User talk:Tarl N.

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1 on 1 advice sought on deflategate issues[edit]

Hi Tarl N. -- I'm hoping that the "take a break" was needed more due to Ebw/me than you/me. I felt I was getting much value from your responses and wanted even more detailed feedback from you. I want to do a major improvement of the proposed section that I hope you'll like. Would you be willing to have some 1:1 feedback session somehow, where Ebw would not feel a need to post. I hope you're interested and that there's a good way to do that.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 18:11, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

From your PV=nRT related comment I got the impression that your comment would open up an opportunity for me to change your view of how weight-worthy the opinions were of Times, Post, Yahoo about the science reality differing from how it was conveyed in Wells/Exponent. I hope it can snowball into seeing more weight on counter-allegations besides just insufficient data or sloppy work. I'd really like it (I'm not just saying that) if you would give me some signficantly detailed reaction to the various things I offered.

I like to argue - in the positive sense of the word <reference MontyPython argument skit>. I hope that my style is not making the interaction unpleasant for you. I'll work on it and try to type less in the wee hours of the morning. :-) Please accept my apologyRob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 18:11, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

@Rob Young in New Hampshire:The issue is "wall of text". When having discussions, keep any given discussion on point, and keep it short. If you write a dissertation, you will get "TL;DR" (Too Long; didn't read). That aspect was very much in evidence in this last discussion. You may like to argue, but others don't - most of us actively monitor a thousand pages or more, and simply don't have time for more than a minute or two on any given talk page.
One thing that Wkipedians are very much aware of is the "winning through exhaustion" syndrome, and will actively obstruct anyone who looks to be trying to do that. If you have a dozen points you want to make, save 10 of them for another time. If someone posts a list of a dozen points, don't refute them one-by-one - just respond to the most prominent, being aware that other editors are not looking for a huge discussion. And once you've gone through 3 or 4 responses, let it drop for a while.
As for opening up a discussion on validity, that's not what Wikipedia Talk is for. We recognize sources as reliable or not, and we recognize biased writing. Other than unusual cases where it's clear an obvious mistake was made, Wikipedia talk is not really the place to analyze published work. If you want to analyze, write an article and get it published - elsewhere.
As for Deflategate itself, the issue isn't science - it's forensics. They were sloppy. We don't know exactly what they did, they didn't maintain controls, and they didn't properly log what they did do. So it's not entirely clear what happened - and it never can be. Regards, Tarl N. (discuss) 00:21, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

@Tarl N.: VERY helpful. 1000 pages, wow!Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 17:00, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

Re: “Both articles come across as biased”[edit]

Hi @Tarl N.:

Your comment conflicts with my understanding of what are the proper guidelines for editorial discussion.

WP:V does not call for a reliable source to be rejected on the basis that it conflicts with editors' views. The remedy indicated is to find other reliable sources opposing the view, and not merely passing references but current articles focused on the topic.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 00:45, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

WP:V does not specifically mention bias, but I’m pretty sure it is against the principles of Wikipedia discussion to infer bias of the source solely on the basis that you find the sources’ conclusions unconscionable or solely on the basis that you believe most other people also find the conclusions unconscionable. It seems to me that the proper wikipedian way to establish a bias claim is to provide citations substantiating that the articles' authors have a motivation for and history of slanting their coverage of all things about the Patriots to favor the Patriots.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 00:45, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

It sounds as if you are implying that those Times, Post, and Yahoo Sports are promulgating a fringe theory. If that is your point please apply the Wikipedia guidelines on how to identify fringe theories to make your point, rather than just your disagreement.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 00:45, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Your response seems to be aimed more to the question of whether you think the points made by Times, Post, and Yahoo Sports have merit – which is a different topic than the question of whether part of what inflames the controversy is that others, perhaps Patriots fans, believe them. That was the question posed, not whether the claims had merit -- that's a different discussion that may be needed later.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 00:45, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Can you please withdraw your comments or revise them to follow the guidelines as noted above, or explain to me why I'm mistaken about the guidelines?Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 00:45, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

@Rob Young in New Hampshire: See my comments above about "wall of text". That said, in response to five separate comments on my talk page:
    • I'm not concluding they are biased based on their conclusions. I'm concluding that by the fact that they make unsubstantiated comments which are at variance with reality (e.g., Tom won in court of public opinion - that's at variance with the large contingent who believe the correct name for the team is "Cheatriots").
    • Second comment seems to be the same as the first, same answer.
    • I don't know if I'd call them fringe theories, they don't even rise to the level of theories. They're simply biased reporting to come out with a particular conclusion. They cherry-pick their facts and mix with falsehoods.
    • I don't believe the claims have merit. They offer no supporting evidence for them ("A scientific consensus..." is simply bullshit.)
    • I will not withdraw my comments. You can object to them, and if you find them sufficiently offensive or obstructive, you can go to WP:ANI and request administrator intervention (or request it from Lizard the Wizard or Garchy, both of whom I recall are administrators and are familiar with the discussion). Just beware of WP:BOOMERANG.
The underlying point, however, is that attempts to revise the article with cherry picked facts won't hold up - it will simply start edit wars with people who believe otherwise. E.g., an article which was cited a couple of days ago: Macur, Juliet (February 5, 2017). "Why Do Fans Excuse the Patriots' Cheating Past?". The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2017.  I flagged that one as biased too, although it appears to reflect a larger majority view than the articles you cite. Tarl N. (discuss) 01:07, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Hi @Tarl N.: Please take a step back from the particulars of the deflategate page and consider my process concerns more abstractly. Hopefully after you consider the below you’ll address the concerns I have and an ANI will not be required. I’m trying to first make the discussion process work in accordance with Wikipedia guidelines so that then the discussion and then article can evolve to better reflect the net information provided by reliable sources, even if that results in an article different from the editors current opinions about the scandal.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 03:48, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Below is what an ANI could say:

In general, at least with respect to a controversial article about a scandal, @Tarl N.: is blocking the proper evolution of a Wikipedia article, and blocking evolution of the supporting talk page discussion, by asserting his/her opinion of the facts, perhaps shared by many other editors, but without referencing reliable sources to support the opinion or to rebut the proposed new sources. Blocking this evolution prevents the Wikipedia article from evolving to reflect the information best supported by reliable sources even as that many differ from public opinion and from the personal beliefs of the editors. If the editor(s) are unhappy with what is evident from reliable sources, they should work to get reliable sources to support the editor(s)’ view rather than block the wikpedia page from reflecting the best information currently available from such sources.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 03:48, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
The editor currently blocking the article improvement process by rejecting verifiable sources on the grounds that the editor (and possibly other editors) disagrees with the core assertions of the sources, without providing verifiable sources in rebuttal.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 03:48, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
In a variation of that, the editor dismisses reliable, nationally followed, prestigious newspapers as being biased to the detriment of the sources’ home town teams and in favor of a team outside their primary circulation area -- a claim that would seem to require a very high burden of proof. The editor claims one reliable source article says “comes across as biased”. The editor cited no direct evidence that the authors have a motive to favor out-of-town teams over their own teams and no evidence of such favoritism being applied in other matters outside of the scandal in question. The fact that the source had a point of view is not evidence that bias is the source of that point of view. The editor cited no evidence that the bias is the cause of the point of view that the editor disagrees with.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 03:48, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
The editor is making direct or implicit “weighting arguments” without providing verifiable sources to support higher weighting of the editors preferred content or lower weighting of the proposed new content, thus failing to properly discuss weighting to have the discussion be accordance with this Wikipedia guidance: [policy on weighting discussions]: "Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation in reliable sources on the subject". (emphasis added)
The editor continues to accuse the work of the reliable sources as “fringe theory” or equivalent without applying the Wikipedia [for identifying fringe theories], including this opening definition: A fringe theory is an idea or viewpoint which differs from the accepted scholarship in its field” and “and A fringe theory is neither a majority opinion nor that of a respected minority.” (emphasis added) The editor failed to provide citations to support his/her claim that 21 scientists from 10 universities (who submitted an amicus brief to a court on the topic), and other scientists referenced by the 21 are not a respected minority.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 03:48, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Additionally, the editor is preventing orderly discussion by repeatedly addressing a question different from the one put on the table. The question on the table was whether counter-allegations against the accusing party were deserving of a section to understand the controversy. In short, if a controversy were to remain heated because large numbers of people on one side believe in an alleged-to-be fringe theory of wrong-doing by the originally accusing party, to understand what all the fuss is about you’d have to be aware of that belief and the crux of the alleged-to-be-fringe theory. The editor ignored that question and instead focused on his or her belief that the alleged fringe theory is in fact a fringe theory. The editor did not properly apply the definition of fringe theories, but here the larger point is that whether it was a fringe theory or not was irrelevant to the question on the table. Without structure to the discussion, the editorial process gets dragged into rat holes. With structure, one step at a time the discussion can evolve beyond pre-conceived notions.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 03:48, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
For the most concise examples, consider this [section] and this diff of a [talk page].
By posting material that causes these process problems, declining to remove it, and not assisting in helping other contributors to stop causing the same problems, the editor is blocking the discussion required to ensure that, if the article is not in conformance with the information available from reliable sources, the article can properly evolve.Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 03:48, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
@Rob Young in New Hampshire: If you feel you need to take this to WP:ANI, by all means do so. I don't think I have a behaviour problem, but I'm obviously not an objective judge of that, which is why I pointed out ANI as a remedy of last resort. There are less drastic options, such as WP:DR (Dispute Resolution: I'd forgotten about that one) and WP:3PO (Third Party Opinion). Both of those will get a more experienced editor involved who can offer opinions.
I do strongly suggest several things:
  • Read WP:ANI advice.
  • Read the policies at WP:TALK, in particular WP:TALKNO. Make sure you know exactly which policy you want enforced. I obviously do not believe there is a serious violation, but again, I'm a biased judge of my own actions. If you think I'm engaged in WP:BULLY or WP:UNCIVIL, specify that.
  • Because of WP:BOOMERANG, I strongly recommend you discuss your intended request with another more experienced editor.
  • Use the preview function before adding anything to the admin pages - they are likely to get read almost immediately (although perhaps not acted on for a while), and changing or adding things while an admin is carrying out an investigation or communicating out-of-band with other administrators, will irritate them.
  • Your link to the deflategate page section above doesn't work, it's dropping to the top of the page. It needs to be either [URL text] or [[wikilink|text]]. I'm guessing someone recently added code to make the double-bracket form accept a URL (it's a common mistake), but its ignoring the section link. Particularly on the admin page, you want to test any links before you save the page. The specific link you want is probably Talk:Deflategate#R_f_C_needed.3F:_Should_deflategate_include_and_reference_a_section_on_counter-allegations.3F ([[Talk:Deflategate#R_f_C_needed.3F:_Should_deflategate_include_and_reference_a_section_on_counter-allegations.3F]] ), although I'd suggest a diff instead, see next item.
  • Admins generally prefer to have all the evidence in question laid out in the request ahead of time, rather than have to accumulate it or have a long drawn out discussion. Rather than giving a single example, present a list of diffs which you find objectionable (for example, diff - select the diffs in question and copy the URLs from the browser address bar to your editor). The reason for presenting diffs rather than pointers is that the text presented with diffs is immutable - but if you simply point to a live talk page section, the text could have been changed between when you read it and when the admin reads it.
I'm giving you the above details because I suspect you'll get hammered at ANI, but by at least getting the major pieces right, you won't also irritate them. Good luck. Tarl N. (discuss) 06:26, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Hi @Tarl N.:, if I proceeded with an ANI, implementing the improvements you suggested, in what specific ways do you believe I would be "hammered?"Rob Young in New Hampshire (talk) 17:35, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

@Rob Young in New Hampshire: I suspect you would not meet with success. I mentioned WP:ANI because the conversation had shifted to stating that *I* am the problem. There are common stages that a frustrated editor goes through, and once it reaches that stage, there is little point in continuing the conversation. The people who deal with behavioural issues on Wikipedia are reached through that forum. All I can suggest is that you talk over the issue with more experienced editors. I've pointed out several options - including WP:DR and WP:3PO. Tarl N. (discuss) 20:52, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

links to AfD,[edit]

r.e. 'complicates the cleanup' , isn't there a tool for bulk search replace of a link, if the page is deleted, couldn't we just redirect 'stellar explosion' to <whatever it is already defined by>

These people insist 'it isn't needed because stellar explosion = supernova' but it's clear there's other types . Fmadd (talk) 11:21, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

I don't know if there is such a tool, it's certainly not common. More likely there would simply be a redirect placed at stellar explosion, leaving that as an easter-egg link. Either way, if there is an active debate on whether the page should even exist, what shape it should be, and what it's name should be, please don't go around inserting links to it while the debate is in progress. Regards, Tarl N. (discuss) 18:48, 14 February 2017 (UTC)