User talk:dave souza

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Handy Hint[edit]

handy hint: to keep discussions in one place, if you leave a talk message I'll answer it here, though I may put a note on your page if getting your attention seems important. However, if I leave a talk message on your page, and you respond here, I will respond on your page for consistency. Apologies if I fail to notice changes on your page, must trim my watchlist.

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Hi, Dave, this discussion is closed, but I'd like to point out you avoided the question; all you did was reiterate your argument without offering any grounds for it. I'll insert my responses and then ask the simple question again.

@9SGjOSfyHJaQVsEmy9NS: and @Dave souza: I don't see how else to interpret the guideline, which states, "Such articles should first describe the idea clearly and objectively, then refer the reader to more accepted ideas . . ." Why, if the idea isn't described clearly and objectively in its proponents terms, does the next clause tell us to "refer the reader to more accepted ideas"? I can only infer from that guideline that the more accepted ideas come second, not first. As Manul already explained, "The more accepted idea is that it's pseudoscience, therefore it should come afterward." That's how it is on all the examples I gave of other pseudoscientific ideas. (Exceptions: apparently the crystal healing did immediately call it pseudoscience; jps ran over to bariminology to "fix" it.) Please explain, Josh and Dave, why it says to then refer the reader to more accepted ideas. Thanks, YoPienso (talk) 20:19, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
@Yopienso:, that's a guideline which doesn't demand that pseudoscience should first be described in the words of its proponents, and doesn't explain how that could possibly be done "objectively" when these words are deeply misleading. You're just repeating your groundless argument. (Not saying it may not have grounds, though I don't think it does, but you don't give any. Doing that to meet a guideline is overruled by the clear policy requirements not to give "equal validity" to the fringe views, The guideline is meant to be followed, and it doesn't conflict with the policy requirements. My proposal absolutely does not give equal validity to ID. . . when the topic is pseudoscience not describe these two opposing viewpoints as being equal to each other or obscure the mainstream view, or give undue weight to the minority view by giving it prominence of placement and not being clear that the definition is quoting the minority view. . . . nor does it give undue weight: the article is about ID!! And it clearly indicates ID does NOT have equal weight with the theory of evolution. While I don't see a problem with an objective third party description of the topic, it's difficult in the polarised topic to produce that. Hence the need for balance, as above. . . My proposal doesn't lack balance. dave souza, talk 21:42, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

So, once again, Why does the next clause tell us to "refer the reader to more accepted ideas"? How do you interpret the whole sentence, not just the first clause? Thanks, YoPienso (talk) 21:12, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

Hi YoPienso, the proposed formulation gave as a fact in quote marks a one-sided and deceptive argument in the words of ID proponents, followed by a bald statement it's pseudoscience which is then attributed to some people – in my view, this is the reverse of due weight, which should present the overwhelming majority view of expert opinion in all sectors as fact, and snow ID as a minority belief. The preceding [again current] version came out of discussions, which I recall as being about how the ID "definition" restates the design argument, but ID is distinct from the generic teleological argument. In a heavily diluted example, the first paragraph of homeopathy works for me; don't know if we can achieve something similar with ID.
Regards, dave souza, talk 04:19, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, Homeopathy is treated properly, imo. Why won't you answer my question? What does "then refer the reader to more accepted ideas" mean? YoPienso (talk) 04:23, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
You're asking me to parse a guideline which doesn't look particularly well written; the priority is to comply fully with policies. Homeopathy starts with a sentence giving an unsympathetic overview, referring to "alternative medicine" which makes it clear that it's not mainstream, and describes its "doctrine of like cures like" as a "claim". The second sentence is blunt and not attributed to just some groups: "Homeopathy is a pseudoscience – a belief that is incorrectly presented as scientific."
So, in broad terms, "ID is the claim that complexity in nature implies an unnamed creator, ID is a pseudoscience – a belief that is incorrectly presented as scientific." Just a thought experiment, but looks a bit better than the proposed version. Something along these lines could be followed by the quotation of the ID proponents definition, etc., but detailed proposals should be made and discussed on the ID talk page. . dave souza, talk 05:01, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Not parse! Just explain the simple meaning of. This is the kind of obfuscation that so troubled me 10 years ago or so. (Has it been that long??) You are legalistic in applying rules you like but dismissive of those you don't. You're just using/ignoring the rules to further your own preferences. I'm saddened that when your long-delayed response came, it was merely criticism and disallowance of the guideline. (But thank you for answering, even if you ultimately refused to address the guideline's plain meaning.) If you liked the rule, no matter if it were misspelled and garbled, you would insist we follow it. This one is actually well written. (I've not seen misspelled or garbled rules, actually--that's just rhetoric. And I suppose "rule" isn't the best word.) The priority, it seems, is really to have it your way.
There, I've expressed my views frankly, but without animosity. Your thought experiment is interesting, but I'm not sure I'm willing to put more time into a doomed enterprise. Anyway--tomorrow's Monday and and I still have lesson plans to complete. This year I'm teaching British Literature for the first time, to 11th- and 12th-graders (juniors and seniors--5th- and 6th-formers?). We did Macbeth last quarter and are just finishing up Pygmalion, both lightly bowdlerized. Next up is The Screwtape Letters. The guiding theme is communication, centered on Churchill's mastery of English after sitting in 4th form for three years, thus getting into his "bones the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence--which is a noble thing." (Too bad he said British instead of English, which we Americans claim to speak.) Best wishes, YoPienso (talk) 07:53, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Very good, hope you covered the issue that Macbeth isn't about the real Macbeth, King of Scotland, a Good King (as defined by 1066 and All That), but is propagandist flattery of James VI and I based on Holinshed's Chronicles, an apology for the Stewart dynasty with considerable inaccuracies. Rather symbolic of today, when truth is for the victors. Amazing big crowds at the inauguration, eh! . . . dave souza, talk 12:36, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

I mentioned you here. YoPienso (talk) 09:53, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Hope that helps, guidelines are always no more than that, and don't have the force of policies, whether I like it or not. The wording "Such articles should first describe the idea clearly and objectively" implies a non-involved assessment, not a misleading statement by proponents, "then refer the reader to more accepted ideas" means putting it in the context of mainstream views on the topic, in the case of ID mainstream science. The homeopathy article seems to achieve that pretty well, it's likely to be feasible to do something on these lines with ID but would have to reach a considered consensus. Judging by the Presidential election candidates and picks for the new administration, creationist views are still a hot topic in the U.S., don't know if that will lead to another attempt to legitimise ID. . dave souza, talk 12:36, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
But doesn't calling ID pseudoscience in the first breath immediately put it in the context of mainstream views? Both the Encyclopedia Britannica nor the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy give objective coverage to ID. Objective in the sense of being dispassionate; they are not neutral or pro-ID; they are clear that ID is not accepted by the scientific community but don't speak from the viewpoint of an opponent. (And I just discovered the SEP replaced Alvin Plantinga's article with a brand-new one by Helen de Cruz last week.)
I opted to skip the Holinshed's Chronicles, but did clue the kids in on the historical Macbeth and Shakespeare's political fawning. "Truth is for the victors," you wrote. Yesterday I told a friend on Facebook that the new administration is Orwellian: the truth is whatever they say it is. I suppose you read of Kellyanne Conway's "alternative facts"! Heaven help us. YoPienso (talk) 15:12, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Having looked them over, Britannica seems to be falling over backwards to give equal validity to ID. It may be formulated as "an explicit refutation of the theory of biological evolution advanced by Charles Darwin (1809–82)", but that's not modern evolutionary theory, and of course ID fails in this. Their representation of Kitzmiller is horrendous. The Stanford article is about a more general topic, where it touches on ID it looks ok, much better than Britannica and far more neutral than Plantinga's apologetics.
I did see the "alternative facts" Trump / Spicer / Conway debacle, the press corps has a major problem in how to deal with unashamed lies. We've got that too, notably with most of the press spreading lies about Brexit. So now we're losing the EU's trade agreements, and dear Theresa May is off to get a great new deal from the Donald. Which doesn't fill me with optimism. . . dave souza, talk 14:22, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
Oh, yes--forgot this link: Beowulf shows dinosaurs existed with humans. YoPienso (talk) 15:21, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, a genius article, did laugh but not sure whether to weep at the position of prominent government figures. Of course avian dinosaurs do coexist with humans, so will stroll down and see some at the seaside. Regards, dave souza, talk 14:22, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

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13:38, 1 February 2017 (UTC)


didn't mean you, Dave NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 02:59, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

Thanks, no problem. You make a good point about proposed wording being needed for discussion to take place. . dave souza, talk 09:45, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

ID and creationism[edit]

Thanks for quick responses, both on Kitzmiller and talk:ID. I'm gathering that ID proponents are motivated by a desire to promote belief in God.

So their attempts to distance themselves from "creation science" and present ID as purely a scientific challenge are - shall we say - "impure"? (That is, not an entirely disinterested pursuit of)truth.)

Still, I'd like to include in WP a few claims to the contrary - provided both we in the contributor community and THE READERS clearly understand that all such contrary views are in the minority - perhaps the extreme (and extremely biased?) minority. --Uncle Ed (talk) 19:35, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Ed, I think it's all well covered in the articles – ID proponents have repeatedly told their supporters that ID is religious, giving legalistic "scientific" justification to creationism, while presenting a front that it's science and the designer need not be God, just happens to fit the job description. They doubtless sincerely believe that this is righteous, not "impure". We do show their views, in the context of how the views are received. dave souza, talk 20:39, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

West Indies Merchants[edit]

Is it my fault if Scots (or Falkland Islanders or . . .) want to joint the club and add their names? Why not make a new category West Indies merchants from Scotland, a very few did actually operate from way up there, I think, or was it just for childhood and retirement? Pleased if you would share the knowledge. Best regards, Eddaido (talk) 00:29, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Few ≠ none, and there aren't many names in the category: doubtless many others can will eventually be added. Even among the short list of names in the category, Alexander McDonnell, Robert Milligan, Hercules Ross and James Dick are identified in their articles as un-English. Haven't checked them all. . . dave souza, talk 05:31, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
I truly don't follow you. They were all West Indies merchants in London. Were they not? Eddaido (talk) 07:42, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
No, they weren't all merchants in London, and those that did some of their work in London remained Scottish or Irish. Just as English merchants who worked in the West Indies din't become West Indian. For interest, see Tobacco Lords, some of whom had dealings in the West Indies as well as the Southron states. A lot of red links there, so their biographies remain unknown. London wasn't the only trading port in the UK. . . dave souza, talk 10:09, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
(This does not read well but) all those I looked at did. Mind giving me those you believe did not operate from London (or the West Indies)? If I have names I can check them out. Eddaido (talk) 11:10, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
This isn't exclusive, but for a couple of examples, Hercules Ross was a Scottish merchant who traded from Jamaica, George Bogle of Daldowie was a Glasgow merchant, and Abram Lyle was a Greenock merchant involved in shipping sugar from the West Indies, who subsequently became a sugar importer and manufacturer. . . dave souza, talk 11:26, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Would this person be an American businessman or a German businessman (or a Bavarian businessman. I'll go look at those names now. Eddaido (talk) 11:31, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well, the article says a German American businessman, so I'd go along with that. Would you say he was Prussian? Calling a Bavarian a Prussian is the equivalent of calling a Scot English – the shared identities are, respectively, German and British. As an added complication, the Irish are often not British, so from the UK is a better category description. . . dave souza, talk 12:12, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

I've been thinking its time for a short-circuit because we have still to define what a West Indies merchant is and I can see how firmly we disagree.
Because others will hold the same (to my mind seriously —and of course unwittingly— mistaken) opinion would it not be best if you were to place your own definition of a West Indies Merchant at the top of the cat. page and open it up to all sugar importers or whatever. You'll be wrong but after all this is Wikipedia! Cheers, Eddaido (talk) 22:02, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Got a source for your definition? . dave souza, talk 22:44, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
I have just received for the very first time an email to say you have amended this page timed at 7:22 and 7:30 GMT notifying me a change has been made to this page. You must step Very quietly.
I need to construct a source (and so will you if you disagree)
1. Oxford English Dictionary (online)
merchant, n. and adj.
†d. Sc. A trader used as an agent to make purchases on another's behalf. Obs.
1450   in H. J. Smit Bronnen tot de Geschiedenis van den Handel (1928) I. 880   We exhort yhou effecteusli, that yhe will serch..quhare the said gudis ar, and mak thaime be deliverit to oure marchande, oure naime.
1552   Abp. J. Hamilton Catech. 99   Quha..begylis him [sc. his neighbour] at his marchandis hand.
1600   B. Jonson Every man out of his Humor (1879) ii. i. sig. Fii,   Signior Diliro her husband is my Merchant.
2. The articles about Turkey Merchants and Russia Merchants will give you a guide. I was heading to the cat. to organise cats for them but I was distracted wasn't I. The difference is, so far as I know, no company was chartered for that particular (WI) purpose perhaps because it was a colony? I don't know.
3. The essence is that the WIMs acted as agents at either end of the system (and were probably ex-pats or former ex-pats themselves), I mean caring for aged relatives sorting out suitable accommodation for a client's visit, making sure children were not (badly) ill-treated at school — family business as well as business business and that at both ends of the system. The best but not complete equivalent I know was these organisations.
I'd like to see your thoughts too, please. Eddaido (talk) 08:23, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
That's odd: you're quoting obsolete usage. Judging by merchant, n. and a. DRAFT REVISION Sept. 2001 you should have used "1. a. A person whose occupation is the purchase and sale of goods or commodities for profit. (Originally used gen. of any trader in goods not manufactured or produced by his or her own hand, but from the 16th cent. chiefly restricted to wholesale traders, esp. those having dealings with foreign countries.)"
Alternatively, this is cited to Collins English Dictionary –
1. (Professions) a person engaged in the purchase and sale of commdities for profit, esp on international markets; trader
2. (Commerce) chiefly US and Canadian a person engaged in retail trade
3. (Historical Terms) (esp in historical contexts) any trader
Perhaps you're trying to confine it to 2.? . . dave souza, talk 22:06, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
How do I know when you've responded here? A name is a name is a name. If you want it to mean something else that's fine but define what you think you mean, please. Now: Obsolete usage. Obsolete businesses. Fair enough? I'll toss this discussion in if you just put at the top of the page in question what you believe the category is (by you) intended to include. Then we will all know and re-arrange ourselves accordingly. OK? Eddaido (talk) 22:02, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── See your watchlist, the heading line on the category means what it says: any further discussion should be on the article talk page. . dave souza, talk 17:05, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Knowing your inclusiveness what do you think about this case here? Scot or not? We need to finish the above discussion too. Cheers, Eddaido (talk) 05:59, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Lacks a source, see my comment on the article talk page. . dave souza, talk 07:04, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Disrespectful comment[edit]

Hi, Dave, you slipped into blogger mode here and disrespected distinguished scientists. Please strike your comment. Thanks, YoPienso (talk) 18:05, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

Struck as exaggerated, but we shouldn't overstate the eminence of those mostly publicised for contrarian views. . dave souza, talk 18:20, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, now in the "Climate Wars," but they were eminent before that. It's interesting to me that most of the contrarians are over 70 yrs. old and many had respectable careers before the AGW controversy. (Spencer is in his early 60s.) Even Tim Ball had a respectable, if not stellar, career. YoPienso (talk) 18:36, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
Huh, us old folks get a bit cranky at times, though young Spencer has less of an excuse ;-/ dave souza, talk 18:58, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
I'm young like Spencer. Can't say I'm never cranky. Or wrong. :-) YoPienso (talk) 19:42, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

Happy First Edit Day![edit]

Hello...Today is my birthday, so I checked the calendar to see who else shares my special day! So happy First Edit Day! LA If you reply here, please {{Ping}} me. @ 09:20, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

Thanks, replied on your user page, dave souza, talk 20:16, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

Precious five years![edit]

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Five years!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:16, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

Many thanks for the reminder! Evolution and research into the topic goes on, which is just as well. Always more interesting points turning up, with continuing changes to improve the encyclopaedia . dave souza, talk 17:40, 6 October 2017 (UTC)