User talk:JonRichfield/Archive 1

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October 2010

Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. Although everyone is welcome to contribute constructively to the encyclopedia, you may not know that Wikipedia has a Manual of Style that should be followed to maintain a consistent, encyclopedic appearance. Using different styles throughout the encyclopedia, as you did in Thorns, spines, and prickles, makes it harder to read. Please take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you. Nadiatalent (talk) 17:27, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia, and thank you for your contributions. One of the core policies of Wikipedia is that articles should always be written from a neutral point of view. A contribution you made to Peter Medawar appears to carry a non-neutral point of view, and your edit may have been changed or reverted to correct the problem. Please remember to observe this important core policy. Thank you. (talk) 16:24, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your assistance. Note that a neutral point of view is one thing; a refusal to engage in evaluation is another. If the remarks had been just an expression of my personal hero worship, I could understand your objections, but I supported the observations with citation both of Medawar's own works and the remarks of his alumni and a major current author in related genres. If this is not justified, then what is? JonRichfield (talk) 16:41, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
You said that PM was a "superlative science writer for the educated reader", this was your personal analysis rather than a quote and so counts as original research. Articles are encyclopaedic entries rather than essays, consequently it is not acceptable to go beyond what reliable sources state. You stated that "Medawar clearly ranks as one of the 20th century's finest writers of English prose by any standard", again this appears to be your personal recommendation only weakly supported by a reference to a website and a book rather than, say, a quotation from a respected academic. Unfortunately your paragraph remains non-neutral and unsuitable text for the article. If you still disagree and would like other opinions on the matter, please raise it for discussion on the article talk page, or possibly raise a request at WP:3O for a more formal independent opinion. In the meantime I shall have to remove for a second time, please do not replace your text multiple times without such discussion as suggested or it may be seen as inappropriate edit warring. For help on how talk pages are laid out see WP:TALK. Thanks, (talk) 17:11, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

December 2010

The article Ernst Gehrcke says without qualification the "he discovered anode rays". I do not dispute this because I have not a clue about the matter, but it sits uncomfortably with the article "Anode Rays", which does not mention Gehrcke, but refers to Goldstein, Wein, and even J.J.Thompson. I would contribute, but it is so far out of my field that it would take too long to be worth while. JonRichfield (talk) 12:20, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Just a few minor points

Hi there. Thank you for your contributions to the encyclopedia. I'd just like to point out a few minor things about standard Wikipedia formatting and style. When it comes to genera, species and other infrageneric taxa, the taxon name should be italicised using double apostrophes, like so: ''Genus species'' var. ''variety'' (this produces the italics: Genus species var. variety). Also, inline citations should be placed after punctuation (such as periods, commas, or semicolons), with a few exceptions; see the Manual of Style. Cheers and happy editing, mgiganteus1 (talk) 00:02, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

One more thing: it is unnecessary to pipe links to capitalised words; [[Genus|genus]] is exactly equivalent to [[genus]]. Cheers, mgiganteus1 (talk) 00:16, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Hi MG, Many thanks for your helpful chirp, or whatever they call these talks. I'll try to remember the format conventions like italics etc. I prefer citations before closing punctuation, but if that is the convention, I suppose I could just about survive the adjustment!
As for the capitalised links, OK, thanks. I did observe that they worked, but thought I would be tidy. No harm done, I reckon.
Thanks again and go well,
Cheers,
JonRichfield (talk) 17:48, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

About the Common name article

Hello JonRichfield and welcome to Wikipedia. Thank you for a very enthusiastic start in your editing. It does however take everyone new a while to get used to the standards and guidelines here. Many of the new edits you made to common name are not suitable for an encyclopedia article. Although your additions are lively and well-written, as well as intelligent, they are more along the lines of what one would write in a personal essay on the subject, and they are too close to representing your own point of view. On Wikipedia this is not considered appropriate, as we need to use published sources rather than what we call "original research", our own synthesis of ideas, even if those ideas are based on those of other recognized experts. To get a better idea of how the clearest and best-supporting writing here goes, you may want to look at several of the Featured Articles on Wikipedia. A list is here: [1]. All best wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 21:20, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Hello IZ, and thanks for your friendly welcome. I apologise for the CN item, but it was a work in progress that got interrupted (and nearly forgotten). You see, a lot of my contributions lately have taken the form of reactions to existing material. I see something and observe a lacuna or even an error. Ah! Lets make it good. Oh! I wish to use a term not aforementioned (or not Xref'd) in the article; is there an existing article or adequate Wiktionary entry? No? Create an entry. Darn! Another word. No article. OK, put something into Wikt. Damn! The bloody subject explodes! For example "Apodous" was a simple word just about worth a wiki entry. It now is several pages in a file on my desktop and I am struggling to get back and complete it. It got shunted aside by the words it created references to, such as sidewinder.
The problem there is that topics hang together. I cannot effectively hold onto everything until it is complete, and nor can (almost?) anyone else with anything useful to say. Look through WP and you will see that half the most useful articles are inadequately cited and xref'd. The Scots said that half-done work should not be shown to bairns and fools. It is better to put up something incomplete till someone improves (never finishes!) it. You might say that one should not put it to bed till it is completed offline, but that entails a far more damaging effect: You and I each write something about Apody, say. While I am busy you post your effort. Then I come and I have a big article to paste over yours. And then maybe vice versa. Much better that I had posted a rudiment that you had tagged with a rebuke and perhaps some augmentations. Then I do the next round in constructive context with your bits and you do another round and so on. No harm and no loss, in fact net gain, as long as we are not stupidly malicious enough to waste our efforts on posting wars.
As for the personal essay aspect, it is not as simple as it sounds. Certainly the aspects of Common names that I had been coming back to were exactly the essay-ness and a few others. However, many people take that "standard" to counter-constructive lengths. It is in fact not practicable to omit all forms of opinion in writing an article, and to the extent that one might try to produce anything of the type, it would be impoverished and even sterile if it contained nothing that was not abstracted from already printed sources. If for example I am to state that say, one can derive the divisibility of the sums of the inner numbers of the prime rows of Pascal's triangle from Fermat's little theorem (to which I give a reference), from the fact that such a row sum takes the form of 2^P-2, then the fact that I have demonstrated it in the article (whether I know where to find such a fact elsewhere or not) makes it adequate as it stands. There is nothing that the reader cannot cannot verify for himself.
If OTOH, I am to claim that the larvae of fruit can jump (for which I can find a printed ref somewhere) but that the larvae of certain carrion flies that are sometimes a pest on salted fish are far better and more active leapers (which I know to be true, but cannot reference) then that (GHU!!!) is personal research... Well OK I guess. I have better suggestions, but don't know whether to waste my time.
It's like that with the common names. I'll go back asap, and try to Fermatize that article, but just at present I am trying to reach the surface of a lot of other half-done work. (Including Apody, which has emerged as a far more important theme for now. )
Cheers,
Hmmm... I am not sure I have replied in the right format. Plz say how else I should have done it if appropriate
Jon
JonRichfield (talk) 07:40, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Hello again Jon. As you spend more time on Wikipedia you will discover that the entire encyclopedia is a work in progress and every part of it is constantly in need of improving, correcting and updating. However if you really do want to try to "perfect" an article, you may find you have to concentrate all your energies on just one article, and try to bring that article up to Good Article (GA) status and after that to Featured Article (FA) status, both of which require other editors to review the article and suggest improvements which must be addressed before that status is awarded. Wikipedia is above all else a collaboration.

This is all the more reason to read a number of already existing Good Articles and Featured Articles, and more importantly to read the necessary criteria for GA and FA, as explained here [2] and here [3]. By the way, it is perfectly OK to leave red links in an article, you don't have to immediately make them into blue links by starting new articles for every concept that currently does not have an article.

As for opinion, the fact that Wikipedia does not accept writing that expresses a point of view does indeed have the potential to make the articles more dry and boring, but writers do manage to get around that problem as you will see when you look at some FAs. The need for neutral point of view is essential in an encyclopedia.

The way you replied to my note was fine, but I have indented your replies so you can more easily see who wrote what here. If you wish to draw my attention to the fact that you have replied to me, you can leave a note on my talk page telling me to look at your talk page. Best wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 13:46, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Hello again Invertzoo,
In passing, My son, who is more advanced in WP than I am, showed me how to activate popups, an irritating but very valuable facility. In general I am very impressed with the software support for Wikipedia. I am not sure that I am yet in general using the conversational and discussion facilities to anything like their best extent though. They strike me as being a bit clumsy in comparison to typical blog software.
Anyway, my pop-up showed me that you had a serious family health crisis a year ago; I really hope that it has passed and left you all well.
On a pleasanter topic, I also note that you are a malacologist; that suggests a certain compatibility; what I know about the Mollusca is dangerous, but I regard myself as a biologist who qualified as an entomologist, long since unfrocked (I defected to computing and subsequently spent most of my working life in that field. That did not however reduce my innate biophilia.
Okay, meanwhile I appreciate your friendly and constructive communications. I have strong and idealistic views on Wikipedia, some of which I still am trying to formulate cogently. My son sympathises, but is kept fairly busy rubbing my nose in the realities of the endeavour.
Now, one of my problems in principle is the point of “original research”. I appreciate the reason, but this “everything must be verifiable” thing makes no sense. Firstly, the idea that verification amounts to reference to a reputable publication ignores the fact that many a reputable publication contains rubbish. Secondly, suppose I find one reputable publication that says that woolly bears are caterpillars. I find another that says that caterpillars eclose into lepidopterans.
The inference that woolly bears eclose into lepidopterans does not appear in either document. If I mention as common knowledge that some apparent caterpillars eclose into trichopterans or symphytans, or that it follows from the evidence that woolly bears eclose into lepidopterans, then that is “research”? And naughty? What if I publish a mathematical proof, such as a short, new proof of Fermat’s little theorem? (The prime power one, not the sums of powers one!) It involves nothing but references to arithmetic and some basic reasoning. Is that acceptable in a suitable context? (Say the context of counting sequences? Which is in fact the basis of the proof?) And yet it is original research in terms of the act, surely? Am I missing aught?
Now, the current, friendlier attitude is an improvement on the reactions that drove me away a few years ago, but I reckon that a lot of deep thought still has to go into rationalisation of the rules.
Dunno how you feel about this, or how widely I might find folk agreeing with me…?
Meanwhile, all the best,
Jon JonRichfield (talk) 19:43, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Hi again Jon, I do understand what you mean about whether or not small facts or small synthesis of facts do really need to be backed up with citations. If a statement is one that nobody is ever likely to challenge, such as for example that the common garden snail is a gastropod mollusk, it is not necessary to back that up with a reference. However any statement that is likely to raise disagreements ("likely to be challenged") does need to be backed up. You may want to look at what is said here: [4]. Yes, it is actually good to be idealistic about Wikipedia, but it is also good to balance that idealism with a realistic sense of the limitations of actual editing on a day-to-day basis. There are many practical considerations here. It does take a while to get the hang of what you can (realistically) and what you can't (realistically) do, as well as understanding what the most basic principles are on Wikipedia. Have you seen this page [5] ? Just so that you know, all of the various numerous guidelines here are developed and enforced by the community, not by individual editors. They do evolve over time, but gradually and by consensus. Anyway, it is late and I am starting to conk out, so I will stop now. Best wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 00:59, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

You are very welcome Jon. Invertzoo (talk) 01:57, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Article improvements

Please suggest article improvements on the article's talk page, not on my talk page. OhNoitsJamie Talk 18:38, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

About having one's edits reverted or rewritten

Hi Jon. I'm a very late to the party to say so, but welcome to Wikipedia! I'm just another volunteer editor, like yourself, btw; I'm not an administrator, that is. But I noticed your comments at AN/I re Ohnoitsjamie having reverted one of your contributions. I sleuthed through your contribution history a bit, and I infer this was at the Defenestration article. I've left some comments on the talk page there that you might like to review, but I also did want to just say a few words about reversion here on Wikipedia.

No one much likes having a contribution he makes reverted. I remember I was pretty incensed the first time someone did that to me; I got into a real tussle over it, actually. What I didn't know at the time is that its in no way unusual, and it's certainly not to be taken personally. On the contrary, it's fundamental to our editorial process here. Especially as the encyclopedia matures, edits to existing articles should be viewed in the vein of, "Let's run this up the flag pole, and see if anyone salutes." We even have a name for the process, "bold, revert, discuss". Editors here who have made tens of thousands of edits routinely find their contributions have been reverted. It takes some getting used to, working in an environment where that's a normal part of the process of collaboration, but I assure you it is, here. It's hardly ever meant to be aggressive or dismissive, and certainly isn't something to be taken personally, any more than one can possibly help doing.

It's also just extremely unusual for one editor to inform another when he's reverted that editor's contribution; there's no expectation that such notice will be given, and it hardly ever is. You really do need to "watchlist" articles that you have a particular interest in, if you want to be informed of changes to that article... That said, I will mention that I made some changes to Adventitious. I appreciated your expanding that article; it was nice work, overall. May I just mention a couple of things, though? One is that, in general, one should probably be cautious about changing section names. Many of our articles link not just to other Wikipedia articles, but also to specific section names within those articles. When you change a section name, those links break, and just "land" the reader who clicks on them at the top of the article. That might not make much sense, depending on the context. If you do need to change a section name, it's probably best to use the "anchor" template to make sure the links to the old section names continue to work properly.

Also, a couple of minor points: In section names, only the lead word is typically capitalized, per WP:MOS. Too, you might like to look at WP:OVERLINK. Common English words are usually not wikilinked. Again, thanks for your contributions. If you'd like to reply, you can do so right here, as I've temporarily watchlisted this page. Best regards,  – OhioStandard (talk) 10:13, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Hi OS, “...late to the party to say so, but welcome to Wikipedia!” Much thanks. Your remarks have been very helpful in several respects and I appreciate your trouble. About reversion here on Wikipedia. What got me about OJ was not reversion as such. All my working life (I’m retired) I was subject to revision & criticism, and part of my duty was to do as much for my colleagues. What (slowly) got my goat was his habit of just sitting and refusing to reconsider in the face of evidence. Hmmm. I’ll have to give "bold, revert, discuss" a good read.

I take your point about the process, but I am concerned (not concerning MY bits of stuff in particular, but for WP in general). I understand that the recruitment of new contributors of high academic and professional standing has been shrinking worryingly. Wannabees and rock group groupies are ten a penny, but they always will be. I am afraid that I have no idea how to collect data to distinguish one from t’other. However, the more valuable the source, the likelier he is to take his ball and go home if he encounters an OJ instead of an OS. He seldom will ge around long enough to learn what is meant to be aggressive or dismissive, or something to be taken personally. I think that some of the WP principles are wrong-headed. I also take your point about “...unusual for one editor to inform another when he's reverted ...” I shall now routinely "watchlist" articles. “... nice work, overall.” Gramercy! :-) “May I just mention a couple of things, though?” Always!!! “...be cautious about changing section names. Many of our articles link not just to other Wikipedia articles, but also to specific section names within those articles...”

Oooh... OK. Silly of me... Until one gets a wider perspective, it is easy to overlook the implications of such apparently minor actions. Sorry! It seems that WP is subject to the tyranny of de facto standardisation, like the apocryphal coincidence between the wheelbase of a Roman chariot and the rails on which spacecraft are wheeled about on. “... best to use the "anchor" template “ OK, more homework... The infrastructure here repeatedly dumbfounds me! “In section names, only the lead word ... “ Right. Someone else showed me that, but I think I may have slipped occasionally. Habit dies hard. As for overlinking, that one is tricky. At one point I made the conscious decision “when in doubt, link.” I certainly have seen a lot of articles where I would strongly recommend more links. I also have seen examples where I just followed examples, eg linking “Latin”, which I now shall no longer do unless there is a special reason. For example, I have on occasion linked a common word just to be able to leave out a passage in my own text, where another the gist is covered elsewhere.

Called away, Sorry. Meanwhile, thanks again JonRichfield (talk) 13:57, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Hi, Jon. I don't want to interrupt your flow, but I'll just comment briefly on this installment. First, you're very welcome; I'm glad my comments were useful. No worries at all re the section name thing, btw. If you can come up with a better section name, then you should certainly change it, especially if you provide an "anchor" to the old section name. There really are a great many rules here, but it's hard to go wrong if you mean well, which it's abundantly obvious that you do, of course. I do understand your frustration; I also get very frustrated with the place myself, periodically. I especially remember how much I felt that when I was still fairly new here. I certainly wish the rules we have about civility were enforced, for example: They aren't, really, from what I see on a day to day basis. I fully take your point, too, about the environment being inhospitable for experts; perhaps it will make you smile to have a look at WP:RANDY, or here.
This can be a rewarding place to contribute, but I'm afraid that it does require putting up with a great deal of entirely dispensable nonsense, in order to do so. Many articles are just battlefields, a near-constant tug-of-war between opposing factions, with a great many immature persons flinging insults back and forth. (I do not intend the least personal application to Jamie, btw.) It's very tiresome. I certainly understand that your bump-in-the-road with Jamie was frustrating; most editors here are quite brief in their comments. Anyway, please don't let a distubing experience put you off the place. You obviously have a great deal to contribute, and I sincerely hope you'll continue to do so, as you can find the time. Best regards,  – OhioStandard (talk) 07:48, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Hi again OS, Well, you have made me feel a lot better, and possibly I can manage to be more resilient and less abrasive in future collisions. The fact is that the objective is too big to sacrifice on altars of pettiness. As for the refs you included, I did manage to smile at them (with some barely audible bruxism!) That Dunning-Kruger thing sounded tantalisingly familiar, and then the Ignobel reference explained it; I had not read the original, but had seen some refs. What was Ig about it, I don't know; long before Wiki both my wife and I had observed such effects in various practical, professional and educational contexts!

Thanks for the nice things you said, however much salt I had to take them with to prevent too badly swollen a head. As a peacemaker and counsellor you are truly formidable!

All the best, JonRichfield (talk) 11:06, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Affinity (word usage)

Hi Jon,

Thanks for this well thought out page. ASs it happens though, we have a page on Affinity which covers almost identical ground.

More generally, Wikipedia isn't a pure dictionary so we don';t cover words "purely because they exist" but only when they have an encyclopedic article we could write about them. When we have a word like "affinity" that has a range of encyclopedic meanings, we create what's called a disambiguation page, which lists the meanings and where to find articles on each of them.

From your article it looks like you saw that page and reckoned it needed expansion; in fact we cover each meaning individually, the disambiguation page exists to helps users find the detailed page they are looking for. Etymology can then be found under each meaning, if relevant and if someone's added it there.

I have merged your work into the existing page; hopefully this will help users to understand the topic more.

Thanks!

FT2 (Talk | email) 15:00, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Hi FT2, Thanks for your friendly intimation. Unfortunately it is some time since I wrote about "Affinity", so I can't remember the details. I have an idea that the reason I created the new page was that the disambiguation page included material that was inappropriate to disambiguation, but was none the less encyclopedic. Unfortunately I no longer have my text; would it be possible to retrieve the content of that article for my personal files? Thanks if so. JonRichfield (talk) 15:30, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Luminescent solar concentrators

Hello, JonRichfield. Welcome and thank you, good luck. Levita.lev (talk) 07:56, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Hello, JonRichfield, I have sent you email. Levita.lev (talk) 11:15, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Hello Jon, Your contribution should be emphasized. Could you kindly suggest a appropriate form. (Reference?) How this can be materialized? With many thanks and best regards, Levita.lev (talk) 11:39, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Picot de Lapeyrouse

Désolé de ne pas parler anglais. Le naturaliste Toulousain (Philipe Picot de Lapeyrouse) et le navigateur Albigeois ( Jean-François de La Pérouse) n’ont aucuns liens de parenté. Philipe Picot a été Baron de Lapeyrouse, il n’a jamais porté le titre de Comte. Son fils Isodore était également naturaliste. Philipe Picot n’a jamais voyagé. La famille des Lapeirousia lui est bien dédiée, même s’il s’agit de plantes Sud-Africaines. L’article en Français sur lui est assez complet. Il existe un Institut Picot-de-Lapeyrouse, qui a pour but de favoriser les actions de recherche et de communication scientifiques du Muséum de Toulouse. Des travaux sont en cours en Mongolie, Mozambique Afrique du Sud et Gabon… Mais aussi sur Wikimedia… J’ai l’honneur depuis 1992 de présider cet institut et nous avons lancé l’an dernier le Projet Phoebus. Philipe Picot de Lapeyrouse est donc toujours actif…

Sorry for not speaking English. The naturalist Toulousain (Philippe Picot de Lapeyrouse) and the navigator Albigenses(Jean-Francois de La Perouse) are not related. Philipe Pico, was Baron de Lapeyrouse, he never carried the title of Count. His son Isidore was also a naturalist. Philippe Picot has never traveled. The family of Lapeirousia is dedicated to him, even if they are South African plants. The article in French on it is quite comprehensive. There is an Institute Picot de Lapeyrouse, which aims to promote research activitiesand scientific communication at the Museum of Toulouse. Work is underway in Mongolia, Mozambique, South Africa and Gabon ... But also on Wikimedia ... I have the honor since 1992 to chair the Institute and we launched last year, the Phoebus project. Philippe Picot de Lapeyrouse is still active ... --Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 13:03, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Archaeodontosaurus, in any and every language, merci beaucoup! Your trouble was much appreciated and the product was very helpful to me at least. If I can similarly be of assistance to you, it would relieve me somewhat of my burden of gratitude.
All the best, JonRichfield (talk) 13:48, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Please comment on Talk:Abortion

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Cataphyll

Excellent job on cataphyll. I did some minor touchups; check it out and make sure I got it right? DS (talk) 14:24, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

I feel much complimented and appreciated; many thanks. No problems with your touch-ups. Go well, Jon. JonRichfield (talk) 18:22, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Disambiguation

I reverted most of your additions to Floor (disambiguation) because they were simply partial title matches and floor wasn't the main thing, see WP:PTM, it should only really list things where 'Floor' or something very similar is used on its own. People for instance are included as they may only be known by the one name. Sea floor spreading however is not referred to as floor for instance, even the sea floor is not referred to as the floor. The floor of a stock exchange is however referred to as the floor. Dmcq (talk) 14:22, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Please comment on Talk:Faceted classification

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Please comment on Talk:Astrology

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Ad hominem

I hope you will forgive a few comments on your discussion page; the argument from authority page is just not the appropriate place to debate such matters. You write:

As we lack further evidence in the case, the charge of "general incompetence" might or might not be valid, but it would be a fairly tenuous example of an ad hominem attack anyway; if Alvarez had accused Clemens of being a wife-beater or child molester, that would have been ad hominem I think, because I suspect that in other respects such people might be reasonably competent. It is not as though the field of competence in question were ethics or human relationships or the like, where family abuse might be relevant -- it seems to be geology. If it were given that Clemens is indeed inept at interpreting sedimentary rock strata, then that fact would be in every way relevant and would have some merit, but then it is very arguable how ad hominem the attack would be, ineptitude in geology being a valid point to raise in ad verecundiam arguments in geological matters (inductively if not formally logically, of course.)

Here it seems that you are confused about the nature of the ad hominem. An ad hominem is simply any argument which seeks to discredit a statement or argument by attacking the source rather than the merits. Whether or not the accusation against the person is merited or relevant matters only for the cogency of the argument, not for its formal classification. If it were the case that Clemens really were incompetent, then we may simply have a cogent against the person (the formal classification doesn't change based upon the accuracy of the substantial content). You write:

Note however, that Alvarez's wording was: "can be dismissed on grounds of general incompetence", which is definitely not the same as -Y (using JD's notation for Y being false, as opposed to either true or undecided). All it suggests is that Clemens' opinion is irrelevant to the case and accordingly has no force. In contrast UD's example stated: "a presumption that 2+2=4 is not true", or in effect, -Y: not at all the same thing.

It is the same. In both cases, a claim is being dismissed, rejected, or discredited. Both follow the same basic pattern:

  1. X says Y.
  2. X is a B (where "B" is some property, classification, circumstance, etc.)
  3. Therefore, ~Y

"Dismissed," "rejected," "false," may all be symbolized as "~Y". We do not have, in symbolic logic, different symbols for every nuanced variation of dismissing, rejecting, or denying some proposition. If a conclusion or premise denies, rejects, or dismisses some proposition, we're just going to say "~Y". Now, let's take a very simplified argument from authority pattern:

  1. X says Y.
  2. X is a B (where "B" is some property, classification, circumstance, etc.)
  3. Therefore, Y

You seem to believe that these two examples have the same form, which is just transparently false (sorry). The former is against the person: it asserts that, because of some property that person has, we may reject their claims. The latter is from authority: because of some property that person has, we may affirm their claims. The ad hominem can really be viewed simply as an inverse argument from authority. Observe:

  1. Moses says it's wrong to worship idols.
  2. Moses is a prophet of God.
  3. Therefore, it's wrong to worship idols.

The phrase "prophet of God" is just standing in for the general notion of "is a legitimate authority," just as any other claim with a similar function. No matter what we insert into this, we are saying that some property the person has is grounds (authority) for affirming the truth of the claim. As I'm sure you'll agree, an argument needn't use the exact words "is a legitimate expert" in order to be classified as an argument from authority; this phrase is simply a stand-in for the general thrust of the claim. The same holds for UD's ad hominem. As in:

  1. Moses says it's wrong to worship idols.
  2. Moses is not a legitimate expert on the morality of idol-worship.
  3. Therefore, it's false that it's wrong to worship idols.

Or:

  1. Moses says it's wrong to worship idols.
  2. Moses is incompetent on the subject of the morality of idol-worship.
  3. Therefore, it's false that it's wrong to worship idols.

Or:

  1. Moses says it's wrong to worship idols.
  2. Moses is a known wife-beater.
  3. Therefore, it's false that it's wrong to worship idols.


These examples are all serving the same formal argumentative purpose: some property of Moses is given as grounds for denying the proposition. The important point is this: all ad hominem arguments may be viewed as inverse arguments from authority, including, obviously, UD's example. In essence, that's just what an ad hominem is. Jander80 (talk) 22:16, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

It gets worse for you. Let's consider the two examples again:

We may also simply incorporate these conditions into the structure of the argument itself, 
in which case the form may look like this:[2]
   X holds that A is true
   X is a legitimate expert on the subject.
   The consensus of experts agrees with X.
   Therefore, there's a presumption that A is true.
Immediately after which UD inserted:
It can be argued that it is also a case of ad verecundiam when the lack of authority of 
someone is used to deny the truth of what he or she claims, as in the following example:
   X holds that 2+2=4 is true
   X is not a legitimate expert on the subject of mathematics.
   Therefore, there must be a presumption that 2+2=4 is not true.    

Now, your position is that UD's example is identical to, or follows directly from, the sourced example before it. In fact, you appear to be arguing that this is so unassailably obvious, that you needn't produce any reliable source for your position. Let's symbolize these two examples a bit further for clarity:

Gensler:

X asserts A
X is a B
Therefore, A.

UD:

X asserts A
X is a ~B
Therefore, ~A.


In order to hold that these two claims are identical, you must hold to the patently absurd claim that B = ~B and A = ~A; hence, your claims commit you to the most elementary fallacy in all of logic by violating the law of non-contradiction. Not only is your position not even close to as unassailably obvious as you claim, but a reasonable case can be made that your position is utterly ridiculous. And given that your entire ground for claiming you don't need a reliable source is the allegedly unassailable obviousness of your belief, it should be clear by now that your position for including your belief is completely untenable. To further elaborate on the poverty of your position, consider the following forms:


(x)(Sx --> Wx)
Sp
Wp

Or:

If x is an S, then x is a W.
P is an S.
Therefore, P is a W.

Now:

(x)(Sx --> Wx)
~Sp
~Wp

Or:

If x is an S, then x is a W.
P is a ~S.
Therefore, P is a ~W.


Not only are these two cases not identical, and not only do they not follow from one another, but the first example is a case of modus ponens, while the second is a case of the infamous fallacy of denying the antecedent! This obviously won't do at all.

Negatives matter, and they affect the form. In fact, they are the difference between Modus Ponens:

If A then B
A
B

And the fallacy of denying the antecedent:

If A then B
~A
~B

I trust this is enough to demonstrate that a reasonable case against your position is possible (to say the least), and that a reliable source is necessary for your position. Jander80 (talk) 04:42, 15 October 2011 (UTC)


Hi Jan,

you said: "I hope you will forgive a few comments…". You are entirely welcome — forgiveness does not come into it. Furthermore, should you feel a need to quote any part of this discussion, either elsewhere in our disagreement or anywhere else, feel welcome; I do not regard it as privileged either in form or in intention.

You write in part: "...you are confused about the nature of the ad hominem. An ad hominem is simply any argument which seeks to discredit a statement or argument by attacking the source rather than the merits..." Your definition has its merits of course, but your pessimism is excessive; I was quite aware of the meaning and a number of the usages of ad h. and I agree with your definition up to a point, and, I suspect, effectively completely if we are not too punctilious about details.

Remember that I had said '..."general incompetence" might or might not be valid, but it would be a fairly tenuous example of an ad hominem attack...' As I read the material presented by Salmon (as opposed to Salmon's own diagnosis) Alvarez certainly was not friendly to Clemens, and he certainly did use his assessment in his attack on his interpretations. In this there might well be an aspect of ad hominem, but as stated it was by no means clearly the only or even necessarily the dominant aspect. If Salmon had more to say about the attack, you do not mention it; faik Alvarez had also explained his rejection of Clemens' interpretation on Clemens' failure to get any other degree but from a degree mill of the type that sells them on the Internet, plus the fact that Clemens had claimed that the strata were part of a plot by underground goblins and also claimed that in fact the Earth is flat. In such a case, or even a far milder case (neither of which I assert), say, that Clemens had disagreed with Alvarez' pet theory, Alvarez' claim would have addressed both the subject matter and its proponent. The ad hominem aspect would remain applicable, but there would have been other possible aspects, for example possibly aspects tending towards ad verecundiam: in effect: "Given Clemens' publicly accessible incompetent pronouncements, he patently is not an authority on the subject, whereas I am; the presumption is therefore that I am more likely to be correct than he is." It is altogether reasonable, if relevant and true, to claim both one's own authority and the opponent's lack of authority in the same proposition. Now, you probably don't know, and I certainly don't know, and it is not at present clear to me whether Salmon knows, the rights of the matter, but my point remains that in general in such a case (which I am sure you will agree is not particularly rare in academic circles, though Alvarez' pronouncements admittedly seem to be a bit unpolished) to say that there is an element of ad hominem in no way excludes other forms of fallacious, or indeed valid, argument. For example, also faik, Alvarez' might have said in effect: "That SOB Clemens was one of my students and I am not going to take any lip from anyone who has attended my lectures, so I have greater authority and it follows that what I say is true and what he says is not.". Still apart from the ad hominem aspect, the ad verecundiam in this case would be the raw, logically invalid, non-statistical form, not really "inductive". Hmm... I see that I already said something of the kind: "ineptitude in geology being a valid point to raise in ad verecundiam arguments in geological matters (inductively, though not formally logically, of course.)"

You also quote me: "In contrast UD's example stated: "a presumption that 2+2=4 is not true", or in effect, -Y: not at all the same thing" and reply: "It is the same. In both cases, a claim is being dismissed, rejected, or discredited." And proceed to display the form of the statements, that you claim to be essentially equivalent. You continue: 'Dismissed," "rejected," "false," may all be symbolized as "~Y". We do not have, in symbolic logic, different symbols for every nuanced variation of dismissing, rejecting, or denying some proposition. If a conclusion or premise denies, rejects, or dismisses some proposition, we're just going to say "~Y".'

Jan, there you wander. A claim may be rejected without acceptance of the inverse of the claim. For example there might be insufficient evidence for a proposition, but also for its negation. If it were not so, you could prove any proposition as true: I say: "Blueberries are all yellow, therefore ~A" you pounce and point out that according to a reliable source, suitably cited, at least some blueberries are green. Accordingly ~A is not established, leaving us with A as the only alternative. Hardly, yes? Then again, I remind you, purely in passing, that there are whole classes of axiomatic structures of non-binary symbolic logic, accommodating such concepts as "undecided" or "meaningless". I accept of course, that the assumption here is that we are at least predominantly assuming binary logic conventions (of which there are many variants), but that does not let you off the hook. Consider:

I assert:

2+2=4
Critic A, on inspection of my proposition, says: "Richfield is no mathematician"
B says: Richfield makes a thought-provoking point, but I am a mathematician, and I know that 2+2=3
C says: "No matter what he says, green ideas sleep furiously"
All three agree that the conclusion is necessarily that 2+2<>4.

You might wish to repeat the exercise, substituting 3 for 4 and 4 for 3. 
Or you might substitute for "2+2=4", propositions such as: "this statement is true", 
"this statement is false", or "2+2=wednesdae".

Now, inspecting the arguments as an outside observer, you might dismiss the critics, only considering my proposition and assigning it a truth value of 0 or 1, or if you prefer, P or ~P, or the like. So far you probably will not find your capacity strained. However, if you are to assess the statements of the critics as a basis for assigning a truth value to the proposition without inspecting the proposition, you run into problems. Some multi-value logics will enable you to assign values without difficulty, but binary logic leaves you with no value to assign cogently. If you believe critic A, you might assign a value of 0, or you might argue that his argument from authority is suspect, and accordingly assign a value of 1. You might object to my invitation, saying that, not having seen my proposition, you are not in a position to assign either, and I would agree, but then, given that 0 and 1 are your only options, what DO you assign? In mechanical terms (eg, if you are a computer programmer) you need three states if you wish to accept that sometimes you do not know which value to assign, or in general that it may not be possible to assign 0 or 1 validly. Otherwise you must accept that your assignment of truth values sometimes will have no correspondence to reality, or even to logic. You could in fact force any value you like by a bit of jiggery pokery regarding the negative of the proposition under inspection as a proposition in its own right, and finding both the proposition and its negative false. Or you could say that nothing is a proposition until you have a value for it (otherwise it would have to be either 0 for false, 1 for true, etc). But that leaves you with some ugly results in practice.

But none of this can be new to you, I am sure.

You say (very persuasively) that: "The ad hominem can really be viewed simply as an inverse argument from authority." . You rightly are sure that I agree that: '...an argument needn't use the exact words... " in order to be classified as an argument from authority, and you give some examples that I have no quarrel with.

You add: "The important point is this:, including, obviously, UD's example. In essence, that's just what an ad hominem is."

That, I am afraid, is where the wheels get wobbly. If I read you correctly you are asserting that "all ad hominem arguments may be viewed as inverse arguments from authority", and accordingly, or at least by extension, that such arguments are exclusively and necessarily ad hominem, and perhaps that the same applies in reverse to ad verecundiam. Would you prefer to think about the implications at leisure or respond at once? I shall not hold you to any concessions if you wish to clarify your position to avoid misunderstanding. Any claim concerning "all ad hominem arguments" is a large claim, especially if it incorporates the assumption that the attribute "ad hominem" is exclusive of other facets, so that it is not possible to be ad hominem and ad-something-else, such as in particular verecundiam. For a start, I should expect that you would run into difficulties imposing such a definition as universal, or alternatively, persuading all parties of its necessary truth. Consider just as an example:

Dumbo says 2+2=4 (or 3?)
I am (or if you prefer, Erdos was) a greater mathematical expert than dumbo
Hence, 2+2<>4 (or 3?) (I might have said instead "undecided", 
but I only have two possible values available for expressing
the truth value of propositions, remember?)

Then again, you have problems with the distinction between purely formal arguments with binary truth values, where all premises are regarded as givens, as compared with practical arguments, applied logic, where all the premises are empirical or where there are fiducial limits, limits of confidence if you like, and probabilistic considerations if you like, and where informal "induction" (as opposed to valid logical or mathematical induction) more often than not justifies itself in terms of outcomes. Consider this:

The creature that I confidently claim to be a beetle, Dumbo says is an ant.
I am an experienced, curmudgeonly entomologist, in contrast to 
Dumbo, who is a charming, juvenile metropolitan.
The presumption is... (complete according to taste)

Well, is that ad hominem or ad verecundiam? It decidedly involves " argument which seeks to discredit a statement or argument by attacking the source rather than the merits...", does it not?

JUSTAMINIT Richfield, (do I hear you cry?) where do you get off with that sort of garbage? We are discussing formal logic here, not the drivellings of laymen who cannot recognise beetles! Well now, if that is indeed what I hear you cry, then we have a problem, don't we? I seem to remember (but correct me if not) that you too accepted something about the difference between absolute conclusions and inductively reasonable presumptions. (I for one, would place a lot of money on the ad verecundiam view that it was no ant, but a beetle!) But whether you did or would or not, the fact is that ad hominem and ad verecundiam and a lot of other fallacious arguments do get applied, often not easily separably, in such empirical, informal debates. They are by no means in general neatly separable in each logical structure or dispute, and informal colloquial grammar aggravates the problem. Your attempt to formalise the two fallacies by imposed definition had distinct charm, a characteristic neatness, if you will forgive the compliment, but you also, I hope, will forgive my reservations in accepting their mutual negation as a general principle.

You commiseratingly add that it gets worse for me, that my position is that UD's example is identical to or follows directly from, the sourced example before it. In fact, you urge that I appear to be arguing that this is ... unassailably obvious. And so on.

That sounds persuasive, but I regret to urge in response that you are overstating the case. I do certainly say that it follows, but only in the sense that the two arguments can be stated in relevantly analogous forms, or that the forms can at the very least be trivially derived from each other. The only obviosity is that the two can be stated in forms that can be shown to be common in relevant ways, derived if you like, so that indeed I needn't produce any reliable source, any more than for 2+2=4. I seem to remember giving examples of arithmetical derivations as illustrations of items that needed no sourcing.

Similarly with logic, either formal or empirical; if a point either is so simple, or can be so simply derived from an already accepted (possibly sourced) point, that it can be directly understood on inspection, then sourcing it is counter-functional, a waste of time if you like; citation overkill in fact. Frankly, I think that in your version of the article from most points of view your own sourcing was not of much value apart from providing readers with references to more extended treatments, which of course was justified; not all logic is after all trivial just because the introductory remarks and examples are trivial.

Let me show you an example:

Gensler:
 X asserts J
 X is a K
 Therefore, (Presumption) L.
UD:
 X asserts J
 X is a M
 Therefore, (Presumption) N. 

Happy? Ignoring the presumption and accepting that the form is close enough for jazz, I think you will agree that there is a certain family resemblance of form. If I understood you correctly you classify both arguments as either ad hominem or ad verecundiam, leaving me wondering which you would diagnose if attribute B stood for "in the middle distance" or "of average weight" or "present", or any other neutral attribute, rather than "B has buck teeth" or "B failed his geology exam".

Now, in the respective originals, you had K=B, L=A, M=~B, N=~A, remember? Accordingly the form is conserved. Furthermore, a deeper level of form is conserved as well, in that formally the logic is fallacious in both cases, in that K and M both referred to X, rather than to J (which in both cases could be A, though in a former exchange I pointed out the possibility that it might be ~A in some form or another). In all these cases, the truth of the final proposition (whether false or not) was hardly at issue; the validity of the form was what it was all about.

Well then, which of the statements in the immediately foregoing do you suggest needs sourcing? Are you suggesting that every substitution in every derivation should be supported by separate citation? I hope not!

You say: "In order to hold that these two claims are identical, you must hold to the patently absurd claim that B = ~B and A = ~A", but I suspect that you did not mean that in any sense that I need answer after the immediately foregoing. I would not have mentioned it at all, if it had not been for: "the most elementary fallacy in all of logic —violating the law of non-contradiction". Should I deduce from that statement that you are not an enthusiastic student of paraconsistency?

You say: "...reasonable case can be made that your position is utterly ridiculous. And given that your entire ground for claiming you don't need a reliable source is the allegedly unassailable obviousness of your belief, it should be clear by now that your position for including your belief is completely untenable."

I really think that in that respect it is a case of "back to the drawing board", or better yet, to a totally new drawing board. To further elaborate on the poverty of my position, you demonstrate the conversion of modus ponens into denial of the antecedent by negation of the terms (M. tollens offers similar opportunities of course; the general principle is not at issue), and you understandably give this as an example of how changing the sign can change the form. However, changing the sign only changes the form where the sign is relevant to the form. This is easily shown in mathematics, where for example x*y=xy irrespective of the values of x and y. –x*-y=xy and –x*y=   -xy do not affect the correctness of the general assertion, and there are analogous cases among logical operators, such as x&y. I will not insult your intelligence by inviting you to inspect the truth table. Conversely, there are operations where changing the sign certainly may change the form, such as in implication or logarithms. Negatives certainly may sometimes affect form as you say, but only as relevant, not universally. It is up to the proponent to demonstrate the relevance wherever appropriate.

Similarly, in preserving form in practical as well as in formal logical fallacies, one must observe appropriate discrimination in negation of the terms. If you really could sustain the general applicability of your hominem-verecundiam inversion, there might be some point, but as the two are no more than variations on an ill-defined theme of reference to a formally (not necessarily practically) irrelevant term in an argument, (eg that A is or is not an authority) sustaining that argument certainly won't fly! Anyway, you still were basing the point on your impression of my assertion of the identity of cases, which, as I have pointed out above, is not correct — I had said nothing of the kind — and in some forms, is not even relevant. Giving the example of modus ponens/denial of antecedent is not a valid argument in context because there are counter-examples such as equivalence; to choose one of the simplest: (x=y) <--> (-x=  -y).

You say: "I trust this is enough to demonstrate that a reasonable case against your position is possible", an opinion that I regard with polite reservation (to say the least), and you add that a reliable source is necessary for my position, which I deny, as everything UD said in the article is demonstrably and trivially in a form compatible with everything that had gone before, and yet was not identical, as you yourself were urging on me. If you could establish the generality of your hominem/verecundiam inversion as a basis for argument, it might lead to something, but in that matter, even I might ask for a citation, and contest it!

All the best,

JonRichfield (talk) 09:45, 16 October 2011 (UTC)


While you raise many points worthy of discussion, here is, I think, the main source of contention; consider the following argument:

   X holds that 2+2=4 is true
   X is a legitimate expert on the subject of mathematics.
   Therefore, there must be a presumption that 2+2=4 is not true. 

Now, I would call this an ad hominem, despite it's peculiar content. I'm assuming you would still call this an argument from authority, in keeping with your general position. But as I said before, what matters is not the content so much as the form. The form of this argument is:

  1. X says Y.
  2. X is a B (where "B" is some property, classification, circumstance, etc.)
  3. Therefore, ~Y

The important part of this form is that some property of X (it doesn't matter what that property is) is taken as grounds for rejecting Y. That's just what an ad hominem is. It doesn't matter if we insert for B "is a wife-beater," "is not a legitimate authority," "is a legitimate authority"; whatever we insert into B, it's still an ad hominem form. The argument from authority is the inverse:

  1. X says Y.
  2. X is a B (where "B" is some property, classification, circumstance, etc.)
  3. Therefore, Y

Some property of X is given as grounds for affirming Y. And so, I ask you, what kind of argument is this:

  1. X says Y
  2. X is a legitimate expert on Y-subject.
  3. Therefore, ~Y

Argument from authority? Really? Now consider:

  1. X says Y.
  2. X is not a legitimate expert on Y-subject.
  3. Therefore, Y.

What is this, then? I say argument from authority. And you?

Jander80 (talk) 04:29, 18 October 2011 (UTC)


JD, those are nice examples, but I seem to have failed to make it sufficiently plain that the whole verecundiam/hominem matter is a temptation to confusion because they are not so much fundamental fallacies in their own right, as aspects or examples of a more general kind of fallacy, the fallacy of irrelevant conclusion or ignoratio elenchi or red herring or any of a few other names in a few other forms.

You don't need me to tell you that! In fact, you already have implied your understanding of the point in your protestation that hominem is the same as verecundiam in that each speaks of the opponent instead of his proposition, the two forms differing only in that one says nice things about the opponent, whereas the other says nasty things. Other examples of red herring include ad populum, ad misericordiam, and so on. Several of the many possible forms do indeed have some practical inductive merit (I mentioned the entomologist diagnosing Dumbo's ant as a beetle, remember?, And someone who beats his wife might well suffer from delusions of his own authority, right?) but, as I think I also suggested at some point, one must in practice draw valid distinctions between formal, absolute, abstract, arguments, in which one must proceed tautology by tautology, as in mathematics, and practical, informal arguments, in which the relevant logic is too ill-defined for absolute precision, and large numbers of tacit assumptions might play a role. Statistics and biometry apply largely to the latter, as opposed to abstract probability being applicable to certain classes of the former.

No doubt you are familiar with the Damon Runyon quote (this is second-hand, my copy having vanished long ago. Sorry!) "Son, you are now going out into the wide, wide, world to make your own way, and it is a very good thing to do, as there are no more opportunities for you in this burg. I am only sorry that I am not able to bankroll you to a very large start, but not having any potatoes to give you, I am now going to stake you to some very valuable advice, which I personally collect in my years of experience around and about, and I hope and trust you will always bear this advice in mind. 'Son, no matter how far you travel, or how smart you get always remember this: Some day, somewhere, a guy is going to come to you and show you a nice brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is never broken, and this guy is going to offer to bet you that the jack of spades will jump out of this deck and squirt cider in your ear. But son, do not bet him, for as sure as you do you are going to get an ear full of cider.'" Patently there is more in such an empirical proposition than in the typical formal proposition, but in the study of logical fallacies the boundary between the formal and the empirical shifts continually and fluidly, creating much confusion and a whole class of tacit meta-fallacies. You might have some fun teasing a few such out of the sainted Runyon's anecdote.

No surprises so far?

Well we certainly are making some progress. Your immediately foregoing propositions and inferences all share the attribute of illegitimately drawing conclusions about proposition A uttered by X, and justifying the inference on the grounds of propositions about X instead of about A. All these propositions might or might not be true, although the claims in our recent discussions about X vary from very complimentary to downright condemnatory, including some that were neutral and some that were mixed. Some you (and some I) categorised as ad hominem and some as ad verecundiam and some as problematic or indeterminate. Some I presented to you in those respects as being mixed.

One might be tempted to argue that there is no substantial difference between such poorly defined, poorly distinguishable sub-classes of irrelevant conclusion, but of course there are practical considerations. We are not discussing purely formal discourse, I remind you again, that all such types of fallacy are common rhetorical tricks, traps for muddy intellects, and they commonly occur in different types of rhetorical situation. Typically one should not find their like in formal argument about propositions within formal disciplines, however passionate and debatable. Accordingly in this discussion we tend to find sufficiently consistent arguments to classify, because formalised examples are easier to deal with. For example as ad hominem:

X says 2+2=4 
X is a stinker, so:
2+2<>4

And as ad verecundiam:

X says 2+2=4 
X is our president, so:
2+2=4

And someone said:

X says Y.
X is a B (where "B" is some property, classification, circumstance, etc.)
Therefore, Y/~Y as the case might be.

Someone had it that where the conclusion is Y the argument amounts to ad verecundiam, otherwise to ad hominem. This is ingenious of course, but not persuasive. It is what the English call an "Aunt Sally" argument and the Americans call a "Straw man". This is an intriguing shifting of the definition from the more traditional:

X says Y.
X is a N (where "N" is something nasty.)
Therefore, ~Y,   for ad hominem

And:

X says Y.
X is a N (where "N" is something nice.)
Therefore, Y,   for ad verecundiam.

Forgive my rejection of the validity of either of those proposals. Firstly, even if you were to find a source in a textbook to support both of those forms to suit your strictly formal definitions, I would contest them in that the distinction is neither universally, nor even commonly, recognised (and I could find you a whole swadge of references that describe nothing of the sort! Even if somehow you were able to get the formal logic community to accept them, it seems to me that this would amount to OR rather than citation, and though I don't mind OR, WP might!) and that they are not mutually exclusive, but quite commonly mixed with very flexible interpretations, some of them seen differently by opponents in the same argument. I am sure that you have seen the likes of:

X is an experienced administrator of unbending virtue with deep military connections
We need a competent, powerful president on whom we can rely
Vote for X/Y

X's supporters present the argument as a recommendation (amounting to ad verecundiam, possibly even ad misericordiam plus ad baculum), whereas opponents supporting Y present it as condemnation of a decrepit, rigid, dictatorial has-been, (ad hominem in most books, right?) It gets worse: you might respect X's administration background and detest his military connections, and I vice versa, so you and I might be floating voters or undecided. By this time both of your distinctions between ad h. and ad v. look leakier than government laptop security, even if I must accept your definition by ukase. But we wander; some of us do anyway! Getting back to the article, one of us said in effect:

The appeal to authority may take several forms. As a statistical syllogism,
it will have the following basic structure:
  Most of what authority a has to say on subject matter S is correct.
  a says p about S.
  Therefore, p is correct.
. . . . . . 

Which seems similar in tone and argument to:

. . . . . . 
It can be argued that it is also a case of ad verecundiam when the
lack of authority of someone is used to deny the truth of what he
or she claims, as in the following example:
   X holds that 2+2=4 is true
   X is not a legitimate expert on the subject of mathematics.
   Therefore, there must be a presumption that 2+2=4 is not true.

I am sure that you will recognise that this resembles your most recent attempt at redefining the distinction between ad verecundiam and ad hominem to suit your argument, but really, JR! Creating a new and not generally accepted structure of definition for a little spat like the present one, not only is a sledgehammer for a nut, but a sledgehammer too unwieldy for the job. Far from being able to impose your definition, you haven't even been able to formulate it unambiguously, and in particular, your inability to do so follows from neglecting to put your concepts properly into perspective. The two concepts that you are dealing with are not mutually exclusive even in isolation, and in reality they are not in isolation, but are elements of a set of irrelevant conclusion fallacies. A term such as argumentum ad verecundiam is for taxonomic convenience, and UD's example very properly uses it in such a connection. There is no question of any rigidly defined criterion for disqualifying it from the article on any such grounds, even if you did manage to impose either or both of your artificial distinctions, and as I have pointed out, its form and derivation fit as comfortably into the text and discussion as any of your examples. Note that in our discussion since, you have used essentially very similar formats and forms, for the excellent reason that they were appropriate.

Right?

Go well,

JonRichfield (talk) 15:44, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Although you seem to have misunderstood me on several points, I feel that it will be better to simply push on, particularly with your last proposal to go back to the original examples as they appear in the article. It still seems pretty plain to me that UD's example does in fact resemble the example that precedes it; viz. it is the inverse of it. Salmon: "Arguments against the person (also known by the Latin name argumentum ad hominem) are the inverse of arguments from authority. Arguments against the person conclude that a statement is false because it is made by a particular person or group of persons. Such arguments are legitimate only when there is reason to believe that most of the claims made by the individual or group...are false". I continue to maintain that this is precisely what is going on in UD's example, and that it really doesn't matter what property we insert for X ("is a wife-beater," "is a legitimate authority," "is not a legitimate authority"), if it is taken as a grounds against the person to reject a claim, then it is an ad homimem. Jander80 (talk) 18:12, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Also, just for fun, what would you make of this:

  1. X says Y.
  2. X is a "either Y or I'll smash you in the git!"
  3. Therefore, Y.

I say: argument from authority. Und du? Jander80 (talk) 21:43, 18 October 2011 (UTC)


Sorry JD, been out photographing creatures that do not repeat performances on request.

I see that you are still onto Salmon: "Arguments against the person (also known by the Latin name argumentum ad hominem) are the inverse of arguments from authority...." He seems to be a very leaky, not to say messy, reasoner, but I do not remember having read anything by him other than your quotes, so possibly I wrong him. What I find curious is your persistent ad verecundiam appeal to him, as if his opinion not only is correctly interpreted, but is definitive, no matter how irrational or superficial it might be. You did after all quote at least two (three?) other textbooks in the article; If Salmon's idea is so good, why don't they propose something similar? I certainly have never seen it elsewhere, so apparently I am not the only one to regard it with suspicion. Are you by any chance trying to establish a principle by reference to one single voice in the wilderness?

Well, of course I mustn't be too dismissive; after all, he did at least write a textbook, and I didn't. Still, however great his authority, I feel entitled to expect some rationale to his assertions beyond his having written them into a textbook. You still haven't addressed some of the most basic points, and until you demonstrate the contrary, I can only assume that this is because Salmon never mentioned them. If so it were a grievous fault, and grievously hath his disciple answered it. Firstly, there seems to be no distinction between empirical (informal, if you like) and formal reasoning and fallacies. I have mentioned this before and you seem to have avoided analysing the distinction while continuing to mix examples of the two in your discussion. It is one thing to construct an argument within an axiomatic structure, but whenever abstractions from a material or notional system are presented as the justification of a material inference, certain added dimensions of discipline are appropriate, don't you think?

For one thing, what on Earth are you on about, acting as though you (or Salmon) have discovered mutually exclusive classes of informal fallacies that are so characteristic that you can define pairs that are completely supplementary? If you have access to Copi & Cohen, Introduction to Logic, you can see a reference to a book I have no intention of reading: Historians' Fallacies, by D.H. Fischer, in which 112 classes of fallacy are named and discussed. Do you really imagine that they do not overlap in all sorts of ways, both with each other and ad hominem and verecundiam? So far you have not produced any examples that could stand up even to my offhand challenges, and those you did produce were based on flat assertion and repetition. Surely even Salmon would object? For example, you "continue to maintain ... that it really doesn't matter what property we insert for X..." if it is taken as grounds against the person. But you thereby leave yourself with the responsibility to define what counts as grounds against the person. I carefully presented you with examples where you failed to identify what counted against or for respectively X or X's assertions. Until you can make good that deficiency, you have not defined what you mean by assertions about statements against the person. Furthermore, you have performed no better in defining what it is to reject a claim, so, for you to say glibly "then it is an ad hominem" is no better justified than your claim that its inverse in any sense is ad verecundiam or ignoratio elenchi. You most certainly have come nowhere near demonstrating that if a statement is ad hominem it is not ad verecundiam, have you?

How about:

X says A
Y says: Believe me as an authority: X is always wrong in assertions such as A
Therefore... F(~A) in some degree.

Is that a.v., a.h.? Or something else? How can it be both if a.h. is the opposite of a.v.? Or is it i.e.? And on whose part? X or Y?

And what is your objection to something rather like what I said before?:

X says A
X is a B
A therefore has truth value C. 

This derivation incorporates certain pitfalls hinted at in a foregoing paragraph, some in fact in previous days' discussions as well, so be warned and don't say that I prepare unmarked snares for your feet, concerning formal and informal arguments. But if you can't deal with that sort of thing, you will have a hard time making headway with UD's little item.

You ask me to diagnose:

X says Y.
X is a "either Y or I'll smash you in the git!"
Therefore, Y.

You say: argument from authority. Und ich? Ich meine vorherrschend ad baculum oder vielleicht non sequitur eher als ad verecundiam. But suit yourself. It does in any case depend on particular circumstances for its impact.

Bed and company call.

Go well,

Jon

I think we've reached the point where we can settle our main dispute: the status of the article content. You're now arguing that a textbook which directly supports my view could just be a "lone voice in the wilderness," which of course might be true, but at any rate doesn't help your case that the unsourced material should remain. I'm going to remove it tomorrow unless you object, in which case I suppose we should proceed (I hope amicably) to arbitration. I think the example confuses and harms the article. Jander80 (talk) 23:20, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Nice try for a resolution ad nauseam without argument Jan, but I not only would object most decidedly but would lay a complaint against you for misapplying rules in support of bad-faith misrepresentation both of the situation and of what I had said. I never argued anything of the type, and I challenge you to show where I said anything of the type. I did indeed question your reliance on an incoherent citation of a remark vacuous in form; whether that quote did the original justice, I cannot say, but if it did then the original was meaningless. Even you have presented material in direct contradiction to the principle you cite. If the remark were to be applied as it stood, not only would it come a cropper over my various challenges: firstly it (and you) do not deal with the problem of defining either the "attacking" argument, or the value judgement on the conclusion. Secondly, you have failed even to make a show of answering either. Thirdly you been unable to deal with the examples that challenged you to show that no ad hominem argument (by your definition) could be an ad verecundiam argument as well, even though you finally conceded that "of course ... fallacies "overlap in all sorts of ways". If that were indeed true, how can ad hominem overlap its converse? And if it can, then how can you disqualify a remark from being ad verecundiam on the grounds of its being (you claim!) ad hominem?

For you to carry out your threat not only would be worse even than your earlier accusation that it was a matter of your sourced material versus UD's unsourced remark, which I demonstrated to be untrue; it would be more ignominious, as would emerge in the succeeding public debate. I would certainly present those points in my justification for my complaint, and I would most certainly not let the matter rest at the arbitration level if there were any dispute, so don't bother to try for any fait-accompli imposition of a resolution to your taste. If you are unable to support your motives for removal, and present dishonest justifications for your action you cannot retain any respect for your behaviour or the quality of your work. For example, your very own examples in the article to date fall down on the very criteria you are demanding, and what is more, they fall down on the authority of your own authorities.

You have repeatedly claimed that I had claimed that UD's statement should stand on the grounds that it was identical to what you had said, when I had said nothing of the kind, and it would have made no sense if I had, as I have patiently explained and re-explained. I pointed out, with supporting examples, that you had repeated the statement in the face of my patient contradiction and my gentle explanation that it was a derivation, much as some of your own examples were derivable from each other, and some of your attempted refutations were derivations from both. How is anyone to accept your good faith in such circumstances? If your examples were identical to each other JD, why did you present two of them, hmm? You have shown yourself totally unable to support any of your objections, fundamentally not simply because they lack substance, which is bad, but because they also are self-consistency, which is worse. By a blunder as elementary as your admission that invocation of Salmon does not exclude your own admission that fallacies "overlap in all sorts of ways", while trying on the other hand to exclude UD's point on nothing but your personal authority, you demonstrate either bad logic, bad faith or both; I leave the choice to you, but neither would justify your threat to proceed with removal. I could equally well remove most of your text from the article on those grounds. As a matter of kindergarten logic, the UD's example earns its place in that it has the necessary attribute of ad verecordiam argument, which is not disqualified by its having other aspects as well, such as your insistence on its being all sorts of other things as well; I simply cannot imagine how you could look yourself in the eye after such behaviour, and I certainly would not knuckle under to such a threat ad baculum. Would you disqualify the example because it was written in English or includes an arithmetical equation? That would about as much sense as to do so because it could be argued to be more than ad verecundiam. You mention some other sources for what you claim (and that I shall not trouble to verify; trash is trash whether invoked ad populum or not) but I had enquired purely as a matter of curiosity; any self-respecting logician who failed to falsify my counter-examples to such a universal claim would immediately accept that the citation, if honest, was irrelevant. In future refrain from inventing my claims for me. That is unethical as well as illogical. I thought I had explained "Aunt Sally" and "Straw Man" clearly enough; I would hate to think that you found them too abstruse as well as too tempting. If you have honest difficulty in such trivial problems, ask, don't create your own conclusions and attribute them to people who have no need for such assistance.

You say you "think the example confuses and harms the article". That is ad hoc ad pleading after the fact. If you disagree, give some justification; your assertion is no warranty in itself. I grant that you seem confused, but I beg you not to assume that the average reader who has read that far in the article would encounter similar difficulty. I suppose your confusion was your reason for your original demand for a source because you were unable manage the derivation of the form, or to discern its ad verecundiam nature from what its form had in common with the preceding examples. Let's see whether you can manage that.

JonRichfield (talk) 18:01, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Mr. Richfield; I'm sorry to see that you have decided again to resort to insults and bombastic accusations. Please be aware that I've removed the unsourced material, as is perfectly within Wiki guidelines. Given that the burden of proof is on you (as numerous people have told you, including an admin), I believe that you should be the one to open up a complaint or challenge (which is just as well, given that I don't know how to do so). For what it's worth, I emailed Professor Salmon with the examples and the arguments, to which she replied: "I agree with your rejection of [UD's argument] as an example, albeit a negative one, of appeal to authority". For this reason, it seems you may rest at ease regarding your worry that my incompetence was causing me to misinterpret Salmon. Mr.Richfield, there is still time for you to be reasonable. The example clearly needs a source. Why are you being so stubborn? It's really odd. Jander80 (talk) 23:42, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
By the way, texts which refer to the ad hominem as an "inverse argument from authority": V.E. Barry & D. J. Soccio. 1988 Practical Logic. p.127; K.D. Moore. 1993. Reasoning and Writing. p. 255; M. H. Salmon. 2006. Introduction to Critical Reasoning. p. 121; W.C. Salmon. 1984. Logic. p.101; F.J. Little, L.A. Groarke, and C.W. Tindale. 1989. Good Reasoning Matters! p. 265.
For what it's worth, I of course agree with you that fallacies "overlap in all sorts of ways". But of course, this is not the same thing as arguing that the ad hominem and the argument from authority are the exact same argument. You really will need a source for this sort of controversial claim, I'm afraid. Jander80 (talk) 01:31, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Ad verecundiam

JD, you want a ref? Try this one:

'A NO vote; Germany: "Why is everyone so stubborn? Nein! Nein! NEIN!"'[1]

Look, I have been thinking along a different tack. Maybe that is what you call being reasonable. It probably is time for someone in this sorry mess to try a total detour as a final recourse. Since you will not read what I write, nor analyse what I propose, and since the topic is "logical fallacies" or at any rate one subclass thereof, and since they do not in particular have much to do with formal logic, though creative Procrusteans get into trouble trying to cram them into ad hoc constraints, it might be best to point out some of the futilities that amateur and specialist logicians get themselves into. To give you part of the idea, consider the following example, suitably sourced of course:

LOGIC, n.  The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with 
the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.  The 
basic of logic is the syllogism, consisting of a major and a minor 
premise and a conclusion -- thus:
 _Major Premise_:  Sixty men can do a piece of work sixty times as 
  quickly as one man.
 _Minor Premise_:  One man can dig a posthole in sixty seconds; 
  therefore --
 _Conclusion_:  Sixty men can dig a posthole in one second.
 This may be called the syllogism arithmetical, in which, by 
 combining logic and mathematics, we obtain a double certainty and are 
 twice blessed.[2]

You might find it instructive to discuss that one with your sources.

Now, you may recall that my original functional objections to your deletion were disagreement with your argument, such as it was, and in particular that you had invalidly, self-indulgently, and counter-constructively invoked the lack of a source as grounds for challenge of a simple derivation or a matter of elementary fact. So what I shall do instead of contesting the removal, is remark on the matter in related articles on "logical fallacies" and then return with an entry for that point in Argument from authority. Would you prefer me to run the product by you first, or should I simply insert it and bide your wrath after the fact?

Cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 08:17, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Please comment on Talk:Suicide

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Re: John Battersby Crompton Lamburn errr... help?

Greetings! In John_Battersby_Crompton_Lamburn#Non-fictional_Writings, Fabre leads to a disambiguation page. I'm not familiar enough with the topic to determine which writer is being mentioned. Any help you can provide will be most appreciated!--JustAGal (talk) 20:39, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Hello JG, nice to meet you! You know, you knocked me for a six! I have an entomological background and have known the works of Fabre since I was in my teens. It simply did not occur to me that Fabre could mean anything else but THE Fabre! If anyone had asked me what the %^&* I thought I was talking about I would of course have realised how silly that was, but no one did, so I did not notice that I had not supplied a link, as I had in fact done for the Peckhams and Wheeler. I have now amended the Crompton article on that point and am contemplating creating a stub for Bonnie Bilyeu Gordon so as to avoid an empty link there. The outcome of that will depend on whether I can contact her via Facebook, a medium that I increasingly detest. She seems to have a certain notability, but I suspect that it is one of those cases where everyone knows more about her than I do. Please feel welcome to rattle my cage either with updates or edits to the article, or whatever occurs to you Cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 10:19, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

??

Haha, while i was clearing my user page I found that you cmted. I'm sorry, which question? Where did I ask it?Curb Chain (talk) 13:07, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Sorry CC, but I have no idea. I could explain about bees and fairy flies and physicists etc, but the question "Where" escapes me, whither I know not. Maybe I was asking "Where is the question?", or maybe you were. I suggest waiting till it re-arises. Give it a fixed time, say until the next millennium? And after that abandon it, however vitally important it might be. Something is lost to civilisation. Twas ever thus. OK? Meanwhile, cheers and go well, JonRichfield (talk) 14:48, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

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Please comment on Talk:Katrina Kaif

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RfC on Astrology

Because you have participated in a related RfC on this article, or have recently contributed to it, you are hereby informed that your input would be highly appreciated on the new RfC here: [[6]]. Thank you! Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 16:54, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

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Soo

How come you commented but didn't vote? BeCritical 23:03, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Hnnn? What vote? I thought that this was not a voting matter? I obviously have misunderstood something. Please elaborate. JonRichfield (talk) 06:36, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
You need to formally weigh in here BeCritical 07:15, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Hm. OK. Is that better? What had happened was that when I first got called in for the RFC I had replied in different terms and offered both pics etc. The forces of darkness then converted me and I guess that I overlooked the support #1 or Support #2 process. Thanks for the heads-up. Feel welcome to rattle my cage again as necessary JonRichfield (talk) 07:30, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Cool :D BeCritical 15:57, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

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Hello JonRichfield, I have created the redirects you requested. I just wanted to let you know that, because you have a Wikipedia account, you can create articles or redirects yourself. In order to create a redirect, you can type the title you want redirected into the search bar. On the top of search results, there is a message that says "You may create the page "TITLE", but consider checking the search results below to see whether the topic is already covered." If you click on the red link, it will take you to the page and you can create it. To redirect the title to another article you can add this code: #REDIRECT [[Target page name]] substituting "Target page name" with the title you want the redirect to go to. Best wishes, Alpha_Quadrant (talk) 19:56, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Much thanks AQ; sorry for the nuisance! Cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 09:01, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Cataphylls and Cape Gooseberry

I was reading the cataphyll page, and was struck by the captions calling the calyx of Physalis peruviana a "cape". Intrigued, I went to Physalis peruviana and learned about the theory that "cape gooseberry" was not named for the Cape of Good Hope. I see that you are largely responsible for the cataphyll article, as well as additions to the P. peruviana article that both mention the cape=clothing/calyx theory and which mostly debunk said theory. Since the "cape" etymology is controversial at best, would it not be better to refer to the structure in the captions on the cataphyll page as a calyx?Plantdrew (talk) 21:09, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi PD, thanks for your note. Your timing is precise, because I had taken the "cape" as opposed to "Cape" terminology as accepted wisdom until the subject arose in the Physalis article just recently. Then I arose in my dread authority to settle the matter by direct reference to primary sources... and found that the sources had never heard of the "true" meaning, which I now regard as a (reasonable and attractive, but untrue) backronym. So, as you appear to have discovered just a day or two later, I amended the Physalis article accordingly. I had however totally forgotten about the Cataphyll article mentioning the matter. I'll go and have a dekko.
Interlude...
OK, I now have touched up and brushed down Cataphyll. I hope it is in several ways improved. :-)
Thanks for the heads-up. Cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 08:51, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Kormorant and other

Hi JonRichfield,
Kormorant,a Kormoraan and Duiker are accepted synonyms. The reference for my move, i.e. "Prozesky", was included in the edit summary. The WAT dictionary supports it (translated): "Kormoraan or Kormorantb - any of several types of dark coloured swimming birds of the genus Phalacrocorax. In the vernacular known as duiker." Other vernacular names can be added to that. The WAT mentions further: "Duiker - Swimming bird that dives under the water. There are two families in South-Africa namely the Phalacrocoracidae, of the order Pelicaniformes, and the Podicipedidae." I.e. order Podicipediformes. Outside the region addressed by the WAT, a third Duiker group is found, the genus Gavia, order Gaviiformes. Naming them Kormorante (Phalacrocoracidae), Dobbertjies (Podicipedidae) and Duikers (Gaviidae) seems to be a reasonable choice, which can be elucidated with redirects, disambiguation pages and alternative names in the text. JMK (talk) 11:03, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
aProzesky, O.P.M. (1975), Voëls van Suid-Afrika, Johannesburg: Perskor, p. 16-18, ISBN 0-628-00266-1
bWoordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (Schonees et al)

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Kitten distribution

Kitten (06) by Ron.jpg

As seen on TV.

Slashme (talk) 07:23, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

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etceteras

Hah, thanks for that. Guess I should've looked it up myself but I really doubted it. --194.150.65.28 (talk) 06:01, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

No problem. I nearly passed it by, but I get irritated when people just revert things that they disagree with on no better grounds than that they disagree and without troubling to do any legwork themselves. I nearly reinstated the "blow off their etceteras, but could not find a source, so I dropped it. Cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 10:17, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

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Chameleon

Hallo, I see you've updated Chameleon with a new image and caption, as well as rearranged the layout with the image on the left. I do hope you won't mind if I say that I find all three changes unfortunate - it seemed better before, really. I've nothing against natural bodily functions but I'm not convinced we need to dwell on them in this instance. There are quite a lot of Chameleon images already on Commons to choose from if the previous image is for some reason not ideal? Chiswick Chap (talk) 13:04, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi CC, thank you for your courtesy in contacting me before doing anything about the material that you had reservations on. I hope that restraint such as yours will spread among some other elements who seem to think that any excuse for rv is better than an edit.
I have no strong views on showing the image on the left, though I disagree with what appears to be a strange policy agin it. I had at first had it on the right, but that created a column of picture longer than the accompanying text, which strikes me as aesthetically less acceptable than graphics straddling text. But if you take a rotted dislike to it, feel welcome (fairly welcome!) to arrange it as you prefer. I won't interfere.
As for the bodily function bit, I regard such subject matter as precisely neutral in a biological context and I completely fail to understand what you mean when you use the expression: "dwell on" it. Mentioning mating or excretion in a proper context is altogether in the encyclopedic mode, and I should have thought that the caption in context made it clear that there were two primary points to the picture.
Firstly, if you inspect the history of my immediately previous edit, you will find that I had just corrected a radical misstatement about the disposition of chameleons' toes, a misstatement the may have derived from the picture of Oustalet's Chameleon, in which it is not clear how many toes are on the lateral fascicle of the digits. I considered removing it instead, but did not feel sufficiently sure. As an illustration of toes, it was demonstrably inadequate. I accordingly went to my portfolio of chameleon pictures to find an illustration to support my otherwise bare statement, and the search took more time than you might have expected, because not only are chameleons in any case kittle subjects as sitters, but they seldom show all their toes from the same aspect at once. (Ask any chameleon lover!) I did however locate a few useful examples eventually, of which this one not only was clearest, but partly because of the very activity in which the animal was engaged. That same activity I am sure you will agree to be of interest in itself, both in the nature of the function-orientated attitude adopted, and in the principle of neither fouling its own environment, nor attracting the attention of predators.
You say you thought the picture and caption were better before (if I follow you correctly and understand correctly that you were referring to the chameleon on the agapanthus stalk), but I differ. The former picture was a stopgap. The later one illustrated the details better. The fact that it also had value in other respects than toe counting was no loss. WP would be severely hampered if we had to limit ourselves to illustrations that presented precisely one point each.
You might reasonably object that the extant text mentions nothing of the kind, but that is contingent and, one hopes, temporary. To the biologist the cycle of food and its multifarious contexts are willy-nilly ubiquitous and of enormous importance both quantitatively and qualitatively, and both practically and conceptually. It is not a field of study of high priority for me personally, but equally it is nothing to ignore when it is more or less forced under one's attention. If you can bring yourself to do so, take a good look at the attitude and the implications. If you would greatly prefer, I could show you more shots of the same chameleon in the same tree so that you can compare the attitudes when defecation was, and was not, in progress or in preparation. However, you can easily see the same undistorted attitude in the the picture of Oustalet's Chameleon, which was simply in passage (and accordingly not putting a best foot forward for photography).
Perhaps at some time in the near future I might enlarge on the matter in the text of the article, or perhaps a different article, but at present I cannot afford the time. I hope however that it is clear to you that that the illustration and caption concerning those bodily functions no more constituted "dwelling" than mentioning the animal's eyes (a matter not well covered btw) constituted dwelling on ogling. Forgive me, but your remark left me with a sense of marked confusion. I wonder whether we might not be at cross purposes?
Cheers for now. JonRichfield (talk) 14:24, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for extended reply. I don't think we're at cross purposes; we agree that Wikipedia is not censored, and your correction of the groups of toes was entirely necessary. My feeling remains that it'd be best to find an image showing the front and back toes as clearly as possible, and to leave the defecation image to accompany the projected discussion of the matter in the text. Chiswick Chap (talk) 15:42, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
OK, fair enough. Main problem is that where I am at the moment they are thin on the ground. So it might be a while before I can take suitable pics. Till then, go well, JonRichfield (talk) 16:54, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

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Wolf spiders, etc.

Hi,

If you ever get an electronic microscope, be sure to get one with a shutter button on the microscope tube itself. I saved a few bucks by getting one that can only be triggered from the computer keyboard. But then I ended up always using two hands to try to follow some windmilling little spider, and having nothing convenient left to push the shutter with. In my imagination I anticipated a microscope on a stable stand and a spider calmly posing exactly where I wanted it. Spiders move in 3-D and with the depth of field available it becomes necessary to move the microscope in 3-D in pursuit of the spider.

Poor wolf spider. I wish you'd have noticed in time to knock the egg off. I've been surprised, as I've had more occasions to take pictures (mostly just for Commons), at how peaceable wolf spiders are. I read John Crompton's book on The Life of the Spider when I was about ten years old, and I've had a warm spot for spiders ever since. (Maybe it is partly because, having grown up in the polio scare after World War II, I dislike flies more than most people.) But I'd always avoided actually coming close to the Lycosidae because I thought they would be likely to give me a defensive bite. Except for the kind that spend their entire lives in burrows in my pasture, there seems to be little to worry about.

Any Huntsman spiders in your area? I had a very interesting experience with what I am pretty sure must have been a Huntsman in Japan. I saw it at the corner of a shop window, placed the rubber end of my pencil down at the center of the window, and it ran rapidly over and would have bitten the eraser had I not jerked away in surprise. It was a prey mistake, but really exciting. I'm glad I didn't touch my little finger down, however. ;-) P0M (talk) 06:41, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Patrick, Just getting a simple macro shot of most small beasties is hard enough. In case Bill Gates decides to buy me a birthday present though, I'll bear that shutter point in mind :-) I recently bought a SLR digital camera on a tight budget and due to a misunderstanding (OK, OK, stupid error!) I bought one without a swivel viewfinder. That is OK for portraiture, which as it happens I do not do, but for critters that climb in and behind everything, not only 3D, but 6 degrees of rotation and translation, it is a curse, because there often is no room for my head to look into either the electronic or optical viewfinder. Especially and double especially not in a hurry. For my kind of work literally microscopic vibration can convert what would have been a sharp picture into a misleading blur. I can tell that you know what I mean.

Sparassidae? The main spp round here are Palystes. In the mountains and the rest of the country there are supposed to be a total of about a dozen or so genera, but I have never studied them. In our part of the country (the retirement "Village" where I live) there are at least two spp, P. castaneus and superciliosus. I have put a couple of shots into the Huntsman spider article and there may be more in my uploads list. I certainly have several more pics on my PC, but nothing that I had decided to upload just yet. They are quite heavily hunted by Pompilidae and it is not terribly unusual to see one being dragged away. Your Japanese spider experience was interesting certainly. It would have been nice to feed it. I had a pleasant experience with a Thomisus when a fly was bothering me as I tried to get some photos in a flowering hedge. It finally sat on my hand and I manoeuvred it over a white crab spider. Supper! (And an end to irritation!) :-)

So you too are a Crompton fan? have you had a look at John Battersby Crompton Lamburn? I created it because I thought he deserved a bit more attention than some of the backyard celebs that (dis)grace our articles. If you have any more material for the article, that would be excellent. He is not a well-documented man, but lived a very eventful life. He also played a role in my early days as a naturalist (not the start, because that was before I could read, but pretty early anyway.) As for the flies, guess what? I grew up on a chicken farm! ;-)

BTW, I shall be keeping in eye open for better shots, but I have annotated and uploaded a Salticid eye photo. feel welcome to criticise and edit as appropriate.

Cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 16:27, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the photo. It is very good.
You are not the first person interested in spiders who encountered the Cromptom book at an early stage in development. One of the reasons that I like to write for Wikipedia is that as a young person I was hindered by the lack of good books in the subjects I was interested in. Live of the Spider was one of the good books that I managed to find. Dr. David Richman edits here occasionally, and if I remember correctly he responded to my mention of Crompton just as you did.I enjoyed the Crompton article. Thanks for mentioning it.P0M (talk) 00:33, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Thank you sir! Let me know if you ever run across a photo of John C. I see someone has managed to find and post a picture of his sister in the Richmal Crompton article, but I would not know where to find one of him. (Amusingly, I find her face eerily reminiscent of the pictures of William Brown in the William books!) All the best JonRichfield (talk) 06:36, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

There is a picture of him on the back cover of the Mentor Book paperback edition of The Life of the Spider published in 1954. (That makes me 14 when I bought the book.) Unfortunately I believe that this photo must still be under copyright.P0M (talk) 07:58, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I reckon you are right. I don't suppose the blurb contains any important material absent from, or uncited in, the article? Just hoping... JonRichfield (talk) 16:57, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Please comment on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Environment

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A beer for you!

Export hell seidel steiner.png For bettering External morphology of Lepidoptera for which I feel more affiliation than I should.

AshLin (talk) 17:01, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Hey AshLin, nice surprise! I shall enjoy my next beer with you in spirit. :-)

Cheers,

Jon JonRichfield (talk) 17:18, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Protected Leaf

Hi Jon, I don't see why the Leaf page wouldn't let you add to it. I don't have Petey's powers, but could experiment. What is it that you wanted to add? Nadiatalent (talk) 13:46, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Think I found the problem: you had missed one of the ]]'s. Nadiatalent (talk) 13:49, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Oh good grief!!! Thanks Nadia. Sorry. I am not sure whether it is better for me to plead old age or idiocy in extenuation! Cheers. JonRichfield (talk) 14:07, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
It's totally normal, we all do it! It's a major reason I avoid html comments, they are too prone to zapping what one is trying to achieve. Nadiatalent (talk) 14:13, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

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Toucan

Hi, I saw your note on Toucan, those appear to be the only edits by that isp. They survived because the next edit was also vandalism by a different isp, reverted by Cluebot, but obviously this editor's work never appeared in the watchlists. It's always worth checking because we have a long-term vandal operating from varying isps (so hard to block) who makes convincing looking (and sometimes "referenced") changes to bird articles, which are nevertheless fake. Thanks Jimfbleak - talk to me? 20:05, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jim, no problem. I guessed it was something of that nature; I just stumbled on it by accident and the name "Malachite Kingfisher" caught my eye; I happened to know the species fairly intimately, so I checked to see whether the same name occurred elsewhere, which it did not seem to -- all African, then I read the other spp. names. I knew darned well that the Cassowary was Aus/New Guinean and great hornbill SE Asian, so the whole thing was pretty quickly obvious. You are right about it being worth checking. I spend as much time wading through my watchlist as I do writing. Every now and then one finds lice that can handle messing up, but can't manage to produce anything worthwhile. OH well, back to work! All the best, Jon JonRichfield (talk) 20:20, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Biodiversity of New Caledonia, paleobotany forgotten

Hello, could you to work on this article, please? Biodiversity of New Caledonia. It is a very important archaic species group in Paleobotany and evolution.85.251.99.49 (talk) 08:13, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi, I replied on your talk page. Meanwhile I'll have a look at your article. Cheers JonRichfield (talk) 09:35, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm done for now, so you shouldn't have any edit conflicts from me now. -Mabeenot (talk) 16:57, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

OK, thanks. Sorry about the hassle! JonRichfield (talk) 17:54, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Thank you very much

Thank you very much by your unselfish cooperation in Article "Biodiversity of New Caledonia". Muchas gracias por tu colaboración desinteresada en el articulo "Biodiversidad de Nueva Caledonia". 85.251.99.49 (talk) 23:12, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

No problem. It will take some time for me to finish the job, but it has proved unexpectedly interesting so far. I hope that the subject matter that you have read so far has been technically acceptable and that I have not misunderstood any of the intended sense. You will note that there have been large and unexpected changes in the research of plate tectonics since that article was written, and that was part of the reason for my slow progress. Of course, if you choose to reject any such material, you will have to make sure that I know which parts you want changed, and how. JonRichfield (talk) 06:23, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

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I really enjoyed your not this way baby explanation about obfuscation there :) Y12J (talk) 20:46, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

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Talkback

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Hello, JonRichfield. You have new messages at Talk:Omnivore.
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Thank you very much by your contribution to "Biodiversity of New Caledonia".

  • The fossils were found in an Island near to the Antarctica Peninsula. Thank you very much by to correct the map. 83.44.49.151 (talk) 14:21, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
You are very welcome. Thank you for the information. JonRichfield (talk) 15:07, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Talkback

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Laurel

Hello, thank you very much. I had try to correct it. I hope it will be better now. Muchas gracias por tu ayuda. un abrazo Curritocurrito (talk) 18:18, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Please comment on Talk:Academic Journals Database

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Abiogenesis edits

Hi Jon.

When you get a moment, can you drop by Talk:Abiogenesis? I pulled down the Eck and Dayhoff Sciece paper (from 1966) and it doesn't mention anything about the three fundamental principles of abiogensis. Could you have been thinking of a different citation instead?

Thanks!

Garamond Lethe(talk) 20:58, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Apologies, Jon --- both you and User:John D. Croft were editing at the same time and I was careless in choosing the one I wanted to talk to. Nevermind..... Garamond Lethe(talk) 03:33, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh! :-))) OK. No problem! JonRichfield (talk) 09:33, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Please comment on Talk:Circumcision

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Though I agree with the previous comment (and congrats to Ripsaw), I think that this is another example of the worst kind of RFC situation: rwar in a teacup with WLawyers circling overhead. I actually have read the discussion (once only!) and my profit on't is, That I know better than to read it again.

I follow that page. You make very appropriate comments there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.199.159.75 (talk) 10:54, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you; I appreciate the comment. JonRichfield (talk) 11:33, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Please comment on Talk:Aquatic ape hypothesis

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Hello JonRichfield

You are a very good person and very kind too. I use to write few in English wikipedia, mostly I use to read it. I saw that other Wikipedias with less people to write have more information about living beings. You could try to encourage some groups of people in projects. English Wikipedia works better than some other, but I don't know how to motivate people to create information about the real world. I am speaking about to find out dispersed information on remote areas, sparsely populated, its fauna and flora. There are many articles in other Wikipedias about flora and fauna, but many Wikipedians cannot speak not europeans languages or they have not your personal qualities. Can you translate to more people my request? When I looking for information, I try english Wikipedia, English Wikipedia is for me the Encyclopedia in the international language. I want that this one will be the best. How can I do that people discuss this matter? Thank you very much by your kindness Curritocurrito (talk) 11:25, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Phew! Hello CC, I am embarrassed by your kind remarks, but I thank you for the far-too-kind compliment. I understand your concern, but I am not immediately sure how to proceed. I have forwarded your text to a friend who is more intimately involved with WP and might have some suggestions. I know that he is very busy, but if he cannot reply immediately, I know that he will reply as soon as he returns from a business trip.
It occurs to me that several years ago someone on the editorial staff of the Spanish journal el Esceptico asked me to write on the subject of panspermia. As I cannot speak Spanish, he had to translate. I had to make sure that the translation conveyed my intended meaning correctly. I found that it worked surprisingly well when I had both his English translation and the Spanish text available together. If we do manage to find some Spanish texts that we agree should be translated, it might be best for you (or whoever is concerned) before posting the material to WP, could supply both versions to me or whoever was dealing with the English product, and see whether I could produce an article that would stand up to criticism. This is just an idea. It would be a lot of work, but I agree that the English-language material is blinkered in several respects. There are whole regions of whose biology (Like New Caledonia for example) I know nothing! Cheers for now, JonRichfield (talk) 14:42, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
  • well, actually, Wikipedia has been a project and an idea of ​​an American and also there are many people like you in Wikipedia. I think that mostly is not a problem of blinkered English-language material. I think that is only a personal problem of vanity in some individuals. Nadie es perfecto. This days in the next week I am very busy with my english exams (first year) and the political activity in Spain has a portion, but I hope in future ask you for help again with my bad english respecting your kindness. I am interested yet about the biodiversity in Madagascar and forgotten Tropical inland Africa. Thank you very much. Un abrazo Curritocurrito (talk) 21:00, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
You are always welcome CC, I wish you luck. My wife and I wondered about the meaning of "Currito", thinking it might mean "runner", but we looked it up and now are a bit confused. It seems it might mean a "chap" or "bloke", or a worker, or labourer, or "an ordinary working bloke". Looking at your levels of activity, I think it looks as though the implication of hard work might be the most suitable! :-) You are of course most welcome to contact me if I can be of help. My English is South African, which is closest to British English, so if your classes are in American English, there might be some discrepancies in spelling. But then, Americans, especially on the Internet, tend to spell badly anyway. All the best, JonRichfield (talk) 05:35, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Hi, I listen some South African English speakers in several DVDs of a magazine published in Spain named "Speak Up". There were another magazine short lived (3 months maybe) that every speaker was possiblely an South African, because they remembered me these of "Speak Up". They were mostly articles versed in Travel agencies (skydiving, trekking in mountain areas as Basutholand??, Kruger National Park, etc) in these reviews there were articles about Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Shetland islands... the people there have different accents that I learnt to recognize. The articles were related with shopkeepers, farm countryside and spilt petroleum problems (as Exxon Valdez ship), tourism and others. I was later in a distance course in EOI (Escuela Nacional de Idiomas) and I found in Youtube a charming English Teacher named "Misterduncan" he does free learning english videos of 5-15 minutes long. I think that some wikipedians could do videos too. Really it could be a way to raise money for the Wikipedia project and teach people. I use to talk in english with people in Sharedtalk, young students from Ghana or Senegal for example, tell me that to use Internet is expensive, but they can listen mp3. a Ghana student told me about the big reservoir in his country that flooded his hometown. I saw wipe out the references to many endangered species, it dislikes me. My name Curritocurrito has several meanings. I use it because I have a parrot inherited from my grandmother, named Curro. Curro likes to say "Currito, Currito" I answer him: Si, Curritocurrito. Curro is a nickname for Francisco ( my second name) Francisco-Fran-Pancho-Panchito-Pacorro-Curro-Currico-Currito-Kiko. The word "Curro" is an idioms for "job", so "un curro" is "a job". Un currito is a worker or a job or "a precarious job" too. In Aragonese dialect of spanish language (in others spanish dialects too) to use the same word 2 times has a meaning: "Jamon Jamon" is ham of the best. Guarro guarro means truly, deeply, dirty. it is as a superlative of a quality. So Curritocurrito is a joke for myself It is my name Currito(Francisco) and besides it means that I am a common worker class person and a hardworker and besides that it is true. You can see that I write very long articles and I try to do true articles, I respecting views that I do not like but I consider that they tell views that are true. I wrote a long speech. I hope not boring you. I am happy about you are a South African. it is a different view, and besides Wikipedia in English needs information about Africa. Africa needs many curritos, and the World is Outside. Curritocurrito (talk) 09:48, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

No CC, we were not at all bored. Especially your explanation of some aspects of Spanish and your name were very interesting. We also were impressed by your positive attitude, your humour and your energy. They are attributes that I hope you will retain all your life. JonRichfield (talk) 17:28, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Biodiversity of New Caledonia, paleobotany forgotten

Hello, I am a spanish speaker, so, I cannot copy edit this article well. My native language is Spanish, so I have mistakes with English language, and I cannot correct the article myself. Could you please make some grammatical corrections that have been this article incomprehensible? This Island has many bizarre vegetal species, that can be considered living fossils. I am from Spain, I have not travelled there, but many botanic books speaks about New Caledonia species and refer about botanical interest. The area is not having fans, so, this article is abandoned. You can try to find a support group for help you, maybe. Please, this article is abandoned years ago.

Hola, mi lengua nativa es el español, yo tengo errores en mi inglés, y no puedo corregir el articulo. Podrias por favor, hacer algunas correcciones gramaticales que hayas visto incomprensibles?85.251.99.49 (talk) 09:59, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Phew! Well amigo, I don't know how to resist an appeal like that! You are dealing with what seems to be a lovely and enthralling region, so I will do my best. I am a little puzzled by the Spanish connection, as opposed to French, but no matter; I do not speak French either, and both my connections with Francophones and Hispanophones have been pleasant, so it is a chance to do some good in return. (Mind you, I still wonder, what made you choose me? :-) )
I would be grateful if in return you would check the page and its links occasionally to see whether I have misunderstood anything.
All the best,
Jon JonRichfield (talk) 11:24, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Hello, thank you, very much by your attention. I watched your name in an environment article related, so I thought that you was interested in environment. 85.251.99.49 (talk) 14:26, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Ah. I see. Yes, I am of course interested, but I cannot claim to be an expert, you see. I am a biologist (in particular an entomologist) so I cannot help being interested in a place as fascinating as New Caledonia, now that have it brought so dramatically to my attention. I have started editing (having detoured briefly to the botany of New Caledonia) and expect to save the first results in a few hours. But if you don't mind my asking, where are you in the world? If in New Caledonia you must be on night shift, surely? (I live in South Africa, nearly at the other side of the world.) I am learning about some lovely animals. Ducula goliath is beautiful! Oh well, back to the editing! Cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 14:39, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi, I'm living in Spain, I'm Spaniard, I was living in several mediterranean cities, (I prefer Valencia) I had travelled to some places in South America, my Favourite one is Parana river and "Cataratas de Iguazú" (Iguazú falls) where there are wonderful rainforest and blue butterflies as big as pigeons. I learnt french in the school, I can read it, catalan, portuguese, aragonese and galician, mostly because they are very close languages. I tried to interest to a New Caledonian friend about her country. Southern Spain and South America have species related with other countries in southern hemisphere, so I learnt about lauraceae, hummingbirds and dragonflies, possums, ve Ampullariidae, and the hawks snail-eaters, and Belostomatidae a big aquatic bettles that are common in some Parana river cities. I think that Africa must be very beautiful, and the same with Australia and New Zealand I hope visit this areas in future. Curritocurrito (talk) 08:16, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Please comment on Talk:Astrology

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Vestigiality

See the talk page hero Talk:Vestigiality --Judgeking (talk) 18:36, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Please comment on Template talk:Moons of dwarf planets

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Mascarene Islands ‎ (→‎Biodiversity)

Hello JonRichfield I have a problem with the article in Mascarene Islands (biodiversity) I did the Biodiversity of Mascarene, related with "the biodiversity of Madgascar" I ask to several people to make this article before, but they disliked to begin with. So I ask you help because I did it, and my Mascarene Islands ‎ (→‎Biodiversity) was wipe out. Can you check any problem with this "biodiversity", belonging to Madagascar area, and try to find people interested about to write in this article? Nadiatalent tell me that it was important, but she dislike each article that I write. help me with this article pleaseCurritocurrito (talk) 18:30, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Hi CC. OK, I'll get onto it as soon as I can. Nadia is competent and conscientious, but I think she must be a little impatient. Some women are, you know! There will be a day or two of delay, because I have some urgent work to deal with, but perhaps this weekend, if that will suit you. Cheers,

Jon JonRichfield (talk) 18:37, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jon, Please go ahead with massaging those articles. There is no way that I can find enough time to keep up with you both, so comments from me will probably be a long time coming. By the way, it is just a guess, but I think that the other person you are talking to is the same person as User:Sonia Murillo Perales (since you seem to feel that gender is relevant). Nadiatalent (talk) 22:19, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Hi, JonRichfield, thank you very much by your work. I'm not in a hurry, do it when you can do it. I have today one exam and my time is distributed in different topics. the Spaniard girl is my girlfriend. Still, I think that she is not longer interested in Wikipedia. My girlfriend does what she thinks is better, so I do not decide by her, in this way works with women in Spain. Spaniard women dislike comments from her. I would thank to Nadiatalent keep out of comments about her, besides when Nadiatalent does what she does. I think that my job is not of great value, anyone can do it. I'm glad with people that want to work or create new articles or to work in the articles where I write. I do not to offend myself or other, I want to help only. I think that to know about real world is good for the people and I try to do my best, if I'm wrong you can correct me if you want. Whatever person is welcome to these articles where I write, Nadiatalent even. Thank you very much. Curritocurrito (talk) 07:45, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Hello both. Thanks Nadia; incidentally, I do think that gender in this sort of thing is irrelevant to the subject matter, but I also think it is important. I have a particular appreciation of women with brains and character (I am married to one, for a start) and I my upbringing stressed the importance of treating them with courtesy. Of course, courtesy in general is important, but it tends to be a more sensitive matter in my circles when women are involved, so please, if ever I give the impression that I am talking down to you, do dismiss the thought immediately. It would never be the intention. But that is the sort of consideration that moved me to mention gender when I presumed to call you by name.
CC, I don't see that Nadia made any comment about the other lady, other than speculating that she might be the same as Curritocurrito, which is not something that one can tell through a monitor. I certainly do not think that the slightest discourtesy was intended, and now that you have told us about the true status, I think we both applaud her (and you!) I definitely agree with you about the lady having every right to decide for herself what she prefers to do. Again, that is what happens in our family. I shall edit your text as well as I can and I hope that you will remain willing to persevere in your efforts as long as your other activities permit. And good luck with the exam. Cheers both. JonRichfield (talk) 09:24, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Jon, I appreciate the work you've done to encourage new editors, but I don't see why, in effusively placating Curritocurrito, you had to offhandedly slight Nadiatalent, nor why her sex should be particularly relevant to patience or impatience. I don't think it requires a great deal of insight to see that dismissing someone as "impatient" and casually attributing it to sex could (and did) give a great deal of offense, and in helping push Nadia out, you've helped cause more damage to the encyclopedia than you, I and Curritocurrito together could repair in a long time. Choess (talk) 14:56, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Choess, I frankly (and not sarcastically!) am shocked. What on Earth did I say to suggest any intended discourtesy to Nadia? I have seen quite a lot of her work so far, and I have not seen anything short of constructive competence, versatility and good intention. This BTW, did not surprise me in the context of her gender, because I have happily worked formally and informally with many competent women, and do not associate competence and intelligence with any particular gender. I did not dismiss her in any sense. The impatience I referred to was simply explaining as well as I could to CC why we could not simply expect all his work to be accepted at once. I did NOT attribute it to gender in any way, regarding it as simply the result of a professional being unable to allocate resources to a matter of that type. I had mentioned her sex only in the context of not wishing to refer to her in the feminine gender simply on the basis of her WP name, which needed not imply that she was not a man. (I happen to be male, but to be sure of the fact, you need my assurance; I could be a committee of schoolgirls for all you could tell from my WP ID.) Standard English pronouns do not include courteous options for dealing with people without knowledge of their gender in a matter of this sort, and that always makes me uncomfortable. What do you mean "push Nadia out?" If she has left the WP community, as you seem to suggest, could you please (with her permission) ask her to contact me so that I can apologise, because the very idea horrifies me. Although I never intended any discourtesy, I would be eager to apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. JonRichfield (talk) 15:17, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Choess, I had not realised at the time I wrote the foregoing, that Nadia had opted out. This is horrible. I assume that you have no idea how I could contact her? JonRichfield (talk) 06:13, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Hi Jon, thank you, that is a nice apology. Signing off now to move on to other projects. Best wishes, Nadiatalent (talk) 11:50, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Nadia, In case you read this I am grateful for your response. I actually had been losing sleep! Be sure that if you look in again, you will be welcome. Meanwhile all the best with your projects. Cheers. Jon

I need some help with Ocotea catharinensis

Hello, How are you? I need your help. I ask you if you could checking Ocotea catharinensis article, please. Thank you very much Curritocurrito (talk) 10:43, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Hi CC, see whether the edits are now more useful. Cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 20:29, 23 May 2012 (UTC)


  • Hi, thank you again. you are right the edits are now more useful. Best regars!Curritocurrito (talk) 14:56, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Please comment on Talk:Foreskin

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Fynbos

Fynbos DOES mean 'fine bush', this much is certain. The original statement had no references, but there are several references to the leaves being the factor. The original page didn't have refs for this - mine merely simplified things, so it didn't either. If this is more complex than thought, and you are a great biologist who can insist this without references, then please accept my humble apologies. If you take issue with the details of what seemed a harmless simplification, then re-edit. I haven't even gone back to that page. I did not think a long, hyper-parenthetical etymological digression was appropriate for the lede, though a better-written clarification would be fine lower down. I also detect a soupçon of arrogance and bellicosity. "You do not mention your biological accomplishments" - I have none, and don't claim any. What was that meant to mean? "Circumscriptural habit"? I am not a biologist, so please give me a reference to a definition of that first word. Now, no-one mentioned an edit war. Please 'assume good faith', and Wikipedia will be a nice place for everyone. I have had a particularly hard couple of months just with the people I know in real life, so the last thing I need is to get harangued by people I've never met. And etymology is not biology... Harsimaja (talk) 22:33, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

I half-accept your half-acknowledgement of civilities. Are you a biologist with major accomplishments? Maybe you are - I can genuinely say I don't know, but this is irrelevant. However, I know the word 'circumscription'. I also know the word 'circumscriptive'. I do not know the word 'circumscriptural'. I also think you'll find the word is 'patronisation', not 'patronism'. Which brings us to the more relevant issue: LANGUAGE. I am also aware the article has changed. I just did not appreciate a pretentious and presumptuously combative rant about an utterly trivial, innocuous and quite defensible change to something that certainly needed some sort of changing. Or should that be a 'pretentive and presumationally combatty rant'? Apologies for not signing off last time. Harsimaja (talk) 22:33, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Ocotea

Hello again. I ask you again for help. Can you help me with Ocotea article? I did some edition, but Paleocloud wipe it out over and over again. I don't know botanist people in wikipedia, but every thing about Ocotea is true. In Spain there are a lot of information, besides Ocotea species are very common in South American countries, and these countries have many studies about many species. I thank you very much your help. You can see that I write very few these days. Curritocurrito (talk) 10:38, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Hello CC, the situation in Ocotea is by now so messy that I recommend that you leave it alone for a bit till things settle down. Maybe a week or two. Then have a good read of it and think carefully of what you think the article still needs. Then copy the text to your sandbox or a similar safe place (maybe your own talkpage; don't let all your work be cleared out of your sandbox by accident!) and edit it there to the best of your ability. Then copy it to me and ask me to edit it. Then when you and I have produced what we think is the right effect, you can put it into the public version.
You see, it is all very well producing material that is valid, but as soon as you make it public, there are thousands of people who jump onto every error or even every unfamiliar way of saying things, and that makes it impossible for us to do anything useful. I had started to edit Ocotea in response to your note, but before I had done, it was all messed up again. So please instead of wasting your effort and increasing your frustration, try my suggestion on any article you wish to edit.
Meanwhile, I still am busy with working on Mascarene Islands.
Cheers for now, JonRichfield (talk) 12:48, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Hi mister, How are you? I am followed your advise. I´m not wrote in Wikipedia these days. I must thank to many people here their kindness and the help, but it will be in future. I'm passed my first course of english language, and this summer I'm going to work ( or at leas to try to work) in Brixtol, U.K. a friend of mine, and Argentinian, has a friend in Brixton. This guy has a british girlfriend. So my friends and me are going to try to work there. It could be all the summer time. I hope learning a lot of english language there.!!!! I hope see too the Kew gardens. Besides, british girls are so beautiful :-). Thanks a lot for your help. I wish apologize you, by the problems that I caused you. You are a very good person. Thanks a lot for your help. I will back.Curritocurrito (talk) 18:43, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Hello CC, I am very happy to hear that you passed your course. Congratulations! I wish you all the best for your stay in England. I hope you can get work and can rely on your friends for support; in a new country friends can be very important. I am sure that whatever else you do, you can improve your command of English; there is no way better than talking it as much as possible. Make sure that you do not speak Spanish to each other except when it is necessary. I saw Kew many years ago; it is very well worth seeing, especially for a botanist; laymen don't get so much out of it. You were welcome to my help; I admired your hard work. Never mind the problems, problems happen all the time. All the best, Jon JonRichfield (talk) 19:53, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

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Ebenaceae

Hi, do you can? check Ebenaceae there are some puppets erasing me. How can I denounce the guy-girl with the 3 puppets?. this guy is cursing me, and I think that it could be legally punished. I think the guy is a teenager.

Finally we are going to London, the group is reduced now and postponed for autum. Best regards.Curritocurrito (talk) 08:01, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

CC, I am not sure what you are referring to. I had a look at the history of Ebenaceae and saw no obvious attack on you. What dates are you talking about? Where is the cursing? Nor do I have any idea who you think is sockpuppeting you. Good luck with the London enterprise one way or the other. JonRichfield (talk) 11:38, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

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Hurricane merge

I don't agree with your position, but I do respect that you rebutted my argument by quoting poetry. Mad props. Sven Manguard Wha? 00:47, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi SM, thanks for your friendly response. Thanks also for introducing me to "mad props"; I had to look it up! :-) So at least the Erik article led to one person's education being improved! ;-) JonRichfield (talk) 08:35, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

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Abdomen

Hi, nice work. do you happen to know the Latin of Abdomen for the infobox? I've tried but found there's apparently a couple. Thanks Jenova20 (email) 14:16, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi and thanks! You had me shook there for a minute, because I have small Latin and less Greek, and I had always assumed that it was in fact "abdomen". But I checked my dictionary and it certainly is simply "abdomen" in every anatomical (or morphological ftm) sense. Other forms such as "gaster" (as in Drosophila melanogaster) are more correctly reserved for other senses, such as "stomach". You will note that derived Latin forms also were commonly used, such as Aorta abdominalis and musculus abdominalis internus, so the use of abdomen is natural as well as correct. Cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 14:51, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I've added it to the infobox but there's more incomplete fields such as the major arteries and Gray's Anatomy numbers, which i'll leave for an expert in this area. Thanks and have a nice day Jenova20 (email) 15:28, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you and you too. That seems sensible as well as constructive, ;-) All the best, JonRichfield (talk) 15:42, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

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  • Another version was added after you participated. You might want to give it a glance. Thanks in advance. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 12:39, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

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Talkback

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Hello, JonRichfield. You have new messages at Peridon's talk page.
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Some concessions

I would just like to say thank you, very good eye for catching this one. I was unable to find the original reference, so we'll just have to assume it was a typographical error on my part. I tried to find other places were the word had been used on Wikipedia. Interestingly enough, Wikipedia has gone as far as to auto-correct it back phleophagy, a problem in on its own. All the sources I found from books and journals back up the spelling you had divulged to me. If you can send me a link to the other pages where the word is used, that would be great. Bugboy52.4 ¦ =-= 16:53, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

P.S. IF you'd be willing, we could do a joint-venture to create a "Eating habits in insects" or arthropods or however, the scope or title vernacular is up for discussion. I just think it would be better then focusing on the smaller articles, or direct attention to the "-phagy" articles after, I have some nice diagrams to make and references I would like to use. Bugboy52.4 ¦ =-= 17:01, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for taking it in good part BB. It was in any event a minor slip (I don't like to brag, but I have made far bigger ones myself.) It just happened to turn out badly in Google! :-) As for where else the word or its derivatives appear in Wikipedia, I would like to say that I have corrected them all, but I am in doubt; Wikipedia has been acting funny the last few days and today is the first day that I thought everything was back to normal, but now I am not sure; maybe some of the automated procedures have not yet got round to the redirection and so on that I created. Some stuff just doesn't yet show up properly on the searches. But then I also have had an extremely confusing day with many interruptions and I might be getting mixed up with attempts to check up on Wiktionary, Google and so on. Be patient with me; I sure need it!
As for your idea about insects' (etc) feeding habits and the like, it sounds like a tempting idea at first blush, though when I sit back and ask my self in all sanity whether I expect to live that long, I am left uncertain. Certainly there are certain reasonably coherent trends, but it definitely sounds like an ambitious project, no? Thysanoptera alone...
Tell you what. Drop me a hint or two about what sort of outline you have in mind, give me a day or so to digest it, and we can discuss our options if you don't scare the wits out of me. Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of your day; me for bed! JonRichfield (talk) 18:56, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I've worked on many, much more, ambitious projects that most of which have seen the light and beyond. Actually, I haven't had any good projects in awhile. It would be more a generalization of eating habits that are seen in insects, not really going into dept of which are found in which taxon. I can get it started easily and feel free to jump in, especially with references. Bugboy52.4 ¦ =-= 23:03, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
OK. When you have a page started, pass me the URL. I'll give it a bit of background thought in the mean while. JonRichfield (talk) 09:27, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Eating behavior in Insects. Bugboy52.4 ¦ =-= 17:15, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Hello BB, sorry about the delay; I am not really sulking, just suddenly inundated. I have however given the project some night thoughts.

I still do not know how to structure a project of this type, simply because it is highly multi dimensional and also because the parameters very within practically all the dimensions. For example, taxonomy is one dimension, but there are relatively few orders of insects with just one class, never mind kind, of feeding behaviour. Then again there is life history/biology. That is a rich lode, but not monolithic, as you can easily tell by inspection of the varieties of feeding behaviour with in a given class of life histories. In fact, the very evolutionary bases and origins of similar life histories in different orders not only are not homologous, but also only tenuously analogous; for example consider the differences in type and origin between say, the Blattaria, including Isoptera, and the Embioptera on the one hand as compared to the various social Hymenoptera on the other.

Then there is food type. Again, there are certain classes of dealing with each food type (say, nectar, sap, blood, hard shelled seeds, live wood, dead wood, rotten wood, flesh, dead leaves, thick leaves, thin leaves etc) and even apparently similar adaptations and behaviours can be significantly different; compare Tabanidae, Culicidae, Anoplura, Lepidoptera and so on.

Not to labour the point, you get the idea. I suspect that the best approach would be to explore what I have called the dimensions, not to lay them out into a few neat classes, but to create a table of categories where dimensions coincide in particular ways and to produce a section or subsection or sub-subsection discussing each. I don't have that worked out yet, not even nearly. The following are just a few scattered thoughts, with the accent on "scattered" rather than "thoughts". Ametabola tend to have a fairly constant feeding habit all their lives from hatching onwards. Often they are detritus feeders such as the Thysanura. Some of the Hemimetabola are similar in this respect, such as most of the Orthoptera, many of the Hemiptera, the Mantodea, Anoplura, and so on. You will notice that within each group there is considerable, often fundamental, variation. Then again, in the Holometabola there are examples superficially similar, such as the Cassidinae, in which the larvae and the adults eat the same leaves in similar ways. Then again we have groups in which there are at least two distinct phases (sometimes more, for example when there is hypermetamorphosis) of feeding according to the success of needs of growth and reproduction. This is extremely common throughout the animal kingdom and in fact even within the plant and fungal kingdoms, but certain insects take it to extremes and in several different ways. Consider the Culicidae, in particular the autogenous in contrast to the anautogenous species; the former tend to have predatory larvae with a rich animal diet; they produce adults with food stores, largely fats and proteins, sufficient to support egg production without risking parasitism of unfriendly hosts. Typically they do feed, but then only on nectar and similar energy-rich, protein-poor food that can keep them going without any fancy bodily development or repair. The larvae of anautogenous species tend to be detrivorous or undemanding plankton feeders that grow into lean adults. Their females at least need the blood that they suck. We find closely analogous examples in the Tabanidae.

The Lepidoptera also are an assorted lot, but they are practically universally dependent on larval growth and adult reproduction, the latter often without feeding at all, usually with moderate feeding on nectar and the like, but sometimes with significant requirements among the adults for substantial food or mineral supplies such as mud and salt licks, blood or tears, and so on. And don't forget the fruit sucking moths. Compare them with the Ephemeroptera with their long larval periods and non-feeding adults, or Cicadidae like Magicicada, in which the route-sucking phase is so long that they can afford to use it as a weapon against specialist enemies of the adults. A possibly tenuously related behaviour among some Hemiptera is to concentrate on plentiful, highly unbalanced, diets that not only demand the excretion of excess nutrients, but offer the opportunity of employing the conspicuous consumption in constructive ways such as cuckoo spit, ant-attracting honeydew, waxy coverings and so on.


Okay, am I making sense of a sort yet?

JonRichfield (talk) 08:15, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

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I'm en route

Will get back to you Mon. pm at latest. GaramondLethe 19:40, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

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Your turn...

Have skimmed your emails and expect to reread and reply on the plan on Wednesday. Until then, since you've put up with me reverting your edits I now invite you to do the same: Natural genetic engineering and a blast from the past, Parable of the sunfish. Have fun! GaramondLethe 01:11, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Sorry about the delay. I have read the one article, done mild edits and added to its talk page; I see no reason for you to be overly modest about it. IMO there is no justification for erasing or even merging it. I found the Pound/Agassiz article interesting, but could not see my way to a substantial edit. JonRichfield (talk) 19:25, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

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Stratiomyidae

Hello Jon I did intend the EOL link but mistakenly pasted it from Asilidae. Fixed this. Thanks for your close attention Robert aka Notafly (talk) 15:42, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Ustinov, Peter. Urtinov's Diplomats.Cassell 1960.
  2. ^ Bierce, A. The Devil's dictionary pre-1900