Originally Posted by amensaeOut of genuine curiosity about whether amensae may have encountered insults or arrogance, and out of an attempt at gathering 'empirical results', I went back through the archives. I found a particular ATM thread which was closed at the request of the ATM proponent (amensae).Originally Posted by Nereid
I understand that further discussions on the primary topic of a closed ATM thread are not allowed, so I respect that ruling .. but I now understand better, where amensae is coming from. (I'm happy to post the link .. but I am unclear whether this is permitted or not ?).
I guess, from the perspective of a newcomer reading of the contents of that thread, for what its worth, I cannot find any evidence of 'gratuitous insults' by any another member. The accusations of such however, are evident in that thread, on two occasions.
I know what I am about to say might be a quantum leap, but without re-opening the details of that thread, it is a little difficult. None-the-less, I offer the following comment (for what its worth):
The way we perceive messages, is very much influenced by the types of 'filters' we view them through. In the example, there seems to be evidence that 'philosophical logic', was being used as a method for asserting a definitive scientific interpretation. As such, it could be concluded that this may have been the filter in use at the time (?)
Abandonment of that filter, at the time of that thread, would have logically resulted in the thread's primary assertions not being able to progress (they were built on a foundation of purely philosophical logic).
I think I better understand amensae's perspective, now. However, I cannot see any evidence of 'gratitous insults' by BAUT members, although this was clearly amensae's interpretation at the time, and it seems to persist in this thread.
I think that you will probably find quite a lot of the following kinds of "assumption":
"The theory you present has been ruled out by experiments and observations. It is only because you are ignorant of the mainstream that you are advocating this theory. Please inform yourself about the mainstream before you decide whether to continue your advocacy of this theory."
"You claim that the mainstream is wrong, but the thing you describe as mainstream actually has no resemblance to the actual mainstream. This makes it clear that you are ignorant of the mainstream. Please inform yourself about the mainstream before you decide whether to continue your advocacy of this theory."
I think that in almost all cases where the ATM advocate has not yet demonstrated any ignorance of the mainstream, other members of this forum will not immediately respond by telling them they are ignorant. Instead, I think what you will find is that the other members simply begin asking the ATM advocate questions about their theory. I think you will find that very often, these questions are designed to determine whether the ATM advocate is informed about the mainstream. Only after they demonstrate their ignorance, do we see the predictable and appropriate response.
I think if you're going to accuse members of arrogance, it's good to have specific examples. If you can demonstrate a real attitude problem here, then the board would certainly be the better for identifying and correcting it. If you don't have examples, it's kind of rude to persist in making the accusation. It also suggests that maybe you haven't informed yourself about the actual facts of the matter. I suspect you may be pleasantly surprised if you go back and read a few recent ATM threads.
Unfortunately, with many people, you can tell them they're "lacking in knowledge" or "poorly informed" without a problem but they are automatically insulted if the word "ignorant" is used in any way toward them. Many think it's a synonym for "stupid" which of course it is not. For that reason, I usually avoid the use of that word.
Unfortunately, many people also feign being insulted and mistreated, when their true agenda becomes exposed.
Are proponents of ATM ideas, in this forum's ATM section, persistently rude (or worse)?
This question occurred to me while reading Canis Lupus and amensae's posts, in this thread, and re-reading part of an old thread of mine which I cited in an earlier post here (more on this later).
Let me set the scene, by quoting from the OP (in both senses) of this thread (bold added):
Take, as a working assumption, the existence of two sets of posters, and posts, clearly distinguishable, and markedly different in their posting styles, per Canis Lupus's post. Examine the "civility" aspect; here are a few things Canis Lupus has written on this1, my bold (unless otherwise noted):Originally Posted by Canis Lupus
"I'm sure many members, active and those who just move on, prefer instead to deal with rudeness in their own way rather than complaining to a moderating team which is ideologically sympathetic with the offending and provoking party. It doesn't take much nous to appreciate the status quo here, nor understand the idea of ideological blind-spots when it comes to civility. Even day to day in "real life", I have seen the most polite people completely ignore vile behavior of others as long it is directed to furthering a similar point of view."
"As a starter I think you could look at some of your own recent posts in this thread which contain sarcasm and are presumptuously condescending in the assumptions made. [...] Most good scientists realise their cause isn't furthered by condescension, elitism and denigration - no matter how subtle."
"One underlying theme that is coming out in this thread is the attitude "You're not a scientist, therefore, you can't understand how science works", wrapped in the often seen condescension in academic circles. This narrow self-serving perspective, apart from being false, serves the convenient purpose of excluding scrutiny of science by any one else but scientists."
From amensae's posts:
"There is a certain arrogance in the belief that anyone who you (I mean the general "you") disagree with must be ignorant."
"My point is that the default position among responders is that the advocate has NOT done the research. That is insulting, arrogant and in many cases just plain wrong."
Now back to the topic of whether proponents of ATM ideas, in this forum's ATM section, are persistently rude (or worse).
Because, in all discourse, it is fundamental to consider your audience. If you're talking to only yourself, you cannot be rude; rudeness is something to do with the other people in the discussion.
In the case of most2 ATM presentations, in the ATM section of this forum, the authors are presumptuously condescending in the assumptions they make (e.g. they consider it unnecessary to explain how their ATM ideas relate to the body of published work in the topic); they have ideological blind-spots when it comes to civility (e.g. the common response to being asked for clarification, detail, explanations); their behaviour is vile (as in completely outside the norms of the kind of discourse they wish to engage in); they engage in subtle condescension, elitism and denigration (mostly implicit, by a rejection of the need to conform to a minimal standard in their discourse); their perspective is both narrow and self-serving, largely because it conveniently excludes scrutiny (by anyone; it's difficult to scrutinise something which has effectively no content other than "my idea is right!"); and they are arrogant in their (sometimes explicit, more often implicit) belief that those who disagree with them are ignorant (e.g. they consider it unnecessary to explain how their ATM ideas relate to the body of published work in the topic).
To be clear, my comments have essentially nothing do to with "mainstream science"; rather, they are about the actual, objective behaviour of most ATM posters, in the ATM section of this forum, with regard to a very basic requirement of civil discourse.
What do you think?
1 All in this thread; the posts from which they're taken are very easy to find
2 See my last post
Last edited by Nereid; 2012-Feb-01 at 07:31 PM. Reason: fixed spelling typos
However, there is some evidence consistent with this hypothesis. From a post in this thread:
my question to Canis Lupus on this).
Last edited by Nereid; 2012-Feb-01 at 07:30 PM. Reason: fixed spelling typos
They're rude if they don't provide an outline, and introduction, which covers/provides - in some form or other - a brief summary of the prior, key work done in the part of astronomy (etc) that their ATM idea is directly relevant to, and what questions or problems within this defined scope their (yet to be posted, perhaps) presentation seeks to address. This introduction should also contain references to published material of direct relevance – similar work, work that serves as a starting point, etc.
Assuming you mean protocols, then I think you may need to re-think what "mainstream" means (in the limited scope of the science of this forum, etc).We don't have such protocals, yet.
That may go some way towards a deeper understanding of what both Canis Lupus and amensae intended (but did not say, explicitly1).
"Mainstream" refers, surely, not only to the content ("the Moon orbits the Earth"), but also the format. At least, both Canis Lupus and amensae have been - apparently - very firm that format (style, etc) is as much a part of "mainstream" as content is.
As I made clear (I hope) in my posts in the older BAUT thread, which I cited/linked to.
But that's all beside the main point I am trying to make. Which is that in order to engage in meaningful dialogue, you need to take account of your audience, the people you are having a discussion with (or intend to have a discussion with, or can reasonably expect to be taking part, etc). In this case, assuming something like Canis Lupus's and amensae's default (see their posts for details), that audience includes people who take some sort of 'setting of the scene/context' as a basic minimum part of an introduction (of an idea which is, by its own definition, ATM). The absence of such a key, minimal, component is - I contend - rude (or worse).
1 What they said, explicitly, is very hard to understand (for me at least)
I appreciate the time you have taken to frame your posts generally. When I get time, I'll answer. I should state the following now however: most posters will take the trouble to explain rather than attack. It is a minority, in my opinion, who show less regard. Given part of the charter this forum sets itself, to explain science, that's a pity. In some ways, the ones with the expertise or the knowledge worth explaining draw upon themselves a greater burden of tolerance, like a teacher to a student. If you feel you represent something worthwhile, then it isn't assisted by bad manners. One of my complaints is they who see themselves with greater understanding, get more leeway in their attacks because of an ideological match with management. On the other hand, it is difficult for me to ascertain this with any certainty because I can't see what occurs behind the scenes. I do see, having read some old threads (some in ATM), the same characters in that minority posting with much the same attitude of derision which goes further than a criticism of ideas. An inference can be made about such behavior surviving unchecked such that it continues. The fact that the forum's management take their charter seriously and make an effort to keep discussion civil is a strength. I wouldn't be offering feedback if I thought otherwise.
Thanks CL, good to read that.
While we're waiting, I'd like to present a perspective for the consideration of all (comments very welcome).
Astronomers and physicists (broadly speaking) who I am acquainted with would be completely overjoyed (or more) to discover something radically new, in their fields (Nobel entirely optional/nice add-on).
Most of these folk would happily devote significant time and effort to pursuing a good idea that might lead to such a discovery, if they were sufficiently confident the idea had scientific legs (but not all; some - again, of my acquaintance - would not, for a variety of reasons).
I do not know how typical these attitudes are; BAUT members reading this: what's your take?
Suppose such a person were to stumble across such an idea, while reading a thread in the ATM section; what would they do?
One thing they might do is take the idea and develop it themselves.
Suppose it panned out; they published a paper on it, it got tested, and it became a widely recognised major new development in astronomy/astrophysics/cosmology (thousands of citations, offers of tenured positions at prestigious universities, that sort of thing).
Suppose the ATMer who posted the idea - that served as the spark for what became a big hit - were given the (by then) landmark paper in which the developed idea was published.
Would they (the ATMer) recognise their idea, in that paper? Would they even be able to understand the paper, at all?
Here's my proposal: for the overwhelming majority of ATMers who've posted in BAUT's ATM section (>~99%, if you want to make it quantitative) to date, the (sad) answer would be 'no, they wouldn't have a clue'.
I say this because I would be drawn to it by their claims, I would see it in their experiments, in the math and their comparison to reality.
The first part of what you write ("I [...] fall in a bracket of less than 1% of anything") is extremely easy to demonstrate; for example, there are several billion people here on Earth, today. There are fewer than one million BAUT members; ergo, you are in a bracket of less than 1%.
That you've responded, and are one of those who have posted ATM ideas in the ATM section, is concrete, objective evidence. As the number of ATMers is, I estimate, > 1,000, we need another ~10-20 BAUT members like you to come forward for my proposal to be - on its face - shown to be inconsistent with reality.
I don't think I said anything of the sort!I say this because I would be drawn to it by their claims, I would see it in their experiments, in the math and their comparison to reality.
Do you really think that most of the people that post to the ATM section are morons?
Strange, in the post above, captured my point well: the fundamental nature of contemporary astrophysics (astronomy, physics, etc) is quantitative. Any ATM idea of the kind I described (i.e. one which becomes "a widely recognised major new development in astronomy/astrophysics/cosmology") will be expressed using maths that is beyond the ken of most ATMers (that's my proposal). Further, the presentation of such a new development - in the form of a paper published in a relevant peer-reviewed journal - will be in a form which most ATMers would find nigh on incomprehensible (that's my proposal).
My proposal, by the way, builds on quantitative, objective research I undertook back in 2007.
Oh, and as Strange, Tensor, Shaula, grapes, tusenfem, Kuroneko, Swift, Jim, pzkpfw, PetersCreek, Grey, and Nereid (), to name just a few, have posted to the ATM section, clearly there are many people who post there who are not morons.
But I am absolutely certain that your proposal is flat out false. The more qualitative the proposal, the easier it is to recognize in its final form. Not only have a few on your list proposed ATMs, and would therefore probably recognize them, but a simple example might be enough: what if a poster came in and argued, for a year in one form or another, that space had 17 dimensions? And researchers established five years later that space did have 17 dimensions. That would be easily recognizable, no?
I assumed that is what you meant by "recognize", that the OP's reaction would be "hey, that's my idea!" instead of "what's this gibberish?"
May I suggest that you read my proposal again? And take its full context into consideration?
For starters, my proposal most definitely does NOT say "NO ATMer would recognise ... "
Then it talks about the ATMer reading the 'landmark paper', understanding it, and recognising their own ATM idea in it, as presented in an ATM thread here in BAUT (there's a strong implication in here, that the ATM idea would require major development before it became well enough defined to be even tested, let alone be the basis of a paper published in a relevant peer-reviewed journal).
And so on ...
"Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"
"You can't erase icing."
"I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"
Oh, wait. ... ... ... No, I don't.
I will make one comment, though. I feel that some ATM proponents would recognize their ideas fleshed-out and quantitatively backed.
However, I have a suspicion that more would recognize their ideas incorrectly. "Wow, that's exactly what I proposed!" when, no, it's not.
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Ah! You are saying they wouldn’t understand the math. Then I’ll retract my comment about morons.
However if someone took the ATM idea that I proposed and expressed it using maths beyond my capabilities (which are pretty basic) then they most certainly didn’t have a clue as to what I presented.
So if you remove my ability to recognize the math, I would still be drawn to it by the claims, experiments and observations to reality. Of course I would take the time to understand why they needed all the math.
I did read your 2007 post and think you have some good ideas. I think a non-formal peer review format would help both the ATMer and the commenters.
I'll go further: there are at least three who would not only recognise their ATM ideas, in any 'landmark paper', but who could (and likely would) make a very strong case that the central ideas are the same.
I will make one comment, though. I feel that some ATM proponents would recognize their ideas fleshed-out and quantitatively backed.
Thanks for that. I hadn't considered that possibility, and I think you're quite correct (a bit like grapes' example of 17-dimensional space ...)However, I have a suspicion that more would recognize their ideas incorrectly. "Wow, that's exactly what I proposed!" when, no, it's not.
You sound a bit like Faraday talking about Maxwell's mathematization of his work.However if someone took the ATM idea that I proposed and expressed it using maths beyond my capabilities (which are pretty basic) then they most certainly didn’t have a clue as to what I presented.
I haven't seen your idea, so I am not commenting on that specifically. But there is a general problem that some people think that purely qualitative ideas are as valid as any other theory. I think a good theory needs to have a mathematical basis for two reasons: the formalization allows you to be much more specific (e.g. describing it in terms of a Riemannian manifold(1) rather than just "curved space") and it allows he theory to make testable and measurable predictions.
(1) Not that I know what that means
If they had insisted on 17 dimensions because it is the 7th prime (and there are 7 days in a week), the sum of the first 4 primes (and there are 4 weeks in a month) and the least prime factor of the first 12 terms of the Euclid–Mullin sequence (and there are 12 months in a year) then I would say their theory is [not even] wrong - even though they have come up with a "correct" number.
On the other hand, if they had some intuitive understanding of higher dimensional spaces which they were unable to express ...
I left out the details, deliberately, but even if they were as completely woo as Strange imagines they might be, it would be still be recognizable.
But, correct me if I'm wrong, isn't the premise that some researcher reads the ATM post and is inspired enough by it to spend years fashioning a mathematical treatment of it? Surely, that discounts most woo-woo examples?
The OP's reaction may be that it is mere "superfluous learnedness" at first, but they would recognize it.
I wasn’t aware of Maxwell & Faradays relationship so I looked it up and found this on the University of Houston website: http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi905.htm
This is what Maxwell thoughts were about Faraday:
JimMaxwell set the theoretical foundations of electric field theory in 1873. He says at the outset of his treatise, "Before I began the study of electricity I resolved to read no mathematics on the subject until I had first read [Faraday]."
That's an innocent enough remark until you follow it through. You see, Faraday's pioneering work had made little sense to mathematicians. So Maxwell, a great mathematician himself, systematically went back and climbed inside Faraday' s head. There he found a great garden of delights. Here's what he said about the experience:
I found that ... Faraday's methods ... begin with the whole and arrive at the parts by analysis, while the ordinary mathematical methods were founded on the principle of beginning with the parts and building up the whole by synthesis.
Here's another aspect: almost all ATM ideas - as presented in the ATM section - would require extensive development before they were sufficiently clear to form the basis of a paper. When adequately developed, the core ATM idea would, in many cases (perhaps most), become almost unrecognisable, especially when expressed in a form consistent with contemporary, textbook, physics.
And another: which parts of the universe of observational and experimental results the ATM idea, when developed, ends up being most applicable to may differ considerably from that envisioned by the ATMer. Consequently, the observational and experimental tests cited in 'the landmark paper' may well be nigh on unintelligible to the ATMer, certainly they'd be very likely quite unfamiliar.
And so on.
That may be so.However if someone took the ATM idea that I proposed and expressed it using maths beyond my capabilities (which are pretty basic) then they most certainly didn’t have a clue as to what I presented.
Would this still be so, do you think, if the developed idea were applied - in the landmark paper - to a domain that you have essentially no familiarity with?So if you remove my ability to recognize the math, I would still be drawn to it by the claims, experiments and observations to reality. Of course I would take the time to understand why they needed all the math.
Central to my proposal is the idea that the ATM idea which becomes - in the hands of someone who knows their physics (to use a shorthand) - a major new development requires extensive development to get it there. In nearly all cases that would include considerable fashioning of a mathematical treatment; whether such fashioning would require years or merely months doesn't much matter.
In my post above, I added a couple of other aspects, along much the same lines.
If it were presented as a popularised summary, as might appear in a Universe Today article, I propose the 'recognise' proportion may rise as high as 50%; for the 'landmark paper', I'm still proposing <~1% ...The OP's reaction may be that it is mere "superfluous learnedness" at first, but they would recognize it.
But we see recognition in ATM quite often! Let's say Universe Today reports that some astronomers have 'found' a huge void in the universe, absent of galaxies, stars, matter, anything. Real Soon Now(*) we're likely to see some ATM proponent claiming jubilantly that "his or her theory predicted this". Of course it gets a little murky when said astronomers withdraw their claim citing errors in measurements or instruments.
*) for values of 'now' consistent with the example
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