User talk:EdJohnston/Archive 5

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WikiProject Astronomical Objects/archiving

I think automating it is a great idea. I'm not a regular contributor to that wikiproject either (although I would like to be, if only I had more time!) but I noticed that the talk page was getting incredibly long and difficult to navigate so I archived it. It was a real pain though so using a bot seems like a good idea especially considering how much discussion there has been on that page lately. --Nebular110 16:55, 21 December 2006 (UTC)


I've totally rewritten the retrocausality article, which was an embarrassing mess at the time it appeared on AFD. I would greatly appreciate your input on its current form, in which I have tried to ensure that the distinctions between philosophy, flawed or outdated science, and appropriate peer-reviewed scientific inquiry remain strong, citing Physics Review, Review of Modern Physics, etc. where appropriate. Feel free to respond either here or at my talk, as you prefer. Thanks! Serpent's Choice 22:02, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

ISBN Conversion

Quietly Ekotkie sits in a dark corner and snickers to himself about ISBN-13.........MDC, Mass disorganized confusion. I truly expected chaos to ensue when it became sooooo important to change six isbn's that had been in production for 25 years. I do not envy Rich's position on this matter. The system should have been date grandfathered and that was it. In my humble opinion, of course.Ekotkie 23:38, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

It looks to me like the Butvydas article was correctly handled, because people from the Lithuania project fixed it themselves after you pointed out the problem, and everyone stayed on good terms. That's what we like!
Regarding ISBN-13, there is no imminent catastrophe. It's not like the phone numbers in Manhattan where everyone had to start dialing the area code. The old ISBNs keep on working, but new numbers have to be processed correctly whenever they are used. Can you imagine a publisher turning down an order because someone asked for it by its ISBN-10? 'So sorry, I can't sell you that book. You didn't ask for it correctly!' EdJohnston 00:03, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Biography - Gama Kury

Hi, Ed. Yes, you are right, the AGK article needs some work to be suitable for W standards. There are no jokes, I just put the (accurate) facts in a humorous (or funny) way. Most biographic details I got from talking to him. Maybe I can cite "interview" as a source. When I'm back from holidays I can try to improve it. Cheers. Vae victis 22:56, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Cancelled ISBN in Virtuti Militari

Thanks for letting me know; I was afraid of exactly what you have alerted me to. I'll remove the ISBN from the article. If an invalid ISBN is on the talk page, will that also get flagged? Keesiewonder 02:36, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Discussion at User_talk:Keesiewonder.

Test of HagermanBot

Will HagermanBot object to this unsigned comment? I tried to opt out. See User:HagermanBot#General Information for details.

Acacia ISBNs

Thanks for the prompt. All fixed. Hesperian 03:29, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Cannot Locate

You might be interested in this. Please know I'm not trying to cause trouble ... :-) ... Keesiewonder 13:06, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I've posted again on Ekotkie's page. I've gotten a bit frustrated with seeing the messy "cannot locate" on article pages when I am subsequently able to locate the correct ISBN on my first or second try. Sure, I cannot clean up 30 bad ISBNs in an hour. I prefer to take the time and really, really get it right. Oh well. I'll clean them up, eventually, if they remain tagged as bad. I won't see them, though, if they're deleted. Regards, Keesiewonder 15:58, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I think I see your point about LOSING the SmackBot-marked entries from the system in favor of the 'cannot locate' indicators. My guess is that EdK's suggestion would ultimately result in a 'confirmed bad' template or some such, worded in a more politically appealing way. There is a school of thought (advocated by User:Cleduc for example) that since the bad ISBNs may still be able to retrieve some results on the web and on bookstores, we are hurting our readers by ignoring and neglecting them. So such a template would state 'confirmed bad, but still useful'. (Sorry I can't exert my political brain to find a more pleasant way of describing the situation). So my vote would be to KEEP all the originally SmackBot-marked entries in CAT:INVALID regardless of any 'cannot locates' that might be added to the visible text. Unfortunately then we would have TWO statuses of badness, the never-visited badness and the visited-once-but-not-fixed badness. This is not good for the maintainers.

Thanks for continuing to think about this. If we did have a new template, SmackBot ought to be able to then distinguish between the two flavors of good-ISBN and troublesome-ISBN. Perhaps we could suggest that for the troublesome-ISBNs, they display to readers of the article as, say,
ISBN 1234-4321
but, in the wikicode, editors have a place to quietly sign inside html code or something. Basically, it would look something like this
{{troublesome-ISBN 1234-4321}} <!--Confirmed troublesome log: Editor1, DateA; Editor2, DateB-->
If Editor3 came along on DateC and by some stroke of insight found a valid ISBN, they could fix things up. Or, Editor3 may see Editor1 and Editor2's work and move on, since > 1 editor had confirmed the troublesomeness. Just some thoughts. Keesiewonder 00:26, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Consider the benefits of the OCLC template

Will do; I don't believe any of the detail pages I've linked to are blank, and I had some trouble with the "template," so I was doing it as you've seen. But, I will try to go back to using the "standard" template. Regards, Keesiewonder 17:27, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I guess the 'blank' page still shows the author and title. I just like the fact the 'Libraries' tab opens up a list of libraries so that for VERY troublesome books you can sub-click into those library catalogs and see how they described the book. Someone who didn't need that extra step might not care so much. EdJohnston 17:32, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Yup, I'm with you. I even went back and changed the handful of OCLCs I'd introduced to the template style for easier retireval later. Keesiewonder 00:28, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


There was no good stuff on the other page - it was just shorter version of the same thing.

Sewall Green Wright (December 21, 1889 - March 3, 1988) was one of the primary founders of population genetics which led to the modern evolutionary synthesis. In a long career, he invented much of the theory of genetic drift (also known as the "Sewall Wright effect") and developed the inbreeding coefficient and many of its applications. Wright was the developer of adaptive surfaces (fitness landscapes), and he emphasized the importance of the interaction of genetic drift and natural selection in determining the outcome of evolution. He analogized natural selection to processes in animal and plant breeding, and his work on population genetics theory greatly influenced Jay Lush, who did the pioneering work on use of quantitative genetics in animal and plant breeding. He was born in Galesburg, Illinois. He took a doctorate under William E. Castle at Harvard, graduating in 1915. His career was spent at the United States Department of Agriculture (1915-1925), the University of Chicago (1926-1955), and the University of Wisconsin (1955-1988). Wright also did extensive breeding experiments with guinea pigs, and appreciated by 1917 that genes controlled the production of enzymes. Many of his Ph.D. students became important figures in the development of mammalian genetics.

--Peta 02:15, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Cannot Find Tags

I have just finished removing all (cannot find) tags from CAT:INVALID pages, A,B,C,D, and that small part of E that I have just started working on. Those were the only ones I worked on. Any use of a tag that I used was to note the absence of a correct ISBN was only intended to flag this error to a user who was looking for a particular reference and might attempt to use one that was in error. It was not to cause heartburn as to the quality of the pages product or the author of the page. I seriously doubt that a typical user will go into edit mode to verify the accuracy of an ISBN, thus, I elevated the comment to the visible area for all to see. This was intended to be a short term solution and would allow others to use additional resources to find and correct the defective ISBN. I am currently using 6 different tools to search out ISBN's. In all honesty I feel the best answer, at this juncture is to just eliminate the errant ISBN and press on. There are over 2000 ISBN that need to be resolved. Let the user seek out his/her own ISBN, if one is even needed. I would rather give the readership an accurate title and author's name then to give them a bogus ISBN.Ekotkie 06:22, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the thorough explanation, and I admire your productivity! Simply removing the bad ISBNs is also the solution that I favor, though I usually accede to another editor's wishes if they want it put it back. I may not always point out that SmackBot will keep on annoying them until they do the right thing. EdJohnston 13:33, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

User page for Milo Gardner

User page, can you create one for me?

Ed, thank you for the offer. Milogardner 11:30, 4 January 2007 (UTC) Milo Gardner

Ed, thank you for setting up my talk page. Two blogs will suffice for the moment for my bio, and related interests in Egyptian math. Gee, I see that you read French. Last year I had a heck of a time translating G. Dressey's 1906 paper on the Akhmim Wooden Tablet. Best Regards, Milogardner 19:19, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Excessive wikilinking?

Do you have an opinion on what I perceive as excessive wikilinking? Is there some policy thing that I haven't been able to find on my own? Please see my post at [1]. If when I wikilinked, I received a list of all other important events that happened on that month-day, that'd be neat. But if all I find out is it is day X on the Gregorian calendar ... it seems pretty useless to me. Keesiewonder 01:02, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, 'excessive wikilinking' is the correct description for how dates are currently handled in WP policy, in my opinion. See [2] for the official policy on date linking. It's hard to turn a corner around here without bumping into a rant about date linking, on one side or the other. Since it's not really canvassing, I could mention that there's a proposal that the developers should change the Mediawiki software to make date-linking less annoying. (So far the developers are resisting, but, with enough popular demand, or if someone writes the code for them, it might happen). More info is at [3]. As for my own work, I've unlinked years of publication within book references, because that looks truly bizarre, though luckily it's not done often. EdJohnston 01:55, 5 January 2007 (UTC)


Hi Ed, by all means add a note about the OCLC and ASIN templates, my only reservation is that ASINs, being Amazon specific, are not commercially neutral (I wondered about the process for obtaining retrospective ISBNs for a fleeting moment), some people have suggested removing them:- I have sympathy with both sides of the argument. Rich Farmbrough, 09:24 5 January 2007 (GMT).

FWIW, I would not mind removing the small handful of ASINs I've placed, provided they are not the only catalog number found for the source. If anyone would like me to do this, let me know. I don't like ASINs either. My thinking was that if we hadn't yet found a valid ISBN or an OCLC or a LCCN, a valid ASIN displayed for readers was better than an invalid ISBN or no catalog number at all. Keesiewonder 11:00, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I just did 'what links here' on the ASIN template and found that nobody has used it yet, except in Talk pages. The only thing I personally don't like when a widely-used, easy-to-find book is 'over-bibliographed' with every reference code known to man. When I use the ASIN template in the future it will be for reference purposes (i.e. to prove to the WP reader that the book actually exists and someone wrote down its details), and not to send business to Amazon. I consider Amazon a 'library catalog of last resort'. If I was already editing a page for some other reason, and I found a reference which had an ASIN present and *NO* ISBN I might add the proper ISBN and remove the ASIN.

As an aside, the only time I actually checked the LOC catalog number that someone had provided on a hard-to-find book, the LOC catalog didn't accept it. So I have no idea of the actual quality of the LCCNs that various people have put in. If there was a valid ISBN in a book reference I'd be tempted to remove the LCCN. EdJohnston 17:41, 5 January 2007 (UTC)


Hi EdJ. Just looked at your write-up on this issue and the only thing I would consider changing is "notifying Rich on problem". I have found Rich to be a pretty busy guy (same for you) so I would recommend leaving comments in the cat:invalid discussion area. Problems might well solve themselves. With Wiki's "low grade e-mailer" I have found that it is sometimes best to copy a msg to all concerned. I sure don't want to waste my time looking at the talk pages of a bunch of people individually, BTW, Just finished the "E's" Wish other people would report where they are to preclude stepping on toes.Ekotkie 00:34, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

More notes on ISBN-fixing from Keesie

Where am I? Here and there, I see Ekotkie's notes about what he's working on, like the above. If I want a potentially relatively "easy" ISBN to fix, I pick one as close to one starting with Z, or at least at the moment, one starting with anything from G to Z, as I can from this list: articles with invalid ISBNs. If I want to work on one that most likely is going to be challenging, at the moment, I'd pick one starting with 0-9 or A-E. The category is updated as soon as an article is completely free of error tags. I am not certain how frequently SmackBot checks for invalid ISBNs.

EdJ, I'll look at your write-up over the weekend and get back to you. Keesiewonder 00:49, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Ah! My Keesies are so proud to have their own section header! I was replying to Ekotkie's request for more info about where the rest of us are in our ISBN process. Sorry for oft times being cryptic ... Keesiewonder 02:13, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi EdJ - As you requested, I've provided some feedback for you on my talk page. Hope you're not sorry you asked. (But, thanks for asking ... and for initiating this project polishing effort.) Keesiewonder 22:02, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I believe these have both been dealt with and can be eliminated from [4]. Keesiewonder 03:47, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Edit wars?

Thanks for your input on my talk. You may be interested in my comments in this thread [5] where I sincerely say I am not really interested in an edit war. However, I did just revert an admin's unexplained revert on the ML page. Also, I've noticed that a "special" category seems to exist on WP just for labeling ML. Please see [6]. Keesiewonder 03:16, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Ah - It must be time for me to call it a day, then. I thought the most recent thing I said at ML was Ok. Thank you. I will check those two policy areas out to further my understanding of WP policy. If the current group of editors cannot seem to get beyond toggling between, say, this and that, what is the best way to get an evaluation of whether the material in the article is indeed being handled according to objective criteria? Given that I have never before today "heard," for example, that according to an international encyclopedia, the only anti-Judaism person who ever existed was Martin Luther, I'd have to say WP has a great candidate for a category for deletion, and, may additionally have an article, the article on Martin Luther, that is not being handled objectively. Thoughts? Keesiewonder 03:40, 6 January 2007 (UTC) This essentially says I need to read the policies you referenced, and, I have my doubts about a WP category that includes only one person. I'm not seeing what could be "hot headed" there ... but ... it may be staring me in the face in the morning ... Have a good night! Keesiewonder 04:02, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

What I meant was your recent revert on the article itself, justified though it may be. And the tone of your comment in the edit history. Though you say you're not interested in an edit war, you do seem to be in one. It's not likely that any of the other peoples's tempers will cool, in that kind of situation. It will continue to go round and round. Note that a previous user said 'rvv', which is getting over the top, so it's becoming the OK Corral. And you're in the middle! EdJohnston 04:09, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, it is getting vague. SV hasn't discussed anything recently on the talk page, not since mid-November, yet feels that an edit summary of 'rvv' is self explanatory when someone who has been present on the talk page recently (Justas Jonas) makes an edit. To be quite honest, I don't have a personal opinion right now on whether Luther was anti-semitic and/or anti-Judaism. (Kind of an interesting perspective from a person who "is" Lutheran and 50% German.) I do have a problem with there being a category called anti-Judaism that has only 1 person in it. That seems like something special ... I don't feel in the middle right now ... since I don't have an opinion I am wed to re: ML and anti-{S,J}. And believe I have only reverted the article once, maybe twice, since I've been following it mid-October. Hardly an edit war for me. The article certainly is in an edit war. I'm not so sure I am in one. Keesiewonder 04:22, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

You do have a case on that Anti-Judaism stuff, but get the flavor of WP:CFD before you jump into those waters. You may find just one or two very-indignant defenders of the category, and most people will probably agree with you, but it will use up some time to go through the process. There is actually a policy on categories with very few members that makes them more likely to be deleted. EdJohnston 04:33, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Understood. :-) Thanks for your perspective. Keesiewonder 10:39, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

National Inquirer

As far as I know, Vergniaud said oui, not oc. More importantly, I see no evidence that he considered himself Occitan. I do not regard the category, however, as an assault on the Fifth Republic, which seems to be the subtext of most of the delete votes; some of them I do not understand at all. Let's leave it be, and make sure it is applied to people who have some reason to be considered Occitanian. Category:People from the Gironde is a separate, if overlapping category. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:17, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Created a talk archive

Hello Ed K, I went ahead and created a talk archive for you, and moved all comments through Dec. 19 into it. Let me know if this is OK with you. (It's easy for me to undo). EdJohnston 02:55, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Looks much neater. Thanks. Is making a archive an administrator function? So much to learn, so little time.....Ekotkie 03:17, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

No administrative powers are needed. You just create a sub-page under your User_talk, call it whatever you want (e.g. Archive1, Archive2) and then copy various headers and banners that you can borrow from other people's archive files). Unless you object I would like to restore the recently-deleted comments as well. Whenever you feel your Talk page is getting too large, just move the oldest part into the Archive file (via cut and paste). EdJohnston 03:23, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

I see, this *e-mailer* is kinda stilted to get used to. I don't like copying things to other peoples pages but have found some comments ignored. I guess I find it strange to read other people's mail. (something a gentleman doesn't do, so the old spy guys used to say). Sure, undelete those comments now that they have a place to go. Pray tell, what did I ever say in the past that needs repeating? Hope you haven't uncovered another flub of mine. Haha Have a great day. Ekotkie 16:50, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
By all means add to your list and if I can help in anyway or to clarify any of my encounters, please do not hesitate to ask. Oh yes, to the private e-mail. I have used that but sparingly. BTW, I am almost through the "F's". My, what a trudge of tough subjects.Ekotkie 18:43, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Ismail I

Re: [7], please see OCLC 62561234 which gives you both an ISBN and an OCLC. Keesiewonder 03:26, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

What a catch! You found a much more readable transliteration. Now it looks like Turkish, which I imagine it should look. I added it to Ismail I with a note crediting it to you. EdJohnston 04:17, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

> :-) !!!!!!! I got it on essentially my first try. I'll tell you how I did it, upon request! :-)

Tell! EdJohnston 15:03, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Ok. I will. Since I promised, and since I'm nice! :-)

  1. ) Grab "bad" ISBN. (i.e. 964-8121-09-05 is a "bad" one)
  2. ) Go to ISBN Check.
  3. ) Search on ISBN you grabbed in (1) above.
  4. ) Keep results obtained in (3) above handy. (The results I see at the moment are 9648110905, 9648121095 and 9681210905.)
  5. ) Go to WorldCat.
  6. ) At WorldCat, search on each option (or only the likely options) ISBN Check suggested.
  7. ) You might find the title you're looking for. You also might not.

Keesiewonder 15:25, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Does this work for you? Keesiewonder 12:07, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

William Tifft

I reverted William Tifft back to the form that it had when you first placed it up after the nauseating discussion in December. I expect flames. Dr. Submillimeter 23:08, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry that you felt it was a nauseating discussion. I felt that my time was well spent, and I had a sense of completion after the committee draft was submitted, assuming that the Fates would then take over, and it wasn't my problem any more! Overall, the tone of WP articles in the pseudoscience area is, I think, getting better. A frequent problem is the statement 'No real scientist believes that!', which could literally be true, but is extremely hard to cite. The fact that it is hard to cite could be a symptom that we shouldn't be saying things like that, but should use more cautious wording. After the Tesla effect AfD debate had a good outcome (by my definition) I felt the winds were blowing in the right direction. EdJohnston 22:17, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I dislike dealing with people who ignore logic or scientific evidence. Hence, I refer to the William Tifft episode as nauseating. I am still happy with the final article, but I disliked the flame war surrounding it.
You may want to look at eclipse cycle, which suffers from another type of problem which somehow seems similar to me. The article and several other Moon-oriented articles on Wikipedia have been overwhelmed by a small group of editors who like to use heavy jargon and add their own calculations to articles. Lunokhod and I both hold Ph.D.s in relevant subject areas, and we think eclipse cycle is overloaded with esoteric terminology. I do not want to deal with these people because they seem to be stubbornly set against making any adjustments based on constructive criticism. Perhaps you would be able to help? Dr. Submillimeter 00:51, 9 January 2007 (UTC)