User talk:WhatamIdoing/Archive 12

Active discussions

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Editor's Barnstar
Thank you! Have a great day! Levinas 25 (talk) 16:58, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

"Technically, any change, no matter how small to the text of an article, is a revert."Edit

The WT:EW thread has been archived. The issue appears to have had a lasting impact; recently there was a block regarding a 1RR article where the user made a good-faith rewording in an attempt to find consensus. It is lamentable that the AN thread was closed with "The technical definition of a revert has been clarified". That shouldn't have happened.

I still believe the foremost problem is an admin problem, not a policy problem, even if the policy could use refinement. I have encountered many behavioral issues from Bbb23, even recently where WP:ADMINACCT was flouted in plain sight. "Technically, any change..." is such an unbelievably implausible interpretation, and in the context of the behavioral problems it seems more likely to be a post hoc rationalization offered under pressure in an AN thread. In any case, it should not set a precedent.

Something is wrong here, but I'm not sure how it should be addressed. vzaak 15:43, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi vzaak,
In our ample free time™, we can work on a {{supplement}} to provide a wide variety of examples. That would give us an opportunity to explain at length and answer some of the questions and "but what ifs" that were raised in those discussions. I don't think that any existing essay addresses this at all, so step one is a new name, I guess. WP:Identifying reversions? WP:Definition of revert? WP:Differentiating between reverting and collaborative editing? What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:00, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
A supplement is a good idea for a "second aid" treatment (I would pick WP:Identifying reversions because it gets away from the "mechanical" connotation of WP:Definition of revert, and the last one is too narrow), however I believe a "first aid" treatment is still necessary because the negative consequences seem to remain. Someone needs to climb the Reichstag and announce that "any change = revert" is simply not true. It should not be the basis of any admin action. Like don't delete the main page, that should be obvious, yet this particular form of insanity seems contagious. vzaak 18:16, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, vzaak, I agree that we need "first aid", and we will get there. But I think it will be easy to clarify the policy if we have "second aid" in place to deal with objections and corner cases. It might be better to expand Wikipedia:Reverting, which I'd forgotten about. Maybe Brian would be interested in helping, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:13, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
The admin at issue here may have been too rigid either because he has a rigid mentality or because a rigid interpretation helped process "cases" faster. Keep in mind here that black and white thinking keeps the world simpler and may help one move quickly on to the next decision. A call for exercising due diligence and doing more investigating might have been all that was missing. But it probably is indeed best to start by ensuring that the policy wording is not playing enabler because in the future there will probably eventually just be someone else who interprets the policy wording in the same aggravating way if the wording allows that.--Brian Dell (talk) 21:04, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Have a peek at this -- similar behavioral problems to those I encountered, including the admin refusing to provide the violating diffs and treating others as if they understand what is going on in the admin's mind. "Those changes constitute a revert." This has to stop, and by more direct means than those hitherto employed. Combined with my experience (and the sublinks therein) and other cases I've seen, I believe there is a strong arbcom case against this admin. vzaak 23:28, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Let's look at that dispute:

Well, there you have it: G made four, mostly unrelated, non-consecutive changes to that section on the same day, and S reverted two of the changes (one of them twice), so that's "edit warring" by G according to some rigid and/or sloppy people. But I doubt that this will be even remotely interesting to ArbCom. You'd be better off with an RFC/U for admins. And to qualify for RFC/U, we need two editors to complain at him about the same overly aggressive block. So far, only the blocked editor appears to be complaining, and that's "one", not "two".

And in the long run, what needs to be dealt with is the policy, but rushing in isn't going to help. We need to build the ground work for clarification, so that the proposal will be sound and so that the discussion won't get derailed by people who focus on silly cases. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:23, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

There are really three separate matters,
  1. Bbb23's interpretation of "revert" is unique and inappropriate. To my knowledge, no person on Earth believes what Bbb23 believes, admin or otherwise.
  2. Bbb23's behavior surrounding the issue is disruptive.
  3. Long-term goal of trying to reword the policy to prevent such an outlandish interpretation.
The third point may take up to a year, who knows. In the meantime, the disruption needs to be addressed. At least two of us have been, as Stephen Colbert might say, "Caught in the headlights of Bbb23's justice." Can't this be brought to RFC/ADMIN? I suspect others may submit concerns as well, for instance contemporaneous with my recent interaction was this thread which shows similar behavioral problems. vzaak 18:14, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
On #1, I'm not sure that even he believes what he once said. We don't want to leave people no room to change their minds about off-the-cuff remarks.
Yes, the one admin's problems can go to an RFC/U. (RFC/ADMIN and RFC/U are the same page.) But to do that, you need two people who agree to certify that they have attempted to resolve the same dispute, and you need to assume that the admin patrolling new RFC/U pages will be rigid in his interpretation of every single word of the requirements, and especially rigid in defining "the same dispute". WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:35, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
At guidance it says "...if anyone else has had the same issues with the editor in question..." while elsewhere it says "the same dispute". The former fits but the latter fits only under the assumption that two instances of the same underlying problem are the same dispute. I don't know what to make of this. vzaak 22:55, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
I've spent a lot of time looking at RFC and RFC/U pages. You should assume that the strictest possible interpretation will be the one that is used, because I've seen the more generous (and sensible) interpretation accepted exactly once in the last year. However, any, even trivial, "attempt to resolve the dispute" is normally counted. So if you joined some other user's dispute discussion, then you and that user would count as "two", even if your "attempt" involves just one or two short messages on the user's talk page. (Naturally, this assumes that the other user is willing to participate in certifying the RFC/U.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:24, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I have no personal relationships with any persons involved in this matter, but do have an interest in more judicious, accountable control over the way reversion rules are applied (in the Huggle and Twinkle world we live in). Hence, I have an interest in your long term goal. But, I will assist (and encourage sympathetic admins with whom I relate, to assist) only if the first two matters that you list are dropped. This because your doing so would reflect the fact that you appreciate that injustices occur here at WP, regularly, and to get hung up in a personal sense over any one of them is counterproductive. As well, its chapter-and-verse back and forth have led on both sides to caricatures of fellow editors/admins in ways that are unacceptable for practical progress. (No one of us is wholly good or bad, competent or incompetent, guilty or blameless, in any one situation or in general.) If you can step away from the past situation, and work to formulate a plan on the long-term goal, I am in and will recruit others to support. If moving forward seems (as it now does), to be linked to vindicta, personal or otherwise, I am out. There is not enough time in the world to deal with the injustices I and my family experience personally, let alone of those of the many less fortunate (affluent, lettered) than I, and so I simply cannot commit time to the literal myriad of ongoing, non-lifethreatening injustices that characterize this place. Ping me, if a long-term-only plan can be the focus. No messages at my talk, only here. Cheers, Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 18:26, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Leprof 7272, it's possible that the admin in question will eventually end up at RFC/U no matter what any of us do, because that happens on occasion to admins who have such rigid approaches. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:13, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Block review ideaEdit

I've started a thread at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)#Block review. Your input there would be appreciated. GabeMc (talk|contribs) 19:42, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Are you stalking me? (kidding)Edit

Just wanted to say I appreciate that we're in so much agreement lately. Personally I think some of these discussions are going on far longer than they really "should", but at least everyone's being civil, and I think progress is being made...gradually. DonIago (talk) 16:31, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Stalking someone as sensible and rational as you (and you must be, because we agreed on two things!  ) would be a happy change of pace. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:14, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
(eye-roll) Should I be worried about logging on here some day to find that you've nominated me for adminship? :p DonIago (talk) 04:59, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Having managed to dodge the hazing ritual that is RFA myself for this long, I'm not likely to be nominating anyone else for it. It doesn't seem like an act of kindness to someone that you like. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:31, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps an April Fool's, then? :p DonIago (talk) 12:59, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Would be the perfect day, if you don't mind fielding complaints from grumpy killjoys. A few years ago, I saw a newly minted admin blame his election to everyone having a hangover after New Year's. Perhaps all nominations ought to begin on a major holiday? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:24, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I thought editing Wikipedia was all about fielding complaints from grumpy killjoys. :p If nominations on major holidays still face substantive but reduced scrutiny from said GKs, I'm all for it. But would my nomination be "challenged or likely to be challenged"? DonIago (talk) 16:51, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Isn't it a rule that all RFAs are automatically challenged, by one of the "I hereby challenge every sentence in the entire encyclopedia" people? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:28, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps they could challenge it by removing it? That would be a bit of a win-win for me! DonIago (talk) 18:43, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:40, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:You don't own WikipediaEdit

Given your apparent (to be nice) contempt for content editors and the community in general in this essay, I wonder how you expect we might take anything else you say to assuage in the light of such fiascos as the VE as genuine. You seen to have laid out your position and stall clear enough. I read it as a massive smack in the face. The feeling on the ground has long been that the WMF believes "Our developers would have such an easier time if it wasnt for the *damn people* who use the product". Thank you for chrystalising this fear. Ceoil (talk) 16:45, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

  • You might want to check the dates on that essay. I started that page a couple of years before the WMF hired me (on a temporary, part-time contract) to help them collect feedback from editors.
  • This is not the WMF's view of editors. This is editors' views of the small minority of editors who, upon being told that a minor UI change was made as a result of an editor-initiated, CENT-listed RFC at the Village Pump (a discussion that resulted in unanimous support from two dozen editors) nonsensically persisted in claiming that the devs changed the website "against consensus", or even that there was never any discussion in the first place, instead of saying something rational like, "I missed that discussion, I disagree with the outcome, and I'd like us to re-open it".
  • Finally, if you want to send it to MFD, then feel free. As far as I can tell from comments and links made since I started it, the net result will be a failed MFD note on the talk page, plus more people knowing about its existence. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:59, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Discretionary sanctions 2013 review: Draft v3Edit

Hi. You have commented on Draft v1 or v2 in the Arbitration Committee's 2013 review of the discretionary sanctions system. I thought you'd like to know Draft v3 has now been posted to the main review page. You are very welcome to comment on it on the review talk page. Regards, AGK [•] 00:16, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

RfC commentEdit

Hi! Would you care to vote or comment at this RfC? I noticed your name at the talk page for WP:NOR and figured you'd be an appropriate editor to ask, since the discussion concerns that policy. Dan56 (talk) 06:00, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

"extract the content"Edit

I understand why you don't like the phrase, but the point isn't to view each fact within the scope of the entire article. It's to prevent people from using Twitter sources and saying things like "well, you know 'it' must mean her lastest album because the date is three days before she announced it, and 'there' must mean London because she talked about London on Facebook the same day, and ...". Each cited source has to explicitly support the fact it is used to support. If you can think of a better phrase to get that across, I've got no objection to changing the text.—Kww(talk) 01:24, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Kww, I don't think that's actually the point. Certainly that sort of thing would be bad, but the GNG is aiming at a broader idea: the sources (taken as a whole) need to provide enough information that you can write an encyclopedia article (without violating NOR). The requirement of "significant coverage" is not about whether the meaning of "it" or "there" is plainly stated.; it's about whether there is enough information in the sources (taken as a whole) to write an entire article without violating NOR.
The first words of the list item is the clue here: We're talking about why we need "significant coverage" before we can have an article on the subject. "It's Monday afternoon here in London, and I just finished my latest album" is not "significant coverage" of the album by any stretch of the imagination. You can certainly use a statement like that to support one sentence, and it won't require the least bit of OR to figure out the who, what, and where for your single sentence. But you simply cannot use a source like that to write an entire article. It's not possible to write an entire article from that tiny source, because it does not provide "significant coverage" of the subject. It only provides a tiny little detail. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:43, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
It's that "taken as a whole" idea that your change missed. Your phrasing seems to apply it to each and every source individually, but your explanation here addresses the need to be able to add all the sources together as the foundation of an article.—Kww(talk) 02:10, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Let's talk about this at WT:N. Other people might have good ideas. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:19, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Barnstar of Good Humor
For your hilarious yet insightful commentary at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical), striking the delicate balance of light humor and astute relevance and seriousness I've not seen anyone do in a long time. TeleComNasSprVen (talkcontribs) 07:50, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:53, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank youEdit

Thank you for your helpful responses to my questions on the WP:MEDRS talk page. How refreshing to be taken seriously and without all the attitude. I don't know why this is so difficult for some people. Notice that the contrast between you and your fellow editor didn't end there. Not content that he'd found enough reasons to insult me on that page, Jytdog decided to come to my own talk page to find new reasons. So pointless. So what if I don't understand medicine. I'm not a doctor. I'm an engineer. So again, thank you treating me nicely. Msnicki (talk) 01:26, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the kind words. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:36, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Invitation join the new Physiology Wikiproject!Edit

Physiology gives us an understanding of how and why things in the field of medicine happen. Together, let us jumpstart the project and get it going. Our energy is all it needs.

Based on the long felt gap for categorization and improvization of WP:MED articles relating to the field of physiology, the new WikiProject Physiology has been created. WikiProject Physiology is still in its infancy and needs your help. On behalf of a group of editors striving to improve the quality of physiology articles here on Wikipedia, I would like to invite you to come on board and participate in the betterment of physiology related articles. Help us to jumpstart this WikiProject.

  • Feel free to leave us a message at any time on the WikiProkect Physiology talk page. If you are interested in joining the project yourself, there is a participant list where you can sign up. Please leave a message on the talk page if you have any problems, suggestions, would like review of an article, need suggestions for articles to edit, or would like some collaboration when editing!
  • You can tag the talk pages of relevant articles with {{WikiProject Physiology|class=|importance=}} with your assessment of the article class and importance alongwith. Please note that WP:Physiology, WP:Physio, WP:Phy can be used interchangeably.
  • You will make a big difference to the quality of information by adding reliable sources. Sourcing physiology articles is essential and makes a big difference to the quality of articles. And, while you're at it, why not use a book to source information, which can source multiple articles at once!
  • We try and use a standard way of arranging the content in each article. That layout is here. These headings let us have a standard way of presenting the information in anatomical articles, indicate what information may have been forgotten, and save angst when trying to decide how to organise an article. That said, this might not suit every article. If in doubt, be bold!
  • Why not try and strive to create a good article! Physiology related articles are often small in scope, have available sources, and only a limited amount of research available that is readily presentable!
  • Your contributions to the WikiProject page, related categories and templates is also welcome.
  • To invite other editors to this WikiProject, copy and past this template (with the signature):
  • To welcome editors of physiology articles, copy and past this template (with the signature):
  • You can feel free to contact us on the WikiProkect Physiology talk page if you have any problems, or wish to join us. You can also put your suggestions there and discuss the scope of participation.

Hoping for your cooperation! DiptanshuTalk 12:24, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

Osteopathic manipulative medicineEdit

Hi WhatamIdoing, just wanted to let you know that Alexbrn responded to your comment and the discussion is ongoing. TylerDurden8823 (talk) 08:05, 28 April 2014 (UTC)


  The Medicine Barnstar
To WhatamIdoing, thank you for your dedication to improving medical articles. Axl ¤ [Talk] 09:49, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for being one of Wikipedia's top medical contributors!Edit

please help translate this message into the local language
  The Cure Award
In 2013 you were one of the top 300 medical editors across any language of Wikipedia. Thank you so much for helping bring free, complete, accurate, up-to-date medical information to the public. We really appreciate you and the vital work you do!

We are wondering about the educational background of our top medical editors. Would you please complete a quick 5-question survey? (please only fill this out if you received the award)

Thanks again :) --Ocaasi, Doc James and the team at Wiki Project Med Foundation


Hi, you wrote "There's a remarkably lousy test proposed above," - I agree with you comments (though software costs are peanuts for publishers, the cost of French Polish Vietnamese is (a) the $1,000s it costs to employ extra proofreaders (b) doubling at least publication schedules). What particular edit by whom are you referring to, I see several comments scrolling up. Could you link to the specific one? Many thanks. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:09, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

In ictu oculi,
  • You don't employ extra proofreaders to use diacritics on names in English articles. Assuming that there is a proofreader at all, the same person proofreads the entire article. To use Vietnamese diacritics on a couple of names, you don't need a proofreader who specializes in Vietnamese. At the very most, you would give the proofreader one accurate copy of each name and ask them to make sure that each instance of that name matches it. In other instances (if you use extensive passages or a non-Latin language, for example), the publisher tells the author to proofread the non-English sections. Or, in an unfortunately common arrangement, you don't have a proofreader at all.
  • Why do you think that adding a few diacritics would mean that you need to double the publication schedule? I'm betting that using diacritics for a Vietnamese player would add maybe 60 seconds to the time needed to proofread a feature-length article. That's all the extra time it would take me, anyway. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:17, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm not talking about articles, I'm talking about print sources. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:19, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
In ictu oculi, so am I. I'm talking entirely about reliable sources that normally appear in print, like newspaper articles, magazine articles, and academic journal articles.
Have you looked at sources like The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage? It explicitly says, on page 6, not to use accent marks or other diacritics for any language except a few European ones, and to omit accents not only from all non-English words (including all places), but also from all names of people who do not live in the US, and only to include accents on the names of US residents if you are absolutely certain that the person prefers it that way.
In the face of an explicit editorial statement against using diacritics like that, the only possible conclusion is that they do not use Vietnamese diacritics because the made an conscious decision not to. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:00, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Okay, correction obviously, I was forgetting newspapers also still exist on paper, I am talking about book print sources. Clearly the only possible conclusion is that they do not use Vietnamese diacritics because they made an conscious decision not to. As I said above "I agree with you comments", which includes because they made an conscious decision not to. We could also adopt a short-turnaround newspaper MOS if we made a conscious decision to do so. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:09, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
  • What was the specific diff of the "lousy test"? In ictu oculi (talk) 02:12, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Re: Male rapeEdit

Thank you for your warning. Gosh, I should change it right away. I hope you can help me to check after i change it :( thank you. Okkisafire (talk) 06:29, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

BUT IF I can't fix it, it will be better if the article is deleted entirely. I don't want to violate the laws. Okkisafire (talk) 06:32, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Is it allowable if i publish the statistical numbers or other statistical data? Okkisafire (talk) 06:37, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
And actually, it was Flyer22 who made the trivial changes, not me. She helps a lot. Okkisafire (talk) 06:41, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Mr. Whatamidoing, if you need my quick respond next time, I suggest you to leave your message on my Indonesian Wikipedia talk page. This problem surely makes me feel nervous -_-" and fortunately I open English Wikipedia today. Okkisafire (talk) 06:51, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm finish. Please check it, if I still do something wrong. And about the grammatical error, I'll ask my friends to repair it. Thank you :) Okkisafire (talk) 09:36, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

So how is it? Is it acceptable already? Okkisafire (talk) 02:45, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't know. To answer that, I would have to read every single source, which I unfortunately do not have time to do. The changes you made looked pretty good, but I am not an expert in either the subject or in copyright law.
If there are other problems, then whoever notices those problems will either fix it or tell you about the problems they found. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:07, 12 May 2014 (UTC)


I do hope that you see this message, but either way, I do not know my way around Wikipedia enough to create categories on this page to address my concern. I recently added Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia due to 21-Hydroxylase Deficiency as a cause for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and my entry was reverted to the old. What I've read is that it affects 1 in 8 Ashkenazi Jews, otherwise known as Germanic Jews. They lived in Germany, Switzerland, and France, and many of their descendants are American. Can we at least add it to the category, so people can be aware of it when researching this condition(PCOS)?

Thank you for your time, David Winkler — Preceding unsigned comment added by Davidlwinkler (talkcontribs) 19:29, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Hi David, and welcome to Wikipedia! I hope you'll stick around.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency affects one in 15,000 children, according to the article, which is not very many. According to this journal article, it affects only 1–2% of Ashkenazi Jews. The one-in-eight number is probably the frequency of the recessive gene, not the frequency of the disease. What this means, in effect, is that even among the high-risk population of Ashkenazi Jewish women, the cause of PCOS-like symptoms is probably not CAH.
By the way, did you know that there is an article about the Medical genetics of Jews? I don't know if it's current, but I thought it might be interesting to you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:18, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for your response and the good explanation regarding percentages. What I do know is that depending if one or both genes are defective then you can either be a carrier or have the disease, respectively. A carrier can develop PCOS without displaying other characteristics such as hirsutism or shortness of stature. As a layman, I of course have many questions as my ex-wife went 45 years without being diagnosed until I noticed peculiar signs and symptoms in my son such as hirsutism, and shortness of stature.

My father's ancestors migrated to America from the Rhineland Valley of Switzerland where a high percentage of the population is of Ashkenazi inheritance. Personally, I suffered a severe reaction along with acute kidney failure due to the ingestion of navy beans and my cardiologist is helping me look for a better primary to write the case study. In a month or two from now I'll send you a link to the medical journal where it's published. I diagnosed myself through Google and Wiki before my physicians gave me a symptomatic diagnosis for the horrifying experience I suffered. The genetic test was negative so I guarantee it's a huge breakthrough and you'll hear about it. Because of it, you'll find at the top of the chart a remark about Favism with some ???s next to it... [[1]]

Thank you again! David — Preceding unsigned comment added by Davidlwinkler (talkcontribs) 02:07, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

This fringe journal issueEdit

Keeps coming up. Do you think we could get some wider input and get some better clarity? (I would certainly appreciate it). My impression is that while people are often very keen to discuss individual cases - often heatedly - there is less enthusiasm for discussing this issue in the abstract. Perhaps if we try and get some better wording at WP:FRINGE and/or WP:MEDRS that might pique some interest? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 15:20, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

A general rule should be, if it's indexed at PubMed, it's not a fringe journal. There's reasons why I and many other editors use exclusively Pubmed when researching and discussing complementary medicines. DVMt (talk) 15:25, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
PubMed is not an indexing service. It includes all kinds of rubbish, like articles from the aforementioned Homeopathy journal. MEDLINE indexing - a different thing - is already a factor mentioned at WP:MEDRS. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 15:28, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

So let's talk about the abstract for a moment: my main concern is people (policy writers and quoters) using the wrong words to describe concepts. I'm a policy wonk; this matters to me. I spent three years cleaning up after people who thought that secondary and independent were synonyms. We have almost convinced everyone that WP:Secondary does not mean independent, although there's one (otherwise truly excellent) editor who still thinks that this is a dubious distinction. I really, really, really do not want to go through the same long process with mainstream and independent.

I recognize FRINGE's needs. I also recognize FRINGE's uses, which are far broader than what was intended. FRINGE is a convenient stick for beating POV pushers, and it gets used against people pushing views that aren't really FRINGE.

This takes us to the issue of altmed vs esoteric: FRINGE is intended to cover stuff Hulda Regehr Clark and Psychic surgery—stuff that nobody really believes is useful, not even other altmed people. It is not intended to cover stuff like Dance therapy, which is technically both "unproven" and "alternative" for cancer patients, but that is readily accepted by everyone ("I think you need to get some exercise." "I hate going to the gym. How about I go dancing instead?" "As long as your heart rate gets up into the target range for at least half an hour, that's fine"). In other words, FRINGE is for stuff that is as widely discredited and as widely rejected as the Moon landing conspiracy theories. That doesn't include all of altmed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:46, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Well put. I also feel that we are labelling whole systems of healing and/or professions as fringe as opposed to delineating clearly what aspects may be fringe and what's not. DVMt (talk) 15:51, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
@WAID, yes - it's the grey area articles (notably chiropractic and acupuncture) where this is most problematic (partly why I don't edit them much as I think they are as intractable as Israel/Palestine articles). Things like dance therapy, T'ai chi and so on - as complementary therapies - are less problematic, except where their benefits are sometime overstated. And then there are the "obvious" and well-described fringe things: e.g. Craniosacral therapy, Gerson therapy, homeopathy (though all these articles are subject to regular skirmishes).
So, I think you're raising a concern "behind" the question of fringe journals, which is that WP:FRINGE is being used in a "far broader" way than was intended. Could we isolate some particular wording in WP:FRINGE that bears on this? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:13, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Chiropractic is also a complimentary therapy which is used primarily for MSK issues and back pain and neck pain in particular. 9/10 patients present to DCs for MSK complaints [2], have developed evidence-based guidelines [3] , have developed an evidence-based faction in the profession [4] have pioneered World Spine Care [5] which, surprise, focuses on evidence-based management of spinal disorders in the 3rd world, and now DCs are permanent part of the Olympic games as part of the medical staff [6] and [7]. Comparing the chiropractic with homeopathy is apples and oranges at this point. DVMt (talk) 17:06, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
But Alex is probably right that the dispute is probably intractable, because if you wrote about that 90%, you'd have some "straight" person come over and say that you were misrepresenting his profession by not emphasizing the other stuff, and some anti-chiropractic editor egging him on, because he'd rather discredit everything, and emphasizing the old garbage makes it easier to ridicule (which is true for mainstream, too; for example, there are a lot of older midwives in the US who chose their profession because mainstream medical care was so awful: Don't touch the baby, especially premature babies! Just put them down on their tummies and leave them alone. They're too fragile to hold).
Alex, I think it might be easier to address the medical issues rather than the general ones. We could do that by saying that altmed is not automatically fringe, and that something allegedly "mainstream" can be. I often find that it's useful to give examples, because that gives people a better sense of the scope and scale. I think that most editors can grasp the difference between non-fringe-y altmed, like massage or echinacea supplements, and the true fringe-y stuff like Gerson therapy.
On a related point, I've finally started the fairly tedious and somewhat complicated work of merging WP:INDY and WP:Third-party sources. We've talked about it for years. It may take me months to finish, but when that's done, it should help with my main concern, which is people mis-using independent when they really mean biased. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:38, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the majority of your point, WAID, but for the straight DC to come on and and challenge that, they would need the appropriate reliable source. I guess what I'm getting at, specifically, is chiropractic management of MSK issues considered fringe? This article suggests its a 80/20 in favour of DCs who practice primarily MSK [8]. The profession has endorsed a spinal health experts identity at the international level (WFC) it was confirmed by the colleges [9] and in this report from 2013 confirms Palmer is onboard as well [10]. It's really the fringe within chiropractic that does not endorse the spinal health/msk model and I'd like for that to be clear. DVMt (talk) 21:02, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that the common forms of manipulative management of MSK pain is fringe, whether that's done by a DC or a DO or a PT or the patient himself. It may not work especially well for chronic back pain, but, then, neither does surgery or drug treatment. "Effective" is not what makes something mainstream, minority, or fringe. What matters is whether it's generally accepted in the entire, big-tent field of medicine (not just within its own field). The views of the straight DCs or the mixer DCs don't matter as much as the views of the non-DCs.
So imagine a survey not of chiropractors, but of physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical officers, physical therapists, sports medicine people, allied health workers, etc., even dentists and licensed altmed people, like massage therapists and acupuncturists. Do they recommend it? Do they use it personally? AFAICT, most mainstream healthcare practitioners around the world recommend manipulative medicine and/or acupuncture for MSK pain (to suitable patients, however they define that); therefore, that's mainstream.
To find out whether this sub-field is fringe, we ask the same question: Do the people in this broad field recommend "straight" chiropractic for non-MSK stuff, or only MSK-type chiropractic? AFAICT, a mainstream practitioner is likely to oppose chiropractic for, say, cancer care or diabetes, even if he or she recommends it routinely for an acute back injury. Almost no one (except straight DCs themselves) recommends it for cancer or diabetes or any number of the other things that straight DCs claim to be able to treat; therefore, those uses would be fringe.
Does the system for figuring this out make sense? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:28, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Well it seems we agree about that as well. How do we get that to be reflected however? Your interpretation that manipulative treatment for MSK pain is mainstream is something that is inherently logical yet because this conversation isn't happening at WT:MED or WP:FRINGE it's going to be ignored and the usual extremists battles will play out. How do we go forward? DVMt (talk) 23:09, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Somebody with back pain might do as well just doing exercise, get the benefits without the magical trappings and attendant bill! Cost-effectiveness is an important consideration: PMID 21328304 ? By "manipulative treatment" do you mean massage, physiotherapy ... ? it seems a broad term. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 03:38, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
You're assuming that it's magical when someone has a mechanical MSK problem and someone provides a mechanical solution to a mechanical problem is magical. There is tons of science in musculoskeletal medicine regarding manipulative therapies, in regards to their effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, safety, basic sciences, that are done by by primarily DOs, DCs, PTs and PhDs from various fields such as engineering, statistics, anatomy, epidemiology, etc. Manipulative medicine is broad but the context in which it is used determines whether or not it has mainstream acceptance. In the case of manipulative medicine, it is mainstream for MSK but not for non-MSK. The difference being there isn't presently a) sufficient evidence that demonstrates comparable effectiveness b) is accepted within the health professions and the public. We're 40 years deep now into research of manipulative therapies for MSK disorders and the WP default position is that it's pseudoscientific. That's bogus. DVMt (talk) 04:45, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
No, it's magical when it incorporates (and charges for) magical elements like detecting vital vibrations or subluxation, and/or attempts to treat systemic conditions which have no MSK connection. "Manipulative medicine" is too broad a term to be useful: of course some kinds of manipulation are useful. Wikipedia has no "default position" and does not even mention pseudoscience in relation to Physical therapy, say. (Of course this raises the question: if chiropractic/osteo* are, in effect, equivalent to massage or 'vanilla' physical therapy, what is their distinctive reason for existing? Relatedly, proponents of these magicks are keen to make out that they are as one with the acknowledged benefits of vanilla therapy, and so perfectly mainstream thank you very much. This is a game that recurs on Wikipedia, but it's a bit rum: like claiming homeopathy is legitimate because drinking its remedies is known to cure dehydration!) Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 06:42, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
I was under the impression that a partially dislocated joint ("subluxation") was something that even orthopedic surgeons could detect.   They even seem to think that it could happen in the spine, and that it could cause some problems that surface elsewhere, like pain in the leg.
Wikipedia, the publication, may not have a default position, but the editorial community here does, and it lines up with Quackwatch's opinions very neatly.
Cost is irrelevant to the question of whether it works, and whether it works is irrelevant to whether it is mainstream. Arthroscopic knee surgery for knee pain has been demonstrated to be useless with high-quality evidence, but it's mainstream. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:10, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

"the editorial community here does, and it lines up with Quackwatch's opinions very neatly" ← that is generally true: Wikipedia has a skeptic outlook and oppresses fringe viewpoints. Such is the operation of consensus. Personally, I think that is A Good Thing. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 15:18, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Alexbrn, you're missing the point again. Manipulative medicine manipulates 'something i.e. manipulable lesion. You are referring to 'magical' subluxations which, is of course, the metaphysical POV which is fringe, but yet cannot seem to understand that you're endorsing the 'straight' perspective (fringe) and ignoring the mainstream perspective (biomechanical lesion) that is found in the ICD-10 under the MSK section [11]. So unless you're stating that the ICD-10 and the WHO are not credible then you'll need to revise your rather extremist POV. Questioning the existence of osteo/chiro is beyond the scope of this thread, but I would add the research shows that 90% of MM in North America are carried out by chiropractors with the balance being provided by osteos and physios. Also, regarding treating systemic disease, I already demonstrated that according to the research that # is 10%. So you're focusing again on the 1/10 as opposed to the 9/10. Also, you're conflating things again, with homeopathy and now vanilla therapy. It would be much easier if we stuck to this subject. So long as you keep thinking that the dysfunctional articulations whether or not they are in the spine or peripheral joints don't exist then you miss the point why professions DOs, DCs, PTs, DVMs, NDs and some MDs manipulate. DVMt (talk) 15:53, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Alex, this talk about magick isn't helpful. If you wake up with a crick in your neck (has that ever happened to you?), and someone pushes or pulls on your neck for a second, and immediately afterwards, you have full range of motion in your neck, then there's no magick of any kind involved. "A crick in the neck" is a "subluxation" by everyone's definition, and manipulative treatment seems to be pretty immediately effective for it from what I've heard.
The community runs skeptical, but source-based NPOV is not optional, even if the unsourced or undue material is WP:The Truth™ according to all right-thinking rational people. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:33, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
WAID, re: the question above (MM for MSK conditions) which is currently default pseudoscience, where would be the best avenue to have a broad discussion on this and come to some kind of consensus? This would apply to osteo, chiro, PT and others that use manipulative techniques for MSK conditions. DVMt (talk) 15:39, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
It depends on what you want to achieve. Are you looking for a specific change to a guideline (e.g., adding a note to FRINGE that altmed is not 100% fringe-y), or are you looking for a general discussion? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:29, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
I would like there not to be blanket like descriptions, such as 100% of alt-med is fringe and there is no science whatsoever in CAM. But rather than be too broad about it, I'd like to stick to MM for MSK. CON can change and it should reflect the times. Having QuackWatch be the judge, jury and executioner, well, isn't very balanced. DVMt (talk) 01:34, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Fuzzy boundaries. CAM ≠ alternative medicine. MM ≠ fringe. All alternative medicine (in the sense of unproven things used/promoted as an effective alternative to medicine in pursuit of medical goals) is fringe by definition. As has been said many times, alternative medicine that works is ... medicine. Complementary therapies (i.e. used as an adjunct to medicine) can be nice & helpful, but sometimes are subject to exaggerated claims. The big picture here is that some chiropractors want to make a land grab for spinal manipulation in general and re-brand, cutting the loony element adrift. Good luck to them, but Wikipedia can only observe, and not participate in, these struggles. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 05:40, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
The definition of FRINGE is not "unproven". The definition of "medicine" is not "things that work". Really: that's an appealing definition, but it is by no means generally used or generally accepted. That is strictly a minority viewpoint. If that were true, then all sorts of conventional medicine would suddenly become "alternative", from including: refusing to let patients drink water eight hours before surgery; refusing to let them eat after surgery; doing almost any sort of arthroscopic knee surgery for cartilage damage; any cough medicine containing dextromethorphan; prescribing antidepressants for mild depression; and many, many more. The opposite of alternative is conventional. Both conventional and alternative could be evidence-based.
Or, to put it another way, if you wake up with a crick in your neck and a chiropractor fixes it for you, that was "alternative" even if it worked, but if a PT made exactly the same motions, then it's "conventional" even if it didn't work. Eventually, that treatment might become generally accepted, in which case it will stop being called alternative, but the process is not instantaneous. This has happened in both directions, but one simple example is childbirth: Lamaze techniques used to be "alternative" and now they're not, and home births used to be considered conventional, but now they're alternative (in the US). Does the baby say, "You've labeled this 'alternative', so I refuse to get born"? No. Homebirths are still effective at birthing babies (safe, even, for low-risk pregnancies), and Lamaze breathing is no more effective now than it was when it was called alternative and bashed by anestheisologists and obstetricians all over the country. The label has more to do with social reality than with biological reality. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:19, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and I should have added "... as generally accepted by respected etc. sources". MM is not inherently fringe; but it would be if it used to treat (say) pancreatitis. Are we actually disagreeing? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:27, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
To the extent that you keep saying that "All alternative medicine is fringe" or "All unproven substitutes for conventional care are fringe", then, yes, we are disagreeing.
You seem to be operating in a "digital" system: something is either wholly conventional or wholly fringe, with no middle ground between the two. I see this as more of a spectrum issue. FRINGE is meant to deal with the stuff that's really "out there", not the stuff that is just a little less accepted than average. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:19, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Well, no - I wrote about the "grey area" above, and constrained my definition of fringe altmed to "unproven things used/promoted as an effective alternative to medicine in pursuit of medical goals". Sure, there are degrees of fringeiness. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 17:29, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps some examples will help. Can you name five altmed practices that are truly altmed (that is, truly substitutes for conventional care) but not FRINGE, and explain why they're not FRINGE? Can you name five others that are truly FRINGE, and explain why they are? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:10, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Alexbrn, I see the same as WAID, you're operating in a false dichotomy either some is completely and incompletely fringe. Again, you bring up MM and pancreatitis whereas I specifically stated is MM for MSK fringe? WP (and your line of reasoning) also is always implying of alt-med is in an alternative to medicine instead being complementary. By your logic, there are also degrees of 'mainstreamness'. So long as you take what seems to be a dogmatic skeptical stance (which is the polar opposite of the 'true believers' then this is problematic. To suggest there is no science in manipulative therapy research is, well not true. There are mechanisms of action which are known, including a mix of biomechanical [12], somatosensory activation [13] neural responses (primarily neuromuscular) [14] and sensorimotor integration [15]. These are 4 reviews that get dismissed as fringe, well, since some medical physicians here operate under the assumption that a) SMT is bogus/fringe, b) SMT= pseudoscientific and c) all 'altmed' journals are inherently bogus and biased. Like WAID correctly asserted, there is a spectrum of quality and professionalization of specific professions and/or interventions. Furthermore, MUA is something that is gaining increasing interest as this document shows [16] and specifically states that since the 1980s "spinal manipulation has gained mainstream recognition". Surely in 2014, 30 years after the fact it was dubbed to have gained mainstream recognition one would think that this evolution would be noted. The fuzziness of which you speak of is actually pretty clear: MM for MSK and MM for non-MSK. Unfortunately, Alexbrn and others who share the same hard-line POV conflates the two while I am merely trying provide a long-term solution that affects DCs, DOs, PTs, some MDs and some DVMs. DVMt (talk) 00:37, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
@DVMt As I wrote, "MM ≠ fringe" ... there are valid applications, but that does not legitimize otherwise quack professions which encompass it. Alternative medicine is different from complementary medicine (except in the minds of some Americans, I understand, because of a political decision taken there once to conflate the two). I don't know what your point about MUA is. MUA physicians claim it is "mainstream" - what a surprise! BTW, our article on Manipulation under anesthesia is a massive MEDRS fail, no? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 05:23, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
that does not legitimize otherwise quack professions which encompass it
Is the converse also true? Do quacks among MDs de-legitimize that whole profession? Or should we look at the majority instead of the minority? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:18, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, to some degree: that's why "MD" is no guarantee of anything much. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 17:34, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
@WAID I suppose once something is known to work it already has the trappings of convention to some degree, but from recent editing I can think of some altmed-ish things which are not really fringe (because: they have been found effective to some degree): Mindfulness for anxiety (rather than medication); honey for treating coughs (rather than some kinds of medication); Tea Tree Oil for fungal nail infection (perhaps, rather than pharmaceutical preparations); melatonin for aiding sleep. One fascinating one is circumcision for HIV prevention, which seems to have started life as a kite-flying exercise by proponents of circumcision, but turned out to be true (so is not really now altmed, I suppose). For the firmly fringe you might look at Burzynski clinic, craniosacral therapy, rife machines, reiki ... Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 06:07, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
I asked for things that are really-truly-cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die altmed, not things that you accept as nearly conventional, but your reasoning is illuminating enough: you persist in saying that things that aren't effective are fringe. Shall we now go tag everything about OTC cough syrup as fringe? Where exactly in FRINGE does it say that all unproven or ineffective medical treatments are FRINGE?
(Also, the physician described here does not sound like a "proponent of circumcision" to me.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:18, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
No, you misrepresent what I am saying. To repeat, the fringe altmed intersection happens for "unproven things used/promoted as an effective alternatives to medicine in pursuit of medical goals". For the circumcision thing, I was thinking of much earlier - of Aaron J. Fink for example. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 17:34, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Alexbrn doesn't seem to consider the majority vs. the minority, even if the data suggests it's a 80/20. Instead, it's more black and white and labelling a whole profession as quackery. If MM doesn't equal fringe then why are you editing in the exact opposite manner and putting in the lead the OMM is pseudoscientific? You're saying one thing here and doing the exact opposite. Also, WAID raises an excellent point, you persist in saying that things that aren't effective are fringe.. I'd like to hear your clarification of this, please. DVMt (talk) 17:10, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
More fuzzy straw men. MM (in general) ≠ OMT (a system based on Still's dogma). Ineffective things aren't fringe; ineffective things promoted as effective alternatives to effective things (at least) are. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 17:34, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Nothing fuzzy, and certainly not a straw man argument. Whether it's OMM, CMM, OMPT, it's still MM. And that's the point. We agree that MM for MSK isn't fringe. Next up, is reworking WP:FRINGE so that the major key points of this discussion are noted and updated. Currently fringe has gone rogue and that's leading to chronic problems. We can do better. DVMt (talk) 23:32, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
"Whether it's OMM, CMM, OMPT, it's still MM" ← no, it is a type of MM; you are blurring categories. Cranial therapy is a type of MM, and is as hardcore fringe as you could hope to find. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 04:25, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Alexbrn says, the fringe altmed intersection happens for "unproven things used/promoted as an effective alternatives to medicine in pursuit of medical goals".

So Alex apparently believes that standard OTC cough syrup is FRINGE altmed:

  • It is promoted as being effective for suppressing coughs, and it has been scientifically proven to be useless.
  • It is promoted as an alternative to prescription drugs that actually work (e.g., codeine). Nobody recommends taking OTC cough syrup when you're already taking codeine.
  • It is promoted "in pursuit of medical goals", namely to make sick people stop coughing.

Now, if dextromethorphan isn't really FRINGE altmed according to your definition, then tell me what dextromethorphan actually is. How could someone completely unfamiliar with cough treatments tell the difference between the wholly ineffective dextromethorphan, which is sold in a bottle that claims it will suppress a cough, and some equally ineffective homeopathic water, which is also sold in a bottle that claims it will suppress a cough? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:07, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

To be accurate, a substance can't be fringe. But assuming your "scientifically proven to be useless" is solid and settled, the promotion of the substance's worth in the face of that evidence would be fringe. To quote the guidance: "We use the term fringe theory in a very broad sense to describe ideas that depart significantly from the prevailing or mainstream view in its particular field. For example, fringe theories in science depart significantly from mainstream science and have little or no scientific support." Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 05:54, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
The science is solid here.
Here's the thing: Medicine is not "science". If you look around the drug store, you will see that promoting dextromethorphan as an effective cough suppressant is common. wikt:Mainstream means "Used or accepted broadly rather than by a tiny fraction of a population or market." Mainstream means "a prevailing current or direction of activity or influence". Mainstream doesn't mean "no scientific support".
So what's broadly used for treating coughs? The US alone spends $4 billion on cough medicines containing this stuff each year. What's broadly accepted? It is (still) FDA approved for this indication. What's the prevailing activity? If a non-alt-med person has a cough, he buys this stuff. What's the current standard? This is recommended every day by doctors all over the world, especially if they think that you aren't miserable enough to justify a codeine prescription. (Some of those doctors probably don't know that it doesn't work, but others do, and recommend it as an unannounced placebo, or to get you to take the other drugs in the same cough medicine.)
This is mainstream. This is conventional. It's not evidence-based, but mainstream medicine in general is not evidence-based.
Or, to put it another way, this isn't FRINGE, because medicine isn't science. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:23, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, WAID, for using this excellent example of how Alex's view of fringe, may very well be fringe in itself. I think there's so conflation and confabulation going on. DVMt (talk) 16:24, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
So, did you all reach a conclusion? It doesn't really seem like the conversation was ever really finished. TylerDurden8823 (talk) 06:27, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I think we're agreeing to disagree. "Mainstream medicine in general is not evidence-based" ... right. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:19, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Not at all. What we're seeing is how your interpretation of fringe is off-base. And since you're editing fringe-related topics with an incorrect perception, then this false idea gets promulgated. So, as far as I see it, the burden is on you to explain your position more succinctly. DVMt (talk) 13:45, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
LOL - tell you what, go to the Homeopathy article and argue that fringe doesn't apply because medicine is not a science. See how far you get with that. Let me quote you WP:FRINGE again: "We use the term fringe theory in a very broad sense to describe ideas that depart significantly from the prevailing or mainstream view in its particular field". I understand there are people who want to change it so we do not define fringe "in a very broad sense", but their argument is not with me, it is with the guidance. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 14:01, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
You're conflating things, Alex. First, we aren't discussing Homeopathy, which is a red-herring. Second, I agree with you homeopathy is bunk, so we can clear that up right now. This thread is about MM for MSK. In this discussion here, you've made claims which we have rebutted. It's up to you to prove your point. You're also misrepresenting what WAID is saying. For instance, off-label use isn't exactly scientific, nor proven, and pretty controversial. Specifically it states Off-label use is the use of pharmaceutical drugs for an unapproved indication or in an unapproved age group, unapproved dosage, or unapproved form of administration.. Pot meet kettle. DVMt (talk) 15:56, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Fringe journals breakEdit

Alex, perhaps we're talking about different things when we say evidence-based. So imagine that you go into the doctor for an annual physical. Think about all the things that happen. Do you know anything about the evidence for those things? There's very little. In fact, there's some good evidence that you shouldn't be there at all. They check your weight: fine, but does the doctor talk to you about it? Probably not. The doctor's decision to skip that conversation is consistent with conventional medical practice, but a departure from evidence-based medicine. They take your temperature: fine, it's an extremely low-risk test, but there's zero evidence that it's anything other than a waste of time for a healthy person, so that's a departure from evidence-based medicine. They take your blood pressure: fine, and that's consistent with evidence-based medicine. They check your heart rate, even though there's zero evidence that this is a worthwhile test in a person who claims and appears to be healthy, so that's another departure from evidence-based medicine. They take a health history, but they ask questions for which there's no evidence (or even evidence against), and they omit other questions for which there is excellent evidence. Then the doctor refuses to discuss points in that history for which there is good evidence that he should (sexual health is the most commonly given example), which is another use of conventional medical practice while rejecting evidence-based practice. (The doctor will plead a lack of time if pressed on this point, but he does somehow find time to make small talk about your family or job.) He (I assume you see a male, since most people's GP matches their own gender) will listen to your heart and lungs (good evidence). He'll palpate your neck (there's some good evidence against doing this). And so forth, through the entire ritual.

Or let's take another common scenario: A month after this rather pointless physical, you have a bad cold, so you go to the doctor. A bad cough is the #1 reason to see a doctor.

When you make the appointment, do they tell you what the evidence says about whether you should be seeing the doctor at all? No. They follow the conventional model of letting the patient choose when to make an appointment. When you get there, they check your weight. Why? No good reason: your weight won't have changed much in the intervening month, and any variation will be put down to a change in clothing, hydration status, or when you last ate. They check your temperature (good evidence) and blood pressure (no good evidence that I've seen for this, but we'll say that they're doing it as general preventive medicine rather than related to your cold). They ask how long the cold's been going on (good) and what your symptoms are (good), but don't ask whether it's keeping you from sleeping well (bad) or whether you are exposed to tobacco, marijuana or other smoke (bad). With luck, they'll check your chart or ask if you have any special risk factors (you can't practice evidence-based medicine for a cold if you don't know whether the person has asthma, AIDS, or other risk factors). You tell them that you have a bad cough, a runny nose, a sore throat, and no fever. They look down your throat and do a rapid strep test, saying "strep is going around" (bad; strep is basically always going around, and the evidence says that they're not appropriate for people with your symptoms). They check for lung sounds (good) and maybe decide to send you off for a chest X-ray (maybe good, but probably bad in this case: it depends on the reason). Then they conclude that no fever and no inappropriate lung noises (and a clear chest X-ray, if one was ordered) means that you just have a boring old cold. You say that you really just want to stop coughing because your muscles hurt so much, so the doctor recommends over-the-counter cough syrup, which is conventional but a clear violation of evidence-based medicine. Then he suggests coming back if it hasn't cleared up in two weeks, which is a very conventional recommendation, but one that I've personally seen zero evidence to support.

Do you see how the pattern here? Quite a lot of what's happening in these very common medical encounters has nothing to do with the evidence, and everything to do with what patients have been culturally conditioned to expect. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:10, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

What a load of bollocks! You are so distant from reality (my reality anyway). This bears no real resemblance to my interaction with medical professionals. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 18:52, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Alexbrn you've just experienced cognitive dissonance. You've never even considered the possibility that conventional medicine wasn't solely based on evidence? We are culturally conditioned, we bring our Western lens, just as the East brings its own view. You are basing this on a n=1 as opposed to understanding the bigger picture. The science and art of medicine is much more than writing a script. The doctor-patient interaction is fundamental in the healing process. As is mind-body therapies and relaxation therapies. Body based manipulative therapies. Your personal opinion is getting in the way of facts, and evidence. The longer this thread goes, it seems like you are misinterpreting what is actually fringe and what is assumed to be fringe. Medicine isn't completely scientific. CAM isn't completely unscientific. These issues exists on a continuum and your seemingly cynical viewpoint isn't productive moving the discussion forward. I am sure many others would be interested in this conversation, as it is germane to many topics. Perhaps we can open this up for a RfC or DR. Maybe even move it to the Fringe Talk Page? There's been a lot of good evidence presented that supports we redefine fringe to be more specific and more contextual. The black and white, false dichotomy logical fallacy has been exposed, and we can really use this to try to improve things over a long-standing, chronic problem at WP, namely the science of CAM. WP asserts CAM is 100% pseudoscientific and not based on solid science. Well, neither is medicine. There is the art of medicine as well, it's those grey areas that need some enlightenment. DVMt (talk) 19:33, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Alexbrn, perhaps you'd like to tell us what happened the last time you went to the doctor for a bad cold? Did they check your weight? Take your blood pressure? Recommend any treatments? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:14, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Why on earth would I go to a doctor with a bad cold? I imagine (if I did) they'd tell me to rest up and take paracetamol for any aches & pains, and possibly tell me off slightly for coming to the surgery with a cold. No GP has ever taken my blood pressure and I have only been weighed once, around 20 years ago, as a matter of routine, when signing on for a new practice. The doctor said I was a bit overweight (she was right). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 05:38, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
You go to the doctor with a bad cold to achieve three things that you can't easily achieve any other way: (a) to make sure that you don't have pneumonia, (b) to make sure that you don't have strep throat [assuming that you have a sore throat] and (c) to get a prescription for codeine, which actually is an effective cough suppressant.
If your GPs have failed to take your blood pressure during the last couple of decades, then they have, by that omission, failed to follow evidence-based medicine in treating you. There's pretty good evidence behind routine screening for blood pressure (just not necessarily in people with an acute illness). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:50, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, so I wouldn't go to the doctor for a cold unless things were really bad.[17] On blood pressure, here in the UK, the NHS these days routinely invites people for this kind of routine screening every five years past the age of 40. For myself, I'm outside of that since I am in a comparatively more watchful regime overseen by my cancer nurse, which means I have had blood pressure readings taken before/after surgery. I am struggling to see what this interrogation of my medical experience has to do with whether or not we should be allowing charlatans to advocate their wares in Wikipedia via fringe journals. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 19:41, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
We are talking about whether there might be a difference between "conventional medicine" and "evidence-based medicine". It appears that there is: some conventional medicine is evidence-based, and some of it is not. In your opinion, is the non-evidence-based part of conventional medicine supported by "charlatans" publishing in "fringe journals"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:55, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Even though you may not go to a GP for a minor cold Alex, it is common practice for many people to go to their physician for exactly that reason. There are certainly people who wait until things are "really bad" (sometimes too long as a matter of fact), but many don't and I think that's important to keep in mind. Though I see personal anecdotes coming into play here and it's nice to see everyone sharing their own subjective experience, the fact remains that it only represents your own experience and your own experience may not be representative of what happens on a population-based level. TylerDurden8823 (talk) 20:56, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Alex, I don't see this as interrogation, but rather you sharing your personal experience. We're just asking you to clarify your position. You seem to have confused EBM is synonymous with conventional medicine. We've been using examples of how this is not the case, and these are legit cases of how things work in health care in general. Neuraxis (talk) 03:38, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

You're all tearing into a strawman. Obviously medicine at large has aspects other than applied science / EBM. But those are not altmed; altmed is when ineffective things are pushed as an alternative to effective treatment. Yes, in the course of a consultation family doctors may offer a friendly chat; and yes that is not necessarily EBM, but it is neither fringe nor altmed; if it became the "Talking Cure" & proponents claimed without evidence that it was effective for treating disease, then it would be fringe, sources would no doubt describe it as such as WP would duly frame it applying fringe guidance. (And no doubt we'd have Talking Cure therapists here on Wikipedia trying to fluff its article, just like we've got homeopaths/chiropractors/osteopaths today). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:55, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Alexbrn says, "altmed is when ineffective things are pushed as an alternative to effective treatment"
But that's exactly what my doctor above did, Alex: he told the patient to take a completely ineffective (but FDA-approved and strictly conventional) cough suppressant as an alternative to writing a prescription for one of the ones that actually works. Note that sentence: "the doctor recommends over-the-counter cough syrup, which is conventional but a clear violation of evidence-based medicine". It's a violation of EBM because dextromethorphan is utterly ineffective as a cough suppressant.
According to your personal definition, did that doc engage in altmed, or not? Or is the MD, despite doing exactly what you decry as "pushing an ineffective treatment as an alternative to effective treatment", still not engaging in altmed? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:46, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
From what you're saying it sounds more like a recommendation made in ignorance rather than being "pushed as an alternative". I think I could usefully refine my definition by bringing out the "commitment to the cause" element ... Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:04, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I doubt that it's ignorance; in most cases, I suspect that it's simply that the patient expects the doctor to prescribe some sort of medicine, and suggesting a spoonful of honey (which actually works/is evidence-based, at least for the tickle-in-the-back-of-your-throat sort) is not a socially acceptable prescription.
I think what would make more sense is to divide medicine up like this:
Treatments for a bad cough
Socially accepted Not accepted
Effective Codeine
(conventional and evidence-based)
(alternative but evidence-based)
Ineffective Cough syrup
(conventional but proven worthless)
(alternative and proven worthless)
This reflects the significant role that social acceptance plays in determining whether something is "altmed" (or "complementary", as opposed to "just normal"). The things that society in general (not merely up-to-date experts) accepts as normal medical treatments are "conventional" medicine, regardless of whether they work. The things that society in general does not accept as normal medical treatments are "complementary or alternative medicine". Things that are effective (or not) are things that actually work (or not), regardless of whether or not they're accepted by society at the moment.
The "at the moment" matters a lot. If you go look up the history of some very old interventions, you'll find that they fall in an out of favor. Swaddling newborns in Western cultures is a good example of this: it was considered normal and effective until the early 19th century. Then it was a horrible imposition on the baby's free will and useless. And now it's widely accepted, promoted at hospitals all over the Western world, and known to be effective at promoting sleep, health and growth.
Swaddling went from conventional to alternative and back to conventional. What people believed about its efficacy changed over time. It actually remained effective the entire time. The fact that it's currently accepted makes it conventional. The fact that it works makes it evidence-based. The fact that there are people fanatically dedicated to promoting it (one doctor has written a book promoting it because he believes that swaddling will reduce the number of babies that are murdered by their parents) is neither here nor there. "Commitment to the cause" isn't obviously relevant; what matters is how society as a whole—the millions and millions of people who make up "society"—happen to categorize it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:04, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Interesting matrix - so the question would be how to the cells map onto altmed and/or "fringe". According to Wikipedia, altmed is "any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine but is not based on evidence gathered using the scientific method". This it seems is exclusively based on a definition from the (American) National Science Board. The NHS has a different take, saying "Treatments are sometimes used instead of conventional medicine, with the intention of treating or curing a health condition. The NCCAM says that use of treatments in this way can be called alternative medicine".[18] and helpfully also say "There is no universally agreed definition of complementary and alternative medicine". One thing I'm getting from this is that our Alternative medicine article needs some work! Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 10:53, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
So Alex, are you stating there is no evidence-based CAM? Neuraxis (talk) 13:14, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
No, he's saying that it's difficult to figure out what CAM actually is. It's not hard to go look up individual treatments or fields (just find a source and see whether it says "Foo is alternative"), but if you're looking for a wide definitions that covers everything, it's difficult. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:12, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

To a first approximation (to a first approximation, the entire universe is made of Hydrogen), I'd divide up the matrix like this:

Treatments for a bad cough
Socially accepted Not accepted
Effective Codeine
(conventional and evidence-based)
Evidence-based medicine
(alternative but evidence-based)
Alternative medicine
Ineffective Cough syrup
(conventional but proven worthless)
Bad medicine
(alternative and proven worthless)

Within this, it's necessary to recognize that I've drawn lines between them, but both of these measures exist on a continuum.

There may be almost enough public acceptance to consider a treatment normal medicine; chiropractic for acute back pain falls into that category. (In fact, the chiropractic industry may be stretching the altmed label beyond endurance in the US, because it's probably good for their income to maintain cash-based practices instead of having their patients expect them to do health insurance paperwork.) There are also altmed treatments that are far less accepted than homeopathy. One problem with "acceptance" is that it's going to vary by culture. (My thinking is that anything that is equal to, or less socially accepted than homeopathy, in whatever the main culture is, deserves full-scale FRINGE treatment, at least as far as the 'social' side is concerned.)

For evidence-based, there are treatments that are proven beyond any shadow of a doubt. There are treatments that are probably working, at least a little, but the next paper could change that. There are treatments that are probably useless, but the literature is divided; there are treatments that are proven worthless—we have gone past "different people disagree" to "even proponents think it's busted".

Complicating this item: There are treatments that are still completely experimental e.g., anything that belongs at Experimental cancer treatment, and there are treatments that apparently work, but have little clinical relevance. Imagine a diet pill that, if you took it every day for a year, caused a weight loss of just 10 grams a year: it's a "real" weight loss, so it "works", but who cares if you lose ten grams in a year? (My thinking is that anything that has reached the evidence-of-not-working state deserves full-scale FRINGE treatment, at least as far as the 'evidence' side is concerned.)

So this isn't really a bright-line, black-and-white matrix, but I think it might be a useful way of considering the difference between some different categories. Also worth mentioning is that the boxes aren't equal in size: there's far more in the "conventional and evidence-based" group than in the "alternative and evidence-based" group. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:12, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

It looks reasonable; I suppose using different definitions the cells would be labelled differently, so by the National Science Board definition, cough syrup would be altmed too (which seems odd to me). And I'm not sure how "alternative" honey is: the NHS advises "The simplest and cheapest way to treat a short-term cough may be a homemade cough remedy containing honey and lemon".[19] But as you say, these lines are not clean divisions.
We can exempt ourselves from the difficulty of categorizing experimental treatments because it seems intent is a common component of definitions of alternative medicine, and experimental treatments aren't put forward as being cures (except by some notable quacks).
Another factor here is the basic science. As David Gorski is fond of pointing out, there is no point in considering evidence around Homeopathy because basic science tells us it cannot be effective. Homeopathy is an obvious case, but altmed offerings which have this pseudoscientific/non-scientific aspect can also get the fringe categorization from this avenue of thinking. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 08:10, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Appealing to David Gorski's authority (logical fallacy) is really reaching down. Basic science sciences research is broader and this is a good resource [20] as to what it actually is. This 'intent' point you bring about is smoke and mirrors, for it is pure speculation and conjecture. Again, no one here is disputing homeopathy is one the fringe side. So, using this red herring example, yet again, isn't necessary. As WAID suggests, chiropractic does have scientific evidence in favour of comparable effectiveness for specific MSK conditions (low back pain being the most widely recognized). But, further, there are also basic sciences research allowing us to know the mechanism of action. This 2012 review [21] discusses how SMT results in plastic changes in the CNS that address aberrant sensorimotor integtation. Is this fringe and pseudoscience? Neuraxis (talk) 14:51, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Why do you say that dextromethorphan is "alternative" in the UK? It's a "Pharmacy Only Medication" in the UK, which means that it's just as "alternative" as clotrimazole for athlete's foot or hydrocortisone for poison ivy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:52, 12 June 2014 (UTC)


Would have preferred to have asked privately, but I feel that I would benefit from having you as a WP mentor. You're a moderate like myself, and I respect you and the fact that you're a good listener. Hope you take my request into consideration. Regards, DVMt (talk) 16:27, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm flattered by the request, but realistically, I can't commit the time to mentor anyone, and I wouldn't want to mislead you by even trying to. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:27, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Not a problem. Thanks for the timely response! :) DVMt (talk) 00:19, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

Causes of NHLEdit

Regarding the discussion on PCBs and NHL: The statement as written is simply not factually true. The reason it is not true is that the cited papers are not "studies" or "original research" but merely reviews or summary papers which discuss actual studies done by others. Nor do they establish "cause." The cited summary papers by Kramer and Freeman were paid for by plaintiffs' counsel for purposes of this pending litigation are the only writings on the subject that use the word "cause." Epidemiologists writing the results of their research are generally not medical doctors and therefore do not report the statistical results of their studies in terms of "cause"; rather they report their results as statistical "associations." A true statement would be that some epidemiology studies show an association between PCB exposure and NHL, and others do not show such an association.

I am posting this on the NHL talk page. Furthermore, this comment has been reproduced on the talk page of editor [WhatAmIDoing/Edgar181], both of whom have been involved in this discussion. User:Glynn Young — Preceding undated comment added 15:36, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

I have replied at Talk:Non-Hodgkin lymphoma#New language for the Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:24, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

DYK nomination of Sugar candyEdit

  Hello! Your submission of Sugar candy at the Did You Know nominations page has been reviewed, and some issues with it may need to be clarified. Please review the comment(s) underneath your nomination's entry and respond there as soon as possible. Thank you for contributing to Did You Know! Yoninah (talk) 23:30, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Great mindless think alikeEdit

As the saying goes, great mindless think alike.

EEng (talk) 23:34, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

It is a highly variable process. People don't agree on what is really required; the only point of true agree is that they really want other people to quit telling them that they screwed up. And since those other people feel free to make up standards in their complaints, it is very hard for the DYK group to stick to their written standards. If they follow the standards, they get complaints from uninvolved editors; if they don't, they get complaints from nominators about making up rules as they go along (because they are making them up as they go along).
I usually don't think it's worth bothering with, and wouldn't have in this case, except that I'd recently seen yet another complaint about DYK "always" having the same boring types of articles (roughly, promotional articles and things that 99% of readers obviously won't care about, or, for extra credit, spammy, US-centric, self-promotional articles about obscure insects that almost nobody cares about—you know how complaints like that overstate the situation). So here's a general article on a subject that anyone can understand... and if it helps reduce their complaints, then great, but I probably won't bother with another DYK for a long time. I just don't care enough to mess with it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:55, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
I was mostly thinking about the mindless exclusion of list-material-that-could-be-run-into-text-if-you-really-insist (in your case) and explanatory-text-that-could-be-run-into-text-if-you-really-insist (in my case). Beyond that, my complaint about DYK is that it encourages (as I said somewhere) fake-finished slapdash articles (devoid of cite-needed or clarify-needed tags etc.).
Over and over I'm told (though nothing in the rules say this) that DYK articles are supposed to be 5 days old yet completely tag-free, which can only achieved in one of two ways: (1) by "accidentally" leaving out tags you know ought to be there; or (2) degrading the article by removing routine, uncontroversial and almost certainly sourceable which just for the moment lacks a RS.
Whereas FA should be WP's best work, DYK should be frankly works-in-progress i.e. the attitude should be, "Did you know [Fact F about Subject S]? -- if so, then you might have the knowledge and interest to improve this frankly incomplete article on Subject S! Click here to help!" That would make sense. Instead we present, linked from main page, article that confuse the novice about how WP content is developed, and disgust the knowledgeable with their insipid writing and abundant untagged problems. EEng (talk) 04:33, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
It's a problem, isn't it, EEng?
Do you remember ever running across the early "rules", which included an admonishment to "Always leave something undone" in articles? The idea was that it encouraged collaborators and especially that it gave new people an obvious place to start. I think it would be a good idea for DYK to resurrect. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:51, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
In a "while" (days or weeks, depending) I'm going to be disputating this very issue at Template:Did_you_know_nominations/Jean_Berko_Gleason (where the reviewer thinks notability is the threshold for article content) and at Template:Did_you_know_nominations/Jack_and_Ed_Biddle (where the reviewer seems to want all kinds of minor clarify-needed resolved -- again, a main-page appearance will be the perfect time to attract someone who knows the answers and where sources might be). Perhaps you will keep an eye on them. EEng (talk) 10:52, 29 May 2014 (UTC) P.S. For the record [22]
I agree with you, but it's important to remember the pressures on the regulars there. If they do what you and I believe is right for this particular thing, then they get people of the "the Main Page should be perfect because it's an honor to appear there" persuasion yelling at them. An effective solution needs to provide them some insulation against this pressure. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:40, 29 May 2014 (UTC)


I'd like your feedback on this: "The burden of proof is in the lap of those who wish to present an idea. An idea is thus false until proven positive rather than the other way around." This statement seems to be illogical. How can something by default be automatically false and not neutral? Am I misunderstood? DVMt (talk) 23:58, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Well... yes, the statement is false as written. (It is not neutral, either: the truth value of the presented idea is unknown.)
But this statement also happens to be a nearly accurate description of how some parts of some scientific professions work. It's a good model for researchers (although technically, a new proposal is potentially false, not definitely false). It's a poor model for clinicians. For example, physicians who are committed to evidence-based medicine will say that unless and until there is good-quality evidence that parachutes reduce trauma in people who jump out of airplanes, then nobody should use a parachute. (If you haven't seen it before, then PMID 14684649 is a systematic review that finds no good-quality evidence that parachutes work.) If taken to an extreme, this can be very harmful. If taken with some common sense—or even with a desire to do something other than wring your hands, on the grounds that you hate to see someone suffering and the insufficiently studied but conventional treatment might work—then it's probably okay. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:11, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Your input would be appreciatedEdit

Hi! This was opened up yesterday [23] and is directly related to this [24] ongoing discussion at your talk page. Your comments would be helpful regarding whether or MM for MSK is currently pseudoscientific and fringe. The policies contained therein might be in need of a bit of review and modernization that helps delineate the subject matter more succinctly. Neuraxis (talk) 19:58, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Request for help with possibly copyrighted imagesEdit

Hello WAID! I don't believe we've directly interacted before. It's always a pleasure to see you around and I don't believe I've every seen you say something that is not reasonable, grounded, and with a view to consensus in mind.

There's another user who posts an inordinate amount of dissection images of questionable value on Anatomy articles.

Many have a copyright tag viewable in the image: File:Slide3ddd.JPG

I worry these may be deleted en masse at some arbitrary future time, so I'm not particularly inclined to rename to more useful names when I see them, or add captions. I can't find anywhere to ask about this on commons and I find the environment both confusing and very unwelcoming. I was wondering where I can make this request? I'd like it clarified because I do believe these images have a useful place in commons, but it may be good to clarify this somewhere. I'm sure there is not a question about WP you couldn't answer, hence my request here! --LT910001 (talk) 00:16, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi LT910001,
If it's really okay, then there should be a note on each and every single file description page with an OTRS case number, after they have have verified permission from the copyright holder (who really could be the uploader, but they're supposed to get the paperwork sorted). I'm guessing that most of these images are also published at which has a note about the Wikimedian contributor's name—so I'd guess that it's probably okay. However, User:Moonriddengirl is the real expert on these things (and also one of the kindest Wikipedians ever), and she will know more about what to do than I. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:22, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Aw. :) I would agree with WhatamIdoing that the mention of the user is very helpful, and I see that the user has been around this block before (Commons:Commons:Deletion requests/All uploads by User:Anatomist90). So there has been OTRS communication. A clearer statement of license on that website would be very helpful, even if it were just a note saying "All images uploaded to commons by User:Anatomist90 licensed blahblah". But what I would do on transferring any of those images to Commons is note that the uploader is acknowledged and link to that deletion debate, with a note that OTRS confirmation of identity is indicated there. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 10:11, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. From my understanding images under copyright that aren't licensed are deleted in commons. This happens at an arbitrary timepoint, and I was concerned that if I start editing these images my editing would be in vain as the image could thereafter be deleted anyway. So from what what you say about the OTRS ticket, I shouldn't worry about this. Thanks for your prompt reply, --LT910001 (talk) 03:26, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

In re your reply aboveEdit

Agreed, What, agreed. And understand, that you were not the one I was trying to re-direct, in terms of time and attitudes, above. Cheers, admire you, Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 02:15, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

DYK nomination of Sugar candyEdit

  Hello! Your submission of Sugar candy at the Did You Know nominations page has been reviewed, and some issues with it may need to be clarified. Please review the comment(s) underneath your nomination's entry and respond there as soon as possible. Thank you for contributing to Did You Know! Storye book (talk) 13:54, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Cancer terminologyEdit

Hey WAID. I have literally spent the last few weeks trying to figure out cancer terminology. It makes ones head spin.

WHO more or less appears to use neoplasm and tumor interchangeably. This even applies to leukemia. Additionally I have been trying to update us to their 2008-2010 nomenclature. See discussion here [25] Best Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 07:26, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Your opinion on linking to wikiasEdit

Are you still supporting what you said few years back in place such as Wikipedia_talk:External_links/Archive_21#Wikias? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 16:32, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes, as a description of the community's practice, that is still true, except that ELN was created in the meantime, so problems should be reported there.
Personally, I've never been excited about a link to an open wiki, no matter how large and stable it is, so you can expect no more than tepid support from me in any particular dispute. I'm happy to correct errors in people's understanding of the guideline (e.g., someone wrongly saying that all links to all wikis are prohibited), but I haven't yet been unhappy to find a discussion close with consensus against a link to another wiki. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:05, 21 June 2014 (UTC)


Hiya. If you've currently got no solution for filtering the list for unpatrolled pages (like my old (crappy) script), would you like a rewrite? fredgandt 03:39, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi Fred! It feels like it's been ages since I've seen you around.
No, I don't have a current solution, and I did really like what you had written. However, I've also not had time for tracking that page this year. If you want to write one, I'd be happy to test it for you, but I don't know how much daily use it might get in the near term, if I'm the only person interested (and I'd hate to have you go to the trouble of creating something that didn't get used as much as it deserves!). I think that User:Ironholds has been doing more page patrolling than I; maybe he would know who else might benefit from a way to do page patrolling by subject area? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:21, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Frankly it's kind of a pain to do :(. But in terms of usefulness, there have been some requests historically, but I don't recall them well enough to point them out, I'm afraid. Ironholds (talk) 21:21, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Okies. I'll leave it on a back burner, but let you know when I get around to it (relatively soon since I'm in the mood). I think (honestly can't remember) I made it work on any AlexNewArtBot/*****SearchResult page, so other projects might also like an updated (working) version.
I appreciate your consideration of my time and effort :-)
"I'll be back" fredgandt 22:53, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Pretty much done, but for what is no surprise to me - a slight error! :-/
However: it's much faster, and in theory more accurate (cough) or at least will be soon. Even in it's current state, it's not bad.
So you've no excuses now! Get back to patrolling!
Take care, and I'll see you again in another year or two ;-) fredgandt 20:56, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Candy barEdit

Per your comment at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Food and drink – Snack bars, check out the new Candy bar article, and please feel free to expand it. Thanks! NorthAmerica1000 10:22, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Further input still appreciatedEdit

At Wikipedia:External_links/Noticeboard#Honorverse_wikia. In particular, you were cited at Talk:Honorverse#Can_we_link_honorverse.wikia.com_from_external_links.3F and we still disagree there, even with regards to which position your comments support. Any help in breaking this deadlock would be appreciated, --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 12:27, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

DYK for Sugar candyEdit

Gatoclass (talk) 02:58, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Causes of CancerEdit

Compliments on that page. Sorry not to be in a position (literally) to help out. Best wishes, (talk) 18:42, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Unlike Cancer, the new page Causes of cancer is currently open for anyone to edit, if you feel comfortable giving it a try. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:54, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks WAID. Unfortunately an acute flare-up of a chronic back problem means that I really have a duty to myself to resist all temptations to stay seated in front of a screen for any length of time. However, I'm continuing to think about how to handle the etiology/pathogenesis presentation conundrum within MEDMOS's somewhat unconventional (imo) guidance. I feel this sort of "causes" page might eventually turn out to be a useful 'background' workshop (excuse the phrase). Personally, I feel committed to trying to work these things out in a collegial way with a minimum of lexical obsessing/stress all round :-) (talk) 20:57, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I hope we'll find a good solution.
Where pain problems are concerned, the technology isn't there yet. I've seen nagware that tells you to go stretch, but what I need is something more forceful, like "I'm blanking the screen for the next five minutes. You might as well get up and move around". WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:42, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
 :) Actually, just writing you that message helped me reinforce the idea. (talk) 08:23, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Precious againEdit

magic tools
Thank you, user with an annoyingly high Intelligence Quotient, for quality articles contributions in MED, VE support, precise language, and for speaking edit summaries, - you are an awesome Wikipedian!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:16, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

A year ago, you were the 548th recipient of my PumpkinSky Prize, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:50, 18 July 2014 (UTC)


this is probably one of the most truly diplomatic things i have ever seen on wikipedia. Thank you for what you bring, all the time. Jytdog (talk) 04:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

The role of Community AdvocatesEdit

Your comment [26] seriously misrepresents and belittles the case which I have been arguing for some time, and not for the first time. I think you owe me an apology. Deltahedron (talk) 06:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I do not understand why posting the facts about how few CAs exist is "misrepresenting" or "belittling" you or your case. CAs simply do not have time to pick up any extra projects suggested by volunteers. If you can explain the difference between "proactive engagement" in math and "do the math project you suggested", then I'd be happy to hear it.
I want better math software, too. The fact that I want better math software does not prevent me from noticing that you're barking up the wrong tree when it comes to your choice of staff team. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Then let me explain to you. I did not suggest that community advocates should "pick up any project that any volunteer ... wants them to take on". What I have suggested is that advocates engage with the various volunteer and developer communities to find out what their needs are and use that to inform WMF planning. That is not the same thing and I find it hard to believe that you think it is. To confuse them as you have done is misrepresentation, and to misrepresent me as if I had suggested something that is obviously and ridiculously unworkable is belittling me.
If you genuinely cannot tell the difference between proactively engaging with a group and doing everything that group demands, then I cannot help you. But I am sure that you do, and your response here shows that in fact you do understand this perfectly well, even if you affect not to in your response here.
I do not understand what you mean by my "choice of staff team". I have no such team and have made no such choice. Your comment seems strangely irrelevant.
In your long response [27] you explain that your job described by yourself as "ensuring that readers and editors are represented in the decision-making process and that our planned software adequately reflects user needs" is not what you say it is. Perhaps you would like to post a description of just what it is that you do?
I assume that you see no need to apolgise, although you have not said so explicitly. Deltahedron (talk) 17:16, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Your continued insistence that CAs engage in your chosen process amounts to an announcement that you believe that LCA ought to be doing this work. Also, please note that "any project" does not mean "every project": CAs cannot take on any extra projects suggested by the community right now.
I'm not part of LCA, by the way, and my method of representing the various communities in Product's decision-making does not involve starting open-ended, speculative discussions about who might want software changes. For one thing, I tend to start with what's reasonably possible and aligned with strategic goals, because having a long discussion about how X is terribly important, only to end with "Thanks for telling me about that problem, but there are no resources for that and probably won't be any for the foreseeable future" is only useful as a method of frustrating people.
Can you explain how "proactive engagement in math" differs from "do the project you recommended for math"? I'm not seeing a difference as far as math software is concerned. I understand the difference between "do this for every topic area" and "do this for math", but I'm not seeing the distinction you're apparently drawing between "do this for math" and "do this for math". WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:13, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I am very surprised to hear that you do not understand the difference. But just to spell it out: proactive engagement with a particular community means contacting that community, discussing their requirements, summarising and prioritising them , working with them to help them and yourself understand what is necessary, desirable, achievable and so forth. It might well involve triaging community requests into important, nice-to-have and pointless; understanding linkages, implications and dependencies between community requests and other projects that you have sight of and they do not. It means using your skill, judgement, expertise and experience to discriminate and prioritise; to understand which areas of WMF need to be involved, how and where to insert requirements into WMF planning, advocating for projects. In the opposite direction it means honestly relaying news good and bad from WMf to volunteer communities, holding grown-up conversations about priorities, resources, practicalities. It does not mean doing whatever communities demand that you do, nor mechanically transposing their comments into other areas of WMF; neither does it mean blocking all community opinions with unresponsive jargon. That is what to me would be involved in "ensuring that readers and editors are represented in the decision-making process and that our planned software adequately reflects user needs".
However, you have made it quite clear that your view of "ensuring that readers and editors are represented in the decision-making process and that our planned software adequately reflects user needs" is radically different to mine. I suspect further discussion would generate more heat than light. However, there are some unanswered questions on User talk:Jimbo Wales that you might like to address. Deltahedron (talk) 18:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

You have once again failed to answer my very specific question. I assume that I have been unclear in asking it. Here is the question, again:

You want this particular model of "proactive engagement with a particular community":

  • contacting that community,
  • discussing their requirements,
  • summarising and prioritising them,
  • working with them to help them and yourself understand what is necessary, desirable, achievable and so forth.

I want to know how this list:

  • contacting that maths editor community,
  • discussing their maths-related requirements,
  • summarising and prioritising them for maths-related editing,
  • working with them to help them and yourself understand what is necessary, desirable, achievable and so forth for maths.

differs from "proactive engagement with the mathematics editors". Perhaps it will help if you fill out this little form:

What Deltahedron wants
What Deltahedron wants done in general What Deltahedron wants done for maths
  • contacting that community,
  • discussing their requirements,
  • summarising and prioritising them,
  • working with them to help them and yourself understand what is necessary, desirable, achievable and so forth.
  • contacting that maths editor community,
  • discussing their maths-related requirements,
  • summarising and prioritising them for maths-related editing,
  • working with them to help them and yourself understand what is necessary, desirable, achievable and so forth for maths.

Just feel free to change that table, so I can see what the exact difference is between what you want done at 800+ WMF wikis and their thousands of communities, and what you want done right here for the community of mathematics editors.

And if, as I continue to suspect, the answer is "there's no real difference", then please feel free to retract your repeated claims that what you want done for math is different from what you want done for every other community of contributors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:55, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't think this is the sort of question that has an answer, since it seems designed to make a point rather than to elicit information. As far as I can tell, the point would seem to be that you think I have made inconsistent statements. If you can exhibit those statements, preferably with the associated diffs, then perhaps I can begin to undersatnd and hence address the point you want to make. Right now all I can tell is that you are angry at something, but I don't what, when, where or why.
On the off chance that it helps, let me sketch the background. I have been concerned for some time about the current state and likely future of mathematics editing and rendering. After a long and, I feel, unncessarily arduous, process, I managed to elicit that there was a disconnect between what mathematics editors wanted or needed and WMF planning. In fact, it turned out that in this area there were no plans at all. At Jimmy Wales's instigation, I started a discussion and a proposal emerged which addressed points ranging from the structural and strategic to those specific to mathematics. Naturally as a mathematics content contributor I would delighted if the mathematics part of the proposals were accepted, but while a temporary gratification, this would not be a sustainable situation unless the structural elements were fixed as well.
I hope this helps you to understand the background to those proposals, which are perhaps slightly more complex than you may have given them credit for. Deltahedron (talk) 19:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I have been trying to discover how I allegedly misrepresented your goal. From your response, it appears that I have not. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Then you would have done better to ask outright: I would have been able to give you the explanation. Here it is. You wrote "fixing that", where "that" means community advocates not being able to pick up any project that any volunteer like Deltahedron wants them to take on. Firstly, as I explained, "that" referred to the gap in perceptions between the various groups involved, and not anything I wanted anyone to do. Secondly, and far more importantly, I have not argued that community advocates should pick up "any project" that "any volunteer" wants them to take on. You made it sound as if I expected the advocates to be at the beck and call of the volunteers doing anything that anyone asked them to do. That would be absurd and unworkable, I have not argued for it, and for you to imply that I have, and that I expect you to undertake any project I happen to want, is to misrepresent my position. I have consistently stated that somebody, and I would have expected that to be an advocate task, should proactively engage with volunteers communities to find out what volunteers requirements are. I do not expect the advocates to meet those requirement directly, of course, as advocates are not volunteers. I do not expect advocates to esure every such requirement is passed to developers, as advocates are not senior engineers. What I would expect is that someone -- and it seems to be the advocate's role -- ensure that a balanced view of the possibly competing requirements is fed into the planning process at an appropriate, and that the decisions are fed back. I hope that makes it clear.
In future it would be helpful if you were to address this sort of question directly. I realise that "misrepresent" is a hard word and I do not use it lightly. A serious conversation about a serious matter is not improved by the sort of rhetorical display above that consumes time and screen space to little effect. You may have time to spend on that sort of thing -- I do not. Deltahedron (talk) 05:28, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
As I have told you before, the Legal and Community Advocacy department's remit does not include collecting product requirements. You may "have expected [software requirements] to be an advocate task", but it is not. But to help you understand the situation, LCA deals with things like kids posting suicide threats and DMCA takedown notices. They do not deal with software. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:59, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
You have indeed. However, your own personal job description states that you "support [upcoming major changes to the software] by ensuring that readers and editors are represented in the decision-making process and that our planned software adequately reflects user needs. The community includes the power users as well as the occasional editors, who have very different needs and very different ways of expressing their needs". I would be interested to hear exactly how you do that, especially if your department does not deal with software. Deltahedron (talk) 17:27, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Once again:
  • I am not a Community Advocate.
  • I am not part of the Legal and Community Advocacy department.
  • I plan to work on my assignment, which is not any-and-all-software, but one specific product (VisualEditor) that is my assigned task.
  • My methods involve relatively specific questions about specific tools in one product.
  • My job involves supporting planned software; it does not involve planning new software. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:25, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
You're quite right -- I do apologise for confusing Community Liaison with Community Advocate. I suppose this just underlines the necessity for volunteers like me to have a staff member to guide them through the maze of WMF structures and procedures. I must have been confused by the fact that your supervisor at one time was Director of Community Advocacy. Deltahedron (talk) 19:44, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The WMF, in my experience, is not even close to as complex as the English Wikipedia. For the WMF staff members who didn't start out as editors, it's practically impossible. One of the first orientation presentations is to tell them that more projects exist than the English Wikipedia, and for some (especially administrative people), this is news to them.
I've tried to amend the original statement in a way that I hope will be clearer. I can see how "any project" might be misread as "every project". WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:38, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Enjoyed your commentsEdit

In the current MEDRS discussion. TimidGuy (talk) 14:28, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Me too! I can hardly say how much I appreciate the wisdom of this editor. Gandydancer (talk) 14:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not really sure how to understand the compliments I've received recently for expressing near-despair. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I enjoyed your comments because they were apt and well stated, and they baldly and boldly noted the futility of opposing Wikipedia's most dominant faction. I sympathize with your despair. It is indeed frustrating when one sees, as I have, admins deliberately misrepresent sources, especially knowing that nothing can be done about it. TimidGuy (talk) 11:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

supplements and doctors..Edit

well there is this Jytdog (talk) 02:50, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I noticed your comment about the roomful of vitamin researchers who all used vitamins, and frankly, I'm pretty skeptical that this story is anything but that—a story. It certainly doesn't ring true to me, based on my personal experience. I know a number of people who do research on various aspects of nutrition, vitamin supplementation, and so forth. Of the dozen or so with whom the subject has come up, none of them take multivitamin supplements. None. They generally believe in the value of a healthy diet ("healthy" being variously defined, but typically heavy on fruits and vegetables), but none of them see any value in vitamin supplementation for people with otherwise adequate nutritional status. The exception might be vitamin D, which enjoyed (or is still enjoying) a moment in the sun, so to speak. I do know a number of well-informed people who believe in the value (or at least, the harmlessness and possible but unproven benefit) of vitamin D supplementation.

More generally, though, suppose for the sake of argument that a substantial number of researchers do take multivitamins. In what way does their personal choice reflect scientific consensus on the subject? Consider that scientific consensus clearly holds that smoking is harmful. Yet approximately 20% of physicians specializing in public health continue to smoke (PMID 24991556), a number not far off from the prevalence of multivitamin use among physicians. Surely the fact that a sizable minority of public-health experts smoke does not undermine the scientific evidence that smoking is harmful. Likewise, you can't turn around without bumping into a cardiologist who eats a crappy diet. Their personal dietary choices don't undermine the scientific consensus on the role of diet in heart disease.

My point is that even if 100% of vitamin researchers used multivitamins, their personal choices don't reflect the state of scientific evidence. These are two separate spheres. Scientists are people, and they're no more immune to the crazy ideas and irrational decisions than the average human beings. Even among people who are professionally highly rational and logical, superstitions and irrational beliefs persist (Atul Gawande wrote an interesting chapter in Complications about surgeons who refuse to operate on Fridays the 13th, for instance). MastCell Talk 19:07, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It's much easier to quit vitamin supplements than to quit nicotine—so much easier, that one would have to assume that the vitamin is a deliberate, informed choice, whereas the tobacco use might be a sign of addiction or of perceived tradeoffs (I stink and am shunned and am poorer and will die sooner, but I feel better right now). Consequently, we might reasonably assume that these (mythical) researchers were basing their choices off the sum of their knowledge, rather than off the currently published literature. There is a sometimes sizable gap between the two, especially when consensus is shifting rapidly. (I heard this story more than a decade ago, before the Vitamin-E-kills-you headlines.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:44, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Fair point about the addictiveness of nicotine. At the same time, the evidence that smoking kills is much stronger than the evidence of harm with dietary supplements, so one would assume there would be more incentive not to smoke than not to take a multivitamin. Maybe it was a poorly chosen example, but my main point was that one can't judge scientific consensus by the behavioral choices of individual scientists.

Regarding vitamin E, the decade-ago timeframe makes sense. I remember working with a very well-known oncologist around the turn of the millenium who took vitamin E religiously because he was convinced, on the basis of preclinical data, that it prevented cancer. I think it would be very hard to find an oncologist who thinks that way now, in light of subsequent clinical trials showing no benefit and likely harm. Incidentally, there was a brief and speculative, but interesting, review on the topic of antioxidants and cancer in this week's New England Journal of Medicine ([28]). MastCell Talk 23:09, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Along those lines, do you know what I'd really like to find? A pair of good sources that talk about the idea that "toxins" (metabolic byproducts, that can only be avoided by eating exactly the right diet [the speaker's favorite] and taking exactly the right dietary supplements [which the speaker will very conveniently offer for sale now]) cause cancer. The "oxygen causes cancer" theory is more easily documented, but the "toxin" idea seems to be more pervasive. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
boy that is indeed a top-dog alt med notion. on sources, depends on what you mean by "good", i guess. this fails WP:INDY but is dead on: did a bunch of pubmed searches and found very little; millions of google hits though for "detox diets" and the like. Jytdog (talk)
Right, there's the acid–alkaline thing, but there's also just "toxins", with no further specification. I believe that "wearing a bra causes breast cancer" idea had this idea as their mechanism ([improperly fitted] bras are tight, elastic stops lymph circulation, and then [insert scary sound effects] the toxins get you). WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

stepping back...Edit

If I may... your comment about doctors and supplements started as follows: "This reminds me of a story I heard about a conference on vitamin supplements...." As near as I can tell, the antecedent of "this" was a comment from Technophant that included the following: "If Wikipedia leaves out the known but unconfirmed and only reflects mainstream then its articles on medicine will remain short and incomplete like they are now." And I ~think~ the rhetorical purpose of the story was to point out that dietary supplement use (and more broadly, alt-med use) is mainstream even though the literature shows they are basically good for nothing (with some exceptions, folic acid etc). Is that right, WAID? assuming so.. stepping back yet again, the story was told in the context of other despairing comments you made on POV-pushing from both sides on alt med articles. So.... WAID, if you got WP to yourself for a day and chose to work on alt-med articles, what kind of middle would you craft? How would you implement WP:YESPOV and MEDRS in them? How would you talk about efficacy (or lack thereof)? How would you discuss the increasingly mainstream use of alt med modalities? I am interested to hear your thoughts, if you care to lay them out. (wide ranging question i know)Jytdog (talk) 00:23, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I think I'd find something more interesting to work on. But if I were doing this, and if you said I wasn't allowed to nuke the whole mess, salt the articles, and topic-ban anyone who had made more than occasional in this area, then these are the things on my mind:
  • Make some of them quite a bit shorter (Acupuncture is at the upper limit of WP:SIZE, or 14 times the size of Encyclopedia Brittanica's entry on the subject, and Chiropractic is not far behind, which means that nobody will actually read those articles).
  • Focus more on history and 'business' aspects (like how many people use it) than on physiological hypotheses.
  • Move a lot of stuff to sub-articles (e.g., acupuncture doesn't work for infertility: it's just not important enough to get a section in the main article) so that the main article can focus on the main uses (i.e., pain for acupuncture).
  • Strip a bunch of the 'let me tell you about this study' stuff (per MEDMOS). "A 2011 review concluded there was limited evidence as to the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment option for ADHD but cautioned that firm conclusions could not be drawn because of the risk of bias." would become "Whether acupuncture is an effective treatment for ADHD is unknown" (if that much; see the item above).
Finally, if I could make a wish that couldn't be as big as "everyone will become personally mature, aware of their own biases, and more interested in writing neutral, accurate articles than in winning the fight against the evil opponents" or even as big as "we will have a lot more high-quality research to draw from", but could still be pretty big, I'd have the science-y editors discover that something that is "only" as effective as placebo can be really good news for the patient in some cases (e.g., pain, depression), especially in the short-term. If you can get placebo-quality pain relief from an enthusiastic prescriber of homeopathy, which can guarantee of zero side effects, then that will sometimes be the healthiest option for the patient. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:45, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
that's helpful. and wry. Thanks! Jytdog (talk) 04:21, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Help welcoming an expert?Edit

WAID, I believe Dsrileymd may well be a member of the group responsible [29] for drawing up the CARE guidelines (cf Case report#Reporting guidelines, a short section I recently authored as Yesterday I somewhat hastily undid [30] an edit he had made [31], as it seemed to me like a somewhat problematic instance of close paraphrasing. Not the kindest of welcomes to Wikipedia perhaps... For which I apologise. I have since posted a Medicine Project welcoming message on his talk page, but have refrained from leaving a more personalized message, both because that might seem somewhat strange coming from a ip and because I feel you might manage to be rather more welcoming than me! Best, (talk) 20:11, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. Close paraphrasing of densely worded facts can be difficult, and the English Wikipedia commonly uses a stricter standard than is legally necessary. I've left a note for Dsrileymd. I hope that we'll be adding another solid editor to our ranks. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:08, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanx WAID. (talk) 08:18, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
And thanks again :) (talk) 08:01, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Can I perhaps also draw your attention to (commented here)? Thanks, (talk) 14:26, 27 August 2014 (UTC)


FYI interest the editor who closed a discussion at WT:IRS has also closed a discussion in the archives with a similar summary. See: Wikipedia talk:Identifying reliable sources/Archive 43#RfC - are newspaper headlines a reliable source per se?. Regards, Armbrust The Homunculus 06:33, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps he'll avoid those in the future. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:34, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Sources for product specificationEdit

Surely the best source for the specification of a camera body is the manufacturer's own specification datasheet on their website (or the back of the manual, say). It has a high reputation for accuracy and fact-checking, and could be considered the authoritative source from which other's derive their data. Similarly, the winners of the Commonwealth Games may be best sourced to the organisation's own website. How does this square with WP's need for "third-party" sources? I understand the need for this for contentious issues and to establish notability where this is in any doubt, but can't see why we should push editors into using "copy/paste" alternative sources that simply scrape their data from the authority (while carrying adverts, say). -- Colin°Talk 11:44, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Colin, for purposes of verifiability, I would accept the manufacturer's specification datasheet. I would also accept a magazine review of the camera that copied that information. But for purposes of notability, only the second would do.
Is there a dispute somewhere about this? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:32, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Not particularly. I was re-reading policy pages and they all seemed to emphasise "third party" sources as an absolute requirement, which surely isn't true for all information. Such as the examples I gave. So I wonder if our policy pages are being unnecessarily demanding for some kinds of non-contentious information. Surely where an organisation measures something or makes something as part of their business, then they are the authority for those measurements or the basic attributes of the thing they made. The ingredients list on a foodstuff is another -- would we really require someone to source that data to some other publication than the side of the packet? I agree about notability. -- Colin°Talk 08:32, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
That's helpful; thanks for the context. One of my goals is to re-write WP:INDY and WP:3PARTY this year. I got started at User:WhatamIdoing/Sandbox_3 a while ago but need to get back to it.
The goal is to have most of the article sourced to independent sources, because that shows notability and also ensures DUE weight (not all about the manufacturer's POV). But for individual facts, the affiliated source might be not merely acceptable, but actually authoritative. I'll think about this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:39, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) use of drug label as a source is interesting in the context of this discussion. most authoritative? Jytdog (talk) 17:19, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
For some things, not for others. A drug label (the prescriber's insert) is authoritative for things like formulation but not for things like the current common dose. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:21, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

TWA LocalizationEdit

Hi, I am localizing the TWA into Telugu. I just got struck at the first page of the journey. Unable to get the pop-up. Could you please help in this task.
Praveen Grao (talk) 12:49, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi Praveen Grao,
You really need to talk to User:Ocaasi. Ocaasi wrote it; he'll know how to fix it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:49, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
Ok. Thank you. :-) Praveen Grao (talk) 19:02, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Are you in London?Edit

If so, can I have 15 minutes of your time? (Sorry if this is in the wrong spot - I'm still getting used to mobile editing.) --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 10:33, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi Anthonyhcole,
I'm not in London. The entire rest of my team is, though, if you'd like to talk to any of them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:27, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
OK. Will do. Thanks. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 08:05, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Collapse vs. ArchiveEdit

Hi. I noticed that you reverted some edits at Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment. I was wondering if you could point me to any discussion demonstrating a consensus against collapsing off-topic sections of talk pages. WP:TPO seems to suggest that off-topic posts, which would include "notices of disputes or requests for comment" on that particular talk page, can generally be hidden. This is obviously a different situation than the routine archiving of old discussion. Thanks. G. C. Hood (talk) 01:25, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Collapsing discussions makes it impossible to search those sections using your computer (e.g., with ⌘ Command+F). It produces some WP:ACCESS issues. Also, if you go through the archives, you'll see that it's just not been done at that particular page.
I've got no objection to you choosing to manually archive any inactive sections. Just please don't "hide" them from other people. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:35, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

How about a nice cold oneEdit

  I was in the neighbourhood and thought I'd drop in and say hi. SlightSmile 20:03, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Return to the user page of "WhatamIdoing/Archive 12".