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User talk:Joseph L. Mabel

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Welcome to the Citizendium! We hope you will contribute boldly and well. Here are pointers for a quick start. You'll probably want to know how to get started as an author. Just look at CZ:Getting Started for other helpful "startup" links, and CZ:Home for the top menu of community pages. Be sure to stay abreast of events via the Citizendium-L (broadcast) mailing list (do join!) and the blog. Please also join the workgroup mailing list(s) that concern your particular interests. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forums is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any constable for help, too. Me, for instance! Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and have fun! D. Matt Innis 08:53, 2 September 2008 (CDT)


Hi Joe, can I ask what you were discouraged from doing here? I just read something to that effect on the forums thread discussing welcoming new users. And welcome :) FYI, I see CZ and WP as complementary. Chris Day 21:19, 4 September 2008 (CDT)

Pretty much the first place I headed after signing up was the forum. I wanted to understand whether my single-author articles from Wikipedia would be welcome (I now understand that they are not unless I want to continue working on them here). A topic about civility toward Wikipedians was about the first thing that caught my eye. One of the first posts I read was to the general effect that there was really only room for one online encyclopedia and that the question was how to destroy Wikipedia: this in a discussion on civility! Another of the first half-dozen posts I ran into was one conjecturing that Wikipedia pays off Google for its high rankings. Frankly, this is the sort of stuff I'd expect from participants in Wikipedia Watch or some such, not Citizendium.
Since one of the supposed advantages of Citizendium is greater civility, I'll admit I'm starting off with some doubts. "Civility" shouldn't just mean "civility toward the people I agree with". It is clear that at least some of the people here - and I have no idea how many - have enormous doubts about the good faith of people involved in Wikipedia. Since I remain one of the latter, I have my doubts about how welcome I will be here.
Several people have assured me that what I ran across wasn't typical. Maybe not. I don't know yet. Hitting two such things in a small sample tends to mean there's more of the same out there.
I think that for the moment, I will mostly confine my participation in Citizendium to making suggestions where I see things that could be improved, and see how that works out. I recently made my first such suggestion at Talk:Liberalism. - Joseph L. Mabel 22:55, 4 September 2008 (CDT)
Glad you feel you can make some contributions. It is possible to work at wikipedia AND citizendium. I would still encourage you to move articles from wikipedia that you feel are interesting and informative. Feel free to ask any questions with regard to the differences here compared to wikipedia. Chris Day 23:16, 4 September 2008 (CDT)
Joe, I too, want to encourage you to bring over your material from WP. You should place a note on the talk page stating that you are the sole writer of this material on WP. I think we have a WPbox or something like that. YOU don't have to maintain the article. You can place it here and leave it alone. Other people can maintain it as new facts develop for a particular article. You will see on the forum mentioned previously that many of our active writers imported some outstanding articles that they first wrote for WP. So, don't be discouraged, and if you ever question what you can or cannot do, be sure to ask any of the active editors and authors you see on the Recent Changes page. David E. Volk 09:57, 5 September 2008 (CDT)
Hi. Joe, welcome to CZ (regardless of whether you remain at WP or not). I seem to recall having had some discussions with you on WP, and you were one of the sane voices there. (It was on Romanian emigration, I think.) Anyway, please do persevere with our slightly different culture on CZ, where intelligent but civil debate is actually encouraged. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 07:04, 7 September 2008 (CDT)

I added the Elinor Smith article a couple of days ago, and no one seems to be objecting; I'll go look for some other possibilities. - Joseph L. Mabel 20:02, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

I put some of this on the article page. The Elinor Smith article was quite interesting, and I think set off some good discussions that are improving our ideas how to index.
Is there a general theme to your articles, such as "History of Aviation"? One good rule for articles is to try to avoid having them "orphaned". That typically means that at least three other article or Related Article pages reference them, and they link to at least three other pages. I'd be glad to help with finding linkages. From your user page, it seems like you have a wide range of interests, and one of the things I like is that some seem to be on subjects where we don't have much content. 'Same thing applies for Romania or other subjects: while we don't have a formal policy yet, a number of us believe very strongly that "orphaned" and some other kinds of isolation are not desirable. It must be hard, however, for someone not familiar with CZ to know how and where to link; we have some methods that don't exist at WP.
I'm laughing a bit, because there was a talk page, well, heated discussion a while ago when I referred to Leo Rosten's Joys of Yinglish. There was some argument about Yiddish language and literature, and it was not an area where I felt competent to discuss. You might have been very helful.
Let me look through your other articles, and, if you haven't done so, I may add some of our linkage and metadata that I certainly didn't understand when I got here. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:24, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I haven't worked much on history of aviation. I happened to write about Elinor Smith because we grew up (at very different times) in the same town (Freeport, New York), so I read her memoir and did some research. But, to be honest, I'm not very interested in learning a lot about classifying articles here, etc. I'm donating material I've already written elsewhere; if that's useful, I'll gladly keep doing it. If it's not, just tell me & I'll stop. - Joseph L. Mabel 22:57, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
That's fine, but I'd appreciate it if when you do import things, drop me or someone that will index a note. We've had times where a large bunch of articles were found, which actually had come in over time, that needed some editing or linking. It's a lot easier when that can be done when they first arrive. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:15, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Sure. I just figured you guys were watching some sort of index of new articles created. - Joseph L. Mabel 01:52, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll set up the classification for you. Howard C. Berkowitz 05:06, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I think you've gotten the wrong impression about CZ

Hi Joe, I'm glad to see you at work here and have just read through the comments on your User page and your Discussion page. I think, however, that you've formed the wrong impression about CZ.

A.) There was indeed a brief intrusion of crazies into some of the Forum discussions a while ago sassing Wikipedia. After a week or so, however, they vanished and haven't been heard of since. Like you, and a number of other people here, I was a substantial contributor to WP for a couple of years, originating and writing most of the material for a large number of articles, mostly in the old-time tennis area, as well as British and American mystery/thriller writers. Finally the level of vandalism and general all-round cretinism and dumbing-down of everything got to me and I moved over to CZ in May of '07. Since then, since this *is* an organization of human beings, I have seen a couple of arguments, some dissension, and a lot of jockeying back and forth, followed by reasonable compromise between adult, intelligent people. No one that I'm aware of wants to destroy WP or even harm it -- we simply want to create a better version of it. I would say, off-hand, that the United States Senate is a far more unruly place than CZ....

B.) As far as articles from Wikipedia not being welcomed here, that is simply not true, at least as it applies to articles written by *you* yourself. I admit that the guidelines concerning this have not always been entirely clear about it, and the commentary by various people as time has passed has *also* not always been enlightening. In my own case, however, I brought in dozens of articles from various fields such as the Pancho Segura one and the The Interlopers one. I had written those 100%, or pretty close to it, at WP, and simply put a template on the Discussion page of each article giving that information. Take a look at these two pages, here [1] and here [2] and you'll see the template. All the editors and constables here at CZ, including Larry Sanger, were well aware of what I was doing right from the start and I never received anything other than encouragement and help in my efforts. So I think that if you do have many, many WP articles created by you, then we absolutely do want you to bring them in!

All the best, Hayford Peirce 16:41, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

And no, don't worry about the indexing structure until you need it. An example, however, of the synergy, is that when I looked at your latest contribution, and created a Related Articles subpage, it occurred to me to wonder either if you have an article about Romanian cuisine, or, if not, I might even start one; I think I know a few recipes.
You and I are already working together on editing and linking. A lot of us, I think, put a good deal of emphasis on that, because it encourages collaboration.
Coincidentally, in the Forums, there is a new discussion just on how to handle articles on cuisine. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:57, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
To Hayford: yes, I've started bringing things over, having received some encouragement to do so. I still will probably be more focused on WP than here, but at least I can be of some help here as well. - Joseph L. Mabel 18:54, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I might not be the best person to write on Romanian cuisine at any great length. I've spent a good bit of time in Bucharest, but since I don't eat mammals or birds and it's a pretty meat-centered cuisine, I don't know my way around it that well. Still, I can provide one interesting sidelight: they have something like a Lenten season before Christmas, as well as before Easter. During those seasons, Orthodox Romanians confine themselves to what is known as "produse/mâncare de post", which is vegan and also avoids certain spices and oils. I found that as a traveler there, if I couldn't find anything on a menu that I would normally eat, I'd ask for something "preparate de post" and they could usually conjure something. - Joseph L. Mabel 19:01, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
That is an absolutely great example of something that might be no more than a paragraph stub article, but can link to lots of different places and give ideas. For example, that has relevance to cuisine, Romania, religion, philosophical issues of vegan and other forms of vegetarianism, etc. I wonder if the avoided spices and oils are anything like some of the Jain (and I believe some others) restrictions where it is desired to avoid any hint of the taste or appearance of meat? Howard C. Berkowitz 19:24, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Hmm. I don't think there is even an English-language term for it. Would you put the article at mâncare de post, or where? - Joseph L. Mabel 05:38, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Good question. I am not a linguist; other people might have a better idea. There is an article on vegetarianism; perhaps that would suggest a term. There's nothing wrong, however, with having an article with a non-English title; I am not the best person to ask if diacritical marks should be in the main title, or to have a "proper" redirect to a title with basic Roman characters. I tend to prefer the latter, since search engines often don't cope well with special characters.
I did some quick searching, and didn't find a real definition. A few Romanian restaurants offering it were described, in general vegetarian webpages, as "vegan friendly", but I have no idea if that is a good equivalent. Howard C. Berkowitz 06:01, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I already did a diacritic in a title, at Casa Capşa‎. - Joseph L. Mabel 06:20, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Romanian post is usually translated as "fasting", but that's not really quite on the mark. Also, one Romanian term for Lent is Postul Mare, but there is clearly more to that than "the big fast". - Joseph L. Mabel 06:24, 18 January 2009 (UTC)