Wikipedia:No original research/Noticeboard/Archive 12

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Have I sinned?

I have come this time not to ask about others, but about myself. My attempt here was to NPOV an article (erusin), in keeping with the beginning of the Project: Judaism style guide. I am not asking (here) about the other editor's edits, nor about my use of primary sources (if that is what they are), which is pretty inescapable when you are trying to present the traditional viewpoint for balance. I believe I used them properly.

What I would like to know is if I have commited the sin of Synthesis. I am new at this, and it is difficult for me to determine how to NPOV properly. The section is the beginning of the article. My part, which I am asking about, is the second paragraph.

(In the Bible)

In the view of biblical criticism, a woman in biblical times was legally regarded simply as property[5][6] (valuable property that needed to be looked after[5][6]), and the betrothal was effected simply by purchasing her from her father (or guardian)[5][6]. The price paid for the woman (who became me'orasa by the act) is known by the Hebrew term mohar[7][8][9][10][11], although there is very little Biblical indication of the actual value which this usually had.

The traditional commentators do not necessarily explain mohar this way. Rashi understands mohar as a form of Ketubah, an agreement to pay a certain amount upon divorce[12], and Nachmanides understands it as savlanut, a sort of dowry or engagement present.[13] Rashi understands Rachel and Leah's complaint to Jacob ("we are considered strangers to him for he has sold us"[14]) as saying that is was not normal for a father to sell his daughter, at least not without also giving them a dowry.[15]

The girl’s consent is not explicitly required by any explicit statement in the Bible[6]; neither however, is there explicit permission to ignore it. It appears to have been customary in early biblical times for the bride to be given part of the mohar[5]; gradually it lost its original meaning of purchase money, and the custom arose of giving the mohar entirely to the bride, rather than to her father[6]

I will provide the original of the third note on request, as it is the trickiest. The first clause in the first para is also mine, but a review of the article on the Jewish Encyclopedia (not mine) and its sources backs it up.Mzk1 (talk) 20:56, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Is it permissible synthesis to summarise disagreements among sources?

Over at East Anglia there is again a debate on how this region of England is defined (it is not a formal subdivision of the country for government purposes). There are multiple definitions from authoritative sources, e.g. (and there are many more than these):

SOED: Norfolk and Suffolk

Britannica: Norfolk and Suffolk; "loosely" Cambridgeshire and Essex

Encarta: Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, and Essex

Centre for East Anglian Studies: Norfolk, Suffolk, parts of Cambridgeshire, parts of Essex, parts of Lincolnshire

My proposal is to write:

The current boundary is subject to differing interpretations; it is invariably held to include the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk in their entirety, and the term may also be used to include parts or all of Cambridgeshire and Essex, and parts of southern Lincolnshire

(The "southern" bit is implicit in the full quote from CEAS.)

Is this an acceptable synthesis since it is not advancing any particular implication as to whether the disputed areas should or should not be included? Or do we need to spell out "A says B, X says Y" etc.? Barnabypage (talk) 14:59, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Maybe there's a problem of incompleteness here. You've mentioned 4 sources above. How do you know there aren't others saying all sorts of things? It's "obviously" true that "it is invariably held to include the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk in their entirety", but as I understand WP policy you need a reliable source that actually says that.
Anecdotally, as someone living there, I can tell you that I've come across occasional use of the term as including the whole of Lincolnshire, Huntingdonshire (I've lost track of whether that's currently part of Cambridgeshire), Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire & Buckinghamshire. As to whether any reliable sources say so, I've no idea, & it sounds as if you heven't either.
Not very helpful, I'm afraid. Peter jackson (talk) 15:53, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't see this as an improper synthesis... it is mearly a summary of what sources say. You are not creating or implying any conclusions. I would agree that you should expand the number of sources consulted. Blueboar (talk) 16:07, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Paraphrasing is OK, the problem with summarizing is that you can't add any information not explicitly stated in the sources. For instance you probably can't say "it is invariably held to..." unless you're quoting one of the sources because "invariably" implys that there is no controversy, and if you're using a direct quote then why do you need to summarize? Voiceofreason01 (talk) 16:41, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

From Talk:Stan Frazier#Wrestlemania 2

This is an article about a professional wrestler. A user wants to add the statement "The highpoint of his career came when he wrestled Adrian Adonis at WrestleMania 2." I believe that declaring one match of his career to be the most important is original research. I agree that it was the only pay-per-views match that he wrestled, and I have suggested the alternative wording "His only pay-per-view appearance came at WrestleMania 2, where he..." in order to let the facts speak for themselves. Any opinions would be appreciated. GaryColemanFan (talk) 23:01, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

I will weigh in with my opinion as I am the one who made the edit. As I have said on the talk page, a statement is not subjective, opinion, or POV if it can clearly be supported with facts. Mr. Frazier spent the majority of his career in mid and lower tiered wrestling organizations. Wrestlemania 2 saw Mr. Frazier , wrestling for the largest wrestling organisation in the world, at its biggest event to date. It was the only PPV appearance of his career. Therefore, I feel that the fact that Wrestlemania 2 was the highpoint of his career speaks for itself.Mk5384 (talk) 01:41, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Whatever the result of this discussion, I wish to commend user:GaryColemanFan for his or her civility and professionalism. If only all disputes on Wikipedia could be handled this way!Mk5384 (talk) 01:42, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Find a different word for "highpoint". Highpoint is an opinion, and if you're lining up arguments as if they demonstrate the conclusion that no one else has published (ie unsourced), then it is original research. Find a term that doesn't imply a conclusion or judgment about his career and move on. Professor marginalia (talk) 16:58, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Monarchy in Canada


There is currently a dispute if the following sentence contains original research and/or improper synthesis of sources :

  • The Canadian monarchy has its roots in the French and British crowns, from which it has evolved over numerous centuries to become a distinctly Canadian institution[15] – one of the few crowns that have survived through uninterrupted inheritance

Based on a first source that says :

  • The Crown in Canada was first established by the kings of France in the sixteenth century [1] (The Canadian governement POV that there is a concept called "The Crown in Canada" that exists since the 16th century, back when Canada wasn't a country)

A 2nd source that says :

  • Its roots lie in the establishment of New France[2] (which I understand differently from "the French crown")

And finally, a 3rd source that say :

  • the Canadian Crown is one of perhaps only a half-dozen still in existence that have survived in an uninterrupted inheritance from beginnings that are older than our Canadian institution itself [3]. (he refers to Canada's foundation in 1867, as explained in the 2nd source)

But no source say that the so-called "Canadian monarchy" was established by the French (which implies before 1763) and survived until today through uninterrupted inheritance. The author also consider the change of monarch from Louis XV of France to George III of the United Kingdom as a result of the French and Indian war as an "uninterrupted inheritance", which explains why he doesn't see a contradiction. --zorxd (talk) 22:06, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Is that supposed to be your neutral appeal for assistance? --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 22:09, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't think this is OR... I do think it is very badly worded. Blueboar (talk) 23:14, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
The specific things that I see as OR are the following conclusions :
  • That the Canadian monarchy has roots in the French crown (the source only say that its roots are in the establishment of New France)
  • That the Canadian crown survived through uninterrupted inheritance since the French colonial period (the source only say that the inheritance was uninterrupted since the confederation (in 1867)).
  • Also, the use of the wordings "Canadian monarchy" or "Canadian crown" to refer to any pre-1867 monarchy. Not OR, but still a POV not universally agreed. Example : [4] and [5] view the Canada as becoming a kingdom of its own right in 1867. --zorxd (talk) 00:45, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
  • The Canadian monarchy has its roots in the French Crown:
-- Initially established under the... kings of France during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Canada's monarchical institutions..."1 p.12
-- "[The monarchy's] roots lie in the establishment of New France... by King Francis I in 1534..."2
  • The Crown survived through uninterrupted inheritance:
-- "The office of Governor General is the oldest continuous institution in Canada and is an unbroken link with the early days of our country's recorded history."3
-- "Throughout Canada's evolution into statehood, there has been no more... enduring institution than the Crown."1 p.12
-- "[T]he Canadian Crown is one of perhaps only a half-dozen still in existence that have survived in an uninterrupted inheritance from beginnings that are older than our Canadian institution itself."4 p.8
  • The Canadian monarchy has its roots in the French Crown and the Crown survived through uninterrupted inheritance:
-- "Canada has always had a monarch, since the time of King Henry VII of England and King Francis I of France."1 p.7
-- "The Crown in Canada was first established by the kings of France in the sixteenth century... The colonies that united and formed the Dominion of Canada in 1867 had already enjoyed a long and uninterrupted association with the Crown."1 p.16-17 [Note: no distinction between "British Crown" or "French Crown", merely "the Crown".]
-- "Under the Crown, Canada developed first as a colony of two empires, originally the French and subsequently the British, then as an independent dominion, and now as an entirely sovereign nation."5
-- "Since 1534, when the King of France claimed possession of what is now Canada, the history of our country has been marked by the reigns of an uninterrupted succession of monarchs, both French and British."5
-- "The Office of The Queen (or King) is the oldest continuous and unbroken institution in Canada, extending not only through time to Confederation but back through the centuries... In 1534 Jacques Cartier made a... claim on behalf of France's King Francois I of the Royal House of Valois. In recognition of these beginnings, the heads of King Henry VII and King Francois I are carved over the doors to the House of Commons in Ottawa."6
-- "Canada has been a monarchy for centuries - first under the kings of France in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, then under the British Crown in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and now as a kingdom in her own right."7
-- "Without interruption since the beginning of European settlement in Canada, a governor or governor general has been at the head of the country as the resident representative of the Crown.8
-- "Canada has been a monarchy since 1534, beginning with the French monarchs who reigned over New France, continuously down to the present day."9
This is merely a list of quotations from the sources, without any personal interpretation that might instill a POV. They seem to quite clearly conclude that the present incarnation of the Crown in Canada is indeed the end of an uninterrupted line stretching back to the French Crown's first claims in what is now Canada.
  • Neither the term "Canadian monarchy" nor "Canadian crown" is used to refer to pre-Confederation iterations of the Crown in Canada. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 06:07, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
  • The Canadian monarchy has its roots in the French Crown:
-- Initially established under the... kings of France during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Canada's monarchical institutions..."1 p.12
"Canada's monarchical institutions" is different from "The Canadian monarchy" (the later includes many of the former). We are talking about pre-1867 here, by the way. This statement refers mainly to the office of the governor general of New France, not the monarchy as a whole. --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
-- "[The monarchy's] roots lie in the establishment of New France... by King Francis I in 1534..."2
Exactly : "the establishment of New France". Not "the French crown". --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
  • The Crown survived through uninterrupted inheritance:
-- "The office of Governor General is the oldest continuous institution in Canada and is an unbroken link with the early days of our country's recorded history."3
Invalid, as "the early days of our country's recorded history" might refer to 1867. The governor is a continuous institution, fine. That says nothing about the survival of the Crown itself, or the inheritance (was it interrupted or not?) --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
-- "Throughout Canada's evolution into statehood, there has been no more... enduring institution than the Crown."1 p.12
An other invalid one. That it was "the most enduring institution" doesn't mean that it survived through uninterrupted inheritance, and especially not since New France. --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
-- "[T]he Canadian Crown is one of perhaps only a half-dozen still in existence that have survived in an uninterrupted inheritance from beginnings that are older than our Canadian institution itself."4 p.8
This is the main source, but again, it refers to beginnings that are older than 1867, not 1760. You can't do a synthesis from this source and an other one that says that the Canadian Crown was created in 1534 to make your point. --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
  • The Canadian monarchy has its roots in the French Crown and the Crown survived through uninterrupted inheritance:
-- "Canada has always had a monarch, since the time of King Henry VII of England and King Francis I of France."1 p.7
Yes, a monarch always ruled over Canada since the Europeans use that term. That doesn't mean that the inheritance was never interrupted. It also doesn't mean that the current Canadian monarchy has its roots in the French Crown. The British could have completely replaced the institution by theirs. --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
-- "The Crown in Canada was first established by the kings of France in the sixteenth century... The colonies that united and formed the Dominion of Canada in 1867 had already enjoyed a long and uninterrupted association with the Crown."1 p.16-17 [Note: no distinction between "British Crown" or "French Crown", merely "the Crown".]
"a long and uninterrupted association with the Crown" can refer to 1763 to 1867. Nothing here proves that it refers to the French colonial period, not even that it was first established in the sixteenth century. The "colonies that united" were all British colonies, by the way. --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
-- "Under the Crown, Canada developed first as a colony of two empires, originally the French and subsequently the British, then as an independent dominion, and now as an entirely sovereign nation."5
Nothing interesting about the point. Nothing about that the Crown survived. Nothing about an uninterrupted inheritance. Nothing about that the Canadian monarchy has roots in the French one. --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
-- "Since 1534, when the King of France claimed possession of what is now Canada, the history of our country has been marked by the reigns of an uninterrupted succession of monarchs, both French and British."5
An "uninterrupted succession of monarchs" is very different from an "uninterrupted inheritance". It doesn't say that the crown "survived". It could have been replaced by a completly different one between two successive monarchs. --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
-- "The Office of The Queen (or King) is the oldest continuous and unbroken institution in Canada, extending not only through time to Confederation but back through the centuries... In 1534 Jacques Cartier made a... claim on behalf of France's King Francois I of the Royal House of Valois. In recognition of these beginnings, the heads of King Henry VII and King Francois I are carved over the doors to the House of Commons in Ottawa."6
Yeah, you skip parts of the source to make your point. Not everybody who read the source will make the same conclusion. That source says that the first monarch is Henry VII of England. So there was no uninterrupted inheritance since they say there was an English as well as a French monarch at the same time. Back trough the centuries can refer to 1763. --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
-- "Canada has been a monarchy for centuries - first under the kings of France in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, then under the British Crown in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and now as a kingdom in her own right."7
Nothing interesting here. Nothing about the uninterrupted inheritance. Nothing about that the crown survived. --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
-- " Without interruption since the beginning of European settlement in Canada, a governor or governor general has been at the head of the country as the resident representative of the Crown.8
Yep, a representative of the Crown, but the Crown could have changed with a break in the inheritance. That there has always been a governor doesn't mean that the crown survived either. --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
This is merely a list of quotations from the sources, without any personal interpretation that might instill a POV. They seem to quite clearly conclude that the present incarnation of the Crown in Canada is indeed the end of an uninterrupted line stretching back to the French Crown's first claims in what is now Canada.
I disagree. Your interpretation is needed to conclude that these sources prove the conclusions, as nothing is confirmed directly and explicitly. --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Neither the term "Canadian monarchy" nor "Canadian crown" is used to refer to pre-Confederation iterations of the Crown in Canada.
Well, it is, in a few of your examples. The Crown in Canada is yet to be defined. And because such a concept exists doesn't mean that it "survived". The Crown in Canada is a concept that was applied to at least 3 different crowns in history : French, British, and Canadian Crown. Such concept doesn't "survive" or "die", anyway. Also, I don't think that the French used the concept, so talking about the "Crown in Canada" in 1534 is anachronistic at best, a revisionist POV at worst. Remember that the current sentence talk about the "Canaian monarchy" and not the "Crown in Canada". --zorxd (talk) 15:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

outdent You came here to complain about a sentence being OR; in other words, it communicates a message found not commonly throughout the supporting sources but in a unique synthesis of disparate information from different sources. Yet, to prove you've uncovered OR, you resort to some bizarre interpretations of the sources, focus on irrelevant details, clog up discussion with focus on numerous irrelevant details, try to prove the sources wrong, present your own POV as fact, dismiss or pervert the definitions of words, & etc. You've even, in effect, started the week long debate at Talk:Monarchy of Canada all over again, wiping away the proposed rewordings that took into account much that you complained about but you were still never satisfied with for the most irritatingly inane reasons. One wonders if you're merely here to argue never endingly. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 16:12, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Great Filter

Hi to any interested party,

Could anyone take a look at Great Filter, particularly Talk:Great Filter#Removing original research? Robin Hanson, the prof who developed the Great Filter hypothesis, has written quite a few articles about the future of technology and humanity, is a member of the Future of Humanity Institute, and so on. This makes him a futurist, by definition, and is very well supported by a large number and variety of reliable sources. So we should call him a futurist either in place of or in addition to his description as a social scientist and economist, since neither of these necessarily implies the scholarly study of the far future, which is critical to the hypothesis explained in this article. At least, this is the view of 2 of the 3 editors working on this article. The remaining editor does not like this at all, and insists it is OR, or interpretation, etc. Although we have found no reference where Robin Hanson explicitly describes himself as a futurist (which is what leads to accusations of OE, interpretation, etc.), here is a quote where he complains the media pays more attention to *other* futurists rather than to him: "I’m not so much against the main claims of these groups as I am against their concept of themselves as the main folks who care about the future. These just won’t be the central issues when the future arrives. Yet when the media reports on the future, reporters pretty much only ever quote these sort of futurists, who have hijacked the future to support their side of certain current disputes." Likewise in Alas Amateur Futurism he complains about amateur futurism, as opposed to the professional kind he espouses.

In summary, this whole dispute seems very odd, since WP:OR explicitly states

Carefully summarizing or rephrasing a source without changing its meaning or implication does not violate this policy: this is good editing. Best practice is to write Wikipedia articles by researching the most reliable sources on the topic and summarizing what they say in your own words, with each statement in the article attributable to a source that makes this statement explicitly."

To the two of us, this seems exactly what we are doing. Any added opinions on this issue would be most helpful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by LouScheffer (talkcontribs) 06:00, 5 February 2010

It appears there is a hypothesis known as the Great Filter regarding why we haven't detected aliens when there should be lots of them (given the enormous number of places where life should have evolved). The dispute is whether to say that this hypothesis was devised by "futurist Robin Hanson, professor of economics at George Mason University" or by "American economist Robin Hanson" (with the latter being the current version in the now-protected article). The issue is whether it is OR to label Hanson as a "futurist" when there is no source of any kind (as far as I can tell, apart from two very oblique references in the message above) that so describe Hanson (Robin Hanson includes the subject in Category:Futurologists, but does not describe Hanson as a "futurist").
It is "obvious", for example, that Emily Brontë was a novelist, and no citation is required to provide that description. I think those favoring "futurist" feel the same about Hanson. I can see the sense of that, particularly the "by definition" part. Yet, the cold fact is that if it is so obvious that Hanson is a futurist, there should be something better than the two sources given above ([6] and [7]) to support that label. Why does the article need the label "futurist" applied to the author? If there is no particular reason, omit it. My feeling is that if there is a reason, that means the word has some significance and should be supported by a reliable source. Johnuniq (talk) 07:43, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
He is described as a futurist here and here. --Michael C. Price talk 09:52, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Neither of those links are considered reliable sources for the purposes of claims about BLP's. You were previously informed that the "Intellectual Pornography" site was a blog[8] and the Cato Institute site you provide is only an advertisement for an online debate. Please find an actual reliable source that describes Robin Hanson as a futurist. It should also be noted that Dr. Hanson does not describe himself as a futurist. He calls himself a "social scientist" and an "economist". Is there a reason you are trying to insert the word "futurist" in an article about the Great Filter? Do you have a source about the topic of the Great Filter that refers to Hanson as a futurist? I've looked and cannot find one. It should also be noted that Hanson is not described as a futurist in his biographical article (since there are no good sources that refer to him as such) and he did not appear in the List of futurologists until you added him yesterday, and the source you added to sport that addition does not describe him as a futurist. It describes him as an associate professor of economics at George Mason University, and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. Viriditas (talk) 10:03, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
The Cato Institute is a reliable source for futurism. Anyway, we are here to get the opinions of other editors, not to recycle points from before.--Michael C. Price talk 10:09, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
An advertisement about an online debate at the Cato Institute is not a reliable source for statements about a BLP, specifically Robin Hanson. And I very much doubt the Cato Institute or any think tank is a reliable source for a biography or biographical claims about BLP's on Wikipedia. Please review WP:RS to see what the requirements and criteria are for using sources. Hanson's "professional biography" (as he calls it) can be found here; Please notice, the word "futurist" is not used by Hanson at all. Hanson also claims that there are at least 249 press/media sources that mention him.[9] Why is it that you cannot find one of hundreds of reliable sources that calls him a futurist? That should tell you something. Viriditas (talk) 10:16, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Please, can't you just let others speak? Your views are well known and don't need endless repetition here as well. --Michael C. Price talk 10:42, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I will let others speak. But what are my views on this subject? I only write what RS say and report. You should do the same. Viriditas (talk) 10:43, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Here's a podcast where you can hear Robin Hanson speak in his own words, and say (start about 54:20 into the podcast, to hear the moderator ask Robin to speak, so you know it's him):

So the actual futurist, most business futurists, are focused on a relatively short time scale, about 3-10 years, or not much longer than that. So clearly most demand for futurism, that’s sort of practical, is in that time scale. But I’m most interested in the longer time scale, that you know after 20-100 years or something, and out there most of the people who do that kind of futurism, are basically entertainers, unfortunately. [...] and that’s basically how futurism fails, is that we don’t combine expert (something) from multiple fields.

In particular, the third and last sentences states he practices futurism (he uses the words "I" and "we"). And to avoid any possible loopholes, the first two sentences show that he believes futurism is performed by futurists. This seems quite authoritative, coming from the living person himself. The only problem I could see is that the podcast might at some point disappear, making this hard to verify. So can this be a reliable source from Wikipedia's point of view? LouScheffer (talk) 14:45, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
The podcast you are quoting comes from "FastForward Radio -- Countdown to Foresight 2010 (Part 2)", a December 22, 2009, self-produced production from The Speculist[10] a self-published website that hosts "news and commentary about the future with a positive twist." The podcast page specifically refers to Hanson as an "economist" not a futurist,[11] and the podcast itself calls him "an associate professor of economics". This is in direct opposition to the other guest on the show, Brian Wong, whom the website and the podcast both refer to as a "futurist". Has it occurred to you yet that Hanson does not want to be called a futurist, which is why nobody call him it? The website that hosts the podcast does not call Hanson a futurist, it calls him an economist. The podcast introduction does not call him a futurist, it calls him an associate professor of economics. And Hanson does not call himself a futurist in the podcast. For the record, Lou and Michael have been removing the term "social scientist", a term that Hanson uses to self-identify and the subject of his study, and replacing it with the word "futurist", a term that no RS uses to describe Hanson, not even himself. The reason they are doing this is because they both feel that the term "social scientist" is a laughable term and they dislike it. However, that is precisely what Hanson studied and its the field he works in, and it's the term he uses to describe himself. Viriditas (talk) 23:17, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
He's a social scientist AND a futurist. And 'futurist' is much more relevant to the article, which is about the future of humanity, as opposed to 'social scientist' which covers a huge number of sub-disciplines and won't help the reader at all. In the podcast, surely what he calls himself matters more than what the host calls him. And how do you know what Hanson wants? He was very comfortable referring to himself as a futurist on the show, which he did completely voluntarily. LouScheffer (talk) 23:38, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Listen to it again. He argues against being called a futurist for very specific reasons:

So the actual futurist, most business futurists, are focused on a relatively short time scale, about 3-10 years, or not much longer than that. So clearly most demand for futurism, that's sort of practical, is in that time scale. But I'm most interested in the longer time scale, that you know after 20-100 years or something, and out there most of the people who do that kind of futurism, are basically entertainers, unfortunately. That's the kind of mode they're in, science fiction, inspirational speakers, whatever else it is. And, I'm an academic, I'm a professor, and I know how much people love to see sort of odd, creative, contrarian points of view, but honest, I think what the future most needs, what understanding the future most needs, is just to take the standard points of view from our various academic fields, and then combine them. Not necessarily to be creative and contrarian, but just to take what computer scientists usually think that's sort of the most straightforward, conservative things. What computer scientists think, combine that with economists think, for example, and put those views together, to make our best estimate of what is likely to happen. And honestly, that doesn't happen today. That doesn't happen today, because when an economist looks at the future, when he thinks about computers, he doesn't use what computer scientists think about computers. He uses what he has read in the newspaper, about computers. So each academic discipline takes their own expert field, and they combine that with their amateur image of other fields. And when computer scientists talk about the future of artificial intelligence, or whatever, they don't go talk to economists about what they think. They make up their own economics, like most people do. They make up their own social science that seems intuitively right to them. And then they use that to make forecasts. And that's basically how futurism fails, is that we don't combine expert [views] from multiple fields. That's the kind of thing I want to talk about, and describe some basic insights from.[12]

So, we see now why Hanson doesn't call himself a futurist, why no reliable source calls him a futurist, and why Michael and Lou are off the Mark. Hanson is a self-described social scientist, who is often referred to in reliable sources as an economist and/or professor of economics. He does not consider himself a futurist, but rather a social scientist who works with multiple fields. Viriditas (talk) 23:54, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Look at the last sentence. If he meant that futurists fail, but he does better since he's not a futurist, he would have said "And that's how futurism fails - they don't combine...". But he does not say this, he says instead "And that's how futurism fails - we don't combine...". The use of "we", where he could have used "they" just as well, shows he considers himself one of the folks practicing futurism, or in other words a futurist. LouScheffer (talk) 00:32, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, "we" looks like the clincher. He's a futurist. --Michael C. Price talk 02:28, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
That's totally absurd. To recap, there are two guests on the podcast program, Brian Wong and Robin Hanson. Wong is described as a futurist on the podcast website and is introduced as a futurist on the podcast by co-host Stephen Gordon. Hanson is called an economist on both, not a futurist.[13] The material from Hanson above is a response to a question asked of both guests by co-host Stephen Gordon. Gordon asks both guests about the "role of the futurist", specifically he asks, "How do you gentleman see the role of the futurist?" This question is followed by another question about what their plans are for the Foresight2010 conference. These questions are asked by the hosts of The Speculist, a website that describes itself as hosting "news and commentary about the future with a positive twist." There is nothing on the printed transcript that indicates Hanson is a futurist.[14] Hanson uses social science to address these issues and describes himself as a social scientist, not a futurist.[15] The fact is, the hosts of the podcast do not call Hanson a futurist nor does Hanson call himself a Futurist. They call him an economist and a professor of economics, unlike the other guest Brian Wong, who is labeled a futurist. Hanson does not see himself as a futurist, nor do the reliable sources. Per WP:PSTS, you do not get to "interpret" primary sources (like interviews) to say what you want them to say. This is why when any dispute arises about a primary source (like an interview transcript) we require good reliable secondary sources. Please find them. Out of the hundreds of secondary sources on this subject, none refer to Hanson as a futurist.[16] Why is that? Viriditas (talk) 02:33, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, in all that I missed your explanation of Robin's use of the word "we". What is it? --Michael C. Price talk 03:12, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Please read and understand WP:PSTS. We don't describe, explain, or interpret primary sources, and if the need arises, we use reliable secondary sources to resolve a dispute. The podcast calls Hanson an economist as does their website. This is true for all podcasts and interviews with Hanson, of which there are many reliable ones, such as the BBC and other news outlets. None refer to him as a futurist, not even a self-published, futurist-oriented website. Do you understand? Has it occurred to you yet that Hanson does not want to be called a futurist? Do you understand that calling a BLP something that neither the subject nor RS call them is not appropriate? All RS call Hanson an economist and a professor of economics. They do not call him a futurist. So then, why do you keep arguing that we should call Hanson a futurist? We write articles based on RS. Viriditas (talk) 03:20, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
So you have no idea of why Robin Hanson refers to futurists as "we"? That's what I thought. --Michael C. Price talk 03:42, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Michael, we don't interpret primary sources to suit our own personal beliefs or agendas. Hanson was referring to futurists, because he was asked a question about them by the host, on a show about futurism and produced by a futurist website. Is this making sense? No reliable sources call Hanson a futurist, and he does not refer to himself as such. Viriditas (talk) 03:45, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
We all know why he was asked, but that was not my question. Why did he answer talking about futurists with "we"? --Michael C. Price talk 03:48, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Michael, please look up pluralis auctoris. It does not mean what you think it means. Viriditas (talk) 06:46, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Your responses get funnier as they get weaker. --Michael C. Price talk 11:06, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
The self-published, unreliable source you are referring to calls Hanson an economist and Wong a futurist. Please note, it does not call Hanson a futurist. Why is that? Viriditas (talk) 11:47, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Lou's choice of using one podcast from a self-published, self-described futurist-oriented website to argue that we can somehow interpret Hanson's comments as those of a futurist are way off. Hanson has given numerous interviews all over the place, from podcasts to videos, and none refer to him as a futurist. For only two small examples, see a video interview by the Universidad Francisco Marroquin with Hanson [17] and a podcast interview with Hanson by the Library of Economics and Liberty.[18] Neither refer to him as a futurist. There are many more podcast and video interviews to choose from. Viriditas (talk) 03:00, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Let's summarize here. Two editors think we should describe him as a futurist in the Great Filter. One does not think he is a futurist, and asks for a reliable reference indicating he is one. So far, so good. We find a podcast where in response to a friendly and unforced question, he uses the word "we" when referring to a bunch of futurists, indicating that he himself thinks he is a futurist. This seems pretty conclusive, but let's see how it could be wrong. First, the blog is obscure, self-published, run by self-proclaimed futurists, and so on. All this is completely irrelevant, unless the claim is that it's not really Robin Hanson answering the question. Next, there are many, many references that refer to him as an economist or a social scientist. This is also completely irrelevant, since he is a futurist AND a social scientist AND an economist. No number of references to him as a social scientist or economist can show he is not a futurist as well. At this point, as he has referred to himself as a futurist, the shoe is on the other foot - if someone claims he is not a futurist, they will need to find a reliable source *explicitly* claiming he is not a futurist. And this would need an extremely solid reliable source, strong enough to contradict a living person's statement about himself. LouScheffer (talk) 04:29, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

No, Lou. We do not prove negatives. If someone claims Hanson is a futurist, then we need reliable sources for that claim. Please find them. Viriditas (talk) 05:24, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Already done. Another non-answer, Viriditas. --Michael C. Price talk 11:06, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
The only reason the article is locked and we are still talking about this is because there are no reliable sources that call Hanson a futurist. In fact, he does not call himself a futurist. That should tell you something. Viriditas (talk) 11:47, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
No, the article is locked because you got one of your buddies to lock it in your favor immediately after you violated 3rr, because you were editting against the consensus and just can't accept this state of affairs. --Michael C. Price talk 12:20, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
That's a strange thing to say considering the fact that it never happened. But let's work towards resolution here: What reliable sources say that Hanson is a futurist? Viriditas (talk) 12:23, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
One hour, 25 minutes after you received a 3rr warning (since blanked from your talk page) the article was locked. I leave it others to judge whether there may be a causal connection. --Michael C. Price talk 12:35, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any "connection", but I suppose the protecting admin could have chosen to block all three editors instead. Is that what you would have preferred? In any case, could you please work towards resolution and supply a good reliable source that calls Hanson a futurist? Hanson lists an incredible number of references about him on his website, and claims there are more than 200 that discuss him. Is there a reason none of the reliable ones call him a futurist? And, why doesn't Hanson refer to himself as a futurist? Remember, we should always write articles based on what the preponderance of reliable sources say about a subject. Viriditas (talk) 12:48, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
The reliable source is Hanson, in his own voice, of his own volition, including himself among futurists. You can't get any more reliable that that. The burden is on you, to show a reliable source claiming he is not a futurist. And what he chooses to call himself in his references is up to him - he chooses the ones he likes best, but this in no way implies he is not a futurist. For example, I've published papers on physics and astronomy, but have never, to my knowledge, referred to myself in writing as a physicist or astronomer. That's because in general I prefer to call myself an engineer (when I'm trying to achieve a specific effect), or a scientist (when I'm trying basic research), or better yet nothing at all and let the reader judge the idea on its merits. But I am a physicist and I am an astronomer, because I've worked on these topics. You cannot infer from the hundreds of times I've called myself an engineer that I am not a physicist, or do not wish to be called a physicist, because it's not true. In the exact same way, you cannot infer that Hanson is not a futurist from the fact he does not call himself that in writing - absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. LouScheffer (talk) 13:22, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
The reliable source is not Hanson, and the burden of proof is not on me. You are claiming that Hanson is a futurist, not me. I do not have to prove a negative. If I ask you to explicitly show me where Hanson has called himself a futurist, you cannot show me - because as far as I can tell, he hasn't. This is the second time you have tried to interpret a primary source to say something that it does not. In what can only be described as a silly exercise, you are claiming to have interpreted the meaning of the word we in response to a question asked about futurists in a podcast. Hanson is not referring to himself as a futurist. The response Hanson gives refers to the pedagogical we, and this is clear on the podcast. Hanson is not describing himself as a futurist in the response - that is your interpretation of a primary source. And per WP:PSTS we do not interpret primary sources in an attempt to explain or describe something about a BLP. We always require good secondary sources to support any interpretation, because editors like yourself, no matter how well-intentioned, often see things in the primary source that aren't there. It is clear that the podcast calls Hanson an economist and does so in several places. The podcast that you cite does not call Hanson a futurist, but calls his colleague, Brian Wong, a futurist. Why is that? There are no good reliable sources that describe Hanson as a futurist. And, why is that? Viriditas (talk) 13:34, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
This is backwards. The normal meaning of "we", when referring to yourself and a group, is that you are a member of the group. If you are claiming this is a pedagogical "we", *that's* an unusual interpretation. In this case, the burden is definitely on you, to show that when he said "we", he did not mean it in the normal English sense. Failing this, we should take his response at face value. LouScheffer (talk) 13:57, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Nothing backwards here. If Hanson said "we don't combine expert [views] from multiple fields", then he is referring to how we as a society, fail to take the multidisciplinary approach, and he's right. That you and Michael insist on twisting the word we from this primary source into an interpretation, is the problem. We don't do that, Lou. What we do is find good secondary sources that support whatever interpretation we make. I hope that's clear. See Majestic plural#Difference from other plurals for more info. We certainly don't take this at face value, because we don't write Wikipedia articles based on ambiguous interpretations of primary sources. Viriditas (talk) 14:03, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Let's look at the your interpretation of "we". The spoken sentence was "And that's basically how futurism fails, is that we don't combine expert [views] from multiple fields". You interpret this as "And that's basically how futurism fails, is that we (as a society) don't combine expert [views] from multiple fields". But the normal English antecedent is: "And that's basically how futurism fails, is that we (futurists as a group) don't combine expert [views] from multiple fields". And it's very clear from the sentences before that this is *exactly* what he means - that the futurists (he calls them that) are each using only their background in one specific area, combined with amateur knowledge of other areas. He also makes this same exact point in [Alas Amateur Futurism, so it's very clear exactly what he means. LouScheffer (talk) 14:59, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
We don't make claims about BLP's based on ambiguous interpretations of primary sources. For such claims, we require unambiguous secondary sources. The primary source you refer to explicitly and unambiguously refers to Hanson as an "economist" not a futurist. Viriditas (talk) 02:44, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

How about this? Robin Hanson is a huge fan of the marketplace of ideas, and of betting on claimed results. So I'll propose a $10 bet. We send him an email, asking "Are you a futurist?", and ask him to reply yes or no. If the answer is "yes", then you mail me $10. If the answer is no, I'll mail you $10. What do you think? LouScheffer (talk) 15:11, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

OTRS will not add content through e-mail. See WP:BLP/H: Biographical articles "must be rigorously balanced, and written with regard to the highest quality of fairness and sourcing, beyond the normal standard. Anyone may delete biography-related material that is unsourced, poorly-sourced, or otherwise unreasonable for a biography." If Hanson would like to contact OTRS and explain that he considers himself a futurist and has good reliable sources that describe him as such, have him visit: Wikipedia:Contact us/Article problem/Factual error (from subject) and send them the RS. As far as I can tell, Hanson does not describe himself as a futurist and neither do RS because he prefers to be known as a social scientist and economist. Viriditas (talk) 02:41, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
No need to contact RH. The use of "we" is clear enough. Even the "royal we" is inclusive. --Michael C. Price talk 02:43, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Michael, it isn't "clear enough" and per WP:BLP and WP:PSTS we can't use your ambiguous interpretation of a primary source. In fact, the source you are claiming is "clear enough" clearly refers to Hanson as an economist and the other guest on the show as a futurist. So, the very source you are using does not call Hanson a futurist. Viriditas (talk) 02:46, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
"We are not amused" means "I am not amused". --Michael C. Price talk 02:48, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Pluralis maiestatis and pluralis auctoris are obviously not the same, Michael. Viriditas (talk) 05:14, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
So what is your claim? That "author Robin" was talkng? --Michael C. Price talk 05:21, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
No claim, Michael. Hanson was simply using the author's voice. Look, it doesn't matter how you interpret a primary source, because we never use interpretations of primary sources to write articles. We use secondary sources. Now, if you could contact Dr. Hanson and tell him that you would like to describe him as a futurist on Wikipedia, and ask him to give you a good secondary source for that purpose and mail it to OTRS, you might be able to do it. However, my guess is that he doesn't want to be called a futurist, which is why we don't see him or RS using the term. Viriditas (talk) 05:32, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
You still haven't explained why he said "we". He wasn't talking as an author. He was asked what were his views on futurism/futurists. --Michael C. Price talk 05:38, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
And he was called an "economist" not a futurist like the other guest. Michael, we don't explain primary sources. We cite secondary sources to do that. Viriditas (talk) 05:43, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
We don't see an answer there. :-) --Michael C. Price talk 05:51, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
If he does not want to called a futurist, he has not told his friends. From The Myth of the Ivory Tower, "I’m lucky enough to be friends with Robin Hanson, a brilliant economist and futurist who starts where Ayn Rand would’ve suffered a loss of nerve and keeps going from there. "
Nor did RH disagree in his followup response. --Michael C. Price talk 15:53, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Is that an argument from ignorance, Michael? Viriditas (talk) 05:51, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Of course an email cannot be used as a reliable source, since it cannot be independently verified. But it could clear up the search - if he considers himself a futurist, then the search for a reliable source makes much more sense than if he does not.
It's also, according to Hanson, a good way to detect how strongly people believe in their own arguments. I am certain, from the arguments above, that Hanson considers himself a futurist. You apparently believe he does not consider himself a futurist. Is the bet on?
Lou, this has nothing to do with what I believe. It has to do with what the majority of authoritative sources say about the subject. Viriditas (talk) 23:30, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
That's strange. You were telling us to show you just one RS. Now you're requiring a majority. I wonder why? :-) Moving goal posts anyone? --Michael C. Price talk 00:03, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Michael, it's not strange at all; It forms the fundamental basis of how we write articles on Wikipedia. I require you to show me just one RS that uses the term. I've looked and I can't find any. The preponderance of RS on the subject refer to Hanson as an economist and professor of economics. You may want to take a moment to familiarize yourself with basic Wikipedia policies regarding minority and majority POV/sources:
  • Wikipedia:NPOV#Neutral_point_of_view: "The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting perspectives on a topic as evidenced by reliable sources. It requires that all majority- and significant-minority views be presented fairly, in a disinterested tone, and in rough proportion to their prevalence within the source material. Therefore, material should not be removed solely on the grounds that it is "POV", although it may be shortened and moved to a new article if it gives undue weight to a minor point of view..."
  • Wikipedia:V#Reliable_sources: "All articles must adhere to Wikipedia's neutrality policy, fairly representing all majority and significant-minority viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in rough proportion to the prominence of each view. Tiny-minority views need not be included, except in articles devoted to them."
  • Wikipedia:Reliable sources: "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources, making sure that all majority and significant-minority views that have appeared in reliable, published sources are covered"
  • Wikipedia:NOR#Neutral_point_of_view: "...when incorporating research into an article, it is important that editors provide context for this point of view, by indicating how prevalent the position is, and whether it is held by a majority or minority. The inclusion of a view that is held only by a tiny minority may constitute original research. Jimbo Wales has said of this: If your viewpoint is in the majority, then it should be easy to substantiate it with reference to commonly accepted reference texts; If your viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents; If your viewpoint is held by an extremely small minority, then — whether it's true or not, whether you can prove it or not — it doesn't belong in Wikipedia, except perhaps in some ancillary article. Wikipedia is not the place for original research."
I hope that makes sense to you, Michael. Viriditas (talk) 05:51, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
It's all water off a duck's back with you, isn't it? As has been stated many times, the issue is one of summarisation, which is permitted. Can Robin Hanson be summarised as a futurist (and economist etc)? Yes. This is based on his academic publications, positions etc. Your assumption that anyone who disagrees with this editorial judgement is ignorant and needs "reminding" of policy is stupid, insulting and doesn't reflect well on yourself generally.
Another editor said it all with their edit summary "are you kidding? is the pope catholic?". --Michael C. Price talk 09:25, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Let's address those two things specifically: 1) What reliable source are you summarizing? None as far as I can tell. You are interpreting various primary sources without secondary sources supporting them. 2) What reliable sources support the two categories that Gwern added, namely Category:Transhumanists and Category:Futurologists? All categories must be supported by the article content, which in turn must be supported by reliable sources. Please provide them. Viriditas (talk) 09:51, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Summarisation is always a form of interpretation. As long as it doesn't require specialist knowledge it's OK. --Michael C. Price talk 17:32, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
You haven't summarized anything. Summarization is this context is paraphrasing. What source did you paraphase? Viriditas (talk) 23:10, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
WP:OR says "summarizing or rephrasing", not "paraphrasing". Stick with policy. --Michael C. Price talk 08:50, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Michael, you are mistaken. Please visit the OR talk page and ask them for yourself. The words, "carefully summarizing or rephrasing a source without changing its meaning or implication" refers to paraphrasing. That you say it does not, reveals your own misunderstanding. Viriditas (talk) 10:53, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
I prefer to believe that words mean what they say, not what you would rather twist them to mean. --Michael C. Price talk 17:20, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Words have meaning within the context that they are used. In the context of the OR policy, the words in question refer to paraphrasing. "Carefully summarizing or rephrasing a source without changing its meaning or implication" is the definition of paraphrasing in this context. That you object to this obvious definition demonstrates that you are pushing your own POV. Viriditas (talk) 15:03, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

In my opinion, it appears that Hanson is using "we" to identify two professionals from different fields in close physical proximity (i.e., economics and futurism/Hanson and Wong). Consider the immediately preceding sentences: he comments on how usually scientists do not combine multiple fields (giving examples), and then shifts gears by stating that – in contrast – as representatives of different disciplines, he and Wong need to combine their different perspectives. Or he may be saying that "we," as scientists in general, need to combine multiple views, not necessarily "we" as just two people talking or even "we" as just futurists. I'm not even sure what he means, which goes to show why we need to use reliable sources to characterize the intent of the exchange. Otherwise, it's original research or Synthesis. And yes, summarization does include an element of interpretation, but that interpretation is tempered by Consensus, which we clearly do not have here.
Jim Dunning | talk 17:53, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Although Virditas doesn't seem to be presenting his views well, we really do need a source calling Hanson a "futurist" in order to include the material. His calling himself a futurist (which doesn't actually seem to have happened) isn't (or wouldn't be, to use the subjunctive tense) really adequate for Wikipedia to include the information. Others would need to call him a futurist. That he clearly is a "futurist" under an objective definition is irrelevant. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:59, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
At least two blogs refer to him as a futurist. --Michael C. Price talk 18:22, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Since when is a blog a "reliable source"? (Well, actually, there are examples, per WP:SPS, but not for facts about living persons.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:27, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Have to agree that a blog is very questionable, unless it is a reliable source who is writing it (like a journalist). It seems to me that if the label "futurist" is so certain, that finding a number of reliable sources who support it would be easy. The difficulty in doing so seems to speak for itself. Find a reliable source or two and you should have no problem introducing the label into the article.
Jim Dunning | talk 18:35, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
To return to summarisation (and rephrasing) being allowable interpretation; this implies there is no requirement that we are limited to the actual word(s) used in the source - otherwise it would hardly be a rephrasing. So Arthur's point that Robin Hanson is objectively a futurist is relevant and saying this is just summarising the sources. Also I note that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence implies that obvious and objective facts require a rather lower standard of proof.--Michael C. Price talk 18:51, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Except when one actually looks at the sources and reads them, one comes to the realization that Hanson does not want to be called a futurist. Viriditas (talk) 23:12, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
That is your interpretation, but irrelevant to whether he is a futurist and so whether he can be summarised as one. --Michael C. Price talk 00:51, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
It is a relevant interpretation; In the self-published podcast you use as a source to support your claim, Hanson describes futurists as "entertainers" and makes a point of describing himself as a professional and academic, in contrast to a typical futurist. Why are you dismissing my interpretation but clinging to your own? Please try to weigh both sides of an issue. Of course, this is the reason we don't use interpretations of primary sources and stick to explicit claims in reliable secondary sources. You know, the ones that describe Hanson as an economist and professor of economics, but do not call him a futurist. Viriditas (talk) 02:02, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

This whole argument strikes me as pedantic hair-splitting of the worst kind. Consider the following. The first line of the Wikipedia entry futurist says "Futurists, or futurologists, are those who speculate about the future.". Then

  • On [his home web page], Hanson says: "I am interested in all aspects of the future, including uploading, nanotech, hypertext publishing, cosmology and the foundations of physics, future economic growth rates, limits of computation, and the origin of life. I'd love to specialize in the economics of science fiction. Some fun places to discuss such issues are the Polymath and the Extropians mailing list which I have participated in since 1991."
  • And he not only has been discussing it for 19 years, he has published on it in peer reviewed journals, with citations, such as: "Is A Singularity Just Around The Corner? Journal of Evolution and Technology 2, June 1998.".
  • He writes book chapters about the far future, in books that are reviewed in Nature: " The Rapacious Hardscrapple Frontier, Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge, pp. 168-192, ed. Damien Broderick, Atlas Books, May 19, 2008"
  • He writes far-future articles for the flagship publications of top tier technical societies: Economics of the singularity, again cited by others.

All of these are trivially verifiable in a few seconds with a few clicks. At this point, it is absolutely and completely clear that this guy is a futurist, with huge heaps of top-notch secondary sources verifying he has indeed thought and published about the future. This is completely independent of whether he, or anyone else uses the phrase "futurist Robin Hanson" in print. In fact it would still be true if he vehemently denied it, not just in real life but also in Wikipedia, for a large number of reliable secondary sources indicate he has indeed speculated about the future, in depth and in writing. Hanson is both an economist and a futurist - they are not mutually exclusive. The number of sources calling him an economist thus has no bearing on whether he is a futurist. He appears to prefer to be called an economist, as is his right, but even his friends call him a futurist, as do other informal sources In short, any normally intelligent reader, looking at these sources, would see Robin Hanson is a futurist, directly from the definition of futurist and the actions of Robin Hanson. No subtle interpretation is required. LouScheffer (talk) 20:04, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

We do not write articles based on editorial interpretation, which in this case, appear to be wrong. Hanson's interest in "all apsects of the future", is true, but his interest is in using social science to address those problems, a fact that you strongly disagree with even though Hanson has said it! You cherry picked Hanson's home page where he says he's interested in the future, but more importntly, in the same paragraph, he also says, "I don't sign onto "Extropianism" though; I don't sign onto any "ism"."[19] Important words. As Hanson said in the podcast that you quoted, "I'm an academic, I'm a professor", and as he said on his personal blog: "I'm a social scientist with a high estimate of the power of social science (especially economics and sociobiology) to trace the outlines of a wide variety of social behavior. I even use social science to estimate our distant descendants’ future, and the astronomical signatures that aliens might leave."[20] Hanson is described by reliable sources as an economist and a professor of economics, not as a futurist, and he calls himself an academic, a professor, and a social scientist, and someone who does not sign onto any "ism". That's about as clear as you can get. He's not a futurist, he does not self-identify as a futurist, and no reliable source refers to him as a futurist as a result. Viriditas (talk) 23:03, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

"Futurists, or futurologists, are those who speculate about the future." Robin Hanson speculates about the future. Therefore Robin Hanson is a futurist. QED.LouScheffer (talk)

No. Hanson is a professor of economics, and he holds degrees in Physics and a Ph.D. in Social Science. He has worked on and written on many different topics, including market design, artificial intelligence, and health policy. There are hundreds of reliable sources about his work, none of which describe him as a futurist. Viriditas (talk) 00:45, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes. "Futurists, or futurologists, are those who speculate about the future." Robin Hanson speculates about the future. Therefore Robin Hanson is a futurist. If you believe he is *not* a futurist, then you must believe at least one of these statements is wrong. Which is it? LouScheffer (talk) 01:25, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
What I believe has never been at stake here. Robin Hanson works on many different topics, some having to do with the future. Would you also call him an AI researcher or health policy analyst? Why one over the other? Reliable sources call Hanson an economist and a professor of economics, and those are the terms we use. Viriditas (talk) 01:48, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Would you also call him an AI researcher or health policy analyst? Yes. Why one over the other? Relevance to Great Filter. But this has been explained many times before. --Michael C. Price talk 08:13, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
No. According to Hanson, the Great Filter may lie in our past or our future. In fact, the Great Filter has very little if anything to do with "futurism". Viriditas (talk) 03:16, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Hanson and Bostrom say it has a lot to do with our future. Hence the relevance to futurism. But this is just recycling again.--Michael C. Price talk 08:50, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
No, they do not say that. The question of whether the Great Filter lies in our past or our future is an open one. What does this have to do with futurists or futurology? Would you call Brandon Carter a futurist simply for proposing the doomsday argument? No, he's considered an astrophysicist and a cosmologist. We don't call BLP's futurists simply because you think it's a good thing. Viriditas (talk) 10:46, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
If Brandon Carter were a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute, and had published the same papers as Hanson, and created idea futures and prediction markets, then, yes, I would call him a futurist. That's what summarising and rephrasing requires. --Michael C. Price talk 17:17, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
No, Lou. Summarizing and rephrasing does not amount to creating new interpretations and explanations that cannot be found in reliable sources. Summarizing and rephrasing refers to paraphrasing. Carter is not classified as a futurist because no reliable source calls him one. That's the bottom line. Paraphrasing does not mean "making stuff up". Viriditas (talk) 01:00, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

great filter break 5

I think Hanson is a futurist as well as an economist, and don't think he'd object to the characterization, but I don't understand why there would be a fuss in calling him an economist. Or is someone claiming that Hanson isn't a reliable source unless he's a futurist? THF (talk) 01:04, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, he is an economist and a futurist and a social scientist.--Michael C. Price talk 01:09, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
What reliable source calls him a futurist? Does Hanson use the word futurist to refer to himself? If the answer is none and no respectively, then why are editors attempting to describe and call a biographical subject something neither reliable sources nor the subject himself use? Viriditas (talk) 01:46, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Hi, I've read it all above, so no need to repeat what's already been said. What I don't understand is why it's worth all this wasted effort. What are people hoping to achieve by claiming Hanson is/is not a futurist? There's no dispute that Hanson is an economist, and I see no reason his contributions to the subject should be minimized just because he's an economist, so why not just concede the issue, list him as an economist, and move on to better marginal improvements in the encyclopedia? That's what an economist would do, anyway, given the level of resistance involved. I'm trying to understand what's at stake if we agree to the narrowest adjective. THF (talk) 01:59, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
The original dispute began here. You can read that thread if you like. To summarize: Michael and Lou added "futurist" after disagreeing with the use of "social scientist", which is a term Hanson uses to describe himself, and is the subject of his doctoral work at Caltech. Michael is a physicist and Lou is an engineer, and they both take a derogatory view of the social sciences (see C. P. Snow's The Two Cultures). In regards to the Great Filter, Robin Hanson is one of the few social scientists addressing the social science-related values of the Drake Equation, and his credentials in this area are relevant and important. Complex problems like the Drake equation and the Great Filter require a multidisciplinary approach, and that is precisely what Hanson argues in the podcast that Michael offers as a source above. Viriditas (talk) 02:09, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
The reason for this effort is to help the reader. A casual reader (which is most of them) may want to know something about the person who proposed the theory. Possible choices include such things as "futurist Robin Hanson", "social scientist Robin Hanson", "economist Robin Hanson", "professor Robin Hanson", and so on. Michael Price and I think the most helpful one is "futurist", as this most commonly refers to one who has thought long and hard about the future, usually in a professional capacity (this implication, while not always true, is precisely correct in this case). Social scientist and economist, while also correct, are much less useful since the fields are so broad. Although each *can* be used to try to predict the far future, this is not the goal of the vast majority of practitioners of these fields. Given that readers will have some mental model of "economists", "social scientists", and "futurists" based on the most common characteristics of practitioners of the these fields, it seems most likely that "economist" or "social scientist" will actively mis-align the readers expectation, where "futurist" will align it correctly. (As a side note, I personally believe as a matter of neutrality we should drop all such designations, and relegate even the name to a footnote, but I recognize that many readers will want to at least partially judge a hypothesis by knowing something of the proposer.) LouScheffer (talk) 03:21, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
There is no evidence that calling Hanson a social scientist (what he calls himself) or an economist or professor of economics (what RS call him) will "mis-align the readers expectation". That's a personal belief that you and Michael bring to the table. Hanson is proud of his work as a social scientist and economist, and his essay on the Great Filter is an important application of social science-related values of the Drake equation. You're assuming, without any evidence, that there is something wrong with calling Hanson a social scientist or economist, and this forms the basis for your argument calling him a futurist, an unsupported assertion. Thankfully, we rely on what the sources say, not on what editors think. Viriditas (talk) 04:03, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
No, in terms of what will help the reader understand, we rely precisely on what editors think. Otherwise we'd just direct them to all the original sources. This process involves a lot of common sense about what readers might think when confronted with possible wording. Here's some evidence for futurist is less likely to mislead - if you follow social scientist you find

Social science is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences. These include: anthropology, archaeology, comparative musicology, communication studies, cultural studies, demography, economics, history, human geography, international development, international relations, linguistics, media studies, philology, political science, psychology and social work.

Many of these are well known subfields the reader could be expected to know, but have little relevance to GF. Social science even includes all of economics, which itself has many sub-fields irrelevant to GF. Follow economist to get

An economist is an expert in the social science of economics.[1] The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy. Within this field there are many sub-fields, ranging from the broad philosophical theories to the focused study of minutiae within specific markets, macroeconomic analysis, microeconomic analysis or financial statement analysis, involving analytical methods and tools such as econometrics, statistics, economics computational models, financial economics, mathematical finance and mathematical economics.

again, the casual reader would be expected to at least know of many of these subfields, again irrelevant to the GF. By contrast, follow futurist - the corresponding list of specialists and specialties is:

More generally, the label includes such disparate lay, professional, and academic groups as visionaries, foresight consultants, corporate strategists, policy analysts, cultural critics, planners, marketers, forecasters, prediction market developers, roadmappers, operations researchers, investment managers, actuaries and other risk analyzers, and future-oriented individuals educated in every academic discipline, including anthropology, complexity studies, computer science, economics, engineering, evolutionary biology, history, management, mathematics, philosophy, physical sciences, political science, psychology, sociology, systems theory, technology studies, and other disciplines.

The hit rate here, while not perfect, is a much closer match to GF than is economics or social science. LouScheffer (talk) 05:07, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
It appears that Michael C. Price is intentionally misinterpreting what I said. I said that if no reliable source calls him a futurist, then we cannot call him a futurist. I would argue, in addition, that "futurist" is such a vague term that, although under most objective definitions, Hanson would be considered a futurist, it would still be synthesis to combine the particular definition with the specific facts that support Hanson being called a futurist. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:18, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Eh? How have I invoked your ire? Please assume WP:AGF and explain exactly how I have stepped on your toes; I'm mystified. --Michael C. Price talk 10:50, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Actually, Mr. Price, you need to review AGF as you've tossed the most aspersions around (and not at the ideas expressed, but at the people expressing them). Find the reliable source (which shouldn't be too hard if it's as obvious as you say) or wait for it to happen. What's at stake here has little to do with the Hanson, but with adherence to NOR.
Jim Dunning | talk 13:15, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

You miss the point, Mr Dunning, adherence to NOR permits summaries and rephrasing. Therefore the question is, does "futurist" summarise someone whose futurist speculations are reliably sourced with a string of publications and affliations?
BTW, please note I am not trying to suppress other adjectives such as "economist" and "social scientist". --Michael C. Price talk 14:07, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Call him an economist, and move on. "Futurist" is a far squishier adjective if the concern is that people will somehow discount the theory because he's an economist. THF (talk) 13:54, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I understand your point, but disagree. I agree that economist is much less squishy, but that's a bad thing. The more people are familiar with economists and what (most of them) do, the more likely they are to face cognitive dissonance in this case, since GF has very little to do with what most folks think of economics. On the other hand, this type of question is precisely in the domain of futurists.
I would suggest "economist and futurist" as one of his friends has used to introduced him. LouScheffer (talk) 14:27, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
If no reliable source calls him a futurist, and he specifically disclaims being a futurist, then calling him a futurist violates WP:BLP as well as WP:NOR. (Even without the recent attempt of extension of WP:BLP to cover non-contentious material.) That he (appears to) meet (most) definitions of "futurist" is irrelevant. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:58, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
He does not specifically disclaim being a futurist, or at least no references to this, reliable or otherwise, have been found so far. In formal documents he consistently refers to himself as an economist. In less formal blogs and web sites he is often described as a futurist. This includes blogs he posts to himself, and he's not voiced any objection. (See for example here for a fairly widely read and respected blog, written by one of his friends, that calls him "economist and futurist". He posts several replies with no complaints about being called a futurist. LouScheffer (talk) 16:32, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
A number of people often refer to me as an "asshole," but even though I never bother to take the time to correct them, I hope my reticence isn't mistaken for acquiescence or agreement. lol I agree with Arthur Rubin and Viriditas that we have to adhere to the first WP Pillar: "Content should be verifiable with citations to reliable sources. Our editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong here." Find something other than a primary source.
Jim Dunning | talk 22:04, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Another WP pillar “Carefully summarizing or rephrasing source material without changing its meaning is not synthesis—it is good editing.” So the issue is, is Robin Hanson a futurist? Does he speculate about the future? --Michael C. Price talk 22:32, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
According to what I think you are saying, it's perfectly OK to say "Robin Hanson, an economist[] who speculates about the future[][][], ....", and you can say "Futurists are those who speculate about the future.[][][]", both backed by numerous secondary sources. But you cannot say "Robin Hanson, an economist and futurist, ...". Something is very wrong when the use of a definition is considered to be interpretation, and open to doubt. Indeed, almost every phrase of every article that is not a direct quote has a level of interpretation more debatable than this. For example, the summary of the article now reads

The Great Filter is a hypothesis that concerns the implications of the Fermi paradox, and can be considered an explanation for what is called the "Great Silence". The failure to find any extraterrestrial civilizations in the observable universe implies the possibility that a "Great Filter" might act to reduce the great number of sites where intelligent extraterrestrial life might arise to the tiny number of intelligent species actually observed (currently just one: ours).[1] This probability threshold, which could lie behind us or in front of us, might work as a barrier to the evolution of intelligent life, or a high probability of self-destruction.[2][3] The main counter-intuitive conclusion of this observation is that the easier it was for life to evolve to our stage, the bleaker our future chances probably are.

whereas what the paper actually says is:

Fermi, Dyson, Hart, Tipler, and others [Finney & Jones, Dyson 66, Hart 75, Tipler 80] have highlighted the relevance to SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence) of the "The Great Silence" [Brin 83] (also known as the Fermi paradox), the fact that extraterrestrials haven't substantially colonized Earth yet. What has not yet been sufficiently highlighted or adequately analyzed, however, is the relevance of this fact for much bigger choices we now make.

The Great Silence must force us to revise a standard view in one or more area of biology, astronomy, physics, or the social sciences. And some of these revisions strongly suggest that humanity be much more wary of possible disasters. To clarify these points, this paper will first review how our standard understandings in these areas would lead us not to expect a Great Silence, and will then consider a variety of possible revisions we might consider.

Now I happen to think that the Wiki article is a fair, though imperfect summary of the article. It's a good-faith attempt to get across what various editors believe to be the most relevant points. Nonetheless, it amplifies some points, ignores others, makes statements that are far from universally accepted (for example, it implies that dolphins and apes are not intelligent), and so on. It uses classical deduction and common knowledge of all kinds - take the first phrase "The Great Filter is a hypothesis". Can you find a reliable source that explicitly says that the Great Filter is a hypothesis? (There may be one, but it's not obvious to Google scholar). I personally do not doubt it, but it's true via a chain of reasoning such as "scientific theories are all hypotheses" and "the Great Filter is a scientific theory". At any rate, it's clear that the first paragraph alone has orders of magnitude more 'interpretation' than the use of a definition to refer to Hanson as a futurist. Yet without this there is no chance to usefully summarize anything. LouScheffer (talk) 02:46, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Lou, you're absolutely correct. Wikipedia is full of interpretation - which is okay as long as it does not require specialist knowledge. The problem starts with editors who do not acknowledge this fact and try to pretend that they are not synthesising at all.--Michael C. Price talk 03:08, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Robin Hanson and Nick Bostrom refer to the Great Filter as a hypothesis, as do other sources. For a good secondary source, see Michael Hanlon, Eternity: Our Next Billion Years (2008), p. 65.[21] No interpretation required. Viriditas (talk) 03:20, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Not quite so fast - I don't think the reference shows what the statement says. My understanding is that the "Great Filter" is the one or more unlikely steps that reduce the odds of intelligent life. The "Great Filter Hypothesis" is a hypothesis that such a filter exists. So you will need a reference that shows the "The Great Filter is a hypothesis", as opposed to the "Great Filter hypothesis", which strictly speaking is something else entirely. And assuming you can find this, what about the next six words, "that concerns the implications of the Fermi paradox". The primary source speaks only of "the relevance of this fact", where "this fact" refers to "the fact that extraterrestrials haven't substantially colonized Earth yet". But this is not strictly equal to either the Fermi paradox, or the Great Silence, both of which talk about the absence of communication as well as colonization. So you'll need a reference that the Great Filter concerns the implications of the Fermi paradox. Can you find one?
Lou, please read Wikipedia:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point and Wikipedia:Disruptive editing as you have now crossed the line. Viriditas (talk) 04:44, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. It's disruptive to ask for a reputable source for a statement equating "the fact that extraterrestrials haven't substantially colonized Earth yet" and the "Fermi paradox", which isn't even true?? Now Hanson himself equates "Great Silence" equals "Fermi Paradox" equals "the fact that extraterrestrials haven't substantially colonized Earth yet". But many knowledgeable observers would call these three very different ideas - you need to add "life is common" or the anthropic principle to make "Earth not colonized" into the Fermi paradox. And the Great Silence, by its very name, refers mostly to the lack of communication or visible activity, where the Fermi paradox refers mostly to the lack of physical colonization. Now if Hanson believes these are all the same for the purpose of GF, that's fine - it's his argument. But he never explicitly states the GF is an implication of the Fermi Paradox - he stated the GF is a implication of "not colonized yet", and also (incorrectly) equated "not colonized yet" and FP. To get "GF is an implication of the Fermi paradox", you need to combine these two statements, but this entails considerably more interpretation than "Futurist are those who speculate" plus "RH speculates" to get "RH is a futurist", because one of the statements - no colonization == FP - is itself debatable. On a more philosophical level, letting a statement like "no colonies == FP" pass, without noting that most folks in the field would not agree, is a (strong) form of interpretation. This is one of the most valuable (and most difficult) functions of editors, to make sure readers are aware of where proposed arguments agree with the general knowledge of the field, and where they do not. LouScheffer (talk) 05:43, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
It's disruptive Lou, because it has nothing to do with the topic at hand, namely unsourced statements about BLP's. And it's a POINTY distraction from that topic, as you are arguing about the presentation of content related to the Great Filter, not a BLP. I'm sure the wording in that article can always be improved to adhere more closely to the sources, but that has nothing to do with this particular incident report and it should be taken to that talk page for discussion. As I've stated to both you and Mike in the past, I want nothing more than to work with you to improve that article, sticking as closely to the sources as we can. Viriditas (talk) 07:46, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
It's not disruptive, Viriditas, to point out that your stance is totally unrealistic and selective. --Michael C. Price talk 10:24, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Debating the merits of a topic definition is not in any way equivalent to arguing for the inclusion of unsourced claims about a BLP. Continuing attempts to claim it is, is a wonderful example of WP:POINT. All definitions are interpretations of some kind or another. That has nothing to do with the topic of this incident report. We can't make unsourced claims about BLP's. End of discussion. Viriditas (talk) 10:40, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
That Hanson is a futurist is a summary of lots of reliable sources. --Michael C. Price talk 22:27, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
No, it isn't, Michael, and you've already been informed and corrected about your misunderstanding of the word "summary" from the OR policy. It means to paraphrase, and you haven't paraphrased anything. When we use reliable sources, we use them explicitly; We don't interpret them. For interpretations, we rely on interpretations made by secondary sources. If this isn't making sense, feel free to ask questions about how we use sources on the RS policy page or noticeboard. Viriditas (talk) 00:58, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
"Paraphrase" does not appear in WP:OR. "Rephrasing" and "summarizing" do. --Michael C. Price talk 06:36, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Michael, one of the requirements for understanding policy and guidelines, is familiarizing yourself with the language that is used to construct it. The words, "rephrasing" and summarizing" in the context of the policy refer only to paraphrasing sources. If you aren't sure about this, you are free to ask someone about this on the policy talk page. Viriditas (talk) 11:08, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) "rephrasing" and "summarizing" means "rephrasing" and "summarizing". End of story. That you try to make it mean something else speaks for itself.

You're wrong, Michael. They can only mean paraphrasing in the context of a policy against OR. I thought this was obvious. The interpretation you are defending contradicts the policy. Viriditas (talk) 13:13, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Need some context? Try reading the whole sentence
“Carefully summarizing or rephrasing source material without changing its meaning is not synthesis—it is good editing.”
Does that make sense? --Michael C. Price talk 13:47, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it does make sense, as it is an excellent description of paraphrasing. It does not, as you curiously maintain, give carte blanche to editors, allowing them to add editorial interpretations, explanations, and descriptions from primary sources without maintaining the integrity of the original source, explicitly. That's the entire purpose of paraphrasing, and that's why it is good editing. What you are defending is not, and is prohibited by the OR policy. You can't have it both ways, Michael. You're contradicting yourself. "Carefully summarizing or rephrasing source material" refers only to paraphrasing sources, nothing more. That you continue to challenge this shows that you don't understand (or acknowledge) the OR policy. The fact is, you haven't "carefully" summarized or rephrased anything in this discussion. What you have done is interpret primary sources in a highly personal and ambiguous way, and WP:PSTS doesn't allow for that. You can't have it both ways, Michael. It either means paraphrasing, in which case your argument is wrong, or it doesn't, in which case it contradicts PSTS. Since the policy does not contradict itself, and it is clear to reasonable people that "carefully summarizing or rephrasing source material" refers only to paraphrasing, your argument does not make any sense. Perhaps you should take a break and look up the definition of "paraphrasing"; It is defined as carefully summarizing or rephrasing source material. Viriditas (talk) 14:09, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Since you insist paraphrasing means the same thing, the question still remains, is the rephrase "futurist" an accurate summary? Do the reliable sources about Hanson testify to his professional speculations about the future. Yes, they do. Do we require specialist knowledge to make this assessment? No. --Michael C. Price talk 14:28, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
WP:PSTS is clear on this question: "Do not make analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims about material found in a primary source." And since you are making claims about a WP:BLP, we must have "high quality references". You may want to pay special attention to Wikipedia:BLP#Sources. The policies and guidelines do not exist independently of each other; They are interconnected. Viriditas (talk) 14:39, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Hanson's futurist speculations are described in reliable secondary sources as well, some of which you have added to WP. Thank you. --Michael C. Price talk 16:25, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Does any reliable source call him a "futurist"? There being so many potential definitions, we cannot say it unless someone else does. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:53, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I say yes, we have reliable sources for "futurist", since this is a very unexceptional claim, we don't need exceptional sources. WP:BLP#sources says "Ask yourself whether the source is reliable; whether the material is being presented as true; and whether, even if true, it is relevant to an encyclopedia article about the subject." If so then "futurist" passes all three tests: reliable, true and relevant. --Michael C. Price talk 01:00, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Does any reliable source call him a "futurist"? If so, which one(s)? If there aren't reliable sources for claims about BLP's, (or a paucity of RS such that accuracy or importance cannot be determined) we default to exclusion, not inclusion. So, if we have 250 RS that call Hanson an economist/professor of economics, and one blog post or e-mail or think tank website advertising a web forum discussion, we also default to exclusion. We not only require good sources for content, but good editorial judgment. Our articles reflect the majority view expounded by RS, and any significant minority viewpoints represented in the same or similar number of RS. We also consider the merits of what the biographical subject says about the subject. Let me give you an example that I'm currently dealing with in another article. The Buddhist monk Claude AnShin Thomas is not a peace activist. However, some sources have reported that he is. Thomas is very clear on this point, clearing up this misconception whenever it arises. But the thing is, we, as humans, love to tell stories, and illustrate our stories with our POV, even as writers who are supposed to remain objective. What this means is, whenever we use sources, we have to be acutely aware of any bias brought to the subject by the source itself. So, you see, there are many issues to consider when writing articles, especially when we are writing about BLP's. You seem hung up on the particular wording of one policy while ignoring the multiple policies and guidelines that play a significant role in the overall process. This is only one example. I can provide many more. The point is, "futurist" does not remotely pass the litmus test for inclusion. Reliable sources don't support its use, we can't determine if it is true, and it does not seem relevant to the topic. What happened here is that you objected to the use of the term "social scientist", a term Hanson uses to describe himself (and the subject of his study and work) and you argued for the use of the term "futurist" instead, a term that is not used by Hanson to describe himself. That doesn't pass the accuracy test. Viriditas (talk) 07:00, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Viriditas, you example totally fails. You say, "The Buddhist monk Claude AnShin Thomas is not a peace activist......" but Robin Hanson is a futurist and the truth weighs heavily at WP:BLP#sources. So, as always, the questions comes back to, is Robin Hanson a futurist? Does that description summarise his work? And we please stop trotting out your line that Lou and myself are trying to remove the description "social scientist" from the article. Lou and myself have both repeatedly said that we are okay with that; we are just looking for balance with "futurist". --Michael C. Price talk 07:26, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Why does the term "social scientist" need or require balancing of any kind? And, how did you choose the term "futurist" to do it? What reliable sources are you using? Does Hanson self-identify as a futurist? If not, why not? Viriditas (talk) 07:30, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
All previously dealt with. --Michael C. Price talk 07:42, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Please briefly refresh my memory, as I don't recall actual answers to these important questions. Feel free to use bullet points if it helps you. Viriditas (talk) 07:44, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Time to hear from, and listen to, folks with better memories.--Michael C. Price talk 13:26, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
My memory is fine. I don't recall you answering these questions with direct answers. I also don't see why any further discussion is required. There's no consensus for inclusion, and the default position when dealing with poorly sourced claims about BLP's is exclusion. Viriditas (talk) 03:35, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree. It's unfortunate that Michael C Price is only willing to engage with flip remarks and deflections while everyone else is willing to discuss at a substantive level. Since his "asked and answered" position is slight, I recommend closing the discussion as well.
Jim Dunning | talk 22:48, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Jim, they are not flips and deflections, they are attempts to stay focused and avoid repetition. BTW, Jim, you raised the question of "adherence to NOR" and I responded:
"adherence to NOR permits summaries and rephrasing. Therefore the question is, does "futurist" summarise someone whose futurist speculations are reliably sourced with a string of publications and affliations?"
Was that a flip or deflection, or a direct answer to your point? BTW I never got a response from you about it. --Michael C. Price talk 23:38, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

I've been unable to take part due to real work needs, but Michael is correct that Viriditas keeps returning to the exact same arguments, with no progress towards compromise.

Anything that is not a direct quote of the full article is an interpretation of some sort (even quoting parts is interpretation via the decision what to leave out.) Stuff derivable from reliable sources and non-specialist reasoning are allowed, and must be allowed, or no editing is possible. OR and SYN are out. However, which case is which is itself open to interpretation, and here is where the main dispute arises. Viriditas calls any edit he does not like OR and SYN, but his are paraphrasing and hence permissable. This applies not only to BLP, but other edits as well (See History of Astronomy, for example, in the talk page for Great Filter). When questioned on this, he reverts to the policies, but does not substantially discuss the underlying issues. IMO, LouScheffer (talk) 12:26, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Please stop changing the subject. This discussion is about unsourced BLP claims. I would be happy to discuss the rest of those issues with you in their proper context. If you want to open separate threads, I don't mind, but this one is abut unsourced BLP claims, not the history of astronomy or how to best represent a definition in a lead section. Viriditas (talk) 14:31, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
This discussion is about unsourced BLP claims. No it isn't, it is about the claim that describing Hanson as a futurist is not reliably sourced vs the claim that it is a reliably sourced summary.--Michael C. Price talk 14:39, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Since you've been unable to provide a single reliable source for a claim about a BLP, it is most certainly a discussion about an unsourced BLP claim. If it isn't, you will now produce the RS supporting the claim that Hanson is a "futurist". RS in this context does not mean blog postings, private or public e-mail, or advertisements for web discussions made by the Cato Institute. It means reliable sources, which in the case of claims made about BLP's, must meet the highest criteria for authoritativeness and accuracy. Since none appear to exist, the claim remains unsourced, and since a summary in the context of the OR policy refers to an accurate paraphrase of a RS, not an interpretation or editorial explanation or description of a primary, the discussion is still focused on unsourced BLP claims. This is not a discussion about the history of astronomy or the use of and construction of definitions in lead sections. Please stay on topic. Viriditas (talk) 14:50, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Micheal is precisely correct. There are many well sourced definitions of futurist. There are many reliable sources showing Hanson has published extensively about the future. Therefore, using only non-specialist knowledge, he *is* a futurist, and can be called one. BLP calls for only the most reliable of sources, and this more than satisifes the requirement. LouScheffer (talk) 15:05, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
If there are reliable sources supporting this claim, then it should be easy to produce them. Please do so, here, below this comment. Viriditas (talk) 15:07, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
This is a classic example of the endless repetitive cycling we get with Viriditas. He has been shown many examples of RSs which we claim (many times) can be summarised as "futurist", which he pretends not to have seen. We have asked him, many times, if he agrees. Instead of answering he deflects this uncomfortable question by just calling for more sources. And so it goes on... --Michael C. Price talk 17:57, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
You have not shown any "examples" of reliable sources, nor have you paraphrased any of them accurately. I am not calling for more sources. I am calling for one reliable source out of the hundreds linked to on Hanson's website, none of which call him a "futurist". Viriditas (talk) 23:04, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Michael - this is exactly the problem. Michael and I believe this combination *IS* a reliable source. If you think not, then you must believe either
(a) The definition of futurist as "Futurists are those who speculate about the future." cannot be reliably supported, or
(b) The observation that Hanson has published papers about the future is not reliable, or
(c) The conclusion that Hanson is a futurist cannot be deduced from (a) and (b) by a normally intelligent person without specialized knowledge.
This is where it gets extremely frustrating. Clearly Viriditas believes we should not call Hanson a futurist, and he is surely entitled to his opinion. But we have presented arguments about why Hanson *is* a futurist - points (a), (b), and (c) above. But Viriditas does not respond to *this* argument, by saying which of (a), (b), or (c) he does not believe. He responds lots of other ways - Hanson would appear to be called an economist, perhaps social scientist is more relevant, there is no source explicitly saying (c), etc. These may all be true, but are not relevant to the argument Michael and I are making. In order to have any rational discussion, if someone does not agree with a conclusion, they need to state *why* they do not agree, so the argument can be modified until it converges.
What I would expect from a concensus building viewpoint is either "Yes, the argument is correct and Hanson is a futurist and can be referred to as one in the article", or "no, Hanson is not a futurist (or is one but cannot be called one) and here is where your argument fails". This is the part that is missing. LouScheffer (talk) 18:48, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
My "beliefs" have nothing to do with using reliable sources to write articles, and using reliable sources to make claims about BLP's. If you have a single reliable source that claims Hanson is a futurist explicitly, or you can show Hanson referring to himself as one explicitly, please provide one. No beliefs or arguments are required. Your comment and Michael's above shows that you still don't "get" the OR policy. We do not get to define, observe, and conclude anything about BLP's that reliable sources have not already published. What's going on here, is that you and Michael are using primary sources to define, observe, and conclude things about BLP's, and the OR policy doesn't allow for it. Find a good secondary source that describes Hanson as a futurist. Neither of you can find one and that pretty much tells us as editors that it isn't important to add to Wikipedia. If the majority of reliable sources do not concur with what editors are saying about BLP's (or in this case not even one) then you need to take a step back and ask yourself why. It's very simple, and there's no need to redefine the concept of "paraphrasing" to understand it. You need to ask yourself why you can't find RS to support the claim that Hanson is a futurist and why Hanson doesn't call himself a futurist. When we look at the RS, we find some answers:
  • Hanson says: "I don't sign onto any "ism". Could that apply to futurism, for example? We should take a cautious approach and stick to what the sources say.
  • "Hanson says: "I'm an academic, I'm a professor"; Also, "I'm a social scientist with a high estimate of the power of social science (especially economics and sociobiology) to trace the outlines of a wide variety of social behavior. I even use social science to estimate our distant descendants’ future, and the astronomical signatures that aliens might leave." Notice, Hanson does not call himself a futurist to describe his work.
  • Reliable sources call Hanson an economist and a professor of economics, and that's we call him unless we have sources saying otherwise.
There's no need to define, observe, and conclude anything that isn't already published, and no need to draw conclusions from primary sources to write about BLP's. Neither the subject nor the sources support calling Hanson a futurist. Viriditas (talk) 23:26, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

I note that in Viriditas' responses (above) to Lou and myself he once again fails to address the summarisation and rephrasing allowance made in WP:OR (which doesn't mention "paraphrasing", BTW). You can't even begin to reach a consensus with someone who just ignores points. As I said earlier, it's all water off a duck's back with him; nothing ever penetrates.--Michael C. Price talk 23:16, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

You have the burden of proof Michael, to show that reliable sources support your claims about BLP's. You have not been able to do this without violating the OR policy. Viriditas (talk) 23:30, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Ducking the rephrasing and summarisation issue again, I see. --Michael C. Price talk 08:49, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
I've directly addressed it at least half a dozen times. On the other hand, you've never answered a single direct question, such as 1) What reliable sources call Hanson a futurist? 2) Why does the term "social scientist" need or require balancing? 3) Does Hanson self-identify as a futurist, using that term? If you can't answer those simple questions, then you can't use the word "futurist" to describe Hanson. End of discussion. Viriditas (talk) 14:52, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Micheal again. You have told us many, many times what your argument is. It is clear we understand it, though we do not agree with it - we have written detailed comments on every point. Now it is your turn to address our argument. Your belief is that our arguments (a), (b), and (c) together do not constitute a reliable source. We believe they do, which is the primary source of disagreement. Now if your belief is true, there must be some flaw in our argument. Please explain what you believe it is. You cannot even attempt to reach a consensus, if you are unwilling to address the arguments of the those whose opinions differ. LouScheffer (talk) 14:10, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Your claims lack evidence, i.e. reliable sources. Without them, we can't call Hanson a "futurist". It's very simple. Viriditas (talk) 14:48, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
The problem with the term "futurist" is that it's vague and often WP:PEACOCK:
  • Sometimes it's purely snake-oil selling.
  • Sometimes it's a term a journalist may use to fill a few inches on a slow day.
  • Real experts with an interest in the human's middle- to long-term prospects vary by their fields (Hanson is an economist; Raymond Kurzweil is an inventor with a strong track record in information technical; others have a record in space travel, such as the late Arthur C. Clarke and Robert L. Forward; etc.)
I suggest that, to avoid confusing readers, we avoid "futurist" unless we can defined the term in each specific context, and there's no general definition. In most cases, it will be more informative to write e.g. "Specialist A in field X writes that topic T will be important in time Y." --Philcha (talk) 09:43, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Nice to meet a real objection. Of course this not an OR issue, so is probably outside the remit of this notice board. Even so, let's consider it. Yes, "futurist" encompasses a range of diverse people, as your examples testify. But I think it well defined enough for our purposes, which is why there is a wikipedia category for them. Of course it is more descriptive to include more information - I have no objections to calling Hanson an economist as well, for example. --Michael C. Price talk 13:37, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you very, very much for a rational discussion, and especially for considering what is most helpful to the reader. Your points make sense, and we were attempting to discuss them when we got sidetracked here, because an editor thought it was impermissible to refer to Hanson as a futurist (as opposed to merely undesirable, for which you have legitimate points). My argument for referring to him as a futurist (see talk page for details) is mainly that "economist" and "social scientist", especially standing alone, are even more likely than futurist to give the wrong impression to the casual reader. Most people have already formed impressions of what these folks typically do, and predicting the far future is not one of them. So the different labels fail in different ways - futurist by being too mushy, and economist and social scientist by being too concretely grounded in what typical folks in these fields do. So I've proposed "economist and futurist", but that comes back the question here - is calling him a futurist OR or SYN, or is it a description supported by reliable sources? Feel free to read the enormous argument above, it you've got the stomach for it, and offer your opinion. Thanks, LouScheffer (talk) 14:27, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Please provide evidence showing that calling Hanson a social scientist and an economist "give the wrong impression". The facts show otherwise: Hanson calls himself a social scientist, and the reliable sources call him an economist. Neither Hanson nor reliable sources use the word "futurist". Viriditas (talk) 14:49, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Viritidas is correct - With no reliable sources describing him as a "futurist," one cannot say so.
I would suggest marking this discussion as resolved in favor of excluding the "futurist" label.
WhisperToMe (talk) 22:06, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
So why can't we use the line of WP:OR that says “Carefully summarizing or rephrasing source material without changing its meaning is not synthesis—it is good editing.” to summarise Hanson as a "futurist"?--Michael C. Price talk 00:46, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
AFAIK a way to do that would be to find a source explicitly saying that all members of the Future of Humanity Institute are futurists, and then finding a source that says that Hanson is a member of the group. WhisperToMe (talk) 11:37, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that would be one way, but surely not the only way, of summarising data, is it? --Michael C. Price talk 11:42, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Any options must involve secondary sources referring to him as a futurist, the secondary sources referring to his group as being composed of futurists, or involve the subject explicitly referring to himself as a "futurist"
I would suggest that you get to work immediately on trying to find secondary sources which explicitly refer to him as much.
This discussion needs to be marked as "Resolved, do not include the futurist label" - Find sources, and we will reconsider based on what you find.
WhisperToMe (talk) 13:02, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Great Filter, break 6

The question boils down to "when can we describe person A as a B?". One obvious way is to find a secondary source stating that "A is a B". But another, even stronger method is to show that there is a reliable source defining a B, and then showing A meets the definition. This can be checked directly by the reader (or a court of law) and is applicable in cases such as BLP where the strongest evidence is required.

For example, consider the case where a newspaper refers to someone as a "convicted felon". Now the court did not literally call them a convicted felon - instead they convicted them on a felony charge. However, there is a definition that a convicted felon is someone who has been convicted (in a court of law) of a felony, and if there is a reliable source for the conviction, then the person is a convicted felon. Note that

  • It does not matter how the person self-identifies, or how others refer to them. The person might self identify as a "statesman", and all other existing sources may call them a "politician". They may actively hate the label "convicted felon". None of this is relevant to this argument.
  • This does not require an existing source saying "A is a B". It *does* require sources of the highest quality for the definition of B, and the actions of A.

This case is exactly parallel. We have many reliable sources for the definition of futurist. We have many reliable sources showing Hanson has written about the future. Therefore Hanson *is* a futurist, to the quality needed for a BLP. LouScheffer (talk) 14:21, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

"...But another, even stronger method is to show that there is a reliable source defining a B, and then showing A meets the definition." No... this is exactly what we don't want... that is Original reseach ... as it is an editor that is interpreting the definition and applying it to the person. We need a reliable source to make the connection between the definition and the person. Blueboar (talk) 15:06, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Blueboar, by your argument we have to use the exact same words as the source. But by this logic the "rephrasing and summarising" clause in WP:OR can never be ultilised. ??--Michael C. Price talk 10:24, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Do you agree? --Michael C. Price talk 23:27, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I think one of my sayings is appropriate here:

'Once, a novice was meditating over a guideline, when Gwern came by. The novice was tossed an unreferenced line from a plot summary. Gwern said, "If you do not reference this, it is unsourced and must be removed. But if you do reference it with a quote from the story, it is a copyvio and so must be removed. Now quickly! What do you do?"'

--Gwern (contribs) 01:22 26 February 2010 (GMT)
Easy answer: cite the the book ... or even the specific chapter and page from the book... without quoting it. Blueboar (talk) 19:35, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

<outdent>"The question boils down to "when can we describe person A as a B?". One obvious way is to find a secondary source stating that "A is a B". But another, even stronger method is to show that there is a reliable source defining a B, and then showing A meets the definition."

Bzzt. Wrong answer! The stronger claim is the opinion which is sourced (and attributed) to an uninvolved, bona fides established published opinion, and most definitively not the deconstructive "august members of the jury I ask you" dog and pony show trial as preescribed above. Nothing is more clearly synth than the instruction given above. Which means it is unallowed original research, point, game, match. Professor marginalia (talk) 06:16, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm still waiting for an explicit answer to my question above. --Michael C. Price talk 16:34, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Explicit answer: No, I do not agree that by my argument we have to use the exact same words as the source... we can paraphrase or summarize what the source says. But we do need a source that actually says A is B. The policy makes it clear... we may not state something based on our own intrepretation of a definition, and we may not use our own deductive reasoning to conclude that someone meets that definition. 19:30, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
But summarisation and rephrasing always involves an element of interpretation. This has been conceded already here. Do you disagree with this? You seem to be stating that a necessarily grey issue (which require judgement) is in fact black and white. --Michael C. Price talk 19:48, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Read the policy... or propose a change to it. This is not the place to debate it. Blueboar (talk) 02:00, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Excuse me, I have read it and I'm not proposing to alter it. We are talking about how to implement it. --Michael C. Price talk 04:05, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Ah... it seemed like you were arguing for a change in policy... my appologies... reading back to the beginning, implementation is easy: we should not discribe Robin Hanson as a "futurist" unless a reliable source describes him as a futurist. And since we are talking about a specific label, yes... I suppose we do have to have a reliable source that uses that exact same word. Hope that clarifies things. Blueboar (talk) 04:20, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
I give up. It seems no-one will ever say when it is permissible to rephrase and summarise. --Michael C. Price talk 04:45, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Edits of Fernandoe

Fernandoe (talk · contribs) started to impose his point of view in WP:EN just like he has been doing in WP:PT: moving a mass of articles and editing their content, with no discussion and no reference, not aiming a consensus.

In special, he believes that nobles, even those who lived during the XIX century, had surnames, in a time that even commons did not have it (the current concept of a "surname" is very recent, developed with the consolidation of civic registers). Apart from that, he does not have a clear understanding of the Iberic title of "Dom", compelling many of us to revert his editions (not to say his careless English).

Articles that were edited in order to impose his point of view:

No matter if one agrees or not with those informations, it is not allowed to force one's point of view, ignoring the contributions of many other editors.

I've requested a comment of other editors here, and Fernandoe was informed about it. After ignoring the discussion for some day, during which he kept on his edit warring, he posted some arguments of his own conclusions and restarted the inclusion of non-referenced information.

I'd like to know what may be done to avoid a mass edit war. Thanks. --Tonyjeff (talk) 03:16, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

I' ve just posted a note at his talk page about WP:CITE. But I am not sure whether he takes his user talk page into consideration. - Altenmann >t 05:52, 7 March 2010 (UTC)


The Gibraltarian people article has been restricted to discuss the people who have resided in Gibraltar since the British occupation in 1704. I have contested this, on the basis that "Gibraltarian" is the adjectival form of "Gibraltar", meaning "of or relating to Gibraltar or its inhabitants" [22]. Therefore, there should be appropriate mention of the people who lived in Gibraltar prior to the British takeover, not to mention the people of San Roque (the descendents of the people who left after the British took over) who continue to see themselves as the "real" Gibraltarians [23].

However, two Gibraltarian editors are arguing that "Gibraltarian" should be restricted to its legal meaning in the territory, basically a citizen of British Gibraltar, on the basis of what I contest is pure original research. [24] They are arguing that the word is never used in Gibraltar in its adjectival form "of or relating to Gibraltar", which is patently false as any search of the ".gi" domain reveals. Quoting one editor: "Gibraltarian in its adjectival form is very much the exception rather than the rule in Gibraltar, as evidenced by the number of places which use the attributive adjective 'Gibraltar', e.g. the Gibraltar Airport, or the Gibraltar Tourist Office. I note the museum itself is the Gibraltar Museum, not the Gibraltarian museum." Isn't that original research?

The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 00:39, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't say it's original research. Using a directory is no different from using Google to gauge the popularity of a word relative to another. It would, however, be original research if I were using it to cite, say, a paragraph on English usage in Gibraltar. But that isn't the case. RedCoat10 (talk) 14:43, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
This sounds like a NPOV issue, not a NOR issue. Blueboar (talk) 16:14, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Tea Party Movement "ignored" by MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC


An editor is [25] misstating information attributed to this newspaper story [26] about how several television news programs reported on the Tea Party movement. The Wikipedia article currently states: "The Los Angeles Times reported that Fox News claimed it gave coverage to the emerging protests while MSNBC, and the network news outlets, ABC, NBC, and CBS, ignored the coverage." The article does not say this. This amounts to WP:OR. What should we do?--Happysomeone (talk) 19:53, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

It looks like the editor has only been talked to about this once, not even a warning, and I'm not seeing that this is a continuous problem. Is there more than one time that the editor added this information? My suggestion is to talk to this editor. Go to the article talk page, not here, and get input from other editors involved in this article, if consensus is that this source is being used inapropriately talk to this editor, on their talk page, and ask them to stop, if they haven't already. I suspect that will solve your problem. As always the best policy is to [WP:AGF |assume good faith]] when dealing with other editors. Voiceofreason01 (talk) 20:17, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

I see. It's not [27] the [28] first [29] time and we have discussed this several times previously.--Happysomeone (talk) 22:03, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Hello, Voice of Reason, you should know that Happysomeone has been harassing me, and together with Izauze has already made a frivolous AN3 notice that the admin Atama found no violation by me. He did however, find a violation of 3rr against Izauze. After this failed, Happysomeone and Izauze then went to the Wiki ediqutte board. That too, went nowhere. I've been a most cooperative editor. Happysomeone is strenuously objecting to any edit I make. In the media section in question, if you examine the talk page, you'll see I've been working very well to help reduce the content and summarize it to help bring it more into a neutral pov. That's all. And now Happysomeone has left a warning on my talk page making it appear that I'm a problem editor again. He also arranges diffs to tell in an effort to present a scenario to support his claims, but if you examine everything you'll see that the point he's trying to make is not accurate. Thanks. Malke2010 22:16, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
He just placed this on my talk page after your decision and as you can see, it claims that this is an issue (i.e., I'm not cooperating and am editing in a disruptive manner and all these editors are also claiming this) on TPM when in fact it has never been. [30]. I can also show you diffs of Izauaze admitting on various talk pages including his own and admin Atama's his desire to have me blocked so I will be discouraged and leave Wikipedia. Thanks.Malke2010 22:22, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
This board is for advice on issues involving original research and for help building consensus. This is not the place to be looking for disciplinary actions or looking for people to take sides on your pet issue. If this is a legitimate issue with WP:HARASSMENT take it to the administrators noticeboard, Malke, if Atama is bothering you that much I would suggest not interacting with him, there are plenty of other article on Wikipedia.
This sounds like a simple content dispute to me. Be aware that you are involved in editing an article on a controversial topic that also happens to be in the news right now. Tempers are bound to run high in this type of enviroment, it can be helpful to remember that yours is not the only point of view, see WP:TIGER. My advice is to calm down, relax, you both might consider taking a short break from the article, in a few months when things have cooled down in the news, and your tempers, revisit the problem, the article will still be there. Meanwhile content disputes are best kept on the talk page of the article in question. Please remain civil and assume good faith and you should be fine. Voiceofreason01 (talk) 16:32, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

The editor has now withdrawn support for the content, claiming it was information "moved" from elsewhere and not actually written from him/her. I've gone ahead and removed it. Thanks for your help.--Happysomeone (talk) 19:53, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I did not write the edit and I have never supported this edit. And what I said to Happysomeone multiple times when he continued to badger me about this, is that if this edit is so disturbing to him that he is reacting in such a way, he should delete it. He doesn't need my permission to delete original research written by another editor. Thank you Voice of Reason.Malke2010 06:26, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Sigh. This is so confusing, because of the initial diff.--Happysomeone (talk) 18:47, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Vampire baseball, et al

Varlaam has created a whole series of "List of..." articles which are full of all kinds of original research, inappropriate commentary, just plain incorrect information, etc. I have attempted to fix a couple of these, but he immediately reverts any changes made. He doesn't seem to be interested in working with anyone to improve the articles, either. You can see a discussion regarding a few of these pages over here, but his willingness to work with others doesn't seem to be improving.

Now, there is some good content in these lists, but the original research, commentary, and the like needs to be removed, and it shouldn't need to be discussed on the talk page first if it's blatant. Varlaam insists on having control over everything in regard to these lists, however, and won't let others modify them or rename them.

Here's a list of the articles I can find:

It's possible there may be others, but I wasn't able to locate them. Thoughts on how to clean up this mess? ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:28, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree there are big problems with original research and ownership with these lists. Although Varlaam has commented at the discussion linked above, he/she has failed to really answer a ny of the questions other editors have or address their concerns. Edits by other editors are reverted because no discussion has occurred yet, but he/she doesn't seem to want to participate in any discussion. The lists are original research to start with because it is Varlaam who is deciding what, for example, constitutes a sports book. It is Varlaam's opinion that Twilight and Emma are sports books. So is Roots: The Saga of an American Family; because it contains an incident of cockfighting. This is Varlaam's opinion, and others obviously disagree. It's not backed up by any reliable sources. The Ghost and the Darkness is a sports film because some lions eat some men.
There is also inappropriate commentary peppered throughout some of the lists. Varlaam adds references to user-added reviews on IMDb, including his/her own review. Because this was under a "nom de plume", Varlaam helpfully linked to User:Varlaam in the article List of films based on war books — 1927–1945.
All in all, there are multiple problems on these lists, but it's very hard to start cleaning them up because Varlaam resists anyone else editing the lists.--BelovedFreak 10:53, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Varlaam should not be permitted to re-add the questionable material. Per WP:BURDEN, "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material." Erik (talk) 13:22, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree, but getting him to understand that is the hard part. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:32, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
If anyone wants to weigh in at Talk:List of films based on arts books, that'd be welcome. Varlaam is readding references to his own reviews on IMDb.--BelovedFreak 10:55, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Two dubious articles ?

Not sure what to do about these two articles. Colonization of Venus and Colonization of the outer Solar System both seem to run very much against Wiki policy on OR and directly against WP:FUTURE. The one about Venus also seems to be someone's 'pet' project. Are these OK? Or should they be nominated for AFD? If so, how is that done exactly? I've looked at the page but cant really follow it/the procedure. Wembwandt (talk) 11:02, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

The topic is definitely notable, and so should not be sent to AFD (the result would be to keep it if you did). I don't see much that is OR in these articles (the ideas discussed are hardly original... science fiction writers have used them in their plots for years)... although I do think the article needs more in the way of sourcing to demonstrate exactly who says what . The articles would benefit from clearer attribution, mentioning who first proposed the various colonization techniques being discussed, and some discussion of whether others in the scientific community think the various ideas are realistic or not. Blueboar (talk) 15:48, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I agree that they are notable subjects but I dont see how they belong in Wikipedia given that they are entirely fictitious/speculative in nature. In several respects WP:FUTURE seems to say these articles do not belong here. I'm also concerned because they talk about colonization of other planets as if it was a matter of fact - something that could definitely be done - and this is very (very!) misleading. Surely Wikipedia cannot report wrong information like this? Worse still, looking at the edit history, it seems that any attempt to re-write the one about Venus in a more 'factual' manner, ie. to qualify the claims being made, seems to be reverted by a user. Wembwandt (talk) 10:03, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree, and I have seen extraordinarily misguided statements along the lines that it doesn't really matter if we stuff up the environment on this planet because by the time it's a real problem we can holiday on Mars or whatever. However, there are some battles that it is just not worth fighting, and this is one of them because trying to AfD these would just waste time. Instead, you might note here a small sample of original research from one of the articles and ask for ideas on how to proceed. Or perhaps provide a diff to OR being added. Johnuniq (talk) 01:38, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
We have articles on fiction... so that is not an issue. We also have lots of articles that are about theories... even fringe theories... if they are notable. The various theories about how the colonization of space might be achieved is definitely notable and should be discussed in a compendium of knowledge and ideas such as Wikipedia. Now... that said, the article could well contain Original research, unverified claims, and POV claptrap. Those should indeed be fixed. I would suggest taking it slow and go step by step. Fix one problem statement, and if you are reverted report it to the appropriate notice board with linked differences so that other editors know exactly what the problem you are trying to fix is. Don't move on to the next problem statement until you have had resolution on the first. Blueboar (talk) 02:19, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Disagree. WP:FUTURE states that Wikipedia is not for speculation which both articles are. Both need to be AFD'd as there's no way to remove all speculation and have anything even resembling a stub.
KoshVorlonNaluboutes,Aeria Gloris 13:16, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

I had a brief look at Colonization of Venus. I am sure this has been written about enough, so that it's likely a notable topic. The problem here is the treatment, the organisation of the article. Currently the article itself is speculating, whether based on speculations by sources or based on original research. It is about a future event, and that is improper.

To fix it, it should be rewritten to be primarily about how people thought about colonization of Venus at various times. Who wrote about it scientifically or in novels? What did they say? How does the way they treated the subject reflect their respective period? That would be a proper article on the subject. The author is obviously more interested in speculating themselves. To some degree that can be hidden in a properly written article, in a way that makes such an article more pleasant to read. Hans Adler 13:56, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

I disagree that WP:FUTURE applies here... the topic of these articles is current theories as to how colonization of space might be achieved. The articles do not state that such colonization will occur or speculate as to when. That said, I could see merging them into one article... perhaps entitled: Theories on achieving human colonization beyond Earth Blueboar (talk) 14:04, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Original research about Dili flag and coat of arms

User J. Patrick Fischer (talk) is owning the article of Dili, capital of East Timor. He is removing systematically the symbols of the city alleging they are not used anymore. The problem is that he doesn´t quote any relevant source to remove the symbols and prove they are not used anymore, despite there´s a law supporting them.

Domaleixo (talk)

The problem here is that both sides of the debate seem to be using OR arguments to support their edit war. My call... there is no requirement that an article include an image of a flag or a coat of arms... so it is probably better to avoid the argument by not including them until the issue can be settled one way or the other by reliable sources. This isn't based on any policy... just editorial judgment. Blueboar (talk) 14:28, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
I gave sources to all my contributions. What source he is giving to support the removal of the symbols? None, he just doesn´t think they are used anymore. Domaleixo (talk)
Yes, you cite sources... what is in question is the reliability of those sources. Essentially you point to Colonial era Portuguese statutes concerning the flag and coat of arms of this city. Your argument is that these statutes are still in effect in East Timor... while Patrick's argument is that Independence, conquest and occupation by Indonesia, and subsequent re-Independence have rendered these statutes null and void. What is needed is a reliable source that answers this question. Without such a source, both views on the issue are essentially nothing more than personal opinions. Since I don't believe there is a reliable source that will answer the question... my advice is to simply avoid the issue, by not including any discussion or image of the flag and coat of arms. Blueboar (talk) 15:34, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
I share blueboars opinion in this. I must have a different understanding of original research to Domaleixo. His arguement is that since no-one has shown a newer law negating a 1962 colonial law, then the COA and flag remain. is that not original research? Rather, don't we need something showing contemporary usage or otherwise? --Merbabu (talk) 22:14, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Darwin linked several sources, which are proving, that Portuguese law is not anymore valid in Timor-Leste, but Aleixo doesn't accept it.
  • There is not a city administration, which could use the old CoA and flag. There is only a district administration at the moment. (Sources linked in Talk:Dili)
  • No one had a problem to use the images for the colonial time, but Aleixo insistence the usage at the prominent place in the Info-Box., noting them with "MAYBE still in use".
  • Next problem is the colouring of one image. Aleixo doesn't accept, that Or on a flag is a yellow colour, not brownish.
  • At last: Both images of Aleixo hae been deleted at Commons, because he mentioned at the discussion, he scaned them from a book of the 1960ies. --J. Patrick Fischer (talk) 06:55, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Monetary conversions - synthesis and how to document

I have an article that is strictly a US-based topic. I have found a UK article that attributes a useful approximate economic amount to this topic. Of course, the UK version lists it in British pounds, which is clearly not the measure that would have been used for the US-centric topic nor would make sense to use. The topic is such that I can determine within a month of when the monetary figure was generated and thus what the estimated conversion rate would have been - I'm not looking for the exact conversion but something that is an agreeable approximation in US dollars. Specifically, for example, the value of 60,000 British pounds would be approximately 90,000 USD for when this estimate would have been made. Would this be considered novel synthesis to avoid? I would not think so , since I have a date on the UK source and can also provide the quote from that source in the reference to reiterate their 60,000 figure in the attribution. --MASEM (t) 20:34, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Currency conversions demand more judgment than conversions of temperatures, lengths, etc because they are market driven and fluctuate significantly. Are there no US references giving a figure in dollars? If it's a US based topic it would seem likely a figure could be found in US references. But as a general rule if the conversion is straightforward and clearly appropriate to the context, this method qualifies per routine calculations. If a dispute arises that for a particular context the method used for conversion is suspect or misapplied then the figure is probably going to need references. Professor marginalia (talk) 04:21, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
It's a relatively recent topic that I've been tracking, and this is the first time the cost figure has come up; the article was based on an interview with one of the people involved so this may have been the first time that question was even asked. And again, I'm not going for something accurate beyond a single significant figure - its meant to be a rough order of magnitude. It sounds like the best way is to include the cite of the UKP amount in the reference, so it's clear what the starting conversion number way. --MASEM (t) 15:06, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Just to let you know

There's a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Baseball about whether or not it's OR to include a photo of one specific player or a list of several players in an article about one baseball position. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 04:59, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

It's not original research to include mentions of some successful players, as long as they are sourced as such. Like most decisions on content, editorial decision-making has to be made about what to include. Same goes for things like pictures. Work it out. II | (t - c) 04:54, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Mina (singer)

User: keeps reinserting OR on the page. --Jaan Pärn (talk) 14:52, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Can you include diffs and an explanation next time? Is that IP the same as Saretttttta (talk · contribs), as a diff indicates? Anyway, I think I see the uncited information. Keep removing it, direct her to here for support for the action, and... well, eventually I guess you could appeal to an admin for a temporary block, seems disruptive. II | (t - c) 05:11, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Identification of the carvings on the Forward Building

In this following discussion Talk:The Forward#Bas relief portraits, it seems pretty clear, based on a comparison of pictures, that the fourth bas relief on the Forward building is of August Bebel. However, reliable sources consistently identify it as other people, some of whom seem logically unlikely. Can one include in the article the likelihood that the carving is of Bebel, based on these arguments on the Talk: page? Jayjg (talk) 02:43, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

If there's clear evidence that the sources are wrong and the editors involved agree then it's time for the editors involved to think about ignore all rules. We shouldn't be spreading misinformation for bureaucratic reasons. In this case mentioning the blog comment that the relief might be Arthur Bebel is relevant. II | (t - c) 04:58, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

I edited to make the fourth portrait that of Bebel, citing a web page. Perhaps not "reliable" enough for some, but the identification in this case is so certain that it defies common sense to include other names as if they were equally likely. Other web pages with Bebel biographies, and the Eldridge Street Synagogue's site, have also given the ID of the portrait as Bebel. However, my edit was immediately undone by someone who still wants to privilege clearly mistaken sources as equally reliable. Wikipedia is now the chief source of clearly mistaken information on this subject, leading to still more "reliable" sources parroting the misinformation. This is perverse! March 7, 2013

Disney Renaissance

I believe that the very basis of this article is OR and/or synthesis. The article claims that during the 1980s, Walt Disney Animation Studios (then Walt Disney Feature Animation) experienced a loss in prestige that was largely catalyzed by the departure of Don Bluth. It then claims that Disney went through a "renaissance" beginning in 1989 in which it regained its prestige, then suffered a slump again after 1999.

Doing a quick Google search, it is very clear that the term "Disney Renaissance" is in the vernacular of the film and animation industries. However, most of the hits that define the concept are fansites, blogs, and/or movie reviews. I cannot find any reliable sources to back the claims that:

  1. Don Bluth's departure from Disney catalyzed the slump in the 1980s (the only sources given are biographical pieces)
  2. The Disney Renaissance ended in 1999 (the source given to back this claim is an opinion piece)
  3. The films listed constituted the Disney Renaissance (the sources given only back up the films' box office revenue).

In summary, it appears that the very basis of this article is that editors looked at the box office revenue of Disney animated films over a certain time period and pieced them together to determine what constituted the Disney Renaissance. No reliable source I have found explicitly states that all the films listed constituted the Disney Renaissance, or when it began or ended. I should note that an editor has proposed merging this article with Walt Disney Animation Studios, a proposal which I have endorsed, but that discussion has had very little participation. —KuyaBriBriTalk 17:16, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

There are plenty of RS attesting to the existence of the term and its rough definition, e.g.:
Los Angeles Times
The Guardian
Cinefantastique (respected cinema journal)
book published by ABC-CLIO
book published by Octopus
book published by Oxford
So I certainly wouldn't reject the validity of the term. Whether the article is justified in being so dogmatic about the era's beginning and end is another matter.
One of the sources suggests Michael Eisner of Disney coined the term - that might be an avenue worth exploring. Barnabypage (talk) 20:09, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Seems to be plenty of sources; the second source listed by Barnabypage above says '"Roy learned fast, and his leadership helped to spark the Disney renaissance of the late 1980s and early '90s, the era of "The Little Mermaid," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and "The Lion King."', so clearly you can cite those films. I suggest copying Barnaby's list of sources over to the talk page. Can this be marked resolved? II | (t - c) 04:42, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Synthesis/original research at Efficient markets hypothesis

Aprock (talk · contribs) has been adding information to EMH saying that it is essentially disproven because it is NP-hard, and NP-hard problems are likely impossible to solve. I've gotten him to whittle this down into:

The problem of algorithmically constructing prices which reflect all available information has been studied extensively in the field of computer science[19][20]. For example, the complexity of finding the arbitrage opportunities in pair betting markets has been shown to be NP-hard.[21].

in Efficient_market_hypothesis#Theoretical_background. The discussion is at Talk:Efficient-market_hypothesis#Markets_are_efficient_if_and_only_if_P_.3D_NP. While he does have sources, none of the sources mention EMH. By including this other information he's trying to implicitly say that they are connected to EMH, but the sources don't make the connection. The editor seems to be working in good-faith but just has trouble understanding WP:SYNTH, so I'm hoping people here can help explain it. II | (t - c) 05:18, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

articles about colors

FUI: I posted a note in Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Color#Large_amount_of_original_research about the OR problem I accidentally noticed. Additional opinions are welcome. - Altenmann >t 05:47, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

I would love to see any suggestions on how to deal with this. I've sort of given up on dealing with it, as it's pretty invasive in numerous articles despite my attempts ages ago to clean them up. PaleAqua (talk) 13:07, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Miracle of Chile

I have created a talk section in Miracle of Chile detailing what I feel is extensive OR. Among the problems, a vague definition of what exactly the 'Miracle of Chile' is, changing measurements of Chile's economy, variable dates for said 'miracle' and the title itself. I welcome discussions there or here. Thanks in advance. Bonewah (talk) 19:15, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Synthesis and OR when deleting content

There's an argument going on over at Talk:Real-time tactics#Sources regarding whether WP:OR and WP:SYNTHESIS are pertinent when deleting material from articles as well as adding it. Quote: "Trivially untrue. Deletion can never be synthesis as it makes no claims in the article." Would appreciate some input, thanks. SharkD  Talk  23:54, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Austrian School, Methodology and economic prediction


I am concerned that some of the content of this section is original research. The article describes that Austrian economists criticised mainstream economists for failing to predict the recent economic crash, and provides sources for that. The article used to say that this 'glossed over' the many predictions of mainstream economists and gave sources for what the editor who included them thought were mainstream economists predicting the crash.

The article no longer contains the unsourced term 'glossed over' but it still takes the opinion of the editor including the information to establish that these are mainstream economists and that their warnings were representative of mainstream economic thought, and that this disputes the Austrians claim. The section lacks a third party source to say that mainstream economists in general predicted the crash - to use a phrase that was inappropriately in the article, 'cherry picking' retroactively among all published opinions of all economists to find a few that contradict the opinions of the Austrians seems to me to be original research, or at the very least a synthesis of disparate facts to arrive at a conclusion that is not given in any of the sources.

If it was mainstream economic thought prior to the collapse it should be really easy to find a source that says that, and if the economists cited are not representative of mainstream economic thought prior to the crash then there is no basis to say that a few random economists contradict the Austrian opinion that mainstream economics did not predict the crash. Either way it shouldn't require an ever expanding list of economists who a Wiki-editor thinks predicted the crash to show that mainstream economics did or didn't in general.

I have removed what I see to have been the original research and request comment. I previously removed the section to the talkpage and requested a source. Weakopedia (talk) 11:32, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

I feel that the above statement requires elaboration.
A) Weakopedia seems to be wasting a fair amount of space complaining about issues that he admits no longer exists ["gloss over", etc].
B) More importantly, he makes the statement that "The section lacks a third party source to say that mainstream economists in general predicted the crash," when, in fact, no such assertion is made in the wiki article, and consequently, no such sourcing is needed. Within the article, there is a claim describing a small minority group's perspective about mainstream economists; for weight balance, an assertion has been further added to the article [and provided with multiple sources] basically stating the simple fact that "there exist economists associated with the mainstream who have been credited with prediction." The likely key to the problem is that User:Weakopedia's insertion of the term "in general" creates a strawman. In the disputed text, no such assertion is being made about anything "in general." BigK HeX (talk) 00:32, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
For clarity, I'll quote the current version of the section containing the disputed text below. The dispute is with the second sentence (which I have only partially co-authored).

Austrians also counter with the argument that mainstream economics has a very poor record of "scientific" prediction and note that mainstream economists generally failed to predict or warn of major economic events such as the recent Global Financial Crisis and the Great Depression.[36][37][38][39][40]. However, economists associated with the mainstream economic schools have been credited with warning of the Global Financial Crisis[41][42][43][44][45][46], including Dean Baker, Wynne Godley, Michael Hudson, and Steve Keen.

BigK HeX (talk) 00:40, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Dean Baker has published one of his analyses in the Real World Economics Review, an explicitly heterodox publication connected with the movement for post autistic economics. Wynne Godley does work in the Cambridge school tradition of, say, Nicky Kaldor and Joan Robinson, now explicitly heterodox. Michael Hudson's doctorate is from the New School and is at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, also hotbeds of heterodoxy. Steve Keen wrote a whole book debunking neoclassical economics and explicitly identifies as a Post Keynesian. It is a howler to identify any of these as mainstream economists. Furthermore, the references in the article (e.g., Galbraith) explicitly identify those who called the recession as being out of the mainstream. No references, as I understand it, say otherwise. -- RLV (talk) 07:43, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Mainstream in the context of the Austrian School refers to economists who use the empirical method and publish in peer-reviewed economic journals So all these economists are "mainstream" even if they do not adherence to orthodoxy. The Four Deuces (talk) 09:44, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Do you have a source for that. Weakopedia (talk) 10:22, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

I have to agree with RLV. It's ridiculous to suggest that Keen or Baker are considered mainstream. They both self-identify themselves as excluded (shunned) by the mainstream. Keen explicitly states that neo-classical economics is a disease that has taken over mainstream academia. Also BigKHex is clearly opinion-pushing and OR-ing by linking to refs that do NOT state "mainstream economists predicted the GFC" but to a disparate collection of original articles that, combined together in a form of OR, looks like creating an argument that some non-Austrians also predicted the housing bust. However I think it's innocuous now (a lot of the POV-pushing has been edited out) so I'm relaxed about it now. However BigHex should be big enough to acknowledge it was OR.

"Mainstream economics is concerned with the correct specification of mathematically tractable models. A mainstream theory consists of a set of definitions of the variables to be employed, a set of assumptions under which the theory is meant to apply, and a set of hypotheses about how things behave." (From the Mises Institute)[31] The Four Deuces (talk) 10:55, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
The Four Deuces raises the point trying to be conveyed, that the dispute is in a section about "METHODOLOGY." In any case, as mentioned, someone else has been editing that sentence and, despite User:Weakopedia's false attribution, it was another person who added Godley and Keen (though it should be noted that the sentence gave a different context at that time). My list included Baker (who certainly produces papers based on standard [neoclassical] assumptions) and New Keynesians such as Roubini, Krugman, and Shiller. In any case, the issue at hand is methodology, and, specifically, the implication of the Austrian claim that their a priori methods are superior because the other [more scientific] branches which comprise the majority failed where the Austrians supposedly succeeded leads to a pretty clear slant. The disputed sentence is meant to be a point about empirical/mathematical methodology and the economists employing such methods, though we can limit the sentence to the New Keynesians I originally had in the text, if need be. BigK HeX (talk) 15:25, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Possible text

As an possible remedy for the POV issues I mentioned above, text limited to the New Keynesians that I originally referenced could look like:

Austrians also counter with the argument that mainstream economics has a very poor record of "scientific" prediction and note that mainstream economists generally failed to predict or warn of major economic events such as the recent Global Financial Crisis and the Great Depression. However, economists associated with the mainstream economic schools have been credited with warning of the Global Financial Crisis, including Robert Shiller and Nouriel Roubini; Paul Krugman also has an article from 2005 entitled, "That Hissing Sound.".

I think this would eliminate the concerns I am aware of, regarding the economists' orthodoxy. Comments would be appreciated. BigK HeX (talk) 16:38, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I'm OK with the current version. It's more detailed than this suggestion and this suggestion is directionless. Why even put PK in? There doesn't seem to be any point.

Addition of O.R. at the PNS Ghazi article

PNS Ghazi was a Pakistani submarine that sank during the 1971 Indo-Pak War. The following uncited text (link to diff) was added by User:UplinkAnsh and my attempts to remove it have been reverted. In the edit summary of his edit at 21:46, 10 April 2010 he states the following: "No details about Pakistan carring out any investigation is available. Cite source if Pakistan carried out any investigation." User:UplinkAnsh is assuming that because a source cannot be found mentioning a Pakistani investigation of the submarine's sinking, there has been no Pakistani investigation. If anything the article should state that it is currently unknown whether the Pakistan Navy has investigated the incident. Can somebody advise me on whether UplinkAnsh is at fault and what should be my next step? --Hj108 (talk) 14:31, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Criticism of Judaism

Criticism of Judaism seems to me to consist of original research. Almost every paragraph is of the form "Blah blah blah says XXX; however, ZZZ", without any sources for this argumentation. Isn't this similar to synthesis? --jpgordon::==( o ) 01:49, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

That is a good question, one that has been discussed many times on the talk pages of
The consensus is that these article are considered to be useful as WP:List or WP:Summary Style articles. In other words, they provide one-stop-shopping for readers that are interested in criticism. Without such articles, finding the information would be nearly impossible. In the Talk pages of all the "Criticism of someReligion" articles, the debate has been held, over and over, and the outcome is always keep. Indeed, the Criticism of Judaism article had its own AfD (as did many of the other Criticism articles):
And it is not just religion; there are scores of "Criticism of .." articles that serve as WP:Summary Style indexes, such as the infamous Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Criticism_of_Wikipedia. The bottom line is that the purpose of the encyclopedia is to help users find information. Consider a reader looking at Criticism of religion; they are curious about criticisms of Catholicism, so they then navigate to Criticism of Catholicism, and they see a section on child abuse, so they then link to Catholic sex abuse cases. That navigation sequence is a very natural sequence, and very useful to readers. Eliminating list-style and summary-style articles would harm the encyclopedia immensely. My suggestion is that editors focus on improving the neutrality and balance of these articles, rather than repeatedly trying to delete them. Some simple things that can be done to improve the articles are:
  • Ensure that balancing (rebuttal) information is included
  • Ensure that neutral, encyclopedic tone is maintained
  • Treat the articles as WP:Summary Style and put the detail into (existing) focused-topic articles
  • Provide excellent sources for all content, preferring secondary sources (not primary).

... --Noleander (talk) 03:02, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

These articles should be summary-style synopses of major criticisms of the religion. They should be neither indiscrimante lists of any Tom, Dick, or Harry who wrote a criticism of the religion, nor should they conflate criticism of religious people with criticisms of the religion, nor should they be syntheses of existing separate statements or, even worse, original research. In the opinion of most who are responding on Criticism_of_Judaism, your additions suffer variously from one or all of these issues. -- Avi (talk) 03:32, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

You may be confusing primary sources with secondary sources. If an editor were to include content from a critic "Critic C says blah blah about religion R" that is a primary source, and OR/Synth may be involved. However, if a scholar or academic writes "Critics C1 and C1 say blah blah about religion R" and an editor includes _that_ criticism, from a secondary source, then that is not OR/Synth. Especially when two or more secondary sources document the criticism. I believe all the content of Criticism of Judaism includes criticisms documented by multiple secondary sources. Is there content in the article that is only sourced with primary sources? --Noleander (talk) 13:33, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) There are no criteria whatsoever for what constitutes "criticism" of Judaism. The only criteria is the willfulness of an editor to include virtually anything that bears any tangential relationship to Judaism. "Criticism" is too wide a criteria to provide meaningful bounds for an article. In point of fact if anything sourced bears a reference to Judaism, it is fair game for inclusion in this article. That is because no reference to Judaism is ever a wholehearted endorsement of Judaism — whether by members of the religion or by nonmembers of that religion. Critical thinking (and speaking, and writing) is far too commonplace to possibly provide bounds for what should or should not be included in any article. The article as presently configured is clearly in violation of WP:INDISCRIMINATE. It is a hodgepodge without definition or parameters. I don't know what the answer is for moving forward, but clearly some changes are called for. I would recommend outright deletion of the article. Bus stop (talk) 03:36, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
It is not correct to say that "there are no criteria". If you look at the "Criticism of .." articles you'll see there are two distinct criteria that are used: (1) Negative claims (about a religion) that notable; and (2) Negative claims about a religion that are documented by reliable secondary sources. The latter criterion is more restrictive, and I believe that all content in Criticism of Judaism follows that criterion. Also, it appears the same restrictive criterion is used for Criticism of Islam. On the other hand, Criticism of Christianity appears to use criterion (1). --Noleander (talk) 13:28, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Noleander — it sounds to me like you are conceding that concerning topics for inclusion in an article such as this there are no criteria, or at least you have not pointed to any. You have only pointed out that we should be using "reliable secondary sources." But as concerns what topics this article properly covers there are no criteria serving to bring that into focus. The only requirement for inclusion in this article is a tenuous relation to Judaism in a reliable source. That is serving as the jumping-off point for what this article is construing as criticism of Judaism. Bus stop (talk) 08:22, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Not quite... Noleander is saying that being documented by a reliable secondary source is the criteria for inclusion. It is a broad criteria, but not an indiscriminate one (it does exclude criticisms made by primary sources or unreliable secondary sources). The question is, is this too broad a criteria... do we need something in addition? Blueboar (talk) 17:09, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
I have just been reviewing some of the sections on women and find them horribly biased toward liberal, feminist Jewish sources. Other sections, too, dredge up the most liberal POVs just to make this into an article. I disagree with Noleander's explanation: Just because something was published in a journal doesn't make it a reliable source, it just makes it a secondary source. This whole article is a blatant example of OR, INDISCRIMINATE, and SYNTH. Noleander continues to insist that this article's approach is no different than Criticism of Christianity and Criticism of Islam. I think that all of them are inappropriate for Wikipedia. Yoninah (talk) 00:01, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Jane Roberts

See this series of edits. I am inviting comments by editors uninvolved with this and the very similar disputes that have been going on for the last few weeks, especially in relation to WP:RS#Academic consensus and WP:SYN. Hans Adler 21:19, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

List of sovereign states

I've raised some concerns over how this list is constructed in this discussion on the talk page. Currently, the article has a section which describes a 5-point criteria for inclusion in the list. However, this criteria uses only one definition of a state (DTS over CTS) using one (of presumably many) metrics to measure "statelike characteristics" (Montevideo Convention). In addition, the criteria is inherently vague at best, especially the requirement that a state has the "capacity to enter into relations with the other states", and hence requires OR to determine if a state satisfies the criteria. I feel that this list, as currently constructed, is blatant SYN as no sources are provided which explicitly support the claims that all 5 points are satisfied, let alone that the entity is a MC state and hence sovereign. I've suggested several different ways in which the list could be made verifiable, such as eliminating the inclusion criteria altogether and instead using a RS's listing of sovereign states or creating a "List of internationally recognized states", but all have been met with resistance. There seems to be an acknowledgement that the list is OR, however the claim is that this is necessairy to get an accurate list and that the OR is merely reasonable people making reasonable conclusions from the evidence. However, a glance through the archives reveals pages of debates over whether a state satisfies the criteria, so I'm not so sure that the conclusions drawn are necessarily obvious. Also, I feel that verifiable alternative listing methods do exist. Any comments on the discussion would be much appreciated. TDL (talk) 14:53, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

The list shouldn't use only one metric. It should use all the ones relevant to the topic. Just put in the commentary that it is included under a different criteria, and also note if that inclusion has been criticized. As it is I don't think it is original research; it is pretty obvious that most of the entries are states. I'm guessing the UN has a sovereignty requirement for membership. II | (t - c) 05:05, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Belarus, Ukraine, India, Philipines are examples of entities joining the UN before achieving independence. But I don't know if they were considered "sovereign" at that time. Alinor (talk) 17:36, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Alinor is certainly correct that in the past UN membership wasn't limited to sovereign states. However, I agree that today it's pretty obvious that all UN members are sovereign. The issue I have with the list is the Other states section. Entities in this section not only aren't UN members, but many are considered to be non-sovereign by every other foreign government. For these entities, a vague metric of 5 "state-like" characteristics is used to measure sovereignty for inclusion in the list. However, no sources are provided supporting the claims that these "marginal states" satisfy the criteria, and in fact I suspect that it might not be possible to verify these claims. ("capacity to enter into relations with the other states" is very difficult to quantify). I feel that the list should instead use a verifiable inclusion criteria (such as international recognition or inclusion on a RS's list of sovereign states). TDL (talk) 00:16, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Byelorussia and the Ukraine, anyway, were explicit special cases. The Soviet Union apparently argued that since Britain got multiple votes (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.), then the USSR should receive the same treatment.
Varlaam (talk) 06:40, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Is the use of an interview published by a secondary source considered to be primary source.

User:Drrll has asked[32] whether the use of a transcript of a radio interview[33] of a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center should be treated as a primary source per Wikipedia policy, even though the interview is published by the secondary source WNYC as part of their journalism about media. Third opinions might help us resolve this discussion. Thanks. SaltyBoatr (talk) 16:47, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

This is another of those "it's a little of both" situations. A lot depends on how you are using it, and what the topic is. If the topic of the article or section was how right wing groups can use the media, then it could be treated as a secondary source. But in this case, the topic is the SPLC and its views on right wing rhetoric, so it is primary. Blueboar (talk) 21:02, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

WRT the excision of passage based on assertions of WP:OR...

Forgive me if this question seems familiar.

Another contributor, User:Iqinn, has excised sections of dozens of articles that provide references that confirm US official sources used multiple names to refer to Guantanamo captives. Iqinn justified the excision of the passages that confirm the multiple names with edit summaries that claimed those passages were (1) "dehumanizing"; and (2) a lapse from WP:OR.

If my question here looks familiar it may be because you saw where I asked for third party input at WP:BLPN over whether those passages were "dehumanizing". My interpretation of that discussion is that no one shared his dehumanizing concern.

Some of the wikipedians who weighed in at BLPN offered the opinion that the passages didn't lapse from WP:OR either.

Subsequently, User:Iqinn continued removing similar passages from articles, including from the article on Abdul Rahman al-Amri, the fourth Guantanamo captive to have been reported to have committed suicide. On Talk:Abdul Rahman al-Amri Iqinn wrote:

Wikipedia is a community and there are various opinions. I have no doubt that the Identity section had "dehumanizing" character and was WP:OR and the section has been removed for at least WP:OR that was the result of the discussion.

Over in the BLPN discussion did offer a defense of characterizing the passages as lapses from WP:OR

If possible I'd like this discussion to be confined to the question of whether the excision of this passage was authorized by WP:OR, and have discussion of whether or not the passage was "dehumanizing" take place at WP:BLPN.

If possible I'd like to request that any other concerns with this passage take place elsewhere -- I suggest Talk:Abdul Rahman al-Amri.

Thanks in advance! Geo Swan (talk) 19:16, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Kharsag - an article based on original research?

I believe that this article is fundamentally based on original research and would very much appreciate finding out if I'm nuts, as the AfD seems to be ignoring this. In its current form, the lead says "Kharsag; (ḪURSAG 𒉺𒂅) (also transcribed as Khar-sag, Gar-sag, Hur-sag, Kharsag-kurkura[1] and other variations) is a Sumerian word or part of a Sumerian phrase noted as the mountain home of the earliest mythological hero-gods and goddesses including Anu, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursag.[1][2][3] Some variations of this word were used to describe temples or houses dedicated to this location. It is suggested to represent the location of a Sumerian creation story." There are a number of scholarly citations, and it looks pretty impressive. The problem that I see is that this is all based on editors' interpretations of primary sources. There are no reliable sources either making the connection between the various words (Kharsag itself is only used by one scholar, Barton) or discussing these words as pointing to a single location, a mountain home which the article's creator has described as the 'Sumerian Olympus'. You would think that if scholars agreed it would be easy to find sources but there are no academic sources discussing this.

As I said in the AfD, The article's creator, who has a web site promoting this concept, has not brought any sources saying that all these words that he cites are about the same location, person, whatever, but has said said about his claims that one group of scholars "clearly understand to be the same place, as I would argue does the great sumerologist Samuel Noah Kramer when his use of the word hursag is put in context" and "I have gone outside Barton to research this and firmly believe that in the time that these great scholars lived, Kharsag as the Sumerian Olympus was well noted and well deserves mention in Wikipedia as due note to their accomplishments in this field." He has also said "It might help to explain that the actual ancient cuneiform these words are translated from is more like picture language than ours. The picture-sign translated as "khar" or "gar" (or for Kramer "hur") in many of these books is that of a garden or enclosure and that of "sag" is a picture sign of a head. Hence mountain in basic translations, but undeniably used in the context of the home or birthplace of the first Gods (Enlil, NinKharsag, etc.) by all these authors and professors as a singular location." 'Clearly understand', 'firmly believe', 'undeniably used', are hallmarks of original research, and he, and the article, has no reliable sources confirming what he understands, believes, argues, etc. We have here a list of words with no sources tying them to each other, only the editor's belief. The word 'Kharsag' is only to be found in a translation of Sumerian texts by one writer, George Aaron Barton. Without reliable sources tying these words together as pointing to one location, and/or reliable sources discussing this 'Sumerian Olympus', I can see nothing but OR here and no way of having an article on the concept without it being OR.

A look at the article's talk page (Talk:Kharsag and the AfD Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kharsag} will help give more context and other viewpoints. Dougweller (talk) 07:05, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Chabad-Lubavitch related controversies

To the following paragraph:

Rabbi Elazar Shach issued a series of public criticisms of Schneerson, from the 1970s through Schneerson's death in 1994. [2] He accused Schneerson's followers of false Messianism, and Schneerson of fomenting a cult of crypto-messianism around himself.[3] He objected to Schneerson's call for "demanding" the Messiah's appearance

an editor has added the following argument:

, despite Schneerson having cited Rabbinical precedent for this, including that of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (the Chofetz Chaim), one of the most important figures of the 20th century Torah world.<ref>Chofetz Chaim, Likut al hasiddur-168,C'C al hatorah, par.behar, and similar statements in p.noach. See also the Kol Yaakov, [R'Y.T. Yalish] on p' tavo 16</ref>

He insists on the article's Talk: page that this is not original research, and, in response to its removal, has said "For you to attempt deliberate distortion of this type, by removing relevant context, and presenting ignorant criticism as fact is simply a violation of". Is this, in fact, original research? Jayjg (talk) 04:17, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

This is about your deliberately corrupting the facts, and has absolutely nothing to do with original research. The issues surrounding Chabad, Rabbi Schneerson, and the Lubavitch organization are both well-known, and highly controversial. Schneerson is famous for quoting sources and precedent for his positions at the time he promoted them This is all a matter of historical record. Rabbi Shach launched a number of sharp attacks on Schneerson and Chabad during the 1980's, assuming positions for which he provided no textual references. For the difference between an encyclopedia and a soapbox is that one provides a relatively objective treatment of the subject matter, which is why is important. What Jayjg is attempting here is to present a patently false scenario. That has no place in an encyclopedia. Winchester2313 (talk) 23:55, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

As a further note, he has also added this to the article:

This concept (of Tzadikim being called 'God') is often refererred to in classic Kaballistic and Chassidic texts, such as Pardes Rimonim 16:6 and 22:3 by Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, Zohar-2 38a, and Zohar-3 79b, and Sefer Tanya ch. 22 & 23. See also Rashi Bereshit 33:20. Note that the Divrei Shlomo (Venice 1596) writing on p.vaeira, explicitly states that"All the Names of God are actually 'atzmuso umehoso', and not merely descriptive like the other names people give to things..."</ref> Shach described this as nothing short of idolatry.<ref>This, despite the sources cited above. See also Zohar-1 9a, Zohar-2 163b, Mechilta on Exodus 18, Bereishit Rabba 86, Tanchuma Tissa 27, and the well-known Chassidic principle ascribing fundamentally the same status to the soul of any Jew, as elaborated on by R. SZ of Liadi in Tanya ch.2 </ref>

This appears to me to be more original research intended to advance an argument. Jayjg (talk) 05:55, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Clear original research/synth in order to POV push. There is not, and never has been, mainstream Judaism support for declaring any one living person the Messiah; whether it was 2000 years ago in the Middle East or in 20th century Brooklyn. Taking bits of esoteric texts as your sources when those sources are not completely representative nor completely reliable sources on what Judaism believes (and I'm being generous when I say that). He might as well be quoting the Third Book of Maccabees as a source of what Hanukkah means to Jews.Camelbinky (talk) 06:36, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Again, this has nothing to do with POV. When a major Hassidic leader makes a statement in line with Hassidic texts and tradition, and some twenty-odd years later is attacked by an outsider in a display of abject ignorance of said tradition, then the source material upon which the original statement was based is highly relevant. When the article in question is titled; Chabad - Lubavitch related Controversies, then context is everything. Jayig would obviously prefer to create the false impression that Shach attacked Chabad, and that his attack was accepted as is. Such distortions of history have no place in an encyclopedia. Read carefully, and you will see that these sources belong in this article. Winchester2313 (talk) 23:54, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Do these sources mention Shach, or refer to his arguments? Jayjg (talk) 22:59, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

They preceded Shach and his attacks (not 'arguments' as he doesn't seem to have formulated any) by several decades and/or centuries. The lack of historical context in your position-mongering is shocking. Did the murdered holocaust victims ever refute David Irving or his 'research' ?!! Winchester2313 (talk) 05:38, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

According to which reliable sources are these arguments specifically relevant to Shach? Jayjg (talk) 22:27, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

The use and misuse of assertions of WP:OR?

When is the use of WP:OR, {{or}} (and {{cn}}), regarded as frivolous and disruptive?

There is another contributor, active for just over a year, who has focussed 80-90 percent of their editing energy on my contributions. They routinely challenge material I contribute, claiming it lapses from WP:OR, or WP:BLP, or some other policy. I am sorry to say that when I have asked them to explain how they think my contributions lapse I have often been frustrated by a lack of specificity -- and civility.

I'd like to ask for advice concerning challenges they made to a passage in Combatant Status Review Tribunal transcripts. It is not an important point, in and of itself, but they make these very time-consuming challenges all the time.

Starting on March 3, 2006, the Department of Defense has published very large portable document format files, each containing multiple documents from the Guantanamo captives non-judicial status reviews.

53 of those files, published on March 3, 2006, contained documents from the Guantanamo captives 2004 Combatant Status Review Tribunals. These files contained 317 transcripts -- the transcripts from all the CSR Tribunals where the captive chose to attend, and a few other documents related documents, like statements the captives had dictated to be submitted to their Tribunal.

In early 2007 I wrote, in Combatant Status Review Tribunal transcripts, "On March 3, 2006 the United States Department of Defense partially complied with a court order and released 53 portable document format files that contained several hundred Combatant Status Review Tribunal transcripts'." Recently, years later, the contributor whose use of claims of OR trigger my concern, placed an OR tag on that passage.

I am concerned that this is a frivolous claim of OR. There is no real doubt that there were only 53 files of CSR Tribunal transcripts published, or that they were published on March 3, 2006. I asked for an explanation on the talk page, and the other contributor called the statement they tagged "Classis WP:OR" -- apparently because I didn't reference a source that explicitly said there were 53 files, and no more than 53 files.

The web-page where the DoD made these files available for download has undergone three major revisions. Eighteen months after the initial publication, in September 2007, the DoD expanded the page, as it added more previously unpublished document from 2005 and 2006. And it underwent a major revision in January 2009 when they added previously unpublished documents from 2007.

So the current version of the DoD page isn't clear that the 53 files of CSR Tribunals transcripts was published on 2006-3-3 -- although the version up until September 2007 was clear.

I spent a couple of hours looking for references confirming that there were 53 files. It was a tricky thing to search for. And my search failed. At the time the documents were published almost no mainstream Press reporters had felt it was necessary to explicitly state that there were 53 CSR Tribunal files -- because the DoD web-site clearly only listed those 53 files.

When the URLs in references to the online versions of articles, also published on paper go dead, we don't remove the reference. At least we don't if the reference contains the article's title, the name of the publication, and the date it was published. In theory a dedicated reader can still access the original article by making an interlibrary loan request for a paper copy. In practice it is a sign that we trust the good faith of the wikipedian who originally provided the reference. Shouldn't something similar should happen here? Shouldn't that other contributor simply take my word for it that, in 2006 and 2007, when I drafted the article, the web-page where I downloaded my copies of the files only listed 53 files?

Don't we have a convention that we don't request references to verify the "sky is blue"?

Today, by accident, I came across a reference that confirms there were just 53 files.

  • David Frum (November 11, 2006). "Gitmo Annotated". National Review. Archived from the original on 2010-04-22. Retrieved 2007-04-23. Here in this shorter space, I want to focus on something else: the words of the detainees themselves, as posted in 53 .pdf volumes on a Department of Defense website.

But this was after I spent considerable time unsuccessfull searching for references. So I would like to ask for guidance around the general principle -- are there instances where claims of {{or}} or {{cn}} tags are too trivial to take seriously, and can safely be ignored? Geo Swan (talk) 19:56, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

I think {{or}} was inappropriate, but {{cn}} is reasonable for any significant information that is unsourced. By the way, you can see the page as of Dec 4, 2007 here. Zerotalk 06:17, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
You may also have a look at the old version of the page where i added the tag. At that time there was no source there that directly mention that there were 53 document. You have to see this also in context of the sentence where it said: "On March 3, 2006 the United States Department of Defense partially complied with a court order and released 53 portable document..." Even we had links to all 53 documents attached as reference but there was no source that direcly stated how many had been originally published. The index page of the documents also mentioned that it has been updated later. This has already been cleaned up mostly by removing and adding sources. Sure it will be even better with the new source that Geo Swan just found and it should be added. Have a look at the old version and compare it with the latest version. Surely that could have been OR and needed to be checked and cleaned up. IQinn (talk) 06:34, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not really interested in the ancient history of the page. I also don't see what importance it has whether the number of pdf files was 53 or something else. The important thing is to resolve any current disagreements. Compared to some wars in other parts of Wikipedia, this one looks pretty easy. Zerotalk 05:23, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry to bore you with ancient history of the page but that is the version where i applied the OR tag. The content changed already after that and the tag had been removed. As there is no OR tag on the page and additional sources have been found recently there is no disagreement. So if we do not discuss the OR tag that i have added in the ancient history. What OR tag are we talking about. I never saw much value of this discussion here but it has been broad here by another user with a long post that i see partly as ad hominum. So i needed to react. I do not see much need for further discussions as the content issue has been solved. IQinn (talk) 14:15, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
I brought this question here as this was an instance where you asserted your excision of material I had written was justified by WP:OR, and I had tried to engage you in a discussion of your concerns, and that discussion left me very concerned that you were misinterpreting WP:OR. I have often been concerned that your interpretation of WP:OR went beyond what our policies actually intended. I think User:Zero0000 has confirmed my concern that excision based on WP:OR was an over-stretch of what WP:OR authorizes. Consequently I have reverted the lead sentence to prior to your excisions. Geo Swan (talk) 18:38, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
I do not think so. There is absolutely nothing wrong to add OR tag here. That was then discussed on the talk page and the article went to further changes and the tag was removed and there was no disagreement you not even told me on the talk page that you found new sources. I do not think there was any reason to start this discussion here that has been started off partly ad hominum after finding new sources you could just have edit the article or you could have started a discussion on the articles talk page. There was nothing wrong with adding the OR tag. You may let go of WP:Ownership and assumes WP:AGF. The article has changed and gotten better in the process, to the better and i think that is a good thing. IQinn (talk) 23:18, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the link to old versions of the page, in the wayback machine. Unfortunately for this discussion the earliest version in the wayback machine is from 2007-12, and we need versions from prior to 2007-09.
  • I agree that a {{cn}} tag is reasonable for any significant information that is unsourced. But, can I assume you agree that peppering articles with {{cn}} tags for things that could not be regarded as significant information is not reasonable? Geo Swan (talk) 18:38, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Could you please define what you mean by significant information. IQinn (talk) 23:29, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Summarizing a list

This is a request for input at Wikipedia talk:Summary style#How to summarize a list? The issue there concerns a possible violation of WP:NOR, and seeks suggestions on how to avoid that.   Will Beback  talk  07:06, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Dollar Baby Stephen King films

Regarding the "Definitive List" section of Dollar Baby, isn't that almost all OR? That list just keeps growing unreferenced without assertion of notability as well. Шизомби (Sz) (talk) 14:19, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Well, it certainly fails WP:V, at any rate, and likely WP:NOR too. Jayjg (talk) 04:39, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

History of the race and intelligence controversy

For a couple of weeks there has been an ongoing and entrenched conflict among editors on thetalk page of this article concerning the proper way to use different kinds of sources, whether or not the viess of historians published in reliable sources ought to be privileged, and whether primary sources are being used to forward interpretations and value-judgements. Input from people who have a lot of experience with this policy would really help. The most recent talk - ay talk frm the last two or three days, talk in the last few sections - whould be enough to illustrate the conflicts. Thanks. Slrubenstein | Talk 10:16, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Wow. It's difficult for me to judge whether the NOR/primary source disputes have quieted at this point but I've watch listed the page to see if the issue is re-raised. Professor marginalia (talk) 04:54, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Disputable info with orphaned quotations

Hi, can somebody please have a look at this discussion Talk:Ukrainian language#Ukrainian not a language - just a dialect of Russian, the user has added some controversial info and supported it by short quotations where that info could not be found, and refuses to provide broader quotations. thanks. --windyhead (talk) 11:38, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Defective script

Defective script is an article which has been completely without references since its creation. The article seems to be quite flawed, with a POV title, which considering the article is completely unsourced, could also be a neologism. Either way, I think this article needs some attention from the community at large. --Pstanton (talk) 20:46, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm not so sure that the title is non-neutral. I think it's referring to the idea that some alphabets are ambiguous and hence "defective" in a technical sense. (It's like the imperfect tense—not imperfect as a pejorative, but just as a technical term.) I don't know enough about the topic to comment definitively, however. I've tagged it for attention through WikiProject Linguistics. TheFeds 03:24, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Timothy Sullivan

The article on Timothy Sullivan, representative from New York, cites mostly primary sources. As a historian, I admire the effort to research a historical figure on whom there are few reliable secondary sources available, but I'm not sure the material belongs in Wikipedia. I'm not much of an editor though, so perhaps someone from the Wikirati can take a look and see if the page warrants a flag. Merkinmuffly (talk) 19:58, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Silesian metropolitan region

Silesian metropolitan region is completely written by one user (User:LUCPOL) and contains references to sources that don't support it. I placed prod template there but User:LUCPOL removed it claiming there was no discussion, so I ask you for help.-- (talk) 17:49, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

When it comes to template {delete}, this IP incorrect use of the template [34] - first template, then the discussion with other users. Should be: first discussion with other users then template (if there was consensus). I'm a different opinion about article than IP. I wrote my arguments in the discussion of article. LUCPOL (talk) 17:57, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I started discussion here, before I placed prod template. Provided sources don't support your opinion on this article. There's nothing that shows it's more than just original research.-- (talk) 18:12, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
What? Quotation: "I started discussion here, before I placed prod template"? Please, see: started discussion and placed template - one day. You give one day on discussion with other users. No waiting for the reviews of other users. You are not alone on Wikipedia. The sources said that should. I'm a different opinion about article than IP. I wrote my arguments in the discussion of article. LUCPOL (talk) 18:21, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'm sorry, one day may really be too little but template works for seven days. Anyway, I hope more people will give their opinions on the problem, but it's pretty clear it's original research. It's also understandable that you defend article you created yourself. How much time do you need, a month?-- (talk) 18:32, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Hitherto, to different users expressed own opinion and the emergence consensus. LUCPOL (talk) 18:44, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
You know, if no one apart from you contributes to this discussion for a longer period there's no point in waiting with article which is clearly original research. So you're warned, it's nonsense to preserve article clearly violating WP:NOR policy. I hope people give their opinion.-- (talk) 19:27, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Inclusion 'test" at Criticism of Judaism

Criticism of Judaism has been the subject of a lot of edit warring recently. Editors are now discussing some sort of test on whether material would be appropriate for the article. If material fails, it is excluded. This seems to me to be original research used to justify exclusion. The "test" discussions are going on here (at the bottom), and here. Outside opinions would be appreciated. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 17:18, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Forgive me if I'm being dense but, if "criticism of Judaism" is a notable topic, then must be secondary sources on the subject. That being so, can't WP just rely on those sources to identify what are and what are not criticisms of Judaism? Jakew (talk) 17:38, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think you're being dense at all! It seems to me that the editors, including me, who are discussing this are, in fact, discussing exactly that: the need to base such decisions on secondary sources. No doubt, there will end up being some who want to push for some sort of OR based upon what amounts to ILIKEIT or IDONTLIKEIT, but I expect, and certainly hope, that consensus will not go that way. An expectation that editors are going to settle upon some sort of out-of-policy subjective test seems to me to not reflect what is actually happening. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:14, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me that the inclusion test they're talking about is exactly an out-of-policy subjective test. My guess is that editors are going to push for (as they currently are) criticisms not considered "anti-semitic", criticisms that are unanimously agreed upon by Jews, etc. That would be fine if it was supported by the sources, but it's not. Jewish Deicide for example is considered anti-semitic by some, will they use this test to exclude that or similar topics? This is exactly what WP:OR was designed to prevent. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 21:37, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, from my point of view, no article can contain all topics, and there's already an article on Jewish deicide. It seems to me, given that we have an article covering that topic, there is little need, if any, for more than a link to that article in Criticism of Judaism. Duplicating the information seems to me a waste of effort. --Nuujinn (talk) 22:38, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I see what you are concerned about. My perception is that some editors may very well try to do that, but that consensus will go against them. Most certainly, I will argue against them. It will have to be based on what the sources say (subject to UNDUE and so forth), not on what editors want to say. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:40, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
So much faith in the Wiki process. We shall see. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 03:40, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, as a matter of fact! --Tryptofish (talk) 18:09, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
This article is pretty much a list of things, all relating to one central subject. The central subject has an article, some of the things on the list have articles, but when an encyclopedia user goes to the list they expect to see an overview of the subject specific to this article. That may mean, as in many other similar articles, having a short summary of a topic relevant to that article, along with a link to the article being summarized. Since some things on the list will not have separate article, they will require explanation - part of the list will be in prose. So is the encyclopedia reader helped by finding a page that describes some aspects of a subject and just lists others, with links for further reading? I would say not - someone looking for the page 'criticism of judaism' will most likely benefit from having a short description about every item on the list. The explanation is the justification for including any item on the list.
If I go to an overview of criticism of judaism, and one of the items on the list is simply Jewish deicide, then I haven't learned much from it. What do you mean, jewish deicide - is that cos they killed jesus, or something different entirely? Why should the encyclopedia reader have to click on a bunch of links to get the overview of a topic they expected to see on the article that is requiring them to click on all those links? Using links alone doesn't aid the understanding of someone reading this article, it only aids the understanding of someone who reads one of the links. This is an article, not a disambiguation page, nor a list without prose. Every item should be explained, not just linked to. Weakopedia (talk) 07:32, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Although I agree that anything written as a section should have some explanation, mere wikilinks are also in wide use. See, for example, Islam, there's an info box on the right with a large number of related articles, and a substantial See also section at the bottom of the page. The Criticism_of_Islam has a similar structure. Editors make choices has to what to include where all the time--I suggest that anyone with an interest simply watch the pages and chime in as needed. --Nuujinn (talk) 10:30, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
First, what gets included in an article (including if guidelines are written for it to help keep the article under control) is the type of OR that is acceptable in the creation of the WP as it's behind the scenes and not with the actual information presented. Mind you, that could lead to NPOV or more specific NOR problems, but in general, we have to engage in the minimal amount of NOR to determine what goes in the article.
Second, as I suggested on the VPP page, what needs to be used to go into these types of articles should be "detached" sources - generally secondary sources with respect to those that are making the opinionated statements. An academic poll, a book that summarizes numerous statements, etc. This depersonalizes the issue and makes NPOV statements (particularly from editors that have an ax to grind on the topic) very easy to spot and help to remove that bias.
As for duplication of info from a topic, it would seem reasonably appropriate to have a one or two sentence statement that quickly defines the term with the wikilink so that in the process of the Criticism article one can grasp the meaning and then the supporting statements that discuss its critical analysis, so if a reader needs to know more, they can click thru to that link. --MASEM (t) 13:10, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Need an opinion on primary source usage at Everybody Draw Muhammad Day

I entered these entries into the page using primary sources and very neutral language; just fact reporting. I still can not find secondary sources. The entry displays usage of the term prior to the Molly Norris cartoon. Suggestions on any possible changes to salvage any part of the text would be appreciated. Alatari (talk) 22:46, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Have Spacesuit, Will Travel


From article history:

cur | prev) 19:26, 19 April 2010 Sbharris (talk | contribs) (13,884 bytes) (Practive is to leave "OR" looking stuff in non-BLP articles, so long as it doesn't look obviously wrong. If may be OR or not. Eventually, cites are found. Most of WP is uncited. Patience.) (undo) (cur | prev) 19:19, 19 April 2010 Richard L. Peterson (talk | contribs) (11,513 bytes) (rm possibly valuable and/but far from obvious information--original research.also rm OR tag) (undo)

From sbharris talk page:

[edit] Have Spacesuit, Will Travel; errors section;original research It's been a couple years already, how much faster do you think patience will work in the future? It seems likely to me that if citations are eventually found, it will because a fire was lit under the original researcher by deleting her or his contribution. But in fact, I'm dubious that any nonprimary sources can be found that point out the stated errors in Heinlein's book, whether or not they are errors. Best wishes, Rich (talk) 21:48, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

What should be done? Thanks, (talk) 00:17, 4 May 2010 (UTC)Rich (talk) 05:56, 4 May 2010 (UTC)posted on help desk, pasted here; help desk possibly wrong place.Rich (talk) 01:27, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Apparently it's been done. It looks good; that was one of my favourite books when I was a kid, and it holds up for adults looking for an entertaining quick read. The material in question added nothing substantial to the article, IMO. I catch little errors all the time in fiction and movies, and it's really beside the point. Shakespeare made some whoppers and somehow his work is still considered good enough. Tom Reedy (talk) 01:32, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Give the length of time the material had been in the article unsourced, I think it was reasonable to remove it as OR. Jayjg (talk) 04:37, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, both of you.Rich (talk) 22:02, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to paste this to the have Spacesuit Will travel talk page. (talk) 11:58, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Inexplicable change at Tupac Shakur

An editor, User:AwesomeMomin, continues to write a deception in the infobox of Tupac's page. (S)he's been warned four times, yet refuses to make any amends or form of communication. This person keeps changing the origin of "Marin City" to "Oakland", I do not know why (see diffs of edits to Tupac Shakur's). "Marin City" is what's sourced in the content of the article. Could definitely use a hand here. Lord Sesshomaru (talkedits) 21:23, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

User hasn't edited since your report. Doesn't look like this is an ongoing dispute. Either they got the message or got board, but perhaps we can consider this matter closed for now. -Andrew c [talk] 20:45, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Norse dwarves

Hello. The article Norse dwarves could use some attention. Basically, as it stands, the article presents theory as fact throughout and is knee-deep in original research and synthesis. Haldrik (talk · contribs) is repeatedly removing NPOV/OR/Rewrite tags and altering talk page headers that he doesn't care for, presumably to deflect attention. Anyway, since there seem to be few eyes on this article and I have neither a lot of time nor my books with me, please see the talk page and article edit history for more information. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:40, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like you need a WP:3O or some other measure of dispute resolution... -Andrew c [talk] 20:42, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

AfD Pseudoscholarship

This discussion may interest editors with an interest in OR Anthony (talk) 18:46, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

WP:SYN on Tea Party Movement


This edit on the left [35] is making an attempt to link the found cut gas line on the propane tank to the post on the Tea Party website. The FBI have not determined who cut the gas line nor has it been determined by any source exactly when the gas line was cut. Therefore, adding this into the website incident violates WP:SYN. Malke2010 23:47, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

It is irrelevant whether the FBI have proven a legally actionable connection. This seems to be a flawed understanding of WP:SYN.
I'd say it does not constitute WP:SYN, if there are reliable sources which associate the event to the Tea Party. (And, for this matter, I'm fairly sure there are numerous sources which do just that.) BigK HeX (talk) 02:23, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
On the contrary. The FBI have said it was vandalism. They have not said when it occurred. Nor have they suggested who the vandal(s) might be. Folding it in with the twitter posts makes it appear beyond a doubt that the twitter post caused somebody to go over to the wrong guy's house and cut his propane gas tank. There's no source linking the two directly. As the Southerners say, that dog don't hunt.Malke2010 02:38, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Seems to be that's a hunting dog, the edit follows the first two sources closely, and does not claim a direct link. --Nuujinn (talk) 02:54, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
It gives the appearance that there is a link. There is no RS showing the two events are linked. The twitter post has an RS and the response by the tea party has an RS, but linking them with the propane gas line vandalism has no RS.Malke2010 02:57, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Unless there's a source specifically connecting the cut gas line to the Tea Party movement, this is clear original research. Feel free to continue removing it if there is no source - which I'm taking on good faith to be true. If a source appears obviously it's a different situation. As this is quite clear, can we agree and close this? II | (t - c) 06:41, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Agree, since there is no source specifically connecting the cut gas line to the Tea Party movement. There is no source that states the date and time of the gas line being cut. There's no reliable source that shows the two events are associated. I think we can close the thread. I'll post on the talk page that the content can continue to be removed. Thanks.Malke2010 10:56, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I'll be a bit presumptuous here, and say that I think the threadstarter is not arguing whether sources relate the Tea Party to the incident, but rather he's arguing basically that law enforcement has not proven a Tea Party member to be guilty of the act. Ultimately, I'm pretty sure there are quite a few sources that associate the Tea Party with the incident, due to information not presented in this thread.
Judging from the talk page comments though, I'm fairly certain that the threadstarter is, indeed, here to plead that editors should ignore any associations presented in various sources ["mainstream media RS"], on the "strength" of the fact that the criminal case has not been closed with a Tea Party member convicted. See, for example, this talk page comment by the threadstarter, which says

...You can edit anything to support a POV and even us[sic] "mainstream media RS" to do it. But that doesn't make it true. The whole section is not accurate. A gas line on a grill in a closed in porch gets cut. Must have been a tea partier? Where's the proof? Maybe it was the guy who lives there....

Anyways, maybe Malke will elaborate further, or correct me if I'm off-base here. BigK HeX (talk) 07:19, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Actually, to close the issue, I looked it up. A Google for "tea party Perriello address" (and a few other terms) gave a Politico article. I'm pretty sure it's generally regarded as an RS. BigK HeX (talk) 07:33, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Also, see the New York Times piece, I think they are generally considered a reliable source. --Nuujinn (talk) 10:03, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Neither of these sources link the events. Agree with (t - c) Malke2010 11:12, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and neither did the editor you reverted. I believe their edit accurately reflects both articles, which state simply that a tea party activist posted the address and the next day the propane hose was found cut--the sources juxtapose the two events, not the editor here, so I see no WP:SYN. Adding a line stating that investigations on ongoing would be a good addition, tho. --Nuujinn (talk) 11:38, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
No. The sources are not saying they are related.Malke2010 12:17, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry if I'm not being clear enough. The Times and Politco articles do not link the events, but they do jutaxpose them, indeed, the Times article opens with that juxtaposition. The edit on the left to which you object does not link them either, and accurately reflects the sources cited. In what way is that synthesis? --Nuujinn (talk) 12:54, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Malke for a variety of reasons in addition to WP:OR. Including this little incident does not pass the relevancy smell test because the act of cutting the gas line cannot be directly tied to the Tea Party movement; there is no evidence, it is only idle speculation by the New York Times and other opponents of the movement.

It is also in violation of WP:Recentism and WP:Undue because it slants the article toward an insignificant current event; no one was hurt; the damage was maybe $25; no one will remember this incident six months from now, much less ten years.

To include this incident violates WP:NPOV which requires that an article represents fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views. This incident is not significant and including it distorts the proportionality principle of Wikipedia policies. Obviously it is an insignificant speck which has nothing whatsoever to do with the millions of people in the Tea Party movement. Lose it. Freedom Fan (talk) 16:05, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

I can agree with all of those arguments except WP:OR--the secondary sources are reliable and the information presented accurately, and thus neither original research nor synthesis. Nice pun with the "smell test" and "gas line", lost some soup to the screen on that one. --Nuujinn (talk) 16:51, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Reliable sources suggest that the targeting of (and thinly-veiled threats against) a Congressman for his vote is a significant incident. I'm not really suprised that this whole part of the incident has been omitted from the discussion. Editors can choose to downplay it, but there are reliable sources that suggest it is notable. BigK HeX (talk) 16:53, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
It would only be synthesis if the two events were drawn from separate sources. As for recentism, the Tea Party is a recent phenomenon. TFD (talk) 03:30, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Vipera palaestinae

A couple of editors have been quarrelling over the geographical range of Vipera palaestinae, a species of snake. The source cited in the article gives the snake's range as "Western Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and northwest Jordan".[36] One of the editors wants to cite the source as it is; the other wants to change "Palestine" to "Palestinian territories". This looks to me very much like original research, specifically by misrepresenting what the source says. I'd be grateful for some outside views on how to resolve this issue. -- ChrisO (talk) 18:15, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

ChrisO has failed to mention the fact that the editor who wants to change it, me, has a completely valid and appropriate reason. ChrisO is mistaken in his reasoning for reverting my change. He stated that the author might have been referring to the "geographical region" of Palestine, and not just the Palestinian territories. This is flawed logic, because if the author did mean the geographical region, listing Israel would be superfluous. It is clear that the author was referring to the Palestinian territories, and either purposely or ignorantly referred to them as "Palestine", which is wrong. Referring to the modern day Palestinian territories as "Palestine" is misleading and against Wikipedia policies. This issue should be corrected promptly. We are intelligent beings on Wikipedia, and we do not blindly follow sources without considering the fact that sources are full of mistakes and bias. Breein1007 (talk) 18:20, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
It's an interesting notion: if an author of a book writes in a way that contradicts alleged Wikipedia policies, the author is "wrong" (and possibly even ignorant) and the source must be "corrected" in a Wikipedia article. Original research indeed. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:31, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
The problem with the above is that it is not what the source says. If you're going to cite a source, you need to do so faithfully, without trying to impose your own view of "what the author really meant". That's original research by definition. -- ChrisO (talk) 18:32, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
If it's "clear that the author was referring to the Palestinian territories", then it can't also be "misleading". Quote the source - making clear that it is a quote - and readers can figure it out for themselves. --GenericBob (talk) 01:20, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Of course it can be. It is clear to me after analyzing it. Not all readers will do so, and not all readers have the same knowledge in this area as I do. This has been made clear already in several cases from the editors who have commented here and shown that they don't understand the issue. It doesn't even matter, expertise or not. Referring to the Palestinian territories as "Palestine" in the encyclopedia's voice is unacceptable. It goes against naming conventions and Wikipedia's standards for neutrality, not to mention it is completely inconsistent with every other instance in any article you can find on Wikipedia, where if we are talking about the Palestinian territories, we say the Palestinian territories. We don't say Palestine even though we mean the Palestinian territories. It's really quite simple. With all due respect, inserting a quote is stupid. We will have a list that says... The snake is found in Israel, Lebanon, Syria, "Palestine", and Jordan...??? That's garbage. It doesn't solve anything. It doesn't clarify what "Palestine" is supposed to mean for the reader. In fact, I already pointed out that another source in the article lists the geographic region as "Palestinian Territory", so it should simply be changed with no problem. Breein1007 (talk) 01:30, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
"It is clear to me after analyzing it... not all readers have the same knowledge in this area as I do" - this is the problem. WP:OR specifically forbids editors, even knowledgeable ones, from injecting their own analysis into the article. This is unfortunate when the analysis is correct (and I think it probably is, here) but there are good reasons why the policy is written as it is. --GenericBob (talk) 13:08, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
That's fine, I appreciate your explanation about WP:OR. Were you kind enough to read the rest of what I wrote though? Do you agree that since my analysis is probably correct, and that all other articles about the Palestinian territories refrain from calling them "Palestine", we should use the source that I mentioned that calls it "Palestinian Territory"? Breein1007 (talk) 14:45, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

This is all irrelevant. Neither of you is addressing the issue at hand. Leaving ChrisO's edit in place as is (a list that includes "Israel" and "Palestine"), makes no sense. It is misleading to readers. It is either superfluous (if you read Palestine as a geographic region that includes Israel) or against WP:NPOV and naming conventions. Breein1007 (talk) 18:35, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

If the author means "Palestine" in the political sense of the State of Palestine, which I note apparently has widespread international recognition (much more so than Kosovo, it seems) then that seems fair enough. I don't see how it could be "against WP:NPOV" to use that terminology. On the other hand, it's very clear that it's against WP:NOR to replace the author's terminology with your own on the grounds that you think the author is wrong. This is a really basic principle of not amending cited sources to fit your own views. -- ChrisO (talk) 18:51, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
The State of Palestine controls no territory. It is impossible for this viper to be located "in" the so-called state that has no land. If you lack key knowledge about the situation, I invite you to actually read these articles before you start linking them and making erroneous statements. Read Palestinian territories while you're at it. As I made clear to you on your talk page, it is against NPOV to refer to the Palestinian territories as Palestine in the same way that it is against NPOV to refer to the Gaza War as a massacre. Some people might use these terms, and we can make note of that (as we have done on each of those articles). However, it is unacceptable for the encyclopedia to use these terms in the encyclopedia's voice. Breein1007 (talk) 18:55, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Your argument appears to be an entirely political one. I don't want to get into that. It's not relevant to the question of whether it's permissible for you, as an editor, to amend what a cited source has said because you consider it to be wrong. -- ChrisO (talk) 19:03, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Agree w/ ChrisO. I don't see an issue with maintaining the wording as is. NickCT (talk) 19:59, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Two things. First, I agree with basically everyone here except Breein about changing (correcting) a cited source equals original research. While we may be intelligent beings, Wikipedia SHOULD blindly follow sources, even if they are wrong (or rather, if we know they are wrong, we should find better sources...) If we can't locate sources that use "politically correct" terms or whatever Breein is arguing for, then perhaps we should just use quotation marks to make it clear it is our source using those terms, not us. I'm not sure on the naming conventions when it comes to the Israel/Palestine conflict, so if Chris's version is in violation of our manual of style or naming conventions, we should just quote the source (or find another source), but we should NOT change what the source says or misrepresent it because anonymous internet user Breein knows more about this stuff than the author. We aren't required to only use sources that follow our naming conventions, you know? But it is a bit silly that such hot bed conflicts can find themselves in such mundane topics such as a snake. -Andrew c [talk] 20:27, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

As a matter of fact, one of the sources listed in the article lists "Palestinian Territory" as the geographic location. [37] And referring to the Palestinian territories as "Palestine" is in fact contrary to Wikipedia's naming conventions. Breein1007 (talk) 21:11, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
That source appears to be referring to the "Occupied Palestinian Territory", which is probably a different bird than just the "Palestinian Territory", and truncating that bit is probably almost as deceptive as adding words to a source. Are you ok with changing "Palestine" to the fuller "Occupied Palestinian Territories", or is that term also unsatisfactory. Chris, would you be ok with changing it to what this other source says to be more in line with our naming conventions (BTW, want to link me that Wikipedia page, Breein? Wikipedia:Naming conventions (West Bank) is all I could find, and it doesn't seem to help)-Andrew c [talk] 04:02, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm curious to see a page on this alleged naming convention as well. There's nothing listed under CAT:WNC. It might be a myth, in which case this whole discussion lacks the basis Breein1007 asserts it has. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 15:48, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
No, the source calls it "Palestinian Territory, Occupied". Apparently, you aren't allowed to analyze what the source appears to be referring to. Therefore, you are engaging in WP:OR by suggesting that we say "Occupied Palestinian Territory". On the contrary, in line with this source, the article should be changed to list "Palestinian Territory, Occupied". And guess what? If you check out the talk page, there appears to be a long standing consensus to merge the Wikipedia articles Palestinian territories and Occupied Palestinian Territory because "Occupied Palestinian Territory" is a non-neutral POV-Fork referring to the exact same thing. Breein1007 (talk) 04:17, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I can understand you are getting frustrated, but I'm not sure I understand the meaning behind your comment. Is it correct to assume you are not OK with using the exact term in your newly found source after all? -Andrew c [talk] 15:13, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
My comment is indicating that what you stated above is in fact not the exact term in this source. And by the way, it isn't a newly found source. It has been in the article this whole time. I am ok with using the exact wording of the source: "Palestinian Territory" - but the "Occupied" qualifier that appears after the name "Palestinian Territory" has been deemed POV in many previous instances on Wikipedia. You'll find that no other article includes this in references to the Palestinian territories. Breein1007 (talk) 15:30, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I thought you were using hyperbole to try to illustrate a point. But apparently you don't understand a common rule when alphabetizing? Like I've been trying to say, just because Wikipedia finds something POV, does not mean we have to "correct" sources to make them PC. In fact doing so is a form of deception. As for the exact term, apparently over 35 articles link to, if not reference the term itself [38], so your statement that no other article includes it is simply false (though maybe they shouldn't be using it, but I guess that is a different discussion for a different noticeboard). As I said, using quotation marks to show that it is our cited source using these terms is probably the best solution. I have not found any argument that we should 'correct' our source convincing. Wikipedia editors on polarizing topics do not know any better than actual published biologists. I'm not trying to drag this out, or join the content dispute. Someone came and asked if it was OR to change what a cited source says, and I thought it was. I also offered a few suggestions for compromise. If my comments don't help, I'm sorry, but hopefully they did someone and you can now work together on that article's talk page to reach a compromise.-Andrew c [talk] 15:54, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

─────────────────────────To me, the question here is are we trying to write an encyclopedia or play silly games with semantics? We're talking about an article about a snake. When presenting the reader with what the habitat of this snake is, do we link to Occupied Palestinian Territories which is not very informative and is about one page long, or Palestinian Territories which looks like a country article much like the other three countries we link to? I assume we all understand we're talking about the exact same geographic area here. Do we use "Palestine" which is a loosely defined territory that may or may not include all or parts of the other three countries we mention, or do we use the term "Palestinian Territories" which a reader can find on a map? What would a reader find the easiest to understand (assuming all versions meet WP:V)? Seriously, this is supposed to be an encyclopedia. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 19:48, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

When you say "Palestine" it's the same as "transjordan" instead of "Jordan", "Syria Desert" instead of "Syria"... Palestine is the name of the land, while "Syria" "Jordan" are names of countries. If you decide to use the term of "Palsetine" which is reffering to the land, you should use the other lands terms as well (transjordan ect...), but if you decide to use the names of the countries, so use for all of them.--Sipio (talk) 20:13, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Miscellaneous comments:

  • I find it really worrying that more and more editors argue for mindless parroting of sources that is so extreme that it's hard to do without plagiarism. Slavishly following the formulations in a source when we know that the source used unclear or misleading language and we know what it meant (from context or by consulting other sources) would be an example of that. But I will argue that it's not really clear what the source meant.
  • Actually, it's not really about what the source means. It's about distilling the information contained in the source, and then rephrasing it so it fits into an encyclopedic article. If a source says "funny hats are worn in France, Europe and Mexico", then it's obviously defective and we will have to do something about the defect rather than just copy it. The most straightforward solution would be to mention just Europe and Mexico, but if we know from the same or another source that France is the European centre of funny hats then we may say "Europe, especially France, and Mexico", so that our readers aren't as puzzled as we were initially.
  • This source is defective: Arabian Burrowing Asps occur in "the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen", and Ein Geddi Burrowing Asps occur in "Sinai, Palestine and Jordan". Here "Palestine" presumably includes Israel. It would be astonishing otherwise. And indeed, both together range over "Sinai Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Arabian Peninsula". It appears that here "Israel" includes the Palestinian territories. [39]
  • This source is about venomous snakes worldwide, not about Middle East geography and politics, and it is written by a British animal TV personality, not by anyone who can be presumed to have specialised knowledge about the Middle East. Discussing what this author meant, and trying to represent it as faithfully as possible, is about as reasonable as reading tea leaves.
  • The right thing to do is to find out from sources that are sufficiently clear about the matter where this snake actually occurs, and then describe the region using Wikipedia's terminology. Hans Adler 23:19, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Your argument depends on the idea that there is "Wikipedia terminology" in this matter. Breein1007 claims there is but has failed to respond to requests above to demonstrate this (again, there's nothing in CAT:WNC). Nomoskedasticity (talk) 06:28, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Since O'Shea says "This snake is a significant cause of snakebite in Israel and Palestine..." it's pretty obvious he's not using "Palestine" in a sense that overlaps with Israel, thus the link currently in the article is incorrect. Someone remind me why we can't use Palestinian Territories? No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 22:59, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, it seems that nobody has added anything else to the conversation in a while, so I'm going to give it a bit more time and then go ahead and change the wording to "Palestinian Territory", in quotation marks, and attribute it to the appropriate source, as per the suggestions from this discussion. Even though "Palestinian Territory" sounds much more awkward to me than Palestinian territories, and Palestinian territories is overwhelmingly more common, it seems that it would be WP:OR to call it anything other than what the source says, so that's what we'll do! Breein1007 (talk) 01:58, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
What an absurd rationale for an edit -- "no-one has said anything for awhile". In reality, what this discussion shows is that this discussion has failed to produce a consensus for the change you have in mind. I also note that you continue to ignore the request to show that there is a relevant naming convention. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 07:08, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually, there appears to be fine consensus for the change I have in mind. Several of the uninvolved editors who joined this discussion suggested it, in fact. Breein1007 (talk) 14:47, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
The only uninvolved editors that have participated in this thread are Genericbob, Andrewc, and Hans Adler. It will be interesting to see how you get to "several" from that list. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 16:46, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Genericbob suggested quoting the source, and making clear that it is a quote, which I incorporated into my proposed change. Andrew c reiterated the suggested quotation marks, and also supported using the terminology from the alternative source. Hans adler agreed that we must take into account that the source is flawed, and that the author could not have logically been referring to Palestine when he said "Palestine". At the time of the posting of this discussion, No More Mr Nice Guy had not edited the article, therefore he was also uninvolved and he agrees as well. The only editors here arguing for the continued inclusion of the erroneous, superfluous, and misleading terminology are yourself, ChrisO, and NickCT (all of whom are involved in the dispute). Additionally, obviously I support my own proposal, and Sipio appears to agree as well (and is also involved). I'm glad you found my analysis interesting. I'd be happy to enlighten you any time. Breein1007 (talk) 17:43, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. ^ Princeton University WordNet definition for economist. Retrieved on July 22, 2007.
  2. ^ See Mechtavim v'Ma'amorim [Letters and Speeches of Rabbi Shach in Hebrew. Bnei Brak, Israel. 03-574-5006]: Volume 1, Letter 6 (page 15), Letter 8 (page 19). Volume 3, Statements on pages 100-101, Letter on page 102. Volume 4, letter 349 (page 69), letter 351 (page 71). Volume 5, letter 533 (page 137), letter 535 (page 139), speech 569 (page 173), statement 570 (page 174); see [40]
  3. ^ The Independent (London), November 10, 2001, by David Landau. [41]