User talk:Larry Sanger/Archive 5

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Darwin etc

I am not longer planning to work on Darwin, as other people are. There was no harm done in deleting Voyage of the Beagle, since it had not yet been modified by anyone from the version in Wikipedia. I apologize for my relative inaction generally the past 2 months, but I should be back very soon in a more substantial way. The biology workgroup is doing so well without me that I plan to concentrate almost entirely on Library and Information Science. DavidGoodman 15:49, 6 April 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for the report--I'll welcome your return! --Larry Sanger 15:52, 6 April 2007 (CDT)

Copyright license

May I suggest that as soon as possible, you change the wording that appears under the edit box when editing. Currently it says "Please note that all contributions to Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium are considered to be released under the GNU Free Documentation License 1.2 (see Project:Copyrights for details)." I think you need stronger wording here. It's not good enough for contributors to agree to release under the GNU Free Documentation License. You need contributors to agree to releaes into public domain, and/or to agree to release under the as-yet-undetermined open content license, and/or to agree to give the copyright to Citizendium. I'm not a lawyer -- you probably need to consult a lawyer. But saying "see ... for details" is not enough, in my opinion, if you've already said it's the GNU Free Documentation License -- you need to say something vaguer, more all-encompassing, such as "you agree to release under the license to be specified -- see details."

After you change the wording under the edit box, you may need to approach each user who had already contributed and get them to state that their contributions are released under whatever. I just quickly glanced over the Statement of Fundamental Principles that users agree to and maybe I missed it, but I don't think the strong enough wording about copyright and licensing is there, either. I think all it says is that the content will be open content. It doesn't say "You agree that your contributions ...". It doesn't specify that "open content" might not mean "GNU Free Documentation License". I don't see anything about handing over the copyright to Citizendium, which I thought was one of the intents.

I don't think we want to be hampered by having to fulfil the requirements of the GNU Free Documentation License all the time. For example, apparently WikiTravel can't copy stuff from Wikipedia because of the limitations of that license. Freer copying can be one of the advantages Citizendium will have over Wikipedia.

By the way, thanks and congratulations for starting this thing up. I'm excited to be here. --Catherine Woodgold 20:07, 6 April 2007 (CDT)

You're right that we need to change the wording of that notice. --Larry Sanger 23:59, 6 April 2007 (CDT)

Another thing. You've probably already thought of this, but: the Citizendium license should be carefully worded so that it's very clear that when Wikipedia copies Citizendium articles or significant parts thereof, the word "Citizendium" should appear on the page (not just in the edit history!!). I suggest requiring that similar wikis give a clickable link to Citizendium and requiring that they also mention the word "Citizendium" both on the page itself in some appropriate way and in the page history. E.g. "if the software allows page histories or edit summaries, Citizendium must also be mentioned there." More important to be mentioned right on the page, though, I think. Citizendium will need people to check whether Wikipedia is copying articles and make sure the license requirements are being fulfilled. At first I thought it would be nice to just make everything public domain, but if Wikipedia can just copy stuff without mentioning Citizendium, then Citizendium won't have as much of a chance to grow. --Catherine Woodgold 17:37, 18 April 2007 (CDT)

Topic Informant

Sorry about the Topic informant error. It was definitely not a bad faith edit but an error in my understanding of the category. I adjusted the article right away when I found out.

Very good--thanks for the clarification --Larry Sanger 23:58, 6 April 2007 (CDT)

Gilad Atzmon article

Hi Larry and thanks for your input on the article. Would appreciate your help in getting it neutral and sorted. The first version I did was very neutral and encyclopedic but at the encouragement Kevin (one of the constables) I made it more interesting (less wiki!) See further comments on the article talk page (later today). All the best Edna Spennato 06:17, 7 April 2007 (CDT)

Interesting, engagingly written--those are very good qualities, whether wiki or not. I didn't mean to suggest that your article didn't have these qualities. But an article need not be written in high praise of an artist, and apparently in firm support of his politics, in order to be interesting and engaging. We want something unboring but also unbiased. I'm sorry I can't help in more detail. I am greatly overextended! --Larry Sanger 08:18, 7 April 2007 (CDT)


I created Category:Philosophers, as I thought that it would make it easier to keep track of articles (I thought of adding a few more), but I'm not sure whether I should move the articles from Category:Philosophy Workgroup into the new category, or leave them in both. I've done the latter for the moment. I couldn't find anything on Citizendium about this; the Wikipedia help pages say that the "parent" categories should be removed, only the most specific being left, but is that how we'll be doing things? --Peter J. King  Talk  17:26, 8 April 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for asking--well, as I've said, I want to avoid using categories for any but workgroup and other administrative pages. See here. The "Philosophy Workgroup" category helps us to identify all and only the articles assigned to the Philosophy Workgroup, whereas Category:Philosophers presumably would purport to usefully list all philosophers. This, however, is not at all apt to be nearly as useful to the end user, or as easy to maintain for contributors, as various hand-maintained lists of philosophers. Really, we've got to work out a policy describing how we should compile lists to subtopics and related topics. These lists are far more easily managed from one place, by hand, such as on a philosophers page. --Larry Sanger 18:15, 8 April 2007 (CDT)

Ah, OK. Should I remove the category from the pages to which I've added it, and add a "speedily delete" template to the category? --Peter J. King  Talk  05:10, 9 April 2007 (CDT)?
Yes, please. --Larry Sanger 09:15, 9 April 2007 (CDT)
Oh, I forgot to mention: I followed the instructions about adding Category:Philosophy Workgroup (Top) to an article on which I worked, but it was red-linked, so I created one (as a sub-category of Category:Philosophy Workgroup); is that OK? --Peter J. King  Talk  05:14, 9 April 2007 (CDT)
Where did you find those instructions? I'm not surprised, we don't keep the instructions all up-to-date. We decided a few months ago to get rid of the "Top" category pages, and simply to maintain our list of high-priority articles either on the workgroup homepages, or else on subpages thereof. --Larry Sanger 09:15, 9 April 2007 (CDT)

They were at CZ:Philosophy Workgroup; I've just removed them. --Peter J. King  Talk  09:29, 9 April 2007 (CDT)

Marx and controversies...

I wouldn't dare to object as I am no Diderot to be setting rules on how an enciclopedia should be structured. That is not my point. Nor do I particularly care about the exact location of that specific quote. What I think is most significant, what is really in discussion here, is not a question of "mechanics"; it is a question of "concepts". I do raise my eybrows when I read:
(...)it should express a sentiment that virtually everyone can agree to.
(1) (...)open to scientific criticism, which assertion is controversial, and (2) that Marxist socialists do not care about public opinion, which is also very controversial.
I don't agree with most things that I read, do you ? I don't even agree with some things that I write myself, when I am trying to express somebody's else positions or describing somebody's else behaviour. Are people supposed to be restricted to read things with which everybody can agree to ? If Marx himself put that quotation on the preface of the first edition of his "magnum opus", did he place it there just absent-mindedly or did he "mean" to say "something" with it ? Isn't it relevant ? Right on the first page...? Did Marx perhaps want to "raise a controversy" ? Should this "fact" (it is a fact!) be hidden from prudish ears who would rather not hear it because they abhor controversies, or perhaps even loath Marx altogether  ?
If we try to write only those "facts" that will not shock anybody's feelings or touchy ears, I start to wonder if we won't be creating a fictitious representation of reality here, a sort of a "novel-Encyclopedia", for the amusement of the dilettanti ?
"Property is theft!" Do you agree ? No ? Neither do I. But Proudhon said exactly that, he even wrote a book to prove it (and by doing so was criticized by Marx, who answered with a harsh critic of his book). Should we hide this fact from our readers, because some people might be shocked with it, or might feel uncomfortable, when they read the phrase "property is theft" ? Do they have to agree, once they read it?

J. R. Campos 22:05, 8 April 2007 (CDT)

I don't mean to imply that every quote we make of someone should be something that everyone can agree to fully. But if we use quotations in the way you did--as a sort of article preface (and I'm not sure we ever should, but I don't feel that strongly about it)--then the sentiment expressed should be well-chosen so as to be as neutral as possible. The quotation you used had the effect of portraying Marxist socialists in a very flattering light; it is obviously inappropriate in a reference work to portray any ideologies in a flattering light.

The task is definitely not to avoid shocking claims, but to attribute them and contextualize them so that we, CZ, are not made to endorse such claims. --Larry Sanger 09:21, 9 April 2007 (CDT)


"the Scholastic encyclopedists found themselves torn between acceptable beliefs and a passion for objective reporting of scientific observations. This division of course reached its height in the Enlightenment period. In the hands of Bacon, and especially Denis Diderot, the implicit and explicit purpose was to herald a new secular order where all thought would be encompassed in a philosophical system based on logic and natural law--the Enlightenment project. Diderot's famous Encyclopedie (1751-65) enlisted, perhaps for the first time, a gigantic assemblage of high quality writers, commissioned to survey only secular knowledge. Scandalous in its day as a challenge to "orthodox authority", this concept, as much as its uneven execution, has been accorded a substantial role in conditioning the revolutionary spirit of France in those crucial last decades of the Ancien Regime" (Darnton, 1979). J. R. Campos 16:38, 22 April 2007 (CDT)

A reply to Larry Sanger and other critics...

Well, now it is really much better !!!
I never have had the faintest intention of implying that CZ "endorsed" that particular Marx quote, nor any of Marx writtings; I was only putting first what Marx himself had chosen to put first.<MARX, Karl, Capital, 1867; Volume One Preface to the First German Edition, page 1> (And please note that I do not have any "strong positions" on exactly WHERE in the article that quote should had been placed; the location for me is irrelevant - I notice it was not for you - all I am concerned about is the "information" it contained).
I ask my critics to keep in mind that the Marx's quote was mentioned in the context of an article which purposes to portray the figure of "Marxist Socialists", also called "Mechanical Socialists" (as explained in the article), who lived in the midst of XIX century. I doubt there is a single genuine "Marxist Socialist" (which is a very specific type of socialist) alive. (I am still trying to understand this episode; for me it all still sounds as if I had been "accused" of promoting a "Roman Legion"; or of having been practicing some other sort of sorcery).
With reference to "The quotation you used had the effect of portraying Marxist socialists in a very flattering light", please, my dear !... You have deservingly earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy ! Don't ever use it against me; it would not be fair. I have never earned one.
What is being discussed here is a "quotation from Marx". And not any one quotation, that I could have surreptitiously chosen to "dig" from some obscure passage on his vast writtings for the purpose of promoting a group of already burried political activists; I was quoting first what the author himself had chosen to place in his book first. I am "forced", I am "obliged", I am "conducted", really, by logic, to presume that the idea Marx so expressed was important to him. Now, you will certainly agree with me that "Marxist Socialists" would not really be "sound Marxist Socialists" if they did not look in a "flattering light" when compared to a quote made by Marx himself. We are here just discussing a tautology.
If anyone at CZ, (be it in the administration itself or even amongst our readers) understood the quote from Marx to mean that the article was promoting "Marxist Socialism" (in the XXIst century ??? !!! ) I am affraid I will be forced to think whoever tought that way was certainly going off track. For every one text any interpretation is always possible, even justifiable. But in real life one normally should not go about reasoning with the extraordinary.
And I will leave to my critics a final question open on in the air: one can find, at least, one thousand good reasons to disagree with Marx. Why focus in exactly in one of the least important ?
J. R. Campos 14:57, 9 April 2007 (CDT)

I'll have to reply later. But "critics"? I've only made a few casual remarks. I'm hardly a critic. Believe me, if I decide to become a critic, you'll know it.  ;-) --Larry Sanger 15:38, 9 April 2007 (CDT)

All pray for God to protect me...

...from "casual remarks", as from critics I can protect myself alone. But I do not care. Once one decides to write to any audience, critics are just a part of the game. And they may even bear very good fruit. If you have the time to read the next "tranche" of the Keynes article you will see how Keynes turned Friedrich von Hayek's harsh reviews on his Treatise on Money into his source of inspiration for The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. Rest still, I will NOT say so in the article, but for me The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money was written four-hands with Hayek. (Any noise you might hear right now it will be Hayek turning on his grave...) J. R. Campos 16:17, 9 April 2007 (CDT)

Debate on naming conventions

from the folks at CZ:History Workgroup

  • Editor Benjamin Lowe asks whether Massachusetts: History should be changed to History of Massachusetts . That's a policy issue--what do people think? It's a policy issue for many articles: France: History, Japan: History etc. The Massachusetts: History format naturally leads to MAssachusetts: Economy/Education/Government etc, with the stress on the state. Richard Jensen. Richard Jensen 15:44, 9 April 2007 (CDT)
    • Here was Larry Sanger's response in a move the other day "17:52, 7 April 2007 Larry Sanger (Talk | contribs) North Carolina: History moved to History of North Carolina (Better to invite a free-standing article without a colon)". That seems to imply his preference. Matt Mahlmann 17:31, 9 April 2007 (CDT)
      • the goal is to help people find articles. When we have thousands of articles that start History of ... then it's hard to find things. When we have 10 articles that start Massachusetts: History or Massachusetts:Government or Massachusetts: Economy then searching is much easier. I assume people are interested in Massachusetts (rather than in history generally). Richard Jensen 17:38, 9 April 2007 . Richard Jensen 17:40, 9 April 2007 (CDT)

Replied on CZ:History Workgroup. --Larry Sanger 18:03, 9 April 2007 (CDT)

Blogging an achievement

Larry, re: your comments on Talk:Life "stunning acheivement", of course we are all collaborative authors- but it was Anthony Sebastian who put the most sustained effort into this article, and put up with its metamorphosis from a very good article which he had Atlas-like held up before us, into the kind of great thing that a true collaboration can bring among experts trying to work towards a common goal. At one point, when an interested reader, and minor author, (Tom Kelly, the medical student) said- I don't understand-why not approve the article now?, Anthony said some things about collaboration (they are there on the talk page) that were outstandingly gentlemanly and showed the real spirit here, as opposed to the facile one-upmanship over trivial points that is the dark side of the web 2.0, and can also be shown by experts, who are -as the I Ching characterizes- not the stuff of high learning but, instead, the "inferior man". Anyway- especially after that LA Times article, I would truly appreciate it if you would make his role clear. He got dissed in there in a way that probably only he would recognize by the re-shuffling of my remarks. He deserves some individual by-name credit here. Nancy Sculerati 07:55, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

Very good! I am sure I would have named and credited Dr. Sebastian anyway, but I'll be sure to do so now. --Larry Sanger 08:06, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

Policy on Draft pages

Please see Talk:Tux/draft. The author was taking his cue from this. I have responded on the Tux/draft talk page according to what I believe our policy is. I could be wrong, and so I trouble you to review the issue. It looks like others could easily do the same thing, he was clearly following what looks to be a sort of policy. Nancy Sculerati 16:57, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

Looks like you and Matt have got it covered. --Larry Sanger 17:08, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

Quotes etc

Hi Larry, I guess we do need some style/copy editing guidelines. I'm probably responsible for the copy editing style on Life. I don't think there is any consistently accepted use of " and '; in fact Fowler advises use of '...' for quotations and "..." for quotes within quotes, so I think that that is the British convention, if there is any such thing. Scare quotes is a second and different use, to enclose terms in a way that distances the author from them, or draws attention to the fact that this is a word used in a specialised sense. I think I used "...." for long quotations, but just '....' for quoted phrases or words to be understood in a particular sense as used by an author. This follows Larry Trask's guidance not Fowler's, but as he says, it's a matter of choice. I don't mind what we use, so long as whar we do we do reasonably consistentlyGareth Leng 02:53, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

I agree with pretty much everything you say here. I don't know what the standard copyediting guide for British English would be. --Larry Sanger 08:19, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

Both U.S. and British philosophy journals tend to ask for single quotation marks for quotations (scare quotes, etc.), double marks being reserved for quotations within quotations. Double marks show up better on computer screens, though. --Peter J. King  Talk  08:31, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

I suspect Brits just don't care about this as much as some Americans.  :-) --Larry Sanger 08:57, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

Well, James Joyce was born for a reason :-). Fowler is the fount; his guide was written in 1906 and has been adapted and reissued regularly since; have to admit mine is the 1906 edition, and I haven't read the current one. Traske is an American living in the UK, and its his guide (Mind the Gaffe) that I recommend to students. We care, but seeing what the Americans did to our language maybe leaves us more philosophical than philosphers are.Gareth Leng 11:36, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

LOL --Larry Sanger 12:03, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

I thought, in Life the single quotes for a quoted phrase within a quotation looked good- whatever the authority or convention. Nancy Sculerati 12:21, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

Cz might want to adopt a common stylebook, based on Chicago Manual of Style. It's a lot easier now than when we have 50,000 articles to standardize. Richard Jensen 12:55, 11 April 2007 (CDT)
Well, I've suggested (this is subject to debate) CMS as the style guide: see CZ:Article Mechanics. But certain matters of style are different for British English, including the quotation conventions. --Larry Sanger 13:11, 11 April 2007 (CDT)
I think the Brits can spell differently, but they should comma in common. Richard Jensen 13:33, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

Hmmm, it's generally the Americans who spell differently... --Peter J. King  Talk  13:44, 11 April 2007 (CDT)


That was a slip, sorry. Oddly enough, though, I was informed by an American friend, who gave examples, that both forms were used in the U.S., though "theater" is the more common. Googling seemed to back that up, though I haven't repeated the search lately.

I only created Dramatic arts because, having started Theatre, I linked to it, and found that it just linked back. I've also started Theatre (disambiguation), which will probably need expanding at some point.

My original career choice was acting, and if things had gone differently I'd never have troubled my thespian head about philosophy. (It was partly the thought of spending long periods with drama students that put me off — that and the exciting prospect of a life spent doing adverts and soap operas).

After I started the articles (with a redirect for Theater, I checked to see what linked to them, and found that you'd requested an article; did you mean drama, or did you mean the history of theatres? I hope the latter, but I suspect the former. I'm much less able to write the former. --Peter J. King  Talk  11:43, 12 April 2007 (CDT)

Actually, checking back, I'm not sure that it should be "theater"; the claim was that the dramatic arts are sometimes known as theatre, and I inserted the qualification "especially in North America" — so it doesn't demand the N. American spelling (and the Canadians spell it "theatre"). Still, it's not important, so let it pass. --Peter J. King  Talk  11:47, 12 April 2007 (CDT)

It doesn't matter what I meant, actually. We should put at "theater" whatever properly belongs under that heading. The only reason there's a link to theater on the front page is that we have a "Theater Workgroup" which should, perhaps, be renamed "Performance Arts Workgroup" as it ought to encompass not only plays, but also opera and dance. --Larry Sanger 12:02, 12 April 2007 (CDT)

It was only that I wondered if I'd satisfied your request. The idea of renaming the Workgroup sounds good if it's meant to include dance, etc. --Peter J. King  Talk  12:45, 12 April 2007 (CDT)

I suppose you have! Thanks. --Larry Sanger 12:56, 12 April 2007 (CDT)

A Humble Proposal

Dr. Sanger, I come to you, hat in hands, to make a humble proposal for Citizendium. It is called [The Tombs], and I hope you will consider it. As said in the article, I will fund such a situation myself, although I think the maintenance and upkeep of such an entity would be minimum for Citizendium. --Jason Scott 13:21, 12 April 2007 (CDT)

I'd be in favor of such a thing. I think we need more detail regarding how precisely it would work. Moreover, there are some classes of deleted content that should be permanently deleted, not moved to "tombs." --Larry Sanger 13:36, 12 April 2007 (CDT)

Done, I'll elaborate further. --Jason Scott 13:48, 12 April 2007 (CDT)

Discussion is now posted here: [1] --Jason Scott 14:13, 12 April 2007 (CDT)


Sorry about the nickname, the advice wasn't there last time --Alex Bravo 12:38, 13 April 2007 (CDT)

Yes, it's fixed now. --Larry Sanger 12:42, 13 April 2007 (CDT)


Hey Larry, nice work on the chiropractic page. I agree we should not be blanking, these differences can easily be worked out, although, obviously it can be frustrating.

While I'm here, can you check my sandbox that is a mock up of the page you originally saw the checklist/text overlap? Do you still see the text overlapping with the check box? In the end I never did manage to replicate the problem you saw, so troubleshooting got put on hold.

I have incorporated the archive box into the checklist at sandbox 3 since it might be of help to keep talk pages more consistent. It's good to be able to go to each article and see a common archiving practice rather than WP which is different for every article.

So you know I have incorporated this style in at the biology and life talk pages to get some feed back. In addition i have experimented with transcluding the approval process. i think this may be an advantage in the long run so the approval notes are not interspersed with the talk page edits, yet they can still be seen on the talk page. Obviously this is all experimental but any feedback, negative too, is welcome. Chris Day (talk) 12:44, 13 April 2007 (CDT)

Hi Chris--thanks--yes, unfortunately, I do still see the checklist/text overlap. I can send you a screenshot if that would be helpful to you. I really like the look of it. I'd say we should use it if you can fix that problem, which is probably going to be a problem for a large part of our contributors.

By the way, the problem seems to be due to the fact that, for whatever reason, the HTML parser thinks the box should be a fixed minimum height. Does that help? --Larry Sanger 13:11, 13 April 2007 (CDT)

That info might help. A screen shot will not really help much since being able to see the result of experimentation is the key (no programming genius here :), I have to tinker to get things to work ). I agree this will be a problem for many users if it is an I.E. issue. Chris Day (talk) 15:29, 13 April 2007 (CDT)

As I said at Template talk:checklist# Request update of template, I would like to request that the checklist template be updated. Is there an established procedure for making such a request? --Catherine Woodgold 08:14, 13 May 2007 (CDT)
No established procedure. I updated it, finally. --Larry Sanger 10:18, 13 May 2007 (CDT)

Titles of articles

Titles of articles. When we have a complex article we have to start with the keywords (the main words people will look for). Thus "Diplomacy, U.S., Timeline" rather than starting with "Timeline of U.S. Diplomacy". "Timeline": is not a keyword. (see Chicago Manual of Style 18.8) Richard Jensen 15:20, 14 April 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for the note--I respectfully disagree. Most people will not be looking up articles alphabetically, but either via search or via more intelligent groupings constructed by human beings on wiki pages. The practice of using colons, commas, dashes, or any other such thing has a tendency to create a hierarchy of topics simply using the titles of articles; but I think there is no reason to create a hierarchy of topics outside of particular, easily editable listings of topics on wiki pages. If you think of CZ less as an alphabetically arranged paper encyclopedia and more as an ever-expanding web of pages, I think my view might seem more plausible. --Larry Sanger 16:25, 14 April 2007 (CDT)


Hi Larry. I notice articles here have no "move" button, but you moved "elliptic curves" to "elliptic curve". How is that done? Michael Hardy 17:55, 14 April 2007 (CDT)

Currently we only allow constables to move pages (because we've been hit by page-move vandals, and we're small enough that we can have our constables handle that with ease). If you ask a constable by email (constables [at] or just ask one on the wiki to move a page, they'll probably get right on it. If they don't do it within 48 hours, then bug Larry or myself and we'll take care of it. -- ZachPruckowski (Speak to me) 19:40, 14 April 2007 (CDT)
I'll take care of it. --Matt Innis (Talk) 19:45, 14 April 2007 (CDT)

I think we can re-open page moves for non-sysops...there's little danger of mass page moves by vandals now. --Larry Sanger 19:50, 14 April 2007 (CDT)

Wikipedia articles

Mr. Sanger, thank you for your message. I agree with the idea of starting the articles from scratch and next time I will do more research. Thanks, Soso Mamukelashvili 18:54, 15 April 2007 (CDT)

Does that look a little better? GDP deflator Soso Mamukelashvili 20:07, 15 April 2007 (CDT)

Well, simply to delete a great deal of content isn't necessarily (or even probably) an improvement, but I don't know enough about economics to tell if it's an improvement in this case. But you've no doubt made the article our own! --Larry Sanger 20:39, 15 April 2007 (CDT)


Hello. I noticed that over at Scholarpedia they're voting on whether to invite you or Jimmy Wales to write the initial version of their article on Wikipedia. Do you know about that? Michael Hardy 22:03, 15 April 2007 (CDT)

No, I didn't! It's probably a mistake. The topic of Wikipedia doesn't even fall in their current remit. --Larry Sanger 22:07, 15 April 2007 (CDT)

Here it is. Michael Hardy 15:51, 20 April 2007 (CDT)

I mean it's a mistake that it's on that wiki at all. Notice the person making the nomination didn't even use his/her real name [2]. --Larry Sanger 15:55, 20 April 2007 (CDT)

Oh. Some things are anonymous over there. I think things on talk pages are anonymous unless you decide otherwise. Seems to be inherited from the practice of anonymous refereeing. I wouldn't have guessed that this is one of those things, but I'm not entirely sure how scholarpedia normally does things. Michael Hardy 21:04, 23 April 2007 (CDT)

Imaginary number

I added a redirect to my recent addition Complex number.

But aren't imaginary numbers different from complex numbers? Isn't it possible to have two different articles, and shouldn't we? Or am I showing how much of my high school math I've forgotten? --Larry Sanger 00:02, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

The term "imaginary number" isn't used much in mathematics, though a complex number having no real part is often called pure imaginary. The reason the term complex number is used is that a typical complex number (say 3 + 4i) has both a real part (in this case, 3) and an imaginary part (in this case, 4). So real numbers are a special case of complex numbers (3 = 3 + 0i), and a typical complex number is neither real nor pure imaginary. As fot a separate article: I don't know. What do you think? Is this comparable to the case of once common terms like consumption that could be redirected to the appropriate medical term? Greg Woodhouse 00:27, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

If everything interesting to say about about "pure imaginary" numbers is usually said in the context of complex numbers, then what I would do is not have a simple redirect, but a brief article at imaginary number, explaining what you just explained to me, and then a big fat "For more information, see complex number." --Larry Sanger 08:10, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

Everything that can be said about the mathematical properties of imaginary numbers can be said just as well or better in the article on complex numbers, but it's indeed a good idea to have an article on "imaginary number" that clarifies the terminology. This is pretty much what MathWorld does with closely related terms; indeed, its article on imaginary numbers is a perfect example. A silent redirect is appropriate for synonymous terms, but when the terms are not strictly synonymous, I think a page that clarifies the terminology and points to relevant articles for further information is superior. In Wikipedia, there is often a silent redirect and the clarification is placed in some subsection of the target article where it might be difficult to find (a silent redirect can also be misleading, for example when the redirecting term is an antonym of the target). It is especially annoying when the target article doesn't even mention the redirecting term. In my opinion, short "soft redirect" pages should be as natural a feature as short disambiguation pages and there should be a way to flag them as such for maintenance purposes and article statistics. Fredrik Johansson 09:01, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

Okay, I've replaced the redirect with a short "soft link" to the main article. Greg Woodhouse 10:36, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

I don't entirely agree that "The term 'imaginary number' isn't used much in mathematics". Certainly it is instantly understood by every mathematician. But I'm inclined to agree that they belong within the context of an account of complex numbers, unless some special reason is adduced for treating them separately. Michael Hardy 15:56, 20 April 2007 (CDT)

Henry the Navigator

Hi Larry. Thank you for your comments on Henry the Navigator. So your son's name is Henry - that would be Henrique in Portuguese! I'm not a native English speaker and even though I took my first English classes when I was 11 (and made my progress from there), I sometimes get a bit apprehensive writing in English. I hope that someone who enjoys copy editing would be kind to correct my mistakes if they occur! --José Leonardo Andrade 11:02, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

If you would like to ask for help from copyeditors specifically, please go to [3] --Larry Sanger 11:48, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

Fundraising ideas

Some of my posts don't seen to be appearing in the forums, but here are some fundraising ideas.

  • Virtual server slowdowns. A couple of months before use is expected to overtake available server time, have notices appear when people edit, warning them that there will be slowdowns later if we don't buy more servers.
  • T-shirts that say "I helped write Citizendium's first 100 articles" (meaning the first 100 approved articles). They'll be collector's items later on. Sliding scale price, i.e. cost plus generous donation. May not bring in a large amount of money, but will help attract attention -- especially at a 100-article press conference with a huge round red button marked "approve" and rigged to approve the 100th article when pressed.
  • I oppose collecting money for people following links from article pages, for neutrality reasons, but here's a compromise idea which I'd rather not do either but which is much less problematic: on a Citizendium fundraising page, to have links to several booksellers, links which Citizendium does collect money when people follow, and encourage Citizendium supporters to use those links when buying books, whether they saw the books on a Citizendium article or somewhere else. --Catherine Woodgold 17:30, 18 April 2007 (CDT)

Thanks, Catherine. It so happens Nancy S. was going to be working on the latter. --Larry Sanger 17:34, 18 April 2007 (CDT)

Editorial Personnel Administrator assignments

As a new Editorial Personnel Administrator, I assume someone will make assignments, and that I will readily discover somehow when I have an assignment. --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 17:32, 18 April 2007 (CDT)

We should talk about this perhaps over the phone--there are probably lots of small "ins and outs" that can be clarified quickly that way. --Larry Sanger 17:34, 18 April 2007 (CDT)

Okay. Will you call me at your convenience, best time any time after 11:00 a.m. PDT. --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 19:13, 18 April 2007 (CDT)
larry, regarding this page:

Approval logs

Re: the following page User_talk:Larry_Sanger/Approved_in_pagehist/Approval

Did you note that in Biology and Life we have been experimenting with this exact idea? See the following two pages: Talk:Life/Approval, Talk:Biology/Approval. For more details check out David Tribes talk page: User_talk:David_Tribe#Approval_page. Chris Day (talk) 15:40, 19 April 2007 (CDT)

Well, it's a good idea! --Larry Sanger 16:11, 19 April 2007 (CDT)

Philia (Aristotle's philosophy)

Just thought that I'd mention with regard to this edit that I had indeed marked the article as Wikipedia content; it was your move to a new name that changed its status (see the article's history). --Peter J. King  Talk  08:36, 20 April 2007 (CDT)

I will bear that in mind in the future. --Larry Sanger 09:10, 20 April 2007 (CDT)

Wrong category

Larry, see a red link category in this page. The correct is Category:Biology Approved. Versuri 18:41, 20 April 2007 (CDT)

Good catch. Fixed. --Larry Sanger 23:00, 21 April 2007 (CDT)


Hello. Any idea who maintains the TeX software? See my recent edits to normal distribution. The article began by getting copied from Wikipedia; the software that worked there didn't work here. Michael Hardy 21:15, 21 April 2007 (CDT)

Hi Mike, try e-mailing don't really know. --Larry Sanger 23:03, 21 April 2007 (CDT)

That sounds like a MediaWiki issue, but the home page of the LaTeX project is [4]. Greg Woodhouse 11:03, 22 April 2007 (CDT)

Economic heterodox traditions

RE: Economic heterodox tradition. Done.

"heterodox" in the sense of a demarcation from the prevailing mainstream in Economics. It includes (but it is not restricted to) the various strands of socialism. For more information see: Heterodox Economics Journals (Scholarly) at Heterodox Economics WebJ. R. Campos 14:49, 22 April 2007 (CDT)
For detailed information see: HETERODOX HYPERTEXTS: USING THE INTERNET TO KNIT TOGETHER HETERODOX ECONOMICS Steve Cohn (Knox College) and Geoffrey Schneider (Bucknell University) Draft Copy- Not for QuotationJ. R. Campos 14:57, 22 April 2007 (CDT)

As a definition, it's better than nothing, but it still does not say exactly what it means. It might help actually to say who started using the phrase "heterodox tradition," and why. --Larry Sanger 20:37, 22 April 2007 (CDT)

Historians do not use "The History of XYZ" for main title

Titles--anyone who looks at the bibliography on Pittsburgh, say, or American conservatism or New Deal will notice that historians rarely title their work, "The History of XYZ" -- it's considered dreadfully old-fashioned and not normally done these days and CZ should not do it either. Richard Jensen 18:16, 24 April 2007 (CDT)

Well, we shouldn't use the definite article, certainly. That looks old-fashioned even to me, and I'm not even a historian. But surely "history of Pittsburgh" isn't old-fashioned as a phrase. Well, the idea is that we're picking ordinary phrases that might be used in the context of a sentence, to ease interlinking. For example, "I know nothing about the history of Pittsburgh except that it was a rusty old town for a long time and now it's sort of come back from the scrap-heap." --Larry Sanger 18:21, 24 April 2007 (CDT)

Yes, we talk about the history of XYZ but we rarely use it for a main title. I've been looking and can't find major books in recent years--the most recent was a 1995 "The History of Fascism." So it's not in fashion as a main title. Specifically, of 8300 history books in 2004 and 2005 and 2006 (listed in America History & Life), only a couple used it, and those were by offbeat publishers (The History of American Homeopathy: The Academic Years, 1820-1935. published by Pharmaceutical Products, 2005; The History of the Carolina Yacht Club, Charleston, South Carolina. published by the Carolina Yacht Club, 2004.) (I found only THREE books by a mainstream press, (The History of the Riverside Church in the City of New York. New York U. Press, 2004; The History of Ohio Law. Ohio U. Press, 2004; The History of Foreign Investment in the United States, 1914 to 1945. Harvard U. Press, 2004) -- so that's 5 out of 8300 recent titles = Rare. Richard Jensen 18:57, 24 April 2007 (CDT)
I did a doubletake on the Harvard Press book--seems it's volume 2 and volume 1 was The History of Foreign Investment in the United States to 1914 & published in 1989. Richard Jensen 19:01, 24 April 2007 (CDT)
Sometimes it appears in subtitles---I found 10 books in 2005, out of a couple thousand, that had a subtitle like this: The Great Gypsy Moth War: The History of the First Campaign in Massachusetts to Eradicate the Gypsy Moth, 1890-1901. U. of Massachusetts Press, 310pp. (our title should be Gypsy Moth, History) Isn't it amaxing what historians write books about--look at [5] for proof! Richard Jensen 19:10, 24 April 2007 (CDT)

Well, that's a solid argument as far as it goes. Let's talk about this some more; I wish we had input from other historians. The real question is whether the History Workgroup should have an idiosyncratic set of naming conventions not followed by any other workgroup; or perhaps the idea is that one can argue that these history naming conventions aren't inconsistent with the usual naming conventions. But I doubt that (the latter). But if there's a reason to think historians generally will agree with you, and that there is good reason to make an exception for history, then I wouldn't insist on the point.

I think ultimately, however, that this dispute is going to be larger than a debate between the two of us, because people are going to come back repeatedly to the strange appearance of the history article titles. Ultimately, the Editorial Council will probably have to weigh in, at least on the question whether the History Workgroup can make an exception. --Larry Sanger 00:01, 25 April 2007 (CDT)


Despite double checking my user preferences, all time stamps are showing up as CDT (Central Daylight Saving Time, offset -6 hours from Zulu time).

Surely the time and date stamps should be set to UTC as recommended by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) {and ANSI}? W. Frank way-past-my-bedtime, oops-I've-lost-the-calendar/Beltane/Mattress Turnover Week/Eve of the first day of Summer (Iceland) 2007 (GMT)

Surely the ISO and ANSI don't recommend that Web communities all set their local clocks to UTC? Can you find some evidence of that? They're set to Central time since that's where the servers are located. Seems like a pretty good reason to choose that time. Why standardize something like this? I prefer not standardizing what doesn't need to be standardized; makes life more interesting.
This, however, shouldn't go for certain naming conventions, in my opinion.  ;-) --Larry Sanger 00:01, 25 April 2007 (CDT)
the servers all work on UTC, the representation layer does you a favor and presents the time in your local time-zone. Robert Tito |  Talk 
My local time zone is Pacific, yet I see Central times - also after checking my user preferences. - Greg Martin 01:39, 25 April 2007 (CDT)

I think the question here is whether our signatures should use CDT or UDT. This can't be changed except on the server. I very much doubt ISO or ANSI have anything whatsoever to say about whether our signatures should use CDT or UDT. I am going to make an argument for CDT (as it is at present): that's in the middle of the U.S. and Canada, where a plurality of contributors are and are likely to be. It's very roughly in between the U.K. and Australia, the other English language strongholds. Hence, the greatest number of our contributors are likely to be well served by CDT (or Mountain Time, perhaps). When we start projects in French, Germany, Dutch, Italian, etc., those projects can use UDT. --Larry Sanger 12:17, 25 April 2007 (CDT)

Do we want CZ to be US centric? This is an internet based encyclopedia. For most non-US contributors they are more likely to know their timezones offset from UTC (approximating to GMT) rather than from Wichita. Many non locally based US institutions (such as the US Military and Air Traffic Control) use UTC for similar reasons. Your argument would imply that if the servers change then the timestamp will change. Is daylight saving time relevant in the tropics or doubly awkward in the Southern Hemisphere winter? In 5 years, India and China may be providing many contributors using English. W. Frank 23:37, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think you really responded to my own argument. I don't want CZ to be U.S.-centric, or any country-centric. Using Central Time doesn't make it so, however--obviously. --Larry Sanger 20:18, 25 April 2007 (CDT)
Thanks for the important clarification that you wish CZ to be inclusionary.
Of course, in the abstract, the use of Daylight Saving Time, Central Zone in the Northern Hemisphere summer does not make CZ any less inclusionary. However, it is such a noticeably unusual choice that it may send the wrong signals to the uninformed. Consider if you were in a shop in Amman, Jordan that put a sign in the window saying "US dollars not accepted". In the context that the Greenback is usually the most desired currency there (as in much of the world suffering with soft currencies) the viewer of that sign might wrongly conclude anti-US sentiment. If the notice instead read "US 100 dollar bills not accepted" the inference might be drawn that this was a problem of forgeries (or that the shopkeeper didn't have small change).
In the context of the Internet, the use of CDT (Central Daylight Time) for some months of the year - and, presumably, CST (Central Standard Time) beginning some time in late October [neither Saskatchewan nor Central America will observe any seasonal time change and I assume your servers are not located in the Galapagos either] - is a little quirky. It might be understandable if the servers had problems with "leaves on the line" and contributors in the tropics needed to make allowances for northern hemisphere winters, but I can't see the relevance otherwise of the server time zone.
You wrote earlier that "When we start projects in French, Germany, Dutch, Italian, etc., those projects can use UDT" but this just emphasises muddled thinking. If the servers of other language editions remain in a particular time zone then, following one of your arguments, they should adopt the timestamp of the server rather than that of Paris (or Papeete), etc.
The timestamp really just assists in assessing how old a post is. UTC is the most universal time zone from which to calculate a local offset and that is why EVERY other international body I have encountered uses Coordinated Universal Time or UTC. To do otherwise may suggest (wrongly) to casual users and neophytes that an amazing number of contributors type in their contributions from Kansas City (Missouri) or that they have not set their user preferences correctly.
Using another of your arguments of picking the time zone where the most contributors contribute from would mean the choice of EDT now, EST in a few months and possibly changing to UTC+8 if the Great Firewall of China crumbles or if the citizens of Perth, Western Australia, suddenly become extraordinarily active.W. Frank {01:43, 27 April 2007 BST (19:43, 26 April 2007 CDT)} 00:43, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

"Thanks for the important clarification that you wish CZ to be inclusionary." I find something bizarre about this. That isn't a clarification at all. It's perfectly common sense that I would say this, and your implication that I might not want CZ to be inclusive is, to say the least, bewildering. Correct, my argument would entail that we change servers when the balance of contributors changes. Why does that matter? Big deal. This isn't worth the hand-wringing.

If the idea is that, if we use U.S. standards, we aren't inclusionary--then you begin from a position that is hard to distinguish from bigotry. Yes, of course we will use U.S. standards on CZ, quite often, because this is an English language project and the U.S. has the plurality of first-language English language speakers in the world. But we'll also be quite open to other common English standards as well. --Larry Sanger 00:01, 27 April 2007 (CDT)

Questions to help me be a better editor

I just made extensive comments on the discussion pages of the Complex number and Prime number articles. I know neither you nor I want me to contact you everything I do so, but since this is the first time I've made significant commentary as an editor, I wanted to get your feedback on how close to the right track I am.

  1. Is my commentary in the direction you're hoping for? - both in terms of the vision of the article itself, and in terms of how I as an editor interact with authors.
  2. Suppose that the article is changed to take into account most of those suggestions. Does that constitute "significant work" by me on those articles, in the sense that I should not then approve the article but rather get another mathematics editor to do so?
  3. Suppose I've done significant work on an article and want another mathematics editor to approve it. Is that the point where I should add the "ToApprove" tag to the page? From my best attempt at reading CZ:Approval_Process, it seems not. In that case, what's the official way to alert other mathematics editors that I'd like the page approved? Knowing their names and leaving them personal messages seems clumsy.
  4. Similarly, what's the official way that authors should alert editors to review an article for possible approval? I only found out about the above two articles by serendipitously clicking on the Approvals link. Is that what I should be checking regularly for this purpose?

Thanks in advance for the advice. - Greg Martin 01:36, 25 April 2007 (CDT)

Moved comment to relevant talk page.


Hi - please see the discussion here. I'm wondering if its the best place to hold it, though? (On an unrelated note - I'm here on CZ thanks to your interview on Ireland's Today FM radio station last week. You articulated very well what's wrong with WP (I've been there for two years and am growing more frustrated daily with the vandalism and POV pushing) and CZ looks like a great improvement). Regards, Anton Sweeney 19:06, 25 April 2007 (CDT)

Thanks, Anton, glad to hear that interview did some good! They didn't let me play my fiddle for the interview, though, which was disappointing.  ;-) --Larry Sanger 23:33, 26 April 2007 (CDT)

Note my reply on that talk page. --Larry Sanger 23:33, 26 April 2007 (CDT)

Proposed compromise on smaller approval box

At, I've proposed a new compromise. I just made the box a tiny bit wider, squished the checkbox graphic a bit, and hacked the text where I could without changing its meaning. Got 5 lines down to 3 lines. What do you think?Pat Palmer 17:39, 26 April 2007 (CDT)

Sounds fine to me. Ask Nancy though; she's our new Approvals Editor. --Larry Sanger 17:49, 26 April 2007 (CDT)

"Mathematician manqué"?

Maybe you would be qualified to comment on the proposal to delete Wikipedia's article titled "Mathematician manqué"? It says that "condition" is prevalent among philosophers. Could it be that it is (maybe even only) among philosophers that that term prevails? Michael Hardy 22:30, 28 April 2007 (CDT)

Why on Earth should I care about Wikipedia's article? I have far too much to think about with CZ. If you think it needs saving, why not move it here, and we can consider it separately? --Larry Sanger 23:32, 28 April 2007 (CDT)

I don't think it needs saving, nor that it does not. I never heard the term till I saw the article. Since it seems to refer mainly to philosophers who wish they knew mathematics, I thought it may be a part of some culture that you are a part of or have been exposed to, and therefore that you would know about it. Is it something you've heard of before? Michael Hardy 12:49, 30 April 2007 (CDT)

Nope, never have, I'm afraid. --Larry Sanger 13:03, 30 April 2007 (CDT)

Thank you. Michael Hardy 20:52, 30 April 2007 (CDT)

Theory, philosophy, or something else

I've attempted to help resolve the issue at Talk:Scientology_(disambiguation) Terry E. Olsen 17:29, 1 May 2007 (CDT)

Ship articles

You asked for something on ship commissioning. I've got it, and IMHO it turned out pretty well. See Ship ceremonies (note the photos from four different decades). I've also got similar stuff on the guns, boats, nautical terms, etc. that are featured in the ship articles. Most of it did NOT come from Wikipedia. You can see it in the many links in my "test bed," which is the table at USS Alamance (AKA-75). I still need something good on propulsion systems. Once it's there, I'll propagate all this stuff to the other ship articles, in both the tables and the text. Louis F. Sander 21:01, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

Thanks very much! --Larry Sanger 23:22, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

Huh ?

Economics 100

Thank you very much for bringing this series of lectures to my attention by way of the economics discussion page. As I high school student looking to get ahead, I find this resource especially useful. This type of exposure to academic resources is yet another reason why more high school students should immerse themselves in the community of experts that is Citizendium. Again, thanks. (received from) --" Winston Gee 21:57, 2 May 2007 (CDT)" --J. R. Campos 22:18, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

I'm not sure what you're referring to. --Larry Sanger 23:23, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

Pizza Telemarketa

Until yesterday, User:Giuseppe Silvi who wrote the article on Piazza Telematica, said in his profile, "As a professional volunteer, he is the promoter and co-founder of Piazze Telematiche, a no-profit technical-scientific Association founded in 1993." The name 'Piazze Telematiche' is mentioned allot in the article Piazza Telematica. That is why I marked the article as self promotion. Derek Harkness 12:42, 7 May 2007 (CDT)

Aha! Sorry, I just didn't see that. Well, I'd say that's a reason to remove the references, not to delete the article. --Larry Sanger 13:08, 7 May 2007 (CDT)

inappropriate direction

Hello. Doubtless there is someone who should attend to this sort of thing, but I don't know who that is. When I click on "view source" on any approved article, I see this:

If you would like to edit this page, apply to join the pilot project.

Clearly that is inappropriate when addressed to registered logged-in users. It should instead direct people to the "draft" page so they can edit that. Who handles things like this? Michael Hardy 15:08, 8 May 2007 (CDT)

Please send a bug report to Nice catch. --Larry Sanger 15:15, 8 May 2007 (CDT)

Thanks---I've sent this to them. Michael Hardy 16:04, 8 May 2007 (CDT)


Any chance you'd qualify as a sufficiently innocent unordained layman to assess whether I made least common multiple accessible to a somewhat broad public? Michael Hardy 21:53, 13 May 2007 (CDT)

In my innocence and exhaustion after a long Mother's Day (my wife's first), I have to say the use of "multiple" is not obvious. I also did not understand this line at all: 36 = 2 × 4. Typo?

Surely there's a way to say "the smallest common multiple of several integers is the smallest integer that is a multiple of all of them" in a simpler (but still fairly brief) fashion. Like:

12 is a "common multiple" of 4 and 6, because 4 goes into 12 evenly, and 6 goes into 12 evenly, too. So 4 and 6 share a common multiple, 12, that they both "go into evenly." But notice something else: 4 and 6 have many other common multiples as well; 24 and 36 are two more. But 12 is the smallest of the common multiples of 4 and 6. So, we say, 12 is the "least common multiple" of 4 and 6.

--Larry Sanger 22:07, 13 May 2007 (CDT)

Oh. I'll be back tomorrow or the next day....

Thank you. Michael Hardy 22:14, 13 May 2007 (CDT)

... and you're right: it was a typo. I've fixed it. Michael Hardy 22:20, 13 May 2007 (CDT)

Lightning Status 1

Hi Larry, I'm no expert on lightning, but in reading this article and comparing it to the current wikipedia article, it appears that there have been significant enough changes made to the content to warrant including it as an internal article. I assume you disagree? David Martin 18:55, 14 May 2007 (CDT)

Yes, I disagree, unless I'm missing something, which is why I didn't just change it to 4 myself. See [6]. That is the relevant comparison to make: the difference between the original Wikipedia source article here on CZ and its current state. Of course there will be a difference between the article as it is now on CZ and the WP article now, only because the WP article itself has evolved since last October. --Larry Sanger 20:30, 14 May 2007 (CDT)

Error noted. I didn't consider that the wikipedia article might have been the one being edited. I adjusted the status to 4 and removed CZ Live. Thanks for the heads up :) David Martin 21:56, 14 May 2007 (CDT)

Checklisting Lists

Should we be checklisting lists? I'm in the L's on the Big Cleanup but I don't know if the lists fall under this. They're technically not articles, are they? David Martin 10:50, 18 May 2007 (CDT)

Let's go ahead and checklist them. I think we'll probably be changing the checklist to track the type of page, in the future. --Larry Sanger 11:08, 18 May 2007 (CDT)

Re Citizendium email

In reply to your email to me: I think what happened was that I had a misconception about the number of editors required to make certain types of decisions. I've read or re-read a number of Citizendium policy pages and have a clearer idea now of how things are supposed to work. I hope that will clear up any problem. --Catherine Woodgold 05:06, 19 May 2007 (CDT)

Approval management asks: What counts as significant authorship?

Larry, please go to: There is a discussion that needs your input, it has been raised by an actual article- but it is not any kind of dispute, this is strictly a question of defining "significant authorship." Help, please. Nancy Sculerati 11:40, 19 May 2007 (CDT)

Onslow Beach

I agree that the below issues are interesting and worth discussing. Where is the best place to have the discussion? (Probably not on the Onslow Beach talk page, because the issues aren't with Onslow Beach, but with very short articles that relate to other articles.) Louis F. Sander 07:48, 21 May 2007 (CDT)

This is a stub, at best. Unless we think we can say nothing more interesting about Onslow Beach, which then raises the question whether it is possible for stub-length articles can in fact be complete--which is an interesting problem. According to Article Deletion Policy, this article is not only not developed, it could be deleted precisely because it is only 49 words long. I don't propose that we delete it, but the issues it raises are interesting and worth discussing. --Larry Sanger 21:02, 20 May 2007 (CDT)

Retrieved from ""

I'd say the Forums, here. --Larry Sanger 08:14, 21 May 2007 (CDT)


Hello. I originally wrote the article for wiki pagan, where I am an administrator. It has been copied elsewhere. --Mark Mirabello 19:09, 21 May 2007 (CDT)

All right, very good then. Thanks --Larry Sanger 22:38, 21 May 2007 (CDT)

Could you copy the above to the Odinism talk page? Someone may delete. Thanks. --Mark Mirabello 17:51, 22 May 2007 (CDT)

Re: Scientology (Doctrine)

Hello, Mister Sanger. I've recently been absent from Citizendium (mentioned it on my user page, anyway). Now that I'm back and looking to work on articles, I've found that Terry E. Olsen (The banned user Terryeo from over on Wikipedia) came to my page to mention he'd worked on an article I'd planned to work on, Scientology (Doctrine). I would never speak ill of my fellow authors, but it seems, again, I don't mean to insult him, that he's written a Scientology introduction for the deep initiate, who knows all of their terminology (which often seems like doublespeak or requires the knowledge of whole books to understand), not for the beginner. I will be blunt, I'd like the opportunity to turn it around into a proper introduction, but I don't feel I'm good enough to do so. I've noted that on the talk page for the Scientology pages, you've commented you believe it should be deleted, since its author left. Might I take over the project? If you'd like it out of the article mainspace, I can move it to my talk page or a sandbox, but I don't want to lose what may in some places be valuable material (though I doubt it), and a foundation for making the article a good primer, rather than, frankly, something verging on primers for the already-introduced. For instance, the prime cosmology of Scientology is not even mentioned! It seems a crime that our article on the subject should show nothing about it, you know? Anyway, thanks for your time, and I'd welcome any advice from, well, anyone, on what to include. I don't really know what is or is not considered "Citizendium quality". I wrote Discordianism, but have heard neither yea nor nay about its quality from anyone. Well, have a nice day, and I look forward to your getting back to me. I'm off to work. Michael MacNeil 07:47, 23 May 2007 (CDT)

Please do "take over the project." As long as we preserve the actually usable content--if any--I'm all in favor of taking a step backwards in order to take two steps forward. As to what is considered "Citizendium quality," see our approved articles for examples, and see CZ:Policy Outline, the article standards section, as well as CZ:Article Mechanics. --Larry Sanger 08:19, 23 May 2007 (CDT)

Thanks, I'll give those a re-read (I confess to the crime of skimming much of the documentation, and maybe missed something important). This said, I'll try to preserve the whole-cloth work as it is now, and add, only removing when something strikes me as better placed elsewhere, non-maintainable, or unproveable. I'll see what I can do with it. Michael MacNeil 09:37, 23 May 2007 (CDT)

Personal attacks

Larry, what is the CZ policy on personal attacks? Can someone call me "disingenous" (i.e., a liar) and get away with it?

If so, can I call him names too? Please see talk:Global warming. --Ed Poor 20:23, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Action taken, see talk page and CZinternal. --Matt Innis (Talk) 21:20, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Ed, see CZ:Professionalism. No, someone cannot call you disingenuous and get away with it. You also need to review Neutrality Policy, I suspect. More later. --Larry Sanger 00:07, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

OK, just for fun, a hypothetical. I'm not supposed to call someone a "liar", but what if I delete someone's comment on a talk page and explain in the edit summary that it is malicious libel directed against me? Statements made in reply to libelous material are in some cases considered exempt from rules that would apply if they were made in other contexts. E.g. if someone has said that I'm a priest who rapes boys in his congregation, protection of my reputation could necessitate making it clear in public that that is libelous. Michael Hardy 19:30, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

Of course, we will be reasonable. Nearly every general rule like this has exceptions. You've probably found one. --Larry Sanger 22:42, 27 May 2007 (CDT)


A comment here was deleted by The Constabulary on grounds of making complaints about fellow Citizens. If you have a complaint about the behavior of another Citizen, e-mail It is contrary to Citizendium policy to air your complaints on the wiki. See also CZ:Professionalism.

Please raise your concerns to The wiki is not the place to complain about other users --Larry Sanger 23:49, 26 May 2007 (CDT)