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Old 21st February 2014, 08:27 AM   #2441
BurntSynapse
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
Are you citing Quine the blogger, who posted (something like) that online in September 2013?

Or are you citing Willard Van Orman Quine, who died in December 2000 after a distinguished career in which he often wrote things like this:




We are well aware of your belief that it shouldn't matter who wrote such things, but knowing who wrote it would make it easier for us to track down the passage in question and see for ourselves whether you are giving us an accurate summary of it.
Kasser from the TTC lectures:

"Atoms, says Quine, have the same kind of status as the Greek Gods once did...So Zeus was an explanation of lightening!"
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Old 21st February 2014, 09:46 AM   #2442
Dancing David
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In other words Burnt Synapse, you don't know what you think, you can't explain it in any meaningful way.

Arrivederci!

Any time you want to actually discuss something rather than wave words around I will gladly discuss it with you.
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Old 21st February 2014, 10:22 AM   #2443
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
In other words Burnt Synapse, you don't know what you think, you can't explain it in any meaningful way.
At least this farewell criticism is accurate about using different words - no small improvement.
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Old 21st February 2014, 10:28 AM   #2444
Dancing David
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Originally Posted by BurntSynapse View Post
At least this farewell criticism is accurate about using different words - no small improvement.
And when you can actually say how your ideas would benefit an actual paradigm shift or scientific revolution, I will read them eagerly.

Again I can give you concrete examples of what made scientific revolutions and paradigm shifts, how exactly would you help Enrico Fermi with his?

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...um/fermi2.html
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Old 21st February 2014, 10:33 AM   #2445
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Arrivederci!

Any time you want to actually discuss something rather than wave words around I will gladly discuss it with you.
Of course, "waving words around" is sufficiently vague to apply to any sentence. It probably is most effective as used here: asserting there is nothing to understand if understanding might incur costs.

If I publicly ridiculed a position with sufficient offense and sensed things weren't going well for me, I'd probably conclude something similar to word "waving/salad" and move away from the discussion.

A difference is that I don't have the luxury of ignoring value that SME's like you and Ben possess, while SME's probably function better in their roles thinking management only hinders them.

Last edited by BurntSynapse; 21st February 2014 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 21st February 2014, 10:47 AM   #2446
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I'm beginning to see a pattern here

This exchange, which dragged out over three full months, has been typical of BurntSynapse's conduct:
  1. On 22 November 2013, BurntSynapse tried to use Quine's theory of underdetermination to support BurntSynapse's own claim that it's "very difficult to formally demonstrate one theory (Zeus) is better or worse at explaining falling than a theory of gravity."
  2. Later that day, I said BurntSynapse's claim was "hilariously wrong" and "a grotesque distortion of what Quine was saying".
  3. Within that same post, I quoted Burton Dreben, a colleague of Quine's and a recognized authority on Quine's philosophy. Dreben refuted a popular misinterpretation of Quine that has Quine saying Zeus is as good as science as explanation for empirical phenomena.
  4. For several months, BurntSynapse said Dreben's refutation had nothing to do with anything BurntSynapse had claimed.
  5. Meanwhile, BurntSynapse continued to insist that Quine's philosophy somehow supported BurntSynapse's position, whatever that position may be. On several occasions, he even hinted that Quine himself had made the claim I had characterized as "a grotesque distortion of what Quine was saying."
  6. Today, 21 February 2014, BurntSynapse admitted he had misquoted Quine by making it a quotation about gravity instead of lightning, but insisted "the underdetermination point he argued and is a point in every introductory course in HPS seems well established." BurntSynapse also suggested I had been trying "to avoid dealing with the merit of the claim in favor of a red herring."
  7. I then pointed out that, absent proper citation, I haven't been able to find any example of Quine saying Zeus provides an explanation of lightning that deserves comparison to a scientific theory of gravity.
  8. I also quoted Quine's own words, from "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", in which Quine explicitly denies any belief in Homer's gods and says accepting those gods over scientific explanations would be "a scientific error".
  9. BurntSynapse responded by quoting Professor Jeffrey Kasser's philosophy-for-poets paraphrase in which Kasser (not Quine) says "Zeus was an explanation of lightning."
  10. From BurntSynapse's full quotation of Kasser, it's clear that Kasser was making exactly the same mistake that Burton Dreben warned against in the passage I quoted on 22 November 2013.
    ETA: On rereading, that's not so clear. I think it's possible Kasser is merely repeating Quine's point that Zeus can be regarded as an explanation for lightning, without repeating Quine's view that the Zeus explanation is easily shown to be inferior to scientific explanations (because scientific explanations have more predictive power, and those predictions have held up under empirical tests). If that's all Kasser was saying, then BurntSynapse's claimed difficulty of demonstrating the inferiority of the Zeus explanation is entirely BurntSynapse's error, not Kasser's.
That's been BurntSynapse's pattern throughout this thread. He drops names "to create a sense of superiority" and to imply "a connection to people of high status". When pressed for substance, he appeals to the authority of those famous names by saying they agree with him. When pressed for specifics, he resists. If he can be shamed into hinting at specifics, he offers his own paraphrases of what he wants us to think has been said by the famous authorities.

The positions BurntSynapse attributes to those authorities eventually turn out to be some combination of (1) BurntSynapse's own invention, (2) distortions of the authorities' positions taken from crackpot web sites, and (3) BurntSynapse's mangled version of a popularized summary written by someone other than the authority himself (e.g. Kasser instead of Quine, Hofstadter instead of Gödel).

Last edited by W.D.Clinger; 21st February 2014 at 11:25 AM. Reason: added ETA in gray
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Old 21st February 2014, 11:58 AM   #2447
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Originally Posted by BurntSynapse View Post
I'd intended the analog to be "advances in cognitive science of scientific revolutions look promising" which seems of at least equal detail to "advances in variable speed motors look promising".
Advances in the cognitive science of scientific revolution look promising for what activity? For the activity of revising the one-paragraph description of "transformative research" that's given to grant reviewers?

This subthread started with you announcing that it was important to (a) discover warp drives, (b) to somehow prompt physicists to reexamine spacetime dimensionality, and (c) to seek out research that involved "process concepts" on topics that previously included "object concepts", and perhaps (d) to embark on some mega-task of "documenting assumptions" held by physics researchers.

All of this has gone away. All we have left is BurntSynapse insisting over and over that (a) he's identified an expert of some sort and (b) he's picked a place for this expert in the org chart and (c) that's obviously good management and no more needs to be said about it. We shouldn't worry our inexpert, non-management-professional little heads about things like what sort of things might happen or what are the expert's actual relevant skills and beliefs and how does that differ from the status quo.

I think Dancing David has the right idea. I'll start stumbling towards the door.
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Old 21st February 2014, 02:33 PM   #2448
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Originally Posted by BurntSynapse View Post
Of course, "waving words around" is sufficiently vague to apply to any sentence. It probably is most effective as used here: asserting there is nothing to understand if understanding might incur costs.

If I publicly ridiculed a position with sufficient offense and sensed things weren't going well for me, I'd probably conclude something similar to word "waving/salad" and move away from the discussion.

A difference is that I don't have the luxury of ignoring value that SME's like you and Ben possess, while SME's probably function better in their roles thinking management only hinders them.
I have no idea what an SME is or why you think I thought or said that, thou should take thine own advice.

I asked for an actual practical application of the ideas you have presented but won't explain, when asked you waffle and evade.

I am a nihilist pagan buddhist , married with two grown children, I have a psych degree, was an out reach social worker for 15 years, my father is a famous anthropologist and my mother a lit major. I work as the ET Help Desk at a largish school district.

I was involved in research in college and community surveys since then, I am not SME, I am however wary of people who seem unable to explain themselves very well.

But please do more mind reading as to my views of management, i have stated that you don't seem to know what makes for an actual paradigm shift or scientific revolution and when asked for specifics of how you thoughts could improve them, you have not produced any.
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Last edited by Dancing David; 21st February 2014 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 21st February 2014, 02:37 PM   #2449
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Originally Posted by ben m View Post
I think Dancing David has the right idea. I'll start stumbling towards the door.
Please shove me over the threshold.
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Old 21st February 2014, 03:14 PM   #2450
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
This exchange, which dragged out over three full months, has been typical of BurntSynapse's conduct:
[list=1][*]On 22 November 2013, BurntSynapse tried to use Quine's theory of underdetermination to support BurntSynapse's own claim that it's "very difficult to formally demonstrate one theory (Zeus) is better or worse at explaining falling than a theory of gravity."
If one were to claim the "Zeus theory" as mine, it would seem dishonest - it was Quine, according to Kasser.

Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
[*]Later that day, I said BurntSynapse's claim was "hilariously wrong" and "a grotesque distortion of what Quine was saying".[*]Within that same post, I quoted Burton Dreben, a colleague of Quine's and a recognized authority on Quine's philosophy. Dreben refuted a popular misinterpretation of Quine that has Quine saying Zeus is as good as science as explanation for empirical phenomena.
But you neglect to notice that I never said and never thought Quine believed this ludicrous position as anything other than an example of a problem inherent to the LP approach.

Emotions seem to playing a decisive role in what seems a selective, defensive blindness. I never thought Quine said nor advocated that ridiculous Zeus notion as anything other than a problem to be solved. I don't know if Dreben ever found a living advocate of such a strange-sounding position, but that's no obstacle to presenting a case against such misinterpretation. I and everyone I've ever heard on this topic would agree with Dreben. I used the Zeus comment to illustrate the problem Quine's model of a web-of-belief solved with the same intent Quine and Dreben (and Kasser) seem to have.

You quoted Quine's solution to the problem as proof I'd misunderstood, probably because you haven't read or listened to the history. Your version also skips over the web-of-belief model you also argued against, but which provides the context for his solution - which I endorse. I also endorse the Bayesian solution to the problems resulting froms Quine's solution...up to a point. These solutions also have problems.

The simplest explanation (which Quine argued we should favor) for these objections is not that I'm a creative argumentation genius with many devious plots and a plethora of techniques to deceive and mislead others from discovering my ignorance. No, the simplest explanation is that no matter what, my claims must be wrong - even when you admit they make no sense to you.

"To you" was a rare admission on your part, because typically you say with absolute certainty that "they make no sense", as if they are non-sensical to anyone, which is not the case.

Thus, your assertions at this point seem more based on your determination to show how misguided every single opinion I advocate is without merit, ignoring that 99% are completely unoriginal, and uncontroversial in their source disciplines.

Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
[*]For several months, BurntSynapse said Dreben's refutation had nothing to do with anything BurntSynapse had claimed.
This will seem true to anyone who doesn't distinguish between use, context, statement, or content of an argument, proof, or theory. When I point out the objection doesn't appear to address my opinions, it is understood as "nothing to do with anything I have claimed" - a biased alteration obvious to neutral observers.

Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
[*]Meanwhile, BurntSynapse continued to insist that Quine's philosophy somehow supported BurntSynapse's position, whatever that position may be.
Clearly, very strong emotions are involved. An opinion cannot simultaneously unknown and clearly wrong.

Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
On several occasions, he even hinted that Quine himself had made the claim I had characterized as "a grotesque distortion of what Quine was saying.
No, Quine put forward a problem with the logical positivist approach you advocated. The problem was that by that LP approach, it was difficult to distinguish competing explanations, like Zeus vs. Atoms. He was illustrating the problems of LP's goal of absolutely certain (positive), totally documented and deductive (logical) science.

You then quoted his solution to the problem as evidence he had not presented the problem, claiming "grotesque distortion" of an opinion even you admit you don't understand.

Put in an outsider's position, it would be extremely hard to take such objections as reasonable.

Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
[*]Today, 21 February 2014, BurntSynapse admitted he had misquoted Quine by making it a quotation about gravity instead of lightning,
Lightening, gravity or observation X is there to illustrate the merits of Quine's point, which is about assessing theories. Quine exposed (more than Popper) that the LP analytical regime lacks abilities that we normally think important for determining whether theory Z(zeus) or theory A(atoms) is better.

If I buy you the TTC course, will you listen to it?

Last edited by BurntSynapse; 21st February 2014 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 21st February 2014, 03:57 PM   #2451
ben m
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Originally Posted by BurntSynapse View Post
If I buy you the TTC course, will you listen to it?
Perhaps you fail to appreciate that Clinger is a CS professor at a well-regarded university, and generally qualified to teach such a course and, consequently, to evaluate how well people like you are understanding the material.

(I am not actually following this Quine discussion in any detail and will not try to comment on its content, I was just amused by "I watched these TTC lecture videos" as a source of authority.)
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Old 21st February 2014, 07:11 PM   #2452
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Originally Posted by ben m View Post
(I am not actually following this Quine discussion in any detail and will not try to comment on its content, I was just amused by "I watched these TTC lecture videos" as a source of authority.)
Would you accept "I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express"?
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Old 21st February 2014, 07:33 PM   #2453
W.D.Clinger
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I'm beginning to see a pattern here, part 2

Originally Posted by BurntSynapse View Post
Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
This exchange, which dragged out over three full months, has been typical of BurntSynapse's conduct:
[list=1][*]On 22 November 2013, BurntSynapse tried to use Quine's theory of underdetermination to support BurntSynapse's own claim that it's "very difficult to formally demonstrate one theory (Zeus) is better or worse at explaining falling than a theory of gravity."
If one were to claim the "Zeus theory" as mine, it would seem dishonest - it was Quine, according to Kasser.

Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
[*]Later that day, I said BurntSynapse's claim was "hilariously wrong" and "a grotesque distortion of what Quine was saying".[*]Within that same post, I quoted Burton Dreben, a colleague of Quine's and a recognized authority on Quine's philosophy. Dreben refuted a popular misinterpretation of Quine that has Quine saying Zeus is as good as science as explanation for empirical phenomena.
But you neglect to notice that I never said and never thought Quine believed this ludicrous position as anything other than an example of a problem inherent to the LP approach.

Emotions seem to playing a decisive role in what seems a selective, defensive blindness. I never thought Quine said nor advocated that ridiculous Zeus notion as anything other than a problem to be solved. I don't know if Dreben ever found a living advocate of such a strange-sounding position, but that's no obstacle to presenting a case against such misinterpretation. I and everyone I've ever heard on this topic would agree with Dreben. I used the Zeus comment to illustrate the problem Quine's model of a web-of-belief solved with the same intent Quine and Dreben (and Kasser) seem to have.
You could have said that last November. It's been three months. You've had plenty of opportunities to clarify your position.

Refusing to explain yourself has been your pattern. Blaming others for your refusals has been part of that pattern.
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Old 21st February 2014, 08:32 PM   #2454
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Originally Posted by BurntSynapse View Post
Kasser from the TTC lectures:

"Atoms, says Quine, have the same kind of status as the Greek Gods once did...So Zeus was an explanation of lightening!"
What was the explanation for gaining weight?
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Old 22nd February 2014, 09:55 AM   #2455
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Originally Posted by ben m View Post
Perhaps you fail to appreciate that Clinger is a CS professor at a well-regarded university, and generally qualified to teach such a course and, consequently, to evaluate how well people like you are understanding the material.
I read his impressive CV some time ago. It gives ample reason to judge him a subject matter expert (SME) in his field. In cases where he has contributed unique advances, moving forward software capabilities, he is properly regarded as the world's top authority on those contributions, their current applications, limits, etc.

Absent controversy, 100% deference to Clinger's expert judgement in those domains seems completely proper.
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Old 22nd February 2014, 12:12 PM   #2456
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Made a new thread about this item, but this is a good place to mention it also: a book advertised in the latest issue of Scientific American : http://basicresearchpress.com/learn-physics-now/ . Among other things it reminds us that the universe is filled with a gas cloud made up of the most basic particle of something-or-other called the Brutino.. Take with a big bag of salt.
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Old 22nd February 2014, 04:07 PM   #2457
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
Made a new thread about this item, but this is a good place to mention it also: a book advertised in the latest issue of Scientific American : http://basicresearchpress.com/learn-physics-now/ . Among other things it reminds us that the universe is filled with a gas cloud made up of the most basic particle of something-or-other called the Brutino.. Take with a big bag of salt.
Yes, I another wonderful manifestation of crackpot physics:
Quote:
The brutino is the smallest thing in the world.

diameter = 10-34 m, mass=10-66 kg, velocity = 3×109 m/s

2. Brutinos make up a gas throughout the universe.
density =1018 kg/m3 (density of lead = 104 kg/m3)

3. Neutrinos are localized condensations of the brutinos.
1030 to 1040 brutinos in a neutrino, velocity = 3×108 m/s (the speed of light)

4. The proton is a neutrino taking a circular path.
radius =10-16 m, mass =1.6×10-27 kg, energy = m×c2

5. The electron is a neutrino taking a circular path.
radius = 10-19m, mass= 9×10-31 kg

6. Protons, as well as electrons, stir the background to make electrostatic fields.
Marvelous!
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Old 24th February 2014, 07:01 AM   #2458
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
Made a new thread about this item, but this is a good place to mention it also: a book advertised in the latest issue of Scientific American : http://basicresearchpress.com/learn-physics-now/ . Among other things it reminds us that the universe is filled with a gas cloud made up of the most basic particle of something-or-other called the Brutino.. Take with a big bag of salt.
Tsk. Sadly Scientific American is full of crackpot physics these days.
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Old 25th February 2014, 04:03 AM   #2459
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
Tsk. Sadly Scientific American is full of crackpot physics these days.
The idea of multiverses may be excessively speculative, but I would not dismiss it as crackpottery.

There are some things I'd call crackpottery, however. Like the idea that one can do physics by sacred-book interpretation and disdain for mathematics.
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Old 26th February 2014, 02:32 AM   #2460
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Referring JREF posters to scientific papers which refer to hard scientific evidence is not sacred-book interpretation. And what's with the disdain for mathematics? I've said repeatedly that mathematics is a vital tool for physics, we can't do physics without it.

As for crackpottery, you should google Max Tegmark crackpot. Then you might like to take a look in the mirror, and have a think about the title of this thread.
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Old 26th February 2014, 06:01 AM   #2461
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
Referring JREF posters to scientific papers which refer to hard scientific evidence is not sacred-book interpretation. And what's with the disdain for mathematics? I've said repeatedly that mathematics is a vital tool for physics, we can't do physics without it.
I think two of the issues are that you have on occasions misinterpreted papers you cite as supporting your arguments when they do the opposite (e.g. when you claimed the AB effect was not a quantum phenomenon), and don't seem willing to provide proper mathematical models of the crackpot ideas you have promoted here (e.g. Relativity+).

Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
As for crackpottery, you should google Max Tegmark crackpot. Then you might like to take a look in the mirror, and have a think about the title of this thread.
Are you sure you want to go there? Googling your real name followed by "crackpot" throws up a fair number of hits too.
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Last edited by ctamblyn; 26th February 2014 at 06:09 AM. Reason: Added reply to first paragraph
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Old 26th February 2014, 06:23 AM   #2462
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
As for crackpottery, you should google Max Tegmark crackpot.
I don't think that's fair. Here is my analysis :




- Drelda
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Old 26th February 2014, 07:56 AM   #2463
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
The point is drelda, is that a lot of serious physicists and cosmologists think Tegmark is a crackpot bringing science into disrepute.
Yes they are - but I don't see it that way. I don't see the problem with speculating - as long as you are clear that's what you are doing - which Tegmark is very clear about.

I know that getting lots of criticism isn't a good thing - but it does come with the territory if the ideas are challenging to the usual way of thinking. I like this quote I read in someones sig :
Originally Posted by Carl Sagan
They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
I don't think Tegmark is Bozo the Clown - but only time will tell if his ideas are considered more mainstream in the future (or considered a hint towards something else that is mainstream). At worst he is just wrong.

Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
My name is John Duffield by the way. As ctamblyn suggests, I've been called a crackpot plenty of times.
I don't know if you are a crackpot or not. By my reckoning Tegmark only scores 3/15 (20%) on my 'Crackpot' scale - not too bad. Where would you put yourself?

For ease of cut-paste - here is a text version of the criteria I used :

Criteria (crackpot answer)
Ideas involve a lot of speculation? (YES)
Ideas attract a lot of criticism? (YES)
If ideas turned out to be correct, they would have a profound impact? (YES)
Ideas are contradicted by evidence? (YES)
Ideas contradict established scientific theories? (YES)
Demonstrates lack of understanding of established math, physics? (YES)
Claims that there is a conspiracy to discredit their ideas? (YES)
Has made claims in body of work that should be easy to demonstrate and yet has failed to do so? (YES)
Comes across as a nutter? (YES)
Is established scientist with deep background in subject and body of 'traditional' work? (NO)
Has made claims in body of work that are hard to demonstrate - and yet has done so successfully (NO)
Openly accepts that ideas could be wrong? (NO)
Work is well written and interesting - even if wrong. (NO)
Explicitly discusses question of whether ideas are 'crackpot' in own work? (NO)
Subject matter is necessarily speculative at our current level of understanding of it? (NO)

Be honest now...

- Drelda

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Old 26th February 2014, 08:40 AM   #2464
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Crackpots hold opinions that are contradicted by scientific evidence. In this respect Mr., Duffield has proven himself to be the genuine article. He believes electrons and protons are photons in loops, he misunderstands the nature of fundamental constants, he avoids mathematical explanations, he believes time is a derived quantity, etc. Most condemning, when presented with a scientifically based logical argument, he obliviously continues his ignorant bluster (LINK)(LINK). In contrast, Mr. Tegmark's conjectures do not violate any known laws of physics, but Mr. Duffield rants against these conjectures in an effort to legitimize his own crackpot opinions. It's a vain ploy designed to legitimize himself.
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Old 27th February 2014, 02:41 AM   #2465
drelda
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Originally Posted by Perpetual Student View Post
Max Tegmark if not a crackpot!
I couldn't agree more - that's what I was trying to demonstrate!

Originally Posted by Perpetual Student View Post
For one thing, he has done some good and widely accepted work regarding the CMB. His views on the MUH and the four levels of multiverse are good speculative thinking and are not contradicted by any aspect of current mainstream cosmology.
Agreed - I'm a big fan. My point above was exactly to show the vast gulf between him and a real crackpot (with apologies to my example of this - this was meant in good humor).

Originally Posted by Perpetual Student View Post
In contrast, Farsight (Mr. Duffield) has promulgated some hard-core crackpot notions that contradict QFT and other well tested areas of physics.
I don't know his stuff well enough to judge - but I wouldn't call Farsight a "hard-core crackpot" either. He does challenge some well established physics (which puts him well ahead of Tegmark on that scale) - but that is also allowed in science.

I can see you guys have become embittered over many forum battles. From an external perspective it seems a bit like "Peoples Judean Front" vs "Peoples Front of Judea". The real enemy is pseudoscience and superstition.

- Drelda
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Old 27th February 2014, 06:33 AM   #2466
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Originally Posted by drelda View Post
Yes they are - but I don't see it that way. I don't see the problem with speculating - as long as you are clear that's what you are doing - which Tegmark is very clear about.
Max is being deliberately provocative to gain attention and further his career. People do this, and it does work, but there's a temptation to take it too far, which I think Max has done.

Originally Posted by drelda
I don't think Tegmark is Bozo the Clown - but only time will tell if his ideas are considered more mainstream in the future (or considered a hint towards something else that is mainstream). At worst he is just wrong. I don't know if you are a crackpot or not. By my reckoning Tegmark only scores 3/15 (20%) on my 'Crackpot' scale - not too bad.
All points noted. Hmmn.

Originally Posted by drelda
Where would you put yourself?
You know how there are some out-and-out crackpots who appear on JREF sometime. They're usually warbling on about "my theory" and telling you "Einstein was wrong". Well, as you are to them, so am I to you. I'm far more sceptical than some of the posters here. And look at them carp!

Quote:
For ease of cut-paste - here is a text version of the criteria I used:
Go on then, I'll give it a go:

Criteria (crackpot answer)
Ideas involve a lot of speculation? (NO, and they're not my ideas)
Ideas attract a lot of criticism? (YES, but they're Einstein's!)
If ideas turned out to be correct, they would have a profound impact? (YES)
Ideas are contradicted by evidence? (NO)
Ideas contradict established scientific theories? (NO, reinterpretation only)
Demonstrates lack of understanding of established math, physics? (NO, I address the terms, and know an awful lot of physics)
Claims that there is a conspiracy to discredit their ideas? (NO)
Has made claims in body of work that should be easy to demonstrate and yet has failed to do so? (NO)
Comes across as a nutter? (NO)
Is established scientist with deep background in subject and body of 'traditional' work? (NO)
Has made claims in body of work that are hard to demonstrate - and yet has done so successfully (NO? I've made easy claims and demonstrated them)
Openly accepts that ideas could be wrong? (NO)
Work is well written and interesting - even if wrong. (YES)
Explicitly discusses question of whether ideas are 'crackpot' in own work? (NO)
Subject matter is necessarily speculative at our current level of understanding of it? (NO)

I'm not sure if it's a good crackpot test. Somebody who advanced scientific progress would maybe score a "crazy". Now, please excuse me for a moment:

Originally Posted by Perpetual Student View Post
Max Tegmark if not a crackpot! For one thing, he has done some good and widely accepted work regarding the CMB. His views on the MUH and the four levels of multiverse are good speculative thinking and are not contradicted by any aspect of current mainstream cosmology. In contrast, Farsight (Mr. Duffield) has promulgated some hard-core crackpot notions that contradict QFT and other well tested areas of physics.
Er, no. I'm the guy who tells you what Einstein or Maxwell said and points to the evidence of pair production and electron diffraction etc
Mod WarningBreach of rule 12 removed. Do not insult other posters.
Posted By:Cuddles

Last edited by Cuddles; 27th February 2014 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 27th February 2014, 08:33 AM   #2467
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Quote:
Er, no. I'm the guy who tells you what Einstein or Maxwell said and points to the evidence of pair production and electron diffraction etc, you're the guy who says that none of that matters, but gets all starry-eyed when somebody tells you the universe is made of mathematics.
You say things based of your fuzzy comprehension of Einstein and Maxwell. So, you come up with notions like electrons and protons are photons in loops. In contrast, I have studied the equations of QFT and know that your silly notions are contradicted by experiment and the mathematics of QFT. There is a great gulf between reading physics papers without the mathematical skills to understand them and reading those papers carefully while comprehending the meaning of the equations.
Regarding Tegmark's MUH, I find it to be fascinating speculation, but I do understand why someone with no mathematics skills would find it incomprehensible.
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Old 27th February 2014, 08:37 AM   #2468
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Quote:
The real enemy is pseudoscience and superstition.
If you would like to sample some hard-core pseudoscience, do a little internet search of John Duffield (AKA Farsight).
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Old 27th February 2014, 08:51 AM   #2469
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Originally Posted by Perpetual Student View Post
You say things based of your fuzzy comprehension of Einstein and Maxwell. So, you come up with notions like electrons and protons are photons in loops. In contrast, I have studied the equations of QFT and know that your silly notions are contradicted by experiment and the mathematics of QFT. There is a great gulf between reading physics papers without the mathematical skills to understand them and reading those papers carefully while comprehending the meaning of the equations.
Oh yeah? You know that what I say is contradicted by experiment and the mathematics of QFT do you? Tell us how gamma gamma pair production works then. Here, I'll even give you a pointer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-photon_physics
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Old 27th February 2014, 09:07 AM   #2470
drelda
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
I'm not sure if it's a good crackpot test. Somebody who advanced scientific progress would maybe score a "crazy".
Yes - but that's fine I think. Ideas that are very radical are likely to appear "crazy" to start with. It comes with the territory.

Of course - for every "crazy" idea that eventually turns out to genuinely advance science there is a large number that are worthless. And that proportion gets more and more extreme the further down the scale you go.

So we have to be careful not to discount ideas that seem a bit crazy - otherwise we will never make progress. On the other hand there is a limit - if you take any idea seriously no matter how insane it sounds then you could spend your whole life wading through garbage. I think for me that limit is something like 8/15 on my scale - that's why I put "Crackpot" there. Obviously there's a chance I will ignore something valuable with this approach - e.g. maybe Anders is on to something with his theory of how dark matter is really alien technology seeded from a previous universe .

Anyway Farsight - I have a proposal for you. If you read Max Tegmark's book then I'll read yours? Then we can have an informed discussion about each?

Finally I can announce that I have some direct observational evidence which conclusively decides the most burning question in these threads...

The Max_Tegmark that has been posting here is the real Max Tegmark. He has posted a link to our 'crackpot' debate about him on his website (last Q on critique section), and also sent me a forum PM about it.

- Drelda
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Old 27th February 2014, 09:34 AM   #2471
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Originally Posted by drelda View Post
Yes - but that's fine I think. Ideas that are very radical are likely to appear "crazy" to start with. It comes with the territory.
I don't agree I'm afraid. There's new ideas that are pretty radical, but we don't call them crazy if they appear to be supported by hard scientific evidence.

Originally Posted by drelda View Post
Of course - for every "crazy" idea that eventually turns out to genuinely advance science there is a large number that are worthless. And that proportion gets more and more extreme the further down the scale you go.
Sure. But IMHO the problem is that the crazy idea that has no evidential support and which cannot be disproved because it's disconnected from evidence, eventually gains some kind of respectability and acceptance.

Originally Posted by drelda View Post
Anyway Farsight - I have a proposal for you. If you read Max Tegmark's book then I'll read yours? Then we can have an informed discussion about each?
No. Sorry.

Originally Posted by drelda View Post
The Max_Tegmark that has been posting here is the real Max Tegmark. He has posted a link to our 'crackpot' debate about him on his website (last Q on critique section), and also sent me a forum PM about it.
I was always confident it was the real Max Tegmark. The link is of course an advertisement for his book.
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Old 27th February 2014, 09:42 AM   #2472
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Quote:
drelda
Anyway Farsight - I have a proposal for you. If you read Max Tegmark's book then I'll read yours? Then we can have an informed discussion about each?
Quote:
Farsight
No. Sorry.
He just wants to make endless references to his favorite books bibles. A genuine discussion using logic and mathematics does not suit his MO. This is a tired method used by many crackpots.
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Old 27th February 2014, 09:45 AM   #2473
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
Oh yeah? You know that what I say is contradicted by experiment and the mathematics of QFT do you? Tell us how gamma gamma pair production works then. Here, I'll even give you a pointer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-photon_physics
Yes, we have been through this before, and I have seen this Wikipedia article before, so give me your "pointer."
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Old 27th February 2014, 09:48 AM   #2474
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Originally Posted by Perpetual Student
He just wants to make endless references to his favorite books bibles. A genuine discussion using logic and mathematics does not suit his MO. This is a tired method used by crackpots.
I'm the one who talks physics here. You don't. You're the one who dismisses hard scientific evidence and promotes notions that are bereft of experimental support.

Now come on, if you know that what I say is contradicted by experiment and the mathematics of QFT, tell us how gamma gamma pair production works. Here's your starter for ten:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-photon_physics

Originally Posted by Perpetual Student
Yes, we have been through this before, and I have seen this Wikipedia article before, so give me your "pointer."
I've given it to you. Start talking physics.

Last edited by Farsight; 27th February 2014 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 27th February 2014, 11:31 AM   #2475
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
Criteria (crackpot answer)
Ideas involve a lot of speculation? (NO, and they're not my ideas)
Nobody else seems to have heard of them, so they are effectively yours.
Quote:
Ideas attract a lot of criticism? (YES, but they're Einstein's!)
Except that they are not.
Quote:
Ideas are contradicted by evidence? (NO)
The circling-photon theory of electrons is contradicted by their spin, and also the success of Dirac's model of them.
Quote:
Ideas contradict established scientific theories? (NO, reinterpretation only)
I can name several: splitting of space-time with space fundamental and time not fundamental, electrons as circling photons, quarks as circling-photon trefoil handles, ...
Quote:
Er, no. I'm the guy who tells you what Einstein or Maxwell said
Arguing like a theologian, by treating Einstein's and Maxwell's writings as inspired truth.
Quote:
and points to the evidence of pair production and electron diffraction etc
Evidence 100% consistent with standard physics, complete with successful numerical predictions: space-time unification, electrons distinct from photons, etc.

Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
Oh yeah? You know that what I say is contradicted by experiment and the mathematics of QFT do you? Tell us how gamma gamma pair production works then. Here, I'll even give you a pointer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-photon_physics
No problem for standard physics.
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Old 27th February 2014, 12:34 PM   #2476
drelda
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Originally Posted by ctamblyn View Post
You may well have come across this before, but in case you haven't:

John Baez's Crackpot Index
Goddam - every time I think of something - someone has thought of it before - and thought of it better .
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Old 27th February 2014, 12:35 PM   #2477
ben m
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
Now come on, if you know that what I say is contradicted by experiment and the mathematics of QFT, tell us how gamma gamma pair production works. Here's your starter for ten:
Photon-photon scattering, in QFT, is ... well, you write down the wavefunction (actually just the vector potential) of two incoming photons, and you write down the sum of of the two including the interaction Lagrangian, and you write down the overlap between this "two crossing photons" wavefunction and various outgoing wavefunctions, and you integrate to find a probability that each outgoing-wavefunction candidate occurs.

Unlike your ideas, which you talk about but can't actually solve, photon-photon scattering has been solved and any number of sources can walk you through the standard solution. See, for example,

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1202.3339v1.pdf

starting with equation 4 (which you won't understand) and continuing to equation 10 (which you also won't understand) which is the complete QED prediction for the electric field of the ensemble of scattered photons (which you will also not understand, and presumably will insist is broken somehow, despite its straightfoward derivation from extremely-well-tested theories.)

OK, that answers your question. Your turn. Do the same thing for a "photon in a loop that looks like an electron". Show the equation for the vector potential A(x,y,z,t) of such an electron and demonstrate that it obeys Maxwell's Equations, both internally (i.e. acting like a photon) and externally (i.e., having the fields or interactions of an electron). Since you insist that these are Maxwell's ideas, not yours, surely you can quote the paper where they are worked out in full detail.
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Old 27th February 2014, 01:07 PM   #2478
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As per the challenge from the other thread...

Originally Posted by ben m View Post
Photon-photon scattering, in QFT, is ... well, you write down the wavefunction (actually just the vector potential) of two incoming photons, and you write down the sum of of the two including the interaction Lagrangian, and you write down the overlap between this "two crossing photons" wavefunction and various outgoing wavefunctions, and you integrate to find a probability that each outgoing-wavefunction candidate occurs....
A wave of hands and a puff of smoke, only you've said nothing. Here, let's take a look at the paper you referred to:

"Virtual electron-positron pairs, can in principle, be polarised by an external electromagnetic field, thus introducing non-linearities into Maxwell’s equations, which break the familiar principle of superposition of electromagnetic waves in vacuum. Photons from multiple, vacuum-polarising sources, can then become coupled on the common point of interaction of the polarised virtual pairs".

Can you spot the problem with that? And no, don't try to digress on to me.
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Old 27th February 2014, 01:48 PM   #2479
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
I'm the one who talks physics here. You don't. You're the one who dismisses hard scientific evidence and promotes notions that are bereft of experimental support.
Like what?

Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
The "weird twist of physics crackpottery", the "denies space-time unification" and the "argues much like a theologian".
You haven't explained where I'm wrong about those.
Quote:
lpetrich is not impartial. Google on lpetrich multiverse. The multiverse has as much evidential support as heaven and hell and sweet baby Jesus.
Ad hominem argument. Also, I consider the multiverse speculative, rather than well-established.

Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
No I don't. I root for relativity.
OK, do you know the difference between timelike, null, and spacelike directions in it? Also, which sorts of these intervals have well-defined time directions?
Quote:
I'm forever referring to Minkowski.
Arguing like a theologian. One should argue about theories, not personalities.
Quote:
What I've said is distance is defined using the motion of light, and time is defined using the motion of light. And that if your motion is not the same as mine, your definition of distance and time is not the same as mine. I explain space-time unification, I don't deny it.
That's news to me.
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Old 27th February 2014, 02:03 PM   #2480
ben m
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
"Virtual electron-positron pairs, can in principle, be polarised by an external electromagnetic field, thus introducing non-linearities into Maxwell’s equations, which break the familiar principle of superposition of electromagnetic waves in vacuum. Photons from multiple, vacuum-polarising sources, can then become coupled on the common point of interaction of the polarised virtual pairs".

Can you spot the problem with that? And no, don't try to digress on to me.
Nope, looks fine to me. You have quoted a wordy verbal description of the well-tested QED Lagrangian, cited later in the paper, which is the part that makes the testable predictions. If you have a problem with a QED, you have to have a problem with that Lagrangian. Which you don't. Because you don't understand it.

ETA:
Note that your particular response does not leave any evidence that you read, attempted to read, or understood by words, much less found a problem with them, much less thought about it carefully.

Quote:
A wave of hands and a puff of smoke, only you've said nothing. Here, let's take a look at the paper you referred to:

Can you spot the problem with that? And no, don't try to digress on to me.
Seriously, that's great. The next time I am programming an ELIZA-like grammarbot, which pretends to conduct a conversation but without enough AI to know what it's talking about, I should try this sentence. "Here, let's take a look at what you just said. #QUOTE. Can you spot the problem with that?" It's omni-purpose!

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