User talk:Howard C. Berkowitz/Archive 1

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April 2008 - Dec 2008


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Welcome, new editor! We're very glad you've joined us. Here are pointers for a quick start. Also, when you get a chance, please read The Editor Role. You can look at Getting Started for other helpful introductory pages. It is essential for you as an editor to join the Citizendium-Editors (broadcast) mailing list in order to stay abreast of editor-related issues, as well as the mailing list(s) that concern your particular interests. It is also important, for project-wide matters, to join the Citizendium-L (broadcast) mailing list. 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 thank you! We appreciate your willingness to share your expertise, and we hope to see your edits on Recent changes soon. David E. Volk 15:17, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

Howard, your categories are listed on the bottom of your user page. You can still be an author for any category you like and add the appropriate category tag to your home page. I see by your comment that also got fed up with the vandalism at WP. I got sick of making the same corrections repeatedly, with explainations and references, for experiments I know like the back of my hand. You might find CZ:Introduction to CZ for Wikipedians especially helpful also. David E. Volk 15:52, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

Apropos categories

I edited 4 categories into the metadata of an article, but, when coming out of edit mode, only 3 show. Is this a bug in the display code?

Howard, see How to

Howard, all the help you need for equations and many other things are found here:

David E. Volk 15:13, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

The metadata system currently supports a max of 3 categories per article. We can increase it, and there have been suggestions to do so... J. Noel Chiappa 21:40, 15 May 2008 (CDT)


Another Wiki-gee joins the crew, I see! :-) J. Noel Chiappa 12:58, 30 April 2008 (CDT)

Welcome to another WP refugee

Welcome. You can always take your (uncompromised) WP contribution of 2n hacks ago (yes, the number of WP hacks is usually exponential) and start here with that version. Enjoy. --Paul Wormer 09:52, 1 May 2008 (CDT)

Hi Howard, welcome aboard. And don't forget the forums if you need help. This place can be quiet at times but new people keep arriving. It's slowing building momentum. Chris Day 10:17, 1 May 2008 (CDT)


Just so you know Historical examples of military swarming is not a subpage of Swarming (military)‎ it is a different article that goes into more depth in one area. I'll set up and example of related articles at Swarming (military)/Related Articles. For a better example see Biology/Related Articles. Don't worry you'll get there. I'll set up the subpages template at the top of those two articles too. Chris Day 16:20, 2 May 2008 (CDT)

OK I made a start. For the related page subpage we typically use the template {{r|related article}} format. Which wil show a bulleted link to the relate article AND a definition. If the definition is not present you will see a red link. You can click on that red link and write the definition. Note i added a definition blurb for two the related articles that I added to Swarming (military)/Related Articles. i don't know the field well enough to judge the parent and sub topics. That's where you come in. Another option is that you could put your own hierarchy on the page. Really it is up to you. For more information see CZ:Related Articles. Feel free to ask more questions. Chris Day 16:48, 2 May 2008 (CDT)

Great, just saw your edits to Swarming (military)/Related Articles, you're getting the hang of it :) Chris Day 17:02, 2 May 2008 (CDT)


Hi Howard, I noticed your post on Noel Chiappa's user talk page, and then I came to your page. Just want to say I'm delighted you've joined us here. My opinion is, that our networking articles (last time I looked, maybe 3 months ago) could use a complete overhaul. Please just dig in wherever you see a need!Pat Palmer 15:15, 3 May 2008 (CDT)


I saw your note in the Recent Changes. I assume that move was what you wanted. If not, let me know and I can move it back. John Dvorak 19:13, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

I think he was talking about what to do with the template:HIPAA/metadata page once the name was changed. It is easiest to MOVE the template:HIPAA/metadata BEFORE you move the page because it is almost impossible to find after you move the page. I've deleted it for now. --D. Matt Innis 19:52, 3 May 2008 (CDT)
Also notice the HIPAA/Approval page needed to be moved as well. you can then delete the redirects... --D. Matt Innis 19:56, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

Not sure what happened on HIPAA

(copied to my talk page)

I'm not sure what happened. Before I started writing the page, I had searched, but only on the full text of the law, not "HIPAA". When I created metadata, it was for "Health Insurance Portability and Access Act". IIRC, I did at least 2 saves on the lengthy material before getting an edit conflict.
This is only a guess, but I suspect someone else started creating an article under HIPAA while I was writing under the long title, so the edit conflict hit only when we both had created main article text. The metadata probably didn't conflict.
There is a style question here: should articles about laws be named with the short or long title? I'm inclined to do long title, and then a redirect for the well-known abbreviation.

Howard C. Berkowitz 20:09, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

I'm betting that John created that redirect at the same time you were saving. As far as naming, see CZ:Naming conventions (don't forget to look at the talk page) for the rules we have so far. As a sysop/constable, that is all that I can go by, the rest are considered editorial/content decisions and can vary depending on the workgroup and how each wants to handle their particular situations. Your scenario sounds reasonable to me, but if you want to be sure, consider returning to the workgroup home page and leaving a message there - or find an editor and see if you can start a process to create a policy that can be a guideline for future situations. We're still very much in the building stages and your input is very important. You can always drop me a note, too, and I'll do my best to least point you in the right direction! --D. Matt Innis 20:24, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

Yes, I saw your note in the edit summary and took it to mean that you needed help moving a page. I guess I was wrong. My bad. John Dvorak 20:31, 3 May 2008 (CDT)

More subpages

Umm, generally we start subpage names with a capital letter. Also, there are a bunch of predefined subpage types which are predefined system-wide; check out CZ:Subpages (documentation) and Template:Subpage list/Doc for the predefined ones. For those, you don't need to fiddle the metadata - just create them, and they show up in the subpages nav bar. Also, make sure to add {{subpages}} at the top of any new subpage to tie together all the subpages in a cluster.

So I moved BGP/advanced to BGP/Advanced, and renamed /operations to /Operations. (There didn't seem to be a subpage of that name yet.) J. Noel Chiappa 09:16, 4 May 2008 (CDT)

Thanks! It will take a while to converge. Rightly or wrongly, the impression I had from what I had read here was that the metadata page was necessary to make things happen. Howard C. Berkowitz 09:56, 4 May 2008 (CDT)
Can you let me know where you got that impression (about the metadata), and I'll try and improve the documentation? Yes, you do need the metadata to make clusters work, but adding any of the system-wide subpage types to an existing cluster doesn't need any additional tweaking in the metadata. Thanks. J. Noel Chiappa 10:20, 4 May 2008 (CDT)
If I wasn't confused, I'd probably know better what confused me. :-) Seriously, I am going to have to look at it in detail. I have limited time today (job interview tomorrow) and may not be spending much time on this until late Monday or sometime on Tuesday.
Incidentally, is it (I hope) the convention here to keep talk page conversations on one page rather than split between the people in the discussion?
No problem.
I'm not sure we have a convention on that yet. J. Noel Chiappa 11:44, 4 May 2008 (CDT)

Actually, (sorry to butt in but I happened to look in) all article titles are supposed to be lower case unless they are proper nouns. This also includes subpages. Given that the software defaults to upper case I find this silly, but this is the policy that Larry insists on...Martin Baldwin-Edwards 09:59, 4 May 2008 (CDT)

If you look at Template:Subpage list/Doc you'll see that all the pre-defined ones start with a capital letter. I'm at a bit of a loss to explain how this matches up with Larry's preference that you describe - I would have assumed that if the capitalization didn't match his wishes, he'd have said something by now. Anyway, until this gets worked out, probably best to make the per-article ones (which aren't yet policy - Chris just wrote the Proposal for them) uppercase to match. J. Noel Chiappa 10:18, 4 May 2008 (CDT)

Your work here

Just a quick note to say that the articles you've written here are noticed, and the depth and detail they go into are appreciated! (BGP being a prime example) -Eric M Gearhart 00:02, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

def template

As the def template is never used in isolation of the {{r}} template so there is no need to point at the article in the def template. The article link will always be to the left of the colon with the definition to the right. If you add the link to the def template too then it will be appear twice on the related articles subpage. Chris Day 11:23, 6 May 2008 (CDT)

Mysterious blank lines

In most cases, that's exactly right -- I'm inserting a blank space or line. (I hope I'm doing it in such a way that it doesn't mess up the formatting of any articles; if it is messing anything up please let me know and I'll stop!) There seems to be a bug or design flaw or something that keeps articles from appearing in their assigned workgroups' lists of articles, and makes them keep appearing in the "Uncategorized articles" list, even after the metadata template has been created and has been updated to assign the article to a workgroup -- until the main article itself is subsequently updated. So I've been trying to get articles off the "uncategorized articles" page by assigning them a workgroup if necessary, or, if they already have a workgroup assigned, just making a meaningless change to the main article page so that they won't clutter up the "uncategorized articles" list. I suppose a 'bot could do it, but there isn't one, and I am looking at the pages anyway to see if they actually do need to have a category assigned, so as long as I'm there, I figure I might as well do this too. Bruce M.Tindall 13:52, 7 May 2008 (CDT)

Having fun?

You are creating tons of content :) Are you getting more familiar with the subpage quirks? Let me know if there are any problems. I have been tweeking a few things recently so don't be too surprised if you see some differences from day to day. Chris Day 10:15, 9 May 2008 (CDT)

Quirks are a good name. In some cases, I'm less concerned with the exact syntax and more with how to use them. As you've probably gathered, I'm porting over a good deal of content I wrote at Wikipedia, but immediately editing to get out of the blind alleys of their "encyclopedic" (i.e., dull) writing, avoidance of expertise and demand for secondary sources, etc.
It's good that you brought this up now, because I may have a case study for guidance. I ported an article, intelligence collection management. From that article, I extracted some more "researchy" material on the use of ontologies in intelligence, moved it to intelligence collection ontology, and then put a good deal of new material into the latter.
Several questions arise. Should there be an "advanced" tab on the intelligence collection management page, which lists the more bleeding edge examples such as the one on ontology? In both of them, how do I format an annotated bibliography? What is the relationship among "related articles", "advanced", and perhaps links and bibliography?
As you may know, I'm porting, among other things, some specific hierarchies (see, of which I wrote the great majority of content. Ironically, one of my areas of disgust with WP at the moment is that an academic institution has sent students in intelligence to write Wiki articles, which, IMNSHO, just scratch the topics, and made no effort to link to existing content. In one case, I edited/talk paged material on "Analysis of Competing Hypotheses", a method that was developed by a CIA psychologist in the seventies. He resiste my suggestions about there being enhancements that used statistics, formal logic, or data visualization, yet I was able to give 5-6 peer-reviewed citations in about an hour of research.
I may or not port that specific article, or put the cites into the intelligence analysis article I will port. Again, when should some of those links be in a bibliography, and how should they be formatted? Should I redlink-reserved "advanced" articles about them?
This is a dump; you happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. Still, I have a lot of material to bring over or write anew since it didn't fit Wikipedia. Is there a place I should be discussing the outlines of the sets of military and intelligence articles?
I haven't forgotten that I have work on computer networking, where I will be largely writing afresh, hopefully with Noel, at least, reviewing.
Any suggestions are welcome.Howard C. Berkowitz 10:31, 9 May 2008 (CDT)

getting to raw metadata

There are two ways to do it, both from the talk page. You can click the orange M to the right of the subpages template to view the content of the metadata. You can enter edit mode directly from the talk page by clicking the blue text at the top of the subpages template (immediately below the tabs, "To update this checklist edit the metadata template"). We only allow three workgroups as we found it hard to envisage a scenario where more would be required. Maybe yours are such an exception? At present it is hardwired so only three are possible but that does not mean it could not be changed. Chris Day 16:16, 9 May 2008 (CDT)

Intelligence is usually thought of as military, but think of the missions of the CIA. It does a quite significant amount of econometric analysis, uses social science to build personality profiles of key figures (although medical intelligence is part of DIA), analyzes foreign basic research capabilities in a variety of disciplines, etc. An "intelligence" category might imply such a wide scope, especially in combination with another category. For example, what are the right categories for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the U.S. Department of State? It's analyzing foreign politics, while the rest of the department acts on international politics.
Something like WMD proliferation detection draws on a great many scientific disciplines.Howard C. Berkowitz 16:22, 9 May 2008 (CDT)

Possible biodiesel article?

Howard, in response to your posting on my talk page, my candid opinion is that the article you propose would have a very narrow audience and very little appeal outside of that audience. After all, how many commercial fishermen are going to visit an online encyclopedia?

I would suggest that an article devoted to biodiesel in general (what it is, how it is produced, where it can be used, some history, some usage statistics, etc.) would have a much wider audience. In that article, your idea about fishing boats and restaurants might be included in the section on where biodiesl can be used. Regards, - Milton Beychok 17:29, 9 May 2008 (CDT)

Article titles

What resources are you drawing on in deciding what to use for article titles? (The reason that I ask is that with all the subpages, it's a pain to rename articles here, so it's best to get the right up front.) Are you following USG standards, or what? This isn't my area of expertise, so I don't know what the standards are. J. Noel Chiappa 11:01, 10 May 2008 (CDT)

Unfortunately, there really are no standards, which I agree should exist. The USG isn't consistent. I suppose I've been using the versions that are most natural to me, but that's clearly not rigorous. Howard C. Berkowitz 11:04, 10 May 2008 (CDT)
Howard, the CZ standard is that only the first word is capitalized, unless the phrase would always be capitalized, because it is a proper name or business name, for example. Thus, articles like Transmission Protocol should be named Transmission protocol. Note all of the definition examples immediately under this section as being good standard naming convensions. David E. Volk 14:47, 13 May 2008 (CDT)
We don't have a Transmission Protocol article. We do have a Transmission Control Protocol article, and that's where it is because it is always capitalized that way, because that's the formal name of one particular protocol. J. Noel Chiappa 15:16, 13 May 2008 (CDT)


Check these are OK after my edits ( I removed the articles name from the definitions). This is because they are usually used in the context of the {{R}} template that is used on related articles subpages. This is the usual location for these definitions, so in the R template as follows:

{{r|Radar intercept receiver}}
{{r|Radar warning receiver}}
{{r|Radio intercept receiver}}
{{r|Fluid catalytic cracking}}

The appearance on the related articles page is as follows.

  • Radar intercept receiver [r]: detects and categorizes an impinging signal to the level needed for radar identification and selecting countermeasures. [e]
  • Radar warning receiver [r]: allows detection of a radar that potentially might be able to sense the platform carrying the receiver, but does not give detailed characterization of the radar signal, as needed for electronic intelligence. [e]
  • Radio intercept receiver [r]: can receive arbitrary radio signals with sufficient detail to characterize the radio type, record communications for analysis, or plan countermeasures. [e]
  • Fluid catalytic cracking [r]: A petroleum refining process that cracks the large hydrocarbon molecules in the portion of the petroleum crude oil boiling above 340 °C into lower boiling, more valuable high octane gasoline and olefinic gases. [e]
  • Pump [r]: A device used to move fluids, such as liquids or slurries, from a lower pressure to a higher pressure adding energy to the system to overcome the difference in pressure. [e]

Red links mean there is no article while a blue link means there is an article. Not shown here, but a purple link means the article is a redirect or does not have a subpages format. You can also use the {{rpl}} template that will show a pictogram indicating the status of the articles that exist. This latter template will be used primarily on the workgroup pages or on user pages. It is a useful tool for tracking the progress of articles.

  • Radar intercept receiver: detects and categorizes an impinging signal to the level needed for radar identification and selecting countermeasures. [e]
  • Stub Radar warning receiver: allows detection of a radar that potentially might be able to sense the platform carrying the receiver, but does not give detailed characterization of the radar signal, as needed for electronic intelligence. [e]
  • Radio intercept receiver: can receive arbitrary radio signals with sufficient detail to characterize the radio type, record communications for analysis, or plan countermeasures. [e]
  • Developed Article Fluid catalytic cracking: A petroleum refining process that cracks the large hydrocarbon molecules in the portion of the petroleum crude oil boiling above 340 °C into lower boiling, more valuable high octane gasoline and olefinic gases. [e]
  • Developing Article Pump: A device used to move fluids, such as liquids or slurries, from a lower pressure to a higher pressure adding energy to the system to overcome the difference in pressure. [e]

I hope this helps to clarify the role of the definitions. Chris Day 00:19, 12 May 2008 (CDT)

Just so you know the {{R}} template has become a lot more flexible with regard to formatting. Check out Template:R/Doc for more information. Chris Day 14:43, 20 May 2008 (CDT)

Locators and identifiers

Sorry, missed this in all the goings-on. I'm not a good writer, and don't have anything finished to point you at. The best thing is Saltzer's original paper (now available as RFC-1498), and some of the things it references (e.g. Shoch's IEN). I have that 'endpoints' paper, which is more complete and thorough than Saltzer's but it's (still!) a draft. J. Noel Chiappa 09:19, 13 May 2008 (CDT)

No problem. My inclination is to create an "advanced" (or other tab) article to which IPv4 and especially IPv6 point, which talks about some of the theory behind addressing and routing: identifiers and locators, address resolution, and route aggregation. A separate article might discuss naming and addressing, possibly the first as a DNS tutorial under the addressing and routing main articles, with perhaps an advanced article on things such as DNS-based load distribution. Somewhat apropos of the latter, I'm getting ready to put up an article about end-to-end (OSI transport) protocols, with subarticles ("advanced" tag?) about tunneling and midboxes.
Anyone else likely to be interested in such things?Howard C. Berkowitz 09:38, 13 May 2008 (CDT)

Moving clusters

When you move a cluster, don't forget to move all the subpages; I got Transmission Control Protocol/Definition for you. For extra credit, you can tag all the left-behind redirects with {{speedydelete|unneeded after rename}}. I see you created new Metadata and Approval subpages; that's fine in this case, since there was nothing of any import in their histories, but for other pages, you will need to move them (to save the history), not create new ones, of course. Yes, this is clunky; we need a MediaWiki upgrade to do it all automatically, but we have no MediaWiki hackers, it seems. J. Noel Chiappa 13:48, 13 May 2008 (CDT)

Re: Still Laughing...

Haha yes I didn't see it that way.. a roomful of officers with "jitters" after hearing the news would be pretty funny to see -Eric M Gearhart 18:48, 13 May 2008 (CDT)

Internet protocol suite

I'd go with Internet protocol suite for that one. As far as I know, the term was never formally defined/used, it's just one we use to describe the 'protocol suite' (which is a fairly well-known term). I'd always cap the Internet because that stands for either i) the protocol suite based on the Internet Protocol (PUP was an internet protocol), or ii) the protocol suite used on the Internet. Either way, it gets caps. Sorry this is all so seemingly arbitrary... :-( J. Noel Chiappa 19:43, 13 May 2008 (CDT)

As you say, it's arbitrary. For that matter, some people would say Internet protocol suite only for protocols that connect to the public Internet, while protocols in an intranet would be internet protocol suite, or perhaps since it's their internet (catenet), it should be the Intranet internet protocol suite. :-)
To clarify, the internet protocol suite is really the list of protocols, not an abstraction.
AFAIK, it's not written down anywhere in a standards track RFC, but there's a lot of well-defined IETF things that aren't written down anywhere. Believe me, after spending a number of years of my life dealing with OSI purists, this is a Good Thing (yes, capitalized).
As a more serious thing, I would tend to capitalize Internet Protocol Reference Model, although I'm not sure RFC1122 actually uses that language. In the real world, however, so many newbies come out of "education" believing in the Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model, which is definitely written out in ISO 7498, that I believe "equal-time" capitalization for the IETF informal model is a good start on getting them reoriented to the way networks actually work. Whether or not formal education improves the judgment of constables is one thing, but those educational programs that still emphasize the OSIRM, do not discuss OSI amendments such as the Internal Structure of the Network Layer, and try to coerce Internet protocols into the OSIRM, come out with worse technical judgment. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:54, 13 May 2008 (CDT)
Err, my point was that if I were discussing the Internet protocol suite, the list of protocols, not an abstraction, I would cap the "Internet" but not the rest (for the reasons given above), but you didn't above - not sure if that was a typo. So I would consider use of "internet protocol suite" to be incorrect, unless used in a sentence like 'for the company's internet, we have settled on TCP/IP as the internet protocol suite' - and even then I think that would more likely be given as 'internet's protocol suite'. I understand the concept of 'internet protocol suite' (the protocol suite used on an internet), but I have a hard time coming up with a sentence that would use it - most want to go with 'internet's'.
As to Internet Protocol Reference Model, I'm not too familiar with that, so I defer to your knowledge there. (Although you have an excellent point about the Procrustean attempts of some to map the Internet protocol suite into the 7 layer model - it's definitely not an exact match! I generally just give up and add another whole layer, 'internet', between 'network' and 'transport', rather than splitting 'network' into sublayers - the notion that the 'internetwork' layer does things in a system-wide way is I think important enough to warrant a whole new layer. Plus to which some of our more advanced work is starting to split the internet layer into sub-layers - if it's already a sub-layer of network it just gets too hairy.) J. Noel Chiappa 21:19, 13 May 2008 (CDT)
The uncapped "i" was cynical rather than a typo.
To truly be hairy, you need recursion and tunneling. IIRC, I once had a stack that started with an SONET physical entity, put ATM with AAL5 on top of that, ran 802.3 LANE with 802.2 MAC, IP on top of that, UDP on top of that, L2TP over UDP, another IP on top of that, TCP, and GRE over the TCP, carrying IP of a different address family.
Throwing something like that at someone convinced there are seven deadly sins...layers! I mean layers! something like taking a gently reared teenager and throwing them into the shock phase of Marine boot camp. With luck, you get their attention, but a certain number will continue to go through the protocol version of epicycles, insisting BGP is a session layer protocol because it rides inside TCP. The fact that the OSI Management Framework appendix to the OSIRM, ISO 7498/4, speaks clearly of Layer Management, where the associated layer has to do with the payload, not the delivery mechanism, has never been presented to them in their simplified textbooks. If it's not in their book, it must, of course, not exist.
If one is lucky, eventually they have an epiphany, perhaps, given layered looks in fashion, analogous to my epiphany at age 11 or so: the other gender is naked under its clothes. That's what we need, Noel. Naked protocols.Howard C. Berkowitz 21:52, 13 May 2008 (CDT)
You lost me with all the acronyms and then I thought you were talking about the seven deadly lawyers (an understandable misreading on my part I'm sure you'll agree). Then you had me wondering why the supreme court had lost two members. But then i get to the textbook comment, at last I can relate. Students do find it hard to believe that text books can be oversimplified, inaccurate and even wrong. Once you've been in the game a while one realises it is the norm. Chris Day 13:09, 15 May 2008 (CDT)
If it is any help, I do have a paper where I equated the seven layers, not lawyers, to the seven deadly sins. Perhaps I should create an article, "theology and networking reference models"? There are surprising parallels: ask any audience to name the Seven Deadly Sins, and everyone first thinks of Lust. That certainly is relevant, since the OSI Physical Layer does specify how to plug things in. Matters are much more nuanced with Pride and Sloth.
Unfortunately, I have not found a useful pedagogical model (can I say pedagogical here without the Academic Union Card?) that makes effective use of the Seven Dwarves, other than to suggest that writing the understandable document was assigned to Snow White just as she bit into the magic apple. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:42, 15 May 2008 (CDT)

linking to subpages from article

Have a look at the Life article. While not really worked out Tony Seb has linked from the main page to an addendum subpage (see Life#Supplementary_text). Chris Day 12:59, 15 May 2008 (CDT)

[[ Army ]]

Howard - appreciate the edits, but yes the M-4 is a shoulder fired weapon (I've held one in my hands). There's a Sherman tank designated M4 but that's a different weapon (are you thinking of this?. See US Army FactFiles: M-4 Carbine for many gory details -Eric M Gearhart 20:19, 15 May 2008 (CDT)

Sorry, didn't mean that to be taken seriously; I know the M-4 is a shorter-barreled variant of the M-16. The U.S., however, does an amazing job of making designations confusing. Soviet doctrine went to the other extreme, with an idea that some say came from Stalin himself. Take the U.S., for example, and think of asking for 120mm ammunition, not necessarily having the exact model number. You might get mortar rounds or APFSDS rounds for the Abrams main gun.
It turns out that the Soviet system of calibers has several nuances. There are some cases, such as their 82mm mortar, where they want to be able to use captured 81mm ammunition but not vice versa. More broadly, however, they make a practice of not using the same caliber for more than one kind of weapon, or otherwise disambiguating if there were technical reasons that the same caliber was needed for different weapons. Russian 120mm is always tank main gun, while 122mm is always howitzer. As a disambiguation, when one of their multiple launch rockets happened to need to be 122mm (I don't know the engineering), it was never, never called 122mm ammunition; it was called GRAD ammunition.
How many different things has the U.S. designated as M1? This seems to be unique to the Army; Navy weapons designations, if anything, are superfine grained (5"/54 naval gun, Mark X, Mod Y). Howard C. Berkowitz 20:35, 15 May 2008 (CDT)
Wow well that was cool... I was thinking I was pointing something out and ended up learning a slice of Military history :)
I had no idea about Stalinist Soviet strategies with regards to their ammunition.... and yes the Army name designations do get confusing. To this day I don't know why they aren't more specific (and less ambiguous) with their designations (and I was in the Army myself!) -Eric M Gearhart 12:24, 16 May 2008 (CDT)
My mother was in the Navy in WWII, but was then involuntarily direct-commissioned into the Army for Korea, and stayed in the reserve. She was named Pearl Berkowitz. Just that. The Army doesn't do well with no middle name, so, officially, she was Pearl (NMI) Berkowitz. Of course, everyone in her unit pronounced NMI as "enemy", until they got distracted.
The distraction was a good old boy named R B Jones. Just like Harry S Truman, the initial wasn't an abbreviation, but what was on his birth certificate. For Army purposes, he became R(only) B(only) Jones. At mail call, the clerk loved to call out "Jones! Roooooonnnnnnly Booooonnely Jones!" Howard C. Berkowitz 13:17, 16 May 2008 (CDT)


Have noticed you've been very busy since you started here; good to see it! Hadn't welcomed you before this so thought I should but in now. Denis Cavanagh 20:40, 15 May 2008 (CDT)

Thanks! I just hope there's critical mass; while I still do a few things at WP, the gameplaying is such that I'm increasingly looking for a new home. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:17, 15 May 2008 (CDT)
We'll see (about the critical mass). I know there are a lot of people out there who've given up on WP, and if we can create a superior environment for the accretion of knowledge online, we should be able to recruit a lot of them (since they are clearly into the basic concept of helping with that, just didn't like the implementation at WP). J. Noel Chiappa 21:21, 15 May 2008 (CDT)
I've been doing some recruiting there. Ironically, the people that tend to be most interested, so far, are in the Military History Project, who tend to be much more rational than in some areas.
From last October on, I did a large amount of work beating the CIA articles out of being a collection of unsourced tinfoil hat allegations, with even real sins not mentioned. This took some significant diplomacy, but developing a hierarchy of related articles seemed to help a lot -- people were more willing to look at a questionable allegation when it wasn't snarled with so much other material. Ironically, the no original research, no original synthesis worked against both sides of CIA-as-Dark-Force and CIA-as-Clowns (with a competent area in the middle) -- it wasn't possible to make an unsourced hypothesis, but it was possible to state the two (or more) sides well enough that a reasonable reader could make personal decisions.
One of the subarticles was to break up the areas of the world into regions, regions which happen to mirror the way CIA is organized for geographical problems. Regional worked well much of the time, especially when there were region-level formal intelligence estimates, and also where there were regional border and cross-border conflicts with a probable dose of covert action. One individual, who acts a bit boldly for my taste, asked me if I had any objection for going one level down, for countries that had more material than really fit in the region. That seemed reasonable.
He interpreted that, however, to take every single country, at least wikilinked, and put it in its own article. One unfortunate consequence was that some countries, in isolation, were little more than stubs. When one fair-minded individual asked me today if I minded folding DRC into "Congo Crisis", I had to say I no longer cared. At the stub granularity it made sense, but as soon as things started moving out of the CIA hierarchy, the hierarchical information organization would be starting on a slide to collapse. In principle, I could boldly put 100 or so countries back into regional articles, but, with no assurance the problem won't recur, I have no motivation to bother. Most of the things I'm doing there, and I'm not sure why, is reverting near-constant vandalism. I do enjoy answering specific and substantive questions.
CZ has a few issues of its own, but at least they are being discussed openly and with personal accountability. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:34, 15 May 2008 (CDT)
Ref "reverting near-constant vandalism" - talk about bailing out the ocean with a spoon! Why they don't get a clue and just disable anon edits (they might have needed it when they had 2K articles, but with 2M, come on) I'll never know.
I hear ya about the CIA stuff. I didn't deal in that side much, but I know a fair amount about the KGB/GRU penetrations in the US, and so spent quite a while arguing with the committed people who seemed to think that e.g. Elizabeth Bentley was fake drummed up by the McCarthyists (heck, the KGB's own files, which were examined for 'Haunted Wood' show she was an agent!), etc, etc. At a certain point you just throw up your hands. J. Noel Chiappa 22:23, 15 May 2008 (CDT)


See Talk:Clandestine_human-source_intelligence_and_covert_action. Director article seems a-okay. --Robert W King 13:38, 17 May 2008 (CDT)

user template

Howard, check out this link to the user page template to keep your information up to date. --D. Matt Innis 22:50, 17 May 2008 (CDT)

I added your user template and the military workgroup. You can put these on a different page if you want. For instructions on adding other workgroups, see step 6 --D. Matt Innis 00:38, 18 May 2008 (CDT)

WPAuthor template

Hi, that template takes arguments; the first should be whatever text you want (but see Template:WPAuthor if you want to like to a specific version on Wikipedia); the second should be ~~~~ to sign. J. Noel Chiappa 15:03, 23 May 2008 (CDT)

Duplicate articles

See Precision-guided munition‎ and Precision guided munition‎. Always a good idea to do lots of redirs as you start a new article (alternate caps, hyphens etc) which will reveal these kinds up front. J. Noel Chiappa 07:07, 24 May 2008 (CDT)

Metadata pages

Howard, could you fill in the metadata pages completely? This will saves us all time later so we don't need to edit the page once more. You have been leaving out the "check category" variable (set to "n" unless you want someone to doublecheck your category choices. Also set the underlinked = "n" unless you think you have not wikilinked enough.


David E. Volk 14:47, 25 May 2008 (CDT)

Done. I thought those fields defaulted to N. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:16, 25 May 2008 (CDT)

Just wondering

Noticed you've been writing articles on some of the Arabic countries. I'm interested in the same area-would you be interested in some kind of collaboration or coordination? Steven Clark Bennett 21:50, 25 May 2008 (CDT)

What did you have in mind? While I do know some in detail -- well, Sudan, and then we can get into a whole argument if it is Arab -- I've been coming at them from an intelligence and special operations standpoint, rather than area studies. So, I might be a better person to check things, or perhaps write on their military and intelligence relationships.
It's certainly worth exploring. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:08, 25 May 2008 (CDT)
I'm more interested in the history and culture, so maybe we could fill out different sections of the articles, or something like that. I'm going to start on Syria next, if you want to help with that. Steven Clark Bennett 11:24, 26 May 2008 (CDT)
Oh, and to answer your question, I covered a lot of the Lebanon-Hezbollah-Syria relationship in the article I wrote on Lebanon, I'll give it minimum coverage in my Syria article (which I have an outline for now-I'll try and fill some of it out over the next few days). You're welcome to go over to Lebanon and improve what I wrote. Steven Clark Bennett 18:43, 26 May 2008 (CDT)


Just a reminder to create lots of redirects when you start an article - alternate capitalizations, hyphens, anything you can think of. This will also save you from starting a duplicate to something someone else has already written on. Thanks! J. Noel Chiappa 13:14, 27 May 2008 (CDT)


I've been trying my hand at a complex disambiguation page MAC, and I used Mac as a form of apple fruit. Are we consistent?

As far as I'm concerned, I just happened on apple and saw that it didn't have a definition. Seems to me that if we place the modifier after apple (Apple Macintosh, Apple II, Apple Newton) for products of the Apple Corporation and before apple (mcintosh apple, red delicious apple,crab apple) for the fruit, we should be O.K.-Derek Hodges 15:03, 27 May 2008 (CDT)
'just remembered, the apple is McIntosh-not Macintosh-Derek Hodges 16:34, 27 May 2008 (CDT)
Really, these are commonly confused words. We should redirect Macintosh apple to Mcintosh apple.-Derek Hodges 17:03, 27 May 2008 (CDT)
Hi, I finally had time to look at MAC. It looks basically OK, but I moved it to MAC (disambiguation), in line with the disambiguation mechanics proposal. As to the actual text in the page, I think Larry had a concept that we'd just list articles, not give a line of text about each. That part of disambiguation policy isn't done yet, alas. J. Noel Chiappa 10:59, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
No problem for the move, although I'd like to see some flexibility for supplementary text. There isn't always a need, but, for example, MAC (computers) is still ambiguous [Well, Mac and MAC]. Howard C. Berkowitz 12:23, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
I hear you about the supplementary text. One idea is to use {{R}} to list the entries, which would automatically show the definitions.
As to "MAC (computers)", would anyone link to that, or try and look it up? The articles would be at Project MAC and Apple MacIntosh, right - i.e. neither one would normally be at MAC (computers). J. Noel Chiappa 14:08, 4 June 2008 (CDT)
Too many people think of all of computing as "PCs" and "MACs." A layman may not even think it's "Apple" Macintosh, anymore than they assume PC is Dell or Gateway. You and I know Apple has a closed hardware architecture, but we aren't the ones that would be looking up the definition. Thinking of many introductory networking courses I've taught, I'd be surprised if 5% of the newbies have heard of Project MAC. More would know about Medium Access Control.
Linking to definitions makes very good sense, such that we don't have slightly different definitions on several disambiguation pages.Howard C. Berkowitz 14:20, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

CNO list

Well, it could go to a catalog subpage. In this case I used one of the tab fields to define an article specific tab. In that way it is a bit more descriptive than a mystery tab called Catalog. i hope that is OK? Any general subpage such as Timelines or Catalogs can be started from the talk page. See the top of the page and you'll see a section titled unused subpages. Take your pick, click on the blue link and it creates the page. Such a page will automatically appear as a tab at the top of the page. Does this make sense? i hope the CNO's tab is appropriate? Chris Day 22:56, 28 May 2008 (CDT)

Re "Grace period" for initial posting of a new article

Howard, the simplest and best way to avoid having other editors revise articles that you are still working on is to create your own personal sandbox and work on your articles in that sandbox until you are satisfied with them. Then create the new article and cut/paste from your sandbox to the new article. I do that with all the new articles that I create. - Milton Beychok 23:59, 30 May 2008 (CDT)


Formation (ground military forces)‎ and Military formation (ground) - are these the same, and if so, why do we have two separate articles? J. Noel Chiappa 22:02, 31 May 2008 (CDT)

I thought I got rid of all the first one. Delete any "Formation" you see. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:33, 31 May 2008 (CDT)
Umm, they appear to have basically the same content, but Formation (ground military forces)‎ appears to have the history; Military formation (ground) appears to be something you created with (basically) a cut-and-paste move from there?
So should I get the histories of the two merged at Military formation (ground), is what you are saying? J. Noel Chiappa 16:09, 1 June 2008 (CDT)
Pretty much. When I started crosslinking, especially to subheadings, the first title led to ambiguities. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:32, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

Reply to Pathology, Disease Forum Question

In reply to your question on the forum, I am in favor of one (or multiple) separate article for diseases and one separate article for the pathogen. In the pathogen article, I think it appropriate to have subsections on the various types of pathology the pathogen causes, even getting in to the pathophysiological mechanisms and a short summary of the diseases. However, I think it is more appropriate to then link to the article of the disease so that more details can be added from the clinical standpoint. Although, clinical information can also appear in the pathogen article too. I am in favor of some repetitive information that flows together, then bits of info only in one place, and more in information only in the other. Tom Kelly 14:23, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

The drafts on your user page look great! I can't wait to have some reliable disease articles. Eventually, Citizendium will be a real hit with medical students. Currently thousands of medical students worldwide use wikipedia for quick reference for diseases and medical vocabulary. And a lot of medical students add to the articles. If we are smart enough to start putting in Differential Diagnosis in all of our disease articles... wow, that will be huge.

Another thing I just thought of, have you seen the articles on the Eduzendium (spelling?) project on microbiology topics?

Now that it is no longer a school project, we can tweak these articles. Once I have some more time, I plan on adding things here and there.

One other thing. I think it would be useful to go to wikipedia'sarticles on various diseases and pathogens and link to the CZ articles. Then, maybe we can attract some medical students to add to our articles. But maybe we should do that after we beef up our articles more.

The other thing that wikipedia does that I really like, is they link articles. I think we should consider doing that for our disease articles as well. Hope all is well and keep up the good work! Tom Kelly 20:12, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

Check out the template at the upper right corner of the wikipedia article that links to e-medicine article and others. Tom Kelly 20:14, 1 June 2008 (CDT)


Do you have affiliation with a library or institution that has an subscription? I highly recommend that you check out the disease articles there. Tom Kelly 20:33, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

Robbins and Goljan

I also like Robins Pathologic Basis of Disease, Robins Basic Pathology, and Goljan's Rapid Review Pathology texts. Tom Kelly 20:44, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

Harrisons and Cecils

These also amazing. If you are affiliated with a library or institution, they can be accessed online through Tom Kelly 20:44, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

biological warfare emedicine article

thought you might like this article: Tom Kelly 23:00, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

(I'll copy on your page as well). There are also some good articles on Medscape, as well, of course, as a huge military as well as medical area. Before the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions, I was the only person at Bunker-Ramo Defense Systems who knew anything about microbiology or toxicity, so I used to be the staff person monitoring it. In recent years, I did some designs of WMD detection labs as part of proposals for mobile disaster hospitals.
The whole area deserves an article(s); I happen to think it is useful to have a biological warfare article that deals with the policies, military doctrines, etc., as it was viewed by nation-states, another article on biological weapons, and a third on bioterrorism. Putting the issue of resources aside, there are quite a few differences in how a nation-state and a terrorist group would use biological weapons. I might be able to put some time on this next week; the next few days are going to be moving boxes, occasionally giving a presentation, and aching a lot.Howard C. Berkowitz 23:07, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

Approval nomination for United States Environmental Protection Agency

Howard, thanks for your comments on the subject article's Talk page. See that Talk page for my positive response to your points. - Milton Beychok 09:36, 7 June 2008 (CDT)

Howard, Richard Jensen has suggested on the Talk page that the article be nominated for approval now ... and after it has been approved, the resulting draft version can always be improved by adding additional material. Since neither Richard Jensen or I cannot nominate the article because we wrote it, would you be willing to nominate it now ... and then later add the content that you think is needed? Richards Jensen's aforementioned suggestion on the Talk page is available here. Regards, Milton Beychok 22:41, 12 June 2008 (CDT)
Howard, thanks for agreeing to nominate the article. As for how to do that, read CZ:Approval Process. I will also ask Noel Chiappaa to help you, if needed. Thanks again, Milton Beychok 10:30, 13 June 2008 (CDT)
Howard, good job on the ToApprove process. You need to put a day to be approved in the "date:" in the metadata template or it will keep changing the date to 3 days from the currently current date... which means it will never get approved ;-) --D. Matt Innis 07:51, 16 June 2008 (CDT)

Battle of Britain

Howard, I think you're wrong not to want the V-1 and V-2 in the lede -- at least if you are mentioning cruise missiles and ballastic ones. This isn't a school exercise for the student to learn by doing, ie, clicking on links, etc. I think everything should be explicit. Obviously I'm an old geezer who grew up *hearing* about V-1s and V-2s all of my early years. So I had to stop and *think* momentarily about what you were actually saying in that paragraph before it dawned on me -- I think that people today have images in their heads of what cruise missiles are, and ballastic ones also, and whereas the V-weapons obviously fit those categories, once it is pointed out, I think it's confusing, or even a disservice, not to make it clear right from the start exactly what you're talking about. The difficulty for someone like you in writing about subjects like this is the same for me writing about certain aspects of tennis or cooking -- we know too much about the subjects! It's therefore difficult, sometimes, to know what to put in, and where, and what to omit, or what to put in later in an organized manner. I am, of course, blown away by all of the knowlegeable stuff that you have been contributing and hope that you keep it up until we have 2 million articles or so! Cheerio, as the RAF guys with the jaunty mustaches would have said.... Hayford Peirce 12:52, 17 June 2008 (CDT)

I appreciate your points, although I don't know if I'm fully in agreement with you on all of them. (And I am cognizant of the enormous arguments you had with Prof. Jensen about essentially this same thing [was it the CIA article?].) For me, however, to mention missiles and rockets in the first paragraph without identifying them would be akin to writing an article about the Japanese surrender as "they surrendered to an American general on a battleship in a harbor" instead of "they surrendered to General Douglas MacArthur on the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Harbor" or whatnot. As writer, not only of fiction, but also of term papers etc. at school, I always learned, "Be specific, be specific, be specific!" And these two V-weapons are absolutely seminal in the history of warfare, technology, modern science, etc. etc. They *have* to be identified! Hayford Peirce 18:29, 17 June 2008 (CDT)

I didn't realize you were an editor

I just saw your most recent comment on Guantanamo detention camp.

  1. I still consider myself a newbie here.
  2. I am on record as committing myself to fully respecting the Citizendium's editor/author hierarchy.

So, I'd like to back up, and be more deferential, because I simply had no idea you were the subject field expert for Military topics. George Swan 23:31, 24 June 2008 (CDT)


The WW2 Luftwaffe needs an article. Are you planning one or should I work on it/ Richard Jensen 16:53, 25 June 2008 (CDT)

Chief of Staff of the Army

It looks as if the introductory part of "Chief of Staff of the Army" was cut-and-pasted from the article on the CNO but a few of the naval references didn't get changed. It says that the Chief of Staff is the highest army officer unless the chairman of the JCS is a "naval officer" (should be "army"?), and that the "CNO reports to the Sec. of the Army" (should be "Chief of Staff of the Army reports to..."?). I didn't change these because I don't know for sure what the "right answers" are, and anyway, in a large and tradition-bound organization like the U.S. military (or Citizendium?), who knows, maybe there *is* some reason that the CNO would report to the Secretatry of the Army. To confuse the Rooskie spies, maybe. :-) Bruce M.Tindall 14:35, 26 June 2008 (CDT)

AAF histories

don't miss AAF official histories Richard Jensen 17:19, 26 June 2008 (CDT)

more details

I knew I had seen some higher resolution images of the cannons on the AC-130, so I took the liberty of looking for some.

(PD) Photo: Andy M. Kin / USAF
105mm and 40mm cannon being loaded on an AC130.
(PD) Photo: Gary Emery / USAF
30mm cannon being loaded on an AC130.

I created a stub for AC-47 as well.

Over on that other big wiki, prior to the assistance of templates, I used to try to put both the URL of the page where I found the image, and the URL of the image. The templates only ask for one URL. I choose to put the URL of the page now. Not the URL of the Image.

Someone here posted the URL of a site that archives (some) pages. And, if I think an image is important, and might disappear, I use that archiving service.

Cheers! George Swan 18:59, 26 June 2008 (CDT)


DNS is not my area of expertise, so I will probably not be able to correct you regarding content. However, it is nice to hear that my other correction help. :-) Alexander Wiebel 12:19, 4 July 2008 (CDT)

Viet Nam

Did you get the Vietnam/Viet Nam situation figured out? D. Matt Innis 19:21, 14 July 2008 (CDT) Given my speedydelete request, I didn't want to confuse the constabulary.
Can you delete Army of the Republic of Viet Nam, and, once you've done that, would I break anything by move Army of the Republic of Vietnam to the presumably empty Army of the Republic of Viet Nam?

Howard C. Berkowitz 19:37, 14 July 2008 (CDT)

That's why I asked! I wanted to make sure I got it right :-) I think I fixed it. Let me know if it is not the way you wanted it, I can always restore things if you need. D. Matt Innis 20:41, 14 July 2008 (CDT)
Less filling, tastes great. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:45, 14 July 2008 (CDT)

web browsers for unix

Howard, what free web browser would you recommend for running on an SGI unix (not Linux!) box? David E. Volk 12:14, 18 July 2008 (CDT)

I don't know, but let me do some checking; I have to think of who I know that uses SGI. Surprisingly, the Answers section of LinkedIn is a good place for such information; while I don't use "social networks" in the common sense, I look at LinkedIn as more of a dynamic data base. Howard C. Berkowitz 13:20, 18 July 2008 (CDT) (copied to your user page)

Bullets with {{R}}

Howard, see this section with many examples of using bullets with the R template. The instructions you were following before are a little outdated. In general loo for the documentation that is associated with the template itself, that should be the most recent version (although I can't promise 100%). Chris Day 18:26, 18 July 2008 (CDT)

See this edit. Chris Day 18:43, 18 July 2008 (CDT)

i saw your experiments. What is the indenting format you are trying to obtain? Chris Day 19:05, 18 July 2008 (CDT)

Nothing too specific, just the ability to show one line as subordinate to another. I don't have any real preference as far as appearance as long as the concept of categories, subcategories, and sub-subcategories. (if you really want to see something confusing, see my most recent post to the military forum). Incidentally, where do you want me to respond? Howard C. Berkowitz 20:10, 18 July 2008 (CDT)
Either works. If you just want to indent without a bullet use "::" not "*::", at least for what you currently have. If you want to indent with bullets then us "**" not "*::". You can remove the default bullet by add "||}}" on the end instead of "}}" For example:

{{r|Fish}} gives:


{{r|Fish||}} gives:

Fish [r]: Any aquatic vertebrate animal that is typically ectothermic (or cold-blooded), covered with scales, and equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired fins. [e]

Chris Day 01:55, 19 July 2008 (CDT)


Howard, thanks for the commentary on the Smartphone article. I have found that quite a few people have never had to stop and think about the fact the traditional landline phones, cellular phones, and "softphones" (VOIP) are three completely different underlying technologies. As a result of your comments, I modified the article a little bit to clarify that they are talking about "cellular" smartphones. Hope that satisfies yours concerns. On another topic: I seem to recall the "convergence", back in the 1980's around Bell Labs, meant the blurring of packet-switched internet tech with circuit-switched telephony (a much narrower definition than people are using the "convergence" in the larger world these days). Nothing stays the same in this world, not even definitions!Pat Palmer 00:36, 22 July 2008 (CDT)

Re: Structure of Yugoslav Wars may be useful elsewhere

Hi Howard, I'm not too much of an expert in the field. I've started Yugoslav wars just because I've noticed there was no article on this important topic, because I had personal experience related to these wars and because for Citizendium users it's still better to have a couple of lines of information than none.

Nevertheless, let me express some general thoughts about article names. I agree that we should not use code names due to obscurity and/or non-neutrality. Moreover, we should avoid as much as possible any names coined by the involved parties. Such names are inherently subjected to biased and non-neutral perception of the events. The involved parties inevitably have a non-neutral view, if this was not the case then there would be no ground for a conflict in the first place. Although it is a common situation that people of one or all involved sides sincerely believe to have a neutral and balanced view on the situation, the history shows that this is very seldom (if ever) the case. For this reason, names such as Iraqi freedom are not suitable for article names, as they in the best case obscure some aspects of the usually complex nature of armed conflicts on the account of emphasizing the others. However, various code names and public names should be mentioned somewhere inside the articles, including some notes about the contexts in which particular names emerged and were used. I also think that creating redirection pages for various names commonly used for particular conflicts is a good practice.

To continue with article names, we should try to use names that are unambiguous, descriptive, short and commonly used in those parts of the world that are relatively neutral with regard to a specific conflict. We should for most of the time avoid names that are used by directly involved parties or in countries that are indirectly involved or have a strong economic, political or other interest in the conflict.The problem is that for recent historical events we usually don't have uniformly used names, so we end up with finding the best possible compromise. In the case of armed conflicts, it is usually a good practice to include geographical terms that best describe the location of the conflict. If this itself doesn't result in an unambiguous identification, it is reasonable to add something that specifies the time frame of the conflict or maybe its nature (but in such a way that neutrality is not questionable).

As an example, the term 'Yugoslav wars' unambiguously describes a set of conflicts the article refers to, so there is really no need to use something as 'Wars after disintegration of SFRY (1991-2001)'. On the other hand, one could argue that the term 'Yugoslav wars' is misleading and inaccurate. The referred conflicts took place after some parts of Yugoslavia had proclaimed independence, and most of them did not happen on the territory that could be called Yugoslavia at the time they occurred. Something like 'Wars on the territory of former SFRY' would be more accurate but probably too complicated. One can not expect somebody looking for information about these wars to type in such a long phrase in the navigation bar. Another possibility would be to use the term 'War in the Balkans'. However, this term would be ambiguous since there were wars commonly referred to as 'Balkan wars' in 1912-1913. The term could also make people assume that the conflicts occurred in a larger area of the Balkans, while they were actually limited to the territory of the former SFRY. Finally, the term 'Yugoslav wars' seems to be a relatively good compromise. Only the contents of the article can make things more precise, e.g. it can be seen that the subject of the article is not simply a civil war in Yugoslavia, but something more complex in nature. When reading the article it would become clear that the title should actually read as something like 'the wars related to Yugoslavia', and the title should merely be considered a convenient identification of some series of historical events rather than an accurate descriptive term.

Often the solution to article naming will not be unique. In the case of 'Yugoslav wars' other compromises are possible such as 'Wars of Yugoslav Secession', each with its pluses and minuses. At the end of the day some decision has to be made, and the best way is to put all good suggestions you can find on the table, sum pluses and minuses, and choose the name that seems the best from the current perspective (prior discussion may also be useful). In some cases it will always be possible to argue that the particular choice was not perfect. But my opinion is that it is in fact not so vitally important to end up with a perfect solution or with the best of all possible compromises, because technically the redirection pages can nicely compensate for non-uniqueness issues. It is important however to choose a good candidate solution and to avoid faults such as using non-neutral or completely non-descriptive names or names that are not commonly used.

What concerns the structure of articles, ease of navigation is one important issue to be considered. In the case of 'Yugoslav wars' for example, the situation is very complex because there were a number of conflicts, some of which were relatively unrelated to each other. Since all of them were at least weakly related to disintegration of Yugoslavia, it makes sense to put them at some place under a common umbrella that can be used as a starting point for more detailed inquiry. I imagine the article 'Yugoslav wars' as such an umbrella project where more detailed division will be made, with directions to individual specific conflicts and with some basic background information to outline the broader image. Somebody looking e.g. for Macedonian conflict in 2001 should be able to conveniently start here and grasp some information about the broader context of the events on his or her way to the specific article on the topic.

Therefore, I imagine the final article about 'Yugoslav wars' pretty much in the way you have suggested on my talk page. Names for individual conflicts will raise similar issues as discussed. I think that most convenient would be to combine a characteristic description of place with the time frame in years. For example, 'War in Slovenia (1991)', 'War in Bosnia (1992-1995)', 'Macedonia conflict (2001)', 'War in Croatia (1991-1995)', etc.

I'm sorry for not being able to come with something more helpful. When reading your post on my talk page, I was very glad because of your care regarding neutrality. I think this is really important when writing about armed conflicts, because it is in the nature of things that the truth is deliberately manipulated by the involved parties, which makes it extremely difficult to form a realistic, non-biased and factually correct descriptions of events. Regards, Igor Grešovnik 06:56, 24 July 2008 (CDT)


I am very sorry. I'll check with you next time. --Charles Sandberg 09:06, 27 July 2008 (CDT)

I can't reply to

From my server I can't reply to - I see that other people have. Maybe I'm on a spam blacklist or something along those lines... hm. Anyway my reply to the list basically said I'll try to get some WLAN articles going in the next week Eric M Gearhart

There are definite weird interactions between CZ's mail servers and outside servers. For a time, I could send email to Larry through the CZ web interface, and it appeared as if the CZ mail server would accept replies to mail he had initiated. That problem appeared to go away, but I was getting bounces on mail sent from my own domain, which is hosted on, and from hotmail--totally different SMTP servers. Perhaps the CZ server didn't like that my POP3 client is on Comcast.
Anyway, you can always email me directly. I'd like to get some general Computers (and, for that matter, Military) idea generation going, but I'm not sure if the mailing list or forum would be more productive. (Repeated on Eric's page) Howard C. Berkowitz 13:38, 30 July 2008 (CDT)


Replying to your comments on my talk page, You write:

There was already a substantial article, VENONA, before you deleted my reference to the primary source in cipher, and then created Venona."

It seems to me that the detail and citations for this topic belong in its own article, not cluttering cipher. I did not know of VENONA so I created Venona. Mea culpa. One should become a redirect, not sure which.

Please stop deleting citations and redirecting away from existing work. I have asked for assistance from the Constabulary.

I deleted citations only when moving them to articles where they were more directly on-topic, such as Random numbers. Please stop being silly.

You write:

I am following consensus practices about putting references where they are relevant.

How is a reference to Knuth on random numbers, or the von Neumann quote, in the one-time pad paragraph of Cipher "the relevant place"? Granted, they are fine, even essential, references; they have little to do directly with ciphers. I moved them to Random numbers where they are clearly relevant.

If you don't think pseudorandom numbers are relevant to one-time pads, I'm not sure quite what to say ...

I also put a link to the Random numbers article in One-time pad. Sandy Harris 23:04, 2 August 2008 (CDT)


Howard, thank you very much for your suggestion on the Flash article. It is very helpful and I'll do my best to improve it.Ganggang Hu 18:30, 3 Aug 2008 (CDT)

Blackjack (disambiguation)

What is the name of the article that you want in there? We can just put BLACKJACK or BLACKJACK (TU-??). D. Matt Innis 21:35, 3 August 2008 (CDT)

How about this? My wife is really good at the card game, I lose my shirt ;-D. Matt Innis 21:42, 3 August 2008 (CDT)

Signed Articles

Howard, not to rain on your parade or anything, but shouldn't Article/Signed_Articles be just a bulleted list of articles, no the article itself? Just curious - I find your signed articles a rich add to the "experience" so to speak Eric M Gearhart 14:27, 6 August 2008 (CDT)

Eric, I don't definitively know the answer. My assumption was that the "signed articles" section should have the articles themselves, because there's an "external links" section that could have such a bulleted list. Part of the reason that I put in the text of those anecdotes is that they've circulated mostly on mailing lists, or in hard copy, or on USENET, none of which are especially convenient.
Not to be ganging up on the Navy, but I should ask my publisher's permission to reproduce, as an article supporting Ethernet, how I convinced a commander, in the bowels of the Pentagon, to stop taking the terminator off his end-of-string 10BASE2 connector, because the one bits would fall out. Even worse, the zero bits would rise to the ceiling and look like the remnants of cigarette smoke, and his big boss, VADM Jerry Tuttle was a former smoker and death on office smoke. The truly scary thing would be if this idiot made captain, was given an AEGIS cruiser, and, on his first visit to the Combat Information Center, asked the electronics techs were keeping the one bits swept up.
While there have been onshore incidents, I don't think there's been a report of a mutiny since the USS Somers (although Marcus Aurelius Queeg Arnheiter came really close to recreating the Caine Mutiny on the USS Vance'), so I suppose this guy retired at O-5.
Howard C. Berkowitz 14:46, 6 August 2008 (CDT)
Hi guys, I was eavesdropping (hey, isn't that a spy word :-), and thought you might want to see how they are doing the signed articles: [1]. D. Matt Innis 16:07, 6 August 2008 (CDT)
Let me see if we have the same understanding of that link. I saw its goal as posing well-reasoned but deliberately provocative articles. I'm guessing that there is an assumption, however, that such articles will be written in a more or less academic journal style.
How do other categories fit? While I certainly have some provocative things that I can say in the most academic of language, the two signed articles are true but funny -- things I often use as teaching examples, because they may throw light on the silliness of certain definitions, or give some vivid mnemonic.
The discussion about cryptographic snake oil has two components, and I am really asking how that should fit. First, it's a very legitimate thing, IMHO, for an encyclopedia to have guidelines on selecting products/technologies. These will sometimes involve matters where respected professionals have different views on the same subject. As a personal example, one of my mentors was Carl Hammer, who was a computer science director at then-UNIVAC. In professional societies, you could reasonably rely that he and Grace Hopper would have opposite opinions about almost everything -- still, they respected each other enormously, were both superb speakers, and having them as speakers/debaters at a professional dinner absolutely guaranteed no one would fall asleep over dessert.
Here's where I get into an area that's very hard to articulate. I found a great difference in two professionals debating an area where there was no consensus. I can think of times where, especially, Grace Hopper would talk about ways to recognize good software. The style and language, of something coming from a mailing list, however, is very different from these in-person presentations (can anyone see a difference between WP flames among pseudonyms and what hppens here?). Still, although I might challenge some of the language and generalizations, I could see cryptographic snake oil as a signed article that complements the more consensus-based, interestingly but less emotionally written, main articles.
My goal in the Seven Deadly Layers, in part, was to present a reductio ad absurdum that becoming compulsive about a certain set of layers could be very silly, although the general concept of layering is quite useful. In the classified fish sandwich example, I tried to convey some of the experience of not just that certain things are protected or overprotected, but the subjective experience of working in such an environment. I do believe such environments are sometimes necessary, but they also can be reflexive, expensive, and silly.Howard C. Berkowitz 16:33, 6 August 2008 (CDT)

Your Userinfo motto is broken

Hi, your Userinfo motto was not really set because it's not right after the "=" sign but a line above it. Yuval Langer 17:46, 12 August 2008 (CDT)

I'm talking about the table in your User: page, the one in the Userplan-all template Yuval Langer 17:46, 12 August 2008 (CDT)

no sweat!

H, we are all constantly getting those DOM's confused, so not to worry. i'll still love you in the mornin.Pat Palmer 21:34, 12 August 2008 (CDT)

Military capitalization

Hi, Howard

First time I've used this method of communicating with a CZ colleague, so forgive me if I make any etiquette errors or such! (I've been running around editing and even writing a little bit, but the nuts and bolts of communicating with others are still a bit foreign to me.)

I totally respect your reversion of my edits. I would argue, however, that this is an encyclopaedic information site, not a US military manual. (I've had this very same argument with an Australian colonel while editing a history of the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers!) Therefore military usages are not necessarily the most appropriate. There is a definite and valid reasoning behind using all caps in military communications, but I argue that it does not follow into public documents — indeed, I argue that it's to be actively discouraged! Military usages of this sort are a type of burueacratese to which I have a philosophical objection in general.

Even the US Air Force Special Operations Command uses "Combat Spear", not "COMBAT SPEAR", on their website, for example (, and the fact sheets on all military aircraft on their site, and that of the Air Force (to which they link) only use all caps in the headings; upper and lower case is used throughout the remainder of the documents. (This is also the case in the vast majority of public references that I can find to US military aircraft on my old friend Google.)

But hey! I'm not trying to argue you a new leg! This is the type of conversation I much prefer to have over a cup of coffee and a chocolate biscuit (or cookie, I suspect, in your part of the globe).

Thanks for taking the time to explain your point of view, and I look forward to more and greater collaboration with you.

Cheers, David David H. Barrett

D'you have an idea?

Hi Howard--please see my question at Talk:Changing of the guard when you have a mo. Thanks! Aleta Curry 20:22, 13 August 2008 (CDT)

mashups heads up

Howard, I have temporarily moved your comments on maps vs. photographs to Talk:Mashup from Mashup. Though the ideas in the moved paragraph have merit, I'm not sure they belong in the introduction to mashup. They *may* belong later in that article, but I'm kind of thinking more likely that they belong in articles about Google maps and such services. A mashup using geo. data is only ONE kind of mashup. Anyway, thanks for the comments; they are thought-provoking and we do not intend to remove your thoughts altogether.Pat Palmer 08:17, 16 August 2008 (CDT)


Howard, I intend to append my "controversy" piece to Global warming. In that article "anthropogenic" is clearly defined. --Paul Wormer 10:10, 18 August 2008 (CDT)

EZ help

Hi Howard,

thanks for helping out at Autonomic and endocrine functions and music. The references are already listed on the Bibliography subpage. Besides, everybody in this course is new to CZ, and none is a native speaker of English. So it would be very much appreciated if you would go on with providing assistance as you see fit. Thanks a lot! -- Daniel Mietchen 16:33, 18 August 2008 (CDT)

Thanks a lot

Howard, I have been editing all afternoon and when I wanted to save I couldn't because you changed it in the meantime. Why do you think I use a scratchbook? Thanks a lot. I have no idea how to get my afternoon's work back. --Paul Wormer 10:07, 22 August 2008 (CDT)

I fixed it via clipboard, deleting your and my old text and pasting.--Paul Wormer 10:10, 22 August 2008 (CDT)
I see that it screwed up many characters. --Paul Wormer 10:12, 22 August 2008 (CDT)

Here is that Hawkeye photo

Howard, that website photo is 2,572 KB and measures 3000 x 1200 px. I also could not get it to upload.

So, I copied it into my XP computer and used the Microsoft Editor to reduce the photo to 1500 x 1200 px (which cut it down to 78 KB), and then had no problem uploading it to CZ. So I must assume that it exceeded some limiting KB size set in CZ.

I named the photo "U.S. Navy Hawkeye.jpg" and I gave it the credit line as requested on that U.S. Navy website. I am posting a 400 px wide thumb of the photo here so that you can use it wherever you wish. If you will look at the Edit screen for this Talk page, you will see how you can change the size up or down (but you cannot make it larger than the 1500 px width that I uploaded it at. Milton Beychok 14:51, 30 August 2008 (CDT)

(PD) Photo: U.S. Navy, Daniel J. McLain
U.S. Navy Hawkeye.

By the way I went on a deletion rampage and i might have knocked off some of your redirects. I deleted all redirects that pointed to nothing. I suspected they were left hanging after a move. So you might see some of your links go red. I would have redirected them to the correct location myself but that might have ben worse than just deleting them. For the whole batch i deleted see: Chris Day 22:37, 7 September 2008 (CDT)

new template for cec

Howard check out this template, specifically the possible use with regard to the KG term (and others). You could link each to a different definition as well as have a different descriptor for each. i envisage such a template could be both informative and and useful aid for navigation. Chris Day 13:31, 11 September 2008 (CDT)

== Oslo date ==

Yes, I saw the date in the second parag. I think it's fine there, along with the WWII info in the first line, one general, one specific. 18:08, 13 September 2008 (CDT)

More about the American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Howard, on the Talk page you wondered if the individual divisions of the AIChE would be worth articles on their own. In my opinion, I think not. The division are somewhat only a means for members working in the same general field to network.

What I do believe is that some of the joint initiatives undertaken by the AIChE would be worth articles of their own. For example, the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) would very much be worth a separate article. However, I don't have the background to try writing that myself. It will have to wait for more chemical engineers to join CZ. At the momment, I am the only chemical engineer who seems to be active. In fact, except perhaps for computer engineers, there are only 2 or 3 engineering authors/editors who are actively participating. It does get lonely at times. Milton Beychok 03:02, 18 September 2008 (CDT)

More about the American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Howard, on the Talk page you wondered if the individual divisions of the AIChE would be worth articles on their own. In my opinion, I think not. The division are somewhat only a means for members working in the same general field to network.

What I do believe is that some of the joint initiatives undertaken by the AIChE would be worth articles of their own. For example, the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) would very much be worth a separate article. However, I don't have the background to try writing that myself. It will have to wait for more chemical engineers to join CZ. At the momment, I am the only chemical engineer who seems to be active. In fact, except perhaps for computer engineers, there are only 2 or 3 engineering authors/editors who are actively participating. It does get lonely at times. Milton Beychok 03:02, 18 September 2008 (CDT)

About Ammonia production

Howard, I have now added in your suggested section on safety concerns with ammonia. Thanks for your help. Milton Beychok 16:13, 23 September 2008 (CDT)

Howard, thanks for nominating the article for approval. Milton Beychok 13:02, 24 September 2008 (CDT)

You might be interested in

Hi, Howard. I thought you might be interested, though maybe not -- if so, no problem -- that I've started a revision of the article Gender and have a proposed revision on the discussion page of the article and on User:Timothy_Perper/Sandbox. Question(s): I do not know the social protocols and customs here for adding new material and replacing old material (the mechanics are easy and aren't the problem; the social customs are what's important). Obviously I don't want to annoy whoever it was who wrote the first draft, and would like to contact that person if possible. And I'd also like some advice about how to go about discussing the content of the changes before just pasting and copying. Any words of wisdom? Thanks. Timothy Perper 12:40, 26 September 2008 (CDT)

See my reply at Matt Innes' page. Hayford Peirce 12:47, 26 September 2008 (CDT)
See my reply to the same questions from Timothy on my Talk page. Milton Beychok 14:37, 26 September 2008 (CDT)

rifle bomber metadata

That experiment looks good. Chris Day 13:23, 27 September 2008 (CDT)


Hey Howard, I noticed you were doing a few cluster moves today and it inspired me to revisit another of my old projects to try and make it less complicated. If you do another move soon make sure you move the metadata template first. But leave the pagename field intact. You will see instruction on which specific pages needs to be moved as well as semi-automated links to speed things along. The very last thing to do is update the pagename and abc field in the metadata. Hope this helps you be more efficient. :) Chris Day 23:40, 27 September 2008 (CDT)

I didn't notice you had made an error until after I left the message above. This is the very reason I wanted to get it semiautomated. For reference you forgot to move the metadata template to the new name and the definition subpage. You did remember to change the pagename and abc field in the metadata, thats the one that most people forget. Now try it doing the opposite as i described above (move the metadata template to the new home first). I think you will find it a lot easier. Chris Day 00:04, 28 September 2008 (CDT)
Forget all I mentioned here for now. i have to abandon my first attempt as I found a fatal flaw that affects any article with an apostrophe (long story). Chris Day 01:05, 28 September 2008 (CDT)

lost in the move

Note this guy got orphaned in the move. MiG-17/Definition

I have found that the best method for catching all the pages that need to be moved is the following.

  1. Move metadata template to new home.
  2. Go to the talk page and click "what links here" in the left column in the toolbox.
  3. Systematically move all the pages in the cluster that link to the talk page.
  4. Update to the correct cluster title in the metadata pagename field.
  5. Place a speedydelete on the old metadata template page.
  6. All done.

Following the above means you do not inadvertantly miss subpages such as the approval page of the definition page. Hope this helps. Chris Day 02:20, 29 September 2008 (CDT)

Combat load

You're welcome. Daniel Mietchen 12:44, 29 September 2008 (CDT)

Medical signs

Ok if I move Sign to Medical sign (this will leave a redirect at Sign which someone can later turn into a disambiguation page. - Robert Badgett 10:39, 30 September 2008 (CDT)

Your proposal "Standardizing nomenclature for wars/conflicts, with system to link in partisan names"

Dear Howard, I'm afraid I have been slack in managing all the proposals. However, inspired by the Monthly Write-a-Thon and its theme "spring cleaning", I now want to clear out all the proposals that are merely gathering dust and push the rest forwards. I see that a long time ago you made a proposal with a long title. If you need a reminder, please look at the proposal record at CZ:Proposals/New#Standardizing nomenclature for wars/conflicts, with system to link in partisan names. However, you have not started the proposal page. This is needed so that you can give details for your proposal and people can discuss the proposal. Please follow the link "Start complete proposal" in the proposal record to start the proposal page. You can find more information on the proposals system policy page. -- Jitse Niesen 16:58, 1 October 2008 (CDT)

I finally replied to your message on my talk page. -- Jitse Niesen 14:44, 14 October 2008 (UTC)


Glad that I have sparked your additional interest in homeopathy. YOU, in particular, would be very intrigued by my new book. I am a tad confused about your question about MDs who are interested in homeopathy. Do you mean which "leading" and truly exceptional MDs have an interest in it or which generally respected MDs have an interest? You may be intrigued to see one of the quotes given as a back-cover quote from my book was from a Harvard doc who wrote: "Several Harvard-affiliated physicians have told me in private conversation that homeopathy has helped their family members or friends, but they would not want to say so publicly due to fear of ridicule. Hopefully, this book will help open-minded doctors and scientists to realize they are not alone and to have the courage to call for more research on this most interesting and paradoxical form of treatment." David Anick PhD MD,Research Associate, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

My point here is that at present those doctors and researchers who express an interest in this subject are severely ridiculed. Look at what happened to Benveniste. Heck, he was even called a "homeopathic researcher." To advocate for homeopathy is akin to "coming out of the medicine closet" and declaring one's gayness to a group of Baptist ministers. That said, there are some MDs with a strong backbone, but not alot. Like this Harvard doc noted, they prefer to use these medicines or seek homeopathic treatment quietly. Yeah, it is sad. Dana Ullman 22:58, 2 October 2008 (CDT)

DNS comments

Howard, I just left some comments on DNS, which has progressed very far since I last checked in and which deserves a closer reading from me. I appreciate how you've been able to keep going with so little feedback from the likes of me (I've been unfortunately too overloaded with work work lately to do much in CZ). You are kickin butt! And I thank you.Pat Palmer 21:15, 8 October 2008 (CDT)


Howard, thanks for fleshing out Request for Comments!Pat Palmer 07:22, 10 October 2008 (CDT)


I think various small articles I've written on lower-level crypto things — Man-in-the-middle attack, Meet-in-the-middle attack, Brute force attack, Diffie-Hellman, Discrete logarithm — are complete enough for approval. Some on more complex topics like Stream cipher and RSA cover the basics but are nowhere near complete; I don't know if that makes them approvable. Still others, like block cipher are started but nowhere near complete. Can you approve, or improve, any of those? Or what is the process? Sandy Harris 08:50, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Re your request about Incident Command System

Howard, I responded to your posting on my Talk page last night. Have you seen my response as yet? Milton Beychok 20:25, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Flexner report

No, I have no special knowledge of the subject -- I just happened to notice the duplication when noodling around on "Random Page" and wondering, hmm, does the reference to this report have something to do with the H*m**p*thy article that dare not speak its name? Further snooping led to the discovery of the near-duplicates. Bruce M.Tindall 23:28, 18 October 2008 (UTC)


I like what I can see of what you are doing on the talk page. Nice work. Sandy Harris 06:40, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Meanwhile, I'm working on block cipher. Since I'm almost the only contributor so far, I'm just doing it directly in the article rather than on a talk page. Not near done yet. Have a look when you get a chance.
There are a bunch of questions about how everything fits together. e.g. Discussion of non-linearity Block_cipher#Non-linearity partly duplicates Brute_force_attack#Algebraic_attack and might be be in a separate article on non-linearity or algebraic attacks, or covered in cryptanalysis. At this point, I think just get something written, then worry about organisation. Sandy Harris 01:35, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

LaTeX or code

I would use HTML for N = 100, P = 0.03. LaTeX looks ugly (makes png): . --Paul Wormer 15:01, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Hm... MS Equation editor, file uploading, template inclusion, ... I can help you with LaTeX equations, I write fluently TeX and LaTeX. Let me know what you want (you could even refer to Knuth's 3 volumes on the Art of ...).--Paul Wormer 15:15, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Citation policy

I've asked questions on this at CZ_Talk:Article_Mechanics#Citation_relevance. Please comment. Sandy Harris 15:36, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Something not right about approval of Accidental release source terms

Howard, I think something is not right. The article should have first been "nominated for approval" and 4 days or so allowed for comments. But it is now marked "Approved" without first having been nominated.

Also, I think perhaps that your "approval" may not have captured the changes I made a few moments ago in that mathematical expression so that it would render okay at any resolution.

I would stronly suggest that you contact either D. Matt Innis or Chris Day to see what went wrong. I don't know enough to help you straighten this out. Milton Beychok 19:46, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

I think I know where you went wrong. On the Metadata page you correctly signed your name in the "To Approve" section. But then you also signed your name in the "Approval" section, which must only be done by someone with sysop rights (Chris or Matt or others). That's why the Talk subpage and the Metadata page are no longer easily accessible. It really is going to take a sysop to straighten it out. Milton Beychok 20:26, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Chris fixed it and all is well now. Does my revision of that mathematical expression now render okay in your high-resolution Firefix browser? Milton Beychok 21:56, 23 October 2008 (UTC)


Are my changes to placebo ok? - Robert Badgett


I have all the books in the biblio (hence my ability to annotate the listings :-). If she'd like to help, fine, but anything anyone needs I can certainly look up! :-) J. Noel Chiappa 17:29, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Computer articles

OK, I'll look at them when I get a chance / have some energy (I'm doing redirs now because I'm burned out - I can do them when I'm only half awake :-). I won't actually make any changes, because then I won't be able to approve them for you; I'll just drop comments on the Talk: page (as I did with Talk:Cryptography. J. Noel Chiappa 01:24, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Approve Block cipher?

I think it is very close. The only big omission is OFB & CFB modes. Sandy Harris 17:24, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

try starting from the talk page

On the talk page there is a move cluster link top left. That is the way to go if you want it to be easy (relatively speaking of course. Learning chinese might be easier for some.) Chris Day 00:49, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

What you did with THAAD leads to confusion (you knew that). What you did with S200 is on the mark, but don't change the pagename field until the end. Starting wih "Move Cluster" link on the talk page leads to moving the metadata template. I'll work with trying to make this easier, having said that, it is easier said than done. At present I am using one template as a catch all solution. The main problem is that there is no way to tell if someone is starting a new cluster or in the process of moving a cluster. Consequently this complicates the intructions. Chris Day 01:46, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Re; Name, i would be tempted to go with what is used. If FDA is using an obscure term then I'd say ignore their usage. i have to say i would have thought "cyte" is more common.
Re; move. The current method of choice should be to use the move cluster link on the talk page and follow the instructions. Or move the metadata first, not changing the pagename field, and follow the instructions. How you start is not important as the the result is the same. The sequence ends up being 1) move medadata, 2) move subpages, 3) move or create an approval page, 4) move article and associated talk page, 5) mark old approval page for deletion 6) mark old metadata page for deletion and 7) edit the pagename field in the metadata to the correct name. The instructions will give you easy links to do all these things in the correct sequence. it should not take longer than 2 minutes, even for a large cluster. The advantage of following the intructions is that no subpages get lost or forgotten in the process. Chris Day 17:37, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Chris, I have succeeded in moving a few clusters. The one problem that I run into is with the Definition subpage. I always end up just having to create a new definition subpage. Could the move of the main article, which automatically moves the Talk subpage, also automatically move the Definition subpage? Milton Beychok 18:35, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Possibly the move could do that but it is beyond my know how. I have had no problem moving the definition subpage. What happened the times you got stuck? Chris Day 02:27, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
I gave up trying to locate the unmoved definition and simply re-wrote the definition. I guess the old, unmoved one is still out there somewhere. Milton Beychok 15:11, 1 November 2008 (UTC)


I have every intention of being gracious in accepting the feedback and direction of the Citizendium's editors. I believe I am generally gracious about accepting any civil feedback. The structure of the Citizendium is such that us authors are obliged to accept editorial direction from the Citizendium's subject field experts.

When I signed up I decided I would be gracious about accepting that direction. And, so far, I believe I have been. As I wrote here you editors have obligations too. There is a power hierarchy here. And I believe you have an obligation to bear that in mind when choosing how civil to be those of us who are just authors.

It is my understanding that us authors should feel entitled to pose civil questions of editors to clarify their feedback and direction. It is my understanding that us authors should feel entitled to pose civil questions of editors about their direction as to what should and shouldn't be included in articles on topics under their supervision.

Howard, if I decide to make any further contributions to Citizendium articles, I will do my best to read and take in all feedback from you as graciously as possible. You are certainly entitled to offer feedback on things that do not fall within your authority as editor. Forgive me, I am not trying to be unpleasant, but if I decide to make further contributions to Citizendium articles I am going to continue to feel free to politely not comply with your direction when I don't think if falls within your authority as a subject field expert. If I am not sure whether direction you offer me really falls within your authority as an editor I hope you will not be offended if I pause to confirm or refute whether you have that authority.

You offered some strongly worded feedback, and direction, on the article I started on Linda Greenhouse. Forgive me for voicing doubts as to whether your authority as a Military editor authorizes you for giving me direction on a person whose article it seems to me would fall under the authority of the Citizendium's Law and Journalism editors.

Some of your very firmly expressed disapproval of my contributions seem to me to be over issues of style, not content. In one of your comments you strongly implied that my use of two references, instead of just one, was an intellectually dishonest attempt to push an agenda.

It surprises me that I should be called on to defend my use of two references. Do I really need to list reasons why I would list multiple references?

I do a google search, or a series of google searches, on topics I am writing about. If I come across a couple of acceptable references, that back up some particular assertion, I may include both of them. Frankly, it never occurred to me anyone would ever hold this against me and base a suspicion that I was intellectually dishonest.

When I go back to an article I would like to have the good references used to write the article available to re-read. There might be aspects of the topic covered in one of those articles, not covered in the other. Now you might say to me something like:

"George, I think this is a bad practice, maybe acceptable on the wikipedia, but I want the Citizendium to measure up to higher standards. I want you to spend more time on a Citizendium article than you would on a wikipedia article. I want you to go over each reference, and strip them out if they are not necessary. Record those other useful references on a sub-page, or in you personal note pages."

I think it was a mistake for you to imply I lack intellectual integrity, because you thought I was using unnecessary references. As I wrote before I believe that when potential authors see editors treat other authors with unnecessary or undeserved hostility, it will discourage those potential authors from signing on.

Similarly, you have criticized my contributions for including red-links. Isn't this also a style issue, not a content issue. Don't all citizens have a voice in shaping the future direction of the Citizendium? I thought we did.

Maybe the citizendium has a policy on red-links, and I have been lapsing from it. If so I suggest you should have considered the possibility my lapse was innocent, and not one that should have triggered suspicion and accusations.

Howard, I saw some of your comments on the 29th, and started some replies. When someone's comments make me angry, I try to take 24 hours, so I can calm down, and give a more moderate reply. When I came back today I found more comments, more criticism, as if you regarded my not replying on the 29th as some kind of escalation.

I have various obligations, to be civil, to everyone, to do my best to understand what they meant, not what they said, to be gracious about accepting the direction editors are authorized to issue, among others. But I am a volunteer, who does this in my leisure time, and I don't believe I am lapsing from my obligations to take a couple of days to reply.

definition only

Congratulations you just broke through the thousand barrier. Chris Day 02:40, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

What, definitions? Definitions only? (I did mention to a certain selective contributor I had written an article or two) Howard C. Berkowitz 02:43, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
See total at Category:Definition_Only your recent ones pushed it over the top. I'm still mulling over your most recent suggestions (glossary discussion) re short articles etc. i have not forgotten them. Chris Day 02:52, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

subpages in user space

Re: your recent summary. I will have to tweak the subpages so it can work properly in User space. I'll let you know when its working but I'm not sure how long it will take, it might be more than a minor fix. Chris Day 15:38, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

In the interests of open and transparency

I have said this before, I committed myself to cheerfully and graciously complying with all direction you, or any other editor is authorized to give when I signed on board the Citizendium.

I am concerned that you are asking me to do things that you may think are authorized by your role, but where you are mistaken.

I saw your comment that Larry authorized you to clean up my work. In the interest of open and transparent decision making I will tell you I asked Larry to share with me what he authorized you to do. George Swan 04:25, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I can do that right here, George. Since you ask, I told Howard that I trusted that he could make judicious decisions, as a CZ editor, about what cuts were justified. This of course isn't carte blanche and does not mean you may not contest them. But I would say this to most editors who approached me. --Larry Sanger 04:37, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Your testimony

Please let us have it! --Larry Sanger 21:01, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Orphans and connecting the web

This might be of interest. Chris Day 20:47, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center may be related to your Incident Command System

Howard, I just thought you might be interested in the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center article that I just created in CZ. Milton Beychok 06:42, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

The prevelence of lance

As you have noticed I like to lance it. But i guess I should lence it. Chris Day 06:05, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Battle of the Ia Drang

Howard, although not a rule, it has been local practice among a number of us when voting for Draft of the Week or New Draft of the Week, to vote as a non-specialist for an article if you contributed greatly to it. I started doing this because it seemed unfair on several occasions that I could nominate my own article, give it 3 points, and beat out several other articles with only 1 or 2 points, but whose votes came from non-author/non-specialists of the article/field. David E. Volk 18:17, 1 December 2008 (UTC)


Howard, I would be glad to "e"dit any of your articles should you ask. My life has been in turmoil since the Hurricane hit Galveston and I broke my right hand, so I don't have the time for real writing and won't have time for some while as I tranfer jobs up to Houston. However, I enjoy reading just about anything and can edit for you.

As for approvals, place them on the page CZ:Ready for approval page as the first step to announce your desire to approve them. After that, ask for Editor help by direct email for best response. Funny, we have more computer editors and authors than just about any other category, but little output to show for it so far. A number of history editors were driven out in the past over rather silly arguments, but there are still a few active ones. I notice someone (Sandy ...?) writing alot about cryptography, perhaps s/he can approve your computer/military articles. David E. Volk 18:59, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Sympathetic magic, while a decent article, is something you might enjoy, if you think about an area where I've been involved in hot controversy, and, shall we say, I chose to strike why the irony was hot?
Yes, there was much sound and fury about history. I have been putting in a substantial amount of effort reorganizing, as well as adding content, to Vietnam War, which was one of those areas replete with silly arguments. It still needs tuning, but my hope is that it can serve as a structural prototype about writing about something as complex as a major war. Various people have expressed interest in cleanup of Second World War, but I think it would be well to have an idea of how to approach a subject. There, I've been whittling away at individual topics, such as Battle of Britain, which actually relates to a number of other more "military" or "engineering" articles, such as radar, integrated air defense system, electronic warfare, and suppression of enemy air defense.
I have put up some articles on ready to approve, and gotten notes back that some very well qualified editors just didn't have the time. Meanwhile, I'm working on recruiting. While the workgroup status system and I hate one another, I've put some lists of articles that I've either written, or for which I've made major edits, under my user page. My hope is, somehow, to stimulate collaboration. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:25, 1 December 2008 (UTC)


Like those recent edits. That is a worth while point (patient/ homeopath interaction) to bring to the forefront. Chris Day 05:17, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Bear Necessities

Rats Howard, your comments brought to mind .. Bear Necessities, the simple Bear necessities..... The last time I sang/hummed it out loud it got stuck in my wife's head for weeks. A tough time was had all around. Funny how songs just pop in and stay awhile. You also reminded my to refill my coffee. Thanks. David E. Volk 17:04, 2 December 2008 (UTC)


Your last edit appears particularly unhelpful and unproductive. I removed a link explaiiing that the main source for information on Objectivism was the current page, hence a link to a non-existent page was misleading. You then put the link back. If you consider 'style' to dictate 'italic' rather than 'bold' then why not change it to that? But you just reverted the page to include the link to the non-page again. Please explain. This gives the impression of someone being antagonistic - I hope that is not the case. If it is, then please also explain that - I'm sure we can sort out any misunderstanding in a more civil manner than reversing edits.Martin Cohen 21:38, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Military workgroup

Among other things, I'm a Military workgroup editor, and have been doing a major update of the multiple articles under the top-level article Vietnam War. I would be absolutely delighted to have review, comment, and addition by someone with a French military background, if you'd be interested.
hello, thanks for offering a role ; it happens that my military expertise is in the sole marine field ; about the US Vietnam war, many French are not involved, due to the defeat in Indochina (we are no more in charge...) ; please let me known how I can help. Very best regards. Thierry Henri Cauchois 22:51, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Hello, I have read Indochina and the Second World War, Indochinese revolution, then Dien Bien Phu, with great interest and pleasure. Further to this first reading I would not propose any change spontaneously. If improvements are requested, I can study the French Wikipedia pages and do some changes. Very best regards.Thierry Henri Cauchois 09:30, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Jean Larteguy

When you have a moment, you might take a look at my new article

I haven't quite finished it yet, will put in a bunch of Time and NYT quotes about some of his books, but I'm near the end.

The style isn't all that great, since some of it I was bringing in from the WP French article.

But anything you could do to edit/improve would be appreciated.

An interesting guy -- guess that he's still alive at 88.... Seems to be right up your alley in many ways.... Hayford Peirce 03:53, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

PS -- what do you think of "Imperial Grunts"? Hayford Peirce 04:03, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Alternative medicine

Howard, what was your thinking here? It's left some references 'stranded', and seems cumbersome. I'd like to see the page as Tom started it back - please explain why not. Martin Cohen 14:20, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't know to what you refer. If this deals with Homeopathy, please put the question there so it can be generally discussed. In general, I prefer not to discuss specific article content on my talk page. If it is referring to complementary and alternative medicine, the discussion belongs there; there was earlier discussion that "alternative medicine" alone was misleading.
I don't know what language of Tom's, or even on what page, you have a question.
Without knowing what you have in mind, "classic" homeopathy is alternative, not "complementary" medicine." Under the definitions of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, classical homeopathy is a "whole" system that substitutes for mainstream medicine. A "complementary" method, such as acupuncture, may be used alone, or in combination with other therapies. Howard C. Berkowitz 14:27, 4 December 2008 (UTC)


In the Jean Lartéguy article I stuck in Military and History as well as Literature, for no particular reasons. You're the expert in those fields -- what do you think? (As far as I'm concerned, I'm mostly finished with the article -- I may stick in a few more book reviews, though, if I have the energy [about other books]). Hayford Peirce 03:46, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Ayn Rand asks: "Who is François Ricq?" Or was it Anna May Wong?

The title of "The Bronze Drums" refers to an old Laotian legend. "General Ma Yuan, who lived in the first century of the Christian era, under the Han Dynasty, had been made responsible for the defense for the southern marches of China. But since he had been given no soldiers, he had had the idea of installing bronze drums in all the cascades near the places where the credulous mountainfolk lived. The water falling onto these drums made the metal resound so loudly that the mountainfolk thought they were hearing the innumerable armies of the Son of Heaven. They remained for many long years in their highlands without daring to descend in the valleys."

Lartéguy's theory is that this legend offers us the key to the recent istory of Laos. Twenty centuries after Ma Yuan, the Chinese and Vietnamese Communists have tried the same trick, this time on the Western powers. And it has worked.

They engineered a long series of trivial incidents and minor engagements that resulted in a minimum of casualities: "They captured towns and villages from which the garrisons had fled before they were even in sight. With a song and a dance, they organized the Pathet Lao, a communist movement whose existence depended solely on their support.... But the communists never wanted to seize Laos. They don't give a damn about her.... In the meantime, they were hard at work....While you poor innocents were playing with your drums, the Communists were devouring South Vietnam, Burma, Malaya, Singapore and Indonesia."

Historians and strategists may quibble, but here is one reviewer who feels Lartéguy knows what he is talking about.

The talking--all 420 pages of it--centers around one François Ricq, a middle-aged agent working for France in the Neutralist cause. In appearance, Ricq is a "seedy little scholar" bent on tracing a manuscript of the Ramayana. In reality, he runs an efficient network of assassins and informers. He founds policies and fells governments. Students of recent events in the Indochinese peninsula may recognize Ricq, under another name, and many of the other characters in "The Bronze Drums."

Whether they recognize the value of the author's theories or not is another matter. But they same to explain convincingly so much of what has happened recently in the Far East that it is tempting to use them to predict what is to come. Tempting, but not cheering.[1]

Bao Dai

Howard, I changed the abc field of the Bao Dai metadata page to Dai, Bao, assuming Dai is the family name. Please change this back if I have gotten the surname and given name backwards, as I often do for asian names David E. Volk 17:03, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

I didn't realize the snake's den that I was getting into. I think I'll avoid the Vietnam articles for awhile!

Choose the abc fields and redirects that you think are best. David E. Volk 19:51, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Magnetic healing

Howard, a couple of days ago I sent you an e-mail about magnetic healing. Didn't you get that? --Paul Wormer 14:55, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

That is odd, I sent it by the CZ e-mail system, probably your spam filter destroyed it.--Paul Wormer 16:05, 7 December 2008 (UTC)


Ah, yes, but without the 'meditation' bit it'd seem, so I'll move it to that, shall I? [2] Ro Thorpe 03:19, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Dien Bien Phu

Congratulations, the article Dien Bien Phu is this week's New Draft of the Week. David E. Volk 23:10, 16 December 2008 (UTC)


Howard, today I sent you an e-mail, hope you see it. Last time my mail got lost, remember?--Paul Wormer 10:25, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes you can communicate with me in MS-Word. The stuff you mentioned in your e-mail about Vietnam is extremely disturbing. --Paul Wormer 17:08, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Sublimation point

Howard, see my response to your comment about sublimation points on the Talk:Boiling point page. If, after reading my response, you would like to nominate Boiling point for approval, please do so. Thanks, Milton Beychok 21:55, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Integrative medicine

I will read your "integrative medicine" article when I get time; sounds very interesting and useful. I don't disagree with the concept; I just think it's a somewhat different topic to "alternative medicine" (or whatever you want to call it, meaning the unapproved stuff). Hope I didn't seem heavy handed; people are so hot back at that article that I think I'll just go hide for awhile!Pat Palmer 00:03, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for nominating Air pollutant concentrations for approval

Howard, I just noticed that nomination. Thanks very much ... and don't forget Boiling point. Milton Beychok 05:34, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Howard, I see that you have now also nominated Boiling point for approval on Jan 3, 2009. That's my birthday ... so it will be a nice birthday present. Thanks, Milton Beychok 06:22, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

I reviewed AN-

As you said, this article is way out of my expertise. However, I found it to be well-written and quite understandable.

I did make two very minor edits: one was a mis-spelling correction. The other was a deletion of an extraneous lower case "t" that seemed to be an inadvertant typo of some sort.

Hope this helps, Milton Beychok 07:54, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Approval nomination for Vacuum distillation

Howard, you put the approval date as January 3, 2009 in the wrong place. You put it at "ToA editor3 = January 3, 2009" and it should have been on the next line down: "date = January 3, 2009". The result is that no date is shown on the nomination tag on the main article page.

I could easily change it myself, but I don't believe that, as the author, I am allowed to do so. Milton Beychok 19:21, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

  1. "Armies from Heaven", by Jean Pierre Lenoir, The New York Times, November 19, 1967, at [3]