User talk:Gwern/Archive/2

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"*english* wikipedia. *english*"[edit]

Excuse me!

Can you explain me what you meant *english* wikipedia. *english* in Omar Khayyam's article summary?

thanks.--Soroush ☺talk | ☼Contributions 11:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

What I mean was that, barring unusual circumstances, external links should be to English websites, as this is the English Wikipedia - if there are useful Dutch websites, for example, links to them should be added to the Dutch Wikipedia's article for the simple reason that they're the ones who could use it. --Gwern (contribs) 20:38 28 November 2006 (GMT)
Thanks for your reply. --Soroush ☺talk | ☼Contributions 10:25, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:External_Links#Foreign_language_links: "English language links are strongly preferred in the English-language Wikipedia." --Gwern (contribs) 17:06 29 November 2006 (GMT)

Snow Crash[edit]

Hello -- I finally replied to your reply to my comments on the Snow Crash talk page. --Venicemenace 16:29, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, but I have it on my watchlist - no need to go out of your way to tell me. --Gwern (contribs) 00:59 1 December 2006 (GMT) 00:59, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Incorrect Forth (programming language) disambiguations[edit]

I noticed you are disambiguating this article incorrectly - it is Forth (programming language). --Sandy (Talk) 17:32, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, you are right. Pywikipedia assumes that the link names given on the disambiguation page are correct. I'm going to go fix those redirects now. --Gwern (contribs) 19:44 1 December 2006 (GMT)


I responded on my talk page at length, but just wanted to let you know, I've finished my reworking of the proposal. If you'll be so kind as to handle the publicizing, I'd appreciate it. Essjay (Talk) 09:16, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I greatly appreciate the work you've done. I'll go do that publicizing now. --Gwern (contribs) 19:56 3 December 2006 (GMT)

For disambiguating Titanic[edit]

Working Man's Barnstar.png The Working Man's Barnstar
Here's a present for entirely disambiguating Titanic. 'Cause it's just frikken' beautiful now. PMC 03:44, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


Hi, I am currently researching improvements to the Bid-Tv article. My revert was more aimed at changes by the Bid-tv employee rather than any criticism of your work. I'm glad you agree about the postage charges, though it is hard to source those as Bid-tv like to mention them as little as possible.

I've also informed the Bid-tv employee of Wikipedia's policies regarding conflicts of interest and NPOV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shakehandsman (talkcontribs)

I'm not surprised, but I can tell you from my experience here: if you get into conflicts about information one party or the other sees as non-neutral, the best thing to do is buckle down and source it really well, with a minimum of analysis and editorializing - both of which I tried to remove from that section. If you can do it solely by using quotes from unimpeachable sources, that's even better; for example, did you notice how I quoted the ASA decision in the paragraph, and so corrected a misleading sentence? --Gwern (contribs) 01:37 6 December 2006 (GMT)

WELL experience[edit]

Hm, more information about my Well experience? How about asking that question on my Questions page? I'd be happy to talk about it, and if you think it would be useful to other voters, I'll do so. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 04:11, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Fair enough. I can hardly complain if I won't even bother to ask about it. It seems a bit late, but better late than never... --Gwern (contribs) 04:36 6 December 2006 (GMT)

Your input is requested[edit]

Your input would be appreciated at this Request for Comments. Kelly Martin (talk) 15:50, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I've been little but an onlooker in these cases. The editors who point to the other pages to read are quite right. --Gwern (contribs) 17:01 6 December 2006 (GMT)

Susan Napier[edit]

Hi Gwern! Thanks a lot for the offer about the article. As I say on the Lain talk page, it's issue 88 of Science Fiction Studies, that is, part 3 of volume 29. It's from November 2002. I don't have the page number, but the article name is "When the Machines Stop: Fantasy, Reality, and Terminal Identity in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Serial Experiments Lain", by Susan J. Napier. I appreciate the effort. Having this one would make Wikipedia the most comprehensive source about Lain on earth. If that's not what Wikipedia's about, I don't know what is. :)--SidiLemine 16:42, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I went to my library today; alas, there were no electronic copies to be had, of any sort, because they carried Science Fiction Studies.... so I just scanned in all 17 pages or whatever. I can't put them on Wikipedia or Commons, for obvious reasons. Do you want me to email you the PNGs? If so, email me with the desired address; and remember, each PNG is about 3 megabytes, so make sure your email service can handle that. --Gwern (contribs) 03:21 7 December 2006 (GMT)
Wow! I'm impressed. I don't have your email, and I can't wait, so you can just email me at lecomptoirdutabac at yahoo dot com. Oh boy. Actually, I'm not that worried about yahoo; it's more my local connection that's gonna have to work extra (I'm on a 128k split between 4 PCs!). Any chance you might reduce that size a little while keeping it readable?--SidiLemine 11:46, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Don't know how to reduce the size and still keep it readable, I'm afraid. They should be wafting their way through the ether to you now. --Gwern (contribs) 14:37 7 December 2006 (GMT)
I'm pretty sure the address is correct; Maybe you could try to send them one by one? The other thing is that yahoo makes some pretty freaky stuff with addresses sometimes: you might want to try, but I'm certain that the address I gave you is good. If you packed them in a bundle, then try each in its mail. Isn't there somewhere you can upload them, even for a very short time?--SidiLemine 09:54, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
After a lot of work, I discovered file upload services and got one to work; your magical link is to FileHO. Hope this works. --Gwern (contribs) 19:06 8 December 2006 (GMT)


Hi, thanks for your note here - let me follow up on that and get back to you? Give me a few days or so? I'll come back. --HappyCamper 22:49, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Sure, sure - so long as you do remember to come back. It's not exactly a time-pressing issue. --Gwern (contribs) 02:37 8 December 2006 (GMT)
Okay, I've lifted it. Thanks again for dropping by :-) --HappyCamper 02:32, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
Great! The last time I tried to persuade an admin to lift needless protection, things didn't go nearly so well. --Gwern (contribs) 04:18 9 December 2006 (GMT)
What happened? That's really unfortunate. I've been here for quite a while - stuff like that can really eat at morale. --HappyCamper 05:00, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
No, it was a month or two ago; I'd rather not go into it. She was quite adamant. --Gwern (contribs) 05:06 9 December 2006 (GMT)

Invasive weed optimization algorithm[edit]

Sorry, I did not got why my article on "Invasive weed optimization algorithm" is deleted? I was quite busy for few months and did not check Wikipedia. Please let me know how to retrieve my article. Thanks (Please post your comments on Talk:Invasive weed optimization algorithm) --- ALI REZA 08:39, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

You want to know why it was deleted? See the deletion logs. --Gwern (contribs) 18:19 8 December 2006 (GMT)
Hi there, please let me know who is responsible for deleting an article. I have some comments, and want to discuss. It is absolutely not clear for me, why my article is deleted without asking me, and without discussing with me? Is there any one responsible out there? --- ALI REZA 11:16, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
The discussion, which concluded in a unanimous agreement to delete the article, is responsible. The admin simply implements the consensus.
But are you kidding here? I went out of my way both times to tell you about the PROD and the AfD, and both times you couldn't be bothered to do anything, and yet you still have the gall to come here and complain after it's all over. --Gwern (contribs) 16:32 17 December 2006 (GMT)
Thanks, I think it is better for me to withdraw adding my article in Wikipedia. --- ALI REZA 06:44, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, definitely. --Gwern (contribs) 17:58 18 December 2006 (GMT)

Oolong tea[edit]

That's one interesting way of making tea. Where did you learn it? Sjschen 07:04, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I hung around the Usenet newsgroup for a while; I tried to reconstruct what I read of gongfu for oolong, but I eventually wound up with that method. Works better than all the other things I tried. --Gwern (contribs) 07:12 9 December 2006 (GMT)


I undid your revert. The section he edited was about the manga, and if the manga is still being published it should not say it ending. Above that section is the anime, which states that has ended. --Malevious Userpage •Talk Page• Contributions 20:14, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Ah. My bad. --Gwern (contribs) 20:23 9 December 2006 (GMT)
No prob :) we all make mistakes, just wanted to point it out to you so that you don't make the same mistake twice. --Malevious Userpage •Talk Page• Contributions 04:48, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I think it's kind of odd that the manga, which is a separate work both artistically and in terms of chronology, is merged into the TV series article. We should really break it out eventually. --Gwern (contribs) 05:40 10 December 2006 (GMT)
I think since there are differences between the 2, maybe we should split the article between NGE(Anime) and NGE(Manga) since there are quite a few differences. --Malevious Userpage •Talk Page• Contributions 21:32, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Iowan writers[edit]

May I ask why you created Category:Iowan writers and redirected Category:Iowa writers? Except for Hawaii--covered by Category:Hawaiian writers, because there's some interest in ethnicity as well as residence--all the other "writers by state" categories are in the form (Name of state) writers: So Pennsylvania writers or Texas writers, not Pennsylvanian or Texan. Do you intend to rename all these categories? And if so, why? --ShelfSkewed [Talk] 17:41, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Because that makes more sense. They are writers from Iowa, not writers about Iowa. If an American goes and writes some books, she isn't an "America writer", she's an "American writer". Similarly, if she were French, she wouldn't be a "France writer" but a "French writer" and so on and so forth. I had assumed it was just the Iowan category that had mucked up its grammar, but looking at the supercategory, it seems I'll have to fix the rest. I'll wait for your reply, though, before I being. --Gwern (contribs) 17:45 10 December 2006 (GMT)
Well, it's not just writers. All the "by state" categories are done that way: Actors by state, Lawyers by state, you name it. Perhaps you ought to reconsider before starting such a sweeping change. It may not be grammatically unassailable, or congruent with national identifiers, but I think "Michigan writers" is much more immediately understandable than "Michiganer writers" or "Michigander writers" or "Michiganite writers" or "Michiganian writers". And which one of those are you going to use, by the way? Sleeping dogs, I think. --ShelfSkewed [Talk] 17:55, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
"Whereof we cannot speak, we must be silent." In Michigan's case, I'd probably just go "Writers from Michigan", which has no ambiguity even if it is one word longer. But if it is all those categories... I'll leave it as a long-term project. It's wrong, but it's not wrong enough to demand immediate rectification. Even with a bot helping, that'd take a while. --Gwern (contribs) 18:05 10 December 2006 (GMT)
Thinking about it a little more, I have to add that, although (state) (occupation) may be "wrong", as you say, it is a very common idiomatic construction. What seems more usual: "Floridian writer Dave Barry", "writer from Florida Dave Barry", or "Florida writer Dave Berry"? The last, it seems to me. And this pattern carries over to all states & occupations: "California lawyer Robert Shapiro" or "New Jersey rapper Redman" and so on --ShelfSkewed [Talk] 18:15, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Myself, I'd prefer Floridian. Running Google searches, only "Floridian" brings up any actual examples. --Gwern (contribs) 19:34 10 December 2006 (GMT)
For Dave Barry, specifically, perhaps. But a search for "Florida writer" (and narrowing the search to reduce the number of irrelevant constructions) nets 1,300+, including The Florida Writer Magazine and several versions of "John Doe is a Florida writer." "Floridian writer" shows 31 results. Searches using other states & occupations show similar disparities: e.g. "Minnesota carpenter" 450+, "Minnesotan carpenter" 2. And there's this from Wikipedia itself, from Demonym: 'In the case of Canadian provinces and territories and U.S. states, it is non-standard to use demonyms as attributive adjectives (for example "Manitoba maple", not "Manitoban maple"); they can be used only predicatively ("Ben Franklin was Pennsylvanian.").' --ShelfSkewed [Talk] 05:06, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
All right, enough: you've convinced me. --Gwern (contribs) 05:34 11 December 2006 (GMT)


Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
for going (literally) the extra mile to make sources for Serial Experiments Lain available. This spontaneous effort was appreciated. SidiLemine 16:56, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm not really into the barnstar craze, but I felt I had to do something. I am truly indebted to you. If there is anything I can help you with, let me know and I will.--SidiLemine 16:56, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Article in need of cleanup - please assist if you can[edit]

Taken care of. --Gwern (contribs) 17:45 13 December 2006 (GMT)


Generally, bots that make unsolicited edits to talk pages come with some sort of flag so users who simply don't want to be bothered or who don't like what it is doing can opt-out, since PocKleanBot doesn't seem to be an opt-in sort of thing. --Gwern (contribs) 19:24 12 December 2006 (GMT)

Hi. I don't personally feel that opt-out is necessary in this case because if the bot has written to your talk page, it will not do so again in future. However, others have suggested as you have, so this is in discussion. Many thanks - PocklingtonDan 19:29, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I have also modified the text on the bot's user page to make its actions clearer. Thanks! - PocklingtonDan 19:30, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
So it will only ever nag you once? If so, that should probably be mentioned as well. --Gwern (contribs) 19:34 12 December 2006 (GMT) 19:34, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it will not post a notice if that user has already received a notice. Where would you like to see this noticed? I don't want to put too much meta-data (ie. about the bot) into the template, would prefer the template was 100% about the article involved, to avoid distraction- PocklingtonDan 19:37, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Putting it on the user page would make most sense: I think its functionality isn't being fully described if it doesn't mention that it will only nag a user once - as it is written, the number of nags is open-ended. --Gwern (contribs) 19:39 12 December 2006 (GMT)
Hi, the template for user pages is at Template:PockKleanBotCleanup2. By all means feel free to edit it to improve with the text you would like to see, so long as it is reasonable. Thanks - PocklingtonDan 19:42, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Alfred W. McCoy references problem[edit]

Hello Gwern. A recent change you made in this page 'broke' the references (caused an error message to appear in the page). I reverted your change, then re-did the conversion to <ref> style using User:Cyde/Ref converter. I haven't the slightest understanding of what is going on, I just pushed the buttons. If you want to check that I missed any of your changes (or if you want to revert the whole shebang) take a look at the page. Thanks. --EdJohnston 21:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Oops. I've gotten used to the ref style. Anyway, thanks for fixing it for me. I looked it over and it seems fine. --Gwern (contribs) 17:49 13 December 2006 (GMT)

Hamlet's Mill[edit]

Hey. I see you are preparing an article on Hamlet's Mill. I vote for that! If it's really so hopeless from a scholarly standpoint, that would be a disappointment. Perhaps it's just a poetic vision. --EdJohnston 21:59, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

It's a hard project to do. The academic criticism is badly needed as an antidote to the excessive enthusiasm shown online for the book, but it's hard to obtain and even harder to use (just looking at my printouts of the microfilm for one of them hurts my eyes). Not to mention the difficulty of summarizing the book and finding the modern terms for all the archaicisms the two authors use; I'm just an interested layperson and it's easier to work on other projects than to try to keep up with them. But I'll finish it someday. --Gwern (contribs) 17:56 13 December 2006 (GMT)

Hiroshige print[edit]

I've replied to your message on my talk page. --Shimeru 01:19, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Okay. --Gwern (contribs) 01:46 1 January 2007 (GMT)


I think I've exhausted LexisNexis. Can you check other sources on them. Any info will do, but I'm particularly interested in finding out if I imagined something or if their debut album really went platinum or gold as I seem to remember. - Mgm|(talk) 11:09, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

It definitely went at least platinum. See on LexisNexis:"Singer Amy 'goes platinum' on TV" by Ian Townsend (relevant quote being "With other members of her classic/pop crossover group Angelis she received a platinum disc on GMTV to mark 350,000 copies of the sale of the album called Angelis."). I see it in The Oxford Times, but I guess it was mirrored by some other papers. See also [1]. --Gwern (contribs) 02:56 1 January 2007 (GMT)


I didn't think of searching on individual members to get the article. Thanks for being smarter than me... --Mgm|(talk) 11:51, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

My secret sauce is first a long specific Google search string like "Angelis chorale Simon Cowell platinum gold", and then once I find something, I narrow it down in LexisNexis with the search string "Angelis platinum". :) --Gwern (contribs) 15:52 1 January 2007 (GMT)

User talk page[edit]

"What links here" led to me to User talk:Bobferengi: I don't care for the comments there w/r/t Tourette's, and don't expect you'll like them much either. --Sandy (Talk) 03:10, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Can't say I do. At least his latest edits don't seem to be vandalism. --Gwern (contribs) 02:36 1 January 2007 (GMT)

Change to Common.css[edit]

Per recent discussions, the way in which Persondata is viewed by Wikipedia editors has changed. In order to continue viewing Persondata in Wikipedia articles, please edit your user CSS file to display table.persondata rather than table.metadata. More specific instructions can be found on the Persondata page. --ShakingSpirittalk on behalf of Kaldari 01:09, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Updated. --Gwern (contribs) 01:51 1 January 2007 (GMT)

Mark Rathbun article[edit]

Thanks for your help. I tried to remove Barbara's conspiracy theories myself but they got put right back. Check out the discussion page. --Steve Dufour 16:41, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Don't mistake "supports segregating and clearly delineating Barbara's stuff from reality-based and factual material" for "supports getting rid of all material relating to Barbara". As it happens, I think it's kind of sad and suboptimal for the Barbara-stuff to make up so much of the article, but I believe the solution is to bulk up the other sections, not remove material. --Gwern (contribs) 02:27 1 January 2007 (GMT)

User talk:Omegatron[edit]

Left an answer for you here Cheers! // FrankB 14:53, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Even so, this is the Internet - people disappear for all sorts of reasons, and even if someone appears to be active, you really should be more generous. --Gwern (contribs) 21:52 8 January 2007 (GMT)


No problem. I have also added an interwiki to Japanese, added the kanji for the name and a few minor details. --MChew 14:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Great, thanks. --Gwern (contribs) 14:48 9 January 2007 (GMT)


Please don't run disambig bot stuff on talk pages. Even for disambiguation, you're really not supposed to change other people's messages, especially archived ones. --Ned Scott 02:54, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Did I make any mistakes? That's what I really care about. --Gwern (contribs) 02:58 15 January 2007 (GMT)
Yeah, you did make a mistake, you edited other people's talk messages. Don't do that. -- Ned Scott 08:50, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Batch AfD[edit]

Please note that we rolled back that AfD and never even linked it to the actual AfD pages, thus not even submitting the Afd. Also, the article you mentioned was, I believe, going to be removed from the batch, however it was originally included not because of WP:WEB, but because it cites no reliable sources and lacks verifiability (neither of which are trumped or negated by assertion of notability under WP:WEB). At any rate, obviously the AfD was rolled back a few minutes after it was started, and the "on pause" notice was placed several hours before you decided to comment. If you're going to be critical of a withdrawn AfD over a guideline long after it is dead, please be sure the article in question meets with our content policies (WP:OR in particular). There is an ongoing discussion regarding WP:RS and WP:OR at USER:Blaxthos/AfD Sandbox -- I welcome your input and participation! Thanks for the note. /Blaxthos 16:58, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

My apologies -- the Buttercup Festival was included errantly and was in the process of being removed from the AfD when it was withdrawn. I thought you were referring to a different article. Either way, the AfD wasn't going to make it out of the sandbox. /Blaxthos 17:01, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
As long as you realized your mistake. It's very annoying to dig up sources for an article and have someone tell you it has no sources and is not verifiable... --Gwern (contribs) 17:40 19 January 2007 (GMT)
Indeed, it was on the save list. However, I stand behind the charge that 90% of the articles that were in the original AfD list still qualify as wholly unsourced and full of WP:OR. This one got caught in the crossfire. Thanks for the note. /Blaxthos 20:58, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
90% is perhaps a tad high, although I agree many of those don't stand a chance at AfD. Batch deletions are never the answer, and have never been. All batch deletions I've seen have ended in tears on someone's part. A patient strategy of esclating {{notability}} & {{prod}} templates is the best way, if only because it is easier on editors and their feelings. AfD is for tough cases. --Gwern (contribs) 04:20 20 January 2007 (GMT)


Hi! I noticed you created this article, redirecting it to Yuktibhasa. I'm not sure I understand the logic behind the naming. Could you please let me know the necessity of this weird redirect? Thanks!--thunderboltz(Deepu) 14:29, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

As it happens, my X Windows setup mangles the name Yuktibhasa when it includes all the nice and correct, and produces that. My policy is to always make redirects when I or my software misspell things, so there you have it. --Gwern (contribs) 19:15 23 January 2007 (GMT)

Bolo (tank)[edit]

Hey, I noticed there are now two copies of the Bolo article, at [[Bolo (tank)]] and [[Bolo (self-aware tank)]]. I agree with the shortening to (tank), but is the reverting the moved article just a mistake? Basically, what's your plan? ;-) --Falcorian (talk) 02:44, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

That's kind of odd. I've fixed now, but what I think happened was that solve_disambiguation presented the data for [[Bolo (self-aware tank)]], and I realized that the name should be shortened, so I went and moved it, but when I came back to disambiguating, the information Pywikipedia was operating on was outdated and had the effect of a revert. I think. --Gwern (contribs) 03:15 24 January 2007 (GMT)
Well, no harm no foul, I was just wondering what was up. --Falcorian (talk) 15:43, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Just an unintended mistake. Thanks for telling me of it. --Gwern (contribs) 18:18 24 January 2007 (GMT)

Tagging articles for delete[edit]

I've noticed that you are marking a lot of articles for deletion using the generic {{delete}} template. You should be giving a reason for deletion. Please see the criteria for speedy deletion, and use one of the more specific templates. For example, use {{db-bio}} for notability problems and {{db-nonsense}} for nonsense pages. - Jhinman 17:32, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, I'm using which was recently fixed, and it doesn't have specific deletion templates. I could splice them in, but it's pretty obvious why a article should be deleted and doing so would force me to give up some useful templates like {{categorize}} or {{wikify}}. --Gwern (contribs) 17:39 26 January 2007 (GMT)

Please, describe your tags![edit]

What exactly do you think needs to be wikified? It looks fine to me. Please, take the time to post a little something on the discussion page so we editors can figure out what you're commenting about. Maury 15:26, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Done. --Gwern (contribs) 15:47 29 January 2007 (GMT)

Please provide reasons when adding delete tags[edit]

I noticed you are adding deletion tags with no reason given. If you are nominating an article for speedy deletion, please see WP:SPEEDY for the criteria and use one of the tags from that page. Thanks. --Axlq 05:54, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

See above. --Gwern (contribs) 17:11 31 January 2007 (GMT)
Then I suggest you should cease using that tool; it's broken. Speedy deletion tags without reasons can justifiably be removed without explanation. It's fairly quick to add a tag manually. =Axlq 15:46, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

cleanup tags[edit]

Hi Gwern, I did some minor wikifying and removed a couple of cleanup tags you put today on some films contributed by Derbent 5000. I didn't want to put the copyvio killer-template, as the films are important, but the text is directly copied from imdb. A simple rephrasing would solve the problem until they are further developed. I left a note on the editor's talk page. Are there any milder templates for this? If not, please let me know and I will run back and re-add your cleanup ones. Cheers, Hoverfish Talk 08:59, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, copyvios are copyvios as I understand it. If you want to quietly simply rewrite them and not hae them deleted as copyvios, I doubt anyone would notice though. --Gwern (contribs) 17:16 31 January 2007 (GMT)

Use of bots[edit]

Were you approved to use a robot for all of the tasks you are doing? — Mets501 (talk) 19:03, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Please be aware that unauthorized use of a robot for making automated edits is a valid reason for blocking. Please stop or you will be blocked. — Mets501 (talk) 19:07, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
This is your final warning. I will block you if you do not stop making robot-assisted edits. — Mets501 (talk) 19:08, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, you have been blocked for 1 hour. Hopefully you will listen now. — Mets501 (talk) 19:10, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I am fully aware of that. Unauthorized bots are blockable when they are automated. Mine are not. I make every edit to my account - every disambiguation, redirect fixing, and tagging was conceived, and appoved by me. I believe the term is semi-automated or bot-assisted. I'd appreciate if you'd lift your mistaken block. --Gwern (contribs) 19:12 31 January 2007 (GMT)
You still must get approval at WP:BRFA and you must run it on a bot account. Did you read the message that pops up when you login to pywikipedia? "Your username is not listed on Wikipedia:Bots. *** Please make sure you are allowed to use the robot before actually using it!" You were not approved to use the robot. I will unblock you if you stop making the robot-assisted edits without approval. — Mets501 (talk) 19:18, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
One would think you would've read WP:BOT if you are going to be blocking because of it; the scripts I was using fit under this definition: "Assisted bots are defined as any software that allows rapid editing of articles, while not saving any changes without some human interaction." WP:BOT#Assisted_bots then says "Assisted bots don't necessarily need bot approval". --Gwern (contribs) 19:21 31 January 2007 (GMT)
Going by that, you also violated "Make it clear that software is being used to perform the edit" and "A separate account is advised if many edits are going to be made." I warned you that you could be blocked, you had 3 warnings to defend yourself, and you completely ignored them. Please, if you're going to make edits like the ones you made, just get approval first and use a bot account. "Until new bots are accepted they should wait 30-60 seconds between edits." You were also editing too fast without a flag. — Mets501 (talk) 19:29, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Now you're logic-chopping. Advised is not the same as mandatory. What benefit is there to me to get a bot account? Because you've blocked me, there's no way it would be approved, and while it may be foolish, I do feel that the edit count should be attributed to my real account. As for the warnings, I didn't even see them until just before you blocked me. Sometimes people might be reading news or email instead of constantly refreshing their watchlist: between your first warning and the notification of the block was only 3 minutes. --Gwern (contribs) 19:37 31 January 2007 (GMT)
If you were carefully checking and approving each edit, why would you have been reading news or email and not have noticed the big "You have new messages banner"? Also, the seven minutes from my first polite question to the block was enough time for you to make 19 edits! Apparently it wasn't that short are time period. — Mets501 (talk) 19:42, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
That's kind of insulting: I could read news and email and still check carefully because I use a decent tiling window manager and it is trivial for me to flip over to Gnus for 20 seconds and then back. Don't assume everyone reads email in a browser and so would somehow have necessarily seen the talk page notification. --Gwern (contribs) 19:51 31 January 2007 (GMT)
OK, let's go through this. You're checking email or news while pywikipedia (I think that's what you used) prepares the next edit. You then check on pywikipedia, and find it's ready to save upon your approval. What do you see on that screen? Pywikipedia writes "You have new messages" (or something very similar), right next to the place you're ready to press Y to save (or a number if you're disambiguating). How did you miss that message 19 times? — Mets501 (talk) 19:58, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Close, but not quite. I just tested this and (at least; I suspect that all the others do this as well but I haven't actually checked. Anyway I was only using so the issue is irrelevant), at the beginning of a session/run checks if one is logged in and whether one has messages - and only at the beginning. Thus at the beginning it does in fact display a bold and hard to miss warning. But I was not at the beginning; as you are complaining, I was in the middle of a long run. Thus, your premise is false, and so there is no need to explain how I could've missed it 19 times, since there were exactly 0 times. --Gwern (contribs) 05:47 1 February 2007 (GMT)
Not that you actually care, but I've submitted a patch for that makes the edit summary as clear as even you could want about the edits being bot-assisted.[2] --Gwern (contribs) 20:04 1 February 2007 (GMT)

I think you need to get bot approval, too. Semi-automated or not, you don't seem to understand a lot of the do's and don'ts about bot operating. See #Disambiguations. -- Ned Scott 19:40, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

As I thought I made clear, I understood that, but I disagreed that obvious disambiguations in non-Main space should not be done. --Gwern (contribs) 19:51 31 January 2007 (GMT)
Ok, you are allowed to disagree, but that does not mean you are allowed to take action on it. It's very clear that talk archives shouldn't be edited, to the point where several users are starting to want page protection on archives. -- Ned Scott 20:00, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
They misunderstand the purpose of talk archives then. They're to provide a convenient interface for readers to see a full list of entries. Disambiguating them in no wise affects the original revisions in the, y'know, actual page history which is the real archive. --Gwern (contribs) 05:47 1 February 2007 (GMT)
I'm sorry, but you are clearly the one who misunderstands. Keep the bot out of the talk namespace, this is your last warning. -- Ned Scott 05:58, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Dumb laws[edit]

I understand your concerns about notability of Dumb laws. Yet I feel that phenomenon is notable. Google search for "Dumb Laws" and for "Stupid laws" will return 1000's of relevant hits. In addition these lists are often mentioned in newspapers, and reputable websites like often analyze the most egregious examples of "dumb laws". Yet i am unsure about the best way to prove the notability. Should I research as much specific references in newspapers, or is large list of "dumb law" websites sufficient? --Hq3473 19:34, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

You need sources that meet WP:WEB, since this is an Internet phenomenon. My personal feeling is that you're trying to write an article on the general phenomenon so articles on individual websites probably aren't useful as references unless they examine the site as an example of the Dumb laws phenomenon. --Gwern (contribs) 19:39 31 January 2007 (GMT)
Thanks,for the reference. Will trivial mentions in newspapers suffice? I already cited at least two newspapers. --Hq3473 19:49, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think trivial mentions would suffice: "The content itself has been the subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the site itself." I'm guessing trivial mentions would fail by the "central criterion". --Gwern (contribs) 19:53 31 January 2007 (GMT)
I wonder how is the word trivial defined. Are the following articles trivial or not?:[3] and [4]. --Hq3473 20:40, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I think I might've not been clear here. When I say sources for such an article, I'm thinking not about "articles which are about dumb laws and thus themselves examples of the phenomenon" but "articles which are about the phenomena of making lists of or mocking dumb laws". --Gwern (contribs) 05:55 1 February 2007 (GMT)
I see your point. An article will probably not fly about "dumb law lists" as a phenomenon. Now i am thinking about re-writing an article about "dumb laws" themselves as as phenomenon. I.E. an article about laws that are or were at some point deemed dumb, stupid or funny. I have also realized that phenomenon is not limited to internet. For example see this book: [5]. --Hq3473 17:16, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I think you'll have much better luck with that sort of article, especially if you rely heavily on book sources. --Gwern (contribs) 20:02 1 February 2007 (GMT)

Commons POTY 2006[6][edit]

Thank you for participating in the Commons picture of the year contest! However, our rules ask you to pick only 5 images. Can you please narrow your selection down to your five favorite? I know it's hard but we had to draw the line somewhere. Thanks! --Gmaxwell 14:58, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Ah, sorry about that. Wait, actually I mean Noooo!!!! How can I possibly pick, you cold-hearted monsters? --Gwern (contribs) 15:04 1 February 2007 (GMT)

Speedy deletes[edit]

Hi Gwern!

Please help us to help you to help Wikipedia: if you need to tag an article for speedy deletion, please give a reason. If you don't, you're creating extra work for others - people are retagging the articles; admins have to spend valuable time typing in a reason rather than using yours; and it's just annoying :o)

Thanks very much and happy editing! REDVEЯS 19:46, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I know. A lamentable limitation of the tool. I've submitted a feature request, and I guess I'll just stop tagging for deletion until they or I get around to it? --Gwern (contribs) 20:01 1 February 2007 (GMT)
Well, it's not a matter of stopping... or of what you've (peevishly?) said in your edit summary; it's just a matter of administrators being faced with, say, 500+ articles tagged for speedy deletion. Each one requires three page loads - the article, the What Links Here and the history all need to be checked. The article then needs assessment (a percentage tags added by people - perhaps 10-15? - are malicious or poorly thought out or taggings of articles that have been vandalised and need reverting rather than deleting, so you can't be too careful). Finally, the delete button is pressed and a reason is requested. With a correct tag in use, the tag itself forms the reason and is inserted automagically. Without one, one must be entered - and, not being superhuman, a trip back to the criteria is required by many admins to find the correct rule (otherwise users bitch on your talk page and drag you to RfC and so forth, wasting even more time).
So that's a process that takes about 1 to 1.5 minutes, to which having to add a reason because an automatic editing program isn't providing it adds another half minute. You don't need to be a maths expert to see the extra time building up across 500 pages for deletion!
I hope you get your requested upgrade, coz I honestly believe you're slightly slowing the speedy process (and not just for admins, other NP patrollers are retagging your tags for you) at the moment. No offence meant or implied :o) REDVEЯS 21:18, 1 February 2007 (UTC)


Hi! What does the .bashrc do on wikipedia please? I'm intrigued!! --Rebroad 19:31, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

It's just an elaborate configuration file for Bash. It doesn't do anything except be a backup for me and possibly interesting to other Bash users. Now, User:Gwern/monobook.js and User:Gwern/monobook.css do do interesting stuff on Wikipedia. --Gwern (contribs) 19:46 3 February 2007 (GMT)


Can you be specific about the article name? I am going through random articles and adding a lot of unreferenced tags. In general I think single TV show episodes don't need whole articles. -MsHyde 05:49, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Rumors (episode). --Gwern (contribs) 05:55 6 February 2007 (GMT)
Hi. I don't think the episode itself can be the reference for the episode. The main article looks really good though. -MsHyde 06:02, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Why can't it be? --Gwern (contribs) 02:08 7 February 2007 (GMT)

Thanks for the quote![edit]

Hi. Just wanted to say thanks. Not everyday do I get a good laugh early in the morning. I know, that's bad. But today I had my best one in days. And that's great!--SidiLemine 08:58, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Heh heh. That's good! --Gwern (contribs) 18:01 10 February 2007 (GMT)

Battle of Corrin[edit]

I noticed that you made a change to Norma Cenva back in November separating the content in the original Dune books from the later changes by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson. I feel a similar change is called for on the Battle of Corrin page. When you have time, could you have a look and maybe add your opinion? --SandChigger 09:54, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Sure. No problem. --Gwern (contribs) 19:01 11 February 2007 (GMT) don't dilly-dally, do you?! I wasn't asking you to do it all yourself, just to weigh in. Thanks, though! Looks good; I can't see how anyone could object to the changes. Cheers! --SandChigger 03:32, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
You caught me in a mood to edit. It needed to be done, and fait accomplis is the best way of operating in Wikipedia. --Gwern (contribs) 04:37 12 February 2007 (GMT)

Book of Fantasy[edit]

I've never read it; therefore, I don't know if it would fall under children's literature or some other project. Feel free to change it to the books wikiproject or one of the descendant projects, such as mythology, young adult, or fantasy series. --PhantomS 01:52, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Definitely not in the Children's literature segment of things. Look at some of the linked stories sometime. --Gwern (contribs) 02:08 12 February 2007 (GMT)

"Removing selflinks" Robot[edit]

Gwern, your "removing selflinks" robot has broken every page in which it modified an imagemap (for example, see (136472) 2005 FY9 and (136108) 2003 EL61). Can you rollback your changes and modify your robot to not make changes between an <imagemap> tag and a </imagemap> tag? — RP88 02:16, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I see I broke some links (this isn't an automatic bot, which I am not allowed to run, but rather simply a tool to make removing selflinks easier), but I'm still not sure why those links are there. What is this imagemap syntax? I've never encountered it before. --Gwern (contribs) 03:22 14 February 2007 (GMT)
If you're using a robot to assist your manual edits, please examine the pages more carefully before committing your changes. Broken imagemaps should be easy to spot - breaking an imagemap causes an entire image to disappear from a page. Imagemaps are used to mark areas within an image as active links. I note that you only reverted the two pages I used as examples, is there a reason you didn't revert the other pages using imagemaps that you broke? — RP88 03:38, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I was examining the source; from the source, removing the selflink looks perfectly legitimate, and as I said, I've never run into imagemaps before.
As for reverting, all the pages using the imagemaps started with "(1", no? I think I covered all those. --Gwern (contribs) 03:46 14 February 2007 (GMT)
I didn't do an exhaustive search of all your "removing selflinks" edits looking for edits to imagemaps, I just quickly searched until I found two to use as examples. If it turned out they were the only pages affected, then excellent! In any case, thanks, I appreciate you responding so quickly to my note. --RP88 03:54, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
It's easy to forget what one sees, but I don't think there were many examples of imagemaps - I haven't done too many removals.
As for quick replies, the last time I didn't check back for talk page edits every 5 minutes or so, I got unjustly blocked... so I try to. --Gwern (contribs) 03:57 14 February 2007 (GMT)

Gwern, earlier today you broke another imagemap (on 50000 Quaoar) with your semi-automated "Robot: Removing selflinks" edit. I fixed it, but please be more careful. — RP88 04:39, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Regarding inu-afrmaps (under "You can help")[edit]

I'm nearly finished with the wget (it took about 72 hours!), but I wanted to clarify what exactly I'm supposed to do with the files. If I run "convert *.tif *.png", my computer just reads all the TIFFs and craps out one massive concatenated PNG. Is this what is intended? I would think that you'd want each file converted separately.

Also, what does "py *.png" do? I'm eager to help you out here, but I'd like to know in advance if it's expected to tie up my processor or something. --Burpen 19:19, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Someone's actually doing that? That wasn't actually supposed to be executable, but just a handy mnemonic for me.
To explain, convert is a tool provided by ImageMagick; the convert *.tif *.png was a way to remind me to change them to a format Commons provides. You would actually run a shell script like this; look at the source code. Doesn't play well with wiki. I think this works - it's a modified version of a script I use to handle jpg. It could be shorter, certainly, but I think it's clearer this way. At least, I understand it. The py is a reference to the Pywikipediabot framework. It has scripts to upload things to Commons, but I'm not sure how exactly they work, hence the sketchiness of it. ('py' is aliased to 'python'. As I said, this was intended for personal consumption). --Gwern (contribs) 19:30 22 February 2007 (GMT)

for file in `ls|grep .tif` do if [ -a `echo $file|tr .tif .png` ] #note: -a tests whether a file exists then echo nice rm "$file" & nice rm $file; else # remove everything starting with last '.' base=`echo "$file" | sed 's/\.[^.]*$//'`; nice convert -scale 1920 "$file" "$base".png && echo $file; optipng "$base".png; #now, optimize it and save some space. Not necessary, but polite to commons fi

I see. I just took the initiative on this because I have an obscenely large hard drive capacity and a good bit of bandwidth. I'll try your code (on a test folder first, in case I muck something up) once I figure out how to get my computer to compile correctly. --Burpen 19:47, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, if you ever actually upload them all, make sure they are downsized to ~20 or 30 megs, which I think is the max for Commons, and that you also add in all the metadata. The last is particularly important. --Gwern (contribs) 19:56 22 February 2007 (GMT)


Hi yourself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cuyler91093 (talkcontribs)

? --Gwern (contribs) 08:26 24 February 2007 (GMT)
A response to this. Should have been under my account ideally. --Rich Farmbrough, 09:55 24 February 2007 (GMT).
Hmm. Well, if it has nothing to do with me... --Gwern (contribs) 19:18 24 February 2007 (GMT)

Fair use[edit]

Thanks for the fix on the FUR I put on that image of Asuka. I had stolen that rationale from another image, but your edit makes it a lot clearer. Willbyr (talk | contribs) 23:47, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Sure, no problem. I try to make that clear on all my fair use images (when I go to the bother of doing more than just template and source information) - for some things it is simply fair use or the highway. --Gwern (contribs) 01:14 26 February 2007 (GMT)


See WP:NPA and please don't restore a personal attack against me. Personal attacks don't help the project. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:18, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

No, they don't. But I am familiar with NPA, and censoring personal attacks is controversial to say the least; Yanksox's various lapses are relevant material to the Arbcom case and the DRV. If you wish it removed, you should ask Yanksox to retract it. --Gwern (contribs) 23:23 26 February 2007 (GMT)

I spoke to Yanksox (see his talk page) and he said I should strike the comment above (fantastico etc) which I did. Freak has re edited the comment in a way which I think is better. I dont wish to strike Yanksox's comment but nor do I believe I have to tolerate being called a prick on wikipedia. if someone wants to add it as evidence at the arbcom theyy can but I wont right now myself, SqueakBox 23:28, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Where did Yanksox actually say that? I can find only one edit by Yanksox to User talk:SqueakBox which did not mention the comment, and two recent edits by you to User talk:Yanksox to which Yanksox has not replied. --Gwern (contribs) 23:45 26 February 2007 (GMT)
It was in an edit summary [7]. I think this is pretty clear and I responded by striking my comment and apologizing for any offence caused so I think that indeed gave the green light to act on WP:NPA, SqueakBox 01:34, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmm... I see. I'm not entirely sure what to say to that, but I guess the ball is in Yanksox's court now, so I shall refrain from further de-censoring. --Gwern (contribs) 01:50 27 February 2007 (GMT)

Your edit to 14th Street Line[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Redirect#Don't fix links to redirects that aren't broken; thank you. --NE2 22:58, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

de re belief[edit]

Hello! I saw your question about de re belief in the Tyler Burge. I actually wrote most of the article a while back. First, my apologies for not explaining the jargon. It should get explained somewhere. The concept of de re belief should eventually have its own entry, but I'm probably not going to do it. The term "de re belief" gets used in different ways in philosophy. I'll give you one way to understand it. The "de re" part means "of the thing" in Latin. A de re belief is a belief about a thing no matter how it's described. Lois Lane believes that Superman can fly. Does she believe that Clark Kent can fly? Well, she does believe that *that man* can fly, but she does not know that that man is also Clark Kent. So, in a sense she does believe that Clark Kent can fly (because that man is Clark Kent). Of course, if you ask Lois if she believes that Clark Kent can fly, she will say No.

Here's another example. Suppose your friend Joan thinks that Helen Mirren can't act. She doesn't watch the Academy awards and doesn't know that Mirren won Best Actress. You might tell your friend Mark that Joan thinks the Best Actress of 2007 can't act. In a sense, that's true. Joan's belief is a de re belief. (Joan has no idea who won best actress.)

Anyway, that's about it. Here's link to another internet encyclopedia discussion of it: — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rldoan (talkcontribs) 09:23, 2 March 2007 (UTC).

OK. I appreciate your explanation. I hope you one day get around to writing the entry. --Gwern (contribs) 15:33 2 March 2007 (GMT)

English please[edit]

You are leaving in several articles as edit description the text "Robot automatycznie usuwa linki zwrotne". Could you please write English in the English wikipedia? −Woodstone 09:40, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

But Polish is such an elegant language! Alright then. Didn't think it mattered too much because it's obvious what it means given the diff. --Gwern (contribs) 15:32 2 March 2007 (GMT)

!!!Fuck You!!! And Then some[edit]

Welcome to Wikipedia! We welcome your help to create new content, but your recent additions (such as !!!Fuck You!!! And Then some) are considered nonsense. Please refrain from creating nonsense articles. If you want to test things out, edit the sandbox instead. Take a look at the welcome page if you would like to learn more about contributing to our encyclopedia. Retiono Virginian 19:54, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

You have been indefinitely blocked from editing due to your recent vandalism. Your account was recently used by a vandalbot to create about a dozen pages with no intention other to cause disruption. If you feel your account has been compromised, I will welcome communication only via email. Thank you. ZsinjTalk 20:02, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

First, let me point out that I've edited here for months and have thousands of good edits to my credit. I don't particularly want to argue that an indef block was excessive, but I just wanted to mention that I am hardly new to the wiki.
Second, I would rather you didn't require communication via email. I prefer to communicate publicly via talk pages; this way if anyone later asks about an indef block on my account, I can point them to the conversation with the blocking admin. I'll copy this to my talk page and I hope you will in the future contact me there.
Now to the block. While it may seem that I was vandalizing, the intent of my bot was to redirect pages to !!!Fuck You!!! and Then Some, which as surprising as it may seem, is actually a valid page on an album. I was testing a bot (you can find some out of date source code for what it is supposed to do in my userspace linked form my userpage: User:Gwern/Bot - I say out of date because it is quite buggy, and I was going to reupload after finishing testing, but it gives you an idea of what it is supposed to do) intended to generate a limited subset of possible redirects for a page, because it irritate mes beyond description when I run into a redlink which should not be a redlink. Thus, I was doing a limited test of my bot using the first 10 articles listed in enwiki-latest-all-titles-in-ns0 (obtainable from WP:DUMP), which are
I do not know whether my bot was correct. I gather from your deletion log that they were malformed? I'd appreciate it if you could confirm that the bolded text was identical to the title of the created page (if you care why, does the actual uploading, and it has a rather bizarre syntax).
Anyway, obviously I would like to be unblocked, since I think I've explained matters. --Gwern (contribs) 20:15 4 March 2007 (GMT)
Hi there! You've been unblocked since you've replied with an explanation. As you'll see here, my deletion log lists all of the redirects you created. You can also see here that you were creating these pages very quickly. Usually, bots are limited to one edit every 10-15 seconds depending on time of operation so as not to flood recent changes, as is illustrated in the image I linked. Thanks for your quick response and I apologize for my apparently hostile, but necessary actions. --ZsinjTalk 20:21, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
No, I entirely understand. It is at the very least skirting the spirit if not the wording of WP:BOT to test on one's own account, and it was suspicious looking because of the profanity and the errors - I certainly don't hold it against you. --Gwern (contribs) 20:25 4 March 2007 (GMT)
I'm glad I havn't ruffled any feathers, as I had problems with my bot when I was testing it originally too. (It also got a block...) Happy editing! ZsinjTalk 20:28, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Sure. (I think the problem may be that the documentation on sucks donkey nuts - the Pywikipedia developers do good work, but little things like documentation and usability are not their forte, so to speak). --Gwern (contribs) 20:30 4 March 2007 (GMT)

Double redirects[edit]

Are you aware that your bot is creating new double redirects? --Strangerer (Talk | Contribs) 01:47, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not entirely surprised, no. But the nice thing is, they're just double redirects - easily handled with another bot and have been for a long time. --Gwern (contribs) 01:54 5 March 2007 (GMT)
... All of which are formed incorrectly, without the space in between "#REDIRECT" and "[[]]". --Hojimachongtalk 01:50, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
So? It makes no difference to functionality; I've done it that way for literally years and it never caused any actual problems (and I think it looks better). But since you took the trouble to post about it, I've fixed it. --Gwern (contribs) 01:54 5 March 2007 (GMT)
You might want to check your contribs page. It's filled with some of your "no actual problems". Wake 02:54, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Again, so? If it's a problem, it's trivial to run a bot to fix it. Bots are there to do the boring gruntwork. It's better to do one bot run to generate redirects people will hit so people don't have to make them but have to do a second bot-run to clean up afterwards then it is to have people make them correctly in the first place. --Gwern (contribs) 03:10 5 March 2007 (GMT)

Auto summary[edit]

How do I code js or css to automatically provide an edit summary based on my edits? Darkest Hour 22:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I honestly have no idea. I'm using someone else's code. I think the following, placed on one's monobook.js, will work, but I copied it from User:Quarl, so perhaps it relies on something else in my User:Gwern/monobook.js. --Gwern (contribs) 22:17 5 March 2007 (GMT)
/* This function is used to include individual scripts from Quarl's pages in mine. */
function qinc(s) {
document.write('<scr' + 'ipt type="text/javascript" src="'
+ '' + s
+ '.js"></scr'
+ 'ipt>');

"A long time ago, in a capitalization far, far away..."[edit]

Is it really necessary to create over thirty variations on the capitalization of the phrase "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..."? Improbcat 01:58, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

To answer the general form of this question: it's relatively easy for a bot, it doesn't hurt the servers when you use dumps and an appropriate throttle on the rate, and it could be useful for a human. Why not? --Gwern (contribs) 04:30 6 March 2007 (GMT)
Now you are 500+ different spellings. What is that all about? How many different versions are enough? ww2censor 03:26, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Not to mention, why are there quotation marks around all the titles? --Delirium 03:28, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Because there were quotation marks in the original target title. When working off an alphabetical list, quotes appear very early on. --Gwern (contribs) 04:30 6 March 2007 (GMT)

Ummm. Let me try to make a more constructive comment: When someone types in "A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away" into the "go" box, it will automatically search for that text in existing articles. At MOST, you'll only need one redirect page with this title, which the search feature should be smart enough to find. Between punctuation, misremembering the phrase, capitalization, etc., there are simply too many permutations. Thanks for the good intentions, though! --RealGrouchy 03:40, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

The full set of permutations is difficult if not impossible to generate without errors programmatically, I agree. But there's nothing wrong with creating a limited obvious subset. I know I daily make redirects because I mess up capitalization when typing Surfraw commands. And even if the Go box is infallible, search and linking are not. --Gwern (contribs) 04:30 6 March 2007 (GMT)

In addition, if this is automated (as the edit summaries say), then it should really be run as a bot; see Wikipedia:Bots. That both makes sure people think such large (and hard-to-revert) changes are a good idea before they happen, and keeps them from annoying people by clogging up Recent Changes. --Delirium 04:06, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. I intended to do basic testing and then register another account and begin running from there. Unless I find a problem with the latest batch, I guess I really don't have any excuse to not actually do that. --Gwern (contribs) 04:30 6 March 2007 (GMT)
For me the issue is that it is totally unnecessary, a waste of space, effort and time (even if you were using a bot) to make some many different spellings because no users will get any benefit form all the different combination. A few words will find the appropriate article - there is no need for 500+ redirections to one main article. ww2censor 15:35, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
No. It is not "totally unnecessary", nor will "no users" benefit from this. Haven't I made myself clear on this? I was motivated to go to all the trouble of all this specifically because I daily make the exact mistakes my bot would fix - so by definition, at least one user would benefit. --Gwern (contribs) 20:31 7 March 2007 (GMT)

Yeah, I don't think these are useful either. It's not even as if we have an article on the phrase; all we have is Star Wars. Speaking of that, did you know that most of the redirects don't work, and almost all of them are double redirects?[8] Melchoir 05:32, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

OK, I know it's not exactly a posterchild - but that phrase happened to show up early in the list, is all. I don't think anyone is really complaining about the 1 or 5 redirects made for shorter names (specifically, the number of redirects made is x > (2^n)-1, where n is the number of spaces; so for single word articles, there's only 2 possible names, but MediaWiki's initial case-sensitivity means that the software implements the needed redirect, and it's less than the 2^n because of articles that have "words" starting with characters for which cases don't exist), but rather about the longer cases. It's not hard at all for me to simply stick in a limit in (as I've since done) or to fix the broken ones. As for double redirects - they are not a concern. See Special:DoubleRedirects: "It is not necessary to fix these by hand. Bots will go through the entire list periodically and fix all of the double redirects." To worry about the creation of double redirects is premature optimization. You are right to complain about the broken ones, and I am even now methodically going through and fixing them. --Gwern (contribs) 05:42 8 March 2007 (GMT)

Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents discussion[edit]

An FYI to inform you I have started up a discussion at WP:AN/I. - TexasAndroid 15:24, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Consider it noted. I'll drop in there sometime today or tomorrow (right now my focus in on the Essjay controversy, which has some flatout mistakes and major omissions in it - while I realize it's kind of rude to just tell everyone to wait for me to deign to say something, I'm prioritizing here, and there's no major hurry here as long as I'm not actually running the bot or making a bot request or anything). --Gwern (contribs) 20:29 7 March 2007 (GMT)
You might find it useful to comment sooner than later, since if a bunch of admins go around deleting these by hand, and you later propose a 'bot task to (re)create around (let's say) about ten million of these, you may find the ship has to some considerable extent sailed. (In the interests of full disclosure, I should state that I'm fairly firmly in the "far more trouble than it's possibly ever worth" camp.) Alai 23:50, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Resumption of bot edits[edit]

You appear to have resumed automated edits under your (unflagged) main account, at up to 15 edits per minute. I'm assuming you're just fixing redirects from the first batch, but I think you should desist from doing anything in this area until you've established a consensus for adding these redirects, and made a bot-task-approval request. Alai 03:41, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

No, actually that was just me. Tabbed browsers, y'know. Work through a bunch of pages, close'em, work through another batch. Tedious, but I was the one who messed up the redirects, so... --Gwern (contribs) 04:44 8 March 2007 (GMT)
OK, fair enough. That's a lot of tabs, though! Alai 04:52, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I am grateful I have enough memory to run Firefox with ~80 tabs, yes. :) --Gwern (contribs) 04:54 8 March 2007 (GMT)
I do so hate it when FF decides to allocate itself 1.3G of memory, and I discover this only when I try to hibernate and fail (though sometimes the loud grinding noises gives the game away). Alai 05:05, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah. Ironically, I think that because I'm limited to 512M physical, it actually is forced to not overcommit, so I can hibernate fine. --Gwern (contribs) 05:08 8 March 2007 (GMT)
Could you please never again make so many pointless redirects and other useless edits. — Centrxtalk • 05:50, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Also, just stop redirecting, because they are being deleted. — Centrxtalk • 05:51, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I've said I'll clean them up, and I damn well intend to clean them up, regardless of whether they are being deleted. --Gwern (contribs) 05:52 8 March 2007 (GMT)
Deleting them is cleaning them up. Re-creating them after they have been deleted is just creating more mess. — Centrxtalk • 05:53, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Pardon me? Which ones have I recreated? --Gwern (contribs) 05:58 8 March 2007 (GMT)

Just stop, or you will be blocked from editing. — Centrxtalk • 05:59, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

For what reason? I am not running a bot right now, so that is not a block reason. Further, I'm looking over WP:CSD, and I don't see any criteria that could cover deleting the redirects. They don't fall under 1-4 (4 doesn't apply because your deletions were not through an *fD; 5 & 7-12 obviously don't apply; 6 doesn't apply because deleting redirects just because one doesn't like how they were made is not a listed non-controversial maintenance task; none of the Article CSDs apply; Redirects 1 & 2 don't apply, and 3 doesn't apply because a capitalization mistake is not an implausible mistake; the other sections cover different namespaces; and finally, none of the "non-criteria" apply either. So what basis do you have for your deletions or your block threat? --Gwern (contribs) 06:06 8 March 2007 (GMT)
Are you joking? — Centrxtalk • 06:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Let's see, I'm the vulnerable one on the totem pole here who is being threatened with a ban and deletion of all my works, I'm citing policy and so forth to the threatening admin who has not justified any of the threats yet, who curtly replies to my lengthy replies... I would ask if you were joking with your comment since I thought I was manifestly serious, but that could be quoted out of context as being uncivil or a personal attack, so I shall refrain.
I'll reiterate. I know of nothing in any policy page that says that if I want to waste my time and energy fixing redirects before some admin comes along and deletes them, I should be banned. I know of nothing in the relevant policy pages (per my analysis of the CSDs above) which says that such redirects should be deleted. I'll wait for a reply, and if you don't say something more satisfactory than a bare threat or "Are you joking?", then I'll write you off as obviously assuming bad faith of me and so pointless to discuss matters with or heed messages from and continue fixing the redirects (I figure it'll take another hour or so). Am I clear? --Gwern (contribs) 06:17 8 March 2007 (GMT)

What is the purpose of your edits? — Centrxtalk • 06:20, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Anyway, in short:

  1. Do not use a bot without a bot-approved account, and do not make mass edits while someone is asking you about them or after an administrator or other established user has told you to stop.
  2. The redirects you created are completely pointless: the MediaWiki software already handles capitalization. If you type in or link to "IsOmorPHiSm", the MediaWiki software will convey you directly to the appropriate page, "Isomorphism", without any need for a redirect. Creating such redirects merely clutters search results and is a waste of time. Now, they have all been deleted and there is no need to "fix" any of them. "Fixing" them as you have been doing creates the redirects anew, and should not be done. — Centrxtalk • 06:44, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Your own example belies your point: that's still a red link. The Go box does the right thing but links don't. --Gwern (contribs) 04:01 10 March 2007 (GMT)

Thank you for cleaning up behind me[edit]

My thanks to you and Casey Abell for cleaning up behind me in what is probably my first real effort to be bold. It has been a very curious experience to be working on such a high profile article with such a diverse group of editors, especially knowing that there would be many other experienced and knowledgeable editors keeping an eye on what was going on. I do hope that if I am completely making an idiot of myself on the Essjay controversy article, someone will be kind enough to say so.Risker 07:45, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Glad I could help if that's what I did. --Gwern (contribs) 04:33 17 March 2007 (GMT)


Please do me a huge favor dude.

I am currently in the process of testing a few different ways to get rid of the huge space gaps for the 666Satan page

I've already solved the problem with the Volume/Chapters section(here)

all I'm asking for is time and patience as i try to solve it, if you have any ideas please post on the discussion form

thank you,

-Ancientanubis 01:35, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Two easy ways to do it. First, split out chapter/book list and shrink the images to 100 or 150 px or so. Second, get rid of images. Do you realize that 1 article has 38 fair use images in it? If you read Wikipedia:Fair use, it allows limited use of fair use images. Using 38 for every article under the sun is very much not limited, and some, like the diagrams, could be replaced with Free images anyway. I didn't go in and remove wholesale as I could simply because I didn't think I should do that without explaining and I didn't feel like explaining, but now that you've contacted me... --Gwern (contribs) 01:41 12 March 2007 (GMT)
i took that article (which was nothing) and i have been reworking the entire article, currently i am in the process of not only expanding it but also possibly expand some sections(such as o-parts) onto an entirely differnt page as to be able to go into more detail
and what do you mean by "but now that you've contacted me..."
and what all i am saying is that if you look at any character page for any series, Naruto for example, they've got well over 38 fair use images on many of there pages such as jutsu lists, character lists and etc. so if you'd like i'd greatly welcome your help on expanding the article, but i plead with you to not remove things from the article as it only hurts the article instead of expanding it....Ancientanubis 01:48, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
As for Naruto, so what? Just because they do it doesn't make it right, and they at least have the excuse that it's an insanely popular anime/manga. Every fair use image makes Wikipedia more and more legally vulnerable and works against its mission of Free content. --Gwern (contribs) 01:52 12 March 2007 (GMT)
also, is it not normal for an article, on a manga for example, to start on one page and then expand as more information is added??? thats all that is really happening here is it is going to be expanded as it goes on, i just am looking for the proper amounts of information in order to be able to expand certain pages onto their own independent(in a sense) pages...Ancientanubis 01:55, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it's normal. But that doesn't affect the central issue: you have a ludicrous number of fair use images, most of which aren't even needed or Free equivalents could be used. Why on earth are two different diagrams of Sefira shown? (Image:Ligh kabbalah(666Satan).jpg and Image:Dark kabbalah(666Satan).jpg) Why is a stupid little diagram like this (Image:O-parts mechanics.jpg) included, when it could easily be explained through text, avoiding the legal liability of fair use entirely, or a conceptual equivalent easily turned out in Inkscape? Why is it necessary to have pictures of every character in Characters in O-Part Hunter and also use Image:Crew of ophan(666Satan).jpg? For that matter, why is there a cover for apparently every manga compilation? If they were being used in articles on each volume, that might make sense, but there's little there but name, date, and a picture of the cover? --Gwern (contribs) 04:39 17 March 2007 (GMT)

Paranoia RPG[edit]

Could you please explain your rationale for removing the spoiler warning from the beginning of the Secret Societies section? IMHO the section contains exactly the stuff that the players should discover in the course of the game rather than reading in advance.Punainen Nörtti 10:50, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Because there's already a gamemaster begin-spoiler not a quarter of a page above, and it wasn't closed with an endspoiler. --Gwern (contribs) 14:12 12 March 2007 (GMT)

Pelayo trinquet tag[edit]


Since you are the user who marked the Pelayo trinquet with the {{copyedit}} tag, could you please check that article and remove the tag in case it's no longer needed? Thx, --Casaforra (parlem-ne) 09:17, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

I would say not. "The Pelayo trinquet in Valencia is one of the most reputed trinquets of the Valencian pilota sport." "Despite its required elongated shape, it is actually one of the widest trinquets, which involves some challenging to players, who are used to smaller courts."? --Gwern (contribs) 17:10 18 March 2007 (GMT)


You've been approved to use VandalSniper. Please let me know if you have any problems getting it working. --Chris (talk) 01:03, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Appreciate it. I've tried it out, and it works on my Debian system, but I'm unclear how to use it (do I just go to either the Recent Changes or Watchlist tab and click on links to open them up in the browser window and review them?). Also, the preferences menu entry doesn't seem to do anything. --Gwern (contribs) 05:24 25 March 2007 (GMT)


I fixed it. Regards, -- Darkest Hour 17:17, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Excellent. --Gwern (contribs) 17:24 26 March 2007 (GMT)

Wikipedia:Newspapers and magazines request service[edit]

This page appears to be backlogged. Can you give it some care or prod someone else into doing it? - Mgm|(talk) 09:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I haven't been active because the requests there are either inappropriate, too vague, or inaccessible to me. --Gwern (contribs) 17:10 30 March 2007 (GMT)
  • Fair enough, but that still makes me wonder what happened to everyone else. If the questions are too vague, perhaps you should tell the questioner so they can be more specific. I'm not sure about the Paul Kirk page numbers, but I do have a new request that can't be any clearer. If you don't have access to the article, could you point me to someone who has? - Mgm|(talk) 09:20, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I've taken care of your new request - as a rule, newer stuff is easier to get, especially for high-profile publications. --Gwern (contribs) 15:46 2 April 2007 (GMT)

Alfred McCoy[edit]

I added the tag b/c I felt it was appropriate; if you disagree feel free to remove it.

Yours, Jill Teed 17:10, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Obviously you felt it was appropriate. I was asking for reasons though, since as the person who wrote it, I didn't think it was POV but a reasonable capsule summary of his most famous and notable research (what got him a front-page article in the New York Times, for example). --Gwern (contribs) 17:15 31 March 2007 (GMT)
My apologies; it just seemed like editorialized info; I guess the reason for that has just been explained. Sorry.Jill Teed 17:20, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
If you're now convinced it's kosher, then I'd appreciate it if you'd remove the tag. --Gwern (contribs) 17:53 31 March 2007 (GMT)

Re:Update request[edit]

Thank you for your kind words; it's always a great pleasure to know somebody reads my work and likes it :) Two notes: 1) I am constantly researching Wikipedia with various projects - you may want to check WP:RW and WP:ACST for some of my recent projects (i.e. updating those pages). I will gladly update my essay with more serious study, but that will have to wait a month or two - I am now finishing a master thesis on Wikipedia :) 2) I don't know how can anybody propose and support 'that article creation in general just be disabled for a while'; this is a completely crazy crackpot idea and I don't think it would gain any serious support (April's Fool Day's idea, perhaps? Deserves WP:BJAODN entry, if I am any judge...). -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  05:00, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

That's quite cool; I wish I could somehow fold all the time I spend on Wikipedia into a thesis! I don't mind waiting.
But as far as I can tell, it's an utterly serious proposal, and appeared well before April 1st; see Snowspinner's initial email. --Gwern (contribs) 05:23 4 April 2007 (GMT)
Wow, that's crazy talk :) I don't see anything spilling to the WP:VP so far, and I'd rather expect the proverbial hell to freeze before this gets support of the community. Seriously, I haven't heard of such a completely insane and idiotic idea in a loooong time - and you may quote me on that :) PS. Of course I am sure that poster was WP:AGF - but to quote another proverb, we all know what hell is paved with, don't we? :) -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  05:29, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Spend too long on Wikipedia as a Metapedian, it's easy to lose perspective. --Gwern (contribs) 23:21 23 April 2007 (GMT)

Evangelion characters article[edit]

Gwern, since you're one of the most active editors to the various Eva-related articles, I thought I'd contact you directly about this issue. Do you agree with the action that I propose? Please get back to me. --Willbyr (talk | contribs) 04:46, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I've replied there. --Gwern (contribs) 16:24 18 April 2007 (GMT)
Thanks for your input. -Willbyr (talk | contribs) 16:45, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
No problem. --Gwern (contribs) 23:21 23 April 2007 (GMT)

Seigenthaler controversy[edit]

And yet, we have a description of the edits at Seigenthaler controversy. I think Brandt may have a point. We can't protect article subjects from random editors, and we can't protect random editors from article subjects. I'm beginning to suspect that we will eventually have to restrict who can edit biographies and other controversial subjects. Not yet, I think. But I can imagine it happening. Regards, Ben Aveling 04:57, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, of course there's a description. Everyone and their pet hamster knows what the edit said. But it's no longer there in the database (this not being a problem for referencing purposes as essentially every article on the incident gave the same summary of the edit). --Gwern (contribs) 05:30 21 April 2007 (GMT)
Not disagreeing. Just pointing out the pointlessness of oversighting it. It niggles me somewhat, oversight is supposed to be used for things that are harmful by being true, not for things that are harmless for being false. It does make me think that, if we are so worried, we should be doing more to stop falsehoods being entered, and yes, I know there are costs to doing so. Either that, or we need to put up more disclaimers that we are not to be taken seriously, because a lot of people don't seem to have gotten that message. Regards, Ben Aveling 06:03, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
No, no, the use of Oversight was just another of the kneejerk reactions to the incident, exactly like banning anonymous users from creating articles. I don't think the incident revealed anything interesting about Wikipedia or errors or falsehoods other than our response to a lot of media pressure is to cave in. Our process leads to errors, by design. --Gwern (contribs) 16:21 21 April 2007 (GMT)
And those errors get fixed and no-one gets hurt. Usually. But sometimes they do. We're a bit victim of our own success. Rightly and wrongly, people trust Wikipedia. But sometimes, rubbish does sneak in. And sometimes, people do decide to attack our contributors, only on-line threats that I've heard of, though even that can be enough to distress, and I only know what I hear. I'm talking legal and physical threats here. We're limited in our ability to prevent errors happening and while I doubt it did any real damage to Seigenthaler (apart from the suffering caused by having a more widely read column) I can imagine cases in which it could. Nor can we afford to protect all our contributors in any significant way. I don't know if the problem is bad enough that we need to act, after all, we have survived this far. But I think it is a real problem, and maybe a growing one. If so, we will have to make some kind of change eventually, and probably ones that involve some compromises at the edges. Regards, Ben Aveling 20:49, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes. I'm familiar with the many unfortunate instances that've happened. These are all caused by software, and software is the way to look. But no one said that making a Free encyclopedia would be free. That's the way the world is - desires and needs inevitably conflict, and we have the Hedgehog's dilemma. But still we must seek each other out. --Gwern (contribs) 21:46 22 April 2007 (GMT)
Software? I don't follow you. Regards, Ben Aveling 22:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I meant that code is law. The software technology of wiki got us into this situation - more software technology will get us out of it. As Asimov said in a different context, "If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them." --Gwern (contribs) 23:17 23 April 2007 (GMT)
I don't know. This feels like a people problem to me, I don't see how better software can help much? Regards, Ben Aveling 05:57, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Consider a wiki: is it not utterly vulnerable to vandals and assorted negative elements? But nevertheless, it can survive by making it as easy to restore content as it is to vandalize (or even easier). This is a software solution to people not being uniformly good. --Gwern (contribs) 15:36 25 April 2007 (GMT)
But is it a solution to people occasionally being downright bad? The physical effort to revert is minimal, once a malicious edit is detected. But detecting such edits can be difficult. Regards, Ben Aveling 22:43, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
It is, perhaps, not as difficult as you might think. A lot of editors never realize how much vandalism the anti-vandalism bots caught. --Gwern (contribs) 23:16 25 April 2007 (GMT)
The sort of stuff they catch isn't the stuff that worries me. The stuff that does real damage is stuff that looks believable but is false. Regards, Ben Aveling 11:19, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Tiffany Grant Rebuild of Eva[edit]

Where exactly did Tiffany Grant say she would be enthusiastic to return as Asuka in Rebuild of Evangelion? I'd be interesting in seeing the source a lot. --Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici 20:21, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Ask Gatotsu911 (talk · contribs). He says he can source it if asked, and he doesn't seem to be a vandal... --Gwern (contribs) 23:15 23 April 2007 (GMT)

Re: Encyclopedia of the Brethren[edit]

What I was mostly trying to do was shorten the references section by not mentioning all reference details at every instance. For example, I changed all instances of "An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines: conceptions of nature and methods used for its study by the Ihwan Al-Safa, Al-Biruni, and Ibn Sina, by Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr; 1964, the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number (LCCN) 64-13430" to "Nasr (1964)" - likewise with other authors - and included it with all details in a bulleted list of major references. Other than that, I've done a little copyediting and moved a line or two around, though its nothing major. --Bluerain talk 08:04, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

I see. It looked like housekeeping, but the diffs were making it hard to tell. --Gwern (contribs) 13:43 28 April 2007 (GMT)

Eric Schmidt[edit]

Hi there. You reverted my anonymous edit of this article. I'd forgotten to log in. I reverted Jeff's edit because it was almost wholly unsourced and potentially libelous.

The one 'sourced' part ripped a quote so far out of context that it was unrecognisable from the source material (the stuff - go read the original and compare the context to what Merkey wants you to think) . As for conflict of interest, Eric Schmidt used to be Jeff Merkey's boss, and his tenure at Novell ended with some acrimonous litigation. I think Merkey actually sued Schmidt, among others, for sexual harassment, after Novell sued him for theft of trade secrets. Publication of the settlement for the lawsuit has led to more lawsuits, so it's a sticky area. --Aim Here 19:11, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

I see. I hadn't realized who Merkey was, but I'm equally unsure how much to credit your own edits: glancing through y'all's contributions and what not tells me that this is far from you two's first dispute. I guess I'll just have to keep editing as my eventualist inclusionist credentials tell me to, and we'll see what comes out in the wash. --Gwern (contribs) 19:38 5 May 2007 (GMT)
Thanks Gwern, your careful vetting of the sourced materials is much better than the page blanking from that troll account. Looks really good. Keep going. Jeffrey Vernon Merkey 19:41, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Portal2.png[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Thanks for uploading Image:Portal2.png. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in Wikipedia articles constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale.

If you have uploaded other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on those pages too. You can find a list of 'image' pages you have edited by clicking on the "my contributions" link (it is located at the very top of any Wikipedia page when you are logged in), and then selecting "Image" from the dropdown box. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you. – Riana 07:43, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

's been taken care of. --Gwern (contribs) 22:48 23 May 2007 (GMT)

Fair Use ... This is Just To Say[edit]

Dear Gwern,

Your copyvio justification for removing the whole text of the poem is unconvincing. In my edit summary I described that the entire text of this SHORT and WELL-KNOWN poem is necessary for fair criticism, comments, and scholarship to be generated (in other words, FAIR USE). Disclosure: I am a licensed attorney fluent in copyright law and I studied English literature in my undergraduate studies (therefore fluent in poetry and fair use - both issues implicated here). I know fully well what fair use does and does not allow.

Your stubborn removal of the piece merely because it is a WHOLE work completely neglects the unique poetic structure of the piece. In other words, it is not possible to give excerpts of this work. This would be akin to making an excerpt of a copyrighted haiku piece, which makes no sense. See Frank A. Pasquale III, Copyright in an Era of Information Overload: The Law and Economics of Information Overload Externalities, 60 VANDERBILT L. REV. at 28 (2006).

Lastly, I have reviewed Wikipedia's fair use policy and have to say that there is NOTHING in the policy prohibiting a user from uploading a copyrighted work in its entirety. For instance, ENTIRE copyrighted photographs may be uploaded to Wikipedia under a fair use rationale. Why? Because you cannot cut half of a photograph to make fair use "portions". Likewise, ENTIRE copyrighted short songs (under 30 seconds - i.e. the length of a full commercial) may be uploaded. Thus, ENTIRE works such as a short poem WHICH MAY ONLY BE UNDERSTOOD AS A UNITED WHOLE are eligible for the fair use exemption both under existing U.S. copyright law and under Wikipedia's fair use policy.

I respectfully ask that you cease and desist your free speech chilling activities and allow the text in.


A few points: Wikipedia is not an experiment in free speech, it's an experiment in a Free encyclopedia; not the same thing. Fair use pictures are often cropped, and as a matter of policy are supposed to be inferior to the commercial original (making it inferior is usually done by converting it to a lower-resolution not much bigger than a thumbnail). As for whether it is permissible under US law, the relevant question is whether WP policy does, which is a subset of what is allowed by US law. I do think policy addresses it: "Inclusion of brief attributed quotations of copyrighted text, used to illustrate a point, establish context, or attribute a point of view or idea is acceptable under "fair use"." But it's possible this is too strict and a descriptive policy of fair use with regard to poems, so I'm trying to start a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 46#Fair Use and short poems to get this issue addressed specifically. --Gwern (contribs) 05:33 11 May 2007 (GMT)

PGP Key[edit]

Your key is expired; do you have a new one? -- Avi 15:22, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I updated, I think. Try it out and see. --Gwern (contribs) 05:22 11 May 2007 (GMT)

Charles Carl Roberts[edit]

He murdered them, not just killed. Just because a judge hasn't official pronounced it as murder doesn't mean that it is not. What do you think it is before murderers are convicted? It is still murder, past or present. --DevoutCatholic 02:36, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Killed is more accurate, more general, and it's not an encyclopedia's place to editorialize. It's still a horrible thing he did, whether it's 'killed' or 'murdered' - isn't that obvious?
And you are trying to impose your particular view of this minor point on the page, when it's obvious you are in the minority here. Please just stop. --Gwern (contribs) 02:46 21 May 2007 (GMT)
So since I'm the minority must mean that I obviously am wrong. No, just because the majority believes it doesn't make it true. It is not my view, yes but that is not why, you are trying to get YOUR view on Wikipedia will killed over murder. What he did was murder so that's how Wikipedia should present it. Killed is more general, that is WHY I think we shouldn't use it. --[User:DevoutCatholic|DevoutCatholic]] 02:47, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
So let's see: "killed" is more accurate, more NPOV, has more consensus, doesn't carry misleading legal overtones, and I'm the one pushing my views on Wikipedia? Good grief. --Gwern (contribs) 03:04 22 May 2007 (GMT)

You are so nitpicky, for goodness sakes, it's an encyclopedia not a legal book. Murder is used in general English to mean other things other than a legal term. Killed can mean anything, killing an animal, "killing" a person, killing a plant, but you can only murder a human. Tell me, how is going into a school and shooting children not murder? DevoutCatholic 20:21, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

All living things can be killed. It's not good regardless of whether it's a human, a person, or a plant. It's still the best wording for a number of reasons I've adduced. --Gwern (contribs) 22:49 23 May 2007 (GMT)

Consider pelbas[edit]

Information icon.svg

Hello, this is a message from an automated bot. A tag has been placed on Consider pelbas, by Gestumblindi (talk · contribs), another Wikipedia user, requesting that it be speedily deleted from Wikipedia. The tag claims that it should be speedily deleted because Consider pelbas fits the criteria for speedy deletion for the following reason:

Redirect from implausible typo - criteria for speedy deletion R3

To contest the tagging and request that administrators wait before possibly deleting Consider pelbas, please affix the template {{hangon}} to the page, and put a note on its talk page. If the article has already been deleted, see the advice and instructions at WP:WMD. Feel free to contact the bot operator if you have any questions about this or any problems with this bot, bearing in mind that this bot is only informing you of the nomination for speedy deletion; it does not perform any nominations or deletions itself. --Android Mouse Bot 2 01:13, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Hi Gwern; you removed the speedy deletion nomination giving the reason: nothing implausible about it. there's a single omitted letter. I don't want to fight about such an extremely small matter ;-) - but still wish to point out that "pelbas" is in my opinion quite far away from "Phlebas" (not only is the "h" omitted but also "le" is switched to "el"), therefore I still think we don't really need such a redirect. Gestumblindi 01:42, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh. Well, I only make such redirects when I actually commit them myself, so understandably I don't feel any of them are implausible! But as you say, it is a minor matter. --Gwern (contribs) 02:27 23 May 2007 (GMT)

Orphaned non-free image (Image:Nervlogo.png)[edit]

Thanks for uploading Image:Nervlogo.png. The image description page currently specifies that the image is non-free and may only be used on Wikipedia under a claim of fair use. However, the image is currently orphaned, meaning that it is not used in any articles on Wikipedia. If the image was previously in an article, please go to the article and see why it was removed. You may add it back if you think that that will be useful. However, please note that images for which a replacement could be created are not acceptable for use on Wikipedia (see our policy for non-free media).

If you have uploaded other unlicensed media, please check whether they're used in any articles or not. You can find a list of 'image' pages you have edited by clicking on the "my contributions" link (it is located at the very top of any Wikipedia page when you are logged in), and then selecting "Image" from the dropdown box. Note that any non-free images not used in any articles will be deleted after seven days, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. Thank you. Aksibot 20:58, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough. It was kind of redundant anyway. --Gwern (contribs) 17:02 6 June 2007 (GMT)

Link rot[edit]

We should somehow preserve external links; when one references another internal link, one doesn't need to worry too much about "link rot" or the infamous "404 error"

There is also WebCite, which would be more appropriate if it created the mirrors with just a link. — Omegatron 19:57, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Bot_requests/Archive_8#WebCite_.28External_Link_Archiving.29_BotOmegatron 20:01, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
A good idea. I've updated my subpage, and I think maybe I'll do such a bot as my next programming project. Can't be much harder than my first bot. --Gwern (contribs) 17:23 6 June 2007 (GMT)

So this bot is telling WebCite to archive all of Wikipedia's external links? But it doesn't actually create links from Wikipedia to that archived page?

If you haven't noticed, User:Eysen is apparently involved with WebCite. — Omegatron 02:29, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Right. Didn't know about Eysen; probably won't tell him - as the developer, he might not look fondly on hundreds of requests an hour or whatever. --Gwern (contribs) 13:11 4 August 2007 (GMT)

Image:Xwd-117669816113756.png listed for deletion[edit]

An image or media file that you uploaded or altered, Image:Xwd-117669816113756.png, has been listed at Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion. Please see the discussion to see why this is (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry), if you are interested in it not being deleted. Thank you. User:Gay Cdn (talk) (Contr) 18:24, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Commented. --Gwern (contribs) 17:02 6 June 2007 (GMT)

A new Genesis[edit]

Gwern, will you join us in creating a new Genesis for Mankind? --Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici 23:42, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

If an editor wants to give her edits to other hedgehogs, the closer she approaches, the more they injure each other. It's the same with some organizations. Because she is frightened by the vandals in her articles, she now seems so cowardly. --Gwern (contribs) 16:57 6 June 2007 (GMT)

Please don't clean up talk pages[edit]

Edit like this one [9] that just "clean up the source" should be avoided. They result in diffs that nobody can read but don't benefit anyone who isn't reading diffs. In general, you should avoid editing others' comments on talk pages altogether. —  Carl (CBM · talk) 20:38, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

That wasn't just a cleanup of the source. You probably didn't notice that some section headers were completely broken because of some stray characters. --Gwern (contribs) 22:05 15 June 2007 (GMT)
I'm willing to accept your claim that you've been doing this for a long time, but it does make diffs that are unreadable. I checked the section links in the previous version and they appear to function correctly. I used a real diff program to look at the changes - your edit consisted of removing whitespace from section titles, adding whitespace to another user's signature, adding whitespace between list creation characters (*, #) and the text of the list, and replacing an underscore with a space in a link. —  Carl (CBM · talk) 22:25, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Diff programs aren't perfect - the relevant portion of the edit was the change to the 'ööö== Skeptical Scientist's edit of History section ==' section. All the rest was just a byblow, done just because I was already editing it. --Gwern (contribs) 23:05 16 June 2007 (GMT)


Done: Image:GerberMultiToolClosed.jpg, Image:GerberMultitoolPliers.jpg, Image:GerberMultitoolOpen.jpg. I'll leave you to put them into the appropriate article(s). PeteVerdon 09:54, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Great. I'll move'em over to Commons and work them into some articles. --Gwern (contribs) 16:16 17 June 2007 (GMT)


I don't think you can have a copyright on public domain :). Technically impossible.--Jahilia 15:38, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Certainly not, yet that is the copyright status - it has none, or to use the fancy technical term, is 'public domain'. --Gwern (contribs) 20:08 19 June 2007 (GMT)


Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
You always seem to be in the right place at the right time.

User:Adrian/zap2.js 2007-06-22 03:18Z

Keep paying with barnstars and I'll keep being in the right place. You don't want should your pages get vandalized, now would youse? :) --Gwern (contribs) 13:27 22 June 2007 (GMT)


Hi, please take some time to review the MONGO ArbCom case, particularly the Principles. Fred Bauder subsequently clarified that WR counted as an attack site (unnecessary to make the clarification, really, since the ArbCom had already mentioned sites that engage in the practice of trying to violate the anonymity of editors). Links to such sites may not be added. They may be removed without regard to 3RR. And editors who persist in posting them may be blocked. Thanks. ElinorD (talk) 18:28, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

I've reviewed it, the clarification on the talk page, and discussed it on #wikipedia with a few people who knew more than me. I don't believe that principle applies in this case.
The case was about links in userspace and talk pages to ED; you mention Bauder but he also wrote that the context mattered.
Further, Arbcom does not make policy! That has been true ever since it was founded by Wales: Arbcom does not make policy. And in this case, I see you, on the basis of an inapplicable principle by a body which is explicitly forbidden from making policy, controverting actual guidelines and policies like WP:RS and Wikipedia:Verifiability; as such, I intend to revert your edits. --Gwern (contribs) 19:06 24 June 2007 (GMT)
You don't need to agree with the ruling; you just need to respect it. Outing of Wikipedians is already forbidden by policy. WR is not a verifiable, reliable source. If the only source for something is WR, then the piece of information sourced cannot be essential for the encyclopaedia. Recently, we had an editor (now banned) who ran a little "newspaper" website which was not recognised as being reputable and reliable and verifiable. He wanted to add links to it to the Terri Schiavo article. He was resisted, and told to find reputable sources instead. He claimed that on one occasion, he was the only "journalist" present at a court hearing, so his link was essential. The answer to that was that if a particular piece of information (which might well be true) had not been covered by any reputable reporter, then we could do without that piece of information. The same thing applies here. As for the ArbCom not making policy, the ArbCom generally makes rulings based on what administrators and respected editors are already doing. If the ArbCom rules that editors can be blocked for making a fourth revert just outside of the twenty-four hour period, you can disagree all you like, but you may still be blocked. This is just to clarify. ElinorD (talk) 20:59, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Never said I disagreed with the ruling. What I said was I disagreed with your application of the ruling in this particular case to remove references. I fully agree that users should not be making personal attacks, and that users should not be able to circumvent it by linking to another site where they do make such attacks, and I agree with the principle to that effect - but that is a far cry from saying that when encyclopedic things happen on a site which also happens to make personal attacks, one simply cannot link to anything on that site, that everything is tainted by the personal attacks. Now, I've taken care to link only to the relevant postings (which don't have any personal attacks), taken care to make sure we don't have to worry about them changing by getting them archived and providing links to the archived versions, taken care to only use them in clearly encyclopedic contexts and usage and only in actual articles. None of that goes against the spirit of the ruling, which if you'll recall was in the context of userspace links attacking MONGO, and nothing at all about encyclopedic uses. In fact, looking over the Arbcom case and clarification, no one seems to even address the possibility that there could be a non-discussion related use for links to attack sites (and Newyorkbrad tells me that the person who wrote the principle certainly never considered the possibility).
You say that Arbcom doesn't make policy but reflects practice. Where have admins and 'respected editors' removed encyclopedic links being used as references? Where has that been widely done? Because all I see are removals in Talk: and userspace, nothing in the main namespace.
As for your newspaper anecdote, it is irrelevant. The thing being referenced here is not somebody reporting on the outside world. It's someone's posting about themself. In the same way that if a Special: page on Wikipedia says Wikipedia has 2 million articles it is a reliable source for that statistic (despite Wikipedia not being a reliable source). Unless you are going to suggest that thread was completely made up after the fact, or that it isn't actually Daniel Brandt and company posting there? --Gwern (contribs) 21:24 24 June 2007 (GMT)
Gwern, if you persist in posting links to attack sites, you will be blocked. Crum375 22:00, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
A bit of a double act here (User_talk:KamrynMatika#A_message_about_links). I don't know what you can do when admins go around in gangs. Hi ho. - Nigosh 01:01, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
You might find this essay interesting. *Dan T.* 01:08, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Plotline of Neon Genesis Evangelion[edit]

I have userfied the article at User:Gwern/Plotline of Neon Genesis Evangelion. I am contacting you now because you had shown interest in a merge, and you may be interested in working on that.-Andrew c [talk] 02:59, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Alright. Appreciate the userfication. As ever, no promises but I'll do the merge. Eventually. --Gwern (contribs) 04:26 7 July 2007 (GMT)


I added the duplicate warning because people had been ignoring the single one. I figured putting it twice might deter unconstructive edits. Are duplicate warnings against Wiki policy? Paul Haymon 10:32, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Against policies or guidelines? No, not really unless you count general style and the principle adumbrated on the old Meatball wiki Don't repeat yourself. I don't particularly think a duplicate warning will do much good, and it does clutter up the source awfully. --Gwern (contribs) 12:23 27 July 2007 (GMT)

I suppose. Thanks. Paul Haymon 23:11, 27 July 2007 (UTC)


What's the real deal, in your opinion, with all this hoopla over the jihad link? Criminey. --SandChigger 15:08, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I didn't want to accuse the anon to his face of this, but there's a lot of historical revisionism over the term jihad. I suspect this fellow is doing some POV-pushing; it would be consistent with his arguments thus far if he were some manner of Islamist trying to downplay the historic linking of conversion and war giving jihad (as opposed to more liberal Muslims trying to modify jihad to mean a more modernly-acceptable internal striving to submit to the will of Allah). But heck, he might really think Herbert was just trying to add some Arabic color to the novels or something entirely else for all I know. --Gwern (contribs) 21:54 28 July 2007 (GMT)
Thanks for the feedback. I figured it was something like that, given the "enthusiasm" displayed. Ah well. --SandChigger 09:32, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Re: Sense and Sensibility[edit]

I can see your point, but as I posted here, it's hard to tell exactly what is going on in the could either be a genuine memory of Kyoko's, or it could be a hallucination created by her insanity. It's just not clear...maybe that part of her entry should be stricken since what I posted is really a "best guess". Willbyr (talk | contribs) 04:30, 29 July 2007 (UTC)