Talk:Richard Borcherds

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Why no hint at Borcherds' psychiatric background (diagnosed as Asperger). Borcherds', to my knowledge, never was shy to discuss this in public contexts (which proves him to be also a great character in addition to his mathematical talents) and it may contribute to the psychological aspects of highly gifted persons. I made the first entry about Borcherds once (don't praise me!) and mentioned this fact but it couldn't survive long in WIKI.

I hope the man himself will take you up on your suggestion, if he is so inclined. GangofOne 23:43, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
Note that the article says "he did not merit a formal diagnosis of Asperger syndrome" - this interests me since I did. Reading the paper "A Professor of Mathematics" shows that the reason for the lack of a formal diagnosis is, to quote "One might question whether Richard Borcherds really merits a diagnosis at all, given how well adapted he is. Certainly, he is not currently severe enough in his symptoms to warrant a diagnosis in adulthood, as his symptoms are not interfering with his daily functioning. In the jargon of the diagnostic criteria, he is not "suffering any impairment in his daily life." For example, he is not depressed (thankfully), unlike the majority of the patients we see in our clinic" In contrast to this, " reminds us how important the environment is, since if you took the same Richard Borcherds and put him in a less understanding environment, in all likelihood his AS would cause him some degree of distress."
For many years I was in this position, not meriting a diagnosis since to quote again, I was " example of an adult who in a sense has adapted his AS to an environment where it is no longer a major, or indeed any, obstacle at all". This would describe me up to the point in time where someone else decided it was a major obstacle. This is not to say he does not have AS, but that he does not merit a diagnosis. These are two different statements. It perhaps also begs the question as to whether an isolated individual may merit a diagnosis or whether it is external factors for example other people. Soarhead77 (talk) 12:27, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Legendary Mike Richard Borcherds[edit]

Today's change: "Richard Ewen Borcherds', brother to the legendary Mike Richard Borcherds, otherwise known as MRB by his closest friends, " looks like noise to me. Tell us more about the legend. --GangofOne 21:07, 28 September 2006 (UTC)


Listing references at the bottom of the page isn't sufficient. Specific sources need to be identified for specific facts stated in the article. As it is, we have no idea which source provided which portion of the information, so we can't check the validity of any fact. Doczilla 16:41, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Can you be specific about which facts you have in mind? Michael Hardy 18:57, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
They all need references. The article has exactly zero citations. Doczilla 17:45, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

In that respect it seems typical of Wikipedia's biographical articles, so why did you single it out? One way in which it is NOT typical is that the person it's about is a regular and voluminous contributor to Wikipedia, so it's more likely to be accurate simply because of that. Michael Hardy 03:44, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Why single it out? I simply stumbled upon it because of the Asperger's connection. There are many biographies with proper citation. Here's one I recall: Marian Breland Bailey. Look at all the purple and blue numbers. Doczilla 04:00, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

P.S. The fact that it's about a Wikipedia contributor actually is not a point in the article's favor. In fact, that makes it all the more important to provide proper citation to verify the facts with external sources, because the contributor's involvement means we run the risk of at least looking like we've violated policies regarding original research, autobiography, and/or conflict of interest. (I'm not saying any of those problems exist. I'm saying we must be extra-conscientious so that no one will think they do.) Doczilla 04:04, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

It's not clear that he's actually edited it, but I thought if something clearly incorrect were here, he would have. Michael Hardy 14:46, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
He's not supposed to edit an article about himself, which he probably knows as indicated by his lack of visible involvement in editing this article. That's irrelevant, though. The article needs encyclopedic citation just the same as if that user had nothing to do with Wikipedia, so it gets the ref tag. Doczilla 17:42, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

It is greatly exaggerated to say he's not supposed to edit an article about himself. It is certainly allowed when correcting clearly incorrect biographical statements, misquotes, libelous material, etc., and in some other circumstances. Michael Hardy 20:37, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Exaggerated, yeah, but you should know what I mean. He's not supposed to contribute to it -- which, again, is either irrelevant anyway or even a point against removing the tag because the fact that he contributes to Wikipedia does not make him a source and means that it must be exceeding clear that this article does not veer into original research and/or conflict of interest. The fact that you know that he contributes to Wikipedia in and of itself could make somebody think you have a conflict of interest through however you know of the individual. (I'm not saying that's the case. I'm saying it can look that way. I have no opinion.) Therefore, I reiterate: This article needs proper citation. Which fact came from which source? A list at the bottom of the article does not suffice. It's better than not having a list, but it's not enough and therefore the tag is wholly appropriate. Doczilla 20:43, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
As far as I know (and I'd appreciate a pointer if I'm wrong), there is no policy that "specific sources need to be identified for specific facts stated in the article". For instance, WP:V states that "All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation" (emphasis in original). As no material has actually been challenged, nor is anything likely to be controversial (in my view), I think the refimprove tag should be removed. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 07:29, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I'll take a look. Doczilla 09:10, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
And that look didn't take long. No. It still need proper citations to back up the separate facts. That's how Wikipedia works. A list of external links is not proper citation. Would you prefer that someone go through and ugly the article up with repeated [citation needed] notes throughout? Doczilla 09:58, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I've been around long enough to know how Wikipedia works and it's not by threatening to ugly up an article. Wikipedia works because people notice that an article can be improved and edit it. Just noting that an article can be improved is generally not very helpful, and being not specific about it makes it even worse.
I had to get that off my chest. I see however that you do hint at a specific concern, namely the Asperger connection. I agree that a reference needs to be attached to that statement, and I did so. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:14, 8 November 2007 (UTC)


Borcherds is said to be English and British, although he was born in South Africa. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:46, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

He is said to have left South Africa in 1960. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:03, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

I added a footnote with a reference to an article which says that he indeed has the British nationality. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 16:01, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

One cannot "realise" (or "realize") something that is a matter of opinion.[edit]

In the description of Borcherds as a child, this sentence appears:

"He was a promising mathematician and chess player as a child, winning several national mathematics championships and 'was in line for becoming a chess master' before giving up after realising that the higher levels of competitive chess are merely about the competition rather than the fun of playing.""

But the idea that "the higher levels of competitive chess are merely about the competition rather than the fun of playing" -- no matter how many people may believe it -- is a matter of opinion, not fact. So I changed the word "realising" to "coming to believe", which seems to me to be a neutral way of describing what Borcherds was reported as believing. (My finger must have slipped while entering the reason for this change, so it probably looks cut off.)Daqu (talk) 00:22, 2 August 2010 (UTC)