Talk:Albert Einstein

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Former featured article Albert Einstein is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Good article Albert Einstein has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on February 12, 2005.

RfC: date format in this article[edit]

No consensus. Valid points made by both sides. WP:STRONGNAT was cited by most of the MDY proponents, but their interpretation of the guideline was questioned by DMY proponents given the length of Einstein's American and non-American citizenship/residence. This specific issue also affects the validity of WP:DATERET as a reason for choosing between the two. As for what the subject himself preferred, the issue of letters was repeatedly brought up. Some editors claimed the letters to FDR showed a preference for MDY, but as one contributor pointed out, these letters were dictated, so the style of the date may not necessarily have been of Einstein's design. Evidence was also produced of other letters from Einstein in English with the DYM format, so these prove little either way. Number 57 11:45, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Should this article use DMY dates (such as 14 March 1879) or MDY dates (such as March 14, 1879)? --Stfg (talk) 22:04, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Background: the first version of the article, dated November 2001, used MDY dates. It was changed to DMY dates in this edit, dated August 2008. Recently, an editor has sought to change it back to MDY dates, but this has been reverted as lacking consensus. Please also see discussion earlier on this talk page. Some policies/guidelines that may be relevant are WP:STRONGNAT, WP:RETAIN and WP:DATERET. --Stfg (talk) 22:04, 1 June 2014 (UTC) Refactored to include creation and edit dates. --Stfg (talk) 17:40, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

This issue has also been raised at Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard/Archive 94#Talk:Albert Einstein and closed as unresolved. --Stfg (talk) 22:07, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Please use the two "Support" sections for single-user explanations, avoiding rebuttals and discussion. The "Threaded discussion" section is available for general discussion, and please feel free to add new subsections on specific topics if you wish.

Support DMY dates (e.g. 14 March 1879)[edit]

  • Support more likely as pointed out in my comment below in the "support" section (forth from top).TMCk (talk) 23:31, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support keep - Einstein held a "MDY-nationality" during a mere 15 years, but DMY-nationalities during 60 years. The five papers written in 1905, the theories of relativity, and the reason for his Nobel Prize, together constitute the essence—and the bulk—of Einstein's notability, and none of that happened under citizenship in MDY-space. The wp:STRONGNAT guideline is therefore not applicable, and even if it were, the "strong tie[s] to a particular English-speaking country" is insufficiently strong to warrant a change from the long standing DMY date format to a new one. - DVdm (talk) 07:08, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    As you boldly stated above, Enstein spent 22 years in the United States as opposed to 52 years in non English speaking countries. You bold statement is incorrect. JOJ Hutton 14:08, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Quibble corrected. - DVdm (talk) 14:34, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Who is "Enstein"? :) Just trying to loosen up the RFC ;) TMCk (talk) 22:52, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
And he hold Swiss citizenship for about 54 years. Wouldn't that make real strong national ties, "stronger" than to the US if citizenship alone is considered like it was argued by some????TMCk (talk) 23:03, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Just pointing out flaws in presented reasoning.TMCk (talk) 23:05, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Enstein was Doc Brown's dog. And I'm not gonna fix the spelling. But it was a typo. Thats what happens when I edit on my iPhone 75% of the time.
Well yes he had Swiss citizenship, but if the strong ties non English speaking countries was suppose to be part of the equation, then STRONGNAT would simply say Strong National ties to a particular country, not Strong national ties to a particular English speaking country. The MOS already says that its the strong ties to an English speaking country that matter most, not the strong ties to a non English speaking country. --JOJ Hutton 23:32, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Of course it was just a spell error. Happens to me all the time but "Doc Brown's dog" is a good one... I see you're loosen up a bit ;)
My point with his long-term Swiss citizenship is not about English vs. other language speaking countries but about "strong national ties" he might have had (in your opinion) in regards with the United States or not so much (in my opinion) compared to other countries or if he in his own mind even had any strong feeling in regards to any nation/nationality. Since he openly favoured a global government I doubt any strong ties to a specific country, be it an English speaking one or other.TMCk (talk) 00:08, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support keep as per the above, WP:DATERET and the following: DMY was Einstein's preferred choice of format, and he spent the majority of his life in countries in which the DMY format held most weight. It's too arrogant to ignore the practice of all non-English speaking countries, just to ignore WP:DATERET and try and force a change based on what would have been an alien format to the man himself. - SchroCat (talk) 11:17, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    Just to give you a "heads up", but Einstein regularly used MDY dates when writing in English. His now famous 1939 letters to FDR confirm that MDY was not an alien date format as you say above.JOJ Hutton 14:05, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    RE: It's too arrogant to ignore the practice of all non-English speaking countries: Feel free to start a discussion at MOSNUM, proposing that we should stop pegging English-Wikipedia style to the way things are done in English-speaking countries. And good luck with that. --MelanieN (talk) 23:50, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    You two can stop WP:BLUDGEONing everyone who disagrees with you: this isn't the section for discussion, so comment in the right place, rather than berate people with (shock horror) a different opinion to yours. - SchroCat (talk) 09:37, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support keep - Article was stable at DMY for over 5 years so WP:RETAIN should apply unless there is a significant reason to change. Given Einstein's origin and international history, including multiple different citizenships using WP:STRONGNAT to justify a change is a weak argument. There is no encyclopedic improvement whatsoever to be gained by changing to MDY and narrow-minded nationalism should never be an acceptable reason to switch.--Wolbo (talk) 14:29, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    I actually think that you mean WP:DATERET, not WP:RETAIN. RETAIN is for spelling differences. DATERET is for dates. DATERET says: If an article has evolved using predominantly one format, the whole article should conform to it, unless there are reasons for changing it based on strong national ties to the topic or consensus on article talk. That is what we have here. We have a reason to change based on a strong national tie, which according to WP:STRONGNAT, says Strong National tie to a specific English speaking country.
    WP:DATERET also says that The date format chosen by the first major contributor in the early stages of an article should continue to be used, unless there is reason to change it based on strong national ties to the topic or consensus on article talk. Since the first dates were MDY then DATERET supports MDY. Its obvious that you prefer DMY, but DATERET is no reason to continue to continue to use the incorrect Date format, regardless of how long the date format has been incorrectly used in the article.--JOJ Hutton 17:51, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    RE Article was stable at DMY for over 5 years: And before that it was stable at MDY for more than six years - nearly seven. DATERET cuts both ways. --MelanieN (talk) 23:44, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
We need to keep in mind that our policies were in big part non-existent at the time the article was started and when the date change was made in 2008, the now established "strong-nat-policy" was under scrutiny. So things weren't as clear then as they may seem now and we need to acknowledge that fact. There was a similar instance at tank even so it was about ENGWAR in general, not only dates.TMCk (talk) 00:21, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
It shows that he, just like any other immigrant to the States adhered to common formats in letters depending who he would write to. I do the same [at least I try hard] when writing to friends etc. overseas... I.E. I use "Mail" instead of e-mail"... TMCk (talk) 22:16, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support keep DMY – Germany and Switzerland are English-speaking countries (and this qualifier should be removed from the MOS, as most countries would qualify to some extent, and it shouldn't matter anyway for the purpose of dates unless a different character set is used, in which case the style used for latin character dates in that country should be used). —[AlanM1(talk)]— 03:31, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support keeping DMY Per my arguments in past discussions and per AlanM1's points. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 12:06, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support retain DMY Einstein had an international history with the majority of his years being associated with DMY. The STRONGNAT claims are personal opinions that one nation can claim Einstein as their own, but there is no justification other than a preference. Accordingly, the existing style should be retained as it has been accepted on this highly watched article for years. Johnuniq (talk) 01:48, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support keeping DMY because I find these nationalistic "dis-cussion" futile and superflous. Period. -- ZH8000 (talk) 02:25, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
    It's not a nationalistic discussion, but a discussion about the guidelines. There are supporters on both sides from all countries. JOJ Hutton 02:34, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
    Discussions about guidelines belong on guideline talk pages. - DVdm (talk) 06:21, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Support MDY dates (e.g. March 14, 1879)[edit]

  • Support since there is no real country ties we should use the format that is the most reader friendly. (MM/DD/YYYY) is simply more comfortable for people to read. No need for ISO standards if we a writing out the months. This is despite my ties to Canada (Date and time notation in Canada)-- Moxy (talk) 22:53, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
    • Mdy is more user reader-friendly than ymd but whether's it's more reader-friendly than dmy is another question (the question at hand). I find dmy more reader-friendly (i.e. when I'm the reader). Jimp 09:56, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - WP:STRONGNAT refers to English-speaking countries only. Einstein, by his own choice, developed strong ties to the US, living his last 22 years there, participating in its academic life, serving as a consultant to the U.S. Navy, co-signing the letter that influenced President F.D.Roosevelt to have the US research atomic weapons, engaging in civil rights activism, and applying for and receiving US citizenship. Einstein had no strong ties to any other English-speaking country; imho the concept of "DMY-space" in reference to German-speaking countries has no relevance to WP:STRONGNAT. On this basis, given that an editor is willing to restore the article's original use of MDY dates, I think that is the correct thing for this article. --Stfg (talk) 22:32, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Per MOS talk, it's clear that his ties to a non-English country like Germany are irrelevant to how his date is given in the English WP. And no one is suggesting he had strong, or any, "national ties" to any other English country besides the U.S. (8 weeks in the U.K. vs. 22 years, plus citizenship, in America.) Therefore, the key rationale for using D-M-Y, a British format, seems to rely on single fact, He did his significant work in German, which is not relevant for the English WP.
In addition, Einstein's contemporaries, also European immigrants who became U.S. citizens, are mentioned in the article and they all use the American format. Among those are John von Neumann, Kurt Gödel, Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller, Eugene Wigner, and even Einstein's 1st wife, Mileva Marić. Per OSE, the overarching concept remains, that of precedent and consistency throughout the Wikipedia project. And FWIW, there is/was, by my count, already a consensus on this talk page and on the closed DRN to change for format back to M-D-Y. --Light show (talk) 23:07, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Addendum: Per comments below that he used the MDY format when writing in English after moving to the U.S. in 1933, here are a few images: 1939, 1945, 1948, 1951. --Light show (talk) 17:32, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for those. I think it is HIGHLY relevant to see that he himself used the "Month Day, Year" format when writing in English. This is his article, we should do it his way. --MelanieN (talk) 18:16, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
So you think it's 'HIGHLY' relevant that a person who lives in a country uses the date format of that country when writing a letter to someone else in that country? Honestly, that's your argument?.....Einstein's turning in his grave. So what about this letter from Einstein in English? --Wolbo (talk) 19:31, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Is Turkey an English speaking country? I don't think so. So how is it relevant to the English Wikipedia?JOJ Hutton 19:39, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Einstein's first and famous letter was dictated by him in German and translated by someone else. Not that it matters [one usually tries to adhere to formats used in the country one is writing to] but makes the example mute. All original English written letters (and there were not many) I found that if not addressed to an official US body made use of the common date format in Europe. Furthermore, most of his correspondence seem to have been written in his maiden language (German) anyways, even while living in the US before and after becoming a citizen here.TMCk (talk) 22:33, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: As pointed out at the discussion above [just hit Ctrl + F and "dual citizenship], here a simplified version: Article could go both ways as there is in my opinion no real strong national tie despite his US citizenship he hold for a short time compared to his life and his notability doesn't come from that time either. He was a well known and respected person way before becoming a US citizen. His "national ties" are way more complicated than holding a specific citizenship at his last years before dead. It might even not have been much of a choice for him at the time since being of Jewish descent. Also a sign/hint/reason(?) that his national ties to the US weren't as strong as some perceive it (and would render wp:STRONGNAT mute) is his Swiss citizenship he held for far longer (the majority of his life) and to the day he died [yeah, some editor in the discussion thought dual citizenship is a mute point b/c according to them Einstein didn't hold any other [citizenship] than an American one... well, they were clearly wrong and should've read our article before making such statement].
    I said "could go both ways" but I'd retain it the way it has been for quite some years. wp:RETAIN comes into mind.TMCk (talk) 23:21, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
You're correct. When I wrote above, Einstein wasn't a "dual citizen," having "renounced" his other citizenship, I was referring to Germany. My mistake. --Light show (talk) 22:13, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Appreciate your honest comment/response.TMCk (talk) 22:37, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support I agree with the reasoning that Einstein's life in Germany should not influence the decision, and that he had closer ties to the US than any other English-speaking country. I am not convinced that the change from M-D-Y to D-M-Y was a valid edit, in view of this arbitration case. Jc3s5h (talk) 00:53, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support WP:STRONGNAT specifically says "A Strong National Tie to a Specific English speaking country". Since his only Strong National Tie to an English speaking country was to the United States, the more common United States MDY date format should be used. It does infer that the Strong National Tie must be stronger than a Non English speaking country national tie, nor does it infer that a Strong National Tie to an English speaking country may not be strong enough, as some have incorrectly alleged in the previous discussion. As far as National ties are concerned on Wikipedia, English speaking countries must be favored over non English speaking countries. And since Consensus is based on the quality of the arguments as viewed through Wikipedia policy, its clear that only STRONGNAT can apply and there are no guidelines that trump STRONGNAT as far as dates are concerned.--JOJ Hutton 01:33, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support: This format is a less formal, more commonly used format. That alone makes it more desirable for an encyclopedia article, as it makes it more accessible. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 02:36, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    • I don't agree that mdy is either less formal or more common than dmy. It's just a matter of preference. Jimp 09:56, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    • What is the support for your assertion that mdy is "less formal, more commonly used"?--Wolbo (talk) 14:32, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Date format#Gregorian, month-day-year and Date format#Expressing dates in spoken English with the addendum that spoken English is far more common (and fundamental) than written English. WP is supposed to be easily accessible, and if the written form expresses the spoken form, that makes it more accessible. I will leave the giant wall of example links (both wikilinks and external links) to your imagination, unless you really find it necessary. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 15:30, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support ... He had some national tie to the US, was it "strong" enough? I don't know, maybe. The fact that he was German & Germans tend to use dmy when writing German doesn't count. I think the article could go either way unless we could show which he preferred when writing in English. If the article started with mdy, let it go back to that. Jimp 09:56, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    Einstein's now famous letters written to Roosevelt in 1939 are written in English and use the more common MDY date format. Hopefully that answers the question of which date format he preferred in English.--JOJ Hutton 10:36, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    Whether it's more common or not depends on which kind of English you're talking about but if he used mdy in English, so should we. Jimp 11:06, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
    Let me clarify, when I say common, I mean more common in the English speakingbcountry which he had strong ties to. Not more common around the world. JOJ Hutton 11:11, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support since this is the format recommended by MOS, namely, the format used by the English-speaking country to which he has strong national ties. I find it hard to believe that anyone could think that living for 22 years in a particular country, including 15 years as a citizen of that country, does not establish a "strong national tie" with that country. IMO some people's novel interpretation of "strong national tie" does not trump the clear language of the MOS. Also, JoJ makes an excellent point, above, that Einstein himself used this format when writing letters in English. --MelanieN (talk) 15:44, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - The only argument for a DMY which seems to have any policy based merit is User:DVdm's. DVdm noted that Einstein spent the majority of his life in DMY countries and the article ought to reflect this. That reasoning is directly addressed in WP:STRONGNAT though, which specifically points to "english speaking" countries as the only countries that should be considered. The english speaking country with which Einstein has the strongest association is clearly a MDY country. NickCT (talk) 19:23, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
The point about strong national ties is not about having "the strongest" ones but "strong ties in general". There is a difference that should not be overlooked.TMCk (talk) 22:06, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I can't agree more. Its is about having strong ties in general but to a particular "English speaking country". Non English speaking countries are not part of STRONGNAT.--JOJ Hutton 00:01, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
You're getting closer but not close enough yet. "Strong" national ties are more than mere citizenship or less strong ties to a non English speaking country [which actually there aren't much since even not an officially language, European countries do teach in school British English (adding some American English recently) and if abroad, you'll find yourself getting responses not in American but British English]. They're ties to a nation or in Einstein's case I would argue a lack of it but if one must choose yet closer to European style English language and even more European date format. In my mind besides other points, the so-much-longer hold Swiss citizenship rules out a "strong" tie to our (US) date format.TMCk (talk) 00:57, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:STRONGNAT. From Princeton to Pasadena, Einstein had strong national ties to the U.S. SueDonem (talk) 17:28, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:STRONGNAT and his work and life were here in America and he spent the rest of his life here and he died as an American citizen.SW3 5DL (talk) 00:45, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

In RfCs structured like this, it's normal to place comments only in the section for the option you support. Some editors have placed comments in both sections, in one case merely making the same comment in both sections. This doesn't gain extra weight; it just makes it harder for the closer. Please would editors who have made comments in both sections merge them into one comment in the section for the option they support. Regards, --Stfg (talk) 08:39, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Ok, Yes check.svg Done. - DVdm (talk) 08:53, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Appreciated. --Stfg (talk) 09:15, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I have(well, I thought I had, but MelanieN beat me to it :-)) restored the original section headers, which simply ask which date format to be used. To specify that one format would be retained while the other would be a change would prejudice the discussion. Some may consider that the current version, created in 2008, is the one to be "retained"; others may say that it is the one used through the majority of the life of the article. Besides, other guidelines bear on the discussion. Please do not change those section headers without first obtaining consensus to do so here, in this subsection. --Stfg (talk) 16:43, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Nyah, nyah! 0;-D I concur that the section headings should not say "retain" or "change" - especially in this case where "retain" can cut either way. --MelanieN (talk) 17:00, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I was actually thinking about changing the section heading to "Support Changing Back to Original MDY format", since the other user seemed to want to be thorough.--JOJ Hutton 17:39, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I'd be unhappy with that. Everyone can make their own statements about which guidelines they consider to apply to which aspects of the history. We shouldn't be using the section titles to lead people. --Stfg (talk) 18:09, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
It would keep the two Support sections cleaner, IMO, if rebuttals and comments by others are placed somewhere else. Otherwise, those sections will grow into hard-to-follow digressions and arguments. --Light show (talk) 20:15, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree with that in theory, but some of the things I see written is just simply incorrect. One person is even quoting the wrong MOS. I mean how do you argue the meaning of the guidelines with someone when they even know the difference between them?JOJ Hutton 20:59, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Good question. One option is to wait until consensus is eventually tallied, and if too close to call, then open discussions about the quality of any "Supports." Per consensus-building, In determining consensus, consider the quality of the arguments, the history of how they came about, the objections of those who disagree, and existing policies and guidelines. --Light show (talk) 21:25, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure what "until consensus is eventually tallied" means -- isn't that when the RfC is closed? Many of the exchanges arising from comments and rebuttals fizzle out pretty quickly, and then they don't cause any real difficulty. If and when they start to get complicated, a new thread or even a new subsection here is always an option. --Stfg (talk) 21:53, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, I sympathize with SchroCat's mention of WP:BLUDGEON this morning, though it applies to more than two editors. The purpose of the two support sections is to enable editors to make their statements, without these becoming the excuse for extended bickering. To keep popping up to explain why you think each person's post is mistaken is some way or other is rude and disruptive. If you feel that some view is incorrect and that this needs discussing, it's better to start a thread or subsection here and present the issue itself, without squabbling with editors who hold different views.
If any editor felt that their support comment had been made the target of too much of that, what would people think of that editor moving the offending comments here and providing a <small>...</small> comment indicating that they had done so? I would have no objection to that, personally. (I mean only comments on their own !votes, not general refactoring of the page.) --Stfg (talk) 12:24, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I'd leave the comments in place, but would add a note up top to please use the "Support" sections for single-user explanations and avoid rebuttals. I think new topics not already covered should be brought up in new sections. People who take the time to "Support" something shouldn't be afraid to do so. --Light show (talk) 16:21, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks. I've put something at the bottom of "up top", and deliberately not signed it, so anyone can feel free to copy edit it. --Stfg (talk) 17:18, 3 June 2014 (UTC)


Notifications[edit]

English Speaking Countries[edit]

For the purpose of the English Wikipedia, Germany and Switzerland Are Not English speaking countries. The fact that some people can speak English in these countries is a very poor excuse for of an argument.--JOJ Hutton 03:14, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

From the "Switzerland is yours" website: Quote: "The English language is very widespread in Switzerland. After their mother tongue, the Swiss speak English best, since it is used as a link and the language of communication in this multilingual country ..." also: "Traditionally, Switzerland is home to a large anglophone community. The English language is very widespread and is used as a link between Switzerland's various linguistic communities. Switzerland is extremely open culturally and economically, and thus has all the services an anglophone could possibly want. So much so that some English speakers who have lived in Switzerland for years have not felt the need to learn one of the national languages, since they are able to deal with any situation in English." In addition, English is taught as a language in the scholls of certain cantons. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 04:33, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Also from a Ph.D. thesis, quote: "The study might show that we have our own special swissicized variety of english, at which point you can wonder if it isn't also a type of national language, which combines structures, expressions and mindsets of all the other national languages, une sorte de mélange." Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 04:44, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Swiss style magazine, article: "English as a reference language in Switzerland": "The Swiss economy is one of the most competitive in the world and attracts an important number of multinational corporation headquarters who tend to employ a significant number of locals. A large majority of them have adopted the English language as their lingua franca, especially in the Suisse Romande." Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 04:44, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Also:
Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 05:31, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • The Guardian: English tests Swiss identity: "Switzerland has four constitutionally recognised national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh, but educationalists and politicians now acknowledge that English has become the lingua franca of choice between these groups. These days, when young Swiss people from different language areas of Switzerland encounter each other they prefer to communicate in English. Not only are they likely to speak English better than another national language, but it also neutral, allowing them to avoid the thorny issue of whose language to use." Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 10:54, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Is this really the way you wish to take the argument for DMY? Looks like you have "jumped the shark and are out of ideas. JOJ Hutton 11:28, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • The idea was not mine. It was AlanM1's. And I simply replied to your comments in this section which you started. Specifically your comment: The fact that some people can speak English in these countries is a very poor excuse for of an argument., which tries to dismiss the use of English in Switzerland as merely ...that some people can speak English. I think my reliable sources show that your argument has no merit. If anyone is doing any shark jumping, it isn't me. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 11:59, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • This is the most absurd argument I have heard in a long time. If you are finished digging up obscure sources to support your contention that "Switzerland is an English speaking country," allow me to quote from our own article Switzerland: "In 2011, the languages most spoken at home among permanent residents aged 15 and older were: Swiss German (4,027,917, or 61.1%); French (1,523,094, 23.1%); Standard German (637,439, 9.7%); Italian (545,274, 8.2%); Ticinese and Grisons (107,973, 1.6%); Romansh (37,490, 0.57%); and English (278,407, 4.2%). Speakers of other languages at home numbered 1,382,508, or 16.5% of the population." Certainly many people in Switzerland, and a lot of other European countries, can speak English. There are many educated Europeans who can speak multiple languages including English with near-native fluency. This does not mean that they should be setting the style guidelines for the English Wikipedia. That would be like claiming that U.S. usage should set the MOS standard at the Spanish Wikipedia, since 35 million Americans speak Spanish. --MelanieN (talk) 14:27, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • This is the most absurd argument I have heard in a long time.: Nothing new here. You tend to express strong disapproval for the opinions of editors you disagree with and you have previously been told about it. In any case, this is your own opinion, and you are entitled to it, but I don't have to agree. If you are finished digging up obscure sources to support your contention that "Switzerland is an English speaking country,..." The sources are anything but obscure, including the Guardian and scholarly publications by experts. They represent the latest research on English usage in Switzerland which establishes the usage of English internationally and intranationally. Your statistics about other language usage in Switzerland are irrelevant, since it has been established that English is actively being used internally as a lingua franca. Certainly many people in Switzerland, and a lot of other European countries, can speak English.: That misses the point. Just knowing the English language is different from actively using it to communicate as an internal lingua franca with others in their own country, as has been established by the reliable sources. As far as That would be like claiming that U.S. usage should set the MOS standard at the Spanish Wikipedia, since 35 million Americans speak Spanish.: The en.wiki MOS does not speak, indeed it cannot speak, about other Wikipedias. This argument is invalid. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 18:35, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
If you wish to change the entire scope of the English Wikipedia, you are welcomed to try. This article is not the battleground for such a change though. So until you bring about the radical change that you seem to be proposing, for the purposes of the English Wikipedia and STRONGNAT, Switzerland and Germany will not be considered English speaking countries. You bring a decent argument, but I doubt that you will be able to invoke the change that your opinion suggests. So you had your say, you made your point, and hopefully we won't have any more if this disruption again. JOJ Hutton 21:39, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
You bring so many clichés to attack me that I find it laughable. Your badgering obviously knows no limits. You invoke "battleground", "disruption" etc. just because I gave you a reply quoting reliable sources. This is AGF-defying and uncivil. I repeat again: You opened this thread because you were threatened enough by AlanM1's arguments about Germany and Switzerland being "English-speaking" countries that you felt you had to address them. I felt that your dismissal of AlanM1's arguments was too facile so I brought forward some counter-arguments. Given your record in this discussion, you are the last editor I would expect to agree with me. So it is not surprising that you don't. You baseless accusations in your replies need to stop nevertheless. If you want to throw mud to stifle the discussion you may yet succeed. But it isn't civil to throw mud at your opponents hoping to win arguments. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 22:26, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Again I applaud your effort to change the scope of Wikipedia. The place to make such proposals is at Wikipedia:Village pump, not here. It is already well established as to which countries are considered "English Speaking" countries on the English Wikipedia. Switzerland and Germany are not two of them. Your arguments are heard and are not considered to be consistent with how the English wikipedia community has interpreted the scope of "English Speaking Country" in the past. You are free and welcome to redefine that scope at the Village Pump, but this is not the place for such a radical proposal.--JOJ Hutton 23:47, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
My discussion here with you has ended. I repeat one final time: This idea was not mine. It was AlanM1's. Instead of opening this useless section you should have directly replied to him and offered him the idea of the Village pump, not to me. Also, I never proposed anything, so don't misrepresent my reply to you as a "proposal". You opening this section, soliciting comments, just to finally state that this idea was supposed to go to the village pump in the first place, was unconstructive. My only regret is that I took your section seriously enough to waste my time replying in it. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 00:09, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Look, I don't know you from Jack. Yes it was another user who said that Switzerland and Germany were English speaking countries. But it was proposed that we don't "rebutt" in the main sections, but create new sections when something new is brought up. That's what I did. But it was you who decided to defend the other users idea with several sources and conclusions. So as far as I'm concerned, you own it now. It's your proposal. It's not my concern that you feel misrepresented. My only concern is the integrity of the Wikipedia policies and guidelines. And in the end, those countries are still not considered English speaking countries. JOJ Hutton 01:50, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── My only concern is the integrity of the Wikipedia policies and guidelines. So is every other editor's who took part in this discussion. But the guidelines are vague in certain parts and that's why we have these lengthy discussions. We should not have them to advertise ourselves as the champions of our POV to gain standing over the opposing opinions. And it still appears from the lengthy discussions that you have failed to gather consensus for your proposal, regardless of the standing of these countries as English-speaking or not. And despite your continuing allegations, it is still not my "proposal" but my attempt at an "interpretation" of the guideline. I trust you can distinguish between the two. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 02:33, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

  1. Uh, wow. Would someone explain please, why whether a "country is English-speaking" (whatever that means) should have anything to do with the date format we use for articles related to that country?
  2. Isn't it our goal to use the format that would be familiar to the reader?
  3. If the assumption is that the reader of an article in enwiki about a predominantly German subject (not necessarily this one) is most likely to be an English-speaker from Germany, and we are trying to use a format familiar to them, isn't that format the one used by English-speakers in Germany? Isn't that also likely to be the same format used by speakers of other languages in Germany? I acknowledge that there could be a difference in countries where a different script might be used (e.g. Israel, Qatar).
  4. Is the assumption starting #3 even reasonable? I think it's probably not, and that we are unlikely to be able to predict what format will be familiar to the reader. In that case, shouldn't we fall back maybe to the format most used in the sources of the article (which I again contend will be that of English-speakers (at least) in that country)?
—[AlanM1(talk)]— 11:46, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Still need to know what it means by "English speaking country"? Here is the Wikipedia entry at List of countries where English is an official language. This list has been the accepted criteria for what is and is not an English speaking country on the English Wikipedia for over ten years now. You are not going to change that here simply because you don't agree with it or you don't know hat it means.
    And no, it is NOT assumed that more Germans will read an article about a predominately German subject. In fact here are the official readership stats for every Wikipedia project, including the English Wikipedia. [1]. Germany only accounts for 2% of the traffic on the English Wikipedia while Switzerland doesn't even crack the list, and The US accounts for nearly 40% of all traffic on the English Wikipedia. We go by what the guidelines say, and the guidelines say to use the date format of the English speaking country that the subject has strong ties to. It is so painfully obvious that it is the United States, that I can't believe anyone would even attempt to argue against it.--JOJ Hutton 02:19, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
    Changing the style of existing articles because of some bureaucratic consideration is guaranteed to cause disruption for no useful outcome. If there were a policy with a formula showing that MDY is required, the article would have been changed months or years ago. It is much better to live with "imperfections" than squabbling over unimportant stuff like this—stick to the long-standing style. Johnuniq (talk) 03:47, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
    On top of that, the subject has much stronger ties to non-English speaking countries—in all of which the current format DMY is in use—than to English speaking ones. Therefore the STRONGNAT guideline doesn't even apply to begin with. Good grief, what a colossal waste of time this is. - DVdm (talk) 06:42, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
If that's the list, then shouldn't we wikilink "English-speaking nation" to it since it's such an ambiguous term? The rest seems to be saying why the guideline applies, which is not what I asked. I'm questioning the reasoning of the guideline, which someone has suggested this is not really the correct place to do. I've asked the question a bit differently at here. —[AlanM1(talk)]— 08:37, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
...where it's been eight days without a response. —[AlanM1(talk)]— 02:54, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
There could be all sorts of reasons for that. It may, as you said there, just a case of people being tired of the subject. Or maybe people saw what it was like here and didn't want to get involved in more of the same. Or maybe the question was seen as rhetorical, given that the wording included phrases like "the correct result is obviously ..." and "... hampered by the seemingly-incorrect ...". Or it may even be that people see how difficult it is to cover all cases, given that your example raises a question that's nuanced by a US-citizen mother resident in the Belgian Congo. It's hard to write guidelines that cover all the what-ifs, and trying to do so is what leads to instruction creep. If you want to get it moving, perhaps a better way would be simply to propose a rewording of the guideline. I doubt whether any wording the community could come up with would save us from this kind of thing, though. --Stfg (talk) 08:55, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
@Stfg: Thanks for your comments. I was pointing out that the guideline obviously could not apply and was incorrect for what I believed to be a simple and common case of an article about someone without ties to any "English-speaking" nation. I chose Belgian Congo to remove any potential argument about whether it was "English-speaking", and was explaining that with those two phrases.
The second question was just that – a separate question, designed to add a bit of a tie to see how that would influence the decision, which I declared up front. It was even edited as a followup, with its own sig.
I didn't want to propose a change to the guideline if I was mistaken about its reasoning, which is why I asked the questions and presented what I thought the answers were. That seems more efficient than a couple more round-trips back and forth, each of which can produce potential misunderstandings, unnecessary tangents, etc. I also think it's more honest than just asking the first question and then arguing with a response, without the respondent knowing there was more to it (I'm sure there's a name for that style, commonly employed by lawyers when examining a witness). —[AlanM1(talk)]— 07:45, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Conclusions[edit]

The month long RFC is just about concluded and this RFC will soon be archived. I'm not going to comment on what "I think" the result should be, but its obvious that there is a strong majority of editors who see that MDY is the obvious choice based on the reading of STRONGNAT. There is also some support for DMY, but in my opinion, not based very strongly on the guidelines, but on personal preference. It would be up to an independent third party to conclude this discussion. There are three ways to look at it. For one an independent arbitrator may look at it as an up and down vote and decide for MDY or decide for MDY based on a stronger guideline based argument. This is a likely possibility and I have seen this outcome before. The second outcome would be for an independent arbitrator to decide that DMY is the way to go based on the arguments. Personally I don't see that happening simply based on the numbers in favor of MDY above, and also this is not usually the likely outcome in situations like this, for an arbitrator to take the minority stance, but it has happened in the past, but usually only when the minority argument is very strong, which the DMY argument is not. Most of the time these things end in "No Consensus', which if that is the case, this may end up in formal mediation at the Wikipedia:Mediation Committee. We will see what happens once the RFC has concluded.--JOJ Hutton 17:21, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

The STRONGNAT guideline is not applicable, as for the by far largest and most notable part of his life, the subject has held nationalities in non-English speaking countries, in all of which DMY is in use, by the way. There clearly is no consensus to change the current status, which is DMY. "Lack of consensus commonly results in retaining the version of the article as it was prior to the proposal or bold edit;"—see the policy WP:Consensus#No consensus, second bullet. DVdm (talk) 17:37, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I know, you have stated previously that you feel that STRONGNAT is not applicable. In my opinion however, there is no guideline to back that up. STRONGNAT is always applicable because its the ONLY guideline we have on the matter, so therefore its what we go by. And no consensus does not mean that we retain the current version, but that we keep trying until we come to some conclusion. If that means formal mediation, then thats what we do. Again, its my opinion that the argument for DMY is very weak. The fact that some people want to use DMY does not automatically mean that there is a guideline that supports using DMY. Only the guidelines matter as to how articles are written and formatted. In this case, the Guideline is very clear and very much favors MDY.--JOJ Hutton 17:55, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
What matters, is the policy about lack of consensus to make a change for which, by the way, not even a guideline is available. Keep trying until we come to some conclusion? The conclusion seems to be that there is no consensus to make your change. People who keep trying to get their way against consensus are sometimes referred to wp:NOTGETTINGIT, part of the behavioural guideline about disruptive editing. - DVdm (talk) 18:33, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
No Consenus does not mean that we cannot continue the dispute resolution process. It just means that the article isn't changed, but it does not mean that we shouldn't continue to achieve a consensus. Your assertion that I am being disruptive by continuing the process is way out of line. It's only disruptive when it's AGAINST CONSENSUS, but you continually assert that there is no consensus, so how am I being disruptive? If there is no consensus, then it is perfectly reasonable to request formal mediation. That's policy too. JOJ Hutton 18:52, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
The raw count as I read it is: 8 in favor of "Day Month Year", 11 in favor of "Month Day, Year". That's a majority in favor of MDY, though not an overwhelming one. Anyhow, this is not a vote; it is a discussion, in which policy-based arguments win the day. The policy based arguments cite MOS and STRONGNAT. The counterargument, that STRONGNAT doesn't apply if the person also has strong ties to a non-English-speaking country, does not appear to be based anywhere in policy. It is a novel interpretation that contradicts the clear language of MOS and STRONGNAT. The closer of the discussion will decide, but presumably they will take account of the strength of the arguments. BTW even if they find no-consensus, they might well decide that "no consensus" favors the format (MDY) which was in the article from its inception and for six years thereafter. After all, there was never a consensus to change AWAY from that format; somebody just did it. --MelanieN (talk) 18:54, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes indeed, policy-based arguments should win the day. wp:STRONGNAT is not policy. It is a guideline—and clearly not applicable. wp:CONSENSUS is policy—and applicable. - DVdm (talk) 19:00, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
But that's based on the guidelines, and that's how it's determined. So consensus is in favor of MDY because it's the only one based on anything written. JOJ Hutton 19:04, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
I assume that you are joking. Otherwise the only thing that I can say to that is... good grief. - DVdm (talk) 19:16, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is a point of style we are discussing. Thus, the appropriate guideline is MOS. More specifically, this is a date style we are discussing; thus, the appropriate guideline is MOSNUM, which is where we find STRONGNAT. These guidelines are themselves based on consensus. As DVdm points out, consensus is policy - and consensus is the basis for these guidelines. IMO they should not be dismissed on a whim - or on the opinions of a few editors at an article talk page. --MelanieN (talk) 20:33, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

The phrases "These guidelines are themselves based on consensus" and "consensus is the basis for these guidelines" mean that changing the guidelines needs consensus. If your aim is to change the guidelines, this is not the place to discuss that. You need to go the guidelines talk pages.
Good grief indeed. - DVdm (talk) 21:03, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Umm, did we just change hats or something? Is this the routine in the Porky Pig cartoons, where you try to trick me into saying "Did not!" when I meant to say "Did too!" ? Just to be clear, I am the one saying we should follow MOS and MOSNUM as they are. You are the one claiming those guidelines are irrelevant. Or should be changed. Or should be ignored. Or something. --MelanieN (talk) 00:45, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Ah. I misinterpreted your remark as a reinforcement of Jojhutton's joke to ignore the significance of the lack of consensus to make the change. My mistake. My apologies. - DVdm (talk) 08:36, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If the subject does not have ties to an "English-speaking nation", where is the policy for which date format to use? JOJ said:

"Yes, I know, you have stated previously that you feel that STRONGNAT is not applicable. In my opinion however, there is no guideline to back that up. STRONGNAT is always applicable because its the ONLY guideline we have on the matter, so therefore its what we go by."

which seems completely wrong. If I understand it correctly, that would be like receiving a citation while riding a bicycle for supposedly violating a law that has language in it saying it's only applicable to commercial trucks. —[AlanM1(talk)]— 14:25, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

The how-manyth go-round is this? STRONGNAT is applicable by virtue of the WP:CONSENSUS policy, which states (my italics):
Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale. For instance, unless they can convince the broader community that such action is right, participants in a WikiProject cannot decide that some generally accepted policy or guideline does not apply to articles within its scope.
Or is anyone maintaining that we're anything more than "a limited group of editors, at one place and time"? All this special pleading against the applicability of STRONGNAT is BS. The only issue here is whether Einstein's ties to the US are considered "strong" -- a ridiculous semantic quibble that basically boils down to a question of ownership that's being pursued ad nauseam by both sides. --Stfg (talk) 16:41, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
This article is not within the scope of the STRONGNAT guideline, because in by far the largest and most significant part of his life the subject held nationalities in non-English speaking countries. That doen't look like BS to me. The issue here is whether there is consensus to make a change to this article. Apparently there is no such consensus. - DVdm (talk) 07:25, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
A person can have strong ties to more than one country, of course. The guideline says "strong", not "strongest". I don't dispute that "by far the largest and most significant part of his life the subject held nationalities in non-English speaking countries". I do dispute the relevance of that. What I call BS is the "policy trumps guideline" special pleading, because the policy endorses the standing of guidelines over local consensus. --Stfg (talk) 10:18, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Closure requested[edit]

I've requested admin closure of this RfC. See WP:ANRFC#Talk:Albert Einstein#RfC: date format in this article. --Stfg (talk) 10:00, 2 July 2014 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Including relevant quotes[edit]

The relevance of Einstein's friendship with Chaplin are in that the few paragraphs are descriptive of Einstein's life and personality. Direct quotes or paraphrased descriptions from those who knew Einstein personally have an obvious value. Hence, a question like, "Are these 2 guys best friends," is not a rationale for editing the article. Another, like "Do people care he was wearing black at some event," is a required detail to support the non-free image of that particular event.

For similar reasons, biographical details supported by quotes relevant to the sections, are obviously valuable. Einstein's article, before expanding with biographical details, included mostly science and technical facts, understandable to physicists, and very dry. I am restoring the paragraph which included relevant quotes to Einstein's biography, and again suggest that editors discuss before reverting, as noted in BRD. Previous rationales, such as more useless quotes - this article is about a person not about how Jews had problem, are personal opinions. --Light show (talk) 06:02, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Good to see your at the talk page finally. Would love to find out why your not willing to follow BRD its a pretty simple concept - you boldly add something ..if it gets reverted join the ongoing talk about it. But thats anoither problem...to the matter at hand... its been explained before lots of quotes are not a good thing - we are not in grade 10 here. Can you explain why these quotes you keep adding are relevant? The argument being made for there removal is there useless quotes that at the very least should be summarized (as has been mentioned previous by many editors). This is not people magazine that we fill with personal POV's...its an encyclopaedia article about a very well know scientist. Would love to hear from others about these additions as I think the article is losing it authoritative voice. Had some input above voicing concerns for the accuracy of some of the edits and this has still not been addressed. -- Moxy (talk) 09:22, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Moxy. Too many quotes spoil an article. We need to discuss and agree here before adding any more. --John (talk) 09:38, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the quotes are not needed, and that these edits should be removed. This is not the place to record the horrors of that time. Johnuniq (talk) 10:11, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
At this point we have 5 editors with in 5 days all concerned with the recent changes. Over the next week we should fix all this up. I will try to do what i can and hope others can help-out as-well. -- Moxy (talk) 11:57, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
If you have a comment or question about a quote or two, try making them before wholesale deletions or edit-warring about entire paragraphs. Coming from a drive-by using a pseudo-rationale like "revert more useless quotes", does not improve the bio and adds nothing except a personal POV. Ignoring a BRD implies a preference for non-collaboration. And tracking an editor (ie. Kubrick), likewise adds nothing except another expression of "self-possessed confidence." However, I did appreciate your wonderful suggestion that one way of improving Einstein's bio might be to model it after "Adolf Hitler, a GA article of a person famous for their speaking ability that has very few quotes." --Light show (talk) 16:48, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Good. It isn't hounding to let you know that your practice of adding many quotes is poor and unencyclopedic, on whichever article you do it. Please don't. --John (talk) 17:20, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Note also that this so-called bio, when it was somehow considered GA quality, included mostly, about 85%, scientific details explaining his research with highly technical jargon. The Biography section was only 15%! Now it's the same sized article, but about 50% each of what could be two articles, his Biography and Scientific career. Isn't this a biography?
And who decided to skin his lead GA sentence? Originally, "Albert Einstein was a German-born Swiss-American theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time," and now merely "a German-born theoretical physicist." --Light show (talk) 17:30, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
There is 3 section about your edits and one archived section that is huge. Yet your still here adding quote after quote despite the concerns raised by many editors here and at Talk:Stanley Kubrick#Quotefarm. I am trying to prevent what happen at Kubrick happening here - dont want to loss GA status as many collaborated on that to get it to to that level. As John mentioned above would be best if you proposed here on the talk page anymore quotes you want to add before adding them. I think you would have more success helping Wikiquote's then Wikipedia.-- Moxy (talk) 17:37, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I prefer to go by WP guidelines when using quotations in context with commentary:

Quotations are a fundamental attribute of Wikipedia. Quotations—often informally called 'quotes'—provide information directly; quoting a brief excerpt from an original source can sometimes explain things better and less controversially than trying to explain them in one's own words. . . . Provided each use of a quotation within an article is legitimate and justified there is no need for an arbitrary limit.

Therefore, if you have a problem with a particular quote or sentence, just copy-paste in Talk and explain first, instead of demolishing cited material without discussion. --Light show (talk) 18:23, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
BRD=bold, revert, discuss. You have the order wrong. If you are unwilling to follow BRD just say so. Sean.hoyland - talk 18:40, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
The editor could careless about what others are saying about the edits ..Heres another quote ..its simply not possible to work collaboratively like this - disruptive at best and Not here at worse. Not possible to keep up... we would need many different conversation about the many quotes added....this is not happening. Quote spammers are hard to deal with as they think they are doing a great job - its become a bigger and bigger problem. Also noticed we have some non-fair use images added recently..plenty of free images out there of this man. -- Moxy (talk) 07:28, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Your only contribution to this article is your repeated expression of quotiphobia. Similarly, that was your only involvement with other articles I worked on, simply to proclaim your fear of quotations. Nothing else. Try writing and adding to those articles, instead of stopping by to bash local editors. As stated before many times, just cut and paste a problem quote or sentence to talk, explain the issue and suggest an improvement, and it might even get done. Then you can say you actually helped edit the article, which would call for a celebration. Note that this article has over 1,800 watchers and hundreds of editors who wrote something. Those are called "local" editors, and they will certainly notice problems to an article they edited. They don't need drive-bys that keep harassing active local editors. There are another 31 million articles with 76 thousand other editors you can deal with. --Light show (talk) 07:54, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
All good talk. This is the article we are currently discussing. There are too many quotes and the Holocaust stuff is a distraction. Bluntly, these edits you are making are lowering the quality of the article. Do we need to go to a Good Article Review? --John (talk) 09:38, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Why did Einstein emigrate, and is that topic a mere distraction? --Light show (talk) 15:38, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps he emigrated because he got tired of DMY. - DVdm (talk) 16:03, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
BTW, if you'd like to know what real disruptive behavior looks like, an example is when a drive-by posts a pseudo-edit to a lead and changes it seconds later, simply to attack another editor. --Light show (talk) 14:54, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Face-plant! - Not the place for this but since you bring it up. Correct I noticed it was you that changed the image and decided I did not want to get involved in another edit war with you. The definition of disruptive behaviour is displayed by you in this article (not complying with BRD) and at your old user name copyright investigation (Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations/Wikiwatcher1) - you have wasted countless amount of our volunteers time cleaning up after you....its still ongoing ...with deleted image and quote summarizing. I agree that Wikipedia is a work in progress and edits can be fixed but sometimes its just to much. --Moxy (talk) 17:58, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Uninvolved editor here. (I just came to check something about Einstein.) I prefer quotes. I don't trust every WP editor to paraphrase them correctly, or to include the important details. For example, the block quote from the NYT on Einstein's death includes the story about how Einstein's last words were lost because his night nurse didn't speak German. (I heard the story many times, but I didn't know it came from the NYT story.) BRD sounds like a formula for endless edit wars. --Nbauman (talk) 19:00, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Birtherism[edit]

Please change "X-born" to German-American.--98.88.150.47 (talk) 02:32, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

See talk archives. - DVdm (talk) 06:26, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

GA - yesterday and today[edit]

Back in March, 2010, when I looked at this GA/FA, I was surprised that it could be called a "biography." It was just 10% biographical details vs. 90% synopses of his scientific papers, each of which also had their own article. On the radical theory that he was a human being, I found a number of real biographies which discussed his life and activities, and was totally amazed to find out he did things, like walk and talk, just like real people, and currently the article is about 60% biography vs. 40% synopses. Moxy, who has yet to contribute to the bio, complains about too many quotations and too many pictures, which only make up a fraction of a percent of the biographical details. Does anyone else feel that the article, while not perfect, is currently more readable and biographical than before? BTW, the size of the article is the same now as it was then. --Light show (talk) 16:52, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

The article needs a good cleanup all around. As has been mentioned before way to many useless quotes and the sections are a getting unbalanced towards his USA activities and other peoples POV on Jews. The article is better then it was when it reached GA level years ago...but has recently went down hill. I would like to edit the article but ever time I have you revert. I even started talks on the matter, other agree with me, yet here we are still seeing more quotes added even before the other concerns raised have been addressed. I understand that adding quotes to articles is your thing ..but there have been concerns raised - specifically here. So what should be done here? I have decided to get a few others involved and help fix it up. We will be doing this at the start of next month. There is no rush...was hopping you would have paraphrase some of the quotes after so many have said its a problem.. but that is not really happing. -- Moxy (talk) 17:19, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
I am with Moxy here. The incessant quotes work against readability, as has been explained. --John (talk) 17:35, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Plagarist[edit]

Where do we add the section about how he plagiarized everything from German scientists? It seems to have been well known at the time he was a plagiarist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Themainman69 (talkcontribs) 08:53, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Well, firstly he was a German scientist and secondly we don't because this is an encyclopedia based on reliable published sources rather than the Stormfront website. Sean.hoyland - talk 09:11, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, if this is something that was welk known it should not be very hard to find several reliable sources covering this.--67.68.162.111 (talk) 19:19, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
The article does have a link to Relativity priority dispute under "See also", where there is discussion of claims that relativity is not wholly original to Einstein. Roger (talk) 20:02, 25 July 2014 (UTC)