[WikiEN-l] Verifiability equating to notability

Anthony DiPierro wikilegal at inbox.org
Wed May 10 14:52:51 UTC 2006

On 5/10/06, Steve Bennett <stevage at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 5/10/06, Anthony DiPierro <wikilegal at inbox.org> wrote:
> > It's just as easy to say that "being a city isn't notable" or "being a
> > high school district isn't notable" or "being a Pokemon card isn't
> > notable" or "being a Korean children's science-fiction film directed
> > by Kim Cheong-gi and starring Shim Hyung-rae isn't notable" or "being
> > a seiyū isn't notable".
> Being a Pokemon card produced by the official makers of Pokemon is
> pretty notable.

I agree that it's notable, but that doesn't mean it isn't quite likely
that there are others who disagree.

> In any case, there is widespread support for the idea
> that certain types of entities escape notability criteria and are
> included for completeness.  Less support for actually formalising what
> those entities might be :)
Sure, there's a loud group of people who feel that certain types of
articles should be deleted from Wikipedia.  A lot of them use the
terminology "not notable" to designate those types of articles that
they feel shouldn't be included.

> > Click on random page a few times.  I don't see an indisputable claim
> > to notability for any of the articles I managed to hit.
> Heh. "Random page" has never been used as a sign of what a good page
> *should* be.
If the vast majority of random pages are candidates for speedy
deletion, then the deletion mechanisms of Wikipedia are utterly

> > I don't know of a poll to determine if your speculation as to the
> > Wikipedia editors opinion is correct.  In fact, I think a significant
> > portion of Wikipedia editors *does* feel that we should have a
> > Wikipedia article on all chemists.  Not that I think inclusion in
> > Wikipedia should be decided by a poll in the first place.
> >
> > I'd bet there are less than a million chemists in the world.  Not that
> > it matters, I don't see any reason why being in a group which consists
> > of "millions" does not amount to notability.
> I'm confused by what is meant by "chemist" here. To me it normally
> means a pharmacist - someone who has a pharmacology degree and sells
> headache pills to customers. If you're talking about published
> academics, that's different...
I'm using the term chemist to mean the same as it means in the US
government job occupation database.  In that database, there are
listed to be 90,000 chemists in the US.

> > There is no such high school as Whateverville high school, so that's
> > patently absurd.
> Let's work together, eh?
Choose a stupid hypothetical, get a stupid result.

> > As for my definition of notability, unless someone else comes up with
> > a better one (which was one of the goals of this thread), I'd say
> > notability = worthy of inclusion in Wikipedia.  Since I think every
> > high school student who plays football and listens to RHCP should be
> > included in Wikipedia, I think they're all notable.
> That's sort of ok, but leads to a circular reference ("we only include
> people who are notable. what's notable? people worthy of inclusion").
> It would just cause us to seek another word to explain *why* someone
> is worthy of inclusion. "Interesting" etc.
Well sure, I don't think the term "notable" is useful.  And I don't
think it should be used in a speedy deletion criterion.  Because, like
you say, it's circular reasoning.

> Better to say: We include things in Wikipedia because either:
> a) They're inherently notable amongst their class
> b) Because they are part of a class small enough that it's feasible
> and worthwhile including all members
> c) Because it would offend too many people to remove them
You might want to say that, but I don't think it's true.  If it was,
then you could point to a number of members of the class that is a
cutoff, and there wouldn't be significant deviations on either side. 
There are probably a lot more baseball players than there are haz-mat
- is a haz-mat driver part of a class small enough that it's feasible
to include all the members.

And then, your criteria are just as circular as my definition.  What
is "inherently notable amongst their class"?  What makes a class
"worthwhile" to talk about?

> Of course I don't think all high school students who play football are
> notable, and they don't meet the other two criteria either.
Well, I think they are.  I also think it's feasible and worthwhile to
include all members, at least all members that something verifiable
can be written about (and that wouldn't amount to a violation of
privacy rights).

> >From my understanding of Wikipedia policies, the default presumption
> > is *always* inclusion.  It used to be a sentence directly in the
> > policy: "When in doubt, don't delete."  I haven't bothered to check
> > whether that sentence has been deleted or not.
> There have been edit wars over it.
> Steve

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