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User talk:ZackMartin

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G'day ZackMartin, and welcome to aSK. We are glad to have you contribute. For more information about aSK, see our About statement. Please see the rules and regulations as soon as you can.
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Metric values and SMW properties

Do you realise that if you hover over an SMW property (e.g. 2'6"), a balloon tip will show alternative measurements? That's why the alternatives were not in the article. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:53, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

No, I didn't realise that. I have never used much a wiki with SMW before, so I wasn't aware. I like the idea of auto-generated conversions, but I think it would be nicer if they were inline rather than balloon tip. Also, when I but the mouse over your 2 foot 6 inches above, I get 762.481 mm, I don't see how that could be the right conversion. The international inch is precisely 25.4 mm, so 2 foot 6 inches would be 762 mm, where is the 0.481 coming from? Either this is some conversion error, or maybe it is using the US survey inch or something like that. Also, maybe for railway gauges it is OK, but in general 762 mm may not be the correct conversion for 2'6" - if that is meant as an exact value, it is fine, but if it is meant as an approximation, then it is taking a figure with only two significant digits and providing an equivalent to three significant digits, when the original only had two significant digits of accuracy - for this reason, I'd normally convert 2'6" to 760 mm or 7.6 cm instead, to keep the same number of signficant digits as the original. To give another example, what is 500 km in miles? The better answer is normally 311 miles rather than 310.685596 miles - the original figure is almost certainly not accurate to 9 figures, so the conversion shouldn't be either. --Maratrean 10:17, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
With any sort of automatic conversion the precision is likely to be an issue, but I must admit that I hadn't realised that the .481 was erroneous as opposed to merely over-precise.
I dislike the flow of a sentence being interrupted, such as by having alternative measurements (see also aSK:Style manual#Introductory sentences). Also, in some cases, such as railway gauges, I think it best to describe it in it original terms. 762mm is a railway gauge (presumably) only because, in imperial measurements, it is a round figure (you mightn't call 2.5 a round figure, but it is compared to 2.416 (2'5"), 2.333 (2'4"), etc.). (And yes, 762mm is the "official" metric equivalent for the railway gauge of 2'6".)
On the other hand, a balloon tip is not ideal in that a reader (as in your case) may not realise it exists, and (presumably) the conversion doesn't appear in a printout of the page. But if we include in-line conversions, where does it stop? Do we in-line American equivalents of Australian words, and vice versa? (Okay, maybe a bit off-topic in that we aren't providing equivalents in balloon tips either!) And why stop just at single imperial/metric equivalents? Why not multiple empirical equivalents too, such as chains/feet/rods/etc.? Again, the balloon tip solves this, albeit with its own drawbacks.
So I agree that neither approach is ideal, and it's hard to know which way to go.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:24, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, in terms of the incorrect conversions, I think some of the figures on Type:Length are wrong. That says 1 km = 39345.24 inches, but 1 km = 10^6 mm, so 10^6/25.4 inches, which is about 39370.0787 inches. So I think some of the figures on that page are wrong. I thought it might be the old pre-1959 US inch (still maintained for surveying), but the difference is so slight (about 500 nanometres per an inch) it can't add up to this discrepancy, I think this page just has errors. I've only checked inches, maybe others have errors too.
I think measurements are a bit different from words - most people know words from other varieties of English, even if they don't use them - and if they don't, they can look it up, and remember it from then on. Unit conversions are a bit different, since one has to know the conversion rule, and then do some calculations - it is more than just learning the meaning of words. I think for younger people imperial units can pose particular difficulty, since they aren't taught in most schools anymore (and have not been for some time), and aren't heavily used in daily life. Of course, I mean in Australia (and probably many other countries too) - an American wouldn't have trouble with some of them, although again there is the issue of those units defined differently in the US vs the UK. I don't think its necessary to provide conversions for every unit system under the sun - metric is fine for most of the world, American customary for Americans... maybe some imperial too, where that differs from American, for the benefit of older readers in Australia or the UK or so on... so 2.5 systems is all one needs --Maratrean 09:24, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Also, about precision - I think it would be ideal if measurements could have an explicit precision associated with them... of course, most of the time this will not be filled out, but then one could program some heuristics which could make a good guess (most of the time)... however, I suppose this would be better taken up with the SMW developers rather than here. --Maratrean 09:29, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
You're basically right about words and measurements being different cases—I was probably grasping at straws there, although I guess what I had in mind is less-common words such as railway terminology (ties vs. sleepers; engineers vs. drivers, etc.). As I said on the Type talk:Length page, I don't recall where I got the incorrect conversions from. Probably, though, there was one incorrect one which I used to calculate other (incorrect) ones. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:39, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Membership nomination

ZackMartin has been nominated for membership.

  • If you support this nomination, please add your vote below, on a new line (before the '}}' characters) in the form * '''Support''' ~~~~. If you would like to make further brief comment, you can add that on the same line. In addition, increase the votes parameter of this macro by one.
  • If you oppose this nomination, please indicate that in the same format, except use the word Oppose instead. In this case, do not alter the votes parameter.

Note: Before voting, familiarise yourself with the membership requirements. You must be a Member (or Senior member) in order to vote.

  • Support Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 04:33, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support TimSTalk 01:56, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support LowKey 02:14, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose and Object to this farce Teh Terrible Asp 12:52, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Abstain Hamster 00:10, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support --OscarJ 18:44, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Seems like a genuine editor and don't see a real reason to oppose. Jim 18:39, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support --Colonel Sanders 17:56, 4 September 2011 (UTC)


Apparently this process is nothing more than a race to the finish line with Philip standing on the sidelines picking no voters off if they don't state their reasoning or he thinks it's "irrelevant." I've never seen an election in which the pollsters get to pretend they can see into a man's heart to judge the correctness of his vote, but here's Philip! Fairness requires 1 vote per man or nothing at all. Giving the franchise then selectively permitting its exercise is arbitrary and despotic. I heartily object to this farce of a process but I'll exercise my right to vote regardless of whether Philip mangles all notions of fairness by substituting his judgment for mine. Teh Terrible Asp 22:46, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Asp, Philip never said that. The site policies make clear, that the outcome of the voting process can be sent to the Membership Review Committee, which can overturn it. The MRC is allowed to consider who voted, and whether they gave good reasons, rather than just the raw number of votes. When Philip says that who voted and the reasons they gave can be considered, he is not referring to the voting process, but to the MRC process. And that has always been in the Membership policy, ever since it was first created in 2009 (check the history), so nothing is new here. Maratrean 00:13, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
There is no Membership Review Committee, genius. It's just Philip. And Philip very much did say he can throw votes out. I don't know what you're talking about with this "overturning" business. That's not within Philip's purview as the "committee." What he's saying is that he gets to rig the election from the start by selectively discarding votes according to arbitrary criteria, not "overturn" anything post hoc. Teh Terrible Asp 00:30, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
(EC) There is no standing MRC at present, but why can't one be organized on an ad hoc basis, like is being done for Horace's appeal? Maratrean 00:37, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
(EC) Asp said what I was to say, which was: I'm sorry, is there any where where it says that somoeone can question another's vote when someone opposes the membership because he thinks it's "bad faith?" Because that's what's happened during voting (and not during the MRC process, which hasn't really happed yet) more than once. (Check the history. I missed that part of the "rules." Sterile 00:33, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Let me get this straight; you only want to be able to question apparent bad faith use of rights when there is an explicit rule allowing you to do so. Hmm, seems a very authoritarian approach to me. It seems to me that an open process (for anything, not just membership) would assume the right to question acts that do not appear to have been undertaken in good faith. LowKey 03:29, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Nice reframing attempt. No one's vote should be questioned; just get rid of voting. Sterile 01:08, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
I can't comment on Daniel1212's voting since I wasn't there, and although I have read that page it is a bit hard to follow in hindsight. I think Philip has done a pretty good job of trying to come up with reasonable process/structure, but maybe they have not always worked so well in practice. I think his plans would work better with more members, but with less members sometimes adjustments must be made; anyway, no matter how well you plan, you never know how it'll turn out, so there always needs to be the possibility of revisiting the plan. One option to consider — a committee decides membership nominations rather than voting of all members, but all users are free to state their opinions, which the committee will use those comments as input in their reasoned decision? I think the current process, unfortunately, looks like it sometimes produces more heat than light, and I think the alternative I mentioned might be better in that regard. Maratrean 00:54, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
This part of the process is problematic. Nobody cares who Philip makes a member on his own since that's how 95% of them were made in the first place. And ... wonder of wonders ... the rules permit that. Why he wants to open himself of to legitimate criticism is beyond me. Teh Terrible Asp 01:07, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Quoth Stephen Colbert I can't prove it, but I can say it. Did Phillip really decide most of these votes on his own? Why you voted against Maratrean is beyond me. But why do you enjoy accusing Phillip of these things without proof? It seems this is a valid nomination.--Colonel Sanders 01:28, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
JWiseman has 7 support votes, none opposed and is not a member for over a year. Helen K has 6 support votes, none opposed and is not a member. Who is really deciding these things?, because last I checked, 7 support votes is sufficient for membership, and 6 ain't so bad either. Yeah, that would be Philip. Your vote doesn't count if it's not acted upon. (You should also understand that Philip called Horace a bigot and doesn't see it as offensive on you-must-be-civil-wiki. There's a point when a line is crossed.) Sterile 01:55, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Neither JWiseman nor HelenK have been active here recently. To quote what Philip has said on his talk page: I have reservations about voting into membership people who have not been active for some time. I could put an opposing vote on JWisemen which means that he doesn't meet the requirements, but I'll hold off, for the moment at least, to see what others think about this. (My opposing vote would be on those grounds; I expect that I would support both if they became active again.) I don't see any issue with Philip's reasoning here.
As to the moon hoax dispute, from reading that page, Philip said As I said, "the people concerned are not stupid by any objective measure other than disagreeing on a particular issue.", and you've offered absolutely nothing in the way of evidence to contradict that. Instead, you've offered the assertion that this particular belief indicates stupidity. Lacking evidence, your argument is one of bigotry.. Given that Horace's argument is Such a belief is an indication of a mind that is not really capable of critical thought, I think Philip's statement was fair (I should note he didn't call a person a bigot, he called an argument bigoted). To accuse Philip of incivility there is very ironic, since all he was doing is responding to an argument that "if you believe X, you must be really dumb, because only really dumb people like you could believe something as stupid as X". If anything is uncivil there, it is the original argument Philip is responding to. Maratrean 02:31, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
1. How stupid does an belief have to be before I am permitted to say that? 2. You are wrong (as was Philip) in asserting that what I said was bigoted. Clearly there does come a point when a particular belief is an indicator of stupidity. The only question is whether that point has been reached. Accordingly, Philip's use of the term was both wrong and insulting. I have, however, managed to get over it. --Horace 03:01, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Do you have evidence for its alleged stupidity? If you do, then you also have evidence against the belief itself. Why not leave the intelligence of proponents of competing views out of it, and just stick to the evidence pro/contra the views themselves? Maratrean 03:07, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
The thread that I commented on was actually about the stupidity of persons who did not believe the moon landing took place. I did not start the discussion but joined in when it was already underway. My comment was precisely on topic and relevant. Philip's response was as I have characterised it above. --Horace 03:32, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you can call those people stupid. I believe in the moon-landing myself, but I know people who don't believe in it, actually. I do think they are mistaken, but I am quite sure they are not stupid. And you haven't produced any evidence for their alleged stupidity. Maratrean 03:47, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Philip said, "when one is prejudiced against an opposing view, then one is a bigot." "One" refers to a person, not an argument, and clearly to Horace. And civil? I don't think so. Sterile 15:14, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Wiktionary defines bigot as (sense 1) "One who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices." My opinion: if one thinks an opposing view is so stupid as to not require any evidence in refutation, then one would have the requisite obstinacy or intolerance to meet this definition of bigoted. Sense 2, "One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ", does not fit quite so well in this case; but if we define the relevant groups correctly (e.g. moon landing conspiracy theorists, creationists, atheists, etc.), it also could be applicable. I think rather than focusing on the word bigot, we should focus on the underlying point (the definition). If the word bigot hits a raw nerve, we can certainly talk about possible alternative wording that might express the point just as well. But to do that we first have to be clear about what the underlying point is. Maratrean 21:08, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
No. The first sense does not fit because there is no indication in my comment that I am "obstinately or intolerantly devoted to [my] own opinions and prejudices". I don't even state my own opinion on the subject. All I say is that some beliefs are so stupid as to indicate that those who hold them are stupid. Nothing to do with me obstinately or devotedly holding my own opinions. So Philip called me a bigot when he shouldn't have. Big deal. I've moved on. Why can't you? --Horace 03:40, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Fine then, if you do not wish to discuss this any further, and if no one else does either, I will not also. Maratrean 03:47, 5 June 2011 (UTC)


I've read the above, but still can't figure out why people are opposing his candidacy. Jim 21:22, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

How can I know? Some won't say, and even take offence when I asked them for an explanation. I am left just to guess:
  1. Because of my unorthodox religious views (I believe in the Goddess Maratrea) - but, I haven't talked about that very much here, maybe once or twice, but that was it
  2. Because maybe some users only want to vote for other users with the same worldview as them (e.g. atheist materialist evolutionist), and I have criticised that worldview
  3. Because they object to the current membership process, or the way it has been implemented, and vote against me as a way of protesting
Maratrean 22:27, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I looked at your website. Let me guess: former Catholic, right? How many members does your church have? Is the number greater or less than 2? Jim 18:37, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Former Catholic indeed. Mostly Irish descent (a bit of English and Scottish too). Our membership is fluctuating between 2.7182818 and 3.1415926. Maratrean 11:11, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

sorry, dude

You'll have to find someone else to vote for you. :( in limbo 02:39, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Books of Maccabees

I've seen your articles on the books. As I've only read the Protestant canon of the Bible, could you direct me to an online version? I've grown curious.--Colonel Sanders 22:28, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Here are some links:
1 Maccabees (this is the KJV)
1 Maccabees (this is New American Bible, a Catholic translation)
2 Maccabees (this is the KJV)
2 Maccabees (NAB again)
3 Maccabees (this time the RSV, although someone has interleaved their own commentary with it)
4 Maccabees (RSV, plus that same commentary)
5-8 Maccabees don't seem to have readily available text, but I don't think they are as interesting, since no Christian church (to my knowledge) accepts any of them as part of the Bible.
1-3 Meqabyan, which are in the Ethiopian/Eritrean Orthodox Bible, have not received a lot of attention, and there is no freely available English translation. There is a Rastafarian author, Feqade Selassie, who has translated them twice, once into some Rastafarian dialect of English (Iyaric), and more recently into Standard English too. The Standard English version you can buy here, although personally I have not been sufficiently interested to do so. I think his Iyaric translation used to be freely available on the Internet, but doesn't seem to be anymore, and anyway was very hard to read (not being in Standard English). Maratrean 22:50, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Many thanks! I'll have to read those when I get some time.--Colonel Sanders 23:21, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Part of what makes me interested in this, is I am someone who was raised a Catholic but latter came to dabble in Protestantism. And, a couple of points I could never understand about the Protestant position: The Bible is so central an authority, yet how to deal with the lack of consensus about its boundaries? The Bible itself nowhere contains a list of which books belong to it, and different churches disagree about which books belong to the Bible. And how to justify the claims of its inspiration/inerrancy/authority? The Bible does make some claims in this area, but those claims could be more precise, and isn't using the Bible to justify its own authority circular? The Catholic/Orthodox answer: "We have other authorities besides the Bible - tradition, the authority of the church hierarchy - and those authorities tell us what is in the Bible and what is not, and tell us what authority the Bible has." Protestants have answers too, but I don't think they are as clear or straightforward as the Catholic/Orthodox one. Another point - Protestantism set itself up by rejecting much of the Catholic tradition, but in its place has produced its own traditions, such as the rejection of the Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal books. And it is right to call this a tradition, since the primary reason most Protestants reject those books is simply that they've been taught to (some have put signficant thought into the topic, and this may not be true of them, but these people are a minority.) That is not to say that Catholicism, or Eastern Orthodoxy, do not have their own difficulties — but they do seem to avoid several logical difficulties from which Protestantism suffers. Maratrean 03:46, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Your Pornography Reference

In the Rationalwiki article you refer to incidents wherein editors have posted pornography to other editors talk pages and then sought to prevent the deletion of that material. You do not provide links in the article but state that editors should ask you. I am asking. What are the links? --Horace 02:34, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Study the revision history of my RW talk page for several examples of editors inserting nudity, and edit warring over whether I could remove it or not. Those images may just come up as links now, but when this started those images weren't marked NSFW (and Nx had not implemented the NSFW link warning yet, so even when they were made just links, readers had no indication what clicking on them would yield). You will also note that Ace McWicked at one point replaced my user talk page with a pornographic drawing, and vandalised my user page with an image of nudity, and that SuspectedReplicant posted to me on my talk page two graphic pornographic images, supposedly to "educate" me about the meaning of sexual slang, despite the fact he knew very well I did not want them (although since then they have been deleted from the server on the grounds of being copyright violations). Maratrean 06:45, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Were Ace and SuspectedReplicant the only editors involved? --Horace 06:53, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
BBMaj7 was also involved in the reverting of image removal, and even in posting one of them. RecklessNoiseSymphony did one of the reversions. Maratrean 07:03, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Do you say that the actions of these four editors on one talk page are significant enough to warrant mention in an article about the wiki? --Horace 07:32, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
The question is, is this an isolated incident, or something which reveals something more lasting/deeper. I would suggest the later. Some reasons:
  1. It's not just the number of editors that count, but we have to consider the attributes of those editors — such as influence on the site. We can consider attributes like time on site, edit count, elected positions held, and also less tangible evidence of influence. By those measures, Ace is a pretty influential editor, and as a moderator he is supposed to be keeping the peace not brewing disorder. (SR meets some of those criteria, but not to the same extent that Ace does; BBMaj7 is a very new editor, actually I myself was foolish enough to sysop him, so he fails the influence test)
  2. The explicit or tacit support their behaviour receives from other editors, whether by speaking up in support of their actions, or staying silent, or simply letting them get away with it without consequences
  3. Comments by LowKey lead me to believe this is not an isolated incident, although you'd have to ask him what specifically he refers to.
Maratrean 11:54, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Some Heartfelt Words from Colonel Sanders

Maratrean, I have a few words to say about the matter. I think you're a good guy. Many at RW seem to be under the impression that you are a crank simply because of your religion. This pornography nonsense is just an instance of abuse of authority. Obviously, you opposed the image on your talk page. That user refused to remove it. You were even harassed on it at Ameriwiki. These moderators seem to be part of the problem, and not the solution.

If you don't want to be part of these childish games, I would recommend you did what I did: pack up and go. Granted, my departure was merely symbolic as I had no influence on that site and no one seemed to mind. They might be happy if you leave. I don't know. Your choice.

If these guys complain about the totalitarian Stalinist regime of Conservapedia, why are they plastering vulgar images on your userpage? Think about it.--Colonel Sanders 21:08, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

I responded on my talk page, just fyi. Cheers! --MAstEr oF pUPpetStalk! 03:16, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

requested block

I have fulfilled your wish to block a user even though he appeared mostly harmless spamming his own page. You will need to get Philip to extend the block. My the Great Bat and Kitty of the end-time stories and the bat who is a dog grant you peace. Hammy the Magnificent, his mark x

I have blocked the goatse and reverted same. x <Hamster his mark

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