Talk:William Shockley

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December 2014 edit[edit]

User WeijiBaikeBianji has reverted the fairly large amount of edits I made and requested that it be discussed here. His concern is in regard to the source material. While I can understand the concern, none of what I edited changed the context of the content. My intention was to clean up bad grammar and overly wordy phrasing, plus I changed a few adjectives and adverbs to reduce the level of hyperbole a bit. For example, I changed "incensed" to "angered". Otherwise, the majority of the edits were structural to the sections and organization of the content.

A review of this article's history shows that WeijiBaikeBianji is one of the top editors[1] of the article as well and a significant contributor to this Talk page which seems to put this User in the Steward category in my opinion. In fact this User has advocated for a "top to bottom [review] for coherency, due weight" which was my intention. Does anyone else have concerns about the structural and grammar clean up edits I attempted to make? --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 17:45, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

My key concern is looking at what the sources actually say. The article definitely needs top-to-bottom revision, including revision of the kind usually done during Guild of Copy-Editors (GOCE) edits, but this article, especially, because of the controversial public activities of the article subject, needs to be very carefully sourced to the most reliable sources on his life. I have become very wary of GOCE edits on controversial articles, having been a participant in the Guild myself. Sources matter for an article like this. I have all the key sources at hand as I type this. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 21:05, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
OK, fair enough, then lets get down to specifics. What was changed that is not an acceptable paraphrase of the source material or are you saying that what is in the article now is incorrect? Since you have the "key sources" in your possession, please elaborate. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:15, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Pearson, etc.[edit]

[2] [3] There are two problems with these edits.

First, BLP policy requires that we describe living people in a neutral or non-controversial way. Calling Pearson an anthropologist was a neutral label, calling him a white supremacist is not. Perhaps the source calls him a white supremacist, but unless he agrees with the label himself, calling him that without attribution is a BLP violation.

Second, you replaced a sourced summary with an unsourced one. I can't make sense of your edit summary ("Please provide rationale for that source"). My rationale is that your edit replaced sourced content with unsourced content. If you genuinely think making these paragraphs unsourced was an improvement, it raises questions about your competence to edit these articles.

I'm going to make one more attempt at removing the disputed material. As I said in your user talk, with suspected BLP violations there needs to be a consensus for the material before it's added back, so I suggest you not keep restoring it. 154.127.48.63 (talk) 04:42, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Just chiming in to agree with 164.127.48.63 that many recent edits are problematic. There is no encyclopedic justification for describing a subject's positions as "ill-informed", for example. MelanieN (talk) 04:55, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you both for your comments. While away from typing, I was rereading the section about Shockley in Tucker, William H. (2007) [first published 2002]. The funding of scientific racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-07463-9. Lay summary (10 December 2014).  , to prepare for sourced edits. Yes, let's make sure all the edits to this article are well sourced. (I found by viewing the article history that much sourced content has been lost from this article over the years, as I.P. editors have deleted it.) Meanwhile, please remind me what the latest approach is here on Wikipedia to using group-edited external websites with biographical information about deceased individuals as external links in Wikipedia articles. Just now, while looking for something else, I was surprised to discover a rather detailed website about Shockley's advocacy of eugenics,William Shockley which does not appear to be used yet anywhere in this article. I am, of course, most happy to dig into professionally published books like the Shurkin biography and the Tucker history of advocacy movements to source articles here on Wikipedia, but some of the readers of Wikipedia are very fond of external links when they are available. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 05:29, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I would say that the Southern Poverty Law Center website is not appropriate for citing here. Its information about Shockley is neither authoritative nor neutral. As for the book, I can't evaluate it because I can't see it, but its title suggests it should only be used with caution. Not all books are Reliable Sources. This one may well be; the author is a legitimate scholar and the publisher a major university. MelanieN (talk) 18:16, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Hi, Melanie, good day. I see as I look at your user profile that you have a connection to Stanford University. William Tucker, the psychology professor (who mostly now writes about the history of psychology) who wrote the book I think we are both discussing, spent a lot of time in the archives at Stanford putting his book together. William Shockley did a big service to the history of science by saving just about all of his personal papers throughout his life, and then donating all of them to the Stanford archives. Both Tucker and Shurkin were amazed at how much archival material they found when they dug into the Shockley archives. Tucker especially found Shockley's copies of personal correspondence (incoming and outgoing) that helped tie together several personal connections in the movement Shockley participated in that would otherwise have been lost to history, as the other participants in that correspondence sometimes let their personal papers vanish from the historical record. I think you are very likely to have resources available to you that will allow you to check the reviews of Tucker's book, which are generally quite favorable. As you note, an author who is a legitimate scholar and a publisher that is a major university press is one set of signals suggesting a reliable source per the Wikipedia content guidelines on reliable sources. On the basis of those guidelines, it might be good to take a second look at the heavily cited Roger Pearson book now relied on in the article, which is self-published (Pearson owns and operates that publishing company) and written by an author with a rather different scholarly reputation, as should also be visible through checking independent reviews and library holdings. I'm glad to have you looking on as edits proceed. What I will be doing next with the article is simply exhaustively checking the existing source references. Yesterday, I discovered a number of flaws in citing page numbers, as well as references that had been mangled by previous I.P. reverts of sourced content. I will check and double-check the existing references first, and I very much welcome your attention and the kind attention of other thoughtful editors as I turn to RiordanHoddeson1997, Tucker2002, Shurkin2006, and other biographical sources about Shockley to begin expanding and updating this article. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 18:34, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I am no longer at Stanford, but as a student there I actually worked with Dr. Shockley - on one of his projects to teach creative / scientific thinking in elementary school. The article certainly does need work; however I think we should take care that his later controversial theories do not overshadow his scientific work. There is always the temptation to play up the more dramatic aspects of a person's life, as well as to throw in value judgment words like "racist" or "ill informed". MelanieN (talk) 19:07, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I've just done some cleanup along these lines, pulling content and a reference from the Pearson article including the correct Wikilink to that article. Given the controversial nature of the material that's being used, I would say that we are not taking full advantage of actual quotes. It might be better to state some of these things in the actual voice of those who made the statements like Epps instead of using Wikipedia's voice so that no one confuses the opinions of others as statements of fact. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 02:47, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Rejection for IQ study[edit]

I've removed the content regarding Shockley being rejected for an IQ study as a child. It's long on explanation, but low on connection until the end of the paragraph. I'm sure there is little doubt that the man was intelligent, so this mention just comes across as unnecessary trivia. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 03:49, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Unnecssary perhaps; trivia perhaps; but it is sourced info about Schockley that is interesting in its irony. Why remove it? Dicklyon (talk) 03:55, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Sourced or not, factual or not, very little of it is actually about Shockley, it needs too much "wind up" or explanation just to make it even tacitly relevant to him. This is an encyclopedia not Reader's Digest or a Paul Harvey story. Plus its fairly WP:UNDUE as it starts the article with a claim that he was not considered intelligent by the person who literally came up with the test. If you like the content and want to belittle Lewis Terman or the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales he developed, its probably a great little factoid for those articles. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 04:30, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

January 2015, recent source reverts[edit]

As some of you may have noticed, there is a bit of an Edit War going on with regard primarily to the references in this article for example in these [4][5] edits. The primary deletionist and reverter was User John18778, who has since been indefinitely banned for being a WP:SOCKPUPPET. Then comes IP 122.152.167.189 doing the same for which I have tagged[6] as a possible SOCK. Regards, --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:05, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

Edit warring[edit]

The edit warring needs to stop right now. I have requested temporary protection for the page. Remember this page is subject to discretionary sanctions; please read about that at the top of the page. Disagreements must be settled on this talk page, not by edit warring in the article. MelanieN (talk) 19:06, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

We have semiprotection for two weeks. Let's use it to settle disagreements via discussion instead of warring. MelanieN (talk) 19:55, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

William Shockley and the Termite study[edit]

Shouldn't it be mentioned that William Shockley was rejected by Lewis Terman when he did his IQ study? Given the fact that his later years spent ranting and raving about the decline of geniuses it would seem relevant. You can't say it's slander or libel. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/200909/the-truth-about-the-termites Turtire (talk) 02:39, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

This used to be in the article, but it was removed per discussion above. --MelanieN (talk) 15:29, 29 January 2015 (UTC)