User talk:Jimbo Wales

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Patents, market viability, and noteworthiness[edit]

Jimbo, recently, on the talk page of the fairly controversial electronic cigarette article, I learned that cytisine (trade name: Tabex) is the smoking cessation aid which performs the best overall in the most recent WP:MEDRS-grade research review of the subject. Both tobacco and smoking cessation products are extremely lucrative, high-volume, high-profit margin products due in large part to the addictive properties of nicotine and the widespread deleterious effects of tobacco smoking. The tobacco industry is notorious for astroturf, corrupting M.D.s in advertisements, and generally being the most poisonous legal product everywhere. However, cytisine is an over-the-counter medicine from Bulgaria which is likely unpatentable in most jurisdictions, because its botanical source, Laburnum anagyroides (golden rain acacia) has been used for smoking cessation in Bulgaria since the 1960s. Today I was in a typical pharmacy where I saw large ads for a competing patented and relatively expensive but much less efficacious product. My question to you, Jimbo, is: how should we as editors represent such facts, and how should the facts influence our editing choices? EllenCT (talk) 01:15, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Uh, the cytisine article pretty much says that. Though I'm assuming the other drug you're talking about is Chantix. Which according to the most recent studies performed equally to cytisine, which would make sense given it is essentially concentrated cytisine. There is a company that licensed Tabex but they haven't gotten FDA approval yet. By the time they do Chantix will be generic which is why they're having a hard time getting funding. Capeo (talk) 03:11, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
No, it was not Chantix. I'm more interested in what articles about tobacco, smoking, and smoking cessation should say about the situation. EllenCT (talk) 14:27, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure what situation you mean? What do you think our articles should say? Tabex, by the way, was banned as over the counter in every EU country due to reports of side effects similar to Chantix and actually linked to deaths. Though it's not as concentrated as Chantix, it being over the counter allowed people to take too much at once or take it for dangerously extended periods of time. All that said Wikipedia can't say anything that a good RS hasn't already said so unless you have some strong sources discussing the situation I'm not sure what you think our articles should say.Capeo (talk) 15:28, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
What is your source for the banned and deaths claims? "...it should be noted that while cytisine has not been 'banned' as one headline said, it does not have a licence to market in the UK."--(UK NHS) My question to Jimbo is about how we should edit in such situations, where the lack of a patent may be preventing the availability of less expensive or more effective drugs, or both. Do we have an obligation to treat such situations differently than those in which such considerations do not apply? EllenCT (talk) 17:50, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm at work on my phone at the moment but later tonight I can find what I was reading last night. Just google cytisine side effects and cytisine overdose if you want to find them though. I know it was a Forbes article that mentioned any country that joined the EU had to take it off the market. Then look up Extab. That's who is licencing it now for the US and the EU. Problem is they will never bring it to market before the equivalent generics come out at a comparable price. Way too many hurdles. Not the least of which it will require acres of orchards of these trees that don't start bearing seeds for four years. The lack of patent has nothing to do with it. As to how we edit about it? Like everything else. Based on notability and reliable sources. It sounds to me like you want to right some perceived wrong. That's not what Wikipedia is for. Capeo (talk) 18:29, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Wow - yet another way that the American medicine still cannot catch up with 1960s Soviet bloc technology - add that to phage therapy and low dose interferons for influenza treatment. It should be considered that a corrupt command economy dominated by heavy-handed state intervention on behalf of the politically well connected is simply not capable of achieving as much as Communism. Wnt (talk) 05:41, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Generalizing to political systems is not as accurate an explanation as can be obtained by considering the proportion of commercially important patents owned by the public sector. That factor does, however, stem from purely political choices depicted here and e.g. in Figure 1 on p. 11 (PDF p. 16) here. EllenCT (talk) 12:36, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Jimbo, do you think we have moral obligations in such situations, or does the prohibition against righting perceived wrongs require that editors disregard such ethical considerations? EllenCT (talk) 12:36, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Anyone, where is the prohibition against righting perceived wrongs? I can see it's fairly well known but I can't find its guideline, policy, or essay. And anyway, in this case, the question is about choices within editorial discretion. Did it used to be in WP:SOAP? Furthermore, is insufficient access to free knowledge a perceived wrong which the Foundation Mission specifically instructs to right? EllenCT (talk) 12:59, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. What exactly do you want WP to say on this subject? The cytisine article already cites the studies you mention. The only thing that may be lacking from it is a section on Extab which seems to have enough RS to warrant some mention. The varenicline article mentions that it is a cytisine analog. What "free knowledge" is missing? Keeping in mind that our opinions aren't free knowledge in the Wp sense. Capeo (talk) 13:18, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
An essay? I have not yet formulated an answer to your question, and my question to Jimbo is part of my attempt to do so. And you asked the same question above, but as I said then, "I'm more interested in what articles about tobacco, smoking, and smoking cessation should say about the situation," than the articles about the specific products, and I now wonder whether there are aspects here which should be covered in Patent and Research and development. In referring to my opinions, do you imply that I am trying to include my opinions? In my studies of controversial articles, I have on multiple occasions been accused of trying to insert a personal opinion by editors who were, at the time, apparently trying to exclude one of the top two mainstream opinions, and I suspect that is a recurring failure mode in achieving WP:NPOV. EllenCT (talk) 13:23, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
The smoking cessation article should mention cytisine. Beyond that I see no RS that would deem any mention of it in anything else you mention. Do you have an RS that says this has anything to do with patent issues? The company that's trying to get it to market in the US doesn't even seem to mention patents as being an issue in bringing it to market that I can find in a cursory search. It seems like you're starting with a premise and trying to fit it into the articles rather than starting with good sources. Capeo (talk) 13:56, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, e.g. [1]. What premise do you think I have started with? EllenCT (talk) 14:13, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Uh, that has nothing to do with patent issues. Most orphan drugs can be patented or are given timed exclusivity. I clearly have no idea what your premise is after you provided that source. Orphan drugs treat orphan diseases. Diseases so rare that at times there are only one or two know patients in the world. The R&D for them is often subsidized by governing medical bodies as it would never be profitable otherwise. What does this have anything to do with anything we've discussed above? Capeo (talk) 14:53, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
If you Google "orphan drug," it says the definition is, "a pharmaceutical that remains commercially undeveloped owing to limited potential for profitability." It does not mention patents or rare diseases. Our article Orphan drug has a much different and more specific definition. Could that be part of the problem? EllenCT (talk) 15:28, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
What problem? The reason orphan drugs are *commercially* undeveloped is because they are given orphan status because orphan drugs get funding for development because there is no commercial market, due to them usually being for rare conditions. See the FDA. Only in death does duty end (talk) 15:32, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
We are not discussing economic reasons. We are discussing policy reasons pertaining to patent terms including term length. Why did you delete my question about whether you were stalking my contributions from your talk page? EllenCT (talk) 16:02, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
OID summed it up but orphan drugs are specifically for orphan diseases. The Google definition is, as always, overly simplified. Hence one of the keywords in your source being "rare diseases". The bigger problem though is that I'm failing to see how you thought that source could have anything to do with what we discussed above. It mentions nothing about smoking or cytisine that I could find. So you went with the oversimplified definition and then were going to draw some inference to the what we've discussed already? That's complete synthesis and OR. If a good source doesn't explicitly say exactly what you want to include in an article then you can't put it in. Capeo (talk) 15:40, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
What is your source for "the Google definition is, as always, overly simplified"? Do you contend that pharmaceuticals which have fallen out of patent but have not been approved as generics are not orphan drugs? EllenCT (talk) 16:02, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Are you trying to argue that Google dictionary is an RS? Over say, the medical bodies and researchers that define orphan drugs? I'm not even going to go there. As to your second question, my contention is that I've never once seen an orphan drug defined like that. Mostly because it is completely at odds with what an orphan drug actually is. So, again, unless you have a damn good RS that says drugs that have fallen out of patent are orphan drugs then you're basically making up you're own definition. Capeo (talk) 16:17, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I suggest that reasonable people may reasonably disagree about whether the top commercial provider of instant reference services is able to proofread a dictionary. EllenCT (talk) 12:36, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Those may be drugs that have been 'orphaned' but they are not 'orphan drugs' in the medical use of the term. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:27, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Do you prefer the term "Orphanized" drug? EllenCT (talk) 14:08, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Jimbo, maybe smoking abatement is merely a terms problem. Can we please try to figure out Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis? "Bti may remain effective from 24 hours to over one month"[2]? Would that be a better example? The manufacturer has control over the effective duration, which used to be several dozen times longer. EllenCT (talk) 12:42, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

What's your source for "several dozen times longer"? That would be years. Given we're talking about a naturally occurring soil bacteria that dies in sunlight that seems strange. Its survival is dictated by the environment. It will persist in soil in treated areas if the conditions are right though.Capeo (talk) 18:37, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
That is a good question. In 2011, I found World Health Organization guidance which said apply every five years and a peer reviewed field study report saying that it didn't always last a month. At that time, the commercial product label suggested 60 days. I complained about it then, and I can't find that 5 year WHO document now. I have found that WHO now says to put it in the drinking water which the US EPA forbids, apparently because many municipal water supply users depend on there being no bacteria in it. BTI is not a strain on immunocompromised mammals, fish, or birds, but it does make slimy water when any growth media are mixed in. EllenCT (talk) 17:22, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Sum of all human knowledge[edit]

I believe I read somewhere that you believe that Wikipedia should act as the sum of all human knowledge. I tend to agree strongly with that statement. Judging by the surprising prevalence of deletionists on Wikipedia, wikipedia seems to be heading in the opposite direction of that sentiment. I believe that one way we could disseminate the sentiment we both share is by underpinning it somewhere. I was thinking perhaps wikipedia's mission statement, some policy or wikipedia's slogan. Any thoughts on that? Pwolit iets (talk) 11:47, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

I'm not so sure. I think we get it wrong on some things, and we get it right on others. Let me give a couple of examples just to weigh up a comparison. Boxxy is a YouTube personality who briefly became a sensation in those circles where such things are exciting. Emotiv, Inc. is a company which has been written up in numerous reliable sources and a submission from them was declined. Now, I have no very strong view on whether we should have both of those, or neither of those, but I do question whether we should have one and not the other.
Of course inconsistency is not always such a terrible problem, since we can always fix it. And there's no practical way to impose consistency since so many people are making so many judgment calls all the time.
Bottom line: I don't think there is a fundamental problem with "deletionism" in general, even if I might tend to be more inclusionist than some.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:00, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

I do. When people discriminate against articles on a given topic, ignoring reliable sources on it and just voting delete because they don't like it or seeing that an article is too short and undeveloped and opting for the deletionist route instead of expanding it then that's certainly a fundamental problem if we're trying to build a comprehensive encyclopedia. I see this problem all too often at AFD, and we lose dozens of actually notable articles every day because people are not willing to spend the time looking for sources and cleaning them up/improving them. Deletionism should be based on "Is the article notable or not" to be a credible option on here.♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:07, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

I'm tolerant with new articles and don't rush to nominate for deletion unless the article is obvious spam. However, Wikipedia does not need to have individual articles about everything, when in some cases mentioning them in an existing article is enough.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 12:13, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm in the middle of the two of you on this, I think, but one thing I'm always interested in is examples rather than generalities. Dr Blofeld, you mentioned that we "lose dozens of actually notable articles every day because people are unwilling to spend the time..." That's a pretty specific claim: dozens. That would mean at least 24. Allowing for a bit of casual speaking and hype, let's say you meant 10 a day. Can you pick a day and show me 10 deletions that are obviously wrong?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:36, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
For most readers the articles are the way that they find anything. Categories (IME) are only used by advanced readers/editors. There is therefore a valuable role for the stub article which will never be expanded, cited and converted into a GA, but which gives half-a-dozen lines of explanation and sends the reader (remember WP:RF) to the main article if he is interested. It's also worth an occasional reread of WP:BLUE, particularly section 4; the key fact being that citations are required for "counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged", not for every simple statement. So, sorry Ian, we do need articles about everything, even if some are stubs or redirects.
Let me bring up a classic example from a very old discussion of this matter in German Wikipedia. Do we need an article on the rear lugnut of Uli Fuchs' bicycle? Uli was a prominent participant in the discussion. The point is that there is no reasonable basis for saying that we need an article on literally everything, even when the rest of your argument sounds perfectly plausible to me - that stubs serve a useful purpose even if they are destined to remain stubs.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:39, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps not dozens a day Jimmy, but in a week we do lose quite a few notable articles, often really inadequate articles or ones which look like advertising which get deleted because people don't research and assess them properly. I'm speaking from experience on this because I've often witnessed multiple delete votes on a poorly written/developed article and have then expanded and researched it myself and then suddenly people are changing to keep. Many go through and don't get anybody trying to salvage them so they're taken at face value. AFD results are dictated by those people commenting, not what the actual coverage is in reliable sources, so a lot get overlooked, even if relisted. A lot of non notable crap is certainly created though, don't get me wrong, but often rooting out the notable from the non notable is tricky when the quality is very poor or the articles riddled with bias/dubious claims and sourcing. Perhaps somebody should do a test sometime, select 100 recently deleted articles and check to see how many of them might actually be notable if properly researched and written...♦ Dr. Blofeld 12:56, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
As an avid reader of wikipedia I can certify that Blofeld's sentiment is 100% correct. Unfortunately, there are way too many deletionists on Wikipedia. Something has to be done; amend the mission statement, amend the slogan, or amend a policy. Anything. The fundamental problem is there seem to be disagreement on the very purpose of wikipedia. Another possible solution is to somehow repudiate against the wikipedia culture of widespread antipathy towards stubs. Stubs should be okay. Pwolit iets (talk) 13:02, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Jimbo that in cases where we get a lot of spam like companies and MySpace type bands, then leaning towards deletionism is sometimes healthy, but generally it needs to be done responsibly on here, and in a lot of cases it isn't, a lot of people voting to delete don't put in the time to really research inadequate articles so they place delete tags on them or take them to AFD. And I think it's something which can quite easily be judged, either an article has decent sources to warrant inclsion here or it doesn't. But that doesn't stop people repeatedly nominating articles for deletion with hundreds of hits in google books which they conveniently ignore when it suits them, so that was more my point.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:11, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Over the years I've indulged in 'deletion rescue' of articles I have no interest in because a quick Google has found worthy refs. I'd love to see a system that marked down deletionists (a cumulative score of points against) for not doing those basic tasks before demanding removal. Just as I'd like to see any article on a business restricted to talk page request edits only to avoid the promotional 'business directory' Wikipedia is rapidly becoming. I can only dream... AnonNep (talk) 14:47, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Ralph Biasi is the perfect example of where irresponsible deletionism is a huge site problem. Such an article should never be a deletion candidate if properly checked, but you can at least see why it got nominated. I think there's two types of deletionism really, constructive and destructive. Constructive is where the deleter actually checks the subject first and scouts for sources and then helps protect the site from spam or coverage of unreasonable subjects. Destructive is where the deleter is lazy and cannot be bothered to research the subject and takes articles at face value. Unfortunately the latter is the most dominant on here, and why deletionism is a major site problem and a threat to building a comprehensive encyclopedia. I'm sure Jimbo was thinking more of the constructive deletionism in terms of reducing redundant articles and spam with his above statement.♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:48, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

  • I agree that deletionism is a problem. A current example is Tomasz Zan, a prominent figure in Polish Romanticism, whose article was recently nominated for deletion, with the first editor commenting in the discussion supporting deletion, despite it being obvious from the sources found by a simple Google Books search that the subject is notable. Such actions can be just as disruptive as much of the vandalism that we see here, but no action ever seems to be taken against the perpetrators.
I suspect, however, that Pwolit iets' motives for fishing for agreement here concern that editor's posts immediately prior to coming here, which support the contention that we can keep articles about pornographic actors even when they are sourced only to pornography web sites, which clearly don't come up to the standards of reliability and neutrality demanded by our policies on verifiability, neutral point of view and biographies of living persons. 86.17.222.157 (talk) 16:17, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Well but isn't the place to press this point at WP:GNG (the General Notability Guideline)? I recently felt compelled to vote to delete a video game. It's not a matter of being a deletionist or inclusionist (except for borderline cases) but of what our standards say. The video game only had one review on line. There were other refs sufficient to show that the entity exists and its publisher and publication date. I felt that by our standards that wasn't enough, since WP:GNG uses the plural ("sources"). My personal feeling was "enh, it'd be OK to keep this article" but are we supposed to vote in this stuff purely on our personal opinion? (Sure WP:IAR, and I use and advocate WP:IAR a lot, but invoking it all the time is saying the rules and guidelines that we've hammered out are of little worth, which is a two-edged sword.)
Going to WP:GNG and simply changing significant coverage in reliable sources to significant coverage in a reliable source would make a huge difference here. I don't know if this would pass or should, but maybe. Herostratus (talk) 16:53, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
My point wasn't that we shouldn't support deletion of articles on subjects that don't meet our standards - I don't keep a running count but I think I've probably called for deletion more often than keeping in recent deletion discussions - but that we shouldn't put up with people who call for deletion of articles without even bothering to make simple checks as to whether the subject meets our standards. 86.17.222.157 (talk) 17:16, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't think it is wrong to require two reliable sources. The problem with having just one is that if you're regurgitating a single source into an article, that is already very close to plagiarism and already relying on one source alone not to make a mistake. Most inappropriate deletions occur despite many reliable sources having been cited, and commonly they misquote policy knowingly. There must be a hundred thousand articles where someone has brandished "WP:NOTNEWS" to mean "Wikipedia must remain out of date" while making sure to betray no hint of ever having read what that policy says. Another problem is when people discount that something can be a reliable source - such as the porn example above - simply out of bias. I'm sure there are some people who edit resources about porn with more loving attention than the people who keep databases of exoplanets, and they deserve to be covered in encyclopedic terms if our editors want to cover them. Wnt (talk) 20:22, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
When people talk about excessive deletionism, they usually have in mind a particular type of article. They are not general concepts: they refer to including more or less material in a particular field. Each of us has a particular field in mind here. At present, I, like Jimbo, have primarily deletion focus these days on promotional articles about people and organizations. But I do not oppose such articles because of the lack of notability, but rather want to use notability rules as one tool for removing the promotionalism Small variations to the notability standard either way do not fundamentally harm the encycopedia, but once we become a vehicle for promotion, we're useless as an encyclopedia DGG ( talk ) 21:44, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Appreciating the lively discussion here. Regarding AfD, the use of deletion sorting can be useful to balance matters a bit, because it serves to draw-in users interested in specific topical areas. Such users may sometimes provide more detailed guideline- and policy-based arguments and rationales, which significantly benefits the overall quality of AfD discussions. North America1000 10:45, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Why don't copyright templates work across Wikis?[edit]

Same server. Same software. Same copyright law. So why doesn't a { { PD-US } } copyright template on the Finnish WP work for a graphic uploaded there? See: https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiedosto:Raivaaja_20-04-1912.jpg Why are templates language specific? Carrite (talk) 22:21, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

There is no central repository for templates. One can do cross-wiki templates but only if mw:Scary transclusion is turned on (it isn't on many projects for performance reasons). People with import abilities can import templates from one project to another with the same code and they would work the same. However, there is the issue of localization. Our {{PD-US}} template would mean very little on the Finnish Wikipedia as it is in English. In any case perhaps you are looking for fi:Malline:Vanha which seems to be the right one (maybe). --Majora (talk) 22:31, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
That's closer to the mark, copyright-wise, but still not correct (US publications pre-1923 are copyright clear regardless of whether their authors are living or not). Carrite (talk) 23:25, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
If it is free use (which it seems like it is), why don't you just move it to Commons? You can use [3] to move it pretty much without trouble. It doesn't look like the Finnish Wikipedia has a template that is specific to the PD-US one we have. If you want to keep it on the Finnish Wikipedia, perhaps you can transfer over our template. Back to the topic at hand though, a central repository of templates is probably possible but each one would have to have localization support for all the various languages. That would be the hard part. --Majora (talk) 23:50, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Freedom of Speech Deprived on Wikipedia, I seek help[edit]

My name is Benson and I seek help.

I am a fairly new user on Wikipedia, and I was falsely accused of "being a puppet" and "destroying" contents on Chinese Wikipedia by users Outlookxp and Jimmy Xu. I am currently permanently banned, unreasonably and arbitrarily. Please see below for details.

1. None of the accounts listed by Outlookxp were used by me. I have never “destroyed”(as stated by Outlookxp) any contents on wiki, nor been a “puppet” (again, stated by Outlookxp and Jimmy Xu ) of anyone else.

2. I asked user Outlookxp to list out the so-called “destruction” I’ve made according to my contributions. However, instead of doing so, he further accused me of being a “political fanatic” and “destroyer” without providing any supporting evidence. Complete conversation can be found on my Talk AdmimBenson on Chinese wiki.

3. I believe that there are political reasons behind this ban, as recently certain senior users including Outlookxp and Jimmy Xu have been banning accounts in big numbers; I believe they are trying to block and deprive other users of having freedom of speech on wiki with the intention to manipulate politics in and between China and ROC. I seek help to have my account unlocked and the above users removed from such authorities in order to have freedom of speech restored on Wikipedia.

I thank whoever gets access to read this message in advance. Thank you.

Sincerely, Benson

AdmimBenson (talk) 06:45, 28 August 2016 (UTC)