User talk:Thumperward/Archive 7

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Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8

Flying Spaghetti Monster

I do not agree with some kind of automatic either-or distinction between valid and invalid contributions. Like the interstices between intellectual endeavors, and interdisciplinary areas, these are often precisely the areas that are most productive.

Many of our articles are accurate as far as they go, but then they just lay there flat, and are often woefully incomplete. And adding the new parts, it’s not just whole cloth, it’s very much a process, at least the way I see it. If and when you see a glaring omission, please bring it up, maybe someone else can take it a step further, and maybe a third person can take it even further than that. If you wait till your potential contribution is perfect, that’s a lot of procrastination and it might never get done, or months later. And I do agree with you on references, but they may not be the first thing you get. You might need to know what to look for. As I heard a business professor say regarding entrepreneurship, Sometimes you don’t even know what question to ask at the beginning. Or it might be the fourth person who finds the really good references.

I’m kind of proud of what I came up with about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The harsh way religions treat “heretics” is a pretty much a defining characteristic of traditional religions, and if the parody FSM does it differently, not just the details being different, but the whole conceptual framework, then I think that is well worth pointing out. Admittedly, this may not be blindingly orginal on my part, but it is a potentially good addition. Maybe what you and the other guy object to is that I had a little fun with the topic. So, here’s what I plan to do from this point. I’m planning a (talk page) section entitled, “In favor of a longer splasher article,” like a long, good Newsweek article with sidebars, biographical sketches, photos with good captions, etc. It would be great to include Bobby Henderson’s original letter (or reasonably-sized excerpt) as well as some of the responses of the Kansas Board of Education (and/or excerpts), and I’m going to list other things (more briefly) like the above, that might also be valuable to include. I ask you to please let this stand. Or, help if you can! For example, why have two articles, one on FSM and one on “The Gospel of . . .” It seems to me we’d be much better off to have one long, splashier article (as long as people with slower downloads can see visible progress).

And I ask you to consider that wikipedia is being held back by misplaced formality. Take your own field of computer science. Let’s say digital rights management is not a particular specialty of yours, but at a conference you get into a ten minute conversation with two people for whom it is. I bet in that ten minutes you could learn a heck of a lot and really be brought up to speed with what’s happening right now. Ten minutes. But if the three of you tried to write a wiki article, it would only be a pale shadow. The misplaced rules are partially standing in the way.

There’s no reason our articles can’t be just as good as the very best articles in PC WORLD, as the very best conference presentations, and as the very best book sections. And I would argue that intellectual honesty is a far more robust standard than is “neutrality.” FriendlyRiverOtter 23:44, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I can't really see where to start with this. I see the FSM "heretic" edits as nothing more than silliness by people jokingly trying to invoke a consensus reality.
It's been pointed out to you that it appears you really want something which doesn't quite fit with Wikipedia's goals. An exploratory form of collaboration which seeks to find new truths and to explore alternative possibilities. This is great in principle, but the point is that this isn't what Wikipedia is about. Wikipedia is most useful as a reference tool; if I want to know what "the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster" is for some reason, I can find factual information about the general idea (which is an attempt by some guy to point out the idiocy of teaching religion as fact) quickly from a single source. If I want to explore the greater concept of Pastafarianism, there are external links which can point me to places where the subject is approached from a less academic angle.
As for your example, I edit a large number of articles on my own field. I each case, I try to ensure that any commentary which cannot be axiomatically verified is sourced, "obvious" or not. By setting this example, I hope to ensure that if I look at articles in my field which I didn't edit I am still presented with information that I can accept at face value.
Wikipedia is not a host for original research or commentary which cannot be independently verified. This is one of the most fundamental rules of the site. You're free to disagree with it, but please understand why it is important and follow it while here. Chris Cunningham 00:01, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
I draw a distinction between the main page of an article and the discussion page. On the discussion page, I think questions are appropriate, most notably, questions along the line, is this a feature of our topic? Again, I’ll come back to my example of entrepreneurship. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to get started, and that is true of web searches, too, which I believe can benefit from collaborative efforts.
And let me ask candidly about your field. I understand that many early (present?) efforts with digital rights management have been clunky, in that they have prevented uses which really should have been allowable under fair use provisions. So, is this included in any wiki article? And with enough detailed examples (minimum of three) that the nonspecialist can follow what is going on? I suspect that the answer is no. And yet, this is an important topic in ecommerce and with the Internet generally, and good information probably is out there. I suspect we are holding ourselves back out of a misplaced emphasis on formality, and on being “right.”
Formal writing can take us to a certain point and can us certain teach skills. But, I’d love to see us welcome attempts to advance our writing. Let’s use the writings of people like Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman as models. Not that we would slavishly imitate them, but that we would learn from them, and we would pursue the same goal of trying to describe difficult subjects in thoroughly approachable ways. FriendlyRiverOtter 20:59, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with discussion as to whether something is pertinent to an article on the talk page. That's simple editorial discussion, and is perfectly appropriate. But that's not what was being proposed, which was a wider discussion of the religion itself.
The DRM argument is not clear-cut. If examples can be found and sourced (which is absolutely trivial: Felten wrote a fantastic paper on how the DMCA has had unintended consequences) then by all means they should be included. What should not be included is conclusions cooked up without sources from the talk page.
As for the style thing, I have no problem with style discussion. I make more edits to style than I do to content. But this wasn't originally about a style dispute; it was about using the talk page for something it's not meant for. Chris Cunningham 11:00, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Where we may part company, where I do with many people, is that I want us to be willing to take some chances. Almost any worthwhile intellectual project requires that, to invite other people in before you’re quite sure yourself. For example, the whole thing about Thomas Kuhn’s THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS and paradigm shifts, it’s highly advantageous to start inviting other people into the discussion before you’re at all sure that the new theory has superior explanatory power. The important thing is to try not to overstate your case along the way.
If you really think Felten’s paper has something worthwhile to contribute, then please, by all means, include a good-sized excerpt. But, you can’t just fake it. You can’t just include it (or any other article) for form, or for the sake of completeness, or anything else. Just like if you’re making a movie, you can’t include a scene that’s not funny to you, but you think might be funny to other people (that’s not going to end up being much of a movie). So, for a while, following your own best additions, a wiki article might be unbalanced. I do not know a way around that.
And, I think I see what you mean Flying Spaghetti Monster and people trying to invoke a consensus reality. It’s so much in the early, preliminary stages, and it’s all so casual, that ideas proposed with even a little bit of fun might take on a life of their own. Unlike if I’m joking about whether Lieutenant Worf said something or the other in a particular episode, well, we have that particular episode available to see whether he said something or another. So, Flying Spaghetti Monster is the exception that proves the rule. FSM is an article where we do need to be careful. Other articles are much more robust, and we can be bold and take chances. FriendlyRiverOtter 22:36, 5 July 2007 (UTC)


Sorry, I got my comparison mixed up. I agree the download of LimeWire Pro with LimeWire (regular) is not as appropriate as the "License of LimeWire program, versus Gnutella content". Actually, I don't think either is that encyclopedic. But a description of how to download a trojan is not good on many other levels. Sorry again. Bpringlemeir 19:27, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Small form factor edits

Hi, I see you removed the external links to specific SFF case/computer models. I understand why these might be considered inappropriate because they might be used for advertising purposes. However I find that it's difficult to illustrate the wide variation in SFF shapes and sizes without either (a) having more free photographs, or (b) linking to manufacturer/reviewer sites.

Would you be okay with me reinstating these links in the template:cite web format, which would list them in a specific footnote section rather than in the main article body? MOXFYRE (contrib) 15:46, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

The thing is, this is still original research; you're essentially asking the reader to trust that these are good examples of such form factors because Wikipedia says so. It'd be better to link to hardware tech sites which themselves promote such hardware as being good examples of the designs in question. I dare say it wouldn't be hard to dig up examples of such reviews. Chris Cunningham 15:49, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
I see your point. I'll look for some reviews. Thanks! MOXFYRE (contrib) 16:32, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

"Champion" in Sun article

I was pretty sure that one was mine -- doublechecked, and yep, it was. Just for the record, I meant it not as puffery, but in the classic sense:

  1. someone who fights for a cause
  2. supporter: a person who backs a politician or a team etc.; "all their supporters came out for the game"; "they are friends of the library"

Since "key promoter" means essentially the same thing and is less likely to be confused for "Sun's number one, woo-hoo!", it's a sensible edit.--NapoliRoma 19:35, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I figured it was innocent. The tone's been preserved anyway. Chris Cunningham 20:11, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Michael Moore is left-wing?

Where is the source. This is a blp article. If you don't have a proper source then don't add the info.Turtlescrubber 16:40, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

It's an axiomatic description of his views on a good dozen subjects. Asking for a source is ludicrous. It's not my fault that some well-meaning US liberals have accepted the Right's conflation of the term "left-wing" with "Satan-worshipping". Chris Cunningham 16:44, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Errors in fact in the Plame article.

Hello Chris, I am the person who attempted to correct the article on Plame yesterday. It is so obviously biased and uninformed that perhaps we can discuss this, and you can correct as you see fit, if indeed you are an honest intellectual and not a person with a political agenda. Can we begin with the official government definition of the word "covert"? How do you understand that word? Although most journalists use the word without a clear understanding of its meaning, it seems to me that Wikipedia might decide to use actual definitions or to simply quote those who misuse the term rather than join in the misuse. By the way, why do you object to the standard "nee" to replace the awkward, convoluted, strange phrasing you use? Kait in Tbilisi —Preceding unsigned comment added by Realtat (talkcontribs) 05:03, 6 July 2007

I'm not sure what you mean to me "objecting" to the use of "nee". As for the rest of it, my view is that Wikipedia should try to avoid presenting known falsehoods, but a description of her status as "covert" is not a falsehood. It's a widely-used interpretation of what "non-official cover" entails. You've gone so far as to dispute that she even had NOC status, which puts you at odds with the CIA and Congress. I'm perfectly happy that I can be an "honest intellectual" by taking the side of a series of reliable primary sources here. Oh, and please sign your posts on talk pages (with four tilde marks - ~~~~). Chris Cunningham 07:50, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Chris, I don't know if I am writing this in the appropriate place. "Nee" is how one refers to a maiden name, a woman's name before marriage. She is Valerie Wilson (nee Plame). I don't have the accent mark that is missing from the word on this computer. This is pretty standard, as far as I know, but who knows what's standard in your world. Anyway, there is no reliable source that says Plame was NOC within 5 years of the events in question. That's why Armitage, for example, could not be charged. The only way she could logically and correctly be called NOC is if somehow her status was not changed through some error. I think cathyf at JOM is the best speaker on this issue. She is a brilliant lawyer IMO and she can't even figure out how Plame's job could be called "classified". Was it EO 13292? Maybe. But the Waxman said it was EO12958, and that was not in force after March 2003. Why did the Washington Post change its tune?[1] Could it be that the Wikipedia article is seriously out of date, since we know a lot more than we did earlier? Realtat 13:07, 9 July 2007 (UTC)Kait
This is the correct place, yes, and I agree that "nee" is the appropriate way to reference her name (what I was confused about was your assertion that I "objected" to this, which I've never said). As for the covert thing, I remain disinterested in the pretence that Waxman is so incompetent that he'd reach this conclusion based on inapplicable legislation, and the WaPo's editorial section is barely fit to wrap fish and chips with. Chris Cunningham 13:16, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I said that you "objected" to nee, because I changed the text to read that way and somebody (you?) changed it back. OK, so you want to believe Waxman. I can accept that restriction, although he tells us that he is using CIA guidance about what to say, and the CIA is CERTAINLY not disinterested. Waxman said, "During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson [Plame] was under cover. Her employment status with the CIA was classified information prohibited from disclosure under Executive Order 12958. At the time of the publication of Robert Novak's column on July 14,2003, Ms. Wilson's CIA employment status was covert." Notice that Waxman does not say that Plame was NOC at the time in question. Waxman clearly distinguishes between "during her employment" (approximately 1987 to 2007) she was under cover. He doesn't say that she was continuously undercover, just that at some time during her employment she went undercover. I would guess that whoever told Waxman to say that meant to refer to her earlier overseas time. Waxman then talks about the time of Novak's column, and he says that her "employment status was covert". Any undercover (as opposed to covert) work Plame may have done 5 years or more ago is not of concern, since laws would not apply, as I understand the law. Did Waxman simply cite the wrong EO? Did the CIA give him the wrong EO number? I would guess yes, but we don't know. I assume you understand why CIA cannot be consider a neutral party to this scandal. They needed to adjust their reputation after the allegedly faulty intelligence leading up to the Iraq war. IMO so little is settled in this scandal, that the entire article should be short and neutral. We do not really know that a leak occurred; we only know that a leak was alleged. Did I miss something? Did Waxman say something else about Plame's status that I missed? Is "NOC" ever used to refer to employees working in the US? (My understanding is that NOC is used to distinguish between official (diplomatic or similar) cover and work where the operative poses as a business person and has a regular passport and thus cannot claim diplomatic protections.) Is this correct? One more thing, Waxman was not citing "inapplicable legislation". He cited an Executive Order that had expired. I think this is a minor point, a simple mistake in the number, but maybe he had to cite the older order to make what he said true. In other words, up to the time the EO expired, Plame had been covert.Realtat 16:28, 12 July 2007 (UTC)


thanks. I'd about given up on it.DGG (talk) 07:25, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Cheers :) Yeah, I've had my eye on it for ages. But I figured that if I'm going to try to work on Valerie Plame and related articles (which are the worst I've ever seen on here), I can probably get that one in order. Chris Cunningham 07:27, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Stop the vandalism

We caught you!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pepo 1000 (talkcontribs) 03:34, 9 July 2007

What? Chris Cunningham 07:57, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


I do not totally dislike your edits, but you definetly screwed the layout and any article structure. Please tell what you're gone a do before commiting such massive edits. Wandalstouring 15:15, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

What happened to being bold? The article was disjointed and the sectioning was completely erratic. If you've got constructive edits I'm all ears, but please don't use my talk page to tell me off. Chris Cunningham 15:21, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism Clint Boon

Hi Chris. Let's ignore this guy. I think this is the only way. In the future I will delete entries without signature on my talkpage. And if he does his stuff at the articles hopefully he get bored someday. I think to talk with him is the wrong way. What a strange guy! Chris, thanks for helping me! I felt a bit alone, I couldn't answer him as I wanted because my English is so poor. Hopefully ignoring will work. Thanks again! Kekslover 01:58, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

My pleasure :) If it keeps up for much longer I'll post something on the admin noticeboard for input. If there's one positive thing, the edits are adding a lot of articles on British bands I should be improving to my watchlist. Chris Cunningham 08:10, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Have you seen my talkpage? It seems that he has enough. Hooray! Chris, you are my hero!!! Thank you so much! Kekslover 16:29, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Guinea pig

First off, let me apologize if I hurt your feelings. However harsh, my commentary was a description of your contributions, and not in any way was meant to reflect on your intentions. My comment that your bold editing was reckless is just a personal view on content issues, and isn't about character or intent. I think anyone trying to push a "bad faith" label on you or your edits is nuts considering the work you've done. Let me stress this again, my vehement dislike of your particular edits in this instance is not a comment on you or your contributions as a whole. VanTucky (talk) 22:22, 12 July 2007 (UTC)


I did some major cleaning of the crossbow article and I invite you to join the party. Wandalstouring 11:58, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

AfD for List of countries with KFC restaurants

I thought you should be notified, as I saw Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of countries with KFC restaurants and you appear to be the author who split this from KFC in January. -wizzard2k (C-T-D) 18:34, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks :) To be honest it was split to get rid of it, so no great loss. Chris Cunningham 19:01, 16 July 2007 (UTC)


You're doing so much better than I did in keeping the spam off ebook, that iIm even tempted to remove it from my watchlist. Good move on the external links--I'll stay a bit to see if you need a second on that one. DGG (talk) 03:17, 24 July 2007 (UTC).

Cheers! Yeah, might be worth staying until the current spammers get bored. Chris Cunningham 11:44, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

What guidelines?

What specific guidelines are you talking about concerning this: "don't use scrolling refs per style / template guidelines, but take it to three columns."?

Ǣ0ƞS 07:16, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2007 June 11#Template:Scrollref. Chris Cunningham 11:44, 24 July 2007 (UTC)


Yeah, sorry, I just don't take friendly to personal attacks, especially since I've been trying to ignore idiot users lately to keep from going on a wikillingspree. I'm glad to say that I seemed to have misjudged you --Laugh! 14:37, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Glad to see we could work that out, and I'm sorry we got off on the wrong foot. I'm going to sleep for now, I've been up far too long, have fun --Laugh! 15:46, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Oracle 11g

Do you know better than eWeek or Oracle when Oracle 11g is released? Sich, if you cannot get it then you think it is not released. And it is not beta! But nevermind. Jack007 11:59, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Huh? No, if it "isn't released" then I "think it is not released". Do you honestly think people would keep reverting this if there had been an actual release? Chris Cunningham 12:09, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
If Oracle corporation says it is released, then it is fine for me. It is normal way that public delivery will be a bit later. But devil is in the details. So you litle devil, keep on going, or fix it ;) Jack007 12:45, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
They don't. What this page says is that they unveiled 11g in July. This is not the same thing as releasing it, otherwise Mac OS X 10.5 was out last August. Chris Cunningham 12:48, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Excactly they say: "Oracle Database 11g Launch Event: Oracle President Charles Phillips, Executive Vice President Chuck Rozwat and Senior Vice President Andy Mendelsohn launched 11g on Wednesday, July 11, 2007". I consider this same as releasing, as now the launch on the market has been made. Jack007 13:45, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
And neither is launch the same as release here. Oracle 11g isn't out yet. You can parse that press release in however many ways you want, but it doesn't change the non-existent nature of the release thus far. Oracle accepting orders is not the same thing as them actually releasing the product. Chris Cunningham 13:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)