Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

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The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines.
If you want to propose something new that is not a policy or guideline, use the proposals section.
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Please see this FAQ page for a list of frequent proposals and the responses to them.

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Critics of relativity... "viewpoints are not accepted by the scientific community."[edit]

WRONG FORUM:

This is not the correct place at Wikipedia to get article content changed. No substantive change to any Wikipedia policy or guideline page is being proposed nor is any new policy or guideline being proposed to be created. Either confine the discussion to Talk:Criticism of the theory of relativity, pursue dispute resolution, or start a new thread where a new policy page, or a change to an existing policy page, is proposed. This discussion may or may not be appropriate to have somewhere, but this location at Wikipedia is definitely not it. --Jayron32 00:03, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Regarding the lead in the "Criticisms of the theory of relativity" article: "Even today there are some critics of relativity (sometimes called "anti-relativists"), however, their viewpoints are not accepted by the scientific community." Is this Wikipedia policy, i.e., in effect, "No criticism of relativity allowed?" If so it must be changed to allow a fair representation of published criticism of relativity. (See subsection on my talk page.) LCcritic (talk) 18:39, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

See WP:FRINGE. Jackmcbarn (talk) 18:44, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
@LCcritic: I am afraid you have failed to detect the sarcasm in the recommendation made on your talk page to attempt to change Wikipedia's policy on fringe theories. Note that it is possible to provide due coverage of fringe ideas, but sourcing needs to be presented that shows the theories you promote are themselves notable. Thus far, none of the sources you have provided are reliable. VQuakr (talk) 19:04, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Don't let them discourage you. It was to be expected that those steeped in the old ways would merely point at their misguided traditions. This is the place where policy is made, and "consensus is determined by the quality of arguments". The stage is set, the lights are on: present your argument. Paradoctor (talk) 19:43, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Please someone block this poor guy now, for his own good - WP:SOAP, WP:NOTHERE issues, thanks.--cyclopiaspeak! 20:11, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
LCcritic, there is simply no possibility that you will be permitted to use Wikipedia to promote your anti-relativist arguments. This has been made entirely clear to you on multiple occasions, and you have only two choices - accept it and work within Wikipedia guidelines and policies, or find somewhere else to advance your theories. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:53, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
The sources and your interpretations, as listed on your talk page, were dismissed on various previously shopped fora. For a partial overview of places where the dismissals have taken place, see here. - DVdm (talk) 21:09, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Will someone here please address the issue of policy which endorses the above quoted statement that no criticism of relativity is "accepted by the scientific community?" If those who agree are allowed to "dismiss" all such published criticism (as cited), then no criticism is accepted as legitimate. In that case, the "Criticisms of the theory of relativity" article should simply be reduced to one short statement: "There is no legitimate criticism of relativity theory." Btw, I am not promoting "my personal point of view," as constantly accused. Einstein said clearly that he was not a realist: “It appears to me that 'real' is an empty meaningless category (drawer) whose immense importance lies only in that I place certain things inside it and not certain others." Also, "'The physical world is real.'... The above statement seems intrinsically senseless..." Also, "I concede that the natural sciences concern the “real,” but I am still not a realist." (Letter from Albert Einstein to Eduard Study (Sept. 25, 1918.) Wikipedia; Realism: “Philosophical realism, belief that reality exists independently of observers." "Real" criticism of relativity comes from realists (as I have cited), but they are not allowed a voice even in the (sham) "Criticisms of the theory of relativity" article. I appeal to a consensus to change that policy (or that agreement to dismiss all criticism) to allow "real" fair coverage of "CriticismsLCcritic (talk) 18:59, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Ps; In case I did not make the relevance of realism clear: Length contraction theorists claim that physical objects and the distances between them (stars, for instance) contract as a result of being observed/measured from from different frames in motion relative whatever is observed. This frame-dependence of physical lengths and distances denies realism, as defined most simply above. — Preceding unsigned comment added by LCcritic (talkcontribs) 19:10, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
There are well-documented, published, criticisms of relativity; what makes such criticisms worth mentioning is not their acceptance or denial by anyone, or even that they are or are not criticisms, but that they are well documented in reliable sources as such. After all, Wikipedia has many articles and sections on notable pieces of bullshit, such as the flat earth, homeopathy, astrology, etc. The difference is two-fold 1) Wikipedia only presents information on such pieces of known bullshit in proportion to how the reliable sources do. Any wingnut with a website can say anything they want, that doesn't mean Wikipedia needs to mention it, even to refute it. Some stuff is just not worth mentioning here. This has nothing to do with whether something is bullshit or not, but rather, how much attention the bullshit has gotten. 2) Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy doesn't demand we give equal credence to the possibility that every position is equally valid. Rather, we're allowed to call bullshit "bullshit", and not pretend like it's filet mignon. If there aren't any widely accepted criticisms of relativity within the science community, then we say that there aren't. We don't pretend as though, merely because such criticisms exist, and even if such criticisms are notable enough in their own right, that they are accepted. That doesn't mean we don't mention the notable criticisms, we do mention them. To show how they are widely refuted. --Jayron32 19:24, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
If you are proposing that Wikipedia makes a specific change to policy, please indicate what specific change you are proposing, and the grounds on which you are advocating such a change. - the village pump noticeboards are not an appropriate place to discuss specific problems with specific articles. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:16, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Allow criticism of relativity from published realists. Presently no "real" such criticism is allowed. (See quote from "Criticisms..." article lead.)LCcritic (talk) 20:07, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
So what specific changes to the wording of which specific policy are you proposing? AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:04, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't know what specific policy resulted in the quoted lead statement that no criticism of relativity is "accepted by the scientific community?" Yet the list of critical publications on my talk page has all been swept aside as not legitimate, and that opinion seems to have a consensus here, as the distinction between "mainstream" and "fringe" science. The result is that the philosophy of shrinking physical objects and the distances between them, between stars for instance (length contraction) stands as "mainstream," allowing no criticism from realism, i.e., as succinctly quoted from Wikipedia on realism above. Ps: "Real criticism" is based on realism, as so defined. My list of authors are examples of realists, in this context. LCcritic (talk) 18:21, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Define "real criticism." — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:29, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
TIMECUBE IS TRUTH. --108.38.196.65 (talk) 17:05, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

LCcritic, the relevant policy is "Reliable Sources", which has been summarized as saying that Wikipedia articles on science need to be based on "reputable publications in peer-reviewed journals, books published by a known academic publishing house or university press, or divisions of a general publisher which have a good reputation for scholarly publications". As you surely know, there's an abundance of reliable sources (according to this definition) stating that special relativity is logically self-consistent, thoroughly tested, and empirically successful (and, by the way, completely compatible with objective realism). There are no modern reputable sources (according to the stated definition) claiming otherwise. This is the basis for the statement you quoted from the article on "criticisms of relativity". In contrast, all the sources you've advocated for inclusion in the article fail to meet the stated criteria of "reliable sources". So, in order to get those sources into Wikipedia you would have to change the Wikipedia definition of "reliable sources" - or else persuade Wikipedia to allow unreliable sources. I don't think either of those is likely.EllisMcgraw (talk) 19:36, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

EllisMcgraw, I understand the policy labeled as "Reliable Resources." Of course the task remains to define "reliable" in a way which is fair to both critics of relativity and "mainstream" defenders. If a consensus of 'mainstream defenders' here, with 'policy' supporting them against so called "fringe" arguments (just name calling by 'main camp relativity') consent to delete all criticism from realism (as defined above before being re-defined by relativity), then the result is that Wikipedia has an article on "Criticisms of the theory of relativity" excluding all criticisms from realism as cited in my "Published criticisms of relativity" section on my talk page. "...that special relativity is logically self-consistent, thoroughly tested, and empirically successful (and, by the way, completely compatible with objective realism). There are no modern reputable sources (according to the stated definition) claiming otherwise." But "reputable sources" are defined by the criteria of hard core mainstream relativity "experts," denying any expertise among critics, like those I have frequently cited. "Objective realism" indeed. No real world independent of observation. Relativity re-defined realism to suit Einstein... who denied a 'real world' in favor of the opinion/philosophy that 'reality' depends on the frame of reference from which it is observed. All Is Relative to frame of reference. This was his philosophy as the 'father of relativity.' No criticism can therefore be reasonable, according to his followers. Reality is determined by frame of reference. Period. End of argument. LCcritic (talk) 22:54, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
LCcritic, you say the task remains to define "reliable", but that's not true, because the Wikipedia policy on Reliable Sources already includes the applicable definition of "reliable". Again, reliable sources are defined (for Wikipedia) as "reputable publications in peer-reviewed journals, books published by a known academic publishing house or university press, or divisions of a general publisher which have a good reputation for scholarly publications". As you can see, the criteria don't say anything about relativity or any other specific subject. Wikipedia simply defers to the major academic journals, universities, publishing houses, etc., to judge what is reliable and notable. So your quarrel is really with those institutions, not with Wikipedia. (An editor once claimed the moon is made of green cheese, but all his edits were reverted on the grounds that his sources were not "reliable". He responded that this was an insidious Catch-22: "The reason you people say there are no "reliable sources" for the moon being made of green cheese is because anyone who says the moon is made of green cheese is automatically considered unreliable!")EllisMcgraw (talk) 01:56, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
EllisMcgraw, I honestly challenge your reading comprehension. I said, "Of course the task remains to define "reliable" in a way which is fair to both critics of relativity and "mainstream" defenders. My appeal is to change Wikipedia policy on what "reliable" means as applied to criticisms of relativity, not to re-affirm your by-the-book reiteration that "Wikipedia policy on Reliable Sources already includes the applicable definition of 'reliable'." Of course it does, and that definition excludes all the sources I cited which criticize relativity on the grounds that it denies realism. Relativity has re-invented the definition of realism, which you call "objective realism," usually called "scientific realism" which translates to a frame-of-reference centered definition based on Einstein's philosophy (which I have often repeated) that "reality" varies with all possible frames of reference. So you totally miss the point of this appeal and simply parrot present standard procedure here. No different than our last conversation which I terminated in my talk page section, "Going nowhere... fast." LCcritic (talk) 02:59, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
LCcritic, thanks, that clarifies things quite a bit. Previously you had been asked what specific change to what specific policy you were proposing, and you answered "I don't know what specific policy resulted in the quoted lead statement that no criticism of relativity is accepted by the scientific community" So I explained what the policy was that resulted in that statement. Now you say that you are fully aware of the policy that resulted in that statement, and you simply disagree with the policy and want it to be changed. Okay, so we come back to the question you were asked initially: What specific change to this policy are you proposing? You can't simply say "Change the policy so it allows me to insert material that the present policy doesn't allow". You have to propose a specific policy change. For example, you might propose that Wikipedia articles should treat personal web pages and self-published works on an equal footing with peer-reviewed journals and academic publications, and not reflect the predominant views of the mainstream scientific community. But I don't think any such proposal will find acceptance, since the existing policy of reflecting the mainstream scientific view is one of the cornerstones of the whole Wikipedia project. Please see AndyTheGrump's comments below.EllisMcgraw (talk) 03:39, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia is under no obligation to be 'fair' to anyone. We reflect the scientific consensus, and will continue to do so. This is not open to negotiation, regardless of how many times you waffle on about 'realism', 'frames of reference' and whatever other bees you have in your bonnet. To put it bluntly, we don't care whether you consider the scientific consensus to be wrong, our policy to be unfair, or Einstein's philosophy to be inconsistent with whatever version of reality it is you consider to be real. The only 'frame of reference' that matters as far as Wikipedia content is concerned is that provided by our rules, guidelines, and practices - and we aren't going to start writing exceptions into policy just because you don't like it. I suggest that rather than wasting your time and everyone else's by engaging in this self-evidently futile attempt to adapt Wikipedia to your own personal whim, you accept that it isn't going to change, and take your campaign against whatever it is you are campaigning against elsewhere. If you carry on as you are, you can be assured that our patience will run out - possibly quite soon - and at that point, you will be obliged to do so, whether you like it or not. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:26, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Editors, I have heard from the usual defenders of the realm against criticism of relativity by realists such as those I have cited in the "Published criticisms of relativity" section on my talk page. These realists all agree (unlike Einstein) that 'the real world' exists with all its intrinsic properties, dimensions, etc. independent of whatever frame of reference from which it might be measured. Are there any editors here who have read the above cited references and do not dismiss them all as "fringe," making all criticism from realism* unacceptable to the "scientific community" as the lead dismissal does ? *Note: Not my "personal whim," or point of view as accused. Realism (see definitions) is presently not allowed to criticize relativity in Wikipedia. LCcritic (talk) 19:06, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

(Repeating from above) The sources and your interpretations, as listed on your talk page, were dismissed on various previously shopped fora. For a partial overview of places where the dismissals have taken place, see here. DVdm (talk) 19:10, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
As I said, "I have (already) heard from the usual defenders of the realm. This includes you, DVdm. Re-read my question, "Are there any editors here...?" LCcritic (talk) 19:24, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Only 9 editors have rejected your offering here, that is not even one third of a percent of the Village Pump's watchers! Obviously just an insignificant cabal of hidebound reactionaries bent on bollixing your noble cause. They won't prevail, because "consensus is determined by the quality of arguments", and your quest is just. 'Tis but a scratch, you've had worse. Persevere, Percival! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Paradoctor (talkcontribs) 20:08, 16 April 2014‎
LCcritic, you asked if any editors don't dismiss your references as "fringe", but that isn't a relevant question unless you first change Wikipedia policy. As you yourself have acknowledged, according to current Wikipedia policy the references can only be accepted if they are published by a peer-reviewed journal, academic publisher, university presses, etc. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks of the content of your references. All that matters is that they are not from peer-reviewed journals, academic publishers, university presses, etc. You already agreed to this previously, when you scolded me for my lack of reading comprehension, and assured me that you understand full well why current Wikipedia policies don't allow your references. You said your aim is to change Wikipedia policy. But whenever someone asks what specific change you are proposing, you decline to answer. It's difficult for anyone to help if you won't/can't explain what you are requesting.EllisMcgraw (talk) 00:25, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
LCcritic, this is a discussion board regarding Wikipedia policy, not a forum for discussing the reliability of individual sources. If you really feel that you haven't pushed this stone up the hill long enough (you have), the reliable sources noticeboard is thataway. My advice to you continues to be to drop the stick, though. VQuakr (talk) 01:27, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
@LCcritic: you should be aware that the Arbitration committee has set up rules regarding fringe theories and pseudoscience as per Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience and allowed a speedy process to deal with those who disruptively push fringe theories. Continued tilting at Windmills and refusing to acknowledge that fringe sources are not going to be allowed to be acceptable as sources will soon provide ample evidence that your editing in the subject area is unacceptably disruptive and will lead to you being topic banned and / or blocked from editing at all. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 01:33, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
TRPoD, Please read my opening appeal above and reply. If no criticism of relativity is "accepted by the scientific community" (among relativity theorists), then the whole article, "Criticisms..." is a sham. Please also read the section in my talk page referencing a good sampling of such criticisms, "Published criticisms of relativity." A core of "mainstream defending" editors has blocked my every attempt to include such criticism, claiming that all sources cited belong in the excluded "fringe" category... the "policy," I must presume which makes all criticism of relativity illegitimate. I have been seeking an authority here, other than my usual critics (who btw consistently violate civility protocol) who can rule on this as Wikipedia policy. If you agree (rule) that none of the critics I have cited are "legitimate," I will give up on trying to bring fair representation of criticism of relativity to Wikipedia. Thanks. LCcritic (talk) 18:31, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
@LCcritic: What specific changes to the text of WP:RS are you proposing? The word "relativity" does not appear within the text of that policy. VQuakr (talk) 19:21, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

I will wait for a reply from the authority who wields the "red pen of doom." If all sources cited in my (talk page) section, "Published criticisms of relativity" are ruled to be subject to the policy against "fringe" sources, then there is no hope for fair representation of criticism of relativity in Wikipedia.LCcritic (talk) 20:28, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm not a fan of the rabid way some editors push WP:FRINGE and would prefer to destroy such articles describing fringe scientific ideas rather than try and develop them properly. They really hate such stuff. However the article Criticism of the theory of relativity looks quite reasonable to me. It describes the various criticisms and what has been said about them and provides citations. It isn't a marvelous read but it isn't bad either. One thing it doesn't go into is the modern non-scientific opposition as in things like the Conservapedia campaign against Einstein's Relativity because they think it promotes moral relativism in children. It can be hard to get good studies of such stuff though in this age of the blog. I have to agree with the rest here that in an article like that the criticisms need to be in reliable sources rather than blogs and other such self published sources without any vetting. Otherwise it's like saying in an article about smoking that the CDC says smoking causes lung cancer but my grandfather lived to 90 and smoked 40 a day all his life and died of pneumonia. Dmcq (talk) 12:05, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks to TRPoD for the link to “Requests for arbitration/ pseudoscience." (On my talk page, not here. Don't know why.) From the discussion of “Neutral point of view as applied to science; "Wikipedia: Neutral point of view, a fundamental policy, requires fair representation of significant alternatives to scientific orthodoxy. Significant alternatives, in this case, refers to legitimate scientific disagreement, as opposed to pseudoscience.” This, from arbitration on another issue, could as well apply to legitimate criticisms of length contraction. I will formally request such arbitration on what criteria legitimately disqualifies criticism of length contraction from traditional realists as represented in my talk page article, “Published criticisms of relativity.” As often admitted, I have minimal technical skill for navigating this labyrinth, but I will do my best to comply with all rules which apply to such a request. LCcritic (talk) 17:49, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

For the benefit of innocent bystanders: TRPoD did link to the Pseudoscience ArbCom case on this page. With LCcritic, this kind of lapse appears to be a design feature.
@LCcritic: Attaboy, that's the way to go. It has been long known to strategists that a Stellungskrieg is the quickest and most efficient way to promote The Truth. Paradoctor (talk) 18:14, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Your nasty sarcasm is not now and has never been appropriate or helpful or civil, as per the guidelines. What "lapse?"... how a "design feature." Never mind! I don't mean to encourage your constant ad hominem attack strategy. Btw, speaking of not helpful, I don't speak German.LCcritic (talk) 18:42, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Since it seems abundantly clear that LCcritic is making no concrete proposal regarding any change to Wikipedia policy, I suggest that this thread be considered closed. If LCcritic wishes to pursue arbitration (of whatever form) concerning this matter under existing policy, it is of no relevance here, and must be taken up elsewhere. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:56, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I am in fact making a proposal to change Wikipedia policy, and this is the appropriate place for it. Andy's definition of "concrete" will need further clarification. How better to clarify my proposal? That the "Criticism of the theory of relativity" article should fairly include criticisms from the vast community of realists who criticize relativity on philosophical, epistemological and ontological grounds. And on the grounds that Earth's diameter doesn't "really" shrink. (Small joke, but "true.")LCcritic (talk) 23:46, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm closing this discussion down. Without regard to the merits of the substance of this discussion, this page is clearly not the correct venue. This is not to quash this general discussion, or say that this does not need to be resolved somewhere, but this venue is not the appropriate place, as the OP has been repeatedly reminded. Please move the discussion to the appropriate talk page. --Jayron32 00:03, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Gaming the edit counter with edit wars and users own user pages.[edit]

It seems engaging in edit wars though likely to get a user blocked can give users an extra hundred posts every now and again or more over time. I propose these edits me struck from the edit count to prevent inflating the status of wikipedia users who frequently edit war; I'm also not sure if your own user page should count; otherwise someone can just ramble on their page 6000 times in a weekend and become part of the top 10,000 contributors. Technically that would be in accordance with the rules. Cassandra Truth (talk) 20:45, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Why bother? Nobody with any sense thinks that raw edit count data indicates much anyway. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:30, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Per Andy, who gives a shit? Edit counts are a meaningless thing, and no one who makes any decision that matters at Wikipedia ever looks at them. Like pretty signatures and well designed user pages, edit counters are a mild amusement, but ultimately serve no purpose for building the encyclopedia. --Jayron32 19:15, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Edit counts do matter for when you're applying for more user rights (Article Reviewer needs at least 500 mainspace edits, for example), but generally the sysop doing the approving checks through edits looking for edit wars and such. Supernerd11 :D Firemind ^_^ Pokedex 14:20, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
My observation is that the editors who are obsessed with edit counts tend not to have very many. By the time one has a few thousand edits, one realizes what is important and it isn't edit count.--S Philbrick(Talk) 16:44, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Rambling on one's own user or talk page seems a misguided premise. Unless one converses with themselves. (6,000 times) It is much better to make constructive edits than destruct community and content further in edit wars. + one for my own count. ツ Fylbecatulous talk 18:48, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Edit count is one of the silliest things to be concerned with... I got almost 440,000 now, but it is meaningless. A good editor can get most tools with under 1000 edits, and its the demonstrated skill and need for them which typically results in approval. The edit count is just a rough marker and really matters very little. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 19:25, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Edit counts mean jack shit without analyzing the contributions. I once racked up 1777 edits in a single session for a job of questionable value that probably could have been done by a bot. OTOH, I spent the better part of a day on a handful of edits at Heinz Hoenig. I love my 1937 Wikipedia First Edition, but if I want to know about an editor, I look at their edits, not at their badges. 6000 edits in one weekend on your own talk are against policy. So is edit warring. What your proposal lacks is any kind of evidence that first person counting is actually a problem. Paradoctor (talk) 19:32, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm kind of in agreeance with the WGaF group here. Edit counts are very much meaningless in most cases, it would be just as easy to game the system for an astronomical edit count by running through making minor edits (moving punctuation or fixing sentence case) as it would by talking to yourself on your userspace or edit warring (and a lot less likely to get you into trouble). So, who really cares? — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 22:55, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

This whole @/tagging/mention thing[edit]

Hi, guys-

I've been away for a while, so this might be a rather obtuse question, but what is the generally accepted practice (I assume there's not a policy yet, but thought this would be a good place to ask anyway) on stuff like the hatted bit of text here? On the one hand, I can see the utility in bulk-listing names of users whose input would be valuable... but another part of me thinks it's really, really, obnoxious. Since I bothered to post this question, I'm sure I'll end up doing it myself in the next week or so, but I wonder if there's been any fruitful discussion on this in my absence. How much is too much, do canvassing restrictions apply, etc.? Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 21:21, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't believe we have fully adapted canvassing, etc. guidelines and policies to account for the ability to ping users in this fashion. But I think the general principle remains the same. Bencherlite's ping flood there was functionally identical to leaving a talk page message for numerous users and was made in good faith with the aim of fostering discussion of interested parties in TFAR. OTOH, I have also seen other editors use ping floods to both explicitly canvas like-minded editors and as a means of harassing enemies. I think the current policies been generally sufficient, though it may be worth codifying acceptable and unacceptable use of pings somewhere if it is not already. Resolute 14:52, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Semi-related to this, are the "So-n-so thanked you for your edit" logged anywhere? If not, why not? (Add your favourite quote about a wiki and transparency here : ) - jc37 21:21, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Yep Novusuna talk 21:44, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Great to know, thank you : ) - jc37 22:13, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Deletion of picture[edit]

Deletions like this one really distress me:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/Files_in_Category:Statue_of_Peter_the_great_in_Moscow

This was just ordinary picture of a very interesting and notable statue on very public view in Moscow. After its deletion, the corresponding article is left bereft and fairly pointless.

I don't care about Wikimedia Commons, but can anything be done to restore this and other pictures similarly deleted to Wikipedia, and to prevent such disruptive deletions in future? I am totally in favour of recognising reasonable copyright restrictions, but the idea that pictures of such publicly accessible views can be subject to copyright (other than the photographer's own) is completely ridiculous. On a scale of anality, the people who perform these kind of deletions must out-anal virtually all other website administrators in existence. Why can't they find something useful to do instead? Really, who is bothered that we have a picture of this statue? No one. Who is harmed? No one. Who is ever going to complain or ask us to take it down? No one. 86.171.42.228 (talk) 01:13, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

It appears the images were deleted from Commons because under Russian law, images of the statue in question are considered derivative works, the use of which requires a license from the original creator until the expiration of the copyright. Such copyrighted images can be hosted on Wikipedia if they have a valid fair use justification, but Commons cannot host them. Novusuna talk 01:39, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Excellent polemic from the IP. As for Novusana, Russia is full of laws no one gives a damn about or pays the slightest attention to. It can almost be said to be a social pact (origin Peter the Great as it happens). The first place to look for this image would be the Russian wikipedia. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 09:36, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Is there a time limit on these derivative works laws or are statues from Roman times even protected this way? Dmcq (talk) 13:32, 16 (UTC) April 2014
I would point out that the relevant law in the US is similar. Images of copyrighted public artwork like Forever Marilyn can only be uploaded locally under fair use rules or with free licensing from the author as with America's Response Monument. Images of the Peter the Great statue are used on the Russian Wikipedia, but with seemingly contradictory license tags, saying the images are released under CC-BY, but under Russian law, can only be used in non-commercial applications. Mr.Z-man 15:07, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I thought US Law allowed the 2-D depiction of 3-D objects because there is always the "creative element" of what angle the 2-D image will capture. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 02:14, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
In the US , a photo of a 3D work of art installed in a public location in a country where there is no freedom of panorama, where the 3d artwork is still under copyright, is a derivative work, with both the photographer's implicit copyright, and the copyright of the original statue. While the photographer can release the photo as CC-BY, that still makes the image non-free due to the artwork copyright. If we need to illustrate the copyrighted artwork (if itself is notable) we ask that a CC-BY photo be made so that we only have the artwork copyright to worry about. --MASEM (t) 02:19, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
and who said copyright law was confusing....-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 03:40, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

User warning for inaccessible sigs[edit]

I have created a level one warning template, {{Uw-sigdesign1}}, which reads:

Information icon Hello, I'm [Username]. I wanted to let you know that your signature ("sig") design might cause problems for some readers. This is because of low colour contrast, an unreadable font, or suchlike. If you think I made a mistake, or if you have any questions, you can leave me a message on my talk page, or take a look at our guidelines and policy on customising sigs. Thank you.

where "of low colour contrast, an unreadable font, or suchlike" can be replaced by |1= and "Thank you" by |2=.

I invite comment about its content and deployment, on its talk page. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:10, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Or someone could, you know, just tell the person in their own words to change their signature, and why they should do so. That'd work too. --Jayron32 03:10, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Talk page[edit]

Why is any talk page not accessible from mobile view? Unless you know where to go people may not know places for discussion Difficultly north (talk) Simply south alt. 08:45, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Edits under the Education Program[edit]

I had a look at the Education program page and see that it recommends expansion of stub articles. This appears to be the source of some problems in recent article edits. Stub articles are often that way because there is little information available through secondary sources. Copying and pasting information from the subject's website isn't the recommended way to expand them, and this should be pointed out in the guidelines to these education projects. It often results in plagiarism and the introduction of promotional language. The obvious solution to this issue is just to revert the changes. Who's in charge of the way this page is written? Pkeets (talk) 00:29, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

You are. --Jayron32 01:10, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Inclusion of sports records[edit]

Regarding pages I've recently edited: 1956–57 Tercera División, 1960–61 Soviet Cup (ice hockey), 2006–07 Santosh Trophy...I feel articles like these fall under WP:NOTSTATSBOOK and should be nominated for deletion. Any objections or agreements??? Xaxafrad (talk) 04:40, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Ok, I'll disagree that these should get deleted. The current state of especially the Tercera and Santosh articles is woeful, but the solution is to add proper narrative and excise the irrelevant stats (eg, scores of matches), distilling the statistical information into content appropriate to a narrative on the subject. I'll spend a couple ten minutes and work on the Soviet Cup article to see if I can't show how these can be better. VanIsaacWScont 07:03, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
So check it out and see if that's not a lot better. It's still a fairly sparse article, but now there is clearly a place for more thorough coverage of different aspects of the '60-'61 Soviet Cup, and we've gotten rid of the tables of dry statistics. VanIsaacWScont 07:43, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I like your changes, but I won't be able to narrate an unfamiliar sport as easily. My goal was to start tapping at under-linked articles, the first bunch were all sports lists, and then I came across 2006–07 Santosh Trophy. The prior year's article looks fine (from a formatting POV), but the subsequent year is equally poor, and I have no idea how to interpret that data and make it meaningful. So my next logical thought was to question its necessity of presence. Maybe I'll give it another try... Xaxafrad (talk) 05:00, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
One thing to consider is what exists for other such years for those specific topics, and what exists for comparable sports that may be more likely to have direct English sources. For example, the Soviet Cup article would be comparable to anything about the National Hockey League, which is well covered in sources. And given that Russie has a good media, its very likely there's a lot of Russian sources for that, but someone just needs to do the legwork to find and translate and include. We do have to be careful of the possible systematic bias that could be introduced by favoring the English-weighted sources for otherwise equivalent events. --MASEM (t) 05:10, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Handling contradictory sources[edit]

In writing Mukai Cold Process Fruit Barrelling Plant I found a lot of mutually contradictory statements in the sources with respect to the history of the Mukai family. It's a long time (several years) since I worked on a Wikipedia article where facts were so difficult to ascertain, and I may not be up to date on policies and guidelines about handling contradictory sources. Someone may want to take a look at what I did and see whether my approach is acceptable. I know it would be "original research" to explicitly favor one supposedly reliable source over another. I myself believe Mary Matthews' chronology is the most plausible, and clearly she did far more primary research than the other cited sources. I've tried to write in such a way as to let the reader can judge the plausibility of the various sources for him- or herself. - Jmabel | Talk 03:47, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I think you did it just fine. In cases where reliable sources disagree and the disagreement cannot be resolved, speak in the source's voice and not Wikipedia's. Let the reader reach their own conclusion if there is not agreement. One should not pretend an agreement exists, and if there is scholarly disagreement, just say what the scholars themselves say, attributing the positions. --Jayron32 13:54, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Handling of inhouse made maps and diagrams[edit]

While strolling around on Geneva Conventions I ended up pondering about File:Parties to the Geneva Conventions.svg and I realize it has some issues:

  • First of all it lacks any source for the actual data used to make the map; only the blankmap source is given. As commons doesn't care about verifiability, it's perfectly fine to have such a map there.
  • Secondly maps could be a breach of No original research - Original images, as they could have been made from raw data without any previous analysis of said data, or the data has never before been used to illustrate global distribution or similar (data + blank map could be defined as a synthesis of two different sources).

I've not made any extensive research into how common it is that maps and diagrams lacks sources for their data, but as people will not get any feedback on commons if they forget to include it, I'm afraid it's a common occurrence.

The question is how we should handle maps and diagrams in general, and especially how to handle those which are on commons, and outside our "jurisdiction". Should we allow maps displaying unsourced data to be included in articles or not? Would it be enough to source the data when using the map in the article, should we require the actual map itself to be fully sourced, or is map sources not needed?

I hope I made myself clear here, and not just rambling words. AzaToth 14:04, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Maps and images are subject to the same rules of verifiability and sourcing. If you are challenging the data on a map, you should start a discussion on the talk page of the article in question where you outline your specific challenges as to which parts of the map you think are wrong and why you think it is wrong. I would invite the map creator to such a discussion, and give a reasonable amount of time for people to comment. If no one can produces sources to verify the map, you should remove it as you would a dubious sentence or paragraph which was also unsourced. But the most reasonable way to handle it is to have a discussion, and give people the opportunity to produce the sources. It is unlikely that the map was created out of whole cloth (possible, but unlikely) and more likely that the person creating it had source material he was working from, and just didn't cite it. --Jayron32 14:23, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Your example seems rather odd, as the main article in which the free map is used Geneva Convention has a link to the website with the data in the sources of the article. [1] Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:34, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
WP:OI says ". Original images created by a Wikipedian are not considered original research, so long as they do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas or arguments". I don't see anything in the image that introduces unpublished ideas or arguments into that article. The most that could be brought against it that I can see is that somebody made a mistake in identifying a country or the shape of a county has changed in some relevant way but that would be in essence a typo rather than something needing a source for verification. Dmcq (talk) 20:07, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe the example is bad, but the OP has a valid point in general: Original maps or graphs that display some sort of data or things like that DO need some sort of connection to published data. If an image is a photograph of something, perhaps not, but where a map says "here's a bunch of countries that have done XXX" or something like that, there should be an overt citation to the source of that information. --Jayron32 00:06, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
Agree - even if the data is absolutely uncopyrightable, some RS to show the source of that data is needed. --MASEM (t) 00:56, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Notability of fictional items and tie-in sources[edit]

I hope I'm bringing this up in the right forum; if not, please feel free to move the thread accordingly. I'm also hoping I'll word my concerns as I mean to.

Minas Morgul is a fictional city in Lord of the Rings. For sourcing, the article only includes tie-in material, by which I mean books, DVDs, etc. that are already discussing LotR-related material. In other words, it is to be expected that they would discuss Minas Morgul. Based on the lack of non-tie in sources the article was brought up at AFD, resulting in a decision of No Consensus[2]. This troubles me given that none of the editors involved in the discussion were apparently willing and/or able to provide sourcing that did not involve tie-in material.

To be clear, if the tie-in material specifically discusses the larger impact of the article subject outside of the franchise in which it originated, all well and good, but that's not clear.

I'm concerned that this AFD is setting a precedent that tie-in material can be used as a basis for establishing notability, which I don't believe is appropriate. For instance, as much of a fan as I am of Star Trek, I do not believe that simply being discussed in The Star Trek Encyclopedia, or even dozens of Star Trek-related books/novels/movies/etc. should ever be considered grounds for the notability of any of the numerous subjects the book discusses.

Consequently I'd like policy to clearly establish that tie-in material does not satisfy notability concerns unless the tie-in material does in fact discuss the article subject's impact beyond its area of origination...which should be made explicitly clear within the article itself.

Pinging @Mendaliv: at their request. DonIago (talk) 13:48, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

With "The Lord of the Rings"/"The Hobbit" the only true tie-in work is "The Silmarillion" written by Tolkien himself. All the other references are third-party sources and would not be normally called "tie-in" sources because they were written far separated from Tolkien. Or to put it another way, a tie-in source is not going to be an "independent" source as it is written by the original author or people directly involved with the production. Tie-in media would be a non-independent source, and alone are not appropriate for notability.
Now, there are questions remaining if those other sources are "secondary" (if they are just redocumenting the books without any additional original thought or analysis they are at best tertiary, perhaps primary, but definitely not secondary). There is also question if they are "reliable", both also facets in considering sources for notability. I don't make any claim for those if they are or are not good enough but clearly those aren't "tie-in" works. --MASEM (t) 14:16, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
My apologies if "tie-in" wasn't the correct term to use, hopefully my concerns are clear to anyone reviewing the thread nonetheless.
I suspect the books would be reliable in terms of, say, discussing Minas Morgul's significance within the LotR body of work, but the point of this thread is whether such books discuss Minas Morgul in an out-of-universe context. DonIago (talk) 14:32, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
I will say that looking at the article that there is something wrong with the sources as the only out-of-universe discussion was how Minas Morgul was depicted in the recent LOTR films (Which is more about the films, and less about the fictional aspects of the city) and not the importance of the actual city to the work. I do think that that's a tricky issue to conclude from how little the AFD brought, so its hard to say that the AFD closed "Wrong". But that said, this is a tip of the iceberg problem - I was going to say that this is a prime candidate to merge into a larger "locations in middle earth" article but find that we have Outline of Middle-earth which spot-checking has dozens of articles in similar or worst shape, each able to attempting to latch onto the LOTR films to provide the location or other aspect notable. That's a problem in terms of notability of the location, not the film's representation of the location. --MASEM (t) 15:11, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for investigating this further. I'm a little concerned we're getting a little too focused on LotR...while there are, as you noticed, a number of potentially problematic articles there, I think the problem exists in a more broad context. For instance, we've got List of Star Trek planets (C–F), where the "references" are the episodes in which the planets appear and little else. I feel we need a general policy regarding what I initially referred to as "tie-in" sources to make it clear that with regards to the Wikipedia definition of notability, such sources are not applicable. Granted the article I just linked to is a List, but even lists are supposed to have inclusion criteria, not "every planet that ever appeared in Star Trek". I would hope we could all agree that even if all of the planets were listed in The Star Trek Encyclopedia that would not in and of itself make them more notable. DonIago (talk) 15:43, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
  • This has LONG been a problem at Wikipedia... The major problem is outlined at WP:INUNIVERSE, Wikipedia articles should write about fictional concepts as though they are fictional, and provide an out of universe perspective. If things worked write, ONLY those fictional subjects which were themselves subject to reliable third-party analysis completely independent from the work they were created for would be subjects of their own articles. If all we have to rely on is the actual works of fiction the characters appear in, we have no source for out-of-universe writing, and properly the concept shouldn't be at Wikipedia, it should be transwikied to Wikia (e.g. Wookiepedia, Memory Alpha, One Wiki To Rule them All, etc.) However, this is one of those "practice overrules policy" things, there's SO much of this stuff at Wikipedia, and a lot of it is pretty well cared for, that in practice there's no way to get rid of it. Years ago, there was even a guideline of sorts called the Pokémon test to give some guidance as to what sorts of fictional items should be subjects of stand-alone articles. --Jayron32 17:35, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
  • In previous deletion discussions, I've successfully argued that comprehensive, in-universe guides do not establish notability. Perhaps this could be explicitly stated somewhere, but I'm not entirely sure where. Maybe someone could resurrect the attempt to pass WP:NFICT. WP:LSC would work for lists, but it seems a bit specific to speak explicitly about fictional works. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 00:40, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
    • With the presumption that bringing a NFICT to consensus is near impossible, we could use WAF to explain how to avoid using recapping guides extensively, and other related issues. --MASEM (t) 00:47, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
I'd really prefer that whatever we put together be a policy rather than a guideline...but at this point I also think anything would be an improvement over nothing. I was rather surprised by the outcome of the AFD and it troubled me that there was nothing to fall back on to establish that the sources being provided were insufficient for notability purposes...but I imagine I'm stating the obvious. DonIago (talk) 02:23, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
WP:N itself is not a policy, so it would be strange if a clarification of how to interpret it were policy. --Trovatore (talk) 02:48, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Nevermind. :p DonIago (talk) 04:02, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
I'd have argued that the sources barely meet notability guidelines and would have suggested a merge, on the weakness of the secondary nature of the sources on the fictional location as written by Tolkien. The only reason sources that are good for notability talk about the city as shown in the movie, and that's not the same. Unfortunately we can't repeat the AFD (DRV wouldn't accept it), but I do think that there is merge possibilities --MASEM (t) 04:06, 25 April 2014 (UTC)