User talk:Dpbsmith/archive02

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Reminder to self: fix promotional POV in Harvard Classics.


I was about to archive some of my talk page, & it reminded me there was no reply from you, to my reply (on my talk page) to your unsigned edit that (as i now see) had this history entry:

19:55, 2004 Mar 22 Dpbsmith (Nice to see TRAC article getting filled out...)

So i finally figured out who you were, & wanted to make sure you realized i tried (well, half-heartedly at first) to respond. That exchange is still at User talk:Jerzy#Nice to see TRAC article getting filled out... at this moment, and i'll leave that heading there with a link to the archive, probably for months at least, once the exchange leaves that page.

(You stimulated enough memory that i should sit down and add some of it to the page; thanks! Maybe before long.) --Jerzy(t) 04:57, 2004 Jul 16 (UTC)

Blue and Red colors in US[edit]

[1]Smith03 02:08, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Talk:Sea urchin[edit]

Hi, Sorry I'm not quite sure I understand. I'm not M. Alan Kazlev, and the original article I submitted to the Web back in 1998 was written by me. It was published on my now defunct site (The Fossil Company). I can supply you with a link to an archived version of the site if you wish. (By the way, the picture of Lovenia woodsi in the article on the site M. Alan Kazlev was copied from my 'The Fossil Company' site, as was some of the text....).

Here is a link to an archive of my original article from Apr 28, 1999:

I'd say Alan Kazlev "borrowed" from it extensively:

Dlloyd 11:47, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Here is my copyright statemant from the bottom of the original Echinoid article:

Copyright © 1995-1997 The Fossil Company Ltd. © 1997-1999 The British Fossil Company Inc.

Both businesses are now defunct and were owned by me.

Dlloyd 11:55, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I have added the following statement -

"Portions of this text are :

"Copyright © 1995-1997 The Fossil Company Ltd. © 1997-1999 The British Fossil Company Inc. and licensed by the owner under the terms of the Wikipedia copyright." Please contact me if you need further clarification on this."

- to the talk pages of the following articles:

Belemnoidea, Goniatite, Nautiloids, Collecting fossils, Ammonite, Brachiopod, Crinoid, Bivalvia, Gastropoda, Coral, Sponge, Crustacean, Sea urchin, Trilobite, Graptolite, Plant, Starfish, and Trace fossil.

I hope this clears up any potential issues regarding the copyright of the text I contributed.




Dlloyd 01:02, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Snellen chart[edit]

Holy cannoli! You did a fabulous job expanding the Snellen chart article! It looks great. Joyous 17:21, Jul 31, 2004 (UTC)

Wisconsin prank[edit]

Thanks for your kind words about my Statue of Liberty edit, but what really makes the section is that great photo you added. JamesMLane 23:12, 31 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I don't think that I can answer your question adequately.

Instead, I'll provide you with a little history. I first came up with the moniker "Acegikmo" in the early 1990s. The first time I needed a username of some sort, it was the first thing that came to my mind. In the late 90s, I created my first e-mail account. It was then that I was forced to add the "1" either because "Acegikmo" alone had been taken or due to some requirement. In any case, all future handles I created included the "1" for the sake of consistency.

But really, that's a very poor explanation. Right now, Acegikmo1 gets more than twice as many Google hits as Acegikmo, so I suppose I have something of a monopoly on the concept. This, along with my desire to be consistent, has prevented me from dropping the 1 in the past. But the 1 really destroys the point behind the username, doesn't it? What do you think? Should I apply to Wikipedia:Changing username?

Acegikmo1 23:27, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The Carpetbaggers[edit]

I posted my reason on Talk:The Carpetbaggers. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 20:48, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)

VFD question[edit]

When an article is on the vfd:old page, who decides if consensus has been reached and the vfd tag removed? I ask because the vfd tag was removed from tredici with a comment on the talk page of "no consensus." However, it was done by an IP number with only 2 edits. Should I just put the tag back? Ignore it? I don't want to put it back if it was the accepted thing to remove it, but it seems a little fishy to me because of the VFD discussions. (On an unrelated note, "Up the Down Staircase" is coming soon. Was going to work on it tonight, but I was distracted by research for, believe it or not, Prune belly syndrome.) Joyous 04:08, Aug 3, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for your response. I understand VFD much better now, and I agree about not feeding trolls. Joyous 13:33, Aug 3, 2004 (UTC)

I did notice Tredici was gone. I quite happy to say that I have no personal experience with Prune belly syndrome (what a name, eh?). I spotted it when I was doing a search for titles containing "syndrome." After Unattended computer terminal syndrome, I wondered what other odd syndromes might be lurking out there. When I saw the title, I assumed it was a joke article (in fact, part of it was, originally). Then discovered to my amazement that it was REAL, and decided to fill it out a bit. Joyous 15:04, Aug 7, 2004 (UTC)

John O'Hara[edit]

Hi, glad you like the additions. As you're well aware, it's tricky writing stuff like this and trying to keep out the POV. And I know, of course, that my "It is a remarkable statement" is POV, or at least very close to it. I haven't read Gill's book in a couple of years, but I'm pretty sure that he expresses a similar sentiment -- he was not a fan of O'Hara's!

Personally, I think that you ought to delete my comment and put your own back in, about the "monumntal ego" -- a great line,hehe. Let someone else worry about its POV -- I think myself that it could be argued either way.

As to the paragraph about his prickliness etc -- this is an even more difficult situation. Everything I've said is obviously true, and dozens of quotes could be found to justify it. The problem is to sum them up into a single pithy line or two rather than giving 12 lines of quotations. At some point the line has to be drawn. Does one write: "Hitler was subject to sudden, murderous rages"? Or do we write: "It is widely believed that Hitler etc." or "Copious evidence indicates etc." I think that at some point the line has to be drawn -- either an encyl. gives info or it doesn't. If I had written: "O'Hara was a sunny, personable man who charmed the socks off everyone who met him; it is impossible to find anyone who ever criticized him in any way etc.", then I think I would have to do some justifying.

Along these lines, I've been doing a little work with the article on the murderous L. Beria, late of the Soviet Union. I managed to insert into the first paragraph that he was responsible for millions of deaths, directly or indirectly, but other people have stuck in "It is widely believed that...." Well, fooey, I say. If this business keeps on, we'll have stuff like "It is widely believed that the Earth is round, or nearly so, but there are still some people who etc...."

Cheers, Hayford Peirce 17:14, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • That looks like a perfect rewrite to me. By the way, I added Brendan Gill to the list of contributors at the New Yorker article. Also, a major gap, is that there is no article yet about Ross!!!!! Hayford Peirce 01:43, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Yup, I finally found most of my info at the main library list that you mentioned. As you say, there are lots of short story collections -- the difficulty lies in trying to sort them out. I've been to some of the used-books sites but most of them do nothing more than list the books, without other info. The Amazon bio said he wrote 14 novels (which is the number I have), and 400 shorts, including 200 for the NY. One trouble for *me* listing notable shorts by him is that I *hate* his short stories, they're meaningless to me (my own stories have *plots*, hehe), so I don't read them. Out of 400, I wonder if there are any one or two that are particularly famous? Not that I'm aware of. If you know of any.... Hayford Peirce 20:21, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)
    • >>It would appear that an anon must have made it his business to systematically add a line to the article for every book appearing on the Modern Library's list or lists, and it would appear that Simonides is now on a personal crusade to eradicate them all. I think both maneuvers were annoying and stupid.

Yes, I agree with that. But I do think that on an individual basis the reference can, and should be used. Ie, there's no need to use it in a Hemingway article, or Evelyn Waugh. But for someone like O'Hara I think it's very pertinent. I think, for instance, that Appt. in Sam. probably *is* one of the 100 best (or most influential) novels (Engl., 20th Cent.).

>>The descriptions used do seem to me to be a bit overly promotional for the Modern Library. But the Modern Library is a pretty distinguished publishing house and their opinion is worth something, I think, and as you noted it's a pretty good list and there aren't a lot of better ones around.

Compare it to the Radcliffe one, for instance -- it's a far better list. Also, it's not as if Modern Library had originally published all these books and it had been the only source in the world for them. Now it's a major source for books that are no longer available anywhere else. It's not as if Disney were just pushing movies made by Disney -- it's as if Disney had bought up *all* the old MGM and Republic and 20th Century Fox movies and had them all available. Then a list of the 100 Best "Disney" movies would make sense.

>>I do happen to be a sysop, by the way but am not sure how far I want to go on this.

Ah, I didn't know that. I'm still pretty much of a newbie here.

>>1) Sysops are not supposed to protect pages if they are personally involved in a dispute about them and maybe I'm starting to be involved;

That makes sense, of course.

>>2) I don't really think it's all that important;

You're absolutely right, but it's one of those small things that bugs me.

>>3) There's a proposal to include the books in a category, a relatively new feature of Wikipedia, which would result in their all being clearly identifiable and listed without including any actual text in the article itself, and that might be a good compromise;

Yeah, I suppose. But I think my comments above anent O'Hara are still pertinent. In some cases I think it *ought* to be clearly mentioned. (I dunno why I got involved with this O'Hara article in the first place, except to correct a couple of errors, as I recall. I certain aren't interested in him as a writer....)

>>4) I don't have any feeling yet for whether or not it's possible to work with Simonides on this issue.

He sounds like a crank to me, and cranks are generally impossible to deal with, since they have a hobby-horse and that's what they're gonna ride until they drop dead.

>>Unfortunately O'Hara suffers from the problem other authors have suffered from--big popular successes tend to get snubbed by the literary establishment and thus tend to get underrated, and his charming personality probably didn't help.

Yup. I have no feeling for him whatsoever -- but I think that in fairness his place in the literary world should be clearly written about. He *was* an important person for a long while. I think a lot of it depends on character. Take a brief look at the article I did on my uncle Waldo Peirce -- he was a fine artist but totally forgotten today. He was famous for years -- but in large part because he was a much larger-than-life character (a very pleasant one, in contrast to O'Hara). When the character vanished, so did his reputation.

>>I do feel strongly that the mention of Appointment in Samarra's being on the Modern Library list should not be removed until and unless someone comes with a better, succinct, objective, neutral indicator of its importance.

Well, I agree entirely with that. Is there any way you can get that across to Simonides, though? I doubt it.

I wonder why he has this obsession in the first place? Mebbe he was a lowly copyeditor for M.L. and got fired?

    • Did you write that Vote Proposal? If so, it's a fine one. You must be a lawyer.... Or have a very analytical mind. (I've been asked several times at parties if I wuz a lawyer after discursing [probably ignorantly] on one thing or another, hehe....) Hayford Peirce 23:15, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • You're dealing with an obsessed crank (is there any other kind?); no matter how erudite he may be, he is still a crank, and incapable of rational thought about his hobbyhorse. Its useless to try to reason with him, no more than you can reason with someone who is convinced that he has squared the circle or invented a perpetual motion machine. What happens a week or so from now (I suppose that there has to be a time limit on this sort of thing), when there are a number of votes to further your proposals and no votes at all on the other side? All of this is new to me.... Hayford Peirce 04:34, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for your long reply of earlier today. I'm still trying to figure out who can read what at what spot -- WP and its workings is a little more complicated than it initialled seemed. Especially some of the people, hehe....

As you say, it seems to be very difficult to deal with a willful, obstinate person given what are apparently the WP parameters, which lean a great deal towards cooperation, compromise, good faith, good will, etc. But in dealing with a certain kind of person it seems to me it's like dealing with the old Soviet Union, whose attitude seemed to be, whether it really was or not, purely for ideological reasons, "What's ours is ours, but what's yours is negotiable." This seems (to me, at least) to be the attitude of the guy with the ML problem. Which, I've gotta say, raises my hackles, because that's just the sort of thing that pushes my buttons. Fortunately, like you, I don't really care about this O'Hara article all that much (in fact I just got into it by happenstance, as I've said), and if I'm gonna have to spend very much psychic energy on it just isn't worth it. I do think, however, that Simon. is being totally unreasonable in his criteria of what he thinks an article should be. You and I apparently think that an article on a guy like O'Hara should be a straightforward, accessable listing of some basic facts, with maybe some appraisals thrown in if they're interesting and easy to find, and basically is something that a guy with a 10th-grade high school education could find useful or even instructive. Simon., on the other hand, apparently seems to think that every article on every writer ought to be a Platonic ideal of an intellectual appraisal on many levels, including, I guess, all of world literature and how that person relates to it. Well, if he wants to write an article about O'Hara in those terms, let him do so. In the meantime, I think it's a useful bit of knowledge for the average joe who watched Liz Taylor in Butterfield 8 on the telly last night and comes to WP to look up O'Hara to learn that "Appointment" was named one of the 100 best books by at least someone. Maybe he'll go out and read the damn thing. As it stands right now, here's this dumb sentence standing in the middle of nowhere, meaning nothing, simply saying that his first book was published in 1932. That's a wonderful paragraph, thanks to Simon.!

As I've said before, all sorts of people like Waugh and Hemingway and the other heavy hitters certainly don't need the ML mention -- but nothing in the thousands of words of Simon. bullshit convinces me that the O'Hara article shouldn't have it. All of his crap about tracking down contemporary appraisals is just baloney -- if you're a professional librarian you can find dozens of them -- and they may be completely different from what the general appraisal of people 60 years later is. They're interesting, but just as worthless as he thinks the ML list is. Contemporary people gave the Nobel Prize in Lit to Pearl Buck and Sinclair Lewis. Do those judgments stand up? And to John Steinbeck for that matter.

Anyway, I'm in no hurry to ask 172 to take some action one way or another. But, eventually, I suppose, if you don't I will. As you say, there are lots of other things to do in the meantime. Trying to have a rational discussion with Simon., however, in which you might change his mind about anything, is not what I would consider to be a constructive use of time.

I wonder why no one has even started a Harold Ross article, beyond the merest stub? Lots of the people associated with the NY have articles. Maybe Ross seems like too big a subject, too interesting a character, one too hard to characterize in a brief article? Hayford Peirce 22:53, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I made a couple minor changes last night (you referred to "hemingway" first, then I referred to "Ernest Hemingway", so I reversed the order). I think we now have a pretty good, polished article, particularly for a guy that neither of us cares about. Maybe E.B. White could have done a better job, but he ain't around to help us!

I've been wondering: in the para about Pal Joey, should we put in the great story about the lady who gushes to O'Hara after the opening of the revival: "Oh, Mr. O'Hara, I just saw it and it was even better than it was before!" O'Hara: "What was wrong with it the first time?"

What a jerk the guy seems to have been.... Or, as we would say these enlightened days, lacking in social skills. Hayford Peirce 15:36, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)


I've posted a reply here. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 18:10, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)

jack london and new yorker stories[edit]

I'm on your wavelength. I was always baffled by New Yorker stories when I was taking writing classes, and I still am. Two people sit and table and talk, then they get up and walk out. And that's the end of the story. Baffling! "A Slice of Life", apparently. Or "A Revelation of Character". And people would pay money to read this nonsense. I only read a couple of O'Hara shorts years ago and he apparently helped invent this crap. I dunno why Ross published it -- probably because White and the others told him to. I know that Ross wouldn't have understood these any more than I do.

Once I stopped reading O'Hara novels for the sex parts (a long time ago), I lost interest in his novels, too....

I didn't like the London novels as a kid, and the only short of his I've read is, of course, "To Light a Match." Which was gripping, but a downer, of course.

I'd certainly rather be forced to read the complete works of J.L. than one short by J.O'H, however. Although I'd rather read Evelyn Waugh or Robert Heinlein or Raymond Chandler than either of them. But at least J.L. never pretended to be another else than an entertainer (which I try to be), and his works always had plots to them, if even they were childish or incoherent.... Hayford Peirce 22:57, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)

PS -- Obviously, I meant to say "To Build a Fire", dunno why I thought it was the other. But, as I recall, he was trying to do the one in order to accomplish the other. In any case, the fact that I remember the story 45 years after reading it says something for it. If it had had an upbeat ending I would have probably reread it. But if that's typical of his best writing then he's pretty good, I would say....

I remember reading years ago that he also wrote what would be considered a form of S.F. but had totally forgotten it.... Hayford Peirce 02:53, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Pre-1923 valid US copyrights[edit]

Thanks for the followup on those older copyrights. Lawyers can have lots of fun looking for exceptions.:) Jamesday 04:47, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Broken Link[edit]

The link on your user page seems to be broken. ( Utcursch August 9, 2004

VfD on Ontario city[edit]

I thought you were funny. IMO, the people who don't get that sort of blatant sarcasm wouldn't get it at all, even if it bit them on the bum. Mike H 19:46, Aug 9, 2004 (UTC)

Comments from Project Gutenberg[edit]

Hello, I saw the comments which you relayed from Michael Hart. I would suggest that you archive the stuff from "Comment: Publication by Project Gutenberg apparently..." on down, so that we can find it again if need be. I wouldn't be surprised if questions about PG come up again sometime. FWIW, Wile E. Heresiarch 02:47, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia has sucked much of the useful encyclopedic content out of the Web[edit]

When I'm working on an article, and I Google on the subject in hopes of finding out a bit more about it, I'm finding increasingly that most of the top hits are to the very article that I'm tinkering with, or to mirrors thereof.

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

It seems much of the useful encyclopedic content on the Web has already gotten sucked into Wikipedia. When mining for Wikipedia articles, the Google lode is getting exhausted. Do I need to do something radical and drastic... like going to the library? [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith (talk)]] 02:35, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I'm reminded of a TV ad for broadband (heck, was it BT or PacHell?). It went something like this:
wife: darling, I thought you were browsing the web?
husband: I finished it.
-- Finlay McWalter | Talk 02:40, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
For the WWII wiki-reader, I have no fewer than 15 reference books lying around my desk :) →Raul654 02:45, Aug 7, 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, I've been spending a lot more time at the library recently as well. I like to think that we've largely finished importing the web, and now we're going to start distilling and importing the sum total of human knowledge over all recorded history. Not to get a swelled head about it or anything. grendel|khan 02:56, 2004 Aug 7 (UTC)
Yet Google is not up to date and neither are the clones. Stuff I sent to Wikipedia over a month ago has yet to be picked up by them Apwoolrich 06:41, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Rather, those encyclopedias are sucking all the encyclopedic content out of Wikipedia. :-p The material there has been taken from here, not vice-versa. In short, blame them, not us. We ought to get search engines to rank us higher than our mirrors, though. Finding an outdated article from one of those horrid mirrors out there really blows. Johnleemk | Talk 06:47, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Send_in_the_clones for a discussion on exactly that point.
I know what you mean, I was recently searching for some independent references to verify a rather obscure article, and everything was coming up wiki-clones. One obvious tip is to exclude wikipedia from your search;
  • Jimbo Wales -wikipedia     [2]
Its not 100%, but fortunately most of the clones do cite wikipedia.
My other suggestion when you are not getting useful results, would be to try some other search or meta-search engines, for example -- Solipsist 07:21, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

In my experience, if you are failing to find useful, relevant content on the web, one or more of the following usually applies: (1) you are working in an area that we already have well-covered (2) you need more creative searching strategies that will find something other than Google's top ten on the obvious keywords (3) you are a monolingual English-speaker, who cannot access the mass of excellent online information in other languages... including the Wikipedias in other languages. For example, we still could use translations of most of the featured articles from the French and German wikipedias, which are emphatically part of the Web. -- Jmabel 07:58, Aug 7, 2004 (UTC)

I'd agree with (1). There are still large areas to be populated. For instance, I am trying to develop the history behind the Industrial Revolution, and there is a wealth of detail on inventors, inventions and the textile industry that needs to be filled out. Noisy 19:24, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Ditto. Many search hits do end up being Wikipedia or one of the other sites using our content, but I'd venture to wildly guess that we haven't covered even 10% of the encyclopedia-appropriate information available through Google. -- Wapcaplet 19:34, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
A sad result of this is continual recycling of internet garbage. An article in Wikipedia sucks up various bits of misinformation from different websites, and so provides a more completely misinformed article than any of its sources. That article in turn is used by others as a source of information (and Wikipedia searchers checking out the web may take this derived misinformation as validating the Wikipedia article). In John Lindow's Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, and Rituals and Beliefs (published in 2001 and widely available), the final chapter on further resources is quite disparaging about web sources in general, giving as an example the article Encyclopedia Mythica: Bragi. Lindow claims (correctly) that this short paragraph has six errors. Until yesterday exactly the same misinformation appeared in the Wikipedia article Bragi along with some additional etymological misinformation. My comments on my cleanup are at Talk:Bragi. Unfortunately inaccuracies of this kind are not uncommon in Wikipedia. The moral is, don't trust anything you find on the web without further checking and especially don't trust anything that the ignoramuses at Wikipedia have thrown together. ;-) Jallan 16:22, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Another lesson learned: cite your sources. If a fact can't be determined to be correct by an absolute minimum amount of research, you should at least put an entry into the References section (and possibly add a reference like [3]). It'd be really nice if we could integrate source citations into the editing directly (I dunno, next to the edit summary?), but this seems like a complicated problem. anthony (see warning) 16:40, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Often the sources are only tertiary compilations of material on the web that it would be embarrassing to list. And in some cases, if the tertiary source were admitted in article after article, it would come close to copyright violation. The Wikipedia editor is doing nothing but sucking up all of someone else's copyright research and rephrasing. When fixing up a series of articles on which the same editor has worked and checking for additional web information it often becomes very obvious which particular bad compilation of web data has been used as the primary source and rephrased without acknowledgement from the unique combination of errors and particular information that is included in one article after another. This could be copyright violation if the owners of a site wished to pursue it. Jallan 14:39, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I appreciated Dpbsmith's quip: "Do I need to do something radical and drastic... like going to the library?" My experience is that for the topics I've researched for the Wikipedia using both books and Web pages, there is more stuff, and better stuff, in books than there is on the Web. A person who writes a book is often very invested and puts a big chunk of her life into it; Web sites are usually (if not always) done on the fly, and thus suffer from the recycling mentioned above. Opus33 20:59, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Hi, I'm not quite sure what you expected when you started this conversation, but I can't think of any appropriate place to move it to and it is time to clean the village pump since it is 109kb, so I'm putting it here for you to decide. Angela. 23:15, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)

The Carpetbaggers[edit]

I really don't care if it's pornographic, what I care about is you asserting your own opinion about the author's writing style. You're misinterpreting my complaint. By the way, how is the consensus opinion if the book a "good story and strong plot," when you cited the New York Times review of the book as saying that it was terrible? The "consensus" opinion seems to be more like your opinion. [[User:Mike Storm|MikeStorm]] 16:01, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • I've put a comment about the article in the Discussion page of The Carpetbaggers. Hayford Peirce 17:59, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

John O'Hara[edit]

The article is now unprotected as per your request, so please proceed with your edits. --Michael Snow 16:34, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

To East etc.[edit]

Thanks for letting me know. Rationale on the VfD page. Rich Farmbrough 21:31, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome[edit]

Thanks for writing Dr. Sank. Would appreciate knowing what he replies, if anything. I am often surprised that he has never contacted my site in the 2 1/2 years it has been up. I'm sure he knows about the site because someone who came to one of our online chats earlier this year had tried to hire him. Doug22123 05:01, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)