User talk:Peter Schmitt/Archive 3

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Hourglass drawing.svg Where Peter lives it is approximately: 21:54
< 2009(May19-Dec31) / 2010(Jan01-Aug28) / Sep 2010--2011

You've won the lottery for an invitation !!!

Peter, you just won the opportunity to take a look at the new Volatility (chemistry) article and apply your proof reading skills as well as your skill at writing comments on the article's Talk page. It also gives you the opportunity to tear yourself away from the forums. Enjoy !!! Milton Beychok 16:59, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

It is only a matter of style, but for my taste the "For more information see" is overdone: The same terms are linked just below them, and they are also listed as "Related articles. --Peter Schmitt 22:58, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Peter, for all the items you picked up ... I knew i could count on you. Milton Beychok 00:19, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

My bio

Peter as always I have great respect for you and your contributions. I hope this friendly discussion won't tarnish that. Here's what I posted to D. Matt Innis' talk page: The correct procedure would have been notifying a Constable of a potential infraction. It is the job of the Constable to take care of such matters. If every Citizen is allowed to "police" or correct other user pages mayhem could ensue. This is not the only time David Finn is offered to "correct" me and I have politely responded to his "corrections". In actuality, I probably have a bit more CZ membership time than he does, but I do not go around offering "help" unless asked. I posted this to Peter's page. Thanks!Mary Ash 14:37, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

CZ Authors

Anthony, by accident I noticed that you changed your "CZ Authors" category entry. You are now listed under "A" in the alphabetical list. --Peter Schmitt 23:01, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Peter, I didn't 'change' the entry, I tried adding it, to see if I would show up in both the "A" and "S" alphabetical list. Didn't work. Fixed now.
Had thought about Aleta's question re easy way to find someone's user page when, say, she only remembered the first name. But experiment didn't work. Thanks for alerting me. Anthony.Sebastian 23:24, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

You've been Nominated!

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Article 54

  • In conjunction with the Declaration of the Editor-in-Chief regarding the effectivity of this Charter, there shall be a call for nominations for the following offices: Managament Council (five seats), Editorial Council (seven seats), Managing Editor (one), Ombudsman (one). This shall be the effective date of the Charter.
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Thanks again for the commitment you're making to assure that Citizendium becomes the premier quality online source we all have envisioned.

D. Matt Innis 13:06, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

I may not be available till Sunday, Oct. 10

--Peter Schmitt 13:55, 7 October 2010 (UTC)


Peter, did you see Order (relation)? Do you like it? Here are some possible scenarios.

(0) Do nothing.
(1) One of us approves it, the other helps.
(2) One of us splits it (into "order" and "lattice"?), the other approves "order".

For now I am familiar with everything before "Dilworth's theorem". In order to approve it all, I have to take some books and learn. Also, lattices may be treated as partially ordered sets, but alternatively they may be treated as algebraic structures (with given operations, not relations). Boris Tsirelson 16:23, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

I prefer splitting for two reasons:
(a) I think it is didactically better to avoid putting too many material in one article,
(b) As you say, lattices are algebraic structures, orders are relations. They are related and induce each other, but they are different concepts.
Moreover, I think that "order relation" is a better title for the first part of the article which concentrates on introducing mathematical terminology and concepts. An article on "order" could be a non-technical introduction (or should be added to "order relation").
As for Dilworth's theorem: It is rather isolated in the current article. It could get its own page, or be included in some page on the structure of ordered sets. (Dilworth's theorem is equivalent to the marriage theorem on bipartite graphs, and the flow-cut(?) theorem on networks.)
--Peter Schmitt 22:23, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree completely. So, who is the splitter and who is the approver? Boris Tsirelson 06:52, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
We should care about "lattice", it has other meanings. Boris Tsirelson 07:32, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
I do not mind to perform the split. But if you prefer to do it I do not mind, either.
Yes, "lattice (algebraic structure)" or "lattice (algebra)"
--Peter Schmitt 12:01, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Nice; just do the split.
"lattice (algebra)"? Is it "our" lattice, or a discrete subgroup..? Boris Tsirelson 12:42, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Mmmh, you are right, the second version would still be ambiguous. I only thought of "lattice (number theory) or/and "lattice (geometry)". But the first one is better, anyway. --Peter Schmitt 12:48, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Still a problem: I am not sure that Lattice (discrete subgroup) belongs to number theory or geometry rather than algebra. WP suggests "lattice (order)" and "lattice (group)"; not very satisfactory, but is there something better, or not? They both can be treated as algebraic, in one sense or another. Boris Tsirelson 15:43, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Looking at Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mathematics (Math. Soc. Japan), I see in the subject index:
Lattice (=lattice ordered set)
Lattice (of a Lie group)
Lattice (in Rn).
Boris Tsirelson 16:23, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

How do you request a page deletion?

I left this message on the roast turkey talk page:

No, Peter I did not know that an author could request a page deletion. How do you request a page be deleted? I plan no more work on this article as it does not meet Citizendium standards. The one thing I learned in life, so far, is to know when to cut your losses. I am moving onto to other articles to write. Again, how do you request a page deletion? I searched Citizendium and could find nothing to enlighten me on this subject. Thanks!Mary Ash 14:39, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Crypto/math articles

A while back I asked for comment from math editors User_talk:Peter_Schmitt/Archive_2#Three_active_math_editors... on some crypto articles. The only reply I got was a favorable one from Boris.

Are any of those — discrete logarithm, Diffie-Hellman or RSA algorithm — approvable? If not, what do they need? Sandy Harris

Thank you for asking, Sandy. But unfortunately I had not enough time (and energy) to look at these while all these policy discussions took place. I have to ask for patience, I am sorry. --Peter Schmitt 08:00, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Not a problem. Sandy Harris 09:22, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

The approval

Peter, you are silent on Talk:Schröder-Bernstein theorem#Toward approval, why? What should I do: wait more? approve the old version? Boris Tsirelson 06:20, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, Boris. I didn't have enough time during the last few days. And that time was taken by the forum discussions (and a few disputes I got involved into). Of course, you may approve the "old" version, or you may wait for some more edits on the history. I would not take the current, intermediate version. And I think that it will not hurt to wait a few days. --Peter Schmitt 08:04, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I am waiting. (Hope, not for long.) Boris Tsirelson 09:48, 18 October 2010 (UTC)\
Really I wonder why do you call the current version "intermediate". As for me it is quite good, and needs only a slight tweaking. But, it seems, your idea of a history section is more demanding; really? Boris Tsirelson 16:36, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
If the article is under development then it is not developed and therefore cannot be under approval. Boris Tsirelson 18:52, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
I call it intermediate because I used the history sectiot to save some information. As you pointed out, there are still some questions open. --Peter Schmitt 00:18, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I see: it is under development again. And I am afraid that its approval will need a more knowledgeable editor than me; I do not know the history, and the sources are hardly available to me. Boris Tsirelson 07:26, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Boris, if you want, you may approve the "old" version without the history in it (as was your initial intention). The history section will still be available in the draft. I always wanted to add such a section, but began earlier than I had planned because of the questions raised on the talk page. Personally, I think that a history section is nice to have, but we also can do without it. --Peter Schmitt 10:23, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I may, but I am in doubt; indeed, then your "history" section (to appear...) will be invisible for usual visitors (till the next approval). Thus I prefer to ask your opinion: do you want it to happen or not? Boris Tsirelson 11:46, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Since you seem to prefer it with the history, I have tried to finish the section as good as can at the moment. If you like it then it could be approved now, I assume. --Peter Schmitt 13:58, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes! I prefer it, I like it, and I am glad to approve it now. Boris Tsirelson 14:17, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Peter for all the work you do

Thanks Peter for all the work you do. The turkey article is shaping up real nice. Thanks again!Mary Ash 00:31, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

I haven't contributed to the turkey article. But there remains still a lot to do -- shaping it up, I mean -- for you :-) --Peter Schmitt 00:39, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry the article was such a turkey :-) Thanks again and best, Mary Ash 00:45, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Roast turkey

Do you want me to merge the histories of the subpages of Roast turkey (American) into the subpages of Roast turkey, too?

To a different degree. (I know it is cumbersome to do.): Certainly the Recipes subpage, probably Related Articles and Definition (and main page), not needed for Bibliography and External Links. I tried to express with the comments added to the templates. --Peter Schmitt 09:50, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
I've merged all the Roast turkey (American), Related Articles, Definition, and Recipes to Roast turkey. Please make sure I didn't miss anything! D. Matt Innis 16:19, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. It is ok, I think. Do you want me to put templates on the redirects, or will delete them directly? --Peter Schmitt 10:36, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Going cold turkey

Hi, Peter, could you take a look at: and offer your considered opinion when you have a moment? Many thanks! Hayford Peirce 22:05, 19 October 2010 (UTC)


Wasn't all that it is cracked up to be! Besides, they doubled my pay and it's only one weekend a month! D. Matt Innis 02:18, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Would appreciate your comments on Acid rain

Peter, I just finished almost a complete re-write of Acid rain, including a new graphic that I drew. I would appreciate it if you look it over and let me know (on the article's Talk page) if you think it is too long, too short or whatever. I know it is somewhat U.S. centric, but I just could not find any good sources for information about acid rain in other parts of the world. However, I am fairly sure that the formation and effects of acid rain in other countries would be pretty much the same as in the U.S. Milton Beychok 20:15, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your edit to Acid rain

Thanks, Peter. Sorry that I did not thank you sooner but I have been very, very busy with starting our donation drive. We already have $372 in donations and I'm sure we will get what we need soon ... I hope! Milton Beychok 05:25, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

About my thanking you

Peter, I know that I don't "need" to thank you each time you edit an article I am involved with ... but that is just a habit I try to cultivate. Its just a way to acknowledge your edit. I hope that does not bother you. Regards, Milton Beychok 18:08, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Offline till 27 Nov

--Peter Schmitt 00:26, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Peter could you please archive my talk page

Peter when you return could you please archive my talk page. I appreciate your kindness in doing so. Thankss!Mary Ash 06:20, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

World of Warcraft reapproval

A new World of Warcraft expansion is being released on the 7th December and on that day our currently approved article will become out of date. I have updated the draft and nominated it for approval, however I need the support of two more Editors. As one of the Editors involved in the original approval, I was hoping you would support this update. As you can see, the changes to the article are minimal. Thanks --Chris Key 16:38, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Chris, shouldn't the update wait until the new version is known and can be included? If the answer is "no": Why do you think that three editors are needed? I was not involved in the update. --Peter Schmitt 18:25, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we need to wait, as the expansion has been in beta testing for several months and all the information from that beta-test is very accessible. You're right, you can approve it as an individual Editor --Chris Key 05:29, 1 December 2010 (UTC)


Sorry, I don't get that. --Daniel Mietchen 16:18, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

See CZ:Proposals/Disambiguation mechanics#Implementation details. I think this is an example for the use of a "base term". (I do not insist.) --Peter Schmitt 17:35, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
This proposal never went through the whole proposal process and was thus never implemented. I am open to try to get it (or a variant thereof) past the EC, but as long as {{mainredir}} does not exist, I do not see a reason to add it anywhere. I don't mind where the redirect is pointing - both physics and disambiguation would be fine with me. --Daniel Mietchen 18:58, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
As a new Constable I have been put on "speedydelete" duty. But before I "speedydelete" the old subpages for "Second" can you please confirm that this question is settled -- that the article should be at "Second (physics)" where it is now -- and that I should delete these subpages? I wanted to be sure before taking the action. Thanks. Bruce M. Tindall 18:55, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for asking: We only discussed where the redirect on the main page should point. This does not concern the redirects on the subpages to be deleted. They are not needed. But I forgot to remove the template on the main page when the talk page became used. --Peter Schmitt 19:48, 5 December 2010 (UTC)


Hey Peter,

How did you pick that particular time? It seems 12 hours off of my EST. I used the ~~~~~ D. Matt Innis 19:59, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

The text says
"D. Matt Innis has nominated the version dated 14:32, 5 December 2010"
and the version to which it points has this date. I consider the instruction to use five tildes as a bug: This gives the time when you nominate the article, never the date/time of the version. I copy it from the history page.
Usually this does not matter much because normally the top version will be approved. But in this case? --Peter Schmitt 20:31, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh, yes, I agree that the version date would be better to have in that spot, but I think Chris Day designed it to have the current time. It could use a good rethink ;-) D. Matt Innis 20:39, 7 December 2010 (UTC)


See my comments at Talk:WikiLeaks#An_Editorial_Council_member_will_help_out Sandy Harris 13:18, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

I am about done editing the draft at User:Sandy_Harris/WikiLeaks. Please have a look. Sandy Harris 10:54, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Sandy. While it may not be necessary, I am waiting until the EC proposal is (formally) passed. --Peter Schmitt 11:04, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Use of sources

Hi Peter:

I am not familiar with CZ customs, so I thought I'd ask you about sources. You've brought up two points. First, that items of fact that are widely known do not need sourcing. Second, that sources should be those commonly used.

Perhaps you could clarify whether those are CZ policies, or more accurately your preferences?

In considering these points, here are two observations:

Of course, items of fact may not be known to every reader, and a source often provides a wider context and various implications that the reader could find useful. In such a case, providing a source, particularly one available on-line via Google or Amazon is surely a service to the reader.
And also, authoritative sources do not necessarily provide the most lucid description of a topic, nor the most current, and often aren't easy to find unless you've accumulated a personal library. Particularly when a lucid discussion is available on-line, it seems a service to the reader to provide a readily accessible link to a lucid discussion even if it is not the definitive work on the subject.

I wonder a bit whether your view of these matters is more that of a writer of a journal paper, where the purpose of sources is to support a statement and avoid rehash of arguments available elsewhere, rather than that of a writer trying to be helpful to a non-technical reader even if that requires hand-holding? John R. Brews 05:59, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Peter, I quite agree with John that sources are useful even if the facts are widely known to those who are well acquainted with the subject being written about. There will be readers to whom the items of fact are not widely known.
I also agree with John that sometimes the most authoritative sources are not easily available and an on-line lesser authoritative article is easily accessible ... in which case, it can be useful to reference the on-line article.
In my opinion, the more we help the non-knowledgeable reader with references, the better. About the only references that I dislike are those that act like a dictionary ... that is, they explain the meaning of some common words available in most dictionaries. We are building an encyclopedia ... not a dictionary. Milton Beychok 06:23, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
See also CZ_Talk:Article_Mechanics#Citation_relevance. Sandy Harris 07:35, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Let me say first that this is to a great deal a matter of style (and taste). Moreover, conventions vary from field to field. While (modern) mathematicians very rarely use footnotes, philosophers and historians seem to like them.
Another important aspect to consider is, of course, the potential reader: What may help him, what may distract him?
When I came to CZ I found this on citations (Sandy referenced the accompanying talk page), found it sound and liked it. Eventually (but not urgently) the EC will have to review this, of course.
Specifically, on the current issue:
  • The "Levi-Civita symbol" is a term used in differential geometry (only, I think). This is not a claim that needs to be proven (even though less usual than "Levi-Civita tensor"), therefore it does not need a reference on the page. The reader has no reason to doubt the definition and look if it is reproduced "neutrally".
  • Of course, we should recommend "further reading" (but only if we can recommend it! -- not all possible references, only carefully selected ones). The user should be able to trust that it is worth the effort to follow the recommendation (if he is interested to know more). But such recommendations belong into the Bibliography, not into references. (However, I doubt that a definition like this needs further reading, while further reading is suitable for the Levi-Civita tensor.)
  • I would like to include (in the text, not in a reference) a remark on where the symbol was first introduced (Levi-Civita?), and who first called it "Levi-Civita symbol". This would be historical information. The (original) sources would belong into the Bibliography, as well as the paper where this information was found (claimed).
As for the footnote on the sign of permutations: Either leave it unexplained, or explain it (briefly) in the text. (I agree with the cited guidelines.)
--Peter Schmitt 01:19, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Peter: Thanks for the link to References, which presents the present position of CZ. Personally, as you may judge, I find this treatment too brief and too narrow in numerous respects. Needless to say, a more complete CZ guideline would require community discussion.

However, I do hope that you can understand that the view taken by the CZ policy, that references "are not needed for information that is common knowledge among experts", falls short of saying that references for purposes of elucidation should be avoided. Also, the CZ policy suggestion that "an informational note may be included as a reference in order to make important clarifications of the text" could be interpreted to allow citation in footnotes of sources that serve an explanatory function.

In any event, assisting the reader seems to me a paramount goal, and the CZ policy should not be capable of interpretation in ways that interfere with that objective; perhaps the present formulation of policy is ripe for revision. Would you agree? John R. Brews 04:21, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Peter: Reading this over, I think I'm sounding too contentious here. As you have said above "Another important aspect to consider is, of course, the potential reader: What may help him, what may distract him? "

The answer, according to some, is to avoid footnotes as much as possible. I remember seeing a discussion on Charlie Rose with "Jimbo" Wales in which Charlie expressed his own view that he'd prefer to have articles with no footnotes, just the facts. Perhaps that is your view too, eh Peter?

So the question is whether we need a rigid set of policies to limit footnotes, or just some guidelines, or leave it to each editor as a matter of taste? John R. Brews 14:47, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Hope you don't mind me looking in on this interesting exchange. It is clear that there are very different preferences among the various authors and editors here on Citizendium. Some (like Anthony Sebastian) like very extensive footnotes, others (like Robert Badgett) like very close referencing but no text in footnotes, others prefer minimal referencing. Personally I prefer light referencing - mainly only things that I think should be checked because they might be controversial, and use the bibliography for deep sources. But it has to be a personal judgement call, bearing in mind your chosen audience, and what works best for you. I also like footnotes a lot, but not everyone does.Gareth Leng 16:44, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I often include footnotes (written text) amongst my list of <ref></ref> references when I feel that a word or phrase in the article needs a bit of explanation and there is no other article that I can wiki link to for that explanation. I don't think we should adopt any rigid set of policies regarding references and/or footnotes. Milton Beychok 17:38, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I suppose, my position is similar to that of Gareth (if I understand him correctly).
Well, I prefer to avoid footnotes where a direct link between a word (or sentence) and the accompanying remark is not needed.
Thus, for instance, the precise source for a quote would deserve a footnote (if not given in the text). But I might consider citing it as (Author, page ...) only, leaving the bibliographical data for the Bibliography (in particular, if this book is cited several times!).
As for explaining footnotes: In many cases, I think, they are better merged with the text.
I'll comment on the particular cases on Talk:Levi-Civita symbol. --Peter Schmitt 19:01, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

UFO references are missing

Peter when you moved the UFO history some of the references went missing. They can not be found on the catalog page. Since the references are integral for sourcing the facts could you please add them. I would do this but I don't know how. Thanks!Mary Ash 23:08, 9 January 2011 (UTC)


See User_talk:Sandy_Harris/WikiLeaks#I_think_I.27m_done. Sandy Harris 10:16, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanky, Sandy. I'll read it. --Peter Schmitt 00:09, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Holmes, just for fun

Hi Peter - little question for ya Aleta Curry 23:56, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Noticed at once ;-) -- and dutifully answered. --Peter Schmitt 00:08, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
You're quick off the mark - wotta guy! Aleta Curry 00:49, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

New mathematics author

Peter, I just confirmed the authorship of Richard D. Gill, a professor of mathematics at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. You may wish to leave him a welcoming message on his user page. Regards, Milton Beychok 19:05, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

You can see my ME talk page comments

NM Mary Ash 17:31, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Accordingly, I replied there. --Peter Schmitt 18:48, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
And I just left a reply.Mary Ash 19:05, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Another new mathematics author

In case you don't get automatic notifications of these things, there is a new author, User:Wietze Nijdam, in your workgroup. Bruce M. Tindall 16:40, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the Owens Lake edits

Thanks for polishing up this article: [[1]] as I was trying to figure how to do what you did. I spent about two years writing about this subject, and some things have changed, and some have not. Hope you liked the article.Mary Ash 15:08, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Well, I only made a small change that occurred to me. There remains a lot to do for you!
For instance, the Bibliography should be more than a collection of links. Books, papers have to be cited correctly (Author,Title,publisher, year of publication.) For sites (if reliable) the "owner" should be completely given. In many cases the link should not go merely to the home page, but to particular, relevant page(s) (and these should be cited like papers).
--Peter Schmitt 18:07, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

EPA Questions & Answers

I left this comment on the Owens Lake talk page. My only comment is I did not plagiarize. Any works done by federal employees are NOT copyrighted and can be freely used by anyone at anytime verbatim. This also applies for any images, graphics, photos or any other work done by a federal employee. "Works by the U. S. government are not eligible for U. S. copyright

protection." Source: Also, I gave appropriate credit for the source the US EPA. I do appreciate the edits you made as you found updated information. That is a good thing as we want articles to be as accurate as possible.Mary Ash 03:56, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

I thought you'd like to know that I did not plagiarize as works by US Federal employees are public domain. I hope this clarifies the issue. If you have any questions feel free to leave a message on my talk page. Thanks! Mary Ash 04:16, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

I think perhaps this new user needs a bit of help

Hi, Peter:

New user Philippe Callé has somehow ended up with a user subpage entitled User:Philippe Callé/Pinkwich5.js. Would you please contact him and see if needs some help? I'm off to bed in a few minutes and you know more about our system software than I do. Thanks, Milton Beychok 07:25, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi, Milt. This is ok, I think. This is a way to add customized functionality to one's skin. Perhaps we should recommend not using Pinkwich? --Peter Schmitt 09:55, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Peter, I added some customized functionality (Google search of CZ) to my Monobook skin about 2 years ago ... and I didn't end up with a user subpage. That is what caught my eye. Milton Beychok 18:01, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
But you have such user subpages e.g. User:Milton Beychok/Monobook.css. ".css" is "cascading style sheet" while ".js" is "Java script". I don't have such subpages (never bothered to do -- maybe I should), but Daniel and Chris have them, for instance. --Peter Schmitt 18:14, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Once again, you are right. I had completely forgotten that I had that subpage. Thanks, Peter. Milton Beychok 19:41, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Knotty question

I saw that you know everything about knot theory. A friend of mine has a friend who was playing with a piece of string and made a pretty knot. She looked it up in all the (nautical) knot books but to her surpirse - and to the surprise of real life knot experts - it didn't exist. Is there a mathematics catalogue of all knots? Richard D. Gill 12:08, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for replying before Peter; I know only a little about knots; all knots are an infinite set; but I see 35 knots on page 1749 of vol.II of "EDM2" - Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mathematics, second edition, MIT press 1987 (transl. from Japan). --Boris Tsirelson 16:29, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Richard, where did you see this? It is certainly not true! I know that knots can be classified, but as far as I know there is no invariant or algorithm that is able to distinguish between all of them. Small knots have certainly been enumerated, probably farther then on the list mentioned by Boris.
But, as a matter of fact, you are not looking for a mathematical classification, I think. Many practical knots are equivalent to the trivial knot (unknot).
There is a popular book on different ways to tie a tie.
--Peter Schmitt 00:03, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I have asked my friend to provide more details. I see the point of many knots being equivalent to the trivial knot. For instance, the knot you tie your shoes with... this is often considered an advantage. Possibly we need a different definition in order to usefuly classify knots for application in sailing, etc. Richard D. Gill 18:11, 14 February 2011 (UTC)


You may have been too busy to deal with the questionnaire that we sent to you (by e mail ) last Tuesday - or you may not wish to complete it . Either way, it would help us to plan our work if you would indicate below whether you intend to complete it.

There is a copy of the questionnaire at user:Nick_Gardner_/Sandbox

Nick Gardner 06:25, 22 February 2011 (UTC) on behalf of Pat Palmer, Tom Simmons and Nick Gardner

Forum link

Thanks, Peter, you identified the problem correctly. I fixed it. Bruce M. Tindall 15:25, 25 February 2011 (UTC)


Peter, there were several articles in the speedydelete page that seemed questionable concerning whether the speedydelete template was actually on the page to be deleted. Take a look and make sure they are supposed to be deleted. Thanks! D. Matt Innis 02:51, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Are you talking about these two?
--Peter Schmitt 01:11, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, there were others, but they dissappeared shortly after I wrote this note. All of them were Related Articles pages. I've deleted JDAM. Thanks for your help! D. Matt Innis 01:31, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Could it be that some of the pages had a speedydelete that was not protected by noinclude? Then related articles may have transcluded the speedydelete category. This was the reason for introducing the "subst:fast del" method. --Peter Schmitt 01:49, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Except that, like Adolf Hitler, the speedydelete template was half way down the page and when I checked he history, there was nothing showing anyone placing it. At first I though maybe it was on the talk page, but it wasn't. All I could figure is that someone had transcluded something that I wasn't aware of, but that doesn't seem to be the case either. I'm surely puzzled. D. Matt Innis 02:02, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
There are still a few there that do not have SD templates on them. [2], [3], etc.. D. Matt Innis 02:06, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
How happy I am not to be a Constable anymore! This was the sort of thing that used to baffle me -- and make me seriously GROUCHY! Hayford Peirce 02:22, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
If the SD is transcluded by an r-template then this may well be in the middle of the page.
A null edit has removed the items from the list -- it seems that the software is slow in updating this list after you deleted the the transcluded page.
As can be seen on EBGU-15 Howard uses the unprotected template. --Peter Schmitt 02:25, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
If the SD is transcluded by an r-template then this may well be in the middle of the page. So does this mean that the page should be deleted?

(unindent) No, of course not, because the template is not intended for this page. To prevent transclusion, the template has to be put between "noinclude" tags.

In order to simplify this I created a "fast del" template that has to be entered as:

 <{{subst:fast del|explanation|~~~~}}>  

(This is described on the pages dealing with (speedy)deletions.) --Peter Schmitt 10:12, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

From the way the instructions are written, I assumed (incorrectly, of course) that "fast del" was an alternative to "speedydelete" that would get the page deleted faster (I'm not sure how that was going to happen). If we want them to use "fast del", why don't we just get rid of the rest? D. Matt Innis 12:26, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Financial Report as of March 15, 2011

Please read our Financial Report as of March 15, 2001 for complete details on our financial history and our current financial situation. If you have any questions, please ask them on CZ Talk:Donate. Milton Beychok 00:22, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

New Math/Physics author

We have a new Mathematics and Physics author, Amin Yazdani, whom you might want to welcome. He is a student at a university in Iran. Bruce M. Tindall 14:33, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Coordinate systems

Peter: I think you could help with the subsection on coordinate systems at coordinate systems. Would you be so kind as to take a look at this and offer your suggestions? John R. Brews 20:37, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

John, I was away for some days. I will look at this article (hopefully: soon). --Peter Schmitt 01:40, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Hello from Charles Marean, Jr

The template message you left on my talk page sounded very rude to me. Maybe you're allowed to rewrite the template. So far I've read CZ:Quick Start CZ:About and CZ:FAQ. From what I read I was under the impression that this site was started to fork Wikipedia. Thank you for the information, although it was worded as if accusing me of wrongdoing and was therefore a very rude tone. The article about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake was written by me except about five words. I only planned to bring articles I wrote here, although with the book review I decided not to because I would have had to upload too many pictures for it to be fun. I decided to write short articles based on the english grammar and composition book I just started to read. Otherwise I've got no writing idea at this time. The article somebody deleted summarized chapter one, which explained the difference between names and people, and so forth. If nobody wants to undelete the article, would you please e-mail it to me (my version of it that is). I might want to use it somewhere. I worked on that article, including reading the chapter, for probably over an hour. As far as the category system here being different from other wikis, I just looked for the directions and was unable to find anything on the subject. What is there to read about how to do categories? On Wikipedia I did not agree that I was ever point of view pushing or using non-reliable sources, and the harassment I received on my talk page and elsewhere there was wrong. Suppose I did point of view push or use unreliable sources, which I did not. The harassment would still have been wrong. To read the book on english grammar and composition I need a reason. Writing for this site might keep me reading it. I’m not here to be criticized or disliked. Therefore, I think I’ll submit the rest of the English grammar and composition articles by e-mail. At least you’ll all know I’m trying to write well.--Charles Marean, Jr 10:25, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

On second thought, I’ve decided to not e-mail the articles (or write them) because it would be just as easy to reject them by e-mail as online. Also, your message on my talk page, and errors mysteriously appearing in text, suggests that this site has too many “guidelines” and “principles” to read, and, like Wikipedia, has one too many critics, it is therefore not worth my time.--Charles Marean, Jr 16:15, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, Charles, if you cnsider my message as rude -- it was not meant to be. It was meant as friendly advice. You are a newcomer and I wanted to inform you of a few facts you have to know if you want to contribute here. By the way, none or your articles was deleted.
Above you write: "I’m not here to be criticized." This is another advice: You should be aware that criticism is very frequent here. You will have to bear it like any other Citizen.
--Peter Schmitt 23:35, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

{{reflist}} and <references/>

Peter, thanks for fixing the {{reflist}} template. As for <references/>. Don't change it ...please leave it just as it is.

That way, each author/editor has a choice:

  • <references/> to produce text with same font size as the main article text
  • {{reflist}} to produce text with a smaller font size than the main article text

That is what exactly as it was before the software update. - Milton Beychok 03:56, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

{{reflist|2}} still doesn't appear to be working. Same problem area? Howard C. Berkowitz 04:41, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Look on test wiki if there are problems with may changes. I reverted Dan's changes thus fixing two-columns may have introduced another problem. --Peter Schmitt 09:27, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
It looks to me as if {{reflist|2}} is working okay on the testwiki. Still not working on the live wiki. - Milton Beychok 15:15, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
It cannot work because I did not change it yet. Dan has changed it a week ago. If there was some problem then this will return. Therefore my question: Did you notice some problem (on one of the wikis)? --Peter Schmitt 22:11, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

(unindent) Peter, I thought that I had answered your question ... but evidently I was not understood. So let me try again:

  • I am using the Smog article for testing, both on the test wiki and the live wiki.
  • {{reflist}} works correctly on both the test wiki and the live wiki. It is produces smaller font-sized text in the References section than the text in the main body of the article.
  • {{reflist|2}} works correctly on the live test wiki and produces two columns of references as it should.
  • {{reflist|2}} is not working correctly on the live wiki as yet.
  • As of this moment, both the test wiki and the live wiki are using {{reflist|2}}. On the test wiki, it produces two columns of references and both columns have the smaller font size. On the live wiki, it does not produce two columns. However, the single column that it does produce on the live wiki does have the smaller font size as it should.

Does that make it clear? And I do understand that you have not yet changed {{reflist|2}} on the live wiki. Milton Beychok 23:24, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

It seems that I have not been clear enough, Milt. I hesitated to change the template on the main wiki because I feared to introduce a bug (fixed by Dan last week). I have changed it now. But there may be an unknown problem elsewhere. --Peter Schmitt 23:49, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Peter, you were right .... another problem has been found. Anthony Sebastian reported error messages in the Paleolithic diet article which uses the referencing method described in CZ:List-defined references. That method uses a template that involves {{reflist|refs= which was working perfectly until you revised {{reflist|2}}. Now the examples given in CZ:List-defined references are also exhibiting the same error messages as in Paleolithic diet.
Could you please revert the changes you made in {{reflist|2}} and then see if that removes the error messages from Paleolithic diet and Paleolithic diet List-defined references? If it does remove the error messages, then we will know that there is a conflict to be resolved. - Milton Beychok 02:18, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Peter, you will see the red-lettered error flags here in the References and in the Notes section. The Notes section uses the "group" feature of {{Reflist}} John R. Brews 04:19, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Am I right that you want to introduce the (the formerly not used) group feature to the reflist template? Is it reasonable to do this if it breaks the twocolumn mode, frequently used for a long time? --Peter Schmitt 09:44, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Peter: I have no idea what is involved in doing this: if it is something major, there are other methods to do the same thing. It is just in the interest of making things easier to use: the group feature is very similar to the standard list-definition method. Otherwise, one has to use the tag approach to introduce groups. Certainly the main objective is to get the standard list-definition working. That supersedes getting the two-column feature working as well. John R. Brews 12:48, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Peter, I agree with John. The most important thing is to get the List-defined references method working again. That should take precedence over {{reflist|2}} and getting the group feature to work. - Milton Beychok 15:00, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I have combined the two version: {{reflist|2}} uses the "old" template, all other use the newer version. And all switch to "small" font. I hope this works now. --Peter Schmitt 16:46, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Peter, I am almost afraid to say this ... but everything seems to be working okay now. The last time I said that, a problem occurred almost immediately ... let us hope that all is well now. Milton Beychok 17:21, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Hey, Peter: Congratulations, and thank you. John R. Brews 18:30, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

The test wiki and the list-defined references

Peter, just a thought. Do you think any changes are needed in the test wiki so that it is consistent with the template fixes you just made in the live wiki? - Milton Beychok 17:42, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Done. I do not think that it is necessary, but since it is easy ... --Peter Schmitt 18:58, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Two columns with list-defined references

Hi Peter:

I have not found any documentation on how to use both list-defined references and two columns. The only work around I've come up with is to use two groups, <ref name = xxx group=Column_A/> & <ref name = yyy group=Column_B/> and then use the column template to put the two groups in two columns. Any ideas? John R. Brews 21:36, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

I am not a specialist for this template. Unless it is used as {{reflist|2}} it is the same as the WP template modified to use small font. This allows list and group mode but did not work with simple column mode (though it should). I therefore used a switch: The parameter "2" uses the old template that does not allow the list or group options. This seems to involve a general problem (a browser problem?). You may find out more by reading the WP documentation. --Peter Schmitt 22:17, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Frankly, I don't see any real need for being able to use list-defined references in a two-column mode ... other than to intellectually prove that something is possible. I originally created the List-defined references article because, to me, it was obviously a simpler and easier method of formatting references and also removed a lot of clutter from the edit windows of articles. I fear that trying to use it in a two-column mode may make it more complex and harder to understand. I believe that perhaps we should let a good thing alone and not try to make it all-encompassing and much more complicated. - Milton Beychok 22:34, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Milt: I've found no way to use list-defined references with two columns other than breaking them up into different types, which means they will use different numbering systems like Ref[A1], Ref[B1], not something you'd normally do. I wouldn't say using two-column reference lists is a big deal in general terms, and {{reflist|2}} is no huge feature, but if you want to do it, you cannot use list-defined references. So, I'd go along with you and say its no big deal, assuming two-column reference lists are no big deal in general. John R. Brews 22:51, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, John, I don't think that two-column reference lists are a big deal in general. - Milton Beychok 23:03, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I can offer you {{reflist2}} for this purpose -- same syntax as reflist (except two-column mode, of course). --Peter Schmitt 00:06, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

(unindent) Peter, Milton, and John: Thanks to you all for your initiative, time and effort, and perseverance. I really like the list-defined reference method, including the two column reflist. Some comments:

  • I know there's way way to include Google's Chrome browser in the code along with 'mozilla', but it's not in my head.
  • I wish we could have an extra blank line between references in the reflist, to reduce the text density.
  • I personally, emphasize 'personally', do not care for the small (AAAsssDDD) text of the reflist, so I ventured to create my first template, {{reflist3 test}}, based on {{reflist2}}, leaving out the code for small font size, and it seems to work (see Paleolithic diet).
    • I expect you all will be all over me for that. The devil made me do it. Anthony.Sebastian 02:12, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Peter, John and Sebastian: The latest Mediawuki software upgrade (a few weeks ago) gave us access to a simple, elegant new method for creating references and reducing clutter in the edit windows of CZ articles. Let me stress that word simple.
If we keep dreaming up variants to that simple method as originally presented in List-defined references, then it is no longer simple and readers will have so many variants to study that they become confused. Have you ever gone into a store to purchase something (electric toothbrush, breakfast cereal, digital camera, etc.) and become confused by the plethora of choices? That is what I am concerned about. List-defined references started out to be simple and easy to understand for the large bulk of our users (especially the newbies) ... lets not make it so complex that they can no longer understand it easily.
I know that there is not much article-writing activity going on at the moment and many of us are looking for something to do, and perhaps that is why we keep gnawing at this bone simply because it gives us something to do. Or maybe, as Anthony said, the devil is behind this???? - Milton Beychok 03:25, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Milt: {{reflist2}} appears to produce two columns and works exactly the same way as {{reflist}} with list-defined references. So the only complication for the user is to decide whether they want one or two columns. It seems a perfect fix. I reformatted Coriolis_force#Notes this way. If you hit the edit button for the Notes section, you'll see the list-defined reference format. John R. Brews 04:50, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Just one final word. In those case where there are only 6 or so references and each of them are quite short, the two-column mode may yield a list which takes somewhat less space length than does the single column mode. However, in those cases where there are a great many references and each of them is very long, such as the ones that Anthony has an affinity for, the two-column mode may yield a list which takes more space length than does the single column. I have never really seen any great advantage to using a two column mode. Milton Beychok 05:38, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Just as an example. The Smog article has 43 references, many of which are quite small and require only 1 or 2 lines even in the 2-column mode. I just tested and found that the 2-column mode required 52 lines for the list of references and the 1-column mode required 55 lines. In other words, a rather insignificant difference ... that is why I think having a 2-column mode is no big deal and really isn't needed. Milton Beychok 05:57, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
John, as another example, I tested the Coriolis_force#Notes you referred to. It used 27 lines for the 2-column mode and 28 lines for the 1-column mode. Another insignificant difference. Milton Beychok 06:07, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Hi Milt: I wasn't aware of the slight difference. I looked myself, and was amazed. To compare, all that is necessary is to edit the article and take out the "2" in reflist2. Comparing the Notes section, the single-line references are maybe two or three lines longer. So it's all about aesthetics. John R. Brews 13:24, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Off subject: Personally, I feel the references/notes section mostly underused. I want, in an article, as much information as I can get about the source-citations, including excerpts, links to Google Books previews, etc. Also, I prefer to format my own references rather than use the 'cite' templates. I love the LDR method. gAnthony.Sebastian 16:09, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Anthony: I am unsure what you dislike about 'cite' templates. They just organize the source info in a standard arrangement, which makes it easier for the reader to follow (they understand what to expect and in what order). The 'cite' template doesn't preclude adding any comments or quotes that are pertinent; they can be added along with the source info in the same footnote. In fact, there is a "quote" field for short quotes in the 'cite' template. Of course, every writer has their own habits for formatting; which may be their own invention, or one of half a dozen standardized methods; but there are advantages of consistency across CZ that outweigh indulging a variety of formats. And using the 'cite' template actually is a breeze: you just cut and paste. John R. Brews 16:57, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
John, look at the references section of Life which were mostly created by Anthony and you will get a very much better understanding of what Anthony is talking about. Anthony knows that he and I disagree with his method of referencing ... but we have agreed to disagree and remain amicable. - Milton Beychok 18:35, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I do not like references and footnotes. I prefer to use them very sparingly. In my view most of them are better put into the bibliography. --Peter Schmitt 23:30, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

About the Reflist template again

Peter, if you will recall, when you last modified the Reflist template, you specified the small font size by using the HTML tags <small> and </small> at the beginning and the end of the template coding.

The font produced that way is a bit too small for some of us. Is there any way to specify the small font size as a percentage (for example, "font-size=90%")? If there is, then perhaps we can select a percentage that produces a font that is smaller than the normal font but somewhat large than the font produced by <small>. Milton Beychok 21:34, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

This is difficult to test because the effect depends on the screen and on the browser, I suppose. I made some experiments and either I could not see a change of the font size, or it was very small. --Peter Schmitt 19:07, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
Peter, the best place to see what I am talking about is on the test wiki. Log in to the test wiki and look at references for The Moon article. Then look at the edit window of the article. The references were created a number of years ago using the HTML tag of <small> but did not use the Reflist template.
Then look at the references for the Smog article also on the test wiki. Those references were created by using the Reflist template which also uses the HTML tag of <small>. It is obvious that the references font size for this article is smaller than the references font size of The Moon article. Is there an explanation for this? Can we somehow get the Reflist template to create the same reference font size as in The Moon article?
You cannot see the above difference on the live wiki because I recently re-formatted the references for the The Moon article on the live wiki.
I know that the browser and other settings affect the actual small font size. But the two different small font sizes seen on the test wiki indicate to me that there is some way to alter the differential between the small font size and the normal font size. Milton Beychok 00:32, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I am confused because, on the test wiki, for me the Moon article shows a normal size font (or the difference is so small that I cannot see it). The Smog article shows a small font. The Moon article uses class="references-small" and this is, if I remember it correctly, just the code that was the reason for reflist problems? --Peter Schmitt 23:45, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, if you cannot see what I am seeing, then perhaps we should just let things go as they are. But it seems to me that the <small> font size must be specified "somewhere" in the WikiMedia software. It would be nice if we could find that "somewhere" and specify a slightly larger <small> font size. Milton Beychok 01:49, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, somewhere there must be style sheets (perhaps small is even defined differently for different skins?). But what confused me was that references where not "slightly" larger in the Moon article (as you indicated) but had (almost?) normal size (as if the font were not changed at all). (On the test wiki I use Modern.) --Peter Schmitt 08:45, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
I use MonoBook on both the live and test wikis. Milton Beychok 15:14, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
I also made a few tests and the appearance seems to depend on the skin (too). Thus it is not likely that there is a solution that works everywhere (unless CZ layout and skins are revised). --Peter Schmitt 15:43, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Proposed changes to Set theory

Matt Innis has made the comment that he would prefer the original authors of the article Set theory to decide among themselves whether they approve of the changes suggested in this comparison of the original and its proposed changes. You have contributed to this article, so I'm assuming you have an opinion on the topic. What is your recommendation? John R. Brews 14:47, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Boolean algebra

Peter: Do you have any interest in writing an article on Boolean algebra, which has a connection to Venn diagrams, of course? John R. Brews 13:09, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

I'll think about it. This is a topic for more than one page. --Peter Schmitt 10:20, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
A beginning can be found at Boolean algebra. John R. Brews 21:07, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

approval templates

Will you let me know when the new approval templates are up and ready to go? I hope that doesn't sound like I'm rushing you; please take your time. I just want to be sure I don't waste time waiting for them after they're already ready. Thanks. -Joe Quick 04:49, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, Joe. I was away for some days and at the moment I am online rather irregularly. Do you have a particular article in mind? I do not want to keep you waiting. --Peter Schmitt 23:26, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

"Jean-Philippe de Lespinay" and "La Maïeutique" articles

Hello Peter. I regret you decided to move my articles to my user page without trying to tell me one word earlier. I have not written them. They were written for Wikipedia eng and fr by a group of authors. There, after stormy discussions, they were removed. That's why I proposed them in Citizendium. You can find easily that discussions by a Google search.

  • Your appreciation "This (auto)biography lacks any neutral assessment and independent sources evaluating the achievments" is completely wrong. Photocopies of press articles are independent and neutral sources. If you want more, tell me please. I have 75 sources here.
  • "This whole thing makes me want to scream, but the simple solution is to do as Peter suggests. Hayford Peirce 03:03, 6 November 2011 (GMT)" I would like Hayford explains this unpleasant appreciation.
  • "Yes, clearly autobiography and self-promotional. Many of the citations for the invention are scanned articles uploaded to '',which seems to be the author's own site. I cannot evaluate the legitmacy of these.I vote for Peter's suggestion. Aleta Curry 21:15, 8 November 2011 (GMT)" Aleta, where do you think you can find sources about a living person before the invention of the web? One more question: if Einstein was proposing his biography in Citizendium, with two dozen of newspaper articles spanning 25 years and his own books on the theory of relativity, would you refuse ? And don't tell me "you are not Einstein" because, in fact, you do not know. My invention, a clever computer working by reasoning, programming instead of professional programmers and better than them, discussing with users, able to find in your mind your knowledge and to use it, a computer without Windows, keyboard, mouse and even screen, I think it has more impact on society that the theory of relativity.
Jean-Philippe, you have totally misunderstood and it is making you hostile, for no good reason. Of course pre-web sources exist, that was not the issue. I said that I had no way of evaluating these - for all I know, you could have written the articles, self-published them, and uploaded them to your own website. To answer your second question, Einstein a) wouldn't propose his own biography in Citizendium and b) he wouldn't need to, that's the point. I can of course tell you 'you are not Einstein'; you are clearly not Einstein and have not claimed to be. If you're suggesting that I may be thinking you are not as brilliant as Einstein, well, let me assure you that I make no such judgements. Certainly, you're not as well known as Einstein, and it doesn't sound as if you're as modest as Einstein purportedly was. Aleta Curry 09:05, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

This potential impact is the reason why the IT developers members of Wikipedia delete all the references that cite me or my discoveries. Larry Sanger created Citizendium because Wikipedia is managed by "gangs". I hope that you will answer me with your intelligence, not with sectarianism. Jean-Philippe de Lespinay 11:12, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

It was a vote by the Editorial Council in its entirety at that your articles clearly constitute "original research" and "self-promotion" and are therefore not qualified to be CZ articles. The fact that an article (and author) are not welcome at Wikipedia does NOT mean that they there are therefore welcome at Citizendium. Our standards are, in fact, substantially higher than those at Wikipedia. If, with your professional background and education, you do not recognize what "original research" and "self-promotion" are, then it is almost certainly useless for anyone here to try to explain them to you. The Secretary of the Editorial Council, Hayford Peirce 16:33, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
for now, I see no difference between Citizendium and WP, in spite of "standards substantially higher than those at Wikipedia". In Citizendium like in WP, nobody answers my objections and decisions are made without consulting me. Only one member (you) rudely reminds me that I am foolish enough to ignore what are "original research" and "self-promotion". First it is not an answer, then thank you for this politeness quite indicative of "higher standards" !
Objectively, no matter who sends you an article, the article is justified by its contents. Here you have proof of the reputation of an AI technology. I ask you a question: honestly, without attacking me and forgetting I'm the living person subject of the articles, what is wrong with them ? Jean-Philippe de Lespinay 17:17, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Jean-Philippe, if Einstein were to join Citizendium and upload an article about himself, we would remove it. It doesn't have anything to do with judging the person's value. We have a strict rule that contributors may not write about themselves or other subjects in which they have a conflict of interest. You are simply not allowed to use our site to promote yourself. --Joe Quick 18:43, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Jean-Philippe, I see this more differentiated:

  • Hayford is right: It was a Council decision after the EC was alerted.
  • We did not know that the two pages originated from WP and that they were deleted there.
  • As a matter of fact, CZ does not welcome imports from WP. They are not allowed except under very special conditions.
  • Hayford is right, of course, that articles -- or rather: their content -- deleted at WP are not automatically welcome at CZ. On the contrary, this is certainly not a recommendation, but on the other hand it also does not exclude that the topics are acceptable here.
  • The removal discussion was indicated at both talk pages. It could have been announced at your talk page, too, but I did not think of it. Moreover, you (still) announce that you are no longer with the Citizendium (and had only very few edits before). Later, surprisingly, you tried to register a second time under a slightly changed name. You had opportunity to reply to the notices.
  • I agree with you: When evaluating an article its content is the most (and essentially the only) important criterion, not who wrote it.
  • Therefore, I would allow Einstein to write an article about himself (he would not do it, I think) and his work -- as long as it is written in adequate manner and verifyable.
  • In my opinion the article on "La Maieutique" praises the method (as in an advertisment) but does not give any useful information about it.
  • Your biography is similar: It gives many details but lacks substantial and interesting information.
  • My main objection, however is that I could not verify the content of the articles -- not even partially. I could not find any independent references in reliable sources -- all references seem to go back to "press releases" supplied by you.
  • If you can point us to independent and objective sources on you and your work then (rewritten) versions of the articles may be suitable for CZ.

--Peter Schmitt 01:41, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

I, and many others, disagree with Peter about whether Einstein would be allowed to write an article about himself. Until recently it was absolutely clear, as Joe Quick says, that he would NOT be allowed to do so. Peter now asserts that he *might* be able to. I don't think, however, that the Editorial Council has rewritten the rules on this. If we have another case such as this we may have to have a formal discussion and decision about this matter -- we really can't have two members of the EC making public, and contradictory, declarations about it. Hayford Peirce 02:12, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
I said "I would allow Einstein" -- it is therefore clear that it is my personal (and not an official) opinion. I have made similar comments previously. I know that there is "old" policy that has not been overruled by the EC. I stay with my opinion that it is the content that is important, not the author. An (at least for me) convincing argument is that you can never be sure of the author (just as you can never be sure of the father): We only can know who it was who uploaded the article. --Peter Schmitt 02:34, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand what you mean by saying that we can never be sure of the author. Are you saying that I, the author of the current article about Kathryn Lance, and older articles such as Michael Gilbert, might not actually be me? Who, then, is the author? An impostor posing as me? Howard Berkowitz, perhaps? Truly you baffle me here, Peter. Hayford Peirce 03:13, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Oh. Are you saying that we can never be sure of the author of an article written somewhere else and then uploaded into CZ and pasted in as an article? Okay, in that case, I agree with you, we cannot be sure of who wrote the article somewhere else.
But we can be sure of this: as long as I am Secretary of the EC, it will only be over my cold, dead body that articles from elsewhere are imported into CZ and pasted here as new articles. And I don't care who wrote them, Einstein, Abe Lincoln, or E.B. White. We don't allow members to write about themselves. And we don't allow members to import articles written elsewhere. Period. Hayford Peirce 03:36, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Peter and Joe, thank you for your honest answers that leave the door open to solutions and improvements of CZ encyclopedia. Hayford, I do not thank you. I do not like your aggressiveness, your contempt and the narrow-mindedness of your words: "as long as I am Secretary of the EC, It Will Be only over my cold, dead body That items are from Elsewhere importé Into CZ and pasted here as new items ". If that's an "EC Secretary" of CZ who is speaking, with so much passion and so little arguments, it is not glorious.You see, I am honest, which means that the consensus is always possible with me...

The two articles were not written by me, as I said, but by a group of authors. You can verify it on the web and I can put you in touch with one of them if you want. As for the notoriety of my innovation in AI, it is absolutely undeniable (I have 75 independent sources but hundreds of articles were written in the French and European press), I'm already part of history whether you like it or not. If CZ refuses to talk about 25 years of history, it is not an encyclopedia. Then, the 2 articles are not "dead bodies" from WP, they were deleted by a "gang" because of their content disturbing a class of members WP: IT professionals. It is easy to check. It's why I ask Peter: "you will answer me with your intelligence, not with sectarianism". Your answer, Hayford, is sectarianism…

Peter, you told me :

1) "I would allow Einstein to write an article about himself (he would not do it, I think) and his work -- as long as it is written in adequate manner and verifyable (…) I could not find any independent references in reliable sources -- all references seem to go back to "press releases" supplied by you." Press articles are not independent and reliable sources ? 25 years of articles in the press about the same technology are not irrefutable proof of the notoriety of this technology ? For that reality is infinitely stronger than any publication in an international scientific journal about a discovery (or invention). That is the difference between "invention" and "innovation". Innovation is an invention that was successful.

2) "all references seem to go back to "press releases" supplied by you". Yes ! I repeat my question : "where do you think you can find sources about a living person before the invention of the web ?" In the press and at living person home. We were in 1986, the time of the 1st PCs! Two questions: Do you think that I perhaps falsified that sources ? Do you see an article in CZ about a living person better documented ? If yes, show me please.

3) "In my opinion the article on "La Maieutique" praises the method (as in an advertisment) but does not give any useful information about it. Your biography is similar: It gives many details but lacks substantial and interesting information." Peter, here you want the proof my technology is working. I understand you but it's not encyclopedic. CZ is not a scientific media. Anyway, for those who doubt or are only interested in technology, all informations are cited in references and available on the web. That said, we would be happy to tell more in the articles if you ask it. Thus, Hayford will have an original article that is no longer a "dead body".

Do you agree with the proposal  ? Jean-Philippe de Lespinay 08:53, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

@Jean-Philippe: You will have to wait for a reply -- now I don't have the time for it.
@Hayford: I am not talking about articles imported from somewhere else -- you know that I am against importations. But it is, of course, allowed to write an article off-line and then upload it. (I do this myself because it is more convenient.)
If an article about a person A or about the work of A is uploaded by Citizen B: Can you exclude that this article was written by A and passed to B with the request to put it on CZ?
And even if uploading of complete articles were not allowed then B could piecewise upload the article. Would you know?
  • CZ has to make sure (as well as we can) that all articles are objective and reliable. We have to find and revise or remove articles that unduly promote their subject whether they are written by someone with personal interest or by an outside fan.
  • Thus a star biography by an enthusiastic fan is likely to be unsuitable while a-matter-of-fact autobiography may be entirely adequate.
  • A scientist (or inventor) may be the best person to write an exposition on his work. CZ has to evaluate it (just as it would have to evaluate it if the same article were written (truly or supposedly) by another author) and may have to reject it. But it should not automatically reject it.
--Peter Schmitt 01:19, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Peter, sorry to disturb the silence. 11 days to let you go about your other jobs, is that enough? I feel that if I do not say anything, this discussion will not resume... Jean-Philippe de Lespinay 10:47, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Jean-Philippe, I do not mind being reminded, but -- sorry -- I could not yet return to this. --Peter Schmitt 01:00, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Peter, I've waited so long that I forgot my account ! I had to recreate one. If the quality of your arbitration is equal to the length of your absences I will have no regrets... Jean-Philippe de Lespinay 11:51, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Jean-Philippe, if you are having this much difficulty getting an answer from our Editorial Council I suggest you contact our Ombudsman who is available to help mediate disputes. David Finn 12:10, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Jean-Philippe, I read several comments in the above; I can see that you are not happy with the EC decision, and I read several rhetorical questions, but I do not see a required action.
Are you waiting for a specific answer from the EC on something, or for Peter to get back to you regarding something you and he were discussing?
If the latter, obviously it will have to wait.
If the former, you have a couple of options: please articulate exactly what you're asking the EC to do as clearly and simply as you can, and email it to the EC Secretary. You can email me or leave a question at my TALK page if you would like to; I'm happy to raise issues with the EC on your behalf.
Aleta Curry 20:57, 13 December 2011 (UTC)


You might like to have a look at what's said about mathematics here. There's been some discussion already. Peter Jackson 10:49, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the alert, Peter. I noticed the activity but was too "lazy" to look into it -- probably I should. --Peter Schmitt 01:22, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Category theory

There is a new comment over at Talk:Set theory/Draft in part addressed to you. David Finn 22:15, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Mathematics Workgroup

Hi Peter, you may not be aware of this but we have at Citizendium various Workgroups intended to help organise and coordinate activities here. For example, you are listed as an Editor in the Mathematics Workgroup.

Unfortunately the Mathematics Workgroup has been inactive for some 3 years, so any help you could give in organising it would be much appreciated.

As an Editor, an expert in the subject, there is much that you could do if you have the time. You could also help with organising the 257 Mathematics Authors that we have on Citizendium.

Alternatively, as a member of the EC you could encourage them to coordinate and supervise the Editors of this Workgroup and their activities, as is specified in the Charter. The EC also has the responsibility to encourage and supervise development and organization of the Citizendium's content, so you could try convincing them to assist on this basis also. Any help at all with your Workgroup would be much appreciated! David Finn 11:21, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

David, I find it quite amusing that you admit that Peter did not hear about workgroups! Boris Tsirelson 15:48, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Offline until Dec13

Because of travelling I shall be unavailable until Dceember 13 --Peter Schmitt 09:14, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Incorrect observations

You have stated: Please note that the word "substndard" is not used in the two Regulations you cite

That may be true but the word substandard is definitely used in the regulation that is titled "EC:2011-018/Substandard articles", and is then backed up by the EC instructions to Citizens which state: By R-2011-032, Citizens may suggest the removal of substandard articles. David Finn 09:28, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

It is correct, David.
Please notice that you are linking to the motion page where the issue was discussed. The Regulation in its final form is at EC:R-2011-032. It is quite natural that there are terms and ideas that do not make it into the official decision.
As for the (informal) instructions how to use the template: I have to plead guilty for using the wrong term -- I'll correct my mistake. (However, I can't understand why you make such a fuzz over a simple phrase.) --Peter Schmitt 12:52, 17 December 2011 (UTC)