User talk:Iridescent

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An administrator "assuming good faith" with an editor with whom they have disagreed.

Random thoughts[edit]

Well, not completely random thoughts - they were prompted partly by the realisation that I had not posted on your talk page for a very long time (for good reasons, not bad, been very busy)!

Anyway, the random article-related vignette, which I thought you and your talk page watchers might appreciate, is that Patrick Barrington, 11th Viscount Barrington, the great-great-great-great-grandson (I think I counted right) of Robert Adair (surgeon) (the article I wrote yesterday and today) presented the portrait of his 18th-century ancestor to the Hunterian Museum (the one in London) in 1969. It got me wondering why he did this, after the portrait had been in the family for nearly 200 years. And then I read that he died childless and all his titles became extinct (he sensibly disposed of the portrait well before he died). That might seem a bit of a morbid comment, but I was struck by both the large-ish family tree at Viscount Barrington and the reason in his early career he did not find favour as a diplomat at the British Embassy in Berlin: "his unstoppable flow of conversation and untidy appearance" (it got me wondering if there might have been a medical or psychological reason behind the constant talking, one also associated with untidy appearance?).

The final thought was related to the family tree. I know this sort of thing is (rightly) discouraged on Wikipedia in article space (less so in project space), but I was wondering if (probably on Wikidata) there have been efforts to map all the family linkages between articles about people (and, more tricky, between people with articles and relations without articles)? It would be a Sisiphyean task, but probably quite doable with various computational approaches. Would produce some nice mappings of big data (some 'family trees' would be completely populated, many would not). One reason I am curious about this, is that it might help with a big project that I never managed to properly work out how to do. The other thing it might do is see how closely related you were to someone with a Wikipedia article. I am guessing nearly everyone would be only a few 'steps' away in their family tree, but maybe that is being optimistic, as most people don't have 'famous' relatives (either now or in the past). Carcharoth (talk) 22:51, 30 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd guess that the data set would be so fuzzy, the approach would break down within a couple of generations. All it takes is someone whose father is potentially one of two different people, someone who changed their name at Ellis Island, or someone whose family records were bombed out in a war, and the whole spiderweb unravels. (There are still real-world legal disputes over hereditary titles, and those are people whose lives are literally defined by tracking their ancestry and who live in countries with robust record-keeping systems.)
I can also see all kinds of legal and ethical issues with a de facto ancestry database which anyone can edit. There's the obvious issue of people trying to create spurious links between celebrities and of malicious editors trying to slip in (e.g.) a family relationship between the Trumps and the Putins. There would also be broader issues regarding profiling people who don't necessarily want to be profiled—remember the crazies a few years ago who were going through every BLP trying to flag every person they thought had Jewish blood? Wikidata doesn't have the administrative numbers nor the collective competence to monitor its own data on any kind of medium to large scale, and I presume the WMF doesn't have any particular desire to be implicated in a future pogrom or genocide. ‑ Iridescent 14:13, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(adding) Another thought: even if our dataset were based on the best possible data—which is decidedly not currently the case with Wikidata—we'd still be causing serious issues. Every time we refuted an article subject's claim to be one-eighth Cherokee, or a direct descendant of Louis XI, we'd be implicitly calling them a liar in Wikipedia's voice. I wouldn't want to be on the OTRS queue for that particular wave of complaints. ‑ Iridescent 14:39, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the thoughts. It probably works better the other way round, using reliably sourced and curated databases to check where Wikipedia is (sometimes) getting it wrong. I'm still a bit taken by the contrast between the professional life of Robert Adair (surgeon) (including the rather severe portrait) and the romantic context depicted at Robin Adair (bettter described here). Maybe Georgian times really were like that. :-) A (slightly) early Happy New Year to everyone. Carcharoth (talk) 23:07, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Carcharoth: The crowd-sourced genealogical database you are looking for already exists -- on It was there I discovered some determined soul's work allowed me to trace my paternal ancestors back to a Midlands community in 1635, which is not bad considering they comprised generations of "farm laborers". (My earlier attempts to trace my British ancestors failed due to some immigration clerk on the East Coast misunderstanding his British accent & adding letters to his last name that did not exist.) Then again, there are a number of warnings that some shared research is not as reliable as other -- as evidenced by contradictory significant dates for these individuals. -- llywrch (talk) 22:54, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's also FamilySearch - here which has the same issues as the trees on - they are just about as reliable as wikipedia (perhaps less so, actually). Much like Wikipedia, ALWAYS check against the sources listed. Ealdgyth (talk) 23:09, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All very true (and thanks for those thoughts). I do think there is a place for using Wikimedia linkage and data to cross-check and cross-reference. I might as well mention the 'project' I have been pondering for a while, as it is a subset of all this. It essentially involves matching known casualty details in the database of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (from both World Wars) to relevant Wikipedia articles. I have several excellent examples, some of which I shouldn't really mention as I may publish something elsewhere on that in the next few months, and some I can dredge out of my editing history (I think I used a standard edit summary enabling me to find them again later). Wikidata is actually set-up so it is possible to use it to generate suitable lists from properly referenced Wikipedia articles. The missing bit is the work to add the data to Wikipedia in a careful manner so it is actually correct (this often needs careful checks). The ultimate goal would be to be able to see how many people with Wikipedia articles could be considered to have been directly affected by the two World Wars in terms of either dying directly or by close family bereavement. The main problem is that the outcome is 'obvious' in the sense of "lots" (well, duh!), but there are nuances which are interesting. The main motivation for me is to link relatively unknown names in the CWGC database with the often more well-known relatives. Here is one example (and there you see the epitaphs that are sometimes heartbreaking in their poignancy) and another and another. Some pages, such as Pen Tennyson, give the CWGC reference for a relative (here, his brother, Julian Tennyson) but fail to give the CWGC reference for the article subject. I will give one final example that I came across more recently, the son of Labour politician Stephen Walsh, whose CWGC details are here. That is an example where the name is relatively common and the connection is not immediately obvious "Son of Stephen and Annie Walsh, of 8, Swinley Rd., Wigan.". When you look at the Wikipedia article, you only get the minimal information that one of his sons died. It took a bit of digging for me to uncover the name (rough-and-ready source, better ones available) and then the right CWGC entry. I have no idea what the numbers would be if all the possible links could be established. Lots of sons and brothers and fathers and so on (and some daughters and sisters and mothers as well). Carcharoth (talk) 03:15, 10 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My main issue here is with so it is actually correct, which is a huge issue when it comes to wikis in general and Wikidata in particular. As Ealdgyth says, any kind of ancestry database is only as good as the data that's fed into it; "anyone can edit" and "ancestry" aren't really a good fit IMO.
Creating correlations between military casualties and an ancestry database is probably more or less workable for the British and French officer classes, because we're dealing with people in a culture of good record-keeping (and who were generally wealthy enough to have wills). It gets a lot less straightforward with the lower ranks—there are people with similar names, people lying about their identities, people who got their date of birth wrong or whose name is spelled differently on their enlistment papers and their birth certificate… And those are the straightforward cases; once you start trying to disentangle colonial units, refugees etc it gets very messy. Because of mass migration in the immediate aftermath of both wars and in the 2004–2020 window, a huge proportion of the UK population has at least some family members whose history is literally untraceable because the records were destroyed in WWII.
(Directly affected by the two World Wars in terms of … close family bereavement would be problematic as well. We can establish that Alice had a brother named Bob who died at Gallipoli; without digging into a lot more detail we can't establish whether Alice and Bob were inseperable and Bob's death had a lifelong impact on Alice, or whether Alice had emigrated to Tasmania before Bob was even born and she'd never met him and was barely aware he even existed.)
I know this all sounds like I'm being negative-for-the-sake-of-negativity, and I'm not trying to be; if it can be made workable I can completely see how such a thing would be a valuable tool and one that could be rolled out to a lot more applications. (A tool that could take a name and generate-to-order a list of family members who'd benefited from slavery; who'd migrated from overseas; who'd perished at Auschwitz; etc etc etc would be a valuable teaching aid.) My issue is that in an "anyone can edit" environment the whole thing would be incredibly vulnerable to malicious misinformation and to good-faith errors, since the whole interlocking nature of family trees would mean any given error would propagate outwards through multiple families; and because of the incomplete nature of the dataset, it would be really difficult to stop errors creeping in. (And unless we're going to DNA-test the entire human race, the dataset is always going to be incomplete. The British royal family is literally the most-researched genealogy of all time, but all it would take would be for William and his kids to be involved in a car crash and about 75% of the family tree would have asterixes next to their names.) ‑ Iridescent 07:07, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even if you had a perfect family tree, there would be other challenges. Did the children of Sally Hemings, whose father was a slave owner, "benefit" from slavery? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:50, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's possibly a US–UK cultural thing. In BrEng, "benefitted from slavery" typically means "can any family member be demonstrated to have been involved in the slave trade". (That's not an artefact of 21st-century Guardianism either; it's a distinction that goes right back to Victorian times.) ‑ Iridescent 19:51, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the thoughts on the 'project' I described. I may return to that over the next year or so, depending how other (off-wiki) projects go. For now, I am wondering whether there is a real need to re-familiarise myself with Wikipedia if I am going to edit more again at some point (I am thinking probably not - I mean probably no need to familiarise myself, not that I probably won't edit more again!). It would only involve more editing in article space again (I seem thankfully to have turned away completely from the, er, unpaid management(?!) side of things). It is far more likely that I will stay in the same holding pattern I have been in for a number of years now (essentially dabbling an incredibly small amount, and mostly watching and lurking), but I have noticed with interest some of the more obvious recent changes, such as the interface/layout redesign. I wonder what else I have missed (I did see the Universal Code of Conduct discussed, so am vaguely aware of that). Penny for your thoughts (and those of anyone else reading)? :-) Carcharoth (talk) 21:04, 13 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Speaking as someone who's largely been in that same holding pattern since the pandemic started, I haven't noticed any change so substantive it would require a complete re-acclimatisation. The main change I'm seeing is that the culture is becoming much more rules-based; decisions seem to be being made much more on the basis of "can I dig out a precedent or a written guideline that permits/forbids this?" rather than "is this decision justifiable in terms of overall benefit?". One could certainly make the case that this is a strong positive and that IAR in practice meant rule by whoever could shout the loudest, but equally it's a massive cultural shift and is giving too much authority to the people who write the policies (the whole UCoC land-grab just being one incarnation of this).
The interface change, I genuinely loathe. Usually I try to keep my settings as vanilla as possible, in order that when I write something I'm seeing it as the general reader will see it, but the new design is so clunky and unusable I ended up having to turn it off. One gets the impression it was designed purely with tablets in mind, and they never even bothered to test it on phones or computers. It's not just the big unexplained changes like the forced column width which is too narrow for desktops but too wide for phones; there are so many little changes that unnecessarily confuse readers, such as getting rid of the TOC so there's now no visible cue for where the lead section ends and the body text begins. (I really don't think this is just me, either. I know this is pure anecdata, but since the change I'm consistently seeing people being confused by Wikipedia articles and moving on to the next item in the google search. Once the dust settles, I'd be interested to see if there's any shift in the reader engagement metrics such as how many people go on to click on links in the body text, and how many read to the end of the text.) ‑ Iridescent 06:20, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The forced width change is so unbeliveably stupid it is basically another symptom of how lacking in oversight and basic line management the tech teams operate under. Someone thought of this stupid idea, someone approved this stupid change, someone(or a team) coded the stupid change, someone tested the stupid change (I am going to give the WMF the benefit of the doubt and assume some UAT - in addition to standard unit/integration/system - was included at some point. But it wouldnt surprise me if there wasnt), someone then approved and deployed the stupid change. And now its fingers in ears time as usual. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:13, 22 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Speedy deletions[edit]

Hello. This is just a request to please take more care when evaluating speedy deletion requests. You recently deleted Rajesh Kumar Mishra (born 7 July 1950) and Rajesh Kumar Mishra (born 7 July 1950) under WP:R3. Those pages didn't meet the criteria for R3 and the deletions created a bunch of broken links. I think I fixed all of the mainspace links, though. Thanks! - Eureka Lott 19:31, 19 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Request For Bringing Back Article Knowledge Anywhere[edit]

Hello Iridescent,

I am reaching out to appeal about my article being taken down on Knowledge Anywhere. It had been approved by several users before as it details the history of an orginization. If you cannot restore it can you send me the deleted material and suggests rewrites to make sure it complies with Wikipedia standards in the future? --Booksmartandreadytowrite (talk) 21:56, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Deletion of Ready Team One[edit]

Good afternoon, I'd love to see the entry on Ready Team One back on Wikipedia - it's a ground breaking company with ground-breaking technology and it deserves an entry in Wikipedia. I'd like to help to bring it back online - how do I do that please? Lfrohling (talk) 09:10, 22 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looks like Iridescent isn't around at the moment, but the article Ready Team One was deleted per WP:G5 as a creation of a sockpuppet of Alypeters. G5 deletions can be controversial, but in this case I trust the tagger (Drmies) and Iridescent enough to believe the deletion was correct per policy without further evidence. As the deleted article was quite short, the easiest thing to do would be to write a new article on Ready Team One using your own words and sources. I'll caution you, however, that describing something as "ground-breaking technology" is rarely a good reason to have an encyclopedia article, which focuses on things that are well-established and have been extensively written about. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 15:15, 28 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Ritchie333. It's all connected to Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Anne Barrington. Thanks, Drmies (talk) 18:19, 28 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looking for reviewers[edit]

Hello, all. I'm looking for folks who do (or have opinions about ;-) ) RecentChanges and watchlist work to talk to the Editing team about Edit Check. Here's the basic information:

and the rest of the details (plus optional RSVP section) are at mw:Editing team/Community Conversations#3 March 2023.

Editing's planning to add a little nudge to encourage editors to add sources. Right now, they're thinking about how they can balance not nagging you every time you change a letter vs never suggesting anything at all. If you have views on that question, or if you want to talk to them about how you evaluate a diff (only a couple of them have spent much time reviewing others' edits), then please try to attend. If you can't join the meeting, please consider leaving them a note at mw:Talk:Edit Check.

Thanks, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:46, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shadi Karamroudi article verification[edit]

Hello there, I recreated the article on Iranian actress Shadi Karamroudi based on fixing the errors Iridescent mentioned in its previous article deletion. I will be grateful if you could help on verifying the new draft article on Shadi Karamroudi. Airx V (talk) 13:11, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Airx V I did a quick copyright violation check, because the article was deleted because it was copied and pasted from somewhere else. I can verify the current draft is not a copyright violation. I dream of horses (Contribs) (Talk) 15:17, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you so much for the reply and the verification. Could you help on how I can approve the draft since I have submitted the new version for quite a while now? Could I do something else to speed up the draft approval? Airx V (talk) 16:56, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(talk page stalker) You'll just need to be patient @Airx V. This may take 3 months or more, since drafts are reviewed in no specific order. There are 3,101 pending submissions waiting for review.. Is there a reason you're in a hurry? Star Mississippi 17:58, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you so much! No, I'm just a new contributor and that's why I was curious if I'm doing anything wrong or if I should do something else to verify my articles. :) Airx V (talk) 18:13, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Surprise links[edit]

I was idly browsing the notifications related to links created to articles I had created, and was somewhat surprised to find 1874 transit of Venus linked from Cannabis in Italy - I was even more surprised at the length of that 'start-class' article that (squints closely at page stats) is a great example of a single editor working in a dedicated fashion on a single topic. I wonder if there is a way to find out if it is the largest article in Template:Cannabis by country? Carcharoth (talk) 00:59, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, I tell a lie. It was more suprising to find The Great Pottery Throw Down linking to Sunda Island tiger (a redirect I created that later became a set index article). But to be fair, that is only because I have never watched the programme though it sounds alarmingly tantalising and I must confess to actually wanting to watch it now! :-/ Carcharoth (talk) 01:13, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Drinking game is you down a shot every time the master potter starts to cry. Don't binge watch episodes or you will be wasted. Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:03, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seems to me that taking pottery and throwing it down is likely to shatter it. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:24, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A potter told me once that she saves all of her "failures" so that she can smash them. She found it cathartic. But before you get to that point, you have to throw the wet clay on the pottery wheel. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:38, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi, Iridescent,

I came across a comment you made on an editor's talk page and realized that I hadn't run into you in a long time. I hope all is well with you and you are just busy with off-wiki life. You are missed! Liz Read! Talk! 02:42, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello Iridescent. I see that you're currently inactive, but if you do come back you should be aware of this. I noticed that an IP vandalized and removed a massive amount of prose from Lily Argent back in December, claiming that it had been plagiarized. After doing some cursory checks, I don't think that's the case, but it would still be best if you were to address this yourself, as you're the one who originally added the purportedly plagiarized content. (talk) 15:26, 5 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]