User talk:Eric Corbett

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Wikimania 2014[edit]

I've just watched a couple of videos of presentations given at Wikimania 2014 and two things stand out for me. The first is that those of us who contribute words to this encyclopedia project need to be replaced as soon as possible by social-media aware children, preferably female, with multimedia expertise. The second is that Brandon Harris is a completely self-centred nutcase. Eric Corbett 23:15, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

I see the schedule but I didn't see a link to videos. I'd like to see the Harris video.--S Philbrick(Talk) 00:27, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
They're all here. Eric Corbett 00:42, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Sign-language takes many forms, but "what a load of bollocks" can be easily conveyed visually
I looked at the schedule a few days ago and thought "what a load of bollocks". However, all these hyper-aware types have missed a trick: probably they do have a sign-language interpreter somewhere on stage but they've not provided a subtitling facility nor, to the best of my knowledge, a transcript. And sign-language is far from being standardised, with particularly large differences betwen US one-hand and everyone else's two-hand. So deaf people like me will become the new marginal group. Well, not me because I'm a bloke also and so do not count ;) - Sitush (talk) 04:20, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
There was a sign-language interpreter on the Brandon Harris video; appeared to be using US one-hand, as they were just moving their right hand up and down with the thumb and index finger forming a ring. Xanthomelanoussprog (talk) 06:40, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Ha! - Sitush (talk) 06:49, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Surprisingly few if any of the presentations have on-stage interpreters. If you are interested, though, there is an Etherpad for each presentation - crowd-sourced and so incoherent in places, but better than nothing. Nikkimaria (talk) 07:52, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
I looked at a few random etherpads, did not find one with any content so gave up.--S Philbrick(Talk) 12:40, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
The entire idea of etherpads is new to me but I, too, could find nothing. Given that I usually work on Indian articles, any incoherence would just have been an extension of my day-to-day experience here. - Sitush (talk) 12:46, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Given that court reporters have been able to generate coherent written transcript in real time for at least two decades, I'm surprised they are having such difficulties generating captions or transcripts. This isn't exactly bleeding edge technology. Montanabw(talk) 00:48, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

As of course I do not worry that some content must be found,
I've got a little list — I've got a little list
Of civility offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed — who never would be missed!
There's the pestilential nuisances though content they may write —
Say all sort of naughty words, and who just may who knows be tight
But at peer review do dominate, though saying words like "twat"—
And get articles through FAC, and little things like that —
But in spite of all of this, to say “fuck” they do insist —
They'd none of 'em be missed — they'd none of 'em be missed!

(Chorus of WMF sycophants:)
He's got 'em on the list — he's got 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed — they'll none of 'em be missed.

And although I don't write content, and could sink without a trace,
At least this is the gist — Put Eric on the list!
He's of course a bit annoying, and can get some in your face,
He never would be missed — he never would be missed!
In my speech I've just applauded, with enthusiastic tone,
How the 'pedia is trusted, in every country, and my own;
Though it oddly has escaped me, to ask the question "Why,
Is it that they trust articles, and rate them rather high?";
It's that singular anomaly, the content specialist! —
Somehow he won't be missed — I'm sure he'd not be missed!

He's got him on the list — he's got him on the list;
And I don't think he'll be missed — I'm sure he'll not be missed!

To get articles deleted, like the one about my wife,
I try and do insist — I've got that on the list!
All funny fellows, content men, who have a little strife —
I've got them on the list — they'd none of 'em be missed.
And although I make a living with "God-King" speeches to the folk,
I won't let others earn a farthing, for unpaid must be the Volk.
Wikipedia is trusted, though sometimes when I feel blue —
I realise that others say, "It's not because of you!"
So I think it doesn't matter who you put upon the list,
For they'd none of 'em be missed — no one knows that they exist!

You may put 'em on the list — you may put 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed — for none of them exist!

Jimbo Wales, following his closing speech to Wikimania 2014

I thought "what's an MP doing at Wikimania", then released I was getting confused with Brandon Lewis. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 14:57, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

It's taken you this long to come to the conclusion that Brandon Harris is a completely self-centred nutcase? "Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. What a powerful idea that is. The Mission (and I always capitalize it) is what's important here. We are here to educate, to open minds, to make the world a better place. I believe in this so much that I had it tattooed on my arm" didn't do it for you? (And, who could the WMF possibly have had in mind here?) – iridescent 2 16:30, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Wales was actually even more dismissive than that in his speech. What he said while the slide was up was allegedly good content. So as he's drawing up battlelines he can hardly be surprised if others with a different viewpoint also decide to draw up their own battle lines. My initial alternative suggestion would be that WP could very easily do without Wales and the army of civility warriors hanging on his coat tails, so why doesn't he create a fork to a new CivilWikipedia? As for Brandon Harris, words fail me completely. Eric Corbett 16:45, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Whenever Jimbo starts spouting off about his knowledge of what it takes to write Wikipedia articles, this should never be forgotten. Looking in on Wikipedia from the semi-detached vantage point of the Island of Suppressive Persons, the more I come to believe that the only thing that can save Wikipedia now is Jimmy Wales being shown the door. It's increasingly coming to look like a religious cult in which any off-the-cuff remark of Jimbo's is treated as holy writ by some and as a declaration of war by others—this was always the case to some extent, but the shrinking and hyperspecialization of the user base has made the die-hard pros and antis for more powerful than they ever used to be. – iridescent 2 16:59, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that "allegedly". You know, Corbett, FAs on these fucking little esoteric topics, it ain't shit. I was looking for that speech by Brandon Harris (whom I don't know, although he seems to know a lot more about what I'm looking at--the interface--than I ever will) but couldn't find it on that "live" website: too complicated and too many colorful buttons for a text-oriented yokel like me. Sorry, like I. Iridescent, I am probably old-fashioned then. I have great respect for what Jimbo set in motion, but I don't take his word as gospel. I don't want him to be an admin, but I'm not going to vilify him either. If that talk page of his gets scrapped it would save everyone a lot of drama. Drmies (talk) 04:39, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
The Brandon Harris video is here. I recommend frequently jabbing the right arrow button to skip forward. Summing up the content is beyond me—perhaps all we need is hope? The Lila Tretikov video has a clearer theme—"If I'd asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a better horse" attributed to Henry Ford. I guess that quote means that all top-down edicts are golden, and workers who point out flaws need re-education. Johnuniq (talk) 05:55, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

It's been a while since Wikimania. I hope Eric won't mind me dropping a couple of observations here. I've been meaning for some time to follow up with some of the people I met there, but haven't found the time yet. It was great meeting some people in person that I'd known online for ages but never met. I had no idea that you (Eric) were there. It would have been good to meet you, but maybe another time. Anyway, to pick up on what Sitush said about sign-language interpreters, I don't think there were any, though if someone had asked they might have been provided. I know there were subtitles on the Wikipedia Zero film, as that meant I actually managed to understand what was being said (which was somewhat of relief). I did also manage to get close enough to the front at the talks I went to (even in the main auditorium) to lipread the speakers, but comparing Wikimania to the Worldcon event (Loncon 3 - the World Science Fiction Convention) held the following weekend was interesting (I went to that as well). I'm not sure where Wikimania rates in terms of accessibility, but at Worldcon, they have long had 'access' badges for people to wear, and generally do a very good job in making the event moderately accessible to those with a wide range of disability and impairments. Still not perfect though - perfection for me would be subtitles for all the films and real-time Google Glass-type subtitling (there was a fascinating BBC article about that somewhere that should be Google-able). The other thing was the size and the number of people from around the world coming together. Though Wikimania had around 2000 people attending (I think), the numbers at WorldCon were higher (around 8000 I think), but the same theme is there of people from around the world coming together. I was reminded of that (and of Iridescent's comments about religious cults) when I was passing by Twickenham Stadium today, where an annual religious convention was being held (Jehovah's Witnesses, I think). That was around 55,000 people from around the world, so I think Wikipedia/Wikimedia has a way to go yet to match that (though that might cue a debate about size versus influence on today's world...). Carcharoth (talk) 23:31, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Help please[edit]

I need a little help. Looking at the Ebola virus disease article I have written "Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a disease of humans and other primates caused by an ebolavirus". However, looking at the ebolavirus page I find that the word should not be used with an article. Does this mean that I should not use the "an"? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I expect to get disagreements if I change it. Gandydancer (talk) 18:03, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

There will no doubt be many others who know far more about the correct way to refer to viruses than I do. My simple-minded interpretation is that if you use "an" then you're referring to the genus, which ought to be capitalised as in "an Ebolavirus", rather than to a specific virus, where the article should be omitted. Eric Corbett 18:27, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it seems that perhaps it should be written "the genus Ebolavirus", but that sounds odd. Gandydancer (talk) 20:29, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
It does indeed sound odd, but that's not what I'm suggesting. What I'm suggesting is that your sentence ought to read "Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a disease of humans and other primates caused by an Ebolavirus". Eric Corbett 20:44, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I did figure it out. I think Ebolavirus would not be correct because one would not use the name of the genus when referring to the causative agent of a disease. The "don't use an article" refers to a specific virus, Ebola virus for example. I am referring to all of the species within the genus, so its proper to use an article. Gandydancer (talk) 23:52, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Quite. Eric Corbett 13:09, 19 August 2014 (UTC)


Hey Eric, if you're not busy lately, can you copyedit the 'Live performances' section of ...And Justice for All? I'm planning an FA nomination, but that section seems the weakest facet of the article and a potential stumbling block at the review. I did some wording today, but help from you will be mostly welcomed. All the best.--Retrohead (talk) 18:03, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I'll take a look, but I suggest you try Martinevans123. He's the real FA expert, I'm just a drone. Eric Corbett 18:08, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I've had a look at that section and made a few changes, but I'm afraid it's obvious on even a quick scan through the rest of the article that some more work needs to be done if you're to meet the FA criteria. Here are just a couple of examples:
  • "...And Justice for All has a lyrical material featuring a conceptual uniformity around notions of political and legal injustice as seen through the prism of war, censored speech, and nuclear brinkmanship.". I just can't make sense of that: contains "lyrical material" or "has a lyrical quality" perhaps? I just don't know what you're trying to say.
  • "... the bass line was a medley of unused recordings Burton had performed prior to his death." It would have been far more interesting had he performed them after his death. Eric Corbett 12:53, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

An invitation[edit]

I invite everyone to join me in a one week boycott of editing any WP articles, in protest against Jimbo Wales' new "moral ambitiousness" campaign and the completely incompetent WMF and its software developers. Eric Corbett 00:13, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Tempting, except no one will notice. We need to do something more visible, yet subtle like this. Montanabw(talk) 03:50, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
People would notice if enough participated but the scale - a full week - might put a lot off. I forget who it was but someone on Jumbo's page suggested a rolling system, starting with one day per week and escalating if the WMF didn't pay attention (which they won't, at first). One day a week for four weeks, two days a week for another four etc might actually ease withdrawal symptoms in some and thus cause a larger body of support. In the long run, even though some participants will try to catch up on their return, the WMF will find that they are exposed to an increased number of legal problems due to lack of article maintenance, especially with regard to BLP and copyright violations. Ultimately, they might be forced to use their new powers to lock-down editing completely on the off-days and that would be a significant blow to their charitable mission. - Sitush (talk) 06:27, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Eric, what do you think it would change? More forgiveness? Better software? - I commented to the Signpost. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:10, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I doubt anyone would notice in the short term...sadly. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 07:16, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
But they might if we adopted Sitush's rolling system, which I quite like. Eric Corbett 07:41, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Someone would no doubt quote Wikipedia:Don't feed the divas or WP:POINT or somesuch. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 08:41, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
No doubt, but so what? Eric Corbett 11:07, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
A healthier environment less like a cult and no more rubbish software forced upon us by the WMF. Eric Corbett 11:07, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it would make much difference, as the masses would still edit. They plainly value quantity over quality.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:17, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
You're probably right, and certainly right about the WMF. But what's the alternative? Those of us who don't buy into the personality cult of Jimbo Wales simply wait to be shunned? We get more and more poorly designed software thrust upon us by the WMF? Is that our future? Eric Corbett 17:44, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
The masses can continue to edit, yes. That's actually a part of my rationale above: it will create immense BLP/copyvio etc problems that will take a very long time for the relatively small number of experienced contributors to fix. Meanwhile, the legal hassles will grow for the WMF. - Sitush (talk) 18:53, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Fascinating idea. I quite like it. Intothatdarkness 19:38, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I think there are enough redundant parts to the machine (check the number of watchers on significant BLPs) that it would be difficult to have an effective strike. Outside publicity and embarrassment might move Jimbo, but I'm not sure how that might be accomplished.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:43, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think so, and the "outside publicity and embarrassment" would follow from the legal issues etc. - Sitush (talk) 20:50, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, and I think the German press has been all over the superprotect thing. - Sitush (talk) 20:51, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Moral ambitiousness sounds like something dreamed up by the late Chairman Mao, and much as our esteemed leader and god king would love to have Mao's power and charisma - he doesn't. I really would just ignore it all - it will pass as all such things pass. He may believe that the 2,000 clapping seals at Wikimania are writing this project, but we know different. I suspect they had just wandered in off the street - had there been a sudden storm? Really he's just hoisted by his own petard; the kindest thing one can do is ignore it. On no account must it be indulged or encouraged. Giano (talk) 21:10, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Please excuse the further digression but, hm, Mao and Ayn Rand? That would "sort of" be empirical evidence of one of my pet theories, that there is little difference/there is much commonality between the fairly extreme lefts and rights of politics and philosophy. There is a big assumption in this but I am pretty sure that it was Rand who coined the phrase "moral ambition" or "moral ambitiousness". I do remember being recommended to read Atlas Shrugged by my GP shortly before he retired. He and the presumptive God alone knows why, but I did as I was told and I got bored with it, quickly. Give me William Cobbett or Rousseau any day: not necessarily aligned with my own thoughts but interesting and not cult-ish.
It is also interesting also that another vocal-but-cleverly-vague opponent of Eric, myself and others is an avowed Rand/Libertarian fan. Eric will know who I mean. I really do not understand how this libertarian concept - small government, freedom of the individual etc - aligns with "let's stuff those whom we think are uncivil". But that's where the left/right similarities come in, I guess: totalitarianism appears at both ends of the spectrum and, yes, is the ultimate commonality. But, like I said, I am digressing. I am, though, reminded of (paraphrase) "I disagree with what you say but I will defend to death your right to say it". Voltaire, allegedly, although some sources say the attribution is a myth of sorts. - Sitush (talk) 23:34, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
You're right, it was Ayn Rand, in The Virtue of Selfishness. I always suspected Wikipedia was a computer game - turns out it's BioShock! Keri (talk) 00:58, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” (Orwell, Animal Farm)—Odysseus1479 00:16, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Heh. I still like something akin to black armbands. Particularly in edit summaries or on user pages, something akin to the cabal stamp, only the opposite. Montanabw(talk) 06:59, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I've decided that Wednesday will be my day of silence for the foreseeable future, and in line with Sitush's suggestion I will not be attempting to address any BLP issues that may have arisen during my absence. If nobody joins me then fine, but don't get sucked into the cult. Eric Corbett 22:17, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Actually I'm switching to Monday for my strike, as I've seen others do. Better we all do it on the same day. Eric Corbett 23:08, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

DYK for Stoor worm[edit]

Thanks from me and the wiki Victuallers (talk) 00:03, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

St John's Gardens, Manchester[edit]

Hi Eric, you might know of the St John's Gardens, Manchester and might find some more sources to expand it. My sister bought my mother a trip up to Corrie for her birthday and I saw this on a map of central Manchester they had.♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:49, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

I can't remember ever being there, but I'll see what I can find. Eric Corbett 12:58, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Isaac Perrins was buried at the church there, IIRC. - Sitush (talk) 13:33, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I see that you and I are the top two editors on that article, which was mostly written by you. Another example proving what I said recently on Jimbo's page about the myth of crowdsourcing. Eric Corbett 13:50, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Not sure which John Owens and William Marsden they were.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:49, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

The garden would appear to be the site of St John's, one of Manchester's lost churches according to Clare Hartwell, [1], it was drawn by JMW Turner, [2] and Edward Byrom who built it was the son of John Byrom with an "o" and could possibly probably warrant a stub. Owens was the founder of Owens College. J3Mrs (talk) 13:53, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
It's pretty obvious to me that with all the additions Sitush is making we really need two articles, one on the church and the other on the modern-day gardens. Eric Corbett 16:54, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Agree but he's pretty fed up with me at the moment. Manchester has several "lost churches". At least Sitush used new material instead of cutting out chunks of MediaCityUK. J3Mrs (talk) 17:00, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Ah yes, I remember that battle we had over MediaCityUK. The trick was to force it to GA I think. But I'm sure Sitush isn't fed up with you, and even if he is, he'll soon get over it. Eric Corbett 17:10, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I know. I think he's got very enthusiastic about the BNA, as have I. I'm sure there's more than enough information in it to do articles on all the lost churches. I absolutely hate that MediaCity article, I know nothing is ever finished but regular maintenance is the only thing that stops it deteriorating into the mush we started with.
No, I'm not fed up with you, J3Mrs. It was just getting a bit confusing, that's all. I'm going to have a bite to eat so please feel free to reorganise/fork/whatever and I'll come back to it. This is one that I actually had in mind from way back when I was involved with the Perrins article but at that time it would have meant spending many hours in a library and now, with the BNA access, it doesn't. - Sitush (talk) 17:20, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually you've reminded me J3Mrs of an article I've long wanted to improve, Jerome Caminada, Manchester's Sherlock Holmes. I'd almost forgotten about it, but access to the BNA might well be a big help now. Eric Corbett 17:25, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I got access to Findmypast too but am not sure how to use it as it's a primary source. I don't know why I got it really and I've no idea how to format the reference. There aren't many Caminadas so he's easy to find. J3Mrs (talk) 18:39, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
A useful resource I may apply for myself. I think the restrictions on using primary sources such as birth and death certificates only apply to BLPs, which it's a good idea to steer clear of anyway. But if I'm wrong no doubt an admin will be along shortly to correct me. Eric Corbett 19:04, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I think the issue generally is one of original research, even in non-BLPs. One of my sisters-in-law is literally the only person in this country to have borne her name and almost certainly the only person in the world, ever. This is because of an admin cock-up way back when her father came to this country before she was born. But pulling her birth certificate, even after death, would be regarding as WP:OR by the sticklers. - Sitush (talk) 00:18, 21 August 2014 (UTC) (signing very late - Erics 22:02 response is subsequent to this msg but I can't be bothered using {{signed}}
I think there's a lot of confusion around this "original research" issue. It's hardly OR to pull up a birth certificate for instance, that's just presenting the facts. OR is when you draw conclusions from those sources, rather than simply report them. The major restriction comes from the whacky BLP policy, which doesn't allow any mention of a subject's personal details such as date of birth. Eric Corbett 22:02, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree, but this is where the sticklers rule. As with that recent waterman issue at BLPN, how can we be sure that the person named is indeed the person for whom we have found a birth/death etc certificate? And, in fairness to them, I've occasionally had such issues when researching my own genealogy. - Sitush (talk) 00:18, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
As with that recent waterman's issue there can usually be no doubt. It's ridiculous to rely on an anecdotal account published in a book when it defies what the subject says, what his birth certificate says, and common sense. The word "research" is abused in such cases. Eric Corbett 04:02, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Re: St John's Church, it appears commonly in the news sources as "St John's Church, Deansgate" even though, strictly speaking, it was not on Deansgate. Anyone got any thoughts regarding the most appropriate article title for the thing? I think we should use Deansgate per WP:COMMONNAME but am open to alternatives. - Sitush (talk) 21:16, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
St John's Church, Manchester would be the best title I think.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:31, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I was only thinking that last week. I've recently been reading the various books about Manchester's criminal gangs etc and, after doing the usual Google search, it struck me that BNA might be more useful for his bio article. The danger might be sensationalist writing (Caminada seems not to have been shy about promoting himself either). - Sitush (talk) 17:31, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
St Johns steeple is visible on Blackfriars Bridge, Manchester. BTW there's a good Spanish restaurant down there.Parrot of Doom 18:09, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Edit, bah, ignore me, I think it's St Peters' Church. Parrot of Doom 18:13, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I always love finding articles on buildings and structures which no longer exist and were prominent locally in the past. I was most impressed with Eric's article on a demolished bridge or something in the Manchester area, can't remember what it was called though. Its great browsing through some of the old photos of New York and Los Angeles and seeing some of the old firms and buildings which have been demolished. The more coverage we have of things like this the better I think, but part of the puzzle is starting articles and finding red links from various sources and building it. I'd split the full details on the church into a separate article though and condense it in the main to focus more on the gardens Sitush. I'll let you do it seems as you added the content!♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:03, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Are you perhaps thinking of Hanging Bridge? I think my masterpiece in that genre though has to be Malkin Tower, a hovel demolished in the early 17th century. Eric Corbett 19:09, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
It was a GA I think I reviewed actually, was it a bridge or a canal, I can't remember! I know it no longer exists though.♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:15, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Barton Aqueduct. That was it. A year ago I reviewed that, seemed longer ago than that!♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:19, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Ah yes, although strictly that was in Salford, not Manchester. ;-) It's interesting how one thing leads to another, as in the the discussion above about the swing bridge. Eric Corbett 19:22, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Jerome Cammada, Chief Inspector of Detective Police (1891 Census)- the census invigilator actually did write Caminada, the electronic transcription is at error. Lived next door to Kate Paris, Professor of Languages. Xanthomelanoussprog (talk) 06:04, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

WikiWand anyone?[edit]

I've just become aware of a new more modern interface for reading WP articles, WikiWand. Here is what our kelpie article looks like for instance. Why wouldn't anyone only interested in reading WP rather than editing it – the overwhelming majority of people – not prefer to use an interface like that? Eric Corbett 13:00, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

... and if you do want to edit you can just click on the "edit" option from the main menu, which takes you straight to WP's wikitext editor. Eric Corbett 13:05, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Wow, that really is great actually. I've never seen that before. Let's just lobby the foundation to adopt it or something similar. I'm sure we wouldn't hit any snags. Basalisk inspect damageberate 13:16, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Eric all your page stalkers will be stopping writing and looking at "their" articles on WikiWand, and very nice they look too. As you know I am completely bamboozled by anything technical so I think it is very clever of them to create something that looks more like a page in a book. (I do like books) Only thing I could object to at the minute is that the organisation gives money to Wikipedia, what a waste. It shows just what is possible without all the posturing. I usually don't like change, it's an age thing. Once I've learned how to do something I don't want to have to relearn because somebody's "improved" it, but I like this because I don't have to do anything and it's easy to look at. I'm quite enthusiastic today, but not about Wikipedia. J3Mrs (talk) 14:51, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
That's exactly what I did :) Suddenly I'm glad I like making sure the castle articles I work on have a half decent lead image as it becomes a nice looking backdrop. I mean look at this. I almost wouldn't care what the rest of the page says. Nev1 (talk) 20:29, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Looks beautiful, doesn't it. I can't work out what you've done differently to what I tried to do with Little Moreton Hall, but I can't get that lovely background image. Eric Corbett 20:32, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Althorp looks great with the background image. Quite a few articles for some reason though don't have it.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:16, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Taking a wild stab in the dark, but I wonder if it's because the lead image for Little Moreton Hall is more square than say the one for Althorp. Nev1 (talk) 21:20, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I suppose it may be something to do with the image's aspect ratio ... would be nice to know for sure. Eric Corbett 21:25, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
The dark gray with white text on the left I also think has the effect of making the text in the body stand out more and gives it a more spacious feeling.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:27, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Not to mention the obvious enhancement of having the contents list always available. Why didn't Brandon think of that? Eric Corbett 21:53, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Gropecunt and Peterloo have the big image but the image selection is strange and they're maps which don't look as good as images. Must be as Nev suggested to do with shape.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:50, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Carrington Moss is an old one of mine and that displays the big image, I think it's likely down to horizontal aspect and high resolution. Parrot of Doom 23:23, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Looks really good doesn't it? The design makes the screen look much more airy and easier to read. The reader function on the safari browser is also worth check out. There really ought to be a "read" mode option for wikipedia I think rather like that.♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:24, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

I like the appearance and utiliy. Also welcome is the occasional comic addition (at least in Safari), e.g. at the head of the Creation Museum article, above the infobox, a photograph of Bill Maher captioned "Creation Museum". Writegeist (talk) 16:38, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Happens in Firefox too. Probably a bug in the Wikipedia API. Eric Corbett 17:14, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

This is a good one, I almost expected to see a caption in the top picture "Jimmy Wales discussing a map displaying the global distribution of human toxicity" :-)♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:13, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Assuming Brandon Harris gets his way, in the near future, every Wikipedia page is going to look like this, which might be a good compromise between readability and editability. I think the world could happily do without the "snowflakes" nonsense, mind. (talk) 17:17, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
It's time Brandon Harris found a job more suited to his lack of talent. Eric Corbett 18:30, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Seems to me the WMF is the perfect fit, unfortunately. Writegeist (talk) 19:14, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
You have a point. Eric Corbett 19:23, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Urgh, it looks even blander and nastier than the current one!♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:53, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
That's...awful. Poor font choice, horrific layout...did they raid an old "how not to design your web page" handout for that? Intothatdarkness 19:25, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
It so piqued my interest that I obtained a full transcript of BH's job interview:
Interviewer: Good morning.
BH: Yo, bro!
Interviewer: So tell me about your design credentials.
BH: Er, "design"? "Credentials"?
Interviewer: Wow! Welcome aboard.
Writegeist (talk) 20:23, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Sadly the developers seem to overlook aesthetics in favour of what they think is more user friendly, but what they don't seem to realise is that reader attention is grabbed much better with something bolder like that prominent image header with a white text and that graphics and layout play an important part in making reading more pleasurable. For some reason a lot of people on here seem to think whiter and blander/simple is better, hell I've even seen proposals for main page redesign as like google's search engine!♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:25, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

It's very pretty, you can download a Chrome extension here. The trouble is, while browsing the normal Wikipedia my pages scroll up and down perfectly - but in Wikiwand, there's that slight lag when I roll the wheel. That kind of thing always irritates me and I end up turning everything off. Parrot of Doom 21:37, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Have you noticed the hover function too over the article links, with a nice summary and image and a read full article option. It's technically as close to perfection as I've seen for a design. Why can't the foundation hire somebody like whoever did that with a clear talent for design! It would completely change my perception of the website and reading on here to have something like this. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:41, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
The WMF claim to have the interests of the reader at heart – they clearly couldn't give a toss about the interests of the editors anyway – but if they walked the talk they'd have developed something like WikiWand themselves, rather than yet another Brandon Harris fantasy. Eric Corbett 21:49, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah I noticed that and to be honest, it annoyed me. But I'm the kind of guy who prefers simple, utilitarian layouts. I can't stand it when little popups appear under my mouse, and annoyingly most websites seem to think I'm interested in every tiny aspect of every element on every webpage. Personally I quite like the current standard Wikipedia layout, I find it very easy on the eyes. The Wikiwand thing is very pretty though. Parrot of Doom 23:22, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
When the hover function appeared several (but not all) of the user and page section links on my watchlist ceased to function. (E.g. this page.) Anyone else getting that? Disabling the hover makes no difference. Writegeist (talk) 00:25, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Article here about it. And read what the designer says about our current design here. "“It didn't make sense to us that the 5th most popular website in the world, used by half a billion people, has an interface that hasn't been updated in over a decade.” Exactly..♦ Dr. Blofeld 22:04, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Interesting it was all done with $600,000. How many millions of dollars has the WMF wasted on VisualEditor, and the looming disaster of Flow? Or is still wasting on Brandon Harris's Winter interface? Eric Corbett 22:20, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Groan, read the comment by nihiltres at the bottom of the first link. Makes me wonder if he is actually Brandon himself. It's that sort of outlook which has held wikipedia back for so long!♦ Dr. Blofeld 22:26, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Brandon Harris is what he is, but what he should not be is employed as a software developer. Eric Corbett 22:35, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
But he proudly tattoos everything that is important to him on his arm(s). Surely, he must therefore always be right? As with all those men who had their lifelong loves tattooed - "John <heart> Marge" etc. I'd trust him, honestly ... with not a lot. Sitush (talk) 00:01, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
It's the "courage" tattoo that puzzles me. But then I'm not made of steel wool soaked in whisky. Eric Corbett 00:09, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Dutch courage? Writegeist (talk) 00:27, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Fantastic! The "contextually-relevant ads" will rake in a fortune. Are they going public soon? --Boson (talk) 01:25, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Here's a reply I got recently from WikiWand, but it's rather vague, and having tried out a few things with the lead image in Little Moreton Hall I don't believe it. Either that or their algorithms for image selection are faulty. Eric Corbett 19:16, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
If they are going to put in advertising, then we have defeated the wholepurpose of wikipedia. Sigh... Montanabw(talk) 20:46, 24 August 2014 (UTC)


Thanks Eric for your interest and edit. I just wanted to see how this image would show up on WikiWand. After all, there's a lot of hype about improved images. Have now found and substituted their own logo. It seems to take about 10 minutes before things show up on their site. As it comes out very small on the standard Wikipedia interface, it will be interesting to see how it looks on their own interface. Thanks for questioning the cover images on Facebook.--Ipigott (talk) 19:55, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

WikiWand is a promising start, but it's only a start. Their choice of cover/lead images is quite simply bizarre for instance. Eric Corbett 20:14, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, they need to accept the lead image of the article, and if it's in an infobox, (as are nearly al the science articles) to make use of the data there as well as the image. Montanabw(talk) 20:35, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I've been messing about with the lead image of Little Moreton Hall to try and get it to have a cover image in WikiWand, which it does now, and it now looks exactly as I'd expect it to.[3] Eric Corbett 21:44, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

I use WikiWand all the time for browsing now. If I go back to browsing with standard it's like I've gone back ten years to the Internet dark ages! I like the way you can click edit and it'll open a new tab on wikipedia though. It's not perfect, especially with image selection (also with the habit of adding a bloated image on top of an infobox in the lede), but it's certainly the closest design to perfection that I've seen and far superior to standard. Hopefully we can encourage them to revise their image coding as Montana and Ipigott have suggested.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:20, 23 August 2014 (UTC)


Eric, your edit here might just cause problems with our BNA deal. IIRC, we were asked to use a certain format so that metrics of some sort could be processed, and continuation of the deal depends on the metrics. Being an idiot when it comes to knowing how people generate statistics etc here, I'm not sure if that can still be done with your style. I'll @Sadads: for input. - Sitush (talk) 21:22, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm sure it's absolutely fine; it's a format I've used for Questia/Highbeam for ages. Eric Corbett 21:33, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd better change them at the Beach Thomas thing, then. I must admit to having doubts about using the publisher field but I had enough arguments going on without challenging that one also. - Sitush (talk) 21:36, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Using the "via" parameter should be okay as far as stats go (and speaking unofficially, that's the format I would prefer). Nikkimaria (talk) 05:41, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
In general, whichever format is fine: most of our metrics are based on urls. We prefer the via = or similar attribution for the publishing database. The original citatation had that information in " |publisher = " because I had overlooked the guidelines. Either should suffice, but I think, for long term computer-friendliness the "via =" works better. Sadads (talk) 15:29, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Dolebury Warren[edit]

Would you (or your talk page stalkers) be kind enough to take a look at Dolebury Warren. I'm hoping to get it to GA standard before long and have recently been accused (at another GA nom) of writing "choppy prose". Any edits appreciated. The pics will be improve soon when I upload some more as part of Septembers Wiki Loves Monuments UK competition.— Rod talk 09:22, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Do you reckon Mendip Lodge itself is notable enough for an article? I don't know what's left of it now, there was one wall standing and a wine cellar back in the 1970s (and the usual story about a demented woman locked up in a room). Xanthomelanoussprog (talk) 15:58, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Maybe - there is some stuff here and pics here, but I don't know the current state of the building.— Rod talk 16:45, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
It appears it was built by Thomas Sedgwick Whalley. The drive up to the house was bordered by rhododendrons- that's probably still visible.Xanthomelanoussprog (talk) 17:12, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Lots of stuff on Whalley & his involvement here.— Rod talk 17:22, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm gradually reading through the stuff (at the speed of a somnolent snail, I'm afraid). Xanthomelanoussprog (talk) 10:39, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

St John's Church, Manchester[edit]

St John's Church, Manchester has really come on amazingly well. At quick glance aside from the lead needing expansion and some minor prose work needed it is already well on its way to GA level in my opinion. Perhaps @Peter I. Vardy: and @Bencherlite: could also look at it, seems as they are our resident church experts, sorry Amanda :-) I'm highly impressed Sitush and J3Mrs, especially considering it was demolished so long ago and you found all that for it!♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:17, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

@Sitush:, there's a colour painting here. Can you trace the author/date? Probably uploadable. It would be good to get the two images abut a quarter the way down here but unlike US pre 1923 means nothing.♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:49, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Wrong church - that one's St John's, Haymarket, in Liverpool (near what was Manchester Street). Neatsfoot (talk) 17:26, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

RFAR clarification[edit]

Letting you know that I opened a clarification/amendment request to update the topic ban to exclude Drmies's talk page. Protonk (talk) 20:30, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Oh dear, all the usual suspects will now once again be clamouring for my expulsion given the free for all at the ArbCom pages. The problem with appealing anything here on WP is that you must first admit to having done something wrong, even if you don't accept that you have. Which is why I've never appealed against anything, and never will. The arbitrators by and large don't really care too much about the evidence, they only look at how many times an editor appears in the dock before them; once that number passes some arbitrary threshold it's pretty much an automatic ban. Eric Corbett 20:35, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry if I pushed you into some sort of mess. Just seemed from the discussion there that it wasn't going to result in anything useful either way and the answer ought to be either "yes, so and so can run their talk page how they see fit" or "no, topic bans are immutable." Neither answer ought to require an admission of guilt ("ought to" always being a loaded phrase in both cases, unfortunately). Seemed like the path of least bikeshedding, as it were. Protonk (talk) 20:41, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
My experience with requests for clarification has not been an encouraging one, they're inclined to reopen old wounds. Eric Corbett 20:48, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Curse that Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid.... ?[edit]

As I feel you may be something of an expert on northern culture and mild profanity, I don't suppose you (or any suitably qualified talk page stalkers) could pop into Talk:The Beatles (album)#"Stupid git" and give us your expertise on whether John Lennon calls Raleigh a "stupid git" or a "stupid get". Ta! Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 15:07, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

I've always considered them to mean exactly the same think, a faux distinction similar to that between feck and fuck. So I can't really get too excited about the discussion on that talk page, as I don't think it matters a damn. Eric Corbett 16:59, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I have often heard people use "get" rather than "git". Parrot of Doom 21:23, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
If the moral ambitiousness proceeds, we'll end up with "g*t". - Sitush (talk) 00:58, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
It was get not git. I often used the term "stupid get" in those days - you don't hear it much now though. Richerman (talk) 09:04, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

The god-king has spoken[edit]

Jimbo Wales has once again suggested that anyone who doesn't agree with him, and specifically referring to me, ought to find another hobby. My view is a little different from his, but do feel free to join in on Jimbo's talk page. Not that it'll make any difference of course. Eric Corbett 23:14, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

It wasn't until quite late on Monday that I realised you had taken the day off as per your earlier musings. I'll be joining you next Monday and fully expect that in due course it will become more days off than on. I might also encourage people who've never edited to have a go, in the sure knowledge that it will go dreadfully wrong, dreadfully quickly as it has done with Gardner's garbage systemic bias campaign that encouraged thousands of semi-literate, clueless pov-pushers and copyright-violators to descend on the project in the space of a few weeks. We're still cleaning up that mess. - Sitush (talk) 00:54, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
That's good, the more the merrier. Eric Corbett 09:38, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I didn't edit for four days in a row, - did anyone notice? I don't think so ;) Yesterday I remembered a milestone in my personal history here, - I mentioned strike a year ago. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:00, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
We need to act in concert though, that's the key. Eric Corbett 09:38, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Have you considered that you might be giving Jimbo 1/7 of what he wants?--Wehwalt (talk) 09:26, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
More than 1/7 surely? Eric Corbett 10:24, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Join. (Mondays.) It's hard to believe what I think I'm seeing: Cullen seemingly thinks he's practitioner of Jimbo's "moral ambitiousness/love" campaign by issuing sarcastic/baiting personal insults, then when he gets flak back from the target asking to knock it off, tells said target "stay off my talk page until you can conduct yourself with kindness", and, "stay off my talk page, unless you come with an attitude of kindness and respect." (Please also see the Jimbo quote at top of Cullen's User talk.) Do you think I'm misconstruing anything? (Because it seems like just nuts to me.) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 08:06, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for joining in. As for Cullen ... best avoided really. Eric Corbett 12:52, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I too have joined the cause and did not 'work' yesterday and have a sort of quasi-template on my talk page. I notice above you said we need to act in concert. Should we have a 'wikipedians' category (who are not wikipedians on Monday? ツ ) or a protest project page to sign? My talk page is not all that active, so my template may not be noticed by itself... PS. As for Cullen, he has finally shown his true colours to me. He is officially on my infuriation list. All the best, Fylbecatulous talk 14:39, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
    Excellent! A category might indeed be a good idea. Is that something you could take care of? Eric Corbett 14:51, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that any such cat would be deleted pronto, as per my response to Fylbecatulous in this thread. - Sitush (talk) 15:37, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I can't think of any rational reason why it might be deleted. But then ... Eric Corbett 16:46, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Eric, I'm not sure why you worry so much about what Jimbo says or the arrogance of the foundation. Although it seems wrong that they are paid and we're not, they have little bearing really on the development of the encyclopedia and are never going to go around personally thanking people and giving them the respect that they deserve. I think you'd be giving a stronger response by simply ignoring them and not giving them the time of day...♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:23, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't worry about it all, I just want it to stop. Eric Corbett 16:44, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
As do I. I shall continue to abstain from editing in protest at least on Mondays. I guess I will not create a category. I am already in the infamous (not a Wikipedian) and I wish to not turn over that rock and get those members deleted, as has been threatened in the past.. Thanks. Fylbecatulous talk 18:58, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I get the idea; any signs of dissent will be crushed. Eric Corbett 19:47, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Me too of course, but not editing on a Monday is unlikely to make them act any differently. What we really need is some sort of mass organized strike for a prolonged period!♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:01, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Depends on how wide scale the protest becomes and if it's reported in the press. I agree that on its own it won't have any impact on the WMF, but what might is the publicity it generates. Eric Corbett 20:05, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
You're definitely right though that they have little respect for contributors and the general relationship between the foundation and the top contributors here is extremely poor. We ought to be treated every bit as well as the top figures in the foundation, given that content is what wikipedia is all about. I've made numerous suggestions to Jimbo and the foundation for improvements but even if I get a response they never do anything about it.♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:32, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Blofeld, have you seen the rationale in the thread on my page? It was mentioned on this page, too, recently. Doing nothing on the presumption that it will make no difference just reminds me of an analogy: "all it takes for the triumph of evil ..." etc. - Sitush (talk) 20:28, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. I once had a blow-hard blustery manager suffering from verbal diarrhoea whose first comment in any meeting convened to address some crisis or other was always "Our first option is to do nothing". He was a wanker of course, but what has doing nothing ever changed? Eric Corbett 21:50, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not saying doing nothing will change anything, but I am saying that I think ignoring Jimbo and the foundation entirely and dismissing whatever they say as nonsense without commentary would seem a bigger rejection and that walking away from wikipedia at least for one day is a step towards giving them what they want.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:21, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
We'll probably have to agree to disagree then. Eric Corbett 10:33, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd rather not disagree with you, but if you think that going on strike every Monday is going to change anything then I guess we'll have to! I'm not happy with the way things are run either, but I don't want to lose 52 days of editing from you, especially given that they want you to leave anyway... Now, Criticism of Jimmy Wales as TFA, that might be something.. I doubt he's had much criticism in reliable publications and it wouldn't be easy to write a neutral decent article about, but could you imagine... Kohs would have a field day!♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:48, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
One person is easily ignored, but 50? A hundred? A thousand? Eric Corbett 11:16, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
If you can get 100 core editors of wikipedia to leave the website for a full month with a specific request to the foundation then I think they'd start to notice. The impression I get is that they have a naive outlook on wikipedia development and think that even if we lose contributors there'll be more along to take their place. The impression I've always got is that they consider the ip or newbie who adds some unsourced content in entries and the seasoned editor who writes featured articles as all in one class, "editor". I don't think they truly appreciate the "core community" or if they do they their efforts to interact are very poor.. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:35, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps, but I can only do what I can, even if it's only me. Eric Corbett 11:48, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
If you organised a petition to the foundation with some specific requests for change I'd probably join a strike if it had possible positive benefits and I'm sure a lot would here too. I think you'd find though that even within the foundation there is often disagreement, even with Jimbo. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:05, 3 September 2014 (UTC)


Can't live with em... J.k. I do live with one. Two if the cat counts. Am I correct in assuming AA measures based upon non existent data is your issue with that project? I just had to remember how I stumbled into this project area. I think it was a RSN post and I opined and then followed the editors to see how the suggestions were applied. I stayed because I was really disappointed to see that someone even suggested that women editors could be granted immunity to being reverted. Personally I doubt much will ever happen if that project continues in this vein, because whacky ideas will put a stink on everything they touch. Have you seen any reasonable proposals born from that group?Two kinds of pork (talk) 04:36, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes, my fundamental objection is to all these conclusions being drawn without a scrap of supporting evidence. The project will of course come to nothing though. Eric Corbett 09:36, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, the last time Carole presented something, Gaigan pretty much shot it down. At least I got some enjoyment of fixing up Caroline Criado-Perez out of that. There probably is evidence of bias out there, but it will take a social scientist to do the job correctly. Some people that lead quite difficult lives, through no fault of their own, see Wikipedia as a means to achieve the equal footing in life they have long been denied. Sorry, but Utopia doesn't exist even online.Two kinds of pork (talk) 10:03, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I've had almost-constantly bad experiences of CMDC, not merely in this latest campaign. Pretty much every time she presents something, it can be shot down. Usually because she doesn't back it up but also because much of it is plain illogical. I'm not sure if the lack of logic is down to how she expresses things - semantics etc - or whether it is a genuine inability to comprehend the nature of logic. Either way, her reliance on gossip, anecdote, generalisation (and misrepresentation on the odd occasion a source is mentioned), coupled with her vociferousness, is not doing her cause any favours. As things stand in the GG debate, she is effectively mostly repeating the same stuff with the same links and adding fairly inane personal commentary in a point-y, soapboxing way. Often in her edit summaries also.
Some of her fellow travellers should have a quiet word with her to explain that less is sometimes more. She might prove her point better and advance things more usefully if she actually contributed more to the articles etc that she claims are skewed by the gap or worked with specific female contributors who are having some difficulties, such as the one that I and Carole Henson are currently attempting to mentor. But I'm afraid that she seems only ever to be interested in fomenting controversy here - gender gap, guns, Palestine etc. Basically, similar to a 1960s heart-on-the-sleeve, rent-a-mob social activist. One day, she'll overstep the mark, probably with her forum shopping, and find that her usual excuse of naivety will not wash. One thing she is not is naive - that's just for show and convenience.
Excuse my ignorance but what does GG stand for?Two kinds of pork (talk) 15:15, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Gender Gap. Intothatdarkness 15:21, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Anyway, I'll slink back to my content creation now. I know that nowadays it doesn't really matter when compared to dealing with the gender gap but, hey, I keep finding myself adding links to feminism in the most unusual places, eg: recently at St John's Church, Manchester. - Sitush (talk) 11:31, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I like the women not being reverted idea. That should definitely be put in place. Don't revert this or I will report you. (I'll get my personalised no-revert card issued once the lab confirms my sex based on the blood sample they took when I reported for inspection, then it is just a case of scanning my biometric data and matching it to the database record on every save to confirm that it was made by a woman and your male hegemony will be doomed! [cackles evilly]) Belle (talk) 10:11, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh no you didn't! Sex vs gender is a big part of this. I saw some off wiki complaints about the lead of Woman, and after just reading it just now, some of those complaints have merit. But that's not a battle I care to enjoin.Two kinds of pork (talk) 10:24, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
And of course automatic promotion of every female editor to admin will be a boost in your struggle against the evil forces of male chauvinism. I just don't recognise the world that's being painted, and I really wish someone would explain to me in what ways WP's content would be significantly different even if there was a 50/50 gender split. Eric Corbett 10:20, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
That isn't necessarily what is being asked. I'd settle for anything better than the 90-10 it appears to be now. Even if there are more women, the fact that the survey came out this way indicates that a lot of us choose not to reveal gender (or respond to surveys) for any of a host of reasons, some related to things as basic as safety and for some, it includes avoiding off-wiki harassment. Montanabw(talk) 01:53, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
This women would not want to be an admin, even without the criminal status which I will keep because I - as you, Eric - will not appeal, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:07, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Good for you. Dignity is much more important that a criminal record here. Eric Corbett 13:33, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────OK, so some people who are poor editors think that criticism is "discrimination" (or its first cousin "incivility") when it is not. As I used to say, "assholes are not a protected class." BUT sometimes it IS very, very real. And when it's real, it's damn terrifying for the targets. So I think folks really need to drop this stick here and separate the message from the (sometimes unclear) messengers. The bias problem is real and the harassment situation in a few areas is a serious problem for some people. The so-called "mens rights" crowd is made up of some seriously nasty folks that no one on this page really wants to be linked to, trust me. It is my personal view that they are to women what the KKK was to African Americans (and someone will probably drag me to ANI for saying that, but their goals are the same - putting us "uppity" people in our "rightful place.") WP suffers from recentism, racism, sexism, and (yes) a US-centric POV on some issues. (and why in god's name does there have to be an article on every video game ever published while women scientists are deemed "non-notable?") Most of it not malicious, it's merely due to ignorance. But it needs to be worked on and fixes. So let's focus on the content and the delivery. Back to making an encyclopedia. Montanabw(talk) 01:53, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Sure. If the cheerleader, who is CMDC, actually gets round to "making an encyclopaedia" that improves coverage of the things she claims are under-represented, then I'm all for it. You really do have to understand how some idiotic people damage this place and, yes, some will be sexist/racist etc but others are equally damaging but less obviously so - those are the ones who are out to find and create conflict and who manage somehow just to hover on the right side of the line. Effectively, many are civil trollers and soapboxers.
I'm not aware of claims that female scientists are "non-notable" - I would have thought that they have to meet the same notability requirements as any other subject. So go write those articles, source them and you or anyone else would have my full support. I've just completely revamped what was a dreadful article about some now-minor but still frequently discussed Canadian female feminist novelist. I asked for some help on the Feminism project and got no response. Go figure where the priorities of these people really lie. - Sitush (talk) 02:15, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
That women scientist are "under-represented" on WP is a popular, and in some ways useful myth. If it was ever true, after several years of enthusiastic editathons dedicated to the subject, all the evidence I know suggests the boot is firmly on the other foot. In fact our coverage of modern scientists (of whom there are vast numbers) is erratic and not very comprehensive compared to say Scottish footballers, but women are more likely to be covered than men. Those outside the Anglosphere are much less likely to covered of course. Johnbod (talk) 13:13, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Johnbod, with all due respect, (but because this IS Eric Corbett's "free speech zone" talk page), I have to say, in part, "bullshit." Go hang around AfD for a while and watch what happens when articles go up on individuals where there simply aren't a lot of sources - may still be highly notable, but if you can't get 10,000 Google hits and have to use a hardcopy book, then someone out there does go out and yell about GNG. Women in the professions generally (save for porn stars), and women scientists in particular, ARE under-represented on wikipedia. To be fair, so are people of color, those outside the Anglosphere, as well as people from any time prior to the last 20th century. I know I'm beating my head against a wall here, but if you seriously think that women are somehow overrepresented or "more likely to be covered, that is (as the Brits say) complete bollocks. I guess at least we agree that (male) Scottish footballers (or Sri Lankan cricketeers, or American collegiate basketball players) do seem a bit more easily granted notability than a lot of other folks who only did minor things like, oh, invent the first computer, discover the properties of radium, or discover pulsars. (Sigh) Montanabw(talk) 01:00, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Evidence please! It wouldn't, for example, take too long to analyse WP articles by gender for the elections of some recent years to the US NAS. You aren't "beating my head against a wall" at all, you're repeating what all the world's press and blogosphere, and half the WP community (including for example WMUK), takes for granted as true. I used to lazily assume they were probably correct until I started working in that area, and trying to compile lists of notable redlinks. This doesn't mean we should stop promoting increased coverage, but we should recognise what has been a pretty successful cumulative effort over the last few years for what it is. Johnbod (talk) 23:59, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Looking for a good piece of comedy[edit]

Well, it's been about 2 years since I retired and I decided to check out this place to see what's going on... looks like the same old (but with a different name)... quite comical. We could just about cut and past you page from 2 years ago here and nobody would notice (including the threats to leave or boycott WP.) Not making any judgments, just found it quite amusing... I needed it. The user formerly known as balloonman76.31.130.126 (talk) 06:28, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

The boycott is underway, it's no threat. Eric Corbett 09:48, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Workhouses question[edit]

Do you still have your sources for this article? I'm still working on User:Parrot of Doom/Baby farming. The poor laws and their reformation in 1834, particularly the Bastardy Clause, seem to be what started this practice, by making mothers of illegitimate children solely responsible for their care. Fathers could legally clear off and pay nothing. And all this because it was presumed that the level of state care was encouraging licentiousness (an argument that's relevant today).

If you have any dusty old books that might help shine some light on this, it be an enormous help. Parrot of Doom 20:04, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

No dusty old books, they all went back to the library yonks ago. But what I do have is a Kindle version of Peter Higginbotham's The Workhouse Encyclopedia. He's got quite a bit about that bastardy clause, so where would you like me to dump what I've got? Eric Corbett 21:17, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
The BNA should be useful too. J3Mrs (talk) 21:47, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Eric that's very helpful, if you have my email address from the last reply, could you send it there? Parrot of Doom 15:48, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Will do. Probably not until tomorrow though, as I'm off out for dinner shortly. Eric Corbett 16:16, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
That's ok, I've just cycled 100 miles so I don't think I'll be doing much editing tonight... Parrot of Doom 19:19, 31 August 2014 (UTC)


City or United? And what does the difference mean? Is it like Atletico vs. Real? Drmies (talk) 22:44, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

United, and yes, just like Atletico vs. Real. Eric Corbett 23:22, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, then, if it was the coach's fault, I apologize on behalf of my people. Drmies (talk) 00:07, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The coach is a great coach, the players not so much. Eric Corbett 21:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Sorry for abusing your message board[edit]

Ahem, hello one and all! You all are smart and educated people, and some of you have been working on mythology/folklore recently. Here's the thing. My 8-yr old daughter needs to do a "storytelling book report", from the POV of someone other than the main character. It should be a "folktale, fairytale, tall tale, or legend". A short list is offered, but the Ananse story is the most exciting of them all. Does anyone have anything better, more original, exciting? Something that might be new to her teacher or the students? Drmies (talk) 13:28, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Cindarella's stepsisters. Cindy should have served them better IMO.Two kinds of pork (talk) 15:55, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The Loch Ness monster chased away by St Columba. The religious overtones of Christianity challenging and defeating the established Celtic paganism might go down well in Alabama. Eric Corbett 16:32, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The The Elves and the Shoemaker, from the perspective of the elves. How did they feel about the whole situation? Did they feel well rewarded and recompensed, or did they think the shoemaker took them for granted? Hchc2009 (talk) 17:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
How about one of the children belonging to the old woman who lived in a shoe? Eric Corbett 21:38, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Jack and the Beanstalk told from the perspective of the Giant would be an interesting one, I've always thought. --John (talk) 22:13, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
  • My folktale heroine is Grace Sherwood, side character: the neighbours accusing her to be a witch, probably all to real, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:34, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Thank you all! I'm going to read some stories, courtesy of Gutenberg. Drmies (talk) 03:57, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
      Let us know what she decides to go with. Eric Corbett 21:55, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Will do, Eric. I got a few suggestions via email as well--including the suggestion to tell a kelpie story from the point of view of the blue men. Drmies (talk) 04:02, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

September 2014[edit]

Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 04:45, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Oh joy, an ANI thread with Eric and Carol. I'll grab some popcorn and hide working on getting The Who to FA status and related album articles to GA. Somebody let me know when it's over. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 15:25, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
It's rubbish like this that really makes me wonder what the Hell this project is about, and whether I want to be associated with it. I'd thought that we were trying to build an encyclopedia, but apparently we're trying to create some kind of gender equality Utopia. I've only got one thing to say about that, which is fuck it, and fuck Wikipedia. Eric Corbett 00:48, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
My gosh, you've been here too long and done too much to chuck it all with a "fuck Wikipedia". This bit of drama will pass. You've seen, I hope, where I tried to close down the thread as a hopeless exercise that wastes people's time (as they so choose). But I have not had success. So I'll try a different approach. Frankly, your approach with many comments (including edit summaries) has something to be desired. Mainly finesse. (The list by Evergreen fir strongly suggests where there is smoke there is fire.) So my advice is two-fold. Avoid any comment that uses "you" (singular and plural/implicitly and explicitly) and agree to an IBAN with CarolMooreDC. You'd be free to continue with your valuable contributions to the big Project. Thanks. – S. Rich (talk) 03:59, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Srich, the failure of your attempted close and umpteen other occasions when you have inserted yourself into controversy etc (including, most likely, the cack-handed "calming" message above) should perhaps be an indication to you that any attempt at RfA is doomed. Your preaching is increasingly becoming like that of Jehochmann and, really, one Jehochmann is one too many. - Sitush (talk) 06:43, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Obviously you're so dense that you can see nothing inconsistent about using the word "you" in a comment to me advising me not to use the word "you". So fuck off Srich, you're not welcome here. Eric Corbett 10:54, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Eric, you need to tone it down. I just explained to Jimbo that asking someone to stay off a page is a de-escalation. This isn't. You have good arguments and are almost always on point, but comments like that are going mean your voice in the discussions is removed. I don't want to see that. WormTT(talk) 11:10, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't need to do anything. Eric Corbett 11:18, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
No. But if you don't, you'll end up gone. Perhaps that's what you want. WormTT(talk) 11:22, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
We'll all be gone one day, even you. Even Jimbo. And so will WP. But while we're here there's no reason to act like cowards afraid to open our mouths for fear of upsetting some little prig or other. Eric Corbett 11:41, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm under no illusions that I'll be around forever, either on Wikipedia or off. Wikipedia, too, will be gone - but I believe the resource we're creating will survive in other forms for many years to come. There's a difference between being afraid to open your mouth and picking your battles. Believe me, I know there are battles worth having, but was that one? WormTT(talk) 11:55, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Time will tell, particularly if you find in the future that you're no longer permitted to sanction female editors, or that female editors become immune to 3RR. You may think that would be an improvement, but I most certainly don't. Eric Corbett 12:02, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
This, I think, is an especially pertinent point. I was always under the impression that global policy needed to be formulated and discussed in an open and global way, not cooked up in a closed Wiki project. Policy developed in an echo chamber is never effective and almost always resented. Sort of like this civility stuff. Personally I find Wales' non-responses and passive aggressive comments to be very incivil, but that's just the kind of behavior that is encouraged and even applauded by some of the most strident civility advocates. Intothatdarkness 13:58, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I've said quite a few times now that I regard Wales as one of the most uncivil editors on the project and one of the least productive. No real "net positive" there that I can see. Eric Corbett 14:05, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

As someone who said "Fuck Wikipedia" after putting in several years of valuable work, I can attest to the liberating aspect of it. It freed up much time to spend on things that involved much less drama-mongering from people incapable of creating meaningful content. Things like earning a college degree and binge-watching various TV shows. That said, I don't know that anyone who dumps his girlfriend publicly on a talk page in his user space is really someone to be taken seriously. I didn't realize Jimbo even edited anymore. How curious. Lara 03:21, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

He doesn't really, just tries to convince his cult followers that there's actually a cult worth following. You'll maybe have to forgive me, but every time I see your name I'm reminded of "you're a dick of porn star proportions". It makes me laugh even today. How could anyone be offended by that? :-) Eric Corbett 03:39, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I find that most people are far too sensitive to things like that. I attribute it to the pathetic nature of their day-to-day lives. So very unfulfilled that they desperately grasp for anything that stirs their emotion. I think those with passion in their lives are far less likely to create such needlessly dramatic situations. Lara 03:46, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Haha. Speaking of stupid bullshit, I went poking around and saw the updated pages for former admins. I scrolled down to my own entry, and the link they've provided — the "related discussion" — for my resignation is a thread debating a sub-point of the entire issue. I suppose it could be the chosen link because it shows the conclusion that I didn't abuse the tools, which is notionally important, but still. How silly that a discussion on one point is the defining link of my resignation in someone's eyes. This site never fails to amuse. Lara 04:11, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm also reminded that you've yet to correct your obvious typo. What you meant to say was that I have a dick of porn star proportions. Eric Corbett 04:18, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Nope. Not what I meant. I have not seen your bits, Eric. And despite years of grand effort, you have not seen mine either. Lara 05:31, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Jimbo's talk page[edit]

It looks like Jimbo's open door has been closed to you. I'm guessing you missed it due to the high volume on that page, but please respect his request. WormTT(talk) 11:33, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

I just noticed that after I posted. Good riddance to him. Eric Corbett 11:38, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. For my part, I've objected to the request. WormTT(talk) 11:40, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't have thought there was much point, and I have nothing further to say to Jimbo anyway. To be truthful I can't stand the man. Eric Corbett 11:43, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Here's what I find most galling about Jimbo. He's been here for ever, yet he's only created 37 articles, the most recent of them four years ago. So unconfident was he nine years after he co-founded this site that he submitted the article to WP:AFC, where it was promptly rejected. He submitted it again in this state, and never edited the article again. So what does he really know about the travails of trying to create content here? The answer is clearly absolutely nothing, so he should stop trying to pontificate about those actually do create the content that he and the WMF have been milking for their own personal gain for years. Eric Corbett 21:29, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, it seems to be an interesting topic, so his creation of the article is somewhat justified in that it has turned out OK. In any case, you raise an interesting point about the "travails of trying to create content". As you are already quite aware, we have dozens, perhaps hundreds of policies, guidelines, and essays about behavior, but almost nothing about creating content. Would you be interested in helping to change the "behavior" narrative by helping to get people focused on creating quality content? I can't think of anyone more suited to lead this kind of project. Viriditas (talk) 22:00, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
It's not his creation of the article I'm commenting on, it's his inability to actually write it. As for my leading a project to get people to focus on creating quality articles I can think of nothing more likely to hasten my exit from this ever so polite country club of Jimbo's. Some hard truths would have to be told, and very few would be listening. Eric Corbett 22:09, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Let me explain where I'm going with this. If you look at the noticeboards, although many of them cross over into content disputes, the majority are focused on behavioral issues. Can you imagine a site run by the Encyclopædia Britannica focused primarily on behavior issues? It's beyond silly. We should only be focused on content, and nothing else. I think you would also agree. As myself and others have said for years now, it almost seems like bad behavior is encouraged, because it justifies the focus on administration rather than on composition. In other words, we could end vandalism tomorrow by simply implementing a few functions we already have. And we could eliminate edit warring by imposing pattern matching filters and bots to watch the articles. We can automate virtually every administrative process, leaving us solely focused on creating and maintaining quality content. But we don't. That's what I'm getting at. Don't you think it's beyond strange that a new editor can't really find any help files about how to research, write, and improve articles? And yet, we have have a plethora of policies, guidleines, and essay about how to behave. Why is there this inordinate focus on behavior, which has nothing to do with writing? Is Wikipedia a massive psychology experiment of some kind or a place to write articles? Sometimes an encyclopedia is not an encyclopedia. Forget Freud, if you are fully conversant with Asimov's Foundation series, then you'll know what I'm talking about. So, where does an editor go to improve their writing skills? ANI? Viriditas (talk) 22:23, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I largely agree with you, and I'm familiar with both Freud and Asimov. It's very clear to me that WP is indeed some kind of social experiment, and will continue to be so until Jimbo Wales is shown the door. The bottom line is that editors have nowhere to go to improve their writing skills, as writing is considered to be so last century. While writing this reply I was reminded of a high-school project run by JimmyButler, during which I helped quite a few of his 14-year-old students to create GAs and even FAs, such as Banker horse, Bluespotted stingray and Greater Scaup. The difference there was though that the students wanted to learn, not to pontificate. And many of those students were female would you believe. At about that time I was hauled before ArbCom for something or other, can't remember what now, and Jimmy told me that he had to forbid his students from pitching into the show trial on my side. That's worth far more to me than whatever Jimbo thinks. Yet the myth persists that I chase away new editors. In reality though it's Jimbo and his acolytes who chase editors away, both new and old. Eric Corbett 22:45, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
All this is why I try and stick to content 99% of the time...unless I worry that something really stupid is going to happen systemically. Usually the inertia works both ways, and silly proposals die a death as well. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 23:34, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
It's not quite so simple though when proposals such as female editors having increased immunity to being reverted seem to have the god-king's approval. Eric Corbett 23:41, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
That's not going to happen; see below. Montanabw(talk) 04:12, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
If Jimbo says something too won't fly either. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 06:24, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Heh, I wrote that article when I was still more blue-eyed about Wales (and because it did seem to be an inspiring film). Today I find myself in near-perfect agreement with the views Eric expresses above. ;) Andreas JN466 00:13, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I did see that you'd pretty much written the whole thing yourself, and a fine piece of work it is. No thanks to Jimbo Wales of course, who couldn't write his way out of a paper bag. Eric Corbett 00:18, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Maybe he could benefit from your expertise. How about writing an essay to help similar editors? (See my initial comments on this matter.) If you were teaching Jimbo how to write an article, what advice would you give him? Viriditas (talk) 03:50, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
That's an interesting question. Most likely I'd tell him not to bother unless he's willing to learn, which he obviously isn't. Eric Corbett 04:26, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Fairy ring
Fairy ring on a suburban lawn 100 1851.jpg
A fairy ring on a suburban lawn in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Location Mainly in forested areas
Formed by Mushrooms
Age Up to 700 years old
Size Up to 600 metres (2,000 ft) across
Comment O ye of little faith!

Speaking of which, I can ping Sasata and Sagaciousphil (ahoy!) and see if they want to get stuck into fairy ring anytime soon....(chuckle) I defy anyone to come up with an infobox for that Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 23:39, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

I was chatting to Sagaciousphil via email earlier this evening as it happens. Who was it said that all women hate me? Begins with a "C" if I remember correctly. Eric Corbett 23:45, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Pick your battles, and pick Jimbo - poking at Jimbo is way more your style. The other individual who has you annoyed is not worth the battle. Don't confuse being heard with being taken seriously; her efforts may get discussion, but they are generating more heat than light and most of all, are also annoying people who would normally want to be supportive - My feminist cred tops hers by a long shot (I suspect) and yet, when I disagreed with the direction that page was taking she blew her cork, assumed I was some guy telling here what to do, and went off on me. So consider the source and don't waste your time there. But teaching Jimbo how content creation on WP works? Now THAT's a situation where I'd not only get out my popcorn, I'd buy a ticket...! Montanabw(talk) 04:12, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Carol ought to have been dealt with by now. You and I don't agree on many things, not least this feminist issue, but that's not because I believe you to be a woman, I just believe you to be wrong. Eric Corbett 04:33, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Good people can disagree with respect and still collaborate where they have agreement. I suspect we have agreement that Jimbo doesn't understand his own creation these days. Montanabw(talk) 06:39, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Very true, Montanabw. I've had some virtual stand-up fights with Dharmadhyaksha about various things Indian yet we get along perfectly well most of the time and those fights are bygones. The key is to agree to differ and not bear a grudge, both of which are alien concepts to Carol. I'm just at a loss regarding how she is managing to hang in here when she is so clearly the antithesis of collaborative and have said as much at ANI and on Jimbo's talk page recently. Carol is here is Right Great Wrongs on a range of touchy subjects: that will never end up well. - Sitush (talk) 10:36, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I am a great believer in WP:ROPE. She's not a real feminist in the modern sense and she doesn't understand today's issues. She has her own soapbox of fringe ideas that she's parked in the GGTF right at the moment and if she can get us women to rally behind her as the victim by baiting Eric into being too much himself, well, that works for her, but she's not helping the systemic bias issue in the least; in fact, she's giving the MRM folks the red meat they need to paint all Progressive women as crazies. I've figured her out and it didn't take me too long (it helped that she accused me of being male, apparently she cannot recognize an actual feminist when she meets one). It won't take others much longer either. But in the meantime, I do hope the illustrious Mr. Corbett will please put a moratorium on calling anyone the c-word for a bit - even when directed at pretentious admin sorts you know to be male - you know darn well that doesn't help ;-) Montanabw(talk) 00:00, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
In the meantime, we can see an answer the question how to learn to write articles? There's a complete programme at Wikipedia:Training/For students, which is very well intentioned, but contains some amazing advice like this on Wikipedia:Training/For students/Verifiability:
  • However, published opinions of experts can be included. And if these opinions differ, the article should present all the major opinions without endorsing one over the other. For example, writing that "Vaccinating all US children saves an estimated 33,000 lives" and citing a reputable source is a statement of fact that can be verified. And if there is an opposing view, it should also be included. For example, a quote from a reputable source like "Critics claim that vaccinations have never benefited public health" helps to balance the article and keep it neutral. - File:Verifiability and Neutral point of view (Common Craft)-en.ogv
I'm not sure if you'll find that as problematic as I do. Nevertheless, for me it goes a long way to explaining why we shouldn't be looking to the WMF for guidance on how to edit. --RexxS (talk) 23:38, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure those last four words are necessary, Doug! ;) HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:44, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
@Montanabw: I'm not sure what makes someone a "real feminist in the modern sense". As a youngster I always confused Gloria Stivic for being Gloria Steinem (though on retrospection the real feminist was the Meathead). I'm not an advocate for women's rights (unless you count voting) but I've always been a supporter for equality. I want the women and girls in my family to have every opportunity for success and happiness as do the boys. The bullshit accusations that I'm some sort of male chauvinist really cheesed me off. I don't know what CMDC's goal was when she queried RSN a few weeks ago about the use of TERF (is she for or against its use?). I don't know what her goals are now, but I get the feeling she is enjoying the drama more than anything else. Erik, CMDC's ANI filing (and her understudy Evergreenfur) was a dishonest and in-artfull shit-flinging attempt to blackball you from the project in order to prevent you from asking uncomfortable questions. Even if she were rid of you, those questions won't go away, so I don't know what she expects to accomplish. People here ask for evidence for mundane claims, and she thinks extraordinary claims will just breeze through? Apparently she has done this sort of thing before and will likely do it again. WP:ROPE is an apt suggestion.Two kinds of pork (talk) 03:28, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Rights and equality are not separable; you can't have one without the other and rights come first (yes, voting is one). If you don't get that, TKOP, I'm not going to waste my breath on it at this page. But don't attack other well-meaning people who got sucked into the CMDC vortex; I almost did until I realized that she's got issues. Her initial ideas appear naive but well-meaning (i.e. we tried that stuff 40 years ago, there are better approaches now) but then you realize that she does stuff like - call me a guy and file an ANI on Eric without the slightest attempt to make her case - and then you realize it's the person, not the message. Please don't confuse the two. Montanabw(talk) 15:13, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to break my Monday vow of silence just this once to reply to you Montanabw. I don't believe that you and I are really very far apart on the issue of gender equality, and had I been alive at the turn of the last century I'd most definitely have been lining up with the suffragettes. It's no less offensive to deny rights to women than it was to deny them to African-American slaves. Equal rights accompanied by equal responsibility for the exercise of those rights is the only issue for me, which is why I'm so against the positive discrimination that Carol and her supporters are advocating. Women are equal partners in this endeavour, and if there's even a shred of evidence that they're not being treated as such then I'll be right up there with you manning the barricades. Eric Corbett
I expressed myself poorly. I only "advocate" for women by voting for candidates that support women's rights. A lever is the extent of my advocacy for almost everything.Two kinds of pork (talk) 15:39, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
It's cool. We're good. Looks like we have new drama below. I'm off to see what's up there. Montanabw(talk) 22:08, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Scheduled Monuments in Somerset[edit]

Would you (or any of your talk page stalkers) be willing to look at my prose on a new article Scheduled Monuments in Somerset (inspired by Wiki Loves Monuments)? If anyone wanted to take a look at the seven massive sub lists as well that would be amazing.— Rod talk 16:10, 8 September 2014 (UTC)


You are involved in a recently filed request for arbitration. Please review the request at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case#Gender Gap Task Force Issues and, if you wish to do so, enter your statement and any other material you wish to submit to the Arbitration Committee. Additionally, the following resources may be of use—

Thanks, Robert McClenon (talk) 16:25, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject Women writers Invitation[edit]


Hello Eric Corbett! Thank you for your contributions to articles related to Women writers. I'd like to invite you to become a part of WikiProject Women writers, a WikiProject aimed at improving the quality of articles about women writers on Wikipedia.

If you would like to participate, please visit the WikiProject Women writers page for more information. Feel free to sign your name under "Members". I look forward to your involvement!

Given recent events this is surely a joke, right? Eric Corbett 04:00, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

No joke, Eric. An honest invitation from me. I respect the work you did on Enid Blyton, and it would be great to see additional women writers' biographies be similarly improved. Best, --Rosiestep (talk) 04:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Obviously very few others do Rosie, not even our Great Leader, so I think I'll pass. What I'll continue to do though is to work with women on articles we have a common interest in. Not projects. Eric Corbett 04:38, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I came here to say, Eric, that your "only statement ... there" can hardly be improved: concise and true. - Fits this topic nicely. Thanks for the invitation, Rosiestep, I work on it as a member of QAI and free speech, serving writers and pianists regardless of gender and nationality, Anna Kravtchenko and José Carlos Cocarelli, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:17, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Just out of interest[edit]

Do you get pinged if you are mentioned in an edit summary [[4]? As you know, I don't really get English grammar (it's not my fault because it's totally illogical and I was reared in the ancestral ice-cream parlour in Great Yarmouth), but I do hate false plurals - surely families and companies are "it" rather than "they." Giano (talk) 18:45, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't know actually, but I doubt it as templates are ignored in edit summaries. As for families and companies (and football teams and ...) that's a tricky one. You could in general make a case for either "it" or "they". Eric Corbett 19:03, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't expect notification to happen from an edit summary, but I'll mention His Excellency in the summary to this post to see if he gets a notice. As for singular/plural pronouns for group nouns, I agree that grammatically there are cases to be made either way. Nevertheless in this case ("Although his family had aristocratic relations, it belonged to the minor gentry ...") there is a practical reason for preferring the singular, because a plural pronoun ('they' instead of 'it') could logically - or at least ambiguously - refer to the relations, not the family. Clarity of meaning is far more important than fine nuances of grammar. Just my humble opinion, of course. --RexxS (talk) 19:37, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
No, it didn't ping me - isn't that dissapointing? I always think that referring to companies, shops etc as "they" just sound plain wrong - it's a singular corporate body - similarly a team is supposed to act as one. Family is a bit more complicated (my family's bloody complicated) so I suppose it depends on context. Giano (talk) 19:50, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
The general rule I think is to use "it" when referring to a singular entity such as a local council for instance, unless you're referring to the members of the council, which would obviously be "they". Same applies to families; are you referring to the singular family or to the members of the family, which is a good reason to prefer "it" in RexxS's example. Another example: "The family's fortune improved dramatically during the 18th century, and they soon became the largest landowners in the county." As the family itself isn't a legal entity the landowners must the individual members of the family, hence "they". Eric Corbett 20:15, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Except - it's rarely a family who owns land (has money), just one clever/lucky member of it (and his heir) and the rest bask in reflected glory - that's my experience anyway. Giano (talk) 20:27, 9 September 2014 (UTC)


I've about had it with her(?) ad-hominem attacks. She crossed the line here with the swastika bit. I remember mostly the ones she made about me, but I think she might have made others about you and @SPECIFICO:. If either/both of you remember of any, and care to do so, please add any diffs to my sandbox. I don't want to file an ANI, so hopefully she will see these and get the point. Thanks.Two kinds of porkMakin'Bacon 03:52, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I expect that she has, but I don't keep track of such things, and I really couldn't care less what she thinks or says about me. Added to which AN/I is a revenge fest best avoided IMO. Eric Corbett 21:05, 14 September 2014 (UTC)


Thank you for remembering me Mal. Chillum Need help? Type {{ping|Chillum}} 03:51, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 20:04, 16 September 2014 (UTC)