User talk:Jitse Niesen/Archive7

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thanks for your comments on the rfd. i put my reply there. Lunch 00:16, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Floating point page

The page floating point needs expert attention, and such experts are extremely rare. Based on your past contributions in this or related fields, I wonder if you could take a look. William Ackerman 22:07, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup on Automatically_Tuned_Linear_Algebra_Software

I have been working to cleanup ATLAS. I see that you have edited related pages in the past. If you would be so good as to check out the latest version and contribute to or comment on the article, it would be most appreciated. Cheers, -- Jake 19:36, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

I commented on the talk page. Thanks for all your good work. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 04:09, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. That was just the sort of review I was hoping for. -- Jake 15:29, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup of free software links on Finite_element_analysis

Dear Sir, please explain your justification for removing links to free software on FEA. I understand the reasoning behind removing links to commercial software, but as a USER of Wikipedia, I find links to good, free software to be very valuable information. -- anon

The underlying reason is that Wikipedia is not a repository of links. While a couple of useful links are usually included in the articles, long lists of external links are not suitable for Wikipedia. Given that there are many FEA packages, we chose to include links to lists of software (like IFER - Internet Finite Element Resources), but not links to individual packages.
You can see some discussion on this subject at Talk:Finite element analysis. For an example of a list of software package that is acceptable, see Comparison of computer algebra systems. By the way, Wikipedia is supposed to adhere to be neutral, and as such, we shouldn't distinguish between free and commercial software.
I hope this explains our position. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 00:53, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Dear Jitse

could you remove the semi-protect on the galatasaray and turkey national football team artice there are some mistakes in it and i cannot fix it. -- anon

Okay, I removed the semi-protection. I hope that those mistakes you want to fix are genuine mistakes, and that you'll discuss matters on the talk page instead of engaging in edit wars. Anyway, I'll keep a watch on the pages. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 02:15, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

3+i2 vs 3+2i

You said:   "and "3+i2" is definitely rare"

For a very common counter-example, see: Euler's identity#Derivation

--Bob K 16:21, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

I was refering specifically to "3+i2" versus "3+2i", with numbers. I agree that the order "i sin x" is far more common than "sin x i", but with numbers it's the other way around. For "a+bi" versus "a+ib" (with single-letter variables), both are used. In my experience, "a+bi" is more common, but I might be wrong there. Anyway, I see no reason to change the order. If you want to discuss this further (and of course you should feel free to do so), I think that Talk:Complex number is a more appriopriate place. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 02:20, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Matlab does it your way, which surprises me. Evidently I don't care very much, because I had to look to be sure. It's not something I want to spend any more time on, and if your way is good enough for Matlab, that's good enough for me. --Bob K 04:48, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Re: Galatasaray

Hopefully it will be alright. There was a banned user targetting it previously with various 04:25, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

The request the anon made to your for the unprotection was genuine it seems, but the troll who targets Galatasaray has returned, it seems he has nothing more meaningful in his life to do than sit around and wait for semi-protection to be lifted. From his prior actions I think he will not stop after just 1 IP, I have semi-protected the page for a while longer (I have left Turkey national football team unprotected for now though) 07:19, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Remainder Arithmetic, ancient Egypt

This discussion concerns ancient Egyptian mathematics.

Jitse, it looks as if you or another Wiki reviewer has been editing posts without entering a reason. Did you alter the info on 10/14/06 that cited the scribal division method:

one (1) divided by 2 2/3, written as 1/(8/3) = 3/8 = 1/4 1/8


Scribes mentally did compute with vulgar fractions, as scholars have missed for the last 75 - 150 years (since scholars had thought that all arithmetic operations had to employ unit fractions at every step --- a silly proposition on its face, yet one that has confused scribal subtraction and division since the RMP was first published in the 1870's).

Occam's Razor confirms this proposal, since the simplicity of mental division of vulgar fractions would not have required shorthand notes, as Ahmes and the other scribes selected in the style writing of their answers, such as dividing one (1) by 2 2/3 = 1/4 1/8 (per 1/(8/3) = 3/8 = 1/4 1/8), and generally, (a/b)/(c/d) = ad/bc.

Can yesterday's post be restored since no reason was given for its removal?

Best Regards,

Milo Gardner

Milo, I did indeed remove the text. However, I gave a reason in the edit summary, where I wrote "no reason to mention the 2003 paper in the lead section, see WP:LEAD". When editing an article, there is a small field labeled "Summary" under the main edit-box. It looks like this:
Edit summary text box
What you type in there appears in the watchlist and the Help:page history. I would appreciate it if you could also fill in the edit summary field, as it makes it easier to understand what has changed, and is helpful when going through the history of the page.
Now, the text itself. You wrote

A 2003 paper alternatively suggests that algorithms and proportions were related to this subject, such as dividing one (1) by 2 3/3. Given that scribes tended to write answers to this class of problem, in this case 1/4 1/8, without citing the intermediate steps confusion has dominated scholarly discussions, hence the algorithm and proportion and other more awkward dvision proposals. Had scribes shown all their logical steps scribal arithmetic debates would have been ended years ago. The current remainder arithmetic view is that vulgar fractions were used in the intermediate steps, or converting 2 2/3, a quotient and remainder, to a vulgar fraction or 8/3. Then the division steps would have been: 1/(8/3) = 3/8 = 1/4 1/8, as scribes may have completed mentally (hence no scribal notes were listed).

The reasons why I removed the text all have to do with style. Firstly, you added the text in the lead section. The lead should summarize the rest of the article. The text you added, does not do that; it makes a separate point, and a point of which it is not clear that it is important enough to appear at the start of the article.

(I see your editorial points, ones that are made in the abstract and not connected to the remainder arithmetic subject. As a mathematician I expect a little pencil to paper activity at some point in your pure 'word person' editorical function. Let me know when Annette's paper, or some other actual debating point from the other side is wished to be read? Thanks again for the comments. Milo)

Secondly, you really should identify the "2003 paper" (author, title, place of publication). Thirdly, I'm finding the text, especially "suggests that algorithms and proportions were related to this subject", very confusing. Is the explanation "1/(8/3) = 3/8 = 1/4 1/8" proposed in the paper? Does this refer to a specific problem?

(Yes, the problem is that Babylonian scholars wish to interject algorithm from a cursive context fron prior to 2000 BCE into the debate of reading Egyptian unit fraction texts created after 2000 BCE based on remainder arithmetic methods. The Jens Hoyrup, Eleanor Robson group tend to see themselves as gatekeepers for all of the ancient Near East, before and after 2000 BCE. These two scholars have taken Annette Imhausen under their wings and suggested to her to rhetorical use algorithms and proportions as a way to read post 2000 BCE Egyptian arithmetic ).

I did not remove the text because I did not agree with the explanation "1/(8/3) = 3/8 = 1/4 1/8". If you can address my stylistic concerns, in particular if you identify the paper, then I think that the text would make a good addition. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 07:40, 15 October 2006 (UTC)


Thank you for the extended comments. The 2003 paper was authored by Annette Imhausen, and edited by two well known Babylonian scholars, Jens Hoyrup and Eleanor Robson, titled " Egyptian Mathematical Texts and their Contexts". This information and its confusing conclusion that algorirthms and proportions were involved in solving simple division problems like 1 divided by 2 2/3 is silly on its face --- It was not cited because it is totally wrong, creating a strawman of the worse sort.

Yet, Babylonian scholars continue to propose that recursion, a form of algorithm, used for base 60 and Egyptian base 10 prior to 2,000 BCE, both employed a form of round-off, would show Babylonian numeration was superior to Egyptian numeration. This topic is one of the major debating themes that is hold back the simple vulgar fraction aspect of reewriting 2 2/3 as 8/3 so that its inverse form --- a favored Babylonian technique for its unit fraction series that only used multiples of 2,3 and 5 in their denominators, was superior to the Horus-Eye Old Kingdom binary form that only used multiples of 2n in its denominators.

Thus Imhausen, Hoyrup, et al, and their Babylonian views that support Otto Neugebauer, Exact Sciences in Antiquity's odd conclusion that Egyptian fractions marked a sign of intellectual decline, rather that its actual historical value, intellectual advancement, need to be directly confronted.

Note that all of my citations have been posed within a continuing debate context, a sad fate for Egyptian mathematics - placed in the back seat, with Babylonian scholars being the regional driver of the history books. But debate is moving in this area, so another 10 years or so - the actual confrontation with Babylonian and Egyptian scholars will be enjoined, based on issues cited and fairly reviewed on Wiki, with the anticipated winner being selected by Occam's Razor, and not classical rhetorical techniques.

Thanks again for the discussion. I'll consider your editorial advise, even though you seem not to have read or understand any of the details of the subject, or worked simple examples like 1 divided by 8/3, by following Occam's Razor, or any rigorous history of science methodology.

Best Regards,

Milo Gardner

Milo, thank you for your explanation. However, in that case I think the text is totally inappriopriate for Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not the place to refute Imhausen's (or any other) paper, unless the refutation is published in some scholarly journal or such which you can cite. As I told you before, we stick very close to the sources and allow only minimal interpretation and analysis. Yours, Jitse Niesen (talk) 11:58, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Milo, let me try to be very clear. Either you provide a reliable source for your explanation of how the scribe computed 1 divided by 8/3, or it will be deleted. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:58, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Jitse, the reliable source for scribal divison of 1/(8/3) or any fraction by a fraction is provided by modern arithmetic. That is, (a/b)/(c/d) = ad/bc as we write today. Note that most modern arithmetic books do not list the (a/b)/(c/d) = ad/bc rule, thereby causing confusion by Egyptologists that were not solid students of arithmetic before entering Egyptology. But the facts speak for themselves, as Occam's Razor, and your pencil and paper qucikly affirm, provided you take the time to scratch out a few problems and answers. Best Regards, Milo.

Continuing, responding to your request to justify Egyptian arithmetic, the average modern arthmetic student divides fractions by inverting the fraction and multipling, exactly as 1/(7/3) = 3/7 was written by Egyptian scribes in 2000 BCE. The modern problem of translating the ancient Egyptian artihmetic is that Egyptian arithmetic was written in unit fractions, or 3/7 = 1/7 + 2/7 = 1/4 + 1/7 + 1/28, a form of writing vulgar fraction as the RMP 2/nth table clearly shows for 2/p conversions, and by implication n/p. Too bad that Otto Neugebauer, Exact Sciences in Antiquity got it wrong, and suggested th Egyptian arithmetic was not unified (or his words, that Egyptian fractions marked intellectual decline - which surely it did not!) The 2000 BCE unit fraction notation has been falsely attacked by Neugebauer et al, as marking intellectual decline, as surely is wrong based on its divison of fractions being no different than we use in 2006 AD. Try writing any rational number, or improper fraction, to a short and concise unit fraction series, now or 4,000 years ago, and you'll find quotients and remainders, with the remainders being unitized as Egyptian scribes understood and detailed 4,000 years ago. That is, Egyptian fraction notation and methods marked intellectual advancement, with one proof being modern division of fractions being used by scribes. There are other proofs of unification that I'd be happy to share with Wiki, at the proper time.

I'll be pointing out Spalinger's 1988 paper that shows Barley, Emmer, Dates and Hekat relationships that were not based on proportion but on simple vulgar fraction divisions, as required in 2006 AD. The ancient practical beer and bread ingredient table info follows:

            Barley     Emmer  Dates   Hekat
Barley        1         3/8    2/3     3/2   
Emmer         8/3         1    16/9     4  

Dates         3/2       9/16     1     9/4

Hekat         2/3        1/4    4/9     1

Emmer was a type of grain. Begin anywhere in table and proportions are the silly and long way to get the answer. Reading Imhausen's or anyone's review of this paper, and related papers, cites the data as 100 divided by 25 equals 4. Where is the proportional thinking in that? How silly! Best Regards, Milo

Jitse, thanks for editing the table. We can delay a broader discussion of this topic until Dec. 2006 or Jan 2007, if you desire. Best Regards, Milo

You say that "the average modern arthmetic student divides fractions by inverting the fraction and multipling, exactly as 1/(7/3) = 3/7 was written by Egyptian scribes in 2000 BCE". However, it's not enough for you to say this, You have to find this in a academic paper or book or something like this, and then you can put it in Wikipedia, citing the paper or book. Otherwise, it's what we call original research which is not allowed in Wikipedia. This is the main problem as I see it.
If you refer to Spalinger's paper, be sure to include full bibliographic details, as we don't know what you're talking about if you just say "Spalinger's 1988 paper". -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:58, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Jitse, my documentation problem begins in 2006 and our modern definitions of division. I have looked on the best USA web sites supoorted by NCTM, like Dr. Math, and they do not define division of fractions per the simple rule (a/b)/(c/d) = ad/bc. That type of cross multiplication rule seems to be reserved for ratios. How odd is that?

The most rigorous modern difinitions fall short of the ideal, simply state that when dividing a fraction by a fraction the divisor is inverted in multiplied, using words only, without the use of abstract representations of the component rational numbers. Given this language proof problem, I will search out the appropriate modern defintions of rational numbers, and then apply that test to the ancient Egyptian rational number division operation. Thanks for almost pointing me in the right direction. We are going in the right direction, looking for the why and why's of our modern and ancient arithmetic, showing the additive and abstract aspect that philosophers and k-6 math educators of both eras have struggled to define in everyday terminologies. Egyptians used unit fractions as their arithmetic context, while modern western and USA educators use base 10 decimals. Oddly modern teachers omit the abstract number theory definitions, as noted with respect to division, thereby confusing upto 75% of our modern students who never master fraction arthmetic while in school, an issue that I am taking up with NCTM in its dumbed down 1989 standards. Best Regards, Milo Gsrdner

Inline-citation squad

You wrote: "However, they are not in the maths or physics WikiProjects (or if they are, they haven't come out of the closet yet)." Did you miss the whole fracass at the end of September, when {{fact}}, {{Veri policy}} and {{noncompliant}} were being plastered all over science articles (e.g. Big Bang), and science articles were demoted from GA status without review because they had "not enough" inline citations? Much of this came from just two editors, one of who went on a rampage (see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive138#Disruption from User:ClairSamoht), while the other caused considerable distress by giving a week's time notice on most maths and physics GAs to comply with "the mandatory use of some sort of in-line citation" before "deciding if the article still merits being considered a Good Article". I think it was this "citationgate" that led to the initiative for the presently proposed guidelines.  --LambiamTalk 22:31, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

I didn't miss that and I know that the proposal is a reaction. As I said, I don't like having separate guidelines for science. Perhaps it's better to ignore the GA process. After all, I'm not convinced that GA will take "our" guidelines into account, especially because they were written in response to their strict interpretation.
With "However, they are not in the maths or physics WikiProjects (or if they are, they haven't come out of the closet yet)", I meant that none of the members of the maths or physics WikiProjects think that every fact should carry an inline citation. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 02:27, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
None? When was the last time you looked at what Melchoir has done to the Proof that 0.999... equals 1 article, to thunderous applause from the inline-citation squad? And don't just count the 63 citations (and 49 references), look at them in detail. For example, look at numbers 13, 14, and 15. (And has it bought correctness? Consider the persistence of the following falsehood added to the intro, no less: “[E]very terminating decimal expansion has a twin with trailing 9s.” At least the correct statement has not yet been obliterated from Generalizations.) Do you imagine the insanity will stop there? --KSmrqT 10:45, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough, I forgot about Melchoir. By the way, I think that, while inline cites are sometimes unnecessary, they are also mostly harmless. I don't want to waste my time adding unnecessary citations, but if others want to do that, that's fine with me. Of course, I agree that citations don't imply correctness. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 12:31, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
More information is always better, right? Maybe not.
Suppose you are reading an article on a topic for which you are not an expert. As you read, you encounter several footnotes in each paragraph, and sometimes several in one sentence. Is everything so important or so controversial? Do the references support the statements? How many will you check? As you read, will you constantly interrupt your reading to view footnotes? If you do, is that helpful? If you don't view them then, when will you? Are inline citations like these useful out of context? Heavily footnoted text presents a façade of thorough research and staunch reliability; but can you trust that image?
Now suppose you want to edit such an article. Everywhere you look the text is interrupted and fragmented by inline citations. Does that make it easier to edit, or harder? If you think something could be said more clearly, does the citation still apply to the revised wording? Will you check the source to find out? Must you check? Can you? Are you essentially forced to parrot the source? If you don't parrot closely enough for the citation police, will they attack you for original research, as we have seen happen? If you add new material with no inline citations, will it be reverted, or viewed as less credible?
Will we ever again be allowed to say, "I think this article reads better without the clutter of countless inline citations", or will we from now on have FA and GA lauding of citation excesses forced upon us?
So, misuse of inline citations has the potential to be bad for readability, bad for reliability, and bad for revisability. Is that “mostly harmless”? --KSmrqT 14:16, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

I need my towel. Where did I leave my towel?  --LambiamTalk 20:23, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Replying to KSmrq:

  1. "More information is always better" — Of course not; the notes do distract, and ideally they should be hidden by default.
  2. "Is everything so important or so controversial?" — This is a concern I share, and I think that the notes should make it clear when they relate to a fact which can be found in any text book.
  3. "Everywhere you look the text is interrupted and fragmented by inline citations. Does that make it easier to edit, or harder?" — This is for me only a minor concern (assuming you are refering to the ref tags making the wikitext hard to understand).
  4. "If you think something could be said more clearly, does the citation still apply to the revised wording?" — This is an argument I hadn't considered before. If the citation is useless, then you should be able to remove it. I understand that this will be hard in practice.
  5. "Are you essentially forced to parrot the source?" — This is an important question: How strict should we be in interpreting WP:NOR? It is separate issue though.

Of course, misuse can be harmful. For instance, the source cited may not support the text at all. But here I'm thinking about citations as

"Every real matrix can be written as the sum of a symmetric and an skew-symmetric matrix. [cite some standard text book]"

I don't think it's worth the effort to fight such cites. The problem is that people are lending too much importance to such citations. The important policy is Wikipedia:Verifiability, and citations are only a means to reach this goal (well, sometimes they're also needed for reasons of academic honesty). -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 10:12, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, misuse is the problem. Anyone who deals with academic papers sees inline citations used routinely, and properly so. What we've been seeing lately within Wikipedia is not normal cells, to use a biology metaphor, but a cancer; the growth is out of control and harmful to the organism.
Follow-on comments:
  1. Hiding notes — I like it! There would be a minor user-interface issue: how to be sure readers know the notes are available.
  2. Most standard facts don't deserve an independent note. One or two early notes and a good reference section should suffice. (I think we're agreeing.)
  3. For modest use of notes, the interruption is tolerable. (It would be more so with a BibTeX mechanism.) I'm concerned about massive use of notes, especially where a note in the middle of a sentence has a full citation like:
    Stewart, G. W. (1980). "The Efficient Generation of Random Orthogonal Matrices with an Application to Condition Estimation". SIAM J. Numer. Anal. 17 (3): 403–409. ISSN 0036-1429. 
  4. Right.
  5. I hope the issues can be separated in practice. A genuine problem with cranks and confusion and pseudoscience has triggered a reaction that is itself troublesome.
Incidentally, I would not include a citation for the symmetric plus skew decomposition, since it is so trivial to verify from the definitions. The existence of a polar decomposition is not so obvious; depending on context it might deserve an inline citation. However, I could also be content with linking to the relevant article (especially if it is in decent shape). --KSmrqT 14:37, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

reply about rectangular to triangular correction

I'm actually not sure exactly how to reply through the wiki in a way that you will get the message - is it best to use your talk page or mine? But in anycase - thanks Jitse for checking my question and putting it into effect. As for images, I think I've figured them out now. Richard Giuly 06:40, 23 October 2006 (UTC)


Hi, I somehow missed your comments on my watchlist. In any case, I have responded on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Physics/Citation guidelines proposal. Thanks! –Joke 16:51, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Excelent edit on Projection (linear algebra)

Thanks for that great edit over at Projection (linear algebra), the article is much clearer now. Pdbailey 12:46, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Today's featured article

Just wanted to let you know a featured article you worked on, 0.999..., was featured today on the Main Page. Tobacman 00:28, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Arbitrary link deletion

>I agree with Oleg that they're not useful. The main problem is that the webpage seems to be >about a mathematical theory which is not published in a reliable source like peer-reviewed >journals.

There are hundred of links at the wikipedia which ARE neither published, nor sponsored, nor endorsed, by any peer-reviewed journals (and specifically within the same issues I posted my link) but you don't care about that but just about mine, and all we know the true reason: The true history of root solving shown in those web pages. The true about Newton's, Bernoulli's, Halley's and Householder's method. Of course, there could be many other reasons: I am SouthAmerican telling all the true about those superb Cartesian methods.

The real problem here is that the link I provided is a clear denuntiation of the way irrational numbers have been handled by mathematicians.

>Furthermore, there is no analysis of the new root-finding methods.

You have arbitrarily deleted SEVERAL other reliable sources which I included along with my link as for example: Dr. Sterven Finch, Generalized Continued Fractions and the Generalized Mediant

All those reliable sources along with many others are included in the link I provided.

All of them containing analysis on my the methods shown in my webpages.

Furthermore, in general terms, it is a real shame to read articles on root-solving from people who use to consider themselves as experts on roots solving but seem unaware about the crude fact that all those supposedly "advanced" cartesian-methods can be easily developed by means of the most simple arithmetic as shown in the link I provided. Furthermore, I am a civil engineer, structural engineer, and I think that if some mathematician consider himself as an expert on root-solving then he has the moral obligation to make whatever analysis should be made on those trivial methods. That's a moral obligation specially when considering that for mathematicians of past times it was almost imposible to compute a simple cube root. I don't have any reasons to post a complete analysis on those methods in my webpage, that's why I published my book which is mentioned there. The link I provided is just a brief summary.

Worst, almost all the links all over the wikipedia do not contain, at all, full demonstrations on the issued they deal about.

>The text is impossible to understand.

That's not true. You don't want to understand just because you don't want such denuntiation on the true history of root-solving. I bet you even have not read any single part of the link you want to let deleted. The proof of all that are the aforementioned reliable links where reknown authors have analyzed some of the methods even when they don't have to agree with my critics to Cartesian-System.

>You added the link to Newton's method, yet the web page is not at >all about >Newton's >method. That's why I am removing the link. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 12:03, >27 October >2006 (UTC)

The link I provided show that Newton's, Bernoulli's, Halley's and Householder's methods can be easily stated by means of the most simple arithmetic and that ancient mathematicians has at han the elementary arithmetical operation needed for developing such "advanced" methods. I understand these is the main reason some of you don't want my link to appear here, however, as said may there be other reasons. Besides, there are some explanations on why Newton's method is just a crude and primitive geometrical artifice which is not a Natural Method at all and should not be considered as being part of any Natural Philosophy.

Finally, I understand that you have not read through any single part of my methods, you are not interested in doing so. You just want to get it deleted. I understand that, and I know it seems not sense to reply your message because the all of you have laid your wiki-cards on the table. The wikipedia is yours and not from others but only yours.

I only would ask you to allow me to save your comments and to pass them to some of my coleagues, and even use them as part of the next english edition of my book. I would deeply appreciate that, I think it is not so much to ask from the wikipedia editors specially when considering that you are experts on root-solving and endorse your own statements with so much courage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Arithmonic (talkcontribs)

To whomever: Please sign your messages. And please organize them better. JRSpriggs 07:40, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Do not complain about people not doing to others what they have done to you. Any one person (such as Jitse) can only do so much. So necessarily, he must pick and choose which things are more important to him personally. The fact that he may not have deleted other link-spam does not justify saying that he should not delete your link-spam. JRSpriggs 07:40, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Arithmonic, please do not remove comments of other users. This is against the Wikipedia:talk page guidelines. Thanks. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 00:25, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Re: Thanks for removing spam

My pleasure - I've stumbled across several linkspam festivals tonight. I detest spam and it's been a little while since I devoted a chunk of time to getting rid of it. If they want to increase their Google Rank here, they've got to get through us first. :-) Thanks! KrakatoaKatie 04:22, 28 October 2006 (UTC)


thank you for the help

Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
for helping me with my qusestion TrackMonkey 23:37, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

TrackMonkey 22:52, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Small glitch with relisted AfD

The Jansanskrity article is showing a redlink for the AFD debate that you relisted. I'm assuming you can fix it better than I can! Sorry to trouble you - I've fixed it now. --Mereda 12:24, 3 November 2006 (UTC)


I haven't added the POV tag, I just reaffirmed anon's addition. There are much more problems with the article than just the criticism section. Nikola 19:17, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Jitse, I have understood that you are some kind of editor of the Srebrenica massacre article. As you know I have felt that the article is a bit too long, usually the result of people adding bits and pieces along the way or of compromises where everyone want to get their piece in. Anyway, after a long discussion on the Talk page, which you participated in, I went ahead and changed the introduction text. Immediately someone called Fairview went in and reverted my edit, referring to some historical discussion. Fairview had not participated in the discussion on the Talk page although he was active on Wikipedia at the time and had ample time to follow the discussion and suggestions. Frankly, I feel that he disrespected the Talk page and behaved as if he somehow 'owned' the article.

Could you please talk to him? Otherwise there will be no use in participating in trying to improve the Srebrenica massacre article. KarlXII 01:59, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I already noticed, and I left a comment for Fairview. Don't worry, Fairview is one of the most reasonable editors working on Srebrenica massacre. I guess that the revert was kind of a reflex and I am confident Fairview will take part in the discussions. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 02:09, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Good to hear that. In that case it would be great if Fairview could come with some input on how to edit the Background section of the article. I think it needs to be more concise. If he feels that is something we should strive for... I'll await his comment.KarlXII 02:14, 23 November 2006 (UTC)~
Jitse, I'm not so sure I agree with you about Fairview being a reasonable editor. If this is the attitude of the article, I will spend my efforts and time on Wikipedia elsewhere.KarlXII 09:26, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi Jitse. Not surprisingly, said user is still trolling with edits such as this. Would you mind blocking him (perhaps for a longer period this time)? Thanks. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 11:47, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Hello, and thanks for the note. The IP address is now blocked for 48 hours. I'm reluctant to give longer blocks, since it's an IP address and not all contributions from that address are bad, so let's hope the user will get the message now. However, if that's not the case, we'll have to use longer blocks. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:17, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Sorry to burst in impolitely, but please remove this block urgently, or convert it to a soft block.
This address is not a user, but part of the South African Internet Exchange's transparent proxy cluster, which serves many (if not most) Internet users in South Africa (including me; i'm using a shell account in Germany to post this message). (User:Piet Delport/SAIX Proxies and User:Dewet/SAIX proxies have more details, if you're interested.) --Piet Delport 13:54, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Ah, that sucks. Okay, it's a anon-only block now. The message on User talk: ("this may be a proxy") was rather less alarming than the reality. Thanks for the message, and sorry for the trouble. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 14:13, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
I recompiled my proxy list, and it seems this address is one of 6 (new?) ones that aren't on XFF project's trusted forwarder list yet. I submitted them; when they get added, edits will appear to come from the real user's addresses. --Piet Delport 22:22, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Ok, so I was right about the SAIX thing. Thanks anyway for the unblockment... I appreciate it. --Adriaan90 14:34, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

So we can all see what this is about, (talkcontribsWHOISblock userblock log) is the address in question. JRSpriggs 10:26, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

no Proofs

I've been thinking about your point over at Projection (specifically, your reference to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (mathematics)#Proofs]) and I realized that I don't want to be an Wikipedia editor in the maths articles -- I have no interest in mathematics entries in an encyclopedia as a reader or writer. Thanks for pointing to this now! Pdbailey 18:18, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry to hear that, but fair enough. In case you're interested, both the mathematical section of Wikibooks and PlanetMath welcome proofs. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 08:26, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Hey Jitse

Hey Jitse. There was no reason to delete Yeshua and Jewish Kabbalah, because noone explained real argument and all experts said real arguments. Sincerely --fivetrees 12:04, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

There was a clear consensus at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Yeshua and Jewish Kabbalah that the article constitutes original research and hence does not belong on Wikipedia. Hence, I deleted the article according to our deletion policy. I would suggest you to work on User:Fivetrees/Yeshua and Jewish Kabbalah, clarify which parts of the article draws from which sources, and remove any parts which do not derive directly from a source. Afterwards, you can try to reintroduce the article on Wikipedia. Best wishes, Jitse Niesen (talk) 12:14, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

About Talkheader

Hi, Jitse. About the message you left me, it is OK to delete the header. --Meno25 23:29, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

more Indian "relativity"

Jitse - I have initiated on AfD on Aryabhata's relativity principle. --EMS | Talk 16:00, 16 November 2006 (UTC)


Many thanks, this was an odd bug, well worth catching. Thanks for your help on other ISBNs. PLease let me know if you see any more strangeness, and if it's since now, please halt the bot. Rich Farmbrough, 12:54 19 November 2006 (GMT).

Discovery of calculus

Attention: Jitse Niesen

Despite your fancy post-doc in mathematics, I still know how the basic discovery of calculus came about. There was in fact a convention that Newton attended that Leibniz lectured at. I am in the process of finding the source from which I encountered this information. I suggest that you try looking for it before you start saying there was no convention. I do concede I was wrong about Gauss. Newton did not published before Leibniz, but had worked out his methods before him. And hear in America, Newton invented Calculus. We don't know anything about Leibniz. There are historical documentations that prove Newton took Leibniz's theories. Furthermore, I plan to continue editting this page because I'm American. Since you speak English, you know the last four letters are i can, which I will continue editting until I can't. So give me liberty or give me death -Patrick Henry. Well, not death, but blockage. You have angered the math gods. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Trd89 (talkcontribs) 20:47, 2006 November 20.

Srebrenica article

Jitse, at various points in the last few months, 1) I have found out after the fact that I had been sharing my heartfelt thoughts with nothing but a sockpuppet, 2) I have been outnumbered and mocked by Bormalagurski and about 4 of his sockpuppets, 3) I have wasted a significant amount of time with Osli73 who would feign reasonable discussion just to get traction for willful revisionism and denial, and more.

I guess I have lost some of my patience.

But, yes, if truly in good faith, I remain open and willing to discuss issues.

Fairview360 05:48, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Jitse, I did some research on KarlXII and Osli73's edit history. I believe it strongly suggests that KarlXII is Osli73's sockpuppet. Jitse, please, I would very much appreciate it if you would do what you can to confirm or deny the legitimacy of "KarlXII" before asking legitimate users to engage in discussions about the Srebrenica massacre. This is not a cold-hearted endeavour. When one person's good faith discussions are another person's sockpuppetry especially when discussing the loss of thousands of innocent people to such a horrific mass murder, there is something rather unfair and unproductive about the endeavour. Fairview360 07:12, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
I understand your suspicions; in fact, I wondered whether they were the same person when I first encountered KarlXII. My point is that even if they are the same person, that is not a reason to ignore the valid points raised by him. It is allowed to use multiple accounts, though you may not use them to create an illusion of some opinion having greater support that it has in reality.
However, in the current situation I can understand that you see things differently. Firstly, if Osli73 and KarlXII are the same person, they tried to mislead us by creating the illusion that they're different persons. Secondly, I guess you've had a frustrating experience arguing with Osli73 at different articles. Thirdly, there is the ArbCom ruling for which it matters whether KarlXII is a sock puppet.
Do you know about checkuser? A couple of trusted people (not me) have the ability to see the IP address where contributions come from. This can sometimes be used to identify sockpuppets. You can lodge a request at Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser. You should follow the instructions precisely; since a checkuser violates the contributor's privacy, the procedure is regulated very strictly. Please let me know what you do. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 00:59, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Jitse, thank you for your reply. In regards to Osli73/KarlXII, in principle, I agree with the approach of responding to all comments at face value. But I need to take into consideration how much time I have and who or what I am responding to.
With that said, I did review the comments from "KarlXII" and did find a valid point. I believe "an estimated 8,000" is perhaps more appropriate than "at least 8000" if we are to base the intro on how it is most commonly summarized by reputable sources. Some say "at least 8000" but most say "an estimated 8,000".
As far as taking action regarding Osli73's possible use of sockpuppets, I am not going to do anything for now. I think Osli73 is going to want to keep his sockpuppet and, after the arbitration decision, keep what rights he still has, so I doubt "KarlXII" is going to push the issue. Fairview360 02:21, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

OK, I'm becoming very irritated about the accusations and the aggressiveness of the editors of this page. I've been nothing but polite and open about my edits here. Still I get this type of reaction. I urge Fairview to launch an investigation (yes, bot osli and I are Swedish, no we're not the same person) and I would suggest that you, Jitse, since you are apparently the one in charge here, work harder at setting a more polite tone. You could start by setting an example and reprimanding Bosniak for his hateful personal attack on me (since "Milosevic lover" must be considered a slur, not to talk of the other things he writes). From now on I'll be limiting myself to pages where editors don't immediately call each other names.KarlXII 09:51, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

13-digit ISBNs problems again

Please have a look at this diff, where 978-0-898714-54-8 is "corrected" to 978-978-0-898714-54-8. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 03:03, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I think there is something subtley wrong with the ISBN which is stopping me from parseing it (one of the dasehes perhaps). I will investigate in more detail tonight. Rich Farmbrough, 09:28 24 November 2006 (GMT).

what's new with blahtex?

I guess I've been out of the loop for a while. I'm trying to get caught up. I wonder if there's any news with Blahtex? What's the status? -lethe talk + 22:14, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

You didn't miss anything; there has been no progress on blahtex. I went overseas for a month in September and I didn't manage to gather the energy and motivation to look at it again after I returned. David Harvey is supposedly rewriting the latex-to-mathml engine in Python.
By the way, welcome back. The biggest development Wikipedia-wide in my opinion is a continuing shift from quantity to quality. For instance, the proposed Wikipedia:Speedy deletion criterion for unsourced articles is not shot down immediately, as it would have been in the past (I think), but considered carefully. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 10:50, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi Jitse

Why not allow other editors to hunt for a source, because most of the time I am busy and can't do all the job for others.

Or, instead of constant reverts, why not just put a tag "Citation Missing"?

It's better to use "Citation Missing" tag then to constantly revert articles.

What do you think?

Drop me a line.

Cheers. Bosniak 21:45, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Bosniak, it is obvious that Ivanisevic is a tool of Serbian ultra-nationalist propaganda, but it is the responsibility of the person who introduces an edit to back it up with documentation. What if someone you disagree with introduces an edit and then says it is your responsibility to find the documentation to back up their edit? That does not make sense.I suggest re-introducing your edit using as objective terminology as possible with supporting documentation. Have you found that lengthy edit that Emir introduced earlier this year regarding Ivanisevic? If would refer me to that, I would be happy to help. Fairview360 21:39, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Bosniak's query was prompted by this edit of mine.
Bosniak, you're right that I could have decided to tag it "citation missing". There are several reasons why I didn't. Your edit was already reverted by somebody else. You put it back with an unacceptable edit summary ("stop reverting, instead find sources"). Given the amount of propaganda and the sensitivities surrounding the article, I think it is important to be very clear where every statement comes from and to adhere strictly to the verifiability policy. Statements regarding people are considered with extra vigilance (see WP:BLP), because of their potential damage and the possibility of us being sued for libel.
Please do not assume that you're very busy while the rest of us have all the time of the world; such an attitude will not make you many friends. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 11:22, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Mathematica references

Taking the Linear programming page as my model, it seemed sensible to provide information where non-trivial computational tasks have already been solved/implemented. The current Partial differential equation page gives the reader no assistance in solving their PDE problem, other than references to methods that the reader must then implement for themselves. I set the page up to be ready for a list (I suspect that there are probably a dozen reasonable tools to mention) but I am only qualified to add one entry to that list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JonMcLoone (talkcontribs) 10:58, 28 November 2006

The main focus of the article should be on what a PDE is. How to solve them is definitely important, but less. What software to use to solve them is even less important. Keep in mind that this is an encyclopaedia, and not a how-to guide. Additionally, experience has taught me that lists of software packages are very hard to maintain because everybody adds their favourite tool. That being said, I readily admit that the article is in a rather bad shape.
Far preferable than linking to Mathematica (and a host of other tools) is a link to numerical partial differential equations (and perhaps computer algebra system or something like that). By the way, if we were to give a list of a dozen tools, I doubt it should include Mathematica. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 12:34, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Srebrenica Massacre: good faith discussions

Jitse, I do in fact welcome discussion.

In the following sentence, I believe the antecedents of the pronoun "they" are both the UN and the Dutch peacekeepers. "The United Nations had previously declared Srebrenica a UN protected "safe area" and 400 armed Dutch peacekeepers were present at the time, but they did not prevent the massacre."

Clearly, given the available forces of the UN, the Dutch infantry on the ground, and the VRS' history of backing down when faced with determined resistance, the UN did in fact have the capacity to prevent the massacre. To say "their presence" did not prevent the massacre gives the UN military presence the same connotation as say a pile of inanimate rocks that happened to be partially blocking the road into Srebrenica. The UN soldiers on the ground and the jets in the air were there to give meaning to "UN-protected safe area". They had a mission to fulfill and they had the necessary assets to fulfill it. The UN failed. When the UN had the assets of the most powerful military force on earth (NATO) at its disposal, when jets were in the air just waiting for permission to intervene, when the VRS had shown time and again that they would back down when faced with determined resistance, and the UN decided to do nothing, it would be a whitewash to give the impression that they were not really capable of preventing the massacre.

I think the room for debate comes when the antecedents of "they" are not clear. Perhaps that is where we ought to focus our editing discussion. I am comfortable with "they", but perhaps there is a way to formulate the sentence so that it is not interpreted as focusing on the individual soldiers themselves separated from the entire UN apparatus.

Thoughts? Fairview360 21:49, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, that's very useful. I replied on Talk:Srebrenica massacre. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 12:00, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Wether the Dutch peacekeepers, within the realms of reason, could have prevent the takeover of Srebrenica is a matter of debate. The analysis made by Fview is ONE interpretation of the situation. However, it is not an established fact which is why I prefer the more neutral "their presence did not prevent the massacre". If he wants to discuss the various analysis of the role of the Dutch peacekeepers, let him do so in the article, not stealthily insinuate it in the introduction.KarlXII 12:34, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Your edit on Comparison of numerical analysis software

There seems to be some misunderstanding of the categorization of Mathematica as a Computer Algebra System. Wolfram has never described it as such, and while it does include computer algebra capabilities, to describe it as "mainly used for computer algebra" misleading. Some references:

  • Mark Sofroniou,G. Spalett, "Precise numerical computation", Journal of Logic and Algebraic Programming,Year: 2005 , Volume: 64, Issue: 1,Page range: 113-134
  • John H. Mathews, California State University Fullerton, Numerical Analysis course,
  • J. Noyes, "Teaching a Modern Numerical Analysis Course; An Informal Introduction to Mathematica for Windows; Teaching a Modern Numerical Analysis Course" Twenty-sixth ACM/SIGSE Technical Symposium preprint.
  • J. Li, "Numerical Analysis of a Nonlinear Operator Equation Arising from a Monetary Model", Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 1998 Volume: 22 Page range: 1335-1351
  • "Numerical Solutions for Partial Differential Equations: Problem Solving Using Mathematica" Author: Victor G. Ganzha, Evgenii V. Vorozhtsov Publisher: CRC Press, 1996 ISBN: 0849373794
  • "Numerical and Analytical Methods for Scientists and Engineers Using Mathematica" Author: Daniel DubinPublisher: John Wiley & Sons, 2003 ISBN: 0471266108

etc —Preceding unsigned comment added by JonMcLoone (talkcontribs) 10:06, 29 November 2006

"Mainly used for computer algebra" describes my experience what people use Mathematica for. I do know some people use Mathematica for numerical work, but I have rarely encountered it among people doing numerical analysis, and the exceptions that I know of are included in the above reference list. Certainly, the manual talk more about symbolic capabalities than numerical ones. But I may be wrong, of course. I'd be interested to know how many people use Mathematica for numerical work, how many for symbolics, and how many for visualization. Is there any publically available data?
My issue with "mainly used for technical computing" is that it is basically meaningless (what else would you use numerical analysis software for?) Do you have an alternative proposal for what to put in the "comment" column for Mathematica?
I now see that Matlab is also described as "mainly used for technical computing", so I'll change that as well. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 12:52, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
The claim that "Wolfram has never described [Mathematica] as a [Computer Algebra System]" is demonstrably false.
It would be fair to say it is not just a CAS, but he clearly considers the symbolic manipulation of mathematics a fundamental capability. Some systems (such as Macaulay2 and GAP) only do algebra, but Macsyma and Maple and Mathematica support programming and numerical computation along with the algebra. By contrast, MATLAB is not designed to do symbolic algebra; it supports numerical computation and some programming, but links to external programs for symbolic algebra.
If we use Mathematica or Maple to teach calculus to college freshmen, we want the ability to do symbolic integration and differentiation, but we also want to use numerical computations to build intuition. In industrial applications, perhaps the numerical abilities are more heavily used than the symbolic ones. Wolfram comes from a physics background, where both symbolic tensor manipulation and numerical computation are required, and were already supported by MIT's seminal CAS, Macsyma. --KSmrqT 13:55, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

The reference above to Dr Dobbs interview Interview 1993 does not contradict my claim that Wolfram does not describe Mathematica as a CAS. In fact it supports it, he says there, in essence "its not like SMP which was a CAS". Here is the full quote from that article "I got to do a test run of some of the ideas in Mathematica in a system called SMP that I built in the late '70s or early '80s. It was more oriented toward computer algebra; it wasn't as ambitious a system as Mathematica. "

I also don't agree that the manual has that bias. There are 9 category headings in the documentation , Numerical computation gets equal billing to Algebraic computation, and appears ahead of it in the list: "Numerical Computation, Algebraic Computation, Mathematical Functions, Lists and Matrices, Graphics and Sound, Programming, Input and Output, Notebooks, System Interface"

I do agree that "mainly used for technical computation" is pretty meaningless, I took it from the Matlab reference. Perhaps "Also used for computer algebra" is a reasonable compromise? JonMcLoone 12:26, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, that is fine with me. I'd also be happy with leaving the comment column blank.
Regarding the manual, I was thinking of Part 3 which as far as I remember is for the bigger part about symbolic manipulation. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:05, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Edits at Terence Tao about Fields medal

About those recent edits from and User: Have you noticed that other edits from the same ISP in London, have also been pretty interesting? For example, [1], [2] and [3]from, [4], [5] from This makes me wonder if these edits at "improving the description" really are a subtle form of vandalism. I suppose it could just be well-intentioned but ignorant edits, but the picture change and recent comment about those "ignorant of the profession" makes me wonder. --C S (Talk) 17:05, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I hadn't noticed that there were quite that many edits from the same ISP. I found it very hard to believe in good intentions after the picture change, and in fact I thought seriously about a block. I did wonder about potential reasons behind the edits, but to no avail. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 01:08, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Turns out that our anonymous friend is editing as I speak even though it's 1am in England and good folks should be asleep ;) -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 01:34, 30 November 2006 (UTC)


It is nice to smile once in a while, it is good for the health :)) Well, as far as I know, it is a relatively new template and I only ran into it because I saw it in the TfD page after it was nominated for deletion by someone who, I think, didn't see the humor/contextualize message of the template :) I have been perusing some of the debates in articles like Kosovo and Srebrenica Massacre for a while (even though I don't dare join in :)), and I thought it might help everyone contextualize things a little bit. Cheers! Baristarim 04:02, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Ikeda plots fixed

Please take a look and see if it is ok, thanks - Kghose 06:23, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Looks okay now. At least the plots look similar to the other plots I saw, which is a encouraging sign :) Thanks for your work. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 07:09, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

The article under the bridge

Hi Jitse, Talk:0.999.../Arguments's very own guardian troll, whose last incarnation was (talk contribs), is now alive and kicking as (talk contribs) and (talk contribs). Blocks, anyone? -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 20:47, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

There is unfortunately very little I can do about it if s/he changes IP address after every few posts, unless I catch him/her in the act. Sorry, I wish I could be of more help. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 12:24, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, for the past month he has only used addresses in the range 41.243.00xxxxxx. He changes IPs every once in a while, but in every time period he uses some range consistently, and he is very easy to recognize. Surely something can be done (range block, etc.)? -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 16:15, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

A range block would hit all users on that Internet Service Provider. Range blocks are only for severe vandalism, and I don't think this falls in that category; after all, it does not affect the encyclopaedia. Similarly, (semi)protection of talk pages is only for severe cases, e.g., egragious personal attacks; it would definitely make the arguments page much less useful. Ignoring him is the best solution, in my opinion. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 03:44, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Too bad. Thanks anyway. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 04:30, 3 December 2006 (UTC)


I have answered you on my talk page Knarf-bz 11:13, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Homotopy groups of spheres on WP:GA/R

Hello Jitse Niesen,

I'd like to apologize if I was excessively snarky on the WP:GA/R review of Homotopy groups of spheres. I was dealing with a nontrivial extra-Wiki stress-level (taking 4 PhD-level classes plus one 200-level Chinese course; and it's final exams/term papers crunch time). I shouldn't have let extra-wiki stress spill on-wiki, but didn't realize it at the time. A minor positive side-benefit is that I have learned from the experience.

Best Regards, --Ling.Nut 19:06, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

You shouldn't worry about it. It was a civil discussion overall as far as I am concerned. Good luck with the exams. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 00:18, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Complex number

Unfortunatelly the one of the most important formulas of the complex argument doesn't appear in the atricle. If you think I added it in the wrong place, just copy it to more convinient place, but why do you just delete it ? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dima373 (talkcontribs) 20:59, 5 December 2006 (UTC).

Replied at Talk:Complex number. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 02:24, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Your recent revision

Dear Jitse Niesen,

Thank you for your interest in the article on the theory of everything. However, please do not revert it. You seem like you may be interested in mathematics. If so, have you ever considered the true definition of 1/0, as it is the negative reciprocal of 0? If not, perhaps you should read the article a bit closer before choosing to revert it. I think you will find it important.

sincerely, Archetype —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:18, 7 December 2006 (UTC).

We have a policy against including unpublished theories; it's called no original research. As far as I can find out, your theory has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Therefore, it has no place in Wikipedia. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 01:21, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

This is not true, the purpose of wikipedia is to provide free and useful information to the masses. Peer-reviewed journals are a kind of exclusive fraternity/sorority that do not allow revolutionary truths to be told. Furthermore, this is not original research. The theory of everything is something simple that everybody can understand and realize for themselves. For example, I am not the one who decided that 1/0 is the negative reciprocal of 0. It is simply a natural truth that anyone can discover for themselves. In fact, there are others who have discovered the same truth. Their names are Arecliar and Edward Solomon. So you see, the reciprocal of 0 is not original research; it is something plain that anybody can see for themselves. THanks again for your interest.

sincerely, Archetype —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:01, 7 December 2006 (UTC).

Go to the page that I mentioned: Wikipedia:No original research. You'll notice this text at the top:

This policy in a nutshell:
Articles may not contain any unpublished arguments, ideas, data, or theories; or any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published arguments, ideas, data, or theories that serves to advance a position.

So, Wikipedia does have a policy against including unpublished theories. So, you should start with giving a reference to a source which says that 1/0 is the negative reciprocal of 0 and that this yields a theory of everything, and then we can discuss it further. Without such a reference, it cannot be accepted in Wikipedia. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 02:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Null Symmetric

Thanks for your interest in this page and your help to improve the page. I think your changes clarified a few things and certainly made the page easier to understand. I further simplified a few more things, in kind of the same spirit as your previous changes.

As for your comments about describing the application side of it, well, I thought of adding a section on "Historical Development". But doing so may violate Wikipedia's policy in disclosing material that has not been published. Although the use of such concept has been published in engineering literatures, its historical development and description of where it has been used have not been published.

While I consider the options, any advice would be helpful. Meanwhile, I added another reference, which implies where and when the concept was discovered, and what area it was applied in. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kyap (talkcontribs) 03:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC).

Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector

Hi Jitse,

Thanks muchly for your note on Talk:Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector. I'm willing to wait a few days on submitting it to FAC — do you think you could get to it by then? I'd really appreciate it. It probably will be easy for you — or at least I hope I explained clearly enough! :) Thanks again, Willow 19:50, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

There is a good chance that I'll be able to do it in the weekend. However, if you haven't heard from me by Monday, I'd suggest you go for it. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 08:49, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

We should definitely wait for your review before submitting to the FAC. There's nothing to rush us, except the pleasure of getting another FA for the Physics WikiProject. I'll be traveling for the holidays in a little over a week, so I won't be able to help out much during the FAC, anyway. Maybe we should just plan on submitting in January instead? Just a thought, Willow 17:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I added my remarks to the talk page. Enjoy! If I were you, I'd make sure that somebody is present to act on the FAC remarks. I'll be overseas from mid December to mid January. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:02, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Simpson's Rule

Actually i can not justify, right now, it has to be 90 ( i was wrong when i said 180 ), but i will try to show, from the composite error, that it should be that way.

If the error of the simple rule is then we can derive the error of the composite rule if we consider and as the limits of each coupled subinterval. So a first aproach to the error would be . If each subinterval has the same length then and the sum can be written . We can also write as which can be written . Using the previous results, the error can be expressed as . Aplying the intermediate-value theorem to the average leads to the corresponding expression of the composite error. --Diegonc 06:44, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

In the article, h is defined as and not as as you say. However, that doesn't explain the result that was in the article before you changed it. I see that Abramowitz and Stegun state
error in one step =
error in composite rule =
When I'm at the office tomorrow, I'll check what Suli & Mayers say. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 07:33, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I checked it again, and the definition of is inconsistent within my explanation. Where it says it should say , and this leads to the expresion as it was before. Excuse me for the trouble. --Diegonc 19:37, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

No worries, it is good that all the constants are checked as it is very easy to get them wrong. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 00:00, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Category:All articles lacking sources

I've answered at Template talk:Unreferenced#Category:All articles lacking sources. Rich Farmbrough, 12:25 10 December 2006 (GMT).

Thank you for voting


Thank you for voting in my RfA which at 51/20/6 unfortunately did not achieve consensus. In closing the nomination, Essjay remarked that it was one of the better discussed RfAs seen recently and I would like to thank you and all others who chose to vote for making it as such. It was extremely humbling to see the large number of support votes, and the number of oppose votes and comments will help me to become stronger. I hope to run again for adminship soon. Thank you all once more. Wikiwoohoo 19:52, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Terence Tao

You must have been gaining some attention.... [6] Blnguyen (bananabucket) 06:54, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

That's quite funny; thanks for letting me know. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 07:03, 13 December 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for cleaning up RKF45. Are you sure this is still being used, though? I've never heard of it being used in a non-educational context since the 70's. yandman 21:04, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I thought it was used in Matlab, but they use Dormand-Prince (as I should have known, because they're smart guys). So, I'm not sure whether it's still used. RKF45 is described as "a very popular method" in Hairer et al., Solving ODEs, 1993, for what it's worth. I don't know, perhaps we should put your sentence back in. It certainly waned in popularity after the 70s, but it would probably be good if we could find a source for it. Speaking about sources, I'll put in Fehlberg's paper. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 00:24, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Newton's method in optimization

Its not obvious to everyone. It wasnt obvious to me when I first saw it until I actually proved it myself on paper. Dont be arrogant. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:42, 15 December 2006 (UTC).


for making the Mathematica: A World of Numbers and Beyond page more elegant. --Sternkampf 08:51, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Melbourne meetup

Greetings, person who is listed as being interested in future meetups in Melbourne. The fourth meetup will be held on 18 December, at Lower House in Fed Square (in the Alfred Deaking building, Flinders Street end near the Atrium: map), starting from 7pm. We don't currently have a separate location for discussion beforehand, but there'll be plenty of time to talk wiki over dinner. --bainer (talk) 14:58, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Hey! We missed you! :) Hope you're having fun travelling. cheers, pfctdayelise (talk) 14:50, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your kind messages :) I'm with my parents in Holland (foggy, 3 degrees at daytime, great fun); I hope that's an acceptable excuse! If a write-up of the meet-up ever appear-up, I'll read it with interest. Brianna, you're done at uni now, aren't you? What are your plans, or will you just have a bit of a holiday first? Cheers, Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:07, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Is that 3 Celsius (tolerable, if well-coverred) or 3 Fahrenheit (painfully cold)? JRSpriggs 08:30, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Celsius, so it is not too bad, though the fog did make it rather uncomfortable (for Melburnians, that's fog from water in the air, not from bushfires). I can remember only one winter in Holland when the temperature dropped to 3 F at daytime. The government warned people not to go out unnecessarily, and I think that the schools closed. On the other hand, I did some cross country skiing in Norway at that temperature and then I had no problems with the cold. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 12:43, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, it is cold in LA too. It is now early morning, and 6 Celcius. (Quite cool if you have the window open and no socks; the fingers typing on the keyboard are numb too :) But by afternoon we'll have 18 °C and sun all over, so ain't that bad. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:52, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

You UCLA guys have it easy. My only consolation is that your office is in an atrociously depressing, cramped building. --C S (Talk) 18:19, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

User talk:Jitse's bot

Added a comment. -Patstuarttalk|edits 19:48, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Mathematics and God

I've added the "{{prod}}" template to the article Mathematics and God, suggesting that it be deleted according to the proposed deletion process. All contributions are appreciated, but I don't believe it satisfies Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion, and I've explained why in the deletion notice (see also "What Wikipedia is not" and Wikipedia's deletion policy). Please either work to improve the article if the topic is worthy of inclusion in Wikipedia, or, if you disagree with the notice, discuss the issues at Talk:Mathematics and God. You may remove the deletion notice, and the article will not be deleted, but note that it may still be sent to Articles for Deletion, where it may be deleted if consensus to delete is reached, or if it matches any of the speedy deletion criteria. Ioannes Pragensis 10:51, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Jitse's bot

It seems to be down :( - I've carried out archives to bring it up to date. Martinp23 13:40, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

The bot also wants some holidays around Christmas, I guess. For the moment, I got the archiving of RfC working again, but it might break down again for some days around New Year. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 21:25, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

2006 Melbourne teenage DVD controversy

Hey Jitse, on December 3, you selectively deleted the history of 2006 Melbourne teenage DVD controversy because an IP had added personal information about one of the boys allegedly involved in the incident. Unfortunately, today another IP added the same information back into the article and another admin selectively deleted the history but accidentally restored the edits you had deleted.I've emailed oversight-l and asked for the edits from December 3 and today to be oversighted. I just wanted to let you know this happened because I think it could easily happen again if people use selective deletion instead of asking for it to be oversighted. It's very easy to ask for oversight and the email address is here WP:RFO. Cheers, Sarah 14:34, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I'll keep this in mind. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 21:25, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Woodbury matrix identity

Hi. Yes, this looks the same as Binomial inverse theorem. Heigh ho. What's the correct procedure for getting rid of a page that was created in error?

best wishes, Robinh 17:40, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

If you created the page yourself and nobody else edited the article (as is the case here), you can put
on the page and it will be deleted. However, in this case others may look for "binomial inverse theorem" (I assume you got the name from a book or so?), and then it's better to redirect Binomial inverse theorem to Woodbury matrix identity. Whatever you do, you should compare both pages. It may well be that your explanation is better, or perhaps better on some points, so that you can improve the existing article. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 21:25, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Make sure that you transfer anything of value which is not a duplicate before you convert the page to a redirect. Also a more general comment, never create a page without immediately putting it into a category. Otherwise, it might get lost in the system. JRSpriggs 08:36, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Monobook edit

Hello, Jitse Niesen, I wanted to let you know that I have edited your monobook file because it was incorrectly appearing in Category:AfD debates (Not yet sorted). This should not cause any problems for you, but if it should for some reason please make sure that you do not reinsert yourself in the category when you fix it. Thanks, Prodego talk 17:12, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

2*2*2 = 2^3

Regarding Tetration ha, yeah. Wow, sorry, don't know what I was thinking! jugander (t) 23:17, 29 December 2006 (UTC)