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If your viewpoint is in the majority, then it should be easy to
substantiate it with reference to commonly accepted reference texts.

If your viewpoint is held by a significant scientific minority, then
it should be easy to name prominent adherents, and the article should
certainly address the controversy without taking sides.

If your viewpoint is held by an extremely small minority, then
_whether it's true or not, whether you can prove it or not_, it
doesn't belong in Wikipedia, except perhaps in some ancilliary
article. Wikipedia is not the place for original research.

excerpts from Jimbo Wales
WikiEN-l e-mail 2003-09-29
quoted in WP:UNDUE

Cunningham's Law: The best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, it's to post the wrong answer.

Steven McGeady
Posting of 28 May 2010
Defining Cunningham's Law

I am Mendaliv (English pronunciation: /ˈmɛndəlɪv/, MEN-də-liv), a male American Wikipedian on English Wikipedia.

Since it has come up lately, I think my approach to editor disputes merits some discussion. I do not usually play the neutral mediator. Most disputes I work in are simple enough that the correct outcome is a matter of straightforward application of Wikipedia policies and guidelines. In more complex ones, especially ones involving behavioral disputes, I find it more efficient to do my own research and draw my own conclusions. This usually winds up with my supporting one side or another, sometimes to the opposite side's consternation, which asserts as an outsider I should have adopted a more neutral stance. I do not believe I am unreasonable. When wrong, I am quick to admit it, quick to apologize, and if necessary, quick to move along.

If you have a problem with another editor and come to me civilly, without pretense of being absolutely and obviously in the right, or at least without pretense that my prior support of the "other side" somehow renders me dishonest or disqualifies my opinion, I will almost without exception take the time to reconsider my stance. My method and goal might be best summed up by part of one of Sgt. Joe Friday's famed speeches:

I'm here to try to get to the bottom of this thing, and we're gonna do it my way, you understand? If you're telling the truth, I'll sweat it all the way with you and try and get you cleared. But if you think you're gonna do any table-pounding to convince me you're leveling, you're dead wrong.

Joe Friday (Jack Webb) in "The Trial Board". Dragnet. Season 2. Episode 14. December 14, 1967. Event occurs at 4:49. NBC. 

Wikipedia involvement[edit]

Not Admin.svg This user is not an administrator on the English Wikipedia. (verify)
29,000+ This user has made more than 29,000 contributions to Wikipedia.
Noia 64 apps karm.svg This user has been on Wikipedia for 9 years, 6 months and 7 days.
vn-39 This user page has been vandalized 39 times.
CN This user's alignment is Chaotic Neutral: the "Free Spirit."
UIUC This user is or was a student at the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign.
This person attended or attends Notre Dame Law School.
BNA This user has access to the British Newspaper Archive through The Wikipedia Library
NEWS This user has access to the through The Wikipedia Library
Q This user has access to Questia through The Wikipedia Library
H This user has access to HighBeam through The Wikipedia Library
Adam Matthew This user has access to the Adam Matthew Collections through The Wikipedia Library

Special involvement[edit]

  • User:Mendaliv/TOV letter- a sample form letter that may be used when e-mailing authority figures to report threats of violence, under development. Comments and input welcome!
  • User:Mendaliv/Dispute advice- a page of advice for editors seeking dispute assistance but having trouble, compiled from my experiences at WP:EAR and WP:ANI
  • I have personally gone through Table 13 of The Bluebook and created redirects for as many of the arcane-seeming abbreviations used to refer to legal publications as there were articles for those publications.

Articles to come[edit]

  • Chikan Otoko- a 2ch story similar to Densha Otoko, wherein a VIP poster is mistaken for a stalker; later made into a manga, book, film, and possibly other media. See ja:痴漢男.
  • Good Offices (or possibly Good offices?) — a means of international dispute resolution similar to conciliation. (also note that the conciliation article only discusses the domestic ADR practice, not the IDR practice)

Articles created[edit]

Listed in order of creation:

Articles improved[edit]




Useful stuff[edit]

This section is a sort of quick list of things I like to have at hand and things I like to link to frequently.

Resource pages[edit]

Stuff to remember[edit]

Hard links[edit]

  • See Help:Link#External links: Don't put http: or https: before a hard link. Instead just leave // followed by the rest of the URL. People who use HTTPS will see a HTTPS link (and not be annoyed by an unsecured connection), while people who use HTTP will see a HTTP link (and neither tax server resources needlessly nor be confused by the padlock next to the link).

General advice[edit]

  • DefendEachOther - You don't have to fight personal attacks yourself, and in fact it may not be the best choice
  • Skills of a catalyst - A list of useful advice for helping disarm disputes and move arguments to a beneficial conclusion

Good stuff[edit]

Article writing[edit]

For RfAs[edit]

  • Wikipedia:What adminship is not - Especially, Adminship is not a trophy, Adminship is neither compulsory nor necessary to aid Wikipedia, Adminship is not a game
  • Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines - Namely, Both need to be approached with common sense: adhere to the spirit rather than the letter of the rules, and be prepared to ignore the rules on the rare occasions when they conflict with the goal of improving the encyclopedia.
  • One's candidacy for adminship is likely to be the only time when the community will evaluate said candidate's ability to use the tools, and whether he or she has the responsibility to do so properly. As such, I personally consider it grounds for doubting a candidate's seriousness about adminship when his or her self-nomination statement and responses to standard questions are terse, non-responsive, or poorly crafted. Would you apply for a job without polishing your resume and cover letter until it gleamed? Then why should you not do the same when running for adminship?

For AfDs[edit]

For images[edit]

Refer to the logic at Category:Rescaled fairuse files more than 7 days old#Instructions, which state that raster images should generally be no more than 0.1 megapixel with the largest dimension no greater than 300-400 px (note this second point doesn't quite jive with what MOS:FILM#Instructions says), though in general one should use one's judgment.

More specific rationales:

Useful templates[edit]

Templates I seem to forget often[edit]

  • {{tq}} (short for "text quote": produces light-green text)

Inline maintenance templates[edit]

Formatting and conversion[edit]


Fair use rationale[edit]

Image maintenance[edit]


  • {{talkarchivehist}} (very useful for copy-paste archives)
  • {{sockpuppet category|username}} - turn those redlink sockpuppet/suspected sockpuppet categories into bluelinks