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User:Greg Woodhouse/Archive 1

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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 Getting Started for other helpful "startup" links, our help system and CZ:Home for the top menu of community pages. Be sure to stay abreast of events via Twitter. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forum is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any administrator for help, too. Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and have fun!

You can find some more information about our collaboration groups if you follow this link CZ:Workgroups.You can always ask me on my talk page or others about how to proceed or any other question you might have.

Kind Regards, Robert Tito |  Talk  15:58, 28 March 2007 (CDT)


I hope I didn't violate CZ ettiquete there. I came over from WP not so long ago, where if I write anything, it ends up being modified faster than I can blink! (Well, okay, that's an exaggeration.) Greg Woodhouse 09:11, 3 April 2007 (CDT)

Hi, do not worry about breaking etiquette here by editing pages, I think being bold is aslo a principle on the Citizendium. If two people disagree, they should of course use the talk page, but about your changes on the divisor page, I finally agree with them, as I told to Richard L. Peterson, so there is not any problem. --Sébastien Moulin (talk me) 09:35, 4 April 2007 (CDT)

another welcome, as editor

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Welcome, new editor! We're very glad you've joined us. Here are pointers for a quick start. Also, when you get a chance, please read The Editor Role. You can look at Getting Started and our help system for other introductory pages. It is also important, for project-wide matters, to join the Citizendium-L (broadcast) mailing list. Announcements are also available via Twitter. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forum is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any administrator for help, too. Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and thank you! We appreciate your willingness to share your expertise, and we hope to see your edits on Recent changes soon.

best, Nancy Sculerati 15:10, 8 April 2007 (CDT)

NPOV and such

Hey just a reminder that on CZ they're trying to shy away from NPOV and whatnot... basically all the crazy myriad of acronyms on Wikipedia. Also I get the impression on here "compelling articles that grip the reader" take precedence over "beating someone with the NPOV stick" :) Taking a look at your edit on OSI model it does promote a more balanced approach to the situation --Eric M Gearhart 13:53, 9 April 2007 (CDT)

Yes, I suppose you're right about that. I used the acronymn in the summary for reasons of space, but the question of whether or not the principle is valid is a different one. In my opinion, "dispassionate" would be better. Neutrality, carried to its logical extreme, can lead to some dilemmas of its own. Greg Woodhouse 14:05, 9 April 2007 (CDT)

Indeed when constables find such initialisms, they replace it (for the particular one talked about here) with a template producing

— (The Constabulary has removed an initialism here. Please use plain English instead, for example, "unbiased" or "neutral" ) —.

Hopefully, doing that will really help prevent the matter here. The reasons for this policy are here and also here

Stephen Ewen 03:29, 18 April 2007 (CDT)


Tux has been nominated for approval. Can I count on you for a signature? :) --Joshua David Williams

Approval Life

The reason for recording editor approval was to avoid future quibbles about whether to process was legal since almost every Biology editor had touched the page. We dont want to reverse the approval after such a long process. Editor recording was not a required process (as yet).David Tribe 18:26, 10 April 2007 (CDT)


Greg, if you agree the page is good for approval please read all talks about it (as well as my remarks about it not being a single stand-alone article but linked to the Linux pages for abvious reasons then you can add your name before pr after mine, seperated by a comma. It means 2 or more editors find the article approve-worthy. Robert Tito |  Talk  18:38, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

Reply from my talk page

Hi Greg, I see David and Rob are here as well. The current procedures are still as stated in the CZ:Approval Process, but do keep an eye on them and be sure to take part in the "about to be formed" editorial council that I hope you have been getting emails from Larry about. Basically, if an editor writes an article, he/she cannot approve it himself, he will need at least another editor who has not worked on the article to approve it. If that editor makes changes, it will require another editor to approve as well. After that it only requires that the three agree to approve. When a constable (me) comes to the page to perform the mechanics, he will be looking for signs that there are three agreeing editors, or one that had nothing to do with writing it. Notice that there can be ten authors, but we're only talking about editors. Also note that currently it only takes one editor to stop the process or remove the approved tag.

Hope that helps. I expect that as we proceed, there will be need to adapt some of the rules. Any input you might have would be appreciated. The best place for it now is on the forums, but do plan on participating in the editorial council when it forms.

Does that help? --Matt Innis (Talk) 18:45, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

Greg, also see this on my talk page.[1]--Matt Innis (Talk) 20:16, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

complex, prime et al.

Hi, thanks for the message. Let's keep an eye on Gamma function too (I guess it is one of best developed articles). And who knows how it will end up :-) --AlekStos 11:07, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

Approval process for Linux article

What does it mean that an article gets "approved"? I hope it doesn't mean that we're not supposed to change it much. I don't see that Linux article as being in any kind of final form, or even near it. I just started authoring here very recently, so perhaps I am bringing a new perspective and that's possibly disappointing to those who've been working in here longer than me. I'm not sure why people feel in such a hurry to seek approval. It must scratch some sort of itch that I don't have.Pat Palmer 21:14, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

Editing checklist

Did I miss-interpret this page then? --Joshua David Williams 23:04, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

Good question. I guess it depends on the meaning of "updating or correcting". I didn't interpret normal status changes this way, but you're probably right. Greg Woodhouse 23:17, 11 April 2007 (CDT)


To be honest, I'm not a 100% sure of what that means, so I just leave it the way it was in the article I pasted the template from and hope that someone will fix it if it's wrong. --Joshua David Williams 10:54, 13 April 2007 (CDT)

I think I understand it now. Thanks for bringing it up :) --Joshua David Williams 10:56, 13 April 2007 (CDT)


Can you think of anything else that should be done to the Byte article? I was thinking that the "Gulliver's Travels" reference should go in the Endianness article. Do you agree? --Joshua David Williams 21:56, 14 April 2007 (CDT)

Complex analysis

I notice you have deleted essentially everything I wrote about complex analysis in the complex number article. That's fine, as I really think it belongs in another article, and put it in there at the request of someone else, anyway. I do wonder, though, if you are still making modifications, or should I just remove the section "What about calculus?" It really serves no purpose there, anyway. Greg Woodhouse 15:12, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

I had not realized I'd done that; I'm now wondering if it's a software glitch. I was attempting to do only the things I mentioned in my edit summary. I'll go back and take another look. Michael Hardy 15:29, 16 April 2007 (CDT)

trying to recruit PhD-level (but not necessary to have PhD) editors

I was referring to recruitment of editors with degrees and other field specialists. -Tom Kelly (Talk) 20:39, 20 April 2007 (CDT)


please add your approval to this side-gallery of tux Robert Tito |  Talk  20:34, 22 April 2007 (CDT)

Complex #

Yes, thanks Greg. I have e-mailed one of the new Mathematics Editors who has not authored in the article. I am hoping he responds, and reviews the article. If not, I will keep on it. Nancy Sculerati 22:44, 22 April 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for your replies. I'm particularly interested in this one: "Another argument is that for probabilities to make sense, you've got to have interference." Do you mean that our type of universe, where double-slit experiments give wave interference patterns, is in some sense the only conceivable type of universe? I had thought it was conceivable to have some other type of pattern. Apparently the double-slit experiments and other quantum-mechanical phenomena can be explained by assuming that the universe keeps splitting off into alternate universes and that similar alternate universes interact with one another in some particular way involving cancelling things out. I had thought it was conceivable to have a multiverse where similar alternate universes interact in some different way, such as always adding rather than cancelling out.
I'll reply another time to your other comments. I'll have to think about the Galois groups and things. --Catherine Woodgold 18:22, 23 April 2007 (CDT)

Number and Numeral

Greg, In all my years in computer science, reading dozens of textbooks, I have always seen "binary number system" or maybe "numbering" or even simply "binary system". "Numeral" seems simply jarring. Weird, I know. There was another case where someone had changed "human readable" to "humanly" and I changed it back, because the way it gets used repeatedly in computer textbooks is "human readable". I know that in a grammatical sense one could argue that it's technically wrong, but saying "binary numeral system" just looks very strange in the computer science world. I'm not sure what math people do, but I'm pretty sure that most of the links to binary system will be from computer articles. We also had a lot of competing phrases going; sometimes people have linked "decimal system"; other times, "decimal numbering system", "decimal numeral system" and "decimal number system". I just decided to start trying to create a consistent pattern for binary, hexadecimal, octal and decimal number systems, all of which occur a lot in computers. Hope it's OK. I was in the middle of leaving an explanation, when my computer crashed; I never got back to finish that--sorry to make the change without first explaining it.Pat Palmer 16:51, 28 April 2007 (CDT)

Random comment: I'm fine with "human readable", but I claim it should be "human-readable" with a hyphen. Precedents are, for example, "man-eating shark", "case-sensitive password", "award-winning novel".... - Greg Martin 15:57, 29 April 2007 (CDT)

I won't argue with a hyphen! Thanks for responding.Pat Palmer 16:02, 29 April 2007 (CDT)


I've been meaning to thank you for this edit [2]. ("To see why this is so, we use the formula for the sum of a geometric series to write the product as..." at prime number.) It feels good to have one of one's suggestions taken up, and the wording you came up with fits the bill perfectly. --Catherine Woodgold 18:54, 28 April 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for your message!

Thanks for your positive message on my talk page! I appreciate the feedback.

And thanks for adding a section to the logarithm page. It's encouraging to put up a new page and see people adding to it. The Wikipedia page has a long section on notation. I think their section on notation is too long and that yours is just about right. --Catherine Woodgold 07:45, 29 April 2007 (CDT)

Primes of the form

Hi Greg. I'm responding to your comment on my talk page. I think of these things from an analytic rather than algebraic standpoint, so this an interesting perspective to consider. While my algebraic knowledge is perhaps in the category of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing", let me muse a bit on the topic.

You say that the curve is rationally equivalent to a line over Q or a finite extension. I know it's rationally equivalent to a line over C - just send (x,y) to y. Doesn't seem this map works over any finite extension of Q though.... The reason I'm interested in pinning down the map itself is that I doubt it preserves enough about primality and arithmetic progressions and Q to make deductions about prime values of . For example, if is the map we're talking about, then whether the image y is a prime doesn't have anything to do with whether the original point (x,y) is defined over Z or not.

Just for your own curiosity, here's the analytic number theory conjecture in its full glory. Take an irreducible (over Q), integer-valued polynomial f(n) with positive leading coefficient. Let denote the number of solutions, modulo q, to the congruence . Notice that if ever for any prime p, then the values f(n) are all multiples of p, and hence f(n) can only take prime values finitely often. If always, however, then the conjecture is that f(n) does take prime values infinitely often, and in fact the number of for which f(n) is prime should be asymptotic to

where the product is taken over all primes p (and does converge, though it's not obvious). As a reality check, take f(n) = qn+a to be linear, and then we arrive at the prime number theorem for arithmetic progressions which is of course known. - Greg Martin 16:15, 29 April 2007 (CDT)

you didn't write??

LMAO, some excuse LOL but I hgope you understand my point and agree with it. lol. Robert Tito |  Talk 

Computer articles

Thanks, Greg. Nancy Sculerati 06:18, 1 May 2007 (CDT)


Biggest factor in my opinion in what articles you "should" be working on is what you're excited and eager to work on. If you want to go for an article on manifolds, I say go for it! (I'd suggest a single article on manifolds rather than multiple articles on differential manifolds, topological manifolds, complex manifolds, etc.) But if you think a different article would have a better chance of you shaping it satisfyingly, by all means change your focus.

Note that the CZ policy that every article should start with a definition of the title term doesn't necessarily mean that advanced math articles have to start with the most formal possible definition. Here's a potential beginning for a manifolds article, off the top of my head: "A manifold is a special type of mathematical space, every small part of which looks exactly like a small part of a normal Euclidean space (a one-dimensional line, or a two-dimensional plane, or three-dimensional space or beyond), but which can have an overall shape that is much different from a normal Euclidean space." Then one could go on to apologize for the vagueness and tell the reader what to expect from the article; easy examples like the circle and the surfaces of a ball and doughnut could come early as well.... - Greg Martin 14:55, 1 May 2007 (CDT)


"Actually, well-defined has a fairly precise meaning." So, "well-defined" is defined, but is not well-defined? I pretty much followed your explanation about subtraction, but it doesn't leave me with a clearer idea of what "well-defined" means than I had already. (To define something like "well-defined" I think you need something better than definition-by-example.) Actually, I thought "well-defined" had an even more precise meaning, now that I think of it. Wasn't I taught that the positive integers are well-defined and that that means that every set of them has a smallest element? That reminds me of the proof that every positive integer is interesting (which uses this well-defined property) and the proof that every positive integer is a lot less than a million (by induction :-). Or maybe I'm remembering wrong; maybe well-defined was the missing quality allowing those proofs to proceed. Nope, I was remembering wrong. "well-ordered" was the property of the integers I was thinking of, and "well-defined" was what a property like "a lot less than a million" would have to be in order to have a valid proof involving it. I still have only an intuitive grasp of the definition of "well-defined". --Catherine Woodgold 21:21, 1 May 2007 (CDT)

Right, and Godel's incompleteness theorem casts doubt on the extent to which meta-mathematics can be made rigourous, but that's not an excuse not to do the best we can. Here's an attempt to define "well-defined": A mathematical object is well-defined if it has been proven that (1) it exists; (2) it is unique, i.e. only one such object exists; and (3) everyone agrees on which one it is. An example of why the third condition is required: Everyone might agree that there is only one object which is "the capital city of the country" but different people might have different ideas about which one it is, especially if they live in different countries. There may be a better way to express the third condition: something like "there is a method of specifying it which always produces the same object." (and the definition must specify what that method is.) I like the definition of well-defined to work as well in a universe containing only one mathematician as in one with more than one person whose agreement is required. Perhaps a slightly different definition of "well-defined" is required for properties as opposed to objects.

I know, well-founded (or well-ordered) is completely different from well-defined. I just got them temporarily mixed up in my mind, that's all. --Catherine Woodgold 07:52, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

responding on Catherine's page. Greg Woodhouse 07:55, 2 May 2007 (CDT)
LOL. How about this one: A symbol S is well-defined in context C if there exists a mathematical object such that whenever S appears in C, it is understood to refer to object , and whenever S appears in C and is understood to refer to an object , then . (The equivalence relation = may also depend on the context C.) This definition suffers from a similar problem as a pencil line representing a mathatical line. Real human beings will understand things to mean something other than the correct meaning.
Definition of "defined": A meaningful string of words and symbols has been associated with it and declared to be its definition. (Possibly more than one such string.)
I still think either "defined" or "well-defined" would do fine in the complex number article. --Catherine Woodgold 17:17, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

Slip of the keyboard

When I was correcting "for example, its smallest divisor greater than 1 must be a prime", which as you noticed I had accidentally typed as "for example, its largest divisor greater than 1 must be a prime", I cut-and-pasted it again and edited it and almost saved it as "for example, its largest divisor smaller than 1 must be a prime"!!  :-) --Catherine Woodgold 17:30, 9 May 2007 (CDT)

Definition of surface

I added some examples to Surface (geometry). I'd appreciate it if you would check whether they fit the definition you gave. I changd a few other words, too. --Catherine Woodgold 07:35, 11 May 2007 (CDT)

Replied on Catherine's talk page. Greg Woodhouse 11:06, 12 May 2007 (CDT)

Switch links

Greg, Thanks for catch the OSI switch link error. I realize now that "switch", in the networking context, means a router or something and not a foundational circuit. I was making changes really fast and didn't pay enough attention.Pat Palmer 11:49, 12 May 2007 (CDT)

history of computing

Hi Greg, thanks for visiting my page and chatting. Was that you leaving more ideas on history of computing? I agree with them. Feel free to dive in. The model I'm trying to take for that page is to have timeline-arranged headers, and each subtopic kept fairly small. The subtopics will often branch off into multiple articles. I've really just begun this page and am trying to figure out how to structure it, and I think a timeline of seminal developments and ideas might be the way to go. I'd thus like to provide a date on each header and make sure it's all in the right order. Unless somebody gets a better idea, that might help the page from becoming too long.Pat Palmer 15:23, 12 May 2007 (CDT)

Re: to do's for history of computing; we've only made it up to the 1950's (still leaving out many important innovations) so I think it isn't ready yet. Is that what you meant? I'd be happy for others to take it over; I have too many other interests I'd rather work on. But no one was doing it, so I wanted to get it rolling.Pat Palmer 15:47, 12 May 2007 (CDT)

CPU article and quest for approval, and various notes

Greg, Thanks for your note. I didn't write the CPU article but I've been picking at it (along with many other articles). Since it's being looked at for approval, I gave it a close going over and registered all my observations on its talk page. I think if the endnotes can be turned into references, and my other comments could be addressed, it might actually be closer to being ready (in my humble opinion--I'm not an editor here, just an author, but I am a teacher and I probably have standards that are higher, for technical writing, that the average geek. Thanks for the note (and, nice to meet you)--incidentally, could you help out some on computer network? I think it also needs more grooming though people have got a lot of good stuff there. Pat Palmer 13:40, 14 May 2007 (CDT)

Request new approval nomination for Tux

Sorry to bother you with this. See Talk:Tux/Draft#Request_for_new_approval for rationale. The minimum number of days from re-nomination placement to re-approval would be in order, for the template. Stephen Ewen 22:27, 14 May 2007 (CDT)

Thanks! I moved the template to the draft article. I am pretty sure it goes there...same end will occur either way! Stephen Ewen 22:49, 14 May 2007 (CDT)
Sorry to butt-in but I have moved it yet again, to the approval area. That is my interpretation of what had gone before. But who knows? Clearly this needs more discussion to make it seamless. Chris Day (talk) 23:02, 14 May 2007 (CDT)

Greg, I wrote my reply on my talk page. Nancy Sculerati 06:13, 16 May 2007 (CDT)

Please see [3]. Please contact the others and work on that page. Thanks- you will do a good job, I'm sure, Nancy Sculerati 07:48, 16 May 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for offering help on CDSS

I had started the article on Clinical decision support system at WP and then thought of rewriting here at CZ. Unfortunately, so far no one else has shown any interest in editing this article! I have also been to the Medical informatics page that you have started and have added a few titbits. Hope to contribute more soon. However, I cannot login very regularly due to my workload and connectivity problems. Supten 23:20, 16 May 2007 (CDT)