User talk:John Leach

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Availability

Hello. This account is going into cold storage for a time because of real life necessity. I simply won't have time for the internet apart from checking e-mails. Depending on how things progress, I may be able to reopen in early 2024, but I will certainly be too busy until the end of this year at least. Best wishes and so long for now. John (talk) 10:59, 1 August 2023 (CDT)

Back again. Have been helping my daughter with one of her projects which we completed a couple of weeks ago. We were really busy, but it was worth it and it's looking good. Relief! Hope everyone had a good Christmas and I wish you all the very best for 2024. John (talk) 14:36, 2 January 2024 (CST)

Welcome back John! And thanks for helping out with creating some of the many missing Metadata pages. Pat Palmer (talk) 12:16, 3 January 2024 (CST)
Thanks, Pat. Nice to be here again and I'll keep looking at the lemmas and redlinks. All the best. John (talk) 01:18, 4 January 2024 (CST)

Empty articles?

John, I see you are creating a number of empty articles this morning. I assume they are from redlinks in existing articles. Do you have plans to provide some content into them in the near future? I'd rather see them populated with content before too many more are created. Otherwise, we'll end up with a crop of empty articles and no way to find them. We have few writers these days, and I don't know anyone likely to fill these in unless you do. I have my own writing projects and I don't want to spend time on these topics not of interest to me. Please advise. Unless you plan on filling them in yourself, please let's stop creating empty articles from them now. Pat Palmer (talk) 09:03, 5 January 2024 (CST)

I'm adding content now, Pat. If you look at the recent changes, you'll see I'm dealing with lemma articles. I've found the easiest route is to create several metadatas first, then activate the talk pages, and finally use what is in the definitions to start the article pages. If we are to clear the lemmas, although personally I think many of them should be deleted, it's most efficient to upgrade them in batches. Doing them individually would be too tedious. I think the first batch have all got their content now but I'll double-check before signing off in case I've missed any. John (talk) 09:10, 5 January 2024 (CST)
Thanks for this info, and doing this work. I'm okay with deleting definitions, especially if only one or two items link to it, but even in cases where more link to it. If you'd rather zap them than create articles for them, let's do that. You can either compile a list of candidates for deletion and hand it off to me, or I might give you delete capability for the period of time you're doing this kind of work. Let me know which you'd rather do. Deleting anything that someone has watchlisted can sometimes bring down wrath though, so you might want to look at who created it. Most of them no longer have accounts on the wiki, but it pays to check first, and also see what links to it. You have enough experience to decide. Let me know which way you'd like to go. I really don't think we need a lot of new stubs right now, unless someone is interested in improving them. Pat Palmer (talk) 09:16, 5 January 2024 (CST)
P S - Please ignore the email I just sent--crossed in the mail. I wasn't sure if the wiki messages were reaching you. Pat Palmer (talk) 09:17, 5 January 2024 (CST)

Hi, Pat. We had an edit conflict. I was just reply to say I would say delete almost anything by Howard Berkowitz because most of his military and Israeli war things are going to be permanent stubs. For example, I don't think there is any value in having stubs like 1981 Israeli operations in Beirut, 1981 Raid on Osirak, or 1982 Israeli campaign in Lebanon, but that's just my opinion and others might not agree. If you are willing to let me be an acting administrator, to delete what I think we can do without, I'd be honoured. I'm happy to do anything I can to help. John (talk) 09:27, 5 January 2024 (CST)

You are now a sysop

For the kind of work you are doing, I have granted you Sysop capability, at least for the time being. As they say, "with great power comes responsibility", so do be careful! I'm still learning the wiki ropes myself and can use all the help I can get at this point. Pat Palmer (talk) 09:25, 5 January 2024 (CST)

Thank you, Pat. As I said above, I'll be delighted to assist. I'll be very careful because I see George is creating a lot of lemmas so I'll make double sure I don't touch anything that someone has recently worked on. The things by Howard go way back to the 2000s. I should add that I've seen a lot of work by Howard that is good, so I will check the quality and usefulness first. A lot of things can of course be redirected instead of deleted. I'll make a start and let you know if I have any doubts or problems, but I promise you I will be careful. John (talk) 09:32, 5 January 2024 (CST)
Super, John. I agree on everything and appreciate the help! Pat Palmer (talk) 10:09, 5 January 2024 (CST)
Thanks again, Pat. I've redirected one which was just a duplicate of its parent article and deleted its definition page. I'll need to spend some time getting familiar with the functionality but no problems as yet. John (talk) 10:14, 5 January 2024 (CST)

Yellow Dog Democrat

John, I restored the definition for Yellow Dog Democrat because it has a legitimate link to it and because it might be used in the future and not too many people outside the U.S. would know about it. I don't think it's worth writing an actual article on it unless one wanted to do a lot of research, because the exact source of the phrase does not seem to be known. But, let's keep it for now. Again, thanks for all you are doing--just remember to check for "What links to this" before deleting something. Pat Palmer (talk) 07:11, 7 January 2024 (CST)

Okay, thanks, Pat. As you've obviously guessed, that's not something I've heard of over here. In Britain, we refer to "tailor's dummies" to express how Tory voters will always support something in a blue tie and suit, even if it actually is a tailor's dummy! John (talk) 07:46, 7 January 2024 (CST)

XML definition should be restored

John, I notice you deleted the definition for XML. However, since several articles are pointing at that definition, why not leave it in place? It's sort of an important concept in IT. Pat Palmer (talk) 11:52, 9 January 2024 (CST)

Hi, Pat. It was not immediately apparent, but we have XML as a redirect to Extensible Markup Language, although I think they should swap places because no one uses the full name. However, the article is established under the full name following a move several years ago, so I decided to leave it alone. What I deleted was an unnecessary duplicate subpage which had been left over from the previous move. Before I realised there had been duplication and found the redirect, I had already created Template:XML/Metadata and Talk:XML, so I had to delete those as unnecessary. Looking at the deletion log doesn't give you the full picture.
I'm finding this task very difficult because, frankly, pages about many subjects are completely disorganised, especially where stuff has been added in a willy-nilly fashion to related article pages. But, unsurprisingly, the main problem remains Howard Berkowitz. His work in summary was focused on unnecessary detail about weapons (especially nuclear missiles) and terrorism. Do we really need an article for each specific nuclear device and each specific person suspected of terrorism? And, do we need articles about obscure individuals who held administrative roles in American politics? Also, it is clear that Mr Berkowitz was persistently seeking to make a point that was both pro-Israeli and pro-Republican. If he was still here, no doubt he would be finding "good" things to say about Trump. Or even Johnson! One of his efforts was Yamato race which I have renamed and completely revised because, instead of telling the readers that the Yamato are a people who form about 98% of the Japanese population, he said they are a "pure" race and that this "fact" is upheld by, guess who, some terrorist/extremist bunch who I had never heard of. All in two sentences. I think Yamato people, my take on the subject, is a huge improvement although it is still just a small stub.
I think the best way to deal with Lemma Cluster might be to identify the subjects which SHOULD be featured in a work of this kind. For example, under M we have Mark 5 (nuclear weapon) (and umpteen more like it) which to my mind is totally unnecessary and is a nasty reminder of what an abysmal world we live in. If a reader is scanning our list of articles, do they really want to see half a page of stuff about nuclear destruction and terrorism? Also under M is Mary, Queen of Scots, a famous historical figure who anyone would expect to see in an encyclopaedia, whether you are interested in British history or not. Mary QS, in my opinion, should have a metadata and should be expanded. Mark 5 and its brotherhood should be, well, nuked.
I need you to make a decision about all this, Pat, and then I'll think about whether I wish to continue because I want to write articles, although I'm happy to help with necessary maintenance and reorganisation, but this Berkowitz stuff is off the scale. Thanks. John (talk) 14:44, 9 January 2024 (CST)
I did not look closely enough to notice that we have the XML article under the full name. Rather than provide a redirect, I'll just change the few links from XML/Definition to the actual article. Thanks for the explanation. I'll trust your judgement on these other matters; Howard was such as pain in my neck that I avoided working in CZ for years because of him. I too hate doing the cleanup kinds of things you are doing. Sometimes, I just stop and go write something satisfying instead. Feel free to do that. The areas I'm currently working on as an editor (I've been taking a rest over the holidays) is making the articles starting with either U.S. or United States more consistent (lots of renaming and redirecting), plus I long to simply and reorganize and improve the dozens, or maybe hundreds, of separate articles CZ has about Nazism, the Holocaust, and the death camps. But it's a huge, overwhelming task. I think this mess sprung up while the wiki had so many writers that the editorial staff could not keep up. It has caused me to downsize my ambition. I long for no more than 2 dozen active writers; not sure we can handle any more than that. Having too many is how things got into the mess they are in now. But if you want to tackle any of the mess HB left behind, just go for it. I'll ask if something surprises me, but so far, your explanations have been sound. Pat Palmer (talk) 09:22, 10 January 2024 (CST)
Thanks, Pat. I think I will, as I suggested above, try to identify the worthwhile lemmas as a first phase and put them into metadata mode. What's left then should be a hit list as such, although each one will still need due consideration. It will take a long time to work through them all but 15,000 isn't insurmountable.
I actually don't recall HB when he was active. There are several names from the 2000s who I do remember, but my first recollection of him was seeing some of his stuff in recent times.
Regarding Hitler and the Nazis, it might be an idea to use a WP-style category system while you are collecting and classifying the articles. I'm very interested in WWII but from the British point of view. If I come across any stray articles about the Nazis, I'll classify them somehow and let you know. Do you include the Wehrmacht within your scope? I presume you would be interested in the Waffen SS (whom my father-in-law encountered at Arnhem – he was taken prisoner) and topics like Operation Anthropoid or the ratlines? Thanks again. John (talk) 10:33, 10 January 2024 (CST)
You are right that the WWII/Nazi/Holocaust work requires some sort of classification system. For now, I've just been creating a list under my sandbox. All ideas welcome! Pat Palmer (talk) 12:20, 11 January 2024 (CST)

Could you please explain...

I got an email you deleted the article on Yusuf Zahab today.

Can I ask why you deleted this article? George Swan (talk) 21:52, 9 January 2024 (CST)

Several reasons, really. Technically, the article was an orphan without subpages. Its subject-matter had nowhere to go within our workgroup structure. While the subject may have been newsworthy, it is not noteworthy. Given its human interest, I've no doubt it would have been a news story – here today and gone tomorrow – but that doesn't make it suitable for inclusion in a project like this. We need subjects that are noteworthy – here today and here tomorrow – with value for posterity.
At WP, this would probably be discussed in terms of their convoluted GNG guideline which has everyone going around in circles. More to the point would be their WP:NOTNEWS policy, which is sound and states: "most newsworthy events do not qualify for inclusion".
I would mention the man in the Islamic State article, if it meets the context of any section there, but nothing more than that. Thanks. John (talk) 23:49, 9 January 2024 (CST)

When is speedy deletion appropriate?

When is speedy deletion appropriate?

Over on the wikipedia speedy deletion is usually reserved for emergencies, or for unambiguous problems, like clearcut copyright violations.

I am going to request that, when you consider articles, or other content, merit deletion, you find some other way of deleting that material, and not use speedy deletion.

If a good faith contributor, like me, in the case of the material I started, and which you deleted, is, unknowingly, adding material that you think merits deletion, I strongly urge you to advise them of your concerns, rather than jump to speedy deletion, unless it is a genuine emergency.

  1. Don't contributors who are, unknowingly, making a mistake, deserve to have that mistake spelled out to them, so they don't make it again?
  2. When contributors click the save button they release many, but not all of their intellectual property rights to that material. I suggest that, in non-emergeny deletes, common courtesy merits giving them a grace period, during which they can either:
    1. address the concern you think merits speedy deletion;
    2. or copy that material to their own home computer. If that material genuinely can't be made to fit on the Citizendium, they retain enough rights to it that they can find another wiki where it is welcome.
  3. In your justification for the deletion of the Yusuf Zahab article you cited the WP:NOTNEWS.
    1. Citizendium has its own inclusion rule: CZ:Content Policy. Isn't that what you and I should look to?
    2. FWIW, I think your interpretation of NOTNEWS is problematic. Yes, lots of material published in newspapers, or broadcast on the nightly news, is ephemeral, so not worth covering. But that news content that is not worth covering? It is stuff of interest for only a day or so, like sports scores, or weather reports.
      • When Chesley Sullenberger made an emergeny water landing, on the Hudson River, with no loss of life and only a few very minor injuries, an article was started on him, almost right away. And there were about a dozen good faith people, who were convinced Sullenberger's feat would be, in your terms, "here today and gone tomorrow". They blanked the page, they redirected it to the article on the actual emergency landing. They added speedy delete tags, prod tags, they nominated it at AFD.
      • I thought Hollywood was likely to make a film about him. I was pretty sure it would be an expensive film, and that they might even get an A-list actor, like Tom Hanks, or Harrison Ford to play Sullenberger.
      • I was pretty sure that Sullenberger ALREADY measured up to the wikipedia's inclusion rules. Because google was inundated with the less than 24 hour old reports of the amazing emergeny landing I had to look at over 200 google hits to find the earlier reports, that confirmed Sullenberger already measured up to GNG, before the landing.
      • My point is that anticipating what will be "here today and gone tomorrow" is EXTREMELY subjective.
      • Exactly the same thing happened with Phillips, the Captain of the Maersk Alabama, right down to my notion that he might be played by Tom Hanks in the inevitable Hollywood biopic.
  4. Also, please consider, like me, like everyone else, you are subject to normal human fallibility. There are certain clues you didn't read the Yusuf Zahab article very closely, and that you didn't do the Citizendium equivalent of a WP:BEFORE search. You puzzled me at first, when you wrote: "I would mention the man in the Islamic State article, if it meets the context of any section there, but nothing more than that."
    1. Man? What man were you talking about? Then I realized you meant Zahab. Zahab was a youth, a boy, only 17 years old. Is your calling a 17 year old youth a man an indication you didn't make a real effort to read the article?
    2. Some people give the victims of human rights violations short shrift, when they are citizens of third world countries, or countries ruled by totalitarian regimes, because those nations routinely throw people into extrajudicial detention. But even in the old Soviet Union the Western Press paid attention to extrajudicial punishment given to Alexander Solzenitsyn, Andrei Zakarov, and his wife Irina(?). But here is a factor you overlooked. Zahab was not a citizen of Syria or Iraq. He is a citizen of Australia.
    3. Here is where actually researching Zahab would have made you realize he was not just the subject of coverage for a single news cycle... A year after he disappeared, and everyone believed he died of his wounds, it turns out a video from him was made public last summer.
    4. I don't know why you would suggest detail Zahab should be shoehorned into Islamic State (organization). Prior to the collapse of the Islamic State enclaves, in 2019, Zahab was just a school boy. He was never an Islamic State fighter.
      • The prison where he was held, where he was believed to have died, was run by the defacto state set up by the Kurdish militia, fighting for Kurdish independence. Wouldn't that be just as logical a target to shoehorn the information about into?
      • Dozens of Australian men went to Islamic State occupied zones, to volunteer to fight. Dozens of Canadian and UK men did so as well. Most were KIA. But they didn't go alone. They were accompanied by their wives, and children. And they fathered new children, while over there. So, there are about 80 Australian widows and children who ended up in the brutal conditions in those camps. Most are still there. No, I didn't start an article on the specific topic of those Australian refugees. But it is a topic that merits coverage. Zahab is linked to that topic. The UN Human Rights Commissioner issued a detailed press release after Zahab was reported killed. So, we now have multiple topics that are all related to Zahab. If it were really a good idea to delete the article on Zahab, and shoehorn the information about him into another article, which one should we pick?
      • In my opinion, merging a smaller article into a related article, can only be justified when the topic of the smaller article is really only related to that one other topic. That is not the case with Zahab. It wouldn't matter which other article we chose to shoehorn his information into. Some of the information about him will end up being off-topic in the merged article. In my opinion, where there are sufficient references for a stand alone article on a topic, and when, in the usual case, that topic is related to multiple other topics, the correct thing to do is to leave it as a standalone article, and have the articles on those other topics all have a wikilink to it. George Swan (talk) 10:12, 16 January 2024 (CST)
Hi, George. I've restored Yusuf Zahab as requested. The article needs a metadata which would have saved it from scrutiny last week as my concern is reducing the number of pages in Category:Lemma Cluster. Many of these are being promoted to CZ:LIVE but I have to judge the rest by whether the topics are noteworthy or not, as I explained above. On first reading, I thought Zahab was a news story and had limited value to this site as an encyclopaedia which must seek to present subjects that readers would expect to find. I respect your views on the article, however, and so I have restored it. I have an open mind and I am not HCB of old, although I must be decisive with so many articles to consider. Thanks. John (talk) 11:03, 16 January 2024 (CST)
  • Okay, thanks for restoring Yusuf Zahab.
  • I wrote about 250 metadata, a little more than a year ago. Then Pat informed me that the most recent several dozen I wrote were broken. I spent a couple of hours trying to figure out how the most recent broken ones differed from the earlier 200. I spent a couple of hours trying to rewrite them. But Pat told me they were STILL broken, and told me I should leave the metadata unwritten, and rely on other people to, eventually, write them.
  • Did I create Yusuf Zahab/Definition and Yusuf Zahab/Related Articles. Could you restore them too? The existence of a Definition subpage suppressed the enormous warning that there is no Metadata subpage. George Swan (talk) 12:08, 16 January 2024 (CST)
You did an RA so I've restored that but no definition. I have created a very short one but could you please check and revise that. Thanks. John (talk) 15:59, 16 January 2024 (CST)

The HB legacy - even a stopped clock is correct twice a day

HB - I got the impression, some time ago, that, like Voldemort, we don't mention him by name.

Anyhow, HB probably bullied me more than any other Citizendium contributor. He linked to my name, so I would see it, and told another person that he planned to scrub every single word I wrote from the Citizendium. He said that he would either get a Constable to delete articles, or he would rewrite them, so nothing I wrote remained.

HB was a smart person, but he was editor for five, count'em five, broad fields. I don't believe he had five PhDs. Larry made some very smart decisions, and my hat is off to him for those, but his trust and confidence in HB may have been his worst mistake.

Nevertheless, as someone who worked on topics related to articles he wrote, he often produced good work, or very good work. I don't think material he wrote, that constituted good work, should be deleted because he wrote it.

Does his work have some general weaknesses? Some of his work has no references at all. Under the editor system, where editors like HB were considered experts in their field, articles from HB, and some other editors, were written without references. I think that, ideally, all articles written by editors, who did not provide references, should have references added. When is speedy deletion a good substitute for supplying references?

I don't know when deletion is the preferred option. But these unreferenced articles have been unreferenced for over a decade. So, should this be treated as an emergency, that merits speedy deletion?

Even though I experienced some really nasty bullying, from HB, I don't think the content he submitted should be preferentially deleted any more quickly than other unreferenced articles, written by other editors.

You deleted BLU-126 and BLU-126/Definition. How does the wikipedia cover the BLU-126? The wikipedia article on the Mark 82 bomb, has a subsection Mark_82_bomb#Variants that briefly covers the BLU-126, and three very similar variants.

If the articles HB wrote, that triggered a concern, were listed somewhere, prior to being deleted, and some or all the content seemed to merit rescue, or re-use in a related article, I might do some of that. I see this as a reason not to use speedy deletion. George Swan (talk) 11:17, 16 January 2024 (CST)

Reading above, John gave his justification for deleting some stubs by HB, which is "most of his military and Israeli war things are going to be permanent stubs." I agree with that in theory--no one currently writing in the wiki is likely to substantially improve those kinds of stubs, and there is little incentive for us to keep such stubs when they are covered more substantially in Wikipedia or elsewhere on the web. It seems that search engines these days also use AI to assess articles for search engine placement; they will only elevate one of our articles above, say, Wikipedia (or other sites covering the same topic) if our article has something novel and useful to offer. So, is having a single link from one stub to another stub a reason to keep a stub? Not necessarily. However, it varies by details. If you don't like a particular deletion John makes, please continue to ask him about it, and I'm always here if you two don't agree. I laughed at your Voldemort comment. Yes, HB was smart and did a lot of work, but he was also aggressive with other users fairly often, and even when his writing was accurate, it was not always comprehensible. I offer as an example the huge snarly mess of articles in this wiki on cryptography and related topics; Howard was deeply interested in this topic and wrote prolifically about it, but he still left a huge incomprehensible mess that did not, in my opinion, do a good job of introducing these topics for non-experts. And he was ultimately kicked out for having exaggerated his qualifications as an editor for at least 3 workgroups. I agree completely that whoever was Editor in Chief during his tenure would have done this wiki a huge favor for just kicking him out for aggression (of which there were multiple examples) and for exhausting everyone with long-winded arguments that, in the end, we all got really tired of reading. But unfortunately the overly-democratic, well-meaning charter we had at the time forbade this action. It's different now; there are only about a dozen of us actively writing, so what we have to do is get along with each other such that we all still enjoy writing in here. I hope to run a membership campaign before too long (after fixing a few more things), but I intend to keep the number of contributors to a small enough size the editorial staff can keep an eye on what is happening. In the past, there was a lot of scattered activity, misnaming of articles and inconsistency in naming conventions, etc. HB is one reason why, now, we're being extremely careful about admitting new contributors to the wiki. I am not willing to do all the work that it takes to keep this wiki alive, and have one bad apple spoil the barrel for multiple other talented contributors. This policy was never in the charter, but now, it is not a committee decision. Anyway, as for John's cleanup work, I've appealed a couple of deletions that John made; he had a reasonable response in each case, and I hope you two can reach an agreement. And no, nothing is being deleted, or should be, just because HB wrote it, despite the fact that as you noted, a number of us shudder at the memory of some of our past interactions with him. Pat Palmer (talk) 13:10, 16 January 2024 (CST)
I'd say the majority of deletions to date have been HCB stubs as he was responsible for perhaps two thirds of the lemmas. I don't actually take much notice of contributors because I should judge the article on its merit and some of the HCBs are useful and well-written, so they now have metadatas.
I will mention that I've deleted a fair bit of stuff, especially sport-related, that was created by some character called John Leach 😳. I wonder what became of him? 😄 John (talk) 16:12, 16 January 2024 (CST)

When a Definition subpage is in use...

You deleted Abdullah Almalki/Definition, but without any explanation. Mike Cabana/Related Articles links to Abdullah Almalki. Prior to your deletion [[Abdullah Almalki/Definition] would be transcluded there. When Abdullah Almalki is linked to, from another article, or another article's Related Articles subpage, why isn't that sufficient justification to keep it, not delete it? George Swan (talk) 12:12, 16 January 2024 (CST)

George, one strategy in this case would be to remove the link to Abdulla Almalka from the Mike Cabana article (and its tabs) and instead include a reference after Almalka's name that points either to the Wikipedia article about him or to a press release somewhere. This is because I assume no one here is likely to expand the Abdulla Almalka stub with any more information about him than is already able to be surmised from the Mike Cabana article. Probably, the other two men (who were tortured besides Abdulla) could be accompanied by similar references rather than point to stubs here. The outside information that would be available to someone by following a link over to Wikipedia would probably be more useful to a reader than a stub left in here. Just a suggestion. Pat Palmer (talk) 13:24, 16 January 2024 (CST)
Almalka was in a batch of terrorism/extremism stubs which, as Pat says, were never going to be developed and could not be considered noteworthy, even if they are newsworthy. Because of HCB, we are inundated with stubs about these topics while masses of noteworthy topics have been ignored or barely mentioned. All that happens in an RA page is that the deleted stub becomes a redlink. In many RA pages, that is good because of the apparent limit on transclusions, an issue which Pat hopes to resolve. John (talk) 16:23, 16 January 2024 (CST)

Let's try proposing deletions first, before just doing them

To avoid exhaustive discussions about deletions, why don't we try this? Let's start CZ:Proposed_for_deletion, which any of us who are interested can monitor. Let's put even obviously useless stubs on there and leave them for one month, during which anyone who objects can raise their arguments there. If after a month, no one has objected, editors can simply delete the article. If objections are raised, we'll see if an agreement can be reached either to keep the article, or adjust associated topics to work around the deletion. The main reason for deletions will usually be that it is a brief stub unlikely to be improved, is little (or not) linked, and could be worked around using a reference instead in the few articles that must point to the topic. Pat Palmer (talk) 13:28, 16 January 2024 (CST)

Yes, I agree. That is a good idea as it will give us something akin to WP:AFD, however imperfect that tends to be. I'm happy to keep any stub that is a noteworthy topic but I think others should go unless someone can assure us of intention to develop.
One thing I've done is to copy several transcluded definitions on an RA page and hardcopy them onto the editor, so that they are preserved after the stubs have been removed. For example, see the Kinematics RA. John (talk) 16:37, 16 January 2024 (CST)
I like the way you did Kinematics as a footnote. CZ explicitly does not have a notability policy; see CZ:Content Policy, but we also do not guarantee longterm survival of largely unlinked stubs. Pat Palmer (talk) 20:49, 16 January 2024 (CST)

We have to rename John Small to something more specific

John, the wiki now has John Small (Canadian politician) and John Small (Member of Parliament) in addition to your John Small of cricket, so we can't have simply John Small except as a disambig page. Please be careful about creating any article names with simple people names, because it seems almost every name applies to multiple people. I have now moved it (and its links) to John Small (cricket player 1737-1826). Pat Palmer (talk) 12:51, 31 January 2024 (CST)

Hi, Pat. I noticed earlier today that we have three John Smalls now and I wondered if I should rename mine. He was the original "superstar", by the way. John Nyren, writing in 1832, called him a "star of the first magnitude" and that is believed to be the first expression of superstardom in English media history. He was a brilliant batsman, from all accounts, so he'd be up there with Ty Cobb and others you will know better than me. I might alter the title to "cricketer", however, because we never say "cricket player" even though it's exactly the same thing. John (talk) 15:25, 31 January 2024 (CST)
Looks like you took care of this already. Thanks! BTW, I love the articles about early cricket. Pat Palmer (talk) 13:08, 2 February 2024 (CST)

need some additional checking before a speedydelete of Abu_Qatada_al-Filistini

Hi John, I have changed Abu_Qatada_al-Filistini to speedy delete, but first we need to take a look at all the things linking to it, because they may need zapping also. Would you like to do this, or shall I? Pat Palmer (talk) 10:16, 19 February 2024 (CST)

I'll do it, Pat. No problem. There are only a few links. John (talk) 10:20, 19 February 2024 (CST)
But one of the links was Salafism and that, I think, could be the nettle we have needed to grasp to be able to sort out this whole problem of HCB and his OR "essays" about Islam. Virtually all of it is dangerous nonsense. I've placed speedy tags on several more articles in this sphere but I've taken unilateral action on Salafism by deleting both the article and the definition and then recreating them using an extended definition on the Oxford Academic site, which is infinitely more credible than what was there previously. I hope that's okay but we do need to take drastic action if we are going to clean up this mess which is not just appalling – some of it is actually scary and could cause all sorts of problems.
Do you think we should simply zap anything by HCB which has a connection to Islam? I've suspected his motives for weeks but now I'm convinced that we cannot trust anything he has written. Earlier today, I found a contentious statement which I immediately doubted but I saw he had provided a citation, so I assumed it was okay. Then, out of interest, I decided to look at the "source" and found he had linked to a publisher's blurb about the book, not to any content within the book!
I'm going to work through everything linking to Salafism and see where that leaves us. John (talk) 12:37, 19 February 2024 (CST)
Salafism is clear now and I've deleted Abu_Qatada_al-Filistini. Several related speedies to be considered. John (talk) 13:56, 19 February 2024 (CST)
Thank you. Will try to take a look tomorrow.
Thanks, Pat. No rush because I still need to check links and catchment on all these. John (talk) 00:07, 20 February 2024 (CST)

Led Zeppelin

In the meantime, could you take a look at Karac Plant? I don't think this should be in a separate article. Instead, I would shorted the info and fold it into the the article on Robert Plant. Sadly, this article gets a lot of hits, because other websites have few details about what happened, but it's really a personal family matter and I find this article a little nauseating. What do you think? Should be merge it and then PropDel? Pat Palmer (talk) 21:43, 19 February 2024 (CST)

Hi, Pat. I split this into a new section.
Karac is the first time I've seen CZ come first in a Google search. I've been aware of Meg's LedZep Workgroup for years and, although I was a fan myself, I think she went way over the top on band member families, especially John Bonham's.
One thing WP tends to do quite well is handling family in a personal life section and I think we should do likewise. An example here is Winston Churchill, whose relations were actually WP:GNG in their own rights but are nevertheless covered in his article.
I agree we should merge these, especially any like Karac which are really close to home. I'll do that one this morning. Are you okay if I do the same with the other family members? John (talk)
Google pali canon bibliography gives my subpage here as top. Peter Jackson (talk) 04:25, 20 February 2024 (CST)
Well, did recently. Now 2nd. Peter Jackson (talk) 04:27, 20 February 2024 (CST)
The WP one was last edited in January so maybe that's promoted it. It would be good if we could raise our Google profile for all our pages. John (talk) 04:33, 20 February 2024 (CST)
One-way encryption used to be 2nd or 3rd, but it keeps slowly falling due to competition. Other topics also make it to the top, such as Penguin/Catalogs/Penguins_in_the_northern_hemisphere. Pat Palmer (talk) 09:54, 20 February 2024 (CST)

yes to zapping Radical Islamism and its crony articles

John, I'm giving you the go-ahead to get rid of this entire cluster of articles. I had never seen them before now. I don't think we want to have any hand in publicizing hateful views like this. Pat Palmer (talk) 09:24, 20 February 2024 (CST)

Thanks, Pat. They really are awful. I'll have to check links first and make sure of the catchment because HB had them popping up all over the place. John (talk) 09:33, 20 February 2024 (CST)

another borderline article

I hardly know what to say about Robert Baer (and some of the articles that link to it). Reads like a John le Carré novel. The WP article on this guy at least presents him as an author more than a spook. Your opinion? Pat Palmer (talk) 09:44, 20 February 2024 (CST)

Having seen so much of HB's stuff over the last couple of days, I'm inclined to think this is another without real authenticity, especially as Baer himself is the main source for his adventures. I don't think the article as written by HB adds any value and I much prefer the WP version which appears to be credible. This makes me trust HB less and less. I would certainly PD this and would be happy for it to be an SD. John (talk) 10:00, 20 February 2024 (CST)
If you have time, please explore the things linking to it. Some are OK, but some not. After that, feel free to use the Replace Text tool to undo any links to this and then speedy-delete it. I agree with you on HB; my opinion of him keeps going down, and also, I note that someone failed to clear his User page after he was permanently banned. They should have cleared it. However, I have left it for now because we probably ought to explore the things he listed there as having worked on, since so much of it is turning out to be questionable. Pat Palmer (talk) 10:09, 20 February 2024 (CST)
I never thought to look there for his work. I've seen the page but I only looked at the photos of his cats!! John (talk) 10:11, 20 February 2024 (CST)
The reason his user page wasn't blanked, & I think shouldn't be, is that it gives his qualifications, helping readers assess the weight to be given his contributions. (PS: had to log in 4 times to poist this.) Peter Jackson (talk) 04:47, 23 February 2024 (CST)

heads up

Please be aware of my comments on User_talk:George_Swan#Why_move_a_Talk_page_to_a_further_subpage? whereby the Talk pages of certain articles have not been deleted as expected. The preserved pages can be seen in the code at User:George_Swan/propdel_discussions. Pat Palmer (talk) 22:04, 20 February 2024 (CST)

Hi, Pat. I just ran a check of GS contribs and there are fourteen of these as per the propdel discussion code. Four have survived deletion of the main talk page which, as you have said, is an issue. The difference between moving and deleting is that a move will pick up all subpages including sub-talk pages, but in a normal deletion you are prompted to delete the actual talk page only, if detected. If you delete a talk page separately from the article, you might get an auto search prompt telling you there is a subpage, but I'm not sure and it's easy to miss those if you're concentrating on the reason to delete. I'll delete the four isolated ones which should have gone previously and hopefully George can deal with the rest. Thanks for letting me know about this. John (talk) 23:48, 20 February 2024 (CST)
Please see my comments at Talk:Ayman_al-Zawahiri/Rationale. Pat Palmer (talk) 02:13, 21 February 2024 (CST)
That's fine, Pat, but I think that article needs a rewrite. I've got it on my list amnd I'll get around to it in due course. John (talk) 02:24, 21 February 2024 (CST)

Four new categories - would you please use these?

Here are the new Categories I am starting to use. Could you use them too, for now? Pat Palmer (talk) 14:28, 21 February 2024 (CST)

Hi, Pat. Relevant to this is my checklist which I started building a day or so ago. This is, if you like, a triage to see what should go into the four new categories, or into PropDel, or left alone. The articles have all potentially had HB input and so, given what we have been finding, I think they all need serious consideration around authenticity and suitability. The list does include many that are mundane and have been picked up with the rest but I'll sort those out as and when. Please feel free to use the list, which currently has 767 entries. Thanks. John (talk) 07:16, 22 February 2024 (CST)

Please immediately restore George's propdel User subpage

John, Please restore this immediately. I tried to restore it but failed. We still NEED this list, because that's the only way to identify the /Rationale subpages he moved Talk pages into. You left at least one behind when you deleted this. ALso, it is not OK in a wiki to delete a user's subpage; he has a right to have that page. What he didn't have a right to do was move Talk pages to subpages. So please, try to put it back ASAP. Pat Palmer (talk) 14:44, 21 February 2024 (CST)

George removed the page himself, Pat (see deletion log). Shouldn't we have his agreement to restore it, if we can? You can identify the rationale pages by scanning his contibs history. I did that this morning to check if they were all in the code. There were fourteen in both. I deleted the four rationale pages whose talk pages had already gone, and left the rest to George. Please see the mail I sent earlier which explained this. Thanks. John (talk) 15:46, 21 February 2024 (CST)
No matter WHO removed it, getting it back is the only way to know which articles have lost their Talk pages and then restore them. No one should have deleted that page now. To do so is to lose the debates we've been having about several contentious articles. There actually are Talk pages for those dozen articles, but whenever anyone seemed to Edit the Talk page, they actually editted the /Rationale subpage. Those need to be restored for all articles not yet deleted. I can't believe what a (insert favorite curse word) mess this has become, damaging pages almost beyond repair as a result of people not understanding what George did (it took me about 3 days to realize its implications--he says the regularly do this in Wikipedia, which is just another horror story as far as I am concerned).Pat Palmer (talk) 15:51, 21 February 2024 (CST)

Pat, I don't think there is a problem. I've just restored the Maggie Lieu/Rationale in the normal way. And his propdel page is back, restored by you a few minutes ago. John (talk) 16:00, 21 February 2024 (CST)

And I've restored them all now. One or two were a bit slow to respond, probably because of the timeout bug, but it looks as if they are all back. Anyway, it's quite late here so I'll sign off and hope things have calmed down tomorrow. John (talk) 16:10, 21 February 2024 (CST)