User talk:Alex S/Archive I

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This is Archive I of my talk page. For ease of editing and out of respect for slow browsers, I archive this page when it reaches 32 kilobytes, moving the fist 25 comments to an archive. If you still have something to say to me about an archived subject, feel free to copy and paste it out of the archive, back onto this talk page, and continue the conversation

Hello there Alex S, welcome to Wikipedia! I hope you like the place and decide to stay. If you ever need editing help visit How to edit a page and experiment at the sandbox. If you need pointers on how we title pages see the naming conventions. If you have any other questions about the project then check out the help pages or add a question to the village pump. Cheers! -- Rotem Dan 15:09 8 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Art history[edit]

You've done a really great job expanding art history from a pathetic stub into an interesting, well-written article. Thanks! -- Merphant 01:57, 19 Sep 2003 (UTC)


Hi Alex, apply to be a sysop at Wikipedia:Requests for Adminship. -- Merphant

Indentured servitude[edit]

Thanks for catching my omission of indentured servitude in Virginia history. -Smack 05:50, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Hi. Please don't use so many capital letters. Common nouns in article titles are not normally capitalized in Wikipedia. Michael Hardy 00:31, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Hello. To answer your question: I was referring to several articles on art history. One was titled (I think) European Art History, and I moved it to European art history, with lower-case initials, except in "European". The first letter of an article title is not case-sensitive, so if you write art history or Art history, it links to the same place either way. All letter after the first are case-sensitive. Michael Hardy 22:22, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

More about Colonial America[edit]

I think that a lot of what you wrote in the new =Drive to Revolution= section is POV and/or incorrect. First, the title is misleading. Many colonists remained loyal even into the early part of the war. There was no concerted "drive"; the events are better described as a series of reactions to individual events. If there hadn't been so many policy bungles on both sides (ex. the Coercive Acts and the militant Bostonian resistance), the war would never have happened. Second, you fail to present the reasons for the Proclamation of 1763. You make it sound like a deliberate act of persecution, whereas it was in fact a typical political measure, favoring one segment of the population over another. -Smack 21:13, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Alex, I like the idea about assembling medical articles the Wiki way. I'm just not sure starting a separate encyclopedia is necessary. If authors state their credentials (usernames like John_Brady_MD), that should provide "authority" enough. Anyway, everything would be referenced to the Lancet, or NEJM, right?

Last year, we tossed around a proposal for certifying particular versions of articles, but the main proponent kind of lost interest (it's a long story). --Uncle Ed 14:53, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

You should raise this on wikipedia-l, and possibly other open forums. Where Wikimedia spends its money is determined by community opinion and ultimately by Jimbo. -- Tim Starling 00:50, Nov 3, 2003 (UTC)

It's a mailing list, and it's wikipedia-L not wikipedia-1. See Wikipedia:Mailing lists. Note that you need to subscribe if you want to post, otherwise the message will be held for moderation. -- Tim Starling 01:47, Nov 3, 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia of encyclopedias. One of those encyclopedias is a medical one. No need for a separate project - just contribute here. If, however, you want to lock out anybody except for "experts" to edit, and/or you want to have a strictly "medical point of view" then you will have to set-up something yourself outside of the Wikimedia family. Open editing and NPOV our central aspects of who we are and will not be compromised. Links: (our software: free for you to use anyway you want), (the general Wikipedia mailing list). --mav 02:24, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Answer on my talk page. --mav 04:19, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)~

Saw your question on Jimbo's talk page. The wikipedia is GPL'd so you could take it and set up your own site if you wanted to, provided any changes to the software remain under the GPL. IMO it does sound as if the medical articles would be better suited for a more specialized site, with a more specialized user base. --random passerby

Hi. Are you going to add some sentences to the France during WW2 article ;) Secretlondon 21:52, Nov 23, 2003 (UTC)

Yep, in a couple of minutes. I just thought that an empty article on such a nice History of France series was unfortunate. --Alex S 21:54, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Howard Zinn uses the word "socialist" to describe himself in his interview at -User:TwinsFan48

Free Soil[edit]

Hello, there. You should probably merge your entry on the Free Soil party with the existing article United States Free Soil Party and then redirect. Just thought you should know! —Minesweeper 09:56, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Figured I'd try to sort this one out with you rather than get into a possible edit war. In Glossary of the French Revolution, I had written:

  • Third Estate - Everyone not included in the First or Second Estate. At times this term refers specifically to the Bourgeoisie, the middle class.

To this you added "but the Third Estate also included the Sans-culottes, the laboring class." I've got two issues with the edit, and would like to end up with a mutually acceptable sentence, so I'm raising them here:

  1. Unless I am quite mistaken "sans-culottes" does not refer to the "laboring class" as a whole. It is very much a Paris-specific term: most French laborers would not be included. (I'd be more inclined to say just "wage earners" or "laboring class", leaving "sans-culottes" to be explained slightly down the page.)
  2. If we are going to mention overtly in this sentence that the Third Estate included the "laboring class" we should also mention the peasants in this paragraph, no? They were far more numerous.

Feel free to reply either here or on my talk page.

-- Jmabel 01:59, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Other Comments[edit]

I took the liberty of correcting the spelling of the word research on your User page. Normally this page is taboo to edit but, in your case, i thought it best to adjust possible misinterpretations of your integrity. Hope you don't mindNorwikian 09:23, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The image of rabin's tomb is way too big. Secretlondon 23:18, Jan 25, 2004 (UTC)

Thank you very much for adding information to the Amin_al-Husayni page. Could you merge it into the main body of the article? OneVoice 19:36, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Hi Alex, I thought I'd drop you a note to point out you put chosen people in the wrong section on featured article candidates (you had it in the list of successful candidates which have just been moved to "featured articles"). So if you're wondering where it went, you'll now find it way down the page at the bottom of Current nominations / Nominations without unresolved objections. :) fabiform | talk 15:43, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Hi Alex, just wanted to say thanks for your efforts in sorting out some of the arab-israeli war npov issues. +sj+

Heya hey, 'lex. Following the links from "pages that need work", I did some Googling on David_B._Danbom, and he actually is famous. Well, moderately famous. Extremely moderately. Updated his page slightly. - DS


Hi Alex. I posted an answer on the page de discussion of the french tramway page. Hope it's clear. Good luck and C U ;o) --Pontauxchats 09:59, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)

In response to your comments at Talk:Origins of the American Civil War, I added a timeline of key events toward the bottom of the article. Your input would be helpful. Thanks again. 172 12:22, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Hi Alex - I'm wondering why you've made a redirect from Marie Amalie of Bourbon-Sicilies to Maria Christina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies? As far as I can tell, Maria Christina was Marie Amalie's niece, i.e. they're not the same person. - Kåre Thor Olsen (Kaare) 17:40, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Unfortunately, my cursory search online doesn't reveal anything about Baum's denials, though I've read it several times. I'll keep looking. RickK 02:39, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Great to see Eastern U.S. states! If you happen to be interested, just wanted to make sure you knew about List of regions of the United States and Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Regions. I've done a lot on the former and am mostly a casual observer of the latter. Thanks again! jengod 02:56, Mar 7, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for adminship[edit]

You have been nominated to be an administrator here. Please visit Wikipedia:Requests for adminship to tell us whether you accept or decline the nomination. Kingturtle 02:03, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)


You are now a sysop. Tuf-Kat 21:21, Mar 17, 2004 (UTC)

What? Are you too cool for Talk:Origins of the American Civil War/categorization? Mav used the page. I use the page. It keeps things better organized. And it's already there, so a revert war is downright silly. 172 03:44, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Living people are not early history[edit]

I discovered a box about US History on the Native Americans page, and it was apparenty your contribution. This is a fine point for some people, but while Native Americans do play a part in the early history of the United States, leading an article about Native Americans with a box that represents them primarily as the early history of the United States tends to offend their humanity in our time. I won't campaign against including Native Americans' in the history box, but I was offended to find Native Americans relegated to early history in an article primarily about Native Americans. The box is out of place on that page.

Wikipedia writers' approach to Native American culture has so far been largely based on a historical view and not one that demonstrates familiarity with the robust native communities of our time. The more correct link for a US history box would be toward an article specifically about history of Native Americans in the 18th and 19th century territories assimilated into the United States. While the general practice of Wikipedia is often to leave vague or general information until someone improves it, in this case, it is misleading information that afronts the humanity of living people. Wikipedia writers may kindly wait to address the matter in a standardized navigation tool until the document can fairly represent the humans who are the subject of this written work. Please do not be too taken back by this comment, but overt racism is easy to confront -- it is the learned racial bias of people who act with good faith and with confidence in their ignorance that more often advances vexing prejudices. (anon)

I completely agree with you that that was a bad choice for an article to link to. Native Americans are certainly a living part of America today, although their role on the continent was obviously much greater before European conquest. Perhpas then it would be better to have a Pre-European history of the United States page? I think that would be a great idea, but unfortunately I don't know enough about the topic to create such a page. I'd love it if you set up a user account so that we could talk about this more - for someone else to contact, see User:Stevertigo, who put the link on the Template:United States history (sidebar) page in the first place. --Alex S 00:09, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Unfortunately, Alex, I have found Wikipedia to be a hostile environment, and not one which I care to grace with any sort of identity related to my work. What I do here these days is mostly gut-level corrections of what appears to be gross misinformation written by people who often acknowledge they have no knowledge of the subjects about which they write. That does not bother me nearly so severely as the paucity of discussion regarding the ethics and responsibilities of writers who present purportedly factual information about subjects they have not thouroughly studied. I don't mean to direct these comments at you, or toward the particular faux pas I cited here, but I see no reason to hide my now anonymous opinion that Wikipedia is a faulty resource and is failing to accomplish the purposes it is represented as serving. Thanks all the same for recognizing the concerns i logged here.
By the way, there is no pre-European history of the United States. The United States has some nominal pre-national history in the activities of the revolutionary soldiers. But the pre-United States history of the Americas, in an Anglicized expression of a widely recognized indigenous concept, would be the history of Turtle Island. The colonial history, spanning from 1492 through the realization of religiously motivated Manifest Destiny, is explored somewhat in articles about European colonization of the Americas, and others you might discover by expermenting with some key-words in Google searches of Wikipedia. Anyway, we are probably talking, in common terms, about the Pre-European history of the ''Americas'', or not (by terms I could accept). I don't even think an open Internet discussion group is qualified to approach the concept unless the approach is guided by a credible review of existing literature, and little if anything in Wikipedia is developed in such a scholarly fashion. (anon)
First of all, I will readily admit that pre-Colonial America is not my field of knowledge. I am far more interested in Colonial America and the History of the United States (1776-1789). The only reason that I edited the Native American page was to place in the new sidebar. Also, you are completely correct about the Pre-European history of the United States. I was extremely rushed when I wrote that paragraph, and if you check on the Template:United States history (sidebar) page, you'll see that I changed Native America to Pre-Colonial America (a title that I think is fitting). Anyways, I understand your concerns about Wikipedia and I have several suggestions for you. The first is to edit yourself! As I'm sure you know, Wikipedia is an open encyclopedia, meaning that you can edit or add in any content that you want. You are not required to say anything about your identity to contribute - you can still remain anonymous. Secondly, where and when have you fould Wikipedia to be a hostile environment? I'd appreciate it if you could tell me your specific experiences, in order to help hash out how Wikipedia deals with newcomers (there are some Wikipedians who have a tendancy to lash out as soon as someone new makes a mistake; they're thankfully not the majority). And third of all, if you'd like to talk to me about any of this online but outside Wikipedia, you can instant message me using AIM at ZeZoble or send me an email (it's on the sidebar). I will uphold your confidentiality completely. Thanks, Alex S 15:30, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC).
I appreciate your recognition of your own habits when it comes to hastily editing content. When I found myself editing in such a fashion under a durable user name, I began to examine my own standards vis-a-vis what I would offer in a professional context. I found my standard insufficient. When I began revealing my doubts to the "community" (i.e. whomever is so Internet-addicted to be glued with fixated gaze to Wikipedia for hours on end) I encountered a hostile group behavior I had observed repeatedly in this and in some other Wiki projects. I was by no means a "newcomer". While some respondents expressed deep concern over the history of my latest user name and how it might relate to other user names, none expressed any interest over what sources I referred to, or how properly I interpreted those sources for both accuracy and originality in articles for which I had been offered naive praise and acceptance by users who seemed more interested in group development than in development of accurate content.
My general opinion is that Wikipedia has no legitimate concerns about how it deals with "newcomers" or any other persona. Wikipedia's sole legitimate concern, in my view, is for the credibility of content. But as for fixing the emotional problems that plague Wikipedia, it is a goal I consider unattainable and not worthy of pursuit. The narcicism that invites any anonymous stranger to enter unqualified information on any subject is endemic to the segments of modern communities most likely to use network communication. The assumption that an ad hoc anonymous group can determine what information is "good enough" to remain until corrected mirrors an academic assumption that has for centuries allowed power groups to interpret the culture of outsider groups, which is a fundamental means of cooptation and subjugation. Wikipedia represents more or less the bottom of the barrel in subjective, self-interested production of educational information. Consider this: debates about the Arab/Isreali conflict on Wikipedia most often involve Isreali, Christian or right-wing American sources on one side and liberal, Western advocates on the other. Where are the Palastenians who are ostensibly watching their interests in this supposedly open process? We know well that for the most part they lack the economic or technical resources to spare an intellectual contribution that would defend their interests in a Florida-based database.
If you wish to further explore the fixated behavior of Wikipedia contributors, check out the most active contributors list, then review the daily edit history of leading contributors - especially of those who make a habit of intervening in supposed editorial conflicts. You will find evidence that scores of people leave evidence their gaze has fixated for more than eight hours a day. Regardless recent trends toward telecommuniting, this particular fixated behavior does not involve other off-line correspondence, nor any of the routine checks and balances such as marketability of product or acceptance of peers who have proven their judgement in a well established intellectual context.
Best advice I might offer for a person who cares to substantially affect this project is to arrange devices in their work area so they will be encouraged to turn their eyes from the monitor. A news channel or some other television program competing for attention at a location more than 90 degrees from the line of eyes facing a computer monitor tempt a computer user to frequently turn their eyes, neck and attention away from the monitor. Taking frequent breaks that include walks long enough to increase blood flow can also improve mental flexibility. Reliance on paper-text sources to support articles serves some valuable purposes -- it not only diverts the eyes from the light source, but it also encourages writers to explore the much greater opus of human knowledge that has not been made available over electronic networks. If wikipedians spent as much time in libraries or even on the telephoe actually researching articles they contribute, they would not only increase their mental flexibility, they would also produce more substantive and reliable articles. (anon)
I agree with you about ways to improve Wikipedia and Wikipedians. However, I disagree with you when you say that "The narcicism that invites any anonymous stranger to enter unqualified information on any subject is endemic to the segments of modern communities most likely to use network communication." As the Wikipedia community grows and more and more users have overlapping fields of specialty, the information will become exhaustively qualified and spotchecked. --Alex S 22:12, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

FA status of the Origins article[edit]

The size issue of the Origins article has been fixed. See Origins of the American Civil War. The article is now going through the nomination process again. See Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates#Origins_of_the_American_Civil_War and vote one way or the other. --mav 21:27, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Questions about being a sysop[edit]

If you are sure a page is a candidate for speedy deletion, then you can delete that instantly without telling anyone. It will be recorded in the deletion log. Deletion of personal subpages can be done instantly, but there is no agreement on whether this covers user pages and talk pages--only subpages. Please check that it was the person who owns the pages who listed them there before you delete them.

The difference between a deletion and just editing a page and taking out all the text is that links to the page will show up red, not blue. Also, in queries, such as those to find dead end pages and blank pages, deletion prevents those from showing up. Also, blanking the text keeps the old text in history. Deleting removes it permanently.

There are lots of different welcome messages. See standard user greeting. There is also a welcoming committee who can provide more advice if you need it. Hope that helps. Good luck with the adminship.

Angela. 22:44, Mar 28, 2004 (UTC)

There is a policy at Wikipedia:bans and blocks. Different people have different limits on when they block someone. I normally wouldn't bother if someone had only made 6 edits, as was the case with Also, you should warn him that he will be blocked before actually blocking him, on user talk: There isn't a place to suggest the blocking of anon IPs; this is something done unilaterally, though you could ask on vandalism in progress if you are unsure. There are also some useful links from the administrators' reading list. Different rules apply to logged in users and vandalbots. Angela. 22:22, Mar 29, 2004 (UTC)

Jón Páll[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Candidates for speedy deletion. External links to images are not articles and should (and will) be deleted. It seems he has registered and uploaded the (likely copyrighted) image; it is still just an image, so unless it is expanded I will delete it again.

I could ask the same about "Almaden Quicksilver County Park" which you just deleted; minus the vulgarity it had more information than Jón Páll. I wouldn't ask, however, since it's a candidate for speedy deletion. If there's any further confusion over my actions, please feel free to ask. Cheers, -- Hadal 22:52, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia a fish?[edit]

Did anyone say Wikipedia was a fish? Was there a reason to state that it was not? I am trying to create a collection of quotes that people have actually said but I can't find anywhere that you have claimed Wikipedia is not a fish. Basically, it's a secondary source, not a primary one, so if this is the first time you've said Wikipedia is not a fish, it can't be included. I know I'm mad having policies for my subpages, but there you go. :) Angela. 16:21, Mar 31, 2004 (UTC)

Oops. Sorry, I'm afraid I misunderstood the meaning of that page. I just thought it was a collection of musings about what Wikipedia is not. My quip was inspired by some vandal who redirected Fish to Surrealism. Feel free to take it away. And yes, you are quite insane. --Alex S 17:10, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Actually, I kind of like it as there's a reason behind it and it's not completely random, so, it can stay until I change my mind. :) Insane 10:30, Apr 1, 2004 (UTC)

I don't think I'll make things easier for you[edit]

Sorry, Alex, but my answers won't make Wikipedia much more user-friendly. :-) I hand counted the votes and inserted the tally. It has to be hand updated, which is easy if people remember to add to the tally as they vote.....but they often don't, so I go back and add to tallies every day or every other day. The "ends" bit is really very easy -- I look at the date stamp on your nomination, and post the same time and the date seven days after the date of the nomination. But again, it's done by hand.

As far as milestone edits go, I'm afraid I do the tedious job of hand-calculating them myself. The nice thing is that, once I counted the first one, I can always tell when I'm getting close by viewing my contributions 500 at a time -- when the last milestone is near the bottom, it's almost time for a milestone. Obviously I have too much free time. :-) Thanks for the questions though -- nice to know I give the impression fo being a Wikiwizard in some respect. ;-) Have a good day, Jwrosenzweig 18:08, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Aww... You just shattered my WikiInnocence. I had the impression that there were endless layers of obtruse software designed to make Wikipedia immensely user-friendly that were kept hidden from anyone except for sysops just to spite ordinary users. But I guess it isn't so... --Alex S 18:13, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Hey, I've been an admin for 6 months, and today I found myself unable to post to VFD because I am hopelessly confused by MediaWiki. Sometimes I think Wikipedia is immensely more user-friendly to ordinary users than to us poor admins. :-) That or I'm just hopeless when it comes to technology. Now that I've thought of it, I suspect there is a nifty method of counting your edits automatically (I think I've heard of it), but I'm sure not the one to ask. Try the VP maybe, and see what you get. :-) Jwrosenzweig 18:17, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Why thank you! I was mourning the difficulty in finding new users to greet just the other day... +sj+ 23:22, 2004 Mar 31 (UTC)

I don't understand? --Alex S 06:27, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Oops! You deleted Skoptic Syndrome just as I listed it for rapid deletion, recreating it. You were quicker on the draw! Sorry! Mark Richards 16:43, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Down the rabbit hole[edit]

I was avoiding creating a "topics in U.S. history" page, because I think it might be an incredibly deep, dark, endless, hole-to-China project. jengod 02:14, Apr 2, 2004 (UTC)

I can already feel myself being sucked in. Gimme a bit of time. --Alex S 02:15, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Eh. There's only so much I can care--let's make it the next guy's problem. ;) ~j

Wizard of Oz and a Supplement, too[edit]

I'll get on that edit for Wizard of Oz posthaste. It'll be up, at latest, by Friday evening (US Eastern). In the mean time, if your in-tray is a bit scarce I'd love a look at the assassin page - some substantive critique would be very appreciated. Thanks for the reply!!! Wally 03:15, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

There's no need to hurry, that's the beauty of Wikipedia. And sure, I'll check out assasin and reply on your talk page, but be warned – this isn't my area of expertise. --Alex S 04:33, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Thanks for the welcome Alex, much appreciated. --Magicmike 2 Apr 2004, 2:50 EST

Thanks for the welcome Alex, much appreciated. --Paval 2 Apr 2004, 1:53 IST

Nothing much to add except a hearty "me too", there. ;-) Ermel 20:26, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Just want to say thanks for welcoming me. --FePe 10:32, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Nothing much to add except a "me too". --Goododa 15:18, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Red Scare[edit]

Okay, so that paragraph was some of the content massacred by 172 in his revert-fest. It seems pretty obviously relevant to me. For instance, on the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and USS Maine (ACR-1) pages, modern opinions about who is guilty are included, no? Other historical pages also give the added perspective provided by time. Similarly, a discussion about the Red Scare should include that many fears people then had proved in time to be founded. But it is this information that many seek to suppress. As for the section, it is titled "Reactions", that to the "First Red Scare"; its present inclusion only of 1919 events seems mere happenstance, as any reaction would fit. I'd have to take a closer look at the page history to understand the nature of your compromise, so I can't answer that right now. -- VV 21:38, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)


In response to your comment on my talk page: I think sometimes it can be a bit of a judgment call as to which approach is more suitable -- I wasn't so sure that an anonymous user who had only made the single edit would be likely to actually read his/her talk page. But your point is valid, and I'll try to err more on the side of caution in the future. Bearcat 02:49, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Stop changing the Lovecraft bibliography; you just deleted both the Scientific/Philosophical Writing sections.

No, I made them into redirects. I left a longer message on your talk page. --Alex S 01:08, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)