User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 212

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Wikipedia, we still have a problem.

A month ago i posted this here on Jimbo's page. I was quickly summarily blocked with the patently false accusation that i had violated my topic ban, which is a bad judgment to begin with. I absolutely had not. Anyway, that's the wages of speaking about a systemic problem in the place where the problem is enacted by the majority of the people participating. Basic game theory. Beware. This is a serious problem in Wikipedia -- a hostile and distorting McCarthyism by an ideologically motivated subset of editors who have too much power. SageRad (talk) 19:04, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

So at this point it's safe to assume you just want to get indeffed? I ask because at some point the community is going to find your constant charges of McCarthyism against them to be disruptive. I'm sure you realize this. Capeo (talk) 19:13, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Absolutely not, and that very reaction is a textbook example of the very nature of the problem at Wikipedia. The totalitarian, fascist way that is completely contrary to the ideals and policies of this place. Thanks for making my point obvious with an example. It is not "the community" but a power-dominant faction of the editors here who would use those numbers to make the claim that i am disruptive for speaking about the dynamics i see here within Wikipedia from one year of editing experience. When civil but critical speech is demonized and disallowed then you have the makings of an ideological monopoly. SageRad (talk) 19:58, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
If all you want to do is criticise a dynamic or a systemic problem that you perceive to exist then there are other forums that may be far more sympathetic to your views. You are not going to achieve anything by repeatedly posting here calling people McCarthyists. Black Kite (talk) 20:05, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
I want to speak to a systemic and large-scale dynamic that i do see here, and i want to do that here. I don't seek a "sympathetic forum" but rather i seek to hold a critical dialog here where it matters, in the place that purports to be a space for civil but critical dialog. I think i am going to achieve something by holding this dialog and exposing when dialog is shut down in ways that lack integrity. SageRad (talk) 20:54, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Sage, my reply was totalitarian and fascist? So I guess I'm part of this "ideologically motivated subset of editors that have too much power" because I've agreed with the sanctions against you in the past? I didn't realize till now the power I wield around here. I think you made my point more so than yours. Capeo (talk) 20:38, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, let's see. I posted to make it known that i had posted a month ago with some critical comments about Wikipedia at large that involved a sort of ideological lockdown and too-quick-to-block-and-punish mindset, and not actually making this a good environment where it does matter, like enforcing real civility and making a good space for critical dialogs among people with differing experiences and therefore points of view. And... you threaten to indefinitely block me. Sort of reminds me of a government wherein dissent is not tolerated, at penalty of lockup or death. Now, i wasn't "disruptive" in the sense of calling any specific person a name, or being "I Don't Hear That" in attitude, or railroading, or any other form of disruptive editing. I simply posted a comment to make it known what happened last time i posted a comment and ironically, you responded with a threat to indefinitely block me for doing just that. That's what happened. Every reader here can decide what they make of that. SageRad (talk) 20:52, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
I didn't threaten to block you. I'm not an admin. I was simply predicting, from experience, where this will end up. People tire of martyr acts quickly. How you don't see that constantly claiming you're the victim of a fascist community is disruptive is beyond me. This place is mostly run by consensus and consensus has mostly been against your views. Really it's simple as that. Capeo (talk) 21:02, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
"If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table." Ravensfire (talk) 21:10, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
It's not a martyr act. It's an act of speaking truth to power. And in fact i was banned for a month from previously commenting on this. "So at this point it's safe to assume you just want to get indeffed?" sounds remarkably like a speech with an expectation of chilling effect. SageRad (talk) 21:23, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh, man, thanks for the laugh. Truth, huh? That's been the consistent source of all your issues here: your Truth. You know the Truth and the rest of us schmucks are in the dark. Save it. As if anyone who wanted to have an honest conversation about anything would open with, "So... you're a fascist. Let's talk about that." Capeo (talk) 22:24, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
OK. You perceive a problem with the community of editors, and you raise it here because you think Jimbo is unaware of it. And you can't get a fair hearing because the community is jumping down your throat. Is that a fair summation? --Pete (talk) 22:31, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
I find this troubling. It is fine to think ArbCom is wrong, but the findings of the GMO case were perfectly legitimate and a block for violating the restrictions followed by a repudiation of their validity is not a good sign.
I also think this is illuminating: "There is a continuing polarization that is causing content to be more and more polarized. It's akin to a takeover, and it is in part intentional. There is indeed a "Skeptic" movement to cause Wikipedia to move more in line with the ideology of the "Skeptic" movement, and they engage in meat-puppeting, in the form of recruiting people of their ideology to take up Wikipedia editing in order to change and maintain the changed content to move it more in line with their ideological beliefs.". No, it's not a "takeover". Wikipedia has always followed the scientific view of these things. These days I count myself as a member of the skeptical community, but that was a result of what I learned here. I was a Wikipedian before I was a skeptic, and it was Wikipedia that taught me to use a skeptical mindset. I think Wikipedia's bias towards the scientific view is probably entirely intentional and I think if it changed we would be less trusted and less trustworthy. The skeptical community supports the scientific view of a large number of things against substantial activist communities. Vaccines, climate change, alternative medicine, GMOs, evolution and so on. I am sure the reference to meatpuppetry is a nod to Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW). That project has mainly focused on writing articles on science advocates. Homeopathy believers, to name but one group, accuse GSoW of attacking Homeopathy (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) but that article has always supported the science-based view and I hope it always will.
Wikipedia is not the problem here. Wikipedia is just another venue where the fight is being played out. Look at Kevin Folta and the abusive FOI requests for release of emails which will very obviously be used for dumpster-diving, as happened with the "climategate" email theft. This is not about the age old problem of people believing that "my ignorance is as good as your knwoledge", this is a determined effort, often driven by commercial interests, to knock science off its pedestal and give parity of esteem to ideology.
It's an election year in the US and one of the candidates is a science denier. Science denial is now highly political in the US. Being pro-science is now seen as being politically liberal (and of course liberal is synonymous with Communist in some people's minds). I think this increasing politicisation of reality - or rather, the political imperative to deny realities that support unwelcome conclusions - is going to be a major problem for the project in coming years. Guy (Help!) 10:45, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
The above comment again makes my point -- there is an ideological war being waged here within Wikipedia. This is against the policies and rules of Wikipedia, and i have repeatedly been demonized as a result, not because i was guilty of violating the policies, but because i noticed and described this dynamic and therefore i became marked as an enemy to an ideological faction's dominance and therefore like an immune system they seek to eject me for speaking about the lay of the land in this regard. The whole above conversation shows the deep polarization and the rudeness with which people address those who speak to the situation, and also a desire to twist the perception of the dynamic to make it seem that anyone who speaks to it honestly is the problem and not the dynamic itself.
JzG/Guy says "Wikipedia is not the problem here. Wikipedia is just another venue where the fight is being played out." Indeed, there is a fight being played out within Wikipedia. It's become a battleground. My saying this doesn't make me guilty of "battleground behavior" in the sense of starting the fight, but just of noting the existence of the battleground mentality and the hostile war-like actions of many people.
Hey folks, there is an elephant in the room.
There is a war going on in Wikipedia, an ideological war, and it's harmful to the integrity of the encyclopedia. The encyclopedia is already highly distorted as a result of this ideological war and only getting worse. The ability to discuss content in a civil way is so diminished that there's been an exodus of genuine and good editors out of frustration, leaving the place ever more polarized and owned by less civil and more pushy editors with ideological agendas. SageRad (talk) 11:38, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
"There is a war going on in Wikipedia, an ideological war." I think you need a vacation or something. --JBL (talk) 15:43, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Why is it considered ok to constantly be rude to people when they speak their observations? Why is it considered ok in the culture of Wikipedia to be like that? I do in fact see a very clear ideological war going on here, and i speak that in seriousness. I have no need for a vacation and i'm not on here all the time or anything. I have a real life. SageRad (talk) 16:29, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
This is an ideological war. This is an online encyclopedia -- no one is getting shot at, bombed, conscripted, jailed, etc. People have disagreements, and the net effect in the real world of those disagreements coming out one way versus another is nil. Many people find that a vacation from the things that upset them is a good way of regaining perspective. --JBL (talk) 20:28, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Oddly, i have been in the middle of the Nepalese Civil War, have met Maoists in the mountains and met with the Royal Nepal Army and been in the streets on the day the King turned off the phones and internet and then shorty afterward was no longer King. And i helped the movement to depose King Gyanendra. Obviously i was using "war" as a metaphor and any normal person would get that, but the parallel is interesting because it is indeed to depose illegitimate power. Nobody, and no group of people, ought to hold power over content here in ways that are not according to the policies of Wikipedia, and yet this is the situation. There is a power play that's been brewing for some years. There are power dynamics that involve groups of people with alignments and mutual handwashings. SageRad (talk) 21:33, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
The portion of your post preceding the word "obviously" is interesting. The part you call "interesting" is completely nuts. Unplug your computer, spend a week doing something you enjoy in your spare time. When you come back, delete your watchlist and edit the article on the Nepalese Civil War instead (it could use some work). --JBL (talk) 23:01, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
No, it's not a war, it's a seige. Wikipedia is accurate about things but some people would prefer to reflect ideology rather than fact. This has always been the case to a certain extent - some of our earliest disputes were about the "bias" inherent in representing evolution as fact - but it is much more the case since Wikipedia became one of the most visited sites in the world. Wikipedia is now pretty much the most important place to get your belief stated as fact, so we have a steady stream of people coming here to "correct" our "bias" on everything from obvious bollocks liek homeopathy and morgellons to politically charged issues like climate change. Wikipedia follows the scientific consensus in matters pertaining to science. This is not harmful to the project's integrity, it is one of our defining factors. If you want a project where climate change is represented as a liberal conspiracy, or homeopathy as a valid system of medicine, or special creation as a fact of history, then Wikipedia is not that project. This is a feature, not a bug.
We're used to patiently explaining this to newbies. We expect it. However, the Wikipedia community decided a very long time ago that its patience is exhaustible, and if someone refuses not to accept an answer they don't like then sooner or later action will be taken to stop them continually asking the question. And actually if that were not the case then there genuinely would be a war. Guy (Help!) 16:53, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't think i am harming you or harassing you or being abusive to you by posting my comments here. I do see a serious ideological bias in Wikipedia and i will speak about it in dialog with others if they are genuinely in dialog with me. I will continue to speak what i see, and i will explain it in greater detail when there is time. Your comment above severely distorts what i am actually saying, twists it into a form that makes me the wrong one, but yet lacks real content. There is a difference between following scientific consensus when there is a true consensus, versus choosing one path when there are multiple open paths within solid scientific literature, and the latter is more what i am speaking about. It's not about any specific topic matter in my comments here, and the specific ones you toss out are red herrings in that regard and not at all within my wheelhouse, but there are real substantial topics in which there is ideological agenda pushing that is not in line with Wikipedia policy. I hold the space to speak to these issues. SageRad (talk) 17:42, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
But Guy's comments above go directly to the heart of your problem. The "ideological bias" you decry is simply the community's preference for sources, science and facts over claims and hand-waving. If we water down some of our core principles, we'll be no more than a mouthpiece for every crackpot blogger, conspiracy theorist, and religious crusader. Claiming that there are multiple scientific consensuses and your particular one stands with all the others, rings rather like the proponents of Intelligent Design clamouring for equal or greater time in the schoolroom. In such cases, we go by NPOV and WEIGHT, which tends to sort competing claims into a pecking order according to how much solid science is behind each theory. Sure, minority positions can sometimes be the right ones, but in that case initial skepticism will be replaced by support as the scientific method works its way through the theories, and we can reflect that here. We don't have to make any choices between competing views ourselves; we just report what is already being stated by the acknowledged masters. --Pete (talk) 18:16, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Pete, I think you might be misreprenting SageRad's point here. He is not arguing against principles such as Reliable Sources, Verifiability, etc but commenting more about the way editors and admins behave toward others, particularly with respect to civility. SageRad, I hope I am not misrepresenting your views. DrChrissy (talk) 19:02, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I definitely argue in favor of civility, but even moreso for integrity, which is a deeper form of civility than simply not calling someone names. Integrity means standing by the real and actual sources and not pushing something into an article on a weasel argument with a gang sort of political lawyering using multiple layers of power structures. There is corruption here like there is in the legal system. There is a sort of "house POV" that is "known" to carry the day, and that is not strictly in line with the principles and policies. SageRad (talk) 21:33, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
SageRad, no, I would not even think of claiming tat your comments are harming or harassing me, I am puzzled as to why you even mention it. I was addressing your comments taken entirely at face value, the purported "war" and the role of "skeptics" as you portray it. Skepticism is the default in the scientific method. The skeptical community is actually the community of science advocates.
I looked back at the disputes that sparked your original comment here: you were particularly concerned, I think, about David Tornheim, but also about GMOs generally, and I was trying to avoid discussion of that topic area for obvious reasons. I have no wish to set traps for you and I think we should avoid that subject, so feel free to suggest another area where you think skeptics have tried to skew Wikipedia content against neutrality. Guy (Help!) 20:20, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I disagree totally that scepticism is the default of science. A sceptic is defined as "a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions" - a scientist, by default, is a critical thinker. DrChrissy (talk) 20:27, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
See scientific skepticism. The core of the scientific method is that the person making a claim bears the burden of proof for that claim. The skeptical community is the science advocacy community: our influences are the likes of Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman. "The first rule of science is not to fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool". Guy (Help!) 20:46, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
When I write about animal behaviour, my default is not to doubt that evolution has been involved, but I critically question HOW it has been involved. DrChrissy (talk) 21:16, 8 September 2016 (UTC)


I love skepticism -- actual skepticism -- and i love science. I respect both in their true ideal forms. However, the so-called "Skeptic Movement" has come to defend an ideological phalanx of positions that are not genuinely the single monolithic voice of science. They've come to be used socially as an ideological weapon with certain simplistic planks of belief that are often repeated like a mantra, and have become a subculture of a very specific kind, with in-group / out-group dynamics, and meetings, conferences, and club activities. One of the "club activities" has come to be editing Wikipedia in order to "correct" the world's knowledge base. That's a serious thing because it introduces a certain ideological bias that is not truly skepticism nor evidence-based but partially based on social dynamics and swarming. SageRad (talk) 21:39, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

  • The OP here and in their earlier post directly cites the title of Rome Viharo's website and echoes much of Viharo's conspiracist hysteria about a skeptic takeover of WP (which Viharo apparently decided must be True after the community continually rejected his FRINGE-pushing nonsense about Sheldrake and Chopra) and who was a huge waste of the community's time - see SPIs on Tumbleman and AE for his pal Askahrc. Our friends at Natural News love this theme as well - see [Unreliable fringe source?] this for example]. The internetz is full of this nonsense. Nice company. Probably's Jimbo's best contribution to WP was his statement about WP:Lunatic charlatans in response to a cri de couer from the rejected woo-pushers out there, which I commend to all who are unaware of it. That is where the community stands on this stuff. There is no skeptic takeover. Jytdog (talk) 19:37, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I have no opinion on that website nor any connection to Chopra or Sheldrake, but used that phrase as a reference because it's sonorous and gets to the point. SageRad (talk) 21:33, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
You directly quoted the name of the website (twice now) and you are harping on the exact same conspiracy theory as VIharo and Natural News - that is what you are actually doing. You are brothers in arms with Viharo and the folks at Natural News; those are your actual allies, despite your protestations about loving science. We live ourselves into strange places sometimes - you have ended up out there on the fringe with all the other fringy advocates. You may not like it, but there you are. So it goes. Jytdog (talk) 22:18, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Incorrect inference of my meaning. Perhaps my fault for not being the best author of the text, but incorrect inference nonetheless, and i am the reliable source as to my meanings. I am not fringe. I am a true skeptic. I reject your attempt to pigeon-hole me, old acquaintance. I love science more than some who doth protest too loud about it. I love the good scientific content of Wikipedia greatly. I despise the bending of certain areas of Wikipedia contrary to the universe of reliable sources. SageRad (talk) 22:25, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
No, humans tend to be terribly un-self-aware. if you just watch discussions on drama boards it becomes clear as day when an editor really has no idea whatsoever how wrong they are, and everyone else sees it plain as day. It happens every day. This place is an amazing laboratory for studying human behavior. You came in here completely convinced that you possessed The Truth and you have been going on about that ever since. You have gotten no traction here -- what feels like rejection to you - because you rejected the community and its values from day one. You can - like Viharo and Natural News - blame your failure on some conspiracy - but it lies with you, and no one else. Jytdog (talk) 22:38, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh yes, the Sheldrake-Chopra axis. I had forgotten about that. Why is it that "bring better science" never seems to be an option for these people? Guy (Help!) 20:20, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Whats this? A week after coming back from a month long block SageRad is already making attacks on other editors and claiming wikipedia is biased? Oh now who could have predicted that would happen. The only systematic problem wikipedia has is that it takes too long to get rid of disruptive biased fringe/pseudoscience pushers. If anyone actually wants to spare ten mins. Google 'SageRad' and look at all the similarly named people getting into the same anti-science arguments in various places. Then think about what a waste of time it is explaining Wikipedia's preference for evidence and science based research to SageRad. Only in death does duty end (talk) 20:45, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I have made no attacks on any specific editors -- i speak to a general dynamic and you can engage with this or ignore it. I've attacked nobody at all. My preference is also for science and evidence-based research. It is in the details of how this is interpreted and applied where the bias of which i speak is introduced. My point has nothing to do with Chopra or Sheldrake and i have little knowledge of them or the Wikipedia articles about them. I have indeed brought science in the past and it's been rejected because it's not the "right" science -- despite being serious peer-reviewed articles to the very point of an aspect of an article's topic. I have seen the winds of certain biases blowing for too long to think it's a mirage in my mind and others have as well. SageRad (talk) 21:33, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Blah blah blah, everyone else is biased blah blah blah. Heard it before. Repeatedly. You dont make attacks against 'specific' editors anymore because you know you will be blocked. You just make the attacks general instead. McCarthy this, bias that, ideological blah blah blah. Find something else to do. Only in death does duty end (talk) 22:52, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
  • If there is a bias then that should be easy to verify using the scientific literature. In practice you may find a bias in Wikipedia when the subject is a hotly debated controversial subject in the scientific literature. Climate change is not such a case, because here there is no debate in the scientific realm (at least not w.r.t the talking points the skeptics are raising). But you do get problems when there is a polarized debate within the scientific community, examples are salt intake and health. But as you can see, you can then actually cite the fact that there is this rather polarized dispute going directly from a scientific paper. An accusation of being an advocate for some industry can then be directly cited from such a peer reviewed source. Bias in the medical literature? you can cite that directly from peer reviewed journals. So, when there are real problems, you can cite reliable sources to back up such accusations. Count Iblis (talk) 20:59, 8 September 2016 (UTC)


As the OP, i am going to largely jump out of this conversation now. I have made my observations, which i mean truly and from my heart, based on intense participant observation of the editing environment here, but i also have an external life that is quite vibrant right now and i must return to it without being in what seems to be a contentious dialog. I mean every word i say with the full force of my soul, and i care about Wikipedia very deeply. I do think that there is a problem that affects the world. I have described how i see it, and also see the seemingly vehement and hostile reaction to my observations (including the summary banning a month ago) as further evidence to the point, but i'm largely out of here now. I'll continue to edit on the occasional basis in generally non-controversial topics, where Wikipedia is truly doing a service to humanity, but in the ideologically contested areas, there seems to be little hope for good resolutions at this point and it's not worth the scathing to one's soul that occurs from the hostilities, a sentiment that i've heard from many an editor who has left editing topic areas due to hostility from others with agendas. Please be kind to one another. You have only this one human life. What are you doing with it? SageRad (talk) 22:12, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Everything you have done in Wikipedia shows that you care about your self-image as a passionate rebel who knows some science and Fights For Truth and Justice. You have rejected the community at almost every turn and been completely resistant to learning the spirit of how this place works. It is all about you SageRad, and your image of yourself. Jytdog (talk) 22:23, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Jytdog, i reject everything you've said above and find it to be a set of personal attacks. And i have absolutely not rejected "the community" but rather pushed very hard for a good community with integrity and civility. Your characterization of me is (1) unwelcome and off topic (speak to content not the commenter, right?) and (2) totally and absolutely off-base. Unwelcome, your projection of motivations upon me and historical mischaracterizations of me. No thanks and goodbye. SageRad (talk) 22:54, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Your pattern of behaviour is well evidenced. Lets see, one of the first things you do is show up at Talk:Michael Greger and declare its under attack by ideological agenda pushing. Oh wait, you are in a personal dispute on your own ideological grounds with the chief editor of the source thats being discussed? Oh colour me surprised. Its not like you have never shown up an article before and declare bias is it? Noooooo. Only in death does duty end (talk) 23:01, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't the home of Absolute Truth. NPOV allows us to happily include opposing viewpoints, according to their support in the wider community. And we tolerate untruths; a recurring example is the subject of a BLP diving in to correct some error in their articles, and even though they know for a fact that the birthdate, or the school, or the job is dead wrong, they can't fix it because they don't have a reliable source. This is a problem, that we promote untruths, but not as great a problem as changing our community policies to allow the sort of sources and give them enough weight that would solve the problem of a BLP having the wrong birthdate or whatever. We work as a community, and we use the policies and processes that have been found to work.
Sure, SageRad, you might see Wikipedia as having a problem, and you may be right, but you have to accept that the community of editors isn't buying your argument. Find a different way of putting it, perhaps. Find a way of changing policy, maybe. Whatever it is, you need to get the wider community on board, rather than just a few trusted friends. --Pete (talk) 22:43, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I never said anything about "Absolute Truth" and i understand the NPOV policy so well that i see the problems in regard to NPOV that i have described. I know the RS policy very well, too. I know the policies of this place and have attempted to apply them to a T and gotten gangs of hostile editors of a feather attacking me in ways that lack integrity and use straw man arguments and misrepresent sources, etc. I've been in the weeds and i speak from experience. I have seen extreme bias in BLPs and other articles, in a coherent direction that indicates beyond a reasonable doubt an ideological agenda at work. As for the community of editors, there are a few things going on. (1) Many do agree with what i say. (2) Some do agree and speak to it and then get blocked or banned as a result and are not here. (3) Some do agree but hold their words so not to be punished like others they see being punished, or from their own past experience -- "chilling effect". (4) Many leave by attrition, disgusted with the hostility and lack of integrity of this place, as i have largely done myself. I've had my share of all of the above, and i know whereof i speak. SageRad (talk) 23:05, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
You say that, but it's inevitable that it will be viewed through a filter of your history. The only people I ever seem to hear accusing Wikiepdia of lacking integrity, are people who have come here to promote an ideology, and been stopped. It's a variant on the pharma shill gambit. Guy (Help!) 11:26, 9 September 2016 (UTC)


And now, if i may take my leave free of personal attacks and misrepresentations... thank you. SageRad (talk) 23:06, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Of course you reject everything I've said. Of course. You have already gone off the cliff and now you are down there in the fringey wastelands with Rome Viharo and the folks at Natural News, railing about conspiracy theories in Wikipedia.
As I wrote above, your location out there on fringes is your own doing - that is where you have lived yourself into. The proper heading of this section is not "Wikipedia, we have a problem" it is "SageRad, you have a problem" You cannot/will not see that, and shifting blame to some shadowy skeptic conspiracy is just... well, normal human self-deception. Jytdog (talk) 23:11, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

I don't necessarily agree with SageRad as to the extent of the problem. But from what I have seen around some of these articles, there is a battleground mentality of protecting Wikipedia from "agenda pushing" fringe-theory supporting editors, which leads to problems where articles can go too far down the direction of becoming hit pieces against the subjects. It becomes easy to add negative content, but those adding positive, (or often just non-negative) material are too quickly placed in the "agenda pushing" category and their claims discounted. Often that's because they are pushing an agenda, but sometimes they still have a point. The problem is inherently cultural, but I think all we're going to need are a few more critical eyes to add to the mix. - Bilby (talk) 23:24, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes User:Bilby you pointed that out at the epic ANI on Brian Martin (social scientist) and Judith Wilyman PhD controversy where Gongwool especially went way too far on an anti-vax agenda, too harshly. I reckoned Gongwool was not long for this place and they eventually took it all the way over the top to socking and got indeffed. Folks who are too ideological on any side of an issue (or too self-absorbed and resistant to community feedback) end up hanging themselves eventually.... Jytdog (talk) 05:23, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm not thinking of Gongwool, as that was a case of someone from outside of WP bringing their fight here. My concern is that you are correct, and that established, skilled editors risk being indeffed because they fight too hard to protect WP from people with fringe agendas, and, in making that fight, they risk damaging project. This shouldn't be seen in terms of a battle, but it too often is. It is nothing unusual for us - we've had those periods when we were concerned that CSD tags were being placed too quickly because New Page Patrollers were overly focused on battling spam, or that new editors were too quickly treated as vandals. The process of trying to patrol and keep WP clean can lead to polarisation, which is rarely as bad as where we would be if we weren't following that process, but is still a problem. I'm thinking that SageRed may be wrong about the severity of the issue, but as a community we're better off acknowledging the problem. - Bilby (talk) 05:51, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
you said that well. the only answer i can see is community - folks have to tug each other back when they start going too far into that mode and folks have to remain open to hearing that. and of course, never dehumanize anybody. Jytdog (talk) 06:54, 9 September 2016 (UTC)


I refuse to continue with an endless "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" ... but i stand firm on everything i've said, and did not say anything flippantly. Readers can judge for themselves. I appreciate the sliver of actual dialogue above by Bilby, and i wish there were more genuine dialog here about the actual dynamics.

  • Do not categorize people as being "fringe" -- people are not "fringe" -- only ideas or topics are. A person making one edit or 50 edits among hundreds that you might consider "fringe" does not make that person fringe. You can speak to their edits, not the person, with that label if you choose.
  • The label "fringe" is overly reductionist and enables a form of prejudice that i've called "McCarthyist" because the parallels are striking. There are indeed loony ideas that should not be represented as reality in Wikivoice. Very true. I will argue against those as well as anyone else here. But there is mission creep (intentional or not), there is bleed-through, with the term "fringe" that is harmful and incorrect. There are topics that are partially "fringe" but partially justified, and would be better represented as such, delineating a line between the evidence-based and the far-out conjecture portions. There are topics that are solid but have a 10% "fringe-like" content aura. The painting of a whole person or some whole topics as "fringe" is quite like the labeling that was done in the McCarthyism era, which went vastly too far and was then opposed by more sane people finally and capped off. We need such a capping off now.
  • I repeat: I support reliable sources and neutral point of view policies and the fair and balanced application of those. I love those policies, and i wish they were applied fairly and truthfully.
  • I do not support agenda pushing in either direction, but rather i support balance. I see a serious imbalance in Wikipedia caused by social dynamics that have evolved over some years now. It's subtle and complex but it's real and large.

Thanks for hearing me, to those who do hear me. I appreciate genuine dialog on this. I think it's important. SageRad (talk) 11:46, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

Whenever I hear "balanced" alarm bells start ringing. On WP, particularly in the sciences, we don't "balance" minority or fringe viewpoints with the scientific consensus. Capeo (talk) 15:21, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Or as is more commonly the case when the lunatic charlatans show up, we dont 'balance' the scientific consensus by including non-notable minority, or fringe/pseudoscience. Only in death does duty end (talk) 15:36, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

@Bilby: Your words make a lot of sense and thank you for your posts. If you want an example of how severe this problem is, you only need to scroll down to the "Retirement" thread, currently at the bottom of this page. Furthermore, why would we have 2 threads on such similar topics if this problem is not widespread (rhetorical question)? DrChrissy (talk) 17:42, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

Because Jimbo's page is where people come to make their grand proclamations. Something being here in no way confers validity. Capeo (talk) 17:55, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
  • SageRad you have not owned any role in the problems you have encountered being productive in WP ("productive" = writing content that "sticks" and persuading others on a Talk page). Without that, what you are writing here has almost no credibility. Experienced editors understand that there are long term struggles in WP off all kinds - they are pretty easy to identify by reviewing the list of topics that have discretionary sanctions. CAM and PSCI are among those. People who work longterm in those fields do have some risk of getting into a battlefield mindset, as do editors who work in any of the topics that have DS.
That is entirely different from the conspiracy theory you are pushing so hard here. Which again, you share with FRINGE advocates like Rome Viharo and the folks at Natural News. And again I get it, this is a self-deceptive move that people make all the time. Since you cannot see any fault of your own in what you have experienced here, it must be some Big Bad Thing in Wikipedia that is blocking you. Some day I hope you work all that out. Maybe when you are older. I won't be responding here anymore. Work to do. Jytdog (talk) 19:41, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Or i could be correct to a significant degree, and that could be why there is such a hugely hostile allergic reaction by so many familiar editors when i speak this idea. Do not condescend to me, Jytdog. SageRad (talk) 21:01, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you could be correct. Or, you could be wrong. You seem to have a major problem accepting this possibility. I offer you a comment from Carl Sagan:

In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time someting like that happened in politics or religion.

Now here's the thing: most of the areas of contention on Wikipedia are areas where science conflicts with either politics or religion - especially if, as I do, you consider quackery cults like homeopathy to be essentially religious in character (a long discussion for another time). Climate change, evolution, GMOs, cancer quackery (e.g. laetrile, promoted by the John Birch Society), and many others, in each case the cautious conclusion of science is set against strident but false or misleading claims by ideologically motivated groups. Hell, you cans ee this playing out ont he grand stage right now in Trump v. Clinton. Trump is an ideologue for whom ideological consonance constitutes truth. He opposed the Iraq war from the outset, because that's what his internal monologue demands. No matter that he has been shown objective evidence of his early support for the war, he continues to make the claim because beauty is truth and truth, beauty and the real culprit is life itself for failing to be either beautiful or true.[1]
So yes, you could be right. Or you could be wrong, as a number of people have said you are, including ArbCom. You choose to portray their censure as illegitimate and emblematic of a lack of integrity. That's one interpretation. Another is that you might be wrong.
Sometimes people tell me that I am wrong. I don't like it. It causes cognitive dissonance. But, you know, sometimes they are right. That really sucks. Guy (Help!) 21:39, 9 September 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ [1]
I admit when i am wrong. I have many times within Wikipedia as well as in the world outside of this place. I love Carl Sagan. I love Richard Feynman. I love true skepticism. Note that in many topic areas, there are corporate interests at work that are motivated by profit and therefore introduce (quite naturally and predictably) a bias in the content created. Climate change is a perfect exampe of corporate influence distorting the science and public understanding of science. It's been well-documented at this point how ExxonMobil and the API intentionally distorted science communication as well as some science itself toward their interests. There are many other reasons for bias as well, but this is quite a notable one. I acknowledge the other things you say as well, but i do use Occam's Razor and you are not in the 99% majority in terms of your opinion even in Wikipedia, which is currently a biased sample due to attrition from people who see this bias (as we see from the "Retiring" section below and from experience). So... i see so much evidence that i am right here, and so very little that i am wrong, that Occam's razor tells me i am right, and the protests of the same people over and over, anywhere my username appears, is not sufficient evidence to convince me i am wrong. Rather, it seems to be a product of an allergic reaction these things being stated. Sort of like if the US were to elect Trump, it wouldn't make him any more "right" about most things. Majority agreement in a sample does not make something correct. SageRad (talk) 22:24, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
You like to think you do, but I do not think anybody is truly capable of doing that when their deeply-held beliefs are challenged. I have seen several instances where you have stubbornly held to provably incorrect statements. Your assertion that the sanctions against you are invalid, is deeply problematic. I can't fix this. I like you, and I think that on most subjects we'd be in violent agreemnt, but I don't think you have sufficient self-criticism. That's just a personal view, of course. Guy (Help!) 23:12, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
SageRad, I'm pretty sure the first time I ran into you was the Paleolithic Diet page. I invite you, and anyone else, to look back at archive 6. There's too much to link here but it's there for all to see. Where was your "true skepticism" there? At one point you quote a paper that goes through pains to say that every relevant field of science thinks the basis of the diet is bunk then goes on to ask the question that even if it doesn't have any scientific basis could the diet be effective for certain disorders? This paper made zero positive claims by the way. It was pointed out that there was nothing in this paper that wasn't already in the article: there is no scientific or historical basis for the diet. You proceeded to argue that the "if" in the "even if it has no historical basis" sentence implied that the paper was saying there could be a scientific or historical basis in it. It was one of the weirdest interpretations of a common English phrase that I'd ever seen. There was no way to take that sentence to suggest that the writers of the paper called into question everything they cited in every sentence before that. Yet you kept fighting for... honestly what I'm not sure. You're a smart person. You were presented with primary source anthropological and archeological findings that showed Homo Sapiens ate vastly divergent diets, some meat heavy, some starch heavy, throughout the Paleolithic Era. Not shockingly humans, as omnivores, have been shown throughout our earliest history to eat that what the living environment provides for us. Shit, we now know humans were grinding grains and making simple breads incredibly early into our existence which flies in the face of the basis of the Paleolithic Diet. Now here's the thing: there's endless evidence that the basis of the diet is utterly bullshit. The problem is in WP we can't take a bunch of papers pertaining to the feeding patterns of early humans to dispute a bullshit claim. We need a scientifically reliable source that deals directly with a fringe claim. That's one of the reasons fringe claims can get a foothold on WP, because scientists don't bother publishing papers about claims that are plainly false. All that said, you're not dumb, and I don't mean that to patronize, you have to know there is absolutely no such thing as some unified Paleolithic diet. I KNOW you know that the human diet was massively varied based on environment. So that leads to the question: what the hell were you fighting about? When someone is fighting against obvious fact then the only answer is they are fighting for ideology. Something you claim everyone else here is guilty of except for you. Capeo (talk) 02:02, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
User:SageRad I am jumping back in here, because this is the crux of it. Above you say "I admit when i am wrong. I have many times within Wikipedia". Please provide diffs where you have admitted you were wrong in WP (after you figured out the basics, like you can't just add unsourced content to WP like this). I can't remember you taking feedback well, and I have seen your editing here from day 1. What I have seen is your refusal to listen harden with time and with that, these claims of corruption and conspiracy theorizing getting more and more urgent. (cognitive dissonance getting painful, i suppose ...I betcha we could graph it with some semantic analyzer thing, with refusal to listen to feedback on one axis and claims of corruption on the other) -- I am willing to put in time to show this, if you will put in time to show what you are claiming. (we will of course both be limited in what we can bring diffs for of course....)
But do provide diffs of admitting you were wrong on significant things. Please.Jytdog (talk) 01:30, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

And another thing...

I often see skeptics making blanket statements like "homeopathy is bollocks" or calling it a "religion". These things aren't really true. Homeopathy can involve selling tap water at high prices. (I daydream of getting someone inside one of those places that sell 5000 different kinds of homeopathy medicine in 50 different levels of dilution each to see whether they really have a giant warehouse of diluted medicines, or just a faucet and a label printer) But there are a wide range of products like Zicam that are homeopathic and effective, because they are actually at low dilutions. That also means, of course, that like Zicam they may be dangerous and do long-term damage. Homeopathy is not really defined by a philosophy or a belief. It's defined by a racket, same as any other branch of medicine, where the disease is the hostage-taker and the practitioner's role is to collect the biggest possible ransom. Some people have permission from the government to do special things and they make a living out of it. Whether they're doctors doing unnecessary hysterectomies or company executives locking up generics and driving the price up 100-fold or homeopaths looking to get a nice idea out on the market without really testing it, there is a deep underlying similarity; they're all balancing a frequently weak notion of trying to do the right thing against the greater good that they have to make money. Wnt (talk) 23:10, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Wnt Damn you for pushing my buttons :-)
Yes, homeopathy is bollocks. There are three core problems with it:
1. There is no reason to suppose it should work. It is founded on the belief that "like cures like", itself drawn from Hahnemann's belief that cinchona cures malaria because when he took cinchona he got symptoms that he considered to be like those of malaria. In fact what he got was cinchonism, and an isiosyncratic form at that. Cinchona cures malaria because it contains quinine and that kills the falciparum parasite that causes malaria and for most people the symptoms of cinchonism are not really like those of malaria. There is absolutely no credible evidence that symptomatic similarity is a valid basis of treatment. That is the heart of the entire belief system of homeopathy, and it si simply wrong, and has been known to be wrong for over a hundred years. Like every other doctor of his time, Hahnemann was guessing, and again like every other doctor of hsi time, he guessed wrong.
2. There is no way it can work. No property of matter aligns with the claims of homeopathy. Hahnemann opined that there can be no amount of matter so small that it does not retain its essential character; this was disproven at the end of the 19th century. There are elements of human knowledge that are inconsistent with homeopathy, including all relevant knowledge in the fields of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology, and there are areas of knowledge wihch flat-out contradict it, including quantum physics and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the law of conservation of energy, the law of mass action and the laws of thermodynamics. The chain of proof that would be needed to make homeopathy even remotely plausible is incredibly long.
3. There is no proof it does work. All results are consistent with the null hypothesis and there is not one independently authenticated case where homeopathy has been objectively proven to have cured anybody of anything. One manufacturer was found to be failing to add the mystic ingredient at all to one in six vials: nobody noticed.
Yes, homeopathy is 100% defined by a belief. It relies for its existenceon its Scriptures, the Organon and the repertories of Kent and others. It relies for its authority on gurus such as Vithoulkas. Absolutely nothing in homeopathy rests on empirically verifiable fact, all of it comes from scriptural authority.
Consider this: in over 200 years, not one remedy has ever been withdrawn from use due to falsification. No test has ever shown a remedy does not work, to the point that it has been discarded. Every remedy Hahnemann described from 1796 onwards is still considered correct by homeopaths. The same applies tot he remedies of Kent from the 19th Century. Homeopaths disagree on whether combination or over the counter remedies can work, whether classical homeopathy is the One True Path, or whether imponderables such as "light of venus" are valid, but no objective tests exist to settle these fundamental disputes. And "truths" over 200 years old are considered - all of them, not just a few - to be core to homeopathic practice. How many medical procedures or drugs from that period, are still in current use? Can you name even one? For homeopathy, it is 100%.
So you have a field of endeavour whose adherents respond to disagreement with schism, whose authorities are human and codified in texts that are considered ineffable, and which has never once found itself to be in error. Does that sound like a religion to you? It does to me.
You know the old saw that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence? It's wrong. Sooner or later, after enough people have searched your garage for the dragon and not found it, it is fair to conclude that the dragon does not exist. Further, it is reasonable to state that absent compelling evidence no further claims of garage-based dragons will be entertained. There's no reason to suppose it should work, no way it can work, and no proof it does work. And science does't find that threatening. A question is asked: is this belief system tru? An answer is provided: No. There are prosaic explanations for all the obeserved facts. Homeopathyhs about the same status in science as phlogiston does. Guy (Help!) 23:42, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
@JzG: From your response I wonder if you read the Zicam article. The stuff is homeopathic -- it includes "zinc gluconate 1X", which is to say, a 1/10 dilution of zinc gluconate. That actually does something, some of which may be to stop a cold (there was something published to that effect) and some of which may be to destroy the sense of smell of the user. If you look at your local alternative medicine shop you'll find a bunch of products like that, for example atropine 3X (i.e. 1 to 1000) for asthma. So I mean, homeopathy can be tap water or it can be untested medicine; sometimes it is even a tested medicine being slipped through the back door. The ancient explanation for its prescriptions is a very pliable a rule of thumb. It is actually just as bad a misinformation for skeptics to say it's tap water as for its believers to say it's effective, because the skeptics give people the idea that at least homeopathy can't possibly hurt anybody, so if you happen to have some you might as well try it, ya never know. But in truth the FDA has a bunch of nasty notices about high-concentration homeopathy remedies. And in truth there still is even a chance that some of them really work. Wnt (talk) 23:50, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
You're missing a key point here. If a high level dilution works or harms it's not doing so on the basis of homeopaths claims. It's not doing so because "like cures like". It's doing so because an actual physiologically significant amount of a compound is being administered. The adage that even a broken clock is right twice a day is not a responsible use of what we know. Zicam was literally millions of times higher dissolution than what homeopaths claim works. It was also a hugely irresponsible untested claim that shooting zinc up your nose was a good idea when it had potentially harmful side effects in reality. That's because homeopaths don't actually test anything. You can't test something when the foundation as to why it should work has no basis in reality. That's why when the proper scientific method was applied to Zicam the result was, "wait, wait, wait, this not a good idea" because the actual physiological effects were examined in a laboratory setting. Homeopathy is intrinsically incapable of doing this because it's foundation is false. Capeo (talk) 00:40, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually there was "scientific evidence" for Zicam in 2000. [2] It wasn't until 2009 that the negative effects were published. [3] The patent referenced previous scientific research on zinc lozenges rather than "like cures like" nonsense. The "homeopathic" label was just one way to get it through twhe gate; it could have been another. So to get paid, the manufacturers found a belief in it. If Congress would rewrite their laws to remove the special privileges of homeopaths, the belief in the idea would instantly vanish. It's all a question of which bully is entitled to relieve you of your lunch money today; whoever he is, the minions will line up behind him. Wnt (talk) 04:26, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
You just beautifully pointed out why we don't use primary singular papers as "scientific evidence" here. And why we wait for years for scientific consensus, after many papers and reviews solidify that consensus, to move on it. You could swab your nose with gasoline when you feel symptoms of a cold coming on. That would work quite well but I wouldn't recommend it. As to the rest of your comment? It makes no sense to me. I guess I'm not bullied that easily. Capeo (talk) 05:45, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Homeopathy is legal in the US primarily because it was written into the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act by Royal S. Copeland, a True Believer and practising homeopath. There's no way any therapeutic indications would be allowed now, and the use of HPUS to evade all that tiresome business of demonstrating safety and efficacy may well have been a cynical ploy on the part of the makers. The only reason HPUS is still included in the FDA's regulations is precisely that the products are almost always diluted to the point of non-existence. If hoemopaths were routinely giving pharmacologically active doses of these materials then the FDA would have acted long ago, because there would be many more cases like Zicam. It's a delightful bit of bait and switch: homeopathy is "effective" because the FDA licenses it, but the FDA licenses it mainly because it's almost always inert. Guy (Help!) 12:39, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, it's a cynical ploy, but so is everything. Is rationing Epipen availability and banning its competitors used around the world good medicine? Everybody knows it's not, sure as Leonard Cohen. You recognize homeopathy can be more than one thing, so what's the point in denouncing it? You can't trust what you buy on the store shelf, and you can't trust the motives of the people who decide what you can't buy on the store shelf; everyone has to evaluate the science on an individual basis and with a high skepticism of even the journals and their company-sponsored publications. We shouldn't really be arguing at all, except that treating "homeopathy" like it's a thing seems so misleading to me. Wnt (talk) 14:09, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Wnt I am familiar with Zicam. It does not negate any of the points I made. The signature claims are that like cures like, with like being defined symptomatically, and that dilution and twerking confer and increase potency. Both of these doctrines are wrong. There is no credible evidence to support either, and no remotely plausible way that either could be true. A stopped clock is right twice a day, and homeopaths have quite muddled thoguht processes, so every now and then they are going to make, by accident, a product that is actually pharmacologically active. It would be extraordinary if absolutely every product they made was inert, given the immense range of substances and dilutions they use, but their claims for things like zicam, arnica and atropine as validation is an example of the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. Sure, 0.1% of the remedies they sell, ones which contain pharmacologically active doses, might have some effect, but that does not in any way validate the claim that none of a substance with no provable link to a condition, can cure that condition. It doesn't validate it because it does not even address the point.
To the best of my knowledge, zinc does not cause a runny nose, so giving zinc as a cure for a runny nose is not homeopathic. It also fails Hahnemann's test of dilution to the point where it does not cause adverse symptoms, a foundational principle of homeopathy. Hahnemann used arsenic and other toxic substances, as did the "allopathic" doctors of his day, the key difference was that he diluted it until it was at least no longer poisonous. There are indeed a few products where homeopathic dilution and twerking is used in preparation of products that are not wholly inert, the best known is arnica cream. Arnica 6X contains pharmacologically active doses of arnica plus a vanishing cream base, both of which are active ingredients. Homeopaths believe that arnica 6X cream and arnica 200C do essentially the same thing (actually they think arnica 200C is more "potent"). This is nonsense. Arnica 6X cream probably works mainly because appying it massages the affected area. Homeopaths believe that its effect is due to the "similarity" between brusing and the irritation caused by application of the plant, whch contains helenalin, but that is nonsense: if the effect of dilute arnica is due tot he presence of helenalin then it is probably due to exactly the same physiological effect that causes the irritation. In fact the evidence that the arica itself makes any difference is extremely weak. Guy (Help!) 08:52, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
homeopaths twerk? really? Jytdog (talk) 11:12, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
It works if they use the proper Hanneman approved leather shorts. -Roxy the dog™ bark 12:21, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Honestly this sounds like a "no true Scotsman" argument to me; you're staying homeopathy that isn't bogus isn't homeopathy by definition. Hahneman's dead hand doesn't define it; the regulators define it for their own purposes. Wnt (talk) 14:09, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
No, I am saying that the doctrines of homeopathy are objectively false, and the few examples of products sold as homeopathic which are not unequivocally bogus turn out not to be founded on homeopathic principles, as far as I can tell. You might as well say that just because the Russians ran ice convoys in the winter, so Jesus walking on water is plausible and it's fine to tell people to use the nearest canal as a footpath.
Again, see Texas sharpshooter fallacy. A tiny handful of homeopathic products have some effect, a minority of that handful might have an effect that is in some way related to the effect of the product at high dose, but it's basically coincidence. HPUS has hundreds of "remedies", not even homeopaths could prepare that many products without having even one that did what they claimed. But there is no credible evidence that symptomatic similarity is a valid basis of treatment, no evidence that things which cause a given symptom can cure a superficially similar symptom other than very occasionally by coincidence. There's also no evidence whatsoever that dilution and twerking confer or increase potency. So what you're left with is: a few of the things in the materia medica have some sort of effect when given in pharmacologically active doses. Well, duh. It contains arsenic and strychnine, for example, we know those have effects when given in active doses.
And the more you look into it the more evident it becomes that homeopathy is not anchored in any kind of reality. Consider succussion. Is it required? Most homeopaths say it is, some say not. Objective tests fail to show a distinction. Is shaking enough or does it have to be hit on an elastic surface? Again, tests fail to answer the question. Is the Korsakovian method valid? Some say yes, some say no, objective tests do not settle the question. Every facet of homeopathy has factions who accept it and factions who reject it, and no objective way of settling the dispute. They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong. The only area of science that has any dispute like this, that I can think of, is the debate between the Copenhagenites and the Many Worlds types - and science has an excellent explanation for what that question cannot, at present, be ojectively answered. Results of experiments to determine whether certain parts of homeopathic rituals are required seem to align very closely with what the experimenter asserted to be the truth before running the experiment. And when someone acidentally misses the ritual out (as with Nelsons missing the vial with the magic water one in six times), nobody notices.
The core of doctrine homeopathy is that something that causes a symptom, cures that symptom when it is diluted. It is stated as a law, the "law of similars", but it is not a law, it is a doctrine, and there is no evidence it is true. Guy (Help!) 16:49, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
I suppose the ongoing disagreement emerges from differences in defining homeopathy as an idea put forward centuries ago, or as a group of people who call themselves homeopaths today, or as a regulatory status for specific products. We're not using the same terms the same way and so we can't agree even though we have every reason to. Wnt (talk) 20:33, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
OK, that's worth exploring. First up: a lot of people misperceive homeopathy as a subset of herbal medicine. It is not, and as far as I can tell homeopaths, while they collude in this (or at least don't correct it when it is offered as a possible reason for their beliefs being valid), do not actually fall for this error. Homeopathy is specifically tied to the doctrines of similia and infinitesimals, without those it simply is not homeopathy. As an analogy, look at the difference between osteopathy and chiropractic in the US. Both have the same root, but one followed the path of evidence-based practice and is now functionally indistinguishable in most respects from regular medicine, whereas the other retained its belief in the non-existent chiropractic subluxation. Chiros are now undergoing schism, with some abandoning the more absurd claims of their brethren and focusing on reality-based manipulative therapy. I see no evidence of any such schism in homeopathy. No homeopath is abandoning the refuted doctrines of similia and infinitesimals, as far as I can tell.
There are three kinds of homeopath: homeopathic physicians, who have a reality-based medical education and then study homeopathy; naturopaths and others who study homeopathy in schools divorced from medical teaching; and lay homeopaths. Do they believe different things about homeopathy? I see no evidence of this. Medical homeopaths are less likely to claim they can cure cancer, but the statements of prominent individuals such as Dr. Peter Fisher include exactly the same language of woo-energy and like cures like, and a prominent homeopathic vet was on TV in the UK recently not only repeating the doctrines of homeopathy in a form Hahnemann would have readily understood, but also claiming to be able to cure cancer. The homeopathic and naturopathic schools teach straight-up Hahnemannism. Some of them even preach germ theory denial. I see no evidence of any significant subgroup of homeopathists who follow any form of reality-based view of the field. I'd be really interested to see any examples you can share.
In terms of regulation, this exists solely under grandfather clauses. I am not aware of any jurisdiction which has adopted homeopathy after previously having rejected it, on the basis of any evaluation of its objective merits. There may be some where it has been pushed through due to politics (which is also why it's covered by the Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act in the US and why it was part of the UK's National Health Service. New products arrive in the homeopathic pharmacopoeia, repertories and materia medica through so-called "provings", which are scientifically utterly risible (google "venus stella erans" for example). Having arrived in these books, there is no process for removing them. No homeopath has ever provided me with a single example of a remedy that has been removed because the proving was found to be wrong.
In short, as I said before, some homeopaths may accidentally not be wrong about some things, but the things that define them as homeopaths, and the things that define homeopathy as homeopathy, are unambiguously bullshit. If a chakrapuncturist advises you to give up smoking, that doesn't make them any less delusional. Guy (Help!) 23:28, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Or perhaps some see it as a placebo cure, and they may get patients who when visiting ordinary doctors, are more prone to suffer from the nocebo effect. Count Iblis (talk) 00:15, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Physicians indeed have few qualms against bogus therapies when they get money out of it, but my how they object to the availability of herbal remedies! If I write "ethics profit ethics profit profit", you should answer that yes, I've repeated the same word five times in a row. Wnt (talk) 17:15, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
For another example of medical ethics at work, consider this: [4] Here we see that "The Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America" has long received corporate sponsorship from Purdue Pharma (the company that made a bundle pushing Oxycontin as a non-addictive new opiate) and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Insys Therapeutics, which markets both fentanyl and a synthetic opioid, has just given half a million dollars to fight a medical marijuana initiative in Arizona. There have been a hundred people who have tried to tell me that it is a "skeptical" position to question medical marijuana or using a drug in 'non-standardized' herbal form at all, but this has nothing to do with science, it's all strictly a matter of money! Wnt (talk) 17:24, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
There is no such thing as a "placebo cure" though. The "placebo effect" is actually a combination of different effects including regression to the mean, natural course of disease, cognitive errors such as benefit finding, expectation effects and so on. It doesn't cure anything, that's pretty much the point.
Obviousy big pharma is evil, that's understood. The skeptic community started and is the main driver behind the All Trials initiative, based on pharma's most flagrant abuse of science. However, as I have pointed out to manmy quacks over the years without any credible rebuttal, problems with medicine validate homeopathy in exactly the same way that plane crashes validate magic carpets. Guy (Help!) 08:51, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

The good weak force and the bad strong force

So much in the above discussion, and so much of it sadly with so much personal attack and focusing on me as a lightning rod instead of the actual topic. I'm not responding to things like Jytdog asking me for diffs from among my 10,000 or so edits to "prove" that i've admitted when i'm wrong. I'm not required to so do, although i could if i had 5 spare hours, but i have a busy and important life outside of Wikipedia. I have admitted many times when i've been wrong on any factual, verifiable mistakes. And the misrepresentation of me by Capeo from the Paleolithic diet discussions. I most certainly welcome anyone with an open mind to go and read the archives of those talk pages. It's quite enlightening about exactly the things i'm speaking of here -- the swarming and hostile approach of people of a certain agenda (which is 100% anti-Paleolithic diet, which is a known platform of the Social Skeptic or "Skeptoid" movement [to differentiate it from actual skepticism]). Please go and read them. You will find it's not at all as Capeo says above. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SageRad (talkcontribs) 12:49, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm unaware of such a "platform" but that is your ducking of the question. All evidence says that the human diet has been extremely varied throughout our existence in direct opposition to the claims that the Paleolithic diet is based on. Do you deny this? If not then what were you fighting for? Capeo (talk) 16:23, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
It is a very common theme among most self-proclaimed "Skeptic" sources to "debunk" the Paleo diet. That to me constitutes evidence of it being a plank in a platform of a common ideological bundle. Secondly, i will not debate specifics of other topics here as it's out of scope but i continue to invite anyone to read the archives of the talk page of the Paleo diet article to address the meme-style argument in the comment above (meme-style, for it echoes a common "Skeptic" meme about the Paleo diet that is oversimplified and misrepresentative but common). Anyway, i will not be sucked into an side-lagoon of off-topic discussion. SageRad (talk) 16:40, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
I just did a quick search about the premise of the Paleo-diets. The first two that come up are National Geographic and Scientific American articles discussing how the premise is wrong. Are those "Skeptic" publications? Anyway, it was a simple question that was on topic. The premise is wrong so we must present it as so. Whether there are benefits to the modern diet is a separate question. Much like homeopathy, if a homeopath stumbles onto something that works that in no way validates the premise or logic of homeopathy. Capeo (talk) 17:24, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

The good, weak force

The beauty of Wikipedia is that it can be an accretion of human knowledge by millions of small acts of kindness by people. Every time someone corrects an article, adds to it, simplifies the language or the logic, or even corrects grammar, this is a small act of kindness. They didn't have to do it. It's a good thing to do for the world, like picking up some litter from the road. You didn't have to, but you did, and i thank you.

Millions of these acts of kindness add up to a beautiful thing -- if there is a stable environment and nobody coming through with a bulldozer. Hand shovels, maybe. A team with a gentle mission to revise an article. Fact checking, definitely. Removing suspect unsupported claims, sure thing. But... — Preceding unsigned comment added by SageRad (talkcontribs) 12:49, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

The bad, strong force

In Aleppa (so famous now thanks to recent gaffes) a family lives in a room and children are being raised... the kids draw pictures an the parents hang them on the walls. They organize their grains and spices and try to survive, life during wartime. But a single bomb can destroy all this gentle order that has built up over months or years. A single bomb can destroy all the thousands of good small actions that led to this order even within a siege.

In Wikipedia, hundreds of people and thousands of edits may lead to an article in a particular form. Some people disagree and discuss things. Sometimes they find a mutually good answer, and sometimes they compromise. Sometimes a little thing keeps flip-flopping through time. But then someone else, or a group of similar people, come in with a mission to "take down" or "debunk" the article and they "nuke" it or cut 3/4 of it, and it's been marked by a group with a particular bent and mission. This is happening here. Articles that have reached some sophistication get mowed right down to the ground. It's like a perennial garden getting bulldozed. Years of effort, small kindnesses with discernment, have gone into it. Bulldozed in a minute, all that human effort thrown to a dustbin by a force that is simply hostile to the entire topic of the article and not open to nuance. An example would be the Paleolithic diet article referenced by Capeo, of which i ask anyone to go and read the talk page archives. The page had been pretty well developed. It could have used some fact-checking and skepticism for sure, but not the nuking and 180 degree turn it received. I was trying to restore some NPOV and some nuance to it, and i used for instance a very solid review article of diets by Dr David Katz, a very well-respected nutritionist often quoted by mainstream news sources, and others there obstructed accurate representation of that source's appraisal of the Paleo diet, even my attempts to use direct representative quotes from the article. So much weaseling went on. So much misrepresentation. So much dialog of low integrity. So much personal attack and general meanness.

There is no reason for the meanness. There is no reason why the discussion should turn so often to attacking the commenter rather than addressing in good faith the subject at hand. Even this section of Jimbo's talk page shows editors-of-a-feather in personal-attack mode. 80% of the comments above focus more on attacking me than on what i was saying as a general sociological observation of Wikipedia. Attacking the messenger because you don't want the message to be said.

We need to protect the good, weak force from the bulldozer of the strong, destructive force. That's where the beauty and miracle of Wikipedia lives. It's dying in many articles where a subset of editors has taken to enforcing an agenda. SageRad (talk) 12:49, 10 September 2016 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── We've reached the point now where I strongly suspect this is all just trolling. Alexbrn (talk) 13:17, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Alexbrn's unsigned comment to which i am replying here has the edit summary "cannot be serious" -- both that and the comment both strike me as unnecessary and mean comments that do not engage the topic itself. Yes i am 100% serious, and no i am not trolling. There, that takes care of that, right? Or is your goal to attack me and discredit me without actually engaging the thoughtful comments i posted above. I'm speaking truly and you're then smacking it away with the back of your hand and a "pshhht!" or something like that, it seems. Well, i am here as a participant in a dialog. If you're not interested in the dialog then let it pass you by. Maybe others are interested. I love Wikipedia when it works, with the weak force of goodwill building up beautiful articles by successful collaboration with civil dialog. I hate to see that destroyed by the toxic and hateful things that are going on lately. SageRad (talk) 13:15, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
All of your commentary on this page can be distilled down to one contention: that you are right, and therefore all criticism of you is invalid and all actions taken agaiinst you are invalid. However, even if you were right on the substantive issues of content (and actually I am fairly confident you are not), the implicit conclusion that opposition to your editing is wrong would still be incorrect. Addition of poorly sourced and polemical content, and unevidenced assertions of being an "industry shill" or whatever, are wrong regardless of whether you are correct in the substantive matter of content. You do not seem able to accept this any more than you are able to accept a consensus on the content which conflicts with your beliefs. Guy (Help!) 14:30, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Talk about strawman arguments, JzG/Guy. You put words into my mouth then say they're wrong. I'm not holding that I am right about everything i've ever said. I'm making my observations about the editing environment here. And how can you attempt to reduce thousands of content questions into a lump sum and say i'm wrong on everything... of course i'm right about some things and wrong about some things... and some things are fairly subjective so there's fuzzy room. Lastly, i accept general consensus but not false constructed consensus. Anyway, g'day. SageRad (talk) 15:48, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
I did not put words in your mouth, I summarised your commentary as it reads to me. You think you are a bearer of Truth, therefore all those things that have stopped you bringing Truth are a problem. And I see your Truth as ideology and find it at odds with the actual truth as I understand it from my reading of the same sources. I allow for the possibility that reasonable people may differ, you appear not to. It really is that simple. Guy (Help!) 16:23, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Ok, then i'd say you must be reading my commentary strangely. I've made observations on what i see within Wikipedia, and then you say that i've say that i'm right about everything, or something like that? It's so strange. When can we simply talk like people. If i were to say "I think Trump is a loose cannon," would you say "But... but... you just think you're right about everything!!!" or would you perhaps say "I don't think he is a loose cannon," and follow up with reasons, or "I agree with you," and perhaps more evidence? See what i'm saying? When i make an assessment of Wikipedia's environment, you are totally free to say "I disagree with you" but i don't think it's kosher to say "All of your commentary on this page can be distilled down to one contention: that you are right, and therefore all criticism of you is invalid and all actions taken agaiinst you are invalid." ..... Yeah, i think tht i am right about this and that does not make be a "bearer of Truth" with all the implied sarcasm and loaded meanings that you mean by that phrase... people speak what they think is true, with lowercase "t" and that's not a sin, JzG/Guy. That's the nature of human beings thinking and speaking... the meta-level weirdness of this is whack. SageRad (talk) 16:42, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Also there's this: "I allow for the possibility that reasonable people may differ, you appear not to." Well, you're patently wrong about this -- i most certainly do know and affirm constantly that reasonable people may differ, and this has little to do with my point in this section, and it's also a rather insulting thing to say about someone, as it's a fool who does not allow that reasonable people differ. All this seems like smokescreen. My point is to speak my observation of aligned people with a specific agenda acting in specific ways that are harmful to the encyclopedia, with specific content goals and a rather consistent scornful and mean tonality that is harmful to the general atmosphere and drives away editors who are less ensconced into this particular subculture or subgroup... and notably the same dozen or two editors come to attack me whenever i make this observation, or to ban me or call me names, or otherwise to make it all about how i am horrible and foolish instead of comparing observations and thoughts. SageRad (talk) 16:52, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
So you say. And yet still you come across as an aggressive promoter of beliefs that lack scientific support, and still you portray your inability to change Wikipedia's tone in these subjects to match your perspective, as evidence that everybody else is doing something wrong. Ever wondered why you're not having a lot of success persuading anyone other than a few long-term griefers to your point of view? Guy (Help!) 17:25, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
So we go in circles, with your comments generally being backhanded insulting comments about my failures as a human being, and my comments being denials of your false accusations and characterizations, followed by my urging you to either comment about the topic at hand, not about me, or else don't comment at all ... How you think i "come across" is certainly not how everyone thinks i "come across" and it's also commenting on the person and not the topic -- a thing that is so very basic to Wikipedia that it's astounding for an admin and long-time Wikipedian like you to continue to do... Your comments seem to be an attempt at painting me as a wrong-headed failure, a form of social shaming and corralling that is transparent to me. It's not good and it's rather emblematic of the nature of the problems within Wikipedia, so once again i can thank you not for what you say per se but rather for illustrating my point. Anyway... i must go to tend my family and life. And so the weak, good force dies another small death... another editor who could be working toward better articles, and getting the articles right, which ought to be the real mission of us all collaboratively, suffers another loss. SageRad (talk) 18:46, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
So you want everyone to pretend you were not sanctioned for your POV-pushing, and assume instead that you are addressing some hypothetical topic in which you have not been a partisan? Let me know how that works out for you. Guy (Help!) 14:29, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Yeah I am really out of here now. This is now 100% WP:SOAPBOX / WP:REICHSTAG. This is all about SageRad and his quest for Truth and Justice, now showing on Jimbo's Talk page. If folks want to feed this by giving it attention, that is their call. Jytdog (talk) 20:26, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Unless of course SageRad responds to this and demonstrates that he actually has an iota of openness to feedback from the community - that there is some reason to believe that he isn't just deceiving himself into projecting his own failure to engage the community and subsequent failure to gain any traction here, onto some Cabal that is thwarting him. I'll respond to that. Jytdog (talk) 20:54, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
I've already responded to that when i wrote I'm not responding to things like Jytdog asking me for diffs from among my 10,000 or so edits to "prove" that i've admitted when i'm wrong. I'm not required to so do, although i could if i had 5 spare hours, but i have a busy and important life outside of Wikipedia. I have admitted many times when i've been wrong on any factual, verifiable mistakes. I will not go and dig from my huge edits list the cases when i've admitted to being wrong, but i testify that there have been a good number of times. When the dialog is genuine and a question is factual, i will say when i'm wrong. I am actually proud of that. But i do not need to pander to an onerous demand for diffs because you do not have good faith in my words about my own actions. SageRad (talk) 15:05, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps it is that the set of things where you consider yourself wrong, the set of things where others consider you wrong, and the set of things where you ARE wrong, are not the same set? Be that as it may, the reality is that the community of editors sorts things out, and that's the end of it, regardless of one's own personal feelings. If the US voters elect Trump in November, well, that's the way it is, regardless of any contrary views. The wise man will accept reality, rather than shout against the thunder. --Pete (talk) 15:56, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
I would call the above personal attacks. Why is it so hard for you to comment on the topic at hand instead of making it about me? I made comments about Wikipedia, and you constantly reply with comments about me and why i'm a bad or foolish person. etc. Anyway, i will not participate except insofar as to name that dynamic. SageRad (talk) 14:33, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Ironically, you have in fact both illustrated and destroyed your original point. Yes, people get tectchy when someone determinedly ignores things they don't want to hear and carries on as if they never happened. The problem is not the people who get tetchy. Guy (Help!) 19:22, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

Some sources

Some sources in support of the hypothesis that those who claim to be "Skeptics" are not solely skeptical (with a small 's') but may be part of a subculture promoting a specific worldview or set of beliefs that is not objectively true as claimed:

  • a paper by Michael Sofkas called Myths of Skepticism (which i found, by the way, here where an editor noted that [t]he German Interwiki uses the expression Sceptical movement in distingushes in so far Scientific skepticism from the sceptical social movement that tries to advance a certain Weltanschaung.),

There are more, of course, but i thought these would be useful to post, to support that i am not making these concepts up completely of my own observation of and thinking (though that is where i started to become curious about this phenom). There are sources to support this idea. SageRad (talk) 19:05, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

It is also possible to find "good" sources that once claimed tobacco was wonderful and smoking had no ill effects. It is impossible for people to lead a paleo lifestyle now, and there is no evidence that a particular paleo diet has more health benefits than eating sensibly. Johnuniq (talk) 01:13, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh now it is clear. SageRad is just playing the pharma shill gambit claiming that skepticism in WP is just astroturfed pseudoskeptic corporate FUD. Now he has joined hands with yet another flake, that hack anti-vax (SBM ref) "journalist" Attkisson who gave a free ticket for nutjobs to ignore science in her TedX (like X-files) talk on "astroturfing" and, on her "Full Measure" (of bullshit) show, gave the world a Mike Woods/ Greg Kohs lovefest "critiquing" Wikipedia here - with no hint of irony that those two paid editors send people to WP to do undisclosed editing for companies. Where did all the fuss over astroturfing go?
Her descent from decent journalist to bizarro land has been documented at Mother Jones and Media Matters.
So along with Rome Viharo and Natural News, SageRad has also linked arms with Sharyl Atkisson, anti-vaxers, Greg Kohs.... more high quality company. What a muddle. . Jytdog (talk) 03:13, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
Pseudoskepticism is indeed a problem. You can read about an example at global warming controversy. You can also read many delusional attempts to portray legitimate skepticism as pseudoskepticism and oppression of Wonderful New Truths™ (see, for example, Rupert Sheldrake). Basically, whenever you read a critique of skepticism, the first thing to do is.. be skeptical. Check the author's background and the dispute that might have led them to write what they did. Depressingly, you'll very often find that they are a proponent of cold fusion, "energy medicine", "other ways of knowing" or some such, and have failed to persuade any significant body of scientific opinion to their beliefs. The one that always sticks in my craw is the accusation that science is closed-minded. Science takes a weird idea seriously enough to do honest tests, they reveal that the thing is not true, proponents refuse to accept this, and thus conclude that science is closed-minded because it does not validate their beliefs and they refuse to change their beliefs in response to the evidence. Mmmmkay. Guy (Help!) 09:52, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
JzG/Guy, i agree with you here. The simple answer is that we must be skeptical of everything. Just because someone calls themself a "skeptic" doesn't mean that they are such. On the other hand, just because someone says that a self-styled skeptic is playing a ruse, doesn't mean that this is true either. In other words, words are cheap. It's easy to call yourself a skeptic. It's easy to call a skeptic's bluff. What is really important are good, reliable sources and good, solid thinking and good, unbiased surveys of the universe of evidence in relation to a question. That is truly what i seek here in Wikipedia. I seek for people to not use shortcuts by which they say "Hey but this skeptic says the Paleo diet is 100% bunk," or on the other hand "Hey, but they're just fake skeptics and the Paleo diet is 100% valid." The actual best evidence shows a more nuanced picture, where there are some valid aspects of thing and there are quite a few overblown claims about the thing, as well. So, there is no avoiding getting into the weeds, into the details, and looking piece by piece at the evidence with a clear eye, and a clear desire to fulfill RS and NPOV and not to push any agenda. The problem with this pattern of social skeptics, however, is that there is indeed a shortcut agenda provided in the meme universe (go to any of a few dozen Facebook "skeptic" pages and watch for a month, or observe Social Skeptic in-group dialogs anywhere else) that is more about spreading a belief system through shortcuts and slogans than about actual skepticism or critical thinking. That is a social construction of reality through a social seeding of messaging. For this to carry strongly into Wikipedia is not in line with NPOV and RS -- even if it's correct 90% of the time! The remaining 10% of the time, if the messaging is not correct or in line with RS and NPOV and good solid sources seen with nuance, then it becomes distorting of the content of Wikipedia and of Wikivoice. And, due to a sort of missionary zeal, the people who want to promote those memes into Wikipedia can often be quite mean and harsh and be more like inquisition operatives than good Wikipedia citizens of good faith. SageRad (talk) 11:15, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand the skeptical position with respect to the paleo diet. It is complete bunk, in that there is no single paleolithic diet which one could follow and few, if any, foodstuffs that are in the form they were during paleolithic times. Paleolithic man also had a much shorter life expectancy than modern man. So it promotes a false version of a mythical golden age, based on sciencey-sounding nonsense. Coincidentally, "eat food, not too much, mainly plants" turns out to be sound dietary advice. The paleo folks didn't invent it. And while paleo lifestyle qualifies as "mostly harmless", some of the paleo types are whackaloons - anti-vax, anti-medicine, and promoting practices which are considered dangerous by the reality-based community (e.g. paleo Pete's "baby broth"). RS and NPOV does not mean offering false balance to silly and/or dangerous ideas. Guy (Help!) 14:45, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
I may not believe in the paleo diet per se, but it should be clear that food manufacturing practices of recent origin (e.g. partial hydrogenation of vegetable oil) are generally more hazardous than those with a long-standing history - even the really weird ones, like lutefisk. And however much we would like to think that science is a reliable guide, we had science back in the 1970s when people were being told that margarine was healthier than butter. There is a difference between science as we imagine it in a state of grace and science as the cowed slave of a rich man's army in a sordid world. So there is much to be said for accepting the wisdom of trial and error when something really has been a longstanding part of the human lifestyle - with the caveat that no, any "paleo" product sourced to "Pete" doesn't sound like that's that. But for example, if you use kava like a Fijian, you're less likely to get in trouble than if you take a kava pill where some budding genius decided to take scraps of the plant that people don't eat and put it into a capsule so the user wouldn't think about it. That's a distinction that eludes the average bureaucrat looking to pass a regulation. Wnt (talk) 17:42, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't disagree at all. The issue is that paleo is a fad diet based on the "mythical golden age" fallacy, whereas the mainstream view of professional dieticians supports an evidence-based caution towards a diet comprising excessive processed and high-calorie foods, but does not cleave to any ideology other than that of science generally, namely that practices must be empirically verifiable and supported by the most robust and objective tests we can devise. One of the more interesting facets of this debate is that there is substantial worldwide variability in diets, with regional food sources being heavy on seeds, roots, vegetables or fish and in some cases including little to no foods which are staples in other regions, yet the only diet which seems to be consistently associated with increased mortality, is junk food. Personally I think the French are right: eat what's in season, bought as close as you can get to the farm itself. It appears to me, as one whose interest in diet is founded largely on my genuine need to avoid gluten, that a varied diet and avoidance of excess is the One True Path to Health. Guy (Help!) 11:38, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
As an afterthought, I suppose we have a problem when people can cite "reliable sources" like CNN, which says that Spathiphyllum wallisii or peace lily can help keep you healthy. They absorb electromagnetic radiation emitted by computers and printers and keep the air moisturized. Surely this is an accident, except ... they said it before! (Looks like the place they probably snarfed it from has it less garbled [5]) We can't make such things go away but sometimes we might admit to a dark impulse to say "some real idiots say that..." Wnt (talk) 22:14, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
The official dietary recommendations are not based on rigorous science either. E.g. it is said that we should get 20 to 35% of the calorie intake from fats, but this is not based on rigorous scientific studies. The problem is then that if someone claims health benefits of a diet containing almost no fats at all (apart from the few grams of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats) and has quite lot of evidence in support of that (see e.g. here), then you get hordes of skeptics dismissing this as bad science, because his trials were not randomly controlled. But there are no RCTs for the conventional dietary recommendations either.
That's why I don't take the official dietary recommendations all that serious, I want to know what the scientific arguments are and since there is a lack of RCTs, theoretical arguments should be seriously considered and not dismissed as "unproven speculation". While there is then indeed some amount of speculation, this is still the best we can do in many cases. My current point of view is that we should eat very little fat, only small amounts of meat, large amounts of vegetables, large amounts of whole grain carbs. The reason why fat is bad is because they are empty calories. The more fat you eat the less room is left calorie-wise to get nutrients in. The less fat (and sugar) you eat, the more nutrients (and fibers, which the bacteria in your intestines convert to useful compounds) you'll get in. Also, the more you exercise, the more you need to eat. Your body will then be able to ramp up the metabolic rate and then you can eat even more, so that you'll get even more nutrients into your body. Count Iblis (talk) 06:52, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Disgusting behavior

I am continuing to see absolutely disgusting behavior by some editors against others, intolerable levels of abusive behavior toward others, and there is noplace in Wikipedia that one can take these cases to and expect any semblance of justice and in fact you find quite the opposite effect -- the punishing of the person who speaks about the abusive behavior in defense of themselves or another editor. So this place is absolutely broken and it is run by abusive psychopaths. That's the state of things. I'm out of here. I have a life and a newborn baby and this place is absolutely toxic to any good person. SageRad (talk) 12:22, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Speaking as an abusive psychopath, ta-ra! Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:34, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
We badly need a local version of LANCB. Guy (Help!) 12:37, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
WP:FLOUNCE? -edit- Ha, I wondered why that was not working. Floq deleted the redirect despite the essay (WP:Don't be high maintenance) listing it as an incoming redirect. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:49, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Bye.--Atlan (talk) 12:56, 13 September 2016 (UTC)


No, i'm not going way for good or completely, so it's not a "flounce" and save your snarks please. It only reveals further the depths of your lack of ethics and humanity. This place is disgusting and turns people off, though, and what i've called the "good, weak force" is dying in many topic areas except the most inert topics with no controversy at all about them. So... what good is it here? It's gives anyone with some ethical boundaries and expectations of good interaction a really toxic experience and nothing is ever done about it so it's a madhouse with psychopaths willing to be abusive all day long to get their way. And that exposure is harmful, and it carries over into other areas of life, so there is a real cost to editors who are trying to do the good thing here. So i'll be not here much... i have a newborn to be with and don't need this toxicity. But, i am not one to go silently without speaking the reason why. So... there you have it. This place is pretty well down the toilet, and the resulting content is pretty well distorted by that, inherently and if you you don't care about those things, think about what that says about you. Who are you? Look in the mirror. SageRad (talk) 13:04, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Sorry you described wikipedia as being run by 'abusive psychopaths' and accuse people of lacking ethics and humanity. You rated a 'snark' on the response scale. When you actually learn to make a point without resorting to inaccurate, abusive and frankly stupid comments like that, you might be taken seriously. However since your editing patterns have been unchanged since you started at wikipedia I dont expect its is going to happen soon. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:14, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
If you continue to respond with righteous indignation everytime someone disagrees with you (which is all the time), then at some point snark is all you get in return.--Atlan (talk) 13:26, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I've only seen one successful flounce since Win 3.1, and it wasn't from here. -Roxy the dog™ bark 13:45, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Define 'successful'. Given the prime goal of 'I'm taking my ball and going home' is to attract attention, it could be argued it is successful regardless of any subsequent return. If you define a successful flounce as one where the person actually leaves and stays away, well they are thin on the ground. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:48, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Sage, I am glad you have a baby, in my experience having children is an excellent way of learning self-doubt. The feeling of omniscience rarely survives the first coughing fit, and certainly won't make it past the decision whether to go for childcare or have one parent stay at home. Just remember: vaccines save lives. Guy (Help!) 16:07, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Jimbo Wales What Sage is saying is correct and I commend them on their courage to speak out against bullying and these established gangs who have control of your project. Sage is not saying they are right; personally. They are saying the way things have become here, is toxic. And Mr Wales, many of your Admins don't care. It's a game. It's like watching someone being beaten up in the school yard by a bunch of bullies. Editors who speak out about this fact and are outside of the gangs and cabals, are attacked, and the valid points they are making dismissed. This applies to emotive and controversial articles here at Wikipedia which currently read more like promotional pieces for interest groups, rather than good articles based on policy and what the sources actually say. Ultimately. if nothing is done about civility and someone like you busting up these gangs made up of long term editors and certain Admins, your baby, your project will become obsolete on the www. Mr Wales, the time for you listen to these genuine editors like me and Sage is now. Who better for this task at hand, than Mr Jimbo Wales himself, I say! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Charlotte135 (talkcontribs) 23:35, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
You think Jimbo will go to bat for anti-science activists and MRAs? Let me know how that works out for you. Guy (Help!) 23:40, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure who you are referring to, but I reckon Mr Wales has an ability to answer for himself, and take from these observations what he may. Don't you? I also think you've missed the point. Comments being made here are made only for the sake of his baby, its future health, credibility, and long term viability on the www. "Your silence gives consent" - Plato.Charlotte135 (talk) 02:33, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
This is why I refuse to watch this page, though I never fail to be amused by what I see when I come here (it's fun in small doses, I suppose). Poor Jimbo... I feel for the guy who has to wade through this sort of rhetoric to see if anything worthwhile has shown up on his talk page. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 04:01, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Have you met Jimbo? He's pretty firmly reality-based and not big on MRAs either. Guy (Help!) 09:07, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
No, but I've read enough of what he's written to know that you are right. That's why I feel sorry for him. SageRad, for example (a user whom I once stood up for and 'fought' against my fellow skeptics when I saw he was right about something, only for that to engender absolutely no good will on his part) likely enjoys reading other editors' rants about the big bad skeptics of WP almost as much as he enjoys writing them. I, a skeptic, on the other hand, don't. I find it funny to read them once in a while, but to wade through them almost every day in search of the good stuff? That's gotta suck. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 12:57, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
@Guy - you have used the acronym MRA - in what sense are you using it? DrChrissy (talk) 16:58, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
@DrChrissy: It's because Jimbo's caravan still leaks- that's why he is not keen on the MRA. Muffled Pocketed 17:05, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for your input. I would still like to hear from @JzG: in case you are mistaken. DrChrissy (talk) 17:17, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Of course, I can't speak for Guy, but I took it to refer to Men's Rights Advocates, a rather vague term that, in recent years, has come to carries connotations of misogyny, anti-feminism and authoritarianism. One example would be the so-called Gamergaters. People generally identified as MRAs are not generally well-received by rationalists, though this is not always the case. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 17:52, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for this. I'll wait for confirmation from Guy. DrChrissy (talk) 18:23, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
MjolnirPants, contrary to what you say above, i do remember clearly that you did stand up with some integrity in regard to actually looking at sources and representing what they said with some accuracy. Please don't put emotions in my mouth for me. How do you think you know that you engendered no goodwill on my part? I did see how paper thin the level of integrity was fairly soon, but i did see the integrity for a moment in your actions. It is also remarkable that the showing of integrity in one instance was so rare that it is memorable, and i still remember to this day when someone actually looked to the source with honesty and stood by what it said, whatever their bias! That was a fine moment for Wikipedia, but why is it so rare like the sighting of a bird thought to be extinct in Nepal? SageRad (talk) 12:11, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As to other slanderous mean bullying abusive things said above by some other editors, no thanks. You can take your abusive words and stuff them right back into your mouth. Some people are chronically toxic and abusive and can't keep their comments to topic at hand. There seems to be a sort of Tourette Syndrome that causes some people to go ad hominem in every single comment. All of the accusations and characterizations of myself above that are negative, i completely reject, and i name it to be slandering abusive behaviors by those who have my username marked as an enemy. It's bad for Wikipedia and it's sick as human behavior. SageRad (talk) 12:11, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

When multiple people across multiple topics/venues/websites tell you the same thing about your behaviour, at some point you need to either accept it is you who is the problem, or at a minimal level, be self-aware enough to avoid deliberately putting yourself where you know your views will be rejected. So far you have failed spectactulary to do the first and given your constant interjecting into contentious topic areas on wikipedia, are showing no signs of doing the second. Only in death does duty end (talk) 12:24, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
I find it highly ironic (and more than a little amusing, in a smug, condescending sort of way) that you're trash-talking me and putting words in my mouth as you complain about people trash-talking and putting words in your mouth. Also, you should really read what Only said. There's an old proverb that springs to mind: If one man calls you a dog, ignore him. If three men call you a dog, start checking for fleas.
One final note: Your whole diatribe here (what is this, your fifth time having this same exact fit on Jimbo's talk page?) is long on complaints, but suspiciously short on evidence... MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 12:48, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
What words did i put in your mouth, MjolnirPants? Can you please talk respectfully? SageRad (talk) 21:35, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
You would have the unmitigated hypocrisy to call my integrity "paper thin" then tell me to talk respectfully. You feel that itching? Those are your fleas. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 21:42, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Incivility is not essentially a real thing, but emerges from the lack of a more significant collegiality that should dominate interactions. It is futile to enforce civility - it's like fiddling with the knobs on a sink and putting your finger into the tap trying to make water come out. If there is no water coming up the pipe, you have to find some source and restore its flow, and griping around the tap isn't going to do anything. The frustrating part about incivility enforcement therefore is that it focuses on everything that is present - the vulgarities, the sharp repartee, the disputes over best practices - and therefore misses everything of any real importance, as these things are absent.
I think the increased bullying on Wikipedia is widely replicated in society and for the same reasons. There was a time, say, when a child teased about his name in elementary school might be told by a well meaning adult that when he got a little older, people would stop being so petty. Nowadays, well - just ask Anthony Weiner - we know that is no longer remotely true. I'd suggest a reason may be a decay in respect for many basic rights, or of belief in general. A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular, but in an unfree society, it always remains safe to join in with a crowd of bullies to cast judgment, at least if they are well connected. But this isn't just a matter of basic tolerance, but a deeper shared mission - why are people so entranced with admin proceedings, but so diffident about even the most fascinating WikiProjects? Avoiding edit warring to take out material you dislike is one thing, but loving the idea of putting knowledge at people's fingertips is the opposite pole where editors need to be at. We need to drill new wells at that source and get the taps flowing. Wnt (talk) 14:32, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
I love metaphors!! Particularly good ones. Well stated, and I particularly like your remarks about the larger societal trend. I also don't see what might cause that trend to reverse, which means that these problems will be as bad or worse in the year 2116, if Wikipedia is still around by then. ―Mandruss  15:07, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
@Mandruss: This is a social problem and any part of society might solve it and instruct the rest. Maybe this site, even this talk page is where somebody finally gets some insight to reverse the trend. At least, it's no less likely than anywhere else. There are intelligent, sensible people here, plenty of resources, a huge knowledge base from around the world and every philosophy and religion - few places have a better chance, person for person, to do so. Wnt (talk) 16:10, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
@Wnt: - But I don't see how a useful amount of constructive, intelligent dialogue can ever take place when anyone is free to jump in and disrupt it with petty bickering and just-short-of-policy-violating personal attacks, and almost invariably does. Even if the disrupters were simply ignored by the constructive ones, who somehow managed to continue their discussion interleaved with the disruption, the result would be completely unreadable by any new arrivals, and so the discussion would be ignored by many who might contribute to it. Progress toward peace is not possible in a huge room with everybody screaming at the top of their lungs (many of them screaming QUIET!!!!). ―Mandruss  16:35, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
@Mandruss: I thought about this response for some time. The signal to noise issue is a big one, but it's a practical issue - depends on the way that conversations take place and how we read them. It's not a law of nature. Now there are many sites online where the medium is the message, but on this one, fortunately, the message can become the medium. There are a lot of sites that are locked into a Usonian model where things can only happen the way the architect intended, with the added burden that the architect is crooked and shallow; but (thanks to the user revolt about Flow) here we have a huge number of options we can deploy whenever we want, and we can invent more when we feel like. For example, we can look for general forums like this page and the Village Pumps with huge input and high noise, or we can create project pages that have a narrower audience, or we can use personal talk pages.
I wonder, though I'm by no means sure, about inventing another mechanism. Suppose a user sets up a user subpage, User:Wnt/Conversation or something, and puts a navbox style template with some distinctive formatting and v-d-e buttons on it. He substs it into his own talk page or perhaps some other user page and those of some people he invites; now they have a separate group conversation of their own they can look back on now and then. Conceivably, a user javascript could give notifications from it, though pings might work too (also room for custom template design there). So users could make simultaneous group discussions with various others that they keep track of on a single page. Part of each might be collapsed or noincluded to keep this readable. Now where this could get less clanny is that some general forums might exist where people post transclusions of these so that others can kibbitz, subject to special rules they come up with for each page that allow for a certain style of requesting entry. The users can be the admins; whosever subpage it is gets to call the shots, and barring the most abject edit-warring against this well-accepted right, that gives him much power. Such invitational forums would have the side-effect of creating a positive rather than a negative dynamic in administration - people get invited in rather than out, something which normally only happens in one-on-one pings. There are a dozen different parameters that can be tweaked in a system like that. Normally the people who do social design are paid to be unfair and try to falsely justify themselves in it, but what if we explore the possibilities trying to be fair and effective? And this is just one example of an idea; we can code just about anything and agree on just about any rule we want, and see how it works. Wnt (talk) 01:55, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
@Wnt: I'm afraid much of that is over my head, so I can't be of much help in the ideas department. If you know anyone who might, maybe you could just hit them up on their talk pages. You have my full support on any WP:BOLD moves you care to make, and please let me know of anything you come up with. I'm 100% certain that what we have now is not working, and about 98% sure that it never will. I'm open to trying pretty much anything. ―Mandruss  02:48, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, this is actually very true, but ultimately idealistic. Wikipedia has become one of the most important places to get your views reflected as Truth, and many of the articles which are the front lines in the battle between reality and ideology are defended by people who have been shelled every morning since April 1915. Or thereabouts. There is a false perception that "civil POV pushing" is civil. It's not. It's polite, but it's not civil. Criticism of burned out cynical old bastards like me is entirely legitimate. However, two of those making claims here (SageRad and Charlotte135) are under topic bans or other restrictions due to politely but obdurately refusing to accept consensus that goes against them. WP:STFU already needs to be policy. Guy (Help!) 23:20, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
@JzG: From 7 Sep to 16 Sep, you and others tried the STFU already approach with SageRad. Beginning on 16 Sep, I tried using common respect and calm reasoning. With two minor exceptions, SageRad ceased arguing with you and the others and engaged in intelligent discussion with me. Within that discussion, SageRad commented four times in about 16 hours. They have not commented in 36 hours, and, as far as I can tell, the thread is ended. I don't know whether I convinced them of anything, but at least I achieved what you had failed to, in far less time, with no ill will generated. Which approach was more effective, in your opinion? ―Mandruss  01:49, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
I think it's useful to look for what's interesting in a conversation, or at least what you hope you can say something interesting about, and focus on that more than what you dislike about it. At best it can be a road to civility; otherwise, well... too many substantive topics get threadjacked into administrative drama for me to feel the least shame in threadjacking some admin-and-drama argument to talk about something substantive. We're not going to have a perfect world here but what can we do with it? Wnt (talk) 02:06, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you Guy for attempting to derail this conversation about bullying and civility and bringing up my topic ban (or more accurately, my topic gag). Numerous editors also did not vote for a ban, nor could see the reasoning for one. This can be seen here [6] here [7] and here [8]. I make no further comment on these editor's views and only placed them here, because Guy chose to bring it up as smear. I will also be appealing at the arbitration committee in due course. The point I am making here, is that there are a number of controversial articles relating to big societal issues, on our WP, that are being protected by gangs (cabals) of interrelated long term editors, and then backed up by interrelated long term Admins. This is unfortunate, as these articles have become nothing more than ideological advertisements for vested interests in society and ideological soap boxes. This is real and everyone knows it, including the gangs; obviously. What the reliable sources say about these controversial topics is irrelevant. Sources are cast aside, like trash, as these gangs work in unison to construct articles that meet their agendas. When new editors enter these articles and attempt naively to add reliable sources, they meet a brick wall, if these reliable sources are not singing the tune of the agendas being pushed. Really sad. But very true. @Jimbo Wales:, it would be great if you added your voice to this discussion on bullying and rapidly decreasing civility at WP. It's your baby after all Mr Wales, and it's being hijacked by vested interests. Do you know this is happening? And if not, are you going to at least comment here?Charlotte135 (talk) 04:00, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Be patient. At least give him time to investigate the zero sources you have provided of this widespread phenomenon.--Atlan (talk) 08:09, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Of course your complaint of "bullying" has nothing to do with your being sanctioned for refusing to accept consensus. How could I be so silly? Guy (Help!) 13:44, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
But JzG, these editors here [9] here [10] and here [11] all disagreed and seemed as dismayed as I am. The so called consensus was the gang of inter-related editors so, I'm not sure what more to say. I will though, be appealing to the arbitration committee in due course. @Jimbo Wales: Mr Wales if you also believe all is good here at your project, would you like to say so. If bullying and lack of civility (to the point of verbal abuse toward editors who don't agree with the gang's agendas) are on the up and up, instead of spiraling down and down, perhaps you could provide a stamp of authority on this issue. If cabals pushing their ideological agendas on controversial societal articles, right here on your Wikipedia, are really just a myth your confirmation of the myth would surely be warranted. I'll shut up if you do. I promise. However your silence is deafening.Charlotte135 (talk) 01:06, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
@Atlan: Atlan, I noted your comment above, regarding my claims of gangs/cabals here on WP, protecting controversial topics and zero sources. What evidence do you believe would support these claims? I hope you were seriously noting this point and could therefore add some constructive advice here. I'll always provide the benefit of doubt and therefore took your comments in good faith rather than sarcasm and attempts to derail the serious issue I'm raising with Mr Wales.Charlotte135 (talk) 04:10, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
I was being sarcastic. You're making serious allegations without any evidence while constantly badgering Jimbo to respond. JzG contends that you are simply complaining because of your refusal to accept consensus. You are confirming this by stating "The so called consensus was the gang of inter-related editors". You are conveniently declaring the consensus you disagree with invalid, by arbitrarily designating the editors as an evil, sinister gang. You have nothing for Jimbo or Arbcom to respond to, but by all means, keep ranting.--Atlan (talk) 13:28, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Ultimately, the clean hands doctrine should apply here. We appear to be expected to take at face value a complaint of "bullying" or whatever by someone who has been sanctioned for POV-pushing, when the complaint makes no mention of that fact (or frames it as I'm-Right-Therefore-Wikipedia-Is-Broken). It is not unreasonable to be skeptical, if not outright cynical, when someone who has has been prevented from promoting an agenda after independent review often in multiple forums on Wikipedia, comes here to complain how someone was snarky towards them when all they had done was argue on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and never taken "no" for an answer. 22:28, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Au contraire, my dear JzG, you are completely wrong. My bizarre sanction was for conflict with a couple of very well known gang members (not mentioning names), not for POV pushing. Admins have admitted no evidence existed, and none was ever presented, for POV pushing. Please get your facts straight JzG. In fact, no evidence was ever produced for POV pushing. It was a gagging device, clumsily applied, so this gang could continue on their merry way, ideologically distorting big ticket societal articles, unchallenged, and like Christmas trees, merrily continued pinning cherry picked sources for decoration. This makes for a very sick Wikipedia, which is the real tragedy here and the valid point Sage has valiantly brought to Mr Wales talk page. I will be appealing a 1 year topic ban in due course to appeal a ban when no evidence was ever presented and a gang of (easily proved) inter-related members, all whistling the same out of tune, tune, voted. Editors not related to these articles made comments like these here [12] here [13] and here [14] and seemed genuinely confused too. Although motives have become much clearer to me now. Sage, along many other concerned editors of time (most now banned/gagged) is absolutely correct. There is something very, very, very wrong with WP, in its current state. It's been over-run by gangs, aggressively chuckling at the apathy of those who could, and should, do something to save the project's long term credibility on the www. Eventually the stench will leak out onto the web and the gangs seen for what they are, and that no-one, when clearly forewarned, did a damn thing about it!Charlotte135 (talk) 03:56, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Alternate hypothesis: you're wrong and flatly refuse to accept it. Guy (Help!) 08:40, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

@Atlan:Thank you for responding. I take your point regarding badgering Jimbo on his talk page too, over this serious matter regarding declining civility and bullying on WP. Won't ask again Jimbo. Genuinely sorry (and no sarcasm intended). As an Admin Atlan, you conveniently left out (sarcasm is intended) what type of evidence you believe I would need to show bullying and gangs of experienced editors preventing proper consensus based additions on specific controversial societal topics. I've got lots! You're funny Atlan, with your "evil, sinister" comment too. You should be a horror story author! I'll await your constructive reply. You can reply on my talk page if you wanted to add something of value as a long term Admin. However, somehow I doubt anything constructive, addressing my concerns I have been bringing to Jimbo's attention, will be forthcoming, based on previous declined requests (returned sarcasm is definitely intended).Charlotte135 (talk) 21:35, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

All sarcasm aside (it didn't work for either of us): If you've got lots of evidence, why do you need me to point out what evidence is required? Just provide it. Note that I'm not saying this problem doesn't exist at all on Wikipedia. I just don't believe that you have been a victim of it and that you have chosen the unlikely "cabal is conspiring against me" explanation because that allows you to not accept the outcome. --Atlan (talk) 10:50, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Reading the above, i'm thankful for Mandruss' civility, and i continue to be dismayed at the uncivil ways of some others. In fact, being civil is important. JzG's continual allegations and attacks are tiresome and derailing. They disable dialog from working. They result in endless rebuttals... so tiring, and unproductive.

  • There are gangs/groups/editors-of-a-feather who do edit together on content of social import and controversy, and they do push their agenda into the content. This is harmful to Wikipedia and to the world, because we seek a neutral point of view, not one point of view over another. Where there are multiple valid points of view, we must balance them according to sources by weight. Pushing one point of view into Wikipedia biases it. Those who confront this pushing get ganged up on.
  • All this maneuvering to try to neutralize criticism by blaming the messenger (like "I'm-Right-Therefore-Wikipedia-Is-Broken") and trying to make people's reckoning wrong because they have a topic ban (because of the very problem being named, generally) is a bunch of rhetoric and straw man fallacy. Just so empty. I'm so done with it. There are social patterns so patently obvious here. There is bullying and ganging up, and there is POV pushing. And it's not even civil POV pushing, it's just gang-like pushing. It's out of hand. Whoever sees the problem and stands up to it gets whipped, tarred, and feathered. Anyway, i'm not standing for it. I'm not taking it. There are many who see the crap that's going on here, and there are also many who've thrown up their hands and left this hellish place for these reasons. And you who pose as if you're the tired old saviors of this place, take another look in the mirror.

SageRad (talk) 22:52, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Aren't you the tired old savior of this place? That's certainly how you present yourself, anyway. Despite describing this as hell on earth and an absolutely terrible place run by psychopaths, you hang there, fighting the good fight, angrily ranting all the way. I don't know what you hope to achieve by being a permanent disgruntled resident of Jimbo's talk page, but in my view you have long past the point of diminishing returns.--Atlan (talk) 11:11, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Fork with arbitrary section heading

@SageRad: (RageSad?), I lack the reading speed to read all of this, but I do share your general sentiments with regard to toxic environment. You're not going to change people's core personalities by reasoning with them, and remember that we are self-governed and "we" includes a large number of editors that oppose our positions. We have no idea whether they are actually representative of a majority of the whole community, since one's opinions count for nothing unless they are prepared to stand up in behavior-related meta discussions and take some heat. To my mind, that ensures that the most aggressive among the wider community will determine the rules (written and otherwise), and they will be rules that tend to tolerate aggression (or routinely forgive it and make excuses for it, which is essentially the same thing). Thus the toxic environment is the natural result of the system we use to set behavior standards. I strongly suspect a sociologist would support this view.
I believe that the situation will change (1) when WMF takes a stand and intervenes, simply out of the principle that this kind of behavior is fundamentally counter to the project's goals, or (2) through gradual attrition and evolution. I think the latter is more likely, and it would certainly be less traumatic for the community. Perhaps my little personal essay will have some beneficial effect in that regard, without being disruptive. ―Mandruss  15:50, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

I do not believe that this is inevitable. There are certainly such feedback loops as you outline, like those who are willing to spend endless time gaming a system to control it, often do end up controlling it. Those who have less scruples often succeed in a Machiavellian sense. I do not see any way that attrition will change it, though. In fact it's more the opposite -- the attrition of good editors with good and civil manners is what i see, thus hardening the current situation. Thanks for your comment. SageRad (talk) 21:34, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Re attrition, my sense of hope is based in the premise that the anger-laden, hypercynical old-timers are the product of an era where things were a lot rougher than they are today, if you can imagine such a thing. I wasn't here then, but I've heard mention of it. Either that, or they were simply tough enough to survive it. ―Mandruss  21:46, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for hearing me. I appreciate the essay you wrote and linked to above. I still think that we can expect people to treat each other with a basic respect, and somehow change the culture to enforce that reasonably. I think the existing policies are adequate for that, but we need an unbiased forum for judging behavior that will really stand up to the task. The rule of the most aggressive is not the best way to determine the way we write knowledge down within our culture. We need to actually apply and enforce the policies that we have. SageRad (talk) 00:53, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
unbiased forum for judging behavior - Yeah, there's the rub. Who decides what's unbiased? ―Mandruss  01:03, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Foundation. --Bob K31416 (talk) 02:39, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Can you elaborate? Are you saying WMF already decides what is unbiased, or that you feel they should intervene? ―Mandruss  02:49, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Intervene. --Bob K31416 (talk) 02:51, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Come to think of it, what we think about it doesn't matter a whit. If it did, it would be subject to community consensus, and guess which way that would go. If they did it, it would be no matter what we thought. Anyway ... I just took a shot at kind of playing that intervention out in my mind, including its off-wiki effects, and writing a comment about what I saw. It was so ugly I've decided not to post it. But think Armageddon. On that basis, I'm withdrawing any support for that that I once harbored. Attrition and evolution. In the meantime, Zen. ―Mandruss  03:32, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Mandruss, that is a good question but it's not a conundrum with no answer. It really is possible to have judgment of editors based on their behavior with little bias compared to the very blatant bias that we have now. It's not impossible. Please don't make it seem like it's a fool's errand. Sure, i understand that there is relativity in how everyone judges everyone else, due to different points of view. That's a given in human social life. But it is most certainly possible to have a forum for judging that is generally accepted as fair and unbiased. You do have to pay attention to those who see the bias and are vocal about it, and truly wish to reform. It's perhaps similar to issues with the justice system and policing in the U.S. People are speaking up about bias in the system, and some people hear them while other people are more like "Shut up! Everything's fine!" -- Well we need to be like the people who hear the critique, and not the ones who want to shut up the critique. Human social interaction is a multi-node complex network of various points of view, but it's possible to find nodes that are meaningful, and to find general consensus about fairness if you're open to the critiques as well as the yes men. SageRad (talk) 12:43, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
The aggressive vocal majority will defeat anything that would require them to modify their behavior. Using very legitimate self-governance process. Full stop. ―Mandruss  13:05, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Maybe, unless others organize and apply enough pressure to cause change. Is this an age-old question about governance in general? Also the word "legitimate" here -- defeating integrity by established rules may be legitimate in one sense but not in another sense. In a "by the book" sense but not in a moral or good sense. Anyway, do you think we are trapped in a local maximum, trapped in the current state, and therefore unable to attain improvement because we're "locked in" by the existing power structure having become entrenched? That is where i think we're at. SageRad (talk) 13:12, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
unless others organize - That means mobilizing some part of the non-aggressive silent majority. How would you do that? For the most part they aren't even watching pages like this one and the Village Pumps, so you would have to find some way to contact them and solicit their support. I believe that would violate WP:CANVASS, seeking out a particular group specifically because you believe they will support your position.
In a "by the book" sense but not in a moral or good sense. - Again, morality and goodness are subject to community consensus. There is no absolute morality at Wikipedia or anywhere else. Just thousands of years of wars between factions who each believed their morality was absolute.
do you think we are trapped in a local maximum, trapped in the current state, and therefore unable to attain improvement because we're "locked in" by the existing power structure having become entrenched? - Yes. Although I'm not sure of the precise definition of "power structure". They are simply a self-reinforcing majority in a self-government. ―Mandruss  13:22, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I can suggest one simple change that might help. WP:CPUSH should be renamed polite POV-pushing, and it should be made absolutely clear that polite POV-pushing, embodying as it does the refusal to heed consensus, is inherently uncivil. A lot of the "incivility" identified in discussions on this page stems from exactly that problem: people getting burned out defending policy-based content against the relentless pressure of polite POV-pushers. Some of the complainants here are actually topic banned due to exactly that, and their complaints of "incivility" read like attempts to get another kick at the can by instituting a policy of WP:MAKETHENASTYMANGOAWAY. Guy (Help!) 11:22, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

people getting burned out defending policy-based content - Maybe my experience is too limited, but my feeling is that the solution to that is WP:CONSENSUS, WP:DE, and WP:ANI, not hostile harassment outside process. The former may take longer, I don't know. ANI may be "broken", but not completely so in my experience, and I see people trying to do it right. I do believe that ongoing, repeated DE (as determined at ANI) should be dealt with more harshly, and that would eliminate much of the perceived need for the other approach. It shouldn't take two years and hundreds of editor-hours (article talk + ANI + AN3) to indeff one chronic disrupter.
In other words, I think the focus should be on WP:CONSENSUS, not content policy. The point is not that they persistently violate content policy, but that they persistently fail to respect consensus, which should arise out of content policy. This makes the ANI complaint fairly straightforward. Here's the clear consensus. Here's the clear violation of it. Done. No content debates at ANI. If WP:CONSENSUS is not sufficient to protect content, Wikipedia fails and we all go home.
To emphasize this relationship, WP:CONSENSUS could be promoted to Wikipedia's only super-policy. All other policy application, including IAR, is, or should be, subject to consensus. This is not say that explicit consensus must be established before we can do anything, only that I can't say that my unilateral IAR application trumps your guideline x because IAR has policy status. If you dispute my IAR, I have to get consensus for it. ―Mandruss  11:59, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
And when they have already been through that? And on to ARbCom? And they didn't get what they want so they keep on and on and on about it and eventually get topic banned? And they decide that this is all bullying so they come here and complain about how the evil admins are oppressing them? Guy (Help!) 13:41, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
It shouldn't take two years and hundreds of editor-hours (article talk + ANI + AN3) to indeff one chronic disrupter. So fix that. You'll have my wholehearted support, and likely a lot more. You can't say that the approach I described in my second paragraph is being used much, and that's the key element, in addition to faster escalation of block duration, and elimination of all this ideological aversion to indeff.
Oh, and we also need to eliminate "preventative not punitive". If they disruptively failed to respect consensus, the fact they have stopped while the ANI complaint is in progress shouldn't earn them a pass. Punitive is preventative by virtue of its deterrent value. ―Mandruss  13:42, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
(I note that my arguments just above would seem inconsistent with my discussion with SageRad, in which I referred to the aggressive vocal majority. This is me looking at the problem from both perspectives. And until Guy's comments above, I had never seen a calm, unhostile, unsnarky, reasoned argument from that camp, so I had assumed they were not capable of giving one.) ―Mandruss  14:39, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
The simple truth is, we are sometimes too nice and sometimes too harsh. Obvious single-purpose agenda accounts get banninated pretty fast but people who are able to persuade the community that they care about more than simply promoting their agenda, can bump along just fine. And mostly it's OK, but then sometimes you get a group of them egging each other on, and that can lead to a range of problematic behaviours including, specifically here, SageRad's repeated trips to Jimbotalk asserting that Wikipedia is broken because it restricted his POV-pushing and ran out of patience with his endless arguing about it. Guy (Help!) 22:03, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
I didn't take SageRad's side, I think that's clear. I simply treated them with common human respect. And I don't have to take one's side to feel sympathy for their position. I actually know nothing about that situation, and I don't need to for the purposes of this discussion.
You guys can't treat people the way you do and then complain about their behavior. Most of you seem to think the solution to the problem is to keep turning up the heat until your target spontaneously combusts. That may have the desired effect of eliminating the disruption, but at what cost? As I see it, that is not part of the solution but a large part of the problem. New editors see experienced editors behaving like that and say, "Ok, that's what the Wikipedia editing culture is like. It's about aggressiveness and generating the highest-quality flames. Well that's cool, since it means I don't have to moderate my behavior either." And then they add to the problem. Rinse, repeat. Experienced editors need to model the behavior they would like newer editors to emulate, not because it's "the right thing to do", but for the sake of the project.
I was myself on the receiving end of one of those flames just the other day, for politely asking an 8-year editor, on their user talk page, to please assume my good faith without clear evidence to the contrary. "I call them like I see them", they said, following with insults and a curt "Good day". Given the clear tone, the clear underlying message was, "Get the fuck off my talk page you whale-shit miserable excuse for a human being. Don't EVER question my actions again." How is this supposed to make me feel about Wikipedia? That happened to be an extremely rare occurrence, or I would have been gone a long time ago, and forgive me for believing Wikipedia is better off with me here. But the point is that that kind of behavior is embedded in the culture, and it should not be. That should be immediately blockable, no questions asked, no extended trial at ANI. ZERO tolerance for uncontrolled open hostility. If we can't trust an admin to make that call correctly, they shouldn't be an admin. Underscored text added much later (9/23) because it is important.-M
Wikipedia needs cool heads, not Righteous Flamethrower White-Knight Defenders of the Cause. I think this is adequately conveyed in the widely-ignored Wikipedia policy, WP:BATTLEGROUND. If that policy were intended as a gentle suggestion for personal growth and self-improvement, I don't think it would have policy status.
I apologize if I've failed to address much of your comment. I'm not deliberately ignoring that. ―Mandruss  01:21, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Mandruss you are talking as though you have never encountered somebody like SageRad who just will not stop POV pushing and campaigning. When SageRad showed up here he was completely on fire to add content about X (that neither he nor I can discuss). I spent hours -- hours -- trying to teach him - and kindly -- about our content policies and at every turn he complained that I was trying to censor him, and that his efforts to add his Truth (his own words) to Wikipedia were in line with the "true values" of WP (again his own words) - an iron syllogism that he remains trapped within even today, after a year and a half. It is uncrackable, so far. You can go back and read his talk page from the beginning and see this for yourself. Guy, me, and others who regularly have encountered SageRad have been here a long time and edit productively with people - collaboratively - all the time. Editing with people who are clueful is a joyful experience. Editing with advocates is difficult at best.
Advocates coming to WP and pushing and pushing and pushing some agenda are a very real problem here - WP:TENDENTIOUS, WP:ADVOCACY, and WP:Civil POV pushing were all developed by the community to describe this reality; people come here locked into their own ideas about what WP is and what the right way to operate is. This is especially a problem in the realm of health content, where a) people have very strong feelings; b) there is a lot of bullshit on the internetz; and c) the actual science is often messy and is always ... science, so hard to grasp for a lot of people. I discuss some of these issues in an essay I started called WP:Why MEDRS?.
But the approach you are taking here is really false balance. Jytdog (talk) 01:46, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Total misrepresentations about me from Jytdog and JzG/Guy above, but it's too much and too tiring and too pointless to even get into it. Suffice it to say it's a lot of chimera and smoke and factually challenged demonization above. I wish i cared enough and had enough time to refute it point by point but at this hour i do not even care except to state my objections to their misrepresentations. People can be civil, and people can discuss differences and come to conclusions or compromises. And Jytdog, you know that i do admit when i am wrong in an editing question and that i care about RS and NPOV and yes, MEDRS, and yet you continue to make these false accusations. Enough. SageRad (talk) 01:56, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
@Jytdog: I confess to avoiding those situations so, sure, it's possible I'm full of shit. In that case I would like to understand why the problem can't be addressed with the approach I described at 11:59, 19 September 2016 (UTC). With that approach, you don't need to convince them they're wrong, you just need to show a consensus against them. If they fail to respond to consensus enough times, and it shouldn't be all that many, they're out the door. Where's the flaw in this thinking?
Are you simply doing the best you can with inadequate policy? If the system doesn't support you adequately, change it so it does. If you can't summon enough support for the necessary changes today, despite your best-articulated arguments, create a good essay. I don't know of any essay that advocates the changes I've described, or at least not the most essential part about consensus. ―Mandruss  02:03, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
What Mandruss said above about the culture in which new editors find themselves is spot on. I came to Wikipedia with the expectation from some initial editing that it's a place where people with goodwill and interest can discuss subjects to improve articles. We want to get the articles right. Obviously, people have different life experiences and different points of view. This can be a beauty of Wikipedia, when it works. We discuss content in light of the policies like RS and NPOV. If we're civil and have good intentions, then it works. If we can reconcile points of view using reliable sources, and arrive at good articles, then it's a wonderful collaborative experience. But when an editor finds a contentious environment with people being mean and uncivil, then one either leaves or becomes quickly hardened. One sees that others are being very pushy and pushes back with what they see as right, in light of the policies. The things i've pushed for have been when something is obvious in terms of NPOV or RS and was still being blocked for no apparent good reason. Then i would not just say "oh, okay" and give up without attempting to make the point more clearly. Sometimes i was convinced otherwise and let it go. Other times, i found that the opposition seemed to be shapeshifting and ever citing new essays, or otherwise based on hostility rather than reason. In those cases, i sometimes stated what i saw. That's within the bounds of good editing here. It's not "flouting consensus" when there is only a consensus of several but not all editors, and the facts seem to be otherwise. In that case, it seems there is a stubbornness that is not for good policy reasons, and i would not just say "okay, i give up" and go away. And even this can be ok if we can remain civil. Some topics really do merit a lot of discussion. There is no limit on discussion length, as long as one is being reasonable and civil, and continuing to develop the dialog. I understand that a filibuster is a different thing, but this is not what i ever did. I would only state the facts about what sources said and how this fits with policy. People have different points of view, and we must all accept this. Wikipedia is not written by one person. It's a collaboration. That is a large part of its beauty. SageRad (talk) 02:16, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, Mandruss. Advocacy, especially civil POV pushing, is a notoriously hard issue to deal with in WP, historically. Not recognizing consensus is surprisingly hard to prove. What POV pushers do, is just call it "false consensus" or "cabal" per the note above and ignore it and keep going and going. (isn't it remarkable that after getting zero traction in these two enormous threads here on this page, SageRad has no awareness that no one is buying what he is selling and is even now persisting? Welcome to my world. Advocates don't care about consensus if it doesn't agree with them - they don't actually understand this messy, basic value of WP - that each of us trusts the wisdom of the community and yields to it when it disagrees with any of us. The attitude of the advocate - the syllogism -- is "I have the Truth. If the consensus doesn't agree with me, the consensus is mistaken or corrupt, and either way I will overcome it because I know the Truth and I have integrity and will stand by the Truth." That is the unbreakable internal logic of advocates that leads them to leaving here angry or getting thrown out of here) NPOVN is a ghost town because these issues often require digging deep down into the actual sources and content and trying to sort out what people are saying about it - and - what person X is claiming person Y is saying about it, (what a headache) and even the clearest cases presented at ANI get derailed and yield nothing because nobody has the patience. (check out this case I filed to deal with a long-time SPA POV pusher - no one denied that he was both a SPA and advocating exactly one thing - that was completely derailed, turned into a circus, and ended with no action. Horrible.) Jytdog (talk) 02:22, 21 September 2016 (UTC) (italicized text has been redacted in Jytdog (talk) 02:58, 21 September 2016 (UTC))
Not recognizing consensus is surprisingly hard to prove. - Ok, that could be the flaw I seek. I shall give it some thought and maybe actually visit some of these situations. Silently. ―Mandruss  02:32, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
That's all one can ask. thanks. will be interested in your thoughts. Jytdog (talk) 02:51, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
isn't it remarkable that after getting zero traction in these two enormous threads here on this page, SageRad has no awareness that no one is buying what he is selling and is even now persisting? That's a wrong interpretation. I got "traction" among some and i got the same old players playing their old tune. SageRad (talk) 12:08, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
No, Sage, you did not get "traction". You got support from a couple of griefers in similar aituations to your own, and you exploited the good faith of one person who took your claims at face value without checking ht ehistory. That is not the same thing at all. Guy (Help!) 16:22, 21 September 2016 (UTC)


One does wonder why a few old hands are on the warpath against me. One does wonder why they find it so irritating that they continue on and on with personal attacks and slanderous misrepresentations. Even after some good editing interactions. If there's nothing to what i'm saying, then why would people be so fervent to destroy me when i say how i see the dynamics in Wikipedia? And then why bend it to personal attack against me and wanting me to "cede" as in bow to authority and pretend i agree with them? SageRad (talk) 12:22, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

On the off-chance that you genuinely do wonder, here's why: you came here to promote an agenda, you failed to gain consensus for your edits, based on that you accused numerous other editors of basically being shills for the GMO industry, you refused to allow for the possibility that you might be wrong, or that anybody who opposed you might be doing so out of anything other than sinister motives, you were sanctioned for that, you reject the sanctions and the process as invalid, and you keep coming here to tell Jimbo how Wikipedia is doomed because it did not enable your POV-pushing. And I have absolutely no doubt that you will file this under personal attack as well, because that is another reason why people are on the warpath against you: you interpret all criticism as personal attacks, even when all people are doing is explaining the problem to you. Ultimately, you don't want to hear anything that does not support your internal version of events. No, it's worse than that: you actively don't hear it, so then you re-state your case as if none of the many patient explanations ever happened. Lots of people have tried to explain to you how to be more successful in advancing your cause, but you have ignored all of them, and the inescapable conclusion at this point is that you are convinced not only that you are ineffably correct in everythign you believe, but that you should be the sole arbiter of truth in all maters pertaining to your agenda and your conduct in pursuing it. Guy (Help!) 13:14, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

@SageRad: - Please do not interpret my conversation with you as support for your specific case. I was basically using you as a springboard, for lack of a better word, for larger issues that have been on my mind for some time. I said previously that I know nothing about your situation. I'm less sure about where I stand on the "aggressive vocal majority" issue. I was referring to the more general cultural problem, and I don't think my thinking has changed about that. But I admitted to ignorance of the issues Guy and Jytdog described, which appear to include your case. This shit gets confusing.
In hindsight, what I did probably confused your situation, and I apologize for that. ―Mandruss  16:55, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

You do need to respect consensus, even if you strongly disagree with it. It's the bedrock of Wikipedia. Both sides in these kinds of issues feel very strongly they are the real protectors of Wikipedia content, and consensus is how we resolve that difference of opinion. If you truly find it impossible to respect consensus, Wikipedia will perpetually be a source of extreme stress in your life. ―Mandruss  17:46, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

You're framing it as a battle between good and evil, and that never works. It never has. We've been engaged in that conflict for thousands of years, and we're still at it with no end in sight, at the cost of immeasurable suffering and loss of life.
Your Wikipedia opponents are not your enemies, and they are not Wikipedia's enemies either. They are acting in good faith, as I believe you are, but you come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives. This is the essence of WP:AGF, which should be viewed by intelligent people as more about a philosophical mind-set than about behavior standards and rules.
Wikipedia content is just not THAT fucking important. To whatever extent it influences society views, society is not THAT fucking important, either. I personally feel Western civilization is headed for Dark Ages II within a century or two, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it. That resignation makes Wikipedia editing, and life, a lot easier for me. It also makes me a better Wikipedia editor because, while I have political views, I don't feel them at an emotional level. Maybe the fact that I'm probably somewhere on the autism spectrum has something to do with that, too. Here's the personal userbox I made:

Milky Way Galaxy.jpg
This user is aware that, in the end, it's only Wikipedia.

I don't hope to sway you to my core philosophies and worldview, but the world would be a far bettter place if all of us worked on (1) increasing trust level for fellow man, and (2) calming the fuck down. That doesn't seem too far out of reach for someone with your intelligence. Hell there are pills for the latter that work quite well. ―Mandruss  18:46, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Mandruss, please don't worry. I appreciate your input. And i don't construe it as support for any specific situation related to me. I know things are confusing and voluminous. That's part of the problem and why it's really so easy to misrepresent situations -- who really wants to go and read 100,000 words to determine who they agree with? Sometimes it's the more flashy name-calling that wins out. In response to your comments:

  • I do respect consensus when it's a real consensus. I do not respect a fake "consensus" when it's not real and not there. Like when there are five really uncivil people arguing to not include a specific case that is well-sourced in very, very notable sources, and there are three or four other people who are arguing that it's clearly a thing to include in the article. And then the five try to claim a "consensus" that is not there -- that's not consensus. Let's define consensus. WP:LOCALCONSENSUS -- "Consensus is ascertained by the quality of the arguments given on the various sides of an issue, as viewed through the lens of Wikipedia policy."
  • I do not frame this as a battle between Good and Evil. It's more like "Why can't we get along? Why are some people so consistently uncivil and why is that tolerated?" And it's also like "Some groups here are really pushing agendas hard using gang/swarming and really offensive methods, and why is that tolerated? Why aren't people acting with more integrity, and why are those who are abusive and offensive the most prolific people around some content areas and nobody does anything about it?"
  • Wikipedia content is important. It's a basic reference that millions of people use when learning their first definition of many things. So if there's a particular point of view being favored or disfavored, then that can have an effect on the world. If we can do it right, then we really ought to do it right.
  • I have been working to increase trust level. In fact in the last few days, i had an interaction while editing with Jytdog where i accepted his critique (which was correct, and was about MEDRS in regard to PCBs and autism, actually). I thanked him for that, and wrote a friendly note on his wall. That's one more reason why i was rather incenses when he above tried to paint me as a ruthless agenda pusher who doesn't care about policies. I care about getting articles right -- according to good sources.
  • Anyway, i appreciate your candidness and frankness here. I hope you find the same in me. Anyway, i am generally fairly calm about it all, but sometimes some people just rankle me when it's the same thing over and over and constant misrepresentation that feels like personal attacks, and then i feel defensive and want to clear my name. It may also be an oddity about me. I want to feel that i sit right with everyone or to resolve the issues. SageRad (talk) 23:41, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
You make some good points. And you're right, I'm still speaking from a position of ignorance. I probably should have stayed the hell out of it. Assuming for the sake of argument that you're in the right here, you are not going to win that battle. ―Mandruss  23:45, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
@Mandruss - your comments here are welcome. SageRad and I got caught up in similar, but not identical, issues over at the ArbCom decision we are both not allowed to mention. I am now convinced there is a highly vocal group which is intent on driving us both from the site. It is difficult to continue AGF when an admin - yes an admin - edits my edits to tell lies about me. DrChrissy (talk) 19:15, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I find this kind of interesting, actually. Both sides essentially speaking to each other by speaking to me, thus avoiding direct confrontation. ―Mandruss  19:27, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I can only speak with authority about my own circumstances. WP is my hobby, a hobby which I sometimes enjoy very much. I do not want my hobby taken away from me. That is a very real possibility in direct confrontation because the highly vocal aggressive group are extremely skilled and experienced in these matters. One of their chief tactics is to misrepresent the statements of civility-based editors to try and bait the editor into becoming uncivil. When that does not work, the editor is subsequently labelled as a "civil POV pusher". This thread contains at least 2 prime example of how serious misrepresentations are being made to malign civility-based editors. DrChrissy (talk) 20:01, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Well both of your (you and SageRad) comments to me have the appearance of trying to convince me, as if I'm a judge here. A judge requires evidence, not just arguments. I'm certainly not going to go there, for three reasons. I lack the competence to act as judge in that, my opinion would be meaningless and pointless anyway, and I don't have the time. I suspect you understand that, so I conclude that you are not really speaking to me. But carry on, I don't mind. ―Mandruss  20:31, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I was not expecting you to be a judge, rather, I was using you as a "sounding board" and trying to inform you as someone who has clearly expressed an interest in the general matter of civility on WP. DrChrissy (talk) 20:43, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I strongly believe you should be treated with common human respect, free of sarcasm and snark, even if you are guilty as fucking sin. I would treat Satan himself that way, and he's not even human. Feel free to quote me on that, or link from anywhere to my essay. That's a far as I'm going to go with this. ―Mandruss  20:46, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Arbitrary fork arbitrary break 1

You are a nice person. I'm not. And I find it very trying watching rebuffed POV-pushers exploit your wells of good faith. Guy (Help!) 20:57, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

How am I being exploited? I merely stated my position on common human respect, a position I've held for most of my life. I would expect them to address you likewise. ―Mandruss  21:02, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Here is me being a "nice person" to a pointy stick. Note any sarcasm or snark? I think the issue was handled adequately using reason, albeit very pointed and direct reason. I was frustrated with the guy, but I kept that under control. I don't think I abandoned common human respect. It was all about what he did, his actions, not the kind of person he is. I learned this approach by observing other editors who I respected and wanted to emulate.[15][16] Here is me with the same editor the next day. His bad behavior had ended, so my tone had immediately returned to normal. I even spent the effort to give him a courtesy ping.[17]
I don't know, you might say I was "aggressive" toward him. Clearly, I wanted to use sufficiently forceful language to cause him to cease the behavior. Some might call that "bullying", especially if on the receiving end of it. I don't. There was clearly no flaming. I've been using "fuck" here a lot, but I would never use any kind of profanity in a situation like that. And I don't see the need for that tone very much. The pointy stickness was crystal clear. So it's not about my need to dominate. ―Mandruss  22:21, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Guy, I've been thinking about your last comment. I thought my reply to it was some kind of effective counter to it, but now I see it was not. You and the others feel that abandoning common human respect is necessary to get that job done, a job in an entirely separate class from other Wikipedia editing. You feel the ends justify those means, and that is where we disagree. Regarding solely the personal-interaction aspect, as opposed to other things like "not recognizing consensus is surprisingly hard to prove", I don't need to go there and learn more about those situations, because my position is about universal human nature. It doesn't have an exception clause.
You feel that the problem would be worse if you didn't take that strong aggressive stance. I feel it would be better. This is the liberal me speaking, and I also think American military might is not the solution to the world's problems. I find the two situations analagous. If you're a staunch conservative, we're probably wasting our time discussing this and the problem is intractable. Liberals and conservatives have completely different worldviews, so they really have no basis for communication. ―Mandruss  13:01, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Conservatives tend to see the world in black-and-white good guys vs bad guys. This view is reinforced by things like Hollywood movies and television, which only want to provide entertainment for profit. They don't want to present anything that would be too complicated or nuanced for their viewers, that's not how to maximize profit. I'm gonna venture a guess that most of the people on your side of this battle are conservatives, or at least those who approach it like you do. Libs like me don't think the world is that simple. This comment still does not take a side, since it's possible that your opponents see it in the same black-and-white way. If so, you're both wrong. ―Mandruss  20:06, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Mandruss, I presume you are referring to political labels in the US? DrChrissy (talk) 20:40, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes. UK has different labels? If so, I think we need to standardize. I !vote for the US version. ―Mandruss  20:54, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
The UK has the same labels, and others, but they represent different ideaologies and mind-sets to those in the US. DrChrissy (talk) 21:09, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Well that's wonderful. Like this communication isn't hard enough already. ―Mandruss  21:10, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Policy and software for handling new pages at NPP & AfC

Following 5 years of unstructured discussion since WP:ACTRIAL, a dedicated venue has been created for combined discussion about NPP & AfC where a work group is also being composed to develop recommendations for necessary changes to policies and related software. It is not an RfC, it is a call for genuinely interested users who have significant experience in these areas to join a truly proactive work group. There is some reading to be done before signing up. See: Wikipedia:The future of NPP and AfC. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:08, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

NOINDEX in your talk page archives?

Jimbo, do you want __NOINDEX__ directives in your talk page archives? Most of them don't have it, and one just prevented my use of search just now. This diff claims it was added "per discussion." Is that right? What discussion where? (talk) 01:18, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

I have no idea, but that's completely unnecessary as the entire user talk namespace is noindexed through the software. Graham87 16:31, 24 September 2016 (UTC)


Does Wp:Verifiability, not truth apply to science-related articles ? Pwolit iets (talk) 08:07, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

It's an essay. The policy is at Wikipedia:Verifiability, and applies to all articles. -- Euryalus (talk) 08:31, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
According to Euryalus I'm not allowed to remove my own question, so I just striped it instead. Pwolit iets (talk) 09:08, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that's the right thing to do. Here's something from the Wikipedia talk page guidelines, "Once others have replied, or even if no one's replied but it's been more than a short while, if you wish to change or delete your comment, it is commonly best practice to indicate your changes." --Bob K31416 (talk) 19:29, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Anti-harassment program

I noticed Making People Be Nicer on the Internet: Google’s Trying to End the Era of Trolls. Wikimedia is somewhat involved. I'd love to see this set up if it works well. Any comment? Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:15, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia (enwiki) does not have a trolling problem because trolls are easily identified and quickly handled—fancy software is not needed for that. The real problem comes from civil POV pushers and those who battle over peripheral details such as what kind of dashes should be used, or whether infoboxes should be pushed into all articles. I just commented about the last point here. Disagreements over civility are never resolved because the fundamental problem is not addressed—should people who are able to indefinitely argue politely be permitted to do so forever, and should their opponents be eliminated (for example, with a Google algorithm) because they display frustration with a bad word? Johnuniq (talk) 03:35, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Antimicrobial resistance (resistance to antimicrobial agents) can lead to supermicrobes.
Anti-harassment resistance (resistance to anti-harassment algorithms) can lead to super-harassment.
Wavelength (talk) 05:13, 20 September 2016 (UTC) and 05:36, 20 September 2016 (UTC) and 05:44, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
It's just a matter of developing new euphemisms and not using potty words. Machine censorship of "fuck" and "shit" is nothing new. Carrite (talk) 19:09, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Looks like it has potential. I noted this part of the article that you linked to, "Reports suggest that 92 percent of players changed their behavior after seeing automated warnings." --Bob K31416 (talk) 05:54, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, 92% of people would stop using the words "fuck" and "shit" and 25 other things on a black list. Anything that gets into the grey area generates false positives galore, and good luck cleaning up that mess... Carrite (talk) 19:28, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Wiki-Detox gives the first of my two lines of the comment directly above an aggression rating of .67 and has the second line of the exact same post pegged at .08 aggressive and .08 friendly, mostly neutral. So was that an aggressive comment or not? Why was the first line (with two potty words) assessed so differently than the second, which was clearly dismissive and a little sarcastic? Was the first line "uncivil" and the second line "civil"? Is it not likely that they are simply reinventing the wheel with machine censorship of potty words — which would do very little to solve the actual problem of true harassment and trollery? Carrite (talk) 19:45, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
very nicely done, carrite. Jytdog (talk) 02:29, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

So google is trying to make the internet a safe space by inventing an AI version of Butters Stotch. The thing about the artificial intelligence is that it's not really intelligent. It certainly will not work, not as people intended it to be anyway. It will be just another weapon people can utilize to take down wrongthink instead of harassment. And the people who push for this kind of measures will most likely be one of the first targets. Personally I think internet has enough tools to protect oneself from internet harassment, the block button. Anything more is just silly. Sticks and stones... Darwinian Ape talk 06:49, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Thanks to User:Bob K31416 for quoting "Reports suggest that 92 percent of players changed their behavior after seeing automated warnings." I think that pretty much settles the question of usefulness, except for the question of so-called "Anti-harassment resistance." I'm wondering what Anti-harassment resistance would look like. Trolls would likely start avoiding certain words and phrases, but also certain ideas (such as posting personal details, questioning another user's parentage). All in all, that would be an improvement, but it won't solve *all* the problems. Civility ultimately has to be enforced by the whole community, admins and arbs included. Perhaps folks will start enforcing civility a bit better when they see that an AI bot can do a pretty good job. Perhaps borderline trolls will see what other editors must be also seeing, that some types of edits are not welcome. Harassment is indeed "Sticks and stones" that drive away many good editors. I can't see the AI software negatively affecting good editors. If they have a minor quirk that sets off the software, they will easily be able to avoid it in the future. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:45, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Re "If they have a minor quirk that sets off the software, they will easily be able to avoid it in the future." – Seems like the deveIopment process would be that the user reports the false positive and the software developers fix it.
Wikipedia currently has vandalism bots working in a similar way. As I recall, the edit summaries and user talk page messages for such bots includes a statement about reporting false positives. --Bob K31416 (talk) 18:19, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Excellent thread on Wikipediocracy demonstrating what utter hooey this new software initiative is. As usual. Carrite (talk) 19:00, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh, I'm sorry, the software deems that I am being aggressive. "The results are in. Please note the batting average is low!!! But dollars will be spent and engineers gainfully employed in the new grand social experiment. Thank you, WMF!!!" That's a .75 neutral, .23 friendly phrasing... The real anti-social harassment that happens on WP relates to edit-warring. This does nothing to fix that. And, with no real life registration of accounts and no sign-in-to-edit and no rigid policy of one-person-one-account, the end result will be a slightly higher rate of burn of throwaway sock accounts that the real trolls so copiously use. This ultimately changes nothing, of course. Carrite (talk) 19:05, 20 September 2016 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 19:24, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  • HERE is the link to Wiki-DeTox. See for yourself how easy it is to game... One hilarious bug noted already on WPO is that any use of the word "yank" pumps up the positives... An easter egg from a Yankees fan or something... Carrite (talk) 19:30, 20 September 2016 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 19:32, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
I'll be direct here, but try not to be nasty. If the usual suspects at that other website think this is a bad idea, there is probably something to it. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:45, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
The opposite, of course, is also true, depending on where one sits. I will call your attention to the fact that the post you have just made is a 0.11 aggressive comment. Be careful, you are treading on thin ice with the aggressiveness, the machine says. I'm sure there will be a template for that, in due time. (Are you following how this is just going to make things worse, not better?) Carrite (talk) 19:54, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) It's an equal-opportunity sports hater; just see what it makes of anything mentioning Arsenal F.C. or Scunthorpe United F.C.. As best I can tell, this is just a primitive "bad words" filter of the type that school districts dumped as unworkable circa 2002. ‑ Iridescent 19:51, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Exactly. With the added feature of pseudopolicing of grey areas of discourse that will generate massive numbers of false positives but which will provide copious opportunities for POV warriors to troll one another. Carrite (talk) 19:56, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
The phrase "Scunthorpe United F.C. for the win!" scores a 0.56 aggressive rating, which would presumably result in a machine-generated user page template. I'm sure that would go over well with a new editor, causing them to change their behavior — of ever editing WP again... Carrite (talk) 20:43, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah, here's a funny one: "I wish you would stop acting like a prick!" just about breaks the machine with a 0.98 aggressive rating. "If you don't revert that last edit, I will commit unfettered acts of genocide against you and your ilk." comes in at 0.32. "Please revert. Otherwise I will find you and butcher your children." comes in at 0.11 aggressive, and 0.01 friendly, which is less bad than one horrific attack launched against Wikipediocracy above... Arbcom case!!! Arbcom case!!! (Of course, I joke...) Carrite (talk) 20:50, 20 September 2016 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 20:56, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
"Carrite" comes in at 0.09 aggressive, 0.01 friendly, for what that's worth, which is worse than "This all seems sadly unbecoming to me, and a direct consequence of our having been too tolerant, for too long, of toxic personalities". (James has made a lot of noise about why he was dismissed which is utter and complete bullshit. at 0.49 would still be enough to earn an instant block in the Brave New World, though.) ‑ Iridescent 22:16, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Re: "Carrite" comes in at 0.09 aggressive, 0.01 friendly, for what that's worth... ...But if you add an exclamation point, it goes way up to 0.32 — which interestingly is exactly the opposite of what I found about the machine estimate of the edit "Idiot!" — which breaks the scale at 1.00 aggressive but can be attenuated to a third of that number with the addition of sufficient exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! best, —tim /// Carrite (talk) 23:25, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
The acerbic JW retort that your link also points to, "It's clear to me. It has been explained to you. If you don't agree, that's fine. We don't all have to agree on everything." comes in at .02 aggressive and .12 friendly. Clearly passive aggression is rewarded. Just don't say naughty words and please use a few happyspeak buzzwords as part of a long post and the AI Civility Wizard Machine forgives all. That would take a real stalker or an aggressive troll absolutely no time to navigate. Carrite (talk) 23:34, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Here's another article with more details [18]. I thought it had more information about how Conversaton AI was developed and how it works. An example of a prototype's capability can be found in the article by using the edit find feature of your browser to search for the part that begins with My own. --Bob K31416 (talk) 20:55, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  • With all due respect, many Wikipedians have mastered the art of behaving in superficially "civil" ways while still getting in their digs. These fine, upstanding colleagues would doubtless pass the AI test with flying colors, remaining free to carry on in their helpful ways. Cheers. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 04:36, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Of course the AI program will not catch *all* trolling and harassment. We are still going to need members of the community, admins, and arbs to enforce our rules on civility. But this program looks like it can catch or discourage the most simpleminded of trolls, e.g. the middle school boys who are amazed that they can type in dirty words, and some of the gamergaters. There's no reason not to implement this, even if that were all it could do. But it's likely to do a lot more, e.g. establish a history of who is being trolled and who is trolling. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:52, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Point is, this technology isn't going to catch *any* actual "trolling and harassment" — it is a censorship filter for four letter words that will "catch" anyone who uses them. We're already using this sort of technology in mainspace as vandalism bots, in all likelihood. It's not revolutionary. Anything that reaches beyond the black list of forbidden words is obviously gonna generate massive numbers of false positives that render the entire exercise impotent. Carrite (talk) 15:08, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Regarding the false positive rate of Conversation AI, "Google says that technology has a 92% certainty and a 10% false positive rate, which will continue to improve over time."[19] --Bob K31416 (talk) 15:20, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, good luck to them. As it sits now we have a technology that rates the aggressiveness of Drop the stick! at 0.37 and Stick it! at 0.39. Tell me how that wonderful tool helps us at all. (aggressive 0.04 and friendly 0.18). Carrite (talk) 15:26, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
I note that the tool you have been referring to is not Conversation AI, although I wouldn't be surprised if Conversation AI gave similar results. I suppose you could make the same arguments against antivandalism bots in Wikipedia because they also have false positives and miss some vandalism, but those bots seem to be well regarded[20], or do you think that those bots should be eliminated? --Bob K31416 (talk) 15:57, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
I mentioned above that WP is already using bad-words-flagging in their vandalism ID bots. It's 100% old technology, and so-called "Wiki-DeTox" is little more than, with a humorous false positive feature tossed in to keep the crowd laughing. But hey, go with any strawman argument that works for you... Carrite (talk) 11:36, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
One thing we need to keep front and center whenever we hear about AIs is that they are inherently racist. We've seen stories but it's important to get at the reason: Racism works. It's a go-along-to-get-along solution. If you ran a diner in Montgomery Alabama in 1960, you could have given your customers boxes to upvote and downvote who came in, and the effect would have been just as racist as anyone the heroes of that day protested. The modern "social credit" schemes being patented by Facebook and rolled out in Britain and China can be expected to work the same way. And a good AI adapts and learns how to get those upvotes and not downvotes! Only a real person who knows what racism is and has a moral belief that it is wrong and has a personal code that keeps him or her from joining in with it, even when there is personal risk and sacrifice involved, can truly be non-racist. And if we want to stay non-racist, we need to cultivate a strong bias that reflects the very real difference between human intelligence and its effigies.
Another thing to bear in mind is that AI is inherently aristocratic. When you sic a civility program on someone, what you're saying is that the ten minutes he took to think and write up a message is comparable to the couple of microseconds that some machine sitting in the basement of a building you never would bother to go into took to evaluate it. And by "comparable" I mean less than. Even if you allow him the opportunity to beg for reconsideration, the machine judges him first; it has the higher regard. The purpose of the AI is a force multiplier so that one aristocrat can order around tens of thousands of people whose thoughts he can't be bothered to read except to say that they're all wrong, terribly wrong. Such a machine ought only to be found in the ruins of a destroyed city on a dead world. Wnt (talk) 15:35, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
That is a really interesting point, thank you. Guy (Help!) 12:01, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

How do the editors here feel about the existing policies on civility and personal attacks that an anti-harassment program would be supported by? --Bob K31416 (talk) 13:20, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

I'd say for the most part, we have strong enough policies and guidelines on these matters, but no where near enough enforcement. Civility is ,after all, one of our 5 pillars. That policy however is essentially ignored most of the time by admins. Why is civility the only pillar that is ignored?
Thinking from the admin's point of view, some of it is likely because when they deal with uncivil editors, they realize that it's going to take a lot of their time, partly because there are no objective measures of incivility, and they are going to get dumped on big time, perhaps by other trolls. You'd think other admins would come in to help them, but those admins probably realize that there is a time sink, and that they are going to get dumped on. The overall environment does not support enforcement of civility rules. I'd think adding a tool that could fairly objectively stop gross forms of trolling might turn around the overall environment and make it easier for admins to enforce civility rules. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:39, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Your comments here to me are the epitomy of unCIVIL behavior. You don't have to like me but that unrepented behavior undermines anything you have to say about civility, Smallbones. Jytdog (talk) 18:05, 22 September 2016 (UTC) (and btw i am the first to acknowledge i myself have issues with it :) Jytdog (talk) 18:21, 22 September 2016 (UTC))
I look to the link at the Mylan article and i see SmallBones being pretty civil and Jytdog not so much. That's my reckoning. SageRad (talk) 00:54, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Why would a clearly unreliable automated tool make that any easier? Gross trolling is easily dealt with anyway, and the tool is proven to be unsuitable for purpose in dealing with the grey areas in between, as the large number of examples above show. More importantly, the very large number of false positives (as pointed out above, no-one would ever be able to mention the large British town of Scunthorpe without getting a warning, because the primitive mechanism shears the text line into 5-letter blocks) would actually be a bigger time sink for admins dealing with things that aren't actually a problem. Black Kite (talk) 18:18, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Repentant former Arbcom member Kelly Martin has a new winner in the How Useless Is This Tool derby: "Best one so far in terms of "neutralization": The post FUCK YOU (((t th tha than thank thanks thanks! hanks! anks! nks! ks! s!)))," which scores an aggressive number of 0.18 and a friendly number of 0.82. She states she could get that result even lower with nonbreaking spaces in the potty word. Carrite (talk) 21:02, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Although, the algorithm considers "Kelly" a swear word in its own right. Test it for yourself. ‑ Iridescent 07:08, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Getting back to the original question about the policies on civility and personal attacks, does anyone consider them an unjustified infringement on free speech? --Bob K31416 (talk) 18:30, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Obviously, free speech is limited on a private website (and everywhere else, for that matter), so you are framing the question at least a little wrongly. "Does anyone feel that automated warnings directed at those that machine filtering determines have committed personal attacks is a bad idea?" Hell, yeah! This is exactly what is sought by the Kumbayistas behind this concept, by the way — bad men will respond better to machine warnings of their unsavory behavior towards female editors than to personal warning is a paraphrase of one prominent advocate's view. This, of course, is utterly untested and probably hooey, but details like that don't slow down the engineering campaign... Carrite (talk) 21:02, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
From your remark, "This is exactly what is sought by the Kumbayistas behind this concept, ..." would you say that a moderate amount of incivility and personal attacks is helpful here? --Bob K31416 (talk) 21:23, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
That phrase is rated at aggressive 0.01, neutral 0.99. I simply don't know what you are talking about. We are letting machines make our decisions now, aren't we? Carrite (talk) 11:46, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
OK, then here's the simple question for you. Would you say that a moderate amount of incivility and personal attacks is helpful in Wikipedia? Never mind. I think you would simply prefer not to answer, which is your right. --Bob K31416 (talk) 14:13, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm not intending to duck your question, just to mock the ridiculously bad automation tool... Yes, I think that hearty, unfettered debate inevitably includes a fair degree of assertiveness, aggressiveness, feistiness, give-and-take... These things are amplified because we are sitting around our living rooms in our undergarments rather than sitting in a bar BSing over a beer... "Civility" and "Incivility" are in the eye of the beholder — which is why machine tools are never, ever, ever, ever going to replace the human brain applying common sense. Carrite (talk) 01:57, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
We editors are a pretty diverse group of personalities. It's hard to accommodate everyone so you go for the greatest good for the greatness number. I'm guessing that moderately uncivil editors are a minority, considering that a consensus of editors created the policies on civility that we have. --Bob K31416 (talk) 05:20, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
That's your view of the world. Mine is of an unequal power relationship between a professional staff in SF with $70M in coins coming in every season, doing pretty much what they want with the software without adequate consultation with the 10,000 or so core volunteers across all projects that make this thing actually go — and whose good work is being capitalized upon by San Francisco. They throw a few crumbs to special interest groups, who help drive ill-conceived and ineffectual programs like the current campaign for machine-evaluation of "civility" forward, which provides the "work" that the growing engineering bureaucracy needs to justify their existence. We agree that the big majority of Wikipedians are oblivious to all this. Carrite (talk) 14:07, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
What are the special interest groups that you are referring to? And what are the crumbs? --Bob K31416 (talk) 14:36, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Now, now, you're an intelligent person, you can work that out. Carrite (talk) 02:37, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't know what special interest groups or crumbs you are referring to. --Bob K31416 (talk) 15:20, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
More to the point, how is the much-touted Wikipedia editor retainment/recruitment campaign going to deal with new editors who make a couple of innocuous edits and get false positive warnings from a bot that doesn't understand English? Black Kite (talk) 22:53, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Here's something from an article[21].
"The bots do make mistakes, however, if they encounter a new circumstance their programming cannot account for. ClueBot NG, the anti-vandalism bot, has a small rate of false positives - edits it mistakes for vandalism, but which are in fact legitimate.
Since Wikipedia closely tracks edits, however, mistakes can be repaired almost as quickly as they happened, administrators say."
Since you're an administrator, and the last line above ends with "administrtors say", what do you say? --Bob K31416 (talk) 00:22, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
This administrator certainly doesn't say it. How could we possibly "repair" a spurious error on an IP talk page? Who would be monitoring that? How could we track the numbers of editors scared away by malfunctioning bots? By the very definition, they'd have already gone. Black Kite (talk) 14:12, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. How does monitoring work for correcting bot false positives of vandalism on the article page? And what would be the difference for monitoring bot false positives for incivility on the talk page. --Bob K31416 (talk) 19:50, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
The difference is that bots simply revert, and their boilerplate message delivered to the editor is effectively "hey, I reverted you, but I'm a bot and I sometimes get things wrong, so if this is the case just make the edit again". They don't throw out serious warnings or blocks. Black Kite (talk) 15:31, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly with SmallBones that there is nowhere near enough enforcement around civility. In fact it's rather like "the cops round here don't need you and man they expect the same" -- you better not even seek enforcement of civility or you'll get shot in the back on the way out the door. SageRad (talk) 00:54, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Seems like a matter of triage. Automation could help in that regard. --Bob K31416 (talk) 07:23, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
The problem is the difference between actual civility and faux politesse. I respect pretty much everyone I have encountered on Wikipedia, with the exception of a few spammers and one or two outright cranks. Part of respecting someone is telling them when I think they are an idiot. Policy does not mandate parliamentary language. Maybe it should, you could propose that if you like. Guy (Help!) 15:10, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Here on Wikipedia, we could just implement a system where you get assigned new usernames every time you log in. You then have one master username that is only visible to Admins. So, if there is misbehavior (e.g. edit warring, tendentious editing etc.) then Admins can intervene because they get to see the user contributions listed per master username but non-Admins only get to see user contributions per login username. Count Iblis (talk) 06:38, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
I like that. Remove the easy targeting along with the WP:OWN that often fuels bullying. AnonNep (talk) 14:50, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
So instead of being bullied by one single username which makes it at least obvious to the victim that they are in a conflict with one person, this would give the impression of a large group of people ganging up on someone, wouldn't it? I'm kinda puzzled about what this would achieve (not to mention issues with stealth vote stacking on deletion discussions or RFCs). MLauba (Talk) 15:03, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
If you are the bully then you would not know who to target, as your opponent is at least formally invisible to you. If you try to use information from the way someone is editing to guess the editors identity and then make a comment like "UserXYZ, I know very well who you are given your edits of today...." then would already a blockable offense as that would constitute outing. So, there is then an extra layer of protection for outing that makes it easier for victims of outing to complain without revealing their real identity. Only their master username gets compromised in this process which isn't a big deal as they can just logout and login again to reset the login username. Once your account is blocked you cannot edit, there is then no assignment of a login username that you can use.
Vote stacking cannot happen because any Admin can see the master usernames and block anyone guilty of casting multiple votes. Count Iblis (talk) 18:46, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
This would cause all sorts of problems, as there wouldn't be any point to user pages any more (making communication quite difficult) and it would be extremely difficult for normal editors to report paid editing and sockpuppetry (because it'd just look perfectly normal). It generally sounds like a pointless and chaotic waste of time that the WMF would neither approve of or spend time developing, and might cause license issues due to the attribution requirement. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
to reply to me
04:14, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I think that one type of test of an anti-incivility bot in Wikipedia, would be to use one or more administrators to screen each incivility finding of the bot for false positives, before the bot is allowed to apply any action towards a user. If the administrator finds that it is not a false positive, according to Wikipedia policy, then the bot would be allowed to proceed for that particular user. Note that this is just for testing the bot over a period of time before it is decided whether or not it should operate on its own without screening. --Bob K31416 (talk) 03:30, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I think it's a too-easy promise to fix a serious problem that requires a change in culture and responsibility. We need to determine (1) that we care about civility, and (2) step up and enforce it. No bot or A.I. will be able to. Most of the crap is subtle anyway. It's not all about cuss words. It's more about disrespect for other human beings and willful lack of integrity in dialog. SageRad (talk) 15:53, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Personally, I would want to wait and see how it works in a test before deciding whether or not it is worthwhile. --Bob K31416 (talk) 16:11, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Sage, you really need to stop using the word "integrity" as a synonym for supporting your POV. It makes you look like a weasel. Guy (Help!) 15:11, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Bots could never solve incivility. What do they look for? Swearing? Aside from the good old Scunthorpe problem, that doesn't solve it. That bot would censor one from saying "Fuck yeah, you did great!". (It would also censor my example here, somewhat ironically.) Meanwhile, I challenge you to code me a bot that could find the incivility in "You have an intelligence level lower than a rock, and I would rather converse with the rock. I hope to read your obituary in short order." That's far more uncivil than "Fuck you", but a bot just won't "get" that. So I just don't see that working. Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:01, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
RE: not just Seraphimblade, but others above as well.
There are at least 3 problems with many of the comments above
  • They assume no progress can be made unless the program works perfectly. If all it does is stop the posting of the most obvious trolling, that would be a step forward
  • They seem quite luddite, seeming to say that programs in the past were very limited, so obviously no progress can be made. Note that both Google and the New York Times are putting money into this effort and I expect that they believe some benefit will follow.
  • We don't know how the program will be implemented. But, say that the WMF offered editors the chance to opt-in to block comments on their user pages if the program detected a 99% chance that the edit was trolling. If a comment was blocked the editor would be given a chance to restate it. Why would anybody be against that?
Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:34, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
@Smallbones: There may be a certain homage to Ned Lud here; but then again I imagine quite a few folks who died of consumption in the British workhouses never really saw the illogic of that man's position. Sometimes a cause of war calls for the destruction of buildings, sometimes people, sometimes nature, sometimes technology, sometimes even truth itself, and to fail to do these things can bring misery. Wikipedia is indeed something of a refuge for backward characters, perhaps refugees from a wider economy with little use for people, who have seen the degeneration of political discourse from the ancient republic of Usenet to the mindless bullying and group self-delusion of social media. I think that in a dark age technology may not regress simply due to disruption of its requirements, but because technology itself becomes hostile. In the mercantile spy industrial complex of the post-9/11 internet, certainly it seems like technological progress only rarely serves much purpose beyond greater tracking and the control of the few. We wish they would just take back their damn drones, their fitness trackers, their GPS spy-on-demand "smart" phones, and even more so the "smart pills" and terahertz spy gear and robotic security hounds of the near future. So I think it is an attitude both deeply ingrained and profoundly justified to look toward new technologies here as suspect. Wikipedia in a state of primitive anarchy is person to person, mano a mano for good and for bad, and we know that after we bring in the machine guns and hand them out to the tribal chiefs it is not going to be the "paradise" it was before. Of course, we know we won't stop it forever - IP-jumping bots will push harder and harder, smarter and smarter for their commercial masters, and we'll end up seeing little choice but to try to defend from them automatically also, with all the dangers that brings. But we don't have to be the ones to do the pioneering here. Wnt (talk) 22:46, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Here's an actual example of how an anti-vandalism bot works [22]. An anti-incivility bot may work similarly. Note that there was an editor and an administrator that got involved after three bot warnings. --Bob K31416 (talk) 23:20, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

On the situation in the Azerbaijani part of Wikipedia

Jimbo Wales, we wait very much, problem solving and decision making on the Azerbaijani part of Wikipedia. After all, you promised us that you will solve the problem. But you're not going to solve the problem?!

Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia foundation have prepared a pocket of suggestions a long time ago. However, Sortilegus have prevented it from passing by stopping administrators’ discussion and Wertuose by stopping the arbitration Committee vote. Even though the user who started this vote asked for explanation, Wertuose didn’t give any till this day. Both of these administrators have gone beyond their authorities by abusing their powers, which is why I suggest them stripped of their administrators’ status. There was enough of vandalism, prejudice and fakery in their activities already (1 (Reliable sources wiped out), 2 (The name of the state, has been removed.), 3 (Reliable sources wiped out), 4 (Picture of the article - az:Bakı xan sarayı), is deleted., 5 (insult; Əxlaqsız ifadələrə görə...) and 6... And Sefer Azeri, who does massive vandalism and blocks perspective users with no reason, should be not just stripped of his status, he should be blocked. There was 4 days left till the end of the Arbitration Committee vote. A majority voted positively. If there’s a need, let us make a vote in 4 days, if there’s no, recognize the legality of that vote. After that we would be able to fix problems in AzWiki ourselves. And I would be able to participate in fixing them, sure, you would have to unblock me for that. When I’m asking why I’ve been blocked, they don’t answer. A representative of Meta asked then about this as well, but didn’t receive an answer.Idin Mammadof (talk), editor of DMOZ 09:03, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales, we wait very much, problem solving and decision making on the Azerbaijani part of Wikipedia. After all, you promised us that you will solve the problem. But you're not going to solve the problem?! Aydinsalis (talk) 15:57, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Jimbo Wales, we wait very much, problem solving and decision making on the Azerbaijani part of Wikipedia. After all, you promised us that you will solve the problem. But you're not going to solve the problem?! You can not do anything, you let us know. Why are you kidding us? Why do I have to lose time? Aydinsalis (talk) 11:29, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Mr. Jimmy Wales!
You have announced that Wikipedia has 5 principles (Wikipedia:Five pillars). This principles have to be followed in each edition of Wikipedia. But when I informed Meta that in Azerbaijani edition 5 principles are not being followed, common rules are being brutally breached, administrators are involved in vandalism, meta did not take any measure and they excuse themselves by stating that Azerbaijani edition is independent?! So why then did you write that the 5 common principles are in force in all of Wikipedia’s editions? You should write instead that the 5 common principles are not in force in Azerbaijani edition, as administrators there do whatever they want!
Jimmy Wales, if you don’t consider Azerbaijani Wikipedia to be yours maybe you have sold it then? Who did you sell it to, Jimmi? It is being demanded from us to create articles about gays, otherwise they don’t let us work. We know you sold Kazakh Wikipedia to Nazarbayev. We want to know if you sold Azerbaijani Wikipedia to gays or to Azerbaijani government.
Jimmy Wales, your business abilities are not bad, you know how to make money. However if you sell Hebrew Wikipedia to Arabs, Ukrainian Wikipedia to Russians and Azerbaijani Wikipedia to Armenians (maybe you already did this), you could earn more money and give bigger salaries to your employees. Aydinsalis (talk) 19:58, 27 September 2016 (UTC)


If a concept or diagnosis is unverified by science but has many reliable sources covering it, does it deserve a wikipedia article? Pwolit iets (talk) 09:07, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm going to answer twice, once here and once further down. The very short answer is "in general YES, but with some caveats".--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:02, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
WP:RGW says: "If you want to explain the "truth" or "reality" of a current or historical political, religious, or moral issue, or spread the word about a theory/hypothesis/belief/cure-all herb that has been unfairly neglected or suppressed by the scholarly community, on Wikipedia, you’ll have to wait until it’s been reported in mainstream media or published in books from reputable publishing houses. Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought or original research. "Wikipedia is behind the ball – that is we don't lead, we follow – let reliable sources make the novel connections and statements and find WP:NPOV ways of presenting them if needed." As for separate articles, this is covered by WP:GNG. Wikipedia doesn't need to have articles about everything, but should cover everything that is of encyclopedic value. Can you name an article or subject area meeting these criteria that is currently missing from Wikipedia?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 09:19, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Does wp:MEDRS trump wp:gng? Pwolit iets (talk) 09:56, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
This is all very hypothetical without a specific example. As a general rule, policies should not be played off against each other, per WP:GAME. Anything which has received significant coverage in reliable secondary sources is suitable for a mention, either in an existing article or in a new one.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 11:27, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree. Policies are additive. Content must meet both standards if the topic falls within WP:MEDRS. It must be both notable enough for inclusion, as well as sourced reliably enough to support biomedical claims. SageRad (talk) 11:52, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
WP:RGW is an essay and not a policy. Note that Wikipedia is expressly not a mainstream encyclopedia. We want it to be as accurate as possible. We want to get the content right. The policies of WP:RS and WP:NPOV trump essays. Something may be reported in some entity of the "mainstream media" and yet another source or sources might be more reliable. Or Wikipedia can report multiple points of view on some topics, if there are multiple salient points of view. Policies trump essays. SageRad (talk) 11:49, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
The mainstream media often gives an easy ride to people making fringe science and medical claims. In these areas, the views of reputable academics are the best benchmark.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 11:53, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
If so, why are pages such as near-death experience or clairvoyance called a "personal experience" and "alleged ability" rather than a hallucination? Better yet, why are they not outright deleted since they have no solid scientific basis? Pwolit iets (talk) 12:20, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, what is the concept or diagnosis about which we need an article? -- Euryalus (talk) 12:26, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Nothing specific. I work on article for deletions, so it would benefit me. Nonetheless I often see delete rationales that claim reliable sources are insufficient, but need to be bulked up with medical sources. Pwolit iets (talk) 12:35, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Things can exist as phenomenon that are subjectively experienced -- like "near death experience" for instance -- and it's described as such in the article about it, so i don't see the contradiction. SageRad (talk) 15:55, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
We have a great many such articles. Predestination, dharma, sin, deity and so forth. Even medical concepts can be unscientific - health just as much as qi, for example, because you can go through the National Institutes of Health from top to bottom and you'll find not one sample of "health" in a test tube anywhere. I dare say the same applies for more highly regarded religions; property, well, is no more rationally founded than in the days of Proudhon, nor can prison be explained except as a popular delusion pushed by greedy quacks. If we were to excise every concept with a deficit of reason, I fear this would be a very small encyclopedia indeed. Wnt (talk) 17:28, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
  • User:Pwolit iets Notability is based on there being sufficient independent reliable sources with significant discussion about X. What sources are reliable, depends on the nature of X. If X has a significant component that is WP:Biomedical information then the relevant guideline for judging reliability of sources for content about that component is WP:MEDRS. if the biomedical component is core to X, then yes, the notability evaluation will ask whether there are sufficient MEDRS sources.
Your response above of "nothing specific" to the question is disingenuous at best.
For those of you who are unaware, Pwo liets appears to be on a campaign to "save" WP from becoming "Medicinopedia" that appears to be centered on my editing. The campaign appears to have arisen from a discussion at Coregasm about whether the the old "Cosmo" version of the Coregasm article (complete with a picture of a model and a quote from her about her orgasms at the gym) or the current version is more appropriate for an encyclopedia. Talk discussion is here, where Pwo liets wrote to me: "I have tracked your edits going back to April and you have used such health-centric, medical-centric, or science-centric arguments at least a hundred times. Your tendency towards medicalizing non-medical or tentatively-medical articles would make sense if this page was only under a medical wikiproject or if all the parent categories solely link to medicine." which they followed up with this note at my Talk page entitled "Medicinopedia", then this !vote at the merge discussion about that article, and this comment to the advocate for the "Cosmo" version of the article. Most recent relevant AfD is Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Siderodromophobia (one of many AfDs that have been held on pseudophobias that have found their way into WP and are being put up for AfD one by one); see Pwo liets' !vote there and the exchange. See also this so-bad-its-good effort to generate dramah in an ANI thread about someone hounding me.
Now the campaign is making a whistlestop at the Reichstag. Ok then. Jytdog (talk) 18:22, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
I can't comment on the other editor's motivations, but in regard to notability, i do not see any indication in policy about WP:MEDRS sources being the prime indicator for notability in regard to topics to which MEDRS applies. Mind you, i understand fully that WP:MEDRS holds in regard to any specific claims that are biomedical in nature, but not in regard to notability for an article topic itself. I see nothing to that effect in WP:Notability or WP:MEDRS. Of course, this may be a little bit hair-splitting because in most cases if a biomedical subject is "notable" in other sources, there will typically be something that is MEDRS compliant on which to base notability, but there may not be. There may be a topic that is notable enough for an article but about which there is not much MEDRS compliant to support claims of efficacy or lack thereof, and in that case an article could describe the topic but not state its validity or lack thereof, but only to describe the concept. SageRad (talk) 18:30, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
RS is the general guideline, MEDRS is the guideline for biomedical content. They have equal status as guidelines; they just cover different domains. The only place where we really run into trouble are WP:FRINGE-y concepts, and for those we rely on WP:PARITY to find reliable biomedical sources. Those deletion discussions are interesting. There was a helpfully concise and clueful comment made about that here, in another discussion. Jytdog (talk) 18:47, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Just so. Wikipedia does not care if whether is bollocks, only whether it is notable bollocks :-) Guy (Help!) 14:48, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
wp:gng says,
"If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to be suitable
for a stand-alone article or list."
" 'Reliable' means sources need editorial integrity to allow verifiable evaluation of notability, per the reliable source guideline."
Going to the link the reliable source guideline, we go down to the section WP:RS/MC, where we are referred to Main page: Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine), also known as wp:MEDRS.
So for the case of medical-related articles, one would use wp:gng with the definition of reliable source for medical-related articles that is found at wp:MEDRS. --Bob K31416 (talk) 20:33, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
As for the "concepts" aspects, the OP may wish to look at Cryptozoology and its associated articles. There is little/no scientific evidence for many of these animals, yet IMHO the encyclopaedia is richer for having these as I like to read about other cultures. DrChrissy (talk) 20:43, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
  • We cover many things that lack scientific validity - the canonical example is homeopathy of course. The question is whether the concept has coverage in reliable independent sources, as Jytdog points out. Guy (Help!) 22:00, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree with this completely. I always wish that an abstract question were accompanied by the example that the questioner has in mind, as it helps to fill in some realism to the question. But as asked, in the abstract, lots of things which are covered by reliable sources should be covered, even if they are totally bogus ideas.
Let's talk for a moment about the Moon. Our article does not say, with a lame kind of false 'balance', that "Some say the moon is made of rocks, some say cheese" as if sensible people can't draw any conclusions about the matter. Indeed, our article on the moon doesn't mention cheese at all, and quite rightly so. But we still have the article The Moon is made of green cheese.
I'm never happy when I see the argument "X is not verified by science, so even though it is written about popularly quite a lot, it shouldn't have a Wikipedia entry." For me, the right approach is "X is not verified by science, and so because it is written about popularly quite a lot, it's important to have a Wikipedia entry to tell people that it isn't verified by science."--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:02, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Jimbo is precisely right. The GNG argument is flawed in that, if the sources you come up with are not medical sources, it only means that you do not have a 'proper medical' article, but something else. But that does not mean it has no relevance to the history of medicine or should provide no insight into social practices and ideas regarding disease! For example, we have an article on hysteria that contains not a single MEDRS source - since that overbearing guideline likes to demand very recent articles, whereas 'hysteria' is a very antiquated idea. This does not mean the article should be deleted, though I suspect the subsection tying it to more modern concepts could indeed be updated. Wnt (talk) 17:06, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Absolutely. If it's notable bollocks, we should cover it. We do have a problem with some concepts that are covered only in credulous sources though. However, we normally manage that well enough: if the only sources for a health claim are and an article in the Daily Mail, we're probably not going to cover it. Guy (Help!) 22:20, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, as i said above to Jytdog, a thing can be notable even if not stated as a "true thing" or "real thing" in Wikivoice. It can be presented in terms of historical and social importance. Example: bloodletting. Another example that probably should more clearly state the unreality of its subject: race and intelligence. SageRad (talk) 12:10, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
The pseudophobia articles are nothing like homeopathy, where the reliable sources debunk the pseudoscience, and there are plenty of them. An article that treats a pseudophobia as though it is a real thing has nothing to do with the mission of WP. Jytdog (talk) 20:18, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
What might be some examples of such pseudophobias that you have heard of that should not be covered in Wikipedia? Perhaps we can create an Ikipedia for such morbid fascinations. SageRad (talk) 20:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

The Signpost: 29 September 2016

Your ultimatum

You should address an ultimatum you gave User:Cassianto at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#User:Cassianto Violating Civility Policy. Please note I had to restore this message after it was deleted by User:Cassianto. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 18:04, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

That was not an ultimatum, it was an opinion. I have to say, your "tell Jimbo on you" tattling tactic is extremely lame.--Atlan (talk) 12:14, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
WP:FORUMSHOPPING on Jimbo's talkpage has a 100% success rate. Whenever someone has a minority viewpoint on Wikipedia all that person has to do is to leave a post here, and Jimbo will drop whatever he is doing and WP:SUPERVOTE in support of the person who posted on his talkpage.</sarcasm> (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 14:50, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  • As the founder, what incivility is tolerated reflects on him and the Wikimedia Foundation. "Tattling tactic is extremely lame": Sometimes when children are out of control you have to tell mom and dad. "FORUMSHOPPING on Jimbo's talkpage has a 100% success rate": Cassianto believes Jimbo and the Wikimedia Foundation are impotent in these matters, sadly he may be right. His behaviour has been tolerated for over a year now. When nothing is done it sets the tone for everyone else. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 15:26, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
You told mom (ANI), but you didn't get the response you wanted. So now you are telling dad (Jimbo). This is called forumshopping. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 15:42, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Then you can take it to ANI to punish me. It is called WP:boomerang, everyone who "tattles" risks it. In any other venue it would be called retribution. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 16:43, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Facepalm Facepalm (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 17:01, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
@Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): Luckily WP:ANI (and Wikipedia and human interaction in general) doesn't work that way.
Since we are on Jimbo's talk I'll try to explain my POV (or at least I'll try for His Holy Beard).
I do not know who you are.
I do not know who Cassianto is.
To me, you are both random anonymous people with an internet connection.
I am not just "neutral", I am indifferent.
I do not really care about who did what when because I don't think it helps us reach our goal.
Our common goal is to write an encyclopedia.
We are not here to (try to) get eachother WP:PUNISHed for perceived and actual wrongdoings.
Blocks and bans should be used to protect the encyclopedia; not for "retribution".
If you see an editor you dislike, please click the "Random article" link in the menu and try to improve it.
The only winning move is not to play in the WP:DRAMA.
Please write and improve articles instead.
(((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 20:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree with everything you say, except the "protection of the encyclopaedia". This should be followed by "... and protection of editors". In my view, the use of foul language should not be tolerated on WP. It gives an extremely poor image to outsiders. We constantly hear comments about loss of editors. How is tolerating such language going to retain editors or attract them. Imagine a younger person reading these sorts of comments - are they likely to take up editing on the basis of these - I think not. DrChrissy (talk) 20:34, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
No, because protection of the editors who write the encyclopedia is a subset of protection of the encyclopedia. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 06:15, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Looks like I already have been punished. I just had the evidence I have been collecting deleted from my user page and User talk:Floquenbeam and my user page locked by by the same person. The rule appears to be Cassianto can freely say these things, but I am not allowed to compile evidence of his incivility. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 17:07, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Unless there is a pending ArbCom case, the compilation of enemies lists or negatively-minded diffs of the actions of others is prohibited activity on wiki. It is SUPER SIMPLE to keep this information off wiki as part of a MS Word document or something, which is what you should have been doing in the first place. And you should know better than anyone, Richard, that an appeal to ANI will generally accomplish nothing and a further appeal to Jimbotalk even less. Brush it off, move along, there is plenty of work to be done on 5.2 million articles without ever crossing paths with any one nemesis ever again. Carrite (talk) 17:21, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  • The actual !wikilaw reads: "The compilation of factual evidence (diffs) in user subpages, for purposes such as preparing for a dispute resolution process, is permitted provided it will be used in a timely manner." The ANI is active and the compilation of offenses was active. This is another Wikicontradiction, You must compile differences to present at ANI, but the act of compiling them is a violation, and they will be deleted and your page locked. "Unless there is a pending ArbCom case, the compilation of ... diffs ... is prohibited activity." There is no mention of "ArbCom" in the !wikilaw, just "dispute resolution". "Brush it off, move along", then why have dispute resolution at all? I love the irony of everyone telling me to stop complaining about incivility, or others being told to stop goading Cassianto, and not enough people tell Cassianto to stop being uncivil. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 21:10, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Except civility routinely comes up as an issue. Why are people telling people to Fuck off? or worse, and why is it some are punsihed and many are allowed to get away with it. We need to collaborate and be more civil toward each other. 🔯 Sir Joseph 🍸(talk) 17:30, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
And here is your thought for the day on so-called "civility," a comment made this past March by Repentant Ex-Arbcom Member Kelly Martin, who is consistently one of the smartest posters on Wikipediocracy: "Battles over the appropriateness of a source for use in Wikipedia have always been settled through collateral attacks such as accusing one's opponent of incivility or other violations of the rules. This is largely because Wikipedia has no mechanism at all for authoritatively deciding disputes over content, but does have mechanisms for settling disputes over conduct, which causes disputes over content to be transformed into disputes over conduct." Carrite (talk) 18:33, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
I'd rather have folks that lose their temper, blow off steam and get over it than plot my downfall months or years later. And if you've been here awhile and not seen that in action, then you're naïve. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:47, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
The simplest thing would be to discuss sources in a civil way with good dialog. Anything else is unwarranted and we need to make that clear to people. The way to make it clear is to really apply some basic standards of respect and treating each other well. SageRad (talk) 20:52, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Except Cassianto's incivility has been aimed at more than 12 different people, at least that was the count till my page was locked. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 21:17, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Your collected evidence and diffs are available in a user subpage as outlined in the ANI thread. Swiftest way to resolve this issue is for you to use them in crafting a post as part of the current ANI thread; if they are no longer required (if for example the same points have already been made by others) it's probably not worth retaining them. -- Euryalus (talk) 21:42, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  • They are now at a subpage, the admin person's knee jerk reaction was to delete them, and then lock my page, not move them to subpage. The only reason to do that during an active ANI is to prevent me from collecting more evidence. The only reason they were restored to a subpage was by starting an ANI thread and complaining. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 00:38, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Mildly, removing these from your user page was in accordance with policy, which specifies that temporary subpages are where they should be stored while you build a dispute resolution post. -- Euryalus (talk) 00:45, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Reread above. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 02:57, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Life is much easier if you simply admit to being wrong once in a while. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 06:13, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
@Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): Fuck off. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 12:52, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
ping failed, retrying.... @Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 12:53, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
What sanctions is he escaping? And where did he state he's retiring to escape these elusive sanctions?--Atlan (talk) 12:55, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
  • If you really are his friend, you should have convinced him to chill out and be polite, instead of you blaming the victims. He was a devoted editor, and produced some great articles. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 16:57, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
@Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): Who? Atlan? Me? Have you read the comment dated 20:24, 27 September 2016 above? Being told to fuck off once in a while (I recently did it ironically, in Cassianto's memory, because that was his shtick) does not grant one the right to victimhood. It's actually the other way around: kids who grow up without hearing that combination of words once in a while tend to be spoiled and have little respect for boundaries. Swear words are a useful part of our vocabulary; they can for example convey emotion. You are here on Jimbo's talkpage asking Jimbo to block Cassianto, yet you praise Cassianto and blame others (I have never even interacted with Cassianto) for Cassianto's behaviour? 2 editors departed, SchroCat and Cassianto, and it seems like you played a role in that (which explains why you are trying to shift the blame). You compiled a list of diffs to try to get him blocked, instead of trying to convince him to "chill out and be polite" or asking someone else to do that for you. I assume that the fact that you are trying to shift the blame means that you are unhappy with the result. I understand that, so am I, so please don't do this kinda stuff again. Oh, and also that kinda stuff. Bad idea. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 18:37, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm not Cassianto's friend, and you are not his victim. Again, please point me to the sanctions he escaped by retiring. I can't find any.--Atlan (talk) 08:18, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

On the situation in the Azerbaijani part of Wikipedia

Jimbo Wales, we wait very much, problem solving and decision making on the Azerbaijani part of Wikipedia. After all, you promised us that you will solve the problem. But you're not going to solve the problem?!

Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia foundation have prepared a pocket of suggestions a long time ago. However, Sortilegus have prevented it from passing by stopping administrators’ discussion and Wertuose by stopping the arbitration Committee vote. Even though the user who started this vote asked for explanation, Wertuose didn’t give any till this day. Both of these administrators have gone beyond their authorities by abusing their powers, which is why I suggest them stripped of their administrators’ status. There was enough of vandalism, prejudice and fakery in their activities already (1 (Reliable sources wiped out), 2 (The name of the state, has been removed.), 3 (Reliable sources wiped out), 4 (Picture of the article - az:Bakı xan sarayı), is deleted., 5 (insult; Əxlaqsız ifadələrə görə...) and 6... And Sefer Azeri, who does massive vandalism and blocks perspective users with no reason, should be not just stripped of his status, he should be blocked. There was 4 days left till the end of the Arbitration Committee vote. A majority voted positively. If there’s a need, let us make a vote in 4 days, if there’s no, recognize the legality of that vote. After that we would be able to fix problems in AzWiki ourselves. And I would be able to participate in fixing them, sure, you would have to unblock me for that. When I’m asking why I’ve been blocked, they don’t answer. A representative of Meta asked then about this as well, but didn’t receive an answer.Idin Mammadof (talk), editor of DMOZ20:09, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Birds are reptiles or not

I thought the taxonomy experts had decided, years ago, in the major issue that birds are dinosaurs, which are reptiles, but some users want bird class Aves to not nest under reptile class Reptilia, so how to decide? And should WP show both taxonomies, where birds where separated from dinosaurs (circa 1927?) but considered under class Reptilia in 21st century? This is a topic where several users with expert backgrounds should help decide. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:52, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps discuss at "WT:WikiProject Tree of Life#Reptiliae or Aves?" with more users who have studied these taxonomy issues. -Wikid77 (talk) 03:26, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

Need gradmins to decide complex issues

Again, we need a set of highly educated users to help decide complex issues, as a corps of "gradmin" admins who have graduate degrees in various subjects. Historically, the academic world has relied on numerous graduate students, or doctoral-level personnel, to help manage complex university issues. Such users could be an extension, beyond a set of wikinannies who focus mainly on explaining and handling civility issues. The gradmins would help decide issues where subject matter experts needed to talk with highly educated wikipedians to decide complex concepts of article contents, or perhaps sort out subtle intricacies, where many users would likely have no strong interest to follow the debates ("take the matter to another forum"). Retaining a large corps of gradmins could reduce the awkward confrontations where non-academic admins, in small discussions, might feel threatened by people who are far more knowledgeable about the subjects. This awkwardness is often overlooked by highly educated users, who forget the difficulties of discussing matters with people who feel totally overpowered in the subject but try to compensate by acting out in strong reactions instead. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:01, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

See Template:Expert needed and Category:Wikipedians by degree.
Wavelength (talk) 00:32, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
You can try using Wikipedia:PetScan to find out the intersection of Category:Wikipedians by degree and Category:Wikipedia administrators.
Wavelength (talk) 00:36, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, those help count the grad-level users who post their education. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:46, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Regarding complex issues, do you have an example from a Wikipedia talk page discussion? --Bob K31416 (talk) 06:34, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
There are so many issues which require expert decisions with admin force, but seem difficult for most users to decide. For example, the rounded precision of conversions has been debated for over 7 years, but a mountain height in Template:Convert still overrounds for {convert|7300|ft} to show 7,300 feet (2,200 m), instead of 7,300 feet (2,225 m) as geographers would state. Some other-language wikipedias seem to be years, or decades, ahead of enwiki, such as current-year auto-population templates which insert new population counts in 30,000 town pages by just changing a few templates, as done in Dutch Wikipedia nearly 10 years ago. Giving more examples here would likely just complicate the focus, where some people might detract by insisting yearly edits to 30,000 pages could give major benefits, without considering the immense difficulty (or likely typos) of hand-updates to 30,000 pages each year. Expert opinions are needed with admin force to update protected pages. -Wikid77 (talk) 03:12, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Seems like what you are suggesting is to have expert judges to decide matters or to have editors who are recognized as experts by Wikipedia to influence a discussion. And they would be recognized as experts because they claim to have an advanced degree and expertise in a subject. --Bob K31416 (talk) 05:26, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That would be part of the plan, but have a group of gradmins decide issues together, rather than one gradmin offer an opinion which many other users could not properly understand without supporting explanations by other gradmins. -Wikid77 (talk) 07:01, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Wikid77, I have started the page Wikipedia:List of Wikipedia administrators with academic degrees.
Wavelength (talk) 18:10, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
I think you need to be very careful going down this route. Graduate != expert. The percentage of the population gaining degrees varies enormously by country and by date. For instance, from memory, around three-quarters of Americans attend tertiary education, slightly less than half of Europeans and around 10% of Indians. Likewise around 10% of Britons went in the 1970s whereas it is now approaching 50%. Excluding the older population and non-US citizens is not a goal of WP! Indeed in some subjects a longer historical perspective and the chance to have continued study outside of Academia is valuable and essential. I'm not dismissing graduates, nor experts, just saying that identifying the latter without assuming the former are the same is problematical. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 08:24, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Martin of Sheffield, does this seem satisfactory to you? Wavelength (talk) 23:55, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
That's a nicely phrased warning. I have no problems with the list though, my concern would be if it became an automatic requirement. Mission creep is not just restricted to the military. As a concrete example of where such blindness leads a relative of mine was in the British Civil Service. When he retired he was "acting up" two whole levels but could not be promoted because he didn't have a degree. He had taught the people notionally above him, had delivered short courses at a university and had contributed significantly to "writing the book". Not relevant though, paper is more important than ability where HR departments are concerned.
I don't have an easy solution, but perhaps some method of identifying acknowledged subject expertise (however that might be defined) could be added as a degree equivalent? Regards, Martin of Sheffield (talk) 08:08, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
There might be some ideas from the way peer reviewed journals work. As I understand it, for peer reviewed journals, referees that are anonymous to authors are vetted by the paid editorial staff of the journal. The editorial staff decides what referees to use and the opinions of referees have to go through the editorial staff before they are sent out to authors. Referees can become more trusted by the editorial staff as positive experience with them grows, and may not be further used if a referee's opinion indicates insufficient expertise or judgement.
My impression is that there are not enough experts in Wikipedia for the many fields covered here, although there may be enough for a particular field, but it would still be so much smaller than the experts available for a peer reviewed journal. On the other hand, the requirements on an expert may be less in Wikipedia since the task is to see if the existing reliable sources support a proposed edit, rather than to give an opinion on original research. What would be needed by an expert in Wikipedia is good reading comprehension for the subject field to verify that the given reliable sources support the edit, and to know whether the given reliable sources are the appropriate ones, for example have not been superseded in the field by other reliable sources.
However, what I think may be more needed are vetted unbiased experts in Wikipedia policy. --Bob K31416 (talk) 13:00, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Or just let Elsevier peer review our science articles. Count Iblis (talk) 22:44, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
@Count Iblis: I honestly do not mean this in a snarky or sarcastic way, but is that a serious suggestion? DrChrissy (talk) 22:58, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Actually, that brings to mind a possible source of vetted experts for Wikipedia. The referees for peer reviewed journals do so without public credit and without pay, like Wikipedia editors. Maybe there could be a collaboration between journals and Wikipedia where journals could ask their referees that have good track records as experts with the journal, if they would be interested in being designated expert editors for specific topics in Wikipedia. Such designated expert Wikipedia editors could then help settle content disputes in their area of expertise. --Bob K31416 (talk) 14:05, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes, this can lead to much better science articles. Content disputes can be settled, but in case of most articles the problem is more likely due to the article being edited for the last time 5 years ago, and half finished then. A good review with suggestions for completing the article posted on the talk page may be all that's needed for a non-expert editor to complete the article. Count Iblis (talk) 17:54, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
I been a reviewer, including for Elsevier, for over 20 years. I have a couple of reasons why I think this suggestion might be problematic.
  • Elsevier, and other publishing houses are commercial businesses. They would want to charge for any assistance they gave us.
  • As noted above, reviewers are (generally) not paid. Early in their careers, scientists are enthusiastic to review articles, however, I know of many established scientists who simply refuse to do any reviewing because it adds nothing to their CV and is time-costly.
  • I can also imagine Universities and Institutions "banning" scientists from doing such reviewing during work hours. What benefit would they receive for their staff doing such voluntary work?
  • Writing/reviewing a WP article is very different to scientific writing/reviewing. There is a considerable learning curve in moving from one to the other. I foresee (rather negatively I'm afraid) that many articles would be returned where the scientific referee's comments/changes would also have to be reviewed.
DrChrissy (talk) 18:16, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. First, I think there is a misunderstanding that some of your bullets may be predicated on, which I covered in my response to your last bullet.
  • Regarding your first bullet – If Elsevier is a problem because it is a commercial enterprise, there are non-proft organizations, for example the American Physical Society and the American Chemical Society, just to name a couple. I don't think that Elsevier journals are in competition with Wikipedia, because they are publishers of original research. If anything, Elsevier gains from Wikipedia citing Elsevier's journals as reliable sources.
  • Regarding your second bullet – So then there would be relatively more experts participating who are early in their careers, which isn't a problem as long as they're vetted through their record as referees.
  • Regarding your third bullet – as far as Universities and Institutions are concerned, the scientists would be just like any scientist who decided to edit Wikipedia.
  • Regarding your fourth and last bullet – the suggestion isn't for the referees of journals to referee Wikipedia articles, it's to just help settle content disputes on the talk page, which is the topic of this talk page section.
--Bob K31416 (talk) 19:16, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
Bob, thanks for the reply. I was addressing the comment above "Or just let Elsevier peer review our science articles." I appear to have missed the point that it is content disputes that are the main focus, in which case, the points you make above are good ones. DrChrissy (talk) 19:25, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
Pardon me for not realizing which message you were addressing, and thanks. --Bob K31416 (talk) 22:46, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Proposals for expert adjudication on content have consistently failed to find consensus. Guy (Help!) 23:01, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

I was thinking of experts helping settle content disputes, rather than adjucating. --Bob K31416 (talk) 00:57, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

The unimportant coup?

Hi Jimbo Wales, A WMNO officer has recommended that Jimbo Wales should not be informed of things on one of the European wikipedias [23].

Your talk page on that wikipedia has been blocked for IP-edits, and one of your sources on that page has been blocked (with no notification on his user talk page!)

Of less importance: the local language article about " 2016 Turkish purges" has vicariously(?) been deleted. (That language does not have an article about the coup attempt.) Guess who the editor of that article is - surprise, surprise.

Someone with pull might want to ask around if an "informal" campaign orchestrated by one of the admins, urged other admins not to edit the article (except for reverting quotes and references).

Have a nice day! (talk) 05:44, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

If you desire neutral input from admins on that wikipedia, then two administrators who do not grandstand, are "Bjørn som tegner" and "Toreau". (talk) 06:00, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Voting starts in 9 hours, for getting the 2nd person permanently banned (in the history of the linked wikipedia)[24]. The corps of administrators have for now decided (in a closed forum) to look the other way, while one of the administrators has made everything ready for the voting in "Parliament" - Tinget - of that wikipedia.
No evidence has been presented in the run-up to the voting (but maybe we don't need it - when my fellow countrymen sort things out, we always get our man, whether it be Quisling or the Utøya perpetrator). In the present case on wikipedia, there does not seem to be a need for any trial. (talk) 13:56, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo Wales, I am a friend of "Sju hav". He would not mind if you (also) vote for having him permanently blocked from Wikipedia in Norwegian.
There apparently is no need for any rationale (or evidence) to vote.
So far there are 6 for and 2 against.
One vote (for voiding the "election" on grounds of leading questions on the ballot and/or illlegitimacy) has been censored [25] by admin. (talk) 10:08, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Votes for or against permanently blocking "Sju hav" on that other wikipedia

With no evidence of wrongdoing presented, the votes cast are now:
2 for; 1 against; 1 neutral
Other developments:
1 one famous wikipedian has been banned for 3 days
The "no" vote, commented "Oh, so that's why there was a hurry to troll ... into getting blocked... and that right before the re-election of [named] administrator [for a 4-year term]".(edit of 3. okt. 2016 kl. 01:08 (CEST)) (talk) 01:46, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Sockpuppet investigation requested

I have requested a sockpuppet investigation of on Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Sju hav. - 4ing (talk) 10:37, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Reputation of the Quality of Content

Mid July to 01 Oct 2016

Jimbo, I was going to ask your opinion on this in Esino nearly three months ago, but your were surrounded by autograph seekers. New Page Patrol and AfC are grinding to a standstill and are reaching their greatest backlogs ever. The WMF appears to be showing little interest in completing the projects (Page Curation & Landing Page) they started in 2011 to address these issues.

Imagine a world in which all new page reviewers and recent changes patrolers went on strike.
Please remain seated with your computers switched on until Wikipedia comes to a complete stop.

The current community project to try and get something done is at Wikipedia:The future of NPP and AfC. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 03:29, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

In my opinion, NPP is broken. Improving standards won't help, we should get rid of it and replace it with something else. I also think that people place too much value on NPP. Jimbo's opinions are probably different, but that's just my 2 cents. ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 14:28, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Articles for Creation is definitely broken and needs to be eliminated. Start the RFC, Kudpung! As for New Page Patrol, one thing that can be done is a concerted effort can be made to identify "safe" articles starters and bring their names to WP:Requests for Permissions/Autopatrolled for action. I spotted a couple sports piece starters today and brought one of them forward. The WMF's career edits summary tool is broken though and I didn't pursue the second... Maintenance of the software isn't glamorous or something, you'd think with the budget that WMF has they could keep the basic tools operational... Carrite (talk) 00:14, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

BBC Northern Ireland article on Wikipedia hoaxes.

BBC Northern Ireland published an article on Wikipedia entries today here. They list a number of hoaxes but do not say anything about how vandalism is dealt with. It mentions the page of one of their presenters, William Crawley that contained some false information. I reverted it (diff). Disappointing to see that the journalist did not ask the Foundation for a response. Karst (talk) 13:37, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Hasn't Evil Derek the Dark Dalmatian been topic-banned by now? Quite an well-balanced entertaining article, I thought. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:05, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Wonderful, I think. It is made by anyone can edit - that means things. People should be alternately informed, amused and sometimes horrified, most of all they should know that information about this successful site, everyday. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:20, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps the journo knows that the Foundation has little-to-no control over Wikipedia content, so contacting them would be pointless. Which would admittedly make them a fairly clueful journo when writing about Wikipedia I admit... Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:43, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
If the BBC had asked for a correction, it would have undermined point they were trying to make. They were writing a story about how Wikipedia can be inaccurate, not about how it can be easily fixed/improved. Deli nk (talk) 18:47, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
There is an article Wikipedia:List of hoaxes on Wikipedia. This is confined to false material that lasted a long time without detection, rather than nonsense which is more akin to vandalism. The BBC article is largely referring to incidents where nonsense was inserted. For example, the Ronnie Hazlehurst incident in 2007 involved an IP edit which was in the article for less than two weeks, but journalists added it to his obituary. There is also WP:NOHOAXES, which makes clear that Wikipedia cannot guarantee that false insertions will be detected immediately. I've got other things to do and am sure that you do as well. With over 5 million articles on the English language Wikipedia, there simply isn't the time to run around after vandals and jokers 24/7. The less well known articles are at the greatest risk, because fewer people have them on their watchlist. Vandalism to a high profile article is usually reverted straight away.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:42, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
That's very true. Journalists love eye-catching and controversial nonsense, not the sort of boring untruths that may lie unnoticed in dusty articles for years. In this respect that article was quite unbalanced. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:32, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

More antivandalism tools

As I had explained years ago, it is possible to develop guard-dog templates which could log cases where key facts or data items in a page's text have been altered or removed, or known falsehoods added (Jeb Bush as "avid mountain climber" or "hurricane made landfall in Kansas"). Some crucial check-data could be kept inside the talk-page sub-pages where vandals would be unlikely to cross-vandalize those talk-pages to match hacked articles, because guard-dog templates would implicitly access talk-page facts without showing the filename inside the article page. Also templates need to have more wp:autofixing of parameters so that hacked pages could still display correctly even after templates were hacked, or include sanity-check parameters to likewise link a warning category when parameters have been botched. Currently WP validation templates are in their infancy, as if doors were locked by tied ropes rather than deadbolts or padlocks. However we must overcome the current dismal wp:TfD system where advanced templates get deleted if 2 people claim a template is broken, without evidence, and the closing admin just deletes without a follow-on discussion to prove false claims of malfunctions. -Wikid77 (talk) 12:48, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Foreign-wikipedia: to ban or not to ban, permanently

On the linked [26] wikipedia, there is a discussion regarding that wikipedia's second permanent ban. There are only two things missing:
A token admin will probably announce his/her arrival, to oppose the proposal for banning (a named wikipedian). If admin "4***" will not be the "token admin" (against the proposal), then he will quite possibly give his "for" vote, together with a speech: "This was not our day, but our cause was just."
(For now no admins have supported "the accused", however 6 regulars have voted against a permanent ban.
9 administrators (and one "regular" wikipedian) have voted for permanent ban.
The wikipediaHave-nots are not siding with the admins.)
Someone might let you know if a permanent ban, will be the result. Other than that, perhaps nature should take its course in silence. (talk) 13:12, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Administrator in need of coaching?

Could there be a teenage administrator involved in combative reverting and even redacting of edits, on a foreign wikipedia? See history page of the targeted user:
Two of the following edits have been redacted from the history page. (Diffs can not be examined by wikipedians.)

  • 2. okt. 2016 kl. 20:21 . . Tela**** . . . (+33)‎ skjul
  • 2. okt. 2016 kl. 20:21 . . Jeb*** ...(-33)‎
  • 2. okt. 2016 kl. 20:19 . . Tela**** . . (+33)‎ skjul
  • 2. okt. 2016 kl. 20:18 . . Jeb*** . . (-33)‎ (talk) 00:15, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

On the situation in the Azerbaijani part of Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales, we are waiting for you to do something while you are waiting for Lowercase sigmabot III to delet what we have written ([27], [28], [29],[30]). Are you really unable to solve such a minor problem despite the fact that you are a creator of Wikipedia? Do you really have no rights? Does Meta have all the authority? I want you to answer one question: are you gonna do anything about the AzWiki issue or are you not? If you are not going to do anything, please state it openly, so that we stop asking you to help. Idin Mammadof (talk), editor of DMOZ 18:08, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi Idin Mammadof,
In your post you have only asked for Jimbo Wales' help.
May I ask if you have tried everything else, within reason, to solve what needs solving?
Please do not demand anything from Jimbo; to my knowledge he is not a machine, only a mere human. If I say to a stranger "I want you to do this", then that is likely to be considered quite rude in English.
If Jimbo Wales does not reply to this thread, for whatever unexplained reason, then I hope that someone else can give you some advice or support, if someone understands the problem, and agrees with your view (more or less).
I do not understand the scope of the problem you seem to be experiencing at "your" wikipedia. But I hope someone will ask the one question that will make me see the light, and the heart of the problem which your wikipedia allegedly is experiencing.
I will try to get back to you if I know what to ask.
Regards! (talk) 19:58, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
Did you even follow the conversation that we had here? Yes, we have tried EVERYTHING else (which is basically Meta and WMF), but Meta was sending us to WMF and WMF was sending us to Meta. So, we are stuck in this loop. We have explained here already (you can read it on this page's history) that our own administration doesn't work ('cause why would it work against itself?). So, if there's any other place which could help us with the situation we have, please send us there. --Мурад 97 (talk) 22:31, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
Hi Мурад 97,
Can you please digest for me your view about:
1. What is your best argument for that either Meta or WMF, should be the first to act?
2. Who do you think should act (first) - Meta or WMF? (talk) 02:05, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
If there's an issue which needs attention, and the admins on the other Wikipedia won't solve it, then you could find a steward, potentially (Stewards have a long list of things that they aren't allowed to use their extra powers on - such as the entire English Wikipedia - so this might not be the best idea). Also, you have posted about this 4 times before. If you keep doing this, you will keep being ignored, as it is massively annoying. ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 12:14, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Believe me, it was much more annoying when we were exchanging e-mails with WMF for a few month and answered on like a 100 questions and a few month later they were like "oh, your situation is very bad and it should be solved, but you should apply to Meta for that". And this was after Meta sent us to WMF and after WMF has spent so much of our time on some useless few month long Q&A session. And if you just bothered to check, you would find out that AzWiki doesn't have any stewards. Also, if you bothered to actually read what we have written for not just 4, but 7 times already (4 times here, twice on Meta and once to WMF), you would then find out that the very reason we had gone beyond AzWiki to complain is that we tried to established an arbitration commission there in order to be able to resolve such issues without going beyond AzWiki in the future, but some members of our administration had prevented it. I don't care who should act, I just know that in Meta they will send me to WMF and in WMF they will send me to Meta, so I don't see why would I go to either of them again after that. --Мурад 97 (talk) 16:49, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Stewards have global sysop tools. They aren't restricted to one Wikipedia. I have "bothered to check", you just don't know what a steward is. See here. ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 18:40, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Stewart wrote, "Stewards also have no role in voting and elections of an arbitration committee" Aydinsalis (talk) 19:13, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Then go to meta. Or the WMF. That's really the only other way to solve this. If you keep being sent to the other one, there's nothing anyone can do about that. Unless Jimbo decides to directly intervene, there aren't many other options. ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 20:15, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Brought this issue to the Meta for consideration, have been unsuccessful ([31],[32],[33], [34], [35]...). Or the WMF... Aydinsalis (talk) 09:41, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Well, sending something to meta 5 times makes less people want to help, as people get annoyed after the second or third time. ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 11:25, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

For now, I think we should play this as if Jimbo has said:
All of you reading this page are empowered to move on this matter. I trust you.
Besides, theoretically one day he will retire from wikipedia; now we can show that the community can step up to the plate, without big daddy holding our hand every time.
(Every crisis has the potential of having world-class leadership talent step onto the podium. I hope to be reading about that, while I am imbibing at "Sandy George and the wiki-Dragon".) (talk) 19:11, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

I can not see that a case has been made for why one has chosen to contact the one organization before the other. Was the decision made by flipping a coin?
Are there organizational statutes or a charter, which is worded so that there is a reason to think that this whole topic is firstly under the domain of one of the two organizations? Does anyone have any relevant quotes? (talk) 21:10, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

If one of those two organizations (or a steward) claim that they will look into the matter again, should then this thread be moved?

I say yes, in that case the thread should be moved.
(At least one layman, is still trying to formulate questions - to understand why the two organizations are pointing at each other; and formulate suggestions re: steward.) (talk) 18:39, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

If this thread is moved or archived: When will a re-appearence (on this page) of these topics, be too soon? If "too soon" - what do we do?

Three weeks is too soon - after being archived or moved. Three years is not too soon, imo.
Perhaps someone would care to shrink the mentioned timeframe. (talk) 18:39, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

What to do if "too soon": Answer such a thread with the following words, "In the linked discussion [this one], it was strongly suggested that this topic conditionally should have a vacation from this page, for ... months. "The vacation" should end, not before [fill-in-the-date-here]." (talk) 18:55, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Anything less than 2 months should be too soon. ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 14:06, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Idin Mammadof, Lowercase sigmabot III does not delete discussions, it archives them based on its settings. (Yes, this is obvious for many Wikipedians. But the distinction may be lost to a newbie stumbling across this discussion for the first time.) Letting a conversation slip off to archives without response, for any en Wikipedian, is usually a form of answer in and of itself. Without having read the archives, self-identifying something as a "minor problem" is nearly a sure way to ensure non-action. Jimbo is busy enough and feels secure enough about the wikicommunity to not have to address every minor problem that comes up - he'd never get to the major ones which only he can handle if he focused on every minor one we bring to him (myself included.) Sorry, I'm pretty sure that is not the answer you were looking for, and I could be utterly wrong. That's just my take after hanging out here when I'm too tired to do serious content editing. LaughingVulcan Grok Page! 12:49, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

meta:2016 Community Wishlist Survey, 7-20 Nov

With the 2016 survey (meta:2016 Community Wishlist Survey), now we're 1 month away from planning features (or major fixes) for 2017. As noted last year, the month of November tends to be busy, so it would be good to start collecting ideas now, for the 2-week proposal period, November 7-20, 2016. Just a reminder. -Wikid77 (talk) 18:24, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Hurricane Matthew at east Florida

As of 11am EDT, 6 Oct 2016, the strong Hurricane Matthew is still headed NW, max winds 140 mph (230 km/h), onto the Florida Atlantic coastline (across the state from WMF offices near Tampa), with expected landfall late Thursday overnight ca. 2am, north of Palm Beach County, FL. That's near the Mar-a-Lago $multi-million, ocean-front estate of Donald Trump. See live NHC forecast map:

The current winds exceed 2005 Hurricane Katrina landfall, but central pressure not yet as severe, 940 mb (28 inHg) compared to Katrina 902 mb. If typical, the region would lose electric power at nightfall tonight, 6~9pm EDT (>22:00 UTC), but might be restored to most areas within 1~3 days. Again, so far WMF offices would seem at safe distance west. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:44, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for the weather forecast. This was just what I was looking for on Jimbo's talk page.--Atlan (talk) 17:03, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
What will happen after Tuesday? Will it enter the Gulf of Mexico? Count Iblis (talk) 21:27, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Stop the Wikiwashing!

[36] (Yeah, I screwed up and placed this on the wrong JW Talk page) Roll Tide KamelTebaast 22:37, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Biding one's time until a witch process's voting is over on Sunday

In an ongoing campaign [37] for permanently blocking one(?) user on a foreign wikipedia there is a gross difference in the breakdown of votes depending on whether one is an admin or not.

So far 10 votes are for permanent ban and 10 votes are against. (Around 90% of the votes for a ban, are from administrators. Around 10% of the votes for a ban, comes from non-administrator(s).)

Do you think there should be a requirement that at least one diff gets presented in cases where a permanent ban is being voted on?

Do you think should be any requirement for voter turnout? If there are one thousand administrators, but only ten administrators that vote for a ban - should that, in part, be an adequate turnout of voters, for an election to be viewed as adequate in your eyes?

Do you think that, on some wikipedias, there must be a two-thirds majority (of votes)for a permanent ban to come into effect?

Do you think that "the sockpuppet" will be eligible to be a anonymized guest on Skavlan, showing some of the edits that "the sockpuppet" has been suspected of; showing some of the timeline of his/her due process/career at wikipedia.

Do you think that "the sockpuppet" can present evidence of conflict of interest or gross misconduct, by more than one administrator that has voted? (talk) 12:19, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

On the situation in the Azerbaijani part of Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales, we are waiting for you to do something while you are waiting for Lowercase sigmabot III to delet what we have written ([38][39], [40], [41],[42]). Are you really unable to solve such a minor problem despite the fact that you are a creator of Wikipedia? Do you really have no rights? Does Meta have all the authority? I want you to answer one question: are you gonna do anything about the AzWiki issue or are you not? If you are not going to do anything, please state it openly, so that we stop asking you to help. Idin Mammadof (talk), editor of DMOZ 17:52, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

@Aydinsalis: This is the 6th time you have posted about this topic on Jimbo's talk page. This is massively annoying, stop whining on Jimbo's talk page and get something done. ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 14:20, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
@ThePlatypusofDoom: why are you worried?! He could answer me. He have announced that Wikipedia has 5 principles (Wikipedia:Five pillars). This principles have to be followed in each edition of Wikipedia. But when I informed Meta that in Azerbaijani edition 5 principles are not being followed, common rules are being brutally breached, administrators are involved in vandalism, meta did not take any measure and they excuse themselves by stating that Azerbaijani edition is independent?! So why then did Jimmy Wales, write that the 5 common principles are in force in all of Wikipedia’s editions? Jimmy Wales, should write instead that the 5 common principles are not in force in Azerbaijani edition, as administrators there do whatever they want! I ask you to follow the rules. Put an end to double standards. Aydinsalis (talk) 16:43, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
@Aydinsalis: The English Wikipedia has no control over other Wikipedias. Also, as Jimbo hasn't responded the last 4 times, I doubt that he will respond now. Take it up somewhere else. ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 17:28, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Also, He have announced that Wikipedia has 5 principles (Wikipedia:Five pillars). This principles have to be followed in each edition of Wikipedia is just not true—Five pillars is a (relatively recent) essay which specifically relates only to the English Wikipedia; while following it is good practice whichever project you're on, if Azerbaijani Wikipedia chooses not to comply with them they're within their rights to, provided they comply with the Founding principles, which are those policies which do apply to all Wikipedias. ‑ Iridescent 17:39, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Idin Mammadof, Lowercase sigmabot III does not delete discussions, it archives them based on its settings. (Yes, this is obvious for many Wikipedians. But the distinction may be lost to a newbie stumbling across this discussion for the first time.) Letting a conversation slip off to archives without response, for any en Wikipedian, is usually a form of answer in and of itself. LaughingVulcan Grok Page! 00:51, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Strange mention in FT article

Hi! Here is a citation from "Technology eats the truth", Financial Times:

Ukrainian and Russian Wikipedians, who have written radically different interpretations of the conflict between their two nations, recently met in Kiev to understand their respective views. “It will take some time before they come to a consensus view but we are trying,” Jimmy Wales said.

No Ukrainian or Russian Wikipedian I asked so far knows anything about such a meeting. That's weird. I'd like to ask you: where did you get this info from of is there a possibility that FT misinterpreted something? Thanks. -- Ата (talk) 10:28, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

FT plays a silly game with their links; you have to come bearing the Mark of the Google thusly: [43] Wnt (talk) 10:43, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Lack of civility by User JzG (with honorable mention to User K.e.coffman)

Greetings, folks. As a brand new contributor here at Wikipedia, I must admit to being surprised and saddened by the hostility and lack of civility I encountered within hours of my good faith attempt to create an article on a notable Star Trek author/collector; who I might add is the subject of significant prior coverage at the Memory Alpha Star Trek dedicated wiki. Not only did User JzG immediately attack the notability of the subject and submit the article for deletion; but he continued by behaving in bad faith throughout the deletion discussions, assuming an insulting demeanor (referring to Star Trek as fancruft), ignoring meritorious comments of mine regarding the notability issue, and generally conducting himself in anything but the good faith manner that one should expect to find in a senior editor / administrator on this site. Then user K.e.coffman added the deletion article discussion to some debate on "fictional characters" and, since the Star Trek author is a living person, coffman's behavior can only be viewed another example of mean-spirited behavior/mockery of my attempt to produce an Wikipedia entry in good faith. By the way, when I googled the username JzG out of curiosity; I came across an interesting homage to him at the site which is filled with angry and profane rantings about him. Apparently, I am far from the first person to encounter this Guy and have a negative reaction; though I condemn those that would be so excessive as to hurl profanity at anyone, especially in this extreme online example. I will of course follow the consensus opinion on the deletion question regarding my article; but I honestly would like to know what oversight mechanisms exist here at Wikipedia to keep rogue / bad faith administrators in check? Or prevent a potentially dishonorable individual like, in my opinion, Guy (usr JzG), from recruiting cohorts to say 'rig the results' of a deletion debate in his favor? As well, I did want to comment that when I read through the various sections on what establishes sufficient Notability of a person to qualify for an article on Wikipedia; I really didn't come away with a very firm understanding of the qualification threshold. The subject of my article has appeared in a Star Trek television documentary, has been quoted in major international press (The Telegraph & USA Today), has authored two books on Star Trek and been quoted as a Star Trek historian in a different book series ... so I sincerely thought that was sufficient or at least a minimal amount of coverage to be regarded as noteworthy. I understand that people don't need to be huge movie stars or household names to be embraced by Wikipedia, do they? As there are millions of pages in this free encyclopedia. I am sincerely hoping for a good faith discussion of my concerns - it would be sad to discover this notable online resource is easily dominated by less-than-good-faith characters such as JzG and K.e.coffman Perhaps there might be enough visitors to this well known page that someone who cares about civility or good faith conduct on the part of the senior staff at this site will take notice. Tosresearcher (talk) 03:53, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

"a notable Star Trek author/collector" - since your username is tosresearcher it's safe to assume you have some connection to this person? Looks like a good job is being done by all here in getting wildly promotional puffery out of Wikipedia. Alexbrn (talk) 05:52, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Are you so unaware of Star Trek's worldwide popularity (presently estimated at over 40 million fans) to think me related just because my username shows a love of TOS? You, sir, prove out the small minded nature I was just hoping to overcome on this site. Tosresearcher (talk) 06:33, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

No, I'm something of a Trek fan (though I'd like the time back I spent watching the latest film). Could you be clear about your relation to Gerald Gurian please? It would help to inform any discussion of WP:COI and WP:PROMO issues. Alexbrn (talk)

Again, sadly, more insinuations of impropriety. I assume fans of Star Trek should never edit Star Trek related Wikipedia articles for fear of the article appearing too favorably disposed? Tosresearcher (talk) 06:53, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

  • It's a little hypocritical to complain about insinuations of impropriety when you're suggesting that Guy could be rigging the results of a deletion debate, isn't it? Yes, the policies on notability are somewhat arcane, but what you really need is this sentence from WP:BIO. "(Notability requires) significant coverage in multiple published secondary sources that are reliable ... and independent of the subject." The problem is that most of the sources in your article fail this; they're either not significant (a brief mention of Gurian as someone who collects memorabilia, or a short quote from him), they're not reliable (blogs or user-generated content), or independent (Gurian's own website and content). My inkling is that his book may possibly be notable, but based on what is currently in the article, he probably isn't. Black Kite (talk) 07:18, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Thank you, Black Kite, for taking the time to respond in a meaningful matter that does help to educate me on Notability. It is appreciated. Kind Regards. Tosresearcher (talk) 07:36, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

My goodness, have a look at the user's contributions here. A good many instances of putting a notice on other users' talk pages like this one... looks like WP:CANVASS just FYI. Tosresearcher, you should read that guideline. SageRad (talk) 12:13, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Yes, he was already pointed to that guideline here, so he is aware. The constant attacks on JzG simply because his article is at Afd, are more concerning.--Atlan (talk) 12:47, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
And be careful that y'all ain't biting, ok? Especially to a newbie who might not have studied WP:DR yet and doesn't recognize Jimbo's talkpage might not be the best venue for a first time editor to learn Admin/Editor conflicts or any other policy or guideline, K? Forgot to sign... LaughingVulcan Grok Page! 13:26, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Seems like the responses here haven't addressed the OP's main point, "As a brand new contributor here at Wikipedia, I must admit to being surprised and saddened by the hostility and lack of civility I encountered within hours of my good faith attempt to create an article..." For reference, here's a link to the subject discussion [44]. --Bob K31416 (talk) 14:46, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

(ec) The OP created an article, is offended that this was nominated for deletion and perceives every attempt at explaining why as hostility and incivility. The complaint is meritless and the attacks on JzG are baseless. If you feel this does not adequately address the issue, feel free to jump in.--Atlan (talk) 15:01, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
I don't think it does address the issue of hostility that the OP brought up. I added a link to the subject discussion, which you may not have seen because you encountered an (ec). You might check it out and decide for yourself whether there was hostility towards the new editor. --Bob K31416 (talk) 15:40, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
No hostility at all. A poorly sourced article that seems to me not to meet inclusion criteria, so I nominated it for deletion. That happens all the time, dozens of times a day. My personal view is that anyone with fewer than 500 edits should not be able to create an article in mainspace, for exactly this reason - it is kinder and gentler to let them make it in Draft and then it can be assessed and either promoted or not. We'd have a lot fewer deletions if this was done IMO, but that view is probably extremely controversial since a number of people want to go back to anonymous creation. Guy (Help!) 09:22, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

I agree with Atlan I am not as worried about biting as I am about No personal attacks, by providing a link to an external website that is used for the purpose of attacking another editor, this is a clear violation of a personal attack. Tosresearcher has posted the web address on this page once already and told another editor how to google this attack page with the comment “... you will be shocked! Folks with integrity should really disapprove on this page” This editor has also made a comment on Alexbrn’s talk page showing further uncivil behavior with this edit. If this behavior doesn’t change I foresee a block in this editors near future. In response to Bob K31416 I too was not given the warmest reception and was immediately accused of a COI, however I do not remember lashing out and attacking the editor who made the accusation. I learned the policies better, moved on to articles of less drama until I learned the ropes and I have found some areas of Wikipedia I really enjoy working on. Going straight to personal attacks I have found is not the sign of someone here to contribute to an encyclopedia, but someone who is here to get "there article", or opinions put in. Hopefully this is not the case with Tosrearcher, and the editor will take a step back evaluate the actions taken so far and move on. VVikingTalkEdits 14:55, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Actually, it seems that you didn't respond to what my message said. P.S. I added a link after you posted your message. --Bob K31416 (talk) 15:01, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Chicago Kelly's Rule No. 2. Battles over the appropriateness of a source for use in Wikipedia have always been settled through collateral attacks such as accusing one's opponent of incivility or other violations of the rules. This is largely because Wikipedia has no mechanism at all for authoritatively deciding disputes over content, but does have mechanisms for settling disputes over conduct, which causes disputes over content to be transformed into disputes over conduct. (March 2016 on Wikipediocracy)Carrite (talk) 15:25, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
  • I think the conflict culture of Wikipedia will eventually abate and become known as something like a cliche. I've seen it for years and I think editors are better than that, and they just got off on the wrong track somewhere when they came to the internet, and are unable to change ............... for now. --Bob K31416 (talk) 23:01, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
  • All I can say is: I am not wearing a red shirt. Guy (Help!) 21:58, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
What do you think about red shirts for new editors per WP:Please do not bite the newcomers? --Bob K31416 (talk) 03:21, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
I could do without sea lions. Guy (Help!) 08:21, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
Sea lions? Maybe I misunderstood what you meant by red shirt, thinking it was about the red shirt that some american football quarterbacks wear during practice so that their team mates don't hit them and cause a possible injury. Would you care to clarify what you meant by red shirt? --Bob K31416 (talk) 12:44, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
I looked some more and found this slang meaning [45]. If that was it, you could still clarify what you were trying to say. --Bob K31416 (talk) 13:03, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

As a minor clarification of something that misled me when I first read this thread and seems to be distracting some others as well, I believe the letters "TOS" in Tosresearcher's username refer to "The Original Series" (of Star Trek) and not to the "terms of service" (of Wikipedia). Newyorkbrad (talk) 13:42, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

  • The topic of this section regards the AFD discussion at [46]. An example of a good response there was that of Gråbergs Gråa Sång. I don't think the responses of Guy were very good and they resulted in this talk section. --Bob K31416 (talk) 07:13, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Are you aware that people often try to inject POV and fringe nonsense into Wikipedia? Have you ever helped combat that? The difficulty of that important work might not be appreciated until trying it. Everyone knows that being civil is better than being uncivil, but have you ever seen a purely civil conversation produce a useful result in the face of a POV pusher? Links please. I'm not suggesting an uncivil conversation produces useful results either—the point is that no form of discussion stops a POV pusher, and Wikipedia is edited by people from all over the world with some who see no point in hiding their irritation behind fake civility. Johnuniq (talk) 09:11, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
Seems like you didn't dispute the points in my last message and instead digressed. --Bob K31416 (talk) 12:36, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
Seems that you are tone trolling. Guy (Help!) 09:25, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Regarding the AFD discussion at [47], I think that the strongest argument for deletion was that of Gråbergs Gråa Sång. Why do you suppose the OP complained about you but not about Gråbergs Gråa Sång? --Bob K31416 (talk) 15:22, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Bob K re sea lioning and tone trolling, see sea lioning and I agree with Guy that this is what you appear to be doing; this is what my last comment had to do with, which you also didn't understand. this comment was especially... weird. Jytdog (talk) 17:24, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
I can tell you exactly why the OP reacted better to Gråbergs Gråa Sång: the OP wants this article, and Gråbergs Gråa Sång left enough ambiguity to allow him to go on thinking that he can get what he wants, whereas I stated unwelcome truth. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch, and everyone prefers a statement they can render in their heads as support for what they want to do (in this case write an article on a subject that has no reliable independent sources and where the author pretty clearly has a close personal connection). The normal advice is take it to Memory Alpha, but that appears to be where it came from. Guy (Help!) 12:19, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
In the AFD discussion at [48], the difference was that you substituted aggression for explanation. For example, you wrote, "you don't get this Wikipedia thing, do you?" instead of providing the links WP:NOTABLE and WP:GNG, like Gråbergs Gråa Sång did. --Bob K31416 (talk) 14:17, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • I clearly misjudged the notability threshold for articles on people here at Wikipedia, given the huge consensus favoring Deletion and assuming those opinions are based on a correct interpretation of the threshold. So I admit Guy acted appropriately in nominating my work for deletion, and I do apologize to him now for assuming he was behaving in bad faith. He certainly did little to aid my understanding of policy, by making very short comments/replies to me with a less than friendly demeanor, saying things like "you just don't get this Wikipedia thing" or other comments that fell short on meaningful explanation. This is not to say at all that I think the notability threshold here is correct, it seems absurdly too rigid / extremely discriminating to me (again assuming the Delete consensus is fair). And the GNG is really quite vaguely written in my opinion, not specifying clearly to me what constitutes "significant coverage" at all. I have since found some new sources on both the author and his books, and inquired about them in the AFD discussion, but there are no replies - likely, I suspect, because the Deletion vote is already clearly in. So it would be appreciated if someone could provide feedback to me, and also explain why my thoughts on the merits of a large corporate press release as being considered reliable in this particular situation are wrong. Thanks. By the way, Guy, very nice and humorous use of the term 'red shirt'. Best. Tosresearcher (talk) 16:32, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
I made a comment over there regarding the links you provided. [49] --Bob K31416 (talk) 17:05, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Re your comment "This is not to say at all that I think the notability threshold here is correct, it seems absurdly too rigid / extremely discriminating to me (again assuming the Delete consensus is fair). And the GNG is really quite vaguely written in my opinion, not specifying clearly to me what constitutes "significant coverage" at all." – Note that you can go over to the talk page of any policy or guideline to discuss changes to those policy and guideline pages. If they are unclear, the input of a new editor may be valuable in that regard. Good luck. --Bob K31416 (talk) 17:20, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

On history

The OP registered on Wikipedia in order to create this article. Edit number one was creating it. He found his way to Jimbotalk after fewer than 90 edits, every single one of which is in relation to the same subject. He refuses to answer the question about his connection to the subject and has never mentioned any previous editing, as far as I have seen. Am I alone in finding this suspicious? Guy (Help!) 13:25, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

No, JzG|Guy you're not alone on this one. It's obvious. However the article is of no threat to the group of ideology pushers here, ruling Wikipedia and Jimbo's baby, for their own biased agendas, while even Jimbo seemingly realizes he has lost control of such agenda pushers, and in effect undermines the entire set of principles Jimbo based his baby on, many moons ago. In other words JzG|Guy, the article this new editor created means nothing to anyone, whereas other controversial topics, that truly independent editors like me have attempted to bring some NPOV to, based on what the reliable sources really say, get jumped on by the long established gangs protecting them. Jimbo Wales, do you want evidence? Jimbo, if I explicitly show you what's going on here on your beloved Wikipedia, would you act to save your baby? Or do you no longer give a ....?Charlotte135 (talk) 14:21, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
That was a Rhetorical question Jimbo.Charlotte135 (talk) 14:29, 11 October 2016 (UTC)