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Comment: Re:Wish I could read it in always-on editor mode (Score 1) 372

by martijn hoekstra (#45229133) Attached to: Wikipedia's Participation Problem
"show me every page in wikitext mode" is a setting that virtually nobody would want though. I know I wouldn't want that. If that seriously would be your preference, you might be the only one. Always on visual editor (that doesn't suck and loads fast). Now that would be awsome.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 372

by martijn hoekstra (#45225537) Attached to: Wikipedia's Participation Problem

Nope. They have started a slow burn of all articles not up to their dogmatic community standards. Witness the thousands of pages of pagan-related material that a couple editors took upon themselves to remove, and then lock the discussion pages so nobody could comment on it while doing so.

Wow, really? It is incredibly bad for a discussion page to be locked. Could you give a couple of examples? Heck, even one example would be great. If this is realy true, it should be fixed immediately.

Comment: Its the convenience, stupid (Score 1) 443

by martijn hoekstra (#44550445) Attached to: Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated
I'm not much of a tv watcher myself, but the show I do tend to watch, Dr. Who, is free to air where I live. Without commercials too. I don't think I've ever watched it on live tv, I always pirate it purely for convenience. As long as the most convenient thing is pirating, I will continue doing so. For music on the other hand, the most convenient thing is generally spotify, so I pay the reasonable price for a subscription. The things not on spotify I pirate. Afaik Netflix is not yet available here in the Netherlands (it wasn't the last time I checked, about a year back), but if it were and there was a subscription that fit my consumer pattern, I wouldn't mind paying something for it either. Digital on demand media is getting there. Its just a matter of time. The traditional media will either adapt to the demands of a new generation of consumers, or die out and be replaced by those who do understand how to deliver what I want.

Comment: Re:Definitely (Score 1) 385

If someone can't understand "a=F/m" (or "acceleration=force/mass"), do you really think they have any idea what "acceleration is inversely proportional to mass" means?

Yes. But that's not really to the point. The point is, that equations break the flow of prose, and don't work well in explaining things, other than in a purely mathematical context. If you are not speaking about mathematics (and nobody other than mathematicians really do, and the OP is rather math related, but is not about the math of the uncertainty principle but its applications) it's best to keep equations out of it. This is obviously a rule of thumb and there are bound to be exceptions where using an equation is actually beneficial to the global understanding of the issue, but these cases are rare, and far in between. For the OP for example, I agree that not using equations was probably the right choice, though I would have made different editorial choices in the prose, and possibly using one equation (to wit, \sigma_{x}\sigma_{p} \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} ) could maybe have been defensible, but still a choice I would have disagreed with.

Comment: Re:Definitely (Score 1) 385

I would argue that very few to no popular articles need the exact formula for black body specific intensity. But if they do, the formulaic form is clearly superior. It's likelier that the article would focus on a specific aspect off blackbody radiation. To wit, I would expect the majority to talk about the ultraviolet catastrophe, and I wouldn't explain it in terms of equations at all, neither in symbolic nor in written out form.

Comment: Re:Definitely (Score 1) 385

Yes, they do a poor job in explaining things to people who don't know what the terms in the equation mean; raw math often says little if anything, by itself, about the real world, as you have to connect the mathematical items to items in the real world.

But, BTW:

I'd much rather read an article containing "because acceleration is inversely proportional to mass" than one containing "because F=ma"

...I'd rather read an article containing "because, for the same amount of force applied, acceleration is inversely proportional to mass"; my mass is much less than that of a Porsche 911, but I can't even get to 100 km/h on foot or on a bicycle, much less do so as fast as a 911 can. Given equal driving skill and the same driving techniques, however, I could probably get to 100 km/h in a 911 slightly faster than somebody weighing 100kg could in the same 911.

depending on the context that could be a good idea, though an example doesn't immediately come to mind. Completeness may be sacrificed for clarity if there is sufficient context. my above example is obviously a snippet without context, and as such is quite incorrect on it's own, but would also never occur in practice on its own. All context that I can imagine would make it sufficiently clear, especially since nobody would be thinking that acceleration would be a function of mass alone. It's almost like writing articles is a profession that requires more than stringing words together that are correct.

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