User talk:GDallimore/Archive 2

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Very good. I might have given a bit more emphasis to his later success with Phrase and Fable rather than tucking it away as a "see also", some mention of modern reprintings, and some explanation of the theories covered by the old wives' tales, but in all it gives a nice overview (and I'm kicking myself that I didn't notice it was missing). Cheers, Yomanganitalk 12:26, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Pound sterling

Thanks for the explanation of the revert. Hadn't looked at the infobox page properly - although in my defence, I did look at the Bank of England statistics and noticed that the value of issued £50 is greater than the value of £5, which I thought must count for something! GDallimore (Talk) 13:18, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

It's ok. So is the bank's figure in £ or the number of notes? If it's in £, then you would need to divide 10 for £50 to be fair. What constitutes "frequently" and "rarely" is sometimes still a subject of debate, despite the fact that I've tried very hard to lay out a well defined criteria. If you're still interested, see Talk:Swedish krona/Archives/2012#Rarity, Talk:Euro#Rarely Used vs. Frequently Used, Talk:United States dollar#Rarity of $50 bill. --ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 13:31, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Responded on user's talk pageGDallimore (Talk) 14:13, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

A Guide to the Scientific Knowledge of Things Familiar

Updated DYK query On 6 April, 2007, Did you know? was updated with a fact from the article A Guide to the Scientific Knowledge of Things Familiar, which you created or substantially expanded. If you know of another interesting fact from a recently created article, then please suggest it on the "Did you know?" talk page.

--howcheng {chat} 23:02, 6 April 2007 (UTC)


Hey. I just wanted to say "thanks" for fixing the patent references in Atomic line filter. The article is better for them: thanks. -- Rmrfstar 23:09, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

No probs, I've been gradually working on the templates until I had them in a workable form and finally got around to turning my attention back to the article that started the whole thing! GDallimore (Talk) 23:11, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Introduction to special relativity

Its good that you have offered to help on this. The problem with teaching modern relativity is that there is a shared misunderstanding of the topic. Academic research has identified that this misunderstanding originates in the standard approach to teaching the subject (reference frames, Galileo, MM, Einstein etc.) - see Talk:Introduction to special relativity. Sixty six percent of physics undergrads get relativity wrong. Basically if Wikipedia goes for the old approach we will just be providing large numbers of extra contributors to newsgroups who are convinced that "Einstein was wrong". Einstein's assumption of the speed of light as a constant without reference to the way that this is a feature of spacetime seems absurd to most students and they go away thinking this is just a "fix". Worse still some of them waste their time trying to work out how a 3D Euclidean universe could give the illusion of a constant speed of light. A simple intro to the invariance of the space-time interval ("proper time") in a flat Minkowskian spacetime will prevent these misunderstandings from the outset. This sounds complicated but its just a minor extension to Pythagoras' theorem. Geometer 15:33, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

It is interesting that I was probably one of those undergrads who misunderstood SR for a long time. It wasn't until I started studying General Relativity and so had to go back over the development of SR that I really understood it - but there's so much of that when studying science. It's not that the teaching is bad or that the students are incapable, it's just that, often, you have to understand something far more complex to be able to properly understand the thing you're being taught. So, basic chemistry is still taught in terms of electron energy levels even though that is a flagrant simplification of the true situation.
So, we have a dilemma. We don't want to teach SR using over-simplifcations because that would be wrong. However, we can't teach SR properly because that gets too complicated. My initial thinking as to how to resolve this dilemma is to avoid entirely the article's current approach of trying to "teach" SR and instead just "explain" SR. To explain what I mean by this: idiot's guides on all sorts of topics and most basic self-learning books for computer programming are based around presenting lots of examples to the reader. They don't try to teach the fundamental building blocks, because those blocks are actually trickier to understand than the overall concept.
I think a similar approach might work on the SR article - trying to choose some examples to illustrate and explain SR that are devoid of mathematics and pythagorean theory. For those who are able to grasp those initial concepts, we can then build on that understanding by introducing some of the mathematics. This means that we would end up with a tiered article which ends up explaining SR at several different levels - but level one must be completely absent of mathematics in my view. I need to think about this further, but hopefully will be able to drop by at the article itself in a couple of weeks and try some edits. GDallimore (Talk) 16:20, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good. I contemplated this but is it possible to explain Pythagoras' theorem (the metric of 2D euclidean flat space) without any maths at all? The challenge of explaining Minkowski spacetime is similar but worse.... Geometer 16:47, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
That's the thing - at it's most basic level you shouldn't need to explain any of that stuff. Those are the building blocks that SR are built on, not SR itself. They can be brought in later in the article, but they should not be the starting point. GDallimore (Talk) 17:17, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
You're right, of course, there must be a way to explain this subject without too much complexity. Our problem is that all those beginner's guides to relativity have cribbed from each other and perpetuated the wrong approach so we are left with trying to explain the subject from scratch.
It might help to revisit the real origins of the theory. Einstein studies Maxwell and realises that "c" is frame independent and proposes that physical laws are invariant. He derives the Lorentz transformation (LT) and realises that the equations contain nothing but spatiotemporal quantities. Therefore no aether. Minkowski, who has studied non-euclidean geometry, realises that the purely spationtemporal content of the equations means the LT is about geometry hence Minkowski's metric and, with Noether's insight into invariance and physical laws, the modern approach is born. Einstein's original proposal that physical laws are invariant looks like a guess although it is probably based on Galileo's ship analogy.
Curiously, given Einstein's original opposition to Minkowski, there is a quote somewhere by Einstein where he says that he cracked SR after realising that time was to blame (I can find the quote if need be).
There is a lot of crud on the periphery of this story in the form of attempts to explain the aether by Lorentz, Fitzgerald, Lamor, Poincare etc. Einstein himself says that he had not even considered the MM experiment when he derived SR. Some people say this is impossible but MAXWELL + GALILEO = SR whichever way you look at it. So is the desire to weave the history of the aether into SR due to latent three dimensionalism in those 66% of physicists who dont get SR? Geometer 10:13, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Galileo does look to be a good starting point since everyone would understand that, even if they don't know what Galilean/classical relativity is. The more I think about this, though, the more I realise I need to refresh my memory of some of the intricacies. Sigh... the more I learn, the more I forget... :) Sorry I can't respond more carefully to your detailed thoughts yet, but it has been a while since I've considered all these things myself. Will get back to this soon, though. GDallimore (Talk) 10:48, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I have taken the liberty of transferring this discussion to the Talk for the article. Geometer 14:00, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I know this is a lot to ask but please could you put citation notices on the text.Geometer 13:03, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Erm... I'm sorry to say this, but I think there are huge chunks which need better referencing so a collection of fact tags is unlikely to help. It's not that I disagree with any of it but, as I remember reading once, Wikipedia is less about truth, and more about verifiability. GDallimore (Talk) 13:29, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
This gives us a problem. The article is an attempt to explain the modern, approach to Special Relativity. Students really need such an approach because they get the whole thing wrong much of the time. Just think, if 66% of physics undergrads get it wrong what percentage of lay readers must get it wrong? The problem is that beginners guides using the Minkowski metric as an approach do not exist. Advanced textbooks use it exclusively.
Breaking the problem down, the first part, invariance to translations and rotations on the plane is standard maths. Unfortunately most authors do not go from Pythagoras to Minkowski, a few make this jump see: - Carroll is a highly respected cosmologist. But Carroll immediately leaps into a hyperbolic rather than Cartesian treatment of Minkowski space (rightly because it is hyperbolic).
Herman Weyl in "Space, Time, Matter" explains the whole thing but the translation is very poor in the Dover edition. The invariance of the spacetime interval is stated in all advanced textbooks on SR and GR but not explained in the contextb of general, topological invariance.
So the second part, the invariance of the space-time interval in Minkowski space, can be referenced but not easily directly quoted.
The third part, the derivation of time dilation from the invariant interval is just kiddies maths. Does this need a reference?
The tilt of the x-axis due to the relativity of simultaneity is covered by Carroll and many other authors (see Carroll's diagram).
There is not much else to the article except some pretty pictures. Geometer 17:01, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Patent referencing templates

Thanks for your message on my talk page. I've just dropped a question on Template talk:Cite patent. Cheers. --Edcolins 19:59, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Thrud the Barbarian

Updated DYK query On 18 April, 2007, Did you know? was updated with a fact from the article Thrud the Barbarian, which you created or substantially expanded. If you know of another interesting fact from a recently created article, then please suggest it on the "Did you know?" talk page.

--howcheng {chat} 23:13, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

List of software patents

Just want to say the article is good and interesting, and I am almost sorry to oppose the nomination. I feel I had to. The main issue is the lack of clear definition of a software patent (endless discussion ahead..). Unless there is an official definition, how can the list ever be complete and comprehensive? --Edcolins 21:22, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Spoken article

Hi. I've noticed that you appear to have been working on converting the article The Four Stages of Cruelty into a spoken version for over two months now, according to your entry on the In Progress section of Wikiproject Spoken Wikipedia. If you are no longer working on the article, please either remove yourself from the list, or notify me so I can do so, so other editors will know they can work on the article instead. If you don't reply within a week, I will assume you are no longer working on the article. Cheers, -Panser Born- (talk) 15:09, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the reminder :). I've been suffering a series of (wiki-stress induced?) colds over the last couple of months which have removed my ability to speak as clearly as I would like (Fuh Sages of Cruely wouldn't have the same impact!) I'm just getting over the most recent bout and will start work on it next week. Promise! GDallimore (Talk) 15:13, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Alright, I'll leave you on the list then. =) Cheers, -Panser Born- (talk) 22:20, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

As it is

Thanks for the fix. :-) Gouranga(UK) 14:48, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

St Kilda, Scotland

Thanks for amending 'kph' to 'km/h' at St Kilda, Scotland. Editore99 13:05, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

If I might make a friendly suggestion, it probably would have been productive to explain the reason for your edits when faced with resistance rather than simply sending out a call for help. GDallimore (Talk) 13:07, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
OK. Thanks for the friendly suggestion. Noted. Editore99 11:54, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar

Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
I, Smee, hereby award The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar to GDallimore. You let me know you had fixed some infobox issues, a long while after I had forgotten about it, which was very kind and thoughtful of you. Thank you. Yours, Smee 18:10, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
  • No worries. It's nice to have someone thoughtful post a kind how are you doing sorta message to me. Later, Smee 08:51, 24 May 2007 (UTC).


Hello, I have been following the discussion on the Talk page of BDORT. Para 290 is clear and obvious - I support your move. Please note that I documented in the Arbitration case that there are also very strong personal biases involved by the editors of this article. The main point is that what you find by reading it is clearly correct. The fact I have been banned from editing this article does not equate to my arguments - which were similar being incorrect. 1) Gorringe gives a description of his technique in the NZ report, anyone can compare with the BDORT patent description and see the two are different. 2) The Tribunal notes this clearly. 3) Gorringe might have believed he was using Omura's technique, called it 'BDORT' and the Tribunal just parroted him. Dr Omura, who I am sure knows what his technique is and is not, has stated in his statement on WP that the test Gorringe used was not his technique. Any neutral intelligent person can put 2 and 2 together here. Some editors stating repeatedly that the Tribunal called it 'BDORT' is just statement about parroting, not about similarity or difference of technique. Thank you for the clear input to this mess.Richardmalter 06:51, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Since I'm a physicist with a good knowledge of electromagnetism, I view the BDORT technique as being utterly bogus and without any possible chance of the claims for it being based on reality. I therefore think that any doctor who did use it to diagnose his patients deserves everything he got. Please do not misinterpret my actions at that article as being support for BDORT as I am merely taking the position that, when seeking to discredit something, as certain editors seem intent on doing, you have to make sure to get your facts right or you open yourself up to looking silly and for potentially making a dangerous technique appear more acceptable. In view of this, I am not sure whether I am the right person to discuss your issues with. You're welcome to drop me a line if you want, but will respond here rather than by email. GDallimore (Talk) 14:00, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the note. Not that I am set on trying to persuade you, but have you read the Patent Affidavits [[1]] - these people are all very qualified, they tested on 1000s of people, you can read through them. Also this was a key study: [[2]]. But the main point is I agree like you say, you cant get round the fact that the Tribunal distinguished a difference between what Gorringe did and BDORT even though they parroted his "BDORT" naming afterwards; and that "certain editors" are clearly very intent on discrediting Omura and BDORT - to the extent of real life actions that I sent to the ArbCom and that were recognized as such and a version that they championed that had to be deleted as BLP breaching. This makes a mockery of WP and open-publishing (which I have been involved in extensively in other big projects). Obviously, I hope that you remain involved in this article for this reason. What has happened in the past is that people tire of arguing with them and they get their way by default. 1garden is also saying exactly the same thing as you - so there is currently a 50%/50% split - but the "certain editors" are effectively censoring any attempt to make public that there is a dispute at all. Personally, I would prefer the whole thing deleted, because I think the WP process is failing to stop the "certain editors". Regards.Richardmalter 07:00, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

SS Paris

Good job on moving the pictures. I was on laptop earlier and it looked strange but on my normal computer it looks fine. But I think we should keep the info box blue. User:Daniel Chiswick 24 May, 2007

This is why DYK is great. An article that you've worked on alone gets a good going over by other editors. I've got a 'nom pending - Four Nights in Knaresborough - and hope that it will get on the front page for a while so some other editors fix my mistakes and add their own details. GDallimore (Talk) 09:30, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I quite agree - just nominating them makes a substantial difference. (And thanks for the articles!) -- ALoan (Talk) 02:20, 26 May 2007 (UTC)


Updated DYK query On 26 May, 2007, Did you know? was updated with a fact from the article Four Nights in Knaresborough, which you created or substantially expanded. If you know of another interesting fact from a recently created article, then please suggest it on the Did you know? talk page.

--ALoan (Talk) 02:16, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Software patent directive

Hi GDallimore, I'm sorry to post here direct on your talk page, but I don't know where else to reach you. You just moved my post on Talk:Software Patents Directive to the page I claim has a biased name. It seem to me that you did not read my argument. I can only ask you to read it again because your opinion "I say the current article title is correct since it was the official name of the proposed directive" misses my point completely. As you can see from the justification to the amendment to change the name of the directive, the name itself is controversial, even to the point of being a "propaganda term".

I actually have even one more argument: Many directives get names like "the Bolkestein Directive" (also known as the Services Directive), "IPRED2", and "REACH". These directives all have long and formal names, but they are still "named" something else. The Software Patents Directive is the name this directive got, and opposing that is, in my opinion, not the role of wikipedia editors. I'd rater see a balanced solution, but I have none to propose.

Maybe "The Software Patents Directive, formally known as the directive directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions"?

Best regards.


I moved your argument to the article on the directive as you have seen, where it might actually be discussed further rather than standing as one person's tirade against the title. Please put further comments there. GDallimore (Talk) 00:11, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Kung Fu Jimmy Chow

Updated DYK query On 9 June, 2007, Did you know? was updated with a fact from the article Kung Fu Jimmy Chow, which you created or substantially expanded. If you know of another interesting fact from a recently created article, then please suggest it on the Did you know? talk page.

--howcheng {chat} 17:29, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

List of mind mapping software discussion

Thanks for your recent change you made to your post. I am all about spreading the wikilove! Peace, MPS 15:46, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Is OK. I was just over-reacting because I was shocked and appalled at the removal of references for material. I'm of the "reference every sentence" camp having seen and largely given up trying to fix the mess done to most articles relating to patents. GDallimore (Talk) 16:28, 15 June 2007 (UTC)