[WikiEN-l] Trivia and popular culture sections

Ben Yates bluephonic at gmail.com
Mon Feb 27 07:25:04 UTC 2006

But a constellation of related articles covering every detail of
Hooke's life won't happen all at once -- we'll have to wait for the
facts to accumulate before they can be organized comprehesibly. 
Removing what you consider trivia because it doesn't fit perfectly
with the rest of the article short-circuits this process.

On 2/26/06, Andrew Gray <shimgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 26/02/06, Peter Mackay <peter.mackay at bigpond.com> wrote:
> > > Don't get me wrong - I think Hooke's *research* is a titanic
> > > achievement, he was probably the greatest experimenter of his
> > > age, and that was probably the golden age of the
> > > experimenter.  But much of the verifiable detail is things
> > > like "Mr Hooke was asked about the progress of the lenses,
> > > and stated that they required further polishing but would be
> > > ready soon" or words to that effect.
> >
> > Detail that might be, but it is not what most people would call trivia in
> > the accepted sense. If the material he used to grind the lenses was the fine
> > ash produced by burning pieces of the True Cross, then that would be trivia.
> The thing is, if we have seven hundred pieces like that it's "an
> article in immense detail". If what we have is simply one line,
> "* On [[14 January]] [[1687]], Hooke recieved a letter from Humphrey
> Grafton of Cambridgeshire, enquiring after the 7s. 4d which he had
> sent for a copy of Hooke's treatise on optics"
> added because someone's great-to-the-n-grandfather was an
> astonishingly uninteresting gentleman of Ely who occasionally wrote to
> scientists, well, then it's trivia. If the writer was Newton or Pepys
> and Hooke wrote a blistering reply, it might even be vaguely
> interesting trivia.
> A lot of these trivia entries would be perfectly fitted into a
> comprehensive biography of the subject, or a book-length study... but
> they don't neccessarily belong in an article which should, at most, be
> a few thousand words.
> --
> - Andrew Gray
>   andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk
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Ben Yates
Wikipedia blog - http://wikip.blogspot.com

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