User talk:Tsirel

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Hello and Welcome to Wikiversity Tsirel! 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! --Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:33, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia Imports[edit]

Please see Wikiversity:Import regarding any additional Wikipedia imports you'd like to have available at Wikiversity. By importing this way, contributors to the Wikipedia article are credited directly for their contributions. If you'd like to have import rights yourself, you can post at Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship#Requests and Nominations for Curatorship. Let me know if you have any questions. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 23:29, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

I see, thank you. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 04:55, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Waiting for the import... Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 15:49, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
YesY Done. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 18:06, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Nice[edit]

Your quote from Feynman in the page you referenced in the Colloquium. My comment on those discussions: they are, more or less, contrary to Wikipedia policy, though allowable on user talk pages. As to each one:

  • 1. To create the possibility of accomplishing something useful, I'd have found or created a resource here on the issue, say a resource corresponding to the Wikipedia page, and which would be introduced by a link to the Wikipedia article. That resource should be rigorously neutral. If controversy exists, the controversy should be neutrally explained, and then opinion -- including original research where there is no consensus to have it on top -- moved to attributed subpages. It works.
  • 2. So someone has some original research or opinion. We see Wikiversity pages created with this, and then, in the past, someone would go to Requests for Deletion and claim it was fringe or wrong or whatever. The general response is that an essay that is wrong is not to be deleted, but identified as opinion and placed where it will not be seen as mainstream standard. And then if it is wrong, fix it, or ... answer it, and the process of showing errors (or alleged errors) is educational. Learning by doing, an early Wikiversity slogan.
  • 3. My suggestion. Refuse to discuss topics like this on Wikipedia, they will only create frustration and annoyance (once in a blue moon, something better comes out of them, but the chances are poor). Invite the person to Wikiversity and carry on those discussions and explanations there. Use this to create educational resources, because a question that some "crank" has, others will also have. Address those questions, you can do it on Wikiversity with high freedom. And it does, in fact, create content of value, and sometimes more than that. In detail discussions with a pseudoskeptic on cold fusion, with one very disruptive editor, banned from Wikipedia, he came up with a real question, a possible artifact not addressed in the literature. That led to asking experts, and one, actually skeptical and well known for that, did a study. No. The artifact is theoretically possible but not actually present, and he wrote a study of it. We could have done more, but this fellow's habits also got him blocked on Wikiversity.
  • 4. This could easily be copied to Wikiversity. If you like, I'll help you do it. It might take a little back-and-forth. The first question would be what resource to use or to create? What is the topic? The first step would be the identification or creation of a resource on the topic, with a rigorously neutral mainspace page. Then one approach would be to create a discussion subpage (not a Talk page) and simply copy that discussion there. Individual essay pages can be created. But the discussion actually happened, and reporting what actually happened is neutral. Analysis of it, interpretation of it, judgment about it, that is likely to be POV, but whatever settles by consensus is considered neutral. Wikiversity has no verification requirement, as such. You can put up original research and synthesis. It really is far more like an academic environment. Are any professors "cranks"? If you think not, on what planet is your school? --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:10, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
I see, thank you. Yes, I agree that it would be reasonable to discuss here, not there. But, first, I did not try Wikiversity before 2017. And second, I'm afraid that my respected opponents (you know how I call them in private) would not be interested in discussing here, since they prefer highly visited places. I do not plan to "continue" these discussions here for several reasons; one reason is that I fail to really understand their logic, and therefore I feel unable to properly present here their positions; they should do it themselves.
Anyway, these discussions are public, and anyone interested (including you) may use them in any way for creating resources here. I prefer rather to try creating "WP-companion" resources via WikiJournal of Science. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 19:26, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
On what planet is my school? Well, on Earth, namely, Tel Aviv University. No, not a single professor of mathematics of this school is a crank, nor half-crank, not even 0.001-crank. I cannot imagine any unsuccessful discussion among us (I mean, in mathematics); we always arrive to a consensus readily. And no wonder: we are professional mathematicians, and mathematics is formalizable. About other departments I do not know. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 19:34, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Charmed life, you have. Yes, I knew your school, and you live on Planet Math, where -- as you know -- the knowledgeable can generally agree without difficulty. But I know a math PhD who is quite a crank, not about math, I could and did work with him where math was involved, but about other topics where he imagined that he was knowledgeable and wasn't. I know one living Nobelist in physics reasonably well. Is he a crank? Well, others have called him one.
How we deal with cranks on Wikiversity does not involve identifying them as cranks, and, as you sense, I'm sure, that attempt would make trouble. Rather, if anyone believes that a resource is not neutral as presented, they may fix it, and conflict in fixing it can be resolved. It is rare that administrative intervention is necessary, but it is not a difficult problem here because of the flexibility of subpages in mainspace, and the allowance of opinion and original research and even writing wrong stuff. My point about inviting them here is that it then can be a cut-off of frustrating. time-wasting conversation on Wikipedia. You are a real professor and expert. If they don't want to take the opportunity to discuss their crank theories brilliant ideas with you, too bad. Your talk page is not all the much of a visible place, but people actually look for information and learning on Wikiversity. If they don't want to actually learn about the topic -- or teach you something, let's posit, and once in a while I can learn from these idiots -- even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and they just might ask a question, answering which deepens our understanding.
I will give you two examples. Here was a page I started that was later edited by a user famous for "exposing cults." He had high experience in wiki conflict. What I did, I think, caused his jaw to drop. I forked the resource, giving him his own subpage, taking one myself -- where I put existing content, and creating a "neutral" top level page and third substructure. It worked. Later, on another wiki where he was an administrator, he trusted my intervention, resolving a major conflict there. (Finding win-win solutions was part of my training.) Another example is the page here on Parapsychology, a battleground topic on Wikipedia. There is very little conflict here from legitimate users, and the others can be handled. I am not a "believer in parapsychology," whatever that means, but am a strong proponent of academic freedom. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:05, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Rather puzzling. When I call them "cranks", you protest against "personal attack"; and now you call them "idiots"? Or did I miss something? Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 14:18, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Your own reactions and expectations puzzle you, Tsirel. What you are missing is that I did not "protest." I described. If I call an editor an "idiot," it would be a personal attack. Wouldn't it? You agree. Same with "crank." Those were descriptions (yours and mine) of "occurrings," not the people themselves.
About discussions mentioned above. My feeling is that they are of little use as learning resources for now, in the absence of WikiTextBook. But on some stage of its (the WikiTextBook) emergence they could find their places as appendices to appropriate units (explanatory essays). (And do not forget to sign.) Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 18:08, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
About "crank" and "idiot": these are quite different. Here is an example of an idiot (his site). Nothing to discuss, really; just to push him away; no problem. (By the way, the "living Nobelist in physics" is mentioned there: "No, 't Hooft and Morales are not two creators of two fringe theories. 't Hooft is well above the upper threshold of the fringe diapason; Morales is well below the lower threshold.") In contrast, with cranks I had real discussions; ultimately futile and frustrating, but first (roughly, during the first half of the discussion) rather interesting. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 21:06, 11 December 2017 (UTC)