User talk:77Mike77

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Welcome![edit]

Hello, 77Mike77, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

Please remember to sign your messages on talk pages by typing four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this page and then place {{help me}} before the question. Again, welcome! HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:16, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Clerk[edit]

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Hello, 77Mike77. You have new messages at Talk:Clerk (municipal official).
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December 2012[edit]

Hello, I'm Vacation9. I wanted to let you know that I undid one or more of your recent contributions to Osiris because it didn't appear constructive. If you think I made a mistake, or if you have any questions, you can leave me a message on my talk page. Vacationnine 19:44, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Talkback[edit]

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Hello, 77Mike77. You have new messages at Vacation9's talk page.
Message added 00:49, 27 December 2012 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Vacationnine 00:49, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Conventions[edit]

Hi 77Mike77,

because the talk page of an article is not exactly the right place to discuss elementary things every user should be aware of, I pay you a visit on your personal talk page. It get the feeling that it is quite difficult to convince you of very simple things, and you seem to be inclined to bring in an armoury of arguments that have only faintly to do with the point you're trying to make, only to save you from admitting you're not one hundred percent right. That makes arguing with you a very tiresome business. I'll try to work out a few very simple things from the talk page of Kepler's laws, subjects This is an encyclopedia, not a physics handbook and re "often" versus "preferable.

1) About Wikipedia being an encyclopedia. In your last contribution you state: "You are saying that Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia". That's far from what I said. Only you seem to have a very precise notion of what Wikipedia is or should be, and which readership it targets. You try to underline this with some definition of the word "encyclopedia". That however is just your notion. Many readers of very different levels of education are consulting Wikipedia every day. It would be a shame if only the lay public would be targeted. Your only good point here is that Wikipedia (or its contributors) should try to make things understandable to as wide an audience as possible. There are however thousands of topics that someone with just a basic education will never understand fully but that's no reason to not write Wikipedia articles on those topics. Every trouble that is taken to explain things as simply as possible is worthwhile but there are limits. Then you "think that anybody who would understand the university level math would already have a big textbook all about it". That's just what you think and it is not necessarily true. Try to think about that. The general notion you have may be a false one and it certainly cannot count as an argument. You add: "I will have to check the Wikipedia mission statement, because if it is supposed to be a collection of arcane details targeting specialists only, and over the head of everyone not already trained in the specialty, then it is not an encyclopedia at all, and I am wasting my time here." That's no valid way of arguing, it's stating exactly the opposite of what you think Wikipedia should be. In practice, Wikipedia is both and I am very happy to live with that. Also I find it very tiring if you start to discuss the whole idea of Wikipedia only because you want to carry your point. Just stating that you know of a simpler way to explain something, and giving an example of it, would do very well, thank you. See the much more practical solution Richerman came up with to do something about the complexity of the article. In stead of arguing untill he got blue in the mouth, he split te notes and references, adding a lot to the readability of this text.

2) Basic knowledge. There will be hundreds of articles on physics, math, architecture, arts and more, depending on some basic knowledge of the ellipse. I already mentioned the Wikipedia convention to create a link to that article in stead of trying to build the whole ellipse from the ground up in every article again. You try to deny that by giving an example of a bad link (equator). That's not proof the convention doesn't work, it's just an example showing that one should thoroughly check the other end of the link when adding one.

3) Neutral words. One of the main rules when editing Wikipedia is to avoid words that hold some kind of qualification, like better, worse, happy, ugly, great, preferable. These words always say something about the user who wrote them, not about the topic. It's good practice to avoid them and not a problem at all because you don't need them.

4) Be exact and leave unnecessary things out. You reacted very stronly upon my changes to your text, even stating I "eliminated the meaning". I think you did not do enough to deduce what the real message is, and get rid of the non-essential ballast. It's quite irrelevant which equations and what coordinate systems "introductory studies" on ellipses use, or whether using polar coordinates is "preferable" and if this is done "often" or "usually". The message is that we use polar coordinates here, with the advantage of having all measurements with respect to one focus. If you wish, you can even leave the Cartesian coordinates out alltogether. The article on ellipses treats both the equations using Cartesian coordinates and the ones using polar coordinates. The reader who wishes to know more can find it there. I rewrote that part once again, shortening it to contain only essential information.

You've not been contributing very much to Wikipedia, so far. I also saw that out of 166 edits in total, only 39 were in the main article space; nearly all others were on talk pages. I did not check any of you contributions there. If however those contributions are in any way comparable to the ones you made on the talk page of Kepler's laws, you'll probably get difficulties in convincing other users of your point of view and, more important, get them to cooperate with you. Contributing to Wikipedia means trying to find common viewpoints and accept that not everyone thinks alike. Sometimes, arguing can help, if you're prepared to listen to other contributors and accept that they are as eager as you to improve articles. Being clear and exact, and staying very close to the subject helps a lot if your goal is to reach an agreement. Starting feedback with: "This article is ridiculous." will never help when you want to propose changes. Every beginner makes mistakes. It doesn't matter; there are many users who will correct these. They are willing to help you and explain things. It doesn't help if you oppose them with very strong views on how things should be done, only showing you've little experience on this project. It would have been very easy and comfortable for me to not write a reaction on your re "often" versus "preferable" paragraph. You said you'd leave. Fine. Another pain in the ass gone. I did react however, and I also wrote you this long piece. And it's not even my native language. I hope it will help you to find your way on Wikipedia and to start cooperating in stead of fighting. Cheers. Wikiklaas (talk) 06:41, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

REPLY TO Wikiklaas:
Thank you for taking the time to explain yourself. I'm just dabbling in wikipedia, in that when I look at wikipedia, I so often see glaring mistakes that I decided to sign up so that I can make a comment on the talk page, or fix the article. I am used to looking at traditional encyclopedias, and I guess I (wrongly) assumed that wikipedia was some kind of encyclopedia, when clearly it isn't. You would not open up Encyclopedia Britannica and see an article on Kepler's Laws that had mathematics that a senior high school math student could not understand. In fact, it looked like a page from a second-year celestial mechanics course, which is why it was, in fact, "ridiculous" if you are thinking that this is an encyclopedia for the general public. Anyone qualified to understand it would already have the university textbook. I was not intending to contribute, but was persuaded to add something in to bridge the abyss between the lay reader and the sudden barrage of polar coordinates and calculus. Any general reader who has high school math would know Cartesian Coordinates, and wonder why these were not used, i.e. why the presentation was jumping up to second-year university so suddenly. It is a FACT that polar coordinates are used because they are easier in this case, NOT a personal judgment call on my part. Can you not see how someone would feel being invited to add something and then having someone come in, who hasn't been following it, and slap down the contribution with very picky points? Especially considering that there are numerous articles on wikipedia with sweeping violations of NPOV, and I get slapped for saying that it is "preferable" to do one page of polar coordinates than to do 3 pages of ugly cartesian coordinates? In physics, it IS preferable to avoid unnecessary difficulty and ugliness. It is such a tiny infraction to beat someone up about, that it seems like officiousness for the sake of "pulling rank" as a "senior" wikipedia "cop", and I have no time for such nonsense. I like the idea of an information source generated by the public, although it seems doomed to failure if new people are driven away by roving officials who feel duty-bound to "fix" every contribution for no other reason than to show that they CAN. As for Kepler's Laws, I would be willing to help write an encyclopedia entry, but not a physics handbook for university students, because they already have the textbooks on this. Perhaps instead of jumping out at new contributions like a traffic cop at a radar trap, you could instead just randomly peruse wikipedia articles and see how appalling many of them are - and have been appalling for years without comment! This would be a more effective use of your wikipedia time. I guess wikipedia is itself at a "learning" stage, where it is floundering around with counterproductive practices and protocols that drive newcomers away. It seems like a religion where the priests seize power, form cliques, and keep down any new pretenders to "priesthood". I don't have a problem with other people doing that, it just isn't something I want to spend my own time at. Sorry if you interpret that as being a "pain in the ass"; I guess each person has his own perspective. Anyway, these are all just words on the internet, and all the best to you in real life. (And thanks again for the explanations. I will heed them if I decide to get more active here in the future.)77Mike77 (talk) 23:16, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, 77Mike77, for your kind and balanced reply. Let me just say that Wikipedia invites you to be bold when editing pages but that means you can expect others to be bold too. If this happens, an article talk page or a user's talk page are the places to discuss the matter. As I said before: it helps a lot if you restrict the discussion to the very facts themselves. Chances of getting a to-the-point answer when you depart from the Wikipedia mission statement are close to zero.
Wikipedia is full of ridiculous articles. It's good practice not to refer to those when giving justification for an edit. One can always find some point somewhere that's even worse than the thing under discussion but that doesn't help when your goal is to improve that current article. Every article has its own history. That history is not part of the history of any other article. So when you get criticised (or praised) for an edit you did, it's for that edit, not for that edit in comparison to all other edits. When I see an edit, I don't ask myself: "was this better than any other recent edit I saw?" The only thing I'm bothered with is: "Is this the best we can do at this moment on this subject?"
You once again come back to the reason for using polar coordinates when describing planetary orbits or motion. Now how can we do that best? One can say that describing an ellips in Cartesian coordinates has the advantage of simple equations and the disadvantage of using a point of reference that has no physical meaning. On the other hand, polar coordinates have the disadvantage of being slightly more unfamiliar to the general public but have the advantage of using a point of reference that realy means something. That's, as far as I can see, a more neutral way of comparing the two possibilities. Furthermore, there's no need to explain Cartesian coordinates, or where they are first used and why, if you are going to use polar coordinates anyway. To not elaborate on things that are only of indirect significance is an art that should be highly valued.
Your last remarks are on criticism. I hope the idea has also risen with you that you're fairly bold when criticising the work of others or Wikipedia in general, but you do not seem to deal very well with criticism on your own contributions. I do not think anyone is trying to show you're a beginner. No one is trying to be a cop and I'm really sorry you feel it that way. I think several users already put a lot of effort into the article on Kepler's laws, everyone putting some stress on a personal point of interest. Anyone would welcome you to expand the introductory parts to the three laws but not at the expense of having to allow POV-statements in (or whatever personal interest a person has). This will therefore be boldly corrected but doesn't mean a disapproval of all your work. I went through that process myself (most on the Dutch Wikipedia). It can sometimes be painful, especially if one fails to see what there is to gain. The nice thing is that it is also a learning experience. To fully profit from it, the best way to reply to an edit you don't understand or an edit you disagree with, is to ask the editor why he or she did it. Either you'll get a meaningful answer that can be an opening to a debate, or you'll learn that the editor is a prick, in which case you'll be done with that very quickly. I wish you'll just learn to see the fun of it a bit more. Kind regards, Wikiklaas (talk) 00:23, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Email[edit]

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Jake Wartenberg 02:14, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

I didn't realize that my account defaulted to email notifications. I have unchecked that. I find the article on Bosma to be in extremely poor taste. Wikipedia is not Twitter. I have nothing more to say on this.77Mike77 (talk) 03:23, 13 May 2013 (UTC)