User talk:Anthony.Sebastian

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Hourglass drawing.svg Where Anthony lives it is approximately: 06:58

Creating my User Talk Page. --Anthony.Sebastian
Anthony.Sebastian (Talk) 13:48, 19 December 2006 (CST)


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Current UTC Time: 06:58

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Please review Los Alamos National Laboratory for spelling, grammar, and whatever

Anthony, I would very much appreciate it if you would review Los Alamos National Laboratory for spelling, grammar, and whatever else you think may be needed. Let me have your comments on the article's Talk page. Thanks, Milton Beychok 20:33, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Hi Anthony

Back after a holiday - I take it I'm not still needed for Alcmeion?Gareth Leng 08:39, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Gareth. Alcmaeon (a.k.a., Alkmaion): Approved. Hope you enjoyed your vacation, though you may have meant 'vacation from CZ'. OMBs need such. Anthony.Sebastian 22:31, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Asking for your help again

Anthony, the Project Apollo article needs a critical review by a History author like yourself. See here the documentation of my recent extensive edits to that article.

Anything you can do to make it more readable, more interesting, etc. would be appreciated. Milton Beychok 04:00, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Milton, I have a few deadlines related to academic year ending. I took a look at Project Apollo and will plan to work on it starting sometime in July, though the start of the academic year also puts demands on me.
Thanks for steering me in the article's direction. The Apollo missions were incredible achievements. Anthony.Sebastian 14:39, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Anthony, thanks for your added references and edits as well as for picking up my goof in defining "billion". Milton Beychok 21:57, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Redirect of Biological mathematics

Hi Anthony: I've moved the article Biological mathematics to Biological computation, which seems to me to fit the content of this article pretty well. Please excuse my doing this before your have had a chance to comment upon it. I don't think it is a very controversial change, but it may be a bit startling to find what has happened in your absence. If so, my apologies. John R. Brews 18:51, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Electric charge

Anthony: If you take a look at Talk:Electric_charge#Definition_of_electric_charge you will see that while technically you are right that the article Electric charge should begin with a definition of electric charge, that approach is awkward, and the simple change you have made in the lead sentence of this article does not solve the problem.

There seems to me to be two possibilities: the one you object to that begins by defining charge and then defines electric charge and how it is distinct from magnetic charge. Alternatively, one can make a new article Charge, describing a fundamental property of matter that causes matter having that property to generate and react to a force of attraction or repulsion to spatially separate matter that likewise manifests the property of charge.

Then one can refer to this article in the article Electric charge as one of the two known types of charge, magnetic and electric, with the distinguishing property that electric charges can be isolated, while while an isolated magnetic charge or magnetic monopole never has been observed.

In any event, I find the present arrangement unsatisfactory. John R. Brews 04:09, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Apparently the matter is complicated further by the concept of "color charge". John R. Brews 15:51, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Also complicated by mass: "In physics, mass is an extensive physical property of a system and is most frequently measured in the SI unit of kilograms. Mass is the "charge" of the gravitational force, and the resistance an object has to force." From CZ article.
I like the idea of dealing with 'charge' in a separate article, Charge. I too was thinking of that, but I did not feel qualified to do it justice. I suppose we could start it as a stub, with the lede sentence you suggested. I give it a try, unless you really want to do it yourself. I'm away Sunday, could do it Monday.
At any rate, in Electric charge, I had wanted the reader to know a bit more about electric charge before introducing magnetic charge, or charge in general. Anthony.Sebastian 04:31, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
A start at an article. John R. Brews 05:44, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
The treatment of color charge and its connection to nuclear forces needs work. John R. Brews 14:01, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
I set up a talk page to consider how this article should be written at User:John R. Brews/Sample/Talk. John R. Brews 16:23, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Anthony: Perhaps a god approach to Charge is to make it a disambiguation page. There are so many different "charges" even within science that it seems they are almost unconnected. For example, Charge (electromagnetic) could include both electric and magnetic charge, replacing the present Electric charge. Charge (chromodynamic) could discuss color charge. Then we are left with Charge (baryonic), Charge (leptonic), which appear to be different in that they are not related to forces at all, but to symmetry classifications. Maybe you have some more?
Although mass is related to the force of gravity by the same potential theory as electromagnetism via Poisson's equation, it is not referred to as a "charge" in physics texts (a Google books search does not turn up this terminology, despite its use in the CZ article Mass), and is ultimately related to the curvature of space time, a form of "fictitious" force depending upon the observer like centrifugal force.
The disambiguation page would have to include non-science versions too, of course, like Charge (military), Charge (explosive). Maybe you have some more? John R. Brews 14:15, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
John, it appears we already have Charge as a disambiguation page, automatically redirected from Charge. It currently has three entries:
I would prefer separate articles on Charge (science), Electric charge, Magnetic charge plus the ones you suggested: Charge (chromodynamic) Charge (baryonic), Charge (leptonic), Charge (military), Charge (explosive), Charge business, Chargés d'affaires, etc.
By Charge (science), I refer to the Sample article you started.
I do not ignore your Charge (electrodynamic), but in the interests of the readers, separate articles on electric and magnetic charges would seem better, as each deserves it own treatment in order to do it justice and teach the unique aspects of each. —Anthony.Sebastian 21:28, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Your introductory charge article

Hi Anthony:

As you know, there are several ways to introduce a subject. One is to present the current understanding from a logical standpoint supported by today's experimental data. That method depends upon an abstract turn of mind that enjoys an axiomatic approach, related by experiments to reality. These concepts and data are not necessarily naively intuitive.

Another approach is historical. That method begins in the past and works to the present. Its goal is not to be historically accurate in explaining all the false steps and all the confusions of the historical record. Rather, the goal is to adopt the naive view of each epoch and show how that sharpened and evolved with advances in argument and experimental data. This method is helpful to beginners, because the early work has the same naivete as the readers themselves, and so they can advance in understandable steps toward the less intuitive, more involved, present view.

I'd recommend the last approach to you. There is no point in trying to present a simplified approach based strictly upon concepts from an early time that are now outmoded. Instead, any overly simple concepts are presented as the tentative approach peculiar to a certain epoch, expected to be transcended, and are not presented as a logical structure still considered appropriate. John R. Brews 16:23, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

In particular, the concept of "matter" is treacherous, and has evolved considerably over time. John R. Brews 16:27, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

To elaborate a bit: the Greek idea of atoms became the indestructible atoms of the 19th century, then were replaced by indivisible electrons, protons and neutrons, then replaced by the indivisible quarks and leptons and the bosons they exchange (or maybe only the gluons, as photons aren't included; the contributions to matter are a bit fuzzy). At each stage, matter took on a new definition, allowing a wider and wider range of forms of matter, for example, the quark-gluon plasma, which can't even be defined from the view of matter as an assembly of atoms. John R. Brews 16:45, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

John, thanks for your advice on how to approach a 'student level' treatment of electric charge. I think both approaches you described have their pedagogical merits. I'd like to find a coherent way to include both approaches.
I'd wanted to develop a complete draft of the 'student level' subpage before presenting it, not wanting to waste your time. But your helpful comments show your interest, so I'm inclined to seek your comments as I develop the draft. My earliest notes you can read at They are quite embryonic.
My thought is to start somewhat oversimplified, then introduce the complexities later. First an introduction based on the basics of our modern understanding, then, in a separate section, an historical account along the lines you mentioned above. Anthony.Sebastian 23:30, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Anthony: The outline at your sandbox is at a pretty early stage. At the moment it seems to aim at some ideas that lead to Coulomb's law, expressed in words. It is not necessary to base matters upon atoms, electrons and protons to do that, and historically that was not the path. As you know, electricity began with charged objects like rubbed amber, and the inverse square law was established by Cavendish and Coulomb without reference to atoms. Atomic concepts have their own subtle history in chemistry and are themselves much more complex concepts than the notion of electric charge. Possibly, after charge is established as a notion, it can be applied to atoms, if that seems desirable. John R. Brews 14:21, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
John, here's how I see my starting aim: to explain electric charge in today's science, at a level of explanation accessible to an educated general audience, assuming that their knowledge includes no more than a secondary-school level of knowledge of science, including that matter consists of atoms and that atoms consist of protons, neutrons, and electrons in the solar system (Bohr) model. In between textbook and popscibook, closer to textbook.
I agree that knowing the history of the development of the concept of electric charge importantly enriches one's grasp of the concept, but as the starter for a student-level treatment of electric charge, I personally find it better first to help the student acquire/enhance some grasp of the basic concept. Anyway, that's how it works for me as I try to increase my knowledge of physics and chemistry—and without having to know/learn advanced mathematics, I might add (no pun intended).
Ideally, I would hope to integrate the two approaches into a single woven narrative. I see the project taking months to accomplish, given the time I can devote. In the end, I'd like to see positive responses from secondary-school students taking an academic curriculum.
I can't express how satisfying it is for me to have your input helping me organize consciously my thinking. Anthony.Sebastian 22:35, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Boxed comments in your articles

Hi Anthony:

Your recently amended contribution Herophilus contains some very long boxed instructions for the novice reader of CZ (or any other wiki for that matter). In the article Vesalius I trimmed this boxed content without encountering objections from you (thank you), but your article Herophilus possibly has extended this text beyond even what was originally in Vesalius. Here is what I refer to:

Most citations to articles listed here include links — in font-color blue — to full-text. Accessing full-text may require personal or institutional subscription. Nevertheless, many with do offer full-text, and if not, usually offer text or links that show the abstracts of the articles, free without subscription. Links to books variously may open to full-text, or to the publishers' description of the book with or without downloadable selected chapters, reviews, and table of contents. Books with links to Google Books often offer extensive previews of the books' text.

and here is my trimmed version:

Many citations here include blue links that open variously to full-text or to a publisher's description of the work. Links to Google books often offer an extensive preview of the text.

Of course, I am not a novice reader of CZ or WP, and what is said in these boxes is of no interest to me at all. Hence, I might be expected to find this boxed information a distraction.

Although I cannot put myself in the frame of mind of someone reading Herophilus as my first ever encounter with a wiki article, my best imagining of this situation is that it is overkill even for such a novice. More than that, thinking of the average reader, I suspect very few will encounter Herophilus as their very first article.

Probably (IMO of course) general observations of this kind are better placed in some kind of "Advice to the Novice" article along the lines of Google's tips for effective search. You will notice that Google does not include this kind of instruction on its primary search page. If it were thought helpful, a link to the "Aid to Novices" instruction article could replace the boxed instructions you are wont to include in every article.

Maybe you would reconsider your approach to boxed guidance to the uninitiated? John R. Brews 16:19, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

John, I agree that the boxed information note not necessary for most readers. I removed it from Herophilus, and will eliminate it from other articles as they turn up.
I appreciate your interest in the articles I'm working on, and grateful for what I'm learning from you. Sometimes I'm a little overzealous in spoon-feeding readers. I like your idea re link to Advice for New Readers article. Anthony.Sebastian 03:52, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Anthony: I'd say you're eminently qualified to write an Advice for New Readers page. It could include the content of your text box, and a few more things too, like finding the CZ: xxx pages identified at CZ:Home and what's in the left-column links. This new article should be linked among these left-column links and made a CZ: xxx page. John R. Brews 14:58, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment, John. First, I've got find where my clone disappeared. Or, I've got to get my time-stopping machine working. Anthony.Sebastian 03:28, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Change of figure

Anthony: I replaced this figure of yours:

(CC) Image: Anthony Sebastian (adapted from data from Wolfram Alpha)

with this one:

(PD) Image: John R. Brews

which compresses the horizontal scale allowing a narrower display on a laptop screen. It also uses the same years at each tick in each panel, and an interval of 20 years in all the panels, which makes it easier to read the lifetimes from the scales, and lines up the scales in each panel so the same years are vertically above one another.

I hope these changes find favor. John R. Brews 16:44, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Nicely done, John. I was never too happy with my original, and had it on my list to redo, plus add a caption describing the anatomy-to-physiology-to-microscopic anatomy sequence represented by those three fellows in the history of medicine. Also you remind me, unintentionally, to get back to the Harvey and Malpighi articles.
BTW, what program did you use to make the image? Anthony.Sebastian 02:13, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Anthony: Glad you liked this. It was made using Microsoft Excel 2010 and saving the result with Microsoft Paint. Excel 2007 was OK for this too, but the earlier Excel versions are more restricted in their choices of colors and shadings. You might be able to do the same using Word instead of Excel. John R. Brews 05:12, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Timeline image

(CC) Diagram: Anthony Sebastian
New timeline for Vesalius.
(PD) Image: John R. Brews
Key scientists in classical mechanics.

Anthony, I thought your new figure looked very nice, so I tried something like that myself. See below, right.

The issue comes up that some people don't live long enough to allow a box containing their names. I tried one "solution", color inside the name box. Do you have some other ideas?

Nice job. John R. Brews 22:10, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

John, thanks. I just wanted to do a test, not to supplant your fine figure in Vesalius, rather thinking of future articles.
Re the short-lived notables:
  • adjust width of timeline to accommodate non-fitters
  • reduce font-size as needed; shouldn't jar too much
  • color in box, but leave off box border; might need caption note
All I can think of. Anthony.Sebastian 03:31, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi Anthony: I tried out your suggestions and settled upon the last one: image here is updated.
Thank you. John R. Brews 11:12, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Looks great, John. Go for it. Anthony.Sebastian 18:59, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Chemical elements

See my note at Talk:Periodic_table_of_elements#Official_names. Peter Jackson 10:49, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Language Evolution

Hi Anthony, there is a discussion over at this page about a potential move for this article. Could you take a look? David Finn 12:32, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi Anthony, there are more comments over at this article, but before you look may I make a suggestion.
Since this article is the only one on Citizendium with "synopsis" in the title, how about I move the article to Language Evolution (book) and attempt to write a short introduction about the book, followed by all the text that is currently there. I think that may solve any issues. What do you think? David Finn 12:14, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes. I regretted 'synopsis' almost from the beginning, but was somewhat intimidated by the 'move' procedure, though I've done it now a few times. Thanks for your help and comments. Anthony.Sebastian 14:24, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Query about Vesalius

Anthony: I do not have access to the book you use as source for the idea that Vesalius succeeded where Galen did not because of the more liberal access to cadavers in Vesalius time. See my inquiry about this matter. It appears likely that there was a reduced restriction in Vesalius' time. One might consider that Galen might have succeeded too in Vesalius' place, but the way this is stated suggests that it was a piece of cake for Vesalius because of the reduced restrictions.

There is also a lot of literature including some of very recent date that take the view that censorship was a problem for Vesalius. I have found it hard to determine whether what we have here is simply the repeating of tales heard at a mother's knee, or something more accurate.

Can you help? John R. Brews 19:02, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Will review this matter, John. Anthony.Sebastian 05:04, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Randomized control trial

Anthony, you have supported the re-approval of Randomized controlled trial. According to the new approval process you should do so with a (short) referee's report on the approval page. Then the Approval Manager (Joe) can accept and certify the approval. --Peter Schmitt 12:09, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Done. Anthony.Sebastian 20:38, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Leibniz alert

Greetings Anthony. Just alerting you that being an admirer of Leibniz I will most certainly add substantial content to the Leibniz page. My contribution would most likely be limited to philosophical topics in Leibniz since his writings are so far-flung and given that I am no mathematician and could not do justice to those areas of his thought. :]

Maria, Leibniz can use all the help he gets. Anthony.Sebastian 03:52, 28 December 2011 (UTC)


Hello, Anthony, I've just noticed your request to Matt, who hasn't been around recently. To Move an article, just click on the Move tab at the top of the page and follow the instructions. HTH. Ro Thorpe 01:07, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Ro, you did not notice that it is an approved article that is protected against edits -- and moves. --Peter Schmitt 02:25, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Ah, no, I didn't go to the page. Anyway, all's well... Ro Thorpe 13:29, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm here! I moved all of your pages (I hope). The 'move all subpages' feature did not work this time, so I had to move them by hand and delete the redirects. Double check me, especially making sure that I moved all the subpages, and let me know if I missed anything (I don't do it often enough to remember it myself!).
I am always around, especially if you leave a message on my talk page, because it emails me (which I check most often throughout the day). D. Matt Innis 03:54, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Matt. I checked; everything copacetic. Sorry you had to do everything in separate steps. Anthony.Sebastian 14:33, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the Lactation article edits

Anthony thanks so much for the lactation article edits. Sure do appreciate the help and collaboration. Been a long time since my biology classes so I hope I remembered everything right. What got me to thinking about this subject as there was a recent "nurse in" after a woman was asked to nurse in a fitting room. At least that's what the news report state. At Amazon there's been a heated discussion about nursing in public which lead to me thinking which lead to this article. Thanks again! Mary Ash 05:15, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Mary, a good article for CZ. Many aspects of interest, both from the social and natural sciences. Thanks for getting it started.
My interest gravitates toward the metabolism/physiology aspects, an evolutionary perspective.
Regarding breastfeeding in public, I remember Milton Berl's joke about a woman walking down the street unaware she had one breast exposed. When Berl called her attention to it, she responded shocked and horrified, "Oh my God. I left my baby on the bus."
Anthony.Sebastian 17:51, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

ASIMO approval

Hello. Do you think it would be okay to ask User:Daniel M. Lofaro who helped with HUBO's approval to see if everything is all right with the article, and then have an engineering editor approve the article? I think Daniel is fit to be an editor in robotics. (Chunbum Park 06:01, 22 February 2012 (UTC))

Hello. I was wondering why ASIMO article has not been approved yet despite the notice which says it will be approved on March 1. I think the article is eady for approval now. (Chunbum Park 11:18, 4 March 2012 (UTC))

Re-approval of Boiling point/Draft

Tony, please see the last section that I just posted on the Talk page of the subject article. It is in regard to how long this is taking and the lack of any truly expert comments. Best regards, Milton Beychok 19:58, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Milton, I tried to nominate it for approval yesterday, but had problems with getting the ToApprove notice up. I asked Peter Schmitt for help, as I am not completely familiar with the approval mechanics yet. Awaiting his reply.
The changes made since I first commented on the article satisfy my concerns. —Anthony.Sebastian 20:16, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Tony. I will wait. Milton Beychok 21:02, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
I have added an image of a boiling point diagram into the last section of Boiling point/Draft for approval, where such a diagram is mentioned. Milton Beychok approves of this addition to the article as evidenced on my Talk page User talk:Henry A. Padleckas at the current bottom of the page. Can you please approve with the added diagram? Thank you. Henry A. Padleckas 08:59, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Tony, I am perfectly okay with Henry's diagram. Last night, I said that I was in agreement with including it in the current re-approval (see the "Approval mechanics" section of Talk:Boiling point/Draft) and I urged him to contact you as soon as he could, which he did. Milton Beychok 03:38, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Regarding the article about Canadian vs. American copyright law and its author Patrick Nikulak.

Tony, when I was an Editorial Personnel Administrator, I saw this happen a number of times. Someone would join CZ and write an article (or sometimes 2-3 articles) and then disappear completely ... making it obvious that he/she had joined us with an agenda to write about some pet subject.

According to Patrick's "User Contributions", on March 13th he wrote his article about Canadian copyright law and then he disappeared completely for the next two weeks. I doubt that we will ever hear from him again.

I strongly suggest that the Approval process for his article be completely abandoned and removed from the green banner we all see at the top of our watchlists. Milton Beychok 15:57, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Milton, I agree. Completely. Thanks for keeping surveillance. Anthony.Sebastian 23:40, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

About Air Resources Laboratory

Hi, Tony: Based on your comments on my Talk page about the Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) article, I have now:

  • fixed all of the references and updated them,
  • added a new section entitled "Organization" along with a diagram of the organizational structure,
  • and added a "Gallery" subpage with 7 images (photos and a diagram) of the types of equipment used by NOAA and the ARL.

I just wanted to let you know that your comments prodded me into improving the article somewhat ... although I still don't believe it is worthy of Approval. Thanks, Milton Beychok 05:17, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi, Milton. I shall prod again, then, until you improve it to Approval eligibility, unless you tell me that to accomplish that would take enormous amount of work. It only has to be accurate, informative, heuristic, remember, not exhaustive or even comprehensive (both of which will always fall short of their ideal).
CZ needs more Approved articles.
Though, I would not be surprised to learn I am CZ's biggest sinner of not finishing articles started. I absolve myself with the thought that when the experts come flooding in they'll get working on them, and the thought that I've let my curiosity-birthright, a type of attention-deficit phenomenon, though more mature than my toddler days, predominate over my peak capacity to focus and concentrate my efforts. Of course I did plenty of that focusing bit for 50 years.
I find it difficult to put articles I contributed into Approval consideration because I realize I can improve it if I work on it more. Anthony.Sebastian 20:20, 5 April 2012 (UTC)


A day late but I got it done! D. Matt Innis 00:58, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, Matt, again. It does not need same-day processing. I'm sure you have many things to do on your list. Anthony.Sebastian 03:27, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Op-Ed in the NY Times

Hi Anthony:

You may recall our efforts with Reality and Hawking's and Mlodinow's book. The Sunday NY Times has an op-ed piece by Jim Holt in his column Gray Matter called "Physicists, stop the churlishness" that covers some of this topic. He mentions attitudes by Penrose, Feynman, and a recent battle between David Albert and Lawrence Krauss (the mystery of the universe's existence).

Maybe there is something here that could improve Reality? John R. Brews 15:49, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Draft decision on Approval process

Hi Anthony: I am presently unclear about where things stand regarding the approval draft decision. Has it been shelved? Is a replacement under consideration? What is your present understanding of the process and its value? John R. Brews 19:41, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

John: It has not been shelved. I am preparing a note to Peter Schmitt with my understanding of the Approval Process. If a replacement emerges it will emerge from that, and Peter's responses.
As to the value of having Approved Articles, that's a separate issue, which I will discuss separately.
As for your many fine draft articles, we need to consider them and see we can do to give them a chance to be approved. I have been musing over that already. Anthony.Sebastian 20:29, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Free will

Anthony: I think you might have some interest in the article Free will. I have made a number of changes there, but it remains unsatisfactory. Perhaps you could assist? John R. Brews 15:24, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

John: Thanks for the invitation. Too tempting to resist, both the topic and the opportunity to colloquy with you.
What you've done has much improved the discussion of the issues involved, including some astute explication (e.g., how randomness doesn't help the cause of the "free willists"). We presumably have no control over when and how the atoms 'swerve'.
Perhaps as Dennett says, we have some elbow room, that there are varieties of free will worth having. And from a sophisticated evolutionary perspective, what follows? Free will, or not, aren't we dealing with biology, and is it not true that "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution", though the light needed may be outside the visible band of the spectrum.
The role of speech?
I'll review my key books before digging in. —Anthony.Sebastian 21:49, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I look forward to your contributions. After my experience with this article, I am inclined to understand the human as a form of intelligent robot, and understand consciousness as command center that focuses on narrow slices of observed data to illuminate particular issues as they arise, and directs action based upon optimization routines it has learned during its evolution and fleshes out during its lifetime. John R. Brews 15:06, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I, too, view humans as "intelligent robots", but I conceive the "command center" residing in the unconscious, where some 98% of human thinking occurs, continually sending instructions to the conscious mind, which interprets them as its own conscious rational decisions. Keith Stanovich has written many books/articles about that. My favorite:
The Robot's Rebellion: Finding Meaning in the Age of Darwin.
Keith E. Stanovich
University of Chicago Press, Oct 15, 2005 - Philosophy - 374 pages
"The idea that we might be robots is no longer the stuff of science fiction; decades of research in evolutionary biology and cognitive science have led many esteemed thinkers and scientists to the conclusion that, following the precepts of universal Darwinism, humans are merely the hosts for two replicators (genes and memes) that have no interest in us except as conduits for replication. Accepting and now forcefully responding to this disturbing idea that precludes the possibilities of morality or free will, among other things, Keith Stanovich here provides the tools for the "robot's rebellion," a program of cognitive reform necessary to advance human interests over the limited interest of the replicators. He shows how concepts of rational thinking from cognitive science interact with the logic of evolution to create opportunities for humans to structure their behavior to serve their own ends. These evaluative activities of the brain, he argues, fulfill the need that we have to ascribe significance to human life. Only by recognizing ourselves as robots, argues Stanovich, can we begin to construct a concept of self based on what is truly singular about humans: that they gain control of their lives in a way unique among life forms on Earth—through rational self-determination."
Daniel Hahneman speaks to that also, in Thinking, fast and slow.
Other books: "Incognito", "Who's in Charge?" Anthony.Sebastian 16:02, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi Anthony: I'll have to look into these books which are unfamiliar to me. It seems clear that the unconscious mind does a lot of processing, maybe analogous to the eye which also does a lot of processing the conscious mind is not aware of, including narrow-band filtering and statistical analysis, apparently providing a subset of information determined useful by evolutionary events and sufficiently concise that the conscious mind can handle. So what is the role of consciousness then? Is there some need for oversight, to weight various alternative long-time responses and select the best? The weighting mechanism itself is subject to development and evolution, but perhaps with the aid of society and reflection it can guide its program of development to a degree? Maybe I'll glean some answers from the reading you have suggested. John R. Brews 16:20, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Anthony: I've added a number of links to the The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The article contains references to robot intelligence and to complementarity that are missing from most discussions, so its got something to add to the subject. Animal behavior and Darwinism also should be discussed more. As one might anticipate for a topic that has survived for millenia, Free will is complex and the present article still is a shambles. John R. Brews 16:07, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
John, I haven't had time yet to join in, but I have started re-reading Gazzaniga's Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain, at bedtime, on my Kindle. Very impressive. Anthony.Sebastian 03:03, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Anthony: I am happy that you are still planning to attack this topic. I have not read Gazzaniga except for excerpts. I also read this interview which introduces the "emergent mind" concept. I am left feeling that there is a confusion here between microscopic description (like on a quantum scale) and a more macroscopic description that is given some mystical precedence. The description of chemistry on the basis of the Standard model is perhaps possible in principle, but no-one would attempt it, with some chemistry described using atomic models and some using even larger objects (like DNA). What is happening is easier to grasp using one model than another, but that is an expression of the mind's limitations, not that the underlying phenomena have found a deeper explanation with the higher level models. So the problem of free will remains murky, although it's clear that it isn't completely free. If we can show that consciousness is a hardware related function of complex networks that is coincident with feelings of being able to make a decision, I think we still will have the issue of deciding whether ant hills are forever to be subject to chance encounters with anteaters unless accidental discovery programs a solution, or can the hill actually make decisions that evolve defenses? Can education improve society, or is that another delusion? Is all we do is to repeat the past until some monkey types Shakespeare whereupon we can progress?
I am reminded that scientists are thought of by the general public as odd balls (which they are) and their discoveries are looked upon as the serendipitous results of crazy people that actually come up with something once and a while, largely as a the result of their odd natures leading them into crevices where normal people don't look. Scientists don't decide to become scientists; they are born that way, and sometimes actually find a niche in which to do science. These niches may be created by society, but niche creation is programmed into society in the same way as the birth of the scientists themselves is programmed? John R. Brews 04:56, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
John, should we move this section to Free will's Talk page? That might attract other interested parties. I don't feel committed to that, however.
I think it will take a society more informed than we are today before our conscious thinking—<5% of our total thinking—recognizes deeply the illusion of free will. I have not received a memo from my non-conscious thinking committee with anything enlightening. If I once had free will, my wife preempted it 48 years ago. Anthony.Sebastian 19:32, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

I also hope that much will be learned if we survive long enough. What I'd like to understand is how one can function like the Stoics, sure in the belief that all is preordained, and yet simultaneously find value in a moral imperative to think through one's decisions.

I'd like to draw your attention to the Charlie Rose brain series Part II.

Let's defer using the Talk page until we can discuss the article content. John R. Brews 21:58, 18 August 2012 (UTC)


I've run across a discussion of emergence here, a concept that apparently originates with Kim (Mind in a Physical World 1998 and Physicalism, or something near enough 2005). The argument is, for example, "a neural assembly consisting of many thousands of neurons will have properties whose causal powers go beyond the causal powers of the properties of its constituents neurons, or subassemblies, and human beings have causal powers that none of our individual organs have". This may be a game involving the definition of "cause". The idea seems to me to be like this: a hot gas can burn you, but the idea of "hot" doesn't apply to an individual atom, but only to an assembly of atoms, so the gas has causal powers not shared by its constituents. I think this is mistaken thinking, as the process of burning me could be analyzed at a microscopic level in terms of individual atoms without introducing the ideas of heat or temperature that apply to ensembles of atoms. John R. Brews 06:19, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

I was mistaken above in suggesting Kim originated the idea of emergence: he only has discussed it. My example of burning myself resembles a claim by Popper:

"Any change in the higher level (temperature) will thus influence the lower level (the movement of the individual atoms). The one-sided dominance [of higher on lower levels of matter] is due … to the random character of the heat motions of the atoms…. For it seems that were the universe per impossible a perfect determinist clockwork, there would be no layers and therefore no such dominating influence would occur."

Although it is rash of me to attack this position by a respected thinker, IMO Popper's remarks reflect a complete misunderstanding of the role of statistics in describing events. Statistical averages like temperature may characterize ensembles, but they do not cause anything. John R. Brews 16:01, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Here is a clear (but IMO, completely crazy) statement of emergence:

"Emergent laws are fundamental; they are irreducible to laws characterizing properties at lower levels of complexity, even given ideal information as to boundary conditions." Stanford Encyclopedia.

I bring all this up because it seems pertinent to your reading of The Robot's Rebellion. John R. Brews 16:09, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

After reading through a few of the dozens of articles on the Stanford Encyclopedia, I am left feeling that a lot of hair-splitting has been done by many philosophers to no end. The answers to this question are more likely to arise from AI and neuroscience than from abstract arguments over hypotheticals that never actually arise. From the stance of an evolutionary robot, programmed goals are sought by an algorithm modifiable by experience. The status of the algorithm may be perceptible by the robot, and the processing of information leading to reprogramming may involve activities that appear to it as conscious deliberation. It is much like a programmer watching his algorithm process some inputs, and in this case he can change the program to better achieve his goals. The ways the program can be changed depend upon some limitations of the programming language and some options may not be pursued because the programmer is so versed in Fortran that he can't think in other languages. So some changes can be made, constituting free will, but others cannot.

Care to help me out here, Anthony? John R. Brews 16:43, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

After writing this I ran into a programming analogy. "...view it as a set of capabilities and features that interconnect to form Consciousness. ...One can think of each of them as an "object" that has a specific set of capabilities and features. These objects have a "mini-program" inside them that specifies their behavior and how they hook up....The hooks are variable and dynamic. The time evolution of the Consciousness from state to state is a result of execution of these "mini-programs' in a dynamic ever-changing way. There is no overall program but instead there is an ever changing dynamic unfolding of states of Consciousness in response to external inputs and based on the previous state of Consciousness plus random effects within Consciousness..." and so on.

Some of this may not stand up to close analysis of the definitions of the terms used. Later a connection with Object-Oriented Programming is suggested.

Mentioned to show that something like this kind of explanation is in the air. John R. Brews 19:09, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

John, I emailed you the excerpt on 'emergence' in Gazzaniga's book. I'd love to help out, but ME duties keeping me business right now. Have you looked at Emergence (biology) for my 'first draft' thoughts on 'emergence'? Anthony.Sebastian 22:23, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Anthony: I've considerably rewritten Emergence (biology) at this juncture, and it departs significantly from its original form in introducing several types of emergence, of which strong emergence was the point of view previously, and weak emergence was not given attention.
There are some "dangling chads" in the article even so. Even if one has a reductionist stance, that everything can be taken back to individual subsystem behavior in principle, it seems that much of system control and numerical mathematical algorithms make use of the cooperative description of multiple levels and their interconnections and feedback to each other to obtain an efficient modeling of complex systems. So it may be moot that one could (in principle) calculate the properties of DNA based upon quarks using the Standard Model, because one would never imagine that was a sensible undertaking, nor would one be able to understand the results of the calculation beyond the data spewed out as the solution to an individual problem on a case-by-case basis. John R. Brews 21:50, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Dangling Chads

←Hi John: You have greatly improved Emergence (biology), in depth and scope.

I cannot discredit the use of the word, emergence, to describe properties (or qualities, functions, behaviors) of a dynamic complicated system of interacting describably distinct components when someone applies the word to behavior of the system they consider unexpected and surprising and when they had not predicted it from what they knew about the organization of the interacting components.

If no one can provide a satisfactory explanation for that here-to-fore unexpected behavior, that does not mean the future holds none. We do not know how long that future will extend for us. It seems, then, that we must reject propositions of systems emergent behavior as unpredictable in principle.

In practice, from the organization of the system and that of the environment embedding it, one might generate a correct prediction of the system’s behavior as one among countless incorrect predictions, but we would not consider that a satisfactory solution.

How would one have predicted the aromatic quality of benzene from the organization of its constituent atoms, whose properties differ in their organizational state than in their elementary state, and alter as we probe them?

Does that re-express some of your points? Anthony.Sebastian 03:46, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

The question of predicting the aromatic nature of benzene may be a toughie, but as you say, once the issue is raised, it may well be that it will become a predictable item as our models of the molecule and the nose improve. Even so, the concepts involved in fashioning an aromatic compound and in describing its interpretation in the brain as aromatic are probably higher level or macro concepts that will illuminate the matter much better for our limited brains than looking at thousands of pages of computer print-out detailing the interaction between massive atomic systems.
The power of effective concepts is the real value of emergence, which I see more as the emergence of vocabulary that efficiently describes things and aids our limited capacity for intuition.
There is a variety of emergent properties, and the way they relate to micro-systems vary as as well: some can be stand-alone, and some supplement micro-theories and make them more effective. We seem to agree that there is no need to emphasize the success or failure of reducing emergent properties to lower level behaviors. The reducibility issue is one aspect of the topic of free will and whether aspects of consciousness are actually under our control, or are reducible to sub-system behavior. I've not figured out how to handle that one. John R. Brews 15:39, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Anthony, the article has now been written from several perspectives and it lacks a smooth development. I think it would benefit greatly from an overhaul by yourself that might organize the various topics logically in an evolving narrative. John R. Brews 16:42, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
John, I agree the article needs a coherent, graceful narrative flow. I'd probably need to set aside at least a week to draft that for your review. I'll do my best to find that week.
You say it well: "The power of effective concepts is the real value of emergence, which I see more as the emergence of vocabulary that efficiently describes things and aids our limited capacity for intuition."
I've tried to handle the consciousness issue by avoiding the nominalization, focusing instead on the activity of conscious experiencing, then trying to explain the activity of experiencing consciously at the physiological level of narrative explanation. That provides a different starting point for a study of the neuronal correlates. I have the beginning of a draft essay elaborating the approach which I'll send you when I finish. Anthony.Sebastian 20:50, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Lagrangian mechanics

Hi Anthony: As you may be aware the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics are based upon variational principles: the evolution of a system is found by requiring some global quantity be minimized subject to certain constraints. That is the basis even of the Standard model. The minimization can be expressed in terms of the equations of motion of the system, which could turn out to be Schrodinger's equation, for example, or the equations of fluid mechanics, for another example. The Lagrangian function depends upon microscopic variables, the generalized coordinates, and interactions between the coordinates are introduced as additional terms.

It strikes me that the philosophy here is reminiscent of the ideas of emergence in that the system is forced to evolve subject to global constraints. Depending upon the system, the evolution may take on a bland uniform pattern, or a complicated one.

In effect this approach assumes the system has "goals" like minimizing its energy or maximizing its entropy or whatever. I wonder whether and how this connection might be incorporated in the article? John R. Brews 14:07, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Anthony: I have continued to add to Free will, and presently the view of the article is that free will is partially an empirical matter regarding just how complex systems work, and partially a semantic issue about finding useful concepts to describe the situation. Although the broad outline of the issues goes back to the early Greeks, there is much detail that needs to be worked out even today.
Your help in fashioning this article remains most desirable. John R. Brews 17:17, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
John, you are too gracious. Believe me, nothing excites my mind more than working on challenging writing projects, especially in collaboration with you. But somehow I've got myself doing two administrative jobs for Citizendium that, at least for the near future, preclude me from doing much in the way of content work.
I do like the idea of a ‘quality’ emerging from mathematical fundamentals.
You might find this article and its references of interest:
I will eventually jump into Free will, after much more study of your article and references. Emergence (biology), too. Anthony.Sebastian 22:30, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Viking longships

Thanks for adding that image, the article really needed one. There's a photo of the Sea Stallion, but I was hoping for an image of an actual longship rather than a replica. Thanks again, Richard Nevell 11:11, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Please see my talk page

Hi, Anthony. Milton needs an reapproval. Can you take a look at my talk page and see what needs to happen. I'm thinking that the approval manager needs to work this through. D. Matt Innis 16:26, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Done. Will Certify tomorrow, 26th, to allow for Citizen add'l copyedits, per EC rules. Anthony.Sebastian 19:13, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Anthony, the Air pollution dispersion terminology article was to be re-approved on the September 26th. Just a reminder. Milton Beychok 14:48, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Image question

Hi, I've uploaded an image with can't be used commercially but still has a creative commons licence, File:Pantheon, 2009.jpg. I just wanted to check this is ok as there appears to be a warning box at the bottom of the photo's description (ie: "Notice of CC-by-sa incompatibility"). Thanks, Richard Nevell 20:57, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Please excuse me for intruding here. That notice of incompatibility appears on dozens of images being used in CZ ... and I have never really understood: (1) what it is saying and (2) why it is needed at all.
I also noted that the credit line for the Pantheon image had not been created ... so I went ahead and created the credit line. Regards, Milton Beychok 22:36, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for creating the credit line, the incompatibility notice stopped me in my tracks as I was doing it; I thought if I'd made a mistake by uploading the image there was no point doing the credit line. The notice still has me a little confused but if we can use it it's a nice busy photo. Richard Nevell 18:32, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Requesting a Move/Rename?

Anthony, How do I get a page renamed? The South Vietnamese Buddhist crisis and coup of 1963 is actually two articles and I've started splitting them. One was easy enough. I created the South Vietnamese Coup (1963) and moved content there. The South Vietnamese Buddhist crisis and coup of 1963 should now be either moved or renamed to South Vietnamese Buddhist crisis (1963) (to differentiate it from the Buddhist crisis of 1966--which should also probably be renamed, but that's a different story). Thanks. Russell D. Jones 22:21, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Russell, that requires a 'Move' maneuver, which I am not skilled at. Suggest contacting Matt Innis. Anthony.Sebastian 23:02, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Scientific method

I see that you have made a number of changes to Scientific method which, because it is an "approved" article, can only be done on Scientific method/Draft. I've got a couple of questions for you:

  1. Why is there no discussion of these changes on a Talk page?
  2. What is your notion of whether these changes will become a new version of the approved article?

An unrelated matter is the content of this article.

IMO, which could be supported in part by some recent books (Big science, little science, The trouble with physics, Not even wrong: the failure of string theory..) some science (maybe string theory, maybe multiverses) is approaching the situation where there is reason to question whether the theory used to build observational apparatus and interpret results begs the question of whether a real test has been performed. Also, tests of a theory become so expensive and so arcane they require multinational commitments to construct an observational apparatus (a hadron collider or a Hubble telescope). That being so, the enterprise is threatened by (i) competition for funding by other needs of society, and (ii) observations so remote from everyday experience that one might ask whether such theories have real implications, or are merely pursuits of expensive clubs built for people with odd ideas of how they should spend their lives.

Is that pertinent to this article?

John R. Brews 21:35, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Site notice

Hi Anthony, I noticed that a small circle has appeared on the top left of every Citizendium page (in the lighter grey part). Is this intentional? If it isn't, I think it's because a character was added to the start of MediaWiki:Sitenotice [1]. Richard Nevell 10:45, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Right on, Richard. I found it precisely where you predicted, and I gleefully exterminated it. Thanks. Anthony.Sebastian 03:03, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Thank you

Thanks for your kind words, which I have followed up. As for the Forums thing, I would pay more attention if other people seemed to use them more often. As it is, there seem to be long temporal gaps after many of the last contributions. (I suppose that non-use on those grounds is self-perpetuating.) Also, it took me a while to realise I had to have a separate sign-in, and I am not clear how to start a new thread.

One other niggle: The CZ notice on the Welcome page is kept up to date (more or less), but whenever one goes to a subject page, the CZ notice on that is the one for the time it was last updated. Surely it is better not to have a notice there than to have one that is out of date, possibly by years. --Martin Wyatt 18:20, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi Martin. Odd, I don't have that 'site-notice page-discrepancy' with the usual popular browsers (IE10, FFx, Chrome) with my Win7 desktop. I'll keep checking. Sometimes I'm late updating, but there should not be a discrepancy between the Welcome page and other pages. Hmm... Anthony.Sebastian 22:21, 10 June 2013 (UTC)


Hello Anthony, is there any chance we can finish with Pompeii? Thanks. Russell D. Jones 21:56, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Hi Russell. Will check, let you know. Anthony.Sebastian 03:57, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Editable 'Main Articles' and Approved-Locked 'Citable Articles'.

Hi Anthony:

There are a couple of observations I'd like to make about this draft resolution of yours.

First, it appears to suggest "all articles to open as editable Main Articles". I assume this to mean editable by CZ members and not the public at large?

The main suggestion, as I understand it, is to change the present policy of locked approved versions to instead a policy of locked citable versions and editable versions that are the default first access to an article.

I think that is a good idea, because it will encourage changes to articles that presently are nearly impossible for 'approved' articles because of red tape, unavailability of original authors whose approval is needed, and general reluctance by originating authors to see their work altered in any way. If I have understood the proposal, I support it. John R. Brews 13:36, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Yes, John, you understand the referendum. The red tape will still be there for the 'Citable Version', but readers won't see that automatically. If the Main Article is editable, it may induce more readers to join Citizendium so they can edit it. As you say, it will "encourage changes" plus encourage joining. Anthony.Sebastian 18:05, 22 July 2013 (UTC)


What to be done about this?

What should be done about this, which is a rewritten version of this? John Stephenson 21:50, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

John, the article on what happened to Citizendium does not seem to me to be an encyclopedia- type entry. I would move it to CZ namespace. Also, I do not find it very informative. The author has not been an active contributor and in particular has made no encyclopedia article edits or starts, so I don't think he is truly into what's happening at Citizendium. We might want to consider removing the article entirely. What do you think? Anthony.Sebastian 05:03, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
It could be deleted or, with some effort, a de-snarked and corrected version could be placed under Citizendium/Activity, just as the original appears at Wikipedia/Activity. John Stephenson 09:55, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Your second option sounds good to me. We just need to find a de-snarker and corrector to do the job. It would be great is Aleksander Stos would do that. Shall we bring him into the discussion? Anthony.Sebastian 22:11, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I've moved it to Citizendium/Activity and will let him know. John Stephenson 15:37, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I've looked at this. Well, de-snarking would mean simply replacing it with a more informative/objective analysis. More precisely, I think it is hopeless to incrementally edit the present text, the overall tone is quite unencyclopedic (more like a polemic essay) and I would feel compelled to change almost every sentence.
That said, its language is indeed modeled on the Wikipedia/Activity article. One has impression that the Author [Linden] didn't like the Wikipedia/Activity article and produced an obviously unacceptable analogue to make a point. While I strongly disagree with such a method (BTW explicitly forbidden in Wikipedia), I do think the original Wikipedia/Activity article, while way more informative, factual, and rooted in the real scientific research, has a quite apparent bias against Wikipedia.
In my opinion, a proper action would be to deal with the Wikipedia/Activity first. Then, I'd remark that the activity of Citizendium is not as notable subject as that of Wikipedia (e.g. little to no external scientific references). Accordingly, I would be tempted to replace the present CZ/Activity essay by a relatively short summary of our activity (not necessarily that different in some points). Putting it on my todo, not sure however how fast this could be done (I permanently lack the time). But, after all, this is a wiki. Cheers, Aleksander Stos 12:18, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Having looked at it more closely, it appears unsalvageable. The main problems, apart from the snarkiness, are that it states that the reasons for the decline are unknown (i.e. it is uninformative) and that it bases the discussion on general links to CZ forums and RationalWiki's article on CZ (which can change and is written anonymously), rather than specific data points, and so does not precisely back up any claims (as Aleksander says, there is little rigorous study of CZ's performance out there). There is also the specific error that CZ Editors "own" articles. May as well move it to user space. John Stephenson 18:18, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm in favor of the move to userspace. Anthony.Sebastian 21:32, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, done and move-locked. A sysop can move back a revised version. John Stephenson 21:46, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Signed Articles

Anthony, where are you with the "Signed Article" change? It appears that, if authors are willing to receive and respond to comments, there can be a kind of peer-review process. The key would be knowing the qualifications of the people making the comment ... kind of a novel idea to have peer review visible to the public and that remains part of the article's history. Thomas Butler 00:33, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

You've been nominated as a candidate in the June 2014 election

You've been nominated as a candidate in the June 2014 election. Please visit this page to accept or decline each position. No action will also be treated as declining. If you accept, you may choose to write an election statement for each position - see the election page for further details. Alternatively, contact me via my Talk page or privately via e-mail. Regards, John Stephenson 13:42, 29 May 2014 (UTC)


Anthony, I added to the subsection Homeostasis (biology)#Scope of homeostasis. You might take a look and see if it is what you had in mind. John R. Brews 15:03, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Author Representative Comments on Forum Communications

On Sunday, August 17, 2014, I knowingly and intentionally deleted my Forum account. Constabulary promptly notified me that this would prevent me from having access to some areas of the Forum reserved for Council business. Appreciating that this action could be misconstrued, I want to make it clear that I wish to fulfill my duties as Author Representative, but I will not do so in the Forum. I am unaware of any reason why participating in the Forum should be required for performing the duties of Author Representative. So, it seems prudent to bring this to your attention for consideration in the event the Council wishes to include me in a vote.

Why have I taken this action? My experience has been that Forum deliberations are dominated by a very small group of persons. This almost certainly serves as a disincentive for participation by others. (It has this effect for me.) I have also come to appreciate that I am not comfortable using private channels for Council activities which other "citizens" cannot monitor. To this end, I have created a Council Communications section on my talk page where my votes or thoughts can be transparently recorded and easily found should they be requested. If they are not, that will say something too. Christine Bush 18:32, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi Anthony, I just wanted to share with Council colleagues (and I have communicated with Gareth, Peter also) some additional thoughts about my recent decision to delete my Forum account.

Motion Regarding Special Pages

Anthony, I would like to suggest that Council request modifications to articles being developed in the User: space, or "sandbox" pages, not be listed on the Special:RecentChanges because it defeats the purpose of providing authors with an area where we can develop ideas prior to creating or modifying an article. These are functionally only potential changes. As I have not been provided with any instructions on how to initiate a motion, I'm posting it here. Christine Bush 20:40, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Christine, on the Recent Changes page, in 'Namespace' box, select 'Main', then 'GO' at right. See if that gives you what you want. Anthony.Sebastian 21:41, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Anthony, thanks for pointing out this feature. To be clear, I am proposing a change in functionality that will affect all wiki visitors and users---not just me. I am suggesting that both the User: and User_talk: namespaces should be removed altogether from the Recent Changes page options and results. The functional effect is that any and all pages in the User: or User_talk: namespaces will no longer display or be found via the Recent Changes page. (It should be fairly trivial to implement if Council approved the idea. A casual code inspection of the page source suggests only two options with values of 2 and 3 could be removed from the form select element with name "namespace." The default query that runs when the page first loads would also need to be updated.) Christine Bush 03:27, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

You can put your proposal before the Council here. I'll copy it to the appropriate Council Board on the Citizendium Forums. BTW: I do work on my word processor if I don't want it revealed until completed. Anthony.Sebastian 03:56, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Would people still be able to put such pages on their watchlists? Peter Jackson 09:50, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Hi Peter. Yes, one should absolutely still be able to add them to a watchlist and otherwise do all the things one has been able to do or would expect. This proposal is a small change to the functionality of the Recent Changes page only, not to any pages in the User: or User_talk: namespaces or their existing functionality.
My primary rationale for this suggestion are: 1) to assure the items displayed on Recent Changes are representative of contributions being made to article content, which I believe is what one expects to see when visiting this page; 2) to indirectly encourage participation by eliminating entries on the Recent Changes page which may have the effect of inflating activity; 3) to better encourage participation by way of providing more privacy, both for work on article content and for discussions which might otherwise happen off-wiki; 4) make it more difficult for those without the best interest of CZ in mind to monitor contributor activities not directly related to content, i.e. our business. You and others may well be able to think of more effects. Christine Bush 17:12, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Word Processing vs. Wiki Processing

Hi Anthony, thank you for this procedural assistance. I applaud the practice of working on a word processor, and totally encourage contributors to spell check, grammar check, and backup their work.
I suspect that you also appreciate that there are also many good reasons for working in the sandbox. Some which come to mind are: ease of formatting content for wiki syntax and layout; practice using wiki syntax; the ability to post drafts for sharing and comment from multiple users (without the overhead of version control) prior to inclusion under "Main article"; production of content that is non-proprietary, easy to exchange/interchange, and ready to use on a wiki; ease of editing content ported to CZ from other wikis; the ability to work on an article from multiple locations or different computers without having to carry your draft with you (although, word processing in the cloud via Google Docs, Evernote, etc. seems to be becoming more commonplace and makes this last reason a bit more ephemeral---all the more reason to reinforce CZ as friendly, convenient cloud destination for working and thinking); work in the sandboxes is presumably being backed up regularly and becomes part of the project's knowledgebase even in incomplete/draft form.
In other words, word processing is not wiki processing. This goes to my election statement in which I said that I thought CZ needs to better come to terms with its "core identity". CZ should be what it is: a wiki. Christine Bush 17:51, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Christine, Yes, I appreciate the value of sandboxes; I have numerous sandboxes that I use for different purposes.
But since you can eliminate their appearance on the Recent Changes Page by selecting the Main namespace, I see no reason to eliminate the functionality of their appearance when selecting the All namespaces choice on the Recent Changes Page. Indeed, there are many good reasons to allow recent changes to show user talk pages and sandbox activity, which I will not go into here.
The only reason I suggested using a word processor for preliminary work was because I suspected that you wanted to keep your sandbox work secret. I do that sometimes. But mostly I use one of my sandboxes for preliminary work. Anthony.Sebastian 21:41, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Re: EAP status

Anthony, I resigned as EAP. If my temporary appointment to that role was worthy of listing on the CZ:Council page it seems like my resignation from it should be, too. Christine Bush 20:40, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Done. Anthony.Sebastian 21:44, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Council members' votes on proposal to move forums to the CZ wiki


Council members:

Enter your vote (yes/no) below with your four tilde signature. Anthony.Sebastian 00:23, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Two yes votes constitutes a majority, therefore the motion passes. Anthony.Sebastian 18:30, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Referendum 3

Thanks for your support and for picking up the error; I've switched it to 14 days. Unfortunately, I see this as a significant change, so have to ask you to sign again at User:ElectionJune2015/Referenda. Thanks. John Stephenson (talk) 11:15, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

You've been nominated as a candidate in the June 2016 election

You've been nominated as a candidate for the post of Managing Editor in the June 2016 election. Please visit this page to accept or decline. No action will also be treated as declining. If you accept, you may choose to write an election statement - see the election page for further details. Alternatively, contact me via my Talk page or privately via e-mail. Regards, John Stephenson (talk) 00:27, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

You've been nominated as a candidate in the June 2016 election

You've been nominated as a candidate for the Citizendium Council in the June 2016 election. Please visit this page to accept or decline. No action will also be treated as declining. If you accept, you may choose to write an election statement - see the election page for further details. Alternatively, contact me via my Talk page or privately via e-mail. Regards, John Stephenson (talk) 19:14, 27 May 2016 (UTC)

Cowdray House

Hello Anthony, in case you missed it I left a comment you might want to respond to at Forum Talk:Non-member Comments and Suggestions on Approvals#Cowdray House. Richard Nevell (talk) 20:52, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

Hi, would you be open to discussing the Cowdray House article? Richard Nevell (talk) 18:11, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
HEllo, it's the dim and distant past now but would you be able to comment at the above forum? Richard Nevell (talk) 18:43, 2 September 2018 (UTC)


With sadness I must notify the community that our friend and colleague Anthony passed away last year. He served this project with distinction, first as an expert Editor and then as its managerial lead. He was a great help and support to me personally and I'm sure to many of you. Some links here and here.

Goodbye, Anthony, and thank you. John Stephenson (talk) 20:18, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

I see he was still contributing here just 9 days before his death. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:15, 26 January 2019 (UTC)