Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pedophilia whitewash at Wikipedia

As some of you know, I regularly edit wikipedia articles. Just for fun. Occasionally, I get dragged into articles far outside my own field. In the recent weeks, while being incapacitated with a replaced hip, I ended up in the discussions related to pedophilia. The Wikipedia article about pedophilia is pretty much a wet dream for lawyers. It is so unilaterally focused on the medical operationalization used by the DSM IV of the term, which by definition will leave out many cases that I would consider pedophile's. For example, if a person has many sexual explicit fantasies about how he has sex with a 11 year old, but those fantasies do not cause him either distress of interpersonal difficulty, guess what, he is not a pedophile.

But it gets better. If you have to believe the people of the Clarke Institute, he would not have been a pedophile even when it had caused him distress, because the child is too old. James Cantor, an active wikipedia editor who not always knows the limits of self-promotion as in this edit where he links to an interview with himself related to the topic, regularly comments on the talk page of the article. In and by itself, that is a good thing. Wikipedia needs expert editors. The reason you want expert editors is that they often know the field much better than the lay editors that are the bulk of the workforce at wikipedia. When you have such an expert editor, you see it in the width of the sources they use, the nuances they can express, and the skill with which they put in words the controversies, differences of opinion, and unresolved issues in the field. So, when someone added a so-so source, James proposes to replace it with....... You guessed it, an article of himself. A primary source as well. if that had been the ONLY article available, o well, than I understand, but when there are multiple second and tertiary sources available, this is not acceptable.

This provides us with some idea why this article is so biased towards the medical operationalization of the term as used in the DSM IV, and not towards the more general usage of the term which generally is defined as something like:
"sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object" Merrian Webster online

"a person, especially a man, who is sexually interested in children", Cambridge Dictionary online

or how many more examples can be given.

To illustrate how US biased the article is, lets look at the World Health Organizations definition in the ICD10:
"A sexual preference for children, boys or girls or both, usually of prepubertal or early pubertal age", ICD 10 F65.4

Lets see, if we use this definition, our pedophile friend example in the beginning would be properly diagnosed as a pedophile, even when his interest was in somewhat older children. As it should be.

The pedophilia article at wikipedia makes a classic error. It goes completely overboard by focusing on the medical operationalization of the term at the cost of common sense and general definitions that are far more generally used. A good article would start with the general term, and then work towards the more specialized definitions. Wikipedia does it the other way round. When you start reading the wikipedia article, you might think that most people we normally would label a pedophile are just not that. And that is wrong. Medical operationalizations are necessary for research, but they should not eclipse the more general used term and basically free many pedophiles of the label they despise and would like to get rid of. Thanks to wikipedia, an ever increasing primary source of information, they are no longer pedophiles. Good job!

Disclaimer: I tried to change some things for the better, but one editor specific, and several more in general pretty much block any improvement of the article that is not in line with the medical operationalization of the term.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Moving on.....

I am amazed. Six days ago, I splintered the head of my left hip by falling of a horse. Due to the severity of the fracture, the doc advised to not even try to fix it, and replace the hip joint immediately. After the surgery, he told me that if he had tried to fix it, I probably in two months time would be back for a replacement anyway. Carolyn saw my X-rays when they were made, and she could even see it was just over with the joint.

This makes me wonder, what the heck did people do in my situation before hip-replacement?

In the meanwhile, I am enjoying the modern wonders of the medical technology that will make it possible for me to basically do the same things again as before the fracture. Like horseback riding. Or climbing.

The day-by-day drill is getting better. Which means, doing the exercises of the physical therapist, drinking enough, taking my blood-thinner shot in time, and give it enough rest so it heals quickly enough.

The day after the surgery, I was already taken out of the bed by the physical therapist to walk a few paces and sit in a somewhat reclining chair. I was very dizzy and sitting up made me nauseous. Nausea turned out to be my biggest issue the next day, because it prevented me from actually doing my walking exercises. After cutting the narcotics, and going on only Tylenol, this problem was solved, but it was not enough because my muscles would cramp up a bit. First a muscle relaxant was added, and now I am on Vicodin, a somewhat stronger painkiller than Tylenol (Paracetamol), but substantially weaker than the Hydromorphone they had me previous on.

Wednesday, 4 days after the surgery, I was discharged from the hospital because I had mastered all the things I needed to know before I could go home. Most people who's hip is replaced go home later, but keep in mind that that most hip replacements are in elder people who break a hip after a low energy fall in combination with osteoporosis. I am the minority, in which high energy trauma results in such a replacement. And I am in excellent physical condition as well as reasonably strong. So, being ahead is somewhat expected.

Now I am planning when to go back to work (part-time!), when I can drive a car again, etc. Longer term recovery includes getting back on the horse's back (I might have to learn to get up at the other side) and eventually, hopefully, rock climbing.....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Snap said the bone......

Yesterday morning, I broke my leg at the hip joined. It happened around 11:00 (am). and by 416:00 (4 pm), I was wheeled into surgery for a hit replacement. The hip joined was demolished and the changes of healing were close to zero, so they recommended to replace the hip joint. My legs are now strapped down in a specific position, to keep the artificial joint in place. Not pleasant, but heck, if that means I heal faster or better, I take it.

Yesterday morning, after I had my morning work done (collecting virgins, committing mass murder), I went out to Havana to ride Pate, the favorite horse. After first playing with him a bit using new exciting Natural Horsemanship techniques, I tagged him up. After lunging his a bot, I got on him and while I was adjusting the stirrups, he wandered over to a shady spot with low hanging branches. To late, I noticed we had gotten into them and I tried to turn him around because the low hanging branches was really dense. When I turned him around, I had to bent forward substantially to avoid to many branches. That was not an issue, but what I could not avoid was that Pate got the branches in a nasty way in his face and he responded to that my jumping somewhat away. Or something like that, because I do not recall exactly. Next thing I know is that I am flying of the horse and I land exactly on my left hip joint.

There is immediately a LOT of pain. I manage to role myself on my side in the first aid position but there is no way I could put any weight in that leg. I managed to get Pate close to me so I can take his bridle off. After about ten minutes, The people who live there came home and found me. They were so kind to bring me to patients first where they X-rayed me, Well, the verdict was clear, no more moving and they got an ambulance to move to the first aid of the local hospital.

At the hospital, they made a few more x-rays, and the verdict was rather clear. The neck of the femur leading to the hip joint had snapped of, and if I am correct, the ball of the joint was split. The doc didn't fuss about it, when he said: "This will never heal. The only option is a hip-replacement." With a hip replacement, I had two options, femur part only or both sides. The first option often result in increased arthritis on the cup of the joint, which basically means that you have to fix that part in a year or ten. Benefit, you heal faster. The latter option is more permanent and you are not getting into arthritis issues, but the time to heal is longer. As I do not feel like having major pain and surgery in 10 years time, I opted to take the longer healing time and have the whole thing fixed.

Saturday, at 16:00 (4 pm), I was wheeled into the operation room and by 20:00 (8 pm), I was the proud owner of a artificial hip joint. Now, I am resting comfortably and the recovery has started. In about three months time, I will be able to ride again, but for the coming months, I just have to take my time so I heal good.

Suzi check Pate the next morning and he had a bunch of scratches over his face, but he was otherwise fine.