Woo and anti-woo are points of view

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Woo and anti-woo are points of view

Post by Abd » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:44 pm

Came across this on WPO:
Re: Crap articles
Post by Vigilant » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:38 am

Qigong

Fitness Woo, pages and pages of unlikely claims, 89 references, no scientific validity to any of the claims, been around since 2002.

Jesus
The name of Jesus used as an expression of contempt, very Vigilant. There was a response:
Well, it does have a classic WP caveat: "there remains no evidence that qigong has any therapeutic effect, as of 2016."
Very Wikipedian. That comment, at the end of the lede, has two sources. Once upon a time, ledes would be rigorously neutral, and needed no references, since whatever the lede asserts would be covered in the body, but generations of POV-pushing revert warriors changed that. The references for that statement do not support the text.

[2] "Tai Chi and Qi Gong: In Depth". National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, US National Institutes of Health. October 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2019. Tai chi and qi gong are centuries-old, related mind and body practices. They involve certain postures and gentle movements with mental focus, breathing, and relaxation.
[5] Lee MS, Oh B, Ernst E (2011). "Qigong for healthcare: an overview of systematic reviews". JRSM Short Rep. 2 (2): 1–5. doi:10.1258/shorts.2010.010091. PMC 3046559. PMID 21369525.

From source 2:
What the Science Says About the Effectiveness of Tai Chi and Qi Gong

Research findings suggest that practicing tai chi may improve balance and stability in older people and those with Parkinson’s, reduce pain from knee osteoarthritis, help people cope with fibromyalgia and back pain, and promote quality of life and mood in people with heart failure and cancer. There's been less research on the effects of qi gong, but some studies suggest it may reduce chronic neck pain (although results are mixed) and pain from fibromyalgia. Qi gong also may help to improve general quality of life.

Both also may offer psychological benefits, such as reducing anxiety. However, differences in how the research on anxiety was conducted make it difficult to draw firm conclusions about this.
Somehow that doesn't look like "no evidence" to me. And then source 5:
Ten systematic reviews were included. They related to a wide range of conditions. The primary studies and several of the reviews were associated with a high risk of bias. Five reviews concluded that qigong is effective and five reviews were inconclusive.
Again, this is not at all a statement that there is "no evidence." That kind of claim is common among pseudoskeptics. The reality is that there is evidence for many things, including things that we generally conclude are nonsense. In fringe fields, what is more accurate is that the evidence for a thing is not considered conclusive by some reviewer or by some set of people, who might be assumed to be experts. That source goes on:
The effectiveness of qigong is based mostly on poor quality research. Therefore, it would be unwise to draw firm conclusions at this stage.
The language is weird. The effectiveness of a thing is independent of the research on it. This must be translated to something like "Opinion that qigong is effective is based mostly on. . . " but that would also be defective, because people have opinions about qigong based on personal experience, which may be considered "poor quality research" though it is often the best guide we have in life.

In any case, the actual review found evidence for qigong being effective for some conditions, entirely the opposite of how the source is being used.

How does that kind of deceptive editing arise? Well, that sythesis expresses the beliefs of the most effective editorial faction. In general, the pseudoskeptical faction on Wikipedia is very strong, and they collaborate.

"Woo" in general is denied. Uniformly, the effect of mind is neglected. Anti-woo is largely a world view that is what might be called "harshly material." In that world view, does the smile of the Mona Lisa exist?

And this world view conflict has led to endless editorial conflict on Wikipedia, with the pseudoskeptics mostly prevailing. Recent reversion by Alexbrn, very recognizable as a pseudoskeptical editor, over text that is contradicted by both sources (including what Alexbrn was reverting). Does anyone notice? Does anyone care? Sure. People who know something about qigong would care and may periodically attempt to fix the article, and we all know what happens when they do.

The research apparently shows therapeutic effect, but this is confused with the theory of effect. A thing can have therapeutic effect while being rationalized by a theory of action that is utter nonsense. Or that we might think is utter nonsense! Science never makes conclusions like that, those are opinions.

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Re: Woo and anti-woo are points of view

Post by Abd » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:45 pm

This was about a fundamental issue re Wikipedia neutrality. Wikipedians are generally not experts in the fields that articles are written about, but nevertheless hold opinions about those fields, often based in general world-view positions. The entire concept of "woo" is ungrounded, heavily subjective, generally judgmental about the sensibilities and opinions of others, without actually being rooted in evidence.

For example, homeopathy has often been shown to be clinically effective. But the theory of homeopathy, well, I could use impolite language. Years ago, I proposed that homeopathy operated through language, through metaphor. I.e., it operates in the realm of the mind, like all language. Language, and how we think, does affect our physical health. That, in fact, is why double-blind studies are needed to test the physical action of a drug. Homeopathy, viewed from this perspective, could be a way of amplifying the placebo effect. If this is the reality, then the clinical manner of a practitioner would be crucial. And this could be a huge subject.

As to Wikipedia practice with regard to science and psuedoscience, skepticism and pseudoskepticism, I have intense experience wrt cold fusion. My experience there is quite similar to others in other fields. I was neutral on cold fusion. I knew why "cold fusion" was considered impossible, very well. I also knew there were possible loopholes, that some real effect could not be completely ruled out, but I assumed, with everyone else, that with over twenty years of study since the original findings, the lack of clear and strong reproducibility meant that it had all been a mistake. This was probably incorrect.

But the article was not presenting fact, neutraly. It was warped toward a stronger rejection than actually existed in the journals and academic sources, it was more like rumor. Where sources were used, they were old. So I started to try to improve the article, and ran straight into the antiwoo faction, and some seriously dirty trick were used.
My original interest in cold fusion was because I saw an abusive blacklisting by JzG. When I questioned that, I was threatened, as I recall. Eventually, this went to ArbCom and my concerns were confirmed and then I got to see how useless it was.

So, recently, Vigilant went in a campaign against me, the alleged woomeister and general failure as a human being, in his view. It was mostly on Reddit, with occasional outbursts on Wikipediocracy. On Reddit, he left troll droppings without any regard for the topic under discussion. I have learned not to argue with trolls, but I hit upon linking to my blog.

At first it was to page sections on the specific claims he made, then I realized that what he obviously had done was to read as much from or about me as he could find, save the juicy quotations to a page, and then pop these, one by one, into posts. That is why they had little or nothing to do with the context.

So I created a generic reply, pointing out that I'd already responded to 80 issues, and now I was simply offering to respond to real questions from real people if they had any. (Nobody has taken me up on that). I'd say that Vigilant's obsessive campaign has failed, but, to be sure, what is the standard of success? Has Vigilant convinced anyone of anything? I was not campaigning on Reddit, but responding minimally to trolling (from Smith brothers and then from Vigilant).

When I was originally banned from the cold fusion topic on Wikipedia, there was much derision in the critical community (on Wikipedia Review, as I recall). The critical community is a mirror of the Wikipedia community and is often very similar, no surprise. If cold fusion is a fringe topic, then someone supporting research -- and neutral coverage -- must be a "fringe believer" and general kook -- and perhaps some kind of scammer. It's the same knee-jerkiness as is found on Wikipedia. What is in reliable sources -- which are, for Wikipedia, rather well defined -- doesn't matter, because it can always be explained away or simply ignored.

Policies don't matter. What matters is that we must condemn anything different from what we believe, and condemn anyone who has different points of view. Ah, the world would be such a great place if we could get rid of all the nutters, wouldn't it?

I will here, in a series of posts, look at some "arguments" presented that are nothing more than arrogant and contemptuous opinion presented as if cogent fact, and mixed with blatant ad-hominem irrelevancies.

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Re: Woo and anti-woo are points of view

Post by Kumioko » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:29 am

TL,DR.
#BbbGate

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Re: Woo and anti-woo are points of view

Post by Abd » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:51 pm

This post was linked on WPO by Viligent as "petty tyrant," though it shows nothing like that at all. Kumioki has not even been warned over his comment, nor would he be, at least not by me. Kumioko was attacked and muted on WPO, he is far more welcome here, and my goal is that he actually make userful contributions or STFU. But that's an opinion, not a threat.
Kumioko wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:29 am
TL,DR.
Kum, I hope you don't develop a habit of telling us what you did not read. Were you implying something? That you have a small mind and cannot speed-read or skim and need to be spoon-fed? What?

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Re: Woo and anti-woo are points of view

Post by Kumioko » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:06 am

Well if you want to refer to someone with 6 (2 bachelors and 4 masters) degrees and 11 certifications as weak minded, that's on you. My point was that with some exceptions, you seem incapable of being succinct leaving long winded diatribes when 1 paragraph will do.
#BbbGate

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Re: Woo and anti-woo are points of view

Post by Abd » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:29 pm

This post was linked from WPO, claiming this is an example of mod abuse. Viligent can attack anyone, viciously, with intense Vilification, but if anyone else even hints at critique, it's proof of BAD, with more irrelevancies tossed in. Original post as linked:
Kumioko wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:06 am
Well if you want to refer to someone with 6 (2 bachelors and 4 masters) degrees and 11 certifications as weak minded, that's on you. My point was that with some exceptions, you seem incapable of being succinct leaving long winded diatribes when 1 paragraph will do.
(1) To whom did I refer to as "weak-minded"? I asked a question.
(2) Writing at length is not evidence of incapacity in crafting polemic, It is evidence that the author has a lot to write about. If it's too long, too long for what? Would summarization help? tl;dr could be just a fact, that because of length it was not read by the person, though the person was not the target audience and there are billions of people that did not read it.
(3) More often, tl;dr is trolling. At least Kum did not quote it! On WPO, Vigilant would often quote a long post, in its entirely, screens full of quotation, followed by "tl;dr." Clearly trolling.
(4) Got anything useful to say? I assume that those degrees are yours, so what value was created? How did you end up as a wikignome, banned? Were any of those degrees in communication?

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Re: Woo and anti-woo are points of view

Post by Kumioko » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:02 pm

Being educated and being banned on Wikipedia are not connected. Nor is communication. The WMF communities are toxic and many of the people social outcasts who are incapable of communicating or in actually writing anything. How many asshole admins you see? How many admins writing content? How many are just stirring up trouble? Trying to condescend my comments just makes you look like a dick!
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Re: Woo and anti-woo are points of view

Post by Abd » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:20 pm

Thanks to Viligent for the thoughtful typo correction. His post bears no other resemblance to this, and it would be nice if Kumioko would point that out, but . . . his choice. But I will assert that Kumioko is far from a "moron," and is not being "suppressed" here. The post as quoted, with the typo corrected:
Kumioko wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:02 pm
Being educated and being banned on Wikipedia are not connected. Nor is communication. The WMF communities are toxic and many of the people social outcasts who are incapable of communicating or in actually writing anything. How many asshole admins you see? How many admins writing content? How many are just stirring up trouble? Trying to condescend my comments just makes you look like a dick!
Gee, here I thought you were starting to make a decent comment, then. . . .

I've seen plenty of asshole admins, and there are many who just quietly use the tools, so when we see admin assholerery, it seems more visible than may be a fair representation. But, yes, the community is toxic, and tends to burn out normal people, some of whom become assholes. Some non-admins also become assholes, even if they were not that way originally.

But "looks like a dick" is a comment about your mind, Kumioko, not about me. And if I point out that you might benefit from looking at that, would that be "trying to condescend your comments"? Or is it simply describing them? I asked if you had education in communication, because if you have something to say to someone, normally, "you look like a dick" will shut it right down.

And what would I gain from this diligent endeavor, effort to condescend? Is it really plausible? But I suppose you can believe whatever you choose to believe, you are the only one really obligated to live with it, not I.

I am not Viligent, nor am I Crow's Nest.

Anything to say about the actual topic here?

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Re: Woo and anti-woo are points of view

Post by Mrspaceowl » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:12 pm

Can't you, like, monetise content these days? You could try to SEO the things you're talking about and actually get money for them instead of posting on this forum? You obviously have a lot of thoughts but maybe try doing something that appeals to people? With your obvious spare capacity you could be an asset to a project that doesn't rip you off (e.g. Wikipedia)?

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