Talk:Ruggero Santilli

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If Wikipedia had articles on every person with an idea, it would be overwhelmed by crackpottery - should they be consolidated?[edit]

It is unclear to me why the person this article appears to be about merits mention in an encyclopaedia. While he appears to have some - novel - concepts, it does not appear that these have been supported by evidence or by peer review. No evidence is presented of why the subject is more than a theorist whose theories are unproven - many of these exist, as you can see simply by reviewing self-published books on Amazon, but it is not clear that their inclusion in an encyclopaedia adds value to that collection of useful information.

I see from the article that the subject is apparently of the view that the entire world is against him - and has used lawyers to try to push his case against those who disagree with his 'novel theories'. I even see from an article on Popehat that the subject is suing Pepijn van Erp; a Dutch sceptic who expressed a negative opinion of his work.

One worrisome part of this Wikipedia entry is the suggestion, in section 3, that "papers he has submitted to peer-reviewed American Physical Society journals were rejected because they were controlled by a group of Jewish physicists led by Steven Weinberg". So the subject is not only suggesting that the scientific community is systematically ignoring "novel theories which may conflict with established scientific theories", but he appears to be extending this into an anti-Semitic argument.

The article makes clear that the subject's work has not been peer reviewed; it implies that he has built an institutional apparatus around himself in order to boost his perceived importance; an alleged supporter (J V Kadeisvili) may not even exist; and while he appears to have published a lot there appears to be no evidence supporting his theories. Given the subject's apparent lack of importance, and the lack of independent links supporting the subject's science, should this article be subsumed into another Wikipedia entry (e.g. List of pseudoscientific water fuel inventions)?

While I note that there have been two nominations for deletion - with the second considered in August 2016 - I am not convinced that these have adequately considered the concerns raised by those who were pro-deletion. Additionally, the options of retain vs. delete are very black and white - there is no 'middle path'. Maybe Santilli is 'notable' according the dictionary encyclopaedia definition. I suggest that by providing scientists whose work is unsupported and unproven with the same status of scientists whose work has been used for decades or centuries, Wikipedia becomes less useful. Should articles such as this maybe be placed as sub-articles in a category of (e.g.) 'Unproven scientific ideas and scientists'? That is, retain the article but make clear that its importance/significance does not match that of proven science and/or the proven work of scientists. In two weeks (or twenty years), when the subject of an article within that category is proven/peer reviewed/accepted by the scientific community, then it can be 'promoted' to the main encyclopaedia. In the meantime, readers are not left confused by the lack of relative importance of such subjects.

I look forward (hoping it is not simply ignored and forgotten) to the well-considered and quite possibly well-deserved opposition this suggestion will hopefully draw from the myriad Wikipedians who have used and developed Wikipedia for many years now and have very good reasons against such a concept of rating an entry's 'relative merit'. Ambiguosity (talk) 09:25, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

See WP:PAPER. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 12:04, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately, our policies do not permit editors to use their brains to determine the relative merit of articles for inclusion in an encyclopedia. The merits of an encyclopedia article are determined exclusively by one's ability to locate sources, being performed largely by search engines to probe the obscurest nooks and crannies of the internet. Most thought process involved in "content generation" has now been forgone in deference to the editorial impositions of mindless droids and bureaucrats. The barest suggestion that one is supposed to use any kind of judgement in content matters is denounced as heresy nowadays. Sławomir Biały (talk) 15:14, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
That you disagree with the outcome of a discussion is not indicative that the discussion lacked brains or judgment. The first time around, people agreed Santilli was notable. Second time around, it's a no-consensus. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 11:56, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
"That you disagree with the outcome of a discussion is not indicative that the discussion lacked brains or judgment." No, the fact that such discussions are usually predicated on mindless deference to the rules, combined with uncritical acceptance of the output of Google searches, often without reading and evaluating sources, is indicative that the process is fundamentally broken. Of course, I happen also to disagree with this particular outcome, but that's merely a symptom of the larger rot of Wikipedia. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:50, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the 2nd AfD on this article was marred by acceptance of the subject's personally-owned "scientific journals", his pay-to-print journal articles, palpably gamed Google Journal h-index scores and his corporate press releases filtered verbatim through churnalistic "trade journals" as proof of his notability. But the findings were not that the subject of this article is a notable physicist with any impact at all on physics. The conclusions of the 2nd AfD were that the subject was notable for his activity in fringe science. loupgarous (talk) 01:38, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
Precisely because certain kooks, crooks and swindles make lots of noise we have to have NPOV wikipedia articles about them. 02:15, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
The OP in this thread had an idea worth considering, though - consolidate all the fringe science-related articles into a single one, and redirect, say, Wilhelm Reich, Ruggero Santilli, Joseph Westley Newman and all the other fringe theorists to a new section of our existing article Fringe science called Notable fringe scientists. It'd be work, sure, but less work than curating every separate article on these people and their theories and mounting vigilance against the editors who want to insert the subjects' narratives about themselves into our articles. This isn't just about this article, it's about giving fringe theory and fringe theorists' stories due weight in wikipedia, and giving readers a clear idea of where these subjects stand in the marketplace of ideas. loupgarous (talk) 20:46, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
The idea may be good, but inapplicable to Santilli, who notorious for several things: two crackpot theories, a number of noisy establishments, aggressive behavior against other scientists, he fooled Italians to give him an award. IMO that's more than enough for a standalone page. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:03, 23 February 2017 (UTC)