User:Sjc/Old Talk 2002

From Bvio.com

Sjc, please don't move articles by deleting their entire contents and moving it to a newly created page; this breaks the edit history across two pages, which is very annoying to deal with later on -- especially when some smart aleck comes along later and decides we should delete the old page with the redirect because it has a lame title.

The software has a "move page" feature (currently restricted to sysops) which preserves the entire editing history in one place under the new title; until decisions are made on how to allow normal users to use it, feel free to ask someone who does have 'sysop' status (such as myself or Maveric149) to rename pages. --Brion VIBBER

I was unaware of this and this seems to be another example of the way the goalposts have been moved inexorably in this project. I have always felt the sysop status role was one which would be arrogated by precisely the sort of people I would not want to have it; the fact that we now have normal users and the sysop elite indicates this retrograde slippage. I expect we will have to have permission soon to be able to edit a page. I have no intention of ceasing to edit pages as I have always done, pragmatically, intelligently and efficiently. Stop me at your peril. user:sjc
Are you not listening to the part where I'M TRYING TO GET THIS NEW FEATURE MOVED INTO THE REALM OF NORMAL USERS SO THIS ISN'T A PROBLEM ANYMORE? Sorry for the shouting. --Brion VIBBER

No, it's you who isn't listening. THE REALM OF NORMAL USERS, eh? First it was the Normal Users, next it'll be the bicyclists... See Godwins Law. user:sjc

I fail to see how bicyclists relate to Godwin's Law, but if you want to interpret "everybody should be able to rename pages" as "I am Hitler, see how I am trying to take power away from other people", well that's between you and your psychiatrist. ;) --Brion VIBBER

It's an old Milan Kundera joke about the creeping nature of power, and how, having picked off one set of innocent bystanders, power elites move on (inexorably) to the next. "First it was the Jews, next it'll be the bicyclists..." Now, really, the point I'm making here is that the sysops by and large seem to be getting bigger and better toys, more and more privileges which they have arrogated unto themselves and have come up with a set of largely unpublished rules which they have decided upon and are undermining the (once) open nature of the project. This is just the thin edge of the wedge and I suspect I am not the only person on here beginning to draw their own conclusions in this respect. user:sjc

(This is all rather ironic, since here we're talking about devolving a once sysop-only ability to all users and making the system more open. --Brion VIBBER)
an hitherto unadvertised piece of power-creep in my book.... PS, any more you guys would like to confess to?user:sjc
The documentation here on the wiki is sufficiently hard to find in the first place that I haven't the slightest idea if it (or any other given feature) is documented or not (note to self: request ability to search in Wikipedia: namespace) aside from numerous instances of people talking about using said feature, not using said feature because it has bugs, or being able to use it again because the bug was fixed. It certainly has been mentioned frequently on the mailing lists, which are open both to subscription and to viewing via web.
We're certainly not hiding anything, however; if this isn't already documented in a central and accessible place, please feel free to do so. The "sysop" powers are:
If I left any "powers" out, it's by accident.
There are also a handful of 'developer' features available only to a few of the programmers for purposes of finding and fixing bugs: database queries, showing the PHP configuration variables, and enabling/disabling a read-only mode to prevent edits to the database in the middle of certain upgrades. --Brion VIBBER
OK. I am however concerned that the deletion log is truncated back to early July. Surely, this information should be fully detailed. The documentation of this stuff is paramount.
(The old deletion log was Log:Page Deletions; that's no longer a valid page title since "log:" isn't actually a valid namespace. I'll go ahead and copy it over to an archive page or something, but in the meantime just look at it on the old server. --Brion)
I will accept that you don't currently have any other superpowers; suddenly discovering, however, that what was hitherto a normal piece of activity i.e. to clear down and redirect is no longer acceptable in the view of a sysop (I certainly don't recall this ever being discussed in any of the mailing lists and if it did it disappeared in the barrage of mail that travels through there) does not do wonders for one's confidence in the process.user:sjc
I can only speak for myself; I think it's stupid to break page histories when doing moves, so I suggested a better way you could do it (using the move/rename feature), but since that's currently restricted to sysops I also suggested a temporary workaround (ask a sysop to move such pages) until the feature is available to everyone. --Brion VIBBER
You certainly are going to be busy. There are a raft of articles ending in , England, , Scotland, etc. Probably best to wait till the move function is in the "normal user" domain. user:sjc
I am a strong advocate of democratizing all short-cut type functions of sysops to long time users such as yourself (leaving sysops only the special ability to delete pages, block IPs of vandals and decide which pages need to be protected or unprotected). I don't see any problem, for example, for letting you or any other user that has been around for more than a month the ability to edit any protected page or to use the administrative move feature. The trouble with the move feature though, is that it has been devilishly buggy for a long time and still lacks basic features such as the ability to move talk pages of any page moved or the ability to fix redirects automatically. That is the main reason why this particular feature is still sysop only (damage control -- the sysops were told to use the move feature carefully and to clean up after moves by also moving talk pages and fixing misdirected redirects -- that is too much to get across to users at large). --mav

Yes, but I think there are many long-term users who would have the same sort of problems in this respect that I do. I think we need to either a) need to have some sort of clear separation between the role of contributor and sysop or b) sysops should fully annotate their actions and the reasons behind them. Option b is clearly unwieldy and unnecessarily bureaucratic and option a) would certainly be unpopular with e.g. your good self. Which leaves option c. IP blocking and protected page editing by sysops as their only defining characteristic. Page deletion is a necessary administrative function but certainly there have been a number of abuses of this on occasion and it should be an act of recourse only after consideration and the flagging of the article for deletion for a specified length of time to allow for objections and comments. user:sjc

Option c. sounds like where things will lie once the page move/rename feature is democratized. As far as page deletion... could you point to some specific instances of "abuses"? I've from time to time proposed an "undelete" function by which pages that have been "deleted" can be restored by any other "sysop" (which is oh so the wrong term!) within some period of time, but this has never gotten done. I'll add another feature request... --Brion VIBBER

Off the top of my head, probably not. But I'll have a poke around. There were certainly a few pages missing as I recall, either deleted or lost in one of our moves. user:sjc

If something was in fact lost, please note this and we'll restore it from the previous database. --Brion VIBBER


The one article I couldn't find after the move now seems to be where it should be. Is this possibly a bug? user:sjc
Some article histories were initially missing, which were restored after a couple of days. What you were looking for may have been in that bunch. ---Brion VIBBER
That would probably explain it. user:sjc

SJC -- Hi there -- just checked through the discussion. all you need to do to get the sysop secret code is tell Jimbo you want it, and it's yours. I understand your feelings about the sysop/non-sysop thing, and frankly think some of those rights (like blocking IPs)need to be even more restricted, while others (like moving pages) need to be basic tools...still, ther is something to be said for the people who take the time and effort to find out how things work and who give input on site development actually being a bit ahead of the curve... JHK

Julie, Yeah, well, I always did have problems with this sysop idea. I would much rather have some sort of consensus within the community. But it looks like Wikipedia is now becoming a very broad church indeed, and we seem to be attracting a few (how can I put it?) wackos. Not that I have anything against 'em per se; however it is seriously frustrating to witness these inexorable edit wars going on which are diverting from the main point of establishing a knowledge commons in the first place. You must have the patience of a saint a propos the Prussian situation... user:sjc

Regarding the "derivative" vs. "inventive" thing in Tolkien, how about moving it to the Lord of the Rings article? It's more about LOTR than Tolkien, I guess, but what do you think? --Ed Poor

Yeah, probably Ed. There's almost certainly a major problem brewing between the Tolkien fans and the Norse scholars on this now that the names like "Gandalf" are now no longer Lord of the Rings/Gandalf since Tolkien borrowed extensively from e.g. Voluspa for about 70% of his names. Mirkwood, for example, is a norse name, as is Dvalin, Balin, etc. They aren't going to like their poor little fictional beings having to play second fiddle to the real progenitors. user:sjc

Just a quick note, since we seem to have similar taste in literature! I'm now going to have to read the Lord Dunsany novels, I see. :) Now to the real question: is the "Lokasenna" one of the elements you're covering in your Norse Mythology articles? I ask because I always found that one fascinating. Where else do you have a piece of ancient literature that's one long catalog of insults and derisive references? :) -- April

Yes, Lokasenna is on the list. I'm spinning off a lot of the work I am doing on the Norse cosmogeny for a book I am writing into Wikipedia. Lokasenna is fun; the Auden/Taylor translation is awesome btw. I am putting up a list of kennings (with their subtler meanings) which you may find a useful adjunct to Lokasenna. user:sjc


Thanks for fixing the link in the divinity article - it wasn't clear to me what the original writer was referring to. --ClaudineChionh

No problem. I don't think they were either :-) user:sjc


sjc, I really do appreciate the apology -- although it is unnecessary. I have been around long enough to see how contentious the process of developing an article may be, and how tedious some of the "debates" on the talk pages are, so I do understand where you are coming from. I am, for what it is worth, glad that you think my contributions to the seid article (really just putting in subheadings, and adding a couple of small details) were helpful; I certainly think it is developing into a good article, and I thank you for having done almost all of the work, Slrubenstein


Could you look at the Talk page for Ase and see if there is any useful content there. It is HJonat foray into Germanic mythology. Thanks, Rmhermen 13:10 Aug 22, 2002 (PDT)

Thx, sorry I've been really busy recently and hadn't seen my talk page had a comment. I'll add it to my watchlist rmh. user:sjc Later: yeah the redirect looks good to me.


I'm removing various errors you've introduced into "Duke of Cornwall". Explanation of changes:

  1. . The statement that "The Dukedom is the last extant in the United Kingdom" is simply wrong. There are plenty of Dukes in the United Kingdom, but only one is associated with a Duchy.
  2. . A duchy is not necessarily autonomous. The dukedom and duchy of Cornwall was created by the English Parliament! There are in fact two duchies still extant in the UK, the income of one (Cornwall) goes to the Prince of Wales, the income of the other (Lancaster) goes to the Queen.

Perhaps the difference between a duchy and a dukedom needs to be made more explicit? Someone else 20:41 Sep 6, 2002 (UCT)


Excuse me, but I'm confused about the location of Cornwall. Isn't it in the southwest corner of England? --Ed Poor

It is in the southwest corner of the United Kingdom. English people like to think it is in England, Cornish people know better. The place was an independant nation (stretching as far across as Bristol and was joined to Wales) until the 10th Century. In 13something the English annexed it, but realised that they couldn't properly control an independant people so made it a duchy and gave it a quasi autonomous status. The legal status of this annexation has never been satisfactorily resolved. About the time of the Prayer Book Rebellion an act of genocide was perpetrated on the Cornish people and the language was brutally suppressed. Cornish separatism is high on the political agenda. user:sjc


Safest thing is to say "corner of Great Britain", the geographical island rather than any political entity. That's a clear, concise explanation , sjc -- go add it to Cornwall if it's not already there. -- Tarquin

Yes, you're probably right in this respect, Tarquin. user:sjc


Sjc, This is not a comment about anything on this page, but ...I wish you wouldn't make derogatory generalisations about any group of people who are defined by circumstances beyond their control (such as who their parents are) rather than by any deliberate choices they have made (such as their political stance). GrahamN 16:08 Sep 7, 2002 (UTC)

I will make derogatory generalisations where appropriate, thank you. FYI, I am not keen on the English, Nazis, caravan owners, bicyclists, Christians, telephone sales people and Man Utd supporters, but in differing degrees. They can all expect to come in for some stick. I reserve my particular scorn for cranks espousing the PC position, however. user:sjc

Ah, so you dislike political correctness. In that case you won't mind me saying that you are a fucked-up little inbred saddo, who has to cultivate imaginary grievances against the English in order to give his life some illusion of purpose. GrahamN 00:09 Sep 16, 2002 (UTC)
Ah, the charm of the English. And the innate hypocrisy of the supposedly politically correct. Such a breath of fresh air. I suppose the genocide of the Cornish Prayer Book rebellion is an imaginary grievance? The persecution of Cornish language speakers until as recently as the 17th century? The fact that Cornwall until recently has deliberately and systematically starved of resources (Cornwall has been bled of money for centuries)? I suppose the Irish, the Welsh and the Scots also have imaginary grievances? user:sjc

Just spotted the Doctor who theme tune sample. Great stuff! -- Tarquin (occasional cyclist. should I be worried?)

Yeah, I loved the theme music, it's available on the recent Rough Trade sampler in full if you're interested. Cyclists, btw, are way down from caravan owners, the bane of life in the West Country. user:sjc

The RT Electronica sampler? Definitely worth getting, not just for the DW theme, but also for the Barbara Morganstern track which is breathtaking. --Nairobiny
Have to agree with you on that, Nairobiny. user:sjc

Hi Sjc, I see that you distinguish between alternate history and virtual history and that you have applied the latter term to Robert Harris's novel Fatherland. I just added the name of the book to the entry on The Boys from Brazil and called it alternate history. Please change this if you find it necessary. Generally speaking, I don't really see the difference though. KF 10:05 Nov 4, 2002 (UTC)

I think there is a lot of confusion caused mainly by people blurring terms. VH or counterfactual history is specifically written with a view to exploring outcomes in weighted circumstances, and is particularly in play in serious historical academic circles, and has a role and purpose entirely different from alternate history which are not necessarily to do with extrapolation and exploration of historical events or outcomes (albeit that some of it is of a very high order indeed and crosses the gain line of VF in this respect). The best definition of these two different concepts is that set out in about 40 pages of introduction by Niall Ferguson in Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals. user:sjc


They deleted it ! Lir 12:44 Nov 10, 2002 (UTC)

They would. But why confront when erosion is the surer and more efficient strategy? user:sjc

Erosion huh? hehe Lir 05:59 Nov 12, 2002 (UTC)


'Doh. It's just you changing that extremists quote :< I was hoping that by going too far in the opposite direction that people would then accept the information. Now Im afraid that theyll just delete it when they find it. Lir 08:53 Nov 12, 2002 (UTC)

Er, they can't. It is now officially NPOV. user:sjc

I kinda think maybe they can do whatever they want. Lir 08:59 Nov 12, 2002 (UTC)

I have looked into the loom and foresee a fork coming. user:sjc

ditto Lir 09:01 Nov 12, 2002 (UTC)


composite national grouping...fear that... Lir 09:23 Nov 12, 2002 (UTC)

I believe that representative democracy is evil and a con. The American people fought the revolutionary war so that they could have true and pure democracy. The First Civil War was about fedual capitalism. Now its time to take on industrial capitalism. Lir 09:23 Nov 12, 2002 (UTC)

Its easy to denounce us anti-capitalists as left-wing radicals, but I hope people start to see that there are more of us all the time and we aren't going away. We got some points and people better start listening to us. Lir 09:23 Nov 12, 2002 (UTC)

So this guy argues that representative republics (Amerika) are inherently better than democracies (lirtopia). He dismissed the fact that the man he keeps mentioning (Alexander Hamilton) was a monarchist and capitalist intent on creating a capitalist aristocracy, free from British rule, and free to oppress the poor people of America. He argues that direct democracy can never work and says this is clearly shown by Athenian Democracy. At that point, having become fed up with the loads of bullshit being served up by the American education system, I said, "No sir! You are confused! Athens was not a direct democracy. Slaveholding societies can never be considered democratic!" Lir 09:23 Nov 12, 2002 (UTC)

He then says, "But Political Science books clearly state that Athens was the birthplace of direct democracy and that it failed." To which I respond "Having stated that I hope you begin to understand why I argue that America is evil and full of evil propaganda. It can only be a directed attempt to falsify history so as to create false arguments so as to make any attempt to dissent appear totally uneducated." Lir 09:28 Nov 12, 2002 (UTC)

Just a few points. We agree on a number of things not the least of which being that the swine have their snouts tucked deeply into the troughs of power and wealth. The unravelling of the mystical web of bullshit is the primary task of the political historian and all history is political; the idea of an NPOV history is such patently facile nonsense as to be risible. Even a cursory glance at the pages of Niccholo Macchiavelli will spell that out in large black letters. BTW read "The Prince": learn: act. As someone else once said: "Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it" user:sjc
Just be careful that for every step forward you take in changing the world, you do not unintentionally take two steps back! ;) Slrubenstein

Slavery and State's Rights


You like how mav said I was a liar for saying I could see the counter? You think mav is gonna have a problem with the above article? I don't buy any of this wikipedia is not a dictionary wikipedia is not a collection of speeches nonsense. Lir 11:07 Nov 13, 2002 (UTC)

There are many things which the foregoing article is and it most certainly is on the way to becoming an excellent article. Keep at it! I haven't seen mav's comments and couldn't therefore comment. user:sjc

My quote on the Current Events page was NOT taken out of context. It was taken direct from the Los Angeles Times, and is the only quote of his in the article -- HIS comments are NPOV!:

Harvard Cancels Irish Poet's Visit After Controversial Remarks From Associated Press

BOSTON -- After student complaints, Harvard University said Tuesday it had canceled a reading by an Irish poet who compared U.S.-born settlers in the West Bank to Nazis and said they should be "shot dead."

Tom Paulin, an Oxford University lecturer, was scheduled to appear Thursday as part of the English department's Morris Gray Lecture series.

But in an e-mail to English majors Tuesday, department Chairman Lawrence Buell said the reading had been canceled "by mutual consent of the poet and the English department."

Buell also apologized for the "widespread consternation" the invitation to Paulin had caused. He said Paulin was invited last winter, before his controversial remarks, solely because of his poetic achievements.

Benjamin Solomon-Schwartz, undergraduate president of Harvard Hillel, said he was heartened by the university's decision, adding that Paulin's comments crossed the line between opinion and "being inhumane."

In April, Paulin was quoted in an Egyptian newspaper, Al-Ahram Weekly, saying that American Jewish settlers should be "shot dead."

"I think they are Nazis, racists. I feel nothing but hatred for them," he said.

Paulin also said he understands "how suicide bombers feel," but suggested that guerrilla warfare would be more effective because attacks on civilians could create a sense of solidarity.

-- Zoe (I'm restoring the quote on the Current Events page)

I'm not getting into a big row about it, but he has been entirely quoted out of context. This is an example of how NPOV is abused systematically in Wikipedia. If you read the entirety of what he actually said a completely different picture emerges. It is nowhere near as sensational or as anti-Semitic as it is painted: he makes a number of points about terrorism and, more germanely, state terrorism. user:sjc



dont you think we should list russian spacecraft in russian? Lir 07:04 Nov 18, 2002 (UTC)

We should do what needs to be done to make Wikipedia usable in my view. Why not just use redirects & mark the anglicised article-name accordingly? user:sjc

If one says Sputnik doesnt it follow that one should say Lunik?Lir 07:25 Nov 18, 2002 (UTC)

I'm not disagreeing with you. You're logically correct, but pragmatically f***ed. :-) user:sjc

Sorry. I accidentally edited an old version of the Joseph Banks article, thanks for spotting and correcting my error. 80.46.160.59 10:55 Nov 24, 2002 (UTC)

Cool, no probs if it was inadvertent. Sometimes new users (and I'm not making assumptions) can do this several times before it's pointed out to them which is why I flagged it. user:sjc


Damn! You mean the US Naval Commander didn't write all those great James Bond tunes? Ah me, another illusion shattered! :) Nevilley 09:27 Nov 27, 2002 (UTC)


Hi. You are NOT going to be happy about what's happened to Cornwall. Not my doing BTW. Mintguy

At least it isn't in England... Long overdue for disambiguation, btw. user:sjc