Talk:Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

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Featured article Voluntary Human Extinction Movement is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 24, 2012.

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Voluntary Human Extinction Movement/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Aircorn (talk · contribs) 12:28, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

I am willing to review this article, but before I do so I want to ask a question regarding the stability. There has been a lot of recent activity here and to be quite honest the talk page is a mess to work through. Do the major editors here agree that the current version is currently stable? AIRcorn (talk) 12:28, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

I disagree with a sentence in the lead paragraph - on a matter that has been disputed before but not (IMO) resolved - but I think it can be easily fixed. Talk:Voluntary Human Extinction Movement#"volunteers" and "supporters" in the lead paragraph has the details. Mitch Ames (talk) 14:44, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your willingness to review this Aircorn, I really appreciate it. I made the change to the lead that Mitch Ames suggested, and I have no more changes I'm planning on making, so I think that it is stable now. Per this chart Mitch and I have been the two most active editors over the past 5 months or so. The third most active editor made a lot of comments on the talk page, but has since retired. The Readers' Digest version is in this thread. So I think we're ready for a review then. Mark Arsten (talk) 17:31, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Also, as long as Mitch doesn't mind, I would appreciate a thorough review, GA+, if you will. I'm captivated by the idea of making this Today's Featured Article eventually (when's earth day?) so I'd like to get started down that (long and arduous) path. Mark Arsten (talk) 17:36, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
    • I am pretty thorough as far as GA reviewers go. I treat these as collaborative efforts so feel free to ask any questions regarding any comments I make. Will have something for you to comment on soon. AIRcorn (talk) 09:11, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Initial comments[edit]

Sorry for the delay. A few things from my first read through. All in all it reads pretty close to GA quality so I am not expecting too much extra work to be done in that regard. However a request has been made for more detail so I will make suggestions outside the GA criteria. Like all my reviews this is a colaborative process, so feel free to question anythingg mentioned here. AIRcorn (talk) 11:27, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

  • VHEMT and Knight appears to be used almost interchangable. I don't think having it like this is necesarily a problem, or know of any solution, it was just quite noticable. Especially when sentences within a paragraph switch between the two so frequently (e.g. when it goes from Knight says to VHEM says, to he says at the start of idealogy). Not important for GA, but maybe someone will be perdantic about it if you take it further.
    • Hmm, this is somewhat tricky, I tried to standardize it within paragraphs a bit. Mark Arsten (talk) 20:10, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
  • That section also tends to start with a lot of "he says ..." sentences. Again not a major for GA, but maybe it could be mixed up a bit to make it read better. It can be tricky whe everything has to be attributed.
    • I took a stab at it, not sure if my changes were an improvement though... Mark Arsten (talk) 21:44, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Maybe say journalist Oliver Burkeman from The Guardian. It won't hurt to make it obvious who it is and of The Guardian doesn't sound right.
  • Writing in the Journal for Critical Animal Studies, Carmen Dell'Aversano notes that VHEMT seeks to renounce children as a symbol,[23] and casts the movement as a form of "queer oppositional politics".[24] She argues that the movement seeks to come to a new definition of "civil order". This might need some more explanation. What does she mean by renounce children as a symbol, "queer oppositional politics" or definition of civil order. These sound interesting, but I have no idea what they mean. Could they be expanded on ina sentenc or two, or written more clearer.
    • Hmm, I honestly found her arguments a bit difficult to parse, not being an expert in postmodern queer theory myself. I took a stab at clarifying, hope it helps. Mark Arsten (talk) 22:25, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
  • The paper argues that voluntary extinction is a laudable goal, believing that extinction is unavoidable and preferring voluntary extinction as the most peaceful and noble option Unclear sentence. Don't like the use of believing (do papers believe). Might need rewording, moving or elimanitng preferring could help.
    • Changed the wording a bit, hope that helped. Mark Arsten (talk) 20:10, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Brian Bethune writes in Maclean's that Knight's logic is "as absurd as it's unassailable". However, he doubts Knight's claim This however doesn't make sence as the two sentences are both critical.
  • Any more groups outside VHEMT that support this position?
    • I don't think so, off the top of my head. There are a few others that support massive population reductions, but I think VHEMT is the only one that comes out for total human extinction. I thought that the Church of Euthanasia also promoted extinction, but now that I look, I can't see any place they are described as advocating total extinction, just mass suicide and cannibalism. Mark Arsten (talk) 19:12, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, got a bit distracted, but will get back to this soon. AIRcorn (talk) 13:07, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

No problem, take your time. I've been keeping pretty busy myself. Mark Arsten (talk) 16:15, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Round two[edit]

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)

Sorry for the delay. A few minor points after checking the references.

  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    who was raised in a large family. Couldn't find this in the cited source.
    It's on page 2 of the SFGate piece: "Thompson and Knight say they were raised in large, happy families." Mark Arsten (talk) 05:27, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
    Don't know how missed that. AIRcorn (talk) 11:14, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    He later concluded that the extinction of humanity would be a final solution to the Earth's environmental problems. I am assuming comes from “That’s when I realised that the best thing for the planet would be for us to phase ourselves out completely.” "Final solution" is a bit stronger than "best solution".
    I suppose it is, changed. Mark Arsten (talk) 05:27, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
    Previous issues sorted
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    One non-free image with rational
  7. Overall:
    Some minor issues to address

Quite a bit of work has gone into this recently, but it looks good and isn't really unstable. Not sure about dividing up the the reception into criticism and positive responses, but that is more my personal preference than any requirement that I am aware of. So passing this now. AIRcorn (talk) 11:14, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

GA review question[edit]

I have a question above (transcluded from Talk:Voluntary Human Extinction Movement/GA2) regarding this articles stability that I would like to address before getting into the review. AIRcorn (talk) 12:30, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Will reply at review. Mark Arsten (talk) 17:22, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

"volunteers" and "supporters" in the lead paragraph[edit]

Most of the new version looks good, but I don't like this sentence in the lead paragraph:

While some proponents of VHEMT concepts voluntarily work towards extinction by not reproducing, others support some of the movement's ideals but are not committed to total extinction.

There are two problems:

  • It's too vague. It implies - by "while some ... by not reproducing, others ... are not committed to total extinction" - that the "others" (the "supporters") do reproduce. Do they or don't they reproduce? Do they think others should reproduce? The sentence doesn't tell us.
  • Given that VHEMT only has one ideal/goal - human extinction - I don't see how anyone can logically "support some of the movement's ideals" but be "not committed to total extinction".

It looks like this sentence was an attempt to address my (now archived) Talk page issue Location of "categorization" sentence(s) about (VHEMT's categorization as "supporters" and "volunteers"), but I don't think it works. I have previously mentioned that VHEMT's definition of "supporter" - which is what the sentence in the lead paragraph apparently alludes to - does not make a great deal of sense (to me). I suggest that we drop any attempt to use VHEMTs "volunteer"/"supporter" terminology (except for the existing note [C], which does not attempt to paraphrase their definitions) and reword sentence something like:

While some proponents of VHEMT concepts voluntarily work towards extinction by not reproducing agree that extinction is the only solution, and refrain from reproducing, others support some of the movement's ideals the concept of population reduction but are not committed to total extinction.

Mitch Ames (talk) 14:39, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

  • I'm curious about this too. Are those who support the concept of population reduction (but are not voluntarily working towards extinction by not reproducing) rightly characterized as "proponents" or "supporters" of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement? Seems like lots of people may support the general "concept of population reduction" but may have never heard of this movement. MathewTownsend (talk) 17:00, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, that never made much sense to me. It's a bit like saying, "If you've never killed anyone, you are a member of the Voluntary World Peace Movement". On another note, I've always wondered about their view of total extinction. I mean, sure there are a lot of people on the earth now--maybe too many--but what if we got the population down to 1,000 people in an African jungle--would extinction be the only moral option then? But alas, that's a bit out of scope here. Mark Arsten (talk) 17:21, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Ok, Mitch's suggestions seem fine to me. I'll make the change from his second box. Mark Arsten (talk) 17:17, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Well written article![edit]

WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors
WikiProject icon A version of this article was copy edited by Despayre, a member of the Guild of Copy Editors, on February 17, 2012. The Guild welcomes all editors with a good grasp of English and Wikipedia's policies and guidelines to help in the drive to improve articles. Visit our project page if you're interested in joining! If you have questions, please direct them to our talk page.

Responding to a request for copyediting, I have reviewed your article. I am new to the guild (so maybe others would find more), but I found very little to fix. The most notable being only a vague pronoun reference; the rest of the article looked very good. Well done to all the involved editors (please note, I didn't read for content errors, only for style/grammar/etc). Pronouns generally refer to the most recently used noun. The pronoun I replaced ("their") would have referred to "Population Action International" based on that, which I don't believe was the intent.

I did/do have a little problem with the same sentence in the lead that it looks like you're stuggling with above, as well as the second reference in the Ideology section, that starts with "Though not all of VHEMT's members favor total extinction...". It seems that a Movement that lists extinction as its goal would expect its members to support the only plank it has for policy. I'm not sure how to clean up that contradiction. Possibly remove that aspect entirely? Or if there is enough source material, maybe flesh it out a little more within a small section of its own? Anyway, I hope I was at least a little helpful to you, if not, feel free to flame my talk page! Smiley.png I will leave the copyedit request at the Guild, since I didn't find very much, and it might not hurt to have at least one more experienced editor look it over too. -- Despayre (talk) 05:03, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

The issue of whether all "members" support extinction is one we have struggled with in the past. Talk:Voluntary Human Extinction Movement/Archive 2#Not "gradual", Talk:Voluntary Human Extinction Movement/Archive 2#Location of "categorization" sentence(s).
Mitch Ames (talk) 10:42, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Moving forward[edit]

Thanks to everyone who has worked on this article thus far, getting it up to GA is a real achievement and it was a real team effort. Barnstars all around, etc... I'd like to try to keep improving the article and try for FA sooner or later. A lot of the FA process is obscure prose/MOS issues that we'll need outside help for, but what are the potentially unresolved content issues in the article now? Thus far I see that people have commented on:

  1. The issue of whether there are "moderate" members who may not favor extinction and how to present that idea [1].
  2. How to handle the subsections [2].
  3. Whether it's being oversold as a true movement [3].
  4. Also, I'm a bit unsure of whether I've summarized the pieces from the Journal of Animal Studies and Psychoanalysis and Society.
  5. The FoxNews link is coming up as dead for me, is that just temporary or do we have to fix it?

Any suggestions on good ways to fix these? Mark Arsten (talk) 15:27, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Dead FoxNews link[edit]

The link was dead for me also. A bit of poking around suggests that they have changed the format of their URLs (from story/numbers to section/date/story-name) suggesting that it is not a temporary glitch. I tried searching their website, but couldn't find the story, so I've updated our article's reference URL to a Wayback Machine archive link. Mitch Ames (talk) 02:55, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Oversold as a movement?[edit]

I don't believe it is just "how Les U. Knight feels about things". Photos at the bottom of this page illustrate that others agree with him. Mitch Ames (talk) 03:56, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

removed video: Focus Earth: Too Many People[edit]

I have removed the video Focus Earth: Too Many People from External links, because:

  1. It was a dead link. Following the link gave a page that said "This Discovery web site is down for scheduled maintenance. We expect service to resume shortly." but it has done for several weeks now, and the site itself is OK, it's just the one video that is missing. I searched the video site and cannot find that video.
  2. As I previously mentioned, the video does not mention VHEMT or Knight at all.

(I believe that the article is now stable enough that my previous request to keep all references (including unused) no longer applies.) Mitch Ames (talk) 03:24, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Proponents who don't support extinction[edit]

(in response to item 1 of #Moving forward above ...)

I suggest that we should simply delete this sentence from the lead:

While some proponents of VHEMT agree that extinction is the only solution and refrain from reproducing, others support the concept of population reduction but are not committed to total extinction.

and modify the Ideology section something like this:

Though not all of VHEMT's members favor total extinction,[4] Some commentators[who?] agree with population reduction, but not extinction, but Knight believes that even if humans become more environmentally friendly, they could still return to environmentally destructive lifestyles and thus should be eliminated.

Obviously we need to fix the {{who}}, and (without access to it) I don't know whether reference [4] still applies. Mitch Ames (talk) 03:51, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Next step FA?[edit]

Thank you all those who worked hard to promote this interesting article to GA status. I will propose nominating it for FA status. --SupernovaExplosion Talk 01:26, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Nevermind, just noticed Wikipedia:Peer review/Voluntary Human Extinction Movement/archive1 --SupernovaExplosion Talk 01:29, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I do hope it will be nominated for FA soon. It will be tough though, WP:FAC is a demanding place! Hopefully a thorough Peer review will help us get a lot done on it. Thanks for your help thus far! Mark Arsten (talk) 01:33, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and thanks for marking it as a GA, the bot usually does that but didn't this time for some reason... Mark Arsten (talk) 01:46, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
The peer review is over. Now you should nominate it for FA. --SupernovaExplosion Talk 20:34, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, looks like that's the next step--hope it goes well. I'd like to wait until the Alexis Bachelot FAC is over before we nominate this one, so I won't have too much on my plate at one time. Mark Arsten (talk) 03:09, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

VHEMT in India[edit]

I found VHEMT is present in India. Should this blog be listed in the External Links section? --SupernovaExplosion Talk 01:15, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, I added it--we're a bit heavy on the ELs as it is, but I guess the worst case scenario is that a reviewer will as us to take some out. Mark Arsten (talk) 02:40, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Footnote about punctuation[edit]

This edit makes it seem like we are quoting Knight saying "that is what they are". That's not a direct quote from Knight. "That is what they are" is a paraphrase of a statement of Knight's by a writer for The Economist. Mark Arsten (talk) 04:31, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

OK, but I still think that we gain nothing by re-paraphrasing. How about we simply remove the quotation marks, ie:

VHEMT is pronounced "vehement",[1] because, according to Knight, that is what they are.[2]

  1. ^ Pesca, Mike (May 12, 2006). "All Choked Up". NPR. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Sui genocide". The Economist. December 17, 1998. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
This avoids the re-paraphrasing, remaining true to our source, without appearing to (erroneously) quote Knight directly. Mitch Ames (talk) 05:30, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I'm fine with that as a compromise. I tend to worry a lot about close paraphrasing, perhaps more than I should. Mark Arsten (talk) 05:45, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Knight's statement that the concepts have existed through history is not trivia[edit]

In this edit the statement that "Knight believes that the concepts that he promotes have existed in some form throughout human history" was turned in to a hidden comment and flagged as "trivia". I don't believe that statement to be trivia - Knight is making a significant point that he was not the first to think of the concept of voluntary human extinction. That statement should be included in the article. Mitch Ames (talk) 14:27, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, I have no problem keeping that in the article, but is there a good place for it? I couldn't think of anywhere it would really flow. Mark Arsten (talk) 16:10, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
I've restored the text. I've left it where it was for now, but we can move it if appropriate. (Better for it to be visible in the "wrong" place, then not visible at all.) Mitch Ames (talk) 06:37, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

First para of Reception is Knight's opinion, not "reception" by others[edit]

The first paragraph of the "Reception" section:

Knight states ... . He believes ... He admits ...

appears to be about Knight's opinion, not (as one would expect), other people's opinion of VHEMT. Mitch Ames (talk) 14:35, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Well, it's his opinion about their current, and future likelyhood of success, so that does somewhat tie into their reception by others. Mark Arsten (talk) 16:10, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
One might reasonably claim that the paragraph is Knight's response to the group's reception, but then it should appear after the text describing the reception by others, not at the start of the section. Mitch Ames (talk) 06:42, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Beginning, end, I don't really care. Mark Arsten (talk) 07:02, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Should these be included?[edit]

Should these be included:

  • "VHEMT has made a number of cartoons to spread its ideology."
  • VHEMT wants to increase the societal status of women by giving women choices other than motherhood.
  • Sociologist Frank Furedi writing in Spiked has described VHEMT as a "Malthusian environmentalist group".
  • Civil liberties activist Josie Appleton described VHEMT as a "cheerful and respectable" group.

Thoughts? --SupernovaExplosion Talk 00:39, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Interesting, I added the Times Argues piece--I would prefer not to add the WND piece, I don't believe that it qualifies as a high-quality reliable source (per WP:WIAFA). See this on the reliable source noticeboard for details. Mark Arsten (talk) 00:51, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
I hadn't heard of Spiked before, but it's used as a source on The World Without Us (which is at featured status), so I guess it's ok. I'll see if I can work it in as a source. I recall seeing a piece in Grist (magazine) a few days ago, might want to dig that back up too. Mark Arsten (talk) 00:58, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Les U. Knight's vasectomy[edit]

Should this be mentioned in the article, especially because the reference says "his convictions led him to get a vasectomy"? --SupernovaExplosion Talk 04:19, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

The bit about getting a vasectomy as a result of his view of overpopulation is already in the article, not sure if it needs another citation. Mark Arsten (talk) 04:56, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Scholarly book[edit]

Here is a scholarly book published by University Press of Kansas which discusses VHEMT. As can be seen from the snipet, it is probably about a survey of VHEMT supporters. It will be solid information to the article, but someone need to read the entire page in a library which is not possible in google snipet.

The reference is:

    • Damn, I can't believe I missed that one. I pulled up the preview on Amazon, not a ton about the group--but a couple interesting tidbits I can stick in the article. Mark Arsten (talk) 04:56, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Les U. Knight[edit]

Is his real name available anywhere? And any idea why does he use pseudonym? --SupernovaExplosion Talk 08:36, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

I think his real name is "Les Knight" and he added the middle initial after becoming an activist. I can't recall where I read that though. Mark Arsten (talk) 13:01, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Frank Fured "quote"[edit]

The Reception section includes this:

Frank Furedi also deems VHEMT to be a Malthusian group, stating that they "[think] the worst about the human species".[1]

  1. ^ Furedi, Frank (September 12, 2007). "Environmentalism". Spiked. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 

The use of "stating" followed by a quotation may be misleading. Furedi does not state "VHEMT [thinks] the worst about the human species" or similar. The ref actually says:
(I've added the bold here; it's not in the original)

According to one American sociologist, Malthus was the ‘original worst-case thinker’; the sociologist describes worst-case thinking as arguments that are based on the idea that ‘we humans are making some kinds of worst cases more likely and potentially more devastating’ (17). In short, worst-case thinking means always thinking the worst about the human specieswhich is why, in all seriousness, a Malthusian environmentalist group campaigning for a dramatic reduction in the human population has called itself The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (18).

Furedi might be implying that VHEMT thinks the worst about the human species, but this quote is a long way short of stating that they do. I suggest a reword of our article is required. Mitch Ames (talk) 07:19, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't see the issue, but feel free to rephrase the sentence anyway. Mark Arsten (talk) 07:23, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Knight as founder[edit] and then Lycurgus have just removed the statement that Knight is the founder of VHEMT. I think this should stay, as it is cited the 3rd party reliable sources [8] & [9]. On his website, Knight does claim that he is "not the founder of VHEMT, I just gave it a name" & "not the leader of VHEMT: we’re all leaders—leading the way to a better world for all life". It may be worth noting Knight's stances in a footnote, but it seems contrary to the well-sourced fact that Knight started the group that is known as VHEMT. Note that our article does say: "He believes that this idea has been held to by some people throughout human history"--so I assume what he means is that he gave this idea a name "VHEMT" although he clearly started the group. Mark Arsten (talk) 17:46, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

He says he didn't found but editor Mark Arsten insists he did[edit]

How is that the Wikipedia process working? Is it some imbecile shit about "secondary sources"? If the guy says he only named it, and explicitly says that he didn't found, and does so on the official website of the subject of the article, how do you keep saying that he's the founder as a flat fact? Edit's I made to attempt to correct this reverted. (talk) 17:49, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm not changing it because I think he is wrong, please see WP:RS and WP:V for more information. Knight is a reliable source for his own opinion, but for facts we should stick to 3rd party sources. Mark Arsten (talk) 17:56, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
I added a note to the page about his opinion, when sources conflict it is best to note what they both say. Mark Arsten (talk) 18:01, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Mark Arsten on this, per WP:SECONDARY. I've reworded the note to make it more precise (I didn't like the word "argue" there), by quoting Knight. I've also added inline cites (to existing refs) that he is the founder. Mitch Ames (talk) 00:39, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
In any case, as far as the larger content of the encylcopædia is concerned, the main issue is the conflation of Antihumanism in the sense of more or less openly misanthropic organizations of varying kinds with a narrow academic topic. (talk) 17:55, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Finally noting that I'm passively subverting the dominant wiki paradigm here in as much as truth is trumping process. One forgets how sweet that is, you have to ply the other thing so damn much. It's clearly his org although obviously he didn't originate the concept. (talk) 10:27, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Knight might be a kook but it seems to me that he is thinking more clearly about the status of VHEMT than Mark Arsten. On the VHEMT website, Knight says that VHEMT is not a formal "group" or an "organization". That seems right: there are no members. You can't join it. It has no group structure. There are no officers, just a spokesperson, and only one of those. They don't hold meetings. There don't seem to be any VHEMT events. Knight sells VHEMT T-shirts and you can tatoo the logo on your arm (or whereever), but those things don't make it a "group". Knight says it is a "movement". It has "volunteers" and "supporters". "Movement" is in the name. Knight says he is not the founder of the movement, which existed before he came along. He just gave it a name. At best it is an "informal" group, but those generally don't have "founders" either. Some "sources" say that it is a group and that Knight is the founder, but what are their sources? What makes them better sources about VHEMT than Knight? (talk) 20:33, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Have you read the article? It contains statements like "VHEMT functions as a loose network rather than a formal organization,[11] and does not compile a list of members." and "Knight refutes the assertions that he is the founder, saying that "I’m not the founder of VHEMT, I just gave it a name."" Mark Arsten (talk) 21:18, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I have read the article. Notwithstanding what Knight himself says, the article states, at the start of the second paragraph, "VHEMT was founded in 1991 by Les U. Knight." This contradicts what Knight himself states. What makes you and opinion columnists in the press more reliable about VHEMT than Knight himself? What were their sources? He states that VHEMT is a movement whose existence preceded his naming it, which happened in 1991 when he started sending out his newsletter. Starting to send out a newsletter is not "founding" a group, so it would seem to me Knight must be correct when he stated he didn't found a group, and that VHEMT is not a "group".That various observers have inaccurately referred to it as a "group" does not mean that it is. As for "loose network", who knows what that means? People who shop at the same supermarket and chat with each other in the checkout line are a "loose network", too. (talk) 21:39, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
See WP:RS and WP:V: reliable 3rd party sources are given the most weight here. Mark Arsten (talk) 21:46, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
That's fine. But you need to think about what makes a source "reliable". A source isn't reliable simply because he is writing a column in a newspaper or a psychology journal. A reliable source is a person in a position to have knowledge and no reason to conceal or distort it. Reliable sources regarding facts are people in a position to know the facts, such as direct participants in the events of interest, or people who have investigated the facts through documents and direct other sources. Do you know that the sources you are relying upon had investigated VHEMT? It doesn't seem to me that those writers were reporters of fact. They were opinion columnists engaging with Knight's ideology and not very interested in what exactly VHEMT was. As for the person writing an article in the psychology journal, he was not a reporter of fact either. He seems to have been far more interested in the psychological state of the supposed VHEMT "member" than in the details of VHEMT. He doesn't even bother to mention in what respect "N", the person he interviewed, was a member of VHEMT, or how he came to meet her. (talk) 23:50, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
As far as "what makes a source reliable", we do have a guideline on that (identifying reliable sources) and it states "Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy". You may not like it, but that's the way things work here and you're wasting your time trying to convince me otherwise. Mark Arsten (talk) 23:59, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
You are cherry-picking these Wikipedia policies in order to make it seem that all these matters are closed and that the article must stand as written. WP:RELIABLE has lots to say about reliable sources. A source is not reliable just because of where it is published. The guideline also states: "the reliability of a source depends on context. Each source must be carefully weighed to judge whether it is reliable." Opinion columns in the Guardian are not as reliable as the news articles. When a Guardian columnist calls VHEMT a "group" or a "movement" when his obvious main interest is to comment on the ideology it represents, that is not as reliable regarding facts about it as a new report would be. Where did these opinion columnists get their information about VHEMT? Did they do any reporting? I've now read a lot of those sources, and none of the writers indicate they did any reporting. Their aim is commentary. The one exception is the psychology journal paper, but there the goal was a psychological profile of an alleged VHEMT member and little is said about VHEMT itself. Is there a single news report in your list of references? I don't believe so because if you had been able to find a news report, I don't think this Wikipedia article would be so devoid of basic information about its subject. (talk) 00:13, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Your opinion is noted, but you're claiming that The Economist & The Independent are not reliable sources, and that is ludicrous. You're welcome to keep claiming that, but again, I think you're wasting your time. Feel free to take the issue to the WP:RSN or WP:DRN if you want more opinions. Mark Arsten (talk) 00:41, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Worst featured article ever.[edit]

Seriously, is this a joke? This article is by far the worst featured article of all time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:05, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

I know. This is just scary. Zach Vega (talk) 00:07, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Sorry to sound like this is my first week as an editor, but is there anything else we could have buffed up to featured article? Gareth E Kegg (talk) 00:14, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree too, this is not at all up to the par. I've been using wikipedia for a good source of information for more than 5 years. (I didn't have an account until recently though) :)Brendon is here 12:23, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
    • Please, Brendon, explain to me and the FAC reviewers involved why their discretion was not well-advised here. I'd love to be able to better my judgment so I don't lend support to well-written and valid, yet mildly controversial articles again. GRAPPLE X 03:36, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
      • I'll tell you what's not up to par: Brendon111's obnoxious eyesore signature. Aren't there rules covering that sort of thing? HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:41, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
I thought this was an April Fool's Joke until I checked today's date.-- (talk) 00:41, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Same here. It's not good for wikipedia, you know!!! I sometimes ask myself is Wikipedia failing? :)Brendon is here 12:23, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't know about Wikipedia, but your signature certainly fails. Mark Arsten (talk) 03:36, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
So sorry, Mark, I didn't notice that I was stepping on ground which you had already covered, and better than me, at that. HuskyHuskie (talk) 05:22, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
You are forgiven :) Mark Arsten (talk) 05:23, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
It's a high-quality article written on a worthy cause, which contributors have put their own hard work into; which means it's no worse than any other featured article we've had on the main page (except that bloody 2008 US election gimmick). GRAPPLE X 01:12, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words GrappleX, getting this to featured status took a lot of work. My only fear is that by giving them publicity we're inadvertently causing the extinction of humanity—and even worse—the end of Wikipedia... Mark Arsten (talk) 01:23, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
One can only hope. GRAPPLE X 01:27, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
It looks pretty well put together to me. If you are simply offended by the topic, might I remind you that Wikipedia is not Censored.Brightgalrs (/braɪtˈɡæl.ərˌɛs/)[1] 02:07, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Worst FA of all time? Give me a break. While this strikes me as an absolutely bonkers idea, the fact is, had it not been on the Main Page I would never have learned about this--and I'm glad I did. (And yes, I too can see how this seems like an April Fools joke.) HuskyHuskie (talk) 02:39, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

If this group mandates voluntary human extinction, why haven't they all offed themselves yet? *snicker* Spartan198 (talk) 02:58, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Their motto is “May we live long and die out” --SupernovaExplosion Talk 03:05, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
VHEMT's website answers the question: Why don’t you just kill yourself?. Mitch Ames (talk) 02:58, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Please, wikipedia, put interesting articles in the Featured Article list, not this crackpot tripe. I do agree with them on one point. VHEM members should not breed! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:49, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

This article looks more like a candidate for deletion than featured article material. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:47, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Aha. That would be why previous deletion attempts have resulted in unanimous support to keep the article. Get over it, some people don't want to have kids. OH NO. GRAPPLE X 13:34, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

No, we should keep this article and make fun of this Les guy.That's the whole point of why it's here. I rest my case.--Da Dashz (talk) 13:46, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

If this nonsensical article was made "Today's featured article" for a joke, or is intended to poke fun at the "people" who belong to the organization, then, er, well done. Hardly "encyclopaedic", though, is it?........ DropShadow (talk) 15:08, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

WP:WIAFA. GRAPPLE X 15:16, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

I too do think this article really stands out among featured articles. Not because of the groups ideology, which I don't view in a negative fashion at all, but because of the article as an article. The topic of the article isn't interesting or significant, since the group is very small and has no influence. The article has little concrete information about the group, instead it seems too lengthy for such a topic and features too many minute details about the groups ideology etc, and it does a poor job at summarizing the topics it discusses. Also the article's structure has flaws; among them the lack of images and other media (which are required in the featured article criteria. All things considered it's an odd choice for a featured article. (talk) 17:12, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome to nominate it at WP:FAR to have its status removed, but good luck with that... (BTW, you might want to read WIAFA again before you do so) Mark Arsten (talk) 17:34, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I too agree if this is a featured article, then Wikipedia's standards have taken a nose dive. Or at least a hefty bribe.--Subman758 (talk) 17:32, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Self-hating liberals just had to have their way... --Gadolit (talk) 19:53, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

This is a great example of the wikipedia elitism that is ruining wikipedia. The vast majority of contributors to this talk page dislike the article, however most of these contributors are not big-time editors. A tiny minority of big-time editors are extremely defensive and pulling out all the wikipedia rule books (including whether a person's signature is appropriate) to criticize their opponents. Yes, there are guidelines for a featured article, but they are just guidelines. All of us must realize that picking a featured article is in some sense a matter of collective opinion--no checklist of guidelines will ever determine whether an article deserves to be on the front page of one of the world's top websites.
This is a symptom of widespread wikipedia elitism: only the small minority of big-time editors who've memorized their wikipedia policies can actually influence the processes that determine the major aspects of wikipedia. However, any minority left to their own devices (especially one comprised of people who must be quite disconnected from real life or real academia) is eventually going to act in ways that the overall populace would find ridiculous. This is one of those cases. This is a ridiculous choice for a featured article. And don't point at the guidelines, the featured article selection, or the featured article review. Its ridiculousness should be clear to anyone with sense. It's not only trivial, far too detailed, numbingly repetitious, and smugly written, but also boring, completely lacking in any form of media, riddled with unscholarly sources, and much shorter than most featured articles.
Wikipedia elitism will be the downfall of this website. Once the small cadre of big-time editors enshrouds themselves with policies rivaling the US tax code, nobody on the outside will be able to talk sense into them. This is a perfect example. (talk) 19:35, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
WP:FAR. GRAPPLE X 20:55, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Very helpful comment, thank you. I'm glad you read my post, especially the part about "And don't point at the guidelines, the featured article selection, or the featured article review." (talk) 01:39, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Petty text walls get petty responses. If you have an actual problem with this article, and you're not just bitter because it's about an organisation you disagree with, then do something about it instead of whining somewhere that will achieve nothing. If you actually open a review at WP:FAR then someone might actually pay attention to what you're saying, but if you lack the conviction to do so then you clearly have no real stand here, just a bullshit pretence to try masking your dislike of the subject rather than the article. So either step up and do something productive or stop moaning and hoping it'll achieve anything. GRAPPLE X 01:44, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm also very glad you read the part of my post about "A tiny minority of big-time editors are extremely defensive and pulling out all the wikipedia rule books (including whether a person's signature is appropriate) to criticize their opponents."
It's clear that you're the one who is making ad-hominem attacks at me to defend your own personal intrest in this article. To be perfectly honest, I don't give a crap about this organization one way or another. I guess you think everyone who voiced complaints about this article's featured status is also personally against this organization? If criticizing the quality of writing and notability of an article were my modus operandi for trashing organizations I don't like, why wouldn't I devote my time to criticizing something that actually matters, like a political party, religion, or something that isn't completely trivial?
You also completely missed the point of my post, which is that there's no way to talk sense into the incestual club of big-time wikipedia editors who control the featured article review. I think the fact that you're taking my post so personally and replying with personal attacks shows that you're the one with bias. All my complaints are perfectly valid and you're the one who's masking some sort of personal feelings--I suspect, though, that it's not your own like/dislike of the "movement", but rather your own personal satisfaction with getting an article featured. (talk) 02:04, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually this article contains none of my work, so my personal satisfaction has nothing to do with it. Like I say, do something or give up. Complaining here will amount to nothing, as you're clearly ignoring the actual productive process for the sake of making noise. If you have actual complaints about the prose quality, WP:FAR will hear it out; if you refuse to go there then I'm going to continue to believe that you don't actually have any conviction to your belief that this isn't of featured quality. I continue to assert that your problem lies solely with the subject because you've yet to prove otherwise; file a review at WP:FAR and point out some specifics that you feel violate WP:WIAFA and you might prove me wrong but if you're not going to do so then it remains clear that your intention is simply to kick up a stink at an article that offends or annoys you. Do something productive for a change. GRAPPLE X 02:10, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm having a hard time believing you didn't contribute! The repetitiveness of your last two posts is uncannily similar to how repetitious this article is! (Actually I bet you're only repeating yourself because you still haven't read my first post.)
Maybe if I speak your language by repeating myself, I'll get through to you. The editors who control the featured article selection and the ones who control the featured article review are from the same clique, and the entire clique has proved their disconnectedness from reality by selecting this article for featured status. I think my posting here, which amounts to seeking support from the vast majority of us who aren't in the clique, has a better chance of accomplishing something productive. Pointing out specific elements of this article that are bad is pointless: I assert that anyone with sense would realize that this is simply a poor article. I can't believe you can sincerely argue that this article is comparable with other recent featured articles, such as General Relativity.
Do you really think all the people who've complained about this article's featured status are all making some covert attempt to bash this utterly insignificant group? Why would so many people (the majority of editors to this talk page) use the same exact "bullshit pretence" [sic] in an effort to combat an organization which is devoted to eliminating itself? (talk) 02:42, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
You're trying to lecture editors on prose and you don't understand non-US English? Pretence uses a C in Europe. And there is no "clique" involved in WP:FA, it's clearly a battleground of contention quite often; you'd know this if you did anything but mindlessly bash one article on its talk page instead of trying something productive. And check the article's history; my contributions are limited to reverting vandalism while it was featured on the main page. If you genuinely feel this should be demoted, take it to WP:FAR, point out specifics for once, or else you're admitting you don't have a leg to stand on. Simple as. GRAPPLE X 02:54, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Or better yet, find a website that suits your tastes better than this one. Although, I'm glad to hear that I've been promoted to the rank of "big-time editor". Do I get a raise now? Mark Arsten (talk) 01:59, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Conservapedia, you know it makes sense! Become a conservapedian. Then you can pretend Gawd will bring about the rapture, I mean extinction. Or, better still, do nothing and let natural selection take its course. Result will be the same.1812ahill (talk) 22:18, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

VHE and Tolstoy[edit]

I wonder if someone could add a section about Tolstoy's similar argument in The Kreutzer Sonata --CaritasUbi (talk) 02:20, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

That is interesting, I wasn't aware of The Kreutzer Sonata--I'll check it out. Unfortunately, we could only add it in if sources have connected the two (WP:SYNTH). Mark Arsten (talk) 02:25, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
I read the book and I could not find anything related with human extinction. The novella is particularly about celibacy.GoPTCN 17:11, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm referring to Chapter 11. Yes, it's about celibacy, but the protagonist responds to the question of whether universal celibacy wouldn't lead to the end of the human race.--CaritasUbi (talk) 04:54, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
The arguments are also present in "Путь жизни" (a quote compendium by Tolstoy):, although that would fit the antinatalism article better. --AVRS (talk) 08:40, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

This is[edit]

The fastest promotion to main page I have ever seen. ResMar 04:27, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, that was pretty fast, only a couple weeks or so, I think. Mark Arsten (talk) 04:47, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Fringe group[edit]

So why was this article featured and as best I can tell it has minimal content indicating how fringe this group is? (talk) 14:34, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

It is self-evident.--GoPTCN 17:41, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
I wanted to add a sentence at the end saying "The group has failed; the human race is not extinct.", but I resisted the temptation... Mark Arsten (talk) 17:43, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
It would be more impressive if VHEM offed themselves as a 'first start.' That being said, yes, very fringe indeed and I'm not sure these ... people ... should even have an article instead of just a footnote in a fringe-theorists section of an environmental article.HammerFilmFan (talk) 18:15, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
They already have, if you'd bothered to read beyond the article's title. Seriously, what is the problem with voluntarily deciding you don't want to have children? Could it possibly be that no one actually reads these things before they mindlessly wander on to talk pages to complain about things? No, no, couldn't be that. GRAPPLE X 18:19, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
  • This is a fringe group. I can't believe the editors and administrators have sunk this low on the totem poll. I can't believe this is even notable enough to be an article! As soon as this is no longer a featured article I will be putting it up for deletion. Mrld (talk) 18:38, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
It's an excellent example of Antinatalism and it's well sourced, so good luck getting it deleted. Brightgalrs (/braɪtˈɡæl.ərˌɛs/)[1] 23:31, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Where's the article on Les U. Knight? It seems that this "group" is no more than him -- an eccentric with a web site and a mailing list. If that suffices to make the group notable enough for a Wikipedia article, and a featured one at that, he must be pretty important. Where's his biography? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:29, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

If you think Knight deserves a biography, feel free to register and account and start one. Mark Arsten (talk) 12:08, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

I have no reason to think he deserves a biography as an individual, any more than he merits an article when he calls himself a "group" and creates a web site. Did you work on this article as a lark? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

His "group" does apparently consist of other real people. Pictures at the bottom of this page. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:40, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
FYI, we do have detailed notability guidelines to determine who merits an article, (and VHEMT meets them) see Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies). Mark Arsten (talk) 16:20, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
That is debatable. In twenty years or so, Knight has gotten himself mentioned a few times in the press. It seems as though there were a few editors on a mission to find all of these mentions. If you look at those articles, they all seem to be in the vein of "(amazing and kooky) things that people believe", rather than "coverage" of a "movement". One of the articles uses VHEMT as an example of the bizarre ways acronyms are supposed to be pronounced. I didn't read every reference, but is there anybody else besides Knight in this "movement" speaking for it, or even being quoted in the press? Most of the information in the Wikipedia article about this so-called movement seems to come from the VHEMT website itself, not the "coverage", and many of the references in the list are to that website. It doesn't seem to me that this "movement" or "organization" is much more than one guy, a logo (suitable for tatoos) and, a very low-traffic website. This article really makes Wikipedia and its editorial processes seem unhinged and out of control, which is regrettable.
Well, I'm not going to spend all day arguing about the depth of coverage with you, if you don't think it's notable, register an account (or log in if you already have one) and submit it to WP:AFD. That being said, the amount of followers, website traffic, logo tattoos etc. are irrelevant as far as Wikipedia:Notability is concerned. Also, I just counted and only 6 or so out of the 50+ citations in the article are to the groups's website. Mark Arsten (talk) 16:58, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
There aren't 50+ references. There are 31 numbered references, of which 9 are different pages of previous references, and 6 are different pages on the VHEMT web site. So, there are only 16 distinct external references, over a period of more than 15 years. Every one that I have read seems to be struck by the radical nature of the VHEMT platform. But not a single one of them states that it is in any way a significant "movement". Indeed, all of these articles are opinion pieces using quotes from Knight as springboards to discussion of the idea. This suggests that the philosophical position of anti-natalism merits an article, with (perhaps) a mention of Knight and VHEMT. Indeed there is one. But it is hard to see VHEMT as more than one guy and an obscure website. (talk) 21:38, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
I never said there were "50+ references". If you're going to try to put words in my mouth, I won't bother debating with you. Mark Arsten (talk) 03:57, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
You said 50+ "citations" just a couple of paragraphs ago. I didn't count "citations", but there are only 31 references, and only 16 external ones gathered from press references over the course of 15 years. Several of these are from the same press outlets on different occasions. Only a handful of media outlets account for them all. Did this article become a "Good Article" and then a "Featured Article" on the basis of the number of citations and references, or on the basis of being a well-written encyclopedia article about a real organization or movement? Some of the 16 references only mention VHEMT in passing. This is supposed to be an article about VHEMT, not about Knight, or his ideas. I cannot find one reference that is a news article about VHEMT as a "movement" or as a serious organization. They almost all seem to be opinion pieces where the writer is engaging with Knight's ideas, not covering VHEMT as an organization. The article answers no questions that you would expect about an organization or a movement. Who belongs to it? How is it structured? What has it done of note? What people or other organizations has it influenced? Apart from mentioning when and by whom it was "founded", and some speculation about just how pathetically few people are on the VHEMT mailing list, this article has none of that. That is no surprise because VHEMT is not a real movement: it is a substitite teacher from Portland who in the course of 15 years of trying has gotten a little bit of publicity for his rather eccentric and striking ideology. This article is all about that ideology and reactions to it. The editors who turned this into, first, a "Good Article", and then a "Featured Article", seem only to have been concerned about how many footnotes there were, and its grammar and diction. Wasn't it an impediment to being a Good/Featured Article about an organization/movement that the subject organization/movement is neither an organization nor a movement? (talk) 13:37, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
At the top of this page there are links to the good and featured article reviews. You seem to be unaware of the good and featured article standards, so you can read these to educate yourself: WP:WIAGA & WP:WIAFA. Mark Arsten (talk) 14:39, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
On the contrary, I did read the criteria for Featured Article status. Aside from being well-written, NPOV, no original research, and the usual, one of the most important requirements is that the article be "comprehensive". This is an important requirement, don't you think? There isn't much use in an encylopedia article that is neutral, well-written, properly sourced, etc, etc, if it fails to mention key points. In this case, the key point omitted from this article, which is framed as an article about a movement or organization, is that it is NOT an organization or movement. Alternatively, if it is indeed a real organization or movement, it seems there is little said in the article about the things one would expect to be covered about a real organization or movement. Either way, the article fails on comprehensiveness. When all the esteemed Wikipedia editors, reviewers, etc, were checking off the various items on their Good/Feature article checklists, didn't anybody notice that? (talk) 15:41, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Reliable sources tend to characterize it as a very small group that is unlikely to succeed, and I think that comes across quite well in the article. If you think it fails WP:WIAFA, you can take it to WP:FAR. Mark Arsten (talk) 15:49, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what "reliable sources" you are talking about. According to the VHEMT website, you cannot join it, and it is not an organization. The website claims VHEMT is a "movement". According to the Wikipedia (heard of it?), a social movement is "a large informal grouping of individuals or organizations which focus on political or social issues". VHEMT is not a movement because it is not large, which you admit yourself.A small informal grouping of individuals is not a "movement". One guy is not a "movement". A website is not a "movement". So, here we have an article on Wikipedia about a "movement" which is in reality a name under which one person promotes his views. That one guy is canny enough to realize that the media won't pay attention to Les Knight, substitute high school teacher from Portland, but it might pay attention to a "movement", even if it is a self-styled one. Unlike a real movement, the only tactic used by this faux movement is for the one guy to go on talk shows (etc) and otherwise to work the press. That's it. Shouldn't a "comprehensive" Wikipedia article about a "movement" mention this little point? (talk) 16:37, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
I think the article does explain the nature of the [whatever this thing is] quite well. I think this discussion is fruitless. Perhaps you would have better luck discussing this with Mitch Ames, my collaborator on the article. Mark Arsten (talk) 16:51, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
This is the Wikipedia, and your collaborator on this article is the world, not one other person. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:04, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I reverted your revision of the lead, reliable sources do use the terms "movement" and "group" to describe VHEMT [10], or just "movement" [11] & [12], or "informal network" [13] or "group" and "organization" [14] Mark Arsten (talk) 17:21, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Quotes, please. "movement" is part of the name, but that does not mean it is a movement. You describe VHEMT as a "movement" following Knight's description of it. However, it is not established that it is a social movement. What evidence is there of that? If it is a movement, what other organizations or individuals are part of it? Surely you agree that a "movement" has to be more than one person doing talk shows and press interviews. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:33, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
You may disagree with how the sources describe it, but we follow what reliable sources say, not the opinions of pseudonymous contributors. The article in the psychological journal, the San Fran gate piece, and the Illiberal Egalitarianism book all mention members other than Knight. Mark Arsten (talk) 17:46, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not a pseudonymous contributor. I'm an anonymous contributor. You could be a pseudonymous contributor, for all I know, as are most Wikipedia editors. Why a pseudonym would make my comments more valid, I fail to see. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

US based? Citation requested[edit]


Given that "Being VHEMT is a state of mind" and VHEMT claims millions of supporters world-wide, I suggest that we need a citation for it being a "U.S.-based" movement. Mitch Ames (talk) 03:58, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

That was added in by someone earlier today, I just removed it. Besides, it says Knight is an American in the second paragraph anyway. Mark Arsten (talk) 04:04, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

No controversy?[edit]

Can it be really true there is no controversy on this subject? (The article does not mention any, and it is presumably comprehensive.) — (talk) 03:48, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Notable criticisms of the group are presented in the "Reception" section, there's no real reason the article has to have a section titled "controversy" since that's part of the group's reception. Mark Arsten (talk) 04:00, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
As has been stated, the "Reception" section shows various reactions to the VHEM ideology. This article has passed the featured article evaluation. No article is perfect. I suggest that anyone who disagrees substantially with the FAC evaluation should take it to FAR and list complaints there. MathewTownsend (talk) 17:03, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

WP:LEAD says that major controversies should be summarized in the introduction. Someone should do that, please. (talk) 02:09, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

The last three sentences of the lead discuss the group's reception, is there something of note you think is left out? Mark Arsten (talk) 02:17, 29 March 2012 (UTC)


Despite being, first, a "good" article, and then, amazingly, a featured article, this article is seriously lacking in comprehensive coverage of its subject. What do we learn about VHEMT from this article?

  • it was "founded" in 1991 by Les U Knight, a "resident" of Portland and "environmental activist". The article does not say what form this activism took, apart from "founding" VHEMT. (From the cited sources, we learn that Knight is a substitute high school teacher, but for some reason that is not in the article.)
  • it publishes a newsletter for which there are 400 subscribers, or maybe it is 230 subscribers.
  • it operates, a website in 11 languages.
  • it has published cartoons
  • it has a logo.
  • it sells buttons, T-shirts, and bumper stickers that say "Thank you for not breeding".
  • Knight is the spokesperson for the organization and has various opinions on various subjects. If there are any other people who ever speak for VHEMT, they aren't mentioned.
  • Knight's views have elicited various responses and commentary from various people.

That's it. Considering that the article is supposedly comprehensive coverage of its subject, it isn't much, is it? Compare it to the article on almost any other random organization/movement on Wikipedia. Compare, for example, to the articles on the Animal liberation movement or the Anti-whaling movement. (talk) 00:47, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

  • If you don't think this meets the FA criteria, feel free to open a WP:FAR. However, it's obvious to me that you do not understand the FA criteria. Mark Arsten (talk) 00:51, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
    • I'm damn near tempted to open one myself, so that when it closes promptly as needless nonsense, there's another link to throw glibly at ignorant IPs spouting over nothing. GRAPPLE X 00:54, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Well, you keep saying that I don't understand the criteria, but you never mention what it is that I obviously don't understand. What is hard to understand? Here are the critera: A FA is

1(a) well-written. It's prose is engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard.

  • Fail. It isn't badly written by Wikipedia's low standards, but engaging, brilliant, and professional it is not.

1(b) comprehensive. It neglects nor major facts or details and places the subject in context.

  • Fail. The article provides almost no details about the VHEMT. (See my point.)

1(c) well-researched. It is a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature.

  • Fail. If this is all the information available, then there isn't enough information available to write a featured article about this organization, movement, whatever-it-is.

1(d) neutral.

  • Pass. It presents the views of the "founder/spokesperson" and various opposing views. It doesn't present any views by any other "members" of the movement/organization/whatever-it-is, but this is probably OK because the movement/organization/whatever-it-is says it doesn't have any members.

1(e) stable.

  • Fail. All the disputes about this article have been swept into two archived versions of the Talk page, and two editors revert any efforts to change the article beyond minor word-smithing.

2. It follows the style guidelines.

2(a) a lead.

  • Check. Has a lead.

2(b) appropriate structure. a system of headings and TOC.

  • Check. Has headings and TOC.

2(c) consistent citations. Oh, yes, its got citations. 3. Media

  • Check. Its got images.

4. Length. It stays focused on the main topic without going into unnecessary detail.

  • Check. It doesn't go into any detail, unnecssary or otherwise.

In short, on the bureaucratic formalistic criteria, it passes. On all the important criteria, massive fail. (talk) 01:19, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Wait, let me see if I understand you. You claim that it doesn't use all the sources out there, and then go on to say that if these are all the available sources then it's still not comprehensive? Bullshit. Several reviewers, far more experienced (and objective) than yourself, have combed the article for prose, scope and comprehensiveness as part of this site's thorough FA vetting process. An article of obvious poor quality does not get through in a hurry, and I find it beggars belief that you feel more qualified to judge this article's standards than an experienced cadre who do it routinely. If you're genuinely concerned about the state of this article beyond selfish moral outrage at other people's private lives, then DO SOMETHING. GRAPPLE X 01:32, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Grapple, you were involved in the FA review process weren't you? You massively screwed up. (talk) 01:37, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Then prove me wrong. Take your whining to WP:FAR. Do it. GRAPPLE X 01:37, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Somehow, your insistence that I go through that process tells me that the process is stacked. No, thank you.

If VHEMT is a real organization/movement/whatever-it-is, this article is not comprehensive. There should be a lot more detail. If VHEMT is not a real whatever-it-is then the article still fails to be comprehensive because somehow it neglects to mention this little detail.

As for "thoroughly researched", it is essentially the same dilemma: either there is information out there about this organization which was not well-researched and did not find its way into the article. Or all the available information was found, in which case one has to conclude that there isn't enough reliable information available about this whatever-it-is to write a "featured article" about it.

On top of that the article is only mediocre as regards being well-written. Brilliant, engaging, etc, it is not. It does not even start to be any of those things. Who could possibly think so? Nor is it stable. Look at the edit history. The disputes on the talk page have been buried into "archives". That this article could be passed as a feature article is almost a reductio ad absurdum of the whole process. You FA boys need to take a long hard look at your process. (talk) 01:50, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

To be blunt: you will not affect this article's status by complaining about it on its talk page. If you genuinely believe there are problems with it, actually do something about it instead of wearing out your keyboard. WP:FAR is the only avenue by which a Featured Article will have its status revoked, and if you refuse to use that avenue then you're already admitting that you do not have the genuine conviction necessary to follow through on your whining. GRAPPLE X 01:56, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for providing us with your views, 98... Your opinions have been noted and will be given the respect they deserve. Mark Arsten (talk) 01:58, 27 March 2012 (UTC) - twice you have said that disputes have been "swept into" or "buried into" archived versions of the Talk page, in a context that suggests you believe that the disputes are not being resolved. I was under the impression that those disputes had been resolved and that a majority consensus had been achieved - which is why they were archived. (I acknowledge that the results were not always unanimous, amicable or even civil; one major participant was blocked indefinitely as a result of inappropriate actions.) If there is a specific issue that has been archived but that you believe should still be under discussion, feel free to re-open the discussion. I strongly recommend that you summarise the issue under a new section on this page, with a link to the full archived discussion, rather than simply copying the full discussion back onto this page. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:10, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't know if the disputes were resolved or not. However, one of the FA criteria is that the article be stable. One way an FA reviewer would assess that is by looking at the Talk page. If there is a long and recent history of disputes, then the reviewer might not conclude that the article is stable enough (yet) to be a featured article, irrespective of whether the current editors claim that the disputes have been resolved. That may simply because editors who disagree have thrown in the towel or left in frustration (or been blocked). That is not the type of stability a FA should have. When a lot of the Talk page discussion has been swept into archives, the appearance of stability may be misleading. (talk) 22:18, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to appeal to the Featured Article Director, he's the ultimate authority over the Featured Article process on this site. Who knows? He might take your side. Mark Arsten (talk) 00:17, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

I would have thought that the measure of "stability" was the article's edit history, not the talk page or its history. WP:FACR seems to agree with me on this:
stable: it is not subject to ongoing edit wars and its content does not change significantly from day to day, except in response to the featured article process.
No mention of the contents or length of the talk page.
If you think that WP:FACR needs updating or clarification (eg "talk page has no evidence of ongoing dispute" - which actually sounds like a reasonable enough criteria) feel free to take it up at WT:Featured article criteria. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:13, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

pull-quote under "Ideology"[edit]


Recently I added the following directly under the 'Ideology' subheading.

It was removed on grounds with which I don't agree (no offence intended here, Mark!), i.e. that it fell afoul of WP:MOSQUOTE. As a pull-quote, it seems to me to be perfectly compliant with the aforementioned guideline, and moreover I believe that it improves the article by (1) summing up VHEMT's ideology succinctly, and (2) adding visual interest to the page.

As suggested by our colleague Mark Arsten, I'd like to find out what other editors think of this. I appreciate hearing any feedback and viewpoints. Thanks very much. -- TyrS  chatties  13:01, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

I've never really liked those broad quote templates, a smaller box-out might be more aesthetically pleasing (such as {{Quote box}}). However, I think the quote is a good one to use. GRAPPLE X 13:07, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
MoS says per WP:MOSQUOTE under Blockquotes: Format a long quote (more than about 40 words or a few hundred characters, or consisting of more than one paragraph, regardless of length) as a block quotation, which Wikimedia's software will indent from both margins. Do not enclose block quotations in quotation marks (and especially avoid decorative quotation marks in normal use, such as those provided by the {{cquote}} template, which are reserved for pull quotes). MathewTownsend (talk) 13:57, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the quote is relevant and appropriate. I also agree that the pull quote format is not nice, and that {{quotation}} or {{quote box}} or {{quote}} would be better. On a related formatting issue, I don't think we need both the external link and the ref link (as visible in this version). The ref is probably better, in which case the inline link to the VHEMT home page is unnecessary. Mitch Ames (talk) 14:14, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks very much for your replies, Grapple, Mathew and Mitch!
I've just been looking at the examples under {{Quote box}}, and thought that perhaps following might be agreeable? I personally quite like the fat-ish quotes, since they add something different, visually, but I guess they don't have to be there - let me know what you think.

We’re the only species evolved enough to consciously go extinct for the good of all life, or which needs to.

VHEMT Website[2]
Thanks! -- TyrS  chatties  14:45, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
p.s. I think it's worthwhile to use the fat-ish quote marks in this instance because (1) it emphasizes the fact that this is a quote, which I think is especially important since it's from the primary source, and (2) they add visual interest. If no-one objects in the next 24 hours, I plan to put the quote back in in the above format.
Thanks very much. -- TyrS  chatties  03:25, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
I suggest deleting the width parameter. I don't with the current settings, on my screen the quote is split over two lines, wasting vertical space, while simultaneously having unused horizontal space on each side. Using a single line (default width) would be more efficient, without lessening the visual impact. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:34, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Hey Mitch, thanks for the suggestion. I just previewed the quote box with no width parameter and it stretches it across the width of the page (see below), which to me looks strange, and like a waste of space in the sides of the box. How does it look on your screen?

We’re the only species evolved enough to consciously go extinct for the good of all life, or which needs to.

VHEMT Website[3]

Perhaps a different percentage might work on your screen? Please let me know. Thanks! Sincerely, -- TyrS  chatties  09:50, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

We’re the only species evolved enough to consciously go extinct for the good of all life, or which needs to.

VHEMT Website[4]
As per the documentation the default width for centred is 100%. The space is no more "wasted" with 100% than with any other % - it's just "wasted" in colour! But yes, it is no aesthetic. Probably best (and simplest) to use the default alignment and border, as I have done here. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:44, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Hey Mitch,
Sorry, I haven't responded, I've been away for a bit.
About the width percentage, no problem, I'll fix it now. :) -- TyrS  chatties  00:33, 12 April 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ Knight, Les U. "SUCCESS". Voluntary Human Extinction Movement Official Website. 
  2. ^ Knight, Les U. "SUCCESS". Voluntary Human Extinction Movement Website. 
  3. ^ Knight, Les U. "SUCCESS". Voluntary Human Extinction Movement Website. 
  4. ^ Knight, Les U. "SUCCESS". Voluntary Human Extinction Movement Website. 

Man vs human[edit]


There is no consensus to change from the current use of "humankind". Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 05:37, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Lets discuss the issue about gender neutral language here instead of edit warring. Doesn't the manual of style prefer gender neutral language, Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Gender-neutral_language? Mark Arsten (talk) 13:35, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Yes, and it is gender neutral. Gender neutral language doesn´t mean you don´t use ´spokesman´ when the person is male. Edgth (talk) 22:52, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Incorrect. That's the whole purpose of gender-neutral terminology. To replace gender-specific terms like "spokesman", "spokeswoman" with the gender-neutral term "spokesperson" which is equally applicable to both genders. You cannot have "spokesman" and then use "spokesperson" for the female. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 04:11, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Only if the gender is unknown. The spokesperson of this group is a man so he is a spokesman. Edgth (talk) 20:06, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
BTW, you are still edit-warring replacing "humankind' with "mankind" despite being told multiple times on multiple pages not to do that. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 04:19, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
No, I changed it once and I was reverted so I changed it to humanity. Edgth (talk) 20:06, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
A trip to my bookshelf found this,
  • From Garner's Modern American Usage: "Humankind, a 17th Century creation, is unexceptionable, while mankind is, to many people, a sexist word. The prudent writer will therefore resort to humankind".
  • From The New Fowler's Modern English Usage: "First used in the 17th century as an ocassional variant of the human race or of mankind, the term (humankind) has gathered strength in the 20th century, sometimes written as two words the word is also favored by those who judge mankind to be unacceptable in our politically correct times". ```Buster Seven Talk 05:16, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Despite those sources, mankind is still used by many, far more than humankind. Plus, the opinion of mankind as sexist is an opinion not widely shared. Besides, the edit to this page changed the rare ´humankind´ to the far more common ´humanity´. Edgth (talk) 20:06, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
What's wrong with "humankind" though? Seems like a perfectly suitable word to me. Plus, it's the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, so humankind goes well with it. Mark Arsten (talk) 22:42, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Google hits show just how rare humankind is when compared to humanity. 6,790,000 hit to 85,900,000, ie less than 8%. Plus it is somewhat jarring and awkward. I can say the same for humanity. Edgth (talk) 22:58, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "Extinction of 'humanity'" is ambiguous. It can mean extinction of:
Mankind; human beings as a group.  

The human condition or nature. The quality of being benevolent. Humane traits of character; humane qualities or aspects

Whereas "humankind" means only: "The human race; mankind, humanity; Homo sapiens" which makes it much more clear in the present context. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 23:24, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
We both know that it isn´t ambiguous. It clearly refers to the human race. Although you haven´t been following me and reverting me on pages, I consider coming to this talk page with irrelevant statements to the issue such as this one and higher above in which you claim that ´spokesman´ violates MoS, to be disruptive. Your purpose is not to help the article but to come up with any reason you can think of to oppose my edit. Perhaps Mark Arsten can advise me on the correct response to this, as it doesn´t work long-term. Edgth (talk) 02:01, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
We both know that it isn´t ambiguous. Leave the presumptious statements and don't put words in my mouth. I am not convinced at all with your arguments. You have been told that before by Paul August on Mythology but, as usual you reverted him. As far as "following you around" you have declared your dislike for the word "humankind" multiple times and you have engaged in edit-wars on multiple articles to extinguish its presence. So you will have to forgive me if I try to help the locals by replying to your disruption as it moves from one article to the other mechanically replacing "humankind" with "humanity" without regard to tiring repetition or word flow. This is an open wiki after all and I can participate anywhere any way I see fit, especially when I see dogmatic disruption. I think Mark may well help out but not the way you think. You should also dispense with your frequent personal attacks against me. They won't work the way you intend them to and they may also boomerang against you. I hope this helps. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 02:20, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
It´s so obviously unambiguous that I couldn´t be presumptuous. I´ve stated several reasons why humanity is preferable and other than the transparently weak reason you gave above, there´s nothing wrong with humanity. You´re the one causing the disruption with your vindictive opposition to a simple change like this. There´s no repition problems with this edit anyway. You can´t wikihound however, which is what you´re doing. Personal attacks started with your bullshit interpretation of my comment explaining my IP edits. Edgth (talk) 02:28, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
You are trying to eliminate the semantically focused word "humankind" consistently across many articles with the less focused term "humanity" and you have not provided one iota of evidence as to why this is necessary other than your personal dislike of the word. You say: You´re the one causing the disruption with your vindictive opposition to a simple change like this. The page history of this FA article is littered with the reverts of your edit-warring in which you reached 3RR. I never reverted you once here. But you were reverted by multiple editors at this article. I guess that's practical proof that several other editors, not only me, oppose your edits. As far as your loud and unjust proclamations of alleged "wikihounding" just for engaging in civil discussion with you, again: they will not prevent me from putting forth my arguments pointing out your inconsistencies, especially when you embark on a multi-article edit-warring campaign uniformly erasing the perfectly fine word "humankind" and replacing it with "humanity" across the board, in effect unilaterally banning the word "humankind" from the encyclopaedia. Not to mention going on different users' talkpages applying pressure to these editors and asking them to self-revert: [15], [16]. So you'll have to excuse me for pointing this type of editing to the wider community. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 10:20, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
And of course, let's not forget the declaration of your intent to replace "humankind" with "humanity" across the board: [17]:
No I don´t. I can go about replacing humankind with humanity. They both mean the same thing so unless there is a good reason for a specific article to have humankind instead, I can change it. Please begin a fruitless search for a policy or guideline that says otherwise. Edgth (talk) 03:17, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 11:53, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Many words can mean more than one thing, it doesn´t necessarily make them less focused. It depends on context. In this case, it isn´t less focused or ambiguous. There´s evidence just above, in which humankind is used less than 8% of the time that humanity is used. No, the first person to revert objected to mankind so I made it humanity. The second person mistakenly thought that ´spokesman´ violated MoS. The trouble is that you´re not here for a civil discussion but to come up with any reason you can, no matter how weak, to oppose my edit. I´m not going across Wikipedia looking for humankind in order to replace it. When I see it, I´ll change it to the more appropriate humanity. What´s wrong with that? I asked him to self revert because he mistakenly thought that consensus needed to be established when it already was. I don´t know about across the board. When I see it, I´ll replace it. As there´s no policy or guideline or even a reason why changing a rarely used word to its far more common counterpart is wrong, I´ll continue to do that. Edgth (talk) 00:04, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Your indiscriminate Google search was flawed. Of course it is to be expected that "humanity" is used more often since it has more meanings. But semantically connecting humankind with "extinction" yields far more results than "humanity": "extinction of humanity" About 406,000 results (0.19 seconds) versus "extinction of humankind" About 609,000 results (0.46 seconds). So your actions trying to replace "humankind" with "humanity" are based on wrong semantic connections. As far as your statement: The trouble is that you´re not here for a civil discussion but to come up with any reason you can, no matter how weak, to oppose my edit., again your personal attacks will not deter me from pointing to you your mistakes. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 00:24, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
It´s not flawed. The point is that the word is far more common with readers. The transparently weak reasons you gave higher above to oppose the edit is pretty convincing that you´re just here to oppose a simple edit. The ´did you mean´ notice at the top of the search shows how unusual the word humankind is. Yet another reason to make it humanity. Edgth (talk) 00:42, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
The numbers don't lie. Check the semantically correct Google results again: "extinction of humanity" About 406,000 results (0.19 seconds) versus "extinction of humankind" About 609,000 results (0.46 seconds). Case closed. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 00:51, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
You´re right, numbers don´t lie. Once again, you just have a specific combination of words that don´t allow for any variation of saying the same thing. Here´s a more accurate look [18] 7,880,000 for humanity versus [19] 679,000 for humankind. Edgth (talk) 00:55, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
You use wrong methodology. You are catching occurrences such as combining "human" with "extinction" which yields inaccurate results. The lead of this FA article uses the exact combination "extinction of humankind" which as I showed above is far more frequent than "extinction of humanity". Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 01:03, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Combining humanity with extinction and humankind with extinction produces very accurate results. That sentence can be said in so many ways, just check the first page of results on my hits. That´s why your results are useless, it´s just a specific combination. Edgth (talk) 01:06, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This specific combination, as you call it, is at the lead of this FA article and you just replaced it with the less frequent version. Your arguments are invalid. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 01:10, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Less frequent version of a specific clause in a sentence? That´s your problem? The results show that when discussing the extinction of the human race, humanity is preferred 7,880,000 to 679,000. That is what is relevant to this article. Edgth (talk) 01:17, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
You just managed to obliterate the word "humankind" from this article by edit-warring your way as usual but I think it is useless arguing with you further. I made my case. Let's see if anyone else from the many watchers of this page has anything else to say. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 01:24, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I didn´t allow your vindictive edit-warring to remove a small change like this, you mean. I´m wondering if you´d agree to an interaction ban between the two of us. Edgth (talk) 01:29, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't think there's consensus to restore "humanity" yet, please discuss it more here instead of reverting again. Mark Arsten (talk) 01:46, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
  • As a bean counter, I'd say here's one, two, three editors reverting Edgth, and that's not even counting Dr. K. I can count different beans too, in the context of WP:3R, one, two, three reverts in the last 1:29. It may be that I am a terrible counter; perhaps Bbb23 can, as a licensed operator at WP:ANEW, set me straight if I erred. (And, since I'm about to warn Edgth for 3R violations, they can remove the template if I placed it there erroneously.) See, I don't like having to look at WP:3R violations. The timezones and all that are too complicated. I'm much more interested in WP:EW, which regards edit warring behavior in more general terms. There is no doubt in my mind that Edgth (talk · contribs) has been engaged in that kind of behavior in the past, and if this continues, there is enough reason for a block. Drmies (talk) 02:02, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I keep getting the feeling that people aren´t reading much into disputes. The first editor didn´t like mankind so I made it humanty. The second editor mistakenly thought that ´spokesman´ violates MoS. The third editor didn´t revert based on the content of the edit, but the requirement for consensus. So other than Dr.K who has only been edit-warring out of dislike for me, the discussion hasn´t resulted in opposition to the edit. As such, I reinstated it and didn´t feel like getting out-warred by a (Personal attack removed). Edgth (talk) 02:19, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
What I see is a whole bunch of different people disagreeing with you, which means that continuing to make the same edits is disruptive by virtue of being against consensus. Such behavior can be called edit warring if it consists of reverts made in one or more articles. It's really not that complicated. And if the 3R warning for this particular article was unintelligible, or too boring, then incompetence is the next valid reason for a block. Drmies (talk) 03:53, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
You´re simplifying it too much. First person disagreed, I changed my edit accordingly, second person disagreed, I explained MoS, third person asked for consensus, I obliged. I sought consensus, the only person to object is Dr.K. Bullshit reasons were given, those were quickly refuted. I didn´t want to get reverted by a (Personal attack removed) that hadn´t come up with a single satisfactory reason to revert me so I reverted him twice. Edgth (talk) 04:03, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Sorry to be personal, but I'm going to suggest to participants that there are some discussions which do not serve any useful purpose. Everything that could be said about edits like this has been said. No amount of explanation can compensate for a lack of familiarity with standard English as used in the current century, and there is a strong indication here that Edgth is not familiar with at least one word commonly used in an encyclopedia. It is standard that when a problem is noticed, and if the editor concerned will not take advice on the matter, that others have to use the editor's contributions to determine if more articles need correction. If a situation like this spirals out of control it has to be resolved at WP:ANI. Johnuniq (talk) 02:05, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
You´re going to have to be more clear. I know what an argument is. What aren´t I getting? I agree that these discussion don´t serve a useful purpose. I feel like you´re telling that to me when you should be telling it to Dr.K. Yes, I´m thinking ANI if a voluntary interaction ban isn´t agreed to by Dr.K. Edgth (talk) 02:19, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Rather than arguing the merits of "humanity" vs "humankind", I suggest the following alternatives:

I think this has exactly the same meaning, is easy to read, and avoids gender-neutrality issues.
  • Second instance/paragraph:
    "... the human reproductive drive will prevent us from ever voluntarily seeking extinction."
Not technically the same meaning, but in this context I think it is clear. And sometimes a simpler word conveys the meaning better.
Human race would be Ok with me. I'm not sure about "us" though. It seems a little informal to me. Mark Arsten (talk) 14:55, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Or perhaps "... the human reproductive drive will prevent the species from ever voluntarily seeking extinction." The "human reproductive drive" makes it clear which species we're talking about. (Although it ought to be obvious from the contest.)
This approach skirts the larger issue that by avoiding the word "humankind" locally in this or any other article, using the same arguments as above, this word will be de facto removed from the encyclopaedia. I think this is an MOS issue and needs a centralised discussion. Otherwise a piecemeal approach may lead to multiple RFCs or similar "humankind" vs. "humanity" discussions as in here, at Talk:Bahá'í Faith and Talk:Mythology. The premise behind the proposal to replace "humankind" with "humanity" at almost every occurrence is that "humanity" is somehow superior to "humankind" in most aspects. Same goes for the arguments to replace "humankind" with "human race" or similar. These arguments, in effect, seek to ban the word "humankind" from this encyclopaedia. If "humankind" deserves to be banned by substitution with equivalent terms and to be avoided, then it shouldn't be difficult to alter the MOS to reflect such practice. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 16:38, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
MoS doesn´t go into that level of detail. It would be random for MoS to have an entire section just saying ´don´t use humankind´. Besides, who would object to this change? As said, there are several good reasons to change it. It´s only been you so far on this article. Mythology is similar, it would´ve been over long ago if you hadn´t reverted. Baha´i Faith is different, but about half a dozen instances of humankind were removed by consensus and I think only one now remains. Edgth (talk) 20:02, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Mark's above suggestions are good, and there is always a way to rephrase text to avoid mentioning a particular word. However, I think we have to consider the bigger picture—should an editor be encouraged to go from article to article "correcting" perfectly acceptable English? If we work out some alternative wording here, are we going to do that on every other article mentioning "humankind"? If necessary, let's do that. But first, it needs to be demonstrated that it is necessary. Objections can be raised to any wording, for example, seeing "race" used unnecessarily concerns me—that word may raise highly contentious issues. Also, in the second suggestion above, the word "us" would inevitably be removed by a wikignome because many have a strong feeling that personal words such as "us" and "we" should be avoided, as in this example (which I happen to recall). After removing all "humankind", what about "argument" which is frequently used in a sense that is not familiar to some editors? Johnuniq (talk) 02:07, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I´m going to replace the rare, jarring and awkward ´humankind´ with humanity when I happen to come across it, whether or not it´s done here. So no need to worry about encouragement. I´m not calling for wikisquads to go out and remove humankind across the site. I´m just going to do it if I happen to see it. This needs to stop being blown out of proportion. These sorts of edits are done all the time. It´s so minor and insignificant. Can you please explain this whole ´argument´ thing which you keep cryptically mentioning? Edgth (talk) 02:21, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Ah, nevermind. I re-read what you wrote on my talk page. I think I quickly skimmed what you wrote before I replied. Edgth (talk) 02:27, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I have to laugh just a bit. :) The use of "mankind" is perfectly acceptable and far more appropriate than the "gender neutral" term "humankind" which has connotations of aliens from outer space. Looking at the edit warring which has gotten editor Edgth banned from editing for a month, I find the debate that silly, but at the same time the question as to which term is more encyclopedia has not been seriously discussed in the Talk: here.
The term "humanity" also has connotations and direct meanings which are not an analog to the term "mankind." The term "humanity," as others have pointed out, encompass compassionate feelings for fellow human beings whereas the term "mankind" does not -- so "humanity" is not a synonym for "mankind" nor for "humankind."
The most encyclopedic term is "mankind." That's what the world uses when they mean the whole of the filthy, unwashed, squabbling species Homo Sapiens Sapiens. If the term has a penis hanging off of it, so be it, that's English, that's historic, that's reality, and trying to rip the penis off of the English language by utilizing gender neutral terms like "humankind" end up making sentences flow badly. BiologistBabe (talk) 00:52, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I respect your opinion, but I wish you would find less painful metaphors :\ Mark Arsten (talk) 01:32, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
There is no guideline on whether "mankind" is good or bad (although some of us regard Gender-neutral language as ruling out "mankind"), but there is the WP:GENDER essay which recommends avoiding that word. In Real Life, there are three main positions—a growing trend in the last forty years to move towards gender-neutral language; a push-back from grammarians annoyed by PC madness; disinterest from most. At any rate, Wikipedia is not the place to push excessive gender neutrality, or to zealously oppose it. As with all other text, what counts are correctness and consensus—it's clear that "humankind" is correct (see any dictionary), and it's clear it has consensus. While a case might be made that "mankind" is better, the vital point is that there is no knock-out argument either way, so no one should embark on a campaign to find-and-destroy either usage (without a clear consensus). Johnuniq (talk) 02:41, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Request for comment[edit]

Which word(s) should be used in the following sentences from the article's lead:

  • The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT[A]) is an environmental movement that calls for all people to abstain from reproduction to cause the gradual voluntary extinction of _____________.
  • Others maintain that, whatever the merits of the idea, the human reproductive drive will prevent _____________ from ever voluntarily seeking extinction.

Previously suggested terms include: humankind, mankind, humanity, and the human race. Feel free to offer any others you prefer. Mark Arsten (talk) 01:52, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Sorry Mark but this being an FA article isn't it supposed to be compliant with Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Gender-neutral language, a fact that would eliminate "mankind" from contention? Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 02:11, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I just put down all the phrases that had been suggested above, for reference. Mark Arsten (talk) 02:15, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Edited just now to make that clear. Mark Arsten (talk) 02:18, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I understand. But won't "mankind" be automatically disqualified as a suggestion based on MOS non-compliance? In that sense the RFC doesn't have the degree of freedom to suggest that we use "mankind", since it is incompatible with MOS. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 02:25, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
You might be right. I haven't filed an RFC before so I'm not too sure about whether it can/should be included in my statement. Mark Arsten (talk) 02:28, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps we can remove it from the suggested terms. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 02:37, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
the human race. Clear, idiomatic, gender-neutral. Maproom (talk) 07:06, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Ummm, why are we still talking about this? This is a WP:BIKESHED issue where people will talk indefinitely about whether one phrase is superior to another, however there can be no realistic expectation that the article would be improved by replacing "humankind". Just as a couple of people have objected to that word, so too would I object to "human race" because of all the baggage associated with "race" (I'm referring to the many pseudoscientific abuses of that term). In questions of language, different people react differently to words because of their vastly different backgrounds—there is no hope of finding perfect text that satisfies everyone. That's not a problem because the current text is fine! People who are not used to seeing "humankind" should be glad that they are getting a chance to see a perfectly acceptable word here. Johnuniq (talk) 09:57, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I have to agree. The current text is indeed fine and has been the stable version of this FA article until the recent disruption started. The WP:BIKESHED analogy is particularly apt. There is no reason to fret over replacing perfectly acceptable words such as "humankind", which by the way has only two occurrences in this article. What (non-existent) problem are we trying to solve? Also unless we have to repeat this discussion across hundreds of articles in Wikipedia which still use the word "humankind" I don't see why we have to target this particular article and engage in interminable discussions about the merits of "humankind" and its replacements. That would be a large-scale disruption for the project and shows the underlying disruptive purpose of the recent "humankind"-replacing edits. Similar discussions have taken place at talk:Mythology and talk:Bahai Faith. Much ado about nothing. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 17:21, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
  • "... abstain from reproduction to cause the gradual voluntary extinction of the human species."
    "... the human reproductive drive will prevent the species from ever voluntarily seeking extinction."
Bold shown here for emphasis only - it wouldn't be in the article - but the link would be. In the second point the previous use of "human" makes "the species" unambiguous. Mitch Ames (talk) 06:14, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
"Species" has a specific unambiguous meaning, as does (by extension) "human species". My original suggestion was "human race" - which is probably better because that's the term that VHEMT themselves use. Some people are not happy with the word "race", because it has undesirable connotations, although I don't think that they apply in this case. (We're not trying make distinctions between Caucasians and Negroids for example, we're describing all humans, as distinct from monkeys for example.)
But this still doesn't answer my original question which is why we need to remove "humankind". Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 23:44, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  • RFCbot comment It's not so much WP:BIKESHED as an WP:AINT issue. These terms are all interchangeable and there's no problem with the current use of "humankind." The word is used across the project and we can't go around in circles like we did with WP:MOSDATE. (Well, we can, but it would be bad.) KrakatoaKatie 22:10, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Any As others have said, It really does not matter that much. Stick with the wording as used when the article became an FA. Martin Hogbin (talk) 21:38, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Earth First[edit]

What does the statement that "The 1995 survey found that 36% considered themselves members of Earth First! or had donated to the group in the previous five years"? Who are Earth First, and is that 36% of supporters of VHEM? (talk) 21:48, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

"Who are Earth First..." - the term Earth First! in the article is a link, indicated by the text being in a different colour (typically blue, but it may depend on your browser). Click that link, and your browser should take you to an article about Earth First!, which should answer the question of who they are.
"... is that 36% of supporters of VHEM?" Yes - the article says "The 1995 survey...", ie "the" referring to a specific survey. The previous paragraph mentions "A 1995 survey of VHEMT members", which presumably (in the absence of any indication of a different 1995 survey) is the same one that found 36% etc... Mitch Ames (talk) 13:17, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

This article is NOT encyclopedic[edit]

First of all, the concept is disgusting to most human beings. Secondly, an encyclopedia article would discuss criticisms of the concept. There would be a section, "criticisms", explaining why most people would be disgusted by it. The article is highly biased and an excellent example of why wikipedia is NOT credible. If you think most human beings would not be disgusted by it, observe here:

((vomit)) @ "vhemt" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:26, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

"the concept is disgusting to most human beings"
That does not make it unencyclopaedic - see WP:NOTCENSORED. Is the Feces article unencyclopaedic? Most people find shit disgusting as well.
"an encyclopedia article would discuss criticisms of the concept"
Voluntary Human Extinction Movement#Reception includes criticism.
Mitch Ames (talk) 11:06, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

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