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Thread: A Message To All Crackpots And Cranks

  1. #1 A Message To All Crackpots And Cranks 
    Forum Freshman A-wal's Avatar
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    I used to get annoyed on these kinds of forums, not any more. I've just had a realisation. I'll still no doubt get irritated at times but I've come to realise something that I think will help people who are having the same kind of problems I've encountered. You need to ask yourself this, if you were to go on a Christian forum (Islamic if you're actually Christian) and tell them that they're wrong what sort of reaction would you expect?

    I'm honestly not trying to disparage science forum websites by claiming them to be religious in nature, that's not my point. Atheist/theist, capitalist/socialist, Celtic/Rangers, you're attacking them just by holding you're contrary beliefs and being there, you're the aggressor. My point is you've come in to their house and told them they're doing it wrong. I used to wonder why some of my posts were greeted with so much open hostility and just plain hatred, it's because simply by questioning their position you've already offended them, in exactly the same way that you'll offend Christians if you go into their space and challenge their position. As much as I hate their belief system, Christians have every right to talk to other Christians and not have to worry about justifying themselves to non-Christians. The same thing applies to a mainstream science forum.

    What's really needed if you want to challenge an established scientific model is a science debate forum specifically for that but I doubt many mainstream scientists would be interested in participating, and with could reason. They'd be forced to constantly justify their position to people who for the most part have a vastly inferior grasp of they subject matter and are not even really interested in learning the accepted model because they're already convinced they're right. Of course the same accusation could be made against the mainstream but they're the ones who have done it in what they consider the right way and they have the confidence that comes from being in the system and guess what, they're usually right.

    So what do you do if you think you've figured something out and want to discuss it with people whose opinions might get your idea the recognition you think it deserves? Be prepared for frustration if you openly come out and challenge established science, this applies to very well qualified people who have been through the system and then tried to displace rather than simply expand on what's gone before. This is how science is done, all new ideas get ridiculed to start with and normally involve lots of childishness and name calling. That's the environment these people have come from so if you aren't even one of them you have to accept that it's going to be very difficult to get anywhere even if you're idea has merit, and it will be next to impossible if you don't understand the basics of what you're trying to challenge.

    My advice, first just learn everything you can about the model that you're contradicting, learn why it's the accepted model in the first place. It may very well be that in doing that you realise that you were actually mistaken anyway, maybe you misunderstood the accepted model. Maybe by looking at it from the outside you came up with something that although wasn't completely right, turns out does have merit now you know more about the accepted model and apply that new knowledge to your idea. Just be honest with yourself and be open to the very real possibility that you were wrong all along. That's what you're asking of the people who have more reason to be confident in their position than you do so it's only fair that you do the same. There a lot of people who also think they've got something of real value and obviously relatively few who actually do.

    Anyway that's my advice, for what it's worth, based on my own experiences and frustrations, and also some great moments of learning something new and interesting. This post itself might get ridiculed, it's going to be posted on a science forum. But that's okay, I'm a guest in their house and I can leave any time I want. So keep at it, you'll learn more about the details of what you're trying to refute, get to know your enemy better and probably learn some cool stuff along the way and you'll either realise that you were wrong, go through the metal gymnastics of denial because you don't want to face that you were wrong, or you'll be right and in a better position to make your case because you understand more about the accepted models and about how to express your ideas in a clearer way. Then you'll have the fun of trying to convince them and hoping they will admit it even if you do. Good luck.


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  3. #2  
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    The tl;dr version:
    Quote Originally Posted by A-wal View Post
    ...learn everything you can about the model that you're contradicting, learn why it's the accepted model in the first place....
    Good advice.



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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    The tl;dr version:
    Quote Originally Posted by A-wal View Post
    ...learn everything you can about the model that you're contradicting, learn why it's the accepted model in the first place....
    Good advice.

    Something A-wal has yet to do, as evidenced by the 2013 thread on the same topic and using the same fallacies.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman A-wal's Avatar
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    I'm really surprised you didn't quote this bit:
    Quote Originally Posted by A-wal View Post
    So keep at it, you'll learn more about the details of what you're trying to refute, get to know your enemy better and probably learn some cool stuff along the way and you'll either realise that you were wrong, go through the metal gymnastics of denial because you don't want to face that you were wrong, or you'll be right and in a better position to make your case because you understand more about the accepted models and about how to express your ideas in a clearer way.
    I put that in there for you, thought I'd throw you a bone. You're slacking. Maybe you didn't read that far.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    What mental gymnastics are gone through, when someone clearly ignoring the data, posts that they are "right" and the "status quo" is "wrong"
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman A-wal's Avatar
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    I'm not ignoring any data that's relevant to anything I'm actually claiming. I might have missed something though, how would I know if I've missed it?
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  8. #7  
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    Your black hole thread is a perfect example.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  9. #8  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Just ignore him, he'll get bored and go away...
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by A-wal View Post
    I might have missed something though, how would I know if I've missed it?
    By simply doing the maths. General Relativity - unlike QM - is not subject to interpretations or speculations; you pose a question, work through the maths, and the answer is completely unambiguous.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman A-wal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Your black hole thread is a perfect example.
    Not of ignoring data it isn't. Of questioning whether or not the data in the way that it's interpreted gives a self-consistent description of events it is. That's not close to being the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Just ignore him, he'll get bored and go away...
    You'd like that wouldn't you. Shant then!

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by A-wal View Post
    I might have missed something though, how would I know if I've missed it?
    By simply doing the maths. General Relativity - unlike QM - is not subject to interpretations or speculations; you pose a question, work through the maths, and the answer is completely unambiguous.
    Yes but doing that doesn't tell you whether it's an accurate description of nature, just an accurate description of the model. And there are different methods of solving the equations which sometimes give different results, I think I'm right in having that impression, that gr isn't a description in and of itself and how you use it to form a actual description isn't entirely unambiguous. I'm not convinced that some of the ways used are compatible with each other that's all because they seem, to me at least to contradict each other.
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  12. #11  
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    [QUOTE=A-wal;614777]
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    ...they seem, to me at least...
    This is a red flag, often spotted in crank and crackpot assertions.
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    When the "owners" of the house show they're incapable of even the simplest discussion, or recognizing even the simplest facts, these forums degenerate into an unprincipled dispute game, and googol fights. It's impossible to respect their intelligence and claims. Unlike real scientists who have earned respect through a principled dispute process. If you can't, or won't answer this kind of question; "Let a<c then a^n<c^n" do you recognize this as a fact?" then you're either ignorant of kindergarten simple facts or are habituated into unprincipled dispute games. You won't answer because that fact may be used later in a discussion and your dispute might be frustrated by that fact.

    While it's true that it's their house, and they can be ignorant, and unprincipled, that "it's their house" is a really thin argument. It's an argument that makes you the crank and crackpot.
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  14. #13  
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    A-wal,

    There is one word you stated "beliefs" this is what sets science apart from all the other examples you stated. Science is not founded on belief, its founded on math, experimentation and observational evidence. What this does is allow one and all to study this data and make their own conclusions based on the actual factual evidence available. If somebody takes this data and comes up with an idea that fits, then all are free to experiment and test this idea at which point a theory is born. Then this can be continued to be verified one way or another as more data becomes available. If the theory continues to fit the observations and the math works then the theory is generally accepted as mainstream until it is disproven otherwise.


    Your arguments thus far have been an attempt to disprove what is accepted as mainstream. There is nothing wrong with questioning the mainstream, this is how healthy progress is made. But if you want to prove the mainstream incorrect then you have to present solid evidence that the theory/s you are arguing is/are flawed. Your beliefs along with anybody else's are irrelevant.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by doitright View Post
    When the "owners" of the house show they're incapable of even the simplest discussion, or recognizing even the simplest facts, these forums degenerate into an unprincipled dispute game, and googol fights. It's impossible to respect their intelligence and claims. Unlike real scientists who have earned respect through a principled dispute process. If you can't, or won't answer this kind of question; "Let a<c then a^n<c^n" do you recognize this as a fact?" then you're either ignorant of kindergarten simple facts or are habituated into unprincipled dispute games. You won't answer because that fact may be used later in a discussion and your dispute might be frustrated by that fact.

    While it's true that it's their house, and they can be ignorant, and unprincipled, that "it's their house" is a really thin argument. It's an argument that makes you the crank and crackpot.
    However, as a moment's glance at various threads here will show you, the people on this forum can and do engage in thoughtful discussion, when an issue of interest is presented in good faith and without animus.

    Are you capable of presenting an issue for discussion in such a way? Your previous posts do not make it obvious that you can.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post

    ... a moment's glance at various threads here will show you, the people on this forum can and do engage in thoughtful discussion, when an issue of interest is presented in good faith and without animus.

    Are you capable of presenting an issue for discussion in such a way? Your previous posts do not make it obvious that you can.
    I can and did. That no one here answered, or even recognized the elementary questions, it's been over a month, is exemplary that you can't, or won't. Not much point continuing a discussion of one of the most complex topics in math when no one can, or won't, recognize trivial elementary facts. That's not "good faith" behavior. I, however, stated in that thread the unprincipled behavior of other forums and my good faith hope that it wasn't like that here. So far there has been no good faith response to that thread. The responses were to defend the unprincipled behavior of the other forums.

    The thing about science, math, and most any principled discussion, is that facts trap you into a conclusion. When you're unprincipled you evade the facts. You think that avoids the trap into the conclusion. It doesn't. It just reveals you are unprincipled.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by doitright View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post

    ... a moment's glance at various threads here will show you, the people on this forum can and do engage in thoughtful discussion, when an issue of interest is presented in good faith and without animus.

    Are you capable of presenting an issue for discussion in such a way? Your previous posts do not make it obvious that you can.
    I can and did. That no one here answered, or even recognized the elementary questions, it's been over a month, is exemplary that you can't, or won't. Not much point continuing a discussion of one of the most complex topics in math when no one can, or won't, recognize trivial elementary facts. That's not "good faith" behavior. I, however, stated in that thread the unprincipled behavior of other forums and my good faith hope that it wasn't like that here. So far there has been no good faith response to that thread. The responses were to defend the unprincipled behavior of the other forums.

    The thing about science, math, and most any principled discussion, is that facts trap you into a conclusion. When you're unprincipled you evade the facts. You think that avoids the trap into the conclusion. It doesn't. It just reveals you are unprincipled.
    Quod erat demonstrandum.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Freshman A-wal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by A-wal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    ...they seem, to me at least...
    This is a red flag, often spotted in crank and crackpot assertions.
    You think being open to the possibility of being wrong is a sign of bad thinking? Oh my.
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