User talk:Sgerbic

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Hello, Sgerbic, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this page and then place {{helpme}} before the question. Again, welcome! - 2/0 (cont.) 07:05, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

{{help}} It was just brought to my attention today that I have two accounts on wikipedia one as SGerbic the other as Sgerbic. Could I please have these merged? Sgerbic (talk) 04:44, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Which one do you wish to use?
Since you've already developed a userpage here, I suspect you'll want to keep this one...? -- Brangifer (talk) 04:57, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
I would suggest that you continue to use this one as your primary account and simply mark the other user page as {{doppleganger}}, with a note something like {{doppelganger|Sgerbic|historical account, used for XXX purposes only}}. Sometimes it is beneficial to have a doppleganger account to use on computers that may not be secure, ones you're not comfortable logging in on with your real account (shared computers, some shared wireless access points, etc.). You can also mark the old account user page as {{FormerAccount|Sgerbic}} and simply not use the account. Skier Dude (talk) 05:18, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
This help request has been answered. If you need more help, you can ask another question on your talk page, contact the responding user(s) directly on their user talk page, or consider visiting the Teahouse.

Can I please have an account as Sgerbic and not as SGerbic. I cannot sign into Wikipedia as Sgerbic as it keeps defaulting to SGerbic. I'm confused and want to find a way to change my user name to just one only. I seem to have edits under both user names and want them merged please. SGerbic (talk) 05:21, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

See WP:CHU. Cheers - [[CharlieEchoTango]] 06:53, 20 February 2011 (UTC)


Power Balance[edit]

I think the best place to talk about Power Balance Bracelets would be a Power Balance Bracelets article. Your additions just seem like an awkward digression, IMO. It shouldn't be our job to discuss the merits of any product an athlete endorses in that athlete's biography. Zagalejo^^^ 06:07, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Homeopathy and 10:23 campaign[edit]

I mention them here in this section I wrote and the Zicam article. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:15, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Reverted edits[edit]

I have reverted several of your recent additions (pegasus awards); please resubmit that text once you review Wikipedia:Close paraphrasing and rewrite them in your own words to avoid plagiarism. Even when cited, we cannot plagiarize on Wikipedia, copied text should be in full quotes (which is bad practice-- we really should rewrite in our own words). Additionally, your addition to Andrew Wakefield included a lot of content already included in the article. Also, please review your other work, as I don't have time to check it all, but did see some other problems, and review User:Sgerbic/Mark Edward for close paraphrasing before moving it in to main space. This tool may be helpful in comparing text you write to the source (I suggest setting it to compare four to five words). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:04, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

file deletion[edit]

The image File:Karen Stollznow 2.jpg was uploaded to Commons:File:Karen Stollznow 2.jpg @ wikimedia commons, you'll need to make the request for deletion there, not here. Skier Dude (talk) 06:20, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Karen Stollznow[edit]

I finally got off my duff and finished Karen Stollznow! It's up and I submitted it to DYK too. Turned out pretty good, and she's got a nice set of inbound links ("what links here") due to all her writing. ---Krelnik (talk) 05:30, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Great news Tim! I'm sure she is going to be happy. I'll check it out when I get finished reverting spam from the Ghost Hunting site. I just updated Tim Minchin's site and have an endless list of other things I want to do. Can't wait to talk to you at TAM9, very frustrating that people are forever telling me that editing Wiki is so important, and my project with "we got your wiki back" is really great. But I've had only 4,000 hits and only a few people say they want to help, then they never seem to do anything. People are always saying they want to help out the cause, but do they really? Anyway, I guess I'm just tired and get frustrated when your waiting on people who don't come through for you. See you soon, I'll be back to my upbeat self by TAM. SGerbic (talk) 05:59, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I definitely feel your pain. I'm gonna try to get the troops riled up about this in my workshop (and elsewhere) at TAM. Krelnik (talk) 11:58, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm working on my paper presentation, and I will be pleading for help. Sending people to my website, I got some great business cards for TAM. I'm going to have to really cut things down, I'm at 15 minutes talking pretty fast, have to shave 5 minutes off it somehow. Crazy that they are are making us do this in 10 minutes. Stirling and I are leaving tomorrow afternoon for Vegas.SGerbic (talk) 00:40, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Your question[edit]


Just saw the question you posted on my User Page, I have moved it over to my User_talk, where you can find it under "Question":

Thanks for getting in touch. MakeSense64 (talk) 16:14, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Re: Userpage question[edit]

FRINGE, FTN etc.[edit]

Hi Sgerbic, I just watched your TAM9 video talking about getting skeptics involved in Wikipedia (from this week's Signpost, which I sometimes help edit). I'd avoid the term "guerilla" in discussing skeptics getting involved in Wikipedia, as it is likely to cause experienced editors to think that you are advocating underhanded means (sock puppetry etc.) to edit Wikipedia which would be counterproductive.

In your blog, you mention Wikipedia:WikiProject Rational Skepticism. It is indeed rather dormant, but that's because of WP:FTN. This is an important thing to point out to all skeptics: even if people aren't interested in editing Wikipedia directly, it is very useful to know that WP:FTN exists. I'm not interested in getting into edit wars with the fringe community, but if I come across places where there are problems with lack of skepticism in an article or set of articles or problematic edits, I report it on WP:FTN, the Fringe Theories Noticeboard. I'm not sure whether you are aware of it, but it's something that we should be proud of. WP:FTN is there to help enforce the WP:FRINGE policy.

The other thing is to make sure that when reaching out to skeptics, to point out how policy works. This is a frequent problem for many who come to Wikipedia. There are three things I think every skeptic needs to know about Wikipedia policy beyond the absolute basics. First is verifiability, not truth. Wikipedia isn't about "The Truth", it's about describing what is verifiable according to the sources (rather than, say, original research or original synthesis). Second is undue weight: mainstream views aren't given parity with crazy views. Third is WP:FRINGE and WP:FTN.

Anyway, if you want any help or advice with Wikipedia or want someone to bounce ideas off, do shout. —Tom Morris (talk) 08:56, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Thank you Tom! I was unaware of FTN until you mentioned it. I've looked it over and it might be a good resource in the future. My problem with WP is the language and culture, things have to be done in certain ways that are very intimidating and confusing to new editors. Once you jump into it you either sink or swim, I keep encountering people who have tried to get involved but a senior editor snapped at them and or reverted their edits without explaining in clear language why (not in WP language).

Have you read my blog? I'm still not sure what the Signpost writer meant by me not following the rules? He said he would write back in a couple hours to explain but its been many more hours than that. I use the term guerrilla skepticism to rally people and get the non-editing world to think about how important WP is. The attitude that someone else will fix it, is overwhelming at times, very frustrating. If an editor thought I was advocating sock puppets or astroturffing then they would just need a quick read of my blog to see that I'm not advocating anything like that.

I think I might just write a blog about our conversation, I think the three items that a skeptic should know about editing WP is worth mentioning. Thank you. Sgerbic (talk) 15:36, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Do feel free to write a blog post about anything I've said!
I had a read of the comment from Signpost: it kind of got a bit lost, the commenter was criticising an earlier version of the article while it was still being developed. The criticism in the final published version of the Signpost was softened a lot after you responded.
I think there are always concerns when people rally others to go and edit because Wikipedians have seen that before: hence our policy on WP:CANVASSING, WP:MEATPUPPET and things like the idea that we don't vote, we have a consensus-based discussion (for instance, when an article is up for deletion, there is zero benefit in recruiting one's friends and allies to turn up and vote to keep the article; much better to actually provide good reasons and arguments—it's sort of like we think democracy is just one giant argument from popularity). Over the years, Wikipedians have seen lots of people saying they are going to turn up and fix all the woes: sometimes that comes from mostly reasonable people (like, say, the American Psychological Society or indeed skeptics), sometimes not so much (white power Nazi types, marketing/PR people etc). Even when it is well-intentioned, it has to be done with a great deal of care.
Some of the response on Signpost has been essentially "but skeptical content is good enough already!" Here is where I think things get more interesting. There are some really good articles, but they tend to be things which are very high-level topics where scientists have jumped in to the debate, like intelligent design or homeopathy. Those don't really need to be more skeptical: they are pretty damn withering already! If you need proof of that, the fact that after he was kicked off Wikipedia, homeopathy advocate Dana Ullman moved over to Citizendium and coerced the policy situation there to get a very pro-homeopathy article published which homeopaths then crowed about. They slated Wikipedia for not being "neutral" like the Citizendium article, which was heavily written mostly by two fervent pro-homeopathy editors full-time tag-teaming it to oblivion with only me and some other people who don't really care all that much about homeopathy trying and failing to inject some sanity into it. Yeah, compared to that, Wikipedia is pretty damn skeptical of some of the bigger name delusions like homeopathy, alternative medicine and stuff like that.
Where your blog seems to point out problems is more with more minor topics like psychics and so on as well as coverage of skeptics themselves. The reaction of long-time Wikipedians to the thought of more "POV warriors" turning up to rehash things like intelligent design would be quite negative, but having more editors with declared conflicts of interest, turning up to ensure balance on minor articles... that's not such a big concern for people.
As for the cultural stuff, yes, there is a problem with biting the newbies and so on, and it's hard to learn how to participate. It's a learning process, and it takes time. I think the most important thing is humility and willingness to accept criticism, willingness to accept being wrong (kinda like science really!). If you've got any particular bugbears or things you think the community could fix about welcoming newbies and the like, it'd be great to hear them. Both the community and the Wikimedia Foundation are trying hard to fix "newbie retention" issues, so if you've got any ideas...
Anyway, keep up the great skeptical work on Wikipedia. —Tom Morris (talk) 09:27, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Guerilla Skepticism goes to ANI[edit]

Hi Sgerbic, your post on is the subject of a thread on ANI - see here. It's nothing to worry about. Feel free to participate - you don't have to be an administrator to do so. —Tom Morris (talk) 19:31, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Thank You Tom! I read this and the Admin comments while at work on my phone. Scary. I'm going to working on a few more blogs to make sure and explain the rules of editing. I don't want people to get the wrong impression, I forget that not everyone has read my blog, or knows me. They are just going on past experiences with other people who say they are going to make changes and trying to rally the troops. In my case, the troops aren't rallying! My watchlist remains unchanged today. I've gotten (in emails and Facebook) all kinds of "way to go Susan" but not what I really want, like "I just read this awesome article today in Skeptic Magazine about XYZ can you show me how to add it to Wikipedia?" That's what I want to hear. When you call to arms and no one comes how frustrating is that? Maybe it is much better to not ask for help, then at least you can pretend that they would do so if you could have asked. I know I sound sad, but it has actually been a good day. Richard Dawkins Foundation picked up my blog on their site. That is really cool! My BF would tell me to just "stay calm and wait to see what happens" but I'm not made that way. Thanks again, your heads up was really awesome, and your comments right on. Thanks for having my back even though you don't know me. Sgerbic (talk) 01:32, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Skeptic categories[edit]

You may want to take a look at, and possibly even jump into, a current conversation on the bottom of my talk page. - TexasAndroid (talk) 19:45, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Reality Check Course[edit]

Hi Sgerbic. Thought you'd be interested in checking out my fall course in Critical Thinking.John.Farquhar (talk) 03:49, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Wow John! That looks so professional. I've been working on blogs showing the basics of editing Wikipedia and here you have it all at your fingertips waiting for me. The Ambassador program people never responded to me, I suppose it was because I wanted to do it at the community college a few blocks away and they probably don't have it set up there. Also because I'm not a professor there. Whatever reason I suppose I wouldn't have a lot of time. Your class looks like so much fun, the students should really feel good about having a class like this. Can I share your link on my blog? Or is that not a good thing as some people might want to "join" in when they aren't your students? I'd like at least to mention this program and its applications, other professors might want to become involved. I can easily share the Ambassador link I suppose, but that isn't personal. If you can think of anyway I can help, please don't hesitate to ask me. Sgerbic (talk) 04:03, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
You are welcome to share anything I've done. I would especially appreciate other skeptical wikipedians to advise and review content that the students will be posting. The Campus Ambassador training was very interesting and valuable in many ways. If you did not get a response it may be because they are ramping this up very quickly with only a few volunteers. If you are still interested, try again. Also, have been researching Psychic Detectives in order to make updates. Hope to begin that soon. John.Farquhar (talk) 04:14, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

DYK for James Underdown[edit]

Orlady (talk) 16:03, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

The Steve Allen Theater[edit]

Hi, I wanted to let you know that the new article The Steve Allen Theater (nice work BTW) links to several disambiguation pages (specifically, Crom, Exodus, Jim Turner, John Ennis, John Reynolds, Pat Healy, Peter Hayes, Rancid, and Variety). I was hoping you could help fix these; sometimes it's difficult to figure out what the original author intended. This tool is a great help in finding and fixing the links. Thanks, --JaGatalk 16:40, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Thank you so much. I'll get on it, I linked to so many people that it was a bit overwhelming. The tool you gave me is kinda scary looking to use. I'm still not that great of an editor, I know my basics but have not learned to use tools. Sgerbic (talk) 18:07, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
All done! Sgerbic (talk) 20:34, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks much. I've found that, since there's no easy way to tell a disambig link in an article from a correct link (short of clicking each and every link to test), many editors accidentally create disambig links and never know about it. IMO the best solution would be to make disambiguation links a different color (maybe green?) but that proposal always gets shot down. As a next best solution, I've been considering making a bot that would notify people when they add disambiguation links to pages. Of course, fixing such links would never be required; it would just be a message to make people aware of the dablinks.
So, I'm wondering, do you think such a bot would be useful, or would similar messages in the future be unwelcome? I don't want to stress people out, but I've found that editors are usually happy to fix dablinks once they've been made aware of their existence. --JaGatalk 21:08, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for asking my opinion (just like I'm a regular editor). I had never even heard of disambiguation links as a problem before a couple months ago. I am still really uncomfortable with anything "bot" related. I love the idea of creating a different color when it leads to a disambiguation. I think the editor could just quickly right-click or double-click to turn the color back to blue once we are aware of it. The environment I'm running into on WP is that everything is designed for those people who already understand all the editing features, newbies beware. I think anything to make it simple is best. And I didn't have a problem with changing the links. Sgerbic (talk) 21:37, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Your deletion debate[edit]

You chose the wrong deletion method. (Not a surprise. There are a gazillion of them) WP:TFD is Templates for deletion. You were wanting an article deleted. So you wanted one of the three deletion systems that can delete articles. WP:AFD, WP:PROD, and WP:CSD. Those are Articles For Deletion, Proposed Deletion, and Speedy Deletion. The one closest to the TFD that you tried to use is AFD. Your TFD debate was removed from TFD soon after you entered it, but was started as an AFD discussion for you. (Wikipedians can be quite helpful when they want to be. :) ) Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Jackie Barrett is the link to the full AFD discussion.

For future reference, the differences in the three article deletion methods are: CSD is Speedy deletion. It is for extremely limited criteria. If the situation does not exactly meet one of the CSD criteria, then speedy deletion *cannot* be used. OTOH, it is the fastest criteria. Admins like me can apply it at will if we find an article that we think meets the criteria. And anyone can tag for speedy deletion, and an admin will deal with it fairly rapidly. This is what you saw in the older history of the article you want deleted. Someone thought that the article met a speedy deletion criteria, tagged it as such, but someone else (usually but not always an admin) came along and disagreed and declined the CSD deletion.

In this particular case the reason was Notability. The bar to avoid speedy deletion is much much lower than the bar to avoid it in a full debate. An article really only needs to assert notability in some vague way to avoid speedy notability deletion.

Next deletion method is WP:PROD. Prod is intended for uncontroversial deletions. You can use (almost) any reasoning in your PROD deletion request. The key though is that it only takes a single protest of a PROD deletion to invalidate PROD deletion for that article. PROD is thus fairly simple, but if anyone disagrees, they are free to remove the PROD deletion notice.

Last is AFD. Articles for Deletion. This is where you launch a full deletion debate on the article. This is what you tried to do with your deletion attempt. Except for using the wrong system, I think you made a pretty good deletion argument. :)

There are also deletion systems for Templates (WP:TFD), Categories (WP:CFD), Redirects (WP:RFD), Files/Images(WP:FFD), and Misc (WP:MFD). I likely missed a few in this list. So there's no real surprise that you missed the correct one on your first try. :) - TexasAndroid (talk) 21:40, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Thank you so much! I am overwhelmed with WP every time I try something new and have to read the directions. Its like math word problems for me. I'm saving all this and will refer back to it, maybe soon. Just want to see how the process works with the Jackie Barrett. Sgerbic (talk) 23:03, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
How many people have to vote on this deletion? Or is there a time limit? Sgerbic (talk) 08:16, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Debate length varies with the different deletion mechanisms. I believe that AFD is normally 7 days. There are definitely exceptions to that. WP:SNOW (for Snowball's chance in Hell) can occasionally be used to close early debates that are overwhelmingly going in one direction or the other. To the other side, if a debate is getting absolutely no feedback, or is pretty much deadlocked, a closer can "relist" it for another seven days.
There is no real minimum number of opinions needed. At closing time, the closer will evaluate the discussion. If there are too few responses (in their opinion) they may relist. Or they may go through with a close if they feel one side or the other has presented the stronger policy-based argument. - TexasAndroid (talk) 11:57, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Another mechanism to be aware of in the deletion process is Deletion review. WP:DRV. This is where you go if you want to protest a deletion action. Be aware, DRV is focused much more on whether proper WP procedures were followed, as opposed to if you just disagree with the outcome of a debate. The one situation that comes to mind for DRV that is not process-centered is if you think that the situation surrounding the deletion has changed. This most commonly comes into play with Notability. Notability status can change. Someone who was not notable a year ago may have received major media attention in the time since. A band that was unknown a year ago may have had a #1 hit since then. Or you have simply found good sources to show the notability of someone who was previously deleted for lack of notability. But these types are the exceptions at DRV. Much more commonly, for DRV debates that actually go somewhere, they are about process. Did the deleting admin correctly apply Speedy Deletion criteria? Did he/she correctly interpret the results of a contentious deletion debate. In these cases you are supposed to first take a shot on the admin's talk page at persuading them to change their mind. If you were to search through my talk history, you would find plenty of times that I've been persuaded to change my mind by a well worded argument on my talk page. But ultimately, if the admin will not change their mind, and you think that they are incorrect... DRV. - TexasAndroid (talk) 21:06, 23 September 2011 (UTC)


Hi Sgerbic!

I have put together a survey for female editors of Wikipedia (and related projects) in order to explore, in greater detail, women's experiences and roles within the Wikimedia movement. It'd be wonderful if you could participate!

It's an independent survey, done by me, as a fellow volunteer Wikimedian. It is not being done on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation. I hope you'll participate!

Just click this link to participate in this survey, via Google!

Any questions or concerns, feel free to email me or stop by my user talk page. Also, feel free to share this any other female Wikimedians you may know. It is in English, but any language Wikimedia participants are encouraged to participate. I appreciate your contributions - to the survey and to Wikipedia! Thank you! SarahStierch (talk) 03:24, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Not news[edit]

Please see Talk:Richard Dawkins#Wyndgade Country Club where I have proposed removal of the new section. I forget where I saw it, but I noticed when your arrival was mentioned somewhere, and skeptics are particularly welcome and essential at Wikipedia, IMHO. However, it takes a while to get used to the local culture: editors frequently encounter text that is a problem with regard to WP:NOTNEWS or WP:UNDUE. Another common issue is when someone adds more or less the same thing to several articles—duplication is rarely desirable. Johnuniq (talk) 01:03, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

David Colquhoun article[edit]

I've made some edits to the article and to the portions on the talk page that need to be incorporated. Would you like to do more, or shall we just add it to the article and see what happens? -- Brangifer (talk) 06:51, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

I think you have done a lot. I kept seeing all your edits when I looked at my watchlist. I say add it to the article, it can always be taken out or changed. Be bold Sgerbic (talk) 19:27, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I've done it. It's not that bad and can always be improved. It represents his scientific work much better now. -- Brangifer (talk) 21:43, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
I think the page looks awesome. Now where are you headed? So much to do, so little time.Sgerbic (talk) 04:40, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Moved your article[edit]

Hi, I moved your newly created article to User:Sgerbic/william b davis, which is your userspace: see WP:User space. The place you created it is actually where finished articles go, called WP:Article space. First Light (talk) 02:22, 30 November 2011 (UTC)


Please don't spam external links to the podcast. See WP:ELNO, item 11. Acroterion (talk) 01:36, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Adding external links to articles that are relevant to the WP article is not spam.Sgerbic (talk) 01:42, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Again, see WP:ELNO, particularly #11: blogs and podcasts are to be avoided, unless they're very narrowly targeted. Shotgun addition of links to a particular website is not appropriate. The exceptions to this policy are quite specific. Acroterion (talk) 01:45, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I can see a few examples where such a link would be appropriate: Marfa lights and Devil's Footprints, for example, but most of your links are simply links-for-the-sake-of-links to general topics. Bogs in general aren't reliable sources, although I'm open to persuasion on this one, but you need to slow down and seek consensus that your actions are appropriate. Acroterion (talk) 01:51, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Brian Dunning and Skeptoid aren't "just a blog and podcast" they are notable and have their own WP pages. I have researched these edits and have saved them up for a day when I had the time to edit them onto pages, which is today. I had no idea that there was a rule that editors need to "slow down" when editing. If you were to read the article I am linking to you would find that they are relevant to the article they are placed in. I would think that the individuals that are watching the page would be a better judge to my edit, simply reverting my edits is rather unnerving. If I take the time to add the link to the discussion page and wait for consensus then I might be waiting for ages. It is better to be bold and add the link, and then if there is a problem then it can be discussed by people who understand the topic. Sgerbic (talk) 02:02, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I've raised the question at WP:RSN as to the usefulness of the website: as I said, I see some merit to careful use of the site for narrowly-targeted subjects. I appreciate your boldness: now it's time to discuss. You'll note that I've not reverted all, but since two editors have expressed concern, it's now time for the discussion phase of WP:BRD. That's what I mean by "slow down": please gather consensus. Acroterion (talk) 02:07, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I have reverted all of this editors edits adding links to this site as I consider them link/reference spamming. I will continue to revert them as spam unless I see a wide consensus to add them to a large range of articles. --GraemeL (talk) 12:59, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
While there is no "rule" requiring you to slow down, whenever anyone blasts a bunch of links into several different articles, it looks suspicious and draws attention, especially from the anti-spam crowd (of which I consider myself a member). Add that the elements you're promoting are podcasts (can a deaf person use them?), and I see trouble. Some will eventually ask--although I'm not--if you have any connection, financial or otherwise, to the site or its author. External Links and See Also sections are abused and over-used in many WP articles. Please be careful about what you add and avoid the appearance of a shill. Thank you. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 13:19, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
The discussion at RSN is moving productively, and as several editors have noted, your intentions are good, and the discussion is valuable. Consensus at this point is the links to skeptoid text (not audio) may be a valuable addition to topics that are firmly in fringe topics, interpreted pretty narrowly, but are not so appropriate for more mainstream topics, interpreted rather broadly. Certain topics like homeopathy tend to be landmines in any case, so discretion is needed. Acroterion (talk) 14:47, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

I restored the information and reference Sgerbic added to Biodynamic agriculture. Looks like we're going to have broad consensus at RSN that the source is ideal for such articles. I've not looked at the edits to other articles, but in Biodynamic agriculture I'm concerned that the quote is a bit lengthy and it would be an improvement if it were replaced with a short summary more closely written around what is already in the article. --Ronz (talk) 17:57, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

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Wonderful article[edit]

William B. Davis is fantastic, your edits made a huge difference in quality! Nicely done! You should put it up for Good Article status! Not sure if you're aware, but there are some great article checking tools here Dreadstar 19:58, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Thank you so much! I'm still very new at this and learning on the fly. I wanted to nominate it for DYK? as it was a stub when I got it, but I messed up and started adding things to the page bit-by-bit instead of working on it as a User Page (which I eventually did). So the changes weren't drastic enough from the last change to the subsequent "finished page". Also I realized that I didn't have enough text for it to be 5-fold improved.

I'm easily confused with WP instructions but it was really simple how to nominate the page for GA. Now I just wait and see what other editors think, then fix based on their recommendations right?

I do feel a little guilty as there is a horrible back-log on the nomination page, and over and over they are asking for help. I'm not sure I understand enough to be able to offer real help. Maybe once I go through this process I will learn enough to help eventually.

Thanks again, meant a lot! Sgerbic (talk) 20:41, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Wow, you're quick, nominated already! It'll take a while to get a GA reviewer, which is good, it'll give time to make some improvements to the article. For instance, the lead needs to be expanded, and we need to really verify that all the photos have the right licensing (looks like they do, but we may need to do a little more verification with the uploader). I'd be very happy to help work on it with you, maybe get some other GA-experienced eyes on it too. Hope you're having a wonderful Holiday Season! Dreadstar 18:12, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Someone from the x-files wikiproject looked it over yesterday and said the same thing about expanding the lead (I've seen this spelled lede, what is correct?) So I expanded it last night. Hope it is what you were thinking. The pictures should be okay, but I'm not all that good at knowing how to check once they are uploaded. Please change what you think needs to be changed and invite more eyes. Thank you Sgerbic (talk) 19:13, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Lead and lede are both correct. I prefer "lead" as it's more intuitive (it's the "lead paragraph", leading the article), but "lede" stems from use by journalists to be more widely accepted. Knowing is half the battle. GRAPPLE X 19:37, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you Grapple X. We have so many "in-words" it makes new editors intimidated. I think I like lead better also.Sgerbic (talk) 19:40, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
I used to like lead better, but have gotten used to lede and I use both depending on my mood.  :) There's a good description of the origin of lede here. Both are used interchangeably on WP: WP:LEDE and WP:LEAD um...lead to the same page... Dreadstar 21:02, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
very cool. English can be a pretty messed up And exciting language. I like knowing the history of the wordSgerbic (talk) 23:08, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

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William B. Davis[edit]

Sgerbic, my apologies for not bringing my GA review of this article to your attention. To be honest, it was my intention, and then I spaced it. My review was almost a month ago, and it's been languishing in GAR for months, so I thought I should finally get around to pinging you about it. Again, I apologize. Please let me know any way I can assist. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 23:00, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Thank you so much, I wondered what had happened to that? I've never had this done before, do I need to do something? Sgerbic (talk) 00:42, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you should go to Talk:William B. Davis/GA1, address the feedback, and make the recommended changes, if you think they're warranted. Then I, as the GA reviewer, can promote it. Good luck! Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 23:51, 31 March 2012 (UTC)


Hi Sgerbic, I am currently a student at Clemson University and I am taking English 103. Our current assignment is to write a Wikipedia article, and I was wondering if you could take some time to read what I have started and give me some feedback! Thanks! Ajdu93 (talk) 03:13, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

I think it is a very attractive page, I know almost nothing about the subject, but it looks like there is good information on it. You didn't write that page completely right, but are working on a stub? There is an extra ) right by footnote 1 and I changed the reflex to reflex|2 cause I think it looks better, you can change it back quite easily if you want. Did you choose my name at random, because I don't know anyone at Clemson University that I know of, and my expertize is psychics, not petrifaction? Make sure you tell your professor that I think he/she is wonderful to give you this assignment. The page says it needs more citations, but that was from 2007, it seems like you can probably remove that flag now. There is no rule that says how many citations are needed, looks like you have everything cited. Do any of the authors in the citations have WP pages? If so you might want to link to those people's pages. Maybe another picture would be nice? (I'm a photographer so the answer is always more pictures). Hope I helped a bitSgerbic (talk) 04:10, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
First I would like to thank you very much for your help! What I have written to date is only about half of the assignment-the rest will be done this week. I hope to be adding more pictures as well. Our professor has yet to show us how. And yes, that page is a stub. I did actually choose you at random. I looked through the histories on some pages and noticed you were pretty active in the editing process so I chose you! I'm not sure if any of the authors in the citations have WP pages, I'll look into that. Thank you again for your time and advice, and I'll be sure to pass on your comment to my professor! Ajdu93 (talk) 00:39, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

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Rational Skepticism WikiProject member asking for look at Theosophy entry[edit]

Since you are an active participant in the Rational Skepticism WikiProject, would you mind looking over the Wikipedia entry on Theosophy to see if you find any concerns? Thanks much,Factseducado (talk) 14:03, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

I wasn't aware of the topic, but a few of my editor friends went and looked. I think it is possible they may have left some comments on the talk page. My opinion is that the lede should say "there is nothing in science to support this theory". Also all the references seem to come from one source. That's my two cents from only a quickish look. Sgerbic (talk) 04:20, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for looking at it.
I wish I could just add "there is nothing in science to support this theory" but I think I'd need to find a reliable, verifiable reference to cite.
It seems reasonable to me to discuss what science meant at times in the past, what reliable scholarships says science means now, and to include a section on what "occult science" meant to one or some of the theosophers writing in the late 1800s. I have a reliable, verifiable reference on that.
Thanks again, Factseducado (talk) 02:17, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
You thinking just the opposite. If there was a WP page that said the moon was made of cheese and you wanted to say that there is no proof of that. You would not have to have a citation. The burden of proof is on the person making the outrageous statement.Sgerbic (talk) 02:57, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
That makes it so much easier. I didn't know I was allowed to do that. Thanks! Factseducado (talk) 03:59, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Acupuncture lede[edit]

Hi Sgerbic, welcome to the Acupuncture article and talk page, where if I'm not mistaken you made your first edit recently. I see that you reverted my edit with the edit summary (ES): "No the lede before was better." While your opinion is as valued as any other editor's, the discussion will advance (and your edits will tend to be taken seriously) only if you explain your reasoning with references to WP policy. Please join in at Talk:Acupuncture#Tweaks_to_lede.

BTW, your comment on your user page that you believe "that sometimes things need to heat up in order to make people think critically about their beliefs" is fine IRL, but on WP the opposite is practiced: see WP:DR. Satire, ridicule and poking fun are common in public discourse today, and I agree they can be fun (e.g. S. Colbert's deconstructions of the Cheney/Bush administration), but WP values cool, calm civility as a means to make a rational argument. best regards, Middle 8 (talk) 21:31, 29 April 2012 (UTC)


You need to activate your email. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:38, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

No idea how to do that. Contact me at I have nothing to hide by having it here on my page. Funny, I was just looking at your user page last night, you have a reference to someone that I'm working on. Sgerbic (talk) 15:18, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Just do it in your "my preferences" at the top of the page. Displaying your email address here exposes you to cranks and spammers (bots will find it here).
I suspect that this page will interest you, and there are names which need articles:
Brangifer (talk) 05:41, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Vassula Ryden[edit]

Hello. This message is being sent to inform you that there is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. The thread is "Vassula Ryden". Thank you. --Sasanack (talk) 16:04, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Here is a Candy Bar for You[edit]

See: Hello. Example of the Art of Cold Reading by E on stage.[1] [2]

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Go go Randi![edit]

Thanks for linking to the cool song ! Bishonen | talk 23:12, 28 June 2012 (UTC).

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Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Loren Pankratz[edit]

Hello. Can you comment there? Tomer T (talk) 16:36, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Loren Pankratz[edit]

Loren Pankratz 2011.jpg
An image created by you has been promoted to featured picture status
Your image, File:Loren Pankratz 2011.jpg, was nominated on Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates, gained a consensus of support, and has been promoted. If you would like to nominate an image, please do so at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates. Thank you for your contribution! King of ♠ 01:28, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Nina Burleigh[edit]

hi, i'm new to wikipedia and i'd like to make an addition to the nina burleigh article but for some reason i can't edit the page. could you please help me with this? thank you. Vivian Vianna (talk) 11:24, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Well you don't seem to be having trouble editing mine (and other) editor pages. I can't help when I don't understand what the problem is. Maybe state it on the talk page of the article your having problems with and not the user page for various editors. Sgerbic (talk) 14:57, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

I understand why you wanted to alert your fellow PhRMA guns Wikipedians[edit]

but why do you ″sceptics″ always have to be so negative? The Facebook-thingy you link to clearly states that now (after merely 30+ years of conducting patient-funded trials) ″Burzynski is in the process of preparing to publish all of his Phase 2 trials″, so it's clearly time to unprotect the article and let Burzynski's fans tell the true story of this man. /SARCASM

Seriously though: thanks for the heads-up. --Six words (talk) 18:11, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Six. I had to read your post twice, I've been around your edits many times and at first I thought that I had you mixed up with someone else. Yeah, I'm waiting for that check... keep looking in the mailbox but it never seems to arrive. I'm glad you thought I did the right thing, I wasn't sure if I should link to that FB page because I haven't seen anyone else do this kind of warning before. And I'm serious, if we have messed up any of the citations that they are complaining about then we should fix them. Sgerbic (talk) 03:07, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
What, you get paid with checks in the mailbox? I always get e-mails with dollar bill jpegs, but since my printer can't do duplex prints I cannot pay them into the bank!
Sorry that my message caused confusion. At the moment I'm only sporadically on Wikipedia and your comment on that talk page was the first thing I read after being absent for weeks. It was definitely good to warn everyone a POV squad might arrive and try to change the article (and it might even be why they deleted that page - I do think they're watching the WP article and talk page).
I absolutely agree that we have to take complaints seriously - no matter who points out a mistake, it should be fixed, and it's great that their (unfounded) criticism of this source (the article clearly states that they mocked the film prior to its release) made us check it again. If it wasn't for them, Alexbrn probably wouldn't have looked at the source and found out the author's name was wrong (I wouldn't have seen that in a million years). --Six words (talk) 00:33, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Nice to see that there are editors here on WP with a great sense of humor. Maybe they keeps sending the checks to deleted email account, maybe I better start checking my spam filter?
Yes, they must be watching the talk page, maybe even the conversation we are having right now. Hello everyone! Otherwise why delete the FB page right then? I was going to take a screen shot of it but forgot to do so and got busy with something else. This happens all the time with my WP blog, they link to my blog, not realizing that I can follow the link back to the source (usually in a forum) and read all the comments about how they are going to mess with the skeptics, and change a WP page. I just watch their conversation, never saying a word. It always ends the same, they egg each other on, and a few state that they don't know how to edit but will do so anyway, others say "the skeptics on WP are too powerful and we shouldn't even bother". In the end, I have the pages on my watchlist and NOTHING ever happens. They are all talk and no Do. What is this "sporadically on Wikipedia" you speak of? Is there another world out there? Heathen! Sgerbic (talk) 00:52, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
Ha, I wanted to take a screenshot, too, but the computer I was on didn't have a browser add-on for that yet, and when I had installed the add-on and restarted the browser, the page was gone! I took a screenshot of the google cache of it though, because I don't know how long it is stored.
You're right, most of the "guerilla attacks" on WP articles stop before they've even begun, can't say that I'm sad about that, though, it can be quite annoying when they follow through with their plans. I usually don't read their forums, it's too depressing to see them giving "advice" to people who quite obviously need to go see a doctor (last time I did read such a forum was when a German sceptic blogged about reporting a mother who "treated" her child's severe orthopedic problem with homeopathy to her municipality's Jugendamt (German equivalent of CPS or CAFCASS)). Instead, I wait for those who actually come here. One of my favourite threats of theirs is: "I'm going to write a blog post/article about you!" - do they think it matters to me what other alties think? Do they think that non-alties will care that WP doesn't let alties control altmed articles the way Citizendium used to do before they realised that didn't only not help but actually hurt their cause? This, of course, is usually just an empty threat anyway, but I'd like to know what they think would happen if they actually wrote about those mean Wikipedians who think their anecdata are useless. --Six words (talk) 19:07, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
This is what happens when they write blogs about how they are unable to edit. Sgerbic (talk) 03:07, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your well reasoned discussion[edit]

Thanks for your well reasoned discussion re improving the alternative medicine article, resulting in air tight MEDRS sources for the lede first two sentences, and RS for the first paragraph. Now lets see if we can keep the content and sources from being slowly removed as appears to have happened in the past. Thanks again. :) ParkSehJik (talk) 17:22, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

ParkSehJik, yes, things are going much smoother now that we are focused on tiny bits at a time. It takes longer this way, but the changes will last. BTW I know someone that wanted to create the Wally Sampson page but you beat him to it. Don't want to step on your toes but if it is okay with you then we will spend a lot more time finishing it. I have a special way I work on these pages, and you won't see the changes until the page is released as completed. Sgerbic (talk) 21:03, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
If you had not said "beat him to it", I would have thought that someome might be someone Wally was supposed to have given my number to call me with, about two or three weeks ago. He must have hundreds or more of students now out there practicing medicine, and appalled by what is going on when every local strip mall now has an acupuncture/chiropractor taking up dollars from the health insurance bucdget pie, all a result of the very "propaganda" Wally described in the NYAS article. Tony Lopez, the O'Conner Hospital cardiologist (the guy who married the Chief of Staff during the main of Wally's tenure as oncologist there), recently described Wally to me as a "Muckraker", intended not only as a big compliment, but as indicating something that he thinks his profession is sorely lacking in more of. I tried to find sources on this term to put in the Wiki article, and sources on Wally's unique brand of "conservativism", which might be better described as both scientific and ethical absolutism, or anti-relativism. I could not find any such sources, so the article is very incomplete as a biography. Interestingly, Wikipedia's "truth by consensus", which seems to have historically driven what goes into the alt med article (but no more), and associated Wikipedia style egalitarianism, which Wally calls "cultural relativism", is exactly what he wrote of in the Antiscience article in Annals of New York Academy of Sciences. ParkSehJik (talk) 02:43, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Give us a few weeks and lets see what we come up with for Wally's page. Sgerbic (talk) 05:55, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
In the real world, I am soon going to the Tampa, Florida press about a real estate fraud in Tampa FL, Los Gatos CA, and a Greek island monestary that was solely based on Chiropractic practice that was allowed in California by findings of the Calif Board of Chiropractic examiners. (If this sounds like a weird mix, it is even more bizarre and convoluted than I just stated, but Chiropractors have made stranger claims and done even more bizarre things. Once irrationality is formally allowed in by government regulators, it can be manipulated by clever fraudsters into any kind of absurdity for fraud). Wally can tell you about the small medical related part of it that he knows about. I will contact your group before I implement the press move. Washington Times may also cover it because of errors made by Washington Post re the information I gave them, and because of their past post-Post coverage of the same group of fraudsters. ParkSehJik (talk) 16:12, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Agenda on Skeptics section on competitor James Van Praagh Page[edit]

Hi Susan, please stop vandalism and skewing of facts on the James Van Praagh page. Your background and relationship with once pschyic Mark Edwards has resulted in many biased statements on the page. Please keep your edits neutral and correctly sourced. You cannot source your own articles as credible. Thank you Valdeez (talk) 23:10, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Talk:Skeptic's Toolbox[edit]

Hello Sgerbic. I nominated the article to GA status, and it's currently on review and there are comments on the talk page. I would be happy if you can address them and follow the review process, as I don't really have the ability to do so. Tomer T (talk) 08:34, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Please see also Talk:Loren Pankratz/GA1. Tomer T (talk) 15:38, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

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DYK nomination of Stuart Firestein[edit]

Symbol question.svg Hello! Your submission of Stuart Firestein at the Did You Know nominations page has been reviewed, and some issues with it may need to be clarified. Please review the comment(s) underneath your nomination's entry and respond there as soon as possible. Thank you for contributing to Did You Know! Antidiskriminator (talk) 13:08, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

DYK for Stuart Firestein[edit]

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In case you need me...[edit]

@sceptiguy on twitter, JzG here. I am an admin, should you feel the need to yell for the cavalry. Also active on RationalWiki where good snark always wins. Guy (Help!) 14:50, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Editors Barnstar Hires.png The Editor's Barnstar
For your work on Ken Feder's article. Dougweller (talk) 17:59, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

DYK for Kenneth Feder[edit]

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Rosemary Brown[edit]

Need some help on this article which I recently found Rosemary Brown, it is filled with original research and unsourced claims. I found one skeptical report, but the rest seems to be Spiritualist books endorsing unverifiable dubious claims. Fodor Fan (talk) 04:06, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

That is some article, and some claims they are making about her. I don't see many citations? What kind of help would you like Fodor Fan?Sgerbic (talk) 04:18, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Its a tough one. I can fix up the first half the article. She is notable (a couple of newspaper reports, obituary etc) so that is no problem. The article claims she was investigated I will try and research this. An interesting fact "Ms Brown was able to converse with Beethoven despite it being well documented that he was deaf!" [3] that website also lists "Winckle, John. 1986. The Evolution of Rosemary Brown. the Skeptic, (L) 6(2):16." - The problem is I can't seem to locate that reference. The problem is finding references for some of these mediums outside of Spiritualist literature. The Estelle Roberts article before I edited it was concluding Roberts was genuine etc with no sources. In general I think some of these older spiritualist articles (mediums from the 1940s) are very poor and contain original research. There seems to be no editors on wikipedia attempting to fix them. Fodor Fan (talk) 04:54, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I was looking at a few of your edits Fodor, and I'm intrigued. What is your interest in this, and how did you locate me? "The Skeptic" could be the Australian magazine? The Beethoven being deaf thing is easily explained, he got better after he died, duh. Usually when there is no evidence to support these claims, I just remove the claim. It is not the responsibility of WP editors to try and prove what is being said, it the the responsibility of the person making the claim to do so. Otherwise you will just go nuts Fodor. I love working on psychic's pages, they often time look like they were edited by themselves, I just chop chop chop. Then keep a close eye on the page, if someone wants to add it back in, then they have to tow the line and prove it.Sgerbic (talk) 05:10, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I found you from a comment Daniel Loxton did on his blog [4]. As he says there is an entire history forgotten about early skeptics who had debunked fraudulent mediums and most of this data is not on wikipedia. He suggested that some of it should be ported to wiki. I believe that some of this knowledge should be put on wikipedia, as the sources are certainly reliable. I created some pages for some early skeptics who debunked mediums such as Trevor H. Hall and Gordon Stein and improved the Joseph McCabe article but there are many other forgotten ones. There seems to be an entire history forgotten about early skeptics. I have spent countless hours editing some articles and basically it would be nice to see someone else look into some of the mediumship articles like the Brown article etc. There are dubious unsourced claims or fringe views supported still left on some of them. It is a big project to overview some of these articles. I was going to perm retire from wiki last week but I decided to stay on here another week. I am too busy in real life you see. I decided to give you a heads up, if you and your team are interested I believe that some of the older mediums articles should be checked through etc. The best way to do it is too look at the Spiritual mediums by nationality category. I will try and fix all those articles in the British medium section (Rosemary Brown is one of them). Fodor Fan (talk) 13:25, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear your leaving us. We badly need the help of someone like you. Thanks for the heads up. If you decide to change your mind, I know this team of other editors who learn and support each other to improve skeptical content on WP.Sgerbic (talk) 14:50, 21 March 2013 (UTC)


You were mentioned on this blog recently Paranormalia. The author is a full time kook, he believes debunked mediums like Eusapia Palladino and Helen Duncan actually had paranormal powers. He is also the author of the book Randis Prize which is supposed to be a debunking of the skeptics (a very dishonest book, I have read it). It sounds from his post that he and his team of paranormal believers are probably going to try and revert edits on some of the paranormal articles in an attempt "to make them neutral" (in other words paste in fringe sources) he obviously does not understand wikipedia. He writes "I did briefly consider making contributions of my own, but where does one start? This is clearly a job for a specialist. We need our own Gerbic to help create a co-ordinated effort. For all I know, some-such project is being planned, in which case I look forward to hearing about it, and good luck!" Best to watch out for this guy. Fodor Fan (talk) 19:42, 27 March 2013 (UTC) Interesting, thanks for the heads up! I think you should hang onto my email as your going off WP and this is very public. It is Sgerbic (talk) 19:53, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks! And a question[edit]

Hey there. Thanks for your note - I'm adding to the Joan Feynman article as we speak to try to bring it up to speed for the DYK nomination :) Quick question for you: I'm not sure how to determine the "readable prose" character length for an article, so that I can figure out how much more I have to write. Do you know of an easy way to find this out? Girona7 (talk) 03:30, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Do you mean this...? Sgerbic (talk) 03:34, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
Possibly ;) I'm not very fluent with a lot of the back-end gadgets, so it would take me a while to figure out how that one worked (I just did the 3-minute scan, and I'm not sure I get it)... In any case, I just used some math from the first reviewer's estimates of my article length and I *think* I've now written past the 5x threshold. Either way, thanks again for your help - I really appreciate it! Girona7 (talk) 05:43, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm for sure not comfortable with these gadgets either. I know people who understand these things and I just ask them. Last night when one of the editors brought your attempt to get a DYK for this subject to our attention, she said that you were almost at the 5K. Write back if you need more support. BTW Are you aware of the project? Sgerbic (talk) 15:44, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
Good to know I'm not the only one who could use some help :) I added even a bit more today on Feynman, so I gotta think it's ready to rock at this point. And thanks for pointing me to your Guerrilla Skeptics project. I have been less active in this area, but I've done a bunch of edits on the article for noted atheist and planetary scientist Carolyn Porco over the years. I like your suggestion of backwards editing. I will try to do that when I can! Girona7 (talk) 18:02, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

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DYK for Sharon A. Hill[edit]

The DYK project (nominate) 08:03, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

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Conspiratorial ideation by fringe proponents[edit]

You may find this Wikipedia:Fringe_theories/Noticeboard#Fringe_squared:_fringe_theories_about_Wikipedia.27s_treatment_of_fringe_theories relevant, IRWolfie- (talk) 10:46, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

NPOV noticeboard[edit]

Notice of Neutral point of view noticeboard discussion[edit]

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A barnstar for you![edit]

Real Life Barnstar.jpg The Real Life Barnstar
I heard the interview you gave on the SGU - very interesting and presented WP in a very positive light. Gilderien Chat|List of good deeds 00:21, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Gilderien. If you look at the bottom of my most recent blog you will find links to other podcasts and blogs that talk about GSoW and how our goal is to improve WP in all languages.Sgerbic (talk) 02:02, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Is this planned to be a replacement to Michael Shermer, to get it up to GA? If we could manage that it could go on the main page as DYK.--Gilderien Chat|List of good deeds 00:13, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Nope, that was something I was doing when I was making a training video for GSoW. I don't think I even wrote that, just copied it. Can't even remember which video it was. DYK has to be nominated within 5 days of the pages release.  ;-( Sgerbic (talk) 14:55, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Not anymore - see Wikipedia:Did you know/Good Article RfC. Also, if you create an article in userspace and then move it, the 5 days is counted from the move.--Gilderien Talk to me|List of good deeds 00:19, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Great to know. I'll give this to my team!Sgerbic (talk) 02:05, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

reply to 'old' AN/I commentary[edit]

Hello Susan, you can call me 74... a while back, I pulled a snippet from policy, and left off the end — "Do not recruit your friends, family members, or communities of people who agree with you for the purpose of coming to Wikipedia and supporting your side..." — which you corrected like this.

You are missing this very important part of the sentence "... of a debate."Sgerbic (talk) 03:08, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

I guess I agree with your point, such as I understand it. Typically what the policy refers to is e.g. a particular content dispute, or a particular AfD vote, or an RfA, or similar. But I take it more broadly, and left that portion out *because* I take it more broadly, and had not realized it can be read more narrowly. I think the "debate" being referred to is a real-world debate. For instance, there is an editor who wrote a biography on Ada Lovelace, and when they first arrived here, were convinced that their real-world nemesis, who *also* wrote a very different sort of biography on the same historical person, *must* be here editing the wikipedia page on Ada. They are engaged in a real-world debate with the other author... and are now coming to wikipedia to continue that real-world debate.

  If one of those biographers were to recruit additional folks in the real world, to come to wikipedia and edit-war in mainspace, argue on the article-talkpage, or even snipe at each other on user-talkpages, that recruiting effort *might* be okay (the bad behavior of warring/flooding/sniping would of course not be okay even if the recruiting wasn't meatpuppetry). My take on the recruiting-aspect would depend on whether they were secretive about it, and most importantly, whether they intended to or tried to drive away the other side, or merely discourage the other side (either in real-life confrontations or via on-wiki confrontations).

  p.s. I'm tangentially familiar with your work, and although I've not looked into it deeply, nor met any guerrillas besides yourself, I think your efforts are awesome.  :-)   You are quite open. You recruit via your youtube channel. You don't try to drive away other editors, or hide your article-work, or any other anti-pillar-four behavior. You advocate sticking to the sources, and keeping a neutral tone. Minphie was making a bunch of mistakes, but their main mistake was in emphasizing that they wanted to WIN, and that they were willing to cheat (calling every source a "journal" even when it was a blog). That's where they crossed the line for me... though I could not tell from the thread, if *they* personally crossed that line, or if another person did it for them.

  Anyhoo, I always greatly appreciate recruiting efforts that bring more editors here, and train them in how to follow the five pillars, Minphie did not use "guerrilla" jargon, but was trying to start a WP:BATTLEGROUND, with their recruiting. You ironically *do* use '"guerrilla" jargon, but in fact you are the worst guerrilla ever, telling everybody what your strategy and tactics are, and sticking to the sources, and keeping a neutral tone!  :-)   Thanks for improving wikipedia. p.p.s. Please leave me a talkback if you reply, danke. (talk) 05:20, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

danke - Thanks! BTW I have no idea what a talkback is on WP, so I'm just responding as I would normally. As you say, recruiting and training like-minded people can be just fine, or a problem. I guess it just depends on their actions. You say you haven't met other GSoW people, but then how would you know that? We are legion ;-) Actually I almost responded to Tom Morris who said "we" should watch groups like mine to make sure we don't start breaking rules. I almost asked him who "we" is? But I want to remain respectful. If I am doing things correctly, no one should be able to tell one of my editors from a normal WP editor. Accept that I brag about their accomplishments and talk about how proud I am of them.
If you look at my blog you will find that I recruit every where I can, not just on YouTube. I am often on podcasts and actually lecture. The idea of improving WP is a very popular one, yet the majority of people who volunteer flake out always for the reason of time. It is frustrating but at least most don't even start the training process before dropping out. Probably one in ten actually finish training and go on to become editors. And our training can be very hands on, just depends on what the person needs. I'm willing to help them in any way, we ask them to do everything in user space first so we can look at it before posting. The editors that do eventually finish training are awesome. We all learn from each other, and have formed a community that is not found on WP in general. I think that is what is the biggest problem with WP, the human bonding that we all need.
As far as our name. I'm quite busy in skepticism and it was a name that my BF and I were using to mean that people should get off their butts and stop complaining and do something. I didn't mean to start a group on WP, I was just editing by myself and started telling others that they should also edit WP and why it is important and so on. People just joined me and eventually I just had to start the group. Then I had to do training and so on and it just kept growing. Some people have problems with the name, but I think actions speak louder than words and I'm not changing my name just because of a few people (who aren't even in the group). We have a lot of fun with it, photos of guerrillas and such, for Halloween I dressed up as Che. GSoW knows that we look aggressive, we know we are being watched, we also know that with each blog I write bragging about my editors someone could start keeping track of who is on the team if they really wanted to. The Deepak and Sheldrake groups that complain about GSoW don't seem capable of figuring that out. Hell Sheldrake can't even spell my name right, yet he has been trolling my photos for the various blogs he writes about me. They don't seem to understand that every editors history is available with a couple clicks. Much easier to just make blanket statements and accuse everyone of being a part of my group. In my opinion that is something to be proud of, not a slap in the face. So because we are very public and have a aggressive name, we have to be very honest and abide by the rules. I think that is a good thing. Sgerbic (talk) 22:34, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
For maximum confusion, I will reply in reverse order.  :-)   Absolutely a good thing, and my congratulations on being the metaphorical Guevera... you should put your costume-pic on your userpage, too, or maybe get one of those che-style-tshirts made. <grin> Sheldrake page is where I heard of you, actually, with a bunch of folks swearing up-n-down they were not part of GSoW, no matter what Sheldrake said; they spoke truthfully, from what I can tell, the phenomenon there was just emergent, a combination of TEDx and FTN which snowballed into a WP:BATTLEGROUND of attrition warfare, the *opposite* of what guerrilla 'warriors' do to succeed. Anyhoo, don't let the nay-sayers make you drop the name, it is just peachy, it is the right mix of catchy and ironic.
  I've thought long and hard about the need for bonding... I have mixed feelings there. I don't want wikipedians to build deep relationships. They tend to lead to protectiveness, jealousy, clannishness, and so on. Plus, they become a goal in themselves, WP:NOTFACEBOOK is partly to keep people from feeling guilty about not socializing more... the point of being here, it to build the encyclopedia, not to build relationships. On the other hand, I don't want wikipedians to treat each other like dirt, WP:NICE is my favorite pillar after WP:IAR (and there's hardly ever a time when WP:IAR means breaching WP:NICE methinks). Having usernames helps (even if I eschew one), because people can recognize each other easily, add colors to show their pride in being a wikipedian, and all that. But we naturally treat usernames... as friends, as enemies, as in-crowd, as outsiders, as newbies, and as legends. Usually that's not very good; wikipedia is not quite as bad as junior high, but it is close. Tough question, methinks.
  This philosophy about bonding leads directly to a philosophy about training, and about time-commitment, and similar. You're taking the high road (high-bonding high-training high-timesink), which is a very necessary demographic, and as you say, turns out great editors, albeit only about 1 or 2 out of ten. I'm trying to work out a wikipedia Jungle Survival Manual, aimed at the low-road demographic (almost-zero-bonding almost-zero-training almost-zero-timesink), with the goal of growing from 30k active wikipedians to 10x or 100x that many, each of them doing just one or two edits, every weekend. *Some* of those folks will get WP:ADDICTED, and get into your GSoW training, or the CVUA training, or some similar high-road activities... so maybe I'll come back when the SMoW rough draft exists, and let you give it a once-over. Anyways, getting near the top now, methinks when Tom said "we" he fully included you and the other GSoW folks. It was the editorial we, or the scientific we, or the royal we!  :-)   We wikipedians all tend to be terribly smart, incredibly good-looking, fabulously wealthy, and of vastly superior genetic stock... no surprise the GSoW membership fits right in, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. No wonder you have to brag a bit, right? Right. But like Tom says we-to-include-the-GSoW-membership have to keep our eyeballs peeled. Wikipedia is self-organizing and self-correcting, and so should GSoW strive to be. Looks like you're doing a bang-up job so far. Nice to meet you, and see you around, thanks for improving wikipedia. (talk) 05:41, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
  p.s. The "talkback" thing is one of the weird wikipedia-only mechanisms, like watchlists. As you may know from working with anons on articles or on training, they are prevented from having watchlists (for social caste-system reasons rather than technological reasons). That means, that unlike most other internet technologies, on wikipedia when you reply to my message, I have no way of knowing!  :-) The workaround, is for you to reply here, and then visit my talkpage, and leave me a note. There are various kinds of automatically-formatted-notes, with the 'talkback' being the most common. Here is the instruction-manual, in case you ever want to use one. Template:Talkback#Usage. Personally, the templates are too cheesy for me, and so if somebody wants a talkback/whisperback/whatever, I just head to their talkpage, hit new section, type "replied" as the section-title, hit the four tildes, and click save. Seems faster than the 'official' talkback instructions, and I can leave a personalized note, if need be. I'm chatty, so I usually do. So now you are a talkback pro, and you get a gold star in my official talkback training-program.  ;-)   Hope this helps, talk to you later. (talk) 05:41, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) the alternative is to ignore the long winded so and so until heshe gets an account like the rest of us. Hi 74!!! --Roxy the dog (resonate) 10:49, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
How.Dare.You talkstalk me, you... you... oh! Roxy don't do that.  :-)   For philosophical reasons (the encyclopedia anyone can edit), I shall be permanently resisting pseudonymification mightily, but I'm working on an offline watchlist app to boost efficiency. Still, getting in the habit of using talkback (or the faster and more friendly personalized note) is a habit well worth getting into, for on-wiki recruiting Susan is likely to be involved with, now or in the future. Speaking of, Susan, you should see if you can get Roxy interested in GSoW: biscuits, a few t-bones, a good pet on the the head and scritch behind the ears. Not a bad salary, for a solid editor who's been in the trenches. They're even friendly!  :-) (talk) 22:39, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Now Now you two. Actually I never ask people to become editors for GSoW, they have to volunteer. I want their soul to be signed over to me without duress. ;-) In fact I just got an email from someone just now who is asking to join up. I never recruit current editors, like to keep you all separate. Your all doing what I want you to be doing, keeping WP honest, your on my team even if you don't know it. Sgerbic (talk) 03:18, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
It may not be helpful to frame things in terms of people and teams; I'd suggest looking at it in terms of rules and environments. One editor is just one person; they might be wrong; they might be fallible. However, the rules of en.wikipedia as a whole seem to be very compatible with the principles underlying skepticism (First, get a source); so it is natural for the two to get along most of the time, even if we might not agree on every word. bobrayner (talk) 03:24, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Chip Coffey[edit]

Up for AfD again. I see you've worked on this article in the past, so your opinion is welcome. - LuckyLouie (talk) 19:35, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Can I join Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia?[edit]

I saw that Phil Plait shared one of your recent blog posts and I wanted to know how I can help GSoW contribute to skepticism-related articles. Jinkinson talk to me 15:42, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Wonderful. Write to me at so I can give you more info. I'm off to work now (actually I'm late) so it will be later on. Sgerbic (talk) 16:05, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

SB's "Other activities"[edit]

Do you have any evidence that this addition refers to the right Barrett? If so, please add it to the section. I'm going to move that section to the article's talk page until we sort this out. -- Brangifer (talk) 20:42, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

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Barry Karr and page histories[edit]

Hi there,

I noticed that you created the page Barry Karr based on the page you built in your sandbox. This is perfectly fine, and preferably sometimes when building up an article. However, when you created the article, you just copied and pasted the contents from your sandbox into the new article. This method is a no-no in managing page histories and necessary attribution. Every page should have the proper page history attached, what edit, line, sentence, correction was made when and by whom. When you copy/paste a page, you split the page history. This isn't compatible with licensing.

In the future, you can just move the page over to the article space by clicking on the "move" label in the dropdown tab if you're using Vector skin, or the "move" tab in Monobook. This will assure proper history attribution. In the meantime, I fixed the page history by moving your sandbox page over to Barry Karr, deleted the page, and then restored everything to put all the info in one place.

Hope that helps. Happy editing to you. Keegan (talk) 21:04, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Thank you Keegan. I was trying to figure it out, but I was told you can do it when you are using your sandbox and I wasn't, I made a user page. Now I know and can pass that on. Thanks!Sgerbic (talk) 21:35, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Heh, I should be more specific. A page in your userspace doesn't have to be called a /sandbox to be called a sandbox. You can create drafts in your userspace as you did, /NameOfArticle, and then just move the page when you're ready to "publish" it in the article space instead of copy/pasting it. All in all, as I said, it's to properly preserve the history of the page. I hope that makes a bit more sense? Keegan (talk) 03:10, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah, I think I see where the problem is. You're expanding articles in your userspace but you can't move them because the articles exist already. In the future do just drop me a line when you're ready to migrate pages over and I'll merge the page history.
Again, this is all intended to preserve authorship and accountability for contributions. I'll slowly poke away at merging the other articles that might have this issue. Not a big deal on my end, it's something I enjoy fixing. Let me know if you have any questions. Keegan (talk) 03:41, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, you might have more than just my page. I think your about to be contacted by the editor for the Steven Novella page.Sgerbic (talk) 03:51, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) If the person who did all the work in the sandbox is the same person who moved it into a live article, attribution problems are minimal. bobrayner (talk) 20:13, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
If you will look at the Barry Karr history you will see that it is almost all me. Just someone who came in a made some grammar changes. That's why I'm puzzled why anyone would like to preserve my edit history? What time of day I edited the page and what changes I made can't be all that interesting. But maybe it is to some people? Sgerbic (talk) 20:20, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's difficult to change the past; even the trivial details. How can we make the article better in future? 718smiley.png bobrayner (talk) 22:37, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

So, you are in your 50s and your main concern is...[edit]

Trying to manipulate a discredited webpage to fit your own views? You need to get a life, woman. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:01, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

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Perry DeAngelis Gallery[edit]

Hi, I have commented out the gallery on the Perry DeAngelis page as the images appear not to work. Phil Northing (talk) 14:38, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, they license was incorrectly filled out. I'm waiting for them to be reuploaded. The SGU is also looking for more images. Hopefully this weekend they will be done. What do you think of the rest of the page?Sgerbic (talk) 15:06, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

POTD notification[edit]

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Chip Coffey photo[edit]

I'm trying to expand Chip Coffey's page - see its Talk page[5] - and your Operation Bumblebee article in Skeptical Inquirer is one of my citations for a new section.[6] It would be great to show your happy smiling photo with him as seen on your Monterey Country Skeptics article.[7] Is this something you could put in a Creative Commons license and upload to Wikimedia for use in the article? I guess you shouldn't add it to Coffey's page yourself as you're mentioned in that section. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 13:01, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

There's no rush for the photo if you did want to upload it to Wikimedia. My proposed edits are going to be discussed on the Talk page for a while before putting them live, which seems like sensible policy in a biography. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 22:57, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh, this will be interesting. Dreadstar 23:52, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

I think this fits you well[edit]

Invisible Barnstar Hires.png The Invisible Barnstar
GSoW is your project, all that it does it due to you. Jerodlycett (talk) 05:56, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks that is sweetSgerbic (talk) 06:04, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

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Template:Did you know nominations/Jim Baggott[edit]

Seems it has been approved. Jerod Lycett (talk) 20:26, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

DYK for Jim Baggott[edit]

Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 14:52, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Welcome to The Wikipedia Adventure![edit]

TWA guide left bottom.png
Hi Sgerbic! We're so happy you wanted to play to learn, as a friendly and fun way to get into our community and mission. I think these links might be helpful to you as you get started.

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Welcome to The Wikipedia Adventure![edit]

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Hi Sgerbic! We're so happy you wanted to play to learn, as a friendly and fun way to get into our community and mission. I think these links might be helpful to you as you get started.

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