User talk:Vassyana/Archive012

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D&D articles for Wikipedia 0.7[edit]

By the way, while I have your attention, let me give you this canned message.  ;)

As someone who's worked on D&D and/or RPG articles before, I'm inviting you to participate in our goal to both improve articles that have been selected to be placed in the next Wikipedia DVD release, as well as nominate more to be selected for this project. Please see the WikiProject D&D talk page for more details. :) BOZ (talk) 14:58, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia's Expert Peer Review process (or lack of such) for Science related articles[edit]

Hi - I posted the section with the same name on my talk page. Could you take part in discussion ? Thanks ARP Apovolot (talk) 22:25, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Image:Pasquale Amato, Tosca, Te Deum.ogg[edit]

Could you have a look at this, and see if the distortion could be fixed any better than it is? Sorry, just I really would like to get this one as good as possible. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 06:08, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Can do! Vassyana (talk) 02:06, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Informal mediation Request[edit]

Hi, its about the Macedonia naming dispute article and the presence of the link List of homonymous states and regions under See Also on the page. Few Intro Words: The Macedonia naming dispute is about a naming dispute over a homonymous state and region, the Republic of Macedonia and Macedonia (region) so a link to the List of homonymous states and regions where similar cases in the word are quoted is important for the users of Wikipedia. We have a positive opinion on the matter by several editors and an admin, let me quote some:

  • "Fair enough. See also sounds good. BalkanFever",
  • "I am not opposed to the addition provided examples, Crossthets",
  • "I don't see any harm in adding it to the see also BF"

you can find them here Talk:Macedonia naming dispute n°5 and here User talk:BalkanFever n°85.

There have been several reverts by:

  • 21:18, 19 October 2008 User:NikoSilver- "per talkpage (before one creates a "list of states with disambiguation qualifiers"
  • 20:09, 27 October 2008 User:Zakronian - "did you bother to check it again yourself ?"
  • 13:08, 28 October 2008 User:ΚΕΚΡΩΨ - "Consensus? Even BF's against you on this one, and that's saying something." (BF is BalcanFever see above his agreement)
  • 13:14, 28 October 2008 User:Tsourkpk - "rm link to POINTish article"

One word about the reverteditors: all are greeks, this is pretty significant. As you can see the excuses for the reverts are pretty lame too:

  • "the List of homonymous states and regions page is not complete" ok, than edit the page dont revert the link
  • "Consensus?".. BF is BalcanFever see above his agreement, there are several people that support the idea
  • "link to POINTish article" even if so, enrich the article dont rv it.

Even if we look at the related talk page debate Talk:Macedonia naming dispute n°5, there are no real arguments supporting the omission of this important reference link. Since im tired of debating versus repetitive lame unresonable counterarguments and "cospiracy" theoriess by the greek editors i ask a third person mediation. Thank you. Alex Makedon (talk) 15:39, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

A question/clarification on NPOV & NOR[edit]

On the NOR noticeboard, you stated that "Not only is it original research to debunk claims in a fashion not done by reliable sources, it is a violation of the neutral point of view to do so. NPOV says that we must present a topic as it is presented in the body of reliable sources." (this WAS a while ago). I just read NPOV in its entirety again (always a good thing to do!), and missed where it implied/stated that we "must present a topic as it is presented". If you could point to to which part of WP:NPOV applies, I would find it quite helpful. Thanks in advance, DigitalC (talk) 22:56, 31 October 2008 (UTC).

In terms of information, not tone. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 04:31, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
NPOV implicitly throughout, and explicitly in portions, refers to article topics. The policy itself is a horrid mess as written IMO, but "Undue weight" and "Impartial tone" both provide key arguments to this end. Essentially if the clear majority of published literature takes positions A & B about the Foogleganplex Theory of Whatever, then the article about the Foogleganplex Theory of Whatever should mainly cover positions A & B. If a position C is not written about the Foogleganplex Theory of Whatever, then we should not include position C in its article. If positions D & E each composes a small but significant minority of the literature about the theory, then we should include a paragraph or two about each in the article. If the available literature notes that facts X & Y are relevent to the theory, then we should include cited statements that X & Y are relevent and how they are applicable according to the reliable sources. If fact Z seems relevent to an editor, but is not mentioned in reliable sources about the theory, then we shouldn't include such facts (as they use our own determination and facts/views even noted by a tiny minority of sources should be excluded from the article). I hope that helps clarify my position and policy interpretation. If I can help clarify my view further, or you have further questions, please let me know. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 02:06, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
It is a topic that I think you have looked at before, and probably don't want to look at again. Chiropractic uses a large number of sources on the topic of Spinal manipulation, which don't mention Chiropractic at all. RfCs have been performed about the OR issue, and no clear consensus exists (in my opinion, admins have now stated that we aren't even allowed to discuss the OR problem because they feel that they consensus that exists [that Spinal manipulation is related to Chiropractic] removes the possibility of OR). I just don't know how to move forward from here, because I know that it is a policy violation, and I know that I'm not the only one that thinks so. We've been trying to follow dispute resolution, and it doesn't seem to be working - as no clear consensus has emerged. DigitalC (talk) 06:45, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
You have an email from me on this subject, Vassyana. It's amazing what seems to be going on: one of the worst abuses on an article I've ever seen. Something really amazing. ——Martinphi Ψ Φ—— 09:42, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Those concerns were resolved by examining how other reliable sources treated these general reviews, see Is your back in safe hands?, Chiropractors are offering 'worthless' form of treatment, Back treatment 'has few benefits' and Junk medicine: spinal manipulation. Also PMID 17224347, a review of the evidence base for chiropracty written by a chiropractor, stated Innovative ways to select studies and perform regression for meta-analyses are even appearing to cast manipulation (and thus by association chiropractors) in a less favorable light., chose a general review of spinal manipulation from 2006 as a citation to support this statement. The talk page shows a lot of general and convoluted argument on this topic, but Wikipedia seems to treat these sources in the same way as other reliable sources treat them. Tim Vickers (talk) 17:49, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

An invite for you[edit]

Samanthaheadshot.jpg The 36th and final NotTheWikipediaWeekly

Come for the final episode under this name on Sunday, November 2. The whole episode will be about recapping and discussing previous episodes. I am hosting this and look forward to as many of the more experienced NTWW's come to this episode. Plus, we may get a new guest, but we'll see. Anyway, its tomorrow @ 20:00 UTC. Please come! Mitch32(UP) 12:49, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Featured Sounds[edit]

Vassyana, I'm going to be away from about the 27th of November to the 5th, for a family holiday. Is there any chance I could get you to prepare some FSCs for around that time? Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 02:45, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Absolutely. Life is becoming a bit less crazy for me now, so I will have more time to devote to Wikipedia and FS. Vassyana (talk) 02:47, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


Hey, I know it has been stalling for a few months now. To tell the truth, I felt like I had been doing a primary amount of work on that more and more, and I really wanted others to get involved so I backed off and got involved in other projects. If others will pick back up on it, I will as well. Since I don't have multiple personalities I therefore don't need to mediate with myself, so I was starting to feel silly. :) BOZ (talk) 04:18, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Such as what I've done so far with Wizards of the Coast (and already did at Gary Gygax). :) BOZ (talk) 04:42, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the alert - I'd be lying if I said I hadn't expected it to go that way eventually. Gavin has been busy with other things since early in the mediation so hasn't really interacted with anyone outside the policy and guideline talk pages, so there's nothing really left to work on there at the moment. I suppose that if things go back to their previous status quo I will likely be in touch with you regarding further dispute resolution. So, with that, happy editing to you, thanks for everything you've done so far, and wish me luck in pursuit of better quality on D&D and comics articles. :) BOZ (talk) 15:48, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Did I speak too soon? :) I don't know if the full conflict regarding tags is starting again already, but there is already some strife regarding the notability template on the Dan Willis article and its talk page, and followed to Gavin's talk page. I am not involved, but you might want to keep an eye on it. Thanks. :) BOZ (talk) 16:38, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Things seem to be getting more hostile on the Dan Willis talk page and Gavin's talk page. BOZ (talk) 16:35, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up. I'll keep an eye on things for now and try to help out as I can. Vassyana (talk) 16:57, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
No problem - thanks. :) BOZ (talk) 17:07, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
It's not getting any better... :( BOZ (talk) 15:59, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
It's worth mentioning that that is the only D&D-related article that's been having a major dispute right now. -Drilnoth (talk) 02:54, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Major depressive disorder FAC[edit]

Just so you know, the last of your (major) concerns has been addressed--in a fair amount of depth, I'd say--so when you have a moment, please feel free to check the nomination and see if it has been dealt with to your satisfaction. Cosmic Latte (talk) 14:35, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Have your concerns been addressed to a point at which you'd be willing to support the FAC? If so, please don't forget to note this on the nomination. Cosmic Latte (talk) 09:51, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Good work on the existential/humanistic section, by the way. Cosmic Latte (talk) 09:55, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Citation style[edit]

Hi, Vassyana. Two things: are all of your concerns addressed at the MDD FAC yet? Perhaps you can cap anything that is addressed: some declarations there have strayed way off topic, without editors striking completed items, and the page has grown very long. More importantly, I want to understand your concern about the citation style at Major depressive disorder, since it's a style that is so commonly used (particularly on medical articles, but also on others). I'm afraid I'm not yet seeing your concern, so I could be misunderstanding something important. The current style has direct citation links for all journal and websources, and Harvnb-style links (using a citeref method) to shortened citations for book sources with repeat links to different page numbers, with the longer citation on the book information in the Cited texts section. One of the things I like about this method is that the only extra code clunking up the text in edit mode is to the book sources. I guess I'm not really understanding 1) why you don't like that style, and 2) how you would want to change it? It's not so much an issue for me on that article, except to the extent that it's a style that I (and other editors) often use, so I want to be sure I'm not missing something. Best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:46, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be a mix of the harvnb/cited text style and "staight footnotes" style. This lead to a bit of confusion for me, as it is my understanding that mixing citation styles for the same type of material is bad form. If straight cite style is being used, shouldn't the first ref to a book be a full citation and following cites to the same reference use "op. cit." (in the style of Author, op. cit., p xx)? I've posted on the article talk page about this and asked if there are objections to standardizing the references. Vassyana (talk) 12:59, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
On "op cit.", no, that is never used on Wiki because Wiki text is dynamic, text changes, and op cits can get wiped out (that's mentioned at either WP:FN or WP:CITE, can't remember which). Yes, the mixture of shortened and long footnotes is a particular hybrid that's used on Wiki, reflecting the online, dynamic environment and ability to hyperlink to the longer reference. Full citations for book sources could be used each time they occur, but that would repeat a lot of information, clunking up the text and cluttering the citations, only to add a different page number. It actually makes the citations harder to read, the article harder to edit, the repeat book sources harder to see, and adds bulk to the text and the citations (which also makes the article harder to load). So this method is a hybrid that shortens only the repeat book sources. I hope that clears it up ... I haven't been to the article talk page, because it's become a Dog's Dinner of issues tangential to the article or the FAC, but I wanted to understand your objection to that citation style in general terms, since it's such a common style (and one I also use and like). Best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:58, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah, that makes plenty of sense. Thank you for the explanation! Vassyana (talk) 16:41, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Glad it makes sense :-) If not, I'm losing touch ! It's really an adjustment to the unique, dynamic environment of a Wiki. The missing page numbers and ISBNs etc. are another issue ... Best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:44, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

For your vote at Roman Catholic Church. I am sorry to inform you that we failed FAC but will again be at peer review in a few weeks to sort things out. Hopefully we will make it through next time. We will be contacting all supporters and opposers of the article when we open the next peer review to hopefully get all issues addressed and hashed out before the next FAC try. Thanks again for your time and attention to this important article. NancyHeise talk 01:10, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Recorded debates and discussions[edit]

Candidates and the community,

Wikivoices (formally NotTheWikipediaWeekly) would be interested in making several podcasts with candidates running in the 2008 English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee election. Given the high number of candidates likely to be signing up during the nomination stage (likely to be around 45) it will be a very busy 2 weeks. These shows typically last about one and a half hours to record, taking into account setup time, and are recorded using the free, downloadable programme, Skype. The programme can be used on Windows, Mac OS and Linux operating systems and is also available on some mobile platforms. If any candidates have problems with installing or running the program please contact either myself at my talk page or by email

There will be 2 formats being run over the next 2 weeks. The first will be general discussion with a small number candidates at a time with several experienced hosts from Wikivoices. Each candidate will be given 2-3 minutes to introduce themselves then the main body of the cast will begin. The topics discussed will vary in each recording to ensure fairness however the atmosphere will be generally free flowing. These will be running throughout the two weeks starting tomorrow. Specific signup times can be found here at our meta page.

The second format will be based on a similar style to election debates. Questions will be suggested here by the community. A selection of these will then be put to a panel of larger panel candidates with short and concise 1-2 minute responses. Other than an introduction and hello from each candidate, there will be no opportunity for a lengthier introductions. Specific signup times can be found here at our meta page.

It is recommended that candidates attend both formats of casts and we will try to be as flexible as possible. We are looking for the greatest participation but also for shows with enough members to keep it interesting but not too many that it causes bandwidth and general running issues. I look forward to working with all candidates in the coming weeks.

01:56, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


Seddσn talk Editor Review


I've noticed you're trying to make your way into the arbitration committee. I have to say, we haven't always seen eye to eye, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for your thoughtful arguments. I always got the sense that you were respectful of policy but not bound to its every word -- you understood its purpose and its limits. And that you aren't stuck to straight inclusionism or deletionism -- you're guided by something more nuanced and reasoned. And that you were able to see both sides of a debate without devolving into demagoguery. At any rate, if there's anything I can do to help (I don't even know if it's appropriate for me to offer), do let me know. But if not, then let me stop at offering you the best of luck. You'll make a great arbitrator. Talk to you later, Randomran (talk) 04:49, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you so much for the kind words. I hold you in high esteem, so your respect and support are deeply appreciated and encouraging. I can only hope that, regardless of whether or not I am elected, my particular intellectual approach will continue to earn your respect. Vassyana (talk) 18:23, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Podcast on controversial articles[edit]

As you are a member of the mediation committee, I thought you might be interested in contributing to the podcast about controversial articles that Scartol and I are putting together. It is part of our series on how to improve content on Wikipedia (the first one was on copyediting). If you are interested in joining us, please sign up here. Thanks! Awadewit (talk) 17:23, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Would next weekend work for you? Scheduling these things is always difficult. See here for additional time options. Awadewit (talk) 17:27, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, next weekend does not work for me. I have a number of personal obligations to attend to at that time. I look forward to listening to the podcast, even if I am unable to attend. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 18:50, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I would so have liked to have you on! Awadewit (talk) 18:54, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

ArbCom Candidate Template[edit]

Hello, fellow candidate! Just so you know, in an effort to announce our candidacies and raise further awareness of the election, I have created the template {{ACE2008Candidate}}, which I would invite you to place on your user and user talk pages. The template is designed to direct users to your Questions and Discussion pages, as well as to further information about the election. Best of luck in the election! Hersfold (t/a/c) 16:41, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Good work on the template. Thanks and best of luck to you as well! Vassyana (talk) 21:16, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Messianic Judaism[edit]

Please see the MEDCAB front page discussion for this article. We would love your questions and decision. inigmatus (talk) 16:44, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

MEDCAB coordinator[edit]

I would be glad to accept your offer. I would like to thank you for the work, time and effort you put in as coordinator :) Hopefully I be able to attempt to keep it up. Seddσn talk Editor Review 19:18, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Me too. Three's a party :-) Xavexgoem (talk) 02:23, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Dan Willis[edit]

Thank you for your help with Dan Willis, but Gavin's back again and insists that six of the reliable secondary sources are self-published. Could you maybe comment on it? We really need more people in the conversation. -Drilnoth (talk) 17:08, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

I posted to two appropriate noticeboards, neutrally soliciting outside views to help resolve the dispute.[1][2] Vassyana (talk) 19:14, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much. -Drilnoth (talk) 19:37, 17 November 2008 (UTC)


Hello. You have shown to be rather helpful in the past and you are familiar with the user in question. So I am turning to you to ask for guidance on how to deal with this rather difficult and disruptive editor. He seems incapable of compromise, working collaboratively or even assuming that there is an area of expertise here that he seemly lacks and therefore dismisses as trivial. While there are salient examples of all the above, including a year+ edit history that supports the same, what I am asking here rather is what are my (and the project community) options in dealing with a disruptive and counter-productive influence on the improvement of this work? Personally I rather edit articles and improve them one at a time than have to deal with an editor that shows no intention of actually working on the articles other than to explain why others who have done the work are all doing it wrong. If there is a way to log a formal complaint then please consider it logged. Web Warlock (talk) 17:02, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

(I don't mean to interrupt, but I saw the post and felt I should add something). You can file formal complaints through WP:AC, although that is a last resort and I think that we should wait a little while longer before taking that step. -Drilnoth (talk) 17:15, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
(Chiming in as well) Agreed that we should give it more time - maybe end of the month if he keeps it up? Also, I wanted to say that Jeske Couriano suggested taking him to AN/I if he continues his disruption. Vassyana, I wanted to mention that we have really been making progress on our project over the last few weeks, and Gavin returned to his earlier behavior within a few days of the close of the mediation case. BOZ (talk) 17:56, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Avoid any snarky or aggressive tones and discourage others from taking such a tack with Gavin. It will only serve to aggravate the situation further and turn the exchages into more of an adversarial process. One approach would be pointing a positive example of how he could express his views. For example, pointing to how Metropolitan90 (talk · contribs) detailed concerns about individual sources on Dan Willis (author) (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) would be a very good example to hold up. Point out that the user effectively took an even stronger stand, but that due to his well-reasoned, polite and complete explanation that Metropolitan90's statements were much better received. Be as clear as possible that it is not the tagging per se that leads to objections, but rather the objections arise out of a desire for better communication. If that fails, see if he would be willing to engage in informal mediation with the sole purpose of hashing out a set of voluntary guidelines for adding and removing tags in the disputed area. If reaching out with a positive example of how he may achieve his goals and inviting him to peacefully hash out some road rules both fail, then it may be appropriate to ask the community to review his behavior and provide feedback. If edit-warring, incivility, or other seriously disruptive problems get out of hand, it would be wise to ask for an uninvolved administrator to have a polite word with him or raise the issue on AN/I if he fails to be responsive to such feedback. If I can provide further advice, direction action is needed, or I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 21:16, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Well said, Vassyana. I'll see when there is an appropriate time to point those things out to him. -Drilnoth (talk) 21:18, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Barnstar-lightbulb3.png What a Brilliant Idea Barnstar
You have been awarded a "What A Brilliant Idea!" barnstar for your assistance in the Gavin.collins situation. Drilnoth (talk) 21:21, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice. I know there was already an RFC/U on him over a year ago (and little seems to have changed since then, except that he hasn't nominated anything for AFD in some time or as often), so I don't know what good another RFC/U would do. BOZ (talk) 21:29, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. This is why I sought you out on this issue. Web Warlock (talk) 21:38, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
If the problems continue after reaching out and attempting a mediated agreement, an RfC/U focused on tag usage and communication issues would be appropriate. The previous RfC/U ended up principally focusing on the AfDs, even though other issues were raised. Another RfC would serve the purpose of focusing on the continuing issues and generating clear community feedback. (The last RfC got very hung up on the AfD issue and the remaining issues were effectively side notes in the RfC.) Vassyana (talk) 21:57, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
That makes sense. -Drilnoth (talk) 22:21, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Comment on Gavin.collins[edit]

Hello. :) Could you please comment here on the latest outbreak of activity from Gavin.collins? Thank you. BOZ (talk) 21:25, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your commentary - I have commented back. BOZ (talk) 21:58, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
(ec)I've made a comment on the talk page, but it is fairly limited to a specific point. More generally, I am concerned about the adversarial tone, both in the discussion and the draft. It's unlikely to resolve the issue and very likely to aggravate the problem. I cannot emphasize the advice I provided above enough. Be concise. Focus on positive examples. Condense the massive message in the draft space to a few essential principles. Point to specific examples of the problem. Explain the problem in the least aggressive and defensive way possible. Present the issue in as cooperative, civil and genial a tone as possible, without descending into pointed niceties or forced smiles. A laundry list of complaints, demands and defensive rebuttals is not going to achieve your goals. In these situations, it is most likely to cause the editor to entrench himself further and otherwise act as though "under attack". Don't forget to breathe and remember we're all human. :) I understand the situation is very frustrating, but by staying calm, respectful and willing to talk it out you will be most likely to reach a resolution. Either the other party will reciprocate the genial and civilized treatment, or (in the worst cases) you will provide a clear contrast for the other party's uncooperative and disruptive behavior. Think on it. Please do not hesitate to drop me another line if you have further questions or concerns. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 22:03, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your reasoned response. The problem in dealing with Gavin is twofold. One, there is already so much bad blood between so many editors and Gavin from the long history of interaction. Two, Gavin continues to edit the same set of articles in the same exact manner that has gotten people upset for so long. When you have both of these things going on, working things out peacefully is a significant challenge. You are exactly right though, and I will endeavor to keep that in mind (though I understand entirely that I may fail to live up to that standard). BOZ (talk) 22:23, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I understand the frustration and difficulty. I also understand that we're all human. It is important to keep in mind the best approach as our goal and work towards it, even if we fall short of the ideal. Vassyana (talk) 22:26, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Your advice has been taken and I have proposed a method by which we may come to a peaceful conclusion. -Drilnoth (talk) 23:14, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

ArbCom questions[edit]

Hi. I'm Ral315, editor of the Wikipedia Signpost. We're interviewing all ArbCom candidates for an article this week, and your response is requested.

  1. What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?
  2. Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?
  3. Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?
  4. How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?
  5. What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?
  6. Why do you think users should vote for you?

Please respond on my talk page. We'll probably go to press on Tuesday, but late responses will be added as they're submitted. Thanks, Ral315 (talk) 10:25, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

New proposition regarding D&D article notability[edit]

Hi! I know that you have recently been active in some Dungeons & Dragons articles, so I thought that I'd point out a new proposition that I made regarding their notability at WT:D&D#A new proposition. Any input on the idea would be much appreciated. Thank you. -Drilnoth (talk) 14:54, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Major depressive disorder FAC restarted[edit]

Note to all !voters on the original Major depressive disorder FAC: The FAC for that article has been restarted at Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates/Major_depressive_disorder. Cosmic Latte (talk) 02:32, 24 November 2008 (UTC)


Hi Vassyana - discussion went stale after Kürfurst was blocked from editing. As it happens, that block is due to expire today, so we'll see what happens. Hopefully things will have cooled down. Could I ask you to leave the case open for another two weeks? By then we'll know the state of play. Thanks again --Rlandmann (talk) 11:11, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

No problem. I will leave the case open for now and poke my head around the topic area in a few days to get a feel for the situation. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 11:27, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
So far things have been very peaceful; for now I'm hoping things will stay that way. After some petty, false and malicious accusations made against me by Kürfurst, which I haven't bothered to reply to, I haven't bothered much with editing the B of B or anything else he's likely to want to review/change in his pursuit of "objectivity". Minorhistorian (talk) 22:18, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

RFC update[edit]

I know it's been a long and tedious process. But the analysis of the RFC discussion is underway, so that an objective party can give an honest assessment of the common ground. One of the analysts requested some context on the dispute. So I'm trying to help him out. You'd be helping things along if you could check in quickly at the talk page, if only to offer a quick comment. I'm asking you because I know you were around for a few key moments in the dispute, and might be able to provide a second opinion on how it all went down. Randomran (talk) 07:15, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Mozart family Grand Tour - FAC comments[edit]

Just to let you know I have responded to your comments. Brianboulton (talk) 19:43, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I was actually responding to you when you posted. Using evil mind control powers, are you now? :) Vassyana (talk) 19:48, 25 November 2008 (UTC)


Hi. I just wanted to make sure that you saw new discussion on WT:D&D, where Shadzar has left the WikiProject because of discussion regarding Gavin.collins, although Gavin WAS NOT involved in the discussion itself. I thought you might want to comment. -Drilnoth (talk) 20:35, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I will refrain from commenting on the specific instance, except to say it is indicative of the bitter divisiveness that generally plagues many "pop culture" areas. On a positive note, it is good to see many participants looking for solutions and middle ground. Fostering that kind of positive attitude and environment is key to resolving the issue. It will also serve the purpose of isolating and highighting any editors that remain inflexible and/or disruptive. I would strongly recommend taking a look over this overview of notability discussions and the relatively recent notability RfC. While there are still obvious disagreements in the community, taking the time to look over both should help provide some guidance and context that is relevant to the WikiProject's current considerations. Vassyana (talk) 16:56, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the links. -Drilnoth (talk) 17:06, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
No problem. They will be helpful in feeling out ground for some project standards. Commenting again about the situation, I am a bit concerned with the predominance of "take Gavin to ArbCom" on the WikiProject talk page. It does little but give the impression of an angry mob, regardless of the justification for the frustrations and concerns. I would reiterate my advice to explore the RfC avenue, additionally noting that it needs to be undertaken with an earnest desire for dispute resolution rather than being treated as avenues towards ArbCom. Seeking immediately sanctions, such as through AN/I, should only be done if reaching out to Gavin fails and there is serious disruption. If it's just a matter of disagreement over tags and content is not being deleted/destroyed/etc in the process, an RfC is a much better option than AN/I. Vassyana (talk) 17:18, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Personally, I don't want to see an ArbCom, either. The problem is that we've tried RfCs, RfMs, and similar things, and nothing seems to work. And there's more to it than just the tagging; he has accused users of bad faith and CoI. -Drilnoth (talk) 17:24, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
As I noted above, the previous RfC became very focused on the AfD issues. Since then, as acknowledged by some of Gavin's detractors, the XfD issues have abated. An RfC focused on the tagging concern and the surrounding behavior could prove fruitful. If his comments are really crossing the line and/or he is becoming severely disruptive, then requesting a review of the situation on AN/I is probably most appropriate. This is all just my advice, based on my observations and experience. Obviously, I do not have the "ground level" view of the situation in the same sense as you and your fellow project members. In the end, it's up to you folks how to move forward from here. As a parting thought, (regardless of who started it) imagine for a moment that those sprawling threads filled with venom, indignation and hostility were about you. How easy would it be to see a "lynch mob" there? How easy would it be to assume bad faith? How easy would it get not only locked into a antagonistic mindset, but to be enticed to become further entrenched in the face of such hostility? Now consider this is not the first flurry of such comments, but yet another turn of wheel in a long-standing dispute. Just something to think upon. Vassyana (talk) 17:40, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I see your point. I'll mention this at the project talk page. -Drilnoth (talk) 18:02, 26 November 2008 (UTC)


Yes, it was a WikiLifetime ago! We were both fairly new users at the time. I'd been an editor for a year, but that case was my first foray into the Dispute Resolution Industrial Complex. Did you know that the author in question, John Green, was savvy enough to find the MedCab case and came by as an IP address and thanked me at one point for defending the article from misrepresenting his views? I'm still puttering around but now--look at you!--running for ArbCom and with a very good chance if my read of the politics is correct. --JayHenry (t) 23:22, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

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Recidivist problem editor may need (pre-emptive?) indef site ban[edit]

Hi Vassyana, Happy T-Giv, and good luck with your ArbCom run. A question: User:John_Gohde has been a chronic problem editor (WP:TE, lack of AGF, personal attacks, denseness beyond all reason, outright trolling) ever since he started editing WP. He wasted many person-hours of editors' time. He's been sanctioned in a total of four (!) ArbCom cases; see his most recent case, which resulted in a one-year ban ending January 2009.

Is is appropriate to ask the community to enact an indef site ban now, so as to prevent his return and inevitable disruption? There is no reason to believe he'll reform based on years of disruption here. In the ArbCom case, MastCell pointed out that perhaps a simple, indef-block community ban may have been a better approach. So, should we just do this, or wait to see if/when John Gohde comes back disruptively and then strike swiftly? If we take the latter course, the bar for banning should be very low, IMO. Way too much history here to ignore. regards, Jim Butler (t) 10:05, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

With such an lengthy and disruptive history, I can see no reason why it would be inappropriate for an administrator to indef block the editor. There's a strong reason to believe that the disruption will simply continue and thus it would be a textbook example of a preventative block. A note could be left on his talk page explaining that this is a preventative measure instituted in the context of his lengthy problematic history, providing links to the arbitration cases for any reviewing administrator. It should be made clear to him that to be unblocked he will need to demonstrate that he understands where he went wrong in the past and that he intends to edit civilly, productively, and within policy. That latter could be judged by his overall response and (as once more common) through a sandbox article or two in his userspace. I do not believe the extra measure of a formalized community ban should be necessary. He is very unlikely to be granted an unblock without some clear indication of reform. An indef-block that no one will lift is the same as a community ban, both in function and definition. I would recommend asking an administrator who is very familiar with the user and his disruption to make the block, as they would be best suited to field questions from any reviewing administrator. Alternatively, I would be willing to make the block or you could post a brief note to AN/I asking for an uninvolved administrator to review the history and decide if an indef-block is warranted as a preventative measure. If you have any further questions or comments, please let know. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 12:07, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Jclemens RfA[edit]


Hi Vassyana. I would be grateful for a third opinion/advice re the following AfD: Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Scientology_and_sex_(2nd_nomination), closed as "Keep". Democracy is democracy, but guidelines are guidelines, and in my view, this article fails them. What do you think? Cheers, Jayen466 16:35, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Heads up: Jayen466 (talk · contribs) left a similar message complaining about the outcome of this AfD at the talk page of Xymmax (talk · contribs). Note also that the AfD was initially closed as "Keep" by a non-admin (at the time it had unanimous "Keep" consensus aside from the nominator), was brought to DRV, brought back to AfD again, and then later closed as "Keep" by an administrator. Cirt (talk) 12:44, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I realised Vassyana is probably busy at the moment due to his arbcom candidature and the related questions all candidates are required to answer. So I decided to read up on the deletion review process myself, and did what it recommended there. Cheers, Jayen466 12:52, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

First AfD, Second AfD, initial non-admin close with unanimous "Keep" consensus, taken to DRV and reopened, closed again as "Keep", by an administrator. Beating a dead horse at this point. Cirt (talk) 13:03, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

(edit conflict) It seems the general consensus is that reliable sources are used and the secondary sources used are sufficient. Many keeps mention this point. It is not a question of policy vs. consensus, but rather seems to be a disagreement over the application of policy. DRV is rarely an appropriate venue for such a dissent, as it is intended to review out-of-process actions, not to second-guess the consensus of the participants. No matter how strongly you may disagree, a clear consensus was formed that noted policy compliance. If you particularly disagree, you can always solicit further outside opinions through an RfC or a noticeboard positing (such as RSN if you disagree the sources are reliable). There is a limit though, and you should be careful to avoid venturing into forum shopping, beating a dead horse, or refusing to acknowledge the working consensus. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 13:13, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for cautioning Jayen466 (talk · contribs) about "venturing into forum shopping, beating a dead horse, or refusing to acknowledge the working consensus". Cirt (talk) 13:20, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
They're just my honest observations about the situation. When people solicit me for an opinion or feedback, I do my best to give them an honest, polite and blunt response. Vassyana (talk) 13:25, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. Cirt (talk) 13:26, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback, Vassyana. Xymmax has replied on his/her talk page, and I will not pursue DRV further at this stage. However, I am working with Cirt on Talk:Scientology and sex to get the outstanding sourcing issues, which were acknowledged in the AfD, addressed. (Btw, Good Luck!) Cheers, Jayen466 15:16, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Great! I'm glad things are working out in the proper manner (civil discussion). :) You're always welcome to drop a line to my talk page. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 11:39, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Acid Dissociation Constant FAC[edit]

Greetings, I was wondering if you'd be willing to withdraw your objection to Acid dissociation constant becoming a FA in light of this idea? I really don't consider it to be an introductory article, and as such will not be generally accessable until other articles (such as equilibrium constant) are significantly improved. EagleFalconn (talk) 15:20, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Given that other editors with greater science education than I have also objected regarding accessibility issues, I must let it stand. I am sorry for any frustration, but I earnestly believe that the inaccessibility of the article is a critical point that prevents it from representing the best encyclopedic work we can produce. Vassyana (talk) 11:47, 2 December 2008 (UTC)


I like the idea of devolving responsibility, in the abstract. But I'm concerned that the mean/median quality of admins we're promoting is not sufficient to sustain it. Devolution requires that we have a body of mature, active, clueful admins ready to take up the slack, and either I'm overly cynical or we just don't have such a group at present. But that's a quibble; I didn't even bother to mention it on the votes page, since overall I think you'd be a great Arbitrator. Good luck. MastCell Talk 22:52, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the kind words! Regarding devolution, I think it's essential if the project is to bear the strain of scaling up, while maintaining its basic principles of operation. It is literally impossible for ArbCom, as a single body, to oversee the entire wiki and the ridiculously large (and growing) number of users. It is slightly less impossible for the limited but much larger number of admins to oversee the same sprawling project. The admins "on the ground" also generally have a better feel for the individual situations than ArbCom, simply through the probability of broader experience within a much larger group of people. A lot of the dispute resolution processes can involve non-administrators, helping relieve the adminstrative burden. Some examples include RfC, MedCab, and third opinion. There is also formal mediation, WikiProject talk pages and a plethora of noticeboards. Given this perspective, two things need to be accomplished: 1) Encourage greater use of and participation in non-administrative dispute resolution. 2) Find a functional method of promoting an increasing number of qualified administrators, reflective of the site's growth. This could be anything from more active coaching and recruitment to a reworking of the RfA process. The key would be finding a method that preserves quality while increasing quantity.
I'm just chewing my thoughts. What are yours? Vassyana (talk) 12:01, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree that ArbCom isn't scaling well - partly, they need to be more rational and selective in the cases they accept and how they spend their time, but the problem is mostly systemic. Maybe devolution would work if it were combined with a more sensible admin-selection process or with better means of desysopping admins with poor judgement. The problem I see is that greater admin discretion + admins with poor judgement = recipe for disaster. MastCell Talk 20:52, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

request for help[edit]

Hi Vassyana. Some time ago i made a set of proposals for NOR. There was one that everyone accepted. you were the only one to object, but specifically to ow the tertiary sources part was worded; you also had a constructive comment.

Since eveyone responded possitively, I want to put this in. Given your comments, I would appreciate it if you would edit it so that it satisfies you, first.

More specifically:

  • Tertiary sources draw on secondary sources in order to provide a comprehensive account of a topic. Typical examples include review essays, such as Annual Reviews or Encyclopedia Brittanica
Our policy: Wikipedia strives to be a superb tertiary source. Since Wikipedia does not want to be derivative or duplicate other encyclopedias, tertiary sources are often of limited value for Wikipedia research. Annual Reviews and Encyclopedia Brittanica articles often provide extensive bibliographies that are valuable tools for identifying important secondary sources, and therefore of great use to Wikipedia editors. Nevertheless, these and other tertiary sources do not necessarily have the same content policies as Wikipedia and for this reason should not be viewed as authoritative. However, some encyclopedias and other tertiary sources, such as Annual Reviews, have signed articles, and often articles that explicitly promote the author's own views. In this sense, a tertiary source can also be viewed and treated as a secondary source.
  • Secondary sources rely on primary sources to make analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims. Some secondary sources, for example many scientific publications, often include original data and are thus also primary sources.
Our policy: Wikipedia articles can include analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims (1) only if such claims come from a reliable, verifiable source and (2) the point of view is clearly identified and accurately represented. The conditions that apply to the use of primary sources also applies to the use of primary source material included in secondary sources.
  • Primary sources include archeological artifacts; photographs; historical documents such as diaries, census results, video or transcripts of surveillance, public hearings, trials, or interviews; tabulated results of surveys or questionnaires; written or recorded notes of laboratory and field experiments or observations; and artistic and fictional works such as poems, scripts, screenplays, novels, motion pictures, videos, and television programs.
Our policy: A Wikipedia article or section of an article can employ primary sources only if the source is used (1) only to make descriptive claims, the accuracy of which is easily verifiable by any reasonable, educated person without specialist knowledge, and (2) never to make analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims. Contributors drawing on primary sources should be careful to comply with both conditions.

You understood the logic of the progression, but just took issue with the broadnes of the statement of tertiary sources. It seems to me that if you edit it to make sure the progression is clear, and the account of each kind of source and how it is to be used is accurate, we can put it in. Thanks, Slrubenstein | Talk 18:15, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

I take a quick crack at it below. What do you think? Vassyana (talk) 18:31, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Tertiary sources draw on secondary sources in order to provide a comprehensive account of a topic. Typical examples include review essays, encyclopedias and textbooks.
Our policy: Wikipedia strives to be a superb tertiary source. Encyclopedia sources are often of limited value for Wikipedia research, since we strive to be more than a derivative or duplication of existing encyclopedias. Textbooks and academic review articles are often desirable sources that provide a broad overview of the topic and clearly relate the mainstream viewpoint, both of which are invaluable for determining the neutral point of view (NPOV) and avoiding original research. Some encyclopedias and other tertiary sources have signed articles, which often explicitly identify the author's own views. In this sense, a tertiary source can also be viewed and treated as a secondary source.

I like it ... I am not opposed to the word "promote" but what do you think about changing it to "identify?" Slrubenstein | Talk 20:17, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm pleased that it sits well with you. I tried to retain the points about encyclopedias, while pointing out that many tertiary sources are highly valuable. I changed the wording per your suggestion. Vassyana (talk) 20:28, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks!! Slrubenstein | Talk 21:03, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

I made the change, please review it when you have a chance. Slrubenstein | Talk

BoB mediation[edit]

Thanks Vassyana; I think we can close the mediation; things seem to have settled down considerably. Thanks again for all your help. --Rlandmann (talk) 20:15, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

No problem. If you have any further need for assistance, please feel free to drop me a line. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 20:28, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Acid dissociation constant - re-written lead[edit]

I have now re-written the lead for acid dissociation constant. The essential content of the lead is the same as before. The effect of this change will be that when chemists will read the explanatory material they will say to themselves, yes, I know that, but non-chemists will hopefully get the gist of what the article is about

I invite you to read it and then record your “vote”, e.g. “now support” or “still oppose”, at wp:Featured_article_candidates/Acid_dissociation_constant. I have assembled a list of names under Re-written lead, so that the responses will be collected together in one place.

Some minor disagreements will inevitably remain. These should not be a reason for opposition. Rather, put constructive ideas on the article’s talk page, so that the article can be further improved by the normal editing process. Petergans (talk) 09:31, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Itub (talk) has proposed an alternative, shorter version of the lead at User:Itub/ADC lead. Petergans (talk) 10:47, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Gavin.collins RFC/U[edit]

Hello. A request for comment on user conduct has recently been filed against Gavin.collins. Since you have been involved in the dispute regarding his disruptive edits, I thought that you would want to know. You can see the RFC/U here. Thank you. -Drilnoth (talk) 21:49, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution[edit]

FYI, SaltyBoatr has returned to disrupting this article once more, only this time to POV bombing a "Good Article" rated article that an independent assessment found had no evidence of neutrality problems. Your assistance in resolving the previous problem was very helpful. Yaf (talk) 23:03, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

SaltyBoatr only seems to have made one recent mainspace edit and otherwise had participated civilly in an attempt to discuss the issue on the talk page. I also note that another user notes similar issues in the article. Give discussion a chance to work itself out. Vassyana (talk) 15:09, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
SaltyBoatr has now starting constructing statements through the selective use of multiple ellipses in a single "quote" to change the meaning of sourced material to 180 degrees from what the source actually says. Specifically, he extended a quote from As noted by Cornell, “Ward's lawyers took advantage of the doctrine advanced in Bliss and wrapped their client's action under the banner of a constitutional right to bear arms. Ward was acquitted." to "As noted by Cornell, “Ward's lawyers took advantage of the doctrine advanced in Bliss and wrapped their client's action under the banner of a constitutional right to bear arms. Ward was acquitted. ... Outside of Kentucky the case drew equally scathing condemnations. A lengthy article in the Monthly Law Reporter denounced the case... (as) a disgrace that ultimately revealed more about Kentucky justice than it did about American Law.”" Actually, however, Cornell's book says that the Monthly Law Reporter denounced not the case, but the "atrocity of the deed" for which Ward was accused. The selective quoting over multiple pages was used to construct a POV statement entirely opposite to what the source actually says. This is not new, either, for SaltyBoatr. You have previously warned him on his talk page about this very problem.[3] It has started again. Yaf (talk) 16:47, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

ArbCom, Rawat, & recusal[edit]

Vassyana, I appreciate your dropping by my talk page but I'm afraid my concerns have not been addressed. In looking over your past involvements with Jossi and the Rawat case, I don't see where you've ever recused before. On the contrary, you have spoken up for Jossi repeatedly. Of particular concern was your input on the 2008 Rawat case, in which I see you saying that you didn't need to look at all of the evidence in order to make up your mind. That is exactly the wrong approach for an ArbCom member to take, in my opinion. I am also concerned about your recusal statement. I'm sure you've seen plenty of ArbCom cases, even when you haven't been a participant. Your statement that you would recuse if asked by a "significant portion of the community" does not appear to me to be a reasonable standard. I don't recall any occasion in which a significant portion of the community has spoken on such a matter. Despite my misgivings, other participants in the election are giving you their support. No candidate is getting 100% support (or 100% rejection), so perhaps some voters are wrong in every instance. However, even a "wrong" person on the ArbCom won't necesarily cause their decisions to go wrong. Should you be appointed to the committee I encourage you to avoid both the actuality and the appearance of conflicts of interest. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 07:15, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

No problem. Thanks for taking the time to drop me a line. Regarding the case, the only such comment was my review of a large list of diffs provided to demonstrate a violation of the COI policy. After reviewing a large number of them, they did not seem to support the attached claims. I clearly and explicitly noted the couple of problematic diffs that I came across. I also clearly and explicitly noted that I did not undertake a complete and full review, but rather stopped after checking dozens and noting the general trend. Please also note that I took the time to review the context of every diff that I did review, as indicated by my noting of an edit war exchange surrounding one of them. (Please check your mail for a brief note.) Regarding my recusal statment, I think there have been situations where it is clear that a substantial portion of the community (or at least a portion of the portion noting such matters) was concerned about an arbitrator's potential bias. Regardless, it is but one factor among others, not a requirement for any recusal. I've made clear both on that page and in my reponse at AGK's talk page that a number of factors could lead me to recuse. Thank you again for leaving a message. I truly appreciate you taking the time to politely communicate your concerns to me. If I am appointed to ArbCom, I hope that you would continue to do so. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 08:30, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Your candidacy[edit]

I ask that you review your answers to my questions (to ensure that all of them have been addressed). 24 hours from now, I will be reviewing each candidate and preparing final votes. This is a courtesy note to make you aware that I will not look at any further answers or modifications once this time has lapsed. I apologise for an inconvenience caused, and hope that you've been adequately notified. Thank you for your time, Ncmvocalist (talk) 19:06, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Just thanks![edit]

Thanks! Slrubenstein | Talk 00:15, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

User:Mccready violating topic ban[edit]

FYI, at AN/I.(section); (diff). You and Scientizzle (CC'd) were the blocking admins. Thank you for your efforts back then, and for any you may see fit to undertake now. best regards, Jim Butler (t) 16:55, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

OK, thanks! FWIW, I did explain my edit at Talk:Acupuncture#My_reasoning.2C_FWIW and explained why I don't think a couple of decent edits should be enough to undo the ban. regards, Jim Butler (t) 08:41, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Re. ArbCom vote[edit]

Hello Vassyana. Thank you for contacting me. After reading your further explanation on your notion of devolution, I may say it did reassure me that this issue does not represent a concern to the point of justifying opposition. I withdrew my oppose, although I am not swayed to the point of supporting. Still, I wish you good luck. Best regards, Húsönd 19:28, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


Off the top of my head, I like what you have done, a lot. Offhand, I have some suggestions about enforcement. I suggest a three-stage process: first, editors working on a particular article go through basic mediation process e.g. RfC and mediation. If the DE rejects this or continues being a DE, then (second stage) people can put a request in at AN/I that the person is a DE, and ask uninvolved editor to monitor the suspect. If they see a pattern of DE at many articles, they can block immediately; if the DE is at one article they issue a warning. Three such warnings and the next sign of DE = a block (the block has to include links to the three warnings). Third stage: thre blocks and the next incident = ban.

May I let others know about your sandbox (or have you/will you post a link on the guideline talk page)? Slrubenstein | Talk 15:30, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

I asked all the leading candidates for ArbCom what they thought of DE. A couple thought it was fine as a guideline. Of those who thought that it had the potential to become a policy, several felt that one thing that needs to be clarified first is enforcement. That is what motivated my suggestion. One candidate suggested that three warnings for tendentious editing could be grounds for an automatic block, or something along those lines. I agree with you that policies should not have rigid enforcement rules so I know my suggestion above is a bit over the top, but the actual guideline page really is something of a mess as far as enforcement goes. Slrubenstein | Talk 21:13, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Personal thanks[edit]

Hi Vassyana. Congratulations on your ArbCom candidacy. I don't know if you were following it, but that was a hectic final evening of voting in the ArbCom elections! I wanted to thank you for this vote. I'm going to post a general note on my talk page thanking those who voted on my candidacy, but I wanted to thank you personally, as you were a fellow candidate. Best wishes. Carcharoth (talk) 00:22, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the kind message. It was a hectic end! I picked a small number of people I thought would add a variety of perspectives to the Committee and generally act in the best interests of the project. Thanks again for the note. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 22:43, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Request for Guidance[edit]

Hello Vassyana. I am ReluctantPhilosopher (talk · contribs), wikipedian for about a year and a half. I joined with the intention of contributing to articles relating to philosophy, religion and technology. I made some useful additions but don't have much more to add right now. So I thought I could use my time to contribute at the mediation cabal. Since I am new at this, I would like to be taken under your wing. I hope you can occasionally guide me in the cases in the cases I take up and help me do my bit. Thanks a lot :) ReluctantPhilosopher (talk) 13:23, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Feel free to leave a message here or drop me an email if you have any questions or need any advice. I can also occasionally be found on IRC as Vassyana. Xavexgoem, Seddon and PhilKnight are also all experienced mediators (and currently the MedCab coordinators) if I happen to be unavailable. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 22:43, 15 December 2008 (UTC)


At least in philosophy, my sense is that while basic/introductory sources exist, they're viewed as far from preferable. The intro classes I've ever had in philosophy still put a vast preference on primary source material over summary textbooks. Phil Sandifer (talk) 03:03, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Certainly English - literary interpretation simply does not have a usable secondary source pool for basic observations like "The narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper" is an unreliable narrator. The non-English literary departments are similar, as are film and media studies. Art History is a bit of a hybrid - inasmuch as it is a historical discipline, there are broad overviews of the history, but inasmuch as it is a literary studies type discipline for visual arts, there is not. Religious studies I don't know as well, but my sense has been that the overview works are, like art history, the ones that deal with the discipline from a more social sciences perspective (i.e. basically sociologies - documentations of religious practices, etc).
When it comes to the use of theoretical/philosophical works in English, we tend to take an approach similar to philosophy in teaching how to read them. But there's not the same availability of a master reference guide. I mean, "critical theory for dummies" and the like exist, as do a few decent press dictionaries/encyclopedias of literary criticism, but we don't generally use them, and when we do, they're treated... much like Wikipedia - something to quickly check a basic fact in, or to get a big picture from, but something utterly unsuitable for citation or serious use. Not in the "lies to children" sense, but in the "look, if you really want to do anything here, get over to the primary source" sense. The field has a very, very strong ethic of primary sources - one that makes relying primarily on secondary and tertiary sources a fundamental violence to the field.
I would also suggest that there is less debate over what Derrida says than you suggest - or at least that the schism maps fairly well to supporters and opponents of Derrida. Which is a strange position to be in, but probably not that difficult of one in a practical sense. In any case, as I noted on the mailing list, I have little doubt that you could find the PhD student in my program with whom I agree the least on matters of critical theory, give us each a piece of Derrida we'd never read before, and ask us to summarize it. If we worked independently, our summaries would probably come out 80-90% the same. If we worked together, we would have no problem coming to a consensus on what Derrida himself says. Working from secondary sources in Derrida we also run into the problem that on the one hand some of the greatest commentators on Derrida - Gayatri Spivak, Gregory Ulmer, or Helene Cixious - are no easier (or less controversial) than Derrida. And the problem that some of the critics of Derrida - Searle is the most pernicious here - misreads Derrida in a transparently bad way, repeatedly claiming that Derrida says things in essays that it is trivial to verify he never said. Now, for the purposes of NPOV, obviously Searle's objections to Derrida need to be dealt with and explained. But an article that used Searle to source a summary of Derrida would be a disaster. And even if we tried to balance Searle in the summary with Spivak or something... Jesus, I don't know how you'd even begin trying to summarize Derrida's thought combining the two of them.
All of which seems to me to point toward the need to work the issue of NOR out on the ground, on the talk page of the Derrida article, among those who know about the field and the specific issues here. Among those who know enough to say "Look, Searle is obviously an important critic of Derrida, and we've got to talk about him, but we cannot use him for a summary of Derrida." Among those who are in the population who can come to 80+% agreement on a summary of Derrida, and can work out amongst themselves the 20%. To try to rule on Derrida and similar arguments from the top, while working on 2.6 million other articles at the same exact time, is folly. And right now, NOR on primary sources does that. I agree, primary sources are hard, and require lots of care, and NPOV requires going beyond them, and our policy on primary sources should be big blinking warning letters to the effect of "BE CAREFUL AND PLEASE DO NOT USE THESE IF THERE IS A BETTER WAY AVAILABLE." But the current language of the PSTS section, with its descriptive but not interpretive claims, and its easy verification by non-specialists is worse than useless. It is impossible to follow and come to consistently useful conclusions. We need a policy here that is more open to adaptation for specific applications. The issue of interpretation of primary sources cannot be usefully resolved for 2.6 million articles in three sentences. Phil Sandifer (talk) 14:47, 18 December 2008 (UTC)


Glad you made it to ArbCom! Keep that meditative equipoise, you're gonna need it!  ;-) best wishes, Jim Butler (t) 10:42, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, I'm not an arb yet, but thank you nonetheless. I'll try to keep my head about me! :) Vassyana (talk) 01:40, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

SaltyBoatr, edit warring[edit]

Since you have dealt with SaltyBoatr in the past, and since I quoted you, I just wanted to bring to your attention this report. --tc2011 (talk) 19:37, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Noah's Ark[edit]

Hi. I'm not sure if you've been following the discussion there, but once again we're going around in circles. Any input would be appreciated. Cheers, Ben (talk) 20:09, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I have been following the discussion. I was allowing time for the discussion to run its course and allow time for all interested parties to comment. You will note that I've added two new sections with new sets of questions in an attempt to refocus the conversation and move forward. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to use my talk page or email to touch base with me. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 01:38, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Vassyana. I've never participated in a medcab case before, so I don't know if or when these are supposed to end, or whether we're supposed to just keep arguing back and forth. I'd like some closure one way or the other rather than sift through ad hominem arguments and threats of further action, if that is possible. If we're supposed to just keep arguing, then feel free to ignore this message. Cheers, Ben (talk) 15:15, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
At the current stage of things, I'm just asking questions and letting discussion follow its natural course. Unfortunately, in some cases this includes a fair bit of bickering. As time goes on, I will be more proactive in steering the discussion, warning out-of-bounds editors and reporting problematic behavior in the appropriate forum as needed. Think of the current discussion as allowing every fair opportunity for everyone involved to air their views in response to specific questions about the dispute and participate in constructive dialogue. Similarly, the responses and interactions will permit me a better understanding of the dispute and parties involved. If you feel at any point that anything in particular is getting out of hand, please do not hesitate to let me know immediately and I will do my best to resolve the situation. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 18:14, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Battle of Britain[edit]

I am sorry for not responding until now. I honestly thought I had, until I checked the page. Very poor form, appologies. Things have settled, and I think the discussion did help. Particularly you requesting quotes rather than stats, which can vary in WW II articles. Thanks for efforts, and sorry for the inaction. Dapi89 (talk) 22:33, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

No problem! I'm glad I could be of assistance. If further help is needed going forward, please do not hesitate to leave me a message. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 01:39, 20 December 2008 (UTC)


Congrats. Based upon my earlier interactions with you, I fully trust arbcomm will be enhanced by your participation. ... Kenosis (talk) 00:43, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Congrats and Best Wishes.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 01:48, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Wheeee!!!!! (well, for a while) ... ;-) Xavexgoem (talk) 02:02, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Congrats on the new responsibilities. You didn't get my vote ... only because I was on a wikibreak at that time :)
I trust that the experience will be pleasant and fruitful for you and for wikipedia. All the best. Abecedare (talk) 02:38, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Congrats also. PhilKnight (talk) 13:38, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

And from me! Hearty ones. Rumiton (talk) 14:53, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Congrats! Please let me know whether you received the mail with my personal details. You are welcome to share this information with other active arbcom members, if it's relevant to the present arbcom case. Be well, and have a great Christmas! Jayen466 14:58, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

I did receive your personal information. Your permission has been noted. Happy Holidays! Vassyana (talk) 18:16, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Thank you all for the kind wishes! Vassyana (talk) 18:16, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Happy First Day Of Winter![edit]

Congrats on your appointment to the Arbcom and Best of Luck :)! --Mifter (talk) 17:26, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Winter time! :) Love live the Holly Queen! *chuckle* Thank you and happy holidays to you and yours. Be well! Vassyana (talk) 15:11, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

My problem with Taiwanboi[edit]

Hi. As you've probably gathered, I have an ongoing problem with Taiwanboi. To me, his behaviour seems bullying and far from civil. No doubt he doesn't like me either. Anyway, I think things aren't going to improve if left like this. There has to be outside involvement. Can you suggest where I/we should go now? PiCo (talk) 03:34, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Before anything else, I would strongly advise you to avoid being drawn into edit wars or wars of words. They only serve to aggravate the situation and qualify you for blocks or other sanctions. That said, try to respectfully ask him to tone it down and above all focus on the content. Better yet, just stayed focused on the content and ignore any goading. There are lots of options in seeking help with keeping things focused on the content and productive article discussion. Contructive content discussion is always the ideal path. If things get out of hand, you can report specific occurances of incivility to wikiquette alerts and if that aspect continues then you can report the ongoing pattern to the incidents noticeboard. If there's talk page disruption, asking an administrator or another trusted editor to talk with him is a good first step. If that fails, you can report the ongoing disruptive pattern to the incidents noticeboard. I think you get the general pattern here. :) Try first to focus purely on content, getting help as needed to settle disagreements. Report disruption and seek administrative assistance, if needed. Escalate it to "ANI" only if there's a clear pattern of ongoing disruption where lessor attempts to intervene failed. If there's a broad pattern of problematic behavior that needs to be addressed, putting the issue up for community discussion may be a good option. Always keep in mind that article talk pages are primarily for discussing the article content. Refrain as muchy as possible from complaining about the conduct of other users there. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know. Vassyana (talk) 15:08, 22 December 2008 (UTC)


An editor that you have been involved with in the past has been taken to WP:RFAR#user:ScienceApologist. You are welcome to express your comments at the specific RFAR case. Thank you, seicer | talk | contribs 21:06, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Happy holidays[edit]

Wishing you the very best for the season. Guettarda (talk) 06:00, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Merry Christmas from Promethean[edit]

O'Hai there Vassyana, Merry Christmas!

I wish you and your family all the best this Christmas and that you also have a Happy and safe new year.
Thankyou for all your contributions to Wikipedia this year and I look forward to seeing many more from you in the future.
Your work around Wikipedia has not gone un-noticed, this notice is testimony to that
Please feel free to drop by my talkpage any time to say Hi, as I will probably say Hi back :)

All the Best.   «l| Ψrometheăn ™|l»  (talk)

Happy Vassyana/Archive012's Day![edit]

Featured article star.svg

User:Vassyana/Archive012 has been identified as an Awesome Wikipedian,
and therefore, I've officially declared today as Vassyana/Archive012's day!
For being such a beautiful person and great Wikipedian,
enjoy being the Star of the day, dear Vassyana/Archive012!


A record of your Day will always be kept here.

For a userbox you can add to your userbox page, see User:Rlevse/Today/Happy Me Day! and my own userpage for a sample of how to use it. RlevseTalk 00:05, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Acid dissociation constant[edit]

If you could weigh in on Petergans recent behavior with the article that would be great. If you look at the history and the talk page, you should be able to get a good idea of what has gone on.--Jorfer (talk) 18:36, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Looking at the article and talk page, I see very little recent activity from Petergans except one set of edits today. He has not edited the article otherwise since December 11 and has not edited the talk page since December 15. I do know that he has been a long-running contributor to the article on a regular basis. If there is just a content dispute, trying civilly talking it out with him on the article talk page. If you cannot reach an agreement or this is a long-running dispute, then please seek a bit of assistance. In my experience, he is very familiar with the subject matter and has the best interests of the encyclopedia at heart, so despite anything else be sure to presume the best of his working knowledge and good intentions. Vassyana (talk) 18:53, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Happy New Year[edit]

Ring out the old,
and Ring in the new.
Happy New Year!

From FloNight

A small thing for improving readability[edit]

I think that there is/was an unspoken rule that if an arbitrator changes his/her opinions they would indent their new opinions after their first one; it is much easier to view how many arbitrators have casted opinions that way. Just something that is minor but helps me (with my heavy glasses XD) - Penwhale | Blast him / Follow his steps 14:14, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for cluing me in! :) If something that simple makes things easier for others to follow

, I will bear it in mind going forward. Vassyana (talk) 14:47, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

RFC at WP:NOR-notice[edit]

A concern was raised that the clause, "a primary source may be used only to make descriptive claims, the accuracy of which is verifiable by any reasonable, educated person without specialist knowledge" conflicts with WP:NPOV by placing a higher duty of care with primary sourced claims than secondary or tertiary sourced claims. An RFC has been initiated to stimulate wider input on the issue. Professor marginalia (talk) 18:40, 4 January 2009 (UTC)