Dr. Raymond Ward Arritt

Dr. Raymond Ward Arritt, (September 19, 1957 – November 14, 2018) of Ames, passed away unexpectedly of a stroke on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.

Raymond was born September 19, 1957, to Muriel Louise Smith and Raymond Ward Arritt, Sr. in Covington, Virginia. He grew up in Lynchburg and Richmond, Virginia, and attended the University of Virginia, where received his B.A. in Economics and Environmental Science in 1979 and his M.S. in Environmental Science in 1982. he earned his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins in 1985 and then took his first professorship at the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1988. He moved to Ames, Iowa in 1993 and Ray worked at Iowa State University until his death.

It was during the final semester of his undergraduate degree that Raymond met his beloved wife Teresita Navarrete in 1979. They married within a year of their first date, on March 29, 1980, and went on to have two children.

On Wikipedia he was a long time established editor, joining the project in May 2006. He was appointed to administrator a year later in July 2007 with a unanimous 88 votes in support and none in dissent. This is somewhat of a rarity and an indication of how well liked he was on the project. He made many valuable contributions to the project as an editor and as an administrator.

Later in 2009 he stepped down from his role as an administrator and began editing as Shock Brigade Harvester Boris, this username is a reference to the Soviet udarnik, his continued contributions and good humor even in the most difficult issues were widely respected.

Raymond was a consummate scientist, and made over 28,000 edits to Wikipedia, chiefly on the topic of climate science. He was a recipient of the WikiProject Quality Article Improvement precious award in 2012. Among his work was making Global warming one of Wikipedias few featured articles.

He will be fondly remembered for his good works and sense of humor.


One comment

  1. Please don’t present the “precious award” as anything noteworthy. It is issued by Gerda Arendt, who has a lose grip on reality at the best of times. A perusal of its other recipients reveals some of the worst people of Wikipedia – socks, psychopaths and trolls. She issues it merely as a way to keep people reminded of her assorted campaigns, as for some reason simply making proposals is beyond her. Her award to SBHB was no exception, and he of course indulged her.

    As for SBHB, Wikipedia editors are a necessary exception to the social norm of not speaking ill of the dead. Their perverse ritual of preserving their Wikipedia pages as a memorial, which is eerily similar to how parents leave their dead children’s bedrooms exactly as they were left, sadly illustrates who Raymond was and what he did on Wikipedia.

    Way back in 2012, he was laughing it up about the Daily Mail, spreading a link which is a not so subtle attempt by the Guerilla Skeptics et al, to manipulate weaker minds into seeing it as something it is not. Pure propaganda. It is this environment on Wikipedia that enables what happened later. Thanks to people like SBHB, there are Wikipedians who genuinely believe the Mail is worse than the National Enquirer.

    “Guilty until proven innocent” was his opening line in that final act. He generously ended with “there may be specific circumstances where it would be appropriate to cite the Mail. The burden of proof will lie on editors wishing to use material cited to the Mail.” I am not aware of any argument or circumstance which has ever been successful in this regard on Wikipedia, and SBHB will have known that before he wrote this.

    He’s dead now, so we can never know for sure if that was his genuine wish or a sick poke in the eye to his enemies, but he was not so different from other Wikipedians who shared his views and tactics, that we can’t surmise he would have deemed himself above even acknowledging this criticism of his beliefs.

    In my experience, humour is used by many a Wikipedian to deflect attention away from what they are actually doing, and to minimise its seriousness among themselves. A Wikipedia editor who everybody loved and thought was hilarious, that’s generally not a good sign. Wikipedia editors generally hate people who are honest and have integrity, who are willing to defend the rights of people they disagree with.

    Apologies to anyone who is not involved in Wikipedia who were offended by these words, but they need to be said, and I hope you can understand that it isn’t what I want to be writing about a recently deceased person. The continued stain that Wikipedia represents on knowledge and to society, sadly makes it necessary. Shock value is all we have left, they are ironically deaf to reason.

    SBHB was not building an encyclopedia, none of them are. He was using and abusing a platform given to him by people who either didn’t know or didn’t care how it would or could be abused, and have absolutely no desire to put the genie back in the bottle.

    That the Wikipedians so frequently even dare to pretend to be superior to actual journalists who work in a highly regulated field with serious consequences for wrongdoing, is and always has been, disgusting. Bear that in mind before you read anything said about this post by the devotees of that project.

    Have sympathy for his relatives, but don’t pretend the world isn’t better off now his Wikipedia editing activities have ended. Nobody will ever be able to review his over 15,500 edits, not will they allow them to be corrected, and that was rather the point of it all.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.