Wikipedia talk:Argumentum ad Jimbonem

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Articles for deletion

This article was nominated for deletion on January 16, 2007. The result of the discussion was keep. An archived record of this discussion can be found here.

Two bits o' fodder for the cannon (canon? >;-)[edit]

See Jimbo's "just me, not The Jimbo" edit summary comment at WP:FAME; I quote it on WP:NHIST.

See also [1] (sorry, I'm too tired to wikifiy that right now.)

Very amusing stuff! — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 12:25, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Thank you![edit]

This argument is reealy annoying, especially when people are misinterpreting what he said. -Amarkov blahedits 21:00, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Getting silly[edit]

Francis, this is getting silly. I'd be happy to reword the page or remove parts you find objectionable, but what you're now doing amounts pretty much to blanking the essay. Cutting the relevant parts off a page after your nomination for deletion failed to get consensus is rather inappropriate. >Radiant< 17:01, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

  • It's getting even sillier. After the second MFD resulted in a keep again (with several people calling "speedy keep" or calling Francis's behavior inappropriate) he's now again using it as an excuse to wipe most of the text from this essay, and replace it with vacuous truisms like "Jimbo occasionally comments on stuff". WP:POINT, anyone? >Radiant< 09:38, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I've dropped a note on Jimbo's talk page asking if he actually feels offended by this page; that should clear up whether or not it is a personal attack. >Radiant< 10:19, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

New text[edit]

Here is what I think should be in this page:

From time to time in Wikipedia discussions Jimbo Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, expresses his opinion on the matter at hand. In this respect it should be noted that Jimbo in this respect has no special position that makes his opninion more significant than other "common" users. However Jimbo is a user who has proven himself to the community like many other respected users. His opinioin should for this reason never be disregarded as should no other.

Is this something we can work from? I think this is the main point but it could of course be a lot better, eg. referencing other policys to support the point. --Morten LJ 18:53, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Not bad, but the point is that people do on occasion claim that what Jimbo said is The Truth (or indeed, create policy proposals based upon vague interpretations of his words); those claims are the reason this page exists, and that bears mentioning. >Radiant< 08:36, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Make a new suggestion below then :-) --Morten LJ 10:17, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Text merge[edit]

The editwarring is definitely getting silly. Francis, I think your #New text has some merits, but it's not a drop-in replacement for the entire content of the article. For one thing, at bare minimum the article has to explain that it is a reference to a widely-recognized class of logic fallacies, or even the name of the article will not make sense to most people who have not taken a university-level class in logic or philosophy or weren't on a debate team. I think the message Francis is trying to get across can be merged into the extant text (though I'd use "Wikipedian" and "editor" in place of the two occurrences of "user", in the text you actually replaced the article with, which is different from the version immediately above). Perhaps if you explained your concern that the article is an ad hominem attack on Jimbo, here, that would be conducive to consensus-building. I personally think that the pre-Francis version does need some work, as it can easily be misinterpreted to mean that any citation to statements by J. Wales are necessarily argumentum ad Jimbonem, which is clearly not actually true. But I also don't think the article is a direct attack on Jimbo either; it can simply be similarly misinterpreted that way. A rather simple merge of the two widely divergent versions, and some copyediting, ought to be enough to make everyone happy. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:06, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

So does....[edit]

.....opening the essay with a comment undermine it any more than making the content into a bland parody of itself?ALR 07:06, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I can certainly see some irony there. :) —Disavian (talk/contribs) 07:16, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Quote format[edit]

Which is better, the current quote, or the following?

-- Jimbo Wales

Disavian (talk/contribs) 07:16, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

My first comments on this talk page[edit]

  1. @ SMcCandlish: Re. "Francis, I think your #New text has some merits, [...]" - sorry, in was not my #New text. I never wrote on this talk page before, nor was any text originally written by me copied to that section - nor anywhere else to this talk page. In other words, SMcCandlish' way of quoting has all characteristics of a bad, tendentious, quoting technique, exactly what the Argumentum ad Jimbonem page aims at preventing. I can only conclude the intended message of the page appears very hard to grasp for some.
  2. @ Radiant, Re. #Getting silly above: please consider that Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Argumentum ad Jimbonem should not be reduced to a yes/no vote on the content of the page, but should be treated with the usual approach for XfD discussions (taking full account of the merits of the arguments on such pages). E.g.:

    [...] the nominator along with the ones giving votes agree that this article should be here, only the content is not agreed upon. We should then discuss the actual content on the discussion page. (Morten LJ)

    [...] nominator is disagreeing with content of, not existence of, page in question. [...] article text (which at bare minimum should explain the argument to authority connection, etc., or the whole concept won't make any sense at all to users who are not well-versed in formal logic/philosophy/debate.) [...] Not all of nom's concerns are invalid [...] (SMcCandlish)

    The page shouldn't be a personal attack [...] (Disavian)

    I think the existence does raise a very valid point and deletion really brushes the need for a discussion about the point under the carpet. [...] (ALR)

    I'm quite sure we can treat the content of this page in a grown-up way.
  3. Re. Morten's and Radiant's talk in #New text above: I can only repeat Morten's suggestion to Radiant: "Make a new suggestion below then" - The existence of this page should not be an excuse for philosophical gibberish like "The "Argumentum ad Jimbonem" is a logical fallacy [...]" Even the most amateurish of amateur philosophers would see that there's no necessity for the "Argumentum ad Jimbonem" to be a logical fallacy in all circumstances. In fact the expression

    The "Argumentum ad Jimbonem" is a logical fallacy (etc)

    ...can only be described as a complete and utter logical fallacy, and should consequently be removed from the page without delay. For the time being, until a more comprehensive treatement without internal logical fallacies is agreed upon, I revert to the version constituted of a combination of Morten's proposal above, and Radiant's valid "dont't claim that what Jimbo says is The Truth" observation. If there are better ways to express this, without falling in logical fallacies, I'd very much welcome that. --Francis Schonken 10:37, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Er, no. "Argumentum ad jimbonem" is a logical fallacy, just like all the other "argumentum ad" thingies. It does not follow that anything Jimbo says is automatically an argumentum ad jimbonem, and I'm not sure where you drew that inference from. >Radiant< 13:00, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Ah, there's your logical fallacy: not every "argumentum ad" thingie (as you call it) is a logical fallacy. Example: Prisoner asks jailor: "Why am I in prison"; Jailor replies (Argumentum ad judicem): "Because the judge said so." - no logical fallacy. Similarly, someone asks: "Why do we need WP:OFFICE?"; reply (Argumentum ad Jimbonem): "Because at a certain moment Jimbo thought this the best way forward for tackling a series of problems, see for example Jimbo's explanation here and here" - Argumentum ad Jimbonem, no logical fallacy. --Francis Schonken 13:17, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
      • PS: note that also the Argumentum ad Metam can in certain circumstances be a logical fallacy, e.g.: "We need a project namespace page in Wikipedia stating clearly that friends of gays should not be allowed to edit articles: there is such article at Meta, where it is uncontested for several years now." Logical fallacy, because it is nowhere said that all of meta's humor pages should be copied in Wikipedia's project namespace. There isn't even a rule that all other long-standing pages from meta should have a similar page in Wikipedia's project namespace. --Francis Schonken 13:31, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Ok, how's this version. By the way I am unaware of argumenta at metam, I'm not sure why you brought that up? >Radiant< 13:51, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
    • No, not OK: an Argumentum ad hominem does *not* imply one agrees with the person one is referring to. I thought you understood Dutch, there is a Dutch expression "De man spelen in plaats van de bal" ("playing the man instead of the ball", I suppose from soccer or so), which also refers to Argumentum ad hominem: argumentum ad hominem can also be: "I don't like the argument of [person X], because [person X] is an absolute twat"; or something like: "We can disregard my neighbour's judgement on music, I know for a fact he is colorblind, and someone who is colorblind is usually excused from having a sound judgement in artistic matters": you're commenting on the person (ad hominem), trying to derive a confirmation for your argument from that, while in reality the personal characteristics of that person have nothing to do with the argument you're trying to develop. In wikipedia that aspect is for instance also covered by WP:NPA: "Comment on content, not on the contributor." - or replacing the English words with their Latin translations/equivalents: "Argumentum on content, not ad hominem". And then we have something almost identical to what is in the second half of Jimbo's quote: "Surely the merits of the proposal (= the content) should be primary, not what I (= hominem; the contributor) happen to think."
      That was also the problem with your previous version of the Argumentum ad Jimbonem page, there was an implication that Jimbo (because he is Jimbo, and for no other reason) should be less taken account of than an average good contributor.
      Note that an appeal to authority is also not necessarily a logical fallacy, that is: as long as one is appealing to the correct authority, that is the person/instance that happens to have the type of authority you're appealing to (I illustrated that by the "Judge" and "WP:OFFICE" examples above). A counter-example would be (for example): "The Wikipedia logo should be colored, because Jimbo likes bright colors." Since when is Jimbo an expert on colors? In this case the ad Jimbonem argument is a logical fallacy, not in the case of the WP:OFFICE example above. --Francis Schonken 14:44, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

The Latin for this here title?[edit]

My Latin is quite rusty, but while many famous fallacies end with "ad [accusative]", it seems to me that an "Argumentum ad Jimbonem" would actually either be an argument with Jimbo on his talk page about something, or against Jimbo in some way. Rather, it seems to me that we need an "ab [ablative]" here, so that "Argumentum ab Jimbo" (Argument from Jimbo) would be a better title. This would, however, imply that the Latinization of "Jimbo" is "Jimbus." The current version implies an equally crazy nom. of something like "Jimbonēs" - RedWordSmith 06:35, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

  • It's accusative because of similarities with related terms, like "argumentum ad populum" (appeal to the people) and "ad verecundiam" (appeal to authority), hence "Appeal to Jimbo". Jimbo takes the third declination (nominative jimbo, genitive jimbonis, dative jimboni, accusative jimbonem, ablative jimbone, plural jimbones). >Radiant< 12:38, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Shouldn't a third declension accusative of a noun ending in –ō be –inem? Then again, Argumentum ad Jimbinem isn't quite as catchy. Avb 20:43, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Third declension has as well "leō → leōnem" as "virgō → virginem" (both examples in The Tutorial Latin Grammar by B. J. Hayes and W. F. Masom, London, 4th edition, 1931 – §26, p. 18) --Francis Schonken 22:08, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Good point, should have seen that one coming, though this particular combination of WP:SYN and throwing the old book at me seems overkill -- and I will concede that your book is older than mine -- after all, many adults who can read and write Latin learned how to decline the word leo when they were twelve.
Anyway, since we still find ourselves having to choose between Jimbonem and Jimbinem, I would like to continue the discussion, though obviously water under a very old bridge as we're trying to retrofit the neonomism "Jimbo" (ignoring its Lizard King and hillbilly connotations) with Latin declensions and subsequent declinations, by noting, without going so far as to throw in gender arguments but admitting mea maxima culpa I did not source this before, and will not do so now, that third declension –ō nouns whose stem ends in a consonant, for reasons I will not go into for now, since this sentence is much too long already, for English, that is, generally follow "virgo" and "homo" -- not "leo", and even if they don't, these are still very fine examples of why OR is dangerous, and I need to close by editing for the enemy, saying "Ciceronem" and pointing out that in the Middle Ages names were often Latinized as third declension nouns such as Wido -- which translates as (Jz)G -- gen. Widonis, so (for isn't he a bit of a pope) Jimbonem sounds much more like it after all. Avb 00:53, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


I do hope opening this essay with a quote from The Founder was done with a smile, as it gave me reason to. I very much like the message behind this, in aid of preventing editors from getting anywhere near reverence let alone worship for Mr. Wales. So thank you, |→ Spaully°τ 22:48, 6 April 2007 (GMT)

  • Oh yes, irony intended :) >Radiant< 11:18, 13 April 2007 (UTC)


What does the quote

have to do with this argumentation? The "unsuspecting" Wikipedian doesn't refer to Jimbo's statement in a discussion, after all. SalaSkan 14:57, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo's words should be kept for posterity - JimboonCrack! —Preceding undated comment was added at 10:48, 28 December 2008 (UTC).
Can I say something else about this quote? Did the unsuspecting wikipedia resign as a result of Jimbo's comments, because it appears his account has disappeared and there is something to do with a resignation in the summaries. Spongefrog, (talk to me, or else) 14:20, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

New essay[edit]

It seems that people aren't getting it. I've just created a new essay at Wikipedia:Appeals to Jimbo. Enjoy! - Tbsdy lives (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 12:31, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo not Latin[edit]

Argumentum Jimbini seems wrong to me, since the o > i sound law in intermediate unstressed vowels would only be motivated if Jimbo be a genuinely Latin name, which it isn't. I think that Argumentum Jimboni and (the formally erroneous) Argumentum ad Jimbonem are the more "correct forms", and that Argumentum Jimbini is superfluous, since few will come to use it, yet fewer to understand it. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 13:39, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

We could have argumentum ad Cambria. --FormerIP (talk) 14:43, 24 September 2011 (UTC)