User talk:Merlinme

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Welcome[edit]

Welcome to the project. Anyone who makes a comment about the Battle of Crécy is all right by me. Copyediting work is very valuable, and medieval articles are particularly poor, many having been copied optically from old encyclopedias, I think. It's a daunting task, but everything's in its infancy. If you need to know anything, do ask, though I can't guarantee I'll know the answer. Cheers.qp10qp 19:26, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Ally Sheedy[edit]

I ran to the first person I saw on the 'recent changes' list for articles tagged for spam. There's a serious edit war brewing up at Ally Sheedy, and I don't beleive I'm capable of solving the debate by myself. I might have already broken the 3RR rule! Help me out if you can. - ¡Kribbeh!Speak!\Contribs 17:21, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Bah, sorry for bothering you. Somebody has stepped in. - ¡Kribbeh!Speak!\Contribs 17:24, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Ottoman Empire[edit]

There is nothing to discuss as the problematic point of the sentence (west-east comparison) is fixed. The culturalist (who thinks ottomns are medivial barbarian empire) approach that blames "Oriental dogmatism" and "Islamic mentality" for the neglect of the scientific and technological achievements in the ottoman empire has been questioned as the collections on this subject are getting richer. For more content on this topic the person(s) or you have to do a library search. This answer cover your interest. Hope I was helpful. Thanks--OttomanReference 16:42, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

being bold[edit]

Often a good thing, although in that particular case I wanted to make sure the order didn't have some internal logic of it's own. I was raised Catholic, but I'm not anymore, and wasn't sure if there was an order the sins were usually listed in. But thanks for changing it - I kind of forgot about it. Natalie 17:18, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

RE: Battle Of Agincourt[edit]

I find your version of Agincourt disturbing since it bases it's self on one book by Anne Curry, a book I have read. Near every other book differs to her version, same as most historians, Television programmes on this matter use the numbers (roughly) that I give.

I refer mainly to the numbers of the French, for a start if the French Vanguard is as small as you say, then there would be no tightly packed ranks going into the defile. So the idea that the French were tightly packed going into the English is made up.

I would like to continue this discussion, however I do not have the time right now, until we come to an agreement I shall now alter the page. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 82.43.170.96 (talk) 15:50, 8 December 2006 (UTC).

RE: Agincourt[edit]

Thank you for entering into a discussion about Agincourt. However, quite apart from the fact that the numbers used in the article now suggest a range, reflecting the fact that there aren't any definitive primary sources for the numbers, by reverting to a very old version you destroy all the work that has been done on the article since. Also, there are many spelling and grammatical errors in the version you revert to, and many examples of highly dubious claims (e.g. putting up two fingers to the French).

If you particularly object to the figures used, please start a new section on the Agincourt discussion page and we can talk about it, and hopefully reach some community consensus.

Thanks,

If you wish I shall make a list of propsals to change to the current version of The Battle Of Agincourt?

However to the claim of the two finger insult, it is thought by most modern historians that it was used there. But it was not invented there or at any point in the conflict, instead only taken from an old archer insult from centuries earlier and then re-used in the conflict and battle to lure the French to attack the lines with insults and one or two flights of arrows.

Cheers

P.S. Sorry about the spelling mistakes here, in a rush. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 82.43.170.96 (talk) 22:23, 8 December 2006 (UTC).

Commons:user:merlinme[edit]

I assert that I am the same user as Commons:user:merlinme.

--Merlinme 17:03, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Removal of "polemical" on TGGWS[edit]

You asked why Ed removed "polemical". See here. Raymond Arritt 15:24, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I guess that explains it. I did find it rather strange how we could have all that discussion (and Uncle_Ed agreed there was a reasonable source), and then goes and reverts it after the page is unprotected. --Merlinme 15:29, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Reverts by UBeR[edit]

Hi. I've had a number of edits reverted by User:UBeR. Most recently, I changed a POV "observed" to "claimed", and the description of Patrick Moore from "environmentalist" (very much disputed) to "environmental consultant". These were reverted. Rather than get into a revert war, I thought I'd point it out to you and see if you thought one version or the other was better.JQ 07:57, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm afraid I'm going to actually agree with UBeR on this one. Moore's own Wikipedia article describes him an "environmentalist", so that seems fair enough. We've already noted that he now criticises Greenpeace, and if people follow the link they will find out what his current views are (which I guess he would characterise as about 'sustainable development'). As for "claimed" or "observed" that attacks were character attacks and ad hominems, a lot of them were like that, especially at the time the quote is taken from (4 March), which was before the programme had been broadcast and before people had assembled arguments against it. I think if people read the reaction in total, they can draw their own conclusions as to the reliablity of the programme and its maker. --Merlinme 08:11, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm having more revert problems with User:UBeR. Following up Monbiot's characterisation of TGGWS as a "the same old conspiracy theory", I found out that C4 had broadcast a program with the title "The Global Warming Conspiracy" back in 1990, with many of the same claims (though they've backed down on some points) and speakers. I included this point in the intro, and UBeR deleted it, saying it didn't belong there. I reverted and suggested he move it elsewhere, which he did, with the section heading "Unrelated Trivia". I changed that to "Related Programme", and left it at the bottom of the article where UBeR had put it. He then deleted the section. I'm afraid I find it hard to Assume good faith hereJQ 01:11, 22 March 2007 (UTC).

I agree with you on this one. The information should go in somewhere. I'm not completely happy with the way it's currently presented, but I don't think UBeR's delete was helpful. If I have time I may try to fit it into the article better.--Merlinme 10:12, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

TharkunColl[edit]

Have to go now, but you should check edits by TharkunColl to The_Great_Global_Warming_Swindle OldDigger 08:15, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up. I've been working my way through, it looks like most have already gone, but I'll double-check. --Merlinme 08:16, 20 March 2007 (UTC)


Editing down[edit]

Thanks for taking the trouble to edit the Mark Henderson stuff. I thought it was notable, and couldn't immediately see anything better than dumping it all in. It reads better now, though I'm concerned that readers have to know which claims are being referred to. JQ 10:22, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

No probs- I think my views on TGGWS are fairly clear, however we do have to be careful to be as fair as we can be to both sides. I personally think that anyone who actually takes the trouble to read the article properly can only really reach one conclusion, unless they prefer conspiracy theories to science. --Merlinme 10:24, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the note[edit]

Just a heads up that my substantive response is on my Talk page. RonCram 00:25, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks[edit]

Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
For painstaking and unfailing attempts to forge consensus in even the most hopeless-looking situations William M. Connolley 21:00, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I was just going to drop by and leave a noting thanking you for your efforts on TGGWS when I realised you deserved a bit more than that. I'm also going to back off there a bit for a while and give it a chance to settle down, since I'm better at the science than the politics anyway William M. Connolley 21:00, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Many thanks! I'd like to believe we can write a good article on the programme. As someone who initially found it quite convincing, I think it's important that we write as accurate an article as possible- respecting Durkin's right to start a debate, but also pointing out to the reader that he's talking utter tosh a lot of the time. Hopefully we'll get there in the end... --Merlinme 23:15, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

?[edit]

Why do I have COI editing TGGWS? [1] William M. Connolley 09:05, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

The perceived conflict of interest is in adding (or defending) the reference in the TGGWS article to a blog you had co-written. It's the same as if you were defending a particular quote for use on your biographical Wiki article. Now we both know that everything you helped write in the blog is true, and I'm not sure you do really have a conflict of interest- RealClimate is a good source. But why give anyone ammunition to attack the TGGWS article as biased, or using unreliable sources? Now that even Friis-Christensen has disowned the programme and said "it's obvious it's not accurate", all that's left in the programme is same vague claims about the influence of environmentalists on research funding and African development. I can't think of a single scientific claim TGGWS makes which has not been shown to be wrong, or even falsified. If people trust the Wikipedia article's neutrality, they can read it and reach that conclusion themselves. I want to remove any suggestion of bias or conflicts of interest. --Merlinme 09:58, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh right - yes I accept the perceived in that case. I read your comment as applying to the entire article William M. Connolley 10:07, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I've replied to your question on my user page. IMO William has an extreme COI: It's not "perceived" at all. The article about TGGWS on realclimate.org did not actually challenge the facts which the programme presented - just the interpretation of these facts. Any interpretation has bias but most of the realclimate interpretations even lack basic logic - most particularly their ludicrous explanation of the ice-core records (that CO2 feedback was more important than the initial driver) - you talk about tosh; there's tosh for you! - and the unproven, completely guessed aerosol argument to explain the 1945/1975 cooling. Furthermore the minor graphical errors did not change the arguments of the program at all, and Friis-Christensen should surely have seen that the interpretation of his graph was an easy error to make. Please read it again with a more objective eye and then perhaps use that same eye to scan the over-simplifications and downright falsehoods of "Inconvenient truth". This is what debate is about - don't help anyone shut it down. Where does anyone get the idea that only one factor controls climate anyway? Why can't there be several factors, the sun being one of them? Answer - no reason at all! (JG17 17:03, 2 July 2007 (UTC))

Agincourt article[edit]

Hi I have deleted the sentence, I wrote it because in an informal talk with French colleagues they all agreed on the research method of Anne Curry, but I have not found any French academic review of her work. As you probably know, there is a striking opposition between mainstream publications, relying basically on narrative and secondary sources, and academic works, with extensive research on documentary sources. That is my point of interest in the Battle of Agincourt article, as you can check I have already written on the problem of the sources for army figures in my article on the Military Revolution As soon as I have time, I would like to write a new chapter about an analysis of the sources for the battle, both narrative and documentary, and I will post there examples of other figures given in documentary records for both English and French armies in the period that show a remarkable consistency and are widely discrepant with the exaggerations of many of the narrative sources.Aryaman13 —Preceding comment was added at 16:53, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm sure your intentions were good, and it may well be the case that Curry is proved correct in ten years time. However, we are only allowed to report Verifiable information, and at the moment I am not aware of significant published support for Curry (although I am happy to be proved wrong). The only significant reaction I am aware of (from Barker) is negative, as she questions whether the French documents are complete enough to support Curry's approach.
Could you expand on your point please that "The French figures are consistent with all other documentary evidence for the period about French armies, before and after the battle of Agincourt"? I'm not completely sure what it means; does it mean, (for example,) that Curry's figures are consistent with the size of French armies raised on other occasions? Or does it mean something else (and if so, what?) Again, to be Verifiable, you need to point us in the direction of examples of the documentary evidence you are talking about. Thanks once again, merlin --Merlinme 17:19, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that "Curry's figures are consistent with the size of French armies raised on other occasions" I will provide examples as soon as I have time to collect them, but I am pretty sure of that since I am familiar with documentary evidence, not only for France, but also for Italy and Spain, and they are all consistant in that, contrary to narrative sources, numbers are very low, very rarely over 10.000.Aryaman13
I have not read the book by Barker, what is the Heraldic source used? I am only aware of Berry Herald, already used long time ago by Contamine, precisely to show that the French army was not so large.Aryaman13 —Preceding comment was added at 08:47, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't have the book to hand, but I'll doublecheck tonight. I didn't actually write that part of the article, but from what I remember it is a correct representation of what she says. --Merlinme 08:49, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I have modified the campaign account, hopefully making the movements of both sides more understandable.Aryaman13 —Preceding comment was added at 08:10, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I have added a new chapter on the sources, maybe the article should be modified in order to accord the data.--Ignacio Arrizabalaga (talk) 11:39, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Agincourt Campaign[edit]

The French actually staked the narrow causeway at Blanchetake, while the fortifications at Amiens ruled out any chance to the English to cross there, so they had to move further south to fing an unguarded ford. As for the numbers for the semonce, they would be under 3.000, even counting the Burgundian noblemen that joined the French just the day of the battle. Mind that these volunteers were commanded basically personal retinues, hastily assembled, the Duke of Brabant, for instance, joined with just 50 men at arms according to the research by Serge Boffa. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aryaman13 (talkcontribs) 09:06, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Losses are very different depending on the source, however it is not surprising a high proportion of noblemen, imagine the event of an English defeat, according to the Gesta there were only about 900 men at arms, but that included almost all the high nobility of the knigdom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aryaman13 (talkcontribs) 10:28, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, possibly. I'd have to do more research on the size of the retinue each nobleman would have had. Curry seems to be virtually alone in putting the English army at much more than about 6,000. So if there were 6,000 English and 12,000 French, then we have odds of 2-1, which is perfectly scary enough when you are tired and hungry. Allowing for a bit of poetic exaggeration, maybe we can get to the estimates of 4-1 or 6-1. Also, maybe the eyewitnesses were comparing the number of men-at-arms? If 6,000 French men-at-arms advanced to fight 900-1,000 English men-at-arms, then that would have given the sense of a very large disparity in numbers. But at this distance in time it's almost impossible to tell. It would take more research. I'd be interested to see that research- but of course, until it's published by a respected historian, we couldn't use it on Wikipedia. ---- Merlinme (talk) 17:30, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Juliet Barker[edit]

I have taken a look at who is she, since I hadn´t read anything from her, this biographical note is from and aditorial she works for http://www.harpercollins.com/authors/29208/Juliet_Barker/index.aspx?authorID=29208

Juliet Barker is internationally recognized for her ability to combine groundbreaking scholarly research with a highly readable and accessible style. Best known for her prizewinning and best-selling book The Brontës (1994), which was widely acclaimed as setting a new standard in literary biography, she is also an authority on medieval tournaments. Born in Yorkshire, she was educated at Bradford Girls’ Grammar School and St Anne’s College, Oxford, where she obtained a doctorate in medieval history. From 1983 to 1989 she was the curator and librarian of the Brontë Parsonage Museum. She has, for many years, been a frequent contributor to national and international television and radio as a historian and literary biographer, and has lectured in the United States and New Zealand. In 1999 she was one of the youngest-ever recipients of an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, awarded by the University of Bradford in recognition of her outstanding contribution to literary biography. She is married, with two children, and lives in the South Pennines.

So, she is rather an amateur in mediaeval history, not really an academic authority the likes of Anne Curry, for instance, that could account for her reliance on narrative sources instead of documentary evidence.--Ignacio Arrizabalaga (talk) 11:58, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree- while she is a good historian, she is not a medieval historian. However I am not in a position to say that she is wrong. I also think her response to Curry is sensible: a) how do you explain the eyewitness accounts? and b) the French documentary evidence is incomplete. Until a good medieval historian (perhaps Curry herself) answers these questions, I think Curry's work will remain controversial- and we are not in a position to choose who is correct. We should reflect the range of opinions given by historians; i.e. we should reflect that Curry is currently almost alone among historians (certainly British historians) in thinking the French army was 12,000. --Merlinme (talk) 12:41, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I have both books here (Barker and Curry) and will now compare sources and methods. An observation: Barker was awarded a Doctorate in Medieval History at Oxford (officially the number 2 university in Europe after Cambridge, in the top 20). This being the case, how is it that Aryaman13 tries to describe her as an 'amateur in medieval history' and Merlinme describes her as 'a good historian, she is not a medieval historian'. Although the work of each historian is open to critical discussion, as is anybody's work, i do not think that we are qualified to decide on the academic standards of the writers, this was already done when they were granted their doctorates. Just a clarification: a first degree in a U.K. university is a Batchelor's Diploma awarded after a basic study course of 3 to 4 years and graded 1 to 3. A Doctorate is a further 3 to 5 years of study and research closely monitored by an academic review board of Senior Tutors and Professors (department heads) and (in this case) based on a specific research project, at the end which the candidate presents (reads) his thesis to the Review Board and defends it against vicious and penetrating questioning. Following which, the Doctorate may (or may not) be awarded. France does not have any university (or even a Grand Ecole) which is placed in the top 20 in Europe. Regarding the 2 finger gesture. I have lived in France for many years and this gesture is considered to be extremely rude but has no special significance. Some say it relates to the Devil, others just do not know and there is no generally accepted tradition as to is origins.bruce (talk) 08:46, 30 June 2008 (UTC)30th june 2008
Thanks for the observations. I have a 2:1 in Philosophy, Politics and Economics myself from Oxford University, so I'm aware of their methods, certainly up to undergraduate level. My observation about Barker's background in medieval history was based on her published books, which until comparatively recently concentrated on the Bronte sisters. In any case, I was actually saying that regardless of our opinion of the relative merits of the historians (and I tend to think Curry is a bit too deliberately controversial, whereas Barker tends to prefer the more colourful anecdotes of the story), we can't let these opinions influence the article, unless perhaps if they are backed up by other historians (not just our opinion). I don't like the way Barker "constructs" a figure of 36,000 for the French, based on 6 times 6,000 (none of the primary sources use a figure of 36,000), but if you read my comments in total, I have been arguing strongly against treating Curry's figures (or Barker's, for that matter) as if they were gospel truth. My main point was that we should reflect the range of opinion among historians on the numbers involved, which in turn reflects quite widely differing primary sources. --Merlinme (talk) 08:18, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

was that the PPE school that queens operates with keble? i interviewed twice for a place there in 1960, but was turned down, being accused of inductive reasoning. at that age what other method can one use easily? anway i went on to a 2.1 in modhist at london (i know, redbrick,redbrick). i mentioned the uk gradings/system only because you cannot know where (country) contributors have been educated and under what system. regarding the two historians, i think that it is equally legitimate and fair to go to either Barker or Curry. the interpretation is what becomes sensitive. suggestion: i could list the material which i have here (books) and could then respond to specific questions listing detailed references. would this be of interest?

a small item of information ref longbows: these weapons are never, rpt. never drawn with the arms. the primary force comes from the shoulders. the method is like this: clench both your fists and place them near each other approximately over your beltbuckle. place your feet about 18 inches apart and look straight ahead. the target will be to your left. turn your left foot and your head towards the target. (in a real shoot, your left hand will be holding the bow and your right hand the string/arrow) in one co-ordinated-simultaneous movement: move your right hand to your right ear and unfold/straighten your left arm in a motion which curves forward and left. this brings the nock of the arrow (the string held by 4 fingers with the nock between the index and 2nd finger) to the right ear and the left arm is locked in the extended position. the bow is now fully extended and rests against the area between the left thumb and index finger, this also forms the arrow-shelf. the remaining fingers of the left hand rest lightly against the bow. any left fingers grabbing against the bow at the moment of loose should be avoided because the arrow will undershoot. as i mentioned, the biceps alone do not have enough bulk or power to pull the bow. the operation is a co-ordinated movement involving both arms, both shoulders and the abdominals. it is an opening movement rather than a pulling movement. in my own experience, an 80lb bow will send a 36 inch arrow well over 200 yards at maximum elevation and a 130/160lb military longbow could well achieve almost double that. the penetration effect is due mainly to dynamic energy: weight v. point-load, rather than kinetic energy: velocity v. point load. against armour, a high percentage of the energy is transferred to the rigid armour resulting in penetration. chain mail offered slightly better protection because of its flexibility which lowered the energy transfer (ballistics ballistics). it is a ferocious, tiring and difficult weapon to use, requiring constant practice. hope this is of interest.bruce (talk) 20:55, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, very interesting, thank you. As someone with an interest in medieval warfare, I've always been curious with exactly how the longbow worked, that's very enlightening. It would be nice to have a go at shooting (presumably a very light!) bow some time.
Regarding a couple of your other questions, I did PPE at Magdalen, 1993-96. Re: the Agincourt article, I'm always interested in improving it, and I will confess, I don't possess a copy of the Curry, and haven't read the Barker from start to finish. I would love to tighten the article up, but it's simply a matter of finding the time. One thing I did do recently was buy a copy of Curry's "Sources and Interpretations", which is supposed to be the book (or the only one in print, anyway) for giving the primary sources. If you would like to go through the different sources with me, I'd be very happy to. --Merlinme (talk) 07:52, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

delighted to develop this theme. i believe that direct email contacts may be useful. if you agree, i suggest that you send a note by regular airmail to me at the following address: bruce, p.o. box 9, F-04280 Cereste, France. this will avoid extraneous attention. if i am not around, my wife (nicole) will take care of it. best wishes:bruce (talk) 19:52, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

The Great Global Warming Swindle[edit]

I did state my explanation of the neutrality dispute heading on the talk page. Please re-insert the dispute heading so that I do not have to report this violation to an admin. The Noosphere (talk) 18:38, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, not really. You said you disagreed with the article as it stands. When disagreeing with long standing, endlessly argued over consensus, you are expected to advance arguments why the consensus is wrong, and win the arguments, before making significant changes to the article. Alternatively, there is a school of thought which says you should make the changes, but then when they are reverted you should discuss before changing again. (Change, revert, discuss, or something like that.) I have no intention of undoing my revert; if you truly think I am violating some Wikipedia policy or other, then of course you can bring it to the attention of an admin, and we can talk about what exactly I have or have not done wrong. Lack of talking seems to me to be the problem with your current style of editing; you make quite radical changes with barely a nod to discussing with other editors. --Merlinme (talk) 18:57, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Stop your bad faith accusations against me[edit]

Your allegations that I have had a previous account are hurtful and poison the cooperative spirt of a community-built encyclopedia. It is not suspicious that I would have known about an arbitration against a user dating back before my first edits. Many stories about Wikipedia arbitration have been picked up in the mainstream media. This [2] is one of many from the past week. Please stop reverting my work and please start treating me with the civility expected of all of us as Wikipedia contributors. The Noosphere (talk) 01:38, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

In what sense are they bad faith? You display intimate knowledge of a two year old Arb Comm ruling after five days on Wikipedia? You'll forgive me if I'm suspicious. I'm not exactly the first person to suspect you've edited on Wikipedia before, am I? And the number seems to be growing daily. --Merlinme (talk) 08:23, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
For the record, The Noosphere has been banned indefinitely as a suspected sock. --Merlinme (talk) 08:41, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

THANKYOU![edit]

Thanks so much for your message in reply to my longbows vs crossbows question. I never read a more informative passage on the subject. You really know your stuff! I can fully understand the power vs rate of fire vs penetration capability (if that sounded a bit wierd, it's because I'm only twelve). It's a bit like comparing an M4 carbine with a bazooka; power vs rate of fire. As a matter of interest, which would you rather be armed with in a battle situation: an English longbow, or a Genoese crossbow? Thanks again, bye.Nelsondog (talk) 23:57, 15 January 2008 (UTC)Nelsondog

Well, I guess I'd want a longbow, but I'm biased because I'm English. It has a very strong, almost mythical appeal to English people, its thought to be how we won Crecy and Agincourt against the odds (although there's actually some dispute about its effectiveness at Agincourt). The other big difference between a longbow and a crossbow though is that it takes years of training and enormous strength to shoot a heavy longbow. Skeletons of medieval longbowmen are noticeably deformed; basically they had enlarged left arms (which takes the strain if you're drawing with the right arm), and bone spurs on their arms and fingers, caused by the physical stresses involved of practising with such heavy bows all the time. They would have been built something like blacksmiths. The crossbow, on the other hand, uses some sort of winding mechanism, and requires far less physical strength to draw. Also, it basically shoots in a straight line, whereas a longbow takes far more practise to be able to shoot accurately (see archer's paradox. Basically you need to shoot slightly to the left of the target.) So if we were talking about which one I would rather have, as I'm not built like a blacksmith and I haven't practised for years, it would have to be the crossbow! Anyway, I hope you enjoy exploring the various links on the medieval period in Wikipedia, there are some pretty good articles here. --Merlinme (talk) 08:30, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Late Roman army[edit]

RE: your recent edits to Late Roman army. Whilst I welcome all positive contributions, I fail to see how "tirelessly" or "extraordinary eagerness" constitute unencyclopedic language, especially as they are straight translations of wording used in the source, Ammianus Marcellinus. Also, what's wrong with "classic"? Might I suggest (politely) that you limit edits to adding value to the existing text rather than just imposing your own personal preferences as reagrds wording? Fair point about the barbarisation fallacy: but that's because I haven't finished writing that section yet. Regards EraNavigator (talk) 22:30, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

What am I supposed to react to, apart from what I'm reading? I'm not psychic; I don't know what the barbarisation fallacy section is going to say, and neither will anyone else. Regarding the Battle of Strasbourg, your section about this is in Late Roman army is two to three times the size of the main article, which strikes me as putting the cart before the horse. Your account is extremely interesting; however, "tirelessly" is nonsensical. No mortal being is "tireless". For that matter, what does "extraordinary eagerness" mean? Was Marcellinus there? Is he talking for the whole of both armies? Or was he using rhetoric, and not expecting it to be taken as a literal account? Above all, please make it clear if it's a direct quote; that way the translation can be verified, and understood as a quote. Regarding "classic"; what does the word mean, exactly, in this context? Is it: "Belonging to the highest rank or class"? Or: "Adhering or conforming to established standards and principles"? Or: "Of or characteristic of the literature, art, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome"? Or: "Formal, refined, and restrained in style"? Or: "Having historical or literary associations"? It's ambiguous. I altered it to mean what I thought was the most likely meaning, i.e. a "classic" Roman army deployment, which is to say, one of their standard forms; a traditional setup. If you think that's wrong, please change it; but don't leave it ambiguous.
If you have a look at my contributions generally you will realise that I do contribute to articles. However I am also a strong believer in copy editing, which is to say making the existing material clearer and more coherent. If you disagree with me- make it clearer and more coherent in your own way. --Merlinme (talk) 23:04, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Battle Of Agincourt[edit]

Hello and apologies for the delay re Battle Of Agincourt

Sorry about the lack of updates re the discussion field and will address them asap, is there a wiki function that could tag Currys work as opinion but that refers to the bill of pay receipts as potential evidence and that they could be considered as a reasonable guessitmate for the time? Best wishes Twobells (talk) 13:12, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I have added to your work [hope this is acceptable] 'However, it has to be said that her theory on Agincourt is disputed by the vast majority of her international peers both contemporary and historic.' In Italics.

That leaves the piece in but offers insight as to how her peers view her work. Twobells (talk) 15:43, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Regarding 'coupe de grace' I am visiting the Royal Armoury soon and will note down as many literary citations as I can once there. Twobells (talk) 15:53, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I have to say I thought italics/ bold was a bit over the top! I think it's reasonable that we make it clear that she's in direct contradiction of other historians, (and contemporary accounts, for that matter), but we can let the reader make up their own mind after reading the arguments. Juliet Barker is the only historian I'm aware of who wrote a book about Agincourt after Curry's book, and I've already quoted her disagreement with Curry at length; the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica is also quoted in this section and contradicts Curry, so we have a reasonable selection of "contemporary and historic" historians' views. --Merlinme (talk) 17:24, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Battle of Agincourt[edit]

Hi, I just did not understand that why the edit you reverted is controversial? Otolemur crassicaudatus (talk) 07:47, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Because if you ask six different historians you get six different answers? The numbers in the battle box used to change on a weekly basis until we found the current compromise. --Merlinme (talk) 07:48, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Editor Review[edit]

Thank you for reviewing me, and I'd like to address some of the concerns you voiced:

"In particular, you never really even acknowledged that what I was trying to do (limit cultural references to notable entries with verified links to the SDS) made sense."
I believe I really did. My dispute with you was, in my view, not over this point, but over your method for determining it, by requiring something to be on wiki. I in fact voiced, in my first reply on the subject, that I agreed with most of your limits for inclusion - just not the one about needing to be on wikipedia.
"I can agree, to an extent, with your declaration that no episodes or songs be included - after all, most of the time this kind of thing is just thrown around as a "spooky, esoteric term". But if a work is deeply based on the concept, and is not so completely trivial as to basically just be some kid in his garage, it is fair to include it as a reference in popular culture. After all, being the English wikipedia just means we cover things in the English language - it does not mean that we don't care about the non-English-speaking world."
"In the end I had to go and find policies to back me up, at which point you said "We should limit the list to entries that are notable or uniquely interesting, and back these up with sources - I in fact have agreed with this from the start." Well, firstly, you never actually said that from the start, you instead chose to "discuss" the things you disagreed with me on; and secondly, to say that you said this from the start is disingenuous. In your immediately preceding post, you said "WP:Notability does not apply to the CONTENT of an article - only the topic itself"."
"For a good example of where to draw the line, I would say that anything that goes into the details of the concept, and can find professional sources with a quick web search, should be acceptable, song, episode, or not."
"I could only interpret this as disagreeing with me that entries in the cultural references list, i.e. the CONTENT of the SDS article, should be notable. In fact that whole post is a perfect example of how, rather than attempt to understand what I'm trying to do, you listed the ways in which you disagreed with me."
By the definitions of notability given by Wikipedia guidelines, I did not and do not believe we should require that for the section. We can find sources from the creator that something is based on the SDS, but we are simply not going to find widespread reception and coverage on this reference - in fact, in most cases we'd be lucky to find such an amount of coverage on the work itself. If you mean something else by "notable", please clarify it.
"I think generally on talk pages people would appreciate it if you remembered that Wikipedia is supposed to be a collaborative exercise; we're supposed to be working together to make the encyclopedia better. I would certainly appreciate it if you made more positive suggestions about how we are going to reach a sensible set of guidelines, rather than focusing on how and why you think I'm wrong."
From my viewpoint, I was. I was trying to illustrate the apparent dangers of relying upon wikipedia as one of those guidelines. I agree with your main goal, and once I get some personal tasks done I'll get to work cleaning the section up. I just don't believe in creating a "walled garden" out of wikipedia.

I hope this reply doesn't sound to aggressive, and I look forward to cleaning up the SDS article with you this summer. Cheers!Not even Mr. Lister's Koromon survived intact. 06:51, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

No that doesn't come across as aggressive, I'm sure we can work together. I disagree with you however on notability; I don't see why something which wouldn't be covered in Wikipedia in normal circumstances should get a one line mention in the SDS article. Following the discussion with you I have however slightly modified my view, and I'm prepared to accept that we can include things which, for whatever reason, would meet notability criteria but don't currently have a Wikipedia entry.
Also, I'm a bit reluctant to rely on the author for a reference; yes, the author is the person in the best position to say what's in a piece of his or her work, but apart from anything else, they've been known to lie; I can think of half a dozen examples where authors made a quote up for the press because they thought it was amusing, or they wanted to deny that a song was about X (for example). They don't necessarily qualify as a Reliable Source. The other reason I want to see a third party reference is simply that this is also a better guide to notability; anyone can write a blog about their work, but it may have sold two copies. Something which was reviewed in the national press has a much better claim to be worth recording in Wikipedia. --Merlinme (talk) 07:46, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Battle of Agincourt Compared[edit]

Why not include the comparisons to the battles of Taginae and Hizayon? As written, it does not say that all cavalry charges failed against missle-armed infantry? Is it not instructive to note that throughout history, such charges have failed, on occasion, disastrously. Norm mit (talk) 18:22, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Mainly because, in the absence of a source, I assume you've made the comparison yourself, and remember, No Original Research. However, even if you had a source, I'd be pretty dubious about putting it in. Why exactly are we comparing these particular battles, separated by hundreds of years and with vastly different technology? The logical descendant of the knight is the tank (nearly impregnable to infantry without specialist weapons), and the logical descendant of the archer is the rifleman (ordinary soldiers with a reasonably high rate of fire, very effective from range against lightly armoured targets). So why haven't we listed all the battles in the Second World War where infantrymen were overwhelmed by a tank "charge"? There must be hundreds. Or, for that matter, Alexander the Great and the Romans heavily used cavalry, and used them very effectively as part of combined arms warfare. I'd be very surprised if there weren't a few successful cavalry charges against archers there, but they were routine, so not particularly well remembered. The reason we remember battles like Agincourt is because they were exceptional; at that particular point in history, it turned out that military technology was such that a frontal assault against a prepared position (protected by mud) was futile. In some ways a better comparison would be the tank assaults of World War One; the heavily armoured men-at-arms made their way through a storm of arrows taking very few casualties, but after wading through the mud, buffeted by arrows, a lot of them "broke down" on reaching the other side, and were picked off by the English troops. Selecting these three battles gives the impression to the reader that they were largely identical, and representative of many other examples, and I'm really not sure that is correct. To draw a comparison between Agincourt and the use of anti-tank missiles in the Yom Kippur war just seems bizarre to me, to be honest. --Merlinme (talk) 08:03, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Magna Carta talk page[edit]

Hi Merlinme. I saw your edits at the Magna Carta article. I added a request at the Magna Carta talk page. Please take a look. Thanks. Suntag (talk) 16:20, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

He's back[edit]

I went ahead and removed the section, because there wasn't a word in it which didn't violate talk page policies, and it's just the same old prattling of his. I did respond to Zulu's comment, though, with a new section - is my reply the matter agreeable to you?

Also, I moved the recently added section into the Cultural References section - it doesn't seem to be a true part of the subject, and is in my view just another thing using similar concepts or words. Also, it seems to be a load of pseudo-philosophical hogwash, but that's just me. Was this a correct move?

Finally - we're we still wanting to textify the reference section? I'm not sure where that discussion went.Not even Mr. Lister's Koromon survived intact. 10:05, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

A study on how to cover scientific uncertainties/controversies[edit]

Hi. I would like to ask whether you would agree to participate in a short survey on how to cover scientific uncertainties/controversies in articles pertaining to global warming and climate change (survey described here). If interested, please get in touch via my talkpage or email me Encyclopaedia21 (talk) 17:12, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

7 Deadly Sins[edit]

Stop hand nuvola.svg Do not make uncivil attacks on good faith edits by calling them vandalism. Please read WP:CIVIL and WP:NPA. --208.38.59.163 (talk) 18:38, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

This edit: [3] deleted 25,000 characters for no good reason other than you weren't getting your way in an argument about linking. That's vandalism. I really don't see how you can disagree with that. I have no objection to you making your case on the talk page, but don't delete content out of petty vindictiveness. I will ignore your entry on my talk page as a sign of good faith, but if you persist in vandalism to Seven deadly sins, or if you continue to harass me, I will report you to an admin. --Merlinme (talk) 08:53, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Salute[edit]

Hello Merlinme.

I have really liked the way you prompt others and imply the idea in composing sentences that are much more understandable and written in fluent English. I myself am not a native speaker of the English language but I really do enjoy speaking and writing with the language. I will be positively excited if we could discuss issues that are related directly or indirectly with linguistics. If you are willing to contact me please let me know.

gokalpzya@kelebekmail.com Karamati —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.28.128.139 (talk) 22:16, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

That's a nice compliment, thank you. I'd be happy to discuss linguistics with you, although the amount of time I have available will vary. Let me know what you have in mind. --Merlinme (talk) 15:59, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Empire: Total War[edit]

I think it might be a good idea to create a "release" section for the article, which would incorporate the current first paragraph of the "reception" section (less first sentence, since that definitely belongs in "reception") and also bring in a few parts from the development section regarding patches, etc, as well as a copyeditted version of Simpson's points for post-release. It strikes me that creating an entirely new sub-section just a single primary source is giving undue weight to what is only a small issue, and is very disjointed from the rest of the article. I'll give a look into it tomorrow. -- Sabre (talk) 19:51, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, there are some issues about the best way to present the material in a way which doesn't give it undue weight. I've attempted to give a balanced flavour from what are quite long and quite carefully worded blogs, but I wasn't 100% sure of the best place to put it. It doesn't really belong with the magazine reviews, which is why I gave it its own sub-section.
I definitely think it's worth having somewhere, but I'm sure you could do a better job than me at incorporating it into the structure of the article so it doesn't "stick out" so much. --Merlinme (talk) 08:58, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

GW Swindle[edit]

Hi Merlinme, thanks for your contribtions to the article. As to the lead, wouldn't paragraph #4 be better as part of a controveries section, with perhaps the first sentence or two remaining in the lead as the summary? Of course, the rest of the article could use consolidation and organization, but getting the lead is the best first step. I'm also wondering why so much space is devoted to Carl Wunsch's purported repudiation of the documentary, as opposed to his own featured opinions. Dr. Wunsch has never retracted his actual statements as they were used in the film. After Dr. Wunsch reported contacts by some of his peers he publicly claimed he didn't like the films conclusions. By the same standard, shouldn't as much space be devoted within wiki articles referencing the IPCC reports about the scientists listed as contributors, such as those featured in The Great Global Warming Swindle, actually disagree with the IPCC's global warming conclusions? Anyhow, I might not be able to contribute to the article as some editors are threatening to have me blocked suggest that I should be blocked for my reporting on the William M. Connolley issues. Modesty aside, it would be wikipedia's loss - but the public would gain the benefit of knowing how Wikipedia policies devolve into censorship protecting special interest activism and propoganda. --Knowsetfree (talk) 21:18, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi. You've raised a lot of issues. I'll answer as best I can (bearing in mind I have a full time job).
1) TGGWS raised an an enormous amount of controversy and criticism. It was the subject of a very large OfCom inquiry. This all features heavily in the article; the Lead should reflect the content of the article. I'm happy to discuss modifications, but it would be wrong to remove all mention of the criticism, controversy and OfCom inquiry from the Lead.
2) All Wunsch said in the programme was that as temperature rises, the amount of CO2 released by the oceans goes up. What he strenuously objected to was Durkin's use of this to say that raised temperature causes raised CO2, rather than the other way round. What he was trying to say was that as temperature rises, we can expect feedback effects from the oceans to make the matter worse, and this is one of the things we should be worrying about. Wunsch doesn't like the most extreme "doom-mongers" of global warming, but he does believe in global warming. If you think there's a better way to reflect this in the article, please say. I take your point that we may be focusing on the people who disagree with the programme (and could focus on e.g. Lindzen and Reiter who disagree with the IPCC's conclusions). However there are thousands of respected scientists who contributed to the IPCC, only a handful of whom disagree with its conclusions. With TGGWS, there are a handful of respected scientists who contributed, two of whom disagree strongly with the way their evidence was used. I think the article currently reflects this in a reasonably balanced way, but I'm open to suggestions.
3) The whole WMC thing is a can of worms. I actually quite like the guy. I can imagine he has had a bad write-up in the right-wing press. What you have to understand is that there have been dozens of climate change sceptics who have been far less polite and constructive than you over the last few years. WMC is a full-time scientist, previously working for the British Antarctic Survey, who believes that man-made climate change is happening (like virtually all the other scientists who've ever looked at it). He has quite a short temper, and he's adopted something close to "act first, ask questions later" approach in some cases, notably suspected sock puppets of people like User:Scibaby. Scibaby has 139 suspected sock puppets. That's a lot of disruption. Blocking such sockpuppets has been explicitly supported by ArbCom in the past; if a new editor looks like a known extremely disruptive editor, than the new editor should be blocked. There simply isn't time to investigate every single case in detail. If mistakes are made, it's so easy to create a new account, that a user can either do so and be more cautious in their edits with the new account, or take steps to protest and prove their innocence, as they prefer. There are rarely enough people to do everything on Wikipedia; it's essentially a volunteer organisation, so you have to make some allowances for people who try to do as much as possible, even if they may occasionally cross the line into acting without enough care. I have made approx 1,000 edits over three or four years. I've made quite a lot of small corrections to random articles I was reading, so the number of articles is probably in the dozens, maybe up to a hundred. A lot of my edits will be undoing vandalism. I've not become an admin because I don't have the time. Does the fact that WMC has many more edits than me make him a better or worse Wikipedian? If he has made it his personal crusade to make climate change articles accurate, is that to be applauded or not? If he blocks disruptive editors for a day, is that a good thing or not? His personal belief is that climate change is happening, and his edits reflect this. I don't personally think his bias matters very much as long as it's countered by people who are sceptics. His edits use reputable sources, and he does not routinely delete other material which reflects reputable sources, and those are the main requirements of an accurate Wikipedia. He would not have been an admin for years if he had not been by far more of a force for good than otherwise. Some people feel that it was harsh to remove his admin rights in a case where he was dealing with an editor who was making Wikipedia worse. He trod very close to the line of arbitrariness, and ArbCom eventually made the decision that he shouldn't be an admin (for the time being) in a consensus based project.
4) You were not threatened with blocking over the WMC thing (or the article probation thing for climate change articles). You were reminded that you should not make personal attacks, and you were reminded to be careful when making edits to articles under probation. As to whether you were making personal attacks, well- to me it looked like you were trying to build a case against WMC. The question needs to be asked, why were you doing so? Why had you decided to put WMC on trial (especially bearing in mind that you don't know the full background of the case, and are mainly relying on hostile reporting)? In what way does it make Wikipedia a better encylopedia? If you feel that WMC has been bullying you, say that. If you feel that WMC has been bullying someone else, say that. If you think WMC has been making biased edits to an article, say that. All those things are relevant to the encyclopedia. Detailing historic complaints made against WMC is, at best, tangential, and at worst, a personal attack on another editor. Specific new complaints can of course be raised. They should be judged on their own merits though, rather than attempting to win the argument by reference to things which happened in the past.
Hope that's helpful. I really must get back to work. I'm happy to discuss specific improvements to TGGWS article. That article's Talk page is probably the place, though we can also discuss here if you wish. --Merlinme (talk) 10:13, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Temperature record of the past 1000 years[edit]

Information.svg Thank you for your contributions to the encyclopedia! In case you are not already aware, an article to which you have recently contributed, Temperature record of the past 1000 years, is on article probation. A detailed description of the terms of article probation may be found at Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation. Also note that the terms of some article probations extend to related articles and their associated talk pages.

The above is a templated message. Please accept it as a routine friendly notice, not as a claim that there is any problem with your edits. Thank you. -- TS 19:05, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

exception from...[edit]

What i meant is that the complaint and the problem here is one of communication/policy as well as scientific. The controversy is/was whether Channel4 broke the broadcasting regulation when they showed the polemic. Thus Ward really is an exception to the SPS clause. :) --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 15:41, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Well, maybe. I still think we should be very careful of using spin doctors' websites as a reliable source for anything much. Which is not to say that I think Ward is wrong; it's just that the relevance (and the expertise) is the 37 scientists, not Bob Ward himself. Anyway, in practice I don't think we were actually disagreeing on what should or shouldn't go in, so No Worries! --Merlinme (talk) 18:20, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Depending on what you define a spin-doctor as - perhaps he is...[4]. But yes - we do agree. Btw reading his bio here[5], makes me wonder why we haven't got an article on Piezometry, let alone Paleopiezometry - quite abit outside my area though... --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:45, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Magna Carta articles[edit]

I noticed that you mentioned that you don't have access to these two articles: White, A.B. The Name Magna Carta in The English Historical Review (1915) pp472-475 and Note on the Name Magna Carta in The English Historical Review (1917) pp554-555

I would be happy to email you PDF copies if you would like to read them.—Jeremy (talk) 19:21, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

I'd be very much obliged if you could, that would be marvellous. --Merlinme (talk) 19:24, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Mail sent.—Jeremy (talk) 19:29, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
You're a star! I will read and absorb. I find Utinomen's editing a bit one-sided some times, so it would be nice to read and make up my own conclusions. I'll delete my email address from the message above now, as I like to reduce spam risks, but you're more than welcome to contact me again if you wish. Thanks again, --Merlinme (talk) 19:34, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Magna Carta rv[edit]

yes it was a mistake .. i apologize .. you edited before i do! i was trying to rescue some text. Thanks, Maysara (talk) 20:59, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

TGGWS[edit]

Scibaby again I think William M. Connolley (talk) 09:24, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Starting a sentence with "Because" isn't always bad style[edit]

I noted that you made a series of changes to the Ayumi Hamasaki page to remove all sentences that started with "Because", saying that "starting a sentence with 'Because' is pretty awful English style."

Certainly it is a rule that writers can safely follow to insure that they don't end up with sentence fragments, but it can easily be the case that a well worded sentence can start with "because". For example, it can be used as a sensible stylistic choice to highlight a different aspect of a cause-effect relationship.

I only looked at a few of the examples, but the use of "because" that I saw on the page did not seem incorrect. Nor did your changes seem incorrect...just different, stylistically. However, I thought you might want some input regarding this, since you obviously work hard to maintain a responsible and effective Wikipedia presence.

Obviously you don't need to take my word for it, but ask some well-respected writers, and I think you will find that there is room for tolerance on this issue.

69.74.24.2 (talk) 20:10, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Well, English is a very flexible language, there's no Academie Francaise. As I said in my note on the Talk page however, I would be startled if you could find an example of a sentence starting with "Because" in a quality English newspaper or encyclopedia. There might, possibly, be a very rare example where it might be justified, but apart from anything else, that article had something like eight examples; in some not only was it not justified, there was a much better way of phrasing it. --Merlinme (talk) 08:18, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Intrigued by your claim, I looked and found an example in the second article I checked in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/business/08frozen.html?src=me&ref=business). Again, I don't really have anything against the edits you made, and certainly it seemed overused within that article. I just wanted to highlight that I don't think it's all that rare to find examples of good usage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.74.24.2 (talk) 17:11, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm wondering if there is a difference in how this is perceived on either side of the Atlantic. Even when technically "allowed", perhaps it is viewed in a more critical light in GB? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.74.24.2 (talk) 17:21, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
It's entirely possible. As I say, I'm not aware of having seen an example in a newspaper, and I imagine I would notice. I'm certainly quite startled you found an example in the second article you checked, so yes, maybe this is a UK/ US difference. --Merlinme (talk) 08:43, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Hoping that I was not going mad, I just had a quick look at the BBC style guide [6] and The Economist style guide [7] (which are both British English and available online). Neither has a rule about using "Because" (or "And" and "But", for that matter). However, neither has a single example in the guides themselves where they start a sentence with "Because". In a 92 page document, the BBC style guide (which is available as an easily searchable pdf) has 11 examples of "But", 5 examples of "And", and zero examples of "Because", which sounds about right for what I would expect in reasonably formal writing. Similarly in the online available part of the Economist style guide, there were about 10 examples of "And", 5 examples of "But", but I couldn't find a single example of a sentence starting with "Because". So while it may not be a rule as such, I think it's reasonable to suggest that it's considered bad style in British English, even if this is somewhat silently enforced. --Merlinme (talk) 09:18, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
By way of contrast, a quick search found three examples of "Because" in the Chicago Manual of Style online: [8], and that was by no means an exhaustive search, so yes it does seem to be a US/ UK difference. I was therefore a bit over the top eliminating all of them from that article, however I still maintain there were far too many of them. But as I say, editors are more than welcome to change it back to "Because" in examples where they find it clearer. --Merlinme (talk) 08:40, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Not new[edit]

Looking at the edits I don't think there is any way the user was a new user finding his way around. I am not making any other comments just a technical observation. Polargeo 2 (talk) 12:28, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Well- I started off thinking maybe EfV wasn't a new editor. And then I wasn't sure. And I certainly don't think he's GoRight or Scibaby. So I erred on the side of assuming good faith. If someone could demonstrate similarities in editing style to another editor though, that would probably change my mind. --Merlinme (talk) 12:41, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Request[edit]

Hello Merlinme: In case you are having a bit of unfamiliarity with sockpuppetry allegations, you might consider reading this once [9], specifically this quote "The tool [Checkuser] should not be used for political control; to apply pressure on editors; or as a threat against another editor in a content dispute."
Your allegations, baseless at best, suggest that you are trying to put unnecessary pressure on me. TheEngineerAsk 05:33, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Excuse me? Have you actually read what I wrote in WMC's appeal? E.g. "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement&diff=prev&oldid=393595916", with the comment "I'm not convinced about the whole possible sock thing"? Basically I could see why people might think your edit history did not look like that of a new user. But I couldn't see anything conclusive, and I was fairly sure you were not the two banned editors suggested. So I gave you the benefit of the doubt. A couple of other editors then suggested that they had an idea who you were, and that you weren't a new editor. I then considered the matter further, and after some investigation I came up with a theory who they might think your other account was. And I could see some basis for that view, but nothing conclusive. At which point I said that without a checkuser, I didn't see how it could be proved one way or another.
For the record, I did not then ask for a checkuser, and I have in fact never asked for a checkuser of anybody. So could you please give it a rest with the "allegations" and "unnecessary pressure". I haven't made any allegations; I haven't even attempted to apply any pressure. If anything, I've defended you against the suggestion that you are a sock.
To be honest, I think you owe me an apology, but I will accept you just letting the matter drop. --Merlinme (talk) 19:56, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
To be honest, I think I owe you an apology. Please accept it. TheEngineerAsk 21:18, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
Apology accepted. --Merlinme (talk) 21:55, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

process[edit]

Merlinme, may I ask are you an administrator or arbiter? I ask because I've noted you making comments on WMC's wall. If yes, can I ask what on earth is the point in requiring 'consensus' if 'consensus' is 'everyone has to agree'? There is absolutely no way that all editors will agree -- ever -- on anything contentious in the climate change pages. If you don't already know this then, well, you really must be a newbie indeed as far as the climate change debate is concerned. It should be good enough that there are rules and everyone has to follow them, whether they like it or not. Right? And if quite a number of editors want to continue to ignore the rules because they always have, they need to be told to stop, right? Alex Harvey (talk) 06:29, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

No I'm not an administrator or arbiter. I think you're too pessimistic about climate change articles. Some users will never agree; they tend to be the ones who get banned or blocked. The rest of us are open to reason. Although I have some sympathy with WMC's beliefs, I frequently don't agree with his methods; I have in the past persuaded him to accept a version which he wasn't keen on (too "favourable" to the sceptics) because that was the best compromise that could be found. That's consensus, when people agree as a group that this is the best solution which can be found. Despite WMC's occasionally rather aggressive argument style, believe it or not he can be persuaded by reasoned arguments that the current version is the best he's going to get, i.e. he tacitly accepts the current version. Anyway, I'm not WMC; I don't argue like he does, and in general I think he sometimes doesn't give sceptical viewpoints room to make their case. If you want to see how I've worked with WMC and sceptics in the past, you're welcome to look at the revision history of The Great Global Warming Swindle. Even when that was at its most heated, in the year after the programme came out, we managed to get a consensus version. See (for example) Talk:The_Great_Global_Warming_Swindle/Archive_1 for endless discussions about whether it was appropriate to call it a "polemical documentary". See Talk:The_Great_Global_Warming_Swindle/Archive_1#The_way_forward in particular, for where I made various proposals for compromises and solutions, most of which were eventually accepted. See in particular where WMC voted against calling it "controversial documentary film" because he viewed it as propaganda, but then said he would accept the consensus. KimDabelsteinPetersen (voluntary topic ban) also voted against but accepted the consensus. See Talk:The_Great_Global_Warming_Swindle/Archive_2 where GoRight (permanently banned from Wikipedia) attempted to change the consensus. He failed, but at least he tried using arguments. Or, more recently, see Talk:The_Great_Global_Warming_Swindle/Archive_7#Coatracking_in_the_Lede, where Fell Gleaming (currently topic banned and under a 1RR) successfully argued to change the lead from "The Great Global Warming Swindle is a polemic documentary film that argues against the scientific opinion on climate change that global warming is "very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gas concentrations" to the current compromise: "The Great Global Warming Swindle is a polemical documentary film that suggests that the scientific opinion on climate change is influenced by funding and political factors, and questions whether scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming exists", which removed the coat-racking (i.e. quoting the opponents to the film in an article about the film). You seem to think that discussion is pointless and we will never achieve consensus, but I think those archives contradict that. With this in mind, do you want to try to change the current version? --Merlinme (talk) 10:01, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Merlin, I am using the list as my litmus test of whether Wikipedia has become a place yet where it is even possible to efficiently appeal to its written rules to get things done properly without having to plead with masses of anonymous editors who frankly couldn't give a damn about the rules. It appears to me that nothing has changed and I'll doubtlessly shortly leave the project again as I don't have time to deal with this nonsense. I'll probably prod Jimbo again shortly to point out that nothing has changed and maybe pop back in again in another six months. Alex Harvey (talk) 14:19, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but if you're not prepared to get involved in debate (and yes it can be rather tedious; and yes it can be rather time-consuming), then I doubt you'll find a great deal of sympathy with your views on the Wikipedia process; that's how it works, with debate between opposing positions until a stable article version is reached, where the stable version has at least tacit consensus. It is possible to engage with the other side; it is possible to get an established consensus changed and eventually create better, less biased articles, even in the Climate Change area (as I hope my examples show). But if you're not prepared to engage the other side in debate, you will not get articles improved in the way you want. You may think it is obvious that you are correct, but unfortunately, the other side thinks it is obvious that they are correct. Without a wish to find some best compromise no progress will be made. Unfortunately, despite several requests, you don't seem to be interested in finding such a (possibly messy) compromise, and you don't seem to be interested in finding consensus (as I've defined it above). If that's the case, then I'm not sure you are going to enjoy your Wikipedia experience. --Merlinme (talk) 14:54, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Apologies[edit]

I am hjvesey, the new user who vandalized several Wikipedia articles tonight. I would just like to apologise on behalf of my friends. I argued that Wikipedia is now a fairly reliable first-stop source due to its thorough editing process and checks, and they took that as a challenge, using my computer and a username based on me. A few years ago I used to do minor edits on Wikipedia, mainly grammar, breaking apart long paragraphs, fixing outdated news and such, and I hope if this ever becomes a hobby for me again I won't find myself blocked. Again, sorry! Hjvesey (talk) 14:48, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Ok, no worries. Be aware that a WP:Vandalism-only account is liable to be blocked very quickly though, so please be careful who you allow access to your account! Regards, and good luck editing in the future. --Merlinme (talk) 16:38, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Hello?[edit]

Turn your email on, or mail me? (wmconnolley(at)gmain.com) William M. Connolley (talk) 19:56, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Sure. I'll send you an email now. What's up? --Merlinme (talk) 20:02, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Oops. Cunning misdirection on my part: that was of course "gmail.com" not gmain William M. Connolley (talk) 22:27, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Islamic Golden Age[edit]

Hi. Thanks for your collaboration in the clean-up effort. What makes you so optimistic that Islamic Golden Age can be saved from being stubbed? The article concentrates all the POV, SYN, OR and verifiability issues from the individual overview articles (such as Alchemy and chemistry, Psychology, Medicine in medieval Islam etc.). Gun Powder Ma (talk) 20:57, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Hmm yes you may well be right. It was mainly because I wished to be doing something, and no-one seemed to have directed attention at the article. What exactly is the procedure for suggesting stubbing? --Merlinme (talk) 21:01, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
There is no defined procedure, but I am orienting myself a bit on the analytical scheme of Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Jagged 85/Evidence which we worked out last year. Drop me an email for more details. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 21:25, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

BTW: just a note to say thanks for weighing in and helping William M. Connolley (talk) 17:09, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Yeah no worries. I was bored and a lot of my other watched articles are quiet at the moment. Although I didn't really anticipate spending so much time on the cleanup! It's a pretty mindblowing task.
I'm not sure how much further I'm going to be able to go with Golden Age- at which point I guess it will be time to move on to another of the hundreds of articles corrupted by Jagged. --Merlinme (talk) 17:13, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Record your cleanup[edit]

Hello. Could you please record your work progress at the newly created Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Jagged 85/Top edits and, if you haven't done so yet, at Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Jagged 85/Cleanup#Cleanup lists. The first link lists the most frequently articles edited by Jagged 85 by number of edits, the latter by total number of bytes added by him. As you know, keeping track of the cleanup effort is paramount to avoid double work. Thanks and regards Gun Powder Ma (talk) 01:34, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

As for the Lucas ref. drop me an email. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 21:25, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Reference checking[edit]

Hi there. Thank you for your work. Please feel free to bug me on my talk page for any reference checks related to science/culture of the medieval Islamic civilization. Al-Andalusi (talk) 21:23, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe‎[edit]

Re [Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe‎]]: I just wanted to say, thanks for keeping working on this, when all the rest of us got bored. Rest assured that your labours are noticed :-) William M. Connolley (talk) 10:38, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Thank you! Philosophy, medieval history and an amateur interest in science are areas which interest me quite a lot, so no great hardship. The scale of the task is rather daunting though. There's enough there to keep me going for months. Even after tidying up the whole article, in an idea world, pretty much every single link off the article would be checked. I do have some sympathy for people who want to eliminate the rubbish by deleting the whole lot. That would be a great shame though, as clearly Arab influence in philosophy, astronomy and medicine was significant. --Merlinme (talk) 10:44, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks from me also. A great deal of dedication is required to continue the work you are doing at Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe, and it is much appreciated. Johnuniq (talk) 23:07, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

My pleasure. Apologies if it's slowed down a bit recently, Real Life and all that. I think it's a lot better for the effort, anyway. --Merlinme (talk) 07:51, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

about deleting some text at Sci Opposing mainstream blah blah blah[edit]

Hi M, and I'm sorry! You're quite right I didn't read carefully. May I delete all of my comments and your replies to date in the new thread you started, except for a brief explanation that I deleted some text and why? That will just leave the thread with your original remark for a fresh startNewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:45, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that would be great. --Merlinme (talk) 13:47, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

0RR[edit]

0RR is ridiculous. I wish you'd get rid of that. You could also read arbcoms own opinion in the prior case :-( William M. Connolley (talk) 18:09, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Well, it would force you to discuss things, wouldn't it? Even if it just means getting another editor to agree with you that an edit is tosh. All of CC is 1RR anyway. I've proposed it because:
  1. I think it might make you slow down a bit; as I note in my comment, you don't necessarily have to fight every single battle yourself, I struggle to think of a recent example where I've done a revert on a CC article. Generally I've made my views clear and someone else has done the revert. At the moment you can't do any reverts or write any comments, can you? And:
  2. because the more restrictions imposed, the more likely it is that the topic ban will be removed. Which is presumably the point of the exercise? If you won't say "I was a bad boy, I see the error of my ways, I won't do it again", then we have to give ArbComm some reason to believe problems won't start again. --Merlinme (talk) 18:21, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I can't agree. It is too insulting. And people proposing new restrictions really doesn't help. I'm sure you mean well but this isn't helpful William M. Connolley (talk) 18:59, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
It isn't helpful, even if it's the difference between ArbCom reluctantly agreeing to remove the topic ban with restrictions reviewed after six months, vs. not removing the topic ban? I'm sure you have your pride, and I'm sure you don't think you've done anything wrong. I can understand why you think you haven't done anything wrong. But I honestly don't understand why 0RR, vs. a total topic ban, is insulting. If you're saying that if you were given topic access with 0RR you would consider it so insulting that you wouldn't make non reverting edits to climate change articles- in other words you would prefer to be topic banned- then I'm afraid I don't understand.
If you disagree, that's fine, but I'm not going to change my comment. --Merlinme (talk) 21:24, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Problematic Sources[edit]

Hello Merlinme, I've brought up an issue involving some commonly used sources on Islam-related entries on Wikipedia that you may want to weigh-in on. I mentio it to you because I've seen your sourcing work at Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe and elsewhere. The discussion is currently occurring here. :bloodofox: (talk) 23:12, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Any open items?[edit]

Hi Mer, you asked if I planned to address various points you raised on the u know what articles talk page. As of a moment ago I think I have caught up but point out any specific items I may have overlooked please. Note that there were several small outstanding wordsmithing quibbles in a lead change subsection, and in some comment somewhere I said I'm walking away from those for now.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:25, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Buried subthread[edit]

Hi M,

FYI... I may not have placed some comments very well and am calling your attention as a prior participant in the discussion, to be sure you are aware in case you wish to comment. Please see [this subthread above]. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:31, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I had seen it previously but thanks for reminding me to respond. I've reorganised to let people see the thread better, and left a long response. Cheers, merlin --Merlinme (talk) 17:14, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks[edit]

Thanks for your patience. I have replied to both of your points in what I hope is a more useful fashion and look forward to working with you to craft the best possible article. Thanks again and happy editing, Doc Tropics 17:11, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

My pleasure. I'm always hopeful cool heads will prevail! :-) --Merlinme (talk) 17:13, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Going silent[edit]

Hi Mer, A lot has been written on how to get people to listen... one principle is "do not waterboard them with argument or detail". So I'm going to stop rebutting every opposing comment that is posted, at least for awhile, and encourage you to do so as well. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:42, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

As you have probably seen, I didn't manage to hold back for long.... NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:31, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't tend to check Wikipedia over the weekend. I'll try to catch up now... --Merlinme (talk) 10:24, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

FYI[edit]

Hi Mer, I was rereading arguments citing quotefarm at you know where, and noticed your older remarks about 86 not being chased off, but rather just stopped adding to the talk page. Just an FYI, and I have not checked the dates to verify, but it is my guess he "stopped" during his extended block for disruptive editing. His most recent remarks, though in disagreement with my position, appear to be a much improved attempt at constructive dialogue, and I hope that continues! NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:26, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

I had a quick look at his block log and he was apparently blocked for 48 hours in December for violating 1RR. I'm not aware of any more extensive block.
He largely stopped editing the List... Talk page around the time he tried to get the page deleted by raising it on Jimbo's Talk page. I think it would be more accurate to say that he stopped editing for a while after he got a fair amount of flak for his tactics in trying to get the List page deleted. Anyway, he's clearly back now.--Merlinme (talk) 15:47, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Could be I was confused with someone else with a longer block. I did not check. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:45, 13 February 2012 (UTC)


Thank you[edit]

Thank you for guiding me to where I could find a tag on talk page of the article List of scientists opposing the mainstream assessment of global warming. By the way, do not worry about some one on your talk page claiming "Stop your bad faith accusations againsts me". The person who made this claim turned out to be a sock puppet who got banned from editing Wikipedia! ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:07, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

My pleasure. Sorry for not replying before, I've had a few days off. --Merlinme (talk) 11:33, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Should your comment be refactored?[edit]

Hi Merlinme, FYI it appears two of your comments wound up in the wrong thread. I was going to say "yes, whenever I feel like it, I'll move one. But probably just one at a time." but then I noticed it was the wrong thread. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 12:52, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

I'mm not a huge fan of moving comments, I think it can create more problems than it solves. I was just replying to the most recent activity on the page; the talk has drifted somewhat from the section heading. But if you really think it will make things clearer, then I guess go ahead and move. --Merlinme (talk) 13:47, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Talk page discussion[edit]

The entire talk page of List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming is unconstructive argumentation. Asking new editors to review it is not at all productive. If you have something in particular that you think is constructive to review, then please do point to it. Pointing to a giant wall of disruptive text isn't useful. aprock (talk) 19:37, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

There's a lot of unconstructive argumentation on the Talk page. The reason it hasn't become constructive recently is because no-one's been able to take the time to push a suggestion forward. However there are significant suggestions; I mentioned three. If I had the time I could probably move the graphic to a new consensus paragraph after the lead; move all the quotes to references and separate out peer-reviewed statements. I don't currently have the time though. I was hoping someone else would be able to drive forward some changes. New ideas are welcome of course, but I thought it might be helpful to point them in the direction of stuff which has recently been actively considered.
When we start arguing about the best way to advise people to help, though, I think it's fair to say we're reaching something of a new low in terms of unproductive talk page discussion. It's not going to be very encouraging to anyone considering helping out. --Merlinme (talk) 19:51, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Plenty of suggestions and edits have been made. They've all been met by entrenched gatekeepers. The article is a battleground, and I expect that it won't improve until the disruptions cease. aprock (talk) 22:01, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
You're basing that statement on your experience since you've joined the article. If you diff the article compared to how it was at the start of 2011, significant changes have been made; the graphic was added to improve the strength of the consensus statement, the lead has been rewritten, quotes have been cut down, and it's been made clear in what context each quote was made. The latter two changes were made by me, I helped with the lead and the graphic to some extent as well. I don't currently have the time to implement the biggest suggestion made recently, which is to move the quotes to references. That requires a lot of editing and a lot of consensus building on the Talk page. But I think it could be done; there was a lot of pressure for it at the AfD, and one of the people you consider to be the biggest gatekeepers (Kim) is open to the idea. But it requires someone with the time and patience to make it happen. I am not currently that person; I remain optimistic that it will be tried at some point though, either because someone else comes along who is able to push it forward, or possibly if I have more time (although I'm not seeing a great deal of chance of that happening in the foreseeable future). Do you want to try to build consensus for a significant change? --Merlinme (talk) 08:58, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
The graphic is nothing less than editor synthesis. Using that as an example only shows how the article has gotten worse. As mentioned several times on the talk page, we need to move away from the synthetic criterion devised by wikipedians to notable lists. aprock (talk) 17:24, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm afraid your confrontational approach to the article is rather reducing my desire to discuss these things with you. As far as I can see all you're achieving is increasing the amount of edit warring on the Talk page.
In yet another example of your confrontational approach you've completely ignored the other items which I mentioned and concentrated on the change (that I did not make) which, in your view, made the article worse. Given that, I don't see why I should waste my limited free time discussing the subject with you, as apart from anything else as I've previously noted as far as I can see you have zero chance of persuading anyone to change anything if you carry on as you are. Myself and Dragons flight are probably two of the more open to suggestions editors who watch on the article; if you've managed to alienate us already, heaven help you with everyone else. --Merlinme (talk) 17:58, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

You are confusing incivility with a frank discussion of the problems with the article, and an honest description of the non-policy arguments you are making. If you think there is a civility problem, then please do take that up on WP:WQA rather than posting to the article talk page. Please do consider not wasting your time on this article, more non-policy based justifications for OR and synthesis are counter productive. aprock (talk) 18:21, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

I honestly don't understand what you're trying to achieve. Your arguments are not making a great deal of sense to me, and judging by the Talk page discussion, I don't think they're making a great deal of sense to anyone else either. As far as I can see you want the article deleted; but there is no consensus for that, and has not been despite repeated AfDs. If you have sensible suggestions to make, please make them. Please don't, on the other hand, turn the Talk page into an even more unproductive battleground than it already is. --Merlinme (talk) 09:27, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
I've never said I want the article deleted. I've been explicit many times since that the problem is the inclusion criteria. I've also made specific suggestions as to how to address that by using secondary sources for inclusion. Your response here indicates that you haven't understood this, so I can only suggest that when you get a chance, please do review what I've actually posted to the article talk page. aprock (talk) 16:21, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Dispute resolution survey[edit]

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Dispute Resolution – Survey Invite


Hello Merlinme. I am currently conducting a study on the dispute resolution processes on the English Wikipedia, in the hope that the results will help improve these processes in the future. Whether you have used dispute resolution a little or a lot, now we need to know about your experience. The survey takes around five minutes, and the information you provide will not be shared with third parties other than to assist in analyzing the results of the survey. No personally identifiable information will be released.

Please click HERE to participate.
Many thanks in advance for your comments and thoughts.


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Suggestion[edit]

Hi M,

A certain editors strategy is to generate lots of words with chaotic organization for the purpose of preventing analysis. I'd like to suggest (A) extreme brevity and (B) putting any other and all other topics into different sections. Specifically, when he says "X" and (for example) we ask for examples..... that should be instantly visible to any editor at a DR noticeboard.

Lots of extra chat in that subsection about anything else buries that silver bullet.

NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 18:12, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Possibly best to cool it for now re. Jagged85[edit]

I obviously completely agree regarding your reading of the examples I posted on the Jagged85 RfC talk page. But I've reflected that it's going to be a fruitless waste of everyone's energy arguing about them any further on a talk page. According to Johnuniq's post there, anything further would really have to be written up properly and presented at the correct venue. And things like the false claims regarding the NES and its scrolling - which I'm unfamiliar with - could prove compelling if conclusively shown. bridies (talk) 15:01, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Fair enough, but we need to follow this through. This has to stop, it's ridiculous how much bad information he adds, it's going to take other editors thousands of hours to sort out the mess he leaves behind him. I'm happy to help out with any case you want to try to build re: the computer game stuff, although I don't currently have an enormous time to spend on Wikipedia. --Merlinme (talk) 15:18, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I think it's currently evident that a majority of his edits to the FPS article have been bad. So that merits going through the other genre articles at least - which will indeed take some time - and then we'll see what happens. bridies (talk) 05:57, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
The way I see it, the editors active in the field of video games have to make the first step to take the matter to the correct venue because they are the only ones knowledgable enough to identify bad edits and present them coherently. The editors involved in the first RFC/U about the 'Islamic stuff' could then chip in and help out making a case from their past experience with Jagged85's edit patterns, but they cannot take the initiative lacking the required expertise in (the history of) computer games. It's either doing a concerted and serious effort per WP guidelines or dropping the topic altogether for now because anything done in between will achieve nothing. Those who edit video games should ask themselves whether they will invest less time and effort in revising bad edits in a multitude of articles or get to the root of the problem. The ball in their field the way I see it. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 11:40, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I only know a small amount about the history of computer games, but then I only knew a small amount about "Islamic contributions to medieval Europe" before I started cleaning up that article. It doesn't necessarily require specialist knowledge, it just requires an ability to check edits and follow references. I'm comfortable with a computer and I'm comfortable doing research on the internet, so I'm happy to help out. However I agree that this should be led from the computer game community, because they will be able to know more quickly than others what are good edits and what are bad edits, and also because if I did it, specifically to get Jagged banned, it could look like something of a vendetta. I also don't have the time for Wikipedia that I did last year when I was cleaning up articles.
What worries me about what Jagged's done is that he's taken his bad habits, i.e. far too many careless edits, a desire to puff up something he considers important by claiming it was the first or unique, and appalling use of sources to apparently corroborate his claims, and applied them to a different subject area. The problem is not pushing a particular point of view, the problem is his whole approach to editing the encyclopedia. And from what I've seen recently, he has apparently learned nothing, and is still causing immense damage, without so much as a genuine apology for the mess he leaves behind him. --Merlinme (talk) 12:16, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Questia[edit]

Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, Volume 1 and 2 are online. I joined at my own expense but they have donated some accounts to wikipedia. see [10] If you need help with Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science let me know there are some good sources there. I paid 99$ for a 1 year deal and I think its worth it but free would be a better deal. I also signed up for Highbeam [11] and I got that one for free. I am still exploring both sites and editing I'm glad to help any way I can.J8079s (talk) 02:34, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. As you may be aware I am currently concentrating on building a new case against Jagged_85 for the damage he is still doing to the encyclopedia. However when that is out of the way I may have time to do some more constructive work. I've recently moved house, and that has been taking up a lot of my time this year.--Merlinme (talk) 08:48, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Alhazen[edit]

Replied there with quotes. Dougweller (talk) 14:58, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Talkback[edit]

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The article you requested per fair use[edit]

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B86iegI5pG5TWHJUcUdxUXdkSXM

Please let me know when you are done. Churn and change (talk) 17:06, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Doland and Maschler book[edit]

I will have it in a week, assuming the current borrower returns it. Surprising it is checked out at all. Will scan a few pages around 28 looking for the terms you mentioned. Churn and change (talk) 20:41, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Many thanks, that's perfect. In case you weren't aware, this is part of the Jagged_85 cleanup. He's an absolute nightmare for using hard to check references. Half the time I swear he just did a web search for some words and then used whatever article was mentioned as a source for stuff he made up. --Merlinme (talk) 20:49, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

To Save the Phenomena[edit]

Hi Merlinme,

I've emailed you the text of To Save the Phenomena as requested at WP:RX. GabrielF (talk) 19:51, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Ag[edit]

As I read the ban, it includes his own talk page. So you really shouldn't be "teasing" him by asking questions he can't reply to William M. Connolley (talk) 11:23, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

I wasn't trying to tease him, I was trying to get him to consider why what he had been doing was wrong. If he carries on like that he will probably be banned. I don't like to see people banned; I would prefer to debate the different points of view than to ignore other points of view. However he still doesn't seem to understand why what he did was wrong. Anyway, I don't have any intention of taking it any further. If he didn't hear what I was trying to say the first time, then repeating it is going to make no difference at all. --Merlinme (talk) 13:21, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
That's why I put "tease" in quotes. Well, we'll see if he has the sense to stop talking about CC there William M. Connolley (talk) 13:25, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Talkback[edit]

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Talkback[edit]

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silence sometimes best[edit]

Hi, When someone says they are no longer going to pursue a suggestion that you don't like, IMO the best possible response is silence, or at most to thank them for the discussion. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:33, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Fair enough, but I'm not entirely sure what we're talking about, bearing in mind I've barely made a Wikipedia edit this week! --Merlinme (talk) 08:52, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Oh.... guess I didn't check the date, it did happen awhile back. Nevermind... and I wasn't more specific on purpose, so as to not inadvertantly encourage more action in the thread. Sorry to bother you. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 09:44, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

List of Catholic scientists[edit]

Hello Sorry for the inconvenience, I just felt that i own you to explain "my edit" "father of", it's wasn't originally my own i only re-inserted the paragraph thinking that the problem was with "the Catholicism of scientists" that why i backed with sources cliams that they identified themselves as catholic, anyway after i readed the discussion i found that the problem was with the cliams of "father of" and how their faith had impact on their scientific discoveries. I hope that the new lead it's better? and i will work to improve it more. Thank you and Have a nice day.--Jobas (talk) 14:06, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
No problems, appreciate you taking the time to discuss it. --Merlinme (talk) 14:31, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Catholic Church and science[edit]

Hello, have you seen the Catholic Church and science article? I've just taken a glance at it for the first time and am noticing a lot of red, somewhat Jagged-like red flags all over. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:16, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

I had a very quick glance to confirm the article existed. I didn't really attempt to do any POV checking, although I did notice in passing some areas which concerned me.
I was mainly concentrating on one thing at a time, as it was originally the List article which was raised as a concern, and that certainly has significant issues. I currently don't have massive amounts of time for Wikipedia, but if you want to highlight any POV concerns in the Catholic Church and science article I'm happy to support you to the extent which I'm able. --Merlinme (talk) 16:23, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
I just went through and gutted a few sections but it remains full of issues. I also have little time to commit to this sort of thing at the moment, but I've pointed out some issues here and there that are deeper than I can invest a lot of time with at the moment. I had to completely remove the "dark ages" section. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:46, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I hope you're going to give a quick summary on the Talk page of the POV issues though, especially considering we have limited time. Quite often current editors of an article can be persuaded to improve it, if you can identify specific areas of concern. --Merlinme (talk) 17:39, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Public statements[edit]

I finally got a free moment to ask; I'm not sure I completely understand your argument on the sources noticeboard regarding public statements. Wouldn't a public statement necessarily need a source to substantiate it? Are you arguing that two or more questionable sources are, in totality, worthy of attesting a public statement? Or perhaps that a public statement is seemingly so uncontentious that it should stand more or less on its own merits? I'm certainly not asking to be critical; I'd just like to better understand your position on this. Buddy23Lee (talk) 04:35, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm actually not sure. I wasn't advancing an argument; I was asking a question. Is something which is published on the internet and claims to be the "official statement" of someone a good source? Is it a primary source? If it's reported in another source, does it become a secondary source? How much of its reliability depends on the reliability of the publisher (or reporter)? In particular, is it a reliable source for the views whose public statement it purports to be?
The Reliable Sources guidance repeatedly says that context is everything. For me, something which is published on graciemag.com as the "official statement" of a BJJ instructor should be reliable for their views; but graciemag.com itself is probably not a reliable source in most cases.
I'm genuinely interested in what consensus will be on this. --Merlinme (talk) 07:52, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. Well there's certainly no harm in exploring the issue. I now don't feel so bad for not understanding your argument, since you weren't focused on making one. Personally, I don't feel that any information forwarded by a source can somehow be divisible from the source itself, but that's just my take. The whole idea does sound so amusingly meta however that I almost have to support it on those grounds alone. :) Buddy23Lee (talk) 18:29, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

DRN needs your help![edit]

Hi there. I've noticed it's been a while since you've been active at DRN, and we could really use your help! DRN is going to undergo some changes soon, so it'd really be great if our backlog is cleared before the start of August and we have as many people on board to help with the changes (they include a move to subpages and the creation of a rotating "co-ordinator" role to help manage things day-to-day. Hope to see you soon! Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 11:34, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

The new face of DRN: Merlinme[edit]

Peacedove.svg

Recently the Dispute Resolution Noticeboard underwent some changes in how it operates. Part of the change involved a new list of volunteers with a bit of information about the people behind the names.

You are listed as a volunteer at DRN currently, to update your profile is simple, just click here. Thanks, Cabe6403(TalkSign) 17:18, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Your involvement with DRN[edit]

Hi there, I noticed that you haven't been as active at DRN as you was before. DRN has been a bit backlogged lately and we could use some extra hands. We have updated our volunteer list to a new format, Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard/Volunteers (your name is still there under the old format if you haven't updated it) and are looking into ways to make DRN more effective and more rewarding for volunteers (your input is appreciated!). If you don't have much time to volunteer at the moment, that's fine too, just move your name to the inactive list (you're free to add yourself back to active at any time). Hope to see you again soon :) Steven Zhang (talk) 13:20, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Steven, I volunteered when I had spare time and was looking for a new challenge. Unfortunately that didn't last, and I don't currently have time to edit Wikipedia as I'd like. I've therefore moved myself to the Inactive list. --Merlinme (talk) 16:59, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Books and Bytes: The Wikipedia Library Newsletter[edit]

Books and Bytes

Volume 1, Issue 1, October 2013

Eurasian Eagle-Owl Maurice van Bruggen.JPG

by The Interior (talk · contribs), Ocaasi (talk · contribs)

Greetings Wikipedia Library members! Welcome to the inaugural edition of Books and Bytes, TWL’s monthly newsletter. We're sending you the first edition of this opt-in newsletter, because you signed up, or applied for a free research account: HighBeam, Credo, Questia, JSTOR, or Cochrane. To receive future updates of Books and Bytes, please add your name to the subscriber's list. There's lots of news this month for the Wikipedia Library, including new accounts, upcoming events, and new ways to get involved...

New positions: Sign up to be a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar, or a Volunteer Wikipedia Librarian

Wikipedia Loves Libraries: Off to a roaring start this fall in the United States: 29 events are planned or have been hosted.

New subscription donations: Cochrane round 2; HighBeam round 8; Questia round 4... Can we partner with NY Times and Lexis-Nexis??

New ideas: OCLC innovations in the works; VisualEditor Reference Dialog Workshop; a photo contest idea emerges

News from the library world: Wikipedian joins the National Archives full time; the Getty Museum releases 4,500 images; CERN goes CC-BY

Announcing WikiProject Open: WikiProject Open kicked off in October, with several brainstorming and co-working sessions

New ways to get involved: Visiting scholar requirements; subject guides; room for library expansion and exploration

Read the full newsletter

Thanks for reading! All future newsletters will be opt-in only. Have an item for the next issue? Leave a note for the editor on the Suggestions page. --The Interior 21:11, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

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The Wikipedia Library Survey[edit]

As a subscriber to one of The Wikipedia Library's programs, we'd like to hear your thoughts about future donations and project activities in this brief survey. Thanks and cheers, Ocaasi t | c 15:30, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Lloyd Irvin[edit]

Why don't we just give it another 12-24 hours to see if any other (unlikely) comments come in on the BLPN and then assuming no surprise objections put up what you've crafted? It's at least a start. I hope I don't seem overly obstructivist about all this, it's just with so much drama on the last BLPN submissions I was hoping we could get a weak consensus together which would carry this content forward. At least we haven't gotten any crazy opposition yet, and maybe that's the best anyone can ask for at this point, no? :) Buddy23Lee (talk) 20:33, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

I was tending to assume that if went another 12 hours or so without any comments then I would assume at least tacit consensus that no-one sees any BLP issues. Goodness knows people are eager enough to jump in if they think there are any genuine issues.
Re: the free paper issue, well it depends on the free paper, doesn't it? A lot of papers have gone free because they find that's the best business model they can come up with. See, for example, the London Evening Standard, which is a very venerable newspaper which recently went free. Or, to use a US example, The Village Voice is free.
Being free doesn't necessarily mean you have low journalistic or editorial standards; the Miami New Times has apparently won awards, including awards for investigative journalism. While multiple references are preferred, as I understand it one good reference is sufficient. In this case we have six pages of investigation directly concerned with Lloyd Irvin. It must have taken the reporter months to interview that many people and investigate that many records.
Unless it can be clearly shown it's unfair reporting (and all of Irvin's students did say all those things, you can find most of the statements online; Keenan Cornelius's family were some of the star interviewees for the article; all of those court cases did actually happen) I can't see how you can claim it's not a good source. --Merlinme (talk) 22:35, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Ok, ok, relax. It's already been acknowledged it's a working source. Lord knows we've wasted enough time on this article, who cares what my opinion is of the bloody source? I'd almost considered submitting this topic to the Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard to address the balance issue, since that seemed to be the single concern of the BLPN commenter, but enough is enough. Let's just agree to disagree on some issues, we'll likely submit the content soon, and no one will be entirely happy with it. Thus, we'll know that we've reached a agreeable compromise for both sides. Sound good? Buddy23Lee (talk) 22:53, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, that perhaps came across as sharper than I intended. But I did feel that if we can't use a six page in-depth report by a newspaper which has won an award for investigative reporting, what on earth can we use? The story is almost certainly never going to be covered by a bigger news outlet than this, and that's not a reflection of the relative significance of the story to Lloyd Irvin, that's a reflection of the fact that MMA is a fairly niche sport. If it had been (for example) an olympic wrestling coach who had been involved in the same sort of controversy we would presumably have a lot more sources to draw from. As it is, we make use of all the reliable sources we have available, which as far as I can see is one in-depth report by a reliable newspaper. The Miami New Times article also has the great advantage of summarising all the other (somewhat unreliable) sources. I did try to construct something previously using Irvin's own words and so on, but this way the whole thing can be summarised much more succinctly.
I'll make the edit now. --Merlinme (talk) 09:15, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Looks good - probably the most objective and least policy-issue fraught edit currently possible. Staying away from the rape stuff really does remove a lot of what I think aggravated people. I do disagree that the lack of sources isn't a reflection of the relevance. FOX, NBC, ESPN, and the associated press are all very eager and willing to report on any allegation (particularly sexual) of anyone in MMA these days. Irvin strikes me as pretty tangential to the whole scene, but as your source substantiates, he is evidently worthy of that six-page investigative report and thus it would seem wiki worthy. I guess a big concern I had from the beginning is trying to determine who's working for a neutral encyclopedic entry (for all articles) and who's just looking to slander Irvin for personal gain. Since I'm not from that coast, I don't know the local/regional rivalries, but I would imagine that plenty of competitors would love to see his organization leave the market. At any rate, you strike me as the former, so I'd trust your edits and POV on this more than anyone at this point. If you'd care to, let me know if you have wiki projects or issues now or in the future, as I'd be pleased to work with you again. I'll make a concerted effort to be less contrarian. :) Buddy23Lee (talk) 19:26, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the vote of confidence. :-) I'm certainly not someone with an axe to grind re: Irvin, I'm neither based in the US nor a BJJ person; I'm just a guy who does a bit of kickboxing once a week and likes following MMA. I can't even remember how I came across the Irvin stuff, maybe on Sherdog, or did they mention it on Gracie Breakdown? Who knows. Anyway, as you can probably gather if you look at my edit history, my main interests are medieval and military history, with an occasional bit of global warming and science thrown in, but I do improve articles I read where I can. When I came to Wikipedia to find out more about Irvin I was surprised to find zero mention of the incident, given how much of a big deal it seemed to be in the MMA press. The Wikipedia biography seemed to be downright misleading, in fact, in that it didn't even mention what seemed to be the biggest ongoing event in his life. The issue (as I now know) was lack of reliable sources, because online MMA sites do not make brilliant sources. I am essentially an WP:Inclusionist; if it's probably true then I think it should probably be in (or at least it shouldn't be deleted), but I have come round more to specifically referencing specific expert opinions, rather than what we believe to be roughly accurate. In any case, in future I may be more patient (especially in controversial areas) that if something matters enough to be worth including in the encyclopedia then, given time, reliable secondary sources will be written, allowing the material to be included in Wikipedia with good references. The fact that a reporter with a reputable newspaper thought it was an interesting enough story to do a full-length feature on after the criminal trial ended means we have external verification that it's a story of sufficient interest to be included. If on the other hand the whole thing had blown over and was never mentioned again outside of blog posts then I guess it wouldn't have been worthy to be included.
Anyway, I'm glad you trust my motives and would be pleased to work with me again. I'd be more than happy to help out if there's anything you think would benefit from my assistance, and I'll certainly bear you in mind if I could use some help in a BJJ or similar context.
And a tip o' the hat to you too. :-) --Merlinme (talk) 21:05, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Wars of the Roses & Weir plagiarism[edit]

I have found some instances of plagiarism arising from Alison Weir's book and have posted my concerns on the talk page. Also included is a paragraph that is of possible use, but only if it can be re-written and cited with scholarly sources. Just thought I would give you a heads up. --Kansas Bear (talk) 19:45, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Ok, thanks, I'll have a look. --Merlinme (talk) 08:50, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Alhazen[edit]

After waiting more than 1 week for Rarevogel to present his evidence, I have made a proposal on the Alhazen talk page. --Kansas Bear (talk) 04:54, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Ways to make sourcing accessible: Google Books[edit]

Merlin, I saw your discussions at WP:RX about verifiability. One thing I've been doing is going back over some edits of mine and linking to Google Books whenever possible. It makes my edits more verifiable and it more easily allows the public to verify edits.

Are you aware of the usage of archival systems? http://web.archive.org, http://archive.is, and http://webcitation.org allow pages to be archived so that even if they are taken down, they can be still of use as they are saved elsewhere. In one case I systematically archived all of the "Dark Alliance" website revolving around Gary Webb's newspaper articles, so there would be no one failure point for the articles: Talk:Gary_Webb/DarkAllianceArchives. WhisperToMe (talk) 21:36, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Interesting, thank you. I do use Google books and Amazon and questia where available for verification. Some of Jagged_85's sources were so obscure they're not available in any of those, which is how I end up on resource exchange. For some of them I'm suspicious he deliberatelychose something that wasn't available online, using only the abstract which vaguely mentioned something he was claiming. If he added it and I can't verify it I delete it. I only leave it in if I personally verified it. Including a link to Google books (if available) is a good idea though, I'll try to do that from now on.--Merlinme (talk) 08:07, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Yep. With links like http://books.google.com/books?id=DUHAXXvSUeYC&pg=PA103#v=onepage&q&f=false , the number after the "PA" is the page number. Some Google book previews do not show page numbers and the URLs do not give clues as to what page number it is, so I quote text to make up for the lack of page numbers (to mark where the content begins). WhisperToMe (talk) 09:37, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Another trick is if a source is available in multiple places, indicate all of the places where it is available. In Gulfton, Houston I found one of the essays within an essay collection book was also published as a journal article. Another trick is to write books about essay collections and scholarly books, such as De l'un au multiple: Traductions du chinois vers les langues européennes and Deng Xiaoping and the Making of Modern China since you can also write issues reviewers found with the book in the "Reviews" section and state additional facts about the book in the "Talk" section. Having these out in the open will make Wikipedians use these sources better. WhisperToMe (talk) 18:59, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Response[edit]

Thank you for the notes and thank you for imroving my edits. 1. Thomas T. Allsen is Professor in the Department of History, The College of New Jersey, Ewing. His publications include Commodity and Exchange in the Mongol Empire. His quotes was taken from his book: Culture and Conquest in Mongol Eurasia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2. There is another source about the contributions of Eastern Christians and particularly Nestorians in Islamic civilization I think it's a Reliable source it's written by Dimitri Gutas: Greek Thought, Arabic Culture: The Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in Baghdad and Early 'Abbasaid Society (http://books.google.it/books?id=EUpfyCZHXPUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Greek+Thought,+Arab+Culture&hl=iw&sa=X&ei=Qk36Up_4G6L9ygO8g4Fg&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Greek%20Thought%2C%20Arab%20Culture&f=false) thank you again and have a good day.--Jobas (talk) 16:34, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for February 25[edit]

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The Canon of Medicine[edit]

Hi, I have reverted to my edit as the information is correct, although I admit my initial reference was ill-founded. I have changed the reference I have used. The information I am referring to can also be seen on the Wikipedia page Gerard of Cremona. The page regarding the Canon of Medicine contained misinformation & I have updated it accordingly.Fiedorczuk (talk) 15:33, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

An essay by an unknown student is not a Reliable Source. Please see Talk:The_Canon_of_Medicine#Gerard_of_Cremona where I've listed the reliable sources I can find. Please add your comments there. --Merlinme (talk) 16:01, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Discretionary sanctions 2013 review: Draft v3[edit]

Hi. You have commented on Draft v1 or v2 in the Arbitration Committee's 2013 review of the discretionary sanctions system. I thought you'd like to know Draft v3 has now been posted to the main review page. You are very welcome to comment on it on the review talk page. Regards, AGK [•] 00:16, 16 March 2014 (UTC)