User talk:Thatcher/Archive3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive This is an archive of past discussions. Its contents should be preserved in their current form. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.


Thank you

Thank you for all your effort on Seckel entry. I am trying to send you a very brief reply to Seckel's boldfaces, but I am unable to copy it. I will try again.Tmciver 16:48, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Seckel is now showing his true colors, threatening to sue unless the "previous" (his) version is restored. I wanted a vanilla version all along, which was why I requested AFD.

Re Popoff: Yes, Seckel was running SCS at the time, but the investigation, in San Francisco, was Randi's, was sponsored by CSICOP's CSER. The "God's Freq." article referred to was written by Seckel himself, and published by CSICOP. SCS is not mentioned. There is no mention of direct participation by Seckel because there was none, though elsewhere (as in his wikipedia acount) he implied otherwise. See Randi's accounts.

The amicus brief: I stand by my facts. I was involved myself. Gell-Mann and Lehmann have published accounts, the article Seckel refers to was written by Seckel himself, not co-authored with Lehmann. The brief itself was credited to Lehmann and other lawyers, and is written about widely. Shermer wrote his article (in STHV) before forming Skeptics Soc., and believed Seckel's version. I *do* have the cite, he knows better now. I told Pat Linse about Shermer's article; she told him about Seckel, and Linse and Shermer began a partnership at his new Skeptics Society. I was then added as a contributing editor.

Re Darwin fish: I go with the published accounts, the court records would be useful.

Removed personal attack, unverifiable original research, and/or possible libel

Re Seckel's articles: I have Seckel's articles too, and can provide them. Plus sources they are based upon.

Re Seckel's book citations: I specifically said they were "accurate." I added that there were claims of "forthcoming" books in his Contemp Authors entry that were never published. This is fact.

Re magician: I specifically said he was NOT listed as co-author, and Seckel was listed as sole author; in fact that was the point.

Re Feynman: Of the huge number of works about him, Seckel cites one mention in the acknowledgements of just one. Removed personal attack and/or possible libel

Re Caltech affiliation: I said he was not listed in the directory, and that the University did not answer inquiries about his affiliation. I know he had some lab affiliation, which was my point: why then no official directory listing? I e-mailed one of the labs but did not phone.

Removed personal attack, unverifiable original research, and/or possible libel

Tom McIverTmciver 17:12, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

First followup

Removed personal attack, unverifiable original research, and/or possible libel

Please feel free to e-mail or telephone me. I appreciate your suggestions of external criticism pages, but that would be tremendous work and any contributors would be subject to intimidation, perhaps leaving me facing Seckel alone, as in the past. And I too have other things to do.

Removed personal attack, unverifiable original research, and/or possible libel

Seckel's dark allegation that I associate with fringe groups such as creationists is most amusing. Anyone is welcome to see my cartoon in Feb 24 Science magazine, in the Holden article about creationism. Or long review of my book on creationism in Nature, 1989 May 25, or article in LA Times about my PhD diss on creationism (1989, forget date). (Tmciver 18:37, 6 June 2006 (UTC).

Second follow-up etc.

If you are actually willing to investigate this mess, might I also suggest a science citation search on Seckel, since he claims to be such a scientific authority? For years he boasted of working as research neuroscientist in the labs of both Shin Shimojo and Christof Koch (and he indeed did have some sort of lab affiliation with them). They have authored many hundreds of articles. Surely he is listed as co-author at least on some of these, given his reputation; and given that listed co-authors sometimes include even the test-tube washers. Surely he also has lots of peer-reviewed scientific articles of his own too. I've done these searches myself and know the answer.Tmciver 23:07, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Note: when I mentioned Contemporary Authors I did not realize there was an updated entry on Seckel, the 1988 entry lists at least two interesting books "in press" or "publication expected." The new entry (2006) lists his illusion books, and does not mention those other two. It gives his credentials as BS from Cornell, 1980, and his address as the Koch lab at Caltech, with a "work in progress" from MIT Press.Tmciver 23:49, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Will there be a permanent record of Seckel's accusations in the discussion page? I ask because they are clearly libelous and I need a record of them.Tmciver 03:21, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

What happened to Seckel's threat to sue unless the entry is restored to its "previous" version (i.e. his)? I need a record of that.Tmciver 03:32, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

The Wikipedia entry Pparodies of the Ichthys Symbol (redirected from Darwin Fish)" begins: "The origins of the Darwin fish are in dispute."

I don't know the citation for the Darwin Fish court case, but Seckel v. Blumka is interesting. Seckel's attorney was disciplined for falsely claiming Blumka had fabricated documents, this was when Seckel was involved in antiques schemes (relevant to Pearce Williams' complaint against Seckel).Tmciver 04:03, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the time to graciously explain Wikipedia usage and policies. I assure I have never in my life ever made a legal threat against anybody, but since Seckel did, in the Wikipedia discussion page, I needed to insure there was a record of it, and of his accusations. He is extremely litigious, and has threatened numerous people.

Third followup

There may be a slight misunderstanding about my recent comments, they are not intended for inclusion in Wikipedia, but as responses to some of Seckel’s accusations and to provide context. I don’t want the Blumka case mentioned in the entry, but mention it to you because it illustrates his style.

Removed personal attack, unverifiable original research, and/or possible libel

I know he had Caltech affilition, and I *want* that mentioned. I am suggesting it wasn’t what he implied—that Caltech hired him as a neuroscientist faculty member.

Similarly with his peer-reviewed articles, or lack of them. I mentioned this as context for his claim, in Wikipedia, to be a renowned research scientist and the “world’s leading authority on visual and other illusions.” Maybe he prefers to present his research in his books. (But how many reviews of them are there in the scientific literature?) I know he lectured at Cornell and elsewhere, and never questioned that.

The entry is now *vastly* better and more accurate than is Seckel’s original version, even with Seckel’s own re-edits, this is due mostly to the editor who did the major cutting, to you, and to me. I never wanted to edit it myself, preferring AFD, but I could not in good conscience allow his dishonest self-promotions to stand uncorrected. I hope my career as a Wikipedia contributor is over. I do believe the article list in the entry is ridiculously long, every leaftlet? Minor articles in local newspapers, about research of others?

Removed personal attack, unverifiable original research, and/or possible libel

Since Seckel has focused on Saucer Smear in his accusations, let me explain a bit, the passage I quoted from the Psychical Research journal included the phrase “(Moseley 1991).” You asked what this was a reference to, and I replied. As I mentioned, Klass of CSICOP has written scores of items for Saucer Smear, as have other CSICOPers; and CSICOP’s own publishing arm published Moseley’s book, which his largely about his Smear career. I consider Saucer Smear largely a gossip and humor newsletter, but that does not preclude the occasional bit of real information. (I published an investigative piece in it about appropriation of Nazi painting and sculpture in some flying saucer publications.) Removed personal attack, unverifiable original research, and/or possible libel Tmciver 15:10, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

As with the points above, I never questioned the fact that Seckel was a “judge” and “sponsor” at the illusion contest. I did mean to suggest the wording “sponsored the contest” was misleading, as it implied this was based on scientific status. So it changed it to “a sponsor of the contest.” This means he provided money for part of the prizes. Misha Sedgwick is eligible to be a sponsor, or Saucer Smear, if they put up the money.

And to clarify about Feyman: I never questioned the fact that Seckel had a relationship with him. I did state that it was not as Seckel described.

I fully understand the policy concerning “negative information,” and I’m sure you understand my frustration regarding inadmissibility of certain “original research.” The neg info policy resembles the skeptics adage that “unusual claims require unusual evidence.” The obverse, relevant here, is that even ordinary information from known liars may warrant suspicion or “citation needed.”Tmciver 16:22, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Fourth follow-up (made to archive page by mistake)

  • A few things I want to be on record, though I do not want to reply to Seckel on the Discussion page.

Removed personal attack, unverifiable original research, and/or possible libel

No newspaper editor ever contacted me. I contacted the Santa Monica editor, and backed up my claim, her introduction to Seckel's lecture was filled with misleading and dishonest claims. When I asked her about this, she said Seckel gave her a scripted sheet to read from verbatim, written by Seckel himself. By such means Seckel can pretend that he does not himself make claims such as the false credentials. Also, I never called Seckel's lab, contrary to his accusation.

Removed personal attack, unverifiable original research, and/or possible libel

  • I see Seckel has inserted refs and such. He cites Newton (LA Times May 5, 1985), which is one of the articles I mentioned to you, on p. 1, Newton writes that Seckel is a "graduate of Cornell in physics and math, who took leave from Caltech, where he was a candidate for doctoral degress in both relativistic astrophysics and biochemistry." This article was reprinted as an SCS flyer. According to Wikipedia policy I can add this statement of his credentials to the entry, as it comes from a reliable published source, already cited.

A Smithsonian article by Doug Stewart, "Wheels go round and round, but always run down," quotes and features Seckel, among others, describing him as a "physicist" (p. 205).

My notes from Seckel's 5-25-88 lecture at Santa Monica News office include his statement: "I am a physicist." And, "I work on...DNA." He was introduced (see above) as currently "pursuing a doctorate in physics and molecular biology at Caltech." Exact quotes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tmciver (talkcontribs)

  • I am now confused by the archiving as to whether this is the proper spot to add this, but Seckel's continued personal attacks are now getting surreal. To wit, his statement, just inserted: "It should be pointed out that Seckel was NOT the sole author of that article in Skeptical Inquirer, but that article was also authored by the two attorneys on the case Beth Kaufman and Jeffrey Lehman." In Seckel's own citation of this article in his Wikipedia entry he lists himself as sole author!Tmciver 15:12, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm fine with leaving Seckel's deletion of the L.A. Times' quote stating his credentials (though of course I prefer the quote be included.) At least he has now cited that article himself. The quote is, of course, accurate, and from an approved "reliable" source, but especially if the quote is gone, I am not going to make any statements about his credentials here. You have to admit the deadpan humor of Seckel deleting a simple statement of his credentials from a highly positive article in a highly reliable source that he himself cited. Tmciver 17:11, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Smithsonian article I mentioned is from Nov 1986 issue. Santa Monica News was in existence only 1987-89, and is not accessible anywhere. 18:55, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
  • "The No legal threats policy requires that users with legal issues stop editing wikipedia and deal with the issues with the Foundation's attorney rather than within the pages of the encyclopedia." I'm not sure I have legal issues, but if so, may I contact the Foundation's attorney, and how would I do so? I have no objection to withdrawing from Wikipedia participation anyway, as third parties are now involved. Tmciver 14:35, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

WP:RFCU clerk comment

As a personal recommendation, you may want to withdraw part of your comment in WP:RFCU#User:Rex071404 that is marked as a clerk note about needing more evidence. Not that I don't agree with you that they shouldn't request again w/o more evidence, but I said a very similar thing on a different one that was in a comment with a clerk tag. Essjay removed it with a comment about not doing that in the edit history. Kevin_b_er 00:09, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

RFCU chat

Do you by chance use AIM? Prodego & I are doing real-time work on the RFCU thing, and we'd like to add you in if you can. Essjay (TalkConnect) 03:20, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Al Seckel entry

Do you think there is a need to delete some revisions of the page or talk pages in light of the messgae at the noticeboard? If so, I can do that, my feeling is better safe than sorry, and it can always be undone. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 03:10, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Some of the comments are pretty corrosive, and some definitely contain legal threats. Do you have to delete every version after a problem statement, too, or can you delete individual contribs so they don't show up in successive versions? Thatcher131 03:39, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I have to look at that. The fast way is to delete everything, restore the last version (I have actually see Jimbo doing that to eliminate all libel in another article, but that article has started again from scratch after that), and take my time to figure out which versions are acceptable. See me more as an assistant in this situation as I think potential libel needs to be weeded out ASAP. (And I have watchlisted your page, so respond here if you want). -- Kim van der Linde at venus 03:49, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I just did some sandbox testing, and you need to delete every entry that contains the libel, untill it was removed. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 03:53, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, I archived the whole article talk page by page move, (Talk:Al Seckel/Archive 1) so the current talk page is clean (so far). In the old page this is where Seckel calls McIver disturbed and complains about libel. A little earlier, this is where McIver accuses Seckel of misrepresenting his academic credentials and of fraud. I suppose you should nuke everything after McIver's first edit, after that its basically me trying to explain the rules and them making accusations. Thatcher131 03:58, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Ok, lets explain it at the talk page there, and do it, it can always be restored if people disagree. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 04:03, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
All right, if you would do the deletion and then write an explanation, or I will write one and would you please co-sign or endorse. We can point them to DRV (won't that be fun). Thatcher131 04:06, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
In that light, what you can do is delete actively everything that is libel of the current version and mark it such that it is clear that some stuff has been removed. That would save the content that is made after that entry as a wholesome enry at the end. So, I will delete that first entry of him, and delete the entries in between those two immediatly afterwards. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 04:12, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
  • That'll take a stich or too. Let you know. Thatcher131 04:15, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I wait for that....-- Kim van der Linde at venus 04:23, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
If you delete everything in after Mackensen (where he closed the Afd) and up to "I think this version is clean" we should be ok. Thanks a lot!!!!Thatcher131 04:41, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Done. Have a look, it looks now if you have entered most, I will make a note atb the top to explain. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 04:45, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I left a lot of contentiousness but the real dangerous stuff is gone, I think. Thanks for your help. Thatcher131 04:49, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
If there is more, just let me know at my talk page, and I can do it again. Was there a same issue with the actual article also or did I get that wrong? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 04:54, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I believe the article is clean (so far). The edits that were made to the article were of the nature "X is untrue" whereas the talk page said, "I know X is untrue because I spoke with Mr. A who said Seckel is a <very bad unproveable accusation>." I'll review in the morning to make sure. My own talk page may also be a problem. (McIver's been talking to me directly too, although Seckel doesn't seem to realize it yet.) I'll review in the morning as well. If I need help, I'll clean it up like we did here and send you a start/end diff. Thanks for everything. Thatcher131 05:01, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Ok, that will do. Sleep well! -- Kim van der Linde at venus 05:02, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

time match

Hi, could you tell me what time it is at your comupter, or better, which time zone you are in? I have to get an idea about the difference to find the entries. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 00:55, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I believe I have my preferences set to UTC, not to customize for time zone. Your edit shows as 00:55. Thatcher131 01:02, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
    • Yup, even though it's 9:02 pm June 8 here my edit shows up as 01:02 on June 9. Does that help? Thatcher131 01:03, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

You probably saw already things moving, but all is done now. And you are welcome, it is not a big job to do, and I amrather save than sorry. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 01:25, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Fantastic. I hope things will have settled down now. Thatcher131 01:28, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I hope so too. Mr Al Seckel seems to find some more issues, but he is rather vague about them IMHO, and I have the feeling that it is more not of his liking than actuall an issue, but we will see..... I will keep it at my watchlist for the time being, becuse I do not see these gentlemen resolve their problems as gentlemen, in a duel. :-)-- Kim van der Linde at venus 01:30, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I wanted to send you an e-mail, can you sen me one. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 01:33, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

RFCU clerk

Hi Thatcher,

I have just recently volunteered as a clerk at WP:RFCU. I see you have been the most active (if not only) clerk at RFCU lately. I have gone through the Clerk's guide & reviewed a few of the past cases, so is there some unwritten rule or advice you can give? Also I see you are quite busy with the subpage archival of the old cases. Anywhere I can help? Thanks. Srikeit (Talk | Email) 05:57, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the tip. I'll do so from now on. BTW in Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Nrcprm2026, I asked the user to provide some diffs for suspected sockpuppet behavior as he orignally hadn't. Did I overstep my authority? --Srikeit (Talk | Email) 18:44, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Hey Thatcher, I've noticed that many archived cases don't have any additional info next to them. Some may be due to lack of evidence provided, but some may have been missed out. Should I add that info to those cases? Also I have been archiving many of the recently resolved cases, are there any methodical flaws on my part? Thanks. --Srikeit (Talk | Email) 13:45, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I just started cutting the March archive (seeing you are doing the February one) to subpages & have seen quite a few cases like Lightbringer's having too many sockpuppets listed. I think in such cases listing all the socks is an unnecessary chore, so I'll just add the info on cases with, say, less than 10 socks. Hope that's fine. And what is the exact procedure you use to archive? Any shortcuts I can use? BTW thanks for all the help & guidance, I really am grateful for it. --Srikeit (Talk | Email) 03:50, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the tips, I'll do the needful. Good Night. --Srikeit (Talk | Email) 04:05, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
(De-indenting) I see you have just restarted on the cutting of the Feb archive. I was going to do so myself but I'll back off now to prevent edit-conflicts. BTW can you look at this case. I can't seem to decide who to name as the puppet master. Anyway do you have access to IRC? If yes then we can probably coordinate at #wikipedia-checkuser-clerks. Cheers & happy archiving :P --Srikeit (Talk | Email) 18:32, 11 June 2006 (UTC)


I thought I had explained it on the talk page and elsewhere. A new user with no edit history other than to this page, creating the headline "CONTROVERSY", is exactly echoing the behaviour of other usernames who have been blocked and caused the page to be semi-protected before. That's sockpuppetry, because he keeps doing it and keeps screaming louder and louder, you assume he must be right and his version of reality must be written and he wins.

"For some reason people who spend 40 years learning everything they can about, say, the Peloponnesian War -- and indeed, advancing the body of human knowledge -- get all pissy when their contributions are edited away by Randy in Boise who heard somewhere that sword-wielding skeletons were involved. And they get downright irate when asked politely to engage in discourse with Randy until the sword-skeleton theory can be incorporated into the article without passing judgment." -- Lore Sjöberg

Ben-w 05:45, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Poll on footnotes

You are right about #2. I posted my rsp and modified the proposal accordingly. I don't consider it a procedural vio since it is a trivial issue, and since the same end result will be feasible by the global variable proposal (see comments section). Actually, personally I wouldn't mind if it was dropped alltogether. If I have covered you with the rest of your points too, and you have no other objections, I'd appreciate changing your vote.  NikoSilver  (T) @ (C) 10:09, 9 June 2006 (UTC)


Reverted. I only saw if used improperly, and I (incorrectly) assumed the problem was in the template rather then the page. Prodego talk 00:47, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Where was it used wrongly? Thatcher131 00:50, 10 June 2006 (UTC)


Ok then, I'll go ahead and add the info about the date. --GeorgeMoney T·C 16:28, 11 June 2006 (UTC)


Sorry about that; I was unfamiliar with the process (never done anything on a checkuser before, just AfDs and TfDs). It won't happen again. EVula 18:19, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Hiya, just as a bureaucratic point of order, should Evula's commentary perhaps be moved lower on that page, since the section was already under a "don't modify" rule? I do appreciate Evula's involvement in the matter, but want to make sure that the various evidence chains are kept as clean as possible.  :) --Elonka 19:11, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, that makes sense.  :) Now, if someone did want to comment on the process, or offer additional evidence on the sockpuppet allegation, where should that go at this point, to minimize confusion? --Elonka 20:00, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

RFCU owerflowing

Seems like we need Essjay desperately. Outstanding section is getting larger by the minute. Where is he? Haven't seen him for a while. BTW the Feb archive's nearly done :-). --Srikeit (Talk | Email) 19:11, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Thatcher

Canadian maple leaf 2.jpg
Dear Thatcher/Archive3, thanks so much for your support during my recent successful request for adminship. I really appreciate it. Hope you're enjoying the CheckUser clerking. Take care man -- Samir धर्म 05:37, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Company proxy

Can you do it? The affected user can't do it, and I'm not familiar enough with this bureaucratic stuff. --SPUI (T - C) 11:14, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

My only problem is that I don't see a MacGyvre as a user here...and the edits were to the same types of articles several days apart. If we can check to see if it's a proxy, great, but I don't think we should just take someone's word for it, especially since that someone could be Kurt himself. --Woohookitty(meow) 11:48, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
And it could also be a meatpuppet of Kurt's. Kurt is professing his innocence, but honestly, I don't remember too many people going "Yes, I'm guilty" when it comes to socks. Need more evidence I think. --Woohookitty(meow) 11:53, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Multiple cases for a single user

Hi Thatcher, Voice of All, Kevin & me today were chatting on IRC about how when users have multiple cases & a new one is listed the edit link leads to the older case instead of the current one. VOA found a solution to that problem by using the <onlyinclude> tag & listing the newer cases at the top (see Lightbringer's case). that was what I was trying to do to the JamieAdams case. anyway I'll back off as you seem to be handling the requests. Will you make the necessary correction? Thanks --Srikeit (Talk | Email) 15:00, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

P.S Why don't you join us on IRC? #wikipedia-checkuser-clerks)

Warning for incivility

It is important to keep a cool head, especially when responding to comments against you or your edits. Personal attacks and disruptive comments only escalate a situation; please keep calm and remember that action can be taken against other parties if necessary. Attacking another user back can only satisfy trolls or anger contributors and leads to general bad feeling. Please try to remain civil with your comments. Thanks!
Please refrain from calling other users "a pest" in the future and try to take in the principle of the benefit of the doubt, which can be derived from the policy to assume good faith. Socafan 02:02, 17 June 2006 (UTC)