Talk:The Dynamics of an Asteroid

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WikiProject Media franchises / Sherlock Holmes (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
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Ramanujan[edit]

First of all, the language used in the contested section is appalling. It clearly violates Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Instructional_and_presumptuous_language , by addressing the reader directly.

Further, the section does not argue that Doyle used Ramanujan as a model for Prof. Moriarty (despite the claims in the edit description). Instead it simply uses Ramanujan to show that Doyle's characterization of Prof. Moriarty is realistic. If the intent was to argue the claimed point, the section should still be deleted since no evidence was provided.

However, the most important point is that since this article is about one of Prof. Moriarty's (fictional) writings, and not Prof. Moriarty himself, an argument about how realistic the writing is, should focus on the content of the writing and not on the character of the writer.

--66.189.98.178 (talk) 04:06, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi! If you find the writing appalling, perhaps you could consider improving it rather than deleting it?
Does this material belong in this article? You are right that one underlying question is the realism of the writing of Doyle. This should go in the article on Doyle. Next best is in the article on Moriarty, and then here. However, this is not a print encyclopedia, and we can put information in more than one place. This is needed, in my opinion, since a reader can get to the same point by many paths. If they are thinking "How realistic are Conan Doyle's characters?" then the info should go there. If their question is "Has there ever been a work of math so abstruse even the experts could not understand it?" then the user might well recall there was a fictional work with this property, then look there to see if any real works also were not understandable even to the experts. In this case, the first place they would look would be Dynamics of an Asteroid, not (most likely) the realism of the writing of Conan Doyle. (And if they know to look up Srinivas Ramanujan, then they already know the answer to their own question.) In support of this, the page The Dynamics of an Asteroid gets several times the page views of Srinivas Ramanujan. Also, I know my own reaction when I first read Sherlock Holmes - I thought it a flaw in Doyle's writing to give a villain some completely urealistic mental powers. Many years later, when I read about Ramanujan, in addition to being astonished I felt I owed Doyle a mental apology.
Despite all this, if the article was already long, it still might make sense to put the info elsewhere. But since the article is short (at least by my definition - it fits on one screen on a fairly low-res laptop), it's better to include it. It's easy to skip if you don't want it (not even any extra scrolling). But if you are looking for the information it's a lot easier to find it this way than any other entry point. LouScheffer (talk) 05:55, 21 January 2009 (UTC)