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Talk:Southwest (United States of America)

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I added Las Vegas and dropped Taos and Las Cruces - Vegas is one of the largest and most-visited cities in the Southwest, while the other two aren't as major. The cities that are currently in the list (Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Reno, Salt Lake City, Santa Fe, Tucson) seem to me to cover the major cities in the region, so I'm not sure adding a ninth is needed. -- Ryan 19:13, 1 January 2007 (EST)

--As a native american and lifelong resident of the southwest, I disagree with your perception that "major" cities are defined solely by population in this context. The large cities you mentioned do not entirely capture the cultural anchors of the region. Accordingly, I do not concur. --Clifton

The list isn't defined by population but by the usefulness to travelers. Bear in mind that the goal is to create the most useful travel guide, and the cities list in this page is meant simply as a shortcut to the most-visited sites in the Southwest. That said, if you have a suggestion of how to better organize this page, please share your opinion. -- Ryan 20:20, 1 January 2007 (EST)

> > > So, I take it that you, as a well-rounded traveler and connoisseur of Southwest culture, are the foremost expert on how best to organize and represent information pertaining to this region. Odd. I think you're conflating the "cities list" with "most visited sites" in your statement...the Southwest has an abundance of sites that are visited frequently; they are not, however, all cities (e.g., Grand Canyon N.P., Saguaro National Monument, etc.).

On that note, if we're discussing cities as destinations (remember the cities list?), then who are you to decide what cities should be included? I have lived in both Arizona and New Mexico throughout my life, and I have had the unique experience of working for Federal and municipal entities in most of the major metro areas (from Phoenix to Tucson and Albuquerque to Las Cruces). I must say that, as someone with my background, I can attest that many tourists visiting this area flock to certain smaller metro areas in equally large proportions (percent, not sheer number). My attempt to edit this page was meant to act as a service, not to come in conflict with the opinion of outsiders trying to describe an area I have a comparatively unparalleled depth of knowledge of.

Insofar as your inclusion of Flagstaff as opposed to Las Cruces is concerned, I see that your methodology in this instance is flawed. Both cities (although Las Cruces is a good bit larger) have regional significance, and receive tourists, accordingly. Flag is popular with Valley residents simply because it is a good bit cooler at 7,000'; however the bulk of out-of-state tourism in Flag is a direct result of its proximity to the Grand Canyon. In this case, the same, if not more, can be said for Williams. Las Cruces is the site of the X Prize, the future location of a Virgin Galactic-sponsored spaceport, and is the gateway to White Sands N.P., Missile Range (the birthplace of the atomic bomb and this country's missile defense system) and NASA. It is the second-largest community in NM (to Albuquerque), and is also southern New Mexico's main portal to Mexico via El Paso/Ciudad Juarez. I can go on and on; however, it was my intent to impart my knowledge of both common and not-so-common factoids for the benefit of all readers interested in visiting.

Your addition of Las Vegas--although appropriate--in light of your subsequent deletions, makes me think that you, like many people from CA, see the Southwest as a playground and not an enriching place to experience. Granted, Las Vegas does, in fact, belong on the list; it does not, however, represent a major cultural representative sample of the region at all.

I don't know about you, but, in my travels (and I have done so extensively), I have appreciated guides that provided a breadth of information covering everything from the superficial, Disneyland-esque attractions to the not-so-obvious, delightful treasures most outsiders are unaware of. Who better capable of sharing that knowledge than a native (in more ways than one) with an education in geography and southwestern history/prehistory?

You cited Wikitravel's goal of providing useful travel info...that, my friend, is a subjective topic in which you are evidently convinced of having a firm grasp of. I'll leave it to you to do as you wish. --Clifton

BTW, if you're concerned about usefulness to travelers, then ponder this: in AZ, Flagstaff is the hub of the norththern reaches of the state, Phoenix central, and Tucson south; in NM, Santa Fe=north, Albuquerque=central; and Las Cruces=south. Follow me? From the perspective of a Californian such as yourself, you can appreciate this in the tradition of showcasing San Francisco, L.A. and San Diego along the same lines. The only difference is that the SW isn't like coastal CA (yet, thank goodness) and is still largely an urban-rural mix. Now extrapolate that logic into a definition of usefulness that actually works.

I'm afraid you're seeing my and others' edits as an "us against you" situation. To be clear, there has been extensive discussion over the years about what hierarchy to use for various regions, how to feature cities, etc. Please take a look at Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy, some of the discussion on Talk:United States of America, and Wikitravel:Region article template for examples. After reading those pages, if you feel that Las Cruces should absolutely be in this list, please add it. However, we generally try to limit lists of cities/destinations/whatever to 5-9 exemplary entries. Also note that for a less-controversial way to add content, feel free to discuss Las Cruces or any other destination in some of the other sections of this article, or even better edit the New Mexico article, which is where more specific information should go. -- Ryan 00:01, 2 January 2007 (EST)

>>>Controversial is an overstatement. Rather, this is a case of you misinterpreting my intention of adding depth to a section which has great meaning to me. I have already read most of the discussion threads you posted. Specifically, in the Region article template, the following can be found regarding cities:

"It's usually a good idea, if there are a few prominent <again, subjective from the perspective of the author> cities in the region, to list them here, since that's often all that travelers are looking for. Regions without sub-regions, though, just have cities in them. List links to each city, with a brief description for each. If there are more than about 10 cities, or there are clear or traditional sub-regions, consider breaking the region article up. If there really aren't any cities to list, leave out this section.

Lastly, if calling the settlements in this region "cities" is a real stretch -- say, for remote or rural areas with only towns and/or villages -- it's OK to rename this section 'Towns' or 'Villages' or 'Settlements' or whatever. But if there are lots of different kinds and sizes of settlements, just leave it as "Cities".

City 1 - industrial port city but a good starting point City 2 - fun and funky, great nightlife City 3 - warm beaches and slow lifestyle City 4 - ancient castles and inspiring museums"

Las Cruces, in this case, is an excellent starting point for the traveler wishng to explore southern NM and northern Mexico. It has picturesque mountainscapes and embodies the tricultural heritage of the Southwest (a la "warm beaches and slow lifstyle). It is the gateway to some of the most diverse geologic and biological features in the region. Apparently, when one person reads an item, they take away "X" and the other takes away "Y." The excerpt above seems to follow my logic fairly well, in this sense.

Insofar as your recommendations for editing other articles in existence pertinent to this region go, I have already started to review and retool a number of them. Thank you.

I'll leave the Southwest travel section alone for now, until you find yet another corner of this world that you have visited once or twice--or lived in for a month or so--to encapsulate in your own "unique" way.

The term "Cities" has given us trouble a couple of times. It's a real problem in the United Kingdom. Anyhow, I just thought I'd but in here and explain that we are trying to keep the lists of whatever down to a reasonable number so that readers (travellers) can take the list in more easily. Research says that people can take in a list of 5+-2 items, but people get really fired up if we limit the list to 7, so we've allowed 2 extra just in case. The idea is you take something off, put something on, and explain why.
Try to keep the explanation short and sweet. -- Mark 01:29, 2 January 2007 (EST)

Texas & Colorado[edit]

Over time several contributors have added Texas and Colorado to this article, and other editors have removed those states from the article. The discussions that lead to the breakdown of regions for the United States are scattered on various pages at this point, but the summary is that no one is denying that Texas, Colorado, and even California have portions that are clearly Southwestern, but for the purposes of organizing a travel guide a line needs to be drawn somewhere and it is easier to draw that line along state borders. As a whole neither Texas, Colorado or California are Southwestern states - Colorado is primarily a Rocky Mountain state, while California and Texas are more their own entities than parts of any other US region, and Wikitravel has created regions that follow that idea.

As always anyone is welcome to disagree and discuss, but please read some of the discussions about this issue on Talk:United States of America and elsewhere first. Alternatively, for a less constructive approach, feel free to launch into personal attacks against me (see above), although such rants are probably more appropriate for my talk page. -- Ryan 21:32, 6 March 2007 (EST)

Couldn't care less about your take on western Texas. Have you been to El Paso? Have you lived in the Southwest? Doesn't matter, really. I'm content returning to this page as many times as it takes to implement this change. What baffles me is your apparent claim of ownership over this page. It makes me wonder what your objective and interest truly is. As someone who has lived here for nearly my entire life, I take issue more with the inclusion of Utah over that of western TX. Using your form of logic (which is still beyond me), then parts of Colorado should be included --you DO mention MESA VERDE in the intro, after all.

...and Utah isn't entirely southwestern, unless you're mormon. Ask folks in Reno if they're part of the Southwest. At this level, using state boundaries is idiotic. The northern extremes of the aforementioned two states extends the region's boundaries far beyond that of what is acceptable.

By the way, your discussions on the issue of what to include in this article is akin to uneducated imbeciles debating topics in quantum physics.

I look forward to revisiting this with you all over the next few months, years, and so I said, whatever it takes for you to move on to something else (and I'm prepared to wait). May I suggest assembling model planes? Checkers? Until next time! -- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

You analogy about imbeciles debating topics in quantum physics is akin to imbeciles debating topics in quantum physics! Why? The answer is because apparently your take on how a wiki works is skewered. We (everyone that works on Wikitravel) have set up various policies and guidelines about how we will manage regions and due, in part to some technical limitations places that don't exactly in one region over another are occasionally put in wherever we deem best for the traveler and easiest for the technical reasons. If there are problems or issues with our policies then, in a wiki, we discuss the problems and possible solutions until we reach a consensus until we've satisfactorily resolved the issues. I invite you to discuss whatever problems you have with the article, then propose a solution so that we may work with you.
Also, this quote baffles me: "What baffles me is your apparent claim of ownership over this page. It makes me wonder what your objective and interest truly is." (-- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) ). Your ramblings suggest you are unwilling to be civilized and an adult by talking about how to best solve the problem or issues, rather you want to come back time and time again and essentially vandalize the article. This actually indicates that you are doing the same thing by making an apparent claim that your authority is greater and better, and through the transitive property making you the "owner" of this article. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 00:47, 8 March 2007 (EST)

I love your utopian, Star Trek view of the world. By the way, my sinister objective is to rid this article of your pathetic attempts at whittling down my home, a region that I have studied and made a career of, into a caricature of itself. So, call me an educated vandal. I'd much rather be classified as such, than belong to the idiocy of a small group of tourists doubling as Wiki-geeks. Go Buckeyes! -Your favorite barbaric Injun.

BTW: "Currently, I am writing a book about places that I've never been and will probably never travel to. Why ruin the romantic illusions I create by visiting a city overrun with prostitutes, more thieves than residents, and unbearable humidity?" How on earth can your world view, from this comment, be seen as useful to travelers?

-->Almost forgot, what are you going to do about your mention of Mesa Verde, oh wise tourists? It is in Colorado, after all. Doesn't make you seem very consistent.

Two points:
  1. First, the existing regional hierarchy for the US was developed after much discussion (which can be found by searching the archives, although some can still be found on Talk:United States of America). That breakdown is laid out on United States of America#Regions and on the region pages that are linked from that section. It's not a perfect hierarchy by any means, and if anyone has ideas of how to improve it the suggestions are welcome; however, a common problem with any region on this site is defining what is and is not within the region, and as a result having non-subjective borders is generally a necessity. In the case of the regional breakdown for the US, state borders are used. An unfortunate side-effect is that what one person considers the "South", "Southwest", "Midwest", etc doesn't always exactly correspond to the hierarchy used here. That is an understood problem, but the consensus so far has been that for the purposes of organization it's better to have boundaries that people can agree upon rather than relying on subjective interpretations of where the South, Midwest, or Southwest begins and ends. It took a while to discuss and agree upon the current hierarchy, and so any change will require revisiting that discussion - the talk page for the US article would be the place for such a discussion. A unilateral change that goes against the Wikitravel:Consensus process will generally be reverted until a discussion has run its course.
  1. Second, it would be best if discussions on this page were limited to the Southwest (United States of America) article. Any personal comments should be placed on the appropriate talk page. In particular, any comments about a particular user should go on the user's talk page.
-- Ryan 02:16, 8 March 2007 (EST)

As stated before: don't care. It isn't only my consideration, try reading archaeological texts on definitions of the region. Or how about cultural geography? Based on my degrees, I'd consider my observations to be objective and yours subjective. That, coupled with the fact that I'm an anarchist, doesn't really leave room for me to waste time adhering to your quasi-democratic processes. Keep in mind that I'm not defacing this article, but merely adding bits of depth, where you have obviously failed.

..and you still haven't addressed your inclusion of Mesa Verde.

Your insults are a waste of my time to read. You can cooperate with others with reason and well thought arguments, or you can continue to pretend there is only one person standing in your way instead of an entire community. In the meantime, I have rolled back all of your contributions to this article. -- Colin 02:48, 8 March 2007 (EST)

Then don't read my comments. I'll be content reverting to my versions as I have time. Again, I'm a patient asshole.

If you consider your patience adequate to the task of forcing your opinion to be used as a replacement for the community's opinion, you may have misunderstood how this community works. -- Colin 03:01, 8 March 2007 (EST)

It's more than adequate. If your "community" is geared toward perpetuating falsehoods and misconceptions, then my task is that much more gratifying. You may revert to whatever version you like. Either way, I 'll be back (perhaps in 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 weeks--who knows!)


I suspect that this particular battle will unfortunately go on for a while, but in the interest of introducing a brief respite I've added page protection which should be removed as soon as it is appropriate to do so. There is almost no chance that the regional hierarchy for the USA will be changed without discussion, but at the same time some verbiage could be added to this article to indicate that portions or Colorado and Texas are often considered part of the Southwest. -- Ryan 03:13, 8 March 2007 (EST)

I reinstated the protection. Any admin who sees fit should go ahead and unprotect it when they are ready. -- Colin 05:01, 8 March 2007 (EST)

Your suspicions are correct, Ryan. There's more than one way to skin a cat. Many of you have accused me of introducing subjective items to the article; however, I beg to differ. The vast majority of you have no expertise in this realm, yet you are insitent upon enforcing a paradigm that is justified only by your inherent need to reinforce each other's lack of knowledge on this subject. This only perpetuates the existence of a mediocre article with misleading information. I don't think any of you will be around over the next year or two, so, again, my patience will pay off sooner or later.

For you to revert all edits I have made essentially undermines your purported goal of offering a useful product for the reader. There were many subtleties that I had corrected and improved, which, at a minimum, I feel should persist amidst this period of rest you have granted your wiki-followers from my so-called abuse.

  • Flagstaff: Not a major city! (wait, that's my opinion, and it's purely subjective)
  • The Southwest doesn't "empty out on the flatlands of the Rio Grande;" it does extend to the basin and range province (which, I concede, isn't as topographically diverse as the Rockies) at both the Colorado River and Rio Grande watersheds. Using flatland twice in the same paragraph is awkward.
  • Have you driven I-25 from Burque to Cruces? Apart from the Jornada del Muerto, there isn't a flatland to be seen. Especially in Sierra county, which derives its name from the obvious.
  • Mesa Verde: Waiting for an answer! The Southwest starts high in the Wasatch and Rocky Mountains? Really? But not the Colorado Rockies, I take it. Poor folks who live near Mesa Verde (Durango, Purgatory, etc.)
You still aren't understanding. We have a policy at Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy that says we must cut up the United States into NON-OVERLAPPING pieces. (Don't like that policy? Go argue against it at Wikitravel talk:Geographical hierarchy.) When dividing the US, we decided to place entire states into the subregions rather than, for example, dividing Texas into two parts -- some in the Southwest and the rest in some other region. (Do you think putting whole states into the subregions was a bad idea? Go argue about it at Talk:United States of America). We then decided to make Texas a region of it's own rather than including it in the southwest (wrong decision? go argue about it at Talk:United States of America). So your problem is that you are arguing about stuff in the wrong place. Your second problem is that, whichever policy or decision you think is wrong, you need to go to the talk page appropriate for what you think is wrong and figure out why the decision was made the way it was so that you can make an informed argument against the policy/decision. -- Colin 03:44, 8 March 2007 (EST)

No, you aren't understanding. I don't care! Get it? None of you have even addressed the points I have repeatedly brought to your attention (see bullets above). --Wait, I almost forgot! You aren't capable of thinking unless a topic is posted in the appropriate forum. I apologize.

The issue of regional conformity is so important to you, yet you're so dense, that you can't see that you have allowed for the inclusion of Mesa Verde, COLORADO in the intro in direct violation of your moronic claims! Is it because you're willing to allow an exception in your noble, democratic process because you all enjoy visiting Mesa Verde every summer? Your lack of consistency is infuriating.

By the way, I choose not to waste my time with your discussion pages. Do you not understand the term "anarchist?" Good god, Colin. Scheißen!!!

You have failed to understand that I don't have a dog in this fight. I only require that the appropriate attempts be made to reach consensus, and that nothing happen in the meantime. -- Colin 04:26, 8 March 2007 (EST)

You love to think that I lack understanding. One more time, say it with me: "I DON'T CARE!" YOU only require? What happened to the community? He is an individual, after all!

Yes, I require that you reach a consensus with the community. I do not care, and really have never cared, how the community chooses to apportion the US. And I don't care if you want to or not, you can either work towards consensus or you can fail. I have no idea where you got the odd notions that wikis are an anarchy, but they are not. They are a community, and you are failing at "playing with others." -- Colin 04:36, 8 March 2007 (EST)

Did I say wikis were anarchistic? NO! I am an anarchist, got it? Very simple to comprehend, really. I'm not playing with others...I'm a native american with experience, education and expertise on the Southwest, and I cannot allow these faleshoods and misconceptions to persist at the hands of people who have no real knowledge of the region.

Given that you are behaving in a way which cannot lead to any outcome desirable to you, apparently you can allow these misconceptions to persist. If you truly cannot, I have given you pointers to the path forward which at least contains the possibility of success. Too bad "I'm right so therefore they must suffer my changes" didn't work out. Perhaps there is a lesson for you here. -- Colin 04:57, 8 March 2007 (EST)

Remember, I'm patient! Good night, my sweet Colin. Give my regards to Ryan. BTW, I can access this page anonymously via multiple IP's, so perhaps you should discuss requiring all editors to have accounts. That should keep you busy!

Thanks for the insight, Col. You must be quite the religous person. Too bad I'm not. My objective is multi-faceted, so winning isn't the issue. Whether you like it or not, my antics have exposed flaws in your collective thinking, and it's not up to me whether or not you recognize them. Be back soon. Chau!


Copied from User talk:Wrh2:

How about you correct the entry yourself. Here's your source:

Look at Item 2b, subitem 3, where the chronology mentions that the Anasazi start to "identify" themselves through the material record. The same is true for Mimbres, Hohokam, etc. We, as archaeologists, cannot even begin to assume that we can truly identify a culture solely through material remains. When you read enough SW arch. journals, you'll begin to understand that cultural associations such as that with the Anasazi, are purely based on recognition of pattern via basketware, ceramics, etc. That's precisely why anything pre-formative is classified as Archaic or Paleo. Is that enough for you?

I've re-worded the section in question so that arrival date is no longer specifically mentioned. I'd originally taken the 1200 BC date from Wikipedia, but a sample of other sites that use that date (based on a quick web search for "Anasazi") include [1], [2], and [3]. Hopefully the new text is agreeable. -- Ryan 12:00, 12 March 2007 (EDT)



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