User talk:A.Z./Archive

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Reverted edit[edit]

Hi, and welcome to Wikipedia! Your edit to the Wikipedia:Reference Desk/Miscellaneous was reverted. Please do not substitute your own name in other people's signatures. If the IP was yours, then you could place a note after saying that you were the IP, or put {{unsigned|USERNAME}} after the comment. Again, thank you, and welcome to Wikipedia. bibliomaniac15 Review? 03:14, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. It was my IP. A.Z. 01:15, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

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what's that you say?[edit]

Can you come back to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject LGBT studies#Tolerance and elaborate, explain what you are talking about? — coelacan talk — 22:08, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I said "This project is not a global project to advance the tolerance of others." Isn´t that hypocrisy? What I meant by that is that the project is a global project to advance the tolerance of others and I didn´t see the reason to say the opposite. But don´t be mad at me if you disagree! A.Z. 21:20, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually the WikiProject does not do that, and cannot do that, and would be shut down if it tried. There is only one purpose to any WikiProject: to improve Wikipedia's articles covering a topic. That can never involve promoting a point of view, even a tolerant point of view. Now, it is pretty widely known that awareness and information alone contribute to tolerance, but this can only be a side-effect, it cannot be a project goal. Hope that helps, coelacan talk — 17:25, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I don´t really understand it. I think the fact that awareness and information, as you say, contribute to tolerance is the main reason why people want to be a part of the project. A.Z. 19:20, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, everyone's personal motivations for joining are probably fine, but not quite the same as the stated goals of the project itself. I was just trying to point out the distinction because there have been WikiProjects that have been deleted in the past for pushing too much POV. Advancing tolerance is not the goal of Wikipedia, so it can't be the goal of any WikiProjects either. Anyway, as long as you stick to wp:neutral point of view policy, you'll be fine. =) coelacan talk — 03:42, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I read the goal of Wikipedia is to bring the sum of human knowledge to everyone on the planet. This means we believe knowledge is something good to people. There must be an explanation of why knowledge is something good to people. It must be the same explanation to all Wikipedians. It makes no sense that a Wikipedian who doesn´t like tolerance wants to bring the sum of human knowledge to everyone on the planet, since the fact that tolerance is good is a part of the knowledge we humans have accumulated so far. I´m not going to try to write in the articles that "tolerating gay people is good", but I think if Wikipedia does a really great job over many years and improve its articles a lot, eventually this message will be obvious from the articles. What I mean is: the articles must be true. The truth is that tolerance is good. Someone who wants everyone to be intolerant has nothing to do in the LGBT project because, if this person really tries to do the best to make the articles better and better and each day reflecting more the truth, this person will eventually have helped to create pro-tolerance articles. The only way to create an article which will make someone think tolerance is not good is to lie. A.Z. 16:16, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Blanking this page[edit]

Please do not remove content from your talk page; other users will utilize this page as a way of seeing past discussion, and removing things can be seen as disruptive if you appear to be trying to hide something. You may wish to consider archiving old discussions; take a look at the move page if you would like to learn more about moving and renaming articles. Mieciu K 18:08, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Even admins blank talkpages; is there a policy somewhere that you can link to indicating it is forbidden? Anchoress 04:34, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Don't tell people what to do with their own talk pages, furthermore. - 08:57, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
First of all it's not his "own" talk page, this page is a part of wikipedia and serves a specific purpose, you want your "own" talk page than go to myspace. Second blanking your talk page is not forbidden, it is not advised. Mieciu K 14:41, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
When you say 'Please do not remove content from your talk page' it sounds like you're giving an order. Anchoress 17:42, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I was giving advice ("You may wish to consider..."). If user A.Z still wants to blank his page than he should do it personaly. Mieciu K 18:43, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
OK. ;-) Over and out! Anchoress 00:10, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
OK. A.Z. 21:40, 18 February 2007 (UTC)


You requested to be invited to join WP:LGBT some time ago, but it seems no-one complied. My sincere apologies, and would you like to join WikiProject LGBT studies? :) Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 11:48, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Of course I would! I don´t know yet how things work in the Project. How can I help? A.Z. 17:09, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Go ahead and add yourself to the members list at WP:LGBT#Members so that you start receiving the monthly newsletter (it's delivered to this talk page by a bot). Keep an eye on the discussions at WT:LGBT and chime in whenever you want. At the top of that discussion page, there's an "open tasks" template that gives an assortment of things that need doing. If you are involved in WP:AFD dicussions, please watch and use WP:DSSG. Hopefully that's enough to get you started. The most helpful thing while you're learning is to stay close to WT:LGBT and try to work out what's going on; go ahead and ask questions there if you need input. coelacan talk — 17:21, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Coel actually meant the membership list here - the one she gave you is transcluded and you can't edit it. :) Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 21:25, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Oops! I might have known that. And it turns out it's not delivered by a bot this month, but by the hard-working Dev. ;-) Anyway, welcome, A.Z.! coelacan talk — 03:30, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Coelacan! A.Z. 22:53, 1 March 2007 (UTC)


Drawing-Gay flag.png

Hi, A.Z., welcome to WikiProject LGBT Studies!

We are a growing community of Wikipedia editors dedicated to identifying, categorizing, and improving articles of interest to the LGBT community. Some points that may be helpful:

  • Our main aim is to help improve LGBT-related articles, so if someone asks for help with an article, please try your hardest to help them if you are able.
  • Most important discussions take place on the project's main discussion page; it is highly recommended that you watchlist it.
  • The project has several ongoing and developing activities, such as article quality assessment, peer review and a project-wide article collaboration, all of which you are welcome to take part in. We also have a unique program to improve our lower quality articles, Jumpaclass, so please consider signing up there.
  • If you have another language besides English, please consider adding yourself to our translation section, to help us improve our foreign LGBT topics.
  • If you're planning to stay, have a square in our quilt! You can put anything you want in it.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask on the talk page, and we will be happy to help you.

And once again - Welcome!

Glad you could make it. :) Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 21:38, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks! A.Z. 23:26, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

LGBT WikiProject newsletter[edit]

Fluorescent Lighting[edit]

I've noticed you around the RefDesk over the past while, but was rather surprised to read your comments on the Fluorescent Lighting talk page. It's not that I disagree with you, in fact I posted a reply strongly supporting your position. I'm just wondering why you hold such an unusually strong position against fluorescent lighting? Do you suffer particularly badly from it?

In any case, I realize that the above is a personal question, and I respect privacy, so please only reply at your comfort level.

I have to admit that I have a bit of an ulterior motive behind my dislike of fluorescent lighting (besides being personally sickened by it). I'm in the LED lighting buisness, and so I have quite a different, additional reason to be against fluorescent lighting. ;)

Perhaps we can coordinate our efforts somehow. There's nothing I'd like better than for fluorescent lighting to be banned and replaced by LED lighting, which, as I'm sure you're aware, has none of the negative health effects of fluorescent lighting, and is far more energy efficient than incandescent lighting.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter!

Lewis Loomis 04:01, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello, Lewis! I remember you from the Reference Desk. I, as many people, feel bad in places with fluorescent lighting. I don´t know whether I suffer particularly badly from it or I realize better than most people how much I suffer from it. I´m totally comfortable talking about this, and it even feels good.
I get depressed when I am exposed to fluorescent lighting. It´s really hard to describe the feeling. But it´s so bad that, if I had to choose between living in a 10000 square meters house with only fluorescent bulbs or in a 50 square meters house with only LED/incandescent/natural lighting, I would not think twice to choose the second. The first one could even have a pool, 20 bathrooms, a home theater, whatever: it´s just not worth it. I would not be able to enjoy a nice bath in my tub, I would not be able to throw a party, I would not be able to have a nice time with my friends, I would not be able to study and work in such a place.
Not that I can´t take a few hours of fluorescent lighting: I can take many hours of it, but always in the hope of getting out of that place, constantly thinking about the future, about the time when it ends: my house or a park or when the sun rises or any place and time without fluorescent bulbs. Now, if I didn´t have the chance to get home to a fluorescent lighting free environment, I guess I´d just freak out. I´d be truly depressed, as in a medical condition.
I had never thought about this before your question: it would be amazingly destructive to me not having the hope to get out of the buses, trains, schools, offices and kitchens with fluorescent bulbs into normal places.
Another example, just to make it clearer how serious I am: if I were to choose between living in a cell (like in a jail) for two years with fluorescent lighting only or live in the same cell for three years with only incandescent bulbs (or LED, I guess), I´d not think twice to choose the second option, just like with the house. If the second option were four years in jail instead of three, I would think twice. And then choose it anyway.
I see you are sickened by fluorescent lighting as well, so maybe you already feel like I do and writing all of this to explain how much I hate fluorescent lighting was just a waste of time.
I´m sure you and I are not the only ones who feel that way. Many people say they are affected by fluorescent lighting as well, and many are very passionate about it. I think there´s some good explanation to this. Sunlight and fire have obviously been the natural sources of light to humans for a lot of time. Fluorescent bulbs are just too different from it. I don´t know how they are different, but they are, since fire lighting doesn´t make people sick.
The explanation of the process through which fluorescent lighting affects human health is not important at all in order to ban fluorescent bulbs. A simple but thorought scientific study would put an end to the debate simply by proving that the phenomenon exists. Without such an experiment, it will be hard to do anything about the problem. Most people will live and die without acknowledging the fact that fluorescent bulbs are bad for their health. I think it´s just like food. Many ingredients of industrialized food are bad for human health, but people would eat a lot of those ingredients if it weren´t the FDA ban or guidelines about it. Few people would realize on their own that they are unhappy and depressed and lethargic because of a specific thing they are eating: they need someone to make an experiment and prove that the thing is bad for them and only then they will become aware of it and stop eating it, or at least start eating not as much of it as they would otherwise.
I can think of a few ways to do the experiment. There needs to be a lot of volunteers, otherwise the results may not be convincing to everyone. They would not know what the experiment is about. They would do a lot of different normal activities like watching movies, answering psychological tests, writing, talking, doing math exams, English exams, eating, reading, etc. Then somehow their level of happiness and their results on the tests and their impressions of the experience would be measured. Some volunteers would be in rooms with fluorescent bulbs, other in rooms with LED, other in rooms with natural lighting for many hours. The ones in the rooms with fluorescent bulbs will be less happy at the end: less happy about the food, about the movies, about everything. They will have worse scores in the exams as well.
Another way is to measure each individual response to different environments. A person could do a bunch of activities in a room lit by a fluorescent bulb. Then, after a month, the same person would do the same things in another room, lit by LED. No matter what was the activity, results of a comprehensive study like this would show clearly that the results of the second room are better than the results of the first room. Not that a few hours of activities will result in an extremely huge difference between the two situations: but, if made with a lot of people, the average results of the experience will indicate a clear difference.
I would like to write more, but I´m getting tired right now and I have to sleep. Anyway, my thoughts on the matter are pretty much summoned up above! I hope it wasn´t disappointing. A.Z. 06:23, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Hey A.Z
No, there wasn't anything wrong at all with what you wrote! I just didn't realize you wrote it! I just didn't put your talk page on my watch list because I was expecting you to write back on mine, and so I guess I just missed it.
You have some very good ideas. The way I look at it, it's sort of like smoking. It's hard to believe, but for decades, even centuries, it just didn't occur to people that smoking was bad for you, except when they finally got around to doing scientific studies on it. I really don't get it though, it seems so obvious. How can inhaling smoke and coughing and being out of breath all the time not be enough of a clue to people that there's something wrong with smoking, even way before they actually did any scientific studies?
Anyway, it's 3 AM, I just got up to check the computer, so I'm tired too and should go back to bed. Sorry for not responding sooner. I just don't make much use of the "watchlist" thing. If you write on my talk page I'd be able to respond a lot quicker, as I'm certainly very interested in what you have to say.
Take care for now,
Loomis 07:11, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Do some autodidacts really believe amnesia lasts only an integer number of years ?[edit]


I liked your question at the RD. Hope you're well! See you! -- DLL .. T 22:11, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks! I really liked knowing that, since I thought nobody had liked the question. I was even kind of upset by that... Now, the integer number was only an example to make it easier for people to think about the question without having to do math as well. A.Z. 22:13, 17 March 2007 (UTC)


Based on your writing skills, I think you're being overly modest in ranking your English as a 2. It should be at least a 3.

I can understand what you said about Spanish. I'm somewhat fluent in French, and because of that, I can usually understand the general gist of what's being said if I'm shown something written in Italian. But that's only with regards to reading comprehension. When it comes to understanding spoken Italian, I really don't have a clue what they're saying!

The real reason I came here is because of the discussion about gay-rights. Although you may simply be a straight person with a great deal of interest in gay issues, your talk page would seem to imply that you're gay. Of course I may be mistaken about that, yet I won't apologize for that mistake, because that would imply that being mistaken for being gay is some sort of insult, which it absolutely is not!

In any case, I find myself in a rather unique position when it comes to many issues, including gay-rights. Generally speaking, I consider myself to be a rather "right-wing, Republican, social conservative". Yet there are certain areas where I almost completely disagree with other right-wing, Republican, social conservatives. One of the areas is gay-rights. If you're curious, some other areas where I strongly disagree are:

-Gun Control: I'm actually quite radically anti-gun. I think guns should be banned outright, and that the Second Amendment should be repealed.

-Capital Punishment: Though perhaps in principle I believe that a cold-blooded murderer deserves to die, in practice far too many innocent people are mistakenly executed. It's a real tragedy, and for that reason I'm against capital punishment.

-Abortion: I'm moderately and modestly pro-choice. I think that women should ultimately have a right to choose, yet I'm saddened by each and every abortion. To me, an abortion is a tragedy, although sometimes it's a necessary tragedy. Yes, women should have the right to choose, yet it disgusts me when happily married couples decide to get an abortion just because having a kid at that point in time is "inconvenient". Shame on them! Abortions may be necessary under certain circumstances, and that's why I think they should be legal, but by no means is an abortion a "happy" thing to be celebrated, as some people seem to feel.

So as you can see, though I consider myself a "right-wing, Republican, social conservative", in very many cases I'm not. It's actually rather confusing, with all these exceptions, I sometimes wonder if I can even qualify as a "right-wing, Republican, social-conservative" at all!

But you're question about the gay adoption seems to have thrown me back into the traditional "right-wing, Republican, social-conservative" camp. I honestly try my best to be as accepting as possible, but there are times when I'm reminded that beneath it all, I'm still a "right-wing, Republican, social-conservative".

I hope that whatever comes of our little "gay-rights" discussion on the RefDesk, that you understand that I place an extremely high value on honesty, and, though I sincerely hope this doesn't happen, should my remarks or position offend you in any way, I apologize in advance. By no means do I intend to be hurtful in any way by my remarks, and I only hope that my honesty will be appreciated, rather than hurtful. Loomis 00:44, 19 March 2007 (UTC) Lewis

Thanks for ranking me as a 3, Lewis, but it´s often so frustrating to think clear thoughts and not be able to explain them in English that I would be lying to myself if I said I can contribute with an advanced level of English. I just can´t... Well, maybe I just have too sophisticated thoughts and it´s not my English level which is in the way, but the fact that I must have an exceptional knowledge of the language to express them. See how modest I really am?
Notwithstanding the above, I am constantly learning more and one day I will change that userbox.
I don´t think French and Italian are as similar to each other as Spanish and Portuguese. When I hear people speaking Spanish, I do have a clue what they´re saying! Look at this example of a text in both Spanish and Portuguese from the article on Differences between Spanish and Portuguese:

Pero, a pesar de esta variedad de posibilidades que la voz posee, sería muy pobre instrumento de comunicación si no contara más que con ella. La capacidad de expresión del hombre no dispondría de más medios que la de los animales. La voz, sola, es para el hombre apenas una materia informe, que para convertirse en un instrumento perfecto de comunicación debe ser sometida a un cierto tratamiento. Esa manipulación que recibe la voz son las "articulaciones".

Porém, apesar desta variedade de possibilidades que a voz possui, seria um instrumento de comunicação muito pobre se não contasse com mais além dela. A capacidade de expressão do homem não disporia de mais meios que a dos animais. A voz, sozinha, é para o homem apenas uma matéria informe, que para se converter num instrumento perfeito de comunicação deve ser submetida a um certo tratamento. Essa manipulação que a voz recebe são as "articulações".

It´s like the same language written by a dyslexic person twice. Now, you´re right when you say it´s harder to understand what they´re saying. But I think within only three or four months living in Argentina I would be pretty much as fluent in Spanish as a 10-year-old Argentinian.
I´m gay. I guess I never wrote that on Wikipedia before. That´s the very first time, and as far as I know, it will be recorded here for... ever. I don´t know why I´m saying that, sounds like an important deal. But it really isn´t. In fact, one of the reasons why I don´t state in my user page that I am gay is that I don´t want people to think that I think this is a huge part of who I am. That´s really just one aspect of me. I don´t even know if it´s a part of who "I" really am or just a way the world shows itself to me, i.e., a way in which men happen to be attractive. (this sentence was so obscure that maybe no one else would understand what I meant)
Who cares if no one understands! You obviously have a thought in your mind that's very significant to you. It's true, I didn't quite understand what you meant, just as I didn't quite understand your RefDesk question about having amnesia for a year. You obviously have a unique mind, with rather profound thoughts, yet often you have trouble putting those thoughts into words. Just please, rather than just dismissing it and crossing it out, try your best to better explain yourself. Don't worry, I'm a very patient person, and even if it takes three or four or however many attempts, I'm sure I'll eventually develop a decent grasp of what you're saying. It's just like your question about my thoughts on gay adoption. Although I feel that a child is best off with a mother-figure and a father-figure, I just couldn't translate those feelings into a rational, logical argument, so I felt compelled to retract them. But that's different. We were talking about the law there, and I don't feel it's legitimate to have a law that's based only on a "feeling" but can't be properly and logically expressed as having an objective rationale.
On the other hand, when we're not talking about the law, but just talking about subjective opinion, it's ok if you can't explain it. For example, I love Cantonese food, but I hate Thai food. I can't tell you why, all I can tell you is that I find Cantonese food delicious, and I find Thai food extremely unappetizing. I don't have to give some logical argument to justify it, that's just how I feel, and that's that. Similarly, I'm very attracted to women, especially those that are my "type", but I have absolutely no logical way of explaining why. And as you said, being attracted to women, though an important part of who I am, is but one characteristic of very, very many that define me. I'm also a Jew, a Canadian, a non-practicing lawyer, a son, a brother, an uncle and numerous other things.
I just have two questions for you, and as always, I'll repeat that I respect privacy, so it's entirely up to you to answer:
I get the impression that you're quite a bit younger than me. I'm 33. How old are you? (My apologies if you're actually older than me! No insult intended!)
What's your first name? (No last names necessary!)
I understand what you say about your uniqueness. In Latin American politics, we all (ok, some of us) realize now that for us "right-wing" and "left-wing" mean absolutely nothing. They were once useful labels but now make no sense whatsoever. I could give you thousands of examples, like president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez who wants to implement communism but doesn´t give a damn about gay rights and president Lula, about whom there is a great discussion about whether he is a leftist or a rightist. Maybe in Canada they make some sense yet, but the way I see it labels just prevent us from getting to the point.
I have no opinion yet on the gun policy. I´m against capital punishment as well. I think of abortion kind of like you do, but I could elaborate it further another time.
I truly understand your last paragraph. I know you don´t mean to be hartful! I find honesty good as well. You said nothing so far that could offend me for being gay and, if you do some day, I´ll tell you and ask for you to explain better what you said and we can talk until one out of four things happens:
-I understand you meant another thing.
-You understand you´re wrong and change your mind.
-I understand I´m wrong and change my mind.
-We agree that we disagree so deeply on any really important subject that we can´t do anything about it.
I don´t think that last one is likely to ever happen at all! A.Z. 01:54, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I think I should clarify a few of my views, and as well, I'm interested in yours. I'm not 100% against capital punishment. Like I said, in principle I'm for it, the only reason I'm against it is out of concerns that innocent people may be mistakenly executed, (in fact this has happened many times in the US), and that I'd rather have a million guilty people go free, than to have one innocent person executed.

In fact, according to the religious laws of my people, as well as the secular laws of our country (Israel), capital punishment is almost banned except in very exceptional cases.

For example, in its entire history, Israel only executed one person: Adolph Eichmann. Even terrorists are never executed.

As for our religious law, capital punishment is extremely rare. A very stringent set of circumstances have to exist before a person can be executed. 1) The person has to share his plans to murder with two witnesses, even before murdering. 2) The witnesses have to make it clear to the murderer that what he is about to do is forbidden by God. 3) The murderer has to acknowledge that he understands that God forbids murder, but that he's going to go ahead with it anyway. 4) The murder must be witnessed, and finally, 5) The murdered must confess to have committed the murder. Only then is capital punishment allowed.

Therefore, when I say "I'm against capital punishment", in rare circumstances such as Adolph Eichmann, as well as those that qualify under Jewish law as I described it, I accept capital punishment as appropriate and just.

Please elaborate on your feeling about abortion. I'd like to see how similar they are to mine.

As for the gay-rights issue, if you've noticed, I felt compelled to retract my exception concerning adoption, as I just couldn't find enough of an objective rationale for it. I still believe that every child deserves to have a mother-figure and a father-figure, but I just can't put that "feeling" into an objective rationale for why it gay adoption shouldn't be allowed. And I strongly believe that all laws must have an objective rationale to be legitimate. I therefore retracted that exception.

What are your thoughts on the subject? What about my reasoning for why gays shouldn't be in the military? Is my point a fair one that you can understand and accept or do you consider it a bit "homophobic"? I'm very interested in your thoughts on the manner, as I'd like to make sure my positions on certain issues are objective, fair, and not bigoted in any way.

Keep in touch!

Lewis Loomis 21:14, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Lewis! I have been really busy lately. I just started my first job, the one I talk about on my user page. I´m also going to college, so I just don´t have the time to reply to your messages on week days. I´ll try to reply little by little, since there are so many subjects we´re talking about at the same time. I hope you understand.
Your belief that all laws should have an objective rationale and your retraction on the gay adoption issue suggests to me that you have a cognitive bias, the omission bias (take a look at the article). Here´s a part of the article: "The Omission Bias is the tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral than equally harmful omissions (inactions.)" If you really decide not to support any laws that you can´t explain rationally, you will be omitting yourself from dealing with the serious problems that you perceive in society. Not having a rational explanation just doesn´t cut it as an excuse. If you really believe that being raised by single people and gay couples is really harmful to children and you don´t even try to support the law forbidding it just because it is based on a subjective feeling, you will be accomplice to the very crime that the law which you imagined should punish. You will see children being raised in a way you think is bad for them and you will do nothing about it just because you don´t have a rational argument to explain your position.
Furthermore, every law is utterly based on feelings, even the most rationally explained laws. That´s because we must take certain premises for granted and then from that premises get rationally to the conclusions. But the premises, those you can´t prove. It´s hard if not impossible to prove one should care for one´s life and one should care about other people. People just do it because they feel that´s the right thing. And that´s the base of the laws. I don´t think you see a problem in making a law saying it´s wrong to rape, or making a law saying it´s wrong to kill, or making a law saying it´s wrong to punch your mother in the face even if you don´t give everyone a rational explanation for that.
Maybe what you´re talking about is that you can´t make the rational connection between some most basic premises (like caring for other people and therefore caring for children´s well being) and the conclusion that gay people should not be allowed to adopt children. I mean, maybe what you can´t do is to figure out by which manner gay adoption means not caring for the children´s well being. But is it really a good reason to, say, not vote against gay adoption in a plebiscite and not defend a law prohibiting gay adoption on the RefDesk?
I really want to talk about everything else. I just can´t right now. Please, answer this one reply if you have the time. I´ll try to come back here tomorrow morning. I´m 18 years old and my name is Artur, which is Arthur without the "H" because in Portuguese we don´t have the "th" sound and so the pronounciation is the same. I had some comments about my name, but they´re not that important right now. Bye now! A.Z. 10:29, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Hey Artur! Please stop worrying that what you're saying is wrong or offensive! I've rarely come across someone who is in fact so supportive as you are! Yes, there's a lot of crap going on because of Clio. How can I sum it up? She's very smart, but she just doesn't seem to be able to ever admit that she's wrong about anything, and whenever I disagree with her it always gets extremely personal. It's driving me nuts actually. I really don't dislike her, I just wish she'd quit thinking about our debates as some sort of pissing contest! When somebody points out that my argument may be wrong, I take it seriously, and if I'm indeed wrong, I admit it. And if I believe I'm right, I thank them for the criticism, but respectfully disagree. That's all I'm asking for from her.
Originally I was rather impressed by her intelligence. I even gave her a barnstar, one which I don't intend to erase or anything, because I still think she's very intelligent. At first the topics where we disagreed were rather silly. But then she began making statements that I found very disturbing about an issue that I'm very sensitive too - Nazism, the Third Reich and the Holocaust. Anyway, pretty much everyone else seems to think I'm being either vindictive, or paranoid, or whatever awful yet ridiculous things they can dream up. I really don't understand it. It's just that whenever she says something I find offensive, I feel compelled to react, yet every time I react, I'm told that I'm "out-to-get-her" or something ridiculous like that. I'm really not! I honestly think she's very intelligent, but just needs to mature a bit and admit that she can be wrong sometimes. Even my supporters tell me I should just ignore her and forget about the whole thing. And I've tried! I even wrote a personal apology on her talk page! Yet she just won't quit making offensive statements. Anyway, I'm going on too long about this Artur. It's not your problem so I shouldn't burden you with it.
As for the gay adoption thing, I'm really surprised by your response (though by no means offended by it!) I was completely surprised that a gay person would actually be telling me that it's ok to support laws restricting the rights of gay people, even laws that I can't even rationalize! We'll have to discuss this a lot more, because your view was so totally unexpected (but again, NOT OFFENSIVE! Please, Artur, never assume you're offending me. I don't even think it's possible for you to offend me, because you seem to be such a kind person.)
I'm just wondering, though. Based on what you explained above, and please understand that this is purely hypothical because I'd never support something like this, but how would you react if I told you that "I think there should be a law against being gay, because I just feel that being gay in unnatural and isn't right". Of course I'd never support that, yet according to you, if I actually felt that way, then I should support it. That's the part I don't understand. Don't you believe that individuals have certain rights that are nobody else's business?
Thanks for you support at the RefDesk talk page, I REALLY appreciate it!
Loomis 02:03, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Lewis! I´m glad you replied!

I am gay. That doesn´t mean I don´t care about the kids! If gay parenting is somehow worse for them than straight parenting, I want to know. Of course there's much to be said about this yet.

I don´t really know how I´m gonna answer that last question of yours. I'll need to think about it for a while.

We are discussing each time more things, do you realize that? I am yet to explain to you my positions on death penalty, abortion and gays in the military, and we haven´t really discussed whether it is right to forbid gay adoption or not. On my last post above, I was just pointing that the fact that you can´t rationalize your position is far from a good reason to retract from it. Not that I agree with your position (I don't even understand it completely!). The fact is I just don't feel like you do about this: I don't feel there is a problem with children being raised by single parents and gay couples. So, I probably would be pleased if you said you didn't feel that way anymore, but it is hardly pleasent to know that the only reason why you don't support gay adoption is that you can't make up or find out a proper rational explanation for it. If it were like that, you would still feel sorry for kids raised by single parents and gay couples, and that is a real issue we should discuss.

We'll have to discuss it a lot more! I want to understand you. I'd like to know better what is it that you feel when you think of a child being raised by single parents and gay couples.

Changing the subject: I found out a beta version of a sort of Wikiforum on Wikimedia. It has an ugly name for now (Wikireason), but the name is not that important and it can be changed one day. I posted about it on the Reference Desk talk page. People seem to support the idea. I'm excited about this. A.Z. 22:58, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Hey Artur,
I think I'm a lot like you. When I first thought up the wikiforum thing, I thought that most would find it pretty silly. It's good to get such interest! Positive or negative, at least people aren't dismissing it as ridiculous!
It's really busy at work, so for the next little while I may not be around much. Besides, with all these "rules" at the RefDesk, the place is starting to get duller and duller by the day. And besides, there seems to be a certain contributor who can pretty much answer any question that comes her way, whether it's the right answer or a wrong answer doesn't seem to matter, or something in between: a good answer that can use some input from other contributors, well, whatever kind of answer it is, if I dare comment, it'll invariably look like I'm not letting bygones be bygones, and so someone will inevitably give me some silly warning to "stay away" from her. Well, that would be quite a bit easier if she didn't answer every damn question!
But I'm tired of the fighting. It's now somebody elses turn to dare disagree with her and face all the personal attacks (which for some reason go completely unnoticed) from her and her supporters. I've been called so many names by her I can't even remember them all anymore. A stalker, a predator, a misogynist, an intellectually impoverished nerdy wanker, an emotionally unstable obsessive...Just a couple of days ago, you saw it! Friday said that I don't have much to contribute to Wikipedia and should probably leave! Yet does any of that violate WP:NPA? Of course not!
Just please don't let this give you the impression that I'm bitter or anything. The whole thing is too silly to get me bitter. Besides, I've been through law school and I must have read several thousand cases. In many of them the class and the professor just couldn't figure out what the judge must have been smoking to have arrived at such a ridiculously wrong decision. And these are judges! Some of them Supreme Court of Canada Justices! To expect any better from Wiki Admins would be foolish. They make their mistakes, and I guess we all just have to live with it. On the other hand, I'm a firm believer that the truth eventually comes out one way or the other. I just didn't realize that I may have only been delaying it from coming by distracting everybody with my constant less-than-perfect challenges. I think it's best to just leave things alone for a while. Inevitably some other poor sap will get just as irritated as I was and take my place. All I know is that my job is done.
Besides, I've always believed that just one kind intelligent friend can compensate for 1000 idiots. I'm lucky to have a few around here actually, and you're the latest one to be added to the list.
Anyway, sorry for the venting, but just don't worry, I'm not going anywhere, I'm just taking a rest for a little while. But as always, I'll be checking my talkpage and my watchlist to see if you or any of the kinder people I've met here have sent me any messages.
Hope to hear from you soon!
Loomis 13:52, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
You seem to be dealing with all of this with a lot of maturity. I hope I can find out how to do the same, now that I am having trouble on the Reference Desk as well. I would like to think of the problems I have as being silly, but I can't help finding them very important. I am very glad to be one of your intelligent friends who can compensate for 1000 idiots! A.Z. 01:38, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

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Socratic barnstar[edit]

What you said there resonates with my effort to mediate in an ethnic conflict (the one in Sri Lanka). (I also made the experience how frusting it can be when people don't reply.) The way you write seems like you know nonviolent communication; did you learn that or are you a natural talent? When you write about how important it is to get honest feedback, I also see the same intention as when I wrote User:SebastianHelm/principles#PINOT, although you say it more poetically. — Sebastian 01:55, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

It was so good to read this! I am so tired now and I have to sleep, so I cannot respond further now, but be sure I'll come back here either tomorrow or the day after tomorrow and write you a nice response to this. I want very much to talk with you about this subject! A.Z. 02:55, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm still tired. I hope you're not in a hurry. I do really want to read the article about nonviolent communicantion, but I am too tired for that right know because I worked all day and didn't get much sleep. I'd prefer we met in person and discussed this, this would be much better, but you live in Washington and may not have the money to either come to Brazil or buy me a ticket.
I never studied nonviolent communication but, as I said, I am interested in learning more about the subject. I'll read the article later.
It's nice that you find my writing poetic. Thank you. A.Z. 02:00, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Now I read the article and I'm reading the External Links. I read this: "When we focus on clarifying what is being observed, felt, and needed, rather than on diagnosing and judging, we discover the depth of our own compassion." That's true and I think that's what I was trying to do, for instance, on the discussion above on this talk page about adoption by gay couples and single people. I wanted Loomis to tell me what he feels when he thinks of children being raised this way. I personally don't feel the way he does. Instead of us discussing scientific arguments on the matter, it should be good to try to find out from where are those feelings coming. I don't know if you get what I mean, though. I'm gonna keep reading, since I found this topic very interesting. Where did you study nonviolent communication? A.Z. 19:01, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I overlooked your reply. I learned it first from the book "NVC - a Language of Life", and then I attended a workshop. I still struggle applying it to Wikipedia, though. It seems to me most NVC people focus on partner relation problems. I have a hunch that that's where focusing on feelings works best. The problem with the "feelings" approach in Wikipedia is that most people don't appreciate when you write about their feelings for all to see. Even when you get someone to communicate per e-mail with you, they still has to write about their feelings, which is a big inhibitor. I got to NVC through my mediation, but that is also different from what I learned. Rosenberg writes that he applies it in the Israel-Palestine conflict, but I haven't seen any details about that. — Sebastian 19:25, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
People do have a hard time talking about their feelings here. In fact, many seem to be convict that their feelings don't matter at all, like the guy who wrote an essay saying that he chose not to see people on Wikipedia as people at all. He wrote that he didn't care about whether other editors were male or female, and certainly didn't care about their feelings nor was he wishing to share his own. I'm gonna try to find the essay and post the link here. A.Z. 03:24, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, about the gender I actually agree with them. If someone doesn't choose to tell me or us their gender then I prefer gender neutral pronouns because it's none of my business. But things like the next section are just plain silly. — Sebastian 03:49, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Here it is! A.Z. 03:56, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, that user is not a people person, which is why I opposed him as an arbitrator. However, I like working together with people like him on an encyclopedia: Focusing on the merits of articles works for him; that is indeed a strength which makes him easier to work with than most people here. — Sebastian 06:55, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

"Chat desk"[edit]

I deleted your "chat desk". Wikipedia is not a website for sitting around and chatting. Esperanza had a "coffee lounge" for chatting at one point, but it was deleted. Wikipedia really isn't for these sorts of things. --Deskana (ya rly) 01:23, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

So let's meet for a coffee and discuss this somewhere outside of Wikipedia? A.Z. 01:52, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Please don't be sarcastic, I'm being serious. --Deskana (ya rly) 02:42, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
So was I. Do you support the idea of a Wikiforum of the Wikimedia Foundation for sitting around and chatting? A.Z. 02:56, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

There may be other good reasons for deleting it, but bringing up Esperanza is a silly reason for deletion! By that argument we would have to forbid people to wear a turban, because bin Laden wears one. As far as I know, the reason that Esperanza was deleted was not that it had a coffee lounge. — Sebastian 03:57, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Stop edit warring[edit]

Stop edit warring over inappropriate ref desk content. This is disruptive. Friday (talk) 18:17, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

I am having a conversation with eric on the Reference Desk talk page. Express your concerns there if you think the content is inappropriate, Friday. A.Z. 18:22, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I have done so. I have also expressed my concerns about your inappropriate reverting here on your talk page, where such things belong. Friday (talk) 18:26, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Artur, don't take Friday seriously, he just accuses any inclusionist who does a revert of "edit warring" and "disruption" while completely ignoring the same thing from fellow deletionists. Somebody this biased should just be ignored, even if they are an Admin. StuRat 06:04, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Stay cool[edit]

AZ, I have been following the discussions on Wikipedia talk:Reference desk. I sense you may be feeling bullied, angry and frustrated right now. If that is true, then I understand exactly how you feel. Some of the editors you have come across at the RD talk page seem to like provoking other people just to see what will happen. Don't worry - the RD talk page is not typical of the rest of Wikipedia. Most Wikipedia editors are polite, considerate and helpful. My advice is to walk away from the argument, and do something more productive elsewhere in Wikipedia for a while. You will feel better, the other editors will eventually get bored with deleting things from the RDs, and life will go back to normal. Gandalf61 20:18, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you so much, Gandalf. It is true, I do feel bullied, angry and especially frustrated. It's good to know there are people who know how that is.
But I can't just wait for them to get bored and be happy when all this debate ends. I really care about what Friday, Jfarber, eric and the other people think. When I see that they are completely wrong about something, I imagine how would that be if it were me! If it were me doing wrong things based on wrong ideas, I would be really mad if people just didn't care for me and didn't try to show me the truth and show me that everything I believe is just wrong. A.Z. 23:23, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

LGBT WikiProject Newsletter[edit]

LGBT WikiProject newsletter[edit]

SatyrBot 04:53, 3 April 2007 (UTC)


I get a lot of people who criticise me for not thinking outside the box enough, so thank you! Its very nice to meet people who like my choice of name. Think outside the box 20:29, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

And it's very nice to meet you! A.Z. 02:17, 6 April 2007 (UTC)


Replying here since it's drifting off topic for the ref desk talk page. I think we must be miscommunicating. I certainly did not mean to suggest that you're either stupid or acting in bad faith. Sorry if I came off as rude somehow. Friday (talk) 20:32, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Hi from Jack[edit]

G'day, A.Z. Thanks for the compliment. I'm having trouble finding our previous discussion to refresh my memory. No matter. I remember saying I was more than happy to talk about anything you like on our user pages, so I'm very glad you've come back. I try not to be any particular "side" in debates, particularly in debates about how Wikipedia is/should operate. I have my particular views and opinions, and if they happen to agree/disagree with others' opinions, so be it. And I would never use age as a reason not to take a person seriously. So, back to gay relationships - they're fun, aren't they (in a queer sort of way). Did you have anything you particularly wanted to talk about? Hear from you soon.

Btw, Cristo ressuscitou! or Felice Pascoa (I hope that's reasonable Portugese - a language I've always wanted to learn. Maybe you can help me.)Cheers :) JackofOz 04:47, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

No hurt was intended[edit]

On reflection I've decided to restore your 'Schopenhauer' posting on my talk page, with an additional comment from me. Please be assured that I never intended to wound you personally. Humour is simply my way of undercutting arguments that I consider to be absurd. I am tough and relentless in debate, and I expect others to be equally so, or leave the field. But I'm sorry if I penetrated beneath your armour. I will indeed help you with any pertinent matters, please be assured of that, but no endless exchanges! In any case I wish you all the very best. Clio the Muse 00:59, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Come and talk anytime you want to. I do not know what it is, but somehow you have managed to make me feel really guilty, A.Z. I am not entirely without some feminine weaknesses, and my hard exterior only hides a soft centre! Clio the Muse 08:35, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Responding to suicidal individuals[edit]

Hi A.Z. I would like to invite you to commenting upon or edit the new proposed policy Wikipedia:Responding to suicidal individuals now that it has finally come up for discussion on Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) and Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Policies. Hopefully we can reach consensus (or not) within a week or two. Thanks! S.dedalus 22:59, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Ugh, ArmedBlowfish has started adding all kinds of rubbish about how to actively listen to someone in distress. We're an ENCYCLOPEDIA, not touchy feely therapy. People who threaten to commit suicide should be given a helpline and a year long block. I'm not getting into that mess. Thanks for the message though. :| Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 00:02, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

reference desk archival[edit]

Hello, A.Z. I wasn't the one who archived the talk page, so I can't speak for that person, but I think it had to do with two things:

a) The user who posted the original and many other posts in that last section chose to vanish. See this edit.
b) Most of the fractal discussions weren't going anywhere. More time was spent on getting one's own word out than on listening to what the others had to say. Sometimes a clean slate is what the reference desk's talk page needs most.

I doubt this will make you agree with the archiving of the thread, and I'm sorry if it doesn't answer your question in a satisfying way. Still, I wanted to let you know why I, personally, thought the tabula rasa approach was helpful. (Though in the end, we all know, the discussions will be back. :-) Take care. ---Sluzzelin talk 02:02, 16 April 2007 (UTC)


Could I just ask why you put the notice on the Mathematics Reference Desk under a magenta background? Black text on magenta backing is very hard to read. x42bn6 Talk 03:07, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

It's easy to change the color of the text! I'll try and find out which color is readable on a fuchsia background. I changed it so people maybe pay more attention to it and actually take part in the discussion. A.Z. 03:09, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Can it be a little less in-your-face, please, A.Z.? It seems like the chromatic equivalent of SHOUTING. JackofOz 03:10, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I intend that it looks like SHOUTING, though not unpolite SHOUTING! Only shouting like HEY THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT PEOPLE! A.Z. 03:12, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Ok, you're right. I'm going to look for a less shouting color... A.Z. 03:18, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
It actually varies for person to person - but the greater the contrast, the easier the readability - and magenta is closer to dark than it is to light. At the moment, it does look a bit better, but the easiest way to get attention is by using red or orange, rather than magenta or related shades. You also have to bear in mind that the users of the Reference Desks are not only regular Wikipedians, but clueless newbies and people with questions about the real world - who might not take too nicely with a bright message on the top. x42bn6 Talk 03:27, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Your portugeuse skills[edit]

Can you translate the Brazilian article for us, please? And can you tell me what the situation is like for LGBT users and articles on the Portuguese Wikipedia? Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 16:32, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

RE: Your opinion[edit]

Other than making me read a lot, the editor isn't violating any written policies that I'm aware of except that Reference Desk isn't really the place for that kind of discussion. The speech, although somewhat hostile and borderline trollish, isn't enough so to require any intervention (and I certainly wouldn't feel right intervening against him for having opinions) but if the expression of those opinions begins to disrupt the encyclopedia, then administrative action would be necessary. If he does begin to be disruptive, please notify me again and I will look into it further. --Hemlock Martinis 05:10, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Despite the fact that Wikipedia is not a soapbox, this user is not directly disrupting the encyclopedia. I also suspect that few people will take any notice. If it really does become disruptive, then action could be taken, but this doesn't even deserve a warning. Doing something in response would be a bad idea- the user will then believe that their opinion is being censored, and go and complain all over the place. Let it be, if it is a one off. J Milburn 15:17, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Thank you both. A.Z. 01:50, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Enough is enough[edit]

A.Z., please let Loomis' comment on the Ref Desk be. You have now had three editors independently archive it, only for your to reopen the debate. Moreover, Hemlock Martinis and J Milburn have essentially told you the same thing I have - that the Ref Desk is not the place for this type of soapboxing. Loomis has made his point, as have you. Further attempts to reinvigorate this pointless discussion will become borderline disruptive. Just let it go. Rockpocket 23:48, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

It is not a pointless discussion. A.Z. 23:49, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
How many administrators have to tell you the Ref Desk is an innapropriate place for this debate before you will accept it? If you wish to discuss these issues, take it to the proper policy page or a personal talkpage. I'm going to ask Jack to refrain from engaging with you on the subject further, but you can consider this a warning that this behaviour is now becoming disrputive. Rockpocket 23:59, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I think your behavior is most disruptive... A.Z. 00:06, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
A.Z., you're welcome to continue the discussion on your talk page here or on Wikiversity. Either place would be appropriate. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 01:20, 19 April 2007 (UTC)


Just noticed that Martin invited you to continue in a new section, I had not noticed that earlier. At least you get the Moe laugh out if it. :) David D. (Talk) 01:09, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

What if he had not invited !? A.Z. 02:50, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
? You saw what i did, I moved it up to the closed debate area. The debate was getting way off topic and too personal. Much better to be on your own talk page or someone elses Lewis', for example. David D. (Talk) 05:45, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Meanings of things[edit]

Hi, A.Z. Since you haven't taken up my invitation to come to my talk page, I'm coming to yours.

I have to admit a lot of confusion about what your position is, because it seems to change often. You previously agreed that comments should be on contributions, not on the contributors themselves. You won't get any argument from me about that. But now you say "I am the one defending that comments on the contributors should be allowed". Which is it?

I also have a lot of difficulty in coming to terms with your proposition that opinion X about subject Y, held by person Z, is not a comment on subject Y, but a comment about Z himself. Let me think aloud here for a moment or two -

  • Andy says "The Earth is round". (Let's call this Statement X)
  • Brian says "I disagree".

Is Brian saying:

  • (a) "I disagree that Statement X is a true statement" or
  • (b) "I disagree that Andy has made a true statement" or
  • (c) "I think Andy is mistaken", or
  • (d) "Andy is mistaken" or
  • (e) "Andy is a fool if he thinks that" (or various other personal attacks), or
  • (f) something else?

I suppose, technically, only response (a) could be regarded as a comment purely about Statement X. All the others, to greater or lesser degree, involve a kind of comment on Andy. Responses (b) and (c) are fine. Response (d) is slightly marginal, but I don't think most people would consider it unacceptable. Response (e) is definitely a personal attack. But we'll never know which of these was what Andy was thinking when he wrote "I disagree". And we don't need to, and shouldn't try to, because all we can ever do here is work with the words people say, not with the people personally, and certainly not with their thoughts.

Given that statements don't make themselves, they are always associated with their authors. That's as it should be, otherwise nobody would ever know who's saying what, and chaos and war would ensue. But that's as far as it goes, unless the person is actually talking about himself (eg. "I am a Brazilian").

If I make a statement that is clearly about a preceding contribution (whether it's agreement, disagreement or something else), and doesn't include mention of the user, it is not a comment about the user, nor is it a comment about me, other than "I'm the person identified as the one saying this statement".

If I agree with someone, I'm not saying "I think you personally are a wonderful human being", and if I disagree with someone, I'm not saying "I think you personally are an arsehole". We are in no position to impute such things, which is why WP:NPA, WP:AGF and WP:Civil are so necessary.

There's nothing wrong with commenting on oneself, as long as it's relevant to the topic, eg. introducing an anecdote from your own life in order to illustrate a point you're making. But to classify virtually all comments as being comments on the user who made them goes nowhere. That might be fine for a philosophy debating class, but it is unuseful - and can even be damaging - in this environment, because people see it as an argument about argument itself, not an argument about the topic at hand. It disrupts the flow of the argument about the topic, which is the only thing we're interested in. If you want to debate polemics or the philosophy of inter-personal communication, there are plenty of places to do so, including others users' talk pages.

I welcome your response to this. -- JackofOz 05:18, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I did not say that "opinion X about subject Y, held by person Z" is not a comment on subject Y, but a comment about Z himself. I said that the sentece "opinion X about subject Y is held by person Z" is a comment about Z himself. That's the case of your sentence "The opinion that Rockpocket's view is right is held by Jack." Opinion X could be something like "the argument is right" or "the argument is wrong". None of them make sense in a discussion. "This argument is right" and "This argument is wrong" are just pretty much meaningless things to say in a discussion, if you say them alone. If you add a proof that the argument is either right or wrong, then it means something. If you think that the opinion of person Z is so important that we should actually believe that it is true even if person Z doesn't prove it, then you are implying that person Z has opinions that we should believe to be true even if we don't have a proof of it. And that would be a comment on person Z. In your case, the comment would be "Jack's opinion is worth something even if it adds nothing whatsoever to the debate itself." But there are other reasons why you would make your comment, besides the belief that we should believe your opinion is right even though you did not prove it. Those reasons are stated on this very post, below.
Statement (a) is the same as the statement "Brian disagrees that Statement X is a true statement". It doesn't matter who made the statement, it will always mean the same thing, whether it was Brian himself or another person who wrote it. If I am having a discussion, and then I say "Someone disagrees that this argument is right", I am most probably not adding any information about the whether the argument is true or false. In fact, anyone can't even respond to me, since it is completely off-topic what I just said. It is like saying "blah". But you don't have to agree with me yet. Continue reading.
Let me show you how is a true comment on a topic. Two people are having a discussion:

Mark says: The Earth is not flat (conclusion). I saw some photographs taken by a Russian man who went on a space travel, and they showed a spherical Earth (premise).

Andy says: Your argument is false because the photographs are false (premise).<--- (here is the comment on the topic)

Hidden premise on Mark's argument: the photographs are not false.

Every argument is made of premises and conclusions. If everyone agrees that the premises are right and everyone agrees that the logical process is not flawed, then everyone will agree that the conclusions are right. Every thing that adresses one of these two things is a comment on an argument:
  • The premises(people have to deal with the fact that some of them are not provable by logic, since logic only creates new premises from previously existent ones)
  • The process that departs from the premises to arrive at the conclusions (The logical part of it. Any disagreement with a logical process is agreed upon by all humans once discovered, and those are the logical fallacies)
Anything else is not a comment on the argument. Anything that is neither a comment on the premises nor a comment on the logical process is not a comment on the argument.
Anything else means to the argument the same thing as saying "blah".
Another discussion:

Mark says: every man is an animal (premise) and every animal is mortal (premise). Therefore, every man is mortal. (conclusion)

Andy says: not every man is an animal (premise), so your argument is not right.<---(comment on the topic)

Mark could ask now "why would you say that?" and Andy could answer that he has faith that men are actually souls that live forever, not animals. That's it! The END! The discussion is over because both of them disagree on such a basic premise, a premise that is only a matter of faith, not a matter of logic. There is nothing else to be said. They disagree that every man is mortal and logic has no place there anymore. Logic had done it's job and found out what is the basic premise with which Mark and Andy disagree. Now logic will say "good bye" because all that logic has to do with the premises is to get them, put them together and discover the conclusion. Logic doesn't build the premises themselves, faith does.
If I, you and Rockpocket somehow found out that we have faiths that disagree with one another, there's nothing logical that any of us could do to convince the other person of our views! We would have discovered our most fundamental disagreement, our premises that are different and therefore will be taken to different conclusions.

Mark says: I like the color red. And I like walls painted in colors that I like. Therefore, I like red walls.

Andy says: I disagree with your view on what color of walls Mark likes.

Andy has added nothing to the debate yet. Mark could ask "how come?" and Andy could answer "I believe that Mark doesn't like red at all". We don't know if what Andy said is true or not, but he does now have a reason why we should consider the argument to be wrong. He added something new to the debate, no matter who said it. It could have been Andy or anyone. It could have been a monkey or a computer. But there is a new premise now, the one that "Mark doesn't like the color red." Now they can continue talking and see whether the statement "Mark does not like the color red" is true or not. They may never really find out the Truth, and logic is not about finding out the Truth! Logic is about taking premises and making them into conclusions, nothing more than that. And every one of us agrees with the laws of logic, every single person in the world. We can only disagree when it comes to our premises (either because we have different faiths or because we ignore what are the right premises), but no one, even the most religious of men, disagrees that "if every man is an animal and every animal is mortal, therefore every man is mortal". There is no disagreement to that. There's no disagreement to "if a equals b and b equals c, then a equals c." There's no disagreement to "if every a is a b and x is an a, then x is a b." What you insert in the place of the letters may be different to each person.
Another discussion:

Mark says: If my brother got home already, then the alarm went off. I forgot to turn off the alarm and every time when I forgot to turn off the alarm it goes off whenever anyone gets home. My neighbor said that she was on the street near our house and she saw someone who looked a lot like my brother heading in the direction of our house. My neighbor could not have recognized the person correctly, but nevertheless there is a great possibility that the alarm went off.

Andy says: Your brother just called me from your house. He said he got home. <---(comment on the topic)

There are A LOT of premises above that could be dead wrong, but nevertheless somethings are right: It is true that:
"If every time I do X it causes Y to happen and I did X, therefore Y happened" Of course that someone could have exploded an atomic bomb in the city and there would be no alarm and no house and no brother anymore. Nevertheless, the sentence is still true.
So, Rockpocket had made a statement. I can say "Rockpocket, I don't feel that you are right, but I have no idea why." I am not commenting on the contribution yet, I am commenting on myself. I am looking inside me and discovering a fact: that I somehow have a bad feeling about that. I could find out eventually that actually my feeling happened only because I didn't like Rockpocket and didn't want to admit that he is right and I'm wrong, for instance. Or I could find out that I disagreed completely with some of Rockpocket's premises.
You said "Jack's view is the same view than Rockpocket's", that's the meaning of your statement. You said that you felt that his premises were all right and his logic was right. That may be very useful in the discussion. I, for instance, may dislike Rockpocket but I may like you. So I could stop and think "is there really anything wrong with what he's saying?". I might find out that he is actually right, but that would only worth anything if the goal of the discussion was to convince me! The fact that I am convinced or not doesn't change anything about the truth or falseness of Rockpocket's view. What you made was not a comment on the contribution. If you had added any proof that his premises are right or any evidence that his logic is perfect, that would be a comment on the topic. What you made was a comment on you and that is OK and that may be good because the discussion involves people and it does involve feelings. And knowing what you feel may be really good for the discussion, but your statement is not about the topic, it is about Jack! If I say "I feel all of this is crap because I think Rockpocket is acting in bad faith", I'll reveal an important fact, not about the topic (Rockpocket's view, for instance), but about myself. Then you, Jack, could try to change my feelings about Rockpocket, for instance. Changing my feelings about Rockpocket has nothing to do with finding out the truth about his view, but is matters, it is important! My feelings matter because we are not only trying to find out the truth: we actually care about what other people think, about their intentions and thoughts, we don't only care about the topic of the discussion. If you are right that Rockpocket's view is right, you have no reason to say it unless you care about what other people think. Otherwise you would be more than happy with the fact that you yourself alone know the truth.
I hope I made myself a little bit clearer, but I hope you tell me any and all the points which you might not understand about my view. I'll explain everything and if you can show me that I am wrong, I'll try to not be so proud and retract from my words. I'm not happy with the fact that I know the truth. I'll not be happy alone in my room knowing the truth and believing that Jack is acting based on something that I consider to be a lie. (please no one respond to this post before JackofOz, as I would find it rather irritating) A.Z. 04:05, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Hello, A.Z. There's a lot to comprehend in what you say, and I don't pretend to have comprehended it yet. I’m not in your league when it comes to abstruse philosophical discussions. Maybe it's just me, but I often find it hard to follow what you say.
For now, I'll cut to the chase and talk about how this started.
  • Rockpocket said "Comment on contributions, not contributors"
  • I said "What Rockpocket just said is exactly, precisely my view"
  • You and I had some discussion, then you said "If you had said anything new either in favor or against our arguments, then we could debate about this new argument that you'd have brought into the discussion. But you only stated "I agree" and I think that to just come here and say "I agree" is ridiculous and makes no sense. Now, why do I think that? Because it adds absolutely nothing to the discussion! But you didn't just say a nonsense thing that does not harm and no good. You actually did harm." (my highlighting)
That last sentence was a statement to which I took particular exception.
Later, you said that I had acted in bad faith, but tempered that charge with the possibility that I may not have intended to act in bad faith.
Later still, you said "I did not think that statement of yours was bad. I think an appeal to majority is unspeakably harmful, but I care about what you think and I was back then trying to defend your right to say that. I don't know whether you were trying to harm Wikipedia or not, but if you were I would like to help you."
Can you see my dilemma? First, it’s
  • you actually did harm, then
  • I did not think that statement of yours was bad, then
  • I was ... trying to defend your right to say that, then
  • I don't know whether you were trying to harm Wikipedia or not (which doesn't alter your position that I did harm, whether or not it was my intention).
Nothing you have said so far convinces me that I did any harm. You're the only person who seems to be troubled by this possibility. Policies and guidelines are often forgotten by users, and people use a variety of means to remind others of them. They may not conform to your idea of how a discussion should proceed; but we're not all philosophy/logic students. You may argue that my statement added nothing to the debate, or was an appeal to the majority - but the majority here matters. WP works by consensus. I came to WP long after the core policies were decided, so I had nothing to do with their establishment. I happen to like them, because they're sane and workable, but even if I didn't like them I would still support them.
Now that a week has gone by, do you still think I did harm? And if I did, why did you not only not think my statement was bad, but also try to defend my right to say it? This seems to be saying that it’s defensible and good to say bad things.
I don't remember you having withdrawn the charge that I acted in bad faith. More to to the point, I didn't. You are the only person who seems to be of this view.
Best wishes. -- JackofOz 07:16, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Hi, Jack. I don't really have a lot of time right now to respond to you, but I think I understand most of your doubts and I'll be able to make myself clear enough so you know exactly what I mean. I hope you don't mind if it takes some time, though.
It is defensible and good to say bad things because it is defensible and good to be honest. Your statement could've shown us that there is a bad thing either in your feelings or in your intentions or in your beliefs, but bad things exist and hiding them will do no good. If everyone is honest about what everyone feels, we may understand each other better and people may help us to understand ourselves. Being polite is just being false, as is assuming good faith just because this is the policy, even when you actually think the person is actually acting in bad faith. If you are honest and tell the person what you think of them, both of you will be able to work things out, something that would be completely impossible if both of you were always pretending that you think the other person is acting in bad faith.
In the last sentence, did you mean "acting in good faith"? JackofOz 06:49, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
As I said, Jack, I have a hard time using words (let alone English words) to express my thoughts. I'm sorry about that. This happened when I was talking to you on the talk page of the reference desks: I did not express myself well. I know you may find this just an excuse and somewhat weird, but you can read my sentences as if I were immitating another person (just these sentences, the others are me speaking for myself). Read them as if I were immitating Rockpocket, because as I understand it these sentences are a consequence of his view that comments should only be on the contributions, never on the contributors. The part that is an immitation of Rockpocket is supposed to be over right after I said "this is a fallacious appeal to majority". I did not realize until now that I had given almost no indication that it wasn't supposed to look like it was my opinion. I must have thought that you could somehow hear my ineer voice and be able to tell that I was actually talking as if I were either Rockpocket or someone that agrees with him.

(start immitation) If you had said anything new either in favor or against our arguments, then we could debate about this new argument that you'd have brought into the discussion. But you only stated "I agree" and I think that to just come here and say "I agree" is ridiculous and makes no sense. Now, why do I think that? Because it adds absolutely nothing to the discussion! But you didn't just say a nonsense thing that does not harm and no good. You actually did harm. What is my argument to support my opinion that what you said is harmful? I assume that you think your personal opinion is of inherent importance. I assume you are just coming here to "vote" and so you are saying "not only Rocpocket is saying that, there is one more person that agrees with him and I think this adds importance to his opinion." This is a fallacious appeal to majority. (end immitation) According to the philosophy of "Comment on contributions, not contributors", I [or Rockpocket or any person who assumes that you are being harmful ] would simply not be able to express my concerns about your comment, since they´re based on assumptions I have about you that are not explicit in your behavior, as someone could argue you were just talking nonsense and you didn't really intend to act in bad faith and appeal to the majority. (I'm going to sleep now, as I need to wake up in a couple of hours)

I was defending the right of a person, any person, to say that they think you are harming Wikipedia. I was saying that your comment makes no sense as a comment on the argument, and it is true. But I also was talking as if I agreed with Rockpocket and thought that the fact that your comment was not on the contribution meant that it was worth nothing and as against policy. Your comment really makes no sense as a comment on the arguments, but it makes sense nevertheless. It makes sense in the sense that it allows other contributors to know how you feel about the discussion. As I explained above, people are often biased because of their feelings, and disclosing them may be very useful to become aware of your biases and avoid being lead by them to beliefs that are not true. Also, you may actually be able to eventually solve any bad feelings that you have, I mean, to stop feeling like you do, if you talk to other people about it. I think you were not trying to harm Wikipedia, but I know you have contradicted yourself, and you will continue contradicting your own beliefs every time you say that you agree that comments should be only on the contributions, not on the contributors. You made a comment on yourself, a comment that added nothing to the arguments. A comment on the contributor.
You just told me that the majority here matters. I think this is just an excuse, Jack. Saying that all that we are doing there is to try to gain votes is the same as disregarding the entire discussion and saying that the contributions are worth nothing. Saying that the votes are what actually matter is saying that you don't care about what people really think, because you won't try to convince the minority that you are right. Saying that the minority or that one only person who votes against something is not important is saying that you do not care about the feelings of anyone here, only about their votes. Saying that the votes are what actually matters is saying that the truth does not matter, that you don't care why that person voted against you, you only care that you won, no matter how, no matter if it was deceiving people or manipulating people. The votes are not what matters. You would not force anyone to vote, Jack. You would try and convince people that they should vote to something. You would not force people to vote for your proposal because you care about them. OK, you can say that you would be blocked if you tried to force people to vote for a proposal that you support. But if there were no blocks and no punishment, you would still not force anyone to vote, because a vote in itself matters nothing. People matter and the truth matters. Saying that the majority is what matters is saying that the vote of the contributors are all that matters: the vote of the contributors is not the truth, it is just their opinion at that time. The vote of the contributors is not the contributors either, as people may vote wrongly to something that they don't really believe. The vote of the contributors has no meaning, Jack. The Wikipedia article on appeal to majority explains that. It explains that the votes mean nothing, and they really don't. The real reasons why you told your opinion remain obscure. I have an idea about what could be the reasons, but I'm not sure which reasons were your reasons. Do you get it? If I asked you "what is the importance of telling your opinion on that thread?", what would you answer? The discussion was trying to determine whether it was OK for Lewis or anyone to criticize other editors on the talk page of the reference desk. Rockpocket thought that it was not OK and he wrote an argument. I thought Rockpocket was wrong and I wrote my argument. You went there and wrote nothing about my premises or his premises. You presentend no new evidence that any premise was either right or wrong, you brought nothing new that could help us determine the truth about whether it is OK to criticize other people on the reference desk. You just said "Jack's opinion on Rockpocket's argument is that it is right". Why did you say that? You apparentely on you last post above have used the same answer that David D. used: that the votes are what really matters and telling your opinion and making people tell their opinions may make my opinion become more marginalised by the time, since the less votes an opinion has the less importance it has. His exact sentence was:

The more people that agree with Rockpocket the more marginalised your own opinion becomes. Hence voicing agreement with an opinion alone is warranted and nothing more needs to be said. (David D.)

Well, was that your reason Jack? That you think that what really matters and what all of this is really about is nothing but the votes? If this really was your reason to voice agreement without even explaining why, you are wrong and you may be not intentionally harming Wikipedia, but you are bringing something bad to Wikipedia, a fallacy that you do not really agree with, a fallacy that you only think you agree with. It's OK to bring bad things to Wikipedia, there are bad things in people and in the world, and there's no way to solve them if you don't acknowledge them, and there's no way we can acknowledge them if we hide them. We should not hide the bad things as if they were not there, but now that I saw a bad thing it is my duty to tell you that you are wrong and to try and make you realize that. A.Z. 03:19, 21 April 2007(UTC)

"Being polite is just being false, as is assuming good faith just because this is the policy, even when you actually think the person is actually acting in good faith."
I disagree. Being polite is always a good policy. In this environment, divorced as it is from body language, we never really know for certain that a person is acting in bad faith (the obvious exceptions excluded, eg. outright vandalism). We may strongly suspect it, but that's all. It's far better to question the user on what they meant, wait for their response, and go from there. Simply accusing a person of acting in bad faith, as a first response, is not useful in itself, and also it's not useful because such an accusation can itself be interpreted as a personal attack. This is how vicious circles start, and all they do is drag everyone concerned into the maelstrom of darkness and away from our primary purpose here. No matter how much people may differ in their views or opinions about an issue, and no matter how passionate a debate might become, it's never ok, in my opinion, to cross the line.
"I was defending the right of a person, any person, to say that they think you are harming Wikipedia."
  • I agree that such a right exists, and it's fine to defend that right. But you went beyond that, you accused me of actually harming Wikipedia. You didn't just say you thought I was harming Wikipedia. Your words were "You have harmed Wikipedia", and you're maintaining that stance.
"I think you were not trying to harm Wikipedia, but I know you have contradicted yourself, and you will continue contradicting your own beliefs every time you say that you agree that comments should be only on the contributions, not on the contributors. You made a comment on yourself, a comment that added nothing to the arguments. A comment on the contributor."
  • We've discussed this before. I disagree that what you just said is the case. I suspect you're as stubborn about this as I am, and I can't see any purpose in thrashing it out any more.
"Saying that the votes are what actually matters is saying that the truth does not matter, that you don't care why that person voted against you, you only care that you won, no matter how, no matter if it was deceiving people or manipulating people."
  • It has nothing to do with "truth", whatever that is. I did not say "the votes are what actually matters". I said "the votes matter", which is a very different thing. It allows for other things to matter too. Your premise as to what I said, or meant by what I said, is flawed, and hence your conclusions have no relation to what I said.
"You would not force anyone to vote, Jack. You would try and convince people that they should vote to something. You would not force people to vote for your proposal because you care about them."
  • It has nothing to do with whether I care about them or not. I simply can't force anyone to vote one way or another, and I'm sure you know that. If I have a strongly enough felt position about something, all I can do is try to influence the outcome using whatever powers of persuasion I have. Then, it's up to them, and I will abide by the outcome. If I have a very strong view that a certain outcome is unjust or unfair or will not work in practice, I will do whatever I can to have it changed - particularly if I had not been aware of the debate until after the vote had been taken, and nobody had expressed a similar view prior to the vote. But until such time as it is changed - if that ever happens - I might not actively support it but I will certainly not intentionally undermine it, breach it myself, or advocate that others do so.
" ...the vote of the contributors is not the truth, it is just their opinion at that time. The vote of the contributors is not the contributors either, as people may vote wrongly to something that they don't really believe. The vote of the contributors has no meaning, Jack."
  • To the extent that votes have little if anything to do with "truth", I agree with the 1st sentence. But you take your argument too far. All we have to go on is how people actually vote. We have no insight into why they ultimately voted that way, and we should not even try to second guess their real motives. It's possible that some are voting against their consciences, but we'll never know, so that goes nowhere. If the vote of the contributors on some issue has no meaning, why do we bother trying to reach consensus as our main guiding principle here. Of course it has a meaning. I never said it was "the truth".
"Saying that the majority is what matters is saying that the vote of the contributors are all that matters"
  • I never said that, and I've never thought that. I said it matters, I didn't say it was the only thing that matters.
"You just said "Jack's opinion on Rockpocket's argument is that it is right". "
  • Again, you put words in my mouth, A.Z. My post made no mention of "right" or "wrong". I agreed with Rockpocket's statement, and in so doing, provided my support for the policy. I support it because, in my opinion, it works, not because it's "right". I long ago abandoned the "right/wrong" paradigm, in favour of the "what works/doesn't work" paradigm.
"Well, was that your reason Jack? That you think that what really matters and what all of this is really about is nothing but the votes?"
  • No, I don't think it's all about votes, and my answers above reveals why.
"If this really was your reason to voice agreement without even explaining why, you are wrong and you may be not intentionally harming Wikipedia, but you are bringing something bad to Wikipedia, a fallacy that you do not really agree with, a fallacy that you only think you agree with."
  • I don't understand what the last bit is about (a fallacy that you do not really agree with, a fallacy that you only think you agree with) - what you're talking about here is not my argument but yours (ie. that I've harmed Wikipedia). Since I've made it very clear that this is one issue on which we differ, I don't agree with it nor do I even think I agree with it. I profoundly disagree with it. But you seem to remain convinced I've harmed Wikipedia. You have the right to think that. I simply don't see any purpose in debating this any further, so let's just agree to disagree.
Just one final thing, though. I perceive all your arguments made to me in the past few days, here and elsewhere, as having been made in good faith. I've never doubted that for a moment, even if I've been outraged by some of your claims. What I would like in return is your acknowledgement that my statement agreeing with Rocpkpocket's statement was also made in good faith, whatever you may think its effects may have been. Best wishes. JackofOz 06:49, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

I see a purpose in debating this much further. I could just go and state the purpose, but you would not grasp it because any answer I gave you today would have been a lazy answer. Since you don't agree with me that there is a purpose, I would have to convince you that there is, and I don't think I'm capable of doing that right now, I'm only capable of vaguely saying why we should keep debating. I can't convince you of that. Our discussions can continue for quite a long time, you see. The discussion about whether there is a purpose in debating this further can be a very long discussion, but I think you see no purpose in debating any further whether we should continue debating our previous subject any further. All of this makes me sad, but there is no purpose in saying why, because I don't know the proper way to show you why it would be saddening. You said the following to Lewis (with my highlights):

"If I could remake history, there’s one comment I made recently that I would say differently - "There's really nothing in the foregoing that's worthy of any response". That was poorly worded, and it led to your opinion of me being lowered. I’m sorry for that outcome. It’s not that I didn’t care that you felt you were being wronged by previous goings-on, but that I didn’t see it as my personal responsibility to fix the problem. I was annoyed by the "Leave! For the love of God leave!" heading and what initially followed it; which is why I said you couldn’t have it both ways. Meaning, either leave and stay away, or remain here and contribute in a positive manner."

After that you said:

"That’s what my post was about, but I was just over it by that stage and didn’t have the mental energy to say any more. (Yes, even I, your personal guru, get tired and depleted sometimes)."

Mental energy seems to be exactly what I do not have to respond to you further now that I know you do not wish to continue the debate. If it's already hard enough to find the best way of debating even when both people wish to debate, it is to me tireing and mental energy consuming to try and keep debating when the person I am debating with doesn't even wish to continue the debate.
I could start to think about a way to persuade you right now that we should continue the debate, but I have no mental energy to do that either, as it would be an extremely difficult task that would require large amounts of thinking (and therefore a lot of time) to be completed. Anything that I could produce right now and within the following days would be but poorly worded and it would most probably not lead to your understanding of what I mean. I can't even tell you why I have highlighted the other things you said and I didn't comment in this paragraph, because it would take so much mental energy, more than I will have during a long period of time. A.Z. 17:00, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, I'm going to respond to somethings that you said... But not right now. Right now, I have mental energy enough only to address your first point:

"In this environment, divorced as it is from body language, we never really know for certain that a person is acting in bad faith (the obvious exceptions excluded, eg. outright vandalism)."

We never know for certain that a person is acting in bad faith! Body language cannot tell us if a person is acting in bad faith or not. This belief of yours is rather awkward. It would be a valuable talent to teel someone's intentions just by looking the body language, and very useful to choose which politicians to vote for. But, even if it were true that the body language of someone could reveal their intentions, this fact would not mean anything to my argument, as my argument is not based at all on the premise that everyone can tell for sure the intentions of another editor. But we can suspect them! And you seem to agree, since you said:

"We may strongly suspect it (that someone is acting in bad faith), but that's all. It's far better to question the user on what they meant, wait for their response, and go from there."

I think you really agree with me, Jack. What I'm saying is exactly that: we may strongly suspect that someone is acting in bad faith. If I suspect that someone is acting in bad faith, do I still assume that the person is acting in good faith? I thought that "assuming good faith" meant that you would think that the person is acting in good faith and you would treat the person as if they were acting in good faith. I think that's what assuming good faith means and I think this is wrong. I think that, if I suspect that someone is acting in bad faith, I should treat the person as someone who I suspect to be acting in bad faith, and anything else would be lying. I don't think that means that we should treat the other person using bad manners, that we should call the person names, that we should try to offend the person. This is not necessarily the way that I treat people that I suspect to be acting in bad faith. We should be honest. And being honest may lead to the solution of problems: being honest with the person and telling them that you think they are acting in bad faith may ultimately, after a lot of talking, lead to the discovery that the person was acting in good faith after all. Being honest and telling the person that they may be acting in bad faith may ultimately lead the person themselves to realize that they were acting in bad faith and to stop acting in bad faith.
As to whether there is such a thing as "outright vandalism" that we can be sure that it is an act of bad faith, the answer is no. What looks like outright vandalism to you may be an act of good faith. For instance, someone once offered five dollars to the first person who wrote "reality is a commodity" in the article named Reality. The person could do it in good faith and donate the five dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation to help Wikipedia, and yet the edit would have been seen by most people as an act of bad faith. A.Z. 02:08, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough about the vandalism and the body language, A.Z.. I concede those points to you. Which brings me to these statements from your post above:
  • "(A) We never know for certain that a person is acting in bad faith!"
  • (B) "I think that, if I suspect that someone is acting in bad faith, I should treat the person as someone who I suspect to be acting in bad faith" and
  • (C) "Being honest and telling the person that they may be acting in bad faith may ultimately lead the person themselves to realize that they were acting in bad faith and to stop acting in bad faith."
So, we've made some progress.
  • 1. We agree that one may suspect another of acting in bad faith.
  • 2. We agree that it's ok to tell them that you suspect they're acting in bad faith.
  • 3. We agree that we never know for certain that a person is acting in bad faith.
  • 4. We agree that, without an admission of bad faith from the other person, the most we can know is that they may be acting in bad faith.
So I return to my point from yesterday. You didn't say that I may have been acting in bad faith, or that you suspect I was acting in bad faith. You said that I did act in bad faith (which directly contradicts Agreement 3). You directly accused me of acting in bad faith. The only qualification was that I may not have intended to do so - which does not in any way alter what you allege that I did. So, since I have denied that I was acting in bad faith, and I will continue to deny it till the day I die, where does that leave you? You must accept my word that I was not acting in bad faith. You have no alternative. Unless, of course, you want to change any of the above agreements. If you were to do that, I don't think I'd be interested in debating this matter with you any further. But that's your call.
I still want you to acknowledge that I did not act in bad faith, and to apologise to me for asserting that I did so. -- JackofOz 03:01, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry, Jack, because I said you acted in bad faith. Jack, I just read again what I said and it seems that it was "you actually did harm" and not "you acted in bad faith". You may harm Wikipedia without acting in bad faith, surely... Anyway, I am sorry because I responded agressively to you, instead of making it clear that I only thought you were mistaken to try to marginalise my opinion (because that's what I thought you were doing, and I felt threatened by it). I should have tried to explain myself better, as I am trying to do now on this thread. A.Z. 04:04, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
I wrote at Wikiversity the following:

And I'm really sorry for what happened to Jack... I don't know what it is... That's what scares me the most, Lewis. I wouldn't mind 1000 mad idiots if I were sure that one sane person would always be there, but I'm afraid something like that could one day happen to you as well!! a.z. 03:20, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

That's because I was so disturbed when I read your response to Rockpocket asking you to stop engaging in discussion with me (my highlight):

Hi Rockpocket. I had already asked A.Z. to continue any further discussion on my talk page. However, his latest post was just screaming out for rebuttal, which was too tempting to ignore. I'll be good from now on. Cheers.JackofOz 02:38, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

As you know, I don't think I did anything wrong at the talkpage. Indeed, I am and was most scared by the way Rockpocket suddenly gave up to discuss with me and started to warn me and to ask people to stop discussing with me and to say that I am becoming disruptive. I am really sorry all of this happened, but I never meant to offend you when I said 1000 mad idiots. I was just scared because it looked like you had chosen to stop thinking for yourself and had stopped caring about me and Lewis.
If you called me a mad idiot, but you said that you cared about me and that you would continue discussing and talking with me until you showed me exactly why you think I am acting like a mad idiot, and you would hear me and pay attention to me if I had any objection to be called such a thing, I would not be offended by that. I am being honest with you here and it's being very hard for me to do that, as I am pretty scared that you may just stop talking to me because of what I said, instead of trying to understand me. I care about you a lot. A.Z. 04:32, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, A.Z. I care about you too, which I why I've always taken you seriously (even if I struggle to understand what you write about sometimes). I care about Lewis too, and always have, whether or not he believes that right now. If that were not the case, I certainly would not have spent the amount of time that I have spent of recent days in writing posts to him and to you. I believe my record speaks for itself in this regard. I spent 6 hours (yes, 6 hours) writing a message to him the other day, by far the longest message I've ever written on any talk page. I took particular care to not have him see it just a rant. He had written to me expressing his concern about my recent activity, and some other things - and it deserved a comprehensive response. If that's not caring, "it'll have to do till the real thing comes along" (Sandy Denny).
However, caring does not mean being permanently lovey-dovey and touchy-feely. I've had to take a very firm line with Lewis about the baseless accusations he's made about me - but that was simply to rebut them. After all, silence is usually interpreted as acquiesence. Had anybody else made such accusations, I would probably have reported them to an administrator. I've never done that to anybody in 4 years here - I've never even come close to having to even consider doing so. And I hope I never do. But my firmness should not be interpreted as lack of caring - rather, the precise opposite. That's certainly where I've always come from. Of course, being human, we make mistakes. In that long message, I apologised to Lewis for an ill-considered remark I made a little while ago. He has yet to acknowledge that apology - but he did find time to make a further baseless attack on me. This time, I've asked him to be the one to make the apology. And so it goes. I hope this circus can end really soon. I would like the outcome to be win-win. I hold that hope in the palm of my hand. Feel free to pass that on to him. I really want him to know that whatever he may say about me, nothing will alter the care I feel for him. We established a bond when we first came into contact with each other, and as far I'm concerned, that bond remains intact.
Just one thing, though - and I made a very similar point to Lewis yesterday. Just because I choose to maintain friendly relations with other users with whom you or Lewis have had disagreements (or worse), does not mean that I've stopped thinking for myself, nor does it mean that I've sided with them versus you, or anything else. I associate with whomever I choose, and my aim is to be on friendly terms with everyone with whom I come into contact, no matter how briefly or how long-term, both here and in real life. I just don't know any other way of operating. I don't understand how anyone could possibly have any objections to that. That jovial camaraderie is intensely important to me, and I sometimes manifest it in a little light-hearted humour. I've had awful scoldings in the past when Wikipedians have taken my humour the wrong way - I sometimes forget that others can't tell that I'm being humourous, because they can't see the twinkle in my eye as I'm typing it. I agree with Mel Brooks when he says that there is no situation where humour is inappropriate - which was his explanation for "Springtime with Hitler" from "The Producers". I know that some would not agree with that, and I respect their position. My well-intended humour can sometimes be interpreted as being a little flippant, which is all that "I'll be good from now on" was. Nothing more; certainly nothing sinister. I hope to hear from you soon. JackofOz 13:43, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
I have refrained from commenting here so far, because I expect my contributions are neither welcome nor needed. Though I have been reading your exchanges, mainly because it has become obvious to me that I have offended A.Z. (which was not my intent) and I hoped to learn if there could have been a better way to handle our exchanges, and have avoided that. However, that is somewhat beside the point. I think I can be constructive in noting that I interpreted JackofOz's "I'll be good from now on" as a subtle and good-natured jibe at me, indicating that he concurs with intent behind my request, but that he is more than capable at making his own decisions about who he discuss issues with and that its not my position to dictate that to him. I took the comment in exactly that good-humoured manner and entirely accept its validity. He is right, of course, that I have no authority to tell him who to discuss what with, and I appreciated the gentle way he acknowledged my request while making that point. I certainly don't think he was indicating subservience. That said, and having spent a fair proportion of my life communicating in another language, I realise how difficult it is to interpret such subtleties in a second tongue and even more so when it is in raw text form. Anyway, thats just my tuppence worth. Rockpocket 19:58, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Explanation for edit[edit]

I made this edit because I felt that the new wording improved the tone of that guideline, without altering its meaning. 'Mess up' is a very casual choice of phrase—perhaps a bit too casual for a policy document. 'Interfere with' is a bit more formal, but not so formal as to be stuffy. Cheers, TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:00, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the explanation. A.Z. 04:03, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for Reference Desk Guidelines[edit]

This has already been addressed, since the order was swapped two weeks ago, after a brief discussion. I agree with that decision wholeheartedly, since my initial impression of the RefDesk was that it was for answering questions, without any bias against, or any exclusion of reliable information from outside the confines of Wikipedia. My comment was made in the context of the RefDesk purpose stated at the time, which suggested the RefDesk be a guide to Wikipedia itself, rather than as a generic guide to any information and knowledge. I assumed that the sudden shift in the (apparent) focus of the RefDesk had already been discussed. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 20:12, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Mallanox[edit]

I indented one of your two votes [1]. —AldeBaer 08:24, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Thank you ![edit]

Hello, A.Z.! Wikipedia thanks you for offering to help in the capacity of an administrator. Sadly, your nomination has been withdrawn as the nomination would likely not have succeeded. Major reasons for this are the limited time you have spent editing Wikipedia and the relatively low number of edits you have made to date; nothing personal. Please don't be disheartened - this was only done to reduce any ill will that might have been generated by the process.

If you wish to help Wikipedia in the capacity of an administrator in the future, you will need to be able to demonstrate why people can trust you with these very powerful tools. To do this, you may wish to help out with maintenance work - here are some pages that you might find helpful:

Once you've spent several more months both creating new content and helping administrators out behind the scenes, you may be ready for another request to become an administrator. You might wish to try an editor review before another request to become an administrator; this is often useful before a new request for adminship and can help you decide if you are ready to stand again. Please remember that whatever happens, many of the administrators you see today on the administrator's noticeboard went through the RfA process at least twice before the community promoted them; one admin notably made seven attempts before succeeding.

Please don't take any RfA criticism personally; rather, look on the process as a constructive way to help you become a better editor. Please don't rush to become an administrator, but take your time and allow the community to take the time we need to be able to judge that we can trust you and your judgement. Look through the various policies and above all, have fun and enjoy yourself building Wikipedia. Once again, Wikipedia thanks for your nomination and we all hope you won't be too upset at the result. Best wishes. Majorly (hot!) 10:59, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

I responded on Majorly's talk page. A.Z. 19:30, 28 April 2007 (UTC)


Majorly decided to put an end to my request for adminship. When I went to talk to Majorly about it, Majorly decided not to respond. This is irrational and I would restore my request if I could, and I would block Majorly if they continued doing this sort of thing, if I could block other users. Then again, I can't do any of this.

The following section (copied here verbatim) was deleted by Majorly (hot!) from their talk page. I won't complain about them to the other administrators because I think most of them became corrupt and started to have contempt for other people when they became administrators. I urge all honest and good willing Wikipedians to try and change the process for selecting administrators as soon as possible! One idea that I think is promising has been posted here. If you want to comment on this, please do so by creating new sections. Don't edit this section, please. A.Z. 23:38, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Why don't you explain how I abused my administrator privileges? Did I block you? No. Did I lock the page so you couldn't edit it? Nope. Did I delete the comment? I removed it because it was cluttering up my talk page. It's still available to look at. So, in summary, I've abused what? Majorly (hot!) 23:50, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
You refrained from explaining yourself because you are more powerful than I am. Can I restart the very same request that you decided to finish? A.Z. 23:55, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Your RfA would've failed if it kept going. If you do another one it will fail. Majorly's right, just drop it and save yourself the embarassment.--Wizardman 23:58, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
It would be far from embarassing for that request to fail. If those people started voting for me, I would have to sit down and think for some time about what kind of person I am being. A.Z. 00:05, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
A.Z., you're completely wrong yet again! :) I am no more powerful than you are! I just have extra privileges because I'm a trusted user. How can you say I'm abusing my admin privileges? I'm not even using them... Yes please restart your rfa. I'll start writing my oppose comment now. Majorly (hot!) 00:01, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I will do so, I only have to learn how to restart the RfA. I would like an apology as well. I don't trust you. You don't have to press the button to abuse your powers, the same way a king doesn't have to actually cut someone's head off to abuse his powers. The king can just tell people what to do and they will obbey him as if they were liking it. A.Z. 00:05, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't trust you either. Just create another request and stick a 2 on the end of the title (Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/A.Z. 2). Remember to write a message telling no one to close it (they'll be even more inclined to do so after seeing my oppose). I'd apologise, if only I knew what for. You're the one who's been trolling me with false claims of admin abuse, only to have been proven wrong. I just did as any editor including yourself could do. Majorly (hot!) 00:16, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
A.Z., please take this advice on board. I'm telling you this not as a "more powerful" editor, but as someone that thinks you have extremely good intentions and who thinks you have a lot to contribute. Please do not restart you RfA. I say this for two reasons, firstly WP:SNOW is regularly used in situations like yours. Majorly was simply trying to be helful in sparing you an avalanche of criticism and oppose votes. It is certainly not an example of abuse. You indicated that Clio made you cry over a comment. RfA's can be brutal (trust me, I went through one) and if you are sensitive to others' opinions of you this is very probably the best thing for you - the editor review will serve the same purpose and is much less traumatic. Secondly, if you restart another RfA, others will inevitably find this thread, you will get even more criticism and someone else will remove it per WP:SNOW. You will almost certainly be warned for trolling, and possibly even blocked. Then you will be in exactly the same position as you are now, but feeling even more angry - how will this help you or the project? Please think about this, or at least seek the opinion of some one you trust (like StuRat or Jack) before going down this path. Rockpocket 00:16, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Please, let him run, A.Z. clearly knows best... Majorly (hot!) 00:18, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
You have convinced me, Rockpocket. I already knew that there was going to be some abuse, but I would be able to take it if it were restrained to the RfA comments. Now that I know that they will block me and that I'll have to face irrationality and the absurd of Wikipedian administrators again, I think I'm just gonna give up and stop torturing myself. Of course, the natural corollary of such a decision is actually suicide, and I don't want to kill myself. What I mean is just that I'll give up on this specific strategy to improve Wikipedia and I'll try other strategies. Thank you. A.Z. 00:42, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
You're not improving anything. Edit the encyclopedia, and quit shouting "Abuse!" whenever an admin does something you don't agree with. Majorly (hot!) 00:45, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Now even you realize your arguments are over. When you did something that I disagree with, I went to your talk page. I was honestly thinking that you would just restore my request, as I saw no reason whatsoever for you not to do that. Your justification for finishing the request early was that it would cause me emotional pain, according to the text that you left on my talk page. So I just told you that I didn't mind about the pain, I wanted really bad for the request to progress all the way to the end. I only started shouting "ABUSE!" when the abuse started. By the way, I actually shouted "ADMINISTRATOR ABUSE", but you changed it. A.Z. 00:54, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
You haven't even read a word I wrote. Just stop with this nonsense, please, for the sake of us both. Majorly (hot!) 01:06, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
You haven't even read a word I wrote. Just stop with this nonsense, please, for the sake of us both and everyone else. A.Z. 01:15, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Ive dealt with many trolls in my time, and I'm pleased to announce that you are the winner of Majorly's Worst Troll competition! Congratulations. You win yourself a doughnut. Don't eat it too quickly now ;) Majorly (hot!) 01:39, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

My RfA failed[edit]

(All the following and the title are a verbatim copy of the content of a section on Majorly's talk page before being erased. Do not edit this section)

Hi, Majorly. You wrote on my talk page that my nomination "has been withdrawn as the nomination would likely not have succeeded" and "this was only done to reduce any ill will that might have been generated by the process." I don't know what "ill will" you are talking about here but, if it means that I could have been emotionally hurt by the process, I really don't mind. In fact, I don't think that less than one day is time enough to say that the nomination would likely not have succeeded. Even if it is, I would like to see the comments of other people and the true amount of opposition and support that I have. Please, I would like the process to continue. A.Z. 17:51, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid this is standard procedure. You had no supports whatsoever, plenty of opposition and two suggestions to withdraw. If you want feedback, get an editor review. Majorly (hot!) 18:20, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to get an editor review, as you suggested, but I still think that those few hours were not enough to reach any kind of conclusion. A.Z. 18:55, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
I, and probably everyone who participated think differently. Just by doing this shows you have a lot to learn. Majorly (hot!) 19:04, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
People who have a lot to learn can't be administrators? A.Z. 19:29, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Not really. I don't suppose you've read the guide, the admins page or any successful RfAs and the standards people like. By doing this, you are clearly unaware of common procedures round here, and with that I wish to end this discussion. Majorly (hot!) 19:33, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
It's good that you share your feelings about continuing to discuss with me. But you are wrong about me being unware of the common procedures here. I'm well aware of them: people who can respond vague and meaningless questions like "when should one ignore the rules" without saying something that unpleases other people get elected. People who claim to understand the rules are elected. People who have a lot of edits are elected, and people who just want to help Wikipedia without having to lie and to be manipulative and dishonest do not get elected. I am honest and that would be a good reason to elect me. However, the whole idea that an administrator should be elected is wrong: this is a wiki, it is an "open" encyclopedia and all people should be administrators, just like all people can edit articles. There should not be a club of the most populars that have more power than the others: popular people are a minority with nothing special that would make them the best for the job. A.Z. 20:48, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
This is the wrong place to discuss this. They aren't elected anyway, so yet another thing you are unfamilar with. Majorly (hot!) 21:04, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm having a conversation with Majorly and I'd think Majorly's talk page would be an appropriate place for doing so. By the way, I'd like it if you left a comment on my editor review. No-one participated yet. As to the election thing, I still think they are elected, even after your denial of it. A.Z. 21:14, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
You're discussing how admins should be made here. Nothing to do with me, about me, or of interest to me. What are you trying to achieve by interrogating me like this? They are not elected, and never have been. Majorly (hot!) 21:20, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
You were the one who started the conversation, on my talk page. Your opinion was that the process of my request for adminship should be finished early, and I disagreed with you. So I came here and explained my reasons to disagree and now we are trying to reach some sort of agreement (at least I am). A.Z. 21:52, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Again, unfamiliarity. I left you a standard message {{RfA withdrawal}}, as courtesy, and did not want to start a conversation about it. I've closed many RfAs before, who were in a similar boat to you (i.e. not a snowball's chance in hell of passing), and as an experienced admin, who is very familiar with the RfA process, I can tell you that if I had not closed it, another user would have done soon. Why? Because to leave it open is a complete waste of time when the result is painfully clear from the start, and there are more important things to do than oppose a request that simply has no need to be there. Majorly (hot!) 22:01, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
You just told me a lot of your opinions. You say your opinions, you justify them with arguments and then you tell me that you do not wish to discuss anything nor do you wish to have a conversation with me. If you don't want to, then why do you even bother to type anything? Just stop responding once and for all and stop leaving messages on people's talk pages and stop closing RfA's if you are not willing to accept the responsability for your actions. A.Z. 22:08, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Um, I accept responsibility. My actions were completely correct. I wish I'd never bothered to tell you I'd closed it now, so much for being courteous and helpful. Majorly (hot!) 22:17, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
I am here saying that your actions were incorrect. If you accept responsability for them, doesn't that imply that you have to talk to me and respond? You seem to be wishing that I just stop talking to you and shut up. You want me to go away and you want to continue acting without having to explain to anyone why you did what you did. So much for being responsible. More specifically, you said: "You're discussing how admins should be made here. Nothing to do with me, about me, or of interest to me." If it is not of your interest how administrators are made, then why on earth do you keep meddling with requests for adminship? A.Z. 22:39, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
This conversation has lost me. What do you want Majorly to do? – Steel 22:43, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
My original request was: "Please, I would like the process to continue." A.Z. 22:46, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Open another request and fail again. Your choice. I wonder how long it'll take for it to close a second time? Majorly (hot!) 22:48, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
It had zero supports and nine opposes - no chance of passing. What purpose would reopening it have? – Steel 22:50, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely none whatsoever. Unless his purpose is to waste people's time. Majorly (hot!) 22:52, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

(reset) I must say that Majorly did not respond to my last post before Steel came into the discussion.

I told on my original post some of the reasons why I'd like the process to continue. Certainly none of them is to waste people's time. People are not forced to vote and to express their opinions if they don't want to: I'm sure this is voluntary. By the way, saying that my purpose is to waste people's time violates a lot of policies. However, I don't agree with these policies anyway, as you can see on my talkpage. I'd just like to ask if you are like me and you admit it when you are not assuming good faith. A.Z. 23:10, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

No, I am nothing like you, and I wish you'd stop trolling me. I'm removing this pointless discussion to my removed stuff page. Majorly (hot!) 23:17, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I'm inclined to agree with Majorly's opinion that there wasn't a chance that it would have passed. Not a reflection on you, personally, just an observation based on my experience watching RfAs. EVula // talk // // 19:08, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Administrator changing other people's posts without even telling them![edit]

Majorly changed the title of the discussion above. It was originally "Administrator abuse" and now it is "Abuse". That's what I call ************* abuse. A.Z. 00:48, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

For goodness' sake... I removed administrator because I did not abuse my admin position. I don't want false accusations made against me. As I said, stop shouting abuse when you don't agree. Majorly (hot!) 00:51, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
You did abuse your position. As I said above, abusing your position doesn't require pressing the button. When you think that you can't abuse your position without pressing the button, you'll just come up with an excuse and press the button. Your excuse now for abusing is that you did not block me. Your excuse then will be probably that I violated some policy. A.Z. 00:57, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I did not abuse my position. I closed an RfA. They get closed every day. You weren't going to pass, and hopefully you never will. Once it's closed, it's closed. You don't re-open it, and it would be utterly pointless. You're making a mockery of the entire process. You've been disruptive, trolling, and I'm simply sick of you at this point. It's 2am here, and I'm going to bed. No doubt I'll see more whining about non existent admin abuse when I return, but so be it. Whine all you like. You'll get nowhere with it. Majorly (hot!) 01:03, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Hey, both you folks cool down. Majorly did not use their admin bit here, so it's a fairly innocent correction (though I can understand if you're heated, it doesn't look that way :-) ). --Kim Bruning 01:19, 29 April 2007 (UTC)


You're aware that your conduct today has been nothign but detrimental to wikipedia, correct? Your rfa failed, instead of whining about it, improve yourself. Your attitude after it has basically cost you trust from everyone who you cam in touch with. Read WP:CIVIL, WP:NPA, and WP:SNOW. I recommend that you log off for today and cool down, else you will be blocked, maybe idefinitely, soon.--Wizardman 01:13, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

First of all, I'm going to leave a message for my fellow Wikipedians to read in a few years. By the way, your post is so absurd that it's just... I mean, it's absurd.
Behold, Wikipedians of 2027! When I am an administrator, when all of us are administrators, if no-one deleted for good this post over the next two decades, do behold what you humans were capable of, and acknowledge that you still are! Do watch yourselves everyday and think twice of every edit you make, for inside each one of you there is a little of this one above!
OK, now I am going to ask my friends Lewis and StuRat if my attitude after my RfA failed cost my trust from them. A.Z. 01:28, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I look forward to their reply :)--Wizardman 01:37, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Temporarily blocked[edit]

I have issued you a 24 hour block for incivility and harassment of Majorly on his talk page. Please, cool down a bit and come back after this block and let the issue go. Your RFA would have failed if it were allowed to continue. Sean William 01:50, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Oh, your blocked. I was coming here to tell you that you've got two options. You either shut up and got on with the job in hand - building a free encyclopedia, or you keep up your trolling and you'll be blocked. Anyway, when your block expires, them's the options. I hope you'll choose the "I'll shut up and go edit" option as it would be a shame to loose a lively editor such as yourself. -- Nick t 01:52, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
You are right: I have been incivil. Although I do not agree with the policy saying that we shouldn't be incivil, I don't think that the policy is so harmful that I should not follow it. I can do my work on Wikipedia without being incivil. I can try to change the policy without being incivil.
Good job, Sean William. I think blocks are such a good tool for dealing with problems that I suggested that every one should be able to block other people. I just think that it is wrong for people to be able to unblock themselves, as it destroys the whole purpose of blocking. A.Z. 02:00, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
A.Z., on the chance that you're in earnest, no admin could get away with unblocking himself wrongly. To do so would be a serious breach of trust. Also, in case you hadn't noticed, a whole bunch of editors have now written you off as troll. Since we're already talking about the elephant in the room, I'll admit I've wondered several times whether or not you're just trolling. If you are, ha ha, very funny, now go away. If you're not, you should really spend some time thinking why your actions would be seen by many as trolling, and change your approach accordingly. Friday (talk) 05:48, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I am not trolling, Friday... You could just have asked me. I'm going to say it again, but not to joke or anything: I am not trolling, Friday!
I care about Wikipedia and I try to help it the way I think is the best. I am still trying to find out what I can do here. I do think about it. Editing articles is not the only thing that one can do for Wikipedia and the fact that I don't do it much means pretty much nothing as to my real contributions to the encyclopedia.
Since I am not a troll and some people see my actions as trolling, I do agree that I should think about it and try to change my approach. And I am! That's exactly what I am trying to do right now, by showing people a decent and workable way out of the current administrator problem. Yes, I think much of the problems that are happening here would be pretty much solved with the new approach that I suggested on StuRat's talk page. I am aware that a lot of other people have had the basic same ideas before, but I presented some true solutions to a lot of objections that people could have to the new system.
But, anyway, just a part of the editors have written me off as a troll! And doing so was a bad contribution to the encyclopedia, as they will all realize if the new system for adminship becomes real accordingly to my ideas. Lewis, Rockpocket, Nick, JackofOz, StuRat and other people whose name I don't remember now do not think I am a troll. A.Z. 06:42, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
(** clears throat **) A.Z., I said to you recently that I've always taken you seriously. I still do. I think you are genuine in everything I've ever seen you write. However, I seriously think you're on the wrong track. You're relatively new to Wikipedia - not that there's anything wrong with that - yet rather than work within the system and take some considerable time to learn about what works and what doesn't around here, and then try to improve what you see as wrong, I see you being a crusader for righteousness almost from the start. You've advocated that every user should be an administrator, and everyone should be able to block everyone else - yet you fail to see why others might be very wary of a person with such views having a position of some power (if that's the right word). Compounding the caution that some obviously feel around you was your nomination to become an admin, where you didn't make a credible case as to why anyone should support you. You may have thought it was credible, but the results speak for themselves. You have to accept that is the way it is, for now at least. If some people felt, "this guy is advocating something tantamount to anarchy, but simultaneously wants to be in a position of power over others", I think it's not too hard to understand why they'd be a little sceptical of your nomination. Doesn't this explain why you had no supporters at all? Having long and heated debates about the outcome will only serve to entrench the views of others about you, so you're doing yourself a huge disservice. They think you're wasting their time - if you were seeking support from others to become an admin, you can't then act as if their views about your subsequent activities don't matter. Do you see the inconsistency here?
As for being a troll, I actually don't think that is your intention - but can you blame others for believing that's what you seem to have become of late? I think that would be a reasonable opinion, based on what I've read. In the end, intentions don't count, actions do.
I also have to say that I think it was a little unfair of you to simply assert that I do not think you are a troll. You and I have never discussed that matter before now. You weren't happy that Friday came to his own conclusions about your alleged trolling, and said that he should have asked you whether that was the case or not. I expect the same courtesy from you, ie. ask me what my views are, rather than just assume them in your discussions with third parties. Silence on my part would have been seen as agreement, so I really had no choice but to get involved in this discussion. That in itself could be described as a classic example of trolling. Now do you see what I'm getting at?
Sometimes you just have to cop it on the chin, shut up, and get on with life. This is one such case. Have you identified your primary positive purpose for being involved in Wikipedia? If not, I strongly recommend you do that, and write it down, to remind you and keep you on track. JackofOz 08:04, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Very sage advice (as usual) from Jack. I don't think A.Z. is trolling either - and I'm happy for A.Z. to have noted that since I have indicated my understanding of his intentions elsewhere. But I also see how it might appear that way. I actually feel somewhat responsible for A.Z.'s foray into RfA, I have been urging him to "get involved" with the RfA process if he thinks all users with a certain level of experience should have the tools. My reasoning is that adminship is no big deal and, if enough of the community were to !vote on that basis, then pretty much anyone with a certain level of experience who wanted to be nominated would pass. I feel instead of promoting change with talkpage rhetoric he should engage with the process, get experience of it and be part of making change happen by !voting as he sees fit. What I didn't envisage was that A.Z. would nominate himself immediately. I guess I thought that our understanding of "users with a certain level of experience" was the same. I meant significant experience of contributing to the encyclopaedia, I guess A.Z. felt otherwise. Anyway, that doesn't excuse the reaction to the WP:SNOW removal - which demonstrates the very lack of process experience that I was urging A.Z. to get. I hope A.Z. will continue to contribute at RfA, but as a participant of the community, not as a nominee on his return (as well as getting involved with the encyclopaedia, of course!) Rockpocket 09:24, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I read you both. Thank you. I have to think about it. I agree with some things, I disagree with some things, and I'd like to talk about them. A.Z. 00:06, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikia ?[edit]

Hmmm, while you seem to have been around for a while, you don't really seem to have done much about the encyclopedia? I wonder if you'd be happier at one or more of the wikias? They have a similar atmosphere to here (Wikia is run by people who also edit wikipedia :-) ) , but there are many different ways you can write about things, and all-around you might in fact be happier there. I intend this post in the most straightforward useful sense, I wouldn't reccomend wikia if I didn't think they'd enjoy having you around. :-) --Kim Bruning 00:18, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Explaining joke[edit]

Editing Wikipedia seems like an endless task to me. Clarityfiend 02:21, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Sisyphus written "sissy Phus" was just a word joke. Clarityfiend 02:27, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

One Year![edit]

Happy 1st anniversary to you... from hydnjo ☺

Happy 1st anniversary from ~ hydnjo talk 16:12, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Thank you!! A.Z. 18:19, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Well then, you're quite welcome. ~ hydnjo talk 19:23, 30 April 2007 (UTC)


You seem to be making a big deal out of people opposing your RfA but you only wrote one sentence on the whole request. I am pretty sure that no one would have passed given that approach. This handicap became even greater for you given your experience. A true test of whether people respect your contributions would have a been a more serious application outlining your qualities. The sparcity of your application screamed to the wiki world that it was not a serious effort. Fair or not, I also think it is true that the subsequent squabbles have damaged your reputation in wikipedia. David D. (Talk) 14:54, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate that you came to my talk page and cared enough to type your opinion. I just wish people didn't have to make any kind of "effort" to be administrators, the same way that the effort to become an article editor is zero: everyone already has the tools, no questions asked.
Well, at least, if there's gonna be some kind of effort, definitely the kind of effort required nowadays is not right one: passing a test with people asking deliberately tricky questions as if they were testing the candidate to see whether they can answer them without saying something stupid. People judging whether what other people said was stupid or not. People voting to oppose because they have bad feelings towards the candidate, and making wild rationalisations to justify their vote. That's not what I wish for Wikipedia. People who can pass that "test" are not the administrators that I want for Wikipedia. A.Z. 19:01, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
You're preaching to the choir here. I will remind you that no one needs to be an admin to be an efficient and effective editor. I'll also remind you that the best admins are those that can negotiate a situation without using their block capabilities. On the other hand bad admins can really cause havoc if they gratuitously delete and block. The issue here is which is the lesser of two evils? More bad admins or less good ones? David D. (Talk) 19:40, 1 May 2007 (UTC)


Replying here to not clutter Wikipedia talk:Reference desk/guidelines, since you no longer seem to be discussing the guidelines. I don't remember saying Froth is disruptive. I also don't remember reverting content he added. The WP:POINT gives several examples of disruptive behavior- that's why I thought it might clarify. Perhaps the language barrier is a factor. Friday (talk) 23:05, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Probably the language barrier is an issue. If I got anything totally wrong, please tell me. Here is my reasoning:
You said that you didn't vote for him because he didn't understand the policies and you said that you thought that he didn't understand the policies because he appeared to use Wikipedia for forum-like discussions, and what I understood then is that you thought this because of his behavior on the reference desk, providing posts that you thought to violate policy, most specifically NPOV and verifiability. You thought that his posts did not belong here, to Wikipedia, and all I'm saying is that those posts and posts like those belong here, and the guidelines must make it clear. A.Z. 23:17, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Are you saying we should protect the right for people to say what they want on the reference desk because it's a free speech issue? Friday (talk) 23:20, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
By no means. I'm saying that a post should not be deleted because it is unuseful in the opinion of a good part of the editors. A.Z. 23:22, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

LGBT WikiProject newsletter[edit]

I have to ask[edit]

Perhaps you're only trying to do what you think is best, but do you really think editing guidelines is a good activity for you? You are not understanding a lot of core concepts, so you how to you expect to contribute constructively? You either have a very eccentric interpretation of policy or the language barrier is just too much, or perhaps both. Why not get more experience with how Wikipedia works before getting into developing guidelines? What you're doing now seems like you're trying to run before you can walk. Friday (talk) 04:02, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I think it's a good activity for me. In fact, I think I'm good at it. I think I understand the policies. I think you should explain why something is wrong instead of saying that people don't understand the policies. I have seen you say to StuRat that very same thing that you are saying to me now, with perhaps the exception of the language barrier. OK, so you think that my interpretations are an eccentric idea: what about making an encyclopedia that anyone can edit, doesn't that sound eccentric? A.Z. 04:08, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not interesting in being sucked into a long and winding debate in which you try to reinvent Wikipedia. All I can do is refer you again to the five pillars. If you don't understand them yet, consider waiting until you do in order to start trying to improve on them. Friday (talk) 04:16, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I understand them. A.Z. 04:19, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I see no evidence that you do. I see lots of evidence that you frequently don't understand things that are clear to other people, and you almost always put the burden of understanding on others, rather than on yourself. Friday (talk) 19:29, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
So, shall we determine which one of us is putting the burden of understanding on the other, rather than on themselves? I must tell you in advance it would be a really long discussion. If you prefer, we can use emails. You tell me how you interpret NPOV and I tell you how I do that, and we try to show why the other one is wrong. Hopefully, at the end the both of us will agree. But there is the chance that we just find out what is the very point that we disagree upon. This way, all those long talks will end, because we will already know where we disagree. If I ever claim that my interpretation is better than yours, you will be able to just go to the talk page of NPOV and convince everyone there to insert something saying explicitly that my interpretation is wrong. A.Z. 19:34, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
As I have said before, I am not interested in a long and winding debate with you. See my comment below- you're just spitting in the soup. Friday (talk) 19:36, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
And you are just ( Ctrl + v ) "put[ting] the burden of understanding on others, rather than on yourself". A.Z. 19:37, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

I generally try to explain myself clearly. I will usually, if asked, clarify. However this cycle cannot go on forever- it would just turn into pointless chitchat or a pissing contest. I have no interest in general chitchat or a pissing contest. I've seen many cases where your interpretation of other's words is very bizarre, so when you don't understand my words, I don't see that the problem lies with my words. You either 1) intentionally read things in a very perverse way or 2) lack the language skills to discuss subtle concepts in English. Neither of these are problems I can fix, so I will not spend my time trying. Good day. Friday (talk) 19:46, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Run away and call my arguments bizarre while you're running! Say that, because my interpretations are bizarre, (which you didn't prove in the first place, just assumed to be), then, whenever I don't understand your words, the problem lies with me! Say that all of this must be because the way I read things is somehow perverse or that I don't speak English well enough to understand what you say! It's not of your business, any of those problems of mine!
So many fallacies together! So much nonsense together! Why don't you admit it that, so far, you proved none of my interpretations to be wrong!
When you do prove any of them wrong, you'll prove it to me as well and I'll be pleased that you stopped me from saying fallacious things. Then again, assuming that someone will always say wrong things because someone once said something wrong is yet another perverse fallacy. One thing that you can't say about me is that I didn't let you disprove all my arguments and interpretations! I'm here completely available and you can ask me anything, and I'll be honest when I answer.
You are not available. You are not willing to answer anything. You don't want to know why you're wrong and you don't seem to care about whether I think fallacious things to be right or not. A.Z. 20:57, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
A.Z., differences of interpretation have nothing to do with "right" or "wrong". They are just different. It would be more productive if you could put your obviously very considerable energies into the things that really matter on Wikipedia, rather than getting into pointless debates about these other issues. Hear what people have to say, accept that their points of view are as inherently valid as yours, and when they tell you that they're not interested in proceeding down the path that you want to carve out, please be gracious enough to move on. JackofOz 00:31, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Other tasks[edit]

Well that would depend on if you edit some more articles, for now, I suppose. Hmmm, do you also have an account on the Portuguese wikipedia? --Kim Bruning 16:29, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I do, with the same nickname. I think I haven't used that account for over a year now. A.Z. 21:10, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Please don't read minds.[edit]

Please especially avoid doing it badly: [2]. If you'd like to discuss guidelines, policy, or specific actions taken by myself or by other editors, that's fair game. If you want to speculate – wildly, incorrectly, and insultingly – about the motives of good-faith, constructive editors, don't do it where we're trying to have a productive discussion. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:26, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Sorry. I'll try to be more constructive. A.Z. 17:20, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Don't spit in the soup[edit]

See Wikipedia:You spat in my soup! Friday (talk) 19:30, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Damn you Friday, and your uncanny ability to find the essay the illustrates perfectly what I wanted to say, but couldn't find! ;) Rockpocket 19:33, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
A really stupid essay, that one. A.Z. 19:36, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
... said the spitter to the spitee. Rockpocket 19:39, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I wrote a little comment on the talk page of the essay trying to alert people to how fallacious it is. A.Z. 19:46, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Interesting. You could always turn that into an essay of your own: Wikipedia:Soup is for spitting in. Rockpocket 19:57, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't have to. There's already an article whose links contain all important information that I could think of. It's called fallacy. A.Z. 20:02, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Goodness, A.Z. I hope you are not sending me to an article, instead of explaining your position! Why would you do such a thing? Surely not "because you can't explain what it is that you mean; and you can't explain what you mean because you don't know what you mean." ;) Rockpocket 20:17, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not. I wasn't thinking of you, I thought you had suggested that I would write the other essay just to tell people why the first essay is wrong. I already did that on the talk page, but now, thinking about it, I realize that another essay may actually be necessary, to explain how the information on fallacies apply to this case, since not everyone is capable of realizing that on their own.
Anyway, I am happy to tell you what I mean. Let me choose one of your many fallacies and explain a little better to see if you understand. Please note that I am trying to pick just one, but there are many other all over these pages.
Fallacy one, about the difference between a web chat site and an Internet discussion forum. You said:

The ways in which they differ are countless (e.g. ... one has chat in the title, the other has discussion...)

This fallacy is so stupid that I don't even know if there's a name for it. Someone asks you what is the difference between a discussion place and a chat place and you answer that the difference is that one is a discussion place and the other one is a chat place. A.Z. 20:30, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
That, my friend, was not me being fallacious, it was me being facetious (suitably indicated - I'd hoped - by The Yada Yada). Rockpocket 20:36, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
So you admit it that your answer to the question "what is the difference between Y and X" was "the difference is that the first one is an Y and the second one is an X, yada yada yada" A.Z. 20:41, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

(reset) No. The first two examples I gave were genuine and relevent differences to indicate that they are different enough entities to merit, in my opinion, mentioning both to indicate what the Ref Desk is not. The third example was facetious because it essentially reconstituted the question. The reason I wrote that was to demonstrate that the question as it was stated: "what is the difference between X and Y" is in itself facetious. Why? Because there is obvious relevent differences (one of which is described in the intro of the article) but also because the very fact that one is named "X" and the other is named "Y" 'in itself indicates there is a difference. Stating responding as such was pedantic and trivial, but then the question (as it was stated) was no different. If StuRat wished to know whether I thought the differences merited them being mentioned seperately - a much more relevent question - then he should have asked that. In doing so he would have indicated that there were obvious differences, but that he considered them trivial. He didn't do that, he simply asked me to explain a difference. Now, perhaps it is due the the subtleties of the english language, but I have just spent an hour of my life explaining a triviality that is:

  1. Completely unconstructive with regards to improving the Ref Desk or the encyclopaedia
  2. Apparently obvious to others on the Ref Desk
  3. A non sequitur that has nothing to do with the point of the original discussion

With these in mind, can you see why Friday directed you to WP:SOUP? Please stop analyzing every single comment and insisting on debating them in such a reductionist manner. If you can't comprehend something, by all means ask for clarification (on their talkpage) but don't continue to debate the logic of it when the purpose has been explained. We are not here to debate logic we are here to improve an encyclopaedia. I don't know how many times you have been told that, but it doesn't seem to have had any impact. For this reason, I'm not going to engage you in any more tangential discussion. If you genuinly wish me to clarify something I say, then please ask me on my talkpage and I will attempt to be clearer. I will provide an answer, but not engage in discussion. Please respect that. Thank you, and goodbye. Rockpocket 21:24, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

All I'm doing is asking for you to provide answers. When you chose to stop providing answers and, instead, told us to go check the articles, I went to your talk page ans tried to explain that doing this was not constructive.
We are not done as to what the difference is. I did not even start to discuss whether they are "different enough entities to merit" or not. I was until now just telling you that you did not indicate what is this difference that you talk about. You said before to me that the difference was that one of them required registration and the other one didn't. Fine. But you also said that there are other differences, which we did not discuss yet.
The fact that there are two different words and each one has its own article in Wikipedia and the articles are not exactly the same does not mean that the two different words mean different things and does not indicate what those differences are supposed to be. A.Z. 21:31, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

"That subject" at Jimbo's talkpage[edit]

Hi! I was not including you in "the morons" BTW, and if you do find a suitable venue for debating the subject rather than the article on the subject please feel free to contact me to see if I can contribute. I apologise for misunderstanding that you were not misunderstanding me. ;~) Cheers. LessHeard vanU 22:26, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

No problem. As I said, Wikiversity seems to be a good place for that, but someone would have to start the topic from scratch. A.Z. 22:28, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Your reason you are here[edit]

This edit is very informative, why did you decide to delete it? You did notice Steve's comment "If your primary motivation is your own enjoyment -- there's a good chance you're going to annoy people by distracting from the stated task at hand.", right? Rockpocket 00:12, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

I decided to delete it because I did not explain myself well enough and people would —as you just did— misinterpret it. As I did not want to spend hours trying to explain better what that meant, I chose to just let it go. A.Z. 00:16, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. I hope you will consider Steve's very perceptive comments though. Rockpocket 00:17, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I was wondering about that, too. My own opinion (though this is admittedly highly opinionated) is that if you are trying to help people first and enjoy yourself as a side effect, you're fine. But if you're trying to enjoy yourself first and help people as a side effect, it's very easy to go astray. —Steve Summit (talk) 18:33, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Helping people can be a very enjoyable task for some. It doesn't have to be a sacrifice that only provides enjoyment as a side-effect. A.Z. 19:16, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you completely on both points. However, I maintain that it is also very easy to go astray. —Steve Summit (talk) 19:20, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

"The Chilling Effect"[edit]

I completely agree that we need to reform the RFA process, the questions are "reform it in what way ?" and "how do we get this change to take effect ?". StuRat 01:26, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Let's go to that page that I told you about, where I wrote my proposal. People there are truly willing to change the entire concept of adminship. They are still somewhat afraid, but they seem to be some of the least afraid among us. A.Z. 01:30, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
A.Z. You really need to tone down the inflammatory rhetoric. This comment is extremely inflammatory and totally against the spirit of Wikipedia. Calling anyone "evil" is a serious charge. If you continue to talk about wanting to "bring down" Wikipedia's procedures and processes then I will make a note about this at the admin noticeboard, then you can see exactly how well your call to arms will be dealt with. Please take some time to cool off and come back when you are really to work co-operatively rather than in such as combative manner. Rockpocket 01:53, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
You are absolutely right about my inflammatory rethoric, and I am not kidding or being ironic here. I am ashamed of my behavior. There are much better, more moral, intelligent and effective ways to achieve your goals. Thank you, sincerely. A.Z. 01:56, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to stop editing for 24 hours, except for my talk page. A.Z. 01:57, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Ok, thats fine. you are very close to violating WP:3RR, also, which would lead to a block. Just take a while to calm down and come back with your proposals and we can discuss them. Rockpocket 02:00, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh, my! I admit it that I had completely forgotten about that rule, Rockpocket... If you had not decided to come here, I would probably be blocked by now or have at least a warning on my talk page. A.Z. 02:03, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't think reverts of MartinBot should count. You may or may not agree with AZ's change, but it definitely wasn't intentional vandalism, so reverts of MartinBot are justified. StuRat 02:09, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I was also reverting Clio's changes, and I would probably continue to revert them. I had really forgotten about the rule. A.Z. 02:10, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
If MartinBot's did count, A.Z. would be blocked at the moment. They do not count. Rockpocket 02:33, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

automated message from MartinBot[edit]

Your recent edit to Wikipedia:Reference desk/guidelines (diff) was reverted by an automated bot that attempts to recognize and repair vandalism to Wikipedia articles. If the bot reverted a legitimate edit, please accept my humble creator's apologies – if you bring it to the attention of the bot's owner, we may be able to improve its behavior. Click here for frequently asked questions about the bot and this warning. // MartinBot 01:42, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

But I'm no vandal, mister bot! A.Z. 02:05, 7 May 2007 (UTC)


I told Rockpocket that I would not edit Wikipedia for 24 hours. I swear that I was really not editing. I even wanted to edit the talk page of Matisyahu, but I didn't do it. However, only now I realize that I did edit a page just a few minutes ago. I think I had forgotten about my self-imposed block. I'm sorry! I really do have memory issues, as I earlier today had forgotten about the three revert rule as well.

Well, my edits were not on the talk page of the guidelines proposal, nor were they attacking no-one nor were they rethorical. I have decided not to revert them. What I told Rockpocket was not a promise, and I think that I had a commitment with only myself. I don't think that my recent edits are against the spirit of my commitment. I will try not to edit Wikipedia during the next hours. A.Z. 06:04, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I just couldn't take the idea that I could have done something immoral and not undone it if possible. Here is the diff with all my changes: [3]. Here is the diff with the undoing of my changes: [4]. Please, anyone who reads this: undo that last diff and make my original changes visible on the page. (thanks to whoever does that)A.Z. 06:16, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Don't worry about it A.Z. If you want to edit, then edit. I was just suggesting you take a short wikibreak from the Ref Desk guidelines, there is no reason not to edit elsewhere if you want to. As they say, a change is as good as a holiday. Rockpocket 06:53, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Just a thought[edit]

Maybe if each question on the reference desk had its own page and its own talk page, things would improve. Removal of comments that are not outright vandalism, if ever done (though I dislike it), would be less harsh to the author of the comments, since everyone would still be able to see the comments on the talk page of the question. Tangential discussions, if they took place on the talk page, would be less "hated" (is that the word) if they didn't occupy the space of """useful""" answers. A.Z. 20:01, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

"heated" is the word you are looking for, not hated, although, they may well be too. David D. (Talk) 20:05, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
That makes sense as well. Other (sort of) unpredictable good things could come up as well, if each question had its own page and talk page. Jimmy Wales said that Wikipedia is like sausages, you may eat them even though you may not like to see the way they're made; everyone is allowed to see on the talk pages how articles are "made"; everyone should be allowed to see how each set of answers on the reference desk is made. I just hope that doesn't increase the amount of deletionism! A.Z. 20:07, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
What would be more interesting from this approach would be the opportunity to link together similar or identical questions that had been answered previously. In other words the ability to create a FAQ type resource. David D. (Talk) 20:16, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
That could be good, as well! But I thought a little longer about it and I came to the conclusion that the idea above is just great. In fact, it's weird that, when people first thought of the reference desk, they didn't make it like that already.
I think I will be bold and make the new system come true, as soon as I'm unblocked! I hope I have the technical knowledge to do that. It does seem to be really easy. Thanks for your input, David D. Do continue posting, if you wish! A.Z. 20:44, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I hope I don't get in trouble with that bot, though... and with those transclusions... Well, maybe I'm gonna need help after all.A.Z. 20:49, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

A.Z., you are not blocked according to your log. Also, I would be very careful of making wholesale changes to the Ref Desk structure like that without prior discussion, the archiving system would need to be overhauled, as would all the transclusions. Discuss it on the talkpage first. Rockpocket 20:52, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Maybe it's best to say something at the talk page first, but there will be people who will present nonsensical although persuasive reasons not do do it. A.Z. 20:56, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
However, there could be a simple extra transclusion to a new page, with a link to the respective talk page. It does look easy. The archival of that other page could be independent. I really don't know if it makes technical sense and if it's possible to it do like that. But I think technical matters are the last thing I should be worried with while trying to implement the change.A.Z. 20:58, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I'd say that the use of "maybe" in the above is an understatement. By the way, there are always people who will disagree on a given topic. For new ideas there may be more than usual. However, if an idea is good a calm and measured discussion will often lead to others changing from their initial position. i would suggest that your first approach is to read the ref desk archives and identify if the concept of FAQ has already been discussed and, if it has been, why such a plan was though to be impractical. David D. (Talk) 21:01, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I think that the FAQ and my proposal are different things to address different problems. I don't see how the FAQ could be considered an alternative to my proposal. A.Z. 23:51, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

This is not the type of situation where you should be bold. Also, if you're autoblocked, let us know the exact error message you're getting and it can be undone. Friday (talk) 21:02, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Agree, don't be bold, but feel free to set up a test run in your user space. Friday, i don't believe he means he is literally blocked. He is referring to his figurative, self imposed, block mentioned above. David D. (Talk) 21:04, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I am. A.Z. 23:51, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

OK, I won't be bold. Thanks for the advice. In two hours, I'll add the following sentence to the reference desk talk page: "How about if every question had its own talk page?" A.Z. 23:54, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

The concern I brought up here, about the possibility of transwikiing each day's subpage right away as opposed to after N days, would apply in spades to the idea of making each individual question its own, transcluded page. --Steve Summit (talk) 00:06, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying that would happen, but I can't understand the technical parts. Isn't there a way that we let everything the way it is and we create an automatic copy of each day on another page? Isn't there a way to associate each question with another page, so we can use it as a talk page?
I don't think so, although I'm not sure precisely what you mean.
There must be a way to do that, without messing the history.
(Um, why must there be?)
What about StuRat's suggestion for a single history for many different pages? A.Z. 00:14, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
It's a nice idea, but I think it would require some significant work on the underlying MediaWiki engine. I'm going to think about it some more, and maybe ask around. --Steve Summit (talk) 00:20, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to require a lot of work. A.Z. 00:29, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, why is it so important for us to have a single history? A.Z. 00:35, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
There is already something like that! The page called Recent Changes is no more than a collection of all the histories!!! All we have to do is make another page called Recent Changes (Reference Desk)! A.Z. 00:39, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
That's what the watchlist is for. Friday (talk) 01:34, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
No, it's not. The history shows ALL changes to a page, while the watchlist shows only the MOST RECENT change, making it pretty much useless on pages changed as often as the Ref Desk pages. It might be useful if every question had it's own page, but the watchlist would soon become unmanageably huge, if that was the case. StuRat 04:51, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Good. Then there's no problem at all neither with my proposal nor with StuRat's. A.Z. 02:08, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I know there are bots that patrol that page! A bot could select only the changes made to reference desk questions and put all of them together! A.Z. 00:42, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
It's "so important" to have a single history because for some people (I can't say how many) it's a quick way to scan to see if there's anything that's changed on threads we're interested in, without rereading the whole page.
A hypothetical "Recent Changes (Reference Desk)" would indeed be equivalent, but it doesn't exist.
I wouldn't say there's "no problem at all". The watchlist functionality is not equivalent.
Steve Summit (talk) 02:19, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
What about the bot? There is a bot that checks all diffs, then detects vandalism and then reverts vandalism and then leaves a note on the editor's page and then writes on a page the date and the reason for the revert. If a bot can do that, I'm really skeptical that a bot can't just detect all reference desk diffs from the recent changes and make a page containing the histories of all questions and days, together, just like StuRat suggested! That way, we would have the histories just like we have today, and we could implement both his suggestion for daily pages and my suggestion for a page and a talk page per question! It seems to be something really easy to do simple and achievable. A.Z. 02:24, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I know about bots! (I've written several; see here for an example.)
If you want to see this done, you need to either (a) convince someone it's worthwhile and get them to write and deploy the bot for you, or (b) write it yourself, and get it approved. (But I'd recommend getting more consensus before trying to write it yourself, because you wouldn't want to go to all the trouble of writing it if you weren't fairly sure it was going to be approved.) —Steve Summit (talk) 02:51, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Can we continue this thread on the reference desk talk page? A.Z. 03:01, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I've said about all I'm going to for now, but feel free to start/move/continue the discussion there. —Steve Summit (talk) 03:11, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

I removed the paste of this conversation to the ref desk talk page because it's very long and only parts of it are relevant. Perhaps someone can summarize? Friday (talk) 04:20, 8 May 2007 (UTC)


I just changed my password because vector potential told us that they are hijacking accounts with easy passwords.

Mine was "wikipedia". A.Z. 00:01, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

I bet your were not the only one with that password, either. "They" are only phishing for admin passwords, anyway, because those are the accounts that you can do the most damage from. Imagine how easy it would be for them if everyone has the tools? All those easy passwords to crack, it would be vandal heaven. Rockpocket 01:37, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
No, it wouldn't, because the vandals would be blocked. A.Z. 02:09, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
That doesn't make any sense, A.Z.
The vandals accounts may be blocked, but they are hacking into accounts of non-vandals, then using the tools to create havoc in the time between it gets noticed and someone can get a steward to desysop them. I guarantee you there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of people with their passwords as "wikipedia", "password" or their username. This would give vandals thousands of accounts-with-tools to vandalise with.
Blocking doesn't work, remember, because there is currently no way to stop people who have the block/unblock buttons from unblocking themselves. The only way to deal with vandals who get their hands on the tools is to remove those tools, and the only people that can do that are 'crats and stewards.
This has created a big fuss because it has happened to a few admins over the last few days. Now, if everyone had the tools, there would be around 4000 times the number of legitimate accounts-with-tools for vandals to hack, leading to the potential for 4000 times more havoc. There is no way the current 'crats and stewards could keep control of that that so we would have to make more of them. The result? A group of "elite" users that still had extra powers (the ability to remove the tools from everyone else). Sound familiar? Rockpocket 02:22, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
"Blocking doesn't work, remember, because there is currently no technical way to stop people who have the block/unblock buttons from unblocking themselves." I'm well aware of that. Majorly told me that. My proposal would only work and could only be implemented if administrators were unable to unblock and unban themselves. Otherwise, Wikipedia would become vandal heaven. A.Z. 02:30, 8 May 2007 (UTC)


...the unprovoked attacks aimed at Clio. David D. (Talk) 17:20, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

It wasn't an attack at all, David D. It was an example of unlabelled speculation that I knew about, and it was completely on-topic. Plus, it's good for herself to learn the difference between speculation and verifiable information. A.Z. 17:39, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
It looked like an attack to me so i am sure I was not the only one that saw it that way. It is quite easy to discuss speculation without focusing on one individual. David D. (Talk) 17:47, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I would like it if Clio realized that she is supporting a guideline that, if implemented, would censor most of her posts. A.Z. 18:07, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I didn't see it as a personal attack. I saw it as an example, adduced by A.Z., of an editor who appeared to be speculating but without acknowledging it as such. Where was the personal attack, David? JackofOz 03:07, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree. StuRat 06:33, 18 May 2007 (UTC)


You asked if it was a threat. I told you is wasn't. Let it go. Rockpocket 05:17, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Also, before commenting on about what offends you about others' comments, you should learn the difference between the words imply and infer. You know what you inferred, but cannot know what I implied unless you ask. So ask. Rockpocket 05:27, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. It is sometimes quite obvious what somebody is implying. Consider the following statement: "Will the Bush administration justify an attack on Iran by again falsifying claims of WMD ?". This is clearly implying that they falsified WMD claims to justify the war in Iraq. StuRat 05:58, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Except I didn't say that, and I had already made it clear there was no implication in what I did say. Rockpocket 06:16, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Of course you didn't say that, I never said you did, but what does that have to do with anything ? And, just because somebody denies they are implying something, that doesn't always make it true. If the person making the above fictional quote added "...but I'm not implying anything !", that simply wouldn't be credible. StuRat 06:32, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Before this goes too far ... just exactly where is it going? JackofOz 06:45, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I have no idea. I made a statement and I explained there was no implication intended. A.Z. can, and did, infer from that something I did not intend to imply and expressed offense at the implication. There is little point debating it further, if he simply choses to ignore my clarification and I'm inferring from StuRat's comment above that he believes I am lying. I'll leave him to think up more fictional quotes that I have no interest in discussing. Adieu. Rockpocket 06:57, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I have no idea what the actual Rockpocket statement was that A.Z. thought carried a hidden implication. However, it didn't seem appropriate for Rockpocket to "correct A.Z.'s English" by telling him a statement never implies anything, when often it does. StuRat 05:56, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Once again, I didn't say "a statement never implies anything". I indicated he can't know for sure "what I implied" (in the specific statement I was referring to). How can you judge whether that is appropriate or not when you just noted that you "have no idea what the actual Rockpocket statement was"? Rockpocket 06:35, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Pool sizes[edit]

Nice work on your pool-size answer, I especially like your little pool steps! BTW, I thumbnailed and moved the image slightly to make life a little easier for those with limited bandwidth. Rockpocket 03:16, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Also, if the image is appears very small for you, it may be because your thumbnail size preferences are set to a low resolution. You can change them in your my preferences > files tab. Rockpocket 03:20, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict twice)Thanks! It does look good thumbnailed, because you can see visualize the whole thing at once. But the OP will need to click on the image to see it with full resolution, because it is really small now. A.Z. 03:23, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
I read now that I can change the size in my preferences. But I guess the default is how I'm seeing it now? I would like to know how the OP is seeing it. A.Z. 03:24, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, it is actually only the first three images that I can't see unless I click on the picture. The other ones are good. A.Z. 04:09, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
If you are concerned about the OP not knowing how to see the whole thing, you can always provide a link to the high-res image for him or her. Rockpocket 06:25, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

That sure looked like a lot of work. As near as I can tell, you manually drew the cubes one line at a time, then used a free line drawing tool to put in the captions, then even added the ladder, grass, diving board and bushes, before uploading it and linking it from your rather lengthy answer on the Math Ref Desk. This must have taken at least an hour. I'm impressed. StuRat 05:47, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, StuRat! A.Z. 06:09, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Reference Desk and homework[edit]

I'm sure you must be proud of your contribution to the mathematics reference desk, but please be more careful in the future. Every other answer carefully and explicitly followed the firm rule at the top of the page, "Do your own homework." We have good reason to believe this question was an attempt to trick someone into giving the solution. Yet despite all of our warnings, you ignored the rule and posted a complete answer. Rather than helping the questioner, your post encourages less discipline and more dishonesty. This takes time and space away from those who really need our help, and it increases the chance that others will also try to cheat. I hope you will understand our concerns, and will try to not do this again. (No reply is necessary, but if you wish you can reply here.) --KSmrqT 05:36, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

I thought A.Z. only did half of the problem (one pool's volume, not two). StuRat 05:43, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Huh? I didn't do anyone's homework, actually. I think that just doing the homework would be quite a stupid thing to do, since the original poster would learn nothing... I merely showed them a bit of the information that they seemed to have problems finding out on their own, so they could do the homework — including the information that the subject can be interesting, which I attempted to show on my post and my drawings.
Anyway, I have good reason to believe that you didn't actually read my post, since I simply did not give the solution and did not answer the question (i.e., which pool is bigger!). If you want to keep chatting about this, I am more than glad to do it!
Oh, and, yes, I am really proud :-) When I was a little boy, I would have liked it if people had made drawings like that, so I could understand my homework and so math could make sense to me. Merely saying that you have to multiply the numbers, and merely giving a formula, just does more harm than good, in my opinion! It makes people frustrated because they don't have a clue about why on earth they have to multiply the numbers!
I told the boy or girl what the subject was all about, and hopefully they will be able to fully understand the matter on their own, and they will be able to solve from now on on their own all problems of that particular kind, both homework and non-homework, without having to resort to memorized formulas that they don't understand. Plus, the more they learn that they can fully understand something (and not just memorize formulas), the more confident they will feel to try finding out completely new answers on their own, to all sorts of problems. A.Z. 05:54, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
For what its worth, I thought it was a comprehensive attempt at helping the OP without just answering his question for him. Rockpocket 06:22, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, Rockpocket. I was starting to be afraid that now people would begin telling me that helping people with math is not allowed on the math desk! As I said on my post above, I understand that just answering the homework question (by giving some proof for the OP to just copy without learning anything) would be actually harmful to the OP, and that's exactly why I did not do this.
However, just saying "look, here's an article; look, here's a formula; look, do your own homework" is also not of much help, and it is likely to make the OP frustrated with math, and make them decide that they don't like it at all, because, as far as they can tell, people who know about math just keep hiding the good information and give them little magical meaningless formulas to solve homework, such as "if the dimensions of a cuboid are a, b and c, then its volume is abc and its surface area is 2ab + 2bc + 2ac". A.Z. 06:27, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree that you gave the volume for only one pool, and did not say which was larger. That much restraint was good, but I fear not enough. My experience suggests that those who try to cheat are not trying to learn, but only to get the answer. We see a very different style of question from those with a genuine interest in learning, and for them your graphical example might be very helpful. (More on that below.) A cheater, however, often puts more cleverness into not doing the work, and if one source gives half the answer and another gives the other half, the Dark Side wins the point. Better is to require them to show some of their own work, and to ask about specific points of confusion. In fact, those who really want to learn tend to do that spontaneously.
On the topic of drawings, another word of caution. Personally, I like to see pictures; it is one of the ways I naturally think. But a strange and difficult challenge of teaching is that different people think and learn best in different ways. For example, some people will fling a forest of formulas at you and sit back happily satisfied, because for them that does make it perfectly clear, where a pretty picture is an unreliable distraction. (On the mathematics project talk page some have even complained about too many stupid pictures in articles, and proposed banning most of them.) Nor are these the only two approaches. Some people seem to learn best "with their hands", tangibly manipulating things; others absorb information more easily when they hear it; and so on. But regardless of preferred modality, learning seems to depend on "pull" more than "push"; we can't unscrew the tops of their heads and pour in understanding, but can only do our humble best to help them put it together for themselves.
Combining the two ideas, this may explain why we so often see a different kind of question from those trying to learn rather than cheat. Some people are awkward at identifying a confusion and crystallizing it into a question, but those who truly want to learn still try. With repeated exposure, we begin to instinctively guess the intent from the style of question. In fact, some questioners explicitly say "Please do not give me the answer, just help me get unstuck"; yet some "helpers" seem unable to restrain themselves, and insist on giving an answer anyway.
We do not know with certainty that this questioner was trying to cheat, but a number of us quickly came to the same conclusion. Furthermore, at this point we see no response protesting innocence. So my guess is that your efforts in this case are counterproductive, though they may be of benefit to some other reader.
If I may suggest an alternative, one strategy we often adopt is to demonstrate a solution method on a variant of the data. In this case, that could mean calculating the volume of an Olympic size pool, 50×25×2 m3. While just as effective for true learners, it frustrates the cheaters. --KSmrqT 08:22, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
At first, when I saw the question, I thought the questioner had just made a little joke, by "disguising" the homework, while actually making it clear that it was homework. I thought they were aware that everyone would know that it was their homework, and they thought that you were going to help them. However, when I actually saw the answers, I came to the conclusion that the questioner could really be trying to hide from you the fact that it was their homework, since you all were rude to them, instead of helping.
I don't think people that are trying to cheat are bad. If they don't want to learn, that is the problem, and not the fact that they are trying to cheat. They don't really have a lot of options besides cheating, since:
1) Most parents won't allow children to leave school just because they want to, and most schools won't allow children (and pre-teens) not to take math classes just because they don't like it, and most teachers won't allow them not to do homework.
2) No-one makes math seem interesting to them, no-one explains to them why they have to multiply the numbers, no-one tells why it's good to learn how to find out the volume of a cuboid, no-one really seems to give a damn.
3) No-one seems interested in them learning anything. On the contrary, what people want is precisely that they just get the answer, no matter if they understand anything or not, no matter if they like it or not, no matter if they were motivated to do the homework or not.
Do you see it? Do you see the lack of choice? Of course, they could just resign and admit it to everyone that they cannot do the homework, that they do not want to do the homework, that they have better things to do than to learn how to find out the volume of a cuboid given its dimensions, that they don't like their school, their teacher, their parents, their classes, and adults that want to force them to do things that they don't like and that show no apparent purpose and that are just not interesting!
In that case, if they do admit it all of that, they may get really lucky and have someone to tell them, for example, that one reason to learn the subject is that it's interesting, that another reason to learn the subject is that the knowledge can be applied in real life, another reason is that knowing the subject is necessary to get into college. They may have someone to tell them that they are not supposed to be forced to do anything, and that they won't be forced anymore.
However, they may as well just get answers such as "you have to do that so you can have your degree", "you have to do that 'cause that's life: we don't do only things that we want to", "you have to do that because I told you so", "here is the formula, are you stupid, can't you see that the formula tells you to just multiply the numbers", "you have to do that so you can get good grades", "I already told you where's the article, now just go and do your homework, and come back if you have some specific question", and even worse responses, all of them just making them feel worse about themselves, to the point that they will not be able to go from one grade to the other, and they may get depressed with the tons of homework that they just can't do and with the lack of care that everyone displays! They may get depressed, suicidal, start using drugs, they may start to hate everyone! They may grow up as someone really frustrated, with really serious psychological problems!
So, some people choose to cheat. And I don't blame them, and I won't tell them that that's wrong per se. If they do want to just get the answer, even after I tried so hard to explain the subject and how to find out the answer on their own, I won't stop them. I will just hope that I did my best, and that it was enough for them to feel motivated to find out the answer on their own. A.Z. 18:26, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Copied from User talk:Hydnjo[edit]

== Hi ==
Hi. Would you care to take a look at my talk page? I have an idea for the reference desk and I would like to know what you think about it. Also, if you understand about bots, your opinion would be really useful. A.Z. 02:38, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Now I moved it to the reference desk talk page. A.Z. 03:20, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
You are the people that I have the hardest time understanding here. Sorry, I didn't make myself clear enough. It has to do with slangs and with that last post of yours. I read it a couple of times and I couldn't figure out just what it meant. I like you, though. A.Z. 04:38, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Hey A.Z., sorry about the delay in responding, we just screwed up by missing and responding to your your comment/inquiry, it won't happen again.
When we said: Unbelievable! No, un-freaking unbelievable!... and so on we were commenting about the seemingly never ending complaints about the current RD structure and the seemingly never ending suggestions as to how to restructure the RD to the benefit of all.
We were in a bad mood and shouldn't have let that mood impinge on our response as it did. We certainly understand your mis-givings and apologize for our out-burst  :-(
Thanks for bringing our ill-advised commentary to our attention as without your insightful response we may not have realized what a stupid commentary we were leaving.
Your comments were apt and we should have thanked you sooner and so we apologize for that as well  :-) ~ hydnjo talk 02:16, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm happy with your response! Hey, I don't think that the never ending suggestions are a bad thing! I know they can be quite annoying, as the huge majority of them will turn out to be impossible or absurd or something like that, but I think it is needed that there be people willing to question everything all the time and suggest improvements to things that apparently are already working perfectly. How would anything new be invented if it weren't those people? Candles used to lit the room just fine, yet someone made like 2000 tests with different materials so we could have lamps, which, at first, could have looked like a totally unproductive, time-consuming effort, and probably did, until one day, voilá, the entire world realized that using lamps was a lot better. Why try to make a whole new encyclopedia, if there's already Britannica? And why allow everyone to edit it? Why try to fly and do all that effort to invent airplanes, if we already have great and comfortable huge ships that work just fine? Well, one could say that the airplanes would make people get from one place to the other much more quickly, but, when people first did invent them, they were those little things that could only carry one person for two or three minutes. I don't know if you agree with me now, but I hope you at least get my point!
And sorry about the English mistakes. I feel I must have made a few of them. A.Z. 02:48, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Point made. Your English is just fine, I understand all that you are saying. Hmmm, lets us think about that for a while! :-) ~ hydnjo talk 03:16, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
OK. So, on the other hand, continually "improving" an article can and sometimes results in an undesired result. ;-) ~ hydnjo talk 03:51, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Could you explain better what you mean? A.Z. 04:17, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Umm, did you follow the link? ~ hydnjo talk 12:06, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Ref Desk Changes[edit]

Thank you for the link. It would appear more argument than discussion. It certainly all happened very fast. Was there a concensus that I missed?Bielle 04:10, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

You're welcome! There was no previous agreement between many users, no. A.Z. 04:13, 21 May 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for the heads up A.Z. --Eptypes 05:49, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

You're more than welcome! I sure wouldn't like it if there were someone saying out loud that I am a sockpuppet and no-one told me about that. A.Z. 05:53, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Aren't you tired yet ?[edit]

I know I am, it's 4 AM here. StuRat 08:04, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

I guess I went to bed ten minutes before you wrote that :-) A.Z. 17:00, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm confused[edit]

I'm replying to this here in order to not clutter the other talk page. Maybe it's the language barrier at work, but I don't understand why your idea to have a psychology idea this time is a different idea than your wanting to have a psychology desk last time. What's the deal? Also, what does it even mean to say it's a test? You actually made the page, and you actually linked to it from the headers. What's a "test" about that? Friday (talk) 21:25, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, it would require consensus to create it (I mean, to establish that it is in fact a desk, and not only a test), not to delete it. If, for instance, someone decided to delete the Humanities Desk nowadays, or merge it with Science, things would stay as they are unless consensus was gained. The test is different: it would take consensus to be established, after a period of time, otherwise it would be deleted. This way, people that didn't agree with the creation of the Psychology desk could accept the test and embrace the idea, so, in a few weeks, they could evaluate the results and vote knowing better what they're doing. I hope you can see the difference. A.Z. 21:32, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Still not sure I follow you. But, it sounds like you're saying "yes, most people didn't like the idea, but I went ahead and did it anyway, assuming that people would change their minds upon seeing it in action." This is a rather bizarre way of doing things - I don't recommend it at all. Friday (talk) 21:39, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
I thought people would like the test. And would start making more tests. A.Z. 21:44, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
Are you here looking for social interaction, rather than being here to work on an encyclopedia? This may be a large part of the problem. There are far better sites out there for general chitchat than Wikipedia. On the other hand, if you want something useful to do on Wikipedia without needing great writing skills, check out Special:Newpages and mark the ones that are junk with a deletion tag. See WP:CSD for some examples of the types of things that can be deleted on sight. Friday (talk) 14:52, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the constructive suggestion, Friday. I will check out the page, definitely. A.Z. 21:13, 22 May 2007 (UTC)



An Arbitration case involving you has been opened: Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration#Cilo_the_Muse.2C_Hipocrite.2C_Rockpocket.2C_StuRat.2C_Loomis51.2C_A.Z._.26_me_Eptypes. --Eptypes 23:01, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for telling me that. A.Z. 01:50, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Something to focus on[edit]

Why don't you focus on improving the coverage of the Wikipédia em língua portuguesa? Check out which are the key articles in an area you are interested in on the English Wikipedia, and use them to improve the corresponding Portuguese articles if they exist, or translate them to create new articles if the topic is missing.  --LambiamTalk 06:30, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

I started translating articles already. Check it out. I really like the English version of Wikipedia, though, and I would like to help it improve. I also like the reference desk here, and they don't even have a reference desk there... --subsequent fallout 03:47, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
I know you did; the key word in my message is "focus", since you expressed a fear of spreading yourself too thinly and were asking for something to focus on.  --LambiamTalk 08:10, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
If you wanted something Ref Desk related to do, you could help out at WP:RDAC. If you see some useful, sourced info on the Ref Desk that is massing from the encyclopaedia you could move it across and add the appropriate templates. Rockpocket 08:26, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

The question about being a "perv"[edit]

This had a good answer already. I don't think your answer improved it, I think it made it worse. Asking for more details sounds quite a lot like feeding a troll to me. Would you reconsider? Friday (talk) 02:31, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I like to assume that the questioners are not trolls. Bielle's answer is good, although it is a bit rude and incomplete, and it uses "we", which I don't think is a good way to answer questions, except for people like hydnjo. My answer improved it in three ways:
1)It made more clear that the topic does belong to the reference desk, contrary to what Bielle said.
2)It suggested a way for the OP to have their topic better addressed: to ask for our opinion on books, articles and the like, instead of our speculation on the topic itself.
3)It suggested a way for the OP to have their topic better addressed: to provide more details, so we could better understand what they are talking about. A.Z. 02:36, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Nothing about the original question makes it sound like a legitimate ref desk question. 2 and 3 seem irrelevant to the issue at hand. Friday (talk) 02:40, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
That is your personal opinion, not mine. I think that question can be as legitimate as all the other questions. It shows no sign of illegitimacy for me.
Also, Friday, why don't you come to my talk page more often to compliment me for my answers at the reference desk that you think are helpful and good? Why do you only come here when I do something you don't like? A.Z. 02:44, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Now you make it sound like you're trying to make a point. Friday (talk) 02:47, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
It's interesting that you think that. Do you assume that I do understand why on earth it would look like a point? A.Z. 02:50, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

If someone disagrees with one of your edits strongly enough to revert it, don't just put it back. This is edit warring, and it's not helpful. Friday (talk) 03:31, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

If you disagree with one of my edits, do something more constructive than just reverting it. Honest discussion is good. We have had a lot of discussion on the talk page and on the guidelines, and it's safe to say that we have different opinions and the matter won't be solved tonight nor in a couple of hours or days. If you still want to revert my changes after knowing that, I don't have the option of trying to engage in discussion with you. I can only revert your changes, report you, give up, or change my mind. A.Z. 03:38, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
This makes no sense to me. I did discuss it. I found you to be seriously misguided and unwilling to reconsider your answer, so I removed it for you. You do have an option besides the ones you listed- you could realize that Wikipedia is a collaborative effort. This means no single editor is always going to get what they want. Given the timing and your participation in User_talk:Friday#Perv.3F, it sure makes it look like you did what you did just to prove a point. Wikipedia is not your playground, so stop treating it as such. Friday (talk) 14:34, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Friday, I can just tell you those same things that you just told me, with a few minor changes. To you, I'm disruptive. To me, you're disruptive. To you, I treat Wikipedia as my playground. To me, you do treat Wikipedia as your playground (and you even have more "access" to your playground than I could, if I were to treat Wikipedia that way). To you, you understand better what a collaborative effort is. To me, I understand it better. To me, you are just trolling right now. I don't want to feed the troll in you, but I won't stop talking to you, because I believe in rehabilitation.
I just don't get exactly what point you think I'm trying to make, though, and how I am disrupting Wikipedia in order to make it. Explain it, if you will. A.Z. 16:05, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

FYI Lambiam deleted the question and all its answers. Apparently, the question had been posted by a known, and permanently banned, user. If I knew how to link to the History page of Ref Desk Miscellaneous, I could be more specific. Bielle 17:40, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Here it is: [5]. The poster in question is User:Light current.  --LambiamTalk 20:10, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the information, Bielle. Thank you for the link, Lambiam. A.Z. 01:54, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
You are quite welcome, A.Z. Bielle 02:08, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

New refdesk[edit]

Hi, FYI, I was just teasing seagull boy, not you. My wikipedia account should have a breathalyzer attached. :) --TotoBaggins 03:32, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification; I thought your desk was funny! subsequent fallout 03:35, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Don't understand the question[edit]

I don't understand the question you're asking here. But if it's about Wikipedia in general and not the talk desk specifically, it may be better to ask me on my talk page. Lots of back-and-forth conversation can make the ref desk talk page less useful. Friday (talk) 20:47, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

LGBT WikiProject Newsletter[edit]

Delivered on 16:00, 6 June 2007 (UTC). SatyrBot 15:48, 6 June 2007 (UTC)


We're wondering if we are missing some hidden meaning here so let us ask you directly; why are you signing as subsequent fallout while your real username is A.Z.? We lurk about enough so as to not be confused ourselves but we can certainly understand how others might be (confused). Sorry if we seem intruding but we're really just curious. hydnjo talk 01:48, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

This came about as a reaction to the "easter egg" in this edit. I think A.Z. only used it in some postings on May 26 and 27. A brief instance of reclaiming?  --LambiamTalk 14:01, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, Lambiam. You're right about it being an instance of reclaiming, though I didn't know there was a word for it, nor that Wikipedia had an article on reclaiming.
I think Proudhon also reclaimed the term anarchist, which used to be a derogatory term. If this is true, maybe it should be in the article on reclaiming, along with the other examples. A.Z. 14:12, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
According to Seán Sheehan the term "anarchist" was already used in a positive sense by Les Enragés, well before Proudhon. Reference: Seán M. Sheehan, (2004). Anarchism. London: Reaktion Books. pp. p. 85. ISBN 978-1861891693.   --LambiamTalk 15:31, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia should have a section somewhere explaining the origins of the term anarchist and its uses. The article on history of anarchism claims that "the first modern author to have published a treatise explicitly advocating the absence of government was William Godwin in An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793); though he did not use the word anarchism, he is today regarded by some as the "founder of philosophical anarchism" as a derogatory term against the Left, but Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, adopted the term to describe his political philosophy in the 1840s". That doesn't make things clearer, as it doesn't say whether Proudhon was the first to adopt the term or not. If Seán M. Sheehan thinks the term was already used positively before, that information should be included in the section as well, I guess... Does Sheehan refer to primary sources supporting his claim? A.Z. 16:45, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Apparently Proudhon was the first to use "anarchist" as a self-descriptive term. I don't see a reference to a primary source. A possible source might be the manifesto discussed in this publication, but I have no access to it. From the point of view of our encyclopedia, I don't feel this is a high priority issue.  --LambiamTalk 20:41, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Behaving like a 12-year-old[edit]

Hello A.Z.: If someone is not a 12-year-old, then "acting like a 12-year-old" is likely inappropriate behaviour, in the opinion of the speaker. "Acting like an 80-year-old" is also likely inappropriate behaviour if you are not 80, or, to use a colloquialism, 80-something. To have such a comparison be discriminatory, then it must also mean something discriminatory when applied to the group named. In the example given, it clearly does not so disciminate because, if you are 12 or 80, then the behaviour would be appropriate. I see from looking back at the Ref Desk that Lambiam is on a similar track. I hope this is useful discussion for you. Bielle 21:44, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Being right is quite overestimated here at the reference desk.[edit]

Hey, A.Z.: You did make me laugh. Bielle 00:57, 11 June 2007 (UTC)


Bearbarnstar.jpg Bearnstar for rye humour

I wanted to award you a barnstar for making me laugh, but unfortunately it was eaten by a bear. Rockpocket 01:40, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Moving the "Talk Page" thread[edit]

Thanks, A.Z. for moving the proposal. Bielle 21:33, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

You're welcome. A.Z. 21:34, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Translation into Portuguese[edit]

The interviews are 13 questions long. If you want to do this, or can find other users to do it, that's great - see User:Ral315/Board 2007 for more info. Ral315 » 15:28, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks! I will help translating them! A.Z. 20:39, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Re. Entrevista[edit]

Olá (vou usar português porque vi nas tuas userboxes que falas português como língua nativa). De facto, ambas as frases são válidas, mas resolvi mudar para "entrevista aos candidatos" porque me parece possuir uma preposição ligeiramente mais adequada. Porém, se eu pensar um pouco, acho que "entrevista aos candidatos" não soa tão bem em português brasileiro como soa no europeu, e talvez seja essa a razão por teres estranhado. Está à vontade para mudares para "com os candidatos". Também não soa mal. :-) Cumprimentos, Húsönd 00:08, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

"Discussion" to "Talk"[edit]

Hi A.Z. Thanks for providing the summary on the Village pump (proposals) page. I have just left a note for David D. asking for either a further comment on his view, or on consensus on the point. I am not being very successful at linking the Village pump page, however. If you have a minute, could you fix that (and the one here, too, please :-) link for me on David D.'s Talk page? Thanks Bielle 19:37, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

You're welcome. I fixed the link on David's page. A.Z. 05:56, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks again. Bielle 22:16, 25 June 2007 (UTC)


Just so I can see the log if it gets speedy deleted again. We should have an article for every Chinese character, as we have articles for all Latin and Greek letters, such as A and Α. A.Z. 05:56, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Bonne anniversaire, A.Z.[edit]

I don't know any Portuguese, so I will have to make do with French and English. Happy Birthday! (I assume it is either today, or sometime recently, as you have taken the "almost" off the 19 on your User page.) In Canada (and today, July 1st, is Canada's birthday) and specifically in the province of Ontario, 19 is the age of majority, the age at which you may sign binding legal agreements, marry without parental permission, drink alcohol and vote, so be careful not to do them all at once. Bielle 02:44, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Bielle! It's actually July 2, though. In Portuguese, it would be feliz aniversário. In Brazil, I could already do all those things one year ago, and didn't do all of them at once. Well, I could vote at age 16, actually, and I guess you don't need parental permission to get married here at any age, though I can't marry someone of the same sex, as I would be able to if I were Canadian. A.Z. 02:59, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and July 2 is the day in the exact middle of the year. A.Z. 03:02, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Purposes of the Ref Desks[edit]

You wrote:
> Nice post. You could create a page with that content...

Thanks. I may just do that. --Steve Summit (talk) 00:31, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

"discussion" to "talk"[edit]

Hi A.Z.: If you want to know what has happened with the proposal to change the tab "discussion" to "talk", you might want to look at Section 35 here Bielle:Talk. The bureaucrats bureaucracy won. (Changed by Bielle 23:00, 14 July 2007 (UTC) in response to comment below by Andre) I give up. Bielle 23:45, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Like I said, one way to get a consensus is just for something to be around for long enough with no objection from most. Also, I find Bielle's message above to be overly adversarial and antagonistic. Andre (talk) 18:52, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

"Discussion" has been there for years, and most people have no objected in any way. It definitely has consensus. Andre (talk) 00:49, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
I replied on Bielle's talk page. Please, let's stop discussing this issue on three different pages. A.Z. 00:55, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Administrator abuse[edit]

I'm afraid I can't do that, A.Z., doing so would - ironically enough - be administrator abuse. There is a process one must go through if you think an article has been deleted outwith policy: WP:DRV. However, I don't think there is much of a chance it would be re-instated. As it stood there was no reliable sources quoted, no claim for notability and scant context. If you can find an independent source discussion administrator abuse on Wikipedia, then you might be able to recreate the article using that. Rockpocket 18:52, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

There are certain criteria on which admins can unilaterally delete articles. These are laid out at WP:CSD. To be honest, admins will often speedy delete articles that should go to WP:AfD. Sometimes because it can be hard to judge and sometimes because they know it would be deleted at AfD anyway and they just cut the corner. I try to be procedural as I can about it and always list at AfD if there is any doubt.
Your article was deleted under the WP:CSD#G10 criteria ("Pages that serve no purpose but to disparage their subject or some other entity"). That is a fair call, though it does assume some bad faith in the creator. Personally, I think it is a stonewall candidate under WP:CSD#A7 ("An article about a real person, group of people, band, club, company, or web content that does not assert the importance or significance of its subject"). If you want to write an article about Wikipedia admins, you have to explain why they are notable enough for an article (and that, inherently, requires some reliable sources indicating notability). Remember, just because we are Wikipedia, does not mean that our admins deserve an article any more than any other website's admins, unless you can provide sources that say so.
Controversial articles like yours require sources from the start, or at least they require a very good claim for notability. Rockpocket 20:02, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Once a Deletion Review is closed, it may not be appropriate to continue to comment on it, as you did in responding to ^demon's close of Administrator abuse. Instead you may want to find a more appropriate venue to continue the discussion. But, really, the better suggestion is the one given you by multiple folks... find sources that prove that the concept is notable (subject of media attention or academic research) and write the article in a way that makes it clear from the outset that it's notable and that you have verifiable sources. Omit mention of Wikipedia to get started... else you'll just draw the same doubts as before. That is what I would do if I were interested in creating an actual article rather than just trying to make a point. ++Lar: t/c 04:11, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Generally only another admin should reverse a closure that, by its very nature, is controversial. If you have concerns, I would suggest requesting an outside opinion at WP:AN/I. Rockpocket 02:44, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
I addressed your post here. A.Z. 02:52, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Regarding your response [6] (and the associated edit: [7]), please just stop for a moment. Consider that the best response to a request not to make a point is almost never to go out and do just that.
You're close to exhausting people's patience here, A.Z. Do something productive, or take a break—or you will receive a block. Please don't keep trying to get Jack to do your dirty work, and please don't respond to this with a semantics discussion or legalistic nonsense; I don't have time for it. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:15, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

A.Z., I've responded to your request on my talk page. -- JackofOz 03:13, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

A.Z. This response is telling. It sounds very much like you are more interested in pursuing your quest to ensure administrators don't "have any more authority than any other user" than actually keeping this article. After all, at least 4 people have told you the article can stay if you can reference it. So just reference it. And I have told you how to go about reviewing the closure, and you decline to do so. Indeed, its difficult not to think, considering the subject of the article, that the whole point was not to generate a situation that was custom made for you to claim it is a conflict-of-interest for admins to deal with. This is a point, on a point on a point. Please, stop it. Rockpocket 03:53, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
I know already (but I don't understand it) that it's difficult for you not to think that the whole point was to generate a situation for me to debate, complain, cause trouble, make a point, and so on. That's exactly why I asked Jack to intervene: if he had thought about it and independently, neutrally, and impartially decided that the discussion should be re-opened, then I would expect it would be less difficult for you not to think that the whole point of all of this is to make a point, a claim, whatever, because another person, that you respect and that you know are impartial, would have decided about it and would have reached the same conclusion that I have. I was only attempting to make things better. Of course, perhaps not even Jack's intervention would work, since there are some people that already agree with me, including administrators, and yet you still think it's difficult not to think I am acting in bad faith. I only wonder what you'd think if I were completely alone, and if I were the only one to agree with myself. A.Z. 04:06, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
By the way, I only started talking about administrator authority because it became an issue. I wish it hadn't. I wish the article had normally been nominated for deletion, and there had been a discussion, and people started looking for sources, and people either found or didn't find sources, and then the article either got or didn't get deleted.
I think speedy deletion didn't apply, and I think it is pretty damn obvious that it didn't apply. Even Ten seems to have admitted it on demon's talk page. He said process wasn't all, and so he had the courage to say that this deletion wasn't according to the process, which I applaud, as he at least isn't a hypocrite. Now that it was deleted not accordingly to process, and I found out that administrators have an official authority, I am compelled to discuss this issue as well. I disagree that asking people's opinion on the administrators' noticeboard is a moral way to undo the closure of the discussion, so I won't do that, and I didn't do that: I just asked Jack instead. Sorry that my writing is so confusing, by the way. A.Z. 04:14, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
What makes you think I came to a different conclusion than you, or disagree that the closure was premature? In fact, I did find the early closure puzzling and not particularly reflecting consensus. However, since I had already commented, it would be inappropriate for me to revert it myself. What the appropriate action is, however, is to draw attention to it at AN/I. This is what I recommended and this is how you should go about "making things better" if that is your primary aim. What Jack thinks is no more relevent to me than what you think (have you read WP:JACK? It was written for situations exactly like this). He can't open the review, only an uninvolved admin can. So ask an uninvolved admin, for Gods sake! I was with you here, and was happy to assume good faith. However, you lost me when you refused to take that step for the very reason that it involves admins, that makes me think you are making a point now. If your motivation is in good faith, then why create all this fuss then not take an opportunity to sort it out? Rockpocket 04:26, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
It might be hard for you, but try to separate both things. (I decided to cross this sentence because it looks patronizing) Imagine it is about another article, a neutral article that doesn't involve administrators. I would refuse to take the step because I think this is not how things should work. I think the need to ask administrators' opinion is not right. I always thought administrators had no more authority than other users, and everyone seems to agree and this seems to be common knowledge. I think that administrators having the right to close and open deletion reviews is wrong, because this gives them authority. This is the only reason why I didn't take the step. I'm sure there is one, and there are many uninvolved administrators out there that profoundly disagree with demon's move. I'm sure the discussion would be re-opened. I just disagree with the process, and I find it humiliating and against Wikipedia to have to ask administrators for their opinion, to give their opinion more value than other people's opinions. It's a matter of principle. A.Z. 04:34, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Fine. Then it will remain closed. Whether you or I think this is how things should work is beside the point. It is how things work. Either work within the rules, change the rules (through the proper mechanism) or leave Wikipedia. Using process, as you did on the administrators page, to highlight faults as you see them is the very definition of a WP:POINT. Rockpocket 04:40, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
I thought the best way to make people aware that administrators had authority was to write it on the page about administrators. I don't think that was disruptive at all, Rockpocket. I don't think it's beside the point how me and you think things should work. You are right about we either working with the rules, changing the rules or leaving Wikipedia. I decided not to work with the rules, I decided not to leave Wikipedia, I decided to try changing the rules and that's why I wrote that fact about administrators on the page that I thought to be appropriate. I will start writing about this on talk pages. I think you think they are more appropriate. When the rules are changed, I will ask a regular user or an administrator (but not because of his admin status) to undo the closure. When the closure is undone, I hope people decide that the speedy deletion was improper. When the article goes to AfD, I will be happy with what I have accomplished, notwithstanding the fate of the article. I would prefer that the article existed, but I am against its existence if there are no sources. I thought sources would be easy to find, but I wasn't able to find them. Users will have the chance to look for more sources while the article is listed on AfD. I don't know whether they'll be successfull or not. A.Z. 04:49, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
A.Z., I really didn't want to say any more on this - and this will be my final comment on the matter - but since you involved me, and without focussing on whatever intrinsic merits this particular case of yours may have, I can't help feeling that this is looking like so many other earlier disputes you've been involved in concerning Wikipedia's rules and processes. Time and time again, it seems everyone else is wrong, and you're always the only one in step - that's obviously a generalisation but I think you will understand what I'm getting at. Doesn't there ever come a point where you ask yourself "Am I the problem here? Is my way of operating actually inimical to the efficient functioning of this encyclopedia?". Persistent and never-ending argumentation seems to your general modus operandi. Winning a few battles here and there is not what it's about, and whatever brownie points you may score with them will quickly dissipate. Argumentation, which in your case often appears to be for its own sake or to make a point for its own sake, may serve you well in various places, but it's out of place and unwelcome here. You have to learn to let go. Life is too short for this - you're 19 and you may not yet believe that, but a time will come when you will. Learn earlier rather than later. It's good to say "No" sometimes, but it's also good to say "I accept what you say, even if I don't like it". Try more of the latter, and less of the former. -- JackofOz 05:03, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

I would considering your principled stance more admirable if you hadn't previously asked me (an admin) to re-instate the article for you in the first place. It appears asking for an admin to help you was not so offensive on that occasion.

Your focus on process entirely misses the point of Wikipedia. We are here to build an encyclopaedia and refusing to help do that because you disagree with a procedural quirk is not ultimately constructive. Really, who gives a shit if admins are asked to deal with DRV? Its a crappy, thankless job. And alongside closing AfDs and processing speedies, it inevitably results in people like you giving the closing admin crap, when all they are doing is their best to keep the project on track.

You know what? There are plenty of things about Wikipedia that I disagree with, but I accept that my opinion is of little importance in relation to the consensus of the community and get on with it. I have deleted countless articles I, personally, would like to keep, because our policies say they are not notable, even though I disagree with that policy. My principles tell me I should put my own biases to one side and do the job the community asked me to do. Consider that before you continue your tirade against all admins.

Yes, some people think Wikipedia:Process is important, but only in as much as it helps further the goal of the project. You appear to admit your interest here is in process, and your actions today show all the hallmarks doing so for process' sake (also known as WP:WIKILAWYERING). That may not be your intention, but it sure looks like it. Rightly or wrongly, A.Z., that perception will persist and propagate until you begin to show an interest in building an encyclopaedia. Now you can dispute this all you like, and I'm sure you will, but I'm telling you how it looks. As Jack said, time and time again other editors have come to the same conclusion, how many more people will it take before you consider the problem may be with you, rather than the rest of Wikipedia or its admins? Rockpocket 06:17, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

About your first paragraph: I asked you to reinstate the article merely because you have the tools. If I had the tools, I'd do it myself (at that time, because later I found out that a certain process should be followed to reinstate articles, which I had not realized). I didn't ask for your opinion on whether it was right or not to reinstate the article, nor did I give more value and authority to your opinion than to mine or to that of any other user. I told you to reinstate the article, just that. It was like someone with no hands asking someone with hands to write down something for them, because they cannot do it themselves, it was like someone with no brush asking someone with a brush to clean up something for them; not like someone with less authority asking someone with more authority to do something that only someone with more authority can do, not because they (with more authority) have the tools, but because they (with more authority) have the authority to decide. That last case would be what would happen if I accepted your suggestion: if I posted something on the administrators' noticeboard, and I asked them to open the discussion, I'd be submitting myself (and Wikipedia) to an authority that they don't/shouldn't have. Tools are not needed to have access to the information needed to decide whether the discussion should be re-opened or not, and tools are not needed to re-open the discussion: all editors have the tools to do that, so there's no reason why a specific group should be asked something, there's no reason why a specific group should decide something, there's no reason why a specific group should be needed for anything when it comes to re-opening the discussion. I hope you got that, and now you admire my principled stance. I'm going to read the rest now, and respond later.
By the way, you may say that the mere fact that someone was given hands and brushes already means that they have more authority, but this isn't true: the only reason why not all people are administrators and not all people can delete and undelete articles when they log in is that there are alleged technical reasons why this would be bad. I think it's really just people's fear of chaos and such things. Anyway, giving someone the tools doesn't mean giving any more authority to that someone, it only means that you trust that someone enough and you think it's not likely that they misuse the tools, to try to diminish the harm that giving admin tools to everyone could (in their minds) cause.A.Z. 23:00, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Thats all fine and well, except the article was all of three sentences long. Therefore there was no need to undelete the article, you could have simply re-written in in the same amount of time it took to request the undeletion. I propose that you requested an admin undelete it because you knew that action would have had more authority in the eyes of the community than if you had simply recreated it. If that is not the case, why haven't you recreated it yourself since? Rockpocket 23:48, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I really didn't think about recreating the article myself. If I had, then there would be no reason for me to ask you to do that for me. Is there any rule against me creating the article now (though I don't remember precisely how it was) and then nominating it for deletion immediately afterwards (to prevent speedy deletion)? A.Z. 22:55, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that would go down to well for two reasons. Articles that have been speedy deleted should not be recreated unless they had addressed the issues that led to their deletion the first time around. Also, creating an article then immediately nominating it for AfD yourself would probably be considered a WP:POINT. Rockpocket 05:29, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Sexual Orientation[edit]

Hi A.Z. Leaving aside for the moment that you asked the question on Jimbo Wales's Discussion page, for that is not the first issue, why would you think it was appropriate to ask someone -anyone- who has not made a public declaration (and by "public" I mean the person's User or Discussion page) of his/her sexual orientation, whether or not he she is gay (or straight or transexual or bi-sexual)? Perhaps it is considered polite conversation in Brazil, and I am bumping into national differences. In any society I know about (excepting those, like most of the Caribbean, where it is still illegal to be an avowed homosexual) it is considered no one's business but yours and your sexual partner's, and, in the case of the latter, the general rule would be "If you have to ask, you don't need to know.) That's the first point. The second point is that, while it is quite possible that a lot of people might want to know the answer in respect of Mr. Wales, an equally large number might also want to know his bank balance, his wife's mother's birth name, or his Social Insurance Number, but why is it any of their business? And why would you set yourself up to ask in a situation that smells more than a little like trolling. I thought you were bigger than that. Bielle 23:50, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Bielle! It's an information that is considered to be encyclopedic, unlike his Social Insurance number and his wife's mother's birth name. As I wrote on his talk page, there's a list of gay, lesbian or bisexual people, so it is of everyone's business. I think that fact and the fact that dev wrote that people should ask all 900 notable Wikipedians whether they are gay show that it's not about national differences. I don't know which country Dev's from, but she's a native speaker of English.
Apart from that, I admit I was curious, and I thought Jimbo had answered this question before somewhere. I was a bit surprised that this was the first time this issue has been addressed. However, even if I knew that he had not stated his sexual orientation before, I'd still not bother to ask him that. I don't think this is any more inappropriate than asking someone where they come from. Perhaps this is a cultural difference between us both. It would be OK, though, for the person to refuse to answer, which is appropriate if they feel uncomfortable talking about it. If I knew that someone would feel uncomfortable talking about their orientation, then I would not ask them about this. Jimbo answered it. I don't think he was upset by the question.
Apart from that, I admit I was trying to make a point, namely the one that it would not be a bad thing if he were gay. A.Z. 00:12, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't know who considers it to be encyclopaedic, and this is an important qualifier, A.Z., unless the matter is already in the public domain, or unless the Wiki editor has declared him- or herself. I doubt very much that you will find any support for "outing" anyone. Sometimes conclusions are drawn, however inappropriately, from someone's failure to comment. Where someone comes from is almost always a matter of record, though one may, as you say, refuse to answer on Wiki. The difference is, if I refuse to answer "Where do you come from?", there is the whole world from which you may try to draw a conclusion. A question about sexual orientation, however, has a very few possible answers. It is not a matter of "a good thing" or "a bad thing" for most of us. However, as I pointed out, if, by your question, the failure to answer leads someone to believe that X is gay or whatever, that person could find themsleves in serious trouble in China, (where the next Wikipedia Conference is being held) or on a trip to Jamaica or Belize, for just a few examples. Would you ask yur boss or professor or girlfriend/boyfriend's uncle, in a public forum, in a place likley to be reported on by the press, if he or she was gay? I think you are being ingenuous, and making a WP:POINT at someone else's expense, which is not kind. And, just for the record, Dev's commment was sarcastic. Bielle 01:00, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I didn't know her comment was sarcastic. In fact, I have a hard time detecting sarcasm, especially when it's written. I don't think, however, that it's necessarily such a bad thing to be ingenuous as I have been. I admit it that at times I have a hard time understanding social conventions like this one, and behaving as people expect. However, I would not ask my boss in a public forum whether he is gay. I guess I thought that for some reason Jimbo was a person that wouldn't mind answering such a question in a public forum. I didn't intend to make a point at anyone's expense. Thanks for telling me all of that, Bielle. A.Z. 01:10, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
You think it's best that I apologize to him? A.Z. 01:13, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
By the way, if you look at my contributions, you'll find various instances of me not understanding sarcasm (and perhaps there are a lot more than those that I know about), like when Lambiam wrote advice for the reference desk header. A.Z. 01:23, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Besides being unable to recognize sarcasm, I also have prosopagnosia. Perhaps both things are related somehow. A.Z. 01:26, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

(post edit-conflict)Jimbo did answer the question, and in a much more straight- (no pun intended) forward fashion than he did the question about his address. It is up to you whether or not you should apologize. I think there was no malice in your asking; I hope there was no malice in your asking. You will certainly draw more attention to yourself if you do apologise.

As for being "ingenuous", the word is normally used to convey that the person is deliberately and falsely pretending to innocence or naivete in order to get away with asking otherwise contextually inappropriate questions or making contextually inappropriate comments or suggestions. I would gently suggest that you be very careful about deciding who it is "safe" to ask such questions in a public forum. It is nearly always both more sensible and kinder to let the other person volunteer such things, than it is for you to ask. This applies to almost everything personal. You will seldom be faulted for failing to ask; it is generally the wiser choice. Of course, if someone asks you first, fair game.

Sarcasm is often difficult to ascertain, even for the native speaker. For that reason, we are generally discouraged from using it. Part of "getting it" is just experience, both with the language and with the subject matter. Dev's comment, for example, was outrageous, and intentionally so. That was the clue. The US/Canadian laws about discrimination alone would prevent Wiki from using sexual orientation as a standard question. I reiterate: it is no one's business unless the individual makes it your business. If you are not sure about sarcasm, on the other hand, do ask. Just don't ask in such a way that you are obviously making a WP:POINT, as that just compounds the infelicity. Bielle 01:42, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

I think sarcasm should be discouraged only when it's about serious subjects (like the one on Jimbo's talk page), but sometimes it's funny.
I looked up in the dictionary (actually, the first result from Google) what ingenuous meant, and I didn't know you were accusing me of pretending to be innocent; I thought you said I was. I feel sorry that you are having such a hard time believing me. I have been honest enough to admit that I don't recognize sarcasm (which I know one could interpret to mean that I am not intelligent) and even so you seem to think that I'm trying to get away with something. I have no problem admitting it when I make a mistake. I have even thanked Jfarber, an editor with whom I profoundly disagreed on many subjects, when he showed me that I had made a mistake. I even gave him a barnstar.
Outrageous means either grossly offensive to decency or morality, being well beyond the bounds of good taste, having no regard for morality, violent or unrestrained in temperament or behavior, extremely unusual or unconventional, being beyond all reason, extravagant, or immoderate. In which sense (I honestly ask) was Dev's comment outrageous? A.Z. 01:52, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
This is the comment I found to be ingenuous: "I don't think this is any more inappropriate than asking someone where they come from." If you would ask your boss "Where do you come from?" but you would not ask your boss "Are you gay?", which is something you have admitted you would not do, then it is ingenuous of you to manitain that there is no difference between the questions. Not everything you say is ingenuous, but this was.
You have nailed the technical meanings of "outrageous", but it also means, in common parlance, something like "larger than life" or "over the top" or just "extreme". The closest meanings from your list would be the last three. If you are a native speaker of English and aware of the current legal status of personal queries, the Dev's proposal was immediately recognizable as sarcastic, being "beyond all reason" as a practical matter. As for sarcasm being funny, I laughed, in a rueful fashion, when I read Dev's comment, thinking about the chaos that would result if it were seriously tried. (And, yes, sometimes chaos is funny.) Humour is also tricky, but sarcasm more so. Bielle 02:16, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it should be any more inappropriate than asking someone where they come from. I think it's inappropriate for me to cause the arrestment of a Chinese person, but I think it's inappropriate to arrest people because they're gay. I think we should be free to ask anyone about their sexual orientations, and they should be free to answer or not, and not answering such a question should have no consequences whatsoever. I hope you understand that it is all because of injustices and wrong things in the world that I'm not able to ask my boss in a public forum whether he is gay or straight or bisexual or assexual etc.
I didn't know there would be any legal problem, or chaos, or unreasonability with asking those notable Wikipedians whether they were gay. I still don't. I thought dev would really ask them, and I still have a hard time getting that sarcasm. A.Z. 02:25, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
How you (or I) think things should be is not the issue. You clearly demonstrated that you knew that there was a difference between the questions. Knowing that, it remains ingenuous of you to then say that that there isn't any difference. That's all. Most thinking people would agree that asking or answering such questions ought not to be problematical, never mind fraught with the potential for jail, or worse; however, the questions might still be unduly intrusive. I wouldn't ask, and I wouldn't answer; I would think it rude if someone, absent any encouragement from me, were to ask. That's my personal view. It may be injustices in this world that prevent you from asking personal questions of your boss; it could also be just good manners to refrain. There is a wonderful expression from an ethics course I once took: Just because you have the right to do (say, ask) something, doesn't mean it is the right thing to do (say, ask). And on that note, I wish you happy editing and good-night, A.Z. Bielle 02:48, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I knew there would be a difference between the questions, if Jimbo were Chinese. I knew that, for some people reading the page, there would be a difference between the questions. I was not being ingenuous because I didn't think that the potential for jail and other bad things applied to Jimbo Wales. As I said, I thought he would not mind, and I thought no-one would mind (except some people that wouldn't make any difference), and I never thought about the press and such things. I just thought I was asking a normal question, so someone would answer, and we would know the answer, and perhaps add him to the list of bisexual people. I thought, in that case, at that time, that it was like asking where he comes from. A.Z. 02:56, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Brazil's 2006-2007 aviation crisis[edit]

Hi AZ, I have made this from the information on the page and the map linked from the talk page. Is this correct? --Astrokey44 13:22, 24 July 2007 (UTC)


It wasn't written as sarcasm. However, I wasn't being serious either.

When you think about it, the fact we have articles where the subjects edit Wikipedia and are regularly accessible on their talkpages should be great for us because it means we can ask them stuff that needs clarifying. For example, we can ask Jimbo whatever we like about him and he will probably reply. In fact, that edit conflicted response I made on that talkpage did directly ask Jimbo how he identified sexually - the topic had come up and I didn't see why it shouldn't be answered. This nonsense about it being "inappropriate" is frankly, stupid, and only ever invoked by people who seem to get embarrassed on behalf of LGBT people rather than asking us how we actually think. I don't want such bleeding heart liberals trying to dictate where I may and may not write about sexuality. Theoretically, there is no reason why we shouldn't post on every BLP WIkipedian and ask them how we identify; we're an encyclopedia and we document facts and if we have people willing to give us information, I don't see why we shouldn't ask for it.

In reality however, and you know this as well as I, sexual orientation and sexuality aren't as free as we would like them to be and the taboos are not yet fully broken. Four years ago, I would have been utterly horrified to the bone if someone had casually asked me if I was gay or bisexual - some people do not wish to be outed and I have no desire to haul them out of it before they want to come. Some people may wish to keep their sexuality on the downlow because they don't want to give away any more private information than they have to, or maybe they don't wish to be stalked. Maybe they wouldn't want to come out in a Wikipedia article because their family don't know yet.

Obviously if we issued a blanket are-you-or-aren't-you question on every BLP Wikipedian's talkpage, most would reply honestly (and I imagine, heterosexually) and we may well discover a few people who need to be included in our project. But personally, I would find doing that quite embarrassing - I no more wish to cold call to ask someone who they prefer to have sex with than ask them what colour their pubic hair is. And of course, I don't want to potentially cause someone anguish as I have explained above.

But, if the subject comes up and the subject doesnt seem to mind, I don't mind asking for clarification. I would have asked Jimbo, as mentioned above, and WP:LGBT have done similarly with Adrian Lamo. I had a surreal argument with Squeakbox over David Boothroyd, who refused to let me add David's sexual orientation to the article, until David joined in the conversation and freely admitted being gay.

So to conclude, I don't have a problem with asking about a person's sexual orientation if the need arises, but I think a general inquisition is intrusive, unnecessary and potentially highly embarrassing. And that is why the comment I made I never intended seriously. If you want to ask them all, I ask that you use appropriate tact - maybe email so they can express any resevations in private. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 13:40, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Hi A.Z. I have read Dev920's response. She was kind to explain her comments, and her attitudes, so carefully, and I am sure you will appreciate that as I do. There are two parts to "sarcasm": the first is to say the opposite of what you mean, or to propose something that is not what you mean, usually with a humorous intent, and the second is an element of "bite", something slightly nasty or even just unkind. Dev920 agrees that she wasn't being serious with her suggestion, which satisfies the first part. However, I read something biting in the way she decared that WP:BLP candidates would be at her "mercy". This is not a kind way to look at people's relationships, in my view, but she did the writing, so she knows what she meant; and I misinterpreted that aspect. She and I do agree, however, that, given the current state of the world, "a general inquisition is intrusive, unnecessary and potentially highly embarrassing". Bielle 18:38, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Possibly the "Aha" I precede my "biting" comment with was not sufficently amusing. Perhaps you would prefer a "MWAHAHAHAHA!!!" next time I write such a statement. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 20:28, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying things, Dev. A.Z. 04:54, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Willy on Wheels for admin?[edit]

You've flooded RfA's with "everyone should be an admin". Do you support Willy on Wheels to be admin too? --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 05:40, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

I strongly dislike your conduct on your talk page. I think that if everyone acted like you did, Wikipedia would be ruined, it would become a ridiculous place, and a much worse encyclopedia.
I'm not even going to check that user's contributions, because I think I already know what you mean. You're making a point that everyone being an administrator is absurd, because of vandals and such things. I agree that I have not explained my votes well enough, and that it would be uncontrolable to let everyone be an administrator.
I checked Willy on Wheels's user page. They are not an editor, because they have been banned. The same thing can happen with people that are administrators, they can just stop being administrators when they start causing harm to Wikipedia. Although I disagree with permanent bans, I think that blocking vandals can be useful, and taking out admin tools can be useful, when administrators abuse their tools.
Thus, I would support Willy on Wheels's RfA, but I would support the removal of their privileges, only if and when they became highly abusive, and only after they had been blocked already, not before. In fact, I think that the only reason for taking out admin privileges should be violating their own block. If people don't unblock themselves, then abuse and vandalism of administrators can be controlled with blocks. A.Z. 18:08, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
You'd support the adminship of Willy The wheels? No further questions. This is real life, not Utopia. Do you support everyone being the president of your country too? --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 01:51, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
I really don't know what to say, Matt. That was a funny paragraph, though, in a good way. A.Z. 02:23, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Answered here, but I still think it's funny. A.Z. 03:33, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Assembléia Legislativa do Estado de São Paulo...[edit]

...should be named in English. Also, noone in English refers to one-house legislatures as being the "only organ of the legislature"— it IS the Legislature. 18:02, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments[edit]

Thank you for your comment on my RfA, which was successful. LyrlTalk C 00:27, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Integrin edits[edit]

Hi A.Z., Thanks for your recent edits to the opening paragraph of the integrin article. I noticed you reverted the article straight back to your version when someone undid your changes. I'm sorry and I don't mean to upset you in any way but the version before you made changes was better. Someone (i.e. myself) could spend time improving on your edits, but I think the result would be an opening paragraph similar to the original, which you were not happy with. In the interest of heading of an editing war before it starts, how can we resolve this? Maybe switch back to the original opening paragraph (before your edits) and any points you think need clarifying we'll discuss either here or on the integrin talk page. cheers K.murphy 08:09, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I don't want to start a revert war. I'd like to know why you think the previous version was better. I couldn't understand what the article was about, so I clicked on the links to the articles linked from the introduction, so I could learn what was the extracellular matrix and other things that I didn't know about. Then, I copied a brief explanation of the concepts that I didn't know to the article about Integrin. The second version is a lot clearer to me. It may not be too well written, but by reading it I would be able to grasp what is Integrin without having to read many other articles. A.Z. 21:41, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Do you at least agree that "metazoans" should be "animals"? I think the second is WAY better than the first. A.Z. 21:42, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
hmmm, I thought that was what internal links were for. If you use a complicated term like "integral membrane protein" or "plasma membrane" or "extracellular matrix" or even "metazoans" in an article make it an internal link, then readers can click on it to learn what it means. Thats the way I use them anyway. It sounds like it worked well for you because you clicked on most of the internal links in the original integrin intro and found out what they all meant!! Then dropping alot of the internal links and explaining each concept then kind of defeats the point of internal links, in my opinion. Also it dumbs the intro down alot (sorry), again in my opinion K.murphy 09:23, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The internal links are good to learn more about other subjects that are somehow related to the subject you're studying. They are not shortcuts to a dictionary for people to learn the meaning of rare, technical, and difficult words that they don't know, and the articles are not supposed to use such words without explaining them just because there are internal links. If an article uses concepts that few people know, the article should explain the concepts.
I read an essay about that once, or a guideline. It said that people should not write articles that to be understood require that most people click on many links. I don't know its title, though.
In 2006, I printed more then 200 articles to study for a test, and I would read them at the park, where there was no computer. I hated it when I was reading something and couldn't understand what it meant because the people who wrote the article assumed I would click on the links to other articles.
I think the introduction should introduce people to the subject. Of course, there cannot be a complete and long explanation of every concept in the introduction. That would take many pages, and would make no sense. But the introduction of Integrin as it was before my changes was too technical and, in my opinion, it served no purpose. I doubt that anyone who didn't already know what Integrin is would be able to grasp what it is by reading the introduction. Everyone who knows what extracellular matrix, metazoans, and other complicated terms in the introduction mean also knows what Integrin is, so they don't have to read the introduction at all.
About "metazoan", the word animal is surely many times better. They both mean the same, about 1% of the population know what metazoan means and 100% know what animal means. A.Z. 22:15, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm transfering this thread to the Integrin article talk page. A.Z. 03:25, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Your edits[edit]

Please stop adding this extra authority stuff. You already brought it up at Wikipedia_talk:Administrators#Authority, and there was no consensus for inclusion. If you would like to add it, gain consensus on the talk pagePicaroon (t) 00:40, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

OK. A.Z. 00:41, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, unless you're making a change to correct a minor error of grammar or spelling, you probably should discuss your proposed changes on the talk page first. Your edits today have not improved the page, and have introduced redundancies and errors of fact. That more than one other experienced editor has removed (nearly?) every change you've made suggests that your views on the topic are somewhat at odds with the community. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 02:46, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I disagree that this is redundant. The lead didn't mention before that there was a discussion to make people administrators. It just said that the editor had been here for some time and had "gained the trust of the community". Go figure out what that means. A.Z. 03:44, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Plus, administrators do have more authority than other users. Since the paragraph clearly is trying to describe how things are, not how things ought to be, the fact that they have more authority should be included. I believe people didn't give good reasons not to include it on the talk page. A.Z. 03:46, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Baptism & Homosexuality[edit]

You seem to have copied the Baptist views of homosexuality article from the Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Humanities. Just copying the text and removing the signatures. I'm not sure whether that is a prudent course of action for following articles. The article was not very legible and very repetitive. I have completely rewritten the article adding sources and examples. C mon 00:10, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for that. But why do you think that just copying the text and removing the signatures is not prudent? A.Z. 00:14, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I expect that to speak for itself. A conversation on internet is something else than a consistent well-written article. The article consisted out of 5 sections which all made the same argument (congregationalists have no single position on homosexuality). The article was repetitive. The article used the word "I" which is very strange for an encyclopedia (and untruthful, since you, the editor, was not the "I"-person). The article was written in "spoken language" with a lot of contractions (which are a don't). It had a unsourced quote and the statement "(don't know if this will be blue or not)." So the tone was unencyclopedic. All in all the article was quite messy and it was summarized in the first two sentence of the new version.
If you next time feel inclined to make an article on basis of an answer to a reference desk question, I would advise you to rewrite in an encyclopedic fashion. C mon 00:48, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you a lot for explaining it so weel. I disagree with you. As you can see on my userpage, I believe in eventualism. I think there's no problem with adding bits of non-referenced and badly written information to an article, because one day someone will see that and improve the article. Someone can only improve it a little, then after some time someone else will see the article and improve it a little more, so the article becomes gradually better.
All of that that you pointed out above is true, but none of it means that I had the responsibility of doing anything about it. Say that I start 10 crappy articles in one day, and people like you see it and improve the articles. I would have improved Wikipedia that day. Now say that we establish a policy saying that everyone who creates an article must create a good, complete, well written article from the start. In this case, the rate of article creation would drop a lot. A.Z. 01:43, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

TenOfAllTrades's concern[edit]

Also of concern is that copying other writers' words without attribution is plagiarism; it also contravenes the terms of the GFDL. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 01:39, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
OK, so from now on I'll attribute copied text from the reference desk. A.Z. 01:43, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
But I must clarify that it was not plagiarism, since I didn't know that adding a text to an article implied that I was the author. A.Z. 01:54, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Copying any work by anyone else without attribution is plagiarism. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 02:02, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I completely disagree that copying any work by anyone else without attribution is plagiarism. And here's the attribution. A.Z. 02:04, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm pleased that you've chosen to attribute the material that you copied after the problem was pointed out to you. Nevertheless, the definition of plagiarism is pretty clear; we have an article on the topic which I linked to above. If you're having trouble understanding it, feel free to ask for clarification. In any case, I trust that you won't copy anything else without taking care to give the original authors credit—and, as C mon suggested, copy-pasted threads generally make poor articles in any case. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 02:18, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
The article says that plagiarism only happens if you imply that you're the author. I didn't know that people who edited Wikipedia were assumed to be the authors of what was written here. I don't know how this license works, but I wouldn't mind to license my contributions for people to copy them even without attribution. What matters for me is that Wikipedia improves. I don't know why people would need to have any rights over what they write here. A.Z. 02:24, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

←unindenting " the practice of...incorporating material from someone else's written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one's own without adequate acknowledgement." I'm glad I could clear that up for you.

The reason why every page has a history listing all of its contributors, and why every editor has a list of contributions attached to his user name, is so that the authorship of every word added to Wikipedia can be tracked. This is necessary to comply with the terms of the GFDL, the license under which Wikipedia is published and distributed.

In any case, in any sort of academic writing, it is absolutely essential to give due credit to your sources, particularly when you're copying other writers' work verbatim. Taking another author's words without giving credit is one of the most serious types of academic misconduct. In high school, it might result in a loss of credit; at university, a failing grade in a course or a suspension; in any sort of career, the loss of employment and reputation.

I don't particularly care how you want to present, distribute, or license your own words. If you want to put them out in the public domain, that's your call. But if you're using other people's work, you need to give them credit. Period. As long as you plan to always do that in the future, there's no need for further discussion here. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 02:50, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

No, discussion is not finished. I simply was not aware that my contributions to Wikipedia were all assumed to be "my work", as I already explained. There's no plagiarism without awareness. If I copy something to Wikipedia that is in the public domain, do I need to attribute it at all? I suppose not. I thought those posts on the reference desk were in, as you call it, the public domain. And I hereby license all my contributions to Wikipedia in the public domain. By the way, I am offended that you insist to call me a plagiarist. A.Z. 03:00, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Read the definition—intent is not required. You incorporated other people's work into your own without adequate (or any) acknowledgement. And while I called what you did plagiarism – because it was – I did not call you a plagiarist. I assumed (and still assume) that you will not make the same mistake again, and that your error was due to a lack of knowledge or experience rather than a deliberate act of misappropriation.
Incidentally, even where material is part of the public domain, you still need to give credit to its source. When material is in the public domain you can copy it without worrying about copyright infringement; it doesn't relieve you of the obligation to attribute. In general, if you copy material from within Wikipedia, you need to indicate the source in (ideally) the edit summary or (in a pinch) on the talk page. If you copy text from outside Wikipedia, it should be set off with quotation marks, and footnoted. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:12, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Intent is required. The specific sentence that you quoted just doesn't explicitly mentions it , but the previous sentence says that "plagiarism is the practice of claiming, or implying, original authorship". In fact, the article is a bit confusing. It should explicitly say "or knowingly incorporating material from someone else's written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one's own without adequate acknowledgement." But the article will probably never say knowingly, because it's implied and because a situation in which people incorporate material from someone else's work into their own withtout knowing that they are doing that is rare.
If you accidentally incorporate someone else's material into your own work, then it's not plagiarism. The consequences of assuming otherwise would be absurd.
It doesn't really matter whether you need to attribute material when it's part of the public domain. This just means that what I was referring to before is not the public domain at all. I was talking about a license that allows people to copy without attributing authorship, and you brought up the public domain thing. A.Z. 03:23, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
OK, the consequences of assuming otherwise are not "absurd". But this is just a matter of definitions, and there's no purpose in us discussing the definition of plagiarism. What matters is what we mean and I mean that I didn't know that I did something that didn't comply with Wikipedia's rules, and I didn't do anything morally wrong. A.Z. 03:44, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

(after edit conflict) Er, how did you not know that the material was written or created by someone else? I must be misunderstanding you, here. I could see some sort of clerical error resulting in the accidental inclusion of unattributed material, but that obviously doesn't apply to a situation where an editor deliberately copies and pastes an entire discussion into a new page.
Meanwhile, in any sort of writing – but especially academic writing – you always need to credit the authors of text that you copy. Failure to give that credit is plagiarism, regardless of how the text is licensed. (Licensing governs the conditions under which copyrighted material may be used and distributed, and has to do with determining how to avoid infringing copyrights; it doesn't affect the moral requirement not to take credit for another person's work.) I don't know how I can be any clearer. I'm signing off for now. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:47, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I knew that the material was written by someone else, I said that I didn't know that I was incorporating the material into my own work. I didn't ever mean to imply that I had written all those things and that that was my own work. I'm sorry I can't be clearer and you didn't understand that yet.
Your second paragraph only matters if you want to start talking about licensing, which is not the main issue here, as I tried to explain on my post above, that I hoped would end this discussion and to which you chose not to respond. A.Z. 03:52, 20 August 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for adding your proposals to the "summary of proposals" on Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship/Reform, as I seem to have left them out. Now, could you support (or reject) the proposal made directly above the proposal box? Panoptical 12:18, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I replied on your talk page. I reject the proposal. When I went there to reject it, they had tagged the page as historical. A.Z. 16:14, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

This might interest you[edit]

Wikipedia:Flagged revisions#Surveyor rights. Looks like someone thinks your ideas for adminship are a good model for giving Wikipedians surveyor status. Rockpocket 19:51, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the link, Rockpocket. A.Z. 15:33, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Light diffusion[edit]


This is an automated message from CorenSearchBot. I have performed a web search with the contents of Light diffusion, and it appears to be a substantial copy of For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or printed material; such additions will be deleted. You may use external websites as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences.

This message was placed automatically, and it is possible that the bot is confused and found similarity where none actually exists. If that is the case, you can remove the tag from the article and it would be appreciated if you could drop a note on the maintainer's talk page. CorenSearchBot 15:28, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

OK, then. It was attributed, though, and it was only one sentence with 13 words. A.Z. 15:30, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


AZ, bring your issues to the talk page and we can discuss them, but 2 different people have reverted you, so please don't break the three revert rule.--Dali-Llama 04:18, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

I brought them. I didn't mean to revert your changes to the content, I intended just to re-add the template. A.Z. 04:21, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Still, I dispute the peacock tag itself. Let's wait until others can weigh in on the talk page.--Dali-Llama 04:23, 26 August 2007 (UTC)


Hi A.Z. I notice that you periodically blank your talkpage. Are you aware of WP:ARCHIVE, which the recommended and preferred method of cleansing talk pages? Rockpocket 05:59, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, Rockpocket, but I prefer to blank my page for now. Perhaps one day I'll choose to archive them like that. A.Z. 03:04, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
On the other hand, I could eventually choose to delete it :-) A.Z. 02:16, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
I made the archive now, as you suggested. Here it is. A.Z. 22:37, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

scientific truth[edit]

You wrote on the Reference desk:

If you can't realize that science is nothing, and that it doesn't make you know nothing and that no truth comes from it, you are just fooling yourself.

Sorry to be a boring old stuck-in-the-mud pragmatist, but yes, I do believe that science is something, and that scientific truths have value. —Steve Summit (talk) 04:01, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

I was offended that you said I was playing a game. This all bothers me a lot. I don't mean to fight with you. A.Z. 04:21, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
You further wrote:
Believing in science is like believing in the Bible.
I profoundly disagree with this.
If I find a flaw in the Bible, there's nothing I can do about it: it's already written, it can't be changed, we're supposed to have absolute faith in it as written.
If I find a flaw in a scientific hypothesis, law, or truth, on the other hand, I can design an experiment to demonstrate the flaw, and when others reproduce the experiment, they realize that our scientific understanding had been flawed, and can now be improved.
You don't know if there are masses, you don't know if there is food, and that does matter.
It would be useful if you provided some examples of why you think it matters.
I'm sorry you thought I was mocking you. When I said I've played the I-can't-prove-that-all-of-observable-reality-isn't-a-figment-of-my-imagination game, and that it's fun, I meant it. It's a philosophically useful argument. But it won't put food on the table. —Steve Summit (talk) 04:30, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Steve Summit, I am "playing the I-can't-prove... game", so we do not know if the Bible exists, we don't know if you can go back to the past and change the Bible, you don't know if you wrote the Bible yourself, you don't know if the Bible always changes and you just forget it, you don't know if you are able to design anything, you don't know if there are other people to reproduce your experiment, you don't know if the results of the experiment are being manipulated. I don't think it's a fun game.
I believe it matters whether there is food and people. I think I would like very very much that there be other people in the world besides me, and it's a troubling thought to think there may be none. I don't know if, in the case of no other people existing, and I being able to choose, I would choose to live knowing that other people don't exist or living in ignorance, blindly believing that other people exist. It's hard to explain why it matters. OK, I admit now that I have no idea if whether the masses and food exist matters or if it doesn't matter, and I don't know if science matters or doesn't matter. A.Z. 04:38, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Support for "Yes"[edit]

Hi A.Z.: Thank you for your kind comments on the Ref Desk Miscellaneous question for which I have been soundly chastised. It is true that I hoped the OP would laugh, but it is also true that the risk that he would not, or would not understand, and thus be confused, made the flip remark inappropriate. SteveBaker was right about the content, though I do feel, as I have told him, that his rant was much too strong for the offense. I believe in all kinds of apologies; sometimes I apologise even when I am certain I am right. Being right isn't as important as the smooth running of either a relationship or a project. In this case, I apologised because there was an interpretation of my answer that could have misled the OP, and that was neither kind nor thoughtful. I do appreciate the fact that you did notice that "Yes" was supposed to have been funny; I shall have to learn more about emoticons, I think. Bielle 02:04, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

You're welcome. I thought your answer was funny. Not funny in the sense that it made me laugh out loud, but it made me smile. A.Z. 02:13, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Smiling is always a good thing to do. :-) Bielle 02:24, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
 :-) A.Z. 02:25, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

I also got the joke, Bielle, and didn't think it was so bad as everyone else apparently did. A clarification that it was a joke is all that I saw was needed, not an apology. The condemnation of your joke in the thread then confused the OP into thinking the condemnation was against them. Basically, everyone just needs to relax a little and not be so anxious to jump all over people for some "perceived (and often highly subjective) infraction of Wikipedia policy". StuRat 00:05, 5 September 2007 (UTC)


Nuvola apps important.svg Please stop. If you continue to vandalize Wikipedia, as you did to Brazil, you will be blocked from editing. Billy 23:48, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

I didn't vandalize Wikipedia. And stop using templates to tell people that you think they vandalized Wikipedia. This is annoying. And please refer to the diff that you think is vandalism. A.Z. 23:51, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I just saw the diff. It's so incredibly obvious that I thought I was actually reverting vandalism, and not reverting to a vandalised version. A.Z. 23:53, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better I've done that mistake before myself. Learned "always check the diff" the hard way. =)--Dali-Llama 00:39, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
It makes me feel better :-) A.Z. 00:45, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
had some trouble with that edit as well, tried to revert back about 50 times to the version before the IP edits before I realized he had already undone the vandalismChico 02:51, 3 September 2007 (UTC)


The main reason is this section title, bias. Veja is barely a reliable source dealing with other stuff, but about itself it is unacceptable. If you get a link with Veja saying they are the fourth biggest magazine in the world all you can say is that veja claims to be the fourth largest, not that it is. See?? it is talking about itself you cannot expect it to be imparcial Chico 02:47, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

That's your opinion. I feel it's inappropriate to remove a reference just because you have a feeling that it's not a reliable source, especially when you know that this a really controversial opinion. I think you should re-add the reference and rephrase the sentence to "Veja claims to be the fourth largest weekly news magazine in the world" at least until we either establish that Veja is a reliable source or find another source. A.Z. 02:55, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
I would second the opinion that Veja is not a reliable opinion when it comes to Veja. I don't dispute the assertion, but dispute that there is a reliable source for the assertion. If that warrants removal or inclusion, I'd like to hear your respective arguments first.--Dali-Llama 03:26, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
I would prefer to have more sources as well. I think the source should be kept for now with the assertion that it's a claim. A.Z. 03:32, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

requested moves[edit]

Arrgh... Thanks... I was just moving it when you dropped the line. Force of habit with other pages. All erased & moved. SkierRMH 06:09, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

You're welcome. Now I'll go there and reject your argument :-) A.Z. 06:13, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Ref Desk Talk Page discussion[edit]

Hi A.Z.,

I think answering Q's that can't be answered here by posting them on the Wikiversity Help Desk (where they are allowed) was your idea (which I thought was an excellent one, BTW). There seem to be some people (mainly the same old Admin crowd) who now want to ban this practice, too.

StuRat 23:54, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for telling me. I think it was sort of my idea, but you were the one who first saw that the idea had a lot of potential. Those discussions with those people can be quite stressful, but I'm going to participate anyway. A.Z. 02:26, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Yea, I know what you mean, they pile on and all attack at once. StuRat 04:16, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I thought you were going to participate ... did I just miss your comments there ? StuRat 14:35, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I went there and I archived the talk page because it was too long. Then I saw that the "Linking out" thread was too confusing, so I sub-divided the thread into many sub-sections, then I lost my Internet connection when I was going to start making comments. My intention was to participate. I don't know whether I'll make any comments today, since it's too late already. Sorry. Eu fui lá e arquivei a talk page porque estava muito comprida. Depois eu vi que a thread "Linking out" estava muito confuse, então eu sub-dividi a thread em várias se;óes, então eu perdi minha conexão com a Internet quando eu ia começar a fazer comentários. Minha intenção era participar. Não sei se vou comentar hoje, já que já está muito tarde. Sinto muito. A.Z. 04:38, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
I made some comments, but I don't think I have contributed much to the discussion. Eu fiz alguns comentários, mas acho que não contribui muito para a discussão. A.Z. 06:17, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


AZ, desculpa pela demora na resposta do mensalão--perdi no marasmo do meu watchlist. Aliás, já que você tem uma noção clara de NPOV pelo seu trabalho no tagging de Peacock terms, você poderia dar uma olhada nos seguintes artigos: Zélia Cardoso de Mello, Plano Collor e Fernando Collor? Eu estou tentando faz várias semanas transformar o artigo em NPOV, mas quando um só usuário está involvido, fica meio complicado. Gostaria de uma 3a opinião sobre os edits da Ludovica com os meus (difs estão lá).--Dali-Llama 21:25, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Oi. Já vi sua resposta e já respondi. Não tem problema que demore. Não é nada urgente. Vou dar uma olhada nos artigos, mas mais tarde. Espero que eu possa ajudar. Agora vou tentar participar da discussão na reference desk talk page. Hi. I saw your answer and I replied already. There's no problem that it takes some time. It's not something urgent. I'll check the articles, but later. I hope I'll be able to help. Now I'll try to participate in the reference desk talk page discussion. A.Z. 05:04, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Email correspondence[edit]

Hello A.Z. I today received an email from Loomis that contained some copied correspondence between you and him. It isn't clear to me whether you gave him permission to forward your email, including personal identifying details, to me. Either way, I have deleted that. As you are aware, I had previously expressed my strong protest to Loomis when he did the same with one of my emails. The content of the email suggested you intended to make public representations on his behalf. That is, of course your prerogative. However I urge you to please delete my email that he forwarded to you, and caution you not to repeat that information publically. Private correspondence, and the personal information within, was sent to Loomis under the assumption it would remain private. Since he was unwilling to respect that, I now must ask you to please do so. Thank you. Rockpocket 03:03, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Changing Your User Name[edit]

You are quite well known under your current user name, A.Z.. Whether you think that is a good or bad thing only you can say. :-) It really is an entirely personal decision. Bielle 02:22, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

The decision is personal, but I could take suggestions :-) (when you said that the decision was personal, were you referring to the fact that I asked whether anyone had a suggestion, or were you referring to whether I like to be known under my current user name?) A.Z. 02:24, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
You should go back to the one you adopted temporarily a while back, what was it again? Rockpocket 02:26, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Are you being sarcastic? A.Z. 02:27, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
It would be my reading that Rockpocket is just being gently funny. As to what I meant about the decision being personal, it was in reference to what you want to call yourself and thus, by extension, to whether or not you want to change your name. As that is merely my opinion, I certainly am not suggesting you shouldn't ask others about your name, new or current. I will be very interested to see the suggestions. Bielle 02:37, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I was just hoping you would remind me what the name was, as I thought is turned out to be rather catchy at the time. But I can't remember now. Rockpocket 02:40, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
See the archive. A.Z. 02:42, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah yes. That gets my vote. Rockpocket 02:46, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Here's an instance of me using the signature. A.Z. 02:48, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Moving the "No Medical Advice" Section[edit]

I think moving the thread was a good idea, especially as the whole Ref Desk discussion page was too long. (I am stuck with dial-up, so it is a big help to me.) However, article 3 on the new page is about Archiving and should likely come back to the main page. I don't lnow how to do that. :-) Bielle 17:51, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm so glad someone liked it! I'll move it back, thanks for telling me. A.Z. 17:53, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
This was not a good idea, A.Z. Did you consider the fact that such a cut 'n paste move loses the page history, means those who are watching the page will no longer be updated and, in addition, kills all the links to the discussion, both on Wiki and on Wikiversity where there is a parallel discussion? Rockpocket 17:58, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I did. I believe the discussion will continue for a time long enough so that the bad things that would happen if we didn't have a subpage would be worse than those three bad things that have happened by creating it. If the discussion were to end today, I think it would be best not to move it. A.Z. 18:01, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, I guess that is why things are often better discussed first. As is clear, I certainly didn't know about the technical problems. The end effect was superficially useful, and that was all I was seeing. Bielle 18:13, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
This professional advice discussion had been going on for ages. The talk page was infinitely long. The links weren't completely lost. They still will direct you to the reference desk talk page, and, on that page, you'll find the link to the subpage about professional advice. The entire history is still on the reference desk talk page. If someone needs it for some reason, it's available. The biggest problem seems to be that people watching the page won't be updated, but they can start watching the new page. The end effect was useful. People won't take that long to load the talk page, and all discussion about a very discussed topic will stay in the same place, complete with archives with old threads about that subject. This would be useful now, if someone had created that subpage before, because it's hard to search the 37 archives and the guidelines archives to find old discussions about professional advice. A.Z. 18:17, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
I see that it would be better if I had discussed the issue first before creating the subpage. Don't you think it's better to keep discussing this on the reference desk talk page, so everyone can see the discussion? A.Z. 18:34, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
If bandwidth was the issue of concern. I personally would have archived the rest of the non-active content on the page and left the discussion where it was. That would have addressed the problem without creating a few more. Unlike some editors, though, I am not interested in revert-warring over deletions, archivings or moves. Its done now. If enough people object it can be undone. I just wanted to notify you there there is often consequences of such large scale moves, and when discussions are active the best option is to wait (or at least propose) before acting. Rockpocket 18:52, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
I admit my mistake when I made a large scale move without discussing it first. I was going to archive the rest of the non-active content (I had archived a lot of sections just a few days before), but I could barely tell whether anything was non-active, since the oldest threads had comments just 9 days old. Even if I had archived all content until the first section about medical advice, the page would still be 114kb long. Bandwidth, however, was not the only concern, as I explained above. A.Z. 18:58, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Well the new page is 112kb, so it has had little effect on solving that. If archiving content together is the issue, wouldn't it have made more sense to move it to the guidelines talkpage? Afterall, it is a guideline we are discussing. Rockpocket 19:27, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
The reference desk talk page is just 35kb long. I did think about moving it to the guidelines talkpage, but I figured that would clutter that talk page, and all threads about that subject would not be together as well, since there are other guidelines discussed on the guidelines talk page. I thought it would be unnecessarily confusing if I had created "Wikipedia talk:Reference desk/guidelines/Professional advice". A.Z. 19:50, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Answer to your question[edit]

Deskana doesn't want the following on his talk page:

Sorry for the delay in the reply, I was blocked (seriously, are you saying that anyone who has ever been indefinitely blocked isn't allowed to edit? I've never actually be banned, only blocked countless times. If Wikipedia exists in ten years time, which it won't, then you'll have no honest editors aged between ten and twenty five!). It is very difficult to give examples without skirting close to Wikipedia views, so as a hypothetical example, there may well be a financial journalist who runs several sockpuppet accounts and controls the article on themselves and their opponents. That's just one example, but there is so much that I cannot say on Wikipedia without breaking some rules. Feel free to pop over to WR, everyone is welcome. 20:48, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

How would providing evidence that a financial journalist runs several sockpuppet accounts and controls the article on themselves and their opponents be against Wikipedia's policies? A.Z. 17:33, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Intensive Care Unit[edit]

I certainly recognize your concerns, but in my opinion the best way to deal with such concerns is to have those with a variety of views present on such a project. I have accordingly joined--as I have joined almost all the projects with possible strong over-deletionist tendencies--in order to help orient the project towards the deletion of only what ought to be deleted (and there are certainly such articles by the tens of thousands). In any case any acknowledgment of the desirability of improving articles and upgrading WP deserves to be encouraged. DGG (talk) 02:16, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


That is absolutely fantastic, A.Z.! I'm in the middle of writing an arbcom case right now, but I'll get back to you in about an hour. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 20:57, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Right, ok. The most important thing to do right now is to bring other people into the project. Try posting messages on the talkpages of our main articles, like homosexuality and stuff. Also, you should contact Raystorm, because she started the Spanish Proyecto from scratch and I imagine she'll be able to help you out a lot more than I can - as eswiki and the portuguese one probably have a lot of similarities they don;t share with enwiki. Good initative! Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 12:52, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
The best direction to take the project in is, besides doing all Raystorm says below, to start using the people you've got already to start sprucing up the main articles, and getting a few FAs in. Then mention the project in your FAC candidacy. It'll raise your profile and you'll be able to recruit more people. You can then develop more infrastructure as people want it. Oh, and don't get into any fights, yeah? You at the crucial seeding stage and you need to have a critical mass of members for this to work. Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 08:44, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Mastery of Prepositions[edit]

I noticed your new comment on your level of English use. There are native speakers who haven't mastered them, in part because the use varies from area to area, between English-speaking countries, and sometimes even from state to state or province to province. I seem to recall a debate at the Ref Desk not too long ago on whether "standing on line" or "standing in line" was the preferred use. The answer: it depends. While you are right that it is by the fluency in the use of the smallest words that the truly bi (tri, quadri . . .) lingual will be known, I think you are closer to "expert" than you think you are, in writing, at least. (I haven't heard you speak; you may be better or worse, I don't know.) Your goal is admirable, but don't be too hard on yourself. Some of us are still working at the same problems after nearly 60 years. Bielle 03:25, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

That's totally new to me. Wikipedia is the only place where I write in English. (I don't ever speak, but I think I'm as good at it as I am at writing. The only time I left Brazil it was to spend a week in Florida, at age 12, and I was able to engaje in conversation with others as I do in Wikipedia). I often wish to say something here but can't figure the right words, and this is somewhat frustrating. Normally I can eventually think of a way to put what I mean, but when it comes to in/on/at and other prepositions (and it often does), I have to either look up in(?) Google how many hits each alternative gets (and frequently there's no clear winner), or rephrase what I was saying as to avoid the preposition altogether. I memorize the "correct" uses for some specific cases: for instance, I learned on/in Wikipedia that it's correct to say "on my talk page." I already asked for help with that on/at Wikiversity, and StuRat taught me how it's used for physical objects, though there seems to be controversy concerning those uses too, as your example about the line shows (I guess it's a metaphor, but it evokes an image). Nevertheless, those prepositions are used for more abstract things as well, and which one is correct becomes an amazing mistery for me. It's like they're unlearnable. It's good to know that this can be hard for native speakers as well, and that people in different places use those prepositions differently :-) Even after reading your post, I still don't think I'm any closer to being an expert than I used to think. Lewis told me that my English level was better than I thought it was, and I explained to him that it just looks like that because what you see of my English is already "filtered". If you give me a complicated text in Portuguese, with technical terms and/or slang terms, I'll have a hard time translating it into English, and a lot of its meaning will be lost. If I knew more slang terms, idioms, words, etc, I'd be able to say things much more accurately than I currently do. What you see when you read my posts is not necessarily my style of writing: it's how much of what I thought I was able to put into words, but a great part is always left behind, uncommunicated. I think I'll consider my English level advanced only after I travel to and live in an English-speaking country for some time. Your last sentence is ambiguous to me. Do you mean that some are working at the same problems as I am after nearly 60 years, or do you mean that some are working at the same problems (whatever they are) after nearly 60 years? A.Z. 04:23, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
A.Z., however unskilled you may think you are with prepositions and other features of English, I'm sure you'd never write anything like the following. The speaker is referring to a book about Australia:
  • Aw, Mom, what'd you bring that book I don't like to be read to out of about Down Under up for.  :) JackofOz 04:39, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
You are correct about that last sentence I wrote; it could be read either way. What I meant by "the same problems" were the problems about the correct use of prepositions. The difference as a native speaker is that, unless I am writing something very formal, I don't fuss about it a lot. For example, I hesitated in the immediately preceding sentence between "as a native speaker" and "for a native speaker". Both are, I believe, grammatically correct, but, by choosing "as" I definitely include myself in the group; "for", in this case, felt more distanced. Neither is wrong. Bielle 15:48, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

LGBT Project[edit]

Hey A.Z! It's wonderful to see LGBT projects in other wikis. :-) Let's see, the first few things I did when I created the Spanish one were: (a) to create a list for requested articles (and put 10 for example), as well as translating the main guidelines and goals for the project from the English one (b) create the project tag and start tagging LGBT articles (wonderful way to get new members, btw!) and the projects' userbox -you also have the LGBT medal in Commons (c) create a requested translations list, with the LGBT FA's (perhaps even a GA) from en:wiki (you can also jot down the ones from es:wiki, we have a few we are starting to bring here ;), so people have an idea of what they can do to help the project (d) put messages about the creation of the project in the village pump/cafe equivalent (not right now, but in a week or so when you have most of the sections of the project ready. In the mean time, you can post there your technical doubts and get help from the admins setting the project up). In es:wiki we also have lists for stubs, newly created articles and articles that need copyedits or other fixes. Take a look here. Feel free to copy what you like. :-) Remember that the main idea is that the project should help to coordinate and concentrate the efforts of its members in LGBT articles. I'll leave the talk about the categories until you have a few more thing on the project main page, ok? ;-) My main advice, of course, would be to start writing LGBT articles and getting one to FA status as soon as possible -that always attracts interest! If you need more advice, I'm at your service. ;-) You can find me here, or if you need a fast answer, here (you can write it in English, no prob). Good luck! ;) And don't worry about new members- I was the only one for a week, and now, 7 months later, we have more than 30! Raystorm (¿Sí?) 13:12, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Thank you a lot for your advice. It's truly helpful. We have three members already! A.Z. 21:20, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Homosexuality and Roman Catholicism[edit]

Hi A.Z., I have noticed that you have taken an interest in the Homosexuality and Roman Catholicism article before, I have modified the article to include an analysis of the current attitude that the wider church has regarding the topic. I was wondering if you had any viewpoints etc. Many thanks, AJMW 17:16, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I made some comments on the talk page. A.Z. 03:16, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Law enforcement in Brazil[edit]

Olá. Acrescentei uma frase fazendo referência ao uso do Exército nas ruas em situações excepcionais, inclusive com uma nova referência.

Quanto à questão das Guardas Municipais, um editor anônimo cometeu um erro, o qual já foi corrigido. Elas não são instituições policiais, simplesmente porque não constam do artigo 144 da Constituição Federal. Assim já decidiu o STF, determinando que tal dispositivo veicula uma lista exaustiva de entidades. Ademais, a CF é clara ao explicar as funções das Guardas Municipais – elas basicamente realizam a proteção do patrimônio municipal. Não têm qualquer função policial. Enfim, a referência à proposta de emenda parece descabida porque não passa de uma proposta. Se fizermos referências a todas as propostas de emenda relacionadas à segurança, o artigo vai virar uma zona. Nada impede, porém, uma menção a essa proposta de emenda no artigo específico das Guardas Municipais. Sparks1979 15:25, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Help desk#New Logo of Wikipedia proposal[edit]

WP:TROLL#Pestering. -Wooty [Woot?] [Spam! Spam! Wonderful spam!] 23:03, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi. Thank you for the link, but I happen not to be rather busy. That person is not bothering me. And the thread is interesting. So you don't think that the current logo is ugly? It looks too presumptuous to me. A.Z. 23:08, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Kay, just making sure you understand the guy's not serious about his MSpaint logo. I think the current logo is needs anti-aliasing, though. -Wooty [Woot?] [Spam! Spam! Wonderful spam!] 23:09, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
It actually depends on the way I look. It could look like Wikipedia wants to rule the world, or it could be an innocent logo showing that we want to write a comprehensive wiki encyclopedia in many languages. A.Z. 23:13, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

This is clearly trolling. Please don't encourage him, AZ. Friday (talk) 23:18, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I have no evidence at all to say he has bad intentions. He could just want to start a discussion regarding logos and the name of Wikipedia, or it could be a joke, or an experiment of some sort. Even if he does have bad intentions, he is not doing any harm. As I said, he didn't post on anyone's talk page, and anyone can choose not to participate in the thread. A.Z. 23:22, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
And why did you have to be so rude on his talk page? A.Z. 23:47, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

pt:LGBT project[edit]

So how is it going? :-) Raystorm (¿Sí?) 17:47, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi. We have three members already. We all seem interested in the project. I have created a template to place on article's talk pages. An user from the Spanish WikiProject has just suggested that we translate articles from one Wikipedia to the other using an automatic translator, but no-one responded yet. One of the members is interested in writing about gay literature, and there has been somewhat of a discussion about whether it should be gay literature or LGBT literature. I believe this was the first discussion of the project. Two of us think that LGBT literature would be best. I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to the project, so I would like it if it didn't depend on me to survive and grow and be successful. The other two members have asked what they can do for the project. I would like to write something to better explain what a Wiki Project is for, because this seems unclear. I believe it's not much of a big deal, it's just a way to have all people interested in the same subject in the same place, so if something important happens concerning that subject (for example a page gets nominated for deletion), all interested people get to know. It should also create a sense of community, and it's good to have that since we'll be editing the same articles. I think things are going fine, except that I don't know whether the other members see this as I do. A.Z. 05:05, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Ahhh... *blushes* I'm afraid the gay vs LGBT literature discussion was my fault, I couldn't help myself from commenting (as an anon IP) when that user said he had created the gay lit category (I agree LGBT seems more inclusive). I saw Ecelan suggesting a collaboration between projects. :-) If you guys are okay with that, we can set it up. You may have seen I've created an account at pt:wikipedia just in case. ;-) I suggest, to avoid further 'What's a Wikiproject for?' questions, that you translate the guidelines and aims of the English LGBT project (it's what I did, anyway). The project will start rolling off its own accord soon enough, you'll see. :-) You're doing great so far. Good luck, and ping me if you need further help (preferably at my own talk page hehe ;-). Cheers! Raystorm (¿Sí?) 14:01, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Friendly Suggestion[edit]

Hello. Looking at your recent contribs, I see that you spend way to much time on the Wikipedia namespace. Just a friendly suggestion; take a break from that and start actually contributing to the encyclopedia, because you seem to be a bit confused about our goal here. --Agüeybaná 22:37, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the suggestion, but I believe I understand what our goal here is. I'm fully aware that a number of people find the way I contribute either excentric or unhelpful, and more than three people have already suggested that I'm not here to help building an encyclopedia. I have been called a troll by some and others have said that I'm here for social purposes (to make friends and things like that), not to write an encyclopedia. The truth is that this is just the way I wish to contribute now, and it's a perfectly fine way to contribute. If you want to suggest new ways for me contribute to the building of the encyclopedia, that you think are more productive, you're welcome to do that, but I suggest that you stop questioning my or anyone else's understanding of the project without making any effort whatsoever to explain why you think you understand the project better than they do. Thank you again and good editing. A.Z. 22:50, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Sex and good taste[edit]

I welcome your energy and desire to improve the article, but I am sorry to say that by making some pictures bigger you are accomplishing two undesirable purposes. First, you are making life difficult for the majority of readers who cannot afford a fast connection. Secondly, by amplifying some images and not others you are stuffing into people's faces material that you like but that they should be free to explore on their own if they like, and leave alone if they choose. Especially with a topic such as anal sex, it is wiser to be a bit more considerate of readers' sensibilities. By making all images the same size, and that a modest one, so as not to overload the connection, we are being considerate and fair, don;t you think? Haiduc 03:57, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi. I don't think the article is getting too big, and I don't think that should be our primary concern. It doesn't seem to be an issue with that article. I actually think that article should have more pictures. It certainly lacks a woman-man picture. The Hadrian picture has a lot of details, and it looked abnormally small to me. Was your worry with difficulties of people with slow connections why you had removed it completely? Anyway, I have now reduced the size to 300px, but not to 250px. A.Z. 04:01, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
AZ, Please read WP:MOS#Images. These images do not fall into any of the exceptions. Please adjust the images accordingly. thanks --Merbabu 04:18, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
I see. Thank you for that link. I'll just change my preferences so images appear bigger to me. A.Z. 04:24, 23 September 2007 (UTC)


Hello A.Z. I just waned to tell you that I don't like anything against Wikipedia. I do not want such a thing written. It's not joke nor is it vandalism. To me it really is incoherent who write do such a thing? I demand that it be deleted!--Angel David 00:18, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm sorry A.Z. I thought that was to insult our sight.--Angel David 22:42, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Your comment[edit]

It isnt acceptable to either claim my attempts at NPOVing a totally disputed article are destructive let alone that, in your opinion, I should desist from editing pedophile related articles. Check the history of the PPA article for some background on the endless socks of banned users that have made the article into such a POV mess but do not tell me what articles you think I can or cannot edit, especially given I am a regular editor and mature adult (what we in English call a grown-up) with substantial experience on the project not some newbie who doesn't know what he is doing. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:10, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I believe people don't access Wikipedia's articles interested in your rants. That page shouldn't be protected: you were the one causing trouble and you should be the one blocked, so people who are interested in writing an encyclopedia can edit the page. That you are a regular editor is yet another reason why your edit was so incredibly unacceptable: you certainly had a lot of time to learn how to write a decent article. If after 30,000 edits you weren't able to do it, I feel other editors have no reason to keep trying to teach you while you disrupt Wikipedia like that. Your comments on your alleged maturity, your comment regarding your age, your comment on experience on the project, and you teling me that I don't know what I'm doing and that I'm a newbie all back up my feeling that you should be banned. It's people like you that make Wikipedia not so great. The next time you add something like that to an article, I will ask an administrator to block you. A.Z. 21:39, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

A.Z. I hope you did not seriously mean that you cannot see how an adult having sex with a child is a form of abuse, considering it is a felony crime in the United States. SWATJester Denny Crane. —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 04:32, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I know it's a crime and I don't encourage anyone to commit this crime. But that something is a crime doesn't say much about how moral this conduct is or how abusive it is. I should look for the answer in my consciousness, not it the law. I don't know the answer yet. The world is full of prejudices, and I am afraid that I base my actions and opinions on them. I know there are places and there have been times when many conducts that today are considered moral and legal were not. No one has showed me yet that an adult having sex with a child should be considered immoral because it abuses the child. I do doubt that it's moral, but I also doubt that it's immoral. I wonder whether obtaining any non-sexual pleasure from the company of a child is abusive, since the child may not be voluntarily acting with the intention of giving you pleasure, and, perhaps, if they knew all there's to know about you, they would choose not be in your company in the first place. I wonder whether an adult masturbating a child without the adult deriving any sexual pleasure whatsoever from doing it would be abusing the child (to this, the answer seems to be no, or to be more precise, no more than playing with them non-sexually). I wouldn't want some old and ugly man asking a child of mine (note I don't have children, I'm just imagining this), I don't want him even considering asking a child of mine whether they want to go to a room with them so they can have anal or vaginal sex. On the other hand, when I was about nine, I wouldn't mind if a handsome 18-year-old decided to give me a kiss (note that such a kiss never happened, I'm just imagining it again). I understand that with children we cannot have the same kinds of relationship than with adults, but we do have relationships with children, and they do include many things we do with adults. Friendship with an adult is a totally different relationship from friendship with a child, and hugging an adult is different from hugging a child. Why can't sex, as something totally different than sex between adults (as friendships and hugs), exist between adults and children? There is just so much prejudice surrounding sex that I feel it's my duty to at least be skeptical that it is not this same prejudice that makes us not want to associate our children with it. I truly hope you understand me. I am against abusing people. I feel I care about people, and about children, and I'm not saying those things to look different or excentric, or so people pay attention to me. I'm just being honest. A.Z. 03:59, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Abuse is a determination of law, not of morality. The title of the crime is "Child abuse". SWATJester Denny Crane. 05:19, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
So when people say in English that it is abusive for an adult to have sex with a child, all they mean is that it's illegal? If that's what they mean, then I agree, as I said above. But I don't think that's what they usually mean. I think they mean it's something wrong, regardless of legal status. A.Z. 05:22, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I follow your logic, Swatjester. What would be considered illegal, and therefore child abuse, in the US, would be perfectly legal in Spain (see Image:AOCWorldMap.png). Therefore just because something is a felony crime in the US does not make it obviously "a form of abuse" for the rest of the world. Rockpocket 05:29, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Sex with a child is a crime in nearly every country in the world. In the US it is considered a type of abuse. Wikipedia is based in the U.S. My point is that when someone has had sex with a child and someone else calls it abuse, it is both abuse in the legal sense of the term, as well as in the moral sense of the term. The moral sense of the term transcends international borders: sex with a child is just as wrong everywhere else on the globe as it is in the U.S. The difference only remains in how states choose to punish the offenders and how they label the action. In the US as well as many other states, they label it abuse. SWATJester Denny Crane. 05:36, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I can see how sex with a child is widely considered abuse, however that is not because it is a felony crime in the US. A.Z. is Brazilian, one would expect that idiosyncrasies of the US legal age of consent is largely irrelevant to his moral and ethical framework. Rockpocket 06:09, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

It would be good for those reading this discussion in the future to also read the other part of it on SqueakBox's talk page. A.Z. 01:47, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Law of Attraction -- patience, please[edit]

Hi, i got your message asking me to add back that which i had removed in the Law of Attraction article, but i am still working on it. Please check later and add whatever fact tags you deem necessary at that time. I am trying to work with what was there and to tighten up the article to reflect actual English language use of the term, with less emphasis on what ancient people might have meant. cat 07:45, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Why did you remove it in the first place? Were you distracted? Why don't you add it back yourself? This is all very strange to me. What if I hadn't seen your changes? I had partially fixed the problem with that sentence, but someone reverted my changes and didn't add them back. I think it's not good to remove tags that require citation; at least not without mentioning on the talk page that you've done so. A.Z. 07:59, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
I was rewriting and i wanted a clear field. Like i said, please be patient -- i was not simply fixing bad grammar or spelling, i was rewriting the section with new sentences and did not want fragments of old material in my way. When i completed the section, i added fact tags as i thought fit. Please look it over now and feel free to add as many more citation tags as you wush. Please assume good faith. cat Catherineyronwode 08:30, 30 September 2007 (UTC)


Ok, if its a problem with the articles, then let me overuse them for a while. Thanks anyways. But my main concern is to talk the point, which i think is the primary. Lara_bran 13:45, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

How'bout this [8] ? Lara_bran 16:29, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I think that the addition of the last "the" was quite an improvement. The others are OK, but some of them could be omitted without causing the text to look weird.
The article on articles says that "a definite article (English the) is used before singular and plural nouns that refer to a particular member of a group." When you talk about a specific text message, then you should use "the", as in "the text message looks great". If you are not talking about a specific text message, then don't use the article: "I think text messages look great".
When you said, for example, "You are spamming the talk page", you were referring to a specific talk page. If the person were spamming many talk pages, you could have said "you are spamming talk pages". I hope I could help. a.z. 03:59, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean by OK?, i had thought grammar is either 0 or 1. Another thing to tell you, they tagged "neutrality dispute" on every "sexist" article top. Conservatives, grr.. Lara_bran 04:08, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Grammar is not either 0 or 1. Many things are neither right nor wrong, many things do not clearly make things better or worse. a.z. 04:11, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Your examples were singular and plural, i know grammar rules like definite article, but while using i miss. This is mainly because no other language i use has something called article at all. Today's class is over ;) Lara_bran 04:16, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
OK :-) Only one more thing: your sentence looks better with yet another the: "To keep these least intrusive I suggest to keep the text message the same as earlier." a.z. 04:20, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Your fact tag on Love[edit]

Just a quick heads up, I reverted an edit by (talk · contribs) who added it very recently (obviously opinion), so your edit (the fact tag) got wiped out in the process. Cheers. =) --slakrtalk / 02:42, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for letting me know :-) A.Z. 02:44, 3 October 2007 (UTC)


I just used the editor tool listed on my userpage to investigate what articles you have been editing. I have to say that the names of the articles were a turn on all on their own :P ♥ Lundiaka 03:34, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

 :-) A.Z. 01:37, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


You are listed as involved here. Dyskolos 18:11, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Unofficial policy[edit]

You requested further information relating to the behaviour of Wikipedia admins towards people who self-identify as pedophiles. All members who have done this have been indefinitely blocked. Other members who identify as pedophiles elsewhere have not been blocked.

There was some debate after Fred Bauder and Jimbo decked a few peds:


This was probably a contributing factor to the banning of notorious "problem editor", Jim Burton. Any following accounts that edit in similar patterns are now widely suspected to be pedophile sympathisers, and many have been banned for such reasons, or for largely unsupported socking allegations.

If you would like deeper insight, please provide an e mail.

Dyskolos 07:47, 6 October 2007 (UTC)


I don't know what it means that "this template is clearly trying to look like an official thing." I also do not understand what your notion of "improving" is. You have "improved" a relatively straightforward statement to a horrendously lawyeresque and ridiculous text that no-one in their right mind could possibly want to use. If that is your aim, you did a good job.

In the recommended usage (see the Usage section), editors using the template sign it. That implies that they endorse any opinions expressed therein, and it is silly then to change the text to make these editors look like they are gutless, attempting to escape responsibility for their edits by hiding behind weasel words and some unidentified supermajority, in the face of which they are helpless. So that is what I meant by "If you don't like it, just don't use it". If you don't endorse the text as it is, don't use that text. If you do endorse it, use it if you feel it is appropriate.

What you are doing here is similar to someone who does not agree with the verifiability criterion changing the text of {{unreferencedsection}} by adding complicated sentences about how some people feel that claims should be referenced, and that, unfortunately, they are in the majority, etcetera. We know that you don't agree with the RD guidelines, on which you've spent more than 10% of your edits, but by taking that out on this template, you create the inescapable impression that you are making a point, never mind if doing so is disruptive.  --Lambiam 18:47, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

I reverted my changes now, and made another change. a.z. 19:57, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. I consider your latest change an improvement.  --Lambiam 22:31, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Good :) A.Z. 23:21, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Just to inform you, in case you did not know already[edit]

Be more careful about not promoting pedophilia. Even if you say that you are not a pedophile, consistently showing that you have pro-pedophile viewpoints is dangerous. You must not only say that you are not a pedophile, but you must also not show that you are a supporter of pro-pedophile activism. For a precedent, Jim Burton never did say that he was was a supporter of pro-pedophile activism, but was indefblocked for "a pattern of promoting pedophilia." Even if it is true, the fact is that saying "adult-child sex does not harm minors" is very contrarian and will be interpreted as POV-pushing, if not by me or other members, at least by Jimbo Wales. You seem to be a good contributor, and I think that Wikipedia would be harmed if you were banned, so I hope you take this advice well, and at least try to work with the societal consensus in order to avoid being blocked by Jimbo or some other admin. --A 02:07, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks a lot for your concern with me and your advice. I feel I should do something about all of this, such as suggesting that there be a written guideline saying what people can and can not say, so they can avoid being banned, or asking Jimbo on his talk page what he thinks of my edits (or asking other administrators, and non-administrators). I personally think it would be utterly unfair for me to be banned for any edits like those I made during my recent period of involvement with pedophilia-related articles. I am afraid of being banned, though. Saying that someone is a "POV pusher", by the way, seems to have been, most of the times I have seen this, a demonization. a.z. 02:43, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I would appreciate input from others on this. a.z. 02:45, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

This is a quote from Jimbo Wales.

And I think the serious policy issue that should come out of this is not about where we should draw the line, but about what we should do in cases like this while we are deciding where the line should be. It is important to monitor the fact that POV pushers (in this case pedophiles) will work hard to create 'facts on the ground' that abuse our default openness and trust. I do not think I can emphasize this enough: this is not about 'where to draw the line' but rather 'what to do while we are working on figuring that out'. Deletion is absolutely appropriate in this case to prevent POV pushers from setting the default assumption that we have to have 80% support (or whatever the bogus vote count of the day is thought to be, since We Do Not Vote) just to delete their nonsense.--Jimbo Wales 02:02, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

In this case, Jimbo was saying some other things that I find outrageous (I do not think that people who like lolicon are automatically pedophiles) but he also made accusations of pedophilia and POV-pushing.--A 02:49, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

To say that people who like lolicon are automatically pedophiles is like saying that people who like yaoi are automatically male homosexuals, while many heterosexual girls like it. a.z. 03:00, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

A suggestion: perhaps you may find this useful. I never used it before, so I do not know how well it works.--A 03:02, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I have used it after my failed RfA. I was thinking of starting another one. a.z. 03:03, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
A.Z. The simplest way to avoid picking up a block is to adhere closer to WP:SOAP and WP:NOT. We don't need to know your personal opinions on paedophilia, as discussing them on Wikipedia does not improve the encyclopaedia. In short, if you keep your own counsel on controversial subjects there there is no way others can misinterpret those. If you stick to discussing sourced content, rather than personal opinion, you should be just fine Rockpocket 04:08, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your input, Rockpocket. People always talk about their personal opinions on many subjects on Wikipedia. Some people even make declarations of bias (see Eloquence's user page on meta).
If no one were allowed to give any personal opinion on controversial subjects, I would be OK with not talking about my personal opinions as well, but that is not the case.
Although I would accept it, I would think that it would be a bad policy not to allow people to talk about their personal opinions. One reason for that is that I believe it's important that Wikipedia editors be a community. I feel it's important for the encyclopedia that editors get to know each other better.
Getting to know each other better could even directly help in content disputes. Not always a rational discussion focusing on the subject of an article is the best way to resolve them. I think that some times it may be more useful and effective to find out what personal motivations make the other editor feel that their version is better, so we can talk about those motivations, and the editor may realize that the reason why they want to add something to an article is not to help the encyclopedia. A.Z. 22:41, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't necessarily disagree with you, A.Z. I'm just saying that if you keep you personal opinion about non-wiki issues to yourself, there is no way anyone could reasonably accuse you of being "pro" or "anti" anything. When the issue is a contentious one like child abuse, it may be in your best interests to insulate yourself from the possible consequences. The best edits, IMO, are the ones you read without having any idea of the agenda or opinion of the person that make them. Some people feel the need to extol their position on everything. That is up to them. Rockpocket 00:21, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

re: format in the RfD discussion[edit]

Good evening. I have reverted the change you made to the formatting of one discussion in the RfD page. Deletion discussions are deliberately standardized on bulleted lists. This serves several purposes. First, it makes tracing the attribution of the comments easier because you invariably have one signature per bullet. (You can use other indentation within the bullet or <br>s to break up a long comment but it's important to keep that one-signature per bullet relationship.) Second, it makes it much easier for subsequent readers to keep track of who is responding to which comment. If I indent a comment with one bullet, I can be assumed to have read the full discussion to date but I'm responding to the original nomination. On the other hand, if I use two bullets, I'm explicitly responding to the prior bullet. Remember that it's easy for you to track because you're an active participant in the discussion - but deletion discussions have to be tracable by lots of other readers (especially including the closing admin).

I also removed the sub-headers that you added to that particular discussion. Headers are used in deletion discussions to delineate the various deletion discussions. When you added the sub-headings (and in particular when you titled a sub-heading with the link Flat earth, it created the impression that there was a malformed nomination. Sub-headings would work fine if the deletion discussion were being conducted in isolation but all of our deletion discussions are conducted on shared pages (or are transcluded together so they display as if on a shared page). Sub-headings create a great deal of confusion in the XfD discussions.

I tried hard not to change the meaning or attribution when converting the format back. If I made a mistake, especially in the assignment of your comments and my assumptions about what comments you were responding to, please correct it. Thanks. Rossami (talk) 07:00, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks a lot for all the work and such a complete explanation! A.Z. 23:20, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

One more thing[edit]

I don't know if you are really 19 and from Brazil. It baffles me that you add cite tags to the article when it is common knowledge that the public is going bonkers about pediophilia. See this Google search. Really going to bed, I have 5 hours to sleep, get ready and out. Jeeny (talk) 05:30, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

It isn't common knowledge to me. I would like to understand more what is going on in the US and in other countries regarding this issue. I do know people are worried about child abusers, and there has been a reaction, but I would like to learn more. I think there shouldn't be only one sentence on Wikipedia about the unpopularity of pro-pedophile activism and about the reaction to it. I think there should be an article about it: a referenced article without unprecise words, saying what is going on, what laws are being enacted, what the media say, what the people think, etc. A.Z. 05:37, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
I saw your link now. You think the public is going bonkers about pedophilia in Brazil? We aren't. There is barely anything about it in the paper. I read the Folha de São Paulo every day, and Veja (magazine) every week. I also read news on the Internet, so I'm not someone uninformed. Just ask any Brazilian friend of yours, if you don't believe me. A.Z. 05:42, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
See this link. The word pedophilia was used in Brazil's biggest newspaper four times in the month of September, 2007. One instance was about Madeleine McCann, and the other three instances were about pedophilia on Orkut. A.Z. 05:47, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
I should add that, even if it were common knowledge that, in the US, the public is going bonkers about pedophilia, this wouldn't mean that an article's introduction should say that "the public" is going bonkers about pedophilia, without specifying that the information is about the American public. A.Z. 05:50, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

This subject, as well as editors are being watched by out-side agencies re:pro-pediophia on Wikipedia. I can't find the link right now, but you could end up being blocked by editing these articles as much as you have. Also, since you say you are not uninformed, I do not understand your questions or surprise. Cheers. Jeeny (talk) 04:13, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Jeeny, I don't know exactly to what questions and surprise you are referring. I often make questions and am surprised, about a lot of things. I pointed out that I am not uninformed as a response to what appeared to me to be an accusation that I am not Brazilian. Your link to Google was interpreted to me as "look, if you were really Brazilian, you would know about the unpopularity of pedophilia, because it is so unpopular in Brazil as well".
Please, find "the link". Although it seems to be a link that I would not like to have on my userpage, it seems also crucial for me to understand what you are referring to.
By the way, I know pedophilia is unpopular in many places. I think that sentence on the article just isn't helping anyone. There should be more precise information. Instead of saying "it's unpopular to consider this a valid movement", one can say things such as "The state of Texas allows for people found guilty of child sexual abuse to be executed since [year]. This was a response to [whatever happened that caused this]". Of course that last information is not unpopularity of regarding the movement as valid. For such information to be properly referenced, I think there should have been a poll asking people if they think that it is OK to consider pro-pedophile activism to be a valid movement.
And, please, Jeeny, don't come to my talk page to say "You could end up being blocked by editing these articles as much as you have. I have a link, actually, but I lost it. Bye." If you want to talk about Jimbo, about other administrators, about people who were banned, that's fine, but the way you phrased it just scared me. Cheers. A.Z. 04:18, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
See your email. Jeeny (talk) 02:35, 13 October 2007 (UTC) PS: I'm sorry I scared you, that was not my intent. Jeeny (talk)
"This subject, as well as editors are being watched by out-side agencies... you could end up being blocked by editing these articles as much as you have." Jeeny, do you realize what you're saying? So outside agencies (and some banned editors) hold more power then active editors here? Certainly looks like it the way almost everyone who's opposed Squeak's POV pushing has been indef-blocked.
As much as I'd like to stop the POV pushing on both sides, I won't come near these articles w/ my account for fear of retribution, both on and off site (and IRL). 00:12, 15 October 2007 (UTC)


I would like Dyskolos's talk page to be unprotected, so I can post that they were a good editor and that they will be missed, and that they were acting in good faith and their block was not due to trying to push a POV nor due to disruption, but just because they were using a proxy. A.Z. 04:49, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I would like my own pony and a small island. ((1 == 2) ? (('Stop') : ('Go')) 05:05, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I'd give both as presents to you, if I could. A.Z. 05:56, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
The first two words in the revised block log read: "pro-pedophilia troll." I'm not sure how you could mistake that for "good editor," etc. Your note, in fact, is so far fetched it, in itself may be suspected of being a provocation. Request denied. El_C 07:39, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I hadn't seen the block log. Someone dares to write "pro-pedophilia troll" and you say I am the one making provocations! You block someone you have a personal feud with, and I'm the one making provocations! A.Z. 02:09, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I have no personal feud with him, or anyone. Take it to the admin who issued the block. You should really pay more attention. El_C 03:06, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

MfD nomination of Wikipedia:Users' noticeboard[edit]

Wikipedia:Users' noticeboard, a page you created, has been nominated for deletion. Your opinions on the matter are welcome; please participate in the discussion by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Users' noticeboard and please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~). You are free to edit the content of Wikipedia:Users' noticeboard during the discussion but should not remove the miscellany for deletion template from the top of the page; such removal will not end the deletion discussion. Thank you. Into The Fray T/C 21:34, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Not only have you totally diverted the topic from the query you had but if any other input is needed on this issue it can only come from admins as only they can actually look to see if the material is oversighted, SqueakBox 21:49, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Good job![edit]

Thanks for all your work at Child sexual abuse. It looks better! Photouploaded 14:14, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks! You're welcome! A.Z. 20:11, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
I actually thought I'd spend about twenty minutes adding links to the sources, but it turns out I spent three hours! I sort of became addicted to adding links. When I finished it, it was 5 AM. A.Z. 23:19, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Pro-pedophile activism[edit]

Hey, just droppping you a note that I volunteered to mediate this case. It looks like everyone's willing to work out a solution, and I look forward to working with you. I've noticed the case has been open for a bit, so I just wanted to ask you to weigh in when necessary. Thanks. justice 21:30, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm already talking with justice on this page. A.Z. 00:12, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Request for information about Brazil[edit]

An editor at the age of consent world map has requested definitive referenced information on the Brazilian age of consent. Can you be of assistance? --Ssbohio 06:01, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I have been looking for that myself. I just found this:

Se a vítima não sofreu influência de ordem moral capaz de modificar sua personalidade, o delito do Art. 218 do CP de 1940 não se configura [11]

If the victim has not been influenced morally in a way that could have modified their personality, the crime in Article 218 of the Penal Code of 1940 is not configured.

The crime is called corrupção de menores, corruption of minors, and it's not to have sex with someone younger than 18 and older than 14. It is "to corrupt, or facilitate the corruption of, a person between the ages of 14 and 18 by engaging in sexual acts or persuading such a person to witness such acts", [12] which means, I think, that you can corrupt someone older than 14 and younger than 18 in other ways, and you can have sex with them without corrupting them. For it to be a crime, there needs to be sex and corruption. A.Z. 06:25, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I made a comment on the image talk page. A.Z. 06:28, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
I found out that I quoted above is just one of two understandings of the Penal Code article by different Justice Courts (state appelate courts). The one I mentioned above is from the Justice Court of São Paulo (state). According to the same website that I linked to above, the Justice Court of Minas Gerais disagrees, and thinks that having sex with someone between 14-18 is a crime regardless of whether the person has been corrupted or not. A.Z. 06:32, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Deleted discussion[edit]

For some reason you deleted a long thread from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Pedophilia Article Watch#More discussion.[13] I've restored it. If there was a reason for deleting it to begin with and if you think it should be deleted again then please explain why. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 18:36, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

The discussion was duplicated: discussion 1, discussion 2. A.Z. 02:22, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
The second link doesn't go to the intended section because there were two sections with the same name. Check the second section named "More discussion". A.Z. 02:27, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't see what you're pointing to, but in any case please be careful in the future. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 16:10, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
That thread which I removed was not originally there. It was part of a different section on the same page. There have been some problems with the page (see the section "Missing sections"), and the thread had been duplicated. Please, check the current page and the page as it was before I removed the thread. Choose one of the posts which I removed, then search for the same post on the page, and you'll see that it appears twice. A.Z. 20:15, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Other usernames[edit]

Have you edited this site using other usernames? MusingsOfAPrivateNature 23:01, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I have made a few edits using IPs before I created this account, and I made a few edits using anonymous IPs after I created this account, but they were mostly posts on talk pages, so, when I realized I hadn't logged in, I signed them using this account. Other than that, I have edited this site using only one other registered account besides A.Z., for a single purpose during a short period of time last year. A.Z. 23:05, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Was that other account "Wiki brah?" MOASPN 02:30, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
No. You thought that was me just because we're from the same city? A.Z. 03:22, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

re: title notability[edit]

There should be source to say that a title or title phrase is notable. I had tagged fact to the first sentence but tag was removed. Otherwise which its like floating a new phrase, which is OR. I tried for phrase def ref, but could not find a proper one. Before decribing in article, title's notability and scope should be specified accurately. gl. Lara_bran 06:58, 21 October 2007 (UTC)


Why have you been removing a section on "collateral appeal" from the Appeal article without any proper explanation? You have described it as "vandalism" but that is not at all apparent from the content you have removed. It appears that the user who made the edits put their username in by accident, but that is far from being vandalism WP:Assume good faith. If you remove substantive content of this kind in the future action may have to be taken to prevent you doing so. Please discuss this particular edit (if you wish to defend it) on the articles talk page. Francis Davey 17:04, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

I hadn't seen that the user had added anything besides their username. Please, stop threatening your colleagues. We're a collaborative project, which is incompatible with threats like that. "Action" should only be used in extreme cases, unsolvable by other means. A.Z. 17:12, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Its rare for me to "threaten colleagues", just what exactly have you in mind? I tend to assume good faith, but its hard to do when someone does a repeat revert - that suggests that they haven't properly looked at an edit they are reverting. It is clear, from the evidence, that you did not do this and so a warning that indiscriminate edits are not tolerated on wikipedia is entirely appropriate. Note that we get many new users here who act in a very uncontrolled way to start with. Eventually they settle down and become reasonable citizens or are blocked/removed/sent away. In my view, firm action at the outset can often set people on the right course. Moral: check before you revert, check very carefully before you do a second revert. Francis Davey 17:20, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
It was a silly mistake that anyone could have made. This was absolutely not serious at all. You shouldn't even have thought of the possibility of me being blocked for something so most incredibly silly. Yes, I haven't properly looked at an edit when reverting, so what? You're going to block people for being distracted? I didn't even consider that the user could have added something else other than their usernames, which was obviously a mistake. It may even be inappropriate for you to tell me to be more careful, since the large majority of my edits didn't turn out to be mistakes like those. Some people will sometimes be distracted, some people will sometimes not pay attention to all details, some people will be a bit impulsive sometimes, and this is all perfectly normal and expected. This is a collaborative project, so you have collaborated and reverted my mistake. This is just how things are supposed to work. Wikipedia functioned perfectly. A.Z. 17:27, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Brazil oil company stubs[edit]

Hi, Thank you for your contributions to Brazilian energy related articles. However can you please add some categories and the proper stub categories to new articles. If you are Portuguese speaking I can understand why you may not be able to write fuller articles but please at least categorize it thanks ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ "Talk"? 20:50, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

You're welcome. I'll see what I can do. A.Z. 20:51, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

OK see Brazilian Oil Agency. You may want to create a new category if they are government oil departments. I think it is notable but try to fill it in a bit more e.g when was it set up etc? ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ "Talk"? 20:53, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

All your contributions to English wikipedia are warmly appreciated but try to at least add the structure needed to expand them by other editors. Thankyou! ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ "Talk"? 20:56, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestions. I'll do my best to add the articles to categories, and to categorize the stubs, but I think I'll keep creating stubs for now, with more information perhaps. I would like all these links to be blue soon. A.Z. 21:46, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Your commentary[edit]

No, rudeness would have been suggesting that the POV the editor included indicated something about their attitudes towards sex with minors. There is no such thing as rudeness when commenting on content. An edit has no feelings. And I don't really want to hear what you have to say about it. VanTucky Talk 04:15, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Is that all you can say? What is the point? I already said that I find your opinion superfluous in this matter. If you really I think I should be sanctioned in some way, take it to AIV or something. But don't come to me without a consensus from my peers that what I did was unacceptable. VanTucky Talk 04:23, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm not mad at you, but I don't understand what the point of that little display was. VanTucky Talk 04:25, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Request for mediation[edit]

A request for mediation has been filed with the Mediation Committee that lists you as a party. The Mediation Committee requires that all parties listed in a mediation must be notified of the mediation. Please review the request at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Pro-pedophile activism, and indicate whether you agree or disagree to mediation. If you are unfamiliar with mediation on Wikipedia, please refer to Wikipedia:Mediation. Please note there is a seven-day time limit on all parties responding to the request with their agreement or disagreement to mediation. Thanks, Daniel 07:55, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

It's now a deletion review[edit]

You already had a hint that this would happen, but I'm letting you know (if you don't already know), as well as others that took part in the the deletion debate for the article Adult-child sex, that it is now a deletion review, as seen in this link. I felt that you may want to lend your voice about this topic in its deletion review as well. More on what may happen concerning this topic is discussed here. After reading that, I'm sure that I won't have to tell you to watch for it being put up for deletion again, if this deletion review doesn't come out as Overturn and delete. Flyer22 20:42, 23 October 2007 (UTC)


Sorry, I didn't see that the links were actually referred to the articles on brazilian courts. I apologize... I undid my change to the article. Thx! Limongi 02:39, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Request for mediation accepted[edit]

Exquisite-folder5.png A Request for Mediation to which you were are a party has been accepted.
You can find more information on the case subpage, Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Pro-pedophile activism.
For the Mediation Committee, Daniel 04:17, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
This message delivered by MediationBot, an automated bot account operated by the Mediation Committee to perform case management.
If you have questions about this bot, please contact the Mediation Committee directly.

Formal Mediation for the Pro-Pedophile Activism Article[edit]

I'm not sure what happened, but your name is currently crossed out more than once on the Talk Page of the Mediation Page. Are you still participating, or are you no longer interested? I'm a bit confused, since the same thing seems to have happened to Jeeny. ~ Homologeo 07:26, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

No, I really want to participate. My name is uncrossed now. A.Z. 23:15, 28 October 2007 (UTC)


Don't let VanTucky get to you. He seems to get agitated at little things and then writes without contemplating what will come out of his words. He and I went at it for a bit. Good luck. Noles1984 15:08, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. A.Z. 23:15, 28 October 2007 (UTC)


Dear A.Z., I see that you have recently posted on Friday's talk page that you felt he issued a personal attack against you. I have also been subject to Friday's incivility and personal attacks. Did you know that in his RfA he received supporting votes which were contingent on an increase in civility? I see that he has not lived up to this. As such, I have started an attempt to have Friday recalled as an admin. You can post here and weigh in if you feel this is appropriate . Bstone 19:21, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


Hello AZ, I'd like for you to have my email so we can chat outside of wikipedia. There are certain things I want to say to, but can not do that here. If possible send one today, or whenever you have time. Put something like "wikipedia" in the subject line so I know it is you. Here's my email: Thanks. Fighting for Justice 21:16, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

re term or phrase[edit]

FYI, i had searched "adult-child sex" -wikipedia. This phrase looked quite ok. But i have no idea of activism etc, if that is not a notable phrase, then dont define it. But no definition does not mean article should not exist at all since it is encyclopedia, not dictionary. There can exist articles on anything notable. Thanks. Lara_bran 05:35, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Since you are main author of that article, i have a suggestion for you. Lead section of that article should be expanded, and lead should have some 2 or 3 paragraphs. It should summarize all below section titles, see WP:LEAD. gl. Lara_bran 05:39, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Discussion regarding pedophile activism[edit]

Discussion regarding pedophile activism should be by email directly to the arbitration committee at Fred Bauder 03:39, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Comment on Jeeny[edit]

I personally think this block is completely ridiculous, as per my comment on Jeeny's page. But as you quoted from the blocking policy, it also says "A user may be blocked when his or her conduct severely disrupts the project....persistent gross incivility...." Which I do NOT see "persistent" incivility.. But the block never should have happened. - Rjd0060 04:48, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

ANI Notice[edit]

Hello A.Z.. This message is being sent to inform you that there currently is a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue that you may be involved with. You are free to comment at the discussion, but please remember to keep your comments within the bounds of the civility and "no personal attack" policies. Thank you.

Tiptoety 05:19, 28 October 2007 (UTC)


Barnstar of Diligence.png The Barnstar of Diligence
For all your hard work with helping other users at the Reference desk.--U.S.A.U.S.A.U.S.A. 17:53, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll put it on my userpage, along with my bearnstar! A.Z. 17:56, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

And written quite a few articles[edit]

Editors Barnstar.png The Editor's Barnstar
For already creating 22 articles.--U.S.A.U.S.A.U.S.A. 18:04, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks!!! A.Z. 18:06, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Did you have something to say to me?[edit]

I don't see why you would want or need to fiddle with the formatting on someone else's talk page. If you have a message for me, then leave a message. If you just want to let me know that you're watching my talk page and to draw some attention to yourself, please don't. I don't need a 'you have a new message' bar for a non-message. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:45, 28 October 2007 (UTC)


Rosetta Barnstar.png The Rosetta Barnstar
For doing well in learning the english language. Congratulations!!!--U.S.A.U.S.A.U.S.A. 23:03, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Yay! Thanks so much, U.S.A.U.S.A.U.S.A., for all the barnstars! A.Z. 23:10, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Regarding your comments on Jimbo Wales' talk page[edit]

Hi again A.Z.. I'm a little worried that some of your comments to and about Jimbo Wales may get you into trouble. On this response from Jimbo, he said your critism was transparently trolling. I think it would be good to review Wikipedia:What is a troll? and drop the matter. I'm just giving you a heads up that users who troll by Wikipedia's definition get blocked from editing. You're an excellent editor with so much tallent to offer to the project. You getting blocked is the very last thing I would want to happen. Good luck.--U.S.A.U.S.A.U.S.A. 03:13, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi. Thanks a lot for caring and for the appreciation of my work and the compliments and the desire for me not to be blocked. I was actually worried that someone could see that and believe that I was trolling. I hope Jimbo apologizes for saying that I was trolling. I will apologize for calling him a dictator. A.Z. 03:31, 29 October 2007 (UTC)


Having reviewed your contributions, I have decided to block you. You have made extensive problematic edits to pedophilia-related articles, including this creation and [14] which amount to pedophilia advocacy, and continue to this day. You have also engaged in ruleslawyering and arguing hard against blocks of pro-pedophilia editors, including Dyskolos. You may appeal this block privately to arbcom-l. Dmcdevit·t 03:40, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

As an outside, third party I question the legitimacy of this block. Bstone 18:02, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Bstone. I think it would be more helpful if you said the reasons why the block is illegitimate. A.Z. 00:35, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I've reviewed this block and believe that it is justified for the reasons given. In addition, the editor has also made numerous postings that appear aimed at inflaming disputes in unhelpful ways. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:25, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
We will agree to disagree. The knee-jerk blocking is becoming endemic. Bstone 23:56, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I totally disagree with the block. The article on adult-child sex and the section are encyclopedic. The article has been nominated for deletion and survived. There was a deletion review and most people thoght the closing admin made the correct decision. That section that you linked to is currently on the article Rind et al, by the way. So I deny the accusations of advocacy of anything. I added a large part of the criticism of pedophilia to the article Adult-child sex, and have expressed numerous times my desire for Wikipedia to have as much criticism as possible. I personally would want to read all the criticism out there. I had the idea to create the article because I couldn't find anywhere on Wikipedia the discussion on whether adult-child sex was OK or not.

Yes, I argued hard against Dyskolos block. I think it wasn't disruptive.

I was sad to know that you agree with the block, Will Beback. A.Z. 00:32, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I never intended to inflame any dispute that I can remember of. I agree that sometimes I post things far from being the most productive at the time. Sometimes I get angry. Could you link to specific posts by me, so I can see what exactly you're referring to? A.Z. 00:46, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with Bstone here - this is not funny anymore. Blocks such as this need more legitimate justification that what is being stated. If there are other reasons for this block, then it would look less suspicious to simply state them outright, then to carry out all sentencing in secret. The legitimacy of this block is very suspect, and I will inquire into it when I have the time. For now, I recommend for A.Z. to appeal this block, and I hope another admin will see the folly in blocking this editor. ~ Homologeo 00:34, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I have sent an e-mail to the ArbCom. A.Z. 02:31, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Its unfortunate its come to this, A.Z., but you can't say you haven't been warned. Personally, I don't agree with (what I consider to be) a rather hysterical response to editors who don't tow the paedophilia is bad line, but the fact is that there is little community tolerance for that type editor. Rightly or wrongly, thats how it works. Time and time again, A.Z. you have maneuvered yourself into discussions and debates that appear pointy in the extreme. Not only that, but you simply refuse to let the point go, to the extent that most consider it trolling (cf. your abortive RfA, the circular discussion about the Ref Desk guidelines, the Administrator abuse article fiasco). It doesn't really matter if that isn't your intention, because that is how it comes across. This sort of contrarian debate might be tolerated from extremely constructive contributors, but your contributions to the encyclopaedia are dwarfed by meta discussion. Arbcom may see things differently, but I think the events of the last few days suggest that Wikipedia-of-the-near-future may not be the best place for you. Somewhere like Wikiversity - where discussion for the sake of it is positively welcomed - might be a better fit. Rockpocket 03:00, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I was starting to contribute more to the encyclopedia. A.Z. 03:36, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that hadn't gone unnoticed. Perhaps ArbCom will consider that trend on review. Rockpocket 03:49, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
AZ, please keep us updated here as to the progress of your case. Like I said, I am an uninterested third party who, after reviewing the facts, emphatically disagrees with the knee-jerk blocking. I will keep a keen eye on your case. Bstone 03:07, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
My e-mail is being held until the list moderator can review it for approval. A.Z. 03:37, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

What on earth?[edit]

As an uninvolved editor, I see this block as very capricious and inappropriate. This creation does give undue weight to one side of an issue, but that is certainly not a punishable offense. I really don't see anything wrong with edits like these -- I found it slightly confusing (let's not forget that AZ's English isn't perfect), but it represents conflicting sides of an issue reasonably, if not perfectly, keeping in mind that balance is measured in terms of the article as a whole and not by section.

Editors are legitimately blocked for disruption, not for letting another editor fill in an alternative POV to balance out a sentence. If AZ had aggressively edit warred to, say, remove representation of other viewpoints, then it might be reason for a warning/temporary block, and potentially an indefinite block if the behavior was persistent, but that didn't happen. Another open discussion like this one probably wouldn't have been a bad idea. A warning would be defensible. An indef block in this case just seems complete outlandish for a well-established editor. I realize that a substantial chunk of AZ's editing has been in pedophilia-related articles, but only a handful have been questionable, and those are not indefensible by any means. I really don't see how anyone not vehemently opposed to every opinion AZ has could think that he's doing more harm than good. — xDanielx T/C 05:03, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

xDanielx, trust me when I say that you're not the only one baffled, confused, and a bit ashamed by this block. ~ Homologeo 06:10, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I think it is a shame to see A.Z. unable to edit at all but I can certainly understand why he was indefinitely blocked and, given the block, endorse that he shouldn't be editing the pedophile articles in the way he has been, SqueakBox 06:13, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Could you point to any bad edits by me to pedophile articles? A.Z. 06:21, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Creation of adult-child sex and subverting its rfd is one example, supporting pedophilia in the talk pages and calling for me to be blocked for editing in a way you didn't like, removing an NPOV tag repeatedly without trying to resolve the dispute, these come off the top of my head, SqueakBox 06:26, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Could you link to diffs (besides the created article, which AfD and DRV supported)? You're not exactly in a great position to give a neutral summary of AZ's behavior, considering the history of disputes. And as A.Z. has made 6+ thousand edits, I reckon you'll need more than a few. — xDanielx T/C 06:34, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually I don't need to do anything whatsoever, neither justify the block by someone else or defend my own behaviour but given your comments I felt I wanted to say what I think, and that is that. I do think A.Z. came unstuck on the pedophile articles which he has not been editing for long but began to doing in a very aggresivve manner by calling for me to be blocked to resolve a content dispute. My real point is that it is a shame A.Z. can't edit at all when it is his pedophile editing that has led to the block, SqueakBox 06:39, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough, I just wanted to be sure that no one assumed you were an uninvolved editor. — xDanielx T/C 06:47, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Neither Homologeo nor I. And my comments were primarily directed at A.Z., SqueakBox 06:49, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
The more I review this block and the circumstances surrounding it, the more I hang I head in shame to call myself an editor on this project. Let this block be undone. Bstone 08:51, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. This is absolutely ludicrous. -Wooty [Woot?] [Spam! Spam! Wonderful spam!] 10:11, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
If you want your opinion and arguments concerning this block to be taken into consideration, send an e-mail message to  --Lambiam 11:29, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Archived again[edit]

As an outside, third party I question the legitimacy of this block. Bstone 18:02, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Bstone. I think it would be more helpful if you said the reasons why the block is illegitimate. A.Z. 00:35, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I've reviewed this block and believe that it is justified for the reasons given. In addition, the editor has also made numerous postings that appear aimed at inflaming disputes in unhelpful ways. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:25, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
We will agree to disagree. The knee-jerk blocking is becoming endemic. Bstone 23:56, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I totally disagree with the block. The article on adult-child sex and the section are encyclopedic. The article has been nominated for deletion and survived. There was a deletion review and most people thoght the closing admin made the correct decision. That section that you linked to is currently on the article Rind et al, by the way. So I deny the accusations of advocacy of anything. I added a large part of the criticism of pedophilia to the article Adult-child sex, and have expressed numerous times my desire for Wikipedia to have as much criticism as possible. I personally would want to read all the criticism out there. I had the idea to create the article because I couldn't find anywhere on Wikipedia the discussion on whether adult-child sex was OK or not.

Yes, I argued hard against Dyskolos block. I think it wasn't disruptive.

I was sad to know that you agree with the block, Will Beback. A.Z. 00:32, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I never intended to inflame any dispute that I can remember of. I agree that sometimes I post things far from being the most productive at the time. Sometimes I get angry. Could you link to specific posts by me, so I can see what exactly you're referring to? A.Z. 00:46, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with Bstone here - this is not funny anymore. Blocks such as this need more legitimate justification that what is being stated. If there are other reasons for this block, then it would look less suspicious to simply state them outright, then to carry out all sentencing in secret. The legitimacy of this block is very suspect, and I will inquire into it when I have the time. For now, I recommend for A.Z. to appeal this block, and I hope another admin will see the folly in blocking this editor. ~ Homologeo 00:34, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I have sent an e-mail to the ArbCom. A.Z. 02:31, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Its unfortunate its come to this, A.Z., but you can't say you haven't been warned. Personally, I don't agree with (what I consider to be) a rather hysterical response to editors who don't tow the paedophilia is bad line, but the fact is that there is little community tolerance for that type editor. Rightly or wrongly, thats how it works. Time and time again, A.Z. you have maneuvered yourself into discussions and debates that appear pointy in the extreme. Not only that, but you simply refuse to let the point go, to the extent that most consider it trolling (cf. your abortive RfA, the circular discussion about the Ref Desk guidelines, the Administrator abuse article fiasco). It doesn't really matter if that isn't your intention, because that is how it comes across. This sort of contrarian debate might be tolerated from extremely constructive contributors, but your contributions to the encyclopaedia are dwarfed by meta discussion. Arbcom may see things differently, but I think the events of the last few days suggest that Wikipedia-of-the-near-future may not be the best place for you. Somewhere like Wikiversity - where discussion for the sake of it is positively welcomed - might be a better fit. Rockpocket 03:00, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I was starting to contribute more to the encyclopedia. A.Z. 03:36, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that hadn't gone unnoticed. Perhaps ArbCom will consider that trend on review. Rockpocket 03:49, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
AZ, please keep us updated here as to the progress of your case. Like I said, I am an uninterested third party who, after reviewing the facts, emphatically disagrees with the knee-jerk blocking. I will keep a keen eye on your case. Bstone 03:07, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
My e-mail is being held until the list moderator can review it for approval. A.Z. 03:37, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

What on earth?[edit]

As an uninvolved editor, I see this block as very capricious and inappropriate. This creation does give undue weight to one side of an issue, but that is certainly not a punishable offense. I really don't see anything wrong with edits like these -- I found it slightly confusing (let's not forget that AZ's English isn't perfect), but it represents conflicting sides of an issue reasonably, if not perfectly, keeping in mind that balance is measured in terms of the article as a whole and not by section.

Editors are legitimately blocked for disruption, not for letting another editor fill in an alternative POV to balance out a sentence. If AZ had aggressively edit warred to, say, remove representation of other viewpoints, then it might be reason for a warning/temporary block, and potentially an indefinite block if the behavior was persistent, but that didn't happen. Another open discussion like this one probably wouldn't have been a bad idea. A warning would be defensible. An indef block in this case just seems complete outlandish for a well-established editor. I realize that a substantial chunk of AZ's editing has been in pedophilia-related articles, but only a handful have been questionable, and those are not indefensible by any means. I really don't see how anyone not vehemently opposed to every opinion AZ has could think that he's doing more harm than good. — xDanielx T/C 05:03, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

xDanielx, trust me when I say that you're not the only one baffled, confused, and a bit ashamed by this block. ~ Homologeo 06:10, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I think it is a shame to see A.Z. unable to edit at all but I can certainly understand why he was indefinitely blocked and, given the block, endorse that he shouldn't be editing the pedophile articles in the way he has been, SqueakBox 06:13, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Could you point to any bad edits by me to pedophile articles? A.Z. 06:21, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Creation of adult-child sex and subverting its rfd is one example, supporting pedophilia in the talk pages and calling for me to be blocked for editing in a way you didn't like, removing an NPOV tag repeatedly without trying to resolve the dispute, these come off the top of my head, SqueakBox 06:26, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Could you link to diffs (besides the created article, which AfD and DRV supported)? You're not exactly in a great position to give a neutral summary of AZ's behavior, considering the history of disputes. And as A.Z. has made 6+ thousand edits, I reckon you'll need more than a few. — xDanielx T/C 06:34, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually I don't need to do anything whatsoever, neither justify the block by someone else or defend my own behaviour but given your comments I felt I wanted to say what I think, and that is that. I do think A.Z. came unstuck on the pedophile articles which he has not been editing for long but began to doing in a very aggresivve manner by calling for me to be blocked to resolve a content dispute. My real point is that it is a shame A.Z. can't edit at all when it is his pedophile editing that has led to the block, SqueakBox 06:39, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough, I just wanted to be sure that no one assumed you were an uninvolved editor. — xDanielx T/C 06:47, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Neither Homologeo nor I. And my comments were primarily directed at A.Z., SqueakBox 06:49, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
The more I review this block and the circumstances surrounding it, the more I hang I head in shame to call myself an editor on this project. Let this block be undone. Bstone 08:51, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. This is absolutely ludicrous. -Wooty [Woot?] [Spam! Spam! Wonderful spam!] 10:11, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
If you want your opinion and arguments concerning this block to be taken into consideration, send an e-mail message to  --Lambiam 11:29, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

  • I have removed some debate to the archive; Dmcdevit is a checkuser and there are arbitration cases underpinning this, also some hints of foundation issues. It would be better to wait for the outcome of A.Z.'s (necessarily) private discussions with the arbitrators rather than engage in speculation and drama. Your patience is appreciated. Guy (Help!) 19:47, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
First of all, I am getting a bit sick and tired of hearing the excuse of "Pedophilia Advocacy" dragged out every time an edit is made which is slightly to the left of center on an article related to child sexuality or child sexual abuse. These are content disputes, which should be resolved by consensus. What seems to be happening is that Arbcom is abusing indefinite blocks to selectively pick off editors in these content disputes, leaving the articles to be entirely edited by people with a certain obvious bias, facts notwithstanding. If this continues, all these articles should be tagged with a disclaimer, much like we do with the articles on Perpetual Motion Machines. Enrico Dirac 21:11, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I would request that you hold off the drama until A.Z. has had time to discuss this with the arbitrators. Drama is unlikely to help and may well make matters worse. I am sure that each case is viewed strictyl on its merits, but that, too, is between A.Z. and the arbitrators. There is a reaosn why these things tend to be done privately, which is that the very subject tends to excite a degree of hysteria which is not conducive to rational debate. Better to click Special:Random a few times and find some typos to fix, come back in a few days and see what transpires. That's my view, anyway. I think in the long run that calm is better than a baying mob, for or against the editor in question. Guy (Help!) 21:33, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

JzG, it's great that you're trying to minimize drama, but archiving very recent, largely pertinent discussions on someone else's talk page in order to conceal opinions isn't the way to go. Out banning policy outlines the conditions under which a user may be banned, and "some admin makes the decision against community consensus" isn't one of them. Regular administrative bans are expected to . If you want to rewrite policy such that regular administrative bans are presumed to be valid regardless of what consensus says, and can only be overridden by a special, private arbcom procedure, then you're welcome to propose it, though my feeling is that not many will agree with you.

The policy is that bans imposed by the community may be appealed to the Arbitration Committee. Bans which the community is opposed to may also be reversed by the arbcom, of course, but arbcom is not needed to reverse bans which the community finds inappropriate, unless arbcom specifically forbids an unban. If arbcom doesn't offer a decisive stand on it, which they typically do not in cases like these, then the decision is the community's, not Dmcdevit's alone.

So, please don't attempt to silence such a discussion, as it is perfectly in line with our community's policies (and IMO rightly so). I really do appreciate your well-intended attempts to cut back on unnecessary drama, but while there's no reason to get hyped up about common bans of malintended vandals or trolls, an indef ban of a long-time contributor who many consider to be in good standing certainly justifies a discussion, which may or may not influence the eventual outcome. — xDanielx T/C 00:52, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

As I noted in the original message above, which people seem to have ignored, appeals should be directed to ArbCom. This is an action on behalf of ArbCom, and I find the lack of assumptions of good faith here appalling. Have you noticed that this isn't exactly a community discussion, and that it isn't exactly providing a forum likely to result in an unblocking. Rather, it's being used for soapboxing, and isn't productive. That's not a dismissal of criticism; I think it's clear here that several people are drawing conclusions without seeking to get the necessary background; it's fine with me if you disagree in the end, but if you truly want to do something about it, email arbcom with your concerns instead of going on about it here. ArbCom hasn't had a single mail about it. Dmcdevit·t 01:29, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
In what way is it an "action on behalf of ArbCom"? Per the banning policy, the Arbitration Committee can use a ban as a remedy usually following a request for arbitration. That doesn't mean that a former arbcom member has God status to issue bans freely with or without consensus. If you as much as had a discussion with arbcom (which is still far short of an RFAR), you didn't mention it in your notice here on in the block summary. I find it discomforting that you're not willing to spend more than 10 minutes explaining an indefinite ban of an editor who has no doubt invested hundreds, perhaps thousands of hours to the project. — xDanielx T/C 02:28, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
This is the latest of about two dozen blocks made on behalf of Arbcom with either some vague muttering about Pedophilia Advocacy or no explanation given, all of editors who have taken issue with Wikipedia's slant on certain topics. I think a lot of editors are unwilling to engage Arbcom over this because of the perception that Arbcom is a non-transparent secretive process to which the community isn't privy. I think there needs to be an open public debate over these blocks, and their appropriateness. Arbcom isn't such a forum. Enrico Dirac 02:36, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I share the same concerns -- they're a reasonable group of people, but it doesn't help that the banning admin is part of the private email group who will no doubt belittle any concerns that are raised against his action (as any involved person with an opinion likely would). I assume that's why our banning policy is that bans can be applied following public ArbCom proceedings rather than private decisions made by one or more ArbCom members. — xDanielx T/C 02:51, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I've also been following this situation closely, and when I tried to bring it to a public forum, I was shot down and referred to ArbCom. I have had no reply yet, other than the automated "held for moderation" email. So to say "ArbCom hasn't had a single mail about it." is absolutely false. If this is indeed policy, as I was told, then this does need to be discussed publicly. Keeping this to a list of a dozen or so users only serves to inflame the situation by allowing for speculation, and does not provide any measure of increased enlightenment or trust.

You want to end speculation? Then nip it at the bud. If there are foundation issues at hand (as I suspected and mentioned in both my email and my AN/I post), then make it clear. If information on how this policy is written is being withheld because this may lead to an office action, tell us. If this is being mulled as a potential benevolent dictator decision by Jimbo Wales, then say so. I think if anything, saying that "people are drawing conclusions without seeking to get the necessary background" , is the exact opposite of what's happening here. People do want the background, but none is made available--and that was exactly the point I made on my email and AN/I post. Whatever forum may be appropriate for discussing a policy to "induce a chilling effect on pro-pedophilia advocacy" by blocking users, that forum must be made public. If not, then the reasons for a private forum must be made explicit. Anything else, and you risk a snowball effect of people hearing about secrecy and cabal at the highest echelons of Wikipedia that invariably risks spiraling out of control and driving people away from the project.

We're all volunteers here, and to the extent that we're made aware of extenuating circumstances, we'll accept that a policy or decision, for better or for worse, was adopted with the best of intentions. I can't say the same of a policy or decision where no one one outside of a handful witnessed the deliberations, let alone had a say.--Dali-Llama 05:13, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

My opinion[edit]

Having reviewed your editing, I have to say that your ideas on child sexual abuse are rather naive. You also have a habit of contesting these and other opinions on pages not related to articles. None of this I see as intrinsically blockable, in fact, for me, it just counts as character. Your editing is what should count towards your blocking, though, and in this department, I see no error. You seem to make intelligent and well-balanced contributions to the articles themselves, without a bias towards pedophiliac feelings or actions.

The reasons given for the block are spurious. The first link showed the creation of an article that has gone on to be endorsed and built upon by the community, surviving deletion review. The second showed that you added peer reviewed study information to an article designed to view adult-child sex outside of its current conceptualisation. Although I agree with the child sexual abuse theories, there must also be articles that describe the core entity as opposed to one, albeit dominant theory. In fact, I see recent your editing as honourable, and would like to see you unblocked. It appears that the administrator involved is waging war against community consensus as well as diversity and freedom of information.

Good luck. GrooV 05:13, 1 November 2007 (UTC)