Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why no "Personal idea" forum?

  1. Oct 22, 2015 #1
    Hi everybody, and a particular hi-five to all the organization members!

    Many scientific forums have a place where those who like to let their ideas wander can express them and discuss their plausibility. If it doesn't directly help science to progress, to be criticized by scientists certainly helps people to progress in science, and who knows if such a discussion will not give birth to a good idea in those scientists' minds. I give me a Godwin point in advance for this one, but what if Einstein had put his idea here before it was accepted by the mainstream community? Would you have banned him for not respecting the rules?

    Why no "Crazy idea" forum?:smile:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2015 #2
    Your post has been echoed many times over the years. We tried an open theory area for several years and all it did was attract low quality people and sucked up all our resources.
     
  4. Oct 22, 2015 #3

    Orodruin

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    We used to have one, it simply does not work as it attracts crackpots who in turn scare off the quality members we do want to attract. There are several good ways of discussing original contributions to science, but an anonymous internet forum certainly is a bad one.

    We believe our mission does help the furthering of science and that keeping crackpots out is the best way to do it. Students come to us to get help in their training and by interacting with professionals about the current state of knowledge, we help them understand what the current state of the art is.

    Crackpots are often the complete opposite of this. They do not come to be critisised, they come to spread their ideas and often become confrontative when you tell them things simply do not work as they believe. They do not wish to learn or accept that their thinking is way out. This brings nothing but headaches to quality forum members whose time would be better spent helping people understand. There is a big difference about knowing the boundaries of the box and thinking outside it and running around with a blind fold in parts of the box that has long since been discarded

    Einstein understood how the scientific method worked and was not such an outsider as many want him to be. He knew the proper channels of communicating scientific results and, more importantly, had a very good grasp of the current state of the fields he was working in. He was building upon works by other physicists and took their results further. He did not claim Newtonian mechanics was misguided or advocated a return to the pre-Copernican world views, which would have been the equivalent of how many crackpots tend to treat quantum mechanics and relativity.

    Should he, against his own better knowing, have posted his theories here, he would have received a warning and most likely understood the PF mission and instead tried going through better channels.
     
  5. Oct 22, 2015 #4

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    If he agreed that he wasn't going to do this when he joined and then reneged? Yes, he should be banned.

    And I note in passing that Einstein did OK even without having his ideas on PF.
     
  6. Oct 22, 2015 #5
    I would think that the forum moderations would allow a personal theory if it was sufficiently developed. If Einstein had just posted his theory of spacetime as intertwined and curved, yeah, he probably would have been banned. If he had posted the same idea, but with the mathematics of how it explained the orbit of Mercury, he probably would have been fine... right?

    @Greg Bernhardt maybe change the wording of that to say hypothesis instead of theory?

    Mass curving space and altering the behavior of time is a hypothesis.
    The same hypothesis followed by mathematics to back it up makes it a theory and I would think should warrant some time.
     
  7. Oct 22, 2015 #6

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    IMO - crackpots do not get the hypothesis concept, folks who understand Science do. We have too many wild-*ss ideas as it is. About 20% of the posts in Biology and Earth get locked for this reason. I guess a way took at it is: people who do not know that they do not know.

    Do we want a flood of stuff we have to refute? And then be accused of being close-minded? I pass. I'm with Vanadium - when you sign up you play by the rules. Let's not redefine some very basic assumptions about PF.

    Bumper sticker: 'Don't believe everything you think.'
     
  8. Oct 22, 2015 #7

    Orodruin

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    No, we do not. Physics Forums is not a place for the development or communication of new ideas, this is what scientific peer reviewed journals are for.
     
  9. Oct 22, 2015 #8
    Fair enough.
     
  10. Oct 22, 2015 #9
    I thought this would probably be the main reason, and I agree its reasonable too. There is forcibly a tolerance margin on any physical system. Its too bad for me and my kind though. I wish all the "Scientific" forums on the web would group to form a "Crazy science" one, where we would not be attacked only for having had them because scientists have no choice but to protect the seriousness of their forum.

    Thanks for answering guys, if ever my ideas get accepted, I'll be back!:smile:
     
  11. Oct 22, 2015 #10

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

  12. Oct 22, 2015 #11

    jtbell

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  13. Oct 23, 2015 #12
    Thanks JT and ZZ, you do a good job. Not sure how I can use that information to present my crazy ideas on other forums though, but at least, I now better understand the problem.
     
  14. Oct 23, 2015 #13
    In the early days of electronic communications, when the FidoNet Echos and sci.physics forums were prevalent, they were plagued by crackpots who ruined things for everyone else. One had to wade through scads of crap to find anything of real interest. Very tiresome.
     
  15. Oct 24, 2015 #14

    WWGD

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Sci.math , an umoderated site, became a dump, full of name-calling and people, notably one "Archimedes Plutonium" making tons of posts on his "correction of Mathematics". Despite many quality people there, the place quickly became, and still is, a dump. I think part of the problem is that many dont realize that in order to do original, creative work, you need to understand the basics very well beforehand.
     
  16. Oct 24, 2015 #15
    I don't think I ever looked at the afore-mentioned sci.math site. Wow, I never will again. That's the best answer to the OP, and to anyone who questions the policy here. Thanks for keeping this place the way it is...
     
  17. Oct 26, 2015 #16
    I actually have several peer-reviewed articles published in a variety of journals of my "personal model" of the evolution of human brain function. So I might get away with peddling away my theory as "mainstream science," but I've found that I do not want to. As tempting as it is to discuss my original theory(s), I enjoy my anonymity here and the comfort of not having to defend the original model. This is a good thing.

    What I've learned from being a member of PF for going on 4 years now is that it is an exercise in discipline. Just the facts, maam. It's very easy to get carried away but that's not what this site is about.

    I had a friend who was the head bartender at the "Central" in downtown Seattle (pioneer square). He had a great manner to him when he cut people off from drinking, which is one of the principal jobs of a bartender. Most bartenders are just Ass%$^els and tell the guy they're cut off, which can lead to not so favorable outcomes. However, my buddy has more of a soft touch. He used to say, hey, I can't serve you anymore and this is not the place for you...But, there's a dozen other bars within a 2 block radius and I'm sure they'd be happy to serve you. So that's all it took. Just a little finesse. What could have been an incident was quelched by crafty bar-room diplomacy.

    So that's how I see PF. They're trying to serve up straight vodka, no mixer. How's that for a metaphor? If you want a foofy drink, there's a bar across the street :biggrin:
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Why no "Personal idea" forum?
  1. Why Physics Forums (Replies: 8)

Loading...