Talk:Sharon Weinberger

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The dictionary defines fictionalized as to make into fiction; give a somewhat imaginative or fictional version of:. It is not a term of denigration of a written work or of the author who wrote it. Sharon Weinberger commenced a promising career by writing non-fiction articles with a technical focus for mainstream news publications. However in her first and only book, Imaginary Weapons, she published a fictionalized account of a basic research program supported by the US Department of Defense. She used the names of real but obscure people in her story. No statement has yet been found in which Sharon Weinberger affirmed her transition in writing from non-fiction to her new form. A logical assumption was that it continued her precedent of writing non-fiction. An internet search on the title of the book, Imaginary Weapons, will provide links to many perceptions of the damages and hurt claimed to have been inflicted by publication of the book and the subsequent sensational treatment of the fictionalized material that was included. The talk page for this article also attracted the outpourings from the wide range of involved and uninvolved persons that such sensationalism often engenders. That discussion escalated to levels outside the Wikipedia guidelines and are best archived to try to encourage more courteous discourse about this author, if any more discussion serves any purpose. --Drac2000 22:20, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately the only people who call her book "fictionalized" are those surrounding Collins. The assertion is probably libelous, certainly violates BLP, and definitely not from a reliable source. Bartleby 01:39, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Let's look at WP:BLP. The overriding guideline is stated as "An important rule of thumb when writing biographical material about living persons is "do no harm"." This article is about an author who has written one book. Does she write fiction or non-fiction? The question is relevant to her BLP and no harm is done in answering that question in the article. Ask Sharon Weinberger, she would probably agree that her first book was fictionalized. I am not certain what you mean by "those surrounding Collins." The reference to which you seem to object is a letter to a Professor named Collins from the Chief Counsel of the appropriate geographical office of United States Department of Energy. As can be seen, it affirms that a careful investigation of one of the more critical events in the story showed it to be fiction. It had concerned the imagined actions of a Dr. Alp. By confirming "fictionalization," he was completely cleared from any perception of wrongdoing, a very good result. The Counsel at DOE that cleared the matter signed the letter shown and provided his telephone number. I am certain that you, Bartleby, are not trying to say that each of the Counsel and the distinguished Dr. Alp is "one of those surrounding Collins." So why write so aggressively that one could reasonably conclude such a thing from your words? OK, I am reverting your deletion of the characterization of the author's first book as fictionalized, because it is fictionalized and it does no harm to say so.
--Drac2000 12:48, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Weinberger has repeatedly denied unusual assertions by Collins that her book is fiction. A disputed work of non-fiction is not "fictionalized," it is just that: disputed. Once again, cease the libelous and unfounded insertions, please. Bartleby 16:16, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
First, there is a difference between fiction and fictionalized, definition is referenced above. I wrote that the book is fictionalized. That means some of the incidents in the story have been proven to be incorrect. They never happened. The proof for the fictionalization of one instance is clearly referenced above. Are you questioning the provenance of the letter resulting from the investigation of that issue by the US Department of Energy? Before doing so would it not have been better for you to call the DOE individual and get your facts straight? If a book contains fictional elements then it is fictionalized. There is no harm in saying so. Now, applying your own standards to your own statements, please provide credible references where Sharon Weinberger said her book was not fictionalized. The Wikipedia guidelines for talk pages WP:TPG emphasizes that Article talk pages should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views You have incorrectly introduced hearsay about an imagined conflict over fiction or non-fiction between the author and the recipient of the letter, if that is to whom you are attributing your unsubstantiated diagnosis of unusual assertion. That is exactly what is proscribed by WP:TPG, namely asserting your own bias and agenda. The subject here is whether the author's book is fictionalized or not. Credible reference says it is fictionalized. It does no harm to say so. Please revert your last and unjustified reversion.
--Drac2000 17:11, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
It's rather amusing that you of all people would be warning against turning wikipedia into a personal platform. Your interpretation of her book is "unusual" in that it is not a typical interpretation - most people just say a book is incorrect, they don't mention its status as fiction first. Weinberger has rebutted your interpretation of her book. Collins' website is not a reliable source. I think you won't stop inserting this libelous claim (absurd semantics aside) based on what I say, so I think it would be best if we sought some sort of arbitration or mediation. Bartleby 04:40, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for what seems to be a small turn toward a more collegial tone of debate. If you take another step and quit trying to market that "libelous claim" label, we might be able to resolve this disagreement, even today. Let's briefly review the history because it is repeating itself. From the date of publication of Sharon Weinberger's book up to 30 August, 2006 there was a bitter conflict of editing and quite uncollegial discussion between many editors. However, the version of the article of that date did represent a consensus distilled from a lot of work. It contained links to both supportive and critical discussion of the book. While the volcanic nature of the dispute over the book's contents continued to rage elsewhere, for over 10 months until 29 June, 2007 there were no edits on the WP:BLP about Sharon Weinberger. Admittedly WP:CON recognizes that a consensus can erode with time and reexamination is a healthy thing for the continued strength of the Wikipedia, still no one was motivated until 2007. Though you did not initiate the reexamination you quickly entered, editing the article as was your right on 07 September, 2007 with the uncollegial explanation "del ridiculous attack site link". Since then there have been revisions as well as reversions. At one point all links to critical materials and critical websites had been removed and only the description of the book as fictionalized remained to balance perspectives. The book is very incorrect and the author does not deny that fact; but it sounds more collegial to categorize it as fictionalized. To fictionalize material for artistic effect is every author's right, but usually it is better not to use the names of real individuals. Imaginary Weapons is a fictionalized account of some events and it does no harm to say so. If you had practiced WP:COOL at that moment in time, there would be no reference in this article or in its associated pages to any or the critical websites. Unfortunately you, yourself in discussion reported the URL of the site you most dislike. I archived that part of the unproductive discussions to make a fresh start. Now we have arrived back at what could be a consensus version. All links in this version are to sites supportive of the author, all references to critical material except for the United States Department of Energy rebuttal of an important part of the book are hidden. The only reason that critical link is there is because you forced the use of the term "fictionalized" to be referenced. If we proceed further, I will ask for reversion of the article to the most stable historical form, namely that of 30 August, 2006. On the other hand if you can accept the current version, it is finished. --Drac2000 12:50, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Does it matter whether the author's website is in or out? For a good encyclopedia entry, it probably doesn't matter. But there cannot, I repeat, cannot be links to libelous material, like that attack website. Also, I can't even figure out what Drac2000 is talking about with the "fictionalized account." There are plenty of published reviews of the book online that can be linked to, some positive, some critical (and published means published, not random websites or anonymous comments).--Lewisjaggers 14:40, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
The definition of "fictionalized" was provided in the first sentence of this page. However, I agree with this new idea and so have removed the link to the author's website. Now the article is free from links to polemics. Are you and Bartleby going to move the target again or shall we try WP:COOL? --Drac2000 15:10, 7 October 2007 (UTC)


There's nothing in this short article about her background. Is she related to Caspar Weinberger?--HughGRex (talk) 16:18, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

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