About Jeremy

I drive to college with Jeremy Wales three days a week. You might remember him from such driving to college adventures as “crossing a raging torrent“… So, after posting about wikipedia editing just then I was inspired to create a Wikipedia entry for him. Apparently it has been done before but he was considered “not noteworthy.” I’m hoping that will have changed.

Here’s what I’ve said:

Jeremy Nicholas Wales (born July 24, 1978) is an intellectual polymath from Brisbane, Australia. After completing his studies in Information Technology at the University of Queensland, Jeremy enjoyed a short but distinguished career with one of Queensland’s leading financial institutions[1].

He changed career path in 2009, enrolling in theological education at the Queensland Theological College at Emmanuel College, located at the University of Queensland, in St. Lucia, Brisbane.

Jeremy is famous for having read every theological book and idea in existence. He has become a notable figure on the Brisbane evangelical preaching scene – sharing the pulpit at Mitchelton Presbyterian Church on more than one occasion[2][3]. The audio of his sermons reveal him to be a bold and daring speaker destined for great things. Some have called him the Australian Stephen Fry others have compared his exploits to those of fictional wizard Harry Potter.

He is also a bold and experienced on-road rally car driver – videos of his exploits behind the wheel in the streets of Brisbane have become a phenomenon on YouTube[4].

Feel free to contribute. I made his birthday up.


Matt Cardier says:

That’s funny, I used to call Jeremy Harry Potter all the time, and it used to annoy the hell out of him. That was before the movies came out and we had a definite image to go with the character… but there really was a good resemblance…

John Dekker says:

Please read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_is_not_for_things_made_up_one_day.

I like this blog, and appreciate your sense of humour, but with that sort of article, you are really just creating more work for someone else. Anyway, it’s been tagged for deletion. Let’s hope Mr Wales becomes truly notable before too long.

Nathan Campbell says:


I’m curious as to why you think this article creates more work for somebody else. That’s only the case if people were to assume that Jeremy is not, in and of himself, worthy of an entry on Wikipedia. It only creates work for people who want to be the people who decide what can and can’t be featured on wikipedia. It’s not as though there are paid staff hunting down egregious uses of wikipedia.

John Dekker says:

It’s the Wikipedia community, not individuals, who decides what wor­thy of an entry on Wikipedia. And it’s clearly explained here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability_%28people%29

I’m amazed at your comment about paid staff – as if it were fine to waste volunteers’ time…

What you did was vandalism, Nathan.

Nathan Campbell says:

I guess you’re St. Anselm then…

“I’m amazed at your com­ment about paid staff — as if it were fine to waste vol­un­teers’ time…”

I suggest I probably spent more time writing the article that got deleted than you spent deleting it.

John Dekker says:

Not wishing to flog a dead horse, but writing an article like this is also bearing false witness. Just because it’s the internet, just because it’s Wikipedia, it doesn’t mean you can just make stuff up. Christians need to have a rigourously high standard of truth.

Nathan Campbell says:


I challenge you to find anything in that article that wasn’t true, obviously joking, or true because it was written (ie by writing that Jeremy has been compared to Stephen Fry and Harry Potter I am comparing Jeremy to Stephen Fry and Harry Potter).

I stand by my insertions into the article on the Australian Presbyterian Church (where I called Jeremy a significant Presbyterian – significance is purely relative and subjective) and into the article on Bruce W. Winter – where I pointed out that Jeremy is a student of Bruce Winter (though I admit the “head boy” bit is taking poetic license and calling him the “college champion” without context is a little bit misleading).

I would suggest that had you not been a reader of this blog the articles in question, and the insertions thereof, would probably have never come to your attention, and therefore would never have “wasted your time.”

I think we should probably keep accusations of things like “vandalism” in the realm of the concrete – what I did, in creating an entry for a real person (albeit one whose significance is relative), did not deface an existing object. It did not result in loss of resources or cause any significant cost in rectifying the problem. In fact, the only cost came because you made a decision about the value of my insertions.

I also, in my defense, supplied a couple of improvements to the Bruce Winter page and the Presbyterian Church page which have remained despite your somewhat zealous protection of their honour.

I don’t think the charge of “vandalism” is borne out by the evidence. But then, I haven’t really contributed to the wikipedia community before, so I’m unaware of the cultural mores of that particular virtual milieu. Maybe creating an article for somebody others don’t consider important is vandalism. Maybe it’s just a slightly funny joke that happened to encroach on one of your particular areas of interest. I can assure you that the offense this has caused was not intended, nor was it shared by the person in question (Jeremy) who was more offended to be found wanting by the wikipedia community.

John Dekker says:

>I chal­lenge you to find any­thing in that arti­cle that wasn’t true

How about his salary of $94,000.

>sig­nif­i­cance is purely rel­a­tive and sub­jec­tive

I’m disappointed you gave such a loose view of language.

>I would sug­gest that had you not been a reader of this blog the arti­cles in ques­tion, and the inser­tions thereof, would prob­a­bly have never come to your atten­tion

Not at all. I read it on Wikipedia before I saw your blog post.

>I think we should prob­a­bly keep accu­sa­tions of things like “van­dal­ism” in the realm of the con­crete

Wikipedia defines it as “any addition, removal, or change of content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia”. I think that’s fair in this case. The joking, for example, was deliberately undermining Wikipedia’s goal of being a serious encyclopedia.

>who was more offended to be found want­ing by the wikipedia community

I hope he recovers.

Nathan Campbell says:

How about his salary of $94,000.

I concede, I forgot about that one – and everything in the factbox – when I wrote that challenge I was only thinking about the content of this post…

I’m dis­ap­pointed you gave such a loose view of language.

I have a very high view of language – let me explain. To me, and those in my orbit, Jeremy is a very significant figure. To his family he is even more significant and notable. To you, and others on wikipedia his significance is actually largely undetermined as many of you don’t know him, or know of him. So his significance, or notability, is purely relative and subjective. And thus, the significance of any article on wikipedia is also relative and subjective. With more popular articles and topics the significance approaches pure objectivity. But if a tree falls in the woods, and nobody on wikipedia cares, the tree still falls and its demise is significant for the great white owl who lives in its trunk. Clearly it’s much more relevant if the tree crushes a US president standing on a grassy knoll.

Not at all. I read it on Wikipedia before I saw your blog post.

Again, I am mistaken. And I apologise.

Wikipedia defines it as any addi­tion, removal, or change of con­tent made in a delib­er­ate attempt to com­pro­mise the integrity of Wikipedia

Wikpedia actually defines it as: “Vandalism is the behaviour attributed originally to the Vandals, by the Romans, in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable. Such action includes defacement, graffiti and criminal damage.”

The Collins English Dictionary (the OED’s online dictionary is down) defines it as: “the wanton or deliberate destruction caused by a vandal or an instance of such destruction vandalistic , vandalish adj”

Perhaps, more relevantly, the Meriam Webster Dictionary of Law defines it as: “the willful or malicious destruction or defacement of property”

And this again, is why wikipedia will always fail at being a serious encyclopedia. It reinvents terminology to suit itself on the basis of community consensus. The actual experts define things quite differently to the definition you’ve quoted.

Wikpedia’s goal isn’t to be a serious encyclopedia. Wikipedia’s goal (or commitment) is, and I quote from the site: “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment. “

I would suggest that the world is entitled to know about Jeremy Wales – and the correct action in the light of minor factual inaccuracies was not to circumcise that right but to correct the errors. I was happy for the wikipedia community to enhance and improve the accuracy of my article (which you’ll note was duly backed up and corroborated by third party sources).

AndrewFinden says:

So his sig­nif­i­cance, or nota­bil­ity, is purely rel­a­tive and sub­jec­tive.

Don’t they have some guideline about needing three media references? Wouldn’t that make it less subjective?
Aa guy I know, who was at the time still a music student made a wiki entry for himself and managed to fulfil the media criteria.

John Dekker says:

I was, of course, quoting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Vandalism

I still don’t understand why you want to use Wikipedia to tell the world about Jeremy. Isn’t your own blog sufficient? Because the Wikipedia guidelines are very clear about what constitutes “notability” in the Wikipedia context.

Damien Carson says:

the cor­rect action in the light of minor fac­tual inac­cu­ra­cies was not to cir­cum­cise that right…

I believe that the circumcision of helpless rights is a cruel and barbaric practice.

Nathan Campbell says:


I agree. It’s censorship.

People have the inalienable right to freely and fully know the facts about Jeremy Nicholas Wales.