User talk:GordonWatts/Archive01

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  • This archive page covers approximately the dates between June 21,2005 and July 27,2005.
  • Post replies to the main talk page, copying and pasting the section to which you are replying, if necessary. To post a reply, you merely click on the appropriate 'Edit' tab, and then you type in your comments and click on 'Save page' -unless, of course, you want to preview it first, in which case you would click on 'Show preview'. (See Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page.)

Welcome to my page:

You are here: Please, instead, go here, as I am not active in Wiki quotes:

Gordon Watts in business suit. Click on this photo to enlarge. Please see my main "User page" for more photos. WELCOME TO MY PAGE.
Welcome back and thank you for your patience. As for the biblical quotations, I think KJV is more preferable due to copyright problems, but one or two lines might be okay as fair use. But if you have KJV, it would be kind of you to replace it, because some countries don't accept Fair use but put a different kind of restriction to the quotations from copyrighted sources. Thanks! --Aphaia 2 July 2005 16:06 (UTC)

Hello, would you like to please order your words chronologically, it is very helpful for other folks to follow the discussion. Thanks. --Aphaia 4 July 2005 09:11 (UTC)

Abortion debate[edit]

GordonWattsDotCom, thank you for joining the debate at Talk:Abortion. I hope you don't come to regret it, as I do my own participation. I'd like to point out a few things that may suggest why there appears to be so much hostility toward 214's suggestions (pardon me for repeating anything you already know):

  • We have only a handful of active sysops at Wikiquote, and nearly half of them are devoting more time to this single article than any 10 other of the 10,000 or so pages we must monitor. This is very bad for Wikiquote maintenance efforts, which are already seriously understaffed.
  • We sysops have been through several battles with anonymous, single-issue users who have obvious agendas. (An unnotable article on "Reirom" comes to mind.) Since anybody can edit a wiki, anybody can single-handedly hold a page hostage to their own interests.
  • Because of this, we, like many other wiki project sysops, have a tendency not to take unregistered (IP) users seriously if they have no edits outside their pet issue. Our goal is to create a compilation of thousands of topics through the work of thousands of editors. A one-issue user has, by definition, one goal. This user will always be able to out-edit serious Wiki participants, especially in a community as small as Wikiquote. Therefore, we have policies to block unrelenting agenda-pushers in order not to get bogged down on a tiny subset of articles or issues.
  • Wikis also value consensus. On controversial topics, wikians (in general) are often especially reluctant to reopen earlier debates without a compelling content reason (as opposed to a vociferous user). Again, this is even more true of a small project like Wikiquote.

That said, 214 has, as I've maintained from my first edit in this discussion, a number of valid concerns. I fear, though, that it is becoming harder to acknowledge those concerns as the debate gets longer and more heated. I'm fairly sure that every one of the sysops, at least, would prefer to end this debate as soon as possible. If someone were to call votes on specific issues, it's quite likely that anonymous, one-issue 214 would lose most if not all of these votes to a consensus of wiki editors who would vote for status quo simply to be able to move on. This would then allow sysops to block any further attempts to change the article along these lines.

Personally, I'd like to hold 214 to his earlier statement that he'd settle for having the pro-life/anti-abortion section (permanently) first, as this theoretically would allow us to move on, but (A) I doubt his sincerity because of his edits to place pro-life arguments in the pro-choice section, a subtle form of sabotaging the "enemy camp", and (B) I doubt I can get the other folks participating in the debate to agree to renaming the sections "anti-abortion" and "pro-choice", which fits Wikiquote style and still uses well-known and unambiguous terms. (I recommended this modification of a 214 suggestion earlier as a reasonable compromise, but got no positive response, not even an acknowledgement from 214.) I'm not sure anyone has much good faith anymore, and I don't believe we'll get any cool-down time. Sorry to be so negative; I'm just really tired after spending the past 6+ hours reviewing Abortion-related edit histories and talk pages. ☹ — Jeff Q (talk) 4 July 2005 15:52 (UTC)

I support Jeff's analysis. In my feeling most of Wikiquoters unwillingly involved into this issue tried to keep the atmosphere of the community as good as possible and enforced its policy. All of us tried to make a good compromise and let 214 edit as much as possible, and as far as I know no one hasn't been interested in the topic of the article in question itself. Shortly we are totally boring. Please don't try to make us involved into the again. We don't want for any further discussion. Before 214 has comes, no one had complainted the article structure. It follows fairly our policies and guideline like Wikiquote:Guide to layout. And as for "rotation" I say it is one of the worst ideas on Wikiquote, and in my opinion anyone who tries to do such a rotation deserves the name of vandal. --Aphaia 4 July 2005 23:04 (UTC)
And some of your past actions like request for modification of the article to sysops, or coloured messages shows regretfully you understand our policies, guideline and habit incompletely. You seems to be on a good faith but for now an relatively annoying newcomer. On my part, if you make a sort of proposals, you are strongly recommended to read and understand our policies including still drafting ones (because it reflects yet unwritten rule). I let you know if your proposals beyond our criteria, no one will take it serious. Like your support for rotation. Thanks. --Aphaia 4 July 2005 23:10 (UTC)

Got you message; I too am fatigue[edit]

Thx 4 the feedback, Jeff; I'm overworked and underpaid here too, but I hope to address all the concerns. I am not so sure that 214 put in a quote in the wrong spot. Also, I suspect that this editor is a military person who doesn't want to get in trouble with superiors and edits anonymously for this reason. (214's IP is a Dept of Defense IP address, which leads me to believe this may be the case.) Well, I hope to see what I can do, but don't expect miracles: I don't get paid enough, and don't expect Jimbo to START me on a parole now, lol (not that I'd have time anyways).--GordonWattsDotCom 4 July 2005 22:16 (UTC)

I think you're right about who 214 is, but the rationale doesn't make sense. If he would have registered as a user, we wouldn't know he's operating from within DoD. He's much more likely to get into trouble with his superiors by remaining an anonymous user, as I'm sure they know who's using which IP address. In fact, his best tactic now would be to register and then continue his one-issue crusade, which is something I've been anticipating. I'm not sure what will happen then, because Wikiquote doesn't have any formal mediation process, as I believe you've found to be useful on Wikipedia concerning your own troubles with Terri Schiavo articles. As for being overworked and underpaid, I can assure you that the problem is much greater for the folks who have made thousands of edits over several years on a wide variety of articles and have stepped up to the typically thankless job of sysophood. It's why I've avoided such responsibility on WP. Oh, well. — Jeff Q (talk) 5 July 2005 00:05 (UTC)

Your analysis on Abortion debate[edit]

A quick note: I see you were still editing your analysis when I added a note below it. I hope I haven't broken your train of thought, but I wanted to get a supportive note in before anyone responded with what I worry may be knee-jerk reactions to any arguments that can be interpreted as 214 support. (P.S.: You might look at "synthasize" and "perhaps to extreme"; I'd detypoed your text in my original edit, but forgot to repeat it after I hit an edit conflict). — Jeff Q (talk) 5 July 2005 00:28 (UTC)

Thanks for doing the analysis and leaving me a note. I need a break from this contentious argument, so I probably won't look at it again until I've gotten a day or so breather for perspective. Meanwhile, might I suggest creating internal links (i.e., intra-Wikiquote links to section headings) using the standard MediaWiki internal link form, which is:
[[Page title#Section heading|optional alternative (label) text to display]]
rather than an external (http) link? I'm specifically referring to the helpful link to your analysis that you provided on my talk page, which is an external version of the same link in my paragraph above (with the label text "your analysis"). Internal links are recommended over external ones except when the former are necessary (as in citing page-history diffs or older revisions of an article). — Jeff Q (talk) 5 July 2005 07:22 (UTC)

Lost comment in formatting[edit]

Sorry, I failed to check it. And thank you for your refactoring. --Aphaia 5 July 2005 01:30 (UTC)

"Blocking should ..."[edit]

Perhaps I have a different view - it is not necessary and impossible to be nice to all editors even if they are spammers and vandals; your words sounds we did not do our best. I would like to make it clear you mentioned only to the general principle but you have a particular opinion in blocking placement. I add blocking was supported by some editors explicitely and there has been no dissent until now. --Aphaia 5 July 2005 03:46 (UTC)


Just one point. I am not pleased you invited 214 to vote; he or she can and is invited to other activities, but not to vote, unless as a registered user. Please read Wikiquote:Voting. I am sure your invitation for voting to an anon isn't acceptable here on Wikiquote. And I am very sad to see you ignore our custom and policy so easily, though I said to you clearly we haven't accepted any anon vote. --Aphaia 5 July 2005 05:35 (UTC)

Two points on this matter. First, it's great that you were conscientious enough to individually invite many (all?) of the participants in the current Abortion debate to review your analysis, but the best place for this kind of invitation is Wikiquote:Village pump. I recommend you post your invitation there so the entire community may review it, especially if we'll be calling for votes. Second, I believe Aphaia is a little ahead of policy on anon voting. She has always made it clear that she doesn't believe anons should be able to vote, based on her extensive experience on other wikis, and some other editors agree with her, but we don't yet have a formal policy. Wikipedia (whose policies we inherit in the absence of our own) doesn't either, although many 'pedians believe it does. (They do seem to have a strong tendency either to dismiss or weigh against anon voters.) I've accepted legal votes (i.e., signed and not doubled or forged) from anons when closing VfDs here, although I don't think any have been a deciding factor yet. But there's a good chance we will establish "no anon voting" as a policy. — Jeff Q (talk) 5 July 2005 07:45 (UTC)
Thank you for your clarification, so we find one exception of my former statement. And I would like you Gordon to notice Wikiquote:Voting is still drafting, though it reflects our experiences on this wiki and until now no one has claimed we "should" accept anon votes. But like two 214 edits, allowing anon votes causes easily flauds and evitable doubtness of validity. At least you could understand it is not our general concensus anon votes is acceptable. It is controversial at best, and will cause meta-disputes. Even on the Board Election, its eligibility was opened before a month and written in the Bylaws since last year, we got anons accusations why they aren't eligible, though they are "active users". So, on my part, inviting anon without giving such background information is not appropriate and will be problematic. --Aphaia 5 July 2005 07:57 (UTC)

Thank you for your efforts[edit]

We might have different perspective in some parts, but I think everyone admits you did a big deal. Hoping it works well. Cheers, --Aphaia 5 July 2005 07:41 (UTC)


put your message on the bottom of talk. It was a bit hard to find your additional message. I can't assure you I will read your message in your way. Thank you. --Aphaia 5 July 2005 23:43 (UTC)

From Talk:Abortion[edit]

Hi, Gordon! I hope you do not mind, I have removed the personal comments from Talk:Abortion and moved them here. The page above is already large enough without being bogged down with irrelevancies.

Oh, by the way, I asked Google about your IP address, and notice that you have been actively editing in Wikipedia too! One other thing: When (apparently?) you (accidentally?) referred to Aphaia in a private email to me as "she," I was sure that this was not due to any research on your part, but instead that you merely guessed, because the gender information you alleged on Aphaia was/is hard for me to confirm. (I am sure you would not have found it accidentally.) As a student in psychology (informally speaking), I deduced that people think from their own viewpoints, indicating that you were female. Aha! My suspicion was confirmed: [1] I was right! (This phenomenon accounts for why White/Caucasian artists paint Jesus as White, with blond hair and blue eyes, even though He was Jewish, and most likely olive-skinned with dark hair and brown eyes.) You are quite intelligent, but you have been found out, 214! OK, we've had enough fun with "off topic" banter, so, unless your Dept of Defense bosses object, --GordonWattsDotCom 6 July 2005 11:05 (UTC)

Off topically again, I am Jewish and I have white skin and blue/green eyes. Not all Jews look the same, just FYI. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 6 July 2005 11:10 (UTC)
"Not all Jews look the same" I know that; There are even African (Ethiopian) Jews. I recognize your name as a variation of Moses, and I am certainly glad that there is ethnic diversity and hope that all people of all ethnic backgrounds feel welcome; of course, my comment above was merely to illustrate a point to 214 about how I found her out, not make broad generalizations. Oh, now I remembered what I was going to say: "This page is 128 kilobytes long," according to the edit comments when editing the whole page. Aphaia had suggested recently that it would be difficult for editors to read through the whole talk page here if they were to participate in the "214/Abortion" debate. I understand that situation fully, and I myself made it easy: I read the ENTIRE talk page, and systematically took each and every complaint by anybody and turned it into a "problem" question, and offered my own solution. So, all you have to do to see all the issues I've identified as possible problems is to read the last two sections (the "Analysis and proposed solutions / comments" section and this new "Two test pages" section). All that I hope and ask is that other users offer their proposed solutions below the comments Aphaia and I posted. (If you can identify any new problems, that's OK, but I think I've got it covered.) Then, hopefully we can debate and then vote on some of the problems that we think are most pressing. Although I am unabashedly pro-life, I do not think that you all will do anything rash, and I am not concerned or worried in the least about the results of any vote. I've already cast my vote -in the proposed solutions section (and I may participate in debate, if the situation deems). I know these new sections are long, but they are complete and helpful. I hope I have proved helpful to my colleagues.--GordonWattsDotCom 6 July 2005 11:22 (UTC)


As for your voting your attitude seems to me a bit haste. We don't need to vote everything, and if we have a vote, it should be well-designed, specially we have to reach the consensus if it is a time to vote, if there is no argument what we vote for, what is its theme, if the result will be compeling, how it will durate, and so on. Your reading of related documents on Wikipedia, our sister project will be appreciated. At least now, from my eyes there is only you who claim votes are necessary on Wikiquote (I don't know what you and 214 discussed in your mail exchange and think it is not relevant if we need to have a vote), so it is not a good idea to start a vote now.

As my own advocation, as for page protection there was necessity of urgent decision, so hasteness could be allowed, but for page reorganisation is not so in urgent. --Aphaia 7 July 2005 07:19 (UTC)

I understand your concern; You are in charge, and I am not; If you wish to vote on all my items -or none of them -or some of them, it is fine with me. Please understand that I placed a disclaimer caveat comment at the top of that section that this was only my idea and not an official action. If no one else wishes to vote on any of the items, then this lack of action will be a "vote to keep things the same." However, I wish to identify all the ideas. I am almost finished, and I promise that this section will probably be the last new section in a while, and almost finished; i will not make it much more lengthy. i promise. I know how busy we all are.--GordonWattsDotCom 7 July 2005 07:32 (UTC)

So how about this compromise: you will change your wording. Instead of vote, using "comment". Instead of Request for vote, "requests for comments", and getting rid of vote-alike style like beginning sentence with Support. Please let me know your idea. --Aphaia 7 July 2005 07:41 (UTC)
Sure, I will be glad to change this format to make the understanding to your pleasing.--GordonWattsDotCom 7 July 2005 07:43 (UTC)


On WQ:VP you said:

Third (3rd) and lastly, 214 might be able to suggest ideas or quotes through alternative means, such as email or by other means about which I have not thought.

I can't understand what you mean. And if I understand correctly, you seemed to suggest she use someone in the community as meatpuppet. In my opinion if someone is blocked, she shouldn't join editing in any ways, including "email or by other means". I hope you meant something different.

Generally I don't think it is a good manner "please add this quote to somewhere instead of me". In my opinion it is impolite and unfriendly even written in polite words. Not only I but I know some other editors complained such "requests" by emails. I am sad you seem to encourage such ways, specially I wrote once I opposed your idea and said to you that you shouldn't have make such a request.

--Aphaia 8 July 2005 07:09 (UTC)

I think that good additions should be encouraged, no matter the source; A meatpuppet, as I understand it, is a request by one user to another user to vandalize; I do not support vandalism. Thus, my request for good quoatations is not bad. Someone, probably 214, but I don't know, complained about 214's treatment, but this person did not ask that any particular edit be done. I agree that 214's edits were massive, but "you should not throw out the baby with the bathwater." This is an English aka British proverb, which means that you shouldn't get rid of all of something simply because a small portion of it is bad. If you have disagreements with 214, I am sure that you can deal with that yourself sucessfully; however, my third point was not meant to encourage bad behavior, but only so seek good ideas from all sources. Your desire to pressure 214 to be more patient and polite is noble and appropriate, but it is unfair to the development of our pages here if you avoid things that remind you of her in a manner that would harm the inflow of ideas. I do not wish to become involved in your dispute, but if I find a good idea that was once used by someone else, it would be cause us to miss good ideas if we hate them simply becuase your enemies thought of it first. We must strive to avoid missing blessings, such as good additions to the quotations, for this would hurt all: Who thought of quote is not important; merit of quote itself is.--GordonWattsDotCom 8 July 2005 07:56 (UTC)
Clarification: I was simply asking for all people to give us good ideas; I was not encouraging vandalism of any sort.--GordonWattsDotCom 8 July 2005 07:57 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply and clarification. As for blocking and meat puppet, I think I understand your position. Currently Wikiquote has no stable policy about it, because it is our first case on edit wars, but in general it is not encouraged for banned users both temporally and permenently to ask other editors to edit something instead of them. They are banned from editing. That's all. After unblocking, either automatic or not, she will be able to edit. And I pointed out she made removal first time, and then might add some stuffs, it is not accetable from my view: the fact she did some legitimate edits in other revisions, it isn't a good reason to let her ignore the consensus at all. --Aphaia 8 July 2005 08:09 (UTC)
You're welcome; I saw your points and replied accordingly to your comments in WQ:VP. Thank you for being open and friendly towards 214, even if it is not all she wishes.--GordonWattsDotCom 8 July 2005 08:16 (UTC)
And this part

it is unfair to the development of our pages here if you avoid things that remind you of her in a manner that would harm the inflow of ideas. is unclear to me. I think I have a right to request you for clarification. You forget I don't have any interest in this issue without enforcement of policies and avoiding disruptions. --Aphaia 8 July 2005 08:12 (UTC)

I apologize for being unclear: I simply mean that I hope you would not be offended if a good idea happpened to come from a person with whom you have a disagreement; We must be open to all good ideas, from all sources, or else we cheat ourselves. Is that clearer? Thank you. --GordonWattsDotCom 8 July 2005 08:16 (UTC)
I recall that English is not your native language; I hope that my discussion is easy to understand. The only other language I speak is Spanish, but that only partly. I took one semester of Mandarian Chinese, but I am not able to speak or write at all; I barely passed that class.--GordonWattsDotCom 8 July 2005 08:19 (UTC)


Hi, Gordon. would you like to link Wikiquote articles, not to Wikipedia ones, if they exist? I noticed you linked to John Paul II article on Wikipedia, not to John Paul II. Internal links are helpful for readers to browse the site and you are encouraged to add it to the person's article too. Thank you for your consideration. --Aphaia 10:09, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

I see some Wikiquote links are "red" links -bad, but I understand your reasoning; I shall give "WikiQuote" priority over "WikiPEDIA." What if the wikiquote link is bad (new /empty page). Then, which do I use? Thx, --GordonWattsDotCom 10:18, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

In case you have difficulty, I mean to say "Yes," to your request, but still have a question above. Thanks.--GordonWattsDotCom 10:33, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

In general, for people for whom this would not be the only quote, red-link. People who follow a red link get a link to wikipedia (try it, look in the explanation). But then these people can just cut'n'paste the quote from the theme article, put a little introduction (perhaps copied from wp) and start a useful stub article. It is a more difficult decision when it comes to things which would be "themes", but don't exist, there the decision is on a case by case basis whether the theme for quotes would be interesting. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 11:48, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Hmm... I do understand the concept; Thank you for reminding me, Moshe. I had really hoped to avoild thinking :-o ... After I put in the remainig few quotes I have found (about 2-3 more), then I think I can look at the links and make sure they're all right. Not to worry: I think that I can determine which of the two links (wikipedia vs wikiQUOTE) would be best for each case, as you say: Would it make a good theme? Thx once again. Take care,--GordonWattsDotCom 11:54, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Wiki philosophy[edit]

Gordon, at the risk of being even more annoying than I've been recently, I really feel compelled to point out that your concerns about wiki editing suggest that wiki is not a forum suited to your desires. I'd like to think otherwise, because you've been of tremendous assistance on Abortion, but your frequent repetition of your regret over lack of remuneration, and your desire to have some kind of committee to approve of content, suggest that you haven't quite "got" the idea behind wiki (at least as it is represented in the WikiMedia group of projects).

One major underlying attitude of wiki editing is that it is completely voluntary, with no one receiving any benefits other than the good feeling of participating in a worthy project, and, not incidentally, the respect that (hopefully) comes from making a substantial amount of community-accepted contributions, reflected in article page histories and user contributions. Repetitive complaining about the work being unpaid can really get on the nerves of people who look for their income elsewhere and accept that this is a labor of love (or at least passion), not a vocation.

A second major principle is an almost obsessive need to avoid a senior committee to "approve" content or even structure. WikiWiki was developed as a direct challenge to the editor-board philosophy of publishing, and doesn't tolerate approval hierachies well. Sysops do not have the real authority to approve or disapprove content; this must come from the community. (See Wikipedia:Administrators for a better idea about what responsibilities and limitations a sysop has.) In practical terms, a wiki doesn't really become robust until it has enough active members for a large number to participate on any given issue. Wikiquote is far from an ideal example right now, because nearly anyone who makes substantial contributions to a variety of articles over even a few months is likely to find themselves nominated to bolster the skeleton staff here. This means, as MosheZadka pointed out before he became a sysop, that everyone who tends to participate in community decisions is (or quickly becomes) a sysop. Although Jimbo Wales reserves a right to step in to prevent catastrophic abuses of the WikiMedia system, he and other senior WM editors usually avoid day-to-day operations like the plague. I, for one, would love to ignore much of what goes on in articles I have little or no interest in (like "Abortion"). But we have far too few regular community participants, so some of us feel compelled to try to comment on everything that needs community participation. We're already far too much like a senior board here, which I've ruefully pointed out in many a WQ discussion, and if you would take some time to read a lot of discussions going on throughout Wikiquote, you'd find that we sysops often express doubts about imposing our own ideas on topics, for this very reason.

What I'm trying to say in my incredibly long-winded fashion is that there are many projects in the world that can reward a person for their work by financial compensation, and there are many where a select committee chooses what belongs and what doesn't. But when it works at its best, a WikiMedia project is not like this. The best way anyone can help to improve such a project is volunteer as much time and effort as they wish, without complaining about lack of pay, and encourage others to join in so we can build a large enough community so that folks can focus on what they have a passion for. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:01, 27 July 2005 (UTC)