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Thread: Less tolerance for crackpots?

  1. #1 Less tolerance for crackpots? 
    Forum Masters Degree bit4bit's Avatar
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    I've noticed we have some resident crackpots on the forum.

    They seem to be preaching psuedoscience onto other members, and it's hard to tell whether they are forum trolls, who are perfectly aware of it, in an attempt to stir up arguments, or just genuinly deluded customers who cannot accept the rigorous framework of what is globally accepted science.

    Either way, I'm sure:

    1.) trolling is against the forum rules (?), which members have agreed to on registation.

    And:

    2.) Being a science forum, members come here to discuss science, so for them to be confonted with psuedoscience at every turn, is a ruining experience. (Especially when a new member is asking a question, and takes their nonsense seriously)

    I think that any psuedoscience promoting post, that is discussed outside of the psuedoscience section, should be deleted, and any such threads that are started should be moved to psuedoscience.

    I know Ophiolite and Pendragon do a good job when they are online, but they can't see every bad post that is made, and they can't always be online. I think maybe tighter moderation/more moderators are needed.

    Yes...There are plenty of other forums to join if you don't like it, but I thought that it was worth mentioning seen as there are obviously others here that genuinly want to discuss science with each other.

    I also think it would improve the image of the site, and perhaps lead to a better quality of discussion than we get in some parts of the forum.

    Just a suggestion. What do you think?


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    The moderators can't babysit problem posters, or keep a handle on every thread. Warning, followed by ban if necessary, seems to work on most forums.

    In fact :wink: , I'm galvanized to high negative potential by bit4bit's suggestions. The energy needed to do all that must come from a white hole. Actually :wink: , the posts and even posters should be atomized by superweapon few people have witnessed in use.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    I'm all for keeping the forum free of crackpot nonsense, but it's a lot of work.

    Recently advertisement spammers have taken much of our time, together they posted at a rate of 100 posts per week while we had to wait for them to be banned. At the moment more effective tools against advertisement spammers are under construction, so soon this should stop eating up our scarce time.

    You may be right that we need more moderators. Beside that we may need a warning system (so every member can press a 'warning-button' to get attention from a mod), as proposed by members several times in the past.

    So it seems to me that our rules and our intentions aren't at issue, it's our lack of anti-spam tools.
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  5. #4  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Incomprehensible kargon is the hallmark of proffession. If people aren't able to at least show some logic in their statements, then people aren't going to listen to them. They know that, we know that, if not what else are we going to do? Why does it bother you so much bit4bit?

    As for the rules, I've been insulted by many people on this forum and jack diddly's been done so, meh. :?

    On contrary to that Pendragon has been very helpful in the past.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  6. #5  
    Forum Masters Degree bit4bit's Avatar
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    I'm just saying that it's bad for the image and quality of the forum, and might put new members off staying or cause members to leave when they see it.

    Recently advertisement spammers have taken much of our time, together they posted at a rate of 100 posts per week while we had to wait for them to be banned. At the moment more effective tools against advertisement spammers are under construction, so soon this should stop eating up our scarce time.

    You may be right that we need more moderators. Beside that we may need a warning system (so every member can press a 'warning-button' to get attention from a mod), as proposed by members several times in the past.
    Yeh I'm aware there was alot of spam recently that you had to deal with. Another forum I visit has a 'spamminator taskforce', where a load of trusted members mark posts as spam, so when the mods come on, all they gottas do is delete the list. (I guess the members are trusted in order to stop people mis-using the spam button). I think thats a good idea (and is basically the same as what you've suggested). Then on top of that, you have 4 or 5 regular moderators, who actually delete/move posts/threads. They also issue warnings to people preaching psuedoscience....three warnings then a ban.

    This way, it puts less load on the moderators, since all the forum maintenance is more spread out.

    They know that, we know that, if not what else are we going to do?
    Get out the dust-pan and brush, and sweep up the rubbish.

    I'm also not talking about people who are asking for help, and mis-understanding subjects, but people who refuse to take on board what they are being told when proofs/citations/references are provided, or who openly throw psuedoscience around in response to other peoples threads/questions.

    Thats just what I think anyway.
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  7. #6  
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    Aw come on the crack-pots are fun!

    Everybody has the right to be heard don't they? And everyone has the right to ignore anyone else.

    I've just had a thought, am i one of the crack-pots??
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  8. #7  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    I've just had a thought, am i one of the crack-pots??
    depends - do you want to be one ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  9. #8  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bit4Bit already answered your question, Selene, when he
    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    Aw come on the crack-pots are fun!

    Everybody has the right to be heard don't they? And everyone has the right to ignore anyone else.

    I've just had a thought, am i one of the crack-pots??
    Quote Originally Posted by Bit4Bit
    but people who refuse to take on board what they are being told when proofs/citations/references are provided, or who openly throw psuedoscience around in response to other peoples threads/questions.
    Surely that has to be discouraged? It is fine and dandy to debate against current theory, but quite another to have wildly incorrect ideas and present them as factual answers to innocent questions by newbies who do not yet know who to trust. Reasonable?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Quote Originally Posted by Bit4Bit already answered your question, Selene, when he
    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    Aw come on the crack-pots are fun!

    Everybody has the right to be heard don't they? And everyone has the right to ignore anyone else.

    I've just had a thought, am i one of the crack-pots??
    Quote Originally Posted by Bit4Bit
    but people who refuse to take on board what they are being told when proofs/citations/references are provided, or who openly throw psuedoscience around in response to other peoples threads/questions.
    Surely that has to be discouraged? It is fine and dandy to debate against current theory, but quite another to have wildly incorrect ideas and present them as factual answers to innocent questions by newbies who do not yet know who to trust. Reasonable?
    Yes that's reasonable.

    But crackpot ideas and incorrect answers soon get shot down and challenged on here.

    So at least the newbies get to experience firsthand the nature of debate, the necessity not to take everything told to you as truth and to do your own thorough research, and they are also led by example not to be afraid to challenge or throw ideas out.

    People get told incorrect 'truths' all the time.

    This environment is at least on the lookout for them.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    I've just had a thought, am i one of the crack-pots??
    depends - do you want to be one ?
    Depends if i get spanked or not?
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  12. #11  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    spanking cracks your pot ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  13. #12  
    Forum Masters Degree bit4bit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    But crackpot ideas and incorrect answers soon get shot down and challenged on here.

    So at least the newbies get to experience firsthand the nature of debate, the necessity not to take everything told to you as truth and to do your own thorough research, and they are also led by example not to be afraid to challenge or throw ideas out.

    People get told incorrect 'truths' all the time.

    This environment is at least on the lookout for them.
    Often the culprits are unwilling (or even unable) to do any proper research of their own....i.e. 'read a book'. If they did so they would find the correct information they need.

    Deciding what is and what isn't a reliable source of information/data is part of the skill of doing research. The rest is making sure it is relevant and then using it appropriately. Scientific literature generally is not a big source of bias, propaganda, or unreliability, as some texts are Indeed. The reason is because scientific proofs are pretty indisputable, since they are based primarily on observation (of reality), and the history, and culmination of them is very well documented and accesible.

    You are right, it is good to have debate, but it is only constructive when the debate is scientific...that is, justified by relevant research, and not speculative....as said above. This is 'logical progression'.
    Chance favours the prepared mind.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by bit4bit


    You are right, it is good to have debate, but it is only constructive when the debate is scientific...that is, justified by relevant research, and not speculative....as said above. This is 'logical progression'.
    I don't think there's anything wrong with speculative, as long as the speculator makes clear it's not authoritative i guess.

    It's good to explore what if's and maybe's.

    I mean science does that all the time. It has to probe further into the unknown in order to stretch the boundaries and discover anything new.

    There is much of science which is still 'speculative' and theory.

    But of course there is speculation which is logical and reasonable and some which is 'crack-pot'

    Still at least crack-pots give a good example of the extent of imagination as well as giving insight to insanity, and maybe we'll be lucky enough to get a laugh out of them as well.

    Which seems to be lacking amidst some of the dry intellects.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Masters Degree bit4bit's Avatar
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    Imagination is good, but imagination without confirmation is speculation.

    To draw a conclusive proof/disproof of something you can only use confirmation from experimental data, and mathematical rigor. Only then does anything qualify as a valid theory.

    Yes, there are still areas unkown to us (and probably always will be), but most scientists accept they are unknown, and don't presume to talk conclusively about them. The ones who do are psuedoscientists.

    Scientists even admit that current theories are not 100% accurate, but until observation or logic proves otherwise, they are accurate enough to explain all phenomena we are aware of, and are therefore useful and accepted.

    Pseudo scientists often dream up ideas that they are convinced no one has ever thought of before apart from them. Fact is many people have great imaginations, and have probably thought of it a million times. They have simply dismissed it in regards to proven theories of science....of which the proofs are rigorous and concordant with real-world experimentation!!

    Do you see what I mean? The scientific process is given order by restricting the available tools to observation and rigorous proof. Otherwise anything goes. In my opinion, one who utilises these tools actually needs more imagination than one who doesn't in order to even hypothesize.
    Chance favours the prepared mind.
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  16. #15  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    As for the rules, I've been insulted by many people on this forum and jack diddly's been done so, meh. :?.
    I have to practice on somebody. :wink:

    On a more serious note, this is an important issue, but it is also one with many facets. In no particular order here are some thoughts.

    Some people find it difficult to express their ideas clearly. Others can be eloquent and organised. Crazy ideas presented in a concise, structured manner can seem more realistic than valid ideas presented in a haphazard, confused fashion. It is easy, when taking only a quick read of a post, to be fooled by the former and to underestimate the content of the latter.

    I continue to be amazed - and sometimes amused - by the desire some people have to develop a 'theory' when it is clear they have only the sketchiest notion of their field. I am tempted to shoot them down in flames for their unique combination of stupidity, arrogance and ignorance. What stops me is the suspicion that they are motivated by the same things that arouse my interest in science: curiosity and a sense of wonder.

    We are long past the time when one could be well versed in all the arts and sciences. In Earth science, astronomy and to some extent biology, I can both recognise a faulty idea and demonstrate its weaknesses. In physics I have a real problem distinguishing between sound ideas badly presented and bad ideas soundly presented.

    This last point relates closely to the need for more moderators. This is something we are actively considering.

    Much of the activity of the forum (and others) revolves around challenging the weird ideas of the nutcases. This provides an opportunity to solidify one's own understanding of a topic and convey that understanding to others. If there were no nutcases we might have to invent them. :wink:
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  17. #16  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    you mean to say jollybear was planted here for our education ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  18. #17  
    Forum Masters Degree bit4bit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite

    Some people find it difficult to express their ideas clearly. Others can be eloquent and organised. Crazy ideas presented in a concise, structured manner can seem more realistic than valid ideas presented in a haphazard, confused fashion. It is easy, when taking only a quick read of a post, to be fooled by the former and to underestimate the content of the latter.

    I continue to be amazed - and sometimes amused - by the desire some people have to develop a 'theory' when it is clear they have only the sketchiest notion of their field. I am tempted to shoot them down in flames for their unique combination of stupidity, arrogance and ignorance. What stops me is the suspicion that they are motivated by the same things that arouse my interest in science: curiosity and a sense of wonder.

    We are long past the time when one could be well versed in all the arts and sciences. In Earth science, astronomy and to some extent biology, I can both recognise a faulty idea and demonstrate its weaknesses. In physics I have a real problem distinguishing between sound ideas badly presented and bad ideas soundly presented.

    This last point relates closely to the need for more moderators. This is something we are actively considering.
    I pretty much agree with all that. The upshot being, more moderators are needed, preferably with a variety of expertise in different fields.

    Much of the activity of the forum (and others) revolves around challenging the weird ideas of the nutcases. This provides an opportunity to solidify one's own understanding of a topic and convey that understanding to others. If there were no nutcases we might have to invent them. :wink:
    I agree it can benefit your own understanding to challenge a crackpot, but often it doesn't matter how well phrased and apposite your replies, the crackpot will not budge. There's then alot of room for frustration and subsequent swearing matches.

    I think I'm probably taking an idealistic view, but thats just my personal feedback of this site....after all, if I didn't enjoy coming here I wouldn't.
    Chance favours the prepared mind.
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  19. #18  
    Forum Ph.D. william's Avatar
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    I hesitate to mention this, but perhaps a "crackpot index" would cure a lot of the problems. I don't know the logistics of how this might work (or how to implement it), but basically the idea is that each member can submit a vote (only once for each of the other members) on any of the other members' "crackpot index".

    I suppose a "useful contributer index" would also be necessary in conjunction with the crackpot index. And the ability to change one's vote should be available.

    In other words, kind of a "quality of posts"-type thing.


    An example might look like this;
    (under my avatar or username)
    crackpot index = 3
    useful contributer index = 5

    which would mean that 3 people think I'm a crackpot and 5 think I know what I'm talking about.


    Perhaps the motivation to "get even" with someone in an argument would drive up one's crackpot index. We might be more inclined (as human beings) to vote against someone as opposed to voting for someone. Who knows?


    It's just a thought.

    [EDIT:]
    This could have the ancillary benefit of making people generally act "nicer" to each other so as not to get one's crackpot index ramped up....


    Cheers,
    william
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
    ~Footnote in Goldstein's Mechanics, 3rd ed. p. 202
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  20. #19  
    Forum Professor serpicojr's Avatar
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    Fantastic idea William.
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  21. #20  
    Time Lord
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    Ignorance is no crime. We're all ignorant, and have different means of learning. Study, that can go so far; experiment, that's RL; discourse, that's right here, why people join the forums right? I don't think it helping discourse, telling people to "read a book" or "prove it". That is saying, "You're ignorant and won't learn anything here."

    @Ophiolite: Is it helpful to merely "recognise a faulty idea and demonstrate its weaknesses"? Or - let's be honest - brand someone ignorant and add no more to the discourse?

    Stupidity is not disruptive when the poster knows it. Something might be over my head. Some trick I just can't do. Move on then. Sad, but hardly disruptive.

    The trouble with some posters, IMO, is simply arrogance. Trouble because they push opinion as fact, and delude others.

    Most of 'em half-know what they're doing and betray it with fanatics' phrases: "in fact", "actually", "the truth is". Google "in fact": we get "Earth is in fact growing " and "I Am in Fact a Hobbit". My personal favorite: "And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." I know this sounds brutal, but we could probably weed out many BS posts with good precision just by searching those phrases in forums. Mods may want to give it a try.


    The karma system William suggested is used in many forums and might be easily implemented in the new forum. You can get negative values too, i.e. thumbs up/thumbs down votes. I love William's separate "crackpot" and "contributor" categories! Imagine someone with a negative crackpot and negative contributor - what does that mean? I think it would work alright in a science forum. With a single "score" system, I can see members who challenge their ignorance by asking questions earning no points, while jerkoffs who live to slam "newbies" gaining high rank. We could expect the forums to attract this classic character.
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  22. #21  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    not sure about a karma system : philosophorum has one, and tbh it's pretty meaningless, especially if several people decide to misuse the system

    after all, what's stopping crackpots from using the same system to mark you down as a negative contributor or even a crackpot ?
    unless you want to restrict the karma system to members with a certain minimum number of posts, and then it will be seen by newbies as a weapon to browbeat newcomers - i know it's being used as such in devshed
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  23. #22  
    Forum Ph.D. william's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    not sure about a karma system : philosophorum has one, and tbh it's pretty meaningless, especially if several people decide to misuse the system

    after all, what's stopping crackpots from using the same system to mark you down as a negative contributor or even a crackpot ?
    unless you want to restrict the karma system to members with a certain minimum number of posts, and then it will be seen by newbies as a weapon to browbeat newcomers - i know it's being used as such in devshed

    Yeah... that's why I hesitated to mention it. I suppose the more diplomatic way would be to only offer a "useful contributer index." But the devil in me thinks a crackpot index (in conjunction) would be more fun.

    If this idea is taken seriously in the future, then perhaps a third index should be made; the "asshole index." That way, if someone thinks I'm an ass (but not necessarily a crackpot), they could vote that one up and leave the other two alone. And then perhaps a fourth index; the "nice guy index" for those that think I'm nice (to counteract the asshole index).

    Like I originally said, I'm not sure on the logistics, but it seems like a cute idea (until my crackpot index gets high that is...).


    Cheers,
    william
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
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  24. #23  
    Forum Professor serpicojr's Avatar
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    I'd say that it seems that the cranks are few and far in between, and it also seems that regular forum goers are pretty much in agreement as to who the cranks are--none of us could parse the ramblings of SS, and all of us are annoyed by the willful ignorance of WM. So I believe that, unless the forum were overrun by a slew of cranks who somehow agreed with one another (which I find highly unlikely except in the form of sock puppets or bored college friends trolling around), that we wouldn't have to fear the odd negative ranking by a crank.

    The real service here, as William said, is to unknowledgeable newbies, although indirectly it benefits the rest of us, as it means we don't have to police the forums, shooting down inane theories that neophytes might mistake for the truth.
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  25. #24  
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    Amen! 8)
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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  26. #25  
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    Who's SS & WM??

    I know i should know but it's been raining and my brain needs oiling.

    OMG you lot are beginning to sound like SAS!

    Crackpot, crackshot, cracked my pot. Pot my cr........k.k..thass enuff of that
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  27. #26  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    SS = StreamSystems
    not sure who WM is supposed to be
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  28. #27  
    Forum Professor serpicojr's Avatar
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    WM is William McCormick, a relatively new crank. He has absurd theories about physics that at least one newbie has taken at face value, and he's revealing himself to be quite the conspiracy theorist, claiming we knew everything there is to know before WW II and all new science is just the work of powermongers seeking to maintain their influence.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by serpicojr
    WM is William McCormick, a relatively new crank. He has absurd theories about physics that at least one newbie has taken at face value, and he's revealing himself to be quite the conspiracy theorist, claiming we knew everything there is to know before WW II and all new science is just the work of powermongers seeking to maintain their influence.

    Yikes! This is more serious than I thought. And that crackpot has my first name!

    There's another crackpot that thinks Bill Gates is hacking into his computer; read here.

    Do we really want these crackpots running around the forum without a good crackpot index in place...?


    Cheers,
    william


    P.S. We could award the "Immanuel Velikovsky Award" to the person with the highest crackpot index.
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
    ~Footnote in Goldstein's Mechanics, 3rd ed. p. 202
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  30. #29  
    Forum Professor serpicojr's Avatar
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    Wowsers... I'd not heard of Immanuel Velikovsky, but I think he takes the cake when it comes to cranks. My personal favorite cranks are Gene Ray and Archimedes Plutonium.
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    Yeh, I know of Velikovsky. I read a book of his when I was in the 9th grade and even then could tell that he was talking nonsense. For one thing, he postulated that the proto-planet Venus was ejected by Jupiter and in a near miss with Earth, created the moon. He is somewhat famous as a crackpot I think, so I'd say it is a good name for the award!
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  32. #31  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i can see this becoming an annual event - and this year's Velikovsky award goes to ...
    roll out the red carpet !
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  33. #32  
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    If the crackpot index falls by the wayside, I say we form an anti-crackpot vigilante task force.
    We will call ourselves... the Forum Underground, or "FU" for short.

    Members will remain anonymous (with the exception of the founder - me).
    We can communicate and organize via PM.

    We will take back the forum!
    We shall go on to the end,
    we shall fight in France,
    we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
    we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air,
    we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
    we shall fight on the beaches,
    we shall fight on the landing grounds,
    we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
    we shall fight in the hills;
    we shall never surrender!
    And even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated by crackpots and starving for intellectual debate, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the Forum Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.


    I shall task it upon myself to take down cosmo (aka MikeNS, aka Mike C).
    I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares maelstrom and 'round perdition's flames before I give him up!


    Cheers,
    william
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
    ~Footnote in Goldstein's Mechanics, 3rd ed. p. 202
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by william
    If the crackpot index falls by the wayside, I say we form an anti-crackpot vigilante task force.
    We will call ourselves... the Forum Underground, or "FU" for short.
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    Oookkayyyyy.........

    I'm starting to wonder now who the real crackpots are??????


    .....now........where did i put my coat?.....................

    (edges out of door very very slowly)
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  36. #35  
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    Here we are having a discussion about gravity and acceleration and the big O goes and closes the thread due to a particular individuals rants. The O asked the thread starter to contact him to reopen the thread or move it to Pseudoscience.

    How is this going to solve anything, O?

    You'll have to close all threads or send them to Pseudoscience each time that happens, yes?

    Are there no other alternatives?
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Here we are having a discussion about gravity and acceleration and the big O goes and closes the thread due to a particular individuals rants.
    All of the discussion had moved away from the topic of the thread to refutations and counter presentations of William McCormicks bizzare ideas.

    I had aready received pms asking me to take action in the thread. William McCormick refused to stop posting his weird concepts. The thread, in my opinion was going nowhere. Options:
    1) Ban McCormick.
    2) Lock the thread.
    3) Do nothing.
    4) Move it to pseudoscience.

    I opted for 2) but specifically invited the thread originator to request it be reopened. (And implicitly invited anyone to make this request.)

    This isn't a democracy, but I shall make every effort to satisfy the wishes of the majority of serious participants.

    You'll have to close all threads or send them to Pseudoscience each time that happens, yes?
    Not if they are assessed on a case by case basis.
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  38. #37  
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    I say keep it locked. Don’t open it again. :|

    I started the thread because there was a question I wanted clarification on. That question has been satisfactorily answered (at any rate I’m satisfied with the replies). There is nothing more to add to it; therefore locking it to stop the flow of “individual rants” is all for the best.

    In fact I was about to ask Ophiolite or any other mod to lock it the way it was going around in unproductive circles. If William McCormick wasn’t going on about conspiracies, he was stubbornly repeating his nonsensical ideas over and over again despite everyone else trying to explain to him why he was wrong. :? I was in a hurry to go somewhere this morning and forgot to ask for the thread to be locked – but now I’m glad it is.
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  39. #38  
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    Arg. Ophiolite, please ban William McCormick. He just won't stop rambling out of place.

    I really don't mind if he's wrong, far-out, or cracked. I don't wish anyone banned on those charges. What offends me is his persistent diversion from thread topic to whatever unrelated topics he wants to talk about, whenever and wherever he gets the urge. Imagine if we all did that.
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  40. #39  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Here we are having a discussion about gravity and acceleration and the big O goes and closes the thread due to a particular individuals rants.
    All of the discussion had moved away from the topic of the thread to refutations and counter presentations of William McCormicks bizzare ideas.

    I had aready received pms asking me to take action in the thread. William McCormick refused to stop posting his weird concepts. The thread, in my opinion was going nowhere. Options:
    1) Ban McCormick.
    2) Lock the thread.
    3) Do nothing.
    4) Move it to pseudoscience.

    I opted for 2) but specifically invited the thread originator to request it be reopened. (And implicitly invited anyone to make this request.)

    This isn't a democracy, but I shall make every effort to satisfy the wishes of the majority of serious participants.

    You'll have to close all threads or send them to Pseudoscience each time that happens, yes?
    Not if they are assessed on a case by case basis.
    Ok, O, but it sure seems like a whole lot of work for you guys.
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  41. #40  
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    I still think having a 'spam squad' and a few more moderators would neaten things up a bit.
    Chance favours the prepared mind.
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    Seems like we need to ressurect ol megabrain.
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  43. #42  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wert
    Seems like we need to ressurect ol megabrain.
    Maybe so, mmmm. I wonder if he'll use his old name though. What do YOU think wert?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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  44. #43  
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    Yay!

    Bring back Megabrain :-D
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  45. #44  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene
    Bring back Megabrain :-D
    fine by me, but "resurrect" ? how deep has he been buried ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  46. #45  
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    Can something please be done about esbo? This user, who has a very shallow knowledge and understanding of science, is clearly not here to learn or contribute anything useful; he/she is only interested in posting his own absurd beliefs and then insulting anybody who disagrees with him/her. He/she is not even a crackpot – he/she is just a troll!
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  47. #46  
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    **shrug**

    most of the time it's not worth doing anything about these type of people, apart from ignoring them - most of them disappear after a while
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  48. #47  
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    Yeah, In fact, I give WM about a month and he'll get bored and we will never see him again. Usually people with one objective like he has (seems to be discounting all science since the 1950's) tire of it and since they don't expand into new theories or fields they often just give up.

    Although I could be proven wrong and he could start accepting some of the discoveries that were made after he first learned in the 50's, but either way the forum wins.
    "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." - Mark Twain
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  49. #48  
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    He's tenacious. I could see him sticking around for a while.
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  50. #49  
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    Williammcormick is really becoming a serious disruptive force on most of the new physics threads. He is impervious to appeals to reason. I would love to see some kind of warning from a moderator or admin (ophiolite tried) since he is flatly ignoring all the redicule dealed out by fellow posters. I don't think he is going to stop his nonsense without some kind of warning.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  51. #50  
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    I have to agree.
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  52. #51  
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    just in this case, i must agree - WM spoilt a perfectly good thread on scientific theory with his irrelevant nonsense

    it pissed me off to such extent that he's now on my ignore list + i'm more likely to avoid the physics section from now on
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  53. #52  
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    Some forums are able to restrict a member's posting to certain areas. Pseudoscience for example. Wouldn't that be perfect?
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    Wouldn't it be best for posters to make a concerted effort to ignore him and continue with their discussion of a subject between themselves.

    His comments would then be intermittent like a punctuation mark or pauses that posters could choose to read for a bit of a laugh or not and just skip past.

    I think answering him and arguing with him and trying to point out his errors only serves to encourage him to argue back.

    Eventually he'll get fed up that nobody is responding to his comments.
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  55. #54  
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    It's not easy to have high quality discussions on an internet forum, it requires a lot of patience.

    It's relatively easy for the mods to fight advertisement spam, but crackpot or offtopic posts are much harder to detect. So we need you all to report these posts when you see them. Don't get irritated, just send a message and we try to solve it.

    And I agree with Selene, the ignore button can prevent a lot of irritation as well. As long as people don't respond to crackpot posts they're invisable for those who use the ignore button. Only when people get irritated and reply to these posts they start to clog up a good thread.

    So please report and ignore, and try to bring clogged up posts on track again. One post with a short summary of the discussion so far can be enough to bring a thread back to life.

    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    just in this case, i must agree - WM spoilt a perfectly good thread on scientific theory with his irrelevant nonsense
    Agreed, I sent him a message.
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  56. #55  
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    Ordinarily I would have added WM to my ignore list long ago, but I can't bare the idea of a newbie posting a question, WM posting his nonsense and then having the newbie take WM's posts to heart. I feel I have to defend the forum 8) . Adding him to my ignore list would also prevent me from being able to report bad behavior on his part, although, judging from his history, I could almost report him simply upon seeing his name in a thread!
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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  57. #56  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Ordinarily I would have added WM to my ignore list long ago, but I can't bare the idea of a newbie posting a question, WM posting his nonsense and then having the newbie take WM's posts to heart. I feel I have to defend the forum 8) . Adding him to my ignore list would also prevent me from being able to report bad behavior on his part, although, judging from his history, I could almost report him simply upon seeing his name in a thread!
    That's true

    If a person gives the wrong information to a question it could possibly be taken on board by the enquirer.

    Difficult dilemma there Kalster

    Perhaps to point out concisely that WM is wrong but endeavor not to get into a big debate with him

    But i know that's difficult with someone like him!
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  58. #57 What if... 
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    I know its very unlikely, but what if a crackpot was either the direct reason or the indirect reason a big new theory was created, or even solving the hole shicameh puzzle.
    There is a slight chance of that happen. Can we afford to miss that opertunity, it could be our only chance. Think about it.
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  59. #58 Re: What if... 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thermaltake
    I know its very unlikely, but what if a crackpot was either the direct reason or the indirect reason a big new theory was created, or even solving the hole shicameh puzzle.
    There is a slight chance of that happen. Can we afford to miss that opertunity, it could be our only chance. Think about it.
    Ah, the infinite monkey theorem.

    The problem is that trying to find something sensible in all that is like picking fly shit out of pepper.
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  60. #59  
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    From Ophiolite

    What stops me is the suspicion that they are motivated by the same things that arouse my interest in science: curiosity and a sense of wonder
    I agree and the philosophy of wonder, imagination and thought should be practiced by us all. Also, it is true that no-one these days can be "well versed" in every discipline.

    Questions can either be sought directly or perhaps housed in the less obvious form of a "personal theory". Does it really matter if such ideas conflict with the conventional viewpoints? After all, scientific theories get challenged all the time - so what if people like to join in. If people, equipped with greater knowledge reply in good faith, then the process of education through these forums will continue.

    Perhaps the only real issue with these so called "crackpots" is more to do with obstinacy; for example if such correspondents refuse to take alternative information on board and simply cling to a personal perspective.

    Given this conceptualization, people with off-beat ideas are harmless and can be quite entertaining. However, even people with high education in a particular field can post, behind the skirt of anonymity, in a disrespectful fashion. In my opinion, such behavior is unattractive and just reflects such perpetrators in an ugly light.

    In all cases, we can choose to read any particular post or simply avert our eyes and move on
    "The sky cannot speak of the ocean, the ocean cannot speak of the land, the land cannot speak of the stars, the stars cannot speak of the sky"
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  61. #60  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene View Post
    Aw come on the crack-pots are fun!

    Everybody has the right to be heard don't they? And everyone has the right to ignore anyone else.

    I've just had a thought, am i one of the crack-pots??
    I dont think so.
    The mentally ill are rarely aware of their condition.
    But you a r e in the danger zone since you are funny.
    You should perhaps continue introspection:
    Are you counting crackpots in order to sleep?
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  62. #61  
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    Crackpots are rarely mentally ill. They may be a bit obsessive and unusually stubborn, but they're rarely diagnosable with any specific illness or condition. They're just ordinary, pig-headed, very irritating people.
    sculptor likes this.
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  63. #62  
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    Quote Originally Posted by william View Post
    If the crackpot index falls by the wayside, I say we form an anti-crackpot vigilante task force.
    We will call ourselves... the Forum Underground, or "FU" for short.

    Members will remain anonymous (with the exception of the founder - me).
    We can communicate and organize via PM.

    We will take back the forum!
    We shall go on to the end,
    we shall fight in France,
    we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
    we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air,
    we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
    we shall fight on the beaches,
    we shall fight on the landing grounds,
    we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
    we shall fight in the hills;
    we shall never surrender!
    And even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated by crackpots and starving for intellectual debate, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the Forum Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.


    I shall task it upon myself to take down cosmo (aka MikeNS, aka Mike C).
    I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares maelstrom and 'round perdition's flames before I give him up!


    Cheers,
    william
    This is touching! Very nice rhetorics indeed! Are you quoting Churchill? If not youre a genious!
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  64. #63  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Crackpots are rarely mentally ill. They may be a bit obsessive and unusually stubborn, but they're rarely diagnosable with any specific illness or condition. They're just ordinary, pig-headed, very irritating people.
    Hmm... you seem confident about that mylady:
    Sciences of mental diseases are in their infancy.
    Theres this promising young fellow: Dawkins.
    Introducing the theory of memesis. (just cant help extending a good argument)
    I believe psychiatrists has been slow to pick it up and test it.
    Some Memes might be damaging to the nervous system, who knows? ("Memesis"!? Crackpot Hypothesis?)

    Just for the rights of crackpots ill defend the thesis
    that they are mentally ill
    and should be seen as patients needing treatment.
    The problem is that I know of no cure!
    Im not sure the good example works as a treatment...
    Loving them? Nah theres the limit!
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  65. #64  
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    Culling is the answer.
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  66. #65  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    Culling is the answer.
    Killing the patients?
    Hmmm...seen from the view of the hospital
    it may be a tempting idea... you get access to spare parts if nurses or doctors get sick...

    Youre from China or Israel?
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  67. #66  
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    No, I agree with Adelady, that mental illness is not the problem. They are just antagonistic and annoying people.
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  68. #67  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    No, I agree with Adelady, that mental illness is not the problem. They are just antagonistic and annoying people.
    I would third this, really. As far as I'm aware, most crackpottery really seems to stem from the tendency of the brain to trust its own intuition over that of others and sometimes even over observation and evidence. The brain is pretty good at being selective too, at times automatically discarding certain observations or impressions that disagree with its intuition in favor of the ones that strengthen it, all without ever informing the consciousness of this ever having happened. These are not artifacts of any kind of mental illness, they are simply issues that arise out of the structure of our brains.

    I would suspect crackpottery overall in the world would be significantly reduced if everyone at some point was forced to come to terms with just how unreliable the brain can be, both in terms of senses, in terms of memory, in terms of intuition and even in terms of applied rationale and reasoning.

    Do note that I said "forced to come to terms with" - I suspect this is not something you can simply be told and it will stick; it's the kind of realisation that is hard won, and even after it has been can still be quite difficult to apply on a day to day basis.
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  69. #68  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kompi View Post
    I would suspect crackpottery overall in the world would be significantly reduced if everyone at some point was forced to come to terms with just how unreliable the brain can be, both in terms of senses, in terms of memory, in terms of intuition and even in terms of applied rationale and reasoning.

    Do note that I said "forced to come to terms with" - I suspect this is not something you can simply be told and it will stick; it's the kind of realisation that is hard won, and even after it has been can still be quite difficult to apply on a day to day basis.
    I have found the use of optical illusions to be beneficial here. You have an immediate and direct illustration of how the brain misinterprets the images it sees.

    Although having said that, you would not believe some of the kooky reasoning given by crackpots as to how optical illusions work.
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  70. #69  
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    long ago
    at the behaviorist school in chicago,

    one seminar focused on determining the percentages of mental wellness/illness in the population
    and came to the conclusion that 80% of study subjects were mentally ill
    (loosly defined as any mental state that precludes fulfillment of the potential of the individual)
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  71. #70  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    mentally ill (loosly defined as any mental state that precludes fulfillment of the potential of the individual)
    Does this means laziness is considered a mental illness?
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  72. #71  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    mentally ill (loosly defined as any mental state that precludes fulfillment of the potential of the individual)
    Does this means laziness is considered a mental illness?
    Perhaps. If we define an illness then we should try to find its cure!
    And change OUR attitude.You should treat the patient in a professional manner:
    No more accusations "Stop being a lazY dog!"? (tee hee)

    A relevent question here is: Are Trolls mentally ill?

    Are WE abusing them? Can they HELP being trolls?

    Are we Troll-Hunters? Isnt that also an illness?

    Locate any troll and watch the "mob" of trollhunters surrounding it...
    Who is NOT mentally ill?
    I include anyone seriously calling somebody a "troll" in the set of trolls.
    There must be ways to cure trolls dont you think?
    For example: To stop being a troll oneself!

    How about attaching badges to ppl: "banned","troll","trollhunter" etc etc
    I suppose ppl might care about getting a good looking avatar...
    But I think it should be automatic: nobody should be above suspicion...right?
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  73. #72  
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    Does this means laziness is considered a mental illness?
    Well, sloth was certainly counted among the seven deadly sins.

    And I've seen an argument somewhere that what was meant by sloth was what modern people would refer to as depression - that can't get out of bed, can't be bothered with anything anyway feeling.
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  74. #73  
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    I guess I always get a little nervous when I see these type of threads, I wonder to myself am I one of the crackpots?, do I say and do crazy things?, I mean are there signs by which you can tell, and if so how does one get back on the correct path to sensible learning and well basically not being a crackpot?
    I just think it can and would help if we all knew what we should be avoiding doing, I think in this way then even the crackpots among us can learn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I guess I always get a little nervous when I see these type of threads, I wonder to myself am I one of the crackpots?, do I say and do crazy things?, I mean are there signs by which you can tell, and if so how does one get back on the correct path to sensible learning and well basically not being a crackpot?
    I just think it can and would help if we all knew what we should be avoiding doing, I think in this way then even the crackpots among us can learn.
    You can always start here:

    Crackpot index
    Ascended likes this.
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    I try to stay out of the physics subforum as much as possible, looking at that it's a good job lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I guess I always get a little nervous when I see these type of threads, I wonder to myself am I one of the crackpots?, do I say and do crazy things?, I mean are there signs by which you can tell, and if so how does one get back on the correct path to sensible learning and well basically not being a crackpot?
    I just think it can and would help if we all knew what we should be avoiding doing, I think in this way then even the crackpots among us can learn.
    You can always start here:

    Crackpot index
    Tesla holds the high score.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    "Crackpot hunters" attack things, that they are unable to understand.
    They claim to speak in the name of science, while they actually come to tear down the very structure of science itself.

    What would these "crackpot hunters" have done, if this forum was in place in the time Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein. What if Newton or Einstein would have posted their newest scientific theories here first? These "crackpot hunters" would have moved Newton's and Einstein's threads to the trash can section, and banned them from the forum if they did not shut up.


    Crackpots are at the heart of science itself. Most scientific inventions are realized by accident, or inspired by crackpots.
    Where would science be without these crackpots ideas, to make airplanes, rocket ships, medicine, man made diamonds, ex.ex.ex.ex. ?

    These "crackpot hunters" are a threat to science itself.
    The traditions of science would tell them to discredit or ignore these crackpots ideas. But today's "crackpot hunters" just (silence) new scientific ideas, by moving them to the trash can section.


    I believe the traditions of science would agree with my following opinion.

    If you think a so called crackpot is (purposely) writing insane posts as a manipulation, then I say ban them from the forum.
    But if a so called crackpot appears to be honest in their posts. Then I think they should be handled within with the traditions of science.
    Either discredit their posts, or ignore their posts.
    Last edited by chad; December 29th, 2012 at 12:08 AM.
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    I just wanted to let you all know how the worlds greatest brain surgeon, comes up with many of his scientific ideas.
    He does things like this. He stands in his kitchen looking at a leaky sink, while words his 7th grade educated mother just told him, echo in his mind, and then his scientific ideas come to him. Most scientific ideas are either created like that, or by accident.

    I was just in the trash can section, and saw a thread about comparing the universe to human breathing ex.ex.
    You all just moved the very future of science to the trash can.
    Don't you all know that (most) world famous physicists, think about things just like that.

    If you all watched Nova like I do, you all would realize that most scientific ideas start out just like many of the threads, you all just move to the trash can.
    Last edited by chad; December 29th, 2012 at 07:37 PM.
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    If you all watched Nova like I do, you all would realize that most scientific ideas start out just like many of the threads, you all just move to the trash can.
    Someone else who gets his education from TV.

    I have no tolerance for cranks. They are a waste of brain matter which could have been used by someone intelligent.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
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    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    I just wanted to let you all know how the worlds greatest brain surgeon, comes up with many of his scientific ideas.
    He does things like this. He stands in his kitchen looking at a leaky sink, while words his 7th grade educated mother just told him, echo in his mind. Most scientific ideas are either created like that, or by accident.

    I was just in the trash can section, and saw a thread about comparing the universe to human breathing ex.ex.
    You all just moved the very future of science to the trash can.
    Don't you all know that (most) world famous physicists, think about things just like that.

    If you all watched Nova like I do, you all would realize that most scientific ideas start out just like many of the threads, you all just move to the trash can.
    I'm afraid you have the wrong idea about what we mean by "crackpot". That surgeon of yours has a solid background of education. I don't care if he stands on his head and whistles Yankee Doodle through his poophole, as long as he gets the job done.

    A crackpot is also not simply someone who comes up with weird ideas. We are more than willing to and regularly do try to help people see the errors they are committing and give their ideas a fair shake. When they start to move into crackpot territory is when they continue to refuse to listen to constructive criticism, refuse to educate themselves about the relevant science, remains wilfully ignorant of the scientific method, etc.

    In Mother/Father's thread's case; you'll notice that he has been posting for a while. We did not simply move his posts to pseudo and the trash from the beginning. We gave his wild ideas a fair shake and have tried to to instil the basics of the scientific method and scientific thinking, but it has regrettably been ineffective. If you read though that thread, you'll notice that he seems to think that him sitting on his backside and thinking about weird nonsense in ignorance can be construed as valid science. Given that and his unwillingness or inability to think scientifically identifies him as a crackpot. His posts are exactly where they belong.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    I was just in the trash can section, and saw a thread about comparing the universe to human breathing ex.ex.
    You all just moved the very future of science to the trash can.
    Don't you all know that (most) world famous physicists, think about things just like that.
    The difference is that world famous physicists already understand the known laws of physics, and apply their new analogies with a full understanding of the concepts involved.

    You have to build science upon previous science. That is how Newton formulated his theory of gravitation. It is how how Einstein took Newtons theory and expanded it into General Relativity.

    If you think a "breathing" model for the universe is the future, then perhaps you could explain what Mother/Father continually failed to explain - how can a universe that has only been expanding, and doesn't have enough gravity to contract again, be analagous to breathing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    I just wanted to let you all know how the worlds greatest brain surgeon, comes up with many of his scientific ideas.
    He does things like this. He stands in his kitchen looking at a leaky sink, while words his 7th grade educated mother just told him, echo in his mind. Most scientific ideas are either created like that, or by accident.

    I was just in the trash can section, and saw a thread about comparing the universe to human breathing ex.ex.
    You all just moved the very future of science to the trash can.
    Don't you all know that (most) world famous physicists, think about things just like that.

    If you all watched Nova like I do, you all would realize that most scientific ideas start out just like many of the threads, you all just move to the trash can.
    Science instituions are no doubt riddled with the closed minded, you would be a fool to think that just because it is a science institute that it somehow miraculously becomes void of contributors who have lost their human nature of jealously, wanting to keep things how they are etc. People will suppress, they will condemn and they will scrutinise new theories and ideas, some for genuine scientific reasons and some for their own personal insecurities. Yes people will tell you to shove off and label you a crackpot, no doubt Tesla was but look at his contribution.

    When it comes to people who stand in your way and they will in science as all walks of life and careers you may follow, the difference is using your social wit to overcome them. I have my own array of theories, I am even so bold as to think I have a way of making a Unified Field Theory, time travel, warp drive all these extravagant ideas that make sense with logic and using lateral thinking but I know that if I just churn out my ideas now without the mathematical knowledge and a full understanding of the physics already established they are going to tell me to get lost, you'd have to be a tad dense to think they wouldn't chad.

    It is easy to take things personally but don't, some are genuinley listening to new ideas and theories, just look at Peter Higgs for instance. He came up with this idea of the Higgs-Boson and they did laugh at him and tell him to get lost, perhaps not like that but denied him serious recognition because it seemed absurd. He went back and took time to prove his point by explaining in great detail how it comes about, he had the solution to problems physics had. In time they came back to him and he was taken more seriously. Even Einstein himself never won the nobel prize for Special or General relativity or even the mass energy equivalence equation. Remember Tesla too and his brilliant work.

    Just work on your own ideas, work on them to a great degree and prove them with mathematical proof and finally make sure that they solve problems in physics, only a fool would ignore them then. And THEN you have to be careful people won't steal your work like Edison did with Tesla. But you have to ask yourself, what is your ultimate goal for these ideas and theories you come up with?
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    I just wanted to let you all know how ...
    ... institutions are no doubt riddled with the closed minded, ...

    ... using social wit ... the host is going to tell me to get lost,
    you'd have to be a tad dense to think they wouldn't chad.

    It is easy to take things personally but don't,... Just work on your own ideas,
    ...you have to ask yourself, what is your ultimate goal
    for these ideas and theories you come up with?
    Hi! I butchered your post some:

    Enquiring into your ultimate goal,
    is fine for inspiration,
    but wortless as motivation.

    Never try to become WISE,
    try tickling yourself
    and youll get my point.
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  85. #84  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    Hi! I butchered your post some:
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdV View Post
    Hi!.. I... am... worthless...and... Never... WISE
    You mean like this?
    KALSTER likes this.
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  86. #85  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    "Crackpot hunters" attack things, that they are unable to understand.
    They claim to speak in the name of science, while they actually come to tear down the very structure of science itself.

    What would these "crackpot hunters" have done, if this forum was in place in the time Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein. What if Newton or Einstein would have posted their newest scientific theories here first? These "crackpot hunters" would have moved Newton's and Einstein's threads to the trash can section, and banned them from the forum if they did not shut up.


    Crackpots are at the heart of science itself. Most scientific inventions are realized by accident, or inspired by crackpots.
    Where would science be without these crackpots ideas, to make airplanes, rocket ships, medicine, man made diamonds, ex.ex.ex.ex. ?

    These "crackpot hunters" are a threat to science itself.
    The traditions of science would tell them to discredit or ignore these crackpots ideas. But today's "crackpot hunters" just (silence) new scientific ideas, by moving them to the trash can section.


    I believe the traditions of science would agree with my following opinion.

    If you think a so called crackpot is (purposely) writing insane posts as a manipulation, then I say ban them from the forum.
    But if a so called crackpot appears to be honest in their posts. Then I think they should be handled within with the traditions of science.
    Either discredit their posts, or ignore their posts.
    I think that after looking at the crackpot index, and listening to some of the other members comments, that we are all of capable of sometimes learning towards "crackpottery" ,for want of a better word, however what is certainly clear is that many do actively strive to avoid doing so. They take the time to research and understand their ideas and learn about the subjects they are interested in, in general they also tend to keep open minds and are not fixed so rigidly in their opinions as to make them ignore new evidence or learning opportunites. What I also have begun to realise is that the more you learn the more you realise just how much there is indeed to learn, so again I think this helps to make people more open minded and more able to learn and assimilate new information. It seems unfortunately all to easy to come to the wrong conclusions by not having enough information, knowledge or understanding of the subject at hand, all to often this can be problematic when people share these conclusions and are shown to be mistaken because people don't like to be wrong, especially even shown to be so. Yet we are all reasonably intelligent people with differing experiences and areas of knowledge meaning that the chances of any of us being the most knowledgeable all the time or even most of it are just not realistic, so if we could just get this simple message across then I think much of the crackpottery could be avoided. If people could easily accept that they might have gotten something wrong or don't necessarily have all the facts then they could all find it so much easier to learn.

    But just how do you get someone who is behaving like a crackpot to listen, after all it's more often in their own best interest as it then gives them the opportunity to actually learn, but also since this is a forum to learn if there is blatantly untrue things buzzing around purporting to be facts then its going to lead to people learning things that are wrong if this goes unchallenged. The thing is though people as a rule don't listen well to, or react in a positive manner to hostility, people have to be willing to listen to the speaker before they are really willing to listen to the message. I think this is why for the most part we don't see the Mods and Admins jumping all over everybodies mistakes, and why they are given plenty of opportunity to learn from then, but equally we can't expect them to let anybody continue with 'crackpottery' indeffinately without intervention.
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    But just how do you get someone who is behaving like a crackpot to listen
    You can't. It's one of the defining characteristics of crackpots. Their pathologies won't allow it.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  88. #87  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    ...after looking at the crackpot index,
    1 Is it the SINGER Joan Baez who wrote it?
    2 Did anyone chck the result on applying the crackpot index to itself?
    3 Good idea though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    ...the more you learn the more you realise just how much there is indeed to learn,
    Proves you cant learn it all unless you organise things better.
    Did you notice that the Departments of Science gets more isolated from each other as work goes on?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    ...
    people don't like to be wrong, especially even shown to be so.
    I think its better to be proven wrong than being wrong...How I like it to be proven wrong? No idea..never happened:
    They tell me im obviously wrong and that my problem is that im too stupid to see even the obvious...so why should they give me a proof?


    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    ...
    But just how do you get someone who is behaving like a crackpot to listen,
    Yawn...Ill take a break I willreturn edit and continue.
    Im Back!
    So Mr crackpot I WILL tell but first you must prove that you are listening?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    ...The thing is though people as a rule don't listen well to, or react in a positive manner to hostility, people have to be willing to listen to the speaker before they are really willing to listen to the message.
    SO? AND?


    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    ...
    I think this is why for the most part we don't see the Mods and Admins jumping all over everybodies mistakes, and why they are given plenty of opportunity to learn
    Hrm...eh...What did you say? Who learns what and how?
    Well then...A good post all in all. CYA!
    Last edited by sigurdV; December 29th, 2012 at 06:13 PM.
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    But just how do you get someone who is behaving like a crackpot to listen, after all it's more often in their own best interest as it then gives them the opportunity to actually learn,
    If they're "behaving like a crackpot" then they have absorbed or created some wrong notions and they are stubborn about restating them and defending them.

    Why won't they listen? Because the mere act of listening requires a personal acknowledgement that your own facts or ideas might be wrong or might have to change in some small or large way. Being "wrong", is in their minds, a burden too heavy to bear. This kind of stubbornness is very unlike the normal response of someone open to learning.

    The normal response takes many forms but it's various versions of three basic approaches. You'll see all of them on these forums at different times.
    "Oh really. Thanks for that. I'll follow that up." or
    "I never understood that before. Thank you, it all makes sense now." or
    "I'll take your word for it. You've clearly done a lot more work on it than I'm willing to do."

    Following up a new avenue of learning, getting the explanation you needed, accepting someone's expertise because you're not keen enough to acquire it for yourself. All perfectly normal in a day on a forum. The cranks who won't listen have various defenses against listening - because listening might result in one of these three things happening - and that, for whatever individual reason they might have - is totally unbearable.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    I have been guilty of posting incorrect information on this forum. Thankfully, my more knowledgeable friends have pointed out where I was wrong. I was grateful to them...because I don't want to desiminate wrong information. Cranks don't think like that. They are right and nothing you tell them will change their mind. The ghost of Einstien could visit them and tell them they are wrong...but they still won't believe it.
    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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    But if people arn't actually listening is it also possibly a big factor of who is speaking to them and the manner in which they are being spoken to?, I just mean that not many people are going to be too receptive to listening to people they believe have no respect for them and also we have all surely comes across people who take great pleasure in telling others they are wrong whilst rarely actually contributing much themselves. I'm just wondering after encountering several such people if it does have a knock on effect of making people naturally more defensive and less willing to want listen, and if this is the case how may we start to resolve this issue.
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    I fully see all of your points on this subject, and I obviously posted without knowing the whole story.

    I am just strongly against the hiding, moving, or silencing of any information. But obviously some of these "crackpots" interfere with normal/sane forum usage.
    So I guess their threads have to be moved for many reasons. So I say that all of you are more correct than I, on this subject.

    But I still say that some of these crackpot threads/posts, could (perhaps) lead some forum member's, to see subjects in a new way.

    This makes me think of how science classifies things, and puts them in their proper place.
    This forum has a Pseudoscience and trash can section, to move certain threads into their proper place.
    It just makes me wish this forum had a section for "crackpots" as well.


    As one of you said, these crackpots are uneducated. But I believe most of us, are just amateur scientists as well.
    And even though we did not commit our working lives, to the study and learning of science. I believe we still share the ideals and thoughts, of professional scientists.

    Even though these crackpots, may be properly considered to be illogical, insane, and full of nonsense.
    I still say they are a part of the structure of science, in this little amateur scientific community.


    Have a nice day/night,
    Chad.
    Last edited by chad; December 29th, 2012 at 07:40 PM.
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    Crackpots do have a place here. If someone posts some crackpot theory...and you know in your heart it's wrong...but don't have the data in memory to refute it....you might have to do some research into the field to gather the data to show that they are wrong...and in the process learn something...or someone that is reading the crackpot thread might learn something. That is the purpose of this board...to learn..in what ever way we can.

    It's just important that we let the lurkers know that the post is "on the fringe"...and not established science. There's nothing wrong with that.
    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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    I'm just wondering after encountering several such people if it does have a knock on effect of making people naturally more defensive and less willing to want listen, and if this is the case how may we start to resolve this issue.
    For all we know these people had a bad experience with a schoolteacher or parents. For all we know these people have been resistant to advice or guidance or teaching for the whole of their lives. For all we know these people resist change in every aspect of their lives.

    Most importantly, they've never absorbed the basic requirement for learning. That is unlearning.

    It's rare for anyone above the age of about 14 to come across information or ideas that they haven't already acquired some thoughts or impressions about, however vague and unformed. The very first requirement many people have when they get to university, for instance, is to unlearn the simplified material they were taught in school. You cannot progress unless you do.

    For many of us, there's one big hit of unlearning right from the start when we move into a bigger world. The biggest hit of all might be to the ego. When you've always been the smartest person you know or the best basketball player or the best pianist, it's humbling to find out that some people are smarter, more knowledgeable, more accomplished, more talented, than you are. Quite a few people, in fact. For many people this stumbling block is one they never recover from. And it taints all their dealings with their subject matter and with other people.

    It is much, much easier for such people to believe that other people dislike them, fear their penetrating insights or, if they're inclined that way, are involved in some form of academic clique or social exclusion or even a conspiracy to prevent their brilliance from being displayed around the world.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968 View Post
    The ghost of Einstien could visit them and tell them they are wrong...but they still won't believe it.
    On that one- I wouldn't believe it, either.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    But if people arn't actually listening is it also possibly a big factor of who is speaking to them and the manner in which they are being spoken to?, I just mean that not many people are going to be too receptive to listening to people they believe have no respect for them and also we have all surely comes across people who take great pleasure in telling others they are wrong whilst rarely actually contributing much themselves. I'm just wondering after encountering several such people if it does have a knock on effect of making people naturally more defensive and less willing to want listen, and if this is the case how may we start to resolve this issue.
    This question isn't so easy to examine. For example, I might start out polite, but I won't stay that way if given hogwash responses.
    After I've gotten less polite, they cry that I'm not a sweetheart.
    Sometimes, I should have been more polite than I was.
    Others, I was too tolerant.

    In the end, not me, not you, not the Admin can be held responsible for how a particular member chooses to post. Yes, any one can act a certain way that elicits a reaction. But when that becomes the excuse for posting pseudoscience or nonsense, then it is only an excuse and not a reason.
    So I can be sweet or rude to "NonsensePoster#3" and it will make absolutely no difference to whether he's receptive to learning or not.

    However, if I'm too easygoing and nice, "NonsensePoster#3" may see that as a weakness to exploit. It can be used to distract from the argument or to present the illusion that my rebuttals are not valid because I cannot put them forth forcefully enough.

    Some people respond better to politeness and some don't. With several posters with a variety of style, you increase the odds that one of them will hit the mark- if any of them do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    It is much, much easier for such people to believe that other people dislike them, fear their penetrating insights or, if they're inclined that way, are involved in some form of academic clique or social exclusion or even a conspiracy to prevent their brilliance from being displayed around the world.
    So short of simply banning everybody what methods are available on an internet forum such as this to possitively break down these barriers and get through to people, how do you alter someone's attitude and approach in a good way and get them to start listening, or at the very least be in the correct frame of mind to want to listen, this is possibly getting into psychological territory here but am quite interested in the tools and techniques available, so that they are ready to unlearn and to start further learning in the correct manner?
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  97. #96  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    So short of simply banning everybody what methods are available on an internet forum such as this to possitively break down these barriers and get through to people, how do you alter someone's attitude and approach in a good way and get them to start listening, or at the very least be in the correct frame of mind to want to listen, this is possibly getting into psychological territory here but am quite interested in the tools and techniques available, so that they are ready to unlearn and to start further learning in the correct manner?
    This one will earn you the question of the year award. The answer maybe even the Nobel Prize in Psychology.
    The use of the words "we," and "our" in the following refers to all of us, any of us, as people in our daily interactions with any other person:
    Thing is, if we knew how to make a person snap into clarity- life would be easier as a whole. It's something which is heavily influenced by so many factors that are not only not in our control, but unpredictable in daily life. How do you convince a child of getting good grades or an addict of recovery? Sometimes you can and sometimes you can't.
    You just try your best and let others try their own best method.
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  98. #97  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Some people respond better to politeness and some don't. With several posters with a variety of style, you increase the odds that one of them will hit the mark- if any of them do.
    You can't look someone in the eye on a forum, you can't read the body language or pick on the mannerisms like you can when actually speaking to someone in person so I suppose who can never be totally sure just what sort of a reaction you will get, I would imagine though, like with most things, you probrbly get better at judging, from the syntax or speech patterns, how someone may react to particular approach with experience. I would imagine though in many cases you will receive a much better response to constructive critism where your intentions are well meaning, provided of course this is conveyed properly, than just the annoyance that we can sometimes all feel in the face of what can often appear as sheer stupidity. I also think though we have to be careful at times because when someone appears to be volatile there can be those that set about exploiting that fact for their own amusement, usually though I think it's fair to say that such attempts are fairly transparent.
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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  99. #98  
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    this is possibly getting into psychological territory here but am quite interested in the tools and techniques available, so that they are ready to unlearn and to start further learning in the correct manner?
    Waaaay into psychological territory, I'm afraid.

    We can use the fact that this is a social environment.
    Some people will be impatient and dismissive - in real life this would be the tutor who gives a failing grade on an assignment, maybe with the flourish of an exasperated sigh.

    Others will be more patient - maybe like a real life personal tutor who gives the student more scope to gently let themselves down from their misunderstandings or their misguided attempts to get the tutor to change the whole world of algebra and of chemistry terminology to accommodate their 'better' ideas (yes, that's the voice of weary experience talking there).

    Others may persist, for a time, in offering reference material. Maybe they'll coach by working through equivalent examples, step by step. Much like a real life lecturer who's prepared to help individual students, a bit. Eventually they'll give up.

    There are some admirable forum members here who give detailed explanations, again and again, trying to find the right 'button' to hit to get the message through. We all know that we learned some things by coming across that one special additional explanation to give us our lightbulb moment. Fact is, that lightbulb moment very likely wouldn't have happened if that form of words had turned up earlier in a process - the preparatory steps were needed to pave the way. And some forum participants are willing to do this again and again - and usually it works.

    If you look at any of the epic crank threads, you'll see members playing out these roles. To a totally deaf, unresponsive audience. You might find some responses - generally an appeal to others who feel put upon by the oppressive atmosphere of 'conformist' reality-based reasoning. So you finish up with the equivalent of excellent drama playing on stage to an audience of schoolkids talking among themselves, not looking at the stage unless it's to check that those boring people are still doing whatever they do and occasionally throwing sweet wrappers on the floor and making other messes.
    SpeedFreek, Ascended and Neverfly like this.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968 View Post
    Crackpots do have a place here. If someone posts some crackpot theory...and you know in your heart it's wrong...but don't have the data in memory to refute it....you might have to do some research into the field to gather the data to show that they are wrong...and in the process learn something...or someone that is reading the crackpot thread might learn something. That is the purpose of this board...to learn..in what ever way we can.

    It's just important that we let the lurkers know that the post is "on the fringe"...and not established science. There's nothing wrong with that.
    This post was an error.

    In my original post here, I assumed a "lurker" meant something else.
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  101. #100  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968 View Post
    Crackpots do have a place here. If someone posts some crackpot theory...and you know in your heart it's wrong...but don't have the data in memory to refute it....you might have to do some research into the field to gather the data to show that they are wrong...and in the process learn something...or someone that is reading the crackpot thread might learn something. That is the purpose of this board...to learn..in what ever way we can.

    It's just important that we let the lurkers know that the post is "on the fringe"...and not established science. There's nothing wrong with that.
    Those damn "lurkers".
    You do realize this site is indexed by google, and non-members looking for answers can come across threads. This is a science board...and we accept known science. If something is outside the bounds of science...we have a place for it. So that lurkers can know what is hard science and what is not.
    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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