User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 31

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Malcolm X was racist

Malcolm X is documented as an extreme racist, calling White people inherent Devils. I don't think it's appropriate for wikipedians to be saluting him or entertaining the idea that he was in favour of racial equality.

When White people can recognise Dr.Wesley Swift and Aryan Nations as human rights activists it will be just for Blacks to list Malcolm X as a human rights activist.

Thanks, (talk) 11:10, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

It seems that this quite startling fact (being an extreme racist) is absent from the article. Perhaps you would care to name your references and put it there... unless of course you are just another racist Moron simply spewing out your hateful Shit. LessHeard vanU (talk) 14:03, 15 December 2007 (UTC) (Mark James Slater)

Malcolm X had a variety of opinions throughout his life. He was neither born a racist, nor died a racist; but he was one to varying degrees at points in the middle. He had a very enlightening trip to Africa at one point; where he was considered a white Western man and neither black nor African. WAS 4.250 (talk) 21:42, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure where you (LessHeard vanU and WAS 4.250) got your facts. During his time as a leader of the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X regularly referred to "white devils":
From his adoption of the Nation of Islam in 1952 until he left the organization in 1964, Malcolm X promoted the Nation's teachings. He referred to whites as "devils" who had been created in a misguided breeding program by a black scientist, and predicted the inevitable (and imminent) return of blacks to their natural place at the top of the social order. (from Malcolm X#Nation of Islam)
For sources, you can start with The Autobiography of Malcolm X or any biography.
Malcolm made three trips to Africa. He was very light-skinned, and certainly a Westerner, but nobody ever mistook him for a white man.
I think the IP editor may be referring to my Username and user page, which is illustrated with a picture of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. He left a message expressing similar concerns at my Talk page, and I responded to him there. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 22:12, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Um ... and why is this discussion on this page? Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:16, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

The user who posted the original comment probably realized that this page is looked at by a lot of users, and decided to use it as a soapbox. --θnce θn this island Speak! 00:33, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Merry Christmas

Rockefeller Center Tree.jpg

Marlith T/C 00:25, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, have a great Christmas Jimbo! :-) Lradrama 12:10, 17 December 2007 (UTC)


I would like to congratulate you for founding Wikipedia, that, according to Guiness World Records 2008, became the largest encyclopedia of all existing encyclopedias. Keep up the good work! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! --  Idontknow610  (WANNA TALK??) 01:17, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Who is maintaining this page for Jimbo

Who ever is maintaining this page for Jimbo is do a very poor job. Archives 29 and 30 were not on the list The archive header sends people on a wild goose chase claiming that posts older than 3 days are being archive to Archive 26. There was no navigation header on Archive 29 or 30. I have taken the time to fix the above mentioned problems. One problem I left was the fact that archive 29 and 30 overlap each other as the newest post in Archive 30 is November 28 and the oldest post in archive 29 is December 14 Dbiel (Talk) 23:42, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I think the answer to your question is, at the moment, YOU are maintaining it. Keep up the great work. I'm sure Jimbo appreciates the effort. :) - Crockspot (talk) 23:57, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I've fixed the remaining problems. —Random832 20:11, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Fund raising header and coordinates in en.Wikipedia - a major problem

Copied back from Archive 30 for the second time Copied back from Archive 30 I think that this is an important enough topic to at least deserve a reply before being archived into a hidden archive file. - I created entries to archive 29 and 30 during my search to find this post. Whoever is maintaining this page is doing a very poor job.

I can understand the need to use a fundraising header from time to time; but I can not understand why it can not be created in such a way as to display properly on pages that use the coordiates template in en.Wikipedia. I realize that the problem is the absolute location of the coordinate entry, but why no one with the power to do something about it is willing to invested in the programing costs to fix the problem escapes me. The following page is a good example of the problem which displays differently dependant upon that status of the fund raising header (hidden or fully displayed) both create problems. Note: the smaller the window the worse the problem becomes.

Also see the discussion related to the issue in greater detail at

Also posted at

These document some of my attempts to address the problem over the past 40 days

Would you be willing to forward this to someone with the tallent to fix the problem? Dbiel (Talk) 04:00, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

1st repost Dbiel (Talk) 16:25, December 15, 2007 (UTC)
2nd repost Dbiel (Talk) 13:58, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I have notified the developers.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:25, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Dbiel (Talk) 21:00, 17 December 2007 (UTC)


Please note the suggestion I made on WikiEN-l. Thanks, Mike R (talk) 18:26, 17 December 2007 (UTC)


What is it like to be the creator of Wikipedia? --1BOOKFAN 02:49, 18 December 2007 (UTC) also, please sign my autograph book please! 1Bookfan Talk

Award given by another editor

Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
for a very excellent job creating,maintaining,and supporting the wikimedia foundation. 1bookfan 03:00, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia Signpost interview

Hello, Jimmy Wales. Some time ago the editor of the Wikipedia Signpost collected questions. About twenty or so people took that opportunity to ask you any questions they might have. I was pleased to be able to post about four questions, communicate with that group, and attend that interview. It seems to me that you had returned from China that day and were on your way to somewhere in Africa. I did not ever receive a precise answer to my questions, but I do recall that questions of a technical nature could not be answered during that interview anyway, in part because of lack of time (it was about one hour or so). I can look up the page of questions if need be and have a log of the IRC session most likely. I supposed at the time that my exit message was a quote from Laurie Anderson, the title of a song "Talk Normal", but I may be mistaken. Anyway, thank you for showing up that day. I have posted some other questions at Talk:Internet Engineering Task Force where they may be more likely to be addressed, or not. Take care and best wishes for the holiday season and the new year. -Susanlesch (talk) 19:07, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Hope this is okay. Just a holiday photo for you and the others who may visit your talk page. The young men in the picture told me Mr, Riggs was a star with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus before he opened this venue. No one told them what I was once told, that Mr. Riggs was a trapeze artist in Minneapolis maybe downtown. Boy things get lost over time. Once he gave me a salt shaker. I don't recall why that happened. -Susanlesch (talk) 08:28, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Schnelle Frage...

Wovon haben Sie die Idee gekommt, um so eine Enzyklopädie wie Wikipedia mit Sanger und die Volken von Bomis gekommt? Ich denke, dass ich niemals das gewusst. Antworte gerne auf Englisch oder Deutsch, ich verstehe beide :) eszetttalk 13:33, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Menudo again

Mr. McGillis is back to his legal threats as‎ in his talk page [1], this time he issued the threat following a warning that I left on his talk page after taking part in yet another content dispute, this time over the inclusion of a link to his website on the article wich went against your desicion in the case as he posted in the article and ignored the temporary edit ban. I blocked the address for six months as I am hesitant to indef block a address that may change eventually, I will re-protect the article as it seems he is using Wikipedia Review as a chess piece in this dispute, and has created a account by the name of "" to gain attention in the website as evidenced in this thread (the original text may be in the quotes as he has now edited the original comments) the protection will be because this may bring some of the banned users that edit the website into this. - Caribbean~H.Q. 06:36, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Excellent work.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:40, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Google vs Wikipedia

Hi Jimbo. Do you know the last creation by Google? I refer to Knol. Can this be the Google's response to Wikia Search? I want to assume good faith by Google, but... ;). Cheers. --Emijrp (talk) 20:04, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

If Google thinks they can create something superior to Wikipedia, good luck to them! That's the nature of the project. If our existance inspired a project better than Wikipedia at dispersing free knowledge, then we've succeeded in our goal, which is at the end of the day to make human knowledge accessible to all, whether it be through Wikipedia or not. I think it's going to be an interesting project to follow. --Deskana (talk) 23:13, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Well I guess nothing like a challenge, and yeah I had read this too. I thought the industry commentator Nicholas Carr was spot on. Thanks, SqueakBox 21:54, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
There's nothing like a good old spot of rivalry now is there? Knol vs. Wikipedia. How exciting! Lradrama 18:16, 19 December 2007 (UTC)


Hi, Mr.Wales/any one monitering this page. I have a suggestion which I belive would seriously help out with the duties on Wikipedia (I posted this here because I do not know where else to post it). Basiccly, What I'm suggesting is the following:

(only) Segments of text being Protected

What I'm trying to say is this:

You know on say the main page, you can copy the source code but you cannot edit (it's grey and won't accept any text) well, I think Admins should be able to block specific segments of text, e.g the header of the sandox, or say in an edit war, instead of protecting that page, an admin could protect the information that people are conflicting about so people are free to edit the rest of an article without having to request it on the article's talk page.

So, if admins had the privleges to do this, it could lessen out the duties (e.g restoring the sandbox header) so users can concentrate on other things.

For anyone who is reading this- Please don't steal my idea!

thanks, cf38talk 22:08, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Um... try one of the WP:Village pump's? LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:21, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

So what you're saying is that it should be possible to protect a part of Wikipedia's main page, while some other parts of that main page should be editable by anyone, say (for example) the "selected anniversaries" section. That's how it is done today. Someone stole your idea before you had it. It uses transclusion of non-protected pages as a technique to implement it. --Francis Schonken (talk) 22:35, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

No, I used the main page as an example. I mean things such as the sandbox header could be protected, so users would'nt keep having to reset it. cf38talk 15:20, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Hard to implement text protection. If you protect, say, paragraph 2, I can add the BS to paragraph 1 or create a new paragraph with BS. Brusegadi (talk) 23:51, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
The Sandbox header is reset automatically by a bot. –Pomte 10:59, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Change to introduction

I was reverted in making the following change, so I thought I'd bring it up on the talk page before making the change again. What do you think of changing the relevant section to:

Wikia is a completely separate organization according to the IRS; though in reality I fund a lot of travel for Wikia using Wikimedia Foundation funds, so thanks for donating! Wikia is working on a search engine project unrelated to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation.

Yes? No? Thanks. (talk) 07:43, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I use no Wikimedia Foundation funds for travel. I even pay my own travel to board meetings and the like. Nice job of trolling, though.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:37, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Strong No. It's another example of where some critics of Wikia/Wikimedia entanglement "think small". The key issue is not about travel funding, or even chump-change like speaker's fees. I think making it about trivia just sets up a straw-man that's counter-productive to the topic. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 14:29, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

You, on the other hand appear to imagine a cult based on evidence that consists of unpaid people around the world promoting and creating free culture in a variety of forms including interacting in a fun multiple player web-based role-playing game that interestingly has as a byproduct an amazingly large and useful collection of claims and references organized in the form of an online free-of-charge and copyleft encyclopedia. Seth, there is no cult. There exists at Wikipedia the normal range of behaviors you get in any online community. You and some others focus on some aspects and get a distorted image. Click "Recent changes" and observe an unbiased sample of what actually happens at Wikipedia. Some people (like me) are here because we like writing an encyclopedia in the same way others like bowling or gardening. Others are here for other purposes and the charge for being allowed to play the game is to help make wikipedia a better encyclopedia. It is like getting your fence painted by allowing only those who help to paint it play in the baseball game being played within the fence. Those who, like Jon Awbrey, complain loudly that the rules are not being followed are clearly ignoring the rule that you can ignore any rule so long as doing so helps the fence get painted. WAS 4.250 (talk) 17:51, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'd put it more like based on evidence of cult behavior, including everything from a charismatic leader, messianic motivations, demagoguery, and yes, a few top people aiming to make millions of dollars off the unpaid labor of everyone else while proclaiming that it's "fun". It's a mild cult in the grand scheme of things, not the worst, but I think further along that axis than is comfortable. Even in the very worst apocalyptic cults, there's day-to-day life. Someone has to take out the garbage from the cult's compound, do the laundry, deal with paying bills, go shopping, etc. If you look at the daily activity, they would say "We're not a cult, we're a community". Anyway, I try not to go on too much about this on Jimbo's talk page. There's WP:ALPHABETSOUP, and the block button if I say some things I think, plus it's a very tough audience to convince indeed ("There is no Santa Claus!" :-)). But I believe some of the people who bait him on this topic are really off-base, and I don't think I'll get in (much) trouble for saying that. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 19:21, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Seth, you have missed the whole point. This is not a community or a cult, the community idea is a fallacy invented by God knows who - probably Jimbo. For the most part "the community" is a few hundred people writing on subjects about which they are passionate. They range from university professors to just mere "anoraks" who devour every written word on a chosen subject. Believe me I know this for a fact. They are "here" for the simple pleasure and hobby of writing and discussing their chosen interests. Every now and again those dedicated few fall out with each other over an angle in which the content is presented. Now this is where the equation becomes interesting.

There is an even greater army of those who have joined "the community" simply because they enjoy legislating and policing. Some are sincere (NewYorkBrad springs to mind) others are here because they like to throw their weight around and imagine they have the ear of Jimbo Wales. Indeed some of them do appear to have that ear, and that ear seems to enjoy the flattery it listens to. This is where the cult scenario arises, it is these people who have been shown a minuscule window for power by Jimbo's project that see him as the charismatic messianic leader - what else have they got? as for the rest - the worker ants - they just suck their teeth and email knowingly to each other and eventually drift off. No one protests too hard about the situation for fear of being banned (they enjoy writing here). Jimbo needs to wake up, if he wants to- that is! His posturing and frankly very stupid comments to me "the harm you have done...etc." may have thrilled his confidantes but look at the votes they gave me, and he would do well to look at the names of those votes as well as the quantity. It would be impossible for me to be on the present Arbcom I would be frozen out and impotent. However, if Jimbo does not start to listen to those doing the writing soon the project will undoubtedly deteriorate, it won't fail because there is always someone new, and the police force will grow even larger. Is that what Wikipedia is about? There are some here who want to be in a cult, with their seeking out of socks and traitors, but the backbone of the encyclopedia feel those people are a joke, sadly if he is not careful Jimbo will fall into that category too. He needs to shut these people up and listen to those who want what is best for the project rather than their egos. Giano (talk) 21:08, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I fail to see how Carolyn Doran's legal history bolsters this cult hypothesis. We're talking about an organization that has a dozen employees and an annual operating budget of $4 million. It's commonplace for a nonprofit of that scale to hire temp labor, and to trust the diligence of the placement agency's background check, and to inflate job titles a little because the salaries probably aren't fantastic. Ms. Doran worked for the Foundation for less than a year. The only reason she is newsworthy is because this relates to Wikipedia. Actual cults seldom produce material of interest to any broader audience than their own insular membership, but this small nonprofit has generated the eighth most popular website in the world. One of its basic missions is to provide every human being on the planet with a free encyclopedia of 50,000 words in his or her native language. The Foundation's progress toward that goal has been entirely out of proportion to its actual size. Arguably, that makes WMF the the opposite of a cult: a particularly effective nonprofit. DurovaCharge! 20:13, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I lost you somewhere. First, I didn't say anything about Carolyn Doran in any of the above. If you ask, I'd say the cult aspect comes in the aftermath, where people are supposed to suspend basic skepticism because it's against the tenets of behavior - something which is always a big red flag to me. And the guy who said "IOW, I don't care if she shot her boyfriend, and killed somebody while driving drunk. It's editorial abuse that pisses me off!", well, I hope that was tongue-in-cheek, otherwise it's a howler. Again, I think you're only looking to the worst cults. You're probably unfamiliar with Spiritualism, for example. And lot of 1960's-era communes produced interesting material, though it's out of fashion now. I keep wanting to ask Jimbo if he's ever read "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", I'll take this chance to work it into the conversation. Basically what happened with Wikipedia was that a quirk in Google's algorithm enormously amplified a pathological pattern. But it's not something that's more than a new twist on some very old tricks. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 21:15, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you didn't. The incident did function as a springboard, though, and I'm unsure why. And I can't quite agree that that Wikipedia's popularity is inherently pathological. At any rate, events play out in a way that proves you correct, then somebody else will get this concept right and put the GDFL content to better use elsewhere. DurovaCharge! 21:26, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you

Barnstar-lightbulb3.png What a Brilliant Idea Barnstar
To Jimmy Wales, for having a Wikipedia account in your name. Susanlesch (talk) 16:33, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry for the spam but I am fresh out of ideas. I read somewhere you don't like user boxes but I hope you like barnstars. I hope someday to achieve a Wikimedia Ambassador barnstar. Good luck. -Susanlesch (talk) 16:33, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Companies and Blogs getting listed on External Links - but not mine.

Hi Jimbo Wales,

I'd like to know how some companies and blogs (yes blogs) are allowed to be posted on External links and others are not. I'll send you hundreds of examples if you like.

I have tried to add a link to my blog/information page about living off the grid and I have been blocked from Wikipedia for ever. Mind you I tried to add links to about a dozen other blogs - (geothermal, global warming, energy medicine, Moon landing, wind power) where I have noticed that others were listed/accepted.

These are "current news" and information sites that are updated daily. This information is unbiased and useful to wikipedians who cannot find relevant current/news/information on Wikipedia. Also - I tried to link to a single Christmas Wikia. And was banned for life.

oh well -tough crowd - but also not uniform in its policies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:17, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

For what it's worth, WikiProject Spam makes some decisions like this (that have inconvenienced me enough to wonder about why my username is a spammer log). But I am not an expert on the problems you have. Another thing that can happen is a bot gone bonkers (for example, although they are well meaning an author may find him or herself inconveniencing a number of users). Sorry for the comment. -Susanlesch (talk) 20:37, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Victoria and Albert Museum

Cup and Cover, Marked by Paul de Lamerie, England (London), 1736-7 V&A Museum no. 819-1890

I thought it would make a pleasant change to have some good news on this page! An editor from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has been editing as User:VAwebteam, initially adding links which were reverted and images which were being deleted. They readily co-operated with established editors when approached about suitable additions. I left them an explanation of exactly how GFDL works. This has had a great result with some fine images uploaded (and some deleted ones re-uploaded) under GFDL from the museum's collection. This is a useful precedent for anyone to approach other institutions. Is this the first time a major museum has contributed in this way? Tyrenius (talk) 03:04, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

It would be great if the images were moved to Commons. Miranda 04:57, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


I would like to say that, as an educator, I find your recent comment which states that "it's a bad educator that bans their students from reading Wikipedia"[2] is ignorant, rude, and disrespectful of people who actually know how to teach and have dedicated their lives to doing so. You may revel in amateurism, but professionals can see that this site is a terrible education resource. 1.33% of the Wikipedia is tagged for cleanup alone. It may be interesting as a general trivia site, but it is not something I would permit my students to learn from, whether you call me a 'bad educator' or no. (talk) 16:30, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I was going to write something here but I was stuck in a meeting this morning for 3 hours *groan* I, too, have to disagree with your statement that Wikipedia should be accepted for schoolwork. You even included the caveat that only articles that are well-cited should be used. What teacher is going to want to analyze every Wikipedia article cited to see if it is acceptable for use? Also, many (if not all) elementary, middle or even high school students would not be able to determine if an article overall has good citations or not. Besides, it is generally accepted that terciary sources are not academically acceptable. I teach my students to use encyclopedias, Wikipedia included, only to begin their research when they have no clue about the topic. Also, there is nothing wrong with chaining to the sources that many entries cite like newspaper articles, books etc but use the information from the original... not the encyclopedia. I write you this as one who uses Wikipedia extensively (see my user page and WP:SUP) for my writing and Advanced EFL classes. Don't throw down the gauntlet to educators... you get the reaction like the one above. However, keep pushing to make Wikipedia better. You are right that students do use it, even if prohibited. Plus, it is proving to be a really excellent way to get students to write and research.Thelmadatter (talk) 19:05, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

The BBC article is entirely misleading about my remarks. My opinion on the proper use of Wikipedia in the educational environment has not changed one bit. I believe that our anonymous teacher, above, would respond as the audience did: strong applause. The key, of course, is to hear what I actually said, rather than this misreporting. I have asked the BBC to run a correction.
I believe that educators whose entire response to Wikipedia is to tell students not to look at it are in fact bad educators. Good teachers will understand that the right approach is to teach students about the weaknessess - and strengths - of Wikipedia. And to caution them that Wikipedia is not an acceptable source for an academic citation, any more than Britannica is. Thelmadatter, I agree absolutely with your remarks about the use of Wikipedia in the classroom, and based on reading what you have said, I suspect we would have to work really hard in a conversation to find any differences in our opinions at all on these matters.  :-) So, I plead innocent.--Jimbo Wales 19:18, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Hi Jimbo, I think that the point here is not whether or not Wikipedia can give students accurate facts, but the evidence for these facts. When I was a student and writing essays etc. I would always have to include a bibliography unless it was clearly stated that something was my own opinion. Wikipedia professes to be an encyclopedia yet "encyclopedia" actually translates from the Greek as "well rounded education". How much of a well rounded education can one get from a series of "facts" that are marked [citation needed]? And before you say, adding that is not a caveat for you, since you say you are an encyclopedia. You mention about teaching the "weaknesses - and strengths - of Wikipedia" but why should teachers have to? You may think I'm being pedantic. Fair enough, stop calling yourselves an encyclopedia then. Just my "2 cents". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:18, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Disgusting? No way. It was a good BBC article and good to see you yet again promoting wikipedia and this time in Old Blighty. Would that I had access to such a vast body of knowledge when I was a teenager and of course those of today should be encouraged to use it. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:16, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
could you tell us what you really did say?Thelmadatter (talk) 19:35, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't know if there is a video or audio anywhere, but I said basically the same things that I always say. If you have seen any of my speeches where I address these questions, well, I said what I always say. (Basically, teachers can use wikipedia as a teaching opportunity to help students better assess information sources. Wikipedia has strengths and weaknesses. An outright ban is silly... you can tell students not to listen to rock and roll music, too. But accepting wikipedia as a citable source is not really right either.)--Jimbo Wales 22:03, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree Wikipedia has some flaws like anything else, BUT it is fairly new and getting better every single day. I would strongly argue that the educational system has so many more flaws, and it has had over a 100 years to reform itself. As an author, I can state that I have probably learned double the amount of information on wiki than I did in school. Our schools have ancient textbooks which have become antiquated, wiki has thousands of editors that keep everything up to the minute, from new science advances to news updates. Once they perfect all the flows in the wiki system, I strongly believe the world will embrace it as the new system for learning and education. I quote the great Thomas Edison who I believe was the greatest genius of all time: "Our schools are not teaching students to think. It is astonishing how many young people have difficulty in putting their brains definitely and systematically to work." I completely agree with Edison. In the 21st century, not much has changed with the school system, it is almost as it was one hundred years ago (that is disgusting)! I believe wiki is a system that encourages students to think and participate in history, science, and current events. Thank you Jimbo for starting Wikipedia!--Persianhistory2008 (talk) 08:42, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

One of my teachers frequently cites Wikipedia. He first gives the page a read over, then tells us to look at the specific article. He thinks it's a valuable resource. I agree with him. I learned a lot from Wikipedia on my Software Engineering course, and I did well on an essay (something I don't do much of on my course) thanks to Wikipedia. --Deskana (talk) 13:24, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that any good teacher should say "do read Wikipedia but don't trust Wikipedia - use it as a starting point". Any reference to Wikipedia as a resource necessarily has to include the need to look at the page history, the article talk, and the internal and external links. The article the student sees is only a node on a temporal trajectory (can I trademark that?). My first contribution to en:wikipedia (as an IP) was following up on an argument in a pub about orbital mechanics. Don't try this at home kids! :) Geostationary orbit said 9 miles above the surface of the Earth and I looked at it 17 times, got my CRC Handbook out, checked two websites, I knew it was obviously wrong, I couldn't just walk away, but I had to be sure that "Undo" was going to make things right. So at any given time, there are errors and I could have left that one - and if people in any way learn to rely on Wikipedia, well, don't shoot your mouth off in your local pub based on it and for God's sake don't build any bridges or railways. I hope Jimbo would agree that the key is to teach how to use Wikipedia, it is not the answer, it's the way to find the answer. Franamax (talk) 12:17, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
And there's the tradeoff between accuracy and accessability. If you use anything on the internet which is free, you usually have just the same problem as with Wikipedia (PUBMED govt subsidized medical references being a major exception). And what are the chances you're going to spend the afternoon at the local library pulling tomes off shelves to get something you really know you can trust? Usually you don't need to trust anything that much. It's NOT the airplane or bridge you're building-- if you do that for living, somebody has bought you refs that you damn well CAN trust. So what do you use Wikipedia for? Somebody's doc sends them for a PET scan and they and you want to know what that is. In 10 min with a computer or even the right cell phone, you can find out more about PET scans than the average MD knew 10 years ago. And most of what's in Wikipedia is accurate, or if it is not, it's obvious that it's been messed with, because 99.999% of vandals are fools and all they can do is delete stuff or add scatology. Changing a decimal in an orbital calculation is actually what you very seldom find. SBHarris 21:42, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

As I have said many times, while WP is not itself a reliable source (you never know when the page you load will say POOP), it is an excellent and possibly unparalleled resource for finding reliable sources on almost any topic. That is why some of us have worked hard to make the footnoted cites as complete as possible, so that any kid in a library can go find those sources. - Crockspot (talk) 22:15, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

But it is a joke academically. Students cannot be steered towards mercurial matter without serous warning.i.e. "Never use Wikipedia". opiumjones 23 (talk) 22:47, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I think Crockspot makes a good point. WP, for all its issues, is an excellent place to start one's search. It's more productive than the first 3 pages on Google in any number of searches. Also, WP serves as an ongoing exercise in fact-checking. It can be used as a great opportunity to teach students how to evaluate information in any given source. This is a skill that seems to be lacking in many students, a lack that was present prior to WP. But I have to say, while WP is usually judged in terms on its encyclopedic content (that is from non-editorial utility), not enough attention has been paid to the value of editorial utility. WP has value from an editorial perspective because it is praxis, theory in practice. Here, theories of knowledge production, electronic community, difference, and privilege play out in the most interesting ways. If nothing else, WP is a great petri dish for online communication. In this sense, we do not give WP enough credit for the social experiment that it is. There are a number of ways WP can be used as a tool in academic discourses. While I think it is reasonable and responsible for teachers to disqualify WP as a reliable source, it is irresponsible for teachers to categorically dismiss WP as an educational tool. Phyesalis (talk) 15:48, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
"more productive than the first 3 pages on Google"?? - Wikipedia IS the first 3 pages on Google! All other points taken as written. :) Franamax (talk) 16:04, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
WP is definitely an educational tool for all the reason cited above... just let me add one other as a teacher of English in a foreign country (Mexico)... nothing gets my students more riled up and ready to write than showing them a page about their country poorly written. Music of Mexico has been edited a billion times but STILL when my students critique it, they got a ton of criticisms. But it serves as a great motivator, most of my students wish that the world knew Mexico better than it does (e.g. they dont all wear sombreros and drink tequila under a cactus all day!) so I tell them here is their chance to DO something! I think other English as a foreign language teachers in other countries should consider having their students write in WP, even if it is just about their hometowns. This benefits WP too, as these students have access to information and able to write about things the average native English speaker could never have or do.Thelmadatter (talk) 19:15, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I would like to agree that Wikipedia is a good place to begin a search for information. Beyond that, however, the "Did you know?" and "Random Article" features, along with the internal links, make it an enjoyable place just to visit and find out some new things. Kudos! Hal peridol (talk) 19:28, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Two suggestions

1) To decrease vandalism: I was wondering why WP is allowing everyone to edit user pages. Vandals are mainly targeting user pages. So if you make it mandatory that users with a specific editing history/time registered only are able to edit user’s pages (& talk pages). Recently I saw an admin's user page that “This user identifies as gay” userbox on the top list. I was little frustrated though it can be true. When I checked the same page next time, it was removed and I knew that was vandalism. So, if you altered it to what I mentioned, I think it may produce with productive results.

If Wikipedia blocks other users from editing another person's user page, then it would be hard to edit spelling mistakes. However, it is a good idea that the user has the sole privilege to edit his own user page. All in favor? --Marianian (talk) 12:02, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
There are many bots operating, that helps AutoCorrect spelling. --Avinesh Jose (talk) 05:09, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

2) To make it more user friendly: All external links should open in a different window. As per existing program it is redirecting to the same window, which I feel not a good work. How do you think? --Avinesh Jose (talk) 09:45, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree with both proposals. They're good ideas, especially the first one. Look at the state of my userpage history, due to high vandalism rates. It doesn't really bother me that much, because some kind users always turn up and mend it for me if I don't notice. But every little helps! (Just be careful about how you word that bit about gay kind of sounds like seeing a user with a gay identification userbox on his page frustrates you.) ;-) Lradrama 12:17, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
There are legitimate reasons why someone would want to edit someone else's user page - updating migrated userboxes, removing inappropriate content (copyright violations, fair use images, spam etc), some users are quite happy with other people editing their user page - so there would need to be some provision for allowing people to edit other people's user pages if this scheme is to work. Hut 8.5 17:35, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, what I meant was make the program such a way that only established users/admins/ users with specific time registered are only allowed to edit user pages in order to prevent vandalism. Because it is true that many vandals are using it through anonymous IP address / newly created user id. In my opinion, that should not allow. If a new user had come across any illegal/CopyVio text in anonther user’s page, they can immediately notice that to their (admins) attention, instead of them editing it-if this alteration is to work. --Avinesh Jose (talk) 05:09, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Vandals mainly target user pages? Simply not true, the great majority of vandalism is to the main space. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:22, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I am just saying user page is one of the main targets for vandals along with main space. Most user page vandalism occurs in retaliation for a contributor's efforts to deal with vandalism and are the main victims by personal attacks, abusive comments etc. If you (Jimmy) alter the program according what I suggested, don’t you think it as a good idea of putting a stop to vandals? --Avinesh Jose (talk) 05:09, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Agree on second proposition, but this is not at all the place to propose it. Joshdboz (talk) 17:42, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Then tell me where can I post it? I think Jimmy is not interested in my proposal?--Avinesh Jose (talk) 11:27, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
WP:VPR. Hut 8.5 18:33, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I cited a link to here from WP:VPR. --Avinesh Jose (talk) 04:39, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I do agree that while its easy to remain dispassionate about main space vandalism that people do get affected by having their user pages used by trolls in order to make deeply offensive personal attacks. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:46, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Registered users can choose to make external links open in a new window at Gadgets in Special:Preferences. I think it should remian off as default. PrimeHunter (talk) 04:54, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, excellent! I was suggesting to people pushing 'EL's open in a new window' that they request it as an optional feature; I didn't know it was already built into the interface. I agree with you that it should remain off unless deliberately turned on, as that is the way that html links work by default. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:19, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Biographies of living persons

Hello Mr. Wales, (and everyone else :) ), I don't like having to come here with a question about such a basic principle of editing Wikipedia. However the community as a whole seems to be confused, so I'm wondering what you had intended in the first place.

Barbara Schwarz is someone you may have already heard about, but in case you haven't I'll sum up the contention as concisely as possible since I realize you are probably very busy. To be blunt, Ms Schwarz has serious issues with reality, but has done some very notable things. In pursuit of information she believes is being held by various departments/agencies of several states, and even the federal government, she has filed more FOIA requests than anyone else in the act's history. Making her more notable is the fact that she then chose to pro se sue many of those agencies, and even specific employees by the hundreds when they were unable to find what she was looking for. In the process she was heard by the Supreme Court and her story was reported in the Salt Lake Tribune around 2003. She then sued the paper despite the fact she was not misrepresented and the paper was merely reporting both sides of her story. Needless to say she didn't like her article here either, Category:Suspected Wikipedia sockpuppets of The real Barbara Schwarz and has been trying to have it removed with some support by other Wikipedians. In general the community seemed to understand the notability of her court actions when such discussions came up:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Barbara Schwarz - Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Barbara Schwarz (2nd nomination) - Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Barbara Schwarz (3rd nomination) - Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Barbara Schwarz (4th nomination).

When I asked myself if this article was worthy of inclusion on Wikipedia, and thus worthy of my time, I compared Ms Schwarz to others who have done notable things while not in touch with reality. Would the Sylvia Seegrist or Laurie Dann artcles be removed if Sylvia or Dann's family asked? I answered no, because their actions were notable enough for inclusion in reliable secondary sources. Even though Ms Schwarz hasn't killed anyone, she has made herself notable by her actions in court.

I'd like to know what your (and anyone else's here) opinion on Schwarz and our biographies of living people policy, are they compatible? (Just to be clear, I don't plan on going around saying "This is what Jimbo said...", rather just want to know if you intended such articles to exist or not so I know if I've been wrong. I'm also not asking for any intervention.) Thank you, Anynobody 01:53, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

DRV at Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2007 December 19#Barbara Schwarz. Cool Hand Luke 02:29, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I think she is clearly non-notable and that the DRV came to the right conclusion. I also think that reasonable people can differ, and indeed in the DRV discussion I see some very sane voices arguing for a "keep". I don't agree with them, but that's ok: it is not up to me to decide deletion debates, of course. To me it looks like the process worked fine. I normally prefer that the process work fine, and reach a decision I don't agree with from time to time, than to have a broken process.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:22, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate your time, thanks very much and enjoy the holidays :) Anynobody 02:44, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Seasons greetings

Northern Cardinal Male-27527.jpg

Seasons Greetings Jimbo Wales/Archive 31
Happy New Year !

Sandahl 15:17, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Latest Metz/Register article

Cade Metz recently wrote a reasoned opinion piece on the inherent conflict in Wikipedia between anonymity and COI [3]. Which do you think should have priority as Wikipedia moves forward, COI or anonymity? Also, just one more said that you had only a few hours notice before the Doran article came out in the Register...Did Cade request that you contact him a couple of days before the Doran article was released, and, if so, what was your response? Cla68 (talk) 11:39, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

My response was that I don't speak to the Register. I guess you know that since you were cc'd on the email.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:19, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

While I think The Register needs a new hobby, there is a good question above; "Which do you think should have priority as Wikipedia moves forward, COI or anonymity?". I would like to hear your views on this, if possible. Thanks! - Rjd0060 (talk) 23:46, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I think both COI and anonymity take a backseat to NPOV. Sometimes anonymity helps us to preserve NPOV, sometimes not. We do not have a hard and fast rule against COI editing, but rather some soft recommendations mostly designed to help people who may have COIs understand that they risk doing damage to the very cause they are seeking to advance, if they behave inappropriately at Wikipedia. In general, I think that anonymity... the right of people to edit as either ip numbers or as usernames without validating who they are... is not just valuable but incredibly valuable, and I would oppose any moves to get rid of it very firmly.
I don't think Cade Metz' piece is a reasoned criticism, really, but just typical of him. He starts with a falsehood: "In Wikiland, you aren't allowed to edit articles where you have a conflict of interest" and goes downhill from there. Nuance is not the forte of The Register.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:41, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Jimbo for that. Needless to say, I completely agree that NPOV takes charge in those possible COI situations. Happy Holidays! - Rjd0060 (talk) 15:56, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
While the Register is respected in the UK, with good reason, I really do think that article was scraping the bottom of the barrel. Our assuming good faith policy should cover this, after all which similar enterprise (My Space and Facebook come to mind) assume bad faith of users who aren't engaging in suspiciously illegal acts (and COI ain't that). We already allow usersx not to be anonymous and otherwise we should assume good faith. Thanks, SqueakBox 16:38, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Are you saying AGF on the Registers' part? I dont think AGF applies externally. - Rjd0060 (talk) 16:49, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
No, not at all, I am saying we at wikipedia must assume good faith in our editors, regardless of whether they are anonymous, as long as we believe they are not engaging in illegal activities on wikipedia. Which would destroy the Metz argument that we should somehow assume bad faith of some of our anonymous editors, based on COI. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:03, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) I think dislike for the sources, and insularity, is causing a dismissal of a deep structural issue - WP:AGF doesn't resolve the problem that anonymity and conflict-of-interest is an open invitation for a lot of bad-faith editing. Whenever this discussion comes up, I see replies I'd characterize as that, in theory, in a perfect world with perfect people, there should be no problems because Wikipedia policies say everyone should play nice. However, it's an imperfect world, with imperfect people, and many of them play very nasty indeed. You can't escape this issue by saying it's against policy, because the policies are applied by people, and thus there's an incentive to game the system. Outsiders keep writing about this in various ways, because it's very obvious to anyone who looks into what goes on in terms of real conflict-resolution. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 20:36, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Dude, you are a genius.

Thank you so much for founding Wikipedia. I don't know what I'd do without it. If I need info, I always come here first. Wiki rules! A pyrate's life for me... (talk) 16:21, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Guten Tag!

Guten Tag, mein Herr. Wie geht's? Ich liebe Deustch!!!!! Translation: Hello, sir. How's it going? I love German!!!!! Good luck learning the language. I've been taking classes for two years, myself. Awesome language.

Ichliebezuko (talk) 16:28, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Don't worry people, I'm leaving this German text well and truly alone! ;-) Lradrama 20:19, 21 December 2007 (UTC)


Hi Jimbo! If you need help for understanding german messages or if you want to understand german Wikipedia articles, etc., I´d be glad to help you! Whenever you want Dagadt (talk) 16:30, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Hello, Jimbo

What are the patrolers, Stewards, Board vote admins, developers and imports of Wikipedia? And another question also: do you have some special things only you, with your "founder" status, can do? ----Yours, User:Deba Tihs ´n´ Mad Dog (right place to talk to me is here) 18:12, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:User access levels. patrolled edits are disabled on the English Wikipedia but we can patrol new pages. Jimbo Wales has the founder privilege. Graham87 06:13, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Request for Jimbo

Dear Jimbo,

Please Let Us Update Special:Ancientpages. 09:23, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you.


@L-drama [4]: if Jimbo's invitation on German Wikipedia to come to this page for comments is written in German, then sort it out with Jimbo if you want to have comments in German deleted from this page. Currently, Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#Good practice only mandates that you ask for a translation, not that you erase a comment in a different language. --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:22, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
It might be worth knowing that I am NOT German, and thus couldn't make sense of what you were trying to show me in the slightest. If you'd done as I asked, and discussed it with me on my talkpage, we might have got a bit further in understanding each other. (Sorry about this BTW Jimbo). Lradrama 13:42, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Er, you already know you can't go around to anyone else's user talk page and just delete non-English conversation, right? Well you can't do it here either, even if it might seem more "public" than most user talk pages. Nigel Barristoat (talk) 14:03, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry for the inconvenience. I think I need a Wikibreak... Lradrama 14:07, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Particularly since I can read German (though barely and badly), I would appreciate if German language comments are left here. Also, since I try to stay in contact with all language communities and offer my assistance in the event of internal disputes, I would appreciate if no comments ever be deleted from here on language-grounds alone.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:36, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. Thanks, SqueakBox 16:55, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
And from that last exchange, you can guess why it's probably a good thing that JFK gave that speech in Berlin and not Vienna... Season's greetings. SBHarris 18:06, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Well once again, I'm very sorry, my mistake. It will not happen again. ;-) Lradrama 18:28, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I just wanted to say i'm very sorry if I made anybody mad.I want peace to exist here,so tell me if you are angry at me for leaving a comment in German.1bookfan 23:19, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
No one is angry about your use of German on this page; some of us were merely confused. It happens, here as elsewhere. Mr. Wales has invited commentary in German, so it would ill behoove any of the rest of us to take any other position. Bielle (talk) 23:40, 22 December 2007 (UTC)


The barnstar of great excellence is awarded to Mr. Jimbo Wales for a very excellent job creating,maintaining,and supporting wikipedia

You deserve these awards! 1bookfan 00:00, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

GAG++ :-P --Fandyllic (talk) 12:26 AM PST 23 Dec 2007


Please sign my autograph page. 1bookfan 00:17, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


You deserve this for creating this place!--RoryReloaded (talk) 00:24, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Italian lessons

If you don't know how to speak Italian, come to my talk page! I can provide you with basic to expert Italian (probably). Feel free to come for lessons whenever you feel like it! Smiley.svgRoryReloaded (talk) 06:55, 23 December 2007 (UTC) Wasn't expecting that... RoryReloaded (talk) 06:56, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I've made your smiley smaller. A 90 kilobyte image was a tad too big, I think. --Dapeteばか 10:33, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks a bunch!RoryReloaded (talk) 19:37, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Your opinion?

This is some questions I decided to brought up on your opinions.

  • What is your opinion on barnstars and other awards? Do you think it helps/hurts the community?
  • How do you feel when somebody give you a specific award?
  • When do you think the awards should be given by a Wikipedian?

I would like your opinion out of curiousity. Thank you for your time. PrestonH 19:43, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I like barnstars. They are a decentralized reward mechanism that seems to me to have no downsides. I think people should give cute and interesting awards whenever someone does something good or nice or helpful or of high quality or...

The Germans give gummibears. This pleases me greatly.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:54, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


Does everybody hate muffins or is it just me? (talk) 23:16, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't hate you... LessHeard vanU (talk) 00:54, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I think "hate muffins" would be a good name for a band, or a book, or for actual muffins (the secret ingredient is hate!). sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 04:51, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
WP:BADMUFFINS daveh4h 08:11, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Happy Holidays

Uprising of the righteous in

Dear Jimbo, I'd like to draw your attention to a call for vandalism in the German speaking Wikipedia made by established users. This group wants to censor vector graphics of NS symbols so that (dumb) Neo-Nazis could not make use of our high quality images. Please speak out against this plan.

It is a heated debate which lead to an admin blocking me for two hours for stating my opinion. When I complained about it other admins affirmed that I had not violated the rules and therefore the block was unjust. For answering the question what I think why I was blocked I have been blocked for additional 24 hours (“NPA”). Some have argued that my points were legitimate and my block should be revoked but no one did—who would dare to defend a “swastika lover”?

As I understand your statement of principles you agree with me that Wikipedia is an open project and no one should be excluded on the grounds of group membership. This means every imaginable group is generally welcomed at Wikipedia: Neo-Nazis, misogynists, child molesters etc. This consideration makes one not feel comfortable but it is the truth: all these groups are already readers and Wikipedians. Neither our license nor our five pillars forbid those groups the use and participation. I ask you to publicly admit this fact and elaborate your rationale behind these terms and conditions. --mms (talk) 12:59, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Do you really think Jimbo would meddle into de. Admin decisions? He would be not clever to do so, and I do think that he is clever.
And do you really think that the people reading your statement here are interested in such internal affairs? --d2dMiles (talk) 13:25, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Congratulations, Jimbo! You have been selected being unser Führer of German WP :-( Seriuosly! sorry, but not kidding. And he is not blocked yet. Wikipedia, erwache! -- (talk) 16:37, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Führer? Gott im Himmel... Allow me to propose a quote from William Tecumseh Sherman. When he learned that there was a movement to make him president of the United States, he answered I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected. DurovaCharge! 18:15, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Nothing to führ äh fear, mms just told on de:WP:FZW, our Village Pump, that he loves Swastikas. In my opinion is this in Germany and Austria not quite OK and a prosecutor would propably be quite interested, albeit our servers are not located in Germany. Leave mms alone, standing near persons playing russian roulette can hurt bystanders too. Achates (talk) 19:57, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Please no personal attacks. We are in here. No one is interested whether you think it is “quite okay” to love swastikas or not. But I’m still very interested what Jimbo thinks about writing Wikipedia for the benefit of Neo-Nazis and the like. --mms (talk) 20:19, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) I've just read that thread and I don't see either side professing a fondness for swastikas. It's poor form to make these insinuations, particularly in a venue where most people are unable to read the original. It's a discussion between two sets of reasonable people that has deteriorated from sarcasm to animosity on a topic that would be sensitive in any language, but nowhere more so than in German. Each language edition creates its own consensus policies. Here in English we retain all material of encyclopedic value, regardless of its potential to give offense, and the community manages the occasional individuals attempt to exploit sensitive images for shock value. It isn't for us to dictate our solutions to other languages. Yet I do suggest you refrain from using polarizing tactics. DurovaCharge! 20:39, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

So after you read the discussion you came to the conclusion that there are no devoted swastika lovers or real Neo-Nazis involved. This may be true but it doesn’t mean there is no issue. What would you do if there were Neo-Nazis? I understand that my request for clarification of the principles is way out of the day to day business and you may need some time to decide how far free “free” means. But I have to be emphatic about it as this is crucial to my further participation. Maybe you, Jimbo, and the majority speak out against Neo-Nazis in Wikipedia and maybe against some other groups, too. I’m sceptical to exclusions of all kinds but I believe a community should set up its own rules. If it is consensus (or nearly consensus) to exclude some groups I suggest to rewrite the principles and amend the license accordingly. I have been blocked for a year in the German speaking Wikipedia for a deduction from the main principles: we write articles and redraw images to support Neo-Nazis. --mms (talk) 13:44, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Since this is the English language Wikipedia, please refer to two policies: WP:POINT and WP:NOT#Not a battleground. Your yearlong block on the German Wikipedia does not extend to this language edition, although it may be noted if serious questions arise about your conduct here. I hope you adjust well. In the best of all worlds, perhaps good work at this project will earn you an early return to the German Wikipedia. I do advise against using inflammatory symbols in userboxes here. Our mission is to create an online encyclopedia, not to test the boundaries of anarchy or free speech. DurovaCharge! 22:05, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
After having more than 2,000 edits in and nearly 1,000 edits in I don’t think I have to “adjust well”. I’m not promoting anarchy in Wikipedia but surely I promote free speech. While I agree that one should not use Wikipedia mainly to train ones rhetoric skills, serious and fundamental discussions should be possible. --mms (talk) 01:01, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Mms, do you think, if you compare Jimbo with Adolf Hitler, he would help you? “unser Führer”, isn't it a little bit awkward? -- (talk) 12:02, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Referring to Jimbo as our “Führer” was my reaction to the insinuations against me. Jimbo calls himself leader which is a literal translation to Führer. So I see no obstacles why he should not answer my question. --mms (talk) 13:26, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Take a look

Please,look at Horton, Alabama and tell me if it is any good at my talk. 1Bookfan Talk

Signed to archive. KnightLago (talk) 16:37, 25 December 2007 (UTC)


Hallo,herr Jakob.

Jes,spreche auf Deusch.Verrlassen Sie mich eine Nachritch an Ein Buchanhanger Rede .

Auf Wiedersehen und gluckliche Feiertage! Ein Buchanhanger

Signed to archive. KnightLago (talk) 16:38, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

hi there

ok well this is like my last attempt to try to talk to someone here... ...i have been banned as a user for some time now (User:Iamandrewrice), having been said to have many sockpuppets. However, this is not true, as another user (User:Joeseth1992) pretended to be me and hacked my account, making sockpuppets himself, and then leading to a phenomenon in which even though I was trying to explain my situation to fellow wikipedians, no one would listen, as they all thought that I was lying and that all the sockpuppets were mine, even though they had nothing to do with me. I really want to help edit the site, and it would really make me smile this xmas if you allowed me once again to operate here. I would very much appreciate it if the other users could be informed that many of the messages that they have read and received that they believe to be me, were in fact from another user who was impersonating me. (I know this user in real life by the way). Please please please try and help me out... if you would like a full detailed step-by-step explanation of everything that has happened, I can email it to you, but it is quite long. Well whatever you decide, please email me here on

Thanks a lot... and have a nice xmas (talk) 13:31, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

87 Socks huh? How many wasted man-hours wasted is that..? In the spirit of both naiveté and the holiday (God, admins, and WP:BEANS forgive me for this), why don't you create a new account and edit constructively and anonymously, leaving the past behind you (the incivility, disruptiveness, socking etc...). In any case, I can almost guarantee you that neither your main or the various sockpuppets will ever be unblocked. —Cronholm144 18:37, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
You were community banned Ben. Your attempt earlier this week to discuss this resulted in yet another round of sockpuppetry that forced Wikipedia to block nearly 200.000 IP's in 3 separate rangeblocks for 3 hours. If you want to appeal your ban then talk to Jeff about it. ArbCom is the way to do this, Jimbo doesn't normally respond here himself. This started as a simple 1 hour cool down block, you escalated this yourself. Merry Christmas Ben - I really hope that you willl somehow be able to return at some point in the future and continue the fine progress you made before this happened. EconomicsGuy (talk) 19:00, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, well those sockpuppets werent me though. ALthough they were someone I know in real life (apart from about 50 or so accounts that i dont even know who they are that you identified with me). But I really am sorry for being rude originally, but I really would like to continue editing. Can you please allow me to? Because if I make a new account... everyone will blcok me straight away... do I have permission to start a new account then? thanks (talk) 20:18, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
oh by the way, the user who i know in real life (who made all the other accounts, pretending to be me) has got other other accounts, and will probably continue to pretend to be me, as he wont listen to me... please dont believe that they are me :S (talk) 20:32, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

But, creating sockpuppets to discuss on here is also against the ban policy and is considered abusive sockpuppetry. If you want to appeal a ban, see this, otherwise, creating sockpuppets will only get you into more trouble. --EoL talk 14:06, 24 December 2007 (UTC)


JzG and Awbrey's Charles Peirce related contributions

Jimbo, please have a word with JzG. This is a complete misrepresentation of the history of Awbrey's edits and concerns. Admins should show greater respect for the truth, for the content-editors that create Wikipedia content, and for the moral and legal aspects of plagiarism and copyright. JzG has been treating Awbrey like enemy number one and this is merely his latest personal attack. When will we as a community tell admins that insist on creating and angering enemies to stop it? This is just poisonous. We should be better than WR, not imitate them. Further, it hurts the encyclopedia when people delete content just because the person who wrote it is now disruptive. There was no issue with Awbrey's article content on math/logic articles until after he was justly banned and then decided to act as disruptively as possible. Finally, when an admin gets to the point that he literally says he would rather "we be sued"; I think he needs to step away from the computer and take a nice bike ride in the park. WAS 4.250 (talk) 23:41, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

But no banned editor has the right to edit here? Or are you claiming they do? In which case you should not DO SO. Defending some banned troll and in the process attacking of our most respected admins isnt right. What is going on, WAS? Normally you behave impeccably but this looks like trolling to me. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:44, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
In this case, I am solely referring to edits to logic/math articles that Awbrey made prior to being justly banned. He was not banned for any edit that he made to math/logic articles. He was banned for being disruptive in non-article space. WAS 4.250 (talk) 23:48, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
As for "what is going on": the short story is that Awbrey is angry at Guy and Guy is angry at Awbrey and the result is not helpful to Wikipedia. WAS 4.250 (talk) 23:55, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
The campaign against Wikipedia Review seems to be growing more and more bizarre by the day. Last month the community got dragged through sockpuppet-hunting paranoia a la User:!!; are we now to the point that a user an administrator here is trying to erase the contribution history of a person who participates there? Give me a break. Videmus Omnia Talk 23:56, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I think we all need a break. - "our most respected admins" I love it! Giano (talk) 00:09, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
He clearly is, and I am taking my work break from today. Thanks, SqueakBox 00:10, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I would have to say that characterizing Guy as one of our "most respected admins" is an unsupported claim, though you're certainly entitled to your opinion. In my interactions with him, I've found him to be abrasive, confrontational, and dismissive. Videmus Omnia Talk 16:46, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I have not reviewed the entire history but I can state some general principles which might be helpful here. First, when someone is banned from Wikipedia, their prior edits unless somehow bad can surely be allowed to stand in the general case, although there can be special cases. (For example, if a stalker has written an article about his victim, it can be best after the stalker is banned to simply delete that article and start over from scratch, as a courtesy to the victim.) At first glance, though, the debate JzG is commenting on does not seem to be about deleting content just because the person who wrote it is now disruptive, is it? It is some kind of argument about merging/moving content?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:39, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

<<<Jon Awbrey spent something like a year faithfully contributing to Wikipedia based on his widely acknowledged expertise in Charles Peirce and his work, a very important figure in the history of logic. That expertise made his contributions to logic/math articles to be beyond reproach to people who knew the subject (although readability by non-experts was and is an issue). But he ran into trouble on articles like Truth where he had to edit with people who could not understand his specialized expert vocabulary and Jon was poorly equipped to fully appreciate WP:NPOV leading to charges of breaking WP:NOR leading him to go to the policy talk page at WP:NOR where he was abused and misinformed by that page's owners; leading to a dramatic self-destruction wherein he began to disrupt Wikipedia as much as possible and continues to do so (I tried to help, but he was having none of it, his mind was made up). This latest battle in Jon's war of honor is described by Jon (aka Jonny Cache) here. Especially relevant is this quote:"The crux of the matter is this. I contributed content to Wikipedia that to this day adds to the credibility of Wikipedia. Nobody but nobody has the right to use that credibility to discredit me. If Guy Chapman can get away with asserting unchecked lies on the Wikienlist and on Wikipedia and no one in that so-called community calls him on it, then Wikipedia as a whole has forfeited the right to continue using those contributions." I love logic and do not wish to allow Guy to create a situation where Wikipedia's logic articles are eviscerated just because Guy is angry at Jon. Jon does not want the articles deleted, he just wants Guy to cease defaming him by claiming his contributions were "original research". Guy has used this fight as an excuse to remove information and redirect and wipe Jon's attribution from the records. There is no reason for all this removal and redirection in the first place except for Guy defaming Jon and causing this stupid fight. Let's put the content of the encyclopedia ahead of the emotional satisfaction of "winning" against enemies. WAS 4.250 (talk) 16:29, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Original Research accusations

The user in question did not, in fact, have the expertise that you seem to be assuming for him, and the problems he encountered on Truth were perhaps not because the other editors didn't understand the specialist vocabulary, but because they did understand it.
The importance of our content policies lies in the fact that, when someone arrives claiming to be an expert, we don't have to worry about whether they're telling the truth. What we ask of all editors (expert and non-expert alike) is that they rely on the best secondary sources they can find. This is something that real experts will be able to do, because they'll have read the secondary literature. You'll know the real experts by their edits, because they'll be able to tell us what other experts think about the subject, not only what they think about it themselves. That is something Jon Awbrey could never do.
Take this edit as an example of the problems in the Truth article (I don't know whether he wrote it originally, or just moved it from elsewhere, but regardless, he's the one who added it to Truth). Kant is here used as an example of a philosopher discussing the correspondence theory of truth. But Kant didn't discuss the correspondence theory of truth. He may have assumed the validity of it, as did most philosophers, but it's misleading to say that he wrote about it, and then to cherry pick a quote of his to back that up. Kant is an example of a writer so difficult to understand that primary-source analysis is bound to come a cropper, because even experts — people who've been studying him all their lives — disagree about what he meant in various places.
The best thing now would be to find a specialist Wikipedian to review Awbrey's material, but that will take some time, as people who understand this stuff are few and far between, and they have their own articles to work on. In the meantime, regarding any of his material that's based on primary sources (and my memory of the stuff of his I saw is that it was always based on primary sources), it's probably safe to assume it's original research for which a secondary source might be hard to find. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 20:25, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I, for one, don't see an "original research" problem in Jon Awbrey's edit to the "truth" article mentioned above by SlimVirgin, nor do I see an "original research" problem in the restoration of that material to that article by LessHeard vanU as mentioned below [5].
Kant discussed the correspondence theory of truth in the quote introduced by these edits. The quote starts with "Truth is said to consist in the agreement of knowledge with the object." Which is the correpondence theory of truth, no "deduction" or "interpretation" is needed for that. Then he comments on it, pointing out some inherent problems with that definition. No "deduction" or "interpretation" is needed to see that that is a "discussion" of said theory. Arguably Kant's quote is even a secondary source on the correspondence theory as Kant compares how that theory was handled by philosophers before him, adding an interpretation of these preceding theories.
I'm however troubled by the "original research" contained in:

Kant is an example of a writer so difficult to understand that primary-source analysis is bound to come a cropper, because even experts — people who've been studying him all their lives — disagree about what he meant in various places.

Yes, experts are still discussing and disagreeing about "what he meant in various places." It wouldn't be too difficult to find secondary sources to back up such claim.
Yes, in general "Kant is an example of a writer [...] difficult to understand". Neither would it be difficult to back up such claim with secondary sources.
But no, you can't jump to the conclusion (="original research") that Kant is unclear in each and every paragraph he wrote, without quoting secondary sources that this particular paragraph is unclear or leads to a particular interpretation problem. I don't see anything difficult to understand in it.
It becomes particularily chilling when Darkdealt does this: →Kant - removing material identified as original research by User:SlimVirgin – SlimVirgin was out of line by proposing her original research as a response to this issue. When others start to blindly implement conclusions based on that, I see that as somewhat more troubling.
Re. SlimVirgin's "cherry picking" allegation ("[...] it's misleading to say that [Kant] wrote about [the correspondence theory of truth], and then to cherry pick a quote of his to back that up.")... pardon? If you want to quote Kant you'd need to be selective, no question:
  • The quote would need to be about the topic at hand (the correspondence theory of truth in this case);
  • The quote would preferably somehow be legible (which is, as discussed, not so evident in Kant's case).
Of course such process of selection could be labeled as cherry picking, but implying this would be a misleading type of cherry picking is... disingenious.
I want to conclude by stating that I don't take any side in this issue about JzG's and Jon Awbrey's actions in general. The first is an admin, the second a banned user, I have no other experience than that is the way it should be. --Francis Schonken (talk) 19:47, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
This is a good example of the problem with how the disputed policy concerning primary source usage is used to own article content. SlimVirgin claims that her expertise allows her to remove a sourced quote because her expertise is better than another person's expertise so she gets to decide that her original language that is not a quote is more valid than an actual quote of the person's own words describing what they think. So the disputed policy is, in short, used to promote actual original research and delete actual quotes. That's backward. And that is what Jon was trying to fix when Slim and her friends baited him into getting so angry he self destructed. WAS 4.250 (talk) 21:11, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
First, do not blame anyone but Awbrey for his banning. He was banned from WP by Gwenol for having exhausted the community's patience in several areas; and he has had similar experiences on other websites.
You are completely wrong that I said my expertise in the area trumped his. What I wrote above was that we need secondary sources, not the interpretation by Wikipedians of primary sources (not my interpretation, and not Awbrey's). An editor who is an expert on Kant, and who is in a position to discuss the extent to which Kant did or didn't assume the validity of the correspondence theory of truth (which is by no means as straightforward as it seems), will know who the best secondary sources are, and will be able to cite them -- indeed, will want to cite them, because they're excellent writers and scholars. Awbrey was not trying to "fix" the NOR policy. He was trying to weaken it to allow more of his kind of editing. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 21:22, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Blame is for children and priests. I am not assigning blame. Further, I agree with the banning. You are completely wrong in saying that I said that you said your expertise in the area trumped his. I perceive what happened different than you do. You miss the point that a quote from a reliable secondary source was not used to refute or frame or explain the quote from the primary source so that then both quotes could be included in the article providing the user with a balanced picture; but instead a disputed policy was used to remove useful content and to revert to actual original research consisting of a synthesis of material. When you say "Awbrey was not trying to "fix" the NOR policy. He was trying to weaken it to allow more of his kind of editing." you are merely displaying "assume bad faith". WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:30, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
But here's the question: how are you in a position to judge whether it's useful content? Using the Kant edit as an example, you have what purports to be a quote from Kant, and you have a Wikipedian telling you it's an example of Kant discussing the correspondence theory of truth. With secondary sources, if I ask "how do you know this is useful?" you can say, "Because it was written by Professor Smith of Oxford University." But with only a Wikpedian's interpretation of a complex primary source, there is no plank to rest on, nothing to underwrite the edit. That is the point of the insistence on secondary sources for anything disputed, contentious, or interpretive.
It isn't a question of good faith or bad faith. It's a question of wanting to know — if Wikipedia says "this is what Kant meant" — who in the outside, published, academic world, agrees. Any Wikipedian who really is an expert on Kant will be able to answer that question. If they can't, you need to ask yourself why. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 22:41, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, maybe take some time before you reply to this one. This is an interesting debate, I'd even say important. I just hope it doesn't turn into a heated debate which wouldn't serve the quality of the debate.
I didn't see you replying yet to these points I tried to make:
  1. The Kant quote is, in this case, perfectly legible. That may be an exception, but it is.
  2. Since, in this quote, Kant analyses ancient philosphers (logicians and skeptics), it is at least partially a secondary source. --Francis Schonken (talk) 23:39, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
The issue here is WP:NOR and WP:SYNTH. You cannot bring in a quote and say it represents "correspondence" unless you have a reliable source that tells you it does. In this case, all we have is the Wikipedian himself telling us that in his personal opinion it is correspondence, and that's OR. Crum375 (talk) 23:54, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
This isn't the place to discuss Kant. Suffice to say, the issue is not a simple one, and hangs in part on whether he's seen as mostly an idealist or mostly a realist, and whether it's more accurate to say he adhered to the correspondence theory of truth or the coherence theory. The point is this: people come to Wikipedia to read what published experts think Kant meant, not what Jon Awbrey or SlimVirgin or WAS 4.250 think about it. That is the only point I am making. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 00:16, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
This isn't the place to bring in FUD arguments. I don't fear Kant, certainly not when every once in a while he writes a paragraph that can easily be understood. I don't fear Jimbo, or that he might not understand what all this is about.
Anyway, SlimVirgin, you were thus far unsuccessful in demonstrating Jon Awbrey's original research in the particular example you mentioned (the content based on Kant added to the Truth article [6]), since the evidence you construct for that allegation wouldn't exist without your own original research. Your assertion that this particular quote by Kant can't be understood without assuming a lot that is not in the quote, is not supported by sources of any kind. Let me correct your assertion "people come to Wikipedia to read what published experts think Kant meant" - no, people come to Wikipedia to know more about (for instance) Kant. Of course, in most cases that would need to go through published experts. People also come to (for instance) the Truth article to know more about that concept, for instance, what published experts write about it. Kant is an example of such "published expert", and if something he writes about the truth concept is generally understandable, there's no "original research" in using such content in the article on Truth.
I'd keep this thread on this page, also as a courtesy to SlimVirgin. As said, I'm pretty confident Jimbo is sufficiently acquainted with the philosophical concepts involved in the example. He's certainly interested in the WP:NOR policy, and how to apply it. I think SlimVirgin's analysis of what happened in the example she quoted (Jon Awbrey's action on the Truth article introducing the Kant material) is faulty and a misrepresentation of NOR. That's not easy. SlimVirgin is an expert on WP:NOR and the WP:PSTS section included in that policy, and she knows enough about the philosophical concepts implied by her own example to comment on them. Keeping this on this page has the advantage that Jimbo can jump in easily in defence of SlimVirgin's analysis, if he thinks that would help. Also for myself: I question an analysis proposed by SlimVirgin, and I appreciate that Jimbo knows about that. Anyway, not that I think that was SlimVirgin's intention, I'd be wary to go forum shopping about this. --Francis Schonken (talk) 12:31, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
There is that Assumption of non-Good Faith previously mentioned, that

"'s probably safe to assume it's original research..."

just after admitting that it would take an(other) expert to make a reasonable judgement on the validity. WAS 4.250's comment holds that the material is not being removed on the basis of original or faulty verified research, but because of a clash of personality. Since Awbrey's contributions fall outside of BLP concerns it is surely safe to allow disputed (on the basis of author, not validity) material to remain? The fact that the material has remained to this point must indicate that either passing experts have had no problem with the article(s) or that it is too difficult for those that have reviewed it to form a decision on its merits. By all means let us find an expert to pronounce upon the validity of the content, but lets not remove it in the meantime on poorer considerations of personality clashes. LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:20, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
There is no assumption of bad faith, rather a familiarity with Awbrey's edits. He based his edits largely on primary sources, often in areas in which he had no qualifications. This is part of the very definition of original research -- basing contentious edits on your own, idiosyncratic opinion of what complex primary-source material says. I think the fact that it has remained in the articles suggests not, as you say, that passing experts have no problem with it, but more that passing experts have not, in fact, passed. It's because of the difficulty of evaluating this kind of work that OR is very much frowned upon, because in certain areas, it's difficult sometimes even for experts to be sure of what's right and wrong. Therefore, edits that lack good secondary sources really should be removed if a request for secondary sources produces none. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 22:42, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't read like a bad faith assumption to me. Surely if we have reasonable doubts as to whether something is original research and we can find no secondary sources then that is the time to remove the contentious material, even by an editor who doesn't fully understand the subject matter but does understand our original research policy. Thanks, SqueakBox 21:29, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I said non-Good, not bad, which is different. It's a nuance that I should have realised might be missed.
Where does the doubt arise when we cannot understand the content, and cannot find the secondary sources to qualify it? The criteria for inclusion of content is verifiable (not verified) so we have to find the expert (cited) view that the content is unsupported, per my understanding of Original Research. Only then can the articles be amended. Thanks. LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:57, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
The content is unsupported by secondary sources. I gave you an example above, where Awbrey made an edit about Kant, based only on his understanding of Kant's original writing, even though he has no expertise in philosophy. And the edit that he made goes to the very heart of expert disagreement about which approach Kant took to the issue of knowledge and truth. Awbrey simply assumed that he knew which approach was correct (or else he is not familiar with the dispute). This is what's wrong with OR. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 22:45, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I was going to leave this at Squeakbox's comments below, but... The initial comment on this topic was regarding Guys comments/proposed actions in relation to Charles Peirce and Awbreys contributions. This is what WAS 4.250 and I, and I believe Squeakbox, were referring to. Difficulties with Awbrey's edits to Truth, or other articles, has only tangiable in relation to this; there are plenty of "difficult communication" and WP:OWN editors contributing to Wikipedia still. While Squeakbox's position of conservative approach to unverified content has its merits, certainly I was content to leave the discussion at that point, I still feel that it is not this principle that is guiding Guys considerations regarding the Charles Pierce article. I am also concerned that there isn't the desire to investigate whether there are the sources to verify the content that is simply based on the individual who initially provided the text - problematic in other articles as they might be. LessHeard vanU (talk) 23:08, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Well okay, non-good faith. I tend to go for the more conservative remove the material first and then restore once verified as we cannot afford to get things wrong, Thanks, SqueakBox 22:04, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
And while assuming good faith is very important in our personal interactions the most important thing is the finished product and we should surely always act conservatively and cautiously in order to endsure the quality of our product as our primary mission. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:08, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'm sure Guy's actions are completely guided by WP:AGF in regards to this. By the way, what was the last featured article Guy wrote? </sarc> Videmus Omnia Talk 00:13, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I have read bits and bobs lately implying that those who write featured articles are somehow better than the rest of us, and I include myself as someone who has never seriously contributed towards a featured or indeed even a good article. We have over 2 million articles and only a tiny minority ever make GA status and yet we are cl;early judged ont rhe encyclopedia as a whole while BLP may effect a tenth of articles. I don't even buy that everyone needs to be editing articles to be useful here but do object to the implication that those of us who edit articles on subjects and people we consider important and improve hundreds and thousands of articles in little ways are somehow an inferiror type of editor. Knowing your work with images, Videmus, I hope you agree with me here. Thanks, SqueakBox 00:37, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Squeakbox, I don't mean that at all, and I appreciate the BLP work that you do. But I am deathly sick of admins that seem to feel entitled to set themselves up as the cops of the project, without making any meaningful contributions to content. I think we'd all be better off if they just buggered off, or went back to writing articles. Videmus Omnia Talk 02:48, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


Honestly, My Good People, these sorts of problems are so much easier to solve than you all make out. Darkdealt (talk) 02:36, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

If a user's past contributions are considered original research, perhaps DarkDealt's method is the correct way of dealing with it? It is a shame though. The contributions of Jon Awbrey look fine to me. You don't need citations for every single little fact. Is there something I'm missing here? Ripberger (talk) 03:08, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I have blocked Darkdealt (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) indefinitely as a sockpuppet created to edit war. If that obviously-experienced editor wishes to make major edits on apparently contentious topics, then he or she is welcome to do so under his regular username. The last thing that a contentious topic needs is a brand-new single-purpose account making major edits on behalf of another editor. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:23, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't see from Dark's contributions that he was editing warring. I don't understand your reasoning to block him. Ripberger (talk) 03:41, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I bring to your attention, without further comment, item 7 in this list of observations on Wikipedia behavior. Raymond Arritt (talk) 03:50, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
It's a single-purpose account created solely to dive into a contentious area; the editor even created user and user talk pages to camouflage the account's newness (turn his user and talk links blue). He invoked the name of another editor (SlimVirgin) in making edits to articles that are at the center of an ongoing dispute. In only an hour after his first edit, he managed to find his way to the middle of a conflict on Jimbo Wales' talk page.
If he wishes to contribute to this discussion, he can do so under his regular account name and stake his own reputation. Creating a puppet to pick a fight is just not allowed. If you've got any more questions about the block, you should probably take it to my talk page; if you think I've misused the block button, then you should address the matter to WP:AN/I. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:54, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Ten, I have replied on your talk page. Sorry, for taking up your talk space, Mr. Wales! Ripberger (talk) 08:08, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I have reversed Darkdealts edit to Truth. If it was an inflammatory act, by a now indef blocked account, then I felt the status quo needed restoring - I have no opinion on the validity of the removed text and would be happy if it were removed following consensus. LessHeard vanU (talk) 10:39, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Carolyn Bothwell Doran

Most businesses have personnel worries like this but don't have AP articles written about them. Gwen Gale (talk) 11:33, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes. David Gerard has a nice way of putting it. When filling out a form, do we check the >100,000 box or the <10 box? What he means when he says that is that we are simultaneously a small nonprofit organization, quite non-notable in terms of the overall size of the organization, and also a top 10 website with a huge media profile. There is no excuse for the Wikimedia Foundation having hired someone like Carolyn Doran; it was a major misstep for the organization without a doubt. But as you note, and especially since as far as we know, no money is missing, it is the sort of thing that most businesses have worries about... and it happens all the time of course that people are hired whose history is not what one might hope. For us, it ends up a major media story anyway. This just shows that going forward we have to be absurdly vigilant about such things.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:43, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
What is most annoying from a community point of view is that they don't understand the distinction between what happens on foundation level and Wikipedia. For the press to bad mouth Wikipedia because of a foundation issue is absurd beyond words. Sorry for posting this here but this has been annoying me ever since this story came out. EconomicsGuy (talk) 16:20, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm sincerely curious, why do you think it's "absurd beyond words" to relate the two topics, especially given there's a fundraiser going on now? While happily there's no evidence of any money having been stolen, I would think it very obvious for potential donors to Wikipedia to be concerned over the topic of mismanagement at the foundation level. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 21:53, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Because that is a foundation issue. It has no influence on the quality of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is run and maintained by the community who works damn hard in their spare time to keep the site running smoothly. Whenever something like this happens it gets treated as if this was a Wikipedia issue which it isn't. It is a foundation issue that has no effect whatsoever on the quality of the encyclopedia. EconomicsGuy (talk) 04:37, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
But don't you at the very least think that funding for the foundation is vital for the functioning of Wikipedia? The servers have to be paid for somehow, and hopefully developers, and even a lawyer or two, which then requires a treasurer, etc. After all, why then is there a big banner asking for donations? Where do you think those donations are going, and why? I'm very puzzled at your mental map here. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 05:05, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
(Reply to Seth) Do the servers write the encyclopedia? No, the community does. I realize that those with an axe to grind are very eager to use this as yet another excuse to bad mouth the hard work by thousands of people who devote their spare time to running the encyclopedia. Some of us are here to write the damn encyclopedia and frankly couldn't care any less about missteps at foundation level. I donate 30$ every year and I get more than I could ever have hoped for in return. If that is a problem for people such as yourself then frankly I couldn't care any less and neither could 99% of the community. EconomicsGuy (talk) 05:19, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
But surely you'd grant at minimum that the "community" could not do its work without the infrastructure of the foundation? There's another issue having to do with the hype around Wikipedia, and you can see that reflected in the coverage. It may not be the most nuance of portrayals, but connecting Wikipedia's focus on information, with the Foundation's lack of information here, does seem to me to make a valid point, if only of the not-practicing-what-you-preach variety. Note there's a difference between disagreeeing with the validity of the point, and not seeing any basis whatsoever for it. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 06:37, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Your argumentation is logically incoherent. None of what the foundation provides to make Wikipedia exist affects the quality of the content here nor does it affect how Wikipedia is run. To put it another way... with or without the foundation Wikipedia with the same community would be the same. We would simply be donating to someone else in return for the servers and occasional legal backup. Sure, we can't operate without the servers but the foundation merely provides those servers, it doesn't run Wikipedia. We do, and you need to realize that we could easily make this site a whole lot less transparent if we wanted to. We don't because transparency and everyones right to voice their opinion, including you, is part of what makes this community work despite some people's efforts to exploit that. No missteps at foundation level would ever change any of that - I think you overestimate just how much influence the foundation and even Jimbo has on how this site is run. EconomicsGuy (talk) 06:58, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, whoever the "someone else" is who handles the million bucks, if there was someone with an extensive criminal record near it, isn't it obvious cause for concern about management? It may not change your own willingess to donate, but surely it's a reasonable concern that it could have an overall effect. Actually, the real stuff doesn't seem to be very transparent at all. And remember, there's always the block button hanging over my opinion. Let me tell you, given some of the flaming I've gotten from the "spirtual leader", I sure don't think in terms of a right to express my opinion (more like being onsufferance as long as I don't annoy the powers-that-be too much, which is not the same thing). I don't believe this exchange is very risky, I really am interested in your thinking, and it's a rather mild topic overall. But I sure wouldn't count it as any great triumph of openness. Anyway, I think people underestimate the influence of money. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 07:35, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
You have some media knowledge Seth, can you give us an overview of the number of US non-profit entities who have hired people of questionable background? The number of those incidents which have been widely reported? The number where a founder such as Mr. Wales has publicly pledged to make up any missing funds, which missing funds have not yet been found to exist? Perhaps you could share your perspective on how often these things happen - just this once, or sadly, all too often? How many of these organizations were seriously impaired, and how many were able to keep delivering on their mission regardless of the personnel issues? Do you really think that one person can derail an army? Franamax (talk) 05:13, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Cheap irony is a great story. In this case, it's not just shady background, but "Encyclopedia organization didn't get information about its own COO". I think people should admit, objectively, that's a grabber. Wikipedia advocates often try to have it both ways - when the topic is positive, it's a revolutionary force for knowledge, when the topic is negative, well, it's just a tiny nonprofit that really shouldn't be held to any professional standards at all. Yes, of course, that's a great rhetorical tactic when it works. But let's put it this way - outsiders are not as inclined to be as forgiving of that shell-game as insiders. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 06:37, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to strike my last rhetorical flourish, since irony was not what I intended (maybe a cheap laugh though, for which I apologize.) But I'll let the rest of the questions stand - I'm not saying anything about "tiny nonprofit", I really was trying to ask you where this stands in the grand scheme of things, how significant is this grabber? In financial terms (currently equal to zero) and organizational terms (improper influence uncovered currently equal to zero), how significant is this event?
And to restate my last sentence separately, as EG says above much better, Wikipedia is not the Foundation, it is the contributors, it is not the red and green lights on the servers, it is the people making the lights flash. That doesn't minimize wrongdoing at the Foundation level, it just shows the scale of the right-doing. That should stand apart from the other questions I asked. Franamax (talk) 07:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, just my opinion, I think this is presently an embarrassment, and a set-back to getting big-ticket donations (which has been a problem all along), but it's not going to bring down Wikipedia. The results of the financial audit are going to be more significant overall in regard to future funding. In terms of image, I think this is going to be one of things that sticks in the public mind, maybe not for pure significance, but because of that cheap irony. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 08:09, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
  • <outdent>Look, Seth, I'll try to make this compact. Most companies large and small have problems like this-- ask any personnel director. They don't actually impact the workings of how to make an encyclopedia. I wasn't being tongue in cheek about saying I didn't care about somebody's run-in's with the law, across the country and far away. Not my problem. What I did care about as an editor HERE, is hypocrisy. So long as things are handled above-board, same rules for all, that's fine. But Wikipedia has a policy about bios of living semi-notable people (people you'd never find in a paper encyclopedia), which is screwed up. To wit, there is endless fighting over semi-notables who WANT to have bios (and there are edit-wars about deleting), while at the same time, people who do NOT want to have bios, are forced to watch them kept up, while being edited by other people, on the basis of (sometimes shoddy) journalistic reporting. This is not in keeping with the golden rule, needless to say. And yet those rules are not the same for WMF people. Some of them have been caught altering their own bios in a way that would get them banned if they didn't pull rank. What were they thinking? WMF people who no longer want bios see them shrink, and finally begin to flicker in and out of existence (see Angela Beesley). And Carolyn Duran's bio used to be up, but has now disappeared as effectively as purged unpersons in old Soviet photos. What--is she now less notable than she was 2 weeks ago? All of this is as screwy as the Carioca:
Say, have you seen a Carioca?
It's not a foxtrot or a polka
It has a little bit of new rhythm, a blue rhythm that sighs
It has a meter that is…. tricky
A bit of wicked wacky-wicky
But when you dance it with a new love, there's a true love in her eye

And a bit of wicked wacky wiky this is, too. SBHarris 08:38, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

  • As a coda to the thread above, she said it, I didn't: "We essentially rely on the goodwill of donators, and donators are heavily sensitive to public displays of disagreements, fights, errors, misestimates, major screw-ups." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 06:35, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is a tertiary source

I'd be glad to hear your opinion on the current state of Wikipedia:Wikipedia is a tertiary source, proposed as a replacement for Wikipedia:No original research#Primary, secondary, and tertiary sources (WP:NOR's PSTS section).

Related talk (which I took at heart for improvements) at:

As it became evident from above (#Original Research accusations) that the current WP:PSTS section is prone to misinterpretation, I proceeded with the replacement [7]. --Francis Schonken (talk) 09:41, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Update, reverted: [8]. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:30, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

EffK charge in progress

legal threat by banned user removed part 2

Signed to archive. KnightLago (talk) 16:38, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia surrendering users' info without a fight

I wonder what your opinion is about the following story:

Apparently, Wikipedia has surrendered without argument the info about some registered Wikipedia user(s) in response to a subpoena from the Video Professor. Other websites being sued have successfuly fought back on the free speech and the first amendments grounds, and even Comcast is demonstrating some backbone on the privacy protection grounds. But apparently not Wikipedia.... Regards, Nsk92 (talk) 13:52, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

The story is not well reported. It is false to say that we did not put up a fight. And we were successful in pushing the company to seek identifying data not from us but from the cable broadband provider, which is protected under the Cable Act from complying with a mere subpoena.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:31, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Curious. I have read the VP court motion where the Wikipedia issue is being discussed: Here is what it says: "1. VPI issued subpoenas in early September 2007 to,, and Wikipedia for identifying information regarding the persons having posted anonymous defamatory remarks about VPI on these Web sites. 2. VPI is withdrawing its subpoenas to and 3. Wikipedia failed to respond to its subpoena served out of the Middle District of Florida. In this case, VPI moved the Florida. Court on September 26, 2007 for an order requiring Wikipedia to show cause why it should not be held in contempt . A hearing on the show cause was scheduled for December 20, 2007. 4. On November 29, 2007, Wikipedia produced the subpoenaed information and, thereafter, the show cause hearing was vacated. 5. The information produced by Wikipedia consisted of IP addresses requiring additional subpoenas to be issued to the Internet service providers (ISP) of the owners of these IP addresses to provide the names and physical addresses of the these owners." It does say "Wikipedia produced the subpoenaed information", and there is no mention of any opposing action by Wikipedia. As I understand, in most cases Wikipedia does not have the actual names of the registered WP users, but only their IP addresses. That is what you had and that is what you surrendered. Moreover, the above document makes clear that Wikipedia surrendered the IP addresses of multiple users and not just a single poster. Frankly, I find this action astonishing! If this news spreads around, what kind of an effect do you think it will have on future posters who contemplate including some negative material, even if it is properly sources, about some big company, organization or country? And what about those companies/organizations themselves? How long would it take them to figure out that they can prevent posting of negative information about themselves in Wikipedia by itimidating its users? I would have expected more of a backbone from the supposed beacon of free dissemination of knowledge and information. The other websites in the lawsuit did not have the protection of the Cable Act either, but they chose to fight back and succeeded. Also, the post at Public Citizen,, indicates that actually notified its users whose identifying information was being sought by the VP subpoena. I don't suppose you did the same, did you? Regards, Nsk92 (talk) 21:00, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Please do not cross post. Thanks. Note that is not a discussion forum.I f you have issues with the actions by the Wikimedia Foundation, you can write to them. You are wasting your time here. ≈ jossi ≈(talk) 02:34, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Jossi, let's not try to gag the discussion. If not Jimbo's page, it may belong to other policy page but it certainly belongs right here on Wikipedia. How the hell did anyone give the IP information of the user just for asking? I am shocked. --Irpen 02:49, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Agree with the do not gag part; this is Jimbo's page and discussion is common and encouraged. KnightLago (talk) 23:32, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
The question I ask is, How did the community let a dispute degenerate to the point where its participants resorted to the law and the press? Reporters sometimes misstate the facts and this piece may have erred about WMF's role, but as community volunteers we ought to be learning from this and finding better ways to resolve these problems. DurovaCharge! 23:43, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

ArbCom elections

Hi, just a quick note to say that your input is requested at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2007. Whilst appreciating the pressures on your time, a select group of candidates have been chosen by the community, and should really be helping out and/or familiarising themselves before the terms of the outgoing Arbitartors ends. Thanks, and have a good Christmas Martinp23 01:07, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

  • nod* Announcement very soon. :) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:47, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Worth staying up a few more hours for, or should I go to bed? I'm very eager to hear the results. --Deskana (talk) 01:48, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, you should leave out the milk and cookies, and some carrot sticks for the reindeer, and when you wake up, if you have been a really really good boy, there will be a present or two waiting for you under the tree.  ;-) Risker (talk) 02:08, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
But it'll still be December 24th when I wake up :-p --Deskana (talk) 02:09, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
He did it on Christmas Day last year. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 03:19, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm led to believe a three-year term on the Arbitration Committee is nothing close to a Christmas present :) Daniel 03:22, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Shhh. They might hear you. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 04:03, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh dear, sounds like visions of sugar plums will be the furthest thing from their dreams...--Risker (talk) 04:12, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

BTW, Jimmy, someone mentioned elsewhere that you can make yourself a real nice Christmas present by tweaking your picks.[9] :) --Irpen 03:57, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

I would hope that Jimbo cares more about the integrity of the project than about a simple bottle of cognac. Raymond Arritt (talk) 16:16, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
In the immortal words of The Goons, "Brandy-y-y-y-y-y-y!" (someone else said this)
Oh look. I've found a sense of humour. Missing one careless owner. Can't quite read the name. Ray M. Rit or something. Seriously, expansion is needed. Maybe Santa will get a place on the ArbCom? Carcharoth (talk) 21:23, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry to sound like a dissenter here, but any person who received more than 20-30% of opposing voices should not be a member of ArbCom in my opinion. If the consensus-building is an underlying idea of wikipedia, then all ArbCom members should also be elected by consensus.Biophys (talk) 16:40, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Biophys is not wrong... Alice 00:50, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
It's an interesting proposal for next year's election. It really has nothing to do with this election, because the previously announced "rules" say that anyone with a majority of "support" votes may be appointed by Jimbo. If such a proposal were to be considered for next year, one question that would have to be answered is how to deal with the potential reduction in the number of arbitrators, if not enough candidates receive more than 70 percent of the vote. If a "70 percent" rule had been in effect this year, it would prevent Jimbo from appointing more than five new arbitrators, if he deemed that necessary in order to bring the committee back up to full strength. If the rule were 80 percent, then only 2 of the candidates in the recent election could be appointed, which would leave the committee at least 3 people short. These are all reasons why Jimbo might not want to adopt such a rule for next year, but what counts at the moment is that such a rule is not in place this year. 6SJ7 (talk) 01:15, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
That's a very cogent point, 6SJ7. Perhaps one could hoist the bar so as to disbar from election any ArbCom candidates whose oppose votes numbered more than 35% of the support total votes? With this year's results, that would have left Jimbo a choice of eight I believe? Alice 02:09, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
To hoist something is to raise it, and indeed you are raising the threshold if you want to see appointments of only candidates who do not have "oppose votes more than 35% of the support votes." There are only 4 candidates in this election who meet that criterion. May I assume you mean you want to lower the bar to accept candidates with a minimum of 65% support votes? As well, I am not sure how one would "disbar" someone from election when the election has already taken place; do you mean that candidates with less than a certain percentage of support votes after the election should be ineligible for appointment? Risker (talk) 02:34, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry! My proposal is indeed to hoist the level of acceptability of ArbCom appointees so as to normally disbar from appointment by Jimbo any candidate who garners more oppose votes than 35% of the total votes cast for that candidate (not 35% of the support votes). In other words, if only support and oppose votes are cast for a candidate, a minimum of 64.9999999% support would normally be required (instead of the current bare majority of 50.00000001%) Alice 03:28, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Cognac and Christmas

In response to Raimond Arritt, this wasn't my idea. I offered the bounty on a safe bet hoping to find a fool who would take it and thus make myself an easy brandy [10]. Someone then suggested that Jimmy can turn the table on this [11].

But speaking seriously, I also hope that Jimbo cares about the integrity of the arbcom and the community's perception of the appointed arbs and won't make the January 2006 or February 2007[12] mistakes by substituting the community judgment by his own. Being able to tweak the appointments by expanding or reducing the slice's size is already questionable. As I wrote in the link given at the previous one, expanding the top slice of this to 8 would be acceptable but Jimbo can solve all the cabalism problems at once by expanding it to 10 AND getting a nice bottle in the mail by the New Year's eve if he chooses to.

Jimbo stretching his hand towards an upcoming Christmas present, a prime bottle of Courvoisier.

Merry Christmas, Jimmy! --Irpen 17:52, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Passed on message

Alright Jimbo me man, this is a message from Jay Cee, he be entering the hospital engineers Tony Lieu time, he want me to tell you. Booya.

Signed to archive. KnightLago (talk) 16:39, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Christmas thought

Íngrid Betancourt, who has been a prisoner in the Colombian jungle for years, said the one thing she had begged for and been refused is an encyclopedia. "Oh to learn something new" she is reported as having said. Which makes me think how lucky we are who have access to the endlessly informative and multi-lingual wikipedia. Living in a place myself where the nearest decent library is probably a thousand miles away, and where there are simply no book shops, I want to say thanks for founding such an excellent and enrichening project, spreading knowledge to those who need it throughout the world. Feliz Navidad, SqueakBox 17:14, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Only one person in five on Earth now has access to the internet, but all that is very rapidly changing. There are places already where people without basic necessities, still have access to cell phones. And soon, web-enabled cell phones. And see One Laptop per Child and similar programs. I've heard complaints from people that we're trying to get people on the internet, who have no clean water. Yes, but that's Moore's law vs. the logic of Malthus, and it's bound to happen. So what? There is no world problem that isn't made worse by ignorance, and if ignorance is easier to fix sooner, we need to do that first.

Wikipedia is an astonishingly powerful evolutionary, and revolutionary idea. All of human knowledge, filtered and organized through millions and millions of minds and then made available, pre-searched, to everybody, for free. If that doesn't give you goosebumps, you should check your pulse to see if you still have one.

Critics of the project seem to come in two varieties: 1) Those obsessives for whom the best is always the enemy of the good, who complain about the quality of free food (spare me), and 2) Those who worry about those who believe in the project so much, that they think the ends justify the means, in the producing of it. I'm of the latter type, at worst. Few things are that important (thinking like that, got us the Inquisition). But overall, the project IS worthwhile and IS astounding, and the sooner we get all 6.6 billion minds on the planet connected, the sooner we will eliminate much lack of empathy (i.e., lack of imagination), much lack of knowledge, and (even more importantly) be able to use the astounding parallel processing ability of all those minds to attack any world problem, in the same way we're making an encyclopedia here. So, onward! I'm now going back to my chem, physics, and medicine pages, where (yes) I actually do spend most of my time. Happy Holidays to all. SBHarris 01:00, 25 December 2007 (UTC)



There are those who are editing Wikipedia even on Christmas day...

...that would be me, that it would. LessHeard vanU (talk) 00:01, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Me too lol, I hope it doesn't cause me to burn the pigs in blankets :)Merkinsmum 00:06, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Not sad at all. Lighten up! It's just as valid to spend $5 of your time to edit Wikipedia as it is to put that much money in the Salvation Army pot. And might end up doing more good for the world, all told. Who can tell how long your knowledgeable edit will last, or what its good effects will be? We all contribute to the world in the way we can. Those of us who can write, may write for charity on Christmas. Merry Christmas! SBHarris 00:22, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
"...knowledgeable edit..."? Have you read my contrib history recently? ;~D LessHeard vanU (talk) 00:26, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia provides a free encyclopedia of 50,000 words or more in 29 languages so far, with Bulgarian, Korean and Arabic likely to pass that mark in the next few weeks. Peace on earth, goodwill toward all (edit, edit). :) DurovaCharge! 00:29, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

I am Jewish, and Hannukah has already ended. : ) ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:18, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Joyeux Noël

The composer of my favorite Christmas carol.

I just want to wish my fellow Wikipedians a Merry Christmas! Sincerely, --Le Grand Roi des CitrouillesTally-ho! 02:20, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Same Here:

Arbol Navidad 02.jpg
Merry Christmas, Jimbo Wales/Archive 31! SCongratulate.gif Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Best regards from myself! -- S♦s♦e♦b♦a♦l♦l♦o♦s (Merry Christmas!)
Post this merry message on any other user talk page you can find.

Et a vous! -Susanlesch (talk) 03:10, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Wishing you the very best for the season - Guettarda 04:13, 25 December 2007 (UTC)


Hello again, as a quick follow up to my last question, I took your reply to mean that the subject wasn't notable enough for an entire article. I've always found the really interesting part of her "story" to be its FOIA aspect, and it fits in well on: Freedom of Information Act (United States)#Barbara Schwarz.

My last message here garnered more visibility than I had anticipated and was kinda concerned someone else might either come here and try to make it seem as if I'm being petulant or accuse me of being "afraid" to "disagree" with you directly instead sneaking off to add her anywhere.

(PS I'm sorry if the end of my last thread seemed abrupt, but since 1) you're absolutely right that keeping the article is a community decision so convincing you one way or the other would've been pointless 2) you appear to have an incredibly busy talk page which you also seem to make time for, I didn't want to bog you down with a more in depth analysis. Have(or hope you had) a happy Christmas,Kwanza, Hanukkah, and a merry new year. Anynobody 05:44, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Merry Christmas

Christmas tree2.jpg

Merry Christmas, my friend. May this find you in good health, good spirits, good company, and good finances. If any of these be missing, may God see fit to restore you in good time. —  $PЯINGεrαgђ  05:17 25 December, 2007 (UTC)


yeah merry fuckin' christmas jimbo! 'av a good 'n! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:04, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Hope you had a good Christmas! Lradrama 12:44, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Seasons Greetings

Wishing you the very best for the season - but with this full bag! -- Cat chi? 18:01, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Hey Jimbo

Merry christmas!

what do you think of the pic? Blueanode (talk) 21:58, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

You're a genius. ;-) Lradrama 12:43, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Happy Holidays


Excuse me, this is not acceptable. Mr. Wales did you receive this barnstar? Yes or no? Your lack of response in this particular case is neither amusing nor well timed. Unfortunately as I understand it the problem is not one that you created (I will make those edits at the MIT article as soon as I can). -Susanlesch (talk) 05:45, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Barnstar-lightbulb3.png What a Brilliant Idea Barnstar
To Jimmy Wales, for having a Wikipedia account in your name. Susanlesch (talk) 16:33, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry for the spam but I am fresh out of ideas. I read somewhere you don't like user boxes but I hope you like barnstars. I hope someday to achieve a Wikimedia Ambassador barnstar. Good luck. -Susanlesch (talk) 16:33, 19 December 2007 (UTC) Reposting now as User:MiszaBot III already deleted it. What a rip off if I don't even get a reply. -Susanlesch (talk) 17:31, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Thanks a bunch for your reply. I asked User:Jwwalker his opinion and since we have actually met and known each other for almost fifteen years and—like a few other people—his Phd was from MIT I guess nothing happened. Sorry for the inconvenience. I forget the lineage but more recently the product you may have seen he works on that is or might actually be in an Apple Inc. Store would be FrameForge 3D Studio or maybe FrameForge 3D Studio or maybe Quesa but I think that one is only at SourceForge, don't really know. Instead of buying a copy I think I might be tempted next year to donate to the Wikimedia Foundation. We'll see but in my humble opinion when Ms. Dyson said that software should be free she had no idea I might lose the roof over my head. But you never know. Best wishes for the new year. -Susanlesch (talk) 00:15, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Room Service-20071223.jpg Season's Greetings from my hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Boy times have changed since, I think it was about 1994. So much overhead to lug around, but nothing the woman I met in the San Diego DMV couldn't write around in about 2 seconds with something called "ST Include" for Windows. Only kidding, I forgot the program's name but writing around an operating system would be quite easy for someone who completed studies in India recently. Best wishes for the new year from someone who recognizes some names around here from more than a decade ago. And you helped me so much in about one email. -Susanlesch (talk) 00:25, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

P.S. User:Jwwalker (whose name like mine was smashed but survived MediaWiki) kindly checked the information above earlier today and found nothing out of order. -Susanlesch (talk) 07:51, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Within You Without You

Jimbo, your statement in the Signpost announcing the new arbitrators includes the following comment: "I am particularly interested that the community work to heal what appears to me to be perceived rifts between various factions, and encourage everyone to work without our existing frameworks and institutions for positive change with a minimum of drama." A laudable sentiment of course, but did you really mean to use the word "without"? Taken literally, it would mean that people should create new frameworks and institutions to resolve issues. You meant "within", didn't you? (By the way, please excuse the Beatles reference in the header; as I was writing this, it just sort of naturally suggested itself.) 6SJ7 (talk) 05:41, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I meant "within". I hope that someone will correct the quote in Signpost (presumably with the permission of whomever might get upset by that.) Good catch. Funny if I accidentally set off a wheel war or something. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:13, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews Interviews (again)

Jim, I just interviewed Shimon Peres, the President of Israel, for Wikinews. This was reported upon heavily in the Israeli press, signifying the influence of Wiki. In addition to Peres, I have interviewed three Presidential candidates, Al Sharpton, Nadine Strossen, Augusten Burroughs, Gay Talese, and a host of others. Every time a person doesn't like a quote--this time, people don't like a quote used from the Al Sharpton interview on the Tawana Brawley artic--an editor raises whether we can use Wikinews at all for our interviews, which help flesh out a lot of information on Wikipedia.

The consensus was reached that on biographies of living people, an interview where Party A talks about Party B should not be used on Party B's article, but is fine on Party A's article and related non-BLP subjects. Now, the question is whether we can use Wikinews, a Wikimedia sister project, at all on Wikipedia.

I am asking making a public request you make a statement whether you support using accredited reporters on Wikinews to conduct interviews with notable people, and to allow those interviews to be used as sources on Wikipedia. I think your views on this matter will help clarify the matter for others on Wikipedia, including myself. Thank you.

The current discussion is here: Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Wikinews:_Please_post_definite_answer. --David Shankbone 22:00, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that the spontaneous opinions against using Wikinews as an RS suggest the community feels differently. When I asked a relatively narrow question about using third-party interviews on BLPs, some editors gave sweeping opinions against using Wikinews at all, which was not my focus. It might be that your behavior is clouding the issue. Many users react negatively toward editors citing their own work. Some believe that poor-quality publications are a thin veneer for original research. Perhaps Wikinews wouldn't take such a thrashing if the authors didn't strive to insert their own work into so many Wikipedia articles. Cool Hand Luke 22:49, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
On the contrary, I think the problem is with how people are viewing Wikinews. If we are taking time to research and talk to important people, about information directly related to their articles, why should it just sit there and not be used, especially when those same people have the very expectation that we will use it to correct inaccuracies? When I interviewed the President and Editorial Manager of The Onion, who both told me that their name had nothing to do with the UWM student center (as was incorrectly reported in our article) should I just let it sit there until someone else decides to take fix it? Wikinews should be seen as a good place to research some of the people and issue we report about, and collaborate on that research, and then use it to correct our articles. Perhaps the problem is not so much that I conduct an interview with someone and correct inaccuracies they specifically mention with their articles (why wouldn't they?) but that people have a problem with using valuable information. Remember: In an interview, the interviewer isn't the source of the information, the interviewee is the source. They aren't quoting David Shankbone on Tawana Brawley, they are quoting Al Sharpton. Who cares who is the person that asked the question. --David Shankbone 01:49, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
(I'm copying this comment from the RS noticeboard, because it's something Jimbo might be interested in)
I'm very opposed to any form of original research on Wikipedia, and to the use of "citizens' journalism" websites, because they often publish nonsense. But I have to say I agree with David here. His work is outstanding, and it seems crazy to question its use, especially because, as he says, he was granted the interviews because the subjects respect Wikipedia.
David, would it make sense for you to take the initiative here (assuming you have the time or inclination), and try to set up a research arm of Wikinews or Wikipedia, where original research/journalism of the kind you undertake can be encouraged and strictly monitored? We already allow original images. Original text is the next step, though the dangers of it mean we'd need a very, very strict accreditation system, so that the people allowed to produce material that Wikipedia could use as a "reliable source" are really the very best editors Wikipedia has. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 01:53, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Wikinews should remain what it is: a citizen journalism wiki, no different than any other such site. I would oppose any lessening of restricting the use of self-published sources in Wikpedia articles, unless a transparent and known process of fact-checking is imposed on Wikinews. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:13, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
As for interviews, if there is a process in which the interviewee can acknowledge his words as cited, that may work. It is too way easy to misquote, and/or to quote out of context. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:17, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Interviews are normally recorded and could be uploaded so everyone can listen to them. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 02:20, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
It's rather simple to address this: when a WikiNews story is credible enough to get repeated in mainstream reliable sources then we can cite those stories with a mention that the material originally came from WikiNews. Volunteer time is finite and that's much better than any WMF project attempting to set up its own cumbersome, amateur, and potentially gameable attempt at vetting. DurovaCharge! 02:18, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Jossi. I think that a real news organization is much more than enthusiastic reporters — it includes fact checkers, and more importantly, a respected publisher with a track record for accuracy, who is liable to be sued for misinformation if there are errors. The publisher is critical for reliability. Crum375 (talk) 02:23, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
But if we stick with interviews, recorded and uploaded for everyone to hear, there's very little potential for harm. The reporters would need some training in how to ask questions, and what to ask; and we would need to know that they were responsible, professional etc (and also that they weren't going to turn up and harm someone), and that would require a really good system of accreditation. But once you have that in place, I don't see the danger of using interviews. Stories are a different matter, because then the reporter has decided the narrative, but interviews would be okay, I think, so long as no BLP violations occurred. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 02:27, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
That may work, but I am concerned about unintended negative consequences. What would stop Joe Blow to "record and interview with Mr. Notable X" and upload to Wikinews? Who would check it? Who would verify it? How would our readers trust the content of the interview? Is the interviewer anonymous/accountable? ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:34, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
We couldn't have anonymous interviewers, but I believe reporters already have to give their real names to Wikinews. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 02:37, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
It's a very slippery slope. First, we have no idea how the tapes or words are edited, redacted or modified. With real news media, we have the publisher standing behind that work, here we just have someone's word. Also, you start with pure interviews, and soon you add background facts, and other comments. I think we need to treat amateur reporters as bloggers. Crum375 (talk) 02:31, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
That's all true, and I understand the dangers. But David has been doing such great work. It seems to me that we need to find a way to accommodate that kind of initiative and professionalism. We're getting it for free, and yet we're turning it down. As he said, Simon Peres gave him the interview because he's attached to Wikipedia, so for Wikipedia not to be able to use it is kind of strange.
But yes, it's an area fraught with problems. For example, big companies could easily afford to fly reporters in, treat them brilliantly, give them gifts, and then give interviews where the Wikipedian feels compelled to be very nice. That would create material pushing a certain POV over other POVs perhaps not so well funded. So we would need an ethics committee, and very strict guidelines. But I think it's do-able. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 02:36, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Not only that, but we'd also open an entirely different can of worms by introducing the concept that an unreliable source is sometimes reliable. Many difficult editors will try to leverage such a concept to their own advantage regarding unreliable sites they want to use as references, and they'll accuse us of hypocrisy for setting up an exception on a WMF project while we reject their own pet site. Let's not go there. DurovaCharge! 02:40, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
I think the dangers are all true. But committees never work. The only way to keep news organizations honest is by keeping them liable for misreporting or distorting the news and by having them maintain a good reputation over time. That we may have a star reporter is great, but reliable news is not one person, or even a committee. And if the information is that good, other reliable organizations will pick it up soon, and we can then cite them. Crum375 (talk) 02:42, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
One way of ensuring NPOV would be to allow these interviews to be used here only when at least two Wikipedia interviewers were present, representing each of the major POVs. That would be an interesting way to approach news reporting. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 02:44, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think this would be reliable over time. Most editors have no way of checking the true POV of anyone, and this would be impractical. In any case, we are here to write an encyclopedia, and rely on reliable third parties. If the information is any good, those reliable third parties will pick it up. Crum375 (talk) 02:47, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

(unindent) No one seems to be suggesting that David Shankbone's interviews are unreliable or distorted, so I don't see the problem in using them. Judgements can be made on a case by case basis, and interviewers would have to prove their reliability. It is touching to see so much faith bestowed on main stream news media with their supposed fact checking systems, but anyone who has had any dealings on a private or professional level with the same would find it also more than a little naive, as is the suggestion that reliable third parties will pick up information if it's any good. That is not the criterion for news inclusion. Tyrenius (talk) 03:01, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm the last person who needs to be reminded that "reliable" sources aren't necessarily so, but as a site we've accepted certain compromises for consistency's sake. The argument for making an exception here constitutes special pleading. I have the greatest respect for David Shankbone, yet he simply doesn't fit our existing guidelines. DurovaCharge! 03:11, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
I am sure there are some amateur bloggers out there who are better than the professional media. But the point is that we as editors are not equipped to judge the competence of individuals, so we must rely on organizations. WP:V tells us to trust reputable mainstream media, and to exclude bloggers or amateur reporters except in very special cases. Crum375 (talk) 03:17, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
No offense, but "WP:V tells us to trust..." sounds creepy. It's not scripture; we write those guidelines and policies, and we amend them as it becomes necessary. WP:Ignore all rules also tells us to...ignore all rules. I caution anyone from becoming too doctrinal and start following guideline and policy like scripture, instead of seeing those for what they are: malleable and helpful guides that are there to help us shape a valuable, premiere information source; guides that should be changed when they hamper that goal. All that said, I don't see that we need to necessarily change them in this case. That doesn't meant that Wikinews may not need to change a bit. --David Shankbone 03:54, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
It really isn't all that hard to get published in a regular vetted source, especially when a prominent person consents to an interview. And if you prefer to publish for WikiNews then you could notify mainstream editors that the interview is available. IAR addresses pressing needs when no other solution is workable. DurovaCharge! 04:01, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
If a regular source wants an interview, they will do it themselves and ask the questions that suit them. A simple solution is to send the interviewee a transcript and ask them to email the Foundation to validate it. It is then equivalent to anyone contacting the Foundation to correct their biography. That validation can be appended to the published interview. Tyrenius (talk) 04:13, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Exactly, Tyrenius hit it on the head. My interviews are rather boring, pedantic, academic stuff. Some of it is interesting, but much of it is raw information meant to be used. Most people don't realize that interviews you read in Rolling Stone, People, etc. are heavily edited and thus, people often claim they were "misquoted" - Jimbo can attest to this phenomenon. My interviews are cleaned up a little (to remove "um" and "uh" unless I think it adds to the sentence, though rarely). What makes them unique is that I base them, often, on Wikipedia. I transcribe. This is why my interviews are popular with the interviewees. It gives them a chance to talk and not be spun. The questions we want to know are not necessarily the questions the MSM wants to know, because our goals are different. We are intellectuals pursuing knowledge, not corporate rags pursuing dollars. If anything, I think we can do a better job of discovering the truth for ourselves...there is room for this work on Wikinews, and for Wikipedia to use the information. If anything, I think what I have done on both projects reveals the potential for all of us to discover the truth for ourselves, and stop being fed the corporate line by the corporate media, and regurgitating it here. --David Shankbone 04:25, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
That may work. But as said before, beware of unintended negative consequences; and they are many, if one can use a little imagination. OTOH, if Wikinews comes up with a process that will satisfy current practices, it could be explored. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:26, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Can interrupt this discussion and point out to any one that may not have know that Wikinews has an Accreditation process all ready and that this should be consider within proposals. Gnangarra 04:30, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
There is a process and it is a good one. Additionally, many of my interviews have been discussed openly by my interviewees or people affiliated with them and I also have plenty of e-mail communication that show they are very satisfied with my product. In other words, if I was called out on anything, I can back myself up. I think Jossi's point, though, is not lost: What Wikinews suffers from is a lack of help. Having a good process is a bit wasted when we are stretched thin. We could use more help; more people willing to interview or do OR or to fact check; more people to provide oversight to the work. Thus, Jossi has a point. My own work is without question (I know), but we need to have more people working on Wikinews to inspire confidence. --David Shankbone 04:34, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
The other useful thing with this would be that we could forward questions, if we knew which interviews were coming up. I've worked on contentious or difficult subjects where it would have been helpful to ask one of the principal players what his views were. That way, we could tailor the questions to suit the needs of particular articles we're trying to develop. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 05:47, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. It's a chance for the Wikipedia community to come together. Ideally, the interviewer would be a simple conduit of questions. Right now I completely structure interviews, but not for lack of soliciting on Wikipedia Talk page for people to give me ideas. But if we had enough community involvement, we could craft good interviews. For instance, in the next month or so I am supposed to interview Donald Trump, Noam Chomsky and D.A. Pennebaker. Frankly, it would be great to get some help with these, and to get a group of people interested in starting a project on Wikinews around talking to people about their Wikipedia pages and fixing inaccuracies, etc. I think this is a void that Wikinews can fill on Wikipedia, and I think it adds an interesting dimension for many very capable editors. --David Shankbone 05:55, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Its an interesting way to move with BLP articles though we'd need to be cautious about neutrality and being drawn into editorialising because of the subjects willingness to be interviewed. I think we'd be better served by looking to a subject area of knowledge such that we'd ask Donald Trump about Homeowners' association and Casinos. Gnangarra 09:01, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh and we should also be trying to get a free image for the articles where ever possible. Gnangarra 09:02, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

<<<< The accreditation policy of Wikinews is nice, but comes short in addressing the concerns expressed here. What we need is an "Editorial board" of some kind, two or three people (using their real-life identities) that are willing to put their good names on the line and be held accountable by editorial decisions regarding these interviews (or any other Wikinews material that could be used in WP articles). In summary: Nothing short of whatever we impose on other sources as it pertains to current measurement of reliability for WP articles. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 16:23, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

For example, from Wikinews:Original_reporting: Since Wikinews has no formal approval process for authors, when contacting sources, you must represent yourself as an independent author/researcher, not as a 'representative' of Wikinews. See what I mean? ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 16:26, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Granted. Jossi, I think you would be a great person to try to get involved in this. Accredited reporters have their real identities published (for instance, my real name is David Miller; David Shankbone has become a pen name, which is not uncommon for journalists; but my real name is published on Wikinews, as are the real name of all of our accredited reporters). I think it is important for Wikipedia purposes, though, that we differentiate between interviews and other types of OR stories. I think interviews fall into a separate category. But if we are talking about OR stories in other realms for use on Wikipeida, I think the waters become murkier. I have always stuck to only adding interview material for use on Wikipedia because my philosophy is that the people are talk to are notable and the content is theirs that I'm adding, not mine. --David Shankbone 16:38, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

This is not just about interview but about all other Wikinews stories. We use all sources in stories (and for a moment forget about OR). We don't publish a story OR or not without some kind of source. Whether it be notes (I photograph my notes and research) or tapes. The point is interview, or exclusive story, we work as hard if not harder than MSM. Some OR stories might lack some important stuff, but not all. In fact the vast majority of our OR articles have extensive notes. But when the same excuse of verifiability is given, it gets old. Look through our articles, not just the OR ones or interviews. They all have sources, from MSM and such including any online reference that may be used old or new. DragonFire1024 (talk) 19:00, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Agree with SlimVirgin. If Joe Blow uploads a questionable audio interview to Wikinews it's not reliable, but David Shankbone is a trusted and accredited journalist, and vouches for the accuracy of the interview, even if he does choose to host it on our sister site. It's not that Wikinews is reliable, it's that Shankbone is. Compare it to some other reporter who chooses to publish his interviews on his personal site, say on AOL or Geocities or whatever. By accepting the reporter's interview as reliable, we certainly aren't accepting all AOL or Geocities as reliable. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 15:44, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
But I am only reliable because of my track record, and that I can produce the audio versions of my transcripts, and that there are outside parties affiliated with the interviewees recognizing them and that I receive e-mails trumpeting them. What would be great is for some Wikipedia editors/admins who are interested in improving article on Wikipedia by talking to the newsmakers directly in an interview, and conducting them on Wikinews. I've already shown that we can do this with people from Augusten Burroughs to Senator Sam Brownback to Shimon Peres, the President of Israel. Instead of relying on the corporate rags and for-profit news media abyss spinning for us what people think and say, Wikinews is a great place for us to explore the words of others in an undultereated fashion. I think this is something that very much can work in tandem with Wikipedia, and improve our reliability. People won't tell us that Wikipedia "misquoted" them - the work i have done so far shows the potential for this aspect of our work to be carried out on Wikinews and enhance our project. I think it's the next step. I think we could use more people joining to formulate such a project on Wikinews, in tandem with Wikinews's other activities. --David Shankbone 16:23, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
This is definitively worth exploring, but I think Jimbo's talk page is not the most appropriate forum to do so. Where should be continuing this discussion? ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:40, 26 December 2007 (UTC) WAS 4.250 (talk) 18:29, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

An attempt for Wikinews and Wikipedia to work together

I started a page to begin discussing principles to follow and requirements to reach for articles on Wikinews to be used as sources on Wikipedia. It's a start. Some of the things I listed are already done, but don't worry about that now: let's start at square one. More, I want people just to think about what qualities a Wikinews article should have to make it a credible source on Wikipedia--mind you, this would create a class of articles on Wikinews that would meet this criteria while others would retain their "anyone can write a story" ethos, and unless an article meets this criteria, it can't be cited. I believe development of reasonable criteria is possible, and what I read in the discussions on this issue seem reasonable. You can find what I started here (edit whatever you want. One caveat: this page is for those who want to help, not for those who simply want to bash and denigrate the idea. --David Shankbone 22:33, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Why don't you protect your userpage?

Hi, Jimbo. I'm just curious why you don't semi-protect your userpage. I have your userpage watchlisted and I've only seen about 2-3 constructive IP edits. JetLover (talk) (Report a mistake) 02:06, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Let me ask you this: What kind of statement would it make if the person most closely identified with Wikipedia, The encyclopedia that anyone can edit, protected his page in such a way that it put the lie to one of our key mottos? You see - anyone can edit this page, whether to add commentary, reply to questions, vandalise or revert. Risker (talk) 05:31, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
In addition, Jimbo explicitly invites other people to edit his userpage. Semi-protecting it would make this seem a little hypocritical. The page is move-protected, as there is no legitimate reason why it would need to be moved. Hut 8.5 16:39, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Per Risker, as good-faith edits are more than certainly welcome, this place is watched by countless people, myself included, so any vandalism is quickly removed. --Charitwo talk 16:54, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo, Jimmy or something else? Of concerns to academics

I just thought you may be interested in a comment of an anonymous reviewer in my recent Wikipedia-related paper: I am concerned about the author’s insistence of referring to the Wikipedia founder as “Jimbo Wales.” I highly suggest that some basic fact checking occur as to his formal name. In a recent profile in the Sunday New York Times Magazine he was never referred to as “Jimbo.” If his formal name is James or Jim then I highly suggest you delete the “Jimbo”’s from the text of the paper, including where Jimbo appears in the bibliography. Your userpage has Jimbo, but article redirects to Jimmy... so... do you have any preferences as to what you'd like to be called? :) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 00:08, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo is just my nickname online. I prefer Jimmy in print. I am not "James" though, ever. My real name really is Jimmy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:06, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Your comments

You say here [13] of IRC "I encourage those who are concerned about what goes on in IRC to simply join it, make some friends, and participate in a spirit of loving harmony." are you aware the problem is actually #admins, which is private channel and certainly does not have a spirit of loving harmony? In the past Arbs have said they have no jurisdiction over IRC - were they wrong when they said this? Giano (talk) 18:41, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Does not what? "a loving spirit of harmony". Your sentence does not make sense, please clarify. Personally I thought Jimbo was being very clear, did you not read the "from this day forward" sentence, surely we shouldn't obsess over what happened but ensure that what is happening and is going to happen does so in a spirit of loving harmony. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:51, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for spotting the missing verb. My English always goes to pieces when I'm ice. Giano (talk) 18:57, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Giano, I am afraid you don't have sufficient experience with that channel to know what spirit it has. It mostly does, in fact, have a spirit of loving harmony. It's a good channel where, on rare occasions, bad things happen. Just like on Wikipedia. Just like anywhere that human beings gather. We are human, we make mistakes. We get tired and grumpy. We get angry. In general, when we get our heads screwed back on straight, we apologize for our past bad behavior.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:16, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Hi Jimbo. From your statements here and your statements above, I would like to formally ask your permission to join the #admin IRC channel. I have never been an admin and do not expect to want to be an admin anytime soon, but I do have a "spirit of loving harmony". Can I have your permission to be a member of the admin IRC channel? There are obviously other non-admins in there and since I have never misbehaved on-wiki nor in any other online forum, I think I would be welcomed with open arms in that channel. What do you say? Tex04:47, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Me too!!! I can even sing harmony, and have a lovely little spirit. Plus I ain't been misbehavin, in fact I've had absolutely no impact one way or the other. So it couldn't hurt, right? sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 05:33, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I think you should let us all in; that place sounds like a hoot.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 06:49, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Bah. Never mind. If that place is so wretched that it runs off two of our best contributors (Bishonen and Giano), I want nothing to do with it. Everyone involved in that channel should be ashamed. Tex14:34, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Fund raising header and coordinates in en.Wikipedia - a major problem

Copied back from Archive 31 as nothing has been done Copied back from Archive 30 for the second time Copied back from Archive 30 I think that this is an important enough topic to at least deserve a reply before being archived into a hidden archive file. - I created entries to archive 29 and 30 during my search to find this post. Whoever is maintaining this page is doing a very poor job.

I can understand the need to use a fundraising header from time to time; but I can not understand why it can not be created in such a way as to display properly on pages that use the coordiates template in en.Wikipedia. I realize that the problem is the absolute location of the coordinate entry, but why no one with the power to do something about it is willing to invested in the programing costs to fix the problem escapes me. The following page is a good example of the problem which displays differently dependant upon that status of the fund raising header (hidden or fully displayed) both create problems. Note: the smaller the window the worse the problem becomes.

Also see the discussion related to the issue in greater detail at

Also posted at

These document some of my attempts to address the problem over the past 40 days

Would you be willing to forward this to someone with the tallent to fix the problem? Dbiel (Talk) 04:00, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

1st repost Dbiel (Talk) 16:25, December 15, 2007 (UTC)
2nd repost Dbiel (Talk) 13:58, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I have notified the developers.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:25, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Dbiel (Talk) 21:00, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, this will be the last time I post this as it appears that the developers are either incapable of making the required change or unwilling to do so. It is a shame that something this important is basicly ignored. Dbiel (Talk) 02:35, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
We ignore at least three even more important things every day before breakfast alone. WAS 4.250 (talk) 09:01, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
I am finding that easier to believe all the time. ie "Doran" Dbiel (Talk) 15:49, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Mr. Wales...

...I would like your opinion on this. BoL 02:55, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

"the guerrilla war thats being arranged will be the Virgina Poly Tech Massacre all over again" is a threat of violence. In my opinion that message and the IP address obtained by a checkuser should be forwarded to the FBI. Boowah59 (talk) 09:06, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Looks like children pointing their fingers at each other and saying "Bang" to me. WAS 4.250 (talk) 09:15, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
He's a sock of PWeeHurman, and I have an alternate that hosts a checkuser list. BoL 23:47, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Treasurer position

I may be able to fill the treasurer position. I am a CPA with experience in the nonprofit world. Sarsaparilla (talk) 04:39, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Please mail your resumé to Sue and take an active role in helping WikiMedia. We have too much to do and not enough people to do it all. If you really want to be a part, jump in and help. Can you mail references to Sue? Can you offer to do some work via the internet? Are you bonded? Can Sue talk to your current employer? Don't answer here! Call up Sue and talk to her. Good luck. I'm sure you can fit in somewhere to some degree. Make it happen. WAS 4.250 (talk) 09:11, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
What Was said. :) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:25, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

GWR Entery

I knew you would get into GWR '08! How does it feel?-- (talk) 22:27, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

What is GWR?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:36, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Guiness World Records. Thanks, SqueakBox 01:37, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Your email comments on school notability

Hi Jimbo, I was directed to this post of yours on the mail list. Based on that, would you mind commenting on Wikipedia talk:Notability (schools)? Thanks. Lawrence Cohen 19:49, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

My views have changed substantially since that time, though. High schools are problematic because there are typically no reliable sources but also because these kinds of articles are typically magnets for BLP-violating vandalism. I still maintain, of course, that there is a big difference between not wanting thousands and thousands of bot-generating articles. But I am less sanguine about the possibility of being able to create and maintain good high quality articles on schools. I do not vote in deletion debates, and my views are just the views of one editor, so please don't quote this either way as a decree of some kind. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:13, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Very wise. Are you personally leaning more towards maintainability rather than verifiability being the inclusion threshold these days? Alice 23:01, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, not so much that. I think that the best route to maintainability is verifiability. :) I still very much think that verifiability should be relied on whenever possible to do the heavy lifting on difficult questions of "notability". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jimbo Wales (talkcontribs) 17:46, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that and I will bear it in mind when I vote on articles for deletion. Alice 01:00, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Several months ago, I took a run at the problems with universal inclusion of high schools. The result was this incomplete and rather weak essay, but I note several of my points parallel Jimbo's above. My main point is WP:V is a such a foundational policy that to merely prove that a school exists isn't enough to base an article on, even a stub. Or so it seems to me. Cheers, Pigman 03:33, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Would you weigh-in on a RfC?

I have never posted here before, but I was wondering if you might like to weigh in on a request for comment that I think will have implications well down the road. It's occurring right here. The article is What the Bleep Do We Know!? and the question basically is "Can editors use reliable sources that don't mention the movie but mention the content of the movie?" In other words, is it original research to let the reader know that certain purported "facts" in a movie are flatly contradicted by science textbooks and then reference those science textbooks which may not directly reference the movie (perhaps because they were written before the movie came out). ScienceApologist (talk) 22:35, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

The problem is the phrase "mention the content of the movie." If the sources do not mention the movie, then they are not literally mentioning the content of the movie, they are mentioning content that you (or I) believe is "really" contents of the moview. This is at best a slippery slope leading wikipedia editors to insert their own views into articles. The issue here is not what is a reliable source but what is an appropriate source. An appropriate source should be a source ´´concerning the topic of the article´´. If the topic of an article is biology or physics, then sources on biology or physics are appropriate. If the topic of an article is a film, then sources on the film are appropriate sources.. It sounds like Science Apologist has his or her own opinion and wans to make that part of the article. If the movie really is not an authoritative documentary on science, can´t we find appropriate sources - e.g. reviews of the movie by critics or scientists who watched the movie - that say so? Slrubenstein | Talk 05:42, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
You're missing the point. Say someone made a documentary that stated as fact that Abraham Lincoln died at the age of 85 (to use an example provided in the discussion). Would it really be original research to refer to documents that proved he was shot and killed and include a statement like "mainstream historians disagree with the points presented in the movie"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by ScienceApologist (talkcontribs) 14:21, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
A slippery slope indeed. In your extreme example above, if there was such a documentary ever made, and the documentary was notable, you would find a variety of sources that would address the factual inaccuracies in the documentary. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:53, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
What if there were none? ScienceApologist (talk) 23:59, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Not necessarily. We have tons of articles on marginally notable documentaries, books, etc. that have received almost no serious coverage by knowledgeable sources. And if the point is less glaring than Abraham Lincoln dying at 85, it's likely to get overlooked. This is especially the case for scientific topics given that most movie reviewers have near-zero scientific knowledge. Raymond Arritt (talk) 00:21, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Excellent point, Raymond! Alice 01:02, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
That actually makes a better point for deletion of the article than for turning the article into a Wikipedia-only critique of the contents of the documentary. Risker (talk) 01:19, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree 100%. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to get an article deleted if the subject has so much as a passing mention in a marginally credible source. Raymond Arritt (talk) 01:26, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

A small update to MediaWiki software...

Yes.. Wikipedia is a great project... I think, this idea, can make it even better. Of late, I found that statistical data shown in Wikipedia is not consistent among different language versions. To make it consistent and for the benefit of editors, can we have a Wikimedia Statistics site, similar to Wikimedia commons, where we can categorize every possible statistical information starting from salary of people, to population of hungary to revenues of corporations etc? Instead of directly editing Wikipedia for updating these values, we should instead edit the common statistics site and that change should be reflected automatically to all the pages that "transclude" this information (just like page transclusion).

Can you do this? This could greatly improve the quality of the already great Wikipedia.. :) Thanks, Mugunth(ping me!!!,contribs) 05:46, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

See m:Proposals for new projects#Statistics Wiki. MER-C 10:23, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I saw this.. It's good... But can these values be transcluded in articles in other projects.?

Like if I write Population of XXX: {{statwiki:Population:XXX}}, Wikipedia should display the value from Wikitistics. Mugunth(ping me!!!,contribs) 01:05, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

The WikiMedia Foundation needs money

We both know that the WikiMedia Foundation needs money. Can I volunteer to have the WikiMedia Foundation sell ad space on my user pages? Maybe we can have a user template set up so that anyone who wishes to, can help fund the WikiMedia Foundation in this way. Is this possible? This could be as limited as one small approved ad on a user page. Or it could be allowed to expand to allow users to compete to see who can create the most money producing set of user subpages. Or anything in-between. Let's make money for a good cause off the drama. There is no telling what kinds of cash crops could be grown in the set of user subpages marked with a This page's ad revenues are donated to the non-profit WikiMedia Foundation. template. Users could join forces and produce who knows what to create revenue for Wikipedia and fame for themselves. All those people who came here to promote something could create user subpages with their ideas or vanity and instead of being a constant disruptive force in the encyclopedia can be turned into a revenue generator. Of course, it would have to be very clear that it was not an encyclopedia page. Perhaps a whole different look to an ad enabled page so at a glance it would not be confused with the encyclopedia. Instead of deleting pages based on non-notability or nonsense or the like, they can be "userfied" to an ad enabled user subpage. We can convert our content problems into a revenue solution. WAS 4.250 (talk) 17:29, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

It's a well-intentioned idea, but I don't think user pages have the readership or type of ads which would draw much revenue. In order to make a serious amount of money, it would be necessary to either have a high number of people seeing the ads, or to use very profitable keywords (a user named "Wii" might become extremely popular ...). If they do, you're on the way to re-inventing Wikia as subpages of Wikipedia. Such re-invention is an interesting concept, granted, though there's a huge number of problematic conflicts inherent in it. Come to think of it, selling ticket to the drama such a proposal would generate could be a money-maker itself :-) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 00:28, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I would support ads (on content pages) that you would have to opt-in to see, but since such a small % of Wikipedia users are editors (and could enable this in their preferences), this kind of system probably would not make a lot of money. What we need are more imaginative fundraisers than simply asking for donations with a bar on the top of every page. Mr.Z-man 00:34, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Captitalism and Wikimedia/Wikipedia is a winning combination. The world economy functions because of a simpple resolution and thesis based on the original barter systems. Wikipedia can compete very effectively with Google / KNOL if there is a system in place to generate revenue. Advertising on all pages will be an important step to take; yes, difficult at first, albeit it will be a necessary one...ultimately. Press on! Like a Rainbow (talk) 00:46, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
It's a well-intentioned idea but as Seth says this would need to be implemented in mainspace to really work and that will never gather support here. Also, I find it problematic that enwiki is going to be used as an advertising wall unless the community is granted further influence on how exactly that money is spend - something that most of us currently regard as a foundation issue. And we all know the politics of that problem and why it will never happen. Like Mr.Z-man says we need more creative fundraisers and we need to be more realistic. If the foundation can't collect enough money as it is now then we need to rethink our priorities. EconomicsGuy (talk) 07:04, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Also, there are serious issues to be considered here. Currently our privacy policy protects those who wish to edit certain articles even if their government don't appreciate it so to speak. If we include ads then the provider(s) of those ads will be able to track our readers and users without us being in control of how that data is used. If we were to do this then we would need to setup our own ad selling service so we know how that tracking data is used. EconomicsGuy (talk) 07:16, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Your opinion on a delicate subject

Hello Jimmy. In case you don't know, a proposal to shut down the Volapük wikipedia failed on meta. A few days ago, a new proposal was made, this time to delete the great number of bot-created stubs and bring what's left to the Incubator. Given that some question the legitimacy of this new proposal (hot on the heels of the old one) and even the feasability of bringing 2,000+ articles to the Incubator, I'd like you to comment in the discussion, especially after I read a comment of yours in which you seem to be in favour of carrying out some kind of measure within the Volapük wikipedia. Thanks and happy new year! -- Danilot (talk) 13:19, 30 December 2007 (UTC)




10:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Happy New Year!

Please help me - I just want to clear my name now

This section moved from Talk:Jimmy Wales

Hi Jimbo please see [14]. This has gone on for years, I have been bullied, stalked and falsely accused of so much basically by one editor User:SandyGeorgia gaming the system and trading on her knowledge of existing issues.

I HAVE to go to arbcom and get a proper chance to defend the past I have always wound up gagged while lies are told...that is NOT fair...

I know I don't matter, why should I? I am no-one...but as long as this can be done to me it can be done to anyone, and if it can be, it will be...

I am sitting here in floods of tears....I feel like I am at the end of my rope...that must seem crazy but I was raised by a psychopathic mother, made out to be the guilty party whatever I did, however good, even perfect I tried to be...abusive people pick up on that and the dominos start to fall...

I have to turn around and fight this to the end now...please help me get a fair chance to do that? That's all I am asking, not for anyone to be censured but just for me to have a fair chance to clear this up once and for all through arbcom and PROVE that Wikipedia still works...and always can. Whatever games people try to play with the system. --Zeraeph (talk) 08:36, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I think what has happened here is very unfortunate. A number of good editors and admins are trying to sort it out so that Zeraeph can continue to edit without feeling harassed (regardless of whether she's right or wrong to feel that way), and also so that SandyGeorgia doesn't feel undermined either. There has certainly been an unpleasant dynamic, but I'm hopeful we can get it sorted this time. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 09:23, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Mr Wales: The overrriding objective here should not be to allow one editor to continue to edit, but to protect the encyclopedia. While everyone can edit, there are limitations. The editor in question (Z) has made false statements of fact about another editor, and has persisted in that conduct, both on and off Wikipedia. The rigorous policies underlying BLP are not attenuated simply because the subject of false statements happens to be an editor; attacks are attacks regardless of where they appear on Wikipedia. (My apologies for posting here rather than on your user talk page; I did so to keep the thread together.) My regards, Kablammo (talk) 12:49, 29 December 2007 (UTC) To be absolutely clear: while some of the attacks were expressions of opinion, others were allegations of fact, such as ascribing to the object of the attack certain diagnoses or mental conditions. The matter is under discussion elsewhere on Wikipedia so I will not duplicate detail here. Kablammo (talk) 13:20, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, these attacks on Sandy across mulitple pages of Wikipedia (and presumably also offsite) simply have to stop. It is just this sort of behavior, gone unpunished, which encourages some of our best contributers to leave the project. It is my fervent hope that Z, and editors like her, will be blocked or banned from editing so that constructive contributers who sincerely want to help the project can do so without feeling threatened or harassed. Jeffpw (talk) 13:22, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo, I want to assure you that I have never made a deliberate false statement about any editor, though many have been made about me. I made one sincere mistake, a very small thing, whereby I mistook one editor for a sockpuppet of another they resembled closely in positive ways as well as negative ones, and in their attitude to me. I cannot be the first person to do that, and yet that seems to have been blown out of all proportion, not only at the time, but since. Apart from that I have been at pains to only tell the truth in any of this. If what I was saying was not true I would not have a problem here, and I do, most definitely, have a serious problem here. (I was so upset I managed to post to the wrong page by mistake) --Zeraeph (talk) 13:32, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
This post contains one such statement. Kablammo (talk) 14:27, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you Kablammo, that is, indeed a link to the one sincere mistake I made as I referred to above. --Zeraeph (talk) 15:15, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I guess this was another. Jeffpw (talk) 15:17, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
No, that was just a statement of fact that I am prepared to stand by particularly in the face of personal attacks like this [15] or this [16] or this [17] that go on constantly without censure. I do not know another way to tell the truth than to just tell it. --Zeraeph (talk) 15:31, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo, I invite you to look on this as wikidrama staged by SlimVirgin. SlimVirgin invited Zeraeph to the stage by unblocking her. SlimVirgin knew (or should have known if she didn't) that a drama sequel was going to follow when she unblocked Zeraeph.

As far as I can see there's an unsettling divide et impera component in all this. Ask me if you don't understand what I mean by that. Compare current discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#There was an easy way to deal with all of this drama before the fact --Francis Schonken (talk) 22:11, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo, as you know, I am a big girl, nobody uses me in any "Wikidrama", as far as I can see, Slimvirgin just happened to notice what was happening and did what nobody else has done to date...looked closer, and started to see some of the truth. She will NEVER know what that meant to me after all this time of being maligned, re-invented and stigmatised...just that someone who didn't even know me would actually STOP and take the time to be fair to me, as so many others have not.
I have my chance to put this before arbcom, maybe they will see the truth too, but I know it is a lot to ask, so if they don't, I won't mind. I really came to respect whatr you are doing here and nothing will sour that, besides, because of SandyGeorgia, once I never stood a chance here, and now I am finished here, arbcom is the only chance I have. Thank You --Zeraeph (talk) 23:11, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
This is at Arb. Zeraeph's forum shopping here should be shut down. Marskell (talk) 23:15, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Marskell, as you know, the arbcom request was made by user:Jehochman not me some 12 hours after I posted here. To call that my "forum shopping" is a little odd. --Zeraeph (talk) 23:21, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Re. (Z:) "To call that [...] "forum shopping" is a little odd" - your request was posted here while the issue was being processed at WP:AN. Indeed, no relation with the RfAr request initiated by someone else after the processing of the issue at WP:AN. (As a comparison:) previously Jimbo got involved after your post on this page, at the time without forum shopping implication ([18]). The situation was different then: at the time you said not to solicit support ([19]). Above (or rather: originally on a talk page of an encyclopedia article [20]) you solicited support, at a time when your issue was being processed at another forum (WP:AN). Yes, that could be seen as forum shopping. But we're on Jimbo's talk page here: I'd be all ears if he provides a different assessment.
Re. (Z:) "[...] nobody uses me in any "Wikidrama" [...]" - Generally, I go from the assumption that people don't allow themselves being used consciously. You stepped in an open door there.
Re. (FS:) "As far as I can see there's an unsettling divide et impera component in all this." - I'd like to add a reference for that: [21]. --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:57, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Francis, my request here was just that Jimbo support me in getting a hearing with Arbcom, not to support me in a hearing with Arbcom...and I made the request because I was desperate. This, is Jimbo's talk page, not a forum.
Jimbo, the wheels of the community turned by themselves, arbcom has accepted, it opens tomorrow. I know my chances of clearing my name may not be great, but any chance is better than the "no chance" I had before. Whatever may occur, thank you for treating me, a stranger, with an open mind, as the equal of anyone here, when so many others would not and when you certainly did not have to. Have a wonderful New Year. --Zeraeph (talk) 22:04, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Happy New Year!

All the best for 2008! Lradrama 17:39, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Comments on your thoughts on Volapük

Thank you very much for your comments, Jimbo Wales. You raise important questions and concerns; other participants had raised them before, and I believe there are important answers that you probably need to be aware of, in order to think further about the issue and decide for yourself. I will try to quickly sketch them here (and then I'll copy and paste this on the cleanup discussion page for those who are there).

What is the purpose of the Volapük Wikipedia?

Excellent question. To me, this question should be broadened to: what is the purpose of any 'small' Wikipedia? There are other Wikipedias that don't have any real native speakers (Latin, Old English, Ancient Greek -- the latter in the Incubator), there are Wikipedias with very few active contributors (the last 100 in the List of Wikipedias probably fall in this category), there are Wikipedias in languages with very few speakers, sometimes as few as Volapük (cf. Hawaiian, Inupiaq). It is true that all Volapük speakers can speak and read other languages (in fact, Volapük is never their best language!). But this is true for many other cases. All dialectal Wikipedias (Nnapulitano, Zeeuws, Võro) have contributors who also speak their standard languages (Italian, Dutch, Estonian) and could use/contribute to the corresponding Wikipedias. All speakers of other constructed languages (Esperanto, Ido, Novial...) can also speak other languages at native level and could use/contribute to the corresponding Wikipedias. All speakers of Catalan also speak Spanish; all speakers of Dutch (where I can speak from personal experience) and, apparently, also of the Scandinavian languages, can speak excellent English, and could use/contribute to the English Wikipedia (many of them do, actually). As you said about Volapük, they don't need their specific projects to learn about the world. They can do that with other projects.

So: Do these projects have a point? What is their goal? As you see, it's not simply a Volapük question. It's actually a question for every Wikipedia in a language for which there is no significant population of monolingual speakers who only have that language as a means to explore the world of ideas. And there already are dozens of such Wikipedias, from Latin to Lombard to Zeeuws to Esperanto to Old English to Volapük to Võro to Hawaiian to Nnapulitano to Limburgish to... What is their purpose? To me: they should define it for themselves. Why? Because the stated purpose of Wikipedia as a project -- the creation of a great free Encyclopedia, a repository of all of human knowledges -- is not attainable to most of them. User communities would have to get to (I guess) at least a hundred dedicated active contributors before a full encyclopedia became a plausible goal. Even with the hundreds of thousands of contributors in en.wp, it took years! So: The goal of these small communities MUST BE DIFFERENT. It cannot be the same as the goal of larger projects like en.wp or de.wp. If this goal -- the creation of a comprehensive encyclopedia, an no other -- is the only acceptable one, then I'm afraid half, probably more than half of the projects in the List of Wikipedias should be closed as soon as possible. Is that so? Aren't there other reasons for Wikipedias to exist?

As you point out in your comments: there is the joy of those who want to create (and use) the resulting Wikipedias! I will use your own words: let the contributors of all those Wikipedias proudly and with joy create articles! For what purpose? For an all-encompassing encyclopedia? Well, no. Maybe for somethign else, for documentation of their cultures, or any other topics they thought interesting... what the goals could be is an interesting question, and I'd love to hear what other small communities (say, 20 active contributors or less) think about that.

In the old-fashioned human way?... Yes, of course. But what if they decide that they also want to do it in other ways? Should this be their decision, or should this be a general decision, to be taken at the inter-Wikipedia level? This is ultimately a question about general policy. It has thus far been the case that every project was awarded as much freedom as possible. That means deciding by themselves what could be good and bad -- even if it involves, say, creating huge amounts of bot-stubs. If these projects should however all have the same goal -- a comprehensive encyclopedia with preferably featured-article-quality contributions -- then perhaps there should be stronger guidelines that prevent other kinds of ideas from getting started. I suggest that this be made a discussion at a higher level. (Do you happen to know what I would have to do to start such a discussion?)

The decision of creating bot-articles was a hard one. I was responsible for it; nobody else on vo.wp should be blamed for this one decision. I maintain that there are good reasons for doing that (beginning with "completeness-of-coverage" and "it's-at-least-a-useful-something", but going further into other aspects of the question); but this is a different question maybe. (By itself, the question of the usefulness of bot-articles should probably be also discussed at a higher level, independent of the specifics of each project. Again, do you happen to know what I would have to do to bring this topic up for general discussion?). Here, since you mention the actual joy of creating articles, I will mention only one more: these languages have speakers who like them, who want to use them. (That's why they're not working mostly on the other wiki's whose language they know well, by the way.) They had never had much for themselves, because their communities are small. Even dead languages like Latin were loved by those who liked its past, not its present: Academics, students, lovers of history... Even a collection of simple stubs -- a "phone directory", as someone once described to me -- is more than the speakers of these languages ever had. (Of course not for Dutch of for the Scandaniavian languages, or for Esperanto, or arguably for Latin; the others, however, really never did.) It's a leap forward in terms of the amount of information available in the languages they love and prefer to use. Isn't that worth something?

But how about the other projects? Aren't they harmed by it? As far as I can see, they are not. There is no big waste of resources, there is no lack of storage space for them, there is no reduction in access time due to vo.wp, nothing I can see. The interwiki question, which is always mentioned, looks like a pretext, since it can be easily solved within each project. (Or perhaps by a general discussion about the uses of interwiki links. But anyway without forcing any project to close or delete articles...)

The only good arguments I've heard in this area are the ones about 'how fair it is' for Volapük to be so high on the table -- when projects with more contributors working hard have fewer pages? No, because I don't think the number of articles judges how good a project is. Is anybody judging a project by how many pictures they've uploaded? No, since Commons made this number immaterial: any project has now 2,000,000+ pictures and media files at their disposition at the moment of its creation. I think the parameter used at the List of Wikipedias -- number of articles -- is simply wrong. Jimbo, if you use it in presentations and talks without mentioning that it is a very, very poor parameter, then you're making an important mistake. It is not! Consider the m:List of Wikipedias by sample of articles: it has a better parameter (which has problems itself, some of which are pointed out on its talk page) and would probably be better. The Hebrew Wikipedia is, in my opinion, better than the Romanian Wikipedia, and at least as good as the Vietnamese Wikipedia; yet it is ranked lower only because it has fewer articles. This ranking is as misleading as it is for Volapük -- if you think that number of articles tells you much about the quality of a Wikipedia. Think of this: the English Wikipedia has now 2,100,000+ articles. A naive reader of the List of Wikipedias could think they are all excellent, FA-quality articles, or at least good articles; but the number of good articles is actually much smaller. As I recall, there were fewer than 100,000 Featured Articles; I'll guess (correct me if I'm wrong) that about half of these 2,100,000+ articles are of substandard quality (in that they wouldn't be accepted for a paper encyclopedia). So if this number -- 2,100,000+ -- is mentioned without qualifications (for PR reasons, etc.), it is, frankly, as misleading as the 100,000 Volapük articles -- since people want to deduce quality from it.

(The real argument in favor of en.wp is, of course, than even 100,000 FA-quality articles are more than there has ever been in an encyclopedia; the 2-million number is not really necessary for someone to say that en.wp has already achieved far more than any other similar endeavor.)

So my thought on this: please use other criteria, and advertise them as well. I'm sure it would be good for WMF, and for public presentations of Wikipedia, if a different ranking, based on different criteria, was presented. This would be more scientific and more appropriate, and the viewers would be happy to see that some obvious problems with the original criterion -- number of articles -- had been addressed and tentatively solved.

I hope my thoughts don't sound offensive -- that wasn't the intention. And I hope you may find them useful. Thanks in advance! --Smeira (talk) 13:08, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I must agree with the comment above, as a contributor of the Hawaiian Wikipedia. Like the user said above, "What is their purpose? To me: they should define it for themselves..." I can see the Hawaiian Wikipedia as possibly being a catalyst for the revival of the Hawaiian language, or a useful encyclopedia for students in Hawaiian-immersion schools. Others may see a different potential. The point I'm trying to add is that Wikipedia has become something greater than an online encyclopedia - it has given communities the chance to see the light of what they can achieve. Realizing this, I believe, is more important than trying to make the most reliable content. Just a thought... Singularity 08:20, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


Hola amigo Jimbo. Its odd that I haven't contacted you before now but I'd just like to say thankyou and what an inspiration it was for creating wikipedia. A genius idea and the potential of this website is endless which is why I contribute so actively in it so regularly. I think of the 7 year old wikipedia as still in its infancy and given time I can see it developing beyond imagination -I feel it is important to set out something so useful for millions of people around the world. Hey I've now created over 12,000 new articles and counting-more than anybody else I think (except bots) and I've managed to set up several wiki projects like WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers which covers all film actor, director, cinematographer, producer, score composer etc articles on wikipedia (yes amazingly this was missing until April 2007!!) and WikiProject Tibet - but there is so much to do!!!. At present I'm attempting to fill in the gaps on French communes of which there are thousands missing which other small wikipedias have and attempting to draw up a detailed reference for films by year and by country e.g American films of 1936 etc which can be linked in articles and give people quick access to it. I;m doing this by country e.g France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Japan, South Korea, Bollywood etc by year which gives us a firm base for organizing films on wikipedia -but this will take time to get a detailed and complete resource by country and year. My interests cover a huge range though and I've even been attempting to plough my way through the Fine Arts in Hungary and attempting to get all of the Hungarian sculptors and painters onto wikipedia -a fascinating subject. I even tried to get Charles Matthews interested but to no avail!! Anyway it would be great to discuss some things about this project and your work with you some time. Happy New Year and Best Regards for 2008! Regards. The Bald One ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ Talk? 15:21, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Filling ArbCom vacancies

It might be a better thing to call new elections in the event of vacancies, as any temporary appointment to fill them with candidates who received lower approvals in the last election means to reduce the aggregate approval of the ArbCom. Just a thought. —Whig (talk) 03:14, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Your edit to WT:WEA

Jimmy - While I respect you, and I do understand the context of this edit here, I do not believe it is actually in your remit, or the AC's remit to do such a thing. While they and you can frequent the place and give gentle encouragement, there would have to be a fine line between, encouraging as a free agent, and doing so on behalf of yourself or the AC. I do not believe it is within your ability, or the AC's ability or ambit, to have any real authority over IRC, or any off wiki social communications construct. I just wanted to clear that up, that is that no new policy like this (and it is policy creation) should have been attempted, and should perhaps the statement be withdrawn in part by you. Best regards, and I hope everything is well, Mercury 14:45, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't see it as anything particularly new, nor in any way problematic. Can you specify just what problem you see with it? It strikes me as basically completely uncontroversial.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:09, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Jimmy, I just thought about your reply again. The controversy is here. Would you consider altering your stance? Regards, Mercury 19:40, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
The problem I see is that we, the local project, starting to manage external issues. While our mission here is to write an encyclopedia, handling anything off wiki (more then we have to) is going to be a distraction and is outside of our scope as an encyclopedia. There is just no way to do this thing. As far as, if I don't get my way with the chanops, I can then go to AC, then you. And what if AC or you would like to see someone removed from the channel? You or AC have not exercised this option, but I'm not sure it is proper for you or AC to have this option. It might be within WMF's remit, but it is definitely not on ours to have authority over IRC. Mercury 17:21, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Jimmy, I think it was a fair question that deserves a fair answer. You did after all, make the statement. Respectfully, Mercury 15:55, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

section break

Power is an interesting thing. It is fuzzy and has boundaries that can increase with careful use and decrease with careless use. Admins that use a site in a way that the AC finds makes them unsuited to remain admins, can be desyoped. Any site that admins frequent that chooses to ignore Jimmy's and AC's and the community's concerns will eventually find that one way or another it has no wikipedia admins. Those who run the communication channel in question fully understand this, even if you don't. Remember when the President fired all the striking aircraft controllers? They thought they were irreplaceable. Do you think admins who frequent the admin IRC are irreplaceable? Who do you think the community would back in a showdown with Jimmy and the AC when the issue is civility (don't call people bitches or arses) and transparency (present evidence to ban/block on wikipedia, not the IRC) ? An admin who goes to WR and talks about how he has access to deleted articles people there want to look at might find himself desyoped, don't you think? Use your imagination and draw a parallel. The WR situation demonstrates careful use of power, so there is no need to worry about heavy-handed tactics - just careful and effective use. WAS 4.250 (talk) 15:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I use profanity on a regular basis in my life, and sometimes in -admins, and would like to continue doing so. To date, I'm told that I cause no offense. And if anyone presented evidence for a block on IRC, and actually carried out that block, would there be an issue? No, this is called a sanity check. Not so long as the block was *also* justified on the wiki, and there was no canvassing going on. The admins don't canvass from what I can see anyway.
No, I'm addressing a larger issue, of what the mission of the English Wikipedia is and is not. Mercury 15:09, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
See ; The English language Wikipedia is the English encyclopedia part of that. WAS 4.250 (talk) 15:18, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Not sure what you are seeing, I'm seeing the WMF may be the better one to create policy or even hosting of the IRC, or any communications construct. Would like to see Jimmy weigh in. Mercury 15:23, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
See and related items in the thread for an interesting discussion of where power is and should be with regard to foundation, communty, staff, Jimmy. WAS 4.250 (talk) 15:32, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Re: "[...] no new policy like this (and it is policy creation) should have been attempted [...]" - I support Jimbo's initiative [22] --Francis Schonken (talk) 15:17, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Freenode policy designates that the group (e.g. Wikimedia and Wikipedia[23]) and channel contacts and its designated ops are in charge of the respective group channels.[24][25][26] Although I have not checked myself, and cannot right now as I'm behind a firewall at work, I would assume the Wikipedia group contact is Jimbo. He would be perfectly within his rights for this. --Charitwo talk 15:28, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
If I were to create a message board and designate some of my policy to delegate responsibility or control to enwiki, it does not however, make it proper for en wiki to do so. Just to stay on the right track. Mercury 15:33, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I am definitely on the right track. I don't see how posting this on here has anything to do with en wiki controlling the Wikipedia IRC group. I said Jimbo and the underwritten individuals reserve the right to exercise control of the channels assigned to the Wikipedia IRC group and I provided sources to back that up as they are the contacts for such. The fact that this was posted on Wikipedia compared to anywhere else is irrelevant, the authority is there regardless. --Charitwo talk 15:54, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Charitwo, I was under the impression that User:Jdforrester had ultimate authority over the channels. From his user page:

I'm the Chair of the Wikimedia Group Contacts, which basically means that I'm in charge :-) IRC policy, channel maintenance, etc. take much of my time here. Theoretically I should be the ranking chanop in every IRC channel, but it rarely works out that way until I find that I need it now. :-)

If I understand correctly, this does not place the IRC channels under the authority of anyone but User:Jdforrester. Not Wikimedia, not Jimbo, not ArbCom, not wiki-en. Therefore, if that is true, it would be up to User:Jdforrester if he wanted to surrender control and make it more "official". Moreover, the channels have always been described to me as "unofficial", if Jimbo were in charge I think it would have been described as official. daveh4h 19:01, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
There are two IRC groups[27], Wikimedia and Wikipedia, as I said above, I am at work and couldn't confirm contacts as a lot of ports used by IRC or other chat programs are blocked. --Charitwo talk 19:28, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
There are actually several hundred channels involved. Thatcher has put together a list here[28]. It is my reading of the Wikimedia pages related to IRC that the Foundation has made it clear that they do not accept any responsibility for the channels - so I am hard pressed to see how one of the projects of the Wikimedia Foundation can accept responsibility for any of the channels, either. The question might be better put to the Foundation, perhaps through the Foundation mailing list. Like you, I am not in a position to do that right now. Risker (talk) 19:36, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think I ever specified channels, that would be really ignorant. I clearly said groups. Wikimedia IRC group and Wikipedia IRC group. Each of which, as you said, consisting of quite a good deal of channels. --Charitwo talk 19:47, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Thatcher has listed them in their groups, I understand. Not sure I really see why there is a difference, if the Foundation does not take responsibility for either groups or their component channels, but you may see things from a different perspective. Risker (talk) 19:58, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I guess my question is Jdforrester the group contact for both Wikimedia and Wikipedia groups, or just MediaWiki? --Charitwo talk 20:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
He is the sole contact for all of these groups, there is no official group contact according to Freenode; I believe he is categorized as the "owner." Risker (talk) 20:10, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Is there any reason for having this discussion outside of Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/IRC/Evidence, unless it is proposed that any conclusive answer by itself only will form part of that proceeding? Is this otherwise duplicating the investigation there, or ancillary to it? LessHeard vanU (talk) 17:05, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I wanted to speak with Jimmy. Mercury 17:21, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Anyway (@LHvU:) Jimbo's "policy" edit [29], and the perceived policy shift are no part of the Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/IRC RfAr case. I would not think it wise to draw policy setting measures into an RfAr case: ArbCom does not set new policy, nor is it very well equipped to judge it. It accepts policy "as is". If Arbs think otherwise, I suppose they would better handle the matter with Jimbo on the ArbCom mailing list or any such venue that doesn't influence the outcome of the IRC RfAr case. --Francis Schonken (talk) 17:24, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

AN/I thread where your name has been invoked

Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#User:Jim62sch.

User:Videmus Omnia claims to have forwarded you an email from User:Jim62sch where Jim apparently threatened to report his editing to his employer, the U.S. Army. VO claims that you said this was ban-worthy behavior. Is this correct?

Jim seems to maintain that its his prerogative as a taxpayer. Cool Hand Luke 01:49, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not Jimbo, but - IIRC, threats to report someone's edits to their employer are considered to fall under the legal threats policy (it says legal threats, but it's usually broadly interpreted to mean threatening to do anything which will have real-world consequences), but there is a grey area because the community generally accepts the practice of threatening to report an IP user's edits to their network administrator, which may be an employer or school. —Random832 21:42, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
note: This appears to have gone to arbitration as Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Jim62sch. The thread was renamed, it is now Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#User:Jim62sch (resolved). —Random832 21:51, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

About an admin.

Personally speaking, I strongly recommend you that please kindly review the edit history (from last year) of User:Kafziel who is an administrator, and seriously evaluate if he is really suitable for holding the status being an administrator. I wish you could carefully detect his history and make your own decision by your experience. I think that it is quite easy to find out by yourself so I am not going to point out what the specific problems are like language and power abuse or others. From my personal opinion, I don't think he is a good administrator and I will be happy to see if you really take an action towards this matter. PS: At the moment luckily I neither blocked nor warned by him. Thanks! User Coloane from Macau, China. Coloane (talk) 13:26, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

GDS article

I wanted to draw your attention to the GDS talk where I left a message about a sense of justice. I've changed the header again, I want you thoughts on it. Regards, Mercury 20:03, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


It is obvious you are the founder of Wiki, but what abilities do you posess on here? Are you an admin, bueracrat, checkuser, adopter, adoptee, etc? If none of the above, I would love to nominate you for RFA. LOL :D. Trevor "Tinkleheimer" Haworth 20:48, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

He has sysop, oversight, and Founder (equivalent of Steward). See Special:Listusers/founder --Charitwo talk 21:09, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Could you clear up some confusion?

There's a little debate at WP:NFCC about the new March 28 resolution. The problem seems to be about whether this applies to Wikipedia or not, due to the way the licensing policy is worded or something like that. I'm just wondering if you could clarify this and clear up some confusion for us? .:Alex:. 10:33, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Happy New Year!

Season Greetings

Parliament Hill Front Entrance.jpg

Dear Jimbo Wales, on behalf of my snow-buried Canadian region of Ottawa, I would like to wish you a Safe and Happy New Year 2008.
JForget 02:33, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Hi,I too wish you a happy new year.Agent008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Agent008 (talkcontribs) 18:46, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

New Search Engine

Hello. I am interested in the wiki search engine and wanted an update as to where the project might be located. Thank you. (talk) 23:05, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

The wiki search engine all over the news is a Wikia project that is separate from this wikipedia. Jimbo is involved in both, but the organizations are distinct and separate. It is located on the web at . I don't see how it can work, myself; but it will be interesting to watch. Maybe in the end it will spawn several niche search engines , each the best for some specific purpose. The important thing is that it is fully copy-left, so its pieces can be copied, modified, used, sold, or given away. So it is free to evolve, find niches, and can not be killed by being purchased, owned, and buried. WAS 4.250 (talk) 04:27, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Spanish Wikipedia

Hi Jimbo, I've been editing English wikipedia for about two years now and a month ago I decided to participate more actively in the Spanish wiki. I don't know if you are aware of what is going on in all the other projects but I encountered a lot more censorship in that part of wikipedia. The five pillars tend to lag too. I usually edit articles related to Colombia.

They also have this system of voting that only users with 100+ edits and a month old user are allowed to vote on articles. I think is demoralizing for new users.. and I also felt overpowered even though I've been editing wikipedia for two years..

The referencing in the Spanish wiki is designed to accept links to organizations and blogs as long as these are referenced to a main source.. which in turn uses blogs and .org dubious organizations that might be of personal affiliation and are under a free license.

Good articles and featured articles lack a lot of information, referencing and citations.. neutrality is very hard to achieve since the rules lag and the "clicks" impose their views, specially on political issues.

This website for example supports the Bolivarian Revolution and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is apparently used widely as a source for many articles not related to it, but it has news some of them claim has citations.. but then some others are just blatant own creations... The NPOV policy in Spanish supports claims that all points of view are needed, even if it contains documents like in this case probably published on behalf of the FARC, a terrorist organization, and these are used as sources under a free license.

I was wondering if you can tell me where to go in this case, who is in charge of the Spanish wiki in the same way as you are in the English wiki... everything there is also written on behalf of what you have said in certain policies, but some other areas were achieved by consensus and differ from what I think is the essence of wikipedia.

--Zer0~Gravity (Roger - Out) 23:10, 3 January 2008 (UTC)