byrne's links in the essay so that they will work here. Otherwise, the text is just as he left it on March 3, 2008, at 04:48 UTC. I note this in case that some member of the NSS cabal decides to chuck it down The Ol' Memory Hole. Sorry, NSS cabal! A day late and a dollar short, I reckon.
If this ArbCom whitewash makes the scales fall from your eyes, may I suggest how to get around it? – Patrick M. ByrneFirst message:
Peace. As the Irish say, “I’m sorry for your troubles.” From these messages it is clear that for many some sense of Gemütlichkeit has been lost. As someone who helped cause that loss, I send my regrets. I truly wish I could expose what I am trying to expose without hurting anyone, certainly not Jimbo nor SlimVirgin, and, truly, not even Mantanmoreland.Second message:
Your system (that is, the Wikipedia community) has behaved in ways you (judging from nearly all comments on the ArbCom's Mantanmoreland proposed decision talk page
) find unexpected. When any system behaves in an unexpected way it is wise to consider the possibility that the model you carry in your head of that system is flawed. Essentially everyone here apparently sees that certain facts are obvious and clear-cut, yet your ArbCom has come to an odd conclusion (or an inconclusive conclusion) about them. You demand, how could that be? Please do not be angry or frustrated with them. Instead, let this decision suggest to you that your mental models need adjustment, and if you make these adjustments their actions will make perfect sense. How should you adjust them? I will present a new model for your consideration below: if they make sense to you, or at least sense enough for you to read more, then there is a role for you, and if you accept that role this debacle could become Wikipedia’s finest hour (all without hurting Jimbo, SV, or anyone else here any more than they have hurt themselves already).Third Message: The Paradigm Suppressed by Mantanmoreland and this ArbCom Whitewash and What You Can Still Do About It, in Five Steps (a-e):a) What has actually happened (you need to know this background to make sense of what happened in Wikipedia):
In early 2005 I began arguing publicly
that there exists a loophole in our financial system that was allowing miscreant hedge funds to steal from pension funds and Main Street investors through the connivance of Wall Street banks, that the regulators were going along for the ride just as they had with the S&L’s, and that it was all going to end in a deep financial crisis. By November, 2005 Time Magazine was covering the story favorably
, and over the next two years its existence stopped being in serious doubt. Academic and government economists confirmed
it and reputable journalists have broken stories
concerning its effects
. By 2006 DowJones was correctly predicting
a “looming legal battle.” Recently, regulators and SRO's have imposed multimillion fines
over it and there is an ongoing criminal prosecution
over it. States are pursuing actions against major banks like UBS
over it. In 2007, Forbes saw the tie-in with the Russian mafia
. Months later a Bloomberg documentary concerning naked short-selling and possible mob involvement was nominated for an Emmy for long-form investigative journalism. Last summer SEC Chairman Christopher Cox acknowledged that this is really happening, and two weeks ago, Chairman Cox again publicly and matter-of-factly discussed the reality of this crime
(in a hearing at the United States Senate, in answer to sharp questioning from United States Senator Bob Bennett). Last week, Dr. Robert Shapiro
, a Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Brookings, Harvard, and a former US Undersecretary of Commerce for Economics, explained the reality and implications of this crime
on Canada's Business News Network (start at minute 17). This coming week, on March 4, the SEC will hold an open meeting to discuss a new naked shorting anti-fraud rule
for a host of related resources). If you want to save yourself a lot of reading, you can hear the whole story as I recounted it to 800 hedge funds in October (along with their reactions) here
.b ) The Spin-Job of Mantanmoreland:
Sadly, as you have seen through this evidence page, throughout this evolution an enormous amount of energy has been expended spinning this story by certain Wikipedians and their protectors, culminating in this whitewash by ArbCom. The story was aggressively spun to downplay the emerging understanding of this issue, and to insist that I was just a malcontent CEO (though I repeatedly insisted that the whole issue could be considered without regard to Overstock). The spinner of the story was Mantanmoreland (about whom I have written here
, having removed any claims about Wikipedians outside the realm of this arbitration). As many others here have noted, Mantanmoreland made sure that within Wikipedia every possible misrepresentation of my position was cited, from blogs and the very journalists whom I had accused of being part of the problem, yet any news stories that accurately portrayed my position
(let alone said something positive about me) found themselves dismissed on the flimsiest of excuses. Thus, did a self-reinforcing Kafkaesquilibrium come into existence.c) The Exposure:
An independent journalist, Judd Bagley, interviewed me and got interested in these issues. He began sorting through them on his own, and gathered data to expose how social media was being manipulated by certain journalists and Wikipedians (about whom it is clear that the community, if not the ArbCom, has formed an identical conclusion). I hired him to develop a new community tab within out site, but raised no objection to his hobby site, Antisocialmedia.net, where he began posting the results of his investigations (in fact, no one at the firm knew about it for several months). In the Bizarro World paradigm of the cover-up, however, Judd became a “stalker” unfairly attacking innocent journalists and Wikipedians (incidentally, to picture Judd, imagine a kind, gentle, supremely thoughtful 35 year old Harry Potter).d) How to Feel About This ArbCom Decision:
If you are mad about this decision, as so many seem to be, and you want justice, here is my advice: Don’t sweat it. Just remember that Mantanmoreland is a sideshow. Also, don’t be angry at the ArbCom: Weiss is a fanatic on threatening lawsuits in order to get things to go his way (not only did he do that with TheRegister in order to stop a story, but after NPR interviewed me some weeks ago Weiss threatened them so forcefully that NPR buckled and took the interview down from their site, though you can still hear it here
). My guess is that Weiss has been crawling over Wikipedia with lawyers threatening ArbCom if they made any decision but a whitewash (oddly, he never threatens me, though much enjoy that would I).e) Don’t Get Mad, Get Even – Joseph Kennedy:
If the behavior of the Wikipedia system violates your previous paradigm for it, if (as seems to be the case for many) you have woken to the possibility that Judd is the good guy and Mantanmoreland the bad (that is, if you have glimpsed outside of Bizarro World), then the way to set things right is to read the links provided in point (a) above, and edit the appropriate articles. “Naked shorting” is not some fictional problem dreamed up by malcontents: it is a vast problem about which serious dispute no longer exists. I am not some CEO mad about his stock price: I am a guy who is trying to use his position to expose a financial crime that may be worse than any we have seen in our lifetimes
, before it is too late. Read those articles, and you will understand the enormity of the issues at stake here. If everyone who is annoyed at Mantanmoreland and the ArbCom whitewash would just do that, I think that these issues would be addressed, not through an explicit conviction based on the evidence (which is apparently impossible, as we have seen), but by sidestepping these folks in order to fix the target of their machinations itself.
Then you Wikipedians, and Judd and I, would have, at last, justice, notwithstanding an obvious whitewash by an agenda-ridden ArbCom.
) 04:33, 3 March 2008 (UTC)