User talk:Alienus/archive 2

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Messages go here[edit]

Hi Alienus, - just wondering... How did you fix the red link on the Richard Salsman article. Another user added it and I could not for the life of me figure out how to fix it. The link to the same thing worked for me in the related concepts section of the article. Thanks for any help you can give. HSchickel 02:55, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

No special trick; the link had a typo in it. To avoid typos, I tend to cut and paste, which is an occupational hazard. Alienus 02:58, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Thank you HSchickel 03:03, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Mormonism and archeology[edit]

Thanks, but I don't think I'll be getting involved in reverts. All I'm looking for is a clear statement of fact, which is that the genetic data does not support the Book of Mormon narrative. That should be completely uncontroversial, but as you've noticed, where faith and science meet, controversy ensues <g>. -Nunh-huh 04:52, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, lots of things are uncontroversial, yet immediately and repeatedly reverted. Just saying that if they try to edit war to remove this, don't let yourself run afoul of the arbitrary 3RR. I'm more than happy to chime in. Alienus 09:16, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

And now they are trying to fix the vote[edit]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:StanZegel#Jesus_Article_Vote Robsteadman 13:14, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Re: User:Raisinman[edit]

I, too, noticed the "too quick" edits of this new user. You suspect sockpuppetry; who would the user behind the sock be? It may be a sockpuppeteer I've run into before. KHM03 00:59, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm not certain, of course, but I suspect it's Jason Gastrich again. Perhaps someone could do an IP check to confirm. Alienus 03:13, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
I'd have guessed Kdbuffalo. I've seen the IP checks done but have never initiated one. KHM03 11:41, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
As I said, I could be wrong, but the pattern does fit Jason, and one of the first items he vandalized was an external link that was not flattering to Grastrich. Since then, however, he's dived into the current Jesus debate over the mention of historicity, which is an odd topic for a newbie to get involved in, and suggests that he may well be a puppet of one of the more ardent supporters of a historical Jesus. Is this something Kdbuffalo would do?
Anyhow, while I certainly know how to track people by IP, I don't have the admin access needed to determine what accounts use what IP's. There's a bit of information about this here. Perhaps tagging the account as a suspected sockpuppet may suffice to get the attention of admins. If not, the next step would likely be an RfA. Alternately, this page lists the names of the holy few who have CheckUser access. For now, I'll go ahead and mark the guy as a suspected puppet. Alienus 15:33, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Kdbuffalo has used numerous anonymous socks and has been a disruptive editor, unreceptive to consensus building (he may be better now...I haven't dealt with him in a while). I haven't had too much contact with Jason Gastrich, but know he was a presence at the inerrancy article at one time. I'm going out of town for a few days but will see how things are whenI return. KHM03 17:33, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, Jason is still around, and frequently creates puppets. He struck earlier today, even. Have fun out of town; we'll see how this plays out. For now, I'll be reverting any vandalism by this user on sight. Alienus 17:43, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
More unfortunately, all these socks and vandals add gasoline to a raging bonfire. This is starting to get on my nerves (again). I do not thrive on suspicion and conflict. Most normal people don't. BTW I consider Gastrich to be a false prophet.Arch O. La 18:34, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm a bit low on patience with the current content debates, myself. These issues are controversial enough without the appearance of cheating through sockpuppets and voter recruiting. Alienus 18:37, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Some of us find it better to engage in silly math humor until the bonfire subsides. It's sort of an absurdist protest. Arch O. La 18:55, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

From past observations, I think I should point out that while waiting for some kind of evidence that Raisinman is a sockpuppet, you still need to stay within the 3RR policy with regard to your reversions on his talk page. I'm not going to involve myself with this, but I can guarantee that there will be some admins prepared to block you for it if you keep doing it. Cheers. AnnH 01:31, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

From past observations, there are some admins prepared to block me for scratching my nose. The last time around, I reported someone for a 3RR violation and got myself banned instead, which is where the Chinese legalism rant came from.
It is my understanding that users flatly are not allowed to remove legitimate, current warnings from their Talk pages, and doing so is equivalent to blatant vandalism, so 3RR does not apply. For that matter, I'm not sure that 3RR applies to user's Talk pages in the first place.
On top of that, it's painfully clear that my motives are good. This guy is unamibiguously a vandal and I'm working to figure out whose sock he's puppeting, so to speak. If there's an admin who really wants to block me for this, then Wikipedia's got at least one person who shouldn't be an admin.
Frankly, if I hadn't been burned so many times when dealing with admins, I'd go make a request to have that vandal's Talk page Protected, but I'm not going to bother. I'm going to let others deal with this bozo and focus on actually contributing to articles. Twice burned, once disgusted. Alienus 04:52, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Hello again. I don't have time to reply right now, but I have just left a message on KHM03's talk page concerning this matter. And I do know that replacement of removed warnings from someone's talk page does not fall under the 3RR exception. AnnH 12:53, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

See here...he stopped using the account the day before Raisinman showed up. Could be coincidence, could be something else. Also, see here to get a flavor. KHM03 18:55, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Just FYI -- I've requested a checkuser for Raisinman/Kdbuffalo. If he is a sock, he's violated WP:3RR at Jesus. KHM03 22:25, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Good move and thanks for keeping me in the loop. Alienus 22:30, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

User:Raisinman and User:BECPL have been blocked indefinitely for being sockpuppets of User:Kdbuffalo. KHM03 12:00, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Ayn Rand - Gay Rights[edit]

Thx for the reference - from your last version

Rand was more candid during the two Ford Hall Forum lectures at Northeastern University, in response to questions from the audience. In her 1968 lecture, she said, "I do not approve of such practices or regard them as necessarily moral, but it is improper for the law to interfere with a relationship between consenting adults." (Ayn Rand Answers, p. 18) In 1971, Rand repeated this party line, then explained that homosexuality "involves psychological flaws, corruptions, errors, or unfortunate premises", concluding that homosexuality "is immoral, and more than that; if you want my really sincere opinion, it's disgusting."

This quote is indicitive of the complexity of her views. I see her personal opinion of the behavior as reflecting much of what society as whole felt; however, because of her strong opinions about government not interferring with private behavior (economic or moral) she maintained "philosophical purity" by publicly supporting the gay rights movements desire not to be regulated by the governement, which is even more remarkable considering the last sentence. However, I see nothing particularly anti-gay by her corresponding view that there not be favorable treatment either. Thus, her views, IMHO, are too complex to be summarized by the categorization that you have proposed. Trödeltalk 19:48, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

1) To say that her personal opinion was reflective of society at the time is not any sort of defense. All you're saying is that society as a whole considered homosexuality to be immoral and disgusting, which does't give her a free pass. How impressed would she have been by the argument that, since society as a whole opposes atheism, we can't hold anyone accountable for personally opposing atheism? Fundamentally, the issue is not whether her views were typical of society at that time, but whether she opposed gay rights. If, as you say, society as a whole opposed gay rights and she was typical, then you're saying she opposed gay rights.
2) You call it pure, I call it oblivious. Somehow, she understood that there's something wrong with the government discriminating against gays, but didn't see why that same reasonable standard should apply to society at large. This blindness was likely a result of her anti-government beliefs, leading to a rejection of positive rights, including all gay rights that are positive.
3) It's not just that she was against homosexuality on a personal level; she actively opposed the gay rights movement as part of her opposition to the "collectivism" of the feminist and sex lib movements.
4) In short, she opposed homosexuality, many gay rights (the positive ones) and the gay rights movement, while supporting some gay rights (the negative ones). I think all this makes a fine case for her being actively opposed to gay rights, but all I'm recommending is that we include her into the pro and con categories, since she fits both. I don't see any sort of sound counter-argument to this. Alienus 21:39, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
1) Believing something to be morally wrong and disgustion does not equal oppostion.
2) There is a difference between government action and personal action. Rand believed we should be free from government control in all respects including the right to discriminate for whatever reason we want whether we choose to discrimnate against members of the opposite sex in our selection of sex partners, or to discriminate against Bill because we don't want smokers in our office.
3) The references for this are not as clear as you have summarized - in fact the entire article you cited has verifiability and POV problems.
4) Because she is not notable in this regard. Trödeltalk 11:46, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

1) Correct but irrelevant. As you said, merely thinking something is immoral does not automatically equate to opposition. However, using your status as a public figure to speak out against it and write books that bash it does qualify. She has certainly done both.

2) There are lots of differences, but not all of them matter. If you decide that discrimination becomes acceptable the moment it's not the government actively doing it, you are favoring discrimination, pure and simple. Moreover, your two analogies fail in any way to be analogous. Who I have sex with is a matter of personal taste, not economic import. As for Bill the Smoker, he's free to work in any office he likes, but he might not be free to smoke in all of them. What he does on breaks or in his personal time is his business.

3) If you have supportable, concrete suggestions, make them. If you have negative generalizations, keep them to yourself. Life is too short for such nonsense.

4) When a public figure calls homosexuality "immoral" and "disgusting" in front of a large public audience, then goes on to say that we should allow discrimination against homosexuals, just so long as it's not being done by the government, this is NOTABLE.

I'm wondering if you have stronger or newer arguments than these, because I've refuted them more than once already and it's getting boring. 17:18, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I understand your responses. I am also not as up on Objectivism as I could be, as, other than the current references of this dispute, I am relying on my memory from readings a looong time ago in high school and early college. I am just trying to suggest that a reasonable person, such as myself(don't we all see ourselves as reasonable) could disagree with the characterization and why - so we should probably just agree to disagree Trödeltalk 19:30, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I apologize if my impatience showed through too strongly. This issue has dragged on for many days now, resulting in an edit war, a block, ongoing Protection, and yet another edit war with a likely block. However, you are not to blame for these problems, so I shouldn't take it out on you.

I can see how someone might disagree, particularly if they're not that up on Objectivism. However, I am up on it and I've been researching this specific issue intensively. So while I can see how someone might disagree, I would have to conclude that they'd be mistaken to do so, and probably would avoid that mistake if they'd read all the same sources that I did.

This isn't to say that I could necessarily convince you, and I'm certainly willing to agree to disagree. After all, there is nothing to be gained by beating you over the head about this.

I do feel strongly that the case for Rand's opposition to gay rights is powerful enough to justify her inclusion into the LGBT Opposition category, and I'm not willing to just let it drop. The compromise I've suggested was to include her as both pro and con, but this was rejected. I've also petitioned to have the Protection removed, promising not to reinsert the category until there was consensus, but this was likewise rejected. As for the "Objectivism and homosexuality" page, I've asked to have it Protected and been refused, and now it's the subject of an edit war by Rand's self-avowed defenders, who are trying hard to get me blocked. This is a pretty ugly mess considering it all started with someone erasing that category without a stated explanation. Alienus 22:16, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Cool - if I have time, I'll read some more of the references, in the meantime - I'll just abstain and monitor the discussion Trödeltalk 12:02, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Objectivism and homosexuality[edit]

I think I'm going to stay out of this one -- my stress level is pretty high as it is. Good luck, though. Catamorphism 23:35, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

That's totally cool. Alienus 01:37, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Please do not keep undoing other people's edits without discussing them first. This is considered impolite and unproductive. If you continue, you may be blocked from editing Wikipedia under the three-revert rule, which states that nobody may revert an article to a previous version more than three times in 24 hours. (Note: this also means editing the page to reinsert an old edit. If the effect of your actions is to revert back, it qualifies as a revert.) Thank you.

Also, please be sure to read WP:NPOV. Some of the edits were so baised it could be considered as vandalism if repeatedly added in (as it was).Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 08:04, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm waiting on this admin to tell me what articles they're talking about before I comment further. Alienus 13:52, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Edits to Objectivism and homosexuality(why I posted undet this section). Edits like this [1].Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 18:07, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't get it. It almost looks like you don't see a problem with all the reverts by Billy, Laszlo or that anonymous IP, even though they've been avoiding Talk like the plague, yet you do see a problem with my undoing the deletion of cited, relevant text as per the discussing in Talk? That's inconsistent and has at least the appearance of bias.

I flatly reject the claim that I am anywhere close to violating the 3RR or injecting POV. In fact, when the page was first vandalized, I asked for it to be Protected, but was refused, which shows good faith on my part. In addition, my continued willingness to discuss content issues in Talk -- as contrasted with their unwillingness -- futher shows my good faith. In short, you're mistaken. Tell me, how long have you been a student of Objectivism? 18:13, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I fussed at VoA over this. You might want to see his Talk page.--TJ 23:21, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Please read WP:NPA as well. I did not take "Eddie's word for it" and everything else you said was just more speculative "cabalist" type nonsense that I see people use against admins all the time. A good change of adjectives and wording would make your edits NPOV. And everyone was reverting everywhere, not just you, otherwise I would have just blocked you. And speaking of block, nobody is going to block for no reason, so stop accusing me of that. If you are working things out on talk now: good...that is how it should be, no one ever said that was impossible.Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 00:19, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Reversions[edit]

Alienus, I can't control what you do on wikipedia but the way you act, namely reverting me without explanation, is wrong. I'm starting to seriously wish you didn't have a "pop up" thing and would rationalize your edits (to other people) like the rest of us. Chooserr 00:20, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm hardly the only person here who's forced to revert your bad edits, so don't single me out. Instead, look to yourself for why your edits are so objectionable to so many different people. As for leaving a comment, I'll gladly do so in all cases where it isn't self-evident. For example, I recently left a note for GTBacchus on the Talk page to answer his question about my motives. Alienus 00:22, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Lambda calculus[edit]

I'm not aware of any good online references, but I've generally given up trying to find anything good online about this kind of thing. I recommend Benjamin C. Pierce's Types and Programming Languages as a lambda-calculus, but really, when you say that C# is going to implement lambda-calculus, I suspect you mean that it's going to add anonymous functions (i.e., lambda expressions). So, if I'm right, then I'd recommend Matthias Felleisen's The Little Schemer as a very friendly intro or Hal Abelson and Gerry Sussman's The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs for something more in-depth. Those two books are in Scheme, but the concepts are general. Catamorphism 04:41, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I checked here and it does look like, as you said, the C# notion of lambda calculus is mostly a notation for anonymous functions. This suggests one of the two Scheme books. Now I need to see if I can get my boss to pay for it. :-)
Thanks for the suggestions. Alienus 05:34, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Objectivism and homosexuality[edit]

Well, I didn't really reconsider-- I protected when there actually was an edit war. At any rate, I hope it gets sorted out soon. --Ryan Delaney talk 06:37, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I guess you had to see the war before you felt that Protection was justified. After you locked the article, LaszloWalrus showed up in Talk, so it looks like it may be working. Alienus 06:40, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Personal from TJ[edit]

Personal style[edit]

Dear Al,
Since you have never seen me at work, you have no way of realizing how excited and enthusiastic I get when chasing new ideas (or program bugs). Kindly picture an adolescent puppy, feet still 'way too big for it, bouncing up and down, just waiting for the ball to be thrown; that's me. That's why I use so many abbrs; I'm in full chase-mode. That's also what I mean when I use bangs (!): excitement! My biggest regret so far, in our increasingly successful collaboration, is that I don't get the chance to chase all the balls you throw; I find your ideas fascinating.
I use suspect as a warning of mind-reading. That's rather like finishing somebody else's sentences; some people love it, others hate it (even if I'm right). My obvious solution is to tailor my conversational style to the listener's preference.
Further, I have always been proud of my ability to "speak in tongues": 'user' to users, 'tech' to my fellow techies, 'volts' to the h/w folks, even 'admin' to managers. Keep the idea intact, but render it maximally comprehensible to the hearer, as any translator should.
Hope all this helps mutual understanding. :-)--TJ 13:34, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Ok. Alienus 19:01, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Reference request[edit]

In my short (~two weeks) time here in Wp, I've spent most of it reading policies, guidelines, &c, &c. If you have the time to dig up that reference to polite text-insertion, I would appreciate it. It might lead me to other things I should know.--TJ 13:34, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
My bias toward interpolated text probably comes from maintenance programming, in which the line of code has to go exactly there and nowhere else. (I did a lot of work on a diff-type program, to make life easier for everybody.)--TJ 13:34, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

First, you don't need to insert the <br> as a paragraph break when writing unindented text. Instead, skip a blank line. There's a lot more about wiki-formatting capabilities on Wikipedia:How_to_edit_a_page, and I tend to learn a bit more everytime I read it. For the conventions editors are expected to follow, start with Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style. Keep in mind that both of these link extensively, and you'll need to follow many of these links in order to get the full picture. You also won't be able to get it all at once.
Second, in the time I allotted myself, I wasn't able to find the specific spot where interpoloation was labeled as bad, although I've found it before. The closest I came was Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines, but it lacks both normativity and comprehensiveness. In other words, it explains the standard method (which lacks interpolation) but doesn't exhaustively list acceptable methods or exclude anything.
The explanation I read against interpolations is simply that they makes it very difficult to determine who wrote what. When dealing with things like email, the original text can always be distinguished by a leading ">" or perhaps a different font color. But on Wikipedia, it's all one big text file, so interpolated text leads to ambiguities that cannot be resolved using any formal grammar. I do want to give you a more direct reference for this, so I'll keep an eye out for it. For now, please trust me that interpolation on Talk pages is not a good idea. Alienus 19:00, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Editing help[edit]

I realize that HTML is deprecated for article-space, and I'd rather practice doing it right even in talk-space. Memory supplies that "<br> is to be used sparingly" (emphasis in the original). It's just that I'm having trouble with the not-quite-WYSIWYG rendering in Edit Preview.
This new paragraph illustrates the point. Without the markup above, it won't be a new paragraph. As far as I can figure, markup is needed for left-justified text, but not for colon-indented text.
My first major project is going to be re-visiting most of the Help pages, and add ing info and links thereto; maybe along the lines of "Editing [or whatever] for dummies", though I'll probably use the term "newbies" to avoid stumbling into a copyvio. So, any help you care to offer to me will not only be appreciated, but also may be spread widely. (Fair warning! :-)--TJ 13:34, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Check the section above for some helpful links. Alienus 19:00, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Civility[edit]

Stop hand.png

Regarding this edit and others: May we remind you to be civil and to not form personal attacks or edit wars through your or others' comments; doing so will only cause tension and annoyance. --InShaneee 00:16, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I will 'ban' him if I see he has a persistant record of incivil behavior. So far as I can tell from his last few edits, though you may disagree with his stance, he has been keeping a rational demeanor. --InShaneee 00:24, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

See, that's the problem with getting involved in the middle; you can wind up acting without knowing what's going on. If you check out Ayn Rand and Objectivism and homosexuality, you'll see that he launched edit wars on both of these, resulting in both being Protected. We finally got the first one unprotected, and I made the change suggested by the admin who did it. In response, LazsloWalrus immediately edit-warred to remove it. Given this context, I think my comments had far more civility than he deserved. He has repeatedly launched edit wars and acted in bad faith. If he continues his edit war on Ayn Rand, I think a LONG ban is more than justified. In contrast, warning me for warning him seems pointless, and I flatly reject the idea that I am not being sufficiently civil towards this repeat-offender vandal and edit-warrior. Alienus 00:27, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

  • His behavior, past or present, is not relevant. If he breaks wikipedia policy, he will be blocked for it. In the meantime, you need to remain civil to ALL users, or you will be temporarily blocked. --InShaneee 00:30, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Fine, I've just edited my comment on his Talk page to restore some modicum of civility. Alienus 00:37, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Edit warring[edit]

I'm giving both you and User:LaszloWalrus a warning that, notwithstanding the fact that I'm not banning either of you from editing Ayn Rand, I will block you both if you persist in edit warring on the article. Then you won't be able to edit Wikipedia at all for a bit. Please continue to argue your cases on the talk page. --Tony Sidaway 01:40, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

With all due respect, LaszloWalrus has a long-standing refusal to discuss anything on the Talk page when edit-warring works so well for him. He consistently acts in bad faith.
I ended the edit war by letting him "win" it for the moment, but I won't stop until he's neutralized. He is a persistant and unrepentant edit warrior, and I've just filed an incident on the noticeboard to request his ban. Feel free to weigh in on it or not. Either way, this won't end until he's gone. Alienus 01:46, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Agree with Revert of Jesus Page[edit]

Dear Alienus: I agree with your revert of the Jesus page change. Would you do me a favor and add to your edit summary an invitation to talk about it first on the talk page? Thanks! --CTSWyneken 01:50, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I should have left a clearer explanation. I can't change prior edit summaries, but I can certainly add a trivial edit with a new summary, and will do so now. Alienus 01:51, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Proving my point.[edit]

So, Tony Sidaways unprotects the pages, and Laszlo immediately starts edit-warring. I complain, so now I'm blocked. Again. Everytime I bring admins into these problems, I get blocked. What a joke. Why do I even bother dealing with admins if all they do is block blindly?!

In the spirit of irony, here's what I was writing on Tony's page when the block came through:

That turns out not to be the case. You see, until your recent unprotection of Objectivism and homosexuality, Laszlo had been repeatedly removing the Category:LGBT rights opposition category from there as well. Since he refuses to Talk and he continues to revert, he's going to just pick up where he left off, and you're the one who enabled him.
There is no parity here. I'm pissed, yes, but for good reason. Laszlo simply isn't being reasonable. He isn't willing to Talk, he shows no sign of compromise or open-mindedness. He comes to Wikipedia to shower love on Ayn Rand and Paul Laszlo, and he's willing to edit war to get his way. I'm here on Wikipedia because I detest zealots like him and I will not let them get their way no matter what. I am nothing like him; I am the nemesis of all zealots alike.

Funny, eh? Chinese legalism wins again. Fuck Wikipedia. Alienus 03:04, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Comment[edit]

Alienus, from a purely practical standpoint, you're going about it the wrong way. Fight zealots, good. There's a right way to do that here, and you can win, every time. There are lots of mechanisms in place here to stop zealots from screwing things up; use them, and you won't get blocked. Take it upon yourself to repeatedly revert anything, and you'll get blocked for it, eventually. That's just not how it's done. Now that you're blocked for reverting, I wish I'd pressed the point more at Talk:Safe sex earlier. If you want to know how to make Wikipedia work for you, just ask. -GTBacchus(talk)/(email) 03:25, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Oddly enough, I didn't get blocked just now for 3RR violation. In fact, I didn't violate the 3RR at all. Instead, I made the mistake of going to the admins to head off an edit war before it could reach 3RR proportions, and was soundly punished for my actions. What's funny is that my previous block was punishment for daring to report a 3RR violation, not for violating it myself.
In case it's not already painfully clear, Wikipedia is not exactly the sort of place where justice often prevails. Now, you suggest that there are better ways. Perhaps, but how exactly would you deal with a zealot like Laszlo I-Love-Rand-More-Than-The-Truth Walrus? That's not a rhetorical question; I genuinely want to know. Alienus 08:56, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm looking into it. Laszlo does seem like a tricky one. There's no reason to let him draw you into edit wars though. In his block summary, Tony Sidaway mentioned three articles: Ayn Rand, Rodeo Drive and Objectivism and homosexuality. I've just had a look at their recent histories and talk pages.
Rodeo Drive is the easiest. I've removed that silly sentence and explained it on talk. The trick with that sort of thing is to get someone else to take the sentence out the second time. You do it once. If you do it repeatedly, then when you finally find your way to WP:AN/I or somewhere, the first admin to look into the case sees two edit warriors, and throws a block at both of you. If you make a good impression, as someone who's willing to leave the article in the wrong version while going to collect more opinions, just because you'd rather err on the side of reverting less, then admins will fall over themselves to listen to you and help you. You'll be a "good guy".
On the other hand, if an admin looks into some conflict and sees you doing popup reverts in a content dispute, their first thought is going to be "WP:DICK". I'm not saying that you're a dick - I don't really know you from Adam. I'm telling you something about how a typical Wikipedia admin thinks. We put up with a lot of bullshit every day, and we tend to categorize people quickly based on their editing style. Maybe that's not fair, but it's true, and it's the same way lots of situations work in the world, so it's not surprising. (Interestingly, it's rather like dealing with cops - there's a right and a wrong way to do that, too.)
On to the whole objectivism versus gay rights issue... that's trickier. At Ayn Rand, you've got several people on the talk page, including some relative newcomers to the discussion, all disagreeing with you about including Rand in the LGBT rights opponents category. Unless you can convince some people to support your edit there, I'm afraid you lose that one. Personally, I want to spit just thinking about Ayn Rand, but I don't think she belongs in that category, based on all the arguments I've read on the talk page there. I don't see that any source characterizes her as an LGBT rights opponent, or that she specifically opposed LGBT rights in practice, even if it was just for lack of opportunity, because the specific rights that she obviously would have opposed weren't really being part of the public discourse at the time.
That's just my opinion, and I know very little about... anything relevant to the question. I just know what's right in front of me. If the chief opposition to inlcuding Rand in that category really does come from slavish Objectivist hero-worship, then bringing more non-Randian eyes to the article should demonstrate that the true community consensus differs from that of a small group of fanboys. A decent way to get non-Randian eyes to look at the article is to file an article WP:RFC. Meanwhile, a good strategy is to avoid statements like: "I will, of course, restore any unexplained and unjustified removals of Rand from this category." That will make newcomers to the situation see you as a vexatious editor before they get any further. Bad impression. Baiting someone else into a 3RR violation is just as bad as the violation itself, in the eyes of many an admin.
Of course, if you can't find more people to agree with you, then you just don't get your way, and there's no way around that. I can't predict what will happen if more people look at it, except that consensus, whatever it turns out to be, will reveal itself more fully.
Finally, Objectivism and homosexuality. Honestly, the reversions you guys were making there are so complicated and involve so many changes that I can't tell a thing without an hour's study, and I'm not staying awake for another hour tonight. Let me just give you a direct answer to your question, of how I would (and will) deal with someone like User:LaszloWalrus. The trick is to let him dig his own grave, if he wants to do it. Keep track of what he's doing, sure. Don't revert anything he does more than once. Get other people to look at it, and see if they agree with you. If he really is a problem editor, he'll gradually acquire a fan-club of veteran Wikipedians who watch his edits, and he won't be able to misstep without it being seen. If you fight fire with fire, though, you'll end up getting precisely the same kind of attention, and you don't want that. In particular, statements like this will get you on a lot of bad sides. Learn to avoid that kind of thinking as heresy, and you'll see your luck change for the better. -GTBacchus(talk) 11:29, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think I would put it quite like that, but the basic idea is that you need widen the discussion, to make sure that more people (and not just more people who you know will agree with you--that's wrong too) look at the dispute. The classic dispute resolution mechanism here is the Request for comments. Go to the relevant RfC subpages, Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Society, law,_and_sex and Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Religion and philosophy, and on each, add something like "Dispute on Ayn Rand over whether she should be in the category Category:LGBT rights opposition" and sign it with FIVE tildes ~~~~~. This will give a link to the page that people interested in the subject matter will come to look at the discussion and add their thoughts. Meanwhile, be patient. And do be prepared to accept a situation that may not appear ideal--for instance where Ayn Rand is not in the category but Objectivism and homosexuality is. --Tony Sidaway 14:52, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Seeing that Alienus continued to edit war on Objectivism and homosexuality after the end of his three hour block, and LaszloWalrus continued to edit war on Rodeo Drive after the end of his, I've added a twenty-one hour block to both. Both editors must get the message that it isn't acceptable to use edit warring as a tool to get their way. --Tony Sidaway 15:16, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Actually, you're not seeing me continue an edit war, because that's not what's happening. Instead, you're seeing me cooperating with TJ, AED and anyone else who's willing to contribute to the article, making changes only after discussing it with others and seeking consensus. You're also seeing Laszlo and his apparent sock puppet reverting all the work, but mostly being ignored. The bottom line is that I'm being a good editor, while Laszlo is being a vandal, and the difference is as plain as day if you actually look. So far, you haven't, so the only message you're sending is that you're willing to punish the innocent along with the guilty. Is this really the message you want to send? Alienus 18:04, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Neither of you is innocent. At the end of the day, the only difference is that you are feeling a little more self-righteous about it. Meanwhile Crotalus horridus tells me that he has put an article content RfC out on this dispute. --Tony Sidaway 20:53, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I fully expected you to see it this way. Unfortunately, you're just plain wrong, and I'm righteous because I'm right. I've consistently participated in Talk instead of edit-warring, while the same cannot be said of Walrus. Your refusal to notice this difference is not my fault, and an RfC will not help matters at all. Only removing Walrus will fix things, and that's the one thing you won't do. Alienus 21:24, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Sticking to an "I'm right and he's wrong" line will get you nowhere fast, not that you seem to heed advice. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:56, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

And if it were my goal to placate people by heeding advice I disagree with just so I can "get somewhere", I'd be concerned. However, I've already stated my goals, and they center on opposing zealots and letting the truth be known. These may be lofty goals, but they're what drives me, and I won't settle for anything less.

GT, the fact is that I haven't had any opportunity to fully evaluate your advice because I've been kept blocked the whole time. It's this sort of clumsy heavy-handedness, whether by Wiki admins or real cops, that gives them both a bad rep. In the real word, we're more likely to think of cops as the bozos who give us tickets, not the heros who protect us from genuine crime. Such is the case here, where good editors have more to fear from admins than bad ones do. Hell, if I was a Kdbufflo or a Jason Gastrich, I'd be sprouting up sockpuppets, vandalizing pages and generally being a dick. Instead, I'm editing the only page on Wikipedia that I haven't been blocked from. Think about that. Alienus 02:48, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, it sounds like you explicitly want to get something done - you want to oppose zealots. You can disagree with the observations of those more experienced than you in how Wikipedia works, but I don't see that as a very effective way to serve your cause. Wikipedia is a funny thing, and people approach it in vastly different ways. Some people manage to get a lot done; others run into constant static. I would suggest it's due to a difference of approach.
It's true that one strategy is to become a career vandal. I guess if you think that's the best way to get things done, then you'll eventually do it. I would rather you didn't, because I think you have a lot to contribute, and Jason Gastrich doesn't actually manage to contribute anything, as a sock-vandal, except for a few minutes at a time. I realize that you got re-blocked again quickly, and didn't have much chance to experiment, and find a way of editing that will allow you to remain true to yourself without running afoul of Wikipedia culture, which is what's going on now. I guess I just suggest that when this block expires you look for a different approach. Experiment conservatively. Remember that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Objectivism and homosexuality is an opportunity, as I see it. Articles that attract people who really disagree with each other can become excellent articles when people just decide to work at a high level of mutual respect, despite their differences. The first step is to stop making large scale reversions, for any reason. Patience, in making small edits over time, buoyed by constant give-and-take dialogue, is incredibly powerful.
The following are recommended reading:
As for your statement that "good editors have more to fear from admins than bad ones do," I would say that hundreds and hundreds of good editors will disagree with you on that. Editors who think there's any excuse for edit warring ever aren't widely considered "good editors" around here.
Look around some more; do some more reading. Check out the talk pages of controversial articles where people have managed to find compromises. (The Harmonious editing club listed above has a hall of fame.) Consider that the dual tasks of fighting zealotry and maintaining a defiance of Wikipedia culture might be more than you want to take on. -GTBacchus(talk) 04:18, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

What pisses me off about all this is that we were making genuine progress on Objectivism and homosexuality. With the the Protect in place, the vandals were forced to join the rest of us in Talk and come to a consensus. Changes were made in response to criticism and those changes were genuine improvements. Then an admin came in and fucked things up.

I'm not a vandal and I'm not interested in becoming one. I've made many positive, uncontroversial contributions and I've done my share to fix real vandalism. What further pisses me off is that, just now, I saw a bit of vandalism in my Watchlist -- some Creationist zealot poisoned Fred Hoyle with an obvious falsehood -- and I can't do anything about it except bitch in here. In contrast, Laszlo's got nothing better to do with his life than erase plain facts that don't put his hero in the best possible light. Like I said above, the black hats have less to lose. Alienus 04:28, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't characterize those edits at Fred Hoyle as vandalism. The editor made extensive arguments on the talk page supporting his changes. He may be wrong, but calling it vandalism is asking for trouble. We reserve that word for blatant acts like blanking entire pages and replacing them with pictures of penises, or text like "OMG JIMBO IS GAY LOLERZ!!!1!" Utterly misguided, incorrect, bigoted edits are not considered vandalism here.
Anyway, which bit in particular are you referring to as an obvious falsehood? I see that he removed a Dawkins quote, hedged a couple of statements, and added an assertion that some biologists see that probability argument as a real problem for evolution (e.g., Michael Denton, who appears to be a bona fide biologist). I take it that last part is the obvious falsehood? I'm inclined to replace the Dawkins quote, while adapting some of the new edits into some intermediate version...
As for Objectivism and homosexuality, don't worry. It's not going anywhere. The progress you and TJ are making is still there, waiting for you to get back. -GTBacchus(talk) 04:59, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the edit made to the Hoyle article is not the sort of obvious vandalism that consists of wiping the page and replacing it with an all-caps declaration that Jesus loves even atheists. However, it is nonetheless a major injection of falsehood in the service of partisanship. Not only does the edit reveal deep ignorance of biology -- particularly in the Talk assertion that natural selection doesn't apply to abiogenesis -- but betrays origins in Creationist propaganda, as he references the Denton book.

In any case, the edit is wrong in that it's biased original research. Even if Dawkins is completely and totally wrong (and he's not), that's not an excuse to remove the quote. Rather, it would be reason to balance the quote with a reference to a refutation. Moreover, Dawkins' take on Hoyle, while unkind, is hardly some irrelevant fringe view. It would not be hard to find quotes from a wide variety of mainstream biologists that point out errors in Hoyles' claims, with varying levels of bluntness. I may well do so, once the block goes away. Not sure when that is, because by my estimate, it should have been gone a few hours ago. Alienus 05:10, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

There's a link to your block log at the top of Special:Contributions/Alienus; you can tell from there. I'll see you in the fray. -GTBacchus(talk) 05:18, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and Original Research \neq Vandalism. Get super-conservative about what you're willing to call "vandalism", and you'll hit less static. -GTBacchus(talk) 05:25, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I know. I did look, but I think that I failed to adjust for UTC, which accounts for my confusion. In the meantime, I found a bad link on Gay rights in the United States and some odd language on Same-sex marriage. I'll get to them when the block goes away (using this as a reminder). For now, I'm going to do that thing where I close my eyes and make loud noises intermittently. Alienus 05:25, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

ARI[edit]

Thanks for your comments on my Talk page. The specific reference to ARI is much better.

Gay rights states that "[t]he gay rights movement, also called the LGBT rights movement, is a social and political movement with the goal of achieving [social]equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) persons." Therefore, is it accurate to state that a supporter of “gay rights” is someone who supports social equality for LGBTs? AED 09:11, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

That sounds like a reasonable definition, so long as we can nail down what social equality really is. I've heard a very good operational definition which says that gays will have social equality when being gay is as significant as being left-handed. Alienus 18:06, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

If a supporter of "gay rights" is someone who supports social equality for LGBTs, then an opponent of "gay rights" would be someone who does not support social equality for LGBTs. Is that accurate? AED 07:10, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Not really. Consider that Billybob Smith of Ohio does not support social equality for LGBT's, but he's told nobody of this, and he himself is a nobody. On that basis, he would not qualify as one who opposes LGBT rights. In contrast, Rand stood up in front of hundreds of people and called homosexuality immoral and disgusting, then endorsed policies incompatible with social equality for LGBT's. This qualifies her as one who opposes LGBT rights. Alienus 08:01, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

So, a supporter of "gay rights" is someone who supports social equality for LGBTs, but an opponent of "gay rights" is NOT someone who does not support social equality for LGBTs? AED 08:07, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I thought I was being clear, but I guess I wasn't. I'll try again.
The point I was trying to make is that a private citizen who is silently for or against equality for gays doesn't deserve to be listed in either category. They have to be notable and they have speak about this issue in the course of acting as public figure. If, during the course of some pillow-talk, Ayn confided to Nat that she found gays disgusting, this would reveal her true feelings but fail to constitute public speech.
Is that clearer? Alienus 16:48, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not yet discussing Rand or attempting to establish who should or should not be listed in the category. I'm attempting to first establish what is the specific definition of a "gay rights opponent". Is it not one who does not support social equality for LGBTs? AED

I'm making a good-faith effort to explain and you're too busy wiki-lawyering to care. Stop wasting my time. Alienus 17:18, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Alienus, please excuse my interrupting, but isn't your gist that there's a difference between "not supporting" something and "opposing" something? So the defintion of an LBGT opponent would not be "one who does not support LGBT rights" but rather "one who opposes LGBT rights"? Am I understanding you correctly? It seems clear to me... -GTBacchus(talk) 18:55, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Pretty much. To oppose LGBT rights, you need to actively oppose them. Staying at home and thinking negative thoughts doesn't suffice; you have to go out there and try to publicly influence people and policies so as to generally interfere with the success of the LGBT rights movement.

I don't see this as particularly unclear, and the issue that spawned this question has already been resolved by LasloWalrus' acceptance of my pro/con compromise proposal, so this is a very deceased equine that we're flagellating. Alienus 19:02, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I apologize if I have tried your patience. I think we share a mutual understanding of what certain terms mean: a supporter of gay rights is someone who supports social equality for LGBTs, and an opponent of gay rights is someone who opposes social equality for LGBTs. Your clarification helps me to understand your perspective better in that this appears to be a disagreement of “means” (the policies that lead to social equality for LGBTs) rather than “ends” (social equality for LGBTs). You asserted that Rand “endorsed policies incompatible with social equality for LGBT's”, therefore, that “qualifies her as one who opposes LGBT rights”. In other words, to believe that Rand opposed LGBT rights, one must first buy into the premise that she “endorsed policies incompatible with social equality for LGBTs”. Many LGBTs certainly don’t (see Outright Libertarians). The premise that the removal of anti-discrimination bans are incompatible with social equality is decidely POV, particulary since there is some ambiguity to what “social equality” means as you initially suggested. Thanks again for your patience. AED 22:08, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

As I understand it, the libertarian view is that, once the government is out of the picture, whether discrimination against gays in the private sector will continue depends entirely on the whims of the free market, and that's just fine. Some people think or hope the discrimination will stop, some people don't; either way, they're united by their willingness to accept whatever comes of this laissez faire approach and their unwillingness to legislate equal economic treatment.

Unfortunately, you're still wiki-lawyering and still getting the details conveniently wrong. As it turns out, the gay rights movement is not defined solely in terms of the desired outcome, but also the means by which it is to be achieved. If it was just a matter of outcome, they'd be armchair dreamers, not a social movement fueled by activists urgently seeking to have their list of demands fulfilled. The mainstream of the gay rights movement is very much liberal, not libertarian or conservative, and is therefore unafraid of getting the governent involved in ensuring that desired outcome. It is this gay rights movement that defines the details of what constitutes gay rights, so any opposition to the movement constitutes an opposition to gay rights. Alienus 22:25, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Not necessarily. As the Gay rights article suggests, the gay rights movement is a collection of loosely, aligned groups with a wide-range of opinons. The crux of the gay rights movement, that LGBTs deserve the same rights as everyone else, is perhaps the only common demoninator. The Outright Libertarians, albeit a minority part of the gay rights movement, are a prime example of how people can hope to achieve the same end but disagree on the means to achieve it. Anyway, I appreciate your point of view and thanks for the discussion. AED 06:36, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Objectivism Wikiproject?[edit]

Hi Alienus, following the recent discussion on the Chris Matthew Sciabarra talk page, I was wondering if anyone has thought of starting an organised Wikiproject to deal with the Objectivism-related articles on Wikipedia? If not, would you be interested in participating in such an endeavour were one to be started up? (Given the situation with some of the relevant pages it may of course prove to be more trouble than its worth!) Matthew Humphreys 10:55, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not much for starting, but I'll help out. Alienus 15:41, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Cool. I've put up a proposal here, please take a look and add your name to express interest. It seems there need to be at least 5 - 10 interested users before the project can go ahead. Thanks. --Matthew Humphreys 16:26, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Hi Alienus. I was wondering if you know any other Objectivists on Wikipedia who may be interested in this project? At the moment there are only three members (besides myself) who have expressed an interest, could do with a few more before setting up a formal project page. Matthew Humphreys 14:02, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Have you posted a notice on Ayn Rand and Objectivist philosophy? That's where people who have some knowledge of Rand and Objectivism tend to congregate. Alienus 14:15, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm thinking of doing that. There's one major drawback - the project may get over run by ARI-affiliates ;-) Matthew Humphreys 14:25, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I do understand that. However, I think it's pretty much inevitable. I'd say that the majority of those participating on Rand-related articles are ARI-affiliated, so there's no avoiding it. All you can hope for is the participation of the more reasonable ones. Alienus 21:01, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Stunned[edit]

Hello. I was amazed to see your edit summary here stating that "but the content looks neutral and cited". Please see my comments at Talk:Medical analysis of circumcision#POV. Jakew 10:24, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

For the record, this was responded to on the Talk page, and would have been even without this message. Alienus 21:40, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Abuse of "god mode" scripts[edit]

Please note that reverting using popups scripts, also known as "god mode", should be used for reverting vandalism only. Please do not use these scripts to revert edits in articles you are involved with. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 21:31, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem is unexplained reverts, not reverts using a macro. This revert came in the context of prior explanation of why these changes were undesirable, and were immediately followed with specific explanation. In short, I reject your warning as inapplicable. Now go back to the article and explain why your whitewashing proposal should be accepted. Alienus 21:40, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I have placed a request for clarification at the Administrators' noticeboard, regarding the use of god mode scripts. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 21:46, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Alienus, hi. I saw Jossi's note at the noticeboard, and thought I'd drop off a link to Wikipedia:Etiquette, where such issues are addressed in some detail. It is considered a discourtesy to use any process that auto-generates edit summaries when reverting non-vandalistic edits, even if they're explained on the talk page as well. A simple note like, "rv - see talk" is already much better than "Revert to revision dated 15:44, 12 March 2006 by RexNL, oldid 43480651 using popups". Jossi, I think we can assume that Alienus was unaware of this particular point of Wikipedia culture.
Happy editing, to both of you. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:46, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I use the automatic method for any revert whose reason is completely obvious. Most often, it's when dealing with blatant vandalism. In this case, he jumped the gun to add text right in the middle of a discussion about why he shouldn't add it. I also followed up in Talk immediately afterwards. Alienus 22:57, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, it's considered discourteous, whatever your reason is. Now you know. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:59, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I would say that, in this particular context, it was at most a minor discourtesy. But, yes, I acknowledge that you have conveyed the official message. Alienus 23:06, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

For the record, I did not considered it to be minor. I fight vandalism of Wikipedia 30% of my Wikitime( see my block log), and to find my edit reverted as if I was a mere vandal, was very insulting to me. An apologize would be nice. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 23:55, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
As per GTBacchus, I see this as a mistake based on lack of knowledge of Wikieetiquette. Apology not needed, I don't want to disrupt Wikipedia just to make a point (WP:POINT. Let's get back to editing, shall we? ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 02:36, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

For the record, I do consider it minor at worst. I fight vandalism, too; go check my log. And I also fight the more subtle but just as destructive attempts of extremists to pollute articles with excess POV. Therefore, you don't earn an apology in this matter. Alienus 02:36, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Now you acusse me to be an extremist that pollutes with excess POV? When I have actually declared that I am Jewish and I do not care about Mother Theresa one bit? I would suggest you take a serious look at your too obvious inability to assume good faith from a fellow editor, that came to the aritcle by pure chance, and observed several inconsistencies with the content policies of Wikipedia. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 02:53, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't care if you're Jewish, Catholic or Hindu. I don't care if your goal was to perfect Wikipedia or destroy it. I am not a mind-reader and I don't pretend to be one. All I need to know in order to act is what you do, not what you think. I acted based on what you did, and I have no regrets, hence nothing to apologize for. Alienus 03:02, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

What about the statement you proudly display at the top of this page? Is it just for decoration, then? Anyway, don't care to answer, you actions say it all. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:09, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

You didn't clearly identify which statement you meant, and I refuse to play guessing games. I am proud of my actions and will continue them. Alienus 03:13, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Portal philosophy[edit]

Hehe, you were supposed to click the red link and copy and paste the intro from the selected article into it. I'll do it now, but just a heads up for next time :) -- infinity0 22:12, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Already done. Alienus 22:13, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Response to your edit on Polygamy page[edit]

You removed a comment I submitted. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Polygamy&diff=43556104&oldid=43555488

You stated "OR. Cite as least one "proponent". Also, it happens to be a pretty weak argument."

1. "proponent" = Cultural anthropology. From a book printed about 8 years ago, and have not been able to find. If you speak with a cultural anthropologist, they will validate--so i did not cite a "source" on this. Can you help me find one ?

2. 'weak argument.' can you quantify this, or provide some measure by which everyone can classify weak? Cite at least one source. Along with several Muslims in the community, they believe double-standards are a major flaw in our legal system. Please refer to current issue of the Danish comic strip. Serial monogamy is not a weak argument then? I find it on equal grounds, along side the cultural anthropology sources.

67.169.244.224 07:49, 13 March 2006 (UTC) Eran, I have a degree in sociology, with emphasis in religion and anthropology, therefore I can also claim to be an expert source. Perhaps I should quote myself, or do I need to publish a "scholarly paper" on the topic first?

The promise of a citation is not itself a citation. Come up with an ISBN or URL or something, and then we'll talk.
As for the fact that it's a weak argument, that was my attempt at a friendly hint. When people put up weak arguments, they tend to get torn apart. If you don't believe me, then find a citation, revert my deletion, then see for yourself.
Oh, and please don't bother telling me about your degrees. You'd be surprised by how little I care. Alienus 07:59, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Where is the source for the existing "Where is the source for the current text "The modern trend towards frequent divorce and remarriage is sometimes referred to by conservative Christians as 'serial polygamy'."

The reason there's no source listed for the sentence you brought up is that nobody thought it needed citing. If they had, it would have been very easy to find a citation for it. Essentially, nobody doubted its accuracy, so it remained unquestioned. Are you legitimately questioning it or are you just sore that your uncited insertion is being rejected?

Alienus 08:25, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

I am qustioning why you remove my edits to the article when they are comparable to others in terms of legitimacy. peerhaps it would be more effective to add a "citation needed" instead of removing them immediately.

Obviously I have it in for you, even though I don't have a clue of who you are. Or, just maybe, the "[citation needed]" template is more appropriate for existing text that, if not cited promptly, will be deleted. This two-phase approach is less disruptive.
In contrast, immediately reverting new insertions is often less disruptive that allowing questionable new text to remain for a little bit before killing it.
The bottom line is that I'm making an entirely reasonable request for citations. The proper response isn't to revert my deletion and question my motives. The proper response is to either find a citation or give up. Alienus 13:54, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

WP:CIVIL[edit]

Tell me this is uncivil, Alienus:

I respect you. I think you have a lot to contribute to Wikipedia. You strike me as an intelligent and passionate person. I believe that you can be an excellent contributor here. I think that you are better than some comments I've seen you make, including what I was replying to at Talk:Abortion. You're not giving yourself enough respect, or doing yourself justice when you edit like a child. I believe that you have the character to rise above pettiness, impatience, and disrespect and to be a shining example for all of us. I challenge you to do just that. Call me out for being uncivil now. I stand by my utter rejection of your comment at Talk:Abortion. That was baby-talk, and I believe that you're a man. Prove it.

If you act like a child, I will call you out. That's not uncivil; it's respect. -GTBacchus(talk) 06:20, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Civility is about form, not content. If I think you're a complete and total asshole and I say so, that's uncivil. If I think the exact same thing but restrict my response to a polite expression of disagreement about your specific point, that's civil. Likewise, whatever the motivations for your inspirational insults, they remain uncivil. As you may have noticed, the problem with being uncivil is that people tend to notice this undesirable form and not even bother to evaluate the content.
As for me, I don't claim to have infinite patience, and I certainly don't promise to give respect those who have not earned it. The fact is that I patiently, carefully and properly made two attempts at fixing a broken definition, and the response I received has used up all of my patience. The permanent blocking of Haliburton Shill's account consumed the last bit I had left.
You need to accept this and realize that patience cannot be mandated, much less created at will. I'm done with Abortion for now. If I find some patience to try again, you'll see me there. Otherwise, you won't. Alienus 17:07, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Suits me fine. I look forward to your future contributions. If I don't happen to see you whining unproductively on talk pages that are on my watchlist, then I won't have that to complain about. Running out of patience is one thing - venting about it on an article talk page and declaring the work going on there to be "pointless" is another. I will continue to call out that sort of behavior when I see it from anyone. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:45, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

User notice: temporary 3RR block on Medical analysis of circumcision[edit]

Octagon-warning.png
You have been temporarily blocked for violation of the three-revert rule. Please feel free to return after the block expires, but also please make an effort to discuss your changes further in the future. The duration of the block [2] is 48 hours (repeat offences; blatant well-over-3 reverts) William M. Connolley 19:18, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

In fact, there is no 3RR violation here. You've been led to make a mistake.

If you take a more careful look, you'll find that there are two separate sections of text, one on infections, the other on bleeding. I gave up on the infection text so as to avoid 3RR, even though I still haven't gotten a clear and honest reason for its repeated reversion.

In the meantime, one of my changed included not only the restoration of the removed text, but the addition of unrelated text on bleeding. Unfortunately, Jay kept using blanket reverts without bothering to do diff's, so he was wiping out both the disputed insert and this new, undisputed insert. Since no reason has ever been stated for the removal of the text on bleeding, I reverted that, twice.

My reversions for either block of text do not exceed the limit, and as they're independent, it doesn't make sense to combine the two. As a result, it's not "well-over-3 reverts", it's two unrelated blocks of text that are each reverted fewer times than the limit.

Once the block is gone, I'm going to revisit the issue of why non-vandal text was removed repeatedly and without explanation, as well as why the original text was reverted despite the fact that it met all criteria for inclusion. This will include following up on why Jay has been allowed to violate Wikipedia rules while I've been punished despite not violating them. I bet you can guess what will come of this. Alienus 19:57, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I think you are miscounting. You clearly reverted the removal of the paragraph beginning "There is a particular risk for..." four times (specific diffs are on WP:AN/3RR.) Regards, Nandesuka 21:20, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
I checked before blocking. You broke 3RR William M. Connolley 22:11, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

You can be blocked for making different reverts: someone adds a sentence to the third paragraph and you delete it; someone else changes a word in the fifth paragraph and you change it back; someone moves a paragraph to a different place within the article, and you move it back; and then, finally, someone deletes a sentence in the last paragraph, and you put it back in — in such a case, you have made four reverts, since it's the act of reverting that counts. Obviously reverting of vandalism wouldn't count, though some people incorrectly refer to a POV edits as vandalism when they're reverting. Cheers. AnnH 23:56, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Are you saying I made four reverts or "well-over-3 reverts"? Alienus 06:29, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not saying anything about the number of reverts that you made, since I haven't counted them. I see no reason not to trust William M. Connolley. The reason for my comment was that you seemed to be disputing the block on the grounds that the reverts were different ones, so I was explaining that if they are made to the same article within the same twenty-four-hour period, they still count. My use of the word "you" was as an alternative to the more formal word "one". I was referring to Wikipedians in general, who can be blocked if they revert an article four times, regardless of whether or not they are reverting the same material. I was not referring to User:Alienus. However, I do know that you've violated the rule in the past, at Criticism of Christianity, and that you got quite angry with me for simply telling you, even though I had said that I wasn't going to report you. AnnH 19:36, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Sorry to hear you are having problems with William M. Connolley - one of the worst examples of an admin who misuses his powers to push his POV. Robsteadman 17:41, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't see this as a problem with William, but a problem with the admin system. William is being successfully gamed by Jakew, Jayjg and Nandesuka, a trio of wheel-warriors who obstructed any attempt at all include some mention CA-MRSA in the context of circumcision, no matter how neutral and cited. They dicked me around for days with an endlessly escalating series of requirements, all the while reverting my attempts 8 times! There was only one instance where my text wasn't reverted outright, and even then, it got tagged for citation then reverted anyhow after I provided citation. At no point did any of them even try to correct the supposed flaws in my text or to honor their own promises about what it would take to get the text kept. This is bad faith.

Anyhow, according to Nandesuka and William, a went "well over" the 3RR. By another admin's count, I had 4 reverts. By my count, I had 1, then 2, then 2, all of different things. Someone here can't do the math. There are some other peculiarities I'll get around to following up on, but for right now, I just want to know whether the basis for my extended ban -- going "well over" the limit -- is something that anyone is still claiming to be true. If it's not, then why am I still banned? If it is, then why can't they agree on how many reverts I did? This doesn't add up and I'm not going to drop this issue until a few admins have lost their badges. Alienus 17:55, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Along with William M. Connolley I wouldn't trust Jayjg who blocked me for use of sockpuppets when I hadn't been using them - they are all rather conveniently allied to the "jesus" fanatics and, imho, shouldn't be admin at all. They abuse their position and are waging war against genuine editors who want to make WP into a factual and verifiable NPOV encyclopedia. if you wish to pursue a comploaint against connelly and Jayjg I would be more than happy to support you - both are a menace to genuine editing. Robsteadman 19:17, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Hey, so far as I know, William is just Jay's dupe, not his willing accomplice. The worst of the bunch is Nandesuka, who reverted the text on coagulation disorders twice without giving even a hint of what he might object to. In fact, his comments reveal that he was doing it in support of Jakew and Jayjg, not for any reasons of his own.
The first was "Reverting - I don't want to reward bad behavior". What the fuck? This says nothing about the content itself. What bad behavior? Then I revert it with the comment: "no explanation has been given for removing this text. EVER, BY ANYONE. The only bad behavior was the removal". In response, Nandesuka reverts with "I believe you have stepped way beyond 3RR here. Please stop.", which is simply nonsense.
Anyhow, I'm not stopping until Jayjg, Nandesuka, Jakew and anyone else who supports them is blocked from Wikipedia indefinitely. Alienus 20:48, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

"By another admin's count, I had 4 reverts." If you're referring to my comments, I wasn't commenting on how many reverts you had made. I was pointing out that "you can be blocked" (i.e. "one can be blocked") for reverting four times, even if it's not a revert of the same material. AnnH 19:36, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Fine, then I'll leave you out of this so long as you stay out of this. It's up to William to answer me. He needs to explain precisley how many reverts I did and when they occurred, or I'll have his badge. No admin has the right to ban without giving full explanation of the charges. Alienus 20:48, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
You are, of course, welcome to say or think whatever you want, but I will gently suggest to you what I think is a more promising path forward: if you want to avoid being blocked for violating WP:3RR, stop violating WP:3RR. Blaming others for your predicament will not help matters. The precise reverts you were blocked for are clearly listed here. Kind regards, Nandesuka 21:08, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Now that you're here, there's a question you can answer: Why did you twice revert the text on coagulation and where did you state your reason for doing so? Alienus 22:13, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I didn't want to reward bad behavior. I noted that in my edit summary. You were revert warring. That's bad behavior. Nandesuka 22:47, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Oh, I see. So you reverted my text even though you had no objection to its content?! Wonderful. This is clearly in bad faith.

Neither you nor Jayjg ever offered any explanation of what might be wrong with the text on coagulation. In fact, as far as I could tell, Jay was only removing it because he was crudely using an article-wide revert instead of carefully editing. Alienus 22:52, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

In the meantime, William gets to explain why four listed reverts amounts to "blatant well-over-3 reverts". I agree that 4 exceeds 3 (though I disagree that there were 4). I don't see how 4 is "well-over-3". 14 is well over 3; 4 is slightly over 3. Anyhow, as I mentioned, it wasn't 4 in the first place. Alienus 22:17, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

- insert answer here.

Hmm, it's hard to assume good faith when it's clear that the same players have opposed discussion of circumcision repeatedly. Alienus 22:28, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

You'll find there's no problem if you assume good faith on earlier occasions, Alienus. However, if you assume bad faith on previous occasions, then yes, I agree, it will be difficult to assume good faith now. Jakew 22:43, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I see that you are indeed having difficulty assuming good faith. That's disappointing. Nandesuka 22:47, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

You just admitted to reverting in bad faith. Thank you very much. Alienus 22:52, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry that you insist on reading things that I never said. Have a nice day. Nandesuka 22:58, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

The one thing you never said was just what was wrong with the content you reverted. If you actually had a reason for reverting my coagulation text that had anything to do with the content, this is your big chance to explain it. If you don't, then I must continue to presume that you did not, hence you acted in bad faith. Alienus 23:32, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

It is my conclusion that Nandesuka's reverts were in bad faith, amounting to simple vandalism, hence by no reasonable count did I violate 3RR. Alienus 21:03, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Your ability to reach the wrong conclusion on this issue is probably why you have been blocked for 3RR violations twice in the past month and a half, when most Wikipedia users are never blocked for it at all. As I said above, you are free to believe whatever you want — including delusions — but you are unlikely to improve yourself as an editor until your beliefs begin to intersect with reality. You violated 3RR. You messed up. It happens. You'll be a happier and better person if you can come to grips with that fact and move on. Nandesuka 11:47, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

The simple fact is that you reverted my text twice for no other reason than to support Jayjg in a wheel war. This is not a matter of debate; your own comments confirm it. Improving myself as an editor starts with recognizing when people like you temporarily get away with being bad editors. When you can come to grip with the fact that having a badge doesn't make you right, you'll be well on your way to being a happier and better person. Alienus 17:11, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

That phrase, wheel war. I don't think it means what you think it does. Nandesuka 19:19, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Wow, you're sure full of helpful advice. Maybe you could help me with another term. What do you call it when someone reverts text that they have no personal objection to for the purpose of supporting someone else in an edit war? The term I learned was "bad-faith revert". Alienus 18:35, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I call the situation you've described "the straw man fallacy". Glad to help. Nandesuka 19:08, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, that doesn't actually work. See, to be a straw man, there would have had to have been some justification for the reverts, aside from aiding an edit warrior. That does not appear to be the case. Guess you're not as good with the definitions as you thought. Better luck next time. Alienus 19:58, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Your message re NOCIRC[edit]

I'm sorry that you find Otto's views 'extremist'. Perhaps you are right, but it really doesn't matter. His comments were published in an appropriate source, which evidenty decided that they were worthy of publication. Perhaps they were extremist, but so what? Should only material that we deem 'non-extremist' be allowed? If so, does that mean that Wikipedia should not contain any mention of entities that we deem extremist? I think that you'll agree that this is a dangerous standard to apply. Nor, as far as I know, is it included in any of our policies, perhaps for good reason.

Censorship may be loosely defined as deletion of material considered objectionable. I used the word because I felt it applied. Jakew 12:52, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Removal of non-notable statements is part of not giving undue weight. Otto's statement about NOCIRC lacking scientific credibility expresses a POV, but that's not the problem. The problem is that Otto is a nobody abd a kook. He has nobody because he has no academic or professional standing on which to base his claims about science. He's a kook because his objection ot NOCIRC extends to bizarre conspiracy theory. This kookiness totally undercuts his credibility, which was close to nil to begin with.
To remind you, extremists do not constitute a reliable source, except perhaps about what they believe. Therefore, Otto has to go. Your explanation thus far has not been persuasive, and unless better reason is offered, I will remove that text when it becomes convenient to do so.
In addition, I caution you to use neutral terminology so as to avoid personal attacks. If I removed a section that you think is valuable, then say so in those words. Say "Restored valuable section that was removed". That's much better than accusing me of censorship, no?
While you're at it, you could recognize that the presence of disagreement means that you have to go to Talk about it so as to build a consensus. Ideally, you should have done so before, or instead of, reverting. Note how, right now, I haven't reverted to remove the text in question, though I will eventually if things do not change.
I know you've had some trouble with 3RR, so I'm trying to be helpful. Alienus 13:01, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

POV Tag on Creation-Evolution Controversy[edit]

Alienus, please stop removing the POV template from the article Creation-evolution controversy. Removing the tag when the neutrality of the article is debated is vandalism, and I will deal with it as such if you continue to remove the POV template. Thanks, EChronicle 21:33, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

The tag has been removed twice so far. Take a hint.
I read your comments in Talk and they reveal that you're a highly biased creationist. The change you want to make to "fix" POV will actually inject your own POV, thus tainting the article. It goes against consensus and will not remain. At this point, the POV tag is simply there in bad faith to deface the article. Alienus 21:51, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Yep, it got taken off and it's going to stay off until there's a legitimate reason to replace it. Alienus 22:20, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

My proposal is not biased and will help make the article more NPOV. My proposal will not taint the article and so far the "consensus" only has a problem with me using the word "evolutionist". The POV tag is not "simply there in bad faith to deface the article". I am ready to resolve this conflict and will take whatever action is necessary to do so.
Thanks,
EChronicle 16:48, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. Alienus 19:55, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Peterson[edit]

Who says he is a noted biographer? What makes his word more valuable then other biographers? I just feel it would be better to summarize the views of biographers as opposed to writing a whole paragraph reserved only to a specific biographers commentary.

71.131.180.37 08:23, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

For one thing, I've heard of him, and I'm not exactly the sort of person who's heard of every biographer out there. For another, that quote is a very good summary, so it has its place in the article. I see no reason to remove good material. Alienus 08:47, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

An edit that you reverted[edit]

Hi, Alienus, regarding an edit of mine that you reverted at the Robert Steadman talk page, I am sure that you are aware that the article has been edited by Robeaston99 (talkcontribspage movesblock userblock log) and Vhjh (talkcontribspage movesblock userblock log), who were both blocked indefinitely as sockpuppets of Robsteadman. I really didn't want to put that in the edit summary, as it would have been kicking someone who was down, and I have already been trying to stop another editor from making fun of Rob and his two sockpuppets since the checkuser results came out. However, it is not acceptable that the that template should be amended to say that he has not edited it. That is not done with any other {{Notable Wikipedian}} template. Wikipedians with articles are not really supposed to edit their own articles: it is frowned on. However, the other notable Wikipedians don't modify the text of the template. It's also better to leave that template as {{Notable Wikipedian}} rather than subst'ing it to {{Subst:Notable Wikipedian}}, so that the template has "what links here".

You targetted User:Raisinman as a sockpuppet based on a very small number of edits, and tagged his page before a checkuser had been carried out. The checkuser result confirmed your (to my mind hasty) judgment, and Raisinman was blocked indefinitel, which I support. Of course, Raisinman had the opposite POV from you, but I would hope that you would be fair enough to accept that a proven sockpuppet in one case is the same as a proven sockpuppet in another. Whether you like it or not, the Robert Steadman article has been edited by two editors who are officially sockpuppets of Robsteadman. Therefore, that statement cannot remain in place, and I think that the other administrators will back me up on that.

I have tried to be fair to Rob, although his POV differs from mine, and although he has hurled insults right left and centre at his opponents. I voted to keep his article. I have reverted vandalism from his talk page, and warned vandals. I reverted an edit which said "ha ha" to one of his sockpuppets after he had been banned. In my recent edit, which you reverted, I deliberately refrained from pointing out in the edit summary that two users who had edited that article had been blocked as his sockpuppets following a usercheck. I am sorry that you chose to revert, because I hoped to spare Rob the extra humiliation of having the reasons for my change explained in public. I know he gets upset rather easily. The official verdict is that he used sockpuppets to edit that article. Therefore, modifying the text of the template is like putting "This user has never used sockpuppets" on the userpage of User:Kdbuffalo — something I imagine you would not allow. I'd prefer to be able to remove the statement that he has never edited it, without digging up a whole pile of dirt. Please respect that. Thanks. AnnH 22:42, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm good at detecting sock puppets, and I was quite right about Raisinman, no matter how hasty you thought I was. But on the matter of RobSteadman, I'm not convinced that he used sock puppets. Conveniently, I'm not privy to the IP information that I could use to verify one way or the other. Therefore, I'm going to let your revert stand for now, against my wishes. Alienus 22:48, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

AfD[edit]

Hey, I put up Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Things in Atlas Shrugged. Maybe you missed my reply on the category talk? :) -- infinity0 23:02, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up. I did see it, but haven't had a chance to comment there because I'm in the middle of my routine "mother" removal sweep through the abortion articles. I'll drop by the AFD as soon as that's done. Alienus 23:04, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks[edit]

Thanks for your invention on Robert Steadman re; the "notable Wikipedians" tag. Some claim I used sock puppets - and Jayjg blocked me and claimed their was evidence - however I NEVER used sockpuppets and have no idea who the two users taht were linked to me were. I think you're right that some of the admins aren't honest - and I think I'm starting to learn that it's more than just an odd one! Robsteadman 07:05, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

In my experience, some people keep themselves honest, but most people are only honest to the extent that they think their dishonesty will be detected and punished. (This is where Santa Claus and God come in, of course.) The admins here lack such checks and balances, so some of them lean further and further towards dishonesty. I learned a lot about that during the circumcision silliness.
As for you, the allegations of sock puppetry never made a whole lot of sense to me, and I never could quite believe them. Again, if the IP logs were made public, I'm more than qualified to determine what they mean, but this data is hidden from me. Yet another check that's missing. Alienus 07:09, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Even if the IP logs were made public I, as others suggested, suspect I was prosecuted on the same basis that Deskana was let off - Soemone else at the college (I teach at a school part time). Quite how Deskana got away with his vandalism I will never really understand - even his own version showed he did not act in a reasosnbale way! Anyway, must away to work! Robsteadman 07:12, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

There's a philosophy professor named Tara Smith, notable mostly because she's one of the few academic philosophers who is an Objectivist. Recently, one of the people editing the article made it clear that he's a student of hers. In specific, he tried to ask her to verify an issue on her page and was told that she doesn't care one way or the other about Wikipedia.

Besides revealing arrogance that Rand would approve of, it shows how likely it is for a student to edit the Wikipedia entry of their teacher, particularly in a sympathetic manner. After all, people edit what they know about, which is why entries about Salt Lake City tend to have IP's from SLC. Now, as you suggested, universities only have a limited number of IP addresses, and may even limit them further due to web proxies and caches. Therefore, we should expect that the standard test for sock puppets will yield false positives in the case of articles about professors.

To properly establish a sock puppet in such cases, they would need deeper analysis, starting with writing style. I doubt any such efforts were performed. See, one of the other things I learned in the circumcision idiocy is that admins are fundamentally lazy. They want a quick and easy way to make a ruling, so they focus on form, not content. And without checks and balances, this means they ignore reasonable doubt. Alienus 07:19, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I'll agree that it is entirely plausible that someone who works with Rob might have made some of the edits to/about his article - in fact it is very surprising just how many people who work in the same education authority as Rob have made anonymous contributions to his article. However, VHJH made edits from as early as 6 a.m. until as late as 11.30 p.m. The claim that he is a student at the college doesn't quite hold up. More likely VHJH was editing under a number of IPs and that is how the link was made.Count Of The Saxon Shore 21:17, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure I follow. First of all, multiple submissions from anonymous users in the same class C range could mean all sorts of th ings. Might be multiple users. Might be one user on different machines, or with different DHCP-assigned IP's at different times (as would be typical for a laptop with a wireless adapter). Might be some small number of users, each on a small number of machines. Unless they log in, there's no reason to presume more users than is necessary to account for the edits.

Also, I don't see where you defined "VHJH". It is an acronym for something? Alienus 21:38, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

VHJH is the name of the sock puppet allegedly created by Mr Steadman to remove unwelcome edits to his bio article. An argument was proposed that just because he worked in the same local education authority as Mr Steadman, there was no reason to link them. My point is.... the times of the edits would preclude the editor from using only a single IP.Count Of The Saxon Shore 21:57, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for clarifying what VHJH refers to; in retrospect, I should have picked it up from context. However, I'm still not sure I understand your argument. You mentioned two of the times that VHJH made edits, but I don't see how this suggests either a single user or multiple users. Alienus 22:02, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Never mind. I suppose that if you are interested, you can look it up. To be honest, I have said more than I intended to, i don't want to start another argument. I was just trying to help you with a question you had raised about the potential validity of the accusation of sock puppetry. Cheers.Count Of The Saxon Shore 22:17, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Fine, then point me to where I can look this up. Alienus 22:24, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

It's quite depressing reading the above - is wikipedia a broken project? The result of the one vandalism business I was involved with was that I as the whistle blower got nasty messages and he got tea and sympathy. I put this down to experience and a one off situation but I wonder reading what you have written. Pansy Brandybuck AKA SophiaTalkTCF 23:01, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Like any project, it has its problems, and your experience is not unique or unusual. My longest rant about this is here, written after I reported someone for 3RR violation and found myself banned alongside him, even though I was innocent. Since then, I've lowered my expectations with regard to fairness, and I've been banned unfairly over and over again. On the whole, the admins are incompetent, biased or both. Perhaps there are some good ones, but none of the ones I've had extensive interactions with could possibly qualify. Alienus 23:06, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Just in case it has been missed Count Of The Saxon Shore is user:Crusading composer having changed name. This is significant. His sole purpose has been to harrangue and harass me (hence his original username. This is stalking carried over from another werb forum and I amazed that this user has been allowed to stay on WP - there are some very suspicioous happenings with their edit history and appearances. Robsteadman 09:16, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Christianity[edit]

Thanks for the heads up! I'm not sure what triggered this breach of civility but you were right, I did need to defend myself. Giovanni33 09:54, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Over the last couple of days I have become convinced we need outside help as we have one or two editors who have very specific views and when faced wiht opposition do act in a "cabal" link manner. I think an RfC would be a good idea and having struggled with how to define it so that it's not just one long whinge I think the best way to tackle it is to ask for comments on how minority issues should be addressed, how much weight and time in the article they should be given and how we stop the dominant view of history (which of course has been written by the victors) from becoming the only story told (either explicitly or implicitly by the absolute language used). We have to get away from the idea I see aired every now and then that they only "allow" us any space in the articles by the goodness of their hearts. Also attempting to Christianize the Jesus-Myth page by trying to define terms and dogmas shows how they think but is causing problems as they cannot see that we are not talking about a well defined dogmatic religion. I got the distinct feeling that yet again we are having to have the debate on their terms and are spending all our time explaining who our "scholars" are and why we dare to want to quote any such obscure/fringe/minority/looney views. Taken to the extreme it could be argued that the Jesus-Myth article should not exist as a separate entity at all if it is seen as only existing to challenge Christianity - which we both know is not the case. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether you think I'm wasting my time or if it could help establish some ground rules. Pansy Brandybuck AKA SophiaTalkTCF 11:50, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I can't disagree with your evaluation of the issue. To some extent, the problem is that the two groups are talking past each other. The ruling cabal sees everything through Christianity-colored sunglasses, and therefore has trouble even grasping the idea that the seemingly historical roots of their religion could even be doubted.

I once tried to explain the thesis of the Doherty book to a Christian and found that they kept thinking I was arguing that the historical Jesus was not actually God. It took some rather heavy lifting to get the concept of Jesus not being historical through to them, and their reaction was, uhm, extreme. Fortunately, I have good reflexes.

So, in short, yes, I do agree that we should try the next step, which is an RFC. Please let me know how I can help out. Alienus 11:56, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Rand[edit]

Thanks for catching those POV additions, I hadn't noticed them. I think I'll continue to try to add references as I have been for the last day or two. Kaisershatner 17:48, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

No problem. I'm an equal-opportunity anti-vandal. Alienus 17:55, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Saw your comments on Talk and replied. One small thing is I think it would be faster if we were using the same citation method - this is the currently "preferred" method. Of course, the powers that may or may not be change it about every six months at least since I've been here, so who knows. But see: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cite/Cite.php Kaisershatner 20:03, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

That's not an unreasonable request. I'll try to use the new method for any new text, and will convert older cites whenever the opportuity presents itself and I have the time. If you wind up converting some of them on your own, you'll get my thanks, not my opposition. Alienus 20:12, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Hi Alienus[edit]

Hi. I just thought I'd remind you that it's considered rather impolite to use popups to revert good-faith edits. Abortion being the controversial article it is, I would also suggest that edits are best made one at a time, and amid general discussion. Thanks for your consideration. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:15, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Then allow me to belatedly add a comment. "Reverted to most recent attempt, which is acceptable."
Abortion is a controversial article, which is precisely why it was inappropriate for Goodandevil to revert back to the version that is being obsoleted. It was likewise inappropriate, if typical, for Musical Linguist to make an edit war out of it. Your comment wasn't inappropriate, but it's just a trickle of water under the bridge that's burning. Alienus 18:23, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I know that article is kind of a war-zone. In a way, it just doesn't matter what it says right now because we're close to determining a version that should have enough backing to stick. Whether we maintain something that's "about to be obsoleted" or something that hasn't yet been approved by more than 2 or 3 editors, it's just going to change again, and again, and again, for the next week or so, while the wheels of actual progress slowly turn. If I could order everyone involved a tall glass of patience, with a double-shot of perspective, I would. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:07, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I've stayed out of the war, for the most part. I just jumped in because I saw Goodandevil impatiently reverting good-faith attempts at improving the article. I'm not convinced that the current debate will yield anything accurate or even clear. Alienus 22:23, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Joseph Smith, Jr.[edit]

A request for mediation has been filed with the Mediation Committee that lists you as a party. The Mediation Committee requires that all parties listed in a mediation must be notified of the mediation. Please review the request at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Joseph Smith, Jr., and indicate whether you agree or refuse to mediate. If you are unfamiliar with mediation, please refer to Wikipedia:Mediation. There are only seven days for everyone to agree, so please check as soon as possible.

For the record, although I'm not all that deeply involved in this, I'll be participating. Alienus 22:03, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks - I erred on the side of inviting all known participants who have edited and been responded to on the talk page in the time of the dispute. We appreciate the agreement to participcate - especially as you have been able to keep a level-head though all of this. -Visorstuff 15:25, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

NPA[edit]

Alienus, regardless of any other consideration, the personal attacks and violations of WP:CIV do have to stop. I don't know anything about the content disputes, and whether I'd agree or disagree with you, but I do know it's best to try to reach compromises on the talk page, or if you're well and truly outnumbered, consider walking away from the dispute. By all means, make your point forcefully, but comment on content, not the contributor. Cheers, SlimVirgin (talk) 03:07, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Slim, I realize you've been pulled into the middle of this, so you are unlikely to be aware of all the details. There is a basic injustice occuring here, and it would be a further injustice to muzzle me in the name of civility so that I can't even speak of the problem.
If you like, watch my contributions for incivility, and if you see something that you consider an example, bring it up here with some constructive suggestions on how to say the same thing, just as honestly and forcefully, but more civilly. If you do that, you will have my full cooperation, but if you just repeat what others have told you, I will treat you as I have treated them. Alienus 03:10, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to echo SV's concerns. I understand that tempers can fray and frustrations build, but comments such "Perhaps you should stick to baseless reverts" do not assist in resolving disputes. - brenneman{L} 04:25, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem with coming in the middle of things is that you get used by people who count on your ignorance and laziness. Let me bring you up to speed.

The comment you quote was was directed at Nandesuka, who twice reverted some well-cited, neutral text that I added to Medical analysis of circumcision, and has yet to offer any basis for doing so, other than an apparent willingness to help other pro-circumcision editors suppress any hint of opposition. As a follow-up, he got a sympathetic admin, William M. Connolley, to ban me based on a what is, depending who you ask, either a misreading or a technicality.

William extended the ban to 48 hours on the basis of a flat-out lie, claiming "particularly blatant well-over-3RR" when even the least charitable interpretation only shows 4 reverts by me (in the face of 8 by others). My own count is 2 reverts by me. Since then, William's been hostile and paranoid; when I noticed an insertion that needed citing, he reverted my {{fact}} tag and accused me of being a stalker.

Fortunately, a more level-headed user provided a citation, so this didn't escalate much further. However, when I complained on his Talk page, he selectively edited out my response while keeping his own, which is deeply dishonest. In the meantime, Jakew, Jayjg and Musical Linguist colluded to support these events.

Are you starting to see a pattern here? Something is very, very wrong, and it's not my lack of civility. It's the complete lack of accountability that admins have here, leading to gross abuses. The system is rotten and I'm not going to shut up about it. Go ahead and ban me for speaking the truth. I don't care. Alienus 04:51, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

If you'll look again at the comments in this sub-section you'll notice that they aren't about whatever content dispute it is you're in, they are about the way that you choose to express yourself. Being abrasive and condescending isn't an effective strategy. Any inclination I have to examine your claims wanes in light of being told I'm ignorant and lazy.
  • If you ask me nicely I might look into the underlying dispute.
  • It's best when saying things like "selectively edited" to provide diffs supporting it.
I should make a template for this I say it so often: It's possible for an editor to be 100% "in the right" and still end up shunned, blocked, or banned due to the manner in which they present themselves. We'd in general prefer someone who's easy to work with to someone who's combative. So, try to use crisp, concise, disspassionate language supported by diffs, and everything will be fine.
brenneman{L} 05:31, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I fully understand how it might be easier for you if everyone you deal with is dispassionate, but I'm genuinely passionate about this. To be more blunt, I'm downright pissed. Now, it's fair to ask that, since I'm not pissed at you, I not take it out on you, but I hope you understand that I'm not going to be able to pretend to be calm about this matter.

Anyhow, I said I'd bring you to up to speed, so I will. With links. Let me do the easy one first. Here's a link to where I added a {{fact}} template to an edit by William and he simply reverted it, accusing me of stalking. And here's a link to where he selectively removed my reply from his talk page while keeping his own and accusing me of trolling. You might want to hit "Newer edit" a few times to see how that progresses. In the end, I removed the entire section rather than let him make it one-sided by deleting my responses and insulting me.

The more complicated one is the constellation of Circumcision and related articles, such as Medical analysis of circumcision. It's being ruled with an iron hand by a small group that's convinced it WP:OWN's it. What's odd is that I don't have any strong opinion pro or con circumcision, and only got involved because I saw valid information removed on an invalid basis here.

This led to an immune reaction from Jakew, who immediately reverted. After talking it over and trying a variety of increasingly innocuous and bland versions over the course of days, each time being reverted instead of edited, I made one that was about as neutral as it's ever going to get. At the same time, I inserted an unrelated section on a different issue, also written neutrally and with citation.

The key point is that, unlike the CA-MRSA (Staphylococcus aureus) issue, which was talked about endlessly without agreement, the coagulation disorder issue was never brought up, either in an edit comment or in talk, and has a very clear and direct citation from an unequestionably reliable source. So when Jayjg jumped in and reverted the whole thing, it didn't even occur to me that he had any problem with the coagulation text. Rather, it looked like he was following in the footsteps of Jakew, who preferred reverting to constructive editing. In fact, I didn't even initially recognize that Jake had been replaced by Jay.

I reverted the article back to what I hoped was the final version and explained myself in Talk. While I was typing it up, he decided to assume bad faith and reverted on the claim that I hadn't explained myself. When I noticed this, I reverted to this version for the second time, with a pointed but civil comment. Note the 3RR threat, which was a consequence of thinking Jay was Jake. However, even after noticing that it was a different person, one thing hadn't changed: they were completely unreasonable about their demands for justifying the CA-MRSA text and completely unwilling to compromise. After Jayjg's third revert, I just gave up.

However, just because I gave up on CA-MRSA didn't mean that the coagulation text, which had been an innocent bystander, ought to suffer. Leaving a comment pointing out that nobody ever justified the removal of the bleeding text, I restored just those lines. I didn't expect anyone to object, but did ask that they take their objections to talk, as opposed to just reverting.

By this time, Jayjg had used up his 3 reverts, so he stepped back and had Nandesuka take over. I had noticed Nandesuka for his brutal, Talk-free reversions of DanBlackham's attempts to restore a deleted reference to a book. In the same fashion, Nandesuka reverted the text on coagulation without even hinting at what his objection might be. In fact, he had none; he was just jumping in to take over for Jayjg. His comment admits as much: "Reverting - I don't want to reward bad behavior".

To be blunt, if Jake's and Jay's repeated reversions and stonewalling were of questionable legtimacy, Nandesuka's reason-free revert crossed the line into bad faith. By offering no hint of what he might find objectionable about the text, he gave me no chance to edit it into well-cited neutrality. I saw his revert as completely illegitimate, so I reverted with: "no explanation has been given for removing this text. EVER, BY ANYONE. The only bad behavior was the removal".

He immediately reverted it, of course, leaving a message threatening me about 3RR. I gave up in disgust. Of course, it was too late. Since I never considered Jay's three reverts as having anything to do with the coagulation issue, I didn't see my restoration of the coagulation text as a revert. Nandesuka saw an opportunity to wikilawyer me, so he decided to reinterpret it so that my first and only revert of that text counted as a fourth revert of the day. Despite the fact that he warned me about 3RR and I just walked away, he went to William and got me blocked.

At this point, I had no interest in continuing this pointless fight on circumcision, but I was blocked from editing anything else for two fucking days because of this asshole. Oh, look, I'm not being civil. You know what, I don't care. Ban me. For two days, for three, forever. I'm sick of this shit. Alienus 07:07, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

As long as we're talking about "wikilawyering" and "threatening...about 3RR", I'm amused that you didn't provide this diff to a change you made, before I got involved with this transaction, where your edit summary is "Kindly remove your finger from the trigger before I have you banned for 3RR violation." That was your comment on your third revert; your fourth one followed quickly (again, before I was even involved).
In other words, I think the bad behavior I was responding too is fairly self-evident. Nandesuka 13:32, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
And, as long as we're in discussion about this: this is in regards to your calling me an "asshole": {{subst:npa2}} Nandesuka 14:02, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
How nice of you to visit. While you're here, do explain what reasonable objection you had to the content of the text on coagulation disorders, then show me where you shared that objection at the time. Prove me wrong.
You're also conflating two issues: whether you are in fact an asshole and whether I should call you one. If you can't show that you had some justification for your two reversions, above and beyond supporting Jay's edit war, then the former is settled and we can move on to the latter. Alienus 19:21, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
And you, my friend, are ignoring WP:CIVIL and WP:NPA. You are required to adhere to these regardless of what other editors do, and whether you find their actions acceptable. Even if (and this is purely hypothetical) Nandesuka acted for no reason at all, or perhaps simply didn't like your username, you are still required to adhere to these policies. You are quite entitled to think that he's an asshole, but you must not say so. Is it really so hard to say "I think your actions here were inappropriate" rather than "You're an asshole"? Jakew 19:46, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm glad you're here, "friend". Perhaps you can help your buddy Nandesuka out. He seems to be at a loss when it comes to answering my reasonable request to explain the basis for his reverts. Alienus 19:54, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
I know Nandesuka fairly well, but not well enough to be able to read his mind. Having said that, if I were in his position, I would probably have done the same. Looking at the history, you were edit-warring with several editors. You left several edit summaries saying 'see talk', but had not (at the time) left a message there. (For this reason, it's best to leave the message on the talk page first.) You were threatening other editors. Frankly, none of this makes a good impression. Now, the most recent edit that N. would have seen was this. As another editor has commented previously on the talk page, that claim is unsupported by the source cited. So, an editor behaves poorly, trying to insert a dubious claim into a controversial article. Yes, I'd probably have done the same. Jakew 20:15, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, although you were the one started this off by reverting each and every attempt to find a combination of phrasing and citation that was acceptable and never once offering a constructive edit, there was no edit war, as such. Rather, I kept making different versions, trying to meet your requirements. Even your reversions were spaced out too far apart to run into 3RR.
After you left the picture, Jay took over, reverting even my most neutral and cited formulation and taking an incredibly hard line against all future attempts. Jay also showed impatience to the point of bad faith by reverting just because I couldn't type fast enough. It was Jay, not you or Nan, who started the edit war. And after he used up all three of his reverts (while I'd used two), I gave up on the CA-MRSA text entirely and walked away from the edit war. That was the very last time I tried to insert the CA-MRSA text in any form.
In the meantime, the last version I wrote for you also had some unrelated text on coagulation, which nobody ever complained about. If Nan had looked in Talk, he'd have seen lots of contention about CA-MRSA, but not a single word about the coagulation issue. That's because, once again, it was never disputed. Even when Nan twice reverted it, he never disputed it on the basis of content. He gave no indication of what might be wrong with it or how I might improve it so that it fits into the article. Why? Because he had no objection of his own; he was just helping Jay's war.
In short, even if Jay hadn't taken over and you had decided that the text on coagulation was problematic, history suggests that you would have made some attempt to speak of the content and what you feel is problematic about it. Nandesuka never did, and neither did Jay (with regard to coagulation). Of the four people primarily involved in this mockery of justice, you're not the worst of the bunch. That would be William. Alienus 20:36, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for explaining your view of the situation. I have explained above what I think a reasonable person might think, sitting down in front of his watchlist, briefly looking at the history page, and then looking at the most recent edit. If you wish to understand the actions of another, you must put yourself in this position.
As for William, I cannot see that he did anything wrong. A 48hr block may be a little excessive, perhaps, but you clearly did violate the 3RR. They were different reverts, but I see at least four. As I have already advised you on the appropriate procedure when you have a grievance, and have received a very incivil response, I have nothing further to say on that issue. Jakew 21:06, 24 March 2006 (UTC

And since you keep saying that I backed up Nandesuka in your recent block, if you look at my posts you'll see that I did not count your reverts, I did not even look at them, and I made no claims as to how many you had made or as to whether or not your block was just. I saw that you were saying they were different reverts, so I pointed out to you that different reverts also count. If you revert Johnny's change to the opening paragraph at 14:02, you revert Susie's change of a word in the last paragraph at 14:07, you revert Bill's removal of a sentence in the third paragraph at 15:39, and you revert Lucy's change in the formatting of footnotes at 17:02, you have reverted four times. I have no opinion as to whether you have or have not done those things. I was merely trying to clear up a misunderstanding that you seemed to have. AnnH 13:46, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

It's only a revert when the text was removed intentionally. If the text is erased by accident or as a side-effect of an unrelated dispute, the restoring it no more qualifies as a revert than restoring an article wiped by a vandal. The purpose of WP:3RR is to prevent two or more people from fighting over the inclusion of text. There was no such fight over the inclusion of the coagulation text until Nandesuka stuck his head in where it didn't belong. Even after he did, there was never a legitimate opposition to the text's inclusion because no reason was ever stated by him or anyone else. If Wikiadmins cared at all about a proper interpretation of the rules in keeping with their spirit, they would have banned Jay, Jake, Nan and Will by now, and stripped the admin badges from the ones who have them. Any admin who sits on their butts while this nonsense goes down in front of them is just supporting their actions deserves their share of the blame. Alienus 19:21, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
I suggest you file a request for comment, if you feel so strongly. Jakew 19:46, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
You know how much I value your suggestions. In fact, I have a few suggestions of my own for you. Perhaps we can find out if they're anatomically possible. Alienus 19:54, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Just trying to be helpful. You keep complaining about how awful we are, and dreadful it is that nothing has been done about us. Well, this is the first step towards getting something done. Jakew 20:15, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
It would be helpful if you took a step back and asked yourself what level of confidence I have in the administrators at this point. Alienus 20:36, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
For your information, I am not an administrator. Jakew 21:06, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Abortion[edit]

Hi Alienus. Thanks for the approval and I did consider your suggestion. The problem for mewith it is that it can also be thought of as the successful ending of a pregnancy, depending on what the goal is: birth or no birth? In both cases the pregnancy ends. The difference is that one ends as an expulsion of an embryo/fetus, and the other in a birth of a baby. That is why I expanded the definiton to point to the former instead of the latter. I'm not sure why this is controversial, as it's pretty straight forward. Giovanni33 03:26, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

A lot of this ought to be much less controversial, but apparently it's not. Whether a woman's goal is to carry a pregnancy to term or abort it, the pregnancy's innate purpose is to produce a live birth. Hence, the woman can be successful at the cost of making the pregnancy unsuccessful.
That's my thinking, but this may be akin to the case of needing to explain a joke. Alienus 03:31, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
As I mentioned at Talk:Abortion, an abortion must be defined to embrace all cases, human or animal, spontaneous or induced, early or late-term, in the case of a single-fetus pregnancy, or a whole litter of pups, of which only one is lost. An abortion does not necessarily end a pregnancy, at is certainly needn't happen before viability. -GTBacchus(talk) 04:46, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
True, which is why I used the words "associated with." I agree with Aienus's thinking below. Giovanni33 06:54, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

These are fair points. However, sometimes a definition that covers all cases equally is confusing. It may be better to aim the definition towards the most common cases, then cover the exceptional ones in the next sentence or in careful weaseling. For example, abortion is almost always of non-viable fetuses (or even embryos). In the case where some but not all fetuses are aborted, I don't believe the aborted ones are removed from the uterus as part of the process, which is why pregnancy doesn't end right then and there. Again, I'm not in any way trying to hide these things. I just want to emphasize the common before explaining the uncommon. Alienus 04:55, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, I understand your point (although I don't know how uncommon early spontaneous abortions may be), and don't disagree in principle, but I'm not yet convinced we have to sacrifice generality for clarity in this case. In an encyclopedia, our goal should be to combine clarity and accuracy, if at all possible - maybe it's not possible here, but I'm not seeing that right now. I've just suggested a rewrite for the introduction at Talk:Abortion#With all of the above in mind.... I think it's accurate; please let me know if you think it's confusing. -GTBacchus(talk) 07:10, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

As it happens, early spontaneous abortions are extremely common. I don't have a link handy, but it's something like 50% of implanted embryos. I do remember with confidence that, between fertilized eggs that fail to implant and eggs that do implant but self-abort early on, a clear majority of fertilized eggs are never even recognized as pregnancies.

The version you proposed is a bit awkward in terms of language and it will please the anti-choice crowd by using the misleading D word, so I can't endorse it. You already know what I do endorse. Alienus 07:15, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I truly wish I could understand why you find the word "death" to be misleading. I think that legal abortion on demand is mandatory in a civilized society, but I will never say that abortion isn't distinguised from birth precisely by the little detail of death. I really believe that objecting so strongly to that word - a neutral, clinical word - makes the pro-choice side come across as vaguely ashamed, and I really don't like that, because shame is bad PR. -GTBacchus(talk) 07:21, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm surprised you don't understand my objection, so I'll try to explain. Yes, abortion kills cells with human DNA. Then again, so does removing my appendix, or even clapping my hands. The issue isn't cell death, which is trivially true. The issue isn't even whether the cells are human; of course they are. The true issue is whether what dies is human in a moral sense. I can grow millions of my cells in petri dishes, but killing all those cell cultures is morally neutral. Killing the cells that make my brain work is murder.

An abortion kills the human cells that make up the embryo or fetus, but the issue is whether it's closer to killing a human being or a cell culture. To speak of death without qualifying this issue is to buy in to the notion that abortion is the murder of an unborn baby, and I object to that nonsense. Alienus 07:27, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm... I find my agreement and disagreement with you alternating and intertwining in curious patterns. I think you're accepting the pro-life side's take on what the "true issue" is. The true issue is that banning abortion makes the world worse, and keeping it legal makes it better. "Murder" is the name of a crime - it's what our legal system defines it to be. In societies where post-birth infanticide has been the norm, they didn't define it as murder, and I don't imagine it bothered them much.
"Human in the moral sense" is a tricky concept. I don't think it works like an on/off swith, and a fetus is right there in the grey area. It's not fully human, but it's on the way. The longer you wait, the closer it is. Deciding that its moral status doesn't develop along with its body seems somehow arbitrary. We just have to admit that we've got to draw a line somewhere, and we draw it, and deal with the fact that we can kill things one one side of that line, and not consider it murder.
I just don't find the word "death" all that weighty, I guess. I can hear it without thinking that we're talking about the moral issue of murder. -GTBacchus(talk) 07:40, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't accept the anti-choice party line, but I do understand it. I understand that the key is to portray a fertilized egg as having all the rights of a cute little baby, ignoring the differences between them, especially the part about being able to give away a baby.

I would argue that the egg, unlike a randomly chosen white blood cell in my left pinky, has the potential to become a full human being, but potential humanity only gives potential rights, whereas the woman has actual rights. To call a fetus an "unborn child" is as much jumping the gun as calling you an "unkilled corpse". Moreover, it is a zero sum game; any rights we grant the fetus must come at the expense of the woman. To give the fetus the right not to be killed, we must take away the woman's right to control her own body, and I won't do that.

Killing even a fetus is a small tragedy; a potential life will never become actual. But it is not equivalent to ending an actual life, killing a full person; it is not murder. To speak of abortion involving death without fully qualifying whether what dies is a full person is to buy in to the cult of the unkilled corpse. Alienus 07:50, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

You make some good arguments. I'd like to thank you for patiently explaining your position to me. I think you do understand the "anti-choice party line", but I'm not sure you understand where I'm coming from, which seems to be pro-choice, but on different grounds than you, because we manage to disagree about a lot? I don't know. I'm chewing on these last few exchanges, and haven't responded, not because I don't wish to reply, but because I don't wish to reply in haste.
I do have a response to your very last point there. You seem to be saying that, just by saying that a fetus "dies", we're somehow implying that the fetus was fully human, and that its death was unjust, unless we explain carefully in the same paragraph that the fetus is not an actual human; just a potential one. I see the moral/philosophical status of the fetus as a totally independent issue from whether or not it dies, and I don't see how stating that it dies implies anything at all about its moral status, its "full human-ness", its essential nature, in one direction or the other. Please explain that bit. How is it that I'm so comfortable speaking of a fetus' "death" without feeling I'm buying into any of the spooky stuff you mention? -GTBacchus(talk) 17:53, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

If I remove your appendix, those cells are going to die, and we all know it. Yet nobody feels the need to speak of the appendix's death. If someone did, we'd shrug and move on, because it's just not important. After all, nobody ever tries to take away your right to an appendectomy, nobody puts up web sites with shock pictures of appendices floating in formaldehyde, nobody calls appendectomy "murder", and absolutely nobody bombs clinics that perform appendectomies.

So, as you say, merely being dead or alive does not automatically put moral weight on the situation, unless the thing that dies is considered a person, deserving of the full set of human rights that you and I have. In the case of the appendix, there is nobody alleging that it deserves these rights, but because a fetus is a potential baby, there are quite a few people ostensibly behind this position.

Because of the controversy, any terminology that implies personhood becomes immediately partisan. You have to stick to neutral, accurate language that doesn't trivially lend itself to abuse. If you speak of the death of a fetus but would never speak of the death of an appendix, you are treating the former as if it were an infant, rather than a potential one, directly implying that it deserves infant rights. If you think that's a crazy interpretation, you may be right, but I can tell you it's how it will be interpreted. This is why I oppose ny definition that uses "death", when there are more neutral ways of saying things.

Oh, you might have noticed that I said "ostensibly" a little while back. In fact, the majority of those who oppose abortion do not grant full infant rights to a fetus, because they make exceptions for rape. If rape allows abortion, then it means that it's not so much abortion they oppose as the woman's right to choose to have sex and then choose not to be pregnant. Alienus 19:02, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Invitation[edit]

The Mediation Cabal

You are a disputant in a case listed under Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases. We invite you to be a mediator in a different case. Please read How do I get a mediator assigned to my case? for more information.
SteveBot (talk) 07:29, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

--Fasten 12:49, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Continued personal attacks.[edit]

{{subst:npa3}}

Kind regards, Nandesuka 19:46, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

This is your last warning. Stop leaving spurious nonsense on my page. You are in no position to judge me and should have been banned repeatedly for your actions thus far. Alienus 20:37, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Oh, now I get it. The first time we met, you tried to trick me into violation 3RR by using unjustified reverts. I stopped at 1 revert, but you got an incompetent admin to ban me anyhow. Now you're coming to my page and being your naturally friendly self, hoping to provoke responses until you can justify getting another incompetent admin to ban me. Yeah, that's not going to happen. At this point, if I see you or any of your bunch writing on my talk page, I will revert it without further comment, as is my right. Alienus 20:47, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
templates substituted by a bot as per Wikipedia:Template substitution Pegasusbot 07:55, 26 March 2006 (UTC)