User talk:J. Johnson

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Canonical IPCC citations.[edit]

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Hello. I have just read through the discussion at the CS1 talk page and I must say I've become very confused. If I were to cite sources such as or Official Charts Company for example which are websites that should not be in italics, would I be correct in placing them in the publisher parameter instead of the website to omit the italics? Or is this wrong? Or is there another way to go about this! I was recently told while reviewing Talk:Photograph (Ed Sheeran song)/GA1 that replacing "website" with "publisher" to omit italics contaminates metadata. I'm so confused. Please could you clarify. Thanks. CoolMarc 04:41, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

I sympathize with your confusion, will try to clarify. What you were told at the GA discussion is that markup characters – such as the doubled single-quotes we use to force italicization – contaminate the metadata. As to the use of the |website= parameter in citations: that parameter is (at least currently!) an alias for 'work='. Where the nature of a website and its contents are such that it is a "work" (i.e., a collection of items by different authors published together, such as an encyclopedia, or a newspaper, and generally involving some kind of editorial oversight), then, by standard bibliographic practice, the title of the work should be italicized. Which |website= does. The problem is that many editors interpret "website" as suitable for the names of the websites, even where they are not "works". This is generally the case with blogs or such where the individual contributions are not presented as an integrated "work". (A significant indicator is that they lack editors and editorial oversight.) In such cases the "website" is usually only a publisher, the name of which is not italicized, and for which |publisher= is appropriate. Does that help? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:49, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes! That helps so much. Thank you. CoolMarc 04:49, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Hi. Please excuse me for butting in. A link to this discussion was provided in the GAN review page. First, thanks J. Johnson for clarifying that I was referring to the mark ups being the contaminant. Speaking of which, will it not "contaminate" the metadata if I were to put MTV News under publisher?
For someone like me who knows little about the difference between "work" and "publisher"" (but thanks for the clarifications made above), I would put MTV News under work and Viacom under publisher (which is the parent company). Correct me if I'm wrong. --Efe (talk) 15:11, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
No problem. "Contamination" usually refers to the presence of characters not appropriate for the context, such as formatting codes where a straight data value is expected. On the other hand, where a datum that is valid in itself is put into the wrong parameter, that is simply an error. E.g., use of either |author= or |title= is the "metadata" that informs us whether "Tom Jones" is the name of an author or title of a famous book. Whether a given website is more properly a publisher or a work depends on its content and character. The content of MTV News lacks the unity characteristic of a "work", and its description as the news division of MTV and its history as an entity seems more like a publisher. Viacom would be the owner, and generally not included in a citation. As rough rule of thumb you might consider this: if your sensibility is that the name should not be italicized, it's probably not a "work", so don't put it into |website=. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk)

Of all the J. Johnsons in all the world[edit]

I realise there are tens of thousands (at least) of people with the first initial and surname J. Johnson, but I have to ask: were you perhaps a member of a band called Skillet in the 1990s? —GrammarFascist contribstalk 11:25, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, no. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:05, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Link to section heading[edit]

You added a link at Wikipedia talk:Citing sources#Discussion about generalizing |editor= to support other roles to the talk page section Help talk:Citation Style 1/Archive 9#contribution= rather than others=. I'm curious: when you follow that link (to the "Help talk:" page), does it show you the right section on the target page? Because it doesn't "work" for User:Aymatth2 or I (that's why Aymatth2 didn't link directly to that section). It starts at the right section, but then a collapsible table above that section gets collapsed, and I end up looking at discussion several screens lower on the page. (OTOH, if I then just click on the URL in my "location bar" and hit [Enter], it goes to the right point.) Apparently it's a browser issue. What do you see and which browser are you using? (See User talk:Aymatth2#Can't make the section link work properly for additional context.) - dcljr (talk) 06:47, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

I see the same behavior: I click on the link to that section, page initially displays with the section header at the top of the browser window, then a moment later the browser reformats and it displays text several screens lower. This isn't entirely new behavior, as I have seen it for some while. I am using Iceweasel 24.4.0 (variant of Firefox), and the Vector skin.
I don't know if there is any connection, but I also see a somewhat similar problem with highlighting in the edit window: when addition or deletion of text causes a wrapped line to be adjusted the highlighting doesn't always stay in synch with the text being highlighted. My initial suspicion for both of these problems is that Javascript miscounts something. ~ 22:50, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
I seem to recall encountering something like that (the highlighting issue—I also use that option) a few weeks ago, maybe, but I don't think it was with my browser at home (FF 31.3.0 for Linux, and Vector skin); I'm pretty sure it was when I was editing at work using either IE or Google Chrome. I chalked it up to the specific browser I was using and didn't stick around to investigate. It hasn't happened again since, AFAIR. Anyway, thanks for the reply. I guess we'll see if these things get fixed eventually… - dcljr (talk) 02:07, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, a little annoying, but not enough to put it very high on my to-do list. Let me know if you find anything. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:43, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

General merits and applicability of bundling[edit]

Yes, one editor is very interested in "who did what" more than the general merits and applicability of bundling. The same editor that called all of your comments useless. The same editor that is now saying that Wikipedia is not a publication because the editor seems to need me to be wrong. The "two of you" suggests that my actions somehow caused all those actions. Precipitated, sure. Caused? Abel (talk) 07:16, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Abel: Coming in as someone not previously involved with either of you, having no proclivities for either of you, and seeing both of you as necessary for a discussion I would like to have, I am concerned about the bickering between you two. (And on multiple articles.) I think both of you need an attitude readjustment, but here I would to help you with yours.
As to assigning any causation, or even precipitation, of this bickering (and that is what those "actions" are), that reeks of "he started it". It is NOT useful. It appears to me that you have contributed greatly to the situation, and some of your comments and views are dubious. E.g., you say that this other editor "called all of your [my] comments useless." Funny thing, I don't recall that. Even if you provided a diff of him saying that, so what? I don't take it seriously. And unless he insists on it, I am willing to let it pass. Another instance: where you say "[t]he same editor that is now saying that Wikipedia is not a publication ...", well, it does not appear that he actually said that. It's actually what you said (here). And where you continue with: "... because [emphasis added] the editor seems to need me to be wrong", you are attributing motivation (as if you can read his mind), and skirting a violation of AGF. I very much doubt that he, or anyone, needs you to be wrong. I think it would help (in several discussions) if you can get past this kind of thinking. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:37, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Oh, so this is why my ears have been burning lately… [grin] - dcljr (talk) 07:35, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
OBTW, not "multiple articles": just one article and one project page. - dcljr (talk) 07:40, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

ORCIDs in citations[edit]

Apologies for overlooking your comments on my talk page; yes I think we should start using ORCID iDs in citations. There's an icon; see Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:31, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Let's continue this at your page, you being more closely identified with this stuff. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:04, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

I put in the fixes to Alhazen using your suggestion. When the cases got complicated, I used the shorter harv to get the link to work, with handcrafted Volume, paragraph page numbers, and footnote page numbers to handle those cases. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 10:48, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Glad to be of assistance. You should probably use harv in the simple cases (that's what it's for). I'll swing by later to see how you are doing. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:19, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Re: William F. Buckley Quote[edit]

My mistake, I guess it's commonly known that WFB did say Saul Alinsky was close to an organizational genius. NapoleonX (talk) 00:20, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

@NapoleonX: It sort of sounds like you are apologizing for your edit here removing the Buckley quote, which I reverted. In your edit summary you said that the cited source (Playboy) "couldn't be the source of a WFB quote". That is rather nonsensical. Buckley certainly did interviews with Playboy, so I don't see how such a quote "couldn't be". If you doubt the accuracy of the quote the proper course is verify it with the source. If there is some problem with the source, or the citation, then there are tags to be used to bring to the problem to the attention of other editors. As to "commonly known": there is the view that WP:You don't need to cite that the sky is blue. but 1) see also WP:NOTBLUE, and 2) quotations must always be cited (see WP:V).

Why have I been singled out??? (Myth of the Flat Earth talk page)[edit]

I don't understand why my post was flagged for "soapboxing". There are many other comments on this page that discuss (rather fervently in some cases) the general topic rather than the article.Hellbound Hound 2 (talk) 04:14, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

Your comments at Talk:Myth_of_the_flat_Earth#Comment are entirely arguments on how people lacking advanced techonology could have known that the Earth is not flat. But that article is not whether they did know (or should have known) that, as we accept that they did know. The article is about a recent myth that medieval did not know this. Your arguments are irrelevant to the topic, and do not address any potential issues with the article. Note that the bulk of the current discussions are mainly about possible problems in the title of the article, not on the general topic. Note also that your comments were also stale, having gotten no response in three weeks, which also indicates a lack of relevance to the article. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:33, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

DRIBBLESOFBLUE listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]


An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect DRIBBLESOFBLUE. Since you had some involvement with the DRIBBLESOFBLUE redirect, you might want to participate in the redirect discussion if you have not already done so. -- Tavix (talk) 02:19, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. I hadn't heard about this. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk)

Your commercial code flags graphic[edit]

Hey there. I don't have access to your cited reference but I'm pretty sure that the yellow flag stood for 'Q' and not 'O'. Assuming you agree, would you pls correct and re-upload the image? Thanks, Mark. (talk) 03:07, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

I think you are right. I'll put rebuilding that image that on my to-do list, but it may be a while before I can get to it. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:42, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
Cool. Thx. (talk) 17:14, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
Okay, finally got to it. Took only six months, but I've been busy. And what's six months to a computer that, when it boots, thinks it is 1988? With key board where some of the keys no longer work. But not a problem! ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:39, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Notice of Neutral point of view noticeboard discussion[edit]

Hello, J. Johnson. This message is being sent to inform you that there currently is a discussion at Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. Noticeboard#Earthquake_prediction_-_Van_method -- Hibiscus (rouge).svg Hlektron77 (talk) 07:29, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:Authorid[edit]

Ambox warning blue.svgTemplate:Authorid has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:24, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

LDR discussion archived[edit]

Not sure you meant this to die for lack of participation. ―Mandruss  21:03, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

@Mandruss: Thanks for reminding me. I'm not sure either. That is a topic I want to discuss, but I don't know if that particular discussion should be continued, or even if this is the right time. I think there's a bunch more groundwork needed. (Like the discussion Majora and I are having.). What do you think? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:14, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
What discussion you and Majora are having? I don't see anything related in your contribs. ―Mandruss  21:29, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
See User_talk:Majora#LDR?. Note that I am not trying convert Majora to my view so much as to see why reasonable and intelligent people don't seem to see this stuff the same way I do. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:52, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
My mistake. I was looking at this page's history, not your contribs. I'm there now. ―Mandruss  23:46, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Application of NPOV to facts in an article[edit]

Thanks for your contributions to the discussion at Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard#Does NPOV apply to gun articles?. I admit that I've had difficulty understanding some of the issues and procedures concerning this issue. Aside from the veracity of the fact ("gun X used at shooting Y"), there's the question of which facts to include in an article. More broadly, there's also the issue of how to seek to form or change consensus. Two previous efforts at dispute resolution were rejected by other editors, who would not even discuss the issue outside of the talk page. That's why I posted at the noticeboard. Finally, the participants at Wikipedia:WikiProject Firearms‎ seem to be uniformly opposed to any criminal mentions in gun articles, and to exhibit ownership over gun articles, despite explicit policies that disallow ownership by Wikiprojects and that say Wikiproject "style guies" are just suggestions. Can you tell me how I could have handled the situation better? Felsic2 (talk) 22:04, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

The first problem I see is that you did not just innocently wander in and happen to see (say) what looked like a POV problem. It seems you already have a goal (to mention on gun articles any notorious uses of the gun). While having a goal is not necessarily a problem, it can be if you rank it higher than the purpose and goals of the encyclopedia. It is especially a problem when editors start interpreting the various principles and conventions through a lens of "how does this favor my goal?". Especially when they don't realize the flimsiness of their interpretations. E.g., when the editors at the project said they had consensus to not include such material, you accused them of ownership. Which is to say that no matter how many editors have hammered out an arrangement they can agree to, no matter how thorough the process or its basis of legitimacy, YOU think YOU should be able to just waltz in and do it however YOU want, with no regard for any one else. In such a case you are essentially claiming ownership for yourself. This isn't merely unacceptable, it is, ultimately, unworkable, as it leads to chaos.
Which is not to say you should not pursue this goal. But you do need to work within the established principles, norms, and conventions, and not just use them for leverage. As the project has an established consensus to not include such material you have a pretty steep challenge. You will need to change consensus, either of the editors within the project, or possibly a larger group of outside editors. This will not be easy.
If you wish to proceed my suggestion is that you first find other, similar-minded editors to work with. I would also suggest that you thoroughly explore the talk archives so you fully understand the arguments for that consensus, and why the counter-arguments did not prevail. (It's also a good way to find similiar-minded editors.) Or you might try for some alternative, perhaps something like a "list of mass shootings" which identifies the weapons used.
So I think the bottom line here is that getting what you want won't be easy, and you will have to do some research. Perhaps a lot of research. I hope that helps. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:19, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. You bring up a lot of good issues. I'll get back to you shortly (rushing now). Felsic2 (talk) 00:48, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
I've looked into the genesis of the project's prohibition on criminal use mentions. Depending on how you count, it appears that about seven editors hashed out the original language. Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Firearms/Archive_3#On_including_mentions_of_firearm.27s_usage_in_crime.2C_appearance_in_works_of_fiction.2C_trivia.2C_and_so_forth Their discussion doesn't reference policies or best practices. It appears to simply reflect the desires of the editors.
I've tried to find another project whose guidelines contain a similar prohibition. I've only found one: MILHIST has a content guideline on popular culture, which apparently inspired the firearms project to decide on what content they'd allow. Wikipedia:WikiProject_Military_history/Content_guide#Popular_culture I don't think it's within the scope of a project to decide what content is allowed in articles. They are specifically prohibited from exerting ownership, but that rule seems to be ignored.
Other research makes it appear that references to crimes are added to gun articles by many editors, and then are deleted by a much smaller number of editors. Likewise, the talk page discussions have many casual editors arguing in favor and a few dedicated editors arguing against. So I'm not sure that consensus is actually on the prohibition side. The firearms project is composed of editors who seem to be like-minded on this issue, but I believe it's a minority view overall.
Have you seen this essay I wrote? User:Felsic2/Gun_use. It compiles many of the commonly used arguments I've seen on talk pages, along with counterarguments. Do you think an essay like that has any value? Felsic2 (talk) 21:37, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Good work! That (apparently!) only one other project excludes certain material might have a bearing in this case. (I say "apparently" because I don't know how that can be determined with any certainty, and there may be other cases which might be arguably relevant. And I say "might" as there might be special circumstances for which reasonable minded people would allow an exception.)
Knowing that only seven editors (and which ones) actually hashed this out will be useful if anyone jumps and says (as I have seen) that you are going against the consensus of ten thousand Wikipedia editors. On the otherhand, you should keep in that in such cases even a thousand editors couldn't hash out something; it is invariably a small group (of about four to about twenty) of folks that do the hashing, and everyone else either doesn't care, or finds the result satisfactory without having to actually chime in. You will note that in most WP discussions it is rare to have more than a dozen or so people involved, but if they can obtain consensus that is generally binding on everyone else. That many casual editors have been rebuffed means little, as they are often uninformed as to the established conventions, etc. (Like all the people that have tried to "correct" the spelling of the Alfa flag at International Code of Signals. It doesn't matter how many people do that, the documented spelling is still Alfa.)
On a related matter: I would suggest backing off from your "ownership" idea. As I said before, your notion seems to be that YOU should be allowed to add any material YOU want, and no one else is allowed to remove it. Sorry, that is not going to fly. If there was a group of, say, twenty editors interested, dedicated, and familiar with a topic (and one might even hope, including several experts), and a smaller group of six or so editors adamantly blocked them, then there might be a question of ownership. But as a single editor you do not have any rights superior to anyone else. And you are expected to yield to the consensus of any larger group.
So one option for you is to change that project-level consensus. If you study the arguments and views of the others to the point that you fully understand their views, and why they hold to those views, you might be able to come up with an argument that persuades them. It's tedious, but sometimes it works. But! Do not start with why you think your position is so good, but why they think their position is good.
Another option would be to create a community consensus for what you want. But note that just because some casual passers-by think you have a good idea (what do they know of the topic and its history and tribulations?) doesn't count for much. What you would need is a group of people willing to take a serious look at the matter. If you just collect the votes of a flash crowd of passers-by you might find that any nominal consensus is ephemeral.
As I said before, I suggest you find some other, similar-minded editors to work with. Perhaps not too similar, as without other perspectives there is a risk of becoming extremely frustrated in not understanding why others seem unreasonable. Above all: Wikipedia first. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:19, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Utility of earthquake forecasts[edit]

Hi JJ,

In response to your question how do you respond to a forecast that (and let's assume on very certain information) there will be an M 8 earthquake within the next two years? -- the answer to that depends on who you are. If you're a public official, do you keep it secret? I would think that would be immoral: whatever death and destruction could possibly be prevented, would be entirely on your head. But if you were a public official who also owned a lot of real estate, you might want to keep it secret, at least long enough to sell all your holdings. So there is a huge real-world conflict of interest.

So if you're the government, or a private scientist for that matter, IMO the right thing to do is to make the prediction public. But then, what does society do with the information? Evacuate the entire city? Say a prayer and wait for the worst? Or, something in between? What should individuals do?

In the real world, we don't have a method that can make this sort of 100% certain forecast. But the same ethical dilemmas present themselves if it's a 50% certain forecast. In fact no forecast could ever be 100 percent certain, but most people would treat a 99% forecast as virtually certain, the same thing as a prediction.

I don't know if all of this musing has any effect on the article, other than to say that I feel that this work is very important, and the results described by the various research groups look useful to me -- even though I completely agree that there are no methods now, or on the horizon, that would meet Geller's definition of a prediction.

There's a disaster movie that dramatizes the predicament very well. The Wave (2015 film). Have you seen it? JerryRussell (talk) 04:09, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

You missed my point. And it is entirely not a matter of keeping something secret, it is about when any public official responsible for this task (never mind solipsistic gain-seeking) should give the alarm. This is regarding your earlier imputation that it is "a trivial matter to convert any prediction into a forecast, and vice versa", and particularly: "if you've got a forecast, just set a threshold of probability of an EQ above which you will issue an alarm, and you've got a prediction."
My point is that in the scenario described (and lacking any other information) there is NO threshold of probability that you can set for any useful prediction of when an alarm should be given. Any threshold is either insensitive (fails: no alarm whatsoever), or too sensitive (alarms all the time). Please study what I said before until you understand why this is so. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:17, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Hi JJ, I'm arguing that it's mathematically valid (and, possibly, useful) to issue an alarm (aka prediction) that says "An earthquake is predicted sometime in the next two years." Yes, based on that alarm, the probability of an earthquake on any given day is 1/730, which is relatively small. If you evacuated one day, and came back the next day, that prediction didn't do you much good. But if you evict all your tenants from your unreinforced concrete apartment building, and tear it down knowing its days are numbered anyhow, you just might have saved someone's life. JerryRussell (talk) 23:21, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Jerry, you are still missing the key point. But let's first clarify that alarms are NOT "aka predictions". A prediction is a foretelling of something to come, an alarm is a warning or advisory of imminent harm, with an implied or express admonition to take some kind of immediate action. A prediction that an M 8 quake was imminent would certainly be cause for alarm (generally, "sudden anxiety"), and thus an alarm (even many alarms), but such a prediction is not the alarm itself. While a definite and confident prediction of an M 2±0.5 quake "in a few days" would not warrant an alarm, the point is that there is (as said in the lede) "sufficient precision that a warning [alarm] can be issued".
So you previously asserted that it is "a trivial matter" to go between predictions and forecasts. But a warning that your building will be knocked down in two years is hardly the cause for alarm as a warning of only two days. But what about that span between two days and two years? When should the loudspeaker cars be sent out to tell people to evacuate now? My point is that forecasts lack the particularity needed to issue alarms. In this example there is no way (mathematically or otherwise) to say "tonight you should sleep in your cars". ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:46, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
JJ, your perspective is very practical. But I don't think there's any conceptual difference between an alarm that says my building is coming down in two years, vs. an alarm to evacuate tonight. Remember all the material IP202 introduced regarding the concept of long-term predictions? That concept does exist in the literature. The way you're using these words, 'short term' is the essence of 'prediction'.
When I said it is "a trivial matter to go between predictions and forecasts" I meant from a mathematical point of view. Given a forecast, you can set a "bar" and evaluate an alarm trigger. I understand that for most forecasts, a prediction derived this way would have ludicrously high Type 1 and Type 2 errors, as well as a serious lack of temporal precision. JerryRussell (talk) 04:10, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Don't you see any difference between "you have to move out TONIGHT!!" and "you have to move out sometime in the next two years"? Would it bite differently if we replace "move out" with "do an entire seismic retrofit on your building"? And added: "or else you will be shot"? Do you not understand the nature of "alarm"? Or "immediate"? Please review the passage I am highlightng above.
And sorry, 'short term' is not the essence of prediction, but only an accidental characteristic arising from next week being easier to "predict" than a week a year from now. But note that a "significantly contracted" time window doesn't have to be next week; some kinds of predictions could (conceivably) be for a particular week (or day) a year or more out.
"Serious lack of temporal precision" is exactly my main point. But you are wrong about "ludicrously high" Type 2 errors. Simply predict "no quake" through the entire period and you will have (in this example) 729 true predictions. But you will have one "miss". And that, of course, is contrary to the purpose of earthquake prediction. Now in some processes it is possible to tweak matters so can get a trade-off between the two, but in this case you have only two real alternatives: one miss, or 729 false alarms. That is the nature of forecasts. A prediction is particular enough to warrant an alarm on considerable fewer than 729 days. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 06:49, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
JJ, the ICEF report says that an alarm is defined as an assertion that one or more target ruptures will occur in a specified subdomain of space (subregion) and future time (subinterval). It doesn't specify the length of the temporal subinterval. If the example of an alarm over a two-year interval is not an alarm, what is it? And if you predict "no earthquake" during that two year period, even on 730 consecutive days, and you miss the EQ, I feel comfortable describing that as a ludicrously high Type 2 error rate. Maybe even high enough to get a seismologist convicted for manslaughter? Another important consideration is that by taking a forecast and reducing it to a prediction, important information is being dropped from the forecast. Namely, a probability estimate is being converted to a binary signal.
I agree it's conceivable that a prediction could be issued for an EQ on a particular day several years out, but no one has any practical plan for that, right? I mean, aside from astrologers and the like. JerryRussell (talk) 15:01, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't allow that any "plan" for predicting earthquakes yet proposed is "practical". But a conceviable "plan" would be: at the time of the monthly spring tide at the next inferior conjunction of Jupiter.
I don't know how you would "reduce" a forecast to a prediction (and I suspect neither do you). You can't "contract" the time of occurence window, so back to my question: when do you send out the loudspeaker trucks?
For the rest I suggest you continue reading the ICEF report. If that gets too technical refer to the definition adopted by Geller (and others) of a prediction window tight enough to justify evacuating a city. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 01:34, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
JJ, for the means of converting a forecast to a prediction, look at the ICEF report, p. 328. An earthquake prediction requires making a choice to cast, or not cast, an alarm. There are two basic approaches to this decision problem. [...] The second approach is to cast deterministic predictions based on probabilistic forecasts. If the probability of a target event during a fixed forecasting interval is P(t), the decision rule might be to cast a regional alarm for the subsequent interval whenever this time-dependent probability exceeds some threshold value P0. If the probability model is accurate, the consequence of choosing a higher or lower threshold can be evaluated in terms of the anticipated false-alarm and failure-to-predict error rates. However, if P(t) is low at all times, which is typical in forecasting large earthquakes over short periods, at least one of the prediction error rates will always be high, regardless of the decision rule. Such predictions always contain less information than the forecasts from which they were derived. Consequently, for most decision-making purposes, probabilistic forecasting provides a more complete description of prospective earthquake information than deterministic prediction.
The next paragraph after that in the ICEF report talks about long-term "predictions" extending over periods as long as several decades, and then defines an "imminent" short-term prediction as a period of a week or less.
Kossobokov and Keilis-Borok always describe M8 and MSc as prediction methods, even though the alarms typically extend over one or more years. Here's an abstract where Kossobokov is complaining that prediction methods cannot be tested because of a lack of a precise definition of a 'prediction'. 1 JerryRussell (talk) 17:09, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
I am glad we are not doing this on the article talk page, as we are getting pretty far down the rabbit hole. Also, I think you are getting "wrapped around the axle" on this. As I mentioned (a couple thousand words ago) here at "Forecasting vs. prediction":

not all literature is in agreement, and some authors use "prediction" and "forecast" synonymously. However, what these two terms cover is varied enough that to not follow the lead of most experts in distinguishing these terms at the outset leads to all kinds of muddling, such as you just referenced. And the key difference shouldn't be so hard: prediction is particular about time, location, and magnitude, while forecasting is a probabilistic estimate over some range of time (usually decades), location, and magnitude.

As to whether that was made clear enough in the lead – apparently not. You might note that the earlier version of the article to which I keep referring you had some extra text in note 3 (following the differentiation of "forecasting") that "Not all scientists distinguish "prediction" and "forecast", but it is useful, and will be observed in this article." What annoys me about your insistence on the equivalence of prediction and forecasting is (first) that I am quite aware of the arguments for that, and (second) AS I HAVE ALREADY EXPLAINED observance of this distinction is an editorial decision for trying to avoid the various kinds of muddle that you are persisting in. Yes, they can (AS I HAVE SAID) merge at the edges, and some authors do use them synonymously. While granting that there is much muddled usage, throwing all the different usages together would just befuddle our readers even more.
I almost pointed you to the very passage you have just quoted. Note especially: "at least one of the prediction error rates will always be high, regardless of the decision rule." That is exactly what I was talking about above: depending on where you set the "decision rule" (the "bar"), you get (in our example) either one miss (is that "ludicrously high"?), or 729 false alarms. So, yes, a deterministic prediction can be derived from a forecast. My POINT is that it is not useful. As in determining: When do you send out the loudspeaker cars?
Note that the passage you quote is from the section (starting on the previous page) titled "Probabilistic Forecasting and Deterministic Prediction". The ICEF gets rather technical with these terms, even loose, but they do explicitly state: "the Commission distinguishes between a prediction and a forecast ...." And so should we. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:39, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
JJ, I see you made an edit to the lede. I appreciate it: it seems clearer to me, and closer to the sources.
I suggest that we could also mention Geller's alternative definition that an earthquake prediction is "an alarm of an imminent large earthquake, with enough accuracy and reliability to take measures such as the evacuation of cities" and that ICEF defines an "imminent prediction" as "a short-term alarm with a window less than a week or so." Would you agree that this would also help the clarity?
I'm glad you like it.
Indeed, I do think something on that line would help, and have been contemplating on it. I have mind a second paragraph similar to what was there before, on the nature of the utility and effectiveness of prediction. But the lede should (largely) be the summarization of material elsewhere in the article (sort of a peek review), not for any substantial presentation of material. (That is, if something is notable enough to be mentioned in the lead, should it not have a fuller exposition in the body?) I am still assessing what all should be included, and where. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:32, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

September 2016[edit]

Information icon Hello, and welcome to Wikipedia. You appear to be repeatedly reverting or undoing other editors' contributions at 2014 Oso mudslide. Although this may seem necessary to protect your preferred version of a page, on Wikipedia this is known as "edit warring" and is usually seen as obstructing the normal editing process, as it often creates animosity between editors. Instead of reverting, please discuss the situation with the editor(s) involved and try to reach a consensus on the talk page.

If editors continue to revert to their preferred version they are likely to lose editing privileges. This isn't done to punish an editor, but to prevent the disruption caused by edit warring. In particular, editors should be aware of the three-revert rule, which says that an editor must not perform more than three reverts on a single page within a 24-hour period. Edit warring on Wikipedia is not acceptable in any amount, and violating the three-revert rule is very likely to lead to a loss of editing privileges. Thank you. VQuakr (talk) 22:46, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

  • Edit warring while you are a participant in an RfC suggests bad faith in the discussion process. Please respect the community's work to come to a consensus on this, and do not try to preempt the end of the discussion. The RfC will be closed soon enough, so what's to be gained by creating more drama? --Dennis Bratland (talk) 21:27, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
What's to be gained by the condescending warning VQaker left here? Isn't he pre-empting a result by adding the disputed text? Does this other RfC participant get a warning on his talk page? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:28, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Nobody keeps score on these warnings. They don't go down on your Permanent Record. The only point of a warning like this is if, by some eventuality, somebody wants to propose sanctions against you, nobody can say, "not sufficiently warned".

This content was added four months ago and sat there. After 4 months, you started a discussion, on September 8. One editor couldn't wait to discuss it and removed it. After a few rounds of reverts and rewrites, a semi-stable version was reached on September 9. The discussion continued, and then you decided because a week had passed the deadlock was not a deadlock. But it was, wasn't it?

An obvious solution to the deadlock was an RfC, started on September 28, and VQuakr put it back to the starting version. For some reason you thought WP:BRD was your justification for reverting again, but no. It doesn't work, does it? If somebody wants the article to stay the way it is, just reverting gets you exactly nowhere. See WP:BRD-NOT where it says in bold text: BRD is never a reason for reverting. If you know that active editors oppose what you're doing, going ahead and doing it anyway is not helpful. BRD says so right there. If you're going to cite it, read it first. The BRD essay says it is sometimes useful when the discussion has broken down. You started reverting on Day 1 on of the RfC. BRD does not justify such behavior. It says the opposite. BRD is also a mere essay, not a policy and not even a guideline so don't get carried away citing an essay. Your !vote also cited a couple other mere essays, and no policy or guideline. So you shouldn't get bent out of shape when you see others ignoring the advice of a mere essay.

The best way to put this thing behind us is to find a strong consensus, and the best way for that to happen is for a large number of people, from a broad cross section, to participate in the RfC. One way to attract participants in the RfC is to keep the controversial text out there in the article for the world to see. Hopefully readers will see the maintenance tag saying it's under discussion, and come put in their view. The policy WP:CANTFIX doesn't give us a reason to aggressively remove this text; the policy WP:PRESERVE gives us reasons why we should try to keep it. If you want the RfC to have a clear, acceptable outcome, you want the problem text to be seen by many. Limiting participation means either "no consensus" or a closing outcome with a lot of disgruntled editors. We don't want that; we want to put this to rest and move on.

If you don't like looking at warnings on your talk page, delete them. It's your talk page. If you want to see the same warning on somebody else's talk page, put one there. It's not about who has the most warnings. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 00:17, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

It's a standard notification template; what do you find "condescending" about it? VQuakr (talk) 00:23, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
It is condescending because it insinuates that I don't know what edit warring is. If someone gave you the same notification is your response going to be "oh, gee, I didn't know that, thanks warning me before I walked off a cliff"? Dennis seems to think that characterizing one of his statements as "a bit naive" is name-calling. On that low of a bar, why shouldn't I take offense at tagging that we usually give newbies?
Dennis, you said: "If you know that active editors oppose what you're doing, going ahead and doing it anyway is not helpful." I point out that when I removed the Oso material on the 17th the editors (me, Gorthian, and Winkelvi) were in favor of removing the text, and only a single editor (VQaker) opposed. It was not until the 28th that VQuakr restored that text, going against the rest of the editors. I find your comment misdirected. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:27, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
It wasn't the removal to check if the WP:SILENCE indicated consensus that was edit warring, it was the repeated removal while the content of the RfC text was under discussion. Again, it is a standard notification template and its usage is mandatory. One of the editors you mention disagreed with the removal during discussion and the other disagrees with me in all things for personal reasons, so your appeal to votecounts is even more meaningless than usual. VQuakr (talk) 06:17, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Help with a question[edit]

J. Johnson, you seem to be struggling with a question that also bothers me. I'm trying to put together a NPOVN question related to what you described as "relevant vs related". In addition to the Oso Mudslide article this seems to come up on other topics such as my recently completed RfC regarding vehicles used in crimes.[[1]] Do you have any thoughts or comments on the discussion CuriousMind01 and I have been having at my sandbox? I'm hoping we can craft a clear question and then post it at NPOVN or perhaps the village pump. Anyway, I would be interested in your thoughts. [[2]] Springee (talk) 03:11, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

I have some doubts as to my ability to help, but I'll be happy to try. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 19:56, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
What I'm interested in is another set of eyes to look over the question to make sure it's clear. Also, any examples you can think of would be helpful as well. Springee (talk) 00:12, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
I think it's not clear. I'll comment there. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:42, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Notice of Conflict of interest noticeboard discussion[edit]

Information icon This message is being sent to inform you that there is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard regarding a possible conflict of interest incident in which you may be involved. Thank you.

Hi JJ, I've opened a discussion about my COI question at COI/N. As I said there, I have no doubts about your good intentions, but I'd like to get some feedback. It's very possible that I'm in the wrong here, and if so, I'm sure the other editors will say so. JerryRussell (talk) 16:50, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

(Regarding the page that led to the COI stuff, but not the COI discussion itself) Please cut down on the exaggerated language ('gutting', etc.). The first instance was fine, but at this point you're effectively just baiting the other users. I think your positions would be better served by working with them, and that is best accomplished with a more neutral tone. I say this because, often, I agree with your position, but your comments are inflammatory enough that others begin arguing with your tone rather than discussing your content. Sometimes, I think those others should just grow a thicker skin. Or they should realize that these are internet talk pages and not official government missives, and a certain range of conversational modes is to be expected. But you often follow their divergence from polite discussion of content and pull things even further off course. I'm not saying you shouldn't comment. Just, please, try to take the high road a little more often. Elriana (talk) 00:48, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, I appreciate the comment. I think I understand what you are saying, and will consider it. I am rather "thick-skinned" (a lot of experiences), though some would say that is a necessity in dealing with certain editors. I do try to not beat up on anyone that is being nice, though some inattentive editors need the equivalent of a sharp whack on the head (or the dreaded bolded capitals!). But I am quite amazed at this super-sensitivity to certain words. The reaction seems quite disproportionate. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:58, 20 October 2016 (UTC)