I'm sure that my comments were consistent with the statement to which I
was replying, and which you conveniently omitted. In all probability,
my use of "you" might very well have been equivalent to the more
stylistically awkward and Victorian use of "one". >>
I am too dense to understand your language. But now that we've
established that you meant "One" then yes one should replace one's own
individual judgement of what is a reliable source.
We do not, to my knowledge, have a list of what sources the community
deems reliable, and we don't usually go through an orgy of doubt
regarding each individual source we encounter. So the only mechanism
by which, we can speedily gauge the value of a source is our own
Those who have no judgement, shouldn't try to gauge the value of a
That, Ray, is why the project wants and needs experts in each field.
Those experts have the level of judgement needed to gauge sources.
It's entirely probably that many non-experts do as well, but if anyone
feels that they are not worthy of doing that task, then they can
certainly leave it for others to do.
Every place I see a citation to certain sources I know to be
unreliable, I will strike it out. There is no need to cite unreliable
sources, when we have right on Google Books (now) a much better and
more reliable source for the subject material.
From: Ray Saintonge <[hidden email]>
To: English Wikipedia <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tue, 28 Apr 2009 2:53 pm
Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Notability in Wikipedia
We mostly don't know, and mostly have no way of knowing, whether the
publishers of 19th century magazines checked their facts. "Gentleman's
Magazine" (published 1731-1907) was highly regarded for the information
it provided, but I have no way to measure the amount of fact-checking
that it did.>>
In general, for works of this age and presence, we can apply the
"venerable source" approach, taking it for its word, and applying
corrections when they exist. CP for example has a corrections volume
(volume 14) and so corrections do exist.
Things like NEGHR and CTeG tend to get corrections made in later
editions or cross-posted to other Gen/History journals.
The main problematic sources are not the ones from the 19th century,
but rather the pseudo-historical ones that are being spewed out like
.... spew, right now. I picked up a copy of Laurence Gardiner's book
"Bloodline of the Holy Grail" for a buck, not because I think it has
any substantive worth whatsoever (which it does not), but because I
wanted to track down what his sources were for his absurdly fantastic
My "absurdly fantastic" I mean "wholely lacking in evidence and in some
cases utterly preposterous to boot".
On nearly every page of this "work", I find statements that are
ridiculous and mostly uncited. But at least it has led me to cite some
of my own work more rigorously and to be surprised by reading the
fictional "Book of Jubilees" that someone has made up names for all the
wives of Noah's ancestors.
For that it's worth a buck I suppose. But it's not a reliable source.
For anything. Except perhaps to cite the complete fictional line of
"Prince Michael of Albany", since he wrote the foreword.
> The main problematic sources are not the ones from the 19th century,
> but rather the pseudo-historical ones that are being spewed out like
> .... spew, right now. I picked up a copy of Laurence Gardiner's book
> "Bloodline of the Holy Grail" for a buck, not because I think it has
> any substantive worth whatsoever (which it does not), but because I
> wanted to track down what his sources were for his absurdly fantastic
> genealogical charts.
> My "absurdly fantastic" I mean "wholely lacking in evidence and in some
> cases utterly preposterous to boot".
One of the most educational aspects of working on Wikipedia is
realising just how bad other sources (including all journalistic
"reliable sources") can be, and that the main practical difference
between us and them is that here you can see inside the sausage
factory, there you can't.
> 2009/4/27 <[hidden email]>:
>> I'm not saying that people should delete based on Google results in the
>> first place. In fact I am the one who put that note on historical subjects
>> into the policy in the first place a few years back. Subjects who are not
>> necessarily currently talked-up might have been quite the popular rage back in
>> 1920 or 1920 or 1420, and should not be deleted based on current Google
> I must say, the blindness of some AFD participants to anything that
> happened before 1995 can be more than a little annoying ...
I haven't found this to be a big problem in practice, but maybe I've
been lucky? A handful of my edge-case biographies of 19th-century
individuals have been nominated for AfD, but all survived. One was a
translation from a famous 19th-century German encyclopedia (ADB), and
nobody could find a single post-1900 source on the man, but it was kept
nonetheless, with the justification that having once been included in
ADB is sufficient to automatically establish notability. A pleasantly
> I was being sly. You must've been following Wikipedia's guidelines against
> originality when you came up with that laugher. "Oh, there is? I don't think
> you've told us about it." Poor you.
> From: James Farrar <[hidden email]>
> To: Bill Carter <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Monday, May 4, 2009 4:31:32 PM
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Notability in Wikipedia
> Do you have a birthday soon? I'll buy you an irony meter - you appear
> to need one.
> 2009/5/3 Bill Carter <[hidden email]>:
>> You had to be around last month. Suffice to say, there is even a Knol
>> Alan Cabal now adapted from Schmidt's article:
>> http://knol.google.com/k/jennifer-pelham/alan-cabal/ >>
>> My Squidoo lens has a lot of original research so it's a different animal:
>> http://www.squidoo.com/Alan-Cabal >>
>> Wikipedia is just ridiculous. Not having an article about Alan Cabal
>> remain one of its silliest decisions for years to come. I'm quite glad to
>> keep on bringing it up and DARING people to write one about Alan Cabal.
>> Let the games continue
>> From: James Farrar <[hidden email]>
>> To: English Wikipedia <[hidden email]>
>> Sent: Saturday, May 2, 2009 2:25:09 AM
>> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Notability in Wikipedia
>> 2009/4/28 Bill Carter <[hidden email]>:
>>> Notability in Wikipedia is a joke, as is NPOV. Need I remind you about
>>> article about Alan Cabal that is waiting to reach mainspace?
>> Oh, there is? I don't think you've told us about it.
>> WikiEN-l mailing list
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