User talk:Macdonald-ross/Archive 9

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Jinki[change source]

The username "Ansei" is now semi-retired. I formally set it aside in a manner which is consistent with Wikipedia policies.

This username is derived from Jinki (神亀), which was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, lit. "year name") during the years from 724 through 729. The era name change was part of a pacification or peace-making ritual. The nengō Jinki means "sacred tortoise".--Jinki (talk) 20:51, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

When a bird does not sing[change source]

If the cuckoo does not sing, kill it


If the cuckoo does not sing, coax it


If the cuckoo doesn’t sing, wait for it


In the 15th century, the three leaders who contributed the most to Japan's unification were Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu.

You may not know that they had very different personalities. Each of them are characterized in a series of three well known senryu. -- see Frank Brinkley. (1915). A History of the Japanese People from the Earliest Times to the End of the Meija Era, p. 492.

There is an anecdote which compares and contrasts what is known about the very different problem-solving patterns of each leader. Ieyasu outlived and out-waited the others and he ultimately reaped the benefits of what the others had accomplished.-- see Rohan Kōda. (2006). Pagoda, Skull & Samurai, p. 269.

In English, the hototoguisu is called the Lesser cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus). --Jinki (talk) 20:51, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

a suggested GA[change source]

Hi Mac, I know how much you enjoy working on GA's (I must be feeling light headed to contemplate it too). User:TDKR Chicago 101 has suggested that Albert Einstein would be a good candidate. I have had a quick check of the language, and that is quite good, and could be better with a tweak or two. I need to check the biographical notes to see if they are OK. Can you have a look at the section on his discoveries/theories, and see if it is balanced and comprehensive. I don't need a line by line crit at this stage, just an idea to see if there is enough of the basics already done to bring it up to standard. If you do feel so inclined, you could leave a comment on the article talk page. --Peterdownunder (talk) 10:45, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Age categories[change source]

So are you thinking of proposing the nonagenarian, octogenarian, etc. categories for deletion? --Auntof6 (talk) 05:09, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

I honestly don't know why both of you are trying to delete those categories. I think your purpose of deletion doesn't make sense. --TDKR Chicago 101 (talk) 15:41, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Then please explain your viewpoint on the rfd page. I don't see the value of the categories, but I'm willing to consider other points of view. --Auntof6 (talk) 22:15, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Yew[change source]

The photograph that you want to keep, is not of good quality. The picture we offer comes from a public institutiuon. The text that accompanies the image you want to keep, is false and dangerous. I request the removal of administrators COMMONS. Best regards --Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 16:55, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

You need to explain yourself on the talk page of the article, not here. If you make changes without explanation, then you cannot complain when others take a different view. Macdonald-ross (talk) 20:11, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Erm[change source]

It was actually an IP who did that. I just tried to fix the mistake without noticing the abnormalities in it. Sorry, check the history for proof. Thanks. Gaz and Gaming Fan (talk) 13:52, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Also, can you please help me out on my Vector.js page? The two imported gadgets don't seem to be working. Gaz and Gaming Fan (talk) 13:52, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Ask on the WP:Simple Talk page. I don't do techie things; Mr. Content, that's me. Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:55, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Reply[change source]

I agree that the featured content process needs some decisions quite desperately; it's become stagnated. The discussion we initiated there about revising the criteria became completely swamped with secondary issues and we ended up talking about too many things at once. I tried to bring things back into focus in the end, but I had to give up on it as it wasn't going anywhere. I'm still up for continuing discussion on the criteria, but the other stuff I'm not going to bother with. Osiris (talk) 18:01, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

I think we did reach consensus on some issues. As I see it, the main issues were:
  1. How to take decisions? Since we do not have majority voting, I proposed that we had designated decision-makers. The function of these arbiters would include:
    1. Removing proposals which clearly fail to meet the prima facie conditions
    2. Deciding and acting when a clear consensus has been reached
    3. Managing the discussions. For example
      1. Preventing proposers from vexatious cross-arguing
      2. Making sure detailed comments go on talk pages, and overall assessments go on the main discussion page
      3. Notifying when a decision is immanent (&c)
  2. One proposal per person at any one time. In effect (since there are two lists) that would mean an editor could have one proposed article on each list.
  3. I think many of us would like a simpler system for the GA list. It is quite silly to be so elaborate when those pages are not destined to appear on our front page. However, we didn't really get down to this one. We should have vastly more GAs than VGAs. That we do not is partly because the procedure for GA is almost as burdensome as it is for VGA.

Macdonald-ross (talk) 18:44, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

I'll add the second point to the projects' pages in a moment. There was definitely a consensus for limiting nominations. There was a bit of support for the first idea, but if we want to go ahead with it, we'll need a clearer community consensus. I'd suggest making a final structured proposal on Simple talk that editors can simply agree or object to. I can't see much discussion on how the community would appoint users to those roles, and that's something that would need to be finalised as well. On the last point: I couldn't agree more... Some of the comments on recent candidates that I've reviewed were a little bit picky and I ended up having to close the nominations as no consensus because of them. In my opinion, PGA would work much more efficiently if one editor volunteers to review and then say whether the item meets the criteria (like the process on the English Wikipedia). And then a delegate (if that system is approved) can close the discussion or delay it if there are any glaring inconsistencies in the review. I think it's important that the PGA is overhauled: quality content can often be used a benchmark for calculating the overall success of the project. Consider the following comment at that proposal on the Village pump: "[With] only 35 featured articles and 59 good articles, [Simple] can pretty much be considered a failure". A somewhat ridiculous assertion, of course, but it will be made frequently nonetheless. And the effort involved in the current process is such a deterrent. Osiris (talk) 10:28, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Agree with everything you have said, and will support solving the GA problems. Peterdownunder (talk) 12:08, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Supposing a candidate that meets the resp. criteria, a dedicated group of editors should be able to get the article promoted, "within reasonable time" - in my view this time should be about a month. So, what can we do to make the 'GA's more interesting / less work? - In an ideal world, we should see at least one promotion, for each category, per month...--Eptalon (talk) 13:53, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
With respect Ep, I don't think you have appreciated the scale of the problem. Our procedure and guidelines for GA are a slightly less onerous version of the VGA system. That has meant it is almost as difficult and time-consuming to get a GA as it is to get a VGA. Yet the benefit is much less, because only VGAs go on the front page. Now English wiki has a quite different system for VGs compared to FA. There anyone may nominate any article, and a single reviewer makes the decision. The reviewer can accept it immediately, or reject it with reasons, or make suggestion if it is nearly there. What this achieves is more rapid decisions, and that is what we need most (IMO). See their page [1] and its subpages.
I think we should have many times the number of GAs as we actually do, and that we already have many that more or less meet that standard, but whose authors are unwilling to put them forward. The reason for that is almost certainly that the process at present interferes too much with whatever editing they prefer to do. So we might ask, not how long should it take, but how fast could we do it. I see some articles (not written by me!) which I think should be promoted right away, if it were possible, with very little discussion. That might or might not be everyone's view, of course... Macdonald-ross (talk) 16:44, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Well, all of this needs to go through a community survey. The proposal for a new procedure for PGA is pretty simple: an editor volunteers to review the page against the criteria and either passes or fails it. The delegates can intervene if there are any blatant inconsistencies or attempts to game the system. The proposal for the delegate system needs finalising before we submit it. What the role entails is clear, but how would they be appointed/removed? An election? And then a reconfirmation every year? Osiris (talk) 22:39, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Any system which works is acceptable to me. One idea is to have a group of admins who are interested in doing the job, and rotate them on a monthly basis. It will soon be clear that some can make good decisions, and handle the interactions well. At that point, those who have achieved general acclaim might do the job for longer periods. The day-to-day work could be done by one person or three (three gets you a majority in close calls). I'm aware that some few admins are already doing most of the work! However, we do have on the semi-retired roster several who might be interested in making themselves available.
Alternatively, a vote amongst completely open field of candidates might be more that we could manage at present, and might renew the thinly-veiled antagonisms between some of our editors. I'm thinking that a storm in one part of our system tends to damage or delay work in other parts of the system.
What we don't want to end up with is having the system managed by persons who are either a) nice but ineffective or b) smart but so abrasive that it hurts. Most mops are pretty much in the centre, and should be able to do a good job. Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:20, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
I've structured all of this into a formal proposal here. It needs copyediting and some of the details need confirming or rephrasing. Please feel free to do any of that if you have some spare time. I've put some notes down the bottom. I hope we can put it forward by the end of the weekend... Osiris (talk) 07:27, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi Mac. Just letting you know that I will be offline for a week starting from tomorrow. I haven't forgotten about this. A couple of questions to leave with you for the moment:

  • Does the comment you added to the top also apply to the first proposal (under the title "Delegates"). It was my understanding from the discussion mid-last year that these delegates would be overseeing both areas and that most of their work would be in VGA nominations. If we restrict their work to PGA, then I expect that most people will just say that any uninvolved admin can do this. If it isn't for both areas, then I would suggest scrapping that proposal for now.
  • Regarding templates: that doesn't really need any approval from anybody. I can construct one or more checklist templates as needed.

Osiris (talk) 03:49, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

I think the same delegates should supervise both PGA and PVGA. The purpose of having delegates is:
  1. So we have someone who knows their job is to take decisions. From previous discussion that quite obvious decisions were not taken, and hopeless causes dragged on for ages, clogging up the system.
  2. The reason for having (say) three delegates is because no one person could guarantee to be available 7 days a week. The reason for not having all admins doing the job is that it has not proved efficient in the past. My intuition that, in an open field, people delay making decisions far too much.
  3. The reason for tackling the GAs is partly because we had not discussed them seriously before, and partly my realisation that we could probably raise their number much faster by having a brisker system. And we do need to raise their number greatly, because the proportion of GAs to VGAs is far too low.
  4. The reason for having a more measured system for VGAs is that they end up on the front page. For VGAs the main discussion was about the criteria, and we still need more thoughts on prose quality.
  5. I still think PVGA proposals which are obviously below par should be promptly demoted to PGA without any argy-bargy from the proposer. We should only let PVGAs go the full month if they have a reasonable chance of making it. Otherwise they just waste the time of other editors.
Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:15, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I'm back from my break now, so will continue to work on finalising the proposal using these points. Osiris (talk) 06:10, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Uncertainty principle[change source]


I think I have done about as much as I can to make an understandable article out of Uncertainty principle. (Every time I look at it I see something that is a non sequiter or otherwise unhelpful to the reader who doesn't already sort of understand what the writer is trying to talk about.)

There is a big difference between "What would you see in the lab?" and "How do you express these findings in a proper theory?" It is easy to answer the first question in the simplest of English. It is also easy to express the conclusions to the second question in math format. Following through the math, for somebody who has a physics grad school level of math in his/her own language, might not be too difficult simply because the math will support understanding of the English text in something like the Aitchison article. If you don't have the math, the article is largely incomprehensible despite the adequate English of the authors.

What I think is most necessary is not to leave any gaps in the exposition. Beginning university students almost always have this problem because they have yet to develop the craft of writing. For the student who is struggling with either the math or the concepts, something left out because "everybody knows that" will give him or her the opportunity is make a bad guess and then get all wound up in hay wire. Putting in one new main point may involve establishing four or five links in a chain that might safely be left out in, e.g., something like the Quantum challenge book. (Even so, the authors of that book have done a remarkable job of keeping good foundations under all points.) So the article is a little long, perhaps. Somebody once said that he wrote "such a long book" because he did not have the time to make it any shorter in a way that would still work for the reader.

When I've worked over other physics articles I've used lots of links to the dictionary. Often I've had to fix the dictionary entries so that they will be broad enough to support the way the vocabulary is used in the sciences. I guess that would be the next step in improving my draft.

Is it time to merge articles? Thanks. Patrick0Moran (talk) 23:17, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Uncertainty principle: I've checked through the first couple of paras, just for copy editing. Plenty of Simple issues came up. On the other hand, I do think you have improved the explanations; it's just so hard to do that and keep track of the linguistic problems! Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:03, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
I think you may have meant Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. I will look at it over the next few days. I think it is good to have worked over the linked pages. I had to do that on the evolution/genetics/molecular biology links. It took about a year... Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:31, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have given you a link to the "new" article:

Talk:Heisenberg's uncertainty principle/Uncertainty sandbox

Thanks.Patrick0Moran (talk) 18:10, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Re: Be tougher[change source]

Hi, if you look carefully at this revision, what the IP user did was simply replacing the content with another article. He could have done that in complete good faith, maybe just testing how saving a page works. That's why I issued a level 2 warning instead of going for a higher level one. To be honest anyway both on simple and users and admins tend to be much less tough than in other wikis. I am a sysop on and we usually just implement a warn and block policy so that after the first warning if you vandalize again you get blocked. Not sure which one works best, but I try to adapt to how I generally see other people working. You're right in the sense that I could be a lot tougher, it's just that I feel is not like that. Thanks for your feedback anyways, --Snow Blizzard 10:05, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

OK, it's true, we are well known for being softies. But when vandalism occurs on a sensitive topic like sex, religion or evolution, then I think it pays to be quite clear that we will not permit it. Anyway, you sure adapted fast to our local ecology! Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:34, 16 April 2013 (UTC)