User talk:dave souza

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Handy Hint[edit]

handy hint: to keep discussions in one place, if you leave a talk message I'll answer it here, though I may put a note on your page if getting your attention seems important. However, if I leave a talk message on your page, and you respond here, I will respond on your page for consistency. Apologies if I fail to notice changes on your page, must trim my watchlist.

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"The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars"[edit]

Hi Dave, I thought you did a nice job on adding reviews to Mann's book. Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 01:54, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Re Darwin plaque[edit]

Hi Dave. Your memory is excellent. The plaque is indeed on the rear wall of the National Museum of Scotland extension. This is about 20 or 30 yards west of the south-west corner of Old College. As the page already showed an image of Old College, completed (minus dome) in the year Darwin left, I thought it more appropriate to caption the plaque pic with a reference to its proximity to the University rather than mention the National Museum building. This, you probably know, occupies the site of the old college buildings before Old College was built. I've amended the Commons caption to make the location clearer. Kim Traynor | Talk 14:31, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Ha, didn't know that: for some reason I thought it was more from Adam House down to the Cowgate. Looking at a 1765 map, the college seems to have then occupied most of the Old College site, extending to Potterrow, with the site west of that, now occupied by the Chambers Street museum, the location of the Trades Hospital and Argyle Square. The site of Lothian Street was then the grounds of a large house, as is the case in 1780, but in the left side of Kirkwood & Son's 1817 map Lothian Street has been built, and street numbers are shown suggesting that no. 1 was nearest the college. From the position numbered 15 it seems from File:Royal Museum rear.JPG that the plaque is further east than the lodging house, but evidently they wanted it above the doorway of the (1950s?) extension, and it's not far out. All very interesting, thanks for bringing this up. . dave souza, talk 18:20, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
You're right. My description of the location of the old college buildings was far too sloppy. They terminated where the rear, i.e. west range of Old College now stands, and the Potterrow Port stood half way down West College Street where the Venetian-style footbridge crosses between Old College and the old Royal Museum building. Lothian Street was created as a direct route to Teviot Place to avoid the kink in the old town wall that turned northwards from South College Street and then westwards to the Bristo Port. I have an artist's view of the south-west corner of the old college buildings and South College Street as seen from Lothian Street, but can't upload it for you to see here because of copyright. Incidentally, it seems Thomas de Quincy also lodged in Lothian Street in the 1820s. The reason you probably thought the old college lay between Adam House and the Cowgate was the (now not so visible) presence of College Wynd which runs downhill just west of Adam House. It was so named because it was the main approach from the town to the college. Move your cursor over this image. [2] Kim Traynor | Talk 00:09, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks, didn't know about the cursor trick. This has taught me a lot about old Edinburgh! . . dave souza, talk 16:35, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Scots Language Discussion[edit]

Dear Dave

I'm afraid our colleague Mutt Lunker gets so upset at any informamtion that contradicts his views that he automatically deletes anything I post on Wikipdia regarding the Scots Language. Neverthless you might like to read the following comment I made following your last post. Best wishes Cassandra.

"Following such examples, many well-off Scots took to learning English through the activities of those such as Thomas Sheridan, who in 1761 gave a series of lectures on English elocution. Charging a guinea at a time (about £100 in today's money,[43]) they were attended by over 300 men, and he was made a freeman of the City of Edinburgh. Following this, some of the city's intellectuals formed the Select Society for Promoting the Reading and Speaking of the English Language in Scotland." − − 'Learning English' is misleading. It should correctly read 'learning standard English' or 'improving their English'. By the 1760s English had already been the vernacular language of lowland Scotland for a thousand years (albeit sometimes called 'Scots'). What was new, or relatively new (and to all of Britain, not just to Scotland), was the emergence of a standard form of English based upon the upper class Oxford/Cambridge/London nexus. − − By the 1760s anyone anywhere in Britain with an interest in self improvement wanted to speak and write in what they had begun to think of (incorrectly) as 'proper' or 'pure' English. In Scotland, as the following quote from Edinburgh's Select Society makes clear, there is no suggestion that they were proposing to teach a different language, just a 'pure' version of their own long-existing one. The idea that 'Scots' was ever thought of as a different language from English is wholly a product of 19th and, mostly, 20th century writers. Cassandra. − − Extracted from: THE LITERARY CLUBS AND SOCIETIES OF EIGHTEENTH CENTURY SCOTLAND.P.172 ,D. D. McElroy (available on-line) − − "In other countries, great and beneficiall effects have flowed from − the regular study of their own languages, and the art of public − speaking - under diligent and well-instructed masters. And in − proportion as the dialect of any province is corrupt or barbarous − the necessity of studying-purity in speech increases. − Even persons well advanced in life may be taught by skillful instructors, − to avoid many gross improprieties, in quantity, accent − the manner of sounding the vowels etc. which, at present, render − the Scotch dialect so offensive." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.5.13.238 (talk) 18:57, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Because I placed a watch on your page, Dave, to pick up any further comments on the Darwin plaque, I've been sent an automatic alert after someone posted the above comment. I can't tell who did, but the passage is well written and looks like it could be a valuable contribution to whichever page it was written for. It's good information and odd that it should be rejected unless a good reason was given. (I would, however, tweak it in a couple of places for even greater accuracy. For example, I'd take the bracketed "incorrectly" out of the third paragraph, as that reveals the contributor's POV, whereas the historical subjects held a genuine perception that there was a "proper English" to which they aspired.) Kim Traynor | Talk 20:28, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Kim, this relates to Talk:Scots language#Adam Smith's accent. Since the IP's comment there was deleted with an allegation of "multi-article POV-PUSH IP-sock" I'd be very cautious about accepting the suggested wording, but there may be some substance in the need for improvement to the article. I don't have access to good sources on this issue, but if you're interested it would be appreciated if you could look the article over and see what you think. Thanks, . dave souza, talk 21:06, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Hello Dave, and Kim, an extract of a discussion I had with another user last week regarding the previous target for this user, Talk:List of monarchs of Northumbria, may be helpful: "Cassandra...is an IP-hopping sockpuppet who has sustained a campaign of forum posting on the talk pages of a large variety of articles. These posts push POVs which are not necessarily evident to anyone unfamiliar with their long history. I and some other users have tried engaging with them over a long course of time to ask them to stop their activities, with great difficulty as they constantly hop IPs, but to no avail. It's also difficult to enact sanctions on them because of their IP-hopping. If you're interested, a summary of their latest activities and the difficulty in countering them is here and there are several links therein which expand on the history. The talk page of Scottish Gaelic is under semi-protection due to their continued posting there. I could give you chapter and verse on the full two years. The use of the terms "Scot-land" and "Eng-land" in this particular post are a common handle for their POV (I'd have difficulty outlinining what exactly they may mean by it though) and the real reason for the post, rather than a genuine concern for the article, which they could easily have amended themself. In the last few weeks I have given up trying to engage but, per advice, am largely simply following a pattern of "revert, ignore" if the post is POV-pushing. I hope that explains my removal of the post..."
If you re-read Cassandra's post, characteristically it doesn't actually address the existing thread's discussion: whether Smith "cooperated in preserving the Scottish language" per one source or whether he "went to great lengths to get rid of ilka Scotticism" per the other. As with the majority of Cassandra's posts, they are actually coatracking re their pet theses instead, a strand of which here is "The idea that 'Scots' was ever thought of as a different language from English" etc. (by extrapolation on to the current status of the relationship between the languages/dialects). I pass no comment on this or their other POVs but the continued forum pushing thereof and their almost standard misrepresentation and synthesis of sources (for an early illustration, see this ANI discussion).
Sorry for the long post but I hope this clarifies what may have appeared to be a harsh reversion. Mutt Lunker (talk) 23:42, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification, apart from anything else I wondered if the IP's wording was in part a copyvio. Apologies that this developed into a discussion here before I could archive it, but if it brings new knowledgeable editors to the article then that will be a useful outcome. Clearly we can't take anything the IP puts forward at face value, careful consideration of good quality sources is needed. . dave souza, talk 00:19, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Matt for taking the time and trouble to explain in detail. There is obviously more to this contribution than meets the eye. It explains why I couldn't find the edit and revert when I went to what I thought was the most obvious destination page for the posting (Scottish English). Without yet consulting the links you've provided, the above seems a great length to go to shed light on Adam Smith's accent! I realise from what you say, however, that ulterior motives are at work. Kim Traynor | Talk 00:58, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The cited source is available here as a low quality pdf, it's a Phd thesis from 1952 so I doubt if it's a RS for Wikipedia use. Some interesting stuff on pp. 75–76 and 166–171 but the extended quote from the Scots Magazine from p. 172 on is an attempt to get Sheridan's lectures printed which had a shaky start and seems to have gone defunct within a couple of years. No mention of Adam Smith that I've found. Better RS needed for any addition to Wiki. . dave souza, talk 06:39, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for that direction. Meantime, I've chucked in my tuppence worth in the Adam Smith's accent section on the Scots Language Talkpage. Kim Traynor | Talk 12:00, 18 March 2014 (UTC)


I was sorry to read Mutt Lunker's comments above. He has been pursuing a rather vindictive campaign against me for the last couple of years. I am certainly not the sock puppet that he, and only he, repeatedly claims. Indeed a glance at M Lunker's wikipage will reveal that far worse is alleged against him by others - though not be me: not only sock puppet, but also nazi and nationalist. To which I would sadly add stalking and regular abuse of administrator privileges. The source of that intense hostility is simple: I prefer historical facts and he appears to suffer from an obsessive need to preserve and protect at all costs Wiki's romanticised version of the history of language in Scotland. Having spent more than two years investigating the subject in considerable depth, most importantly always checking original source documents wherever possible, it is very apparent that the Wiki pages are historicaly dubious and are most often drawn from sources with a highly politicised POV. Equally they are remarkable for what they omit. Rather than pushing my own POV however I would simply urge anyone with an interest in the subject to take nothing whatsover on trust and to do some checking for themselves: a most useful jumping off point for serious investigators is James Murray's The Dialect of the Southern Counties of Scotland (1873) available on line. Best wishes, Cassandra — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.12.109.24 (talk) 12:45, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

IP Cassandra: if you want to influence articles, present links to good sources instead of hinting at publication, represent them accurately without the original research you've shown above, and make sure they meet WP:RS which is very doubtful for a 1952 PhD paper. Getting a user account would make your contributions that much more credible, evidently you're not building a good reputation. . dave souza, talk 17:39, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
For info Dave: I am not an admin. I have already explained to Cassandra that userboxes on my page are added or created by me, i.e. the reductio ad hitlerum one and those regarding being called both a nat and a quisling. That I've been called the latter two hopefully indicates I may be getting something right. If Cassandra is not intentionally socking I, not for the first time, invite them to get and stick to a user account and see how long they last. Mutt Lunker (talk) 14:28, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
In this instance I'm somewhat involved so am not acting as an admin, and have neither the expertise nor time to decide if the IP is socking. The advice on getting an account is good, as I've just said above. . dave souza, talk 17:39, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Sure and thanks. Mutt Lunker (talk) 18:09, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

See[edit]

[3] - I think the Dawkins article is relevant - being critical surely doesn't matter even in a BLP. Alternatively we can use it as a source and quote some of it. Dougweller (talk) 17:19, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

While agreeing in principle, the stuff about entropy and disorder is something of a misconception. Obviously evolution and thermodynamic entropy are entirely compatible, and McIntosh is wrong, but I don't think this explanation by Dawkins is very good. The most I can see us taking out of it is that Dawkins says McIntosh is out of step with the vast majority of scientists. . . dave souza, talk 17:45, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
That's the essence of it, I agree that the other stuff doesn't belong. Dougweller (talk) 19:02, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough, it's a reasonable source for Dawkin's published opinion, and having looked at the article the "debate" between McIntosh and Dawkins is only sourced to an interviewer blogging about the debate while passing on McIntosh's remarks, and McIntosh's own writing. So at least it's a start to showing how McI's remarks have been received by the mainstream. There's some coverage by the British Centre for Science Education but rather doubt if that's a RS. . dave souza, talk 19:30, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

GW point 24[edit]

On the Global Warming talk page you removed an edit, and I don't mind it being removed. Can you let me know if your complaint was that the reference did not show a prior consensus that had been changed, or that you do not want to say that Wikipedia's job is to report the consensus, not to guarantee that consensus equals truth. The challenge comes in that the means of establishing consensus is very squishy. For example the consensus can be shown that the 2007 report had universal consensus, and yet the 2007 report supported biofuel. I think it is messy to start to argue that part of the report had consensus and other parts did not. I think it is easier to apply common sense and say that Wikipedia reports consensus and not truth, and further we establish what is consensus by a consensus process. It is not controversial that consensus sometimes changes.

Thanks.

Bob the goodwin (talk) 00:18, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Hi Bob, a few issues here. Firstly, Wikipedia reports what the consensus is and gives it due weight, but also reports minority views and how they've been received by the mainstream. No guarantee that consensus equals The Truth for all time.
However, your source for claiming "Scientific consensus is often wrong, for example the 2007 IPCC report that represented the consensus view that Biofuels reduced global warming has now been reversed in the latest IPCC draft" is a news report that "A leaked draft of a UN report condemns the widespread use of biofuels made from crops as a replacement for petrol and diesel. It says that biofuels, rather than combating the effects of global warming, could make them worse." Commentary on a leaked draft is a very weak source for this claim, and use of biofuels is conditional on practical implementation, not simply on scientific consensus: see Issues relating to biofuels. We'd need close examination both of what caveats were shown in AR4, and what's to be shown in AR5 WGIII which still hasn't been issued. Hence my removal summary: speculation on leaked report, doesn't show previous WGII was scientific consensus.
The removal of the remainder was as sources make no mention of "previous consensus", and continental drift isn't plate tectonics: your statement was original research, you need to find a source commenting specifically on the issue of scientific consensus with relevance to scientific opinion on climate change.
Also, odd to add it as a new FAQ: the first two FAQs deal with consensus issues. As it was, I think you were giving undue weight to a shift of opinion on how best to achieve climate change mitigation, which not the same as the basic findings of recent warming as a result of human influence which the first FAQ discusses. . . dave souza, talk 10:20, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I was actually trying to help, and not change the consensus. I was coming from the point of view that Wikipedia does not report on the truth, it reports on the consensus. And the value of the FAQ is that it represents the current consensus. I have been researching the fields of controversy, and find this point is often misunderstood. I can find numerous areas in Wikipedia where there is factual error, but accurate reporting. This is how Wikipedia works, and it is helpful to be explicit in this. The global warming consensus is weakening, but still exists. Therefore there is no reason to report on its weakening. I also have found that going anywhere near any controversy raises peoples suspicion, and this is probably reason to avoid making this change. I agree that citations can be better, and am happy to iterate, but you can see that you have created a double edged sword here, but first saying consensus is defined by Wikipedia editors, and then saying I need a secondary source to show a changing consensus. Perhaps I can link to Wikipedia where it claims consensus exists/existed. Rarely is consensus 'declared' except in politicized debates.
In summary, I think you would like me to avoid the comments I was suggesting because the harm outweighs the good. (i.e. it actually won't discourage the dissenters, it will encourage them.) Is this correct? Bob the goodwin (talk) 02:51, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Last point first, my feeling is that your points gave unrealistic and undue credence to the idea that the central scientific consensus on global warming has been overturned: your idea that the "global warming consensus is weakening" doesn't look at all true of science. However, in political and social areas the idea of doing anything about it has been effectively contested by contrarians, and it's easy to find instances where reality is denied.
To reiterate, Wikipedia gives dues weight to expert consensus. It doesn't necessarily exclude minority or fringe views, but has to put them in the mainstream context, and can't accept unpublished Truth. In a discussion related to global warming, NYB goes some way towards agreeing with you: "Wikipedia policy is to report scientific consensus as it exists, rather than what one particular person, however expert he or she may or may not be, has concluded is the truth." Good quality publication is the key. . dave souza, talk 10:39, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks again. I do not think the consensus has been overturned, I think it is alive an well. When I said weakened, I meant in the sense that it has little political traction, and declining public support. If you thought I was advocated the absurd position that the consensus had been overturned, then I will not bother you anymore. I was trying merely making the point that consensus does not equal truth so that truth seekers would calm down. Thanks so much for replying. Bob the goodwin (talk) 19:08, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I appreciate your aims but felt your wording would stir up the Truth seekers rather than calming them. No doubt we'll see how the political situation develops, dave souza, talk 19:17, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Re: Freedom_of_Information_requests_to_the_Climatic_Research_Unit[edit]

Hi, just leaving a note of thanks for you spending some time redoing the first part in response to my attempts at edits. I did notice a few typos which I will now edit (hopefully nothing needing a revert). I remain concerned about the lack of refs for the first part of the article, and get the overall impression that that part is too one-sided, but my memory of the incidents is not perfect(!) and I need to do more research. Could you give me info on the Pearce 2010 reference so I can track it down? It doesn't seem to lead anywhere. (edit)Is it perhaps "The Climate Files: The battle for the truth about global warming"?

Just to give you some background, as a molecular biologist I worry about impediments to the free exchange of scientific knowledge and researchers publishing work without publicly providing the underlying data, but I'm also concerned about vexatious requests. I know that in my field, there's pretty much no excuse for not handing over any data (as opposed to physical materials), even to people we don't like, which is why this incident drew my interest at the time. WikiMondoman (talk) 04:48, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for commenting, the Pearce reference was incomplete and I've added the missing detail. Pearce's book was developed from a series of articles which invited feedback. Some was rather critical of his reporting, but it's a reasonable reference for the points made in our article.
More broadly, contrarian demands for climate data and other information have been a recurring theme: in 2005 the Wall Street Journal published accusations from a semiretired Toronto minerals consultant who claimed to have had difficulty getting information about a 1999 scientific study, and this article was cited by U.S. Congressmen who issued letters to scientists demanding data and methods, personal information about their finances and careers, information about grants provided to the institutions they had worked for, and the exact computer codes used to generate their results. The data and methods had been published in 2000, the computer code had been more recently made available though this was going beyonds National Science Foundation requirements. The congressmen concerned turned down an official investigation (the North Report), and launched their own investigation: the Wegman Report which repeated the demands for sharing data and methods, but Wegman then prevaricated and failed to disclose his own data and methods.
Since then, freedom of information requests have extended to as yet unpublished research demanded by someone who openly admits having no expertise in the topic, and also demanded emails as he thought they could reveal a conspiracy to prevent him getting the data. Another case involved details of tobacco research which tobacco companies wanted. In your area, do you hand over research which is still being prepared, and disclose all your emails? . . dave souza, talk 14:59, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

The struggle for existence[edit]

Hi Dave, I just came across this article. I just don't see this as a standalone article it seems to me to be better covered in Charles Darwin and Natural selection. What do you think? --I am One of Many (talk) 05:45, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Will try to come back in more detail on this, I think it's legitimate as a specific issue that contributed to Darwin's thinking, but had been already published by others including Augustin Pyramus de Candolle. The title should probably be moved to struggle for existence which is currently a redirect. The article is only a start, but specific information on this topic would be useful to the other broader articles. . dave souza, talk 15:05, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it is an important specific issue, but you do think that there is enough on the historiography of the idea for an article over and above its coverage in Charles Darwin and Natural selection? In any case, it doesn't hurt anything and could serve as a quick historical reference to the idea. It is a bit redundant and needs a little clean up as it stands. I'll fix it up a bit. I am One of Many (talk) 17:18, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I think there's plenty to be found in Desmond & Moore, Browne and Bowler plus van Wyhe's outline, though obviously these are in the context of Darwin.
The main issue needing picked up is that for Malthus it was an argument against utopianism which became the widely discussed cultural issue of Malthusianism in the early 19th century, for Lyell part of his rejection of Lamarckian evolution, and for Darwin the key to explaining how transmutation related to farmers breeding varieties.
Stauffer's footnote to Darwin's unpublished "big book" p. 569 says "[Darwin had already encountered the phrase 'struggle for existence' in a number of the works he had read, and he had used it in the 1844 Essay: Lyell, Principles of Geology, 1st edition, II (1832), p. 56; Edward Blyth 'Attempt to Classify Varieties', Mag. Nat. Hist. 8 (1835), p. 46; F. v. Wrangel, Expedition to the Polar Sea, 2nd ed. (1844), p. 47; and A. R. Wallace, Amazon and Rio Negro (1853), p. 121. Malthus, Essay on...Population, 6th ed., I (1826), p. 95, has the wording 'struggles for existence', (but cf. 1st ed. (1798), pp. 47‐8, where the phrase is 'struggle for existence') For other references to 'struggle' in works Darwin had read, see note 47 regarding folio 30 B of chapter V. In his 1842 Sketch, Darwin had already written of 'De Candolle's war of nature' and the related 'struggle' (Foundations, pp. 7, 8 note 3.) In his 1844 Essay, he wrote of this 'struggle' (ibid. pp. 91, 92), 'a recurrent struggle for life' (p. 148), and 'a severe struggle for existence' (p. 241).]" So we need to check these out, and try to find context of what the authors meant.
Note that the original reference by Darwin equates it to de Candolle's declaration that all nature is at war, one organism with another, or with external nature.. dave souza, talk 11:07, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

AL[edit]

Regarding this I think at this point it's probably better to just let it be. Let's just stop commenting altogether and wait for the bot to archive the section, no good will come out of responding to senseless accusations. Regards. Gaba (talk) 22:09, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Sigh so apparently AL is determined to have that his WP:PAs show in the TP for as long as possible Anyway... Cheers. Gaba (talk) 22:39, 15 April 2014 (UTC)