User talk:Gareth McCaughan

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Where to talk[edit]

If you leave a message here, I will generally respond here and leave a {{Talkback}} note on your talk page. If I leave a message on your talk page, please feel free either to respond there and leave a Tb note on my page, or respond here; I would slightly prefer the former.


i read your comment on the GH avisualagency AfD page and saw that you have extensive experience on here. i am trying to contribute to the GH article but everyone on the discussion page keeps giving me the wrong advice. most insisted that i have to prove notability, then they said that it was wrong to list articles about the collective. i don't know who to believe as they all keep leading me astray. if you could please offer me any advice on how to make the article better or make any adjustments yourself i would sincerely appreciate it. even if it does get deleted, at least i will have known that i tried my hardest to make it the best i could given the limited time frame. thanks so much.

Inspectorpanther 17:54, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

I think there are two problems.

  • It looks as if GH simply isn't notable enough that it clearly needs a Wikipedia page. At most, perhaps it's borderline. (No offence to their -- your? -- talent or their work; notability just isn't the same thing as talent. Some talentless artists of various kinds are notable, though I'm not going to name names, and there must be many outstandingly talented ones that aren't notable yet.)
  • The history of the page looks very discouraging: first it's created by someone who obviously thinks that scrawling advertisements in the pages of the Wikipedia is an acceptable way to behave, and then when it's proposed for deletion the discussion is inundated by meatpuppets. That's bound to produce a pretty negative attitude from anyone who cares about the quality and impartiality of Wikipedia, and since things like "notability" are inevitably subjective it's going to be bad for the article's prospects.

As the article stands now, it's fairly innocuous in itself, apart from seeming rather longer than the importance of its subject merits (but if all pages with that problem were deleted, Wikipedia would be drastically reduced...). But it still seems like the article is there at all not because anyone needs or wants to know about GH, but because GH itself decided to use Wikipedia for a bit of self-promotion, and I'm not sure there's any way to fix that.

The problem with the list of links, and the list of libraries that have a copy of GH's book, is that if they're intended to be good evidence of notability they don't really serve that purpose well. I checked three links at random from the "External links" list. The "Village Voice" article looks like, well, a gossip column. The "thehappycorp" article's only mention of GH is to say "once upon a time they spoke at such-and-such a conference". The "designforfreedom" article looks like paid advertising to me. Now, maybe in fact no one, but no one, gets listed in that column in the Village Voice unless they're tremendously famous; maybe in fact the conference mentioned by thehappycorp only ever invites the biggest names as speakers; maybe in fact the dff's "Focus" isn't an advertorial but the strongest recommendation those folks can offer. I can't tell, and that's the point: if the best evidence of notability on offer is as unclear as this, it's not a good sign. (Libraries? Plenty of people give books to university libraries, and they seldom turn them down. The fact that a book's in a university library proves nothing about the notability of its authors or its subjects. Especially when the two coincide.)

Again: none of this proves non-notability. But in the present context, everything is inevitably going to be looked at with suspicion: is [whatever] really an endorsement to be trusted, or is it a paid advertisement or an article written by someone at GH or ... well, you see the problem.

Assuming, though, that somehow the article survives, what should it look like? Well, it could lose the last sentence of the first paragraph, which says nothing whatever and reads like feelgood promotional material rather than like informative encyclopaedia material. (The second sentence of the paragraph is only a little better.) It could lose the list of libraries that have GH's book, which tells us nothing at all about the agency or its work. The list of external links could be trimmed to include only the ones that actually have useful or interesting material about GH; I don't know whether any would survive. I'm not sure whether any real value is added by the list of exhibitions.

Those changes are all deletions, the general principle being to delete things that advertise rather than inform. What could be added? Maybe a small image of a particularly characteristic piece of GH's work. Surely a link to GH's website.

Gareth McCaughan 19:03, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

thank you![edit]

thanks so much for your astute observations. i will take everything you suggested into consideration. it's all a very interesting process. hope you have a lovely evening. Inspectorpanther 23:03, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

please, mediate Magnetic monopole discussion[edit]

At Talk:Magnetic_monopole#Nondimensionalized.2C_SI.2C_and_CGI_comparison and Talk:Magnetic_monopole#Emphasis_here_is_to_the_symmetry.21 -- 12 February 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:46, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Removing an acceptable section[edit]

I introduced a section of "Other Uses" on the Obadiah page and it was removed by you[1] , on the basis that "this article is about Obadiah’s in the OT". I checked and found no rules contravening what I wrote. In actuality, several of the prophets and or people of the Bible on the Wikipedia encyclopedia, have far more extensive sections of their own:

[2] specific
[3] specific

There's no plausible reason for not having the section on and you will be able to determine this yourself as you peruse through various other Biblical names that have a similar "other uses" section. Safeguarded (talk) 11:49, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

(I replied on Talk:Obadiah. Gareth McCaughan (talk) 20:52, 2 November 2008 (UTC))

Thank you for catching my typo in the Wang quote[edit]

Thanks for catching my typo in the Wang quote in the Gödel's Ontogical Proof article.

--Jeffreykegler (talk) 18:28, 4 January 2009 (UTC)


Hello. Please see these edits and notice that in non-TeX mathematical notation within Wikipedia:

  • Variables (but NOT parentheses or other punctuation and NOT digits) should be italicized.
  • A space should precede and follow "+", "=", etc. I usually make these non-breakable for binary operators like "+". (When a minus sign is a unary rather than binary operator then there no such spacing. Thus: "−5")
  • A minus sign is not a stubby little hyphen. Thus:
S(a)-S(b) (wrong)
S(a)-S(b) (better but still wrong)
S(a) - S(b) (still better, but not quite there yet)
S(a) − S(b) (correct)

This matches TeX style. It is all in Wikipedia:Manual of Style (mathematics) (abbreviated WP:MOSMATH). (Generally TeX looks good when "displayed" but when it is "inline" then it can fail to align with the rest of the text and sometimes appears three times as big as it should.) Michael Hardy (talk) 20:20, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

That page was made during a few spare minutes at work, and I decided that the limited time available was better spent improving the content than tweaking the typography. Thanks for cleaning up my mess! Gareth McCaughan (talk) 18:25, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Glenn Gould article RV[edit]

Hi Gareth. I have to take issue with your recent reversion of edits I made to the Glenn Gould article. I accept that the comments at first sight seem 'overheated'. On re-reading them it does seem that maybe they are slightly repetitious and in need of fine tuning. I would claim, however, that nothing was said in my edits that doesn't reflect material in the article itself. The comments about Gould's 'phenomenal' technical skills, performing 'bravura' and reputation as one of the piano 'greats' of the century etc. can all be documented in the Gould literature. Maybe the musical world in general became 'overheated' about Gould, but that doesn't mean that this 'overheating', if that is what it is, should not be reported in a neutral encyclopoedia article. Perhaps it is me who is in error in not footnoting some of the claims I reported - I assumed that this would not be necessary in an introductory paragraph that anticipates what the rest of the article says and documents. That is the point, the laudatory comments merely report documentable views about Gould in the public domain - it is not simply me 'overheating'. If Gould's concert tour of the former USSR was acclaimed as a triumph at the time, is it a case of 'overheating' to infer from such data, a 'stellar' concert career?

I'm not sure that what I added was 'ungrammatical' either. The previous version of the intro certainly was, which was one of the things I was attempting to correct.

Of greater dissapointment and concern is that your reversion also eliminated (without any comment) a fully documented sub-section I added on the subject of the critical reception to Gould's compositions. Additional material on this was specifically requested in an administrator's report on the quality of the article (see the article Talk page), along with a longer intro section. Did you have a problem with this section? (I do actually. I misspelled 'laudatory'.) I am a relative 'newbie' here, but my understanding is that RVs of this kind without comment are strongly discouraged.

Anyway, can I assure you these comments should not be viewed as an expression of resentment about being reverted. Your comments about 'overheating' have made me think about the issue of neutrally reporting information about highly-regarded public figures. But my overall reservations about your RV remain. Welham66 (talk) 01:43, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Ooops! I screwed up my editing, which is why that subsection got removed. Entirely my fault. All I meant to do was to take out a couple of bits added by Tranminkhoa. I had no intention of removing the subsection. (I think I must have accidentally clicked "Edit" on an old version of the page. D'oh.) Many apologies. I'll fix it. Gareth McCaughan (talk) 10:56, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

... So, I looked again at the article. There's no question that the subsection I deleted by mistake was an entirely good thing, so I've just put that back exactly as it was. (Er, and then fixed the typo you mentioned.) I'm not so sure about the opening para; the issue isn't so much that what you've said is overheated -- as I said, that comment was directed at a different set of edits -- but it's largely redundant with other material in the opening paragraph. And, actually, I do think some of it is a bit overenthusiastic, given that Gould's merits are somewhat controversial. I've left that paragraph as I'd left it before, because I do think it's better that way, but I don't feel strongly about that. Gareth McCaughan (talk) 14:10, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments Gareth - and for fixing things up. I'm inclined to agree that my first paragraph edits were a bit overdone and redundant. The quality report on the article suggested that the intro is too short for an article of that size. I'll have to find a better way of extending it. Welham66 (talk) 07:40, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

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Dihydrogen monoxide petitions link[edit]

Hi, I saw your attempts at adding a valid citation to the Dihydrogen monoxide article and am appalled that other users have decided to effectively censor this citation from wikipedia. I have written a comment at Talk:Dihydrogen_monoxide_hoax#link_to_UK_prime_minister_e-petitions_site and would appreciate it if you could provide an up to date link to the actual hoax petition and I will file a second case for the url to be whitelisted. Thanks, best wishes, Polyamorph (talk) 17:00, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

(Replied to on the DHMO talk page -- Gareth McCaughan (talk) 13:30, 16 August 2010 (UTC))

entry for PTC[edit]

Hi, Gareth. In the past (November 2010), you've made comments on the talk page for PTC (and perhaps edits to the page itself). I work at PTC (FULL DISCLOSURE), and have noticed some out-of-date information. I placed some suggested/requested edits on the talk page for PTC, but will not make them on my own due to point of view and conflict of interest. I'm letting you know here on your talk page that some edits are suggested there - I thought you might want to see them, since you had (have?) an interest in the page, given your past edits.

Thanks! -Alan (abelniak)

p.s.: PTC recently officially changed its name to PTC (from Parametric Technology Coropration), if you are interested:

Abelniak (talk) 18:51, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

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ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

Scale of justice 2.svg Hello, Gareth McCaughan. Voting in the 2016 Arbitration Committee elections is open from Monday, 00:00, 21 November through Sunday, 23:59, 4 December to all unblocked users who have registered an account before Wednesday, 00:00, 28 October 2016 and have made at least 150 mainspace edits before Sunday, 00:00, 1 November 2016.

The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

If you wish to participate in the 2016 election, please review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 22:08, 21 November 2016 (UTC)