User talk:WAS 4.250

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My main account is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:WAS_4.250. WAS 4.250 14:58, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Archives: 1

project content[edit]

"copy one or more of your user subpages to project space" Which pages are you thinking of? Do you think User:JWSchmidt/Moulton or User:JWSchmidt/ethics might be useful as pages in the project? --JWSchmidt 18:27, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I think both would be appropriate project learning resources. WAS 4.250 18:29, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm happy to defer to your judgment. I confess that I am not entirely familiar with the layout of the project pages, so feel free to copy content from my user subpages to any point in the project where you think it is useful. I am particularly concerned with Case 5 — IDCab systematiclaly publishes false and defamatory content in BLPs...that's basically the subject I am studying at User:JWSchmidt/Moulton. --JWSchmidt 19:38, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
OK I'll do that. Also, I suggested at User talk:Salmon of Doubt#Request that "Perhaps someone could move all specific cases to their own learning resource pages, and the "main" cases studies page will contain only generic data and links to the specific cases studies. They can also be subpages rather than sub-subpages and can also be linked to at the main project page." What do you think of that? WAS 4.250 19:44, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

(<---)Yes, each case on its own page is fine. Will you be able to participate at Wikimedia Ethics/Audio or Wikimedia Ethics/Audio/Transcripts? --JWSchmidt 04:35, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

No, I will not be participating. Thanks for asking. WAS 4.250 05:23, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Just a thought[edit]

Heya WAS. I'm just as appalled as you are... one not-so-happy solution would be to block them both for a while so they can work on their versions in private on their talk pages (they could be transcluded to the project page in the meantime). Appointing a "moderator" might be a bit better, would you be up for the job? --SB_Johnny talk 21:44, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't know. What exactly is involved that I am not already doing? WAS 4.250 21:47, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I could give you buttons (rollback, block, delete, etc.), but I'd need some way to communicate with you off-wiki during the mentorship period. --SB_Johnny talk 21:59, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, so sorry, but all communication I do concerning anything related to WikiMedia and its projects is 100% transparent and on the Wikis. Also I never use email for anything - I stopped using email many years ago. Is there any other way I could help other than what I am already doing? I am right now in the middle of responding to the last 24 hours or so of contributions. WAS 4.250 22:07, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Understood. I guess just keep doing what you're doing, and if you feel one or more parties needs some time off, ping me on my talk and I'll arrange something. --SB_Johnny talk 22:27, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Understood. WAS 4.250 22:36, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
If blocked both sides can be expected to have socks or meat puppets as both have plenty of real life friends willing to help them out. WAS 4.250 21:49, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
If blocks are circumvented, we are well-staffed Checkuser-wise, so that's not a problem. --SB_Johnny talk 21:59, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm wondering if I have enough material yet to write another ballad or atrocious song parody. I really need The Fieryangel here, as he actually knows how to craft decent music. After all, I'm no Prokofiev. —Moulton 22:41, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Searching for a solution[edit]

I am certain, WAS, that you are well aware that my problem with your pet "project" is that parts of it have nothing to do with "ethics" at all. In fact, in order for you and I to reasonably discuss solving the problems, I'm going to have to ask you to acknowledge that the project, as it was operating, was partially being used as a platform to express personal dissatisfaction with a personalized, one-off dispute with the English wikipedia.

Assuming that you can acknowledge that, we can move on. I could obviously use technical means to ban Moulton from any page I wanted to. I am more than proficient enough with Pywikibot to make that happen. I suspect that would quickly lead to Moulton and myself being blocked - and let me make this as clear as I can - I would have no problem at all with just banning the both of us. I suspect that you are reaching the point where you also would have no problem with that.

However, because I believe your project, if you were to clear it out, might, at some point, have some small amount of value, I'll give you the opportunity to solve it. I will take or not take any action you want me to take or not take, so long as the project space here does not decrease in value over the medium (not short) term. I will state for the record, however, that I do not believe it is possible for myself and Moulton to reach agreement on anything, though I am eager to see you try. I strongly suspect that the end result here will either be the deletion of the entire project or topic/project-bans for Moulton and his Wikipedia Review friends along with myself and my Wikipedia friends.

There. Go to it. Salmon of Doubt 22:30, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Salmon of Doubt, thank you for your well thought out comment. I too am "Searching for a solution". Yes I am well aware that your problem with the ethics project is that you think parts of it have nothing to do with ethics. I acknowledge that all project participants, yourself included, have multiple motives for contributing; and sometimes this has led to it partially being used as a platform to express a variety of personal dissatisfactions such as personalized, one-off disputes in the English wikipedia. If you are serious when you say "I will take or not take any action you want me to take or not take, so long as the project space here does not decrease in value over the medium (not short) term." then please:
  1. Don't talk to Moulton or about Moulton on any talk page. (When I first arrived at Wikipedia, I got into a misunderstanding with SlimVirgin who misinterpreted a remark of mine as an attack, and I solved the dispute by promising her - I thought up the offer, she accepted - I would not talk to her or about her anywhere; about 3 to 6 months later she came to my talk page and asked for help on something so I asked if I was relieved of my promise - which she had probably forgotten - and she said yes)
  2. Ignore Moulton on all talk pages; except for deleting anything he says on your talk page
  3. The only ethics project pages that you edit should be ones you yourself have created, but feel free to own those.

While the above is written in absolutes it should be interpreted in a common sense fashion, because there will be exceptions that arise. Further at some time, things might calm down enough that it would be useful for you to test the waters by slowing finding more and more useful exceptions to the above until at some time it becomes apparent that there is no longer a need for you to follow the above.

Does that make sense to you? Are you willing to give the above a try? WAS 4.250 23:07, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Done and done. Salmon of Doubt 14:36, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much. WAS 4.250 22:06, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
This page states that "The English Language Wikipedia does not have a Community Social Contract." This is debatable (I disagree, I suspect you disagree as well.). I understand that projects are not required to adhere to NPOV, but do you honestly believe that it's valuable to use Wikiversity as an attack vector against Wikipedia? Additionally, of the examples listed of failures of Wikipedia, all of the RFCs are about Moulton/Intelligent Design, 3/4 of the arbcom cases are about Moulton/Intelligent Design, the rejected case is about Moulton/Intelligent Design and the adminstrator noticeboard example is about Moulton/Intelligent Design. My statement that I was willing to do everything you requested was based around "the project space here does not decrease in value over the medium (not short) term." The linked page is a diminshment in value of the project space. Please instruct. Salmon of Doubt 16:24, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Wikimedia Ethics/Social contract is a work in progress. Think of it as a stub. Is Wikipedia made worse if 100 stubs are created? No. It too is a work in progress. Please be an inclusionist and not a deletionist here on this project. I suggest you create a learning resource explaining how wikipedia does have a social contract, as I tried to explain to Moulton on one of his talk pages. (I think the Wikipedia one). I do not believe that the ethics project is using Wikiversity as an attack vector against Wikipedia. Instead, I see it as a place where people can say what they really think without being censored and over time there will arise an understanding of which learning resources are useful as guides to ethical behavior and which show examples of unethical behavior and which are themselves acts of unethical behavior. Consider your local library. It probably has "Mein Kampf" in it. Should that book be burned? No. It shows a very flawed point of view to say the least, yet it is instructive as being an example of just that. So too here. The key is to have a library of points of view that include all sides. Thus your help here is very much needed, if you have a different point of view than is already represented, whether I agree with that point of view or not - and I will probably disagree with your point of view as much as I disagree with Moulton's - and agree with other parts as much as I agree with some parts of what Moulton says. Frankly, I expect that every participant at the ethics project both agrees and disagrees with each other to some extent. That is normal and natural. WAS 4.250 22:06, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
My library does has Mein Kamph. It does not have Duke, David. Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening on the Jewish Question. Covington, LA: Free Speech Press, 2001. It does not have Trial by Jewry. Manhattan Beach, CA: Truth Missions, n.d. It does not invite white power advocates to select the materials used in the study of the Holocaust. Salmon of Doubt 22:16, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Review[edit]

Please review the edit history of Talk:Wikimedia Ethics/Case Studies/1. I will repudiate our agreement in 72 hours unless real action is taken to solve this ongoing problem. Salmon of Doubt 20:53, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Well then, you might as well repudiate our agreement now. WAS 4.250 22:07, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok. Salmon of Doubt 22:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much for giving it a try. I'm sorry it did not work out, but Moulton insists on creating drama. I'm sure I will not approve of what you will do in reaction to behavior from Moulton that I also do not approve; but this is just a wiki, and I refuse to get emotionally engaged over it. WAS 4.250 22:20, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Original research, points of views, and scholarly ethics[edit]

Hello, WAS, On your remark here: I am unaware of any existing WikiVersity policy related to the ability of a project to impose such rules on its participants and am also unaware of any discussion or vote by this project's members on such a thing. Anyone can add anything. That does not make it project policy or WikiVersity policy. Go add "All participants will say neener neener three times fast", and see if it happens. For someone that claims rule based organizations are dysfunctional, you sure act like someone who believes in rules. Even when rules exist; they do not reflect actual behavior.

Since the participants of the said project are engaging in original research and are writing outside NPOV, the research guidelines (or betawikiversity:wikiversity:research guidelines) apply. Hillgentleman|Talk 02:18, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for that information. Since it requires an email address and I do not use email, I will no longer participate at wikiversity. I can be found at Wikipedia if anyone wishes to contact me. WAS 4.250 06:07, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
The email requirement has been proposed (Wikiversity:Scholarly ethics) for participants who want to edit outside of the restrictions of NPOV. There is no need to leave Wikiversity if you do not have email. --JWSchmidt 06:29, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
As far as I am concerned, it suffices if the person is contactable via an active SUL on another Wiki. Many people register on Wiki with a disposable E-Mail address anyway, so if they disappear from Wiki, I expect their throw-away Wiki E-Mail address will also go dead. —Moulton 20:05, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. WAS 4.250 06:02, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Jon Awbrey has arrived...[edit]

Your prayer was answered: User:Jon_Awbrey

Removing discussion[edit]

While it may not be pleasant to read, your removal of discussion material strikes me as inappropriate. The Jade Knight 08:08, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

  • As the affected person, I reviewed WAS 4.250's edit and found it OK. I wasn't happy with my own previous edit (new thread) either - the threads really belong together. No action requested, but thanks for your vigilance, Jade Knight. --McCormack 08:18, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

CSD[edit]

Your page, Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia/Case Studies 3, is a candidate for speedy deletion. It is currently blank, but states that there are subpages. Could there be links to the subpages, categories added, and the rest? Or would you prefer if this page was to be deleted? Ottava Rima (talk) 13:30, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

It serves no current purpose. Please delete it. Thank you. (It is a left-over from the edit wars. Its useful content was merged back into Wikimedia Ethics/Case Studies/1.) WAS 4.250 14:39, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Done. I wanted to make sure. There were many blank pages up for CSD, but none were directly tagged by the author, so I wanted to make sure that the pages weren't blanked before being filled in later. :) Ottava Rima (talk) 15:16, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

you...[edit]

...are truly an angel :-). --SB_Johnny talk 21:55, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

upsetting people[edit]

"JWSchmidt not recognising that he was upsetting people" <-- there are many subcategories of "upset people". For example, think about the person who has, for years, driven along a street at a speed above the speed limit. Then one day, that person is given a ticket for speeding and getting the speeding ticket "upsets the speeder". Personally, I do not have much sympathy for the person who got the speeding ticket. It is not enough to say, "you upset some people so I had to ban/block/desysop you". Many wiki editors become upset when they are challenged and their edits are questioned. When wiki editors are challenged and their edits are questioned then it is time for discussion. Of course, many wiki editors who should have their editing questioned and examined know that their edits will not stand up to critical examination, so they must game the system. Rather than participate in discussion that will reveal the true nature of their editing, all they have to do is complain, "I'm upset," and find some sysop who likes to wield the ban hammer. --JWSchmidt 15:17, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

True. But in this case, your response was misunderstood by non-involved people like Johny (I'm talking about what happened before he got involved). And rather than communicate clearly, you confused them by commenting on a comment about a project about a comment on a comment. Lesson: In terms of people's responses, it does not matter how right you are; it matters how right you are perceived; so successful communication is very very important. WAS 4.250 16:10, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Jimbo vs. Moulton[edit]

So, you were saying Jimbo has no power?

Did you see what he did to our collegial dialogue on my talk page?

There is still Google cache, but it's not fully up to date.

So shall we revise our model of how much fascism Jimbo is teaching to the youth of the world?

Moulton 05:12, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


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İnvite to History of Ottoman Empire Course[edit]

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Answer to your WV:RCA Question.[edit]

Darklama, do you think suggesting that discussing observations about living people in public without checking first with them is unethical? I am not to be allowed to discuss Obama without his personal agreement? You can't be serious. - WAS 4.250 18:51, 13 July 2010 (UTC) This all v

What I think has to do with English linguistics. I think problems can arise when declarations, directives, representative, and expressives are confused, poorly used, or used inappropriately. I think requiring that declarations about Obama be checked with Obama first before making them or stating them on Wikiversity is reasonable, but that is not to see if he personally agrees, but to see if what is being declared about him is in fact true. I think there should be similar requirements for representative statements in that a person or people that can reasonably be said to represent Obama is checked with first to ensure the facts are true. I think expressives when correctly used can reduce problems with understanding whose views are being expressed and represented.
I think the follow examples have different linguistics characteristics that should be kept in mind:
  1. "Obama is doing a good job."
  2. "Obama must be doing a good job."
  3. "Most people think Obama is doing a good job."
  4. "Most people must think Obama is doing a good job."
  5. "I think Obama is doing a good job."
  6. "I think Obama must be doing a good job."
  7. "Obama thinks he's doing a good job."
  8. "Obama must think he's doing a good job."
  9. "I think most people believe that Obama is doing a good job."
  10. "I think most people must think that Obama is doing a good job."
  11. "Obama told me that he thinks he's doing a good job."
  12. "Obama told me that he thinks he must be's doing a good job."
  13. "Obama told me that most people think he's doing a good job."
  14. "Obama told me that most people must think he's doing a good job."
  15. "Obama told me that most people have told him he's doing a good job."
  16. "Obama told me that most people have told him he must be doing a good job."
I think some of those examples wouldn't be ethical to state without checking with Obama, and I think some would be ethical to state without checking with Obama. I have my doubts that you will find my answer helpful though. -- darklama  20:34, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for an answer. We disagree. Be happy (or not, as you wish). WAS 4.250 06:26, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Ethical management of wikis[edit]

a standard of ethical management of wikis that should be respected by contributors to wikis funded by that Foundation <-- I hope you don't mind that I came here to reply. This topic seemed to go off at an odd angle from the original thread, although I think your first two questions go very much in the direction of the heart of the trouble Wikimedia has with Moulton. I think you might be asking this: if participant A at a WMF wiki learns of the IP address, email address, real name, address, etc of another WMF wiki participant then should participant A not spread/release/mention that personal information? I say, "yes"! Which is why I made this edit and I tried to get the Wikiversity community to make Wikiversity:Privacy policy an official policy that also applied to the #wikiversity-en chat channel. I still think those steps should be taken, but based on events of the past two years I also think there should be some additions to the policy, as discussed at the community review. For example, I think there is also a need to protect people from abuse by anonymous wiki editors. I favor the idea of putting restrictions on what anonymous wiki editors can say about living people. Also, the material that I originally copied from Wikipedia referred to IRC chat as "private correspondence". At the time, in 2008, I had not seen abuse of IRC chat channel operator tools. In 2008 I experienced and learned many things from the banhammer culture. I now think that the Wikiversity community needs protection from channel operators who misuse their kick and ban tools. Having thought about it, I don't think public IRC channel chat is "private correspondence". Or, at the very least, Wikiversity community members need some kind of protection from abusive IRC channel operators. I think it is possible to satisfy both the need to protect anonymous editors and the need to protect the rest of the world from anonymous editors. As for your third question, yes, I think it would be useful to create a learning resource about these issues. I've been trying to find ways to address them through the community review that Ottava asked me to start. I wish Moulton could participate and be allowed to express his point of view, which seems somewhat different from mine. What is your view of all this? --JWSchmidt 22:48, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

I do not mind that you came here to reply. I am not clear why you say it is "at an odd angle from the original thread". I am not clear if you are for or against someone using WikiMedia resources to harass another by distributing another's IP address, email address, real name, address, etc. (I'm against it being done on WikiMedia servers.) I know nothing of the #wikiversity-en WV chat channel. (I joke around, but honestly, even tho I've read claims, I really don't know what to think about that except to suggest you talk to Giano.) You think there is a need to protect people from abuse by wiki editors. One person's protection is to another person simply another's abuse - this is a difficult thing to get right. Moulton can participate and express his point of view .. we all read Wikipedia Review to get the latest uncensored news, do we not? - WAS 4.250 10:57, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
"odd angle" <-- I started that thread in the hope that a Custodian might put a more useful entry into Moulton's block log. I'd like to have Moulton's participation at Wikiversity so he can help the community deal with issues like protecting people from anonymous wiki editors, so, sure, the two threads (that one and this one) are related, but I did not think my philosophical rambling would be welcomed at Cabal Central. "I am not clear if you are for or against someone using WikiMedia resources to harass another by distributing another's IP address, email address, real name, address, etc." <-- I think WMF wiki communities run smoother if such information is not distributed. However, until Wikiversity has a policy in place saying otherwise, I don't object to the use of real world names in the way that Moulton uses them. I'm comfortable with working in an educational environment where people can refer to each other by name. I doubt if anyone has ever personally been harmed (in the sense that is relevant to "outing") by their name being used at Wikiversity and "no harm, no foul" can be applied. Some people have gamed the system by claiming that use of their name was harassment or uncivil or a violation of the WMF privacy policy but I don't think that is the case. Until there is a policy in place at Wikiversity, I think Moulton has a right to defend himself against anonymous editors, a right that roughly balances the need to protect anonymous editors. I might say, "once an anonymous editor starts publishing lies about a living person then the gloves come off". I have only seen Giano in my peripheral vision. I've been around long enough to remember when the wikiversity-en chat channel was a fun meeting place for collaborating editors...then the wiki cops started playing their MMORPG. I still don't really understand Wikipedia Review...I suspect I don't know the inside jokes that seem to amuse the regulars. --JWSchmidt 16:43, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
"I think Moulton has a right to defend himself against anonymous editors". Yes, but he used his own sites and Wikipedia Review to defend himself and use real world names; and used WikiVersity to link to those web pages. But that was not enough to get him blocked so he repeatedly insisted on using real world names at WikiVersity in what seemed to me and others (e.g. Jimbo) to be a deliberate continual escalation for the purpose of getting blocked. He went out of his way to get blocked and had the appearance of intending to continue escalating as much as needed until he did get blocked. When someone acts like that, you might as well give them what they are asking for (to get blocked) earlier rather than later. I would have preferred that he continued in trying to build the wiki ethics learning resource with me, but he decided that was less fun or less effective (I don't know which ... perhaps both). Maybe he needed more material for song lyrics. WAS 4.250 18:45, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

While I'm at it, I'll point out a few more things. Barry does not believe in rule based systems, does believe in using drama to teach; and is using Wikiversity to use drama to teach that rule based systems don't work by finding edge cases (deliberately leveling down instead of up, demanding people play by the rules when he knows rule based systems don't work, acting all surprised by who he finds behind the curtain labeled "The Curtain of Wizard of Oz") and pushing til things break. Destroy the village to save the village? Well, it is all just avatars in a virtual world anyway, right? - WAS 4.250 19:45, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

"He went out of his way to get blocked" <-- Only in the sense that he kept dressing like a witch during a witch trial. I think Moulton is antithetical to the philosophy: "If it is broke, don't fix it".--JWSchmidt 19:53, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes. WAS 4.250 19:57, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
"It's not easy being green." --Kermit the Frog 16:36, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

debugging[edit]

I was amused by Sokal's Hoax when I first heard about it. In the early 90s I had been startled by The Emperor's New Mind as a loud salvo in the never ending effort of physical scientists to explain human consciousness. I wrote a rather critical review of that book and the attempt by Penrose to account for consciousness in terms of speculative theories like quantum gravity. Can you expand on the conclusion you drew from the mention of Sokal at Jimbo's user talk page? "they need to change their methods" <-- Who is "they"? "against Barry's in-your-face methods" <-- I'd appreciate it if you could make a list of those "methods" so we can discuss them and how people react to them. --JWSchmidt 18:05, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Speaking of "problematic organizations", Adambro just made another unjustified call for a block. --JWSchmidt 23:46, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

I think The Emperor's New Mind is bullshit. I far prefer "Society of Mind" by Minsky.
The methods that I find unsustainable in this context can be summarized by (1)bullying (method favored by the people Barry is so angry against) or (2)using Wikimedia servers to connect avatars to real world persons (Barry's in-your-face method). Bullying is justified -so says they- by necessity; just as Barry defends his methods. That argument works for the short term, but for the long term something more sustainable is needed. WAS 4.250 20:09, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I would be glad to participate in a learning project where an effort was made to ground Minsky's theoretical scheme for content-addressable memory (from The Society of Mind) in the actual biology of brains. In the case of the Wikipedian's who "bullied" Moulton, I believe their actions extended into the legal category of online harassment. I'd like it if Moulton were allowed to participate at Wikiversity and describe/defend his own "methods". I'd like to see a thriving learning project where we could all fully explore the ethics of allowing anonymous people to publish claims about living people. --JWSchmidt 22:11, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your work reviewing edits.[edit]

[1], particularly see the bottom at this point. Looks like we have a decent contributor, really. So far. Fingers crossed. I'm putting in extra time at this point monitoring the situation, that wouldn't be usual, the positive contributions are well worth the review. It's much easier to review than to write! Thanks for your help with those edits, if I do it all, I could be a bit vulnerable. --Abd 00:59, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

You are very welcome. I have a long history of encouraging edits to be kept if useful and only deleted en masse when for some reason it isn't worth the time to review them (such as when someone is trying to introduce subtle errors). WAS 4.250 14:16, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
My view on this matter is simple, and it was developed under fire, so to speak, on Wikipedia, and it is pretty much policy there, certainly it is widely understood. If an editor is blocked, the default is that all edits by this editor, while blocked, may be reverted without consideration of the content. If it were necessary to examine the content, this would make the block unnecessary! While we might think that, indeed, lots of blocks are unnecessary, nevertheless wikis have procedures to challenge blocks and reverse them if warranted. Given that, reverting edits of a blocked editor is really just a routine maintenance task, and any editor may assist administrators in this.
The key is what happens after that, and not everyone understands this part. If any editor sees such an edit, and concludes, after checking, that the edit is adequately acceptable, the editor may revert it back in. Now, I've seen protest over this. "Meat puppetry!" "Helping a banned editor!" and the like. But, in fact, it is just a user deciding that the content is either an improvement, or, at worst, is harmless. The purpose of the block, which is to keep out content considered more likely than not to be harmful, is not frustrated by these reviews, which are voluntary.
If the content restored by an editor is offensive, then the restoring editor is responsible for it. The "crime" has been adding offensive content, and that the content came from someone else originally is largely irrelevant. While I've seen grumblings, whenever this has come up for review on Wikipedia, the community has confirmed that it is the user who is blocked, not the content. Wikpedia does not censor. Neither should we.
Note that I've been taking a central position here. I am helping with block enforcement by identifying and reverting edits by a blocked user, and I am then, with help from others, including you, reviewing them and restoring what I consider useful for consideration or as content, and I'm doing this with care and caution. Any user could do this, with respect to any blocked editor or with respect to all of them. Thanks again. - (22:09, 22 August 2010 Abd)
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&hs=IT4&rls=en&q=1657+%22Blaise+Pascal%22+%22I+have+made+this+longer%2C+because+I+have+not+had+the+time+to+make+it+shorter.%22&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai - WAS 4.250 02:27, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Your comment regarding cold fusion[edit]

You wrote:

(<---) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_fusion says "In 1989, the majority of a review panel organized by the US Department of Energy (DOE) found that the evidence for the discovery of a new nuclear process was not persuasive. A second DOE review, convened in 2004 to look at new research, reached conclusions similar to the first." Why should anyone - even you - believe that their evaluation of the evidence is inferior to yours"? - WAS 4.250 00:02, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

As I replied on the Colloquium, the text you quoted from the WP article drastically misrepresents the 2004 DoE review. I'll explain further here.

In 1989, the review heavily rejected cold fusion. It was dominated by the chair, John Huizenga, who later wrote a book about the affair, Cold fusion: scientific fiasco of the century. The report would have been drastically negative, but the co-chair was a Nobel-Prize winning physicist, w:Norman Ramsey, who threatened to very noisily resign if the report was not toned down. From what I've been able to tell, there was only one other panel member who supported Ramsey's position, making the majority who wanted to completely trash the idea of cold fusion about 13:2. But what Ramsey wanted was simple scientific prudence, and it was accepted. The preamble Ramsey demanded, and got, said things like "... it is not possible at this time to state categorically that all the claims for cold fusion have either been convincingly either proved or disproved."

The actual recommendations included:

  • The Panel recommends against any special funding for the investigation of phenomena attributed to cold fusion. Hence, we recommend against the establishment of special programs or research centers to develop cold fusion.
  • The Panel is sympathetic toward modest support for carefully focused and cooperative experiments within the present funding system.

For background, "special funding" would have meant a crash federal program, possibly prepared to invest billions of dollars.

In fact, however, no Department of Energy funding was forthcoming, so far. Huizenga and others made sure not; reasonable proposals were made and denied. In any case, the point here is that the reality in 1989 was extremely negative.

In 2004, the recommendation was nearly the same, but this time, the report was explicit that the recommendations were unanimous. We also have what we never had with the 1989 panel, the original written comments from the nine experts who provided them. We can see that some of the experts were totally unwilling to look at any evidence. We can see errors that they made in interpreting the evidence. The other nine experts attended a one-day seminar in Washington, D.C. to hear presentations by cold fusion researchers. From what I know of the field, one day is absolutely not enough to absorb the massive evidence (over three thousand papers) to penetrate the huge wall of assumptions that were created in 1989, I'd have thought of a week conference with lots of interaction, questions, specific issue workshops, etc. I've been told by experts on CF that there were no questions.

Nevertheless, with these problems, the 2004 report, summarized by an anonymous bureaucrat, still tells us that exactly half the experts considered the evidence for anomalous heat to be "conclusive." (If half think it's "conclusive," what do the other half think? "Bogus"?) That would be pretty black-and-white, don't you think?

It also says that one-third of the experts considered the evidence for a nuclear origin for the heat to be "convincing" or "somewhat convincing." As I've mentioned, they only had a day! Note that if someone doesn't think the excess heat is real, they have no reason to think that the origin is nuclear!

And the review paper presented to them was clearly misinterpreted, because when the summarizer covered the critical heat/helium issue -- this is what convinced me that CF was real, and that it was, in fact, an "unknown nuclear reaction" that results in fusion, i.e., the conversion of deuterium to helium -- , he or she radically misrepresented what the review paper actually said. Yet, for years, the Wikipedia article presented the error -- which is blatant, and which presents what is massive and strong correlation as if it were anti-correlation -- as being the evidence. That treated the anonymous review, not subject to peer review, as if it were a strong secondary source, even when it blatantly contradicts the primary source, which we also have. Actual secondary reviews showing the truth about heat and helium were rejected as being research done by "believers."

I pointed this stuff out on w:Talk:Cold fusion and was banned for it, bottom line.

I've now spent about two years with the evidence in this field, having the technical background to understand the issues. Yes, my position is different from that of the panel, because I've spent maybe a hundred times as much time with the evidence. Yet it's not far from one-third of the panel's experts. And my position is also amply covered in the latest and most definitive review of the field, the featured review by Storms in the October, 2010, issue of w:Naturwissenschaften, "Status of cold fusion (2010)." That paper passed rigorous peer review, NW has access to the best experts. The review is the 19th positive review of cold fusion in mainstream peer-reviewed scientific journals since the 2004 DoE panel report. There are no negative reviews, in fact, only a letter from an isolated skeptic, presented by the editors of the Journal of Environmental Monitoring as if he were a crank.

I do know what I'm writing about, WAS. I'm credited in that Naturwissenschaften review, p. 29, just before the bibliography.

And you? What do you know about this topic? You actually believed a Wikipedia article without checking the sources? (In this case, you could have looked at the sources and seen text from the 1989 review about "not persuasive," -- do you realize that I absolutely agree that it wasn't persuasive, there had been way too little confirmation, practically none, by that report -- and then you could have seen "conclusions similar to the first" and easily, you'd have assumed that this was also a massive rejection, as long as you didn't become familiar with both reports and the "conclusions."

In particular, if you'd have read the whole 2004 report -- which is pretty brief -- you might have smelled a rat. But I've seen many WP editors snookered by that kind of warped presentation of evidence, the editors involved were experts at it, using this in all kinds of fringe science fields. And using admin tools to back it up.)

If you'd like to learn about cold fusion, come on over to Cold fusion and help study the topic! How about developing a seminar covering the 1989 or 2004 DoE reviews? History is part of the topic. I have piles of sources on this, the material is massive, many books have been written, about the people and the history, as well as the science. Much material is available on-line. Huizenga was right. "Scientific fiasco of the century." And the academic sources tend to agree, with "fiasco" referring to the rejection as well as to naive promotion. --Abd 19:42, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't believe in cold fusion, but I do have an open mind on the subject. What are the best theories regarding the mechanism? Have any theoretical physicists come up with a mathematical model? Can you provide links? - WAS 4.250 21:38, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
There is only one solid theory, which is that deuterium is, by an "unknown nuclear reaction," being converted to helium, with practically no detectable radiation. That is firmly rooted in replicable and replicated experiment showing strong correlation of heat and helium at the right value. Mechanism? Read Storms. No theory of mechanism is yet adequate.
Yes, Takahashi has done math for a particular physical configuration called Tetrahedral Symmetric, it would arise if someone two deuterium *molecules* come to occupy a particular lattice site. He shows that this would collapse into a BEC and fuse within one femtosecond. Storms doesn't like the theory because -- how the hell do you get the TS condition to form.
Bottom line: mechanism, so far, lots of theories, none capable of decent prediction of actual reaction rates. TSC theory (Takahashi) at least predicts helium and no radiation (Be-8 formed from the four deuterons, decays promptly to 2 He-4), but it would also predict alphas at energies much higher than observed..... no cigar yet. Gotta go, kids dinner and bed. --Abd 23:16, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I removed section you had edited on my Talk page.[edit]

No problem with your edit, WAS, but I've asked TCNSV not to post on my Talk page, so your question to him there invited response, demonstrating quite why I don't want him posting there. I've removed that entire section from my Talk page; if there are any issues there of value to Wikiversity, they can be discussed elsewhere, perhaps to better effect. You remain welcome on my Talk page, personally.

At some point we should, I'd think, discuss certain comments that were made during the recent Moulton flap, but no rush. Thanks for your long-term support of Wikiversity. --Abd 17:25, 6 April 2011 (UTC)