User talk:David in DC/Archive5

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Remarkably extraordinary

Re [1]: watch out you don't get arrested by the GA/MOS police [2] EEng (talk) 14:59, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

John Hagelin

...delighted to have your input, worry not.(olive (talk) 04:01, 3 September 2013 (UTC))

Thanks, olive. I was reacting to "Like it or not." David in DC (talk) 11:26, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
And thanks for the work you continue to do on the Hagelin article; Whatever your personal position, I can see you are neutral and fair. Nice copy editing too.(olive (talk) 17:56, 7 September 2013 (UTC))

Sophie Anderton

Why the sudden interest in this page considering that you have never even edited on this page before? Are you being paid to edit her page directly? please disclose this information. If this is the case you will be in breach of WP:NPOV,WP:ADVOCACY. I will be watching all new edits from your user name very closely. Many Thanks for your time and help on this matter.

Johnsy88 (talk) 10:59, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

I try to keep the list of pages with pending edits as short as possible. You'll see in the history that my first edit or two to the page came after reviewing a pending change. If you look through my edit history, you'll see that I primarily edit BLP's. So when I get to a BLP by way of a pending change review, I often take an interest. I'm not being paid to edit her page, nor any other page. I've never been paid to edit wikipedia. I DID get a couple of cool t-shirts at a couple of wiki-gatherings. One was at a gathering of wiki-editors at an event at the National Archives. The other was a commemoration of wikipedia's 10th birthday. Please review my edit history. There's plenrty there. I've been editing for years. I hope you'll see that there's nothing there to suggest I'm anything but a long-time, dedicated volunteer.
Also, thank you for your kind offer to review my edits. I make far to many typos and other various and sundry errors. A personal proofreader would be a really good thing to have. David in DC (talk) 12:15, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your prompt and courteous reply. Not a problem at all. I will be watching with interest Johnsy88 (talk) 16:41, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Barnstar of Diligence Hires.png The Barnstar of Diligence
Thank you for your diligent application of WP principles and guidelines at John Hagelin and throughout WP. Your continued contributions to the WP project are greatly appreciated by all. Cheers! KeithbobTalk 16:49, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

A beer for you!

Export hell seidel steiner.png Nice work at Sophie Anderton KeithbobTalk 01:38, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Silly stan - blogs are for kids!

Why are you silly stans so determined to make K.Michelle younger than she is? Do you not understand that she was Miss FAMU in 2003 and the Freshman Attendant in 2000? That her own college yearbook identifies her as 18 in the year 2000? You're talking abouta newspaper is needed as proof. That's been provided as a source as well, but you say it's not good enough! We could pull it out of the Tallahasse Democrat and you'd STILL say it's not good enough. Yet the word of a blog is? I'm pretty sure the archives of the University of Florida beat some urban blog. Nothing you do will make her younger than 31, and I will change that date every time you try to - with REAL proof. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:26, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

For the meaning of the stan-thing, nothing rings a bell, except maybe it is a variation on the Trix cereal slogan: Silly Wabbit, Trix Are For Kids. Or maybe it's short for Uzbekistanese, who knows. Anyhoo, I went over to the article, and somebody had taken out the info entirely, but then the blank was later overwritten with the 1986 info. Doing some googling myself, I came up with 1978, 1982, 1984, 1986 .... apparently it is not just a little disputed, but *very* disputed. Nothing on the lady's official website, except that she started voice-lessons under Westbrook at age nine. Can you take a look at the stuff I left on the talkpage, and add the BET source, and other sources that have been lost to the mists of wiki-time? Also, if you actually think she self-reported her age somewhere (I could never find that), then I'm not sure what the right thing to do is... the archive specifically says she was 18 in 2000 as a frosh, which means born ~1982. If really born in 1986, she would have had to skip four grades of K-12, and been 14; unlikely, but not impossible. Is the college yearbook-or-newspaper-or-whatever really not a source that we can use? Danke. (talk) 07:39, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
This diff illustrates the best I could do. I used the FAMU material for her name (which seems uncontroverted) but not for her birthdate. I used BET news for her birthday and age. I backed it up with a blog post, labelling it in the edit summary as not useful as a reliable source, but inserted as back up. Good luck. David in DC (talk) 14:35, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Went over to ask Flyer22 about the issue, since I believe she works in a related industry. No surprise, as soon as I arrived there, flyer had *already* answered my exact question, of how to deal with a celebrity female musician, for which multiple reliable sources report differing birthyears; see Mariah Carey. Roxy's training is rubbing off on me. ...Uh oh... I sense a disturbance in the source... gotta go. HTH (talk) 05:36, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Nomination of List of alleged Brazilian supercentenarians for deletion

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article List of alleged Brazilian supercentenarians is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of alleged Brazilian supercentenarians until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article.

Re: video

Hi, thanks for fixing up the article; it looks more canonical now. Re the video, it looked like you didn't notice that the video was already sourced: the second ref for the TEDx paragraph. Whether to put it as an external link is an interesting question. It fails "Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research" but passes "except to a limited extent in articles about the viewpoints that the site is presenting". WP:ELNO Vzaak (talk) 02:45, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Vzaak: I don't think it belongs in the External Links section. The video doesn't need to be there, even if the narrow exception fits. The video's in the 3/19 Ted blog post ref. My thought is that the 3/14 pTed blog post is a legitimate in-line source for this sentence: "The video of the talk was moved from the TEDx YouTube channel to the TED blog accompanied by this framing." I inserted my ref at the end of the graf, rather than after the penultimate sentence, for layout reasons only, to make the graf less cluttered. But you're right, it does look redundent there, as if it's a duplicative source for the video.
My edit summary for deleting the youtube ELNO was clear. My edit summary for adding the 2nd TED post? Not so much.
Thanks again. I've run across too much incivility lately. This bit of back and forth is a welcome tonic. David in DC (talk) 03:06, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Hi, the Independent article covers the YouTube -> Blog transfer. It's not a good article, but it's the only secondary source that exists. Vzaak (talk) 03:17, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'll look for a better secondary source for that fact, rather than trying to shoehorn a second TED blog post in that's liable to be mistaken for redundency. But for now, after tackling some especially horrible prose in another article on a fringe topic (happily, not a BLP) I'm exhausted and headed for bed. I'll close out with my very favorite Teamster salutation: Keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down. David in DC (talk) 03:47, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Hi, that's the only reliable secondary source that has ever been written, I think. I summarised the problem here. Vzaak (talk) 04:52, 18 September 2013 (UTC)


Just sayin'. Vzaak (talk) 23:47, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Makes sense. Thanks. I'll stop feeding the ducks. David in DC (talk) 15:44, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Re facepalm, the situation continues to not seem "for real" to me. The user page itself looks like a parody -- "a wonderful opportunity to show the value of pure unbiased, neutral..." -- especially in light of his support for Sheldrake outside of WP. Independent of whether this is "trolling 2.0" or not, he openly says on his page that he is here to conduct social experiments. Using editors as guinea pigs has to break a policy somewhere. It's too weird for me to comprehend, I'm afraid. vzaak (talk) 03:06, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Ahhh. The situation with Tumbleman was crystallized by me from these diffs, and from skimming one of the archived geocities websites related to the article-topic that Tumbleman suggested back in 2005 or whatever (the AfD stuff above). Fortunately, or unfortunately, I am weird enough to comprehend what was going on, at least on some level.  :-)   TLDR, it seems like Tumbleman was some sort of transhumanist, of a particular flavor I've never run across. Transhumanists are already a vastly broad spectrum of ideas, but the general idea is to Enhance Human Capabilities. Many subgroups are fans of life-extension (special diets through bioengineering), other subgroups are fans of virtual reality (google glass through personality-uploading), other subgroups focus on Strong AI as the key to everything (and a sub-sub-group or maybe a superset-group on nanotechnology), and those are just the easy-to-explain ones. Tumbleman was interested in personally improving their skill at arguing, and their skill at Making Friends And Influencing People... not in the self-help book sort of way (which involves acting differently e.g. being polite to customers) but rather in the transhumanist way (which involves reprogramming tumbleman's brain to be superior to existing human brains). Some would call it a slight difference... but it really is a vast chasm.
concerning a particular sub-sub-sub-branch of transhumanists that are interested in reprogramming their personalities so that they always win arguments... every single time
   Tumbleman's userpage was indeed not for real; it was an invented persona. His interest in the inner workings of wikipedia was not as a programmer of computer software, like bots and php pages and such, as I originally (incorrecty) assumed... his main interest was in being a programmer of wetware, aka brains, aka humans (including himself ... and perhaps even mostly himself ... as distinct from David's worries that Tumbleman was trying to use other editors as unwilling subjects in some kind of screwy social-science-psychology-experiments). Basically, the core idea that tumbleman is attracted to is the idea of the 'online dialect' ... which might be very roughly translated as a 'hivemind' concept, with plenty of loss of fidelity in meaning, much like when we translated 'morphic resonance' into something roughly like 'telepathy'. In particular, the ternary logic system that the geocities archive advocated, which tumbleman wanted to document as a Master Meme enshrined in the pages of wikipedia, was a way of reprogramming your brain so that you would always win logical arguments. Key word: aaalllllwwwwaaayyyysss. Every single time: win. Not usually, which is human. Always, which is transhuman.
   Since most arguments are not logical, but rather largely emotional, involve name-calling, or other less-than-logical factors, folks like tumbleman found they did *not* always win every single argument. (Duh. :-)   Therefore, wikipedia was seen as a sort of training-ground, for tumbleman personally... they were trying to develop a particular kind of transhuman personality (at first a fake persona... but in the long run, once they found a persona which *always* won every argument... the plan was to make that their permanent persona... to become the being that always wins... a transhuman). The way they were 'tuning' this set of experimental personas, to find the one which would always win, was by visiting talkpages where trouble was happening, and trying to *force* the editors there to argue logically, which (presumably) would then guarantee that tumbleman's carefully-honed online-dialectical master-meme skills could Always Win.
   The unsavory part of the deal, which David's spidey-senses picked up on, as did vzaak, was threefold. First off, tumbleman was lying through their teeth, about their reasons for being here, their love of wikipedia, and so on. Well, maybe some of it was true, but a good chunk of it was a faked persona, theatrically generated with the intent to deceive other editors. Second of all, the real intent of tumbleman was not to improve wikipedia... it was to improve tumbleman's ability to *force* other people to argue logically... by lying, by conniving, by using distractions, and all sort of other dirty tricks. Third of all, of course, it is pretty annoying when person X is arguing with tumbleman, and both of them are trying to be logical and objective and maintain NPOV, but no matter how the argument goes, tumbleman always claims to have 'won' ...and if tumbleman clearly lost, instead always claiming, "everybody else is acting illogically!" (Tumbleman usually said 'irrationally' but same difference.)
   Anyways, it looks like tumbleman's account is indefinitely blocked as of the 17th. Probably best. Definitely a strange case! As for myself, although I share some of the same interests as Tumbleman's persona, my interests are actually genuine: I do want to help wikipedia, I do care about WP:RETENTION. I'm getting involved in the troublesome talkpages, to try and put my money where my mouth is, and force people to be WP:NICE. Tumbleman's userpage persona was trying to fake being someone like me, in other words. (Tinfoil alert: if I was just another tumbleman, that's exactly what I would say, right?) ((Double-layer tinfoil alert: because I brought up the idea that it is preposterous for me to be confused with tumbleman, that must mean I'm just an especially sneaky tumbleman, who knew that if I didn't bring it up, it would fail to not be otherwise un-discounted as falsity not truth, right? Right???? Is this even english anymore??????))
   If you want some not-so-nutty but still transhumanist-to-the-core folks, for an example of the interesting-but-not-unsavory side, try the Extropy Institute. They are still pretty nuts, for the most part, but most of them have good intentions, overall. (Like anything involving groups, some of the individuals calling themselves extropians have bad intentions... such is life.) Personally, I'm not an extropian, because they get way too hung up on cryogenic preservation of their brains, and bioengineering their bodies to live forever, rather than Strong AI or other computer programming stuff... and even when they talk AI, it is almost always hand-waving about the Great And Wonderful Singularity When We Will All Be In The Matrix, rather than actually, you know, *programming* something on an actual computer.
   So, hope you enjoyed this little journey into the subgroup of humanity known as transhumanists! In line with our previous story, Conspiracy Theorists That Say Ni Ni Ni, please tune in next time for the category intersection wrap-up: Transhumanist Conspiracy Theories And Their Pet Canines! Same bat-time, same bat-channel. HTH (talk) 17:12, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Should I be calling 911? EEng (talk) 18:02, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
I'll bite his knees off. --Roxy the dog (quack quack) —Preceding undated comment added 18:14, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, I don't think tumbleman crossed the line into criminal dishonesty. They were lying ("theatricalizing") about their intentions here, but they weren't trying to scam anybody out of their pension fund, or even out of their wikipedia-passwords. They were just using wikipedia like a personal debating society, or something along those lines. They were banned under WP:NOTHERE, presumably... prolly under "irreconcilable conflict of intention" or maybe "inconsistent [not-here-to-build-an-encyclopedia] long-term agenda". Anyhoo, no, calling the RL authorities is not necessary, or a good idea. There's no law against being odd, even if one's particular kind of odd-ness may not be conducive to productive wikipedia editing. Tumbleman has a *long* history, here, and probably made a few good contributions during that time. But look at the percentages... 90% talkpages, only 10% articles.[3] See also, WP:WikiPrincess which would have a similar edit-percentage-profile... for *very* different reasons, of course. (talk) 21:50, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Criminality wasn't what I had in mind -- more like psychiatric emergency. Anyway, this has been fun but Wikimedia resources are meant to be used to improve Wikimedia projects, and I don't think this colloquy is doing that in any effective way anymore. And I wonder if David isn't getting tired of all these people in his living room. I for one an stopping now. To avoid temptation I'm unwatchlisting -- David, if I can helo with anything, message me on my Talk. EEng (talk) 23:28, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

September 2013

Hello, I'm BracketBot. I have automatically detected that your edit to Civil Services of India may have broken the syntax by modifying 1 "[]"s. If you have, don't worry: just edit the page again to fix it. If I misunderstood what happened, or if you have any questions, you can leave a message on my operator's talk page.

List of unpaired brackets remaining on the page:
  • India services. The [[Indian Forest Service]] (IFS), [[Indian Administrative Service]] (IAS) and [[Indian Police Service] (IPS) are the three services set up under this constitutional provision.

Thanks, BracketBot (talk) 12:24, 22 September 2013 (UTC)


Hi, without the "telepathy-type interconnections" quote there's no explanation why his work would involve telepathy and parapsychology. The reader should know their relationship to morphic resonance in order to bring context to the next paragraph about morphic resonance. [Note there is a bare "<quote>" in the article.] vzaak (talk) 02:26, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm still trying to figure out the reason for removing the quote that connects morphic resonance to telepathy and parapsychology. With the subsequent changes the connection is still erased. vzaak (talk) 03:59, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

I also don't understand the wikilinks to parapsychological genetic memory and paranormal collective consciousness. Sheldrake actually argues against the former, saying that genes are not the carrier of memory. And the connection to Gardner Murphy, the latter, eludes me. Sheldrake does talk about collective unconscious, but apparently one of a different flavor. Also, the new material in "Academic career" starts with a quote from an interview in 2000, then indents with a quote from his 1981 book (now reproduced on his website), then unindents back to the 2000 interview. I appreciate the work you've done, and I don't want to sound too critical, but I'm perplexed by these recent edits. vzaak (talk) 06:17, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Until August 2013 the lead did not even describe morphic resonance. Adding the two direct quotes from here was easy and seemed to suffice; the quotes ultimately come from Presence of the Past and A New Science of Life. It's very hard to go wrong with the author's own words which are attributed to him ("according to Sheldrake..."). On the other hand, "paranormal interconnectedness" directly mischaracterizes his view in the first paragraph, as Sheldrake is adamant that telepathy is not paranormal. vzaak (talk) 20:12, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree and have edited accordingly. It also solves a prose problem that had been bothering me. "Interconnectedness" is scarcely a word at all. In my ear it seems akin to calling human interaction "interfacing" or the act of writing a book "authorizing." If we're to use a variant of "interconnectedness," I'm much happier to have it in Shaldrake's voice than in Wikipedia's. David in DC (talk) 21:27, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I still don't get it. It was just "mysterious" that bothered you? It's the same as the original now, but without "mysterious". "Cherry-picking the most derogatory words, putting them in the lede" is inexplicably harsh treatment for the process I described above. I still don't understand the issue starting from the beginning of this thread. vzaak (talk) 21:37, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm definitely doing a lousy job of explaining myself. Your first two comments in this thread (9/26) were a response to a bad edit I made late at night on the 25th. I woke up the next morning, read your posts, and re-edited with a specific edit summary refering to "after a good night's sleep and some good talk page advice" - or language very close to that anyway.
This time, my edit was a response to your most recent posting to my page. (10/5) You immediately improved on my response, with a good edit summary. That's why I was sending you a "thank" at the same time you were sending me a new frustrated plea for explanation.
"Mysterious" was not my big concern. My concern was that the whole quote, as first configured, didn't reveal to the casual reader (ie one who doesn't read footnotes carefully) that the words were not the harsh criticism of an antagonist, but rather the author's own self-effacing explanation.
If someone calls me a blind squirel who occasionally finds a nut, that's a harsh insult. If I say the same exact words about myself, it's an acknowledgement of fallibility. That was my objection, not the words themselves, but the relative opacity of their source. I tried to solve that problem - and think I succeeded - with the block-quote further down, but was still left with "paranormal interconnectedness", which I purposely left for another day.
As for "paranormal interconnectedness", my biggest trouble with it was the word "interconnectedness", which sounded like dreadful prose to me. A stylistic problem. Yours was with "paranormal", a much bigger problem, about which I was blithely oblivious.
With any luck, I've made myself clearer. Given Murphy's Law, probably not. I'm hoping Murphy's on furlough today. David in DC (talk) 22:09, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
OK I get the concern about the possibility of Sheldrake being self-effacing. He could be describing how his colleagues viewed his ideas in order to convey why they did not accept them. However the context is "telepathy-type interconnections between organisms and of collective memories within species", and the "collective memories within species" part is dead serious -- that's how he describes it for real. Searching through Dogs That Know indicates the quote is OK (although the details have changed over the years (used to be resonance, then fields as channels (which may be the same as resonance, I don't know))).
I don't understand the attribution issue because the original said "according to Sheldrake"[4], and the footnotes show Sheldrake's name as well. vzaak (talk) 23:48, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I understand your confusion. ESpecially after re-reading my diff. All I can say is that the fact that the second quote had a different citation made me think "According to Sheldrake" applied only to what came before it the first ref and that despite the second footnote clearly showing that the rest of the sentence is also "according to Sheldrake", I didn't get it. It was not a failure of attribution, it was my failure of careful reading. David in DC (talk) 12:20, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

In case you like computer porn

User_talk:Citation_bot#September_2013 EEng (talk) 04:47, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for September 30

Hi. Thank you for your recent edits. Wikipedia appreciates your help. We noticed though that when you edited Gary Null, you added a link pointing to the disambiguation page Variety (check to confirm | fix with Dab solver). Such links are almost always unintended, since a disambiguation page is merely a list of "Did you mean..." article titles. Read the FAQ • Join us at the DPL WikiProject.

It's OK to remove this message. Also, to stop receiving these messages, follow these opt-out instructions. Thanks, DPL bot (talk) 11:35, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Reality check, please.

Is this as thoroughly outrageous as I think. Because, as you can see, I'm appalled. David in DC (talk) 02:45, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Well, I guess you'd have to be more specific about how you are appalled. I visited the talkpage of the Sheldrake article, and left a few notes -- prohibited from actually making my edits due to indefinite censorship as ordered by the Reichstag for ideas not conducive to the propagation of all that is good and true in this world to the masses. I saw you there, making sense I might add, and saw some mentions of Tumbleman, but not actually any comments by them. Like myself, they are interested in wikipedia's mechanisms as a phenomenon... and like myself, they believe that wikipedia's handling of Controversial Subjects is anything but NPOV. Articles tend to be simply WP:OWN battlegrounds, where people with a POV prevent any changes to the article, and talkpage discussions devolve into sniping and grudge-matches, between opposing sides of the controversial issue. Sometimes, adding a neutral uninvolved editor -- which literally means, somebody who thinks the dispute is small potatoes and that the important thing is everybody on both sides backing away from the knives... can be helpful.
   Example of what I mean: about ten years ago, there was some teevee show that I happened to see, where some kid inherited the traditional scottish lairdship position by accident -- largely a formality, in real life. Of course, on the teevee, the lairdship's duty to resolve disputes was invoked by some of the local land tenants, who had long engaged in a feud concerning ownership of a pair of sheep, for nearly a decade, based on whether the ram and ewe coupled on one side of the plot-division, or on the other. So, the two bitter enemies bring their case to the laird, each saying they ought to be the rightful WP:OWNer of the pair of sheep, and that the other person was dishonest and not to be trusted and would say anything to win. The young laird, already put out at being forced to act as the dispute resolution noticeboard for this agricultural spat (being a teevee show he was busy elsewhere wooing the attentions of *four* drop-dead beautiful young women), decided the case by claiming ownership of the pair belonged to the laird, by ancient tradition of eminent domain, and ordering both sheep slaughtered immediately, so that the feud would be ended. The two ranchers, abashed as such wastefulness, both immediately come forward to say, that they would rather the other, their bitter enemy to date, keep the pair, then have the pair destroyed. The laird says fine, then the farmer on the left keeps the sheep on the left, and the farmer on the right keeps the sheep on the right, and never bother me again with your feuds, I have women to woo. The ranchers shake hands, and go off into the sunset... you can hear them begin to argue about which of the sheep is better as they fade into the distance, but it is a more-friendly argument. Oh, and the laird does *not* get the girls; they instead get together, and mutually decide he is not worthy of their charms.
   Anyhoo, metaphors about splitting wool over the content of articles aside, my guess is that Tumbleman sees himself in the same role as the laird on teevee. I don't see myself in that role, because I think it's important to get the girl in the end, and the laird totally failed, so I trust the teevee to guide my behavior. (I see myself as Iron Chef -- who always gets the girls.) What in particular is appalling here? (talk) 18:07, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
The page as it stood when I made this edit is what I found appalling. David in DC (talk) 02:13, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes... if you think tumbleman meant "case-study" in the psychoanalysis sense of the term (and since you've seen them in action and I haven't I'll take your word on it). But it sounds like, to my ears anyhoo, they're a wiki-software-programmer-type, so more likely they meant "case-study" in the way that I'm interpreting the phrase, namely, as a use case study, which is a pretty traditional software engineering technique. Cf user story. They might also have meant it in the harvard biz school sense. Over on my talkpage, I have a one or two such case-studies, by which I mean, examples of wikipedia users interacting, via the wiki-software. But most of my use-case-studies are spread around randomly, on talkpages of folks I ran into, or similar. My big project to WP:RGW is to try and improve how the wiki-software works. Starting with bots.[5] (In *that* saga no use-case-study was needed... I was both the subject and the observer. Nutty frustrating bots, too.)
an explanation of a particular use case analysis, and the auto-chat wiki-feature which it led me to come up with
   For instance, I want auto-chat... if I edit the Rupert article, then I want a small chat-window to automatically appear in the blank lefthand whitespace on my wikipedia screen. Later, when I'm off reading something about susi ingredients or whatever, and *you* come along and edit Rupert's talkpage, *I* get insta-notified in my chat-window. Best of all, since *you* just made an edit, you also have an auto-chat window. Therefore, if I disagree with what you just did, rather than starting an edit war, I can just click in the chatwindow, and send you an IM.
   I came up with this auto-chat idea, from a particular use-case study, where I happened to see a complaint on some admin's talkpage that I was visiting. After following the edit history, I found out that the involved parties were a beginner, an experienced editor who wanted to WP:OWN the page, a friendly admin who was called in to help, and an uninvolved admin who got talkpage messages by mistake. If those folks had the auto-chat feature, back when this happened (a couple weeks after I stumbled onto it), instead of taking four people and over 100 edits spread across literally 60 hours of wall-time, probably the whole thing could have been resolved in less than five edits, and less than five minutes. (The dispute was over whether some videogame would be released on the 22nd or the 29th... so a total of *one* single ASCII character took all that work to get done.)
   Now, just studying the previous audit-trail myself, I don't feel like I'm violating anybody's privacy, or studying human subjects without their consent... edit-histories are public already, world-visible not just me-visible, after all. Still, when I came up with the autochat feature, and wanted to propose implementing it, I personally contacted all four people involved, and told them I was planning on using the now-long-settled dispute as an example case-study, which my new wiki-feature would help solve/prevent/makeEasier/somethingGoodish for future similar interaction-patterns. Partly because I wanted to let them know they did nothing wrong and that I was discussing their old activities as a concrete example of a use-case-scenario that my new proposed auto-chat-feature could streamline. But also because I hoped they would check out the proposal, and help me improve it. The beginning editor, and the article-owning-editor, never responded. The friendly admin said sure, no prob, I'll come review your auto-chat feature if I have time. The super-busy fourth admin suggested I "contact DRN if there was still a problem" (i.e. TLDR... my achilles' heel).
   Now, there's a distinction between studying the edit-history of a page, and coming up with wiki-software-features thataway, and actually *participating* in the action. Tumblerman definitely was picking pages to visit, and tracking what happened there, and being involved in what happened there, as well. I kinda do that sometimes, but not as a way to study the humans on the pages... my interest is in trying to figure out how wikipedia works. (Which is, as you are pretty well aware, not the same as what WP:PG let along WP:Five_pillars claim it is supposed to work like.) In the long run, once I have a stronger personal understanding of how collaborative editing works in practice -- to include the Charley page, the Rupert page, and maybe twenty other pages I've dropped in on as a member of the Mediation Cabal -- eventually that deeper knowledge will be useful to me in designing and implementing some new wiki-tools or wiki-features. But that's not my short-term goal; my short-term goal is to improve WP:RETENTION by acting on the WikiLove impulse. Adopting beginners and schooling them in the ways of the wiki, trying to settle contentious editing-wars with objectivity, and so on. I've had mixed results. I've also lost any illusions I once held about wikipedia being run by a kindly staff of wizened editors, skilled in dispensing wikiLove at all times, and wikiJustice only when required. This place is *not* being run well, and plenty of people have lost sight of the end-goals, and there may be no end in sight.
   On the plus side, I've met quite a few editors that I enjoy -- yourself, flyer22, besieged, liz, pirsquared, and many more. I definitely have not yet figured out how to win the WP:NICE war, which is to say, how to convince folks to get back to basics, and follow WP:NOT, WP:NPOV, WP:COPYBIO, WP:NICE, and WP:BLP ... which I'm pretty sure will lead directly to WP:RETENTION... but I'm still full of wikithusiasm, and have a thick skin and a lot of gumption. So there is hope. All I really need, is to figure out how to tighten up my standard WP:WALLOFTEXT verbosity... to include this message.  :-/      Anyhoo, thanks for listening, and let me know if you're worried I'm out to psychoanalyze you as an unwitting humanoid in my scheme to take over the world. Well, I guess I can speak bluntly -- morphic resonance has already informed me that you are the one with schemes to take over the world, suburbo-dad. But your ray-of-MPB has no effect on me, I have neutralized it with psychical R&D. Seriously, though, if you are worried that my use case stuff is crossing over into the scary zone, please clue me in. Danke. (talk) 07:33, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Think I figured out what was going on here, at least, roughly. See above -- User_talk:David_in_DC#FYI. (talk) 17:15, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

p.s. One thing I forgot to mention... when you told tumbleman they were not supposed to treat other editors as a psychological-case-study, you pointed at WP:NOTCASE, but that policy is saying that *articles* should not be harvard-biz-school-type-case-studies. In fact, WP:NOTCASE is the reason we're going to have a hard time at AfC concerning Books about travel with canines, that I could not remember where I'd seen it before. (As for tumbleman, using wikipedia as a source for debating-partners, with hidden long-term intentions that are not building-an-encyclopedia, is a violation of WP:NOTHERE.) This is the NOTCASE snippet, which means your assumption that we need a solid scholarly article specifically manifesting the notability of works-about-journeys-with-canines. (talk) 22:14, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

[articles which are written like biz-school-style] Case studies. Many topics are based on the relationship of factor-X-to-factor-Y, resulting in one or more full articles. For example, this could refer to situation-X-in-location-Y, or version-X-of-item-Y. This is perfectly acceptable when the two variables put together represent some culturally significant phenomenon or some otherwise notable interest. Often, separate articles are needed for a subject within a range of different countries, due to substantial differences across international borders; articles such as "Slate industry in Wales" and "Island fox" are fitting examples. Writing about "oak trees in North Carolina" or a "blue truck", however, would likely constitute a POV fork, or original research, and would certainly not result in an encyclopedic article.


Hi there, I'm just wondering if "Recognized" is suitable to describe English on the Info-box in regards to the reference used on footnote(b) which has got to do with section (2) of Article 82 on the Consitution Alevero987 (talk) 07:29, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

I dunno. It seems uncontroversial to me, but I should hasten to add that I know very little about what's controversial about Brunei and what's not. The use of the language of the former colonial power is sometimes a very controversial topic in former colonies. I see two possible approaches:
A) Post the edit, per WP:BOLD, and then don't get upset if someone reverts it and then initiates a civil conversation under WP:BRD to try to reach consensus.
B) Ask the same question you've asked me on the talk page first, and be guided by any replies.
I've stricken my advice. After reviewing the page history, it looks like you're alread at the "D" step in WP:BRD. Don't re-insert the edit without achieving consensus on the talk page. Definitely don't edit-war. If consensus proves impossible, there are multiple avenues for dispute resolution on wikipedia. Here's a guide: Wikipedia:Dispute resolution
I'm honored, and a little bit humbled, that you've asked my advice. Thanks for the morning pick-me-up.
Good luck and happy editing. David in DC (talk) 10:41, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

PTSD (Post-Dramatic Sockpuppet Disorder)

Wow! How those traumatic memories linger! Just seeing a username beginning with "Ry" gave me heart palpitations. [6] EEng (talk) 15:29, 3 October 2013 (UTC) P.S Since I mentioned you: [7]

October 2013

Hello, I'm BracketBot. I have automatically detected that your edit to Institute of Noetic Sciences may have broken the syntax by modifying 2 "[]"s. If you have, don't worry: just edit the page again to fix it. If I misunderstood what happened, or if you have any questions, you can leave a message on my operator's talk page.

List of unpaired brackets remaining on the page:
  • Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World''], [[Simon & Schuster]], New York City|New York]] (2007). ISBN 978-0-7432-7695-7</ref> [[meditation]],<ref name=Radin2/> [[consciousness]], [[

Thanks, BracketBot (talk) 00:41, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Oh, hi, Bracketbot, I'm David in DC. You're so big and strong! ... ;) EEng (talk) 02:03, 7 October 2013 (UTC) (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Hussy! :) David in DC (talk) 10:02, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Rest assured

Your good faith is not wasted. I just have a tendency to be over dramatic :) - thanks for the good help effort on the article. The Tumbleman (talk) 21:41, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes it was. And I'm sorely peeved about it. David in DC (talk) 03:58, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

[] If you could read my mind / what a tale my Talkpage would tell...

I'm beginning to think my psychiatrist wasn't so far off when he said I had psychotic abilities. After all, if there's no such think as telepathy, what then explains that you made this edit [8] three minutes before I made this edit [9]? Huh? HUH? EEng (talk) 04:36, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Occam's Razor. When I went to thank you, I looked above on your page. I then went to the AfD. But fret not. This is only one datum. I'm sure there are many more pointing the other way. Trust the pshrink. :) David in DC (talk) 11:55, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Why appeal to Occam's Razor when telepathy is so much simpler an explanation? EEng (talk) 14:48, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I was going to tell David that Occam's Razor, applied properly, leads us to explain almost *everything* in terms of telepathy, but EEng read my mind, and beat me to it by a few minutes. 19406, by my calculations, if you want to get all scientific and technical about it. Gotta go, I sense that somebody needed me on another page, a few minutes ago. (talk) 15:26, 24 October 2013 (UTC)


Hi, a while ago you made some really good edits to the Sheldrake article which brought more balance and better prose to the article. We seemed to be pretty much on the same page (sorry for the pun).

Thus I'm puzzled by your complaint about my statement here. (BTW you should have notified me for being mentioned in an ANI.) I would like to focus on this because it seems to highlight whatever the issue is. To me, the comment you show is a totally non-noteworthy, uninteresting statement on my part. It's a generic response to obvious violations of WP:NPOV, namely WP:PSCI and WP:GEVAL. Again we're not even talking about WP:FRINGE here; this is just NPOV. I was paraphrasing NPOV when I said, "Your new stab runs afoul of NPOV because it obfuscates the description of the mainstream views of the scientific community".

The analogy I mentioned is a good one, I think. "Teach the controversy" is highly effective propaganda which appeals to people's innate sense of fairness in controversial matters. However, as we know, the reality of the situation is quite different: the vast, overwhelming scientific consensus is that there is no controversy. There is simply no debate regarding evolution vs creationism/intelligent design, as far as the scientific community is concerned.

A very similar thing is happening with the intro you had proposed. It eschews the overwhelming view of the scientific community and introduces the framing of "controversy" and "debate". The Discovery Institute and Sheldrake proponents both seek "controversy" framing, in different contexts. I'm not anti-Sheldrake in any hard sense -- he's a nice guy --, however we are obliged to represent the mainstream scientific view in an honest manner. That's really what WP:NPOV, particularly WP:PSCI, means here. Portraying "controversy" where little or none exists is a disservice to readers, even with the aim of being nicer.

Contrary to what you perhaps to think of me, I am all for being nicer in the lead. There must be some way to make it better, but it can't be the dishonest way of misrepresenting mainstream views. Also remember Sheldrake advocates alternative medicine, so this isn't just an abstract issue. vzaak (talk) 03:12, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

In my view, the lede that we polished was good. The one I put on Tumbleman's sandbox was to be a starting point for collaboration. No one collaborated. It was stillborn. I denounced Tumbleman's introduction of it to the article and lauded its reversion. Tumbleman's introduction of it appears to be part of his ongoing dispute resolution experiment. I'm done trying to coax him into true collaboration. Fooled me one...etc.
Our version might have remained stable if he hadn't upset the applecart by inserting it provocatively.
I've stricken the diff you complain of from the ANI thread. I think additional editing in Tumbleman's sandbox would have been a more helpful response, but so be it. I'm not so sure I've breached any policy by including that diff in a long series of diffs, but I've been wrong before. Hell, I often think six impossible things before breakfast. I'd rather respond positively to your pointing out where I'm in error than insist stubbornly that I'm not.
My aim is not about nice. It's about treating living people as something special. I do not agree that some collaboratively improved version of my first draft on Tumbleman's page would have taught the controversy. Collaboration would have seen to that. What I put there was quite explicitly not ready for prime time. But it might have been a start. Or, alternatively, it might have called Tumbleman's bluff and kept him off the article page. As he kept crowing, up until that point, he'd made only one insignificant edit to the article. He escalated his experiment, moving from talk page to article space, when my effort to take him at his word failed. David in DC (talk) 03:50, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
OK sorry for writing too much on something you already know; I wasn't sure what the issue was and thus I should have written less. I'm not opposed to collaborating on a new lead. That particular lead seemed too far off, though, and there were issues of social, technical, and basic-science competence involved as well. vzaak (talk) 05:29, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi, just noted this discussion. I'm tempted to say 'I told you so.' --Roxy the dog (quack quack) 23:41, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Faith renewed

Just when my patience with myopic WP:FRINGE zealots was just about worn through, I read this. I sure wish User:IRWolfie- would. David in DC (talk) 05:17, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Do you think going around calling people zealots is productive? IRWolfie- (talk)
You say he's calling people zealots like it's a bad thing! EEng (talk) 12:19, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
In correcting the incorrigible? No. That's what incorrigible means. I'm never going to correct your view of me. If I announced that you'd walked on water, you might well hear it as an accusation of inability to swim. So ringing Pavlov's bell here creates no additional lack of productivity. Between us, productivity's already reached its nadir, its absolute zero. It can go no lower. It is a dead parrot.
But maybe, if you actually have read (or will read) what Liz wrote, you might be able to conclude that her explanation has merit, while still avoiding cognitive dissonance by being able to dismiss my saying the same thing as one of the infinite monkeys who managed to type Shakespeare, the blind squirrel who happened to find a nut and/or the broken useless watch that's still right twice a day.
She's right. As to BLP, the skeptics are egregiously wrong.
I hope I've answered your question. Now I'm going to do something more enjoyable. Like shaving my head with a cheese grater while chewing on tinfoil. David in DC (talk) 12:13, 11 October 2013 (UTC)


diff is not a revert. You need to be more careful with how you characterize other's edits, especially when you get that personal. jps (talk) 22:00, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
This dolt is on a self-administered edit-block of at least one week in duration. The embarassing details can be found here.David in DC (talk) 22:21, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Take a walk in the fresh air. Do some photography. Tidy your room. Design experiments in morphic resonance. Make mayonnaise (really, home made is super). Today's events were ... interesting, and this event is understandable, and your ultimate response is admirable, if slightly ott. --Roxy the dog (quack quack) 23:34, 11 October 2013 (UTC)


In the meantime have a giggle (I hope) on me. History and traditions of Harvard commencements EEng (talk) 23:09, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

WikiProjects RfC

When will this RfC close? –Mabeenot (talk) 14:47, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Oxbridge oddities

You get a BA at Oxford, Cambridge, (and Trinity I think) for an undergraduate science degree, because of the funny traditions of those universities. Let's face it, Rupert Sheldrake wouldn't have been accepted to an Cambridge PhD programme if he didn't have an undergrad degree. Barney the barney barney (talk) 16:27, 19 October 2013 (UTC)


Thanks for reposting the BLP noticeboard notice on the Sheldrake talk page. I had been wondering why something about that had not be in discussion. Tom Butler (talk) 19:53, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Edit war over "been"?

Hi, re [10]

  • "Since then, his work has largely centred on..."
  • "Since then, his work has been largely centred on..."

We want to describe a continuous action stemming from the past, hence "been", no? "Present Perfect Continuous Tense"? The "been" was removed previously before, but not by you. Maybe I'm losing my grammar marbles. vzaak (talk) 18:43, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

To my ear, "been" adds nothing. "Omit needless words", per Strunk & White. However, I think it's an extraordinarily unimportant matter and that re-adding "been" would cause no harm. Mine is only one ear (well, two) and yours is/are as good as mine. Van Gogh might have a different take on it. But he's dead, so it's no violation of WP:BLP to call him tone-deaf.
I think you should change it back. If a kerfuffle erupts, we'll both know that the craziness lies elsewhere. David in DC (talk) 19:25, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
Oops. Just thunk of something. If you make the change, it should probobly be to "has been centred largely on". "Has been largely centred" sticks an adverb between a form of "to be" and "centred". I think that's Shatner territory. David in DC (talk) 19:32, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
Have you guys thought of trying stand-up? --Roxy the dog (quack quack) 19:34, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
I've thought of it every time the beer makes me fall down. But my morphic resonance is kinda foggy today, so I can't tell if vzaak has thought of it. David in DC (talk) 19:37, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── [edit conflict] Let the stalker jump in. DinDC is right in the sense that been doesn't changes the tense; what it does is change the voice. mi-mi-mi-miiiii! Do-re-mi-fa-so-... Oops, wrong kind of voice.

Anyway, shifting to the present helps clarify the role of certain words:

  1. Now his work centers on...
  2. Now his work is centered on...

The difference is active vs passive: in (1) the work is the thing doing the centering (of itself); in (2) something else is doing the centering (of the work). But the tense is the same.

This is easier to see in my example than in the original example, because in my example work centers becomes work is centered -- adding is while changing centers to centered -- whereas in the original example work has centered becomes work has been centered -- adding been but with no change of centered.

Another way to see this is to note that the original example could be rewritten as:

  • "Since then, his work has largely centred on..." (no change)
  • "Since then, he has largely centred his work on..." (passive to active, but no change in tense)

Here it's more apparent that they are the same tense. Does that help? EEng (talk) 19:39, 20 October 2013 (UTC) (I see I shifted to American spelling. So sue me. And there's nothing wrong with split infinitives and so on.)

Anon stalker suggests this heuristic: Use Of Now Considered Harmful. If the paragraph languishes without editor-love, it will eventually be tagged with [when?] and [vague] and [citation needed]. Better to say this, using my other rule of thumb against pronouns that may get murdered by later editors. "Since 2013, Smith's work has centered on..." I don't know the topic under discussion, but I left out 'largely' because that word is often either redundant (and thus better elided), or wrong (and thus better replaced with something that *does* reflect the state of reality the sentence is supposed to describe). You are now a fully-credentialed graduate of my course on defensive editing. The passive voice shall not be used by us. HTH. (talk) 16:41, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Conspiracy theory about conspiracy theorists

Isn't it convenient that the vitamin C nut who caused the semi-protection last month shows up again just when "been" has been removed, causing full protection this time? Just asking questions. The Sheldrake article may indeed be a pretext for this war over "been". A secretive guerrilla army of "been" haters on Wikipedia, no doubt. vzaak (talk) 02:51, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

"Vitamin C nut" -- obvious code language. Nuts don't have much vitamin C, but "beens" do, so what's going on here is obvious. There may be a sleeper cell of "been" Laden followers at work here. EEng (talk) 03:30, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
The cabal has not been kind to those historically remained less than kind to those editors that dare use the-word-of-which-we-shalt-not-spake. WP:TINC. You have been warned just now received your warning. (talk) 16:41, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the warning, but I'm clueless. Which of my many words has transgressed a line and led to this warning? Please feel free to email me. There's a tool for that on the left hand side of this page. And then there are a whole bunch of other tools... Oh, never mind. David in DC (talk) 19:48, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Who's on first? EEng (talk) 20:42, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Gi've geen gractising gatching grisbees gin gy geeth, +++ spits +++ but I refuse to wear that silly poodle ballet frock. --Roxy the dog (quack quack) 20:59, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Replacing the b-sound with a g-sound does not get you off the hook with the cabal, Roxy! As for you, David, you know very well you used the word-which-shalt-not-be-spaken, several times in this very section. (narrows eyes) You allow this section to remain on your talkpage, I further note. (eyelids spring open) The eyes of the cabal are everywhere. Always watching, Wazowski. Always watching. Email is also watched! You cannot trick me into spaking the word-which-shalt-not-be-spaken, by pretending to be short of a clue. I have always been always remained pure and strong in my support of the cabal! So ends the transmission. You have just now received your warning. Umm, again.  :-)   — (talk) 15:16, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Ok, now there's a serious problem. Despite the fact that I've been wearing my tinfoil hat shiny-side out all day, this message resounded in my fillings long before I signed onto Wikipedia today. Which of you is working for the Culinary Insitute of America? Or the Natural Sculpture Association. Or the Masons. (I've never trusted those damn jars they've infiltrated into every kitchen in America.) OK, the agent provocatuer had better fess up or else. I mean it. You're not the boss of me, Arthur Read. I'm a very useful engine. David in DC (talk) 21:40, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
david. stop. using. the. word. they. will.[11] hear. you. source. is. reliable. but. never. heard. from. again. (talk) 14:28, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Department of serendipity: This is the awesomest reaserch link ever. And I'd dispaired of ever finding it again. Used to have it bookmarked when it actually appeared on the web page of a university. But it got took down. It was like an old friend I couldn't reconnect with. I'm still in the "Shiny-sise out" camp, based on personal experience. By I know the in-depth research holds otherwise and my anomalous personal anecdotal evidence probably just means that I'm an outlier. David in DC (talk) 14:34, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Oh please, David. Wikipedia is no place for your POV-pushing WP:OR. I've provided an independent third-party peer-reviewed reliable source from some of the finest minds in academia. None of them were cited in the Sokal paper, I assure you. Put the tinfoil down, and back away. <very wide grin> Yes. Okay. Go on. <hands make shooing motion> That's better. Thaaattsss betttterr... let it go. Just walk away. Now, see, that wasn't so hard.  :-) Wikipedia is all about the sources. (talk) 17:25, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Sheldrake, redux

No discussion of Sheldrake will ever be complete without a reference to Dr. Connor Ryall. [12]. David in DC (talk) 04:26, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

I think it would be helpful if you'd post something under "Determining level of consensus". Somebody is trying to get a consensus, and they need all the help they can get. Lou Sander (talk) 13:11, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. The discussion is about the topic Lou Sander's notice to you. Thank you.-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 09:19, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

the section is Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Lou_Sander -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 09:23, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

grouping-names for Charley

Please see initial thoughts here -- User_talk: -- when you have time. Danke (talk) 16:43, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

There's a bot for that...

Hi, did you know there are bots that come around to reorder the references? I'm not saying I mind a fellow Turing-test-passer doing the work for them. Maybe the time interval between visits is too long for your satisfaction. Spraying bot pheromones on the article may help, once that's invented. vzaak (talk) 06:37, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. No I didn't know that. I'll knock it off. Your Turing test comment suggests additional evidence of morphic resonance. I censored myself from making a snotty Turing test reference this morning on a thread about jokes. :)
Apropos of nothing, you've now also reminded me of one of my favorite Dave Barry lines: "This guy was so clueless, he couldn't find a clue, standing in a field of clues, during clue rutting season, doused in clue pheremones."David in DC (talk) 16:34, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Darts team

...holding goalie tryouts. Best I've heard in a long time! Lou Sander (talk) 22:29, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Mig's page

Copied for lack of time: "Hi David -- yes, I saw it. Thank you. I'm waiting to hear from other festivals regarding my new film "Old Havana..." which was screened recently at the PFF. I'm moving totally into production, so I have left certain other activities behind in history dust. We'll see what shakes. I hate derogatory stuff -- usually not based on facts and only intended to demean me. Arrgggg. It's like they're watching in dark corners and waiting to pounce. Thanx again :). Mig (talk) 01:52, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

I forgot to make a small correction. The polish FF screening of "Kninth Floor" was in 2012. In 2013 (two weeks ago) they screened my film "Old Havana..." Cinematography by Maks Naporowski and Pawel Gula (uncredited). Full title available on their site. Please delete after reviewing. Thank you so much! I'm now raising the money to proceed with the full length production and both men will be working with me on that project, as well as the entire cast and crew. Mig (talk) 21:37, 28 October 2013 (UTC"Mig (talk) 23:01, 28 October 2013 (UTC)


Funny: Lou Sander (talk) 02:38, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

An example

It looks like our collaboration was derailed.

In this link clicking on "More Programme Information" gives the text:

"Tonight on Belief Joan Bakewell talks to Professor Rupert Sheldrake. Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and a former Research Fellow of the Royal Society."

As you've probably seen discussed, "Research Fellow of the Royal Society" being mentioned alongside name and occupation has led to accusations that it's intended to mislead by evoking Fellow of the Royal Society, something that is exceedingly different and exceedingly more prestigious. He received a fellowship like thousands of other researchers among many fields, and on paper the term is "Royal Society Rosenheim research fellowship".[13]

He's certainly not a professor by any measure. Nonetheless we have a reliable source reporting: professor, the Fellow thing, and biologist. So why shouldn't WP report that he's a professor? Why shouldn't WP introduce him as Research Fellow of the Royal Society, ignoring the confusion with FRS? To me, this indicates the need of using sources that are more informed on scientific matters, otherwise we have an article about Professor Sheldrake.

You once remarked that "Kirk Douglas still gets to be called 'actor'". The analogy doesn't fit because Douglas has had a lifelong distinguished career in acting. A more appropriate analogy would be a case of someone who quit acting early in his career and took up another profession for 35 years. He wasn't a particularly recognizable actor, but in interviews he describes himself as one, and this gets reported by popular media. The weird part is that he calls his 35-year profession acting, even though to most everyone else in the world it isn't acting.

In reading the article now, I'm struck by how soft it is. I proposed the "hybrid" sentence earlier, but looking at the article again I just don't see any issue with the current lead. My concern now is that the off-site canvassing may have caused a toxic atmosphere. Before the canvassing we never heard about "former biochemist" being WP:BALLS. Nature is among the most prestigious journals in the world, but now it's BALLS for making the common-sensical assessment (along with other scientific publications) of Sheldrake being a former biochemist. It's easy to find non-scientific publications as well ("Sheldrake was once a respected Cambridge botanist" (ABC TV)[14]). We had seemingly been in agreement on most matters, which makes the sudden push to calling Nature, New Scientist, ABC TV, and other non-agreeing sources BALLS and "long grass of skepticism" really strange to me. vzaak (talk) 21:51, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm out for a while. Professional conference for work from Sunday through Wednesday. Good luck. For the record, I agreed with JzG that Sheldrake's theories were WP:BALLS. All along, my main concern has been to make sure Sheldrake got treated more gently than his theories. And, secondarily to keep bullies from dominating the conversation. For instance, we had two canines. One's not a bully, although we disagree. The other most assuredly is. He's announced departure. If true, that's a good thing. There's a stationary photo stand that seems to be a bully, too. He shows no sign of relenting. I'm glad I'll be away from it all for a few days.
Long grass of extreme skepticism was a phrase employed by JzG, too. It acknowledges that, at the extremities, there is indeed a skeptical POV. I'm glad he's around. He's intemperate sometimes, but he's one of the best admins around, on par with NewYorkBrad and MastCell. They always have the best interests of the project at heart.
Again, good luck. I'll be back after a few days. David in DC (talk) 22:34, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
I was asking about your statements such as "parapsychologist" (recently changed to the better "researcher in the field of parapsychology") being based on BALLS. You're saying the assessment by one of the most prestigious scientific journals is BALLS. It doesn't make sense and I was looking for some kind of justification. In your response here you've launched into all sorts of personal assessments and accusations which have no bearing on what I asked. vzaak (talk) 16:20, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Honest to goodness, I haven't called anything WP:BALLS or bollocks excepte Sheldrake's theories and hypotheses. In one spot I said we don't need to whitewash anyones balls in order to stay in line with BLP, just treat Sheldrake more gently than we treat his hypotheses. I don't think I've denigrated the respected periodicals that call him a parapsychologist in any way. I just don't think they're the last word on the subject. I don't think we look at the conflicting sources about whether he's a biologist (in the present tense) and decide which is reliabler. I think we cite both, and not explicitly that there's no consensus between or among all of these reliable sources, and report what they say. Regardless of what Nature says, we don't ignore what the BBC3 says because Nature is more respectable. They both have the indicia of reliable sources. We report that he's called a parapsychologist by one set of reliable sources and a biologist be another. We DON'T say he's an ex-biologist or a former biologist if he's got a Ph.D. in biology.
As for my characterizations, I gotta say, if you think the vehemence of what's going on upon the Sheldrake talk page is not personality-driven, you've got a blindspot. Having Tumbleman there, with his agenda, was destructive. Having my least favorite canine retire from participation is constructive. Having Guy monitoring the situation guarantees that the worst kind of excesses will be dealt with.
If you've got a diff where I've called anything but sheldrake's body of work bollocks, please show me. I've misremembered before. But I don't think you will. I think you'll find that my answer to your question "What do we do when reliable sources conflict" is different from yours, but it's not because the mainstream scientific periodicals are in any way unreliable. It's that they hold no monopoly on reliability, nor are they dispositive when other reliable sources conflict.
I'm still editing because my conference turns out to be pretty lightweight until tomorrow. But I'll be truly afk on Sunday-Wednesday. David in DC (talk) 19:32, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Producing diffs seems an unfriendly thing to do, but if you insist, "Parapsychologist" belongs in the initial sentence of this BLP, it's been successfully argued, based pretty much on WP:BALLS.[15].
I still support the "hybrid" opening I proposed, but only you and Barney have commented on it.
Re selecting the strongest sources: to exaggerate for effect, if Sailing Magazine makes a statement the Paleozoic era which is contradicted by a scientific journal, we go with the scientific journal. The point is simply that Nature is more qualified than the BBC to judge what field Sheldrake is in. vzaak (talk) 20:42, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
I think we should strive to have blind spots for drama. I don't understand your conflict with IRWolfie; I suppose it has roots going back to before my time. vzaak (talk) 20:42, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Gosh we frequently misunderstand each other. Thanks. I meant that parapsychologist is in the lede of the BLP because Sheldrake's theories are considered WP:BALLS.
Sailing magazine on a paleozoic topic is an inapt comparison. The more appropriate comparison is Nature vs ABC, BBC, CBC, NYT or WaPo. News networks and newspapers of generally good repute should be mentioned alongside Nature on science if they differe.
I've got blindspots for some forms of drama. But not for bullies. David in DC (talk) 21:00, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
But you continued the same argument that "parapsychologist" in the lead was unfounded, basically saying it's BALLS and claiming that no sources "support the assertion that he should not be called a biologist",[16] when the sources are right there in the lead. That's the perplexing part.
We really do misunderstand each other, because I said "to exaggerate for effect". That means I'm exaggerating to make the point clear. Some analogies are intended to clarify a point, other analogies are intended as a "guilt by association" kind of thing. By saying "to exaggerate for effect" I am placing the comparison exclusively in the former category.
Nature is simply more qualified to say what field Sheldrake is in. The BBC reports that Sheldrake is a professor and making it seem like he's a FRS. Nature would never do such a thing. Again, I'm still for the hybrid approach, but the current state of the article is reasonable as well. vzaak (talk) 21:42, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
"basically saying it's BALLS" ---> no, just saying it's not dispositive. "and claiming that no sources "support the assertion that he should not be called a biologist" ...when the sources are right there in the lead." --> the sources in the lede say positively that he's a parapsychologist. They do not say he cannot also be called a scientist. David in DC (talk) 21:56, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
The sources say "former biochemist" and "biochemist-turned-parapsychologist". The more general "scientist" may be feasible, but the original push was for "biologist". vzaak (talk) 22:08, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

I thought I had successfully conveyed the issue in the talk page and in this section here on your page. Despite the barrage of distractions, I think there is a real conversation to be had on the matter. I wish we could pick up there instead of revisiting old arguments as if these things never happened.

I was concerned when you launched into listing personal grudges above. Now you are talking about "militant skepticism", but you've been around here enough to know that stuff is not true, right? For example Sheldrake recently said on the BBC that "they've got about five people banned so far". These claims are disproved because Wikipedia records history.

For the record I thought "Dan skeptic" was not a helpful player (I believe you thanked my revert of some of his especially stupid stuff on the talk page) and I don't think 76.107 is very helpful either. vzaak (talk) 14:02, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

No, I don't know it's true. This next sentence pains me to write: I think Deepak Chopra makes a good point. David in DC (talk) 14:11, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
You don't know what's true?
(e/c) What is going on with this edit? "It's not just that Chopra sees Sheldrake a certain way, he supports Sheldrake." You changed "proponent" to "supporter". But a proponent is stronger than just a supporter. I support feminism, but I'm not actively doing much about it; it would be harder (but not impossible) to say I'm a proponent. But the edit seems accusatory in some way, as if I didn't give Chopra or Sheldrake their due credit, or something. vzaak (talk) 14:15, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Vzaak: the dispute between RPoD and Iantresman is a specific issue. Ian is an advocate of non-standard cosmology and various other pseudosciences, his views on Sheldrake's more fantastical ideas is unlikely to be neutral. I see no evidence of similar bias from RPoD, who I have encountered many times around the place and consider sound. In other words, if I see an edit by Iantresman to an article on some pseudoscientific subject, it raises a red flag, whereas the same does not apply to RPoD.
I think it is far to describe Sheldrake as a biochemist if he currently practices biochemistry. If he doesn't, then he's a former biochemist or he's a [insert current profession] who trained in biochemistry. The problem is that he's vastly better known for his bonkers ideas than for his biochemistry, thanks in no small part to the TED debacle.
His problem with the article is primarily that he believes he's right and we accurately reflect the scientific consensus that he's wrong. This is a feature, not a bug. Our challenge is to describe how wrong he is in a measured and respectful way. Guy (Help!) 12:41, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Guardian article

The guardian article is wrong -- the heresy quote is from the 1994 BBC documentary, not the 1981 editorial. It also plays into the FRS problem I described above. vzaak (talk) 21:50, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Rest Easy

Puerto Rico Beaches 01.jpg Rest Easy
Enjoy your break, may it be peaceful and productive! KeithbobTalk 18:21, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

A message to you from Rupert Sheldrake

Please look at your edit here[17]. You removed the fact that Sheldrake was a fellow of Clare. Sheldrake specifically complained about its removal in his BBC interview, so I've relayed this message to you. Perhaps you are an especially cunning "guerrilla skeptic", but if not then don't let Sheldrake's accusation get to you. Some people see "guerrilla skeptics" or "militant skeptics" everywhere, and there's little we can do about their firmly held beliefs. vzaak (talk) 14:49, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

I think my version there reads better and deletes no significant content. I'm editing for our readers. The subject of the biography may understand some content difference between the two versions, but, in my opinion, an infinitessimally small number of our readers would.
I doubt Sheldrake would write his bio the way I would. I think if Sheldrake wrote it, alone, it would include more accolades and less criticism of both himself and his work.
If I wrote it, alone, it also might include a better balance of accolades and criticism of Sheldrake, the human being, too. But he'd like my treatment of his work no more than his acolytes would.
If I wrote it, alone, the version I wrote would horrify FRINGE-fighting fanatics and Sheldrake acolytes, alike.
HYPOTHESIS: If I forswore editing the page, and all of its current editors did the same, and 10 totally uninvolved, BLP-savvy editors worked the thing over for a month, it would be both BLP- and FRINGE-compliant.
Sheldrake still wouldn't like it.
I'd be satisfied with it.
FRINGE-fighters would set about to destroy the finally-compliant article and engage in some or all of the following BATTLEGROUND behaviors: campaign to gut WP:BLP as it relates to living fringe theorists, ridicule the uninvolved editors who'd re-written it, harrass anyone who tried to keep the article stable as re-written, and campaign for sanctions against anyone who was achieving any success in maintaining the re-write.
This business of refusing to allow the word biologist in the lead is fanatacism. Its inclusion would mislead no one, despite arguments to the contrary. The article, as a whole, would more than adequately inform them that he's a biologist whose views do not conform with those of 21st century mainstream biology and that he's waaaaay out on the fringe. But the fanatics wouldn't let biologist in the lead no matter what the consensus was, and no matter what sources say. Just like they think the adjective "mainstream" as a descriptor for "science" violates NPOV. There is no such thing as mainstream science, in their view. Only SCIENCE and quackery. Just like "fundamental tenets of modern science like COE and the impossibility of PMMs" is inadequate to them. "Tenet" is somehow too weak. The word must be "facts", goddammit.
The stubborn, incorrigible refusal to include biologist in the lede, the tenacity of the prohibition of the phrase "mainstream science" and the refusal to accept "tenets" as an adequate synonym for "facts" are all symptoms of a disease. The disease is a danger to wikipedia. I hate saying Chopra's right about anything, I truly do. But his essay from HuffPo is right. The recent counterpoint from The New Republic is wrong. (Albeit funnier and better-written.) David in DC (talk) 17:02, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
I meant my comment as good-natured ribbing rather than snarky meanness. Looking at it again, it could maybe be taken either way.
I wish the counter to Chopra/Sheldrake was someone other than Coyne, whose "colorful" approach distracts from the central issues. Coyne gets the facts right, though (with one logic error -- there's no reason to expect that Sheldrake would be aware of some skeptic blog post, just like there's no reason I would be aware of something Sheldrake wrote on an obscure Swedish website last June, which is the claim being made by Sheldrake and other conspiracists).
Remember I had put in "scientist" earlier, which was reverted. When a revert happens and a discussion is opened, but nobody engages the problem, then I think an editor is justified in trying the bold edit again. At least I can't be accused of warring in the hard sense, I don't think.
Your argument regarding the "fellow" bit is similar to the reason given from the other side of the isle. Wikipedia should give consideration and even deference to subjects of bios, but does not ultimately serve them. The service is to the readers. vzaak (talk) 15:35, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Vzaak, dude or dude-ette, I swear, look at what you are saying. "Coyne gets the facts right." Here is the subtitle to Coyne's article -- "The BBC and Deepak Chopra Buy Into A Woomeister." And as I'm sure you will agree, you have been doing everything short of war (and standing by while Barney crosses the line from time to time) making sure that the Sheldrake article "gets the facts right" ... by which you mean, the facts according to Coyne et al. Wikipedia is not the place to right great wrongs. There is a sucker born every minute, and militant sceptics would like to save them, by rewriting what reliable sources say, and eliding reliable sources they disagree with. But that's not WP:NPOV, that WP:SkePOV. Furthermore, your personal detection of a logic error (100% correct btw) is not eligible for WP:CALC.
   I truly believe you, that you aren't working for Gerbic, or for Farley, or for anybody. (Be nice if you would admit I'm not working for Sheldrake or Weiler or Chopra... WP:AGF does not mean, secretly hold a grudge but plan your revenge in silence.) You, by your actions, are giving Sheldrake the oxygen of publicity; the reason Some People think there are militant sceptics, is very clear. Listen to David; he speaks sense. You are acting the part of the militant sceptic, though you do not yet realize it. This is not truth-o-pedia, much as I wish it were. This is we-reflect-what-reliable-sources-say-without-introducing-any-bias-ourselves. THAT INCLUDES THE BIAS OF THE TRUTH. Just because The New Republic has got the facts straight, is not enough: the BBC disagrees, and therefore, wikipedia must reflect that conflict in the reliable sources. We cannot decide the conflict, nor pick a winner. History will do that, and either Coyne or Sheldrake will be vindicated, a century from now, and Wikipedia-in-2099 will reflect the historical winner. But WP:CRYSTAL -- wikipedia describes The Now, and right now, Sheldrake "is" no doubt about it a "biologist".
   p.s. The article in mainspace cannot have the scarequotes.  ;-) (talk) 17:09, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
David, please frame that comment and hang it on a wall somewhere.
HYPOTHESIS: If I forswore editing the page, and all of its current editors did the same, and 10 totally uninvolved, BLP-savvy editors worked the thing over for a month, it would be both BLP- and FRINGE-compliant.
Sheldrake still wouldn't like it.
That is it, in a nutshell. Any article fully compliant with our policies, will not be "acceptable" to Sheldrake. The problem is his end. Guy (Help!) 12:45, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

el David es andar a lo gringo

You, sir, owe me a keyboard-cleaning! Maybe this is what the other guy meant, when he called you a "silly stan" ....    :-)    — (talk) 16:42, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

WikiDefender Barnstar Hires.png The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
In recognition of your efforts to treat BLP subjects fairly and defend them from attacks by special interest groups. KeithbobTalk 18:18, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Original Barnstar.png Barnstar of Unapprehended Meaning
Unperspicuously evincing, a penultimate invigorating purple.

It's a red herring to talk about the "skeptical POV" in talk pages and edit comments. As far as editing WP is concerned, there is no such thing as the "skeptical POV". There is only the mainstream view and the fringe view, and WP policy is to simply describe their relationship in a prominent manner.

It raises eyebrows seeing complaints from an esteemed editor about the "skeptical POV" on the talk page, together with an affirmed agreement with Deepak Chopra that there is some kind of conspiracy going on, followed by apparently-WP:POINT-making edits. For instance, it is inexplicable why Chopra should be quoted extensively in an article about Sheldrake, in a section on Sheldrake's public appearances, especially when Sheldrake's view has already been made sufficiently clear through direct quotes. The only reason I can see for this strange state is that it promotes the editor's point of view. I expect this is only a temporary aberration from an otherwise esteemed editor.

I am also too involved to be dealing with the new paragraph on the BBC interview. However after its initial addition to the article by someone else, I had to correct the implication that Coyne agreed with Sheldrake, and correct the implication that Sheldrake used the word "persecuted", which almost seems derogatory to me (it evokes Monty Python "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"). Barring such egregious misrepresentations, my hands will remain off that paragraph, and I suggest the esteemed editor in question do likewise.

However the esteemed editor has not taken my advice with regard to the Sheldrake article or the Wikipedia article. By the looks of it, my advice will not be taken again. Nonetheless my recommendation is to delete the whole paragraph and ask other editors to handle it, allowing them to make their own judgments about the appropriateness of the apparently POV/POINT edits. (The Chopra quotes could even stay, but would need to be balanced with more from Coyne.) vzaak (talk) 19:59, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm not particularly esteemed, but zis guy is. "...the question is how to ensure that Wikipedia is right without heading off into the long grass of extreme skepticism (Sheldrake is a crank blah blah)"
Now, I'm sure Guy comes out closer to you than to me on where those long grasses lie. But they exist. And the contortions of logic it takes to imagine that the Sheldrake page, with its scads and scads of criticism of his ideas throughout the article, will somehow mislead people into thinking his hypotheses are something other than bollocks if he gets to be called a biologist in the lede of his biography, when he holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and is called a "biologist" in many, many reliable sources, occur deep inside those grasses.
I am not a Sheldrake partisan. I'm a BLP partisan. If forced to choose between the WP:BLP and WP:FRINGE, I'll choose BLP every time. But we're not forced to. Nuanced, collegial, collaborative editorial judgment could accommodate both. It's just conspicuously absent in the edit history of the Sheldrake page and profoundly absent on the Sheldrake talk page.
It's absence is a blot on wikipedia. It most assuredly does call wikipedia's credibility into question. That Sheldrake and Chopra have been afforded the opportunity to make that case is our shame. They're the prototypical blind squirrels of the old adage. And they've found a nut.
I think you're wrong about my editing the wiki-article about wikipedia. All three refs belong there, in the subhed about bias. The sources are reliable (HuffPo, the BBC World Service and TNR.) Wikipedia looks deeply silly if these critiques and this defense are out there in the world, but nary a whisper of them shows up in Wikipedia's article about Wikipedia. My edits there are not intended to make a WP:POINT. They're there to prove that, despite the embarrassment into which militant skeptics have turned the Sheldrake bio, the overall community of wiki-editors is intellectually honest enough to cover notable criticism of wikipedia, appearing in reliable sources.
Thanks for the barnstar. I feel like Sally Field at the Oscars. "You like me, you really like me!" <cue the single teardrop> <fade to black> David in DC (talk) 22:56, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
The JzG quote you provided does not seem to make the point you want it to make ("TRPoD is basically right"). You've leaped from "the long grass exists somewhere" to "everyone is smoking the long grass and eating cheetos", whereas JzG does not indicate that he thinks the latter has happened, nor do his subsequent comments (e.g., "Sad to see a former scientist go down the road of the world being a conspiracy to suppress the wonderful ideas about which he's unable to persuade anybody who is not batshit crazy. Ho hum."[18])
You've swapped my argument that uninvolved editors should cover the issue with the argument that no editors should cover the issue. Of course, I never said the latter.
I would still like to know the reason "why Chopra should be quoted extensively in an article about Sheldrake, in a section on Sheldrake's public appearances, especially when Sheldrake's view has already been made sufficiently clear through direct quotes." It looks like you're using the text of Sheldrake article itself to draw attention to problems you perceive in the article, the epitome of POINT-making. The obvious advice here is to use the other channels at your disposal, not the article itself. vzaak (talk) 01:20, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Fully agree with Vzaak that there is no skeptik konspiracy here... but the core disagreement, which methinks causes all our other troubles, is Vzaak's 2nd sentence: "As far as editing WP is concerned, there is no such thing as the openSckareQuoth skeptical POV closeSckareQuoth." In other words, that 1) mainstream==wikipedia==SkepticMag, and 2) everything else is fringe. The BBC says in 2013 that Sheldrake is a biologist? Uh-oh, that's fringe-talk, because in 2004 Nature said he was a pseudoscientist, and SkepticMag agrees with Nature, and since there is no SkePOV, therefore that means WP:FRINGE says us wikipedia editors can delete any sources -- or parts of sources -- that SkepticMag disagrees with.
    (Hint: it don't say nuthing like dat.) (Hint#2: Coyne embodies the SkePOV.) (Hint#3: Chopra is talking about Sheldrake-philosophy, and Maddox was talking about Sheldrake-physics&biology, and WP:FRINGE only applies to the latter field.)
    The correct skit from the Monty Python series is not the search for the holy grail, it is the BLP of a character unfairly persecuted in his time due to mistaken identity as someone vastly more important than he in fact was, Life Of Rupert. (Coyne said sheldrake was persecuted.) This is not truth-o-pedia, we have to reflect the sources, even when the sources are Totally Wrong... contrast with rationalwiki which takes the opposite stance. Hope this helps. (talk) 17:51, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
@User:vzaak I've swapped nothing. I've declined to follow unsolicited advice suggesting that I refrain from editing the Wikipedia article about Wikipedia. In my view, the advice is well-intentioned but wrong on the merits. In your view, editors on the Sheldrake article should not edit the wikipedia article about wikipedia to point out the media ruckus. We should leave it to chance that others, perhaps unaware of the problem, do so. In your view, my declining to follow that advice violates WP:POINT. We disagree. I can live with that. If you can't, that's regrettable, but not really my problem. As you point out, when QuackGuru reinserted the Coyne material, you had to correct it. I further corrected it by putting Sheldrake's BBC World Service ref and Chopra's HuffPo ref into the article, letting each have their say in their own words. It seems to me that, no matter how well-intentioned QuackGuru might have been, my correction improved things.
I respect your judgment about your editorial behavior. If you think you should refrain from editing the wiki-article about wikipedia on the topic of Sheldrake/Chopra/Coyne, you should follow your judgment. I'll follow mine.
I agree with 74 that there's no conspiricy among radical skeptics. Sheldrake and Chopra are probably wrong about that. But that matters not. They've said it, and been quoted in reliable sources. That's what wikipedia relies on, reliable sources, not WP:TRUTH. I agree with Chopra that the treatment of Sheldrake's article, by militant skeptics, draws wikipedia's credibility into question. They don't have to be "organized" to accomplish achieving this threat to our credibility. They just need to be concurrently misapplying FRINGE to this BLP, reinforcing one another's misguided battle to elevate FRINGE over BLP. It's unnecessary. Sane editorial judgment, nuanced and collaborative, could accommodate the values embodied in both BLP and FRINGE. But toggle-switch, binary, zero-sum-game editorial judgement, weilded by editors with little care nor conscience about the special handling the dignity of living humans demands in our biography-writing, cannot accommodate them both. Unwillingness to call a biologist a biologist, nor his hypotheses "hypotheses", is fanatacism. The proffered reason, a fear of misleading readers, is laughable, especially given the subsequent text. It's either sophistry, the foolishness of those who are both certain and wrong, or cover for a real reason that's too unsavory to speak aloud: "BLPolicy-be-damned, the danger that FRINGE theorists pose to the dumbing down of a gullible public demands extreme measures. We're going to demean and derogate both fringe theories and living fringe theorists alike. The public is stupid and can't understand all the hundreds of words below the lede. They're going to read the lede and start trying to commune telepathically with their dogs. And the next thing you know John Hagelin and the Institute of Noetic Science are going to be able to kill a lot of AIDS patients with their alternative healing mumbo-jumbo."
You deny that there's a Skeptical POV. Guy makes it clear that, even from his vantage point, there's such a thing as "the long grasses of mititant skepticism". I've already conceded that he stands cloer to you about where those grases are than to me. But he stands apart from you in acknowledging that the phenomenon exists. (Sheldrake is a crank, blah, blah, blah.) No one, most especially me, denies that morphic resonance is a Fringe Theory. (BTW, why isn't that the Fringe Concept or Fringe Idea Noticeboard. Shouldn't we fear using the word "Theory" there?) I just insist that BLP means the treatment of living fringe theorists requires better judgment, judgment the FRINGE-warriors keep providing evidence they are incapable of applying, than the treatment of fringe theories. David in DC (talk) 02:16, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
David, there are some terrible misunderstandings here, and I can't address them all now. I was talking about your edits to the Sheldrake article. I am politely asking a third time: why should Chopra be quoted extensively in an article about Sheldrake, in a section on Sheldrake's public appearances, especially when Sheldrake's view has already been made sufficiently clear through direct quotes? The addition of the Chopra material looks completely out of place, and it was made in the heat of your open frustration with the "skeptical POV" and your declared agreement with Chopra. At worst it looks like a death-by-cop maneuver, and at best a temporary lapse in judgment from an esteemed editor. vzaak (talk) 20:32, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
If Sheldrake said it in an appearance on the BBC world service, and if Chopra supported it in a piece published on HuffPo, and, especially since Coyne's TNR piece explicitly refutes both Sheldrake and Chopra, the whole thing belongs. It nicely encapsulates who the article is now becoming notable in its own right. If there's additional coverage, I'd take it off it's "appearance on the Beeb" hook and give it its own subhed. But for now, "appearances" seems the best place for it.
I doubt I'm courting death by cop, but we'll see if my trust in the judgment of the cops is well- or mis-placed. None have come knocking out in the open, as of yet. And since there's no cabal, I have no reason to think they're doing so surreptitiously.
It's no temporary lapse. Nor is it inserted to make a WP:POINT. David in DC (talk) 22:11, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
The death-by-cop reference was in jest but had a grain of seriousness. The situation could be caricatured as, "Look at how frustrated I am with all these skeptics!" and then, "Look at me adding all this out-of-place material to the article which echos my POV!" The rationalization given is strange, too. A better rationalization would be that Wikipedia should err on the side of being over-critical of itself, so I'll pretend that's the rationalization provided. In any case, nobody really reads the article that far anyway, not even editors.
At the moment I'm concerned about how quickly the article falls apart -- not POV issues, just entropic degeneration of coherency over time. For example look at this gobbledygook I recently fixed.[19] As an editor I had not envisaged my role would be one of always putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. You and I seem to be the only ones that do such maintenance. vzaak (talk) 01:47, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
David's only point-of-view (manifested in mainspace at least) is that he badly wants to achieve NPOV in mainspace, by reflecting exactly what the WP:RS actually say. That is the definition of NPOV. Look it up; it's the first sentence. "Editing from NPOV means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic." Either you misunderstand all, or you misunderstand significant, or you hear SkePOV when the policy-pages say NPOV. Wikipedia, not truth-o-pedia. HTH. (talk) 23:34, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
variations on the same theme, to the strains of Bach
  David's not adding out-of-place material, and he's not adding sources that echo his POV... but most importantly, David never tries to delete perfectly-well-sourced-material solely *because* he is of the opinion it is out-of-place. David is just trying to follow WP:BLP and WP:NPOV, to the letter. There is zero danger of David's editing-actions " provoking a lethal response from a law enforcement officer" towards David, because David is in fact *enforcing* the iron laws of wikipedia, correctly.
  Listen to what David's saying: you are the one risking the ire of the nearest wikiCop, by your assertion that SkePOV==NPOV, and that therefore you can delete Reliably-Sourced-material (based on WP:The_Truth); those assertions stem from a deep-n-subtle misunderstanding of wikipedia policy. See my conversation with Barney about "serious" sources and "sufficiently" reliable sources -- wikipedia simply never ever permits any of us editors to adorn Reliable Sources with our own adjectives. If you can grok that NPOV==EverySentenceOfEveryReliableSourceWhetherTruthfulOrNot, then the battleground will end, and maybe we can finally de-page-protect mainspace (I'll be happy to do my part to help with maintenance as will many others). Truly and really hope this helps -- as you point out, you are the main engine of progress in mainspace for the Sheldrake article, and I'd love you to keep doing that work... but if you keep trying to delete Reliable Sources, just because you think them untrue, you are lost in the long grasses.
  p.s. I've not read the cites, unless forced, as you well know. ;-)   But I've read the article prose top to bottom at least fifty times. Bet that David has also. As for the readers, some of them stop at the first sentence, others at the first paragraph, others at the lede, others halfway. But that's no excuse for biasing towards SkePOV, every article-subset must satisfy NPOV==AllTheRS. (talk) 23:34, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

sheldrake lead

Suggested lead, incorporating much of what you have done and trying to be short sharp and to the point.

Alfred Rupert Sheldrake (born 28 June 1942) is a British biochemist and botanist best known for his idea of "morphic resonance" – the unorthodox hypothesis that "memory is inherent in nature" such that "natural systems, such as termite colonies, or pigeons, or orchid plants, or insulin molecules, inherit a collective memory from all previous things of their kind". Sheldrake also suggests that morphic resonance could explain "telepathy-type interconnections between organisms". These ideas have been widely rejected by the scientific community who cite a lack of evidence and inconsistency with established scientific theories, while some regard his work as pseudoscience.

Barleybannocks (talk) 16:34, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Barleybannocks: Please let me construct a "baseline article" that totally uninvolved editors can see as a synthesis of the talk page arguments, created in good faith, to try to stop the warring. Please try to live with it. If it stands, great. If not, give the edit warriors sufficient WP:ROPE with which to take subsequent steps. Please do not edit small points. Please correct typos, ref errors, etc. Please don't do anything to make the difference between FRINGE-warriors and BLP-compromisers anything but 100% clear. See, for instance "bedrock". It's not language I prefer, but it's unassailable from the FRINGE-fighting, militant skeptic POV. If I'm massively reverted, by Skeptical POV editors only, the case is made. If the record is muddy, not so much.
And, if by some miracle, I'm successful, the page becomes stable. David in DC (talk) 16:48, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with what you're doing. One problem I do think needs to be addressed is that we can't really say it has been rejected as pseudoscience because, eg, it lacks evidence, because that point doesn't really make sense. Better then, I think, to say rejected due to lack of evidence blah blah, and also considered by some to be pseudoscience. Thus I offer my section above, in whole or in part, as an attempt at what you are doing. And I offer it here to allow you to continue on your own. Barleybannocks (talk) 16:58, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Good work David, I think we're getting closer to an acceptable start.Barleybannocks (talk) 19:07, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Revert yourself

You cannot unilaterally declare a moratorium on editing based on your preferred version. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 21:07, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Guardian/observer sources

I can email you pdfs of these if you tell me your email address. They clearly include, when summarised, the criticism that Sheldrake's fans want removed from the article by pretending it doesn't exist. Barney the barney barney (talk) 21:15, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. BtBB No real need, but I'll send you my email address. But please read my note on your page re misleading, forests and trees. David in DC (talk) 21:19, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
What to my wondering eyes... something has happened in mainspace, with no ninja-reverts? Woo! Barney, anything you have that is Reliably Sourced, definitely goes in. If it doesn't make it to mainspace in David's first pass, we'll get it in there at some point. In the meanwhile, I for one vastly appreciate everyone showing restraint. Very good sign that the logjam is finally broken, and we can see 'Dah Big Sheldrake Bias Thingie' finally drop out of both the international churnalism circuit, and the wiki-noticeboards. Yay. (talk) 22:01, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Any reason why these sources can not be posted to the Sheldrake talk page? I don't recall pretending that any sources don't exist, only that they haven't been stated. --Iantresman (talk) 00:47, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Iantresmman (talk · contribs), they're copyrighted materials hidden behind a paywall. The list is at User:Barney the barney barney/sandbox3. I've largely included them in the article already. Barney the barney barney (talk) 11:43, 18 November 2013 (UTC)