Talk:Christopher Langan

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Notice: Asmodeus and DrL are banned from editing this article.
The users specified have been indefinitely banned by the Arbitration committee from editing this article. The users are not prevented from discussing or proposing changes on this talk page.

Posted by Srikeit 17:22, 8 December 2006 (UTC) for the Arbitration committee. See Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/ScienceApologist.

Cleaning up the controversial views section[edit]

One of the views mentioned here stands out from the rest:

"(Langan has claimed that the George W. Bush administration staged the 9/11 attacks in order to distract the public from learning about the CTMU)"

This is not so much a controversial view as an eccentric one, and since it doesn't relate to the 9/11 truth movement as a whole, and since Langan isn't attracting fans because of it, I think it should just be taken out. I don't agree with there being a controversial views section, but so long as there is one, the other views listed are appropriate to mention. But this one is just too weird to include I think.

GorillaWarfare --Dylancatlow1 (talk) 18:30, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

It's sourced and pertinent. What matters is not whether he's attracting fans because of it (we don't know that one way or the other), but that a secondary source found it sufficiently noteworthy to document. Calling it "controversial" is also fair; "controversial" is generally a go-to option for describing conspiracy theories and the like in an unprovocative way. XOR'easter (talk) 18:45, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
^ Don't think I could have said it better myself, I agree with all of this. GorillaWarfare (talk) 18:55, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
A claim that 9/11 was staged definitely falls under "9/11 Truther." --tronvillain (talk) 19:33, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
One can interpret Langan's 9/11 post in various ways. The secondary source takes the comment out of context to make it more provocative (implying Bush staged this event to specifically distract from the CTMU as opposed to the interpretation that this event had the effect of distraction) and should be considered libelous. This goes against the spirit of Biography of Living Persons, especially for someone that is notable but outside what is considered a "mainstream public figures." MakeAWay (talk) 00:35, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
We report what the secondary source says. Any complaints should be directed at The Baffler, not here. XOR'easter (talk) 00:46, 13 August 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 20 November 2020[edit]

Change views section to controversial views, also add(Redacted) Robertofirmino1 (talk) 05:27, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

@Robertofirmino1: I redacted your edit request as they are only for requests to add encyclopedic information based on reliable sources. Wikipedia has a strong living-persons policy which means that opinions on living people must be based on what reliable sources say, rather than personal observations. Regarding the issue, bear in mind that readers can form their own views without the need for an article to direct them. Johnuniq (talk) 06:26, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

Major issues with neutrality and notability[edit]

This page seems to struggle with maintaining a neutral point of view. Ultimately, all of the information on this page comes from Langan himself - although occasionally filtered through sensational news outlets reporting on his self-promotion. Even if we ignore this, it's bizarre that this page rather uncritically describes him as "described... as the smartest man in the world" in the header, and goes on to describe the various self-reported struggles and heroics of his life.

This is followed by an equally uncritical section about his crackpot CTMU theory. No formal publications I can find have reviewed the CTMU, which exists only as a long, incomprehensible PDF distributed online. The reason for the lack of review is the same reason a paper submitted to the ArXiv saying the earth is flat might not have coverage in newspapers - it's not significant or worth discussing because of its absurdity. This strikes me as a bad reason for presenting the CTMU so uncritically.

Including numerous hedging statements to indicate these issues within the article would be confusing and make it unclear why the article exists in the first place. So ultimately, I think this article should be deleted because Langan is not notable per wikipedia's guidelines. Specifically, the secondary sources are **not reliable or independent of one another.** There was the original short 20/20 spot in 1999, and every other citation is either a clickbait listicle referring to that interview or a primary source.

A man who pretended to be very smart and got on the news because of it might be notable if this activity were part of some larger hoax or conspiracy or if he became a more significant cultural icon, but Langan hasn't done much of note other than self-promotion. If we include an article on Langan, we should include an article on every person who ever appeared on 20/20.

Henrybrinkerhoff (talk) 09:37, 26 November 2020 (UTC)

Talk pages are for actionable proposals to improve the article, based on reliable sources. If you want this article deleted, ask at WP:HELPDESK for how to start an WP:AFD. I will remove any further commentary as being outside the purpose of Wikipedia. Johnuniq (talk) 09:54, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
One difference is that not all people on 20/20 got a chapter in a book because of it. Langan seems to meet WP:BASIC, but you can start a new AFD if you want. I think it would end like the last one. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:38, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
Correction, the chapter in a book was about 1 vs. 100. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 13:12, 26 November 2020 (UTC)