- The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
William M. Connolley has blocked A.K.Nole for 24 hours for trolling. I think this is a bad block, and AKN has requested an unblock. However, as I am involved (see, e.g., my talk page), I am requesting an uninvolved editor to examine this. LadyofShalott 00:11, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- FWIW, I took a look at the situation which seems to be an editing disagreement between two users over technical descriptions in the article Butcher group. That article is beyond my comprehension, I'm afraid, so it's difficult to tell who has the better of the argument. However, it is somewhat disturbing that someone who seems to be willing to help out on such a technical subject is blocked for making apparently innocuous comments on talk pages, suggesting improvements or questioning the presentation in the article. Talk page comments are given much wider latitude for content and even nit-picking or even ignorance before it would be considered trolling, and for the mathematically-challenged the comments that seemed to earn the block didn't deserve that. However, I am not answering the unblock request, because in the context of this technical area the comments that look innocuous could be the equivalent of adding "But doesn't Newton's second law need to be repealed" to the ABBA talk page. Carlossuarez46 (talk) 00:31, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- If LadyofShalott or someone else who understands the underlying content debate could elaborate on it that would be useful. Like Carlos I don't know enough on the subject to understand what is going on, and anyway since I have recently (and in the past) taken a negative view of admin actions by WMC I'm probably not the person to undo one of his blocks. But this block does look very questionable on the face, if only for the fact that the explanation is so vague ("trolling") that I can't tell why exactly the editor was blocked. WMC asked A.K. Nole to "ponder the reasons for this" block, but I personally have no idea what those reasons are, since Nole simply seems to be in a content dispute with another editor (perhaps adding some questionable material as well, but apparently not since the warning). It appears that Nole was blocked for continuing to discuss an issue on their own talk page, though I could have missed something else. At the very least this is a problem because admins need to have an understanding of the rationale for a given block when considering an unblock. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 00:50, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I'm also having trouble understanding the reason for this block. After reading over Talk:Butcher group, I was actually much more disturbed by Mathsci's behavior and comments than A.K. Nole's. --auburnpilot talk 00:58, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Just to give everyone some more reading material until WMC shows up: I'm pretty sure this is related to the whole ChildofMidnight/MathSci tempest of a few days ago. I think CoM was doing something similar, on the same page, and was blocked. Just providing a little context, I just remember seeing the CoM thread, but I didn't read it, and I have absolutely no opinion on the underlying blocks of either CoM or AKN. --Floquenbeam (talk) 01:00, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I came across the Butcher group article on new page patrol, one of many Articles I worked on that evening, and made a very reasonable copy-edit . This was met with rude and hostile attacks on my talk page including accusations that I was stalking Mathsci. I tried to disengage and worked elsewhere, but Mathsci made an ANI report, where his behavior was criticized by many editors, and William Connelly inexplicably blocked me unilaterally without any shred of consensus. Most editors and admins noted that Mathsci's behavior was uncivil and unacceptable. The talk page of that article is clear about Mathsci's attitude and hostility to other editors working on "his" article. Connelly appears to support and encourage this rude, obnoxious and childish behavior and has made levying these inappropriate and bullying blocks a pattern. Together they are quite a team against anyone who dares edit an article against Mathsci's wishes. Mathsci also made this rude and uncalled for attack on my talk page  today after I politely suggested on A.K. Nole's talk page that the block should be reviewed . ChildofMidnight (talk) 01:40, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- CoM, might I respectfully suggest that you might not be the best person to comment on this/it might not be in your best interests to comment on this, lest it appear that you have some sort of vendetta going on? → ROUX ₪ 01:49, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Considering ChildofMidnight has been mentioned below as possibly related to the situation, I'd say it's not only appropriate for COM to comment but expected. --auburnpilot talk 01:59, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- As Bigtimepeace said below, I was meaning the comment more for CoM's sake; he has enough opinion stacked against him that it would make sense for him to not give people the chance to manufacture more. → ROUX ₪ 02:30, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I would second what Roux said to some degree (just for CoM's sake), though in fairness (and here echoing AuburnPilot) Mathsci's comment to CoM was grossly uncivil. As such I have warned Matschi for that remark. Regardless of anything else going on here, saying "It seems that you are trying your hardest to be the most visible mathematical/theoretical physics troll on wikipedia" in response to a user talk page note simply suggesting that a block be reviewed is most definitely not on. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 02:02, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Ok, here's my take on the situation. Despite working in mathematics I don't really understand the contents of the article. I think that's relevant: I do at least know enough to tell that it's on advanced research mathematics, seems to be important to some areas of mathematics that are different than the ones I work on, and with more effort than I care to spend right now I think I could understand it. One of the people who has helped edit the article is a Fields medalist, so I am confident that it's of some importance and that someone who does understand it has taken it in hand. Anyway, A.K.Nole has been active on the talk page, asking very naive questions at a rate that could easily be annoying to the other people there who are trying to get some editing done. I can see two possible explanations: (1) they (I'm using the singular they because it's just too tedious to keep writing "he or she") are earnest and trying to understand the new article, have not yet been scared away by all the complicated math, do not realize how much they're in over their head, and are asking naive questions in the hope that getting the more expert editors there to answer them will cause the article to be rewritten in a less inaccessible way; or (2) they understand that there is little hope of getting the article to be truly accessible to a general audience and are just asking questions to be annoying. Per WP:AGF I'd lean towards the first explanation; Connolley seems to have taken the second instead. —David Eppstein (talk) 01:08, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec's...) Another article is involved: AKNole added some information from Butcher group to the stub, Minimal subtraction scheme, and Mathsci objected. I am unable to understand either why this would be appropriate or inappropriate, and declined to comment on the content dispute accordingly. At my suggestion, however, AKNole posted requests for help on the talk pages of the math and physics wikiprojects. Wm.M.C. deleted the whole conversation from the article talk page as trolling immediately after blocking Nole. LadyofShalott 01:10, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I cannot follow the mathematics here either, however a look at the general pattern suggests this primarily a content dispute, with some suggestions from Mathsci that AKN lacks some understanding of the mathematical principles at work. I can't see anything that looks like obvious trolling, nor anything that would obviously warrant a 24 hour block. AKN hasn't made a direct edit to any relevant page since 0649, instead posting to various talk pages. I'm finding this block highly dubious. Exxolon (talk) 01:25, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Part of the issue here, which was also apparently the case with the recent block of ChildofMidnight, is that Connolley seems to regularly make questionable blocks just before going offline for the evening. When the CoM block was questioned, Connolley twice removed a subsection title of a thread on ANI that included his name  , chastised the editor who started the subsection in a somewhat patronizing way, and then peaced out (no doubt to bed) for 6 1/2 hours whilst his block of CoM was discussed on ANI (and where it was met with significant objection). These problematic blocks, and just as much WMC's response (or lack thereof) to criticism about them, seem to come up with remarkable frequency. It would be nice if an administrator for whom he has some respect, and I'm guessing that is not me, could bring this issue up with WMC on his talk page. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 01:44, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I will have to go back and thank my father for his random quizzes on obscure mathematical concepts! I'm by no means an expert, but I can at least understand the article and good god, most people would need a graduate degree to follow the lead. Anyways, I can't find any way in which I'd characterize AKN's comments as trolling - both her questions were on point and resulted in improvements; they show a general understanding of the subject which is more than we expect for most topics. Mathsci's objections there seems mostly to stem from the fact that he's being questioned at all and I believe in the second question, he completely misinterpreted the actual point in his hurry to be dismissive. How all this ended up in a block, I can't imagine - is there something here we're missing? Shell babelfish 01:55, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Well, you might be missing the relationship between Mathsci and WMC, birds of a feather. "Trolling" is one of the favorite block reasons for admins who have to make up a reason. I see no sign at all that AKN was seeking to inflame or outrage, which is what trolling would be, but, from another point of view, Mathsci was outraged and threatening AKN with being blocked, so doesn't that prove that AKN was doing something wrong? --Abd (talk) 02:03, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- AKN's contributions here are absolutely trolling. AKN has only the most minimal understanding of this topic and no real interest in it, the only reason he got involved in this is to harass Mathsci following a disagreement at WP:FTN#A.K.Nole disputing fringe science involvement. It's a good block; we mustn't tolerate this sort of harassment. You should be aware that an early stage of the harassment was an attempt by AKN to imply that the user name "Mathsci" is a trademark infringement. He's just going after anything that he believes will annoy. Looie496 (talk) 02:09, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- That's useful info, and this remark in particular does not speak well for AKN. I'm not sure it rises to a blockable level (maybe it does), and the issue of a lack of a specific block rationale on WMC's part remains. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 02:20, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- And AKNole subsequently edited the Mathsci redirect to buttress his case. Interesting. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:25, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Hmm..so that sounds as if this was a culmination of AKN hounding Mathsci in various places - wasn't clear by the block notice or log, but if that's the case then the block is reasonable. Shell babelfish 03:06, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Per the links in his post, he does have a valid point though, doesn't he? MathSci is the name of a published database. LadyofShalott 02:31, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- And "Lady of Shalott" is the name of a copyrighted song. Having the same name as a database doesn't violate WP:U unless it's being used for promotional or deceptive purposes, and no one has made that suggestion. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:40, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- To speak in broad terms, trolling is not a desirable block rationale. Others who wish to review a block find it much more useful to encounter specific reasons and diffs that led to the decision to block. Also, the term has a tendency to be inflammatory. As a general practice, stating one's reasons and evidence is more persuasive than a summary conclusion. Durova273 featured contributions 02:15, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
This might not be directly relevant, but there could to be a pattern of WMC blocking editors for (mis)use of talk pages. Eyes needed to check the history of Talk:Ancient Egyptian race controversy and WMCs block of User:AncientObserver. Blocking users for editing talk pages, even if the discussion isn't really productive shouldn't be the norm - this has a very chilling effect. Exxolon (talk) 02:00, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- No, we should have more blocking of people for misusing talk pages. I can name any number of articles where there is a constant parade of ranting and raving about the topic with no real focus on improving the article itself. We're too tolerant of that stuff, and the flow of drivel gets in the way of -- what is it we're supposed to be here for? -- oh yes, building a reference work. Please see WP:TALK, especially Wikipedia:Talk#Behavior that is unacceptable which explicitly states Violations (and especially repeated violations) may lead to the offender being blocked or banned from editing Wikipedia. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:08, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I'm inclined to agree with Boris on this topic. Discussion about content is one thing, and legitimate content discussions can (and do) become heated on occasion, But endless ranting about some obscure POV position goes on far too much. Examine Talk:Scientific_method for one such case. Manning (talk) 02:41, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Can we somehow make it clear that an edit such as this is probably the worst possible response to potential trolling? If the evaluation is accurate, the comment fails to make the situation better, and if it is inaccurate, it is extremely rude. I'm comfortable with blocking people for talk page abuse, if necessary, but saying "DNFTT" to someone is truly unproductive, juvenile behavior, which we should do our best to discourage. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:02, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I made 93 edits to Butcher group, a long article that was quite hard to write. A.K.Nole's running commentary on the talk page was not about discussing the content added in the main article and was easily identifiable as mathematically ill-informed, hence the abbreviated response. On the talk page, A.K.Nole referred to the lede of renormalization group, which also figures in the article, as incomprehensible. A.K.Nole's editing on WP has mostly been involved with adding tags. He has also edited Mathsci and suggested that my username is a copyright infringement. A more careful analysis might be that this was "truly unproductive, juvenile behavior, which we should do our best to discourage". Mathsci (talk) 05:55, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I don't disagree. I'm sure you were (and are) very frustrated with that editor. His behavior may be entirely unproductive and juvenile. However, I'm addressing a different point, which is how to react to a difficult editor without descending to their level. If someone is trolling, that doesn't somehow make it helpful to start calling him "troll". That's a great thing to type, and then not hit "save".
Ultimately, if an editor is particularly troublesome, it becomes even more important to maintain a high standard regarding "comment on the edit, not the editor". Doing otherwise makes the situation messier and harder to resolve, and you end up taking part in long ANI threads. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case. Before you get to the point of calling someone a "troll", get more eyes on the situation, and back away a bit. -GTBacchus(talk) 06:10, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I discussed this off-wiki with a very experienced mathematics editor, because of A.K.Nole's persistence on the talk page over a number of days. He agreed that A.K.Nole's edits were highly problematic and it looked as if he was trying to WP:BAIT me, possibly to get me blocked. In other words he was gaming the system. One problem is that he wasn't actually discussing content, probably because, as he freely admitted, he didn't know what a group was. If you spend just a little time looking at his editing patterns, which started as a joint account The Wiki House (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), you will see that he was lurking on the talk page of the article. It is his editing behaviour that is problematic and it extremely difficult to know how to deal with somebody like that. It's quite a rare occurrence, thank goodness! Mathsci (talk) 06:38, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Yeah, it's nice to have some time left over for working on articles. It's weird for someone to focus on a specific (and not, I dare say, elementary) group, without knowing the ABC's of group theory. Occasionally though, a non-mathematician editor get a bee in their bonnet about some specific technical mathematics article, and insists that it be made clear and accessible to them, who know nothing of the language or the context. It's kind of bizarre, but I think it leads to some good edits. I'm not saying that's precisely what was happening here - just commenting generally.
I think that, in a situation like the one under discussion, it might be helpful to bring up the situation at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics. As you know, there's a fairly stable population there of regulars who, at the very least, know about definitions. On Wikipedia, you really don't have to win arguments against other people. If two of us disagree, we can just stop arguing with each other and seek outside opinions. Even in a case that seems to be clear trolling or baiting, if new people arrive and call him out, that helps you. It helps you more, the more you've stayed away from accusations yourself, although the best kind of input from outsiders is focused on content, and not on people's motivations.
More succinctly, we've got your back. Don't hesitate to call for outside eyes before the heat gets too high. -GTBacchus(talk) 13:23, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- ^ Wisdom. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 13:48, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I'm not worried about WMC's blocks for trolling. Above Durova says that "trolling" isn't a desirable block reason--she is right, in a sense. The community, for a number of reasons, worries quite a lot about the block button being used to stop people from rousting up trouble absent a clear sign of malfeasance. I don't. I think that warnings and blocks can and should be used to stop people from misusing talk pages. Protonk (talk) 18:20, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- If trolling actually occurs (and of course sometimes it does), then the best course of action is to document samples of problem behavior and state one's reasoning. Reasonable observers will also conclude that it's trolling and the t-word need never be said. Durova273 featured contributions 03:08, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- It's not a dirty word. It's a facet of online discourse and we have two responses, DFTT (much prefered, obviously) and RBI (much less preferred). The assumption that folks are acting in good faith doesn't prevent discovery that they are in fact, acting in bad faith. Protonk (talk) 04:07, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- I don't think the suggestion is that it's dirty, simply that it's unhelpful. It introduces a whole new dimension to the discourse that is best avoided, because it does not admit of clear proofs, and it distracts from the work of encyclopedia-building.
I have yet to see a case where accusing an editor of trolling has improved any situation, in terms of resolving the dispute to the advantage of the project. If such successes occurred, then we would encourage the calling of "troll", but in practice, doing so mucks everything up. That's why it's a bad idea.
You cite a choice between DFTT and RBI; and you're clearly right that DFTT is much preferable. The question is, what does "feeding a troll" look like? In my experience, calling them out as trolls feeds them.
That still doesn't begin to address the issue of false positives, which are of course wonderful and fun. -GTBacchus(talk) 08:16, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- Both good points. There happen to be a few words which, although not necessarily vulgar, tend to be hot button and mean different things to different people. If a word consistently lowers and inflames discourse, then it's better to use it sparingly. The underlying issues can be addressed much more productively in other ways. Durova273 featured contributions 14:38, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- I agree with Exxolon. I don't feel that my blocking was justified. WMC and Dab were making disparaging insinuations about me in response to me agreeing with the suggestion of a sock (who I had no way of knowing was a sock). Dab's comment in particular had an especially flamebaiting nature to it. I did bite and a mini-flame war ensued which WMC deleted but for some reason left Dab's comment on the page. I complained about this and issued another response to him for which I was warned on my talk page. I asked what I had done wrong and simply rephrased my question and was then blocked. I don't feel that WMC is an objective Admin. He has been condescending to all the editors who want this particular page unlocked and has continually tolerated the disruptive behavior of Dab while people like myself get punished. I would like to request a more neutral Admin look over the page. AncientObserver (talk) 00:19, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
In fact the problem started with ChildofMidnight (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) here , who claimed he was patrolling new articles. A.K.Nole (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has been attempting to edit the article Butcher group without any knowledge of either Hopf algebras or renormalization, the main topics of the article, which is at a graduate level in pure mathematics, theoretical physics and computer science. His mathematically off-key remarks, of which LadyofShalott (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) was perfectly aware because of messages left on her talk page, came to a head with these two absurd edits , , where A.K.Nole attempted to copy-paste material written by me in Butcher group into another article, where it made no sense. This was because A.K.Nole did not understand in any way the mathematics or theoretical physics so was unaware that by copy-pasting content like that of out of context, he was essentially vandalizing the other article. This is not a content dispute: it is about disruptive editing by a clueless editor. He appears to have no idea about theoretical physics and made no attempt to find sources (there is a classic book by Collins on renormalization). This is not a content dispute in any way. Other experienced editors have been editing the main article Butcher group usefully, while A.K.Nole has continued making mathematically uninformed comments on the talk page. I've never seen behaviour like that before on wikipedia and I have edited mainspace mathematics/mathematical physics articles quite a bit. LadyofShalott was perfectly aware of the edits to Minimal subtraction scheme when she needlessly started dramamongering here, without mentioning these edits. I have no idea why she has done this. Mathsci (talk) 04:45, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Why do a few uninformed comments on the talk page merit a block, can someone show the diffs that allow us to overcome any assumption of good faith. P.S. If someone invited me to comment on the talk page of that article, I'd mention that the article as written is inaccessable to all but the experts and that a synopsis that would allow us mere mortals (morons, perhaps) at least know basically what the subject of the article is would be a welcome addition. I hope that such a comment wouldn't get me blocked. Carlossuarez46 (talk) 05:41, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- The block happened I suppose because of the two edits mentioned above, which were vandalism, repeated after a warning. P.S. I'm sure that the same criticism would apply to almost any other graduate-level mathematics WP article, e.g. Hopf algebra. Mathsci (talk) 06:00, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I think that comments above have made the situation clear enough. This is complex maths, and most people have wisely noticed that they don't understand it well enough to even tell whether AKN is contributing usefully or not. The few with enough knowledge have realised that he isn't. I noticed too, and warned him to stay away (which is why Why do a few uninformed comments on the talk page merit a block etc shows an insufficient reading of the situation). He chose to ignore that warning, so I blocked him. AKN should keep away from maths stuff he doesn't understand William M. Connolley (talk) 07:32, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I'm still not completely clear on the specific rationale for the block, which I think is the main issue. Regardless of how complex the subject matter, the reason for the block should be intelligible to most any other admin. "Trolling" does not cut it (ever really, but certainly in an ambiguous case like this); and in a situation where there are back and forth talk page comments between two editors, you should clearly explain why the one you blocked got blocked. The reason this matters is because we have had a lengthy ANI thread about it which perhaps could have been avoided had you provided a specific rationale with diffs and the like. You might chime in that this all could have been avoided if people would have trusted the blocking admin and not stuck their noses in tricky maths, but I would not buy that. If you're going to make a possibly controversial block before you go offline for the night, it would be helpful if, at the least, you could make sure that anyone who fields an unblock request (which are not uncommon, obviously) understands why you did what you did. Obviously that did not happen in this case, and I think that's just sloppy. Indeed I still don't know if AKN was blocked for editing somewhere he should not, for ignoring a warning of yours, for trying to wind up another editor, or some combination of those.
- I think the one inescapable conclusion is that, for whatever reason, the block ultimately created more disruption than doing nothing would have, and in that sense it failed. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 08:20, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- The editor mentioned by David Eppstein and I agreed that over a prolonged period A.K.Nole was commenting on material that he did not understand in a way that was not useful for the editing of the namespace article. Please can we leave it at that? Mathsci (talk) 09:09, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- In addition, and this I find somewhat upsetting, LadyofShalott (talk · contribs) received a WP email from me on June 26, disclosing my real life identity. With that information LadyofShalott could easily identify me as an established pure mathematician. This is not apparent in any of her contributions here. Mathsci (talk) 09:32, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- (inserting this out-of sequence) I did get an email with a name other than your username. I was unaware, though, that your status as a professional mathematician was in question. LadyofShalott 13:41, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Ahh right, I forget - being knowledgeable about the subject area is a get-out-of-jail free card. The question I want to ask - where is the trolling? It seems to be being used as a catch-all block reason to get someone annoying out of peoples hair, which isn't really acceptable. Ironholds (talk) 09:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Please look at the 2 diffs cited above. A.K.Node's cut-and-paste edits - out of context - are gobbledegook. Mathsci (talk) 09:48, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- The first part of your argument stemmed from the idea that he doesn't understand the maths. If we work on that basis, why assume his edits there are an attempt to get a rise out of you and troll and not simply a bad good faith edit? Ironholds (talk) 09:50, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Isn't there a clue in the edit summary?  This insertion was unsourced vandalism. Mathsci (talk) 09:52, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Not really seeing it. I note that Nole edited without issues up until now, so assuming after 700 edits or so that he's magically turned into a troll requires something more than "he said I wrote nice stuff". Again, I'm not contesting the idea that his edits were inappropriate, just that the description of him as a "troll", both here and in the block log, are inappropriate. Ironholds (talk) 09:59, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Ahem, what you've just written is incorrect. Please look at the rest of the thread more carefully. Shell Kinney above said that he appears to be hounding me. WMC is the blocking administrator, not me. Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 10:05, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- WP's mathematical articles may well be the highest-quality articles (and the least often vandalised), simply because the subject matter is often so daunting that few non-experts will venture to edit them (as opposed to most other subjects, where there is no shortage of the uninformed who feel at liberty to jump in and edit.) I have no opinion on the block under discussion, I merely wish to note how "lucky" WP's mathematicians are (and yes, I am envious :-) ).--Goodmorningworld (talk) 10:08, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Try editing law articles, heh. I got an article to FA without any other content contributions minus c/e and no talkpage discussion. Ironholds (talk) 10:12, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I just got a DYK on a subject matter that was realllly outside of my Wikipedia interest (Canadian Military History) (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 10:17, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Very few mathematics articles get to FA. I think Emmy Noether is one of the few, largely because of User:WillowW's amazing writing skills. Mathsci (talk) 10:20, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Outdent: wow, that's an impressive article. I assume (I'm not the best mathematician in the world) that the problem with getting higher mathematics articles up to a "good" or "featured" quality is twofold: one, you have to make them understandable to lay folk like myself and two, nobody understands the bloody things other than you so they won't get reviewed :P. Ironholds (talk) 10:22, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Exactly. Another example is group which has beautiful images. Mathsci (talk) 10:37, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I think my favorite is 1 − 2 + 3 − 4 + · · ·. -GTBacchus(talk) 16:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Wow. I may have fixed grammar or formatting, or added a comma here or there on Math and Science articles, but my additions will never get them to these places. Of course, the concepts in WP:EXPERT may sometimes apply :-) (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 11:32, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Attempting to identify a contribution from an established editor as "vandalism".... (A) Will generate more static than it's worth. (B) Is unprovable. (C) Distracts from the important questions involved. (D) Leads to threads like this one. (E) Doesn't help anything.
If an editor is making incredibly stupid edits to an article they don't understand, then they should be stopped. Calling their edits "vandalism" makes it harder to stop them, not easier. Let's remember that "comment on the edit, not the editor" puts you in a position of serious power. Take advantage of that opportunity, and save yourself many headaches. -GTBacchus(talk) 16:41, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- The first edit of this account was May 2 with 389 namespace edits. There are no substantial content additions to articles, just a lot of tagging, etc. Mathsci (talk) 18:08, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
As an uninvolved editor with some mathematical knowledge, I agree with the comments by David Eppstein 
and MangoJuice 
. The issue seems to be how much
good faith to show before blocking someone. I can offer some advice on how to communicate more effectively in these situations, if A.K.Nole is interested. — Carl (CBM · talk)
18:56, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I don't understand the supposed connection between blocking and "good faith". I've blocked a lot of accounts, and I was assuming good faith the whole time. People are blocked to prevent disruption, and whether the disruption was intentional or not has nothing to do with it. Good-faith edits that are disruptive... are disruptive. -GTBacchus(talk) 20:37, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I want to comment on Mathsci's posting at the beginning of this section, which I regret to state is seriously inaccurate.
- "attempting to edit the article Butcher group" - not correct. I made three concrete suggestions on the talk page. The only edit I made to the article itself was a trivial spelling correction. Mathsci actually accepted all three suggestions and added them to the article, although he doesn't care to admit that. Why would he do that if they were all "clueless"?
- "mathematically off-key remarks of which LadyofShalott was perfectly aware" - comments made at another article entirely of which Mathsci had complained to Lady's talk page in a series of posting complaining about me and again inaccurately.
- Comment: Mathsci was actually incorrect, in that the two models of a diagonal cubic surface are not equivalent over a field of characteristic three.
- "two absurd edits where Mathsci attempted to copy-paste material". The first was a selection of a couple of sentences, with the technical formulae copied for accuracy, and where I added interpretation such as the reference to principal part of a Laurent series. The second was a summary and not in any way a copy-paste job.
- I think this is enough to establish that Mathsci is giving an inaccurate account of this whole affair. I frankly think that he believes that my wording must be nonsense because it was I who added it and for no other reason. He is then backing up his belief with bluster, personal remarks, repetitiveness and accusations against any editors who do not entirely support his personal line. I have asked him to go to dispute resolution twice and he has rejected  my suggestions. A.K.Nole (talk) 21:42, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- This related diff  of A.K.Nole confirms what almost all senior mathematical editors have said, notably Charles Matthews, David Eppstein and CBM: A.K.Nole has a very poor grasp of rather elementary mathematics. Here a simple elimination of one variable that most people can do mentally seems problematic. Mathsci (talk) 01:08, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- Mathsci is giving arguments that, while a bit extreme, are common with editors who are expert in a topic. However, Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia, and articles that are so specialized that they intrinsically can't be explained to a general audience quite possibly don't belong here, except as a stub or redirect, which would be true of any subject, not only in the sciences. My opinion is that if the topic isn't explained with sufficient clarity such that editors with reasonably common background can't understand it, the article writing is poor and needs work, or the subject is so abstruse that, truly, only experts can understand it, which then might mean that it's too narrow for article-level status on Wikipedia. I wouldn't give up on explaining the topic properly, however. I'll point out that for an article to be comprehensible to the ordinary reader, it should even more be comprehensible to an ordinary editor who spends some serious time with it trying to understand it and who then makes edits to make it more accessible; the likelihood of this editor making mistakes with the science or math is high, but mistakes can be corrected, and out of the interchange, the result can be a much better article. For an example, see recent edits to Oppenheimer-Phillips process, where a quite ignorant editor rather badly mangled the article, I tried to fix it, but I'm not a physicist -- though I have background which makes the field reasonably accessible to me -- and ScienceApologist, working with me, corrected my mistakes -- which mostly were not mistakes, but simply explanations he thought inadequate, he wanted to cross the t's and dot the i's. The result was that, apparently, the original editor now understood the topic better. The project won. Ownership of articles by experts is very dangerous to the quality of our content. Respect for experts is very important. Often, experts are blocked or banned for behavior like that of Mathsci, see the recent ban of User:NewYorkScholar. And where an article or editor is highly defended by an administrator, we can see ordinary editors blocked for attempting to make articles clearer or more comprehensive. --Abd (talk) 16:36, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
The addition of those bits from Butcher group to the other article are out of place in the renormalisation calculation articles. It is an understatement to say that the edit lowered the quality of the article. I hesitate to ramble too much here (but have done so on my talk page in response to Exxolon's request), as I have only been briefly acquainted with most of the general sphere relating to Hopf algebras. YellowMonkey
(cricket calendar poll!
) paid editing=POV
02:29, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
So I think I understand the situation well enough to comment on the block. AKN was making comments on the talk page in good faith, but with such a low level of understanding of the subject that it was irritating. From my reading of things, this goes beyond the point where AKN could reasonably believe he was close to an understanding and qualified to get involved in technical issues: he clearly falls far short, yet he persisted in making edits along those lines. (Even my own humble level of mathematics background makes me realize that someone who implies they don't know what a group is is way over their head in this article.) Where does this leave us? I do think that if this pattern continues it can be viewed as trolling: AKN has to realize that with topics this advanced his comments and edits are pretty unlikely to be of any use. He has been told so. And then he continues to edit in the same way, basically ignoring the warning. I'm not sure I would consider this trolling yet, since he may in good faith have thought the warning was limited in scope to Butcher group (as he says) but it's certainly heading in that direction. If you aren't being helpful and you're getting a negative response, and people tell you why you're getting a negative response, and you ignore that and keep doing the same thing, the only conclusion is that you are looking for the negative response. Or, possibly, AKN is trying to learn about these topics from the more expert editors. Either way it's inappropriate: Wikipedia is an Encyclopedia, the project is to build articles, it's not a classroom. I think the block at this time is harsh, but it's a 24 hour block and it's within the bounds of reason. Mangojuicetalk 13:31, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Mango - thanks for giving such a lucid assessment.
- It is a core part of Wikipedia philosophy that "All editors are equal". This is true, but it does not mean that "all editors are equally good at all things".
- I agree that AKN is probably not being "maliciously disruptive", but it does appear that he/she to be "fighting above their weight class" and should probably walk away. With my own limited understanding of the topics, the disputes are not about "finer points of interpretation", but actually involve a fundamental misunderstanding of the core material. I'm hesitant to call this "trolling" per se but am quite happy to label it as "disruptive", albeit well-intentioned.
- While I firmly believe that certain mathematics articles (eg. Fermat's Last Theorem, and associated Wiles articles) require a "layman's component" due to their popular appeal beyond the mathematical community, the more advanced topics should be free of this requirement. Wikipedia is fortunate to have a significant number of erudite articles on highly advanced topics, and there is simply no way to make these accessible to an audience which lacks the requisite background. (From my minimal grasp of group theory, I know that the article on Group homomorphism is already as accessible as it is ever likely to be). The reason we have this collection of quality articles is due to the work of some highly trained editors. As administrators - especially administrators who are otherwise unable to contribute - it falls to us to ensure that such skilled people are allowed to be productive.
- In summary, the block was mildly harsher than how I personally would have handled it, but it a fully defensible action and there is no overwhelming case for over-ruling the admin's decision.Manning (talk) 13:56, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Did anyone notice that A.K.Nole is "Elonka" spelled backwards? This user's first edits were to Simutronics, the company Elonka works for. And, what's with the self-admitted account sharing on the userpage? Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 14:03, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Wow. User:A.K.Nole says I was previously at User:The Wiki House, and following on to User:The Wiki House one sees We have started our Wikipedia projects. along with three usernames. The page history for User:The Wiki House is quite interesting. As my old boss used to say, "What the hell is going on here?" Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 14:24, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- This has already been addressed - see Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/The_Wiki_House/Archive - short version - 3 people in same house decide to start editing Wikipedia and as they are on the same connection use the same account (hence the name). When it was pointed out this was against policy they all created individual accounts and for transparency have indicated this by linking back to their former shared account from their new individual accounts and have not used the shared one since. Nothing sinister here. Exxolon (talk) 14:44, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- The bit that Nishkid64 identified – the (obvious-in-hindsight) choice of a deliberately trolling account name and first edit – hasn't been addressed. Kind of makes WMC's block look rather prescient, actually.... TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:05, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Actually, xyr first edit was to University of Gloucestershire, here. Uncle G (talk) 06:53, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- Responding to Mango Juice's post above, I think that the case of Chuck Marean (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is relevant here. (I think how his interpretation of the Bernard Madoff case is bizarre, novel & disruptive, is understandable to more people than questionable edits to a graduate-level mathematics article.) Neither editor are trolling, but neither are truly showing the needed skill to contribute positively to Wikipedia in their chosen areas. -- llywrch (talk) 21:28, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Bah, admins are supposed to help get the encyclopedia written, that includes blocking people who get in the middle of getting complicated articles written, like A.K.Nole was doing. If someone with no expertise in the matter is making wrong edits, ignoring warnings from experts in the matter that he is completely wrong, and, apparently, doing all of it to troll other user, then it's normal that an admin blocks. That being said, maybe WMC was too fast in the blocking and should have given a warning first to the editor, and block only if/when he kept insisting in the same behaviour. --Enric Naval (talk) 21:07, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Moved my comments to the bottom of the report.Livewireo (talk) 19:48, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- Mathsci (talk · message · contribs · page moves · edit summaries · count · api · logs · block log · email)
- William M. Connolley (talk · message · contribs · page moves · edit summaries · count · api · logs · block log · email)
When some arbitration on a heated subject was submitted, an arbitrator who met one of involved parties via Wiki Meetup recused himself from the case for neutrality. That kind of integrity is also required to admins and practiced too. I was wondering why WMC who said dislikes ANI and barely comes here suddenly blocked CoM and A.K.Nole in too much favor for Mathsci. People pointed out Mathsci's incivility, but his blocks are "one-sided". The answer to the puzzle turns out to be too simple. They've met "twice" this year via Wikipedia Meetup. An image of them together can be found too on the pages. They seems to be also involved in some ArbCom case (cold fusion or fringe theory etc) according to Mathsci's user page.
- Wikipedia:Meetup/Cambridge 2 February 28, 2009
- Wikipedia:Meetup/Cambridge 3 April 28, 2009
WMC should've not get involved in blocking Mathsci's opponents given the offline interaction. I think this that could be construed as COI and warrant ArbCom on William M. Connolley's questionable administrative actions in a row.--Caspian blue 15:15, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Um, I'm not sure what your point is here. Regardless of the two having an offline interaction or not, this case should be assessed on the evidence of what transpired on-wiki and nothing else. Thus far it has been reviewed by several uninvolved admins who have assessed WMC's actions as possibly a bit harsh, but still acceptable. I also didn't see any evidence of a personal agenda between Mathsci and AKN that would warrant the use of the term "Mathsci's enemies". There is no discernable COI issue either as a result of them meeting IRL. Based on your COI reasoning, all Wiki-conferences would result in the wholesale disempowering of all of the admins who attend. Manning (talk) 15:25, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Well, if you are saying that the mentioned arbitrator for comparison is exceptionally ethical among admins, I do not think so. Arbitrators recuse themselves even if they are slightly involved in commenting on cases or contacting with involved editors in the past. The blocking reason is lame to many editors, so I will leave other administrator to interpret this finding.--15:34, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- (ec)That's a nice conspiracy theory you've cooked up there...tinfoil and all...but simply being acquainted with someone via a Wikimeetup is no cause for a conflict of interest. I'd wonder about a chilling effect this could have on future meets, will they have to second-guess who they're talking to or if they should even go at all? An/I has seen silly proposals in the past, but this is a new height. Tarc (talk) 15:32, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Tarc, how typical. Read my first sentence again. Ir is rather obvious that you have a grudge for my warning to your inappropriate behavior to CoM. I want you to retract your absurd accusation, and disengage from the matter. --Caspian blue 15:37, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- You have no position of authority to issue warnings, so we will classify what you're referring to as "advice". And as I do not put much stock in the source, given your own closeness to CoM, your "advice" was rejected out of hand. Are we clear on that issue? Good.
- As for this, I will weigh in as I see fit. While there may be issues with how Connolley is handling blocks, this idea of meeting a person IRL is grounds to demand a recusal is just patently absurd. That someone in the past did so is being a bit over-reactive IMO, and does not obligate others to follow such a decision. Tarc (talk) 15:53, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Tarc, if you wish to continue "your conspiracy theory" to make yourself "mature", I just will let you indulge in cooking up that. Good luck with that.--Caspian blue 16:07, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Suggesting that an admin might favor a particular editor is hardly a "conspiracy theory." However, I'm also leery of jumping to conclusions based on off-wiki activities. I'll be at the conference in New York next month. Will this mean that if I meet an arbitrator there, that arbitrator would have to recuse? I hope not! I'd better hurry and file that RfAr! But maybe it doesn't matter. Patience, Caspian blue. It will all come out in the wash. --Abd (talk) 15:51, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Of course admins favor certain editors...that goes on here a lot more than people think. I'm not objecting to the concept, I'm objecting to the "evidence" that being at the same Wikimeet is proof of such. I'm curious as to how Caspian even got onto that trail. Tarc (talk) 16:02, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I must agree that just having met at meet-ups is not evidence of wrongdoing on anyone's part. sorry, forgot to sign before -LadyofShalott 16:18, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- To LadyofShalott. WMC's favors for Mathsic are obvious in the case. The one lame block by WMC that sides Mathsic's stance is just a thing that I can ignore, but the second consecutive block by WMC for the lame reason is questionable. --Caspian blue 16:15, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Abd, you're right, it is just a matter of time.--Caspian blue 16:28, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
(unindent) Yes I have twice been to Cambridge wiki meetups. I usually am here in Aix-en-Provence where I sometimes edit WP on the corner of rue d'Italie and rue Roux Alpheran next to the Musée Granet. When Bruno Ely, the conservateur of the Musée goes past, he often gives me an ironic smile of recognition, because he is fully aware that I have plagiarised his French text for Chateau of Vauvenargues.
WMC arrived late to the first meeting and I left early because I was booked to play organ music in Christ's College chapel. Somebody who'd been at Trinity Hall, Cambridge kindly bought me a caffe latte. The second time at lunchtime I arrived late because of the late running of the number 4 Citibus in Cambridge and WMC had to leave early. I bought Charles Matthews a tomato juice: he had eaten an interesting and delicious looking salad. I couldn't stay long, because I had to be back to see a student at 2pm. All present were mathematicians, including one graduate student who had an office 2 doors away from mine between 2006 and 2008. The main discussion was between Charles and me, because at different times we'd been in the same department and the same college: the BLP of Alexander Todd was the main thing discussed, because both of us had been told in person what he thought of mathematicians. Lord Todd did not mince his words. At none of these meetings have I chatted at any length with WMC. Where will conspiracy theory end I wonder? Yawn. Mathsci (talk) 16:19, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Nobody asked your whereabouts and your trivial description on your meeting (yawning). You have created "unbelievable stories" that people has harassed you when they copy-edit to improve articles in good faith, but nobody believe so except WMC. I'm just curious as to why you're behaving like that. In my eye, you're pushing yourself close to a block. In terms of WMC's definition on trolling, I wonder why you're not blocked yet by WMC for your inappropriate behaviors that other admins gave you warnings. I asked WMC, but he did not answer it at all.--Caspian blue 16:28, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- I think merely knowing each other off wiki does not require that level of response. It's one thing on ArbCom where there's a high workload and plenty of other arbitrators to handle any given case. It's another thing in a case like this. WMC should just be cautious that he doesn't end up blocking people merely to make Mathsci's life easier, and should ask for input from other admins where appropriate. Mangojuicetalk 16:34, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I was asked to comment. The article is highly technical, current research mathematics. There has been some quibbling on the Talk page. I was reminded of a comment from Frank Adams about how "anyone who knows enough to ask that question knows enough to answer it". User:A.K.Nole does seem to be being unnecessarily provocative about matters of exposition. Not as provocative as the first remark on the page. Charles Matthews (talk) 19:42, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Thanks Charles. It was kind of you to comment. Mathsci (talk) 22:41, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Much of the discussion of my contributions is based on notion that I have no expertise in mathematics. The logic appears to run in the circle "he is not an expert so his statements must be nonsense" and "his statements are nonsense so he can't be an expert". I should prefer to be judged purely on the content of my contributions but that appears to have become impossible in the present climate, in which my lack of expertise appears to be taken for granted following an astonishing campaign of reiteration and misquotation. Charles Matthews presents the interesting variation that I'm so non-expert that I must actually be an expert. Astonishingly no-one has yet taken the elementary step of simply asking me what my qualifications are! I have a first-class degree in a mathematical subject from an established British university. That is all I propose to say on that matter.
The quality of my suggested specific contributions to Butcher group can be judged from the simple fact that they were all accepted and incorporated in the article by Mathsci (and I challenge him to deny that here). In detail:
- 1. That the definition of the Butcher group itself (as it stood at that time) was incomplete . Mathsci accepted this and added the missing material , acknowledging my assistance ("your question was useful") .
- 2. That the opening sentence was misleading as it identified the group with the associated formalism . Mathsci argued quite strongly that this was absurd, then made the suggested change ("slight rewording of lede") .
- 3. That the phrase minimal subtraction scheme should be wikilinked to the article of the same name if that was indeed appropriate . Mathsci again angrily rejected this as absurd and then made the suggested link 
Mathsci has worked assiduously to promote the notion that I must be an ignoramus. His descriptions (almost always presented without diffs) are seriously misleading.
- I made the comment "To those of us who barely know what a group is, the initial sentence as it stands is confusing"  which "us" clearly refers to the whole community of non-experts in the context of a discussion on how to make the opening sentence both mathematically correct and intelligible to the non-experts. Mathsci has chosen to quote, or rather, misquote that as "as he freely admitted, he didn't know what a group was."  This misquotation is hard to understand as anything but a deliberate distortion.
- I referred to the introductory paragraph of renormalisation group as "somewhat incomprehensible" , again in the context of discussion of opening sentences for non-experts. I think that is an accurate assessment of it if it is intended to to be an introduction for the non-expert. Mathsci again drops the context and presents it as if it were an admission of personal incompetence . This is again misleading. A.K.Nole (talk) 21:28, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- Well this should be relatively simple to resolve: are you, or are you not, a qualified mathematical expert? Some--many even--articles on Wikipedia may quite easily be completely written by non-experts. Pure math, physics, chemistry? Not so much. They require extensive formal training in order to even understand the concepts involved, let alone explain them. So do you or do you not have such expertise? → ROUX ₪ 22:45, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
- On the basis of his edits and those as a member of User:The Wiki House, A.K.Nole seems to have attended the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham established in 2001. It has no undergraduate degree in mathematics. Editing using a Cheltenham IP, he made this edit , implying that he did not in fact himself know the definition of a group. In England this is standard first year material in university undergraduate courses in mathematics. Is there some way A.K.Nole can confirm his statement about having an undergraduate degree in mathematics from an established univeristy with an arbitrator or an administrator? My own qualifications are known to Charles Matthews, so are not in doubt. As far as I am aware I don't make errors editing mathematics articles (apart possibly from niggling constants and signs). His cut-and-paste edit  to Minimal subtraction scheme has a homomorphism with undefined domain, a rather serious and unhelpful error. Any reasonably bright mathematics undergraduate would have seen there was a problem. What is most puzzling with A.K.Nole is that, apart from the edits on AfDs started by me or articles started by me or articles which share my username, he has made no substantial content edits to wikipedia. Most of his edits are quick fly-by tagging. Usually people edit about what they know about. Mathsci (talk) 23:21, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Re A.K.Nole: I believe that what David Eppstein, Charles Matthews, and I have each said is that your comments on Talk:Butcher group reflect so poorly that it makes one wonder if you might be writing in an intentionally naive way. There are certainly more productive ways to communicate, and they are not hard to acquire. There are many non-experts who edit math articles, so I do not think this is simply a matter of credentials. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:10, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- This edit  by ChildofMidnight is also highly problematic. Mathsci (talk) 00:12, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- I would let it go, and try to put this incident in the past. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:24, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- One remaining, and possibly troubling, issue is the whole A.K. Nole = User:Elonka backwards thing. AKN addressed that here, I think quite inadequately. Either the username's resemblance to another user name is entirely coincidental, or it is not. If the latter, I think some explanation is in order. Elonka seems to be on a break right now, but she might also be able to shed some light on the matter, so I'll likely post a note on her talk page if questions remain about this. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 00:30, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I want to comment here to thank Mathsci for the excellent work, and to ask that admins do what they can to allow editors like Mathsci to continue without the totally unwarranted and misguided attention that I see on the talk page of Butcher group. I have never encountered the editors mentioned here (I noticed this at WT:WikiProject_Mathematics#Help), but I have sufficient mathematical background to form the opinion that Mathsci needs to be protected from misguided onlookers. It's tricky because we're all equal and we assume good faith, and the article content is so technical that it's hard to tell the difference between a good and a bad edit. However, I understand some of the concepts mentioned in the lead and my opinion is that it is not possible (or desirable) to make articles like this more accessible to general readers, and the repeated back-and-forth on the talk page is misguided. I think Mathsci gave replies that were more than reasonable at first; it was only when the barrage persisted that Mathsci started to show some understandable irritation. The issue of AKN's expertise and motivation are no longer relevant; it is the behavior that is the problem – please stop. Johnuniq (talk) 00:32, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- About the anagram thing. I am not User:Elonka, I have no connection with her. My username is not intended to cause her or anyone else any kind of difficulty or embarassment. If there are any problems please let me know and I will gladly change it. A.K.Nole (talk[) 06:19, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- Nobody has suggested that you are User:Elonka, because she is based in St Louis, Missouri, not Cheltenham, is an admin and knows how to edit properly. You haven't explained how you came to edit Simutronics nor why your username is Elonka backwards. You have made no comment as to whether your university is the University of Gloucestershire, as your Cheltenhame IP and this edit seem to confirm. I am sorry that you did not like the BLP of Dame Janet Trotter that I wrote and the fact that my local MP was Sir Neville Trotter when I lived on Tyneside. The sooner you learn how to add substantial sourced content to wikipedia articles the better. Mathsci (talk) 06:49, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- (this and previous comment out of sequence to the one below) Mathsci it might be better for you leave off commenting on this for now. I'm pursuing the Elonka issue with AKN on their talk page so no worries there. Whether or not that editor is affiliated with the University of Gloucestershire is quite immaterial, and they certainly have a right to not have their personal details revealed here. You really need to let that aspect of this go. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 06:54, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- Ahem, that would be the case if this user had not first claimed to have a first class degree in a mathematical subject from an established UK university. This is not reflected in their on-wiki editing skills as administrators from WikiProject Mathematics have confirmed. Mathsci (talk) 07:14, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- That categorically does not matter. You're going after specific aspects of an editor's real life identity and should absolutely not be doing that, even if it proves your point about his or mathematical bona fides, or lack thereof. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 07:32, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- Mathsci. I assume that you accept the assessment of my edits and your misquotations, since you choose to quibble only about the wording "I am told". Do you really believe that my self-deprecating usage (and yes, that was me on the IP of course) constitutes justification for your statement "as he freely admitted, he didn't know what a group was"? I think not.
- I said that I have a mathematical degree from one British university and of course it is not the University of Gloucestershire since as you point out that university does not offer any such degrees. If you do not believe me then that's too bad. I am not going to discuss my CV or my current affiliation or my place of work or residence, or any other personal information, here and I regard it as a serious form of harassment that you should continue to badger me to do so. A.K.Nole (talk) 06:31, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- Your mathematical edits have been identified by other senior mathematcal editors as very poor/naive. I cannot disagree. I teach some of the brightest students in the country in Part III in Cambridge. Each time you try to write about mathematics you make howling errors (e.g. describing a projective surface as a "three-hold"). You'll have to confirm the statement about the degree/university with an arbitrator or an administrator. Please also read Essjay controversy. Mathsci (talk) 07:04, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- OK, I don't think Mathsci has been handling this in the best way in human terms, but neither do I think you have been handling this in the best way in technical terms. I picked up on your comment at Talk:Clebsch surface, as either ill-considered or faux naif - I guess it is the former, since a mathematics graduate ought to be able to see those equations as equivalent at a glance. The insertion of an example into a quantum field theory page by copy-and-paste without proper referencing and contextualisation is just annoying to everyone concerned. Homomorphisms being unital is a typical convention assumed in ring theory, usually just to avoid tedious explanations. The username thing concerns me. But let's all just move on now. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:11, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I've spent a bit of time looking at AKN's edits, and there is some weird stuff going on in terms of connections to User:Elonka (I certainly don't think they're the same person). I was going to post some info here but decide to save it off-wiki instead in order let AKN reply to some queries of mine on that editor's talk page (there could be legitimate explanations, but it looks rather odd). I'll wait and see but we might need to explore this issue further, though it's tangential to the Mathsci/WMC/A.K. Nole issue. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 08:03, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Mathsci asserts that I live in a certain town in the UK  after I had specifically stated that "I am not going to discuss my CV or my current affiliation or my place of work or residence, or any other personal information, here and I regard it as a serious form of harassment that you should continue to badger me to do so."  That is deliberate and conscious WP:OUTING ("Posting another person's personal information (legal name, date of birth, identification numbers, home or workplace address, job title and work organisation, telephone number, email address, or other contact information, regardless of whether or not the information is actually correct) is harassment, unless that editor voluntarily posts this information, or links to this information, on Wikipedia themselves.") Fortunately we are already in the right place for me to ask for suitable action. Perhaps Mathsci needs some time off to read Wikipedia:Harassment. I call on an uninvolved admin to consider how to respond to this deliberate flouting of Wikipedia policy. A.K.Nole (talk) 16:31, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- I would suggest simply ignoring him, and both of you moving on to other things. This thread on ANI has dragged on long enough, and neither his continued involvement nor yours is likely to improve anything. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:40, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- My advice to AKN is similar. However, if harassment continues, that's another story. However, I have seen Mathsci harass at least one other editor, so there is a cause for concern here. Because it would be duplicating a pending RfAr, I'm not going to present evidence of that here, but this report might be useful to gather information along that line, since it has been opened, and, given all that was discussed above, it's possible that Mathsci might be formally warned. AKN, I recommend you leave it alone. Beyond this, I plan to. --Abd (talk) 17:00, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- A.K., hi. The advice CBM and Abd are giving you here is good. This is a situation that you will be far happier walking away from than attempting to obtain some kind of satisfaction. Don't go down the road where I've seen so many good editors come to grief: Wikipedia is not a system of justice, and those who attempt to obtain justice here end up disappointed on multiple levels. Accusations of "deliberate flouting of Wikipedia policy" precede great sadness for the accuser. Seriously, for your own sanity, just walk away. -GTBacchus(talk) 17:41, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- ↑ what he said ↑ — Ched : ? 18:06, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- Walking away could be a good way for you, A.K.Nole. However, it is understandable that A.K.Nole is very angry with Mathsci's repeated inappropriate attempts to smear A.K.Nole's image. (OUTing is a serious violation that warrants "immediate blocks" if he really did) Since Mathsci has been officially warned several times by admins for his incivility and other inappropriate behaviors (like harassment as Abd pointed out) to not only you but also the other editor, if he continues the same problematic behavior again, then make a new ANI report, and see the consequence. He could not evade from sanctions forever. Or you can seek a justice with RFC/U or RFAR against Mathsci if you must feel obliged to file so, but that takes a lot of time and energy. Currently many editors/admins are watching on Mathsci and WMC's behavior for a while, so let's others handle it. --Caspian blue 18:24, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- I find this entire matter unsettling. User:Mathsci's behavior has been nothing but uncivil, firing off warnings of blocks right off the bat instead of trying to civily work things out. Here, from CoM's talk page, and from AKNoles talk page , ,, and AKNole attempted a dispute resolution, which was blanked and summaried as "rv edit by disruptive troll." . Being an expert on a very technical subject is not carte blanche to act so uncivily to other editors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Livewireo (talk • contribs) 19:57, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- I think I understand your concern, Livewireo. Mathsci has certainly been uncivil, and we don't want to coddle or enable that kind of behavior. I make a distinction, however, between addressing Mathsci's behavior, and A.K.Nole trying to obtain redress for wrongs against him. The former might be worth doing, but that should be separated from the latter.
It's not that there's anything wrong with trying to obtain some kind of justice, it's just that Wikipedia is very bad at that. As Elton John sings, "it's like trying to drink whiskey from a bottle of wine." That's nothing against whiskey or wine, you just won't get that there. You won't find justice here. I can say I'm sorry, if it helps. I'm sorry.
If Mathsci's behavior is going to be addressed, it will have to be in the larger context of his contributions to the project. An RFC would be an entirely appropriate way to do that, assuming there are two or three people who feel like putting together evidence of trying other DR measures, etc., etc. If the RFC is simply an extension of this single issue though, it won't go well. I may be wrong - this whole approach I'm taking may be wrong - but it's what I believe I've observed. -GTBacchus(talk) 20:59, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
- "If Mathsci's behavior is going to be addressed, it will have to be in the larger context of his contributions to the project" - that part of your post is wrong at least. Unless you count the fact that arbcom generally do take the time to thank usefull contributors for their sterling article efforts, as they hand down a block or ban for repeated and unchanging behavioural issues. So, I urge anyone who does value Mathsci's contributions, to start doing more to change his behaviour when they recognise it as problematic. In my view of this thread and the last, looking at his various actions, the feedback from multiple observers is not being taken on board. MickMacNee (talk) 00:32, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- I wasn't necessarily saying that his problematic behavior has to be weighed against his positive contributions, although those also exist. I can see how you would quite naturally read it that way, but I was actually just thinking that it can't be addressed as a single episode. In the vast majority of cases where an established editor is under scrutiny, one act of incivility, even one act of extreme incivility, even one short spate of extreme incivility, will not be enough to merit more than perhaps a short block to stop a storm in progress. However, a pattern of incivility is an issue that the community can address with our full range of remedies, and that's when something like an RFC becomes appropriate. RFC/U's should not be for isolated incidents, though.
Your pointing out that this editor seems not to take criticism on board is a good example of the context I'm saying we need. It has to be about Mathsci's editing patterns, and not about this one time when he blew up at A. K. Nole and ChildofMidnight.
We seem to be largely in agreement, modulo my failure to express myself with complete clarity. -GTBacchus(talk) 00:59, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Ahem, CoM was blocked for his edit to the talk page. Please look at how the two namespace articles were edited and then compare them with the talk pages before making statements like this. Presumably, given your mathematical background, you know the difficulty of material such as Hopf algebras or renormalization. A.K.Nole's edits have been full of mathematical errors, which other editors have spotted. You seem to be stigmatizing me for being an expert and spotting these errors. I have no idea why. Mathsci (talk) 03:29, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- GTBacchus seems to be suggesting that there are problems with my namepsace edits. Please could he say here what these problems are? Have I made too many edits? Are the articles too technical? I made 600 edits to Differential geometry of surfaces. Was that too many? Mathsci (talk) 03:44, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
220.127.116.11 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
This edit from Cheltenham  is clearly A.K.Nole. We have seen senior mathematics editors indicating that most that of the material being discussed is beyond the expertise of most wikipedia editors. Senior mathematics administrators have already commented and deemed A.K.Nole's mathematical edits poor. GTBacchus does not fall in this category and his edits his edits are disruptive and ill-informed. Wikipedia does not exist on WP:AN/I. It exists in namespace. There A.K.Nole's edits amount to fly-by tagging whereas I produce articles which are meticulously researched in the arts and sciences. I will reveal exactly who I am if people continue harassing me in this way. In the past two weeks I have created new articles on art (Picasso at Chateau of Vauvenargues), mathematical physics (Butcher group) and music (Handel organ concertos Op.4). I also created a BLP (Janet Trotter). Senior mathematics admins told me to stay away from this page. Yet other editors with no knowledge of graduate mathematics are making absurd statements here. This is a sad reflection on how wikpedia values experts. In view of the diff above, I am actually saying A.K.Nole is a liar. The other edits by this IP clearly identify the editor as A.K.Nole. His continued disruption here might warrant another block, possibly indefinite. Mathsci (talk) 01:40, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Generally I'm supportive of your view, and agree that on complex articles experts are essential, and modification by non-experts can be damaging. However, the above seems pointless and disruptive to me - it seems irrelevant where A K Nole lives, and trying to figure it out looks a lot like outing to me. On top of that, it is also largely irrelevant as to whether or not A K Nole has expertise in the subject - all that matters, and I accept that this has been demonstrated, was that the editor's contributions to the article were disruptive and problematic. Whether that person has a degree or not, or where they live, is not a concern. I can understand your frustration, but I don't feel that this path is the best one to take, and I'm worried that it will only extend the problems. - Bilby (talk) 02:01, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- You seem to be ignoring the statements of senior administrators in WikiProject Mathematics, who disagree with you. That seems ill-judged. CBM, Charles Matthews and David Eppstein have commented. Please read what they have written. How am I outing somebody by identifying their IP? Please tone down your language. I am afraid it's 4.30 in the morning in France. Bonne nuit Mathsci (talk) 02:29, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- My apologies if the tone was a tad harsh - I didn't mean to be, but it does seem to read that way. That aside, I'm not questioning CBM, Charles Matthews and David Eppstein - their points are fine and valid. But I still find them largely irrelevant. The issue comes down to "Was A K Noll disruptive", not where the editor lives or whether or not the editor has a degree in mathematics. And personally, I accept that the A K Noll was being disruptive on the articles, based on what I've seen of their edits and discussion here. Thus I have no problem with WMC's block. My concern with outing is the "This edit from Cheltenham" in combination with earlier comments. - Bilby (talk) 02:47, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Just for information, CBM kindly but firmly "warned" him to walk away and stop doing this but Mathsci dared to ignore it and then returned to creat another allegations such as "A.K.Nole liar". And Charles Mathews certainly did not approve of Mathsci's poor behavior.--Caspian blue 02:58, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- (ec) @Bilby. You are misreading/misquoting their remarks. They have indicated that the edits to the talk were not helpful to the editing of the article, which was highly technical, interdisciplinary and complex. They also suggested that he was either incompetent or faux naif. On the degree thing: (a) it's A.K.Nole that is making the claims about mathematics-related degrees (b) how can anybody edit advanced science articles, possibly graduate level, without training? This editor is making howling errors that indicate very little knowledge of even quite elemntary mathematics. I have no idea why a person like that, with no other science edits, is suddenly out-of-the-blue editing mathematics articles. Shell Kinney and other admins have already said above that he's just hounding me. Why are you now suggesting otherwise?
- @ Caspian blue: if the nasty bit in this thread aimed at blocking a long term established content editor did not exist, then CBM's advice on my talk page was fine. I'm sure he didn't anticipate contributions like yours, which seem entirely disruptive and possibly could lead to a block. Are you not in fact trying to WP:BAIT me by writing immoderately? BTW the contributions of the IP speak for themselves. There's very little I can do about that. Mathsci (talk) 03:12, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Clearly I'm not helping, so I'll step back. But to explain: I agree A K Noll was problematic. I also agree that the block was fine, and that edits made by people who don't fully understand the material can be damaging. So I'm not disagreeing with you or them. All I'm saying is that it doesn't matter where A K Noll lives, or went to university, or whether or not they have a postgrad, undergrad, or, indeed, no degree. The edits were disruptive, as a number of people have argued, and continuing to make disruptive edits warrants a block. (Indeed, if those edits were made by someone who understands the maths, then it would be more, not less, troubling). Disruption is a sufficient condition - lack of knowledge may at best explain the disruption, but doesn't change the outcome. So I don't see what is to be gained by pursing the matter further, given that it seems the intent is to show lack of expertise on A K Noll's part. But then, I'm also generally at a loss as to what you're trying to achieve by pursing this, and maybe you have a reason which I don't see. - Bilby (talk) 03:27, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- (ec) I completely agree with you on all your points. The best is that we all get back to editing. Mathsci (talk) 03:52, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Mathsci, who can compare your inappropriate behaviors and "extreme incivility" and "baiting" motivated by bad faith with others in the whole fiasco? You still can not content the two blocks that you caused by whining and harassing the two editors. The blocks are "coincidentally related to the same admin, William M. Connolley who met you via offline twice. Block against "consensus", block against "justification" in a row. That's why many people claim "Requests for comments against your user conduct" or WMC and "Filing an ArbCom case against you and WMC" could be a right solution for this dispute. However, I don't think you do not learn anything from your disruptive behavior. Still you're still seeking another block against A.K.Nole in the tread by making personal attacks like "liar" and outing. As I said, I will watch when your luck come to end. You think you're okay for making nasty accusations and personal attacks and then requesting for blocks against editors who suffer your such behaviors just because you're an expert? That is preposterous and should be stopped by a rightful saction.--Caspian blue 03:48, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- The "...who met you via offline twice" allegation you made earlier was dismissed by all as being pretty ludicrous. Continue this beef if you will, but stop making yourself look ridiculous by bringing up that extremely silly and debunked accusation. Tarc (talk) 03:53, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Tarc, the only reason you've bothered yourself appearing here is not to make yourself "mature" I guess. I'm bemused at your "failed attempt" with your cooked-up "conspiracy theory". Alas, that fun entertainment was totally "dismissed" by all and unlike mine was not since some admins said WMC should've been careful when blocking and seeking "input first". Tarc, thank you for letting me know more of you. :p--Caspian blue 04:13, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- I don't agree with Caspian blue's analysis and still have no idea why either of these editors chose such an abstruse, advanced and technically difficult article to edit. Quite unlike anything they've edited before. Mathsci (talk) 04:00, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- You don't still get it. People have advised/warned you "let it go", but you are not letting the matter go. What good would you get from being here.--Caspian blue 04:13, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- You could probably ask that question of yourself. As could I, of course. :) Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 04:16, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Maybe, so do you. (I've told you many times not to do that, haven't I?) :)--Caspian blue 04:21, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Request for block of Mathsci
Mathsci (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log)
- Support, per I am actually saying A.K.Nole is a liar and his edits are disruptive and ill-informed from just the above new thread that Mathsci added regardless of warnings. Enough of this. Why do we have to put up with this guy's disruption parade - repeated sockpuppetry accusation without evidences, OUTing, trolling, harassing, soaxboxing, forum shopping - even though he has many chances to get out of sanctions compared to what he has done so for. A block would be to prevent Mathsci's further disruptions instead of "generosity" that he has bee enough received by the community. Being an expert does not excuse his repeated poor behavior. He has been heard "warning/advice" to drop and walk away from his accusations against A.K.Nole (talk · contribs), but he does not take the suggestion at heart all all given the removal from his talk page. According to his insistence, only experts are allowed to edit Math articles, then why he has been editing classical music and other articles that he has no relation in work, but need "experts' in-depth knowledge"? --Caspian blue 01:48, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Sockpuppetry allegations???? Where did you get that absurd idea from????? Stop inventing things, Caspian blue!!!!
- With a Fields medallist backing me in the mathemtical edits, you don't have a snowball's chance in hell. Please stop being so disruptive. Your behaviour is shameful. Mathsci (talk) 02:21, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Did I miss the time Fields medallists were given special decision-making powers on Wikipedia? Algebraist 02:26, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Is there more than one? Mathsci (talk) 02:32, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Mathsci, since you're making another personal attack in the thread, you do not realise that your behaviors here are totally unacceptable to the community. It does not matter even if you're a king. In Wikipedia, you're an editor that has to abide by the rules just like everyone else do. That is you who has heard "stop being disruptive" repeatedly from the serial ANI threads regarding you. So let's see how things go to the end. --Caspian blue 02:34, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Why not leave Mathsci alone and let him edit math articles in peace? This thread keeps the conflict with A.K.Nole alive causing more anger, provoking more angry responses by Mathsci. Count Iblis (talk) 02:40, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Count Iblis, would you read the right above thread? The problem is Mathsic does not let A.K.Nole alone and the community but has caused disruptions over and over by adding provocative and insulting messages.--Caspian blue 02:51, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- (ec) There are no diffs for your statements about sockpuppetry. This is extremely disruptive behaviour, Caspian blue. I have no idea what you're up to. Mathsci (talk) 02:44, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Mathsci, you're insinuating sockpuppetry as mentioning the IP, A.K.Nole's affiliation and location info, and comparing Elonka and Essjay controversy. Moreover, the allegations that need for a "rightful block" against you are NOT my opinion, but a collection of others' including admins, two victims by your "horrendous behaviors", and other established editors in neutral position. Since you're pushing yourself with disruption, I will watch how far you're going to do.--Caspian blue 02:51, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Uh, come again? He just forgot to log in like this. You do seem to be WP:BAITing me at the moment. Please stop these endless conspiracy theories and get back to editing the encyclopedia. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 04:06, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- 22.214.171.124 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log), who are you, Mathsci? If so, since you seem to be editing same articles like Phèdre or French/Classical music related articles, I have to worry about any possible danger that you would cause for the future given your disruptive behaviors and ownership over articles that you've edited. I just hate "injustice" in the Wikipedia, that's all. :)--Caspian blue 04:18, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Would someone please give this horse a decent burial?
This seems to have generated into some sort of pissing match between Mathsci and Caspian Blue, and is going nowhere good. Anyone uninvolved feel like closing up this 98K (!) snoozefest? → ROUX ₪ 04:20, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.