Note: this is a comment on the closed thread Discussion of Thomas' ideas
There is no generalization implied here:Originally Posted by Papageno
Thomas merely questioned the black and white attitude: peer-reviewed=good; non-peer-reviewed=bad.
There are undoubtely many good papers being passed and many bad papers being rejected by the peer review system, but there are also incorrect and even fraudulent papers being passed, and likewise correct and relevant papers being rejected.
The simple fact is that the referees expect papers to comply to certain standards in form and content, and since they are themselves usually mainstream scientists, they can never be 100% objective in their judgement due to the obvious conflict of interests.
If I would be a betting man, I would bet that if somebody would make up experimental data which in one case confirm a certain aspect of Einstein's theories and in the other invalidate it, and send the two versions of the paper to 10 journals each, you would have no problems getting the first version published in all of them, but in the latter case you would be lucky if you could get it accepted in 2 or 3 journals. Just ask yourself how much you would bet against it.
(see also http://www.the-scientist.com/2006/2/1/26/1/ in this context)
Originally Posted by Papageno
First of all, mathematical symbols are merely placeholders for something, i.e. the same mathematical symbol should denote the same thing in order to avoid ambiguities. The only situaton where one deviates from this obvious rule is if one defines a function for different regions like for the step-function f(x)=0 for x<0 and f(x)=1 for x>0. It is in the latter sense that the original condition for the invariance of c (x-ct=0<=>x'-ct'=0 and x+ct=0<=>x'+ct'=0) was apparently meant, but the condition x>0 in the first case and x<0 in the second were simply dropped by Einstein when he made the generalization to his equations x'-ct' =lambda (x - ct) and x'+ct'=mu (x + ct). Einstein assumes, in contradiction to the original constraints, that both of those equation hold for all x (otherwise he would not be able to add and subtract them in order to get to the Lorentz transformation).