Talk:Election candidates 2006/En/MerkeyArchive

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"Uto-Aztecan"[edit]

Candidate Jefferey Merkey claims to speak English, Cherokee, Tewa and Uto-Aztecan. Perhaps he does speak Cherokee and Tewa, but he certainly does not speak Uto-Aztecan, which is not any language but a taxonomic grouping of dozens of related languages. Having no preexisting opinion of Mr.Merkey, this fabricated claim casts doubt upon his veracity.Timothy Usher 06:52, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

  • I speak **SOME** Uto-Aztecan - Shoshone and Northern Ute to be precise. I am working with the Ute Tribe on the translator and am rapidly learning the entire language - all four dialects. (To-yuk) Jmerkey 19:55, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I assume this is you Tim. Research Focus Area, Evolution of Human Languages, Taxonomy and Genetic Relationships Between Indo-Pacific Languages, Santa Fe Institute. I am currently working with Dr. Durbin Feeling and Dr. Dusty Delso on the machine translator for Cherokee (we are all Native Speakers and I am a Cherokee Citizen and Native Speaker). Vanita Taveapont of the Ute Tribe is the contact for Uto-Aztecan translations and is providing me all the materials for the various Uto-Aztecan dialects still spoken, as well as one that is extinct, but still used in Ute Ceremonies. Given your background, I think you would have a lot to add to our project. Please email me at [1] if you are interested in joining our project. I have not started on the Pueblo Languages, but I grew up in Corrales New Mexico (about 40 miles South of Santa Fe) and I know a large number of Folks from the Languna, Zia, and Santa Domingo Pueblos I gourd dance with in Albuquerque several times a year, and I've approached several of them about helping create a machine translator for the Pueblo languages. I think you would be a wonderful addition, if you are interested. Jmerkey 19:55, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
To say that one speaks "Uto-Aztecan" rather than Ute is unorthodox and highly unusual. However, your reply seems credible, and I apologize for having jumped the gun, rather than simply what asking what you'd meant.Timothy Usher 03:30, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
No problem Tim, the Ute's themselves refer to their language as "Uto-Aztecan" in all of their materials and discussions. They use the Ute words from their language to describe their dialects. The current dialects under study we are working with are Shoshone, Uinta, Northern(Umcampahgre) and Southern Ute, and the extinct dialect they refer to as "deep Ute" (which appears to be the root language they all once spoke and used as a common language to communicate between the various tribes who use Uto-Aztecan). I thought it as odd as well, since I don't refer to Cherokee as "Algonquin" when I disuss it with other Cherokee. We call it Tsa-la-gi (corrupted form of Cherokee). Jeff 04:13, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Also, their method of verb root and verb stem construction is strikingly similiar to Cherokee (sentence structure is a little more fluid and less strict however than Cherokee), but they do not have as many verb tenses (8 in total as compared to 28 in total for Cherokee with all the permutations) so the translator is not as complex as for Cherokee. I also do not have to contend with three classes of verb stem modifer categories, only two, but they do have more verb roots that can be free formed that require memorization of classes of words. Their language is well suited for lexicon based translation with minor adjustments after first and second pass to correct tensing and word ordering. I use a link grammar parser to decompose english and tag verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc, then run a second pass over latin derived words (thermophilic bacteria becomes "little animals who love hot water") and conversion into English morphemes. I then perform a hierarchical thesaurus lookup, output morphemes as pseudo op tokens and perform a lexicon based translation. The morpheme strings are then retensed and conjugated based on the target language with a set of script rules for each target language. I setup the translator to "learn" based on link grammar rules and tag and record unidentified nouns. I am at 98-99% conversion with a .001% error rate at present. I am shooting for 100% by the end of the summer. Our people have a different set of challenges. Many of our words over time in Oklahoma have contracted the verb roots, and they no longer resemble Cherokee spoken in the mid-1800s. We get garbage translations all the time from some of the folks and Sherry has to correct it. They are only able to output about a dozen childrens books a week at present. We are refining the translator to allow us to do the same job at several orders of magnitude and have Sherry and the linguists proofread and correct minor errors. We also have a lot of folks who have made a living translating and some folks have viewed the project as a job security threat. Some of our more radical religious elements are claiming we are perverting the language by using a machine translator, but our academic folks are just about all behind it. The ANA has been dumping too much money into some of these programs and we are not getting the output of materials we need. The Wikipedia projects and Wikibooks and Wikisource hold enormous potential for us. Jeff 04:23, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
If you don't mind me asking, "98-99% conversion with a .001% error rate" is an astonishing figure for machine translation, are there any papers published on this I could look at? Also are you aware of the AVENUE project at CMU who are probably working on similar issues? - FrancisTyers 12:43, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
It's only astonishing because Cherokee and most Native Languages have such strict language synthesis rules. Going to German or one of the romance languages would not be as easy or result in such high numbers. Cherokee and the other Native Languages also have very limited volcabularies. 2000 words and root in the ancient dialects and 7000 in modern otali, so I have a unique freedom to synthesize new words to address modern concepts. I am using some of the the CMU link grammar parser (which I have significantly modified) as the first pass sentence decmposer for english. As for published papers, I'll do you one better, at some point you can look at the source code for the whole thing, because I will be releasing it to the general public eventually. Of course, those academic language experts who are members of the project get to particiapte early ....Jeff 15:58, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Frequently asked questions for candidates[edit]

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to put this, but I emailed Mr. Merkey a question that I wasn't sure about from his statement. He said I could distribute the answer so I'll put them here - FrancisTyers 11:16, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

ME: I'd like to know your opinion (as a patent holder and entrepreneur) of the GFDL, the FSF and software patents in general. Normally I'd be opposed to supporting anyone who supported patents, particularly software patents, but I figured it would be worth emailing you to find out your position in more detail. Your platform certainly has a lot going for it, but on the other hand, I don't sense the same commitment to free (as in Freedom) content and software as some of the other candidates.

JM: I fully support the GFDL, GPL, and FSF projects. What I do not support are those who misuse the noble goals of the FSF and use the GPL as a sham to launder other peoples protected materials and who violate the rights of those groups who choose to keep their intellectual property protected that attempt to convert or infringe on these folks rights. Too many times, folks misuse the GPL and FSF projects as a front to misuse the information of others. Linux is one good example, at present, it infringes on 383 known patents. True, many of these patents are "trash" patents, but the fact remains, Linux developers could easily circumvent these patents and development issues by being truly innovative and creating new methods to accomplish the same thing. I hear the arguments "we want to protect freedom to innovate" while they simply cut and paste other peoples code and protected materials, rather than exhibit "true" innovation and simply outperform and instrument new and revolutionary approaches. I take the position "let's see the innovation -- get around the patent".

Companies invest millions of dollars in R&D and have the right to enjoy the benfits of their investements for some period of time. I doubt the Wikimedia Foundation would appreciate it's trademarks misused to misrepresent their projects, as one good example. Not all IP rights are inherently "evil" because other groups choose to control how their information is used.

Well, I can tell you I fully support free information and Wikipedia's goals. Contributors and community members set the stage on what is or is not free based upon their contributions and their choices on what they choose to share with the projects. This does not mean everyone on the planet has the right to misuse the information of others just because the FSF has a particular view on how the world should be. We as community members should be grateful for those who choose to share knowledge, but we must also respect the rights of those who choose not to share their information as freely.

Banned users?[edit]

Is it really appropriate for someone who has been banned from a major Wikimedia project to be running for the board? Kirill Lokshin 14:38, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Interesting the entry says "alleging stalkers were freely roaming Wikipedia", then Jimbo turns around, deletes the entire article about me which was the source of the controversy, and all 700 revisions, admits these trolls were violating WP policy, stalking, and libeling, and forces a total rewrite -- what a good man. The only reason it is still listed there is I have not asked for it to be lifted, or it probably would be. That was a sad series of events, but it's in the past. Fvw, the individual who started all of it broke into an off Wikipedia server with the assistance of peter anvin of kernel.org, and took sensitive account information and private materials, which also doesn't speak well for the entire sad affair. All of that being said, its in the past. I can run for the Board -- whether or not I am elected is up to the community. I have a lot to offer. Have a great day. Jeff 19:56, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Presumably you could ask that the ban be lifted, then? (Or would it be lifted automatically if you were to become a board member?) It just seems a bit silly if we were to have someone on the board at the same time they were technically banned (their edits being removable on sight and such). Kirill Lokshin 15:40, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Well, I'll let the community decide if it should be lifted. Anyone of the administrators can lift it at any time, since it's a community based ban. "Forgive and Forget" is one of the basic foundational rules of MeatBall Wiki. I have a lot to do on the Cherokee Wikipedia and the ban does not extend to any other projects and I actively edit these projects and external projects intended to produce revenue into the FOundation, which is where my real value is. I also talk on the phone with Brad and Danny regularly on the other projects I am working on with the Foundation and there's no friction there -- only wikilove.... Jeff 19:56, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, I've bought it up at AN/I. Lets see what people think. - FrancisTyers 16:58, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Francis, to complete your "___ the border page" with a Cherokee version (we have no word for that particular ephemism -- at least not in that context). Here's the Cherokee equivalent: ᎠᏟᎶᏛ ᎬᎪᏛ ᎪᏣᎴᏍᏗᏱ. Jeff Jeff 19:59, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


Thanks Jeff, I've made the addition. I never thought I'd be able to get a translation in a native american language! :) I've also copied your comments to AN/I. Could you clarify (there has been a question asked) regarding the legal threats that have been raised. Are these concluded, there is no intention to pursue them? I imagine this is largely irrelevant, considering you are running for board election, but the question has been bought up. - FrancisTyers 19:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Brad Patrick and Mr. Wales addressed the concerns I had of a legal nature and they were completely unrelated to the article itself or the conduct of any of the community members. I can share with the community that Mr. Wales deletion and rewrite of the article was in no way was based on any legal solution or legal resolution -- he did it solely of his own initiative and as a courtesy after performing a through review of the entire history of the article. He communicated his heartfelt sympathy for what he felt was a complete misuse and violation of his policies regarding as he put it "unpleasant dialouge and trolling by individuals who were not following our most cherished principles" or the spirit of Wikipedia policies. In no way were his actions a response to any legal situation. The legal concerns were related to the posting of excerpts of a sealed document to his site. Even though it was posted here, Wikipedia and the Foundation never had any liability for any of it. It being here could have gotten me in a lot of legal trouble, and Mr. Wales removed all of it as a courtesy to me. The whole situation was rather complex and unpleasant for all of us, but in the end it was Mr. Wales who took chrage of the situation and put his foot down on several issues. He apologized to me for the whole affair -- he did not apologize for the community or for any actions he did or did not take, but he apologized as a decent human being on behalf of humanity that my family should have to be subjected to the type of inappropriate and unfair treatment period. I do not hold Wikipedia, Mr. Wales, or anyone on Wikipedia responsible for what happened. It was simply a difficult and complex misunderstanding with a lot of heated emotions flying around from all sides. I acknowledged to Mr. Wales I had a lot of bridge building and pennance to pay for some of my conduct, which at times was not a good reflection on the intelligent, gentle, and kind spirit I truly am. Through it all, Mr. Wales was able to see me for who I really am, and I know this is why he stood at my side and took the heat for deleting and forcing a rewrite of that article. I own him a debt of gratitude, I owe the community, and the folks I offended a great deal of "community service" to make up for all it. I have dedicated myself to creating a universal translator for Wikimedia and the Native American Community as part of my personal path for growth. I don't have any ill will for anyone. Ni-go-di-s-ge-s-di - That's just the way it is. Things happen, people, (even a person with my intelligence and remarkable abilities) can make mistakes. The only important thing about all of it is whether or not I learned anything from the experience. I learned a lot. I learned that Mr. Wales was and always has been my friend and the friend of everyone in this community. I also can see a wondrous horizon ahead and I have and can contribute a lot to better myself and those around me. I'm a heavy hitter out in the real world, and I have and can make a big difference for the Foundation, and I apologize for my part in the whole mess and look forward to continuing ground breaking contributions in the future. Jeff 20:14, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
The consensus of the administrators both on and off board seems to be that the unban should come direct from Jimbo. You should negotiate direct with him, sorry! :( - FrancisTyers 00:38, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, I never asked to be unbanned on the English Wikipedia, but I appreciate your efforts, and I think going through the exercise was good in any event to communicate that these matters have been closed and provide the community closure on the issue, and to be honest, even if I were unbanned from the English Wikipedia, I would not be editing there in any event. I have my own wiki and I work on Cherokee and Native Translations. My value is not as an editor. I have a different mission and direction which also contribute to the Foundations goals. All my love. Jeff 02:08, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
And I also noticed Turnbulls comments, and to be honest, his misrepresentations are disturbing, but what I would expect given his previous conduct (and his apologies to the community for the conduct). Please be aware I build Network forensic capture technology, and needless to say, the digitally signed logs and capture files can be made available to any member of the Foundation upon request to review. As I said, I forgive and forget. It's unfortunate not everyone can do the same. One of the reqirements for membership on the Board of any 5013c, or any political candidate under current requirements bans any company or group from employing an individual who has been convicted of a felony or any offense invloving moral turpitude. I am running for the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council in June of 2007, and these are there requirements for running for office. Most States have similiar prohibitions regarding public office or chairs on corporate boards. I have sat on several boards as director and Chairman of several corporations. The position with the Foundation involves interface with the outside world and business and government entities. The Foundation may wish to consider instrumenting the same requirements to ensure success. I don't really care who gets elected, I just have a lot to offer and threw my name in the hat. I won't be upset or disappointed if I am not considered, I simply did it to give the Foundation another good option. The Foundations policies also prohibit unfair treatment on the basis of various classes. Turnbull and his associates have evidenced a campaign against me on their perceived views -- this includes the admin that blocked me in the first place who is also in the same group. I hate to say it, but I feel as though I am being singled out for attack on the basis of my orientation by this group. I hope everyone can look at themselves impartially and ask themselves if they would want to endure the same treatment. Whomever is selected must set an example and abide by these standards. All my love. Jeff 02:12, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
  1. WikiGadugi may use Wikipedia content, but it's not a Wikimedia project. Please link your en.wikip contributions page so others can check if you qualify to run.
  2. Please provide a link to a page with answers to questions asked for this election. This also alows users to see what questions weren't answered. -- Jeandré, 2006-08-02t18:43z
  3. Please use and link to a user name under User name:.
  4. Please sign your talk edits with ~~~~. -- Jeandré, 2006-08-02t18:58z
Jeff Merkey's edit count can be found here. Looks like he just makes it, at 444 edits. His userpage is en:User:Gadugi. I won't change his statement, but the information is here for interested parties. - FrancisTyers 19:28, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Francis, I'll update the main page to reflect this link. Jmerkey 19:51, 2 August 2006 (UTC)