User talk:Milton Beychok/Archive 1

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Welcome to the Citizendium! We hope you will contribute boldly and well. You'll probably want to know how to get started as an author. Just look at CZ:Getting Started for other helpful "startup" links, and CZ:Home for the top menu of community pages. Be sure to stay abreast of events via the Citizendium-L (broadcast) mailing list (do join!) and the blog. Please also join the workgroup mailing list(s) that concern your particular interests. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forums is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any constable for help, too. Me, for instance! Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and have fun! Roger Lohmann 21:51, 20 January 2008 (CST)

Milton - I've given a partial reply to your question over at Roger Lohmann's talk page. Welcome aboard! Anthony Argyriou 17:36, 21 January 2008 (CST)

CZ wikilinks

Milton- when adjusting links for CZ articles, please make the changes to the links within the article and not within the reference item. This way, if it's a 'redlink' then it will have enhanced visibility and might spurn article creation--if it's a 'bluelink', then it is more likely to be visited than if it was scuttled away in the depths of the references. --Robert W King 09:51, 29 January 2008 (CST)

Robert, thanks for the advice. I will do as you say in the future. - Milton Beychok 11:05, 29 January 2008 (CST)

Article on Garbage

Milton, I had started a stub about Garbage a few weeks ago, and given your background (I just noticed on the EPA page) would you be interested in contributing to it? --Robert W King 13:23, 31 January 2008 (CST)

Robert, thanks for asking me. I still have about eight or so articles lined up in my mind to do. And I really have no expertise in solid waste. So I think I will have to pass on your offer.
You have been in Citizendium since April 2007 and I've been here just for a few weeks. Perhaps you might take a brief look at the each of the seven articles that I have contributed (listed on my user page) and tell me what you think of them. - Milton Beychok 14:43, 31 January 2008 (CST)

Image size

Regarding Image:Motiva_Petroleum_Refinery.jpg, it's good to upload the largest version of the file available. It's more useful to reusers that way. :-) Stephen Ewen 02:43, 2 February 2008 (CST)

Stephen, my primary reason for having uploaded a cropped version of the photo was that I wanted to emphasize the pollution plume from the refinery's flare ... because the photo was to be used in the Air pollution dispersion terminology article.
When you revised my upload to the larger size, the flare's plume is now barely visible in the photo in that article ... which defeats my whole purpose for uploading the photo.
As a compromise, I would like to upload my version again under a different name (Image:Motiva Refinery Flare.jpg). In other words, there would be two versions available. Would that be agreeable with you? - Milton Beychok 10:40, 2 February 2008 (CST)
I replied here. Stephen Ewen 11:10, 2 February 2008 (CST)

Topic Informants Workgroup

Milt, I emailed you. Stephen Ewen 01:25, 3 February 2008 (CST)

Stephen, I have not recieved your email as yet. My address is - Milton Beychok 01:56, 3 February 2008 (CST)

chemical images

Milton, send me a note for any of your excellent articles that you would like a chemical drawing of. I can whip them out in a few minutes for you. David E. Volk 13:28, 4 February 2008 (CST)

Thanks, David. When the need arises, I'll take you up on your offer. - Milton Beychok 15:32, 4 February 2008 (CST)

chemical engineering/chemistry

Dear Milton, if you would add [[Category: Chemistry Workgroup]] to your chemical engineering articles, I could help you in approving them, as I'm a chemistry editor. The CZ system is somewhat bureaucratic in that I cannot do it otherwise (although I have an MSc in chemical engineering from Delft University of Technology).--Paul Wormer 03:16, 5 February 2008 (CST)

Paul, thank you and I will add that category. - Milton Beychok 11:27, 5 February 2008 (CST)

can you point me in the right direction in learning about air pollution from long beach and la's ports?

Is it true that the majority of the smog causing particles / chemicals actually come from ships that cannot be easily regulated since they are considered to be in international waters?

Is 'playing-down-the-middle' Governator (so that he can win California US senator) going to address this issue?

I mainly find news sources for LA Smog problems; where would I find a good review paper on LA Smog? Where can I learn about political efforts and grass root campaigns which are trying to enact change?

Sorry that my comments are so biased and full of opinion (they will not appear on any article on smog related topics). Glad you are part of the CZ team and I look forward to reading all of your articles. Tom Kelly 01:25, 6 February 2008 (CST)

Tom, the best place you could seek such information would be from the Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). Their website is at and there you will find their address and their contact information. I happen to think that they do a very good job and are very knowledgeable.
The biggest contributors by far to our smog problems in the LA basin are automotive vehicles (cars, busses and trucks). - Milton Beychok 01:58, 6 February 2008 (CST)
Thank you for your advice and insight. Tom Kelly 15:10, 6 February 2008 (CST)


Milton, I'm prepared to carefully read Petroleum refining processes and to approve it (maybe I will see fit to make some small changes, I don't know yet). However, before I do this you should know that approval has two disadvantages:

  1. Your authorship becomes hidden, history will show Matt Innis and Larry Sanger as sole contributors. Personally I don't mind this, but some people do.
  2. Your article will be locked, you cannot change anything anymore. For me this is the reason not to go for approval of my articles. I have one approved article, Van der Waals equation, and several times I felt the urge to change something in it, but couldn't.

To tell you the truth: I don't know any advantage of approval. Anyhow, let me know if you want me to approve Petroleum refining processes. Cheers --Paul Wormer 03:38, 6 February 2008 (CST)

Paul, changes are made to the draft and that become re-approved. Moreover, the history of contributors is preserved if the process is done correctly, e.g., see the history at Butler. Stephen Ewen 10:04, 6 February 2008 (CST)
Paul, the answer is yes. I would like you to participate in the approval process for Petroleum refining processes. Thanks very much, - Milton Beychok 11:42, 6 February 2008 (CST)
Milton, Matt answered your questions on my talk page.--Paul Wormer 07:56, 9 February 2008 (CST)

Congratulations! Keep them coming! [1] --D. Matt Innis 01:20, 10 February 2008 (CST)

Hi Milton, in reference to the good question you left on my talk page; yes, you've got the right idea, the draft and the approved version are now the same. From here, as contributers edit the draft, the approved version will remain he same. At some point, the entire process will repeat with an editor (or three, depending on the method) nominating that the draft replace the approved version. This can happen in the next few days or it may stay the same for months. I have found that there are occasionally some quick changes that get made in the next few weeks that update the approved page, then it pretty much remains stable from then on. You might also be interested to notice that the article that you were working on was 'moved' to the draft page rather than 'copied'. That way the history went with the draft so that, as the article progresses, the history remains the same from day one. --D. Matt Innis 19:10, 10 February 2008 (CST)


Milton, I sent you an e-mail with a stub of a drawing on <milt at air-dispersion dot com>. Did you get it?--Paul Wormer 06:53, 12 February 2008 (CST)

Paul, I got your email and I have responded by email. Thanks, Milton Beychok 13:42, 12 February 2008 (CST)
Milton I saw that you made a neat (and very small!) drawing. Apparently you are a very good computer draughtsman, so why did you ask for help? Maybe I can ask you next time I need a drawing? With regard to your number of articles, I don't think you can overdo it, the more the better. Remember CZ is not on paper, we don't take shelfspace (in households and libraries).--Paul Wormer 08:04, 18 February 2008 (CST)

Moving articles

Milton, you did work hard there! I agree that if we had a way to move all pages at the same time that would be great. That would be one of those technical jobs that is over my head, but post a note on the technical forum (check the list to the left <--). You might be able to hook up with someone that can make us something like that. User:Chris Day made the subpages, so he would likely be a good start as well. I think you could have moved all those pages and that should have been easier than copy and paste, but I am not sure. I have only done two or three and they were so far apart that I can't remember how I did it! But, it seems that moving should be easier.

As far as helping with downloading engineering articles, that would be awesome! Have you seen User:Anthony.Sebastian's project to get volunteers to help convert text for those that are not familiar with wiki mark-up? Also, make sure and leave a note at your workgroup [2] and on the engineering forum, though they are not that active right now. There have been lots of engineers that have been active and looking for other engineers, so maybe if you use the engineering mailing list and mass mail all of them, someone will be gald to hear from you and have something they need help with. nad there is always the blog (<---). I think with the energy you have, you might be able to stimulate some activity and really get the engineering workgroup running. Let me know if I can help along the way! D. Matt Innis 08:26, 21 February 2008 (CST)

In general, moving pages via cut-and-paste is really deprecated, as it separates the content from its history, and we probably really need to keep them together, for copyright legal reasons. J. Noel Chiappa 15:54, 25 February 2008 (CST)
Noel, as noted in Matt Innis's comment above, I copied-and-pasted ... I did not cut-and-paste. Regards, - Milton Beychok 16:04, 25 February 2008 (CST)
Either way, there is content in the new (pasted) location which is divorced from its detailed creation history record at the old location - and that is what I was concerned about. J. Noel Chiappa 16:32, 25 February 2008 (CST)

Volunteer wiki-converter

Milton, see: --Anthony.Sebastian 14:50, 21 February 2008 (CST)

Chemistry style guide

Milton, I have started a chemistry style guide here [3]

please jump in with any thoughts you might have. It is a crude start to be refined over the next few weeks as I or others come up with new items to discuss. David E. Volk 17:56, 21 February 2008 (CST)


Milton we were bot working on the same article, sorry. --Paul Wormer 03:47, 26 February 2008 (CST)

Thanks, Paul, for simplifying the article as I had proposed. Now, it is 2 o'clock in the morning and I must get to bed. - Milton Beychok 04:01, 26 February 2008 (CST)

phosphorus approval

Milton, because User:Paul Wormer and I have both contributed significantly to the article phosphorus, we cannot approve it ourselves. Could you take a look at the phosphorus article and submit for the approval process. Paul or I could do it if we have a third person approve (if you don't know how the approval process works), otherwise you could approve it by yourself. Please take a look and send feedback. Thanks, David E. Volk 09:04, 26 February 2008 (CST)

In the CZ pages somewhere, it says that things generally known by experts in the field do not need to be referenced. Typically, references need really only be needed for contentious facts or areas of debate.
Accordingly, most of the information in this article is readily known by chemists and does not therefore need to be cited. However, I will read through the entire thing by Friday (too much to do right now) and double check our work. David E. Volk 12:36, 26 February 2008 (CST)
Does that means that any non-expert reading an article must take it on faith that the facts are correct? Can't say that I would agree with that. In any event, please let me know if what I must do to start the approval process on the MetaData template is correct as I listed on your Talk page. - Milton Beychok 12:51, 26 February 2008 (CST)
First, your approval text looks about right. You can find the exact procedure on the CZ:Approval process page, in the When and how to fill in the "ToApprove" metadata section. You can use five tildas to make the time stamp, for example.
As for the faith part, yes and no. This is meant to be an authoritative source, based on expert knowledge. Just like one would cite the Encyclopedia Britanica, they can site CZ. However, there is still a place for things on the Bibliography and External Links subpages for additional reference material of particular importance. The idea is that common knowledge of experts need not be cited, thus when a mathemetician asserts that 2(pi) radians = 360 degrees, no reference to the original source is needed because this is common knowledge. Likewise, the oxidation of phosphorus to phosphate does not need citations because it is common knowledge. In my interpretation, things that appear in every general chemistry book do not need citations, because that is just another expert writing down what he also knows. However, sometimes I use > 50 citations because it is very specialized information, like in this article List of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance experiments. David E. Volk 13:08, 26 February 2008 (CST)
David, I will mark my calendar to start the approval on Moday, March 3rd. That will give you time to read the article on Friday (as you said above) and make whatever changes you deem needed. If that is not okay, please let me know. - Milton Beychok 14:29, 26 February 2008 (CST)
Great, I did a speed through and noted some typos and grammar that still need fixing, and some things to consider references for. Thanks for your tweeks. David E. Volk 15:12, 26 February 2008 (CST)

Milton, I have finished my copyedits and added a reference for the isotopes information. It was already on the external links subpage, but now also listed as a reference. We now have six specific references, and about the same number of general chemistry sources listed on the bibliography page, so I think the article is ready for approval. David E. Volk 13:18, 3 March 2008 (CST)

Milton, thank you for getting the approval going. David E. Volk 15:51, 3 March 2008 (CST)
Milton, I signed the article and put a note on Paul's talk page asking him to do so as well. I forgot that you had contributed, so we need all three signatures for approval. thanks for the reminder. David E. Volk 11:08, 10 March 2008 (CDT)

I responded to your post on the forums

You're right. Most of the work in the engineering "workgroup" is parallel play. You do yours, I do mine, but there isn't a lot of cross contribution. One factor may be that most of us do more work on articles for which we have specific expertise and less on articles that are more general in nature where there is more likelihood of interaction. Regards. Dan Nachbar 08:26, 2 March 2008 (CST)

Just to note that I do quite a lot of random wandering amongst CZ pages, cleaning up obvious things as I go, and have certainly noted the very high quality of your contributions. My first concern - and that of many contributors here at present - is to simply increase the volume of quality content on CZ, and there arent many people here yet who are doing that as effectively as you are. So, thanks.Gareth Leng 06:17, 3 March 2008 (CST)
I added some history and politics to your Environmental Protection Agency article--it's one of the most politically visiible agencies. Richard Jensen
Thanks, Richard, I noticed your changes when they showed up on my watchlist. I also converted many of your references to the {{cite book}} format. Regards, Milton Beychok 18:04, 6 March 2008 (CST)


It does take a while sometimes for information to be updated in Google searches. I can't tell you how long, exactly, but it's usually a couple of days at least. The reason is that they use a program that goes around following links from page to page and then saves a copy of each page it visits. It's the saved pages that the Google search engine actually combs through to give you results. New changes show up whenever the program swings through again and saves a new copy, but I have no idea how often that happens. --Joe Quick 19:11, 6 March 2008 (CST)

Phosphorus Approved!

Good work Milton! Keep going. --D. Matt Innis 22:49, 10 March 2008 (CDT)

Article output

Hi, just a quick note to let you know how amazed I am by the way you quietly crank out amazing amounts of material. The rest of us are running around getting diverted by process issues (like encyclopaedia structure), but you just keep your nose down and keep generating more high-quality content. As far as I can tell, you're basically single-handedly writing the entire chemical engineering section! I'm suitably impressed. J. Noel Chiappa 19:29, 12 March 2008 (CDT)

Thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate them. Could you help me with two items?
(1) I would like to have my Chemical engineering article nominated for approval. It is not technical at all and almost anyone could nominate it. It does not require an engineer to do so. I've been too busy writing articles to do any networking and haven't met too many people.
(2) I requested that the CZ:Chemical Engineering Workgroup (which I partially created myself) be approved and fully created as a subgroup within the Engineering Workgroup. The ensuing discussion at CZ:New Workgroup Requests#Chemical Engineering ended inconclusively. Could you perhaps get that discussion going again and take it to a positve conclusion? My half-finished CZ:Chemical Engineering Workgroup already has 39 articles in it.
I would be most appreciative if you would help with either or both of the above. Best regards, Milton Beychok 23:00, 12 March 2008 (CDT)

Chemical Engineering article

Milton, I have made some suggests for small edits, and also a larger list-to-paragraph suggestion regarding this article. I can approve the article after you make the small edits. It would be better to rewrite the long list but that isn't a necessity for approval. I checked some of the references, and will check each one later today. It is a very nice article. David E. Volk 09:27, 13 March 2008 (CDT)

David, I agree with all of your comments on the Talk page of the Chemical engineering article and have made the appropriate changes. Thanks for your help. Milton Beychok 10:55, 13 March 2008 (CDT)

Milton, because I did no work on the article, I can approve it by myself. Paul can add his approval also, but it is not needed. That is why I suggested changes for you to make instead of me doing it for you. On Phosphorus, you had made some minor changes, as had Paul and I, and so that article required all three of us, or 1 independent editor. David E. Volk 15:11, 13 March 2008 (CDT)

Milton, for minor edits that are not substantial, such as commas, periods, wikilinks, etc, I would not have to change the approval date, just the url and I would make a not on the talk page stating this for clarity. David E. Volk 16:09, 17 March 2008 (CDT)

I have update the url link to the current version on the metadata for approval. David E. Volk 17:08, 17 March 2008 (CDT)

One of the constables should make the change to an approved article, and make a copy on the Draft page for later changes. David E. Volk 12:34, 21 March 2008 (CDT)

Chemical Engineering approved! Thanks for the reminder! --D. Matt Innis 15:44, 23 March 2008 (CDT)

Chemical engineering All articles

Hi Milton, part of your problem with Chemical engineering is that the workgroup was not set up through the usual means. I also see that it is listed 4th on the metadata page, and only three were initially set up on the template. All in all, you might consider asking User:Chris Day if there is a way do it so that you won't one day lose all your work. I think the engineering workgroup is going to have to work together to decide how to present itself to get this done the way you want it. --D. Matt Innis 18:29, 23 March 2008 (CDT)

I just noticed this problem. So there is a chemical engineering workgroup now? And apparently a need for four workgroups in the metadata, or is there? I think we had this discussion before and decided that four was probably excessive. In this case, would engineering and chemical engineering both be required? What about biology? I don't know the answer, just thinking allowed about whether we really need four. From a techniical perspective it can be done, although the current subpages template does not support it. Likewise, I can make the subpages template add the respective workgroup categories to the draft version too. Maybe this should go to the forums? The real issue here is that we don't want to be adding categories manually due tot he obvious problems associated with maintaining such catageories. Chris Day 18:46, 23 March 2008 (CDT)
Chris and Matt: The problem is that some time ago, in my ignorance, I commited a faux pas and partially created a Category:Chemical Engineering Workgroup and populated it with about 40 articles I had written. When I found that I could not totally create that workgroup, I requested help at CZ:New Workgroup Requests#Chemical Engineering and asked that it be created fully as a subgroup of the Category:Engineering Workgroup. I suggest that you both read the ensueing discussion there, which seemed to peter out with nothing being done.
As matters stand now, the Category:Engineering Workgroup, Category:Chemistry Workgroup and the Category:Biology Workgroup each include the approved Chemical engineering article in their "All articles", "Approved" and "Draft" sections. But in my incorrectly created Category:Chemical Engineering Workgroup, the article appears only in the "Draft articles" section.
I am a complete dud as a computer guru. If either or both of you could straighten this out, I would be most grateful. Once again, I suggest that you both read the discussion about this in CZ:New Workgroup Requests#Chemical Engineering.
One final point: Yes, I believe that the metadata template should have room for 4 categories as a minimum. Thanks for any help either or both of you can provide. - Milton Beychok 19:13, 23 March 2008 (CDT)
So your real problem is the lack of a 4th option in the metadata template. First I'll read the discussion at the new workgroup request page. Chris Day 19:32, 23 March 2008 (CDT)
Chris, I'm not so sure about the need for 4. I don't see why the Chemical Engineering article needs to be in the Biology workgroup, to be frank.
Here's another idea for you: shared inheritance. I forget exactly how Wikipedia categories work, but it should be possible to have articles in the "Chemical Engineering" category automatically appear in both the "Chemistry" and "Engineering" categories. That way the metadata would only need to list the one category, "Chemical Engineering". (Yes, if there are some ChemE articles which one would, for some reason, want in one but not in the other, that would be an issue. I suspect we're going to be tweaking on this workgroups concept for a while.) J. Noel Chiappa 20:40, 23 March 2008 (CDT)
J. Noel, the Chemical engineering article makes a point of the fact that chemical engineers also work in biochemical and bioengineering industries. The article also has a section devoted to the fact that many universities now offer a degree in "Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering". That is why the Biology Workgroup was included as one of the categories.
The major problem, in a nut shell, is whether CZ is going to have subgroup categories or not. It isn't just Chemical Engineering that concerns me. There are also the other major engineering disciplines of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Electrical Engineering to name just a few. Lumping them all into one Engineering Workgroup is just not going to work as CZ grows and attracts more engineers. - Milton Beychok 22:07, 23 March 2008 (CDT)
The same is true for many workgroups and I think the solution to this problem is not an extra workgroup category in the metadata but a whole new subgroup set. For example, if I write an article on plant developmental biology being able to categorize as botany and development might be useful. However, neither would be workgroups but both would reasonably be sub-workgroups. The one argument against this is that the number of categories at the bottom might start to become too large. Is it possible that related articles is the real place to be fleshing out these relationships? Chris Day 22:14, 23 March 2008 (CDT)
I agree completely with you about the different subdivisions of engineering; see my recent comments at CZ:New Workgroup Requests‎.
Thanks also for the clarification on Biology - but perhaps it's more Bio-engineering than Biology per se? Sure, you use biology in these cases - but chemical engineering also uses physics, math etc without needing to add it to those categories! Anyway, it's not a big deal - it just caught my eye. J. Noel Chiappa 22:59, 23 March 2008 (CDT)

I'm thinking of using the chemical engineering article as a test for the sub-workgroup concept. At least then we can work through some of the issues from a technical perspective. Chris Day 22:36, 23 March 2008 (CDT)

Chris, that seems to be a good place to start. But the article still does'nt show up in the Category:Chemical Engineering because that category is the one I tried to create myself and could not finish it. It seems to me that my half-assed attempt to create a category needs to be fixed first or else deleted. What do you think? Milton Beychok 23:05, 23 March 2008 (CDT)
What about this; Category:Chemical_Engineering_Subgroup? I have set it up so that sub1, sub2 and sub3 are active in the metadata template. They place a category on the article page only. You can see that the chemical engineering article has that link now. Subpages in the cluster are not linked nor the draft page. Let's start here and see how we want it to develop. Chris Day 23:49, 23 March 2008 (CDT)

I started a forum thread on sub-workgroups relating to this example of Chemical engineering. See here,1646.0.html Chris Day 00:16, 24 March 2008 (CDT)

Good to see you guys working this through. I'll be interested to see how it all works out - this is important for many workgroups. --D. Matt Innis 08:14, 24 March 2008 (CDT)


Milton, I see that you use capital P for pressure. I used to do that too, but it is old-fashioned. IUPAC prescribes lowercase p for pressure. --Paul Wormer 23:14, 25 March 2008 (CDT)

Thanks, Paul. I guess we engineers are old fashioned because most of us still use P for pressure ... probably more so in the United States than elsewhere. I know that physicists and chemists do very often use p, but I rarely see that in the engineering literature that I read.
Could it be that when hand written, the p looks like ρ so P is used to avoid error?--Bryan Pilati 16:28, 3 April 2008 (CDT)
The only publication from the Netherlands, to which I have access, was published in 2005 by The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (known as TNO). That publication is the Methods For The Calculation Of Physical Effects Due To Releases Of Hazardous Substances (Liquids and Gases), PGS2 CPR 14E, Chapter 2, The Netherlands Organization Of Applied Scientific Research, The Hague, 2005. PGS2 CPR 14E. Are you familiar with that publication? It is commonly referred to as the Yellow Book.
There is a list of the symbols used in the book and, on page 2.7, the symbol for pressure is given as capital P. So I guess there are some old fashioned scientists and engineers in The Netherlands also.
Let us not lose our friendship over this. Perhaps we can just agree to disagree on this point. :>) Milton Beychok 01:13, 26 March 2008 (CDT)
It is not very important, as long as we don't change notation within an article. I'm not at home right now (I'm staying in your time zone) and cannot check my books, but as far as I remember all my books use capital P. I have no idea why IUPAC decided to change to small p. But, because I find it unimportant, I started to follow their standard a few years ago.--Paul Wormer 12:28, 26 March 2008 (CDT)
I have to say i have always used P to represent pressure. This is the first I heard the small p was preferred by IUPAC. How strict are they in their enforcement? A similar example is molarity in biochemistry:
"The term molarity and the symbol M should no longer be used because they, too, are obsolete. One should use instead amount-of-substance concentration of B and such units as mol/dm3, kmol/m3, or mol/L. (A solution of, for example, 0.1 mol/dm3 was often called a 0.1 molar solution, denoted 0.1 M solution. The molarity of the solution was said to be 0.1 M."
NIST Special Publication 811, Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI), 1995, section 8.6.5 [4] (Note they also use the small p on that page for pressure.)
Yet, the concept of molarity (M) is still taught. For enzyme reactions M-1 s-1 is still the preferred usage to m-1 L d-1. Maybe this will change but to date everyone seems to be ignoring the correct nomenclature. Chris Day 12:48, 26 March 2008 (CDT)
Paul, you said that you are staying in my time zone. If you are in Southern California, I would really like to meet you. My phone number is 949-718-1360. - Milton Beychok 14:47, 26 March 2008 (CDT)
Milton, thank you for the invitation to come together. I won't go as far as Southern California, though, because I hate driving long distances. My wife and I are staying in a house 20 miles south of San Francisco and San Diego is too far away to my taste. Thanks, anyway. --Paul Wormer 19:26, 26 March 2008 (CDT)

Energy conversion

I happened to notice your comments about Energy conversion, and the duplicate content in the sub-articles. My reaction is that the top-level article (Energy conversion) is really rather long, and perhaps it's actually good to have the set of articles - provided that Energy conversion doesn't simply contain the others, concatenated together!

So if Energy conversion contained an overview, and basic explanations of the content in each of the sub-sections (corresponding to the sub-articles), and those sub-articles then each treated their limited subjects in a more thorough and in-depth way, then the whole group together might be a more useful treatment of the problem - especially in an encyclopaedia which is supposed to be a general reference encyclopaedia for everyone (from all walks of life).

Does this make any sense to you, or am I missing something? J. Noel Chiappa 00:53, 4 April 2008 (CDT)

Noel, what you say does indeed make sense. But as matters stand now, Energy conversion simply contains the four other articles exactly as they were written. The reason that the concatenated article is so long is that they are all so poorly written. Read through them in detail and you will see what I mean.
Many, if not all of the diagrams, have much too much white space around them. The equations and their parameters use up line after line of space when they need not do so, if he arranged the parameter definitions in a horizontal series ... and if he defined them once in the article rather than each time he used them. There is just too much redundancy. For example, the sentence "Ideal gas state equation is valid -- pv = RT." appears about 16 times. The simple equation "pv = RT" appears about 25 times. He should also give some thought about thinning out some of those equations ... in other words, are some of them unnecessary?
Many of the tables are small enough so that, if located on the right hand side, the text could flow around them ... but they are all centered and the text cannot flow around them.

A comment here was deleted by The Constabulary on grounds of making complaints about fellow Citizens. If you have a complaint about the behavior of another Citizen, e-mail It is contrary to Citizendium policy to air your complaints on the wiki. See also CZ:Professionalism.

My basic thought was that one overall article would be much easier to tackle and straighten out than would be four articles. - Milton Beychok 03:10, 4 April 2008 (CDT)

I agree with Milton's analysis, Gordan's articles are hard to read because of their poor layout. He does read his talk pages though, see User_talk:Gordan_Feric#Energy. It is really a pity that he cares so little about formatting because the subjects he treats are useful.--Paul Wormer 11:21, 4 April 2008 (CDT)
First, don't worry abou the 'long-winded' part; I'm often pretty long-winded myself, and I know how that happens!
Second, I absolutely agree with you about the problems with the articles. Your analysis if spot on: all the detailed problems result from his general problem of seemingly not being interested in learning how to organize and write a clear and articulate article.
That exact observation does lead me however, to be concerned that he will be even less able to produce a useful Energy conversion article, than he would one of the other, smaller, ones. First, there is even more ground to cover - needing even more the ability to write clear, well-organized text. Second, it's more likely to be an article read by a non-specialist - against, requiring skills he seems to be short on. Etc, etc.
So I'd have been more likely to delete the large article - leaving the field, as you aptly point out, clear for others - and try and get him working on one of the smaller ones, one that might be a more manageable (and achievable) task.
Anyway, it's your area - I just thought my observations might be of some use. J. Noel Chiappa 17:59, 4 April 2008 (CDT)