User talk:NSH001

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E-mail is enabled on my account, but before using it to contact me please be aware that:

  • I think that, on principle, all wiki communication should be open for all to see
  • Therefore if you send me an e-mail, you should assume that I will publish it on an appropriate talk page, in order to reply to it there
  • If you think there is a good reason to contact me, in confidence, by e-mail, you should first ask for my agreement not to publish it.
  • I will only agree to this for a very good reason, for example copyrighted material which cannot be freely published.

In any case, I am likely to respond more quickly to a request on my talk page than one by e-mail.

Don't worry if you want to send me an e-mail that has nothing whatsoever to do with Wikipedia; if that is the case, then there is no reason why I should publish it here.

Oliver Kamm[edit]

I appreciate your comments on Oliver Kamm's talk page. Although I have other pressing tasks to attend at the moment, I'll eventually return to the discussion. Also, don't let TJive intimidate you. He's nothing but a bully. Sir Paul 06:24, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

It's ironic, though. I have long regarded Kamm as a pretentious fool who isn't worth a minute of anybody's time trying to read him -- which is why I've been reluctant to get drawn in. Yet I'm still wasting time on him...--NSH001 15:07, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
update: (after 12 years!) Kamm is so ludicrous I find it hard to take him seriously. The trouble with Kamm goes back a long, long way – long before I was on Wikipedia (can't remember when, exactly, but it was in the days of dial-up modems that blocked your phone line, and might give you download speeds of 5 Kbytes/sec if you were lucky). I still think it a waste of time dealing with him, but I suppose it was only a matter of time before Kamm's malign influence would blow up so spectacularly on Wikipedia and lead to an Arbcom case (June 2018).[i] Worth reading Brian Leiter's classic piece from November 2005. --NSH001 (talk) 10:47, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
more: There are many sources on Kamm's foolishness that can easily be found in a google search. I note the following two only because Philip Cross has been working hard to keep them out of Kamm's page:
--NSH001 (talk) 17:00, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
  1. ^ For the avoidance of doubt, I am clear that Kamm is not Philip Cross, although he has certainly influenced the latter.
A non-entity publicly, intellectually, and yet he has a wiki page. One can't edit it appropriately because he is under the radar that captures serious things.Nishidani (talk) 19:17, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
I decided to keep those few sentences from 2006 at the top (i.e., tell the bot not to archive them) partly because it's nice to have a record of when I started editing Wikipedia (well, not quite - it's the first ever message on my talk page, though) and partly because I quite like having a mildly derogatory remark about Kamm at the top of my talk page. He deserves a much more serious condemnation, but WP:BLP wouldn't allow it (rightly so, I think) and in any case posting negative stuff tends to be counterproductive. Plus he's really not worth the effort. --NSH001 (talk) 20:12, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Citation and referencing style[edit]


Consensus at WPMED is to keep refs generally over one line. Please do not switch them to over many.[1] Best Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:13, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Doc James, I am thinking very long term here. Most larger wiki articles are effectively rendered uneditable by the presence of numerous long, horizontally formatted templates (LHTs[a]); the only edits feasible on such pages are trivial changes such as spelling corrections, or automated edits where the script/bot doesn't care about the formatting.[b] Of course this is just my opinion, but I do know several other editors share my dislike of long, horizontally formatted citation template clutter (LHT clutter). As well as making the wikitext unreadable, such templates also make it very difficult to find and correct errors in the citation templates, or indeed in anything else.
It doesn't surprise me that the Wikimedia Foundation finds it necessary to spend large sums on things like Visual Editor, given that the mess resulting from long, horizontally formatted templates makes directly editing wikitext so user-hostile. I want to see a wiki that is clear of all this clutter, but that is going to take several years to achieve. In the meantime I am effectively banned (without having commited any offence) from many, perhaps most, articles because of citation clutter. Hence I am (slowly) developing a private script to help in this task. I call the script "ETVP" for "Easy To Visually Parse", because wikitext should be nice and easy to read. I aim eventually to make it easy, using the ETVP script, to switch to short-form referencing, or to LDR, or to some combination of the two, or indeed to anything else that will reduce or eliminate citation clutter. It was not originally my intention to leave ETVP templates in-line, but when I first tried it I was surprised at how much more readable the wikitext became, so my current thinking is to retain it as an option (the main disadvantage appears to be that it is too easy to turn it back into horizontal formatting, as you have demonstrated!).
I am relaxed about not edit-warring with you on this, although I do think making the wikitext harder to read is irrational. Partly this is because the ETVP script is still a long way from being finished, but the main reason is that my focus is on the long-term, and edit warring on individual articles is of no benefit in that aim. I have always anticipated there will be some resistance to in-line ETVP templates, simply because people don't like change, or just get upset by unexpected change, or by anything surprising. I note that most WPMED articles are of a scientific or academic nature, where short-form referencing is the natural style. Once I've got the ETVP script working for that style, then I believe it could be very useful for the WPMED project.
--NSH001 (talk) 21:18, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
The majority of the editors at WPMED like the references over one horizontal line rather than over dozens of lines.
Yes there is a minority who like it over dozens of lines. I find having it over one horizontal line is easier to edit not harder.
What we need is an option / gadget so that those who want it over one line when they hit edit get it over one line and those who want it over many lines get it over many lines. That means win-win for everyone as everyone gets the way they find makes it easiest for them to edit. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:27, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Look more carefully. ETVP is not "dozens of lines" (per cite). I think you might be referring to the (not very wonderful) "vertical" format that you get in the template documentation; even then (provided you eliminate the blank parameters), it rarely amounts to "dozens" of lines. The ETVP script has been carefully thought through to give you what it says on the tin: it uses the minimum number of lines and white space while still maintaining clarity. Roughly, items that logically belong together go on the same line, important items go at the top (title, authors) and references (for example, identifiers) go at the end (a bit like wikipedia article layout). The aim is to take advantage of the human visual system, which works orders of magnitude faster than the rest of the brain. This makes it very easy to spot errors, often instantly; in addition, you'll often spot errors you weren't even looking for in the first place. This is impossible to do if the template is strung out over two or more lines (by lines, I mean lines on the edit window, not the single line you're referring to), buried in a mass of other wikitext. I think one reason why cite templates are so badly infested with errors is precisely this difficulty of spotting errors in the horizontal layout. But what makes the horizontal layout even more annoying is the difficulty of spotting the beginning and end of the same template, especially if there are large numbers of horizontal cites buried within the same paragraph. With the ETVP format, the eye can again spot the beginning and end of a template instantly. So not only does the horizontal format make it difficult or impossible to spot errors in the cite templates, it also makes it difficult or impossible to follow the "flow" of the article text itself. To see this, try an experiment: (a) open in edit mode the version of the article before my edit, and try to read out loud the article text from the wikitext, then (b) do the same with the wikitext after my edit. Notice how much easier (b) is!
Take a look, in edit mode, at Muhammad Najati Sidqi#References and Khazars#References. These are examples of the the work of the ETVP script on articles that were already using short-form referencing. Notice how easy and pleasant it is to read the citation templates there. Although I intend to implement LDR first, my aim (eventually) is to make it easy to switch articles to short-form referencing, with all templates in ETVP form. This is my preferred referencing style, and the most natural for scientific, technical and academic articles. But basically, the ETVP script will eventually let editors use any referencing style they like, as long as it doesn't involve long, horizontally formatted templates.
Note that ETVP is not the same as "vertical". Short templates are actually easier to visually parse if they are "scrunched up" (eliminating all unnecessary spaces) and kept on the same line. The ETVP script recognizes this, using a cut-off of 50 characters (this seems to work well so far, but it could be easily tweaked if necessary). Perhaps the fans of horizontal templates are aware of this, but then wrongly assume that it applies regardless of length. The general principle is that short templates are fine if they're kept on the same physical line, but the longer the template, the stronger the case for a vertical or ETVP format. For an extreme example, see this egregious edit, which I don't think anyone would want to defend.
One might also note the contrast with infoboxes, which are already, mostly, more-or-less in a vertical format, with one parameter per line. Editors don't have any problem editing infoboxes. So in my view, the difficulty some editors say they have with editing ETVP or vertical format is imaginary, not real. Probably they've just gotten used to the default that they get when they click the "cite" button on the edit window or from using most of the standard cite-generating tools. And why should they care? For most editors, adding cites is just a tedious but necessary chore, to be done with minimum effort; they care about the info they're adding, not the errors they're creating or the messy wikitext they're leaving behind.
--NSH001 (talk) 11:10, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
P.S. The idea of a gadget seems like a good one, except I'd want it to appear in an ETVP format, not the vertical one.
In the four years since this thread first started, it has become crystal clear that a gadget is never going to be a solution to this problem. There is, however, a partial solution, namely a change to the wikitext editor, which I outline at Update, August 2020 below, which will immediately (once implemented) meet some of the objections raised by fans of the turd format, as well as being a useful adjuct to the operation of the ETVP script. (updated 17:03, 13 August 2020 (UTC))

Notes on the Syntax highlighter gadget[edit]

Jonesey95 has suggested the syntax highlighter gadget as a possible solution to the near-impossibility of reading and editing pages full of LHTs.[b]

Initial thoughts:

  • The default setting is far too cluttered; in particular, there is no need to highlight wikilinks. However it is possible to customise it so that only templates are highlighted. This works, and is actually quite useful.
  • However, this is moot for those who, like me,use an external editor for most of their editing.
  • It doesn't distinguish nested templates, in contrast to the ETVP script, which indents templates to mark the depth of nesting.
  • In any case, this problem is so fundamental that we shouldn't need to depend on a gadget to fix it.

Conclusion: better than nothing, but not really a solution to the problem. By providing a makeshift patch that papers over the problem, it reduces the pressure to get the problem fixed properly. It does mark the beginning and end of templates clearly (very good!), but the ETVP script also does that. The ETVP format also makes it easy to spot errors instantly, and the highlighter is of no help in that regard. --NSH001 (talk) 21:51, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Further thoughts:

  • The gadget doesn't work on diffs (and wasn't intended to), but templates in ETVP format are still easily distinguishable in diffs.
  • Not distinguishing nested templates is a major drawback, especially in Infoboxes where cite templates are common. Not a problem when using ETVP, as the script uses indentation to indicate nesting.
  • There is no need to highlight short templates (that's just unnecessary visual clutter). In my view only templates EITHER longer than about 100 characters OR which wrap around lines in the edit window need to be highlighted. Of course, the ETVP script takes account of template length, but it has no way of telling when a template is going to line-wrap. But note that templates in ETVP format are designed so that they usually won't line-wrap, except for long URLs or long quotes or exceptionally long article or chapter titles. Even then, the line-wrapping is restricted to the long piece of text, and does not affect the readability of the rest of the template.

I vaguely remember trying some sort of highlighter or edit-helper several years ago,[c] and rapidly rejecting it as too cluttered and too distracting; if my memory is correct it also suffered from a lot of bugs. In contrast, I can see that I might sometimes use this highlighter, even though most of the time I will have it turned off. The author of this highlighter, Remember the dot, deserves some thanks and credit for the thought and effort he or she has put into this script. It's obviously useful to many editors, but it's not a solution to the problem of LHT clutter. --NSH001 (talk) 09:44, 1 March 2017 (UTC) and NSH001 (talk) 10:32, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

Let's get the terminology right[edit]

I have seen other editors (not just Doc James), when talking about this infuriating problem, use the phrase "over one line" to refer to horizontal cite templates and "over many lines" to refer to other formats.

Yes, it is true that the annoying LHT format only occupies one physical line of the computer file. But to use "over one line" in the context of a discussion of the merits of the different formats is very misleading. On the actual edit window that real-life editors use, it also occupies many lines. The difference is that the LHT format will line-wrap at unpredictable positions, depending on where in the text it occurs, what font size is being used and the width of the edit window, among other factors. At least the line-breaks in the "vertical" format are predictable (making it more readable than the LHT format), while the ETVP format is specifically designed to make it as readable as possible.

Incidentally, this problem of line-wrapping is one reason why, generally, I don't mind manually formatted citations; as long as they don't contain long URLs, or other long items, they will usually fit into one line of an edit window, so they don't disrupt the readability of the wikitext in the same way that LHTs do. (I have mentioned elsewhere that there are compelling reasons for preferring templated citations, of course.) There is another reason why manual citations are generally acceptable in the body of an article: they are still in a narrative format, so (unless they contain a long URL) they fit in quite naturally with the rest of the article. Very different from cite templates, where the important task for the editor is to visually parse the argument-value pairs (updated December 2017).

--NSH001 (talk) 15:53, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

What's so bad about long horizontal template clutter (LHT clutter)?[edit]

  • It puts off new editors from joining Wikipedia. See self-selection below, and my responses to Doc James above.
  • It violates every principle of sound coding practice. Any professional computer programmer who wrote code like this would soon be out of a job, or more likely, would never be taken on in the first place.
  • It obfuscates everything. Similarly, at school I was taught how to write English properly. If I had written an essay in such an unstructured, amorphous form I would have received a big fat ZERO as my mark for such an essay. If you (generic) write English without any structure, the result is incomprehensible. The same applies to wikitext.
  • It causes errors because errors are so difficult to spot and to correct in LHTs.
  • It causes even more errors because LHT clutter makes it difficult (almost impossible) to follow the natural flow of the article text within the wikitext.[d]
  • It makes diffs hard to follow. It's bad enough trying to read wikitext cluttered with LHTs, but the problems are multiplied when you (generic) are trying to establish who has added or deleted what in a diff.
  • It sets a bad example. New editors will usually just copy the techniques they find already being used, so, not surprisingly, the result is a cancerous expansion of the usual steaming heap of unreadable and uneditable text.
  • Summary: it makes editing Wikipedia difficult, slow, error-prone and very, very unpleasant. The problem is so bad, so annoying and so infuriating that either LHT clutter has to be gotten rid of (preferably completely), or I will leave Wikipedia. The reason is obvious: how is it possible to edit anything cluttered up with LHTs, when this clutter, apart from the exceptions footnoted below,[b] makes editing impossible?
  • Conclusion: LHT clutter should be  E . X . T . E . R . M . I . N . A . T . E . D.[e]

The paradox: if LHT clutter is so bad, then why are most articles using this style?[edit]

Well, I really don't know. It baffles and perplexes me that anyone could possibly tolerate this mess. But any strategy for getting rid of LHTs needs to address this paradox. Some possible explanations:

  1. Self-selection. The WMF has been worrying for years about the long-term decline in the number of active editors. Not that surprising really, when someone new to Wikipedia opens up a page in edit mode and discovers an amorphous, unstructured, smushed-together, incomprehensible and almost unreadable heap of steaming LHT doo-doo. So the small minority that's left, and which heroically persists in trying to edit Wikipedia, has, for the most part (not all, and certainly not including me), self-selected as those who can somehow tolerate LHT clutter.
  2. False perception of authority. People assume that, simply because it is so common, LHT clutter must somehow be "right", or "officially approved", or the "standard" citation and referencing style, although per policy (WP:CITESTYLE), there is no one, single, standard citation style on Wikipedia. All this despite the fact that LHT clutter is the worst possible citation and referencing style.
  3. Lack of exposure to better citation styles. Some editors are simply unaware of better alternatives: they may dislike the clutter, but just assume it's something thay have to put up with. Or they may be aware of better alternatives, but then find it takes a lot of time and effort to change the citation style (plus they may then have additional battles based on WP:CITEVAR).
  4. Unfamiliarity with academic citation styles, especially among editors who haven't had a university-level education.
  5. Poor citation-generating tools. These have plenty of faults and shortcomings. Among their faults is that they offer only the LHT clutter style, or if they do offer a choice, it is between so-called "vertical" and LHT, with LHT clutter being the default. The "vertical" form, as given in the template documentation, isn't that great either, but it's still a huge improvement over LHT clutter. None of them offer an ETVP form as a choice, of course, since ETVP is a new concept. Since the default option is the easiest one to choose, the result is that the LHT dungheap just keeps on growing.
  6. Poor citation template documentation (in fact, most of the citation template documentation is quite good; I'm referring here to the distinction between "vertical" and "horizontal"). The "vertical" style offered as an alternative to the LHT clutter format in the template documentation is very poor (but still a huge improvement on LHT clutter). It obviously hasn't been properly and thoroughly thought through though.[f] I will discuss this in more detail in the ETVP documentation, but see my responses to Doc James above for a brief outline. This may partly explain why editors (bizarrely) choose the LHT clutter format instead.
  7. Syntax highlighters. My first reaction to Doc James' request above was simply bewilderment and perplexity, since trying to edit LHT clutter is a physical impossibility[b] (well it can be done, but only at the cost of a phenomenal amount of time and effort). Note that for serious editing, I use an external editor (but I do use the standard wikitext editor for small changes, and to preview edits made in the main, external, editor). So I pay little attention to developments in the standard editor or its gadgets. Well, syntax highlighters (if properly configured) do solve one of the most infuriating problems about LHT clutter, namely the extreme difficulty of spotting where an individual LHT begins and ends. I think it's clear that without syntax highlighters, LHT clutter would never survive as a citation style;[g] otherwise editing a page full of LHT clutter is physically impossible. But that still raises questions about what newbies do, since they won't be aware of syntax highlighters. And as I explained above, syntax highlighters still have some drawbacks, and in any case, the ETVP style renders them unnecessary.[h]
    Conclusion: syntax highlighters are like a medication that alleviates (some of) the symptoms, but doesn't cure the underlying disease.
  8. Inadequate wikitext editor. The wikitext editor needs to properly support separation of long citation templates from their inline antecedents, whether it be list-defined references (LDR), parenthetical referencing or short-form referencing. In one click[i] it should enable an {{sfn}} template, or any of its siblings, including any of the harvnb family, to be inserted in the article body and at the same time the corresponding long cite template added, if not already present, in correct alphabetical order, to the relevant bibliographic listing. Similarly for named references and their corresponding entry in LDR.
    As an alternative my ETVP script effectively does this already by transforming a whole article all at once (it still needs polishing, though). The wikitext editor should also allow a single click[i] on an {{sfn}}/{{harvnb}} or named reference to bring up the corresponding long template in a popup for easy editing.
    I guess the first suggestion is too difficult and impracticable to be worth the effort, especially if we already have a script to do the job. So I'd like to limit myself to just two small suggestions, that should be possible without too much effort:(updated, December 2017)
    • A popup to show the corresponding full citation when a short-form cite is "clicked"[i]
    • Toggle the size of the edit window (edit box) between the standard size and full screen, or full screen with only minimal menus and toolbar.[j]
  9. Perhaps the most obvious explanation. Amazingly, Wikipedia, through its HELP tools, actually teaches the LHT clutter style to beginners. So does the WMF through its volunteer editors who help newbies come to grips with how to edit Wikipedia (very useful work, apart from this one aspect). This needs to change, so that newcomers are made aware of the problems created by LHT clutter, and of the available alternatives. (added, June 2019)

--NSH001 (talk) 07:39, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Update, August/September 2020[edit]

This section has been prompted by the this discussion on the talk page of Actuary (a featured article), and the simultaneous discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Deprecate parenthetical citations. In addition, my private ETVP script has been under near-constant development since most of this thread was first written, so an update is needed anyway.

The ETVP script now allows the choice of four different ways of getting rid of LHT clutter:[k]

  1. Switch all citation templates from the LHT clutter format (also known as the "turd" format) to ETVP format, but leave them in place. This was the first option to be developed (because it was the easiest), and the one that Doc James complained about above. It might have been possible to have left it there, but I found that whenever I changed turd templates to nice, pleasant, in-line ETVP templates, I kept getting reverted; such a change also prompted the complaint from Doc James above. I note below a couple of proposed changes to the wikitext editor, which I hope should remove these objections. So I went ahead with providing all the remaining options.
  2. Switch to list-defined references, WP:LDR, so that the "turds" are all moved out of the article text, and are listed (having, on their way, been transformed into ETVP format) using the |refs= parameter of the {{reflist}} template. This was the second option that I developed. It succeeds in getting rid of the turds, but it also comes with some disadvantages, notably the difficulty in handling page numbers (which can still be done, but not very easily).
  3. Switch to short-form referencing, making use of {{sfn}} and {{harvnb}} and all their numerous siblings. This was the third option I developed, and is the one I use most frequently. The main advantage is that the citations are listed – of course, in the pleasant ETVP format – in a neat, alphabetically-ordered bibliographic listing at the end of the article.
  4. Switch to parenthetical referencing. This is the most recent option that I have developed, and is similar in many ways to short-form referencing, notably the use of a neatly formatted and sorted bibliographic listing at the end.
    It has the advantage over short-form of not requiring a separate section to hold the short cites, and of reducing the number of clicks to get to the full citation. Like Option 3, it offers the advantage over Option 2 of handling page numbers properly.
  5. The fifth option is independent of the others. It has been far and away the most difficult to write (but I like a challenge!), namely to automatically convert manual citations to templated ones. Options 3 and 4 rely heavily on the existence of CS1/CS2 citation templates, so this is an essential prerequisite in many cases. It will never be possible to reliably convert everything, but it is possible to do so for well-written manual citations, and to get quite close for many of the rest.
  6. The sixth option mostly doesn't exist yet. So far, the emphasis within this script has been to provide options to move from the dungheap citation style to one of the options listed above. There are, however, valid reasons why it may be desirable to move from one non-turd citation style to a different non-turd citation style. It can often happen that, for small articles, Option 2 (list-defined references) is the best way of getting rid of the turds. Then, once an article expands, Option 3 becomes the best solution; it's no accident that Option 3 is much more common at the Featured Article level.
    Thus, at the time of writing, the script provides some limited support for moving from Option 2 to Option 3. In future, it may offer support for other possible switches, but that is a low priority for now. Another, more likely possibility, is to offer a combination of citation styles. It should, of course, go without saying that switches of citation style remain subject to WP:CITEVAR and WP:CITESTYLE. (updated 08:43, 12 August 2020 (UTC))

In practice, I find that I use option 1 as an interim stage before using one of the other options. Option 1 is very helpful: firstly because it automatically corrects many of the errors that you find in citation templates, and, secondly, having the templates in ETVP format makes them much easier to edit. Any solution (and my script) has to take account of the vast amount of crap that editors type into citation templates. You won't believe the amount of crap that you find in citation templates. Not just editors, most of the citation-generating tools generate crap citations too, notably Visual Editor (VE), which was one of the worst, although it seems to be getting a bit better recently.[l] A huge amount of the effort that has gone into my script has been writing code to correct this mountainous pile of crap. One of the reasons that there is so much crap in citation templates is that the LHT clutter style makes it very difficult to find errors, and even if you do find one, the LHT format makes it hard and time-consuming to correct. So the epithet "turd" is indeed appropriate to describe this style.

Anyway, for now, option 1 is used only as an interim, preliminary stage. I save the result on my own computer (it would be easy to save it on Wikipedia, but that carries the risk of another editor coming along and messing up my work) and then examine it manually. Firstly, to correct the usual crap. Then to check the changes option 1 has offered; the most common of these is the | ref = {{harvid|...}} it generates if there are no authors or editors, or no date/year is specified.[m] Of course, this stage may not be needed if I'm already familiar with the page and its history; on the other hand it's essential if someone has been dumping LHTs ("turds") using VE or one of the citation-generating tools. Once I'm satisfied with the results, I run one of the other options to generate the final result.

I still believe using in-line ETVP formatting (option 1) is a valid and useful option (it keeps the citation next to the text it's supporting), but before that can win general acceptance, I think two changes are necessary to the wiki text editor (I refuse to go anywhere near the VE editor):

  1. The display of all instances of <ref>...........</ref> should be changed so that what you see in the edit window looks something like this:

    blah blah,[ref 23][ref 3][ref 24 name="Smith"] blah blah.[ref 11]

    where the coloured [ref]s are clickable, resulting in either a pop-up that can be edited, or expanded in-line for editing.
  2. Make it possible to toggle the edit box between its standard size and full-screen (or full-screen, less a little bit for menus/toolbars). One of the excuses made for the turd format is that "it keeps the refs from taking up so much screen space in a heavily referenced article", so this will help to remove this excuse. Of course the first change also does that, but in any case it's nice to have the option to edit full-screen.

I believe the first change will be welcomed by all editors (even those who are fans of the turd format), since it makes the wikitext much more readable.

The purpose of the ETVP script

Worth reiterating:

The purpose of the ETVP script is to get rid of LHT clutter. That was its original motivation, and will always remain its primary function. In doing this, it provides options to switch from the dungheap citation style to any of the citation formats mentioned above.

But its purpose remains to get rid of LHT clutter. Of course it can be used to switch citation style, and I hope to support every reasonable citation style, but it will never allow a turd-formatted citation to remain in place.

I am always open to reasonable requests for improving the ETVP script. But the one thing that is, and will always remain, non-negotiable, is its fundamental, basic purpose, which is to get rid of turd-formatted citations.

--NSH001 (talk) 14:13, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

It's not just me[edit]

  1. From <>
    "So I just finished re-formatting Lead into the format that I think is clearly and objectively superior: {{cite book}}s etc in a separate section at the bottom of the page, {{sfn}} in body text. [I would go farther than that and use various {{harv}} formats in Notes, but that is irrelevant to this question.] Before that, it was all <ref>{{cite book | lotsa distracting/confusing text here }}</ref> all splashed like buckshot across body text. That is a common referencing method, and it is quite inferior. First, it's a maintenance nightmare for editors to search and find all those {{citation}}s everywhere in the body text. It is a confusing jumble of metatext mishmash blobs that break the actual displayed text up into near-incoherence when you look at the raw editing version; a n00b does not deserve to face that. Second, it jumbles all the displayed cite text into an unorganized blob of cite info in the References section, making spotting errors in them an exercise in serious eyestrain. Third, the absence of {{sfn}} (or something comparable) makes it prohibitively difficult to add specific page numbers."
    User:Lingzhi is talking here mainly about page numbers, but he also makes clear the problem with LHT clutter.
  2. From User_talk:Dsimic#Power_suppl unit (computer) (edited for clarity):
    Hello! Regarding my edit on the Power supply unit (computer) article, IMHO there's no reasonable excuse for favoring a much less readable format of the Wiki code under the unification umbrella. Consistency is good, of course, but it actually isn't that good when it makes things worse. Each "slice" of better Wiki code readability counts, and we should aim toward consistency-related changes that improve the overall Wiki code readability. Hope you'll agree. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 08:52, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
    Quite frankly, there's no way that, for example, this Wiki code snippet:
    Although a power supply with a larger than needed power rating will have an extra margin of safety against overloading, such a unit is often less efficient and wastes more electricity at lower loads than a more appropriately sized unit. For example, a 900-watt power supply with the [[80 Plus Silver]] efficiency rating (which means that such a power supply is designed to be at least 85-percent efficient for loads above 180&nbsp;W) may only be 73% efficient when the load is lower than 100&nbsp;W, which is a typical idle power for a desktop computer. Thus, for a 100&nbsp;W load, losses for this supply would be 37&nbsp;W; if the same power supply was put under a 450&nbsp;W load, for which the supply's efficiency peaks at 89%, the loss would be only 56&nbsp;W despite supplying 4.5 times the useful power.<ref>{{cite web | url = | title = Debunking Power Supply Myths | date = 2008-09-22 | accessdate = 2014-10-07 | author = Christoph Katzer | publisher = [[AnandTech]] | page = 3}}</ref><ref>{{cite web | url = | title = Cooler Master UCP Product Sheet | year = 2008 | accessdate = 2014-10-11 | publisher = [[Cooler Master]] | format = PDF}}</ref> For a comparison, a 500-watt power supply carrying the [[80 Plus Bronze]] efficiency rating (which means that such a power supply is designed to be at least 82-percent efficient for loads above 100&nbsp;W) may provide an 84-percent efficiency for a 100&nbsp;W load, wasting only 19&nbsp;W.<ref>{{cite web | url = | title = SilverStone Strider Plus{{snd}} 500&nbsp;W Modular Power | date = 2011-10-10 | accessdate = 2014-10-11 | author = Martin Kaffei | publisher = [[AnandTech]] | page = 4}}</ref>
    is better or more readable than its nicely formatted equivalent:
    Although a power supply with a larger than needed power rating will have an extra margin of safety against overloading, such a unit is often less efficient and wastes more electricity at lower loads than a more appropriately sized unit. For example, a 900-watt power supply with the [[80 Plus Silver]] efficiency rating (which means that such a power supply is designed to be at least 85-percent efficient for loads above 180&nbsp;W) may only be 73% efficient when the load is lower than 100&nbsp;W, which is a typical idle power for a desktop computer. Thus, for a 100&nbsp;W load, losses for this supply would be 37&nbsp;W; if the same power supply was put under a 450&nbsp;W load, for which the supply's efficiency peaks at 89%, the loss would be only 56&nbsp;W despite supplying 4.5 times the useful power.<ref>{{cite web
     | url =
     | title = Debunking Power Supply Myths
     | date = 2008-09-22 | accessdate = 2014-10-07
     | author = Christoph Katzer | publisher = [[AnandTech]]
     | page = 3
    }}</ref><ref>{{cite web
     | url =
     | title = Cooler Master UCP Product Sheet
     | year = 2008 | accessdate = 2014-10-11
     | publisher = [[Cooler Master]] | format = PDF
    }}</ref> For a comparison, a 500-watt power supply carrying the [[80 Plus Bronze]] efficiency rating (which means that such a power supply is designed to be at least 82-percent efficient for loads above 100&nbsp;W) may provide an 84-percent efficiency for a 100&nbsp;W load, wasting only 19&nbsp;W.<ref>{{cite web
     | url =
     | title = SilverStone Strider Plus{{snd}} 500&nbsp;W Modular Power
     | date = 2011-10-10 | accessdate = 2014-10-11
     | author = Martin Kaffei | publisher = [[AnandTech]]
     | page = 4
    It's pretty much obvious to anyone who had spent at least some time editing Wiki code manually or doing some other source-level computer programming. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 23:03, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
  3. (more quotes to be added)


I'm aware that I need to produce a full set of documentation about ETVP – the underlying principles, the ETVP script, and why it does what it does, and a full discussion/tutorial of the merits and demerits of each of the options it offers. I've been slow in doing this because for the foreseeable future the script will remain private, so that only I can use it. In the meantime, the long thread here provides a good description of the motivation for writing it, and you can find examples of its use at User:NSH001/ETVP/examples. --NSH001 (talk) 14:13, 9 August 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ "LHTs" may also be read as "long horizontal turds", to reflect the revulsion they induce.
  2. ^ a b c d In my experience, there are three small but important exceptions where it is sometimes possible to edit such pages, despite the presence of LHTs:
    1. trivial changes, such as spelling corrections (but this can still be difficult, slow, and unpleasant)
    2. all automated and most semi-automated edits. This includes, for example, edits made via a script, or by pressing an "undo" or "rollback" button.
    3. if there are substantial parts of an article that are free of LHTs. For example, it is sometimes possible to edit the lead or Infobox, since these can be relatively or completely LHT-free. Similarly it is possible to edit categories and navboxes at the end of articles (a place where LHTs almost never occur).
  3. ^ From memory, this was wikEd, which I think was the only available tool at the time to offer syntax highlighting.
  4. ^ Syntax highlighters can alleviate this problem, but using ETVP formatting is a better approach.
  5. ^ I am old enough to remember the first broadcast episodes of Doctor Who. On a black & white 405-line TV set receiving analogue signals broadcast on Band I VHF, no less. Anyone remember those big H-shaped aerials that marked out the houses of those families who could afford to buy a television?
  6. ^ Sorry, I couldn't resist the alliteration!
  7. ^ For the avoidance of doubt, I am not interested, even with the availability of syntax highlighters, in the survival of LHT clutter as a citation style; I want it to disappear completely.
  8. ^ Editors may still, of course, have valid reasons for wanting to use a syntax highlighter. The point is that ETVP means that syntax highlighters are no longer needed to deal with long templates, but syntax highlighters may still be needed for other reasons.
  9. ^ a b c possibly a click or double-click together with a control key, or combination of control keys
  10. ^ This should reduce the incentive for editors to use the LHT clutter format, since the reason usually offered for preferring LHT clutter is that the "vertical" form takes up too much screen space. Well, the ETVP format uses less screen space anyway compared to the documented "vertical" form, but let's give editors more space when they need it.
  11. ^ LHT clutter is the unreadable and uneditable mess caused by the proliferation of long, horizontally formatted templates (LHTs). Please read the whole of this very long thread from the start, in order to better understand this problem.
  12. ^ The only citation-generating tool I've come across that does a reasonably good job is Citation bot, and even that isn't perfect. At least the authors of Citation bot have demonstrated that they understand the massive problem of crap in citation templates.
  13. ^ This process can be very time-consuming, as the turds dumped by the various citation-generating tools often omit, or get wrong, vital details, so I usually have to go back to the source to check. Editors using these tools are supposed to check the generated citations against the source, but in reality they don't.

What are "turd templates"?[edit]


A turd template is another name for a Long horizontally formatted template (LHT) as defined above. As explained above, LHTs make editing difficult or impossible (with some exceptions), in addition to being undesirable on general grounds.

Opening, in edit mode, an article full of LHTs is like entering a house where every previous visitor (editor) has left a "deposit" all over the floor. Hence the name.

--NSH001 (talk) 22:28, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

For a full understanding of why they are called "turds", follow the link to the long thread above. But if you just want a one-paragraph explanation, click here (updated 08:16, 2 September 2020 (UTC)).


The dungheap citation style is another name for the LHT clutter citation style. Note that I am being too kind to LHT clutter here: dungheaps can be composted into useful, sweet-smelling fertiliser that can be used by farmers to help produce healthy, nutritious organic food. By contrast, the stink of LHT clutter is permanent until the turds are flushed away, or otherwise disposed of.

--NSH001 (talk) 10:23, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

Assange, the kangaroo court, and worse[edit]

First, some remarks copied from above:

(Sorry to wander off the topic, but the whole thing is so outrageous I'm finding it difficult to think of anything else.) At this moment, I'm wondering what to do about this kangaroo court, reminiscent of stories coming out of the USSR when I was a boy growing up some 60 years ago. The (mis-)treatment of an innocent man, amounting to torture, breaks every fucking legal rule in the book, but our so-called "mainstream" media is remarkably silent on the massive human rights abuse of a good man, yet they are fully capable of pointing out human rights abuses in countries they don't like. It's crystal clear to me that the time has come to revise Wikipedia's rules on "reliable sources"; taking account of the propaganda function of the media would be a good place to start. Jeez, even RT is more reliable on this farce. --NSH001 (talk) 01:18, 25 October 2019 (UTC)

Sources on Assange (only a start; this is going to be a very long list):

  • Johnstone, Caitlin (20 April 2019). "Debunking All The Assange Smears". Medium. Also available at Lengthy (Medium says it will take you 73mins to read, not counting the 112mins of video embedded there) but it's far and away the best overall survey of the topic I've seen.
  • The excellent Caitlin Johnstone's work on Assange isn't restricted to her tour de force above, far from it. Here's some more:
    • Johnstone, Caitlin (23 January 2020). "Empire War on Oppositional Journalism Escalates". Consortium News. In exactly the same way we saw a coordination between the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Ecuador and Australia to immobilize, and then silence, and then imprison Julian Assange, we are seeing a uniform movement toward silencing oppositional journalism throughout the entire U.S.-centralized empire. On similarities between the US's nefarious activities in Brazil and the Assange case. Also available at
    • Johnstone, Caitlin (29 February 2020). "To Be Assanged: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix". Murderous governments who deceive their citizenry are not entitled to any degree of secrecy whatsoever. More quotes:
      • "Ever notice how there are no "Don't Free Assange" rallies? No "Extradite Assange" activist forums? That's because the only normal human beings interested in his case want him free. It's the Free Assange crowd versus the "Thinking about that will cause me cognitive dissonance" crowd. The only grassroots energy regarding Assange is on his side. The entire other side of the debate is (A) governments and their lackeys and (B) the propagandized masses who have been manipulated into staying silent and compliant as the empire works its will."
      • "Debunking smears is all well and good, but the actual Assange case isn't about smears, it's about a question: Should journalists be punished for exposing war crimes?"
      • "Per the Assange extradition argument the Saudis should be allowed to extradite and behead anyone who practices blasphemy."
    • Johnstone, Caitlin (28 February 2020). "This Assange "Trial" Is A Self-Contradictory Kafkaesque Nightmare". 'Kafka's work is characterized by nightmarish settings in which characters are crushed by nonsensical, blind authority,' says Merriam-Webster. 'Thus, the word Kafkaesque is often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening.'
    • (sub-list to be continued)
  • Gabe Rottman, "Special Analysis of the May 2019 Superseding Indictment of Julian Assange". Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. 30 May 2019.
  • Imperialism on Trial - Free Julian Assange event (Part 1 of 2). Held on 11 June 2019 at "the Crypt on the Green", the crypt of St James's Church, Clerkenwell, London. A part-transcript of the two events, courtesy of Catherine Brown, can be read here. List of speakers follows; links go directly to the start of each speaker's contribution.
  • Imperialism on Trial - Free Julian Assange event (Part 2 of 2). Held on 12 June 2019 at St James's Church, Clerkenwell, this time in the main church, not the crypt where the 11 June event was held.
  • Murray, Craig (22 October 2019). "Assange in Court". Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian's treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness. - the case management hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday, 21 October 2019. My comments:
    • It is clear from Murray's description that Lenin Moreno's government, probably under instruction from the US government, has first of all been trying to persuade Assange to leave the embassy of his own volition, and the measures used in attempting to achieve this include the denial, or severe restriction, of food (hence Assange's rapid weight loss). Although these methods failed in that aim, they have still served the important function of applying psychological torture to Assange.
    • More worrying is that the British government is continuing to apply this torture. Even the worst murderers and terrorists being held in UK prisons are fed an adequate diet, but not Assange, since he has failed to regain the weight lost in the embassy.
    • Moreover, the British government have been using medication which, together with the other torture techniques, are destroying Assange's brain and mental capacity. As Murray writes: "But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both", adding later on: "To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable."
  • John Hilley, "Media persecution of Assange and BBC News at Ten's repeated reporting 'errors'", Zenpolitics, 23 October 2019.
  • John Pilger, "Did This Happen in the Home of the Magna Carta?", Consortium News. 25 October 2019.
  • "Assange Is The Only One To Abide By The Law", Raul Ilargi Meijer, Zero Hedge, 25 October 2019.
    • "The parading into a courtroom of Julian Assange in London was all the evidence one could need that the UK government breaks its own laws as well as numerous international laws, with impunity. But that is not how the media reported on it, if it did at all."
    • "He [Assange] doesn't fight the law, he fights the lawless [who are] posing as the law."
    • " And then Monday in court, a British court, it was a bunch of Americans who openly decided what should happen"
    • "If you live in Britain and you think Brexit is a more important issue than Assange, you're delusional. Nothing is more important to anyone in a society than a government torturing a man to death in broad daylight, a man who moreover has not broken a single law. We don't even torture mass murderers, terrorists or child rapists to death anymore, at least not at home. But Julian Assange IS treated that way. And whether the UK will be a part of Europe or not, that is the country it has become. A lawless medieval banana republic."
  • "UN expert on torture sounds alarm again that Julian Assange's life may be at risk". OHCHR. 1 November 2019. While the US Government prosecutes Mr. Assange for publishing information about serious human rights violations, including torture and murder, the officials responsible for these crimes continue to enjoy impunity.
  • Curtis, Mark; Kennard, Matt (14 November 2019). "Conflict of Interest: Julian Assange's Judge and Her Husband's Links to the British Military Establishment Exposed by WikiLeaks". Declassified UK. Daily Maverick.
  • Kennard, Matt; Curtis, Mark (15 November 2019). "The son of Julian Assange's judge is linked to an anti-data leak company created by the UK intelligence establishment". Declassified UK. Daily Maverick.
  • Maurizi, Stefania (18 November 2019). "A massive scandal: how Assange, his doctors, lawyers and visitors were all spied on for the U.S." la Repubblica.
    • Further comments from Maurizi: "2. As a journalist heavily targeted by #UCGlobal which spied on my convos, unscrewed my phones, spied on ALL my electronic devices, it's crucial to make UC Global and the #USintelligence accountable"
  • Craig Murray on Assange: "Swedes should be ashamed of the way they've been played by the CIA", 6:08mins. Interview, 19 November 2019.
  • "Abby Martin on Julian Assange, Coup in Bolivia, Bernie Sanders & Gaza" 50:55mins, AcTVism Munich. 21 November 2019.
  • Wight, John (25 November 2019). "The slow motion execution of Julian Assange". the founder and former editor of Wikileaks, the publishing organisation which since established in 2006 has removed the cloak of democracy from the face of an empire whose high crimes and war crimes would make Genghis Khan blush, has been placed on a metaphorical cross at in the name of nothing more ennobling than vengeance and retribution.
    • Some interesting literary allusions in this piece.
  • Doctors for Assange, "Concerns of medical doctors about the plight of Mr Julian Assange",, 25 November 2019.
  • "60+ doctors warn Assange 'could die in prison'. UK & Australia governments do nothing". The Duran, 26 November 2019.
  • Julian Assange Free the Truth event at St Pancras New Church, 28 November 2019. An excellent written report, from Catherine Brown, can be found here.
  • John Pilger, "Visiting Britain's Political Prisoner". Consortium News. Volume 25, Number 333. 29 November 2019.
  • "Two months before Assange's extradition hearing, RSF calls for his release on humanitarian grounds and for US Espionage Act charges to be dropped", Reporters without Borders, 24 December 2019. "Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by reports that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's health has deteriorated in detention, and calls for his immediate release on humanitarian grounds. RSF condemns the continued targeting of Assange for his journalistic-like activities, which sets a dangerous precedent."
  • Nils Melzer, "[BBC] says #Assange 'evaded justice'…". Melzer debunking BBC's claim (incidentally, illustrating why the BBC is not a reliable source on this issue). 13 January 2020.
  • Julian Assange speech that was censored by the Oxford Union 21:03mins. 1 February 2013.
  • Prisoners' revolt and pressure from legal team and campaigners forces Belmarsh to move Assange out of solitary.
    • WikiLeaks statement: "In a dramatic climbdown, authorities at Belmarsh Prison have moved Julian Assange from solitary confinement in the medical wing and relocated him to an area with other inmates. The move is a huge victory for Assange's legal team and for campaigners who have been insisting for weeks that the prison authorities must end the punitive treatment of assange. But the decision to relocate Assange is also a massive victory of prisoners in Belmarsh. A group of inmates have petitioned the prison governor on three occasions, insisting that the treatment of Assange was unjust and unfair. After meetings between prisoners, lawyers and the Belmarsh authorities, Assange was moved to a different prison wing albeit one with only 40 inmates. But there remain serious concerns about Julian Assange's treatment in Belmarsh. He is still being denied adequate access to his lawyers as even the judge recognised at a case management hearing in Westminster Magistrates' Court. And campaigners continue to insist that Assange should not be in prison at all, least of all in Belmarsh high security prison. But all that notwithstanding this is an important victory for the campaigners outside and inside the prison walls." - Joseph Farrell, Wikileaks Ambassador. 24 January 2020.
      • still doesn't have proper access to lawyers, nor exercise, nor proper medical care, nor facilities to prepare his defence
      • I fear this will make it easier for him to be "Epstein"-ed, which may be the underlying reason for the apparent concession. I hope not, but it's impossible to overstate the malignant evil of the bastards responsible for this outrage.
  • A series of 5 articles by Lissa Johnson on "The Psychology Of Getting Julian Assange":
    • "Part 1: What's Torture Got To Do With It?",, 23 February 2019.
      "In the first part of a special New Matilda investigative series, clinical psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson exposes the 'science' behind the hunt for Julian Assange, and the tactics those in power use to keep you in the dark."
    • "Part 2: The Court Of Public Opinion And The Blood-Curdling Untold Story",, 25 February 2019.
      "In her ongoing special investigation into the detention of Julian Assange, Dr Lissa Johnson turns to the art of smear, and how to corrupt a judicial system."
    • "Part 3 – Wikileaks and Russiagate: Trust Us, We're The CIA",, 2 March 2019.
      "In the third of her special investigative series on Julian Assange, clinical psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson sheds a little more light on the ways the world's most consistently dishonest state has co-opted so many otherwise intelligent people into shooting the messenger."
    • "Part 4: Why Even Some Lefties Want To See Him Hang",, 15 March 2019.
      "Convinced Julian Assange handed Trump the election? Certain he raped two women in Sweden? Want to see him rot in jail? The fourth in a five-part series by clinical psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson explains the science behind smear and propaganda, and how and why it works."
    • "Part 5: War Propaganda 101",, 25 March 2019.
      "Ever wonder why left wing trolls hate Julian Assange so much? And why maybe you're more questioning? Ever tried to get to the bottom of a government-run propaganda campaign and found your synapses misfiring? The final in a five-part series by clinical psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson explains the science behind smear, and how and why it works."
  • Catherine Brown, "The Perversion of Good Impulses to Negative Ends", 5 December 2019. Some notes on how good people can be manipulated to evil ends. The smears against Assange show this process at work.
    • "Relatively unpopular dictatorships like the Greek colonels don't achieve half as much evil, because they fail to harness half as much good."
    • "Most dangerous of all is the manipulation of the good impulses of the many by the cynicism, or moral madness, of the few."
    • "The impulse to prevent human rights abuses, by states and/or men, is harnessed by political manipulators in support of economic and political imperialism, and wars intended primarily to acquire natural resources and extend military bases at whatever cost to human rights."
    • "The impulse to defend women from male oppression has been harnessed to drain support from Julian Assange on the basis of allegations and investigations which – on inspection – bear very many signs of having been politically motivated."
    • "Character assassination – against Jews, Marie Antoinette, Albert Dreyfus, Julian Assange – invariably appeals to idealism. To the ideals that condemn killing Christian children, committing incest, having multiple mistresses, or committing rape, as wrong. But it avoids appealing to the ideal that someone is innocent until proven guilty. Or that being guilty of one thing – having mistresses – does not prove anyone guilty of another – high treason. Or that weaponization of certain ideals to trample on others should be condemned."
  • Robert Scheer, "The Plot to Discredit and Destroy Julian Assange". Truthdig. 6 December 2019.
  • Oborne, Peter (2019). "He is a hero, not a villain". British Journalism Review. 30 (3): 43. ISSN 0956-4748. But I find myself wondering what exactly the difference is between his alleged crime of publishing leaked US diplomatic cables and the Mail on Sunday's offence of publishing leaked Foreign Office cables. Why is Assange treated by the bulk of the British media as a pariah? And the Mail on Sunday as a doughty defender of press freedom? After all, Julian Assange is responsible for breaking more stories than all the rest of us put together.
  • Melzer, Nils (31 January 2020). "A murderous system is being created before our very eyes". Republik (Interview). Interviewed by Daniel Ryser; Yves Bachmann. Translated by Charles Hawley. Interview with a high-quality Swiss online magazine. German-language original here.
    • If I had to recommend a single source to anyone unfamiliar with the reality of what has happened to Assange, I think this is the best of all the sources I've seen so far: high-quality, well argued, accurate and credible, by an expert in his field.
    • Melzer is fluent in Swedish and has read all the relevant police and legal records, so he is able to give an accurate account regarding the sex allegations in Sweden.
    • Some quotes:
      • Q: "Julian Assange, they say, fled the Swedish judiciary in order to avoid being held accountable." A: "That's what I always thought, until I started investigating. The opposite is true. Assange reported to the Swedish authorities on several occasions because he wanted to respond to the accusations. But the authorities stonewalled."
      • "The willful malevolence of the authorities only became apparent when they immediately disseminated the suspicion of rape via the tabloid press, and did so without questioning A. A. and in contradiction to the statement given by S. W. It also violated a clear ban in Swedish law against releasing the names of alleged victims or perpetrators in sexual offense cases."
      • Q: "Why were the British so eager to prevent the Swedes from closing the case?" A: "We have to stop believing that there was really an interest in leading an investigation into a sexual offense." [Read the source for the full explanation]
  • Melzer, Nils; Love, Lauri; Kiriakou, John (31 January 2020). "Exclusive Interviews with Nils Melzer, Lauri Love and John Kiriakou on Assange Countdown to Freedom". CovertAction Magazine (Interview). Interviewed by Randy Credico. 2 hour 8:20min podcast.
    • Starts with some good music and a one-hour interview with Melzer, which clarifies some points in the previous item. Quote starting at approx 1hr 7min (slightly edited): "Don't look for the light somewhere else, just switch it on in yourself and show the world that the light that you can shine on it you know, give an example in your own life, that's what I tell my students: don't look for the light elsewhere, just switch it on and there shall be a light, and the good thing, when everything becomes dark – it can be in the biggest, darkest, blackest room – if you light just one candle, the darkness is gone."
  • Nils Melzer, Formal letter to UK Govt (via UN Ambassador) re Assange case, 29 October 2019. Page 6: "While the practical implementation of procedural rights allows for, and requires, a reasonable margin of judicial interpretation, no objective observer can escape the conclusion that Mr. Assange's due process rights have been seriously, consistently and deliberately violated in every phase of each judicial proceeding conducted against him in all involved jurisdictions." (emphasis added) Note also the 4 months+ delay in the UK Govt's response to the UN Special Rapporteur's initial inquiry.
  • Another Julian Assange Free the Truth event at St Pancras New Church, this time on 3 February 2020.
  • Lauria, Joe (10 February 2020). "Julian Assange Wins 2020 Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award". Consortium News.
  • Appeal by 130 prominent Germans:
  • Media Lens, "'Burned At The Stake' – The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Demolishes The Fake Claims Targeting Julian Assange", 13 February 2020.
  • The Prosecution of Julian Assange. CUNY School of Law and Courage Foundation. 15 February 2020 – via YouTube. A panel of experts will confront the dangerous consequences of the US government prosecuting Julian Assange under the Espionage Act of 1917.
  • Pilger, John (17 February 2020). "Julian Assange Must Be Freed, Not Betrayed". Consortium News. I am sometimes asked why I have championed Assange. For one thing, I like and I admire him. He is a friend with astonishing courage; and he has a finely honed, wicked sense of humour. He is the diametric opposite of the character invented and then assassinated by his enemies. Also available on
  • Frost, Stephen; Johnson, Lissa; Stein, Jill; Frost, William; et al. (17 February 2020). "End torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange". Letters. The Lancet. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(20)30383-4. ISSN 0140-6736.
  • Commissioner for Human Rights (20 February 2020). "Statement: Julian Assange should not be extradited due to potential impact on press freedom and concerns about ill-treatment". Strasbourg: Council of Europe. The indictment raises important questions about the protection of those that publish classified information in the public interest, including those that expose human rights violations. [...] Furthermore, any extradition to a situation in which the person involved would be at real risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment would be contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Kennard, Matt; Curtis, Mark (21 February 2020a). "REVEALED: Chief magistrate in Assange case received financial benefits from secretive partner organisations of UK Foreign Office". Declassified UK. Daily Maverick.
  • Kennard, Matt; Curtis, Mark (22 February 2020b). "UK minister who approved Trump's request to extradite Assange spoke at secretive US conferences with people calling for him to be "neutralized"". Declassified UK. Daily Maverick.
  • Video of the "Don't Extradite Assange" (DEA) demo on Saturday 22 February 2020. 193mins. Speeches in Parliament Square:
  • Klarenberg, Kit (22 February 2020). "'They Should Be In Jail': How The Guardian and New York Times 'Set Up' Julian Assange". Leigh — who allegedly "fawned all over" Assange in the bunker — would go on to coauthor 2011's WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy with the notorious Luke Harding. Underlining Guardian journalists' negligent approach to operational security, in that book the pair decided — contrary to Assange's explicit warnings — to use the confidential encryption password for the entire, uncensored 'Cablegate' archive as a chapter heading, which resulted in the dumping of hundreds of thousands of State Department cables on the web without the selective redactions Assange and other WikiLeaks staffers prepared for them over a period of eight months.
    • Leigh's monumental stupidity in publishing the password has been known about for years, but obviously not well enough to prevent the usual warmongering liars from smearing Assange by falsely claiming that Assange recklessly endangered thousands of lives by publishing unredacted files. Klarenberg's article makes clear why Mark Davis is right to say that "The Guardian and New York Times betrayed Julian Assange in 2010, and have played a pivotal and consciously dishonest role in smearing him ever since."
      • There is some more info about what probably happened at Prabir Purkayastha, "Leigh vs. Assange: Goof Meets the Geek", NEWSClick, 26 September 2011.
      • "Guardian journalist negligently disclosed Cablegate passwords". Editorial. WikiLeaks. 1 September 2011. WikiLeaks severed future projects with the Guardian in December last year after it was discovered that the Guardian was engaged in a conspiracy to publish the cables without the knowledge of WikiLeaks, seriously compromising the security of our people in the United States and an alleged source who was in pre-trial detention. Leigh, without any basis, and in a flagrant violation of journalistic ethics, named Bradley Manning as the Cablegate source in his book. David Leigh secretly passed the entire archive to Bill Keller of the New York Times, in September 2011, or before, knowingly destroying WikiLeaks plans to publish instead with the Washington Post & McClatchy. David Leigh and the Guardian have subsequently and repeatedly violated WikiLeaks security conditions, including our requirements that the unpublished cables be kept safe from state intelligence services by keeping them only on computers not connected to the internet. Ian Katz, Deputy Editor of the Guardian admitted in December 2010 meeting that this condition was not being followed by the Guardian. [...] Two weeks ago, when it was discovered that information about the Leigh book had spread so much that it was about to be published in the German weekly Freitag, WikiLeaks took emergency action, asking the editor not allude to the Leigh book, and tasked its lawyers to demand those maliciously spreading its details about the Leigh book stop.
      • (more to be added to this sublist, dating from around 2011)
    • personal comment: I grew up to the constant refrain from my father (who was a scientist) complaining about the incompetence and stupidity of arts graduates trying to manage a science- and engineering based company such as ICI, the largest industrial company in the UK at the time. Now I don't know whether Leigh is, or is not, an arts graduate: if he is, then that tends to confirm my father's low opinion of arts graduates; if not, then he should have known better. (FWIW, Leigh's co-author Luke Harding is indeed an arts graduate.) Klarenberg's article does confirm the lack of "clue" among Guardian journalists.
    • Note also this quote from Klarenberg: "Simultaneously, Assange himself was also growing increasingly anxious, in his case about the identities of informants and other individuals featured in the logs being revealed — no effort had been made by Guardian journalists to remove a single one, and despite repeated requests he wasn't provided with staff or technical support to redact them. As a result, the WikiLeaks chief took up the "moral responsibility" for the files — his requests for publication to be delayed in order to give him enough time to adequately "cleanse" the documents were ignored, so he was compelled to "literally work all night" to redact around 10,000 names, Davis said."
    • See also Murray 2020b for information revealed by the court case.
  • Caitlin Johnstone, "We're Asking One Question In Assange's Case: Should Journalists Be Punished For Exposing War Crimes?". 23 February 2020.

    And you know what? I think the power behind his [Melzer's] testimony comes from the fact that he realized that he had been duped, and if he, a very intelligent, well read, worldly, informed and educated person could be duped, then anyone can be. No one is immune. Human minds are hackable. We're all very busy with our lives. We're all kept busy by capitalism, and very few of us have the time to do what he did and sit down and take a look at the facts and assess them. And even if they did that, even fewer of them have had the courage of their convictions to put up with the social consequences of changing course. Being manipulated isn't immoral, being a manipulator is. People feel ashamed when they've been conned, but it's not their fault; it's always the fault of the con man. That's why fraud is the crime, and being defrauded is being a victim of that crime.

  • The following written legal submissions are all headed "In the Westminster Magistrates' Court: Government of USA v Julian Assange".
  • Morning and afternoon case reports (short summaries) by Bridges for Media Freedom:
  • Imperialism on Trial - Free Julian Assange event at St Pancras New Church, London. 25 February 2020. The opening few speakers are all worth watching, not so sure about the later panel discussion. A part transcript by Catherine Brown is available here.
  • "The Assange Story. WikiLeaks founder's journey from whistleblowing hero to exile". RT Documentary. 24 February 2020 – via YouTube.
    • with contributions from Renata Ávila, Suelette Dreyfus, Mary Kostakidis, Fidel Narváez, Angela Richter, John Pilger, Konstantin Rozhkov, John Shipton, Johannes Wahlström
    • some useful info on how the psychological torture of Assange began after the change of government in Ecuador; in addition to restricting visits and cutting off telephone and internet access, it also included denying food (hence his weight loss) and even "forgetting" toilet paper
  • Cross, Nina (25 February 2020). "The Health of Julian Assange: A Case of State-sponsored Neglect". 21st Century Wire. Dr. Gill: 'The reports from Nils Melzer are deeply concerning but come as no surprise. Deprivation of liberty, lack of due process, character assassination, threat of extradition and solitary confinement are grossly disproportionate consequences for the allegations made against Julian Assange. The effects of such treatment have devastating effects on mental health and functioning. Chronic stress, poor living conditions, lack of sunlight and human companionship have serious negative physical effects on the body ranging from accelerated cardiovascular disease and neurological deterioration. Given these obvious impacts on Julian Assange's health, it is remarkable that his authorised medical personnel have failed to identify the harms his continued detention are having. The prison regime have consciously decided to continue with Assange's torture by not supporting his immediate release from Belmarsh. The NHS and prison management should be held to account for their actions but there seems little chance of this given all normal processes have been ignored in the treatment of Assange for political reasons.'
    • A long article confirming how Julian Assange is being tortured. Also compares how he is being mistreated with the relatively mild, and respectful, treatment accorded – in contrast to Assange – to some real, genuine convicted criminals being held at Belmarsh, the worst and most violent offenders, including rapists, murderers and terrorists.
  • Hayase, Nozomi (25 February 2020). "Assange's Extradition Hearing Reveals Trump's War on Free Press Is Targeting WikiLeaks Publisher". Common Dreams. The defense for Assange provided a background that led to this prosecution of his client. He noted that 'President Trump came into power with a new approach to freedom of speech …. effectively declaring war on investigative journalists.' He said that 'President Trump met with FBI Director James Comey and agreed that they should be "putting a head on a pike" as a message to journalists over leaks, and "putting journalists in jail."' Edward Fitzgerald QC indicated Assange has become a target of Trump's 'war on leakers and journalists.' He stated that his client was 'the obvious symbol of all that Trump condemned. He had brought American war crimes to the attention of the world.'
  • Murray, Craig (25 February 2020a). "Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 1". (Day 1 = Monday 24 February 2020) More on the second iteration of the kangaroo court. Quotes:
    • "Extradition hearings are not held at Belmarsh Magistrates Court inside Woolwich Crown Court. They are always held at Westminster Magistrates Court as the application is deemed to be delivered to the government at Westminster. Now get your head around this. This hearing is at Westminster Magistrates Court. It is being held by the Westminster magistrates and Westminster court staff, but located at Belmarsh Magistrates Court inside Woolwich Crown Court. All of which weird convolution is precisely so they can use the "counter-terrorist court" to limit public access and to impose the fear of the power of the state."
    • "[District Judge Vanessa] Baraitser of course is but a puppet, being supervised by Chief Magistrate Lady Arbuthnot, a woman so enmeshed in the defence and security service establishment I can conceive of no way in which her involvement in this case could be more corrupt."
    • "There was a separate media entrance and a media room with live transmission from the courtroom, and there were so many scores of media I thought I could relax and not worry as the basic facts would be widely reported. In fact, I could not have been more wrong. I followed the arguments very clearly every minute of the day, and not a single one of the most important facts and arguments today has been reported anywhere in the mainstream media."
      • My comment: a good example of why some of Wikipedia's so-called "reliable sources" are, in certain circumstances, about as unreliable as you can possibly get.
    • "[prosecuting counsel] Lewis had thus just flat out contradicted his entire opening statement to the media stating that they need not worry as the Assange charges could never be applied to them. And he did so straight after the adjournment, immediately after his team had handed out copies of the argument he had now just completely contradicted. I cannot think it has often happened in court that a senior lawyer has proven himself so absolutely and so immediately to be an unmitigated and ill-motivated liar. Yet remarkably I cannot find any mention anywhere in the mainstream media that this happened at all."
      • My comment: need to read the preceding paragraphs in the source to understand this fully, but they are too long to quote here. Again, this illustrates how unreliable some so-called "reliable sources", in some circumstances, really are.
    • plus a lot more worth reading. Note particularly that the breach of lawyer-client confidentiality, on its own, would normally be sufficient grounds for the case to be summarily dismissed.
  • Murray, Craig (26 February 2020b). "Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 2". Day 2 (Tuesday 25 February) at the kangaroo court
    • On Day 2, Assange's lawyers made a statement that on the previous day (Day 1), (quoting Marray) "Julian had twice been stripped naked and searched, eleven times been handcuffed, and five times been locked up in different holding cells. On top of this, all of his court documents had been taken from him by the prison authorities, including privileged communications between his lawyers and himself, and he had been left with no ability to prepare to participate in today's proceedings."
      • my comment. This harassment is completely unnecessary, firstly because Assange is a peaceful person who has committed no crime, and secondly, in an environment as secure as Belmarsh there is no possibility of Assange hiding anything illegal. It is part of a deliberate torture programme, and has nothing to do with security.
    • When asked to intervene with the prison authorities, District Judge Baraitser refused to do so, claiming she had no jurisdiction. The defence QC, Edward Fitzgerald, replied that in his experience "it was common practice for magistrates and judges to pass on comments and requests to the prison service where the conduct of the trial was affected, and that jails normally listened to magistrates sympathetically." After Fitzgerald had been flatly contradicted by Baraitser, the prosecuting counsel rose to confirm that this was normal practice. Murray comments: "The only realistic explanation that occurs to me is that Baraitser has been warned off, because this continual mistreatment and confiscation of documents is on senior government authority."
      • my comment. Read the source for the full details, especially the sneering and condescending attitude of the judge.
    • The defence then spend 4 hours demolishing the prosecution claims. Of these, the most significant is the claim that Assange knowingly put lives at risk. What actually happened is that two Guardian journalists (in an act of monumental stupidity) published the password to the unredacted files in their book about Wikileaks, published in February 2011. At first Wikileaks said nothing about this blunder, in order to avoid drawing attention to it. But in August 2011, the German weekly newspaper Der Freitag announced that it had the unredacted cables. Meanwhile the US government had been helping, along with others, in the redaction work on the cables; hence they knew that these allegations were untrue. See Murray's report for more details. The story is expanded in greater detail in Caitlin Johnstone's Debunking The Smear That Assange Recklessly Published Unredacted Documents.
      • More info also available at Klarenberg 2020.
  • Murray, Craig (27 February 2020c). "Your Man in the Public Gallery – The Assange Hearing Day 3". In yesterday's proceedings in court, the prosecution adopted arguments so stark and apparently unreasonable I have been fretting on how to write them up in a way that does not seem like caricature or unfair exaggeration on my part. What has been happening in this court has long moved beyond caricature. All I can do is given you my personal assurance that what I recount actually is what happened. Day 3 (Wednesday 26 February) at the kangaroo court
    • Seems to me that the "caricature" description applies to District Judge Vanessa Baraitser's behaviour, as much as it does to the prosecution arguments.
    • Baraitser:
      • "mimics concern" by asking, shortly before a break is due anyway, whether Assange would like a break, and then ignoring his response.
      • tells Assange he can only respond through his lawyers - when he's physically prevented, by the court layout, from doing so; moreover when she's ruled that he cannot even pass notes to his counsel.
      • says Assange is a "danger to the public" (WTF???)
    • In response to Baraitser's ludicrous arguments, even Lewis, the prosecution counsel, comes (partly) to Assange's defence, saying "I really don't think that's right". Murray describes Lewis looking at Baraitser "like a kindly uncle whose favourite niece has just started drinking tequila from the bottle at a family party."
    • Murray then factually outlines the lengthy legal arguments, but see Murray 2020d and Murray 2020e for his comments thereon.
  • Murray, Craig (28 February 2020d). "Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day Four". Day 4 (Thursday 27 February) at the kangaroo court
    • Murray begins by pointing out how a written court transcript can be misleading. Tone of voice and body language is also important. Murray notes, 'All these and the other dozen interruptions were designed to appear to show the judge attempting to clarify the defence's argument in a spirit of intellectual testing. But if you heard the tone of Baraitser's voice, saw her body language and facial expressions, it was anything but. The false picture a transcript might give is exacerbated by the courtly Fitzgerald's continually replying to each obvious harassment with "Thank you Madam, that is very helpful", which again if you were there, plainly meant the opposite.'
    • Murray then examines the legal arguments, particularly the prosecution's contention that the treaty provision [Article 4.1] against extradition for political offences does not apply.
    • Murray writes: "It is intensely embarrassing for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) when an English court repudiates the application of a treaty the UK has ratified with one or more foreign states. For that reason, in the modern world, very serious procedures and precautions have been put into place to make certain that this cannot happen. Therefore the prosecution's argument that all the provisions of the UK/US Extradition Treaty of 2007 are not able to be implemented under the Extradition Act of 2003, ought to be impossible." He then explains, from his own experience, and at length, how the process of ratification works. The treaty is examined in detail by every relevant government department and their lawyers. If changes in UK law are needed to enable operation of the treaty, then these are made, but only after they have gone through the normal processes by which laws are made in the UK. Only then can the treaty be ratified. That's how conflict between domestic law and treaty obligations is avoided. He concludes, "It follows of necessity that the UK Government, in seeking to argue now that Article 4.1 is incompatible with the 2003 Act, is knowingly lying. There could not be a more gross abuse of process."
  • Murray, Craig (2 March 2020e). "The Armoured Glass Box is an Instrument of Torture". There is now absolutely no doubt whatsoever that this is a show trial, like the show trials in Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union under Stalin. It is a warning to dissidents not to tell the truth about the crimes and war crimes of powerful people.
    • But it is worse than that: they are deliberately continuing to worsen both his mental and physical health; in other words torture. We know from Melzer that he has already been tortured for years; the point is that the torture is getting worse, and the legal system is doing nothing to stop it.
    • They are hoping that Assange will kill himself before the case goes to appeal at the High Court or the Supreme Court, where it is certain to be thrown out. There are far too many breaches of the law for senior judges to do anything else. Or he might just die anyway: his health has been steadily deteriorating from the torture, and there is a limit to how much torture any one person can stand. Can he really last out until the case gets to the High Court?
      • When I first wrote this, I was unaware that Assange had two small children with Stella Moris (see Moris 2020). This makes it much less likely that Assange will kill himself, but who knows? Long-term torture (whether physical or psychological) can eventually get bad enough to make anyone want to end it.
  • Lauria, Joe (29 February 2020). "ON CONTACT: Julian Assange Extradition with Joe Lauria" (Interview). Interviewed by Chris Hedges. RT America – via YouTube.
    • Reporting on the first week of the kangaroo court; good summary of the main points at stake in this case.
  • "On trial: Julian Assange and journalism". The Listening Post. 1 March 2020. Al Jazeera English – via YouTube – with Stefania Maurizi, Investigative journalist; James Ball, global editor at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism; Rebecca Vincent, UK bureau director, Reporters Without Borders; Nils Melzer, UN special rapporteur on torture
  • Maurizi, Stefania (2 March 2020). "Julian Assange is the defendant, journalism is under trial". Il Fatto Quotidiano. Britain likes to cultivate the image of a country which plays by the rules, but as the WikiLeaks' founder's extradition proceeding enters a crucial phase, the UK authorities are treating a journalist who revealed war crimes and torture as if he were a dangerous criminal. And yet revealing war crimes is the quintessential role of journalism in a democratic society.
  • Mercouris, Alexander (2 March 2020). "Legal Expert Explains Assange Extradition Hearing Legal Arguments" (Interview). Interviewed by Taylor Hudak. Action 4 Assange – via YouTube. Mercouris is a lawyer who formerly practised at the High Court. Main points made by Mercouris:
    • The prosecution have already conceded that the offences are political offences. Mercouris was not not expecting them to concede this point so easily, and in his opinion, this is a "big win" for Assange.
    • On the question of the Extradition Treaty vs. the Extradition Act, Mercouris takes a traditional legal view rather than the pragmatic, administrative view taken by Craig Murray, set out with great clarity by the latter in Murray 2020d. Nevertheless, the end result is much the same, namely that the prosecution case is very weak.
    • There is a large and well established body of law that the layout of a court is important for a fair trial. Assange has very strong grounds for appeal on this point.
    • Contrary to the position taken by District Judge Baraitser, courts are able to intervene on prison conditions.
  • Richter, Angela (5 March 2020). "Im Herzen der Justizfarce". Der Freitag (in German).
  • Waters, Roger (6 March 2020). "Roger Waters explains Julian Assange to Tucker Carlson" (Interview). Interviewed by Tucker Carlson. Fox News – via YouTube.
  • "Doctors4Assange statement on Chelsea Manning". Doctors4Assange. 12 March 2020. Doctors4Assange further notes that the U.K.'s psychological torture of Julian Assange, also called out by Nils Melzer in letters to the U.K. last year, and by our letter to the Lancet in February of this year, continues unabated. We repeat our demand for the immediate release of Assange to an academic hospital for relief from the conditions causing his torture, and for treatment of its effects. In addition, we join leading legal and human rights authorities in calling for the denial of the U.S. extradition request, with its prospect of further psychological torture, including under so-called Special Administrative Measures. Crucially, we repeat that as an untreated victim of ongoing psychological torture Julian Assange is, by definition, unfit for trial.
  • Oliver, Sarah (12 April 2020). "WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange fathered two children inside the Ecuadorian embassy with lawyer, 37, who fell in love with him while helping his fight against extradition to the US". The Mail on Sunday.
    • my comment: Not an ideal source, but this could be helpful when people can see that Assange is a loving father. Worth watching the video where Stella Moris breaks down in tears as she realises that the British state [at the insistence of the United Sates], is now slowly killing her fiancé, having tried for years to break him down and destroy him. Compare and contrast the reaction to Assange's fatherhood to Boris Johnson's philanderings. See for example, this heartless – "excuse me while i [sic] vomit for the foreseeable future" – presstitute at the Guardian.
      • Full video here (11:46mins). "I don't think people understand Julian's extreme situation and pressure that we've been under ... anything can be used against him and has been used against him".
  • Moris, Stella (1 May 2020). "Why Julian Assange must urgently be freed: I want my children to believe that inequitable treatment is not tolerated in mature democracies". El País. It is not just our family who suffers from the infringement of Julian's rights. If our family and Julian's lawyers are not off-limits, then nothing is. The person responsible for allegedly ordering the theft of Gabriel's DNA is Mike Pompeo, who last month threatened the family members of lawyers working at the International Criminal Court. Why? Because the court had had the temerity to investigate alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan. The same crimes that Julian exposed through WikiLeaks, and which the US wants to imprison him over.
  • Oborne, Peter (5 May 2020). "Julian Assange's case exposes British hypocrisy on press freedom". Middle East Eye. If there was an ounce of sincerity in the foreign secretary's claim that he is a supporter of media freedom, he would be resisting the US attempt to get its hands on Assange with every bone in his body. There's not the slightest suggestion that he's doing that. As Human Rights Watch has pointed out, the British authorities have the power to prevent any US prosecution from eroding media freedom. Britain has so far - at least - shown no appetite to exercise that power. Unfortunately for Raab, Assange's real crime is doing journalism. I've never met Assange. Some people that I know and respect say that he is vain and difficult. I believe them. There's no denying, however, that Assange has done more than every other journalist in Britain put together to shed light on the way the world truly works. For example, thanks to Assange that we now know about many violations including: British vote-trading with Saudi Arabia to ensure that both states were elected onto the United Nations human rights council in 2013; the links between the fascist British National Party and members of the police and army; the horrifying details of civilians killed by the US army in Afghanistan.
    • "vain and difficult" - Just imagine, dear reader, that you had been confronted with the catastrophic idiocy of the publication, by Guardian journalists, of the password to the unredacted diplomatic cables. Or the lack of "clue" among said journalists (see Klarenberg 2020 for details). I'm not surprised that my late father (a scientist) would get so infuriated by arts-graduate managers at ICI, trying to manage something they didn't have a clue about. Imagine a professor of English literature at Oxford who had never heard of Shakespeare, as an illustration of their level of incompetence and ignorance. (For the avoidance of doubt, this illustration applies equally to said arts-graduate managers and arts-graduate Guardian journalists, when dealing with matters they're not qualified to handle; they may, of course, be perfectly fine when dealing with other matters.)
  • Broinowski, Alison (22 May 2020). "Man Without A Country: A decade ago, WikiLeaks shocked the world with revelations of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. How Assange's popular following was reversed, his reputation trashed, and his health ruined is a saga which is still playing out". Australian Outlook. AIIA. Retrieved 24 May 2020. The extradition process in March 2020 prolonged this legal farce, with the British prosecutor briefing the media in advance of the hearing on what they should report for the evening deadline. US representatives bizarrely argued to Baraitser that Assange was subject to the US Espionage Act but was not entitled to the protection of the US Constitution, and that the UK Treaties Act applied to him but not the US/UK Extradition Treaty. Whatever produces the desired outcome is what the Americans and their British sycophants will predictably continue to say is legal.
  • Cockburn, Patrick (18 June 2020). "Julian Assange in Limbo". London Review of Books. Vol. 42 no. 12. In themselves they [Wikileaks' revelations] don't explain the degree of rage WikiLeaks provoked in the US government and its allies. This was a response to Assange's assault on their monopoly control of sensitive state information, which they saw as an essential prop to their authority. [...] if disclosures of this kind went unpunished and became the norm, it would radically shift the balance of power between government and society – and especially the media – in favour of the latter. It is the US government's determination to defend its ongoing monopoly, rather than the supposed damage done by the release of the secrets themselves, that has motivated it to pursue Assange and to seek to discredit both him and WikiLeaks. This campaign has been unrelenting and has had a fair measure of success, despite the fact that most of the charges made against Assange are demonstrably untrue.
    It was a sign of desperation on the part of the counterintelligence officers that in seeking evidence against WikiLeaks they were reduced to citing the Taliban as a source. And, as Carr admitted during the defence cross-examination, the Taliban turned out to be lying: 'The name of the individual killed was not in the [WikiLeaks] disclosures.' Despite all this, the lawyer representing the US government at Assange's extradition hearings in London earlier this year still argued that Assange had put the lives of US sources in Iraq and Afghanistan at risk.
    Given the gravity of the issues at stake, the silence of journalists about Assange's detention in Belmarsh following Ecuador's revoking of his asylum status is striking. Here was evidence of a radical shift in US security policy, towards the position taken by countries like Turkey and Egypt, which have sought to criminalise criticism of the state and to conflate the publication of news it doesn't want the public to hear with terrorism or espionage. The creeping suppression of press freedom in Hungary and India is frequently criticised by the Western commentariat. But, as Glenn Greenwald has pointed out in the Intercept, Western media have 'largely ignored what is, by far, the single greatest attack on press freedoms by the US government in the last decade at least: the prosecution and attempted extradition of Julian Assange for alleged crimes arising out of WikiLeaks's ... publication – in conjunction with the world's largest newspapers – of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and US diplomatic cables'. They couldn't jail the editor of the New York Times so they pursued Assange instead.
  • Hrafnsson, Kristinn; Robinson, Jen; Yates, Dale; Ramadami, Sami (21 June 2020). "The Assange case & collateral murder" (Interview). Interviewed by John Rees. Don't Extradite Assange & Consortium News – via YouTube. [Reuters' Baghdad bureau chief Dale] Yates, [...] held the Baghdad post in 2007 when an Apache helicopter airstrike killed two of his staff members, Saeed Chmagh and Noor-Eldeen. Yates wasn't allowed to report on what two U.S. Generals had shown Reuters at the time.
    What we learn now is what Reuters wasn't able to report, in particular how the death of one Reuters employee strongly appears to be a war crime. Yates reels at the deception and says Reuters was cheated by the U.S. brass.
    Sami Ramadani speaks of the Iraqi reaction to the 'Collateral Murder' release and the evidence WikiLeaks published of torture at Abu Ghraib prison. The second Guardian article points out that in Assange's indictment there is no mention of the Baghdad air strike footage, even though 40 of the 175 years in prison Assange faces relates to "Collateral Murder."
    Robinson explains that the charges are in fact about the publication of the Rules of Engagement, which Manning leaked to show that the Baghdad air strike had violated them.
    • Also available at
    • This video is especially valuable because of the contribution from Dale Yates, Reuters bureau chief in Baghdad at the time of the "Collateral Murder" atrocities.
    • Includes a lot more video footage besides the interview. More to be added here.
  • Hogan, William; Frost, Stephen; Johnson, Lissa; Schulze, Thomas G; Nelson, E Anthony S; Frost, William; et al. (25 June 2020). "The ongoing torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange". Correspondence. The Lancet. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(20)31444-6. ISSN 0140-6736. Mr Assange is at grave risk from contracting COVID-19. As he is non-violent, being held on remand, and arbitrarily detained according to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, he meets internationally recommended criteria for prisoner release during COVID-19. A bail application with a plan for monitored home detention was refused, however, and Mr Assange is held in solitary confinement for 23 hours each day. Isolation and under-stimulation are key psychological torture tactics, capable of inducing severe despair, disorientation, destabilisation, and disintegration of crucial mental functions. Given recent attacks against journalists, the psychological torture of a publisher and journalist sets a precedent of international concern.
    We reiterate our demand to end the torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange. IBAHRI states that, in view of Mr Assange being a victim of psychological torture, his extradition to the USA would be illegal under international human rights law. The World Psychiatric Association emphasises that withholding appropriate medical treatment can itself amount to torture, and under the Convention Against Torture, those acting in official capacities can be held complicit and accountable not only for perpetration of torture, but for their silent acquiescence and consent. As physicians, we have a professional and ethical duty to speak out against, report, and stop torture. Silence on Mr Assange's torture might well facilitate his death.
    • PDF version
    • Supplementary material, giving:
      • General background
      • Pattern of abuses contributing to torture
      • COVID-19 pandemic, and Vanessa Baraitser
      • Call to action
      • References
      • Signatories
      • Timeline

The main hearing at the Old Bailey[edit]

The kangaroo court resumes on 7 September 2020.

Leading up to the hearing[edit]

The following sources were published in the period leading up to the main hearing at the Old Bailey.

  • Pollack, Barry (6 September 2020). "An Interview With Barry Pollack, Julian Assange's US Lawyer" (Interview). Interviewed by Kevin Gosztola. The Dissenter. GOSZTOLA: That raises an important question in my mind, which is, how can someone who is not from the U.S. be expected to submit to these U.S. secrecy laws and regulations, especially when he never signed a non-disclosure agreement?
    A key part of these Espionage Act prosecutions are that they are brought forward as strict liability offenses, that he signed something. It seems that there is no evidence whatsoever in favor of the U.S. government that he signed anything to agree to not disclose information.
    POLLACK: That's correct. In the cases that have been brought to date, the charges have been against an employee of the government, a government contractor, a former employee of the government, all people who entered into an agreement with the government that they would not disclose classified information.
    Journalists don't enter into that type of agreement, and every day the New York Times and the Washington Post publish classified information. The Department of Justice has never charged a domestic reporter under the Espionage Act. Up until the current administration, I think it was widely understood that doing so would be inconsistent with the First Amendment.
    Publishers do not have those kinds of non-disclosure agreements. They report what is newsworthy, and that includes classified information that comes into their possession.
  • Lal, Niraj (7 September 2020). "Rubberhose cryptography and the idea behind Wikileaks: Julian Assange as a physics student". Medium. Retrieved 9 September 2020. Present-day analysis of Wikileaks often centres around political influence, Russia, Trump, Clinton and the 2016 US Presidential election. Articles about Julian typically centre around the Swedish allegations now cancelled, the geopolitics of his incarceration, the substance of the US Grand Jury indictments, or the legality of UK extradition.
    But seldom do they focus on Julian's idea behind Wikileaks — not just the leaks themselves and the changes they have swept before them, but the formidable concept of surveillance being applied to structural power. This article aims to help address this imbalance, providing some personal perspectives on Julian as a thinker, his motivation for harnessing the tools of cryptography for the strength of the fourth estate, and his profound achievements in shining light on structural influence in the 21st Century. If the analysis of the possible UK extradition is what you're after, the Open Letter from Lawyers for Assange is an excellent start:
    Julian argued that the greatest achievement of Wikileaks isn't the exposure of 15,000 unreported civilian deaths in Iraq. Nor the corruption in Kenya, India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, and countless countries around the world. Nor the exposure of the Church of Scientology, or the British National Party, or Stephen Conroy's Internet filter, or the behaviour of Barclays, Kaupthing and the Julius Baer Bank. Nor the documentation of generations of global political fealty to the US State Department. Nor the exposure of vast privatised surveillance across continents.
    Instead, the greatest achievement of Wikileaks is to shine the spotlight of surveillance on those who wield structural power. To help make a world where people who do wrong in the public's name, get found out. To make governments of the future pause before they commit to the unethical, illegal or unconstitutional. To make those who would commit acts of atrocity consider the possibility of future exposure.

Witnesses' evidence statements (in alphabetical order):

On the main hearing[edit]

The following sources report, or comment on, the main hearing at the Old Bailey.

  • Craig Murray's daily court reports (the summaries here are not exhaustive, just the main points):
    • Murray, Craig (8 September 2020). "Your Man in the Public Gallery: the Assange Hearing Day 6". Retrieved 10 September 2020. (Day 6 = 7 Septermber 2020)
      • Unlike Belmarsh, Julian Assange was able to communicate freely with his lawyers, but is still behind a glass screen.
      • Only the 5 friends and family of the accused were allowed into the public gallery, which can hold about 40 people. Murray himself was given one of these places by the family.
      • Journalists and others, including John Pilger and Kristin Hrafnsson, editor in chief of Wikileaks were confined to an adjacent courtroom, which had only an inadequate video link. Representatives of Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and members of the German Federal Parliament were excluded. The latter were eventually admitted following strong protests from the German embassy.
      • (another "WTF" moment from "Vicious Vanessa":) In trying to explain why she had cut off remote access from so many interested parties, Baraitser claimed it was because, unlike the public in the courtroom, she could not control their behaviour.
      • Tension rose in the courtroom when both Baraitser and the prosecution tried to block defence witnesses giving their evidence in open court, arguing that all the witnesses had previously submitted evidence in writing, so it was only necessary to hear the prosecution's cross-examination. The defence lawyers rightly refused to back down; eventually Baraitser compromised by imposing a guillotine of 30mins on each defence witness, when the original schedule was 1 hour 45mins for each witness. Murray commented, "What came over most strongly from this question was the desire of both judge and prosecution to railroad through the extradition with as little of the case against it getting a public airing as possible."
      • A long argument ensued about the US government's extraordinary tactic of replacing the previous indictment with a new superseding indictment (too long to be summarised here - see Murray's report), giving the defence only 6 weeks notice. Baraitser read out a pre-written judgement – taking no account of the lawyers' arguments – that the court should proceed on the basis of the superseding indictment. An "extremely distinguished and well-known lawyer" whom Murray spoke to later confirmed that this was "not normal practice, it was totally outrageous".
    • Murray, Craig (9 September 2020). "Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 7". Retrieved 10 September 2020. (Day 7 = 8 Septermber 2020)
      • The day began with the evidence of Clive Stafford Smith – see his witness statement at Stafford Smith (2020, §86–87).
      • The afternoon dealt with the evidence of Professor Mark Feldstein – see his witness statement at Feldstein (2020) – continued from the previous day.
    • Murray, Craig (10 September 2020). "Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 8". Retrieved 10 September 2020. (Day 8 = 9 Septermber 2020)

General background reading[edit]


The list above can be daunting; there is far too much to read in one session. I recommend starting with Melzer 2020 – well written, by an expert who knows what he's talking about, and who covers all the main points. Still quite substantial, but possible to read in one sitting. A top-quality, impeccable source.

The next on the list should be Caitlin Johnstone's superb compilation at Johnstone 2019. I've put it at the top of my list because it is so good. Probably too long for most people to read in one go; I recommend reading the introduction, then skimming through the rest, but do come back to it from time to time until you've read it all.

Finally, it is not possible to understand the attacks against Assange (both the physical (especially the torture), and the verbal attacks (the propaganda)) without understanding how propaganda operates in nominally democratic countries:

Watch this video Noam Chomsky - The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine, 2 March 2017. It's only 5 minutes – a little levity, in contrast to the heavy reading above, but a good, easy-to-understand introduction to how the propaganda system works.
  • Herman, Edward S.; Chomsky, Noam (1994). Manufacturing consent: the political economy of the mass media. London: Vintage. ISBN 978-0-09-953311-5. OCLC 32467794. The UK edition of Herman and Chomsky's 1988 classic work. Essential reading.
  • Herman, Edward S.; Chomsky, Noam (2002). Manufacturing consent: the political economy of the mass media. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 978-0-375-71449-8. OCLC 47971712. Updated version of the classic work.
  • Edwards, David; Cromwell, David (2018). Propaganda blitz: how the corporate media distort reality. Media Lens. London: Pluto Press. ISBN 978-0-7453-3811-8. OCLC 1054056200. May be easier to appreciate than Herman and Chomsky, as the examples given are much more recent. Oriented towards the UK rather than the US.


Agreed that you need to read outside the commercial media if you want to get a full appreciation of what is happening with Assange. Luckily el pais and la republicca are covering some aspects of the case so that we can get some of the information into Wikipedia. Burrobert (talk) 14:26, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

I suggest writers call the growing number of Western democracies who are going back to the third world model 'hamburger republics'. 'Ham' as in ham actor,etc. Best wishes for the new, even if probably more digusting, year.Nishidani (talk) 13:18, 31 December 2019 (UTC)

Interesting (coincidence?) that you should mention "hamburger", as I've been contemplating expanding the (new) Helen Steel article, and other articles associated with the McLibel case. Unlike most peace activists/dissidents, there are some decent sources available on Steel.
The accounts of visitors to Assange in Belmarsh remind me of visiting Brook House, the larger of the two immigration detention centres at Gatwick, the same dehumanization – just more extreme. And I can also see similarities with the psychological effect on my father of three years as a Japanese PoW in the Second World War. But at least my father had the moral support of his comrades, not isolation, as is the case with Assange. --NSH001 (talk) 14:16, 31 December 2019 (UTC)

Friday the thirteenth[edit]

Well, it looks like this country (England at any rate, but possibly not Scotland) is doomed.

In the 1930s in Germany it was anti-Jewish racism (=antisemitism); today in England it's anti-immigrant racism.

  • The NHS is going to be destroyed, and people still don't realise it.
    • more on how the NHS is being slowly and deliberately destroyed
  • More poverty, more homelessness, more distress, and people don't realise it's coming.
  • More lying and smearing (Johnstone 2019).
  • The end of genuine hope for a better society.
  • We had a chance of a Prime minister with honesty, compassion, empathy and integrity.
  • Instead we get a toxic, repulsive, Prime Minister, a repeated, flat-out liar, incompetent at everything he does except his own self-advancement, regarded as a bad joke by politicians overseas with only a few exceptions, possibly including Donald Trump (actually, I suspect Trump thinks he is a joke, but won't say so until the USA is finally able to cash in on the NHS, causing millions of premature deaths in the UK) (Oborne 2019)
  • The system is rigged to destroy politicians of compassion and integrity.[a]
  • Now watch the bogus antisemitism smears switched off like a light bulb, while real antisemitism goes on unchecked

The blindingly obvious[edit]

Given the extraordinary vicious, unprincipled campaign of lying, smears, deceit and deception against Corbyn and the Labour Party, it would not be surprising to find these liars using every dirty trick in the book. Hard to imagine that they would have any scruples about rigging the vote-counting process, probably focussing on the postal votes in about 50 to 100 marginal constituencies. Unfortunately it takes time and effort to dig up the evidence to prove it, but some people are working on it. Watch this space.

A month later[edit]

Quite a good analysis from The New York Review of Books[b][c][d] by David Graeber.

Quotes and notes

  1. ^ "This was an election of two illusions.
    "The first helped persuade much of the British public to vote for the very epitome of an Eton toff, a man who not only has shown utter contempt for most of those who voted for him but has spent a lifetime barely bothering to conceal that contempt.
    "We on the left didn’t lose this election. We lost our last illusions. The system is rigged – as it always has been – to benefit those in power. It will never willingly allow a real socialist, or any politician deeply committed to the health of our societies and to the planet, to take that power away from the corporate class. That, after all, is the very definition of power. That is what the corporate media is there to achieve." (Cook 2019)
  2. ^ " The country is now being governed by a hard-right government placed in power by its oldest citizens, in the face of the active hatred of its increasingly socialist-inclined youth. It’s fairly clear that for the Johnson team, Brexit was never anything but an electoral strategy, and that they don’t have the slightest idea how to translate it into economic prosperity." (Graeber 2020).
  3. ^ "Margaret Hodge, Labour MP for an East London constituency, really set off the summer’s conflagration in 2018 when she denounced Corbyn in Parliament as (in her words) “a fucking anti-Semite and a racist” over a purely technical quarrel over whether all the examples would be included when Labour adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism; but Corbyn supporters were quick to point out that the two had first tangled over Jewish issues in 1987, when Hodge was head of the Islington Council, and Corbyn, then a young local MP, had joined with Jewish activist groups to stop the council from selling the site of an Orthodox cemetery to property developers. Corbyn actually had a long history of supporting Jewish causes and had worked especially closely with the Haredim community." (Graeber 2020).
  4. ^ "Accusing Corbyn of being personally indifferent, or even sympathetic, to what happened when the floor was opened to everyone was a textbook application of Karl Rove’s famous principle of swiftboating: if one really wishes to discredit a political opponent, one attacks not his weaknesses, but his strengths. Until then, even Corbyn’s enemies had admitted he was an honest man and a dedicated antiracist. Suddenly, he stood accused of being himself, personally, anti-Semitic, and of being a lying weasel for denying it." (Graeber 2020).


As usual you are probably right[edit]

but, by way of explanation, I linked as author, Aviv Tatarsky to Ir Amim because that NGO does great documentary work, and Aviv T is one of their chief researchers, and has mastered all the details of these things. I occasionally link people that way, to their employer organization, so that a reader can get an idea they are not merely opinionizing joe-or-jean blows, but seriously engaged in research, i.e. competent. Clicking now, I see that the Ir Amin page doesn't mention him, which is a pity. Cheers and thanks Nishidani (talk) 15:21, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

Well yes, but not quite. I did later spot that Ir Amin is mentioned at the bottom of the source, so there is a valid argument for linking it. But my view is that that is not what |author-link= is meant for, and its use should be restricted to articles on the author only. Misusing something in this way just stores up trouble for the future (I've seen too many IT disasters caused by taking similar shortcuts). The Ir Amim article is interesting, so my advice would be to try and mention it in the article text somewhere, if possible. --NSH001 (talk) 15:57, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

Books & Bytes – Issue 39, May – June 2020[edit]

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Books & Bytes
Issue 39, May – June 2020

  • Library Card Platform
  • New partnerships
    • ProQuest
    • Springer Nature
    • BioOne
    • CEEOL
    • IWA Publishing
    • ICE Publishing
  • Bytes in brief

Read the full newsletter

On behalf of The Wikipedia Library team --MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 06:13, 11 June 2020 (UTC)

You might be busy[edit]

But could you get that winsome littlesSheila of yours to swing her bot and romp through the FA candidate Manilal Dwivedi by any chance in the next week or so? Best Nishidani (talk) 13:28, 15 June 2020 (UTC)

See the discussion here.Nishidani (talk) 13:29, 15 June 2020 (UTC)
Hello. Thanks for your help on Manilal Dwivedi. Could you do the same for User:Gazal world/Fasana-e-Azad and Siddhantasara ? I want to nominate the later for GA. Thanks. --Gazal world (talk) 11:40, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
Gazal world - OK, done. Note that templates like {{Subscription required}} and {{Closed access}} are now deprecated; instead you should use the appropriate choice(s) from the numerous access-control parameters, as described in the cite template documentation. They give you much better control over which items are restricted, and the precise level of access. See, for example, {{Cite book}}. I've fixed most of them for you, but I deliberately left one for you to fix yourself. Also note that you sometimes get |script-title= and |title= mixed up. Good luck with the GA! --NSH001 (talk) 15:38, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
Hey NSH001. Thank you very very much. I noted both the points you indicated, and 'll take care of it next time. --Gazal world (talk) 16:59, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
BDW, how do you do this ? Can I do it myself ? --Gazal world (talk) 17:21, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

I use a script that I wrote myself (and am still developing, as a sort of retirement hobby). Perhaps you and others will be able to use it one day, but it won't be for a while yet (think years rather than weeks or months). See the very long pinned thread above (the 2nd pinned thread) for my motivation in writing it. That thread also gives a part-description of what it does. I once called the script my "little baby", but she is now rapidly growing up. Nishidani is her honorary great-uncle, and I still have to think of a name for my (mythical) baby. --NSH001 (talk) 18:18, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

I've always taken uncle/great uncle/godfather duties very seriously, and so I'll have to wring the grey smatter over the next few months or years to make a list of possible suggestions for her rite de passage into the wider internet. Best to you both.Nishidani (talk) 20:01, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
While eating a few minutes ago somewhat dutifully a slice of meat pie I'd cooked yesterday (using for once a glutin-free flour because part of the result was intended as a gift to a relative with an allergy - unfortunately the pastry spoiled the repaste, though the mince, onion, peas, dash of garlic, potatoes, carrot ingredients retained their savour) I came up with one possible monicker, i.e. Boscuccia. It's, as I can't help an early intoxication from that source, somewhatJoycean. and not classical. Saint John Bosco is the patron saint of copyeditors. 'Bosco' of course is a wood, much like the selva oscura of Dante's incipit, the zone where man errs. -uccia is intended as the feminine of the caressive diminutive suffix-uccio. So the neologism would mean, to the philologically adept, 'sweet patroness of the art of copyediting.' (when I was a boy, the clan consensus was that I probably made good jokes, but that you needed a dictionary to work out where the laugh was:). But I toss it your way seriously. Prospective names are best fished up intuitively, in a satori moment that synthesizes unconscious mulling's infinite gameplay. It takes me weeks, sometimes a month, to work out a pet's name from its pristine behavior. Nomen is, after all, an omen, and an amen. (Lucky I'm childless!) Best Nishidani (talk) 19:15, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
Where to start? Well, I've got plenty of time to cogitate over the name. I quite like your devious reasoning, but I'm not sure I'll actually use it. I trust that, with enough time, the right answer will come to me. Meanwhile: .... back in the days before internet, I used to translate letters for a group of Quakers who supported political prisoners in oppressive regimes. The prisoners were referred to the group by Amnesty, who wouldn't campaign for prisoners who had used violence. It might look odd for Quakers (who abhor violence) to be doing this but we thought they still deserved support at a personal level, and couldn't condemn their use of violence given the environment in which they found themselves. No shortage of horrific regimes in Latin America, all supported by the US; Chomsky was writing a lot about them at the time. One of the things that caused me difficulty back then, given my lack of knowledge about the Catholic church (no Wikipedia!) was my lamentable ignorance of orders such as the Salesians or "saints" such as Juan Bosco and would sometimes have to go down to the library to check. The name Bosco and the Salesians immediately rang a bell, but it took me a while to remember where I had encountered it before.
Bosco's article shows a statue of him in Ronda, which brings back memories of cycle-touring in Spain. I had cycled there in one day from Gibraltar, one of the most spectacular routes in Europe, and a bicycle is the best way to experience it. It was about 80 miles and very hilly, and would not have been possible without the fuel from a huge English breakfast in Gibraltar. The yellow Michelin map was misleading: it correctly showed a 700m climb to about the same altitude as Ronda; what it didn't show was another 3 or 4 valleys with a similar descent/ascent, so I didn't arrive in Ronda till about 10pm (not a problem in Spain, where they start their evening meal at about midnight). But cycling in the dark meant getting a nasty electric shock through the handlebars if I went too fast downhill – the lamp/dynamo system had special circuitry to divert excess power via the bike frame, to avoid blowing the bulb. Worth it, though, for the experience. --NSH001 (talk) 11:08, 22 June 2020 (UTC)


Seem to have screwed up at least one thing at Khazars, to gather from the red ink at the bottom of the page. Any ideas? It seems to be connected to my last edit using efn and Miller as a source? Uh, fatigue, fatigue, no more however than what you have to put up with coping with my messes. Best in this dour covid times, as always Nishidani (talk) 12:43, 12 July 2020 (UTC)

OK, I've put in a quick fix for now. Will get the above-mentioned young lady to fix it properly later, once you've finished going through the page. --NSH001 (talk) 13:11, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
I've screwed up massively because a mass of notes have disappeared from the visible page as I muddle harvid/harvnb/sfn/efn. I'm too exhausted to see to it myself. Perhaps the simplest solution is to just revert the text to what it was before the damage I inflicted took place. Sorry Nishidani (talk) 16:53, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
Nah, you didn't really mess anything up, you merely didn't notice the two forms of notes. Well, you did miss out a closing brace pair "}}", which has the potential of being difficult to find and fix (given there were 712 of the little buggers), but mah wee gurl spotted exactly where it was, so no great problem. You actually did quite well at fixing the no-target errors, there's now only one left. Unfortunately the mythical young lady had herself gone down with a couple of bugs, which took her a while to recover from. But she's better now, though the ailments took a while to diagnose. --NSH001 (talk) 02:44, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
At this point I'm beginning to worry that someone will, with good grounds, dob me in to the flicks for child molestation: due to my recently acquired life status, it looks like she's been struck by co-wid. Thanks pal. Few things are reliable in my world; you two, ungrudgingly patient and helpful, are.Nishidani (talk) 07:12, 13 July 2020 (UTC)


Hi. I don't really have any advise to bestow because I no longer possess a firm recollection of the matter. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Regards, El_C 20:15, 28 June 2020 (UTC)

No problem, thanks anyway for the reply. --NSH001 (talk) 20:24, 28 June 2020 (UTC)

NomdeA SPI[edit]

In the SPI request made for NomdeA at the end of 2019 it was noted that geolocation put the operation of the accounts in question at some distance from each other, though the edits were spaced well apart in time. In the Philip Girladi article, there is a much more closely spaced set of edits. Just thought it could possibly be useful to point that out. I have wondered, in any case, how well the SPI investigators can deal with geo-spoofing.     ←   ZScarpia   14:36, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

Oh boy, I've only just seen your message, and taken a quick look at NomdeA's latest contributions, now he really is "extracting the Michael".
I think, and have thought, that the NomdeA account has been screaming "SOCKPUPPET" at the top of its voice ever since it started up. We can only speculate re the technical details. I can quickly think of one way it can be done, but that requires a collaborator at the requisite geographical distance (I see that NomdeA is using a mobile - something I hadn't noticed at the time of the SPI) in charge of a mobile device. There are, however, a few edits from the NomdeA account which have not been made from a mobile, and it would be interesting to know what IP addresses they were from. A while ago I had considered raising it via Arbcom rather than SPI, but left it, as A/ the account was not active and B/ the account is under intense scrutiny, both off-wiki and on-wiki.
I have no doubt that Cross has the backing of very powerful forces who have the resources to enable him to fool the Checkuser tool, and that there are many ways to do this besides the one I have thought of. I am also aware that so many people have been so pissed off for so long by the way that Cross has, in their view, been abusing Wikipedia that they are considering starting a class action lawsuit against Cross, and probably also against the WMF for allowing the abuse to continue. I wouldn't be surprised if such a court case reveals some very interesting details of how Cross is working.
I have to go out very shortly now, but will certainly be looking at this more closely when I get back. Thanks for the note. --NSH001 (talk) 16:12, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
P.S. For reference, here's a permalink to a version of the original SPI with some additional info. --NSH001 (talk) 14:00, 23 July 2020 (UTC)
As time passes, the way a lot of current events look to history will look much different to the way they are presented now by the news organisations. I imagine researchers examining diffs to to determine why Wikipedia articles were written the way they were. My guess is that the saga of Philip Cross will crop up in in their reports.     ←   ZScarpia   21:08, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

Qui audet vincit.[edit]

Some good news, for a change. --NSH001 (talk) 13:57, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

(For the record, I contributed to her fundraiser)--NSH001 (talk) 13:57, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

I'm a great belief in qui audit, evincit ('those who listen (closely), will overcome obstacles in the end/ though I can't help with Italianized ears overhearing it as 'who listens, makes the right inferences) but I can't listen in here, since my browser is denied Twitter access. But I take your word for it that some lady associated with decency has achieved some improvement in her political ranking.Nishidani (talk) 17:31, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
Well you can read her statement here (not surprisingly, the "mainstream" media aren't reporting it). As a general rule, I dislike lawyers, but she seems to be among the decent sort, who aren't motivated mainly by money and/or status The Qui audet vincit comes from her tweet introducing the statement. --NSH001 (talk) 18:31, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
Oops, I take back that bit about the mainstream media [2]. --NSH001 (talk) 19:48, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
Proof again, if it were needed, that we live in an Orwellian world. Repulsive, esp. the obsessive use of anti-Semitism claims to oust people you dislike and stack the void with lipserving stooges. Nishidani (talk) 21:28, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

Update: Excellent 39-minute video of interview with Jane Heybroek here. Might comment further if and when I get some time, but would anyone like to have their house taken off them, just over a re-tweet? UK libel law needs drastic reform. --NSH001 (talk) 17:41, 3 August 2020 (UTC)


The sabotage by senior Labour Party officials against Jeremy Corbyn during his leadership was bad enough. See the leaked March 2020 Labour Party Report (851 pages)], from which it is clear that they worked very hard indeed to prevent Labour winning the 2017 general election. Now this article (a must-read) appears:

  • Ryle, Joe (7 August 2020). "I saw from the inside how Labour staff worked to prevent a Labour government". openDemocracy. Retrieved 7 August 2020. When I'd started previous jobs I'd arrive to some kind of handover notes. But when Corbyn and McDonnell walked in on day one, the small team that had joined after working on Corbyn's leadership campaign turned up to find that someone had prepared for our arrival in a more unconventional way: many of the computers had gone missing and the offices weren't properly set up.
    "The few computers that were in the office were the oldest ones possible and they kept crashing all the time", a former senior adviser to Jeremy Corbyn tells me. "The situation was so dire that one time after a day on the road with Jeremy I came back to find that a new colleague had taken my screen because he didn't have one."
    The situation in John McDonnell's offices was even worse. "When we took up the offices they were completely gutted of their contents. There were only half pulled out staples in the walls and bits of blue tack. The desks were without chairs let alone computers and I had to work off my own mobile and laptop", my former colleague James Mills, who was John McDonnell's Head of Communications, remembers all too well.

Now I suppose there's room for legitimate disagreement within any political party over policy, but stealing their office equipment, and trashing what's left? And then doing everything possible to obstruct their work? When they're paid to do the opposite?

I must confess I have a certain tenuous connection with Iain McNicol, who was General Secretary of the Labour Party while this sabotage was going on. He gave himself the title of "Baron McNicol of West Kilbride" when Corbyn nominated him to the House of Lords. I went to the same primary school – in the very same Victorian school building that produced a Nobel peace laureate – in West Kilbride, and the same secondary school (Ardrossan Academy) as McNicol did a generation later. Although he uses the handle "West Kilbride", he actually comes from Thirdpart, which lies about half-way between Seamill and Portencross, and is not really part of West Kilbride. There was a girl in the same year group as me, all the way through primary and secondary school, who also came from Thirdpart. Her family had a smallholding there (from memory, of about 12 acres), very fertile agricultural land. You could see Thirdpart, about 2 miles away, from my parents' bedroom window. I can remember her first name, but can't be sure of her surname. It's quite likely it was McNicol, but I can't be sure (it was more than half a century ago). So it is quite possible I attended school with McNicol's paternal aunt. She was a nice girl, very likeable, quite a contrast with her appalling nephew (if he really is her nephew).

So it's quite embarrassing to have this connection with McNicol, as I could hardly disapprove more strongly of what he did. As a result of his well-rewarded treachery we now have the worst government in this country since the end of the Second World War. --NSH001 (talk) 20:36, 7 August 2020 (UTC)

It's not unique to GB. It's happened to Labour parties the world over as the middle class first thinks of them as vehicles of social reform, and then, is won over to the premise that this means being 'economically sensible' in the sense that that is defined by the rightwing, so one has to rid the party of its historic 'residue' of 'outdated' 'Marxist' beliefs about the 'system'. In doing this they throw the baby out with the bathwater, transforming themselves into essentially the 'responsible' 'realistic', 'pragmatic' voice for the kind of ideology they share with the right wing. As soon as the left shifts to the 'centre', the right swerves further to the right, and new 'left' adapts to that too, trailing after every shift of its historic adversary. The result is the kind of sharp-nosed, Wall-Street accredited hucksterism that tries to root out and rout the Corbyns in their ranks as 'ideological' drift wood that worries 'markets' and undermines prospects of real power. Blair, that clown Renzi in Italy, Trudeau, the pathetic Democrats in the US and the laughable 'centrists' in Israel. A serious modern left went out with the passage of men of the caliber of Gough Whitlam in Australia, Pierre Trudeau in Canada, and Helmut Schmidt in Germany. What these reformers don't notice is that is being the conservative version of a rightwing vision of the state, they will always be outrun by 'conservatives' on the right who go so far right that they end up embracing, in their rhetoric, a kind of radical populism that appeals to the struggling social majority which once constituted the basis of socialist parties. The result is a paradox, with, discursively, the Right seizing the left's historic constituencies, while the 'left' woos the residual metropolitan middle class.Nishidani (talk) 16:09, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

Suggestion: Write an essay?[edit]

I skimmed § Citation and referencing style, and I only have a vague idea of what LHT and ETVP mean. I suggest that you write an essay in a new subpage of your userspace that succinctly defines the terms and gives examples, as in WP:CS and WP:CT. My first impression is that you have "buried the lead" in § Citation and referencing style. I am sympathetic to what appears to be your support for citation style diversity. Biogeographist (talk) 15:31, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

No, I won't, but I do intend eventually to set up some documentation for ETVP, as noted in my recent update to the long thread above. I've already made a start on this at User:NSH001/ETVP/examples. Note that /examples is a sub-page of /ETVP, which is itself a sub-page of my user page. I started with /examples, as looking at actual examples is often the best way of understanding how something works. Note that the documentation will eventually require many different subpages, which will all be under the /ETVP sub-page.
The thread above was never intended to act as a documentation page. Rather it started off as a thread like any other, but when Doc James didn't respond, it slowly developed into a place where I could dump my frustration at the ovewhelming presence on Wikipedia of the dungheap citation style. Nevertheless the terms you mention are clearly bolded where they're first mentioned, and there is enough there to get at least a basic understanding of what it's about. --NSH001 (talk) 22:10, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

Where did I screw up[edit]

in my recent draft in my sandbox which redlinks Kimelman as some problem at 'position 37'? Nishidani (talk) 12:43, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

Mah wee gurl refused to start work on your draft, complaining that there were 128 closing bracket pairs ("]]"), but only 126 opening ones. This type of error is usually quite easy to fix, since the superfluous bracket pairs will display quite openly on the visible page, and all one needs to do is ctrl-F to find them. In doing so, I noticed that you had misused {{lang-ar}}, which normally should only be used to display actual Arabic script (obvious, really, since the template is there to tell your browser, and any other software like spell-checkers and screen readers for the blind, that it's dealing with a foreign language and not English). So I fixed that, and added the transliteration option, which I think was your original intention. The other offender was a "[ [" which should have read "[[", hence was not recognised as an opening bracket pair.
The error you mentioned is almost certainly an invisible unicode control character; this usually happens when you copy-paste from Microsoft Word or similar word processor. You can get rid of it, as I've explained before, by using the backspace or delete key (the message even tells you exactly where it is), but I didn't bother, as mah wee gurl now handles it.
As usual, she has offered up the usual delicious array of red question marks for your delectation. Face-smile.svg --NSH001 (talk) 16:25, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
Thanks pal, and give a virtual bunch of roses to the little sheila. I don't presume to understand what you wrote, but since I can now see the problems in red, I don't really need to:)Nishidani (talk) 20:44, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

Books & Bytes – Issue 40[edit]

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Books & Bytes
Issue 40, July – August 2020

  • New partnerships
    • Al Manhal
    • Ancestry
    • RILM
  • #1Lib1Ref May 2020 report
  • AfLIA hires a Wikipedian-in-Residence

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Sent by MediaWiki message delivery on behalf of The Wikipedia Library team --10:14, 10 September 2020 (UTC)


i.e.this, making me burst out laughing on what is, otherwise, a painful anniversary. Sorry for the bovver my hapless negligence causes (and probably always will cause).Nishidani (talk) 11:36, 21 September 2020 (UTC)

Thanks. It's a small consolation that the pain will diminish with time, though it never goes away completely. I lost my mother (to breast cancer) when I was only 28. It still hurts to think about it after so many years, but I know she would have wanted me to get on with my life, after shedding a few tears. No need to apologise about your "negligence", you're a great asset to have in helping me develop my script, even if unwittingly. And it's a pleasure to help you develop your articles quickly without your having to use up valuable time worrying about technical niceties. --NSH001 (talk) 15:31, 21 September 2020 (UTC)
Were I to say at what age I lost mine, it would seem like vying. But bugger it. I never celebrate my birthday because she died to the hour two decades precisely after she bore me, and only had a moment to set her face with a smile for those who would find her. A remarkable generation. Best Nishidani (talk) 21:29, 21 September 2020 (UTC)
Patrick Cockburn, 'The Assange Extradition Case is an Unprecedented Attack on Press Freedom, So Why’s the Media Largely Ignoring It?,' CounterPunch 6 October 2020.(' The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, says that non-Americans like Assange do not enjoy First Amendment rights to free expression.') I understand thugs pretty will, dickheads in power who don't know the meaning, if any, of the sentences they spout. What is harder to grasp is the average inability to perceive the obvious. Like our olfactory senses, this hunter's capacity to interpret the spours in one's environment to work out what is going on, seems to have been elided as one of the collateral side effects of civilization. Evolution as devolution, or should that be devolition? Nishidani (talk) 15:15, 6 October 2020 (UTC)
Wow, there's a coincidence, was reading that very article before I clicked on Wikipedia and saw your message. Might reply later, as I'm about to go out to do some shopping. --NSH001 (talk) 15:54, 6 October 2020 (UTC)

Precious anniversary[edit]

Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg
Seven years!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:18, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Thanks Gerda, your thought and care is always very much appreciated. --NSH001 (talk) 07:24, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Request for Peer Review[edit]

Hello! I am currently editing an article, Cannabis in Brunei, for a university assignment. The article has been significantly edited by another Wikipedia user, specifically regarding the references and in-text citations/endnotes (I originally used Turabian style sourcing, but the user has changed this). However, the user did not explain what specifically was incorrect within the original citations that I inserted into the articles–as a student I would like to understand what I could improve upon. A fellow university peer of mine stated that YOU have significantly aided them in editing their citations, therefore I am kindly asking if you could check out the Cannabis in Brunei article, and let me know what I could fix within the citations? I understand that you might be quite busy, therefore I understand if this peer-review is not possible, but it would be greatly appreciated. –KatKucing (talk) 02:51, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

Replied on KatKucing's talk page. --NSH001 (talk) 10:04, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

Books & Bytes – Issue 41[edit]

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Books & Bytes
Issue 41, September – October 2020

  • New partnership: Taxmann
  • WikiCite
  • 1Lib1Ref 2021

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Sent by MediaWiki message delivery on behalf of The Wikipedia Library team --10:48, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

ArbCom 2020 Elections voter message[edit]

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