[Wikipedia-l] Re: Inflammatory language (Ark)

Michael R. Irwin mri_icboise at surfbest.net
Thu Aug 15 17:09:16 UTC 2002

Julie Hofmann Kemp wrote:
> Mirwin writes:
> I volunteer to try to help Ark find some substantiating data, opinion,
> suspicions, etc. for the controversial material while also attempting to
> discredit Ms. Hoffman's and others sources and materials .... not note,
> Ms. Hoffman.
> Fun stuff!  It is not often one acquires an opportunity
> to attack academia's material in one last desperate attempt
> to help truth triumph over the weight of historical
> neglect, outright revision or wishful thinking
> Jules (whose middle name, not last name is Hofmann with one F, two Ns)
> says:

Sorry about that.  I spotted the errors after it was posted.

> First, Steven Gilbert's suggestion is the tried and true one for dealing
> with rabid, one-sided, and inflammatory editors.  

Tried and true for running them off perhaps.   We will get 
much less bad press with potential readers and contributors if:
1.  We document what our actual guidelines actually are
so people who wish to comply with them upfront can do
so easily and people who honestly do not accept them can move on 
without a flame/edit war.
2.  Modify our procedures such that only approved materials
are accepted for the front page, if that is what we are enforcing
via mailing list mob deletion of unacceptable material.

> Second, and more importantly, Mirwin suggests "discrediting" sources and
> materials.  Since when did this become a place to put primary research?

What primary research?  I found Demause online.  His stuff seems
to draw from a wide variety of contemporary, presumably reputable,
sources.  You informed Ark, Demause's scholarship is poor and
cannot be used to substantiate strong claims made in material in
the current page article.

I recall encountering infanticide in middle school studies of
Mythology so this hardly seems radical new material.  It follows
naturally that if strong claims of infanticide are supportable 
from reputable sources then sources claiming it cannot be proven
are guilty of poor scholarship and their arguments are susceptible
to debunking, impeachment, or whatever the proper term is for
proving to an audiences their sources are poor and therefore
arguments based upon them weak.

How else do you propose that we establish which claims are more
creditable between Ark's that infanticide was common and prevalent
or yours that insufficient evidence exists to make strong claims?

Are we merely to edit according to your opinion rather than Ark's
and Demause's?

> Attacking the mainstream is definitely POV, Mirwin -- and in no way
> acceptable.  

It is certainly acceptable as an identified minority view.  There
is very little absolute certainty in Science, history, or any other
field of human endeaver.  

Perhaps you meant you wanted to help Ark find sources that
> supported the outrageous claims he's been posting as truth.  

Sure.  This as well.  Clearly it is also well within the bounds of 
scholastic rigor to attempt to debunk the mainstream view sources
just as you have dismissed Demause.  

This is
> something we'd ALL like to see, I'm sure, since then we could have an
> article that said something along the lines of "Case X has long been
> accepted as the norm for this subject; however, many researchers now
> believe Case Y, based on sources 1,2,3."    That type of article which
> resolves controversy not by taking sides, but by explaining the
> arguments and leaving the judgement to the reader, is what we've pretty
> much always done.
> Jules

Excellent.  I have not yet worked through the history versions in
detail but there seems to be a lot of material that has been
merely deleted rather than explaining the arguments for and against
the POV for the reader to decide.

Mike Irwin

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