User talk:Thomas Simmons

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Am a bit inactive these days. With no assigned duties and a intercontinental move to make (New Zealand to MIssouri) I am a bit preoccupied with packing and such. Still reading what ever gets sent and checking in every day or so. Have not gone dark, just a bit dim. :-) Thomas Simmons 00:21, 4 July 2011 (UTC)


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Welcome to the Citizendium! We hope you will contribute boldly and well. Here are pointers for a quick start. You'll probably want to know how to get started as an author. Just look at Getting Started for other helpful "startup" links, our help system and CZ:Home for the top menu of community pages. Be sure to stay abreast of events via Twitter. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forum is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any administrator for help, too. Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and have fun!

You can find some more information about our collaboration groups if you follow this link Citizendium_Pilot:Discipline_Workgroups.You can always ask me on my talk page or others about how to proceed or any other question you might have.

Kind Regards, Robert Tito | Talk 20:38, 13 February 2007 (CST)

Management Council: rationale and role

The Long Explanation:

Any one can put up a wall and invite all comers to write on it. That does not mean it will result in anything constructive. Wikipedia is evidence of the crap shoot that results from a “frontier’s without borders or laws” model. It has seen huge tracts of ‘land’ over taken by small cliques who run off anyone they do not agree with – quality is not in it. It has attracted legions of obsessive-compulsive control freaks who spend hours a day running around correcting every little thing. Maybe this answers a real need for therapy for out-patients – who knows? This could be an example of social evolution providing psycho-social institutions for those who are currently dysfunctional in most social settings - now they have a place to be obsessive and it is OK. I don’t know. But CZ is not for the socially dysfunctional and WP can not keep them out. WP is not organized or managed in such a way as to attract and keep the well-adjusted intelligent professional to contribute sporadically or consistently.

The Management Council and other structures like that here at CZ are crucial to progressing beyond the WP model - the technology has potential that so few attempts at information sharing have ever meet. But the technology is not the thing. The community that harnesses and drives it is the focus here.

There is a common concern here at CZ that we have hit that very same wall and folks are not writing as much on it as in the past. Then, blame is apportioned to various people and root causes. This is premature and naïve – at best.

First off, this medium of on-line interaction (which predates the world wide web) is devoid of the usual communication context of voice, face, social hierarchies etc. so it is commonly mismanaged. Most people are no more adept at dealing with social interaction here than they are face to face. In fact, they are emboldened by its facelessness and anonymity often exacerbates this tendency. Wikipedia so very well illustrates this.

Second, this hybrid social model (the open source, on-line encyclopaedia) has been around even less time. Few if any longitudinal studies of the way they develop actually exist. It is also important to note that Wikipedia is in many ways a very different model from CZ and that difference here is very deliberate.

There are various reasons for the waxing and waning of the quantity produced here. The novelty wears off, our lives go another direction, some of us will come back and others will not. Quantity very naturally goes up and down. But it is also true that the problems derived from the lack of control and management that beset Wikipedia and similar projects have driven off their best, discouraged many others who are competent to contribute and made them havens for stultifying mediocrity and worse. So the quantity is not accompanied by quality.

These things evolve over time – or devolve. Wikipedia is about quantity and the quality has gone nowhere. Comparisons with Encyclopaedia Brittanica make it look good but every issue of EB is limited by publication dates and guideline constraints that place it at a severe disadvantage – with which WP can only draw even in the estimate of some credible sources. That is how far the open and anonymous model has taken WP. It gets bigger, it does not get better. CZ is after something quite different.

The opposite is also true - no matter how well the infrastructure and the managment and governance process is established, people who are not concerned with doing a conscientious job, are not necessarily able to take advantage of the system. It is only the folks at the other end of the spectrum who are looking for a place to do good work in relative peace who can take advantage of a well organised system as we are making here

This is a project which needs to exist and we will, through perseverance, get it done. We are a class act folks. We deal with our issues in a civil manner and we work to achieve a very important goal - written by professionals, a great encyclopedia that will endure. Thomas Simmons 16:36, 14 May 2011 (CDT)


You seem to have your sig the wrong way round in your preferences. You need something like [[User:Thomas Simmons|Whatever you want here]] | [[User talk:Thomas Simmons|Talk]]. Hope that helps. Neville English | Talk 11:16, 20 February 2007 (CST)

Hello Neville,

Not sure what you mean. Thomas Simmons | Talk 14:48, 9 March, 2007 (EPT)

I was referring back to this edit, but it seems you are all sorted now. Neville English | Talk 13:22, 9 March 2007 (CST)

Workgroup tags

Please add the proper workgroup tags to articles. Thanks for your help! -Tom Kelly (Talk) 18:12, 18 March 2007 (CDT)

Earth Sciences

Hey Thomas, great kickoff! I almost lost hope that someone would write something about Earth Sciences, and then here you came! At the moment I am incredibly busy with my academic duties - I must prepare 6 abstracts and a full talk this month - but be sure I'll start edit as soon as possible. Well, maybe some little edit and comment this weekend already...

You might like to take a look at the Workgroup home page, and adjust something there. There is a proposal for major subdivisions of Earth Sciences that should be coherent to that of the main article.

See you soon in the wiki! --Nereo Preto 01:47, 14 April 2007 (CDT)

Hi Nereo, Big field. Difficult to determine which are subcategories of other fields. Lots of work to do. Make sure your articles get linked as it goes. The collection is growing and I am not sure I will spot them all to make the links. Thomas Simmons 10:38 15 April, 2007 (EPT)

Hi. You asked for a reference on polarity reversal. Here's one or or Jim

Thomas, Geologic time scale was proposed as high-priority article in the "Big Write" initiative. Would you like to sign in as author? See instructions here
--Nereo Preto 04:28, 21 April 2007 (CDT)

constabulary template work area


Your comment in religion workgroup...

Hi, I appreciate your feedback. I replied over there. Ciao, David Hoffman 21:43, 10 May 2007 (CDT)


Thomas I really appreciate your comments on Orientalism. (I just spotted them.) The argument has raged on at Oriental. I think some of the opposition edits there have been a bit outrageous. Larry Sanger has stepped in to moderate. I'd really like to back away so that I don't seem too fanatical. I've got nothing invested in this word. I'm just a defender of fairness and the English language. Will Nesbitt 10:29, 12 July 2007 (CDT)

I'd appreciate more feedback at Orientalism. I think this article has lost it's way. The purpose of current article seems to be intent on driving a political point rather than just delivering information about the East. I'm not to keen on the idea of taking up an edit war, most especially if I am alone in my beliefs. Can I ask you to comment again? Will Nesbitt 05:51, 17 July 2007 (CDT)


Hi, good to see that. Since we both seem to be interested in similar time periods we could collaborate on a few articles. What would you think about writing an article on the first model parliament? Denis Cavanagh 05:58, 9 August 2007 (CDT)

Are you talking about Edward's attempt in 1291? --Thomas Simmons 07:05, 9 August 2007 (CDT)

The 1295 model parliament, I think it would be a good article. Either that or an evolution of parliament article. Denis Cavanagh 07:11, 9 August 2007 (CDT)

Why All The Question Marks?????

Thomas: I was wondering why all the question marks after the initial word, Dmanisi on the page you appear to have created. The spelling seems correct (or at least consistent with the spelling on the web site.) But I didn't want to remove them in case there was a reason.

Roger Lohmann 15:11, 9 August 2007 (CDT)

Hi Roger,

I think I see the problem. Are you refering to this line? Dmanisi (დმანისი in the Georgian language kartuli)

The first set of question marks is actually Kartuli script. Your web browser is not reading it and just gives you the question marks. I am pretty sure that is what is happening. --Thomas Simmons 21:45, 9 August 2007 (CDT)


Hi Thomas, can you take a look at Talk:Extinction and give us feedback? Seems changes are wanted but I don't want to do much before I know you are aware we are working on it. --Nereo Preto 10:29, 2 September 2007 (CDT)


Hi Thomas, would you consider toning down your argument to be a little more civil? --Matt Innis (Talk) 18:12, 3 September 2007 (CDT)

Hi Matt. I disagree. I am being extremely civil. The whole idea of the WP insanity being pushed here by proxy is just over the edge. I said this in a clear (clarity is antithetical to a lack of respect) but very polite way. I have no idea why Japser would come here and say that we should be altering what we do here because the nameless and faceless voices there compel us to do so. But he has not been personally abused and the language is insulting only to those who want it to be. --Thomas Simmons 19:06, 3 September 2007 (CDT)

I am not doubting that you have good reason for your concern. Just trying to keep it collegial ;-) Thanks for re-wording. --Matt Innis (Talk) 22:10, 3 September 2007 (CDT)

The young man who made the suggestion did it in good faith, so a response recognizing that is most fitting.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 22:35, 3 September 2007 (CDT)

The assumption of good faith requires us to ascribe monumental naivete to the young man in question. Who amongst us shall break the news to him? --Thomas Simmons 19:13, 4 September 2007 (CDT)

Core Articles

Hi Thomas, would you like to take a look at CZ:Core Articles, the part about Earth Sciences articles? We are filling the list of our 100 important, but still missing articles there, I'd like to have as much contributions as possible. Ciao, --Nereo Preto 03:32, 29 September 2007 (CDT)

Dear Thomas,
Age of the earth is meant to explain how old is our planet, and what evidence exists for the age of the earth. E.g., the oldest rock, the oldest mineral, what is the meaning of the age of meteorites. The article is also meant to report the historical controversy on the age of the earth, eventually solved by the discovery of radioactive decay.
In CZ:Core Articles, you linked the article to Geologic ages of earth history, which instead referes to the Geologic time scale. These are distinct concepts, although the present title of the already existing article leaves space to some confusion.
You claimed the points for Age of the earth, but you didn't actually start a new article, you just referred to an article which was written already before the initiative was started. Rules of the initiative requires you write a new article of 250 words at least, thus, I cannot acknowledge the points. I'll cancel your name to make clear the article is still to be written.
Of course, you are welcome to write Age of the earth from scratch and regularly claim those points! All the best, --Nereo Preto 05:49, 24 November 2007 (CST)

Ah!. See it now. Ta Nereo. --Thomas Simmons 20:54, 24 November 2007 (CST)

Cochrane Collaboration

You have some content on the Cochrane Collaboration page that might be best moved to other pages now that these new pages are started. Ok with you if:

  1. Your Evidence–based medicine section goes to the Evidence-based medicine page?
  2. Your Study guidelines section goes to Clinical practice guideline?

If these moves are ok with you, I can do them, or you can do them if you prefer. Robert Badgett 15:57, 20 October 2007 (CDT)

Hello Robert,

Moving the Evidence–based medicine section to the Evidence-based medicine page and the Study guidelines section to Clinical practice guideline is certainly a reasonable idea. However, they are brief and should still remain in the Cochrane article with a link in the Cochrane article to your work at the Clinical practice guideline article and the Evidence-based medicine since they serve to briefly explain the concepts for the Cochrane Collaboration. I will put the links in now. You can copy and use what you think is appropriate of course --Thomas Simmons 19:13, 20 October 2007 (CDT)

I am not seeing why to put the guidelines section on the page as the Cochrane does not write practice guidelines. Is this section to make the point that some practice guidelines, presumably the better ones, are based on a systematic review of the literature? If so, we could state this. Based on the discussion above, is this section present to give readers alternative methods to get free summaries of the Cochrane? If so, would be better. Is this section present to draw the parallel that well-done guidelines resemble the Cochrane in methodology? If so, we should probably state that the evidence synthesis portion of a guideline is only one part of producing a guideline ( I think this section needs a sentence to introduce/transition to explain why it is here. ThanksRobert Badgett 07:20, 21 October 2007 (CDT)

The guidelines section is purely expository. It provides a series of examples for the basis of the topic of the article, that is why it explained as such, "Examples of methodological parameters:"

For that reason it need only be brief. The article would be the place to enlarge on the topic certainly. --Thomas Simmons 04:54, 22 October 2007 (CDT)

Response on the Creed

"The Western Churches" is a much broader category than the Roman Catholic Church. Western Churches would include all of the Protestant Churches, that for example do not understand the affirmation of there being "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" in the same sense as either the Orthodox or the Roman Catholics. John Whiteford 17:03, 23 November 2007 (CST)

OK. Then, that should be a point to make about what differs in the overall belief structure. To wit:

  • (1) I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
  • (2) And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light; True God of True God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made;
  • (3) Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man.
  • (4) And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried.
  • (5) And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;
  • (6) And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father;
  • (7) And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end.
  • (8) And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets.

I rarely if ever find Baptists or Methodists or Presbyterians who think otherwise. Jehovah's Witnesess and Mormons are certainly not in the same tradition in that they hold a very differernt view of the nature of Christ for example. So that should be claified.

When it comes to the statement

  • (9) In one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

We get into interpretations that do differ, yet these same groups do say this and then maintain that it means there is, say, a spiritual link, for example, rather than a physical one. Therein lies the problem--interpretation. The Roman Church and, from I what I have gathered, the most conservative of the Anglican Churches do agree with the Orthodox in this however.

The remaining sections of the creed:

  • (10) I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.
  • (11) I look for the resurrection of the dead;
  • (12) And the life of the world to come. Amen.

as for as I know are not a problem in that while some may not understand what it really means (does anyone?) but they do accept the statements. --Thomas Simmons 17:26, 23 November 2007 (CST)

I don't think most protestants believe that Baptism is for the remission of sins either. And even conservative Anglicans do not believe that there is only one visible Church. They teach some form of the branch theory. I think one could only make the case that Roman Catholics share our understanding of the creed... once the filioque is removed. But one can also argue that even they differ in subtle ways with us on other points as well... but personally, if we limited the statement to them, I would not quibble over it, but stretching it to cover most western churches is too much of a stretch. John Whiteford 21:11, 24 November 2007 (CST)
Re: "I don't think most protestants believe that Baptism is for the remission of sins either." Absolution of sins: referring to Mark 1:4 for example, "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." Luke 24:47 "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
Interesting. I have never yet heard of another interpretation. Baptism is regarded as symbolic if not the physical act of repentence, forgiveness and rebirth. I have yet to hear of a Baptist or Presbyterian, for example, who thought that the act left the baptised "in sin," as it were. As for one visible chruch, still do not agree.
These people do not see that their beliefs are different from each other, just their governance. So they would not interpret the Apostolic Succession as an actual physical succession that maintains an orthodox versus heterodox division. Again the central dogma in the Creed is held by most. The problem lies in the interpretation. If you walk through the Creed with those Protestant or non-denominational Christians who use the Creed, they will agree pretty much with the orthodox interpretations. When you get to phrases like "one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church they will also agree. Again they will say that their "First Antioch Church of the Rock" is such a church. When they are given the definition as originally pronounced in the Creed, then they insist that their interpretation is the correct interpretation and the interpretation is quite simply a perspective on governance to them. It gets a little silly but their interpretations are not unlike the assertions of polytheism leveled by those who refused to accept the three in one arguments of one essence but three persons. They see it, they read it, they believe it but they have never considered that their interpretation on the one visible church is not the one originally intended. This is one reason why so many Christians who do leave these western chruches and enter the Orthodox Church are not making any great changes in their beliefs, they already ascribe to the central tenants. Accepting the one Church as the One and only Church is probably the biggest leap they make.--Thomas Simmons 21:41, 24 November 2007 (CST)


Hi Thomas, thanks for editing this article at the same time as myself. (This is my first stab at writing a wiki.) I've retained your text along with mine; hopefully we can remove any redundancies and use this as a foundation for a thorough article on Aristotle. Rahmat Muhammad 21:56, 28 December 2007 (CST)

Yep. Rahmat Muhammad 22:12, 28 December 2007 (CST)

The response that I expected...something along the lines of "you're going to hell", etc. etc. I don't think most people got what I was trying to say in that article.Rahmat Muhammad 22:23, 28 December 2007 (CST)

Weather in New England cold (though not freezing). Enjoy the movie! Rahmat Muhammad 22:23, 28 December 2007 (CST)

Party! You're invited!

Hi—Your neighbourhood Mistress of Ceremonies here. I see you’re working away on write-a-thon Wednesday, so come on over to the party and sign in! Aleta Curry 00:02, 9 January 2008 (CST)


Thomas- I noticed you were the last one to work on the ICD10 template. I know that it's referenced in some articles as {{ICD10|D|56||d|55}} but this in fact doesn't change the URL reference. It still says the same as [1]... is this intentional or was it meant to be a functional template? If you meant for it to have variables that can be changed, I can assist you with this if you'd like. Otherwise I'm really confused as to the function of this particular template. --Robert W King 12:13, 9 January 2008 (CST)

Right. Did not change the URL, I labeled it. Rather than the template giving a url it gives the code to which it leads.--Thomas Simmons 18:24, 9 January 2008 (CST)


I think one of the articles you may have deleted was a part of the CZ:Eduzendium initiative. They were Bankruptcy and Income Statement. Just curious, why did the rest get the axe also? --Robert W King 09:08, 28 February 2008 (CST)

Hi Robert. We are (the Constables) from time to time, pruning the small and inactive. The two that got deleted we deleted in error (I was told in a following post to leave economics workgroup alone and some of the Eduzendium articles are not well identified). The Income statement has been restored though--not sure I actually deleted anything since the student doing the page had deleted the entire contents more than once.

I have been sending queries out to the folks who post a few words and then seem to abandon the stubs, just to see if they are planning anything. MOst that were deleted have not seen action from late to mid last year.--Thomas Simmons 17:33, 28 February 2008 (CST)

Why delete them? Stubs encourage people to dive in. I cannot see any logic behind deleting these articles. Denis Cavanagh 11:45, 29 February 2008 (CST)

Hi Denis, Well, if they do in fact encourage people to dive in then we'd expect to see a few ripples in the pool. After awhile, however, they simply bloat the stats and the original author has moved on or lost interest. They are not being deleted as soon as they are put in and some categories are being slowly added to by people who have not got a lot of time on their hands. But as a standard, to let them drift for extended periods, really does not accomplish anythng and the overall look is a collection of titles and wee stubs rather than a real encyclopedia. Logically, it is a mixed bag of ethics and simple logistics in the end. --Thomas Simmons 17:20, 29 February 2008 (CST)

Come to the party!

It's Wednesday, Thomas!

Party time!

This month's theme is: "Something you absolutely love!"

Be there. Aloha.

Aleta Curry 16:16, 4 March 2008 (CST)


CZ can't be making claims that are rejected by most scholars. Notable the Digges story. Please argue it out on the telescope-talk page first; CZ does not allow for the kind of reverting-wars that mar Wikipedia Richard Jensen 04:05, 23 March 2008 (CDT)

The following comment which in part discusses the substantive content might better have been posted in Talk:Telescope, where future authors/editors can find it more easily. J. Noel Chiappa 11:26, 23 March 2008 (CDT)

Unbelievable. Most scholars? Someone took a survey and that has been made public? Let's be specific and stick to facts here. You have made massive deletions without consultation, dismissed sources that are employed by the Imperial College and or have written well known works in the field for Cambridge U. Press and then misrepresent the very sources that half-heartedly pronounce who is and who is not mainstream.

To quote one of these mainstream sources From Fred Watson (2006) Stargazer:The life and times of the telescope

"From Pantometria and from writings of another Elizabethan mathematicians, William Bourne (also a contemporary of Thomas Digges), it is clear that the instrument described by the two Diggeses incorporated a dished mirror though probably unlike the modern reflecting telescope. . . .

But what might be called mainstream scholarship upholds an opposing view, namely that the first practical reflecting telescope was constructed by Issac Newton in 1668."

I sum up: Given the difficulty in making an adequate mirror to provide the sort of resolution that Thomas Digges asserts in his words in the Pantometria, it is unlikely that a practical instrument was built by Thomas Digges simply because the technological skill would have most probably been beyond the efforts of the 16th century.

This is no where near a whole-hearted a denunciation of the Diggeses earlier purported in the rationale for the huge deletions nor does the information presented from the source, Colin Ronan, make any pretense to extraordinary accomplishments. The deed was done and the fine instruments we see today had to wait for another time. That sums it up. Issac Newton did not invent the telescope, Galileo did not, Lipperhey did not and it would not be surprising to hear than neither were the Diggeses the first to sort this one out. In fact, there is some possibility that Caesar, to use Watson as a source here, was able to see from afar as well. Galileo is reported to have built his own instruments from a mere traveler's description and was able to see well enough to draw rather detailed views of the lunar aspects.

Furthermore Watson denounces Thomas Digges' claims about his father's powers of resolution. And Watson admits that a mirror is technically much harder to produce than a lens--yet Galileo did make a refractive telescope that had sufficient resolution within one lifetime from Thos. Digges with far less preparation--but Leonard and Thomas could not?

The information offered by Watson certainly makes for a balanced and informed perspective even though it is very possible that he is constructing a straw man to deconstruct but the deletions were wholly unnecessary and well outside the CZ community norm.--Thomas Simmons 05:49, 23 March 2008 (CDT)


Thanks for your comments, much appreciated. Ro Thorpe 17:22, 24 March 2008 (CDT)

Workgroup classifications

Hi, now that we're using the metadata scheme, workgroup categories are inserted automatically into articles by the {{subpages}} template, once the metadata is filled out; we don't put them in the article text any more. (See Compton effect for an example.) There's more about it at CZ:Using the Subpages template if you want to know the details. J. Noel Chiappa 11:22, 29 March 2008 (CDT)

The Holy Spirit

Hey Thom-- On Friday, I noticed that we still don't have a page on the Holy Spirit, and so I've been trying to piece something together. I feel reasonably comfortable talking about the Holy Spirit in the Western tradition, but I could use some perspective on Eastern and Orthodox perspectives (I know enough to know that things are at least slightly different). Please help me out! Thanks, Brian P. Long 16:28, 13 April 2008 (CDT)

Cut-and-paste moves

Hi, I see you did a cut-and-paste move of Pluto to Pluto (planet) (it has since been moved to Pluto (dwarf planet)). Cut-and-paste moves divorce the page contents from the history, which we really need to keep, because people may have reason to inspect it (e.g. for copyright legal reasons), so if you could not do any more that way (there's that "move' tab for rthat), that would really be appreciated. Thanks! J. Noel Chiappa 19:55, 23 May 2008 (CDT)

need help with Eduzendium registrations

Hi Thomas, I am urgently seeking a constable to help me push through 27 author registrations quickly for Eduzendium. The course starts in 2 days and lasts for only 6 weeks, so if I cannot get someone to help register students quickly, it may not work out. Would you be available and willing to create 27 logins for me? Thanks in advance for considering it.Pat Palmer 12:20, 5 July 2008 (CDT)

Would you please offer your comments on this forum thread?

Thomas, as one of our Constables, would you please read this thread here on the forums about the neutrality of the Global warming external article ported here from Wikipedia? Do you think some action should or should not be taken? I will await your response in that thread on the forums.Thanks in advance. Milton Beychok 15:01, 13 August 2008 (CDT)


Have you had a look at this? Their policy seems close to your apparent preference for having separate articles for different points of view. Peter Jackson 12:14, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Ta, Peter. Will take a look.Thomas Simmons 21:23, 18 December 2008 (UTC)


Hi Thomas! I apologize if this is not the correct forum for such comments, but I want to let you know that I appreciate the messages you sent to me upon my registration. It is always nice to meet a fellow UMKC alumn! I look forward to future interaction. Mitchell McGill 18:16, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

possible article for approval

How do you feel about approving either the article on Noah Webster or the one on Japanese English? They represent very different aspects of linguistics, but both seem like they could be ready or could be made ready with a little bit of work. --Joe Quick 16:44, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Hi Joe. Will take a look at it when I get time.Thomas Simmons 09:56, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Great, thanks! --Joe Quick 18:44, 11 April 2009 (UTC)



Template:SpecialCharsNote The following table lists many specialized symbols commonly used in mathematics, ordered by their introduction date.

Name Date of earliest use First author to use

plus and minus signs ca. 1360 (abbreviation for Latin et resembling the plus sign) Nicolas Oresme
1489 (first appearance of plus and minus signs in print) Johannes Widmann
radical symbol (for square root) 1525 (without the vinculum above the radicand) Christoff Rudolff
parentheses (for precedence grouping) 1544 (in handwritten notes) Michael Stifel
1556 Nicolo Tartaglia
equals sign 1557 Robert Recorde
multiplication sign 1618 William Oughtred
plus-minus sign 1628
proportion sign
radical symbol (for nth root) 1629 Albert Girard
strict inequality signs (less-than sign and greater-than sign) 1631 Thomas Harriot
superscript notation (for exponentiation) 1636 (using Roman numerals as superscripts) James Hume
1637 (in the modern form) René Descartes
√ ̅
radical symbol (for square root) 1637 (with the vinculum above the radicand) René Descartes
percent sign ca. 1650 unknown
division sign (a.k.a. obelus) 1659 Johann Rahn
infinity sign 1655 John Wallis

unstrict inequality signs (less-than or equals to sign and greater-than or equals to sign) 1670 (with the horizontal bar over the inequality sign, rather than below it)
1734 (with double horizontal bar below the inequality sign) Pierre Bouguer
differential sign 1675 Gottfried Leibniz
integral sign
colon (for division) 1684 (deriving from use of colon to denote fractions, dating back to 1633)
middle dot (for multiplication) 1698 (perhaps deriving from a much earlier use of middle dot to separate juxtaposed numbers)
division slash (a.k.a. solidus) 1718 (deriving from horizontal fraction bar, invented by Arabs in 12th century) Thomas Twining
inequality sign (not equal to) unknown Leonhard Euler
summation symbol 1755
proportionality sign 1768 William Emerson
partial differential sign (a.k.a curly d or Jacobi's delta) 1770 Marquis de Condorcet
prime symbol (for derivative) Joseph Louis Lagrange
identity sign (for congruence relation) 1801 (first appearance in print; used previously in personal writings of Gauss) Carl Friedrich Gauss
integral part (a.k.a. floor) 1808
product symbol 1812
factorial 1808 Christian Kramp

set inclusion signs (subset of, superset of) 1817 Joseph Gergonne
1890 Ernst Schröder
absolute value notation 1841 Karl Weierstrass
determinant of a matrix Arthur Cayley
matrices notation 1843
nabla symbol (for vector differential) 1846 (previously used by Hamilton as a general-purpose operator sign) William Rowan Hamilton

intersection and union signs 1888 Giuseppe Peano
membership sign (is an element of) 1894
existential quantifier (there exists) 1897
aleph symbol (for cardinal numbers of transfinite sets) 1893 Georg Cantor
braces, a.k.a. curly brackets (for set notation) 1895
double-struck capital N (for natural numbers set) Giuseppe Peano
middle dot (for dot product) 1902 J. Willard Gibbs?
multiplication sign (for cross product)
logical disjunction (a.k.a. OR) 1906 Bertrand Russell
matrices notation 1909 Gerhard Kowalewski
1913 Cuthbert Edmund Cullis
contour integral sign 1917 Arnold Sommerfeld
double-struck capital Z (for integer numbers set) 1930 Edmund Landau
1930s Nicolas Bourbaki
double-struck capital Q (for rational numbers set)
universal quantifier (for all) 1935 Gerhard Gentzen
empty set sign 1939 André Weil / Nicolas Bourbaki
double-struck capital C (for complex numbers set) Nathan Jacobson
arrow (for function notation) 1936 (to denote images of specific elements) Øystein Ore
1940 (in the present form of f: X → Y) Witold Hurewicz
integral part (a.k.a. floor) 1962 Kenneth E. Iverson
end of proof sign (a.k.a. tombstone) unknown Paul Halmos


Ready for Approval

I believe the article I wrote on the Hawaiian alphabet is ready, or could be ready with minor copyediting, for approval. Could you take a look at it some time?Drew R. Smith 12:31, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Workgroups for labor issues?

Especially in the context of U.S. politics, but also on an international level, I have written articles dealing partially or fully with organized labor issues. After some informal consultation, I put them in the Sociology Workgroup, since they obviously have something to do with society, but am unsure if that's correct. Economics and business and politics were all possibilities. Is it worth having an interdisciplinary subgroup? Indeed, would it interest you to be a specialty editor for labor? Howard C. Berkowitz 22:47, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I think a subgroup would be appropriate given the amount of overlap with other categories. Thomas Simmons 00:51, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

New Linguistics editor

Thomas, we now have a new Linguistics editor, Frederic Clarke Putnam. It would be helpful to introduce yourself to him and to welcome him. Thanks, Milton Beychok 17:53, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Talk:Eastern Orthodox Church

Just to let you know I've invited the Ombudsman. Peter Jackson 09:09, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Financial Report as of March 15, 2011

Please read our Financial Report as of March 15, 2001 for complete details on our financial history and our current financial situation. If you have any questions, please ask them on CZ Talk:Donate.- Milton Beychok 01:41, 19 March 2011 (UTC)


As you seem to have some time free from reviewing Howard's qualifications, maybe you'll hav etime to have look at this. Peter Jackson 10:26, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Possibly duplicate Linguistics articles?

Hi, Thomas. When you get a chance, could you as a Linguistics Editor please look at Objects (things) and Names (words), which appear to cover the same ground as Signifier, but without using the linguistic terms of art, and see what you might want to do about them? Perhaps they should be deleted, or at most, remain as redirects. Thanks! Bruce M. Tindall 17:30, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Forum pic

Hi, Thom -- I had a terrible time getting the pic there. You'd think it would be simple: Go to Profile, then on the left click on Modify Profile, then click on Forum Profile Information. Then upload your picture. But I could never make it work. As I recall, some tech fellow, I forget who, suddenly did it for me, in about 10 seconds. But I simply can't recall HOW he did it. I *think* that he found the big picture of me on my User page, scanned or copied a part of it, converted it into NUMBERS, and inserted the numbers somewhere. Once I saw how he had done it, I could *understand* it, but would never have figured it out by myself. Why don't you ask Milt or Johan -- they both have pix, and both of them are probably smart enough to have figured it for themselves how to do it. And once you have *yours* there, you can tell *me* again how to do it! Hayford Peirce 23:02, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

We have a new Linguistics and Literature author

We have a new Linguistics and Literature author, named Adam Heidebrink. You may wish to leave a welcome message on his Talk page ... and perhaps mentor him if he needs help. Milton Beychok 00:01, 16 July 2011 (UTC)