Talk:Somebody else's problem

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Requested move 24 July 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Jenks24 (talk) 19:29, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Somebody Else's ProblemSomebody else's problem – Wikipedia does not capitalize the names of "effects" or other psychological principles, diagnoses, schools of thought, etc., except where they contain proper names (e.g. Dunning-Kruger effect), even if specialized sources in a field tend to do so. This also holds for other such concept labels, like laws of nature, practices or disciplines, popular maxims, terms of art, etc., etc.: special relativity, method acting, Murphy's law, habeas corpus, and so on. PS: Usage throughout the article was already almost entirely consistently lower-case.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:15, 24 July 2015 (UTC) --Relisted. Armbrust The Homunculus 10:19, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Support. Not sure this really needed to be relisted; this probably could have been done as a technical request. Wbm1058 (talk) 14:32, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. I tried but was unable to move the page manually so I suspect the move will be somebody else's problem. GregKaye 17:52, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Note. See also Wikipedia talk:Somebody Else's Problem. – Wbm1058 (talk) 23:23, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Validity of this Page as Psychological Phenomena?[edit]

Hi, I am new here so my judgement may be naive, but is this article necessary? It seems that this is not a recognized psychological phenomena, just a popular concept coined by Douglass Adams. This makes me wonder if the article should exist at all, or if it does exist how it should tackle the phenomena it is describing. It has an influence on popular psychology and popular culture, but it might simply be better served as an extension to a Douglass Adam's article. Mchikos (talk) 21:22, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

I'll agree. I'm not sure why this article exists, other than as an excuse to cite Douglas Adams. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 22:31, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. I've removed everything except those which directly reference the phrase, and a few of them are debatable too. Adpete (talk) 01:53, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Kitty Genovese challenged[edit]

The Kitty Genovese story was apparently massively overblown: -- Resuna (talk) 13:23, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Should be capitalised[edit]

The article should be renamed back to Somebody Else's Problem, because that is how it is capitalised in Life, the Universe and Everything (assuming it's quoted correctly in the article). No other usage matters - SEP exists primarily as a funny phrase coined in that book. Adpete (talk) 02:19, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

And quoting from the lead of MOS:CAPS: words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in sources are treated as proper names and capitalized in Wikipedia. Adpete (talk) 06:06, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Just taking this a bit further, this comes down to whether this page is primarily about the Douglas Adams phrase (which should be capitalised), or the psychological phenomena (which shouldn't). My argument is that the psychological phenomena (by that name) does not exist. To prove it exists, someone will need to provide a reliable source. Until then, this page (if it exists at all) should only be about the Adams quote, and the phrase should be capitalised. Adpete (talk) 03:21, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

I agree. And I would add that many of the examples on the page are of the mere phrase "somebody else's problem", and do not relate to the specific concept that Adams coined of a pseudo-psychological phenomenon of invisibility thru absurdity. Capitalizing the phrase would clarify the fact that the page references a specific sense of the phrase. Drmarble (talk) 00:00, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

References by others[edit]

This section starts with "Since the publication of the novel Life, the Universe and Everything, the phrase has been used by others, such as:" and then lists quotes from 1979 and 1970, but the book was published in 1982. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

No, the quotes themselves are from later. The Shah was exiled in 1979 but the NY Times quote from 1988. Unix originated around 1970, but the article about it was written in 2006. Adpete (talk) 09:08, 18 May 2017 (UTC)


Nobody else said "that's someone else's problem" till Adams 'coined' it...? we know he heard someone else say it pre-1980 - ie throughout history thus I challenge it being "his" phrase (talk) 10:07, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

edit: and while were at it, I'm coining "that's my money" "don't do that" and "nice weather we're having" (talk) 10:10, 14 August 2017 (UTC)