Talk:Albert Wohlstetter

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The following comment was posted by IP 128.135.87.1:

NOTE TO THE READER: Whoever began this entry of Albert Wohlstetter is quite plainly an idiot. [N.b. The entry was originally entitled "Alfred Wohlstetter,' but that detail has gone done the memory hole. --Natural_Stupidity 17:30 (EST) 13 Mar 2004]

First of all: Wohlstetter's name was not "Alfred," but "ALBERT." (The person who first began calling Wohlstetter "Alfred" was likely Lyndon LaRouche, who is rarely right about anything.)

Second: Who was Albert Wohlstetter? He was one of America's most influential nuclear and military strategists from the early 1950s until his death in 1997.

Third: If you really want to learn about Wohlstetter, please do not rely on SourceWatch. This website is sometimes more interesting for the ways in which it can be wildly inaccurate than for the quality of information that it offers.

To learn about Wohlstetter, start by visit a special part of the RAND Corporation's website that features some of Wohlstetter's writings: http://www.rand.org/publicationsclassics/wohlstetter/. The first essay you should read is "The Delicate Balance of Terror", which was originally appeared in Foreign Affairs, a journal published by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Even better, if you really want to understand why Wohlstetter and other nuclear strategists were and are still quite important, go to your local bookstore or library and read Sir Lawrence Freedman's extremely well-written history, The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy.

A FINAL warning: Much of what is written below on this website is poorly researched and inaccurate. Khurram Hussein's article, ripped from the pages of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, is decently written. But most of the hyperlinks below lead to rabid polemic, not to balanced scholarship.

"Read not to believe or contradict, but to weigh and consider."

While it is true that the information on SourceWatch is still some distance from the level of quality and accuracy that we would like, that is the nature of an open document wiki in its early stages (and the SourceWatch is still barely a year old). Over time, the quality of articles should improve. For this to happen, I hope that whoever posted these comments (or someone else, for that matter) will take the time to edit and improve the article itself rather than simply disparaging it and the intelligence of its original author. Calling someone an "idiot" simply adds heat and no light to the topic. --Sheldon Rampton 21:01, 12 Mar 2004 (EST)

--Sheldon Rampton 21:01, 12 Mar 2004 (EST) "For this to happen, I hope that whoever posted these comments (or someone else, for that matter) will take the time to edit and improve the article itself rather than simply disparaging it and the intelligence of its original author. Calling someone an "idiot" simply adds heat and no light to the topic."

Guess IP 128.135.87.1 failed to check my "name" ... Artificial Intelligence 08:45 (EST) 13 Mar 2004 AI --- Article revamped, expanded, and ... well, redone! AI

---

The mysterious "IP 128.135.87.1" now has a name: Natural_Stupidity.

I regret my ad hominem, which was written in haste and uncalled for. I handled that situation incorrectly and ignorantly (despite my heated criticism of the initial entry, I freely admit that no one has a monopoly on ignorance).

But not all of my "commentary" was an ad hominem attack. While I did keep the original "Alfred Wohlstetter" entry (largely because I was unclear it was proper for me to completely erase the earlier entry and rewrite it), I did also include quite useful, accurate information and hyperlinks about Albert Wohlstetter.

Artificial Intelligence, to his or her credit, added to this significantly. I applaud Artificial Intelligence, who is clearly not an idiot, for significantly rewriting and correcting the content. It is more accurate than before.

But I also must protect at the way my original comment was subsequently treated. My original comment has quite literally been taken out of context because this page does not include the text to which my comment originally referred.

This original context is important because Artificial Intelligence did make initial, egregious errors in the original entry. He referred to Albert Wohlstetter as "Alfred Wohlsetter," an inaccuracy which--as far as I can tell--was derived from the writings of Lyndon LaRouche, especially his polemical "Children of Satan: The `Ignoble Liars' Behind Bush's No-Exit War". LaRouche may be many things, but he should not be the basis for an encyclopedia entry--even an open source one.

At any rate, I hope that the decision not to include the full context of my original comment was an honest mistake made--like my own ad hominem attack--in haste.

--Natural_Stupidity 17:30 (EST) 13 Mar 2004

I moved your original comment to the talk page because it wasn't written in the format of a SourceWatch article, which is supposed to be an article about the topic (in this case, Albert Wohlstetter). What you wrote initially was a comment about the SourceWatch article (and its author). Parts of your comments were about Wohlstetter, but I didn't have the time to separate those out and incorporate them into the article properly, so I thought the best thing to do for the time being was to move your comments to the talk page. They haven't been deleted, and I encourage you to edit and rewrite the article in any way you see fit so that it includes the points you think need to be made.
The point here is that the SourceWatch is not a listserv or a forum, in which people argue back and forth. It's a collaborative effort to write articles. Anyone can write an article, and anyone can edit anyone's existing article. That's different than "talking back and forth." It's the philosophy behind continuous improvement of articles, through which we hope the SourceWatch will eventually become a reliable and comprehensive resource.
As you've stated, your original comment "did also include quite useful, accurate information and hyperlinks about Albert Wohlstetter." I encourage you to move those parts of your original comment back from this talk page into the article itself. I'd do it myself, but as I said above, I don't really have the time, and you undoubtedly know the topic better and can do a better job of it than I could. --Sheldon Rampton 15:57, 14 Mar 2004 (EST)