Hi, I'm a physicist. I started editing here because I wanted a hobby where my bookish habits could, in some small way, help people. Since at least the start of this year, I've been burned out on this place, because nearly everything comes back to cleaning up after incompetence, laziness, advertising, or ego. I have tried lately to focus my efforts on the more often-visited and conceptually central science articles, in order to feel like I'm not wasting my time. The disrepair of such pages is demoralizing. My current situation here is unsustainable; I will either find a way to get more people involved in helping, or I will give up.
My general thoughts on writing physics and mathematics content are gathered here.
Articles created or substantially improvedEdit
Whenever I see someone bloviating about the decline of Western civilization, or the loss of respect for Enlightenment values, or whatever the buzzword is this week, I pause and reflect that I wrote the Internet's most visible reference on Newton's laws of motion. Yes, that's right, I'm the one who actually did the work to preserve the "Enlightenment legacy" in the modern age, thank you very much and fuck off.
I didn't think starting new pages would be my thing here, but I did create the page Ibn al-Samh, because there were multiple redlinks pointing to where it should be. In a similar vein, I happened to be looking over the WikiProject Physics quality scale, and I saw that one of its examples of mid-importance physics publications was actually a redlink. So, I created the page for Classical Electrodynamics, a.k.a. Jackson. Likewise, I started the pages for Mike and Ike and Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods. I've occasionally rewritten pages like Mugai Nyodai or Joyce Jacobson Kaufman to save them from being deleted as copyright violations.
During the Featured Article nomination of thorium, I made a few comments and did a little improvement work. Ditto for the Good Article nomination of Prime number. After doing some editing on Gleason's theorem, I nominated it for GA status, and it was accepted after a thorough review. I took the lead on collaborative overhauls of Schrödinger equation and quantum mechanics, the latter of which eventually reached GA. In addition, I helped Speed of light, Mars and Solar System retain their Featured status (see discussions here, here and here respectively). I uncovered a hoax in the Richard Feynman article that had persisted for over 15 years.
I started skimming the daily "Articles for Deletion" log in order to broaden my horizons at least a little. Sometimes, I ended up participating. The happy outcomes were when I could help improve a page to the point where it deserved keeping. Instances of that general nature have included the following.
Thanks to the apostrophe in my username, the deletion-discussion-statistics tool requires supplementing with the "alternate name" field to work.
- Planet — Featured article review
- Supernova — Featured article review
- 90377 Sedna — Featured article review
- Hilary Putnam — Featured article review (less pressing than the above due to readership volume)
- Check the articles affected by Wolfspam for residual POV issues, e.g., A New Kind of Science § Contents. Partly done.
- Double-check the EPR section of Albert Einstein. I'm not sold on some turns of phrase, like "confirmed Bell's theorem". Is that the right way to express the violation of a Bell inequality? It's vague, but it almost sounds backwards.
- A merge or two in the cluster of related articles with overlapping content on Bell's theorem, Bell test, Hidden-variable theory, Local hidden-variable theory, EPR paradox, quantum nonlocality, principle of locality, etc. I think it makes sense to have Bell test separate from Bell's theorem, since the former can list individual experiments while the latter is more about the overall concepts. Local hidden-variable theory sounds like it should be a section within Hidden-variable theory, but its content actually reads like a fork of Bell's theorem.
- I brushed a lot of cobwebs out of the Calculus article. Maybe somebody can take it over and get it to GA.
- Maybe also Planck units (I think the cruft is gone) and The Mechanical Universe (it probably needs some fair-use pictures)? I generally haven't tried pushing physics articles through any of Wikipedia's stamp-of-approval systems, because it seems hard to find reviewers who are both qualified and interested.
Articles for DeletionatingEdit
Here are various other assorted discussions I took part in — some were kept and some deleted, but I didn't have much of a hand in the article text itself. This list is not exhaustive, only recording those items which I felt at the time I might have reason to refer to later.