Apparently I violated WordPress’ Terms of Service

See title.

I’m still not sure exactly why WordPress suspended The Daily Pochemuchka.

I’m told I violated one of their Terms of Service, but after multiple careful rereads I still don’t know what happened. Something about auto-generated content – seriously? “Directing traffic to third-party sites” – just no. Sure I cite some blogs more often than others, but that’s just because

  • I find them consistently interesting
  • I cite my references.

I’m all for academic honesty: keeps me on my toes against “the purveyance of nonsense most deleterious” etc etc, since “confabulation’s tendrils are ever ravaging the purity of memory” (see what I mean?).

Also the very act of Googling for references to substantiate a half-remembered, guess-the-teacher’s-password-type “memory” (often just a single word or term I can parrot back to some domain expert to make them go Whoa, you knew that?, because that was the way I was trained for the entirety of my formal pre-college education, can you believe it? It’s hard to unlearn this stupid tendency) often leads me to unexpected new troves of insight where I thought I’d exhausted all available low-hanging fruit (in the inferential-distance sense, since I’m a layperson) and the returns were thought diminishing rapidly.

One more thing.

Most of the time, I come across stuff I know is exciting even though the majority of it goes way over my head (even after the authors have tried dumbing the material down for a wider audience). I get enough of it to realize it’s tremendously fascinating and possibly even insanely important (think e.g. statistical literacy – everybody should be statistically literate dammit, our intuitions about even simple statistics are horrifyingly flawed; consider conditional probability in the context of diagnosing medical conditions for potentially life-threatening treatments, and the repercussions are severe).

And so it immediately occurs to me that other people, lots of who’d probably understand more of what I read than I could myself, should see it too.

Hence the endless hyperlinked references.

I’m committed to raising the sanity waterline, see. So I’ll continue to do what I’ve been doing, and we’ll see how it goes from here.

To be honest, this is just an “educated guess” (read: I have no idea if it’s even partway right) as to why I was suspended. In any case, I’ll start saving backups elsewhere; I’ll probably switch to the (clumsy) scientific-publication-style citations-at-the-bottom no-hyperlinks standard I find so annoying.

On we go.

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