User:Soltak/Views

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Schools[edit]

Schools are not abstract, they are buildings that serve as conduits for education. Schools are like grocery stores, office buildings, and restaurants; they're buildings that serve a specific purpose. While the purpose is notable and encyclopedic, every building that serves that purpose is not.

Education is notable, admirable, and a value that I hold personally dear. I also happen to think that the purpose served by grocery stores is pretty nice, but I wouldn't presume to write articles about every individual store that I can recall. For example, Kroger is notable; Kroger, Marietta, GA is not. If something notable occurred there it might be worthy of an article, but it isn't simply by virtue of being a grocery store.

Those statements might seem obvious or stupid to some, but it's analogous to the arguments some people use regarding the inclusion of every school in existence. Unless something extraordinary occurred at an individual school, it's neither notable nor encyclopedic and most certainly doesn't merit an article.

Stubs[edit]

I'm not specifically opposed to stubs, but I am opposed to most of the stubs I've seen created lately. It's very disappointing that many authors of stubs write one to three, usually uninformative or poorly formed sentences about something, tag it for expansion, and move on without another thought. I would urge anyone who cares enough to follow my advice and is pondering the creation of a stub to avoid it unless they 1) plan to do research and expand it later or 2) are intelligent enough to make it an ideal stub. If neither of these apply, don't even bother opening the edit window; we'll all be better off for it.

Events[edit]

This is a particularly controversial subject and, true to form, I take a rather controversial position. The question is this: Do otherwise non-notable people become notable when a notable event happens to them? In the same vein, do otherwise non-notable places or things become notable when noteworthy events occur there? The short answer: No.

But I'll also share the horribly long answer, as well. Let's first look at otherwise non-notable people. Perhaps the best example in very recent history is Jean Charles de Menezes. What? You don't know who that is? Don't worry, neither does anybody else. Jean Charles de Menezes was the son of a bricklayer who was born in Peru and later became an electrician and moved to Great Britain. The only notable part of the sentence is the "was." The was came about because de Menezes was killed by London police when they suspected he was connected to the previous day's bomb attacks. Was his death tragic and unnecessary? Absolutely. Does he therefore merit an article about his completely non-notable life up to that event? Nope.

There's already an article titled 21 July 2005 London bombings and it has a handy little section headed "Death of Jean Charles de Menezes". It tells you everything important about the event, but doesn't go into the nonsense about the man's biography. Do I think the main article on Jean Charles should be deleted? Yes, I do. Do I think it would have any chance of sustaining the horribly flawed VFD process? Absolutely not. (More on VFD later.)

Now let's move on to places. A great example is Columbine High School. Part of this brings up the school debate again, but for the purposes of this discussion, schools aren't inherently notable. Columbine High was a typical high school in Colorado until the horrible events of the Columbine High School massacre. Note that there are articles on both. The High School article has the brief bit about the school's non-notable history and then jumps right in to briefly rehashing the article on the massacre.

Again, the massacre was a horrific, tragic event. It has an article. The place where it happened isn't automatically notable just because an event that occurred there was.

So, let's review: Events, notable. Otherwise non-notable people, things, and places that events happen to, not notable.


Fancruft[edit]

I'll start by saying that I'm both a Star Trek and a Star Wars fan. That's so you know I'm not writing this to pick on the geeks. Articles regarding individual episodes of Star Trek, individual supporting characters of Star Wars, and every other "individual" thing you can think of are neither necessary nor encyclopedic. I hate to burst some people's bubbles, but these are both fictional things. Star Trek isn't a documentary.

There are already ridiculous numbers of websites that run down every possible aspect of Star Trek, Star Wars, and plenty of other things. Some even have their very own databases on Wikicities. Memory Alpha for Star Trek, for example. As I said, I like these things, but I don't think I should be able to type in List of Star Trek episodes and end up with anything, let alone a disambiguation page.

Believe it or not, most of the episodes have full articles with complete plot spoilers. I'm shocked and appalled! Let's get rid of Fancruft, or, as I tend to call it, Fancrap.

The AFD Process[edit]

There are many articles on Wikipedia that should be deleted, with new ones worthy of that distinction being created every day. Most of those are caught by editors and administrators who feel duty-bound to keep such non-notable, unencyclopedic garbage out of Wikipedia. I've initiated the process on a number of articles myself. Why, then, do so many of those articles emerge from the process unscathed?

AFD operates on the consensus principal; there must be a clear outcome to the vote. The largest number of individual users I have ever seen vote on an article up for AFD is 20. When one considers that there are thousands of Wikipedians, that hardly seems like a consensus. Of course, I'm not saying that unless everybody votes it doesn't count. I honestly don't know how to fix the process, I just know that it doesn't work. If more inclusionists see the AFD than deletionists, the article stays. If more deletionists than inclusionists see the AFD, the article goes.

The only decent idea I can think of to combat this problem is to create a Deletion Committee of well established, intelligent, generally objective Wikipedians. They could be appointed, elected, whatever. They would be charged with reviewing each AFD and, after debate, making a ruling on the article. All I know for sure is that right now, the AFD process is horribly flawed.

Offending People[edit]

Throughout my time in life I have been able to arrive at a conclusion that I have never seen disproved. Regardless of what one says, how one says it, or to whom it is said someone will be offended and will make quite a point of demonstrating that fact. A long while ago I stopped worrying so much, and I'd advise everyone else to do the same. Speak your mind, say what you mean, and, above all, mean what you say.