User talk:John Quincy Adding Machine/Apr2010

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Some highly POV phrasing in your version

I noticed that in the version you admittedly wrote all by yourself you replaced the sentence. "The Economist" describes as one that criminalises Hungarian. With "the opponents". Do you know what The Economist is? At least read it's wiki article I just linked, before you try to discredit one of the most respected newspapers in the world because it does not agree with your POV in it's description of the situation. It's not an "opponent" it's a neutral party who simply describes what the law says. This newspaper also has 170 years worth of credibility on the line. Hobartimus (talk) 12:54, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

They oppose the language law, they are thus opponents. 'Opponents' is not a charged term, it can refer to The Economist (with which I am indeed familiar), just as it could refer to the White House's opposition to Iran's regime, or scientists in opposition to the theory of gravity. There is no POV, implied or otherwise, and magazine names are rarely used in encyclopaedic articles - the name of the author is preferred. Since this is the only issue you raise, and thus I am left to assume the only issue you have with the newer version, I would be happy to compromise if you feel that strongly about it. —what a crazy random happenstance 14:11, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
And no blanking also. When you stop blanking I will review the sentences you modify or propose to modify one by one and will share my thoughts on them. But both me and WP:policy have a problem with blanking, it's a non starter. Even if you managed to convince me that blanking most content and sources is appropriate because realism, you would still have a lot more people to convince. This is exactly because you said you "garnered a high level of interest" with the Afd. What this did is made the whole process so much harder because now we have to get a consensus between 8-10 people instead of a smaller number who usually watch any one article at a time. Hobartimus (talk) 14:25, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I have addressed this earlier, WP:BLANK refers to an utterly unrelated process by which a page is made "completely blank, or without any substantial content". There has been no blanking here; please do not misapply the term. Content not relevant to the subject area was removed. If you believe it should have been kept - I have stated this before - make a case for it. Pick out paragraphs that should have been kept, and explain why they should have been kept. That's the only way we are going to work towards a compromise. —what a crazy random happenstance 14:30, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I am sorry for not linking it before here is the correct link Wikipedia:Vandalism#Types_of_vandalism. Hobartimus (talk) 14:36, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

What an egregiously lugubrious happenstance is what is happening to us?! [1] As far as I know it is called humiliation, not slander.[2] --Nmate (talk) 21:24, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

If there's anyone being humiliated here it's yourself; your strange obsession with my editing history borders on the obsessive. You've certainly raised my eyebrows, though I can't speak for others. Are you sure you understand the meanings of the terms? Humiliation implies embarrassment, which I can't say has been caused to me. Slander refers to fallacious accusations against a person with no factual basis – quite an apt description of your actions. You've dredged up my contribution history and selectively taken edits out of context to make an entirely baseless accusation. —what a crazy random happenstance 15:12, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Realism (international relations)

Since you are now many times referred to this realism concept in international relations, it merits some discussion. I will quote from the wiki article I suggest you edit it if you don't agree with it but still it has no bearing on the basic point, "Sovereign states are the principal actors in the international system and special attention is afforded to large powers as they have the most influence on the international stage. International institutions, non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, individuals and other sub-state or trans-state actors are viewed as having little independent influence." The key here is independent influence. Do you agree that if an event affects the actions of a Sovereign state actor Hungary, then it most certainly influences the relations? Hobartimus (talk) 14:35, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

No. I'm afraid you're not going to be able to form an argument based on what you read on Wikipedia, since without academic training the assumptions you may make could tend towards the other schools of international politics, with which realism is entirely incompatible. Minority politics don't affect the state in realist thinking, as the state is a unitary actor which will always act in a certain way, regardless of what party/president/pope is in power. I again recommend 'The Globalisation of World Politics' by John Baylis if you're interested - it is very commonly used for first-year international relations students and does a fairly good job of outlining the absolute basics. —what a crazy random happenstance 14:43, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
So you are not bothered by all by the fact that different Hungarian parties act completely differently towards Slovakia. Assuming a party with completely different, program, demeanor and voter base comes to power to act the same way as the previous party, would be something that could happen not in the real world but only a textbook example. The exact same thing could be said about Slovakia. It's enough to look at the huge breaking point 2006, when the Dzurinda government left and the SMER-SNS government came to power it's a 180% turn in the relations with Hungary. I am interested but just as much as some relevance and connection to reality can be substantiated. Hobartimus (talk) 14:50, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm happy you're interested: realism doesn't concern itself with the internal politics of a state at all. Though different parties may pretend at election-time to have different approaches to foreign relations, realism mandates they will ultimately act exactly the same - in the only way then can act - that being in the selfish self-interest of the state. A country will never go to war just to protect its minority in another state, just as Germany didn't go to war with Czechoslovakia to protect the Sudeten German minority. It can serve as a helpful pretext - i.e. an excuse to go to war (a casus belli), but war is always motivated by self-gain, nothing more. At least that's what the realists say. That's why interpersonal incidents between two states, unless dealing with government representatives or incidents caused by one state on purpose aren't relevant to international politics. —what a crazy random happenstance 15:18, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
It is interesting that you mention Germany, because here this theory conflicts with well known and universally accepted historical facts. For example, no serious historian would accept that the Democratic parties of Germany would act "exactly the same" way as the Nazi party did. This would contradict everything we know of history and would make the role of the 1933 victory of the Nazi party and the role of Adolf Hitler meaningless as others would "ultimately act exactly the same". I'm sure you see how absurd that sounds. Hobartimus (talk) 15:25, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Realism doesn't claim to be able to predict the actions of states. Hitler started building up infrastructure and engaging in behaviour aptly described by Offensive realism; if a different party had been elected the 'truce' between the world wars would have simply lasted longer before hostilities inevitably broke out. Germany continued to be crippled by Versailles, it simply acted in its own self-interest, as all states do, when it reoccupied Saar and recommenced conscription, etc. Taking Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland was a natural next step, according to the offensive realists. There is no such thing as 'peace' when discussing realism, only occasional truce. I don't think you're going to be able to tear down one of the most prominent international relations paradigms in a discussion on the Internet I'm afraid. —what a crazy random happenstance 23:25, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
So you basically say that IF the incidents involve government representatives or purposeful provocation by one of the states then it IS relevant to international politics? Then you confirm yourself that most of the incidents listed in the article (the "original" one not blanked by you or your associates that is) is actually relevant and therefore here to stay. So here's the deal: why don't you point out chapters or parts of the article that don't satisfy this rule of yours? You have the exact definition that can act as a filter then. CoolKoon (talk) 23:40, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I have - they're the ones I removed. :) Like I said, technically speaking, more should be removed, but I wanted to create an acceptable compromise version. What was meant were incidents involving government representatives whilst acting on behalf of the state, not just random remarks made by random civil servants. Basically, only when you can substitute a country name/metonym for the representative's name. This is not a theory I've decided to pull out of my arse, you're not going to able to 'catch me out' on a mistake. This has been the predominant paradigm of political thought since World War 2. —what a crazy random happenstance 07:57, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Look, I've still got one major problem with the whole initiative of blanking(=remove MAJOR parts of the article for dubious reasons), besides your attitude: most of the text removed explains (or tries to explain) the background and the motives behind the decisions, incidents and events. I mean sure, you're probably familiar with the whole situation as is Wladthemlat or anyone else involved. But let's say that someone by pure "accident" stumbles upon this site, either by google or from some other site that links to this one. The visitor might not have any of the background information necessary for the (correct) interpretation of the events. So instead of trying to understand it, he might either decide to side with one of the sides and thus became biased. Therefore I'm not really sure whether the modifications serve only the purpose of "clarification" and NPOV. Sure, I admit the fact that I'm biased to some extent, but it seems that you consequently deny it, yet the facts prove that you're just as biased as I am. CoolKoon (talk) 14:22, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not, and thus I won't lie and say I am. I'm sorry if you feel as though I seem that say, I assure you that this is not the case. 'Blanking' refers to something else entirely, as I have explained above, please don't abuse the term. As for your main point: suppose someone stumbles on to the 2008 South Ossetia War article, they could then easily decide that Russia is the 'good' side, or they could easily decide that Georgia is the 'good' side. It's not our job to push them either way as we're a neutral encyclopaedia, not a PSA. The mark of a good article is that it doesn't push the reader to either POV, ie. that the article itself bears no POV. All the relations article should do is describe its subject matter, clearly, concisely and neutrally. It shouldn't 'delve' into WP:OR theories of 'why' what happens, or 'why' relations are the way they are, especially not ones written by people with limited background in the field of international relations and sourced from POV news-articles, which are just about the least reliable and least academic source one can find. The newer version strikes good compromise. —what a crazy random happenstance 02:20, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
You're just simply amazing. You've really got the nerve after consecutive evidence to say that you're not biased. You see in such case I see no point in further discussions on this topic, since you fail to recognize the fundamental flaw you have in your arguments. Sure, it's "acceptable" of Slota, Fico or any of his fellow comrades (or any other bastards with similar manners), but I think that it's absolutely unacceptable for any encyclopedia editor. Don't get me wrong, I don't say that everybody editing on Wikipedia should be absolutely objective, that's impossible. Everyone is biased to some extent, let there be no doubt about it. It's part of the human nature. But consequently denying this, especially after proven otherwise is nothing short of hypocrisy, bigotry or (in extreme cases) some mental malfunction and such people are hardly ever gonna be able to provide criticism in a constructive manner regardless of the person's nationality, ehtnicity, cultural background etc. This applies to everyone in general, therefore I don't see a point in arguing with any of them. Therefore I'm not willing to discuss any "controversial" topics with you anymore.
As a last note: you're utterly wrong on the definition of blanking. WP:VANDAL clearly states that blanking is "removing all or significant parts of a page's content without any reason[...]" or a process where "referenced information or important verifiable references are deleted with no valid reason(s) given in the summary[...]" (and hence it constitutes vandalism as well, which is hardly tolerated). The only exception is when "a non-frivolous explanation for the removal of apparently legitimate content is provided[...]", unfortunately in this case no non-frivolous explanation has been given. I mean reasonings like "because it represents the POV of the pan-Hungarian nationalists/chauvinists" are rather frivolous indeed. AFAIK none of the sources (even the Hungarian ones) cited in the article express some pro-Hungarian POV. They are usually news articles reporting on the mishaps of Slota, happenings surrounding the Solyom controversy etc. The only biased sources included are the Slovak history schoolbooks that capitalize on "patriotic" curriculum including claims about Slovak ethnic superiority over Hungarians and I've included them for illustration only, not as a source I've relied for verification (e.g. saying that "it is a well-known fact that Slovaks were in the Carpathian basin well before Hungarians" and then citing those books to support this claim although I know that this is common practice in Slovakia). The only other reason to ditch such passages from the article would be because of their irrelevance. This is the main reason you and several other editors seem to rely on when proceeding with the blanking. But if you ask the question "Are all/any of these scandals/controversies relevant/related to Hungarian-Slovak relations and their respective worsening?" the answer should be really obvious. And even protesting by saying things such "but Hungarians living in Slovakia are not citizens of Hungary" etc. doesn't help things either: Hobartimus has already mentioned the bilateral treaty of 1995 which clearly states that Slovakia will (and shall) not thwart accusations of "mishaps" against the Hungarian minority coming from Hungary by claiming it a Slovak "internal affair" (or some similar BS). Therefore any worsening of the conditions of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia consequently means worsening relations with Hungary as well. How ironic that this treaty was signed by Meciar (or one of his subordinates) at the time (and consequently treated it as a pamphlet for the upcoming years as did the Fico government as well)..... CoolKoon (talk) 15:08, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Look I understand you put great weight to this realism theory, but, there are 2 important points here I think we all agree. 1) No serious historian accepts, that elections are irrelevant, parties are irrelevant, leaders are irrelevant to forming the foreign policy and as a result, a history of a nation. 2) Wikipedia is not written according to these suppositions. Great many articles discuss for example elections and their result on foreign policy. I think you can and do accept these two points, correct?
We see that Wikipedia articles are not written this way. And relevant events such as elections are described as relevant everywhere and not rejected due to realism theory based Original Research. Do we agree in this? Hobartimus (talk) 19:28, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
You are not writing a history article, you're writing a politics article. I get the feeling that this is where you're getting confused; if you want to prattle on about interpersonal relationships - which indeed can be historically significant, do it on some other, more relevant article, not one on formal international relations between countries. Realism is the majority view in international relations. Judging from the fact you called realism a 'theory' (it is not a theory, it is a paradigm), I'm going to go ahead and assume you're not familiar with the field of international relations (I'm going to reiterate the recommendation I gave CoolKoon and tell you to read 'Globalisation of World Politics' by J. Baylis et al, a very common first year textbook). Since you lack familiarity with the fundamentals of the field, I thereby question your ability to make broad generalisations about what is, and isn't accepted in academia, and how these subjects should and shouldn't be written in an encyclopaedia. —what a crazy random happenstance 15:34, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Hobartimus, you have proven that you cannot grasp the realism concept. Happenstance on the other hand is overemphasizing it and completely disregarding other approaches, which I don't like too much either (but please, don't turn this against him unless you know who, say, Alexander Wendt or Joseph Nye are. And I mean know, not skim a wiki article). However, it is still true that the dominant actor of the international relations is state. State as a more or less unitary entity with official structures that engage in international relations. Therefore the natural emphasis of the article should be put on official actions by official representatives. It's not just a corolarry of a certain theoretical approach, it's how the international politics and law work. Wladthemlat (talk) 11:16, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
My edits to the article were an attempt to strike a balance between realism and liberalism, which is why I kept the Malina incident and some other controversies which don't quite qualify under traditional flavours of realism. —what a crazy random happenstance 11:35, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, yes, I meant that you overemphasized it throughout the previous discussion (I happen to like constructivism a bit). I have no problem with the version that is currently up. Wladthemlat (talk) 11:49, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
See the point is this, your Original Research regarding realism is nice, but it's not relevant to the article. Claims that foreign policy will not change after elections are a non starter. We see it change every time after an election so obvious nonsense is useless to us as content for Wikipedia. You will see if it changes a great deal shortly as this is an election year in both countries. Anyway, Original Research is not allowed, we can write what's in the sources. What I can suggest is simply creating a policy that all edits to Wikipedia can be only based on the "Realism Paradigm", since that what's you are trying to force here. After it becomes policy ALL articles will have to follow it. Until then I don't think you should focus your attention on a single article I bet a good percentage of Wikipedia articles violate "Realism" in one way or another. In this case it seems like more and more that you are not interested in a general solution to this problem, only want some justification for mass deletion in the case of a single article. And again you cannot reject sources based on your Original Research, (You claimed sources are not relevant if they conflict with your understanding of "Realism"). Hobartimus (talk) 20:53, 5 April 2010 (UTC)


Btw the only interpersonal relationships I see in the article are the "the Slovak Ambassador being shouted at" and an empty bottle thrown at the Embassy. Obviously none of these were done by state actors. All the other cases involve the actions of states in some way as described by the sources. Hobartimus (talk) 20:53, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Deletion of an article involves it being deleted. I would have thought this was obvious, yet here were are. A trim of an article happens often to remove problematic content, and since some of what was removed was BLP it needed to go ASAP. All of what was removed was either irrelevant or biased. You attempting to argue against realism is like a florist attempting to argue the Earth is flat, you won't be able to win. Nor will you be able to discredit realism, which has its roots in classical thinkers like Thucydides, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, and Thomas Hobbes. It was the philosophy of Henry Kissinger, Charles de Gaulle, and Otto von Bismarck. If you can't understand it, that's fine, but don't pretend to - it's becoming quite embarrassing for you. —what a crazy random happenstance 02:47, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

This is the first time you mention BLP do you know what that policy even says? I would be glad if you could point to one sentence that in your estimation is a BLP violation. You can quote the sentence here, I will wait. And it seems you failed to understand my sentences regarding realism. I will try to say it in a simpler way. "Realism" has no relevance whatsoever to Wikipedia, no policy pages mention it or refer to it, it's completely irrelevant. When it becomes policy I will be happy to discuss it. Hobartimus (talk) 11:33, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Hobartimus, it's not just about realism, it's about how international relations and international law work. Elections may influence policy motivations and outcomes to some extent, but they don't do it per se, an action in the international field is needed to confirm that effect.
Btw the only interpersonal relationships I see in the article are the "the Slovak Ambassador being shouted at" and an empty bottle thrown at the Embassy. Obviously none of these were done by state actors. - you're kidding right?! What is more official and state-tied in the international field than an ambassador?! An empty bottle?! You call a molotov cocktail that now? It was an attempted attack on an embassy of a foreign state. But in your opinion a drunkard comparing french immigrants to slovak hungarians deserves way greater prominence. The attack case is covered by international law, the latter case is not. Which should be more elaborated in an article about international relations is therefore easy to judge.Wladthemlat (talk) 22:56, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
A bottle that's not ignited is just that its a bottle that breaks on impact. It's the same hyperbole as the alleged "shouting at the ambassador". It's not an attack on the embassy. For a real attack on an embassy read for example about the Iranian hostage crisis. Anyway I'm happy that you here stand by an inclusionist position. It's very intresting though that you continue to blank the article at the same time. At least you withdrawn your last edit made before you decided that blanking is the way to go. Hobartimus (talk) 23:08, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Also note how I did not remove even the "shouting incident"(!). And I would definitely not launch an edit war campaign to remove it. It's pointless to try to apply brute force without consensus. Even though I personally don't agree with the relevance of the shouting incident I will NOT remove it unless there is clear a consensus of editors to do so. Hobartimus (talk) 23:17, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
A bottle that *is* ignited it just does not *EXPLODE*. big difference imo. That way or the other, it is an attack on a state representative in a foreign country. It is of high significance in international relation terms.Wladthemlat (talk) 08:18, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Hobartimus, I hate to put it so bluntly, but you continue to attempt to debate in a field within which you have no knowledge. Would you be waging such an edit war were this an article on quantum physics? International relations in its pure academic form too has its own nomenclature and prevalent philosophies, just like any other science. Realism is quite literally page 1 of a first year international relations text-book, which suggests to me you've never opened one. When I point this out you rather poorly attempt to divert attention by replying solely to a relatively minor part of my reply. It seems to me you know you're not going to be able to win. Incidentally, I know the BLP policy quite well, I was around when it was written. There are quite a few names dropped in the old version of the article, almost none of them positively. Given the problematic sourcing (from tabloid newspapers and such) of potentially libellous material, I was well within my right to remove the content. —what a crazy random happenstance 02:15, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

You seem to misunderstand the whole concept of Wikipedia. Wikipedia has nothing to do with Realism, I hope you understand that. Wikipedia content is not based on your Original Research, we don't do this here. You do not decide what goes into articles, consensus does. You seem to be stonewalling here and talking off topic. I asked you in very clear terms to quote the sentences, that you think violte BLP. You did not answer so I have to assume it was an empty sentence. I am asking again to quote the sentences or stop this nonsense. And there is no "old version" there is only a single version of the article. Blanking large amount of text is usually what vandals do, sometimes they even add "poop" in the place of the articles they delete, but that's not a different version of the article, it's just a deletion that is reverted on sight. Hobartimus (talk) 03:36, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Realism is not original research. Saying Realism is OR within the field of international relations is like saying the periodic table is OR within chemistry. It is pivotal you understand this. Open absolutely any textbook on international relations, do any International Politics 101 class anywhere in the world, and week 1 will be Realism. It's extremely elemental to the field. Since we don't appear to be getting anywhere, and I'm not a fan of revert warring, I have asked The Wordsmith of the Mediation Cabal to join the discussion and he has kindly agreed. Would anyone object to a little informal mediation? —what a crazy random happenstance 08:58, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Your sig

what a crazy random happenstance

I really like this sig/user name. I'm curious how and why you chose it. Viriditas (talk) 11:25, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! My first Wikipedia username was actually Hexagon1 (yeah... it sounded a lot better in 2005). When I stumbled upon the rename-requests page I decided to go for a newer, neater username with no digits, preferably a real English word, and searched a few to see what had been taken. 'What a crazy random happenstance' is a quote from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. I had it on when I was searching nicks; the line came on (said humorously by Neil Patrick Harris) and I decided to use it. I quite like Happenstance, it works great since it's one of those neologisms that everyone seems to have something to say about, whether they love it or hate it. Well, that's the story. How about 'Viriditas'? If I were to guess I'd say it's a portmanteau of veritas and virility? :) —what a crazy random happenstance 15:06, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Oh, cool. I still don't understand why Firefly was canceled, but let's not go there. You can read more about my user name at Viriditas. I'm a fan of KSR. Viriditas (talk) 01:39, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
When I can scrounge together some free time I'll read some of his works, seems interesting - thanks for pointing him out. Yeah, I'm right with you on Firefly. Typical though, every promising show gets nipped in the bud only to be replaced by a 'Big Brother 7: Dancing Supermodel Celebrity Idol' or something. —what a crazy random happenstance 15:15, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
It's a bit surprising to see a discussion about Firefly. It was a great series indeed, they did do a movie a bit later, but that's not the same as continuing with the series. It seemed like every episode is better than the previous one and they cancel it... Hobartimus (talk) 21:47, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Template:Passports

Hi- Thanks for having the guts to update the template! I'd left it, but you're right, since we're following the UN scheme, then ROC goes after China. Hopefully, there won't be anymore reverts, but I'll keep it on my watchlist. --Funandtrvl (talk) 14:19, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

The editor had even changed the link without moving the article - quite odd. I have the template on my watchlist but I'm not always active on wiki, it's good to have you watching it too. Template:Nationality laws and Template:Identity cards are also using the UN geoscheme since they're based on Template:Passports, you may want to watch them too. —what a crazy random happenstance 14:25, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I will watch those too. Thanks, --Funandtrvl (talk) 15:00, 12 April 2010 (UTC)