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Greg what's going on? Censorship?

  1. Oct 27, 2004 #1
    On Theory Development I posted some hours ago a reply ( Something wrong with E=mc2) about the practice on the Theory development thread on "strange theories", which are against mainstream (you know the official Guru's). I said that new ideas may have great value even not proven yet. So I am for an open approach. Then I said I liked PF but not such Inquisition type of approach where Chroot closes every new "strange idea". I don't think my remarks are that offensive.

    IMO refusing new ideas is not scientific. If science would have an answer to everything ... I would agree. But we see that world recognized experts are battling between them, even on terms like background, strings, Quantum Gravity, ... etc. Much is speculative.

    But then my critical post was DELETED ... that was really surprizing to me. Does that shows that in PF the censorship becomes a rule? I don't think so in general, but on Theory Development for sure.
    When someone expresses critics ... just delete the post. That means that the system has no answer, or that the system knows something is wrong, or that systems fears that something is spread.

    I suggested also that an alternative was to post "strange" ideas on http://www.superstringtheory.org:8080/forum/index.jsp which is a more open system. There you have no Chroot closing threads.

    Now it have no real problem that Chroot blocks posts, it's just a pity that good ideas may be lost or not get exposure. It's just shows that PF became rigids. May be PF over-judges it's importance. May be. On the start is was different ... every post was welcome to get the numbers.
    The consequence: Action gives reaction. That's the way it goes in Physics, that's the way it goes in communications. Since two years I promote PF on my website. On every page (40 pages?) I made a link. But now ... since I don't trust PF's openness ... why should I do that? I am going to remove those links on next update. May be not of real importance ... but that's my simple reaction. I don't like censorship, and I don't think that open people need to be linked to people which apply in any way censorship.

    My question: Is PF mentally strong enough to let this post appear on the site? Or will it be deleted in some hours?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2004 #2

    chroot

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    1) I didn't delete your post. Integral deleted it, because it was off-topic.

    2) There is an enormous difference between world-class physicists developing and debating new theories and uneducated cranks arguing about relativity on the internet. If you can't see the difference, I frankly pity you.

    3) I am not the only person here responsible for the censorship. All of our staff agreed that TD needed to be cleaned up. There is no inquisition against ideas, just against pseudoscience. If an idea does not follow the scientific method, it simply does not belong on this site.

    4) There are a million other sites on the web where you are completely free to spout whatever pseudoscientific gibberish you want. This isn't one of them. You are free to leave.

    5) I put the issue to a vote, and the vast majority of those who voted said the site is better without TD. Our policies are supported by most of our users. We have no interest in catering to you.

    6) To my knowledge, no good ideas have ever been posted to TD. Ideas are not good just because their authors think they are good.

    7) We've already enduring a dozen or so threads in the feedback section started by crackpots who don't like our new policy. We'll endure yours, too. What makes you think your complaint matters to anyone but you?

    - Warren
     
  4. Oct 27, 2004 #3

    Integral

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    You bet I deleted it, and I'd do it again. It was simply a rant with no real relavance to the topic of the thread.

    This is the forum for such rants. But since this is a deadhorse which has been beaten to a bloody pulp, I do not think there is any reason to.
     
  5. Oct 27, 2004 #4

    Bystander

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    "New ideas?" Uh-uh --- they've all been run up the flagpole before --- they're tiresome.

    Two bits from one of the membership voting to do w'out TD.
     
  6. Oct 28, 2004 #5
    I would just like to say that, for the record, I have learned a lot of useful ways to counter crackpots in real life just by reading threads in PF (I never respond to them, though). I think it's a good realization for some people to get shot down. After they are shot down, I don't think people should continue...so I agree dead horses should not be beaten further. Are questions along the lines of "I know this isn't right, but can someone explain why?" still legal?
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2004
  7. Oct 28, 2004 #6

    chroot

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    KingNothing,

    Sure, questions will always be permitted. That's our bread & butter here.

    - Warren
     
  8. Oct 28, 2004 #7

    russ_watters

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    That was one of the main reasons why the TD forum stayed open so long. But the volume of crackpottery just got too high.
     
  9. Oct 30, 2004 #8
    3) Pseudoscience: I believe there are enough examples in science where crackpot or Pseudoscience finally won. Remember the mainstream idea that Earth was the Middle of the cosmos? Where people executed for stating that in stead the Sun was in the middle?

    5) The majority : meaning 15 or 16 users of ....13,000 members! :rofl: That's a "significant" ratio! Real science here.

    6) Your knowledge may be limited. Maybe it's your perception of reality that is different. Ideas are not just bad because the mentors think they are bad.

    7) I was not talking about myself. Sometimes I found interesting alternative views in posts on TD with a different creative approach. Do you really think actual science has all answers? I believe most inventors or new theories came from individuals who went off the traditional way of thinking, and came with the missing piece.

    I repeat: Do you really think actual science has all answers? YES or NO. YES or NO ?

    Like MICHAEL DUFF said: Physics tend to be dictated by fad and fashion. There are the gurus who dictate the direction in which new ideas grow. It was a very lonely time in many ways. When I tried to get graduate students interested many of them would say well look, you may be right and you may be wrong, but if I work in super gravity I'm not going to find a job.

    I remember that before TD was called the Pseudoscience thread. Why not re-name it that way?
    Nobody must go to such thread ... only those interested in that stuff. Why would someone NOT INTERESTED in Pseudo Science visit such sub-forum?
     
  10. Oct 30, 2004 #9
    Actual science is the main fundament of this forum and that is a very good thing. I would like to thank the administrators for blocking the TD-section here. The problem is not that people have certain ideas on science, it is the fact that they never wanna see the flaws in their pet theories. I have been spending quite some time here, answering to people who made certain assumptions on nuclei and particle physics. The problem is that those people do not have any good idea on the further development of science. They just formulate their question in such a way that it sounds like some new theory they developped.I often found people talking about new QM-theories, but at the same time they want you to explain to them what a Hamiltonian is... I think enough is said with this example...

    marlon
     
  11. Oct 30, 2004 #10

    Hurkyl

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    You seem to have a fundamental misconception: "pseudoscience" is not synonymous with "going against the mainstream".
     
  12. Oct 30, 2004 #11

    arildno

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    "I remember that before TD was called the Pseudoscience thread. Why not re-name it that way?
    Nobody must go to such thread ... only those interested in that stuff. Why would someone NOT INTERESTED in Pseudo Science visit such sub-forum? "
    You can't quarantine them in that way, they'll spread and infect the rest of the forum with their nonsense. The best way to contain the malign influence of crackpots is to slam the door shut in their faces.
     
  13. Oct 30, 2004 #12
    Sure ... the Bush way. Don't listen. Just destroy.
    And you know what " nonsense" are? Yes? Because your smart? Smarter than all others? You have the TRUTH? Yes?
    Or are you just a bandwagon ... repeating in awe the words of the Guru's.
     
  14. Oct 30, 2004 #13

    Hurkyl

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    Nonsense and truth are different concepts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2004
  15. Oct 30, 2004 #14
    Sure but ... please explain. I am curious about your arguments.
     
  16. Oct 30, 2004 #15

    Hurkyl

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    I agure that the quality of being "right" or "wrong" is irrelvant to the censorship on this forum -- it's the quality of the argument.

    Even if I agree with someone's point, I will still correct them if their argument is nonsense. I've seen other mentors do the same.


    People who have poor quality arguments against the "majority held belief" (whatever that means) are "censored" because their argument is poor quality, not because it's against the majority belief.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2004
  17. Oct 30, 2004 #16
    I think it is plain to see that the Forum Admin staff, Advisors included, Are really digging a hole here:I agure that the quality of being "right" or "wrong" is irrelvant to the censorship on this forum -- it's the quality of the argument

    Why not create a Poll asking WHY people come to the PF site?..here are a few questions for starters:

    Reason for entering into PF forums:
    1)To be Educated

    2)To be Laughed at

    3)To be annoying

    3)Because their lonely

    4)Comical Reasons

    5)Boredom

    6)Financial

    7)Great place to talk about scientific Awards

    8)Great place to chit-chat

    9)Good reason for someone Scientifically to put me in my place

    10)I think I am wrong about a Scientific reasoning, and would like a genuine consensus of opinion

    11)Because I can have a number of different identities and use this to my advantage to express my Scientific Ego in giving advise

    I really think the fact that TD is still up and running, accepting posts hides an Ulteria motive, why not remove it and all the archive postings..what are the admin afraid of!
     
  18. Oct 30, 2004 #17

    Gokul43201

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    I'm not sure what point it is you are making here...anyways, such a poll has been conducted.

    If ten people come up with the same crackpot idea, it needs to be debunked only once...so long as there's a copy of that somewhere, that can be linked to.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2004
  19. Oct 31, 2004 #18

    Chronos

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    Another conspiracy theory. Greg and the 'gang' are part of an insidious plot to subvert humanity and free thinking to their own evil purposes. Have you considered a hobby, or a pet? I hear both can be therapeutic.
     
  20. Oct 31, 2004 #19
    1. the quality of the argument? Just closing new threads on TD is not arguing.
    This the manifestation of disrespect for the opinion of others.

    2. ... if their argument is nonsense.
    Nonsense ... means no sense.
    The logic some TD posters showed makes sense.
    In your mind it maybe makes no sense. That means you see your own intellectual capacities as superior. I would say: Hurkyl ... prepare yourself for the Nobel prize. You must be the smartest man on earth.

    3. majority held belief.
    Theories like QM start with postulates. QM has a lot. That means there is a pre-set of assumptions which lead to following results.
    Now when someone doesn't accept these postulates or some of them, or claims different postulates, does that makes his arguments "poor"? Based on those different postulates his conclusions or results may be perfectly logic.
    I remind you on the Middle Ages and Earth being flat and in the middle of the Universe. Defenders of that vision made - in their reasoning (postulates) - very strong arguments. Contradicting views - putting the Sun in the middle - were censored ... .
    TD - originally set up the be a type of open space on PF - is now doing the same since most mentors believe they have the source of wisdom.

    http://deoxy.org/galileoc.htm
    http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/information/solarsystem/history.html
     
  21. Oct 31, 2004 #20

    Chronos

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    Well just how many flat earth theories need be deflated before they are deemed flatulent? Rev up your own website, expend the resources necessary to shape it in your own image and then come back with a field report. The Mentors give a damn about this oasis on the net. It is their creation and they have a vision of where they want to take it. Excising tumors is generally considered beneficial to the patient.
     
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