User talk:Charles Matthews/Archive 30

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 29 Archive 30 Archive 31


Tottel's Miscellany

Hello sir,

I see that you've made some improvements to our page. My name is Jessica and we were commissioned by my English professor to pick a page on Wikipedia that wasn't very informative and create it so that it was. If we did anything wrong or if you have any suggestions or comments for what we could do to make it better please let us know and we'll do it. We don't want to step on any toes or cross boundaries.

Thank you! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tottelwiki (talkcontribs) 21:33, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

I've replied on Talk:Tottel's Miscellany. Please sign with ~~~~ on discussion pages. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:38, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Dear Charles,
Many thanks for your engagement with my students on the Tottel's Miscellany page. It's been an instructive (and productive) collaboration. I'm wondering if you'd be willing to assign a quality rating to the page as it now appears. It's certainly a great improvement over where it was a month ago, but I'll defer to your Wikipedia judgment! All best wishes, Cyrus Mulready (aforementioned English prof.) Redcknight (talk) 14:26, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I guess, in terms of Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment, it has made it to B class. Anyway the explicit criteria given in the table there seem appropriate. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:30, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
By the way, the image at File:File-Thomas, Lord Vaux, by Hans Holbein the Younger.jpg hasn't had copyright details added, so will be deleted in three days now. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:37, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Regius Professor of Divinity

My original source for Guy Wigan was, though I'm happy to leave it to you to determine which is more authoritative. Smb1001 (talk) 23:09, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Ah, interesting. Not compatible with their database, then. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:14, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Edmund Campion

Hi. Thanks for tightening up the Edmund Campion article. I tried my best to rv the POV (inherent in every article solely or largely lifted from the Catholic Encyclopedia) without triggering a reaction or accusations of POV or bias leading to edit wars. (I am rather proud of the work I did on Henry Henry). I really hope you can continue to do the same kind of tightening up & de-POVing on other religion-related articles, especially those from the C.E. I do so when I can but always running the risk, due to past issues, of being accused of bias. Thanks. Yours, (talk) 12:45, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Well, I hope so too. The Campion article was just in passing since I was linking to Richard Cheyney. I have had my eye on that article for a while; it should have more purely factual info added, and as part of my efforts with the Dictionary of National Biography I have hoped to do that, from the text starting at s:Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 08.djvu/402, which has a full treatment (but is certainly written from a Catholic POV). My general approach is to assume that "religious history" can be written as by a historian. I've not had problems with this so far. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:46, 11 October 2009 (UTC)


I don't remember if I told you, but I listed Milton's early life up for GAN. Once that passes, I'm going to try and work on it to get it to FA level. Once I can, I'm going to double back and work on the main article. I'll give you heads up so we can coordinate our efforts. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:53, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

OK; my main recent contribution has been filling in minor figures around Milton, but I'm happy to do more of that and other work on background. Charles Matthews (talk) 16:05, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
That would be helpful. I wont have a lot of time to devote to it until December (after the GAN). So, don't expect this to be any time soon. :) Ottava Rima (talk) 17:19, 16 October 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for the notice, Charles, I'll put my name down & try to be there. Terry0051 (talk) 20:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Cambridge November meetup

Thanks Charles. There's a chance that I will make it, but there's also a good chance I might not. As you know, I'm not much of an editor any more. I find Wikipedia to reneged on its early idealism of being geographically neutral and is now increasingly US centric - in spellings, date formats, bias in articles and the US frequently being to only example given in articles, etc etc.

Also as I've mentioned before. The quality of articles is deteriorating because vandalism is often not noticed or corrected. Just this morning I found that the English Channel article fails to mention the last ice age. As expected the culprit was a whole section that had been deleted, without anyone noticing, some time in the last couple of years.

Its a major problem. I mentioned it at the last Cambridge meetup I went to, but no one was interested. It seems to me that many people on Wikipedia are in denial or are oblivious to the problem of disappearing sections, and still believe that all vandalism (intentional or accidental) is reverted quickly. But that belief is based on studies that were done when Wikipedia was at the height of its popularity ~2005 and lots of editors kept an eye on any article they had edited. Today, many editors have moved on to the next big thing on the internet, and few of those that remain are watching or keeping up with their watch lists (and why should they). As a result, many articles, even large and significant articles, are neglected and gradually build up bad edits.

Someone ought to do a proper study of how many articles are affected. Even better, someone ought to write a tool to help identify key events in the edit history of an article: when sections get deleted, when this particular word/phrase was added. It is an almost impossible task to trawl through the edit history of a large article to work out which editor removed a large section of text and why. Sometimes its legitimate and a good call, sometimes its not. Without figuring out what has happened to an article over the period of several years, it is hard to know whether it is appropriate to reinstate a paragraph or section which was deleted long ago. -- Solipsist (talk) 09:45, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Well, there have been studies. The median time for reverting vandalism is around four minutes, and the mean is infinite. So in a sense your point about that is valid: there is vandalism that persists essentially for ever. The remedy, naturally, is to have people work over the less visited parts of the site. Without blowing my own trumpet too much, I believe that this is part of what I'm up to. Given the examples I find of such vandalism, I doubt it's mainly in the big articles, but perhaps that's a bias in where I'm going (minor historical topics).
I certainly remember the conversation you're alluding to. You obviously thought it was a bit casual, but as I recall James F. pointed out that this was watchlists being neglected, for whatever reason. Since then - well, we're moving towards some form of "flagged revisions", and although this is not happening overnight, a revision flagging system is now there to be switched on, and whenever that is in place (as the German Wikipedia now has it) patrolling of drive-by vandalism becomes that much more effective. "One door closes, another opens" describes my view on that.
Anyway, I'm sorry you feel that "going to the dogs" is the trend. Doesn't feel quite like that to me, though if you believe what the newspapers print you might feel that contraction has set in strongly. Not true: certainly few journalists are up to speed with Wikipedia, and they make howling errors of fact. We could still do with your help, of course; and good work goes on all the time. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:54, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Well I recall something like a 4 minute reversion figure from a study done years ago. However a search lead me to this more recent study which also found a median reversion time of 4 minutes - which is a surprise. But I don't buy it. Only 25 instances is a pretty small sample - you'd think that a person with a maths based PhD would have mentioned margins of error with such small statistics. Worse those 25 examples are dominated by trivial vandalism. An older study Colonel Chaos concentrated on non-trivial vandalism in 2007 and found a much different result.
In any case, even when I've flagged up major failings on an article's talk page, I don't think anyone has ever bothered to fix the article in question, or even respond on the talk page.
But what is your explanation for editors failing to notice when whole sections go missing? -- Solipsist (talk) 11:26, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, "things go wrong here all the time" explains a lot. I'm not complacent about it all, but it has always been like that. I'm just in the middle of zapping a factual error that has crept in that I happened on yesterday. The scale of enWP is now so big that there is a fair chance of catching errors in the source material from which it is compiled (plenty of examples I see) by correlating things and keeping alert; the scale also means that that there are something like 1000 articles per active editor. I have a few thousand articles watchlisted (I had to zero my watchlist when it got to 30000, last year). When I leave a talk page comment, it's sometimes ignored, and sometimes not. The whole site is uneven (again, no change there). My only "solution" is that more people ignore the "glittering prizes" of stuff that makes the Main Page, and worry more about less glamorous work. The social pressures actually do work contrary to that, on occasion, which I find not so good. That's an honest assessment from me. What I know is that a few years ago "I work on an online encyclopedia" was a conversation-stopper, and now it's more a "how interesting"; so I don't think that the achievement should be belittled, really. I work quite long hours on trying to make sure that the "promises" made - that WP would be a decent online reference site - measure up. I totally accept that there are numerous blemishes. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:39, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Well I'm sure you are doing a fine job Charles, and I'd be surprised to find any major problems on the go related pages :-)
BTW it wasn't James F who suggested that the problem was neglected watchlists, that was me. James F wasn't paying attention at all and was chatting away to the chap next to him about something on his laptop. When he did cotton on to the end of the discussion, he just said that Wikipedia didn't have a problem with vandalism and studies showed that vandalism got reverted in a few minutes - which is rather missing the point. In any case, this view was probably based on the conclusion of the good IBM study from 2004, but as I say, I don't think this holds water any more.
My impression is that there must be thousands of editors like myself who originated or made significant rewrites to articles some years ago, but have subsequently lost interest and drifted away. It is not a workable model to expect an editor to keep a constant watch on changes to every article they've written for the next 30 years. There must be tens of thousands of neglected articles that nobody is really watching and those articles are probably accumulating errors and losing sections without anyone noticing. I have seen some efforts to encourage active editors to adopt neglected articles, but I doubt that happens enough to bridge the gap.
The other explanation, (based on my sporadic checks) suggests that sections go missing when one anon accidentally (or not) deletes part of an article, then shortly afterwards another anon makes an obvious (eg. vulgar) edit that quickly gets reverted by the VandalBot or someone on vandal patrol. This tends to mean that even if a protective editor had the article on their watchlist, they only notice the last vandalism reversion, but don't spot the section being deleted. -- Solipsist (talk) 12:36, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, yes, if we get into some more sophisticated stochastic geometry-type maths, we can see that with a few thousand watched "patches" trying to cover a few million articles, there will be bits that are uncovered just by bad luck, even if the numbers are OK globally. Admins can see what the unwatched articles are and adopt them; I don't remember seeing any I really cared about. As for people leaving: yes, friends of mine have got fed up and gone, and I regret that. My formulation is more in terms of the "second decade", which is not so far off. It won't be the early adopters who are keeping it going. You mention go (the articles aren't that great, and if I don't work there it's partly because I wrote a lot of go before Wikipedia), and I got involved in go organisation. Some things are the same (people do a bit then move on), some things are different, particularly that WP took off, and the go peoplr are still waiting for that to happen, around 40 years on. Having that background in other voluntary work rather conditions my views. Anyway you are probably correct to say that vandalism has never been seen as Public Enemy Number One. Right now that would be BLP, which has the potential to close the site, not just degrade it a bit round the edges. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:49, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Deans of Canterbury


Thanks for your input on Dean Fotherby. I have been making succession boxes for the 16th and 17th century Deans and decided to try to fill the gap at Fotherby. I'm not enormously skilled at WP editing, so your tidyings up are very welcome. I'm currently working on the records of the Cathedral Library at Canterbury in the 17th century, hence my activity with the Deans.

If you want to see my other interests, look at I'll try to shift some of this material on to the User page as you suggested.

Thanks again.

David Shaw

Vidoue (talk) 16:28, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Gosh, you do seem to be busy with other things than Wikipedia! Charles Matthews (talk) 16:33, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

John Tillotson: Did I foul up and accidentally delete whole sections? Arrrrrggggh! Vidoue (talk) 14:02, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Not sure how to put this ... yes? Good-faith mistake, think no more of it. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:05, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
To cheer you up, I've created Gerrard Andrewes, another of your Deans, from the DNB. Three to go. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:50, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Mark Frank (theologian)

Hi there. In the Mark Frank (theologian) article you created, you state that his birthplace is in Brickhill, Buckinghamshire. Brickhill is a relatively new civil parish in Bedfordshire and was first developed after the Second World War. It is therefore unlikely, if not impossible that this will be Mark Frank's birthplace.

However there is Bow Brickhill, Great Brickhill and Little Brickhill which are all in Buckinghamshire, and all have long histories going back until at least 1066. It's likely that one of these villages is the birthplace of Mark Frank. Find out if you can, and amend the article as it is inaccurate at present. Bleaney (talk) 00:09, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Baptised at Little Brickhill, as the article now reads. Thanks for the alert. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:09, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Matthew Kellison and John Percy

Hi there, was wondering if you could help me again! I am disambiguationg the links on the Harrowden page, and am having difficulty with Matthew Kellison and John Percy. Matthew Kellison will have been born in either Great Harrowden or Little Harrowden, which are both in Northamptonshire. In the case of John Percy, the article states: He was seized at Harrowden (November, 1605) at the time of the Gunpowder Plot. This Harrowden could be either of the above or even Harrowden, Bedfordshire. Any thoughts? Bleaney (talk) 02:48, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

The Gunpowder Plot connection is with Great Harrowden and the Vaux estate: see for example Edward Vaux, 4th Baron Vaux of Harrowden. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:11, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Matthew Kellison was born at Harrowden, Northamptonshire, on the Vaux estate, according to the ODNB. There may be no way to know more precisely. Keep on checking! Charles Matthews (talk) 11:15, 27 October 2009 (UTC)


Realistically there is 20 or so years of work to complete the DNB transfer, at least at the rate we're now going; so no urgent need for improvement of the lists yet. I agree that splitting each listings pages into six or so pages would speed things up, but even there I'm routing around the large size problem quite effectively.

I've been doing geocoding for the last few months, but think that I'll be doing DNB for the foreseeable future; I'll concentrate on list 01 for the time being, to see if I can get double ticks on every line.

I tend to source DNB text from the Oxford DNB website, and so don't tend to visit wikisource; nor am I that interested in the order of entries nor page numbers. Authors do interest me; I'd like to be certain that they were all dead by 1938, else we're in copyvio territory. That said, I take my hat off to you for the work you're doing on wikisource.

I will do some more work on the project pages ... I think an innocent user entering them from the missing encyclopedia entries page might be quite confused as to what work needs to be done. Expect some more changes of the sort made to the epitome template page last night, to take users through the work & processes from first principles, and to cut out or demote any gratuitous text. We need to get away from "too long, didn't read".

I note your mulling over unreferenced articles. We do need to encourage proper and consistent referencing, but I'm not so sure we should be encouraging people to determine whether a reference is required based on the summary; we'd perhaps be as well to encourage people to compare the wiki and DNB articles, and then check a) whether more text could be imported and b) whether DNB refs are in place for DNB sourced article text. (And I see you've pulled to pointers from the template page to wikisource - I'd vote to add them back in for those users who want to source DNB text from wikisource ... I'll look at the question of links to DNB text tonight, probably.

I did also give thought to having a three tick system meaning that we have checked the article against the ODNB. That's a much better resource than DNB - more modern, better edited, many mistakes rectified. But I decided against, since ODNB is in copyright and I didn't want to confuse dealing with PD text sources and copyright text sources. Besides, ODNB is behind a subscription wall, easily surmountable if you're a brit, not so easy if you're not.

Still. At least you have a fairly competehnt resource working through the list as a main task, so slowly you should see some progress, I hope. (fyi, I'm only online about 3 days per week, mutter mutter mutter). --Tagishsimon (talk) 14:22, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

It was good to see you back at work on it, so I thought I'd drop you a note. I have only just got access to the ODNB, so I have plenty to do there that was waiting for some better scans. It was Dsp13 who really persuaded me that creating the article first at Wikisource was the way to go from the point of view of professionalism, and that can pay off in checking right back to the pages. But it's not the quick way, simply an expansion of free content around the article.
As for referencing, I merely meant that, on finding a completely unreferenced article, it is a help to add the DNB as a reference. Articles that are 'only' referenced to the DNB are in a better state than those that have no visible means of support. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:30, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

A Question of Attribution

I am in some doubt as to the author of the poem whose first line is "What, still alive at twenty-two," of which there are in Wikipedia two slightly different versions: in and, respectively. The first of these was put there by me, on seeing one parody was already there, and considering that, if the one I knew was deemed "the only good" by Housman, then it was worth adding. I had no idea that a slightly different version was already in the Kingsmill article.

In the anthology Poets at Play by Cyril Alington (Methuen, 1942), where I found it (in 1945 or thereabouts) there is no mention of Hugh Kingsmill, either in the index, the text or the comprehensive acknowledgements. Authorship is (fairly) unambiguously attributed to Sir Owen Seaman. Moreover, Seaman, as you may well know, was known for his parodies, whereas Kingsmill, as far as I can discover from the ODNB, was not. However, all the information I have on either of the putative authors is in the book, ONDB and Wikipedia - all secondary sources.

It's a small point, but, being like yourself a non-practising mathematician (only Part II, I confess), I dislike inconsistency. However, I all I can do is draw your attention to the situation as the original author of the Kingsmill page, and ask whether you are aware of any direct evidence support his authorship, such as some edition of Punch in which it was published. Alington may have been mistaken, but then so might Muggeridge or James Dickey. MikeSy (talk) 18:23, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Richard Ingrams, God's Apology, p. 85, says it is from Kingsmill's book of parodies The Table of Truth, from about 1929. Charles Matthews (talk) 20:35, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
And here's Michael Holroyd, Kingsmill's biographer, saying so: [1].Charles Matthews (talk) 21:49, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
So it looks like Alington didn't check his facts; tut. So we're left with the question do we really need more than one version (well, copy anyway - we can correct the last verse, though I'm inclined to prefer it to the other), and if not, where should it be. If it's left on the Hugh Kingsmill, then for consistency, the other parody should also be moved from Shropshire Lad to Humbert Wolfe. My preference would be for leaving both in proximity to their target, and just leave a reference on Kingsmill. But, having removed Kingsmill's erroneous 'Sir' from Shropshire Lad, to do nothing without knowing your opinion. MikeSy (talk) 17:21, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Other issues. The thing is probably still in copyright. We don't include whole poems, anyway: that is what Wikisource does, if it is not in copyright. So I think the whole poem has to go, reduced to the first line (the status quo ante, in other words). Shame, but rules is rules. Charles Matthews (talk) 19:30, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Fact tags in maths articles

Dear Charles,

I just started a discussion at Talk:Resolution of singularities about the desirability of adding fact tags to uncontroversial (but perhaps impossible to pin down) general claims in maths articles. I know this is an issue you've come across before, so your input would be much appreciated. Best wishes, Artie P.S. (talk) 08:28, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Omar Amanat

Thanks for your intervention on this article. Anonymous user is consistently engaging in an edit war in violation of the 3 edit rule. Also the subject is being slandered by being accused of having two wives when there is no substantiated, reliable evidence to suggest this. This is inconsistent with NPOV. I have stopped editing and would appreciate your help in obtaining a temporary protection be placed on the article until we reach common ground. Rumination (talk) 11:36, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

No, there is no particular reason to protect the article. Perhaps you can help most by clarifying the situation, in terms of the facts. While I see press reports relating to the "wives", what would clear up the situation would be to understand the status of the supposed marriages. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:40, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Hi Charles, there seems to be an edit war in violation of the 3 edit rule and users are continually posting additional poorly sourced, potentially libelous information. Would appreciate your advice on how to handle. J araneo (talk) 20:19, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Paradoxes of infinity

Strangely there is no article paradoxes of infinity. Perhaps there is enough content around to have, at the very least, a list there. Some possibilities include (just off the top of my head):

-- (talk) 16:57, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Category:Paradoxes of naive set theory has some of the most standard ones. Charles Matthews (talk) 17:00, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I created the article as redirect, and will leave a few notes towards a future article on its talk page. Thanks for the suggestions, Paradoctor (talk) 01:11, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

DNB article references

I'm afraid I don't think that changing article references from the form used in, say Alexander Annesley - which without hyperlinksing would be:

Lee, Sidney. (1885). "Annesley, Alexander (d 1813), legal and political writer,". Dictionary of National Biography Vol. II. Smith, Elder & Co.Retrieved 2009-06-19.

to the form now used in Alexander Abercromby (British Army officer), which is:

s:Abercromby, Alexander (1784-1853) (DNB00)

works for me.

The first conveys information on the source of the text, date and author. The second is devoid of any context unless clicked on ... useless if printed out. If you absolutely must, you could change the hyperlink target in the longform reference to point to wikisource, but please, let's not lose the meat of the reference, which is not the hyperlink but human parsable info about the source. --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:59, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Well, replacing a link that is to the ODNB, behind a subscription wall, by a link to Wikisource where the article is available to everyone, is a big plus, naturally. I can't really come at it from the same direction as you therefore. The hyperlink that used to be there in fact at Alexander Abercromby (British Army officer) was, which takes me to a login page. The Wikisource link makes available the information "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 01, Abercromby, Alexander (1784-1853), by Henry Morse Stephens" and more for those who visit it. I take your point about the bibliographic details. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:41, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Thinking about it, and as I'm embarking on a programme to provide 500 or more links to Wikisource to back up use of DNB text here, I probably should figure out a template {{DNBplus}} that could be filled out routinely with details that were already present. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:00, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
But the meat of my issue is not the hyperlink, but the anchor text. We should be showing author, publication, date, publisher ... not a frankly meaningless anchor which conveys none of these. Having agreed that principle, I note that a) an anchor to a subscription walled reference is not so good as one to a place where one can read the text unencumbered ... but it's no worse than the millions of refs we have to books, which are equally or more difficult to get to and b) that is the source of the text I'm adding, not wikisource. All that said, I'm happy to concede on the second issue - the link destination - but not on the first. --Tagishsimon (talk) 10:39, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
As I say, my solution would be to design a template which would generate the same or equivalent apparent text by extracting the non-repeated elements and making a form to fill in. The situation with the DNB text on the ODNB site is a little bit unsatisfactory, because of the misleading way the old text is labelled (when it says say "Original date of publication: 1891" it doesn't mean it provides the 1891 text, but apparently the 1912 revision). This takes some thinking about, to get the best presentation of information. And I'm no great wizard at template syntax anyway. Preferably the Errata would eventually be included in any online reference, because that would deal with certain factual confusions; the revised ODNB articles (for those who can read them) really supercede all earlier versions anyway - though I was amused to find an apparent mistake in one of those. As I mentioned to someone on Wikisource, the change of linkage was experimental, so I'm not particularly surprised to get a reaction. But getting the best of both worlds by means of a well-considered citation mechanism will take a little work. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:48, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
As a temporary measure I have set up {{DNBfirst}}, to be applied in the style now visible at Alexander Abercromby (British Army officer). Charles Matthews (talk) 13:04, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks; That rocks. I'll start adding it to my DNB entries. BTW, there's an enormous crop of DNB-port articles listed here, added by a user who never got around to referencing any of them. It's always been on my todo list to make sure they're properly referenced, but somehow I have not yet got around to it. Just thought I'd mention them since we're combing lists &c. --Tagishsimon (talk) 13:09, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
The trawl at s:Wikisource:WikiProject DNB/Data capture should have picked those up. I'm in the middle of alphabetising those and dividing them up by volume. I'm creating the articles a few at a time, and the problem should be mostly fixed on the timescale of about a year, at least as far as the backlog is concerned. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:40, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Charles Umpherston Aitchison

So, Charles Umpherston Aitchison. Not showing up at wikisource DNB volume 1. Is found in the epitome list. It's late, I'm tired. Giv me a clue. --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:18, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

And whilst we're about it, what's the (DNB00) all about? A DAB? Why DNB00? --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:19, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
So it would be in the Supplement: I've just checked that it's in the 1901 additions here. He wouldn't be in the pre-1900 volumes, being 1832–1896 (date of death is a big clue to that). And this is the answer to the other query: 00 = 1900 or before, first edition; DNB01 is used for that first Supplement (three volumes, links on my scans page). Charles Matthews (talk) 20:50, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

AfD nomination of Phoebe Price

Ambox warning pn.svg

An editor has nominated one or more articles which you have created or worked on, for deletion. The nominated article is Phoebe Price. We appreciate your contributions, but the nominator doesn't believe that the article satisfies Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion and has explained why in his/her nomination (see also Wikipedia:Notability and "What Wikipedia is not").

Your opinions on whether the article meets inclusion criteria and what should be done with the article are welcome; please participate in the discussion(s) by adding your comments to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Phoebe Price. Please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~).

You may also edit the article during the discussion to improve it but should not remove the articles for deletion template from the top of the article; such removal will not end the deletion debate.

Please note: This is an automatic notification by a bot. I have nothing to do with this article or the deletion nomination, and can't do anything about it. --Erwin85Bot (talk) 01:17, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

DNB dates and OCR

Thanks for the tip, I'll pay more attention in future. I was aware of this problem, but because I am usually dealing with English Civil War and Interregnum dates, I am aware of when they are wrong, because I know the chronological order of events. In the case of George Fleetwood (Swedish general), when he went to Sweden etc does not ring my internal bells, so as you say in cases like that I'll check them more carefully. BTW I have now changed the way I work on these articles. What I now do is fix them as best I can for what I need on the djvu page before porting them across as this will make it easier for people who later create the article on Wikipedia source. -- PBS (talk) 08:48, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

You might like to take a look at Talk:Fleetwood (noble family) as there is some differences in sources over the kinship between the English Civil War era Fleetwoods. -- PBS (talk) 10:04, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the alert. Unless I'm being too superficial, it is the other George Fleetwood who is troublesome. (I certainly know of instances where the DNB gets it wrong, by the way.) Charles Matthews (talk) 10:09, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm only half paying attention, but I've posted key details from ODNB on the talk page, fwiw. --Tagishsimon (talk) 13:44, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
A propos, I think the caveat had better go back into {{DNBListing}} about using the text as a reference. (I'll confess I do that myself.) But the dates issue that brought this up was there in that listing. Charles Matthews (talk) 17:02, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Just a heads up...

I just wrote Richard Barre which is on your User:Charles Matthews/DNB judges. Got him listed on the Archdeacon of Ely page also. Ealdgyth - Talk 22:44, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. The redlink lists from the DNB are not really developed yet. The theory is to check over the DNB volume lists to identify which articles really are missing, and then create some better topical lists; but this is still in its early stages. By the way, on another front, I have been trying withe some success to complete the lists of English bishops, so that the medieval ones (mostly your work) are joined with the later ones. There are around ten remaining English bishops to do to in total; I have created all those where the DNB can provide an article. At some point I was intending to use the DNB to amplify stubs, pre-1500. What do you feel about that old material, though? My experience is that the DNB is quite useful in the 17th century, rather thinner and less reliable in the 16th century. So I wasn't assuming the quality on, say, medieval archbishops of York, would be that high. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:12, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, I should take care of all the pre-1300 ones for sure. That's on my list and I'm about halfway there, working on Lincoln. (You can check the chart buried somewhere on my user page). After I finish that, I'm not sure if I'm going to go through and do the bishops through 1500 or not. The DNB (as opposed to the ODNB) is pretty ... spotty. It suffers from the florid prose writing and has some pretty interesting biases too. It's probably okay as a source of basic data, but beware it's interpretations of events and such, as a lot of that has changed. I'd be opposed to wholesale importing it's articles into Wikipedia without some serious rewriting, because of the prose and biases issues. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:00, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Deletion of "GMSL" page

Hello Charles

Just hoping that you can provide a bit of feedback on why you have deleted the page for our company - GMSL?

I can see that you have given the reason "(A7: Article about a company, corporation, organization, or group, which does not indicate the importance or significance of the subject)" but I was wondering whether you can give me some hints on what we would need to do to make the article acceptable?

To be honest I don't actually know what was in the original article so there is a chance that someone wrote something wholly inappropriate or maybe it's just that articles about specific companies are frowned upon?

Many thanks


Mossyroof (talk) 14:03, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Here is the entire text:
Gas Management Services Limited is a UK-based company providing 24rs dispatching (nominations) services and niche software solutions to the European gas and power markets.
It was deleted under CSD A7, since this sentence doesn't indicate any reason why there should be an encyclopedia article about GMSL. What we look for is explained in detail at Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies). Charles Matthews (talk) 15:49, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

a dab issue

Hi Charles, I've "created" a bit of an issue with one of your redirects. I'm not sure what the solution is, nor do I care a great deal, so I documented the issue at Talk:University of Saint Louis. If you are not interested, I'll take it to a MOS page to ask whether I should get worked up about this, and how I might best fix it. --John Vandenberg (chat) 11:50, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

If you just do as you suggest there, redirecting to the dab page section, it would seem to be an adequate way to handle things, with piped links then taking the strain. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:40, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Charles Matthews. You have new messages at JamesBWatson's talk page.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Wikipedia on the wane?

Hi Charles, no doubt you will have seen the blog/news about Wikipedia being on the wane. They are not hitting on the same reasons that I've been talking about, but the mood music is much the same. -- Solipsist (talk) 09:44, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Actually, I was on the BBC News Channel on Wednesday evening giving my views on this. And was interviewed for a piece that came out in the Guardian on Thursday. This was prompted by an article in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, making a lot out of a fairly bogus statistic about thousands of editors leaving; which, as it is based entirely on accounts created, as far as I can see, is not a good argument. (The number of accounts created is around 5 million I believe, while the population of active editors is around 5000 and fairly steady.) As I said on TV, you need a thousand accounts to get one fanatic: most of those accounts have never been used. What I was quoted on in the Guardian was that WP was hot in 2007, and now we are left with the fairly serious people. I don't at all discount the standard list of reasons why people do leave (scratchiness and too many rules accounts for a number I know of); nor have I ever said that you don't have a point. But, as I managed to get in my four minutes of telly fame, come back in a year's time and there will be 10% more articles, and (subjectively) 20% better coverage by depth and quality. The latter is what matters more, but it is simply harder to quantify. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:56, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Turns out that the suits at the WMF see it the same way: Charles Matthews (talk) 14:48, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Heh, I've been to the office, and I don't think anyone wears a suit. Congrats on your interview -- is there a link to it? I'll put it in the Signpost. best, -- phoebe / (talk to me) 15:34, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
No, that news channel doesn't get onto BBC iPlayer. I do have a video clip; I'm not going to post it as such. But what I could do is a transcript, I suppose. Charles Matthews (talk) 15:58, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia Motivation Award Wikipedia Motivation Award
Thanks for putting things across so well in the recent BBC interview (and for the transcript). - Pointillist (talk) 15:43, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Random thoughts

well, not random, of course. first off, do you think its appropriate that your name in the article How Wikipedia Works should be linked to your userpage? im not complaining, im just curious if you think thats proper linking. thanks for the interview, and thanks for all the edits. and, have you ever heard of Roger Burrows? i wrote this article on these fascinating coloring books, but could find very little about him. Mercurywoodrose (talk) 04:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

On How Wikipedia Works: I have been asked before about the link to User:Charles Matthews, and said that I don't mind if it's removed. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:42, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

DNB Cite template

Out of curiosity, why does the {{DNB Cite}} template generate the date range "1895–1900​"? If I add the correct volume (5) to the template you added to Andrew Bloxam, it correctly produces the date 1886, which then looks very odd. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:17, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Good point, it was a typo in the template (not one I have used until recently). Now fixed. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:42, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Connes embedding problem

Probably should be deleted because User:Henry Delforn does not seem to have any idea of the subject. This applies to almost every article he has edited, as I think you have probably noticed. Nevertheless, a serious and useful article could be written on the topic. Best regards, (I almost signed my RL name here because I am completely swamped by a conference I'm organizing) Mathsci (talk) 00:22, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the comment, which suggests to me rewriting rather than deletion though. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:14, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

RfD nomination of Information about Agriculture,Farming,lumber and Fishing in Manchukuo and Mengchiang lands

I have nominated Information about Agriculture,Farming,lumber and Fishing in Manchukuo and Mengchiang lands (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) for discussion. Your opinions on the matter are welcome; please participate in the discussion by adding your comments at the discussion page. Thank you. — The Man in Question (in question) 06:16, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Generalized Continued Fractions

About five years ago, you wrote on higher dimensional approaches and mentioned the attempts of Poitou and Szekeres (true?). I have tried hard without success to identify the corresponding paper of Georges Poitou in the literature. Can you help me with a reference? Thank you very much! --TeesJ (talk) 12:27, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

I'd like to help. I actually learned about it from a course of J. W. S. Cassels, which just alluded to work of Georges Poitou on lattices, I think from the 1950s. I don't have notes, and I doubt Cassels published those lectures. You could try contacting him, though: I still see him around in Cambridge, and c/o DPMMS should get to him. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:52, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Georges Poitou, Sur l'approximation des nombres complexes, Ann. Scien. Ec. Norm. Sup. 70, p 199-265 (1953) could be relevant. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:00, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for revealing your prominent source. I was in doubt because the excellent dissertation of Brentjes has no reference to Poitou. Cassels writes in his Geometry of Numbers, p. 303, referring to the paper given by you: "Continued fractions have however been generalized to 2-dimensional lattices over a complex quadratic field, i.e. substantially to certain special 4-dimensional lattices." So I can look for the precise results there. --TeesJ (talk) 14:21, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Warning Eugeneacurry

You said, "I have been reading your contributions to Talk:Acharya S, and I think there is a real problem with your use of the discussion page. The proper function is to discuss the content of the article, not research you are capable of doing concerning it, not what you think about the views of the subject of the article, and certainly not what you think of other editors involved in the discussions. Please back off from pushing your own view with that tone."

First, I've given up trying to include Murdock's middle name in her article. I just couldn't win so I've resigned myself to defeat on this one; I won't be "pushing" my view with any "tone" whatsoever. Second, I clearly was using the aritcle's talk page to discuss the article--specifically the possible inclusion of facutal information. Discussions of research only arose when I was compelled to justify otherwise seemingly self-evidently credible sources. As for the insinuation that I was using the page as a place to duscuss what I "think about the views of the subject of the article," I must confess that I have no idea what you are talking about. Eugeneacurry (talk) 19:56, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

When you wrote As to the matter of her safety, I've seen this objection a few times now and it's always struck me as misleading, as if the implication is that critics of Murdock's work are so enraged that they are seeking to do her bodily harm, as though if they could only get her full name they'd track her down to satisfy their crazed blood lust, you are discussing her own views on her own safety. That is what I meant. A Talk page is not a forum in which such matters are to be discussed. I have deleted some whole threads on that page now, since I consider what was going on there inflammatory. My comment left to you is a routine measure to ensure that you understand where the issues lie, that seem to me to require this unusual measure. Thank you for getting back to me on this. Charles Matthews (talk) 20:06, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Happy New Year

Best Wishes for 2010, FloNight♥♥♥♥ 12:39, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Likewise! Charles Matthews (talk) 12:40, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

What is part of mathematics

Charles, you may be interested in the following discussion, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics#Computational complexity theory as part of "mathematics". Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:11, 5 January 2010 (UTC)


Am I replying in the right place? Thankyou very much for message about DNB, that could be enormously helpful. As you can see I am finding it difficult to track reliable biographical references on the more marginal writers in this tradition. I do not wish to put you to trouble. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:28, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

No trouble. (I'm of the old-fashioned school, believing that generally talk threads can stay on one discussion page.) As for the DNB, there is a project that is in two places, here and at Wikisource. The Wikisource end is for example at s:Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, which links to pages for each volume showing what has been done for article creation. Over here it is at Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles/DNB and Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles/DNB Epitome (leads to the main listings of articles to check). There is plenty more in the way of project pages. It is possible to request article creation at s:Wikisource:WikiProject DNB/Most wanted articles. My own interests have been mainly in the 17th century, but the aim of this project really is to create all the DNB articles, starting with those that are needed as reference material. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:06, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


  • I'd just like to thank you for the Fred Clarke stuff. Best wishes, Omicron18 (talk) 10:50, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to see more there, of course. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:28, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

RfD nomination of Richard Wynn

I have nominated Richard Wynn (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) for discussion. Your opinions on the matter are welcome; please participate in the discussion by adding your comments at the discussion page. Thank you. Jclemens (talk) 21:54, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

singular homology

many years ago you wrote:

Thus, for example, the boundary of a 1-simplex σ = [p0,p1] is the formal difference σ1 − σ0 = [p1] − [p0].

at singular homology. Is there a reason it doesn't say [p0]-[p1]? it seems to not follow the formula, but it's endured for years, thanks. (talk) 05:01, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

The formula is
Here k is the omitted index. Omit 1, you get that the coefficient of [p0] is −1:? Omit 0, you get that the coefficient of [p1] is 1. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:05, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Hey, that makes sense. Thanks, and sorry to trouble you over such a detail. (talk) 21:22, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Unreferenced BLPs

Information.svg Hello Charles Matthews! Thank you for your contributions. I am a bot alerting you that 18 of the articles that you created are tagged as Unreferenced Biographies of Living Persons. The biographies of living persons policy requires that all personal or potentially controversial information be sourced. In addition, to ensure verifiability, all biographies should be based on reliable sources. If you were to bring these articles up to standards, it would greatly help us with the current 2,453 article backlog. Once the articles are adequately referenced, please remove the {{unreferencedBLP}} tag. Here is the list:

  1. Franz Baader - Find sources: "Franz Baader" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference
  2. Darko Suvin - Find sources: "Darko Suvin" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference
  3. Barry Buzan - Find sources: "Barry Buzan" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference
  4. Ehud Hrushovski - Find sources: "Ehud Hrushovski" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference
  5. Christopher Middleton (poet) - Find sources: "Christopher Middleton (poet)" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference
  6. Anthony Heilbut - Find sources: "Anthony Heilbut" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference
  7. William Newton-Smith - Find sources: "William Newton-Smith" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference
  8. John Rajchman - Find sources: "John Rajchman" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference
  9. Brendan Kennelly - Find sources: "Brendan Kennelly" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference
  10. Bernard Bergonzi - Find sources: "Bernard Bergonzi" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference
11. John Charvet
12. Walter Laqueur
13. Ferdinand Mount
14. P. N. Furbank
15. Peter J. Conradi
16. Robert Mezey
17. Arthur Boyars

Thanks!--DASHBot (talk) 05:24, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

You've been hard at work!

Thanks for uploading all the dissenting academicians! I will have a fossick around and see what needs changing since 1911. BrainyBabe (talk) 17:56, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

You too. It seems Daventry Academy should at least mention Caleb Ashworth, so there's another DNB article to see to. Charles Matthews (talk) 23:00, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
I put him in before I saw this. Curiously, there is yet another Samuel Clark, but not one we have an article on yet, if the death date of 1775 is correct. Any chance you could upload Wm Coward soonish? BrainyBabe (talk) 23:03, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for doing William Coward (merchant). £150 000 in 1738 must have been a stonking sum of money. I've started a thread re the list here. BrainyBabe (talk) 21:57, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't know how you prioritise the DNB list, but I have an interest in these chappies, so if you cared to include them in the next week or month or so, that would be appreciated: Hugh Worthington, Thomas Amory (Unitarian minister), John Kentish (Unitarian minister), Rochemont Barbauld, Thomas Cromwell (Unitarian minister). Thanks for considering this request. BrainyBabe (talk) 00:07, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
The article on Amory says "In all his literary work he was an honest, dull, serviceable man." Which was one reason I wasn't rushing! But I can certainly look at all of these: I'm trying to post a dozen a day at the moment. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:40, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! BrainyBabe (talk) 07:44, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Education of daughters too?

As you said you don't watch-list everything you edit...have you had a look at Talk:William Coward (merchant)? Comment appreciated. Thanks. BrainyBabe (talk) 10:59, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

I do watch everything I create ... I don't know whether "children" there is unisex. It seems unlikely on general grounds. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:26, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Warrington Academy

Have you seen this? BrainyBabe (talk) 08:02, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

No, thanks, I don't watch everything I edit, though in this case I should have. I met User:Awadewit at a Wikimania, and we agreed we pretty much come at things from opposite ends. Warrington Academy is part of the background to Priestley, but in a sense that is not all it is (and Priestley had other background, having been educated at Daventry).
So there is the "putting in context" issue: my feeling is that it should go on at dissenting academies, which ought to be developed so that it answers the basic questions (why was there a parallel educational system being put into place by Dissenters? - what were the constraints (legal and financial, mostly)? - what type of education was offered, both in secular and in religious terms?). As the list of dissenting academies shows, there was another academy at Warrington that had been active early in the century. Background reading shows that groups in Manchester and Liverpool were both interested in what became the new academy at Warrington; but there were tensions between the two cities. We are talking the early days of the Industrial Revolution (so-called) anyway, so that can be treated as a new factor (provided the references are there); the Thomas Bentley (manufacturer) connection is to Wedgwood and the whole circle mentioned in the Jenny Uglow book (exactly all that), but of course treating the context as cause-and-effect is likely to be bad taste as history, as well as "original research", if done wrong. The internal strife at Warrington of Taylor and Seddon shows that the "seminary" aspect was still important, though the statistics on student numbers tend to show that relatively few were actually training as ministers.
Well, there is more to say, but the list project will occupy me for another week, I suppose, and referencing it properly gets somewhat deeper into the background (I'm still not clear all about Kibworth, for example, which is where John Aikin the elder taught before Warrington). Charles Matthews (talk) 08:50, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Just today I was reading a book of "beauties" for 18th-century schoolchildren and came across a poem titled "Warrington Academy" by Anna Laetitia Barbauld. Any interest in putting it on Wikisource or mentioning it in the article? Awadewit (talk) 01:42, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Certainly I'll help post it there. I was reviewing s:Author:Anna Laetitia Barbauld - you've been active there in the past - and I see there are some style issues with the poems. But I can ask for help to get specific advice; I'm not omnicompetent in Wikisource terms, having just worked on reference works. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:43, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
If you email me, I can email you back the attachment. I know nothing about Wikisource - I just added few things once to see how the project works. :) Awadewit (talk) 18:32, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
At first glance I thought your answer to my question was "No thanks". What a difference a comma makes! I'm just dropping by to contribute to bubbling conversations; no time for serious wiki-work today. I would tend to agree that it would be better for the encyclopedia for Dissenting academies to be strong and well-developed, and would support improving that, and the related list, in preference to any single academy. Warrington is certainly more than background to Priestley; it was called "the cradle of Unitarianism" and its lineal descendent is a Cambridge college. BrainyBabe (talk) 09:40, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
That would be Oxford! (It was Homerton that led to a Cambridge college.) As for Unitarian history, it's a strong strand, and the Manchester New College part of it should have its own article rather than being folded away in Harris Manchester College, Oxford. The York part of the story is supported by s:Charles Wellbeloved (DNB00). I have to say that I'm a bit suspicious of some of the slogans: it is not surprising that some of the Unitarian history is written from a partisan point of view, because religious history of all kinds tends to be. The "Athens of the North" thing about Warrington (which of course normally is applied to Edinburgh) is tricky too, but the quote currently in the article from Brodribb is better and more specific. But some of this is for the future: I'm interested too in my list from Pyle which concentrates on 17th century philosophers, some of whom are in fact dissenting tutors, and up till now I've not really had the background to assess their place in things. There is plenty to sort out about the early days.Charles Matthews (talk) 10:04, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
the Pyle in question being the Thoemmes C17th British philosophers?Dsp13 (talk) 10:08, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, Andrew Pyle (philosopher) editor. I have a project to create articles corresponding, but some are harder to fit in to Wikipedia. For example, Timothy Manlove; but I now have him located as assisting Richard Gilpin, and also as a dissenting academy pupil of John Woodhouse at Sheriffhales, so he has some context. (The article in Pyle says nothing is known of his education - hah!) Charles Matthews (talk) 10:14, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Edward Stone

Could I enquire as to the reason for the move of this page? Edward Stone is notable as the discoverer of Aspirin; as a clergyman he is just one of many.Bruern Crossing (talk) 22:08, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Because the title should follow general policies. General policies on titling do not relate to why someone is notable, but generally to quick disambiguation. Certainly I would expect to find on an disambiguation page something like
I would not expect to find on a disambiguation page
and I'd be surprised if you found many comparable examples. Charles Matthews (talk) 22:26, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Feedback requested

Hi. :) I'm working on the Craigy144 cleanup, and I need opinions on whether or not the paraphrasing at Elizabeth Seymour, Duchess of Somerset rises to the level of copyright concern (no doubt it's plagiarism, but as you know copyvio requires different and somewhat more aggressive treatment). Would you mind taking a look? I'm also asking User:Tagishsimon and User:Franamax their thoughts. Some of mine are at that article's talk page. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:34, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Marginal - the diff adding the ODNB material shows independent sourcing. But probably the inclusion of the quote from Swift in the same setting is just too blatant. Charles Matthews (talk) 19:11, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Martin [of] [de] Pateshull/Pattishall

Hi, I saw you add a redlink to Martin de Pateshull to the Henry de Bracton article - as you'll see it's now blued as a redirect, just thought you might like to know, best wishes, DuncanHill (talk) 14:57, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Ah, thanks, I was going to create the article later. Charles Matthews (talk) 18:19, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

DNB Poster

Charles, in June 2009 you added Category:Missing encyclopedic articles (Dictionary of National Biography) to {{DNB Poster}} so that the category is added to all articles that transclude the template. I would have thought that the reverse was true. Can you please clarify, as I am minded to revert your change. Jan1naD (talkcontrib) 10:22, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

The intention is to have all the DNB templates in Category:Missing encyclopedic articles (Dictionary of National Biography), no more. Therefore it should be "noincluded". Apparently I didn't do that, though. Charles Matthews (talk) 10:26, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Done. Jan1naD (talkcontrib) 11:48, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:50, 3 February 2010 (UTC)


Hi, Charles, I've seen your contributions and I imagine that you can help me. How do you spell "Save the Wheel" (the wheel of Fortuna; like as "God Save the King") in Latin? Thank you very much. NandO talk! 13:54, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Salve rotam is correct Latin as far as it goes. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:00, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Naming of Sir William Houstoun, 1st Baronet in ODNB?


I'm slightly confused by this one. Houston and Houstoun is used both in the article. The DNB article I transcribed today uses Houston (as opposed to Houstoun for the botanist who died one century before him). Is the ODNB listing both spellings or should we move the guy to Houston? MLauba (talk) 17:46, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Houston is surely OK. Houstoun will be a variant Scots spelling; but both the ODNB and DNB write "Houston" without mentioning the other way. Charles Matthews (talk) 18:03, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

John Knowles

There are some people of that name around, please help with ambiguation (Knowles, John Knowles ...) to find "yours". --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:51, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

John Knowles (disambiguation). Charles Matthews (talk) 12:05, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Possible BLP Issue

Don't know if this is a problem but I have posted to the BLP noticebaoard and you are the first ADMIN I could find on-line. Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons/Noticeboard#Question_regarding_article_Billy_Garland_.28Ex-Black_Panther.29

-- (talk) 12:26, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I have done some work on Billy Garland (Ex-Black Panther). To ask for further references, place the {{fact}} template inline in the text. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:36, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Just to make it clear, this was because of a question on the Ref. desk, HERE, not my own concerns. With all the BLP issues recently I just don't want to see news stories about false biographical information on Wikipedia. Thanks for your swift attention.! -- (talk) 12:53, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Next Cambridge meetup?

Hello Charles. Do you have any idea when the next Cambridge meetup is going to be? Mathsci (talk) 08:34, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

When the weather gets better? Maybe early March, in term, though we rarely get undergrads. I'll ask Dsp13. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:36, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
When the weather gets better? There was snow in March on Easter Sunday a year or two back... Mathsci (talk) 07:59, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
27 February might be good from the point of view of spacing with the London meeting (second Sunday of the month, traditionally). Charles Matthews (talk) 08:41, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
On the other hand a week later would be rather more convenient for me. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:02, 15 February 2010 (UTC)


Want to field this? billinghurst sDrewth 10:29, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Replied. Charles Matthews (talk) 10:42, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Omar Amanat

I don't get it. Is there some question about his being the executive producer of the listed films? The sources seem impeccable. (Reuters, Hollywood reporter, variety, etc.) But then there's this IP that keeps reverting the produced stuff and I recalled that you had issues with the article as well. --RegentsPark (talk) 16:54, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Difficult to discuss this without "outing" issues. There is the SPA with an edit history you can see. It is not plausible to me that all the mentions of Amanat as executive producer are simply the product of energetic PR. Obviously someone anonymous thinks that whatever credit Amanat is given for anything, it is undeserved. One of the IP edits came out to a Los Angeles hotel, meaning this is probably "industry" rather than "family" related friction. Beyond that it is reaally hard to say, because of the absence of hard biographical facts, and my experience of trying to pin down certain things by researching them, and failing. Charles Matthews (talk) 17:37, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
I guess the right thing to do is to stick to what the sources say and ignore everything else. Thanks! --RegentsPark (talk) 17:41, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Count of Malta

Ambox warning yellow.svg

The article Count of Malta has been proposed for deletion. The proposed-deletion notice added to the article should explain why.

While all contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{dated prod}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing {{dated prod}} will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. The speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion.  RGTraynor  12:49, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Surrey Institution

That was a link to the MS book search, which subsequently died. I'm not sure which DNB article I was pointing to (yes, I know, crap referencing). And I'll not be on a broadband connection for a few days, so don't intend to fix it now. If you have your head around whch article I was pointing to, then please fix it. Else I'll lok at it later in the week. thanks --Tagishsimon (talk) 11:18, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

OK, I'll look around DNB and ODNB for Surrey Institution and see what can be found. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:23, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
The reference is to Gurney, Sir Goldsworthy (1793–1875), inventor, by G. B. Smith in volume 23 (unless he was in one of the later volumes. ODNB says 1890 publication. And here's the ODNB article. I'm not going to tackle a scanned image to check, so back to you. --Tagishsimon (talk) 16:03, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Final discussion for Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people

Hello, I note that you have commented on the first phase of Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people

As this RFC closes, there are two proposals being considered:

  1. Proposal to Close This RfC
  2. Alternate proposal to close this RFC: we don't need a whole new layer of bureaucracy

Your opinion on this is welcome. Okip 02:07, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion about an edit

Thanks for adding to the year-in-poetry pages. I love seeing other editors work on them. I've got a small question about this edit [2] Wikisource is certainly easier to read than the Google Books page [3] linked in the previous footnote, and I'm happy to have another link, but is Wikisource OK for sourcing? I don't see a problem within Wikipedia, because no one cares enough to dispute something in 1629 in poetry, and the fact that the footnote states the information is from the DNB is reliable sourcing in itself, apart from any link. But I'm always trying to think about how the readers might be using these pages. Some will likely be students or scholars doing research, and they're going to want a reliable source. I don't think Wikisource, which anyone can edit, will do for them, but the Google Books image of the DNB page would hit the spot. There are benefits to having either link in the footnote, so why don't we have both? -- JohnWBarber (talk) 17:12, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Please note that these DNB articles at Wikisource link directly to page images, meaning that the text is both proofread against the original, and can be verified by anyone who goes there against the original. Added to that, the Google Books links are not accessible for many readers (I cannot access them, for example). Given that Google has an erratic policy with respect to allowing people to read its online version of the DNB, and yet editors here may in good faith add such references not understanding that verifiability may be limited (for example) to those reading in the USA, the use of these Google Books references poses a serious problem for this site. Therefore they should be actually be replaced. I have to go to the trouble of creating a proofread article to at Wikisource to do this, in most cases, by the way. I think it is worth it, for the reasons given, but also because the Wikisource text can be copied into articles to develop them, while Google Books doesn't offer that directly.
So I hope that meets your points: Wikisource should be considered a reliable source in these cases. Charles Matthews (talk) 17:20, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that completely meets my concern. I'm not familiar with Wikisource and had no idea there were all those page images there. I get the impression it has images of every page of that edition of the DNB, which looks like a great resource for all sorts of WP article pages, whether or not the Wikisource article is proofread. I had no idea Google Books wasn't universally available, and I'll keep that in mind when there's an alternative. -- JohnWBarber (talk) 18:32, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
The technology for that has only been fully operational for a few months now, and the production of articles that use state-of-the-art transclusion has just been gearing up. I'm glad that you asked me now rather than mid-2009, because it would have been more of a debate then. (Even so, for page images it is going to be better to reference the Read Online option at, e.g. for the Francis Hubert article.) Charles Matthews (talk) 19:06, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
What an awesome site. I've just been wandering around in it. I wish it was easier to browse. This is funny. [4] I came across pages from that site in Google searches, but they were always difficult-to-read versions, maybe because they were in html format or otherwise searchable with Google. If I can find a good chronology of literature there it would make additions much easier. Thanks for the link and the explanations. -- JohnWBarber (talk) 19:55, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is extremely useful to me because I have used Google Books a lot especially for the DNB. There are many useful items on Google Books other than DNB and wouldn't it be nice if one day some of them are also in Wikisource. The DNB on Wikisource is simply outstanding! I will enjoy making a source immediately readable for any user via Wikisource. Thanks so much for the information. Daytrivia (talk) 00:35, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikisource does have the potential to contribute greatly to no-strings reference material that can be used for sourcing here, as well as being a general online "library". I see you are a librarian, and you might be interested in the nitty-gritty of what I'm doing. There are various Wikisource lists I'm working from, for the DNB: this one is my master list for replacing Google Books links from WP by creating the matching DNB article. It applies the External Link Search gadget here, one of the Special pages anyone can use. Setting up enough searches is quite hard work, because not only are there 63 volumes, there are various different editions, and also multiple copies of some editions posted to Google Books. For my purposes any version that people here might be linking to is relevant. It sounds like you might know some information about the versions that I haven't yet tracked down. I'm interested in two things: any Google Books DNB links that are not yet found, and a more complete list of the four-character Google Books codes for volumes of the DNB. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:29, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like fun. There is so much to do and yet so much to comprehend but I am very enthused and eager to learn the "ins and outs". Perhaps I can learn by experimenting with some articles I have edited/created that link to Google Books. I would also like to play around with setting up a search. Until now I never gave much thought to different versions of DNB. In real life as a public librarian with six branches on my shoulders I don't get much of an opportunity for personal research but the goals you mentioned are indeed necessary to enhance Wikipedia's reliability. The idea of developing an "general online library" with scholarly reference material is not only a well designed project but the only course to set. Daytrivia (talk) 16:45, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
External link search is pretty easy. For example seven articles link to the Maine Historical Society I found in one article you were editing: here. Less than a minute to see that. Charles Matthews (talk) 19:25, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
This is outstanding [5] hope I am on the right path. I didn't put the date I accessed the reference, should I still do that? Daytrivia (talk) 03:10, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
That's good work. Wikisource is a permanent repository for texts, so that (in my view) neither access dates nor permalinking should be required in citing it. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:47, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

On EFL users of en.WP

Hi Charles, I'm just a passerby on your user page and couldn't resist commenting re "cleaning up articles about Japan in an odd Spanish-influenced dialect of English (very strange)". To me it's not strange; it just suggests that the info was contributed by somebody in, say, South America who's interested in Japan—has read books about it, finds it interesting in some way—and speaks English, albeit not perfect, and who decided to contribute info about Japan to the en.Wikipedia. Possibly someone in Peru or Chile whose parents or (great-)grandparents immigrated from Japan, for example. I'd bet they also contributed the same info (in Spanish) to the es.Wikipedia as well. Anyway, just had to share my hypothesis. Cheers, — ¾-10 23:25, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Peru and Panama - it wasn't the geography and ethnicity that was strange, but the particular method of production. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:43, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

==Merge discussion for Luftwaffe North (Ostland) detachment (Luftflotte 1, Baltic Area)

Information.svg An article that you have been involved in editing, Luftwaffe North (Ostland) detachment (Luftflotte 1, Baltic Area) , has been proposed for a merge with another article. If you are interested in the merge discussion, please participate by going here, and adding your comments on the discussion page. Thank you. Perseus71 (talk) 02:07, 27 February 2010 (UTC) ==

Perseus71 (talk) 02:07, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Your Message

Even after your message on de Clare - talk page, Tamfang continues on with the insults and sarcasism. He or she has entered three more paragraphs and placed them before your message though they were clearly made after your comments-see time stamp. I do know know who this person is or why he or she is so angry. If you will read the entire page you will see that I tried several times to compliment him or her, yet the sarcasim continued and got worse as well as that of the other editor whom I do know, until I finally had enough. I am not going to answer further. I think they are working together and trying to make me angry and then when I respond they will report me. Mugginsx (talk) 17:18, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Everyone involved should get back to constructive discussion. Charles Matthews (talk) 18:59, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
I thank you for your effort, but I do not think it's going to work. After your personal request to Tamfang, he or she added more abuse, then deleted some of her more abusive statements off the discussion page.(Check most recent History of the de Clare discussion page - another thing she is not supposed to do! I will just keep working and try to be polite. I have only edited out errors in history such as which castle went to whom, and who inherited, etc. Have not touched his or her writing style. Once again, thank you for your efforts. Mugginsx (talk) 02:58, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
You re-writing of portions of the article is most welcomed. Was going to edit something I entered but then realized you had taken care of it. The article now has an ebb and flow no other editor, including myself of course, could achieve. As an aside, how I wish I could afford a subscription to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Perhaps, someday they will make it affordable to all.Mugginsx (talk) 12:43, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
You might then be interested in what we are doing on Wikisource to get the old DNB posted. We have 3000 articles done now, and are gearing up to make a more serious impact. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:39, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
That is indeed wonderful news! Will check it out. Thank you for the information and thank you again for your tremendous help in this de Clare matter and especially this exciting work you are doing on Wikisource. I love the concept of Wiki and I am here to learn as well as write but I do not like the conflict. One Oxford PhD called them "the forces of ignornace". Perhaps I do not understand people well because I have always been more of a reader than a conversationalist. Anyway, this is exciting news. On a different matter, I have been reading a book entitled "Inventing the Middle Ages" by Norman F. Cantor who brings out the facts that enormous amounts of information written in the Middle Ages have not yet been translated from the medieval courts, (he calls it Norman legal); as well as writings by some lessor known clerics. I wondered if you have any opinion on that, or the book in general. Mugginsx (talk) 14:16, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

I don't know the book. I have worked here on the Middle Ages - various Normans, crusaders and scholastic philosophers, mainly; but not recently, having concentrated for a while on the 17th century. It would not surprise me to learn that much of the written records haven't yet made it into print. I learned while working on the scholastics that there at least 1500 sets of lectures (by different people) on the Sentences of Peter Lombard that survive in manuscript. Charles Matthews (talk) 16:46, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

I would love to have the ability to translate those lectures and anything else not translated in the Middle Ages. It would, to me, be like opening a chest of treasure. I will look for your work here, would love to read it. I have made some successful edits to Geoffroi de Charny,(Knight), Geoffroi de Charney (Templar), Jacques de Molay and the Trials of the Knights Templar, (all without incident I might add).(smile). My favorite chronicler, speaking from an amateur of course, is Florence. I love her astrological and geological observations. I wonder if she knew at the time that she was telling future generations the dates and times through these observations or was it just something she found interesting to add to her writings? Mugginsx (talk) 21:21, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
The scholastic philosophers start at about #200 on User:Charles Matthews/New - other. Charles Matthews (talk) 21:32, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for giving me some good reading! Mugginsx (talk) 22:13, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
I have just glanced at Wiki Source. It is amazing! The birth of a library. I see the old DNB is currently being scanned and I am so happy because I have been citing that source, taken from the INTERNET ARCHIVES SITE, on the Earl of Clare and de Clare article and have gotten hammered with criticism from "the forces of ignorance" because I even thought to use such an "old and outdated" source. It is so nice to see the light shining from the edge of the forest. Thank you and everyone for such fine work. Tomorrow I will enjoy reading your articles, of which I glanced at just a few. Had rotator cuff surgery a few weeks ago and physical therapy today and the pain will not let me concentrate. Most frustrating! I am so glad to have found you and the information you have provided! I am most appreciative to you for opening a great deal of information to me thru your Wiki Source work and your own separate articles as well. Have a great evening Dr. Matthews. Mugginsx (talk) 23:18, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
There can be some problems using DNB text here, but it provides a baseline. The basic concept is to have the whole original article on WS, and to link to it from WP, whether as citation (reference) or attribution (when the DNB text is edited and used here). One of my current concerns is to search this site and find the ways in which the DNB is already referenced (there are many different ways people use, in fact), in order to replace those eventually with {{DNB Cite}}, for example, and a direct link. It's an ongoing project and will take years. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:30, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Good morning Dr. Matthews: It is coincidental that you should mention that, “The basic concept is to have the whole original article on WS, and to link to it from WP, whether as citation (reference) or attribution (when the DNB text is edited and used here).” I went to the now archived talk page of the Earl of Clare article and noticed it was referenced to DNB (to my horror). I say that for many reasons, It was my first article that I edited and I had an absolute minimal knowledge of editing. I was over-confident and somewhat inflexible, though I had sought and did have the agreement of not one, but two PhD medieval scholars and some (in my opinion) compelling evidence that I had found of these earls being, in fact, recognized as earls of clare by the Crown. I will not rehash the entire story, but I also noticed your references to the differences of opinion as to whether the early earls of clare were, in fact, recognized earls and thought you might be interested in this. I readily admit that I would be foolish to miss the opportunity of speaking to another scholar on the subject, for personal edification, if nothing else. I will never go back to that site and edit for any reason.

I used the following information as my basis: The first mention of the earl of clare that I have found is in "The Chronicle of Ystrad Fflur" It states for the year "1219 - In this year Rhys Gryg took the daughter of the earl of clare for his wedded wife and John de Breos took Margaret, daughter of the Lord Llywelyn, for his wedded wife."

The second mention of the earl of clare, also in "The Chronicle of Ystrad Fflur" states: "1267 - In this year Llywelyn ap Gruffudd made a pact with the earl of clare. And after that the earl gathered a mighty host and made for the city of London; and forthwith through the deceit and treachery of the burgesses he took the city.”

The third and most compelling, I think, was in Gerald, Itinerary Through Wales and the Description of Wales by Giraldus Cambrensis, London: Published by J.M. Dent & Co. and in New York by E.P. Dutton & Co. In CHAPTER XI - of Haverford and Ros on Pg 77 – paragraph 3 states the following: “ A circumstance happened in the castle of Haverford during our time, which ought not to be omitted. A famous robber was fettered and confined in one of its towers, and was often visited by three boys, the son of the earl of clare, and two others, one of whom was son of the lord of the castle, and the other his grandson, sent thither for their education, and who applied to him for which he used to supply them. One day, at the request of the children, the robber being brought from his dungeon, took advantage of the absence of the jailer, closed the door, and shut himself up with the boys.”

The fourth reference was Funk & Wagnalls description which was thrown out immediately as it was copyrighted.

The fifth mention was DNB. “It is implied, in the * Lords' Reports ' (iii. 124) and elsewhere, that they were styled earls of Clare before they were earls of Hertford, but investigation disproves this. By the death of the other coheirs of William, earl of Gloucester (d. 1173), the succession to that earldom, with the honour of Gloucester and lordship of Glamorgan, opened (1217-20) to Gilbert de Clare, earl of Hertford or Clare (d, 1230)

There was another reference in Tewksbury Annals which attributes an incident of torture and murder of a Jewish money-lender to one the earls of Clares. Although it was mentioned in other places as well, I did not use it because of its potentially inflammatory nature.

I also pointed out that one of the first signators on the Magna Charta was written as such, Richard de Clare, Earl of Clare.

The heated arguments went to and fro and eventually an administrator only allowed a brief mention of the possibility of such, with the modern view being they were self-styled.

Without re-hashing a discussion in which I am not always proud of my behavior, though, in truth, the others' behavior was not any better; (I deleted some of their personal and abusive remarks), I am still convinced and will, I think, always be convinced that these medieval men probably were recognized by the Crown as earls of clare, though their rebellious nature with the Crown on more than one occasion, probably lost them that title. My main argument was and is, Gerald, primary clerk of Henry II, who personally witnessed meetings with, and accompanied the King in visiting many different earls, stayed at their homes, knew them well and produced many documents which referred to them could not have mistaken their title. I certainly do not claim to be a scholar, but I cannot bring myself to believe that Gerald would refer to these men as earls of clare if they, in fact, were not, at least at one time, recognized by the Crown. It was, and still is, incomprehensible to me that Henry II would allow it and also that Gerald would be that foolish.

I also see corruption in the old DNB in strategic places about the medieval Clares which may or may not be deliberate vandalism. I do not know the nature or reason for the corruption of those paragraphs and the claim is, at this point, is pure conjecture on my part.

It is however, my fervent hope that someday, some scholar will uncover the truth of it, either way. Perhaps it exists in some of those legal documents still untranslated (referred to in the book I mentioned) and untouched since the day they were originally filed away.

This long narrative of mine is notsomething you certainly need to respond to unless you want to; however, I did think it a coincidence that your made mention of the controversy and that it is also seems to be out there, like a beckoning cry from beyond the graves of these medieval men if you will, mentioned in various places, by other chroniclers and scholars, a matter screaming to be resolved.

Hope this did not bore you to death. I just wanted to put it out there for whatever it’s worth to you and other scholars in Europe who are close to the untranslated texts. Mugginsx (talk) 10:12, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

You flatter me by calling me a scholar - I have a doctorate, but not in history. The Wikipedia process of sifting sources can look rather approximate, but it is important to realise is that the aim is just a digest or survey of what is out there. Not, in fact, to write history as a historian would understand it. It happens that what is in the DNB for medieval history (probably everything before 1600 even) requires care in its use, because there are quite a number of serious mistakes. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:16, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Let's hope someday more texts are translated. Does you doctorate have to do with physics? I enjoyed authors Brian Green, Julian Barbour's, “The end of time: the next revolution in physics" and of course, Michio Kaku, though I can understand only about 80% of what they are saying, I thought them to be fascinating reads. Incidentally, you are being edited at de Clare. (smile) Mugginsx (talk) 11:32, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
No, number theory. (I'm actually a bit suspicious of Kaku.) Charles Matthews (talk) 07:48, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Am enjoying your articles and it has energized me to do more research. Thanks for directing me there. Also, reverted back edit to your wording of beginning of 3rd paragraph of Richard fitz Gilbert. I actually started out with that same wording in the very beginning, then changed it to be sound more general, but I see now that I should have stayed more specific as you have made it read. Mugginsx (talk) 01:33, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes Kaku does seem radical even to me. He is easier to read than Greene or Barbour speaking as an average reader with almost no science education, (they did not encourage woman into these subjects in 60's and 70's one of my pet peeves) Perhaps, now and again he seems to travel into and out of Greene's "parallel universes". (Smile). He is a great TV performer *so, too Greene", and draws alot of otherwise semi-interested and/or less science-educated people to his theories, but perhaps in doing do he may also attract some younger students into a career of science, space science, physics, etc., that were either formerly not interested, or "on the fence" as to what their major should be in college. What I did find impressive was how his parents went to extraordinary lengths to encourage him even as a child. An admiral quality and common in the Japanese culture. Have a nice day. Mugginsx (talk) 10:04, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Thank-you for the DNB citation template.

I was having difficulties linking to the DNB from a couple of articles in the last couple of days. Thanks! CUoD (talk) 03:54, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

And thank you for the validation on WS! Nice to see you taking an interest in the DNB on both sites. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:46, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Game Theory

I understand the principle of "Game Theory". It must be an exciting field to study and to use with all of its endless possibile applications. I wondered if you see the show "Numbers" in the UK and, if so, do you consider the field of crime intervention a viable application for game theory, or is the show just a clever fantasy? We have so much crime in America. I lived much of my life in a very large city and witnessed much crime. I would love to think that my children and grandchildren would benefit from these various applications. Mugginsx (talk) 01:39, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Request for help

I am will shortly be posting to WP:AN with the request below. Any support would be appreciated.

Request to WP:AN

"I would like to take the article History of logic to FA. I have already sought input from a number of contributors and have cleared up the issues raised (I am sure there are more). I wrote nearly all of the article using different accounts, as follows:

I would like to continue this work but I am frustrated by the zealous activity of User:Fram who keeps making significant reverts, and blocking accounts wherever he suspects the work of a 'banned user'. (Fram claims s/he doesn't understand "the people who feel that content is more important than anything else").

Can I please be left in peace with the present account to complete this work. 'History of logic' is a flagship article for Wikipedia, and is an argument against those enemies who claim that nothing serious can ever be accomplished by the project". Logic Historian (talk) 09:59, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure of the approach, the self-identifications, the forum AN, or of why you are consulting me. I would suggest that you or someone on your behalf consults User:Fram as to specifics of relevant bans. Community bans can indeed be lifted, in effect, by a single unbanning admin; they can be appealed to ArbCom. Enforcement of ArbCom bans can be discussed through channels. If you are concerned that you are a target of unwarranted enforcement, the simplest approach is to explain the matter in a mail to the ArbCom. Starting a debate on AN risks two things: discussion in the absence of adequate evidence, and a polarization of debate making it harder, not easier, to sort out what is to be done here. Charles Matthews (talk) 10:36, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Redirect question

Hello. Four or five years ago, you created the page Christopher R. North as a redirect to John Wilson, which is a disambiguation page. At least to this reader, how this will assist someone who is searching for "Christopher R. North" is not immediately apparent. Is there some reason for this redirect? --R'n'B (call me Russ) 19:36, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, I did find that John Wilson (Scottish writer) is associated with the pseudonym Christopher North (no "R"); am I getting warm? But there is another Christopher North to cause potential ambiguity. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 19:47, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
The starting point was in a book of M. H. Abrams, but it turns out to be for a Christopher Richard North. I have deleted the redirect. Charles Matthews (talk) 06:40, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Shield evidence

I have provided footnote against use of the shield provided in the British Archaeological Association, Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, on de Clare discussion page. Mugginsx (talk) 09:51, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Having once been a student at Clare College, Cambridge, I do find it familiar. But there can be a more detailed discussion. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:54, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
I have added more information to the de Clare discussion page comment. I will repeat it here for your convenience: Charles Matthews - A footnote which argues against this shield being used in the early de Clare history is as follows: ( Agricolae (talk) 16:37, 15 December 2009 (UTC). It is in the British Archaeological Association, Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. I believe the pertinent information begins at page 48, "An introduction to the use of Armorial Bearings into England". A detailed discussion by Agricolae is found memoralized on my talk page. Perhaps a compromise could be that this shield is shown and indicated as a later shield with the early shields (if any) being also shown and referenced, since it is a primary introduction article to the de Clare Family. As an aside, I went to the Tweksbury Abbey website and viewed the stainglass, and did not find the pic used in this article, although I did find one entitled "ROBERT FITZHAMON THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY HUGH DESPENSER"(1950), (an odd combination to be sure but an example that these stainglass windows are not to be taken as literal proof of anything). Of course, it may be from some other source.Mugginsx (talk) 09:29, 9 March 2010 (UTC) These stainglass have been completed as late as 1950 and are romanticized rather than historical versions, as discussed above and on the de Clare discussion page. I think you will not find a detailed discussion forthcoming from the others, as it is not their way, but good luck. Perhaps you will command more respect that do I with these two other editors. In spite of all scholarly evidence presented against the shield being used earlier than Gilbert, it will not matter to them. I will defer to your opinion as I respect it, and also because I do not want conflict with the others. If you get time you might check the references against both given by Agricolae memoralized on my talk page or you can also find it on his, (perhaps archived by now but there nonetheless). Have a good day. Mugginsx (talk) 12:36, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
It helps to do these discussions "by the book", though, without jumping ahead. I would guess the blazon goes back to about 1200, but perhaps there is some earlier evidence. The point would be to give a summary of what there is about early usage, in good sources, rather than to try to settle the point if it is contentious. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:28, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
I take your point, sir, but I will remind you what happened the last time I tried to be civil. An entire page of insulting and demeaning remarks followed. I will take your advice and try. Meanwhile, I have sent an e-mail to the Tweksbury Abbey wesite to try to ascertan the time that the stainglass was made and, if, in their knowledge, it is a true representation of the shield. If it does go back as far as Gilbert (Strongbow), I would think it could be added in the article somewhere which should satisfy everyone of good faith and interested in a accurate article? Mugginsx (talk) 13:46, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Really, one step at a time. The best results are obtained by having a look at all the evidence that can be gathered, and trying to be quite selective while at the same time giving a fair impression of any controversial points. And certainly it is better not to get involved in personalities. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:20, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Since there has been no response to my call for discussion, I have insert one sentence which, since at least two editors agree, from two different sources, seems to be some kind of consenses. Both sources agree that it was Gilbert de Clare (1st earl of Hertford). The caption under the stain glass window also depicts Gilbert wearing the shield. Inserting this brief sentence will show that it represents the de Clares, but not the earliest de Clares. This agrees with the notable sources and should keep it from being deleted by another editor. I welcome any discussion.Mugginsx (talk) 09:00, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Have made comments and suggestions, as well as reprtinted e-mail response from the Abbey, and have, as expected, received no response. Have asked other editors of de Clare articles to enter the discussion. I have also received an offer of another source and am awaiting its arrival. Mugginsx (talk) 11:29, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Agricolae (talk) has contributed a scholarly answer, as he always does, to my request to him for help, and I have edited my short sentence in the section of "Coat of Arms" to reflect his suggestion. Still no word from the other editors. I do not think they will challenge Agricolae. The man is a walking encyclopedia on medieval history and is never wrong. Thank you for your help and I do not think I will have to bother you anymore about de Clare although you knowledge and help is certainly welcome! Mugginsx (talk) 22:04, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Can I just point out that every time you correct a typo, tweak your message, or add an afterthought, it generates a new alert? That's ten today. Charles Matthews (talk) 22:38, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I did not realize that. I apologize. Mugginsx (talk) 09:54, 11 March 2010 (UTC)


Charles, there's an overdue apology I owe you. The reason for it is at the bottom of my post here.[6] If you'd like to follow up either onsite or offsite or if there are other amends I should make please let me know. Durova412 20:37, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Apology accepted, naturally. I'm happy either to talk to you further about this offline, or regard the matter as closed. Your choice. Charles Matthews (talk) 20:53, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

de Clare resolution

Thanks for your intervention. I have also thanked Peterkingiron. Mugginsx (talk) 21:55, 12 March 2010 (UTC)


hildegard of bingen needs to be protected temporarily, until the moron Pianoforte913 gets bored with its repeated vandalism.Toyokuni3 (talk) 17:56, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

dunno what's wrong here. it looks right on the edit page.Toyokuni3 (talk) 17:58, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
I have left a talk page message for the editor. Charles Matthews (talk) 18:52, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Crichel Down Affair

Thank you for tarting it up proper  ;-) RobinClay (talk) 01:17, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

REMERCIEMENT, pour Dom Claude Estiennot de la Serrée.

Merci d'avoir rectifié son nom et le lieu de sa naissance, je reste à votre disposition si vous désirez des renseignements sur cet attachant personnage. Vous pouvez regarder la page de discussion à son nom sur Wikipédia français, je lui ai souhaité son anniversaire, le 17 février, à ma manière. Sincères salutations, Philippe HENRION —Preceding unsigned comment added by Philippe HENRION (talkcontribs) 08:48, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

De rien. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:30, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Milton's muse

Hi Charles. Don't know if you have much interest in Milton, but I'd be interested to know your thoughts (if you have any) here. Paul August 13:47, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

I have edited John Milton quite a bit. I can't spend much time on this right now, but I'll look again later. Obviously good referencing is key, and there is no shortage of literature. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:22, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Cambridge Meetup

Charles, thanks for your reminder, but I think I told you I couldn't make any meetup completely outside term time. I left Cambridge today and am now back in France. However, I am back at the beginning of next term and will be back to mark my Part III exam at the beginning of June. Irrespective of me, why arrange these meetings so undergraduates in the university can't attend? That doesn't seem like a great idea. Mathsci (talk) 00:13, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Well, there are reasons this time, and meetings in term time haven't brought more than one undergraduate, who is now elsewhere. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:13, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the reminder Charles -- it was my bad luck that I've only just logged in and didn't see it -- until just after the event. Another time I hope. Terry0051 (talk) 23:49, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the message but I missed it too! Only just saw it as u put it on my user page instead of the talk page. Please do let me know about the next one though and I'll try to make it! Hope you had a good one! PsychoActiveKineticInternational TransVersal (talk) 18:50, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

I hope we'll do another one in May. Charles Matthews (talk) 20:19, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Cool - hope to make it this time! PsychoActiveKineticInternational TransVersal (talk) 08:00, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Game Theory

I hope you don't mind me trying to contact you this way but I was reading your article "CGT Becomes Hard Currency" on, where you say "It is part of the folklore of Go, but hard to argue out from first principles, that opening plays are worth something in the range of 20 to 30 points.". I wondered if you could say where that figure came from, as I'm sure I've read that same range stated somewhere else as generally accepted, but it seems to me and other people in discussions I've had recently on "" that it should be more like 10-15, and there is an argument that suggests the value of the first move needs to be equal to two times the Komi. I would be interested in where the "20 to 30" figure originated, to see what the reasons are behind it, or if the difference is due to calculating the score a different way.

Maguirt (talk) 19:50, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Most likely the factor of two is due to another way of thinking about how to define "worth". I doubt you should relate it to the komi, without further discussion. People in CGT have their own way of discussing things, but the entry-level model is like piles of coins on a table, where your play is to pick up a single pile. If the piles are worth 10, 9, 8, ..., 3, 2, 1, then the first player takes the 10 pile, and the komi should be 5. But if you make that 10, 10, 9, 9, 8, 8, ..., 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, then the first and second players both get 10 and komi should be zero. Anyway this model explains to some extent what I find the most natural introductory way of talking, without introducing "temperature" and so on. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:24, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

AfD nomination of Augmental homology

Ambox warning pn.svg

An article that you have been involved in editing, Augmental homology, has been listed for deletion. If you are interested in the deletion discussion, please participate by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Augmental homology. Thank you.

Please contact me if you're unsure why you received this message. Radagast3 (talk) 12:08, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Thank you!

SpecialBarnstar.png The Special Barnstar
For your dedicated effort to bring civility to the Shlomo Sawilowsky talk page. "The earlier we intervene, the better off the community is" - Diane Balkin.

Edstat (talk) 14:08, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

My thanks. I'm hoping for an improvement, all round. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:13, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
My thanks too. But if you are going to delete sections, you should also delete "On revising this article" as it is inflammatory comments by a documented sockpuppeteer while calling on another of his sockpuppets as backup. Iulus Ascanius (talk) 15:16, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I may well delete more. But I have asked you once to be helpful, in a message I hope you read before deleting. Charles Matthews (talk) 15:28, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
That would be why I am asking you on this talk page, in an effort to be helpful, because that article and talk page still needs much more work. I read your message; I can't point out guideline violation but others can call me an anti-semite? Regardless, I have already given up because WP no longer enforces its own policies regarding self-promotion. Iulus Ascanius (talk) 19:32, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Just wondering: why can't you talk about this topic without adopting such a tone? And it is not helpful to complain about non-enforcement of policies, in that way. Maybe you didn't know this, but I was the person who worked to get us a COI editing guideline, when what there was there before was a vague thing about "vanity" editing. Anyone could come up with the idea that "self-promotion should be illegal", but the downside is that some people would think they couldn't edit within their area of expertise, and others would go about making accusations of "conflict of interest" based on tentative identifications of editors who are entitled to be pseudonymous. In other words what we needed, and what we had in the drafting, was the idea that the COI was an editorial guideline to advise people against genuine "conflict of interest", and which did not drive away people who know what they are talking about, and did not declare open season for harassment and outing.
Please consider carefully what I'm saying here, and then turn to the issue why I might, in reading that Talk page, have decided to ask for your cooperation. It was an informed decision based on familiarity with the fundamental issues applying to this area of onsite behaviour. It would be pleasant to think you might have got the point about all this. Charles Matthews (talk) 19:43, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I got your point, and understand whare you are coming from. I totally agree with you on the gray in the COI guidelines; in fact, all of us have some small degree of COI if we are contributing to articles that promote knowledge about our field, our hometown, our company, whatever. But promoting yourself directly is quite different. Though I still might be OK with it if it wasn't done using various sockpuppets with the purpose of driving away all other editors, calling editors anti-semites and bullies because they only let you post part of your vita, posting a commercial image and then lying about it, disrupting other articles, ripping on editors for typos, and more. That's the part that has caused my tone (especially since my closest friend is Jewish). Moreover, the ID is not "tentative." One of the sockpuppets actually self-identified twice with "come see my website" messages (more self-promotion), from an IP address registered to the subject's home, while that sockpuppet's sidekick was another IP registered specifically to his employer. He had already been blocked for that part. My identification is not just based on Edstat's contrib history, no matter how obvious it is. I know I can't do that!
Anyway, like I said, I have given up on the article (and WP in general to a large extent since it now allows self-promotion). I only returned because another editor specifically asked me for help on my talk page because he was being personally harassed by this one editor. If you look at my contribs, you'll see that it has been a month since I edited that article, though I have been following the talk page. So, you are welcome to administrate as you see fit. Iulus Ascanius (talk) 17:02, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Deletion nomination of Talk:Thomas Skinner (historical writer)

blanked page

Hi Charles Matthews, this is a message from an automated bot, regarding Talk:Thomas Skinner (historical writer). You blanked the page and, since you are its sole author, FrescoBot has interpreted it as a request for deletion of the page and asked administrators to satisfy the requests per speedy deletion criterion G7. Next time you want a page that you've created deleted, you can explicitly request the deletion by inserting the text {{db-author}}. If you didn't want the page deleted, please remove the {{db-author}} tag from the page and undo your blanking or put some content in the page. Admins are able to recover deleted pages. Please do not contact the bot operator for issues not related with bot's behaviour. To opt out of these bot messages, add {{bots|deny=FrescoBot}} somewhere on your talk page. -- FrescoBot (msg) 00:38, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Deletion nomination of Talk:Thomas Shelton (stenographer)

blanked page

Hi Charles Matthews, this is a message from an automated bot, regarding Talk:Thomas Shelton (stenographer). You blanked the page and, since you are its sole author, FrescoBot has interpreted it as a request for deletion of the page and asked administrators to satisfy the requests per speedy deletion criterion G7. Next time you want a page that you've created deleted, you can explicitly request the deletion by inserting the text {{db-author}}. If you didn't want the page deleted, please remove the {{db-author}} tag from the page and undo your blanking or put some content in the page. Admins are able to recover deleted pages. Please do not contact the bot operator for issues not related with bot's behaviour. To opt out of these bot messages, add {{bots|deny=FrescoBot}} somewhere on your talk page. -- FrescoBot (msg) 00:42, 17 April 2010 (UTC)