User talk:Slrubenstein


Your recent edits to Jesus are not NPOV. Kindly read NPOV and discuss things in talk before asserting your own POV. The Rev of Bru 17:11, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Hello, mister, I suggest you to justufy any changes you do in this encyclopedia to be justified in the discuss/talk page. Did you found out what ad verecundiam is?Manco 17:03, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

[[Talk:User:SlRubenstein (archive 1)]]

When you get a chance, please read the new note on the Talk:Bible_translations page about using quotes from the Hebrew Bible as well as from the New Testament. RK

Thanks for calling the Creeping supernaturalization article to my attention. The same user has recently introduced a number of related articles, including Virgin Birth.

What's most frustrating to me is that they cover material we've already covered elsewhere and worked hard to come up with a balanced presentation, and now it seems we need to start that work all over, or else do some copying/pasting/redirecting to consolidate the material.

I've also started uncontroversial articles like Church Fathers, which you hadn't got round to doing yourself. You didn't find anything to object to there, and thanks for adding "Desert Fathers" etc. Jacquerie27 17:26 May 6, 2003 (UTC)

I wish that controversial subjects like that could be covered in depth in just one place, and if someone thinks it needs work then work on it there instead of beginning again under a new title. Wesley

Other articles by the same author, Supernaturalism and Argument from silence are similarly controversial. I don't like seeing them go away entirely; and neither do I like seeing articles fill up with the back-and-forth that should go into Talk. I agree with Wesley that with a little focus, these topics can be gathered into an appropriate place where they can be filled out in more depth. Mkmcconn 19:53 May 7, 2003 (UTC)

I like the stuff you've added to Virgin Birth on possible mistranslations :-) -- Tarquin 08:10 May 8, 2003 (UTC)

NPOV does not mean dragging those into conversations who are likely to agree with you. Both Wesley and RK are religious and, as such, likely to be opposed to religious-critical perspectives. You know that -- this is why you repeatedly invited both to share their views on Supernaturalization, which you want removed. If you are truly interested in NPOV and want to elicit a response from the broader Wikipedia community, and not just those who support your POV, I suggest you use an open forum, such as Wikipedia:Votes for NPOVing or Wikipedia:Votes for deletion. Back-room alliances are not exactly the way to build an encyclopedia. --Eloquence 17:44 May 8, 2003 (UTC)

Eloquence, you are out of line in a number of ways. First, I was not making "back-room" alliances. Had I wanted to do that, I would have e-mailed Wesley and RK personally, rather than writing on their talk pages which is pretty public and "front-room." All Wikipedia pages are open. Second, I wrote to them specifically because I respect their opinions and their knowledge of the scholarly literature on religion, the history of religion, theology, and the Bible. I solicited their opinion because if they told me I was wrong in this case, I would stop pressing my points; and given that you just made some sincere (I trust)points yourself, I am not sure whether they will still agree with me or not. I did not write to them because I thought they would agree with me, merely that I think they understand me. And I see nothing wrong with soliciting the views of people I respect, and whom I believe understand where I am coming from. Third, I do not not "want to elicit a response from the broader Wikipedia community;" I just do not see any need to elicit a response. Everything has been open and above-board, and all interested members of the community (e.g. yourself) has seen where I have written, and has been able to read and respond to it. I simply trust anyone who wants to contribute will, and I especially take for granted that anyone who strongly disagrees with me will express themselves. As I said, it is precisely because RK and Wesley agreed with me before that I solicited their view, because if they now disagree with me I want that to be made clear. Finally, unless I really misunderstand you , you are really, really, really wrong to say that I appeal to them because they they are likely to agree with be because they are likely to be opposed to religious-critical perspectives. Given that I criticized the article because it assumed that the ten plagues really occurred just because it says so in the Bible, and that I compared the Bible to Moby Dick, and effectively called the ten plagues a fiction, your point is both ignorant and surreal. Slrubenstein
From a Wikipedia perspective, user talk pages are as back room as it gets. They are typically ignored by outsiders because they primarily contain private messages, and are difficult to follow without context. This is why I refer to such discussions as "back room alliances", as opposed to an open mention on a page like Wikipedia:Votes for NPOVing or Wikipedia:Votes for deletion, both of which are tailored for the purpose of dealing with pages like Supernaturalization.
Of course you respect their opinions and knowledge -- I accept that. But here at Wikipedia, we try to build an encyclopedia from a neutral point of view, which means that we have to set our personal prejudices aside and work toward a common goal of writing neutral articles. This is made more difficult if users with a shared perspective argue and appear in groups. Had I not noticed the supernaturalization page, which could have easily happened, it might be gone by now -- simply because the author was too overwhelmed by resistance from three people simultaneously to effectively defend himself. He might even have gotten the impression that you were somehow representative of the Wikipedia community, when in reality you deliberately created a selection bias which you did not mention on the talk page. I was especially annoyed by your blanking of the article, which I generally consider to be a bad practice. Articles should either be edited or listed on Wikipedia:Votes for deletion.
[I]t is precisely because RK and Wesley agreed with me before that I solicited their view, because if they now disagree with me I want that to be made clear. It is noble of you to seek the understanding of those who share your views; it would be even more noble if you would also seek the arguments of those who do not.
I believed that I was getting the arguments of people who disagree with me on the talk pages of the article in question. I also stated my argument, clearly and politely, but do not feel that the author of the article responded to any of my points. As for blanking or deleting the page -- I did not and will not nominate the page for deletion because I have no reason to believe the article should be deleted; perhaps there is a place for an article on supernaturalization. I blanked it because none of the content seemed to have scholarly merit. I still believe that it misrepresents both the history of religion and critical scholarship on religion, and is POV. If anyone adds any content that is NPOV and reflects current scholarship, I'd be quite happy. Slrubenstein
You are really, really, really wrong to say that I appeal to them because they they are likely to agree with be because they are likely to be opposed to religious-critical perspectives. I hope so. Maybe it's just a bad coincidence and selective perception on my part. --Eloquence 18:42 May 8, 2003 (UTC)

So that I don't interpret your silence as disagreement, I'd like to have your opinion on my disagreement over the new material in [[Supernaturalization]], found in Talk:Supernaturalization Mkmcconn 21:38 May 10, 2003 (UTC)

SR, I have followed your exchange with J with interest. Little by little WikiLove is prevailing, and the article(s) on naturalism/supernaturalism will generally improve as a result. At the moment, I think that E's decision to reorganize most of the material under Supernatural was a master stroke, judging subjectively, by how my own concerns melted away as a result. Some minor need for re-organization remains; and some of the examples under "supernaturalization" are still POV. As you've pointed out repeatedly, editors need to agree that it is not informative or even interesting to write that some people see as "supernatural" events which others see as "natural". Mkmcconn 17:59 May 12, 2003 (UTC)

We are trying to increase the number of people who are Wikipedia Administrators. Until now, we've been relying on users to take the initiative to ask for this access themselves but this has resulted in a slow rate of Admin rank expansion. So we've gone ahead nominated and approved you and several other long-time users for the account upgrade. This means that your fellow Wikipedians feel that you are a responsible, well-known, and fair-minded user.

Agreeing to be an Administrator does not mean that you are expected to do any additional work above and beyond what you do now ; It just means that we trust you to to have certain privileges and responsibilities that can't be entrusted to random users (such as editing the Main Page, protected policy pages, or banning the IPs of vandals).

All we need from you now is your consent. You can either send an email to WikiEN-L (preferred) or simply state "I agree" on the bottom of this page.

-- Daniel Mayer (aka mav)

Congratulations, you are now a sysop! Please see Wikipedia:Administrators for our sysop guidelines before using your new and amazing powers (esp. page deletion and protection). --Eloquence 03:51 May 13, 2003 (UTC)

Are you interested in a long-term project on the Industrial Revolution page? There's no doubt that it's on the superficial side. If you decide to come over, do you want to focus on a special area? I'd be interested in its relation to politics and changing economic and social structures, which I'm sure is no surprise. We could focus on specialized areas to save time and so that we could all share the burden of writing what should be, in the end, one of the most detailed articles on this site. Tannin's also interested in completely revamping it, so you'd be in good company. A good long term project like this would be a good way of us both celebrating reaching sysop status.172

Thanks for the response. I thought that it would be along the lines of your interests because we often work on similar scopes of articles. I wish that it were because you always contribute to scholarly articles, especially ones with a socio-economic and socio-political dimension lacking in so many others, like Industrial Revolution in its present form. I'd be really happy to see you do a little on accumulation, and I'd be very happy to integrate it with the rest of the text as well. That's exactly what the article needed anyway, namely an analysis of economic processes. 172

Thanks for saving me from being the first new sysop that made a boo-boo<G>. I was sure I'd be the first to do some permanent damage - actually I suppose that's still a position that's open! Anyway, with regard to [[Prime Minister of the United States]], yes I did nominate it on Votes for Deletion, where it stayed for 2 days. Here were the comments:

  • Prime Minister of the United States: pages for things that don't exist create a special sort of problem for Wikipedia, since the very existence of an article implies that the subject has some importance outside of the mind of the person who created it. Once created they are rarely deleted, but I'd like to suggest that this is an article you would never find in a printed encyclopedia, and one we'd be better off without. -- Someone else 04:23 May 8, 2003 (UTC)
    • I am finding some interesting new items while trying to fix this article. Let me struggle with it for a night and see what happens. Kingturtle 04:42 May 8, 2003 (UTC) P.S. I disagree that a printed encyclopedia should be our barometer.
    • It's already a very interesting article! Double-quoting "Prime Minister" would make for a bit less puzzling title, but a Wikipedia strength is that not all articles are dry-as-dust recitations. BTW, it reminds me that I once read an interview with the descendant of the might-have-been King of the United States (Founding Fathers apparently shopped around a bit before deciding to stick with just a President.) Stan 03:47 May 9, 2003 (UTC)
    • This is now a superb article that is well worth keeping. ��REman 03:58 May 10, 2003 (UTC)

If you think you could make a more persuasive case for deletion, or find a better name for the article, or find a place to move the interesting bits to, more power to you! -- Someone else 18:11 May 13, 2003 (UTC)

I agree on the "might" "could have" as well - but I think they beat "were" and "have been". Sometimes once a personal essay has been shown to be unsalvagable it gets moved to "meta" where at least it's out of the Wikipedia. There's a great reticence to actually delete anything. And yes, superb is not a word I'd use to describe the article in any of the states it's been in. I'll continue to lend moral support on the talk page <G>. -- Someone else 18:25 May 13, 2003 (UTC)

Hey SLR: Just to let you know I'm following the war going on at Genetic drift, and I pretty fairly agree with your versions (although I would not always call them brilliant prose, but that's what you get in the middle of an edit war). 168 is certainly difficult to deal with, however, and I'm not sure how to do it... Graft 15:43 21 May 2003 (UTC)

Just a quick note to say I'm not ignoring you, SLR. I'll slip over and have another look at GD when I manage to get a free hour and a clear head - both at the same time, which is rare! My initial inclination, though, is to wait till the mother hen gets bored and then copyedit it for clarity. With the revert-mania happening, I'm not keen on wasting ages getting the expression clear, only to have it all thrown straight out the window gain. Best -- Tannin

Fine by me, but who can say what sets him/her off. Graft 16:08 26 May 2003 (UTC)

Excuse me, User talk:Slrubenstein,sir, but you reverted my work on Clovis I without explanation. Ms. JHK agreed it was pretty darn good so would you mind posting a reason why you delted my hard work. Thank you, sir. Triton

Hi SL - again, I think that Triton has (perhaps wilfully) misinterpreted what I said. In the talk page discussions, I said that he had put in some very good information, but that I thought some checking needed to be done because parts of it appeared to have been lifted or very closely paraphrased from other sources. One of my reasons for thinking this was because it looked like there were chunks that were just pluged in, although they disturbed the chronology already in the article. Moreover, some of it was just badly written, like the sentence about marrying Audofleda -- from this sentence, one might suppose Clovis had married Audofleda -- wrong -- Audofleda married Theod.
There are also some more examples of editing problems on the Merovingian dynasty talk page. As I said, it's not that the information is wrong, but it's just so much better to rewrite entirely and with authority when one is calm and has time. I don't really see that there is a rush to do this, and the more time we spend putting out fires, the less time there is to revise articles. Thanks for the revert! JHK

You're "editing for style" on the Clovis page was a lot more than that, I think. The wording as it was was rather clunky, I agree, but changing it from the "french national tradition" to "tradition among French nationalists" is a big change, and, I think, a POV one, given the negative connotations of being a "nationalist." Furthermore, Clovis was considered the first King of France in traditions that go back well before the emergence of modern nationalism. john 21:07 3 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Good start at the Narcisistic Personality Disorder page. But it needs major wikification. Is this according to DSM-IV? In general, we should get rid of the pasive voice and replace it with more informative content. Is this disorder recognized by all psychiatrists? Clinical psychologists? Only some psychologists? Slrubenstein


Thanks, Slrubenstein. Yes, as the article states, the criteria reflect the latest Text Revision of the DSM (DSM IV-TR, 2000). NPD is a personality disorder and an official diagnosis of the DSM. I am the author of a textbook on this disorder ("Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"). And thanks for the minor editing, too. I appreciate it. Take care!

Could you take a look at the Race article? An anon user is making some changes you may not like. --mav

Slr, I have made some changes (hopefully improvements) to the Judeo-Islamic tradition article. Also, please note that I have refrained from making any changes or additions on the areas we have been disagreeing on. I view our discussions and disagreements on the Talk pages as an opportunity for clarification. We then can add text describing certain positions once we hammer a few things out. In the rabbinic terminology, this is the best kind of intellectual disagreement, "a dispute for the sake of heaven". (Of course, intellectual disagreements recorded in the Talmud are sometimes less polite than the ones we are having, so we might not even qualify as having a dispute!) RK 13:45 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Slr, I have revised my comments in the Talk:Judeo-Islamic tradition discussion page. I want to make sure that I focus on specific issues and specific arguments. I just find this entire topic more emotionally involving than even religious topics. (Its been years since being called a "heretic" has bothered me, but I still reach for my (metaphorical) gun when I hear someone talk about social constructions...) RK 16:26 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

From my Talk page, you write: "But I genuinely didn't think my saying so would hurt or offend you." And you didn't; I was more worried that I had offended or hurt you. RK 19:36 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I am concerned with the article on biological evolution, which is pretty good. Unfortunately, someone set up a parallel article called Theory of evolution; it seems to me that this violates Wikipedia NPOV policy. This alternate evolution article isn't creationist, but it is very problematic. When you get a chance, please see the note I added in there: Talk:Theory of evolution. RK 23:14 12 Jul 2003 (UTC)

just for the record, the article on theory of evolution is *older* than the one on evolution. It would be problematic to say the older one is violating Wikipedia NPOV (can't see the relationship with NPOV here) just for existing before the second one :-)
please Slr, also read RK note on the topic here, and in particular notice the sentence "When people want to learn about a very technical genetics and evolution topic such as speciation, we can assume that they do not want to study the mystical views of a Jesuit Christian priest from a century ago!"
I see not why people would not be interested to know more about history and - apology here - christian views.

Also, I am concerned when I see some people change links in science articles, which takes people away from the article on evolution, and instead directs them to a page that is non-scientific. For instance, speciation is a technical scientific topic in evolutionary biology. This article requires a link to our article on biological evolution. So why does User:Anthere insist on removing the link to evolution, and replacing it with a link to the more problematic theory of evolution article? That latter article is missing most of the science and details, and replaces science details with discussions on mysticism and Gaia theory. This makes no sense to me. When people want to learn about a very technical genetics and evolution topic such as speciation, we can assume that they do not want to study the mystical views of a Jesuit Christian priest from a century ago! Such a link seems, to me, to mislead encyclopedia readers for the purpose of promoting a certain political or religious agenda. RK 23:14 12 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I answered on the speciation talk page. Notice that I am similarly concerned of seeing people "entirely" remove links to theory of evolution, to provide "two" links in the same article to evolution. It appears to me non-fair and a try to direct people only to one page, and refuse them the possibility to expand their perspectives in a logical manner that willingness to learn more should naturally lead to. I think trying to push people away off christian views is also promoting a certain political and religious agenda. Somehow. User:anthere

When RK comes back I want to nominate him for sysop (for real this time) I dont ask for much, but I ask that you support his nomination. Sincerely-戴&#30505sv 22:59, Aug 16, 2003 (UTC)

OK. I added him to the list, and Erik wiped it after a couple people quickly started voicing their dissent, which made me think it over more clearly and take it more seriously and, obviously -- more vocally. I'm short on time -- I will explain a bit further later today. -Toda. -戴&#30505sv 18:44, Aug 17, 2003 (UTC)

Good morning Steve.

I thank you for your kind words. Of course, I have no problem with your opinion, and thank you for just speaking up quietly the worries you could feel. I have no reason to be hurt by your comments. I was just interested by other directions, other suggestions that anyone could offer. I think the current way of conflict resolution is ideal, but from time to time, it does not work very well. Previous discussions on the topics were just in the halt, I thought it was no crime to promote discussion again. Last time I did so, was on the Daniel C. Boyer issue, and no one felt the need to participate at all in the topic. This time, it is thought so bad I deserve being blocking for voicing concerns. It is not very big deal perhaps, but I also always have in mind that we have no GodKing on international wikipedias, and we need some process. Very little people take time to mediate conflict; I do so from time to time, but there are always some users who confuse this activity, with actively supporting a bad user. But if I do not do this, all "unusual" people are rejected. Now with Tim option, they will perhaps be banned; On the french wikipedia, we have far less variety than on en. For example, there are several religions represented here, with several levels of involvement. On the french wiki, we only have a couple of very lucky warm catholics and one very moderate muslim. No other religions I am aware of. So, whenever someone holding a faith appears, or belonging to a cult, he is rather badly received, and neutrality is often interpretated as "removing" opinion to make a good "pc" article. At the same time, the user is personally attacked. This is getting better, because of a couple of people good work on the neutrality matter, but still...personal attacks and group rejection is very vivid.
I counted on the many people around here to enlighten me on what to do on the topic. I learned from you and 168, I tried to adopt Ed tactics; I hoped to see other ideas on how to handle mediation issues. That was all. Thank you


As a rule of order, you have to unprotect page before editing it. Lirath Q. Pynnor

Not a big deal. Lirath Q. Pynnor

December 2003

Dear SLR: Regarding your most recent change to the preamble in the race article, I am wondering what the basis of your change is. The 2001 Columbia Encyclopedia says explicitly: "The term race is inappropriate when applied to national, religious, geographic, linguistic, or ethnic groups ..."

This is difficult to reconcile with your "Summary:" comment ("removed anachronism"). But whether it is or isn't anachronistic is not the point. The point is (as JDG pointed out) that this first sentence is NOT specifically about "race" as applied to human populations; since, in general (e.g. in botany), race has nothing to do with behavior or language, the wording was perfectly accurate. If your point is that some people do think that "behavior and language" are important factors with regard to "human races" then I would like to point out that that is already said in the Overview.

By the way, I think it is unfortunate that someone removed the first line from the article:

This article is about race as a concept of human classification. For the many types of competitive sport, see racing. 

This had the desirable effect of setting the context very clearly, which would have enabled the article to be simpler. Peak 07:54, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Dear Slr: Thank you for your response on my "User talk page". I have copied it below to facilitate the dialog. (I don't like to fill the subject talk pages with too much dialog; on the other hand, this means of communication is awkward too. Feel free to email me. Just click the "E-mail this user" button on my User page.)

SLR: Well, I put "language" paranthetically. I would quibble with you over this for two reasons. First, one may define behavior broadly and although I know of few botanists (in any) who use the term "race" their is no reason why they cannot include a plants' response to extenal stimulii as one criterion.

Peak I know you mean well when finding points to quibble over, but this is an encyclopedia, and things like dictionary definitions and common sense should be given their due. Let's look at your points in turn:
  • "one may define behavior broadly" -- yes, but let's stick with the ordinary definitions. Of course, language involves behavior, but language is not behavior.
  • "I know of few botanists..." - JDG cited a botany article (published in 2003 or thereabouts) which used "race" throughout the article, as well as in its title. That should be enough to avoid a quibble. (By the way, chopping up the Archive as you have done makes searching very time-consuming. Why not just have one single huge archive page e.g. per year?)
  • "their [sic] is no reason why they cannot include a plants' response..." - perhaps, but do they? I looked very carefully at the botanical paper JDG cited, and certainly those authors did not. Your hunch that someone might do something is not really a very good basis for quibbling.

As an aside, I have been wondering why you so often seem to get tangled up in knots of your own creation. Has JDG been the source of all this confusion? Please step back to see the big picture, both about how people in general use the term "race" and how people like JDG have tried to make sense of it all. Looking at things in a historical perspective, it is easy to see two things:

  1. people have used the term "race" in different ways;
  2. one of the enduring and many would say primary meanings of "race" is "shared ancestry" (or "original origins" as the US government puts it). This largely explains why people talk of the human race, the Nordic race, a race of flowers on one side of a hill, the Japanese race, and so on, without bound. It also explains (in part) why people in the 19th century (and perhaps JDG too) were dissatisfied with this very open conception (the word used on the "Race" page is "vague"). So they tried to find a set of traits that would distinguish between the "obvious human races", in the hope that this would allow a more objective approach to classification, and thus allow handling most of the non-obvious cases. They were really looking for "reliable indicators" in the way that modern geneticists use DNA markers and the like. Peace. Peak 03:57, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

SLR: Second, the article if almost eentirely about human races. As a matter of fact, I wish the article were only about human races; as of now there is no meaningful information about how zoologists or or botanists use the term. By the way, I agree with you about the opeining qualification and I think I found what you were calling my attention to, and reinserted it in the article. If I got it wrong correct me, please. If anyone argues about this, it won't be hard for us to make the argument. Slrubenstein

Dear SLR: Thanks for your comments of today's date (2003.12.22) on User_talk:Peak. I seem to agree with everything you wrote! (Does this mean there is misunderstanding somewhere? :-)). Actually, I was hoping that we'd reach this point sooner or later (preferably sooner of course, but here we are; if my comments have sometimes appeared too provocative, please understand that they were aimed at "provoking" you to think a little bit outside the box into which (it seemed to some of us) you had boxed yourself).

Regarding your suggestion that the preamble of the race article could simply 'list the major different approaches to race', please note that this is a change that I have long been advocating! If you can find the list I'd proposed, could you comment on it? If not, let me know so I can recover it. Or just go ahead and post your own list on Talk:Race Peak 23:20, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

January 2004

P0M: I would like to pin the "principle" thing down. Maybe you missed my question on the Race/talk page, so I'll raise it here in another way.

P0M:From the following examples it should be clear that principles are "first things," i.e., either rules that are laid down to govern our behavior, or laws of nature that may be discovered by us and by means of which we can understand why things behave as they do. The important thing to notice in the context of our discussion on race is that principles govern other things.

The Principle of Least Action
The Principle of Equivalence
The Principle of Causality. equal causes have equal effects (1).
Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
The Constitutional Principle of Separation of Church and State
The Principle of Induction
The Principle of the Mercantile System
Red Cross Red Crescent -- The fundamental principle of neutrality
Tacitus: The Principle of Adoption. "Let the principle of my choice be shown not only by my connections which I have set aside for you, but by your own."
Jeremy Bentham:"I. Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality he will remain. subject to it all the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. Systems which attempt to question it, deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light. "
Discovering the principle of the fuel cell at home or at school.
Any science is governed by a set of principles or "scientific rules."

P0M:A "principle of X" tells you something like: (1) How X works. Knowing the principle of X we can more easily anticipate how X will behave. (2) How to make a true instance of X. The Constitution is a set of principles that defines what laws have to be like in order to be valid under our system of government. (3) How a member of some kind of community or association should behave. "No employee of this company shall take bribes." (4) The governing reasons that someone has for behaving in a certain way in a certain context. "First, do no harm." In short, principles are "first things" that come before (temporally and/or logically) the things that they govern.

Ethnic Groups

SLR: This short note is just to call your attention to a proposed 'Wiki project' that a few of us have been tossing around. The main page is at Wikipedia:WikiProject Ethnic Groups, and there are some related talk and subpages. Based on some of your contributions to wikipedia, I thought you might be interested. I, for one, would value any ideas you might care to contribute. Thank you, Lou I 16:22, 6 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ethnic Groups. I've asked a question back (on that talk page) and wanted to call your attention to it. I figure it's best to keep the substance of the dialog on that page. If it turns out we're getting into more of a back-and-forth, could I prevail upon you to add that to your watchlist so I don't have to ping you specifically? -- Jmabel 02:16, 7 Jan 2004 (UTC)

you added the part in bold here: ...good works are considered by God just as important as, or even more important than, belief in God,...

i was wondering why, the first commandment is about belief and exclusivity of God. The first sentance of Shema is about belief and exclusivity of God. how do these fit with the words "or even more important than,". what is the basis or reason for doing good works if not at the express behest of God. Indeed, how do we know what is good and what is not if not for God's communication to us. examples: brit milah, rodef, netilat lulav, yibum, get gerushin, etc OneVoice 19:28, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I am NOT saying that you are incorrect. Rather behaving according to halacha without belief in God means that one chooses to do so for a reason of ones own rather than from either Yirat Shamyim or Ahavat Hashem. Because its ones own reason, one is free to change ones mind or develop ones own version of halacha. (no higher authority or source.) It seems to have a taste of one setting oneself up in place of God even if there is now behavioral difference. Am I communicating this idea clearly? OneVoice 22:42, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Thinking about this more, it occurs to me that the discussions among Rabbinic authorities regarding whether or not intent is required in the performance of good works has direct bearing on this matter. If intent is required, and if intent contains within it the idea of doing the act because the act is one stipulated by God, then belief in God is required to have intent, and therefore belief in God must be on an equal footing (minimum) with good works provided intent is required. Please note that this is not to say that belief is enough, rather it is to say that both are least before the act. After the fact, with the understanding that after the fact is an accomodation for an existing situation and not a situation that one aspires to, intent may not be required and hence belief in God may not be required. Please note that these are thoughts in progress and not a statement.

Indeed, perhaps these distinctions is too much to ask of people that do not have sustained interest in the matter.

It is also possible that the desire to draw a clear distinction on this matter has lead to current material that emphazises the works vs belief matter more than would be the were Judaism being constrated with Islam rather than Christianity....Islam having a defined set of required behaviors that are, well, required.

Regarding the Talk pages: as you indicate, I am treating them as a place for discussion. Is this incorrect?

Your thoughts on each of these matters are appreciated. OneVoice 16:11, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Hi, SLR. I'm just popping in to apologise for not doing anything with political economy. I did look it over as you requested, and could see that there was a huge task there: both versions had merit and a fair merge was beyond my abilities (certainly in the light of my time budget these days). As the months and years roll by, I am forgetting more and more of my former training, alas. Tannin

I don't know if you're aware of this, but your change to Nicolaus Copernicus adds you to an ongoing revert-and-edit war. I've requested one other participant (the one with a login name) to see about mediation for this; I'll make the same request to you. Otherwise, what's left but an old-fashioned obnoxious locking of the article? Dandrake 20:13, Feb 11, 2004 (UTC)

I would like to formally invite you to join others at Wikipedia:Wikiproject_Arab-Israeli_conflict to work with us toward resolving issues that have arisen and resulted in edit wars here at Wikipedia. Also, I would like to formally request that you agree, along with the rest of us, to refrain from editting each of the articles that are listed as currently under protection or subject to edit wars on that page till the issues regarding that particular article have been resolved and we have removed that article from the currently under protection or subject to edit wars list. OneVoice 13:33, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Regarding the changes at Christianity and anti-Semitism concerning whether the Gospels say Jesus was God... I honestly don't think there's as much room for interpretation as you suggest. Yes, references to the Son of Man may be interpreted differently (one way is as an allusion to the prophet Daniel's writings), but that's not all the Gospels say on the subject. John 1 begins with "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Several verses later it reads, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." In account of the crucifixion, I think Matthew, the writer has the centurion confess that this was the Son of God. When Jesus forgave various people their sins, according to the Gospel accounts, the Jewish authorities objected that only God had the power to forgive sins. Jesus neither objected to this observation nor apologized for forgiving their sins. Again according to the Gospels, the Sanhedrin convicted Jesus of blasphemy, which they would not if he merely claimed to be an earthly messiah or prophet. If it would be helpful, I could easily compile a more comprehensive list of specific Gospel claims that Jesus was God.

Now, one could argue that Jesus never said or did these things, and neither did these witnesses, that the Gospels were fabricated decades or centuries later by certain people with some agenda, and lots of other things. That's all fine. But it seems to be a fairly simple NPOV observation that the text of the Gospels as we have them now assert that Jesus is God, and make this assertion repeatedly in different ways. The John 1 passage is the most explicit one I can think of off hand, though there are clearly others. Would more specific references be helpful? Wesley 18:25, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Sannse found the likely origin of the misunderstanding :-) [1].

That is ok Slrubenstein. I understand your reaction from what you could imagine. That was logical :-) I apology if I was a bit short :-( Thanks for the comment and my best :-)

Slr, while your points at Talk:DNA may be valid -- the fact of the matter is, we have been unable to resolve a simple question like "what should the first sentence be?" despite a lengthy "debate". Thus, its in your own interest to request a mediator assist in formulating some means of discussing the issue. Lirath Q. Pynnor

To be honest, I don't have a clue what your "points" are -- because whatever you've said has been lost in a deluge of other text.Lirath Q. Pynnor

Re your question on the Talk:DNA page. I don't know where the decision came from either. It seems to have just been done by somebody without any discussion whatsoever. P0M 22:58, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Please give your opinion here Talk:DNA/vote.

FirmLittleFluffyThing 06:07, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

morning Slrubenstein :-)
The DNA talk page is getting increasingly long and confused. I suggest that we get done with points that are quite independent, and more likely to be agreed upon. The location of the article is one of these points. I would be very happy if you could all decide this, so that we could move that discussion out of the way.

Since it is hard to gather all opinions at the same place, on the same topic and at the same time, in order to see clearly who thinks what, I suggested voting on this issue.

Hence I created the Talk:DNA/vote to set a final (hopefully) point of the matter. I think it has been discussed in length enough, so that perhaps people can have a clear opinion on the matter.

I suggested 4 options, depending on what I read on the page.

These 4 options are

  1. keep the article at DNA. Have "Deoxynucleic acid" and "Deoxyribonucleic acid" be redirects
  2. keep the article at DNA. DNA. Have "Deoxyribonucleic acid" be redirects
  3. have the article at Deoxyribonucleic acid. "Deoxynucleic acid" and "DNA" are redirects
  4. have the article at Deoxyribonucleic acid. "DNA" is a redirect

If you feel that an option is left out, please add it. Today, Pat will add a couple of other references on the matter he suddenly thought of. Then, please all participate so to give your opinion on under which title the article should be placed.

I suggest that we next move on to "what to do with alternate names and mispellings" and second "what can we do to answer your issue with propagation".

I hope that is clearer.

Is it ? Any comments are most welcome :-)

FirmLittleFluffyThing 11:54, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hello again. Would you be able to protect Nazism? Danny and I are trying to keep some loopy POV rants out of this article and related articles, but we cannot protect the page, given our recent edits. 172 12:24, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hi, Slrubenstein ! Thank you for your previous suggestion in CM, which was extremely inspiring as you can see. Also thank you for the sanity check and for editing out that spirit of joke from Herbal... Although funny, of course it had no place there. Maybe it will land near the village pump or somewhere :O) - irismeister 20:43, 2004 Mar 26 (UTC)


[Peak:] Thanks for chiming in. I just reverted Tannin's reversion because of the insult, but (partly in order to ensure that others don't get the impression that this is simply a "Peak vs Tannin" edit war), I would appreciate your assistance in responding to any future provocations by making appropriate changes directly in the article. Do you think there should be a separate article on 'Race (biology)'? Peak 17:05, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Marx and Anti-Semitism

See Hal Draper: Marx and the Economic-Jew Stereotype (1977)

I'm very sorry. That must've been an accident. I don't know which portion got deleted, but I'll compare the versions and fix it. 172 18:47, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I cannot find it. The page keeps on going over 32 KB, at which point maintenance and archiving are standard. Besides this, a really long talk page on a topic of this nature can turn into a political debate forum and a chat room after a while. Since I can't figure out what you want me to restore, please revert my changes as you see fit. I'm really sorry if I've complicated things for you. This would've been the exact opposite of my intentions. 172 18:59, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I tend to be rather dubious about mediation, in general, because I'm afraid that it will result in a bad solution that I will then have to accept because I've accepted the mediation. But I agree that we ought to do something. Personally, I tend to think that obnoxious, immature, POV-pushing, insult-spewing, conributors like WHEELER and TDC ought not be allowed to edit, in general, but evidently I am a minority on that. So, I dunno. I tend to think that with vigilance and courage we can probably reorganize the article in such a way as to make it more difficult for trolls/POV-pushers to insert nonsense, as 172 has suggested. On the other hand, that'll require concerted effort, which I'm not sure I'm up to at the moment - all I seem to be doing right now is arguing on talk pages, which is tiresome. john 21:19, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)


The Bolshevik article is in especially poor shape. I've tried to make a few improvements but don't have time. If you have some time please see what you can doAndyL 23:29, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)


I once put something on my user page in regard to some of your points regarding DNA. You didn't see the response I guess. Anyway, my thinking has gone beyond that point, so I will try to respond here to your original concern which, if I remember correctly, was that DNA does not actually do many of the things that people say it does. I think that idea is quite correct. DNA itself acts as a template either for a copy of itself or else for shorter copies in RNA format that then go elsewhere in the cell. But both activities are actually done by other actors on the scene. When RNA enters the ribosome it actually functions as a code, i.e., it does not (as far as I can tell) serve as the template for something but as a signal for the corresponding amino acids to be brought in and strung together. Is this the kind of complexity that you had in mind? I'll look here for your answer. P.S. See for some very interesting ideas on how the "egg" got formed. P0M 17:34, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Hi, sorry if I missed your earlier message. You question whether DNA acts like a "template" and instead suggest "code" insofar as it "actually functions as a as a signal for the corresponding amino acids to be brought in and strung together."

[P0M:] No, that is not what I indicated to communicate. DNA functions as a template. But the RNA that acts in the ribosome does not act as a template for the compounds produced there. Instead, it acts as a "docking place" for another kind of RNA that ferries amino acids.

I agree that this is an important function, but actually, this is precisely what "template" means to me, so I don't see the problem. I have no problem with code, DNA is certainly a code or encodes information, but the question is, what is this information used for and the answer is it is used as a template for among others things the way amino acids are strung together.

[P0M:] See above. A template is different from a code, just as a jig in a guitar maker's workshop is different from the punched cards that used to be employed to direct machine looms to produce certain patterns.

My real objection is not semantic but the point that DNA does not actually do this stringing together itself, it relies on other chemicals for the actual stringing together;

[P0M:] I think the differences above are significant but largely a question of getting things stated accurately. The point immediately above is quite accurate and the reason that I added the link last time -- which is an interesting hypothesis that probably represents the best guess of the people that have been working on this kind of thing.

moreover this process you describe by itself does not determine inherited traits, other chemicals and chemical processes are involved in the inheritance of traits, that is my main point.

[P0M:] In a newly fertilized ovum, all of the inputs necessary for determining the characterists of a new life are already present, right? P0M 03:59, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Troll ban

Please go to Wikipedia:Quickpolls re and ThanksAndyL 02:58, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I've started a quickpoll on banning Vogel. AndyL 18:48, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Your recent words

Were you perhaps reacting angrily because you thought that what I wrote below your words "Human races, even considered biologically, are not subspecies -- but I didn't think the article claimed this. Have I missed something here?" on the Race talk page was a comment on what you said? I was responding to the same posting that you were responding to. P0M 05:08, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I have a reference from an book saying that the founding fathers are reactionary. I bet if I was at a University library, I can find twenty more quotes just like that. Andy reverts with no quotes. I have another book that says the original party of monarchists in France was called the "Reactionary" Party. But Andy reverts that also. Why isn't this guy reigned in. See, if things don't pass Andy's POV and inspection he revert it out AND NEEDS NO QUOTES OR SOURCES TO DO SO. NO thanks. I see Andy had free reign here. If he reverts, He must provide quotes and sources. SITE YOUR SOURCES is WIKIPEDIAN POLICY but that is not happening. WHEELER 14:28, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

You know what my problem is: I never spent any amount of time in the American colleges and Universities who are filled with socialist, liberal and communist professors intent on propagandizing. I was never educated that way. That is why I am different. Mortimer Adler, Thomas Sowell, and Ayn Rand have all heavily critized American higher education as practically worthless. Is this why I am having a hard time here?WHEELER 14:28, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I quote from a book written by a Rightist and a REACTIONary and you delete. You don't know what you are talking about. Shouldn't I know what I am talking about. Shouldn't this author know what he is talking about. SITE YOUR SOURCES before YOU EDIT and REVERT. Why must I do all the work. Who the heck are you. YOu are not a rightist or a Reactionary so what do you know????WHEELER 14:28, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Matter of Paul Vogel

The matter of Paul Vogel has been accepted for arbitration. Please present your request for relief at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Paul Vogel. Also present any evidence at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Paul Vogel/Evidence. Fred Bauder 01:33, Apr 24, 2004 (UTC)

Vogel message

Hey! Glad to see I have someone else on my side on this, but you have to state clearly your "request for relief" i.e what you think should be done to solve the problem. I suggested a ban for five months you may suggest a longer or shorter ban or none at all-but you should suggest the remedy not just the problem thanks. Stay strong. GrazingshipIV 03:49, Apr 24, 2004 (UTC)


Dear Slrubenstein, Thanks for the conciliatory note. I try not to let things get under my skin, but it is rather thin.
I will try to do the archiving of the race talk page soon. I'm in a bit of a crunch at work, however. P0M 04:28, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)


I don't have much time (I actually should be trying to avoid wikipedia for a few days until my essays are done:) but I have written a brief complaint that hits the lowlights. Looking at the Arbitration team's comments so far they seem quite intent on examining his contributions and talk pages and have assembled a strong array of evidence, all of which seems to be against him, none of it suggests mitigating circumstances (I say this without anticipating an outcome)AndyL 04:59, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

On the Fascism I was reverted again. I quoted directly from The Birth of Fascist Ideology by Zeev Sternhell with Mario Sznajder and Maia Asheri, Princeton University Press, l989. Mr. Sternhell is a Leon Blum Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I think the editing needs to be reversed.WHEELER 15:40, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Oil for food

Hi there, would you help us with the oil for food article? There are serious problems, mainly because two users have extreme disagreements and no one else intervened. Bcorr now suggested a peace-plan, would you please take a loot at it? Also, would you be interested in a vocabulary project I am starting with some people from here and wikibooks? Please check my user page and let me know what you think. Get-back-world-respect 19:36, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)


[2] AndyL 08:47, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

WikiProject Evolutionary biology

Hi, SLR. Thought you might be interested in joining the above WikiProject, we could do with some help. Cheers --Lexor|Talk 23:40, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Do you want to make some comments at Talk:Augusto Pinochet#Another poll? 172 15:04, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

In need of community support

I'm in need of community support.

Right now, I am on the verge of being driven away from Wikipedia through the relentless efforts of a single problem user on Wikipedia:Requests for comment/172, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration, and Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/172 vs VeryVerily.

The same user who refuses to accept the results of the Augusto Pinochet poll (see also [3]) goes through my user history every time he logs on and then starts reverting things that I've written arbitrary. He manages to divert attention away from the articles onto ad hominem attacks, thus poisoning the well against me. [4]

He has been doing nothing else for the past couple of months, other than making some minor changes to pages that he finds through the random page feature. Meanwhile, I've been working on articles such as Empire of Brazil, Dollar Diplomacy, and Franco-U.S. relations. I'm tired of letting a problem user define my contributions to the encyclopedia, as opposed to my work.

I may have said some regrettable things in the past, but my editing practices are scholarly and methodical. When I make an edit, my choice is based on a consideration of the quality of the encyclopedia. Unlike the user who avowedly admits to trying to escalate a personal feud (see, e.g., [5]), I do not decide which pages to edit and what changes to make on the basis of personality feuds, emotional POV whims, or a desire to get attention.

Although this user shows little evidence that he understands the content of the articles, I have shown considerable restraint, given my professional expertise. [6]. Only through community support (i.e. lobbying the arbitration committee)will this user be stopped. Otherwise, Wikipedia will die unless we stop vandals and clueless POV-pushers from running rampant and driving away valued contributors.

Please feel free to direct questions and comments to my talk page or e-mail at


172 01:40, 30 May 2004 (UTC)


Sl, I think you need to do something about the POV edits you made to the Jesus article. Wikipedia is committed to stating the major points of view, yet you did a blanket deletion of alternate viewpoints from ours apparently out of solely POV motives. Yes, we believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. But some do not, and it mars Wikipedia to censor them. See you at the Jesus Talk page if further explanation necessary. I am not going to revert this POV edit, but I hope you will. Tom (hawstom) 18:07, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, Sl. I was probably hasty in my judgement. I appreciate the clarification. I wouldn't revert in any case. I don't think it is a respectful way to deal with the sincere contributions of a trusted Wikipedian. Tom (hawstom) 21:59, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

If you are still following the anti-Semitism article, check out the edit-war there. Simonides' shtick is that he deletes the sources that people add, then cries "There are no sources; it is just the unproven opinion" and it is clear he is saying that Jews are crying wolf. Then when I add back the deleted sources, and add yet more detailed sources, he deletes most of the sources again, and basically claims "This is just opinion; there are no studies!" This kind of lying-to-your-face is unacceptable in any communal project, let alone an encyclopedia. We can't allow anyone to edit out multiple sources, then claim that no sources exist, and then revert everyone else's edits. RK 01:18, Jun 24, 2004 (UTC)

Here are some more sources I was going to add; I understand that Simonides would just have reverted the article again and remove them, but the sources we have added are not for him; rather, the sources were for anyone reading the article. I feel that it is important that when big claims are made, multiple sources should be used if possible. Interestingly, the resurgence in anti-Semitism that Simonides denies exist is a fact that the EU, the Secretary General of the UN, and the ADL all agree on. RK 01:06, Jun 24, 2004 (UTC)

The Jewish magazine, Tikkun, ran a series of article on the resurgence of anti-Semitism across the world.


do you really expect WHEELER to appologize for being anti-semitic? Do you honestly think being an anti-semite is, or should be, a bannable offense? I'll point out to you that while what he said was rude, contentious, inflammatory, etc... that it was not a personal attack, antisemitc or otherwise. I feel strongly that all people able to abide by our policies have a place here, from all ideologies and parts of the political spectrum. And I am strongly against personal feelings (like being an anti-semite, anti-gay, anti-communist, anti-american or whatever) being a criteria for banning. I do think our personal POV's should be kept to ourselves as much as possible, however, and that wikipedia:civility is important. Thoughts? Sam [Spade] 17:43, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Hmm... OK, but I interpreted you differently, which is good enough. I don't hear you saying POV should be grounds for banning, which was what I was all in a huff about. Being difficult to work with... it can be hard to define. I don't have a problem with you advocating WHEELER being banned in appropriate places, and I do reccomend that anybody who is particularly upset w him implement the Wikipedia:Dispute resolution, but I think saying that sort of thing on the talk page is innapropriate and likely hurtful and provocative to WHEELER himself. I don't know if you get into the psychology aspect much (I'm a psyche major) but it's my opinion that "bigots" should never be excluded, as that encourages and fulfils their propaganda. Rather they aught to be communicated with in a polite, logical and loving fashion, the only method which I have seen to "cure" such angry ideologies. Food for thought, Sam [Spade] 18:06, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for pursuing the WHEELER issue. It really has gone too far. He is very quick to make assumptions about people, and his attacks on the Jewish people have poisoned too many wells here. AndyL and John have been pushed too far (much as Theresa Knott was by Irismeister) and now are being too aggressive, I fear, to avoid censure, and I can't take WHEELER on because I'm a party in one arbitration right now, and a target or another AC request, or else I would take him before one of the governing authorities. Please continue to do your calm, intelligent thing here and don't let WHEELER get away with his comments. He has been derided here, of course, but this is because from his arrival here he has been consistently rude, As for general is best to define the recipiendaries perhaps. I was thinking as well, that an apology could be about the thing said itself, or could be about being sorry people feelings were hurt. That is a different issue.

In any case, I support you in the general battle of incivility :-) Take care. SweetLittleFluffyThing obstinate, and overbearing. Should you take him before the AC, I will gladly aid you in pointing out this pattern with evidence stretching back months to his first work here. Thanks for not backing down. Jwrosenzweig 18:10, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Well.....haven't dealt with Chris Mahan before. Nor have I ever been spoken to as rudely by any administrator here. Maybe I'm beginning to understand why people say mean things about administrators generally. Hope you're doing okay. Jwrosenzweig 21:12, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Evening Slru. I tried to answer your question on the mailing list itself, since that is the place where you tried to publicly raise the topic.

I wanted to ask you, what you were exactly meaning by apology ? If I understand well, you consider that his comment was

  • rude (likely to hurt Andy feelings)
  • false (fallacies)
  • showing antisemitic feelings
  • generally offending for jews, because of the slur

I do think that having antisemit feelings (just as antifrench feelings) is not something one should have to apology for. It just is so, and just having opinions is not something we should ever have to apology for.
If you want him to apology to Andy, it might be best to know what Andy feels about it.
If it is the falsity that bother you most, perhaps the most important thing is to discuss the accuracy and validity of his claim. If you can prove it is false, then he can recognise he had it wrong.
As for general is best to define the recipiendaries perhaps. I was thinking as well, that an apology could be about the thing said itself, or could be about being sorry people feelings were hurt. That is a different issue.

In any case, I support you in the general battle of incivility :-) Take care. SweetLittleFluffyThing

SLFT, incivility is the problem, the cause is civility, remember? ;) -Stevertigo 19:36, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I agree 1000% w anthere. Sam [Spade] 04:23, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I agree 10% with Sam (hint: do the math!). --Uncle Ed 19:12, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Keeping it short: It depends on what you are using, client -wise and system wise, but the simple thing to do is look at the archives to see which of your emails did come in and think about anything you may have done differently - changed your client, etc. It looked to me as if you were using a new client, but essentially whats appears is happening is that the message itself is being "wrapped" as an attachment as its being sent out. The mail server automatically drops all attachments for a number of reasons, so all thats shown is the container. People on the list may get the full message, but the archive wont. Hope that helps.-Stevertigo 19:34, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

extreme silliness

I honestly can't tell if you are making fun of me, or genuinely are that confused. I'm going to assume you’re confused, just in case. Let me clarify a bit if at all possible. I titled that section as I did not because I found it regrettable, but because I didn't want to distract others with a discussion of minimal value. The sarcasm I was referring to was your taking the jokes made thruout that section literally and attempting to address them w apparent seriousness. I find taking someone’s joke literally as an act of sarcasm. It seems you didn't quite grok that... or did you? I don't mind if you were just messin' w me, but in case you weren’t, I hope this clears things up a bit. Sam [Spade] 18:05, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)

OK, well I don't recall being sarcastic. You’re the only one who has ever suggested that I categorically assume that those who disagree w me allow no dissent whatsoever. Andy specifically does not allow dissent, as is extremely clear from his comments surrounding the statement that I made. As far as if anti-semites are persecuted, of course they are. Do you dispute that? I think a better question is if they should be. Is being an anti-semite (or sexist, or anti-XYZ etc...) illegal, or should it be? I am of the opinion that ideas should not be punished, but rather challenged with logic and morality. Actions can be persecuted, punished, etc... Even incivility and personal attacks. But the ideas themselves? I favor intellectual democracy, and oppose philosophical totalitarianism. Defeat your enemies by proving them wrong, and by being better than them, not by driving them out. Punish the deed, not the idea. Sam [Spade] 19:56, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Punish the deed, not the idea, is precisely my objection to hate speech. I am absolutely against making an identity (what one "is," what you call "being") illegal, and of course I am against regulating "thinking." I have made this clear in my explanation for why I am against hate speech. If you aren't sure what I mean or why, just read over what I have already written and posted. Slrubenstein
Yep I read it here as soon as you wrote it, no need for double posting. Best as I can make out you think statements like WHEELER made constitute a "hate speech" deed, and are therefore punishable. I on the other hand feel that the proper response is thru logic, citations, etc.. demonstrating why such statements are distressing and/or inaccurate. The truth is Stalin, as an anti-semite, intentionally placed Jews in unpopular positions, such as gulag camp guards. He intentionally created the dynamic were fussing over here today, where certain folks feel persecuted by "the Jew" as much or perhaps even more so than by Communism. In this case it’s all wrapped up into one neat pill, since the propaganda in question places Jews as being synonymous w communism. This is not without any shred of factual basis either, BTW. There is plenty of evidence that Jews were disproportionately involved in various attempts at revolution in Russia. Little good that it did for them, but a reasonable observer can easily note that Czarist Russia was at least as harsh in it's anti-semitism if not a good deal more so, than the states which followed. The Russia secret police are said to have written the protocols of zion, for example. Anyways the whole subject is muddled w foolishness, and "hate speech" regulations won't make discussing it any easier, IMO. Sam [Spade] 20:57, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism

As you have been involved in the debate before, I though you might be interested in knowing that it has heated up again. Jayjg 23:10, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Left a comment on the talk. -SV 19:14, 2004 Jul 21 (UTC)

imminent threat

Hi Slrubenstein, I currently perceive an imminent threat of "childlovers"' links (List of self-identified pederasts and pedophiles, NAMBLA, Wikipedia talk:External links) and abuse of requests of comments on user conduct at wikipedia. Could you check that please? Best Get-back-world-respect 23:29, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Free subscription: Template:SteveNews

Dr. Rubenstein,

Perhaps you've seen the recent discussion of Russian constitutional crisis of 1993 on the mailing list. Among the postings, this message by Stan Shebs strikes me as particularly confused and malicious. I subsequently listed some of my sources, to hopefully demonstrate that my references on the 10/93 crisis and History of post-Soviet Russia are reasonably within the realm of scholarly discourse on the subject at hand. I'm bringing this to your attention since you're the user I know who's most likely familiar with the academic literature on post-Soviet Russia. If you could chime in, your input would be greatly appreciated. Regards, 172 10:51, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

New Reversion War

Hi, I don't know whether you've been keeping up with the Race article or not. Somebody put some unrepresentative pictures up and labeled them as members of various [races]. That addition was reverted by Peak, and several more reversions have occurred without any discussion other than in the edit summaries.

After checking the photo credits I added the following caption to the photo to try to properly contextualize them:

Fugitives categorized by the FBI into different "races". From left to right: White, Black, Hispanic Mestizo, Asian. Top row males, bottom row females.Does asserting a racial identity give any more information than is contained in the photographs? See the discussion below.

The original pictures were a nasty practical joke, I think, but Sam Spade likes them, and several other people have aided him in his reversions. I don't want another edit war, so I am hoping that you will watch developments and, if you agree that my way is a compromise that will not propagate disinformation, you will perhaps freeze the page in my version until the combattants come to the bargaining table.

Thank you. P0M 15:51, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

� The pictures are back, with a new/old caption. I am not in favor of having those pictures there. I would have deleted them myself except that I anticipated the start of a revision war and had hoped to get around it somehow. P0M 05:34, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Hi. I contributed the mugshots. While the image is not perfect (american centric, people with a criminal history), I believe it is acceptable, at least until there is a better image. The people shown look like normal everyday people you could meet anywhere in america. Not the prettiest ones, but they don't look like criminals. Its definitely better than a caked-with-makeup celebrity photo. Please keep the image until there is a better photo to replace it with. However, feel free to change the caption if you like. Thanks -- Chris 73 | Talk 22:26, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
This is getting nowhere. Would you like to do a poll on Talk:Race about including or excluding the image? If the majority is against the image, then I'll be happy to remove it myself. -- Chris 73 | Talk 01:11, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

� I give up on trying to nudge things toward some compromise and will revert from now on. I think Peak would be helpful too. I've never heard any rule about captions with no content of consequence, have you? P0M 19:01, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

� I saw your note on my talk page. I'll see what I can add. At least I can say that I agree with what you have said. P0M 17:27, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I noticed your comments on WP:RFM - Ive been interested in modifying the WP:PP rules for a while, and wanted to know what you thought of the idea of requiring sysops to protect a page, even if they are involved in the dispute, rather than let it get trashed by reverts and personal comments etc. -SV

Looking for a mediator on Maimonides

I am looking for a mediator between me and Jayjg for the Maimonides article. For some time now Jayjg has been reverting a lot of what I write, despite the fact that I am citing many academic sources. The problems I am having with Jayjg are seven-fold:

  • (A) Jay demands that I offer multiple citations for every point I make, which is a demand that no one else on Wikipedia has to follow. However, I do comply, offering multiple citations, often from peer-reviewed academic journals. Yet Jay offers zero sources for his own edits! He never does, yet he doesn't see this how unfair this is.
  • (B) Jay demands that I offer quotes to justify my edits, but the second I add quotes he deletes them, claiming that they are unnecessary and that I should paraphrase them. But when I do that he demands again that I add quotes to prove myself...He does this over and over, and it is now verging on harassment. He seems to be doing this to avoid dealing with quotes that he finds uncomfortable.
  • (C) Everytime I add information, he assumes that this information is meant to attack Orthodox Judaism. He insists that we reframe all discussions as Orthodox verus Reform/Conservative. His claim is false; I simply am not attacking Orthodox rabbis, and in fact I explicitly told him that I would be happy to include Orthodox Jewish points of view. He just ignores that.
  • (D) The way he wants to reframe is impossible, for there is no Reform/Conservative consensus that is uniformly at odds with the Orthodox consensus. I certainly can't find any indication that this is true, and Jay has offered zero sources to back up his own claim. Jay has somehow convinced himself that all beliefs are either "Orthodox" or else must be Reform/Conservative. Yet he has done absolutely no reading on the topic. In contrast, I have studied this topic in detail for years, and I have found no such divide. The only divide I have found is that critical-historical scholarship of Maimonides is fully accepted within Modern Orthodox, Reform and Conservative Judaism, and is fully-accepted within the non-religion affliatd academic community. The only exception is within parts of the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Judiasm. (And not even all of Haredi Judaism; most of Haredi Judaism has little to say on this topic.)
  • (E) Every time Jay sees a citation from an Orthodox Jew who has a point of view that differs from his preconceptions, he claims that they are really not Orthodox. He then makes ad homenim attacks, claiming that they are really "Conservative" or "Reform". Note that withing Orthodox Judaism, the charge that someone is really "Conservative" or "Reform" is a charge of heresy, and is widely sued within Orthodoxy as an ad homenim attack to delegitimize someone.
  • (F) Jay never offers any citations to rebut any points; he simply makes up charges off the top of his head, such as "Well, no one else agrees with Professor Marc Shapiro", even when the position of Professor Shapiro is the mainstream position held by most of the academic community on this point. Jay makes these grand statements with no citations whatsoever, despite a massive amount of counter-citations to the contrary.
  • (G) When discussing fine points, he keeps making tiny changes to the wording which totally destroy the argument. Example: There is a difference between Orthodox dogma about the Torah and the Tanakh, but he switches between them. Second example: There is a difference between generally saying that God inspired Moses' writing of the Torah, and that every single letter in the Torah is from God, and has never been changed in the slightest. Yet Jay acts as if there is no difference between these claims, which is very imporant to the issue at hand.

I feel like I am being bullied by someone who is unread on these issues, and who is contemptuous of any source that is not from an ultra-Orthodox rabbi. RK 14:53, Sep 5, 2004 (UTC)

The "bullying" is entirely due to RK's approach - citing immense amounts of material from "historical scholars" and expecting us to review all his sources. Many of these additions represent POVs not being held by most Orthodox authorities (I refuse to disambiguate between Modern Orthodoxy and Haredim in this matter). Editors with other interests end up having to review mountains of material that are irrelevant at best and smokescreens at worst. Meanwhile, vast amounts of Orthodox scholarship representing the "traditional" view are being ignored in the face of vocal fringe elements who dominate certain journals, websites and discussion groups. This has happened not just on Maimonides, but on many other pages (see Artscroll for a recent edit war). The only redress will happen if RK changes his approach. JFW | T@lk 01:23, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Since when is contributing factual information to an article suddenly "bullying"? In any case, you are making incorrect claims: (A) I never claimed that the information I added was the view of all Orthodox rabbis. (B) As for your admission that you refuse to differentiate between Ultra-Orthodox and Modern Orthodox Jews, this is astonishing. These are two very different groups, with two very different ways of looking at Jewish theology. Just because you are not happy that significant differences exist does not give you the right to pretend that they really agree with each other. They do not agree. (C) Your describing the mainstream beliefs of Conservative and Reform scholars, as well as many Modern Orthodox rabbis, as "vocal fringe elements" is both factually incorrect and insulting. I am again begging you to stop your attacks. (D) You claim that "vast amounts of Orthodox scholarship representing the traditional view are being ignored in the face of vocal fringe elements". Untrue; in fact, this never happened. The only person who has refused to add information from the Orthodox point of view (on the subjects in question) has been you. I have been repeatedly agreeing with you, time and again, that we should include such points of view. Over and over, in many places, I offered my hand in friendship; I told you that I will support edits you make. Yet you refuse to make any edits, and demand that I include POVs from Hebrew books that I cannot find, and that I cannot read. That is astonishingly unreasonable. No one makes such demands of you. Why not read these books and add these POvs yourself? I do not appreciate the way you accused me on the Wiki-En of having some such information, and that I have dishonestly kept such info secret. These charges against me are unkind and false. You are creating a fight where none exists; learn to take "yes" for an answer. If you have some material to add on this subject, please do so. I have always agreed with you. 01:06, Oct 3, 2004 (UTC)

The Semantics of Capitalism

Thanks for your thoughtful comments on the Capitalism talk page. Perhaps its just as well to thrash out certain points here as to capitalism, and Susan's point about its ancient character. On the talk page there I commented that certain features were present in ancient Babylonian and I said that this may show that capitalism is the "recognition of enduring realities." You reacted by saying that capitalism itself isn't an enduring reality because, etc. In the discrepancy between the wording of the suggestion and the wording of the reaction may lie the key.

What I would say, and perhaps this is what Susan would say as well (although one of us would have to ask her) is that the law of supply and demand, the inherent limits of arbitrage, etc., have always been facts, although they have become more-or-less explicitly recognized as facts only in recent centuries, and modern capitalism's distinctiveness is its greater level of self-consciousness (recognition!) about them.

This puts me in roughly the same position as a Freudian in certain respects. (FWIW, I'm not a Freudian, but invoke this as an illustration). Obviously, Freudians don't believe that the unconscious and the Oedipus complex came into existence in the late 19th century. They believe them to be enduring realities, much older even than the play that suggested the terminology, and that these realities to some extent at least have come to consciousness sporadically throughout human history -- which is how that play, and Hamlet, etc., came to be written without Sigmund's assistance. But they do believe that Freud created something new and valuable, by ratcheting up the level of self-consciousness of these processes. Pro-capitalist ideologues (a POV in which I do include myself) believe much the same thing about the ancient and the modern aspects of what we defend.

I don't know whether this semantic proposal justifies any change in the intro to that article or not, but it is something to which one might want to give some thought. --Christofurio 13:01, Sep 27, 2004 (UTC)

(After receiving your reply): Thanks again. As to the analogy, it wasn't between Freud and Marx at all. It was meant to apply between Freud and pro-capitalist theorists, i.e. Adam Smith, Milton or David Friedman, etc. Their views seem to me to have the same general structure as Freud's -- "there is an invariant human nature, and my theory discloses it better than other theories." Freud says certain works of art exhibit the underlying dynamics better than others. Smith and the Friedmans say, likewise, that certain social systems have harnessed the underlying profit-seeking energies, and other invariant facts, better than others.

You also asked me why I'm pursuing this although "Susan" has dropped it. Ah, good question. Analytical exuberance, I suppose. I agree I have better things to do. For example, Henry Grady is a sadly neglected important figure in U.S. history and he doesn't have a wikipedia article at all yet. Work for me! See you around. --Christofurio 19:40, Sep 27, 2004 (UTC)

You may want to keep an eye on Racism and Talk:Racism -- it's Sam's current focus for his apologetics.

Peace, BCorr|Брайен 00:12, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Karl Marx

Hi. Could you please explain to User:VeryVerily why editorializing on the USSR and PRC does not belong in the Marx article? He keeps on restoring that paragraph because User:Shorne was the first to remove it, and VV reverts at random all of Shone's edits. (I can't do it, as VV will disregard anything I say.) Thanks. 172 08:11, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)


In the future, please restrict personal comments and observations to my user talk or email. Thanking you in advance, Sam [Spade] 16:16, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Can you consider weighing in on the edit war at Jew Watch?AndyL 04:57, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Your edit to my talk page asked for my input but gave a red link -- has the page moved? Or did you mean Talk:Jesus? If the latter, I've commented. If it's another page, I'm more than happy to have a look -- just give me a blue link to the article in question. :-) All my best, Jwrosenzweig 23:50, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Sorry, the link doesn't work. Does the article have a different name? Jayjg 23:57, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Actually, I was trying to return to the pre-edit war version, which I thought yours was, I didn't realize you had been editing too. See WP:RfAR for more details. Jayjg 17:49, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)


I notice you are trying to bring people whom you see as supporters of his POV into the discussion (by looking at your contributions list). I do not think this is a very NPOV thing to do. CheeseDreams 00:11, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Just thought you should know


Sam [Spade] 15:11, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've had a recent barrage of difficulty regarding individuals such as these, and I'm not precisely sure what to do. As far as something general ... I think the answer is a Meta one, requiring policy change.

Honestly, I want some sort of "wiki-cop" or "wiki-911" emergency option to report suspicious activities, individuals, rule breaking, incivility, what-have-you. I think that’s a long time in coming, and will requite alot of debate and subtle alteration before it ever takes shape. I just know that it’s badly needed, and lack of proper rule enforcement is the main cause of missing editors, IMO.

Anyhow, regardless of differences you and I may have on some random POV, or other subtleties, I get the impression that you respect the M:Foundation issues and have the encyclopedias best interest at heart, and am available for any assistance (or certification / endorsement of complaint) you might need in dealing with those lacking the proper respect for civility, policy, and/or the project ideals. I have little patience for those who disrespect our purpose here, and fail to serve the best interests of the project, and all importantly, the readers. Sam [Spade] 16:35, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, the most neutral editors I know have already discussed some things w them, including User:Jwrosenzweig. I suppose that sort of thing might help, if they are indeed new. My primary concern is that they seem like they've been around awhile, and are fairly familiar w policy and personalities, and other nuances. Sam [Spade] 16:45, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I don't know him well, but whatever works, works. Alls well that ends well, etc... :) I too prefer making valuable contributors out of others rather than squabling with them. Sam [Spade] 17:58, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I think Sam should be aware of the comments about him on Grunt's talk page. This gives me a pretty clear idea of his willingness (or lack of it) to obey Wikipedia policy, and his POV campaigns. CheeseDreams 17:50, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)