2011-01-12 12:31:09Using fixed skeptic argument numbers.shortnames


On the Fixed Number page, there are three pieces of info for each argument: (1) a number, (2) a title/link, (3) a shortname.

Is there (or could there be) an easy way to link directly to an argument in this list? Like /arg.php?fn=8 or something?

Also, what is the shortname for? At first, I thought it was a short URL so that skepticalscience.com/1998 would point to the article on GW stopping in 1998. Sadly, that doesn't work. So is there another way to turn those shortnames into links?



2011-01-13 12:36:42Linking directly to arguments
John Cook


The short name was a request from John Mashey who wanted something to refer to in online discussions, where the # of characters were limited.

When you ask for a direct link, do you mean link to that argument's position on the Fixed Number page? Or link directly to the actual argument.

I've long considered doing my own short URL system. Eg - http://sks.to/sun which would redirect to the sun rebuttal. But I haven't been able to find out how to get hold of a domain like sks.to or sk.sc or if those domains are even available. If someone knows how I can get hold of one of those short type domains, please let me know.

2011-01-17 11:36:03


I meant a link to the actual argument, just as you say.

The domain sk.sc sounds perfect for this purpose, and it's available. Here is how you order it:


Once you have the domain registered, you can have the registrar point to your host's nameservers. Tell your host about the new domain and set it up as either parked/mirrored (a synonym for the skepticalscience.com domain), or an add-on domain (in another directory of your account, with its own content). And then you can setup all the redirection shenanigans you like.

2011-01-17 13:35:29Having a look at nic.sc
John Cook


Looking at their rules for .sc domains:


This rule seems to say that two letter domains aren't available:

  • All one and two letter domains name registrations are reserved in red under .SC (eg: ab.sc , 12.sc) 

But I'm gonna submit a registration anyway and see what happens. Thanks for tracking this down. The price per year is SCR 750 which seems to equate to AUD$63 per year. A bit more expensive than a .com or .com.au domain but I think would be worth it for the convenience (and coolness) of a short URL.

Would be handy if on a forum or blog, you had the option to tell people - just go to http://sk.sc/sun - but on the downside, less google kudos with less inbound links to skepticalscience.com. Hmm...

Sweet! :-)

UPDATE: just noticed, price is USD$125 per year for foreign companies. Well, emailing off the application now.

2011-01-17 17:36:08Nope, just got this reply
John Cook

Dear.sc Owner,
We do not support 2 letter Domain.Should you have any querry please do not hesitate to contact us.
.SC Domain Name Administrator
P.O.Box 1000
Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles.
Phone # 676000
Fax # 324056
email: admin@nic.sc
web: www.nic.sc
2011-01-17 20:42:20


Well, crap. You could do e.g. skp.sc. Or here's where to get sks.to:


2011-01-17 21:41:20tonic.to
John Cook

Well, sks.to is available but the registration form requires credit card payment yet is unsecured. Seems a little dodgy - not a big fan of handing my CC number over the internet on an unsecured page. Pity they don't have paypal as an option.
2011-01-17 22:49:29


After you type in the domain on the page linked above, press the link which says:

"Use our Secure server (If you prefer to send your credit card number encrypted.)"

Not sure who wouldn't want to do that, but whatever. :-)

Also, note that .to isn't the only option:


sks.ci would be great, but there's a catch. It's USD$260 for people not living in Africa. Do you know any African SkSers who'd be willing to buy the domain for you? Then it's "only" $75/yr. Not sure if any of that registration cash is goes to fund the regime in Côte d'Ivoire. Probably worth looking into.

2011-02-01 18:41:54Registered sks.to
John Cook


I've just registered sks.to so should hopefully have the domain within a few days.

Then we can start using URLs like http://sks.to/sun and http://sks.to/Monckton

I'll start by setting it up for our arguments. But then we'll add it to blog posts. Then it'll be first in, first served for all the cool URLs! :-)

2011-02-02 10:10:25Okay, http://sks.to/ is ours
John Cook

Just have to write some code redirecting short URLs to our skeptic arguments. Easy peasy! :-)