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Forum: The Situation Room > No data/unspecified NEW status proposed

The status of mentioned characters sometimes gets confusing. For real life people like George Washington and Joseph Conrad who are mentioned in the series, we should use common sense to place them as Alive or Deceased at the time they were mentioned. Names like Daniel Zbel and other people on "current rosters" should be Alive because those lists are supposed to be up-to-date.

But what about Michael Redman, Bryce Moore (character), and people whose names appear in situations when its quite unclear if they are alive? For these limited and very specific cases, I propose we create a specific new status. My vision is that it should say "(No data)" in the sidebar, and "Characters without status data" as the category. Thoughts?

Once again, this will be used for fictional 24 names which are mentioned in contexts other than "current roster" situations. It probably will not be used very often at all. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 14:01, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

I'm fine with that. The only problem I can foresee is with the real-world people who've died subsequent to their mention, like Reagan and Slobodan Milošević. It'll seem confusing to have them listed as alive, and people will likely always be wanting to change their status. I agree your way makes more sense within the context of the rest of the site, but just want to bring up the potential confusion. --proudhug 00:14, March 3, 2011 (UTC)
Ah crap, you're right. (Technically, though in Reagan's case, wasn't he dead at the time of his mention?) So I take that part back immediately! If they've died, we go with Deceased, and we can prevent that confusion you mentioned. This would mean (not to be morbid) we would update the iu character page whenever a real celebrity dies, which sounds fine to me. After all, the whole sidebar-component is a mixture of oou/iu like you've always said, so this isn't a stretch at all. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 05:23, March 3, 2011 (UTC)
The episode in which Reagan was mentioned aired April 2003 and he died June 2004.
People may put up a fuss with us using RW information to determine IU information, but really the status isn't IU, it's OOU. Basically, it says whether or not the audience knows of the character's death. In-universe, it's almost certainly a documented fact whether or not John Keeler is still alive. It's only unknown from the OOU perspective of the viewing audience. And really, from an IU perspective, everyone is deceased, given Wiki 24's "far future" narrative vantage point. When dealing with cases of real-world people, it only makes sense to be able to draw from known real-world information for OOU sections such as the Status and the BGIN section. --proudhug 20:10, March 3, 2011 (UTC)
I love it. You see, this is why you can't leave the project for any extended period of time. That is just the kind of perspective I wanted to flesh out earlier. I'll add some of this to the policy page for the purpose of elucidation.
Proudhug, if you would, also please take a moment and read this Talk thread about newish information concerning Wayne's death. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 05:52, March 4, 2011 (UTC)
This all sounds good. But although the sidebar is a mix of IU and OOU info, am I right in thinking that there's a horizontal line that separates the two? So should the status field move from the first section to the second section?--Acer4666 11:06, March 4, 2011 (UTC)
That bar is a relatively new thing. Since status is OOU, I can understand that it might technically belong underneath that bar, but as I remember, the status has always been the first data field directly underneath the character picture, at this wiki. I don't want to move it down at this point unless we really get at least a few more support votes for doing it. It sounds silly, but I believe this would be something of a major change, to move that field itself, so any two editors aren't sufficient in deciding it.
Alternatively we could (2) leave it alone, or, (3) leave it in the same place but add a newer bar directly underneath it, so it's separate from everything else. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 21:34, March 4, 2011 (UTC)
Ah ok sorry didn't realise it ws a big thing. Maybe I'd vote for leave it alone then. One thing I'd ask about tho is that for the real life people that died in real life, we have a BGIN explaining their death just in case someone sees it and is like 'wtf why are they deceased when was that mentioned?????' so to like say that it hgappnd in real life type of thing. Like how we often have unkown statuss being like 'Such anf such is unkown cos of this this and this' type fo thing in the BGIN. Dnoooo?--Acer4666 00:18, March 5, 2011 (UTC)
Sounds good to me on both issues. A note would be good, including a link to the status policy, which I'm going to update very soon to reflect all the stuff we've finally settled. I'm proud that this community is finally making specific decisions about this, since status has been contentious for so long. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 05:23, March 5, 2011 (UTC)
For the record, I wouldn't be opposed to moving the status line as per Acer's suggestion. The only reason I can think of to keep it where it at the top is that it's always been there, which really isn't a reason. --proudhug 15:57, March 5, 2011 (UTC)
Excellent, I'll support too. In a few minutes I'll take a look, to see if I can do this myself. I may make an experiment/sandbox version to test it, because this is an important template.
Also, please check out the new Wiki 24:Status policy. I hope you guys like how everything is laid out there now. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 16:31, March 5, 2011 (UTC)
The new status policy page looks sexy. I'm having a tiny bit of trouble working out the new "no data" status - I'm guessing it's strictly for mentioned characters, and not for ones where someone interacts with them during the day (ie 'hey Tony, go and ring up Jason'). So it has to be characters mentioned in the past tense. But there's a little bit of room for confusion - technically in s1 ep 1 when Teri says 'I was speaking to Nicki the other day', perhaps Nicki died since then, she is referred to in past tense and has no actions during the season. It's pretty unlikely that Teri would be jovially mentioning her had she died, but still there's a little room for assumption and interpretation. But I guess that's the thing with these tiny characters and status fields for them. I've gone and added this new status to Henry and Phillipe Darcet, who I think are mentioned but sufficiently in the past to warrant this new status, I don't know if you agree with these ones.
And apologies for the coherence of that last post, many thanks for understanding my point!--Acer4666 19:47, March 5, 2011 (UTC)
I believe you're over-analyzing this. These characters were indeed mentioned with status. The story about Henry is that he was alive; Darcet too. And Teri could not have spoken with Nicki if she were dead. Their status should be alive as a result, yes?
The (No data) status is not meant for "characters who were mentioned alive in past tense stories but a lot of time has elapsed since then". For such characters we just go with the status that was mentioned about them (alive). With the logic you were using, Karen Hayes would get (No data) because she might have died simply because she is in the past of Season 8. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 13:33, March 7, 2011 (UTC)
"Teri could not have spoken to Nicki if she were dead" - "Graem would not have added Bryce Moore's number to his phonebook if he were dead" - same thing or not? Not to be annoyingly pedantic :P but I am a little confused over the new status's use. So is it for people who don't have stories about them doing things?--Acer4666 13:43, March 7, 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid I'm not very good at envisioning things before they are implemented, but after I've supported this new status now I think I've changed my mind - sorry haha! Basically my reasoning is - for these characters we DO have proof that they at some point have been alive (by their very existence, we know that they have been born), but we have NO indication that they have died. Therefore, as far as we know, they are still alive. I don't know what anyone else thinks, sorry for being such an indecisive fool!--Acer4666 14:01, March 7, 2011 (UTC)
I disagree, because of the circumstances. Dolan and Redman were on the HK list. We don't know if that is a list of criminal accomplices, witnesses, persons of interest, etc. and neither do we know if being alive is a criteria or not. The government maintains lists that contains deceased persons of course. Therefore there is no data. As with Bryce Moore, that could be the name of Irv's partner who was killed. It could also be a decoy name for Liddy who is alive. We don't know anything; there is no data on him.
However, with Phillipe Darcet, last time we heard he was arrested. That is the datum about his status. Last thing we know about Henry, he put his ultimatum to Lauren Proctor.
What you say is partially true: there is no indication they Dolan, Redman, and Moore died. The part you are missing is: there is no indication they are alive, either. We cannot claim they are "alive" because we don't know it. And we cannot claim they are dead either. Worst, they were in no clear or present danger, so they definitely aren't "Unknown". There's no data. It's a fine point but does it make sense? Blue Rook  talk  contribs 15:35, March 7, 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it is a complex point, not an easy one to answer! I said above, any character who is mentioned is implied to have been alive at some point in their life. Same with Henry - at some point in his life, he was alive long enough to leave Lauren Proctor. Neither character then has an indication of death since their point of being alive, but such a thing is feasible. I think it's easy to let your imagination fill in the gaps - a guy investigated on a secret list by an NSA operative is likely to have been killed, whereas Henry the husband of a coffee shop waitress is not. I don't think it's objective treatment though.
On a different note, how many characters do you envision there being with this status? If there only ever going to be about 5 or less, is a separate status definitely necessary, when coupled with the ambiguity outlined above?--Acer4666 15:59, March 7, 2011 (UTC)
It's interesting that your best guess for the HK list was that they're probably deceased. If I had to speculate, I'd be saying he was "alive", because HK list sounds alot like the WET List, which apparently contained only living people. All the more reason that nobody's assumptions (yours or mine) should be taken as fact.
At the moment, I cannot recall any other characters who will get this category. I suppose there are a few, but this category is meant to be small and rarely used. If you're questioning the necessity of this category, of course I'm willing to consider what else you had in mind for those guys. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 16:08, March 7, 2011 (UTC)
Ah no I don't really know what the HK list is about - you misunderstand me, I just meant it would be an assumption to say the people are dead.
Here's how I see it - I agree that there is no evidence that Bryce Moore etc. are alive at the start of their respective seasons. But neither is there evidence to suggest that about Henry, or Phillipe Darcet. All they have is evidence that they have been alive at some point in the past. The same could be said about Bryce Moore and Michael Redman, unless you are sugeesting that they were never born. Do you see what I mean?--Acer4666 17:30, March 7, 2011 (UTC)
I'm kind of with Acer here. I don't really see the distinction. My recommendation would be to assume that every character ever seen or mentioned is alive, unless they're explicitly stated or seen to have died (including RW information for RW characters), or if they were known to be in clear and present danger the last time they were seen or mentioned (making them "Unknown"). --proudhug 21:14, March 7, 2011 (UTC)
What do you think Blue Rook? To re-phrase proudhug slightly, I'd say "we assume that all mentioned characters are still alive at the end of their respective seasons" (something you already assume for Henry and Phillipe Darcet).
I will obv do the work reverting it if you agree as I was the one who went and changed my mind before thinking about it properly!--Acer4666 14:41, March 8, 2011 (UTC)
I agree, and will pull the plug on that status. I had just figured it was a "go" because there were no objections early on. At least there isn't much to change! And I'll do the work since this was my idea anyway. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 15:16, March 8, 2011 (UTC)
Ah cool, sorry for giving you the go without thinking it through! Glad there's no hard feelings--Acer4666 15:21, March 8, 2011 (UTC)
No need to apologize! And, there's never any hard feelings with me whenever there is a thorough discussion, and especially over something so minor. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 16:06, March 8, 2011 (UTC)

User:William.Y.Fremont has brought up this topic over at Talk:John Paul II, and may chime in to offer a case to change this policy. But if he does not, I had a minor alteration to the wording of the status policy that I wanted to put to people: In the part about the real world people's status, was to remove the line "but no information is given about their status", just because of the above discussion where we seemed to agree that there are no people who have no data about their status? I think all real-world characters should have the same treatment; ie if theyre dead in real life, we stick them as dead on here, so no need for that little qualifying sentence?--Acer4666 19:30, April 30, 2011 (UTC)

Definitely remove it, nice catch. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 04:26, May 2, 2011 (UTC)
William brought up the case of Abdul Rahman Yasin, who is alive but someone decided to include him in a novel and kill him off. I had no idea anyone would actually do something like that, but seeing as it's in the canon, I think it would be prudent to change the sentence into "In those instances when real life, historical persons are mentioned as characters in-universe—they are listed as either "Alive" or "Deceased" according to their actual status, so long as there is no contradicting information given in-universe"--Acer4666 09:56, May 1, 2011 (UTC)
Also agreed! Blue Rook  talk  contribs 04:26, May 2, 2011 (UTC)

What does anyone think to a category of real-life characters (ie characters based on real-life people), or would that cause problems I haven't thought of?--Acer4666 22:08, May 10, 2011 (UTC)

It seems interesting, but to me (I hope this doesn't come off as offensive) it might be overcat/"category clutter". I'm kind of reactionary when it comes to most OOU categories though to begin with, so you may have expected this from me heh. If there is a consensus to make this happen, might I suggest "Category:Real people" which would actually go before "Category:Characters". But overall I don't see the need for it. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 05:05, May 11, 2011 (UTC)
Thats fair enough, I don't particularly feel strongly about making it. I don't think it would cause much category clutter on the bottom of articles, as I think all the real-world people only have 3-4 categories on them anyway, but I also don't like the idea of too many categories floating round. Perhaps if someone wanted to see all the real-world references to people, maybe a separate page could be made, but as I say I'm not hugely in favour, so was jst putting the idea out there! --Acer4666 09:46, May 11, 2011 (UTC)
A page for these folks would actually work pretty well, but it gave me a thought: how would we link it? Perhaps the category is the more desirable of the two options? If that's the option you go with, the only input I'd want to contribute is that this category be listed before the others and that it gets a short name like "Real people" or "Real persons" or somethin. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 16:12, May 11, 2011 (UTC)
I may do it if someone else shows interest, but, I'm not mad keen on the idea!--Acer4666 18:11, May 11, 2011 (UTC)
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