User talk:Newyorkbrad

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I'll be on vacation with very limited online time and access from tomorrow (Thursday) until January 25.

Regarding the GameGate arbitration case (which is the only thing I'm still active on as an arbitrator), I've kept up with the evidence and workshop and will be able to finish my participation by deliberating and voting when I get back. However, if the case were to finish up before I get back or there is anything to be voted on that needs to be resolved in the interim, I should be marked inactive for that aspect so that I don't hold up the deliberations or affect the majority while I'm gone.

I hope no one will be offended if I don't think much about Wikipedia for the next two-plus weeks.

Best regards to all. Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:44, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Have a wonderful time. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 21:29, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm still traveling but have some limited access. I'd say "wish you all were here," but I don't think there's room. Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:55, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

GamerGate case[edit]

Your statement with regards to the Gamaliel finding is wrong. I do not believe anyone has accused "substantially every admin" of being involved in the topic area. While some editors have carelessly thrown around allegations of admins being involved, I have only centered on seven admins in that regard and only two have been particularly active admins in the topic area. Bilby and Cuchullain both acknowledged being involved, though Cuchullain made the dubious claim that despite being involved with regards to Sarkeesian he wasn't involved at first with GamerGate, even though Sarkeesian was prominently associated with GamerGate from the outset. Another was Black Kite, who is pretty obviously involved as demonstrated in my evidence. For the most post those admins primarily used revision deletion tools with some involvement in closing conduct noticeboard discussions.

Gamaliel and Dreadstar are the only admins who took several significant actions who I accused of being involved and with Dreadstar my concern is as much about his attitude towards criticism and overall competence. I accused Gorman of being involved, but in my opinion the opposition research aspect is much more disconcerting. An admin should know better than to do what he did. While I have criticized HJ's actions and those of Acroterion I have neither accused them of being involved as it concerns GamerGate nor suggested they be barred from taking administrative action in these areas. I do not believe any allegation of involvement I have made has been unwarranted. Numerous admins have taken action in this topic area whose conduct has not been raised at all by me or anyone else because there is simply no reason to raise it. You seem to think that the admins I am bringing up are the only admins doing anything in the topic area when that is far from the case.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 07:26, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Why do you assume that my comment relates exclusively to you? Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:17, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
As I said, I do not believe anyone has accused "substantially every admin" of being involved. That said, perhaps you should consider whether this particular topic is the type that would be more likely to invite involved admin action. By that, I mean, GamerGate represents the intersection of divisive identity politics, BLP, discretionary sanctions, and one of the most popular editing topics on Wikipedia. BLP and discretionary sanctions leave admins with much greater leeway, while it representing an intersection of identity politics and gaming means it is far more likely that you are going to have admins who have strong feelings on the subject. This is especially the case in the context of constant discussion about the gender gap on Wikipedia itself biasing people's attitudes regarding these issues. It would hardly be unusual for there to an above-average occurrence of involved admin action.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 05:42, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I havent looked at this case until now, and only by accident. I thought your term ended, no? ‎ (Two kinds of pork 06:52, 21 January 2015)
He is still active for this case since it started last year.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 07:35, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. See Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee#Membership. Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:39, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Any plans for your soon to be enjoyed freedom? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Two kinds of pork (talkcontribs) 01:20, 22 January 2015‎
  • You know, you could polish the harassment principle.... Ncmvocalist (talk) 21:01, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Well, looks like the case is coming to a close soon, so I guess there's no consensus within the committee for explicitly stating it is prohibited? One of your colleagues apparently thought it was irrelevant, but didn't propose a principle in relation to an alternate term like meatpuppetry either (but did make a passing reference in a recently drafted remedy). Ncmvocalist (talk) 15:39, 26 January 2015 (UTC)


If you can spare a bit of time to offer some advice on a Wikipedia-related matter, please contact me by Wikipedia email. --TS 05:07, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

I can follow up on this when I'm back tomorrow. Please let me know if that would be timely, or if you've already addressed your issue some other way. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:40, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
There is no hurry. Thanks for acknowledging. --TS 17:43, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
E-mail sent. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Received. I'll get a reply together as soon as I can, but again, this is not an urgent matter and a leisurely pace may suit us both. --TS 15:45, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

might you examine[edit]

List of American federal politicans convicted of crimes revision history? An IP seems to think BRD means "keep pushing your own edit even after an RfC has been started" and ignoring a very polite EW notice. BTW, I am not guilty of the strange title <g>. Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:43, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Interesting. I'll address this tomorrow. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:17, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm the IP in question. I would appreciate your input into the underlying question, however it goes. Please note that when I made my third re-revert, I wasn't aware that an RfC section had been created because of a faulty edit by Collect. Please see in the last version of the Talk page before I made that third re-revert (here: ) that the RfC was inserted after the References header; I simply didn't know I needed to scroll past that point to see any additional content. Once I realized what happened, I fixed the error and began participating in the RfC discussion. I've made the same error a couple of times myself in creating a new section, so no big deal, I think; the New Section button simply doesn't seem to realize that the References section needs to stay at the bottom. (talk) 00:30, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I think the IP and others favoring including Agnew on the list have the better of this argument. It is common ground that Agnew pleaded guilty to a criminal charge a few minutes after he resigned. It is obvious, and also common ground, that the prosecution team investigated and prepared the charge against Agnew while he held his federal office. In addition to other sources discussing the procedural history, see the court decisions in Agnew v. State of Maryland, 51 Md. App. 614, 446 A.2d 425 (1982) and Maryland State Bar Association v. Agnew, 271 Md. 543, 552, 318 A.2d 811 (1974). While Collect is correct that the court proceeding did not take place until a few minutes after Mr. Agnew resigned, it would be fictive to pretend that "the prosecution" took place entire after Agnew was out of office. I therefore recommend that Vice President Agnew be included in the listing, but that a short explanation be appended explaining that the formal preferment of and plea to the charge occurred immediately following the resignation. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:19, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I fear you missed the lead of the article where it is fairly clear the list was to have people who committed crimes while in office -- Agnew was not VP in 1967 - the year for which he pled nolo. Collect (talk) 21:41, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Hey Collect, a minor correction if I may. The first sentence of the article is "This list consists of American politicians convicted of crimes either committed or prosecuted while holding office in the federal government." (Hope you don't mind my adding emphasis to clarify the part you overlooked.<g>) Thus Brad's point that "it would be fictive to pretend that 'the prosecution' took place entire after Agnew was out of office" is relevant. But then I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.<g> Regards, Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 21:56, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Did you miss the sentence of "while they were in office"? ("The list also does not include crimes which occur outside the politician’s tenure unless they specifically stem from acts while they were in office. ") Collect (talk) 22:20, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the lead is inconsistent. It would probably be a good idea to work with other editors at the article to hammer out something clearer. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 22:25, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
As SBHB inferred, I relied on the words "... or prosecuted while holding office..." (meaning federal office, not a prior state or local office). I agree with both of you that the later sentence may be inconsistent with those words, in which case that inconsistency needs to be addressed before the Agnew conversation can move forward much. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:54, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree as well, and I added a comment on the talk page that offers a foundation for a possible solution here: [[1]]. (talk) 23:21, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Interestingly, I see in this earlier version of the article that the later sentence dates back to when the article was titled "List of American politicians convicted of crimes" so the apparent intent of that sentence was never to require that the crime was committed during Federal service, simply that it was committed while the subject was a politician in office, which is true in the instant case. That seems pretty conclusive on that point, at least. (talk) 23:35, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
One more comment here and I'll leave you in peace. :-) I've made a specific proposal for a revised lead paragraph: Talk:List_of_American_federal_politicans_convicted_of_crimes#Proposed_revisions_to_lead_paragraph (talk) 01:12, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

(od) I think agreement is at hand - and my position that Agnew belongs in the "State and local" parallel list will end up as the result. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:04, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I have no objection to including Agnew in the state and local list, but he also belongs in the federal list because of the substantial effect his prosecution and conviction had on US federal politics. Most people know Agnew as a federal politician convicted of a federal crime while in federal office; we shouldn't adopt definitions that will inevitably frustrate the reasonable and fact-based expectations of our users. (talk) 21:36, 26 January 2015 (UTC)


You write:

I actually do think this sort of remedy is potentially helpful. If even one or two solid, uninvolved, experienced editors were to enter the area, that could be very worthwhile.

Actually I think we're very likely to see this. In the past couple of days I've seen some editors who either went away previously or are apparently new to the topic examine sources in the draft version and point out errors. This is encouraging after months on end of people coming up and talking about the editors or the topic, anything but the article. There are inevitably going to be some errors that would have been picked up earlier in normal circumstances. So the good news is that they're already being taken care of.

It could all go horribly wrong of course if the dire predictions come true, a renewed wave of warriors come in, and everybody gets defensive again. But I think there are good signs that after months of turf war there is going to be a period of pretty normal editing.

I feel it's probably going to be better than I hoped. Discretionary sanctions is the big prize here. Sensible editors behave themselves when there is a penalty for not acting nicely even in the face of provocation. We need sensible editors, not the other kind. --TS 14:24, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I thought this was going to be a scintillating conversation about Auditing (Scientology) based on the heading, but it's just boring Gamergate stuff. Jehochman Talk 15:30, 24 January 2015 (UTC)


It looks like I might be taking a bit of a break myself, which, honestly, I don't necessarily mind. If that is the case, I was wondering whether you might be willing to take the lead in the Landmark Worldwide "comment" committee, which I was actually kind of hoping you would do anyway, although I couldn't say that at the time. Basically, what I was envisioning was something like what was done at the end of one of the Macedonia arbitrations, getting together a group of people to review the arguments and sources for various opinions, reviewing the sources presented, and then putting together an RfC for broader community input summarizing the material presented to them and their opinions and views of the sources provided to support those opinions. Your own expertise is obviously in law, and I think one of the issues involved will ultimately relate to a legal decision. You are also, probably, one of the most respected individuals here and probably one of the best to neutrally phrase a proposal for a broader community RfC. Anyway, as I may be gone for a while, good to have you back anyway. John Carter (talk) 20:54, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

I sincerely appreciate your confidence in me, but my goal in stepping away from ArbCom and related responsibilities for awhile is to focus on creating or editing some articles of my own, so I'd rather not begin my time as a non-arb by wading right back into a controversy I arbitrated. Especially one as to which I know very little of the underlying subject-matter. My apologies. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:06, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for January 26[edit]

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Lachlan Foley ban proposal[edit]

I was just looking at this, and I'm not convinced a topic ban is the right thing to do. For example, see Leviathan (song). There's really not much in the article at this point indicating why it's notable, but Lugnuts repeatedly reverted his addition of the notability and refimprove tags. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 13:20, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I consider articles like this harmless and time spent in arguing about their deletion fundamentally misguided. Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:17, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
He's not arguing about deletion, though -- he's adding a tag that says "please show why it's notable". If he were trying to delete all of these, that would arguably be disruptive. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:20, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
You've identified one tag that is defensible, but the consensus is that there were a whole lot that weren't. I don't think taking no action at all is viable. If you can think of a proportionate action that would be less drastic than a complete tagging ban, you should propose it in the ANI thread. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:31, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure the consensus is showing that. Have you checked the latest discussion? I have no history with Lachlan that I can remember, nothing significant with Lugnuts that comes to mind, and no particular interest in British music -- I'm just concerned that it looks like someone's getting railroaded for suboptimal reasons.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 17:39, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Arrow's impossibility theorem[edit]

Arrow's impossibility theorem is one of the most elegant theories in econmics. In summary, it say that no voting system can distinguish between three candidates perfectly, such that if a every person prefer candidate "better," to candidate "worse," candidate worse cannot win, and the order in which votes are counted is irrelevant, and that no voter has all the votes.

Because this applies to every voting system, it also applies to arbcom. If you were to switch your vote on 4.2 NorthBySouthBaranof admonished from oppose to support, 4.1, which you also oppose, but is passing and more severe than 4.2 would fail.

In effect, because you are "opposing" both, you are, in effect, supporting 4.1 vs 4.2. I just thought you might want to be aware of this. Hipocrite (talk) 17:18, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

PS: My statement about vote counting order is insufficient, but the only relevant condition here. Hipocrite (talk) 17:20, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I'll take another look at this. I'm well aware of Arrow's Theorem and vote-counting problems. I may write an essay about its relevance to wiki on my wikiblog sometime, and I've been meaning to write up a discussion of its application in the U.S. Supreme Court since the first time I read the chapter of Super Chief about Bell v. Maryland. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:41, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

It would be nice if ArbCom recognized that a plurality vote for a "finding of fact" does not carry the same final weight as a simple plurality vote on an actual sanction of any sort. The vote needed for an actual sanction should be greater than that needed for a finding of fact, which is generally not highly debated in practice by the members. And I still think someone who speaks normal English should rewrite the boilerplate invariably attached to every decision. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:03, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Actually, someone (I think it might have been Rich Farmbrough) did a nice job at rewriting some of the boilerplate principles on a PD talkpage a couple of cases ago. I leave to my successors the task of improving on and adopting some of his suggestions. No comment on what it might be "nice if ArbCom recognized," since I ain't gonna work 'round there no 'more, except to note that adopting a sanction requires a majority and not a mere plurality. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:14, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
And still "simple majority" seems a tad weak when it comes to major blocks or bans - on a current case, a majority may be six or fewer, which seems to be less than we would require at AN/I for a block or ban <g>. Collect (talk) 23:08, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Gamergate 1RR Remedy[edit]

May I ask why you support this for The Devil's Advocate, but oppose it for Ryulong? It seems like it would be open to being gamed in both instances. (talk) 17:23, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

There are specific reasons of an off-wiki nature that I can't get into here. That said, I would probably oppose it for TDA also if I were assured the site-ban still wouldn't pass. I don't want to see him banned outright. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:40, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate your clarification and am not trying to influence your vote, this struck me as a simple oversight. Thanks for confirming that you do, in fact, have reasons. (talk) 22:19, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
In my years of having done this job, I have made my share of oversights, but usually I have had reasons. Perhaps sometimes lousy reasons, that's not for me to say, but reasons nonetheless. Best regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:28, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Saturday February 7 in NYC: Black Life Matters Editathon[edit]

Saturday February 7 in NYC: Black Life Matters Editathon
Statue-of-liberty tysto.jpg

You are invited to join us at New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for our upcoming editathon, a part of the Black WikiHistory Month campaign (which also includes events in Brooklyn and Westchester!).

12:00pm - 5:00 pm at NYPL Schomburg Center, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard (Lenox Avenue), by W 135th St

The Wikipedia training and editathon will take place in the Aaron Douglas Reading Room of the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, with a reception following in the Langston Hughes lobby on the first floor of the building at 5:00pm.

We hope to see you there!--Pharos (talk) 06:03, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

(You can subscribe/unsubscribe from future notifications for NYC-area events by adding or removing your name from this list.)

just for laughs[edit]

I see you don't really "do" userboxen (I use only a few myself) but knowing you as I do I thought you'd appreciate this. Note the bananas. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:14, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

I previously shared this within the Committee, but my views on leaving ArbCom might best be reflected in this video reflecting the recent transfer of the Chief Judge position on the Ninth Circuit from Judge Kozinski to Judge Thomas, beginning around 27:50.

Less flippantly, I'd like to thank everyone in the community who entrusted me with this responsibility for three terms, and I look forward to doing other work around the wiki. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:05, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

As one of them (not from the beginning, as my user is only 5 years old, and when a friend told me he was an arb once I had no idea what that meant), and also as someone who isn't into userboxes: I was asked about one, and here it is for you, as a reminder
Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg
This user has been identified as an Awesome Wikipedian.

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:15, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

  • I went hunting for a suitable barnstar but none of them seemed suitably battle-scarred or said "congratulations on surviving". Thank you for your many years of service, Newyorkbrad; I hope you'll stick around and work on some other things as well. I'm sorry that your last case had to be such a messy one. Risker (talk) 02:10, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
    • How quickly the mighty fall ... one moment you're Senior Arbitrator and the next you're haggling on ANI over the worst original Star Trek episode. (Wouldn't it be cool if real life had a episode for delete? Get enough votes and it never happened. That and the last Seinfeld episode) NE Ent 03:00, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
      • Nonsense. "The Way to Eden" and "Spectre of the Gun" were much worse. Regards anyway, Newyorkbrad (talk) 03:06, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Congratulations on the official end of your Arbitration Committee service. Looks like you will soon be testing the waters of ArbCom as a litigant at the soon to be announced Star Trek case. May the force be with you, O Captain, My Captain Kirk. --DHeyward (talk) 03:20, 29 January 2015 (UTC)