User talk:Abd/Archive 13

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Archive 12 Archive 13 Archive 14

What's going on?

I am not understanding your behavior here, Abd. You were banned from contributing to the Cold Fusion article and then you edited there a few times. I've seen this discussion go on over the past few months, and thought the ban was clear. I have no connection to the matter, but just would like to understand your point of view on this. If it isn't too much trouble, could you explain your viewpoint? - Arcayne (cast a spell) 18:35, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I do explain it above. I had no intention to violate or "push" the ban. Some months ago, when ScienceApologist was ArbComm-banned from fringe science articles, he made a series of spelling correction edits to articles covered by the ban. Except for one editor, nobody complained, no admin blocked SA for these. The editor who complained, complained repeatedly at Arbitration Enforcement about the minor edits, and each complaint was closed, with increasing noises that this was disruptive. Clearly, the community did not consider harmless edits to be disruptive. However, I realized that such edits were a problem, because they complicated ban enforcement. So I asked an arbitrator, Carcharoth, about self-reversion as a means for a banned editor to make such harmless edits without complicating ban enforcement.[1] There is a long related tradition that edits which violate policy, if left in place, but which are immediately reverted by the editor, will not ordinarily result in sanction. Carcharoth thought it was a good idea,[2] and I suggested it to ScienceApologist, who rejected it, a rejection which was probably due to his harmless edits being intended, in fact, to complicate enforcement. The idea was mentioned in several places, including before ArbComm, and nobody made negative noises about it -- except perhaps for SA and some friends of his, who thought the proposal preposterous, because these were harmless edits anyway, why should he revert at all?
See Arbitration/Requests, where I made the suggestion, then [3], and a followup at [4]. As well, see [Arbitration/Requests, where this was again mentioned. permanent link to full discussion at Arbitration/Requests. At no point was any opinion expressed that self-reverted edits would not resolve all major issues about "harmless spelling corrections." From the prior routine acceptance of such edits, and the rejection of the complaints about them at AE, I concluded that the community had no sentiment in favor of blocking for minor helpful edits, regardless of a ban. And then self-reversion was an answer to the remaining problem, the complication of ban enforcement. I see here that, now, there is different opinion being expressed and, as would be typical, I won't challenge that opinion, I will respect it pending some resolution by the community or ArbComm. And I'm not asking for that now, because, given the constellation of editors involved, I see no possibility to resolve the issues that have been raised by my ban and block at a low level; therefore, unless WMC recuses, I'm not even putting up an unblock template, because the fuss isn't worth less than 24 more hours of editing time lost. I may change my mind on that.
I will, however, note this comment by Verbal, who has rather loudly complained about my minor edit. Apparently it depends on whose ox is being gored. That just a hint at what's been going on, so that what ensues will not come as a total surprise.
To repeat about the current incident: because of the history above, I honestly did not expect to be blocked for that edit. Now that I've seen the reaction, I will not edit those two pages again until my block is lifted or the community makes some decision allowing harmless self-reverted edits by banned editors. --Abd (talk) 21:10, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Re the diff you link to. In what way did your edit improve the project? I assumed good faith with your edit in restoring it, and then realised that was a mistake as your edit made the problem worse, if anything. SA was banned from nearly every page in his interest area, you have been banned from one for a very short time for continuing disruption. SA is still improving the project. I didn't complain "loudly" and I'm getting a bit bored by your baiting. You were banned from one page and edited that page while banned. Take me to arbcom if you want. Verbal chat 21:24, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
SA was banned from many pages and, knowing he was banned, edited many of them. You apparently thought this was fine. I certainly wasn't banned for trying to fix links, and I'd made link errors before, the method being used at Cold fusion is a tad arcane. My edit didn't make the problem worse, it merely did not fix it. Two pieces of general advice: do not revert back in the edit of a banned user unless you are sure it's okay. Harmless here, but another day it might be a problem. And be careful about what you ask for, you might get it. --Abd (talk) 21:30, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
The SA situation was very different to your situation. I have done nothing to warrant sanction (unlike you) and have nothing to worry about from arbcom. Stop making ridiculous threats. You are banned from editing two pages. That means no edits to either page. Simple. You also have several methods by which you can suggest edits without touching the page. I find it hilarious that you are criticising me for assuming you knew what you were doing, and extending good faith. Please stop. Verbal chat 05:45, 16 June 2009 (UTC)


Abd, it might be for the best and your own piece of mind if you simply took all the pages involved in your endorsed topic ban off your watchlist, so you're not tempted to touch them further. It would be a shame if a talented editor ended up heading for indef ban territory, and no one sane wants that. rootology (C)(T) 18:36, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Not a problem, Rootology, thanks for the suggestion, though. Don't worry about indef, I'm not. I developed the procedure I used here for the ScienceApologist case, and cleared it with an arbitrator, it was mentioned on ScienceApologist talk, which was heavily watched at that time, and before ArbComm, and it's been used by another banned editor with no problem. I was quite surprised to see the block this morning, but any fuss about this wasn't raised by me, nor do I support it. --Abd (talk) 21:16, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Ban: reminder

There seems to be some confusion amongst some parties about the terms and applicability of the ban I imposed on you and H [5]. Please note that whilst the ban was, in my opinion, broadly in line with community consensus now and then it was nonetheless imposed by me. Nor has it been superceeded by any subsequent community ban.

Your edits today, and comments such as I wasn't banned by ArbComm, but by WMC, originally, and then by a community discussion, closed by User:Heimstern, a neutral administrator. I've been assuming that Heimstern was the maintaining administrator for this ban, not WMC suggest that you don't understand the terms of the ban, although I thought my original wording was clear enough. I suggest that in order to avoid more pain you seek clarification should you be in doubt.

You should note that the end of the ban was not clearly specified. Indeed, you should assume it remains in operation until I have reviewed it. As of now, I haven't seen anything in the way of constructive edits that would encourage me to lift it William M. Connolley (talk) 20:28, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, WMC. As you know, I questioned your right to issue a ban on my editing of Cold fusion because of involvement in dispute with me, not only long-term, but over that article, pending when you banned me, about your editing of the article under protection. I had thought you might welcome the opportunity to recuse yourself, given that the community had determined a ban, but it appears that you don't agree. That's fine, you have the right to do that. But you do realize, I hope, the consequences, and I'm probably not the one to explain them to you, you have a long history of disregarding my advice. Thanks for being clear, it helps. --Abd (talk) 21:20, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
You will know that I have rejected you assertions of involvement [6]. Nothing has changed since William M. Connolley (talk)
Yes, I know that. Wasn't it clear that I know that? Your rejection on your Talk page made that clear, your action blocking me today made that clear, it was even more clear when you did not respond to evidence that showed, clearly, why I believed that what did wasn't a ban violation. And it was clear when you asserted your continued control over the page ban, even though the closing admin at AN/I asserted, on request (not from me!) that it was a "one month" ban. It's abundantly, redundantly clear, undeniably so. And now you have confirmed it again. You want your thumb on this user. Right? --Abd (talk) 01:10, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Wrong William M. Connolley (talk) 07:43, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay, that was wrong. You don't want to have to bother dealing with this user, and the fastest way to do that is to declare a ban without explanation, or push a block button. You'd rather not have your thumb on the user, you'd prefer the user to be gone, or to behave the way you want. --Abd (talk) 13:33, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Response to Kim

I have removed your most recent post at the cold fusion mediation. There was nothing inherently disruptive about the material you presented, and I would not be surprised or upset if you were to reuse it in other parts of the mediation. However, to post 5kb of rambling text after I had specifically asked participants to state their opinions plainly and clearly (which Kim did) is disruptive. Please make an effort to allow the other involved editors to quickly weigh in on such occasions. Thank you. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 22:22, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

No problem. It's there in history if it's needed. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 23:36, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

You still don't get it

Abd, if you are still waiting for standards to be applied equally here, you obviously don't get it. On Wikipedia it's not what you do, it's who you know, and more importantly, whose POV you sympathize with. SA can make spelling edits on pages where he's banned, and his allies will support him and criticize those who will block him; when you do something similar, those same editors will block you for it. That's just the way Wikipedia works, and why it should not be trusted for controversial topics. If you can't learn that lesson, then your stay here will be short.

So forget about cold fusion, even if it's somewhat weighted to the skeptical (which I tend to think it is, though I'm far too uninformed on the topic to make a definitive statement one way or another). It's really not that important in the grand scheme of things. You tried to fix a problem, you failed, now move on and don't give them the rope to hang you. ATren (talk) 22:52, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, ATren. I do get it. I'm not waiting for anything. I'm acting to change the situation you describe. I can't lose, ATren. Please meditate on my favorite page: WP:DGAF. If the situation you describe can't be changed, then I should stop wasting my time with a project that is doomed to fail. The community will make the decision, not me, not you, and not, for example, William M. Connolley. What I'm doing is making sure that it is the commmunity that is deciding, not just a few editors who already had axes to grind, putting together a show that then drags along a few basically neutral editors who don't realize what's going on, and that the community has the information on which to make that decision, and that it has the means to make the decision. There is only one way to do this at this point, given the power of the faction of editors involved; my long-term concepts for Wikipedia would distribute this and make it much more accessible, but it looks to me like the present situation isn't hopeless. Because there is still ArbComm, and it has taken clear positions on what is happening here. --Abd (talk) 01:17, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
-- Serenity Prayer
*Dan T.* (talk) 02:17, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
And God, if I can't have any of that, a friend in the cabal will do. :-) ATren (talk) 03:03, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
What happens as a cabal begins to unravel is that the less extreme members smell the coffee and back down, seeing the writing on the wall, to blend my metaphors. What it takes to do this, generally, is a carefully facilitated deliberative environment, which is a lot of work, and that's one reason why it doesn't happen here much. In the long run, though, it's necessary, for that work can generate true and stable consensus, whereas the quick fixes, especially blocks and bans, just postpone and perpetuate conflicts. Consensus is an essential element in the theory behind Wikipedia, for the only way to judge NPOV, in the end, is through consensus, it is impossible for an individual to authoritatively judge NPOV, unless, somehow, the individual has managed to avoid forming any points of view, which is more often associated with ignorance and incapacity to understand than with an actual and balanced understanding.
There are individuals who have points of view, but who also understand NPOV and who are therefore able to help form real consensus, because they can understand all sides, though not as well as those attached to a side, usually. Short of that, editors with a POV, if they are civil and willing to participate in real communication, remain quite valuable. Because of my own POV, I may not detect unnecessary POV imbalance that favors my POV, I may easily imagine that the text is neutral; thus, to find stable NPOV text, I must trust editors who have different points of view, that there is some reasonable basis for their objection. And then we work together to find something that will enjoy maximized consensus. And this can always be open to improvement.
If we want a truly neutral project, we must seek maximized consensus. That doesn't mean compromising basic values in order to appease extremists, but it does mean that we don't immediately assume that a minority opinion is to be rejected out of hand. It means that as the same time as we are firm against corruption of our reliability and verifiability policies, we are open and welcoming to editors with divergent points of view, and we invite them to join in our process. If we have documented the rationale behind article text-as-it-is, we can invite these editors to review this and its history, and to point out anything that was missed, and editors with a POV sympathetic to the new editor can help the editor understand why things are the way they are, or, alternatively, advocate changes that will, again, broaden consensus.
Until we understand the value of maximized consensus, we will continue to experience disruption over persistent conflicts. If this is not addressed, we will continue to burn out editors and administrators, we are fouling our nest, building up reservoirs of ill-will toward Wikipedia, contempt for our reliability and accuracy, and for the neutrality of our administration, and on and on, all the while believing that it's just trolls and POV-pushers who are at fault. --Abd (talk) 16:18, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

How about:

  • Keep It Simple, Stupid.
  • Keep Coming Back, It Works.
  • This Too Shall Pass.
  • Easy Does It.
  • First Things First.
  • One Edit at a Time.
  • Live in the Now.
  • Turn it Over.
  • If Consensus Seems Far Away, Who Moved?
  • We are Only as Sick as Our Secrets.
  • More Will Be Revealed.
  • No Pain, No Gain.
  • Let It Begin With Me.
  • To Keep It, You Have to Give It Away.
  • Faith is Spelled A-C-T-I-O-N.
  • Get Off The Cross, We Need the Wood.
  • Don't Take Yourself So Damned Seriously.
  • Slow But Sure.
  • Be Nice to Newcomers, One Day They May Be Your Mentor.

--Abd (talk) 02:52, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

This too shall pass... like a kidney stone. *Dan T.* (talk) 03:27, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
And won't we feel better when it does? It hurts for a little while, then it's over. --Abd (talk) 11:32, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't fully agree with Atren, but he does raise one point that you might want to ponder, so I'll amplify it: this process has thrown up the fact that you have remarkably few friends on wiki, in the sense of people prepared to speak up for your point of view. The few that have spoken somewhat for you have done so weakly and conditionally, and have been careful to restrict themselves to appearing as advocates for process. In turn, those people that have done this themselves have few friends. The contrast with SA is perhaps instructive. I believe that the fundamental reason for this is that SA made a large number of constructive edits that many people agree with, even if he fnially managed to overstep the bounds. I don't see that in your editing history William M. Connolley (talk) 09:17, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

You've missed something, Dr. Connolley. Sure, you don't see that in my history, and it is often because I do most of my work in Talk, building consensus where there has been conflict. It was happening at Cold fusion until Hipocrite began blatantly disrupting it with long-term edit warring and incivility. He knows how popular his action would be with editors like you. However, long-term, I've been quite successful, with "causes" that, at first, because of the shouting of the mob, seemed like dead horses. JzG was warned, within a day or so of my discovery of his abusive blacklistings, that he could lose his bit over this. Now, JzG was very popular; I'd say he escaped desysopping for one reason: the prior warning in the last AC hearing he faced was a general one and not directed specifically at him. Atren was right, and, again, you don't realize that I've known this since I became active on Wikipedia.
But I also know how to deal with it. If I were simply opposing a majority, disrupting process, etc., it would be one thing. But I'm actually favoring what, when it's tested, is a largely silent majority, and I've been learning to do it with minimal disruption. It only looks like a minority because those who are highly motivated to control Wikipedia to their taste show up preferentially. Your ban made that obvious. I'm not going to bother documenting it here, I'll do that later, but remember RfC/JzG 3? Two-thirds of editors commenting there opined that JzG had done nothing wrong, and approved calls for me to be banned. ArbComm ignored those calls and proceeded to the substance. JzG had violated policy, and he was admonished. Fifteen editors supported your ban, there. However, ten of those had previously voted to support a ban for me in RfC/JsG3. And of the five left, only one was an early voter. It's the mob, Dr. Connolley; the AN/I report was, like your ban itself, remarkable in being conclusion-oriented rather than evidence-oriented.
So what about my friends? Why didn't they show up? Well, for starters, I asked that the discussion there be shut down, because with that much snow so quickly, there is no way that the matter could be resolved short of ArbComm. If we are going there anyway, why debate the matter in a forum that can only inflame the situation? I also asked supporters in email to not join the fray. Why haven't I put up an unblock template? My sense is that probably I'd have been unblocked if I did; you had a chance to make that decision yourself, if you had wished to avoid further process. But you are utterly confident that you will be sustained.
I'm not so certain. However, I'm a long-time veteran of organizational conflicts, and as with other pioneers -- and I am a pioneer -- sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. It could seem that I'm staking a lot on a small thing, but that's what I did with JzG. Those small things are wedges that open up an issue and make it clear. Blacklisting is not to be used to control content. ArbComm doesn't make content decisions, and it may take a long time before that is a reality instead of an ideal. But, little by little, we are getting there.
I didn't put up an unblock template because wasting the time of even one administrator to gain a few hours of editing for me personally wasn't a positive trade, and the time to put up an effective argument that didn't compromise the situation in some way wasn't available. With a longer block, you'd see a template.
JzG blacklisted and The NET blacklisting was the most blatantly POV, it was lifted during the RfAr/Abd and JzG. is tougher, because it's meta blacklisted, and meta process is more impenetrable, so it's necessary to do whitelisting here first; when that is done, there will be, I predict, sufficient basis that the global blacklisting will be lifted, I simply want it to be an easy decision there before I raise it again. A series of links have been whitelisted, and that process should soon be complete. Out of many pages, with one page, sufficient appearance of copyright violation appeared that I withdrew it. I didn't cherry-pick the links to be the best, rather I presented them in alphabetical order by author from the bibliography of the article. I don't fight battles that I expect I will lose, Dr. Connolley. But it often looks like I will, or even that I have, to people like you.
As to people like me, you are aware, I believe, that I have a firm ADHD diagnosis. One of the classic characteristics of people with ADHD is that we fail to sense, adequately, informal social pressure. You reacted to my edit to Cold fusion with an assumption that it was provocative, and that is, in fact, quite a normal response. Any "normal person" would have "known" that this would cause a disruption. I'm not normal. I didn't know it. I was not doing what SA did, testing the limits of the ban. I simply saw the change, started to make it, remembered that I was banned before I saved the edit, remembered all the clear precedent with ScienceApologist that the community -- including you, Dr. Connolley -- dislikes sanctioning harmless edits even if they do technically violate a ban, remembered my own argument that such edits do cause a problem with ban enforcement, but also my suggested solution that had been very publicly proposed with no opposition being expressed, remembered that I'd suggested this to another banned editor and he had successfully used it (though with a more complex edit than I'd have suggested), and, so, quite naively, story of my life, I made the edit with a self-revert. It wasn't done to test your resolve or to make a point, it was done, quite simply and straightly, as an effort to improve the article in a small way.
People like me, historically, have been condemned to death for "corrupting the youth," for heresy, imprisoned, exiled, and murdered. I'm not complaining. I understand why we are so unpopular, sometimes, and even sympathize with it, but, long-term, we prevail, those of us who didn't get stuck on some truly monstrous cause, as some of us do. We are the change agents in the social organism; if we are allowed to run the place, we will typically wreck it. We are, properly, advisors, not executives, and societies which reject us even in that role, historically, die, because they cannot adapt to changing conditions. Balance, Dr. Connolley. It takes patience and tolerance, and administrators who burn out, as you have, lose those qualities, assuming they ever had them, and, for that reason, until we have mechanisms in place to rescue them and value their lengthy service and put it to better use, desysopping becomes necessary, and we will see more of it, I predict. JzG has completely stopped editing. Maybe he will be back, I certainly hope so, but I also see why that might be quite difficult for him. When he started to burn out, he became grossly uncivil. When that was sanctioned, his frustration was channeled into direct action while involved.
You've been quite uncivil, but not in such a gross way, probably because, for a long time, you've acted with the tools and, because you've picked targets that were in a minority as to POV, you could get away with it for a time. By definition, these editors have relatively few friends, except among those who recognize the problem with suppression of minorities.
This is my Talk page, Dr. Connolley, you can expect frank opinion here. What I've described or claimed here will mostly be documented with clarity, sufficient to punch through the noise, as I did with JzG. You had very ample warning, this won't take the five months that it took for me to address the JzG problem. You see, I do respond to criticism. I didn't drag this dispute all over Wikipedia, as I did, to some degree, with JzG, hoping that one of his friends would notice it and give him some good advice. I made one attempt to recruit someone who might intervene and warn you, publicly or privately, and you saw the result with TenOfAllTrades. I didn't take this to a noticeboard, others did anyway. I acted simply and directly with respect to your declaration of ban, causing minimal disruption except as others decided to disrupt. I conclude, Dr. Connolley, that, like JzG, you don't have real friends here. Real friends, when they see me doing something they think improper or unskillful, give me advice, in public or in private, and I listen. Much focus was placed in RfC/JzG 3 over me, but I had extensive off-wiki cooperation in putting that together, I don't act alone, and I'm not alone now. You have done a great deal of damage, and it's time for it to stop. --Abd (talk) 11:32, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
building consensus where there has been conflict - I don't think many other people will recognise that description. My sense is that probably I'd have been unblocked if I did... you are utterly confident that you will be sustained no (IMO) and no. people with ADHD is that we fail to sense, adequately, informal social pressure - don't understand. There was an explictly written ban. I don't see where informal social pressure comes in. You reacted to my edit to Cold fusion with an assumption that it was provocative - no; I reacted to it as a simple obvious violation of the ban. People like me, historically, have been condemned to death for "corrupting the youth," - sounds like the Galileo defence to me William M. Connolley (talk) 13:09, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
They won't see it for sure if they only look at evidence presented by those who very much oppose actual consensus. The issue about historical treatment of Galileo, etc., isn't a defense. Socrates was actually corrupting the youth, by asking questions that exposed the obvious. Gandhi actually did break the British salt laws. However, many editors at Wikipedia have assumed that WP:IAR was for everyone, to their wiki-doom. This is useless, here, WMC, unless you want to continue posturing. If you are right, then ArbComm will surely see that, and my intention is for this to be quite efficient. Because of the forces arrayed, it could get messy, but that's intrinsic here, given the unresolved situation (the big one, not my ban, which is trivial by comparison) and I think it likely that ArbComm will take some effective steps toward long-term resolution. The issues are much bigger than any single user or administrator, nor was prior ArbComm ruling adequate to fully address it; there is now clearer evidence to present. --Abd (talk) 13:40, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
I should explain one point in detail. "There was an explicitly written ban." Sure, and I'd explicitly accepted it, even saying that I wouldn't edit the articles. But WP:IAR is based on an understanding that no written, highly specified rule can apply to all situations; this is the common-law principle of Public policy. I saw self-reverted edits, not disruptive in themselves, as not violating a ban, and because they don't leave a trace in the article, only in history, they weren't "editing the article." Where does ADHD come in? A normal person would know that some editors would consider the edits a violation anyway because of the political situation, even though those same editors obviously did not consider, some of them, SA's spelling corrections to be ban violations (along with many other editors not politically aligned with SA or even on the other side, as I came to be). In other words, I assumed, habitually, and quite wrongly, that the community response would be rational. Literally, Dr. Connolley, I was shocked that you blocked me. You can say over and over, as others have said, that I shouldn't have been shocked. But I was. It was not expected. Believe it or don't. On the other hand, once I was blocked, I could certainly understand why, both from a neutral perspective (neutral editors would be likely, absent prior clarifying discussion, to differ on this) and from a political perspective (this already inclined to prefer my absence from the project will tend to agree with it, no matter what reasons are presented), I was blocked. I am not stupid, just inattentive. That's the "Attention deficit" part. Had I anticipated that I'd be blocked, I would not have made the edit, period. --Abd (talk) 13:51, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
But WP:IAR is based on... - if you're invoking IAR then you're outside established law; you shouldn't be surprised by what happens subsequently. Or rather, you can be surprised, but it won't help (you've said, above that I'm not complaining, though whether in this context I'm not sure). I assumed, habitually, and quite wrongly, that the community response would be rational - I believe that the response has been rational. We can disagree on this, if you like. But you should then be aware that your and our judgement of what is rational is different. unless you want to continue posturing - you get an allowance of a certain measure of impoliteness, in recognition of the fact that blockee's are often unhappy with their situation. But I don't care to be accused of posturing; if you continue in that vein I'll drop down to minimal-interaction and cease offering oh-so-helpful advice. BTW, notice that blocks are (all together now) preventative not punitive. Had your response to the block been "oops, I won't do that again" I would have unblocked you. I still could William M. Connolley (talk) 15:29, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
WMC, you invoked IAR when asked to justify your ban. So, indeed, you should not be surprised at what ensues. I did not invoke IAR to justify a disruptive action, but only to point out that rigid, narrow interpretations of rules, where technical compliance is paramount and the substance is ignored, are generally rejected by the community. I was shocked, but, on reflection, not surprised, i.e, post-facto I certainly understood it, perhaps even better than you, since I'm compiling evidence on the overall situation. I'm telling you what I thought. The report above about what I thought is accurate, and no amount of post-facto rationalization changes that. You may cease offering advice, I did not ask for your advice, and I don't trust it; I definitely would not want to follow your path. I recognize the danger I'm placed in from what I do, and consider what I do to be an essential element in our overall process, worth the risk. The community will agree, or not. ArbComm will decide if I'm, overall, useful or not.
I did write that I wouldn't do that again, yesterday, it had no effect on your response. I'm off the block now, what, exactly, are you suggesting you could do? Block log annotation? Why?
The status quo is that you have banned me and claim continued jurisdiction over the ban, and you have denied involvement. The ban has been confirmed by a community process with a neutral close. There are possible arbitratable issues here, but no need to arbitrate unless an actual challenge is raised, and I have deliberately avoided raising any community-level challenge. That's why I did not appeal to AN/I over your ban, and why I did not even put up an unblock template over your block. I am banned from editing Cold fusion and the talk page thereof, and the length of the ban doesn't need to be determined now. I did not deliberately violate the ban, but that's moot now, unless your action comes up for review, which isn't happening at this point (well, the AN report, filed by an independent editor, is still open, I should ask for a close). I assume you have no problem with the status quo, so, unless you have something useful to accomplish here, how about going away for now? --Abd (talk) 15:59, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
unless you have something useful to accomplish here - that raises the question of what is useful. I shall intrude on your patience this one time with non-essentials, and after that return only if essential, leaving misrepresentations uncorrected, unless you invite me otherwise. I did write that I wouldn't do that again, yesterday, it had no effect on your response - alas, I did not see that, there is rather a lot of to-and-fro here. I would suggest that, should this unhappy situation ever re-arise, you make any such statement more prominent. WMC, you invoked IAR when asked to justify your ban - an easy mistake to make, but nonetheless a mistake. You are probably thinking of [7]. That was merely a (successful) attempt to deflect a fishing question by pointing out what the user concerned purported to believe. Subsequently [8] I was clearer, though perhaps still not a model of clarity, when I said I'm using common sense. I might make up a process if you forced me to. So far, no-one has forced me to William M. Connolley (talk) 18:04, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

There's a definite goose and gander situation at play when Abd and Science Apologist are treated differently for their technical violations of bans. *Dan T.* (talk) 17:22, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Actually, Abd and ScienceApologist were treated the same way at bottom. Both chose to challenge their bans by violating their letter while, arguably, upholding their spirit. In both cases, sanctions were ultimately applied for gaming the system. Granted, it took ScienceApologist a little longer to reach that point than it did Abd. If you're the sort of person whose first reaction on stubbing his toe is to shout: "Ow... the Cabal put another rock in my way!", then I suppose you see cabalism at play. If you're a cynic, then perhaps you understand that no form of adjudication in human history has been free of inconsistency and capriciousness, so it seems foolish to expect Wikipedia's ad hoc processes to prove exceptional. If you're a pragmatist, then maybe you think that we actually learned something from the handling of ScienceApologist - namely, that we didn't do him or ourselves any favors by cutting him so much slack - and that we are applying those lessons and learning from past experience. If you're the sort who believes that our mission is to create a serious, respectable reference work rather than a Utopian, egalitarian social community, then perhaps you view the handling of Abd and ScienceApologist as reasonably congruent with the site's goals. MastCell Talk 17:58, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
MastCell, you have drastically misunderstood the process that led to SA's site ban. He was site banned because he was deliberately, as shown by a pattern of edits as well as declared intention, trying to disrupt Arbitration enforcement. As part of that process, I suggested self-reversion as a method for him to make those harmless edits without complicating ban enforcement. He rejected that vehemently, and that rejection was, in fact, an additional clue as to his disruptive intent and may have added weight to the arguments for his site ban.
I made one edit with one character removed, and self-reverted, acknowledging the ban and therefore explicitly respecting it, whether I agree with it or not. This is not remotely similar. SA wasn't blocked for making spelling corrections. I was. Enough. This is to be documented at this point, not debated except in limited fora, and even there, less is more. DTobias, please don't poke the bears. They can make quite a ruckus.
As a result of the discussion at AN, another editor who had used self-reversion to effectively and nondisruptively make a suggested edit to an article under a ban, is now prohibited from doing that. It was working, and mindless literalism is now preventing it. Because of the flap over my edit -- entirely unexpected, based on history -- I'm not doing it again unless the community finds a consensus permitting it, or ArbComm does, it might have a chance to do it incidentally. --Abd (talk) 18:18, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
To be very explicit, your edits here are now considered harassment, MastCell. Please don't edit here unless you have an essential notice to provide. The cause of this: your description above of my action yesterday as a "choice to challenge" my ban. I have repeatedly stated that I did not believe that the null pair of edits were a violation, nor did I expect that they would be taken as such. To make your assertion, you must hold the opinion that I'm lying. I don't welcome that on my Talk page, so retract it or go away. --Abd (talk) 18:22, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying that you're lying. I'm describing the way your actions may appear to some outside observers. That appearance may not match your intentions. Such situations are not uncommon, particularly in online environments, and bear no specific implications toward your character. However, I have no wish to annoy, harass, or insult you, so I will post no further here. You remain welcome on my talk page if you have anything you'd like to discuss. MastCell Talk 20:51, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, MastCell. Look, you did state the action as a "choice" to "challenge," which indicates intention. I think you should actually apologize for that. Absolutely, my actions may appear as a challenge, that's not controversial. I get a tad suspicious, though, when the appearance is claimed to be the reality, over and over, as it has been. Sure, it could look like I intended to challenge, if one doesn't look too carefully. Wouldn't it be odd to challenge it by acknowledging it with a self-reversion? I'd say these editors haven't thought the matter all the way through. SA didn't self-revert, you can be sure, and he rather violently rejected the suggestion because, indeed, his motivation, his "choice," was apparently to challenge. If I'd wanted to challenge the ban, I'd simply have made a harmless spelling correction, as he did. That would be much more of a challenge. Back to your original comment, SA was not upholding the spirit of the ban, because his declared intention was to disrupt and discredit it. I had no such intention, nor did I repeat the actions. If WMC had unblocked quickly, once I made a reasonable claim to have not intended to violate the ban, backed with expressed support for the idea from an arbitrator, and all the other evidence showing plausibility for my claim of belief that it wouldn't be a problem, no problem with his block, in itself. Until the policy is established, if it is, it's a bit of a risk, but I still say that if someone is blocked for ban violation, and the edit turns out to be actually harmless, and it was self-reverted (or even simply harmless), the block should be lifted until and unless it appears that the actions are provocative and intended to disrupt enforcement. Further, if an admin enforcing a ban thinks self-reverted edits are a problem, they can warn. Normally, the editor has traded a good edit for the time of an admin to warn them. Not a bad trade, it should be quick. However, self-reversion really should solve the enforcement problem, because it's effectively self-enforcing. (I have a problem with WMC being the one to make that block decision, but that's an entirely different matter.) --Abd (talk) 22:34, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
It wasn't my intent to question your honesty or personal integrity. To the extent that my comment came across that way, I apologize unreservedly. I think we agree that your actions "may appear as a challenge", which is what I was getting at. If you feel that I'm making a superficial or careless reading, then I can accept that. I certainly don't mean to upset you - I'm just trying to explain the view from my perspective. You're free to accept it, reject it, or - if you feel I'm being unfair or just annoying - ask me to leave and not darken your talk page any further. I can accept and respect any of those responses. MastCell Talk 23:12, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
I'll take what I can get. Thanks, MastCell, have some tea. Or do you drink coffee? --Abd (talk) 23:19, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps better to draw upon a wider range of examples. It's a little unsettling to see how often one individual's name has been raised here even though he hasn't been participating in this conversation. DurovaCharge! 20:31, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

topic ban vs. page ban

Abd, "topic ban" is a very vague term that can mean anything from "don't edit page X" to "don't edit anything that remotely has anything to do with X" up to "don't even discuss about topic X". That's why, in the latest Arbcom cases, the topic ban remedies make a painfully detailed list of what is and what is not covered by "topic banned from X", and what sort of pages are included.

People are used to saying "topic ban" even for someone who is banned from one article but not from its talk page. That's basically because every article covers one topic, so for most topics a topic ban would cover only one page. I find it good that you want to correct them to clarify that they should say "page ban", but notice that some of the persons already know the extent of the ban, and they might get irritated if you keep insisting in that they type every time "banned from editing cold fusion and its talk page" instead of simply "topic ban". I humbly suggest that you ask them to use "page ban", and that you don't push them if they refuse and they want to keep using "topic ban", since that's not exactly the way to make friends with editors. Just my humble suggestion. --Enric Naval (talk) 00:11, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

If you note the contexts, people have implied that I should respect the "topic ban" and that therefore I should edit in other areas. Now, I'm not an SPA, by any means, but I have been focusing on cold fusion, and I have a lot of work remaining, which I've spent five months preparing for. Much of it doesn't involve editing the article or the talk page, but requires that I read the article and the talk page. "Topic ban" implies staying away from the whole topic, and there was some confusion at first as to whether or not this meant I couldn't participate in the mediation. I only bring up, for the most part, the topic ban/page ban distinction when it's relevant to this presumption that I'm supposed to stay away from the entire topic.
The majority of the people involved, Enric, are way beyond my worrying about making friends with them. They have actively pushed for my ban for a long time, as have you. I don't consider someone who is trying to get me excluded to be a friend, unless I have reason to know that they are doing it for my benefit, and even then I might tell them to bug off. And I don't get that here, Enric, with respect to you, that your concern is for me. No, I think you have other motives, and it's not for me to tell you what they are. Hipocrite did reveal his, once he thought he was safe, that the community would approve. I can tell you this. The community will not approve, once it becomes aware. --Abd (talk) 01:40, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
On your first paragraph: ah, but that's a different question. That's the question of several editors who have given you advice to start editing on other areas to demonstrate that you aren't only interested in cold fusion, and to learn more about NPOV and other policies and guidelines by seeing how they are applied in other areas. Myself, I have learned a lot by editing in topics that didn't interest me at all beyond getting their articles out of the sorry state in which they were. So, I also give you that advice if I haven't given it already, the advice that you spread your editing to other topics. --Enric Naval (talk) 03:11, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Enric, I have extensive editing experience here, unrelated to Cold fusion. I was also an editor, professionally, in the past. I don't think I need to establish my credentials. I would not have objected to a ban from editing the article, because my general interest is not, usually, articles directly, it is finding editorial consensus based on careful consideration of arguments and evidence, which, when there is long-term dispute, takes much more discussion than some editors like. My goal is a stable cold fusion article, which will, probably, in the end, require a series of articles, there is far too much reliably sourced material for one article, and past efforts to fork, properly, were shut down by you-know-who.
To edit an article on a science topic can take a lot more knowledge of the science than the average editor has. I cleaned up, yesterday, a bit of work that you had done on a fusion-related topic, where you had reworded a source. It was really bad, Enric, you had no idea what you were doing, making blooper after blooper. I haven't review the article to see what was there before, and your attempt to fix it may have led to improvement, especially after some review, and after review of my edits, etc.
I have now spent five months researching this field; I had the science background to generally understand the material and its significance. I can understand Shanahan, for example, though he doesn't make it easy. I see your work, and it certainly seems to be intended as helpful, but you really don't have an overall picture of what the science is and what's important. As you might recall, I tried to explain to you what "association" meant, between two different results. Instead of understanding it, you simply asserted reliance on the wording in a source, which was, as I later showed on Talk, a blatant error in that source, easily seen because it's internally contradictory, i.e. the source contradicts itself. You have never shown that you understand why experiments that correlate helium measurements with excess heat measurements are far more powerful and important than experiments which simply find helium or simply find excess heat, and the example you have insisted on in the article not only does not show association, looking at it, I'd conclude that there was no association, when the underlying data, the primary source and quite a bit of secondary source review on the topic shows the exact opposite: helium is strongly correlated with excess heat, and not at any random relationship, it's at the expected heat released when helium is formed from deuterium.
This is exactly what the 1989 DoE review claimed was missing, that kind of evidence. And the 2004 DoE review overall conclusions were reached by someone -- we don't know who -- who missed the very powerful evidence given in the review paper, and wrote conclusions that demonstrated this conclusively. It's not about disagreement over the science, in this case, it's about a conclusion that states that something is in the report they were reviewing, that isn't there, and that ignores what was there, as if it didn't exist. This summary conclusion was probably the work of a single individual. It wasn't reviewed, it may not even have been edited. Yet you insisted on this over the much stronger sourced information on excess heat - helium correlation from quite a few reliable sources. And this data hasn't been contradicted. It's been largely ignored, that's true, but the ignorance has been vanishing, there is increasingly review and peer-reviewed publication in the field, but we have a collection of editors who are strongly holding on to views they committed themselves to when it would have been more defensible. --Abd (talk) 15:51, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Outside view

Hi Abd, I've been vaguely following what's been going on here on your talk page, having added it to my watchlist awhile back when you had come to my page to make some helpful suggestions regarding a content/NPOV dispute. I don't have any involvement in the cold fusion debate, but I do think it is good that editors try to make sure that even the most controversial issues cover all sides in a way that lets readers form their own conclusions. It would nevertheless seem to me that your editing style has led to conflicts which are not tending towards resolution at this time; that does not mean you are wrong (I express no opinion on that), but nevertheless it may be counterproductive to continue editing in this topic area until things cool down a bit. Maybe take a voluntary break from the subject for a few months? Just a suggestion, feel free to take it or leave it. There's plenty of other areas of Wikipedia that need work, and the world won't end (hopefully) if the cold fusion article is less than perfect for a little while longer. —Whig (talk) 14:57, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. Right now, it's moot, I'm banned from the pages for a month. Long term, I should clarify something. Five months ago, I was totally neutral on the topic. Because of a problem I encountered with a POV blacklisting, I started paying attention to it. I read sources and eventually bought most of the major books on the topic. I invested a great deal of time becoming familiar enough with the subject that I could understand what had been happening with the article. There was one other editor who had that level of understanding of the issues, and he was topic-banned in December of 2008, for a year. A series of editors, some of whom are openly in defiance of Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Fringe science, have been suppressing and removing reliably sourced material on the basis that it's "fringe," going way beyond what would be legitimate in keeping the article balanced, while adding negative material from much weaker sources. To counter this requires a knowledge of the sources and the field, or it's quite hit-or-miss. We have had participation with the article, over the last few years, by two experts in the field, other than our editor banned last December: One is very well-known, is published and mentioned in reliable source. Not necessarily suitable as a Wikipedia editor, definitely COI, but extremely knowledgeable, he edits cold fusion papers for conference publication and for peer-reviewed publication, as is happening increasingly. He's been banned, not for disruptive editing, but for "POV-pushing" -- which, as a COI editor, he'd be expected to do. The other editor is a critic of cold fusion, who is known for a narrow criticism he's made, and has published under peer review. He is nowhere near as generally knowledgeable as the expert we banned, and he strongly pushes his POV. Both of these experts are uncivil, it's a common problem with experts and Wikipedia. But we have differential enforcement. It's a serious problem; our article is now quite warped, overall, and anyone who sees what is going on and tries to protect the article and improve it from reliable sources will run into serious opposition, as I did.
Sure, I could do something else, and I do have other interests here, big ones. But I made a major investment in this topic, which should not be wasted, so, instead, I'm pursuing dispute resolution to the next appropriate stage, which, given the depth of what I've encountered and can document, will be ArbComm; that's why I haven't contested the ban, why I asked that discussion of it be shut down though my friends had had no opportunity to comment, why I did not even put up an unblock template for a 24-hour block based on a harmless attempt to correct a typo on Cold fusion -- and a spelling correction of the same article under ban by another editor was actually taken to Arbitration Enforcement and was roundly rejected by the community as unworthy of attention. Selective enforcement is a crackerjack way to get rid of editors you don't want while trying to keep ones you like. And it has to stop, and, at this point, there is only one way. It takes time to put together an RfAr, that's the only reason for delay.
My goal, lest it concern you, is not some POV, but an informed consensus. --Abd (talk) 15:18, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I understand what you are saying and agree with your goal of improving coverage of all sides of this topic, and furthermore recognize the perceived unfairness of the situation. I doubt that ArbCom will want to be involved in overturning a temporary topic ban. You are certainly free to exhaust whatever process you think appropriate but you shouldn't expect anything to change overnight. I strongly encourage you to limit your wordiness; I know you've received this advice from other people, and you have reasons for writing the way you do, but it does not aid in efficient communication when you cannot make your points concisely. Please feel free to come to my talk page to discuss anything about this, I'm maybe someone who at least has no conflicts with you past or present and perhaps I can be helpful. —Whig (talk) 15:57, 18 June 2009 (UTC)


Listen, I am a single purpose account in that my single purpose is to bring this communities attention to Mr Salsman’s activities. If you have dealt with him as I have (minus the workplace harassment) then you know just how relentless and deceptive he is.

Salsman has a serious mental defect, and that’s not meant as a nock or low blow, he is a truly disturbed person and needs help. That’s why we banned him from the RadSafe list serve (even with his repeated attempts to get back on there). RadTek (talk) 14:40, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

This isn't about Salsman, RadTek, though you may have correctly identified a Salsman sock. Usually he doesn't drop two socks on the same article, but maybe he's changed his MO. I've very aware of Salsman, when I first became active on Wikipedia, Salsman attempted to get me blocked for edit warring against his sock and a COI IP editor. I've identified several of the socks in the past. The problem is that you have made shotgun charges, against possibly innocent editors, based on thin evidence, and not only at WP:SSP, but all over the place, and we don't allow that. Do not call an editor a sock puppet, outside of legitimate debate at WP:SSP. Do not bring outside disputes, no matter how much you might think them relevant, here, unless you are able to prove not merely truth but also necessity. We can see the edits, and if they are against consensus, they will be, on such a highly-watched article as Depleted uranium, noticed and directly addressed. I'm going to formally warn you on your Talk page; don't repeat it, or, I predict, you will be blocked. I am not an administrator, but I know how to report patent misbehavior.
I have no dog in the DU race, no opinion on the content of that article, which I have not followed.
If you aren't blocked, and wish to contribute to the DU article, you should consider that you have a COI and you should not make any controversial edits to the article, you can be blocked for it, but you can make civil and helpful comments on the article Talk page, as well as looking for non-COI editors who might help you. But be careful. And calm down. You damage your own cause by making unnecessary personal comments about Salsman. --Abd (talk) 15:18, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
For others' information: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Nrcprm2026#Report_date_June_18_2009.2C_21:29_.28UTC.29, and RadTek (talk · contribs), who filed that report but did not sign it.
Points taken, thanks. RadTek (talk) 15:41, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Known blackout of CF publishing in prominent journals.

"It is irritating to see, in discussions on this, claims that "if the research was good, it would be published by Nature (journal)," or other widely-respected journals that are known to refuse to even review papers in the field. We have reliable source on that refusal, it's well-known. Is this covered adequately in the article?" - I think that may be a valid question. What sources do you know of in this regards? --GoRight (talk) 15:35, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Okay, let's start with Hoffman, A dialogue in chemically induced nuclear effects, American Nuclear Society, 1995. Hoffman is a skeptic who is unconvinced, as of publication, that nuclear phenomena are taking place, but he does not address in detail the calorimetry work, stating that much of the work has been done by workers familiar with calorimetry and how to avoid artifacts. His book focuses on specifically nuclear effects other than excess heat. Hoffman is a very good source because he does not confuse "unconvinced" with "bogus." In other words, a genuine skeptic.

However, he states this, pp. 11-12:

The University of Utah scientist's rush for the commercial opportunity violated the moral sense of many physicists. In addition, funding for classical hot fusion was undergoing devastating funding cuts and many scientists, shattered from seeing their life's work dissipating in the funding cuts, blamed the "cold fusion" crowd. Many scientists unused to electrochemistry or low-level nuclear measurements started doing quick-and-dirty experiments. Scientists competent in these fields hurried through experiments in order to confirm or deny the initial results. In October 1989, a "by invitation only" meeting in Washington, D.C., was sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute and the National Science Foundation with the hopes of initiating a quiet dialogue between scientists that were beginning to disagree publicly via press conferences. One of the invitees, Moshe Guy, from Yale, and a Dr. Parks from the American Physical Society loudly branded this concept of a closed meeting as antithetical to science and began a campaign to prevent the NSF from participating in any future scientific meetings closed to the press. They gained much support for their position, and that very useful meeting became an oft-cited example of a bad thing perpetrated by EPRI and the NSF. Nature magazine, considered the elite scientific journal, quickly took a very strong anti position, publishing poor experiments that showed negative results while rejecting poor experiments that showed positive results. One experiment by an East Coast conglomerate of national laboratories did an electrolysis with only ten percent of the cathode covered by electrolyte. Nature published the negative result but neither the authors nor the magazine published a subsequent correction when this unmentioned electrolyte coverage condition was pointed out to them. In other experiments, results involving cathodes completely coated with impurity rather quickly after electrolysis initiation would be presented in the pages of Nature as proof nothing was happening during long periods of electrolysis. Several years had to pass before enough of the experimental difficulties could be defined sufficiently to prevent false-positive or false-negative data from being the dominant result of "cold fusion" experiments done by workers unfamiliar with palladium-hydrogen experimentation.

And he goes on to discuss Fleischmann's work, with he apparently considers careful with respect to excess heat and "unsound" with respect to nuclear measurements, which were outside Fleischmann's normal expertise. He discusses Taubes and Huizenga, covering how they covered cold fusion. I'll come back with more. --Abd (talk) 11:56, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Next, Simon, Science studies and the afterlife of cold fusion, Rutgers University Press, 2002. This text seems to be the most detailed review of the history of the affair undertaken by a relatively neutral observer, who is interested in the contrast between apparent closure in 1989-1990 and the facts of ongoing research and publication. pp 180-

In 1989 ... the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) identified cold fusion as the topic with the largest number of associated publicatins out of all scientific disciplines, but after 1990 cold fusion was nowhere to be seen on the charts of ISI's Science Watch newsletter.
The decline in publication rates is reflective of closure processes.... Rates declined as scientists stopped their experiments and abandoned the controversy in 1990, but in addition the decline reflected decisions by journal editors (such as John Maddox, then editor of Nature) to reject or stop reviewing cold fusion articles. While the decline as steep and seems indicative of a quick end to the controversy, it is important to note that the publication rate has never dropped to zero, and a small handful of articles continue to be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals each year. With these data, we see evidence of life: a positive rate of publication sustained over a number of years. Yet the rate has been in decline from peaks of over a hundred articles a year in the early 1990s to twenty-five articles in 2000. Data like these have lent support to the claims of the skeptics. Here we do not see life after death, just the dying gasp of the few remaining scientists blindly holding on to their belief in cold fusion. From another point of view, however, the publication data indicate not death or even life after death but rather research settling into a rather normal pattern for a small field. In terms of the overall ecology of science, CF research is simply finding its niche, with a few journals publishing a couple of dozen peer-reviewed papers a year. From this perspective the high rates of the early 90s become the anomaly. The media configuration of cold fusion in 1989 resulted in an unsustainable level of scientific attention that has finally died down, leaving the core group to simply get on with its research. Even though it is too soon to make a judgment on this, the publication rate may support the idea that some normalization of CF research has taken place.
The cold fusion articles that appear tend to be published by a small cluster of specialized journals....

He names Journal of Fusion Technology (a journal related to applied research in conventional nuclear fusion), the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Il Nuovo Cimento, and, to a lesser extent (as of his writing), Journal of Physical Chemistry, Physics Letters A, the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, and "a number of Japanese and Russian physics, chemistry, and engineering journals."

Note that Naturwissenschaften is a departure from this, being an old and respected multidisciplinary journal, with access to the highest quality review resources, through the Max Planck Society.

There is much more detail of high interest in Simon, it's a gold mine. He covers the alternative communication resources of the cold fusion researchers, such as the Vortex-L mailing list, where subscribers include many of the most well-known researchers in the field as well as, way back and continuing, skeptics like our own Kirk Shanahan, and Infinite Energy magazine.

Storms (2007) reports the 1989 ERAB (U.S. Department of Energy) review from the point of view of a scientist who took the report at face value and proposed research along the lines that the review had explicitly suggested. p. 12:

The proposal was rejected just as later submissions by other people were rejected. In general, rejection is based on the belief that the claims for anomalous energy and nuclear products are impossible and are based on bad science, hence not worth funding.
This "official" document has also affected the attitude of editors of many conventional scientific journals. These journals play an essential role in science, because they allow ordinary researchers to learn about and to understand what is being discovered. For some strange reason, ordinary scientists do not consider any information to be believable unless it has survived the peer review process provided by journals. Apparently, they do not consider themselves competent to make this evaluation for themselves. Consequently, when papers are rejected, most scientists ignore the information even though it might be easily available from non-reviewed sources.
Most people attempting to publish anything about the subject continue to have a similar experience, and editors sympathetic to the field have even been encouraged to quit. Even Julian Schwinger, a Nobel laureate, was so outraged by the way the APS treated his papers, he resigned in protest. An editor pays no price for rejecting a good paper, but can be severely chastised for publishing a paper considered poor by a few outspoken critics. The entire system of publication is skewed in favor of the passionate skeptic who opposes a new idea.

Storms then goes on to discuss George Miley, the editor of Fusion Technology, confirming what Simon says about Miley refusing to respond to pressure to stop publishing papers. (By the way, Miley eventually agreed to insure that at least one reviewer of each paper to be published was a hot fusion researcher, in addition to other competent reviewers, this is reported by Simon.)

As to publication rates, to flesh out what Simon wrote about frequency, you might look at the analysis by Jed Rothwell of, based on papers in the Dieter Britz database, available at --Abd (talk) 15:16, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm curious: when Hoffman (about 80 kb above) refers to "a Dr. Parks [sic] from the American Physical Society", he is presumably referring to Robert L. Park? I don't really get the focus on Nature; it's one journal, albeit a prestigious one. Surely some other journal, Science or the like, would be more than happy to scoop its competitor if a serious breakthrough was being censored? Or are all of the editors of prominent journals biased against cold fusion? Of course, it doesn't help that virtually every fringe belief in history has been promoted with the claim that it's being suppressed by a conspiracy of the scientific establishment - it's worth a free 40 points on the Crackpot Index. Even if we accept that cold fusion is truly a victim of such suppression, the boy has cried "wolf" a few hundred times too many. MastCell Talk 18:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I've written a fairly long response, but I'll put it below; for now, yes, I assume that this is Robert L. Park, of Voodoo Science fame. I checked Simon, he has the mispelling; it's not in the index, I think it didn't get checked. Publishing has gone to hell in the last thirty years, ever since I stopped working in it.... Coincidence? Well, your call! --Abd (talk) 22:46, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
This ignores the fact that we know there is on-going research being conducted within reputable organizations, SPAWAR if nothing else, and we see where they are either (a) choosing to publish for whatever reason, or (b) are able to publish at all. Do you honestly consider the SPAWAR group's work to be kook fringe, unscientific, and unworthy of publication? If not then some other force is obviously at work here to keep their research out of the anti-CF crowd's favored journals.
And there is no crying wolf here. These papers ARE being published, and in peer-reviewed journals. They just aren't the journals that some here want to consider as the only valid journals to use. Why? Only they can say for sure but I don't believe that it is a coincidence that the apparent editorial positions of those journals just happen to be aligned with the favored POV of the anti-CF proponents. --GoRight (talk) 19:03, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I just have a different (I would argue more realistic) view of editorial motivation, I guess. An editor's overriding goal is to sell copies and get people reading the journal in question. Some famously flawed research has been published in high-profile journals because of its "shock value", and because it draws people to read the journal, even if only to trash the article in question. An article convincingly describing a purported advance in cold fusion would bring a ton of readership to any journal that published it. Most editors will err on the side of publishing "provocative" or controversial findings with the rationale that, even if they are unsound, they are a useful contribution to scientific debate and discourse (recent examples include Andrew Wakefield's publication in Lancet, and Enstrom and Kabat's controversial paper on the harm(lessness) of secondhand smoke from the British Medical Journal).

Balanced against the appeal of provocative papers is the need to maintain a certain reputation for scientific rigor, without which a journal is just an expensive blog. The editor's job is, in part, to resolve the tension between those two competing interests of the journal. If cold fusion papers aren't being published, then I suspect it's because the editors reviewing them concluded that the value of pulling in readers with a controversial topic is outweighed by the lack of scientific merit in the work.

Look, I conduct research at a reputable organization. I wish all of my work would be published in Nature. But it's not. While there is obviously a human and political element to peer review, I'd feel silly blaming a conspiracy. Anyway, truly solid science will make a mark whether it's published in Nature or Naturwissenschaft or wherever. If it intrigues other scientists, and if they can replicate the claimed findings, then it will proceed. If the papers are unconvincing, or if the results can't be replicated, it will die on the vine, as do 99% of all scientific ideas. MastCell Talk 19:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't think your view is more realistic, MastCell; it's, in fact, phenomenally naive. Editors aren't primarily motivated to sell the journal, they are primarily motivated to keep their jobs and to advance to better jobs. A publisher might make a decision to publish something provocative, if an editor makes that decision, without the publisher signing off on it, it could be hazardous to the economic future of that editor. In any case, we have reliable source on the situation. You've ignored a major part of what's been reported: papers in this field are rejected without review, it's not that they can't pass review. Senior researchers who have had many papers published suddenly can't get anything through the process.
What you haven't factored for is major pressure on editors. You've wished for Nature. My guess is that, with respect to the peer review, it's just as hard to get published in Naturwissenschaften. Both are multidisciplinary journals. Both are very important to their publishers.
But this is all really irrelevant. I was asked about sources for the claim that there was suppression of publication, and I provided two reliable sources. I provided a third source which is the observation of a senior scientist working in the field, I can understand that you can readily dismiss that as victim mentality. But not the other two. And not the clear pattern in actual publication. There is a huge amount of reliable source on the general topic of the history of cold fusion, and we are using hardly any of it. There is a huge library of peer-reviewed publication, and quite a few peer-reviewed secondary sources, and they are actively removed from the article when they are asserted; and weaker sources on the skeptical side are asserted against them when they are left, or in their place.
I don't think you realize, MastCell, how little actual scientific source (i.e, peer-reviewed secondary source) there is on the skeptical side. Scientific consensus is not the "general opinion of scientists," but the shared knowledge of experts who are familiar with the state of research. There are many who would be experts, if they were familiar. Do their opinions count?
Storms makes the comment that he considered the 2004 DoE review doomed, because what was scheduled was one day to present the information. He claims that it's impossible to come to an understanding of the status of the field in one day. I'd agree. We have the individual reviewer comments from 2004, and it's clear that some of them really didn't pay attention to the material presented to them; they contradicted the facts presented, not cogently, but as if the assertions in the review paper did not exist.
I'm not at all about trying to make Wikipedia "lead" in this. We follow, and with scientific articles, we follow the balance of peer-reviewed and academic literature. MastCell, this balance strongly favors cold fusion. If I'm wrong, well, surely, if we simply proceed, incorporating in the article what is available from the strongest sources, i.e., peer-reviewed secondary sources, we'll see that. Problem is, to counter the general impression of this body of research as being positive, you'll have to synthesize rejection from the early primary sources and their conclusions. Rejection was not a scientific phenomenon, it wasn't a scientific conclusion, through normal process. It was a social phenomenon. So what do we do with this? It's a sincere question.
My personal compromise has been to continue to claim that "most scientists" reject cold fusion, even though that's not what the weight of publication shows, but I think we need to start qualifying this better. How do we know that "most scientists" still reject CF? Or do we insist that "mainstream scientific opinion" be based on actual evidence, actual samples? The 2004 DoE review is the closest thing we have to such a sample: 18 experts. Unfortunately, they are anonymous, and the editor who compiled the overall document and wrote the conclusions is anonymous, it's actually not a strong source. But it's the best we have.
Half the experts, presented with a review document and a bibliography, we don't know how much attention they paid to it, and a few clearly didn't pay much, considered, according to the summary editor, that evidence for excess heat was "convincing." The other half thought that it wasn't "conclusive."
On the question of nuclear origin for this heat, there was more skepticism. However, one-third of the reviewers thought that the evidence for a nuclear origin was somewhat convincing.
Now, to really understand this, one needs to be familiar with the field. First of all, the core claim, at the very beginning, was excess heat. There were, by 2004, an overwhelming number of confirmations of excess heat. Hoffman, writing in 1995, didn't even bother to examine excess heat evidence, he focused on the nuclear evidence; Hoffman does say that most of the research was being done by people expert in calorimetry and familiar with how to avoid artifacts. Someone who doesn't accept excess heat at this moment is probably rejecting excess heat because of the implications, not because of specific knowledgeable criticisms of the excess heat measurements. There are many easy assumptions a critic can make, and it would take much time to show how each of these assumptions might be reasonable for some of the work, but not for the overall body of it; that's why a short review time was quite a problem for Storms (who was there). Such a skeptic may say, "Well, that looks good, but I've seen stuff that looked good before, I'm not buying it, there must be something wrong here."
Now what's often been asserted is that if there were convincing evidence of nuclear phenomena, other than heat, this would be accepted. MastCell, looking back at the experimental evidence, there was convincing evidence of nuclear phenomena before Hoffman, in 1995, but Hoffman remained skeptical at that time because there wasn't sufficient confirmation; he acknowledges that certain experiments seemed artifact-free. By 2004, the situation was still a bit ambiguous in some ways, if one ignored parts of the evidence, such as the heat-helium correlation, which some of the 2004 reviewers clearly did, and the overall editor got the evidence dead wrong, practically backwards, in the summary. However, by now, it's not ambiguous, and the SPAWAR publications, which were confirming earlier work and some of which has been confirmed, with numerous peer-reviewed papers, have essentially sealed it. We now know why the early work was so problematic, why many researchers were seriously frustrated in their efforts to replicate the experiment and, especially, to find the neutron radiation that everyone expected must accompany deuterium fusion. This is my understanding, MastCell, some of it is in reliable source, but, problem is, we have a contingent of editors who reject reliable source because it appears to support cold fusion, and is therefore fringe.
The basic fusion process Fleischmann found, looking for the boundary between quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics or quantum field theory (did you know that this is what he was looking for, and thought that it probably wouldn't be detectable experimentally; he was lucky?), doesn't generate neutrons, it generates hot alpha particles. Those particles can't penetrate far, their energy essentially turns to heat, though some of these particles can cause secondary fusion reactions, elemental transformations, the range of effects that have been reported -- and which seem so easily kooky. They will cause, through these secondary reactions, a low level of neutron radiation, only about ten times background. That's what SPAWAR reported in Naturwissenschaften in 2008, but SPAWAR had previously shown the necessary evidence for the alpha radiation, and that's been found by others as well. The early researchers missed it because it was so unexpected; but I've seen a Chinese paper that showed CR-39 radiation detection from a cold fusion cell in 1990, this would be alpha radiation. I knew to look for this because Hoffman mentions it and discusses it in 1995.
I'm not the one to make the decision about what goes into articles. Those decisions must be made by consensus, the broader the consensus the better. We can't report that "neutron radiation has been confirmed," unless we carefully attribute it and qualify it. Has this been accepted by the "mainstream"?
How do we know? We know that there hasn't been significant independent review, that's why we cannot report this as fact, in my opinion. But we do have some indications that this isn't a "fringe" view, either. The ACS three-day seminar in March. The media notice of this and the SPAWAR research reported there. The publication of the ACS LENR Sourcebook; the ACS is about as mainstream as a mainstream organization gets. Ah, but what about the physicists? Isn't cold fusion physics?
If the physicists who rejected it are right, it isn't physics, it's chemistry. But the chemists say that it isn't chemistry. Who are the experts? Well, first of all, it's not all physicists rejecting it, by any means. Hagelstein is a physicist. In China, the researchers publishing on cold fusion seem to be mostly hot-fusion physicists. Robert Duncan (physicist) was asked by CBS Sixty Minutes, the venerable documentary program, to review the field for them. He was skeptical, but he agreed to read the literature, visit some researchers, and provide an opinion. He was shocked to discover that "they were onto something," and he said as much, and he's now spoken on cold fusion before a major energy conference in Michigan, and held a seminar recently where most of the major researchers came and presented papers. He reported, after his appearance on CBS, receiving irate phone calls from other physticists treating him as some kind of charlatan. His speech before the energy conference, sponsored by his university, and on-line as video for a few days, mysteriously disappeared, all reference to it removed (it wasn't just a broken link!). It's pretty obvious what happened, it's the same thing that happened for years to anyone vulnerable, like the editors of journals: pressure. Lots of pressure. There are huge sums of research funding at stake, careers at stake, investment in opinion at stake. Simon talks about the editor of Fusion Technology and the pressure he faced when he insisted on publishing quality work in the field (the journal serves the traditional fusion community). If you imagine that these political considerations don't affect publishing, well, MastCell, that's why I consider your comment naive. I was told that Duncan had been assured by his university that they would back him up, but my guess is that things got a little hot there for a while. In the end, the video returned. I know that at least one reporter was trying to reach Duncan to find out what happened, but Duncan didn't respond, apparently.
I think we have a problem if we insist that a field be evaluated, that "mainstream" be judged, by scientists who are not familiar with the research! What we see from the 2004 DoE review is that, when a panel of experts is informed, even only fairly shallowly, there is far from a consensus of rejection, there is very substantial acceptance.--Abd (talk) 23:57, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
"While there is obviously a human and political element to peer review, I'd feel silly blaming a conspiracy." - See, but this is part of the problem. You wish to push the point off as being an absurd conspiracy theory. The trouble is that no one is claiming a "conspiracy" nor is one required to see the effect being observed. All that is required is for the field to have at some point had so negative a view that they editors at the higher profile journals no longer even entertain them.
"If cold fusion papers aren't being published, then I suspect it's because the editors reviewing them concluded that the value of pulling in readers with a controversial topic is outweighed by the lack of scientific merit in the work." - And this might even be true ... but it assumes that they are not being dismissed out of hand WITHOUT even being looked at. I can't definitively say this is happening, although some of the references Abd provided seem to suggest that it could be, but the reality is that other journals ARE publishing these papers and peer-reviewing them so not everyone believes the science is junk. That much should be obvious.
"Anyway, truly solid science will make a mark whether it's published in Nature or Naturwissenschaft or wherever. If it intrigues other scientists, and if they can replicate the claimed findings, then it will proceed." - I completely agree. But is this not a description of exactly what we are observing? A few scientists remain intrigued and conduct research using funding that they managed to pull together, and they publish the results where they can.
"If the papers are unconvincing, or if the results can't be replicated, it will die on the vine, as do 99% of all scientific ideas." - I also agree with this, and I agree that this is the way this should work. But we obviously haven't reached the point where this field has yet "died on the vine", would you not agree? But being able to get something published in Nature or the other more favored journals should NOT be considered the litmus test for signs of life.
You say you work at a reputable organization and that not all of your work gets published in Nature. I am not surprised, this is probably true of everyone. But if you instead published your work in Naturwissenschaft do you feel that it is any less valid or deserving of recognition based simply on that fact? That's what the anti-CF crowd wants to say here, is it not? --GoRight (talk) 20:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that if a publication of mine challenged the general understanding of How Things Work, then it would be subject to scrutiny wherever it was published. Furthermore, I wouldn't expect Wikipedia to make a big deal of it until it had been accepted by the Powers That Be - it's not Wikipedia's role to be on the leading edge. I suspect the bar is a bit higher for "cold fusion" papers, both because of the extraordinary nature of the claims and because of historical debacles like Pons/Fleischmann, but that's how it should be - and I don't see any evidence that editors are rejecting papers without looking at them. That would be extraordinarily foolish - not impossible, I guess, but highly unlikely.

I think the idea of cold fusion is very much alive. I'm not a physicist and I have no knowledge of the topic beyond that of a layperson with an expensive general education, but I think there's a good chance that we'll see a successful demonstration in our lifetimes. Whether the current claims of success are valid is a separate matter, and one I'll leave to the physics community and the good people at Talk:Cold fusion.

It's not so much that Nature is the only acceptable journal, or that Naturwissenschaft is unacceptable. It's the issue of mining "positive" publications from the primary literature and presenting them in a way that misrepresents the overall state of expert opinion in the field. It's very easy to do that, especially for someone with a modicum of sophistication, and my concern is that when one relies on cold-fusion true believers for a synthesis of the literature, the result is not really neutral, encyclopedic, or reflective of the actual weight of expert opinion in the field. Just my 2 cents. MastCell Talk 20:38, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

"I think that if a publication of mine challenged the general understanding of How Things Work, then it would be subject to scrutiny wherever it was published." - Of course it would, or rather it should. But out of hand rejection is not "scrutiny", it is "non-scrutiny". I also challenge your premise, at least for the paper being discussed. In what way is merely reporting the results of a scientific experiment challenging anything? It is merely a data point. Until someone proposes a theory to explain the results I don't really see that as challenging how things work.
"Furthermore, I wouldn't expect Wikipedia to make a big deal of it until it had been accepted by the Powers That Be - it's not Wikipedia's role to be on the leading edge." - A reasonable position to be sure. But what is your definition of "making a big deal?" Is merely reporting the fact that the paper was published making a big deal? I don't think so. That's all that's being discussed here, right?
"Whether the current claims of success are valid is a separate matter, and one I'll leave to the physics community and the good people at Talk:Cold fusion." - I would argue so are those who want to include the paper. It's not like it wasn't peer-reviewed. As I stated earlier I doubt that Naturwissenschaft was using biologists to peer-review a nuclear physics article. Until we have some evidence to doubt the quality of their peer review process I see no reason to take the position that the results are not being looked at by people with appropriate credentials to comment on them.
"It's the issue of mining "positive" publications from the primary literature and presenting them in a way that misrepresents the overall state of expert opinion in the field. It's very easy to do that, especially for someone with a modicum of sophistication, and my concern is that when one relies on cold-fusion true believers for a synthesis of the literature, the result is not really neutral, encyclopedic, or reflective of the actual weight of expert opinion in the field." - A reasonable concern but I don't see any evidence that this is the situation with the Cold Fusion article. Do you have any? Given the level of visibility it has received and the (seeming) numerical superiority of the anti-CF crowd I can only assume that if the article is skewed it would be in the negative direction, not the positive one. I certainly don't see any evidence that Abd is advocating in favor of a skewed article. He has consistently indicated that he is working towards a properly balanced article.
Nor is anyone "relying on cold-fusion true believers for a synthesis of the literature". All of the material is being thoroughly reviewed by Wikipedia editors and debated ad naseum, is it not? Not one thing has been taken at face value. But using the "true believers" as a convenient source to quickly find the relevant references to the most current research is not at all unreasonable. It is merely being efficient. --GoRight (talk) 21:17, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
MastCell, you are a researcher, I assume. What would you do if you find experimental results that you can't explain by existing theories? You go over the results, trying to find something wrong, but you can't find it. I'll tell you what I think: this issue, when actually faced, separates real scientists from technicians. Sure, there might be an artifact you missed. But if you dump the experimental results, even though you have personally confirmed them -- this wasn't just one unexplained anomaly -- without finding out what actually happened, or sharing it unexplained, you have taken the road of professional safety over the road of exploration and discovery. Fleischmann thought he found evidence of deuterium fusion. He was wrong. It wasn't deuterium fusion, not just like that. It was something different, something unexpected. Nobody is sure what it was, though there are some strong candidate theories now. I appreciate you sharing your opinion; but I'd claim that low-energy nuclear reactions have already been demonstrated, and convincingly, for those who are willing to look at the evidence. I've read the comments of serious skeptics, and I have their books (though I still don't have Park); they demonstrate, every one so far that I've seen, a lack of knowledge of the field.
There is evidence that papers that appear to be on cold fusion -- we have very specific evidence in Simon -- are rejected ipso facto. Okay, an example from Simon (2002), about a paper that was, indeed, submitted for review (pp 88-89):
In one case, a reviewer wrote the following about a paper that was eventually rejected for publication:
It is the type of manuscript we saw in March 1989, but definitely not the definitive piece of work one can expect in 1994. The authors start from a biased point of view and only reference previous works, almost all discredited, which make claims for tritium production in the electrolysis of D2O with Pd cathodes. They do not cite any of the work that shows no tritium production.... WHERE ARE THE NEUTRONS? As a former member of the Editorial Advisory Board of [this chemistry journal] I would be offended to see a manuscript of such dubious worth published in [this chemistry journal].
In his comments, the reviewer identifies the paper in terms of cold fusion and its discrediting, referring to a version of cold fusion that requires neutrons as a definitive test of competence. The author, who was not looking for neutrons, received this review and in his reply tried to dissociate his work from cold fusion so that it might stand on its own merit:
Please, accept the fact that we examined the behavior of the Pd/D and not the Pd/H system; thus, no need for light water experiments. If possible, dissociate yourself from the notion that we have attempted to proved "cold fusion" (i.e. there is no need to know WHERE ARE THE NEUTRONS?) and consider the data only in th econtext presented, i.e., you should have read what was written and not what you thought to be our intent. It is quite obvious that you started from a biased position and ended in the same position
Exchanges like this one have not been uncommon, assuming, that is, that authors are able to get their papers considered for review in the first place.
I do know that I've seen many on-line exchanges, reading blogs on the topic. There is, obviously, a powerful well of anti-cold fusion opinion out there, but it's not knowledgeable, certain mantras are repeated over and over, and since these people see others saying the same thing, it must be true, right?
It was never replicated.
153 peer-reviewed papers showing excess heat from the Pd-D system.
The more accurate the measurements, the less visible the effect became.
The more accurate measurements, if the effect occurs at all, show it more clearly.
They were so stupid, they didn't stir the electrolyte.
Fleischmann claims that the bubbling rapidly mixes the electolyte with small cells; this objection was based on a false positive experiment from Caltech where failure to stir did warp the calorimetry.
They didn't even know how to measure neutrons, so why should we trust their calorimetry?
They were not nuclear physicists, but Fleischmann was the world's leading electrochemist and calorimetry was within his expertise.
Where are the neutrons? If this was a nuclear reaction, there would be lots of neutrons.
Not all nuclear reactions produce neutrons. The P-F effect doesn't produce neutrons except in very small numbers as secondary reactions. Whatever it is, it is not simple deuterium fusion.
The excess heat is only a tiny percentage of the total power input.
In some experiments, excess heat is greater than the total input energy. Some experiments involve no input energy at all. In some, it is small, but well above possible error.
Cold fusion is theoretically impossible, that's been proven.
Not. There is no violation of basic laws of physics involved. There are a number of theories that don't involve any new physics, just unexpected consequences of previously unstudied conditions.
If they were doing good work, it would be in my favorite journal.
Not if your favorite journal has an editorial practice of rejecting CF papers without review, or if the reviewers are hostile to the very idea of cold fusion.
Where is the cold fusion home water heater? After all, they've had twenty years.
The effect may depend on difficult-to-maintain conditions not easily scalable. Practical application has no bearing on the reality of the science, we don't reject muon-catalyzed fusion because practical application doesn't exist.
There are no measured nuclear reaction products. Where is the ash?
Helium. Present, at about 25 MeV/He-4 excess heat/helium found. No excess heat, no helium. Tritium, where it exists, is probably from a secondary reaction.
They were too stupid to use light water as a control.
Fleischmann did use light water, and found that "it wasn't a suitable baseline." Apparently he found a small amount of excess heat. Others have reported similar results, where the experiment was of sufficient sensitivity.
They tried it with light water and found excess heat, which proves that this wasn't a nuclear reaction.
There is a certain amount of deuterium in light water. Alpha radiation found in copious amounts with heavy water is found about three orders of magnitude down with light water.
Cold fusion was proven to be pathological science in 1989.
In 1989 work that had taken the world's foremost electrochemists five years to develop failed replication in a few months by people not expert in the techniques, plus many of the necessary conditions were not well understood even by Fleischmann then, it took another ten years before conditions for reliable replication were known. The original excess heat results were never actually shown to be artifact, there were only unproven speculations about that, or simple assumption that it must be wrong, because of all the above problems. The real pathology was in the premature rejection based on shallow evidence.
Oh, why do I bother? Thanks for dropping by to chat, MastCell, have some more tea.--Abd (talk) 01:00, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm familiar with the shortcomings of peer review, and if I had a nickel for every time a reviewer took me to task for something I had already explained clearly in the manuscript, I'd be rich. Well, richer. That's life. You didn't ask or answer the only question I have: Why have the cold-fusion brigades failed to convince the mainstream physics community? If I had a finding, and I was convinced it was real, but my peers couldn't replicate my results and didn't believe my arguments, then I'd seriously have to consider the possibility that I'd missed something. My sense is that a substantial portion of the cold-fusion community has skipped that crucial step of self-skepticism, and jumped right to True Believerhood, where any explanation is more likely than the possibility that they could be fundamentally mistaken. I am quite familiar with the roles that bias and preconceived notions play in the scientific process, believe me, but I also know that bias, prejudice, or feudalism alone cannot explain the failure of the cold-fusion types to make headway in the mainstream physics community. It just doesn't work like that, in my experience. MastCell Talk 05:43, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
You can't convince people if they don't listen. Individual physicists can be and have been convinced, but physicists are human beings like the rest of us, and we are heavily programmed to function in societies, and think too far outside what your peers think, you can be in serious trouble. If you'd really like to understand what happened, I do suggest reading Undead Science, by Simon (Rutgers University Press, 2002). Many of the people you find who are now considered "believers" in cold fusion started out as skeptics, but, for whatever reason, they happened to become familiar with the evidence. Robert Duncan's story is only unusual in that his "conversion" was very public. There are quite a number of media reports where some actual investigation was done, and, you will find, they are far more positive than reports that just regurgitate old news from the files. The "sense" you report is an easy conclusion that more or less assumes a lack of self-skepticism, but I find far more evidence of this lack in the vituperatively anti-cold fusion crowd. Basically, there is a huge body of experimental evidence now, with researchers all over the world, at prestigious institutions, publication rate rising since a nadir around 2005 or so.
Bias alone can't explain it? MastCell, are you a conspiracy theorist? Sure. There are and were vast sums of money at stake in hot fusion research. If you are an expert in the insanely difficult problem of confining hot fusion, and research shifts into chemistry labs, there goes your institution's funding and your career. The physics community, with the famous APS meeting in 1989, created an appearance of authoritative refutation, and Fleischmann's error with the neutron measurements made him look incredibly sloppy. (How easy it was for him to make that mistake, I don't know, but others made similar mistakes.) The publication in Nature of "negative replications" which really showed nothing more than "we couldn't do it," by "reputable researchers," and with response shut out, the difficulty of replication, the variety of anomalous findings once researchers started looking where nobody had looked before, all of it conspired to create a picture of total bogosity. It wasn't until about 2006 or 2007 that research groups started reporting 100% repeatability. Standard F-P electrolytic loading of palladium requires very special conditions. Normal processing of palladium produces metal with microcracks, and those cracks prevent high loading ratio. The effect is at the surface, or within a few microns of it, though, so why is loading ratio important? I can guess, but the point is that the process was actually quite complex, not the simple stick-some-palladium-rods-in -heavy-water and hook them up to a battery that it looked like. "With a simple table-top apparatus, sustained nuclear fusion has been reported..." Complicating all this was the legal situation. The University of Utah insisted that they announce without waiting for normal publication, by press conference, for patent legal reasons having to do with competition with Steven Jones' group (which, it turned out, wasn't really a serious competitor). Then, because patents hadn't been issued, experimental details were kept secret, it was really quite a mess and, if you read Simon, you'll see there was plenty of misbehavior to go around. Once cold fusion was firmly established as junk science, which happened within a year or so, researchers were deprived of the normal resources that allow research to proceed. Graduate students who helped with the research found that they were warned of zero career prospects. In one well-known case, an assistant to Brockris found his PhD thesis was rejected because of the disrepute of the field, he had to do something completely different to get his PhD.
Once the wall of reflexive rejection is built, it can be quite difficult to dismantle. As far as I can tell, what happened with cold fusion is not the norm in science, you may never have experienced it in your field. But it does happen, and Simon is interested in it as a social phenomenon, which it is. It's not about the science. Given one day to convince a panel of 18 experts, Hagelstein, Storms, and others were apparently above to totally convince one. They were able to convince them all that further research was warranted. They were able to convince one-half that the excess heat was real. They were able to convince one-third that nuclear origin for it was likely. This is very close to the acceptance you think that they should be able to find. If there is that level of understanding among experts that this is worthy of investigation, in 2004, from a relatively brief exposure to what is essentially a new field, we know little about it, once the experts are exposed to the research, how can we continue, as some of us do, to claim that there is "no controversy." An arbitrator opined that, you know. Dicta, and the arbitrator was simply pointing out that his or her personal opinion didn't matter.
There is controversy. The "mainstream," if we insist that mainstream scientific opinion in a field be confined to those who know the field, not those who might know and understand it if they learn about it, i.e., who have the education and experience but not the specific knowledge, has actually accepted cold fusion by now, because the work moved on after 2004, some of the old questions, still relatively open in 2004, have been answered by more recent work. But there are a lot of scientists out there, who certainly think of themselves and mainstream, and who generally are, who have never become familiar with the research, because they formed conclusions long ago. You don't waste time studying a field which you concluded, years ago, was a complete mistake! I think we need to be very careful with this topic, and that's my point. Simply assuming that there is a mainstream view, as shown by media sources from years ago, and neglecting the weight of publication in the strongest sources, and excluding sources based on "fringe" arguments when the publishers aren't fringe, gives us an impoverished article, and does not serve our readers. --Abd (talk) 12:10, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Just FYI, GoRight wrote, "I doubt that Naturwissenschaft was using biologists to peer-review a nuclear physics article." But in fact this sort of thing does happen from time to time, where an author writes and the author's peers review, work outside their shared specialty. For example, the paper:
Vincent Fleury, "Clarifying tetrapod embryogenesis, a physicist's point of view", The European Physical Journal: Applied Physics 45 3 (2009) 30101, DOI: 10.1051/epjap/2009033, Abstract with pointer to full paper
was given a very critical review by biologist P.Z. Myers in his "Pharyngula" blog. Fleury responded in the comments but was there also criticized by some other workers in the life sciences. --Wfaxon (talk) 00:55, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Heh, fair enough. An entertaining example, thanks. I will admit that it could happen if the paper is sufficiently related to both fields of expertise. I still doubt, however, that such an occurrence is the norm.
It is also worth noting that in your example the paper in question actually had a biological aspect to it, so having a biologist as a potential reviewer isn't that much of a stretch. In the case of Cold Fusion there is none. Probably the closest analogy in that case would be using a Chemist to review this particular Nuclear Physics article since those appear to be the too closest disciplines at play (or at least those are the two disciplines who have people involved in the field). --GoRight (talk) 01:40, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Your comment rm: why

I've removed this [9]. I've already pointed out to you today what reality is William M. Connolley (talk) 16:23, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

WMC, seeking consensus is my policy. It's quite apparent it isn't yours. Enjoy. It all helps. --Abd (talk) 16:27, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Worth reading Jimbo

I've been trying to make this point about editors with fringe views, running into flack, and here it is from God Jimbo: [10]. This seems to have been lost on some editors and administrators. Jimbo is proposing that it's possible to find consensus among holders of majority views and holders of fringe views, on the critical point of undue weight and how we present controversy. It's been my experience in other organizations and contexts that this was so. Holders of fringe views very much don't like being shut out entirely, but they know that their views are not accepted by the mainstream. --Abd (talk) 23:53, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Just FYI

User:Ncmvocalist is NOT an administrator, see [11], he just likes to play one on RfC's and noticeboards. --GoRight (talk) 02:51, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Wow! Cool. Thanks. Closed discussion with a ban. Not able to enforce it. No wonder. --Abd (talk) 11:36, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
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I just wanted to thank you for them, as they pertain to me. This has all ballooned fairly quickly: until a couple of days ago, I don't think I'd ever heard of NYScholar. Then, through a question at WP:MCQ, I found myself examining a debate on image use policy in which he/she was involved. Through that, I concluded that NYScholar was badly misunderstanding a number of elements of image and copyright policy, so I looked through her/his contribution history to see what experience he/she had with the subject. There I found that NYScholar has been consistently disruptive on image copyright issues, which is why I decided to propose the topic ban that I did. Before I proposed the topic ban, I contacted NYScholar's former mentor, User:Shell Kinney, who said that her experience as mentor had been unsuccessful and that she did not see how to make NYScholar improve his/her behaviour. While Shell did not (and still has not) endorsed or opposed either a topic ban or a general one, I know that she has a history of working patiently and effectively with problem users, and I put considerable stock in her comments on NYScholar.

Meanwhile, some co-editors of NYScholar's on Harold Pinter told me that the problems with NYScholar extended well beyond merely image issues; I said that I didn't have time to evaluate their claims, but that if they wanted to propose a topic ban of their own we might as well do it in conjunction, which we did. The next day, I had some time to review their claims, and concluded that NYScholar's involvement with Harold Pinter was problematic beyond repair, so I endorsed that ban. Then I decided to look more deeply into NYScholar's overall editing history (to this point, I'd only looked at her/his involvement in Pinter and copyright issues), which is when I found what was, to me, an inescapable conclusion that NYScholar is not capable of working in a collaborative environment like Wikipedia.

I say this not to convince you of the merits of the ban; I don't expect that I'd be successful, and I trust you've looked into the background yourself in any event (besides that, I appreciate your role here as patron saint of lost causes - it's good to see somebody advocating for the downtrodden, even if I'm the one who has trod them down). Rather, I want to make sure that you're aware of the process I followed, in case you're going to continue trying to pour oil on troubled waters. Cheers, Steve Smith (talk) (formerly Sarcasticidealist) 00:32, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

mmm.... interesting metaphor, "oil on troubled waters." Whether that's a good thing or not depends on the presence of ignition sources, eh?
Steve, I know you fairly well. I think that if you reach out to NYScholar, this whole thing could be rapidly quieted. Ordinarily, you'd be prevented from closing the discussion on ban at AN, because of involvement, but if NYScholar would agree, and I might be able to persuade him, you could do it. (i.e., "Editor has agreed to voluntarily comply with a ban, as supervised by me.' Alternatively, any other admin might agree to this.) I trust that you would be fair. And if you weren't, in my opinion, well, then we might have a dispute and we could solicit an individual to mediate between us. As you know, WP:DR works, especially between editors who actually are working in good faith, and the noticeboards aren't part of it.
I'm not actually intervening on behalf of the downtrodden, but only on behalf of those who have significant contributions to make, and I'm tentatively convinced this is the case with NYScholar. The existence of prior disruption is no proof against this.
It's apparent to me that if NYScholar is to continue to contribute, he needs, to boil it down to the essence, an editor. He's a writer, and it is believable that he's an academic. He's, shall we say, "of age." As am I, I just turned 65. I can understand and identify with him. If I weren't already in quite enough hot water myself, I'd offer to "mentor" him. I know how to deal with the verbosity. But, right now, that kind of intervention, with the virtual cabal that I'm facing, would bring him more trouble than help; my experience has been that, now, when I advise an editor, they mass to dump on the editor. Someone like NYScholar, to be useful here without disruption, must be carefully, how shall I put it? "Assisted." That means strictly, with clear boundaries, but with sympathy. I need the same thing, actually -- it's part of the ADHD package --, but my own special interest (long predating Wikipedia) has been organizational structure, which requires an understanding of how people work. I don't think he has that kind of experience.
I see the problem as a generic one. Experts are not uncommonly like him. And they not uncommonly are banned. This, to me, is the crucial question: suppose Wikipedia were a print publisher. Along comes a writer like NYScholar. Would we decline to publish his work, assuming it was in our field of interest? My opinion is that the decision would depend on the availability of a good editor. A good editor would filter out the dross and preserve the gold. Most writers need editors, and the relationship between editors and writers is famously contentious. A good editor, though, will develop rapport with the writer; writers can be quite difficult, even arrogant, but out of the tension and work of a good writer and editor, truly great work can be published. A difficult editor gets fired immediately, and properly so, for great damage can be done. A publisher who fires difficult writers, though, would probably be eliminating much or even most of what would otherwise long endure from their activity.
For a standard publisher, the editor interfaces directly between the writer and the publisher. The editor and publisher are primarily concerned with serving (and attracting) the readership. Writers may not have those concerns in the same way. For Wikipedia, the kind of editor I'm thinking about would be interfacing between the writer and the community. An editor at a publishing house may have freedom that our editors here don't have, the political considerations at a publisher may be limited to dealing with as few as one publisher or manager. It's more complex here.
What I've seen in the discussion over the last day is that NYScholar is quite ready to accept a mentor, and the prior two "failures" weren't failures, they were efforts that did not continue. What I'd like to see come out of this is a mentorship with a cooperating administrator. The mentor advises the administrator, for, as well as specific topic bans or other restrictions, NYScholar may need protection. Thus, because, for efficiency, there must be rapport between the administrator and the mentor, as well as between the mentor and NYScholar, the mentor should be someone acceptable to both NYScholar and the administrator. Note that a closing admin for a ban could decide to turn the supervision over to another admin. This concept of there being a personally responsible administrator supervising all bans is quite important, it's often missing with "community bans," leading to much more disruption than necessary, and loss of potential valuable content.
So, practically speaking, fast conclusion: site ban for NYScholar, but not a block. Closing admin specifically restricts NYScholar to edits seeking a mentor, that is, edits to user talk pages only or project pages where NYScholar can seek help. Closing admin specifically praises NYScholar for his work and intentions, and makes it clear that the ban is simply to avoid disruption, it's not about blame or punishment, and it's temporary, until better working arrangements can be developed. It should be very clear that the goal is to enhance NYScholar's work, not to stop it. I have the sense that NYScholar would cooperate and voluntarily limit his editing pending. If not, of course, then he could be blocked and negotiations limited to his talk page. (He should also be given guidance on solicitation.) In the interim, NYScholar may also make self-reverted edits to propose changes, or may otherwise edit specific pages as specifically permitted. The supervising admin doesn't have to handle this personally, it can be delegated to any editor satisfactory to the supervising admin. (I.e., "you may edit any page as permitted by So-and-So or a mentor acceptable to me."
Self-reverted edits are a means I invented as a way for editors under a ban to make useful contributions. They were originally proposed when ScienceApologist was making spelling corrections. The clear community consensus at that time was that small non-controversial edits like this did not violate the ban. I cleared the proposal with an arbitrator before making it to ScienceApologist. It was considered "insulting." I.e., if they were good edits, why should they be self-reverted? The reason is that such edits complicate ban enforcement. Since SA's purpose at the time may have been precisely that (there was other evidence of this), the problem wasn't that self-reverted edits were ban violations, but that they weren't! Nevertheless, when I was banned from Cold fusion, and made a self-reverted edit to it, I was blocked by an administrator who had, with ScienceApologist, opined that any admin blocking for an edit like this was an "idiot," or something like that! Apparently, it does indeed depend on whose ox is being gored. And other editors, some of whom had similarly expressed an opinion about such harmless edits before, piled in to opine that the purpose of bans was to stop editing, so why would we allow self-reverted edits?
But the reason for it is quite clear: it allows someone who has been considered disruptive to make an edit which requires no response at all. If nobody assists, the edit is moot. I don't know how the database is stored, but self-reversion may not increase storage space to any significant extent. When I proposed such edits, I suggested that the original summary include "will revert per ban." And then the reversion summary says "self-revert per ban." Anyone can quickly check to verify that this was indeed a self-revert, and attempts to game this would quickly be detected and the editor prohibited from any edits. The alternate suggestion, that such edits should be proposed in Talk, was rightly rejected as far too cumbersome in the Science Apologist case, and that was a valid objection. To describe a spelling correction on an editor Talk page? Who then has to find it and make the change? Taking up much more storage space and much more editor time, both for the banned editor and for anyone deciding it was a good suggestion? If nobody notices the correction, the banned editor can then suggest it to any editor with a single diff, and the editor can hit undo on that diff, having reviewed it, and is done.
What self-reversion does is to demonstrate compliance with the ban, and I saw it work with another banned editor, where his edit proposed through self-reversion was largely accepted by an editor who had been active in banning him. It's a shame that this editor was, because of the flap over my own block, warned not to do this again. When I proposed self-reversion to him, it's clear that it helped him to accept the ban, which was originally intended to be temporary. It was closed by a non-admin, no longer readily available; my opinion is that ban discussions should never be closed by a non-admin, unless the decision is not to ban, clearly. Even then, it would be better if the closer could reverse the decision based on new evidence, which would suggest no such closures by non-admins.
My opinion is that the noticeboards should never make enduring decisions. RfC would be better, and the process there starts to resemble deliberative process; a good RfC is, if necessary, the basis for an RfAr and can make the RfAr less contentious and more easily decided if good evidence has been compiled. Handling Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Abd and JzG was made much easier by the preceding RfC/JzG 3. Where, by the way, two-thirds of editors commenting called for me to be banned. Even though ArbComm essentially ratified my entire case, and did nothing more with me than give me some good advice. It confirmed my position on use of the blacklist, even though some of those same editors continued, afterwards, to oppose it (unsuccessfully, by the way). It confirmed that JzG had violated recusal rules, and confirming those rules was my original goal. They have claimed and will claim that ArbComm refused my "real goal," i.e., to desysop JzG, but, in fact, that was never my purpose, and desysopping was on the table only because the big stick must be visible. JzG has made yeoman contributions to Wikipedia; unfortunately, the result of that case seems to be that he's stopped editing entirely. Burned out, I'd say. We need to look at that as well.
In a way, experienced administrators, long in the forefront of battles, become like experts: they should be advising, not directly acting. We need to build efficient advisory structures, that filter advice, suppressing noise and amplifying the signal, passing it on, as do all intelligent processing systems, like the human nervous system.
There are some deep problems in our process and community, and I'll be before ArbComm again, probably in less than a week. One little piece at a time. --Abd (talk) 14:19, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank You

Hello, I know that you have deleted the comment you left, but I would like to thank you anyway. It was kind of you to take the time to make sure that I wasn't worrying, and I appreciate your words. I'm not worried: I know that the checkuser cannot possibly find anything when there is nothing to find, so this will all be over soon :). And again, thank you Micromonkey (talk) 14:20, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Oh, I see you have added in the case against me. I can understand why of course, but still, thank you Micromonkey (talk) 14:27, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you are welcome. There is no animosity involved in my comment on that report, and I might even be somewhat sympathetic to you as to content, but there are ways to accomplish what is legitimate about your apparent goals, other than what you have done. You are welcome to email me about this or to ask here. It's also quite possible, I'll acknowledge, that you are not Macromonkey, in which case you should probably explain, if you can, how the remarkable coincidences appeared. Note that even if checkuser comes up negative, it would still look quite suspicious. As to how long it will take, maybe a day or two. It all depends on when a clerk and checkuser get to it. I predict that a clerk will approve the case, and then we will see what checkuser says. Meanwhile, as long as you don't edit disruptively, you are free to edit. If you focus on the same topics as Macromonkey, you might be blocked pre-emptively. Good luck. If you do make some good non-contentious contributions, and even if you are Macromonkey, it might help for later. --Abd (talk) 14:51, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Wall of text

Greetings! I have removed your most recentaddition to the mediation page (as well as the relevant comments) for several reasons:

  • Editors expressed that it was overly lengthy and difficult to follow.
  • The introduction to a new issue should present the bare minimum in terms of personal commentary so as to prevent other editors (including myself) from becoming biased before even becoming familiar with the material. More details and commentary can be added later in the discussion when they become relevant.
  • As I noted when Enric Naval proposed the patent issue, I would like to keep the mediation page to one open conversation at a time. The second Naturwissenschaften discussion is indeed close to being closed, but I would like Hipocrite to have a chance to weigh in. Although I can understand your desire to move on to other discussions, it is my decision when to archive/open discussions.
  • In regards to which discussion to have afterward, I would like to allow the patent discussion to resume. Discussions should, out of respect to those who post them, occur in the order in which they are posted. The second Naturwissenschaften discussion occurred because it was so closely related to the first.

If you would like to post and edit a shorter introduction to your issue, feel free, and I will put it in a collapse box for safe keeping :) --Cryptic C62 · Talk 21:19, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your efforts. I will also review what I wrote; however, none of it was unimportant. I will see what can be done to meet those concerns, but I disagree with your approach. I'll watch; there had been no activity on your part, so I was moving to the next most important issue, and the Be-8 theory was indeed high on the list. Hipocrite has had plenty of chance to weigh in. I find your action above discouraging; it's your right, but it's also my right to withdraw from active participation in the mediation, should I so choose. "Wall of text" as a description of that section betrays, to me, an approach to Wikipedia that may be incompatible with mine and others. Asking me to refactor would have been fine. You could have collapsed that section pending, without removing the material. Total removal was beyond the pale, as far as I'm concerned, I put a lot of work in that, and if there is something wrong with presenting evidence at the outset, well, it's beyond me. Good luck. I'm going to transfer what I wrote to my Talk page here.
Your decision to only allow one topic to be discussed at a time is highly inefficient; I've done on-line deliberative process for about twenty years, and the ability to handle multiple "motions" at once compensates for the otherwise glacial pace within each "motion." "One at a time" is standard deliberative process face-to-face, for very good reasons. Closing one at a time would also be good, and you can certainly focus in that way yourself, but shutting down the process on all meant that I spent a week waiting for ... nothing. The article issues will move on and the mediation will never catch up. My prediction. --Abd (talk) 21:40, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
All of what you wrote is still available in the page's history, so in terms of courtesy or efficiency, there really is no difference between collapsing it and deleting it. I chose to delete it because the only responses were those requesting that it should be refactored, and because I assumed that in the process of refactoring it, it would change dramatically, so there would be little point in keeping it. As I stated above, you are welcome to post a more manageable presentation of the issue and I/you will put it in a collapse box. You are welcome to even repost the original statement and work on it within the collapse box.
In response to your position on multiple discussions, please keep in mind that I am human. The mediation tends not to be a smooth gradual process, but instead one of spurts and sudden explosions of conversation. With that in mind, when discussions separate and become unfocused, as has already happened several times within the Naturwissenschaften discussion, I find it very hard to keep track of every thing that is going on. It is also important to keep in mind that the conclusion of one discussion may very well impact the nature of future discussions. This means that if they are taken one at a time, we have something definitive to work off of, whereas simultaneous conversations would refer to each other, making it very hard to follow for those who aren't actively/consistently participating. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 00:24, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Wiki-Conference New York Update: 3 weeks to go

For those of you who signed up early, Wiki-Conference New York has been confirmed for the weekend of July 25-26 at New York University, and we have Jimmy Wales signed on as a keynote speaker.

There's still plenty of time to join a panel, or to propose a lightning talk or an open space session. Register for the Wiki-Conference here. And sign up here for on-wiki notification. All are invited!
This has been an automated delivery by BrownBot (talk) 03:10, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi Abd. I noticed you signed up for a panel at the conference. I'm wondering what is: "Scalable fractal cooperative advisory structure, informal (exists) or formal (proposed)." I think WP is massively too large to function as it did when much smaller. That is, some of the process and structures that worked well in it's infancy don't appear to scale up well. — Becksguy (talk) 06:48, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Big question. First, it's important to understand how Wikipedia process breaks down; there are two basic causes, and they are related: noise and inefficiency. In the early days nobody cared that the labor invested in an article was far more than would be invested in traditional publishing, because the labor was "free." But it isn't free, in fact; Wikipedia burns out editors, eventually, but when new editors were still pouring in, it seemed like the problem was these editors, perhaps they just couldn't adapt to new conditions, tighter policies and guidelines, perhaps they simply moved on to new interests, as people will do.

Wikipedia faces issues that were faced by certain kinds of traditional organizations long ago, and solutions were worked out, but this "technology" was not particularly understood by those putting together the project. Much of what was done before was independently developed, in theory. In practice, the theories break down because they require consensus, and consensus is expensive, short-term. Consensus organizations are famous for burning out members who are tired of the "endless meetings" that can be involved. On the other hand, when groups are small, it's possible to develop high levels of consensus and group unity; traditional organizations that have succeeded typically place most of their function in small groups, with representative structures that deal with overall policy; overall group unity is maintained by the use of supermajority rules for elections of representatives; in the best-known of the "starfish," Alcoholics Anonymous, election procedures guarantee substantial minority representation, and at all levels, discussion will continue far beyond that necessary to obtain a simple majority or even a supermajority, because group unity is consindered so important.

The result of these practices, and other aspects of the AA traditions, is a high level of agreement across the entire fellowship, without any top-down dominating structures (every AA group is independent and self-supporting). While occasionally, extensive discussion is needed for what might seem to be minor issues, the overall result is high efficiency, because settled issues really are settled, not merely a "victory" for one side.

(By the way, I'm not a member of AA, I've studied this kind of organization for about thirty years.)

On Wikipedia, controversies arise. How are they resolved? Ideally, a consensus is found, but sometimes this consensus is a result of mere numerical superiority, is imposed on a substantial minority, and the set of editors participating may be highly skewed. Even where the local majority is truly representative of an overall majority, if a minority perceives this as unfair and as not considering their point of view, they may become disruptive, long term, either within the structure or from without, as vandals, sock puppets, etc. It's been my contention that WP:NPOV isn't an absolute, it is relative, and the only way to measure it is the degree of consensus obtained. 100% may never be possible with a group as large as the community, but we could go far higher than we do. When this is proposed, some seem to assume that this requires compromising Wikipedia policies and guidelines, but, in fact, the reverse is true. I find it fascinating that Jimbo wrote about some of the principles behind this back in 2003; it's never really been implemented in a deep way, because the understanding is not widespread.

Wikipedia has no process for readily translating local consensus to project-wide consensus, or, in fact, the reverse; sometimes we get what appears to be a project-wide consensus, often through an ArbComm ruling, that has little effect at the local level, because editors are either unaware of the rulings or actively disagree with them, not believing that they were fairly represented.

WP:PRX was proposed in 2007 and rejected immediately without any understanding. The WP structure worked from the beginning, but it was really beyond scale almost immediately, but for various reasons it was still *usually* functional, as it still is. PRX would have set up a mechanism for editors to designate what was called a "proxy," for lack of a better term; in the European work on this, what has been called a proxy here was called an "advisor." The system will work best if the proxy is the editor whom the "client" most trusts to make reasonable decisions, should the client be distracted or otherwise unable to directly participate. While it could be predicted that some editors will be named by many, the establishment of a proxy-client relationship is consent to direct communication (proxies shouldn't be considered effective unless accepted, which is consent to communication, I'd propose, so there are natural limits to how many clients a given proxy can serve, and we would see very popular proxies suggest to their clients that they name, instead, another client of the popular proxy.

PRX did not change any process, and, far from being a method to make decisions by voting, rather would be a way of documenting and estimating, at the discretion of whoever is making a decision (such a closing admin), the level of consensus that would be found if the discussion became broad. Discussions actually becoming broad is insanely inefficient; traditional deliberative bodies avoid that like the plague, delegating most decisions to relatively small committees.

PRX would be voluntary, but, I'm sure, participation would bring such advantages that most established editors would participate; it takes practically no effort and involves what already occurs: editors who trust each other communicate directly. I haven't described much how it would work, but delegable proxy structures should, in theory, allow rapid communication between the "top," i.e. a relatively small number of highly trusted and influential aditors, and the "bottom," i.e., the entire editorial community, in both directions. If I have an idea, or a complaint, and I don't know how to suggest it or resolve it directly, I can ask my proxy about it. If my proxy agrees with me, the idea can then move up the hierarchy to the next level, where the same thing can happen. On the other hand, if my proxy doesn't agree with me, I'll have an explanation of why from someone I trust. If I still disagree, I'm not shut out of the structure, I can go to any other editor with a different proxy, and I can examine the proxy table to find someone who might be a good choice. So information is amalgamated and filtered until it reaches a level where a resolution is possible.

The "organizational structure" which PRX would create, from the bottom up, is a fractal. It should be self-similar regardless of scale.

One of the possibilities if we have PRX in place, or that might even cause it to be put in place, is the "standing election" of a Wikipedia Assembly, which is something many members of ArbComm have wanted, it has not been known how to do it without setting up new bureaucracies and other problems of standard democratic process. If we consider proxies as delegable, and measure "proxy rank" by the number of editors who would be represented by a proxy if nobody else participates, and we designate the top N proxies as "members of the Assembly," we have chosen a representative assembly, without holding an election as such. The problems of scale in democracy are not problems of voting, except for the difficulty of voting by the uninformed. The problem is noise; if an assembly has too many members, deliberative process breaks down, which is why direct democracies, such as the New England town meeting uniformly convert to elected assemblies beyond a certain scale. However, it's possible to allow direct voting but only restrict "floor rights," i.e., the ability to "address" the assembly. As with any deliberative assembly, the assembly would have sovereignty over its own process, and it could thus self-regulate. To be "represented" on the "floor" of the assembly, one simply needs to identify a sympathetic member of the assembly, someone with a "seat," and convince that person that an matter should be considered. The default would be one's own proxy. An assembly formed through continuous election as described would, in theory, be highly responsive, yet debate would be kept within small numbers, chosen to be maximally representative.

If it's understood that the goal is consensus, not mere majority rule -- which would be disastrous for Wikipedia -- many of the obvious problems people suggest wouldn't arise. Sock puppetry is one of the first objections that's really easy to dispose of: the last thing a puppet master wants to do is name the relationship! When PRX was proposed, the creator of the page named me as his proxy; we were immediately checkusered.... Rules for an assembly "election" could only provide "voting" rights to editors which meet certain standards; new editors could name a proxy but it would not affect proxy rank until conditions were met (autoconfirmed, min. edit count, time since registration, or other standards as found to be necessary).

What this is about, Becksguy, is setting up communications structures that resemble those of a biological nervous system. Human societies already do this in informal ways, and sometimes in somewhat formal ways, but, to my knowledge, a formal delegable proxy system has never been attempted on a scale anything like that of the Wikipedia community. WP:PRX was set up to be an experiment, not even as a proposal as developed as I've outlined here. We do need to solve the problem of how to develop intelligent decision-making on a large scale, and the traditional solutions mostly involve abandoning basic wiki principles. However, the basic idea of forming a representative assembly like this was invented by Lewis Carroll in about 1884; it's now called Asset voting. --Abd (talk) 15:25, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I should know better than to ask you a big question . You have provided some absolutely fascinating and compelling thoughts, but I need some time to digest all this. I have seen some of your writings before, including Rule 0 and proxy, so it's not entirely new. Thank you for the response. More later. — Becksguy (talk) 20:22, 1 July 2009 (UTC)


Dear Abd, I've erased your inappropriate comments from Wikipedia talk:Banning policy.[12] Wikipedia talk:Banning policy is not a place to discuss about the community ban of NYScholar; it is a place to discuss about how to ameliorate the Wikipedia:Banning policy page. Have a nice day! AdjustShift (talk) 20:43, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Discussion is deeper when examples are before us. I did not restore the comment, but placed a diff to it so that those who are interested can read it, avoiding an argument over whether or not it was appropriate for you to remove a comment like that. Have a nice day yourself! --Abd (talk) 21:18, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, but please remember that Wikipedia talk:Banning policy is a place to discuss how to ameliorate Wikipedia:Banning policy page. AdjustShift (talk) 22:04, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
That's correct. This is actually a generic disagreement, AS, and it seems we have different views. I claim that in order to intelligently edit policy, we must understand it and how it's being applied, and we can't do that without discussing cases. So we don't just discuss proposed text, but situations. The cases are not raised to try to resolve or promote some resolution with the case, or to debate the case, but just as examples of what's happened, and any debate would be over the relevance and various aspects of the case as they relate to policy.
In the case involved in that discussion, you claimed that you were implementing a community consensus, and you cited !vote counts and percentages, in a striking deviation from what I've ever seen before. (75.86%?, later, 73.33%.) Yet Wikipedia:BAN#Community_ban describes the community ban process:
If a user has proven to be repeatedly disruptive in one or more areas of Wikipedia, the community may engage in a discussion at a relevant noticeboard such as the administrators' noticeboard.[1] Topic or site bans may be implemented by a consensus of editors who are not involved in the underlying dispute.
In your exacting specification of the percentages, you totally neglected the "editors who are not involved" issue. When involvement in dispute with the editor is considered, as I showed at [13], there was no consensus. If your own conclusion from the evidence or arguments is considered, it was just just about evenly divided.
In a wondrous piece of wikilawyering, you quibbled with "topic or site bans may be implemented by a consensus of editors; but that sentence is in the context of a noticeboard discussion. Administrators may declare bans unilaterally, based on their power to block, but that's not a "community ban." It's an administrative action, and, in this case, an indef block, implemented on your presumed personal conclusion, given mixed advice by the community, that the block will benefit the project. That is your right and, indeed, your responsibility. No claim has been made that your close was unreasonable, though my opinion is that what we have here is, in fact, an administrative ban, declared by you, not a community ban, because the process for a community ban, which requires a consensus as described, was not followed, and you showed no sign that involvement was even an issue until this was raised by me. This is not an argument that the ban itself was improper, only part of your alleged basis for it is improper, and only if it isn't moot would this dispute be anything more than a discussion on principles, which you are free to drop. And, in fact, you are encouraged to drop at this time. You'll note that I haven't taken this to your Talk page.
Certainly your decision can be justified, but is it the decision that would have maximized consensus? I don't think so. I think you could have made a decision that would have satisfied every editor !voting, probably including NYScholar. That would be the real meaning of consensus, and that many of us don't seem to believe this is possible is one of the reasons why Wikipedia process gets stalled in loops. In any case, you could still make that decision, I believe; and I'm not asking you to make it yet. The time to make it would be if and when it comes before you.
If it comes to pass that all this is not moot, what I'd expect from you would be a willingness to consider arguments for an unblock, under conditions which would be stated or negotiated at that time.
AdjustShift, I don't push things like this (beyond some level of abstract and theoretical discussion, particularly with friends like Steve) unless I think there is a basis for expecting confirmation by wider consensus, which includes ArbComm. --Abd (talk) 22:50, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Your note

Fair enough. Jezhotwells (talk) 00:17, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. My position, actually, is that if we can set up a decent, manageable, efficient intermediary between free editing and topic or site ban, we might "restrict" much more easily, thus avoiding the long battle that you suffered. It either would have worked, and everyone would have benefited -- including NYScholar -- or it wouldn't, in which case it would have quickly turned into a true site ban without all the fuss, having clearly failed through lack of cooperation. Instead, we had a long-term mess.
It's really pretty simple: admin closes a discussion with a restriction instead of a site ban. The initial restriction can be effectively a site ban, but the editor is allowed, possibly, a few things: first, to edit their entire user space, not just the talk page. This allows work, for example, on drafts. Second, the editor is allowed to make limited edits seeking a mentor, on user talk pages or project pages. Third, the editor is allowed to edit the talk pages of users with their consent (I won't give details, but it's quite doable). And lastly, the editor may be allowed to make self-reverted edits proposing changes to articles; and likewise Talk page comments (if the ban covers Talk pages). These edits, if considered useful by any other editor, may be reverted back in. If consent has been given by the banned editor, they can be refactored, summarized, referred to in history, etc.
The point is to contain, while still taking advantage of the banned editor's interest in and familiarity with a topic. It won't work with truly disruptive editors, but little would be lost. NYScholar's style was offensive to many editors, hence something had to be done about it. I've now spent many hours reviewing NYScholar's contributions, and I must say that it appears that I'd disagree with your conclusions that this editor was useless. I see a great deal of value there, and the ownership problems are connected with that value; many editors who work long and hard on a topic become quite opinionated about it, and it's quite reasonable that we might even consider them WP:COI when that happens.
However, my proposals about NYScholar, which were made as part of my original vote Opposing the community ban (I supported a topic ban), and which enjoyed some nice noises from Steve, who proposed the community ban, were not based on a conclusion that this editor was, overall, useful; but I operate on the rebuttable presumption that all editors are useful. If it's possible to prevent the problems that you experienced, Jezhotwells, would you change your mind about the ban? Suppose you saw a reasonable edit to an article you are watching, made by NYScholar, and self-reverted "per ban," would you consider it and revert it back in if it seemed useful to you? You wouldn't be obligated to, for sure, you could simply disregard all edits with "NYScholar" on them, if they were immediately reverted. (Otherwise, if it wasnt' reverted, there was a ban, you could point it out to AN/I. There is some disagreement in the community, but there is some opinion that self-reverted edits don't violate bans, unless the content is so outrageous that its transient existence is in itself disruptive.)
What would you think if there were a proposal presented that would provide for reliable supervision of NYScholar? --Abd (talk) 00:35, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure that there is any way of ensuring "reliable supervision", but I will look at any suggestions that are put forward. I think it is pretty clear that mentorship wouldn't work. Jezhotwells (talk) 00:46, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
While mentorship was tried twice, there wasn't overall supervision; mentorship broke down for reasons that were not entirely NYScholar's fault, and nobody was minding the store. The concept I'm proposing takes two involved editors, at least: a supervising admin, who doesn't do much but be available to quickly warn/block if agreements are violated (or simply to maintain precise ban conditions at WP:RESTRICT, in which case any admin could block if needed), and a mentor, who takes more responsibility than mentors normally do. Still, most of the work would be done by the banned editor. And means would be explored to develop cooperation with other editors. I believe it can be done, though I can't be sure that conditions are right in any particular case. I saw enough of NYScholar during the ban discussion to consider that there was a possibility. Thanks for your response. --Abd (talk) 00:55, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

WP Talk:BAnning policy

Please stay on topic in the discussion of improving the banning policy. The discussion is not about the justice of the ban on NYScholar but it is an attempt to clarify some points in the banning policy by improving the wordings. Your discussion of the banning of NSYcholar belongs elsewhere.·Maunus·ƛ· 13:52, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

In order to understand how the wordings might need improving, we need to know what was unclear. The case shows that, which is the only reason it was being discussed. After all, starting the section, you titled it Wikipedia_talk:Banning_policy#Banning_of_User:NYScholar. There is no attempt being made in my comments in this section to prompt a review of that ban to try to undo it, there is no claim that the ban is "unjust." Rather, there are claims, to which I responded, that bringing up the example was only an attempt to challenge the ban, which it wasn't. For the time being" I agree with the ban, though it would be much better if we had a truly neutral close, I'm beginning to suspect, from evidence which is inconclusive so far, that there was private communication about the ban, and AdjustShift seems unwilling to examine the deficiency in the decision, which doesn't challenge the ban conclusion, but only implementation details, including timing and blocking. Rather, my concern is the process issues raised by that ban and by the justification of it by AdjustShift, who clearly neglected the "involved editor part," and who continued to neglect it by trying to explain away the obvious interpretation of the policy as silly or preposterous and by continuing to cite a number of editors that doesn't reflect involvement analysis. --Abd (talk) 16:13, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
The concerns you adress here are not relevant to the discussion at the Banning policy page. You seem to be of the opinion that AdjustShift did not follow policy when closing the banning discussion - if so this should be discussed at the Village pump or at ANI - the question at WP:Banning policy is how to make the wording of the policy clearer - not whether or not it was followed in the specific case. it is right that our concerns have a certain overlap because you need to know what the policy actually says before you can determine whether AdjustShift closed the discussion according to policy. However at talk:banning policy we need to stick to the topic of wording the banning policy - not to determine whether it was applied in accordance with the existing wording by adjustshift.·Maunus·ƛ· 17:09, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
If I'm brief, some editors don't understand. If I explain in detail, it's tl;dr and editors make assumptions about what I'm saying that aren't supported by a careful reading. I'm not appealing the close, I have stated no intention to appeal the close. The close with a ban, I've said again and again, was a reasonable close, though not optimal. However, the closing admin has shown, both in original comments and in subsequent discussion, a fundamental and important misunderstanding of ban policy. The admin has claimed to be following ban policy. Others have noted a failure to follow the policy, which does not mean a bad ban, it means that a defect in understanding the policy has been demonstrated, if these other editors, including myself, are correct. First issue: what is the policy? How was the case being discussed -- at your instigation, Maunus -- different from what policy would suggest? Not following policy does not equal a bad decision. Whether or not to appeal the ban is an entirely different issue, and it's perplexing to me that AdjustShift has put such effort into defending a decision -- it's not just at the policy talk page -- when the decision has not been challenged, in itself. All that has been done is to use it as an example for discussion. It's been useful for that, clearly. So WTF is your comment here for?
AdjustShift clearly believes that policy was followed and that the discussion at WP:AN properly established a community ban. I clearly believe differently. The goal of the discussion at WP talk:BAN is what the policy is and how it would have applied to the instant situation, and specifically if any changes in wording are needed. I believe, as do some editors who have opined, that the wording as it is actually covers the matter and that AdjustShift's interpretation is bizarre wikilawyering, converting a "may" in the description of what makes for a community ban based on a discussion into such a ban into an implication that there is another kind of community-discussion based ban, which is highly dangerous and actually innovative.
There is, indeed, another kind of community ban, where an editor has been repeatedly blocked for behavior, and no admin is willing to unblock; such a ban is established even if there was no discussion at all. The edges of this kind of ban are a bit ragged, and the usage of the term "may" in the guideline is reflective of all policy: we are intensely aware of WP:IAR and so policies that are actually quite strict and clear may be worded with a bit of weasel.
All this is very much on the question of what the policy is and how the page should be worded, and I wouldn't be participating there if not for these considerations. And if you don't understand that, well, if you have a dispute with me, there is WP:DR. I don't see that you do, in fact, and this is just wasted noise, over a triviality, whether or not some specific pieces of text are relevant to the Talk page. What I've seen there is that the arguments I made in those allegedly irrelevant comments have been picked up and repeated by other experienced editors.
Unless you have some clear business here, Maunus, please go away; I will revert further comments from you unless you can show some value to them. --Abd (talk) 19:19, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't have a dispute with you, I am not here disputing - in fact I am very sympathetic to your views and I am the one who has been defening the those of your points that are relevant to the banning policy. You ask "WTF my comment is here for". In short It is there to offer you a piece friendly advice which which I believe may help show that AdjustShift is wrong about his interpretation of the banning policy's current wording being very clear and we (you and I) are right about it not being sufficiently clear. My advice is simply that you try to show more clearly in your posts how exactly your points relate to the policy. As you will see if you read the discussion I am the editor who has found your points to be correct and I am the one who has defended the relevance of your contributions to the discusision. I am merely asking you to help me by making your points more clear by relating them directly to the policy instead of to the specifics of the NYScholar case. We are on the same side here. ·Maunus·ƛ· 19:34, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Okay, okay, but it seems that this is happening splendidly right now without further effort on my part. I do not agree, however, that the policy is unclear as it stands, and I was a tad surprised that AdjustShift resisted the suggestion that perhaps his close emphasizing "73.33%" of the vote was a problem. I originally became concerned when he implied that the close wasn't his decision, that he was "uncomfortable" with it, but it was the community's decision, which he felt obligated to implement. And that is a very dangerous conception of administrative authority, one which I've long struggled against, I was indef blocked last August over exactly this issue, with a bad ban based on an AN/I discussion, that I was actually in the process of challenging, but only in the first stages. Technically I was blocked for "personal attack," but, as later discussion developed, that was a misunderstanding, etc., etc. The admin in question has become a strong supporter, in fact. Check and see who granted me rollback privilege..... He was simply under stress at the time and didn't have the energy to understand the issues I was raising. It all got escalated way too quickly, and a banned editor took full advantage of the opportunity to inject some serious disruption, and the community fell for it, as it not infrequently does at a noticeboard. --Abd (talk) 19:45, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

ANI discussion about topic bans

Just for the record, I started this discussion in YOUR defence, so you comments here are way out of line. Have a nice day. Socrates2008 (Talk) 10:33, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, please, in the future, don't take something to a noticeboard in my defense without asking me! There existed a whole group of editors ready to pile on to do anything to push me closer to a site ban, they've been screaming for my head since I RfC'd a very popular administrator, in the RfC itself. They were far more muted before ArbComm, which roundly ignored the complaints about me and instead confirmed my charges. And "advised" me to, next time, escalate more quickly. The noticeboards aren't really a part of dispute resolution process, discussions there, if over anything resembling controversy, tend to devolve into shouting matches or ABF pile-ons, I avoid the noticeboards unless I have a simple, uncontroversial emergency.
I will refactor my comments as soon as I can get to it. Do consider, however, something doesn't quite compute here yet. You made statements about my intentions with PJHaseldine on the talk page you cite. They didn't exactly look like AGF statements to me.... Please understand that there were two or three matters taken to noticeboards in as many days, over me, with poor results each time. Same editors, typically, I'll be dealing with that....
My intentions with PJH were purely to help him be a positive contributor without problems. Was there a problem with his self-reverted edits? Or was it useful? He actually made, the edit I looked at, a larger and more significant edit, all in one, than what I had in mind proposing it to him, but anyone could have said to him, whoa! break that down into smaller edits and I'll look at it..... --Abd (talk) 12:17, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Socrates2008, this is what you wrote, to which I replied with the comment you objected to:
The only reason there's any ambiguity around making edits while blocked is a direct result of your attempts to encourage blocked editors like user:PJHaseldine to test the limits of their bans in the hope that you can thereby introduce new policy. If you succeeded in this quest, I fear this would give you a license to test the limits of people's patience at the Cold Fusion article even further. Your rallying and lobbying to introduce a complicated exception mechanism to the blocking process does not have general acceptance in the community, so I suggest you drop it now. Socrates2008 (Talk) 23:16, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I take that as a hostile post. I would not encourage anyone to "test the limits of their bans." Self-reversion was developed and intended to allow banned editors to propose edits more efficiently, precisely to avoid problems with ban enforcement. What has been said about them, you might note, is that banned editors, if they notice something, are advised to suggest changes, but the suggestion has been to propose the change in article Talk (if the editor isn't banned from Talk) or on another editor's Talk page, or by email. Which is far more cumbersome, both for the banned editor and for the editor who might make the actual change. In the discussion of "harmless edits" previously, the argument was strong, there was clear consensus, that editors should not be blocked for harmless edits, even if banned. This wasn't an abstract policy discussion, this was a real case of a real banned editor. And, in fact, that editor was testing the limits of his ban, was, quite obviously, seeking small changes to make. He had a declared agenda to disrupt arbitration enforcement, and still the commentary was that an editor shouldn't be blocked for making harmless edits. And that someone who complained about it repeatedly should probably be sanctioned.
I proposed self-reversion in that context. It was not intended to be used to test ban limits, and it really doesn't test ban limits, for it is quick and easy to see that an edit has been self-reverted; and if an admin blocks an editor by mistake, who is banned, it's easy to undo. (I suggested that the intention to self-revert be declared with the edit, so that bad timing doesn't result in such a block, i.e., before the editor can self-revert.)
Shortly after this, PJH was topic banned. There was no supervising admin, that's one of the problems. I suggested that he use self-reversion if he saw corrections to make. It wasn't intended to push or test anything; at that point I believed that the community had a consensus on harmless edits, simple, easy to verify corrections. A self-reverted edit, even if controversial, isn't harmful -- unless it was true, provocative vandalism or incivility, which would be an offense in itself, needing no consideration of a ban to sanction.
When I was then blocked for a one-character correction, attempting to fix a reference error, it was by an admin who had opined, in the other case, that blocking for harmless edits was "stupid." So I knew that he had considered the issue. I believe he was aware of the proposal for self-reversion, as I recall, he had even commented on it and, for sure, it wasn't to condemn the idea as a ban violation; rather it would have been to claim that it wasn't necessary. If the edit was harmless, it shouldn't be self-reverted!
It was truly a surprise to me, as I wrote in the AN report you filed. I had no intention to test or provoke the admin. Had I realized that he would block, or even that he would protest or warn, I wouldn't have made the edit. There are other complications with the topic ban, but they aren't important for this issue; for this, I'm assuming that the ban was legitimate, and, whether it was legitimate or not, I had promised to honor it. I believed that self-reversion specifically honors a ban, it accepts and works with a declared restriction.
The purpose of it is not the convenience of the banned editor. The purpose is improvement of the project, which should take precedence over petty and literalist interpretations of what a ban is.
The editors at AN claimed that a banned editor's input isn't wanted. First of all, with PJH, that clearly was not the case. He was considered COI, and the input of COI editors should be highly valued, they tend to be experts. He wasn't banned from Talk.
In my case, while I was banned from the article and talk, I was not banned from the topic, very specifically, I was encouraged to continue working with the mediation on cold fusion, which meant that I had occasion and need to continually refer to the article and to talk: editors discussing the ban at the policy page demanded that I should take the article off my watchlist so I wouldn't be tempted to edit it. Basically, it's clear what happened. And it's not about good policy. One of the things I may ask ArbComm is for a statement on self-reversion. In the prior case, it was an ArbComm ban that was being tested. That's why I asked an arbitrator about self-reversion. In the present discussion when my ban was the occasion, an arbitrator claimed that ArbComm had no policy allowing such edits, which was quite correct. An arbitrator's opinion had merely been asked, and, because it was consistent with what the rest of the community was saying at the time, it was not thought necessary to consult the Committee as a whole. Typical Wikipedia SNAFU.
Given your comment above, and that the section in question has been closed, I'm not modifying my response there, and, as to your intentions, I'm simply puzzled. It doesn't look to me like you went to AN to defend me, as you now claim. It looks like you went there to tighten restrictions on PJH, and you saw me as improperly encouraging him. That I conclude from the comment I quoted above, and it's consistent with your original comments on AN.
However, I'd be happy to change my mind. Please answer the questions I asked above about PJH's self-reverted edits. Were they a problem? --Abd (talk) 16:41, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
For the record, I'm not taking sides with anyone. I initially supported your point of view, and felt that the your block for a self-reverted edit was overly harsh and inconsistent with the treatment dealt to other banned editors. However after watching this unfold, it's apparent that there's not general community support for your mechanism of self-reverted edits, so I no longer share your view. Lastly, given your strong desire to change policy, the advice you've been giving PJH does not come from an uninvolved and neutal editor. My advice to you would be to get more involved in editing some articles, and less involved in Wiki politics. I'm taking this page off my watchlist now, as I don't feel it's a productive use of my time at WP to discuss this further. Good luck. Socrates2008 (Talk) 23:36, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
For the record, as well, whether you read this or not, Socrates, at the time that I advised PJH about self-reverted edits, I believed that self-reversion was not a ban violation, and that the community consensus, while not expressed clearly in favor of this on policy pages, had not opposed it, you might notice that the original discussion on Wikipedia talk:Banning policy long predates my block, and there was no negative opinion expressed there, only positive.
My last comment there was dated March 22, 2008, and there wasn't any negative comment about self-reversion until June 16, after I was blocked. In other words, I expected that it would not be a problem for PJH. And it wasn't, until I was blocked and you took the matter to AN. There was nobody proposing that he be blocked for a self-reverted edit (or had you proposed that?). I didn't see you complaining about the edits as ban violations, until you had a basis for it in my block and the response to that, which was, shall we say, a tad biased.
Given the prior responses, I do still consider the community is likely to accept this position, when I'm not the issue, for lots of reasons I won't go in to here. As to my involvement with wikipolitics, I am something like three times the age some young adult Wikipedia editors. The structure of consensus communities like Wikipedia is my long-term interest, it's far and away above individual articles in importance to me, and, through my work, other editors, who would have been banned or highly discouraged from editing Wikipedia, have been, instead, productive editors. However, it might be noted that I'd become active editing a contentious article, and that's what I was banned over, not "wikipolitics." Nevertheless, my prior political positions were definitely a major factor in the situation with my ban and block, and that's easy to show, and it will be shown, shortly. ::::Understand, Socrates, that before I was banned, two-thirds of editors commenting in an RfC I filed over an admin who had used tools while involved -- similar to the present situation, in fact, except that I was in the first situation utterly uninvolved with either the admin or the main article in question, and I am involved with Cold fusion, now, and continue to be, with encouragement -- called for me to be banned for disruption, whereas, when it went to ArbComm, they basically shut up and ArbComm amply confirmed my positions. I do not frivolously take disputes to ArbComm, and I won't do it unless I expect to be confirmed and it is important. Sure, for political effect, I could do some more RCP, but I do edit articles when I have something to contribute; in the case of Cold fusion, I investigated it as part of the case in question (that led to the RfC), and became interested in the topic, since I have the science background to understand the sources, which, unfortunately, many of our active editors don't. What I found was quite surprising, and that reaction is becoming fairly common; for example, you might find and watch the CBS Sixty Minutes video that features Robert Duncan (physicist). He, too, was surprised when he had occasion to take the time to research the topic. I bought most of the major books on cold fusion (if I set aside the one book that I consider neutral, half of the books I bought were skeptical), and I read them, and I've read every day in the field for six months. I was banned, in fact, when I'd turned from discussion to actually editing the article and it was starting to be effective. Now, what do you think? Should I and Wikipedia toss that in the trash, or should I put what I now know to use, consistent with our guidelines and policies, which are excellent if followed. It's when they are not followed, by editors and administrators who think that they know better, but who don't, that we have problems. Good luck. --Abd (talk) 00:13, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Ban, reviewed

I've just reviewed your edits following the ban [14] I imposed. My conclusion is that nothing much has changed in your editing patterns. The walls of text, the unhealthy over-interest in policy above actual edits, all remain. So the ban remains, to be reviewed in approximately another month. If you think the state of the CF mediation indicates an earlier review is deserved, please let me know William M. Connolley (talk) 20:35, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the notice. I do assume that you will read my response, so you will know that I claim this:
  • You were involved in long-term disputes with me over various issues, but specifically:
  • You edited Cold fusion under protection, contrary to expressed consensus at the article Talk page, indeed with contempt for consensus, and you, by your edit summary, expected that it would be controversial.
  • You were involved in a content dispute with me, over that edit, at the time that you declared me banned from the article and its talk.
  • You did not give any reason sufficient to justify a ban, but only WP:IAR.
  • Not by me, the ban was taken to AN/I and was confirmed there, but not by a "consensus of uninvolved editors" as required by WP:BAN, the discussion being badly contaminated by an initial pile-on of involved editors. (I accepted that and asked that discussion be shut down to avoid needless disruption.)
  • The closing admin for that discussion, when asked (again, not by me), set the ban length at one month. Therefore whatever community ban was established by that discussion has expired.
  • You blocked me for making a self-reverted harmless edit to the article, when previously you had declared that blocking a topic banned editor for making harmless edits was "stupid," and when the edit was not intended, clearly, to challenge the ban. Had it been so intended, it would not have been self-reverted, which acknowledges the ban.
  • You continue to insist on your right, in the presence of multiple charges of involvement, to determine, unilaterally, when the ban ends.
  • Even though I do not recognize the legitimacy of your taking this position, I will not violate the ban without discussion before the community.
  • This may be your last opportunity to avoid all this going to ArbComm as an active ban requiring attention, where, of course, evidence will be provided. I'm quite happy for ArbComm to judge my editing behavior. I need to know, in fact.
The mediation has been going well, thank you very much. As I would have expected, my content positions are being confirmed, so far 100%. --Abd (talk) 21:20, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I confirm that I have read what you have written and disagree with large portions of it William M. Connolley (talk) 21:38, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. You will have, of course, ample opportunity to express that, if it's not moot, no need for us to argue now. --Abd (talk) 21:55, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Wiki-Conference New York panel

It would also be good if you folks could make some preparations among yourselves about how best to work together on the Quality and Governance panel. I'll be sending you all an e-mail on this soon.--Pharos (talk) 17:52, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I hope I'll get to see a video, or transcript, or summary or something.
Abd, you may be interested in this announcement: Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard#Advisory Council on Project Development convened Coppertwig (talk) 22:11, 10 July 2009 (UTC)


Hello Abd, I hope you're well. I notice that your statement on the arbitration requests page is over the 500 word limit. You're actually currently on over 1,200 words. Can you cut it down to 500 ASAP? Many thanks, Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 17:42, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Give me a little time, I'll cut it down later today. It was too heavy on the evidence, I'd say. Thanks.--Abd (talk) 17:47, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
By the way, how do you measure word count? I'd appreciate knowing it. Is it assumed from character count? --Abd (talk) 17:48, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I see word count needs some work.LeadSongDog come howl 18:01, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Many thanks Abd. I always use this online word counter - I've never had any trouble with it personally - the only thing is you have to make a small allowance for things like headers and signatures. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 18:04, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Cool. I've been experimenting with a technique to use to generate ready hypertext instead of using collapse. Write a full examination of something and save it, with a subsection header. Then get a permanent link to that section. Then edit the document deleting the full examination and leaving only a title or short summary, and place the permanent link with it. Much better than using separate evidence files, etc. Last time I used an evidence file before ArbComm, it was MfD'd after the case was rejected (which was my desired outcome, in fact, but it was a little irritating that the evidence, which had been useful, was ultimately deleted.) This way, the material is there unless someone actually deletes revisions.... So I simply deleted most of my request! It was already really boiled down, I spent more than a full day editing it, but it probably, as I wrote, presented too much evidence for an RfAr, but one never knows what the arbitrators might need to see. In this case, it helps that so many editors piled in to oppose, which effectively shows the depth of the dispute, so I don't need all those words!
We'll see if it worked. I've been doing this with responses to editor statements; often a brief statement by an editor can be dense with issues, so a full response will be much longer than the statement responded to. So, again, I write a full response, then replace it with a link to history. I may take the entire collection of responses and delete them, creating hypertext two levels deep. Or not. Depends on how much ends up being there.
I'm below 500 words now, according to your tool, thanks. --Abd (talk) 18:40, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Proxying for banned users

The Soviet admin cabal expunges a banned user to prevent this historic photograph from proxying for him.

This is patently unacceptable. If you proxy edit for a banned user again, I'm going to block you. Raul654 (talk) 19:45, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Mmm.... Raul, can you please explain to me the difference between "proxying for a banned user" and making a decision that an editor, on their talk page, might prefer to see an edit? Was that edit disruptive to the Talk page involved? What did restoring it do to cause a problem? I did nothing for the benefit of that user, so I wasn't "proxying" for the user, I was acting on behalf of GoRight, who certainly should have the final say in this. Could GoRight have reverted that edit back in?
I can see this may warrant some attention. I wasn't necessarily ready for it, but sometimes life takes over. You refer to this user as "banned." Can you point to a discussion where this was determined? I looked at one point and couldn't find it. Likewise I couldn't find the disruptive edits that would have led to checkuser and the block and reversions. Maybe I just didn't know where to look. --Abd (talk) 20:33, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I really don't care one way or the other whether the edits are reverted, but can we not wikilawyer about "blocked" vs. "banned" in this instance? An editor who was indefinitely blocked, whom no admin has ever seriously considered unblocking, and who has created over 300 sockpuppets to push his one-note, unencyclopedic agenda is banned. If we can't get that far, then there's no point in discussing the rest. MastCell Talk 22:26, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
And that makes them an unperson, or perhaps a Suppressive Person, and they need to not only be treated like they never existed, but any ideas they hold must also be vigorously suppressed... too bad if a banned user happens to think that 2+2=4 or that the Earth is round; you're not allowed to express this idea because that would be Proxying For A Banned User, and it's a cardinal sin or an act of treason. *Dan T.* (talk) 23:01, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I've rarely heard or read such stupid nonsense. Removing a user form our community for a time or forever are the only tools of enforcement we have. If a user has been blocked - and Scibaby has been blocked for good reasons - we insist that he or she stays away. This has nothing to do with suppressing ideas - you or I are free to express them. We just don't want to have anything to do with the user anymore. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:11, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Dan T. and Stephan Schulz. The policy does not forbid repeating information which came from banned users, but editing at the direction of banned users, and says users can repeat information if they take responsibility for it. For example, I volunteered to help move ScienceApologist's optics draft article to Wikipedia when he was banned; I believe it was not against the rules since it was for the purpose of improving Wikipedia, not in response to a request from ScienceApologist. Coppertwig (talk) 23:48, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that the policy you reference appears to be in regard to article content: ".. unless they are able to confirm that the changes are verifiable and have independent reasons for making them." Abd is interpreting that as holding for talk page comments. Personally, I understand why we'd allow someone to take responsibility for a reliable and verifiable statement made on an article page. It would be dumb otherwise, as it would suggest that because a banned user made the claim, we can't use that claim in the article, even if it was independently verified by another user. But talk page comments are opinions. Abd cannot claim responsibility for someone else's opinions. - Bilby (talk) 23:58, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
And people are claiming that I'm wikilawyering. Definitely, I'm a poor wikilawyer, compared with the brilliant example just presented to us. Seriously, I'm in awe.
I wasn't taking responsibility for an opinion, I was taking responsiblity for the non-disruptiveness of the opinion in context. And, as it happens, I was correct. GoRight, seeing the history, reverted the comment back in and responded.
First, I was responding to Coppertwig's claim that editors can repost information if they take responsibility for it. Second, you've used the same argument in the past to justify reposting talk comments by users. Personally, I'm with MastCell about this comment - it was innoculous enough that I don't care if it was left alone or not. I do care about watering down blocks and bans based on readings of policies & guidelines without considering intent. However, I didn't expect you to agree, and I fear we won't get anywhere if we debate this - I've made my point, you can take it or ignore it, and I'll be off now. - Bilby (talk) 04:12, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
No problem, Bilby. Have some tea before you go. Cream? --Abd (talk) 04:23, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Dan, I specifically said that I don't care about these particular reversions, and I don't think that we need to be dogmatic about the proxying thing in general. No practical harm is done by leaving one opinion about RealClimate on someone's talk page. On the other hand, if we can't even agree that this particular user is banned, then it seems to me that there is no common ground at all from which to start. MastCell Talk 00:09, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Based on extensive discussions at WP:BAN, my opinion is that Scibaby is administratively banned, not community banned. And when I started investigating the circumstances of the original blocks, and not to put too fine a point on it, it stinks. Scibaby has not responded well, but, in fact, most people don't when abused. There are 200 confirmed Scibaby socks and over 100 suspected ones. Do you have any idea how much wasted time is involved in that level of disruption? It's easy to blame it on Scibaby, but totally useless, we have no control over Scibaby. We do have potential control over administrative abuse, and that's what I saw, back in 2007. All because of some silly insistence that I not be allowed to revert a removed Talk page post back in. Let me put it this way: there are some editors and administrators who imagine that they are utterly immune to criticism, that they can do whatever they like and, in fact, they have years of experience to confirm it. I'll cite some lines from The Hour That the Ship Comes In below.
I'm not bulletproof, I'm fully aware of what could happen to me. But when one is facing actual death, being blocked or banned is, shall we say, kind of trivial. WP:DGAF. --Abd (talk) 03:31, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I would prefer to see clearer processes for banning users. I think banning users should involve at least as much process as deleting pages, e.g. discussion for a certain number of days, closure by an uninvolved admin (with blocking obvious vandals being analogous to CSD). Also, I think bans could be tied more closely to specified undesirable behaviour, so that on the one hand a person can easily become unbanned as long as they follow the rules, and on the other hand people can't get away with repeatedly breaking rules as much as they do now. Coppertwig (talk) 00:15, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Abd, I am not about to engage you in wikilawyering. I have neither the time nor patience to deal with someone who has already established a reputation for pettifoggery that you have. Suffice it to say, Scibaby was banned for good reason (namely, sockpuppetry on a huge scale to create the false impression that his edits had merit and consensus), and his behavior since (to wit, sockpuppetry on an even larger scale) has hardly diminished the need or utility of that ban. If you want a more specifics, you are free to dig through the many archives pertaining of his behavior (I suggest you start with his "Obedium" username).

In the future, if you should see me tag a user page with a the sockpuppetCheckuser template, and block him with a block message of "{{sockpuppetCheckuser|scibaby}}, and mass revert all of his edits, as I did in this case, it should be a *quite* clear sign that that user is a sockpuppet. If you restore his edits, you are violating policy, and will be punished accordingly. Raul654 (talk) 01:34, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Raul, you were asked some simple questions. You were not obligated to respond. Wikilawyering? I haven't presented an argument to you; when I do, it will be on your Talk page, not here, so that you can be considered responsible for it. I will investigate your apparently preposterous claims about policy and will, then, address it with you if there is any dispute. Until then,

G O A W A Y.

--Abd (talk) 03:31, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict with above) Thanks all. Let's start with agreement. Right or wrong, banned or not, there is a blocked editor, Scibaby. It was alleged that the editor who edited [Talk:GoRight] is that editor. If that's true, certainly we agree that posts from that editor may be removed. May be removed, not must be removed, and if it is not policy that they necessarily be removed, it is not policy that an editor restoring them is violating policy, unless true proxying is shown, which means making edits on behalf of a blocked or banned editor.

I just saw today what is a blatant sock, a new user registers and account and immediately, within minutes, files an AfD for a page known to be, shall we say, irritating to a blocked editor. So I file an SSP report. Fast close: don't bite the newcomer. AfD is actually a disruptive process, takes up a lot of editor time, and, while it's possible -- remotely -- that the edit isn't the puppet master identified, it is definitely a disruptive returning editor and yet nothing is done. Yet I'm not surprised by the decision, this is normal when a non-admin takes a claim like that to SSP. But if certain admins are "on the case," the slightest hint, and bang! that hammer comes down.

I saw this sequence: [15]. New account, Willy & the Poor Boys (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log). Reverted without explanation by Raul654. I don't know who Willy is, and contributions show nothing out of the ordinary for a new editor. The edit looks to me like something GoRight would be interested in, so I reverted it back in. R. Baley reverts me with reference to scibaby. Seems I've seen that name before. But I still think GoRight will be interested, so I put up a link, just for convenience. I get warned immediately by R. Baley about meat puppeting, which I have not done by any stretch of the imagination. So, I conclude, something is going on that is more than meets the eye. So I start looking into scibaby, and all I find is mystery and weird stuff. Yeah, one huge pile of socks. Why? Have we ever considered that we might be doing something to merit that kind of attention, that we might be feeding the monster, creating animosity, the kind that won't give up and that, over time, bleeds away administrative labor? How much time has been wasted dealing with as many socks as are involved? Day later, Raul654 himself warns me, again, for proxying here. So I ask for an explanation. None is forthcoming.

Why was scibaby blocked? This editor was indef blocked, first block. For what? Sock puppetry. By William M. Connolley.[16] What sock? Obedium. Wait a minute: Scibaby registered 2 Sept 2006, and was indef'd at 20:02 on 25 September, 2007. The account seems to have edited non-disruptively, modestly, for a year. But on 24 September, Scibaby restored sourced material to a global-warming related article that had been reverted out by William M. Connolley and Stephan Schulz. Apparently 2RR, for an editor with no history of edit warring that I could see casually. Oh, dear. Does this mean that WMC was edit warring with Scibaby and then blocked him the next day. For sock puppetry?

All right, what about Obedium? There was an SSP report filed, [17]. Neither Scibaby or Obedium were notified. No checkuser, but there is a tight constellation of articles of interest, and it's concluded as a WP:DUCK, though for such an inactive set of users, one planned remarkably long in advance. Now, the pattern: edits to articles related to global warming, edit warring, claims of incivility, and blocks, is very familiar. New, naive editor comes to the article, tries to insert sourced material -- or even unsourced, if naive enough -- and is met with incivility and reversion, often with no discussion. Most new editors at this point run afoul of 3RR and are easily blocked, this one may have used a sock. Okay, lots of editors have used socks and not been indef'd for it. Warnings, short blocks, escalating, I was once led to believe that this was how Wikipedia operated. Apparently, not in certain areas.

What happened to Obedium? Glad you asked. Obedium wasn't warned or blocked for sock puppetry. Isn't that odd? Obedium was warned on 25 September for "repeatedly" violating 3RR. However, I don't see uncomplicated 3RR violation, even one. What I see is an editor facing a wall of reverts, from WMC, Kim Dabelstein Petersen, Stephen Schulz, Viriditas, of whom only Viriditas is unfamiliar to me with much later edit warring over these articles, and trying to vary the text to make it acceptable, and occasionally frustrated enough to make a bald reversion or two. He's being tag teamed, and he's trying to discuss it in Talk. He clearly at one point hit 2RR. If he was indeed Scibaby, he may have hit 4RR, but there was no long-term socking being used here. Madman also participated in the revert warring, then protected the article in the state he'd created. If this was now, instead of two years ago, what do you think would be happening? Madman blocked, as well, Obedium.

A few minutes after Schulz warns Obedium for 3RR, Madman blocks him for it, even though Obedium hasn't reverted after the warning. Here is Obediums normal naive response: [18]. What I've found investigating these things is that it's easy to jump to conclusions. For example, Madman reverted, then protected; what Madman was reverting was an IP edit, and the protection was a semiprotection.

Animum responds to the unblock template with the typical: Declined, discuss instead of reverting.

Off his block, on 27 September, Obedium reverts Raul654 on Global warming. On 13 November, Raul654 warns Obedium not to delete other's talk page commentary, apparently referring to Obedium's blanking of his own talk page. On 16 November, Raul654 blocks Obedium, based on a content judgement. Oh dear, oh dear.

It's called a police riot, where police actions make situations worse, inflame them. All the above is just a preliminary examination, nothing as tight as what I'd put together for an RfC, for example, or RfAr, and it is very possible that I've misinterpreted stuff, but I'm struck how often the same very small list of editor names shows up over and over in these cases. Sure, there is some weirdness about Obedium and Scibaby, there is some indication that there was a role account, or a shared computer, it's unclear. But what, exactly, did Obedium and Scibaby do, originally, that justified the eventual response; Raul654, indef blocked him 28 November as a sock puppet. There was an RfC filed on Raul654 over related events, but it was, possibly after some level of response, I can't tell, deleted as improperly certified. Any wikilawyering involved there? Your guess is as good as mine.

So, sure, Scibaby has an impressive set of socks at Category:Wikipedia sockpuppets of Scibaby. Last time I looked, though, Raul654 did not have the title of Governor of Wikipedia. Maybe I've missed something, some unstated rule. I have a tendency to do that. It looks to me like Scibaby and Obdeium were harassed, then blocked. The list is supposed to be a list of confirmed sock puppets, not suspected ones. (There are over a hundred other suspected sock puppets). There wasn't checkuser confirmation, there was, though, I'd acknowledge, quite strong reason to suspect. But why was Obedium blocked? Was there more sock puppetry going on?

Obedium, I note above, was blocked on 16 November for sock puppetry. But the next SSP report, Wikipedia:Requests_for_checkuser/Case/Scibaby#Scibaby, wasn't filed until 26 December. Since checkuser wasn't done previously, one would think that there wouldn't be a way to connect the two new reported socks with Scibaby and Obedium, prior checkuser evidence would have expired, if it was as I have understood, though they may have been connected with each other, easily, and maybe that's what the checkuser found. In any case, these socks would have been irrelevant to the alleged sock puppetry of Obedium. So many mysteries, so little time. Somebody is creating all those socks, I rather doubt, as the other extreme, that they are all just innocent editors caught up in this nightmare.

But Willy has attempted to appeal his block. Poor fellow missed a close bracket at the end, so nobody has seen his unblock template. I fixed it. This one may be innocent, and that's why I asked Raul about checkuser, and he declined to respond. Typical. I have a certain song in mind, I'll come back with a reference to it.

What a fucking waste of time. Going on for two years. --Abd (talk) 03:31, 14 July 2009 (UTC)



This arbitration case has been closed and the final decision is available at the link above.

For the Committee MBisanz talk 00:10, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Whew! one more case where I was made a party, and there were wild charges about my bad something or other, attitude, I suppose, and the decision doesn't mention me. We've got to stop meeting like this. --Abd (talk) 04:28, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

RfC on Wales's role

to the vote analysis section. I think it's ready to close, and I've marked it at the top to stop any more !votes. Tony (talk) 05:57, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Editing mainstream namespace articles

I thought I'd just drop by to remind you what is involved in editing mainstream namespace articles. I have just completed a first draft of one - The Four Seasons (Poussin), on the extraordinary cycle of paintings that Nicolas Poussin painted at the end of his life when his health was failing. I acquired the two main textbooks by Blunt and Merot and accessed other academic journal articles on the web. I added paintings and drawings to wikimedia commons, having created an account for myself. I used four or five books in writing the article and more journal articles in finding quotes. The editing took about a week and the form of the article evolved as I arranged the material. A similar process is being applied to Handel organ concertos Op.4, which I will resume writing in the next day or two. In that case I might prepare lilypond files for the 6 concertos which allow stave-quotes for each movement and accompanying midi files to listen to the music. Similar methods - gathering sources, arranging material - apply in science articles, e.g. mathematics or mathematical physics. Mathsci (talk) 15:43, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, Mathsci, good article writing takes skill, time, patience, and sometimes cash investment. I'm on social security, it covers my rent and little else. Given that, I spent about $150 on books on cold fusion, including the classic critical works, Huizenga and Taubes. I spent five months reading the peer-reviewed literature on-line. I discussed the topic in Talk; with a high discussion/article edit ratio, which is what I do when I'm learning. Then I came to the point where I knew what needed to be added to the article, based on what is in reliable secondary sources, according to our standards. And at that point, Hipocrite showed up and used bald reverts to oppose all of it, I'd spend hours writing a piece and it would be summarily reverted. I didn't edit war, not at first, 0RR. But I would later come back with additional references, after discussion, which isn't edit warring, it's normal editorial process. When I allegedly violated 3RR on May 21, the first edit was not a revert, it was a new assertion with additional reliable source. I did not edit war after that. There were three additional sections that had been added May 21. One of them had been accepted, on hydrino theory -- which is highly speculative, though covered in RS -- after Hipocrite finally did what he should have done in the first place: balanced RS material with other RS material. That his RSs were of lower quality, possibly, wasn't important to me, at this point the priority is getting RS material in the article, not debating what is better than what.
That left two sections. Both were discussed while the article was protected; Hipocrite mostly did not participate in the discussions. These sections, and the one accepted, were about "proposed explanations" for the reported phenomena of cold fusion. There really shouldn't be any controversy over this, there is not a shadow of a doubt that these explanations are not only proposed, they are covered in reliable secondary source. That is not the same as "accepted."
One section was simply a statement from Storms (The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, World Scientific, 2007) that various theories had been advanced, but that none explained all the phenomena asserted. It was quite NPOV itself, in the source, and for our article. On June 1, because it had been put up for discussion, and nobody opposed it, I reasserted it.
I also reasserted the B-8 theory as a proposed explanation, because it is also covered in secondary RS. This section had been discussed and there was consensus text that I followed.
It was all reverted by Hipocrite claiming that it had not been discussed. Another editor replaced it, he reverted again, and a different editor replaced it, and he reverted it, then realized what was happening, reverted himself, and went to RfPP to request protection, claiming I was edit warring with him. Was he lying? Maybe. Maybe just deluded, unable to understand what's going on. That is how the article got protected the second time, and that's how I came to be banned.
In other words, prevented from editing mainspace on the topic I had been preparing for five months to edit. Because?
Take a look at Oppenheimer-Phillips process. Look at what Enric Naval did with the article, then what I did, then what ScienceApologist did, then what SA and I did together. That's a mainspace edit, Mathsci. And that's the kind of work I can do. You claim I'm ignorant. Compared to what? The fact is that ignorant editors are a resource, and excluding them damages the project. Teach them about the topic, if you are actually an expert and actually know how to write.
Otherwise, for Wikipedia purposes, you are, in spite of whatever expertise you possess, useless or worse.
By the way, I don't think you can unilaterally remove yourself as a party to an arbitration. But there is a possible question about later additions. Since you are so convinced that I'm a danger to the project, though, what's your problem with being a party; it gives you privileged position in discussions, right at the top; but it does mean that you are laying your right to edit on the line to back up what you say, and it is a place where WMC can't protect you, his support might actually damage you. --Abd (talk) 16:12, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I think 16% namespace editing is low. Oppenheimer-Phillips process is more like a stub than a proper article and you were not the main contributor. You have created New Energy Times and Robert Duncan (physicist), both stubs related to cold fusion. Also European Association for Distance Learning and Center for Range Voting, both rather short stubs. All other articles created were redirects. I have not made any remark about "your ignorance"; I think you might be out of your depth in some of the articles you're attempting to edit. So far there seems to be no evidence that you have extensive experience of editing over a wide range of articles. If you had written articles like Chateau of Vauvenargues, Differential geometry of surfaces, Plancherel theorem for spherical functions, La Vieille Charité, Porte d'Aix, Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes, Iphigénie, The Four Seasons (Poussin), etc, your comments on my editing skills might carry some weight. But certainly not at the moment. I am friendly with quite a lot of admins - Slrubenstein, Dougweller, Dbachmann, Arthur Rubin, most of the mathematical admins, MastCell, Nishkid, Alison, Hemlock Martinis, Durova, Caillil, Tim Vickers, etc. There's nothing special about William B. Connolley, except that we both edited River Thames frost fairs a little. Mathsci (talk) 01:34, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Edit warring at William M. Connolley rfar

Please refrain from reverting other editors at the William M. Connolley (2nd) arbitration request. In future, if a change is made (for example, Mathsci's adjustment to the list of parties) that is contrary to procedure, please contact a clerk or an arbitrator to have it handled. It is likely that any edit warring in that thread will, as of this notice, be met with a block. AGK 15:48, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, AGK. I did not deliberately revert any editor there, I would not do that. When I added the names and saved them, I then notified the editors and went back to the request and added the diffs. While I was doing that, I noticed that Mathsci's name was missing. I must have somehow omitted it, I thought, so I replaced it as I was adding the diff for notice. I did not expect, at all, that an experienced editor would remove their name like that. I only saw the original removal and comments afterwards.
I thought, once I saw what was happening, that I might go to AN/I, but then realized that, no, these pages are seen by plenty of editors with tools, they will handle it. I made comments in the arbitration -- this kind of behavior by Mathsci, very aggressive and non-cooperative is not unusual -- and also on the Talk page, but that's it. Thanks again. --Abd (talk) 16:36, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
warned RlevseTalk 21:15, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Re: Willy & the poor boys

I don't know if there was an actual case, but the block message made a reference to checkuser, and since Raul is one, I assumed he'd used it. Making disingenuous unblock requests like that one is a trademark of Scibaby's, so I've no reason to doubt the block was accurate here. Hersfold (t/a/c) 18:18, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Hersfold. Yeah, though I did ask Raul654 if he'd checked and he didn't to answer. Checkuser policy asserts that checkuser won't be used unless there is disruption, and my understanding is that mere suspicion that an editor is a sock shouldn't be enough (and I didn't see disruption in this editor's contribs). Did Raul654 check? I certainly don't know, but if he had, I do wonder why he didn't simply assert it. There are limitations on checkuser, the original Scibaby sock ID wasn't checkuser based and it's unclear what happened later. Hersfold, I'm not criticizing your decision, but since you made the reference, I was asking if you had more information; it seems you don't. Thanks again. How I read your unblock decision, then, is "I trust Raul654's unconfirmed judgment." I'll assume that is correct unless you correct it, though, if this is true, one of the purposes of an unblock template has been bypassed: an independent decision. I don't necessarily have an answer to the problem. --Abd (talk) 18:44, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, though I did ask Raul654 if he'd checked and he didn't to answer. - I put template:sockpuppetCheckuser on his user page and in the block log. That makes the answer to this question rather obvious.
Checkuser policy asserts that checkuser won't be used unless there is disruption, and my understanding is that mere suspicion that an editor is a sock shouldn't be enough (and I didn't see disruption in this editor's contribs). - Your understanding of policy is wrong. Here's what the policy actually says: The tool is to be used to fight vandalism, to check for sockpuppet activity, to limit disruption or potential disruption of any Wikimedia project, and to investigate legitimate concerns of bad faith editing. -- Wikipedia:CheckUser. We do not have to wait for sockpuppet accounts to become disruptive before checkusering and blocking them as such.
Did Raul654 check? I certainly don't know, but if he had, I do wonder why he didn't simply assert it. - The fact that you missed what was perfectly obvious to everyone else is no one's fault but your own.
There are limitations on checkuser, the original Scibaby sock ID wasn't checkuser based and it's unclear what happened later. - There's nothing unclear about it. Scibaby was blocked in September by WMC as an obvious sockpuppet of somebody. That somebody was later identified in November/December by checkuser evidence as Obedium, who we discovered was using about 17(!) accounts concurrently to edit global warming articles. (See Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Scibaby from September, and Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Obedium from November/December). More were discovered the next month. Raul654 (talk) 19:07, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Raul, of course you have much more experience with this, but I found a different story investigating it specifically, I wrote about it here on this page. It's moot at the moment, but it seems that the Scibaby block/ban may come up in the current RfAr over WMC, who first blocked Scibaby, and the report in September, already, identified Obedium. My sense is that it is possible that Scibaby's extensive socking was caused by the block or by the revert warring that preceded it; there was clearly something odd about Obedium before that, there is some indication of a role account. I'm sure you have better things to do than debate this here, but I continue to find it odd that, instead of simply answering the question, as with "Yes, I used checkuser," you make much longer arguments that imply it without saying it. I may be totally wrong about the Scibaby history, you may deserve the biggest possible barnstar for protecting the project, but .... it's important that we watch the watchers, and if you disagree, you probably shouldn't be a watcher. --Abd (talk) 19:27, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict with below) Okay, this seals it. Raul, you cannot be trusted to present evidence neutrally. In December, yes, 15 new sock puppets were discovered, with many appearing on the 30th or 31st December, the earliest new sock was 17 December. Obedium, as mentioned, was identified back in September, and seems to have been encountering harassment. The other "sock" listed was Scibaby, who had been blocked back in September. The case was filed 31 December, and the only relevant information in it that could related to anything earlier than December is about Scibaby and Obedium; so in November, there was, as far as so far identified, only one account editing, Obedium, who was being harassed. What do people who are harassed do? Some of them create armies of sock puppets, that's one reason why it's so important to have good dispute resolution processes that are broadly perceived as fair, and not allow administrators to dominate content, as was happening at that time in the global warming articles. No question, Scibaby's response was disruptive, long-term disruptive, but disruption leads to disruption, and that's true on all sides. We might be able to fix this one, but one day at a time, one problem at a time. --Abd (talk) 19:50, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I'll spell it out clearly then: I used checkuser on Willy, as I have with literally hundreds of his other accounts. The result was an extremely conclusive match to Scibaby, the details and analysis of which I will share with other checkusers if they inquire, but will not share with non-checkusers. I tagged his user page accordingly, blocked him (also with a checkuser notation), and proceeded to revert all of his edits. You then reverted me, thus becoming a meatpuppet for Scibaby. Do not do that again. Raul654 (talk) 19:36, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for being clear. Your charge of meat puppetry is preposterous, since, when I reverted that edit, I had no information relating to Scibaby. You didn't bother with an edit summary. I am not obligated to look at user pages when checking edits; and if I had, on the user's talk page, I'd have seen nothing. I'd have seen it if I checked the block log or the user page, I don't routinely do either, and, as a number of other editors have opined, the edit itself was harmless. No, I don't expect you to share checkuser evidence, though when you block based on checkuser, you should so state, and there is a bit of a conflict of interest here, given your original involvement, which was heavy, I'd suggest that it would look better if another checkuser handled Scibaby issues. --Abd (talk) 19:50, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

One more point, Raul. We are involved in a dispute. No, you may not block me for anything short of clear and present danger to the project. Your threat to block is, itself, a violation of recusal policy, you may not legitimately threaten to do what you may not legitimately do. I am not planning on defying your suggestion, but I'd suggest you get out of the habit of bullying users, and fast. It is damaging the project, and, sooner or later, the truth about this will out. Never depend on the community remaining asleep. --Abd (talk) 19:55, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I am not obligated to look at user pages when checking edits; and if I had, on the user's talk page, I'd have seen nothing. - you are obligated to find out the reason for my revert before counter-reverting me. Had you done the least bit of work, like checking my contribs (to see that I was reverting all his edits, and had already tagged his user page), or his user page, or his block log, etc - you would have found out. And in the future, you had better start taking that minimum precaution, because there will not be any further warnings where proxy editing for Scibaby is concerned. (I've now warned you once and GoRight 3 times about it. I'm not issuing any more to either of you)
and there is a bit of a conflict of interest here, given your original involvement, which was heavy, I'd suggest that it would look better if another checkuser handled Scibaby issues. - Being the first person who checkusered Scibaby does not create a conflict of interest, nor do your spurious claims of such. Request denied.
We are involved in a dispute. - Nice try, but you don't get to invent policy out of whole cloth. Issuing someone a warning for violating Wikipedia policy does not involve one in a dispute. Have a nice day. Raul654 (talk) 19:59, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
You too, Raul654, with respect to all of it. The project has moved on. Don't say you weren't warned. Now, please, respect what I asked above, stay away from this talk page absent necessity. --Abd (talk) 20:03, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Just so it's clear: I did not violate policy as you claim. That is a specific dispute. There is no policy against restoring reverted edits of banned or blocked users if the edits themselves are not disruptive or policy violations -- other than being block or ban evasion. You may warn me, but if there is a dispute over whether behavior is a violation or not, the one warning may not block, and if you are going to make an exception, it better be good and the need immediate. --Abd (talk) 20:06, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
There is no policy against restoring reverted edits of banned or blocked users if the edits themselves are not disruptive or policy violations - as usual, what you claim about policy and what it actually says are two different things: Anyone is free to revert any edits made in defiance of a ban. ... Users are generally expected to refrain from reinstating edits made by banned users in violation of the ban, and such edits may be viewed as meatpuppetry. Users who reinstate such edits take complete responsibility for the content by so doing. -- Wikipedia:Banning policy. Also note that that "content" in this context refers exclusively to the content of article edits. (In other words, you cannot take responsibility for talk page edits at all.) You violated policy when you restored his edits to GoRight's page. And you can invent as many claims about policy as you like - you seem to be quite good at it - but if you violate that policy again, there won't be any further warnings. Raul654 (talk) 04:27, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Saith the Raul654, heavily privileged editor (if not for WP:DGAF, and that I'm not an SPA with an agenda to protect, I'd be shaking in my wikiboots), privileges here including oversight and checkuser, long accustomed to "Le Wiki, C'est Moi." What is not prohibited is permitted. I read that policy, cited above, and the claim that "content" solely refers to article edits, and not to Talk, is pure invention, wishful synthesis. If an edit is not disruptive, and is considered useful or potentially useful, an editor may restore it, taking responsibility for it as if the editor had made it himself or herself. We ban disruption, not text or ideas.
Indeed, automatic removal of edits by blocked or banned editor can itself be disruptive and should never be repeated, for a specific edit, when there is objection from an editor in good standing, for, if the edits themselves were disruptive, then, by restoring them or objecting to removal, the editor would be sanctionable for disruption and the meat puppetry charge would be unnecessary. Properly, WP:MEAT refers to true proxying, where an editor literally makes edits as directed by another user, or, perhaps, automatically and without discrimination reverts back in removed edits from a blocked or banned editor.
Basic wikilaw: policies and guidelines are to be interpreted as a whole, so as to be consistent overall, rather than, in each particular application, seeking the possible accidental meanings of words, which is called "wikilawyering." Note that "generally expected" implies, then, the exception which explicitly follows: the taking of responsibility by an editor for the content, and content is a technical term covering all kinds of data hosted by a web site, for if the intention of the policy were to restrict this to only article content, then that would properly be specified. Instead, the policy is correct as it stands.
There are long-term, highly experienced editors whose understanding of wiki principles is deep and truly a wondrous thing to read. And there are others whose radical misunderstanding of these principles, combined with their energetic promotion of their own vision of the wiki, makes them responsible for much of what has gone astray with Wikipedia, and some of these, as a result of such extensive work (much or most of which was highly useful), have been granted high privilege. Incompleteness of the original vision, not its error, is what has made the project vulnerable to this. We simply need to complete the original work, it was brilliant.
For a specific example, which has been alleged by Raul as a problem, I restored certain removed edits of JedRothwell, an indef blocked editor, to Talk:Cold fusion. When I did so, I removed extraneous and unnecessary material that could be read as disparaging Wikipedia editors, and left only the on-point content, which I found useful. JedRothwell is an expert on the topic. Although not a scientist, he is a writer and editor, and does a great deal of editing of papers for publication. Much of the literature on Cold fusion is in Japanese, and he is fluent in that language, so, in some ways, he may know more than even many dedicated scientists in the field. He is highly opinionated, as are most experts, in fact, though he's known for being blunt.
Because the allegations of proxying for banned editors have been raised so many times, I expect this may be considered by ArbComm in the present RfAr, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Case/Abd-William M. Connolley. Comments there will be welcome. --Abd (talk) 14:03, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Abd-William M. Connolley

An Arbitration case involving you has been opened, and is located here. Please add any evidence you may wish the Arbitrators to consider to the evidence sub-page, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Abd-William M. Connolley/Evidence. Please submit your evidence within one week, if possible. You may also contribute to the case on the workshop sub-page, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Abd-William M. Connolley/Workshop.

On behalf of the Arbitration Committee, Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 12:20, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. The modified naming is fine. It gives me the attention I desperately crave, and, seriously, reflects the fact that my own behavior will come under close scrutiny, and it will help those who may have been offended by it to notice the arbitration, just as will happen with the other major party.
I keep hearing the song, The hour when the ship comes in], but I respond to my imagination that this is a wiki, and they will not "raise their hands, Sayin' we'll meet all your demands," nor is this expected. I have more in mind the celebration of the rocks and the welcome of the sands, the relief and joy that we can all feel when what is hidden becomes openly clear, and deep and long disputes can be settled and vanish like childhood nightmares. Victory is Mine, sayeth the Consensus, apologizing for having napped for too long. --Abd (talk) 13:33, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Last good-faith attempt to see if the problem can be solved

(this comes from User_talk:Enric_Naval#Anyone_familiar_with_these_papers.3F, posted here since it derived into user behaviour as I wrote it)

For the last time, can you stop throwing bad-faith assumptions in the middle of your posts? Implying that me and others are not discussing anything or that I am misquoting in purpose or that we purposefully disagree because we have a cold fusion POV and not simply because we think that the source is bad. Just in this discussion you have said "That's what I do when I'm learning about a subject, I research it and discuss it. You ought to try it sometime. (...) There is no contradiction of sources involved here that isn't synthesized by you.", "That's what Simons shows, if you were to actually read the book instead of just cherry-picking extracts as it suits you.", "You imagine consensus because you take a position, and a few editors who take consistently anti-cold-fusion positions agree.", "I think I know what contradiction you have in mind, and it is a diffuse one, and it's called "POV." It appears to you to contradict your POV, which you imagine to be scientific consensus. And that's what comes out with detailed discussion." This only gets editors irritated against you and poisons the discussions, and you are doing it all the time.

And don't convert my own arguments into strawmen before throwing them at me "Do you deny that it is a proposed explanation? Again, what contradiction?", "and are you really going to try to challenge the reputation of Naturwissenschaften? "

And don't wikilawyer: "Above you imply that the paper in Frontiers of Physics in China is not reliable source. On what guideline or policy do you base this?" you were already given multiple reasons of why it was a bad source and you refuse to accept them.

And don't treat to me as if was totally clueless "Enric, too often you have no clue as to what sources mean, nor to what editorial comments mean.", you already did that at Oppenheimer-Phillips process calling my edits "nonsense".

Finally, I would like to see how you react to this comment before submitting my evidence to the Arbcom case. Consider this my last good faith attempt at getting you to recognize that there might be a problem with your own editing instead of everything being the fault of someone else (in the case of cold fusion, that someone else being anti-CF POV-pushing editors). As in a last attempt to get you to improve your behaviour, as in "First step: admitting that there is a problem. If this step is not taken, then nothing will work." (note that this has nothing to do at all with the Twelve-step program, which has a similar first step). Just a last-last-last attempt to make sure that you are really not going to change your behaviour if only the problem is explained to you clearly. --Enric Naval (talk) 18:11, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately, while there are problems with my editing -- it would be amazing if there were not -- I don't see an explanation of it above, and your edits at O-P process were nonsense. There is no denial of good faith in that, you simply did not understand the topic and sources, or English technical language, one or both. As to bad-faith assumptions, you haven't pointed to one, as far as I noticed. Take what I say literally, try to set aside the "assumptions" you imagine are behind it, and consider.
I'm not Mathsci; I don't deny your right to participate in editing articles, even if you are "clueless," for your cluelessness can actually be helpful. If you are willing to learn, you then become a test of whether or not the text has become clear as well as accurate. And it seems that happened with O-P process, but only because you trust ScienceApologist more than you trust me. If he had not appeared, would you still have revert warred with me to reinsert patent nonsense? (Answer: no, because I wouldn't have revert warred back, I'd have solicited expert comment.)
  • I was given reasons why the FPC article was a "bad source," but not reasons why it was not WP:Reliable source. We have policies and procedures and practice for dealing with "bad" reliable source, and you have neglected this alternative. Above, you place in opposition, as if they contradict each other, my assertion that FPC is a "reliable source" by pointing to "multiple reasons of why it was a bad source." It's not necessary, but the writer of that article is an established Chinese physicist, with long research in the field of hot fusion, at a major university where this is a specialty and focus. There are reasons why the review may be criticized, but they don't actually change the fact that it is peer-reviewed secondary source, entitled to a strong presumption of reliability. If I were claiming the source as a reason to claim that "cold fusion has been accepted," i.e., accepted by the "mainstream," which remains blissfully undefined, and which it does not establish, then there would be a point to the objections. But I haven't claimed that, and the source was only asserted, so far, for one thing: that Be-8 theory has sufficient notability to be mentioned. That's all. Don't personalize the dispute, Enric.
While I appreciate your intention to resolve this problem outside ArbComm, isn't it a little late? After all, you have been pushing for me to be blocked for months, warning me for doing things that are perfectly permitted, personalizing disputes, and refusing to understand the science. There is a difference between you and Hipocrite, indeed, you clearly wish to be helpful, and we have been able to cooperate at times. But calling for an editor to be banned is poisonous to cooperation, and you have never followed more than the first stage of WP:DR with me, i.e., direct discussion. The second stage would be involvement of a single additional mediator. At the mediation we have, distorted as it was by Hipocrite's selection of parties (thoroughly and blatantly stacked), progress is being made; so far, my content positions have been confirmed, albeit glacially. It could have been much easier. Go ahead and present evidence to ArbComm, but be careful. Toss shit in the air, it may fall back down on you. --Abd (talk) 18:42, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
@Abd, uffff, so, you think that the examples above don't give any explanation of problems in your editing? And I said nonsense at the OP article but you weren't saying anything wrong? Geeez, I guess I can now safely assume that you really don't intend to learn anything from the input given to you. I would have prepared that it would be different because you ocassionally have good ideas, but now at least I shall feel no remorse when asking for a full ban for you. --Enric Naval (talk) 00:59, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
(EC) @Enric "throwing bad-faith assumptions in the middle of your posts?" - Might I point out that good faith actually goes in both directions. For example, "don't convert my own arguments into strawmen", "And don't wikilawyer", and "you were already given multiple reasons of why it was a bad source and you refuse to accept them." all sound pretty WP:ABF to me. Can it not also be said that you, Enric, have been given multiple reasons why the sources are GOOD and you refuse to accept them? I think a little objectivity might be in order here. There certainly CAN be good faith stalemates on such issues, no? --GoRight (talk) 18:45, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
@GoRight, what did I tell you about bullshitting me? I give specific examples of each behaviour. --Enric Naval (talk) 00:52, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
No BS, Enric. Those phrases are exact counter examples of everything you are accusing Abd of. You didn't give examples of each behavior, you gave examples of what you assumed each behavior to be. Just because you assume it doesn't mean that's how Abd meant it. Like I said, good faith flows in both directions. You claim Abd is not hearing you. I claim you are not hearing either of us. The difference, of course, is that neither of us is trying to get you banned. You have been working overtime on both fronts to get both of us banned. Sometimes a disagreement is just a disagreement. --GoRight (talk) 02:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I think that I made a reasonable interpretation of what Abd said, and that there isn't much room for other interpretations. Also, I'm commenting in what Abd is actually doing, not in the intent. He is doing those things. --Enric Naval (talk) 03:55, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Okay, last attempt

Enric, I almost just deleted the entire section above, with the summary, A true good-faith effort to resolve a dispute would involve some level of listening, not just more complaints, but I decided to make one more effort myself. I don't see, above, any sign that you have attempted to understand my position; instead, you continue to attack it and complain. Your "last good-faith effort to see if the problem can be solved" appears to be based on a firm belief that my behavior is the problem, and everything I say about that behavior is interpreted through that lens. Instead of demanding what you want, you should offer what you expect from me, that is, you should seek to understand my position and to show that you do. (That does not mean abandoning your own position, it simply means showing understanding -- or if you don't understand, then acknowledging that and seeking understanding.)

So I will turn it around. You obviously have a long-term dispute with me, you have sought to have me banned since April, with plenty of complaint before that. What is it that you think I have not heard? And do you have anyone you could suggest who might be able to mediate this dispute, someone you trust, and, if possible, someone you think I might trust as well? I can assure you that before I'd have taken your behavior to a noticeboard, I'd have been taking this step. With WMC, I attempted to solicit mediation from a supporter of his, and the supporter vehemently rejected it. Think about it. --Abd (talk) 01:48, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Let's have this clear: I started asking for your ban because you failed to do anything about all the complaints, both mine and from others.... Indeed, it's evident from above that after months of complaints I can't even get you to acknowledge that the problems exist in the first place, and when pointed at clearly problematic behaviour you don't see anything wrong. You also ask what other expect from you, when this ought to be very clear to you (writing shorter on-topic comments, accepting consensus, not meat-puppeting for Jed, etc, etc, etc. my own comment above includes actual examples of other things I ask you not to do)and you have failed to do any of it during months of complaints and after one page ban. This is has nothing to do with me understanding you, but with you refusing to behave, which is all that was asked from you. Given all this, and given that you don't even give the first step of admitting that there is a problem with your editing in the first place, I don't see how you are going to pay any attention to what a mediator says.
I could make a longer message with more examples and stuff, but it would obviously fall in deaf ears. My attempt was to see if I should ask for a full ban or not, and the answer is clearly yes, since you fail to acknowledge any problem. --Enric Naval (talk) 05:21, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Briefly, this is what you have stated as a summary, and which I assume we will continue to discuss, if you accept, on the pages set aside for that, see below, where agreement can be filtered out from continued discussion or dispute.
  • You believe that I have not responded to complaints.
  • You believe that I have not acknowledged that "the problems exist in the first place." Specific problems alleged:
  • Comments that are too long or off-topic.
  • Not accepting "consensus."
  • Reverting to restore comments from JedRothwell, you call it "meat puppetry."
Thanks for responding to that extent. You may, if you wish, flesh these out on those pages, or add other complaints. --Abd (talk) 14:39, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. I'm opening up a personal dispute page at User:Abd/Enric Naval. If we agree on a mediator, that page can be moved to User:[mediator username]/Abd and Enric Naval. Your participation is, of course, voluntary. The user page itself should reflect our consensus; everything there should be demonstrably true and NPOV; that is, if there are opinions there, they should be attributed. The attached talk page should then be used for discussion, and others may discuss there as well, subject to civility and intention to help resolve the dispute, rather than to inflame it. Pending a mediator, the page may be moved, by you, to your user space if you would prefer to be in charge of it. Meanwhile, if I put anything on the user page itself that you do not agree with, feel free to move it to the attached talk page.
I'm personally content to allow ArbComm to handle this, but if we can find some consensus before this goes to AC voting on proposed remedies, it could help improve the outcome. ArbComm very much likes it when editors resolve their disputes directly. --Abd (talk) 14:07, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
What makes you think that restarting the discussion in a separate page will make any difference....? I am disheartened that you didn't list the problems in my initial posting[19] despite my comment saying that the other above had more examples, which would be:
  • implying that editors oppose because of their anti-CF POV
  • making my arguments into strawmen and throwing them back at them
  • wikilawyering
  • treating me as if I was clueless
This is the same all the time... when the scope gets big enough, you start leaving things outside.... in a couple of weeks you will refer again to some topic in a way that gives no indication that you took my comment into account... is it the ADHD? is it that you failed to interiorize the advice? who knows, the point is that this happens, and all my effort goes to waste (you can add this to the list of problems) For example, we already discussed the first point in here and I pointed you to WP:TINC there is no cabal, and you said that you were not talking about any cabal while at the same time describing a cabal..... what sort of progress can be made when I can't even get you to agree in the terminology..... trying to get you to center in one specific point is useless because every reply you make wanders into discussion one to three unrelated topics, something even new topics, and this derails the discussions (this is relevant to the third problem on the list you made, if that problem is not solved then solving the other problems becomes much more difficult)..... I understand that your intent is good, but you have failed for months to solve the communication problems that were pointed repeatedly to you.... even now, you say "You believe that I have not acknowledged that "the problems exist in the first place."" as opposed to "OK, I have a problem" or "I think that I don't have a problem, but since people complain so much, it's obvious that I have one"..... and what is this about discussing it.... you are supposed to start solving those problems, like, right here and now, to start making an effort to not have that behaviour again, to start by avoiding them in very your next comment and in every comment after that one..... I'm so tired..... this was a last-last-last attempt to have a clear conscience that it wasn't all a huge misunderstanding and that I couldn't really get you to change and become a productive editor..... back in May I asked you if you would accept a mediation to solve the content issues, with the condition that you would agree in advance to abide to what the mediator decided[20] went unanswered.... I suspect that this was because it was lost in the sea of verbiage in Talk:Cold fusion, a sea that, by the way, I blame on you for not making shorter on-topic comments..... which brings us again to you not solving communication problems when they were pointed out to you the first dozen times.... full circle and stuff..... I guess that I have to ask for a temporal full ban so you get a very clear message that you have an actual problem, you are suppposed to acknowledge it and change your behaviour already, you are not supposed to insist in more discussions when so many discussions have already failed, the only alternative now is a full ban..... I'll go later and write up that evidence, it's now in your hands to convince the arbs that you don't deserve the full ban that I will ask for.... sorry that it ends like this..... --Enric Naval (talk) 15:52, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Could you please be more concise? This wall of text hurts my eyes. --GoRight (talk) 01:07, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, tl;dr. If there is something above that you could state briefly, you are welcome to restate it; but it would be better if you simply put what's important on the negotiation page. Mediation is not a process that should involve prior agreement to follow a result; however, if there is a neutral mediation, it would be unwise not to respect it. As you are clearly unwilling, now, from reading your last few words above, to mediate, I'll repeat that I asked you to suggest someone you trust to mediate the personal dispute. The goal is consensus between us, not a specific content decision, and if consensus is not found, the mediation has failed, at that level, so "compliance" with it is meaningless. I took your opening of this discussion as a sincere effort, but you are showing the opposite, an unwillingness to consider the issues, unfortunately. You anticipate that the process would be tedious, so you reject it out-of-hand, being unwilling to even try. Too bad, Enric. I will lay out what I can on the page in question, and your response there remains optional. --Abd (talk) 16:14, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
This was already a problem back in May, and remains a problem now: you have been so picky about neutrality and involvement, that, honestly, I simply fear that all my efforts in the mediation will be thrown overboard because you found some moot flaw in the neutrality. So, prior compromise to abide by the result is required (I'll probably make a proposal in the workshop about a binding mediation or a binding mentorship). Also, hum, I think that you failed to catch the message of "change your behaviour or ban"? It's in italics in my comment. --Enric Naval (talk) 17:42, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Abd. sorry to butt in but I am doing a lot of reading trying to understand all the aspects of the arbcom case with you and Connelley. Would you supply a dif for me to read about the WMC supporter who "vehemently rejected it." I would be interested in reading that conversation if you would be kind enough to point me to the dif. Thank you, --CrohnieGalTalk 12:21, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
You're welcome. Tea? Coffee? Cream? I emailed TenOfAllTrades, I received an email response, which I will not post without permission, except to an arbitrator on request, but I posted the entire email I'd sent to him, and he then replied, et seq. Permanent link to discussion for ease of reading.
Some comments:
  • In posting my mail to TOTN TOAT on his Talk page, sure, I was, not exactly "playing to the crowd," but to ArbComm. I edit with a constant awareness that the future is looking over my shoulder, something I've been doing for 25 years on-line, since the future can see, generally, everything I do. However, the email itself wasn't, at all, playing to the crowd, since it was private and an opportunity for TOTN TOAT to have interceded to mediate the dispute.
  • If TOTN TOAT had accepted, I would have expected him to be favorable to WMC, but to recognize the real possibility of risk to WMC's bit, and therefore to point out that WMC should recuse from further action. I'm not planning on asking for that bit to be revoked, but only for what was done with JzG; contrary to TOTN TOAT's impression, ArbComm, in that case, essentially agreed with everything I'd asserted of importance. I did end up suggesting that ArbComm suspend the bit until it had received assurances that there would be no further abuse, but A/C decided, I imagine as a result of private discussions, to simply reprimand, which was quite strong enough, JzG has completely stopped editing since before the decision. That's been blamed on me; however, my view is that JzG had already burned out, that is why he'd become grossly uncivil in 2007-2008, and why, when the incivility was reprimanded, he turned to "don't get mad, get even" actions.
  • I may suggest what has become clear to me: when ArbComm finds improper admin action, it should suspend the bit unless it has received assurances that the admin understands the problem and will not repeat it; instead it tends to take a more extreme position, one way or the other: revocation or a troutslap, and when an admin clearly doesn't understand the issue, as with Tango or Physchim62, making it clear that the stonewalling and lack of understanding is the problem, not that an admin might have made a mistake. JzG stonewalled. WMC is more voluble than JzG, and appears to frankly admit his motivations, though not with an adequate analysis, as will appear with the evidence yet to be presented except in very compact form in the Request, in the full text hyperlinked from there. --Abd (talk) 13:56, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I simultaneously posted a response to Crohnie's request on her talk page: User talk:Crohnie#Abd's request for 'mediation'. The brief summary is this: No, Abd did not ask me to mediate the dispute. Instead, he asked me to threaten WMC on his behalf. He has just confirmed above that his unfruitful pursuit of my attention was purely to play to ArbCom, not part of any good-faith attempt to resolve the dispute. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:13, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
That response confirms what I wrote. No, I confirmed nothing of the kind. I find it sad that we have an administrator who cannot assume good faith, even privately. He claims that I wanted him to "threaten" WMC. What I wanted him to do, in fact, was to investigate the situation, independently, and I offered to provide evidence, but I didn't immediately provide it, so as not to prejudice his investigation. Only then would he warn WMC, and probably privately, and only if he found there was actual risk. Properly, if he saw no risk upon investigation, he'd have informed me that he saw no basis. Instead, he ranted about Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Abd and JzG, with a seriously worrisome understanding of what happened there.
There is now, as a result of his rejection of the opportunity, a much more disruptive RfAr which could, indeed, threaten WMC's bit; I'll note that we have an arbitrator who recused, who stated that he may provide evidence. Does TOTN TOAT imagine that this will be evidence supporting WMC's position? I can't anticipate it, for sure, but the arbitrator's recusal was no surprise to me. WMC's cavalier use of tools, supporting a faction of editors and his personal opinions, is unusually well-known, it's been the subject of media reports, and this damages Wikipedia. We should never allow to continue any credible basis for such claims. TOTN TOAT's response is material to the RfAR in process, and will be covered there. What ArbComm will make of it will be up to them.
(I define "disruptive" as the diversion of editor time from improving the project to involved and involving debate that does not improve content. The basic principle is to keep disruption to a minimum, taking disputes only to the level necessary to resolve them, which starts with two editors discussing a dispute, and widens only a little with the involvement of a third.) --Abd (talk) 16:33, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I'd assume somebody would thus be deemed "disruptive" who spends little time on content, more so on crusade after crusade on behalf of the perceived downtrodden who enjoys interjecting themselves into situations to engineer scenarios to further his crusading agenda? Minkythecat (talk) 16:52, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
That's correct, Minky. However, I'll note, I was working on content, intensively and with a lot of research and prior discussion, when I was banned. In other words, I was forced to pursue a dispute instead of editing the article. As to crusade on behalf of the downtrodden, that's not exactly what I do. I work to unblock and unban, sometimes, editors who have been adding useful content, and when I do this effectively, I'm indirectly responsible for a great deal of content that never accrues to my edit count. A good example would be Wilhelmina Will. Ask her if you doubt this. I see, all the time, questionable blocks and other stuff. I do not intervene unless I consider that it will be, overall, efficient. I would also like to reform our process so that unnecessary blocks and bans happen much less, and I believe I understand how to do that, without endangering the discretion of administrators to follow WP:IAR. If you imagine that Wikipedia will resolve its problems unconsciously, without deliberate discussion, in depth, of reform, you are dreaming. My goal is to essentially shift our discussion habits, to form it into effective discussion, effective in terms of finding true consensus, as distinct from the complete mess we now, too often, have.
ArbComm will decide if the net effect of my work is positive or negative. So far, so good. One never knows the future, though. I trust ArbComm, it's the best process we have, but much of what ArbComm does could be shifted out to the community, through the establishment of similar cautious process elsewhere, with ArbComm reserved for disputes that, even after all the evidence is in, even after all the arguments have been collected and refactored into a clear report, there is no consensus and yet the matter is important enough to warrant attention at the highest level.
You may consider my filing of the RfAr as disruptive, but you should really compare it to the alternatives. I could have gone to a noticeboard with my complaint. I could have filed an RfC. Were I like some editors, I could have had salted away a series of sock puppets; I know how to avoid checkuser, etc, but, quite simply, I believe in consensus and would never try to warp it with socks. What I saw, from prior events and from what happened when, in spite of my efforts to prevent it, I was taken to the noticeboards twice over the ban issues, and the !votes reflected a dedicated faction of editors, easily identified from prior disputes involving other editors, as well as myself. Continuing that would be needless disruption, it was quite clear that it wasn't going to be resolved below ArbComm, so I actually shut it down, accepting a month-long ban as being minimally disruptive, and when I was 24-hour blocked, for a trivial edit that did not challenge the ban but instead acknowledged it -- by being self-reverted as well as by being harmless, I didn't even put up an unblock template. Watch. You'll see. --Abd (talk) 17:22, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
No need to watch. Good captain Abd seems unable to grasp that facing an iceberg, it may be a good idea to steer an alternate course. But then again, your trivial edit, as is pretty obvious, was designed to force the issue. Because, after all, a ban is a ban, not a "ban unless you consider it trivial". After all, if the edit was trivial there was zero need for YOU to do it. Minkythecat (talk) 17:27, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
These are all issues that will be discussed and debated before ArbComm. The edit was not designed to force any issue; at that point, and the record shows this, I had plenty of evidence before me that such edits would be considered to not violate a ban. It was only when I was blocked, in fact, that argument was presented that they should be considered violations. Please read the RfAr evidence carefully, especially my presentation that is there now, which is what was presented with the request. If you look at the "current dispute" link, you will see a diff to WMC's comment on this kind of edit. That's the response I expected: no response. It's not true that there was "zero need." "Trivial" refers to an edit that could not possibly be, in itself, a disruption. With ScienceApologist, it was spelling corrections. Now, the SA edits were designed to disrupt, in fact, but he was not blocked for them. He was blocked for a declared intention to disrupt. Self-reversion was a suggestion I made to him at the time to answer the problem he raised and that others raised against him or for him: on the one hand, spelling corrections undeniably improve the project. Thus they are justified under WP:IAR. The alternative of suggesting the edit is far more cumbersome, for everyone, than simply making an edit. On the other hand, even small edits complicate ban enforcement. How to resolve this? I suggested that if, with the edit, the editor summarizes with "will self-revert per ban," the editor is (1) displaying cooperation with the ban, and (2) has set it up so that any editor can, without any fuss, immediately see the edit and implement it if the editor approves. And that's exactly how I saw these edits work, in the times that they were used. Nobody else but me, as far as I can see, has been blocked for a ban-violating edit of this nature, though Wikipedia is vast and it may have happened. Please remember, as well, at the time, I had cleared this suggestion with an arbitrator before making it to ScienceApologist. Nobody objected, at that point, that such edits would still be ban violations, and since they were clearly less disruptive than "harmless edits," I was quite surprised to be blocked. Your ABF position stinks, Minky. --Abd (talk) 19:37, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I had already investigated the situation and commented on it at the time of your email to me. I had advised you specifically to demonstrate through the mediation process (which you had agreed to at the time) that you could engage in productive discussion with other editors, and I expressed an expectation that following such a demonstration, WMC would be likely to lift your page ban.
Instead, you chose to ignore that advice. First, you asked me by email to threaten WMC on your behalf, then you repeated the same message on my talk page so you could play to ArbCom. I informed you that your reasoning was faulty, and that in the course of your threats to WMC you had been repeatedly misstating and misinterpreting of the JzG & Abd Arbitration. If you didn't keep bringing up that case, I wouldn't feel compelled to correct your interpretation. (Indeed, as far as I can recall, the only times I've referred to that case since its closure have been in direct response to your statements about it.)
I have posted a copy of my initial email reply to you on my talk page. You keep referring to it as if it were some sort of deep dark secret; there is now a public copy at User talk:TenOfAllTrades#Your email response to me regarding William M. Connolley. (If anything, the email was more temperate than my on-wiki comments, as it was only the first time that I'd had to respond to your message.)
Incidentally, TOTN is a confusing acronym for my pseudonym. I'm not quite sure why you're using it. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:53, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, don't know how I did that, except for general dizziness. I've redacted to TOAT, hope that's okay. "If I didn't keep bringing up the case." Uh, TOAT, there is a pending RfAr. If I've misinterpreted the prior arbitration, surely ArbComm will make that clear. I wrote that you vehemently rejected the attempt, and I was asked for specifics, which I provided. You had no obligation to correct that here. You have, as far as I can tell, confirmed the rejection above. The "deep dark secret" image is entirely yours. Thanks for posting the original response. Yes, it may have been more temperate, I haven't checked yet. I asked you for permission to post it then, which you denied. I'm glad you changed your mind, it would have been slightly simpler if you had simply done this on request. But done is done. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 19:25, 17 July 2009 (UTC)