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Why?

  1. Mar 10, 2004 #1
    Why are the moderators on this web site so concerned with controlling the what views are expressed here? It seems that everytime there is a discussion that questions their precious dogmas they simply try to block it out.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2004 #2

    russ_watters

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    It isn't the views, its the tone. Browse the TD forum and you'll find lots and lots of views that are flat out wrong and though we try to correct them, we certainly allow discussion of them so long as the discussion is civil.

    edit to elaborate:
    If you are asking why we so fervently 'cling' to 'established physics,' its really quite simple: it works.

    Several of us, (myself and Chroot most noteably) have little tolerance for baseless conjecture. The reason is that I'm an engineer, not a physicist. I deal with the real, not the theoretical.

    As someone else (Tom or Janus, maybe?) put it, SR though still 'just a theory,' long ago passed the stage where its validity was up for question. It was studied and debated heavily for perhaps the first half of the century and the scientific community eventually came to the consensus that it is valid. Please note, that's not a trival thing for the scientific community to accept a theory as valid: thousands of papers were written, experiments performed, observations taken, etc. and they confirm SR to an immaculate level of precision.

    And this is where I enter: as an engineer, I deal with ideas (for the most part) the scientific community long ago accepted as valid. One job I applied for, for example, was building GPS satellites for Lockheed in Philly. You cannot understand how GPS works without accepting the validity of SR (and GR).

    And this is where you enter: Its fine to want to push the boundaries of what we know about physics. Physics isn't over any any physicist will tell you that (otherwise they'd be superfluous). I don't often venture into the strings sub-forum because besides being beyond me, it isn't terribly relevant to me until the physicists sort it all out. But the SR/GR forum is about real, hard theories. If you challenge such a strong theory, be prepared for virtually unanamous and unyielding opposition. The same goes for the TD sub-forum: most of what goes on there isn't pushing the boundaries, its misunderstanding/ attacking already established theories.

    So to sum up: pushing the boundaries is great - but be prepared for staunch opposition if the boundary you see is right down the center of what is already accepted as valid. And keep your cool in the face of such strong opposition - its understandable (but not acceptable) to take opposition to your ideas personally and respond with personal attacks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2004
  4. Mar 10, 2004 #3

    Tom Mattson

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    This ain't "General Physics", so I'm moving it here.

    We aren't. But when threads go on for pages without making any progress, it is time to shut them down. It would have been a different story if you had actually provided some justification for your claims, but in fact you never did. Endless assertion has no place here.

    That is not true. When people present arguments and are civil, we happily debate them on equal terms. But when others (such as yourself) comes in here with both arms swinging and makes no attempt whatsoever to be rational, we (the Mentors) face a dilemma:

    First, we can let the person continue doing what they are doing. But that raises another problem, namely our obligation to maintain the educational integrity of the site. That means that, if we let said person continue their senseless ranting, we have to occupy ourselves with babysitting their threads. This is mentally exhausting, and it takes away from our own enjoyment of the site.

    Second, we can ask ourselves, "Is it really worth it? Does this person really have something worthwhile to say? Might some fruitful discussion come from this?" If we find that said person is simply being dismissive of every rebuttal put to him, then we decide, "No, it is not worth it. Shut the thread down."

    In your case, we made the determination in favor of the second case, for reasons that are obvious to even the most casual bystander.

    It's a pity that you can't see that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2004
  5. Mar 10, 2004 #4

    Phobos

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    Well said Russ & Tom.

    We have no interest in controlling views or dishing dogma. We are PF members who love discussing science. But we are also volunteer forum moderators who are tasked to maintain the quality of the forums. Questioning mainstream theories is fine. Discussions of alternative theories are welcome in the appropriate forum. Your constant insults toward other members is not welcome and is against the policy you agreed to when signing up for these forums.
     
  6. Mar 10, 2004 #5

    Nereid

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    That's two mentors and one Super-Mentor view.

    Here's a non-mentor view:
    1) I can't abide the personal insults. I'm particularly incensed that someone who calls themself a teacher castigates someone who calls herself a student 'an idiot'. That'd be bad enough if it were provoked, it's utterly unforgivable, IMHO, as a response to a respectful, open question.

    To inject a personal note: you can have no idea how incandescent was my anger when reading some of the things in recent threads on the Social Sciences sub-forum. Yet I always tried to respond with a civil tongue (you may judge for yourself how well I succeeded).

    2) It's also annoying for well-formed questions, based upon the proposer's own statements, to go unanswered. I appreciate that sometimes one gets overloaded, sometimes misunderstandings arise, mis-statements happen, etc. Most folk surely understand this. However, when the questions continue to (appear to be) ignored, when the proposer continues to refuse to clarify, (and so on), then it certainly creates doubt in the minds of the readers that the proposer is 'for real'.

    3) As others have said, there is the Theory Development sub-forum in PF. It's a wonderful thing! IMHO, there are few, if any, places like it on the internet - post your ideas, and defend them against all challenges. Some of the stuff there is really very good (look at Andre's posts on Venus, for example, or wisp's defences of his idea); some of the challenges are very pointed, and go the heart of the proposer's ideas.

    4) If you have persistent critics, as long as the points they are raising are well founded (and they don't keep repeating things no longer in contention), it behoves you to respond - with well reasoned arguments or good data of your own - to their criticisms. Indeed, we should all welcome such critics, they can only make our own proposals better.
     
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