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> Ottava leaves Wikipedia
Somey
post Tue 10th November 2009, 3:31am
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Mon 9th November 2009, 9:09pm) *
So you're a qualified psychiatrist too. Fair enough.

I understand your reluctance to accept this, Mr. Malleus - nobody wants to believe that a mere website could cause a person that much stress. But it does happen, I've seen it happen, and Ottava is currently displaying many of the same indicators - in fact, the stage he's currently in (expressing resignation/regret over past mistakes while still defending his intentions as honorable and/or justifiable) is usually the last stage before the person either goes apeshit and starts posting a lot of crazy weirdness, or else snaps and disappears completely.

There was a case on Uncyclopedia where we were able to find out what was really going on at home with one of these guys, because his wife was posting stuff about it to another website - she didn't really understand what was happening, and in fact she thought her husband was up until 4 AM every night "working." She actually believed his job was causing him all that stress, driving him nuts, etc., when in fact it was a wiki site, and not even Wikipedia, where the stakes are much higher. I assume he eventually ended up on happy pills, and I think he may have even kept his job, but who knows - it might have ended pretty badly under just slightly different circumstances.

And Ottava, if you're reading this, forget everything I've ever said about you - none of that matters. Just get away from the damn computer for a while. Don't think that just because you're smart and know you're doing the right thing, you're immune to stress-induced psychosis. Force yourself to get some perspective - it's just not that big a deal.
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Malleus
post Tue 10th November 2009, 3:40am
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QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 10th November 2009, 3:31am) *
And Ottava, if you're reading this, forget everything I've ever said about you - none of that matters. Just get away from the damn computer for a while.

There we probably can agree.
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dogbiscuit
post Tue 10th November 2009, 9:31am
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I think the most memorable case we had here was AB, and I think that there was civil enough communication with Wikipedia that all sides recognised that AB was spiralling down into some mental chaos and all sides encouraged a disengagement from Wikipedia and the Review.

It is in the nature of WR that we will attract such people, and although we are not experts, common sense dictates that where it seems that an individual is in distress that basic humanity requires we attempt to act responsibly, even if we only have blunt tools to use.

Wikipedia is the same. I think, for example, that if people are found to be editing for extreme amounts of time, and I'd suggest for a voluntary site even a couple of hours a day on a regular basis suggests that there is too much enthusiasm for Teh Interweb over The Real World, (I certainly bother about the time I spend here being excessive) then a concerned site administration should be suggesting that these people should be backing off, instead they are idolised.
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Eva Destruction
post Tue 10th November 2009, 12:53pm
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QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Tue 10th November 2009, 9:31am) *

I think the most memorable case we had here was AB, and I think that there was civil enough communication with Wikipedia that all sides recognised that AB was spiralling down into some mental chaos and all sides encouraged a disengagement from Wikipedia and the Review.

It is in the nature of WR that we will attract such people, and although we are not experts, common sense dictates that where it seems that an individual is in distress that basic humanity requires we attempt to act responsibly, even if we only have blunt tools to use.

Wikipedia is the same. I think, for example, that if people are found to be editing for extreme amounts of time, and I'd suggest for a voluntary site even a couple of hours a day on a regular basis suggests that there is too much enthusiasm for Teh Interweb over The Real World, (I certainly bother about the time I spend here being excessive) then a concerned site administration should be suggesting that these people should be backing off, instead they are idolised.

I see it the opposite way in this case. Certainly, if someone were clearly mentally ill, or if an obvious child were being bullied, there's a duty of care - but Ottava's clearly an adult, and to me just looks annoyed, not nuts. While I've now lost whatever faith I had in Wikipedia as a project, I've been in the state where I could spend two-three hours a day there, and even in retrospect I don't see an issue, as long as one can and does walk away. I don't and never did subscribe to the "for the greater good" line on Wikipedia; I see it as the online equivalent of building model railroads, crocheting, or modding autos. Sure, I agree that "walk away if it isn't fun" is a healthy attitude, but different people have different ways of working - IIRC Ottava is some kind of Jesuit or similar in real life, and probably has a considerably higher tolerance to arguments than most.

(I think that was part of his problem on both WP and WR - what he sees as debating-society style close analysis, hypothetical points and displays of formal logic, look to other people like nitpicking, rambling speculation and smartassery, respectively. Jon Awbrey and Peter Damian had the same problem.)
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Moulton
post Tue 10th November 2009, 4:07pm
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By now, it should be recognized as an axiom that WikiCulture is a crazy-making culture. Some people are more susceptible than others to being driven to distraction by the shenanigans of that drama-laden site.

What varies is how people react and respond when they are being driven crazy.

Some just walk away. Eventually.

Some go off the deep end.

Some search for functional solutions (which may not even exist to be proposed, let alone adopted).

Ottava took his unsolved problem from WP and reified it here on W-R, to see if anyone here could act back a functional solution. W-R failed to present Ottava with a functional solution that he could ferry back to WP. Instead, W-R just banned him.

I happen to believe there does exist a functional solution, but neither WP nor W-R seem inclined to embrace it.
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Eva Destruction
post Tue 10th November 2009, 5:07pm
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QUOTE(Moulton @ Tue 10th November 2009, 4:07pm) *

Ottava took his unsolved problem from WP and reified it here on W-R, to see if anyone here could act back a functional solution. W-R failed to present Ottava with a functional solution that he could ferry back to WP. Instead, W-R just banned him.

I happen to believe there does exist a functional solution, but neither WP nor W-R seem inclined to embrace it.

Moulton, did you just say something I agree with?
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Moulton
post Tue 10th November 2009, 5:17pm
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QUOTE(Eva Destruction @ Tue 10th November 2009, 1:07pm) *
Moulton, did you just say something I agree with?

Hopefully so.
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LaraLove
post Tue 10th November 2009, 7:55pm
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Sat 7th November 2009, 1:42am) *

QUOTE(everyking @ Sat 7th November 2009, 6:09am) *

QUOTE(Wiki Witch of the West @ Fri 6th November 2009, 10:10pm) *

If he ever did this before I don't remember it. Since August he's contributed 7 featured articles and nearly 30 good articles on scholarly topics. Fantastic content writer; here's wishing he were better with people. Let's give him a little breathing room.


How persistent and severe would Ottava have to be in his attacks on other editors before his conduct would be deemed intolerable? Do you think it's possible that Ottava has been doing all that constructive editing because he realizes that he'd otherwise be quickly banned? If he was restricted in some way that prevented him from trolling, he'd probably lose interest in editing altogether, which may in fact be essentially what happened this time.

How "persistent and severe" do your own attacks have to be before your conduct is deemed "intolerable"? Are you seriously proposing that anyone would work on 7 featured articles and 30 GAs just to avoid being banned?

You're way beyond crazy everyking.

Better than being a drama-mongering douchebag that doesn't contribute much of value to the project. WP certainly has a few of those as well.

Did I just call Ottava a drama-mongering douchebag? Maybe... but not necessarily.

QUOTE(everyking @ Sat 7th November 2009, 9:12pm) *

QUOTE(Viridae @ Sun 8th November 2009, 2:25am) *

I think you are being way too cynical, I certainly wouldn't put the effort into contributing all that he does just so he can troll with impunity - of course, he might have realised he can be a troll as a side project in addition to the content which he seems to enjoy contributing. That said, I don't think he is particuarly trollish, just has a filthy temper and has discovered he can (up till now) make people back down by screaming harrasment. Frankly is you want to troll with impunity, either edit ED, go play on/b/ or become an admin, all of which are easier options that doing what he is doing.


It's more likely that the constructive editing is the side project and the trolling is the main event. After all, when confronted with the imminent likelihood of sanctions that would limit his ability to troll, he chose to leave and not write articles anymore. Doesn't that speak volumes about his priorities? Also, considering that he's a religious fanatic, I don't think playing around with a bunch of vulgar children would have much troll appeal for him.

This assumes that he doesn't genuinely believe he's been harassed. I talk to Ottava often in IRC, mainly because he's pings me incessantly and I rarely ignore such messages. Anyway, I can't tell, despite all these chats, exactly what's up with him. I do, however, believe that he seriously thinks he's been harassed. Whether or not it's the actual case, I haven't looked into it to be able to give an opinion. I also think he enjoys the drama, and I think he defends his enemies to keep them from attacking him later, and that he does what he can to form alliances that he thinks will benefit him in the future.

Now, whether he's highly intelligent and does all this as a game for his own amusement, or there's some sort of psychological issue that drives him to keep the drama turned to 11 at all times, I'm not sure about.

He gets in arguments over all sorts of things in IRC with people as well. I don't even recall all of the topics, but one lighthearted discussion of the apocalypse (where some of the boys in the room were discussing hypotheticals and possible strategies to survive), Ottava joined in and it eventually turned into a nasty discussion. Everyone else seemed to be having fun with it, but he disagreed with something and just... bad times. Another time there was a discussion about the differences between the affects of toxins and hallucinogens, and that got ugly too, and all of a sudden. Some random comment seemed to set Ottava off for no apparent reason and it just spiraled out after that.

Crazy shit, but whether it's actually crazy or him just being a troll, hard to tell. He also often seems not to realize when he's being trolled, but don't call him an Aspie. He'll freak out.
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Peter Damian
post Tue 10th November 2009, 8:18pm
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QUOTE(Eva Destruction @ Tue 10th November 2009, 12:53pm) *

(I think that was part of his problem on both WP and WR - what he sees as debating-society style close analysis, hypothetical points and displays of formal logic, look to other people like nitpicking, rambling speculation and smartassery, respectively. Jon Awbrey and Peter Damian had the same problem.)


I quite liked some of the points Ottava was making. He pays close attention to detail, and carefully and painstakingly argues his points, and he is very persistent. These are all qualities highly regarded in academia, and are no doubt important in the construction of reliable reference sources. I don't know whether they are of any value on Wikipedia.
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Malleus
post Tue 10th November 2009, 8:33pm
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QUOTE(LaraLove @ Tue 10th November 2009, 7:55pm) *
,,, but don't call him an Aspie. He'll freak out.

I'd just look puzzled. What's an "Aspie"?
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Eva Destruction
post Tue 10th November 2009, 8:41pm
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 10th November 2009, 8:33pm) *

QUOTE(LaraLove @ Tue 10th November 2009, 7:55pm) *
,,, but don't call him an Aspie. He'll freak out.

I'd just look puzzled. What's an "Aspie"?

Aspies. "[Aspies] often display behavior, interests, and activities that are restricted and repetitive and are sometimes abnormally intense or focused" could sum up about 95% of the people on Wikipedia, it has to be said.
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Friday
post Tue 10th November 2009, 8:42pm
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 10th November 2009, 8:33pm) *

QUOTE(LaraLove @ Tue 10th November 2009, 7:55pm) *
,,, but don't call him an Aspie. He'll freak out.

I'd just look puzzled. What's an "Aspie"?


Asperger Syndrome. "...people with it therefore show significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests..."

It's a fancified word for what I would simply call a "kook". Altho, it's a particular specific type of kook.
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Malleus
post Tue 10th November 2009, 8:46pm
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Ah! I'm firmly in the Thomas Satz camp; "mental illness" is a fiction dreamt up by medical doctors.
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post Tue 10th November 2009, 8:47pm
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 10th November 2009, 8:46pm) *

Ah! I'm firmly in the Thomas Satz camp; "mental illness" is a fiction dreamt up by medical doctors.


You've been around Wikipedia how long?

How is it possible that you don't believe in mental illness?

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Milton Roe
post Tue 10th November 2009, 9:09pm
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QUOTE(Moulton @ Tue 10th November 2009, 9:07am) *

Ottava took his unsolved problem from WP and reified it here on W-R, to see if anyone here could act back a functional solution. W-R failed to present Ottava with a functional solution that he could ferry back to WP. Instead, W-R just banned him.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arb...ctions/Evidence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arb...#Final_decision

See, Moulton, that's your problem. You seem to think that all people who have severe mental problems A) are curable, and B) might be curable here on WR with "talk" therapy. As for the first assumption, it's your dead fish; good luck with it. As for the second, Somey or some mod should give you your own fishtank subforum so we can all watch to see how you "cure" somebody like Ottava of his "issues."

Now, the "issues" that Ottava has are indeed narcissistic wounding, since Ottava believes he is a worldclass expert on whatever issue he happens to be arguing about, and that other people are either idiots or evil or both. He quickly elevates all arguments into an academic face-off, which, if he starts to lose, degenerates almost instantly into a personalized attack which (on WP) he attempts to carry on into Wikipolitics. Moreschi (T-C-L-K-R-D) has documentation of lots of this, and if you see the Otttava-generated WP:LAME discussion of how to name the poet Byron, you will get the gist of it. Here is more, with links from Moreschi in the first link above:

QUOTE
Ottava goes to war over page-size...Ottava goes to war over an apostrophe...against Maunus...against Judith...against Scott MacDonald...against rspeer...oh, look, Dbachmann has "destroyed dozens of pages" as well...Ottava goes to war over footnotes in FAs...Ottava against the OED! He's a real linguist!...general battleground stuff...Ottava wages war against copyvio...no, you have to vote my way at arbcom elections...the start of the Geogre feud?...Ottava against Everyking, gets page-banned...if even Judith is taking you to ANI...Excirial thoughtfully goes over Ottava's drama-mongering and threats of sanctions...Jeni, according to Ottava...Your qualifications are lies! Lies!


We saw all this here on WR, remember? In my own case, Ottava characterized himself as a world class expert on the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church, which he decided all agreed (and HAD always agreed) on his own particular view of abortion. When he started to lose the academic and citation argument, he simply slipped to refusing to argue on grounds that I had made a minor mistake in nomenclature and thus could not possibly have any further valid points. That was where this sort of thing stopped on WR because we don't have any RfC or ArbCom, but on WP, Ottava typically carries such arguments beyond incivility and into suggesting that others be banned or blocked. His own RfA went down with much horrification, needless to say.

Here on WR, Ottava wore out a number of people with such stuff on other topics (not only me), and was banned (not by me-- I have no "say" on WR). On WP, he continuted it with many other people (thank God not me), until there are hundreds of pages of these sorts of WP:LAME Ottava-generated arguments on a most ridiculous range of topics. It isn't that Ottava's battles are all over him being expert in subject X. If that were so, we could tag him as being one more expert that WP has picked up, chewed, and spat out. Rather, it is/was the case that Ottava claims total expertise in what ever he writes about, with total scorn for all other viewpoints, classical Russian/Rand style. See evidence above. It wasted many people's time just collecting it.

Now, the problem is that WP has the same term for editors who are real experts, and editors who are faux-universal-expert narcissists. They are are called "disruptive," if they tweak the WP power structure's POV. This is rather unfortunate for us here at WR, as we see both editors who have valid points, and editors who are mentally ill, all kicked off WP with the same basic bee-hive process. The workers smother and mob the bee-wolf and eject from the hive. All the ostraca are counted and Socrates gets to chose between banning and poison. I think Moulton thinks these processes are the same, but they aren't. Sometimes you're banning Socrates, and sometimes you're just banning an ordinary asshole who has nothing to contribute but aggrivation.
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Malleus
post Tue 10th November 2009, 9:20pm
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QUOTE(Friday @ Tue 10th November 2009, 8:47pm) *

QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 10th November 2009, 8:46pm) *

Ah! I'm firmly in the Thomas Satz camp; "mental illness" is a fiction dreamt up by medical doctors.


You've been around Wikipedia how long?

How is it possible that you don't believe in mental illness?

Fair point.

To answer you seriously though, I believe that there are some physical conditions that result in behavioural disorders, but not all (or even most) behavioural disorders are rooted in a physical condition, so the concept of "mental illnesss" is meaningless.
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Milton Roe
post Tue 10th November 2009, 9:46pm
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 10th November 2009, 2:20pm) *

QUOTE(Friday @ Tue 10th November 2009, 8:47pm) *

QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 10th November 2009, 8:46pm) *

Ah! I'm firmly in the Thomas Satz camp; "mental illness" is a fiction dreamt up by medical doctors.


You've been around Wikipedia how long?

How is it possible that you don't believe in mental illness?

Fair point.

To answer you seriously though, I believe that there are some physical conditions that result in behavioural disorders, but not all (or even most) behavioural disorders are rooted in a physical condition, so the concept of "mental illnesss" is meaningless.

Um, how do YOU know whether or not most behavorioral disorders are rooted in a physical condition? The best you can say is that most are not rooted in any physical condition we can find, but since they are problems with the performance of the brain-as-computer, we wouldn't EXPECT to, so that's not worth much. We can't examine the brain very well at the level of software and programming. But each time we do, we find evidence that behavioral pathology is connected to physical pathology we not aware of.

The terms "software" and "hardware" when it comes to computers are still useful terms, although I defy you to define either one in a way which naturally excludes the other (which one is "firmware"?).

Mental illness is a term useful for behavioral problems which are resistant to simple behavioral modification. At least some of these are physical. We don't know about the others. This no more makes the term "mental illness" meaningless, than "software corruption" is made meaningless because we don't have a hard definition of "software."
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SB_Johnny
post Tue 10th November 2009, 10:56pm
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QUOTE(Somey @ Mon 9th November 2009, 10:31pm) *
I understand your reluctance to accept this, Mr. Malleus - nobody wants to believe that a mere website could cause a person that much stress. But it does happen, I've seen it happen...

I have too, at least twice before. I even got pretty close to the brink myself a few years back. I know there are people studying this sort of thing lately, but not sure what (if any) results are in. Online "communities" really can't be discussed as communities without scare quotes: something different and novel goes on in these relationships that we probably aren't well adapted for. Or maybe it's different with people who grow up with them. Or maybe this needs a whole new thread somewhere.

Personally, I think at least part of Ottava's problem is that he's playing one MMPORG (wikicup), while on the other hand trying to transfer his "points" to an entirely different MMPORG (wikipedia management and "society").

I don't even know what to think of it... in terms more familiar to me, he might be a great goat breeder and have wonderful things to say to the 4H kids, but he's obviously not the sort who would be at all gifted when it comes to organizing a county fair or discussing rules.

I'm also completely unsure whether I'm supposed to weigh in on the arbcom case... he made numerous attempts to drag me in on random dramas via IRC (a similar experience to Lara's, I suspect), which annoyed me to the point that I've more or less given up on IRC, which used to be a nice wind-down at the end of the day (and he was doing this on #wikiversity-en, which in theory has nothing whatsoever to do with Wikipedia and it's dramahs).
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Malleus
post Tue 10th November 2009, 11:13pm
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Tue 10th November 2009, 9:46pm) *

QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 10th November 2009, 2:20pm) *

QUOTE(Friday @ Tue 10th November 2009, 8:47pm) *

QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 10th November 2009, 8:46pm) *

Ah! I'm firmly in the Thomas Satz camp; "mental illness" is a fiction dreamt up by medical doctors.


You've been around Wikipedia how long?

How is it possible that you don't believe in mental illness?

Fair point.

To answer you seriously though, I believe that there are some physical conditions that result in behavioural disorders, but not all (or even most) behavioural disorders are rooted in a physical condition, so the concept of "mental illnesss" is meaningless.

Um, how do YOU know whether or not most behavorioral disorders are rooted in a physical condition?."

I don't need to "know", I simply need to be able to find Occam's Razor. For many conditions, nothing is explained by the medical model of "illness" that can't be equally well explained by more straight-forward psychological explanations.

Or to put it another way, I don't believe in mental illness for the same reason I don't believe in ghosts, or life after death.

Your analysis is also very simplistic, ignoring as it does the cultural aspects of "mental illness". Many of those revered as saints in medieval times would be considered the most hopeless lunatics if they were alive today. When do you think that the concept of mental illness first emerged?

This post has been edited by Malleus: Tue 10th November 2009, 11:17pm
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Milton Roe
post Tue 10th November 2009, 11:46pm
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 10th November 2009, 4:13pm) *

QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Tue 10th November 2009, 9:46pm) *

Um, how do YOU know whether or not most behavorioral disorders are rooted in a physical condition?."

I don't need to "know", I simply need to be able to find Occam's Razor. For many conditions, nothing is explained by the medical model of "illness" that can't be equally well explained by more straight-forward psychological explanations.

Or to put it another way, I don't believe in mental illness for the same reason I don't believe in ghosts, or life after death.

But you have not a single instance where somebody provably survived death, or some ghost was proven to exist. If you did, you'd have a tough time applying Occam's razor to all the other cases. You could say that if you found 99 swans that weren't black, that the 100th would also not be black. That might be Occam's razor, but Occam cannot be trusted even there. If you do find ONE, then what does Occam tell you THEN?

In the case of mental illness, we have many types of psychosis which are demonstrably caused by physical factors, many (indeed most) of which were initially not recognized. For example mental illness in niacin and thiamin deficiencies, and later increased risk of schizophrenia in soldiers who had sustained pentrating head wounds. Inductively, I would suppose that many more causes of mental illness have yet to be identified, and that we have not come to the point that "psychological explanations" suffice for all the remainder that we have not so-far classified as "organic." Occam's razor doesn't really apply here: I could just as well argue that the fraction of psychoses associated with physical causes has risen over the years, and that Occam's razor suggests that it will continue to rise to 100%.
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Your analysis is also very simplistic, ignoring as it does the cultural aspects of "mental illness". Many of those revered as saints in medieval times would be considered the most hopeless lunatics if they were alive today. When do you think that the concept of mental illness first emerged?

It's hard to say, but roughly it does correspond to the time of the post-Newtonian enlightenment, when religious explanations for everything were on the wane.

However, if you give up religion, you're left as a mechanist. The brain is a mechanical computer, programmed by culture, and all the programming shows up as mechanical changes to tissue (firmware)-- some of it reversible and some not. By this reasoning, there are no "purely" psychological behavioral problems. They're all a result of some change in the brain which may (or may not) be reversible by further verbal conversation or behavioral modification. Simple enough. Why do you assume they should be? Do you really think that every change I can make to a mechanical computerized system with a software command, is reversable with a software command fix? I sure as hell am not going to make you head of National Computer Security, then. Again I'm arguing inductively, but if you want to toss out religion and view the brain as a very complicated mechanical device, you have little other choice but to argue by analogy to the computers we do understand.

And if you want to argue from biology, there are any number of experimental models were you can show that behavioral imprinting on young animals is absolutely irreversible later with the same techniques. What is your "psychological" model for that? Indeed the same is true for humans in ways that are very familiar: for example, most people can learn to speak any given language (or more than one) without an accent, if exposed to it as toddlers. But it's a rare person who can learn a second one without any accent, after puberty. The psychological stimuli are the same, but the outcomes are different. So what is the "psychological" explanation of that behavioral imprint? What would Occam say?
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