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User talk:Writtenonsand

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Revision as of 00:58, 22 February 2008 by Chriswaterguy (Talk | Contributions) (Semi-automating tasks: replied on my talk page - skills appreciated!)

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Hi Writenonsand,

Welcome to Appropedia. I think your plan to be bold and learn about what's appropriate here is a great idea.

One of the admins will be getting back to you on your excellent question regarding our policy on the scientific method. You may also be interested to check out our nascent topic expert concept.

We are excited to have you here, --Lonny 12:52, 15 February 2008 (PST)


Hi! Sounds like you probably don't need the usual tips for newbies, but anyway, welcome...!


Hi Writtenonsand,

Welcome to the Appropedia wiki. Please make yourself at home! If you need a general wiki-tutorial, Wikieducator has some excellent ones.

Check your preferences and be sure you verify your email address and turn on email notification if you'd like it -- you can find out when your talk page, or any page on your watchlist, is modified. You may want to upload a photo or information about yourself to your userpage (which is at

If you have a particular interest or project in mind, go ahead and start it! Feel free to leave me a note on my talk page if you have further questions, need help finding your way around, have a cool idea for a project, or just want to chat. You can also call, text, or email me anytime; contact information is on my user page.

Glad to have you here!


Good questions - our policies are still being developed (I'll have a look and see if there's any you haven't seen - but I think Appropedia:Rigor is the main one. but the bottom line, I think, is that as a community of science-minded people, we require contributions to be consistent with science. There are potential pitfalls in this, of course, and we have other policies that I believe will provide safeguards - openness, allowing opinion (in the appropriate place, and marked as such) and encouraging questions. So there may well be pages on things we believe are pseudoscience - and these should have a rigorous discussion, clearly laying out the arguments for each side.

That's my feeling anyway. We welcome your contributions, both to the site as a whole, and any ideas on policy. It looks like you do a lot of very valuable editing on Wikipedia, and it's great to have you here! --Chriswaterguy · talk 17:20, 15 February 2008 (PST)

More thoughts on your comments.

You wrote: I've been editing Wikipedia for a while, and there's a continuing discussion (aka war) there on the extent to which content needs to be governed by the scientific method and mainstream science, vs accepting "alternative science", "traditional wisdom", etc.

On Wikipedia it's about "notability.W I was told (over lunch at Wikimania 2007) that this policy came about originally because of people wanting to add their unorthodox theories of physics to Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not the place for weighing evidence and deciding which theory is true, so this was an appropriate response.

We, however, can't use the same criteria for notability, as we're encouraging a lot of content which is not on the radar of established writers and media. The approach I described above is quite different to Wikipedia's, but it may be more likely to work due to the different makeup of the community. In any case, I'm sure we'll need to expand our policies in this area.

You wrote: I'm especially concerned about this because of the likelihood of people furnishing harmful misinformation - it's bad enough when people say that you can build a 5 mw cold fusion generator out of paper clips and twine, but when people start posting that chicken soup cures AIDS or the like, I worry about the possibility of serious harm.

On that note, have a look at how we dealt with Lemon douches for HIV prevention, noting the discussion - and in large part the monologues by me :) - on the talk page. I certainly don't think it falls in the pseudoscience category (and I suspect it probably does work to a significant degree, though that's not proven) but nonetheless there are some tricky issues related to the science of it. I don't see a problem with how that one has gone so far, but we'd obviously like a lot more contributions on the topic. We have yet to see how well our policy of rigor stands up when a lot of people are contributing.

Now I've reminded myself of that article, I'll email some friends in the public health field, to ask their input on the issue. --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:19, 15 February 2008 (PST)

WikiGnome work very welcome!

That would be extremely valuable! See my response at my talk page. --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:48, 17 February 2008 (PST)


You may already know this, but... these are useful links if you want to fix redlinks: Wanted categories and Wanted pages (found via the Special pages link in the left navbar). A category as a wanted page might suggest that it is wrongly linked in text somewhere, and needs to be changed to the correct category. E.g. there's a link to Category:Program rather than Category:Programs. --Chriswaterguy · talk 17:16, 18 February 2008 (PST)

Public domain search

In case you'd tried it and had problems - APDS wasn't working, but it's fixed now. --Chriswaterguy · talk 17:50, 18 February 2008 (PST)

Drought Myth: We definitely have copyleft?

Replied on my talk page, at User talk:Chriswaterguy #Drought Myth: We definitely have copyleft?. --Chriswaterguy · talk 15:14, 19 February 2008 (PST)

Methane and part of Category:Biofuel‎ are copyvios and need to be rewritten - thanks for the help with finding them.
They're not hugely valuable, but worth a 5-min quick rewrite of good bits before deleting. But not at 1am... --Chriswaterguy · talk 06:18, 20 February 2008 (PST)
Methane - Category:Biofuel‎ -- Writtenonsand 06:55, 20 February 2008 (PST)

Semi-automating tasks

I just wanted to mention that we've given thought to semi-automating certain tasks, so that a WikiGnome such as yourself can work more efficiently and make better use of your skills. Appropedia:Wikilink bot is one such idea, but it has stalled. (We were told that search and replace with regular expressions could do it, but I'm slightly doubtful).

I need to learn how to use the pywikipedia bot (meta:Pywikipedia) before making progress, or recruit someone who knows the bot, or knows python. Basic stuff isn't hard, like fixing double redirects, but I didn't get much further than that. The IRC channel is helpful, but... well we've all been too busy. I have a feeling it will be very useful if we can figure it out though.

Getting AutoWikiBrowserW working on Appropedia would also be useful, as an alternative or additional tool.

Anyway, I wanted to mention that, in case you had any interest in such things. If you are, then voice chat could be helpful in bringing you up to speed with where we're up to, unless you're the sort of person who prefers to figure out the instructions for yourself.

Again, great work, don't hesitate to contact us. Btw, Curt and Mel know some python and may be more helpful than me when it comes to the actual programming side. I don't touch the coding, but making better use of the bot looks feasible for me, with patience.

Oh, and if you're happy doing things the way you're doing them, that's also completely cool! --Chriswaterguy · talk 04:42, 21 February 2008 (PST)

Update: I just discovered Botwiki which should help us a lot. I'll look at it another time. --Chriswaterguy · talk 06:13, 21 February 2008 (PST)
Replied again on my talk page. Your skills are much appreciated, even if you don't consider them skills :). --Chriswaterguy · talk 16:58, 21 February 2008 (PST)