Talk:Main Page/Archive 197

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War On This Day

Why do so many of the Wikipedia On This Day entries concern war? Almost every day there is at least one entry relating to war. Is it because a large proportion of submitted entries relate to war, or are the people who choose entries for the day obsessed with war? B. Fairbairn (talk) 22:02, 4 January 2020 (UTC)[]

Mankind, or its historians, record wars more than other events. MPS1992 (talk) 22:27, 4 January 2020 (UTC)[]
Wait, this is the day you're talking about:
  • 1847 – American gun inventor Samuel Colt (engraving shown) sold the first thousand of his Colt Walker revolvers to the Texas Rangers.
  • This is about a gun designed for war, but quite possibly mostly not used in war. Its cultural legacy seems more significant than its usage in war.
  • 1885 – Sino-French War: French troops under General Oscar de Négrier defeated a larger Qing Chinese force at the Battle of Núi Bop in northern Vietnam.
  • OK, that's part of a war. Quite a significant one.
  • 1936 – Billboard magazine published its first music hit parade.
  • That's definitely not a war and it's a rather pathetically pop-culture item, I personally would be OK with it being replaced with a good war.
  • 1972 – Rose Heilbron became the first female judge to sit at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales.
  • That's definitely not a war. I guess it's significant, although it probably affected a great deal less people than the military action mentioned above.
  • 2004 – Spirit, the first of two rovers of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission, successfully landed on Mars.
  • That's definitely not a war. It probably affected a great deal less people than the military action mentioned above, but space exploration is cool anyway (and is usually enabled by technologies developed for war).
So... MPS1992 (talk) 22:38, 4 January 2020 (UTC)[]
Wars are also easy to write about for editors because there are usually many reliable sources about them to base an article on. You are welcome to participate in the process to determine what appears in OTD in order to influence what appears there. 331dot (talk) 22:36, 4 January 2020 (UTC)[]

It is intriguing that almost without exception every day in OTD there is at least one article (not all articles) on war. I wonder if a person or group is running a campaign to keep mentioning war on Wikipedia. Is someone trying to propagate continued conflict using Wikipedia? B. Fairbairn (talk) 04:52, 5 January 2020 (UTC)[]

See Occam's razor. No, there's not some conspiracy from warmongers to promote endless streams of war articles on the MP, it's just that there's more information available throughout history about war content than assorted other stuff.  Nixinova  T  C   19:38, 6 January 2020 (UTC)[]

I like to do a daily read of items in OTD to learn new or refresh old event details. It is tiring to keep finding day after day a fact relating to war.
Examples of OTD war items: "Jack Jouett made a 40-mile (64 km) ride to warn Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia legislature of coming British cavalry", "The Americans, led by General John Stark, routed British and Brunswick troops under Friedrich Baum at the Battle of Bennington in Walloomsac" and "Confederate spy Belle Boyd was arrested by Union forces after her lover turned her in"
Only a minuscule portion of worldwide readers would be even vaguely interested. B. Fairbairn (talk) 05:15, 5 January 2020 (UTC)[]

On the contrary, a very large portion of readers of the English-language Wikipedia are in the USA, and people there find these defining moments of their history to be of great cultural importance to them. (You don't build a nation without breaking some heads.) And I, as an English-speaking reader who is not in the USA, find it interesting to learn about those aspects of history that Americans do find important.
As for whether some people are trying to "propagate continued conflict using Wikipedia", then yes some people are. But I doubt any of them are doing so by mentioning conflicts from the time of Alexander the Great or Henry VIII. MPS1992 (talk) 14:34, 5 January 2020 (UTC)[]
Wikipedia:Systemic_bias. Statements like yours are the problem. What is of cultural importance to a single nation shouldn't determine what's on the front page. We should move beyond such parochial concerns. There is indeed an issue with incredibly obscure and minor American Civil War facts on OTD. Fgf10 (talk) 17:27, 5 January 2020 (UTC)[]
Loathe as I am to continue giving oxygen to this debate, but if there is "a person or group ... running a campaign to keep mentioning war on Wikipedia", they're not doing a very good job. Looking ahead to the coming week - though these are liable to change of course - the proportion of entries related to war, broadly defined to include battles and military operations, are:
So out of 35 entries, 4 relate to war, and 31 do not, and just over half the days of the coming week have a war-related entry, rather than it being 'almost without exception'. To compare, this is one less than the rate that the anniversaries of scientific discoveries, observations or announcements will be posted (presentation of Continental drift theory on the 6th, discovery of Francium on the 7th, announcment of first discovery of Exoplanets on the 9th, discovery of Oberon (moon) and Titania (moon) on the 11th, perihelion of C/2006 P1 (McNaught) on the 12th). I don't think this is much evidence of systemic bias, but perhaps more indicative of confirmation bias on the op's part. The FAQ section is as ever relevant. Spokoyni (talk) 15:33, 5 January 2020 (UTC)[]
History is what happened. Many of the most important events in human history worldwide have to do with wars, due both to the fighting/fatalities and the consequences. (Take a look at maps of Europe in 1914 and 1945.) Just as ITN isn't a platform for sanitizing the news, OTD isn't a venue for sanitizing history.
This says nothing about the choice of individual events, such as the Battle of Bennington mentioned above. Some do seem overly obscure. – Sca (talk) 17:53, 5 January 2020 (UTC)[]
"The battle was a major strategic success for the American cause and is considered part of the turning point of the Revolutionary War" ... MPS1992 (talk) 08:45, 6 January 2020 (UTC)[]
Hooray for our side!Sca (talk) 19:38, 8 January 2020 (UTC)[]
That sort of jingoistic sentiment is exactly what we, as an encyclopedia, should be trying to avoid. It is much less useful than noting the significance and context of the events. MPS1992 (talk) 20:23, 8 January 2020 (UTC)[]
MPS1992: It was a joke – one used sardonically several times in pop music. – Sca (talk) 23:00, 8 January 2020 (UTC) 718smiley.svg[]
Hoo-rah for popular culture, I guess. MPS1992 (talk) 00:19, 9 January 2020 (UTC)[]
'Every so often' there is a discussion about 'the excessive appearance of Topic X on the Main Page' - a while back it was video/computer games. Sometimes this reflects current areas of particular interest (and insufficient activity elsewhere).
The moral of the story is - improve a wide range of WP pages so there is a wider range to select from for the various parts of the MP. Jackiespeel (talk) 18:43, 9 January 2020 (UTC)[]

I wonder what proportion of all wikipedia event entries are about war events. I would wager it is considerably less than 11.4%, the figure provided above from a small sample of OTD entries. B. Fairbairn (talk) 07:59, 11 January 2020 (UTC)[]

Reversion of update to TFL

This edit in part reverted a recent change I had made in the formatting of the TFL dates to put them on one line, but with no explanation. I am curious as to why the two-line format is preferred. It looks strange to me. Jmar67 (talk) 02:54, 6 January 2020 (UTC)[]

@Jmar67: Which "TFL dates" are you referring to? I don't see any particular problems in the diff above, nor in the current appearance of WP:ERRORS. — RAVENPVFF · talk · 04:13, 8 January 2020 (UTC)[]
@Ravenpuff: When the scheduled dates are either today or tomorrow, those words appear in a new line following the dates. This looks strange to me. At the moment that condition is not fulfilled, and only the dates appear. My change was to put "today" and 'tomorrow" on the same line as the dates, separated by a comma. Possibly the admin involved, Stephen (talk · contribs), inadvertently reverted my changes by using a template to overwrite the page, and the template has the two-line coding. Jmar67 (talk) 04:53, 8 January 2020 (UTC)[]
@Jmar67: Ah, I notice it now. I think what's happening is that the semicolon was being parsed as a definition list title marker (MOS:DLIST), instead of as a normal punctuation mark. I've reinstated the commas and updated the clear-all-reports template. — RAVENPVFF · talk · 05:06, 8 January 2020 (UTC)[]

Category:Wikipedia fully-protected main page files

Please empty Category:Wikipedia fully-protected main page files by unprotecting all 13 files in it. Then delete the category because it will never again be populated until and unless we redesign the Main Page.

You may be asking "wait, what about situations when we copy some files locally and protect them?" But that still does not put the file in this category unless you add it manually and no one does that. This category has no been used since 2017. --- C&C (Coffeeandcrumbs) 00:50, 9 January 2020 (UTC)[]

Wikipedia:Categories for discussion. Stephen 01:30, 9 January 2020 (UTC)[]
Stephen, I don't think they will consider it unless we empty it first. Can you empty at least? --- C&C (Coffeeandcrumbs) 01:33, 9 January 2020 (UTC)[]
Nevermind, I see now I can do that myself. --- C&C (Coffeeandcrumbs) 01:47, 9 January 2020 (UTC)[]