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Memory Alpha:Pages for deletion/Douglas MacArthur

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This is a page to discuss the suggestion to delete "Douglas MacArthur".

  • If you are suggesting a page for deletion, add your initial rationale to the section "Deletion rationale".
  • If you want to discuss this suggestion, add comments to the section "Discussion".
  • If a consensus has been reached, an administrator will explain the final decision in the section "Admin resolution".

In all cases, please make sure to read and understand the deletion policy before editing this page.

Deletion rationale Edit

This page exists for no reason other than a quote the person said and this person was not mentioned in any episode or seen on screen. Basically a page created by referral. — Morder (talk) 12:25, November 9, 2009 (UTC)

Discussion Edit

  • Delete, or merge with the episode page for the episode it came from. It is proper to have a background note there that this was originally from MacArthur. --OuroborosCobra talk 16:00, November 9, 2009 (UTC)
  • Delete. Definitely should be mentioned on the episode page, either by merging or just saying so.--31dot 19:40, November 9, 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep. This is more than a simply a case of plucking a quote out of the air and creating an article around the person who said it. Ross qualified the quote by describing the person who said it, "Four hundred years ago, a victorious general spoke the following words at the end of another costly war...". --Alan 13:16, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • If he had said "Four hundred years ago, Douglas MacArthur spoke the following words at the end of another costly war...", I'd say definitely keep. As it is... I'm not sure one way or the other. -- Renegade54 16:11, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • True, but we are attributing Shakespeare quotes to Shakespeare even when his name is not mentioned in the episode. Likewise, we are identifying images individuals from computer screens and timestreams based on our knowledge of history to ID the person, even though they weren't ID'd themselves in dialog. The same logic can be applied to this situation, except this time there is a verbal picture being described rather than a visual one, where we are again using our knowledge of history to obtain the identity. --Alan 16:25, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • The difference there is that we saw the works of Shakespeare in Picard's ready room, we saw a painting of Willy in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Shakespeare was mentioned in "Time's Arrow, Part II" as the raison d'etre of the "touring company", and Phlox discussed Shakespeare in "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II". We heard his name. MacArthur? Just some unnamed general 400 years ago. I'm of the opinion that we delete the article, and just keep the bg note the way it is in the episode, perhaps expanding it slightly in the BG section to note the actual precise reference. -- sulfur 16:57, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes, in those instances that is true, but we are still giving him credit in instances where he wasn't specifically acknowledged as being the person who wrote the dialog in question. Nitpicking examples aside, the fact that we can magically match and identify this guy from a picture, but we can't magically identify MacArthur from a title, war, timeframe and quote is becoming hypocritical. --Alan 18:19, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • Arguably, he could have been referring to another war besides WWII. Another general. Another etc etc. (Just as Devil's Advocate for the moment here...) -- sulfur 18:28, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • Except that it is a well known fact that MacArthur said that quote, just like it is a well known fact that this is this is Castro and, to play devil's advocate, not just some unnamed Human who wears a beard and green attire. I haven't even bothered to point out that we've identified numerous musical compositions by lyrics/music alone. --Alan 18:50, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • But in the cases of those musical compositions, we generally do not list their composers as articles in their own right unless they are explicitly mentioned. One worry I have related to this is that if we get into creating pages for people quoted (like this), then how many articles will come into existence that really have no honest-to-goodness bearing on the Star Trek reality? -- sulfur 18:52, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • Then take in on a case by case basis. I would understand if it was part of an unacknoledged line thrown into the dialog without a second thought, but it is more than that. The fact that Ross took time to both obviously and vaguely give credit to someone (that is, someone we can identify) changes the scenario from that of the situation that you describe. Quite frankly, considering the visiblity of placement and facts in favor of MacArthur then singling is out as unacceptable is almost laugable considering the great number of US/German/etc military honor pins/etc. or various other articles we have that are based on blurs and flashes that can only be picked up by stepping frame by frame through a dvd to even be noticed by the same viewers who would have otherwise picked up on this reference. --Alan 19:13, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • Changing to KEEP based on Alan's reasoning. Ross did go to pretty good lengths to establish context with the quote that puts it identifiable in a real world time frame more than many other things we are willing to name without specific mention. To say nothing of the vehicles from the mirror universe seen in the opening credits of "In a Mirror, Darkly." --OuroborosCobra talk 21:05, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep for the reason stated above. - Archduk3:talk 21:31, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • I still don't see how this qualifies for anything but a background note on the episode. We've done similar things before regarding quotes and I see this as the same. As far as "singling this out" - I am not singling this out I just came across it and decided it fit the description of a reference of a reference rather than an outright statement confirming his existence in the show. We know that star trek doesn't follow the same timeline as our universe. In addition: the opening credits in In A Mirror, Darkly, shouldn't have any articles created for them because the credits are realworld and don't exist in the star trek universe. But whatever, you wanna keep you can keep it's not like it's taking up oodles of space. I just think it sets a bad precedent for similar articles. — Morder (talk) 21:42, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • I second Morder's comments, and stand by my earlier vote, but that should not preclude this being kept if that's what others want. I just think, like Morder, that saying yes to this one makes it harder to say no to the next one, such as articles like this or even the more recent Democratic Party. With both someone attempted to make a case that it should be included, but they were deleted anyway. I just don't see how those are different, but as I said, keep it if you want.--31dot 22:12, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure those two really apply 31dot. Macedonia is never mentioned, even though it is part of Alexander's "name", but we don't have and article on the city of Vinci because we have an article on Leonardo da Vinci so I think we have been pretty consistent on that point. As for Democratic party, Morder just moved it to Democrat. I do see where you guy are coming from on this though, but I think this is like using a secondary source to name someone who was unnamed in the episode. - Archduk3:talk 22:30, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • Sure they do, that's the whole point. This, Macedonia, the Democratic Party are all inferred rather than actually referenced. — Morder (talk) 22:47, November 10, 2009 (UTC)
  • First of all, how does the above two examples even rate next to this? Hardly at all, really. Apples to apples, those examples would be useful if there were half as much verbal evidence to support this as we have here. No offense, but going the whole, "Star Trek timeline doesn't follow our universe" logic route is a moot point, because one way or the other we are using our meta-knowledge to ID a pretty large majority of the articles we have in our database already. Face it, we are, and because of that we needed be choosy about our ignorance.
  • As I stated several times before, we are already taking a pretty big leap of faith that assumes that the Star Trek timeline indeed follows our own (unless otherwise stated) when we identify images of Bush, Castro and Bin Laden from the timestream, of JFK and the CSS Virginia from the Enterprise database without there being any actual verbal reference to those names. So why be so ignorant about this and try playing the multi-universe card? We aren't when we take the leap of faith that assumes that every time we hear a Shakespeare quote stated (without a verbal reference to Shakespeare) that the Star Trek universe is also assuming that it was who Shakespeare wrote it, and not in fact his underhanded apprentice who stole some of his manuscripts.
  • The same goes with my aforementioned reference to our use of meta-knowledge of the unidentified music we hear – but what our meta-knowledge tells us can be identified as such and such. So, simply put, if we are allowed a certain leeway to use our meta-knowledge to write our articles, such as when we see a picture of Castro that wasn't acknowledged as such, or hear the music from a song that wasn't acknowledged, then there really shouldn't be a line drawn that says that those meta-based interpretations are more valid than this one, which is more than a simple case of Kirk smoothly transitioning a Shakespeare line in his normal dialog to Spock about a rose that we just nabbed out of the air to create a Shakespeare article.
  • This is a case of Ross setting up a quote, describing the person, the time, and the reason which supports what our meta-knowledge about the quote already tells us. If there was no supporting evidence, then I'd say perhaps "kill it", but this is much too substantial, in the realm of things, to be ignored. --Alan 15:31, November 11, 2009 (UTC)
Some thoughts:
1)If "Democrat" isn't enough evidence to have a "Democratic Party" article, then I just don't see how a quote from someone whose name isn't even mentioned is somehow greater evidence. With Democratic Party, you have someone called a Democrat, the right time period, the right country, so why not? That's what you're asserting with MacArthur- right quote, right war, right time- so why not? I haven't gotten an answer as to how these are different. I think there is actually more evidence for Democratic Party than MacArthur. No one is saying that it should not be mentioned that it was MacArthur's quote, only that there should not be an article about him unless he was mentioned. We can't have it both ways- either we should allow articles based on inference or we shouldn't.
2)A picture of someone or something is a very different matter. Shakespeare is also very different- we see works of Shakespeare in the Trek universe(Picard had a collected works) so there is no "leap of faith" that he might exist there- we know he does.--31dot 21:27, November 11, 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep. Sorry I'm late on this, but based on Ross' quote and the arguments I have read, "keep" seems logical to me. --Jörg 22:56, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
  • 'Keep The fact the article is short, doesn't make it less valid. In the Star Trek universe the signing of the peace accord with the Dominion is quite a notable event. Some people might want to know where that quote came from. There is no shortage of space on the Wiki, so no sense to delete this. Dream Focus 04:46, March 6, 2010 (UTC)
Space or length is not the issue, but the fact that MacArthur's name was not used in the episode. See below.--31dot 11:17, March 6, 2010 (UTC)
They probably thought mentioning where the quote came from would interfere with the flow of the dialog. No reason to pretend we don't know where it came from though. You could also have a page listing all quotes from real life people that have been on the show in any form, and one for fictional people as well from the Star Trek universe. Dream Focus 19:33, March 6, 2010 (UTC)
No one has said it should not be said where the quote came from. The issue is having a "Douglas MacArthur" article when his name was not used in canon.--31dot 20:46, March 6, 2010 (UTC)

Wrap-up Edit

This PfD has sat around for quite a while without a resoulution. As far as I can tell there seems to be slightly more weight in favor of Delete, which would also be my vote since the information in the article being discussed that wasn't stated or visible in canon might border on "original research". If an admin could post a decision as to whether this should be debated further or resolved as it stands now, that would be great. :-) -Mdettweiler 22:35, February 2, 2010 (UTC)

As far as explicit votes go, there were only one delete to two keeps. Either way, what is being argued here is not a matter of canon vs. non-canon. People throw the term "canon" around too loosely without really looking at what they are applying it to. It's a matter of what was and was not explicitly stated. This person's name was not explicitly stated, but this person was explicitly referenced. --Alan 22:46, February 2, 2010 (UTC)

Right, I can see your point there too. We do know who is being referenced quite clearly, yes. But in order for the page to have anything on it, we have to fill in the blanks with stuff that wasn't explicitly referenced. For example, the article states that MacArthur was a general in the United States Army and spoke the quote after World War II, but all Ross said in his setup for the quote was that he was a "victorious general" speaking at the end of a "costly war". If we can find a way to keep the article without "filling in the blanks" from real-world history, then I'm all for it; I voted delete since I'm not so sure it would be possible without leaving a ludicrously ambiguous article. -Mdettweiler 23:07, February 2, 2010 (UTC)

I do not speak for them, and they should correct me if I am in error, but Morder and sulfur also seem to be at least leaning delete.
No one disputes that there was a reference, the issue is whether it should have its own page or not, given that MacArthur was not mentioned by name. As I stated above we deleted Democratic Party with much more evidence of its existence than this.--31dot 23:10, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
I'm still keep on this, for all the reasons above, but as a compromise, I wouldn't mind have a "ludicrously ambiguous article". - Archduk3 23:20, February 2, 2010 (UTC)
I could also live with an "Unnamed General" article which has as a background note what was being referenced.--31dot 14:56, February 5, 2010 (UTC)

Delete. A background note in the quotes section should suffice. Unless of course he happens to be pictured in the timestream. - AJ Halliwell 04:30, March 8, 2010 (UTC)

Delete, if he is not named by name, then it shouldnt' exist. Just as Communist Manifesto was deleted after I erroneously created it. Even though it's referenced in "Bar Association", the name is not said. I would support 31dot's argument for an "unnamed General" article but then we'll get "Unnamed Political Literature" and "Unnamed [Insert Historical Occupation Here]". So, becuase of that can of worms, I would just say delete and leave it as a Background note.--Obey the Fist!! 20:27, March 25, 2010 (UTC)
We already have articles for unnamed persons, so this is not new. --31dot 20:30, March 25, 2010 (UTC)
I know, I guess I just think that the more devoted (obsessed?) of our archivists would find all of the allusionary comments to other things not specifically named and start adding them. But it's all good, it's just my two latinum bits.--Obey the Fist!! 20:34, March 25, 2010 (UTC)

Admin resolution Edit

OK, I think that this has gone on for long enough. Here's the tally I see:

  • Keep: Alan, Cobra, Archduk3, Jorg, Dream Focus
  • Delete: 31dot, Morder, Sulfur, AJHalliwell, Italianajt
  • Unsure: Renegade54

Since there is not a clear consensus on keep vs. delete, I will remove the delete suggestion. I would then suggest that the idea of moving the page to an "Unnamed" page be discussed at Talk:Douglas MacArthur.--31dot 20:46, March 25, 2010 (UTC)

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