Friday, July 13, 2012

International Wikipedia tension

Here are the Arabic, English, and German articles for Mohamed El Naschie. Native speakers of other languages are encouraged to write Wikipedia articles about the Great Man, and of course we will advertise them.

The Arabic entry, which contains much nonsense, e.g., Nobel Prize nomination bullshit, is the oldest; then the German; and the English one is very recent.

The German and English link to each other and to the Arabic. The Arabic, however, links only to the German, despite an edit made four days ago.


The Arabic page is locked down. This is the pending edits page. Click the pic for a full size version of the appearance as of this moment:

Besides a pending link to the English page in the Other Languages section on the sidebar, there are these improvements awaiting approval:

  • The statement that physicists regard El Naschie's work as pseudoscience, with a link to El Naschie Watch.
  • Another link to this blog, in the general links section.

What's the holdup?

Arabic readers may be able to exert some influence there. Fighting through a Google Translate interface I have found impossible.

El Naschie's brother Amr a.k.a. Scorpion300 is known to mind the store there, as is another El Naschie toady, Riadismet.

Related posts:
  • El Naschie's Arabic Wikipedia entry vandalized, parts one, two, three, and four.

Translate English to Arabic
محمد النشائى El Naschie Watch محمد النشائي El Naschie News محمد النشائى محمد النشائي All El Naschie All The Time محمد النشائى


  1. David Eppstein removed the link to El Naschie Watch (note also that he put the "Old AfD multi" template on the Talk Page to indicate the page was deleted in the past) and gives the following explanation:

    "I believe this blog qualifies as an "attack page" of the type that should not be listed, per WP:ELBLP. It may be useful indirectly as a way of finding reliable sources about Naschie but is not itself reliable. —David Eppstein (talk) 08:28, 13 July 2012 (UTC)"

    Get real, David: El Naschie Watch is not an attack page; it's a page critical of him and the critic is well founded as the judgment of the High Court in England has shown. Your insinuation that this blog is not reliable makes me laugh: every post is well documented what you implicitly confirm by saying that "it may be useful indirectly as a way of finding reliable sources". Also, the German wikipedia has no problems with linking to this blog.

  2. Like it or not, the policies of Wikipedia for the biographies of living persons are very strict (and you can easily imagine why):

    See in particular, the section "Further reading and external links", which reads:

    External links about living persons, whether in BLPs or elsewhere, are held to a higher standard than for other topics. Questionable or self-published sources should not be included in the "Further reading" or "External links" sections of BLPs, and, when including such links in other articles, make sure the material linked to does not violate this policy.

    ENW clearly qualifies as "self-published source" (see the relative section "Avoid self-published sources" in the link above), thus it seems to me that the editor David Eppstein is simply applying the house rules.

  3. And probably it's not a coincidence that David is involved with sbseminar on which there's a post on the recent events but comments are not allowed because they would be "unpleasant and unproductive". Ha ha, yes, probably the article on wikipedia on the Great Man linking to this blog is also unpleasant as is the truth about him. I expect the article will be deleted again on that ground. LOL

  4. Well, the German Wikipedia has either different rules or the same rules which haven't been applied. :)

  5. Also, shrink is probably not familiar with the fact that "reliable source" has a very specific meaning in Wikipedia:

    In the Wikipedia jargon, it can certainly be argued that ENW is not a reliable source, without detracting from the quality of the blog or from the truthfulness of the information it contains. In this context, David Eppstein's argument that ENW is not a reliable source by itself but it can be use to find reliable (=acceptable under Wikipedia policies) sources makes perfect sense.

  6. Sorry shrink, I hadn't seen your reply at 11:01. I am not familiar with the rules of the German Wikipedia, but I know that blogs do not qualify as reliable sources under the rules of the English Wikipedia, and frankly speaking I am quite fine with that.

  7. I don't agree: David Eppstein clearly defined this blog as an "attack page" and for that reason he decided to remove the link to it. The context (as you put it) is far from the specifing meaning of "reliable source".

  8. specifing --> specific

  9. We are really splitting hairs here, but I would say that the first sentence of David Eppstein's quoted paragraph (about the "attack page") can be questionable, while the other (about whether ENW is a reliable source - in the Wikipedia meaning) is correct.

    Anyway this is all irrelevant: Wikipedia has a long-standing (and IMHO well-founded) policy of not accepting blogs as sources, especially in articles about living people. Therefore a blog such as ENW has no place there, regardless of whether it is "attack" or not. Again, this does not detract at all from the quality of the blog.

  10. I have no problem with (English) Wikipedia's policy about blogs but explanations such as Eppstein's are laughable.

    Personaly I find RationalWiki's article about the Great Man (heavily using this blog as a source) "accurate, succinct and clear" (to quote a commenter from under another post).

  11. Perhaps RationalWiki could be added as a source to the English Wikipedia article.

  12. Shrink's leap to link Eppstein's comments with the SBS blog seem bizarre to me. Personally I have no problem with the SBS collective (or perhaps just David Speyer, who is only one of several proprietors) deciding they can't be arsed to spend time attending to inevitable crass sock puppetry from the Naschists in their comment threads. It is a blog about maths, after all, and what they do or don't want to discuss is their call

  13. Yes, Yemon, after all also The n-Category Café is a math blog and bizarrely some posts disappeared from it.

  14. Shrink, are you a practising maths academic? Do you read lots of maths blogs? Did you read SBS before they first mentioned the charlatan el Naschie? Not everyone wants to spend time dealing with unpleasantness in comment threads.

    You seem keen to link the Eppstein comments to the NCatCafe and to SBS when I think there is just a case of three different people/groups deciding, for similar but distinct reasons, that they don't want flamewar/sockpuppet-floods in their corresponding corners of the internet. It is not like these guys all get together and think "how can we act so as to make people on ENW think we are too timorous"? Imagining these kinds of connections is, after all, one of the soi-disant Great Man's habits...

  15. Well, Yemon, Eppstein is listed on SBS - a link/connection definitely exists.

    As for comparisons to the Great Man: your question about my qualifications is, after all, a typical habit of Great Man's sockpuppets to whom I responded: "Irrelevant".

    1. Shrink: touché regarding the questions about qualifications, but I wasn't attempting to say you aren't qualified, I was trying to say you should know more about those you criticize. Eppstein's is on the blogroll of the SBS but so are many other people - just look at our host's huge list of links on the left, putting people on your blogroll need not imply any link, affiliation or alliance - and you would see from the "about" link at SBS that Eppstein's is not one of the "SBS crew"

    2. What I was trying to say when I asked about how many maths blogs you follow is that the maths blogosphere is very diverse, and just because a few examples you mention have mentioned el Naschie but then decided to be mor reserved in public, it doesn't mean they're all in it together. The likes of Gowers and Tao can afford to be much more forthright: after all, a Fields Medal does confer a kind of "gorilla with a machine-gun" status when it comes to fending off stupid threats from charlatans

    3. Yes, Yemon, but SBS's blogroll is rather short, specific and interestingly all math blogs/bloggers (Baez, Distler, SBS, Eppstein) who/which have been "reserved in public" about the Great Man can be found on it. Well, I'm definitely not implying that there's a conspiracy from the math blogosphere to censor the debate about the Great Man but Eppstein's exclusion of a critical blog and SBS not willing to allow any critic (Jason thinks the "upleasant comments" refer to his comments about bloggers who chickened out) caught my eye.

  16. Who is this Peter Weibel the en wiki article quotes? His wiki article smells of autobiographic hagiography composed with sockpuppet accounts. Is he legit?

  17. I thought his name sounded familiar, thanks for bringing him up. If you search this blog for his name you will find that he's an associate of Otto Rössler!