Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/BCE-CE Debate/Alternatives

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Alternative options[edit]

Feel free to add your solution proposals. Use the "Third System" as an example, add your option, and attach your signature (~~~~).

A Third System[edit]

Design and implement a server-side (Wikicentric) dating system that can be displayed client-side as various dating formats via user preferences. Adraeus 18:46, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Use Wikipedia_talk:Neutral_point_of_view/BCE-CE_Debate/Alternatives for discussion.

  • Support. Adraeus 18:46, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Radiant_* 08:22, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. ClemMcGann
  • Neutral. Guettarda 18:28, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Dragons flight 23:35, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Silversmith 00:41, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Angela. 15:21, May 20, 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Chameleon 21:50, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Gene Nygaard 03:30, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Zocky 08:09, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Cumbersome to use hence would be largely ignored and thus fail to achieve anything. PeteVerdon 18:20, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Support It could work like the signature. You put in the date and then it gets changed to wikitime or stardate in the wikitext when you save. Viewing your page it would display according to your settings.
  • Support. Belatedly! Theo (Talk) 22:16, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Smk65536 (talk) 13:33, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support.--2601:1:8D83:F1A0:E50B:FED4:88C5:EA61 (talk) 08:05, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Internet time using the Unix epoch[edit]

Use Wikipedia_talk:Neutral_point_of_view/BCE-CE_Debate/Alternatives for discussion.

  • Support. I move that we use a bot to change all pages to conform with Internet time, starting from the Unix epoch. See also Category:Calendars. Radiant_* 13:20, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
    • excellent idea! the world will follow suit. In a couple of years' time we'll have AW anyway, it's convenient, 2005 AD is 5 AW. dab () 08:06, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Negative numbers[edit]

Use Wikipedia_talk:Neutral_point_of_view/BCE-CE_Debate/Alternatives for discussion.

The book Human Accomplishement by Charles Murray uses positive and negative numbers throughout. It works like a charm. 2005 is just 2005, and 40 BC/BCE is -40. It's shorter, very easy to understand, and more neutral. Arbor 08:53, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

How is this an advantage over CE/BCE? The objection that it retains the Christian POV of dating things based on the birth of Jesus is not lost, the objection of it being "anti-Christian" because it takes Jesus out of the name is not lost, and it has the disadvantage of replacing a widely used system with a more obscure system. It has a certain appeal, but in the constraints of Wikipedia style, and the need to have a common, usable system, it doesn't add anything to BCE/CE and it has the major disadvantage of not being widely used. Guettarda 19:06, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
One huge problem. In existing practice (including astronomy and ISO 8601) the year -40 is 41 BC, not 40 BC. Long live the zero!
  • Note also that you aren't alone in having difficulty with this. The software implementing preferences in the style of the ISO 8601 data-interchange format on Wikipedia has a major bug in it;it doesn't kept the same number as you did, but rather goes in the opposite and incorrect direction from what it should be. With preferences set to "2001-01-15", a date entered as [[-0043-03-15]] and properly wikified in that manner gets displayed as -0043-03-15 (15 March 42 BC with preferences set to "15 January 2001", rather than the correct 15 March 44 BC).Gene Nygaard 14:10, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
Update. That software problem has now been fixed, and -0043 properly displays as 44 BC. Gene Nygaard 09:36, May 30, 2005 (UTC)
Guettarda, as I said, the advantages are brevity, readability, and neutrality. The first one is clear. The second one was clear to me only after reading a whole book that used the system. (I completely agree that the proposal is weird, and I shook my head in disbelief as well. I am confident it stands no chance of being widely adopted. But since we are soliciting alternatives, and you asked what the advantages were...) Your brain and mine is used to thinking in negative numbers, and the fact that -60 comes before -40 (which comes before 20) is easy to scan. AD/BC/BCE/CE is actually more difficult to read. Quick: what comes first: 20 CE or 20 BC? This is true especially if English isn't your first language. (As you might know, 40 BC is used for for -40 in English, while other languages use other abbreviations.) The third reason is neutrality. We obviously don't lose the POV that dates should be based on the birth of Jesus, but we do lose the implied claim that He is Lord, and we do use the implied claim that this dating system is Common. So all things being equal, a negative sign is more neutral. Arbor 08:47, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

While the idea of negative numbers is attractive, there are a few potential problems. In its favor, it is not as POV as the BCE/BE system as invented by the Jehovah’s witnesses. There are two potential problems. One is the use of the tilde to mean circa, so ~100 means circa 100; an approximation. This may not be widely used, but it is used, and there could be confusion. The second potential problem (which has already been mentioned) is that the year AD 1 immediately followed the year 1 BC. One would expect the year 1 to immediately follow the year 0, which immediately followed the year -1. You mention the advantage that this system would loose the implied claim that Jesus is Lord. Is that claim really present? Perhaps it was a millennium or more ago. But is it real today? This is reminiscent of the French revolution renaming the months of the year to “stamp out superstition”. I am not persuaded that there is a problem, in the first instance. --ClemMcGann 09:36, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

New Year One[edit]

Use Wikipedia_talk:Neutral_point_of_view/BCE-CE_Debate/Alternatives for discussion.

We recalibrate dating so that the year in which wikipedia was created is Year One. Thus we would now be in the year four WE (Wikipedia Era) and the end of World War II would have occured in 48 BW (Before Wikipedia). AndyL 22:09, 20 May 04 (UTC)

I like this. Infeasible, impractical, but this kind of revolutionary thought should be the spirit of Wikipedia. Really cool. Subramanian talk 07:46, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
Better yet: In order to be a little humbler and not so self-referential, lets us choose a non-disastrous natural event of global impact. I strongly suggest SN_1006!  :-)
Oppose this was tried by the Khmer Rouge - actually they had a 'year zero' --ClemMcGann 10:27, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
I think this is impractical. I also think it would be arrogant to have Wikipedia as year zero. But to have SN_1006 as year zero would be this first non-polical, non-religious count in the history of humankind.
WE/BW is certainly less Anglocentric than BCE/CE. Nobs 18:55, 21 Pluviôse 2005 (UTC)

BC/AD as default, with case-by-case exceptions[edit]

Use Wikipedia_talk:Neutral_point_of_view/BCE-CE_Debate/Alternatives for discussion.

Use BC/AD in most articles, because it is least intrusive to the average reader; but in certain cases where it's appropriate - particularly longer articles focussed on non-Christian cultures - editors are free to choose alternative systems, suitably linked or explained. (This is effectively a formalisation of the status quo.)

  • Rd232 17:21, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
How about treating it like the current policy on US/UK English? Authors write whichever they prefer, with edits intended just to change one to the other strongly frowned upon. Exceptions for articles connected with religious or other issues where the choice is relevent, just as US/UK-centric articles are supposed to stick to the appropriate language. This is (I suggest) a fairer formalisation of the status quo, and has the benefit of an analogous existing system for guidance. PeteVerdon 18:18, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Wouldn’t it be easier if we simply used BC ("Before Christ") and AC ("After Christ")?