> From: Robert <rkscience100(a)yahoo.com>
> Subject: [WikiEN-l] No personal original research policy
> Recently someone has been searching for essays I have
> written outside of Wikipedia, and has been trying to get
> people to discuss them on a Talk page for a Wikipedia
Huh? Those policies don't apply to Talk pages. What goes on on a Talk page
should be no big deal, as long as it has at least the iota of a scintilla of
a fragment of a shred of tangential relevance to the article it
discusses. And as long as it doesn't occupy so much space as to constitute a
drain on storage resources and isn't a hidden attempt to hijack Wikipedia
resources as a personal website. Why fuss about it? If you think your stuff
doesn't belong in Wikipedia, mention it in the discussion and let it go. Time
to worry about it when original research goes into an _article_. My $0.02,
The purpose of a news report should be to inform the reader what
That's all. Once it attempts in addition to evoke a particular
reaction in the reader it ceases to be (only) a news report and becomes
editorial. For this reason, it is better to choose words that describe
without an emotional undertone. Thus "kill", "shot dead", etc, are to
prefered over "murder", "cut down", "slaughtered" etc..
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail is new and improved - Check it out!
When I tried to send messages to the list this morning I got the
message below (although when I re-subscribed it said I was already a
member). Any ideas as to why this happened?
> Your mail to 'WikiEN-l' with the subject
> Re: [WikiEN-l] Viajero/Zero and Lance6 - POV terms
> Is being held until the list moderator can review it for approval.
> The reason it is being held:
> Post by non-member to a members-only list
> Either the message will get posted to the list, or you will receive
> notification of the moderator's decision. If you would like to cancel
> this posting, please visit the following URL:
Has anybody thought about automatically formatting articles with latex?
I wrote a small script that uses the Special:Export method do download
an article. This is then converted into latex format and processed into
a pdf. I was quite happy with the result, although the script was just a
quick stab. Here's an example:
Are there any plans to add a "download pdf version of article" feature
into mediawiki? It seems that it wouldn't be that difficult to implement.
Is there a way to get articles in an even more structural format that
with Special:Export? This would make the parsing less error-prone (now I
sometimes get strange errors). I read something about mediawiki DTD in
the meta-wiki, but the article didn't say if somebody was working on it.
Recently someone has been searching for essays I have
written outside of Wikipedia, and has been trying to get
people to discuss them on a Talk page for a Wikipedia
article. I let this person know that Wikipedia is a project
to build a serious encyclopedia, and that Wikipedia does
not incorporate the personal ideas of people who happen to
contribute to it (even mine!) It is a longstanding policy
that Wikipedia does not accept personal original research.
However, this person has ignored this policy, and again
used a Wikipedia talk page to criticise and discuss a
personal essay of mine, which (a) is off-topic for the
specific article, (b) about personal original research, and
(c) being done to distract others from working on the
actual article itself.
I have removed the off-topic discussions about
non-allowable personal original research, but I am afraid
that they may be re-instated, with yet more policy
violations. Any suggestions?
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail - 50x more storage than other providers!
Harry Smith is right when he says:
> To fail to differentiate between these two [murder and killing] is
> to deprive the reader of information that is important.
That is why, after reporting the straight news that militants killed an
Arab youth, we ought to try and report some additional information.
If we can find someone on the scene or related to it, or who has a
moral/legal point of view about it, then we can quote them.
* A statement by Fatah defended the killing as "regrettable but utterly
necessary ... Anyone who gets in our way must die, it is the will of
Allah." (totally made-up hypothetical statement)
* A statement by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said: "These militants are
animals, they murder anyone who gets in their way." (also hypothetical)
Each of these sample statements provides the necessary information. One
source says the killing was NOT murder, and the other source says it
The Wikipedia cannot, unfortunately, let the reader know which source is
right but anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that side @#$ is
usually right in these matters. (I'm not saying which bullet point @#$
Zero is right:
> The purpose of a news report should be to inform the reader
> what happened. That's all.
* A sixteen-year-old Gaza resident was killed by militants during an
argument over the placement of heavy weapons in front of the boy's
residence. (this is straight news)
* His sister, Raza Wayah, said, "I hate those Fatah murderers! They
slaughtered poor Ali like an innocent lamb!!" (point of view)
Note that the second sentence meets the requirements of the NPOV policy,
because it attributes a point of view to its source. Raza Wayah is the
one who called the killing 'murder' and 'slaughter' -- not the
Would someone please add this example to the [[Wikipedia:NPOV
Great minds think alike! While this discussion was going on, Ed and I were
emailing and Ed made reservations @ the S&S Restaurant in Cambridge, MA. We
can start arriving as early as 1:00 P.M., but since some of us will
undoubtedly be late, our reservation is officially for 2:00 to 4:30. And we
should "take care of the waitress" if we want to linger any further.
Currently there are 10 people signed up (not counting Jimbo), and the
details on attendees, location, and directions can all be found on
I had already sent some emails to other people in the Boston area earlier
today, and it's already posted on Recentchanges as per Jimbo's suggestion
as well as on Goings on (thanks Raul654).
On Wed Jul 28 14:06:47 UTC 2004, daniwo59 at aol.com wrote:
>I would like to suggest that we try to make it a little later, especially
>for those of us who are coming in from New York and other places.
>In a message dated 7/28/2004 9:04:04 AM Eastern Daylight Time, "Jimmy
>(Jimbo) Wales" <jwales at wikia.com> writes:
> >Er, I said 3:30, but I defer to the wiki page if it says 1pm.
> >But still, I'd like to see this promoted a bit more heavily, because
> >it seems like sort of a small crowd so far.
> >moink wrote:
> >> > What Boston meeting this Saturday?
> >> This Saturday, 1pm (proposed, looks like it'll be kept) , at the S & S
> >> Restaurant in Cambridge. See [[User:Jimbo Wales/Boston]]
> >> moink
It's only murder, if there's a 'state' to accuse the perpetrator of the
crime. Do areas under PA administration have laws and courts? Is
interfering with anti-Israeli military operations a crime, or is killing
someone for interering a crime? Sounds like a Point Of View (POV) any
way you look at it.
An American soldier who deliberately shot a civilian for nothing more
than arguing about the placement of heavy weaponry near that civilian's
residence, would be court-martialed. But I've heard that the PA and
militias associated them operate under different rules. (something like,
if you get in our way we'll kill you)
So I suggest these news snippets be divided into two parts:
1. Headline and a couple of sentences, like "16-year-old boy is shot by
Arab militants during argument over heavy weapons, according to initial
reports by This News Source. The report was later amended to say blah,
2. A longer version of the incident somewhere deeper inside the
Wikipedia, like on an [[Arab-Israeli Violence Timeline]] or [[Violence
in Gaza & the West Bank]] article.
I wrote about an incident between Coalition troops and
non-uniform-wearing Iraqis several months ago, which also had
conflicting and changing news reports. That incident alone took me 3
days of research and editing, before everyone was satisfied. (I'd look
it up, but I'm at work now...)
Scarce but still chuggin' away
> From: "S. Vertigo" <sewev(a)yahoo.com>
> the term 'terrorist' is inapropriate as a
> primary descriptor; but much of American political
> rhetoric uses it. If I replace the term terrorist with
> militant, am I farting in the wind, or will I receive
> some support? This is a general editorial-type
> decision with regard to what terms are NPOV.
Who knows? Try it and see what happens. It's a wiki, all you can do is
experiment until you see which phraseologies achieve a metastable
I did not like the article title "Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal,"
because I thought the word scandal represented a point of view, and,
specifically, a trivializing point of view. "Scandal" seems to me to
focus on the embarrassment of the U.S. military and officials, and I
thought the focus should be on what happened to the prisoners. That got
batted around for a while--one problem was that some felt that omitting
the word scandal was _softening_ the issue--but, ultimately, the title
"Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse" was accepted by all discussants and has
been stable (so far) (I'm almost hesitant to mention it here for fear
that drawing attention to it will destabilize it). Was it worth the
effort? Well, the outcome pleased _me,_ anyway.
I, too, have a problem with the word "terrorist." The dictionary
definition of "terrorism" (AHD4) is: "The unlawful use or threatened
use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against
people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing
societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons."
Terrorism thus depends on knowing the _intent_ of the terrorists, which
is not always easy to ascertain. Even in the case of the 9/11 attacks,
as far as I know no specific demands were made on the United States.
Was it, then, done with the intention of "intimidating or coercing" the
U.S.? Or was it done to attract supporters to the Al-Qaeda cause?
Labeling something as "terrorist" also depends on ascertaining whether
the actions were "unlawful," which is another very complicated can of
It seems clearly preferable to me to use terms that focus on
objectively ascertainable actions (bombing, shooting, hijacking,
killing) rather than on intentions.
I also feel that the word "terrorist" is currently being used in the
United States in much the same way that "communist" was during the
fifties: as a convenient label for anyone the United States wishes to
attack. It is used because it is so emotion-laden that it has the
effect of shutting down thought processes. To raise questions about
anything labeled as relating to "terrorism" is to being risk being
thought disloyal. For example, how can anyone possibly object to having
the MBTA police search them without probable cause, since it is being
done to fight "terrorism?"
But I don't know what you mean by "support" you. I think "terrorism" is
not a neutral term, and I think it would be a good idea to use terms
that are more neutral, but I'm not going to stand shoulder-to-shoulder
with you in revert wars or anything like that...
Try editing "terrorist" in some way that does not seems to be condoning
their actions and see what happens.
Daniel P. B. Smith, dpbsmith(a)verizon.net alternate:
"Elinor Goulding Smith's Great Big Messy Book" is now back in print!
Sample chapter at http://world.std.com/~dpbsmith/messy.html
Buy it at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1403314063/