User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 39

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Archive 38 | Archive 39 | Archive 40



Hello. Just wanted to notify you and everybody else who monitors this page that AOL ip addresses have been indefinitely blocked. I've used them to edit for 2 years. It would be nice to have edit privileges restored. (talk) 08:14, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Which IPs? You need to post the unblock template on the talk page of the IP involved. There are 4 billion IP addresses and we are not good guessers. Thatcher 04:22, 2 September 2008 (UTC) There is no "I.P involved". She said she is using AOL (as are 4 million other people). That means her I.P. address changes every time she signs on to the internet - and that is every day since dial-up users also have to have their open when they are not online.Rayvn (talk) 03:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't know what's wrong with people, blocking all these IPs *solely* because they are public (I.P edits are anonymous anyway - right? If abuse happens, I.P. can be blocked and appealed later if necessary.) But, I think when an I.P. is blocked for being public a user should still be able to create an account, etc. Some users don't have their own computers - or may have simply forgotten a password. I.P. is irrelevant in password recovery because the password still goes to a personal e-mail address.Rayvn (talk) 19:41, 1 September 2008 (UTC) Public IPs that are abused by vandals to create accounts and to vandalize will be blocked until the vandal gets bored and goes away. Thatcher 04:22, 2 September 2008 (UTC) I didn't say anything about vandals. I said, "But, I think when an I.P. is blocked for being public a user should still be able to create an account, etc." If an I.P. is blocked for being public, that means no abuse ever happened. What you statement should have said was, "Public IPs that are abused by vandals to create accounts and to vandalize will be blocked until the vandal gets bored and goes away." Because in that case it does not matter if the I.P. is public or not that it's blocked, it only matters that the notice mentioned that the I.P. is public. An I.P. should not, however, be blocked until this happens, should not be blocked from creating new accounts unless the vandal has tried to create a new account from the same I.P. at least once, and password recovery should never be blocked because a SPAMmer cannot abuse that. What I am saying is that an I.P. should not be blocked until it is abused (and then removed after say 90 days or upon request from another user if more then say 10 days have passed and the user does not seem to be the SPAMmer), because doing anything else serves no purpose other then to annoy Wikipedians and prevent contributions from being made by many people (think of a college for example - there's probably at least 50,000 Wikipedians using those computers). In addition you should make sure never to block an OL (or other dial-up) I.P., unless the SPAMmer is still logged onto Wikipedia when you do it in which case the block can auto-expire in 24 hours, because the next time that SPAMmer uses the computer, his I.P. will be a different one.Rayvn (talk) 03:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Hello. This was resolved over a month ago. To my knowledge there is no reason to repost my comment. The ip that was blocked was the one I signed the post with. Please, let's not clog up Jimmy's page. Have a nice day. (talk) 18:04, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

      Exactly how is an issue "resolved" if I haven't responded to an issue that I myself posted about?  In case you haven't noticed, this is Wikipedia, meaning that nothing is ever resolved unless/until every person who reads it does not feel the need to comment.  Also, anything "clogging up" Jimbo's page is his own decision, when he choose to archive everything he also created the need for any discussion to be reposted each time a new comment is added.  That is beyond my control.Rayvn (talk) 20:36, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo

Just wondering here, but seeing as you are the almighty-final say in everything power on wikipedia, what do you think of something like this where the guy gets piled on for the answer to a question, opposed for being a wrestling fan, and told off for not answering an optional qustion about his age evn though the oft agreed lower limit is 12? (I was 13 when I first had an RFA and noone pulled me up for it (I phailed anyway)) PXK T /C 19:17, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Consensus or verifiability?

Dear Jim, First, please check out the history of the Henotheism page.

You are perhaps already more aware than I am that there are abusive users on Wikipedia. There is no doubt about it. What is sad is that even admins abuse their special privileges regularly without any "checks and balances". All this just to go with "consensus" instead of basing decisions on "verifiable" facts. This is violation of the very mandate of what admins are for and waste of time for good faith editors. In the long run, this will keep poor contributors in and sway away good faith editors. While I was a target of abusive editing practices by others, I was blocked by User:YellowMonkey from arbitration (as a punishment for my notifying an abusive admin to arb)!!! All this instead of User:YellowMonkey issuing some sort of warning to an abusive admin User:Dougweller or asking him to refrain from abusive practices in the future. The disputed content was discussed at Talk:Aditya. Anyway, while watching the history of the Henotheism page today (as it is I'm blocked), I noticed that another person User:ADvaitaFan also seems to have run into the same issue i.e. continued forced edit reversals even after that good faith editor added links so others can verify the corrections he (or she) had made. The edit reversal again in this case done by admin User:Dougweller~! Doug's last rv note says "it is clear there is no consensus for this edit" and nothing about "verifiability" of facts discussed on the Talk: Henotheism page. All this goes totally against Wikipedia Wikipedia:Verifiability guidelines. I am wondering why Wikipedia would make such people as admins! Even long-timers like User:Dbachmann also seem to playing the edit reversal game just to go with the flow of whatever the admin likes. With the current approach, this great project is bound to fail, especially if nothing changes. The content will most certainly not be high grade if "consensus" instead of "verifiability" is used as the yardstick. The smart people of Wikipedia need to figure out and fix this "bandit ring game" for good. What's really disturbing is even long-timers dabble in mindlessly just to look good within the circle of favor (especially to admins), and admins can't seem to separate wheat from shaff, while also ruthlessly pushing their own POV!!! This again goes totally against the Wikipedia:NPOV principle. At minimum, a neutral hidden committee (arbitration not comprising of admins) should monitor all admins and keep score of their actions secretly. Wikipedia needs to look closely at their stats and seriously at rules on admin monitoring. If admins themselves engage in Wikipedia:Edit_warring, this goes totally against the very foundation of building a great encyclopedia. Better still if admin monitoring can be done programatically instead of this current affinity-based approach. Where we are today, further degradation of content and even more POV content is almost guaranteed. I'd love to hear back from you if Wikipedia is already working along these lines or what your planned next steps are. Be well. VedicScience (talk) 09:28, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

  • VedicScience, this is stupid. And you don't strike me as a stupid person, so I don't know why you're doing this. Keep it up and you'll be banned soon, which would be a shame, because you can make good edits. You have absolutely no case here, and you need to let it drop. I think a part of you knows this. Please let go of the vanity. Moreschi (talk) 14:08, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
I explained to him (for the second time) what he should do. One more wall of text complaining and he's gone for a while. There's a line between anger and just plain disruption. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 08:42, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi Jimpo. RFc

I'd like to begin a discussion as found here: [[1]][[2]] Could you please start the discussion off since I'having a problem with the link. Please and thank you. Researcher123456789 (talk) 13:38, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Using websites in fiction

When I write my soap opera, may I use this website, Facebook and other search engines as references for My Beloved Girlfriend? Ericthebrainiac (talk) 17:29, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Make sure you check out the sources first then; you never know... Wikisaver62 (talk) 10:09, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

User Page

I reccomend you do not let any random people edit your user page, an invitation like that is difficult to come by and some malicious people would ruin the page to get a kick out of it. No offense, but you really are too trusting. Wikisaver62 (talk) 10:08, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

It's one of the most watched pages here, and vandalism tends to be reverted almost immediately. --Rodhullandemu 12:32, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Besides, it's a wiki! Dingold 04:11, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Featured Articles on The Simpsons and notability

Featured Episodes of The Simpsons
Featured article star.svg "Cape Feare"  March 162007
Featured article star.svg "Homer's Phobia"  March 262007
Featured article star.svg "Homer's Enemy"  May 72007
Featured article star.svg "You Only Move Twice"   July 312007
Featured article star.svg The Simpsons  August 142007
Featured article star.svg Troy McClure  August 252007
Featured article star.svg "A Streetcar Named Marge"  September 202007
Featured article star.svg "The Joy of Sect"  November 252007
Featured article star.svg "Lisa the Skeptic"  December 122007
Featured article star.svg Treehouse of Horror (series)  January 222008
Featured article star.svg The Simpsons Movie  January 282008
Featured article star.svg "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson"  February 42008
Featured article star.svg "The Last Temptation of Krust"  February 23 2008

Jimbo, in an earlier thread at this talk page in a discussion about notability you said The Simpson's anomaly is probably my own personal fault, because way back in the day before I really understood the limitations of the medium, I said something like "We should have an article on every episode of The Simpson's, why not?" Whereas now, if I were voting, I would vote to delete. I am curious to hear your response to Durova's subsequent query - which of those articles would you "vote to delete" ? Cirt (talk) 07:12, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Oh, either all of them or, possibly, all but a few. For me, were I voting today, I would look for much stronger verifiability as evidenced by reliable third-party sourcing rather than original research. In particular, I would be looking for something to suggest that the episode achieved some wider and significant specific cultural impact. (For example, the last episode of Seinfeld, or of Mary Tyler Moore.) It bears repeating: I am not trying to make policy here, just indicating my current thinking on these matters.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:03, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm a bit puzzled why you'd mentioned original research. The articles may not be perfect, but OR is not an issue with any of them. Are you referring to the plot sections? It's generally accepted that editors can use primary sources for the plot section, so long as they stick to the basic details. Zagalejo^^^ 15:01, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I think Jimbo's response to this would be interesting to Wikipedia:WikiProject Television. I'm also curious as a main contributor to Degrassi: The Next Generation articles. There is only one article about an episode of that show at the moment. I'm not sure if I understand you, Jimbo, when you said, "My increased "deletionism" is very mild when it comes to things like Simpson's episodes - not much harm done. But it is quite strong when it comes to biographies of living persons, where serious damage can be done". Did you mean on a episode-by-episode basis, as in not much harm is done to the episode by having an article about it, or not much harm is done to Wikipedia and its reputation WRT episode articles in general? (Don't worry, whichever way you answer I'm not about to create 146 articles on Degrassi episodes!)
Personally, I'm a little surprised by some of the earlier articles that were given FA status. "Cape Feare", for example. If you take away the references from the BBC (just a summary as part of their episode guide from when they aired the show) and the DVD commentaries, we're left with 10 references for the entire article, eight of which are used in the Reception section. One of those, ref 8 is the opinion of 1 fan that happened to appear in USA Today, the rest all say the same thing: "this episode was one of the good ones" (paraphrasing). Same with "You Only Move Twice". Twelve references, eight primary sources, only four secondary. Three of them discuss a character and say "he is good", the fourth discusses the episode and says "it is good" (again, paraphrasing). I'm not sure if notability has really been established for those two articles. The others are better, increasing as you get towards the bottom of the list, which only goes to show how the FA process is improving over time. Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 17:15, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
The Simpsons project earned its own custom triple crown.

Jimbo, so you'd seriously delete articles that the community has decided to feature? Now I don't call myself an inclusionist, but there are five volunteers who worked very hard for many months to earn a spot here. I look at this thread and shake my head; to them your post has got to be a punch in the gut. DurovaCharge! 07:20, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

My comment is not a comment on the quality of their work. One could write a beautiful poem that changes the history of English literature forever, and I would vote to delete it from Wikipedia. There are many factors beyond just the amount of quality effort that someone puts into something that determine whether or not it is right for Wikipedia. In any event, I am not suggesting that I would delete anything. I am just giving some context on my current thinking in these areas. Primary research can be great. It just doesn't belong in Wikipedia for a variety of reasons that we understand better today than we did some years ago.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:24, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Writing Featured Articles using research from secondary sources from newspaper articles, books, and academic journals in an article about a notable topic in popular culture is not "primary research". Cirt (talk) 08:41, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, if that it what these articles were, I would agree completely. But let's face it, they are not. They are primarily original research.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:24, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
How so? Taking A Streetcar Named Marge at random, aside from the five-paragraph plot summary (which is cited not only to the original primary source, but also to an episode guide, which although not completely "independent of the subject" is nonetheless a secondary source), the rest of the article is thoroughly referenced to reliable secondary sources like the New York Times and an analytical book on the subject of The Simpsons. I don't see any original research to speak of there. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 20:10, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Josiah Rowe (talk · contribs). These articles are in fact not primarily original research, but instead rely heavily on secondary sources. Cirt (talk) 05:26, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Wow, the creator of wikipedia thinks all of my FAs (and thus most likely a lot of the other articles I have spent a lot of time working on) are just original research and should probably be deleted. Way to motivate your volunteers there Jimbo. -- Scorpion0422 23:16, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo, I'm curious, what are you basing your "they're primarily original research" claim on? Which of the articles contain huge amounts of primary sourced material? Or original research? Because if it's there, we need to fix it, right? But I can't find it. Could you give us some specifics please? Gran2 08:18, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

What has changed since your original proclamation to make you reconsider? The cynical side of me says it's the for profit Wikia you launched which would love said articles and their traffic... but I hope it's wrong. the wub "?!" 00:24, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Minimum length for FAs?

This discussion has been moved here by Ipatrol (talk)

process & precedent for explicit image type

This relates to commons:Image:Anal Creampie.JPG, recently placed on MediaWiki:Bad image list after being used for vandalism. A couple years back, you deleted Image:Creampiesex.jpg, used in Creampie (sexual act), with the edit summary "Image would trigger 2257 record keeping requirements." (It appears that the image and log has since been oversighted, but I wrote down the incident at Wikipedia:Pornography#Jimbo Wales on obscenity.) Given how similar the images are, I wonder if you could clarify whether your previous deletion was a one-off and the stance of the higher ups have changed in the meantime, if you reserve summary deletion of these types of images for yourself, if admins have authority to do out of process deletion for these types of images as well, or if you wish this image to go through normal deletion discussions? Thanks, BanyanTree 01:14, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

All images which would trigger 2257 record keeping requirements should be deleted on sight, and the uploader blocked for simple vandalism. If anything has changed about my stance on this in recent years, it is a significantly lower tolerance for trolling us. I do not think it is out-of-process to delete such stuff on sight, and if it is, then the process needs to be changed to make sure it happens.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:43, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the clarification. - BanyanTree 22:16, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Having had time now to review the particular case, it seems clear to me that the user in question was trolling.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:52, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

And to all, out of interest, here's the relevant section of Code that covers this - Alison 22:56, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Also probably of interest to anyone reading this, according to Wikipedia "On 23 October 2007, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the record keeping requirements were facially invalid because they imposed an overbroad burden on legitimate, constitutionally protected speech." (Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act) Jimmy, when you said "all images which would trigger 2257 record keeping requirements", did you mean to include all images that would have triggered such requirements had the law not been deemed unconstitutional? If so, I believe this would represent a significant policy change. Anthony (talk) 23:30, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
It has always been policy to block users who are simply vandalizing Wikipedia and trolling others. These kinds of images have zero encyclopedic value. I recommend that we continue to take a hard line against them.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:27, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I guess I've got to wade through this crap to figure out what you're saying. So you would recommend blocking the uploader of [3], [4], and [5]? Should [6] be deleted as having zero encyclopedic value? At least two of these images are of topics explicitly mentioned by 2557 (via 2556). These types of images have been listed on deletion pages time and time again, and each time they are kept, not deleted, and certainly not deleted with a block of the uploader. Maybe you recommend taking a hard line against them, but this would be a departure from current practice, not a continuation of it. Anthony (talk) 19:01, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Hi Jimbo, in light of these comments, how would you view this image ? -- zzuuzz (talk) 23:10, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
It should obviously be speedy deleted and the uploader blocked.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:27, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
In contrast to the above, from a PR point of view, these images are detrimental. Cenarium Talk 01:08, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
OK, but it wasn't. As you see, a majority of commenters in fact recommended keeping the image. I don't have the bit to enact your recommendation of the obvious. Maybe you'd be willing to speedy delete it yourself, along with those 4 I mentioned above, and block all the uploaders. I don't actually recommend this, because I think it'd cause quite an uproar, though I do agree with your sentiment. Anthony (talk) 19:10, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo does not own Wikimedia nor Wikipedia and he both knows this and acts accordingly. Thus I read his above comment as indicating that he believes consensus should be that the image is deleted, not that he believes he should violate consensus and delete it himself. Since consensus did not agree with Jimbo's statement above, there are several possibilities: Jimbo could try to change consensus, Jimbo could decide maybe he was wrong, Jimbo could believe that his saying what he said usefully provides him with deniability, Jimbo could take an eventualist approach and accept that sooner or later the right thing will happen, and other possibilities as well. WAS 4.250 (talk) 19:46, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I fail to see the point of this comment. Could you please explain your reasons for posting it?— dαlus Contribs /Improve 21:13, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
WAS, he said that he does "not think it is out-of-process to delete such stuff on sight". Then, after presumably looking at that deletion discussion, he said the image "should obviously be speedy deleted and the uploader blocked". Speedy deletion candidates aren't subject to vote, so I assumed he meant the image "should obviously be speedy deleted and the uploader blocked" despite a majority vote against it. Actually, I really can't explain his comment. It's almost like he didn't even look at the link or examine the details before commenting. But I'm trying to assume good faith here. So I'm trying to clarify. Anthony (talk) 14:09, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Since Jimbo is no more of a deletion process wonk than me (neither of us are spending lots of time doing deletion "work" here at Wikipedia), I interpreted "speedy deletion" as an English language term rather than a Wikipedia process term of art. But maybe he did mean it the way you thought. But even if he did, I doubt he had in mind the specific details of that process as identified by you. People are always picking up terms of art and using them in non-exact ways. WAS 4.250 (talk) 14:49, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
That's why I asked a followup question, so he can clarify what he meant. (As an aside, though, the phrase "speedy deleted" is not a common English language phrase. Google the phrase. It's almost exclusively people using it to mean "deleting an article without going through a discussion".) Anthony (talk) 02:48, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Most pornography is uploaded by those with nefarious intent. Jimbo doesn't interfer much in day-to-day operations, and can't be expected to know the climate or practices. How much of an investigation did you really expect him to undertake? Videous Omnia and David Shakebone are fairly obviously not trolls, but this requires a more substantial investigation that you can reasonable demand of Jimbo for a question settled so long ago. WilyD 14:45, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo often says things like "I don't know, I have not looked into it." He could have done that here. Perhaps he will do so in the future more often. I am hopeful. WAS 4.250 (talk) 14:54, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Really? Videmus Omnia? An editor with over 30,000 edits on English Wikipedia and over 2000 edits on Commons? It's a moot point since Videmus Omnia has left anyway, but it still seems a little off to say he should have been blocked. Also note that the picture actually went through OTRS, presumably someone who dealt with it there should be blocked too... the wub "?!" 00:18, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Above Jimbo says: "These kinds of images have zero encyclopedic value." Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to all. It is not limited to images with encyclopedic value. See See for what erotic media that professional librarians consider appropriate for public libraries. I do not believe Jimbo is a professional librarian nor does he sometimes appear to understand that Wikia is not "the rest of the library"; the rest of WikiMedia is. But perhaps he does realize this and his comment was merely a regrettable error. We all make mistakes. With Jimbo's high visibility and people's constant efforts to have him tell them what to do, his off the cuff remarks sometimes carry more weight than they should. I guess this is just a case of an off the cuff remark, sensibly ignored. WAS 4.250 (talk) 13:38, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

This entire conversation stinks of "Oh, lets catch Jimbo in a doozie!" This isn't a newspaper interview and Jimbo isn't running for public office... so lets just move along, please? ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 20:03, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
There's some lovely irony in you telling people to move along, over three days after the last comment :) the wub "?!" 20:43, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, there is. I... ummm... plead stupidity. :) (there was some discussion about this on anouther page that lead me to false conclusion that this was still an active issue... doh!) ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 02:07, 12 October 2008 (UTC)


There has been a lot of discussion concerning the use of ip's on Wikipedia. The amount of vandalism by ip's must take up 90% of the reverts that good editors have to deal with. The question I ask is, is there somewhere the community can discuss this, will it make a difference discussing it, and if there is a majority of editors who agree that everyone should create an account can it be implemented? Jack forbes (talk) 01:13, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

This does keep coming up. See WP:Perennial proposals#Prohibit anonymous users from editing if you have not already done so. If there were a consensus for change, then perhaps a change might occur. So far, there has been no consensus. ៛ Bielle (talk) 01:31, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
When was this last discussed? And I don't mean by admins. I mean by the everyday user. Jack forbes (talk) 01:35, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Editors should be logged in users where the last comment by an "everyday user" is dated August 30, 2008. The one prior to that was sometime in 2007. ៛ Bielle (talk) 01:44, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
What I'm really asking is, can there be a discussion within the community concerning ip's and there refusal to register? And if so, where can it take place within wikipedia? Jack forbes (talk) 01:46, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I am no expert. Others may comment further. As far as I know, proposals to change the basic parameters of Wikipedia are always aired at Wikipedia:Village pump. If you bring this one up, a proposal that someone seems to raise on about a thice-yearly basis, you are not likely to draw a crowd, except of those who point you to WP:Perennial proposals. There is no other place, open to all, for such proposals, as far as I know. And there is nothing to stop you trying. ៛ Bielle (talk) 01:56, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the advise. Perhaps the only way to draw a crowd is to let every user know there is a discussion on this, how can we do this? Jack forbes (talk) 02:02, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I do not think there is any way to do such a thing aside from the types of banners that are used to announce elections and the like. I doubt this proposal, which has been turned down so many times already, or any such proposal for that matter, would be deemed by the developers to be worthy of such advertising. Any other attempts to reach large numbers of users would likely be deemed spamming or canvassing, which are forms of vandalism, and be deleted. If you put up a proposal on the Village Pump, those who are interested will comment. Those who do not know about it are, more than likely, those who do not know enough (or care at all) about, the inner workings of Wikipedia or are too new to have the Village Pump on their watchlist. Without knowledge, concern or experience, there is not likely to be informed opinion. ៛ Bielle (talk) 02:26, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not a fan of IP accounts either. But yes, mandatory registration (which I support), seems beyond my grasp. PS- Thanks for creating Wikipedia, JW. If I ever meet you? I (an a buddy or two of mine) shall give you the Wayne's World salute We're not worthy, we're not worthy... Cheers. GoodDay (talk) 21:19, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Srebrenica Genocide

Dear Wikipedia Administrator, I tried to move Srebrenica Massacre article to Srebrenica Genocide. However, I got automatically generated message that the name already exist. True, it does exist, but the main article is located at Srebrenica Massacre page, and I wanted it to appear at Srebrenica Genocide. The system message said that administrator can do it. As you know, Srebrenica genocide was not merely a massacre. It was a genocide. This was confirmed by the highest UN Courts, namely the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the Hague and the International Court of Justice, known as the World Court. Dear Administrator, would you please be so kind to move the page to Srebrenica Genocide, so the content and discussion page appears at Srebrenica Genocide location? Please respond, and thank you.Bosniak (talk) 06:53, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia articles names are chosen by the subjects most common name. In the english speaking world the event in question is most commonly known as the "Srebrenica Massacre".Geni 08:57, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
And for the future, this would be better handeled at Wikipedia:Requested moves. §hep¡Talk to me! 21:00, 12 October 2008 (UTC)


So you met Stephen Fry a while ago? Did you know who he was or did you Google him?! The Rambling Man (talk) 20:54, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

I did! He was touring America. He interviewed me, it was sweet!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:52, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Shame it was such a short segment, and his treatment of five US states in an hour is more travelogue than analysis, but Sunday evenings on British television tend to be like that- mostly harmless. I've added the encounter to Jimmy Wales on the basis that as far as Stephen Fry is concerned, as a national treasure, it's notable. Feel free to remove. --Rodhullandemu 23:57, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I saw the interview last night and, although it was short, it was a good interview. It was obvious that Stephen Fry likes, and uses, Wikipedia. It made me feel proud. Graham Colm Talk 16:44, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, funny that, me too. I've been harping on about us "volunteers" to my colleagues at work in a vague attempt to get more decent editors! The Rambling Man (talk) 17:11, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Is it online anywhere for those of us not in the UK? Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 18:22, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
It's only visible in the UK from here, because the BBC do not yet have "On Demand" licenses for the rest of the world. Shame. --Rodhullandemu 18:29, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Given the UK public paid for it...! A UK-based proxy would work around it, though George The Dragon (talk) 18:42, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Well I still keep a house in the UK, and I still pay my licence fee. I've tried to use a UK proxy before on the BBC but failed (probably due to my technical inabilities). Could you post a message on my talk page explaining what I would need to do? Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 08:32, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Matthew - theres another way which might suit you, without messing around with proxies. As a Bit who has lived abroad for a number of years, I use UKnova to download torrents of UK TV- Its all legal and legit, as they only host torrents of programmes that are not currently commercially available. Something like the Stephen Fry programme will be up there for certain, assuming that the BBC have not already rushed this one to DVD ;-) Hope this helps •CHILLDOUBT• 09:05, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

On wikipedia's parodies

There are two well known parodies to Wikipedia: Uncylopedia and Dramitca. My question is how to they get the MediaWiki engine? And, why if you type [[Uncyclopedia:the name of an article on Uncyclopedia]], the link works? Does it have to do with their use of the MediaWiki engine? Or is this something the developers did that they thought would be funny? --Ipatrol (talk) 14:31, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Anyone can get the software from, the links between different sites (that work on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites) are configured centrally at m:Interwiki map. Conrad.Irwin (on wikt) 17:22, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Uncyclopedia is a Wikia project, so there are some unofficial ties between here and there. Not to mention a significant overlap of communities. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 19:06, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Question for Jimbo

Hi Jimbo - I had a question. Do you kick yourself for not having figured a way to make billions from Wikipedia like those Google Guys? I mean, did you just kind of sleep-walk into giving it away as the project took on a life of its own and became the standard-bearer almost for this whole community-orientated Web 2.0 movement? I mean, you would have been slated probably more than any other man on the Internet (perhaps the world!) if you had commercialised it once the horse had bolted right? I'm sure you're a wealthy man but think about (literally) the Billions you could have made if you fact to sum up this question - do you ever think about those lost Billions Jimbo?

Thanks for your time. I'm honestly interested from a psychological standpoint. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:08, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm extremely proud of Wikipedia as it is, and wouldn't change a thing. This is historic. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:11, 17 October 2008 (UTC)


You have made a very good website, but please don't allow random IPs to edit. Registration should be mandatory. (talk) 07:02, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Would you mind expounding on your logic a bit? I'm interested to hear your reasons, especially since you did not choose to make an account to post your message. GlassCobra 07:04, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I have an account but I was just lazy to login :O Most vandalism is done by school IPs and
other unregistered users [citation needed], so why not just make registration mandatory! (talk) 07:13, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Because most of our good edits are also made by IP's as well.[7] The gain of preventing (quickly reverted) vandalism is outweighed by the loss of quality edits, often made off hand by unregistered users reading our articles and fixing errors. Pedro :  Chat  07:18, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Please don't use templates like that in other editors talk page comments. Either way the link is now provided for you. Pedro :  Chat  07:21, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I think that is the same guy ( who posted message in my talk page? --Googlean Results 07:24, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

lol you're right Googlean (talk) 08:33, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Note: Is it all shared networks?,, all of them are kept on adding/reverting/edit warring in Bajrang Dal article. I see that they know our policies well as can be seen from their comments at others talk page. 1 --Googlean Results 09:32, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I've semi protected the article Pedro :  Chat  10:05, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Both Googlean and the IP have a history of sockpuppeting. YellowMonkey (click here to choose Australia's next top model) 05:23, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Additionally, see my post at ANI and this threads too. I explained my rationale also over there on too old history of sockpuppeting. Please note that I came to this (Jimbo's) talk page only when I noticed that the ip posted a message in my talk page and later moved to Jimbo Wales page here. --Googlean Results 04:20, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a "history" of sock puppetry, please. What I did on Bajrang Dal was JUST FOR FUN because I don't like Bajrang Dal so I decided to mock them. and I never used multiple accounts to do this either, just my ip and only recently. I have now been punished for my deeds by the block. I apologize for this and won't do it again. I apologies to Googlean, Soman, Shyam and others whom I caused trouble. please forgive me and close this thread. (talk) 15:54, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
=I would like to make the point that articles are sopposed to understandably explain things. And I suggest you have your editors about science see how dr. Isaac Asimov went about explaining things, because he said and I really believe that he wanted the readers to understand. WFPMWFPM (talk) 00:08, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
=And as for project management, you've got the best system of operations since slavery. A bunch of dedicated people working hard on projects for free!!!. Wow! WFPMWFPM (talk) 03:22, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Pier Gerlofs Donia

Do you personally think this is a good article, Jimbo Wales? It is a candidate for Good Article class and has been put "on hold" by it's reviewer. Do you think it is fit for that class now? -The Bold Guy- (talk) 16:04, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Overall it looks pretty good. It looks like the reviewer has some concerns about the sourcing, and when those are addressed, I am sure it will pass. I will say: I found the article quite interesting personally, and enjoyed reading it. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:42, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Thank you very much mr. Wales. I'll see what happens, if you say it is good enough I am pretty sure it must be. I'll just take a look at the sourcing. -The Bold Guy- (talk) 04:52, 16 October 2008 (UTC)


Hello. In face of my recent efforts as translating articles from other wikipedias, currently Tenerife I would really find it useful if wikipedia had some programme for translating articles between wikipedias such as this. To be able to translate whole articles like google translation would be of enormous benefit, particularly if it is of a high quality and doesn't have too many mistranslations like some of the other translation engines. Google translation appears to be the best on the web but you can't transfer whole pages from it with having to sort out each sentence. Also it offers a wider translation of languages which would be of major use translating articles in real need of expansion from other wikipedias from parts of the world like Sweden, Norway, Japan, Vietnam etc. Given that you regularly state the desire for the world to have equal and free access to knowledge in their native language seemigly some sort of wiki-inter translation would probably serve other language wikipedias with evne more benefit than it would have for us if they in turn could translate some of our articles into English. I really think investing in a translation service which is the most accurate and successful on the web would enchance the wiki service and I know that many would find it of enormous benefit. If an article is enchanced using such a programme, then it could produce a tag which indicates it has been translated using that tool and needs proof reading for accuracy. If we had such a programme, the other wikipedias would develop at a greater rate and we also would see a far greater flow of knowledge of if we had the ability within the wiki site to transfer information. Our thousands of stubs on places in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Switzerland for starters could be de stubbed within hours. Just think how other wikipedias could benefit, if Indonesian wikipedia for instance was permitted to transfer the whole Ming dynasty article into their native language.

I remember watching one of your videos which features people in the Arabic world emphasising how much they benefit from access to knowledge and the problems with finding information in their own language. For instance see this. If within the framework of the wiki software you gave people the chance to translate an article like Ulysses S. Grant into Arabic for example as here this would be a huge step towards sharing knowledge. Don't you think? Blofeld of SPECTRE (talk) 16:09, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Even the best automatic translation software is still pretty bad. I just tried having Google Translate convert the Arabic Wikipedia article on New York City to English, and among other things, it came up with this gem of a sentence, which I'm sure is not what the original meant:
"The United States has accused American Al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden in the implementation of the attack."
The problem with automatic translation is not the incomprehensible sentences they tend to produce -- those are easy to spot and fix or remove -- it's when they produce reasonable-sounding translations that don't mean what the original meant. --Carnildo (talk) 20:16, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Many automatic translators translate words but not syntax, so in a language with different syntax than ours, you get incorrect translations. So in the original language, "The innocent woman the policeman killed", with "innocent woman" as the object, gets translated as "The innocent woman killed the policeman," with "innocent woman" as the subject. Erik the Red 2 ~~~~ 16:15, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

User page vandalism

Nowadays, I notice growing user page vandalism in your page by anons and newly reg’d users. Why aren’t you or any admins protecting it? --Googlean Results 04:18, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

"Anyone can edit this page" is the short answer, although this, and Jimbo's user page, must be among the most watched we have; so vandalism is normally reverted very quickly. --Rodhullandemu 00:44, 18 October 2008 (UTC)


hi, i have an account in wikipedia in spanish, i'm blocked 2 years ago (july 2006), i don't entry more in wikipedia from 2 years ago, i want now have that account. can you do something? sorry for my english, thank you ciao —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:38, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Usted tendría que preguntar en la Wikipedia en español si están tu bloqueados allí. Eso sería a la comunidad. --Rodhullandemu 00:50, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Really astonishing assertion...

Hi Jimbo...I was looking over the admin noticeboard and came across discussion of the "keep" rationale in this AfD: [8]. What is your opinion on the comment made by the closing admin that "While yes, his article violates the BLP policy, there is no deadline and exception can be made"? That seems contrary to the way I understand WP:BLP, but then again I -am- a n00b admin and there's a good chance I'm being overly rigid here. Thanks for your input...nice place you've got here. Gladys J Cortez 00:32, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Is it possible that the closing admin meant to type BIO, and accidentally typed BLP (which is generally used much, much more frequently than BIO) from force of habit? I do stuff like that sometimes, and from the context, BLP really does not make much sense. I'll ask him... J.delanoygabsadds 00:40, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
While I don't agree with the closing admin, neither do I find the close unreasonable or actionable. Although I am not persuaded by the argument that we should revisit it in a few weeks because doing the right thing (my gloss, not his) would cause too much drama right now, neither do I find the biography particularly problematic at this point in time. What's notable here, if anything, is the incident. Historians, if they discuss this at all, will discuss it in the context of the history of the power of the press and the (warning: my POV will show) ludicrous stupidity of the contemporary American campaign process. This poor guy, who is, at the end of the day, just a regular guy (that's sort of the point of the meme, after all), will in my view likely live to regret his temporary fame. There's something really disgusting about the press coverage of him, but I haven't yet put my finger on it in a way that I can express eloquently. Leave the poor bastard alone, I say. Still, today, it is a meme, and lots of people are googling for it, and I can see the argument (though I don't agree with it) that it isn't sufficiently harmful to do anything about right now. I respect the closing admin's decision. That's what admins have to do sometimes: have the courage to make tough calls.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:55, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
There's a screenplay in it somewhere, but I highly doubt he'll ever see a dime from it. (I have purposely avoided, as much as it's possible, the campaign season. It puts me off my feed.) As regards the close: while I agree it sorta has to be a keep, since (as you said) people WILL Google was the combination of "violates BLP" and "exceptions can be made" that made me say "!!!" That, IMIHO, is a scaaaaary precedent. But--since you've expressed in the past an extreme respect for BLP above all, as the "first do no harm" directive--if you think this is acceptable, then I'll conclude that I'm overreacting. :) Thanks for your input, anyhow. Gladys J Cortez 04:14, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
It merits closely watching. It's pretty clear that people are digging up dirt on the poor guy. If that continues, then he becomes less of a cute election-year story and more a victim of tabloid journalism.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:08, 18 October 2008 (UTC)


Hello Mr. Wales. I recently came across Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ginger Jolie. She is a former "Penthouse Pet" who is trying to get her article removed and get on with her life. The general tone of the AfD discussion is against deletion. To me the whole thing seems kind of ugly and I think it has the possibility of turning into a problem for WP's public image. Especially when the issue, and Ms Jolie's notability, are so minor. Steve Dufour (talk) 07:58, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

I wish you luck with it. I doubt if it will be deleted. If you want to argue that there are almost no reliable sources in the article, well, you're right. But that particular content area is a disaster in that regard, and you'll have a much bigger battle on your hands if you want to try to clean it up.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:01, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, upon further review of the deletion debate, I suppose it might very well be deleted. If it weren't, I would certainly take out the Luke Ford blog stuff - no way in hell is that site a WP:RS.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:04, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. The "delete" side is actually making a surge. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 14:48, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Interviewed by the great Stephen Fry, no less...

Hi Jimbo. I have just been watching a show on BBC 2 Television in the UK, "Stephen Fry in America" - great to finally see you "in real life" as it were. A wonderful interview. I will be speaking to the BBC and seeing if they would be kind enough to release a little copy of that for us to put up somewhere. It would be good for all the non-UK wikipedians who wouldn't necessarily have seen that show. Great job! Thor Malmjursson (talk) 19:07, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

I taped it and just saw your bit a minute ago. You were great! It should help counter all the British media publicity Wikipedia's getting, which isn't overly nice. I remember the Daily Mail complaining that Wikipedia said a town in Wales threw sheep around as a sport. We're better without adverts. Well done Jimbo! Dendodge|TalkContribs 09:38, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I particularly liked the bit about Wikipedia's admins and co representing old fashioned American values, and encouraging free speech. Giano (talk) 16:31, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Mmm not the first time Wales has been slated by wikipedia and Mr. "Wales" himself. How ironic. Wasn't it Jimbo who tactfully implied that Welsh wikipedia was pointless or unnecessary? Blofeld of SPECTRE (talk) 21:25, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Please Do This Jim

Hey Jim, can you semi-protect Rugrats for me. The reason I ask is because for saftey reasons. Thanks, --P.S. I Rock Wikipedia! (talk) 20:45, 19 October 2008 (UTC)DJ WikiBob

I'd recommend WP:RFPP with full details of the reason the page requires protection (not just "safety reasons" - the team over there will need a bit more than that). Pedro :  Chat  20:47, 19 October 2008 (UTC)


Hey Jimbo.

I saw you come by the election preparation page, and I was sorta hoping you'd chime in on the current discussion about requiring nominees to identify before the vote. I set out my reasoning in favor, and the proposal has support, but isn't unanimous and I'd like to see where you stand on the matter. It is very much a (Wikipedian) philosophical question, and your own opinion on the matter is likely to be influential. — Coren (talk) 22:52, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I will require identification to either me or the Foundation before appointing. This is my personal requirement in my traditional role in English Wikipedia, not a Foundation requirement. I don't see any reason to require it before voting. If someone runs, and is appointed, and refuses to identify, that's fine, they just won't be appointed. But if someone runs, and does not win the election, I see no reason to bother.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:29, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Alright, danke. — Coren (talk) 03:03, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry you got slagged for posting there. You must enjoy going places where you aren't recognized. Jehochman Talk 03:06, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Err, what? — Coren (talk) 03:15, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Agreed; that's a very odd comment, Jehochman. Coren is a fine administrator who asked a reasonable question. Jimbo's answer was equally reasonable. DurovaCharge! 06:41, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, wait, I think we both parsed this backwards: Jeochman was sorry that Jimbo got slagged, and that he must therefore enjoy places where he isn't recognized (as opposed to places where he is and people jump all over him). We got the subject wrong and saw sarcasm where a literal interpretation was more likely.  :-) — Coren (talk) 14:00, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Category:Living people

Hi Jimbo. I was planning on CfD'ing this category, but the notice at the top says "This category is for administrative purposes, per Jimbo Wales. Do not nominate it for CfD; see Talk page for more details". I understand the rationale behind your two year old "keep" comment, and am all for enforcing BLP quite strictly, but my reasoning is this; we have Category:Living people, with 310,836 articles, with the sole purpose of making enforcement of BLP easier. We also have Category:Biography articles of living people, with 252,252 articles, also with the sole purpose of enforcing BLP. Since the second category is placed on the talk page of articles, we could remove the first one from the article page, since this category is intended for editors, not for readers (a cat with 300,000 articles is useless for readers). Do you agree that, since there are two massive categories for the same purpose, a discussion on removing one of them can now be had without endangering BLP? Fram (talk) 12:18, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

I remove my objections to the deletion of this category, for the reasons that you have given. Thank you! (I have no opinion on whether or not the category should be kept, but certainly a discussion makes sense.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:27, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. The discussion is located at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2008 October 20#Category:Living people. Fram (talk) 12:46, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Please have these people contacted

Please have someone reach out to these instructors. Better you or a Foundation member of staff than some random Wikipedia administrator, I think. Uncle G (talk) 12:32, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

I have a question...

Ello, Jimbo! Pleasure to talk with you! I seem to, rather inadvertantly, be getting into an edit war with an anonymous user (an IP). (S)he continues to delete factual information, and is claiming that it is false... I have warned him/her to stop his/her reverts, but (s)he will not stop... should I block him/her for vandalizing? The article is Tevin Campbell ([history]). Here is his/her talk page, where I have warned him/her to stop. If you could follow with me on this on my talk page, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Mr. Old-Skool (talk) 22:44, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Editor hasn't edited since last warning but at present, it looks like a content dispute; take it to WP:DR if you can't sort it out between yourselves, but the article talk page is really the place for this discussion, where other editors may pitch in with their views. --Rodhullandemu 22:51, 20 October 2008 (UTC)


Hey Jimbo, can I interview you? -- (talk) 01:10, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Detailed governance of the community

In reference to what you said here [9], why hasn't an overall governance committee or process ever been established for en.Wikipedia? You know, something like a configuration control board, to direct technical improvements, manage policy maintenance and changes, and implementing and supervising a process for making final decisions on content disputes? The fact that the "community" hasn't been able to get together to get flagged revisions implemented shows that we need some kind of elected governance willing and able to make some decisions for the rest of us. Cla68 (talk) 23:46, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia not a bureacracy. It is neither politics, nor an adminstration in which politicians rule over others. Most people rightly have a freedom to edit where most people function as equals and have equal rights to discuss the best course of action by consensus as the "community" involves everyone rather than a panel of judges to do things in discretion. This is partly what wikipedia is about. Now some people may delude themselves that they become rulers by accepting adminship but the principal has always been clear from day one right? If there is a "higher power" of judges so to speak it makes general consensus highly inferior. Given the scope of wikipedia it is inevitable that disputes will arise on a daily basis as so many different people will have contrasting views on articles or policies. However much crap goes on at ANI and petty squabbles that some of us see from time to time, we have got where we have so far so something must be working if the overall result is what we have today compared to January 2001. Blofeld of SPECTRE (talk) 01:10, 21 October 2008 (UTC)


I just wanted to commend you on creating this great website. Wikipedia is a great resource. The fact that anyone can edit is a blessing, but, sadly, also a curse. I hope to aid you and other positive editors as much as possible in combating vandalism.

Good hunting, ~RaveRaiser blessed this place with his holy gaze~ 01:45, 21 October 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by RaveRaiser (talkcontribs)

Transnational Qualification Framework

Dear Jimmy Wales,

This is just to share a thought that I think essential.

While going through different Transnational Qualification Framework movements to write an article in Wikipedia, I thought it would be ideal if such efforts could be coordinated to a global level to achieve real Transnational Qualifications Framework. Then the educational institutions and educators all over the world will be able to collaborate effectively in the process of providing quality education to all.

I have added the article with mimimum details, I will be strengthening the article with more information shortly. Please make TQF issue live in discussions, if you think it appropriate.

Warm regards Anil (talk) 09:09, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I have another question....

Can someone tell me how to make a user sub-page? Can any user make one, or just admin? Mr. Old-Skool (talk) 22:55, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Technically speaking, anyone can create a user sub-page, not just the user whose account it is. If you want to create a new sub-page, probably the simplest way is to enter into the searchbox "User:Mr. Old-Skool/PageNameHere", replacing PageNameHere with the desired page name, then clicking "Go". It'll ask if you'd like to create the sub-page, so click "Start the User:Mr. Old-Skool/pagename page" link. SMC (talk) 08:07, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Just for future reference, you'd probably get a faster response by placing your question on the Wikipedia helpdesk, which is designed for these kinds of Wikipedia-specific questions. Cheers. SMC (talk) 08:09, 22 October 2008 (UTC)


I'm talking to JIMBO WALES???? 1!!!!1oneone!!111 (talk) 11:38, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Also Jimbo, can you have a look into the Scots Wikipedia and tell me why it's necessary, seems an insult to me. Thanks. (talk) 12:17, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
    • Different language Wikis are approved by the Wikimedia Foundation Language subcommittee; although I can't find it, that committee has approved the creation of this Wiki. Try asking at the Meta Forum. --Rodhullandemu 13:19, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
      • m:Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Scots. Hut 8.5 18:48, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
        • What the hell? "1.6 million active speakers and 2+ million passive understanding". They were kidding, right? (talk) 01:03, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
          • No. PeterSymonds (talk) 07:50, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
            • I'd personally like to see where they got that from. (talk) 13:23, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
              • Our article on the Scots language should be informative on the subject of how many speakers there are and how this is determined. Uncle G (talk) 18:07, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
                • It really isn't a language, it's just a very weak localization of English. I see now where the 1.6 active speakers came from now, but I still cannot grasp where the "2+ million passive understanding" comes from. Maybe you can enlighten me? (talk) 19:33, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
                  • According to [10], there's a large number of people who "understand Scots and probably use a number of Scots words on a day to day basis". 2.5 million is about half the population of Scotland. Hut 8.5 17:44, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
                  • Perhaps its the number of people in the rest of the UK who watch River City. Rockpocket 00:11, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia's Expert Peer Review process (or lack of such) for Science related articles

Hi - I posted the section with the same name on my talk page. Could you take part in discussion ? Thanks ARP Apovolot (talk) 22:04, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

BLP privacy policy for limited public figures

I've made a proposal to clarify the policy here. Since you have previously expressed your opinion on the suitability of Joe the plumber as an encyclopedic topic, this is a notification for your input on the proposed policy clarification. VG 11:39, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

It sounds like a move in the right direction. The one thing I would caution against is using US law as the guideline, if this would give people the idea that BLP only means "not breaking US law". Our BLP can be and should be much stricter than libel law - my view of what constitutes a good biography goes far beyond simply "not libeling someone". At the same time, I think that the law does contain a great deal of well-thought-out distinctions that we can use to inform our understanding, and I believe that introducing into our rules a notion of "limited public figure" will prove to be useful and helpful for the reasons you have outlined.

I am not contradicting (not intentionally anyway) what Mike Godwin said, but I'm concerned that it might be misinterpreted. I think he's saying that "Statement A is libel in the US, but not libel in country Z, so we can say it in Wikipedia" is something the Foundation would oppose. I don't think the Foundation has any objections (at least I hope not!) to us adopting a much higher standard than "it is legal in the US" for our editorial judgments about what is appopriate within Wikipedia. We might choose, and with good reason, to obey not only US libel law but also UK libel law. We might also choose, and with good reason, to ignore some aspects of non-US law insofar as they would interfere with our encyclopedic, humanitarian, NPOV mission. And all that is within the realm of our community editorial judgment.

I should add: I read over the proposal and the discussion of it only briefly; I am not taking sides on any of the discussions underway there. I'm just handwaving to generally say, this looks like a sensible possibility.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:10, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Satire and parody

Jimmy, what is the proper way to write articles on works of satire and parody in which the cultural references they make are so obvious, but at the same time, not sourced, specifically when writing episodes of South Park? While some interpretation is subjective, and should be removed, other bits are so obvious that to not make mention of them would be ignoring the intent of the creators of the work. Specifically, there is an edit conflict on the Pandemic (South Park) article over this material. The parodies of Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project in the episode are OBVIOUS. Do we really need a cite to establish what is clearly intended by the creators? How are we supposed to write about satire/parody when creators of such works generally do not explicitly tell us "Oh, here's where we were satirizing that movie...", and "Over here is where we were parodying that TV show...." Moreover, User:Alastairward keeps removing the Cloverfield references, even though that is referenced. Please advise. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 16:08, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't have a strong opinion about this, other than to say that I personally think there's a ton of inappropriate original research in articles of that type, and that I'm not personally inclined to get involved at all.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:02, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

So then what are those of us disagreeing over it supposed to do? Nightscream (talk) 01:00, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Simple answer is to point them at WP:SYNTH; just because an "X" here looks like a "Y" there is insufficient as I see it to draw the conclusion that one causes the other. That's a purist argument, but it's an artefact of the way we have verifiability policy, which is non-negotiable. On the other hand, in practical terms, "everybody knows this" is a strong argument, but not compelling, since it could be used in other situations as a slippery slope, and I doubt that would be a good move for an encyclopedia to take, because it weakens another core policy, WP:OR. Whilst I understand the frustrations of those to whom these things are "obvious", we are not a purveyor of original research, and that should be made clear, in gentle, civil, but firm terms, to those editors who wish to draw conclusions unsupported by anything other than reliable third-party evidence. Sad, in some ways, but that's what we are here. --Rodhullandemu 01:14, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Remember: The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. Unless there's a reliable source for the information, don't include it. DendodgeTalkContribs 11:06, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Jimmy, what do you think about fancruft and fanboyism?

I've been recently dealing with some newbies who insert personal analysis and/or point-of-view info about a certain actor or actress, like in Sarah Geronimo. I know that fanboyism is prevalent in Philippine cinema and popular culture, and some newbies are unwittingly taking their obsession with them when they edit an article. You said that there are a lot of inappropriate original research and unnecessary trivia about such stuff, but I have a somewhat hard time dealing with such situations, especially with those die-hard fans. What do you think about this? God Bless and have a nice day... Blake Gripling (talk) 01:11, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

The primary role of the Arbitration Committee

Do you see the primary role of the Arbitration Committee as having a policing function in which breaches in policy are investigated and prosecuted; or primarily having a dispute resolution function where interpersonal disputes are investigated and appropriate remedies applied? Martintg (talk) 02:09, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I see the primary role of the Arbitration Committee as having a dispute resolution function. However, I think that the ArbCom can and should take whatever actions are wise to ensure the smooth functioning of Wikipedia. As a trusted group of users with deep experience, I think they can and should sometimes take on some investigative roles and enforcement roles.

In my experience, when people ask questions like yours, they are usually not so much asking about the general philosophical or constitutional question, but rather expressing a concern about a specific case. Did you have something in mind?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:59, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, my question was derived from a particular case, but it is more a question of principle rather than of concern. One particular participant claimed the primary role of the Arbcom is to establish if policy was breached, rather than investigate interpersonal disputes. This put some doubts in my mind, despite what Arbitration policy on scope says, hence the question here. Martintg (talk) 20:40, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Primarily, ArbCom deals with editor conduct problems, as opposed to content disputes. If user conduct policies are breached than sanctions might be given. Often interpersonal conflicts between two or more users are involved, but not always. FloNight♥♥♥ 21:02, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
If that is the case, then Wikipedia:Arbitration_policy#Scope needs an update from "The Committee will primarily investigate interpersonal disputes" to "The Committee will primarily investigate editor conduct problems". Martintg (talk) 21:38, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Brief answer from my perspective from what it's worth - The role of the Arbitration Committee is neither of the two options you givem exactly. It's to handle all disputes not requiring specific legal or WMF handling, and that the community seems to be unable to handle (or isn't handling effectively) and which are therefore disruptive to the project. In other words, a general catch-all for conduct and divisive matters that arise in the editorial community but which the editorial community isn't managing to resolve. I would not go with your first option since the Committee isn't a "policing" panel - it doesn't patrol for violationsm, its a fall-back where other routine means fail. I would not go with your second option since its role of necessity is a bit more open-ended than that implies, since new forms of dispute will arise over time, and often outside the "interpersonal dispute" realm. Further, the handling is aimed at dispute resolution, principlally by remedies but not limited to that (a number of disputes its just good advice, mediation, or help thats needed).
Hope thats helpful. FT2 (Talk | email) 09:57, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

a noob wonders

Hello Jimmy I have the concern that generally in disputed articles, including dabs, when they reach a stable and universally accepted state, the editors who used to watch them stop (because of the stability reached) and new ones unaware of the many reached unanimities and accepted consensus, edit and bring back old problems falling into the same cycles of edits. and unless old editors become chronic constant watchdogs, the articles will be an amorphous mass of mediocre articles swaying around bad quality. i'm talking about the hotly disputed articles. i believe wiki is massively high in quality. does wiki have mechanisms against that? also have you noticed/taken action about the most disputed articles around here? like the Macedonian naming dispute/Macedonian language naming dispute which reflects to many articles concerning Greeks, Macedonian Greeks, Bulgarians and Slav Macedonians CuteHappyBrute (talk) 00:25, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Odd Question

Don't you have, like, a big red button that just shuts down all of Wikipedia (or some such disaster)?--Koji 21:43, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

The devs have the ability to lock down all editing, and they can change it so that only registered users can edit. They could change it so that only administrators can edit the mainspace while allowing other people to edit the talk and project spaces, and various other combinations. Devs can also roll back all edits made after a certain time. I think that last one is sort of a "doomsday" button, as I cannot conceive of any situation where it would get so bad that they would have to do that. J.delanoygabsadds 21:49, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
They can of course hit the big button that cuts off powers to all servers (which can be triggered remotely, fantastic remote controlled power strips). Which pretty much shuts off everything :) (And the reason for being able to roll back edits if if for instance something went wrong in the editing code, causing all edits made to have a problem, e.g. being blank). Matt/TheFearow (Talk) 02:52, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Main page redesign proposal

There seems to be a current desire to change the design of the main page. Any thoughts anybody? Dr. Blofeld 22:16, 29 October 2008 (UTC)


I'm admin of Wikias and I understand how hard it is when dealing with vandalism. IP address: is causing vandalism here. It owuld be nice if this person would be blocked to prevent further vandals.--☆Tavisource 06:03, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

He's only made one edit - not enough for a block. In the future, this type of report will be acted on faster if you file on WP:AIV. Cheers! J.delanoygabsadds 06:06, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Five year long harassment of White Cat

Hi, for the past threefive years a user has consistently harassed me (from time to time) in the form of wiki-stalking. You may recall the case concerning

I am very tired of spending my time in keeping this person away from me. To date I have spent countless months gathering evidence case after case documenting the conduct of this user who has been engaged in abusive use of sockpuppets and was indef blocked many times.

Arbcom has not been able to come up with a workable solution and had actually been the very source of the problem. Right now they tell me that they are discussing weather or not to lift the indef ban the community enacted on Jack Merridew (aka User:Davenbelle aka User:Note to Cool Cat aka User:Moby Dick aka User:Diyarbakir). Jack Merridew's indef ban hasn't lasted a full year. I am all for giving people a second chance and this guy had way too many chances (over five chances by my count).

When Jack Merridew requests his ban to be reviewed, suddenly arbcom has time. When I request the remedy banning me from mediation (enacted in 2005 on the first stalking case), arbcom doesn't even bother to properly comment.

I would like you to get involved with this case as my frustration over the matter is beyond words. For the sake of everyones sanity I have prepared a graph of users edit pattern. Please do review it.

-- Cat chi? 21:47, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

I'll forward Jimbo the history of the situation and editing restrictions. As I comment in my email to you and on my talk page, the editing restrictions will keep him completely away from you and keep him from commenting about you. And we have several experienced editors that are going to be looking out for problems. He will be blocked quickly if he abuses the restrictions. He's made many good contributions on other Foundation projects since his ban from here. I want to give him another try here. FloNight♥♥♥ 22:21, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
A user with one active, closely watched account may be less of a risk. The active account provides something to Checkuser other accounts against. Jehochman Talk 13:41, 1 November 2008 (UTC)


I have the intention of becoming a vandal fighter. I have yet to get certain privilages making that easier for me to do. Also, I have stumbled upon a hoax that has been floating around here for more then a year and had it deleted. Will you grant me rollback? J.B. (talk) 10:07, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Semi-protecting large articles

Personally, I think that every article exceeding a certain size, especially those already having reached WP:GA status or even a higher status, and in particular those known to attract a considerable amount of vandalism because they treat subjects such as politics, religion, pseudoscience (or subjects dogged by pseudoscience), popular culture, celebrities, certain national histories, and such should be semi-protected point-blank. In large, established articles, experience says that the ratio of useful vs. vandal or otherwise unhelpful edits (sometimes difficult to spot) decreases to the extreme. The old argument that IPs contribute most substantial work (new text, as opposed to small corrections) in Wikipedia doesn't apply at this point anymore; only in small and stubbish articles in the growing/build-up phase do their contributions actually tend to be useful, and this is where new Wikipedians are recruited. I haven't ever seen an IP add a single, painstakingly researched source to a large article, or rework it from the ground. Wikipedia addiction starts with small edits, corrections and the build up of new and neglected, small articles, not mammoth projects.

I would gladly run the risk of missing out on a sporadic potentially useful IP edit for the maintenance work saved to detect and revert innumerable brainless junk edits (which also uselessly eat up space in the database, as part of the edit histories). It's a simple cost-benefit calculation. I know this is not going to happen in all likelihood, since it would undermine WP's pretence to be the "encyclopedia anyone can edit" even further, but it would be the logical thing to do. Presumably you agonise with this issue on a regular basis anyway.

Anyway, the implementation of flagged revisions/sighted versions would already be helpful.

On a personal note, I met you at the 21C3, but I can't expect that you remember me. :-) Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:56, 31 October 2008 (UTC)


Hi Jimbo - and thanks for engaging recently in the whole arbcom election thing - it'll no doubt move forward in a wiki way from here - it's a very good thing to have open discussion well ahead of time, in my book :-)

With that in mind, I wondered if you might share a few thoughts about your 'veto' type powers.... If there are users standing for election about whom sufficient concerns are held as to incline you to pass over their candidacy despite their performance in a community poll, would you consider letting them (and maybe the community?) know? Obviously new information could come to light at any time (this would also go for all sitting, and ex-arb.s I guess) but if you were to have present concerns to the point where you wouldn't be comfortable appointing User:Aaron Brenneman, User:Bishzilla, or indeed any of the editors from this fantastically handy guide to arbcom - I think it'd be great to try and clear that up ahead of vote counting.

...and finally - if I were to run, and poll strongly enough, would you have any objection to my serving on the committee? Privatemusings (talk) 04:40, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I would be strongly disinclined to appoint anyone who has been reprimanded by the ArbCom less than a year ago for sockpuppeting and inappropriate BLP editing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:01, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

FWIW, I agree with Jimbo's concerns. GlassCobra 13:04, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I would think many would, Glass - and I suspect it would never get to the point where these concerns were in tension with a clear community mandate (ie. I somehow polled very strongly). If, through the mysterious ways of the will of the wiki, this were to occur however, I would hope that the community mandate would be honoured  :-) cheers, Privatemusings (talk) 01:13, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Nevertheless, we work on a basis of community consensus and decision-making around here, eh Jimbo? – Thomas H. Larsen 09:22, 23 October 2008 (UTC) Meaning that if Privatemusings received high enough community support, you would appoint him to the Committee? – Thomas H. Larsen 09:23, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Every case is considered in detail and in consultation with the ArbCom, Arbs Emeritus, and other experienced users. I won't speculate on any particular case, but will only speak in terms of general principles. In general, though, I take very seriously the idea that "the community" is not sovereign, the principles of Wikipedia are.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:24, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
It's my understanding that one of the core principles of Wikipedia is community-determined consensus. Am I incorrect? Furthermore, I believe that the community is more qualified to accurately determine the principles of Wikipedia than yourself, no disrespect intended. If each case is considered in consultation with the Abitration Committee, the Arbitrators Emeritus, and other experienced users, why do these people not decide who serves on the Committee? Or, in other words, why do you consider yourself more qualified than these experienced people to make a community decision, when you yourself have little active engagement in the day-to-day processes of the community?
I feel that you hold too much power here, and you have not voluntarily agreed to any specific limitations of this power. I would feel a good deal happier if you could write up, and abide by, a set of very clear limitations and publicly display them to the community. – Thomas H. Larsen 00:22, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
It is a system of checks and balances, and it has served us quite well. I have in fact voluntarily agreed to limitations of my power, and I will do so more and more over time. It is important that the ArbCom not be selected solely by the existing ArbCom, nor solely by me, and so it would be wrong to eliminate our voting process.
You are mistaken, by the way, if you think that I have little active engagement in the day-to-day processes of the community. I work on different issues than you do. I work daily with the ArbCom and with OTRS.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:42, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
If you select the candidates, and have sovereign power over who is allowed on the Committee (even if you do in most cases select the most supported candidates), then there are no checks and balances: it all comes down to one man, that is, yourself. Why not permit the community to select its own Committee's members, without your intervention?
Perhaps I was unclear when I stated that you have little day-to-day involvement with Wikipedia's community. I meant that you very rarely contribute actual content to articles, very rarely fall into content disputes, and very rarely participate in the normal-level community goings-on. Thus, you may be familiar with ArbCom and OTRS but you have little involvement in, say, the administrator's incidents noticeboard, et cetera, et cetera. Since you aren't familiar with where the issues that ArbCom and OTRS deal with actually start, you are, in my humble opinion at least, unqualified to deal with the issues at all, and, coming back to my original issue, you certainly do not have the authority to select members of the Committee (unless I missed your election).
I realise that you may be privy to private information not accessible to all voters, and I respect this argument. However, even though you were privy to information that Essjay was not, in fact, who he said he was, you directly placed him in the Arbitration Committee. This was a terrible decision, and it shows either that (a) you're dishonest (which I hope you aren't), or (b) you do not carefully enough validate and check information that you have, meaning that your access to this information is irrelevant.
Finally, for the benefit of the community, would you be kind enough to list the limitations of your power here, so that anybody in the community may challenge you should you exceed them? – Thomas H. Larsen 22:55, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I am sorry to say that you aren't being accurate in your reporting here. I don't select the candidates. Anyone can candidate. I will not appoint anyone who has not been approved by the community. I will not appoint anyone who is not supported by the existing Arbs and Arbs Emeritus. I agree completely that the Essjay situation was a fiasco, although your understanding of the history is inaccurate. In any event, that's irrelevant now, because I will never appoint anyone, even in the interim between elections, who has not gotten approval from the community. And finally, I intend to continue my longstanding tradition of appointing people in the order of the election results unless there is a seriously compelling reason to diverge from that. I may someday support a purely elected ArbCom, but not yet. I think there are important values served by having an additional check on the process.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:06, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
  • If you are so bound that you say: "I will not appoint anyone who is not supported by the existing Arbs and Arbs Emeritus" why the hell are we having an election? - Why not ask the existing Arbs to just pick a few friends? Are you trying to fool us or yourself? You are certainly not fooling the former. Giano (talk) 20:10, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
  • What if I am unpopular with some of the current and former arbs because I don't agree with their views? Should I not bother running? Jehochman Talk 20:19, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Clearly not! Jimbo only wants the mates and cronies of the present appology for an Arbcom! Others thinking of running take note. Giano (talk) 20:21, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Jimbo, following up Jehochman's point, the danger with allowing the ArbCom any input into this is that they'll caution against appointing anyone who has criticized them or IRC or checkusers, so the selection process becomes less and less representative — with lots of people thinking it's pointless even to try to stand — which is in part why editors have so little faith in the ArbCom now. I've been closely watching ArbCom cases for four years, and I've never known a committee so unpopular or so dictatorial. Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent is useful reading on how managers (he speaks specifically of news organizations) invariably appoint mirrors of themselves, so that whatever problems and POVs the organization has become more entrenched over time. SlimVirgin talk|edits 21:32, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
  • As an example of Slim's point: I — me, Bishonen — don't see any point in running for election to that body. Bishzilla, on the other hand (who has a dinosaur brain) takes a contrasting view: she's extremely keen to get on the committee. No surprises there. Bishonen | talk 22:12, 25 October 2008 (UTC).
I'll echo what others have said here, why would you need final arb approval of the succesful candidates? Why can't a straight up election be good enough? If there are serious concerns about a candidate, then announce them upfront and the community can then decide with their votes, instead of using some star chamber process to make the final decision. Come on. Cla68 (talk) 00:03, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
The dichotomy being, of course, that only those candidates who are truly interested in adding their voice, opinion, and viewpoint into the ArbCom dynamic are those at risk of being considered unsuitable by (a majority - and there will never be a voting poll given - of) the existing and previous members. Those who desire the influence conferred by such an election and yet manage to convince enough contributors to vote for them will not be subject to such examination. Therefore it is those who truly believe that ArbCom should have greater relevance to the creation of the encyclopedia are most at risk of being blackballed. LessHeard vanU (talk) 00:12, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
For me, the bottom line is that the people who currently get elected (with honorable exceptions) stand for entirely the wrong reasons — to gain access to checkuser and oversight, and to be able (as they see it) to lord it over other editors. I stress that there are honorable exceptions to this, but increasingly few. The result is that, once they get there, they're horrified by the amount of tedious work being an arbitrator involves, so they don't do it properly, or at all. It's hard to blame them for this, on the one hand, because very few people would want to plough through most of the rubbish they're sent. But on the other hand, they did ask to be elected, and that's what the job entails. The upshot for the community is that we don't really have a fully functioning committee.
What I'd like to see Jimbo do, at a minimum, is call an election for the entire ArbCom, and forget about these three-year appointments, which is just too long for people who basically aren't doing (and who don't want to do) the job. And then I'd like to see him exclude himself, and definitely exclude the ArbCom, from having any say in who gets appointed, except for truly egregious cases e.g. if a known vandal somehow managed to get on board. SlimVirgin talk|edits 00:34, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I would comment that I am very surprised at this recent show of disquiet by you in respect of the authority of ArbCom - but perhaps that is a discussion for another time. Access to CU and Oversight is not available only to ArbCom members (CU is quite a separate matter as regards how they choose who can have access to those tools), and I should opine that they really are simply tools that are used to confirm what they are being advised by the more usual practitioners of same. Of more concern to a number of commentators here is the inherent fallibility of having a representative ArbCom if the existing order can derail the appointment of one or two (who surely will still be unable to railroad the remaining members) voices who might offer opinions and choices that reflect how the community currently thinks. Obviously, in this instance, a wholesale placing of the ArbCom up for re-election is not going to happen if they appear so wary of allowing a dissenting minority to take up places in that body. LessHeard vanU (talk) 00:48, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I've been very concerned about this ArbCom for some time, LHVU. When they first started, I had high hopes, because we started seeing some nicely thought-out decisions, with explanations, which we'd never seen before. Newyorkbrad, for example, was very responsive to requests for clarification, whereas previous ArbComs had a tendency simply to ignore correspondence.
But increasingly, that desire to be the new broom turned into a power grab, of a kind we've not seen before from any ArbCom. One of them has several times tried to change policies, reverting when challenged because he's on the ArbCom, and that is (to the best of my knowledge) unprecedented. They seem to favor secret trials. Most of them are heavily involved with IRC. They've become more legalistic, or rather they've tried to, but they have no understanding of legal principles — except for Brad, but he can't be expected to do all the work alone. They block people and deny them RfArs, even when the blockees may be good content contributors. They make inconsistent decisions. They are unbearably pompous. They've set up a private mailing list for active arbitrators that I've been told isn't even hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. Bear in mind that most of the active arbitrators aren't active at all, but take precious little to do with what goes on, so what you end up with is a tiny number of people making ArbCom decisions by themselves. And then, of course, we've had the widespread leaking and publication of sensitive material, which the arbs were quick to blame on the ArbCom mailing list, but it had never happened before the last election. All in all, I find it very worrying. I've been prompted to speak out because I'm currently being prevented from publishing a defence of myself in a case where I'm being publicly criticized. But that's the trigger for my decision to speak out, not the cause. (And, as before, I want to stress that there are honorable exceptions to the criticism I've posted here.) SlimVirgin talk|edits 01:20, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
The present ArbCom is still much the past ArbCom, the change in personal is not huge. I see some change in the dynamics, but it is still largely the ArbCom as was. Other people have voiced concerns previously, and in off-Wiki sites, and have been condemned for doing so - and the critical sites and anyone commenting there attempted to be declared undesirable, no matter what the context of the discussion. I am just pointing out that it once appeared as if you were in the camp that desired no external criticism of any kind - and little on-Wiki negative comment - and yet here you are now... I am pleased to see that your faculty for criticizing the status quo is still intact, and I am happy to work with you for a better encyclopedia (by way of improving its processes) but I trust you will appreciate that some people will be cautious in interacting with a personality whose perceived loyalties has been closely tied in with some of the administration structures you are now questioning; I'm not casting aspertions, I am being honest. As it is, as shown below, I am willing to put questions of my own prejudices as regards our past differences to one side. I trust this clarifies my posting what I did above. LessHeard vanU (talk) 17:31, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
In theory there might be a candidate who was unsuitable, but the evidence might be of a private nature. In that case, I agree that Jimmy may exclude them. Otherwise there should be no blackballing of candidates by current or former committee members. Wikipedia is not a country club. Jehochman Talk 00:40, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree with all of the above - this horribly oversteps any "constitutional" authority you may have over the makeup of the Arbcom. If the community has no means to overthrow the current arbitration committee by electing arbitrators opposed to them, the community has nothing at all. --Random832 (contribs) 05:34, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
The community has every opportunity to select arbitrators who agree or disagree with the existing ones. What I think Jimbo is saying is, the option to request ones who cannot (in his judgement) be trusted with the role itself, is not okay. In other words, someone who will be a risk from a privacy viewpoint, who is likely not to be trustworthy at dispute resolution, is simply substandard by an objective measure, may be a concern. The Arbitration Committee is as an ideal, some of the best, most experienced editors of the community in this field, and by and large the community has chosen reasonably well. A safety valve that it might stay that way, is reasonable. FT2 (Talk | email) 10:27, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
(And as an aside, if there are complaints then the community needs to look inwardly and accept this as evidence to consider with humility, since pretty much all of the current sitting Arbitrators are in fact, community choices and this would raise doubts over the ability of the community to choose well.) FT2 (Talk | email) 10:27, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

It does raise an interesting question. Is the role of the Arbcom to support Jimbo, the current Arbs, and the Arbs Emeritus, or is the job of the Arbcom to support the community and encyclopedia? In the terms presented by Jimbo above, these are mutually exclusive things. rootology (C)(T) 06:06, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I think the way the ArbCom's been viewed traditionally is as a support for Jimbo — he handed over his own dispute-resolution powers to them, and expects them to do more or less what he would do, which is why he initially chose people he felt were like-minded. Similarly, the retired arbitrators are supposed to support the new ones, offering advice and institutional memory. I suppose the argument is that the old can't properly support the new unless there's a shared view of the world, and therefore the old ArbCom must necessarily be involved in choosing the new one, or at least should have the right to blackball. One of the things Jimbo wants to avoid, I assume, is an ArbCom that becomes dysfunctional because of internal conflict.
Problem is that it leaves us with the issue Random832 pointed out — namely, how does the community make its displeasure with current arbitrators known, if not by electing people strongly opposed to them? How do we deal with the problem of people thinking there's no point in standing, because either Jimbo or the ArbCom won't let them serve even if they're elected? SlimVirgin talk|edits 06:51, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, in the way that the Giano vote went last time - (from memory) only one candidate polled more supports, and most of the opposes were for the same reasons that many were voting support; a candidate who would shake up the existing order. Perhaps a candidate will emerge (or has already shown a willingness to run) who again will be the fulcrum for those dissatisfied with the status quo. Should such a candidate gain the required margins of (legitimate) votes and percentages then Jimbo and the existing ArbCom are placed in a position of acknowledging either the desire of the community for change or their own preferences in the composition of the body of last resort. Of course, it may be that such methods as tactical voting will not suffice in placing such a candidate in that position - which itself would be an argument that those dissatisfied with the present set up are in a minority. Of itself, such a "dissenters candidate" scenario would properly reflect the communities desire for change - even before it gets to Jimbo et al for any decision. LessHeard vanU (talk) 17:15, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I just want to echo the concerns raised above. Jimbo is now moving the goalposts in a subtle way: in the past, he justified having himself as a check on the community's will by saying that he would only skip over an appropriately placed candidate under extremely unlikely circumstances involving the election of an obviously unsuited candidate; he claimed this was about as likely as the British monarch stepping into British politics, "one last safety valve for our values". Now he's saying that he wouldn't appoint anyone who didn't have the approval of the existing ArbCom and former arbitrators—a situation not unlike having the Queen say she wouldn't appoint a Prime Minister who wasn't endorsed by the party already in power. Is it reasonable to think that the arbitrators would approve anyone who they had previously sanctioned? Would they approve anyone who spoke actively in opposition to current ArbCom practices and decisions? Everyking (talk) 07:00, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

To be honest, I don't think the goal posts have moved, even last year success was dependent on ultimate approval by the Arbs - what has changed in the last year is that the community no longer trusts the Arbs or has grown less tolerant and prepared to accept unquestioningly the status quo- perhaps a little of all three. In short, the community has matured and now wants to run its own affairs, and Jimbo and his Arbs are the only people who seem to be unaware of this. This situation cannot continue. Jimbo should act now while he retains some respect and show the community some respect - otherwise nothing of worth is going to survive. Giano (talk) 17:44, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
This requirement of approval from arbitrators has never been articulated before, and I think Jimbo is hardening his stance in reaction to the community's feelings and in anticipation of the possibility that he may find some of the candidates elected this year to be unacceptable. I certainly agree that the community has grown far more skeptical and critical of the ArbCom over the last year, and you're exactly right when you say that Jimbo must respect the community. Everyking (talk) 03:55, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

SlimVirgin raises some stellar points. Arbitrators should not have a veto over the community's picks precisely because the community might wish to select a new crop of people with diverging ideas. More than once this year, Newyrokbrad has remarked that he's never seen so many established users upset with the process. NYB is a veteran clerk and arbitrator, and I think his observations are reliable. It's a true nadir for ArbCom, and future appointees might necessarily be at odds with the current members.

If you don't mean that arbitrators and emeritus arbitrators have a veto, please clarify your thoughts.

Incidentally, the terms of arbitrators ought to be shorter. I'm not the first to say this (and SlimVirgin makes a compelling case above). Very few arbitrators have ever served the whole term anyway, and even those arbitrators needed vacations. More importantly, shorter terms helps ensure that the community will not be governed by unresponsive and inactive arbitrators. Cool Hand Luke 21:43, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

A while ago, I presented a proposal for having all the arbitrator seats open at this election, and having full annual elections from here on; that proposal did not get much support at the time, but I think people should give it another look. Everyking (talk) 03:55, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

To clarify one point, if a concern arises, arbitrators are experienced at looking at editors who are under consideration for privacy related access. If Jimbo wants a second opinion whether there is likely to be any issue with the community's wishes, that the community may not know or may have under-rated, or the like, that is the point he may ask advice. The role of Arbcom would very much be "if needed for input, ask". Arbitrators are not being asked to make the decision, and that is a role I would utterly reject if presented. But to collaborate in helping, as seasoned experienced users all of whom have held that role for a year or more, that's fair. If Jimbo does wish to ask impressions from individuals how they think a certain choice stands, then like any time we're approached to give advice and input by anyone in the community, the inquirer is likely to get honest answers how people there may see it.

I'm fairly sure Jimbo will ask users outside Arbcom too. If he didn't ask Arbcom then he'd ask people he trusted, many of whom incidentally may be arbitrators. Any user in the community who is making a decision, may ask around those they trust, to inquire what they may think. But in none of these scenarios is Arbcom in any way choosing its successors. Rather, Jimbo is soliciting input from any users he may wish to, on a decision that he will make. While the election may indicate who is likely to be a good choice for the community, it's a blunt tool for making a final choice of 6 out of 10. The final order may ultimately depend on a non-issue, such as a couple of personal-grudge opposes, or a slight stacked pro/anti vote, exactly as at any other vote. Asking others for input to help validate whether the community's choice is truly a good one, is a sane measure, and whether or not Jimbo asks Arbcom for input, I would expect him to probably ask others. The aim, like CheckUser, is to appoint the users most likely to be the best, not just the most popular. We're used to being asked consultative questions, by administrators and the community, and its a role we help with if requested. FT2 (Talk | email) 10:50, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

I think you may have missed Slim's points above, FT?... I'm not sure your post really addresses them (particularly the bit about manufacturing consent - which your post would, if anything, seem to me to support actually) - per my reply below, maybe this is better chewed over somewhere somehow else? - hmmmm... Privatemusings (talk) 11:26, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I was commenting on one specific area; it may not have been the exact point raised by SlimVirgin. Also added link to clarify. FT2 (Talk | email) 12:15, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I think the comments, particularly by Thomas, Slim, Cla, and Bish, are well worth a closer look, FT - they speak to why what I read as your perspective is actually part of the problem - I'm still thinking stuff through, but am inclined to agree.... best, Privatemusings (talk) 20:04, 29 October 2008 (UTC)and the fact that that fantastic foursome seem to largely agree on this thread gives me much hope for the wiki-future! Definitely a good thing :-)

Any timetable of further "limitations of power"

Just to second, what Giano has said above. I note, Jimbo, your own post here where you say "I have in fact voluntarily agreed to limitations of my power, and I will do so more and more over time". No comment on the first part, but on the second part you seem to indicate your own realization of that the "community has matured and now wants to run its own affairs", as Giano notes above. Besides, this is what every other language wikipedia does. And note, that the en-wiki is by far the most mature community of all of them. I think that the time to "do so more and more over time" has long since come, but perhaps you disagree with my assessment? Do you have any timetable of your own in mind? Also, why do you think en-wiki needs your guidance while other wikis, certainly less mature than enwiki overall, run well without it? --Irpen 18:08, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

The role of the community

On the same theme as the above, and a slightly different angle. if Jimbo did give up his traditional role, what exactly would be proposed as a check or balance, in the event that the community itself went off the rails over time?

There is a very serious question here. The community is made up of many thousands of users. It has an impetus all of its own. It can sweep internal opposition to bad ideas aside and convince itself bad ideas are good or necessary ones. It changes over time. It is - like all societies - capable of choosing over time, directions and "politics" that diverge from its core roots and goals, and it is capable of fooling itself that it is on track if it does so. "People will know" has never stopped undesirable social change in any other society, and I see zero reason to believe that "people will know" would stop this one going sideways either. Right now, there is one outside safeguard against that: Jimbo. Not WMF, not "editors who care" (people who know what's right have never been able to withstand gradual social change for the worse anywhere else). The community needs to recognize its role a bit here.

It is (and we are) a tool, a device to create an encyclopedia. It is not the focus or the aim of "Wikipedia", and it isn't here to make a society, a democracy, or any other social structure, other than such social structure as is best suited for content creation and maintenance. Does a structure intended to meet that goal need a check or balance to pure self-guided community power wherever that may lead? Obviously yes.

I'd be interested if the community did start to slip sideways - for example subtle changes to its norms started to take hold that might over time undermine its goals - if there came a time the community was answerable to nobody, had no reins, no check or balance, was subject only to the choices of those who could most shout or be effective demagogues in their little turf... who exactly would have the ability to say effectively "this isn't okay"?

FT2 (Talk | email) 10:13, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

I've been sort of wondering that too... Privatemusings (talk) 11:19, 29 October 2008 (UTC)ps. I'm afraid that personally, I see a bit of unsupported assertion in your comments - we can talk it through somewhere somehow at somepoint :-)
In response specifically to FT2's question of community norms moving, I think that's the general point of why people seemed to be anxious abut what seems like Jimmy moving the goalposts around in this season of so much public discontent. The question of, if the norms of Wikipedia do shift slightly over time, is it the community's right to decide if that is appropriate in the end, or Jimmy's. Does Jimmy support Wikipedia, or is he still in charge and Wikipedia supports him? Specifically, does the community set the tone, policy, aims, goals, ideals, norms, and value/power of the Arbcom in the end, or does Jimmy, and if Jimmy, why are we even voting?
That seems to be the crux of what people are saying above. rootology (C)(T) 13:17, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I've always understood it that it's not one or the other in competition, it's all, working together, with respect for different domains and areas of involvement. ("Who runs the country - Congress or the President?") So I don't see a need to force it to be either/or. In the norm of things, the community runs its own affairs well, is likely to continue to do so, and hopefully will gain experience over time to manage more. Because that community is also capable of going off the rails, it has a number of means to prevent that, including a foundation that sets some norms, administrators who cannot be removed from the role for "political" reasons or indeed any reason except gross misconduct, and its original creator who presumably embodies or endorses many of its core ideals else they wouldn't have been set up that way. Can Jimbo change things? Yes. Is he likely to do so in a way that undermines the project? No. When he is recognized to make a mistake how does he handle it? His response to a certain incident last year was to declare himself more accountable to the community, and his response to elections (that he himself set up) has broadly been to endorse the choice of the community. The fact there could be a time the community needs someone not susceptible to demagoguery to say "this really isn't okay" on some big matter, is sanity and commonsense, because it seems to be balanced with the equal statement he won't unless there truely is a problem. If theres a better custodian of that role who is outside the community, invested in our goals and hopes, and willing to step up to the plate if needed, I don't see it emerging. But unless there's a big problem, then the community has also proven it's pretty good at self management, and at identifying good candidates for trusted roles. Collaboration, not either/or - community does its thing, Jimbo does his. If we go bad or seriously goof, I hope to heck he'd say so, and if he goes bad or goofs then I hope to heck we (communally or via Arbcom) would say so. Joint, not either/or. That's how I see it. FT2 (Talk | email) 14:38, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, there are ways of setting up a form of government or leadership structure that is very resistant to fundamental change but still allows public election of candidates for various offices. The Iranian political system is a good example. The idea above that new Arbcom members need to be vetted by the previous Arbcoms is analogous to the role of the Guardian Council in vetting candidates for elected office. Jimbo's role would, in some ways, correspond to that of the Rahbare Enqelab. But one might ask how we could ensure that the leader isn't the one that starts the fundamental change we would be trying to avoid. We have no Assembly of Experts to supervise Jimbo. Haukur (talk) 16:02, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I have no objection to a "community guiding body" – provided it consists of more than one person (and thus has checks and balances), and is elected by the community. I do object, however, to having one dictator leader, with unlimited powers, who refuses to clarify on the extent of these powers when asked. – Thomas H. Larsen 00:32, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

On avoiding movement of the goalposts

FT2 posed a rhetorical question above: what if the community were left on its own, with no leader, answerable to nobody? I agree with him that it would devolve very quickly into chaos. However, I'm not suggesting that the community be left on its own, or with no leader, or answerable to nobody. I simply don't think that Jimbo should be the person to lead the community or be the person the community is answerable to simply because of tradition.

FT2 also raised another point: isn't it a good thing to have somebody outside the community have the final approval of our Committee members, in case we (the community) go crazy? With this, I disagree. What if Jimbo goes crazy, so to speak? We have no action of recourse other than a direct social fork of the project, since Jimbo is the Person in Charge. This point of view seems to be based on the assumption that Jimbo is somehow more stable than the community as a whole.

In fact, nearly all arguments for having Jimbo retain his "position" make the assumption that Jimbo is somehow more stable, or somehow more honest, or somehow better than the community as a whole. I see little thought given to the theoretical situations where, for example, Jimbo is the person going off the rails or changing the goalposts or Jimbo is the person making the wrong decision. There's a big assumption of good faith here, but I am reluctant to blindly assume good faith when a project of this size is at stake. Looking at Jimbo's history on this project, I feel distinctly uneasy.

Rhetorically I ask myself, what would happen if Jimbo did approve a candidate with no community support? I suppose there'd be a large song and dance, but we, the community, would probably calm down after a while. And, even if we didn't, what could we do? Nothing on this project, because Jimbo is the big man in charge here.

To ensure the stability of goals is the function of a virtually unchangeable constitutional document, not of a human leader. For a long time, I've wished Wikipedia had a constitution that outlined its fundamental goals and the fundamental rights and responsibilities of its community of contributors. Perhaps this is the time to develop and maintain a constitution. We cannot really rely on any human leaders, or group of the same, to consistently steer the community and the project towards the same goalposts.

The constitution of too many people around here, seemingly including Jimbo, is ignore all rules. Unfortunately, ignore all rules is extremely vague, subject to subjective interpretation, inconsistent over various situations, and assuming of consistent goodwill of all contributors. Not that I want to start a debate over ignore all rules just now, but in itself it is no sensible constitution.

Finally, bringing me back to what started this entire debate thing off, I don't feel that you, Jimbo, need to approve Committee members. Other Wikipedias have Arbitration Committees, and they cope very well without your approving their members. Particularly, I am very uncomfortable with your repeatedly ignoring my requests for clarification on the limits of your powers. – Thomas H. Larsen 22:38, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

The limitations of Jimbo's powers at Wikimedia projects are whatever the community decides which varies with the project and over time, so stop asking Jimbo to tell you something no one can forecast. It is a self correcting process since Jimbo's good actions make the community trust him with making actions while bad actions make the community not. If he "goes crazy" the community will reject his actions. So stop worrying so much. WAS 4.250 (talk) 11:04, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo has earned his position. I have known him for a long time and he is a) smarter than the community at large, and b) more stable than the community at large. He created this community and he has been a fantastic leader. (talk) 14:56, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
He hasn't earned his position, he's claimed to have his position for a long time. – Thomas H. Larsen 04:54, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo should be perfectly able to list the limitations of his power. The fact that they seem to be continually changing is what I'm worried about; who's to say that he's not going to abuse them? And, finally, if the community has the final say then why does Jimbo need any involvement in the approval of Arbcom members – why not have a pure election, and hand it all over to the community anyway? – Thomas H. Larsen 04:54, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
There is no such thing as a "pure election". Every election has people who verify which votes are valid and which are not. Since the people voting for arbs have unknown real identities for the most part, preventing the election from being rigged can get tricky. There has to be a mechanism in place that lets people know such efforts will be wasted so that they don't even try. Jimbo's having this particular authority is useful for that purpose. And also as a check against some unknown thing happening. Jimbo asking existing and past arbs for advice will not prevent a very popular with established contributors new arb from being confirmed just because existing arbs say they don't like him because Jimbo knows the community would rebel if he did. Not confirming someone whose support mainly comes from people who don't actually help build the encyclopedia is something else altogether. WAS 4.250 (talk) 13:26, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
WAS 4.250 is right. Jimbo knows he wouldn't get away with enforcing his will against community consensus and I don't believe that has ever really happened. A few disgruntled Wikipedians, yes, but not the community. Jimbo isn't good at choosing his words carefully, we all know that, but regardless of how he words his comments I don't believe he wants to act against the will of the community. To be honest, there are far greater issues to consider in this election. Jimbo's position within the community is the least of our concerns. EconomicsGuy (talk) 12:06, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


I'm Dylan, a Wikipedian who has been purely active for two months and counting. I must commend you for founding what is now my favorite website. I have become engaged in numerous events on Wikipedia, which include:

And yet I still have a large amount of time on my hands. I guess I should stop now. See you later!

P.S.: Have you ever thought about increasing your own article to featured status? --Dylan620 (Homeyadda yadda yaddaOoooohh!) 16:44, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

If he did he would probably have a Conflict of Interest :) CWii(BOO!|Eeek!) 20:54, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Tannin and Camembert

Hello! I'm not sure where to put this, but I noticed the very first contributions of administrators Tannin (first edits), Camembert (first edits) and Mintguy (first edits). Their first edit summaries contained (Moved to "[insert title here]") and they both made their first edit at the exact same time, which was 08:43, 25 February 2002. Could they be legitimate sockpuppets? SchfiftyThree (talk!) 21:15, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Having fixed the links, these accounts go way back and I don't think the same editor can be logged into three accounts at once, and even if possible, it would be pointless to do that. All the moves look as if they conform to naming standards, and I think it more likely to do with some artefact of the database as it was then. You could try asking at The Village Pump (Technical). --Rodhullandemu 00:14, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
It means that the page move was performed over a redirect, and the time given is the time the original redirect was created. Or at least, when the database *thought* that the original redirect was created. The fact that all the edits seem to be from some exact moment in time is an artefact of the conversion from UseModWiki to our current software that I don't fully understand - see Wikipedia:Usemod article histories for more info on the conversion. For a real life example, see the page history of the bodyline redirect on the Nostalgia Wikipedia, which is a database snapshot from December 2001; the redirect was automatically deleted when User:Mintguy moved the leg theory article to bodyline. The way page moves were stored in the database became much cleaner after MediaWiki was upgraded to version 1.5 in June 2005, so page moves are always recorded accurately now. Graham87 07:31, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
So, according to the explanation above, I guess that they aren't sock puppets then. SchfiftyThree (talk!) 21:18, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Talk Paages

Jimbo, I was wondering if there was a site that could be created to direct debates about article topics to. There's already a lot of Wikipedia sites, so I think there should be a Wikidebate site.

Thats a good idea. Perhaps you should also visit where Wikipedias and other projects are controlled by the community. I don't know if Jimbo goes for control over those things but meta does. ~ R.T.G 16:24, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

A plea for help

Hi there Jimbo. I'm a relatively new user who came to Wikipedia to do a bit of reading and tried to make a few corrections. My experiences here have been deeply troubling. Any and all dissent seems to be stifled aggresively. But I thought maybe if someone drew the problem to your attention you might be able to offer a suggestion or some encouragement. I'm one of the many frustrated well intentioned people who's been harassed, intimidated and attacked for trying to improve the encyclopedia. I almost called it your encyclopedia.  :) Well, let me know if you want any details or specifics on my concerns, experiences or problems here. It's an amazing resource to be sure. But it's problems are creating enormous tension and dissention, much of it unnecessary in my opinion. Don't leave me out in Sherwood Forest (to use the words of another hero of the avergae Joe). I don't want to be a Robin Hood. I just want to edit some articles and work cooperatively with others. BobDysart (talk) 00:43, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

So far, all you have done is complain. You have not edited one single article, or even an article talk page. Making claims of harassment, aggressive stifling, intimidation, ... without a shred of evidence makes it impossible to do anything about the problems and gives IMO a bad impression of the complainer. If you have encountered problems when using another ID, give us that ID so that we can judge what happened. If you have not edited with another ID or as an IP address, then you have obviously not "tried to make a few corrections". Either way, you have given us nothing concrete to act or react to, only vague, unhelpful claims. Fram (talk) 15:26, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Katy Brand

I saw your note on the talk page and removed the unsourced personal information. The rest is uncontroversial factual information and there is definitely an assertion of importance so not a speedy. You mention page blanking which isn't the right way to do this. If the article needs to go due to BLP concerns the right thing to do is to speedy it and put it up for deletion review but in this case there really isn't anything left in the article that would violate WP:BLP. EconomicsGuy (talk) 07:30, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

A one line stub linking to the big ass show would have been appropriate but she is too notable not to be mentioned, or for that matter to have the article speedied, she is far more well known than the articles for countless blp subjects. I have re-written the article as a stub which sources its claims. Thanks, SqueakBox 14:41, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons#BLP prod

I thought you'd be interested in and might like to comment on the above. RMHED (talk) 21:35, 4 November 2008 (UTC)


Dear Jim, Astrosociology is the study of the effect of outer space on human behaviour in outer space or other. It is largely uncovered as one may expect but has a few books, a few sections in old NASA reference books, and gains a few thousand hits on a search as a term of sorts. The Wikipedia article about the subject has been deleted as a non notable topic. I don't think this is a discussion you would involve in but it may be interesting to see what is or not currently notable on the wiki (lol). ~ R.T.G 16:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like astrology to me. Thanks, SqueakBox 16:26, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Astrology would be (in my POV) the second astro-related cause of change in human behavior. The first would have to be looking up at the stars in wonder. Alas, this is not a notable effect. (lolol) ~ R.T.G 17:28, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I can safely say, as an actual astronomer, that looking up at the sky sometimes gives me vertigo because I have some knowledge of what's going on up there. Astrology is bunk, but our conception of our place in the universe influences our behaviour. WilyD 17:56, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
To say astrology is bunk is both unproven and anyway contrary to our NPOV policy. I too get vertigo looking up at the stars even without a telescope and on the other hand the coverage at wikipedia of astronomy is one of the best sections of the encyclopedia. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:59, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Err, Astrology is bunk. This is well established and really beyond serious dispute. Talk pages are also not bound by NPOV, we're free to be rationale, honest, intelligent people here. WilyD 18:02, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm, if you were born at a certain time in a certain place, the weather affected those around you in a certain way, right? This effect continued for the rest of your life. Weather is most believably under the control of sun conditions, cosmic rays, and seasonal variation. Although predicting stuff like "Today the colour blue will affect you." will be a little too colourful, that is modern. Imagine telling Napoleon "Today you will fall over something blue and have a eureka". He'd knock the shit out of you after a while. There is possibly some sort of basis in adding weather to conditions when trying to outsmart opponents. If you got astrology right before the advent of nice housing, you should be able to predict a few "National crap day"s. Knowledge was a serious game (and still is but if you're not Jimbo or Bill Gates you plumbed out ages ago). When astrology was regarded a science, predicting the future without hearing Gods own words would have got you in trouble, not made you friends in society. They would try anything but they were rarely fools methinks. ~ R.T.G 02:19, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I can't believe that I'm being called upon to defend the very straightforward assertion that astrology is bunk. Yes, there's a (extremely negligidble) yearly fluctuation in cosmic ray intensity, there's also a much stronger daily variation. None of these happen to have anything to do with chance projections of stars in three dimensions onto a two dimensional surface, nor our (fairly arbitrary) choice of what should be a constellation. Whether Venus is in Hydra or Microscopium or Pictor or whatever constellation isn't relevent to your life - these assertions are fairly straightforward to test, and they fail miserably. Randomise horrorscopes and ask people whether they match their experiences - the "correct" horoscopes do not match any better than the controls - very easy experiment - try it. WilyD 03:21, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Some useful reading in this regard would be our article on Cold reading. It's pretty fascinating stuff.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:28, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo - yeah, Cold Reading is alright, but Horoscopes mostly work through Confirmation bias. ;) WilyD 04:03, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
While the majority of astrologers do just talk bunk that in itself is not proof that astrology is bunk and we certainly do not open the astrology article with the statement that it is bunk. To introduce astrology into our astronomy articles would be as unacceptable as introducing intelligent design into our evolution articles (I personally think intelligent design is much less credible than certain forms of esoteric astrology but as an encyclopedia a subject is surely valid based on notability not on whether it is or is not true. And hey Wily I was talking somewhat tongue in cheek, of course we can debate these issues. Thanks, SqueakBox 14:19, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
(unindented) Squeakbox - I don't think opening Astrology with "Astrology is one of those things that comes out of the south end of a north facing bull" would be appropriate. Just some paragraph which's "Astrology has been tested empirically to see if it's true and ... not so much, no" somewhere or another (probably towards the end). Young Earth Creationism used to handle this really well - I've no idea if it still does. WilyD 14:27, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Astrology and astronomy seems to be the appropriate article. Thanks, SqueakBox 14:43, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
See Thanks, WAS 4.250 (talk) 13:24, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I think terms such as astral and astrology make it difficult to digest a word such as astrosociology as a word for sociology in a space age (such as the topic is supposed to be). Cold reading is a new term for me and although a familiar topic is very good to pull all that stuff together (Jimbos vast experience shines out when he picks one). Everyone, I think, aspires to be a cold reader or magician at some time, as does everyone feel the effects of the space age in society. Maybe even Jimbo would be pickin' praties (spuds) if we relied on astrology for the stars. ~ R.T.G 15:46, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Farewell from American linguist

Ok - travelling to Brussels tonight to give this talk having said which my identity should be obvious. In case any confusion, this thread refers. All the best Jimbo. Americanlinguist (talk) 22:20, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Since blocking is what you want for this sock, so you can use that fact to make a point, why should we oblige you? Good luck with your talk, and thanks for the useful positive contributions this sock has made. ++Lar: t/c 13:50, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Editing at Wikipedia should be thoughtful, caring, and careful. People do wikipedia no favor by mindlessly reverting edits by anyone who happens to be blocked or banned. "Banned means banned" is bumper-sticker thinking and inappropriate for anyone who wishes to help build an encyclopedia. On the other hand, we do have many banned people who can be counted on to try to waste our time with seemingly correct edits, but that are subtly wrong or biased. So Americanlinguist, may I recommend that your efforts here stay away from areas you were previously warned about and further, for now (while blocked) stick to edits that are not suspicious. If you do, you will have made your point and be unblocked. However, if you revert to old behaviors that you feel are justified but have been warned to stop doing or you make edits that are controversial enough that perhaps they contain errors or bias; then those edits will justly be reverted and you will acquire a reputation as one of those who is just wasting our time and should be blindly reverted from then on. Blocked people's edits can not be trusted as much as people who have not acquired a reputation for inappropriate wiki editing; so edit with that in mind, please, and it can all work out ok. WAS 4.250 (talk) 14:24, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

The whole concept of blocking and banning is an anachronistic tribal practice that not only predates the advent of the Rule of Law, it's the very subject of the first three laws ever carved onto stone tablets, some 3750 years ago...

Hammurabi of Mesopotamia

These are the first three laws, in their entirety, of the Code of Hammurabi, translated into English:

1. If any one ensnare another, putting a ban upon him, but he can not prove it, then he that ensnared him shall be put to death.
2. If any one bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and he escape unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.
3. If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death.

The second law seems bizarre by modern standards. It appears to be the source of the dismissive phrase, "Go jump in the lake." (Compare to the Yiddish expression, Nem zich a vaneh! "Go take a bath! Go jump in the lake!")

There are 282 such laws in the Code of Hammurabi, each no more than a sentence or two. The 282 laws are bracketed by a pukeworthy Prologue in which Hammurabi introduces himself, and a narcissistic Epilogue in which he affirms his authority and sets forth his hopes and prayers for his code of laws.

Note that Wikipedia is not even as evolved as Hammurabi, since Wikipedia does not even do the level of due process required of Hammurabi's first law.

Given that Wikipedia has adopted an anachronistic pre-Hammurabic tribalistic ochlocracy that does not even rise to the level of the Code of Hammurabi, is it any wonder that Wikipedia is the venue of recurring classic liminal social drama that reprises the oldest stories in the annals of human history?

Hammurabi's notion was to advise everyone to go jump in the lake when they are tainted with an unproven allegation.

I reckon the secular cultural practice of absolution through ablution inspired the Early Morning Baptisers of Qumran to co-opt Hammurabi's Remedy into the Mikvah Ritual Bath. Baptismal sin cleansing survives to this day in most Christian denominations.

Of course there was that interlude in the desert where there were no bodies of holy water, so Aaron devised an alternate ritual involving a delightful goat named Caprice. I am rather fond of Caprice, since her story inspired portions of the Passion of Christ.

I find it ironic that a site that purports to offer the sum of all human knowledge is still struggling to learn the oldest lessons in the annals of human history.

So I suggest people wash their hands of Jimbo's anachronistic cult of pre-Hammurabic tribalism, cleanse themselves of the grit by jumping in the lake, and evolving to a more modern and enlightened governance model along the lines suggested by such innovative pioneers as Moses, Socrates, Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tsu, Maimonides, Thomas Becket, Stephen Langton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, Mohandas Gandhi, ML King, Thich Nhat Hanh, John Rawls, Father John Dear, Barak Obama, Kermit the Frog, and Barsoom Tork Associates.

Barsoom Tork 01:24, 7 November 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

One last hope for sanity

I'm shocked at the results of Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2008 November 6#Template:User en-gb-5. Is that really what Wikipedia is about? I had really thought this place was supposed to be a collegiate environment where I wouldn't need to deal with being insulted by people I don't know just because I'm an American. I was going to leave but I just wanted to make sure I hadn't lost my mind about the vision of this place. Mintrick (talk) 19:45, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Fundraising banner

Annoy me once, shame on you. Annoy me twice, shame on me. Please at least provide a "dismiss" button so that dedicated volunteers are not constantly disoriented by the irritating fundraising banner that has been added to the top of all pages. Thank you. Geometry guy 10:40, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Currently being discussed here also. Regards, --Badgernet Talk 11:47, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
If it bugs you that much, My Preferences > Gadgets > Click the second box. §hep¡Talk to me! 20:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I advised Geometry guy of this on his talk page shortly after he posted here Stepshep. The larger issue is that we seem to have several threads on WP (here, main page talk, ANI and Village Pump off the top of my head) of which none seem to think the banner is quite what the community expected. Yes, Wikimedia needs funds. However there is concern about it's layout, design, impact and the lack of a dismiss option (as "hide" was only partial) for registered editors. Frankly, it would have been easier to tap up Pepsi for six million dollars on the basis of pretty much the same amount of screen space, and we would have probably only had to suffer it for a considerably shorter period of time than this notice is likely to hang around for. Pedro :  Chat  20:56, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

If you do not want the banner.Please go my preferences and Browsing gadgets and select Suppress display of the fundraiser site notice.Wikipedia is being run free and a great fashion without advertisement and which any user can contribute.If there is banner which can removed ,I wonder why people are objecting considering the fact that there is a provision to remove it and further despite being widely used.No advertisements are allowed unlike sites which have only a few visitors.The fact the provision to remove it in gadgets was done basically clearly shows that fact that even this only optional.We need to thankful for all running Wikipedia for doing it so efficiently.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 21:21, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

They are objecting because the majority of the active community (logged in users) cannot properly dismiss the request and need to find instructions on how to do so. One might also argue that as regular editors (logged in or otherwise) are the main reason for the success of Wikimedia we don't also need badgering to get some money out of us. Bluntly, if we didn't have the active community we wouldn't have the traffic and we wouldn't have the need for more resource to service the traffic. Specifically, I agree the WMF need investment and money. I think many members of the community feel that the site notice (read multiple site notice) could have been designed and implemented more tactfully to balance the need for cash against bashing visitors and editors other the head with this need. Pedro :  Chat  21:35, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I share concerns regarding the size of the banner. I think that its "pushiness" will drive as many people away as it spurs to donate. – Thomas H. Larsen 03:44, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Before I contribute, I was wondering Jimbo why we need $6 million. I thought it was $3 million. Could you please explain why this amount is needed? It seems rather higher than normal Count Blofeld 14:48, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

I recommend the FAQ.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:22, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Request for quote on privacy of stats

Hello, Mr. Wales. Do you think that Wikimedia users' access histories are private, or do you think someday Wikimedia web logs can be sold or free for all, like edit histories are nowadays? The privacy policy is clear on this. The security note, however, wisely says that even now there are no guarantees. May I please quote your reply in an op-ed if I find a publisher (like this one on a related topic)? Best wishes. -SusanLesch (talk) 22:56, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

My personal opinion is that we can and should make a clear distinction between "reading" and "writing" activities of all kinds. Whatever people do on the web which involves "reading" should be private. Whenever I am writing, this can be either private (as in, personal email correspondence or im chats) or public (as in participating in a public space like Wikipedia). I can't imagine that the Wikimedia Foundation would ever have any interest in doing anything with access logs which might make them public.
The security note is something that everyone should consider, not just at Wikipedia, but everywhere. Even if something is thought to be private, even if someone promises you that it is private, if it is digital, it can be made public, either by accident or through maliciousness. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:20, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
You're wonderful. Thanks very much for taking a stab at this. I will try to work on it and expect lots of people are. Yesterday I saw that chapter 2 on privacy is on the Web from the book I am reading Blown to Bits (Abelson et al. 2008)—the diagram by Jeffrey Heer of Enron's mail in that PDF is a whopper from about 2004. We'll see what the new U.S. administration brings. Best wishes. -SusanLesch (talk) 02:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Buenos Aires

Hi there. I just wanted to say I enjoyed the conference you gave last Thursday at Universidad de Belgrano and looking forward to seeing you again at Wikimania next year. And the last thing, thanks for making Internet not suck! bcartolo (talk) 02:04, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia's Expert Peer Review process (or lack of such) for Science related articles

Hi - I posted the section with the same name on my talk page. Could you take part in discussion ?

NB This discussion is also covered on User:Apovolot/Expert peer review page. Please note that I am suggesting "Expert peer review" feature only as optional one (conducted per request) - so I am not suggesting to abolish current practices but instead proposing to enhance those. I understand that no one wants to give up the feel of being empowered and to be in power ... I am not objecting to massive amateur volunteerism, on which Wikipedia was able to build upon so far - it is something to be admired indeed. I am not denying also that participating in Wikipedia in general first of all enhances the subject knowledge of the participants themselves (which is wonderful achievement on its own). It is also very interesting phenomena that Wikipedia "machine" has matured into classical bureaucracy with its own rules, its own authorities, it own "lingo" and its own resistance to further changes / enhancements, etc. However I am quite frankly "stunned" by the statements similar to those made by the User:Rtc, who claims that the scientific expertize, which is certified by the obtained scientific degrees, is not advantageous for editing encyclopedia's articles (those articles, which have the scientific context). Does such "claim" assumes that in general professional scientists get their scientific degrees without demonstratively proving their expert qualifications ? If to follow above claim deeper, why not to go "further" along this line of logic and state that professional scientists do not contribute into advance of science ? - If so, then who does ? ;-) May be the science (per User:Rtc ) is a fictional field altogether ? (;-)) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Apovolot (talkcontribs) 00:58, 7 November 2008 (UTC) Apovolot (talk) 00:15, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

User: Shotwell suggested (on my talk page) "I would endorse a WP:EXPERTADVICE page that outlined the wikipedia policies and goals for researchers in a way that enticed them to edit here in an appropriate fashion. Perhaps a well-maintained list of expert editors with institutional affiliation would facilitate this sort of highly informal review process. I don't think anyone would object to a well-maintained list of highly-qualified researchers with institutional affiliation (but then again, everyone seems to object to something)."

We could start with that if you would agree ... - could you help to push his idea through Wikipedia bureaucracy ? Cheers, Apovolot (talk) 17:41, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps owner of this page together with other Wikipedia decision making participants will be willing to show flexibility and attempt to achieve reasonable compromised (re-)unification agreement (perhaps using some ideas from my proposal) with both Veropedia and Citizendium ? Such unification would put to an end useless dispersion of resources ! Apovolot (talk) 16:34, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

So you are saying that an editor is inherently less worth merely because of the fact that he doesn't have a formal, high qualification. And you are saying an editor is more worth because of the fact that he has a high qualification or institutional affiliation. Isn't that discriminatory elitism, and wasn't it the whole idea behind Wikipedia to avoid these fallacies of discriminatory elitism? --rtc (talk) 17:54, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Of course an editor is inherently less reliable if they don't hold (or don't provide evidence of) an accredited qualification. This is not to say that the contributions of those lacking such qualifications are inherently useless, but that the subject knowledge of those with a degree has been examined by experts on the subject, and found to be of a high standard. Those without qualifications have not gone through such a process.Captain Seafort (talk) 18:04, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
of course an editor is not inherently less reliable if they don't hold (or don't provide evidence of) an accredited qualification. This is not to say that the contributions of those lacking such qualifications are inherently useful, but that the subject knowledge of those without a degree has not been examined by alleged experts on the subject, and not found to be of a low standard. Nor does it mean that if it has been found to be of a low standard in the past that it is still of a low standard. Nor does it mean that if it is indeed of a low standard, it cannot change to the better in the course of his work in Wikipedia. Your thinking is essentialistic and authoritarian. --rtc (talk) 19:28, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
This is not to say that the contributions of those lacking such qualifications are inherently useful Exactly - and because of this, editors without confirmed expertise in the subject they are editing cannot be considered reliable. The contributions of those with such qualifications are inherently useful, making them superior ediors to those without.
The subject knowledge of those without a degree has not been examined by alleged experts on the subject, and not found to be of a low standard If someone wishes to depict themselves as an authority on a given subject, the burden of proof is on them to demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the subject to be accepted as such, not on others to prove that they lack that understanding. While individuals may very well be an authority, until such time as their knowledge has been proven they cannot be accepted as such. Their contributions may be worthwhile, but this can only be determined by those with proven expertise on the subject in question, and unless and until such experts have examined each and every contribution made by non-experts, those contributions cannot be considered to be authoritive.
Nor does it mean that if it has been found to be of a low standard in the past that it is still of a low standard. It does, however, further mitigate against the reliability of said editor.
Nor does it mean that if it is indeed of a low standard, it cannot change to the better in the course of his work in Wikipedia. True, but those standards, and any improvement in them, can only be determined by those with proven knowledge of the subject in question - i.e. those with a degree or similar academic qualification.Captain Seafort (talk) 20:17, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Exactly - and because of this, editors without confirmed expertise in the subject they are editing cannot be considered reliable. Those with such qualifications are neither inherently useful, nor "can be considered" reliable. I fully agree that many people with qualifications have something good to contribute and I am ready to accept that those without qualifications often write a lot of crap. But your claim that there is something inherently different between someone with qualifications and those without is simply wrong. Often, people with qualifications write nonsense, often they produce articles full of POV. On the other hand, people without qualifications do make useful contributions and sometimes even surpass the contributions of those with qualifications. It is thus wrong to say that editors with a degree are superior to those without. It is always individual contributions by individual authors that are superior to each other. A bad contribution does not become better because of the fact that it was written by someone who has a degree, and a good contribution does not become worse because of the fact that it was written by someone who has no degree.

If someone wishes to depict themselves as an authority on a given subject, the burden of proof is on them to demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the subject to be accepted as such, not on others to prove that they lack that understanding. The purpose of peer review is an objective one, not a subjective one, or put simply, it is about finding errors in articles, not about depicting oneself as an authority. Wikipedia is not about its authors, it is about its encyclopedia articles.

While individuals may very well be an authority, until such time as their knowledge has been proven they cannot be accepted as such. Why not? And do we need to accept anyone as an authority at all? Is it not the truth or falsity of what they say that matters, rather than who they are to say it?

Their contributions may be worthwhile, but this can only be determined by those with proven expertise on the subject in question, and unless and until such experts have examined each and every contribution made by non-experts, those contributions cannot be considered to be authoritive. Why not? And do we need to consider any contribution to be authoritative at all? Is it not the neutrality and accuracy of the contribution that matters, rather than the authority of the person who wrote it?

"Nor does it mean that if it has been found to be of a low standard in the past that it is still of a low standard." It does, however, further mitigate against the reliability of said editor. Clearly not, because someone who today has a high standard but has had a low standard yesterday is not expected to have a low standard tomorrow. And if he would be, it would certainly be no different for the one with a degree. Clearly, many of those with a degree had low standards sometime in the past. We are not born as little professors.

but those standards, and any improvement in them, can only be determined by those with proven knowledge of the subject in question - i.e. those with a degree or similar academic qualification. This argument is clearly invalid, because it contains an infinite regress (as all forms of justificationism do). It is also quite wrong. We do not need a degree or similar academic qualification to judge whether someone's contributions are good.

Let me illustrate my argument with a little passage from Plato's Meno:

Socrates: If someone knows the way to Larissa, or anywhere else you like, then when he goes there and takes others with him he will be a good and capable guide, you would agree?
Meno: Of course.
Socrates: But if a man judges correctly which is the road, though he has never been there and doesn’t know it, will he not also guide others aright?
Meno: Yes, he will.
Socrates: And as long as he has a correct opinion on the points about which the other has knowledge, he will be just as good a guide, believing the truth but not knowing it.
Meno: Just as good.
Socrates: Therefore true opinion is as good a guide as knowledge for the purpose of acting rightly. [...]
Meno: It seems so.
Socrates: So right opinion is something no less useful than knowledge.
Meno: Except that the man with knowledge will always be successful, and the man with right opinion only sometimes.
Socrates: What? Will he not always be successful so long as he has the right opinion?
Meno: That must be so, I suppose. In that case, I wonder why knowledge should be so much more prized than opinion [...]

Socrates now begins an apologetic defense of knowledge and claims that "knowledge is something more valuable than right opinion" (I disagree with him about that), but he stresses again that "true opinion when it governs any course of action produces as good a result as knowledge." "for practical purposes right opinion is no less useful than knowledge." --rtc (talk) 21:11, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Isn't this discussion about (or shouldn't it be about) who is more *likely* to be correct about a scientific matter, all else being equal: a person with an accredited qualification or one without? Rtc, if you came down with cancer and had to make a life-or-death decision about how to treat it, choosing between two people both of whom post on Wikipedia and seem pretty smart, one of them a cancer researcher from Johns Hopkins and the other an IT support person, would you just flip a coin and go with either one? Or would you choose the cancer researcher? Would the weight you attach to the credential be greater if you only had one day to make the decision versus six months? (I think it might.) People come to Wikipedia every day looking for reliable information, and they do not have time to investigate the issue for six months, digging deep into the posts by every party who has contributed to an article, weighing arguments and assertions from one party against the other. Nor does everyone who contributes to an article have that time (or ability, to be frank). In the real world, we often need to rely on the fact that a mainstream credential increases the *likelihood* that someone is correct on the matter in which they're credentialed -- particularly in the domain of science, which, after all, has a strong epistemological foundation and has proved itself over centuries -- and just accept the possibility that a credentialed person may be on the wrong side of an issue compared to a noncredentialed person in a minority of cases. We live in a world of probabilities, not certainties, and have to play the odds. The passage from Plato does not address probability of correctness; as a work of epistemology it's not very sophisticated or helpful at all in my opinion. But that's not unusual for Plato. -- BrianH123 (talk) 17:48, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
A person with an accredited qualification is just as likely to be correct about a scientific matter as a person without such a qualification; the probability that the one or the other is correct is exactly zero (which does not mean that it is impossible that one of them is right; or that both are always just as right as the other). Your example is nonsense, it does not happen in reality and certainly does not compare to Wikipedia. Of course, I would not take into account their formal qualification; I would take into account what they have written and whether it seems correct to me. People do not come to Wikipedia to look for "reliable" information (whatever that is), but for accurate information on the various conflicting viewpoints that exist on the topic in question, with each of the viewpoints given the balance that it deserves. A mainstream credential does no tat all increase the likelyhood that someone is correct on the matter on which they're credentialed; it is zero and always remains zero; credentials do not make anyone less fallible. If someone with a degree knows a lot, it is not because of his degree, but because of his studies; and someone who has done the same but has no degree knows just as much. Luckily, science does not have an epistemological foundation. Epistemology is pseudophilosophical nonsense, science has done well without it. Scientists are on the wrong side all the time; in fact, if the scientist is in any way superior to a noncredentialed person, then it is simply because he is more often wrong and because he accepts that; he creates theories, which are very wrong in the beginning, and he changes them alot when he finds out, and only after doing that over and over again, until he has erred so many times and eliminated so many errors, he will perhaps publish his results, which are also quite often still wrong, as will be discovered by other scientists (or by himself, perhaps by accident). The passage of Plato of course addresses probability implicitly, as for anything to be probable, something must be certain. We do not live in a world of epistemological probabilities. We live in a world of error correction, and the result of error correction is something that is less false – not something less likely to be false. Again, I would like to stress that I agree that scientists often do make good contributions, and that others often write nonsense; and I don't want to say that all individual editors have the same knowledge on all subjects. But I find it quite strange that you don't simply join Citizendium if you like the authoritarian approach lined out above? --rtc (talk) 22:09, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm going to ignore your rude tone and just try to reply on the substance.
  • The example you called "nonsense" was not intended to "compare to Wikipedia". It was a hypothetical situation, a thought experiment, intended to show that reasonable people quite reasonably use credentials to make decisions about what to believe. Do you disagree with that? If you were faced with a medical decision, would you not consider the credentials of the person giving you advice? If so, then realize that Wikipedia does not exist in a completely different world where different standards of decision-making apply.
  • You really need to explain your views on probability better. If you're going to say something that appears contradictory (your first sentence), at least explain why it isn't.
  • I said the the passage from Plato does not "address probability of correctness". I stand by that. Your suggestion that it does because "for anything to be probable, something must be certain" just establishes that he addresses a prerequisite of probability. It's analogous to saying that there's milk in the refrigerator because there's water in there.
  • Your statements about science and epistemology are just bald assertions with no argument attached. If you don't feel the obligation to justify them, I don't feel the obligation to respond.
  • Here is why I don't agree that the original poster's proposal is "authoritarian".
If you have two different views expressed on Wikipedia by two different people and you're trying to decide whom to believe, I think most people would want to consider the facts put forth by each person, the arguments put forth by each person, the articulateness and coherence of each person, etc. I also believe that many people would also quite reasonably want to consider credentials, if there is a credentialing system in place for that subject that they trust, especially if they do not have time to research the matter extensively. Saying that sometimes the person who is credentialed is wrong and the noncredentialed person is right does not negate that. Sometimes the more articulate person is wrong. Sometimes the person who just can't marshal the facts and arguments effectively is right. There is no perfect indicator of what's true in this world. However, the articulate person is usually more reliable and persuasive than the non-articulate person, all else being equal. The person who can marshal facts and arguments effectively is usually more reliable and persuasive than the one who cannot, all else being equal. And the M.D. Ph.D. cancer researcher from John's Hopkins is more reliable and persuasive about cancer than the IT guy is, all else being equal. All of these things are factors that some people want to consider in deciding what to believe. We already have a system in place that reliably shows who is more articulate, who can marshal facts and arguments effectively, etc. It is the history maintained of every persons' post. Imagine that the history could easily be forged -- that would be a disaster for those who want to consider those factors in making their decision. But what about those people who want to consider credentials in making their decision? What about the editor who cares whether a contribution made to the cancer article comes from someone who has spent his career studying the subject versus Joe the Plumber? The original poster suggested that we allow people to reliably assert their credentials in scientific areas. There's nothing "authoritarian" about that. Nobody is saying that only credentialed persons can post. No one is saying that the credentialed person is always right. The suggestion is just that we allow people to declare their credentials if they want to, and to do so via a system that prevents people from falsely claiming credentials they don't have.
  • If you reply, try to keep it civil. It's not necessary to call someone an authoritarian or suggest they leave Wikipedia just because they disagree with you. Also, I would like to suggest that we can probably discuss this issue without drawing esoteric philosophical distinctions. People are coming to Wikipedia for practical reasons, and the merits or drawbacks of this policy can be discussed on practical grounds.
-- BrianH123 (talk) 05:13, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The example you called "nonsense" was not intended to "compare to Wikipedia". It was a hypothetical situation, a thought experiment, intended to show that reasonable people quite reasonably use credentials to make decisions about what to believe. Do you disagree with that? Yes. Reasonable people use reason to make decisions, and reason does not consist of justification. If you were faced with a medical decision, would you not consider the credentials of the person giving you advice? Exactly, I would not. I would consider their advice, not their credentials. If so, then realize that Wikipedia does not exist in a completely different world where different standards of decision-making apply. There is simply no such thing as "standards of decision-making".
  • You really need to explain your views on probability better. If you're going to say something that appears contradictory (your first sentence), at least explain why it isn't. Where do you see a contradiction? I assume you know that probability zero merely means "almost impossible", not impossible? And did you read the debate on epistemological probability?[11]
  • I said the the passage from Plato does not "address probability of correctness". I stand by that. In fact, it does: "Except that the man with knowledge will always be successful, and the man with right opinion only sometimes." So Meno suggests that the man with knowledge is more probable to be successful than the man with right opinion. Your suggestion that it does because "for anything to be probable, something must be certain" just establishes that he addresses a prerequisite of probability. It's analogous to saying that there's milk in the refrigerator because there's water in there. In fact, it is the other way around. It is a prerequisite that water is in the refrigerator for milk to be there, because milk contains water. In the same way, if we make the epistemological statement that X is true with high probability, we are basically claiming that the statement "X is true with high probability" is certain. So epistemological certainty is a prerequisite of epistemological probability.
  • Your statements about science and epistemology are just bald assertions with no argument attached. If you don't feel the obligation to justify them, I don't feel the obligation to respond. See, I disagree with the whole concept of justification. I deny that justification is possible or even exists at all. I also think that reason has nothing whatsoever to do with justification.
  • I certainly don't want anyone to leave Wikipedia because they disagree with me, on the contrary, I like people who disagree with me. I merely wondered why they don't go to citizendium because it seems to me that it is exactly what they are looking for. I thought it would be in their own interest to go there. I certainly don't mind if they stay here...
  • the merits or drawbacks of this policy can be discussed on practical grounds. I was not the one who used abstract pseudo-philosophical arguments to try to justify such a policy. But even on practical grounds, I don't see how there can be any practical problem at all about allowing anyone to participate in peer review, not merely the ones with degrees.
  • is a credentialing system in place for that subject that they trust, especially if they do not have time to research the matter extensively What you are saying is that we should declare that we do not have time to research the matter extensively, and instead let the degree decide. I strongly disagree. If we want to have an accurate encyclopedia, there is no other way than to research the matter extensively, and we are not short on time or anything. Your proposed approach does in fact not make Wikipedia more accurate (or "reliable", as you call it), but less accurate. Wikipedia does not need trust, it needs distrust and careful error checking.
  • "The suggestion is just that we allow people to declare their credentials if they want to, and to do so via a system that prevents people from falsely claiming credentials they don't have." If we disallow declaring credentials altogether, or (a less radical solution) warn people that they should not take Wikipedia too seriously when making decisions, even if it was written by someone who claimed credentials without lying (in fact, I think that this is pretty close to the official position of the Wikimedia Foundation), we don't have such a problem.
  • I certainly do not want to struggle about words. I am claiming that all justificationism is authoritarian, regardless of whether it justifies something with degrees, or probabilities or anything else. If I understood you right, you are saying that people with degrees should have special rights here in some way, because they are authorities. So to me, the word authoritarian seems to be appropriate. However, if you dislike it and want to use a different one, that's fine for me. --rtc (talk) 17:06, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I gave an example where someone had come down with cancer and needed to decide whom to take medical advice from, an IT guy or an M.D. Ph.D. cancer researcher from Johns Hopkins. I assumed that reasonable people would take the credential into account but you disagree, saying "reasonable people use reason to make decisions". So just to be clear, you are saying that a reasonable person, when trying to make a decision about a course of treatment for cancer, would not give any weight to whether the person advising him was an M.D. Ph.D. cancer researcher from Johns Hopkins or an IT guy, right? Is so, I'll let others judge what is "reasonable" here.
  • You say, "If I understood you right, you are saying that people with degrees should have special rights here in some way, because they are authorities." That is NOT what I am saying; you very much misunderstand me. What I said was: "Nobody is saying that only credentialed persons can post. No one is saying that the credentialed person is always right. The suggestion is JUST [emphasis added] that we allow people to declare their credentials if they want to, and to do so via a system that prevents people from falsely claiming credentials they don't have." There is no "right" here granted to credentialed persons to the exclusion of non-credentialed persons. Every person has the same right: to list whatever credentials they have in the context of a system that prevents someone from lying about it. The person who is able to list only one credential, because he only has one, has the same right as the person who is able to list two, because he has two. The person who only has zero has the same right as the person who has one. You keep suggesting that I belong at Citizendium, but at Citizendium, only credentialed people can post. I have explicitly said this is NOT what I want. I merely want people to be able to say what their credentials are, in the context of a system that prevents lies about the matter. Honestly, I think you're arguing against a position you're heard from others and attributing it to me.
  • When you say I want to "let the degree decide", you misrepresent what I'm saying. Read what I wrote above (the indented paragraph in the second-to-last bullet point), where I list a number of factors that I think should weigh. None of them "decide" by themselves, and I'm very explicit about that.
  • You misunderstood what I was saying with respect to the milk & water example. This is how the discussion went:
  • You gave a quote from Plato.
  • I said it doesn't discuss probability.
  • You attempted to "correct" me. You said "of course" it addresses probability, since for anything to be probable, something must be certain.
  • I gave an analogy to milk and water, which you then misunderstood and tried to "correct" me again, with a lecture on certainty and probability which I agree with 100% but is irrelevant. Let me explain the water and milk analogy step by step, so hopefully you can see your original mistake:
  • I said "Plato did not discuss probability". Let Plato be the refrigerator and probability be milk. This is analogous to "There is no milk in the refrigerator."
  • You said "of course" he did, because he discussed certainty and "for anything to be probable, something must be certain".
  • Let water be certainty. Just as water is necessary but not sufficient for milk, the concept of certainty is necessary but not sufficient for probability. You said this yourself in your second attempt to correct me. So your statement in the immediately previous bullet point is analogous to saying "Of course there's milk in the refrigerator, because there's water in there, and for there to be milk, there must be water".
  • Now do you see the problem? If not, this is as tedious as I can stand to get.
  • (In your most recent post, you brought up another passage. We're not discussing that here. We're discussing your first response to me, where you said "of course" Plato discussed probability, since "for anything to be probable, something must be certain.")
  • In your assertions about justification, you once again do not explain terms or give rationales, which makes it very difficult for me to understand or be persuaded. I can't imagine what definition of "justification" you have that you consider authoritarian, but all I mean by it is that someone bothers to give reasons why he believes a certain thing, so that the person listening to him has some basis to evaluate the claim. That, to me, is the opposite of authoritarian. If you're authoritarian, you don't give reasons, you just make naked claims and expect people to accept them. To give reasons, to give "justification", is to show respect to the person you're communicating with. It's saying to them, "I know you have a brain, so I am going to give you the facts and reasons I have for what I believe, so you can double-check it and identify flaws." Someone who refuses to do this I have a high degree of suspicion toward.
  • Question: If I *ask* you, *plead* with you, *beg* you, to give me a justification for one of your claims, are you still an authoritarian if you give in and do so? If so, that's a strange type of authoritarianism. Exactly whom are you "oppressing" when you give a justification to someone who has requested the justification?
-- BrianH123 (talk) 03:31, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
  • "So just to be clear, you are saying that a reasonable person, when trying to make a decision about a course of treatment for cancer, would not give any weight to whether the person advising him was an M.D. Ph.D. cancer researcher from Johns Hopkins or an IT guy, right?" Exactly. "Is so, I'll let others judge what is 'reasonable' here." I do not care about "what is" questions, because I do not struggle about words. I am not interested at all, for example, whether jumping out of the window of a skyscraper is "reasonable", but if your goal is to get out of the building without hurting yourself, I think you should not do this. In the same way I think that "giving weight" to the MD PhD degree concerning the problem should not be done if you want to get rid of your cancer. In fact, there are known cases of MDs that offered very questionable cancer "treatments", see for example Ryke Geerd Hamer. It would have been better for the respective patients to take the advice of the IT guy next to their office! I also disagree that what we are discussing here is a matter of "letting the others judge" or "letting the majority decide" or "letting the common sense of the ordinary man decide" or anything like that.
  • As far as I know it is not the case that "at Citizendium, only credentialed people can post".
  • Okay, you want people with degrees to be allowed to claim that they have these degree, and people without degrees to be forbidden to claim that they have some degree. Thus, you are giving these people special rights; you are giving them the right to pose themselves as authorities on some matter. And by doing that, you are giving Wikipedians the possibility to make further differences between people with a degree and people without a degree. And many differences would be made that you do not intend to be made or even reject to be made, and the question of the degree of authors would get an overall emphasis that it simply does not deserve. I am quite ready to accept that many people judge the credibility of something based on the degree of the person who wrote it, although that is an irrational approach. That exactly is the problem, however. Currently, people are forced to consider the content of wikipedia articles itself, rather than the degrees of the persons who wrote it, because they don't know whether claimed degrees are fake or not. Because of that, even those who wrongly believe in the authority of degrees, are forced to be skeptical of the content of wikipedia articles. This is a good thing, it makes them questioning article content and discussing it. They might often not have done that if there would be this degree list, as they would have been impressed by the degree and would perhaps have thought that because it was written by someone with a degree in this area it must be correct, or similar.
  • "When you say I want to 'let the degree decide', you misrepresent what I'm saying." That may be the case, but I think it is not a misrepresentation of the actual consequences of the list that you want.
  • I am not saying "Of course there's milk in the refrigerator, because there's water in there, and for there to be milk, there must be water". I am saying "Of course there's water in the refrigerator, because there's milk in there, and for there to be milk, there must be water". Plato discusses a prerequisite or ingredience of probability. Hence, he discusses probability. He does not discuss everything that makes up probability, but one of its components, which is certainty. each epistemological statement about a probability claims that something is certain, namely that the probability can be known for sure. Not merely some of such statements. If I shake all the water in the refrigator, I also shake the milk; always, not merely in some of the cases.
  • "all I mean by it is that someone bothers to give reasons why he believes a certain thing, so that the person listening to him has some basis to evaluate the claim. That, to me, is the opposite of authoritarian." No, it is just as authoritarian. Why does anyone need a "basis" to evaluate a claim? I don't see that this is necessary. If you tell me that your desk is green, and give me the reason that you have seen it with your own eyes, what use is this "basis" for me; how should it help me to evaluate your claim? If I want to evaluate your claim, I look at your table myself. In fact, the "reason" you give me is much harder to check than the actual claim, and it would not even be sufficient, since you could have worn green contacts without noticing it. "If you're authoritarian, you don't give reasons, you just make naked claims and expect people to accept them." Not only then! If you're authoritarian, you expect people to accept your claims. Some authoritarian approaches don't request reasons for their claims, others do, but that does not make them less authoritarian, since in the one case the claim is unjustified, in the second case the reasons. So there is really no such thing as a justifying reason. "To give reasons, to give 'justification', is to show respect to the person you're communicating with." No, it's disrespecting them, since you try to enforce your opinions on that person using these reasons, and since you claim to know better, and since you don't even consider that you might be the one who is wrong. "It's saying to them, 'I know you have a brain, so I am going to give you the facts and reasons I have for what I believe, so you can double-check it and identify flaws.'" So you give someone reasons R, and a claim C, and you are saying to them "please double-check check that C really follows from R, and identify flaws". So the actual issue, C, remains unquestioned. "Someone who refuses to do this I have a high degree of suspicion toward." I have a high degree of suspicion towards those people who claim to be able to do this. Those who do not even pretend that they can do it at least to not attempt to enforce their opinion on me with alleged reasons. I do not expect you to have no suspicion toward what I say. In fact, suspicion it is exactly what I expect from you and other wikipedians, both concerning claims made in discussions and claims made in Wikipedia articles. But I already said that... You are the one who thinks that a high degree of suspicion is something undesirable (or why do you attempt to decrease it using the degree proposal), not me.
  • "Question: If I *ask* you, *plead* with you, *beg* you, to give me a justification for one of your claims, are you still an authoritarian if you give in and do so?" I disagree that it is even possible to give a justification for any claim at all, that justifications exist, and that they would serve any purpose if they would exist. It is authoritarian to ask for justifications, or to claim to have justifications. "If so, that's a strange type of authoritarianism. Exactly whom are you 'oppressing' when you give a justification to someone who has requested the justification?" In this situation, the approach of the one asking for the justification is authoritarian, not the victim of this question. And if the victim starts to give pseudo-justifications, he has done just as wrong.--rtc (talk) 19:34, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia's policy rests on verifiability, not truth. Credentials are irrelevant in its system. If I can't buttress with a reliable source (that is, a source considered reliable by current Wikipedia standards, which are subject to change) what I claim to be true, my degree doesn't matter. Even with a degree, OR remains OR. Wikipedia editors are not reliable sources themselves, degree or not.
I agree with you that credentials are irrelevant to truth, and original research should not be not admissible to Wikipedia articles. But consider an analogy: suppose you go to a doctor for advice on how to treat a cancer you've recently been diagnosed with. In principle, his credentials are not relevant -- you're just interested in what knowledge he has. If you knew, a priori (with certainty, in advance), that Jim the IT guy knew more about cancer than Bob the M.D. Ph.D. cancer researcher from Johns Hopkins, you would go to Jim the IT guy. But since you don't know that a priori, you trust the cancer researcher instead. Why is that when knowledge is what's important? Obviously, you're taking a gamble that being an M.D. Ph.D. cancer researcher from Johns Hopkins makes it more likely the person knows about cancer than being an IT guy. Why are you willing to take this gamble about something important (your life), but you're not willing to take this gamble when you read or help contribute to a Wikipedia article? (And I'm not talking about complete deference here. I just mean, why don't even want to take a credential into account or have the option to, within Wikipedia?) Bear in mind that what the M.D. and the Wikipedia editor do are analogous in some respects. Neither "creates" knowledge. The M.D. doesn't do original research: he consults other sources. But we trust that his credential gives him some ability to understand these sources, extract knowledge from them, etc., that not having the credential doesn't (or makes less likely). Now suppose this this M.D. Ph.D. cancer researcher goes online to contribute to the Wikipedia article on cancer and finds it full of quackery. Now he has to engage in trench warfare against those who have added all the quackery to the article, and isn't even allowed to tell people *in a reliable way* who he is and why he knows something about the subject. Sure, he can put his credentials on his user page, but no one necessarily believes him because there is no verification system. It just seems strange to me that we give deference to credentials in "real life", when it's important (our health), but in Wikipedia it's verboten. It confirms the view that this isn't really an encyclopedia we're building but a MMORPG we're playing, and introducing the element of credentials just spoils the game. We actually already have credentials in once sense though, just not academic ones. We have people's reputation and powers and influence they've acquired by playing the game: who's an admin, who sits on what committee, etc. But these are the only "credentials" that the system maintains -- ones invented within the context of Wikipedia, the "in-game credentials" -- and any attempt to import real-world credentials is forbidden. If that were to happen, the game would change, and we all have a lot invested in being able to continue to play this game we enjoy so much. -- BrianH123 (talk) 05:13, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
The more interesting problem, to my mind, is sources that are considered reliable by current Wikipedia standards but contain information judged inaccurate by people with relevant degrees editing on Wikipedia, for example because the information in the sources is outdated, new data or arguments having come to light.
What if several reliable sources contain patent nonsense? Can we ignore them? What if only one, or no reliable source exists that reflects current mainstream view in a field on a particular point? Is it allowed to ignore what several reliable sources say on a particular point if several experts with relevant degrees agree that they are wrong on that point, and can easily give reasons why? What if a website considered a reliable source gets hacked, and now contains obvious nonsense, at least partly, and not being maintained well anymore, remains like that for some time? Are reliable sources always unassailable and do they always trump anything else, specialised expert knowledge, even common sense?
The reason I'm asking is that while WP:RS does say "Proper sourcing always depends on context; common sense and editorial judgment are an indispensable part of the process", I've seen some people taking the principle too far, and interpreting it too rigorously and literally. Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:48, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Actual experts have a strong advantage in any content dispute where editors are honest anyways. I can quickly dig up citations through SIMBAD or ADS or whatnot because I'm already familiar with these things - there's no need to stand on authority. Knowing which're crap, which've since been discredited, et cetera is a little more work - but again, not that hard. WilyD 03:23, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Wily, with all due respect, there's no way that any one person can know, in every area of knowledge, no matter how technical, which source has more authority than another. Just in the area of medical research, it sometimes requires years of medical training and statistical training to know which study to believe over another. This is an area concentrated study can be of benefit; it's not enough just to be smart. And it's certainly not a matter of "a little more work, not that hard" to know which medical study is "crap" and which one isn't, except in a minority of cases. You may know enough to discount a non-double-blind study or to discount certain journals, but what medical and statistical knowledge do you have if you need to go deeper, to compare two studies, both double blind, in comparable journals, that come to different results? -- BrianH123 (talk) 03:45, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Brian, with all due respect, please read what I've written before trying to understand it. I'm talking about areas in which one is an expert. WilyD 13:46, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Is it possible that experts will insist on minor incorrectness such as wording "English is a West-Germanic language" rather than "English is a descendant of" or "English is derived from" or similarly insisting that Futurology be described as "art" or "postulating" (the latter word being very correct yet likely to be obscure in the absence of a modereately advanced study of some related subject, being that postulation may be confused as another word for futurology in practice). The manual of style suggests that an article be directed at the person assumed to have no prior knowledge of the subject. Is this a largely overlooked principle as was once copyright and citation? Where edits are reverted, this principle is rarely acknowledged in my experience, although it is directly in line with Wikimedia principles. ~ R.T.G 15:43, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
There's nothing even remotely incorrect about the wording "English is a West-Germanic language" (even though I would omit the hyphen), just as there is nothing even remotely incorrect about saying "a cat is a mammal" or "Jimbo Wales is a human being". In fact, it would be incorrect to say "English is a descendant of" or "derived from West-Germanic", because, in fact, it is derived from "proto-West-Germanic". Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:25, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Well Florian, obviously you do not mind confusing the man with the monkey and if you would omit the hyphen or add a proto, I would suggest there is something, perhaps remotely, WRONG. High-level gubberish of some sort really (West-Germanic is a group from which others are derived/evolved/descended... !?). The article is up for Article of the Year on the Norwegian and apparently they would differ with you. ~ R.T.G 20:04, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I.P. blocking for non-abusers

Hello. Just wanted to notify you and everybody else who monitors this page that AOL ip addresses have been indefinitely blocked. I've used them to edit for 2 years. It would be nice to have edit privileges restored. (talk) 08:14, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Which IPs? You need to post the unblock template on the talk page of the IP involved. There are 4 billion IP addresses and we are not good guessers. Thatcher 04:22, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
There is no "I.P involved". She said she is using AOL (as are 4 million other people). That means her I.P. address changes every time she signs on to the internet - and that is every day since dial-up users also have to have their open when they are not online.Rayvn (talk) 03:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what's wrong with people, blocking all these IPs *solely* because they are public (I.P edits are anonymous anyway - right? If abuse happens, I.P. can be blocked and appealed later if necessary.) But, I think when an I.P. is blocked for being public a user should still be able to create an account, etc. Some users don't have their own computers - or may have simply forgotten a password. I.P. is irrelevant in password recovery because the password still goes to a personal e-mail address.Rayvn (talk) 19:41, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Public IPs that are abused by vandals to create accounts and to vandalize will be blocked until the vandal gets bored and goes away. Thatcher 04:22, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
I didn't say anything about vandals. I said, "But, I think when an I.P. is blocked for being public a user should still be able to create an account, etc." If an I.P. is blocked for being public, that means no abuse ever happened. What you statement should have said was, "Public IPs that are abused by vandals to create accounts and to vandalize will be blocked until the vandal gets bored and goes away." Because in that case it does not matter if the I.P. is public or not that it's blocked, it only matters that the notice mentioned that the I.P. is public. An I.P. should not, however, be blocked until this happens, should not be blocked from creating new accounts unless the vandal has tried to create a new account from the same I.P. at least once, and password recovery should never be blocked because a SPAMmer cannot abuse that. What I am saying is that an I.P. should not be blocked until it is abused (and then removed after say 90 days or upon request from another user if more then say 10 days have passed and the user does not seem to be the SPAMmer), because doing anything else serves no purpose other then to annoy Wikipedians and prevent contributions from being made by many people (think of a college for example - there's probably at least 50,000 Wikipedians using those computers). In addition you should make sure never to block an OL (or other dial-up) I.P., unless the SPAMmer is still logged onto Wikipedia when you do it in which case the block can auto-expire in 24 hours, because the next time that SPAMmer uses the computer, his I.P. will be a different one.Rayvn (talk) 03:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Hello. This was resolved over a month ago. To my knowledge there is no reason to repost my comment. The ip that was blocked was the one I signed the post with. Please, let's not clog up Jimmy's page. Have a nice day. (talk) 18:04, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

money, money, money

Hey Jimbo! What will happen, if too less money is donated? Do we have to start (temporarily) a new project? :) Cheers, --Yikrazuul (talk) 16:35, 8 November 2008 (UTC)


Hi, About your travels around the world: Please don't forget about Tokyo! I am especially proud to say that you have actually visited my school (The American School in Japan), so please put some pictures in if you can! Thank you! Nihonshoku (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 21:33, 8 November 2008 (UTC).

Is this true?

Could you please please prove your innocence to article, second to last paragraph? It's not that I don't trust you, but it's kinda disturbing. Leujohn (talk, How did I do?) 05:10, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

What's the problem? Someone has made allegations whilst providing zero evidence. Jimbo can equally counter those allegations - with zero evidence. How 'bout I do it instead? NO. Franamax (talk) 05:50, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
You can disprove the claims yourself quite easily: read the first paragraph of Bomis. --Carnildo (talk) 06:00, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Or just read the Jimmy Wales article. How is that disturbing and why bring something here that has already been discussed to death... Jimbo's edits are visible to anyone just like yours and mine. If you want to prove or disprove anything just take a look at them. There is no story here. EconomicsGuy (talk) 06:13, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
In fact, if you read the Jimmy Wales article you'll see that the article has several critical sections. The idea that Jimbo "gets away with it" is absurd. If this was a bio about anyone else, several paragraphs in that article would have been deleted by now. If Jimbo was trying to white wash anything don't you think BLP would be more fiercely enforced on that article? EconomicsGuy (talk) 06:20, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Censoring talk pages

I recently responded to User:RetroS1mone, who deleted a post by User: from Talk:AIDS denialism, because, according to Simone, it consisted of " libellous remarks". I reverted the deletion, since WP is not censored, and the nature of the post's reliability is something that should be discussed. Another editor, User:SheffieldSteel even went so far as to edit's post, which seems to me to be grossly inappropriate. The ensuing discussion is here on Simone's Talk Page and here on mine. S1mone cites WP:BLP, which says "Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material about living persons — whether the material is negative, positive, or just questionable — should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion, from Wikipedia articles, talk pages, user pages, and project space." I pointed out to S1mone WP:Censor, which states that "content that is judged to violate Wikipedia's biographies of living persons policy, or that violates other Wikipedia policies (especially neutral point of view) or the laws of the U.S. state of Florida where Wikipedia's servers are hosted, will also be removed", and that to my knowledge, the post in question was not so judged, in Florida, or elsewhere. My position is that it is better to refute disputed material with one's counterarguments, rather than to have one editor make the unilateral declaration that material is poorly sourced or libelous, and indeed, other editors indeed refuted's post. The problem is that's post is still deleted, but responses to it are still there, and it has now been archived, which makes absolutely no sense. How can you archive a discussion for future readers if the original post that started it has been censored? I can't understand why WP policy would call for unsourced or poorly sourced material to be removed from Talk Pages, at least before a determination of source reliability has been made. Can you explain why WP:BLP says this about Talk Pages, and what the proper interpretation of this is? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nightscream (talkcontribs)

WP:BLP, I interpret that unsourced or poorly sourced stuff about living people should be deleted right away not after discussion on wether a personal website is reliable source. IP editor at AIDS denialism said Robert Gallo is a fraud, Robert Gallo forged lab notebooks etc. also things about Luc Montagnier lying, and the source was a personal website. That stuff got investigated in 1980s, Gallo was cleared in 1990s, no fraud no forgery no lies there needs a better sources then personal website to change it. I deleted the discussion BC the responses did not make sense w/o first comments. I told the people that responded and user Verbal agreed on me it should be deleted. Then Nightscream restored the comments and it went along then and the string was becoming a soapbox and a admin closed it.
When I did the wrong thing pls tell me BC I interpret WP:BLP that violations get deleted and I interpret WP:CENSOR that deleting blp problems is not censorship. Thx, RetroS1mone talk 04:59, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
RetroS1mone did the right thing, clearly. Wikipedia is not a place for people with ranting agendas to come and smear people they don't like. I liked the SheffieldSteel refactoring as well. I think Beware of the tigers is relevant here. I think a great way to handle future cases like this would be to remove the BLP attack, and replace it with "An anonymous ip number posted an attack full of inflammatory language, and in the interest of generating a useful discussion, I am summarizing the key allegations in a more neutral way, so that dispassionate and high quality editors can be aware of some of the issues surrounding this topic. A book by Janine Roberts is said to claim that Robert Gallo falsified documents. Does anyone know about this?"
Treating angry lunatics as if they are worthy discussants devalues people who really are worthy. Allowing vicious insults and/or rants from lunatics to stand, as if they need to be responded to on an equal footing with thoughtful objections, makes Wikipedia a less noble place.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:15, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

See, this goes directly to the problem I perceive with this: Who gets to make the determination that a post is a "ranting agenda" or "attack", and how, if not by a collaborative discussion? If it can be established to be an attack, then why can others not be privy to the manner in which it was determined to be such in an open and transparent process? When someone is judged to have libeled or slandered in court, they don't go back and cut out the instance from all the extant newspapers or video clips; it is simply understood that that act remains a part of the public record, and that the judgment will be part of the record too. Jimbo, you say that you would delete the post, and resummarize it. Why? Why not let observers see the uncensored act so they can judge both it and the refutations of it? I also notice that you close your suggestion with a hypothetical question put to the public regarding the Janine Roberts book (which is what the editor mentioned, and not a website). But if you admit that you're not familiar with the book, how then can you conclude that the post is a ranting attack without substance? Shouldn't the info in the book be reviewed for verification purposes before such a determination is made? Nightscream (talk) 16:49, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I didn't conclude that the book is a ranting attack without substance. And what people should do is refactor, including a note that indicates what happened, and I did not suggest deletion of the revision (so that only admins could see it) nor oversight (so no one could see it). I just suggested editing and refactoring it and explaining what happened. Anyone who needs to see it can go into the history, and if someone feels that the original removal was too hasty, it can be brought back. This is a wiki, not a message board, and that's what transparency means in a wiki - the history is there. I think it is a bit odd for you to suggest that this is "censorship" or that it is a removal of anything "from the public record".--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:17, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
It's a judgement call and different people will make different judgements. Normally it is good to discuss something before deleting it from a talk page but there are exceptions. Please read the "Talk pages" subsection of the "Non-article space" section of WP:BLP. WAS 4.250 (talk) 17:27, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I have, and it just brings us back to my question: Who gets to determine if something is "poorly sourced" or not "worthy", and how? I'm glad to see you say that normally it is good to discuss something before deleting. Can you give the criteria by which it should not be? I know you said different people will make different judgments, but that's a descriptive statement, rather than a prescriptive one, as it does not explain the basis by which S1mone or anyone else deleted/edited the post can be judged to be valid in this case, and therefore, what the basis would be in future such instances. If no one can give solid criteria by which such actions can be unilateral, then I think the BLP policy should be amended to include discussion as a qualifier. Thoughts? Nightscream (talk) 19:31, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Nightscream: Who gets to determine if something is "poorly sourced" or not "worthy", and how? I hate to sound too academic, but I am of two minds on this subject. On the one hand, we have WP:REDFLAG which tells us that exceptional claims require exceptional sources. Fair enough. That policy seems to work well with mainstream subjects, especially scientific subjects, where material is not hard to come by. Wikipedia is a tertiary source, after all. Our job is to describe "mainstream" debates, not engage in them. And if some scientific point presented as "fact" appears to fall outside of the mainstream (see WP:FRINGE), we tend to avoid giving it undue weight in an article or any consideration at all. The policy makes perfect sense to me. On the other hand, I've noticed also how WP:REDFLAG and WP:CONSENSUS have been (mis?)used by editors who seem curiously keen to remove anything unflattering about a subject, too, for -- dare I say it? -- political purposes. An example: The Washington Post and (say) another newspaper report XYZ. An editor places the citation(s) into a BLP. If they are flattering, partisans won't object. If they're not-so-flattering, partisans will immediately cite WP:REDFLAG and try to have the citation(s) removed. Failing that, talk page discussion ensues with the clear objective of "voting" the citation(s) out of the article. The vote -- curiously enough -- seems to last for as long as it takes to get the citation(s) out of the BLP. I used to think this was a good policy, but the more I see it in action, the more I question its wisdom. The Sarah Palin article is a classic example of what happens when political operatives try to game the system on both sides and use Wikipedia as a free advertisement. The winning group seems to be whoever shows the most persistence.
In this case, however, the issue appears to be relating more to "opinions" and not to "facts". Wikipedia tries to avoid any disruptions to the editing process and, to be honest, the top of the disruption list would be a libel lawsuit. In order to avoid a lawsuit, these policies were designed to cut down on the noise and the rhetoric. If these allegations were published in reliable sources (see WP:RS), I can see your point: let's discuss them on the talk page and determine whether the allegations merit inclusion. If, however, they were published by no-name non-credentialed hacks without a publication record or reputation or (worse) put out by these types of authors in obscure publications with no reputations at all (i.e., no write-ups in the press or academic journals or wherever), I can see the wisdom in removing these citations immediately without discussion. I anticipate someone now probably asking how we should determine the "reputations" of the authors and the publications without discussion, and that's another kettle of fish. FWIW, J Readings (talk) 21:32, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Well it is fortunate it is not that complicated kettle of fish!! WP:RS is easy to understand, self published sources are not reliable, WP:SPS "Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason, self-published books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, knols, forum postings, and similar sources are largely not acceptable." At AIDS denialism a self published book-self published website was used, to say a living person, is a fraud and a cheat and liar and forger. That is not acceptible so i deleted it. RetroS1mone talk 01:57, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
On the question of "who gets to decide": this is a wiki. Who gets to decide is anyone who chooses to join the dialog!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:17, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

"I didn't conclude that the book is a ranting attack without substance. And what people should do is refactor, including a note that indicates what happened, and I did not suggest deletion of the revision (so that only admins could see it) nor oversight (so no one could see it). I just suggested editing and refactoring it and explaining what happened." The problems I describe here are not predicated on the idea that wiki talk pages are message boards, nor did I indicate or imply otherwise. They are predicated on the idea that if unless a posting is deliberate vandalism, intelligible gibberish, or an assertion for which the editor doesn't mention a source that even remotely seems valid or in good faith (which would make deletion reasonable), and is instead something that can be refuted on the basis of evidence and reason, that the posting should remain intact, and followed by that refutation.

I never said that you concluded anything about the book in question or that the “revision” be deleted. Those are your words, not mine. You did however, make a certain statement, and that is the only one I responded to. You said that “Wikipedia is not a place for people with ranting agendas to come and smear people they don't like”, and I asked, who gets to decide whether a talk page post is a “ranting agenda” or “smear”, what criteria are prescribed to make this determination, and how will others validate that those proper criteria were employed if the original post has been mutilated or censored with what you call “refactoring”? Again, what is wrong with leaving it the way it is, so that others can see what the original post was, and then the basis on which those who responded debunked it? You don’t think that editing another person’s comments AND responding to in order to refute it comes across as not only redundant overkill, but a rather Orwellian bit of censorship? By editing another person’s posts, and then responding to it, you’re changing the original, intended meaning of the post, and giving a false context to the responses that follow it.

In addition, why refer to the editing of a post by someone other than its author with a five dollar euphemism like “refactor”? That word doesn’t appear at, in my MS Word’s dictionary, or in the American Heritage Dictionary, nor could I find a pertinent usage for “factor” in those sources. Using an obscure euphemism to describe something that is more easily described by a more common term like “edit” or “re-edit” seems just as Orwellian as the editing of the post itself.

As for your statement “I just suggested editing and refactoring it and explaining what happened”, this is contradicted by the fact that you previously said “RetroS1mone did the right thing”. S1mone did not “edit and refactor it”. She deleted it.

“Anyone who needs to see it can go into the history, and if someone feels that the original removal was too hasty, it can be brought back. This is a wiki, not a message board, and that's what transparency means in a wiki - the history is there. I think it is a bit odd for you to suggest that this is "censorship" or that it is a removal of anything "from the public record".” It is indeed a form of censorship, because you are making it harder for an observer, especially a future one, to read the original post. When someone reads the Talk Page, either in its current form, or even when it is eventually archived, they can read the original post and the responses that followed it, in a natural context. But people are less inclined to click on the History when doing so, especially since most may be unacquainted with the practice of having a discussion thread follow a deleted or edited post.

In addition, two different posts by User: were so edited. What is a reader supposed to do, have three different windows/tabs open, one with the current or most recent version of the thread, and then two others in which the reader slogged through the page’s history to see the original versions of the two edited posts? Wouldn’t it be just plain easier to keep the post intact?

Let me ask you this: First, what is the harm in keeping the original post intact? Now once you have the answer to that in mind, let me ask you a follow-up: In what way is that harmful quantity not present in the version of the post that is still visible in the History section? Why does the former provide some problem that is not present in the latter?

Also, wouldn't it be education to leave the full, contextual discussion intact for a future editor, perhaps an AIDS denialist, who may want to add material based on the same sources? If they want to know why info from so-and-such-book or so-can-such-interview is not admissable, they might more easily see that discussion and have it answered for them, giving the discussion a greater educational value for future editors. Removing all references to the sources, makes this less likely, even if you leave History links in, since an editor may try doing a Page Find by the title or author, and not look for the link text.

“I hate to sound too academic, but I am of two minds on this subject…” J Readings, I actually like academic discussions, but you’re talking about material added to an article. We’re talking about discussion on a Talk Page. Talk Pages should be a more open and lenient environment in which people, including dissenters, should be able to present an idea, complaint or argument, and which people respond to that idea on the basis of empirical criteria that are explicitly given. User: made an assertion that he/she attributed to two sources. Instead of explaining why those sources were unacceptable, it was deleted, then edited by someone else after it was restored, and then deleted again, and then followed by a thread that did failed to explain why the source was unreliable, or provide sources that it was self-published—which has still not been provided. When I read and issue of Skeptic or Skeptical Inquirer, the columnists do not distort or re-edit quotes by a fringe idea supporter. Doing so presents the danger of making a Straw Man argument. They respond to the assertion in detail by explaining what’s wrong with it.

“Self published sources are not reliable, WP:SPS "Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published then claim to be an expert in a certain field.” And not once in that discussion did you or SheffieldSteel establish that the post was sourced by a website or self-published book. In fact, neither of you even asserted this. What you instead said was that it was “unsourced” (not the same thing as “poorly sourced” or “self-sourced”), and that it was “defamatory”. User: named two sources: A 1997 interview with Djamel Tahi Montagnier, and a book by Janine Roberts. Not once did anyone ask—or apparently get an opportunity to ask User: the title, publication date or any other details about this interview or book. So how exactly do you know that it was self-published, and why did you not at least note this in the discussion?

“Self published book-self published website was used, to say a living person, is a fraud and a cheat and liar and forger.” The assertion was that Gallo “falsified documents”. The use of four different synonyms to describe this assertion is yours, and yours alone, and the temperament behind such a choice in language seems rather unnecessary and POV-ish.

“That is not acceptible so i deleted it.” And yet, Jimbo here has given contradictory information as to whether he finds this acceptable.

"On the question of "who gets to decide": this is a wiki. Who gets to decide is anyone who chooses to join the dialog!" I joined the dialogue.

I decided that the post should remain, and be debunked by the posts made in response to it.

Instead, it was repeatedly deleted or edited, and you upheld that this was acceptable (though you later indicated it was not). So please don’t say that anyone who joins chooses, because the reality is a bit more complex than this. What happened was that you upheld a unilateral deletion by one editor who did not (and still hasn’t) provided evidence that the sources were self-published, and suggested a protocol that makes it harder for future readers to see what was originally said. You did not uphold the restoration of the post by another editor. It’s one thing for anyone joining a discussion to voice their positions. It’s another for them to unilaterally delete a post without providing evidence that it violates policy.

This is my suggestion for when a Talk Page assertion should be deleted and when it should not be:

In the first instance, the assertion was inflammatory, and a source was asserted that was clearly not valid. In the second, the source sounded like a valid one, so the discussion was kept provisionally open. In the third, the apparently valid source was shown to be false, and the entire discussion was deleted not only because the assertion was inflammatory, but judged to have no value to future readers. In the last, the assertion was rejected, but the discussion kept, because archiving it provides an explanation to future advocates of the same fringe theory as to why that source is unacceptable. Doesn't this seem reasonable? Nightscream (talk) 00:20, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

WP:TLDR.--Koji 00:31, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Nightscream what part of "RetroS1mone did the right thing, clearly" did you not understand? You're idea of wp:blp being relaxed on talk pages is waaay out of consensus, if you want to change the policy it start a discussion at wp:blp. When I have any suspicion a potential libel remark is not well sourced i will delete it, we can discuss later. That is what blp says. When i know a potential libel remark is not well sourced like this time when it comes from a self pub source and a personal website of a well known aids denialist i will delete. That is what blp says. I told the ip editor why i deleted it. I told the other people at the talk page why I deleted it, and Verbal agreed. You did not even ask why I thought the source was bad, you restored potential libelous remarks totaly against wp policy. When you are not familiar with wp:rs or why a source unacceptible, ask the person that deleted, me! I will tell you. RetroS1mone talk 01:19, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I already explained above what I see as the problem with your actions, and Jimbo's contradictory apparently comments about it. I do not favor any relaxation or change to policy, but a proper implementation of it. You did not establish that the material was libelous, potentially libelous, or self-published, but merely asserted that it was in an Edit Summary, something that anyone can do with material that they don't like. WP:RS does not claim that one can just declare by mere fiat that a source is unacceptable without explanation, or that "later" means "not at all", since you still have not explained how you know the material is self-published, or how its origin is "well-known". Nightscream (talk) 02:06, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I do not think this is where to continue the discussion Nightscream but since you now refuse to dialog on me directly I respond here. WP:BLP, questionable stuff should be "removed immediately and without waiting for discussion". That's what I did. Like I said on your talk page WP:BLP says "The burden of evidence for any edit on Wikipedia, but especially for edits about living persons, rests firmly on the shoulders of the person who adds or restores the material." I am very sorry if i did not give good enough explanation on why the personal website and the book are not reliable sources, may be I was to quick on it bc I was so sure. Sorry. But you restored the potential blp violation w/o looking up the source or asking me about it or any thing. That way you are comitting blp violation just like the ip editor and it is not good behavior, the burden of evidence for restoring was on you not me, says Wikipedia policy. You did not pick up that burden, you write instead thousands words essays about why you are right and Jimbo Wales, Wikipedia policy, and RetroS1mone are wrong.
I am interested on AIDS denialists so I know they're names and what they write. I am not editing those pages much but they are on my list, if I see a potential libel statement I will delete it. The author on the book is an aids denialist, she has a website she has written alot of stuff about AIDS not real, HIV does not exist, conspiracy theories. The website the ip editor gave is her website for the book, but the book is sps, she published it her self or well she made a company that published it i guess that is the legal way to say it. You can read part from the book on her website. I think the IP editor went further then the book did also. I am sorry again if you wanted all details, you should of asked me before you restored. I just agree w/ Jimbo, these people that spend they're lives hating Robert Gallo etc are not here to improve articles they want to do an agenda and they will say anything, if you spend alot of time on them and disputing them to people that don't understand it is a sad waste. Can we pls go back to editing. RetroS1mone talk 02:30, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Abuse of citation by an IP user (

I have to report an anonymous user whose referenced edits did not correspond to the original source. I have detected seven cases of his abusing citations which can be divided into two types.

1. By altering deliberately the original source in favor of her/his purpose, her/his referenced edits are different from the contents of the original source. [12], [13](upper one), [14] [15](the lowerst one)

2. By adding reference, this user intended to support her/his faulty information, which is in fact not existent in the original source material at all. [16](lower one)

Basically, this user strongly tends to change, remove and correct her/his previous own edits by her/himself, so that the correctness and accuracy of her/his contributions cannot be guaranteed at all. So I have had to keep constantly an eye on the user, correcting her/his wrong edits. Despite my three times warning allowing plenty time (ca. 6 weeks) of self-correction, this user made no sincere reaction but just tried to cloud the main issue. S/he can not even realize the seriousness of her/his wrongdoing.

Considering her/his attempt to maintain false referenced edits despite my four times warning [17], [18], [19], [20] , this user should be blocked indefinitely from working on this article Goguryeo language in order to prevent her/his further possible distortions of the original source materials for the wrong purpose. Above all, her/his abuse of citations not only degrades the authority of Wikipedia, but also affects badly to the academic reputation of the author of the original source material. So this user should be blocked for her/his fabrication from editing Wikipedia. Jagello (talk) 10:22, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

You might wanna consider taking this to WP:AN/I. --Crackthewhip775 (talk) 02:44, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo, wenn Du Dich nicht bald um Deine verrottete deutsche Filiale kümmerst, dann wird Dir der Laden noch um die Ohren fliegen. Da wette ich 100 Dollar drauf. Und wenn Du schon mal dabei bist, dann schau Dir auch mal die dunklen Empfehlungen aus dem Chat für Adminposten an, - für Leute, die vielleicht mal einen oder zwei Artikel geschrieben haben. Und dann schau Dir auch mal die de:Inzucht unter den Admins an, die überhaupt noch nie gewählt wurden. Das lässt sich nicht mit der Entfernung von zwei, drei Leuten regeln. Da ist eine Grundsanierung fällig. Grüssle (talk) 14:37, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Ich lerne deutsch, aber mein deutsch ist noch sehr schlecht. Aber, mit dem Google-translate und eine Freunde von mir, ich glaube dass ich verstehe sich ein bisschen. I am learning German, but my German is still very bad. But, with Google translate and a friend of mine, I believe that I understand you a little bit. I will try to read the link you have sent me, but it will be difficult for me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:25, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

{removed post of User:Thomas7, nothing as absurdity}

Hi Jimbo, please don't listen to the banned user [Thomas7]. His tries to spam his aggressive POV whereever and whenever he gets the opportunity. It would be more recommended to discuss certain points with the administrators of the German Wiki - if there would be some problems. I have also to apologize for removing the 2nd post of the banned user. He tries to instigate without the making a good case for the whole purpose. Cheers, --Yikrazuul (talk) 16:45, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Nov 9, 1989: The Day the Wall Came Down, by Veryl Goodnight
Why Jimbo should ask a German admin, when the majority is the problem? Typical German idea, LOL. And everybody can see it: Above a German admin reverts an opponent even on Jimbo's talk page in Florida! Thank you for this demonstration. Currently they have found a new phrase in de: "Kein Öl ins Feuer gießen". You will meet this standard phrase on every corner there. Übrigens: Ich erhöhe meine Wette auf 200 Dollar. It will be a hard work for you to get them. Grüssle (talk) 22:55, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
T7, I'm not an admin, your hate against admins is embarrassing (just because you were banned a long time ago). Why do you accuse always "the majority" of being "the problem"? Your links to an obvious "pack of lies" blog (on the German spam-blacklist btw) demonstrates only your lack in the ability of neutral discussions and self-reflection. I recommend you to do more productive work instead of flamming and bashing. If you need help for that, just ask, otherwise don't waste our time with your woolgatherings. Thx, --Yikrazuul (talk) 12:33, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
You should decide: Whether you revert your revert of Thomas7 contribution (on Jimbo's disc!), or you wait till Jimbo has red the history. But reverting Thomas7 and now giving comments to me - a completely different user (and you know that) - is the next German fake. Thank you for this demonstration (talk) 13:34, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
T7, I am not talking anymore to you. If I were you I would appolozise for insulting many German Wikipedians being an "ugly crowd got admin by autologistic inbreeding" or "right-wing nazi-dominated". Instead you are hiding behind an alternating IP, since you know you would be banned here as well. EOD for me, pal! --Yikrazuul (talk) 14:22, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Hallo Jimbo, Guten Tag! Ich lerne auch ein bisschen Deutsch! Deutsch ist ja eine sehr nett Sprache; Alt Englisch ist auch (doch, traurig, fast niemand spricht Alt Englisch). Danke fuer die Wikipedia Seite. Gottistgut (talk) 07:17, 12 November 2008 (UTC)