User talk:John Carter

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Hello and Welcome to Wikiversity John Carter! You can contact us with questions at the colloquium or me personally when you need help. Please remember to sign and date your finished comments when participating in discussions. The signature icon Insert-signature.png above the edit window makes it simple. All users are expected to abide by our Privacy, Civility, and the Terms of Use policies while at Wikiversity.

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You do not need to be an educator to edit. You only need to be bold to contribute and to experiment with the sandbox or your userpage. See you around Wikiversity! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 08:44, 25 December 2017 (UTC)

Cold fusion[edit]

Welcome to Wikiversity, John. You asked some questions in the RfD on Cold fusion, and I responded, but then self-reverted because Mu301 had asked for a cooling-off. This is what I wrote there:

This has nothing to do with "religion based content," but to answer some general questions: Wikiversity resources can be opinion-based, if attributed. That is, POV can be expressed here. The way I have interpreted this is that mainspace resources, top-level, should be rigorously neutral -- though that is often violated without consequence -- if nobody objects. It is clear that attributed subpages may express opinion without any sourcing at all, other than the attribution. However, the argument, above, that the "lead" was obviously fringe POV rejected on Wikipedia was highly misleading. That quotation is from a source that was considered "reliable source" for Wikipedia purposes (I asked on the Reliable Source Noticeboard), and it was an invited review of the entire field, more recent than the sources used on Wikipedia (mostly much older or weaker) which is more than we need here. Major mainstream journal, check! Independently published, check! Peer-reviewed, check! (That, by the way, does not mean it is "truth." It means it is notable and sometimes can be baldly asserted as fact (on Wikipedia). If there is controversy, it is still notable and can be used with attribution, as it was.) That this is considered blatantly fringe POV-pushing betrays just how divorced from current reality some Wikipedians have become. Science moves on, and what was rejected at one time might be accepted later with new evidence, or just a reexamination of what existed before. (There are more recent reviews, with similar conclusions.)
As to not caring if the work of many users, over many years, is deleted, how Wikipedian of you! The cold fusion resource here has roughly 120 pages (the structure), plus Talk pages, where a lot of discussion important to learning takes place, representing many hours of study and discussion and creation of research resources. There was a special section in Current Science in 2015 (a multidisciplinary journal published by the Indian Academy of Sciences) with 34 articles on Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (the more generic name for cold fusion). There is a page for each of those papers as a place to study the paper. We "study" here, as topics are studied in a university, and expert participation is welcome. (Experts are not often unwelcome on Wikipedia, an encyclopedia necessarily has very different rules.) Wikiversity is not for "articles" as such, though articles may be written as scholarly projects within a resource.

If you have any questions, you know the ropes, since this talk page will now be on my watchlist. I just about fell over when I saw your Wikipedia contribution count.

Wikiversity is very, very different from Wikipedia, just as a university library (and a collections of student papers and records of colloquia, etc.) is different from an encyclopedia. I happen to think that Wikiversity could remedy certain imbalances that appear on Wikipedia. As an example, I have seen users threatened with block because they wanted to discuss topics on Wikipedia article talk pages. There are sister wiki templates to point users to Wikiversity. As well, users who have been blocked or banned on Wikipedia have been able to participate constructively here, because Wikiversity is neutral by inclusion, rather than by exclusion, as is Wikipedia with NPOV policy and the interpretation that "POV-pushers" should be sanctioned. That often is used to whack subject matter experts, who have a tendency to be opinionated. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:12, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

A few points. First, given the qualifications I included in my comment, I honestly thought it read more like a keep than anything else. I basically said I would have no objections if certain circumstances held, but I had I thought indicated I thought and hoped those circumstances didn't hold. Also, I mentioned the religion based comment primarily because it is my field of greatest activity and it is the one I know best as well as one which deals with material which often doesn't meet scientific standards, and that whole was primarily directed at other noobs like me anyway. Also, FWIW, from what I remember main space pages and contributions are rarely if ever completely deleted anyway because of potential copyright issues of all kinds among other things. That being the case, the worst I thought might have happened was maybe a transfer to wikibooks or something like that. John Carter (discusscontribs) 16:11, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. It is true that mainspace pages are rarely deleted here, and the RfD does not include arguments normally considered valid for deletion (such as alleged misbehavior elsewhere by the author, that is classically rejected, and the only example recently where the argument was accepted -- improperly, in my opinion, was reversed when the true nature of that behavior (impersonation) was demonstrated. The cold fusion content, as it is, would be quite inappropriate for Wikibooks. It's not a book, it's a collection of studies, reports, discussions, comments, etc. What is required here is overall neutrality. Within that, opinions and original research may be expressed. The RfD was obviously designed as a personal attack on me as revenge for studying the long-term abusive behavior of a sock master, who, this time, managed to stir up -- canvass -- Wikipedians to show up with irrelevant arguments based on personal history, all easily shown if needed. However, the study showing that, documenting the long-term socking and abuse, was just deleted on meta by a steward, out of process, very odd. Something is going on that is not visible, out of sight.
The concept of "overall neutrality" is often not understood by Wikipedians, accustomed to excluding "POV-pushing," but people in a university environment do express opinions and professors may express opinions to students, and students may express opinions in essays and in seminars, and often do. We have ways on wikiversity of ensuring overall neutrality, basically by subpaging what is claimed to be not-neutral and attributing it. "Flying saucers are real," would not be neutral as part of a mainspace resource on Flying saucers. (Actually, what the hell would that mean? There are real phenomena called "flying saucers." People argue about what is behind them.) So a page here on Flying saucers (I haven't looked), might link to an essay, with a named author, called "Flying saucers are real," and providing what the author considers to be evidence. And someone else, if they care, may write a contrary essay, "Flying saucers are not real," which would also be linked from the mainspace page. And another might write an essay, "Review of Flying saucer evidence," such a review might contain opinion or original research, but it might not, and if not, it would not need attribution (except for copyright/license reasons, and authorship would then be visible in page history).
As well, users may express controversial opinions without attribution, or appropriate sourcing, it happens. And then others may correct this. The Wikiversity resource on cold fusion, when sister wiki links were attempted, was claimed to be "self-published," but that was a misleading argument. By that argument, any See Also link to any Wikipedia page could be rejected because they are "self-published."
Conflict, as shown by revert warring, has been rare on Wikiversity, because it is easy to create neutrality here, it is not necessary to "prove neutrality." For resources not considered to have any educational value, they will often be moved to user space, which is far less disruptive than deletion. Deleting a student's work (we are all students here, "scholars," is the term used) is quite rude. If it's trash, it's his trash, and only if the content is actually illegal or grossly offensive will it be reasonably speedy deleted after discussion -- or on a custodians' assessment (more commonly, deletions of marginal content are after an expired proposed deletion template, which takes three months, as I recall.) --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:25, 23 December 2017 (UTC)