User:DGG/std talk

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items for reuse on talk pages as appropriate

proving non-existence[edit]

a general way to prove non-existence (not prove 100%, but pretty near) is to cross-search: If you find other things about the town of equal & lesser significance, but not this event & similar and less mining disasters, but not the one here, it is reasonably certain not to exist. I once startled a faculty committee at Princeton by showing them this--none of them had thought of it. DGG 20:34, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

PLoS authors (etc)[edit]

There are now 1708 papers in PLoS journals. There are about 4 authors average per article. That makes about 7000 authors. Some of them have published there more than once, so we'll say 3500 discrete authors. PLoS is a very distinguished journal, but there are about 100 similarly distinguished, considering all the fields of science: 700,000, most of whom will be graduate students, some of which will be distinguished. Do we want to include every one of them and tag them with the categories for each journal? So perhaps we should think of it as scientists who are notable enough to be in WP who have published in PLoS journals. Let's say we'll have 20,000 eminent scientists, of which 5,000 are biologists, of whom perhaps 2,000 will by now have published in PLoS. (And similarly for all the journals any of them has published in, of which there are several thousand. So we'll think of it as authors notable enough to be in PLoS who have published in journals notable enough to be in PLoS. We have then about 100 categories, with about 1,000 people in each. in science alone. What use is this? --DGG 01:14, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Basic notability[edit]

  • Jeff, I think you are right that I am blurring concepts - particularly notability versus measuring notability. As WP:N says, notability simply means that something is worthy of attracting notice. That is a subjective concept, as different people think different things are worthy of their attention. So, the only absolutely objective way to measure notability would be to run a worldwide poll on each article and only include the ones that X number of people say are worthy of their attention. Obviously we can't do that, so we have to rely on the best objective proxies for measuring notability. Right now, we have two mechanisms - (1) coverage in reliable sources and (2) by consensus of Wikipedia editors. Coverage in reliable sources is a good objective method because such sources usually wouldn't and couldn't cover topics unless they were of some general interest. Also, reliable sources allow us to meet the Wikipedia policies of WP:V, WP:RS and WP:NOR. Consensus is also a good objective proxy because if enough Wikipedia editors think a given topic is of interest, then it is of general interest. Aristotle isn't notable because people have written books about him, he is notable because people want to read about him. If there was only one book about Aristotle (to meet V, RS and NOR), he would still be notable because I think we can agree that enough people want to know about Aristotle. If we could get enough people to participate in every AfD, we wouldn't need notability guidelines - if 500 editors think something is worthy of their attention, then it's notable by definition. Consensus, assuming there is sufficient representative participation, is a perfectly acceptable way to measure notability (though not V, RS and NOR). So, the more I think about it, the more I like the approach at MUSIC - it uses the two best methods we have devised to measure notability.--Kubigula (talk) 17:58, 3 May 2007 at WP Tlk :Notability


  • Lately (well, over the past few years) there's been a trend along the lines of "prose is always better than lists". I think this is a Bad Thing, because sometimes lists are a better way to organize information. If a show has seven different segments, listing each as a bulleted paragraph of prose is going to be clearer to the reader than jumbling them together into 2-3 paragraphs describing the segments all at once. If an event has been held 16 times, and you want to state what the theme of the event was, where it was held, how many people attended, etc. for each year, you can do it in prose... but a list is much more accessible.

A certain amount of finesse is required; longer lists should be called "tables" and formatted as such, there's no denying that tables are encyclopedic. They should be alongside the prose, instead of all by themselves spanning half the length of the article. But this is all just stylistic. The bottom line is we should be thinking in every situation "What is the most effective way to convey this information?" rather than applying a universal, inflexible rule like "prose is always better". User:W.marsh

  • From WP:List --Information

The list may be a valuable information source. This is particularly the case for a structured list. Examples would include lists organized chronologically, grouped by theme, or annotated lists.

red links[edit]

  1. Deletion of red links.
That is not WP policy, and you should know it.
This practice would prevents placing an outline of stucture for filling in by other editors. Often, if one does try to make short descriptive articles, they tend to be removed as non-notable stubs. This leaves the alternative of only putting in fully finished articles, which is contrary to the basic WP principle of community editing. Sometimes people are not as fast to fill them in as might be desired; most of us work on many pages. The remedy is for those who think they should be documented, is to go and document them, rather than object to them. if one finds a red link that cannot be documented despite efforts to do so, then it would br reasonable to explain that information couldn't be found for that individual link & what sources were tried. (An alternative is to request an article):You can add a link to an article you want to be created using the newarticle template.

Naturally, the number of non-notable (or non-existent) entries in topics like this may be relatively high.

There does not appear to be any WP policy against them in appropriate cases, Indeed, there is an active project to fill in the articles, not to delete the links: Wikipedia:WikiProject Red Link Recovery, which suggests "Identifying and removing red links to topics for which no article will ever exist" -- I translate: "If the search engine does not exist, then get rid of the link. If it does, write an article"

Th precedent of doing it in other pages you mentioned is not valid, for it was done without justification, is based on no WP policy, and I wasn't here long enough yet to argue against it. The only think that can be said for it, is that some ofthe links removed were indeed linkspam, promotional items for profducts with no significant likely notability.

II. Practice: there are only 10 red inks here. I know that 8 of them are notable. This does not seem to be a problem worth bothering about here. Try elsewhere

=Lists of Works[edit]

    • Note Comparable lists for other writers (if I've missed any, feel free to add them): :I can think of a few examples here where such a list would be justified, and they are all on the basis of style and format:
List_of_compositions_by_Johann_Sebastian_Bach--there are over a thousand works, they have standard numbering, and there are whole books devoted to that numbering--not about his work but about just how to list them. It actually meets the primary N rule. (criteria: number of works, number with separate articles in WP, world-wide importance of works, RSs, complexity)
List_of_books_by_P._G._Wodehouse There are 90 odd books, and many stories. Some of the stories are located in some of the books, some published separately and collected different ways in different editions of the book, and about half the works have different US and UK titles. furthermore, there is a WP article about almost every novel, and about some of the individual short stories. (There's even a separate List of short stories by P. G. Wodehouse, which is perhaps justified by the degree of complication, and the individual articles about individual stories.) There is furthermore at least one book and one book chapter devoted to discussing what should be on the list. (criteria: number of works, number with separate articles in WP, RSs, complexity) I've removed importance because I mean world-wide importance over time. I'm a fan, and I have read about 90%, but I don't want to judge on that basis.
J. R. R. Tolkien There is not at present a list. I think there ought to be one because, there are multiple works in several different genres, the material in many of the books is composed in a complicated way posthumously by his son and others from the authors drafts,and there's a substantial literature on just what counts as included in the Tolkien canon. (criteria: number of works, , number with separate articles in WP, RSs, complexity) Again I don't list world-wide importance--I'm almost as much a fan here as for Wodehouse, but I can't really say which if either will be a permanently important part of literary history.

and four borderline ones:

[[1]] 657 novels. A much longer list of works than the already long article, and an author notable to a large extent for productivity alone. (criteria: number of work). I think this is borderline, because it could equally well have been done by columns in the article.
List of the writings of Kurt Vonnegut ; he has 14 novels each considered notable enough for a separate article, 7 short story & essay collections, each considered separately notable, & 5 playscripts 3 considered notable. (criteria: proportion with separate articles in WP, possible world-wide importance of works.) I'll say possible world wide importance--I think that's still to be determined.
List of books by G. K. Chesterton 81 separate books (and there are 200 stories & 4000 essays and other journalism, not listed in detail) (reason: the list is too short, without complexity; if the short stories were listed also, even though there would probably not be WP articles them, it might be justified, permanent notability uncertain. )
List of books by Graham Greene 67 books, of which there are several dozen notable, & 50 stories in collections, listed. (Criteria: probably high enough permanent importance, possibly number, complexity and individual articles on most)
Two very different special cases
[List_of_books_by_Madonna]]. Here the books are a completely different phase of her career, and the list is more than just a list, it's where the books are discussed. At least the children's books are notable on the basis of prizes, and t here has been a good deal written about the. (Criteria:separate importance from the main career, proportion with separate articles in WP, )--I think this is more of a subject fork--it should be retitled without the word List , as Madonna: literary work, or something like that.
List of books by Martin Luther (this is in my opinion mistitled, it's a formal bibliography, listing collected editions, editions of his translation of the Bible, etc.)
There are also some existing lists I do not think justified.:
List of books by Friedrich Hayek (the economist) 19 books, almost all notable with articles in WP (reason: the list is too short, without complexity)
List of books by Frank Macfarlane Burnet (the Australian immunologist) 37 books. (and he wrote 500 articles) Reason: too short, though the world-wide importance is very high--he founded the modern science of immunology. Articles of scientists are almost always not listed individually--there's at least one exception: Albert Einstein, but only some few of his hundreds of articles are included)
List of books by Thomas Hunt Morgan (the American geneticist) 21 books. (and there are 100s of articles, not listed--same as above) Reason: too short, even though he is the founder of the modern science of genetics.
    • Noteworthy voluminous authors without separate lists (those I can think of offhand with particularly large number of published works)
Anthony Trollope: no separate list; 69 listed books, including 19 separately notable novels
Gustav Balzac: no separate list; about 70 published works in a single separate article for the series La comédie humaine, of which 11 listed

separately as notable. (and others not in the series)--there's also a category for Category: Books of La Comédie Humaine

Charles Dickens: no separate list, 20 novels, each notable with a separate article, 6 other books--and a few hundred pieces of journalism
H. L. Mencken: no separate list, 31 published books, many containing several dozen collected pieces of journalism
Georgette Heyer: no separate list, about 62 novels, about 2/3 individually notable.
    • There are of course lists for series of episodes in television series etc.
[List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes]] - 144 items, all separately notable, etc.
    • Personal note: if this is finished with a Delete, I will nominate one or two of the smaller List of Books... articles for deletion, & risk the wrath of the fans. I'll start with the two biologists - - I know them as famous and influential, one the founder of modern genetics & the other of modern immunology, but even they no need for a separate list. – – If it is closed with a keep, I will start in on the many thousand others; perhaps some of those who think lists like this to be a good idea will help.

WP History and advice for newbies[edit]

This place is wierd, and there are several layers--the original people who started it, and then people who have been around a few months or more, like myself, who have gotten experience in the odd parts, and all the good new people like yourself. There's already tradition behind things--not all of it good, and you can learn a lot about interpersonal dynamics, & functional and dysfunctional features of organizations.

After the beginning in 01, a number of people uploaded lists of every railroad station and town in the United Kingdom, and every town in the US, and every subway station in a number of cities, and every numbered US and state highway, and so on. Then a great many people started adding their high school, and each individual chapter of their fraternity, and their teachers, and every album or individual song they owned or group they had heard, and the individual characters (and even the weapons) in every major and minor series or game, including the ones not yet released, and this continues. This content gave the WP a reputation of being relatively trivial, and many people stayed away. As was pointed out, disk space keeps getting cheaper, and network transmission times faster, and there is no technical reason why every one of the several hundred million people in English-speaking countries (there are separate ones for other languages--they overlap) could not have an article written about them (and this has been seriously proposed). (there are separate ones for other languages--they overlap)

Since then there has been an attempt of many of the people here to prevent any more of the same, and a discussion about the possibility of getting rid of a lot of what there is. Thee are two camps,"inclusionists" and "exclusionists," though many people like myself vary by subject. There are long debates here to read about notability criteria for people, for books, for university professors, for high schools, for bands, etc. , and every new one that is at all doubtful gets watched immediately and has to be fought over, with the decisions not necessarily consistent. I choose to be involved in some of the debates to protect my own favorite topics, and after you have been here a few months longer there is no reason why you shouldn't be. There is no prejudice whatsoever on account of age, and many of the most respected people here are high school students.

So I will not delete the article, but it will come up for discussion, and it will have to be defended. Do try to find out some former campers--the counselors there should know a few. Many camps--including my own--have some sort of former camper association & try to keep track. Yous has been around long enough that there should be. Do try in the meanwhile to condense the details, because they are more likely to harm than help.

And: the game you've been telling me about is undoubtedly described in some sort of book of games for children that phys ed teachers use--if you can find 1 or 2 printed or web sources (ask a few likely teachers), do an article on it.

What you've added about Giovanni Ceva is also a good thing to do--take one of the short stubs and expand it. But try to use more than 1 source, & list them all. There's quite a lot online. A word or two about WP style: short paragraphs of two or three sentences are preferred. Avoid the use of the word "you" not: "You can see" but "It can be seen." It should look like other articles here--a little impersonal.

I hope you don't mind my writing this out in full, but I think I may want to say this again sometime. --best wishes here--David G.

  • A short article I posted to provide real and virtual students with some references to ongoing projects, publications and course in the field of Foresight has been apparantly considered for deletion (see message below). Could you please elaborate a bit more on the reasons? --Rafael popper 02:10, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedia's deletion policy. You may share your thoughts on the matter at this article's entry on the Articles for deletion page. Please improve the article if possible, but the article must not be blanked, and this notice must not be removed, until the discussion is closed. For more information, particularly on merging or moving the article during the discussion, read the guide to deletion.

I'm afraid you have run afoul of some Wikipedia usage and editing restrictions. I'll address them separately. First and foremost, it is very bad practice to edit articles about yourself. This is consider a conflict of interest. The Wikipedia philosophy is that, if a subject is sufficiently notable to earn a page in the main article space (as opposed to a user page, which everyone is entitled to), there will be some of the 3+ million editors not personally connected to the subject who will volunteer to dig up reliably sourced information about that subject. Since it is virtually impossible for a person to be objective about themselves, Wikipedians rarely allow any autobiographical editing to stand. See Wikipedia:Autobiography for more details. Second, as suggested above, there is a loosely defined notability threshhold which subjects must exceed to be include in Wikipedia. Although we have over 1.6 million articles, not everything that exists or is true in the world is necessarily a reasonable subject for an article. Anyone wishing to write about a university professor (other than the professor himself, who should avoid the above conflict of interest) should review the pages on Wikipedia:Notability, Wikipedia:Notability (people), and especially Wikipedia:Notability (academics) (a very dynamic document). For living persons, there are some additional concerns that are addressed in Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. Third, based on your posts here and to me at Wikiquote, it sounds like you hope to use Wikipedia as a website to collect projects and student work. This is not the purpose of Wikipedia. It is not a general web hosting service, however worthy the project. In fact, Wikipedia explicitly disallows original research, relying instead on previously published information from multiple independent sources to help provide objective coverage of its topics. Wikipedia is solely an encyclopedia of (ideally) objectively worded, well-sourced information about the world, to which anyone can contribute. Even user pages are provided primarily to aid the work of the encyclopedia, and cannot be used for personal projects like extensions of classwork. Please review What Wikipedia is not for more information on this. Don't worry too much if you were not aware of these restrictions. We encourage users to be bold in their editing, and such misapprehensions are a common side effect of this philosophy. Despite this initial faux pas, folks will welcome you to the community if you keep your further work here (as much or as little as you wish) in line with Wikipedia's goals. If you decide you just want to use Wikipedia as an initial source for information for yourself and your students (as many instructors do), that's fine, too. (As I mentioned at Wikiquote, see Wikipedia:School and university projects and Wikipedia:Schools' FAQ for some information on this.) As far as your article on Rafael Popper goes, I would suggest that you explain, in the deletion discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Rafael Popper, that you are a new user and were not aware of the various policies I've mentioned. No reasonable person will hold this against you. We were all new editors once. ☺ Let me know if you have any other questions. ~ Jeff Q (talk)

  • to the easily exasperated or the disappointed
Let's be realistic. this place is run by thousands of diverse human beings. There are 100s of wikicrats and they rarely agree on much. When working in unfamiliar complex systems, it helps to have an advisor--or to go slowly and watch first. There is so much potential conflict that everyone must actively try not to get involved, and it doesn't matter who's in the right. All publication media have customs. WP articles, blog postings, whatever--they all have their styles and to be effective it is necessary to learn them. Print encyclopedia have their own criteria, but can be subject to the arbitrary whim of single editors.
Unfortunately, as to Scott, I have not been able to find enough. Apparently he never actually had a professorship, he translated one famous book, and published little or nothing else. Most of the apparent links lead to that translation. He was undoubtedly a very good teacher, and many good universities have relied on people like him in teaching languages in particular. I do not think I have missed much, and the article will have to go. What counts as notability is very low in some fields, and there is prejudice against academics. But the WP reliance upon a criterion of 3rd party published sources is fundamentally a sound one, and there truly is an urgent need to improve quality by insisting on it.
I wish we would stop using the terminology "not-notable it implies something and intrinsic worth. It shouldn't be taken that way, it actually means "being suitable for a WP article" If you every want to come back, you should write the article first and ask someone to check it. It seems to be the best way. Feel free to ask me, and almost anyone would also be equally pleased to do it. DG

Welcome again --journal articles[edit]

and, Welcome again !! ,

I see you are just starting work on the scientific journal articles, and I'm delighted, because there are only a few of us. We do have a page for academic journal, and a page for List of academic journals (What frustrates me in this is that in WP the Capitals/lower case distinction is real, except for the first word of a title, so that after making a page for, say, Journal of X and Y, I must also make a cross reference (redirect) for Journal of x and y. (and any other form, such as The journal of X and Y, etc.)

btw, what are you interst in/know about? It might be easier to say something on your user page than to just tell me. You'll see something like that on mine. Most of us working on these pages are library types, though a few are mainly scientists, and we need more of both. on these topics. I hope you have time to do a lot of work.

I haven't been here much longer than you, but I joined to try to organze the science index stuff, and have moved since there. Please continue to post a comment before doing a major change--I do the same. (I also found it convenient to list an email link, for side discussions. You've got to enter it in preferences first, and then it shows up in the toolbox on your user page. It seems quite secure. When someone emails me, I can email back thru the link on that user page, or directly from my regular account. ) Sometimes I want to give my realname, and sometimes not. User:DGG

to avoid deletion[edit]

to avoid deletion of the page on Darul Musannefeen Shibli Academy, I advise you very strongly to immediately revise it. I removed the speedy-delete tag, but you can expect others to try. I suggest that you 1/change all the headings to avoid full caps, which is not the style here, 2/decrease the number of past are present officers 3/leave in only a few words like importance and notable. 4/ link to WP descriptions of projects or people 5/ insert external links to other major groups 6/add references to any newspaper or magazine articles that describe the organization & its work (even if not in English). Good luck

How to write bio articles[edit]

The subject of the bio is notable. His or her children and parents are not notable, though they are usually mentioned. His or her spouse(es) are notable/. The details of their life and career are not, unless they are notable in their own right. The details of the early education are only of minor interest, along with the details of the early career, unless famous for that career. The details of whom the subject defeated in elections are not--if the opponents are notable, they will have their own articles. The details of the subjects illness are not, and--if living--are dubious also under BLP.

As for style, when a link to a WP article for a person is given, the b and d years are not usually required, for they will be in the linked article. It just adds to the clutter for the linked years. When a person is in a category, it automatically places the person in supercategories. Encyclopedic wording requires conciseness- the expansion of the exposition into as many sentences as possible is typical of obituary writing and political advertising, and inappropriate here. \

Geographic details about minor places mentioned should be kept to the minimum needed for identification. A country, state or anything else is linked only thew first time mentioned

It is in the style of a genealogy to make as many links as possible between all the people mentioned. It is not the style accepted in a WP biography. Rhetorical headings or other writing give the impression of a cut and past job from some other piece of writing.

If too much or the wrong kind of detail is given, or the writing style is inappropriate, the article looks like a genealogy, which is not acceptable in WP. Iit tends, rightly or wrongly, to arouse suspicion of copyvio, personal or political advertising, spam, POV, and COI . This tends to make an article susceptible to AfD. Many of your articles have already been nominated for AfD, though not yet by me. If you aregoing to do the work, write them so they stay in. You will of course understand, that this is a friendly comment.

(re User:Billy_Hathorn)

Local History and OR[edit]

Weak delete I think that being among the first European settlers in an area is potentially notable, depending on the historical circumstances, especially if the person is one of the leaders of the group. The problem is sources. The sources you are using are primary sources from which a biographical or genealogical account could be written. But if you were to do so--and it does look as if you are setting about it in a reasonable way--this would be the first time the material had ever been compiled, and would count as OR. I am not very restrictive about NOR--I think that assembling together obvious public sources into an article is legitimate. I believe that an article about a person based on a suitable secondary work but incorporating something from the primary public record is justifiable. But gathering a number of primary sources, checking the inscriptions of tombstones and on library collections of primary sources in unpublished genealogies and (in some other articles) prison records or social security records or deeds or immigration records, or the Sanford map series, --not here, but in other similar articles -- is OR, in the most basic sense. This is what local historians do. I'm not sure that there is yet as suitable wiki for the purpose, but there surely will be--and then we can discuss whether compilations there count as reliable secondary sources--I think it would depend on the standards of the Wiki. I might be prepared to accept such as site as the Wintermann library site as RS for the purpose if it gave sources (which it doesnt) --but not for this particular subject as he is only mentioned in a summary account of another family. So in conclusion, weak delete as probable OR. re John Machemehl

not being the author[edit]

Not being the author, I have removed the deletion tag, but I alert you that it will surely be proposed again for deletion unless it is very quickly given some substantial documentation. What would help most is two reviews of performances in third party sources, preferably well-known ones. web or print is ok, but not just a blog.,DGG 00:24, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

discussing religion[edit]

  • (I don't reallly think it necessary to give a detailed evolutionist critique of everything relating to the Biblical account every time it is mentioned, or a detailed atheist critique of every article on religion. Perhaps a sentence reminding people that non-Abrahamic religions and non-religious people don't think it happened that way, just in case any true beginner doesn't realise that.)

discussing evolution[edit]

I'm sending this off line, but its something I have said before at different times, and not intended over-personally.

I have a comment on today's disputes (and of most disputes on WP about evolution) There are two things that never aid discussion: being rude (or whatever) , and calling someone rude (or whatever) The assumption will always be that people who argue in this manner have not yet learned a better way of arguing, or have no further arguments that actually pertain to the subject. If those who claim to discuss science (or any topic) descend to personalities, it prevents the acceptance of what they are trying to say. There are two good ways to respond when someone has started in that manner: one is to ignore the irrrelevant attacks altogether, and let the other guy look like a fool. The other, particularly useful in an place which supports the other guy, is to simply not discuss the topic. If one gets too angry hearing what one thinks are errors, walk away.

If someone's arguments are based ultimately on religion--in any direction--there is no way of convincing him by discussing science, and little hope of inducing him to modify his religious beliefs. It is therefore useless at best to argue with such people. It can even be detrimental, because it is possible that one's opponent is the more skilled at the art of argument in the particular forum. There is nothing which hurts any position worse than an inadequate argument from an exponent.

The way to defend science is to explain science. I will gladly teach someone biology, and I will gladly explain evolution, but I will not directly discuss their errors except very carefully in a trusted context--which is not found on WP. The same goes for chemistry or geology or astonomy, except I am less competent a teacher. The bases of these sciences are so well understood that they require only teaching, not defense. The only thing necessary to defend is the right and opportunity to teach them.

As a rhetorical exercise I will discuss religion, and I have at several places here, arguing within the framework of the belief system, if I think I know enough to do so. There's no point going outside the system on such topics.

In response to your argument on your user page: The question of inclusion comes when the prediction of a religion differs from the prediction of a science. Usually it is the case that the arguments of each one do not convince the exponents of the other. This is typically handled either by denial or adjustment of the position. In science, one sees if a mechanism can be found for including a special case (the actual meaning of "the exception proves the rule". A non-religious example-- Pluto's orbit overlaps & in theory it should not. We now know why. ). In religion, one adjusts beliefs a little, e.g. today's discussion using 10,000 yrs BC rather than 4,000 BC. Denial leads ultimately to a separate culture--that of the 18th century Deists, for example, or the 21st century fundamentalists. That one but not the other may be correct does not change the mechanism.

and as for background, see my user page. My real name is David Goodman outside WP. Not mentioned there is that I have been responsible for maintaining the Princeton biology library collection, which specialises in evolution and includes everything intelligent I can find on creationism. The purely religious ones go to the main library. I've read a good deal of both. As for your background, what's "some" biology?

round two[edit]

I guess I should have kept o my rule of not actually engaging in this debates here, considering some of the replies. Let me put in bluntly:

I consider some of my friends unsophisticated in this matter. I am totally convinced that the contemporary theory of evolution based on Darwinism and natural selection is correct to the extent of the limits of scientific knowledge, and also sure that while future science may include it in a more subtle theory, it will not falsify it. I am so completely convinced that I am perfectly willing to give the opponents of the theory every chance to expound their views in discussion in open settings.

In the case of theories I think impossible, like young earth creationism, the exposition of the theories is sufficient refutation. In the case of stronger theories, such as ID, discussion is necessary, for they are not obviously wrong to those who know little science. Such discussions if not Q&A offer a useful opportunity to teach biology, because we now do know how complexity arose.

As for the ID Movement in the US, I think the movement is altogether hypocritical, and the comments by its opponents correct in that respect. But I cannot prove people's motivations, and so it is necessary to oppose them as if they were being straightforward. I oppose religion being taught in public schools for more general reasons as well--among them the old problem of whose religion it is to be. And I oppose those in the ID movement over other issues than evolution.

(The WP article on that subject is beyond hope. It should just have presented the quotes showing intention to deceive, and stopped. ) There are some serious academics, who none the less do not know how to construct an argument, and have not yet realized that trying to close off opponent's views is always self-defeating. (My argument here is the classic liberalism of JS Mill.)

Anyway, upon further consideration and seeing the reliance on the non-peer-reviewed nature of ID in their argumentation, I think it a red herring, and this is not where they should be opposed. They do not understand the problems involved, or in a few cases pretend not to.; they should undoubtedly be taught how science is conducted and published, but not using a controversial issue as the example. They would do best to just say there is none or very little and leave it at that. Behe is very clever--he doesn't bother to argue about peer-review, he argues about thermodynamics, which relatively few people understand & where he can appear convincing. DGG 01:57, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

religion, round two[edit]

When I was 16, I took delight in opposing religion and the bible with the kind of arguments used on WP. As my friends generally had similar views, we could soundly defeat any religious person who we encountered. As I grew up, I learned the real arguments for supporting religion, and the subtler ways to interpret the Bible. I realized that Aquinas or Maimonides could have quickly shown me to be a fool, if I used such arguments. I simultaneously learned the real arguments against religion, and I am just as much of an atheist as I was, but I have some understanding of what I and the religious people are really talking about.

Of the 16 year-old-appearing people on WP, some are in fact 16 to 18, but some are in their 20s and some are serious academics.

cryptozoology and pseudoscience[edit]

re Orang Pendek--not Pseudoscience The existence of this animal would not be in contradiction to the laws of biology. It has merely not been adequately verified. As such, it fits into cryptozoology perfectly well, along with Bigfoot and other possible anthropomorphs. Exactly where it would fit into primate evolution is of course not a reasonable topic to discuss in the absence of the animal, for it would depend on its nature. (I do not consider Bigfoot part of the paranormal world either, except to the extent its hypothetical habitat might not be capable of supporting a population--the suggested habit of this animal probably would be capable.) The survival of the Lock Ness monster would however, be in apparent opposition to the known principles of marine ecology, for there would be no obvious way such a species could have remained unknown in that location. If it ever is found, then we biologists will have to rethink things a little. so as I see it this particular animal is not pseudoscience. It is in contradiction to the laws of common sense, and I would be extremely surprised if it or its like are ever found anywhere as living species, but that is not the same thing. The existence of additional presently unknown fossil species is on the other hand perfectly rational, and they are even to be expected. I haven't any idea what H. floresiensis will prove to be, and its identification may have ben a serious error--or not. I would not have expected additional species to be so recent. I was a student of Alan Wilson--who was quite eclectically prepared to do molecular immunology studies and dating on any of these possibilities. He would have loved H. floresiensis. --


I cannot read Serbian. You need to do this, and do it by putting in exact references to articles and the like. If you get them in right now you wont have trouble later. In general, there a national difference in transliteration schemes. There's an american standard, used by everyone in the US except the Library of Congress, which uses its own. The idea behind the LC scheme, unfortunately, is not to give a letter-by-letter transcription, but to have something that when pronounced by a US English speaker will sound as close as possible. This in turn is due to LC's former practice of sorting everything not alphabetically as they were written, but alphabetically as they would be said in the language of the book. Most libraries have specialists for Cyrillic. I'm not one, obviously, but I know a little Russian and thus can figure out the schemes for that one (re Zlatko Krasni)

Undue weight[edit]

    • The interpretation of that part of the policy seems debatable: The text has some internal contraqdictions:

1/ Jimmy wales said in 2003!! that "If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it is true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not." 2/ This is followed by "Views held only by a tiny minority of people should not be represented as significant minority views, and perhaps should not be represented at all." and a little later 3/ "If you are able to prove something that no one or few currently believe, Wikipedia is not the place to premiere such a proof. Once a proof has been presented and discussed elsewhere, however, it may be referenced."

The one thing clear is that if nobody except yourself has proposed a theory, then unless you published it it does not belong. (which is just a restatement of NOR), but leaves entirely open the question of how many others need have believed it. I myself would say that if it appeared in one published work that has never been been discussed otherwise, it probably does not belong, but I am not sure how much further I would go. -just as anything reported in newspapers, in the plural, is notable, so is any theory discussed in more than one RS. in N enough for a mention. I know that some others disagree, and require some (unclear) no. of adherents, but the text here is ambiguous. In my view, requiring more than the basic N requirement for a stand-alone article is contradictory,I've even seen it argued that a theory discussed in one article in the journal Science does not need to be included, although this is one of the 2 premier journals. I do not think that should be the intention. But we still do need a source of some sort, even for myths.

Open access availability[edit]

  • In most cases, you will have access without needing to ask. All articles published more than 5 months ago are available free--this is known as Delayed open access, as are about 30% of the more recent ones, where the author has paid a supplemental fee--this is known as [[Hybrid open access]


Here's several more hits of random article, let's see what pops up. SERVO Magazine, permastub, directory entry, I can find no secondary sources that mention the magazine. Next hit is Miss BC World, which is quite evidently notable and not a permastub. Grote Nederlandse Larousse Encyclopedie, it's a stub now, but I seem to find a lot of material in Dutch on that, so that's probably not a permastub. Estimated Family Contribution should be merged to FAFSA if the information can be sourced (which I'm sure it can), I'll probably do that myself shortly. It is a permastub as a standalone article though. Alabama (song), it's a state song and I'm sure secondary sources are out there regarding its history, adoption as the state song, etc. Certainly would not be a permastub. Val Fuentes, only things I can find on him are name-drops, should be merged to his parent band. Standalone, it's a permastub. Albarella, I can't find a thing for secondary sources on that, appears to be a permastub (and borderline G11). Oliver Dohnányi, currently is a terrible mess, but there is enough secondary material for an article. Not a permastub. Dexter Smith, permastub, all I can find is some directory/statistics information and a couple of very short quotations from him in sports media. Royalton Hotel, all I can find for it at first blush are ads, but there might be something on it. That one's unclear, but certainly may be a permastub. Seraphimblade Talk to me Please review me! 20:04, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Supposing I wanted to dispute your examples, I could say: 1. Servo--I see no reason why there might not be articles referring to the magazine in reliable moderated robotics blogs. I accept these as a source. But i found two university official sites using it as a source, one for class assignments. 2. Dutch Larousse. I find refs to articles in it, but the others are just listings in library or book dealers catalogs. 3. EFCA is how to do it, and I doubt its encyclopedic nature or the authority of the interpretation 4. Alabama, OK I cannot find a way to dispute that one. 5.Val Fuetes, I see a few reviews in what might be reputable online sources. 6.Albarella. should be in at least 2 printed or online tourist guides. Just a lazy article that didnt bother to look. 7. Dohnany, yes. , but people have tried to delete similar as unsourced because they dont recognize the name & assume the links are spam. 8. Dexter Smith, again, I would need to check specialized publications. Many athletes below our usual current level will have articles somewhere 9. Royalton, there will certainly be travel guides. and given a history in 1898, printed newspaper sources. So it is possible to find agreement on some of the most notable. But not necessarily on any of the others. Its the others that are the problem. I'm not saying my arguments are necessarily right, just that arguments can be made, I can't decide on borderline cases at an article/minute.

school article contents[edit]

as for the student officers, do I understand correctly that Noroton & (on the talk page, Grace Note and ElKevbo) all three agree that lists of student officers are not appropriate for school articles, due to privacy concern, updating, and nonNotability? Should they be deleted generally based on this authoritative concurrence?
    • Also, from the talkpage, "I have deleted lists of curriculum topics, sports, clubs--These are suited to the school website but not here. I have also removed some sections on organisations that seem to be local chapters of national organisations rather than notable features for the School." Is this considered appropriate for every school article? If we are going to keep many school articles, we might want to know what shouldn't be on them, so it can be removed before the AdD to avoid giving the impression that the articles are more substantial than in fact they are.? DG, AfD/Biloxi_High_School

school etc article conventions[edit]

You asked: Hi there. A quick question for you on notability - you declined to delete a village definition (Adamant, Vermont) as you said all villages (and presumably therefore by extension all towns, cities etc.) are notable in WP. Is this official policy ? Does this also apply to articles on schools, colleges etc. - whilst it's unlikely you could ever accuse someone of 'blatantly advertising' a town, it is possible to write an article about an educational establishment that's phrased in such a way as to attract positive attention. Are all educational establishments also notable, and if not, whats the 'notability criteria' ? CultureDrone 09:24, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Policy in WP is expressed by policy pages and by guidelines, but also to some extent by what gets actually kept and deleted at AfD. Some of the conventions are formalized at WP:OUTCOMES. It's a little like statute law made by the legislature, and case law as made by the courts which applies it. The difference is that there is no formal precedent, and any of the practice can be changed without formalities if there is a practical consensus to do so. But the current practice as defined by what gets deleted: all universities & colleges are notable, and possible all post secondary institutions (that one is still debatable). High schools usually, but some say always. Junior high schools and primary schools--only if notability can be documented.--for what counts, see current AfDs--the basic rule is non-directory information is needed--for example, notable alumni, athletic or academic championships. Major malls and similar shopping centers, but not minor ones--depends on sourcing. All buildings on registers of historic places. Major landmark hotels and apartment houses. All inhabited places. All distinct geographic places. All railroad stations and airports. All numbered state and federal highways and equivs outside the US. All bridges. All ships (not boats). Advertising matters--it is certainly possible to write an article devoted to advertising a resort town--the article gets reduced to the basic information, not deleted. Similarly with colleges, public or private. For schools, they get deleted. (For school articles be careful that you are not basing it on a vandalized version--check the edit history & see if there is a good one) Copyvio also matters. any article mainly copied from a web site that is not public domain will be deleted regardless of subject. For things really important, sometimes the article gets "stubbed"--reduced to the basics. School teams--important college and university teams get articles, high school not. Fraternities, etc: individual chapters do not get articles. The main student association of a college usually gets an article. Important student newspapers get articles. Faculty: full professors at universities usually get articles--below that rank, only if they meet WP:PROF. At 4yr colleges and below, only if the meet WP:PROF.

All the above is my interpretation of what is the usual case, and i am not infallible, and it goes by the consensus at each individual AfD. I certainly do not mean to imply I actually support all of this, but I accept the consensus. The way to learn is to hang out at Afd. I warn you that it is addictive.

editing on opponents[edit]

  • Critics of WP: Regardless of their dubious suitability as editors within WP, I think that articles about them are essential. People will judge us by how candid we are, and it is better to have objective articles.
  • Generally, I am what's called a free speech absolutist; I think a fair article can be written about anything, and is best done by letting people express their own position. If they are foolish, they will sound foolish.

I therefore prefer to edit articles about my opponents, because many weak arguments of my friends and my perception of their frequent intolerance embarrasses me. When my opponents act that way, it does not bother me.

About giving advice[edit]

We want to encourage the new user to make the article so it will stay in Wikipedia , not to make one that will just barely pass speedy and get promptly deleted at AfD. I also agree that just using the templates is not much help to the inexperienced. The advice I normally give in such situations, is " The article needs to show notability with references providing substantial coverage from 3rd party independent published reliable sources, print or online, but not blogs or press releases, or material derived from press releases. You also need to write like an encyclopedia article, not a press release--don't praise [whatever], say what it does.. Don't talk about the overall importance of the subject--talk about what it has accomplished. Remember not to copy from a web site -- first it's a copyright violation, but, even if you give us permission according to WP:DCM, the tone will not be encyclopedic and the material will not be suitable." adding when necessary "Please do not reinsert the article until you have such sources." and also, if it seems necessary,"unless you do have sources, the article will be very likely to be deleted in a community discussion." I find the key thing is to show we have actually read the particular article and are responding to it specifically. We need to actually demonstrate that we're not the bots people take us for.


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/projects, /WP Projects, /other wikis, /tech notes / User:DGG/sandboxuserified/ User:DGG/sandboxuserified2,
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