Talk:Daniel Akaka

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Untitled[edit]

The language

Daniel Kahikina Akaka (b. 1924) is a U.S. Senator from Hawaii and a member of the Democratic Party. He is the first U.S. Senator of mixed Native Hawaiian, Chinese and Japanese ancestry and is the only Chinese-American member of the Senate.

seems to this editor to put far too much significance on the subject's ancestry; to my mind it belongs in the same part of the article as other personal details such as his family. But i don't that think that positioning impairs the article enuf to worry about.

On the other hand, the status of being first with one of the many three-way combinations of ancestry is far less significant than being the first to have what the page has what the page has implied from inception until now, any Polynesian-Hawaiian ancestry. (Calling it Native Hawaiian is not confusing enuf to fuss over). I am cutting back to "first ... with Native-Hawaiian ancestry".

BTW, i didn't stop to think abt it until now, but isn't "Hawai'ian" more appropriate in this context? (I.e., we're talking about the ethnicity here, not what the statehood papers said. That's the criterion i followed in editting Hawaii.)

My edit indicating the date of the status is needed, unless "only ... member" is a confused way of saying what would be more significant, "first such member". "First member" stays true, and doesn't need to be updated when he leaves or another becomes a member. And "only member" is not like "current Senator", bcz whoever adds his successor's page (or updates Akaka's successor's page to show she's now Senator besides whatever else she is) should know enuf to turn Akaka from "current" to "former", while proper adjustment of "only" requires special knowledge or a detailed reading of what may become a long article. I am correcting my bad previous dates but conceptually reverting, to "only Chinese-American as of 2003-2004" (which means "could change with next Congressional election").

I am discarding the "mixed Native Hawaiian, Chinese and Japanese ancestry" info, not because i care to judge whether it has a useful place in WP, but bcz this article is about the political history of Sen. Akaka, as demonstrated by the links to it. And i don't think i know how to write the other article. If someone thinks his role as, say, an inspiration to those who find his ancestry relevant, is worth an article, i'm happy to help set up the diambiguation and linking apparatus to fit the two articles in with the rest of WP.

Hoping to hear more discussion if i'm missing some nuances here. --Jerzy 08:57, 2003 Nov 6 (UTC)

Adding in "as of..." is a bad idea. WP can easily be updated and this article can most assuredly be expected to be edited when Mr. Akaka leaves office. We would be changing the "is" into the sentence to "was" anyways. And why 2003-2004 and not just 2003? What if he falls dead tomorrow? Don't assume the editors here are too dumb to figure out he's not the first person of Chinese ancestry of the Senate. The precaution is unnecessary.
The fact that he has "mixed Native Hawaiian, Chinese and Japanese ancestry" is as relevant as his birthplace. It belongs somewhere near there in the article. --Jiang 09:07, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)

As i say, this is a political article, and both his nativity and ethnicity could be excluded without its being impaired significiantly. I think it would be a big improvement to move the birthplace and ethnicity together into the 2nd 'graph, instead of the first, summary, 'graph. But my concern is much less now that it's not changing the meaning of the "only NH" phrase.

--

Not 2003 alone bcz a change before 2004 is quite unlikely, and quite likely to cause a thoro edit. This is a question of likely efficiency, not guaranteed accuracy.

My concern is not with him leaving Senate, but another person with same characteristics joining. ANd it's not a matter of dumb, it's a matter of too many articles for all of them to be attentively followed, when (unlike his death or defeat) there's no obvious path to what needs to be changed.

The harm you cite is easily fixed. WP is full of articles overdue for updates, and if it still says "as of 1990-2004" in '05, the reader knows it hasn't been updated: if it had been, it would say "was" or "1990-2006", and they know they need to cross-check before relying on the info.

Convesely, with your wording, anyone with a grain of sense knows they have to ignore it, research it themselves, or slog thru the edit history to see when it was added to the article. --Jerzy 10:04, 2003 Nov 6 (UTC)

No, my wording assumes truth as of the present. If it becomes no longer valid, then it should be changed. I'm not leaving this site anytime soon. When the list of senators is updated, then the articles for the names removed can be expected to be updated. It will be clearly visible in the news if someone with similar background is appointed in the interim. --Jiang

That may be to the point in this case, but it leaves the question of why the average user should take your wording at face value. This talk may (in this case) promote their doing so, or at least point a direction for users whose need for the info is acute enuf to research that wording's credibility. For my part, i consider "trust but verify" necessary for the present: It's a rare Random-page result that i look at, other than a US or UK town page, that doesn't make me say at some point "what's this crap doing here?", and strike me as important to put off planned Wikipedia work for.

Well, sounds like i should Watchlist the news; how do i find it? And perhaps i should take a serious look at Jiang & your oeuvre.

You might note that no one on WP knows anything significant about my background, nor ever will, since my anonymity is necessary for me to contribute; i'm not sure how common that is among long-termers for qualifications to be deducible, let along verifiable, only from content, but it may become moreso as we grow. But in any case, i'll at least set myself up a reminder to watch whether you're still here, if (when! [smile]) i stop watching everything i've editted.

Is there any publicized existing mechanism for listing pages that should be editted on a schedule?

This has been fruitful, for which i thank you, and i expect i'll contact you at some point with the customary compliments on your work, once i've seen enuf of it to make a sincere compliment instead of a pro forma one. Tnx.

promised note[edit]

Jiang, browsing back i see that i actually said more earlier, than what i remembered saying while writing the following, and that i probably owe you no apology at all. I don't know how much interest you have, but after my having made the effort to put it down, better that i make this tiny additional effort, and that you have the opportunity to see it, than not.
As for me, i've already given this too much attention, so here follows what, a while back, i thot applied; you'll just have to discount to account for my factual error, since i am not going to rewrite it.

As i said, i need to apologize: i was not alert enuf to catch the fact that we were simply "talking past" each other. I hope (and think) i never suggested that there was any likelihood of a change in Sen. A's life that would not be reflected promptly in the art. But on the other hand i never took the simple step of pointing out more explicitly what is unlikely to be properly reflected in updates, ever, without the language i suggested, or a list of pages needing periodic updates. I am referring to changes outside his life, that change his status, as to aspects reflected in the art. ♥

Let me enumerate the plausible ones that i find obvious:

  • In the period 2003 thru Jan. 2005, a Senator other than him:
    • dies or resigns, and is replaced by someone with relevant Oriental ancestry, or
    • has a "Madeline Albright" event, and learns that they have relevant Oriental ancestry, or
    • after a long period of "passing for white" (as the African-American writer Anatole Broyard did until his death), for whatever reason, decides that the time has come to publicly acknowledge their relevant Oriental ancestry.

(I consider these plausible but unlikely events in a two year time frame, and impractical to deal with. For that reason, it doesn't bother me to risk readers' inferring that the info is "guaranteed" until actually changed or 2004, whichever occurs first.

  • Beyond 2004:
    • any of the above, which continue to be unlikely, or
    • events i consider more likely (and harder to set upper limits on their probability), someone without Oriental ancestry leaves the Senate at the end of their term, and someone with relevant Oriental ancestry replaces them.

BTW, you may want to look at Wikipedia talk:As of, which i've run across since our previous discussion. --Jerzy 06:46, 2003 Nov 19 (UTC)

Ethnicity[edit]

The page for Hiram Fong said he was the first Native Hawaiian Senator. I changed ref. in Akaka article to reflect that. Ellsworth 15:29, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Photograph[edit]

Why not use his official photograph? Most other senators' pages have their official photos, and so I believe Senator Akaka's should too.

Mahalo Akaka Please vote

His name[edit]

Why is Akaka's name given in Chinese script? He is an American, he was born in Hawaii, Daniel Akaka is not a Chinese name, and he is only partly of Chinese descent. Do we give Paul Sarbanes' name in Greek script? Or Joe Lieberman's in Hebrew? This seems to be an unnecessary and rather offensive "foreignisation" of Americans of non-Anglo descent. Adam 03:55, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

I see we do give Sarbanes' name in Greek script. Well I oppose that too. Adam 03:57, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

First or second?[edit]

Pretty much everwhere else Akaka is said to be the first U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry. Evidently, Hiram Fong is regarded as Chinese American, as he was apparently no more than 1/4 Native Hawaiian by ancestry. I'm inclined to change Akaka back to being the first, unless there are serious objections. Cgingold (talk) 14:30, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I'd count 1/4 as being of Hawaiian decent - in fact it's a lot more Hawaiian than many, such as some students from Kamehameha. I don't think Sen. Fong should be discounted as he still identified as being Chinese Hawaiian, like many people in Hawaii. —Keakealani·?·!·@ 03:10, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

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