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Chick Bowen reverted my addition of the infobox, stating: "an infobox is useful for a politician or other figure where primary reference material should be available at a glance, but in this case it doesn't add anything meaningful. I respectfully disagree. For instance, do we know Sheldon Dick's birthday and location of birth? This information could be added. There is also a feature that I like that calculates the age at death. I find it very useful when I am looking at a bio of a person I have never heard of, and in the process of deciding to read more, or go onto something else. Why should politicians have all the fun?! --Marcbela (talk) 22:37, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I strongly disagree with you about them in general--I think they are simplistic and often misleading--but this case, I feel, illustrates particularly the problem. For example, you listed some of Dick's activities mentioned in the lead as his "occupation." That's inaccurate--he never made any money at any of them, and never pursued any of them (or anything else) full-time. Chick Bowen 00:10, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Well said, Chick. The birthday, location of birth, and (if it would really be so hard for the poor reader to calculate) age at death can all be easily integrated within the regular prose. Infoboxes for photographers, artists and the like typically provide an unnecessary duplication of the name, a pleasant but superfluous frame for a photo, duplication of much rather unimportant information that anyway appears within the very first paragraph, and perhaps also contentious or grossly simplistic descriptions of "influences" and the like; and maybe even little flags and suchlike gimmickry. (This is quite unlike, say, software, where, let's say, the hunter of a spreadsheet program with better statistical functions than are offered by the program she already uses may well want to know what OSes a possible alternative runs under, how much the program costs, whether it's still supported, and the data for a few other important fields, and thus would be grateful for the systematic presentation of this info as a fast alternative to wading through a general and even historical description.) And for this reason I merrily remove biographical infoboxes for such people, unless perhaps the article proper is crap, which it certainly isn't here. -- Hoary (talk) 02:36, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I would still like to know where this fella was born. I have not found that anywhere. --Marcbela (talk) 03:21, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Chick knows far more about this obscure person than do all the other contributors to the article together. I'm sure that when he finds the answer to this reasonable question he'll put it into the prose. -- Hoary (talk) 03:32, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks very much, Hoary. It is indeed a reasonable question, and I too would like to know the answer. I suspect he was born either in Chicago or in Lake Forest, Illinois, where his parents were living by the mid-20s, but I haven't found a source to confirm (actually I have nothing on Dick's boyhood at all). Marcbela, if you find anything, please do add it in. As Hoary says, information on Dick is pretty scarce. Chick Bowen 04:41, 23 November 2008 (UTC)