Conservapedia talk:How to create and maintain high-quality articles

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Section headings should be lower case except for proper nouns

Hi, I noticed the guideline "Section headings should be lower case except for proper nouns" in this list, and got a little confused. I know pages are supposed to be named this way, but are sections also supposed to be? By the general rules of the English Language, you are supposed to make all titles, headings, etc. capitalized (first letter of each word) except for "minor words" like conjunctions. Pages are not titled this way, because searches are case-sensitive, but does CP really expect section headings to be this way also? Thanks! --David B (talk) 15:45, 9 April 2016 (EDT)

That has been the practice here since the Conservapedia wiki was first set up, until TAR decided to do initial caps on everything. There is some value in being consistent. JDano (talk) 17:34, 9 April 2016 (EDT)
That seems a bit odd, but I'll try to remember that, though I may not...
One more thing, do I remember correctly that categories are supposed to generally be plural? (For example, "Beaches" instead of "Beach?" Thanks! --David B (talk) 08:57, 11 April 2016 (EDT)

Trees v. DAGs

There is some confusion here about graphs. Trees are a kind of undirected acyclic graph. If a data structure has a cycle it's not a tree. If it's directed, it's not a tree. (There are structures called "directed trees" but "tree" normally means undirected. We can see the articles in a category or what categories this article is in. The fact that an article can be in multiple categories means that categories comprise a forest, but that's making things worse.) "Acyclic directed tree" or "directed acyclic tree" adds confusion rather than illumination, I believe. I suspect "directed acyclic graph" was the source of the confusion.

The point that a category tree, like any tree, must not include cycles is a very good one to make. MelH (talk) 20:44, 11 April 2016 (EDT)

What do you suggest for improving this? I really want to go into theoretical computer science ("DAGs -- Directed Acyclic Graphs" and all that) as little as we can possibly get away with. CS majors will understand what we are saying even if we are imprecise, but if we are precise, ordinary folks, of the sort that write wiki pages, won't follow what we are saying.
That's why I just wanted to call it a "tree" and be done with it.
Any suggestions? SamHB (talk) 23:00, 11 April 2016 (EDT)
I'd just strike the CS sentence and explain that categories need to avoid loops. The example is useful. The graph theory is not. :=) MelH (talk) 00:57, 12 April 2016 (EDT)
That is, just strike the "in computer science terms ...." stuff? I did that. Is that what you wanted?
By the way, this page is not the exclusive property of DavidB, JDano, and myself. Even though it's a subpage of a user talk page, it as been declared to be "community property". If you look around at the history of what we have been doing, you will see that it is sort of a recipe for repairing the damage that TAR ("The American Redoubt") did over the last several months. If you want to help, feel free. We are trying to make this a really high quality guide to making (or restoring) really high quality pages. SamHB (talk) 01:46, 12 April 2016 (EDT)
I think that's fine. I really don't have any demands in this regard, but I think the deletion is an improvement. It was admittedly a very minor wart when compared to the stuff you guys are fixing. MelH (talk) 02:11, 12 April 2016 (EDT)

Multiple category references.

I know I have had disagreements with the other contributors about the idea of a page being in two categories that are "up the tree" from each other. I've presented my argument. If you still disagree (or want to edit it for some other reason), go ahead. I won't get into a revert war or otherwise be hurt. I've given it my best shot. SamHB (talk) 22:55, 16 April 2016 (EDT)

Put article in a welcome template and

I put the article in the welcome template. I also removed some material from the article as I thought it was too TAR specific and the article should be more broad in its scope.

Secondly, although there are some conservatives who are anti-semitic, religious conservatives are often pro-Israel, etc. I really don't think we have to wade into the muck of dealing with a distasteful topic like anti-semitism in our introduction to new editors. There are editors at the wiki who will revert anti-semitic edits.Conservative (talk) 12:59, 27 April 2016 (EDT)

To: SamHB, reversion of your recent edit

I reverted your recent change to the document as it had a negative tone to it. It also had a tinge of an elitists tone to it.

If someone writes badly, I think it is better to ask them to read a few books such as Elements of Style or On Writing Well.

I plan on reading these books in 2017. :) Conservative (talk) 00:42, 2 May 2016 (EDT)

Cons, we need to talk. I know you are capable of discussing things in a sensible and intelligent manner when you want to, and I'd like you to make an effort to do so now.
We have a serious problem of writing quality here at CP. Well, it's not a widespread problem, but there are people who simply have no idea how to write lucid and sensible (to say nothing of being gramatically correct) sentences and paragraphs. It's really just a few "bad apples", and they are writing such rubbish that they make the whole web site look like a haven for junior-high-school dropouts. We need to put a stop to it one way or another. I believed that a fire and brimstone (I just wrote that article. Do you like it?) lecture would help prepare people for having their horrible writing ripped apart.
By the way, you are not one of the offending parties. Although you often write on absurd topics, you do know how to put words and sentences together. I consider you above average in literacy among CP contributors. And I don't think you will gain much from reading Strunk and White, though you should certainly do so if you wish. I considered writing something to reassure you on that point when I wrote my original paragraph, but decided you didn't need such reassurance.
The sentences that I recently saw, that pushed me over the edge on this matter, were
"Maple syrup schizophrenia is expression reflecting the state of the mind marked by troubles to maintain the consistent train of thought with respect to topics pertaining to Maple syrup." [I changed some words to avoid getting distracted.]
and
Camouflaged sacredness is artificially suppressed natural desire of human beings for the fellowship with God as their Creator that can never be completely dismissed but rather takes other forms of expression instead.
This person doesn't even know how to use definite or indefinite articles! If I had spoken sentences with missing articles like that to my parents when I was six years old they would have corrected me. And then "marked by troubles to maintain"? What???? And then "with respect to topics pertaining to"? What???? My 7th grade English teacher would have given me an "F" for writing like that.
The perpetrator was user AK, in case you haven't figured it out yet. I've had serious run-ins with him before, on the Disturbed character page. I simply couldn't figure out what he was trying to say. Something about people who opposed Pasteur's rabies treatment. As though person X opposing the claims of person Y is somehow a rare and noteworthy occurrence.
When I tried to fix the "Disturbed character" stuff, he just reverted me. And I have no idea how to go about fixing the problems with the "schizophrenia" and "sacredness" pages. I simply can't figure out what he is trying to say, because his command of the English language is so utterly lacking. And I don't believe that reading Strunk and White would help him. Hence I resorted to the fire and brimstone paragraph, so he would at least be warned that serious reversions might take place. Now I could just put "Delete notice" things on those pages, but it's known that you take a very dim view of my doing that. Which is why I'm asking for your guidance.
You raise the issue of elitism. Your point is well taken. Just so you know, I oppose elitism wherever I see it. (And I see it in many places, and oppose it.) But I don't believe that stating that we expect something like a high-school level command of English is elitism in this case. After all, Andy's home school courses are aimed at high-school students, and he lists somewhere all the colleges that his home-school "alumni" have been admitted to.
Yes, it has a negative tone. I think you can see now where that negative tone is coming from. But I want this wiki to look as though it's written by reasonably well-eductated people. How am I going to correct misperceptions about relativity, and how are you going to witness for Christianity, if the website has such utterly illiterate writing?
So that's the problem. Do you have any suggestions for addressing it?
SamHB (talk) 22:27, 2 May 2016 (EDT)
AK is a very nice individual who writes me emails.
Second, he doesn't write a lot of content.
Third, why don't you approach him in a nice manner. I think he is from Eastern European descent or lives in Eastern Europe. Just tweek his material grammatically. I think your diplomacy skills need work. Try to burnish them with AK.
By the way, as far as me discussing things reasonably/intelligently when I want to, there are things happening in my life which are causing me to be more personable/diplomatic and better at conflict resolution. :)
Conservapedia doesn't need to take a fire and brimstone, grammar nazi and undiplomatic tone in its Conservapedia pages. Problems can be worked out on a case by case basic related to the writing quality issue. Tweaking or having the people read material on writing skills should work. And sometimes bad writing is a result of laziness (TAR was a smart guy, I think there were cases where his writing skills were bad due to sloppiness).
If someone's content is truly horrible, they would have to be told they cannot write content for Conservapedia. Andy or some panel could decide that. I don't think it should be Sam "grammar Nazi" HB that decides. :) Conservative (talk) 00:16, 3 May 2016 (EDT)

Please unlock

Please unlock the Essay:Rebuttal to Counterexamples to Relativity page. I need to reinstate (uncomment) item #22, to track the reinstated item #22 in the main counterexamples page. SamHB (talk) 23:00, 24 April 2016 (EDT)