User talk:Stephen Ewen/Archive 2

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Starting up

Thanks for your comment stephen. I added the category now and hope this is what you meant as you sent me the link to the "wikipedian" pages.


Thanks for taking the lead on Anthropology. I had you in mind as an exception when I posted my comment on the Big Write page, and I'm glad to see that my intuitions were correct. I still need to finish up a couple of things for the end of the term here (it's a pesky thing, school), but you can expect to see my work to start showing up soon... --Joe Quick | Talk

Hey, I was wondering if you could wander by anthropology a bit in the next few days. I've got the sub-disciplines section in passable shape (though it will need a lot of work yet) and will be focusing on the history section for a while, but I don't really know what you had in mind for the last few sections.

If we can get everything to the point where we at least have something written for each section, I think we'll be in good shape to start refining the content. --Joe Quick (Talk) 01:49, 23 March 2007 (CDT)


What is this, the court of Louis XIV? I was annoyed, and I was making that clear, without being abusive. My experience as a journalist and subeditor was relevant to the point I was making. It is true that Wikipedia suffers from an excess of personal abuse, but let us not go to the opposite extreme. Robust debate is part of academic life, as I'm sure you know. Adam Carr 18:32, 27 February 2007 (CST)


Stephen, it just occurred to me that you might not have the thunderbird software that constables are using to process accounts. Did you get set up on that? If not, let me know and I can help you get started. -Matt Innis (Talk) 08:35, 28 February 2007 (CST)

I have used Moz T-Bird for...about 3 years. I lived and worked for two years recently in the Northern Mariana Islands, so I had a complete mental block about this "NMI". :-) Stephen Ewen 14:40, 28 February 2007 (CST)
you sure needed some more info then :) Robert Tito | Talk


I appreciate your thoughtful response. Jmerkey 02:06, 2 March 2007 (CST)


Hi, there are no more articles in "top" categories for workgroups, the last exception being logic which is protected. Could you unprotect it and change the category? I am about to delete "top articles" from workgroup table template (see Citizendium-l mailist for more details). Best, --Alex S. 01:03, 3 March 2007 (CST)

thanks, it was quick --Alex S. 01:11, 3 March 2007 (CST)


Thanks for the thoughtful and kind email. Yes, please go ahead and move my account as you proposed. Let me know what the new password is, BTW. Thanks. Jmerkey 01:25, 3 March 2007 (CST)

Done. :-) Stephen Ewen 02:41, 3 March 2007 (CST)

Message from Bernie Haisch

Hi Stephen, Sorry I just now spotted your suggestion about Intelligent Design, but I need to leave that to someone with expertise in biology or a related field. I'm an astrophysicist.

Thanks for the bio!

Cheers Ben Louis Yates 22:27, 4 March 2007 (CST)

My pleasure. Let me know if I can ever assist you in any way. :-) Stephen Ewen 22:45, 4 March 2007 (CST)

An 'on-wiki' hello

Hi Stephen - as you can see, my account is now active..!

My IP address right now is - my ISP is iinet here in australia. The message that I was blocked came when my address was - hopefully this info is useful, and I look forward to seeing you around!

best, Peter Godbolt 22:21, 7 March 2007 (CST)

Ah, very good. Glad it worked out. See you around, and please let me know if I can assist you! Stephen Ewen 22:50, 7 March 2007 (CST)

WP or not

No Steve, if that was true everything science related should be related to their origins, some over 2000 years old. Some parts may be verbatim from WP but - tell me - why invent the wheel in phrasing something in a correct way? you have the same result and I have it, did we copy? no we wrote it. The amount originally left from WP is minimal and defendable - thats why I made it to be approved 1 month ago. Take a look at Physical chem, that needs being approved as well, as its time is DUE for quite some hours now. cheers. Robert Tito |  Talk  00:08, 12 March 2007 (CDT)

Well, obviously no one need come up with new wording for conventional terms like "pair bonding," and the like, but it concerns me when there are entire unattributed verbatim paragraphs with particularly nuanced phrasing such as at the WP article and our article. My concern is that WP folks will exploit such a thing to the hilt and we will see it all over the blogosphere. On the other hand, are you saying that you all wrote those paragraphs first at the Wikipedia article and afterward imported them here? Stephen Ewen 00:33, 12 March 2007 (CDT)

I agree with Steve, Rob--if we use any significant part (I'm not sure what that is, but say, a sentence) of the Wikipedia article, we must give Wikipedia credit. Unless you wrote those paragraphs yourself for WP (and no one at WP edited them since), we did copy them from WP. Please do be conscientious about this. Frankly, I don't understand the resistance to giving them credit. If you want to deny them credit, then simply rewrite those paragraphs. --Larry Sanger 08:44, 12 March 2007 (CDT)

The article when I first started working on did non contain any reference to WP, I am not a priori assuming people copied and pasted material without proper references. BUT more generic, IF any sentence is ""copyrighted"" by the mere occurrence of that sentence anywhere it would be a strange world if we have to comment E=mc^2®©Einstein, a^2+b^2=c^2®© Pythagoras. Since this so called article is nothing more or less then a stub, it is like an index with minor expansions, as such it seems logical parts will and actually do overlap with other articles covering the same territory. There is worldwide the problem of copyrighting, and sometimes even patenting certain colors, or even standard words. Insanity maximus? This should be abolished as it delivers nothing new. So, recapitulating, if people copied material from WP, their original material it rightfully is NOT linked to WP. Since there was no WP link I have to assume the latter. I still hold the professional scientific attitude as a priority. digital High Five, or ^101. Robert Tito |  [[Talk]]  11:32, 12 March 2007 (CDT)

Rob, I don't follow your argument. My argument, on the other hand, is very easy to understand. I'm saying that if we make use of a sentence or more of material from WP--not in a quotation attributed to WP--then we are making use of WP material. It doesn't matter if it's just a little: we're still using their content. Hence, we give them credit, regardless of what the license or the law requires. It's just decent behavior. --Larry Sanger 11:36, 12 March 2007 (CDT)

Larry, since I am not certain which article is original (WP or CZ) the people creating this article and working on it, before I did, removed any reference to WP (maybe because it was their original work). Therefore I assume it is rightfully done, and no link or credit to WP is needed. Credit of the doubt is given to the authors - as I assume all are with the proper scientific background and attitude.


for religion. I didn't want to presume in an area where I'm an amateur.DavidGoodman 05:15, 12 March 2007 (CDT)

Transfering stuff from Wikipedia

Stephen, Thanks for your comments. My main area of focus is aerospace engineering. I'm basing my strategy of transferring information from Wikipedia to Citizendium by starting from my Wikipedia article "Atmospheric reentry" and branching outwards. Most of the "low level" aerospace articles on Wikipedia are very good and require no additional editing, e.g. SR-71 Blackbird, Apollo_5, etc. I consider my "Atmospheric reentry" article to be low level. Also, most of the low level stuff tends to be infomation rich and would require months of work by many people to rewrite from scratch (which is unnecessary). Unfortunately IMHO, most of the "high level" stuff on Wikipedia is garbage, e.g. "Space exploration". This is the paradox of Wikipedia, i.e. the information that people first see tends to be garbage but the deeper level stuff is of good quality. My goal is to build a foundation of low level articles first with links to stubs for higher level articles. I'm a professional aeronautical engineer and qualified to judge the quality of the low level articles. Other people can come in later and fill out the stubs for the higher level articles. Also, I'm a little bit nervous about Wikipedia undergoing a sudden collapse. I can imagine most of the serious people contributing to Wikipedia suddenly realizing that they are wasting their time and abandoning ship. There could be a situation where there are far more vandals than editors and the whole house-of-cards collapses into chaos in a few weeks. I've seen this happen more than once with Space Exploration discussion forums on the Internet. Therefore I see a need for haste in getting the good stuff transferred over. Terence Quilpie 01:54, 14 March 2007 (CDT)

Dr. Quilpie, although I can appreciate your perspective, we really do need to operate by CZ:WP2CZ#Should you really upload that Wikipedia article to the Citizendium.3F (see the second emboldened point) or, alternately change it through discussion on its talk page, which you are very welcome to do. Until then, please do act mindfully of the guideline. Also, we do not need to really worry about Wikipedia content ever vanishing utterly. Even given a worst case scenario, most of its content is archived at, although it is not available there in wiki markup. Let me also say that I am really glad to see someone such as yourself here on the project, and that I am confident that your contributions will be valuable. Please let me know if you ever need a constable's assistance. Regards, Stephen Ewen 04:10, 14 March 2007 (CDT)
Stephen, I estimate that on Wikipedia there are about 200 low level aerospace articles of very high quality, e.g. SR-71, North American X-15, etc. Each of these articles were written as "labors of love" through the combined efforts of anonymous working and retired aeronautical engineers and amateur enthusiasts. The combined effort spent on each of those articles was anywhere from 2 to 6 man-months. I spent about 6 months writing and polishing my "atmospheric reentry" article on Wikipedia. I estimate the combined labor behind these accumulated aerospace Wikipedia articles is approximately 50 man-years. Nobody is going to expend another 50 man-years to regenerate those articles. There is simply no need to since most of the articles are excellent as they currently exist. Unfortunately all of those articles will eventually dissolve into excrement through the actions of non-experts doing micro-edits and vandalism. I know I'm preaching to the converted but writing something on Wikipedia makes about as much sense as building a sand castle on the beach when the tide is coming in. After writing my "atmospheric reentry" article, I've found myself acting like a parent watching spoiled children having a mud fight in the living room. I'm obligated to continually monitor the article or else accept the fact that my original efforts in writing it were a total waste of time. I'm sure most of the other people who contributed significant work to Wikipedia are having similar feelings about their efforts. The real problem with Wikipedia/Citizendium is not to create new work but to salvage what has already been written. There is significant value in that information. For example a trained aeronautical engineer usually bills out at about $100/hr. If you accept that most of the aerospace articles were written by aeronautical engineers and there is about 50 man-years of information out there then the raw cost of that information is worth about $ 43.8 million dollars (there are good reasons why airplanes and space exploration are so expensive). We must not sit by passively and allow this existing information to be turned into manure by vandals and idiots. Terence Quilpie 11:45, 14 March 2007 (CDT)
Dr. Quilpie, if meaningless gibberish were inserted into each Wikipedia article over the next week, it is irrelevant. This is because of the article histories. Your hard work is right there in the edit history, just as you originally placed it. I very, very, very seriously doubt that the English Wikipedia will suddenly turn up gone one day. I am certain there would first be an announcement if it were so and we'd upload the whole database overnight. Transferring articles from Wikipedia must be done in accordance with CZ:How to convert Wikipedia articles to Citizendium articles. Per your description of the articles, it may be that all that needs doing for most of them is just 2 minutes of minor editing such as removing Wikipedia-specific templates, etc. See Improving article mechanics. I know you may feel a bit alone right now, but please do not lose heart. After the public launch, I suspect the Engineering workgroup (to which I just added you!) will grow rapidly. - Stephen Ewen 13:36, 14 March 2007 (CDT)
Stephen, You said: "Per your description of the articles, it may be that all that needs doing for most of them is just 2 minutes of minor editing such as removing Wikipedia-specific templates, etc.". I found with importing my own article to Citizendium that the most time consuming task was getting all of the image files transfered. I estimate that it took about 3-4 hours to transfer my own article. A comparable amount of time would be required for each of the better quality aerospace articles of which there are hundreds. Although I understand the motivation, the decision by Citizendium to delete the Wikipedia data set and start from scratch may have been an error. It would have been much more time efficient to have gone through the Wikipedia data set with a meat clever and cut away the garbage. I assume there is an executive committee that has ultimate control over Citizendium. I'd like to send them a proposal concerning what I plan on doing at Citizendium. As it stands, I can not proceed until I know for sure what the precise constraints are concerning importation of the aerospace information from Wikipedia. Terence Quilpie 23:53, 14 March 2007 (CDT)

I'll reply on Terence's user talk page. --Larry Sanger 00:03, 15 March 2007 (CDT)

"we could really use a geography editor about right now!"

Well, perhaps. If you explain the deletion from the talk page of (as far as I can tell) the only geographer to have worked on Citizendium (ie mine), he might be a little better disposed towards the project.... Ian Cundell 09:31, 16 March 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for you note. You asked about why I removed a message from your talk page. You may or may not be aware that at one point during the period of self-registration, someone created accounts under the guise of Nancy Sculerati and did all kinds of mischief, to say the least, even spoofing all sorts of insulting messages "from her" to other users. We cleaned up after that mess, of course. However, when I saw the message on your talk page appearing to be from her, "Hey you idiot with a...", I thought I had perhaps found one that was missed. It appears now she may have been, in fun, quoting you?? Even after your note, I am still unsure about the nature of the message. Does this help you understand? Stephen Ewen 14:09, 16 March 2007 (CDT)
Thank you. I've replied via email (I got an email response before I got the notification of this message). Suffice it to say I will be astonished if the message was anything other than a good-natured response to a remark on my user page. Ian Cundell 14:28, 16 March 2007 (CDT)

Your comments re Life

Stephen: Thanks for your complimentary remarks on the Life article. I plan to work on the Glossary soon. BTW, Stephen: Thanks for the edits, good ones. Question: how do you code a 'dash' instead of a 'hyphen'? Can one code a short 'dash' as well as a long 'dash'? I prefer the latter for within-sentence clause separation. Where do I go to learn how to put diacriticals on letters? --Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 17:02, 19 March 2007 (CDT)

Hi Anthony. You can learn to make some common diacriticals with keyboard shortcuts here. You can also insert them with character map in Windows XP (Start > Run > and type: charmap), use an online tool, or use the insert character feature of MS Word or OpenOffice. Another way is to code dashes is with html. To make a dash use one – and to make a hyphen place two –– Just click edit and look at the code here to see how I made these. Stephen Ewen 18:30, 19 March 2007 (CDT)


Hey Stephen, you seem to know a lot. Can you tell me if this image is something we can use?[1] Follow the link in the text. --Matt Innis (Talk) 22:59, 24 March 2007 (CDT)

See . In what context do you plan to use it? Stephen Ewen 23:09, 24 March 2007 (CDT)
Chiropractic/Draft. I guess not, huh. How did you find that? --Matt Innis (Talk) 00:21, 25 March 2007 (CDT)
No, I don't think so, not in that article at this point, although I love the image. If it were to go in an article about the artist or the artistic genre, I'd think "definitely, yes, it is fair use", irregardless of the strength of the copyright statement. I found it just by going up a level in the URL > and then clicking on "copyright notice". However, if we go non-commercial for Citizendium original articles, getting an artist to release such images for our usage will be little trouble. Stephen Ewen 00:59, 25 March 2007 (CDT)
Thanks a lot. Though, I wish the answer were different:( I guess that determines my vote on the non-commercial use question! Where are we discussing that now? On the forum? --Matt Innis (Talk) 08:03, 25 March 2007 (CDT)
Yep, at "Legal issues". :-) Stephen Ewen 11:39, 25 March 2007 (CDT)


I see you almost did it, too:) I left him for Sarah, but I should have put it somewhere. We need more spots to put these guys. --Matt Innis (Talk) 19:11, 25 March 2007 (CDT)

Yea, oops! I think they just need to get forwarded to and then filed in Ruth's folder. Busy day! Many interesting people. Stephen Ewen 19:22, 25 March 2007 (CDT)


I think that should be included in "CZ:Should we permit or disallow commercial use of CZ-originated articles?" that authors / editors need another license option. Who prefers CC-NC have the option to contribute in CZ. -Versuri 07:31, 26 March 2007 (CDT)

I Liq Chuan

Hi Stephen,

Perhaps you may want to reconsider your deletion. I believe the assumptions you used to justify your deletion of this article are not valid.

I wrote almost the whole article on Wikipedia myself and I do have the permission to copy anything from the site. If you go there you will see me listed as a disciple. If you need written permission, I already have that.

So at this point, what do I need to do to satisfy the content police? Do I need to include something in the article which says these things so others do not jump to the same conclusions? -- Gary Giamboi 07:30, 27 March 2007

It has nothing to do with content except as regards it having to be attributed. All you need to do is re-import the article from WP and make sure you check the "Content is from WP?" box, and either paraphrase the things directly quoted from the site or quote them as quotes with attribution. Stephen Ewen 17:39, 27 March 2007 (CDT)
I suppose that, if we really have permission to use material from and share its copyright with Citizendium, then they don't need to be quoted or paraphrased -- they do still need an attribution for their author.—Nat Krause 22:42, 27 March 2007 (CDT)

Chiropractic Article

Would you do the honors of approving the Chiropractic/Draft article for us? It was due yesterday, but I made a couple changes and am having Nancy take one last look, but I think she will be fine with it. Thank you in advance! --Matt Innis (Talk) 08:08, 27 March 2007 (CDT)

My user name

Thanks Stephen, please go ahead and change it. I had asked Robert Tito to change it a few weeks ago, but at the time it was possible for me to change it directly and I didn't get around to it. Then self registration was ended, so I couldn't do it. Luigizanasi 09:25, 27 March 2007 (CDT)

approval for chiropractic

yes, you can approve, just ask Matt which version. I wish I could point you correctly. Thanks for your help. Nancy Sculerati 13:42, 28 March 2007 (CDT)

message from Edna Spennato

Hi Stephen! Thanks for your note. The photographer for that pic is Robert Burns. However, I would like to remove that photograph and have just uploaded a better photograph which was taken by the photographer, Eamonn Mccabe, and is the property of Gilad Atzmon (i.e. he bought the copyright from the photographer). I have been compiling some info about Atzmon into an encyclopedic piece for Citizendium. So I contacted him about the copyright and received his response this morning, which confirms Atzmon is the copyright owner and gives permission to use it. If you would like him to send an e-mail directly to you confirming that, please e-mail him directly. Thanks Steven. Edna Spennato

I replied on your talk. Stephen Ewen 17:53, 28 March 2007 (CDT)

Hi Stephen

I’m not too sue how to create a permission page for the pic. Also¸ what is meant by “A document image bearing the person's signature who is able to release the copyright would be best.” What qualifies as his signature? Would his e-mail be enough? Does he have to write it and sign it by hand¸ then scan it in? Looking forward to hearing back¸ and sorry for all the questions.

Thanks Edna SpennatoEdna

I'm writing detailed instructions right now for this. But for right now... his email will be enough, for now, given that privacy details (contact information including private email, phone, address, etc.) for Mr. Atzmon are removed. Just go the Atzmon article and click on link in the image box. I made it to help show you how. Stephen Ewen 20:43, 28 March 2007 (CDT)
See Help:Images#Using_copyrighted_images_by_permission. Stephen Ewen 00:10, 29 March 2007 (CDT)

Thanks so much for your help Steven. I have done it and I hope it's all in order. Just one question regarding Wiki content. If you have a look at the wikipedia article on Gilad Atzmon at , you will see that it is very limited in terms of information about his music, writing etc. There are one or two sentences at the beginning of the Citizendium article on him which are similar, but not exactly the same as the Wiki introduction - apart from those first couple of sentences, the information is totally different and original in the Citizendium article. Could you let me know if the similarities in the first couple of sentences warrent ticking the wiki box or not. I wasn't sure about this so I haven't done it.

Edna Spennato

Steven thanks for the good advice. I had not realised the full extent of the difference between the stodgy old Wikipedia and the dynamic new Citizendium, and I must admit I compiled the info in as an “encyclopedic” a style as I was able. In fact, it is very nice to be able to write a slightly more interesting and readable introduction to this article, and I am going to put my thinking cap on and do that in the next day or two.

I would like to find out how an article becomes approved…does the writer have to apply for the approval process to begin¸ or is it something that happens in time with all articles posted at Citizendium?

One more question, do you have any idea when the slow coach Google will catch on and start featuring Citizendium articles when subjects are searched? I see it’s still just Wiki, which comes up at the top, and nothing at all about Citizendium. Edna Spennato 16:26, 30 March 2007 (CDT)

Google has already started spidering CZ. Be is only a matter of time before "the Google-effect" kicks in! I'll answer the other matters later this evening. - Stephen Ewen 16:30, 30 March 2007 (CDT)
To answer those other matters, see Get ready to rethink how to write encyclopedia articles. I am confident you will find this very much to your liking. -- Best, Stephen Ewen 02:21, 31 March 2007 (CDT)

Hi Steven - I have followed your advice...and changed the intro. There was a very relevant angle which just begged to be used in the intro, and it "wrote itself", as they say. Hope it is not too over the top for an online encyclopedia. Tell me what you think. It might need toning down. BTW there is not even one tiny bit from Wikipedia in here (I am pleased to say!) Edna Spennato 12:31, 31 March 2007 (CDT)

I think a bit too much outside of neutrality and into advocacy, yes, unless you can attribute the statements in the second paragraph. But I think you're getting the idea more. :-) Stephen Ewen 12:37, 31 March 2007 (CDT)

I've changed the intro again Steven! I think it is much more neutral now... Edna Spennato 08:00, 2 April 2007 (CDT)

Re: Wiki content and me

Hello Stephen, I'm afraid my edit summaries may have been (unintentionally) misleading: I've uploaded one article from Wikipedia (Wikipedia, actually); the rest of what I was doing was tagging articles which other users had ported from Wikipedia in order to comply with the GFDL (and to encourage rewrites). Apparently there is a bug where the "Content from Wikipedia?" checkbox cannot be checked unless content is added, so I was adding the {{wikipedia}} template to articles that had been clearly lifted directly from Wikipedia, but I stopped because I noticed that User:Larry Sanger had rolled back one of my edits, citing the apparent deprecation of that template. In any case, I've stopped adding the template because of Larry's action but would like to know if there's a workaround for that bug to make sure we're on the up and up for content already on Citizendium which was taken from Wikipedia without attribution. Cheers, Benjamin Lowe 21:24, 28 March 2007 (CDT)

Oh, okay! Gosh, sorry about that. And thanks for doing that! The workaround is to click next to a period or some other character and add a space. Stephen Ewen 21:31, 28 March 2007 (CDT)

Is a "Placeholder page" deletable?

Hello, Stephen. I am a new author and have signed up for some Big Cleanup duty. One of the articles in my current dozen is "postcolonial literature," which you created on 28 January and which is empty except for the words "Placeholder page." According to my understanding of the Article Deletion Policy, it looks as if I should mark this article "speedydelete." On the other hand, since the article was put there by a constable in the first place, I assume there was good reason for it. So, should I just keep my hands off of it (since there's nothing to "clean up" in the first place)? Bruce M.Tindall 17:02, 31 March 2007 (CDT)

Hi Bruce. Please to make your acquaintance. The exception is if a page is being used to "de-orphan" an article. So if a lesser article is about post-colonial lit it will always be an orphan until it has a parent, even if its parent is not anything but like what the post colonial lit page it. Stephen Ewen 20:10, 31 March 2007 (CDT)

template for workgroup education

Do you think it will be useful for people who are actively writing but have not joined a workgroup or are not adding workgroup categories to articles? We could place this on certain people's usert talk pages. Feel free to edit it and please make a comment on the talk page if you are able. -Tom Kelly (Talk) 21:56, 31 March 2007 (CDT)