User talk:Shamira Gelbman

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Welcome to the Citizendium! We hope you will contribute boldly and well. Here are pointers for a quick start. You'll probably want to know how to get started as an author. Just look at CZ:Getting Started for other helpful "startup" links, and CZ:Home for the top menu of community pages. Be sure to stay abreast of events via the Citizendium-L (broadcast) mailing list (do join!) and the blog. Please also join the workgroup mailing list(s) that concern your particular interests. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forums is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any constable for help, too. Me, for instance! Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and have fun! Roger Lohmann 22:02, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Great Depression in South Africa

I found your addition to the Great Depression/Addendum subpage admirably clear and very interesting. If you could find time to develop it into a separate article, I guess that would be generally welcome. Nick Gardner 07:10, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks! I'll see what I can do once I've gotten my bearings around here a bit more - I'm still very new to Citizendium (and relatively new to wiki collaboration) Shamira Gelbman 01:18, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
In the meantime, may I suggest that you insert references to the sources of the information that you have added (this has not always been the practice for previous contributions to this topic, but I am trying to bring them into line with the proposed guidelines on the matter - that have been generally adopted for economics articles). Nick Gardner 11:52, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I'll see what I can was all pretty much off the top of my head. In the meantime, can you link me to the proposed guidelines you mentioned? I was trying to get a better sense of the expectations for citations here the other day and was having a hard time finding information.

New Deal (American English and British English)

Thank you for your contributions to the article on the New Deal -I'm sure you know more about it than I do.

However, you have made a minor mistake in correcting the spelling. Being new to Citizendium you are probably unaware of the convention that the originating author chooses whether the atticle is to be in American English or British English, and the choice is duly recorded on the talk page. If you look you will see that indicated as "BE" for the New deal article, meaning that it is wrritten in British English. So, for example, the spelling "program" is incorrect - it should be programme.

This doesn't bother me in the least, but there are pedants around who might object to your spelling changes. I leave it to you to undo your spelling changes if you feel like it.

Nick Gardner 06:51, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Afterthought: - You may prefer to change the spelling to American English throughout. I am sure nobody will mind. But the pedants will want consistency. Nick Gardner 08:14, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I was actually a bit confused about that when I started editing the article -- there were already some inconsistencies and when I checked there didn't seem to be a language variant selected (it still looks that way, but that could just be me not knowing what I'm doing). Shamira Gelbman 17:22, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
You are quite right and I was wrong. I have now selected the BE variant because that's the way most of it is now drafted (although the original, before I rewrote it was in American English). Please do as you think fit and change to American if you think that's more appropriate, Nick Gardner 23:07, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

A sources guideline ?

I should have said that the guidelines that I had in mind are yet to be spelled out, let alone adopted. I have for some time intended to propose the formal adoption of some guidelines, and I have been discussing the matter with other authors. The principle is, to my mind, clear, but it turns out to be surprisingly difficult to express in detail. Here is something that I have considered putting on a Citizendium forum in order to start the ball rolling. I should be glad of your opinion on whether I should put it forward as it stands (it does ramble a bit).

I suggest that it should be considered unacceptable for a Citizendium article to include an unsupported statement of opinion. Such statements can be acceptable if made under the byline of a recognised authority or under the editorial control of such an authority. But , while it may be appropriate to include such statements in many of the published encyclopedias, their inclusion in a Citizendium article should be considered unacceptable - even in an approved article. The reason is that it would be irrational for a reader to assume that an unsupported statement by an unknown person contains any useful information.

For a guideline to that effect to be effective, however, it would have to include explanations of what is meant by an "unsupported statement of opinion" and of what categories of support are necessary to make such statements admissable . That is to some extent a matter of judgement.. There can be no reasonable objection to the unqualified inclusion of widely-accepted statements. But how can we define "widely-accepted? It is obvious that a statement that the earth is a globe need not refer to possible dissent by the flat earth society, but not so obvious that references to natural selection should not acknowledge the possibility of dissent -- (perhaps by the addition of a qualifying statement such as "according to Charles Darwin"). No hard-and-fast rule seems possible.

And then there is a question of what qualification would be acceptable. "Some people believe" is meaningless. "Most people believe" at least acknowledges by implication that others don't, but is itself an unsupported statement. If the statement is about economics then "according to Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman" contains some information (even to those who do not agree with him) , but "according to the economics correspondent of the New York Times" would mean nothing to most readers. A reference to a document presenting a well-argued deduction, or logical inference from well-established evidence would obviously do, but a collection of anecdotes would not....and so on. Complicated isn't it? But in practice, precision may not be essential because the issues are often so clear-cut that the finer distinctions do not arise.

Do you agree that we need a guideline? If so, do you think we should try to be precise, or should we rely upon examples?,

I think there should be a guideline (that's always useful for collaborative projects), that precision (as much as possible) would be nice, and that there should be examples included but we shouldn't rely on them alone to make the case. That said, I also think the issue of citation is more thorny than your proposal lets on. Particularly when it comes to "statements of fact" (as opposed to the "statements of opinion" you focus on here), it gets right at the heart of the ongoing debate over how "experts" and "non-experts" should interact in the development of wiki encyclopedia entries. It's an issue that's been bugging me for a while, so I'm interested to see how the discussion will play out if you go ahead and get that forum started Shamira Gelbman 17:05, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
I take your point. If you look at the talk page of the article on Crash of 2008 you will see that the expert/non-expert issue came up in the disagreement that I had with Larry Sanger last year - although I have always maintained that the real issue was the need to avoid making statements that are unsupported by evidence, and not my expertise. My editor, Martin Baldwin-Edwards resigned over that issue - which he took to be over professional standards of conduct, rather than expertise as such.
I am somewhat daunted by the prospect of a time-consuming forum debate on these matters, so I am putting it off until I have done what I can on the Great Depression group of articles. Nick Gardner 09:01, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
This can be a frustrating situation, especially when an expert here wants to speak from personal experience, or of general acceptance in a field, but that the information simply doesn't exist in a form that lends itself to citation. A number of the citation assumptions may work for the more traditional academic disciplines, but not less traditional, or even practical application of academic fields.
In network engineering (Computers and Engineering Workgroups; I'm an Editor in both), there indeed are some peer-reviewed documents, although the main peer review process differs from traditional journals, but a tremendous amount of knowledge comes from very active mailing lists. Such lists often teach by establishing consensus; there's no one specific message I could cite as the best current practice in, for example, how to protect an Internet Service Provider from attack. Ironically, when I created a Signed Article subpage of a humorous teaching example that I have used in many public fora, and has been floating around the Internet for quite a time (while technical, it did make Best of USENET Humor), I was directed to take it to a talk page. Another Computers Editor conceivably could have put it back as a signed article, but there is a distinct shortage of active editors.
Military is even worse. First, as far as I know, I'm the only active editor. There is a place where I talk about a technical aspect of security during the Vietnam War. There's a related citation. I remember exactly where it was documented, classified in 1967 but automatically declassified in three years, so I can talk about it. It was in the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Lessons Learned series. As far as I can tell, no one seems to know if they are archived anywhere; ironically, a colleague at an intelligence agency tried to find it and failed, but also knew people who had read the document.
Perhaps most frustrating is when I, as an Editor experienced in a subject, say that a term or approach simply is wrong, and a non-expert argues for me to explain my position. That has, on occasion, become the problem of proving a negative — I can't cite an example of why they are wrong, because errors tend not to be documented. There have been times when I've made a formal ruling with the intention of stopping an erroneous argument (e.g., the date that North Vietnam actually committed to the military takeover of South Vietnam, which I based on primary documents). The author continued to argue, I got a bit annoyed, and a Constable deleted the entire exchange with a "freshstart" over behavior, rather than simply saying "an Editor has ruled. You may take try to get dispute resolution (although there are no other active Editors), but the argument has to stop." It's even worse when I am not a formal Editor in the specific question, but I have direct knowledge that the assertions are flatly wrong, perhaps eclectic specialized experience that doesn't meet Editor criteria. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:11, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
"This can be a frustrating situation, especially when an expert here wants to speak from personal experience, or of general acceptance in a field, but that the information simply doesn't exist in a form that lends itself to citation." -- That's exactly what I had in mind, and a big part of why I was quickly frustrated with Wikipedia. I guess there isn't (yet) a solution to the problem here either. Shamira Gelbman 00:10, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Can either of you suggest a modification of my proposal suitable for launcing on a forum - perhaps a list of exceptions? Nick Gardner 08:37, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
With some trepidation, as I'm really not starting to reopen a fight, I'd like to offer a personal example of what I considered a good-faith, even somewhat sourced example that was ruled out of order by the E-I-C: Talk: Internet Protocol Suite. The anecdotes about the "Seven Deadly Layers" were, indeed, things I prevented: orally at a professional conference, but also that have been quoted, with credit, in various Internet forums. In good faith, I put it up as a signed article, but told it was "approving my own work"; essentially, Editor approval was needed. He suggested I find a Computers Workgroup Editor to approve putting it back. Frankly, since I'm the only substantially active Computers editor; there is another that occasionally works on articles and one that stays in contact although is on "wikibreak", I'm not going to squander that limited resource when I have substantive articles awaiting Approval.
Admittedly, I was new when I first put it up. Several considerations made me think it was fair. Not the least of which was that it is anecdotal, and adds humor to a subject that is rather abstract; I and others use it as a teaching tool. It does appear in "Best of USENET Humor" archives; I didn't put it there, and variants show up in search.
In the relevant discipline, I am a formal Editor. I happen to use a good deal of humor in my professional books. My peer reviewers all were amused; there are some reviewers on Amazon that did't like the style of using them, but the existence of even those negative reviews is evidence of my writing in such a manner.
So, whether or not it's a proposal, I tend to believe that at least an Editor, with credentials checking, should be able to put up a Signed Article or other designated subpages, clearly identifying it as a relevant personal contribution from direct experience. This should done with discretion; I am not enthiusiastic for making people Editors on their first day, until they have demonstrated the ability to work with the community, and to be edited. In like manner, if an Author member has been active and respected, and chooses to put up an anecdotal subpage with relevance, I'd tend to lean toward that; workgroup or Editor disapproval would be more the approach.
While I did it with a funny teaching example, I see no good reason, especially in fields where there be few mechanisms for peer-reviewed publication of certain experience, that clearly identified personal contributions, obviously relevant to the subject, and considering the contributor's reputation (here and elsewhere) should need a process comparable to Article approval. Now, if we had an abundant supply of active Editors, I might say Editor signoff might be appropriate — I'd entertain user nomination, again with some tenure to avoid sockpuppets. The reality is, however, that we now have a choice: use the material with case-by-case judgment and being open to substantive objections (i.e., not "it's not our policy"), or not use the material until we have enough Editors. Military, Sports, Food, and even Health Sciences are also areas were there are techniques and anecdotes well known in the discipline, but unlikely to have appeared in a peer-reviewed publication.
I don't want to get into a flamewar about the role of editors and what do when there are no editors; I will simply note that there is a situation where an individual put up a number of orphaned articles, which many believe give at least the impression of a political agenda, and was reluctant to take guidance; I made Editor recommendations for deletion that were not accepted by the Constabulary. At this point, with much muttering, I'm writing essentially new articles on the subject, perhaps replacing in place, perhaps being allowed to do a merge/move/delete to a more authoritative presentation. My own feeling is that I'd rather see no article than an inaccurate or agenda-driven one; in these cases, they deal with current events but haven't been updated, in some cases, in over a year — where the substance is largely overtaken by events. How do you feel about such an approach? I wouldn't be as bad as writing an article about verkrampte National Party matters and not indicating these are long past, but it would be much closer to having an article on AIDS denialism suggesting there have been no South African policy changes. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:41, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi Shamira, did this discussion ever move to the forums? Sounds like this is an important issue for citizendium. Chris Day 13:58, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it ever made it to the forums (although related points have come up in various discussions there). I agree that it's an important issue that merits more discussion. Shamira Gelbman 15:51, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I'll try and start something soon. I'm a bit bogged down in teaching at the moment. Have you considered asking to be an editor we could use some more? Chris Day 16:23, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I think you're the third person now to ask if I've considered being an editor. How does one go about asking? Shamira Gelbman 16:32, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Lyndon Johnson

Since LBJ seems to be one of your research interests (I peeked), depending how much you are interested in his personality and foreign affairs, I'd welcome comments on the article Vietnam, war, and the United States. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:34, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I haven't done much work on his foreign affairs, but I'll take a look and see if I have any thoughts. Shamira Gelbman 20:47, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Korematsu v. United States

One of our editors has suggested that the Korematsu v. United States article might be ready to go up for approval. I wanted to check with you first, because I couldn't tell whether you were actually satisfied and finished working on it. Do you think it is complete/comprehensive/ready?

Incidentally, I noticed that you are not listed as an Editor in the Politics Workgroup. Have you considered becoming one? I would certainly think you are qualified. --Joe Quick 16:25, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

some articles that might be ready for approval

I took a look at the lists of articles you've contributed to extensively and compared it to the list of developed politics articles. I'm not sure if any of the developed articles fall very closely within your area of expertise, but there might be some that you could oversee approval for. What do you think?

If there isn't anything specifically within your expertise, you might consider looking over some of the historical biographies, such as Albert Gallatin or Oliver Cromwell, or you might look at articles like the one about the WPA. Just keep in mind that the rules say you can't approve an article you've contributed to yourself unless there are two other editors who join you in nominating. If anything you've worked on yourself seems ready, just let me know and I'll look into finding other editors who can pitch in. --Joe Quick 18:46, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, this all happened very fast ... I'll take a look at the list of developed politics articles and see what falls within my range, but I'll probably have to read up a bit more on the approval process before I jump into it. Shamira Gelbman 22:42, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
No problem. Take your time. You'll probably want to review the approval standards and then look through the page about the process itself. On the latter page, which can be intimidating to try to absorb all at once, you'll probably want to focus on this section. Let me know if you have any questions. --Joe Quick 20:45, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Political philosophy

Hey, thank you for your addition to the catalog of political philosophers. You definitely know much more than I do -- as most of my knowledge was from a introductory class I took that superficially touched Plato, Hobbes, Mill, Rawls, and Hayek. Can you please take a look at political philosophy and add some needed content, as much are left blank since there are so much about the concept I know nothing about. Thank you again! Yi Zhe Wu 21:05, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Most of my political philosophy knowledge is from an intro class too, but I'll see what I can do. Shamira Gelbman 21:09, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Civil rights? Human rights?

Reminded by your civil rights movement entry, I created an interim entry for civil rights. My intention is to provide a top-level anchor for matters at least in the United States.

I do not know if it would be better to supplement or replace this with an article on human rights. There is an article on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which I created, in part, to give a framework for extrajudicial detention.

While I know several people have been writing on more general civil society and rights movements, I'm hoping to get some help at least on the top-level extrajudicial detention and perhaps interrogation, and, ideally, on the lower-level articles. Note that each has a provision for lower-level national- and period-specific articles. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:34, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Offhand, my sense is that civil rights and human rights should be separate (but, as you point out, complementary) articles. Shamira Gelbman 20:40, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


Thank you for voting for my article, Hawaiian alphabet, for new draft of the week. I was just wondering what about it you thought merited it being the NDOTW?Drew R. Smith 12:13, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

U.S. Electoral College

Hi Shamira, Do you think U.S. Electoral College is ready for approval? --Joe Quick 03:40, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

It isn't, in my view, though it's closer than most other politics articles I've seen. Since I've already done substantial editing to it, I'll keep at it and hopefully have it in better shape soon. Shamira Gelbman 20:33, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I shall hold off on Underwriters Laboratories and the National Electrical Code, for fear they be confused with the U.S. Electrical College.
More seriously, I wonder if it needs a section on how national campaign strategy is affected by the EC rather than popular vote issues. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:42, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
That's a good idea. Shamira Gelbman 20:46, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Great! If you can get it into shape, then maybe Roger can approve it. Or maybe both of you could. --Joe (Approvals Manager) 23:37, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I just noticed that you've been working on that article and wanted to say thank you. So,... thanks! --Joe (Approvals Manager) 23:53, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

You're welcome :) Shamira Gelbman 21:07, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Sarah Palin

Shamira, I wonder if in your capacity as a Politics Editor you could take a look at a disagreement on the page about Sarah Palin (see the talk page). I know that you took a look at the page last week and I've been working slowly to upgrade that page. Another user, known to you I see, is in my view adding irrelevant editorial remarks on the page. I would like to continue working on the page but I rather feel that until this dispute is resolved, the page should be left untouched for fear of further escalation of the disagreement. Thanks. Michel van der Hoek 02:01, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Sure, I'll take a close look at it tomorrow. Shamira Gelbman 02:50, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Allport link

Thanks for that. It didn't even occur to me to check whether we have an article about him. It's pretty developed. --Joe Quick 21:51, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

By the way, does reading level seem okay for that article? I'm worried that it's going to be too theoretical for our audience. --Joe Quick 21:54, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
No problem re: the Allport link; I figured if there wasn't already an article about him, there probably should be. The reading level seems fine overall, but there are some "academic trappings" that could be replaced with phrasing that lay readers would appreciate more. For example, instead of "in a highly influential and oft cited chapter, Eleanor Rosch described...," something like "according to cognitive psychologist Eleanor Rosch, ..." might be more illuminative to readers who don't know who she is or care about citation counts. Shamira Gelbman 22:56, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks again. --Joe Quick 23:05, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Charter drafting candidacy

Hi Shamira,

Thanks for accepting your nomination to be a candidate for election to the drafting committee for the Citizendium charter.

If you'd like, there is a provision in the plan that provides a place for you to compose a position statement. You are not required to do this in order to be a candidate for election to the committee, but it would be helpful to others during the voting period. Even if you don't compose a statement before the election period concludes, should you be elected it might be helpful for other members of the committee to know what you feel are the most important issues to address with the draft. You can find a red link to the page where you can write your statement here, along with instructions for doing so.

If you have any questions, just let me know. --Joe Quick 15:27, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Game theory

Hello, Shamira. I noticed that you edited Game theory. Do you have plans with this page? I ask because it seems that you are heading to a too narrow view of the topic. In mathematics, games like chess, bridge, poker, roulette, and even sports games, also are considered. If I guess correctly, for your purpose, the best would be a title like "Game theory in social (political?) science (economics?)", leaving "Game theory" (and possibly "Game") for a broader survey. Peter Schmitt 09:23, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Hi Peter, I was actually hoping someone more "mathy" would come along and lend their insight into the development of the game theory article. I agree that game theory should cover the topic comprehensively. I don't think there should be a whole separate article about game theory as it's applied in the social sciences -- a section within the "game theory" article should be sufficient. In the meantime, do you have a better sense of how to organize the article? Shamira Gelbman 19:15, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Top level articles are notoriously difficult to write, and game theory has very many facets. Some "pure" types of games are games with complete information (like chess), games of chance (like roulette), matrix games. But most real world games are combinations (blackjack). I'll have to think about it. Peter Schmitt 22:42, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't know if you consider military gaming to be social science, but there is a huge body of quantitative work of which game theory is a subset. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:28, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
It's also quite popular in evolutionary biology. --Daniel Mietchen 23:48, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
These various applications were the reason why I suggested articles like "Game theory in biology". They might even be easier to write than the parent article "Game theory". (Game theory is not a subset of military gaming, sorry.) Forgot signature: Peter Schmitt 00:29, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Rephrase: game theory is a subset of the quantitative techniques used in military gaming and simulation. Monte Carlo simulation, linear programming, attrition models such as the Lanchester equations, etc., are all alternative or complements to game theoretic methods. Game theory is a subset of the range of quantitative methods. Howard C. Berkowitz 00:14, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Some game theory is applied by military, that is: A subset of game theory is a subset of (some part of) military gaming. Since there are fields of game theory which have no military applications at all it cannot be a subset: Game theory is neither a parent topic nor a subtopic, it is a related topic. Peter Schmitt 00:29, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Eduzendium pointer

Hi, Shamira, there is an orphaned page Catalyzing an energy revolution obviously belonging to your course. This is just meant as a pointer, I do not want to interfere with it. Peter Schmitt 09:37, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Hi Peter, Thanks for pointing it out. I think it was created by accident by one of my students, not actually a page associated with the course. I'll see what I can do to get rid of it ... Shamira Gelbman 13:07, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
In case you have not yet met them: deletion requests. Peter Schmitt 14:14, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks :) Shamira Gelbman 14:17, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Wot? Wat!

Sending a quick ‘hello’ out to all of you who wanted a weekend write-a-thon. Also, a nudge, push, and a shove to all those who haven’t made it out in a while. This Sunday, 10th January, is your Big Chance. Party theme is ‘stubs’. Now, what could be easier? Write about anything you want! (At least come on over and say ‘hi’—we’ve all been much too quiet lately and I rather miss everybody.) Aleta Curry 21:10, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

could you evaluate my work

Dear Mrs. Gelbman,

I am searching for help from an editor at Citizendium to evaluate my recent work about the Pro-democracy movement in Burma. I think the article may fit your interest and area of specialty on democratization and social movements. I simply would like for you to take a glance over the article and give me a thumbs up or thumbs down on whether it is fit for approval. I have fully developed it, but I am not sure if it should be approved. I am also too lazy to improve upon what I already have. I hope that this would not be burdenous. Thank you! (Chunbum Park 05:02, 14 May 2010 (UTC))


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