Wikipedia talk:Vital articles/Archive 4

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 10


Filling the rest of the spots

We didn't finish reviewing the biographies.

But we could also consider parceling out so many for different geographic areas, etc. Maurreen (talk) 01:34, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

We could parcel out spots for topics, and risk giving unfair bias and making it too complicated. Or we could have people nominate articles in a category-less mess and try to make sense of it. HereToHelp (talk to me) 01:54, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
OK, that was just food for thought.
We could also consider historical civilizations, which should add breadth.
But we don't need to fill all the slots by any deadline; we could leave some wiggle room. Maurreen (talk) 01:57, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Historical civilizations

For Americas, maybe Inca, Mayan, Aztec?

For Near and and Middle East ... ? Maurreen (talk) 02:01, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

For Africa ... ? Maurreen (talk) 12:39, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Proposal to add Gold and Silver

Odd that the two-most important coinage metals, gold and silver, are not in the level 3 vital list. Since we are not at 1000 yet, I suggest a simple addition since all the currently-listed chemical element articles are also very important. There would be 10 in that group, as below:

  1. B-Class article Chemical element
    1. B-Class article Aluminium
    2. B-Class article Carbon
    3. B-Class article Copper
    4. B-Class article Gold
    5. Featured article Hydrogen
    6. C-Class article Iron
    7. B-Class article Nitrogen
    8. Featured article Oxygen
    9. C-Class article Silicon
    10. B-Class article Silver

What does everybody think? --mav (reviews needed) 02:38, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Good idea. Go for it. Maurreen (talk) 05:52, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Gold is very popular, even though it is not common in large quantities. It would probably be good to include it. --Chemicalinterest (talk) 00:21, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Works for me. HereToHelp (talk to me) 00:28, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
My question would be, why are two specific coinage metals "vital"? We cover their general use with regard to coins at money. Even copper might not be such a vital subject. I'd probably retain aluminium though.--Father Goose (talk) 04:30, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Category:Lists of popular pages by WikiProject

You may wish to refer to the new category Category:Lists of popular pages by WikiProject.—Wavelength (talk) 21:16, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Discussions on Level4 articles etc


I understand that there are only 1,000 slots for the Vital articles (level 1). I would like to include Robotics under the technology section and its Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 articles. How does one go about asking for this ?

Chaosdruid (talk) 20:43, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean by levels. Level n has 10^n articles in it. Levels 1 and 2 are finalized; level 3 (this page) is nearly finalized, and level 4 is a mess. More to the point, we already have robot on this page. It doesn't make sense to have both. I vaguely recall some discussion on the merits of one or the other, but if you have a good reason for trading them out, please say so and we'll go from there. (I say we like there are actually people working on this...ha!) HereToHelp (talk to me) 12:06, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Level 1 History

Level one contains history, which is mostly an article on the academic discipline of history. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to have history of the world on the list? That article is an overview of human history, which is surely more important than the academic subject. I propose we change it.~~Andrew Keenan Richardson~~ 08:56, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Fully agreed.--Father Goose (talk) 04:51, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Implemented.--Father Goose (talk) 08:04, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

A plague on thee

I propose adding Plague (disease) to the Disease section.--Father Goose (talk) 05:18, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Implemented.--Father Goose (talk) 18:27, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the most important trading countries, and consistent rated one of the top three financial centres, in, e.g., the City of London index. It is already marked so on its talk page for a long time. (talk) 12:37, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

The only problem with that is that HK is not a country. More of a city, but definitely not a country. Athenean (talk) 02:37, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Rosetta Stone for Level 3?

I've previously made this suggestion for Level 4, but a) have not had any response there, and b) arguably this ought to be at a higher level, given that it is a key work in deciphering the Ancient Egyptian language.

There are very few iconic objects (not including buildings) in this list; the only other one that strikes me as being comparable is the Mona Lisa. Given that the Rosetta Stone is typically part of the curricula for any youngster in the Western world learning about Ancient Egypt (certainly my two young daughters have already been taught about it in their respective schools, and other people I have conferred with here on WP have had similar experiences themselves) I would argue that this would lend weight to being included in the 3rd-level list of vital articles.

It's hard to pick something that I would drop from this list; it is a very good and well-considered list. Having said that, I think Civilization or Prehistory from the History sub-section would be the one I would drop. The former arguably doesn't belong in the section at all, and as a subject is arguably too broad. The latter is also very broad, and on the whole I think Neolithic Revolution does a far better job of covering the basics of those overlapping eras.

Thoughs? Cheers! Captmondo (talk) 16:53, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Definitely qualifies as level 3 in my opinion. Athenean (talk) 02:37, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Country guidelines

I saw the discussion above but I am very puzzled by the # of English speakers. This is an unnecessary bias. Anyways I have specific issues with Bangladesh, Canada, New Zealand, but much more with Hong Kong, and Ireland. Let's say that the first is populous, but it has almost zero influence on the world (it was for a long time just the other side of Pakistan!); Canada, yes, it is big, but is did not have much influence on the world, plus, it makes all the 3 N American countries be on the list (overrepresentation); New Zealand is the biggest in Oceania, but it has nothing else. Now Hong Kong: REALLLY??? It is not even a country and China is already on the list; even Taiwan makes more sense. Ireland? other than the famine what did it have? Why not Switzerland? Notable for the neutrality and for the banking system. How about countries that may not be large now, but had BIIG cultural influence on the world: Portugal, Greece, Thailand. Any of these three deserve more to be on the list than the ones listed above. Nergaal (talk) 06:02, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm wondering about country inclusion as well. I would have thought that a much larger number of countries could be considered "vital articles". Perhaps someone could collect data on page views for different countries (across a year), which would be one criterion to consider. For instance a quick glance suggest Venezuela gets as many page views as most countries in the list now. Rd232 talk 11:23, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
Hm, I see now all countries are included in Level 4. OK. Rd232 talk 11:29, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Scope and Generality

Hope my review of these lists is helpful. I don't want to be too bold in editing without feedback, but I would like to make some improvements.

Level 1

Geography is about the study of geography, and is not an overview of Earth's geography and places. I can't find an article to replace it though.

Society should be replaced with culture, because society seems to be about groups of people.

Level 2

Overly specific

Some of these articles don't give much of an overview and are very narrow, despite the importance of their topics:

Academic Bias

Neglect of industrial topics

This list reads like a liberal arts education curriculum, and neglects topics associated with industry. Of the several economic sectors,


I think a lot more generality could be added by including more "History of..." sections:

Other suggestions

Level 3

I feel less strongly about these thoughts than those for l2, but I'll share them anyway.

Are no living people included intentionally? Don Quixote should be moved to People from Works, in company with Shakespeare

Articles I think should be removed:

Articles I think should be added:

Between levels

  • Death is listed under "Life" in level 2, but under "Biology" in level 3. Same with life.

~~Andrew Keenan Richardson~~ 01:26, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Two quick dissents: although the genres lists is a bit geographically lopsided, Hip hop music and jazz have both achieved global circulation. Figuring out priorities will be kind of subjective for this one. Why not just have Mao Zedong instead of his quotations?--Carwil (talk) 23:00, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to find statistics for genre popularity to back up the selection here. Jazz might be up there, but hip hop is relatively new and probably is not more influential than, for example, punk music or latin music. Mao Zedong would probably be good to add, but his book is often cited as having a very large distribution and being very influential. I'm not sure that either is necessary. ~~Andrew Keenan Richardson~~ 19:24, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

More suggestions

Here are some specific suggestions:
Level 1
Replace Geography with Earth, an article about the planet we live on instead of an article about an academic study.
Replace Society with Culture.
Level 2
Replace race with ethnicity, a more encompassing classification.
Replace sculpture with oral tradition
Remove word and book
Remove metaphysics
Remove Light, matter, atom, cell (biology), organism, and sound. Add psychology and astronomy.
Add History of art, History of technology, Prehistory, History of mathematics
Add mining, construction, and manufacturing
Remove continent
I think this will add more balance and increase generality. Unless anyone objects, I'm going to do these things. ~~Andrew Keenan Richardson~~ 23:56, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
These suggestions are for levels one and two; this is the talk page for level three. I'd say post this on those talk pages...but they haven't been edited in months. So. I would be really careful about the Level 1 articles, since a lot rests on them. But specifically, if given enough time for others to comment, I would favor using Earth but not Culture. Are money and law part of culture? Maybe, but more so part of society.
What does sculpture have to do with oral tradition? (Even if it might be a beneficial change.) I strongly oppose dropping Book, the source of knowledge for the last few hundred years until ten years ago. Word can go; metaphysics, maybe. For the sciences, I'd like to hold on to light, matter, and either cell or organism; the rest of that line is okay. I think the best article to add would be industry, but it's a pretty sparse collection of links. Possibly mining and construction because they have some substance, or maybe this is how industry can get developed? Continent I'm ambivalent about. When all is said and done, it needs to come out to 100 articles. HereToHelp (talk to me) 03:05, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
I think the level 1 and 2 talk has been moved here, because there is so little of it. I suggest changing Society because the article is about groups of people in the sociological sense and not about human society as a whole. But I do not know which is better. I like Earth, except that the article is mostly written from an astronomical point of view, so it does not cover a lot of the topics that are considered important in the L2 and L3 articles (river, mountain, ocean, etc.) which Geography does. But Geography covers a lot of academic stuff that isn't important either. Perhaps Geography should be replaced with Nature? That should give an overview of rivers, forests, etc.
I chose oral tradition to replace sculpture because I think it's historically a more important art form. Folklore might also be good, but I'm not sure any of these are important enough to be T2 articles.
In my opinion, these articles should overview as many important topics as possible. Physics is a general article that covers a lot of topics, but articles like light and matter, while both covering very important things, are so specific I don't think they bring very much with them. I have the same problem with book, but to a lesser extent, so I would be OK keeping it because there are a lot of important books. Metaphysics is important as a historical predecessor to modern science, but that's about the only reason it's important. I would prefer Cell to Organism, but the list already has animal, plant, bacteria, biology, and nature, which are other Biology topics. Keep in mind that cellular biology is only one branch of Biology, when we could add an entirely different discipline of science, like Psychology. ~~Andrew Keenan Richardson~~ 19:19, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Gender & geographic diversity

Looking through people, there is an overwhelming lack of women, and quite a lot of geographic concentration in each category. Let's see if we can improve that somewhat (and yes, my suggestions reflect my particular geographic placement and knowledge; get five more of me from different parts of the world and shake it out):

  • Artists: 10 men, no women. 8 Europeans, 1 Chinese, 1 Japanese. Da Vinci and Michelangelo, Dali and Picasso were both in the same artistic movement and from the same country. Consider adding or replacing in Georgia O'Keefe, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat. Can someone help with South Asia? the Middle East? Africa?
  • Authors (and poets, really): Geographically more diverse (although still no Africans or South Asians, 1 North American, 1 South American), but 16 men and no women. Murasaki Shikibu is the author of what was arguably the world's first novel, The Tale of Genji. Again, overlaps: Dostoyevsky & Tolstoy; Chinua Achebe, Zora Neale Hurston.
  • Composers and musicians: 7 European classical composers, 3 pop/rock stars, all male. Options: Édith Piaf, Woody Guthrie, Paul Robeson, John Coltrane.
  • Mathematicians: 12 men, no women. 9 Europeans; 2 from North Africa (including Euclid); 1 North American. Maybe too much on infinitesimal calculus (Euler might not be in the top 1,000 topics ever). Needed addition: Bhāskara II—(Bhaskara's work on calculus predates Newton and Leibniz by half a millennium). Consider: Srinivasa Ramanujan. China?
  • Philosophers and social scientists: More geographic diversity, but 14 men, no women. Also, three closely related Greeks. Also, there are just two social scientists here. Hannah Arendt, Margaret Mead. Over-represented groups, but still important: Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • Religious figures: 11 men, no women. Delphic oracle/Pythia; Mary (mother of Jesus); while we're at it, put Mother goddess in the religion category.

P.S. I know it's really tempting to write down a pair of closely related figures when brainstorming, but putting them in a list of 15 or so, for domains as big as art, makes broad geographic and historical coverage impossible.--Carwil (talk) 22:51, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Is this really surprising? European Men have dominated and revolutionized almost all fields of thought for hundreds of years. It makes sense that there is a gender and region skew. What needs to be assessed is the question of it is right to include less historically important, and less notable figures simply because they are women or from a different continent? I don't think so. Aeonx (talk) 01:24, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Um, no. We could have an argument on the factuality of this claim, but that would get us nowhere fast.
  • Of the above categories, only mathematics and (more recently) social science constitute globally unified "fields of thought" to be "dominated and revolutionized." Art, religion, music, literature, and philosophy are culturally specific fields. Religions matter to their adherents; literatures are delimited by language and circulation of texts. Demanding geographic balance for those just involves taking all human beings and their cultures seriously.
  • All of my suggestions above were based on overall significance, not compensation (except maybe Ramanujan, thus "consider"). Mead, Arendt, Murasaki, and Achebe are all distinguished by their broad impact on the field; although The Tale of Genji (possibly the first novel) should maybe be the entry instead of Murasaki.
  • On the global fields, Eurocentric histories of the field (not the factual predominance of European men) are the problem. Mathematics advancement disappears from Europe for a millennium, but historians in the Euro-North American tradition haven't bothered to learn the history in between. Bhāskara II is just one of the best examples of the list of mathematical luminaries left out by this history.--Carwil (talk) 12:48, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to question the list of people considered "core", but for other reasons:
  • Homer -- Yes, he produced two of the most important works of Western literature. However, what we know of Homer the person can be summed up in a pair of sentences, viz. "Homer is the putative author of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Nothing more is known, for certain, of the person, but there are countless theories, myths, and assumptions about him." As for his influence on Western literature, The Iliad is already included, so that discussion should be moved there.
  • Edgar Allan Poe -- Yes, he is credited with creating the short story, & he's the only US citizen in the list of authors, but he's not that good of an author. (Everyone reads him either in school or as an adolescent fascinated with his horror stories, but then they move on & never read a word of him again.) If we need an American, for the 19th century there is Herman Melville (author of Moby Dick, considered by many to be one of the great novels ever written) or Mark Twain (whose writings are better known & more often read & re-read than Poe's), for the 20th century there is Ernest Hemingway (also known for his mastery of the short story) or William Faulkner (whose style leads many to see him as the polar opposite of Hemingway). And then there are dark horses like Theodore Dreiser, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg & J.D. Salinger. (I honestly can't think of an American woman author of comparable stature to, say, Jane Austin; perhaps I need to think of women editors, where their influence has been more powerful.)
  • A list of philosophers without Ludwig Wittgenstein? Only the greatest philosopher of the last 500 years. On this item alone, I'm tempted to be bold & editting this page. Maybe I ought to be content that Ayn Rand isn't on this list.
  • I could live without Benjamin Franklin on the list. Or Salvador Dali, who is nothing but an over-rated artist of the second tier. (I consider Joan Miro a far more important artist than that drama queen.) Drop them both & include Thomas Jefferson in the list of politicians (or maybe The Federalist Papers, a far more influential document; these core topics appear very weak on vital documents).
  • One of the significant problems with trying to include people or documents from Africa is that Africans don't think of their history in the same way other cultures do. Educated Chinese & Japanese will allude to personages & texts of their culture at will; reading Ethiopians writing about their own recent history, I was surprised to find they alluded to US culture & history far more readily than to their own national traditions. Not to say that no important writers or thinkers ever lived in that continent, but that their presence didn't have the impact that they could have elsewhere.
Just my two cents, as just another educated Wikipedian. -- llywrch (talk) 21:42, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Ludwig Wittgenstein...the greatest philosopher of the last 500 years.
That's a personal and idiosyncratic view. — goethean 21:58, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
No, it's not. I was quoting from memory a passage from David Edmonds & John Eidnow, Wittgenstein's Poker (HarperCollins, 2001). In that book, IIRC, Edmonds & Eidnow make the observation that Karl Popper was a once-in-a-century intellect who had the misfortune of living at the time of a once-in-500-years intellect. I made the effort to trace the passage last night, but failed (If you doubt my memory -- I've been known to be wrong -- I could continue to look for it.) My own "personal and idiosyncratic view" is that Wittgenstein's contemporaries considered him a more brilliant philosopher than they: Bertrand Russell, G.E. Moore, the Vienna School, even Popper -- although Popper wouldn't say so to anyone. And that to find his equal, one would have to go back to the 18th century to Kant, Locke or Hume; but since I haven't read any of them, I can't say whether Wittgenstein is more profound than they. But regardless of my "personal and idiosyncratic view", omitting Wittgenstein from the list is a surprise. Further, the only person I've encountered on Wikipedia who did not think Wittgenstein was one of the greatest philosophers was soon after banned from Wikipedia for aggressively pushing an anti-Semitic agenda -- until now. (And Wittgenstein was of Jewish heritage.) -- llywrch (talk) 20:15, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, now you've met two — and I am no anti-Semite. — goethean 17:26, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Okay, we get it. Poe is a toss up; Homer is in because we didn't want to waste two articles (Iliad & Odyssey) on him. Franklin stays: he was a scientist, statesman, diplomat, printer, and more. Dali can go. HereToHelp (talk to me) 05:13, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Iliad is listed. So we are using (not wasting) two articles on Homer. But I'm okay with that. — goethean 17:28, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
And Jefferson was a scientist, author of the Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia & the Library of Congress, writer, president of the United States, & more. Speaking as a 14th-Amendment citizen of the US, the only reason any US citizen knows about him is that Franklin is included as a required part of the school curriculum. (Although Thom Hartmann mentions him as an example of a successful person with ADD, & he is the topic of a memorable line from Firesign Theater.)

One of my points above is that a number of persons are included under the logical fallacy that because they are important, then there must be a vital article on them despite the fact it would repeat in large part -- if not entirely -- the content of another vital article. Homer is one example of this; his literary influence is subsumed under the articles about his works -- which are far better known than this shadowy personage. A far more radical, but perhaps more illustrative, example would be Jesus Christ vs. Christianity: all of the facts of the individual -- the facts of his life, his existence, the nature of him being human & divine (or even if he was partly one or the other), his influence -- have been intently debated by experts, & which is the subject matter of the latter article. (And frankly, if we could only include one biography in the subject area of Christianity, could it be anything other than Paul of Tarsus? But I can see the point of those who would support Mary (mother of Jesus).) I'm not expecting anyone to agree with me here & now, but I hope those working on this list consider this point as this list continues to evolve. -- llywrch (talk) 18:25, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

United States?

This has probably been brought up before, but I think it's outrageous that the only country on the level-2 vital articles list is the US. This clearly suggests that the US is the most important country in the world, when there are several other countries that deserve at least as much mention. At any rate, it's a debatable subject, and there should be some community consensus. I checked through the archive and it doesn't really look like there has been much debate on the subject. Thoughts? --GreenLineMan (talk) 21:41, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

It's completely ridiculous. Other than this entry, there's a complete lack of specific things: people, places, religions, etc. ~~Andrew Keenan Richardson~~ 04:50, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to go ahead and replace it with Continent, which is a better fit with the other topics there. If anyone thinks that the US should stay or has a better article to replace it with, bring up the issue and we can talk about it. --GreenLineMan (talk) 23:06, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
We already have 5 of the 14 Geo articles at level 2 being continent articles. I wouldn't pick Continent to add to the list; in fact, maybe the slot could be better used for another category. Rd232 talk 10:34, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
No problem, I just put in continent as a placeholder of sorts until we find a better one. Does anyone have ideas for something they want to put up there? (as Rd232 points out, it doesn't have to be from the geography section; it could be anything) —Preceding unsigned comment added by GreenLineMan (talkcontribs) 19:27, 6 October 2010 (UTC)


I made some additions, hopefully uncontroversial. I counted 989 entries initially, so with the 6 i added, that's 995.

  • El Greco - Forerunner of Expressionism and Cubism, major impact on subsequent artists, sui generis style.
  • Athens - Center of the Ancient Greek civilization, cradle of western democracy, among the most viewed articles.
  • Greece - Cradle of Western Civilization, major tourist destination, among the most viewed articles.
  • Greek Language - Oldest attested living language, major impact on other languages, major impact in the sciences and mathematics, among the most viewed articles.
  • Greek Alphabet - Ancestor to Latin and Cyrillic, and Armenian scripts, oldest alphabetic script in use, major use in sciences and mathematics, #44 most viewed article.
  • History of Mathematics. - Among the most highly viewed Mathematics articles, not adequately covered by Mathematics#History.

I'm considering adding History of writing and History of medicine as well. Never mind, those are adequately covered by Writing and Medicine, which have well-developed history sections. Which is not the case for Mathematics.

Hope this is OK with everyone. Athenean (talk) 02:07, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

It's probably better to remove Athens and Greece since the modern city and state aren't that important. Their historical importance is covered by Ancient Greece which is already included in the history section. I'm also dubious about adding El Greco and Greek alphabet. —dv82matt 00:12, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
And Bangladesh, Egypt, Hong Kong (not even a country), Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand are more important how exactly? Regarding Athens, it is an alpha world city, hosted the 2004 Olympic Games, and is the premier city of southeastern Europe. As for the Greek alphabet, it is the ancestor of at least 3 writing systems in use today (Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian), is tremendously influential in the sciences and mathematics (and known and used by every scientist and mathematician out there), it is the first true alphabet, and the oldest script still in use today, so strong disagree on that. You can't possibly argue for removing it while keeping the long-dead Phoenician alphabet (which is not even a true alphabet). Concerning El Greco, he was one of the most important painters of all time, ahead of his time, with a unique style that influenced subsequent artists, and the earliest forerunner of modern styles such as expressionism and cubism. How exactly is someone like Li Bai more important? I notice there is plenty of room on the list, I don't see a pressing need to remove anything. Athenean (talk) 00:43, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not necessarily trying to defend other entries on the list only commenting on your additions, but for instance, Bangladesh's population of 162,221,000 dwarfs Greece's 11,295,000, Egypt has 79,089,650 and Hong Kong is merely miscategorized. I would not oppose removal of Ireland, the Netherlands or New Zealand. Regarding Athens, I don't think much can be made of its Alpha status or its status as an Olympic host city as many other Alpha and Olympic host cities are not listed here. Regarding Greek alphabet I'm dubious about inclusion because including the alphabet in addition the the language entry itself seems quite redundant. It is also in the same family as Latin which is already included. As for El Greco I don't know enough about him to judge. He strikes me as a dubious addition but I really don't know, perhaps others might comment on that. There is no pressing need to remove entries but some of your additions (Greece and Athens) were previously removed by consensus. —dv82matt 01:53, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Athenean, it's clear you are passionate about Greece, but we all need to keep our POVs in check. History of mathematics, I'll take, and El Greco is hard to judge for someone without an art background (like me). The rest are probably too POV pushing, largely since they are done as a batch. HereToHelp (talk to me) 02:55, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and removed emoved Athens, Greece and Greek alphabet. (I also removed Hong Kong) —dv82matt 19:28, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
That's fine, though I must insist on inclusion of the Greek alphabet, as it is of great importance to the history of writing, and not adequately covered by Greek Language. And it is still in use, unlike the Phoenician alphabet. I also removed Bangladesh, because other than a large population, this is hardly an influential country. A large population alone isn't enough to warrant inclusion here in my opinion. Athenean (talk) 19:34, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Much of this is (or ought to be) covered in Alphabet. However, you have a good point about Phoenician alphabet (which seems to be here as a form of western-civ-cruft). And honestly, Greek alphabet is one well-written article. Better to have Brahmic family of scripts here than Phoenician alphabet, and cover lots of ground, even by the English-speaker metric.--Carwil (talk) 22:12, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Countries (Again I presume?)

I went through the FAQ here, did my own spot check, and have a couple of questions.

  • Firstly, by my count there are 9 countries with native speakers over 3million, not 8 like it says on the FAQ. Not sure if this matters terribly, they're all included in the current list anyway.
  • The "countries" included not covered by this FAQ:
    • Argentina
    • Egypt
    • Greece
    • Hong Kong
    • Iran
    • Israel
    • Netherlands
    • Poland
    • South Korea
    • Turkey
I assume there is a reason they are there, but it is not covered in the FAQ (also apologies if it's been beaten to death, but...Hong Kong?).

Thanks in advance, Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:41, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

The list is not rigorously curated so spurious entries do get added. However I think the FAQ is overly biased in favour of English speaking countries and also neglects countries that may be important for reasons other than population or economics. For example, I would argue for the inclusion of Israel and Iran on the basis of their historical/political importance. —dv82matt 19:16, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, fixed the FAQ at any rate. I think that historical importance can be covered in other areas, such as history, the modern countries might barely relate. Politically important would be interesting, but I'm struggling to think of a qualitative way of measuring that. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 23:57, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
All the others are now removed except for Egypt, Iran, and Israel. Is there a set number for countries that could be included? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 00:07, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and removed those three. Historical importance can be covered in the history area, and indeed Ancient Egypt is already there. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 15:34, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Question on Level 3 articles

I just saw Wikipedia:Vital articles/Level/3 had been redirected into the main Vital articles page, even though I can't quite find the merge discussion resolution, only a list in Wikipedia talk:Vital articles/Archive 3 (could someone point me to it?). However, Wikipedia:Vital articles/Level/3/Art, Wikipedia:Vital articles/Level/3/Geography, etc. still exist. What to do with those? Hekerui (talk) 19:11, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

I feel like that guardian of a long sealed tomb, except I'm the one user watching a long dead page. I'm not sure if there was ever much discussion, just two lists of 1000 articles that didn't both need to exist. I seem to recall some discussion as to merging; it looks like you've already seen the archives. As for the subpages, they're probably forgotten relics than can be safely redirected to this page. Why the 1000 list is here instead of buried in a subpage I don't know. I do know that the project has not moved much in the last six months, even though it's close to being finalized (if you don't mess with what's already done). So if you're interested, let me know. HereToHelp (talk to me) 19:27, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Similarly I think the level 2 subpages should be merged into Wikipedia:Vital articles/Level/2 to reduce the diffusion of that small page. —Mrwojo (talk) 20:53, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Go for it. (Two people in a single day? Wow!) HereToHelp (talk to me) 21:10, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Simón Bolívar is a vital article for... South America?

Hello to all. I was reading the list of articles that are regarded as vital and I noticed that Simón Bolívar, the Hispanic-American Liberator is regarded as vital. I was wondering why Emperors Pedro I of Brazil and Pedro II of Brazil aren't. Bolívar fought for the independence of the northern Hispanic-American colonies in South America and in the end, not only he became a dictator, but also saw the former colonies brake apart into several nations often ruled by dictators and plagued by civil wars and coups. Ok, he is a very well known historical character but what is the criteria to aknowledge an article as vital? Brazil is by far the largest and richest nation in South America, beyond the fact that is the sole Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas. Unlike its Hispanic counterparts, Brazil kept itself united as one single nation. So now I am wondering: several small and medium-sized nations in the Americas are regarded as more important than Brazil? I am not trying in any form to diminish their importance, but I can't understand what is the standard in here. Kind regards, --Lecen (talk) 23:16, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

There probably isn't a standard to it. I've removed Bolivar. I added Julius Caesar, though it's not really a substitution. And I swapped Pachacuti for Machu Piccu, which he built. HereToHelp (talk to me) 02:19, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Kind of arbitrary, but I believe that you all know what you're doing... But it stillseems odd. In Wikipedia:Vital articles/Expanded#South America, 3 there are three Hispanic-American historical figures (not a single Brazilian, that is, Portuguese-American): Salvador Allende, Eva Perón and Simón Bolívar. I still wonder why Evita and Allende are regarded as among the top 3 historical characters in South America. Really, Evita and Allende? --Lecen (talk) 02:23, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
While we're putting the finishing touches on level 3, level 4 is completely fluid. Go ahead an change it. Really. HereToHelp (talk to me) 02:35, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate your suggestion, but since I am a Brazilian and I focus on Brazilian history-related articles, my opinion is completely biased and as such, it wouldn't be correct if I made those changes. I'd like to thank you for your imput, anyway. Regards, --Lecen (talk) 02:45, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I think Bolivar should be reinstated. First unlike Pedro I who separated Brazil from Portugal relatively peacefully Bolivar had to fight the Spanish brutally to gain independence. The liberation of much of latin america also was an inspiration to many around the world using toward similar revolutions. Here is a quote from the article on Pedro I " Inspired by the newly-won independence of Spain's former South American colonies, Brazilian patriotism and nationalist sentiment grew among Brazil's elites. Observing what was happening in the New World, John VI advised Pedro to declare Brazil independent and take the throne for himself rather than allow a usurper to take over the country." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Meitme (talkcontribs) 02:02, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Athletes, seriously?

Currently the athletes section is languishing with only Muhammad Ali. Are there any athletes worth the list, or can I nix the whole section? HereToHelp (talk to me) 02:33, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

I support removing that section. Individual athletes don't have the sustained impact on society that individuals in the other categories can have. —dv82matt 19:56, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Pelé, and Michael Jordan had sustained impact on society, but they may not stack up against Stalin and the like. That argument I would prefer. Hekerui (talk) 22:09, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Well I can't say I agree. Athletes (even the ones you list) are mostly important/popular in their own time and their significance wanes quickly afterwards. I agree that they do not stack up against the most notable figures in history but I opted to provide some reasoning for that conclusion rather than just state that they aren't vital enough. —dv82matt 03:51, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
You know, I'm coming to the conclusion that this discussion points up a fundamental flaw in the very basis for this whole project. As far as I can tell, most of the energy here is spent on discussing why the things I value are more important than the things you value.
Why does this project exist, exactly? Would WP really be any the worse if "vital articles" simply ceased to exist? --Trovatore (talk) 21:11, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
One could consider it a duplicate of List of articles every Wikipedia should have from which it was created originally. I think the rationale on Wikipedia talk:Vital articles/Frequently Asked Questions why is exists is good. However, by now I too think the Muhammad Ali article is not a good fit. I will remove it based on this discussion. Hekerui (talk) 21:19, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think the idea was that this project highlights important, general articles that may not receive as much attention as they should, thereby allowing editors to focus on them and ultimately improve our coverage. The thinking - which may be flawed - is that promoting one of these articles to featured will be more worthwhile than some other, less-trafficked article. HereToHelp (talk to me) 21:27, 9 December 2010 (UTC)


I am emphatically sceptic about the idea that Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī (?) is a "basic subject for which Wikipedia should have a corresponding high-quality article" as much as (say) Galois. Cauchy and Grothendieck could also be there... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:44, 16 December 2010 (UTC)


I suggest removing Protist from the list and replacing it with Algae. The protists are an assemblage of organisms that are now recognized as being essentially all eukaryotes that aren't animals, plants, or fungi. We already list Eukaryote as an article, and the idea of "protist" is disappearing from modern classifications. We can safely lose it as well. However, algae are a common globally-distributed group of economically and ecologically important organisms. --EncycloPetey (talk) 00:13, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Your point that "protist" is something of a catchall term seems valid. I support replacing Protist with Algae. —dv82matt 03:01, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Article quality numbers for 2010

I've just updated the symbols for all articles, and the statistics for 2010. Some observations:

  • The main development is the increase of C-level articles, mainly at the expense of B-level ones. This does not reflect a decline in article quality, but rather the fact that the various projects are getting accustomed to fully use the C-level rating.
  • There's a slight decrease in FAs, while GAs have had a reasonably good year, after finishing the sweeps project in March. This seems to confirm the general trend of a small crisis for FA while GA is thriving like never before.
  • There seems to be room for 14 more articles.

Happy New Year! Lampman (talk) 12:07, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Add Dubai to Vital Cities

Considering that this city is the financial heart of the middle east, consists of some of the most important architectural feats on the planet and is a point of intense interest it should be noted as a vital city in the article. I would argue it is more important than either Mexico City or Sao Paulo at the moment. --Kuzwa (talk) 03:29, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury is currently a level 3 vital article. We have four 20th century musicians at the moment and I really can't see how it is justified for him to be one. I think we should replace him with Bing Crosby. Here are some facts about him from his wiki page.

  • In 1948, the Music Digest estimated that Crosby recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.
  • In 1947, he invested $50,000 in the Ampex company, which built North America's first commercial reel-to-reel tape recorder.
  • With 1,077,900,000 movie tickets sold, Crosby is by that measure the third most popular actor of all time, behind Clark Gable and John Wayne.
  • In a poll of U.S. troops at the close of World War II, Crosby topped the list as the person who had done the most for G.I. morale, ahead of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, General Dwight Eisenhower, and Bob Hope.
  • Crosby's was among the most popular and successful musical acts of the 20th century. Although Billboard Magazine operated under different methodologies for the bulk of Crosby's career, his chart numbers remain astonishing: 383 chart singles, including 41 #1 hits. Crosby had separate charting singles in every calendar year between 1931 and 1954; the annual re-release of White Christmas extended that streak to 1957. He had 24 separate popular singles in 1939 alone. Billboard's statistician Joel Whitburn determined Crosby to be America's most successful recording act of the 1930s, and again in the 1940s.

It is true crosby's influence has diminished significantly. It might also be appropriate to add Frank Sinatra or Louis Armstrong. But I fail to see the argument for Freddie Mercury.meitme (talk) 18:11, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Not my area of expertise, but apparently it's one of yours, so I'll AGF and say go for it. HereToHelp (talk to me) 18:32, 26 May 2011 (UTC)


I don't know how much room is left on this list, if any, but it would seem to me that if Chess is worthy of inclusion, we would not be remiss in including Xiangqi, which is the most-played board game in the world and has been studied with just as much as much depth as Chess. My main concern here is that I don't know if there's any room left on the list. Is there? ☻☻☻Sithman VIII !!☻☻☻ 04:51, 6 August 2011 (UTC) Don't know how I missed that. The page said there were only 987. I have now added Xiangqi, I hope no- one objects. ☻☻☻Sithman VIII !!☻☻☻ 19:34, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Addition of Turkey

Based on another discussion Turkey came up, and I think it should be listed it has 90 million people and its a fast growing economy. If a country needs to be removed Ireland should be removed. Its only got 4 million people living in it and its not in the same league of importance as Germany, France, Britain, Spain or Italy. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:25, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Sounds good. Just be sure to update all the article counts. (One in the section title, and the grand total in the lead.) HereToHelp (talk to me) 21:36, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to be bold and swap it then. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:39, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Cutting Motion

The article Motion is poorly written and short. I propose replacing it and the also short summary article Theory of relativity with special relativity and general relativity. Part of me wants to use the "Introduction to..." articles instead, but I'm sticking with the technical versions. Objections? HereToHelp (talk to me) 22:27, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

I object! Low quality is in no way an acceptable reason for removal. This is a list of the most important articles, not the best ones (although ideally they would be one and the same)! Motion is clearly a basic topic worthy of coverage in this list. I don't see how inflating Theory of Relativity's admittedly deserved place on this list into two articles covering essentially the same material is at all reasonable. Motion deserves to be on this list, and Theory of Relativity is best left as its single, unified entry on this list. That is all. ☻☻☻Sithman VIII !!☻☻☻ 22:42, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Level 1 article proposal

I would like to propose changing the level 1 articles to match the main categories in level 2. Specifically, replacing:

Rreagan007 (talk) 18:27, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

"Geography" was replaced by "Earth" as a result of an earlier discussion—it's essentially the difference between a book on cartography and an atlas (I own many of both). They're both important, but a history of surveying and map projections is definitely not one of the ten most important collections of information we could put together, while a good set of world maps almost certainly is.
The other two changes were made at the same time. I haven't dug into Culture vs. Society, so I don't know about that. But I think the same reasoning probably holds for History of the World vs. History, and that this pattern will probably hold generally—the articles on category names themselves tend to be histories of the study of a category, and not as important as the articles on the main thing those categories comprise. --MillingMachine (talk) 23:02, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
I haven't dug into this at all, but if there's any prior discussion and force behind level 1, we should change to match it, not the other way around. HereToHelp (talk to me) 01:47, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I think the problem is that the Level 2 articles are grouped under categories (geography, history, art, etc), and the category names mostly correspond to the Level 1 articles. Some people see this and think they should be made to match each other. But the name of the category used to group vital articles isn't necessarily the title of a vital article itself—I think the "Geography" article is a good example of why not. There are a lot of geographic objects which are important, but in my opinion the article on the field of geography itself probably shouldn't even be Level 2, let alone Level 1. Suppose 7 of the vital 100 were in list format, and so you grouped them under the heading "Lists"—this wouldn't mean List was part of the Vital 10, 100, or even 1000.
There are a few other sections I think should go from the Vital 100, which I'll post as a separate section.—MillingMachine (talk) 11:54, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Topics that are not listed because they don't fit in the defined categories

I have noticed that there are some very significant topics - like astrology, divination, that don't fit into any of the categories because they are not defined as a science, a religion or a philosophy. But these are subjects that have been hugely influential upon world culture - any ideas on how to place them in this list? -- Zac Δ talk! 15:30, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Does anyone have a suggestion? -- Zac Δ talk! 03:33, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure we could find a place in Culture or something. How do we decided what types of pseudoscience (if any) to include? HereToHelp (talk to me) 03:44, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't know, that's the question. But divination can't be described as a pseudoscience. -- Zac Δ talk! 04:14, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Are either of them really that big a deal? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:27, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
They are subjects that have influenced lives and the development of society since the year dot. -- Zac Δ talk! 11:29, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Proposed Addition of Joseph Haydn

With all due respect to the composers of this list, not to include Joseph Haydn with the vital musicians is quite astonishing. The man is widely known as "The Father of the Symphony" and I propose replacing Chopin or Verdi with him... or just adding him in, since I note the 1000 still has 12 open slots. I feel quite strongly that this will fix a glaring omission. Jusdafax 07:02, 30 September 2011 (UTC)


I propose replacing Bangladesh with Bulgaria in the countries section. It is an EU member, it has been the most significant centre of Slavic literary and religious culture, birthplace of the Cyrillic alphabet (thus directly influencing Russian and Ukrainian culture) and a site of some of the oldest historic artifacts and settlements in Europe and the world (Plovdiv and the Varna necropolis). It is also a major transport and energy hub and a spacefaring nation. It is not a Next Eleven or a G8 country, but it certainly has more international presence and impact in the domains of culture, sports and international relations than Bangladesh. - ☣Tourbillon A ? 11:56, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Why? Bangladesh is English speaking and has a large population (~160 million). Besides the important EU countries (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy) are included. If a country from Eastern Europe is desired Poland would be an obvious choice as would Ukraine. Additionally Bulgaria only has a population of 7 million. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:24, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Are population and English language being an official language the main criteria for the list? If so, it is a pity for the idea (personal opinion) and I would rather not want to see Bulgaria in.
PS: New Zealand has a population of 4 million. --Gligan (talk) 23:56, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Bangladesh has a poor presence in international politics, culture and sports. Apart from its very large population, there are few things that could bring it into the news, except for maybe calamities and its border disputes with India and I see no solid reason why it should be included (same goes for the Philippines). If population should be in the criteria, then why is New Zealand, which also has negligible international presence, included in the list ? I find it impossible to comprehend how it is more significant than, say, Bulgaria or Greece. I still stand for what I said - Bulgaria, not Poland or Ukraine, has been the centre of Eastern European culture for ages and has strongly projected its influence over the region. Historically speaking, it is the spiritual core of Eastern Europe and as such has a place in the list. - ☣Tourbillon A ? 06:09, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
I missed New Zealand on the list yesterday, I agree that it probably should be removed. But there are plenty of other countries we could add instead - such as Egypt. Egypt is English speaking, it has a population of 80 million and obviously historically it is extremely important.
I also don't really think we can seriously say that Bulgaria is more important than Greece, while Greece is also small and non-English speaking historically it is extremely important. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:20, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Egypt would be an adequate addition. However, my proposal about Bulgaria still stands. I would replace the Philippines, Bangladesh, Australia and New Zealand with Egypt, Iran, Greece and Bulgaria. I think it would be appropriate as they are all historically influential for the ancient, Western and Eastern Orthodox cultures respectively. Also, I don't think population and language should be serious criteria. - ☣Tourbillon A ? 07:36, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Obviously population is a reasonable measure of importance, other than that economic importance, historical importance and land area are also important, and English-speaking also should count for something.
Its clear here that as you've suggested Bulgaria that you are from there - and history taught in schools is generally very bias and selective - it certainly is in the UK - if only due to time issues. We have to consider the whole world here and you need to take a step back. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:08, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

If population and language are a reasonable measure of importance, that would mean we could also include countries such as the DRC and Algeria - both with over 40 mln. people and French speaking majority. The historical bias is most obvious with English-language readers as some of them apparently consider countries such as New Zealand or Australia to have more weight than others only because they are a part of the Commonwealth or for having strong economies. I'm not really proposing Bulgaria because I am Bulgarian (I'm only half-Bulgarian actually), I simply believe that it has some value as a country as it is the birthplace of the Cyrillic alphabet and the historical centre of Eastern Orthodox culture, which is distinctive from both Asian and Western European cultures. While on the other hand I struggle to understand what would be the importance of Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, the Philippines and even Canada over Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, etc. The fact that some of them have large populations or rank high in terms of human development does not immediately make them influential from neither a historical nor a cultural viewpoint. - ☣Tourbillon A ? 08:27, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

By language I don't mean having a spread of languages, I mean that English speaking countries should carry some weight for being English speaking, as this is the English encyclopaedia. With regards to population there are 22 countries on the list and there are 23 countries with a population of 60 million or greater. Algeria is out on population grounds as its much smaller than that coming in as the 34th largest country. With regards to population the Philippines has 95 million people which is far greater than Congo which only has 65 million people. The current list treats the top 12 countries in terms of population as being worthy of inclusion - that seems reasonable on that criterion with the biggest non included country being Vietnam at 87 million.
Economically on GDP the first country not included is South Korea at about 15th (nominal) and 12th (PPP).
With history we should take it into account, but taking Greece for example all of its historical achievements are covered by other WP:VITAL articles in the history section, so while we should take it into account it shouldn't be the only criteria. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 10:22, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Population and English language are apparently sufficient criteria when I think of it, but that would still mean that Australia, New Zealand and Canada could be replaced by countries with more impact. I find Egypt to be an adequate proposal, but I still support my original nomination plus Iran (it has around 70 million people and is the centre of the Persian civilization). Neither of them has much coverage in the other sections, and it wouldn't really do harm if they are added. - ☣Tourbillon A ? 11:55, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Are there any objections to replace one of the countries (possibly New Zealand, being the smallest) with Bulgaria ? - ☣Tourbillon A ? 07:28, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:21, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Are there any objections to remove New Zealand and Australia and replace them with Egypt and Iran then ? - ☣Tourbillon A ? 09:38, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes on Australia. But feel free to replace New Zealand with either Egypt or Iran. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 10:11, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Only for a note on future changes - I just completed a list of the most visited country articles. I think it might be useful. - ☣Tourbillon A ? 08:50, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

I've moved China up to its correct position - though I'm not 100% on how the traffic figures are calculated. China has 617k views in the month and Qatar only has 187k yet its traffic count is much higher. Odd. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:05, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I think the counter sums up the total hits for a much greater timespan. For example the list of most popular articles below only shows the number of visits for a one-month period, which wouldn't be relevant given that there are months when certain articles mark a substantially higher amount of visits. Qatar for example had almost 550,000 hits for a single day in December 2012. I also researched how is it possible that the article I proposed including here, namely Bulgaria, can have more traffic than Switzerland. It turned out the latter has a relatively constant number of views throughout the year, while the former had more than 1 mln. views in June. So I suppose the counter simply provides long-term traffic figures. - ☣Tourbillon A ? 08:58, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal of Bangladesh or Australia. We need to have at least one Oceania country on this list; and we need to have the ten largest countries in the world by population on this list. Neutral to weak support on New Zealand for Egypt Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 16:20, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:WikiProject Countries/Popular pages.
Wavelength (talk) 19:19, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
See Wikipedia talk:Vital articles/Frequently Asked Questions#What are the guidelines for choosing country articles? for current guidelines. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 12:18, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Project infrastructure

I would like this thing to have added some more features for actual coordination to improve content. Like what MilHist has (not that complicated, though). But at a minimum, have something where FAC, GACs can be noted (i.e. articles in review stage). Also recent promotions/demotions. And a signup list where people can indicate interest in the project. Put their name down, indicate fields of interest, indicate activity of interest (improving articles, assessing, coordinating, etc.)

Ideally we would have those tabbed thingies and an alternate page, but to keep and simple and get started, I may just add some sections at the bottom of the page. Someone can move them if they know how. (talk) 21:16, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

I think having visual assessments on the articles (like a project) would be helpful. Gives the people who like that sort of classifying activity some very important classifying to do BTW. For that matter, the categories seem to not be well populated. We have only 92 pages in the level 3 or 4 cats. And they should have just about 980 and 8900 each. Getting this set up would then support having some sort of "thermometer" graph to show the quality composition of the VAs. (I think 4 side by side ones, one for each level.) (talk) 07:46, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Analysis on quality

See here: PowerPoint: Wikipedia's poor treatment of its most important articles

Contains a chapter on VAs. (talk) 16:37, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Part of the reason Vital Articles are hard to get to GA/FA is that they have higher volumes of edits, are more likely to be battlegrounds, and are held to higher standards than less well-known topics. Take Abraham Lincoln (a Meta 1000 article) for example... Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 16:05, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

That's a very interesting analysis, and I agree with Purplebackpack89's comment but that doesn't mean that there should be more incentives to develop VAs to higher quality. Pinetalk 06:37, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Hey, this project page is meant to promote high quality work on vital articles. To me this is obvious and this is what the page itself says. Creating incentives seems to me the default method of promoting this work is to create incentives. If you don't agree, please elaborate. --Ettrig (talk) 18:01, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Latin language

I was surprised not to see Latin listed. Since there are 986 articles listed right now, can we add this one without removing one of the other major languages? --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:22, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

With no objections in almost 4 days, I'm going to be bold and add it (with count updates. --EncycloPetey (talk) 04:21, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Sports and games

Anybody find it weird that we have 8 articles on games and only 3 on sports? This I think is wrong considering the specificity of some of the articles. For example; Xiangqi is a stragety game very similar to chess; Draughts and Chess are played on the same board. In addition, sports has a much greater global impact than games; you don't have a World Cup of Go watched by millions on TV every four years. Therefore, I propose removing one or more of the following games articles:

  1. Board game
  2. Draughts
  3. Xiangqi

and replacing it with one of the following sports articles:

  1. Basketball
  2. Track and field
  3. Rugby football

Thoughts? Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 01:48, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Oh, and FYI, Xiangqi was BOLDly added only two months ago. It should be noted we already have one Chinese game in Go, BTW Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 15:14, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
China is big - with a population of 1.3 billion and a hugely important culture - and Xiangqi (Chinese chess) is fairly well known.
However 7 "indoor" games vs 2 "outdoor" games hardly seems like the right balance. Draughts definitely doesn't seem worth being included and I think swapping it for track and field would be a good start - I'm not so sure on the others - Cricket is also important - especially in South Asia - another hugely important cultural area. In that sense it hardly seems "fair" for the Chinese to have two games and the South Asians to have none. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:43, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I'd be open to the first leg of your suggestion, as well as perhaps swapping out Xiangqi to fulfill the second. Cricket hadn't occurred to me b/c the one large country on Earth that doesn't play much cricket is coincidentally the one I live in Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 22:31, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I know I'm a bit late to this discussion, but I strongly disagree with the removal of Xiangqi from the list. --Yair rand (talk) 09:09, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Why? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:11, 12 January 2012 (UTC)


I propose adding Niccolò Machiavelli to People/Philosophers and social scientists; Eye and Bone to Science/Biology/Anatomy; Surgery to Health and medicine/Medicine; Japanese yen to Society and social sciences/Business and economics/Money; Red Sea to Geography/Sea; Cue sports, Bat-and-ball games, and Golf to Everyday life/Recreation and entertainment/Sport; and Microwave and X-ray to Science/Physics/Light/Electromagnetic radiation. Machiavelli is one of the most important political philosophers. Japanese yen (the third most traded currency, only behind the two currencies that are currently listed) and Red Sea are both important to international trade and commerce while their articles will provide non-Western examples to the sparse Money and Seas subcategories. The sports articles are internationally played and help balance out the current focus on football, cricket, and the Olympics. Eye, bone, and surgery are fairly obvious additions to the anatomy and medicine subcategories. Microwaves and X-rays are important and highly-viewed scientific articles that are also important to discussions of technology, health, and communication. Since there are currently 988 articles listed, adding these 11 will bring the total to 999, so no articles need to be removed to make room for these. -Mabeenot (talk) 02:04, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

None of these are unreasonable, but I'm leaning towards some and against others. My preliminary take:
  • Machiavelli: weakly against; I feel like there are a dozen political philosophers of his importance.
  • Bone: we have skeleton, but adding bone as a subelement would be okay.
  • Surgery: Absolutely. The health and medicine section doesn't feel quite right to me, but I'm not a medical doctor. I'd like to have one look at the selection.
  • Yen: You've got to draw the line somewhere - what about the 4th most traded currency? But the list probably is Western-biased (as an American, I'm not qualified to say) so maybe.
  • Red Sea: I do not think it's as important as the other bodies of water listed.
  • Sports certainly seems underpopulated, but I think it needs a broader reexamination than just tacking on a few more articles.
  • Microwave and X-ray: We'd have to include the rest of the electromagnetic spectrum, including radio waves and gamma rays, and that's just too many and too much detail. Science is big (though no unduly so) already.
Anyone else have opinions? HereToHelp (talk to me) 03:46, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I'd say "no" to Machiavelli; he's not at the level of importance for the limited list here. I'm also against Microwave and X-ray, since we have Electromagnetic spectrum listed. And I'm not sure we need articles on all the major specific currencies, as opposed to general coverage in an article on Currency.
  • The Red Sea isn't all that important, nor is it very large. If another sea were going to be included, I'd prefer the Coral Sea as it's much larger and biologically more important as well. It's also in the Southern Hemisphere, unlike the other two currently listed.
  • Bone is unnecessary with Skeleton as the animal anatomy list focuses more on systems than parts, with a few exceptions. However, if you think Bone is a better choice than Bone fracture (currently listed), then a replacement for the more general article is certainly fair.
  • I say "yes" to Eye & Surgery; those are huge omissions. However, Visual system might be better than Eye.
  • I also agree with HereToHelp that the Sports section needs to be reworked in toto rather than patched up with more articles. Why not do a thorough proposal for that section, including the possibility of some removals/replacements? --EncycloPetey (talk) 04:40, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
I tried to do something like that above. I don't believe that "Cue sports" and "Golf" are more significant than, say "Basketball". I also don't believe we need both "Cricket" and "Bat-and-ball games" in a list that has fewer than a score of articles Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 15:59, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Purplebackpage89 seems to be about right. Yen, I disagree, historically the Pound Sterling is more important, and in today's world the Chinese Yuan is more important than the Yen anyway. If any additional currency should be included I'd go for the Yuan. I don't think the Red Sea or the Coral Sea are important enough. The arguments in favour of including Iran as a country and/or more cities is significantly greater - Shanghai, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Singapore would all be reasonable additions - certainly more so than adding any more seas. I would be up for switching Berlin with one of the cities I've mentioned above or for Iran. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:45, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I think we should break this up. We're currently trying to do to much in one thread. But I feel like visual system is kind of like motion - a very broad topic with an underdeveloped article, where the real action is in a more detailed article. That doesn't easily translate into an eye/visual system verdict, however. I guess we'll just keep bouncing ideas around and come up with something. HereToHelp (talk to me) 19:19, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Switching Berlin for Iran

Berlin isn't historically that important - its a fairly small city and unlike France and the UK the Germans have lots of important cities - not just Berlin. Additionally Germany was only founded in 1871 and before that the Holy Roman Empires capital was at Regensburg. In contrast Iran is one of the world's great civilisations and neither it or Persia are included in the list at all at present. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:26, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

That's not true. We have Achaemenid Empire, which is the article on the Persian Empire (it redirects there). So we already have coverage and do not need to make the switch. --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:35, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
While that means we do cover it somewhat, Iran is more important than just that empire. It is still under covered.
Otherwise we could switch Berlin for another city, like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore or Mumbai. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:24, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
We already have one Chinese city and a city from northern India, so I'd be somewhat opposed to adding Shanghai, Hong Kong, or Mumbai. Singapore is a possibility, as I'd like to see a city from Africa or Australasia included. Other possibilities are Cairo, Kinshasa, Lagos, Jakarta, or Manila. --EncycloPetey (talk) 00:08, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Currently we have 4 cities in Western Europe, which is the equivalent region to compare to either China or India. We have zero cities in South East Asia, which again is comparable as a region to Western Europe, and we have zero cities in Africa as you point out. We could reduce the cities in Western Europe to two (London as its English speaking and Rome as its historically and religiously important), and remove Seoul as its not that important, then to replace them we could add Shanghai, Mumbai and Cairo or some other combination. Possibly we could remove Mecca and replace it with Singapore. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:18, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
We could do that if comparable geographic area was the deciding criterion. However, we also have to consider that the English Wikipedia will need better coverage of topics of closer relevance to English speakers. English is historically a language of Europe, so there will be more influence from Europe. You're talking about removing Paris and Moscow, in addition to Berlin, and I'm not sure that's such a great idea. Mecca might be replaced with Cairo (or Singapore), as it's not such a large city and its importance is really that of its religions significance (and that will be covered by the article on Islam). So, I'd agree that Mecca might be a good candidate for a switch. Likewise for Seoul.
So, we have an agreement that Berlin, Mecca, and Seoul could be replaced. We seem to agree that we want Cairo and Singapore included as part of that swap. However, I favor adding Jakarta over Shanghai or Mumbai, if we're talking about just three swaps. This would provide greater ethnic, linguistic, architectural, and religious diversity while retaining a very large and very old city in the list. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:13, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Moscow is in eastern Europe ;). Other than that that sounds like a good compromise. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:57, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Done. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:23, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Foundation list

Following recent discussions at WT:FAC, please note --JN466 15:03, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Biological entries

I was surprised to not find Protein in this list. Recently RNA has been found to be much more active than expected. But even so, practically all that life is and does are the effects of the activities of proteins. In my view all of these article are less important:

  • Death
  • Female (should be covered by sex)
  • Male (should be covered by sex)
  • Homosexuality (very peripheral in biology, but maybe important in social sciencies)
  • Botany (partly covered by Plant and Fungus); (Do we really want both subject and object separately in this high priority list?)
  • Tree (rather arbitrarily chosen trait)
  • Algae (like tree, a trait or form)
  • Zoology (like botany)

Other articles that I miss: Spider, Eukaryote, Protist (like algae but much more), Eye, Ear. --Ettrig (talk) 14:55, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

The problem I see with your proposal is that it's too scientific. Yeah, the terms you cite are probably not as important to a scientist, but they're much more important to the majority of people in the world who aren't particularly educated. Death, Trees, Male and Female certainly belong in the top 1000 in my opinion Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 15:00, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I see a little bit of weight to the subject and object argument, by which I think you mean the field of study and the object of study. I would be amenable to cutting botany and zoology for eye and ear. We have Eukaryote. I'm slightly leaning against protist on Pruplebackpack's argument: this is a list of things important for humans in general. Expect to find chauvinism in favor of body parts, over one of dozens of ways to classify single-celled organisms. HereToHelp (talk to me) 15:12, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
You get me to think of a deeper and in my mind very important question. Why do we construct these lists? I thought this is where we define what people should be interested in. (I am a bit sarcastic here. ;-) If we want to define importance as what people are interested in, then it would be much more accurate to go by page-view statistics. Personally I think both our theoretic endeavours and objective statistics should be weighed in and that there should be a vigorous discussion about how. But there is no need to base this list on what we guess ordinary people are interesed in. They have already told us, loud and clearly. Here are the pageviews for Novemember 2011, thousands: Protein 178, Death 127, Female 58, Male 42. All the figures are respectable, but among these, protein is clearly of most interest to our readers. --Ettrig (talk) 15:41, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
My impression was that the criteria was neither what people should or are interested in, but rather a set of very general articles that serve as jumping-off points to more detailed one. As your statistics demonstrate, popular articles are probably fairly detailed. If it sounds like we're writing a middle school science curriculum, well, maybe we are. It's extremely subjective. The best use I can think of for this list is that general or overview articles require a very different approach from detailed ones, and if someone wants to specialize in general articles, have at it. That said, this isn't really a list of overview articles, so I the question is very much unanswered. HereToHelp (talk to me) 19:38, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Um... you'll need to start by saying which Vital articles list you're talking about. The 1000 list does include Eukaryote, so you should have spotted it. However it deliberately does not include Protist because of the significant overlap with Eukaryote and the obsolete status of Protist as a taxon.
Part of what happens with the 1000 list is that the article selection must be severely limited, and slots are apportioned between all areas of knowledge. Some things just can't be included because of the arbitrary count restriction. By contrast, the 10,000 article list is much longer, and hasn't even filled all the available slots yet, so there is much more room for further additions.
As for specific complaints, you'll have to expound a bit. For example, I don't understand your objections to including Tree and Algae in the list of vital articles. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:17, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
There are so many problems with this (1000) list, I got a bit confused. Yes, I see the Eukaryote now, good. I will try to address one problem at a time. It seems that there was an ambition to organize the Organisms part as a hierarchy of taxons. But if so, this isn't done correctly. Algae is not a taxon. The hierarchy is
--Ettrig (talk) 21:01, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
The focus of the list is not taxonomic, nor strictly hierachical. Your concerns, while valid in a classification system, are not particularly relevant in a list of Vital Articles for an encyclopedia. Here, the groupings are purely artifical and convenient. Too many levels of indentation in a list of this size would destroy the convenience. --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:06, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Human anatomy

This has come up in multiple posts now, so I thought I'd point out that we missed something right under our noses (literally). Proposed adds (which can be taken on a case-by-case basis):

Also, there was a request for bone; we already have skeletal system but it's still a possibility. HereToHelp (talk to me) 15:21, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Will anything be removed to compensate? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:11, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't think Mouth or Nose will be of sufficient value at the 1000 article level. By all means include them on the 10,000 article list, however. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:18, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Updated numbers

I've just gone through, and updated the assessment levels of the articles on this list (see chart at top). Some observations:

  • The most conspicuous trend is the continuing growth of VA GAs. It is now on a level with FAs, where numbers keep declining. I did include three articles that were both A and GA (the only possible combination, to my knowledge) only in the GA category. These were Alan Turing, Napoleon and Cold War.
    • This seems to both support and contradict statements made in a recent analysis that caused much debate over at FA. The study claimed that "GA...has less Vital Articles overall." This is no longer true, though the proportion of GAs that are VAs is still much lower than that for FAs, seeing how there are about four times as many GAs as FAs.
    • Secondly, the study claimed that "the amount of VA GAs has been dropping faster than FA GAs." [I assume that should be "faster than VA FAs."] This was true up until a point, around 2010. The decline was in part due to a restructuring of the VA list, but mostly due to the Sweeps project, where about a thousand GAs were delisted, many of them VAs. Since then, however, the number of GAs on this list has been increasing at an impressive rate.
    • It does seem to confirm the study's contention that FAs are becoming more and more peripheral: as more VAs are being demoted, fewer are promoted. The contrasting success of the GA project is not due to greater focus on vital topics, but simply to greater overall output: last year, GAs grew at almost exactly a 10/1 ratio to FAs.
  • B level articles kept being demoted to C, but at a much slower rate than the year before.
  • The number of Start-/Stub-level articles remains relatively constant. There is only one Stub – Pop music – but at almost 20k and with over 40 refs, I think this is unduly harsh.
  • There are nine free spots.
  • Oh, and Bing Crosby is now one of the 1,000 most important things to have happened to the universe, ever. No word yet on Liberace.

Comments most welcome. Lampman (talk) 01:37, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

On another note, the count reflects Wikipedia's general problem with systemic bias. In the "Science" section, 54 of 191 articles are either FA or GA, giving an average of over 28%. For the "Arts and culture" section, the corresponding numbers are 4 of 64, or 6.25%. Lampman (talk) 08:04, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Interesting statistics. Perhaps publish something special in the post about your analysis? ResMar 00:11, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
You mean the Signpost? I suggested it, but never got a response. Lampman (talk) 14:57, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Have reassessed pop music, it's no stub for sure. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 00:14, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Redirected entries

I have checked all the entries listed at Wikipedia:Vital articles (permanent link here), and I have found that some entries are either piped or redirected to pages whose titles differ from the names of the entries as shown on the list.

Philosophy and religion

  • Qur'an (redirected to) Quran

Everyday life

Society and social sciences

Health and medicine




I can understand the desire to present some entries with piped links, but the fact that six entries are redirected seems to be an oversight.
Wavelength (talk) 00:53, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

I have now revised the six redirected entries, so that the links go directly to the articles. The “n” in the entry “nth root”, like the “e” in the entry “e”, remains unitalicized on the list, although they are both italicized in the titles of their respective articles.
Wavelength (talk) 21:37, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Watchers of vital articles

I recommend that a group of editors specializing in maintaining the page Wikipedia:Vital articles have each a watchlist dedicated specifically to articles on the list, so that they can immediately notice when listed articles are merged, split, renamed, or disambiguated. Then the list can be updated accordingly.
Wavelength (talk) 21:45, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

That doesn't happen very often anymore. It happened quite a bit 5 or 6 years ago, but those kinds of changes seldom happen anymore to articles like these. --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:51, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
I found many such articles among those listed at Wikipedia:Vital articles/Expanded. For example, the articles “Currant”, “Date”, “Fig”, and “Paw paw” are all disambiguation pages.
Wavelength (talk) 22:13, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Did any of that happen as a result of a recent move, or was this something that happened a long time ago, or was the wrong link added to the VA listing in the first place? The fact that a problem exists now does not mean the problem originated in the recent past. For example, Paw Paw has been a disambiguation page since it was created in 2004. The form Paw paw was created as a redirect in 2005. So, the problem must have resulted from the addition of an undisambiguated link to VA in the first place, and not from a page move or disambiguation effort. This problem could only be found by checking the links from VA, which I presume no one bothered to do before. Watching the target page would not have helped. --EncycloPetey (talk) 22:35, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
I have not ascertained how the problem originated, but I am willing to check the entries of the extended list, as I have done for the entries of the main list. In my recent contributions, I saw many of the irregularities in the course of my using the lists for checking and revising section headings in listed articles. My preference is to check the 12 transcluded pages, one at a time, proceeding from the bottom transcluded page upward, because that order approximates my order of interest in the topics.
Wavelength (talk) 00:24, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
I have begun to check the 12 transcluded pages, and I am planning to post messages on their respective talk pages. For convenience, here are links to those 24 pages.
If you have those pages on your watchlist, then you can see when I have posted there.
Wavelength (talk) 03:16, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
For additional convenience, I have made these 12 shortcuts and I have added them to the respective transcluded pages.
Wavelength (talk) 17:54, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
I have interchanged the positions of the eighth and ninth transcluded pages as listed at Wikipedia:Vital articles/Expanded, for consistency with the order of their transclusion there.
Wavelength (talk) 03:49, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I have checked WP:VA/E/ME, WP:VA/E/MA, WP:VA/E/T, WP:VA/E/PS, and WP:VA/E/BH for redirected and disambiguated entries, but that is probably all for now. This memorandum can help me or another editor in resuming the checking.
Wavelength (talk) 03:32, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Questions about inclusion, of lack thereof

First, "Specific languages". What is the criteria for inclusion? It is not List of languages by number of native speakers... for example, it misses Punjabi language, which has more native speakers than German of French, yet it has Greek language, which is way down on the list.

Second, history.

A. What where the criteria?
B. East–West Schism seems relatively esoteric, and I would like to see the justification for its inclusion in the list.
C Why History of the United States, but not of other countries? Because it is the largest English speaking country? Why is the largest more important then one with the longest history (no History of the United Kingdom?
D Both Scramble for Africa and European colonization of the Americas seem redundant, as Colonialism is already on the list. The lack of Asian article (Imperialism in Asia) seems biased. Further, the lack of Decolonization seems surprising.
E What makes Russian Empire more important than German Empire or the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth? (I would suggest adding those two, rather than removing RE)
F Justification for Islamism, please.
G Why Korean War but not the Vietnam War? Both seem US-centric. Either have both or none.
H What makes Arab–Israeli conflict worthy of inclusion, when Sino-Indian War nor a single one of several Indo-Pakistani wars and conflicts was listed? Or events like Prague Spring? Dozens more of similar importance could be named.
I Civil rights movement. Important... to US. Not so much to the rest of the world. US-bias? What makes it more important than Cultural Revolution in China, to name another big cultural and societal shift on the other side of the world?
J No Iraq War? Seriously?

Third. Artists. I am not seeing anything in the lead of those figures to justify their inclusion.

A What makes Pablo Neruda equal to the fifteen other names on the list? Is he really the most important writer of the second half of the 20th century?
B Shitao. Because? Token Asian artist for "Countering systemic bias"? I hope not.
C Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī. Again, why? What makes him equal to Leibnitz or Godel? And why Ibn Khaldun is not in the Philosophers and social scientists?

Fourth. Medicine... I am not seeing Frostbite as vital. Frankly, I think we can kill all second level entries under Disability and Physical trauma, with one exception - Mental disorder should be elevated (it seems to be on the same level as physical trauma).

Firth. Everyday life (or perhaps another section) should hold fashion. Most of our editors may be geeks, but to most people out there, clothing (included) matter more than computers. Or please run by me how furniture is more important than fashion.

Sixth. Minor. I am not sure if Women's suffrage placement in history is the best, I'd suggest moving it to social issues. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 01:56, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree with you about Shitao - he's not significant to be on this list and it would be best to move him to the expanded one. Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī however, is an extremely important figure in the history of mathematics - he developed a systematic method of solving quadratics. --He to Hecuba (talk) 14:44, 4 February 2012 (UTC)this is a WP:SOCK of a WP:BANned user, you may safely ignore any and all input from them and revert any edit they made without further cause. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:24, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I think you make some good points here - but you need to break this up into individual points.
With regards to point C, we already have the history of India and China - the two obvious choices, as well as Japan. We do also include the bit of British history with a worldwide impact - the Empire - including the US as well seems perfectly sensible. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:42, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • With regards to B, agreed.
  • With regards to D, Some cleanup seems worthwhile.
  • With regards to G, the Korean war is de-facto still going on - the Vietnam war is well any truly over. Maybe the Korean war could be replaced with the Indo-Pakistani conflict which has been more active.
  • With regards to H, I'm not clear how that is a particularly big deal frankly - including the Indo-Pakistani conflict might well be sensible however, see above.
  • With regards to J, what about WP:RECENTISM? You're complaining we are missing the entire history of the US, but you want extra coverage of one war? That doesn't seem consistent. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:44, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
East-West schism should certainly not go - it's one of most important events in church history. Indo-Pakistani conflict probably more important than Korean/Vietnam war. --He to Hecuba (talk) 19:49, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
For balance how many other similar articles would we need for other religions? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:56, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I think it would be a good idea to add Succession to Muhammad, but no others are really as significant. --He to Hecuba (talk) 18:37, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
RE: "First... Greek language", yes the number of modern Greek speakers is very low, but Greek was the international language of the Eastern Mediterranean, western Asia, and northern Africa for many centuries, and is an important source language for English words. I would reply to more of your questions, but there are many, many questions and they are all over the map. There doesn't seem to be a theme for this thread other than "I'm dissatisfied and questioning." If the topics were divided up and more focussed, it might lead to a productive discussion. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:21, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
With regards to "Third" A, I suggest removing Pablo Neruda and adding Cesar Vallejo since Thomas Merton called him "the greatest universal poet after Dante." He is also seems to be considered one of the greatest innovators in poetry during the 20th century. Latin American literature is not to be underestimated. Besides, Neruda may have won the Nobel Prize but in South America Vallejo is considered the better poet. Mauri96 (talk) 13:58, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Suggested changes

I thought we could start with some which I think are less controversial from Piotr's list:

Is there any opposition to these two things? Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 18:19, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I suppose not. Whoever removes them, please update the counts. HereToHelp (talk to me) 19:17, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I would oppose removing either. Both are major social changes of lasting importance. I disagree strongly with Piotr's assessment of both articles. The former is not esoteric, and the latter is not US-centric as claimed. I'm assuming he didn't actually look at the article. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:39, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Mongol Empire

I am planning a push to get this article up to FA status. I'm willing to try and do it on my own, though of course it's a lot of work. Is there a best place to post about it, to see if anyone else would like to help? --Elonka 02:28, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Peer review is a good place to start. I do not know whether there is a History / Asia / Mongolia project, but you might look for one or all of these and post there to garner more help. --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:53, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Table of short but popular level 4 VAs

Many of the smaller articles are disambiguation pages.

I recently performed an analysis of the 1,069 level 4 vital articles under 9,000 bytes which are not disambiguations and not rated B-Class or better on their talk page. Please have a look at the resulting table: Wikipedia:Short popular vital articles. I suggest that vital articles with many views per byte may be the most time-effective to work on. (Meaning like cost-effective for volunteers.) Npmay (talk) 22:05, 12 March 2012 (UTC)


Have created a list of 80 key health care topics here Book:Health_care which in collaboration with Translators Without Borders we are working on improving and translating into as many other languages as possible [1] Wondering if we should add some of the topics listed to the level 3 vital articles? I have changed a few around already but keep the numbers the same. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:59, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi James, I undid your addition of Pregnancy as it is already included under biology. I'm a bit surprised we don't have Myocardial infarction, since it's a Top importance, B class, FFA. I'd suggest if we're dropping Cholera, that might be the one to replace it with. LeadSongDog come howl! 18:45, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
And what about hypertension. The WHO has said it is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. I think we should add more to the list.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:46, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Every subject area has editors that think the same way. The 1000 article cap is pretty entrenched, though I'm not entirely sure why. To get more medical articles on the list, they have to come from some other subject. That means persuading that subject's champions that the newly-inserted least-important medical article will be more important than the newly-deleted least-important article in their subject domain. Such comparisons are very tough to make objectively. (talk) 15:01, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Looks like we are at 991 articles though and thus in need of a few more articles.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:49, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Claude Shannon

I am shocked to see that Claude Shannon, the father of information theory and modern cryptography is nowhere listed in the Vital 3 article list. Some people think that without his brilliant ideas we wouldn't be at where we now are in our modern all-electronic and increasingly wireless world. One of his most seminal theorems is known as the Noisy-channel coding theorem, the mathematical foundation for reliable (electronic) communication over unreliable communication channels; this theorem should definitely be included in the Vital 4 list (even if it is in such a disappointing state). While he is truly famous for many other theorems and discoveries, this is probably the most important one.

I am also shocked to see that the article information theory is not in the Vital 3 list. If you now think this has only to do with engineering you are far off. Information theory nowadays has applications everywhere where the technical analysis of communications is involved: from mathematics and telecommunications to cryptography and its implication in secure communication over the Internet to the diverse field of applications in computer science to the understanding of neurobiology and of genetic coding.

Related to information theory is the topic of coding theory, which is the science of the design of specific codes to enable reliable communication over unreliable communication channels. Both source coding and channel coding are crucial components in electronic communication nowadays, and the Reed–Solomon code is ubiquitous in electronic communication as well as storage devices (e.g., hard disks, CDs, etc.). So, while coding theory, which (should) discuss source coding and channel coding, should be considered for the Vital 3 list (though it is not as overly essential as information theory, and despite the horrible state it is in), Reed–Solomon code should be considered for the Vital 4 list.

I understand that all articles are in a competition on this list, and people will have their own personal opinion on which articles are crucial, but I'm really surprised about an entry such as stove in a Vital 3 list. Thank you for all feedback! Nageh (talk) 21:56, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

In summary: I propose adding Claude Shannon to the list of Inventors and scientists, and Information theory to Information technology (it is really foundational to it). Nageh (talk) 22:20, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Added per WP:BRD. Nageh (talk) 22:52, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

And another proposal: Nanotechnology to section Material and chemical. Nageh (talk) 22:23, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Added to general Technology section. Nageh (talk) 22:54, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
A concern with including Claude Shannon is that, while he is of top importance to the subjects you mentioned, the subjects themselves are, let's admit, somewhat specialized. Whom should he nudge out of the list of Inventors and scientists? Alan Turing looks to be the most comparable entry in the Mathematicians list; is he more importance than Turing? Likewise, while the nanotechnology topic will undoubtedly become very important in the future, right now it's pretty obscure. What article should it bump from the list? Both topics are already included in the extended list of VA articles. Regards, RJH (talk) 23:26, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it is fair to say that telecommunications is a specialized field. As I said, I understand that there is a competition between all entries, but Shannon is foundational to modern telecommunications as well as cryptography just as Turing is to theoretical computer science. So both persons are on the same scale of notability, and it's hard to argue why one should leave and the other not, IMO. It's not like I am advocating for any other persons in these fields, just a single one. One question seems to me though whether Shannon should count as a scientist or as a mathematician (probably the latter)?
As for nanotechnology, saying that it's pretty obscure is ignoring today's reality. Nanotechnology in the form of nanomaterials is already everywhere, through still a growing field; nanoelectronics is upcoming and realized in parts such as quantum dots, while nanorobotics is admittedly still obscure. So what I am saying is that it is a pretty large field, some of which already is a reality, and thus should be included.
On the other hand, why should stove be included? I am convinced that it is historically important, but should it be a Vital 3 article? Nageh (talk) 14:32, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Information technology vs. Media and communication, and Abacus entry

Abacus in the Information technology category is a really odd one. Moreover, there is a lot of topical overhead in the Information technology category and the Media and communication category, so maybe they should be merged? Nageh (talk) 22:36, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Abacus is a calculating tool. Calculator is in the Information technology section. Why is it an odd placement? Regards, RJH (talk) 14:01, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I guess, nothing. I expected it to be in some Mathematics category. Nageh (talk) 14:14, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Total is 996, not 1000

I checked the count for this page and it seems to be 4 short. The "Arts and culture" tally was off by -2; Everyday life was off by +1; Science was off by +1. Looks like the comment lines were being included in the totals.

Here are the changes since 1/1/2010:

People, +7
History, +3
Geography, –18
Arts and culture, +4
Philosophy and religion, –6
Everyday life, +6
Society and social sciences, +13
Health and medicine, +6
Science, +10
Technology, –10
Mathematics, +2
Measurement, -14

This section was eliminated. The following articles were removed from the list:

Many of these make sense. A few perhaps not so much. Regards, RJH (talk) 19:11, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

    • I speculate that Ethiopia gained in recent popularity because of the famines and possibly also its conflicts with Eritrea. What concerns the other suggestions, I agree with you. In particular, Iran is also culturally and historically important. Nageh (talk) 19:11, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
      • Yes, I'm okay with leaving Ethiopia out of the list. Regards, RJH (talk) 14:34, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm trying to figure out why Simón Bolívar was removed but Michael Jackson was added, unless you think current popular fads are more relevant. I can't understate the importance of Bolívar in world history. I'd have to agree with RJHall about Moses as well. I know this is shooting the messenger, but some of this could use some re-evaluation and it is good to see this list if only to stimulate the conversation and force some reassessment of the list. --Robert Horning (talk) 00:31, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
    • I had a similar question about Bing Crosby, but it's difficult to judge the historical importance of something when you're living through the same time period. RJH (talk) 04:43, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Adding an additional thought, I can't understand why George Washington is missing but Abraham Lincoln is on the list. If I had to rank importance and vitality, a substitution of Washington for Lincoln certainly works and Washington certainly fits in as appropriate with the rest of the prominent politician listed. Heck, I think even Lincoln himself would likely have said that Washington is more prominent, and several of Lincoln's speeches even refer to Washington either directly or indirectly. --Robert Horning (talk) 00:54, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Personally I'm okay with having Lincoln. One could make a strong case for Thomas Jefferson instead. It's a bit of a coin toss I guess. Regards, RJH (talk) 04:43, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Recentism and systemic bias are issues. As a non-American, I don't see why an article on the September 11 attacks should be a Vital 3 article. Sure, it is important to US politics in these days, but is it overall important? I don't think so. Nageh (talk) 08:20, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
    • As an American, I agree. Historically it's probably not that important, although it's wrapped up in a lot of strong emotions right now. Then again I don't think that Arab–Israeli conflict is important either. It's a minor conflict that gets a disproportionate share of attention; probably because of oil. Regards, RJH (talk) 14:32, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
      • Right, I think both of these should be Vital 4 articles. Nageh (talk) 15:22, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Many of the links in the list above go to dab pages rather than articles. Surely this was not intended, but who can fix it? LeadSongDog come howl! 16:44, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Core contest....

Right, now to discuss how to proceed from here...figured some folks might wanna add a word or two. Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:20, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Why isn't Isambard Kingdom Brunel listed?

I've added him to the expanded list, but I won't add him to this list without discussion. I would guess that he's notable enough to belong on this list as well.--Leon (talk) 12:21, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Saint Paul of Tarsus

How about adding Saint Paul to the religious figures?ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:11, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Since I first made that comment, no one took me up, so I have added him myself now! I hope this was OK - were no objections to this suggestion on this talk page. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 10:33, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

I think you meant Paul the Apostle, not a POV-titled redirect to that page. I'll fix it.LeadSongDog come howl! 16:11, 11 July 2012 (UTC)


I very strongly feel Hunting should definately be in the vital 1000 articles. We have Agriculture in the vital 100, plus Fishing in the vital 1000, it was our species only way of eating and surviving for 1000s of years, and still a small number of people today, plus it is also a cultural and ethical issue today with killing of animals. You could argue its vaguely covered by Stone Age. But I still think we should have hunting.


I feel less strongly about but will mention my thoughts on.

Jābir ibn Hayyān, more important than the whole country he came from Persia/Iran?

Korean War, but no mention of Korea, North or South

Arab–Israeli conflict without any other coverage of Israel or the Arab World other than History of Middle East and Arabic Languauge

Not in all cases but I'm slightly in favour of less cities and bodies of water and more countries, is Jakarta and Lake Victoria really more important than Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Thailand, South Korea?

I know we are trying to get a wide view, but I am remain a little reserved that the whole Inca civilization and Peru is less important that one of the things they built there, Machu Picchu. Same for Cambodia and Angkor Wat and Greece and the Parthenon, although I know we have ancient Greece.

Fallingwater a nice looking house, more important than most countries, cities and civilizations? it's not even a UNESCO site. If you must contain a pretty thing from the US at least have the Statue of Liberty, or just delete it.

We have human important plant products/crops like Tea, Coffee Beer Wine Soybean, on top of Agriculture. But we only have meat, bird and mammal, Why not, important animals other than human, like cattle, dog, horse, Chicken or maybe not are these covered enough by Animal husbandry, Agriculture, Meat?

Carlwev (talk) 23:46, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

You make some good points. However, it's important to weigh each article with respect to their particular subject matter rather than comparing apples and oranges. Very few people, if any, are as important as their respective countries of origin. But we do need to include a list of key individuals. Likewise for cities or lakes. I'd like to suggest maintaining something like the current balance of articles per topic and just comparing articles within each topic. Note that I did add in Iran as that had been raised earlier discussion; it has a large population and is of major historical importance. Regards, RJH (talk) 01:29, 14 June 2012 (UTC)


It looks from the discussion here like there's a rough consensus that Micheal Jackson doesn't really merit inclusion. I will remove him from the page, but just thought I would drop a note here. ☻☻☻Sithman VIII !!☻☻☻ 17:03, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

likewise for 9/11. ☻☻☻Sithman VIII !!☻☻☻ 17:08, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Also, I have readded Xiangqi, or "Chinese chess". If we're going to be listing board games, I would think that the most popular board game in the world deserves a mention. Especially if Chess is going to be listed; seems a little systemic-bias-y, otherwise. ☻☻☻Sithman VIII !!☻☻☻ 17:18, 14 June 2012 (UTC)


Name or personal name, quite important. I would suggest dropping Fallingwater if we need to drop one for it Carlwev (talk) 21:49, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

No need to drop, if I recall the page now stands at 991(?) or thereabouts. Cheers! ☻☻☻Sithman VIII !!☻☻☻ 23:52, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Added Hunting and Personal name

I added Hunting and Personal name, I think a lot could be changed here, but these two I feel most strongly about

Oral tradition

Somehow oral tradition is so important it is included in the vital 100 articles but is absent from the vital 1000 articles and also missing from the vital 10,000 articles, what?? What should we do about this? It should definately be mentioned in the top 10,000, posibly 1000 but 100? Carlwev (talk) 15:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Well, without oral traditions we would likely have no mythologies (or religions, if you prefer the term) and few of their characters, events, and stories. If you can make a case for dropping all those too, then dropping oral tradition might make sense. But then, I'm not an anthropologist. I don't even wear an anthropologist's hat. LeadSongDog come howl! 16:32, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Core Contest

Earth layers model.png 2012 Core Contest
Let it be known that the third incarnation of the Wikipedia Core Contest will take place from August 1 to 31 2012 CE/AD.....Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:33, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

With 250 quid (my damn Aussie keyboard lacks a "pound"symbol...) in amazon vouchers for prizes, get out yer library books...Wikipedia:The Core Contest is a-coming, and have a very literal, verbose, syntactic and referential August, starting on the Horses' Birthday....cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:15, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

proposal for adding articles to this list

It would be good to get Down syndrome, Dyslexia and Cerebral palsy added to the health section... They are high traffic articles on subject for which wikipedia is the first port of call for many people seeking reliable information on emotive issues. I propose they replace Dengue fever, Elizabeth I of England, and Recreation. How does that sound? Fayedizard (talk) 17:27, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

I think you've misunderstood what a "vital" article is. The issue isn't whether people come here over other places to read about the topic; rather, it's how central the topic is to humanity, nature, and understanding. Recreation is far more central to understanding and humanity than Down syndrome, and the article on Elizabeth I of England is tied to many more aspects of human history and culture than any of the article's you've put forward. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:49, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Apologies, I put that rather unclearly. Let's put aside Recreation for the moment. Can we talk about "vital" in the context of Wikipedia:Systemic_bias for a moment? I think it might be possible to say that Elizabeth I of England is tied to many aspects of British, rather than human history, whereas things like Down syndrome, and Cerebral palsy are world-wide, and current, issues - and their study is the start of a fundamental discourse on what it means to be human. At it stands - this list contains only those disabilities that affect mind and senses... What is the normal way of settling this? Fayedizard (talk) 09:29, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Systemic bias would be to overload the list with diseases and disorders at the expense of other topics. The medicine-related list already puts more emphasis on the abnormal or disfunctional rather than on the standard or the norm. Now, if there is a systemic bias within the list of medical disorders, it might be appropriate to replace one with another, but expanding a list of medical conditions at the expense of historically imprtant individuals merely replaces one kind of bias with another. --EncycloPetey (talk) 22:36, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Replacing Xiangqi with Physical exercise

Although Xiangqi is a very popular game in China, it is extremely uncommon in English-speaking countries. We already have listed 2 other specific board games: Go & Chess, so I do not think that listing Xiangqi as well adds to the quality of the list. I therefore propose replacing Xiangqi with Physical exercise, a higher-order topic to be listed under "Recreation and entertainment". Physcial exercise is an important health topic, and is a common activity in various forms in many, many countries. It includes everything from recreational cycling and jogging, to walking, to weightlifting and bodybuilding, to geriatric care. As such, it is far more a vital topic than Xiangqi. --EncycloPetey (talk) 01:58, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Is this list supposed to include topics specifically relevant to the English-speaking world? I thought that it deliberately countered bias towards topics known by English speakers. --Yair rand (talk) 06:56, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't believe it's ever been set down formally, but I would agree that overbias towards the English-speaking world is a concern. The choice of literature items on this list, for example, took that into consideration once upon a time. However, the list has since been modified a few times, so that now it overcompensates and no examples of literature writen in English are included. However, this is really a separate issue from the current one. The issue being discussed here is whether to include a recreational topic specific to China is "vital" or should it be replaced with a more general topic that spans multiple cultures?
I would argue that the reasoning presented for change is a bit Systemic baisy, I'm ambivalent generally on which of Xiangqi, and Physical exercise would go in - but I'm interested in hearing how this board would normally solve such questions of 'vitalness' Fayedizard (talk) 09:17, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
In what way does the proposal introduce systemic bias? In my opinion, the proposed change would reduce such bias by (1) reducing the number of articles on specific games, and (2) replacing a China-specific article with a general cross-cultural article. --EncycloPetey (talk) 22:44, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Charles Dickens

I rather think that we should add Charles Dickens to the list of authors, although there does not appear to be an "edit" hyperlink by this section of this article. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 10:50, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

  1. I think he's more important than Poe, but then I'm British. I think there is an attempt to not have too many from the same nation, there is already Shakespeare from England/UK.Carlwev (talk) 17:07, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Yes, and there are already several novelists as well. Adding another novelist would mean removing some other writer, either another novelist (reducing breadth of international coverage) or removing a playwight or poet (reducing breadth of literary forms). Hoiwever, if you can make a specific proposal for exchange of items that meets with a consensus, then that would be fine. --EncycloPetey (talk) 18:56, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Why would adding another writer mean removing another writer? As with Carlwev, I am British as well, so maybe that might have influenced my initial suggestion. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:12, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Please look at the list description. This version of the list is limited to 1000 entries total, so adding any new item means that we have to remove some existing item. Note that there is also a level-4 version of the list that allows for 10,000 items. If Dickens isn't listed there, you can add him without removing another itme, since that list is still well below its cap. --EncycloPetey (talk) 22:20, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Suffering rather than Anger

I propose that Suffering, an emotion that is a counterpart to Happiness, be added under 'Emotion' (which is under 'Everyday life'), and that Anger, a less general emotion, be removed. --Robert Daoust (talk) 20:40, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Many authors have advocated contentment in suffering, which shows that suffering is not the counterpart to happiness. Buddhism and Christianity both have teachings on this issue, so I can't agree with the assertion that it is such a counterpart. And how is "suffering" an emotion? Isn't it a physical condition and social issue? So, I'd say you're looking at adding / replacing an item under social issues with Suffering, or else adding Pain under medicine. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:23, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Template talk:Vital article

I have started a discussion at Template talk:Vital article, which people may be interested in.

Yaris678 (talk) 12:47, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Physical cosmology

In Astronomy, I propose to replace Physical cosmology with the more general Cosmology. Narssarssuaq (talk) 19:03, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Abacus -> Astrolabe

I propose to replace the by now obsolete tool abacus with another obsolete instrument which might have had a larger practical and historical significance, the astrolabe. This would seem to be significant for the completeness of the Navigation and timekeeping section. Narssarssuaq (talk) 19:14, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

According to the articles the abacus had a wider area of use and for a longer time period; I think another thing in its favour is that it makes the list more representative of a time period not otherwise covered by people or history articles. What was the historical significance of the astrolabe? Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 19:24, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
This[2] TED talk can be seen as an academic advocacy of the inclusion of the astrolabe. It is apparently a tremendously advanced instrument which must have had a large significance on society in its history of use. I admit, however, that the proposition feels slightly crankish. Narssarssuaq (talk) 19:45, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Conclusion: No change.

Energy proposals

I suggest the following edits:

  • Petroleum -> Fossil fuel (covers coal and natural gas as well; also, "petroleum" is not only used for energy purposes, and this use becomes obvious with the fossil fuel term.
  • Geothermal electricity -> Renewable energy. Geothermal is not a very significant form of energy. The dichotomy fossil v. renewable energy is seen as important, and for completeness both should be included. Moreover, geothermal is a subcategory of renewable energy. Narssarssuaq (talk) 19:22, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support These topics are broader and should cover these subtopics well. --NickPenguin(contribs) 19:34, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Conclusion: Article changed.

Physics proposal

I suggest the following edit: Comparison of the imperial and US customary measurement systems is replaced by Entropy (as a sub-category of Thermodynamics). This concept is of tremendous importance to physics, as it defines the arrow of time and contradicts an ontology exclusively based on conservation laws, thus explaining concepts such as the heat death of the universe and Big Bang. Narssarssuaq (talk) 19:22, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Freud moved

I moved Freud from inventors and scientists to philosophers and social scientists. Narssarssuaq (talk) 18:22, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment: Change has been reverted pending discussion pbp 18:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: Good call pbp 18:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Has my backing, pretty simple nomenclature fix. GRAPPLE X 18:52, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I also support this decision. Regards.--Kürbis () 11:38, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Moved.Narssarssuaq (talk) 11:33, 10 September 2012 (UTC)


In Government, I propose to replace Anarchism with the more influential Social Democracy or the historically important Feudalism. Narssarssuaq (talk) 18:59, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose removing Anarchism as one of the top political ideologies; support adding social democracy and feudalism. Regards.--Kürbis () 12:00, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Conclusion: No change. Look to integrate Social democracy and Feudalism if possible.


I add William the Conqueror, as he would seem a more important leader pertaining to English history than Elizabeth I, whom is thus deleted. Narssarssuaq (talk) 17:36, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment: Change has been reverted pending discussion pbp 18:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: pbp 18:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. I think Elizabeth I is more famous, also I'd be open to seeing how we could add William, too. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:38, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Conclusion: Do not replace.

Proposal, delete geothermal electricity, add season

I propose to deleting geothermal electricity, and replacing it with season, do users support or oppose?

Delete wind power add wind

Since we now have renewable energy, may I now propose remove wind power and replace with wind, wind power is mentioned in wind and renewable energy, and surely it is odd to have wind power before wind. Carlwev (talk) 10:17, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Oppose. I would say that wind power is the essence of wind, not the other way around. Could be supported if another thing is removed. Narssarssuaq (talk) 11:37, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Support. The concept of wind is more important. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:41, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Delete Fallingwater, add Horse proposal

I suggest deleting Fallingwater and adding Horse. Are users "in favour" or "against"? I am aware they are from different areas of the list, but I think some areas have too many or too few articles, that is why I am suggesting disimular replacements rather than simular ones.

It appears my long list above may be too long and have too many suggestions in one go to get a consensus, or helpful feedback from many users. Feedback so far suggest I had some good ideas and some bad ideas, which is what I expected. I will still leave it there and check users' oppinions if any are left. But now and later I will give some "one in one out" proposals in the hope that suggesting smaller and simpler alterations as opposed to large, is a bit "friendlier" and more likely to get more users oppinions and bring about a change... or not.

I think horse has been very important to a large proportion of the whole world for thousands of years, with regards to transport, war and work. To a much lesser extent, sport and biology. Horse article is present in about 160 different language Wikipedias and is a long and Good Article in English with over 200 references, I believe it is important enough to be here in addition to it's parent topics "domestication, mammal, animal husbandry. Fallingwater, modern domestic architecture, the only piece in the vital 1000. Maybe a modern domestic piece of architecture is just not important enough for the vital 1000. There are many many other more important topics missing from the vital 1000. Fallingwater is present in about 25 different language Wikipedias is a B class article in English short to medium size in length with less than 20 references; if that matters? I don't think having a piece of architecture from all locations, time periods, types is necessary for the vital 1000 when entire nations, empires and periods of history are missing. I think some structures should be here but I personally think we could delete more than one, but for now I believe Fallingwater sticks out as by far the least notable, I don't believe it has huge significance, world wide or historically, or perhaps even nationally. Also at the moment Fallingwater has not even been added to the vital 10,000. Surely an article should be in the vital 10,000 before thinking about the vital 1000.

Carlwev (talk) 18:40, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Replace Fallingwater with one of the options given above (Skyscraper, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, or World Trade Center).
Replace Bicycle with Horse. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:04, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Replacing Fallingwater with Skyscraper sounds like a good idea. Skyscrapers are a rather major element of modern society. --Yair rand (talk) 06:50, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with replacing Fallingwater with Skyscraper... although there is currently no other architectural forms (or styles) on the list - just specific buildings. Is there a reason for this? Yaris678 (talk) 13:00, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I would just like to point out there are "house, bridge, canal, pyramid, arch, dam, tower..." but they under technology not art-architecture Carlwev (talk) 17:53, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Good point. Kinda relates to the "topic" issue I mention below (well, at Template talk:Vital article#"topic" parameter, to be more specific). Yaris678 (talk) 20:15, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I believed part of the rationale for including specific architectural structures was a result of the fact that it is the only section for "art" where specific works are covered. The breadth of geography included in the selection allows for several world art styles to be discussed in a broad way. I don't know whether that thinking was actually used to create the list, but it appears in hindsight to work. Otherwise, there wouldn't be any coverage of historical world art. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:36, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Support op proposal or the skyscraper one. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:37, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

I am on the fence about skyscraper, we have tower. Although I like it much more than Fallingwater. I will add it to the list to see if more users are in favor or against. I will put 1½ (inclusion itself counts as 1) in favor now following the above comments Carlwev (talk) 07:29, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Religious figures and philosophers

Pre-Renaissance, philosophical metaphysics and theology was more or less the same. This poses a challenge when categorising "Philosophers and social scientists". Are they "Religious figures" or not?

I propose that theologists from after the Renaissance who do not participate as characters in "sacred scripture", such as Martin Luther, are counted as religious figures, whereas theologists from before the Renaissance who do not participate as characters in "sacred scripture" are counted as philosophers. This implies that I move Laozi, whom I suspect is not considered "holy" from Religious figures to Philosophers, whereas Paul the Apostle is retained as a religious figure as he is considered a "holy" person.

Summation: Only "holy" people from before renaissance = religious figures; "holy" people AND "Theologists" from renaissance = religious figures. Narssarssuaq

Summation of suggestion: Laozi is moved from religious figures to philosophers. Martin Luther and Paul the Apostle are not moved. (talk) 17:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment: Change has been reverted pending discussion pbp 18:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Martin Luther's primary contribution was in religion, not philosophy pbp 18:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • (The suggestion is to move Laozi) Narssarssuaq (talk) 20:52, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Conclusion: No move. Narssarssuaq (talk) 14:38, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Jacques Cartier -> Leif Ericson

As for explorers, it would seem more correct to include the European discoverer of Canada and North America, Leif Ericson, than Jacques Cartier, who explored Canada half a millennium later. I therefore suggest to replace Cartier with Ericson. Narssarssuaq (talk) 18:29, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

  • I'd be in favour of this, they're figures with similar bona fides but Ericson seems more relevant. GRAPPLE X 18:52, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Not sure. Ericson's contribution to history was seemingly overlooked, whereas Cartier's was built on. However I'm not convinced by Cartier particularly in the way of the world if there was a better suggestion. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 19:27, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Nevertheless, "explorers" has a ring of being somewhere first. Narssarssuaq (talk) 19:39, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Well, then we need to remove Columbus as well? Regards.--Kürbis () 12:01, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I think this is a pretty obvious edit. Nobody else? Narssarssuaq (talk) 07:26, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • An alternative for the Arctic region is Pytheas. Narssarssuaq (talk) 08:14, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Tough call. Certainly the records for Cartier and Columbus are clearer, and more directly built upon, but should that trump chronological precedence? Phytheas' Arctic references were to modern Scotland and/or Scandinavia. At most this was an inevitable "discovery" of a place already settled by people trading with Europe, and so had limited impact on the "discovered".LeadSongDog come howl! 20:54, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • No move. There seems to be little or no consensus here. This conclusion came as a surprise to me. Narssarssuaq (talk) 14:35, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Pre-Baroque composers

At least one example of pre-Baroque era composers should be included. To my knowledge, the correct choice would be Hildegard of Bingen. I replace Bing Crosby, as 1) She will be the only woman 2) She will be the only pre-Baroque composer. 3) The two other recent composers, Elvis Presley and Beatles, are also Anglo-Saxon. Narssarssuaq (talk) 17:52, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment: Change has been reverted pending discussion pbp 18:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Bing Crosby is more famous. Are there any famous pre-Baroque composers? If not, I think they simply are not vital. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:39, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: If we were to adhere strictly to fame at this point in time, we would have added whoever is on the charts today and changed the list every month or so. I think we can agree that we are rather looking for something (not necessarily only fame) which works over time and space in this article. Where I live, for instance, Bing Crosby is virtually unknown, whereas an artist such as Frank Sinatra is well-known to this day. Ancient music, Medieval music, Renaissance music (yes, these are important to the History of music) and music from Africa and Asia might be worth investigating further, if anyone has suggestions. Narssarssuaq (talk) 14:12, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: Although this is hard to judge, Monteverdi is probably the most famous pre-Baroque composer. He may be considered proto-Baroque, however, it would be nice to more appropriately cover the ancient-medieval-renaissance period. Narssarssuaq (talk) 18:53, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Augustine of Hippo

Augustine is an important philosopher, and cannot be omitted. As Plato and Socrates are essentially the same philosopher (we only know the latter from the writings of the former, and as scholars therefore cannot discern between the two), I remove Socrates. (On a side note, Al-Ghazali is another tremendously influential philosopher, but it requires that someone else must go. Perhaps he is more important than James Joyce, but that's difficult to compare, of course). Narssarssuaq (talk) 18:17, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment: Change has been reverted pending discussion pbp 18:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment It think Socrates and Plato should both include mention. The Socratic method and his spot as being the cornerstone of Western philosophy warrants a specific mention, even if he is mostly known through Plato's dialogues. Augustine is important, but I wouldn't describe him as vital.--NickPenguin(contribs) 19:27, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment It is difficult to disagree with NickPenguin, although Plato and Socrates are considered by scholars to be one and the same philosopher. As for Augustine, he is the most central Western philosopher in a 1000+ year period before Aquinas. Narssarssuaq (talk) 19:37, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Socrates must stay, but I strongly support adding Augustine of Hippo. He is vital. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:40, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Might be traded for mathematical concept - see below. Narssarssuaq (talk) 07:28, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Added Augustine of Hippo, removed Game theory. This discussion redirects here: [3]
  • I removed Augustine of Hippo from philosophy, and replaced him with Francis Bacon or Charles Sanders Peirce. Augustine could be added as an important religious writer. To call him a philosopher is misleading, since philosophers read Plato and Aristotle but ignore Augustine. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 13:04, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Existence -> Causality

In Metaphysics, I propose to replace Existence with what I consider a more important concept, Causality. Narssarssuaq (talk) 18:54, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

  • If we look at the talk pages of the two, causality is considered Top importance by the Philosophy project, whereas existence is considered High importance. Perhaps contraintuitively, the latter is not an absolutely ubiquitous concept within philosophy, whereas the former is. I recommend a change. Narssarssuaq (talk) 18:47, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Alps -> Amazon

As several larger mountain chains are mentioned, the Alps do not seem ubiquitous. Rather, an obvious example of a Forest could be included: the Amazon rainforest. It is particularly notable due to its extreme species diversity; remember that Life is one of the 10 most vital articles. Narssarssuaq (talk) 19:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment Rainforest is not part of the article (we only have Forest). Amazon rainforest can be added as an example of a forest. Comparison of the four mountain ranges presently added [Highest altitude (m)/Length of range (km)]: Himalayas [8848, 2400]; Rocky Mountains [4400, 4830]; Andes [6962, 7000]; Alps [4810, 1200]. This to show that the Alps can be regarded as distinctly less significant from the perspective of these two characteristics. Narssarssuaq (talk) 14:46, 18 September 2012 (UTC)


I'm coming to the conclusion that this article should be watched by admins and full-protected, as there have been countless incidents of editors, both anon and autoconfirmed, either a) adding articles without any discussion whatsoever, or b) "jumping the gun" and adding articles before the discussion is over. I feel that full protection would end these problems, although at the cost of requiring admins to patrol this page from time to time. Thoughts? pbp 18:55, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

It is indeed difficult for new editors to know exactly which degree of discussion is required (if any) before an edit can be made. Narssarssuaq (talk) 13:50, 18 September 2012 (UTC)


Statistics was formerly listed in mathematics under analysis, next to probability.

I moved it under science, under scientific method. It could be moved up within science, and kept next to scientific method.

Alternatively, there could be created a group of mathematical sciences, including computer science (with algorithm and iterative method and data structure and abstraction) and statistics. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 08:56, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Delete History of the United States, add War on Terror

This is the only history of a specific country in the Vital list. The history of USA is already included on our list through the indisputable inclusion of the United States article, as well as through the History of the Americas. Histories of numerous other countries are about as vital (Britain, Russia, China, France, Germany...). I don't see how a dedicated article cuts it here, other than being a good example of Western bias. Up till the 20th century, USA did not matter much for the world's history. Later history is already covered through a number of articles on our list, WWI, Great Depression, WWI, Cold War, Civil rights movement, space exploration... I just don't see how anything else is left to merit the inclusion of an article that is significantly duplicated in existing articles or not really vital outside US (pre-20th century history). And before somebody points out we have articles about history of a country under a different name (British Empire, French Revolution, Nazi Germnay), I'll repeat that vital articles about US history are on our list as well (Cold War being the most prominent example).

Moving on from removal, how about we instead add an article on 9/11 or War on Terror to the vital list (with my personal preference to the second one). I think this is a major area of modern world history that should be considered quite vital, and it would also be a fitting replacement for the more generic article I suggest removing above. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:19, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

The list does include articles on History of Japan, History of India, and History of China... --Yair rand (talk) 17:53, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
You are right. All right, I also propose to replace those by History of Asia and History of Oceania. I am sure we can use the one freed slot for something else, a good number of pretty vital topics have been proposed elsewhere on this page. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 18:09, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep History of the United States: Very important article. Keep China, Japan and India as well pbp 16:22, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. 9/11 and War on Terror is big only in the U.S. and for the benefiters from the after-effects. Otherwise, it's pretty transient and certainly not from the historical dimension that you think it is. The rest of the world cares little about the U.S. proclaimed war on terror. Nageh (talk) 01:11, 5 October 2012 (UTC)


I would replace these five mathematicians

  1. B-Class article Kurt Gödel
  2. B-Class article Pythagoras
  3. Good article Alan Turing
  4. B-Class article Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī

with more important mathematical scientists: von Neumann, Kolmogorov, Fisher, and Gibbs:

  1. John von Neumann
  2. Andrei Kolmogorov
  3. Ronald A. Fisher
  4. Josiah Willard Gibbs.

It would be surprising if anybody objected to von Neumann and Kolmogorov replacing Gödel and Turing. One could also suggest Fourier, Cauchy, Cayley, Hamilton, Boole, Charles Sanders Peirce, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talkcontribs)

Gödel and Turing are not only important to mathematics, but also to logic and artificial intelligence/computer science, respectively. This might be the reason why they are preferred in favour of Neumann and Kolmogorov. Narssarssuaq (talk) 13:47, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Note: Changes have been reverted pending discussion pbp 14:57, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Alan Turing is considered by many people as the creator of computer science. Similarly, Gödel may be viewed as the man who who has pushed the (mathematical) logic from a branch of the philosophy to a branch of the mathematics. Many people consider that al-Khwārizmī is the founder of the algebra ("algorithm" and "algebra" are named after him and the title of his main book). IMO, none of the people cited by Wolfowitz had a similar influence on mathematics as these three people (computer science is not really a part of mathematics, but many new mathematical theories are issued from computer science, and many older math theories have been renewed by computer science). I oppose to remove them from the list. D.Lazard (talk) 15:31, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
You should read about Kolmogorov and von Neumann before commenting, Lazard. You should read something, period, Narssarsuaq: Nobody credits Gödel as having mathematicized logic.
My comment was merely descriptive. Gödel is primarily known for Gödel's incompleteness theorems. I am not a professional mathematician, so I do not want to judge in this question. Do not despair; reasoned arguments are valued on this Talk Page. Also remember that the burden of proof is on whoever suggests an edit. Narssarssuaq (talk) 17:59, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
In computer science and logic, I can think of von Neumann set theory, Von Neumann architecture, automata theory, self-reproducing machines, subroutine, random number generation, etc. For Kolmogorov, his work on intuitionistic logic is described as awesome by van Heijencourt; what else?---Arnold and his solution of Hilbert's 17th problem provides a lot of the foundations for neural networks; Kolmogorov complexity, Kolmogorov machine, etc. I would bet that von Neumann or Kolmogorov have many more entries in Knuth's Art of Computer Programming than Turing or Gödel. And logic and computer science were only a fraction of their contributions. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 17:07, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Did you read John von Neumann, or look at its infobox to see some of the concepts originated (or developed mostly) by von Neumann? Did you look at Kolmogorov?
Kiefer.Wolfowitz 09:53, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
I did. I am not competent to judge in this question. I have a few undergraduate mathematics courses, but what is correct to do here escapes me. It is at least clear to me that your suggestions are good contributions. I hope someone else can comment. Narssarssuaq (talk) 20:27, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Cut Mathematicians to 6 or 7, add some more scientists: There are too many mathematicians on this list relative to other categories. As far as I'm concerned, all of the ones nominated can go, but they should be replaced by inventors or scientists. James Watt needs to be in the 1,000 list, his steam engine is considerably more important than whatever almost anything any of these mathematicians did (and for all you mathematicians who'd say, "How'd you like it if someone said cut half the people in your field from this list?", my field is history, and there ain't a single one of us on the list) pbp 19:52, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Thermodynamics was arguably an even more important invention than the steam engine.
    Agreed, and the steam engine had multiple inventors. Joseph Fourier started the analysis of heat, diffusion, harmonic analysis, and Fourier analysis---and this work has inspired much of the mathematics of the 19th and 20th centuries.
    J. W. Gibbs was a pioneer of thermodynamics and vector calculus. The American Mathematical Society's lecture on applicable mathematics is called the Gibbs lecture.
    Karl Pearson was the first mathematical statistician and was the first professor of mathematical statistics. Ronald Fisher was perhaps even more important as a popularizer of statistics, who wrote several self-help books that led to statistics being used much more around the world, particularly in designed experiments; he also made many contributions to genetics and statistical theory that are discussed in his bio. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 09:58, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
    As for statisticians, the most important is Galton. He was lacking in his ethical thinking, so therefore he is not famous. Narssarssuaq (talk) 21:38, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
    Galton is not considered as important as Gauss, Legendre, the incomparable Laplace, Pearson, or Fisher. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 22:40, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
    Sorry, but I'd take James Watt over any of those guys. If we only have ~150-200 bios, having a dozen mathematicians is too many. Way too many. This list is too heavy on thinkers, too light on doers. We don't even have George Washington on this list, and he's way more important to the general scope of world history than any of the mathematicians in consideration! Thermodynamics is not a more important invention than the steam engine...the steam engine caused the industrial age,, not so much pbp 00:10, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
    It is difficult to judge to which degree anyone "stands on the shoulders of" someone else. Personally, I prefer thinkers to doers. I disagree with your conclusions, except that it is indeed strange if the steam machine is not yet included. As for mathematicians, their biographies are not always that illuminating: their actual work is. Narssarssuaq (talk) 02:55, 30 September 2012 (UTC) As for Kiefer, we seem to disagree whether the impossibly massive pillars or the impossibly wonderfully crafted ornaments should be chosen. Narssarssuaq (talk) 03:04, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
    We don't disagree because you haven't bothered to read anything about von Neumann or Kolmogorov, and the former's contributions to computing are at least as large as Turing's considerable achievements. You have no business pigeonholing mathematicians as thinkers, particularly since you still haven't read anything. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 14:03, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
    Von Neumann is an absolute giant, but belittling Goedel is bizarre. Goedel may not have been the first to mathematize logic (he was, I think, the first to arithmetize it, but you can reasonably argue that that's a detail). But the incompleteness theorems were revolutionary; they were the shoal on which a whole school of mathematical thought (or arguably two of them, formalism-as-then-conceived and logicism-as-then-conceived) foundered. Moreover, with the study of L, he ushered in the modern discipline of set theory, turning it for the first time into a genuine branch of mathematics in its own right. I know I really should ignore "vital articles"; this discussion is a prime example of why the whole project should go away, but I find it difficult to ignore a provocation of the magnitude of saying "it would be surprising if anyone objects" to removing Goedel. --Trovatore (talk) 19:38, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
    Trovatore, please re-read what I wrote. I suggest replacing Gödel with Kolmogorov or von Neumann, not just removing him. Do you object to removing Gödel and replacing him with von Neumann or Kolmogorov? Kiefer.Wolfowitz 19:51, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I do object to that. Replacing him with Kolmogorov is bizarre; not in the same league. Replacing him with von Neumann is a closer call, because von Neumann did so many different things, but he still did not have the revolutionary impact of Goedel. --Trovatore (talk) 20:05, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
In set theory and related corners of logic, Gödel may have been more revolutionary, but elsewhere in mathematics and science and engineering/civil-society, Gödel's influence was negligible. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 20:11, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah, so you admit that he was key in the most important things.
I'm wondering if there isn't a bit of anti-Platonist animus in this nomination? Your Peirce could perhaps be viewed as a proto-logicist. Of course Goedel is a hero to realists; to formalists and logicists, not so much. --Trovatore (talk) 20:14, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
This is a digression. I asked you a year ago to read Putnam's discussion of Peirce or Hintikka's. Peirce, like every probabilist, was an extreme realist, and observed that every mathematician he knew was a Platonist. Hintikka has a nice discussion of Peirce's greater sophistication than Frege on mathematical logic. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 20:22, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Von Neumann is important because he was one of 3-5 guys who was most responsible for the development of modern computing, in addition to his mathematical prowess. Remove those other two guys, and add Von Neumann and a non-mathematician pbp 20:06, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Okay, apart from Trovatore (who judges it a close call), it sounds like people are comfortable with Turing being replaced by von Neumann. I would suggest that Florence Nightingale replace Turing. Nightingale revolutionized epidemiology and public health, launched professional nursing in English-speaking countries, etc. etc. She was a good statistician also. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 20:17, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Mathematics -> Philosopher

Lastly, just a general comment - I think the number of philosophers can be slightly increased, replacing one, two or three advanced, but perhaps not key concepts of mathematics, such as topology and combinatorics. Perhaps mathematics is of particular interest to the species of people who edit Wikipedia.

ADD: some of

REMOVE: some of

If you want to vote, by all means vote. These are my last suggestions, and they are all close calls - I really do not have any significant personal preferences here. It is already a great article. Narssarssuaq (talk) 20:00, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Support agree with the suggestions, except adding Skinner, Beauvoir and Sartre. Regards.--Kürbis () 11:36, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Those three suggestions have been withdrawn. Narssarssuaq (talk) 12:34, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Removed some of the suggestions, so that there are five suggestions for ADD and REMOVE. I will perform a change if one of each gains a significant amount of votes. Narssarssuaq (talk) 07:16, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • As there seems to be a significant tendency in favour of general idea (see also above), I will be bold and do what I feel is the most obvious edit: Replace Game theory with Augustine of Hippo. The latter is one particular, not outstandingly influential branch of the more general concept Decision making, and therefore is not perfectly at ease in the mathematics section anyway. Narssarssuaq (talk) 15:01, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: It is not reasonable to remove mathematics articles without any discussion in the mathematics project. Moreover the 4 of the 5 math. articles proposed to suppression are among the main subareas of mathematics. Saying that Game theory is not very influential nor very mathematical is pure ignorance of game theory. For example many of the new mathematics techniques that are among the causes of the financial crisis are issued from game theory. I recall that "Philosopher" is among the largest categories of people . Is it really needed to increase it further? If mathematics article should be removed, it is the problem of mathematicians to choose between subfields and punctual notions, not of people who do not know mathematics. By the way, I note that computer science is not in the list of vital articles. Because it is not influential? This whole discussion is surrealistic. D.Lazard (talk) 16:04, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Combinatorics and topology are among the most major branches of mathematics, at the same level as geometry and algebra, and game theory is of great importance not only within mathematics but also in economics and computer science. They should certainly not be removed out of ignorance. And in general the trend towards making more biographies vital seems wrong-headed, a reflection of the great man theory that is so discredited in academic history and so welcome on Wikipedia: what is important is not the life story of some guy who lived and died two thousand years ago, it's that guy's accomplishments. So, for instance, if utilitarianism is important enough to be vital (and I suppose that it most likely is) then it's utilitarianism, not Bentham, that should be listed here. Otherwise this becomes just a list of famous dead white guys, and there are better ways of expressing that than calling them "vital". —David Eppstein (talk) 16:38, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I don't know how to read the species of people who edit Wikipedia except as a long-winded way of saying Homo sapiens. I would indeed like to believe that mathematics is of particular interest to human beings. Deltahedron (talk) 16:44, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - I don't know enough about those mathematical concepts to commend on those, but I do think that David Hume should be added. I don't know Al-Ghazali or Epictetus that well, and would suggest that, if you want a utilitarian, you add J. S. Mill, rather than Bentham, because he was just as influential in developing the theory, and also made significant contributions to various other areas of philosophy. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 18:33, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: First off, the idea that any WikiProject has to be notified whenever changes in the vital articles under its purview is suggested isn't necessary, and quite inefficient. I also think it was probably improper for Narssarssuaq to close a proposal he himself put forth, and in that vein I am going to propose protection of the page below. I do think that the hard sciences, in particular computer science, are overrepresented in this list, but I'm not necessarily sure that add more biographies is the right way to deal with the excess, so I am merely ruminating on various things pbp 18:45, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - ALthough I don't have the book in front of me, I believe the book Human Accomplishment had a listing of the biographical articles most frequently found in biographical dictionaries relating to all topics with the exception of religion, because, basically, divine inspiration isn't really a human accomplishment. Also, in general, I personally tend to think that the best way to maybe choose which articles are most "vital" is to determine which ones have separate entries in the best comprehensive reference works, like encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, etc., on the broad topics, like perhaps, Religion, Philosophy, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Geography, etc., and see which topics are discussed at some length in the greatest number of the comprehensive works on those broad topics and in general reference sources, like perhaps Encyclopedia Britannica. Having said all that, at least at the moment I would tend to have reservations about removing mathematical articles for biographical articles, even Augustine of Hippo, who has been hugely important in Western culture. However, I might change my mind if and when some sort of review of reference sources like I proposed above might take place. And, for what it's worth, I have started at least some of the work myself, at User:John Carter/Religion articles, User:John Carter/Africa articles, User:John Carter/Mythology articles, and User:John Carter/Philosophy articles. John Carter (talk) 19:01, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - Thank you for reverting my premature edit, it is not always easy to know what to do when there is little or slow response in the talk page. I decided to make an edit per Wikipedia:Be bold. I am happy that it triggered some good discussion. I know Game theory from decision making and decision theory, not mathematics. It is one of many theories, notable more because it (to a large extent erroneously) presumes humans to be rationally egoist than because it is highly regarded in a simple sense. There is a cultural dimension to its acceptance: apparently, it has been quite influential in the USA. As for computer science, it partly overlaps with information technology, which is present in the article. I think there is no dramatic need for large improvements. Time may show that more concepts pertaining to for instance the Far East or Africa should be included. Narssarssuaq (talk) 20:14, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - "It is one of many theories, notable more because it (to a large extent erroneously) presumes humans to be rationally egoist than because it is highly regarded in a simple sense" No, this is complete nonsense. Game theory is a collection of powerful analytic tools; as mathematical formalisms, these tools can't possibly make presumptions about human rationality. Rather, game theory consists of the abstract study of certain families of multi-agent optimization problems. The study and solution of such problems has been extremely important because they are plausible abstracted versions of a variety of real-life situations; it is only in applying a formal model to a real-life situation that one could make presumptions about human rationality. In any case, though, it's not clear to me how your misunderstanding of the difference between the mathematical and scientific kinds of theories is relevant to the question of the relative importance of game theory -- it's undoubtedly been massively influential. --JBL (talk) 23:30, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Oppose all but the removal of "chaos theory", which is of less importance than ergodic theory, measure theory, etc. Topology and game theory are core topics, about which stuttering nonsense on stilts can safely be ignored in this discussion. Conic sections is a core topic, historically and for general education. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 08:46, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - A count of accesses to the articles does not justify the changes and definitely does not show a reason for including Al-Ghazali or Epicetus which are accessed the least, though Conic section and Combinatorics are also fairly low. All the others are accessed quite a bit more. Personally I think people like Al-Ghazali just reflect the age and he was little better than the fundamentalists nowadays who say Noah's ark contained dinosaurs. As to the others at least David Hume and Jeremy Bentham did something other than just build metaphysical castles and I guess Augustine of Hippo could be justified on the basis of the number of accesses which was the highest of the philosophers, though that is still less than for Game theory or Chaos theory. Overall though if there has to be some swapping I would have thought the selections of things to remove and insert should have been done separately, this proposal is just wholly lacking justification. Even Conic section and Combinatorics are of high importance in today's world as well as in maths, can the same be said about what would happen if we lost all the works of Augustine, Hume, and Bentham? Dmcq (talk) 09:21, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I thank Dmcq for his effort. For a philosopher it is possible to envision that Europe and by extension the world would indeed be a completely different place, today, without the contributions of Augustine. That is why he is considered important. It is a close call, though. Narssarssuaq (talk) 13:58, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Some of the individuals mentioned are surely notable, but their influence and importance to civilization pales in comparison to the mathematics topics. Its not even vaguely a close, its a comparison of mountains to grassy knolls... perhaps I'm misunderstanding something here... linas (talk) 17:16, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment You are correct that some philosophers are just not that important, and came up with ephemeral ideas. However, Al-Ghazali and Augustine have had a tremendous impact on your life. Believe it or not... Narssarssuaq (talk) 08:37, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose and comment regarding game theory: precisely because it allows modeling agents with conflicting goals it is at the core of one of the two branches of provable security, both which are deeply mathematical fields. Nageh (talk) 01:24, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Support adding Augustine of Hippo. Support removing Combinatorics and Conic section. Oppose removing Topology, Game theory and Chaos theory. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 21:58, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
    Piotrus, why do you want to keep chaos theory? A hodge-podge called chaos theory was popularized in Gleick's journalistic book and Jurassic Park, but it's not a recognized part of mathematics. Combinatorics is a recognized field of mathematics. The MSC contains several combinatorial areas, from 05 upwards. Kiefer.Wolfowitz 22:23, 11 October 2012 (UTC)