Quand Citizendium réinvente les débats de Wikipédia.

vendredi, 12 septembre 2008

Quand Citizendium réinvente les débats de Wikipédia.

Wikipédia a comme principale critique le fait que personne ne « signe » les articles et donc n’appose sa patte d’expert et que « n’importe qui » (comprendre des non-experts) peut prendre part aux débats sur l’évolution d’un article et le modifier.

Il est alors compréhensible que ceux portant ces critiques aient soutenu, même discrètement, le projet de Larry Sanger, Citizendium, reprenant le concept de Wikipédia mais en le réservant uniquement aux experts montrant patte blanche.

A sa création  l’idée de ne faire participer que des experts a été émise afin d’éviter des pages de débats stériles sur certains sujets. A l’époque les rédacteurs de Wikipédia se sont montrés sceptique sur ce point. En effet, les années d’expériences que possède Wikipédia en matière de rédaction collaborative ont montrées qu’être expert ou pas n’influençait en rien la qualité des débats. D’ailleurs, les débats les moins intéressants sont régulièrement campés par des experts sûrs d’eux-mêmes alors que les amateurs chercheront à sourcer leurs arguments.

Bref scepticisme confirmé par les actes. Voici quelques morceaux de discussion de l’article consacré à l’homéopathie:

This is what I posted there last: « I’m sure Molecular Biologists are working on studies like that; as a Doctor, I should be healing the sick. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so I feel people should try Homeopathy before commenting on it. »—Ramanand Jhingade 21:55, 1 September 2008 (CDT)

People should try homeopathy before commenting on it? I trust, therefore, there should be no male obstetricians and no astronomers have the right to comment on the Moon unless they had been on an Apollo mission? I suppose I should have rejected the nitroglycerine and morphine I was offered, during an episode of unstable angina, by a vigorous young cardiology fellow?
It’s interesting…I’ve asked you several times how you would approach a patient with a well-defined set of symptoms, without one molecule in the explanation, and you ignored it. You brought up giving an iron salt to « improve » a blood count, and when I followed up with a few questions about that which you would be improving, I didn’t seem to get any response. You stated that homeopaths routinely used diagnostic studies, but you were silent when I asked which you might order, again with a specific set of symptoms.
If the pudding is butterscotch, I might be persuaded that it’s good pudding. I have to interpret that your comment about as a doctor, you should be healing the sick, and molecular biologists should be doing whatever irrelevant things molecular biologists do. Aren’t there some sick people that need your attention more than we unenlightened ones just don’t seem to be accepting your world-view and bowing and saying « yes, our studies and experience are irrelevant. »
Until you give any indication you have any understanding of immunology or endocrinology, I am less than inclined to pay attention to your statements on how the immune system should be « strengthened ».Howard C. Berkowitz 22:29, 1 September 2008 (CDT)

When you can trust a young Cardiology fellow, why not a Homeopath? You skeptics are theorizing, while Homeopaths know the effects of their remedies.—Ramanand Jhingade 22:36, 1 September 2008 (CDT)

Oh, quite a few reasons I’d trust that cardiology fellow, perhaps because I’ve had a fair bit of training and experience in cardiovascular medicine. A factor might be that cardiologists are constantly asking the question if their approaches meet continuing review of safety and efficacy, and if their techniques of prevention and treatment are consistent with increasingly specific understanding of the underlying mechanisms.
I have an excellent relationship with my primary physician, a general internist with a special interest in endocrinology. Unfortunately, many patients don’t have the advantage that we have a common framework, and things aren’t on a « trust me » basis. Either one of us can come up with suggested diagnoses or treatments, and we cross-check one another. If I call and say « Can we schedule an echocardiogram before my next visit to we can make an informed judgment about choices in insulin receptor agonists? », there isn’t a need for a lot of mysticism; we both know where we are going, and that our collaboration has objectively improved a number of problems.
I haven’t, for example, noticed any large-scale meta-analyses by homeopaths showing that a previously accepted standard of care, such as angioplasty and stenting, are rarely more effective than intensive medical management. Medical management is not stuck in materia medica and external observations, but constantly tuned by evidence-based medicine. One of the frustrations of cardiologists is that improvements don’t necessarily get into wide use among primary physicians.
In contrast, the message from homeopaths is not « this is how we have refined. This is getting more quality-adjusted years of life in the treated group. » The message appears to be « Have faith. Trust us. Don’t ask for any verifiable information. Might I offer you a great deal on a 1984 Jeep Cherokee, barely used? » Howard C. Berkowitz 22:59, 1 September 2008 (CDT)

I told Pierre that for me clinical effects are enough and I’m repeating that here. Laboratory investigations like Blood tests, X-rays, C.T./ultra-sound scans etc. show improvements before and after Homeopathic treatment, so Homeopathy is not something that works by faith (I’ve healed people who had no faith in Homeopathy; I’ve also healed animals and babies who can’t be influenced in any way).—Ramanand Jhingade 21:37, 2 September 2008 (CDT)

[snip]There are clinical trials as well, some of which I mentioned before, which can buttress my claims.—Ramanand Jhingade 22:22, 2 September 2008 (CDT)

Ramamand, above you wrote: « Laboratory investigations like Blood tests, X-rays, C.T./ultra-sound scans etc. show improvements before and after Homeopathic treatment, so Homeopathy is not something that works by faith (I’ve healed people who had no faith in Homeopathy; I’ve also healed animals and babies who can’t be influenced in any way) »
Unreferenced assertions such a this are not useful to any discussion with respect to this article. We have to consider the whole picture not just your experience. Chris Day 22:29, 2 September 2008 (CDT)

Long extrait. Je m’en excuse. Mais il me semble révélateur de la chose : être expert n’empêche pas de se retrouver mêler aux mêmes discussions qui ont lieu sur Wikipédia.

En aucun cas je ne juge projet Citizendium, car l’idée qu’il suit est intéressante et méritait d’être essayée. Par contre je me permets ici de signaler aux personnes soutenant que Wikipédia fonctionnerait mieux si les experts y étaient reconnus, que l’expertise n’empêche pas la bêtise. Et qu’en aucun cas cela n’amènerait une réelle crédibilité au projet, mais uniquement une image de crédibilité… rien de plus.

Alors est-ce que l’image que l’encyclopédie renvoit est plus importante que ce qu’elle est réellement?

Je préfère, pour ma part, qu’on me dise quand un outil est imparfait, plutôt que de le découvrir à mon insu.