User talk:Martin Hogbin

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Earliest discussions are found at /Archive0. For later discussions see /Archive 1 and following archives.

Monty Hall problem mediation[edit]

A request for formal mediation of the dispute concerning Monty Hall problem has been filed with the Mediation Committee (MedCom). You have been named as a party in this request. Please review the request at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Monty Hall problem and then indicate in the "Party agreement" section whether you would agree to participate in the mediation or not.

Mediation is a process where a group of editors in disagreement over matters of article content are guided through discussing the issues of the dispute (and towards developing a resolution) by an uninvolved editor experienced with handling disputes (the mediator). The process is voluntary and is designed for parties who disagree in good faith and who share a common desire to resolve their differences. Further information on the MedCom is at Wikipedia:Mediation Committee; the policy the Committee will work by whilst handling your dispute is at Wikipedia:Mediation Committee/Policy; further information on Wikipedia's policy on resolving disagreements is at Wikipedia:Resolving disputes.

If you would be willing to participate in the mediation of this dispute but wish for its scope to be adjusted then you may propose on the case talk page amendments or additions to the list of issues to be mediated. Any queries or concerns that you have may be directed to an active mediator of the Committee or by e-mailing the MedCom's private mailing list (click here for details).

Please indicate on the case page your agreement to participate in the mediation within seven days of the request's submission.

Thank you, Rick Block (talk)

Request for Amendment to Arbitration[edit]

Hello, Martin Hogbin. This is to inform you that there is a request for amendement regarding an arbitration case that you have commented on.Likebox (talk) 05:03, 8

?oygul's contributions[edit]

These diffs represent the sum total of ?oygul's contributions to WP apart from subjects directly related to the arguments concerning Tree shaping.

[1] [2] [3] [4] Martin Hogbin (talk)

Superluminal Aether[edit]

Your hrash words indicate that you need to acquire more intellect. Read the peer-reviewed publication. Sir-Restriction (talk)


Martin, Regarding the discussion on the Maxwell talk page, I can see now that you are dealing with an editor who has an agenda to ban the word British, and who is willing to edit on the main article against a consensus. An admin called Dave Souza agrees with you but says on his talk page that he hasn't got time to go into this. I suggest that you take the matter to some kind of opinion forum. The question needs to be asked in general terms "Does the nationality field in the info box refer to sovereign nationality?". If this is not tackled generally, the Scottish nationalists and the 'ban the word British' groups will systematically remove the word 'British' from all articles. As regards that essay which was produced as guidelines, it is total piffle, written by somebody who wants to ban the word British. The editor FF-UK is very keen to close the discussion down on the Maxwell talk page, but I suggest that it is only temporarily adjourned rather than closed down, until an opinion forum is consulted. I can't see why anybody other than an anti-British person would try to argue that nationality refers to sovereign nationality except when that nationality is British. (talk) 15:33, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes we should address the issue globally, I could start an RfC on the one-man essay page on the subject but I see no reason to stop discussingthe specific case of Maxwell onb that talk page, that is what the talk page is for.
By the way, can I suggest that you register. There is no need to use your real name (although you can if you wish, as I do) and your IP address will not then be shown publicly. There is no real disadvantage to registering. Martin Hogbin (talk) 17:34, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Maxwell was a British subject and not a British citizen. The nationality field should therefore read 'British' and not 'Scottish'. Here is a government link which explains how the pre-1983 status was 'British Subject' . British citizenship was only introduced for the first time with the 1981 act. (talk) 16:32, 5 December 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Yes, we all know that, but some editors insist on claiming Maxwell for Scotland by the abuse of the 'nationality' field in the infobox. Martin Hogbin (talk) 14:40, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

FWIW, I agree with using British/United Kingdom in the UK biographies. Just pointing out that you're going to face strong resistance. GoodDay (talk) 14:42, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

If you look in the Village Pump page you will see that I am only trying to limit the use of the term 'nationality' to a well defined and usually very clear legal meaning. So long as the insistence of using the formal nationality is limited to just that useage I think it can be justified.
One of the biggest threats to WP's integrity is the embedding of opinions into articles. Using anything other than the well defined legal/international meaning of 'nationality' can only be an attempt to claim ownership of the subject. No one should be doing this; we should just state the facts. Nationality should be a simple fact like age, date of birth etc, not a word that tries to describe the whole national identity of a person. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:07, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Good luck, in your NPOV quest :) GoodDay (talk) 16:23, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. You can contribute to the RfC when it comes. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:34, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

I've suggested a poll on the Maxwell talk page. (talk) 21:24, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi, your !vote seems to appear both under oppose and support in the RfC you just created. You probably did not mean it. WarKosign 13:31, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

No I made a mistake. Thanks for correcting it. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:14, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Here's a link you may find useful,_James_Clerk I'm sorry I can't find a link for James Laidlaw Maxwell. (talk) 20:36, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

And in the 19th century, the Americans looked upon him as being English,_James_Clerk This goes to show the need to get the nationality correct. (talk) 20:45, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

And here's more evidence from the year 1880 that he was considered to be English in his own time All the more reason to describe his nationality as British in order to avoid controversy. (talk) 20:49, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Conclusion to be drawn from the rfc at the village pump regarding the definition of nationality[edit]

Martin, I can see that quite a few editors have shot you down in flames and baulked at your very reasonable idea that the term "nationality" in an info box should have a clear meaning that readers universally understand. Some of your opponents seemed to be thoroughly affronted at the whole concept of nationality, so much so that they wouldn't contemplate the idea that the word could have any concise meaning. That now leaves you in a bit of a limbo. On the one hand, the guidelines for biographies advise that the subject's nationality be stated in an info box at the beginning of the article, while on the other hand there seems to be strenuous opposition to defining what we actually mean by nationality in an info box. Your proposed definition was very much in line with what most reasonable people would understand the term to mean, but most of your opponents were adamant that nationality definitely doesn't mean what you had suggested, yet they failed to provide any alternative definition, baulking at the whole idea of having it defined at all. Since they are putting obstacles in the way of having the readers understand what is meant by nationality, then the only conclusion that I can draw is, that the nationality field in the info box must be deleted altogether, because it refers to a piece of information about which we are not allowed to be clear on the meaning. The uncertainty about the meaning leaves the door wide open for fudging and exploitation by separatist movements, so the term needs to be removed altogether in order to remove all doubt. On the subject's talk page, you were chased away to the wider forum. On the wider forum, they passed the buck back to the talk page again. So that's where it needs to go now, with a view to removing the nationality field altogether. I'm sure you'll get the full support of all your opponents, who are so affronted by the term nationality. They'll back you to the hilt when you remove it, because they don't like that term. (talk) 07:14, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

That was a suggestion that I was considering making. It is absurd to have a field in an infobox where no one knows what it means. I am not sure that all respondents undestand what I mean so any way you could help make this clear would be useful. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:00, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

As I've predicted, your commonsense proposals are not going to be adopted. PS: As you can see, Wikipedia is not perfect. But, it's the best we've got. GoodDay (talk) 17:17, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

You may well turn out to be right but the argument is not lost yet. It seems that most respondends have no understood the proposal correctly and that they are talking about descriptions and ignoring what sources say. If there is any way that you can help explain that I am only referring to 'nationality is XXX' statements that would be helpful. If a person's nationality is to be decided by a small bunch of editors, based on their own personal beliefs and feelings, then WP will loose all credibility.Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:00, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Well absolutely. They totally misunderstood your point, but I don't think they wanted to understand it. They were carried away by wave of emotion. It was the "how dare you foist a nationality upon me!" attitude. They would say "let the subject decide his own nationality" while ignoring the fact that the subject in question that began the debate is long dead. They would assume without question that a Scotsman is naturally in rebellion about being British, and of course we just had to have the anon IP server 71 come along wearing his Sporrins eschewing the idea that anybody would consider him to be British. They recited the old mantra "stick to the sources" while ignoring the fact that there are multiple sources in existence citing Maxwell to be British, Scottish, and even English. They told you to deal with each case individually, yet they refused to discuss the particular case that started it all. There was the assumption that Maxwell was like an Armenian in Turkey who wouldn't want to identify with Turkish nationality. I think that you have said all that needs to be said at the village pump. They are ignoring you. It's just become a wild party of people expressing phony outrage at the whole concept of nationality having a definition. Anything sensible that you say will swiftly be buried in a sea of spam. I think the next move should be to remove the nationality field in the info box on the grounds that there is no consensus about a definition of nationality, and so the field cannot be allowed to be abused by separatists. (talk) 19:01, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

It's impossible to know for certain why the editors who are opposing usage of British, are opposing the usage of British. What's more important is that they simply are opposing & because of that fact, there'll be no consensus for inclusion. GoodDay (talk) 17:16, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
PS - As you can see with my latest proposal, some editors are going to oppose anything that replaces, accompanies or deletes the usage of Scottish, Welsh, English & Northern Irish/Irish. GoodDay (talk) 15:44, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes indeed, I can see exactly that. Some kind of (inapproprate) point is being made but I am not going to speculate about what it might be. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:52, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

National Identity[edit]

Please have a look at the latest proposed compromise on the talk page of James Clerk Maxwell. It notes the distinction between nationality and national identity. If the proposal is not acceptable then the reference to nationality in the info box will have to be removed altogether. (talk) 08:19, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Sports Country[edit]

I think the most ridiculous thing that I heard yet was the argument that Andy Murray's country is Great Britain as opposed to the UK, because he played for Great Britain in the Davis cup. A person's country is fact and not decided by what sports team he plays for. It gets worse all the time. All references to British and the UK are to be eliminated by consensus, under the guise of any pathetic argument that suits the particular circumstances. (talk) 18:29, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

The problem is that many people do not understand how the UK works. It is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but the associated nationality is 'British'. The country is 'UK'; the nationality is 'British'. The problem is that some editors either do not know this or do not like it and want to change the world through the medium of WP. Martin Hogbin (talk) 14:17, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes indeed. They want to use wikipedia to describe things how they would like them to be, and the system allows them to do that, because consent over rides sources. Did you notice at the village pump how there are many editors spending a lot of their time there making up rules, yet the one thing they hate most when it comes to the crunch, is a rule. Also did you notice how an editor deleted the fact that Maxwell was born and died in the UK. He claimed that UK amounted to excessive disambiguation, yet I have just sampled a selection of Hollywood actors whose info boxes describe them as having been born in the US, along with their state. I haven't noticed anybody going around removing the initials US on the grounds of 'too much disambiguation'. Then notice how editor FF-UK insists on a source to state that Maxwell was British, but when it comes to 'Scottish' he is happy enough to infer that without any need for a source. Under wikipedia's rules, if four or five editors came together, they could insist on calling France 'Pretty Polly'. (talk) 16:23, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes it is crazy and it seriously degrades the credibility of WP. Soon it will all be just stuff that people have made up. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:28, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Editor FF-UK and[edit]

For your information, each of these two editors have reverted at the Maxwell article. They both edit on the same articles about electricity mains supplies. (talk) 19:22, 18 December 2014 (UTC)


I think you've had a pretty good run for your money there. With this edit you are pushing it. I am now asking you nicely to let it go. The essay that explains all this is at WP:UKNATIONALS. Please ask at the talk there, at project talk, or maybe at the village pump for any further help with nationality. --John (talk) 18:16, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for asking me 'nicely' but WP:V is not subject to limitations, it is a fundamental policy of Wikipedia.
The essay that you point me to is nothing but the opinion of a few editors, with all dissenting opinion ignored. There is no nationality of 'Scottish' and certainly no authoritative sources saying that Maxwell's nationality was Scottish. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:24, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Be careful that you don't push commonsense on these articles, too much. My attempts in the past, help led me into a 2-yr topic ban from British & Irish articles. GoodDay (talk) 14:47, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I do not think that I have done anything that warrants a topic ban so far and I do not intend to do anything that does. As I said to another editor, if Arbcom are not going to support my compromise proposal, which is based on NPOV and verifiability then there is no hope for WP anyway. Martin Hogbin (talk) 15:49, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Recommend you walk away from the James Clerk Maxwell article & concentrate on opening an Rfc for all UK bio articles. Afterwards, if you don't get a consensus for your propose changes? then it would be in your best interests to walk away from the entire topic. GoodDay (talk) 22:43, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your suggestion, I understand what you mean, but there is soemthing seriously wrong with Wikipedia when a group of editors is able to control a number of pages to suit their own beliefs. I will take this to Arbcom. That is not intended to be a threat to anyone, it is what Arbcom exist for; to ensure that editors behave in a way that promotes the development of a better encyclopdia; one free from personal opinion. My suggestion of blanking both the 'Citizenship' and 'Nationality' fields until a consensus has been reached is obviously fair and neutral yet it has been rejected out of hand.
I have looked through all the discussion on this topic and it is clear that there is not, and never has been, a consenus to show constituent countries of the UK as nationalities. Something is wrong and it needs putting right. If Arbcom cannot help it will be a sad day for WP. If things go against me and I am ruled as being disruptive just for proposing a neutral compromise then that is too bad; for WP and for me. Martin Hogbin (talk) 12:43, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Martin, If you do decide to take this matter to the tribunal, you could draw their attention to the Humphry Davy page I tried to change the Cornish nationality to British, but editor John reverted it and left me a note telling me not to make changes without discussing them first. I'm pretty sure that there is no such rule on Wikipedia, and yet this editor John is an administrator who seems to have an anti-UK agenda and seems to believe that what he is doing is fine under Wikipedia rules. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:43, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, there are a couple of other pages where this kind of thing has happened. Martin Hogbin (talk) 09:22, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

British Nationality[edit]

For your information,

Until 1st January 1949, the status of 'British subject' was a class of British nationality throughout the entire British Empire. From 1st January 1949 until 1st January 1983, this status continued in conjunction with a local citizenship that took primacy for administrative purposes. In the case of the UK and colonies, it was "Citizen of UK and Colonies". New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and Southern Rhodesia introduced their own citizenship in conjunction with the umbrella British subject status. From 1st January 1983, the 'British subject' status was phased out, now only used for special situations. British citizenship was introduced for the first time. Here are some links you may find interesting,

This one in particular is a very compelling government source. See section 1.2 (talk) 21:11, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for those sources. I have started a page at User:Martin_Hogbin/MWB for the collation of sources showing that Maxwell had British nationality. Arbcom will not arbitrate on this but it is important to show that there is a good case for listing his nationality as 'British' in the infobox and that those who want 'Scottish' are asserting page ownership and violating WP:V and WP:NPOV by insisting on keeeping 'Scottish'. Martin Hogbin (talk) 12:24, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
On further reading of those sources they seem definitive now. Perhaps you could help me present the argument clearly on my User:Martin_Hogbin/MWB page. Martin Hogbin (talk) 12:51, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Especially the last of the four sources, and especially the bit in section 1.2 about Scotland and England uniting in 1707. Just as an aside, my understanding is that when the two crowns united in 1603, Scottish subjects became English subjects ( ). Then in 1707, they all became British subjects, and that being a British subject meant having British nationality. Anyway, I see your point now which is that this tribunal will not rule on content, and that you will be putting the case that since sources can be found to support the point of view of either side in the dispute, that it amounts to page ownership if one side insists on having their point of view prevailing. You will be asking the tribunal to rule according to an existing policy, that being that in such contentious issues, the contentious material should be removed altogether. (talk) 15:26, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes that is right. The forced retention of the contentions and unreferenced 'nationality' in the infobox is completely against the core Wikipedia policies of WP:V and WP:NPOV and suggests page ownership by one editor. Martin Hogbin (talk) 22:41, 23 December 2014 (UTC)


A heads up. Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:28, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure if you wish to revise your latest comment there or if I am misunderstanding. The version I was referring to as the "compromise" puts nationality in the infobox as both British and Scottish - not just one or the other. Or are you saying you don't consider this a compromise at all? That isn't to say your proposal wasn't made as a compromise either; just that this is a newer proposal which seems to have been enacted by another editor in the meanwhile. Ncmvocalist (talk) 15:55, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Ncmvocalist, the version you have seen was edit by Richard Gill quite recently. It was quickly reverted. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:32, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Hello. I have closed the proposal to topic ban you as lacking in consensus. In my opinion it was lacking in basis too. Chillum 22:35, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know. As you will see, this is just a content dispute in which one side is using a variety of improper tactics to get its way. Martin Hogbin (talk) 09:31, 29 December 2014 (UTC)


Make sure you note their tactic, which is to try and falsely make out that you are trying to deny Maxwell's Scottishness. This is their cover story while they try to promote the concept of 'Scottish Nationality'. Every time you explain to them that you are not denying Maxwell's Scottishness, they ignore you and resort to incivilities, and then simply repeat the allegation that you are denying Maxwell's Scottishness. It seems clear to me that it is the concept of 'Scottish nationality' itself, and Scotland as a nation, that they are trying to promote, while the specific issue of Maxwell being Scottish is only of minor importance to them. Also, remember that editor FF-UK and edit the same articles. (talk) 20:13, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for all that. It is best not to to make insinuations of sockpuppetry against other editors unless you have some solid evidence. If you do, then take it to WP:SPI, who will investigate.
By the way it would be a good idea for you to identify what other IP addresses have been used by you so that no false accusations can be made against you. Better still register. Martin Hogbin (talk) 23:35, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Happy New Year![edit]

Arbcom request case[edit]

Howdy MH. Would you please exclude me as an involved party in your case request? I'm still under siteban probation ('til May 21, 2015) & being named in such a case, might be bad for me :) GoodDay (talk) 15:32, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

OK. The template only allows 7 parties so I will add someone else. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:00, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks :) GoodDay (talk) 22:34, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Arbitration case request declined[edit]

You were named in a case request Infobox_nationality_of_people_from_the_UK which was declined by the Arbitration Committee. The committee concluded that one issue in the case was content, which is outside the remit of the committee, and the remaining behavioral issues should be handled by the usual processes. The arbitrators comments can be found at the Permalink to arbitrators decisions For the arbitration Committee --S Philbrick(Talk) 20:41, 18 January 2015 (UTC)


Hello! You have deleted the same material twice, giving two different reasons. Giving that the source is an adequate popular science book, let us leave the first. This means that you will need a source that backs your statement "this is pseudo-science". The reason is; that the USSR continued investigation into electrical inter-cellular communication, which was dropped in the west when enzyme macromolecules were isolated, and I have seen no refutation. If you have an adequate source to back your view, that will be fine, but as far as I know the paper still stands. Redheylin (talk) 18:15, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

For your help a Google[5] This gentleman has engaged in a wide variety of strange experiments, but I must say I can not find duplications, denials or contra-indications. Redheylin (talk) 18:32, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

The article talk page is the correct place for this discussion. Martin Hogbin (talk) 20:12, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
You may post your rationale where you wish, but I can not see it there. Please go ahead. Redheylin (talk) 02:23, 19 February 2015 (UTC)