User talk:Lou Sander/Archive 7

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Analytic Hierarchy Process

Have you looked at the recent edits by Sava magda (talk · contribs) to Analytic Hierarchy Process? I couldn't find anything that's easily salvageable in them. Maybe you could give a different perspective? Currtently there's some discussion on Talk:Sava magda and COIN. ‎ --Ronz (talk) 15:59, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

I've definitely noticed it. Sava magda is apparently a non-US student of AHP, studying under Tom Saaty. I've been in touch with one of her advisors who is AHP-savvy and moderately Wikipedia-savvy, suggesting that Sava get a User page and keep tabs on her User Talk page. I'm basically in sympathy with your concerns, but I'm also cognizant of WP:Newbie. Lou Sander (talk) 16:42, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! --Ronz (talk) 20:48, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
We have some AHP examples sitting in a subpage to the article's talk page, where they are useful to those who need them, but not in the way of anything else. Maybe Sava magda could exercise her Wiki skills and her AHP knowledge by doing something similar on a subpage of her own talk page (like a sandbox, but more directed). If it gets good enough, it could become some sort of a "theory" section for the AHP article. What do you think of that notion? Lou Sander (talk) 23:13, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Municipal authority (Pennsylvania)

Thank you for your tiny correction at Municipal authority (Pennsylvania), which is how I found you. Two years ago I was involved with working on the List of municipal authorities in Adams County, Pennsylvania and the rest of the counties, but the deletionists have been getting rid of them, so List of municipal authorities in Northampton County, Pennsylvania has been deleted. Being useful is not a value in deciding what to delete. Will you be attending Wikimania 2012 in July? I will. --DThomsen8 (talk) 13:23, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

I'd love to attend a Wikimania, but I don't have time. I don't even know where it is. If it were in Adams County, or Allegheny County, or anywhere close, I'd probably find a way to go. Lou Sander (talk) 23:28, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Wikimania 2012 is in Washington, DC, July 12-15 at George Washington University. Wikimanias are held all over the world, but this is the United States one, and for those of us in Pennsylvania, just a reasonable bus trip or day's drive away. --DThomsen8 (talk) 16:07, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, thanks for letting me know! I've marked it on my calendar, and there's maybe a 25% cchance I'll go. Megabus has some dirt cheap rates to DC. Lou Sander (talk) 23:39, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Vision therapy

I admire how you're handling Talk:Vision_therapy#Comment_on_neutrality_tag. --Ronz (talk) 23:19, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks! We do what we can. ;-) Lou Sander (talk) 00:36, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Me too. Famousdog (talk) 08:45, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Aw, shucks! ;-) Two things: 1) I know a bit about vision therapy, which is a somewhat controversial subject. There are several articles related to it, most of them needing a lot of work. It's hard for me to find time to work on them. 2) If a newbie shows some interest in a subject that interests me but I don't have time for, I'll help in any way I can. In this case, that included some time-consuming research into references that he claimed were weak or inappropriate. In the end, I think it was time well spent. (But... I've had newbies go bad on me before. Time will tell.) Lou Sander (talk) 14:47, 4 May 2012 (UTC)


Hello, I'm not sure if I contributed in any way to your decision to update your userpage!

Just to say I did read your BLPN comment, did intend to reply to what you said and will. It's simply that I wanted your perspective on the question I asked JF there, so I could gain a greater overall understanding of the matter—thus give a better reply. As somebody who's had some involvement with the article for at least 2 years I felt you would be able to give a knowledgeable answer. -- (talk) 16:26, 13 May 2012 (UTC)


Can I really edit this talk page?

People have suggested that I move a discussion to this page. I'm not sure that I can do that. Lou Sander (talk) 05:15, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Well, it looks like I can. Lou Sander (talk) 07:30, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Discussion of my block

This block was an unexpected shock to me, and I responded to it by reading up on sockpuppetry and by seeking the advice of more experienced Wikipedians, as quietly and unobtrusively as I could. Along the way, someone suggested that I stay away from Wikipedia for a while, to allow a cooling off by all concerned. I've followed that advice since the evening of 17 May, except for checking my watchlist and looking at articles as a user. Until about an hour ago, my plan was to stay away until the block was a month old, then to appeal it.

But tonight an edit summary on my watchlist showed that User:USBibliophile, someone totally unconnected to me in any way I know of, has been blocked as one of my sockpuppets. This was quite a surprise, and led me to revisit a conversation I had had with User:John, which I had initiated on 16 May. I had initiated it anonymously from a public computer, since my account and IP address were blocked. I hadn't looked at this conversation since 17 May, in keeping with the decision to stay away from Wikipedia.

I now see that the conversation was continued on May 18 by several other people, who raised valid questions for me and made some appropriate suggestions. I have not seen these things until now, since they were made after I decided to stay away, and the conversation is not on my watchlist. It is now part of User:John's talk page archive.

I want to respond to the questions and suggestions made in the subject conversation, probably the sooner the better.

It has been suggested, and I agree, that the best venue for that is here, on this talk page. How can the (now archived) conversation and its history be brought over here? Lou Sander (talk) 07:30, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Plea for help - wrong socks

Thanks to User:John for importing this material from his archived talk page. He did it in response to an email request by me, in connection with the section immediately above. I've taken the liberty of coloring the imported material gray, to help differentiate it from the newer material:

John -- I don't know any admins personally, but based on some stuff I saw, you seem to be a fair one who resists being trifled with. I need some help from one of those.

I'm a seasoned, mature adult who is a reasonably prolific non-problematic editor (8,000+ edits with near-zero complaints). I've recently been blocked indefinitely for sockpuppetry. There is a minor basis for the block, which was made in a "take no prisoners" campaign by folks I politely disagreed with in a controversial article. I'm preparing an appeal, which should be successful if judged fairly. I have zero personal experience with blocks, but I've read the pertinent material about them. I assume good faith, but I'm not sure that I'll be treated fairly in this matter, due to the "take no prisoners" stuff, which I suspect will continue. It will take me a few days to do the appeal.

In the meantime, two users were wrongly identified as my sock puppets, and are now blocked. One of them is somebody I know well. I helped her to get onto Wikipedia, but she certainly hasn't been involved in any sockpuppetry, and had nothing to do with the recent dispute. Another is somebody I never heard of before, who got labeled as a sockpuppet because he posted a one-line comment agreeing with me in the dispute. (That's part of what I mean by "take no prisoners".)

I will cover both these users in my appeal, but I'm concerned that they will be screwed because of perceived association with me. They are blocked at the moment, so there doesn't seem to be any way for them to dispute the block and/or defend themselves on their own. Does such a way exist, and if it does, what can I/they do to take advantage of it? (talk) 19:43, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Huh, firstly I am flattered that you have a good impression of me as a fair admin. Secondly though, I don't have much experience in this sort of thing. I am generally strongly in favour of giving a second chance to those who are blocked if there is even a whiff of a possibility they will reform or that they were unfairly blocked. Thirdly, without knowing the details of the case there is no way I could give more detailed advice. The stock response would be to email the blocking admin or else arbcom at I will be happy to look at your situation if you can give me some details. What username were you editing under when you were blocked? --John (talk) 19:51, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
(passing by) I believe this is the case in question.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► 20:30, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Berean Hunter has it right, I am User:Lou Sander. Kinda Orwellian, since I contacted you from a public computer and as an anonymous editor, my own username and IP address having been blocked, yet some fellow was able to find my conversation with you, then connect me to it.
IMHO, somebody has done something very wrong by blocking MathDame, who is the person I know well (referred to above). I never heard of Yaush. Right now, both of them are blocked, the block indicating a false connection with my alleged sockpuppetry. They are wrongly accused and have not way of responding. This is not a good thing for anybody at Wikipedia to have done, and I'm trying to help make it right. Any advice or assistance from you would be appreciated. (talk) 20:47, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
I am looking. Give me 24 hours or so. --John (talk) 21:59, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Please note that it was determined that Yaush was not a sockpuppet per se, and was not blocked ​—DoRD (talk)​ 19:07, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Ok, here is an initial question. Can you describe in a little more detail why your main account was blocked? Can you outline for me the nature of the appeal you say you were planning to make? If you do this, I would be prepared to discuss unblocking your main account with the blocking admin with a view to unblocking you. When doing this please bear in mind the requirement in this context to focus on the aspects of your own behaviour that you intend to change. Good luck; you seem on first impression (and I say this without yet having looked at the circumstances of your block) like a sane and well-intentioned person. --John (talk) 18:16, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Could you also comment on edits like this one for which the IP you are currently editing from was warned? --John (talk) 18:23, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
Response to John. Not being able to edit even from my IP address (except for my userpage, I now see), I went to a public computer and queried you. It's one of many in a suburban public library that is frequented by high school kids. That edit seems to be from one of them. It is definitely not from me. Full disclosure: I have taught Wikipedia classes at that library, but not for many months. Those classes have occasionally involved demonstrations of editing. Lou Sander (talk) 21:03, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
    • John asked me to comment here, so here goes. First, I think that you are running a risk of exacerbating your situation by editing here anonymously. You really need to log in to your main account and move this discussion to your talk page and/or start an unblock request there. (You are also welcome to take advantage of WP:UTRS, if you would be more comfortable there.) If you wish to communicate directly with an admin or other user, the Special:EmailUser function is available to you. As the blocking admin, though, I will say that the evidence presented in your sockpuppetry case is pretty clear. However, if I have somehow misinterpreted it, and have come to the wrong conclusion, I will gladly remedy the situation. ​—DoRD (talk)​ 18:55, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
Response to DoRd. See the Response to John immediately above for why I was editing here anonymously. The discussion, which started as a simple plea for help, has now been moved here in response to a request by me. It was never intended to be a defense of my own block. Lou Sander (talk) 21:03, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
DoRD alerted me to this discussion, as I was the CU involved. I agree with him that you should continue this discussion on your talk page, which you can still edit with your account, or at least via the other less obscure routes, as doing it here might not reflect well. I personally think that an indefinite block was a little harsh and a finite one would have been fairer.
The evidence that got MathDame blocked with the view it was your account was that it edits from the same location as you do, and edits the same area. Yaush was not viewed as one of your accounts because he edits from a very long way away from you. You should consider that involving people you know to edit in the same disputes/issues/areas, known as meatpuppetry, is viewed in the same light as sockpuppetry.
The CheckUser evidence I retrieved leaves nothing to the imagination and there is no conceivable way for another CheckUser to come to a different conclusion. You should bear in mind that you are blocked as a reflection of your behaviour - referring to other users' conduct (none of which appears to be at fault) and describing the sockpuppetry as an "allegation" is not going to be in your favour. There is no reason or incentive to unblock someone who does not take responsibility for their actions. WilliamH (talk) 20:07, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Collateral damage to innocent bystanders

Comments on the above from User:Lou Sander:

I am currently blocked from editing anything but this page. My intention is to answer the questions in the imported material (gray), then to submit a detailed request for an unblock. I'd rather not do either until the matter below is addressed, but I'm open to suggestions to do it differently.

There has been some collateral damage to three editors who have been incorrectly identified as "my sockpuppets". Before I defend myself, I am hoping someone will correct the damage to them. Here is some material that applies to that:

User:Lou Sander. (Me). I am reasonably bold in editing, but I do not intentionally violate any policy or guideline. Before the recent block, I had very little knowledge of sockpuppetry; I figured it was mainly something that malicious people did as part of their vandalism. I now know much more about it, and I see that I have engaged in some of it, definitely not maliciously, and pretty much unintentionally as a result of ignorance and boldness. I'll cover that when I request an unblock.

Enough about me. Now on to the others who have been mistakenly called my sockpuppets:

User:MathDame is an AHP subject matter expert, and a totally innocuous editor. I set her up as an editor, and we have often collaborated on AHP matters from her dining room table, usually while working with foreign doctoral students who are here on AHP fellowships. Note to User:WilliamH: That is why MathDame has sometimes edited from the same place as me, and in the same subject area. We are colleagues collaborating on a highly technical matter in an intimate teaching situation. Other than that, I think she does a small amount of editing on her own, most likely in areas related to AHP.

User:Yaush. I never heard of this person, who seems to be an active editor. He made one comment on a controversial talk page and was branded as, or at least suspected as, one of my sockpuppets. His user page was deleted nine months ago. I don't know how to check the history of what remains of that page, and I could be wrong, but I believe that it once contained an assertion that he is my sockpuppet. That assertion is not there now (or never was), so I guess he is out of trouble.

User:USBibliophile. I don't know who this person might be, or why he is thought to be my sockpuppet. He made a series of edits, thoughtfully discussed on the talk page to a controversial article, and a hammer came crashing down on his head. IMHO something isn't right about this -- anyone who deals rationally with this article is branded as my sockpuppet and blocked.

Request. Will somebody please unblock User:MathDame and User:USBibliophile, and release them from the stigma of being sockpuppets. I will be glad to discuss this further if required. Lou Sander (talk) 16:35, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Totally innocuous? "Mistakenly" called your sockpuppet? Here is one of your sockpuppets. Here is MathDame, which you know in real life, supporting one of your sockpuppets — the very next diff. Five months later, she's wheeled out to support one of your sockpuppets. Fast forward to December 2008, and here she resurfaces to agree with one of your socks. At least here, however, she comes back to agree with you under your main account. Perhaps a new year's resolution has been made here though, because January it's you supporting her. This resolution only got as far as November though. Anyway that doesn't matter, because she's not going to be unblocked.
I understand from your userpage that you are involved in US Navy group/society. Yaush — who edits almost exclusively within that area — first edits the Michael A. Bellesiles article here, in July 2010, adding text relating to the academic controversy. Then, incredibly, almost two years later, he steps out of the ether to restore your changes, pointing to the discussion slanted by your sockpuppets, with whom he agrees with here. Amazing! Two years. I honestly don't know what's more astonishing: the idea that Yaush came to that discussion on his own volition, or the fact you expect us to believe that he did.
Comment. Maybe the Bellesiles article is on User:Yaush's watchlist because he has edited it. He may have seen the recent activity there and decided to comment. I say again, (at the risk of p*ssing people off, which I do not want to do), with the exception of our apparently being interested in similar areas, I have nothing whatsoever to do with User:Yaush. Lou Sander (talk) 16:05, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
As for USBibliophile, well, I must admit that it is particularly well thought-out. That's pretty impressive for an account 44 minutes old. Wait — nevermind.
Comment. (Reluctantly taking the same risk as above.) I don't know USBibliophile. Please consider the possibility that he has been lurking on Bellesiles or this discussion and was motivated to jump in. Lou Sander (talk) 16:05, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Needless to say, I withdraw my initial recommendation that your block be reduced to a finite one. Your constant failure to take responsibility for your actions, and your assumption that we're as ignorant as you'd like to think we are gives us no incentive whatosever to unblock you. Sorry you went the wrong way. WilliamH (talk) 02:16, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't intend even to HINT at ignorance on anybody's part, or to avoid responsibility for my own actions, and I apologize if anybody thinks it. I AM being as truthful as I can about the activities of User:MathDame, User:Yaush, and User:USBibliophile as I understand them. I've been hoping to get their blocks dealt with before dealing with my own. (Being blocked as sockpuppets, they have no way to speak for themselves, as I understand it). By calling User:MathDame "totally innocuous" I meant that she's a nice university lady of advanced years who isn't devious, malicious, or anything along that line. She is an influential person in her academic field, and does small amounts of editing there. Any inappropriate thing she may have done in the past is connected to her collaboration with me, in situations where we didn't understand the magnitude of my/our transgressions.
This whole discussion started when I made what I thought was a discreet and confidential request for guidance to User:John. Without revealing details, I wanted to know how to clear three other users before requesting my own unblock. Through another editor my request became non-confidential and resulted in strong discussion on John's talk page, most of which I didn't see at the time. Now, by my request, and at the suggestion of others, that full discussion is here on this page. I never intended, and do not now intend, to avoid admitting and discussing my own wrongdoing, but only to deal with collateral damage to other users. Now this seems to have become a discussion about me and how I'm avoiding things. If I thought that would happen, I'd have started an unblock request in the standard way. I am totally inexperienced with unblock requests, which is why I asked John for advice in the first place.
I hope I have been clear that, before addressing the specifics of sockpuppetry by me, I've been trying to clear up the situation for the three users mentioned above. It seems I've angered powerful people by doing that. I think I've expressed that if it's not the right thing to do, I'm open to being told or guided in how to do it differently. I'm trying to be humble, polite, cooperative, truthful and considerate of others, but that doesn't seem to be coming across to the people who read my words.
I've been hoping for a little WP:AGF, but it seems that whatever I say or do is regarded in the worst possible light. I'm being as open and truthful as I can about the three users in question, and will be that way when I admit to and discuss my own violations. My habits of openness can be seen on my (ridiculously detailed, and now not accessible) user page. I admit to past collaboration with User:MathDame, and have provided some of the details, though I don't have access to all the diffs. I can see now that what I regard(ed) as good faith collaboration with her was, and is seen by others as, sockpuppetry or (new term to me) meatpuppetry. Lately I've come to understand a LOT about sock and meat puppetry, and I see that I've done an unhealthy amount of it over the years, without realizing how serious a thing it is. I do NOT admit to any connection with User:Yaush or User:USBibliophile, because there isn't any that I know of.
All I want to do is to get out of the mess that I'm in, while minimizing collateral damage to others. I'm trying to do it in the right way as I see it, but everything I do or say seems only to get me in deeper. I'm wondering what to do next. Possibly the best thing is to forget about collateral damage, continue to hope for good faith, and start an unblock request for myself. Lou Sander (talk) 14:51, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
In the spirit of that, note that the blocked accounts are still capable of editing their own talkpage, and that is where they should appeal. We do not consider unblock requests by proxy. WilliamH (talk) 16:33, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Got it. Thanks, especially for explicitly saying "We do not consider unblock requests by proxy". That's what I was looking to learn about when I approached User:John a couple of weeks ago.
FYI, (and hoping not to be seen as evasive, snotty, or anything but trying to help) it is NOT easy for a blocked editor to know that they can still edit their own talk page. It took me from 16 May to 2 June to figure it out in my own case, and I only learned it then because somebody told me I could do it. I'm not sure, but I don't think it's mentioned in the material that one gets when one is blocked.
I think I need to be EXTREMELY careful about communicating with any of the "collateral damage" people. User:MathDame probably doesn't know she's blocked; I won't communicate with her unless she finds out and asks me about it. I will avoid the others altogether (I don't know any of them but MathDame, but there are always ways to communicate). If any of them contact me, I'll mention it here and ask permission to respond. Lou Sander (talk) 18:16, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually, information about how to appeal a block is included in the notice I left here on May 15. ​—DoRD (talk)​ 19:37, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
(Trying to be helpful and cooperative, and hoping not to be misunderstood.) Yes, there is quite a lot of information there. A huge amount, I would say. I read a lot of it, and I saw that I was in some deep trouble around which there are many pages of complicated policies and procedures. I don't doubt that there's stuff in there about being able to edit one's own talk page, but if I saw it, it didn't register. What I did upon seeing that I was in trouble was to make a (hopefully discreet) request for advice from a live person who seemed to be trustworthy and still seems that way. In fact, everybody here seems to be doing what they think is best, and doing it in a professional way. I've been trying to do the same, but I'm REALLY unfamiliar with all this stuff, and there's a lot of it to digest. Lou Sander (talk) 20:32, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

File source problem with File:USSTulare.jpg

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Can I still edit my talk page? Lou Sander (talk) 12:51, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

It looks like I can. I have been staying away for a few months, giving time for everyone to cool off before I appeal my block. I'm pretty sure I've got some source information for the above file, but I have to dig it out from stuff going back to 2006. Maybe someone can postpone deletion of this image until I can find it and, hopefully, get unblocked. Lou Sander (talk) 12:55, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

File source problem with File:USSOglethorpe.jpg

Thank you for uploading File:USSOglethorpe.jpg. I noticed that the file's description page currently doesn't specify who created the content, so the copyright status is unclear. If you did not create this file yourself, you will need to specify the owner of the copyright. If you obtained it from a website, please add a link to the page from which it was taken, together with a brief restatement of the website's terms of use of its content. If the original copyright holder is a party unaffiliated with the website, that author should also be credited. Please add this information by editing the image description page.

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Possibly unfree File:USSOglethorpe.jpg

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