User talk:Scottperry/Archive-2014-07-04

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Archive 4

April 2010 - July 2014




Contents

Hutaree

Welcome to Wikipedia. We welcome and appreciate your contributions, including your edits to Hutaree, but we cannot accept original research. Original research also encompasses novel, unpublished syntheses of previously published material. Please be prepared to cite a reliable source for all of your information. Thank you. Weaponbb7 (talk) 02:11, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Explicit is not implicit

In trying to correct the failed policy WP:SYN, you seem to be trying to make it be both the old policy and a revised policy, at the same time. The words "explicit" and "implicit" are direct-opposite concepts, so the combined phrase "explicitly implied" is not possible. It is like saying the "outdoor space indoors" or the "false truth". I suspect that what you are really trying to state is that the implied conclusion must be extremely obvious. However, I think that is not possible, as evidenced in the cultural adages, "One man's trash is another man's treasure" or "One man's rebel is another man's freedom fighter" or "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". As in, "You're trying to imply that artist XXX had painted beautiful work, even though sales were poor." I gave the example of Galileo versus the Church, where Galileo wanted to explain old ideas, but now in Italian; however, the Church had the "implied conclusion" that Galileo was trying to write text to show that the Church was wrong and thus everything the Church thought might be wrong and destroy the Church. At the heart, the data was old, but the Church had invented a new "original conclusion" not stated in those sources which Galileo had translated into Italian. A censorship policy, to reject text, cannot be based on anything assumed, and cannot condemn by assumed conclusions: if WP:SYN were to be fixed, it would need to examine only actual text, as stated in an article. The policy should not be rejecting anything based on implied conclusions. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:02, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

In reply: citation-based-implications vs: explication-based-implications

I agree with you entirely regarding this apparently new shift in Wikipedia policy of worrying what people might think about any properly sourced reference that might point a reader in a new direction. Now about what I meant by "explicitly implying..." In order to hopefully clarify, I'm going to slightly rephrase things, using the two terms that I will call a citation-based-implication, vs: an explication-based-implication. I'm going to define a citation-based-implication as a reference in which a Wikipedia editor does not add any of his or her own text to try to "assist" the reader to see any more clearly what he or she may feel is implied.
Conversely, I'll define a explication-based-implication as a reference where a Wikipedia editor inserts his or her own phraseology in his or her own interpretation of the reference in an attempt to "assist" the reader to see what the writer believes is shown.
Please let me use the citation about the UN and the 160 wars as an example for this. The words 'but', 'and', and 'only' were 'explication' words added by the editors. Thus there was an 'explicit' or 'stated' implication there. The following example is what I am calling a citation-based-implication;
"Some may see a trend in the incidence of wars before and since the founding of the UN. In the 65 years prior to the 1945 founding of the UN there were 320 international wars. In the 55 years since the founding of the UN there have been 160 international wars."
In this case, the article's author is personally not explicitly implying anything. He has allowed the citations themselves do all of the implying. Therefore, simply because such startling statistics would naturally speak for themselves, and would need no "assistance" from a Wikipedia editor, I see no reason why Wikipedia would have to delete these two statistics, simply because someone might learn something new from them. Now this next example is that I am calling an explication-based-implication;
"The role of the UN in preventing wars may seem to have been effective. In the 65 years prior to the 1945 founding of the UN there were 320 international wars. In the 55 years since the founding of the UN there have been 160 international wars."
The first sentence would have to be reworded, because it is explicitly implying the views of the author. Unless the author can find a quotable source that says that someone else has already applied this logic to these statistics, he is writing "original research".
Scott P. (talk) 02:09, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

WT:NOR

Scott, I think I understand what you were doing with my message and it appears to me that it was with good intentions. Unfortunately, with the modification of my message that you made, it changed the meaning too much to suit me. As it is, I would simply like to delete what I had but I only struck it out because I was following standard talk page etiquette, even though, under the circumstances I would be justified in deleting it. I thought the way it originally was, made good commentary and I was just trying to help improve the fairness of the situation.
Regards, --Bob K31416 (talk) 20:52, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

No prob. This is a difficult and quickly moving topic for us all. Thanks for the comment. Scott P. (talk) 20:55, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

You're welcome. --Bob K31416 (talk) 21:02, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps if those of us who are recognizing the problem with the current version of SYN could just stop responding to those who haven't gotten it yet over at the article talk page, we would be able to stop feeding their confusion and get the debate past going around in circles refuting their confusions and focused more on the things it needs to be like what those of us who recognize the problem could agree upon as a fix. Thoughts? Scott P. (talk) 21:06, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Or maybe we could simply work together somewhere like on one of our talk pages to come up with a consensus amongst ourselves, before presenting any more ideas for fixes on the main talk page where even a hint of a thought of a proposal for change seems to be automatically, instantly, and loudly contested.... Scott P. (talk) 21:26, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
First off, since you struck out your response to my message at WT:NOR, I cleaned up by deleting the stuck out version of what I had. Unfortunately it was just a mess sitting there.
Now, regarding your above comments. When the topic of unstated conclusions came up last year, I didn't think it was a good idea to put it into WP:SYNTH. I felt it might lead to problems. I might have changed my mind during the discussion back then so as not to oppose it. I'm not sure. My current feeling is that it is OK to mention it in SYNTH section. I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that the unstated conclusion part has caused any problems, and it does make it easier to remove improper unstated conclusions. It's a case of whether the benefits outweigh the problems, and from my own limited experience so, it appears that they do.
BTW, I once successfully used another way of dealing with improper unstated conclusions with the sentence, "You're trying to bring something to the reader that may be a false implication." --Bob K31416 (talk) 21:42, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Oh no, people are now citing WP:SYN to prevent creating article category names with dangerous implications. Plus, deleting Bible teachings because Jesus did not appear at the article's event. Plus, deleting crime evidence because you're trying to conclude the "jury was wrong" - find a source connecting that evidence to jury was wrong. See the pattern? -Wikid77 22:42, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Use WP:BRD to remove dangerous text: Just cite WP:BRD as the reason to remove tedious, misleading text, then open a discussion. I realize people are inventing text harder than it can be removed, and even Wikiversity recommends their people to copy articles indexed to OR-categories because WP cannot fix them fast enough. However, having a WP:SYN machine gun of magic bullets is not the way to stop "purse snatchers" in a shopping mall. -Wikid77 22:42, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for coming over here Wikid77. I've got to go out for the rest of the evening, my wife is calling me asking me where I am.... hooked on Wiki once again I'm afraid. Hope to get to see what you think of the discussion below tomorrow. Bye for now. Scott P. (talk) 22:47, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Again, no problem with the strike-outs over there Bob. Now regarding trying to come to a mini-consensus about how to fix WP:SYN, I agree entirely that unstated conclusions do pose a 'potential' problem, but I think the way that problem is currently being dealt with has become a very big mess. As I see it, there are two types of unstated conclusions that we must deal with:
  1. The logically sound unstated conclusion.
  2. The logically unsound unstated conclusion.
To deal with these, we should do something like the following:
  1. Good citations that may support good or bad unstated conclusions should not be called OR, simply because they may be a part of an unstated conclusion, this is a BIG mistake, and seems to me to confuse many many people. Good cites always have been, and always will be, good cites and never OR.
  2. Instead, we should call a spade a spade. Any unsound logic that is used to support an unstated conclusion should be called unsound logic and either the logic should be fixed, or the wording of the cites used should be changed to create sound logic. If neither is possible, then the wording that is unsound logic should be deleted.
  3. Under normal circumstances, a good citation itself should never be deleted unless it can be reasonably argued that it is either arguably logically misleading or if it is unnecessary-baggage for an article.
How are you with this so far? Scott P. (talk) 22:01, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm following it, so the communication is fine. : ) First, it seems like the same argument (whether acceptable or not) applies to stated conclusions just as well. I didn't see anything in your remarks that would need to limit the argument to just unstated conclusions. --Bob K31416 (talk) 22:27, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Good, and good point. OK, now in dealing specifically with unstated conclusions, here is what I would say:
An unstated conclusion should not be treated under the same rules as a stated conclusion, unless it would seem to be an 'obvious' conclusion by a typical reader. Any other unstated conclusions do not fall under Wikipedia editorial policy regulation. This is probably all I think needs to be implemented. Obviously it would have to be reworded to fit into the WP:SYN format, but this is the spirit of what I see as needed.
Now some of the folks in the current debate seem to have gotten confused about the definition of OR. They seem to think that by using a good cite, to make a poorly reasoned argument, it becomes OR. I think something needs to be done about that. Perhaps Jimbo's old explanation of OR should be posted on top of the WP:NOR page again, what would you think about that?
Scott P. (talk) 22:39, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
If it's OK with you, for now I would like to follow the thread of your first para and leave the 2nd para for later.
It looks like the idea in the first para is that, if only one unstated conclusion follows from the cited material, and it is obvious, then it should be treated as if it were a stated conclusion and a violation of NOR. If, for instance, more than one possible unstated conclusion is possible from the cited material, then it should not be a violation of NOR. Am I understanding the 1st para correctly? --Bob K31416 (talk) 01:49, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't think any unstated conclusions should be targeted, in this manner, but will wait for Bob or Scott to respond tomorrow. Example: source 1 has new criminal evidence showing the guy didn't do it; logical conclusion: "OMG, you're implying the jury was wrong or stupid... in what source? aarrgh!" And that's a trivial example: NO implied conclusions should be censored like that; text must state a conclusion in writing, "Hence the jury was stupid to convict" ←Aha! That's a conclusion to reject, as WP:UNSOUND even if later correct. -Wikid77 03:37, 18 April 2010 (UTC)



  • General discussions are fine, for a while, but we need to create an essay leading into a policy; otherwise, we are falling into that trap: "Those guys will be so busy discussing, all the alternatives, that they will run out of time to change any policies; just keep asking them tedious questions, until they tire of the process; that always works to derail people seeking to change policies". For example, consider below:
However, don't stop some general discussions, but just balance, time for talking, with creating an actual end-product to change Wikipedia. -Wikid77 02:17, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

NOR

Scott, I have no idea what's going on at the NOR page, but someone is likely to report it to an admin if it continues. You've posted 124 times to the talk page in four days with this account, and it seems you admitted vandalizing the policy with an IP.

I don't think anyone can follow your concern because the posts are too long and there are too many of them. If you can summarize your point in two sentences, people will be able to consider it, but otherwise I'd suggest dropping it for now. Cheers, SlimVirgin talk contribs 21:49, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't plan on posting over there again for awhile, thanks. Scott P. (talk) 22:04, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Focus on new policy WP:UNSOUND

Let's shift to creating a new policy, about unsound reasoning, but remember: any empowerment which advises to remove text, due to unstated conclusions, is extremely likely to be used to pre-censor text. If people have another policy, besides magic-bullet, WP:SYNfull, then they would be less-obsessed about NOT reverting to a normal policy which excludes original research, not original re-thinking. I though all was lost until you advised, "Hey, just revert to a less dangerous revision of the same policy". Meanwhile, I had searched in Google over 1 hour, and found very little advice about defining no-OR policy: everyone else wants new, original research because that is their future, not re-publishing stale ideas. The most that can be done, in a wasteland of a dying policy, is to plant seeds for future growth. You had the good idea to revert WP:SYN, now consider this other idea to de-fuse withdrawal by using "WP:SYN-methodone" (WP:UNSOUND) for SYN addiction. They need something to fill the void when WP:SYN loses its bullets. A new policy, WP:UNSOUND, could allow deleting some types of text, which formerly, WP:SYN always rejected when it also decimated sound resoning.

First, let's focus on the hopeful side: we will describe some of what is allowed rather than dwell on removal, as a first step. Some specific examples that can be used to test the future policy wording:

  • In an article about a Christianity-related subject, then text about Bible topics WILL be allowed in the same article.
  • In a crime article, then evidence from reliable sources WILL be allowed regardless if someone thinks it could be used to conclude something.
  • Allowable synthesis: source 1 describes morning events, source 2 describes afternoon events, ergo: whole day! So, both are allowed.
  • Allowable synthesis: Socrates is a man, All men are mortal, hence any source about people can be used with Socrates.
  • Allowable synthesis: Alpha centauri is a star, and source-2 describes stars, as a general subject (not A-centauri specifically), hence source-2 is allowed for text in the article.
  • Allowable synthesis: Source 1 notes guy has physics PhD; source 2 notes his M.S. degree in music; hence, guy has 2 advanced degrees in physics and music. Nothing scary about that synthesis.

Those are some initial issues. BIG QUESTION: How could WP:UNSOUND possibly begin to reverse the WP:SYN damage? ...because WP:UNSOUND will apply not only to article text, but also to discussions, where people might try to WP:SYNthesize reasons to delete text, based on bogus thinking. As a guideline, WP:UNSOUND will list clear cases of non-allowed censorhip as unsound reasons of baseless fear about text in articles. The justification is this: anyone might misinterpret a combination of issues plus policies, and reach an unsound conclusion; hence, WP:UNSOUND will list some common examples where people can no longer misuse policies to claim those unsound reasons. Bingo! You surely know, many people will rally to support this idea to clearly reject particular weaseled ideas. We can get consensus by listing, the combined, pet-peaves of various users who agree. Give the people what they want. -Wikid77 22:58, 17 April 2010

Keep it simple for people with no time for analysis

Also see: #Focus on new policy WP:UNSOUND (above).
Also see: #Thoughtcrimes controlled by WP:SYN (below).

We need to create policies or guidelines of the simplest level. Many people just do not have the time to think about these issues of logical syllogisms, false premises, and logical fallacies. Such topics must be presented in "cookbook" fashion: "combine A+B and cook by union of subsets". Often times, people with keen insight are so immersed, within the numerous facets of a topic, they will often overlook the general public who are completely unable to follow the discussion. It would take years of study, for some of them, to feel comfortable (as in "All you college people are too uppity to understand car mechanics like us" ). For example, most people would be unable to juggle the 20 issues which were raised in the recent WP:SYN talks about feared conclusions, unsound reasoning & Hello, UN-failure is sourced. Some specific examples of simplicity:

  • When coordinating activities, then a check-list of daily activities helps people focus on each step.
  • When defining rules, then a cookbook list of numerous examples allows people to quickly spot a similar case and take action.
  • To explain exceptions to rules, perhaps a matrix-table which lists case-by-case scenarios (rows/column) could be used to mark "X" where a rule does not apply in some types of combinations.

We should not create a policy or guideline based only on analytical wording, but rather, also include many simple examples for readers to directly apply in similar situations. -Wikid77 02:17, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Thoughtcrimes controlled by WP:SYN

Also see: #Focus on new policy WP:UNSOUND (above).

We need to maintain a short list, of practical examples, which show how policy WP:SYN became a force to control "thoughtcrimes" in articles. This is a tangible product as evidence of WP:SYN problems:

  • All background details of a person must be backed by a source that also judges those qualifications as applied to their duty. To say officials wanted women on submarines, but state those officials had no submarine or nuclear-vessel training is WP:SYN (implying "unqualified") unless a source also judges those officials for competence. Describing background details for anyone, of duty, without a sourced statement reviewing their competence, is a thoughtcrime implying incompetence.
  • An article, about a particular topic, cannot include any Bible-related text unless that exact-same topic was mentioned in the Bible. Anything else is a thoughtcrime.
  • A set of article-category names must be linked to a total conclusion in a source. Any category names that seem to imply novel conclusions are forbidden, as thoughtcrimes.
  • An article cannot state the obvious, unless sourced. To claim "U.S. President XYZ has never been to prison" without a source is forbidden, and listing all years of college and work to imply no year free for prison is illegal synthesis and a thoughtcrime.

Those are some of the actual topics rejected by WP:SYN in 2009-2010. -Wikid77 04:52, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

WP frustrates the wise

Perhaps I gave false hope when I started adding momentum to correcting the (pathetic) WP:SYN policy, but always remember despite all the talented people joining: it is still Weak-ipedia. This project has always frustrusted numerous scientists, doctors, historians, physicists, and recently lawyers (re: Amanda Knox). I try to warn them, to expect slowness:

Wikipedia is 10% information, and 90% deformation.

I am surprised to meet someone, of your insight, who hasn't already quit forever, as most do, once they realize all the resistance here. My excuse is: Wikipedia is a grand experiment in learning (the hard way) how to deal with the masses (wiki = working in knucklehead insanity). Generally, highly educated people rarely deal with huge numbers of laymen, continually. Even lowly assistant professors have the luxury of knowing most of their students graduated in the top tier of their prep schools (must be nice). WP is quite different, and so any illusion of intellectual cooperation here is, generally, short-lived. There is immense hope: many medical articles are being un-dumbified by medical people who have, again, re-added chemical formulae, symptoms, treatment, and related illnesses (after being removed as being very "big words" by the masses). Plus, after months of debate, I fixed some of the embarrassing measurement errors in Template:Convert ("Contemplate:Convert"), which had 32 metres = 100 feet (now 105) due to stubborn debates against consensus to fix (but done finally, just when 3 scientists gave up trying). Clearly when standard Convert, in year 2010, gives incorrect results, it is still Weakipedia, with juvenile growing pains. Plus, as you may know, those other-languages, like Polish or Italian Wikipedia are done by many teenagers (aka juvenile). So, yes, all your frustrations are completely justified: WP is a rare, disjointed system which connects intellectuals with highly-opinionated wrong people. I suppose it could be said, "WP is like herding cats" and I understand if you wish to spend more time in clever groups like Wikiversity, or some think-tank website. Don't get sidetracked into hopeless WP struggles, just limit your hours here. Art is long, life is short. -Wikid77 06:55, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Unstated conclusions, some Wikipedia history re: 'thought-control'

After some reflection, I agree with both of you regarding the hope to remove the policing of "unstated conclusions" out of Wikipedia altogether. I've done some historical research on the WP:NOR article, and it turns out that that "nutshell" template-type box at the top that includes wording about "original thought" and "synthesis" was first placed there in 2006. I think that it is probably safe to say that prior to that, there was no official Wikipedia policing attempting to deal with any unstated conclusions. No stated policy on this, and not even an implied policy on it. That template was put there by SlimVirgin, and agreed to by a now banned administrator, Jossi. Once the template box was placed there stating that Wikipedia does not publish "original thought', I think it was only a matter of time before WP:SYN was developed in all of its now more full-blown amazing contra-logical ramifications. Scott P. (talk) 15:02, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

  • I suspected something of that nature had happened: most people, after months, do not really get stuck-on-an-opinion, but generally, many people will tend to "go with the flow" months later, until they detect some severe mindsets, and then they usually drift away from that trouble. At this point, similar to a WP:NPOV_dispute, I would begin a formal discussion subpage, seeking a new consensus, and meanwhile, if anyone claimed WP:SYN to delete text, I would inform them how the policy has been suspended, pending a revision which all can accept. Per policy WP:CONSENSUS, if an action violates consensus, then it should be rejected. Any WP:SYN-based deletions could be reverted, but only to the point of an edit-war, which most people would not attempt. -Wikid77 16:34, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Long-term cooperation: NO is not a consensus action

Long term, we will need a real spirit of compromise (by all) to fix policies. As you are probably aware, there have been many debates about wiki-consensus, which began as forms of implicit voting, and grew to become a concept of "logical consensus in accordance with policies". Regardless of those ideas, in the real world, the concept of consensus is a "unanimous agreement of all concerned" even to the extent that some "agree to disagree" so that a unanimous group decision can be reached (with some giving a disgruntled "yes"). In that reality, "NO" is not a consensus action, so consensus requires, beforehand, a "spirit of compromise" because maintaining the status quo is not a compromise, in a situation where many people want a change to occur. Acting in good faith, people always consider which changes they would, or would not, allow, but when every possible change is rejected, that clearly violates the spirit of consensus, and refusing, to budge off the old stance, is a clear indication that those people are totally opposed to reaching a real consensus (of the group). Remember, this refusal must be voiced against several offers of compromise, not just against the first suggestion. At that point, I would exclude them (because they violated the idea of consensus, of working with others), and hence, consensus would be the unanimous agreement of those who remain. That stategy allows for reaching a wiki-consensus even when some people, absolutely, will not agree to even the slightest change from what they, personally, advocate. By their own stubborn refusals they, alone, have disqualified themselves, and thus, that is how consensus is often formed. When people enter the "game of consensus", then they have accepted to follow those rules, and if they violate those rules, they are banned from that game session. -Wikid77 16:34, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

In the recent debates over at WP:NOR-talk, I felt that the one person who was basically on the UCPD side yet who seemed to attempt to keep an open mind towards our proposals was SlimVirgin. It seems to me that she may be the key to this. While she was the basic inventor of the entire UCPD policy (I'm calling it this for lack of a better term, so please forgive me) in 2006, and despite the fact that she has essentially nurtured it and defended its growth for the last 4 years, I also think that she is probably the only defender of the policy that may have a reasonable overview of how this new policy might be affecting Wikipedia in its entirety. I also suspect that if she were to change her mind about the effectiveness of the UCPD policy, that many others might follow suite, as she seems to have been the most consistently present person in defending and implementing WP:NOR policy for the last several years.
All of that having been said, I have posted a few questions on her own talk page, asking her about her personal views covering what she has called the publication of 'original thought' by Wikipedia. You can see these questions at: My questions for SlimVirgin. I am truly curious as to how she will answer my questions. I am not trying to badger her, but to have a logical conversation with her. I really want to see if she is as implacable as Blueboar and Crum seemed to be. I suspect that she might be more open to conducting a civil conversation with me.
I agree entirely with you that folks like Blueboar and Crum that just try to use circular reasoning, refusing to even look at the possibility of change, can really be considered as automatically disqualifying themselves.
I hope you don't mind, but I also extended an exclusive invitation to her to dialogue with us on this page. I also let her know that she was the only one on her side of the debate to which I extended this invitation. I don't think she is likely to take me up on the offer, but if she did, I think it could be very helpful for all of us. Scott P. (talk) 23:21, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
  • That sounds good, as a direct contact, allowing time for a careful response, rather than contacted in a dispute-topic where the pressure might be to post a quick reply, due to other readers waiting for the next reply. I, too, have been troubled by responses in the debate, where a response seemed to be a circular form of begging the question, to prove that WP:SYN is good because it provides good results. Also, I felt those answers seemed Machiavellian (ends justify the means, hence advocating any thought-control as good). The disqualification during consensus comes from a "status-quo" attitude, just as after the R.M.S. Titanic sank, the regulations were changed so that after an ice warning, a ship had to log either a change in speed or direction, where continuing on a status-quo course was a violation (Titanic was travelling 96% of full speed near iceberg). -Wikid77 01:59, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

A new tact

I have come to realize that the current WP:NOR folks simply aren't ready to relinquish the 'power' they now seem to have carved out for themselves by creating a sort of a new unstated-conclusions-police-department (UCPD). I think that they may not be able relinquish this new 'power' without their first putting up one heck of a 'tooth and nail' fight, as they already seem to have demonstrated.

As a result of this conclusion, I have an idea for an entirely new tact in this ongoing work, in which we are attempting to restore Wikipedia back to allowing its editors to write without fear of what others might simply 'conclude' from the properly cited data they might present. Clearly the new Wikipedia UCPD seems to have finally gotten wildly out of control, which was only inevitable, given the nature of the job that they have claimed or staked out for themselves.

I have noticed that Jimbo Wales is still very active in the day to day editing of Wikipedia articles, on a very 'hands-on' level. I think that the time has now come, in which we should consider requesting his personal 'intervention' here. Now I know the man is busy, and I think we should not take such a step lightly, but I do think he would be able to understand the problem that we are facing, and that he would be able to deal with it properly. Also, if for any reason, he disagreed with us here, I think that would be some information I would want to know too, since I would definitely significantly reduce the amount writing that I do here if he did... sadly.

I think that if those of us here could create a sort of a "project page" for Jimbo, that would be a short and hopefully pithy letter, addressing our concerns, and signed by all of us, then contacting him and giving him the url to this page, that such could possibly be very very effective. Essentially, we would be 'going over the heads' of the new Wikipedia UCPD, going over to the mayor's office!

Included in this project page, I think it would be helpful to gather as much convincing data as possible, of specific incidents where the current WP:SYN policy has gone awry, with specific links to such data, for Jimbo's easy and quick analysis.

Any thoughts either of you might have on this proposal would be most welcome. Scott P. (talk) 15:38, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Re ..."specific incidents where the current WP:SYN policy has gone awry, with specific links to such data..." - Could I see a link to the diff that is one of the best examples of the use of Synth gone awry? For me, just one will do for now. Thanks. --Bob K31416 (talk) 16:21, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
It's really the combination of all cases; otherwise, it's like asking, "Show which car scratched by vandals is the biggest problem". The WP:SYN deletions are like sanctioned vandalism: I was appalled that Bible teachings could not be mentioned in article "Hutaree" (until you found that specific source). For officials noting women should serve on nuclear subs, I thought removing their non-submarine backgrounds was excessive (see: Talk:Submarine#Women). In general, dozens of cases must be examined to get the scope of disputes. See all listed: Special:WhatLinksHere/Wikipedia:SYN, then go to each talk-page and search for "WP:SYN" or "synthe" on each talk-page. -Wikid77 16:58, 18 April 2010
I looked at the diff that corresponds to the women/submarine example that you mentioned, and in my opinion, the material was properly deleted. Sorry. Also, I could have deleted it without using WP:SYNTH. Do you have another example? --Bob K31416 (talk) 20:00, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for coming up with the example. The dispute was about a [citation needed] tag.[1] Here is the subject text, with the context that precedes it.
"The fact that the prevalence of cannabis use has increased substantially during the last decades whereas the prevalence of psychotic illness has not suggests no causal relationship.[1] However, this observation is contradicted by that improved methods for treatment with early intervention in psychosis has helped to keep down the number of people with long periods of psychosis.[citation needed] "
In my opinion it's possible OR and isn't even up to the level of Synth because it hasn't provided sources for the material that it is combining to form the conclusion. Also, the unsourced conclusion is questionable because there's no information provided that would show that the improvement in treatment methods would be sufficient to offset any increase in psychotic illness from the increase in cannabis use if the use of cannabis caused psychotic illness. --Bob K31416 (talk) 03:41, 19 April 2010 (UTC)


  • I think we should first post a formal essay, as requesting changes to policy WP:SYN, to open the discussion to wider debate. I have had some very unpleasant reactions when I tried to seek higher approvals. The basic problem, now, is the current deadlock, in the talk-page refusals, thus far, to work toward consensus; see above: "#Long-term cooperation: NO is not a consensus action". We still are not sure of the true reasons for refusal: perhaps people were too busy for changes, or should we give them some other policy that would retain some powers they had using WP:SYN. In general, the action of going up the ranks, will leave a bitter memory, so I would beware that approach. However, I do recommend collecting a list, of perhaps, 20 actual articles where WP:SYN has been contested by article editors. That list could be used for many discussions. -Wikid77 16:34, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Hello ScottPerry

Thanks for your comments on my talk page and request for thoughts here.

First I 100% agree with you that the "100% status quo" folks at wp:nor are unwittingly hurting hurting WP. It looks like there are only a handful of them.

Beyond that, despite reading a lot of what you wrote, I have to admit that I'm not able to understand exactly what your main issue/proposal is. I think that it's that Wikipedia doesn't allow (but should allow) coverage/proposal of new ideas in articles. If that is your issue, I'd have to say that I don't think Wikipedia should be doing this either... such would totally change it into a non-encyclopedia. My own focus is that its ambiguities, self conflicts and conflicts with reality have allowed it to become widely abused, and this, as we have written, is hurting Wikipedia. More specifically, it sends messages that are contrary to its (good) core, that (paraphrasing) items that are challenged or are likely to be challenged need to be cited. It also leaves a vacuum that allows deletionists and POV pushers to pursue their bad behavior by deleting material without even having to challenge it's accuracy/correctness.

Either way, some change is needed, and I salute you and others for trying to do it.

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:37, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Scott, thanks for fixing my typos and notifying me. Most were fine except one which I changed. North8000 (talk) 22:59, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

  • In seeking consensus, because User:SlimVirgin has been an admin since 2005, I wonder if the intent of the current policy WP:SYN is to allow editors to quickly remove "topic-spam" where someone advertises an off-topic concept in numerous articles, and hence, editors wanted a quick policy to cite before removing that topic tacked into each article. Someone, pushing a particular book, might try to claim the book has connections, as a good source, for 500 articles; however, I have seen people cite WP:UNDUE to remove an off-topic tangent from articles where the mention would be an excessive drift away from each article's topic, thus using WP:UNDUE without need for WP:SYN conclusions, as a basis to remove off-topic text. -Wikid77 00:15, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I think that it's original intent was to make WP be enclyclopedic rather than a place to present new theories, ideas and arguments. Then it jumped the tracks. North8000 (talk) 03:03, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

List of actual examples of current Wikipedia WP:SYN policy gone awry

I've been hounding the two poor editors who originally deleted my cite about the church of the 3rd century in the Hutaree article. I know that my cite was originally not a 'perfect' example of WP:SYN policy gone awry, but I think now it is. After tweaking it a little, (and hopefully not those two editors too much) I have gotten them to clarify their confusion about what OR really is. I've intentionally reworded the cite so that as far as I know, it was perfectly well cited, having fully neutral wording in the interpretation of the source, and also having a good source reference, so they could have no objection to it on the grounds of its veracity. Still they deleted it, calling it OR again. Here is the link to the deletion:

OR claim used to justify deletion of 3rd century church policy cite

The explanation given by this editor, who seems to me to otherwise be a pretty level-headed, well meaning editor, shows to me that he is entirely confused about what OR really means. I think that the word out now is that OR and what I will call OT (original thought) are synonymous, and the editors comments would tend to verify my suspicion. My hunch is that Jimbo would not want his editors to be mixing these two terms up at all, and would not want 'original thoughts' being routinely deleted, claiming they are OR. He probably wouldn't even want OT, or what we have called Unstated conclusions, to be regulated either. Scott P. (talk) 00:27, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

By the way, I am goading other random Wikipedia editors to comment on this deletion, just to see what the 'word on the streets' is on this. I've put in a request for comment on the editor's deletion. Please see the Hutaree talk page for this discussion.Scott P. (talk) 00:34, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Wikid77, if you could possibly find the links to some of the horrendous examples of the 'insanity' you have seen put into effect from the policy gone awry, and list them in this section, I think this would be very helpful. Listing theoretical examples is good for some things, but I think on a project page for Jimbo, we should try to start with some real-life concrete examples, if we are going to be able to make our case well. Thanks, Scott P. (talk) 00:37, 19 April 2010 (UTC) BTW, I also agree about the need for a WP:Sound policy page. Gotta go for today, g-nite.

Specific problems with WP:SYN

The following are some examples:

  • In Talk:Effects_of_cannabis#Use of Template:cn: An editor, who wanted to update the article, is condemned for (quote) "what you're thinking" (which was the link-text to WP:SYN), because that editor had claimed multiple sources backed the proposed text for the article, but did not cite a source for the exact wording. -Wikid77 (talk) 01:59, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I hate to say this Wikid, but I tracked down the actual edit referred to, and the fellow was attempting to actually insert a claim without any cites. The editors deleting his claim should have suggested that out of the 32 supposed cites he had access to, all he needed to do was to simply refer to one of them. If you could list a ref to your trouble getting the correct metric conversion rate in place, that might be helpful? Scott P. (talk) 03:15, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

In general, one major problem might be people's misuse of WP:SYN to reject "all forms of synthesis" rather than only those that "advance a cause". Hence, we need a list of valid-synthesis cases for readers to compare. For the arrest of Galileo, those ideas of a Heliocentric system (Earth revolves around Sun) were banned NOT because they were actually original ideas, but rather because the Church imagined the implied conclusion that Galileo, by re-writing those old ideas in Italian, was "advancing a cause" as synthesizing the notion how Church doctrine was wrong and the Church would be destroyed. After 350 years, the Church still existed, and Pope John Paul II retracted the stance against Galileo as being a heretic. Galileo was condemned for synthesis of non-original ideas, in a new feared conclusion. -Wikid77 01:59, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Let's make a deal in policy consensus

This is just a reminder that, to gain consensus, for limiting the control by WP:SYN, we might need to offer a "bargaining chip" of a new policy (or guideline) having some of what WP:SYN provided to control rampant "topic-spam" as off-topic insertions into many articles. This idea was also mentioned above. -Wikid77 (talk) 11:30, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

This would be a big complicated job but worth tackling.
I would suggest a structure to the approach to avoid the usual pitfalls. I.E., before drafting any policy text,
1. Discussion on current plusses and problems with the policy (keep this short, the main work is under #2.
2. Discussion and consensus on a vague "in principle" overview of what the new one should do.
3. Develop outline of (organized) structure. One of the biggest problems with current ones is lack there-of.
4. Then start writing.
North8000 (talk) 11:46, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Conversions violated WP:OR not WP:SYN

The problems with {Convert}, giving wrong answers, I treated as the reverse problem of "actually attempting original-research numbers" by saying that "32 m = 100 ft" was original, because most sources consider the conversion to be "32 m ~= 104.96 ft". We eventually changed Convert to show "105 ft" (as the rounded result), so the problems in Convert seem to be, in fact, a violation of WP:OR as original numbers being displayed for some conversions. There are still problems, but they are being debated:

  • {{convert|100|km/h|mph}}   = 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) ← default (ok)
  • {{convert|100|km/h|mph|0}} = 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) ← precise (same)
  • {{convert|300|km/h|mph}}   = 300 kilometres per hour (190 mph) ← default (high)
  • {{convert|300|km/h|mph|0}} = 300 kilometres per hour (186 mph) ← precise
  • {{convert|500|km/h|mph}}   = 500 kilometres per hour (310 mph) ← default (?)
  • {{convert|500|km/h|mph|0}} = 500 kilometres per hour (311 mph) ← precise
  • {{convert|1130|km/h|mph}}   = 1,130 kilometres per hour (700 mph) ← default (low)
  • {{convert|1130|km/h|mph|0}} = 1,130 kilometres per hour (702 mph) ← precise (1944 speed record)

Those are the reverse problem of original numbers, not a misuse of WP:SYN, because those results could be considered a math synthesis leading to original results in the text (not just as thoughts). However, those numbers are defended as being valid to the same number of significant digits. I responded that people consider all digits in speeds to be significant, per typical number sense about speeds. Hence, there is the ongoing debate, as to when people use approximate speeds. -Wikid77 11:30, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Commons

See your commons page. RlevseTalk 10:26, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

The main assault is rejoined, see Jimbo's talk page.

I have just posted a complaint about what's going on with WPNOR at Jimbo's talk page. at A request for comment from Jimbo at Jimbo's talk page.

I don't know what he's going to do with this, but for the time being, I would like to humbly ask that for now, if my friends here might please 'hold your fire' on Jimbo's talk page. Please let me try to conduct a simple 'dialogue of two' with him there for now, unless at a later date it may become necessary for me to call on you to add your own comments over there.

I have not proposed any solutions to him yet, but if he asks about such, I will simply propose that:

'All wordings in the policy pages that might even imply that Wikipedia could be in the business of preventing the publication of properly worded and sourced cites simply for fear that they might merely imply a new thought, that all of these policy page wordings should be either clarified or removed to let all editors know that such is not Wikipedia policy.'

Does this sound like a good summary of what we are asking? Scott P. (talk) 15:30, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

My dance is totally different to that, but good luck in your quest! North8000 (talk) 18:05, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, after posting to Jimbo's page, I can assure you all of our concerns and suggestions here on this page will be thoroughly reviewed, and in my view, there is much work on this page here already that will help Wikipedia get itself out of the predicament it is now in. Thanks for your help thus far North8000! Scott P. (talk) 08:43, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Oh, well, life in a fishbowl. If only it could have been a "dialogue of two" but I see, instead, the predictable instant resistance by, yet another, onlooker. Surely, by now, Jimbo realizes his user-talk page is viewed 350x times per day, so the temptation is there for onlookers to post replies before he can. It's like asking for his personal opinion on a live, group talkshow, where others will answer to avoid a pause in broadcasting, so his response might depend on what the audience will bear. If a group dialog becomes callous there, I would let the issue fade away, and move on to a Plan B. -Wikid77 04:39, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Wikid77, check out this link, Further dialogue with SlimVirgin.
It shows a new discussion with SlimVirgin that we just had a few moments ago. I've just updated Jimbo's talk page so that he will see it too. I have a very very strong hunch that Jimbo is going to come down on the side of a policy change as a result of our work. By the way, thanks for letting me keep this as a dialogue of 2. That other user's comment on Jimbo's talk page was obviously just a sort of a "Rah-rah-sis-boom-bah" cheerleader comment supporting SlimVirgin. It didn't really have any substance to it and I'm certain that Jimbo is smart enough to see that. Thanks for not joining in yet over there. I appreciate that. Once he has responded directly to my post, then I would say to you and to anyone else here, if you want to post over there, do. The whole crux of the matter is that we have a very legitimate point here and I do truly believe that Jimbo is a smart enough man to see it, and to act decisively on it. Scott P. (talk) 08:43, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
  • As you had suggested, days earlier, going into the discussion with a list of, perhaps, 20 clear examples would have broadened the focus as to the general thought-police issue, rather than a debate about the Hutaree. Plus, I noticed people couldn't resist the temptation, in the fishbowl, to preach down to you to explain (to "your little mind"!) how to update the Hutaree article. Meanwhile, without a set of "20 clear examples" it would be very difficult to show how WP:SYN really is a problem, to almost anyone. Again, they take just 1 example (Hutaree), convert the entire policy debate into a discussion of that 1 example, and once they show the need for more sources, then Voila! - "He has been trying to change policies to get his text into Hutaree" and thereby they can win the double strawman fallacies:
  • strawman 1: The only concern about WP:SYN is to put 3rd-century text in Hutaree.
  • strawman 2: Deciding about Hutaree is deciding the fate of WP:SYN.
Plus, they preach down to you that WP is not a forum "where we post our personal opinions or observations about the world, (little boy)". Again, we would need to find 20 clear examples as a basis to explain WP:SYN problems to other people, but that can wait until the Zeitgeist is more open to improvements. -Wikid77 (talk) 10:01, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
The challenge with the main policies is that due to a combination of factors, the people who try to change them kind of just come and give up and go. Partially due to a group of very well-intentioned regulars who essentially don't want any change. But more importantly, because doing any significant changes well is going to take some hard work and staying power by a few individuals, and is probably too complex of a process for development in a policy's talk page ( which is more suited to the usual sentence and paragraph substitution type changes.) or the usual Wikipedia places that I know of. It really needs an organized, structured process to approach to such an effort (I could help there) plus more importantly people like ScottP has shown himself to be with respect to this. I have been more drawn to this by the "signs of life" and these areas embodied in ScottP...... to be honest, I still don't thoroughly understand what he is saying / asking for. The widespread problem is the policies are increasingly being cleverly mis-used rather than used. And their two main problems with respect to that are: 1. Written so that if they are taken literally / categorically, about 2/3 of Wikipedia violates them, such inevitably leaves them open to mis-use by miscreants. 2. Wording (or lack thereof) leaves them open to such abuse. Important items are vague, ethereal or sidebars making them ignorable and ignored. North8000 (talk) 11:13, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

WP:SYN as magic bullet

To fully consider the current problems with WP:SYN being used as a magic bullet to kill dangerous thoughts, then all aspects should be examined, not just when someone deletes text with edit-summary "removed text per WP:SYN". There are several problems:

  • Sole threat to invoke WP:SYN - The sole threat is to insist if an article is not changed, then someone will invoke WP:SYN to remedy the problem (because of "what you're thinking"). Most of my concerns have been as threats people made, and hence, I backed down because I realize WP:SYN can be used, to support their right, to delete sourced text which implies a conclusion.
  • Mixed threat to invoke WP:SYN - Sometimes, people give a laundry list of policies to back their deletions: "Violates WP:NOTDICT & BLP, plus can viewed as OR per WP:SYN". As I have stated, because WP:SYN empowers someone to invent a conclusion as an assumed premise, they can, in fact, justify any article changes by WP:SYN in argument from false premises.
  • Denying the obvious - Even a trivial, obvious conclusion must be sourced, else a vio of WP:SYN. A good example is: nobody can write that "President XYZ never went to prison" without a source, because to list all college/work years of the President, as evidence of no free year to spend in prison, could be viewed as listing sourced text to "advance a cause" that President XYZ is not a crook.
  • Pervasive masses of thought-police editors - Even if one opponent could be convinced that disliking a President (or UN-failure) is not an "original thought", then some others will come along and re-delete the text, while claiming WP:SYN does not allow "advancing a cause" in a political subject. The word is out, and now we have drive-by WP:SYNers who jump in to ensure text is deleted when tied to feared conclusions.

WP:SYN is a loaded gun to be wielded in article debates. Hence, people can quip, "Well, the text was changed, and no one actually fired the gun, so that's a bad example of a WP:SYN problem". No, carrying a loaded gun and making demands is still an example of trouble. -Wikid77 (talk) 20:20, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

I think Jimbo's the one

Much as Wikipedia would like to be a purely egalitarian organization, I don't believe that such a thing is entirely possible. When you really think about it, pure egalitarianism = pure anarchy. For this reason I believe that Jimbo is still the one person who needs to be persuaded, whether we like it or not. I don't know if you folks recognized the dynamics of the little dialogue (later an attempted 'multilogue') I had with Jimbo yesterday. There were two things going on basically. I filtered out all of the comments of 'others' and this is what I got, our filtered dialogue. Essentially what was happening was neither one of us was paying much attention to the misc. comments, but essentially it remained a dialogue between the two of us. Whether anyone likes it or not, this site is still legally Jimbo's. There may now be a convoluted legalistic seeming corporate structure between Jimbo and the site, but the bottom line is it's still Jimbo's site. If Jimbo changes his mind about what the best policy should be, I seriously doubt that he would have any trouble in persuading others to follow suit. In a nutshell, my bottom line is this, I think that Wikipedia should resemble a cross between the Encyclopedia Britannica, and the New York Times. It seems to me that Jimbo sees it more along the lines of pure Britannica. It seems to me that so long as Jimbo has 'Pure Britannica' stuck in his brain, it seems to me that we will be fighting an uphill battle. I'm hoping to work on this in my emails with him. Scott P. (talk) 14:50, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

  • I think his view is wider than Britannica (such as those tedious U.S. Supreme Court cases in WP). However, the issue is: "Does he realize WP:SYN condemns viewpoints when one man's trash is another man's treasure?" I tell people, that to professional astronomers, the stars are not white, or blue, or yellow, but rather shades of black. The brighest stars, on an astronomer's page, are the blackest-of-black stars. Many professional astronomers look for stars on the photographic negative of an image (with colors inverted), because it is easier to spots stars (or comets...) as black specs on a light background. Well, that viewpoint is totally opposite to the general public. Hence, the dangerous original thought: the astronomer was looking for a pair of 2 small black stars. Original to whom? -Wikid77 20:20, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Well, my impression of Jimbo is that he hasn't entirely worked it all out in his mind. It's still an ongoing project for him. Of course, he has worked out the fundamental principles, or we wouldn't be even talking here today. But I think he's still working out the fine details in his mind. Thus, his apparent ability to be slightly swayed by my line of reasoning in our dialogue. But I don't think I could have swayed him without a specific example to work through. He said he's been studying the US Supreme Court lately, and how they make deliberations. I think he sees himself in the sort of a position of the Cheif Justice of the Wikipedia Supreme Court of appeals, and why not? Someone has to do it. At any rate, the way the Supreme Court works is basically in 'emergency mode'. They always wait for someone to have an accident at the intersection before they erect the traffic light. In fact, that's the only way they can erect the traffic light. That's just the way the system that they're a part of works. Again the attorney analogy.... if an attorney applied to the Supreme Court to have a case heard, and the Supreme Court saw that the attorney had only theories and no hard evidence, they'd refuse to even spend any of their time trying to listen to it, they'd simply toss out the case unheard. I strongly suspect Jimbo would too. Scott P. (talk) 20:38, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Preparations that could be made....

When I was in that dialogue, I kept going back to this page and trying to put together specific links to specific examples, of how current OR policy has been counter-productive. I'm not sure I went to the right "convert" page, but I just couldn't find anything I could make into a specific link for Jimbo. You know, if I couldn't put together any specific links from the examples on this page, neither could anyone else, I believe. So, the suggestion is, if you might be able to do the "foot-work" to actually assemble specific links, just like the one I put together for the 3rd century cite, with: The historical context section of the Hutaree article completely deleted.

This is like putting together a case for a court. If the prosecuting attorney tells the judge, "Your honor, I don't really have any specific evidence, but here is my 'theory' about who did it," the judge would toss the prosecutor out on his ear! So, the gist of this is that it seems to me that at this point, we might be in need of more hard concrete links, and less in need of more theories. If you guys could put such links together here, I think this might be the most helpful.

As far as I can see, we all agree that WP:SYN, which I will call the 'Britannica filter' is flawed. All we need for Wikipedia is a 'New-York-Times filter', which is basically the original OR policy.

That would be our starting point. Something that we can all agree on, and then we could proceed from there. If we can get the old OR policy back in place, then the ball would be rolling, and there would be room for a WP:UNSOUND and many other such things.

Any thoughts on this? Scott P. (talk) 15:11, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

  • I think we might find some good examples, but fundamentally, the problem must be approached in theoretical terms, where perhaps 20 examples are used to give only an "impressionist" sense to the overall problem. Today, I added another concern, above: #WP:SYN as magic bullet. You can use the Hellen Keller analogy, noting that 2 or 3 examples do not convey the total problem, just as 2 or 3 letters cannot convey the meaning of "AMSLAN" signs: W-A-T-E-R--I-S--O-N-E--W-O-R-D. That example from Florence, Alabama is a classic for realizing that, sometimes, many details must be repeated, to convey a larger meaning. There are over 1,500 links to WP:SYN, as just the start of the debates. Hence, even if someone doesn't see the problem now, perhaps in 6 months they understand why signing "W-A-T-E-R" at the water pump was important. Even a blind person might see a different conclusion, tomorrow. -Wikid77 (talk) 20:20, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
  • See reply above. Scott P. (talk) 20:44, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Reminder: Britannica original opinions

For many years, Britannica has not been as narrowly "encyclopedic" as some seem to claim. However, Wikipedia had the risk of corporations advertizing their "original research" products or services, or inventors making claims, etc. Meanwhile, for decades, Britannica has published original essays by experts in a field (such as Bertrand Russell). Of course, most articles were dry factoid pages, but keep reading EB and find articles, about Egyptian hieroglyphs or Sumerian texts, which contained some startling opinions. Why has EB published expert essays? ...because the original conclusions of experts were often the best insight to close the gaps in knowledge from sparse archaeological evidence. Remember, 20 years ago, there were almost no dinosaur fossils found in Africa; now there are many. Knowledge and general viewpoints change so quickly. Hence, there is a need for articles to give "expert opinions" as to historical trends and future possibilities. Certainly, the vast scope of topics would be mindboggling to anyone. I have only worked with about 350,000 articles, but I know there are more than 800,000 about sports, alone. More than 2,000 articles are about asteroids. It would take, for anyone, several months to gain perspective as to what is happening in a particular region of Wikipedia. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:11, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to try to wrap my mind around what I see as Jimbo's current position..... I think he is trying to draw the fine line between what is helpful and accurate, and what can be misleading, inaccurate, and possibly even hurtful to someone. Obviously we all agree here that the original definition of OR was accurately defining at least some stuff that was clearly unhelpful, misleading, and simply bad. My guess is that he must have noticed that the old definition of OR, that only applied specifically to written text, was too narrow. Actually, if you take the current article he pointed everyone towards, I think he gave that as an example of how the old definition of OR failed. I've saved a copy of the last really horrible draft of the article here: horrible article. (I'm going to probably delete this from my talk-space in a day or two, just because it should not be published anywhere, even in talk-space.) You can find the AfD discussion for this article here: AfD discussion. If you go to the AfD discussion, please take the time to read the careful "Intro" to the discussion written by Jimbo. Actually, I just realized in my slightly thick head that this was probably Jimbo's response to my recent line of reasoning! When I first started to edit this article, (Jimbo had suggested that we do that) Jimbo had written a very heart-wrenching intro to the AfD talk page, but the AfD talk page was so long, I didn't read Jimbo's intro until after I had already done the editing. This horrible article was not only a horrible mess of an article in Wikipedia, it may have ended up unintentionally causing serious difficulty in someone's life! I think this is Jimbo's reply as to why the old narrower definition of OR was simply too narrow. But again, why use an axe when you can use a surgeon's scalpel? I really don't think that the article section comparing the actual teachings of Jesus to the Hutaree beliefs about Jesus' teachings should have been axed either. So the fine line.... Where to draw and how? Scott P. (talk) 21:29, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
  • That bio article is NOT an example of a WP:SYN feared conclusion, but rather a mostly non-notable person, per policy WP:ONEEVENT, and thus is more connected to that policy, rather than any original conclusions. I sense the general concern, about Wikipedia containing sensationalistic ideas, but there are already policies to handle that. Various aspects of WP:BLP are very precise about blocking improper text, so, again, WP:SYN still does not need to ban feared conclusions. -Wikid77 15:18, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
  • You're right, 100%. The issues revolving around that article don't really directly address the question of WP:SYN. I think that the point that Jimbo was responding to was my earlier concern that WP:NOR appeared to have expanded beyond simply requiring accurate cites, to now requiring much much more. From that perspective, WP:SYN is only one new sub-policy, amongst the many other expansions of the original simpler WP:NOR policy. I just made a proposal over at Jimbo's talk page at Maybe this can be done? that I'm hoping might help to clarify what I see as a sort of 'poor wording' and 'poor structuring' of the current WP:SYN policy, meanwhile keeping what I see as its primary intent. I hope you don't think I am a 'traitor to the cause' for this proposal. If this proposal is received favorably, I'm thinking of next bandying about your idea of WP:UNSOUND. I'd like to know what you think about my proposal. You are correct that Britannica does allow 'credentialed experts' to publish 'new ideas' in its pages. And maybe there should be a process in Wikipedia that enables one to do so here too. That is a thought for another day. But the vast majority of us editors here are not really 'credentialed experts' in any one field, so until such a policy could possibly be developed here, I am coming to better understand and agree with the current policy, only I do think that the terminology of the policy could be improved, as you might see over at my proposal on Jimbo's talk page. Thanks, Scott P. (talk) 15:32, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Image deleted

Hi Scottperry, I've been informed that the image File:Ant-war.JPG that you uploaded in 2007 and claimed as self made, is in fact a professional copyrighted image (see http://www.myrmecos.net/myrmicinae/TetCae6.html). I've consequently just deleted this image. - Peripitus (Talk)

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Proposed deletion of Your Immortal Reality

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The article Your Immortal Reality has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

Non-notable book appears to fail WP:NOTBOOK.

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Forgiveness

Thanks for your input on forgiveness. I am not that familiar with ACIM. I thought that it drew on all religious traditions. If it is explicitly and only Christian, it should be a sub-category under Christianity I think. Your thoughts? Thanks. Makana Chai (talk) 19:33, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Within the text, the claim is made that it is the person of Jesus who is teaching the material, thus it could be argued by some that it is exclusively the teachings of Jesus, however a counter-argument can be easily made that many of the teachings of Jesus were shared by many other religions, before Jesus' own lifetime. Scott P. (talk) 20:41, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
Undoubtedly claims can be made. However, if ACIM is explicitly Christian, I think it needs to be moved there. Makana Chai (talk) 22:45, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Repeated links proposal

This is a proposal to change the Repeated links section of the MOS. Please edit &/or comment on the talk page as you see fit.

Feel free to move the proposal/discussion straight to the Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (linking) if you wish. I just thought we might establish some sort of consensus first, out of the heat and fury over there. --Michael C. Price talk 10:14, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

United Nations

I removed your edit for the United Nations. It is more your point of view than fact. CanadianLinuxUser (talk) 17:38, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Congratulations on receiving the Dr. Heiter Award!

For your contributions to The Human Centipede (First Sequence) I present you with the Dr. Heiter Award. "Feed!"

Hi there, thank you for your contributions to The Human Centipede (First Sequence). When the article was first started in October 2009 is was but a tiny stub that was immediately tagged for deletion, but thanks to the efforts of wikipedia editors that tiny acorn has grown into a great oak tree of an article. The Human Centipede (First Sequence) now has B-Class status and on the 17th June 2010 the article received its 1,000,000th page view!

The Dr. Heiter Award was created to reward editors who have made positive contributions to the article. It can be presented by any wikipedia user to anyone who has helped the article grow. This might be by adding new content, fixing any errors or reverting vandalism.

Thanks! Coolug (talk) 21:12, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

User talk:Scottperry/horrible article

Hello. I'm thinking User talk:Scottperry/horrible article should be deleted. The article failed at AfD and your draft specifically states that the info will be deleted in April...2011! For now, I'll at least remove the categories since it shouldn't appear in content categories. Best, Pichpich (talk) 14:18, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree, if you want to delete it, please go ahead. The reason I had it here was purely for a certain discussion regarding the editorial process. That discussion is now over. Thanks Scott P. (talk) 15:42, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I'll tag it for "deletion requested by author". Cheers, Pichpich (talk) 15:53, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Re: How can Idris al-Senussi lay claim to a throne which he says should not exist?

Note: I've moved this discussion over to the Idris article talk page.

File:Us-institute-of-peace.jpg missing description details

Dear uploader: The media file you uploaded as File:Us-institute-of-peace.jpg is missing a description and/or other details on its image description page. If possible, please add this information. This will help other editors to make better use of the image, and it will be more informative for readers.

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Kkmcbride's former "Semiotics" section of the "Bullying" article

i could see it is dubious and not well written - just thought i would sit back and see how it panned out. He/she doesnt seem very communicative - never using editing comments or talk pages. Just do what you think best. Incidentally i think you and me have very differing perspectives on bullying and we need to thrash out a compromise. I have enough on my plate right now so i'll get round to it at some point.--Penbat (talk) 20:41, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Speedy deletion nomination of Grandstream Networks

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A tag has been placed on Grandstream Networks, requesting that it be speedily deleted from Wikipedia. This has been done under section G11 of the criteria for speedy deletion, because the page seems to be unambiguous advertising which only promotes a company, product, group, service or person and would need to be fundamentally rewritten in order to become an encyclopedia article. Please read the guidelines on spam and Wikipedia:FAQ/Business for more information.

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The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is currently a featured article candidate

Hi there, thanks for all the helpful edits you have contributed to The Human Centipede article, I thought I'd let you know that the article is currently a featured article candidate!

At the moment I'm trying my best to make positive changes to the article based upon the comments and suggestions on the article review, but any help with this would really be appreciated. The featured article review is here and if you have any spare time it would be really cool if you could have a look at the comments and help make sure the article is meeting the standards that are asked of a featured article. Plus if there's anything you think you can do to help improve the article, or anything important that it's missing, please do go ahead and make the changes!

Thanks for all your help with the article. cya Coolug (talk) 19:24, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Hey Coolug, Thanks for the "Dr. Heiter Award". I am truly honored! (I think.) I don't know if you really want me editing that article. I feel that the way it is currently written, it amounts to a certain form of "sensationalistic journalism". By this I mean, Six's claim of "100% medical accuracy" is clearly a total hoax, yet the flow of the article makes little or no effort to clarify this blatant fact right up front in the intro where it belongs. Last year, I simply didn't have the energy or focus needed to insist on this kind of wording in the article, to where that type of 'factual' wording would 'stick'. At that time I engaged in a sort of a low level "editing war" with this editor "Papa November", who kept trying to take out this clarification from the article lead, apparently because he preferred the "sensationalistic effect" of allowing a typical reader to maintain a certain "suspension of disbelief" while reading most of the article, instead of preferring simple journalistic accuracy right up-front and throughout the article.
If you really wanted me to rejoin in the editing of that page, I would have to insist that in the article's lead, the simple medical impossibility of such a thing lasting for any more than a few hours, before automatically resulting in the death of one or more of the individuals so attached, would be made fairly clear to the typical reader. Using such an monstrous type of torture as Six has proposed, the very first defecation of any lead chain member would quite likely result in death by asphyxiation of the next person in the chain within minutes. Properly digested feces are often excreted at a fairly high rate, which could easily exceed the rate that most people are able to swallow. Think rationally about this.... The automatic result of any inability to swallow as fast as required, or of any vomiting, both of which would be almost certain to occur, would be to force the excess vomit or feces down the bronchial tube, which would in turn result fairly quickly in death by asphyxiation.
Having the mouth sewn shut to the outside world would leave only one alternative pathway for any material that could not be swallowed at the exact moment that swallowing would be required, the bronchial tube and therefore death, as the sewn-shut mouth would also prevent artificial resuscitation.
Six's "claim" to be "100% medically accurate" is clearly totally unverified advertising BS and hype. Once the underlying premise of the whole film is debunked, in some people's eyes, the value of the whole article becomes a bit diminished. Do you still want me to edit this article? Would you support such edits clarifying the nature of Six's unverified advertising BS in the lead or not? In my view, Wikipedia owes it to its readership, and to its primary purpose, to tend more towards factual accuracy than journalistic sensationalism, whether it makes for a "more interesting read" or not. Scott P. (talk) 17:06, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Hey there. Thanks for this reply explaining your feelings.
The thing with a wikipedia article is that it's not our job as editors to analyse or comment on the subject at hand. We are to find reliable sources about stuff and use it to create articles. Yes it's true that a human centipede would almost certainly die within a short period of time, and Tom Six's 100% medically accurate claim probably is only advertising BS, but most sources on the subject don't worry too much about this because it's only a film, it's not real, no-one (in the real world at least, don't get me started on that terrible sequel idea) is going to use this production as a text book on how to create their own monster.
There has been some comment by a doctor on the practicalities of creating a human centipede, and this is mentioned in the article. There is also comment on how the claim is probably only an advertising gimmick. However, 99% of the sources on the film don't worry about this as they expect their readers to understand this. So we mention it because it's important, but we don't give it any undue weight. It's two sources out of hundreds that lead on whether or not one can really make a human centipede.
As for the lead section, well, at present the lead no longer makes any mention of Six's 100% claim. If we were to have it there I think it would probably be worthy of remaining there. However, I'm afraid I don't think the sillyness of the human centipede would belong there too, as I have said it gives far too much weight to the point. The article is currently at FAC and the reviewers would strike us down for this, that I am sure. As I said, if most reviews or features on the human centipede went into this point in great detail, then it would probably deserve to be there. Unfortunately they do not.
Anyway, I'm sorry you feel that you cannot take part in the article because of this, but I hope I have explained myself.
(ps - I'm glad you liked your Dr Heiter Award - it still stands, thanks for contributing!)
cya Coolug (talk) 16:58, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

My alleged edits

I answered on my talk page. Can we have the discussion there? --Teiresia (T) 17:52, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Do you have my talk page on your watchlist? In case that not: There's an answer waiting for you, there. :-) --Teiresia (T) 18:11, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Yay!
Qapla'.svg
(Success!)
You did it! :-)
You found someone important enough to state the obvious in here!
You are my hero for today!
 ;-)
--Teiresia (T) 22:12, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps you are not aware of what you did, but you changed the meaning of my heading on the talk page. I didn't intend to say that not including the al-Q-Ref is censorship. I was referring to closing the discussion. --Teiresia (T) 03:50, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I am waiting for an apopoly. --Teiresia (T) 17:15, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Please sign your comments

Information.svg Hello. In case you didn't know, when you add content to talk pages and Wikipedia pages that have open discussion, such as on Talk:Anders Behring Breivik, you should sign your posts by typing four tildes ( ~~~~ ) at the end of your comment. You could also click on the signature button Insert-signature.png located above the edit window. This will automatically insert a signature with your username or IP address and the time you posted the comment. This information is useful because other editors will be able to tell who said what, and when. This is the second time I have to sign your comment for you. As an experienced editor, you should know how to sign your comments to make participating in Wikipedia easier for everyone. Thanks, hydrox (talk) 06:32, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Sorry about that. Not an intentional thing. I will be more careful. Thanks, Scott P. (talk) 10:24, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

July 2011

You currently appear to be engaged in an edit war according to the reverts you have made on Anders Behring Breivik. Users are expected to collaborate with others and avoid editing disruptively.

In particular, the three-revert rule states that:

  1. Making more than three reversions on a single page within a 24-hour period is almost always grounds for an immediate block.
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I've listed an RfC on the article talk page, please see this. Thanks, Scott P. (talk) 10:53, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

File:LocationArmenia-2.png listed for deletion

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Speedy deletion nomination of Democracy Watch (International)

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Invitation for comment

As the subject seems to be of your interest, and you are an experienced editor, you are invited to this, as yet, non-consensual and critical talk. Excalibursword (talk) 17:45, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Hizb El Watan (Libya)

I have nominated Hizb El Watan (Libya) for deletion because of the duplicity (see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Hizb El Watan (Libya)) Your opinion on the discussion page would be appreciated, since you have been one of the contributors in the article. EllsworthSK (talk) 21:23, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

The Alwattan name

Yes, I saw that they use "ALWATTAN PARTY" in allcaps, but only in the logo in the circulating banner, while the domain is wattan.ly. In Wikipedia, the policy is that we go by what is most common in English-language reliable sources, and "Alwattan" seemed to be most uncommon. Only time will tell what comes out as the eventual winner.  --Lambiam 00:36, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Speedy deletion nomination of BabyTEL

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Satellite Direct

I have unprotected this page per your request to write a neutral article. --Stephen 04:15, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

File permission problem with File:Bangalore-locator-map.jpg

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"English fluency" of Pope Franciscus

In your "source", there's absolutely nothing to support your biased claim. Revert it! 217.81.135.124 (talk) 12:31, 14 March 2013 (UTC) Please check again. Now there is a suitable ref.Scott P. (talk) 13:23, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

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Proposed deletion of Satellite Direct Magazine

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The article Satellite Direct Magazine has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

Separate article is completely unnecessary when it could be merged into DirecTV.

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Navboxes on author pages

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Possibly unfree File:Santa-xenu.jpg

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TOC limiting

Hi Scott, the use of a TOC limiting format was useful for a large article as the use of an extremely large table of contents introduced an unnecessarily large white space in the article. This limit is really only applied when the table of contents can not be inhibited by the use of main titles rather than a succession of sub-titles, such as in the case of Amelia Earhart. As for continued use of the TOC limit, I have not applied this limiting factor in over two years as I have been more involved in the writing of smaller, more specialized film and aircraft type articles where the TOC limit does not apply. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 14:25, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

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Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/A Course in Miracles - Original Edition

Hi, do I understand from your response in the AfD discussion that you now support a Merge rather than delete? If so, you could withdraw the AfD nomination, as merging does not require that, or (I guess) indicate clearly that Merge is your !vote despite being nom - well, anything goes probably. All the best, Chiswick Chap (talk) 13:01, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi Chris, you are correct that despite my harsh tone, I would be willing to accept the merge here. As you have undoubtedly seen, there are several controversial facts that will have to be sorted through in such a merge. Thank you for trying to help with such negotiations here. Sorry I cut you off in the main article there. This type of negotiation is all kind of new territory here but I think it all seems to be working so far. Scott P. (talk) 15:03, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm Chiswick Chap or CC for short. Mmm, it's important not to be harsh, we are dealing with complete newbies here, and in addition, with an author/editor who has a conflict of interest and is urgently trying to work out how Wikipedia works and what we are trying to achieve. Our way of working is certainly very different from e.g. Facebook or Twitter, to name but two other channels, and it must seem arcane (with a barely audible swish of priestly robes as we flounce into AfD and COI and POV and various other TLAs). FWIW I think the ACIM-ers wish to comply with Wikipedia process, they just don't know what is wanted. I've had a quick look at the main article and it too is seriously in need of citations; Huon is correct that the new article is currently pure WP:OR so a merge would be little more than a redirect if citations can't be supplied. One of the editors said he had some photos to upload; if we can get him to put them on Commons with a free license (and probably an OTRS ticket) that would be helpful. Chiswick Chap (talk) 15:21, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
I know that AFD was probably quite a shock for the editors of the new article, but I did that with the intention of giving them a sort of a little "baptism by fire" in Wikipedia, which I think they will survive. If you haven't seen it already, please see my last entry in the AFD. Got to go now. Thank you so much for doing what you done so far. Scott P. (talk) 15:30, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Edits to WP:LA sublists

Hi, I suspect the edits you made today to the WP:LA sublists (like this one) will get undone the next time my bot runs. I have an item on my list to remerge the sublists into a single list and rather than change the bot twice (once to accommodate your changes and again to do the remerge) I'd like to change the bot only once. I'm not sure exactly when I'll get to this. It's been on my list for a few months, but I have been quite busy IRL - I expect to have more time soon. Please ping me if this seems to drag on longer than you think is reasonable. Thanks. -- Rick Block (talk) 02:03, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Hi Rick, If it's too much trouble, don't worry. No big deal if we have to use an extra click or two to navigate there. Who knows? Maybe my edits will survive your bot? Thanks, Scott P. (talk) 02:10, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

GA reassessment

Anjem Choudary, an article that you or your project may be interested in, has been nominated for a community good article reassessment. If you are interested in the discussion, please participate by adding your comments to the reassessment page. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, the good article status may be removed from the article.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 05:54, 2 March 2014 (UTC)


Napoleon

Hi! It is true that Napoleon was one of the three Consuls who ruled France between 1799 and 1802. But Napoleon did not "appointed himself" as Consul and later as Emperor. Napoleon was supposed to be the puppet of a new regime prepared by other revolutionary leaders. Later, Napoleon became Emperor following a vote from the Senate which was ratified by a referendum. So it's a bit more complicated than Napoleon seizing power for himself and by himself. Blaue Max (talk) 14:18, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

April 2014

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"Bath School disaster/ mass murder?...

You recently renamed/moved this longstanding article with no talk page discussion. I cannot say how strongly I disagree with this action. The event is almost always called "Bath School Disaster" in the contemporaneous news sources, in eyewitness accounts and in any historical research I have read. Also, this title would seem to be against the Manual of style (having "/ mass murder" in the title) because none of the other articles in the Category:Mass murder in the United States has such a naming convention. At this point adjusting the now-existing renames and redirects are beyond my poor powers, otherwise I'd go ahead and revert the renaming and then discuss the issue on the article's talk page. Shearonink (talk) 17:04, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Luis Suárez

Is there a legitimate reason why the Toronto Star keeps on being removed? Kingjeff (talk) 22:43, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Suarez obviously has a significant fan base, some of which appear to be Wikipedia editors. At least his fans allowed a summary of his biting history in the lead. So long as they do that, I'm not going to take their "slightly slanted" editing up a level. If after four months it becomes apparent that Suarez has ruined his career because of his recent misbehavior, then I suspect that they will eventually admit that he has screwed himself and stop trying to minimize reporting about his misbehavior in his article. Why fight them now when in four months, time itself will probably do it for us? Scott P. (talk) 22:57, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

WP:OR / WP:RS

We dont go by our interpretations of the fine print in primary source documents, we go by what reliable third party sources state in plain language. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 01:25, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Please forgive me if I was not clear. By "fine print", I meant if you follow Miller's own footnoting in his own book, you will see that, according to Miller there are several small sections of ACIM for which the copyright was not removed. Now, this may be what you would call "original research", but I have added up all of these sections and they amount to 5% of the printed book.So, rather than simply stating that "the copyrights were removed", I would think that accuracy would require that you should somehow at least allude to that in the lead. Scott P. (talk) 01:37, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
If you can more accurately represent what Miller says, please do so. I am mostly skimming to get the high points. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 02:41, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Degenhardt L, Hall W, Lynskey M ,Comorbidity between cannabis use and psychosis: Modelling some possible relationships. Technical Report No. 121. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. 2001, [2] Retrieved on 19.18.2006