User talk:Michael Hardy/Archive2

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Hi Mr. Hardy-- I saw that you wrote an article on logistic curves. I'm trying to understand the difference between these 2 equations both of which are supposed to be s-curves (one being sigmoid).

Can somebody pls tell me what the difference is between these 2 s-curve equations? 1 / (1 + exp(a1x ^a2) ) or 1-exp(-c*x^d)

I am not a mathematician so I would appreciate a layman's explanation. Thank you for your help!

Upper vs upper

This question is kind of irrelevant, but just out of curiosity: why did you change the redirect at Lobachevsky plane from upper to Upper? As I understand it, due to limitations in Wikimedia, all articles start with a capital letter. -- Tob 08:36, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

The purpose of my edit was to insert the hyphen between half and plane, thereby bypassing a redirect page. An incidental other change was to make the capital U a lower-case u (not the other way around). I prefer that because capitalizing the initial sometimes makes newbies think it's necessary to capitalize the first letter of a link, and then they put a capital d in something like dog in the middle of a sentence. The first letter of a link, unlike the later letters, is case-insensitive. Michael Hardy 18:58, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Math punctuation

I understand your concerns, but my concern is that the period is very close to \cdot, which is confusing when thrown at the end of a formula. The typographical features of web browsers are rather lacking.—Kbolino 00:03, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Golden Mean

I posted the following on Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Golden Mean:

Please don't merge or redirect: I agree that this article needs substantial improvement. However, most of it deals with the philosophical meaning of golden mean (essentially not too much, not too little), which has nothing to do with the mathematical subject of the golden ratio article; therefore, it should not be merged with that article. The confusion, which is not of our making, is that the outside world uses golden mean ambiguously: sometimes in its philosophical sense (above); other times as a synonym for the golden ratio. Golden ratio, on the other hand, is unambibuous: it refers only to the subject of the golden ratio article, which is another reason that the articles should not be merged. The Wikified solution for dealing an ambiguous term is disambiguation, and that is part of the solution for this article. Indeed Michael Hardy, who made the first post on this page (does that mean he is the one who nominated the article for deletion?) raised much the same point in a comment following his original post. The rest of the solution is (1) to delete from this article all discussion of material that is treated in the golden ratio article (and treated much better there), with an appropriate cross-reference on this page to golden ratio as another meaning of golden mean; and (2) to edit what is left of this article, dealing solely with the philosophical meaning, to improve its quality. Finell 10:49, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

The voting is running heavily for merging the 2 articles, which I thing would be a big mistake: the other (nonmathematical) meaning of golden mean deserves its own treatment in Wikipedia, albeit a better one than the current Golden Mean article. The other meaning has no place in the Golden ratio article. What do you think? Finell 12:44, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

PS: You really archive your Talk page quickly!

Fisher Information

Is it wikipedia policy to scatter user-instruction into the edit log of the page? I thought that was what the "discussion" page was for, if not the "user talk" pages, but call me a "newbie" indeed if I was woefully mistaken. Furthermore, if it is a concern that "newbies" would put underbars into the visible portion of a link, does this not suggest that instead of making up yet another style rule for the humans to slavishly obey, one should simply reprogram the wikipedia to not produce the underscores that it doesn't need in the first place? mdf 17:40, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

It's not unusual to explain the rationale for one's edit in the summary. Michael Hardy 19:20, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

constructivism (mathematics)

Hi Michael -- I see what you mean -- it hadn't occurred to me that mathematics and education overlap in mathematics education -- I was just thinking that all meanings of constructivism are created equal and there seemed to be no reason to single out education from the others. These warnings shouldn't be too long, though, I think -- is my shortened version of your warning OK?

Wrong, wrong, wrong! You're totally missing the point! "all meanings of constructivism are created equal and there seemed to be no reason to single out education from the others"? The point is: the word "constructivism" in philosophy of education and the term "constructivism" in philosophy of mathematics refer to two entirely different things. In philosophy of education, "constructivism" is a tenet about the way people learn by "constructing knowledge". In philosophy of mathematics, "constructivism" is about the sense in which mathematical objects such as numbers, functions, sets, etc. can be said to exist, and how their existence can be known. Michael Hardy 19:20, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Hi Michael -- I think we're not as far apart on this as you think. I'm aware that "constructivism" is something different in the two cases, not just one concept applied to two fields. But it's also something different in each of the other cases listed at constructivism. I had initially not seen the point of singling out one of these cases -- the sentence that you quote from me, which you seem to have taken as me insisting on that view, was just to explain my thinking at the time I made the first change. I did then see why you might think that a confusion with the use of the term in the theory of education might be more likely to arise than in the other cases, but I still think it's a good idea that the link now points to constructivism, not to constructivism (learning theory) as before.
Regarding your criticism of my shortened version, I didn't mean to imply that one meaning of the word was being applied to two fields, but I can see why you think that it might be interpreted that way. I can't think of any shorter way to express the distinctions that you feel are important, so I'll leave it at that (apart from the typo :-).
it's also something different in each of the other cases listed at constructivism

But those other cases are not the ones causing the confusion. People have kept inserting stuff about Piaget and the like into the article under the mistaken impression that that's what it's supposed to be about. Michael Hardy 00:47, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Deletion request

Hello Michael. I accidentally uploaded the file Image:Default Title d.ogg, with a wrong title. This same file was then reuploaded with its correct title, as indicated in the image's page. Could you please delete it? —AugPi 19:30, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Birthday paradox

Greetings. In fact, friendly greetings.

Do you know the Uncle Remus story of the Tar Baby? You asked mathematicians to get in on the discussion about the Halmos section of the birthday paradox, so I got involved. But now I feel stuck in it beyond my real interest. Rather than continue to watch, talk, and edit, I'm going to back away. If you still have an interest, you'll need to grapple with the tar baby yourself. I'll watch your talk page if you want to reply. Best of luck! :-) --KSmrqT 02:05, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Too many capital letters

Hi, Michael. Thanks for fixing the capitalization in the Posidonius article. --Tregonsee 17:58, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

no, i checked, was someone else. was worried, because i tend to have brain farts, particularly in front of a class. i just expect them to translate my gibberish on the fly ;)

Missing articles in the list of probability topics

Hi Michael. I promised a while ago to help maintaining lists of math topics. I could update them in the same manner as I do for now with the list of mathematical topics, but that would require too much oversight, as there are hundreds of math lists to take care of.

What I did so far, I tried an experiment. I listed at Talk:list of probability topics some articles missing from the List of probability topics. One could then add them to the List of probability topics by hand.

One can update that list on the talk page on demand, by clicking on a link. I also put there an editable list of categories to be searched for probability articles.

Anyway, wonder if you can take a look there and let me know what you think. This approach is not fully automatic, but I could extend it to every single math list we have in here, as long as a human would be willing to do part of the work. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:51, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

math vandal

User has recently vandalized several math pages. I dont know how to sort this out, but I guess you do. R.e.b. 16:23, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

And it's almost surely to their credit...

I removed "almost surely" because it added an uncertainty that doesn't exist: an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters *will* begin to produce every work *possible* immediately. Finding Hamlet among the infinite array of monkeys, though -- that would be a little trickier... :) -- Seth Ilys 15:57, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I wasn't familiar with the usage, and I deal with statistics a fair amount. I think that, for the untrained reader, the first impression will be that "almost surely" means "with probability slightly less than 1" - that's what I thought it meant. Re-including it and linking to the almost surely article, though, would be fine. -- Seth Ilys 19:12, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Mathematics list of lists

Hi Michael - I notice that there is an article List of probability distributions which apparently duplicates the list in probability distribution. I have added a number of probability distributions to the latter, but I was not aware of the former. Do you have an objection to removing the duplicate list in probability distribution and replacing it with a link to the list? PAR 22:00, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree that it's not good to have the same thing in two places. I just edited probability distribution, and I don't really want to do it again in list of probability distributions. (Fisher's z and the beta prime were in the wrong places.) Maybe we should turn the list of probability distributions into a simple list with no text. EricK 17:56, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Re: Please vote on list of lists

Hi Michael. I realised it was a featured list candidate, so I won't be changing my vote. I believe that it is a very useful page, and perhaps is worth featuring somehow. But, I think it doesn't really fit into what the featured lists seem to be -- lists for reference purposes where the information is there on the page, rather than lists of links to other articles. I would not say that this list of lists could never become suitable to be a featured list, but I don't think it really fits at this point in time. Cheers, Ben Cairns 12:55, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

Hello Michael. I wrongly put my vote (mild support with some precautions) in the discussion section instead in the voting section where it should have been. The remarks I left there are meant as a suggestion to improve the overall structure of the list (and not as an argument against the featured list). Concerning the comments made there: As I have now seen the "List of wave topics" does not yet have an entry "Maxwells' equation". On the other hand "Maxwell's equation" appears in the "List of partial differential equations" (under Named equations) and the rather large "List of equations". This means that the topic "Maxwell's equations" is not really covered by the existing set of lists inside "Mathematical physics" (whose coverage seems too narrow). One could add a "List of fundamental equations in mathematical physics" there where Maxwell' equation would fit well together with other equations (Einstein-, Schrödinger, maybe Navier-Stokes) from Mathematical physics. At least in this section the "List of list of mathematical topics" does not seem to be in the desired "stable (featured) state". -- 16:12, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Quantum indeterminacy

Please see and comment on Talk:Quantum indeterminacy#Dispute status of this article. Thanks --CSTAR 18:08, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Talk:Proof that 0.999... equals 1

As regards and his comments at this page, I am absolutely convinced you are wasting your time by trying to convince them that something they won't believe is true. Mathematical discussion of this topic is fruitless when one side of the argument feels free to impose unique limitations on basic definitions of mathematical constructs.

Just a thought. Mallocks 14:45, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

link to scale

At scale space you created one or more links to scale. Since scale is (as you would of course expect) a disambiguation page, it would be better to link to one of the articles listed on that page. Michael Hardy 23:18, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the hint. I changed the links so they point now to more appropriate articles. Ben T/C 00:35, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Michael, just a note to tip you the wink. At present this nomination is in the balance. However, Bjcairns, Stevenj and OpenToppedBus, for example, have all made points that could be looked at. If you could deal with some of these, it will be much easier to promote the list. Kind regards, jguk 12:57, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Two things

I'd be interested in a Maths Wikireader! What's the chance of getting one of these off the ground? The second thing is... I just don't get present value... could you explain this to me? Cheers Michael :-) BTW, I really like your list of list of math topics. - Ta bu shi da yu 00:23, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Henry the Navigator

An article that you've edited before (Henry the Navigator) is nominated for Biography Collaboration of the Week. If you want go there and vote. Thanks. Gameiro 20:44, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Cloveius' comments on FLC

Hi Michael. I think you are overreacting on Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/List of lists of mathematical topics. It seems to me that all Cloveius did is to move his comments to a more logical place (the timestamp wasn't changed). Cheers, Jitse Niesen (talk) 21:04, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Central limit theorem

In central limit theorem, I think "Let Xn be a sequence of independent random variables defined on the same probability space (and not necessarily independent)" is unclear. --Henrygb 21:09, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Haste makes waste -- for some reason I thought it was one of those variants with weaker assumptions than independence. I've reverted. Michael Hardy 21:43, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Eyes requested

In the recent past you have laid hands on "Proof that 0.999... equals 1". By one of my typically wandering paths of browsing through Wikipedia, I came across the page, read it, and gagged. (Comments on the talk page.) Then I boldly rewrote the whole text to make any handwaving either explicit or more tolerably subtle, and to better serve the likely audience. I left the external references alone, though I don't much like any of them. Peer review can be a Good Thing, and I'd appreciate it if you'd have a look. I know it's not as sexy a topic as, say, de Rham cohomology or Calabi-Yau manifold, but the general public deserves an honest treatment of fundamentals, and it seems like the sort of thing that might fall within your interests. --KSmrqT 07:10, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

In case I was unclear: I'm not attacking your edits, or those of anyone else. (Frankly, once I began I was dismayed at how much time and care it took to do a decent job on such a basic topic.) Rather, I'm hoping that because of your previous interest (you touched it) and expertise you'll have a look. Thanks. —KSmrqT 19:50, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Hello. I've done a couple of minor edits a few minutes ago; I'll look at it further later. Michael Hardy 19:56, 27 October 2005 (UTC)


Are you sure? OK, I'm only 49, but back in the 1920s Fowler criticised the use of the stop in abbreviations such as "Mrs.", and I've certainly seen "Mr", "Dr", "Mrs", etc., in books from the late nointeenth century. My understanding was that use of stops was somewhat haphazard until the last couple of centuries, gradually settling down into the current standards. I'm no expert on the history of punctuation, though, so any sources you can offer would be gratefully received and read with interest. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 20:36, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, on alt.usage.english, someone posted that when he was in school in England in 1940, he was taught to write "Mrs. Jones" and "Dr. Jones" and so on, rather than "Mrs Jones" and "Dr Jones" which are now standard in England. And spelling and punctuation seem to have changed more in England in the last 80 years or so than in America; my impression is that "baptise" is now standard in England whereas 100 years ago "baptize" was often (maybe always?) used. Michael Hardy 20:43, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
"Baptize" is more etymologically faithful; I suspect that's why Noah Webster preferred it and his preferences are what became American conventions. Michael Hardy 20:44, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Even in the 1940s there were some odd teachers around... With regard to "-ize" and -"ise", though, U.K. English has generally gone for one of two approaches (sometimes an uncomfortable combination): either use the former for verbs with the Greek root "-izein" and the latter for those without, or treat them all as reaching English through French, and making them all "-ise". "Baptize" and "baptise" are both OK, though modern U.K. usage is drifting towards always using "-ise". I've no problems with U.S. usage in cases like "baptize", but I find "analyze" and the like positively painful. (I wish that more people followed the style tip on your User page, incidentally.) --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 23:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Punctuation 2

Mr. Hardy! Thank you so much for correcting my capitalization. There is no substitute for a good editor. From now on I will use External links and Extent and duration and in general only capitalize the first word of a title. I will also correct any I see done wrong. Good day to you.Dave 01:59, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Postural Integration

Hello Michael, re your rerouting our trade mark registered method to "integration" I accept your intentions were good, but it is like saying that the airline British Airways must be written British airways or Aer Lingus written Aer lingus just for grammatical correctness sake.

Please accept our recorrecting our organisation's method.
Greetings. Osioni 12:33, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Blue screen of death/Red screen of death

Hello. The merge of articles is disputed. I much appreciate your opnion, thanks. --Mateusc 02:16, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Infrared vandalism

Hi Michael - keep your eye on infrared -- it was vandalized by User: I discovered this while following his trail. Best regards Bryan 04:30, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Punctuation as a hobby

>>Simiarly, in the link to golden ratio, the initial "g" should not be capitalized in the middle of a sentence; "Golden" is not a person after whom the ratio is named. Michael Hardy 19:32, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

And just to think, all this time I thought it was named after the home of Coors Beer (Golden, Colorado). --AustinKnight 19:54, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Actually, the "B" in "Beer" should not be capitalized, since the official name of the product is "Coors". PAR 22:07, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm convinced...but tell that to Wikipedia: Beer --AustinKnight 22:27, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

But one can also write beer with a lower-case initial. The first letter of a link (unlike the later letters) is case-insensitive. Michael Hardy 22:33, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
beer with a lower-case intial? Come on Michael, this is not water, or orange juice, or if you wish hot chocolate. It is Beer, for Bacchus' sake! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:04, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
As am I. But I thank you for your edits, Michael. I stand corrected. --AustinKnight 22:38, 8 November 2005 (UTC)


The Pope as you may know is Bishop of Rome. The conclave (i.e. cardinal-electors) would have to grant dispensation from the rule of celibacy in the case of electing a married man, because it will be required of this layman that he accept ordination (the sacrament of Holy Orders) as deacon, priest, and bishop. The rule of celibacy was created by the Church and therefore it can be dispensed from in the case of an individual, a class of persons, or in entirety.

The rules that person be male, baptized, and profess the faith could not be dispensed from as the Church holds that these rules have divine authorship. patsw 21:11, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Actually the claim that a person's gender is non-dispensable is disputed by many theologians and religious experts including many at senior level in the Church privately. Baptism and a profession of state is however unabiguously mandatory. The methodology of both however has evolved within the Church over millennia. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 22:38, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

I've Tons

I've tons of pics of the "University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus." You an alumus, or -i?--Gephart 03:34, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

United States federal judge

If Federal judge (United States) is how people are likely to search, it can be accomplished with a redirect, yes? Cheers! BD2412 T 00:15, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Well, it is kind of like a title... BD2412 T 01:48, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

WikiProject Tunings, Temperaments, and Scales

Would you be interested in joining my proposed WikiProject, WikiProject Tunings, Temperaments, and Scales? —Keenan Pepper 18:43, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

I really don't know the topic, so if I look at those pages, it would be to learn something about it. (Of course, that doesn't mean I would not edit such pages.) Michael Hardy 23:19, 19 November 2005 (UTC)


I liked very much your changes. I wonder if you'd like "advocacy" though, instead of "advocation" - a rare word. Also I am not sure what "along with her allegedly cult-like actions and other sources" means - perhaps we should change "sources" to "oddities." Also no one notices or objects to the "philosophy"'s depending on absolute causality, while we know there's QM uncertainty and also chaos in many classical systems. I am dueling in the area of intelligent design, and would prefer not to generate changes that almost overlap with yours in "Objectivism". So for now I leave it to you. Carrionluggage 05:05, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Smallville Opinion

Hi Michael, thanx for the advice, I'll try to correct the pages anyway, can I have your opinion about that deletion mark that was on Smallville opening credits history? please tell me that Extraordinary Machine girl is crazy The OC article also has a history of opening credits...

Smallville Opinion

Hi Michael, thanx for the advice, I'll try to correct the pages anyway, can I have your opinion about that deletion mark that was on Opening credits history of Smallville? please tell me that Extraordinary Machine girl is crazy please add anythin you can do to support me in this cause to that article's discussion The OC article also has a history of opening credits...

--Charlie144 07:14, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Proof of additative property og Normal distributions

I've started the sum of normal distributions article. Could you please assist me in my attemt to prove that the sum of independent Gaussian distributions also i Gaussian? Thanks in advance. --Fredrik Orderud 20:00, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Disambiguation notice in constructivism (mathematics)

Normally an unambiguous article name, such as Constructivism (mathematics), should not need to be disambiguated. You are overreacting about such a notice being crucial for this article, as two anonymous editors contributing two learning theory-related edits over a span of eight months is barely significant. Especially considering one of those two edits was made when the disambiguation notice was present, so it evidently isn't effective. In any case the current notice is clearer and more useful than the one I removed. Sorry for the trouble.—jiy (talk) 21:47, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

It's not just that two anonymous editors have made that mistake; it's that one would expect that mistake; whereas mistaking this for the various other meanings of constructivism would not really be expected. Michael Hardy 20:35, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Noahide Laws in Category:Jewish Christian topics ?

There is a dispute over whether Noahide Laws should be included in this category, anyone with an opinion is asked to express it here: Talk:Noahide_Laws#Jewish_Christian_topics


Greetings. You fixed a couple of group links recently so they didn't go through disambiguation pages. (Thanks.) It made me wonder how many of these might be out there, and if there is a bot to flag them. No automatic bookkeeping can prevent them nor remove them, but some help spotting them would be nice. Do you know of anything, or should we tempt Oleg? --KSmrqT 20:28, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Somewhere there is a page that lists links to disambiguation pages. I'll see if I can find it. Michael Hardy 20:33, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
The "What links here" feature will give you that from any page. Here it is for group. For the list of all disambiguation page with links, see WP:DPL. Lots of people are working on this issue and there's so much to do there's always room for more. Tedernst | talk 00:29, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for these tips. I was also hoping for two automatic checks: one, when an edit is made, to notify of a link to a disambig page (if that can be detected automatically); the other, when a page is converted to a disambig page, to notify of any existing links to it that need fixing. Am I overly optimistic? --KSmrqT 01:06, 10 December 2005 (UTC)


Thanks for your message on Astrogation.

Wikipedia is not a dictionary, so articles that appear to be dictionary entries (one- or two-line articles) are not generally eligible to be on the site. If you are knowledgable about the subject of Astrogation, might I suggest that you add to it and remove the dicdef tag? Stifle 20:45, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

As I said, even in its currect stubby state, it contains more information than would be appropriate in a dictionary definition. Moreover, you are wrong to think that an article that is only a dictionary definition should be labeled as something to be moved to Wiktionary, when it blatantly obviously has the potential to become a long factual encyclopedia article, as in the present case. Michael Hardy 20:48, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry that we disagree. I don't see it the way you do, but I do think that even two more sentences on the topic would settle the issue. Do you think you could add those two sentences? Stifle 20:53, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Done. --KSmrqT 22:09, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Talk:Proof that 0.999... equals 1

My guess is that our anonymous visitor is a student, possibly in high school or early undergrad, probably male, who has had lots of sets thrown at him but never wondered how many more fanciful ones he could create himself. I suspect that he labors under the impression that the real numbers are somehow the maximal ordered extension of the rationals. Possibly someone has told him that the reals "fill in all the gaps", and that there is no more room to do so. Of course, this is nonsense, since you can take any ordered set X and insert at least a bunch of successors by taking the order product of X with 2. This construction would appear in the first week of an undergraduate class on order theory, if there were such a thing. A wonder what you think about that, as an educator: a class not on set theory, not on topology, but on less-than?

Anyway, I think if he can be made to understand that his vision of the real numbers makes no sense, and our definition does, he might accept our definition. Melchoir 00:02, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

On second thought, maybe not the first week. Melchoir 00:04, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
I've been watching that page; I don't think the anon is seriously interested in contributing to Wikipedia. Anon has made no real attempt to state and defend any definitions or claims. Frankly, I'm dumbfounded that so many different people have tried to reason with someone who shows no interest in reason. Your attempt, Melchoir, stands out as a best effort against a sea of handwaving. But I think anyone who responds is being played for a fool. Any sequence of steps that culminates in the theorem purportedly being discussed (ha!) will be rejected. --KSmrqT 00:59, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree that anon does not intend to contribute to Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a poor forum for the current discussion (ha!); conversely, the current discussion is definitely inappropriate for an article's talk page, since it is not concerned with improving the article, and I must apologize for propagating that. I have somewhat selfish reasons. As soon as it all ends (one way or another) I intend to archive it and leave the talk page all but blank. However, in the archive I think it might serve a purpose for Wikipedia. At the very least, it will be a warning of some sort to future generations. By highlighting common misconceptions about the real numbers, it might even help us write better articles. Melchoir 01:35, 30 November 2005 (UTC)


Hi Michael. I replied at talk:discrete random variable. But now I want to ask about something else. Can you please look at Talk:Correlation and the the diff of this revert? Somebody claims in there that a random variable cannot be correlated to another random variable. I think that this is obviously wrong, but you are the expert in that kind of stuff. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

The material that got wiped out by the reversion was nonsense; the person who reverted was right to do so. Michael Hardy 02:27, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

List of house types

On the talk page, I've made a comment about your merger suggestion. If you would like to reply when you get time, I'd appreciate it. If not, I'll remove the tag in a week or so if there aren't any more comments. --W.marsh 01:02, 2 December 2005 (UTC)


Thanks for merging Method of differences with Telescoping series. I feel very guilty about putting the merge tag up, as I always hate it when people just slap a tag on an article while they can do the work themselves, but it is good to see that somebody has taken care of it. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 01:03, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Cookies vs medical test example in Bayes' theorem

Hello. You have edited Bayes' theorem in the past. There is at present an edit conflict in Bayes' theorem concerning examples. Shall we have an example about cookies or an example about a medical test? I wonder if you care to weigh in on this question. If not, no problem. Please respond, if you choose to do so, at talk:Bayes' theorem. Regards, Wile E. Heresiarch 18:39, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Laplace transform

Why did you remove the references to physics and engineering from the first line of Laplace transform? -- Metacomet 04:20, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Stats question

You're good at stats, right? Inquiring minds need you help at Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Mathematics#Statistics_Question linas 17:00, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

If you give the right answer, Linas will pay you money. The amount will be random, but guaranteed to have mean 1$ and dispersion $0.02. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:29, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

an unfortunate edit

You will see in my talk (the section above your edit) that this was already brought to my attention. I can see that linking to continuous probability distribution is a better choice, but (and my reasoning for my edit) is that the continuous probability distribution is a continuous function. I have created a talk section about this at Talk:Continuity to avoid mistakes like this in the future. I think you will agreee that the final outcome is a better wikilink in the article = a better Wikipedia. I have no idea what "knee-jerk" meant in your comment. Who's knee was jerking?--Commander Keane 20:02, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Question about Riesz–Fischer theorem

Recently, an anonymous user changed "converges uniformly" to just plain "converges" on Riesz–Fischer theorem [1]. I think that it should be uniformly continuous, but I don't have my reference text with me. Do you know which is correct? Thanks. NatusRoma 04:08, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Was watching; thought I might be able to help. See Talk:Riesz–Fischer theorem. --KSmrqT 07:03, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

The anonymous editor is right; "converges uniformly" is completely wrong in this case. And the anonymous editor did NOT change "converges uniformly" to just plain "converges". Rather, he or she changed it to "converges in L2, which is different not only from uniform convergence, but also from pointwise convergence and from almost-everywhere convergence. Michael Hardy 19:40, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Telescoping series

Just a quick question: if I wanted to reword method of differences into the verb of telescoping series, would it be called telescoping? I would like to know before I attempt to rewrite the article slightly. Thanks in advance. x42bn6 Talk 13:28, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

reword method of differences into the verb of telescoping series

I have no idea what that means. Michael Hardy 19:27, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Because the article title is Telescoping series, should I use a verb version of it in the article (i.e. telescoping), rather than a term related to method of differences (i.e. differencing)? x42bn6 Talk 03:48, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

OK, I think I see what you mean. Certainly telescope is used as a verb in this context. One may say, "This sum can be evaluated quickly because it telescopes", or the like. Michael Hardy 19:34, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Great, thanks! I will be rewriting the article at User:x42bn6/Working On/Telescoping series, by the way. x42bn6 Talk 02:16, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Your renaming suggestion

See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics#Proposed renaming and vote. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:26, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Seigenthaler contact information

Unfortunately, I do not have an email address for Mr. Seigenthaler. The only contact I have had from him, as far as I can recall, was by telephone in early October, and then of course we appeared in a couple of interviews together during the height of media interest in his story. --Jimbo Wales 12:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

stacked fractions in superscripts

please see my comment and Steve's question --Bob K 21:46, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

John Seigenthaler's email

I noticed (on Jimbo's talk page) that you were looking for Siegenthaler's email address. I was looking for it too (I wanted to give him a piece of my mind). I couldn't find it, but I did find the email address for his project, the First Amendment Center. I wrote my message to the following address: This is the address of the Managing Editor of the Center. I must tell you, I received a very rude response to my reasonably polite email. Flag of Canada.svg--Mb1000 01:06, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, after reading this comment from you, I wrote to the very same email address, and got this reply:
Thanks for your message. Forwarding to John Seigenthaler's office.
Michael Hardy 01:24, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Seigenthaler's Email

No, unfortunatly. It was by the managing editor. But at least I got it off my chest! --Mb1000 01:15, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


The section on Euler's proof mentions at the end that the "equation" seems odd to modern eyes, et cetera. I've seen this kind of statement in regards to Euler and other less rigorous mathematicians before, and it always annoys me. The meaning of the "equation" is perfectly evident to me; of course we'll never know for sure exactly what he meant, but how could he have meant anything other than our modern day, rigorous equivalent? The article then says that the proof can be slightly altered to conform to modern standards of rigor. Wouldn't that just amount to replacing all the infinites with Xs and taking the limit as X approaches infinity? This is almost the only useful interpretation of the infinity symbol, and the presence of the unqualified symbol naturally suggests replacing it with a limit. Why are proofs like this considered so drastically different than our modern ones? --Monguin61 22:23, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Wouldn't that just amount to replacing all the infinites with Xs and taking the limit as X approaches infinity?

Not in this, involving "ln(ln(+∞))". The limit would merely be ∞, but what the paragraph says Euler almost certainly meant is something other than that.

This is almost the only useful interpretation of the infinity symbol

That is nonsense. There are many interpretations that are useful. You've just mentioned one of them, and what the article says Euler almost certainly meant is another one.

Why are proofs like this considered so drastically different than our modern ones?

Did you sleep through the whole 19th century? Notice, for example, the reasons why we distingish between pointwise convergence and uniform convergence, etc. Michael Hardy 00:12, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I wanted to move this off the discussion page for the article, it never belonged there in the first place, but I'd like to continue the discussion. I'm not trying to troll, this is something I've been curious about for a while, and I'd like to gain some insight. First of all, you're right, the "ln(ln(+∞))" is a different use of the infinity symbol, but our modern rigor would replace that with asymptotic notation, wouldn't it? Does that really count as a current use of the infinity symbol? Also, the line containing the ln(ln(+∞)) doesn't seem to be a part of the progression of steps that make up the proof, but just an additional observation made after the fact. So what I'm wondering is, when his proof is altered to conform to modern standards (ignoring that last statement, for the time being), what needs to be done to it, other than replacing those infinities with limits? As for the pointwise/uniform convergence, maybe I'm up too late, but I'm not seeing how that relates to this particular proof. --Monguin61 08:00, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Numbers not numerals...

Please describe your edit to List of numbers. Georgia guy 00:32, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I'd describe them as;
  • orthography (punctuation and capitalization), a minor edit;
  • conforming to the style manual in section headings, a minor edit;
  • bypassing a redirect page, a minor edit;
  • clarifying that this is not about numerals, not a minor edit. Some confusion about this was suggested by the fact that someone had posted an absurd merger proposal at English-language numerals.

Michael Hardy 00:36, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales article...

... you removed both your own comment and my own. Could I ask why? - Ta bu shi da yu 03:38, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Sorry -- I had no idea I was deleting anything but my own comments. I deleted those because I realized that that page is not where I should have put them; I then pasted them at User talk:Jimbo Wales. Michael Hardy 03:42, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Ah, I thought it was something like that :) - Ta bu shi da yu 03:46, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Derivative edit

Please explain why your edit to Derivative (which I reverted) makes sense. I thought a template is a simplified version. Georgia guy 23:56, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

The "alternateuses" and "otheruses" templates are horribly obnoxious because they are (as I said in the edit summary) strictly one-size-fits-all. They forbid the user to choose judiciously between capital and lower-case in the name of the disambiguation page to which they link or to rephrase in a way that best suits the subject matter. "Uses" is not a good word to use for this purpose. The context of the article--in this case, derivatives, as that term is understood in calculus--could cause a reasonable reader to think it means other uses of the thing the article is about, i.e., in this case, other uses of derivatives, rather than other senses of the same word. A template is indeed a simplified version, and simpler is better when the simpler version is equivalent to the the more complicated one, but in this case they are obviously not equivalent. And I think that's actually true of most cases, with this particular template. Michael Hardy 00:04, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Anyone can edit

Or any registered user can edit Briaboru 00:31, 20 December 2005 (UTC)BriaboruBriaboru 00:31, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

That's not true. Only a registered user can create a NEW article (under new rules), but non-registered users are still editing existing articles. Michael Hardy 00:45, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Wait ... for some reason I thought I'd seen the word "only". Yes, it's true that any registered user can edit; it's also true that anonymous users can edit. Michael Hardy 22:31, 27 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi Michael. Thank you for this edit at List of mathematics articles (A-C). I had totally forgotten about doing the replacements in there after I did the move. Fixed now everywhere. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:00, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Howdy, Thanks for your correction in Rankit, well spotted. --Hansnesse 01:58, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Otheruses hatnote templates

It seems that hatnotes like the {{otheruses}} should not be subst'd (or otherwise changed to text) to keep uniformity of appearance. If you need to change the text, you should probably use {{dablink}} so at least the formatting is preserved. --AySz88^-^ 00:04, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

I read this in a hurry, and misread it as "hatenote template". Gosh, I thought. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:01, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

thoughts on multiple comparisons/testing

Hello Michael Hardy, as you know there is some uncertainty about the distinction between the terms multiple testing and multiple comparisons [2]. I thought you might know of some other mathematics or statistics contributors who could weigh in with their opinions on the matter. Thanks Debivort 05:24, 4 January 2006 (UTC)


Why did you remove the merge template? --Dystopos 04:27, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I didn't. What makes you think I did? Michael Hardy 23:25, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
This. --Dystopos 05:35, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
If I'd suspected you meant that merge template, I would have explained that I removed it because the page it proposed to merge with that one already redirected to it. Michael Hardy 22:26, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Golden spiral

I'm clueless about math, but if the golden spiral is not the same as the golden ratio, then it should not redirect to golden ratio. --Anittas 00:05, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. If there's an account of the golden spiral in the article on the golden ratio and there's no article on the golden spiral, then the redirect is appropriate. That is really quite commonplace. Michael Hardy 02:14, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Hanging sentences, votes, and apostrophes: a lethal combination

Hi, Michael; thank you for scouring my user page. I was aware that I had left that sentence hanging; sadly, I have the tendancy to, oftentimes, stop thinking of words in the middle of a monologue; a sort of super-linguistic music takes their place. Such was the reason why I paused my writing of my criticism of pornography; dozens of ideas entered my mind, and my words chimed together, to make a sort of campanic drone. I have written something there as a stopgap, although it expresses my glut of ideals badly.

When it comes to Wikipedia, I would define unilateralism as unreasonably acting on personal vindiction, when consensus-led discussion is what is desirable. An example of such a thing was the frankly logic-defying and sophmorically-justified deletion of people's self-identifying userboxes. Unilateralism is vigilante justice, where people do not get to voice opposition because someone higher up on this supposedly egalitarian realm felt it justified. (Naturally, it is fine to delete vandalism on sight, for the sake of this encyclopædia. Not many of us can argue against that. But, sadly, it seems that the goalposts of what constitutes sabotage have been moved wide and far, on the back of personal whimsies and half-baked ideals. For the main part, I liked your fellow; I thought that he was suave but rational when it came to the presentation of much of his case. On top of this, I have enjoyed leisurely reading his mathematical contributions to the encyclopædia, as sad as that may sound. (I am of the Erdös school of thought when it comes to the beauty of math.) However, there are, at the minute, far too many lacunæ in his appeal for me to support it. Although I have voted against those who do not have a considerable enough track record to compare their ideals with, experience should not make people beyond reproach. I found curious that, in his responses, M. Matthews both rejected centralism and communitarianism, but did not propose any intemediary between the two. The opposite of group review, naturally, is individual review. Also, M. Matthews essentially agreed with the broad and rather dangerous concept of 'Ignore All Rules;' he said that it was all well and good for one to 'stick [one's] neck out,' which is rather vague, giving little idea as to how unilateral he thinks is acceptable.

Do not mistake me, though; this was not my primary reason for posing opposition. I think that, if we can say that Wikipedia has any pretence of equality, there have to be checks and balances on those who, in quite a sense, 'rule;' otherwise, we are doing nothing but building a stagnant elected dictatorship. I also disliked the harsh deflection of a reasonable question; to me, how Charles reacted to that user was assuming bad faith, an ad hominem attack, and I don't believe in what appeared to be demeaning a fellow Wikipedian rather than discussing their concerns. I agree with his decision to keep stumm over his own ideologies; that is his own darnèd business. However, his opinion on checks and balances on arbiters is severely relevant. I don't appreciate ochlocracy; I cannot support slamming people down as a way to win an argument.

Now, onto more pleasurable things: amateur linguistics and the word, one's, and why that is grammatically correct, whereas 'it's' as a genitive is not. In a perfect world, perhaps we would all be speaking a totally analytical language with no quirks whatsoever. But, we have English, the hotel bedsheet that bears the musks and stains of those who have slept on it; and 'one's', like so many other bizarre counter-rules in English, can be blamed on French, which is not as illogical as mooted, but does pass off some weirdnesses as rules. You probably know many of the composites of this explanation, but I am a completist: in Anglo-Saxon, the word 'man' referred not only to a human being, but it served as the indefinite subject pronoun, a space, (sadly, in my own opinion,) you takes up to-day. (Those who say that words such as mankind are sexist should go learn something.) The use of 'man' as 'human' and as an indefinite lasted long into Middle English: if you look at Chaucer, where we would use one and no one, man and no man are used every time that I can recall it. For example, (excuse me if I misquote:)

The millere[...] nolde avalen neither hood ne hat, Ne abyde no man for his courtesy.

The genitive of man, since it is a defective pronoun and is actually a noun, is 'man's'. (The gen. in those days would have been mannes.) After Guillaume le Bâtard took the throne, French influence onto English increased considerably, and 'man' started to be replaced by 'on,' the corresponding French indefinite subject pronoun that was a clipping of the word 'homme'. 'On' soon enough became 'one.' So, when we say one's, we are still saying man's. The genitive is correct because, although we don't realise it, we're referring to a noun employed as a pronoun, not as a pure pronoun. Conversely, 'it' is rarely a noun, and follows pronoun apostrophe rules.

I apologise if my ruminations are the mental equivalent of asphyxiation. The combination of a hermit-like existence and my reddish temperament often make me 'get into' discussions like this, to use a horrible phrasal verb, with considerable animation. --It's-is-not-a-genitive 00:55, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

OK ... it becomes clear that there was some particular exchange of views in which you and Charles Matthews participated and you found his behavior objectionable. And it's probably impossible to say who's right or wrong without looking at that. Is that on some Wikipedia discussion page? If so, which one?
"Equality" can mean any of various things, which I'm not prepared to enumerate just now. Which of those, if any, Wikipedia purports to be, I don't know. I don't actually recall ever having heard that "equality" is one of Wikipedia's claims to virtue.
On this other matter, I didn't mean to suggest that there's anything wrong with saying "one's" should have an apostrophe (and so should "anyones's" and "someone's" and "everyone's" and "no one's") and "its" should not, but rather that it is an exaggeration to say possesive pronouns in English never have apostrophes.
BTW, some people object to calling the possessive in English a genitive, since we don't say, for example "John's and Mary's house", but "John and Mary's house". Notice also that "the blacksmith's shop" can mean "the shop of the blacksmith" or "the shop of a blacksmith" or "a shop of the blacksmith" or "a shop of a blacksmith", so we can't include a genitive "the" as part of the noun phrase with a possessive form of a noun (as is done in Greek, I think). So maybe that could also be a reason to consider the English possessive not to be a true genitive. Michael Hardy 02:37, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry about the longer-than-usual delay in responding. I needed some time in the hills to deal with something in my 'real' life that was angering me. You make some good points about the possessive: my use of 'genitive' was general, but also, I have never, in quite some years of language learning, heard anyone English describing 's as not being the genitive, strangely. Also, I had stated that the no 's rule did not apply to one. I said: when there is a genitive pronoun which relates to a specific person or thing, there is Never an 's: one does not relate to a specific person or thing, as it has all but lost the connotation of 'they and I.'
A userbox is one of these:
{{#invoke:userbox|userbox}} It is a small way of expressing a personal belief or characteristic, such as 'I am Jewish', or 'I am for gay rights'. However, a few admins have wasps in the rectum and tried to remove these, without discussion, later citing 'NPOV'. They are on user-pages. Anyone who looks for a neutral point of view on a user page is as stupid as someone looking for a hedgehog in a kumquat. (And if NPOV is suddenly necessary on user pages, who's going to moderate all the comments that they contain? -- agh, hypocrisy tries!)
Í never said that equality were ever paraded around as one of the tenets of Wikipedia. By its nature, though, Wikipedia is egalitarian: a common font of knowledge to which anyone can add. I firmly believe that standards must be maintained, and vandalism quickly dealt with; however, admins should be there to serve the general volition; otherwise, we get ridiculously hierarchical and overly bureaucratic, with certain administrators acting unilaterally on petty personal things that have little to do with the encyclopædia or its original spirit.
There was no exchange between us; indeed, every exchange that I can remember with him, either under this name, before that, or in my IP contribution days, has been amiable and informed. I hold it as a personal policy to not slate anyone who has been personally against me in some respect, when I think that, otherwise, they would do a decent job. I respect Charles Matthews as a contributor, and, to the best of my knowledge, he seems like a nice fellow. A good administrator? Probably. However, my idea of a mediator is someone who will look at a situation carefully, in an unbiased fashion. The way that he automatically condemned a well-meaning user as a 'troll' rather worried me. It might have just been a slip, but I dislike the idea of trial by instinct. I would have liked to support him, certes. But I dissented due to considered evaluation. There is no right or wrong to that. Iinag 03:12, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

pythagorean theorem

thanks for deleting my work and illustration. you said it was the same as the other proof. as a graduate in mathematics, i studied the other proof. while it was similar, i thought my presentation was much easier to follow (especially for a young reader). the labeling of the outside of the square with 'a' and 'b', for me was a revelation in simplicity. can you please tell me if there is a place i can place my illustration and explanation without you deleting it and calling it silly?

I never called your illustration silly. I deleted it only because essentially the same illustration was already there in the article. What I called "silly" was the assertion about the mathematical formula for the area of a square. I moved your material to a different and earlier part of the article and attributed it to you in my edit summary. Have you looked at the version of it that is now there? Michael Hardy 23:27, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Formula (disambiguation)

I have removed your {{attention}} tag from Formula (disambiguation), since that tag is for articles, not disambiguation pages. Considering Wikipedia:Disambiguation and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages), tell me what needs to be done to this dab page.--Commander Keane 00:21, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I've done some work on it. The different meanings of the word "formula" are related, and the page should make that clear.

Cleanup on my edits

I appreciate the fixes you made on some of recent articles I have edited. I have been concentrating on text and not paying enough attention to the section headers. Hope to talk to you again soon. :) -- SusanLarson (User Talk, New talk, Contribs) 00:31, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Help needed

Could you assist at Talk:Supermatrix? Charles Matthews 07:56, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't know if you followed the discussion on the talk page at all, but User:Cruise wrote much of article and then deleted it after accusing me of wanting to take over the page (I went ahead and restored the material). It is true that I want to write an article on supermatrices as used in super linear algebra (see supervector space, supertrace, and superdeterminant). However if the material that is presently on the page is useful then it should be preserved. I suggested that some of the material could be merged in with block matrix as there is considerable overlap, but I don't know what to do about the statistics material. You seem to know some statistics. Do you have any suggestions? Is the statistics material worthy of its own article? Should it be merged in somewhere else? -- Fropuff 18:25, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Format standardization

Thanks for standardizing headers on all those biographies I started! Jokestress 00:51, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Radio controlled => radio-controlled

Does it need that hyphen? I never thought it did! --Phatmonkey 13:29, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

The traditional way of using hyphens is hardly taught anymore, it seems, although newspapers, magazines, and most publishing companies still adhere to it. But I think it should be kept for reasons I may expand on further here at some point. In the mean time, please see hyphen. Michael Hardy 19:21, 18 January 2006 (UTC)


The best I can say is that I was in a hurry at the time, and thus didn't track down every page that linked to the one I deleted. Sorry. DS 22:18, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Three cards revisions

Did you intended to change to . If so, it needs to be done in the entire article. Arthur Rubin | (talk) 23:59, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

OK, I missed one (and it's , not ). Michael Hardy 00:02, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Insert smiley here. Is a Wikipedia standard? Arthur Rubin | (talk) 01:29, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not actually sure, but I think it's become more frequent lately, and I find certain advantages in that usage. Michael Hardy 01:30, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Category:Contemporary philosophers

Please vote here. — goethean 22:39, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

"lens" on Uses of trigonometry

I removed the link to Lens because that is a disambiguation page. I did find a new place to link to, though: Sunglasses#Lens.--Srleffler 05:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

This is an automated message

The Edit Summary edit summary usage for user:Michael Hardy is 26% for major edits and 31% for minor edits. Based on the last 150 major and 150 minor edits in the article, category, and template namespace. Standard deviation is .02. Mathbot 05:51, 24 January 2006 (UTC)


In deference to civility I am biting my tongue in my response here; "brain researchers who write things like this have at best a very childish understanding of what mathematics is, and what you wrote on that page tends to confirm my suspicion". Do you have any idea how arrogant and uninformed this sounds; in the future, meta:Don't be a dick? Here is what "brain researchers" do; some of it requires an understanding of, like, numbers and stuff:

I'll respond to your actual point on the talk page. Semiconscioustalk 23:50, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

The article in the form in which you you wrote it does encourage the impression that the conclusion is bassed on a very simple-minded notion of what mathematics is. Why don't you change that, if the impression is wrong? That they use sophisticated mathematics in some cases doesn't change that impression. And every popular account I've seen encourages the same impression. Michael Hardy 23:53, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
See my comments on the talk page. For clarification, I'm not in any way upset, you just... came across less well than you could have and your comment sounded very disrespectful and pedantic. Hopefully my comments on the talk page and my changes to the article strike a nice balance between your position and cited sources. I meant no ill will. Semiconscioustalk 00:42, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Mr. Hardy: I can ensure you I understand the words you are communicating. My point is that when you say something such as, "It is not easy to define 'mathematics', and any definition would be subject to endless debate among informed people" immediately followed by, "what actual mathematicians and other actual humans actually do, when doing things that everyone would agree is mathematics, is mostly not algorithmic processing" is contradictory. You cannot state that "mathematics" is not easy to define followed by making an argument for what "everyone would agree is mathematics" to support your view. You are manipulating definitions to fit each of your arguments and are making contradictory statements. You made a good point by highlighting potential discrepancies in my language use. Because this is such a silly issue I decided to avoid it all together in the article itself by rewording the statement based upon the Science article. Semiconscioustalk 02:00, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
You're mistaken. There are certainly many things that everyone would agree is mathematics. But what is the right definition of "mathematics" is something on which there is not general agreement. Michael Hardy 03:04, 30 January 2006 (UTC)


Obnoxious "otheruses" template deleted.


Because it's a one-size-fits-all straightjacket. The phrasing cannot be adapted to the article. In particluar, it refuses even to let the user choose judiciously between a capital and a lower-case initial letter in the name of the article being linked to. Michael Hardy 03:16, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Category for binomial topics

Hi, I'm thinking of creating a category for binomial topics, that would contain everything in the List of factorial and binomial topics. Any suggestions for a good name for that category? e.g Category:Binomials or Category:Factorials and binomials ?? linas 00:42, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi. I've never been a big fan of categories; to me they seem like a distinctly inferior alternative to topics lists. But maybe I'll address this at some point. Michael Hardy 03:23, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
It is easier to categorize things than to list them. Lists are top-down, while categories are bottom-up, and they work better.
Besides, categories allow a better level of refinement. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:57, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

"Allow a better level of refinement"?? That seems absurd. Lists are obviously more flexible. Michael Hardy 20:40, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, as you are the only other editor who has shown a big interest in this class of topics, I thought I'd mention it. There is now a Category:Factorial and binomial topics which I populated from List of factorial and binomial topics. There's a few misfits in there, e.g. prime numbers related to binomial coeffs. But no matter; it'll do for now. linas 03:51, 15 February 2006 (UTC)


Mr. Hardy: We've gotten off on the completely wrong foot, and it's put me ill at ease. I freely admit the stresses of real life have perhaps affected how I perceive online communication: with expression, intonation, and nonverbal communication removed I've forgotten to assume good faith and instead immediately adopted a defensive stance on an issue that truly isn't that important to me. With those excuses said, I'd like to apologize. I've not had much time for WP lately, and I'm going to have less in the near future; the thought of leaving this unsaid sits ill at ease with me. You're clearly a very intelligent person who is trying to prevent the propagation of poorly understood ideas. Cheers! Semiconscioustalk 01:14, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate the intention to communicate; I'll try to write less hastily on this in the future. Michael Hardy 20:53, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Cantor's theorem proof

Could you comment this? TIA. CiaPan 21:30, 3 February 2006 (UTC)


Hello. Please consider also adding your changes at Affine to Affine combination, Affine transformation, and Affine representation. Ewlyahoocom 06:39, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Correction on the article "Regression"

Thanks for the correction: I incorrectly thought that the Gauss-Markov assumptions included normality, but after checking I realize you are write. Sorry for the mistake, I'll correct the article.

Techncial d[sic]efinitions!

D'Oh! I always mess up doing that sort of thing. Unfortunately it's a habit. I'll try my best to do better next time, but often I just forget. --One Salient Oversight 01:54, 9 February 2006 (UTC)


Hello. Thank you for your notice on my talk page. Sorry if you'd had a bad day. I wasn't aware of the template dablink, which I agree is a more appropriate one to have on the honey article. Now may I answer your accusations? I didn't place the otheruses template on the honey article. My edit to the otheruses template left it so that it would not say for other uses of honey, but for other uses of "Honey", and "honey" is not just used to describe sweet bee spit. I thought I was making an improvement to the template. Sorry you thought otherwise, but I don't think such a minor disagreement calls for dismissals of other contributors' efforts as "abominations", or imputations of barbarism. Good day to you. --RobertGtalk 09:45, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I seem to recall that it was not your edit that I called an abomination, but rather it was the otheruses template in general. Michael Hardy 23:47, 9 February 2006 (UTC)


Hi. I noticed you removed a few superfluous underscores from links in MIT a while back. I've noticed some fairly egregious examples of this, not just [[Styx_(band)|Styx]] but also things like [[James_Clerk_Maxwell|James Clerk Maxwell's]]. I fix them as I come across them, but I noticed there isn't anything in the Manual of Style specifically addressing this.

Sure, it's only number 1138 on the List of irritating user mistakes, but do you think we should add some language to the style guide about it?

Anville 06:33, 10 February 2006 (UTC)


A note of explanation on rolling back HMM from "Hidden Markov model" to "Hidden Markov Model"; we try to keep the upper-case letters indicative of where the initials that make up the initialism came. (I just wish the rollback button allowed me to leave a short explanation...)

Urhixidur 02:56, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

italics on diambiguation pages

Re: your edit to Light (disambiguation), please refer to Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)#Linking_to_a_primary_topic. Ewlyahoocom 15:55, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Please don't modify the Manual of Style just to suit your tastes. If you feel strongly about italics on disambiguation pages please make the suggestion on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages) and allow it to be debated. Additionally be prepared to bring the 1000's of disambiguation pages into line with your new style. However, I would much prefer to invite you to help us fix-up the numerous disambiguation pages that need attention and edit them to meet the current style. Ewlyahoocom 16:53, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

This was about italics generally, not about italics on disambiguation pages. I was merely proposing that one should not make an exception of disambiguation pages. Michael Hardy 21:25, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
This was about italics generally, not about italics on disambiguation pages. It is standard on Wikipedia, prescribed in Wikipedia:Manual of Style, and standard among publishers generally, that when writing about a word rather than using the word to write about what it refers to, one italicizes it (some publishers enclose it in quotation marks instead). I was merely proposing that one should not make an exception of disambiguation pages. To make a special exception for disambiguation pages, for no reason, just complicates things needlessly.
Why do you refer to my "new" style? I just say we should not make a special exception and forbid italics on disambiguation pages, and you call it "new".
Why do you feel so strongly that we need to make a special exception forbidding italics on disambiguation pages. Michael Hardy 21:35, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
You have repeatedly italicized Light (disambiguation)[3][4][5] even after being asked not to. That must have displeased you because you then italicized the Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)[6] without discussing it (is this what you mean by "merely proposing"). You've also recently italicized the disambiguation pages at Spring[7], Perfection (disambiguation) and I don't know what else... -- So tell me: how is this not about disambiguation pages? -- It's your "new" style because it's been unitalicized in the disambiguation page MoS for a long time and the vast majority of the current disambiguation pages are unitalicized. -- So let me ask you: why do you feel so strongly that you need to single-handedly change a standard that everyone else has been following for a long time? Ewlyahoocom 22:09, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

It is not only in disambiguation pages that I use italics correctly. I follow the style manual in this regard.

I see no grounds for your insistence that we make a special exception for disambiguation pages. Michael Hardy 22:16, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Judea Pearl

Regarding this edit [8], you may want to refrain from the use of the term "profoundly idotic" when referring to other editors' mistakes. Thank you. - Liberatore(T) 13:04, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

I cannot say that I would be offended if someone used that phrase in reference to an edit of mine that was simply a blooper rather than a misunderstanding on my part. I think that's what this was. Michael Hardy 21:21, 15 February 2006 (UTC)



Could you please either remove the deletion tag on the article or at least explain what is still missing after my latest edits? Thanks. Deimos 28 12:24, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Seward Collins

Hello, hello! I saw that you were one of the folks who worked on the entry about Seward Collins. I'm the Michael Tucker referenced at the end of the article and I'd love to compare notes with whoever it was that did the original piece. I've never even met anyone else who knew who Collins was, much less wrote about him. Would you be the source? cheers --Mjt57 13:26, 17 February 2006 (UTC)


Hi, Michael. Even if I did learn iff in high school, it has long been forgotten. I need a calculator or spreadsheet for simple arithmatic these days. Also, the if and only if article states that using the shorthand in writing is inappropriate. --Nelson Ricardo 01:23, 18 February 2006 (UTC)


Hi Michael,

I apologize for reverting Exponential to vandalism. It failed to cross my mind that the record label might not be the proper article, despite my possessing a solid foundation in mathematics. :-) Thanks for tidying the article (and me). It might have been the day an anonymous user vandalized a bunch of pages, so I just followed their tracks and reverted them, evidently without enough investigation. Thanks again. EncMstr 01:30, 19 February 2006 (UTC)



Thanks for sorting out my failure to use bold on the AFM Smith article. Appreciated.

Blaise 12:41, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Immediate Attention, Please

Hello Michael. Thank you for your professionalism in the matter concerning the "Disco" page. I have posted a thank you to all those involved on the talk page, and complemented everyone on the modifications. However, we have a persistent problem that is an item of concern to me, to Wikipedia, and the public at large. It is probably due to my being surrounded by academics for the greater part of the day that I am not accustomed to such people as the respondent to my suggestion "to continue to 'orchestrate' our work in a 'harmonious' manner so that readers are impressed by our 'symphony' of knowledge" on the Disco talk page. As a social scientist, I have tried to ameliorate the situation with all my know-how, but, at this point, I have a great fear. I am a woman, and it has become clear why I was prudent in not posting my "bio" information on my user page. Neither do I do know the person to whom these individuals keep referring nor do I understand where their deep hostility comes from, and why they persist in making slanderous remarks for public viewing. And I also fear that I could be implicated in bringing this unknowing third party, who cannot even be contacted (I tried; the website is only archival, the original web pages and e-mail contacts no longer exist), into a maelstrom. I would appreciate your exercising your resources in order to resolve this issue. From a moral standpoint, I feel that I might have to contact legal services within Wikipedia, just as a precaution. I await your advice. Thank you. Pol-Sci-Prof 19:45, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Your "anonymous" question

I've posted a short reply on Talk:Anonymous recursion. Bye, Shinobu 03:54, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Q-Q plot

Qqplotnormal.png Qqplotdiff.png

If the captions to these illustrations can be altered so that they say "Q-Q plot", then the illustration would be suitable for the new article titled Q-Q plot. Michael Hardy 21:20, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Sure, no problem. It was easiest to generate new random data, rather than retitle. I'll add them to the article.--Hansnesse 06:04, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Qqnorm.png Qqnormexp.png


Please see Talk:Lattice#Page_organization. --Smack (talk) 06:52, 3 March 2006 (UTC)


If you see no difference between (1) and (2), then you're not paying attention. "Why there SHOULD be"? I never said there "SHOULD" be; I said there ARE very many such cases. I suggest if you don't know that, you're simply not a mathematician. Michael Hardy 21:55, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Haha, perhaps. But in any case, all I'm saying is that why stop at n=2? Why not expound on the case where one has to do n=1,2 by hand and then start the induction at 3? It's just a matter of indexing. For example, looked at another way, if one uses your example of the product rule, define P(k) to be the property that the product rule is true for a product of k+1 factors. And then this falls into your case #1, although it is of course mathematically equivalent. In any case, the article as it stands now is better. I'm still not entirely convinced it has content, although I'll concede it has pedagogical merit. --Deville (Talk) 04:53, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

No -- you're missing the point. The answer to the question above is given in the article. It is not just a matter of indexing. There is no case n = 3 in the relevant sense. It is not just a matter of doing by hand the cases n = 1 and n = 2 and then starting induction at n = 3. That would in no way be analogous. You've simply missed the point. The number 3 is a sum of fewer than 3 numbers each smaller than 3; therefore there is no such case as you suggest. (Of course, obviously, there are cases in which one does the cases n = 1 and 2 by hand and starts induction at n = 3, but that has no relevance to the present article. Those would probably fit into the "first form" described in the article. Michael Hardy 20:57, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I must say that I am now completely confused. What does The number 3 is a sum of fewer than 3 numbers each smaller than 3 have to do with the matter? --Deville (Talk) 03:22, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Look at Polya's argument in the article. Michael Hardy 21:37, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't see that making the key step, usually 2, another parameter is helpful to anyone. The intended audience will be confused, and any mathematician will do it with an offhand "without loss of generality". Septentrionalis 16:23, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm afraid I find the question above totally cryptic. What in the world do you mean by "another parameter"? Michael Hardy 20:58, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Why isn't this the end of the Mathematical induction article? The end of most mathematical articles is designed for those who understand the beginning. Septentrionalis 16:23, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm starting to see what your point is here, Michael, but

  1. I don't see why a point about induction can't be made at mathematical induction.
  2. The article as it stands definitely does not make its point clear.
  3. Is the point really about forms of induction, or is it about the nature of the induction steps possible in particular sorts of problems?

As for Polya's "erroneous proof", are you objecting to that term simply because it wasn't intended as a proof? I guess it is a matter of semantics whether one calls an example argument with a deliberate error an erroneous proof or not. In any case, you should know that the fact that all horses may be the same colour is irrelevant! Even if all horses are the same colour, this argument if presented as a proof would be erroneous. JPD (talk) 11:09, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

The particular case of that form of argument that Polya presents is of course erroneous. But the form is valid if one adds a proof of the case n = 2, i.e., that any two horses are of the same color. That is the substantial part of the proof; the rest is just the trivial observation that if any two are of the same color then so are all members of any set of three, or of four, etc. That is the essential relevant way in which the number 2 differs from others. Michael Hardy 21:16, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Mr. Hardy, I appreciate your vast and valuable editing of Wikipedia, but I must comment further on Three forms of mathematical induction (here, so that I don't unfairly dominate the argument there). Can you understand how someone would see it as a how-to, in that it discusses in detail how to execute a certain kind of inductive proof? You are correct that it would be comprehensible to all mathematicians, but I do not believe that they would be interested in this article. It is too basic. Undergraduate math and computer science majors know how to perform a proof of the Second Form, even though they have not been taught it explicitly. The same content could be conveyed, in a manner proportional to its importance, by explaining the Polya example and one other (say, product rule) in mathematical induction. Respectfully, Joshuardavis 23:16, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Can you understand how someone would see it as a how-to, in that it discusses in detail how to execute a certain kind of inductive proof?
No, because it does not do that. It gives broad outlines and skips details, relying on the reader to know about those already. And it's nowhere near as much about how to do it as about the way in which that form differs from the other two. Michael Hardy 23:56, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
It now appears that we are arguing a matter of degree here, over what we consider to be "broad" and "detailed". My view (and, I think, the view of others who think this article should be merged/deleted) is that the entire Three Forms article is a detail. This view is supported by the fact that, as far as I have seen, professors teaching undergraduates how to prove things do not consider this worth spending class time on.
Why would one teach this to typical undergraduates? Obviously, it would normally NOT be appropriate to teach it in any course that first introduces mathematical induction, even though examples of proofs taking all three of these forms could easily be appropriate. Michael Hardy 03:40, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I think all we are arguing about at this point is whether a treatment of induction for binary functions (i.e. the Second Form) deserves a section of mathematical induction or its own article. Could you be satisfied with just a section? Joshuardavis 03:08, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Two of the examples admittedly involve binary functions. How does the third example -- Polya's -- involve binary functions? Michael Hardy 03:33, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
The binary function involved is the binary relation =. This is a function {colors of horses} x {colors of horses} -> {true, false}. Joshuardavis 03:47, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I should add that I think Polya's example would be excellent to include in mathematical induction, because it is so well-known. (And I had never noticed that it was the same form as these other arguments until you wrote this article.) Joshuardavis 03:50, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Is the identity relation, or are the addition and multiplication operations, really inherently binary, or is it just that our conventional notation treats them that way? We can say that two horses are of the same color, or that six horses are of the same color, and it's only when you write it in mathematical notation with

[color of first horse] = [color of second horse] = ... (etc.)

that it becomes binary. Similarly in the expression

the number n of factors need not be 2; it can be 1 or 0 or 3, etc. But we can infer that all horses are of the same color from the fact that any two horses are of the same color, and that doesn't work with "one" in place of "two". Hence the form of Polya's argument. Michael Hardy 01:04, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Mr. Hardy, your past couple of questions make me wonder whether you've read the reformulation of the Three forms article that I wrote; you commented on it, so I'd assumed that you had read it. It still appears at Wikipedia Talk: Articles for deletion/Three forms of mathematical induction#How this article's insight might be included in mathematical induction, if you'd like to refer to it.
I think it clearly explains what the binary function is in each case, and how properties such as associativity and transitivity allow these binary functions to implicitly extend to n-ary functions. This formulation makes it clear (in fact, obvious) why the n=2 case is important. So I think it is a good way to treat your insights in an encyclopedia article. (To give credit where it's due, Ryan Reich pointed out the binary function explanation before I did.)
Now you seem to be arguing that the binary nature of these operations is arbitrary. That might be; rather than defining binary addition and declaring an associativity axiom, perhaps one should begin by defining n-ary addition, and then introduce some other axiom that lets us compute it as a sequence of binary additions. But this is not standard in mathematics; it is rather philosophical, it is rather like original research, and it is not suitable for an encyclopedia. (Furthermore, that reconstruction of math would probably destroy your central thesis that the n=2 case is important.) I think my reformulation is a clear, concise way to point out an important class of induction arguments, in a manner that is entirely consistent with standard practice in mathematics.
Again I ask: Would you be satisfied with something like my reformulation (improved by others, of course) appearing as a section of mathematical induction? (But with my triangle inequality argument reindexed to make the n=2 case crucial, as you helpfully recommended in your comments.) Joshuardavis 19:05, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Update: I have posted a slight revision of my reformulation at Talk: Mathematical induction; perhaps we should move the discussion there? I hope that we can resolve this soon, and end up with a great treatment of induction in Wikipedia. Joshuardavis 19:39, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguation pages

Hey there--It looks to me as if you've around on Wikipedia long enough to have encountered disambiguation pages and to have read the manual of style page on disambiguation pages, so I'm not sure why you keep futzing with the Martingale page to make it nonstandard. It's just a disambiguation page; there's nothing special about the introductory phrase that needs nonstandard formatting or phrasing. If you're annoyed because it's no longer the primary page about a mathematical topic, I'm sorry. It's still just a standard disambiguation page. Elf | Talk 00:01, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Why must disambiguation pages be a special exception to the standard rule that if one writes about a word, rather than using the word to write about what it refers to, then one italicizes it? That rule is stated in Wikipedia:Manual of Style and I think in the Chicago Manual of Style. Michael Hardy 00:03, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Everyone in the universe has his/her/its own style guide (I know, I've had to write using many different style guides) and any organization can pretty much do what they want. Not everyone uses italics when referring to a term within a body of text; some use quotation marks, some use bold, some do nothing. And even if the word is italicized in the middle of a paragraph in which it's discussed, it's often in normal typeface or bold in its glossary entry. Chicago is a popular style guide in certain American communities but don't think it's the only style guide religiously followed in the English-speaking world, or even in the U.S. The Wikipedia community's Manual of Style has a page specifically calling out a disambiguation page format, which is largely followed. This doesn't contradict other parts of the MoS; it provides a more specific direction for a more specific situation. However, asking me why that format is used isn't going to be particularly informative, as i wasn't involved in any of the discussions about that. The place to ask that question is on that page's talk page if you really want to know, or you could always try proposing a change there. Elf | Talk 00:35, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Vote for weather

As a regular contributor to the article about weather, I would urge you to vote for it at WP:AID. This will help attract more contributors to the article. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 01:23, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Link Repair

Sure, no problem. I finished fixing Origin, but I'll keep it in mind in the future. --MikeJ9919 00:45, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

That was a joke, btw.--MikeJ9919 00:51, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I Always Appreciate Humor. :-) Michael Hardy 00:52, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Proof that 22 over 7 exceeds π

I'm not sure why you bothered to leave a note on my talk page about this article, as I did not nominate it for deletion and your note consisted of asking a bunch of questions to other users. Futhermore, I didn't even recommend that it be deleted, only that it be transfered to a more appropriate medium. --Hetar 01:43, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

That is why I did it. I thought you might address those same concerns, since you don't seem to think Wikipedia is an appropriate place for this. I don't understand why not. I thought you might explain. Michael Hardy 01:59, 16 March 2006 (UTC)


  • Ya, elegant or not (i've never heard of an equation being called elegant before), It's nn for an encyclopedia article. If it was some revolutionary new thing that proved that 1 + 1 actually equalled 24, then maybe. -- pm_shef 02:21, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
(1) This is not an equation.
(2) It is commonplace and universal to speak of equations, mathematical proofs, theorems, and the like as "elegant".
(3) It is inappopriate to put NEW discoveries on Wikipedia. It is against Wikipedia policy.

Michael Hardy 02:24, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

"(3) It is inappopriate to put NEW discoveries on Wikipedia. It is against Wikipedia policy."

  • You understood what I was getting at. -- pm_shef 02:36, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I didn't and I don't, unless you were trying to say that it would be appropriate to put this article here if it were a new discovery. Michael Hardy 02:37, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I was trying to say that if this is simply not an encyclopedic topic. It if it was somethign (not necessarily newly discovered) that radically changed the nature of how we think, that's something different, but I don't see mathematical proofs or equations or something like that having a place in an encyclopedia. Feel free to disagree with me, but that's my opinion. pm_shef 02:12, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
pm_shef, I'm not sure what I think of the 22/7 > pi article, but I must opine that your posts are not serving your argument against it. Perhaps I simply misunderstand your posts, but statements like "I don't see mathematical proofs or equations or something like that having a place in an encyclopedia" betray a lack of familiarity with math. For example, there are many proofs in Wikipedia, because proof is how one arrives at truth in math; furthermore, some proofs are more historically and culturally important than the theorems they prove. I can explain this in detail, if you like, but all I'm trying to tell you right now is why you cannot hope to get someone like Michael Hardy to concede any point of argument to you. Sincerely, Joshuardavis 04:19, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Alright you know what? You asked me my opinion, I gave it, discussion over. You're all so bloody hostile with this "math" thing that its not worth my time to try and figure it out. I'd appreciate it if this discussion ended here. pm_shef 04:49, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Am I the one who's hostile? Was I not reacting to your irrational hostile behavior? Michael Hardy 20:53, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

OK, I've looked over the comments I've written on your talk page, and I can't figure out what you're calling "hostile". It seems appropriate that someone who's said the things you've said would be reacted to as if their author is a crackpot pontificating on things he's never even heard of, but I mainly just asked questions. Michael Hardy 20:56, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Sorry, maybe I didn't make it clear before. I have no interest in continuing this discussion. I made a judgement call on the AfD, and that was my judgement call to make. Nothing I've done is "hostile" though your non-stop pestering of me is bordering on intimidation, and I honestly do not appreciate it. You've said what you wanted to say, and you have my word that I'm staying away from articles on mathematics from now on, but I have no interest in continuing this discussion. Thanks you. -- pm_shef 04:20, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

22/7 > pi

Please dont rant on my talk page. you already made your point on thw afd page and thats all you need to do. and might i point out that if you cant even work out which part of a wikipedia signature is the username then perhaps it is you who dont have the wiki experience, not me. i havent edited any mathematics articles here, but that doesnt mean i cant tell the difference between an encyclopedic article and a nonencyclopedic one - or that i am ignorant of mathematics. for all you know i may have a phd on the newton-raphson method and its use with continuously differentiable functions. in any case it would be far more useful if you tried defending the article - rather than attacking those who do not see it as worth a place in wikipedia. BL Lacertae - kiss the lizard 05:36, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

But why speak of "ranting"?

to rant means "to speak or declaim in a violent, loud, or vehement manner" according to my dictionary. your vehement and loud declamation was clearly a rant.

What I said was that your comments make it clear that you do not understand the article. I stand by that.

my vote simply makes it clear that this article is not encyclopedic. if there was a similar mathematical proof presented that any x was greater than any y it would not be encyclopedic either. it might be useful in one of wikipedias sister projects but it doesnt belong here in that form.

I did not attack anyone. I have been defending the article.

did you or did you not claim that my comments were "very clumsy"? did you or did you not attack my knowledge of the subject area based on my lack of edits to other wikipedia mathematics articles? both ad hominem, personal attacks. BL Lacertae - kiss the lizard 23:48, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I did not claim you lacked knowledge of the subject based on a lack of edits. What makes you think I did? I merely asked what experience you had.
My "very clumsy" remark was about those particular comments of yours.
Although I have never said before that you are not knowledgeable in mathematics (I don't know what makes you think I said that) I will now say something on that: I think if you knew much about the subject, you would not be saying that "if there was a similar mathematical proof presented that any x was greater than any y it would not be encyclopedic either" --- as if such a thing would necessarily be comparable.
I haven't launched any ad hominem attacks. An ad hominem attack looks like this: "Ronald Reagan is a Republican, therefore his argument makes no sense." I never said that any particular fact about you implies your arguments make no sense.
And why would you consider it a personal attack if I say only that a particular thing you wrote was clumsy? That's about one thing that you wrote, not about you as a person. Michael Hardy 23:57, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I merely asked what experience you had. And the point of that question, if not to suggest to readers that i did not know about the subject, was what, precisely? Couple that with the suggestion that my comment was clumsy, and there is the clear intention of showing that my knowledge of the subject is inferior to yours. is that in any way a defence of the article on its merits? no. it is an attack on my ability to judge the worth of the article. BL Lacertae - kiss the lizard 00:15, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

The reason I asked the question was a suspicion that you were not familiar with Wikipedia's customs and conventions followed in mathematics articles. Michael Hardy 00:19, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

That may have been your intention, but thts not how it sounded to me - it sounded like an attack on my knowledge. im sure it will have sounded that way to others involved in the debate too. BL Lacertae - kiss the lizard 00:59, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

22/7 article complaints

I'm sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Hardy, but I work for a professor of applied mathematics. I appreciate your proof, which is indeed quite pretty. Types of proof are, I believe, encyclopedic. But the material of specific proofs is *not* unless specifically supporting a point about the main topic. A proof that illustrates an important property of pi would be encyclopedic, although I would still advise a merge to Pi. But this specific proof of a well known inequality, whose only notability is its elegance, is not relevant enough to non-mathematicians to include in a 'general encyclopedia.

However, it is relevant to someone interested in mathematics, which is why I didn't recommend a deletion, but a transwiki to WikiBooks. It's worth keeping: just in the right slot. I hope this clarifies matters. Alba 17:14, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

It is not my proof (it was in the Putnam before I learned calculus).
Your assertion that the material of specific proofs is not encyclopedic is bizarre. I challenge you to nominate for deletion or removal to Wikibooks ALL of the many articles now on Wikipeda devoted to presenting the details of a specific mathematical proof.
Wikipedia is not ONLY for nonmathtematicians. Very many thousands Wikipedia articles are primarily for mathematicians. I challenge you to nominate all of those for deletion. Michael Hardy 17:27, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
You are missing my point. The notability of a specific proof is that it illustrates an important point in mathematics. It is highly important that pi is a transcendental number, so that article should stay. It is not so important that pi < 22/7. Now if you want this to be a demonstration of Diophantine approximation, that would a different story. Your assertion of notability rests not on the relevance of the proof's result, but the elegance of the proof. This is my primary complaint.

In other news, I am disturbed by your apparent failure to assume good faith. Please do not assume I am on some sort of jeremiad, or that I am insulting you or your contributions. Alba 18:05, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't know what makes you think I have not assumed good faith. I responded to what you said. Your reasons for saying the article in question should not be there do not make sense to me. And seem to imply absurd consequences, as I have pointed out. How is that inconsistent with assuming good faith?
On the other matter you raise, that is indeed notable far more for the insight that may come from the method, than for the bottom-line result. I don't regard that as grounds for complaint about the article. Michael Hardy 23:57, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

History of numerical approximations of π


I noticed you created History of pi and the "chronology..." page. Could you have a glance at Talk:History of numerical approximations of π and give your opinion? — MFH:Talk 23:12, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I did not create history of pi, nor the table on the chronology page. I merely copied material from history of pi to the new chronology page, because that material was merely a chronology of numerical computation of pi, rather than a chronology of the study of the number pi. Michael Hardy 22:59, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. Indeed, I support the same idea, that's why I tried to create a page on numerical approximations, where should go most of this huge subsection from the main pi page. And in order to get support for such a modification, I left you this message. — MFH:Talk 13:28, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Proof that 22 over 7 exceeds π

I'm not out to wipe all proofs from wikipedia, and I don't appreciate you attributing such a hostile intent to my action. The reason I feel it shouldn't exist in its current form is that despite all the claims to elegance and such, there's no objective criteria for inclusion that justifies this article, such as historical importance or proof of a significant property. The other articles in category:proofs are either about methods used in proofs or important proofs that are well known and have been useful. This proof doesn't have any historical importance attached to it in the way that a proof of a major problem in math is—mathematicians have known pi<22/7 far longer than they've been doing calculus. "indiscriminate collection of information" applies because this proof becomes the equivalent of an "interesting fact" about a person--worthy of inclusion in the article on the person, but not worth its own article. On its own, it's unencyclopedic. Night Gyr 23:50, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd like it if you responded to my objections, and provided some sort of objective criteria. At this point, your vitriolic defense seems to have ensured that the article will be kept, but I'm not seeing a lot of solidly grounded reasoning. Night Gyr 21:24, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

I will write specific responses. As for "vitriol", I responded to several comments that looked so irrational that I would expect those who wrote them, after they sobered up the next morning, to be aghast when they realized what they had done. That was actually separate from my defense of the article, even though it was on the same page. Michael Hardy 23:26, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

St. Louis Park

You recent edit seems rash. Granted, hard numbers are not available; the census does not ask about religious affiliation. In November, 2004, the Minneapolis StarTribune reported on the distribution of Jewish residents within the Twin Cities area, and it is substantially in accord with what you deleted. But can you really say it is "unverifiable" that that stereotype is associated with St. Louis Park? Michael Hardy 03:38, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Hm. Maybe not unverifiable, but certainly there's no verification in the article, right? --Deville (Talk) 03:42, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

hatnotes of various kinds

Hi, I'm the "horribly irresponsible" person who put a hatnote on color printing. I put up the most appropriate I could find, but obviously you knew of something better. In fact, since you clearly feel strongly about this, why not add an eg of "dablink" to pages like Wikipedia:Hatnotes and Wikipedia:Disambiguation, and their daughters (in the same form as the "Otheruses" egs)? Currently, even the "See also" links tell one very little about "dablink". Then you could tackle the problem at source rather than getting peeved at individual articles. JackyR 15:09, 21 March 2006 (UTC)


I have asked you TWICE to refrain from posting on my talk page regarding the 22/7 article. Doing so a third time constitutes harassment. Let me spell it out for you one last time. Please do not contact me again about this article or its AfD debate under any circumstances. Any further concerns can be expressed on the article's talk page. Thank you. --Hetar 19:33, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

The statements above are false. See user talk:Hetar. Michael Hardy 20:14, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Re: series (mathematics)

Please note that mathematical series is a redirect page. One should link instead to series (mathematics). Michael Hardy 03:41, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes sorry, I did note that when I looked at series, and I linked to the correct page with some I did earlier, but I must have forgotten. I should probably change the disambiguation page so that it doesn't use piped links. Thanks for reminding me! --bainer (talk) 03:48, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Monkey Island

Hi, I saw you moved Monkey Island (disambiguation) to Monkey Island, but now the old Monkey Island, which was about the Monkey Island series of computer games, article is gone - any idea on how to retrieve that? Poulsen 09:21, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I moved it, but I did not remove it. It's not gone. Michael Hardy 20:29, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

... and now I've looked again. It's right in front of your face. See Monkey Island. Michael Hardy 20:30, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, someone has since added a link to it on the Monkey Island page, but there was no link given to Monkey Island (video games) initially, instead it just had the Monkey Island link referring to itself - I noticed the link to the article was updated, but just forgot to come here and delete my message to not waste your time with it now. (I've since figured the easiest way to have found the article would have been through its categories, but I guess I panicked a little..) Poulsen 20:36, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Moved from WP:3O

Material moved from WP:3O, which is not the place to have arguments about behavior. Also copied to User talk:hetar

  • User:Michael Hardy is currently stalking/harassing me. I have asked him to refrain from talking on my talk page 4 times, but he continues to persist. I have removed his most recent comments from my talk page, but he continues to re-add them. --20:22, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
The above is false. He asked me not to post on his talk page concerning a particular nomination for deletion while that was being discussion on the AfD page. I complied. After the AfD discussion was concluded, I asked him on his talk page to clarify his views. Since this was after the conclusion of the AfD discussion, I was not failing to comply with his request. He responded by saying I should stop harassing him. I then posted on his talk page that that was rude. Then he said I was persisting in posting on his talk page on the subject of that AfD nomination after what he said was the THIRD time he had asked me not to. That is false: the subject of that comment on his talk page was not the AfD nomination, but something else, so it I was certainly not failing to comply with any request not to write about that topic on his talk page. Hetar could be polite and honest for a change. If he wants me to stop communicating with him at all on ANY topic, he could say that. Instead he says "don't contact me about this particular topics until X", then after X, says, falsely "I told you not to contact me on that particular topic", and later, when contacted on a different topic, says "Now you're doing it a THIRD time". Michael Hardy 20:35, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Muchas gracias

I just wanted to thank you for answering my question about irrational numbers. That's an idea that's been kicking around in the back of my head for some time now. No one had ever taught me that, and unlike others you mentioned, I did not accept it as fact. I had kind of wondered though.

I am not, by any measure, a mathematician, but I have some pretty diverse interests.Zaklog 18:17, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

List of circle topics

You created this page and have edited heavily. I see a style, or format, that I do not recognize or understand, viz:

This creates a link to corresponding talk pages but the links contain no text. In my browser, the links are invisible and unclickable unless the page does not exist. Could you please tell me how this is useful? Thank you. John Reid 04:09, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

The purpose of these invisible links is so that when you click on "related changes", edits to the talk pages will also be included. Here's the "nowiki" version:
  • [[small circle]] [[Talk:small circle| ]]

The second set of square brackets creates the invisible non-clicakble link to the article's talk page. Michael Hardy 04:17, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Recent revert of ortho polys

Thanks. I'm still a newbie, and timid about reverting, but I couldn't figure out what he was talking about, and was thinking of reverting it myself if no one jumped in. William Ackerman 01:35, 30 March 2006 (UTC)


It seemed as if you were attacking other editors for mathematical ignorance, instead of arguing the article on its merits. One of the key tenets of wikipedia is that editors need not be experts; those who wish to support an article should be able to point to references and sources that can support its validity without the need for a trained eye to evaluate subjective factors like elegance. Unfinished Sympathy has an article not just because an editor thought it was a great song, but because they could point to critics who have cited it as one. If you can point to mathematicians that have cited a proof as important or especially elegant then it doesn't matter if other editors are math experts--there are trained experts who have given their opinion already. If you can't find an authority to support it, then you have to ask what you're going to base your assertion of the importance of the article's subject on. Night Gyr 16:12, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I said a certain person "clumsily missed the point" of the article. I stand by the assertion. I don't think any tenet of Wikipedia is offended by that. I also wrote:
And now someone who voted for deletion tells me that he never heard of a mathematical equation, theorem, proof, or the like being called "elegant"! Never! Is it too much to ask that people on Wikipedia who've hardly even heard of mathematics at all might realize that mathematicians on Wikipedia know something about the subject?
This was a person who said an article on a mathematical equation should not be in an encyclopedia. Forgive me if I am shocked by something shocking. Here's a fact: In articles on topics I know nothing about, I sometimes fix grammar or spelling, or format to match Wikipedia's style conventions, or simplify a run-on sentence, but I don't alter content that I don't understand and I don't say "This article is worthless because it's on a subject I never heard of." But that's what happened here.
I had no idea that anyone who understood the article would fail to see the extraordinary charm of the argument and have to rely on anyone's assertion of it. Michael Hardy 23:01, 30 March 2006 (UTC)


Thank you; I had put off the small but tedious job of searching for the articles until I finished dealing (for the moment instant) with my perennial nuisance, which I have just now done. I had no intention of abandoning the redlinks. Septentrionalis 19:33, 31 March 2006 (UTC)


I removed the first three paragraphs from the geostatistics article, after coughing a hairball over them. I don't know if your expertise covers this area, but we use geostatistical methods every day where I work (mainly kriging) and that's the first I've ever heard them called "junk science". Do you know if we have any geostatisticians on the project? Cheers, Antandrus (talk) 04:00, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia survey

Hi. I'm doing a survey of Wikipedia editors as part of a class research project. It's quick, anonymous, and the data will be made available to the Wikipedia community later this month. Would you like to take part? More info here. Thanks! Nonplus 00:06, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguate to Limit (mathematics)

In response to:

Also, I wonder if I can convince you to use lower case, thus:

[[limit (mathematics)|limit]]

The problem is that the capital letter seems to cause some editors to think it is necessary to use a capital, and then they start doing it in visible links, starting a common noun with a capital letter in the middle of a sentence. [[User:Michael Hardy|Michael Hardy] 02:05, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm disambiguating the links using the navigation popups software. It automatically uses capital letters when disambiguating. Maybe you could talk to Lupin, the creator to change it? --Mets501talk 04:27, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Pardon me for butting in, but this example allows an even better link.
[[limit (mathematics)|]]
This definitely argues for not capitalizing. --KSmrqT 05:29, 2 April 2006 (UTC)


I am conducting a survey on Wikipedia and would like to invite you to participate in the study. I've posted a message on wikien-l, but here is the link again in case you are not subscribed to that list-serv. Thanks a lot for your time! --Mermes 01:14, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank You

Minor Barnstar.png The Minor Barnstar
A Barnstar for minor edits, but not a minor Barnstar! Thank you for your tireless work: you wikify tons of articles, and explain wikipedia' standards to tons of users! gala.martin (what?) 00:20, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. Michael Hardy 21:56, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you

Thank you for formatting my additions. --VKokielov 02:54, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Requested block

Hi Michael,

would you please block User:, User:DEWEY, and User:KOJIN, which are obvious sockpuppets of banned User:WAREL, and furthermore are engaging in edit warring at field (mathematics)? (Technically, KOJIN has not edited field (mathematics), but is almost certainly the same person.) --Trovatore 22:31, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Vatican Hill

Hi Michael, thanks for putting me right on Vatican Hill. I did read the article of course but I missed that. It's one of those things I was so sure of from of old that I mustn't have taken in the contradiction at all ~ VeledanTalk 19:59, 11 April 2006 (UTC)


{{Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Invite}} Fasten 19:55, 12 April 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for the redirect fix. That was what I wanted to do, but couldn't remember how. With your example, now I can add a few more. Sbharris 19:12, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Hasty pudding

Is it not then JDandelinEn ? Rich Farmbrough 23:17 15 April 2006 (UTC).

What is says conspicuously on the page that is linked to is JDandelin. I don't know where you got "En". Michael Hardy 23:24, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Apologies, that's the .zip. Rich Farmbrough 23:27 15 April 2006 (UTC).

Re: math typesetting

My main reason for removing the punctuation was that the formulas were not displaying after that, when I had just the day before seen them fine. Now that I think about it, it was probably just that Wikipedia was very slow at the time in rendering or serving the images. I do not find the discussion or style recommendation for punctuation on Wikipedia:WikiProject_Mathematics or Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Mathematics. Is there a reason to put the punctuation within the MATH tag instead of outside of it? - Centrx 20:20, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Is there a reason to put the punctuation within the MATH tag instead of outside of it?

Definitely. If TeX is used in the normal way, rather than the way is used on Wikipedia, this is not important, but on Wikipedia, a final period or comma OUTSIDE of the math tags often gets misaligned, being put ridiculously too high or too low, or even in some cases getting pushed down to the beginning of the next line. Michael Hardy 00:34, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

No personal attacks

Please do not make personal attacks on other people. Wikipedia has a policy against personal attacks. In some cases, users who engage in personal attacks may be blocked from editing by admins or banned by the arbitration committee. Comment on content, not on other contributors or people. Please resolve disputes appropriately. Thank you.

  • Is the above a response to something I wrote? If so, what?
  • Why don't you sign what you post? Four tildas (~~~~) suffice.

Michael Hardy 22:48, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the Disambig advice!

Michael, thanks for the helpful advice! I'll leave out the underscores from now on!

Just out of curiousity, does it hurt to leave the underscores in place if you pipe it to a visible entry, like axis? Is there a guideline that talks about that? Usually, I copy and paste the actual link to save on potential typos... - Dreadlocke 22:12, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't know of a guideline, but I've seen cases where people put underscores in visible links, and I'd rather not encourage that. Michael Hardy 22:45, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
I totally agree with you, using underscores in visible links doesn't really seem the best way to do it; unless there;s some possible rare circumstance where it would make sense. Thanks Michael! - Dreadlocke 23:27, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

You wrote:

"Oh, please! Do not ever write [[finite set|finite sets]] or [[dog|dogs]]. Just write [[finite set]]s or [[dog]]s."

Thanks for fixing that, it was just an error - it wasn't done on purpose. Also, I don't see any reason I can't continue using the underscore, unless it's in a visible link. Dreadlocke 01:30, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

The problem with the underscore, or with capitalization of the initial letter, is that it leads newbies to think that it's actually necessary, and then they write things like [[finite_set|finite set]] instead of just [[finite set]], or--even worse--they write [[finite_set]]. Michael Hardy 01:33, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I see what you mean, it may lead newbies astray when they edit an article and see the underscore used. I'll take that under consideration for any future link edits, although if they pipe in the same format as I use, it should be no problem. We should probably add something along those lines in links. I noticed you made changes to the Champ article. Just FYI, I didn't put the capitals in the links, although I did incorrectly capitalize the section heading - thanks for fixing that. Now that I think about it, I also did not type [[Finite_set|Finite Sets]], it originally said [[Finite|Finite sets]], I merely replaced the "Finite" with the proper link, I didn't examine the pipe too closely - I'll try to be more observant next time... :) - Dreadlocke 02:32, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for helping me find a better way to work with links. It led to my suggestion being added to the manual of style by Lethe. Pretty cool! - Dreadlocke 04:35, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Craig Ferguson

Your list of examples is nice, but can you present even one example where an article showcasing a person uses this method? I doubt you'll be able to because it's simply a ridiculous concept and absolutely and completely unnecessary—in all of the examples you showed I found that texts preceding the article's title were necessary to explain the concept of the article. Your viewpoint is akin to starting the George W. Bush article with "America's George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States"—completely and utterly pointless and unprofessional. — CRAZY`(IN)`SANE 02:07, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Sure. Patriarch Peter VII of Alexandria begins like this:
His Beatitude Peter (Petros) VII (September 3, 1949September 11, 2004) was the Eastern Orthodox Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa from 1997 to 2004.
I'll try to find more. I expect it will be easy. Michael Hardy 02:24, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I would've responded more promptly, but received an edit conflict apon your second comment.
Your example is a title—as assigned to be recognized as a part of the person's actual name. It's the same as "Her Majesty, the Queen" for QE2, and "Sir John A. MacDonald" for the Canadian Prime Minister. The prefix "TV's" is certainly not a title given to Mr. Craig Ferguson; the fact that he is well-known for his roles on television could easily be injected later in the sentence or further in the paragraph. I realize that you find "TV's" harmless, but it is also completely unnecessary and grammatically awkward. — CRAZY`(IN)`SANE 02:30, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Talk:Fibonacci's identity

I added a comment to Talk:Fibonacci's identity --Alex 06:14, 28 April 2006 (UTC)<</nowiki>

Saints Wikiproject

I noted that you have been contributing to articles about saints. I invite you to join the WikiProject Saints.

Gloriole.svg You are invited to participate in Saints WikiProject, a project dedicated to developing and improving articles about saints. We are currently discussing prospects for the project. Your input would be greatly appreciated!

I also invite you to join the discussion on prayers and infoboxes here: Prayers_are_NPOV.

Thanks! --evrik 15:38, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

I've contributed to some of those only in copy-editing and deciding what should link to what, but I don't really know anything. Michael Hardy 18:48, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Justification article


I noticed that you appeared in the edit history of the justification (theology) article. I recently made major changes to the article in an effort to move it to NPOV. If you have any suggestions for improvement (style, content, whatever), please leave a comment on the talk page for that article. The goal is to get the article to the point that the POV and cleanup templates can be removed.

Thanks, --jrcagle 20:21, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Re: "Unnecessary use of TeX"

I prefer to use TeX only when the formula cannot be typed in pure HTML or wiki markup. I remember having read somewhere in WP that this one was the preferred criterion. The reason is that images are more expensive to load than pure text markup, and there is also an additional overhead in the server side when the formula is parsed and transformed to an image. This isn't a big deal to me, but I think that using TeX only to display a nabla, when &nabla; does well, is like killing a fly with a battleship. Best regards. rbonvall 21:20, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

I thought the reason was the one I mentioned, so that this would apply only to "inline" TeX and not to "displayed" TeX. Generally I think in "displays", TeX looks better than html, whereas in "inline" usage, html usually looks better than TeX, for the reasons I outlined. Are you sure you read the policy correctly? Michael Hardy 21:23, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not sure, but avoiding TeX when possible has seemed always more logical to me. Consider that not everyone will see the page exactly as you do on your screen, so what looks better to you can be seen worse for others—actually, I think that TeX looks weird since the font of the equation doesn't match the font of the document—. By the way, I am not sistematically changing every TeX equation I see to plain HTML: I was just reading these articles, I thought that plain text would be more cheap and consistent, I was bold and changed it. Best regards. rbonvall 21:58, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
After reading WP:MATH and WP:MSM, I belive we are both right about this concern. From now I will only change unnecessary inline TeX. rbonvall 21:32, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

élan vital

Yr correction is fine, too. I figured someone had some reasoning behind making Elan vital a disambiguation page, and just transferred it to Élan vital, which would have been the best place for it. Nixing the disambig page from the getgo works fine though. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. mxdxcxnx T C 01:46, 4 May 2006 (UTC)


Haha, yea, i guess i just capitalize "L" out of habit. I havent been doing in lately, but i was in a hurry when i was making the benilde article, so i most likely just forgot. Its actually not that big a deal because there are a number of bots that check pages and make the fix. Thanks for the reminder though.--Gephart 02:50, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Frequency probability

Hi. I've got myself involved in something of a revert war at Frequency probability with an editor who seems determined to censor any mention of Bayesian concepts as an alternative. If you have time, you might want to take a look. JQ 09:53, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Random permutation statistics

Hello there, I would like to add some more material to the page, but there seem to be two copies of it now that you renamed the page. I am not sure which one to edit; the two links (old and new) both still work. How do I tell Wikipedia that the old version should be re-directed to the new one and that the old one is definitely deprecated? - Zahlentheorie 10:09, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't understand: where are the two copies? I simply clicked on "move this page", and entered the new name. As usual, the old name became a redirect page, whose edit history identifies it as a new page created by me at that time, and the old page and its discussion page and their edit histories got move to the new title. Then I fixed the links to the old title. I can't find two copies. Michael Hardy 18:16, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Hello again, I don't know why the two pages were not working for me earlier today. Everything is fine now. The redirect works, and the moved page displays correctly, too. I'll be adding new material later tomorrow, if I get around to it. - Zahlentheorie 22:33, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Areas of a city; proper names?

I noticed that you edited Nicollet Island to reflect the idea that Northeast Minneapolis is a proper name. Actually, the northeast part of Minneapolis isn't a separate city; it's just a region bounded (roughly) by Hennepin Avenue on the south, the Mississippi River on the west, the northern border with Fridley and Columbia Heights, and the eastern border with St. Paul. (Stop me if you're from the area and you know this already.) Since there's no city named "Northeast Minneapolis", I don't think "Northeast" is supposed to be capitalized. Then again, I'm not sure if there's a rule for this. Do you know if there's a specific rule? --Elkman - (talk) 20:03, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I know that it's not a separate city. Like many areas within that and other cities, its name is nonetheless a proper name. The area called Southeast Minneapolis cannot properly be called southeast Minneapolis, with a lower-case initial "s", because it is NOT the southeastern part of Minneapolis. The name "Southeast Minneapolis" is a proper name and has official status. Similarly "Northeast Minneapolis". Michael Hardy 20:48, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Residual Sum of Squares

Sorry, my oops :-(. I changed the article. Doesn't capitalization automatically redirect? Deepak 23:12, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Certainly not! Michael Hardy 23:13, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Ok then. I'll be more careful next time. Deepak 23:17, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Comments requested

If you find yourself in a pedagogical mood, I wonder if you might stop by Theory of one divided by zero, Walstad's Paradox, and their related AfD discussions, and explain to the young theorist (autobiography at Lee Field Walstad) in clear terms what he's doing wrong?

This isn't strictly necessary, as he has not yet demonstrated the kind of stubbornness that results in article re-creation against consensus, but he seems so earnest. TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:56, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Binomial distribution question

When calculating , please explain how could be anything other than 0 or a positive integer. Thanks! --New Thought 07:45, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

If, for example, k = 3.6, then
i.e., we have
That's explained in the article after my edit, where it says that
is the greatest integer less than or equal to k. If k is negative, then I would take
to be a sum with no terms, and therefore zero. If jn, then take
to be zero. Michael Hardy 18:42, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Logarithm, definition of b^n

Hello, Mr. Hardy,

I have just posted a note on the User Talk page of Mr. Alexandrov, who removed my edit to the definition of b^n under the logarithm article. You then changed it with the idea of addressing my point in the discussion of the page. I thought you would be interested in what I just wrote to him, with the idea of asking him to restore something like my original change (but a bit shorter). The rationale is included in this copy of my note to him. I will also check back here for any reply from you. Here is my note to him:

Hello, Mr. Alexandrov. I do not think your removal of my change to the logarithm article is as useful as the change itself was. Although I agree with you about not using unnecessary wording, the part I added was not entirely unnecessary. Rather, it corrected an inaccuracy in the definition of b^n. Now a further user has changed it again to something still not as accurate as what I put in (see below). I will not change it again on the main page, to avoid repeated back-and-forth. However, I would like to make the case here to suggest you change it to something more accurate. Here is the edit I had put in:

... b^n means multiplying b by itself a number of times, using it as a factor in this multiplication n times ...

You changed it back to the original to say

" ... b^n means multiplying b by itself n times ...".

This is not correct, as I pointed out on the talk page associated with the article. If you multiply b by itself one time, you get b*b = b^2, not b^1. If you multiply b by itself 2 times, you get b*b*b = b^3, not b^2. It may be that the English is subtle here, especially for a non-native English speaker. However, this version is clearly inaccurate.

Michael Hardy has now changed it to

" ... b^n means b is multiplied n times ..."

This, I think, is unclear, and still able to be interpreted as inaccurate in the same way the original was. If b is multiplied two times, it could easily mean b*b*b - that has two multiplications, whereas b*b only has one.

If you still object to my initial language, I propose this, shorter than my original change, but still more accurate than either revision of what I put:

" ... b^n means multiplying b by itself, using it as a factor n times ..."

Please consider making this change, or proposing a better one that does not have the original problem I pointed out.

Thanks, Ken Cliffer (I am a scientist, with a Ph.D. in anatomy, but now work as an educational consultant, currently developing math videos. This issue came up in our presentation of exponentiation. I was happy to see that the Wikipedia article on exponentiation did not have this problem.)

NOTE added 14 May: Mr. Alexandrov has responded, and there has been some continuation of this on the talk page for the logarithm article; you may go there for follow-up.

Confidence interval

(In response to User talk:Zawersh#confidence interval.) Thanks for catching and fixing my erroneous addition to confidence interval, I suppose I was being a bit too bold in adding to an article something I really don't understand all that well.

The main thing I was trying to do was add a table with some of the Z-scores, since both I and the other person on the talk page had been seeking them out on Wikipedia and hadn't found them. (The text I added was just to give context to the table, guess I didn't do a very accurate job.) A table similar to the Student's t-distribution table would be nice for the the Z-scores, or perhaps more accurately a table of standard normal probabilities, but I'm not really sure where an appropriate place would be for them. On reflection, the normal distribution article would probably be more appropriate than confidence interval. Any thoughts on the matter? -- Zawersh 02:11, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Featured picture promotion

Your Featured picture candidate has been promoted
Your nomination for featured picture status, Image:Prokudin-Gorskii-09-edit2.jpg, gained a consensus of support, and has been promoted. If you would like to nominate another image, please do so at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates.

Ravedave 03:08, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Warsaw, North Dakota

I'm responding to your comments on my talk page relating to the Warsaw, North Dakota article being labeled as a stub. I'm not 100% sure why you directed this at me because I was not the one who added the stub tag to this article. Someone else added the stub tag and I just changed it to a more precise stub classification (geography). --MatthewUND(talk) 07:22, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Ordinal fraction listed for deletion

An article that you have been involved in editing, Ordinal fraction , has been listed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ordinal fraction . Please look there to see why this is, if you are interested in it not being deleted. Thank you.

—Steven G. Johnson 04:25, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Odd and even squares

Thanks for your cleanup of this section, it says what I thought it should say. On another note, I have started working on the problem you posted on the Talk:Packing problem. It looks like this way just uses up more space (so less circles) but I will work through the maths.Captainj 21:06, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I suspect you're right. Michael Hardy 21:16, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

compound Poisson process

Hi Michael. I wonder if you could comment at talk:compound Poisson process. It is something which I don't know much about. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:26, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Bold italic

Hi Michael. I have a remark. Per the Wikipedia:Manual of Style, I think it is preferred to use bold when emphasizing the concept of an article at the beginning of the article, rather than bold italic. So, it appears that text like

Integral Equations and Operator Theory is a journal dedicated to operator theory and its applications to engineering and others mathematical sciences.

woud be better off like

Integral Equations and Operator Theory is a journal dedicated to operator theory and its applications to engineering and others mathematical sciences.

It is a small thing, and bold italic seems fine also, but I thought I'd point out the more widely used convention. The reason for keeping just one of the two (bold, instead of bold italic), would be in my view for uniformity's sake. Wonder what you think. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:31, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I think bold italic is correct here, because ordinary italics would be correct when giving the journal title without emphasis. --Trovatore 20:34, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I concur: Italicize journal name, embolden article name, do both in the rare instance when both apply. --KSmrqT 21:33, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, now I see, it was because it was a journal name. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:35, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

It is standard that book titles and film titles are italicized when referred to in Wikipedia articles, whether or not they are part of the bolded initial appearance of the article's title. I think the same would apply to journal titles. The purpose of bolding is emphasis; the purpose of italicization is not emphasis but something else. Michael Hardy 22:52, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Multiset coefficients


a few years ago you authored Counting section in Multiset. Now it is titled Multiset coefficients. I think, wording in this section requires some tweaking. Currently it says that multiset coefficient is "the number of submultisets of size k in a set of size n". From the derivation below I can understand what do you mean, but this wording is at odds with all the terminology defined above.

In Formal definition the article says "The set A is called the underlying set of elements." At the end of this section it defines submultiset with relation to multiset (not to set!).

So, the proper frase would be something like Multiset coefficient is the number of multisets of size k built on a set of size (or cardinality?) n. Or Multiset coefficient is the number of multisets of size k with undelying set of size (or cardinality?) n.

What do you think? I do not want to edit the article itself, because this topic is not exactly my major.

Regards, Alex -- talk to me 07:05, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Simple Links

Thanks for the tip. Capitalistroadster 01:01, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Getting the parse tree of an article

I have figured out how to get an article exported from Wikipedia as XML. The resulting file contains the text of the article as one big chunk, however. I would like to get the parsed article as XML, e.g. with nodes for sections, tables, math etc. Do I have to write a parser myself? Thanks for any help you may be able to offer. - Zahlentheorie 15:57, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

See m:Alternative parsers. The best one seems for your purpose is probably Magnus' magic MediaWiki-to-XML-to-stuff converter. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 04:26, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't actually know anything about XML, so I'm not the person to ask. Michael Hardy 20:43, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Bypass Monte Carlo

Hi, Michael. I've been working on a problem and can't seem to come up with a solution. Maybe you could provide me with some insight. I have been using Monte Carlo simulations to predict the outcome of investments 30 years from now - both the expected value as well as the distribution of outcomes. I'm wondering if there is a way to bypass the Monte Carlo simulations and estimate the variance of the future value analytically.

More specifically, I understand that the future value (FV) can be estimated from:

Ln(FV/current value) = n x ln(1+GM)

where GM is geometric mean of the annual returns and n is number of years

BIG QUESTION: Is there a way to determine the variance of FV without using Monte Carlo simulations?

I presume it is safe to say that:

Variance of Ln(FV/current value) = Variance of [n x Ln(1+r)]

But where do I go from there?

I'd greatly appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks and best regards, Tom Holcombe

Presumed Innocent

I won't make this into a revert war I will leave this. But no it isn't "ridiculous" as you claim to include a standard heading like this. It is just a different way of doing things to what "you" are expecting. The heading becomes an expected place to house all number of different adaptations. It help give a consistency to to the placing of items of information within an article. Not ridiculous, just different. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:50, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Pythagorean theorem

Hi Michael, in your recent edit of the Pythagorean theorem article, your edit summary said that you were "Moving the new "Why squares and a sum" section into the section on proofs"; however, you moved your section under "Converse of the theorem". This is probably incorrect, but I just wanted to let you doublecheck. In any case, I don't think "Converse of the theorem" deserves a full section by itself (I think it was under "Proofs" earlier, which makes more sense to me), but this is a different question. Cheers, Schutz 08:45, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

You're right: I moved it into the wrong section. (I hope) I've fixed it now. Michael Hardy 20:59, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
You haven't, but I have now ;-) I have converted the reference as well, and moved the section about the converse. Schutz 21:15, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
You're right that I put it in the wrong place. But obviously the section on the converse of the Pythagorean theorem does not belong within the section on proofs of the Pythagorean theorem. Michael Hardy 21:22, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Trigonometric Identities

Hi Michael, thanks for your comments about my edit. By "clarity", I was refering to the replacement of

(inline with the identity)


(inline with the preceding explanation)

I felt it was a little odd to say , as is the angle within the half-circle, not a half-circle itself. Thus, my edit summary referred not to the typesetting, but to the clarification of the text. Hope that makes sense! djsik 18:29, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Lead came and copper foil glasswork – thanks for the style cleanup

RickP 06:42, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Anglicanism and the Anglican Communion

Hello! I noticed that you have been a contributor to articles on Anglicanism and the Anglican Communion. You may be interested in checking out a new WikiProject - WikiProject Anglicanism. Please consider signing up and participating in this collaborative effort to improve and expand Anglican-related articles! Cheers! Fishhead64 23:32, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Otheruses template

Why do you call {{otheruses}} a "hideous offensive template"? You have now removed it twice from the mathematics article, and I would like to know why. "Other senses" of the word would imply alternate definitions, in fact the disambig page is just a link to a producer and some other religious thing. —Mets501 (talk) 02:07, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Why it's offensive is something I've stated many times; see that template's talk page. Numerous "otherses" templates now exist, and I've seen one that gives results that almost look like something an intelligent person could condone, but actual intelligence is better than choosing from among hundreds of individually unadaptable templates. Michael Hardy 02:38, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Although I may be wrong, it appears from that template's talk page that it is only you who finds that template "offensive" and almost nobody else has a problem using it. If you would like, however, as I am not determined to use {{otheruses}}, perhaps we could work out a different phrase than "For other senses of the word...". —Mets501 (talk) 02:48, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

The phrase that is used should be adapted to the occasion as appropriate. (That's one thing that that idiotic template does not allow.) Michael Hardy 22:02, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

PS: I don't think I'm the only one who thinks it's a bad template. I'm just the only one who says so so often. Michael Hardy 22:03, 18 June 2006 (UTC)


Why is "de Bruijn sequence" not written as "De Bruijn sequence", with capital D? At least in Dutch, the first character of a name has to be a capital, even if it is something like "de" or "van" (so meneer (mister) De Bruijn, but Nicolaas Govert de Bruijn) and I never learned that that's different in English. And after all, De Bruijn was a Dutchman.DaanAlberga 13:15, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Then why is the initial d in lower case at [[9]]? Michael Hardy 23:52, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
No, it's not. That's the problem. In Dutch, words like "van", "der", "de" et cetera usually aren't written with a capital letter in names. However, the first letter of a name _has_ to be a capital letter. This means that it has to be "Nicolaas de Bruijn", but "mister De Bruijn", as in the latter case, the d is the first letter of the name. That can be seen in the Dutch page as well. De Bruijn's full name is written as "Nicolaas Govert (Dick) de Bruijn", but when only his family name is used, one can read "Met Automath richtte De Bruijn zich op de [...]". That is correct. For the same reason, one should write "a De Bruijn sequence", as here as well, the d is the first letter of the name. If it would have been called "a Nicolaas de Bruin sequence", than the small d would have been correct. DaanAlberga 09:30, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

BB&T "No lending" section

While I appreciate the fine work you've put into this section, it seems to amount to a report about a BB&T press release which was designed to exploit sentiment surrounding the contentious Supreme Court ruling. Whether any bank actually follows a similar stated policy is unlikely to be reported by the bank or by independent journalists. Future "victims" of eminent domain will likely be unaware of the bank's policy, and extremely unlikely to follow any subsequent money trails. Presumably, banks will loan money to "beneficiary/ies" of eminent domain after the domain action, and these bodies are likely not to be the same legal or financial entities which benefitted from the original action.

In short, why should a report about a press release be part of an encyclopedic entry? The press release was designed to advance a non-NPOV image of the bank, and as a result, its inclusion here does the same.--Son of Somebody 23:35, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Re: Talk:Proof that 22 over 7 exceeds π

There is a proposed revision of the last paragraph of the intro at the bottom of the talk pages:

What follows is a different mathematical proof that 22/7 > π, requiring only an elementary understanding of calculus. It is notable for its connections to the theory of diophantine approximations. Lucas (cited below) calls this proposition "One of the more beautiful results related to approximating π". Havil ends a discussion of continued fraction approximations of π with the result, describing it as "impossible to resist mentioning" in that context. 01:39, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Long talk page

Greetings! Your talk page is getting a bit long in the tooth - please consider archiving your talk page (or ask me and I'll archive it for you). Cheers! BD2412 T 00:16, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Possibly unfree Image:Hardy.jpg

An image that you uploaded, Image:Hardy.jpg, has been listed at Wikipedia:Possibly unfree images. If the image's copyright status cannot be verified, it may be deleted. Please go to its page to provide the necessary information on the source or licensing of this image (if you have any), if you are interested in it not being deleted. Thank you.

Density estimation

At Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Illustration of density estimation you wrote

Delete, eXtreme original research.

Can you tell me why you said that, and what your background is in the field of statistics? Was the method altogether different from the ones explained in the published papers that were cited? Michael Hardy 21:52, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your message. I made this comment because the material was written in the style of an academic paper, making it a secondary source at best. Wikipedia is a tertiary source.
As for my background in the field of statistics, not that I'm obliged to tell you, but as of last Friday I have a BSc in it. Stifle (talk) 19:37, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

To me it doesn't look any more like an academic paper than lots of other Wikipedia articles, but I don't see how style makes it a secondary source, or why it's being a secondary souce would be an objection. Wikipedia is often a secondary souce, and that's what it's supposed to be. The prohibition agains original research is a prohibition against Wikipedia's being a primary source. How in the world does anything's being a secondary source amout to a reason to call it "original research"? A concrete example of kernel density estimation is certainly not original research. Michael Hardy 20:08, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Exponential family

I see that you're a recent editor of the Exponential Family page. What's your opinion on my removing the dispute on this page about the Weibull distribution? There is no attested reason for including the Weibull in the exponential family. So I would leave in place the assertion of a previous editor that the Weibull and the Cauchy distributions are well-known for not being in the family, and remove the word 'dispute'. I previously raised the issue on the Talk page but did not get a reaction from anyone. There's a long story about the Weibull that I won't bore you with, and perhaps you already know it. EdJohnston 02:17, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for your assistance in formulating my English. I do my best, but as a Dutchman it's often hard to find the right words.Nijdam 18:28, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Helgus’s request

Dear Michael,

Many thanks for the help in editing wiki-paper on eventology. Obviously, my English is not perfect. Moreover, your help was rather pertinent and indispensable. I understand, that you are very busy. And nevertheless I'd like to address to you with the request of the same sort.

On July, 30th I leave for Paris on Conference IPMU-2006, where I have the session E22 on eventology.

Would you be so kind to find a spare minute and examine preambles of two wiki-papers from the point of view of your excellent English style?:

Thank you in advance:) - Helgus 04:21, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Hello. I've glanced at these a bit; I'll probably say something within a couple of days or so. Michael Hardy 23:40, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Thank you very much. I anticipate with impatience:) - Helgus 04:34, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

chinese restaurant process

this article is well written for what is there, and it could be an important article for its connection to ecology and other fields. i think you could easily make it a great article by discussing some simple applications of the model...ideally to biodiversity. regards Anlace 21:45, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. I'm not really up on biodiversity, but maybe someone else will contribute something good, and maybe eventually I'll be able to add some more. Michael Hardy 14:50, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Capital Punishment Entry

I moved the text you added on public versus private executions in the Unites States from the article on capital punishment in general to the United States specific article, Capital punishment in the United States. JCO312 04:26, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject Contract bridge

Hi. You might be interested in participating in new Wikipedia:WikiProject Contract bridge. Regards, Duja 10:17, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Transport phenomena

Hi Michael,

I was wondering why you moved Transport Phenomena to Transport Phenomenon? I understand the difference between plural and singular, but in the field of Chemical engineering the plural form is the most commonly used form. You could write on the convection page that it is a transport phenomenon, but the field of study is called 'Transport Phenomena'. The classic text on the subject is also called Transport Phenomena. Further, I think the plural term is better since the article is describing a bunch of processes rather than a single transport phenomenon. I would like to move the page back to its original. Let me know why you shifted it. Thanks.

Similarly we have an article titled differential equation, and the plural is merely a redirect, but the field of study is called differential equations, with a final s and even a singular verb: "Differential equations has been the object of much research", etc. I agree that there are some cases in which the title should be plural, but I didn't see a reason for this to be one of them. (E.g. "Maxwell's equations. There are two such equations; to write an article with the singular title would be like having an article titled British Isle.) Michael Hardy 00:23, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
IMHO that sounds like grammatical pedantry. People in the field generally use 'phenomena' to discuss the topic. The test for me is what people would generally look-up in an encyclopedia; I believe that would be 'phenomena'. The phenomena are treated as a group because of the way the equations/correlations apply across heat, mass and momentum transfer processes. Happy to discuss further. Journeyman 00:38, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
I noticed you switched the article back to 'phenomena'. Thanks. Sorry if the 'pedantry' crack above was a bit unsporting. Journeyman 23:21, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

talk:personal life

Hi Mike - here is my response:

Honestly - do you really feel the best word to summarize my "personal life" is my "career"? What dictionary entry is the one you are citing, in the Oxford English Dictionary? It surely is not the modern one. The O.E.D. lists a lot of denotations. I REFUSE to conflate "career" with "personal life" - i have NEVER heard this sense of "career" until i came here. i do not think we should define things unnaturally/unrecognizably like this. I cannot imagine more than 1% of the population recognizing this usage of the word "career". If you ask people what their career is, they will tell you about their string of employment, the kind of work they do, the money they make, etc. They will NOT tell you about their lover, their free time, their hobbies, etc; - & THOSE are the things of Personal Life. The sense of "career" you are using is misleading at least, difficult to understand at best - & this is a public encyclopedia; not the place for weird definitions to come out & play. Again - this sense of "career" you use is NOT the usual sense of the word, & you are using it in the opening definition of the manifestly important Personal Life article. i fully disagree with saying my Personal Life is my Career. Those two, Personal Life & Career, are to be contrasted, not synonymized. Just because a word has an obscure meaning doesn't mean we should use it.

the OED definition you (Michael) gave was truncated; here is the full denotation for this sense of "career":

5. a. A person's course or progress through life (or a distinct portion of life), esp. when publicly conspicuous, or abounding in remarkable incidents: similarly with reference to a nation, a political party, etc. b. In mod. language (after Fr. carrière) freq. used for: A course of professional life or employment, which affords opportunity for progress or advancement in the world. Freq. attrib. (orig. U.S.), esp. (a) designating one who works permanently in the diplomatic service or other profession, opp. one who enters it at a high level from elsewhere; (b) career girl, woman, etc., one who works permanently in a profession, opp. one who ceases full-time work on marrying. Also, careers master, mistress, a schoolteacher who advises and helps pupils in choosing careers.

(Oxford English Dictionary)

so, in mod. language, we see the sense most of us are familiar with - the standard niche of the word: "A course of professional life or employment". THAT is the modern standard definition of "career" (ask people around you) - & THAT is not Personal Life. As Jim pointed out, the modern, most-used denotation of the word you used to define Personal Life is contrary to Personal Life. I vote to change the opening definition of Personal Life from someone's "career" to something much more agreeable. I cannot imagine leaving this as is. lakitu 08:27, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

In the first place, the links in your message above to personal life did not work---they were red links---because you incorrectly capitalized the initial "L". It's worth knowing that, because neglect of Wikipedia's conventions sometimes causes duplication of articles, which later must get merged, and failure of links. (Those links work now, because I've created the relevant redirect pages.)
I think that if someone somehow fails to know that the word "career" has more than one sense, they would figure it out by seeing how it's used in this article. I don't think anything is unnatural or unrecognizable or weird about this usage. What you are proposing is dumbing down the article.
I am not adamant about using the word "career" in this article. But I am adamant about this: one's personal life does include ones remunerative work career. To hold otherwise would be to make the article cutesy at best, like People magazine or something like that, rather than something to be taken seriously. You say "THOSE are the things of P[sic]ersonal L[sic]ife." I object to contrasting remunerative work with personal life; I insist that remunerative work is obviously included within personal life. Indeed, remunerative work is one of the most important parts of personal life. Its course is determined by one's important deliberate personal choices. That's what personal life is. Michael Hardy 22:39, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Radius of curvature

Hi Michael. This is about today's edits to radius of curvature, etc. I think there may be a more subtle issue here that needs fixing, and I would like your input on it. Firstly, thanks for fixing the bit about arcs "tangent to a curve". I thought that was dodgy myself when I copied it to the disambig page from radius, but I didn't know how to improve on it. Note, though, that this flawed description still appears at radius.

Now, the issue I'm concerned about is that I think there may be at least two distinct quantities that use the name radius of curvature. This was why I made the latter into a disambiguation page in the first place. Clearly mathematics uses the definition you wrote in: a local measure of curvature corresponding to the radius of the osculating circle at a point. I believe, however, that in engineering and to some extent in physics, radius of curvature is more commonly a global property of a surface. The surface is typically presumed to have a circular geometry, possibly with imperfections. In the case where the surface is imperfect some means is defined by which an appropriate circle is associated with the surface. For example, as described at radius, an engineer might use the smallest circle that completely circumscribes the curved surface (in cross-section). Contrary to that article, I'm pretty sure this definition isn't universal. Depending on the circumstances or the specifications on the drawing the largest circle that can be inscribed might be used, for example. In this usage, radius and radius of curvature are precisely synonymous, altough neither quite corresponds to the mathematician's definition in the case where the surface is not perfectly circular in cross section.

The usage in optics is another case. Traditionally, optical surfaces were nearly invariably spherical, and "radius of curvature" referred exclusively to the radii of the optical surfaces (as distinct from the radius of the optical component's aperture). Now that we have the capability to make "aspheric" optical surfaces, it is conventional to describe them with the equation

where z points in the direction of the optic axis, and is the z-position of the surface at distance from that axis. is defined to be the radius of curvature of the surface. The other parameters, , , etc., are constants that describe the departure of the surface from spherical. I'm not sure whether the radius of curvature, as so defined, is compatible with your definition. I suspect not.

Any thoughts on this? Am I mistaken, or is a disambiguation page required to cover these distinct meanings?--Srleffler 22:42, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Why probability theorists

Just my mistake, if probabalists is standard terminology. A request in WP:CFR is in order if probabalists is preferred. I think Category:Mathematicians by field still needs a few more subcategories. Quale 05:41, 6 July 2006 (UTC)


The List of life extension-related topics has been nominated for deletion. --Transhumanist 18:46, 11 July 2006 (UTC)


For showing me that titles should only have the first word capitalized. --Blue Tie 02:49, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Confidence interval

Hi, the Confidence Interval page seemed rather unclear (compared to your original!) and I had a go at improving it. But I'm sure you could do a better job.Jdannan 07:29, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Spencer Heath

Do you have a source for Spencer Heath as an anarchist? I'm fairly sure he never described himself as one, and even pretty sure no one ever called him one. The present article on Spencer Heath is almost entirely original research, essentially fabricating a "Heathian anarchism" philosophy out of a single obscure quote by Murray Rothbard, who wasn't even specifically claiming Heath as an anarchist.

As an additional note, the external link you added provides a quote from an anarcho-capitalist FAQ that uses the term "Heathian anarchism". As it happens, this particular FAQ was written by the same author as the Spencer Heath article, "Hogeye Bill". Sarge Baldy 21:03, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm not the one who called him that; I merely left intact the assertion that was already there. Michael Hardy 00:21, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

hey michael!

I noticed that you have over 54000 edits which makes you the loneliness person in the world. Wikipedia is a FREE encyclopedia..I am not really sure what you do for your actualy profession but you spend WAY, WAY, WAY TOO MUCH time on this site. Lemme make a few suggestions...1. talk to girls, they make for nice company, 2. try and branch out to other people..u might make your first friends...3. move out of your mom's basement.., otherwise live life to its fullest! i hope you enjoy editing because you are wasting the years away my friend. there is so much out there for you. lemme know what you think of my suggestions. Carryonson 01:35, 25 July 2006 (UTC)