User talk:John

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A Note on threading:

Interpersonal communication does not work when messages are left on individual users' talk pages rather than threaded, especially when a third party wishes to read or reply.

Being a "bear of very little brain", I get easily confused when trying to follow conversations that bounce back and forth, so I've decided to try the convention that many others seem to use, aggregation of messages on either your talk page or my talk page. If the conversation is about an article I will try to aggregate on the article's talk page.

  • If the conversation is on your talk page or an article talk page, I will watch it.
  • If the conversation is on my talk page or an article talk page and I think that you may not be watching it, I will link to it in a note on your talk page, or in the edit summary of an empty edit. But if you start a thread here, please watch it.

I may mess up, don't worry, I'll find it eventually. Ping me if you really need to.

please note this is a personal preference rather than a matter of site policy

(From User:John/Pooh policy)

Deleted Article Reappears[edit]

Evening, last year I messaged you regarding an article that appeared on Wikipedia on spurious grounds. Within about 48 hours, the article was deleted. The articles was: Ryder Ripps; and it is back. I provided a number of points as to why I believed this page was not notable, which has been deleted. I don't know if that can still be accessed as it was deleted with the page:

I don't want to go through all the points again, in the case my previous points cannot be retrieved. But in summary, the original Ryder Ripps page was created by the subject, Ryder Ripps. It was created with a slew of other articles relating to the subject, i.e. sites he created and his father. These were all deleted, but it the Ryder Ripps page itself survived; being deleted or suggested for deletion several times.

The page still reads like it has been composed by the subject, or affiliate, as a vanity page, i.e. "several well-known internet institutions like Internet Archeology," Both of those sites have an Alexa Rank in the range of 600,000, which is probably something like 200-400 visits / day each. They are not institutions, they are not well known and they are not notable.

Below is a copy of my original message re. the article:

Evening, around 18 months ago I forwarded an issue to your attention regarding content that needed removing which you dealt with swiftly. I have identified a vanity biogaraphy on WP; that in my opinion really shouldn't be here. The article is: Ryder Ripps. If you look into the history, it seems fairly obvious the page was created by the subject of the article. I suggested the article for deletion, but it was quickly removed by an IP with no history, with the note: "Removing notability concern. Ripps has more than enough established references including New York Times and PBS." I've created some bullet-points on the nature of the article and its subject: The IP the removed the article was from New York, where the subject lives.

--Hierarchypedia (talk) 16:23, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Thank you, I will have a look this evening. --John (talk) 17:54, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I removed a couple of poor sources from it but it seems to me to pass notability. If you disagree, take it to AfD. --John (talk) 06:29, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 29 April 2015[edit]


Maybe you should unblock TQ now.— Preceding unsigned comment added by User:I am. furhan. (talkcontribs)

Why? --John (talk) 15:36, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
I've restored User:Tetra quark's talk page access. All they need to do to get unblocked is to post a reasonable unblock request that an admin will find acceptable. Indefinite doesn't have to mean forever but their behaviour was disruptive and they had become a net negative to the project. If they can demonstrate that they will improve their behaviour, there is no harm in an unblock. --John (talk) 21:09, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Block request of Alskoj[edit]

John, can you please block user:Alskoj as he/she is vandalizing numerous pages. Thanks, Isambard Kingdom (talk) 17:14, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Done. --John (talk) 17:22, 3 May 2015 (UTC)


If I recall correctly you posted a stimulating and wise essay about "however" somewhere on WP, but I can't find it. Can you point me in the right direction, please, if I am not delusional about the existence of the page? Tim riley talk 20:28, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Certainly, it's at User:John/however. My efforts to move it into Wikipedia essay space were thwarted I think, but I think WP:WTA was amended slightly to take it into account, if I recall correctly. --John (talk) 20:30, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Good! Thank you for that. I shall go and reread, with a view to referring an editor or two to it. Tim riley talk 20:43, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Pleasure to be of help. --John (talk) 20:50, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Persistent disruptive editing by QuackGuru[edit]

John, I hope all is well with you! I'm sorry to have to come and ask your assistance again, but I'm afraid I must. Yesterday, an edit war ensued over the neutrality of the lede on Acupuncture and instead of edit war I placed a POV template tag to the lede and added a section on the talk page. The tag says clearly not to remove it until disputes have been resolved, but QuackGuru ignored it and removed it anyway. I began a section and listed the problems on the talk page, per policy, and QuackGuru chose to ignore it as well removing the tag without justification, ignoring the tag's template message, and ignoring the talk page. If this was the first time he has done this, I wouldn't be here, but I had been researching QuackGuru's behavior a few weeks ago and found that he has a long history of removing the POV tag, quickly, before disputes have been resolved: such as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 and so on. He does this same thing on other articles too like this I have always thought the purpose of the pov template was to let other editors know there is a neutrality dispute (and there clearly is) so that we can attract other, hopefully neutral, editors to the conversation. When the tag is inappropriately and continually removed, we will only ever have a small group of editors ever weighing the issues. Knowing QuackGuru's long history of disruptive tag removal, I believe the reason he removes it continually is that he only wants a small group of editors on the article, and for the heat of the battleground to prevail over the light of reasoned discourse. Because editors like QuackGuru are rarely blocked or topic banned, they are free to edit war and disrupt with impunity while other editors, such as myself, are forced to stand aside because we choose to adhere to policies.

To illustrate the point that QuackGuru is beyond correcting his own behavior, QuackGuru was only recently told by AdjWilley that something needs to change and had suggested that QuackGuru limit himself to a 1RR or a BRD cycle, which QuackGuru is obviously ignoring as well. He reverted a lot of material yesterday, not just the tag I added, and never appeared on the talk page to discuss any of it. If something needs to change, and QuackGuru is unwilling to do it, what is left? A few months ago, you had told me that we should revisit this situation possibly after Easter. Is it a good time? I wouldn't even come here, John, I would go straight to Arbcom if it weren't for the fact that I have my own family situation to deal with which makes it difficult to give the necessary time ArbCom requires. Frankly, even though you told me to come to you after Easter, I would rather not come here to ask anything of you because QG has preemptively accused you of being an involved admin. It's obvious he did this only because he knows you are one of the few good admins who both knows his game and refuses to think of him as a necessary evil and the only threat to his ability to edit freely. Then again, I also think most admins don't want to get involved with him because he sends them the same subtle, preemptive threats as well, like he did to Shii here in order to justify ignoring Shii's consus reading and edit against it with impunity. Anywho, is this something you would like to look at now? If not, do you have any suggestions of action I could take? I don't know of many good admins who are as well versed in QuackGuru's long history of bad behavior as you, and I wouldn't blame you for not wanting to take the necessary action against QuackGuru given the farce he has accused you of in order to tie your hands, but I know one way or another his bad behavior on the acupuncture article has to stop and QuackGuru has proven he won't be the one to stop himself. LesVegas (talk) 19:54, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Just as an update, as soon as I posted here, QuackGuru added this to the talk page, only minutes later. Is your talk page in his watchlist? LesVegas (talk) 20:33, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh dear. I took a quick look and the page is protected with discussion on the talk page. I am sorry this issue has arisen again. It needs to be addressed. We cannot go on like this. I will try to think in the next 24 hours of something more substantive to propose. --John (talk) 21:32, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very much John! LesVegas (talk) 21:52, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
OK, this is too funny not to share it, but I'm glad I caught it so that you wouldn't think I was misleading you about a claim I made. If anyone but QuackGuru did this I would chalk it up as a funny coincidence, but not only did QuackGuru suddenly start posting at the Acupuncture talk POV-Lede section just minutes after I came here claiming that he wasn't, he also archived his talk page, also coincidentally just minutes after I posted a link to it here. So that link in my original post showing you where Adjwilley told QuackGuru "something needs to change" doesn't work. It's essentially a dead link now because QuackGuru deleted it. Fortunately, it's after Easter which means it can be resurrected so in case you weren't able to see it before QuackGuru deleted it, here is the text in full, removed 5 minutes after I posted here. Isn't it amusing how QuackGuru can turn even the most boring edits into one big fun WP: GAME? LesVegas (talk) 23:44, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
@LesVegas, undoubtedly QuackGuru has this page on their watchlist. My guess is that the talk page post on Acupuncture was a minor correction of an oversight, and the user talk page archive was QG's way of letting you know that they are aware of this conversation without actually having to say anything here. (In a way that is a good thing...focusing on content over user talk page banter is part of what I was asking for.) On the acupuncture page, yes there was a huge edit war, but if you actually start counting reverts you'll find that QG only had 2...maybe 3 depending on how much of a wikilawer the counter is. There are several other users that made more reverts than that. ~Adjwilley (talk) 01:22, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Adjwilley, thanks for paying attention to this matter and I wish I could assume good faith to the extent you can and really believe it was a good natured signal, but unfortunately I have edited with QuackGuru for some time now. Im afraid I have to disagree about the count, QuackGuru had 4 reverts at least, I counted them all and if you're interested I will show you each one. Not only that, it wasn't a BRD cycle either. No discussion whatsoever on this topic until I minutes after I posted on John's page. Other editors had 4 reverts too, (Kww) and you know, it's frustrating when you adhere to policies and nobody else does. But what really takes the cake, for me, wasn't the fact that QG edit warred, or even that he removed an entire section without discussion or consensus or even that he edit warred a large number of high quality MEDRS sources out of the article, actually calling them "low quality", it's the fact that he removed a POV tag which says "don't remove until the disputes have been resolved" off the article, and he has done it again and again. How are we supposed to attract new editors if tags like this are continually removed? How are we supposed to have any semblance of decorum on the article if editors continually and flagrantly ignore rules? LesVegas (talk) 02:04, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Consecutive edits usually don't count as reverts. Though QG made a bunch of very bold removals, they were clustered into two groups, and only interrupted by a bot edit and a user's null-edit (revert then self-revert). I might have overlooked something, but I don't think it's worth talking about at this point because it's not going to change anything. The article is protected and everybody's hands were dirty. Nobody's getting blocked this time around.

I'm probably not the one you want to talk with about the utility of article maintenance tags. You might be able to guess my feelings about them by looking at my user page :-). ~Adjwilley (talk) 02:24, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, the reverts were of material that was added less than 24 hours before. What QuackGuru usually does is make several edits, like tagging something first, then removes it. It's much harder to detect that way. He rarely just presses the "undo" button. Things like this are why we have discretionary sanctions, because admins who are familiar with this sort of GAMEy behavior can easily topic ban editors who have patterns like this. Oftentimes, ArbCom has a hard time deciphering the policy violations, just as you are with the reverts. And it's not your fault, QuackGuru is just really good at covering his tracks sometimes. But my biggest point isn't even the large edit war that ensued yesterday. It's that QG removed a tag that clearly says not to remove it, and has done this over and over again. Someone has to put a stop to this. We need new editors on the article, but we will never get them if QG continually removes the very templates that notify new editors of a dispute and goes unpunished. LesVegas (talk) 03:19, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
John, as the filing party of this case, I've thought long and hard about the possible outcomes and scenarios. Based on the previous case request filed by Kww and the comments put out so far, I could envision the following things happening sometime soon:
1. Those who deserve to be sanctioned are appropriately sanctioned - Which is esentially the ideal scenario, but this is getting increasingly less likely.
2. Case is declined - We're at 0 accepts and 2 declines now, so this seems to be where it might be heading
3. Kww gets what he wants - So that he can "immediately and promptly show pseudoscience advocates the door", as he puts it
My question to you is this: Do you generally consider self-requested blocks, and if so, what are your criteria for doing so? I've thought about this for some time, and I am convinced that if scenarios 2 or 3 play out, leaving this place will be the best option for me. I want to approach an administrator whom I trust, respect, and is willing to make the block, though, because someone will have to do it eventually (and it better not be Kww). The duration is for an indefinite period. It's a purely hypothetical situation, but I want to be prepared for the worst. -A1candidate 23:43, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
I have never done this. I might be prepared to consider it. Let's see what else can be done first. --John (talk) 13:35, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh wow, that would be a shame to have A1 self banned! He's a really good editor. But I see why he's frustrated enough to want to commit Wiki assisted suicide, or whatever you'd call it. I mean, he has to deal with editors like this: where reliable sources that take forever to compose together are just removed without discussion. I know that was a bold edit on A1's part, but really only bold because it challenges QuackGuru's ownership of the article since it's backed up by great sources and adds balance and ought to, at least, be discussed before deleting. But, you know, that's nothing compared to, removing claims from reliable sources here because "no page number was given" just shortly prior to tagging it and demanding one. I've seen QuackGuru do this a few times before, where he tags something and then almost immediately removes it afterward so that his diffs appear more reasonable than they are (if you happen to overlook the time stamp, that is.) That type of gaming behavior really needs to stop. Like you, I doubt Arbcom will give any sort of resolution to the matter, at least as the case is currently framed. On the positive side of things, there is finally a dispute tag at the top of the page! Do you have any thoughts about what editors like A1 and myself, frustrated with certain disruptive editors, might want to do from here? LesVegas (talk) 21:15, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh, and I hate to say things like "QuackGuru has done this a few times before" and not back it up with any diffs so let me add some here. So here's a few prototypical instances where QuackGuru tags three different NIH/NCCAM sources 1 2 3 and then deletes them all less than 30 minutes later. There is no telling how many good sources have been memory holed due to these methods. Anywho, it is just a pet peeve of mine to always try using diffs to back up whatever I say about someone on Wikipedia, even if it's someone whose reputation is rather notorious. LesVegas (talk) 21:53, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate that you have supported your statement here with diffs. What remedy do you seek? One of the things about QG is that he can occasionally be helpful and conciliatory if approached right. Whether he needs the threat of sanctions hanging over him to achieve this, is something I am beginning to form an opinion on. What is the change you seek? --John (talk) 10:48, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
"Do you have any thoughts about what editors like A1 and myself, frustrated with certain disruptive editors, might want to do from here?" Perhaps recognizing that editors like yourself are the source of the problem and voluntarily refraining from editing all articles related to pseudoscience or CAM? That would certainly reduce the discord associated with the articles and have the added bonus of keeping them grounded in reality. That assumes, of course, that you want to have articles about these topics reflect scientific consensus on them. The primary reason QG is tolerated is because he has the patience to review and correct these articles on a daily basis, something very few of us can bring ourselves to do. If that was no longer necessary, more of us would look favorably on editing restrictions for QG.—Kww(talk) 14:33, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
John, thank you for your response and continued concern for this matter! My thinking is that QuackGuru has long ago worn down the patience from the much larger community of Wikipedia editors, and the only reason proper punishment has yet to be administered to him is the presence of a small group of editors who fight for QuackGuru because they have a common POV and they are willing to excuse his bad behavior at every turn. They beg and plead for him continually and make endless excuses for his behavior, and it persists and then they beg and plead some more. Because this cycle continues, it sends a signal to other editors that they can get away with anything. And just so long as their behavior doesn't exceed what QuackGuru does, and just so long as QuackGuru isn't punished they can violate any rules they want. Even Kww, who I would think would know better, had 5 reverts the other day and has been making uncivil accusations. That alone should support that QuackGuru's behavior is contagious. With even administrators disregarding all the rules, the problem has reached critical mass, and it's because QuackGuru has been kept around for some perceived greater good. Just look at this long list of history on adminstrative noticeboards, AE, RfC, Arbcom and the like to see that he has been given every chance and has failed. I would like to think I am also the type of person who sees the best in people, and I always try. But probably the only good trait I can now see in QuackGuru is how creative he is in concealing disruptive behavior and concocting new and unprecedented ways to pester editors like I caught him doing in this thread. This morning, I read the entire thread where QuackGuru was topic banned for one year in pseudoscience topics. I laughed at how, even with a punishment like that, his behavior has not changed at all and really has only worsened. So given QuackGuru's history, and the fact that his continued misbehavior has spilled over into other editors, if I were administering the punishment I would give him a permanent topic ban. I know his cohorts would be upset, but that would be because it would signal to them that their own behavior had also better shape up. Now, I know that might be a lot to ask of you, given the fact that QuackGuru has already showed you his gun, although it's full of duds as everyone knows, but a one year topic ban is not unprecedented. The only reason I wouldn't suggest that first is that it's already been administered, and it obviously failed to signal to him that he should correct his behavior. So, really, what is left? LesVegas (talk) 16:34, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
My comment above was quite serious. If you and the other editors your find yourself allied with would agree to stop editing, I'm sure that we could get a community consensus to topic ban QG at the same time. You're right that many tolerate QG simply because he serves as an impediment to pseudoscience and alt-med advocacy. If the advocacy would cease, so would the community's tolerance for QG.—Kww(talk) 18:19, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
Kww, some diffs have been presented to support the premise that QG has behaved disruptively in this area. We also have this which is a useful non-exhaustive list of administrative discussions regarding QG. Can you present a corresponding set of evidence in regard to LesVegas? Specifically it would be good to see you back up the claim that this user has engaged in "pseudoscience and alt-med advocacy". Thanks in advance. --John (talk) 18:30, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, that LesVegas twists the results of discussions was a long topic of discussion here full text here, and I note that he still expects us to believe that he wasn't being deceptive in furtherance of his POV. I find his efforts to claim that I am "twisting sources" by using "many within the field of science view acupuncture as 'quackery' and 'pseudoscience,' and its effect as 'theatrical placebo'" as support for "Many within the scientific community consider it to be quackery" telling: it's a fair paraphrase (indeed, a softening, if anything), but it does serve to denigrate acupuncture, so he objects, using arguments that can't pass the blush test. It's fairly easy to point you at his entire edit history and say "show me an edit that didn't serve to promote pseudoscience and alternative medicine, but some highlights of his editing include the old "too Western" canard, which he repeats in this section, an edit that reveals that he doesn't understand that Wikipedia articles about medical and scientific topics are supposed to be written from a scientific perspective. The issue with diffs is an embarassment of riches problem: every argument and every edit ultimately serves to paint acupuncture in a more favourable light. He gets angry with editors that apply more stringent standards to pro-TCM and pro-acupuncture sources, which betrays a lack of understanding that we are supposed to view sources that contradict scientific and medical consensus more stringently. That's the underlying dilemma, and the reason that the arguments keep occurring: since our medical articles are supposed to portray scientific consensus, we aren't supposed to treat sources that disregard or contradict it as being on par with those that support it. LesVegas won't accept that. Even if in his heart he believes he is restoring balance, the effect is advocacy.—Kww(talk) 19:30, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── John, as much as I would love to reply to each of Kww's above complaints, I'm afraid I have some family obligations which will occupy my time until tomorrow. I do think most of these diffs speak for themselves if you read the context fully and think Kww's issues with me have more to do with Kww's POV, but if there are any diffs here which bother you or any other questions you have, please ask and I will be happy to respond fully tomorrow. I would like to give you a little context to show you where Kww believes we can declare a source, Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine unreliable if it has positive findings, yet when this same journal has negative findings? Kww actually believes, unabashedly, that we should to use it for to denigration. Just keep that in mind as you read through these diffs. If holding editors to one standard and doing my best to prevent hypocritical use of rules and sources on the acupuncture page is a crime, I will be the first to proudly declare I'm guilty as charged. LesVegas (talk) 21:33, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

It's not hypocritical at all, but that you see it that way is the root of the problem: since the correct way of handling sources doesn't line up with what you perceive as fair, the discussions inevitably spiral out of control. When a source makes a statement counter to its own bias, concerns about bias are lessened. When a source makes a statement that corresponds with scientific consensus, that doesn't present the same concerns about reliability that it does when the source makes statements that either contradict that consensus or isn't supported by it. That's what evaluating sources is all about.—Kww(talk) 21:42, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
Real quick, the primary objection to the eCAM source has been its lack of Medline indexing, and but every time any editor finds an eCAM article that is pro-alt med, it's met with no shortage of howls. But to use it to denigrate an alt med subject? Suddenly the Medline indexing issue is not only a non-issue, but we can use that source 22 times in the article and it's roundly cheered by you for its reliability. How is that not hypocritical? Of course I should point things like that out, and I make no apologies for doing so. And I will also argue issues like what you said yesterday when you unabashedly stated that all research from Chinese authors are unreliable. We have systemic bias policies for that very reason. Should I sit on the sidelines and allow you to conveniently forget that we have policies like this? I'm sorry you feel that constitutes pushing pseudoscience. LesVegas (talk) 23:29, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
You won't find a diff of me saying that, because I didn't. However, per , yes, Chinese research holds a substantial bias in favor of TCM and related topics: "Research conducted in certain countries was uniformly favorable to acupuncture; all trials originating in China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were positive". No policy in Wikipedia would require us to neglect this when considering a source. As for "resoundly cheering its [EBACAM's] reliability", no, I don't think you can find that I've done so. My concerns about bias pretty much go away when a journal established to champion alt-med admits to causing injuries, though: my only remaining concern would be whether that bias caused it to understate them.—Kww(talk) 23:38, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
I had a moment so I'll respond and wanted to say I'll take your word for it that you never objected to eCAM for lack of Medline indexing, like some other editors did. And I don't want to turn this into a discussion on the relevance of 17 yr old studies about Chinese scientists here on John's talk page because we are venturing off topic already. Your original claim was that I'm a pseudoscience advocate, but every diff you provided showed my consistent promotion of policy above all else.But Kww, you elevate WP: FRINGE above WP:BALANCE and every other NPOV policy we have and when I argue that editors try to not forget the our multitude of policies and guidelines people like to sling mud at me. The funny thing is, I don't really even care all that much about acupuncture. I've gotten acupuncture treatments before and like it and know quite a bit about it because I did my dissertation on aspects of Han dynasty classical texts, but I've said before I think TCM is bunk and could care less about it. What I do care about is that policies are upheld, that NPOV is at least thought about from time to time, and that editors who continually disregard these rules are punished. As soon as I discovered the acupuncture page, I was immediately taken aback by how slanted it was and that's the only reason I still edit there, to remind editors WP: FRINGE isn't the only policy we have. So I would gladly walk away from the page if it meant QuackGuru was permenantly topic banned, but who then will be there to remind you of our other policies? Who will be there to resist totalitarian efforts by you and others to create COI editing restrictions for alt-med practitioners? Or stand up to you when you bully editors like Littleoliveoil? You would love it if I went away and you had one less editor standing in your way. But I think QuackGuru's long standing disruptive behavior doesn't warrant that he only gets proper punishment if someone who has done no wrong also gets forced out. You say that QuackGuru needs to be topic banned, but only if I and others are forced to walk away as well? I really fail to see your logic that punishment be doled out to the guilty only when we apply it to the innocent first. Is there a criminal justice system in the history of the world that has ever followed that line of thought? Listen, QuackGuru has failed time and again to rectify his behavior and has proven he's incorrigible and you are making it much more complicated than that because you share his leanings. LesVegas (talk) 05:57, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
WP:FRINGE doesn't overrule our other policies, but it indicates how to keep them from being a suicide pact. Yes, I would love it if you went away, I won't deny that, but it's because you show a persistent inability to edit articles about fringe topics but persist on doing so anyway. As I said above, even if you are motivated by a misunderstanding of NPOV, the net effect of your edits is to advocate fringe science. In the spirit of "comment on the edits, not the editor", I really don't care if you are a wonderful, well-intentioned person: your edits damage articles.—Kww(talk) 14:41, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Okay, I have a proposal[edit]

I've been thinking over the past few days about this situation and wanted to make a proposal here. Kww, I have considered what you said and I'm willing to offer you a compromise. Here is how it works.

1. QuackGuru gets a permanent topic ban. Everyone knows he deserves it a hundred times over, even Kww. But Kww's reluctance to support it is that he's afraid I will "POV push" or something. So,
2. In exchange for QuackGuru's permanent topic ban, I walk away from the article, the talk page, and the entire subject altogether for 6 months. I will go edit history articles and chase vandals during this time and might even lose my interest in the topic altogether. As I said, I only became involved in the page in the first place because it was a subject area I have some expertise with and became very dismayed by what I perceived were major neutrality issues. Despite continued issues, I am willing to walk away for 6 months because I think the possibility exists that solutions to the article's problems could still come about, maybe even better, from a fresh set of eyes. For instance, I was encouraged by this edit which was really a creative solution to a problem with the lede everyone has had. Instead of doing what I've supported, which was to balance negative Quackwatch statements with pro ones from textbooks or medical organizations, CorporateM trimmed both sides out and got rid of the bloat all at once. I wasn't even aware how long it was until I saw his new edit. His edit did not stand, however, because the page owner didn't approve. QuackGuru deceptively indicated that Wikipedia: LEADLENGTH says it must be 4 paragraphs. That wasn't true at all, it says articles the length of articles as long as Acupuncture should be 3-4, and Corporate's edit made it 3. Good neutral edits like this will never get made to this article as long as QuackGuru is allowed to have any presence on the article. Not only did QuackGuru deceptively edit it and restore the bloat, he effectively removed all the well sourced, balancing aspects at once, and now it's back to battleground square one. Anywho, there are edits I would still like to make and debates I still want to engage in, but I'm willing to step aside for a very long time to see what creative ideas other editors might come up with first. They may just render my edits moot and I won't have to ever come back. I'm open to that and honestly hope it happens.
3. Kww walks away from the article, talk page and subject for the same length of time as I do. I'm afraid there is no way I can sit on the sidelines for 6 months and watch Kww fight to censor meta-analyses all because they have a pro acupuncture result, edit war and make what I believe are uncivil accusations towards others and not speak my mind and try doing something about it. But I also believe this is not the real Kww. I have seen a good side as well, and think there are still some admirable qualities in him. I'm guessing it is highly uncharacteristic for Kww to break the 3RR or be uncivil or else he would not have ever become an administrator in the first place. So I think a long cooling off period would probably be in his best interests anyway before he gets himself into real trouble. And 6 months later, Kww and I are both free to come back to the subject and edit how we see fit. If we even see fit.
4. As a final condition, Kww will give John his full support in topic banning QuackGuru. QG has unfortunately made things difficult for John and he would likely get some grief over doing what has long been necessary, but Kww is enormously respected amongst these editors and on Wikipedia in general and his full support will keep John from having to engage in a sideshow.

This is what I'm willing to offer. The alternative to this is AE or Arbcom, and Kww knows I have the diffs to put QuackGuru away for good anyhow. QuackGuru has made that part rather easy. I'd rather not go that route because it's long and time consuming and full of drama. But I'm willing to if necessary. Obviously AE or Arbcom won't topic ban me for 6 months because I have done no wrong, but I'm voluntarily offering as much right now out of the spirit of sacrifice and compromise. LesVegas (talk) 16:14, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

I do not have any context/background regarding @QuackGuru:'s editing, however I disagree with the depiction of him/her reverting my trim of the Lead as disruptive. On the contrary, WP:LEAD does not require that the Lead be 4 paragraphs, but does allow for it on topics large enough to warrant it. Also, I left a poor edit summary, because what I really meant was that there was excess repetition and detail, whereas WP:LEAD says it should be a summary, not that it was too long in general. Finally, the Talk page showed strong support for QuackGuru's version and most editors seemed to disagree with my suggestion that it needs to focus more on acupuncture as an ancient chinese tradition - part of their cultural heritage. The proposal that someone support a topic ban as part of an agreement sounds extremely inappropriate. It is not something that should be negotiated, rather editors should support it if they support it as being what's best for Wikipedia. CorporateM (Talk) 16:34, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
CorporateM, you might not have been aware that in QuackGuru's revert, he left out the supports by medical organizations which balanced it, which I and others supported. I, for one, liked your edit. And I'm not suggesting QuackGuru be topic banned for that, not in the least. It's for a very long history of disruption he has. I agree with you that topic bans shouldn't be negotiated either, and AE or Arbcom will undoubtedly dish one out, but I'm in a nice mood today and felt like extending an olive branch to Kww who earlier wanted conditions with QG's topic ban. LesVegas (talk) 16:48, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
This is a non-starter as a compromise. It seems rooted in the notion that LesVegas hasn't been the source of the difficulties, but that his absence from the article should be sufficient to satisfy me. Neither is true.—Kww(talk) 19:26, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Ok well that leaves me no other option than AE or Arbcom I suppose, unless John wants to intervene instead. Kww, you made a mistake to dismiss my compromise so readily. I think you believe the rest of Wikipedia agrees with your editing views, but if you look on the MEDRS talk page there's an RfC started by a highly respected editor to root out Quackwatch from all our articles. My views on editing standards are supported by our moderate editors and I think you already know Arbcom won't see it your way. It's too bad you're not willing to make any concessions, but such is the way of the crusader. LesVegas (talk) 19:53, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Less Vegas, this proposal, in my opinion, betrays an unhealthy investment in the topic and perhaps an inflated estimation of your own impact. I think a break from the topic might be a healthy thing regardless of what others do. I don't think another Arbcom request would achieve anything other than irritating the arbs at this point in time. ~Adjwilley (talk) 22:01, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
"...if you look on the MEDRS talk page there's an RfC started by a highly respected editor to root out Quackwatch from all our articles." That's highly misleading. I'm not sure whether I should be surprised or not. --NeilN talk to me 23:46, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Adjwilley, I have thus far made a total of a measly 51 edits to the article, compared to QuackGuru's 1344, which is 15 percent of all edits to the page in its history and QG only started a couple of years ago. To put that in perspective, the number 2 editor, Backin72 has 416 edits, less than a third of QuackGuru's. But you're saying I have an unhealthy investment in the topic? And Kww is the one who thinks QG should only be banned if I walk away. Why is it that I get attacked like this for trying to compromise? I can totally see why A1Candidate gets upset when editors make unsubstantiated accusations towards him, because things like what you said toward me tend to stick. And you might be right about irritating Arbcom, but I also recall that several editors in Arbcom are practically expecting a good case to come about from QuackGuru, some even accepted the E-Cig case even though it wasn't ripe enough only because they knew they'd hear a case on QG at some point. In fact, I don't recall anyone making statements suggesting QG's conduct was okay. I recall AGK saying something like "we really need to examine this editor's conduct," in a case that everyone agreed was only premature due to recent sanctions. Acupuncture isn't such a case. My only reluctance there is my own lack of desire to invest time in both the proposal and case itself, but I will if necessary. LesVegas (talk) 23:53, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
I did not single you out as a reason that the community continued to tolerate QG, I identified you as a part of a group of editors that cause the community to continue to tolerate QG.—Kww(talk) 11:31, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

A kitten for you![edit]


Haven't seen you in a while--my fault. Hope you and yours are doing well. Here's a small, charming kitten: you know, I'm sure, that having pets in the house increases the resistance to allergies in young children. (I read it in the Daily Mail.)

Drmies (talk) 22:48, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Thank you, Drmies. It is always a pleasure to see you. --John (talk) 22:56, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 06 May 2015[edit]

Brittish English ?[edit]

Hello John ! If possible, may I bother You with a simple question about ships ? (background is HH Ferry route article). I have used prow and stern for "the front" and "the back". I'm taught British English in school (like most European pupils do, I assume), and if the article in question isn't of typical American matters, I always attempt to use British English. I typically don't use words like elevator, expressway, railroad, gasoline or gas, color, appartement, drugstore etc but lift, motorway, railway, petrol, colour, flat, chemist's or pharmacy etc. My only question is whether my choice of "prow" and "stern" is in line with correct British English ? I have for instance heared "bow", and neither my digital- nor physical- dictionaries quite helps me. Sorry to bother You with such a simple matter. Boeing720 (talk) 20:24, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) Hi, I'm not a ships expert but we seem to use "bow" and "stern" for front and back in British warship articles, e.g HMS Hood and HMS Eagle. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 21:00, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Prow isn't specifically BritEng AFAIK, but may refer to a certain part of the bow. I don't use it much myself, so I'm not sure if I'm right about that or not.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 21:09, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for Your efforts, both of You. This matter arose while watching an American film. I don't think such vital parts of a ship may differ between naval and merchant ships. So "prow" has a wider significance than "bow", this as good to have learned. I was obviously wrong to suspect "bow" as American English only. I will use the same words as in the articles about HMS Hood and HMS Eagle. Thanks again and Cheers Boeing720 (talk) 22:35, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Irataba FAC3[edit]

Irataba is back at FAC: Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Irataba/archive3. We look forward to your comments there. RO(talk) 16:34, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Thank you. --John (talk) 17:17, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your edits and comment ([1]). To be clear, are you in support, or just not opposed? RO(talk) 19:49, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome. I'm still mulling it over. I think I support on prose but would still like to see other reviews of the sources if they were considered a problem previously. --John (talk) 20:25, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
OK. There's no hurry. Thanks for taking a look! RO(talk) 20:34, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

If you are interested, I'd love to have your feedback at Wikipedia:Peer review/Chetro Ketl/archive1. RO(talk) 22:11, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

I'll try to have a look. Thank you for asking. --John (talk) 22:25, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Eddie Izzard[edit]

John, you removed this material: [2] and [3] with the single-word edit summary "unref". Yet all of that material, as far as I can see, is uncontroversial bio material fully supported in other Wikipedia articles, which are all linked. Don't you think it might have been preferable to allow other editors to be given a reasonable opportunity to provide supporting sources, by adding "cite needed" tag(s), at least for a few days, or weeks? Such a large-scale removal of biographical material, without any prior warning, may be wholly within policy, but seems a little heavy-handed to say the least. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:46, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

I am sorry you think so Martin. I am a bit of a stickler for some sort of decent referencing on BLPs as you know. If it can be referenced I have no objections to its return. If there are references already on Wikipedia the matter becomes a simple one. --John (talk) 22:10, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
You should be more sorry that you deleted useful material, all non-controversial, and all central to Izzard's career, without even asking anyone to help fix it. What I think about anything doesn't matter at all. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:17, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
On the contrary. I do value your opinion. Would you like to help me write it as a proper article rather than an unreferenced collection of fancruft? --John (talk) 22:24, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I didn't see the material in those eight paragraphs that you deleted as a "collection of fancruft?" To me they looked like a chronological sequence of easily-verifiable facts. By all means start with those! Martinevans123 (talk) 07:37, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, if this is to be a good article I think we should not start with the former material and try to reference it. I think we should start by finding the best sources about him and trying to summarise what they say. Tell you what, I'll post in article talk and we can continue this conversation there. --John (talk) 19:35, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 13 May 2015[edit]


Imagine the following situation:

  • Admin A issues a hasty topic ban for an editor at WP:AN/I before the community has a chance to reach a consensus [4]
  • Admin B opposes Admin A's impulsive closure of the discussion. Admin B urges Admin A to reopen the discussion or seek another Admin to review the closing [5]

What can be done about this? -A1candidate 15:57, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Bring it back to AN/I? --John (talk) 23:09, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Done. Would you like to leave a comment over there? I would very much appreciate it, thank you very much in advance! -A1candidate 20:16, 19 May 2015 (UTC)


It has started again: (talk) 16:02, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Thank you. --John (talk) 23:09, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

If England, Scotland & Wales were called provinces & Northern Ireland were located on Great Briain? There'd be little resistance to using British/United Kingdom in all those bio articles-in-question :) GoodDay (talk) 17:31, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

If the situation was a lot simpler and more like Australia, Canada and the United States, it would make things a lot easier on Wikipedia. The problem is that Scotland is a nation within a nation. There is nothing similar to compare it with. --John (talk) 18:37, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
It's not a sovereign state, which should be the dividing line. Anways, we're likely never going to agree on this topic. GoodDay (talk) 18:43, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree that we are never going to agree, which is why I agree we should not repeat the long and very unedifying discussion we had a few months ago. --John (talk) 18:45, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Alexander Fleming[edit]

My corrections to that article actually lasted 3 days. That's gotta be a Wiki-record, for these bio articles :) GoodDay (talk) 19:41, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

What sources were they based on? --John (talk) 20:03, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Scotland is within the United Kingdom. No joking, honest. GoodDay (talk) 20:14, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Right. Please don't do this again and we'll say no more about it. --John (talk) 20:54, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 20 May 2015[edit]

Quixotic plea[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Wikipediholism test. Thanks. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 06:31, 23 May 2015 (UTC)