Wikipedia talk:Building Wikipedia membership/Skeptical solicitation

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"Chinese mythology" doesn't need skeptics, unless "skeptics" also means "those who read and hear about Chinese myths extensively and respect their religious belief, and honestly want to add more myths to the article, instead of making fun of something they can't understand".

Some of the myths have became part of traditional religious practices, others are just stories we exchange as kids. How can you criticize or doubt somebody else's fantasy? The Chinese never systematically imposed their mythology on other culture, and no Chinese pretend they're true nowadays.

--Menchi 07:35 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Hey, I said edit it! Not "write two paragraphs about two words on talk page".
I meant something different, but I'm not sure what now. -- Tim Starling 07:40 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Maybe this should be moved to Wikipedia:Skeptical solicitation. -- Tim Starling 07:48 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Good idea. It may need to be reused. --Menchi 07:49 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)


Are we gonna "reader...their/they/them"? Will the skeptics be skeptical of our grammar? ;-) --Menchi 07:49 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Well, it's not very NPOV, or even especially diplomatic. I'd prefer the "outreach" be less disrespectful, lest skeptical newcomers get the idea that calling things "hogwash" and people "loons" is to be accepted here, or even encouraged. Other than that, I think the intention is right. Koyaanis Qatsi 08:14 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Frankly, I think all the folks who are concerned at the "hordes of loons" arriving, could do with rereading Wikipedia:Replies to common objections (try the 27 Jan revision for an older wording).

I'm talking up our problems to encourage people to come and help -- Tim Starling 00:18 15 Jul 2003 (UTC)

To be sure, dowsing is massively incomplete. So is program verification. I'm unconvinced that our articles on pseudoscience are significantly more biased, inaccurate, and incomplete than the average Wikipedia article. Martin 09:04 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Periodically I find some of my own work that is biased, incomplete, and/or innacurate or misleading--often from a year or two ago, but sometimes it's more recent than that. Koyaanis Qatsi 09:12 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)

One place where we seem to be falling behind is in pseudoscience, flim-flammery and crackpot theories. With our increased publicity of late, our site seems to be attracting more loons than ever before. (from article)

Is this really true? Perhaps someone could make a list of examples? Martin

I just read the letter and I like it. I say go ahead and send it Tim. --mav 00:22 15 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Done -- Tim Starling 15:54 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Thanks Erik... My newsreader managed to download 1310 messages out of 1585 on sci.skeptic. I missed the fact that Erik had already posted it. Oh well, luckily I saw it within a couple of hours and I cancelled my post. -- Tim Starling 17:00 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Sorry -- I did not notice the existence of this page. --Eloquence 06:11 20 Jul 2003 (UTC)
No problem. sci.skeptic was pretty useless anyway. My post to the JREF BBS, on the other hand, has sparked quite a bit of interest. I've been answering questions over at [1]. I wouldn't mind some help, especially from someone in a different time zone. I might ask on the village pump, but I don't want the thread to be flooded with discussion between Wikipedians. -- Tim Starling 07:27 20 Jul 2003 (UTC)
It might also be good to send the email to James Randi. Randi writes a weekly newsletter for the skeptical community, often including interesting correspondence that he received. It would be nice to have Wikipedia mentioned in the newsletter, especially since I had difficulty finding the post in the extremely crowded JREF forums. -- CYD
I had to send an email to, because I was asking for permission to use his picture. The picture was uploaded by a JREF forum user. The opening paragraph of my email explained briefly who we are and what was happening on the forum. Emails sent to that address are not necessarily answered by Randi himself, but there's a good chance this news will reach his ear. I have been a reader of that newsletter for about 3.5 years now. I agree that it would be nice if we were mentioned, but I think our chances are pretty slim. -- Tim Starling 08:44 22 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Barry Karr published my call for skeptics on the CSICOP announcement mailing list. Here's a copy. --Eloquence

Great! BTW, James Randi replied to my email, but he didn't make any comments about Wikipedia. -- Tim Starling 03:12 25 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Skeptic influx?

Moved from Wikipedia:Village pump

Did that skeptic recruitment program of ours work? Tim was working on the letter, right? Did it get send? --Menchi 09:28, Aug 17, 2003 (UTC)

No response from sci.skeptic, and the interest generated from the CSICOP mention remains unknown. The response from our post at the JREF forum was very good in comparison. There were maybe 4 or 5 people who came over to have a look, and made a few contributions. I don't know if any of them are still around. User:Lord Kenneth was especially enthusiastic, but he only made about 40 edits and then lost interest. -- Tim Starling 09:47, Aug 17, 2003 (UTC)