User talk:PeterStJohn

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Hello, PeterStJohn, and welcome to Wikipedia! ...[elided conventional advice] Again, welcome!  Hu 14:46, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

and btw thank you, Hu. Pete St.John (talk) 18:46, 4 March 2008 (UTC)


Thanks re: Neuron article[edit]

Thank you for alerting us to the vandal edit on the Neuron article. I have reverted it. You can too, as with experience you will recognize it quickly. The great majority of vandalism is done by anonymous IP address editors. Hu 14:46, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

SQL Mirror[edit]

It's not a bad idea, but we already have something similar ;) Have a look at meta:Toolserver. Bjelleklang - talk 04:39, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

What about IRC? Have a look at, and join me and others at #wikipedia-bootcamp, or if you use another client, #wikimedia-toolserver. Bjelleklang - talk 04:58, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Temporary bug report[edit]

{{helpme}} the page Special:WantedPages or [Special:WantedPages] appears to down; it shows zero counts. There is a note on the talk page from yesterday, so the failure seems to be about a day old. I don't have access to IIRC from this machine and didn't know a better mechanism for bringing this to the attention to someone more clueful, other than 'helpme'. Thanks. Peter H. St.John, M.S. 17:29, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

The best place to aim messages of this sort is probably the technical Village Pump (WP:VPT). --ais523 17:36, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


I have moved PeteScratchPad to User:PeterStJohn/ScratchPad. Personal pages are perfectly OK but they must have the correct names. -- RHaworth 16:00, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


Responded here. ike9898 04:14, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks. I tried to cleam up the article per your critique and discussed it some, with links, on your Talk page. Pete St.John 17:46, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for making me laugh[edit]

Barnstar of Humour3.png The Barnstar of Good Humor
Awarded to Pete St.John for making me laugh out loud. Great humor and witty observations are always appreciated - keep it up! -- Satori Son 21:51, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm still laughing about this one! Keep up the good work and feel free to move this to your user page if you'd like. -- Satori Son 21:51, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

  • thanks! --Pete

Blue Collar Computing[edit]

Peter, I'm also concerned about the Blue collar article, as I think it may be a direct cut and paste from the website about it. This could be a copyright violation in addition to sounding like an advertisement. What do you think we should do?--Analogue Kid 15:32, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I replied at OSC item on your talk page. I think you are helping them out, by editting their POV advertising before someone who doesn't care just reverts or deletes it. Pete St.John 15:40, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Just a note[edit]

Just so you know, you don't have to pipelink every time you link to everything with spaces in the name. Sample Article will land at Sample_Article, and doesn't require any piping. And mass will go to Mass just fine. The Wiki software always assumes an initial capital, so you don't have to worry about that either. PMC 21:03, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks, I was suspicious (because I noticed the typography you used) but didn't take the time to check it out. Pete St.John 22:46, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Shelob and probability theory[edit]

you’re right, intuition is tricky. even having slightly “improved” my intuition based on already knowing about the birthday paradox, mine still broke down, i guess due to the size of the numbers. there are, according to the main page, 1,653,406 articles. i hit “random” roughly 250 times. if you want to test your own intuition, guess what the odds are for a repeat? the answer (assuming i did the math right) is visible if you highlight between the two x’s below.

x 1.88% x

not too likely, but not lottery-ticket-buying-inducing, either.

thanks for the interesting comment. -barneca 02:06, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

The Bunker - Live Music Venue[edit]

Nope, this was a regular article in regular article space when I deleted it. NawlinWiki 19:29, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Note to self: this refers to User:The.aldgate.bunker; may as well forgot it unless/until they ask for help. Pete St.John

Operating System[edit]

I understand. Thank you for your help. I was only looking at the last part of the sentence rather than the whole. The only thing I don't think is good is the pronunciation of GUI because there's really the spelling it out technique, and that's what got me. It's more of like a region's pronunciation rather than a generic one. Also, there's only one GUI per operating system. Other than that, yeah, it was a sticky fix and I've learned from it, and will let it be. Thanks for notifying me so I would know in the future to look at the whole rather than just a part of the sentence. --Bookinvestor 00:02, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I replied at Book's Talk page.Pete St.John 13:30, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Now I understand how there can be two GUIs in an OS. Thanks for your explanation.
One thing that's strange, though, is that I'm an American, and I've been taught to say "gee-you-eye", spelling out the letters rather than trying to pronounce it. SCSI I pronounce the general "scuzzy," but I spell out OS, PCMCIA, and all that is less renown or hard to interpret. I guess, though, that it's learned from the street, and I just thought the exact same in "gooey."
I know a little more on the way pronunciations go. Thanks for your help. It's been a great discussion. --Bookinvestor 16:19, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Links or links?[edit]

I changed the capitalization, as it appears to be standard on wikipedia for the links section to be headed "External links". It is stated in wikipedia's Manual of Style.

TubularWorld 20:49, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Prof. Leigh[edit]

I did a quick fix to the article to give his exact position & show his awards--articles like this are likely to be deleted by some of the people around here these days--you should probably add some refs to his best known papers. DGG (talk) 03:26, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Re: Watergate[edit]

Thanks, I was feeling a bit befuddled by the continued insistence that I was being biased when I'm keenly aware of issues in biographies of living persons and try to report only what happened in the most neutral voice possible. Honestly, I wasn't even alive when Watergate happened, and I'm not that interested in it or anything. Just trying to keep things up to date here. I appreciate you backing me up, guess we'll just wait and see what happens.--Analogue Kid 17:03, 27 July 2007 (UTC)


Thank you for alerting me to my error. I hope it is repaired now. Larry R. Holmgren 22:51, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Hello again. When I give a 13-stone handicap as the corners are still open with only the hoshi point covered, the bells are covered with #10 through 13 to give the novice a chance to win. Larry R. Holmgren 22:49, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

PR edits[edit]

Thanks for the comments. I might apply the knife a little too liberally, but if it's worth expanding, someone else will come along and expand it, and hopefully that person won't be in the PR department. :P I cut Blue Collar Computing way back, as well. The text added had been somewhat de-POV'd, but it still read like a press release, if a slightly less enthusiastic one. kmccoy (talk) 17:43, 15 August 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for the heads up. The first block was only for 3 hours. This one is 24 hours. Kukini hablame aqui 16:53, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

5 Good[edit]

Glad you spotted the edit conflict and fixed it up. Cheers. Robert Brockway 17:09, 18 September 2007 (UTC)


I watch the Columbus article, so I've been seeing this develop over some days. I decided that it was time to jump in, since both sides had some good points but I agreed with the majority — not to mention the idea of consensus :-) Nyttend 18:08, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

"vandalism" from public terminal[edit]

You left the following message for this IP address ( :

"It don't vandalize, as you did to the Wolfram page. Also, repeating the same vandalism as another anonymous IP address will bring investigations of "sock-puppetry". What is the effect you are hoping to achieve? Pete St.John 20:36, 5 November 2007 (UTC)"

This is a public computer, so I'm unsure to what vandalism you're referring, but if you have a concern about vandalism you should definitely state what the problem is and perhaps link to the relevant page. Then perhaps someone will acknowledge your complaint and report it to some appropriate administrators, or at least make it known among frequent users of this computer. 09:35, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Erdos Numbers DRV[edit]

Mathematicians are getting slammed at the Deletion Review for Erdos Numbers, because people are voting to "endorse" (erdos numbers) but "endorse" means "endorse the deletion". I think you want to overturn, but only for Erdos numbers < some maximum. Thanks at least for caring, it's a mess and we need help. Pete St.John 19:06, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the well-meant notice.
But, no, I posted what I intended to.
Also, while I do appreciate notices and comments, not everyone does. And there are those who frown on such as improper canvassing. Please take a moment to read Wikipedia:Canvassing so that you're at least aware of what's generally acceptable, and what's not. - jc37 19:11, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
First, your deletion of my comment here on your talk page removes some context. Apparently you accept that your vote at the deletion review could be misinterpreted, to have been the same confusion as an earlier vote above it.
Second, thanks, I read just now the canvassing item, and without having read it previously, I plainly comply with every single point of it. I'd be happy for any exception to be brought to my attention. Pete St.John 19:28, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
In response:
What context do you feel was removed by unifying the discussion?
No, I think that those who are not regulars at DRV may have been confused, and so requested clarification, and offered to clarify my own comments.
And while you may note that my comments above stayed neutral on whether your notice was proper or not, I don't think it was. "Mathematicians are getting slammed..." and "...we need help." are just two examples. It clearly shows bias, and an intent towards a specific outcome for the discussion. It's a common mistake, and imho, no big deal, but I wanted you to be aware of it, for future reference. - jc37 19:37, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok, good answers.
  • first, yes, I'm used to the confusing style of dropping notes at each others' talk pages. Deleting the item from your page, and moving it to mine, lost me. But I see what you are doing now and indeed, no context is lost.
  • yes, I favor "overturn" and I'd be dishonest to appear otherwise, just as Kbwhatever favors "delete". I was surprised by his voting on his own closure, but it's not really a vote. I would have to grep for precedent. In this case, the deletionists have gotten out their vote big time, witness three nominations to delete, of which only the third attempt suceeded. A view on the math pages is that we are being spammed into submission. I'm willing to take a certain amount of risk to myself to agitate for standing up for ourselves, but your point is well taken and I appreciate it. Pete St.John 19:45, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
No problem.
And btw, though I disagree, lately I've been accused of being a deletionist myself. (Which, besides being what I deem to be an inclusionist/eventualist, I find interesting for the different reason that such terms apply mostly to article content, but I digress...)
Anyway, despite the discussions, I hope you're having a good day : ) - jc37 19:58, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Peter, two remarks. Firstly, keep Wikipedia:Canvassing in mind (I see Jc37 already mentioned this, but it bears repeating). Secondly, in reply to your remark on KSmrq's talk page: everybody can comment at the Deletion Review, not only administrators. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 12:54, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi Peter: Thanks for letting me know about the discussion. To be honest, it was never a big deal for me—and it obviously is for those who care passionately about such things—so I'm happy for the category to be reinstated. After all, it doesn't hurt anything, does it!  :) MeegsC | Talk 22:11, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

ANI re your canvassing[edit]

Hello PeterStJohn. This message is being sent to inform you that there currently is a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue that you may be involved with. The discussion can be found under the topic WP:ANI#User:PeterStJohn_canvassing_of_DRV. You are free to comment at the discussion, but please remember to keep your comments within the bounds of the civility and "no personal attack" policies. Thank you.

. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:35, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I've rebutted you at the indicated link, and IMO you are deliberately making ad hominem and unfounded accustations, at the vary least with out adequate research (you accuse me of not notifying YOU of a thread which YOU had already posted to. Obviously I figured you already knew about a thread that YOU had posted to.) Your incessant spam on this matter, with accusations of personal attacks intermixed with personal attacks, is abusive and I'm complaining about it. Pete St.John 18:10, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Pete, the accusation of canvassing was well-founded, and had already been pointed out to you by Jc37 (thoug I notice that only after going to WP:ANI), and it's a good thing that you partially corrected the imbalance of your notifications. However, as noted at WP:ANI#User:PeterStJohn_canvassing_of_DRV, I did not post to that thread until 16 hours after you stopped canvassing: see the DRV pge history. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:11, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Pete, I read your message and you're right that it's getting out of hand. You should adhere strictly to the Wikipedia:No personal attacks policy, whatever others say and however right you are. If you find yourself referring to another editor, especially if by name, think again whether it's really necessary. In my experience, it really pays to be excruciatingly diplomatic. For instance, in the WP:ANI thread that BrownHairedGirl started, I didn't say "BrownHairedGirl's accusation is baseless", as I had first written down, but I changed it to "the canvassing accusation seems baseless".
Secondly, be meticulous in your research. Did BrownHairedGirl really post to the Deletion Review page before you notified people like DGG and MeegsC who supported deleting the Erdos numbers categories? I don't think so. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 20:18, 8 November 2007 (UTC) via edit conflict
  • Several points. Yes, I made a mistake, Brownhaired girl did not post to that thread during that time frame. I posted about it at the ANI item.
  • Jc37 mentioned the canvassing thing to me prior to the deletion review creation, on account of my posts at WikiProject:mathematics and others. When I created the deletion review, I first notified the closing admin as per instructions, and then I canvassed the previous voters, intending to comply with the guidelines that had been brought to my attention. DGG, for example, posted in response to Brownhairedgirl's objectin that no, he had been a "delete" voter but had been notified by my canvassing. I mistakenly believed that Brownhairedgirl and SparsityProblem already knew about it. I did not notify the anonymous IP address who had voted to delete. I did notify, DGG, MeegsC, and Carlossuarez46, who had all voted to delete. I had intended to comply with the guidelines and I believe I substantially did. My research was defective, but in all fairness, so was Brownhairgirl's, apparently assuming that since I didn'nt notify her, I hadn't notified the other delete voters. I believe that in creating the ANI formal accustation, the burden of thorough research was on her, too. Pete St.John 20:25, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
    Pete, we all make mistakes, but it's best to apologise for them. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:43, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Accusation of unethical canvassing[edit]

Jc37, after your advice about canvassing, Brownhairedgirl formally accused me of unethical canvassing, see User_talk:PeterStJohn#ANI_re_your_canvassing. I have rebutted at the link she gave. I don't have experience with wiki disputes (arbitration?) and would very much appreciate your advice about what mechanism I should seek for help. I myself believe that Brownhairedgirl has not acted in good faith, but regardless of that, I seek something like equal representation. Please let me know what I can, may, or should do to defend myself, and seek redress.

  • Incidentally, I don't mean to depict myself as an innocent naif, or even particularly innocent. I anticpated exactly her objection; she accuses me of notifying only "keep" voters about the motion to overturn the deletion, but in fact I notified all the voters (using her own prior canvassing as a guideline, btw) except for one anonymous IP address, and the two voters who had already posted on the overturn thread, who presumably therefore knew of it's existence, one of which was Brownhairedgirl herself. So maybe I'm evil in anticipating her excess, but I'm trying to play by the rules in the face of a huge spam campaign (as some of us charaterize the deletion movement, which I remind you was opposed 11-5, but carried anyway).
  • anyway thanks for caring. Flamewars suck, and it's not fair to spill onto you, and I'm in this more or less knowingly. But the wiki context is new to me. At least please point me to an admin who might care to help? Or a place where I could ask for help? Thanks. Pete St.John 18:40, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Pete, it's a real pity that you claim that I and SparsityProblem had already posted on the overturn thread. If you look at the page history of the deletion review, you'll see that neither I nor Sparsity Problem commented in that DRV thread until today. I was mistaken in thinking that you had notified none of the delete !voters, and have already apologised for that at ANI, so I hope that you too will check the records and withdraw this claim that I had already voted and the accusations of "excess" and bad faith. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:04, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes I have been doing that, conceeding the mistake in several places. I was wrong to believe that you had already posted on that thread at that time. There are alot of places. Pete St.John 20:41, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Whew. There's been a lot of text about this. Let me finish reading, and I'll get back to you soon. - jc37 14:02, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Ok, from what I can tell, this current concern mostly concerns the edits at the WikiProject's talk page. And while I believe that would normally be a good place to have such a discussion, it appears it's becoming disruptive. So based on my observations, and the observations of others, including those at the AN/I discussion, and notices on this page, I'm going to give you a warning (see section below). - jc37 15:04, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Updating status[edit]

At this writing, the vote at the deletion review is 11 "endorse" (leave the category deleted) and 19 "overturn" (restore the category). The latter includes my vote, once I realized that anyone can vote (votes are really "comments" in a conventional format). This may not get us the category back, but I think it's worthwhile to send a message, that a large user group is disappointed by the administrative fiat against a plain consensus, not merely the whims of a special interest group. Pete St.John 23:03, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Users who are interested can check the WP:DRV themselves; it isn't necessary to post additional announcements here, and it could be interpreted as continued canvassing. For the moment, the right place to discuss these categories is the deletion review. Keeping a cool head and giving strong arguments goes a long way.— Carl (CBM · talk) 23:12, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate your concern and in fact I am, indeed, making trouble for myself. However, I mean to promote a community response, and I believe that's important. It's not a fait acomplis as many seem to feel, and admin fiat is not an act of God. I mean to stay within ethical guidelines, but as three consecutive votes in favor of keeping the category were ignored by the admin, I feel railroaded. Two wrongs don't make a right, but a certain amount of politics is evidently necessary, like death and taxes. However, I'll see if I can chill for awhile, thanks. Pete St.John —Preceding comment was added at 23:37, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm moving this here. Wikipedia does have some element of politics, but not in the way you are trying to implement. There was no "plain consensus" about these categories; both sides have points, and the situation is not clear cut. Moreover, everyone is working for what they think is the best outcome. I'm not involved in the discussion, although I am both a mathematician and an admin. I hope you will hear my advice. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:38, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

updating status, here in user space.[edit]

As per the above criticism. Currently, the vote is 24 overturn (restore the deleted Erdos Number categories) and still 11 endorse (leave the category deleted). All 5 of the new contributions are to overturn (which may lend credence to the "canvassing" critique), although at least one of those was monitoring the deletion reviews, not the math project. I'm particulary gratified by "outsider" editors concurring that the admin's deletion was not in accordance with policy regarding respecting consensus. Presumably the effects of canvassing will be considered to be quelled as time passes and more admins and editors weigh in on acount of the review and censure activities, and not on account of my canvassing or whatever the opposition may or may not have done or be doing. Pete St.John 21:52, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Please tone it down[edit]

We get it - you have strong feelings about an ongoing DRV. However, please stop canvassing, campaigning, and "getting out the vote" at WikiProject Mathematics. It's well within accepted practice to leave a neutral message notifying a Wikiproject of an AfD or DRV, but you've gone well beyond that and are campaigning actively and disruptively. More importantly, perhaps, you've gone beyond the point where you're doing your cause any favors. I'm going to ask you to please stop any and all posts related to the DRV and confine whatever comments you have to the DRV page itself. The Wikiproject has been suitably notified, and the discussion on AN/I will attract additional opinions. If you continue campaigning, vote-counting, and aruging your case outside the DRV, particularly using the sort of uncivil language cited by User:BrownHairedGirl, then you're likely to be blocked at least for the duration of the deletion review for disrupting Wikipedia to make a point. MastCell Talk 00:40, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


  • Concerning ongoing disruption regarding the DRV of Erdros numbers.

If you continue to disrupt Wikipedia, you may be blocked until the DRV discussion is closed. - jc37 15:04, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm answering this, and MastCell (see above), at their respective talk pages, asking for specifics. Pete St.John 17:20, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
(ec) - I'm merely responding to others' concerns. Though I think it's fair to say that there is no need for further "notification". I think the one comment that concerns me the most is :
  • "I'm willing to take a certain amount of risk to myself to agitate for standing up for ourselves..."
I hope it's being made clear that your "agitations" are being seen as inappropriate and disruptive (as well as uncivil). - jc37 17:35, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I think that all anyone is asking for is for you to avoid campaigning on other pages about the DRV, at least until it is over. That seems like a reasonable gesture to make in the interests of fostering collegiality. Arguing about whether it is allowed by the letter of a policy document will not win any points for your cause of the Erdos number categories. Moreover, once this issue passes, the same people will be around, and we will still need to work with them. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:28, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I support this. - jc37 17:35, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

charge of unethical conduct[edit]

Jc37, at my talk page you wrote:

  • ...Concerning ongoing disruption regarding the DRV of Erdros numbers. If you continue to disrupt Wikipedia, you may be blocked until the DRV discussion is closed. - jc37 15:04, 9 November 2007 (UTC)...

I take it that your opinion is that I am (to some significant extent) disrupting Wikipedia. These points:

  • Does the ongoing ANI (I haven't checked it yet) regarding canvassing, pertain? My sense is that the accusation there was satisfactorily answered, particularly by the opposing voters I was suppposed not to have notified. Will you be bringing a new ANI if I continue some particular activity (I'm not sure which, specifically), or will you block me summarily?
  • I would appreciate it if you would point to specifics of what constitutes my "ongoing disruption".
  • I take it that you do not consider the subjects of my initial complaint (unilaterally overturning a conspicuous consensus) or the consequent rhetoric (persistant and repetitive spamming of "reasons" which had all been addressed, persistant arguement ad hominem, and several insinuations that our responses are unethical or misleading, while the opposing rhetoric is self-evident) to be disruptive? Part of my defense to any accusation of campaigning would be to compile examples of the techniques of the opposition, so at least we could delineate what wiki considers unethical.

Thanks. Pete St.John 17:35, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

As noted above, I'm merely responding to others' concerns. I sincerely hope you take User:CBM's advice above. - jc37 17:39, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Edit conflicts already, as I write this, on my own talk page, that's novel to me. Also, I see that Brownhairedgirl has brought another ANI against me already. I probably will not be able to keep up with this, but I'll try. So I apologize in advance if I miss, particularly, addressing any "specifics" such as a I asked for. Well at least the new ANI will provide a venue we can watch, and cut down some of the talkpage count. Pete St.John 17:53, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

FYI: WikiProcess[edit]

In a vote, such as real-world politics, only the final numbers matter, and vigorous efforts to bring in votes for your side (within the law) are acceptable. Wikipedia does not work that way; matters are decided either by consensus or by Jimbo. Consensus requires a process in which we get a feel for the views of the community. Ideally, we would announce as widely as possible: "A discussion is in progress; come have your say", then sit back and listen.

The ideal is rarely met, so we try to balance out distorting influences. Your exhortations to overturn the Erdős number category deletions will be treated as a distortion, and will cause voices that support overturning to be given less weight. If you persist, it also causes people to view you as an unreliable source. In other words, the more you lobby, the more it hurts your cause!

Repetitiously bringing deletion ballots for one item, and then overturning the result of the last after all three had failed, and acting by fiat to delete the item, is distorting, and undermines the confidence of the community (as a whole, not just mathematicians) in the process. Furthermore, I think two ANI items and (I'm not sure how many) variously explicit or implict threats to ban me, all in the recent history of the Deletion Review, appears to me disruptive. Canvassing personal friends invisibly, e.g. via email, would be disruptive (so I actively prefer open and public announcements and debates). I'll try to fight back ethically, but I'll fight back. Pete St.John 18:47, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

In fact, the DRV uses the consensus process to review the deletion process. It is not about the merits of deleting or keeping the categories. It is about the debate and the close. Did the decision involve too much shouting? Was consensus found? Was it followed? Was policy followed? In short, the review seeks to decide if the process of deciding on deletion meets Wikipedia standards. Repetitive lobbying is frowned upon for deletion debates, but it happens; for deletion reviews, which attempt to correct for such debates, lobbying is one of the worst things you can do.

IMO, yes, the debate involved too much spam. It was the third vote against the category (in all three the vote favored "keep") and many mathematicians have expressed exasperation at the incessant attack. And not only did the debate not produce a clear consensus to delete, I would say that it exhibited a clear consensus among the interested parties (people advocating the point of view of the users of the category). Also IMO, and opionion of many others at the math project, the arguements for deletion were not strong at all, much less stronger than the arguements to keep, and the closing admin to my knowledge has never cited, much less expressed, a particular reason that he considered "stronger". In my opinion we were railroaded by a clique that has not yet been able to express their premises, values, or precedents in a way that we mathematicians have been able to understand. Pete St.John 18:47, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

It gets worse. The cause you support involves WikiProject Mathematics, so fairly or not your behavior shapes Wikipedia-wide perceptions of the mathematics community. If your zeal causes you to be perceived as a crank, some of that will spill over to cause all mathematicians and any cause we support to be taken less seriously.

I've been called worse than "crank" in flamewars. The issue is that cranks will win if they shout down the meek. Also, while I don't mind being called a crank someplace like the Deletion Review or my talk page, it would be another thing entirely if mathematicians called me a crank at the project talk page. I haven't seen that yet (though indeed opinions about erdos numbers, and about politics, and about what's most important, vary a great deal; mathematicians are not monolithic about things that are not objects of proof). Pete St.John 18:51, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Please, for your own good, for the good of your cause, for the good of the mathematics community, and for the good of Wikipedia, think about what I have said and act appropriately.

At this writing, I'm reluctant to post anything at all at the project talk page, but I feel free to rebut at the two ANI items Brownhairedgirl brought against me, and at the Deletion Review, and any place other than the project talk page where people post against me or against the requested restoration.
A difficulty is the issue of seeking help from friends or interested parties. I personally believe that such is happening very among the opposition, but not in a demonstrable way. That's why I really prefer open politicking, as ugly as it is. It beats smoke-filled-room politicking. But for now I will avoid further requests for help, and hope that enough people following the debate in the putatively appropriate places will help. Pete St.John 18:58, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

(No reply is necessary; but please reply here if you must.) --KSmrqT 18:33, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

First, I support User:KSmrq's comments, though I would like to hope that Wikipedians assume good faith of each other, rather than suggest guilt by association.
Second, PeterStJohn, your comments in response to him suggest that you intend to continue your actions as you have been. To repeat, if you continue your actions as you have been, you'll be blocked. You seem like a well-meaning editor. Please don't allow this to go further than it already has. - jc37 18:58, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
wow, you are a fast reader Jc, I'm still editting my comments, but doing paragraph at a time to avoid edit conflicts. But specifically, I point out definite things that I agree to avoid for now, above, so the blanket "intend to continue you have been" is not accurate. But maybe that part missed between our edits. Pete St.John 19:00, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
  • "I'll try to fight back ethically, but I'll fight back."
Your statements, such as the sentence above, are concerning. And yes, you hadn't posted your last paragraph when I had responded.
To clarify, please cease and desist on campaigning about the article. You're welcome to comment at the DRV discussion, but please don't become harrassing, uncivil, or otherwise disruptive of the discussion. - jc37 19:07, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I should clarify that "fight back" statement; as written, it suggests I'm struggling to be ethical, which isn't quite right. So I'll break it down:
  • I will definitely fight ethically.
  • I will endeavour to fight within wiki guidelines; I'm relatively new at that.
Would you act unethically, in order to stay in wiki guidelines? I don't think so. For the most part we expect our personal ethos to be compatible with wiki guidelines, in the context of wiki. I'm not so concerned about making a conscious choice to violate wiki guidelines, but making a mistake, since I'm new at it. Since this began with the feeling of being railroaded (admin fiat contravening a clear consensus after repeated failed attempts, and it's characterized that way by others at the project), a second ANI appearing concurrent with the first, plus a threat to ban, all in one day, in the face of a persistent torrent of argumentum ad hominem since this began, is stressing my capacity for good grace, but I'll try to keep it. Pete St.John 19:33, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Let me directly address a concern implicit in your reply to me, and elsewhere.
Your voice has been heard, your views are being taken seriously, you are not alone.
It is not necessary for you, personally, to respond to every dissent or accusation, though it is your right. Sometimes it is far more effective to say little or nothing, to let attacks collapse on their own or be refuted by others. For example, I believe you need say no more at the ANI, which will dissipate for lack of merit if you take no extreme action. Likewise, the DRV runs for several more days, and no harm will come if you sit back for a day or two and watch what happens.
Yes my voice, and the voices of others with similar views, has been heard. I appreciate that, and I appreciate that people are taking the time to cope with an avalanche of discourse. So thanks. And yes, I should chill for a day. But please note, I have what, three admins? responding to me in real time on my own talk page. I haven't read the new ANI yet, entirely. I'm feeling overwhelmed too, but agreed, two wrongs don't make a right. Pete St.John 20:42, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
You have framed the process as a "fight", which suggests trading blows. That worries me.
Have I satisfactorily explained my position that some of us feel rail-roaded by the deletion? If not I'll try to explain it better, but assuming so, that rail-roading is part of what I consider to be in the nature of a "fight". A debate that has varied from civil and rational discourse, which I appreciate you and others are trying to preserve. So yes, IMO there is a fight, and I will endeavor to struggle ethically. And certainly my struggle is open, I answer all questions addressed to me, I admit mistakes. Pete St.John 20:42, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Consensus means neither unanimity nor a majority vote nor monarchy. Given the fuzzy nature of the idea, bobbles are inevitable. Clearly, however, reaching consensus requires more listening than speaking. You have presented your views, and they have been heard; others must be afforded the same opportunity. --KSmrqT 20:15, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
That's fair, but I would note that certain parties have vividly taken plenty opportunity already, not just me. Pete St.John 20:42, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
The entire incident has been unfortunate. You didn't realize that canvassing is frowned upon, and not enough effort was made to inform you before the ANI thread was started. I think that the incident will pass quickly if everyone just lets it drop. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:44, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I attempted to, but the user resisted. That said, yes, it would be nice to see this whole thing behind us. - jc37 19:48, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I attempted to keep further canvassing within the guidlines. For example, I would not have thought to "notify" the opposition voters wihout having read the guide you pointed me to. I'm certainly doing all I can, but I would appreciate it if you would concede at least that I modified my behaviour in response to your warning (maybe not enough). Pete St.John 20:42, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Deletion overturned[edit]

Have a nice weekend! --Ramsey2006 03:41, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

And now the overturn (and the whole debate) has been rescinded because of canvassing. What a mess. --KSmrqT 07:42, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
PS. Just to be clear, you are largely responsible, by trying to "fight" and rally support, even in the face of admonitions to the contrary. I realize some of the feedback came too late, but please learn from this experience and don't behave this way again. I can hardly emphasize enough just how counterproductive it is, not just to Wikipedia and its mathematics community, but to your cause. --KSmrqT 08:44, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

My advice[edit]

My advice at this point is that you just make your points on the page of the new DRV. I would also suggest that any comments that you make be made at the first level (ie: at the bottom of the discussion without indentation). Don't let yourself be baited into a back and forth with either SparsityProblem or BrownHairedGirl. (Note that I have not replied to BHG's indented response to me. If I do feel the need to reply to a particular point of either of them, I will do so as a comment at the first level, without indentation.) The tactics of both of them seems to be to attempt to fill whatever page the discussion is occuring on with an everywhere dense set of repeditive comments. No point in doing anything that will help to facilitate that strategy.

I also suggest that nobody be notified individually of this new DRV. I did put a notice on the wikipedia logic project talk page and the talk page of the 3rd CfD discussion, and the math project has been notified. But I have avoided even notifying you of the overturning of the overturn after my initial note, figuring that you would find out on your own when you get back, and to avoid any accusations from BHG or Sparsity.

At this point, I would think that any closing admin would be well aware of the existence of previous discussions in the previous DRV, the 3 CfD's and the discussion on the talk page of the 3rd CfD. User:Kbdank71 himself has rather amusingly and ironically pointed out himself a rather blatant flaw in one of his own stated reasons for deleting the categories without consensus here: [1] This has not escaped notice, as several comments on the page seem to be making reference to it, some more directly than others. --Ramsey2006 17:48, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the advice. I have alot of experience with flamewars (and I like to think, that as in a fight, I don't like to start them but I do like to finish them) but not in this venue, so honestly I appreciate it. I will probably be more overt than typical here, but I intend to build my case with all due attention to wiki guidelines, and your advice deepens my understanding of precedent and tradtion here, if not specific policies, and that's a huge help.
  • I would point out, for example, Nat's "flip flop". First, I believe what he did is very plausible; the lopsided "vote", and the lopsided logic, presented a vivid opportunity for a newcomer to act (to overturn). Then the quick response against too soon closing the debate was, at least in part, correct as well, and brought subtlties to his attention, so he reversed himself. His then creating a new debate, instead of reopening the old one, was IMO incorrect, as it had been noted (by other admins) that leaving the debate open for awhile would ameliorate anything that might have been inappropriate about my campaigning. (I agree wholeheartedly with that, even to the extent of allowing the opposition to counter-campaign with wiki-legalistic methods, because ultimately a definitive conclusion can be reached.) So once again the plain, conspicous consensus in favor of keeping the category has been overruled by admin fiat. The math project page plainly shows exasperation at the incessant attack, which has been going on long before me, and expresses the expectation that "the crazies will win" just because people are getting sick of rebutting it. This I think is a much broader problem than the category itself, or my concern for my own reputation. Anyway I meant to say, with this point, that Nat is an example of an objective, outside admin not doing the right thing, but getting hornswaggled by the Legalists. (I believe I'm free to speak freely here on my talk page, correct?).
  • I'm still concerned with the Erdos Number Category and I will do what I reasonably can to promote it.
  • I'm concerned with my reputation. I don't have much of one yet, before this flamewar I had hardly 500 edits, but I have one left over from other venues, and it's important to me, if not anyone else. I will accept that I made mistakes in terms of stated wiki guidelines, but I will not tolerate the impuation that I ignored those guidelines after being apprised of them, or that I have done anything unethical. I openly answer all questions addressed to me and I openly concede mistakes when and if I understand them, and I try very hard not to merely ignore good arguements against me (as the opposition does).
  • I'm concerned with the process of what I'll call wiki-legalistic, Activist Streamlining, plainly going against consensus. The attack has been polarizing, eristic demagoguery evading, not building, consensus, and it's perceived by it's victims as winning (despite, what, 5 votes plainly in favor of keeping the category, and/or overturning the deletion of the category? maybe only 4 to date concluded. It's just overwhelming. I've been here before.)
  • I'm not so concerned about the 5th, or 6th, vote, because I plan to bring arbitration. I don't plan on doing this hurriedly. But I need for all three points to be resolved satisfactorily: saving the category, protecting my reputation personally, and something to restrain the process which evades consensus. I believe Arbitration will be appropriate, as opposed to mediation, because there is no single person to mediate against; but I may be wrong, I'll have to read some mediatons, and some arbitrations, and some guides regarding those two processes. But since there are three issues, and the opposition is so plainly influential and effective in their technique, I believe arbitration will be necessary and warranted. But I'll build my case first, and I will open opportunities for reasonably broad peer-review first.
  • I deeply regret the flamewar and I can't sufficiently thank anyone, on either side, earnestly trying to keep up with it. My own tone has at times revealed exasperation. However, I flatly refuse responsibilty for the flamewar. There is a clear case for steam-rollering (which I have yet to satisfactorily build in terms of wiki guidelines, but that is my intent) and the vicitms clearly have an ethical right to defense, even I've conducted my part of that defense incorrectly in some senses on some points. I don't expect to be right about everything, but my ethics may not be impugned and I am, indeed, personally angry (not at you of course!). Pete St.John 23:36, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Good behavior[edit]

(copied from User talk:KSmrq to keep thread here)

Thanks for notifying me that after the Deletion Review was overturned, it was then rescinded. I appreciate all the recent advice about what I was doing wrong, but in the face of this scale (and energy) of attack, I really could use advice about what I am permitted to do to defend against this attack. For example, can I, or should I, ask for arbitration? I can't believe that I'm not allowed to seek help, but must wait for others to notice I need it. And I do mean me personally, now I have to defend myself, not just the mathematician user community. Pete St.John 16:08, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

First, not to worry; the worst that could have happened from the ANI was a block from further participation in that particular DRV. There was no threat to your life, your health, your family, your property, your career, or even your long-term involvement with Wikipedia. Many observers believe Wikipedia is a crazy enterprise from top to bottom, and I suspect they're right. Sometimes good things happen, often nutty things happen, and at times it's not clear which is which. To illustrate: A few years ago when I tried to explain the craziness to someone who thought his grants might be threatened by what Wikipedia said about him, he got a letter published in the Los Angeles Times accusing me of supporting mob rule; then he created his own 'pedia!
Second, attitude can help. Some editors recommend a detached attitude, as in WP:DGAF. That may be too Zen for you. Still, I humbly suggest that thoughout life it is wise to be involved, doing the best we can to achieve our goals, without becoming so invested that we can only accept the outcome we seek, and to pursue our goals with as playful a spirit as we can muster.
Third, Wikipedia really is a community, and you need never feel you are alone without support. At the simplest level, you can ask an individual like me for guidance or intervention. The mathematics community has many experienced editors who have successfully dealt with some pretty heated conflicts; we even have two mathematicians on Wikipedia's formal Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee. So a second level is to ask at WT:WPM, to say, "I've got this situation, what is my best course of action?" Beyond that, we have pages of help for dispute resolution. Options include formally requesting comments, asking for mediation, requesting a mentor, and (if all else fails) seeking arbitration.
As for this particular situation, no action is necessary. The Erdős number categories have come up for deletion before, and we have plenty of experienced eyes on the problem. Many of us have suggested that the close was improper, and I believe the case is so clear-cut that we will prevail; in fact, we would have already if not for your actions. User BrownHairedGirl (talk · contribs) complained that your behavior with respect to the DRV was improper and unhelpful, and as you have seen, indeed your actions backfired. In my view, some of her behavior, including filing an incident report, was excessive; she has been rebuffed at ANI.
Previously I've tried to explain a little about the DRV process. Perhaps it would help if I explain a little about the ANI. The idea of that notice board is to alert admins to any serious incident in progress that might require urgent admin intervention. It is not a place to file petty grievances. BrownHairedGirl felt you were pressing your thumb on the scales of justice in the DRV, and acting out of control. You were officially told to chill. Others, like me, advised the same thing. You did chill. End of story.
As for the DRV, those who insist on responding to every statement they disagree with, posting over and over, usually do themselves a disservice. In this case three editors especially distinguished themselves in this way; two of them supported the deletion, and then there was you. Rather than helping the cause of proper procedure and sane closure, you joined the crazies. Let's call it temporary insanity and put it behind us. That DRV is concluded, scrapped as inconclusive.
In my view, you were never personally attacked. Not at the DRV, not at the ANI, not on your talk page, not anywhere else visible. Your views were disputed, and your behavior was criticized — perhaps correctly and fairly, perhaps not. BrownHairedGirl complained that my "crazies" remark was a personal attack; she could hardly have justified attacking you. Honestly, no defense was — or is — necessary.
That said, if you stick around long enough you will be attacked. When that happens, I urge you to read the help pages I mentioned. You will find a wealth of options for acceptable responses. --KSmrqT 19:48, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Wow, thanks. The above is helpful, good light/heat ratio, and almost warm in tone. I think I'm being reminded of the existence of third sides, people who aren't merely partisan either way but still have something relevant to add.
First, I direct your attention to my reply, above, to Ramsey2006. There are more issues to me than the salvation of the category, itself. I intend arbitration, but I emphasize I will pursue this slowly, building a wiki-guidelines-aware case first, and giving everyone plenty of opportunity to rebut me or talk me out of it. But there are more than the one issue, for me, to be satisfactorily resolved.
There are some things you might like to know about me; I have been called self-aggrandizing by Pavel Curtis in the context of flamewars that predate WWW (early 90's, I don't mean HTTP hadn't been invented yet, but telnet was normal then, not browsing). I am highly intolerant of assertive bubbleheads; as Rommel said (paraphrasing), people can be smart or stupid, and they can be ambitious or lazy; the stupid and ambitious ones are dangerous, and I get rid of them. Also I can be just incredibly stubborn. Wiki guidelines are not the only guidelines to me. However, I mean to be ethical and, in public matters, open.
I really appreciate your thoughtful reply. The advice from you and Ramsey2006 gives me pause and will at the very least better inform the case I build (slowly) for (hypothetical) arbitration. Thank you. Pete St.John 00:00, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Archived ANI[edit]

Jc37, I see at the archived ANI concerning me, that

  • After reading all of the above, the user's talk page, (and more), I've given the user a warning that he may be blocked for the duration of the DRV, if he continues. I think by now enough "notice" has been given, and this has strayed quite far into "disruptive territory". - jc37 15:08, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Am I correct that you archived the ANI item at this point, and your final comment is in the nature of "closing"? I'll be trying to work out the chronology of: warning me about campaigning, my responses (at each stage), warning me about banning, the opening of the ANI, admin actions on the Deletion Reviews, and this ANI getting archived with that conclusion. Roughly, all this happened withing a period of four days. I'm watching this page but you are welcome to move this to my page according to your preference. Thanks, Pete St.John 05:05, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

No, you are incorrect. I did not archive the discussion on the AN/I page. I merely left a notice for others about the warning here.
I don't think I need make further comment at this point (hopefully). There are enough editors attempting to offer you advice as to how to better acclimate yourself to Wikipedia, and how to positively contribute, with the expressed hope of avoiding further disruption. - jc37 15:24, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


This is a cross-posting with my own talk page:

Hi Pete, I'll answer your question down here. My job in closing a DRV is to evaluate the consensus at the DRV, not to make independent judgments about what happened at the XfD. At the DRV, the consensus was that the issues needed more discussion, and they are receiving it at the relisted CfD. Reading beyond the bold-faced commentary, there was also a consensus that Erdos numbers were probably "trivial", though I acknowledged in my closure that full evidence had not been brought to bear on that question. At the DRV, on the basis of strength of arguments, there was also a consensus that the original deletion should not be overturned wholesale. There are several reasons for this last conclusion: Brownhairedgirl's excellent arguments regarding the proper purpose of categorization went largely unrebutted, various folks favoring overturning did so only partially (with reference to some, but not all, of the Erdos numbers), and others appeared to favor overturning only in the interest of further discussion, an opportunity which they received through the limited relisting. Considering all these factors, there simply was not a consensus to overturn the deletions altogether, leaving them in place and endorsed. There was a consensus for a limited relisting of the kind provided.
I can't speak to what the DRV says specifically about Kbdank's closure in any more detail. This particular DRV was very much "forward-looking" (as in, "what do we do now?"), rather than backward-looking (ie., let's scrutinize every detail of the XfD.) This can happen when several commenters propose "out-of-box" alternative solutions (eg., "endorse deletion, but listify".) The discussion does not focus on the particulars of the past, but looks for solutions in the future. That is my reading of what happened here, and it resulted in my close. I consider the close a solid compromise, allowing both sides of the dispute acknowledgment of their valid points, and doing the best to make the content useful and suitable to all.
One piece of advice, as a long-time ArbCom watcher: You'll want to pursue an RfC first. Otherwise, any request is likely to be dismissed as untimely. I certainly took notice of Arbitrator August's comment, by the way; I'm sure he would concede that his word is no more special than other Wikipedians' on content issues, and I'd expect he will see the merit in the compromise closure, whether or not he agrees with it fully. Best wishes, Xoloz 13:35, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Again, cross-posted:

You're absolutely correct, Pete, to suggest that numerical support can have varying importance. In cases where policy is clear, only good arguments will succeed, irrespective of numbers. In cases where there is no over-arching policy, numerical support can have more meaning. You'd do well, Pete, to stick to your own case (and I never heard back from you on those issues), and not to confuse two cases, since (by your own admission), you don't really know what Melodia is talking about. Best wishes, Xoloz (talk) 20:01, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
yes thanks I answered at your Talk. I will have to thin out my watchlist, whoo-boy, so thanks for noting here. Pete St.John (talk) 20:06, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh no, I have no specific questions for you... I simply would have expected a relevant reply before a tangential one, but -- this being a wiki -- you are free to comment as you wish, more or less. Good luck with the RfAr -- if it is accepted, it will certainly be trail-blazing and unprecedented, and I'd look forward to the result. Best wishes, Xoloz (talk) 20:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Brevity was never my strong point[edit]

Thanks v much for your kind note on my talk page, which I missed in the deluge. I started to write a quick reply, but since I'm not much good at brevity, it ended up being rather a long one. If you have a spare week or two, you might like to take a peep: see User talk:BrownHairedGirl#One_small_concilliatory_note.

Thanks again. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 02:58, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Rep: Your reverting of my edit[edit]

Hi Pete, I can provide detailed information (with citations) of the application of Genetic Algorithms in hardware bug finding. However, I am working full time and currently very busy, this means I'll be able to come back to this issue on the weekend. Meanwhile, why not keep my edit and tag it with "citation needed"?. Thanks.---- A. S. AulakhTalk 07:45, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Incidentally, he provided the citation before I caught up, and all is good. Pete St.John (talk) 19:35, 12 December 2007 (UTC)


Thank you for your advice and interesting discussion. I have read your input on GA and very imprest, it's nice to meat some one how seems to like it as much as I do :) GA Fantastic (talk) 09:01, 7 December 2007 (UTC)


In your response to the Quackwatch RfC, you made a suggestion to use original research in the Quackwatch article. It's a strange recommendation, don't you think? Antelan talk 00:35, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

I replied at his Talk page, asking for something more specific. I don't know what he means. The remark presumably refers to this item at the Talk:Quackwatch. Pete St.John (talk) 19:34, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Your edit of 19:41 is your second revert. Your edit of 18:50 counts as a revert, as drive-by tagging is not vandalism. I don't think you're in serious danger of 3RR, but we might as well keep an accurate count. (And although I think Levine2112 was a little premature in awarding the Barnstar of Peace, if the peace holds up for a few days, I'd like to countersign.) — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 19:54, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Peace Barnstar 6.png The Barnstar of Peace
I hereby award the Barnstar of Peace to PeterStJohn who helped negotiate a hopefully peaceful resolution to a longstanding debate. -- Levine2112 discuss 19:20, 13 December 2007 (UTC)


I really appreciate what you're trying to do with comments such as this [2]. You're trying to calm the situation, that's clear. However, I hope you aren't offended by my reminding you to please comment on the contributions and not the contributors. Quackwatch is a controversial article with often heated discussions. It's best to closely follow talk page guidelines and keep a cool head even when you think others are not. --Ronz (talk) 22:42, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I hope you'll consider refactoring per above: [3]. --Ronz (talk) 18:03, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Should we seek a third-party to help? I'm disappointed by the edits you made to User:PeterStJohn/ScratchPad, after I made the comment above. It appears you're no longer discussing the issues with me per WP:DR. --Ronz (talk) 01:23, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
again, if you cite specifics, I can address them. Overbroad generalizations are too easy to brush off as insinuations which of course is not what you intend. However, the edits that disappoint you are in my userspace, not in an article. Please feel free to point out a specific thing that violates a specific policy. Also, feel free to bring in more people, although I wonder at the term "third" party, as there seem to be more than three already. And no, I don't mean to ignore you, but ScienceApologist is posting much faster, and more conspicuously, e.g. at the ANI he brought, which you may wish to follow. So lacking specifics to address, I'm busier elsewhere. And yeah, I'll copy this to your talk. Pete St.John (talk) 02:12, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I asked you to refactor a comment per WP:TALK. You made no response. Then I found that you're making notes about me about concerns that you have made no attempt to discuss with me. Are third parties involved in any of these comments? None that I see. Are you too busy to address these issues? Seems to me that if you have time to make all those notes in your userspace, you have some time. --Ronz (talk) 02:31, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I suggest you remove and apologize for the following, "I consider your pugnaciousness to be misguided and disruptive" and "(over and over again; which is [[Wikipedia:Tendentious_editing|tendentious)".

I suggest you delete your /ScratchPad notes about me, and discuss the matters with me instead. I hope this is specific enough for you. --Ronz (talk) 17:52, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Appeal for help[edit]

Where did you receive this appeal for help that you refer to? ScienceApologist (talk) 19:10, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Arthur has been involved with alt medicine articles for some time, so I don't think it was the same place. Anyway, I look forward to finding out where it was. ScienceApologist (talk) 19:21, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Where did I accuse you of tendentious editing?[edit]

As you claim here, it would be nice if you provided the diff. ScienceApologist (talk) 19:57, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

You obviously have a problem with me[edit]

But I have no idea why you have a problem with me. Maybe you're upset that I criticized your attempt to get a "compromise" wording about the review by the pharmacist on QW. However, this is Wikipedia and criticisms of people's ideas and attempts happen all the time. Maybe you're upset that I wasn't involved in the fake "consensus" discussion that you had with yourself, Levine, Anthon01, and a number of other alt-med POV-pushers. I note that you had no way of knowing that the consensus was fake as you did not know the personalities or the sides involved at the time. You seem to make a singular point that people should be aware that QW is not peer-reviewed because QW discusses peer-review itself: however, such a criticism is not good for Wikipedia unless it can be directly sourced. I was a little appalled that there were recommendations to manufacture sources by posting to Slashdot or some other blog-forum. That seems to fly in the face of all sourcing conventions at Wikipedia You seem to have a very short fuse and have hit upon me as someone you want to take down. I'm sorry, but I don't know why you decided things got so personal. Can you explain? ScienceApologist (talk) 20:10, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

  • One of the problems is that you make accusations (veiled or otherwise) faster than I can address them. This is the fastest-paced controversy I've been in so far, although others have had bad days.

1. Citing a reference for my claim that you accused me of tendentious editting. I overgeneralized the word; using it to characterize your characterization of me. So I'm trying to go through QW talk to piece together specifics, then explain myself at the ANI with them. One might note, that "I was a little appalled that there were recommendations to manufacture sources by posting to Slashdot" could be construed as implying my contribution was contrary to wiki policy, an example of what I overgeneralized as "tendentious" (when really I was thinking "contentious", btw). You may have had a good point there.

2. Citing a reference to the "request for help" I mentioned. It's this RFC. You may notice that my first edit to QW:talk was in the section labelled "A user has requested...".

3. Are you accusing me of being an alt-med-POV pusher?

4. I do, in fact, know why I have problems with you. (By knowledge I refer to sporadic proximate causes, in your editting, which I am working to document; I only have hypotheses about your philosophy or raison detre). I'm working on documenting it. Pete St.John (talk) 20:27, 14 December 2007 (UTC)


  1. Okay. I actually do not find you to be tendentious at all (or even really that contentious). I do find you to be a bit "overzealous", but I myself have the same problem so WP:KETTLE applies here. I don't have any problem with your edit styles nor would I want to see you subject to any sanctions. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders and while you may not be completely familiar with the vagueries of sourcing, neutrality, and fringe theory guidelines, this is not your fault at all. I hope I did not come across as biting hard because I really do value your input at Talk:Quackwatch. I just have a problem with some of your ideas as to why, how, and what content to include. I didn't think that this warranted extreme dispute resolution escalation, however. I thought we would probably iron out these issues as time went by. We can talk about them now if you wish, but this numbered point is getting too long as it is.
  2. Thanks for that. I appreciate knowing how far-flung this controversy has become!
  3. Absolutely not.
  4. I would appreciate it if you would post your documentation directly to my talkpage so that we can discuss matters.


ScienceApologist (talk) 20:48, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Two ANI in rapid succession against "pro alt-med POV pushers", so I think we will be discussing this at great length there, more than each other's talk pages. Particularly this vs Levine2112 looks like the focus of a big fight; I cannot type fast enough to keep up, and I type pretty fast. Pete St.John (talk) 21:31, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I replied directly to your scratch pad. I hope you realize that those two AN/I were not in any way directed at you. ScienceApologist (talk) 21:37, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I hope you realize that I'm standing up for the for the folks you did target with them. Pete St.John (talk) 22:33, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, if you want to do that, you're perfectly free to. That may have consequences down the line. ScienceApologist (talk) 15:42, 16 December 2007 (UTC)


I have restated the different versions in a section at the bottom of the page. Anthon01 (talk) 18:49, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

No action was taken. That AN/I just faded away. On a separate action, ScienceApologist got banned for 72 hours. [4]Anthon01 (talk) 18:15, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Any opinions on the peer-review/counterpoint interpretation debate occuring just a few lines below your recent comments on the QW talk page? Anthon01 (talk) 19:09, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't see where the review is a positive review. Please consider the following section, which I think you may have missed. [5]Anthon01 (talk) 19:14, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Grammar minutiae at average[edit]

A example where "to represent" ≠ to "be representative of": in a logic formula a tilde may represent negation, but it is not representative of negation. Although there is overlap in the meanings, I see the following difference when an entity represents / is representative of a group. The adjective "representative" followed by "of" suggests that the entity representing the group somehow typifies it. This is especially clear when an entity is said not to be representative of a group. This suggestion is not present, or much less so, when a form of the verb "to represent" is used.

The combination "If [hypothesis], then [consequence]", all in the indicative mood, is standard use in mathematical discourse, and generally completely accepted (except by you). The subjunctive "were" signals a counterfactual (as opposed to merely hypothetical) situation; its use for a non-counterfactual protasis is often regarded as ungrammatical; see Subjunctive#To express a hypothesis. The word "if" neutrally introduces a protasis; "when" unnecessarily suggests a temporal aspect and is definitely much less usual in mathematical discourse.  --Lambiam 20:34, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

The American Heritage Dictionary has: "A number that typifies a set of numbers of which it is a function." Do you feel it would help to replace "to be representative of" by "to typify"? I don't think this verb has a clear connotation of membership.  --Lambiam 22:16, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Please consider refactoring[edit]

This edit looks to be escalating problems with me on other people's talk pages. Please consider refactoring: [6] --Ronz (talk) 19:11, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

I've suspended replying to Ronz, cf this at my scratchpad. Pete St.John (talk) 19:18, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Please clarify. Are you saying that you are refusing to take any action because I'm making the request? Should I then ask for another editor to get involved? --Ronz (talk) 19:25, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Hi, you stated how frustrated and angry you get when working on the Barrett articles and you have only been doing it for a brief time. Other editors have been for quite awhile and some of us have limited or stopped posting to any of them do to the problems. I think if you go back and see how Ronz has been in the fray for a long time and how his patience got worn down, maybe you will understand better. The articles have been highjacked in a way, with editors getting the articles protected for really minor things. I for one stopped for a long time do to attacks on anything I said. Please read the archives to get a better idea of the history of things. Of course this is just a suggestion, happy editing, --CrohnieGalTalk 21:45, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks (and I'll reply at your Talk). I think it's extremely important, when defending science against non-science, that we not stoop to fighting fire with fire; because what we are defending, science, comprises the very tools of good arguement: logic, observation, accuracy, verifiability, etc. I don't doubt for a minute that lots of crackpots (from pseudo-science naifs to outright con-artists) swell the Loyal Opposition (alternative-medicine optimists/sympathizers/practioners, some of whom are contributory and not anti-science) but if our frustration turns us into crackpots, nobody wins. If all the pro-science editors are calm, patient, stern (as needed), but always fair, we (or they) will win. But never totally, there will always be more. There will always be more science, there will always be more data that doesn't fit well with existing theories, there will always be refinements and improvements, there will always be setbacks, and there will always be crackpots. We need to take it in stride. I'm not unsympathetic to Ronz, I just can't (and no longer) address him. Pete St.John (talk) 22:22, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
As you are refusing to engage in DR, I'll take it to an outside party.
I'm not here to join some battle "defending science against non-science." I'm here to make Wikipedia better. This is not a place for crusades, real or imagined. See WP:NOT#SOAP and WP:NOT#BATTLEGROUND. --Ronz (talk) 23:55, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I just want you to know that I responded on my page talk about mine or your comments here. I just want to let you know in case you do not have me on your watch page. Thanks,--CrohnieGalTalk 13:39, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Your scratch pad[edit]

Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I really didn't mean to change your page, I thought I was at QW page at the time and I guess I didn't go back to the page when I linked to yours to see what it was about. Thanks for pointing it out. If I do bloopers of any kind please don't ever hesitate in letting me know. I take suggestion and info too so I don't repeat and/or I get more opinions. Thanks, --CrohnieGalTalk 11:14, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Again, please consider refactoring[edit]

Please consider refactoring: [7] --Ronz (talk) 20:06, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

If you refuse to reply, I'll refactor it myself per WP:TALK and WP:CIVIL. --Ronz (talk) 04:05, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm tyring the wikiquette mechanism here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by PeterStJohn (talkcontribs) 18:21, 8 January 2008 --Ronz (talk) 19:09, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Canvassing Inappropriate forum for discussion[edit]

I've removed your comment as canvassing [8]. Further, it is an inappropriate forum for discussing other editor's behavior. --Ronz (talk) 18:07, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I've removed it again as harassment and canvassing, given that you've already received and acknowledged the note above. Please stop this behavior. Thanks. --Ronz (talk) 19:06, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
You've added it back again, despite my comments above. I've sought help. --Ronz (talk) 19:28, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
And you've added it again, indicating you're counting your edits to avoid a 3RR block [9].
Given you specifically asked for another editor to step in, why did you restore it yet again? --Ronz (talk) 19:35, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
that's a fair question, and a legitimate complaint. My intent was for an impersonal editor, but I didn't specify that. Be that as it may, I consider my three reverts to be used up, so SA can delete again. I'm not responding at your Talk for the reasons given, and that evidently you are watching here. Pete St.John (talk) 19:40, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
You didn't add a note to the discussion this time, after reverting ScienceApologist's edit, but instead asked Anthon01 to help instead so you could avoid a 3RR block [10]. --Ronz (talk) 20:14, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I had assumed, apparently wrongly, that SA is who you meant when you said you were seeking help; and that by my count, he could just revert and the two of you would be ahead of me in mere revert counts. But anyway my own reverts are (we'll agree) used up, so he and whatever help is otw have a free hand, modulo whatever actual independent oversight may or may not exist. Meanwhile, you can answer at the wikiquette item, or point, there, to a discussion page where you'd like to debate this or anything, other than my space, which bugs me. I want not to talk to you. Pete St.John (talk) 20:26, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that you don't want to talk to me, but you're talking about me in very inappropriate manner, even going so far as to edit-war over your need to talk about me, counting your edits so you avoid 3RR. --Ronz (talk) 00:37, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Persistent malicious rhetoric would explain both why I don't want to talk to Ronz, and why he's hard to avoid. The right place for it is the complex process that seems to begin with Wikiquette and move as needed towards RfA. Ronz can post his rebuttals or whatever, there. Pete St.John (talk) 16:32, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
You received some very good feedback through your WQA complaint. I suggest you consider it all very, very carefully. --Ronz (talk) 16:48, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
and I'm sure I'll get to it as I parse my Watchlist, despite your spam here. I'm asking you to stay out of my user space. Start an ANI, ask for mediation, refute me on aritcle discussion pages; you have wiki-politic avenues for whatever your impulses are. Pete St.John (talk) 17:08, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I'll do my best to avoid interacting with you, but I reserve the right to respond to your comments and otherwise treat you like any other editor. --Ronz (talk) 17:47, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Pete, chill out[edit]

I've seen many editors go down the road you're currently on and none of them have come out better for it. You need to chill out and either engage in discussion or completely disengage from the situation or you will find yourself being punished by administrators. If you find the idea of talking with User:Ronz intolerable, I suggest simply removing all references you ever made to him in your user space and elsewhere and delete all discussions you had with him. Try beginning from scratch and letting bygones be bygones if you can. ScienceApologist (talk) 19:46, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I accept your advice as both well-intentioned, and informed from experience; however, no, I won't delete the stuff in my user space that I gathered explicitly for the purpose of evidence regarding improper conduct; and second, I think the burden is on Ronz to stop writing to my user space, and present well-reasoned (or poorly reasoned) arguements in article discussion space, or bring an ANI. I've stated that I can't deal with him personally any more, and giving him what he wants (deleting all references to him) rewards what I argue is his bad behaviour. So we're stuck with some form of mediation. Starting with the low-grade wikiquette thing seems reasonable to me. Pete St.John (talk) 20:00, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Peter. Just hold on, I will see what I can do. You run the risk of being blocked. Anthon01 (talk) 20:20, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, yes. I'm a big advocate against superficial wikilegalism camoflaging eristic and repetitive and otherwise unethical rhetoric, and I'm willing to take risks. There's just too much of that shit, it's pernicious and much harder to cope with than mere vandalism. It's ok if they delete the notice, it's in the history and the wording (re neutrality, harassment, and canvassing) can be judged by others later. Pete St.John (talk) 20:30, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Just consider this a 3RR warning, meant in a spirit of cooperation. FYI, braking the spirit of 3RR can be cause for being blocked. I have made the mistake of thinking 3RR means I can revert 3 times, and found myself blocked. Wikipeding is an "on the job learning" experience. Perhaps you can learn from my mistake. Anthon01 (talk) 20:34, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
My sense is that I played faired than Ronz; my notification was compliant with policy, Ronz deleted citing a policy, I revert and cited the policy specific with which I was compliant. So to me, up to that point, it wasnn't edit warring, just drilling into the details (and purpose) of the policies. His next delete was IMO contrary to policy and not excusable. My subsequent revert was to oblige him to "use up" his, so that a third party would have to intervene, which would be progress. So I stand by my adherence to both the letter and intent of 3RR (but I have to admit I lost my temper awhile ago). Unfortunately, it seems SA was not the intended "help" Ronz mentioned. Perhaps you should delete the notification yourself, partly in the spirit of compromise (undeserved frankly but...) and partly out of (at least partial) agreement with them that I pushed 3RR too hard. I really wish a 3rd party, that is, someone from outside the QW morass, would pitch in. But that's why I'm here in the first place, because of the RfC, so it seems an infinite regress of outsiders becoming embroigled and needing outsiders. Very curious mess. Pete St.John (talk) 20:45, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the notice should be removed. I think you were justified in putting the notice there. But I could be wrong. I could be accused of edit warring if I remove you edit. So I won't touch it. I alerted two admins to the problem and requested their assistance. This often apples here at WP, "There is no reality, only the perception of reality." Your tally count could be interpreted in more than one way. Anthon01 (talk) 20:50, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
You might consider adding this incident to your complaint. Anthon01 (talk) 21:33, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I did when it first happened, the item "PostScript". I think no reason to add that the third party let it stay, that's in the history and we don't know how it will turn out. Ronz hasn't rebutted yet. Pete St.John (talk) 21:35, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Could you explain the confusion over Ronz's statement that he was getting help? Anthon01 (talk) 21:37, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
After some reverts, Ronz posted to my talk that he was getting help, and shortly afterward SA reverted (sparing Ronz 3RR). So I assumed that by "help" he meant SA. And imaginably SA could be construed as a partisan (ahem). However, it would seem that Ronz meant, really, outside help, and actually urged (at SA's talk) SA not to revert war with me (on account of SA's rulings). So my assumption that I would be reverted (by SA), and I'd be run out (by 3RR), was not quite right, which made me feel bad that I'd reverted a second editor (even though he's a partisan) and provoked me to contact you. So it's a relief to have an actual 3rd party speak up. Pete St.John (talk) 21:46, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

A recommendation[edit]

Please consider withdrawing the RFC/U, and talk with others about the situation instead. You're overlooking some very, very good advice from your WQA by escalating the situation with an RFC/U. --Ronz (talk) 18:00, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

first, your continued insitence on writing to my talk, which is the subject of my complaint, at least proves you refuse to honor the request not to write to my talk. I'm sure you'll defend your view somewhere other than my Talk, e.g. the RfC, which will expect a response from you. Second, talk to Seicer about it, it wasn't my idea to make an RfC. The Wikiquette item has gotten no useful response that I've noticed, other than the recommdation to escalate. Pete St.John (talk) 18:04, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Bullshit! I am treating you as I would any editor, as I said I would. This is the first and most important place to discuss your behavior, and to communicate with you. Sorry that you don't like this fact about Wikipedia. --Ronz (talk) 18:07, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
This is not the way you treat every editor. Some get a pass and some get kindly civil discourse. Anthon01 (talk) 18:38, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is the best course for you to take. Is their a place where the complaint can be viewed? Is the link you provide it? I didn't notice it on the candidate section of the RFC/U page. Anthon01 (talk) 19:57, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the instructions for the RfC were not explicit about where to create the item; in the subsection on user-RfC's, it emphasizes the case and the presentation of the case, and I found no clear exposition of the mechanics. Presumably if it needs to be moved somewhere, that will be done by someone who knows the procedure better. The actual case is in the Wikiquette, which I cite at the beginning of the RfC, not wanting to either move or copy it. Maybe transcluding but I don't know how that would jell with archiving later etc. As to whether this is the best course: it's not at all what I wanted. That's why I created the Wikiquette. But the only feedback we got from the wikiquette, is that the item is too complex and so needs to be escalated. Ronz's view seems to be the opposite, that it's so simple it can be handled on my Talk, even though the basis of my complaint is that he's harassing me on my Talk. Pete St.John (talk) 21:11, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I think if you feel you've exhausted your talk page options, then mediation is the next best thing. Anthon01 (talk) 08:03, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


I take exception to this diffless edit. The "disingenious" remark is baseless. I am completely uninvolved in the dispute with Ronz about which you posted at WQA and I am almost uninvolved in the QW article (as anyone will tell you who has been around on that article's talk page for the last couple of months I generally avoid it like the plague due to its bizarre editing atmosphere). The rest of this edit only shows you don't know what WP:DR is. You may want to remove the edit (the discussion being closed does not mean you can't retract anything). Avb 23:26, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

The remark applies to your prior collaboration with various of the disputants (particularly Ronz) and others involved (such as ScienceApologist, who had recently been banned over related issues), on the basis of my having misconstrued your remark ("almost" univolved) to have been something of a concession on that point (but you meant the article, not the disputants). Since there are a million (whatever) editors, I'd consider "an outside third party" to be someone not already collaborating with a disputant. Also you aren't professing to be objective, but only to be not very involved in the article, so I'd concede that. If you'd like me to elaborate the remark ("disingenuous") with the clarification that you do not purport to be objective (which others besides myself may have taken to be the connotation), then feel free to ammend yourself (though I don't think that's exactly what you have in mind). And yes indeed, it's a bizarre editting atmosphere, I'm surely run ragged by it, but IMO "disingenuous" is neither so inflammatory, nor so indefensible, to retract flatly. Pete St.John (talk) 23:49, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Avb 01:16, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

How to explain pseudoscience better[edit]

Replying to your post, I think this reply sums up what I think is a pretty good approach. If you'd like me to take a look at anything in particular, please let me know. It's been my experience that most editors who support a pseudoscientific point of view realize that it's not the mainstream point of view, and are open to wording that makes that clear. They just don't want the article to be derogatory. Usually some sort of compromise that doesn't hurt Wikipedia's usefulness as a reliable source can be reached. --Nealparr (talk to me) 07:57, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps there is a way for us to have a discussion of this issue; maybe a guideline will come out of it? Anthon01 (talk) 15:48, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm currently thinking about something along the lines of "WP:Sophistry", which could unify pieces from other WP (as precedent) but (hopefully) make it easier to cope with wikilegalistic methods of evading consensus. That's the most important thing to me right now; the tactics of informed (very informed) editors for whom the means justifies the ends. But Anth probably means a guideline for "pseudoscience", which is also a reasonable goal. But this is all difficult; even myself, I'm averse to letting Creationists use the term "Creation Science" as it implicitly begs its question (I dislike such terms, e.g. "" implicitly defining itself to be truth). So I speak of "Creationism" (a belief system, held by many contributory people) and "The Creation Science Movement" (an American political movement to represent Creationism as a science, to evade a Supreme Court ruling that prohibits teaching any religion in public schools). The former is a belief system, the latter is criminal and fraudulent (although honest people participate in it without personally intending fraud; just as there are honest people in pyramid schemes). So even I can be a PITA in the pseudoscience area, but what I construe to be a pernicious political motivation (by some) is no reason to rebuff honest questions, critiques, and the clarification of honest confusions. Also, historically, some dubious science has led to some real science. An honest exploration from flawed hypotheses can still be good science. But anyway I appreciate how much effort y'all have made, and make, to play nice. Pete St.John (talk) 21:56, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


Peter, I saw you added a comment to the Cayra talk page about the merits of keeping the article and wondered if you realised that the article had been nominated for deletion - if you want to participate in the deletion discussion you can find it here - Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Cayra. I am actually in favour of deleting it but equally am in favour of all points of view being heard in the discussion so thought I should drop you a line. Kind regards, nancy (talk) 20:25, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

oh duh, thanks, I'll go there. Pete St.John (talk) 20:32, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

What a lovely thing to wake up to......[edit]

Pete, it was lovely to wake up this morning and find your barnstar, even more so that I am the first recipient - I am feeling very special. Thank you. nancy (talk) 08:33, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Gateway Update[edit]

Wanted to let you know there was some light shed on the notability of Gateway. Namely that it isn't. Given your good reputation as an editor, I'm mostly wondering what your thoughts are on the matter and if this article now qualifies for a deletion. I'd offer to rewrite it, but other editors seem reluctant to let me even touch the article without spamming my talk with Wiki Warnings. Regards, Rubydanger (talk) 21:13, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

"mixed" reputation :-) but thanks, I replied at the talk. Pete St.John (talk) 16:38, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


I am pretty sure de-populating the category, and removing it out from under mathematical logic was not what you had in mind when you voted to keep it. That is what certain people are planning, now that they cannot kill it. Just thought you should know what's going on. Thank you for supporting the category. Be well, Pontiff Greg Bard (talk) 16:30, 22 January 2008 (UTC)


From your latest comment on the absurd Cheeser1 WQA thread I guess that you were not aware of what exactly he was responding to. Perhaps after a quick look at this you will agree that his reply wasn't quite as absurd as it looks in its present context. --Hans Adler (talk) 21:14, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Oh wow. Thanks. I was totally fubar. Pete St.John (talk) 21:17, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Maybe Chess[edit]

May be sometime online? Anthon01 (talk) 22:19, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I responded at his talk (with 1.e4 :-) Pete St.John (talk) 22:43, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
c5! Anthon01 (talk) 22:57, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Your Deleted RFC[edit]

The text I deleted can be found at User:PeterStJohn/RFC Spartaz Humbug! 22:01, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

I thanked him at his talk. Pete St.John (talk) 22:05, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

COI at Duke Math Journal[edit]

As you state on your userpage that you attend or have attended Duke University, I think I see where C S is getting the idea of COI. However, I'd really appreciate your take on things over at the DMJ talk page. Please see the new section, entitled "Wikiquette mediation"... Edit Centric (talk) 06:18, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Peter, I'm looking at some of the other articles that you have contributed to, and I'm seeing a LOT of material that is not third-party sourced. I'm beginning to understand just why C_S felt that there was a definite COI issue, in that most of your source citations point back to Duke University sources. Pete, I know that you are an alumnus, and that in and of it's self is laudable. However, for Wikipedia standards, it's important that things can be independently backed up by sources other than Duke U. Edit Centric (talk) 21:03, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

What? Please point to a specific. Can you find my citing a Duke source for anything in the last few months? Pete St.John (talk) 21:10, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
he's looking at the list of items that C S cherry-picked for him, but I stand by them. I replied at his talk. Pete St.John (talk) 21:19, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Super-recursive algorithms[edit]

Pete, have you considered nominating User:Multipundit at the COI notice board in connection with super-recursive algorithms? It's hard to believe he's a disinterested editor capable of evaluating the scientific merits of this subject from a detached viewpoint. From his bad English he would seem not to be a native speaker, making it unlikely that he's Burgin's coauthor Marc L. Smith at Vassar. If either his or User:Kizeral's IP address starts 128.97. (Kizeral made a number of edits to various articles on Feb. 7, all concerning super-recursion) I'd be even more suspicious. In any event some sort of COI already seems pretty likely given the volume and content of material he's been contributing to both the article and its talk page. This article does not seem up to Wikipedia standards by a long shot. --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 02:22, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

I'll bring this to an admin's attention. I'm hopeful that patience will win out Pete St.John (talk) 18:47, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Scientific data on the biological effects of homeopathic preparations[edit]

Per your request, here is my summary of the research studies in recent years that indicated that homeopathic preparations, even at the 200C level, have significant biological effects on test animals using objective measurement parameters. [11]

I believe that this research data should not be dismissed or ignored, and that we should include this information, with the reference citations, in a section titled Homeopathic research in the Homeopathy article. Arion 3x3 (talk) 22:57, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the reply. The links, at the Homeopathy talk to which you link, are to intermediate sources of questionable reliability; the Journal of Verterinary Medicine is a good reference, but the citation is to Bill's Blog (whatever), which presumably in turn cites the JVM. We should cite the reputable sources when possible. However, that said, it led me to this: NIH published material which is definitely a good reference (all else being equal; sometimes big mistakes get published by reputable journals, and are retracted or corrected later). So material exists for you to pursue. I'll repost this at your Talk, because I'm intested in you picking a specific claim and source, not me :-) but I'd prefer a more direct reference, as in my example. Thanks. Pete St.John (talk) 23:13, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

I corrected the 3 links, now that the Homeopathy talk section has just been archived. I found a more direct hosting site for one of the references:

"Efficacy of the potentized drug, Carcinosin 200 fed alone and in combination with another drug - Chelidonium 200, in Amelioration of p-Dimethylaminoazobenzene- induced Hepatocarcinogenisis in Mice." [12]) (full text pdf: [13])

"A Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Arsenicum Album 200, Can Ameliorate Genotoxicity Induced by Repeated Injections of Arsenic Trioxide in Mice." [14] (full text pdf: [15])

"Supportive Evidence for the Anticancerous Potential of Alternative Medicine against Hepatocarcinogenesis in Mice" [16] (full text pdf: [17])

I appreciated your previous comments. Could you take a few moments to check out these links in light of your statement "I'd prefer a more direct reference, as in my example"? Thanks! Arion 3x3 (talk) 04:38, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Absolutely, thanks. It will take me a bit, this is outside my field :-) I should check what the Blackwell and Karger sites are, but the NIH site obviously is a great place to start. I won't want to neglect this (although my brain is, in fact, too small). Pete St.John (talk) 15:35, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


I have just seen your friend User:BrownHairedGirl taking part in a category discussion at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2008_January_30#Years_in_Ireland. Remembering her "defining characteristics" opinions in the fiasco over the Erdős categories, I was utterly amazed at the side of the "discussion" she was on. I'm not suggesting you participate (I'm not going to) but you might be interested. Thincat (talk) 16:40, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


Yes, I blocked him for edit-warring, which was brought to my attention at WP:AN/I. However, he immediately pointed out that he was not entirely at fault; another editor "trolled" him. I investigated it immediately, and unblocked him. All of that took 8 minutes. As far as I'm concerned, that ends the discussion. Bearian (talk) 00:52, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

thanks, reply at your page. Pete St.John (talk) 19:33, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Please stop harassing others[edit]

Comments such as this [18] are grossly inappropriate per WP:CIVIL, WP:TALK, and WP:HARASS. Please stop. --Ronz (talk) 21:01, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Please cease spamming my Talk. You are free to do so because the wikiquette and RfC were ignored, but I'll reintroduce them or escalate if needed. Feel free to introduce your own wikiquette, maybe you'll have better luck than I did. But I'll just reintroduce it if you can't confine your comments to other places than my talk. Feel free to point out my uncivility on any public forum where other people can be expected to see it. Such as a Wikiquette. I won't be answering this on your talk, however. And btw, you are a compulsive, disruptive, eristic, sophist, anal bastard I can't stand. I would probably use somewhat different wording on other pages. But anyway feel free to complain about me through channels. Pete St.John (talk) 21:17, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
meta:Don't be a dick, or alternatively, WP:Please be a giant dick, so we can ban you --Ronz (talk) 21:21, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Go for it. Pete St.John (talk) 21:26, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Wow, I came here to alert Peter to a comment I made on Levine2112's talk page but I see I'm too late to help keep this particular exchange of hostilities civil as far as he's concerned. This is beyond the pale. Avb 23:23, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, beyond the pale for a very long time. If Avb had posed a question I'd reply at his talk, but he didn't. I'd be happy to explain myself for as many more times as outsiders ask, but I believe Avb may already have a passing acquaintance with the issues. Pete St.John (talk) 23:31, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I note for the record that it does not seem self-explanatory to you that I was referring to behavioral issues such as your telling another editor: "you are a compulsive, disruptive, eristic, sophist, anal bastard". Avb 22:43, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Replying, for the record: it's certainly right that I used that language. But as you know, I've made a more than reasonable effort, through the wikiquette and the RfC, to go through channels to get relief from Ronz's compulsive, disruptive, eristic, sophist, and anal behaviour. Sticking the word "bastard" at the end was losing my temper, I agree. There's plenty of bad behaviour, of varying degrees, and no, it had not been self-evident to me which particular language you thought actionable. I thought it was something like @$$h013, myself, not "bastard". But since part of the syndrome I'm trying to identify for outsiders to be able to get the point, is deliberate vagueness with broad tar-brushes, I appreciate your being specific when asked. So people should be blocked for using the word "bastard" without regard to context. I respectfully disagree. Pete St.John (talk) 21:12, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Not quite. I have no problem whatsoever with people writing that they find specific editing compulsive, disruptive, eristic, sophist, anal, or bastardly. Although bastardly, indeed, has very little informational value in the context of writing an encyclopedia, the other qualifiers all help put specific points across, points that I personally have made quite often regarding other editors' editing. In short, comment on the edits, not the editor. If you have achieved one thing here, it is that I now believe that your opinion of Ronz is that he is not only editing in the manner so succinctly put above, but that the latter also enumerates what makes him tick. I have never understood why otherwise intelligent people so rarely seem to grasp and countermand the effects of correspondence bias in their own lives (after all, they see it in others wherever they care to look). Avb 14:43, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
(answering late, after the creation of this much later wikiquette; sorry to have not been timely). I don't purport to know what makes Ronz tick, but I find it necessary to distinguish from isolated incidents, which pertain to specific edits, and chronic behaviour, which pertains to the editor himself. By posing individual edits as conforming to policy (e.g. "on account of WP:FOO please refactor") the aggregate effect of numerous vapid, nonspecific, and highly irritating edits, is lost on 3rd parties. The effect of the chronic behaviour is not lost, however, on the victims. However, particularly, I consider it egregious to post on individual's talk pages when unwelcome. No admin has flatly opined that doing so is not uncivil, so far, but it's egregious. Pete St.John (talk) 21:05, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Bug out of my Talk space, asshole. Get a responsible adult to speak for you, or open a wikiquette/RfC/ANI whatever in a public forum. But while I've got your attention again, did you know ScienceApologist had so many sockpuppets? This is totally news to me. I'm astonished. Not by you, you are perfectly predictable, but by him. Pete St.John (talk) 19:19, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
OMG. He just linked the preceeding paragraph. Am I supposed to assume that he is collecting all this as material for a future formal action? Guess what, asshole, I'm keeping all this right here. You're duplicating effort. Nobody has every accused me of hiding evidence or evading responsibility for my actions, not in any venue, and for long, long before you were born. If you were, Markov-chaining, subliterate asshole. I have a long memory and Wiki has a long archive history. Bring it on. Pete St.John (talk) 19:40, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


You're blocked for incivility. You are obliged to remain civil, and that includes your own talk page (and, for the avoidance of doubt, edit comments too) William M. Connolley (talk) 21:16, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

This is novel and astonishing to me. I'll answer if and when I can. Pete St.John (talk) 21:26, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Apparently I can at least edit my own talk. So I'm not sure what "block" means; just article space? Anway now I'll try and answer this at Connolley's talk. The thrust will be: I have not been heard. Despite my having broght a wikiquette and an RfC documenting Ronz's persistent harassment. So I'll object to summary blocking without the opportunity to rebut. Pete St.John (talk) 21:29, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, you can edit your talk page, but not any other page. I'm not sure if thats written anywhere. Also, the block is 24h. You can shorten it by refactoring your obviously incivil comments above. Be so kind as to link to the Ronz RFC and I'll take a look William M. Connolley (talk) 21:38, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I will reply here (shortly) but meanwhile I'm objecting to the summary ban via email to another admin. I stand by my wording in the preceeding. I'm glad that you may to some extent care why, and I'm not surprised that you consider some wording as intrinsicallly uncivil. I wonder who asked for your help (there's no wikiquettte, RfC, or anything, right?) so this opens the door for me asking for help (in my own ethical sense). Thanks for watching this page. Pete St.John (talk) 21:49, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
No-one asked me. There is some kind of template you can add to your talk page to make an unblock request visible; search around for likely blockees William M. Connolley (talk) 22:06, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
How did you learn about this? Pete St.John (talk) 22:21, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
The text of my email to Nancy is below, and includes some explanation and some links. I'll be happy to go into more specifics, answer questions, etc. I'll be doing more to make my case and broaden the venue. I certainly don't expect resolution before the block expires; however, I want to very very strenuously insist that the important thing is not the block itself, but Ronz's evasion of due process. Getting a summary judgement from an admin who reacts automatically to what he construes to be uncivil language, with no regard to context and no attempt to address the defendant, is merely an example of an ongoing process. Basically such wikilegalism away from consensus, conducted on talk pages away from scrutiny by disinterested parties, sustained unrelentingly with no regard to logic, is what has driven me to uncivil language (not exactly frustration, but an experiment in a different rhetorical approach; he can't accuse me through due process of UNCIVIL without getting the attention that he seeks to evade. That was the theory.) Pete St.John (talk) 22:27, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Pete, I just picked up your email (and I see you have posted it here too). I've read through it and also the threads on this page which lead to the block. I can see that there has been some provocation on this page but I also think that you will need to withdraw the comments above before you will be able to be unblocked. Once you have done that you should use this template {{unblock|your reason here}} to request the block be lifted. As you know I am very, very new to all this and am still finding my feet so I am maybe not being as WP:BOLD as I might but I am sure you will understand. In the future I would advise trying not to let them wind you up - if you don't reply then you can't be accused of incivility, just remove the posts from your talk and don't them dignify with a response. Best regards, nancy (talk) 22:36, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

The here issue regarding incivility is simple, not complex. I repeat my request re the Ronz RFC, *if* you want me to look William M. Connolley (talk) 22:43, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
William - this might be what you are looking for User:PeterStJohn/RFC. Pete can confirm. nancy (talk) 22:53, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
  • (EC) Nancy, thanks very much for your quick attention. Your reult is reasonable but I do not wish to withdraw any comments at this time, on these grounds:
    Prolonged, persistent, wikilegalistic attacks get ignored (sometimes) for understandable practical reasons; while superficial things can get immediate attention. This is a problem in itself, which I wish to address.
    I do not wish to complicate the evidence in the case, which specifically includes my deliberate use of provocative language (on account of the above).
    Ronz does this to other people than me. If each of us learns to deal with it efficiently and elegantly, great, that would be a huge social education success. But my puprose is to first, restrain Ronz's tactics on behalf of people more averse to getting into trouble than I am myself; and second, to address the broader issue of unethical disputation, which will take much much more than dealing in any degree with Ronz, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
  • I think you are quite right not to merely unblock. The ideal result would be that the acting admin reconsider and remove the block himself, and that Ronz be asked to introduce an ANI (first) and to stay out of my Talk space (which is just plain impolite; anyone can edit, but I don't edit the talk pages of people who can't stand talking to me, other than to drop required notifications. It's just wrong, he's utterly faceless.) Meanwhile I'll just do what I can to get attention for the unaddressed issues.
  • (post EC) Thanks Nancy. Yes, I'd like Connolley to look because no, it's not simple. The Wikiquette was specifically turned down (promoted to a RfC) because it was judged too complex for a wikiquette. Pete St.John (talk) 22:55, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

OK, I've looked. What you failed to mention was that the RFC was never certified. I'm not too surprised because by itself its far too unspecific. Just for fun, I tracked down the wikiquette alert that it grew from, and I've linked to that from your userify-ied RFC page (I hope thats OK, but people wouldn't find it otherwise). I didn't get much out of it, other than that you refuse to refactor incivil comments. I suggest you reconsider this policy. Refactoring is a form of apology. Wikipedia insists on civility - please see WP:NPA - and although the policy is unevenly applied you won't have a happy time if you insist that you have a right to be rude William M. Connolley (talk) 23:17, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, but I can't say everything everywhere.
"Certification". No, it wasn't certified. It never got any attention. That's the point. The comment in the Wikiquette is that it was too complex, so I should do an RfC. The RfC was ignored for several days; the problem is that the button for creation hadn't worked (it was my first, maybe a mistake) so I had manually created it. So it wasn't listed as pending. When I figured that out, I listed it for pending. When the mandatory amount of time went by without any response, it was automaticaly deleted. At my request it was then moved to my user space for the record. I had not campaigned for help, I had wanted to let the system work. No response at all, was very disappointing.
"Just for fun". The RfC links to the Wikiquette, because I had built my case there and saw no reason to copy it. Sorry for links broken by the process, but I have links all over my (extensive) user space and would always be happy to track down anything you think relevant.
"you refuse to refactor..." The RfC was not about uncivil language, unlike this case before you now. It's about persistent, duplicitous, evasive, consensus-drestroying, unethical conduct. Which spans much stuff over many pages, which is why it gets so little attention, it's too complex. I don't blame you and I appreciate the effort you've made.
"happy time". I wouldn't be fighting over this if my comfort were more important to me than ethical, consennsus building disputation.
"right to be rude". So Wiki policy is that I can insult you (with vapid references to Wikipolicies, e.g. "You are in violation of WP:ThisOrThat", every day, on your talk page? And you'll just delete it every day and wish, "it's too bad that spam on someone's talk page is officially polite"? So yeah it's unevenly applied, particularly in this case right here? OK, that's getting sarcastic, and you are taking time. So I'll rephrase:
  • I argued with Ronz about content. It got heated; blame me if you like. I gave up talking to him, and said so at the time, paraphrase, "we aren't getting anywhere and I give up on rational discourse with you". I stopped posting on his talk (other than obligatory notifications). He continued to post on MY talk. I asked him not to. He continued to. I tried ignoring it, but I never delete such stuff because it's exactly the evidience of what he does on other talk pages as well. Eventually I used uncivil language, on my talk, about his spam there. That led to my bringing the wikiquette and the RfC, which some others joined as plaintiffs (some of which confuses who is complaining about what regarding whom). Most recently, when an associate of Ronz started the similar process on another's talk, I used arguably (but circumloquotory) uncivil language on that talk, to draw the battle to me vs Ronz onto my talk, instead of SA vs Levine on Levine's, because I wanted to fight this battle, because Ronz's behaviour needs to be addressed, but Levine is always faultlessly civil and is not well equipped to cope with Ronz's hostility.
Of course I'd be happy to dig up sections and diffs for any detail of the above. Only a paraphrased version is remotely readable, I think, but any specifics I'd be happy to link. It may take time. I don't expect this to be resolved before the block expires, but if I misinterpreted, and the block holds until I censor myself, then we have much more time. Pete St.John (talk) 23:39, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, well. My advice to you is to drop this feud with Ronz, unless it naturally recurrs. You don't own your talk, but you are entitled to ask people not to use it if you find them annoying, and they should respect that, except for brief notifications of important matters. If you don't like it, delete it. The evidence is in the page history, there is no need to leave it in the open. Before getting heated about people posting to your talk page, get a second opinion. Oh, and if you want people to take an RFC seriously, it should be largely self-contained and not rely on people reading a page elsewhere William M. Connolley (talk) 23:53, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
The feud has been recurring a long time. How many diffs of his posting on my talk, over what length date range, would qualify by your standard of recurring? (I'll provide them.) Why should they respect my asking them not to use my Talk? How many second opinions do you want? (I can provide those.) Wiki pages aren't taken seriously if they have links? I've mentioned that a third party judged this too complex for attention. Flattening the case would make it less complex? I can edit one large flat page with all quotations and their context if that would help. Pete St.John (talk) 00:10, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

What started this[edit]

I thought it might be helpful to actually point out the basis of my blocking. This is from Levine2112's talk:


You are obviously wikistalking me. I'd appreciate it if you did not. Thank you. ScienceApologist (talk) 03:05, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I think I have to look up wiki guidelines about "stalking" but I'd like to note here that I have myself included SA's Talk in my watchlist during periods of what I considered contentious editting. I don't mean to imply that SA has ever accused me of stalking, or that Levine is or is not doing anything similar; I just want that on the record as a concerned party. And it wasn't SA but his pal Ronz who stalked me, in the sense of spamming my talk after I had explicitly renounced further attempts to resolve our differences by direct conversation, and after I had explicitly asked him not to (the wikiquette item I introduced and following RfC were never addressed, and dropped for inactivity); however, at the time it certainly seemed that SA and Ronz had their metaphorical probosci deeply ensconced in each other's morphological tori. Pete St.John (talk) 20:14, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
and note, if watching your opponents' talk pages is a component of stalking in this venue, then Ronz apprarently is watching this, he just complained at my talk. Fruitlessly, I should think, as it appears nobody is willing to get in the middle. Pete St.John (talk) 21:19, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I find PeterStJohn's language about SA and Ronz here extremely incendiary, and clearly intended as such. In short, flame bait of the worst kind. PeterStJohn may want to remove it. Avb 23:15, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
The "owner" of the Talk is welcome to remove it at his discretion. It may be removed as a result of an action from e.g. an RfC or an ANI. Meanwhile I'm standing by it and will defend myself at the Wikiquette or whatever open recourse any claimant seeks. Pete St.John (talk) 23:34, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Addendum: I very definitely prefer open forums, such as a Wikiquette, to seeking help from allies individually, towards resolving disputes. I seek uninvolved 3rd parties. I don't expect to meet any but I seek them. Pete St.John (talk) 23:37, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, PSJ. I am just amazed that an editor who seems to go out of his way to be uncivil, who has been caught sock-puppeteering at least 6 5 times (Nrcprm2026, Nondistinguished, Fraudulent Ideas, Velikovsky, Mainstream astronomy, Joshuaschroeder), who is on ArbCom probation but constantly violates the terms of said probation, and who has a block log longer than many Wikipedia articles is defended so fervently here. I don't get it. Maybe you do? -- Levine2112 discuss 08:15, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

(and it continues, at Levine's talk).

The first item (from SA) is what I construed to be a new instance of the (more typically Ronz-like) behaviour; a vague insinuation to a general topic of bad behaviour, without links or diffs of any specifics.

The next item expresses my opinion and uses the language which I had tailored to provoke Ronz into moving the arguement to my Talk (where he's unwelcome), while avoiding (or if you prefer, evading) actually uncivil language. That is, I expected him to move to my Talk, because he always does, because he doesn't want to actually work towards a consensus by debating facts, but instead harasses with recurrent vague insinutations away from the attention of 3rd parties. His method is that no one specific diff appears actionable. This is an important distinction: I expected him to move to my talk but I did not oblige him in any way to do so. He could make his point right there at Levine's, or he could open a Wikiquette about me. He has plenty of recourse besides spamming my talk where he knows he's unwelcome. But he has to anyway. That's his compulsion.

The next item is my pointing out the move to my talk (for concerned parties).

The next item is Avb. Which language does he object to? The language here, at Levine's talk, or the language at my talk, where I have repeatedly asked Ronz not to go, and about which I created a wikiquette and then an RfC to try and avoid? And where I resorted to definitely less civil language, in entirely appropriate anger at persistent unethical harassment? Pete St.John (talk) 19:56, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Answered elsewhere on this talk page. Avb 15:25, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

The "Appeal to Connelly" procedure[edit]

Last time (so far) Ronz wrote to my Talk I appealed to the admin who blocked me on Ronz's behalf, this diff at Connelley's Talk. The theory is this:

1. Connolley blocks automatically when he sees bad language (on the grounds of WP:CIVIL).

2. He does not consider Ronz unwelcome spamming of talk pages to be uncivil. (I suspect he does, I certainly consider it uncivil, but it's not my place to project. He flatly refuses to admit it, which is his prerogative.)

3. So when Ronz posts to my talk, I post to Connelly's, repeating my complaint and asking him, again, to state flatly that spamming user talk pages is not uncivil, and is not actionable.

4. If Connelley admits it's uncivil, he'd have to do something about Ronz. If he flatly denies it, he'd be open to criticism for a narrow definition of civility. So he ignores it (by repeating, "just delete it").

5. That causes Ronz to lay off from my Talk; because he's (indirectly) annoying his ally Connolley in a way that Connolley can't fix himself.

Recall that I've gone to every possible recourse to get Ronz off my Talk; I've asked him (he ignored me), I created a wikiquette (got ignored, as "too complex"), I created a RfC (also ignored, no comments at all). I think it's very important that 1) Ronz have no plausible deniabiltity about knowing I don't want him on my Talk page; 2) I've sought every civil avenue of redress, and there are none. Pete St.John (talk) 21:21, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

You have another couple of options you haven't explored: (a) spell my name right, or even consistently (b) be civil yourself William M. Connolley (talk) 22:18, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
WFC, (a) mispelling your name is inadvertent, sorry. I don't see how that is an "option" however, regarding the point. (b) please point out my specific incivility. Pete St.John (talk) 17:44, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Email regarding the feud with Ronz and the recent Block by Connolley, to Nancy[edit]

Here is the text of the email I just sent to User:Nancy, a recent Admin. I chose her not because she knows me, which she doesn't, but because she conceded a point in the process of winning a debate at which I happened to be on the other side. I had been thinking about that (the eristic editors never concede points; consensus can only be built from common ground so it's important for them to evade common ground) so I went ahead and created a barnstar, of which Nancy was the first (so far only) recipient. The point is that we have no prior history (other than being on opposite sides of one vote), she's motivated to invest time responding to me but not particuarly to blindly agree with me (not that any Admin here would, and I'll be looking for more help elsewhere). The text, which includes links (but in long form, not wiki form):

[copy, with some typography altered]

Sorry for this email. The situation is not pleasant, but I could very much use the attention of an admin who can reasonably feel disinterested, but who also would be reasonably motivated to look into nontrivial details of an ugly fight (this refers to the Barnstar, for future readers).
I've been blocked by User:William_M._Connolley ; the message I get (when I attempt to edit his Talk, to reply) includes:

...Your IP address is [elided], and the block has been set to expire: 21:15, 8 February 2008.

Note: See below - you will usually still be able to edit your user talk page and contact other editors and administrators by email, even if blocked...

In fact I was able to edit my own user talk, so I can reply there, but I have no means to notify anyone not watching it.
I have never heard of this admin before, and we have had no prior contact to my knowledge. He has blocked me for use of uncivil language (which is on the surface not unreasonable; I certainly don't claim my language has all been civil, quite the opposite). However, I answered each of the incivility accusations (from the plaintiff); the blocking admin did not address those, did not ask any questions, did not give any particular specific, and did not give me any warning. I have explanations of the whole thing, particularly, the incivilities themselves. I'm willing to be "convicted" of WP:CIVIL if my explanations are insufficient, but the summary ban is incorrect and I object strenuously to it (exactly because the plaintiff is evading due process).
The feud has been going on a long time.
The item, with discussion now (the admin replied at my Talk, just now) is at
The items in my user space documenting my feud with Ronz, and my case regarding his unethical tactics, are at which is lengthy. It covers the arguement about content at Quackwatch (a very very contentious page on a horrible subject) mainly with ScienceApologist (who is rational, on my side regarding content, but opposed to me regarding consensus building). Then subsections about Ronz and our arguement till it got unmanageable. It's not uptodate with the recent stuff from Levine2112's talk (Levine2112 is opposed to me about content, but on my side about consensus-building), but it goes up to where the RfC got restored to my user space for future reference (such as this) at
The recent flare-up, which certainly includes uncivil language on my part, is at Levine's talk,
I want to emphasize that I do not expect **agreement** with me. What I'm asking for is **patience**, because my explanation of all this is waaaay not simple and involves unethical behaviour over a long period of time, which most 3rd parties have been unwilling to try and parse. I'm sympathetic.
I'll write up something better in reply at my Talk, it may have to wait until tonight, and I'm not assuming anybody gets to this before the block actually expires. I hadn't expected this because I thought Ronz didn't want to bring attention where he wouldn't want it; I was wrong, but maybe I'll still be right.
Again sorry for the hassle; all I expect is honest concern, not speed, agreement, or strong actions. I certainly wouldn't want to deal with a mess like this my first week as an admin.
P.S. it occurs to me that I can copy this text to my Talk page, which would cover some of the linking required, and satisfy my preference for openness (in a sense not possible in this situation). So I'll do that.

[end copy]


Hello Peter, you may feel a bit lonely in your unusual situation. So I just thought I should tell you that I am watching with some interest what's going on on your talk page. I am very sympathetic with you — it's the kind of scrape that I could get myself into as well. I agree that some of the people here who profess to be defending try to defend [edited 10:01, 8 February 2008 (UTC) after a complaint by Ronz; not sure if the original wording was fair] science aren't doing us a great service with the way they are doing it. Personally I didn't get into this fight: because I still value my time a bit more than Wikipedia, and also because I am not sufficiently sure it's not a structural problem. A lot of people appear to think that people like Ronz and ScienceApologist (who seems to have been quite civilised recently — I wouldn't be surprised to hear he is more successful that way) are needed in this position because the militancy of the other side must be matched. I have no idea if this hypothesis is true, or if it was ever tested. --Hans Adler (talk) 00:34, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Hello, Hans! yes it is a bit lonely, but I have to be clear that I have very definitely brought this on myself. I believe it is worthwhile and I believe I'm equipped for the fight (maybe overconfident). I believe that it is a structural problem, but I want to address it. Not by fighting individuals (though I believe it's concommitent) but by organizing; e.g. I have been thinking about clarifying policy regarding unethical disputation (imagine "WP:SOPHISTRY") by collecting together some bits from various existing policies, and starting at least discussion, but hopefully a Project. I'd like to establish some definite admin precedent towards attempting a more general solution. (Of course there can't be a total solution, but maybe there can be relief.) I may myself be accused of "taking the low road for the high end" (I like that turn of phrase) but I intend to argue that my use has been judicious and not actionably inappropriate. I think we have to be tough, but I don't think we have to cheat. Ronz cheats. I feel a bit like a basketball player committing what could be ruled an intentional foul during the last seconds while one point down. There is a grey area between practical necessity and sportsmanship, and between policies and practices. I'm willing to bump this area myself and I'll take my licks for it. The main difference is that I own up to everything I do and I'm prepared to defend it rationally. My sense is that blatant militancy (such as single purpose accounts) get squashed, the way mere vandalism gets squashed. It's the subtle stuff from experienced wiki-ists that's more dangerous, IMO. Anyway thanks for the concern, and I'm grateful to both you and Nancy if only as witnesses. I want there to be no doubt that I answer all questions and address all concerns, no matter what happens. Ultimately that contrast limns Ronz. Pete St.John (talk) 00:52, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
There definitely is a lot of sophistry at play. I'm not sure how you hope to achieve anything with an 'intentional foul' however. I would advise you to re-think your strategy and adopt tactics that explicitly and strictly follow WP policies such as civility. Dlabtot (talk) 09:13, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Dlabtot, feel free to point out any particular sophistry. Regarding WP:CIVIL, I gather that applies to me (summarily, without warning) but not to Ronz? You support Ronz's tactics? Pete St.John (talk) 19:32, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Pete, I see you have decided to sit out the block and I respect your decision. You must though be really careful from now on as typically the length of any future block will be an increase on the last so next time it might be 48 hours or worse. I can see how frustrating this whole situation is for you but as I said last night my approach would be try really hard to ignore the provocation and maintain the moral high-ground - this is even more important now as someone might deliberately try to provoke you so that you get blocked again for longer. Best regards, nancy (talk) 09:25, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I've told you this before but I believe it deserves repeating. All editors need to learn to get along with each other. I know the details with you and Ronz and tried it calm the waters when it first began. I failed miserably. I am sorry you got blocked but you have two choices that is see, the first is to be; WP:Civil with Ronz or second, just ignore and try to avoid him at all costs. Like I said, this is just a suggestion but editors behaving uncivil with each other just don’t do the project any good. I hope you take what I am saying in a way which it is meant; I am just trying to help this bad situation like Avb was. Good luck to you and I hope things change for the positive, to help write an encyclopedia. --CrohnieGalTalk 14:36, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Crohnie, I'm sorry but I consider you and Avb to be partisans in this. Unfortunately I've had no sucess at all getting 3rd party attention; the only people who have commented here are ones I've emailed (since I'm blocked) or who, presumably, Ronz contacted. I seek a public forum, and Ronz evades the public forum, by restricting his objectionable tactics to talk pages. However, granting my incivility for the sake of arguement, why do you consider mine actionable but not Ronz's? That is, why should I "ignore and try to avoid" but he is welcome to harass me (and others) on our talk pages? If you want to be fair, you should either censure him (agreeing with me that he is uncivil) or defend him (disagreeing with me). I'm trying to do something about his ongoing pattern of unethical behaviour. Since he persists despite my warnings, it's unreasonable to ask me to solve this problem by ignoring it, and it's very unclear why I should be civil when he need not be. You only care about my behaviour, and his is irrelevant? Pete St.John (talk) 19:32, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
And Nancy, I have been provoked so as to get blocked. If Ronz had simply stopped posting on my Talk page there would have been no more incivility. Granted, I provoked him to move from Levine's talk to mine (with wording that may not be actionably uncivil, and which I intended to be defensible; that is, not flagrant: like calling someone an "@$$" instead of an "ass", still provocative but at least respectful of the common desire to avoid obscenities). Anyway, doing something about this pattern of behaviour is more important to me than Ronz, and doing something about Ronz is more important to me than editting, right now. If it's impossible to do anything about Ronz then yes, sure, this venue is not useful to me. But I will not be quick to believe it's impossible. Pete St.John (talk) 19:39, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
First off I am offended by you stating that Avb and I are partisian. All we have tried to do is help try to stop this esculation of behavior. I believe that Ronz should also try to avoid you too. You are taking all of this so personal. I am not the one who blocked you and I really don't know why you were blocked. All I am trying to do is stop the squabbling already. You have to admit that you are slamming Ronz in different places, don't you expect him to respond? Sorry you feel this way, I'll stay out of this, I was just trying to help. --CrohnieGalTalk 20:41, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Crohnie, I'm sorry you're offended but we have corresponded in the past about this situation. You defended Ronz's side. It's reasonable for me to consider you partisan, right? You consider yourself neutral? Now to this last, why is the reason I've been blocked irrelevant? I thought that was the topic here. If you are not interested in that topic then I don't understand why you're here. "Stopping this escalation of behaviour" by singling me out, in favor of Ronz, and denying the relevance of the reasons for the blocks (much less the reasons for my incivility) won't work; that's not stopping the escalation. And yes I expected Ronz to respond, he's perfectly predictable, all the way to privately contacting an admin to block me summarily, without warning or any concern for the background or context. Perfectly predictable. But expecting him to come to my talk page (again, even after all the public-forum effort to prevent it) is different from obliging him to. He could have opened a Wikiqutte. He could have posted an ANI. Or asked for mediation. Instead, he spammed me on my talk, even so far as linking the preceeding paragraph back at me. (It's the section right above "block" here on this page.) He didn't need to do that, that's his compulsion. And cherry-picking admins is unconscionable, if not actionable. None of the respondents here learned about the issue from a public post, right? Am I mistaken about that? Is there a public post I haven't been notified of, like an RfC? Pete St.John (talk) 20:53, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I am a bit partisan here, yes, in the sense that I know and value Ronz and SA (and certainly Crohnie also) as editors and know very little about your editing here. FWIW, I first met SA when editing on opposite sides of a debate on a pretty controversial subject, and found collaborating with him productive. But the fact that you believe my opinion of long-standing, experienced editors influenced me to speak up against your behavior as I did... speaks volumes to me. If you would care to look over my edit history, you will find that I oppose incivility regardless of POV. Also, doesn't the fact that I did not report you say something? I hoped you would take my words to heart. Instead I see continued denial. I also see you accusing Crohnie and me.

I see you believe I have been contacted by Ronz. This is factually incorrect. I have Levine2112's talk page on my watchlist and saw you respond with incivilities to a note left by SA for Levine2112. This seemed unprovoked to me so I suspected it was part of the very real flame bait campaign targeted at SA. I left a note attempting to prevent further escalation. I do not want you or anyone else blocked. I want editors to edit, not fight. Avb 21:14, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree with what Avb said above but I also want you to know that I had no idea why you were blocked and had nothing to do with you being blocked. I didn't read your whole talk page, I didn't see anything past my own last comment to you about being offended. I am not against you or after you or anthing else. I am sorry for the confusion. --CrohnieGalTalk 21:37, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Avb, thanks for talking this out here. Ironically, I'm on the same side as SA (on content at the contraversial articles where we've butted heads); but also, like you, I have found him productive (but also sometimes consensus averse, with too little respect for what is sometimes an honest PoV). Also I think Crohnie means well. Ronz, however, employs unethical dispuation tactics and I'm determined to address it. I accuse you and Crohnie of prior aliance, not any unethical acts; that is, you aren't IMO disinterested third parties. Since an important part of my case about Ronz is that he evades disinterested third parties, by avoiding public forums, by doing what he does on Talk pages, it's important for me to address this. I don't mean any personal slight and actually I'd prefer if we could just ask friends to help and let the disinterested third parties come as they will. But Wiki is a bit idealistic.
(EC) As for continued denial, I'm certainly continuing to get Ronz's behaviour recognized as unethical dispuation, and as a form of harassment, that is not conspicous at the atomic level (of diffs) but is conspicuous to his victims. I'm not accusing you or Crohnie of that; you seem oblivious to the objections to your friend, but that's human nature. What's important (in this case, to me) is that you identify as friends of Ronz, which you are. That's fine, that's enough for me. I just want to be clear that disinterested third parties have not evaluated this case and found Ronz guitless (or anything; there do not seem to have been any disinterested third parties investigating my claims and making any assessment at all. I seek that.) I don't mean to evade "continuing denial" of uncivil language. I can only address that at the specific level. I stand by my wording in general. I used provocative but IMO unactionable language at Levine's page, and harsher but IMO justifiable language on my Talk, as I had already taken extraordinary efforts through channels to deter his uncivil harassment at my Talk.
Regarding contact, I accept of course that you had been watching Levine's talk, that's perfectly plausible (on account of your prior involvement). It's Connelly's action that I question; he presented (or I misconstrued it that way) as an uninvolved third party (so presumably wasn't watching Levine's talk). I asked him how he found out, above somewhere, he didn't reply.
Crohnie, I had thought you had posted here regarding the block, but please don't feel you have to defend a position here. This is a mean fight in several ways, and you aren't a mean person in any way that I know of. Pete St.John (talk) 21:53, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the response, Pete. Avb 23:23, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I talk to Ronz on his page. He helped me a lot during my beginning time here. I personally think things have gotten way out of control about this. Isn't it time to put it to rest already? Oh,I hope you don't mind but I have a pet peeve about the spelling of Crohn's and my ID so I made corrections. I will leave you alone now. --CrohnieGalTalk 00:02, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Fixing the spelling is fine of course; I dislike mispelling people's names but I seem to have a crohnic confusion about yours. As for just letting it drop; no. He does this to other people besides me, and it's an effective technique for him. He gets blocks and otherwise keeps opponents off the articles where he doesn't want them; me for example. I haven't even attempted to deal with Quackwatch since long before this episode. He wins, he gets everything he wants, and other editors succeed with this methodology also. The wiki has to have some way to address it. Before a problem can be solved, or even ameliorated, it has to be noticed. All the people who have noticed it are the victims of it, so are all putatively partisan; disinterested third parties either get caught up in it (look at what Ronz did on Hans' talk page, and Hans could charge tuition for patience and civility lessons) or just can't bother to parse through the huge mass of indirect subtleties; no one diff is conspicuous (with rare exceptions) and every admin is spread thin. But this is a pernicious problem that's significantly deleterious to consensus building, and we have to fight it. Anyway some of us have to fight it. Not you. Pete St.John (talk) 17:37, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Read the associated pages[edit]

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Martinphi-ScienceApologist. If you read them carefully, that should explain it all. ScienceApologist (talk) 17:59, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

One account per person[edit]

"I might even say that a clear majority of users who log in as me tend on the whole to consider your item on equivocation to be predominately acceptable on many of it's particulars."

I'm curious as to whether there are multiple people logging in under your account. Is this just a rhetorical device, or is it actually the case? Note Wikipedia:User_account_policy#Sharing_accounts for more. Thanks. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:12, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

You know it actually occurred to me you might take it that way. I'm not trying to bait you (as I did Ronz, with argueable mixed success); I'm trying to get through to you. Note that my account is "Peter St.John", not e.g. Euphistopheles. I had expected to contribute as a software developer and sometime mathematician, not as a pugilist. Yet it's this account that gets in trouble, don't you think? Else I'd use my secret Wyrmtongue account. Anway, no. One out of one is "a clear majority". Pete St.John (talk) 18:28, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Just consider it a friendly, heads-up. You don't know how many things can be taken out of context here. And yes, you're right, Wikipedia is a terribly caustic environment. ScienceApologist (talk) 19:12, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I know how many things are taken out of context. All of them, by eristic editors. Which we are determined not to be. Pete St.John (talk) 19:30, 12 February 2008 (UTC)


There was a little mess here. I complained about Ronz spamming here to Connolley, here as he had been the one to block me over it last time. I consider mere deletion (which included welcome comments by others; Ronz is the only wikipedian that I've asked, repeatedly, and formally via Wikiquette and RfC, to stay off my Talk) to obfuscate Ronz's persistent harassment, and is not a solution. Pete St.John (talk) 22:03, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Please consider refactoring per WP:CIVIL[edit]

[21] Thanks! --Ronz (talk) 20:38, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I replied at Connolley's again as per conjecture. Pete St.John (talk) 20:53, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I believe most people would find "Then if some juvenile stonewaller merely repeats his refrain, as he always does" to be uncivil. Please refactor. --Ronz (talk) 21:02, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
and as per usual, if someone else asks that (or any) question here, I'll answer it; or if Ronz asks it anywhere else, I'll anser it as it's pointed. Still not specific; I only conjecture he thinks the third person personal pronoun refers to himself. Pete St.John (talk) 21:34, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Re: Amiga at OS article[edit]

Respectable Mr. Peter St John, you wrote on my talk page:

The Amiga, and Atari ST, were fun game machines in their day. Good luck.

When you said "fun game machines" you show that unfortunately you know nothing of the use of these machines as serious computers that originated an entire generation of productivity software, new families of hardware devices, common standards in communications, etcetera.

No, I showed that I believe they were fun game machines in their day; not that they were only game machines. Neither of us has experienced every application with every model of computer. Pete St.John (talk) 17:52, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Do not worry. A simple ignorance of the facts it is not a problem, and could be corrected by studying better the history of computing.

For example just start your check from the article Amiga software and its splitting articles to see how many serious programs were created and still being created for Amiga, and how many of these programs were then being ported with profit on other systems, such as Windows and Linux: (DPaint, Pagestream, Blender, Lightwave, Caligari 3D, 3D Terrain editors, TV Paint, etcetera.). Due to Amiga the world of 3D computer graphics was ported from mainstream firms, and universitary laboratories to the masses of users worldwide. Again check how much was useful IFF standard ubiquitous generic file-format of Amiga in the history of computing, as it generated an entire family of files with same characteristics (GIF, TIFF, AIFF, etcetera). See about this fact this article at IBM Developers page: Standards and specs: The Interchange File Format (IFF).

And all these facts are just only a little example of how much was relevant the Amiga in the history of computing.

This looks like good material for the Amiga OS article, and not the general OS one. Also you'll want to fix up the grammar and spelling a bit ("Notheworthy [sic] to mention...").

Certain if you are unaware of the Amiga impact in the history of computing, and how much it was revolutionary its design at its time, you easily could question if it is notheworthy or not that Amiga generated an entire family of OSs.

You mispelled "noteworthy". It's just a typo. See below, where I explain my usage of "[sic]" with square brackets. Pete St.John (talk) 17:52, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

But sure if Amiga were simply a poor "game machine" as you called it, it had had not generated all this vitality, neither the efforts for development of new OSs (an OS it is not a matter for games), and sure if Amiga was was SIMPLY a game machine it had not left any heir, neither had survived all this time since the demise of Commodore Incorporated in 1992.

Fact stated (and it is noteworthy in the world of computer technologies, and OS history) that a minor platform, without any big firm behind its shoulders producing it and supporting it on the market, and having lost its main manufacturer Commodore, then it has been capable to completely renewing itself, thanks to loyal userbase and good programmers, and finally it has being capable to generate entire family of modern OSs present on the market nowadays (for "modern" I intend that AmigaOS 4.0 has "modern" features, such as memory protection, defragments RAM while in use, and could make use of MMU and memory swapping. MorphOS it is microkernel based and has SMP capabilities, memory protection and uses ALTIVEC multimedia facitlities features of processor PPC G4. AROS, that is Open Source OS, has been the first heir of ancient AmigaOS to run on 64bit AMD X86 processors, and last month achieved also a first implementation of memory protection features).

So, with all respect, I announce you that will re-issue these news in the OS article, maybe better clarifying WHY these Amiga facts deserve to be mentioned and taking much care of the grammar and of the form (as long as my poor english could help me).

Goodbye, --Raffaele Megabyte (talk) 16:44, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

P.S.: By the way... "(Sic!)" in modern usage, directly from latin "Sic est!" as indicating with a point of doubt and sarcasm that a statement it is arguable and not verified, must be written into brackets with "S" uppercase, and the "!" exclamation mark)

No, "[sic]" (in square brackets) is in this context an editorial ammendation which indicates that an error (usually typographical) is in the original; I was merely pointing out your typographical error. See Sic. Pete St.John (talk) 17:52, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


You might also want to ask him about his past affiliations. You know, Communists, etc. Can't be too careful. (ec) on reflection, this is uncivil and I apologize. Ronnotel (talk) 20:23, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Ronnotel refers to Seicer's nomination for admin where I posted a question. I think he (Ronnotel) misconstrues me. The comment seems sufficiently ambiguous and insinuative for me to ignore. Pete St.John (talk) 20:29, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Ronnotel, thanks, accepted; not necessary though. I don't mind at all if people are sarcastic to me (this is my talk, mind you, not an article page); I'm happy for people to express themselves, even at my expense, as long as we keep it more-or-less nonviolent. My objection (the reason I didn't respond at your talk) is that your jibe was merely an insinuation. I think you do misconstrue me, but since you don't actualy say what you mean, I can't reply because I don't want to interpret you. If, for example, you had said "an editor's understanding of the content is no more relevant to administrative responsibility than Communist Party affiliation was relevant to theatrical production in the fifties" then I would have replied to you. But really, thanks for the second thought, it's rare to see even a first thought around here :-) Pete St.John (talk) 20:38, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Pete, you strike me as level-headed contributor. I'm sure there is much more that we agree on than we disagree. However, at Seicer's RfA I see an absurd dichotomy being drawn between devotion to science and devotion to civility (not by you). IMHO, Seicer has become the Science-cabal's latest punching bag for standing up for civility and I think, like me, he is being unfairly tarnished for doing so. Ronnotel (talk) 20:52, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I'm the Anti-anti-science cabal's punching bag for standing up for civility. They have plenty of fists and there is room for plenty of punching. See my RfC leading ultimately to my getting blocked for a couple days by an admin who took an Anti-anti-scientist's hypocritical complaints at face value. I despise the Homeopathy and Cold Fusion (!) and such like pages, but I insist that even the "good" side (pro-science) be scientific (always open to questioning) and not fight for science (science is not a virgin who's honor needs to be defended by teenagers). However, if indeed Seicer is not merely pro-consensus but actually anti-science, then I wouldn't want him an admin either. I had hoped to give him a good clear opportunity to distinguish pro-consensus from anti-science, but he doesn't believe he can take it as such in the current situation. I don't blame him. I'm not "voting" either way, myself. Pete St.John (talk) 20:59, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I accept that your comment was an attempt to help Seicer and that my sarcastic tone was misplaced. I find it absurd that Seicer, who I'm told works in a lab, has to defend himself at all against charges of being a closeted quack. I find the readiest way to identify the kook in the room is to observe carefully the methods they employ and it's not Seicer's methods I've found wanting (yours, btw, seem entirely beyond reproach). Ronnotel (talk) 21:32, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
The anti-anti-science cabal uses unethical techniques. That I fight where I see it, regardless of my support for particular content or a particular nominee. And my methods apparently are indeed wanting, I was blocked just a few days ago and I'm unable to defend myself from the eristic, anti-consensus, juvenile wikisophistry. But I'll never stop fighting it. Pete St.John (talk) 21:39, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi Peter...your comment[edit]

Thanks for stopping by to comment on CCC.

The commentary wrt phlogiston began with the editor's lame attempt to discredit my knowledge of the topic area by comparing (a) my defence of the Penrose-Hameroff model of consciousness in the context of Consciousness causes collapse with (b) someone who would attempt to assert scientific support for the ancient and long discredited phlogiston theory.

In other words, the editor dropped by my talk page to call me an idiot because he couldn't justify himself in the debate, and was being a "sore loser". You were reading my response to this editor's condescending personal attack. As I recall, he was attempting to POV the lead with "generally derided as pseudoscience", but could not cite a consensus viewpoint to so characterize the topic. Right after that he left the topic and another editor (guess who?) picked up the ball for him. WNDL42 (talk) 20:23, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

CCC would be generally dirided as pseudoscience, if many scientists every bothered to think about it, which I suspect they don't. Anyway I'll respond at Wndl's. Pete St.John (talk) 20:30, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that's why I supported deletion of the article, it's title was wrong. Any association between "consciousness" (whatever that is) and wave function collapse is a matter for speculation and investigation...but it's clearly not generally seen as "pseudoscience" (whatever THAT is). I still have not seen a single reliable source definition of "pseudoscience" that justifies it's broad use in an encyclopedia. Funny that more people don't know that the word is essentially undefined, except here on Wikipedia... WNDL42 (talk) 21:44, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Belated thanks[edit]

Hiya Pete, belated thanks for saying nice things about me over at WT:MoS. I hadn't tuned back into the discussion til now. Btw, we have some things in common: I got a master's in math, my partner went to Duke, and you and I have a similar take on a lot of wiki-issues, so feel free to give me a shout if you find yourself rowing against the current, I might be in the same boat. - Dan Dank55 (talk) 21:34, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Oh, you're welcome. Took me a minute to grep down into the right section; we sure grow some big arguements here. From tiny seeds of words. Pete St.John (talk) 21:41, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I read quickly through some of the mess. I certainly don't know 1/100 of what admins know about blocks, but my sense is that a 24-hour block is not that big a deal. I have no idea if it was justified, but you made it pretty easy for them by repeated use of the word "asshole" and making even vaguely hostile responses about Ronz on other people's talk pages...there's a lot of patience around here for conflict but saying almost anything negative on a third person's talk page is often considered crossing a line, regardless of whether it's justified.
Also be aware that there's a kind of paradox...people who are passionate about anything will often cross lines, and often get slapped down, but these are also some of the most important contributors to Wikipedia. I have no magic answer for what to do with your passion. For myself, I've decided to retreat to writing factual, boring articles, and saving my passion for my blog. - Dan Dank55 (talk) 22:37, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, the block itself was no big deal. The bigger problem is what to do about the original complaint that led to it (by long meandering), that is, unethical disputation disguised so as to appear to conform to policies, locally, but which are disruptive, in the aggregate. I don't blame you for the "retreat", really that's what most of us have to do or there would not be any wikipedia to fight over. I just don't want the stealth-sophists to define the atmosphere by being the only ones willing to fight, so I'll stick it out myself awhile. Pete St.John (talk) 22:56, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I think what most successful Wikipedians do in the situation you describe is to get other people to fight the battle. There is a big "don't feed the trolls" culture around here, that is, a sense that there are always plenty of jerks around here who are absolutely convinced they just won their last 50 arguments, despite the fact that no one seems to be following their advice. - Dan Dank55 (talk) 23:45, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh yeah, getting other people to fight the battle is a hugely sucessful tactic; my opponents almost certaintly abuse "CANVASS" as unenforceable, and that gets me where I live, because when you are in the right it's very easy to canvass a great deal of informed support. Trolls get overwhelmed where I come from. I definitely have not been winning any arguements lately, but I think it's not impossible that I might adapt decades of flamewarring to this interesting, important, but troublesome venue. Pete St.John (talk) 23:51, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Canvassing, bad; disengaging from fights with individuals, good; convincing people of the general principal, however you can accomplish that, best.
On another subject, you were making the argument to the admin that the guy in question is harrassing you because he keeps posting on your talk page when you've asked him not to. I've read enough of WP:AN to know that they'd say the best way to stop a fight is to stop talking, and if someone posts on your talk page after you've asked them not to, just revert them, since you'll always win edit wars on your own talk page. If it goes for a long time where your opponent keeps talking long after you've stopped, then they get interested in stepping in. - Dan Dank55 (talk) 02:30, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
My own ethics vary from wiki policy on this matter, perhaps. To me, posting on a user talk page when unwelcome, is abhorrent. (But where I come from users could block other's selectively from their own space --that is, "lock the room" in MOO; although I never did myself, it was important that people could if they needed to.) Pete St.John (talk) 18:44, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Vector (spatial)[edit]

Hi Pete, you've raised a very good point about two orthogonal (forgive my lame pun) directions developed in that article. We should definitely be clear on this, and in case of disagreement on the scope of the coverage it's always possible to fork one part out. I posted a blunt comment there ("Do not feed …) because the talk page had become flooded by quantity – not quantity nonexisting dilemma and the supposed "controversy" surrounding "Gibbs-Heaviside vectors", not to mention attempts to set physicists upon mathematicians and vice-versa, and I wanted that to stop. Legit discussion and improvement of the article should, of course, continue. Cheers, Arcfrk (talk) 02:27, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

There's a syndrome that a new editor shows up (e.g. in response to an RfC), and shows mere willingness to listen to someone long-time editors have long since given up as a troll; then the new editor is presumed to be a friend of the troll. It's a really annoying syndrome I experience all too often, but the only solution for it is patience. Pete St.John (talk) 18:48, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Please take a look[edit]

NPOV[22] AN/I[23] Anthon01 (talk) 19:12, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

I commented. My fear is that more and more of people's time gets taken up with fighting. Try to find a sentence that SA will admit at Belladonna or something. We have to make some progress in content somewhere. Pete St.John (talk) 20:05, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Please consider refactoring[edit]

I don't think there is any reason for you to mention me here: [24] --Ronz (talk) 20:09, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Deadly nightshade and NPOV/N[edit]

I just want to make sure that you are aware of the conversation here as it pertains to our disagreement at Deadly nightshade. -- Levine2112 discuss 06:51, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Purpose of user talk pages[edit]

A user talk page is the primary forum for discussions with and about the specific user. While users are given a great deal of latitude on how they manage their own talk pages, it is not for their personal use. See WP:UP#OWN and WP:OWN. --Ronz (talk) 17:30, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

I replied at the WQA and in light of the above at Connolley's Talk. Pete St.John (talk) 17:58, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
You are not welcome to copy all talk over to my page; please don't do it. Ronz: you are correct that people don't own their talk pages. However, you are (for whatever reason) clearly unwelcome here. Please restrict yourself to only adding necessary notices; I can't see why the above comes into that category. If you need to reply to this, do it on my talk page William M. Connolley (talk) 20:27, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
I do not mean to merely spam WMC's talk with copies of existing talk, only to provide context. Particularly it is not my intent to merely punish, or illustrate, bad behaviour by emulating it; I think there is even wikipolicy about that. If I should apologize for such a thing please specify the diff, thanks. Pete St.John (talk) 20:42, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

WQA -> ANI[edit]

Archived NB: the ANI timed out and was archived (apparently by a bot) to here Pete St.John (talk) 21:02, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

The last WQA regarding Ronz and myself is now this AN/I. Pete St.John (talk) 19:40, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Regarding certification. RfC certification typically requires that two people certify the basis of the dispute (I know I'm repeating myself, I'll explain!). This isn't to say that you file an RfC and someone else reads what you've written and says "Yup, dispute here." The second certifier needs to actually be a party to the dispute. Typically, disputes between two people only will fail to achieve certification. Once it has been certified, they aren't deleted but archived after a long period of inactivity. If there is someone besides yourself and Ronz involved significantly in your dispute, that person could potentially certify. Even someone on the periphery, unless certification comes up as a problem later on (once in a great while, it does). Hope this clears it up. Not to say that it might not have been ignored anyway, its hard to figure what brings in others to comment on an RfC - as far as I know, there aren't any folks dedicated to participating in conduct RfCs. Avruch T 21:12, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I had addressed that (anyway tried to) in the RfC itself, at this place in my user space where it got moved after deletion. I'll address this at the AN/I. Pete St.John (talk) 18:00, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Yup, it looks like it got archived. MiszaBot archives threads after 48 hours in inactivity. If you can get one of the editors you mentioned to certify the RfC, just move it back to the RfC page and it will stick. Avruch T 20:46, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
And looking at the RfC in your userspace... You probably want to put some significant work into it before refiling it. Take a look at some recent conduct RfCs for ideas and how it should be structured and what it should contain as far as evidence etc. Avruch T 20:47, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I didn't check for a diff, but its at he bottom of 381. Avruch T 20:55, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
oh thanks, I must have bungled the grep. Pete St.John (talk) 20:59, 9 March 2008 (UTC)


Dear Peter, I've replied to your comment on Wolfram's article talk page.

Regards, Saiva suj 12:58, 11 March 2008 (UTC)


I completelly share your philosophy... To the point that I developed a page to include most of the topics deletionist (which I believe are somehow the mayority, probably because of psychological transference of frustration, probably because they fear loosing control over the content, probabbly because of a good healthy reason I can't figure out, I don't know), But I still think greater things can be done here in Wikipedia.

Putting inclusionism and deletionism aside, I also think we would ald win if you join the wiki project. At least to state your opinion every now and then.

Should I include that Lucas number you mentioned in the list of related articles of the wikiproject?--20-dude (talk) 07:38, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Duke University[edit]

Hi Peter, Got your message about an edit I made linking to Duke University, but it didn't make sense to me. Could you jog my memory and tell me what article this was in? Thanks, --Ken Gallager (talk) 11:24, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Stephen Wolfram[edit]

I added the Stephen Wolfram is of British Jewish descent, and there are two references that I added. It seems that you did not see the references. I could not understand why it is stated as "unreferenced". Take another look at my edit and it has two sources. Thank you. (talk) 21:59, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

I suspect this happened because the combination anonymous editor/jewish/millionaire raised red flags and a software problem makes it hard to compare the two versions in this case, so it was easy to overlook the additional references. I have taken the liberty of reverting Peter's revert now (assuming that he would have done it later anyway), because this allows me to correct the naming of the reference for Stephen Wolfram's father. Peter, I hope you don't mind. Feel free to revert me if I get something wrong here. --Hans Adler (talk) 02:08, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
no no that's fine, somebody points out a mistake, somebody fixes it. I can put my feet up and watch TV :-)

Line article[edit]

Hi Pete. Can I prevail on you to take a position on the question I raised just now concerning the second sentence of the article on lines at the bottom of that article's talk page? If you agree with Tango I won't argue the point further. --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 07:17, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

2,3 Machine article[edit]

Hi Pete. I added a section at the end of . I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have on this. --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 06:58, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

An invitation to join WikiProject Ohio[edit]

Humor and template loops[edit]


  1. my sense of humor
  2. your sense of humor (to which a Barnstar on your userpage gives testimony)

but in view of my effort to keep Category:Template loop warnings as empty as possible:

I am not hilarious about User:PeterStJohn/Userboxes/User Recursive. Debresser (talk) 21:42, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

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Hello, PeterStJohn. You have new messages at Debresser's talk page.
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The first Wikipedian meetup in Ohio[edit]

Thanks! --Rkitko (talk) 22:08, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

AfD nomination of Alex Smith (The Simplest Universal Computer Proof contest winner)[edit]

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An editor has nominated one or more articles which you have created or worked on, for deletion. The nominated article is Alex Smith (The Simplest Universal Computer Proof contest winner). We appreciate your contributions, but the nominator doesn't believe that the article satisfies Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion and has explained why in his/her nomination (see also Wikipedia:Notability and "What Wikipedia is not").

Your opinions on whether the article meets inclusion criteria and what should be done with the article are welcome; please participate in the discussion(s) by adding your comments to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Alex Smith (The Simplest Universal Computer Proof contest winner). Please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~).

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Please note: This is an automatic notification by a bot. I have nothing to do with this article or the deletion nomination, and can't do anything about it. --Erwin85Bot (talk) 01:04, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

You appear to be eligible to vote in the current Arbitration Committee election. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to enact binding solutions for disputes between editors, primarily related to serious behavioural issues that the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the ability to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. If you wish to participate, you are welcome to review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. For the Election committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 16:06, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Art+Feminism Edit-A-Thon Invitation[edit]

Hey Peter! If you're still around the Columbus area, I'd like to invite you to attend Wikipedia Connection's Art+Feminism Edit-A-Thon at the Ohio State University on Saturday, March 5, from 1 - 5 PM. You may be aware of Art+Feminism, but if not, it's a global event that brings together diverse communities to create and improve Wikipedia articles related to women in the arts. The purpose of this event is to help combat the lack of coverage women and art subjects receive due to less than 10% of Wikipedia editors being women. Anyone with an interest is welcome to join, and we're expecting a good mix of students, faculty, and veteran Wikipedians. If you have any questions or are interested, just let me know. In addition to the signup page above, we have an RSVP form here. Thanks! ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 15:36, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

Scale of justice 2.svg Hello, PeterStJohn. Voting in the 2016 Arbitration Committee elections is open from Monday, 00:00, 21 November through Sunday, 23:59, 4 December to all unblocked users who have registered an account before Wednesday, 00:00, 28 October 2016 and have made at least 150 mainspace edits before Sunday, 00:00, 1 November 2016.

The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

If you wish to participate in the 2016 election, please review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 22:08, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

Invitation to editathon at ISMB/ECCB 2017[edit]