ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags skepticism , telepathy

Reply
Old 23rd September 2018, 03:53 PM   #201
Axxman300
Illuminator
 
Axxman300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central California Coast
Posts: 3,232
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
I'm not making a practicality argument. This is a theoretical exercise on what the proper epistemic position should be regarding certain "extraordinary claims" (which I don't think are extraordinary at all).
It's simple:

If there is no evidence of something being real or functioning as advertised then the claim is false, and the thing is not real, or does not happen.
__________________
Disingenuous Piranha
Axxman300 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2018, 05:10 PM   #202
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 29,691
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
I'm not making a practicality argument. This is a theoretical exercise on what the proper epistemic position should be regarding certain "extraordinary claims" (which I don't think are extraordinary at all).
You keep switching back between the question of default position and the question of standards of evidence. Could you please pick one or the other and stick with it long enough to actually discuss it?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2018, 05:56 PM   #203
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 23,762
Fudbucker, you are making the argument that the default skeptical argument for telepathy should be in favour of the possibility of the existence of telepathy and yet your only arguments are self-defeating because you admit they are deeply personal to you (your idealism which you know few people share and your belief that you and your wife communicate telepathically). Given your standards for believing don’t generalize to the rest of the population you can hardly argue that the “default” position should be the same as yours. To do that you would at first, at minimum, demonstrate why your epistemology should be the default skeptical position (and bear in mind that Berkeley himself refused to label himself a skeptic).
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd September 2018, 06:11 PM   #204
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 13,289
I still don't get the "If you found out we were in a simulation you'd have to stop being skeptical of telepathy" argument.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 02:55 AM   #205
GnaGnaMan
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,209
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
There are a number of metaphysical questions we can ask just from what I quoted. What do you mean by sound? Vibrations in the air, I take it. Well, does the air exist independent of our minds? Are we completely sure that sound works that way? That would require knowing that we don't live in a simulation, because if we do, there might not be anything like air in the real world, and our notions of what "sound" is could be completely off base.

How do you even judge the probability of whether this is a simulation or not? You can't, because you don't know how things would be different (if at all) if this was a simulation or not. All we have is what our senses tell us, and there's no reason to suppose they'd be telling us anything different if this were a simulation.

Even the word "we" is a loaded term. Are you sure other people exist, or is this a convienent assumption we just make?

The problem of determining whether our mundane senses accurately reflect reality has been around since Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

I'm not arguing for an extreme position like solipsism, but I'm pointing out that you can't escape metaphysics. It's always lurking in the background. Our conclusions about reality are influenced by whatever metaphysical framework we believe in, and I don't think materialism is a good framework. I've given my reasons why.
Right. It is generally agreed that we have several senses. Yet no one argue that the existence of any of these is made more or less likely by adopting a certain world-view.
Why does telepathy become more likely when one adopts a certain worldview but not sight?
Or the other way around: Why would telepathy suggest idealism or dualism when hearing doesn't?

Quote:
Which is a problem for materialism because when you assert there exists mind-independent stuff, you must have an explanation for how conscious minds can arise from this stuff, otherwise don't bother asserting it. Why is the brain in my head conscious, but if you put it in a blender and send an electric charge through it, it's not conscious anymore? Why does one particular arrangement of neurons and electrical impulses lead to conscious experience while other arrangements don't? We don't have the slightest clue.
Actually, we do...
We have a reasonably good idea on what principle the brain operates. We even use artificial neural nets in applications.

Quote:
I don't think it's different. I think it's a good explanation for the occasional mental synchronicities that we all experience. Coincidence is also an explanation, but I don't think it's as good an explanation. I can see being agnostic about the two explanations, but skeptics put coincidence on an extremely high pedestal and that's always baffled me.
I don't, if that helps.
__________________
I don't think it's quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up.
GnaGnaMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 05:04 AM   #206
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 10,536
Sceptics tend to have a reasonable understanding of statistics and probability, and why people tend to vastly underestimate the frequency with which coincidences can be expected to occur. Only those without such understanding regard it as "putting coincidence on a pedestal".
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 05:07 AM   #207
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 13,289
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Sceptics tend to have a reasonable understanding of statistics and probability, and why people tend to vastly underestimate the frequency with which coincidences can be expected to occur. Only those without such understanding regard it as "putting coincidence on a pedestal".
If anything just given the raw amount of "stuff" that happens only in our small observable section of space if anything I've always been somewhat... well humbled has emotional connotations I'm not trying to convey but it's close, as to how few "coincidences" there are.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 06:43 AM   #208
Hlafordlaes
Disorder of Kilopi
 
Hlafordlaes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Flux
Posts: 8,731
I think post #2 nailed it. /just saying
__________________
Driftwood on an empty shore of the sea of meaninglessness. Irrelevant, weightless, inconsequential moment of existential hubris on the fast track to oblivion. Spends that time playing video games.
Summer Ongoing penance for overeating: His real name is Count Douchenozzle von Stenchfahrter und Lichtendicks. - shemp
Hlafordlaes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 06:47 AM   #209
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 13,289
Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
I think post #2 nailed it. /just saying
Yeah a dozen posts have "nailed it" but the picture still keeps falling off the wall for some reason.

1. The whole idea that "consciousness" is this total mystery to science is laughable.

2. Even if statement 1 were true "Here's one thing science can't explain" doesn't reasonably equate to "Therefore I can invoke magic/dream logic whenever I want."

3. Even if statements 1 and 2 were true firebombing the very concept if "knowing something" doesn't make any individual woo claim more likely.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 08:26 AM   #210
Nay_Sayer
I say nay!
 
Nay_Sayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Long Island
Posts: 3,552
Actually, we are not brains in vats but rather an ancient race of aliens having a 100 billion long year hibernation and we are all having a collective lucid dream.

Hey, this is easy.
__________________
I am 100% confident all psychics and mediums are frauds.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"01010100 00110100 01110110 01101101 00110111 01100111 01010010 00110110 00001101 00001010"

Said the robot gleefully as he went on his rampage.
Nay_Sayer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 10:08 AM   #211
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 29,691
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
The brain in a vat is Fudbucker's only hammer, and he's pretending telepathy is a nail.
Even a brain in a vat should be skeptical of claims for which it has observed no evidence.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 10:13 AM   #212
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 13,289
It's just so patently absurd.

X concept isn't well supported, therefore if I argue that the entire concept knowledge is unsupported that somehow makes concept X more likely because... why?
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 11:37 AM   #213
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 83,534
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
There are a number of metaphysical questions we can ask just from what I quoted. What do you mean by sound? Vibrations in the air, I take it. Well, does the air exist independent of our minds? Are we completely sure that sound works that way? That would require knowing that we don't live in a simulation, because if we do, there might not be anything like air in the real world, and our notions of what "sound" is could be completely off base.

How do you even judge the probability of whether this is a simulation or not? You can't, because you don't know how things would be different (if at all) if this was a simulation or not. All we have is what our senses tell us, and there's no reason to suppose they'd be telling us anything different if this were a simulation.

Even the word "we" is a loaded term. Are you sure other people exist, or is this a convienent assumption we just make?

The problem of determining whether our mundane senses accurately reflect reality has been around since Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

I'm not arguing for an extreme position like solipsism, but I'm pointing out that you can't escape metaphysics. It's always lurking in the background. Our conclusions about reality are influenced by whatever metaphysical framework we believe in, and I don't think materialism is a good framework. I've given my reasons why.



Which is a problem for materialism because when you assert there exists mind-independent stuff, you must have an explanation for how conscious minds can arise from this stuff, otherwise don't bother asserting it. Why is the brain in my head conscious, but if you put it in a blender and send an electric charge through it, it's not conscious anymore? Why does one particular arrangement of neurons and electrical impulses lead to conscious experience while other arrangements don't? We don't have the slightest clue.

If materialism can't explain something as simple as how consciousness arises from matter, what good is it? Why are people so invested in this idea that physical matter exists? You don't need mind-independent stuff in order to do science. It's a completely unnecessary assumption, but if you question it, "skeptics" come out of the woodwork and call you names and impugn your motives. It's totally bizarre. It's like a religion to some people.





I don't think it's different. I think it's a good explanation for the occasional mental synchronicities that we all experience. Coincidence is also an explanation, but I don't think it's as good an explanation. I can see being agnostic about the two explanations, but skeptics put coincidence on an extremely high pedestal and that's always baffled me.
It would be much quicker for you to type "stop saying my magic doesn't exist because I want it to exist", and it would not only be quicker it would be a lot more honest.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 11:41 AM   #214
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 83,534
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
I'm not making a practicality argument. This is a theoretical exercise on what the proper epistemic position should be regarding certain "extraordinary claims" (which I don't think are extraordinary at all).
We all get it, you think your magic world is real.

Let me let you in on a big secret we are all keeping from you, show us evidence of your magic world and we all believe in it.

Stamping your foot and claiming that we are being meanies in not believing in your magic world isn't going to change the mind of one single person.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 02:10 PM   #215
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,537
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
It would be much quicker for you to type "stop saying my magic doesn't exist because I want it to exist", and it would not only be quicker it would be a lot more honest.
So now I'm dishonest.

Edited by zooterkin:  Edited for rule 0 and rule 12

Last edited by zooterkin; 25th September 2018 at 08:00 AM.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 03:21 PM   #216
xjx388
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,449
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
So now I'm dishonest.
Edited by zooterkin:  Edited for rule 0 and rule 12
If I may say . . . 1)That was pretty low blow; 2)Maybe you need to take a step back and look at how your arguments here might contribute to a picture that you aren't arguing in good faith? The post Darat quoted was an especially bad post. Your OP asked what the default position should be for a skeptic and you were given several good answers. But you just respond with dodgy obfuscations like this one:

Quote:
What do you mean by sound? Vibrations in the air, I take it. Well, does the air exist independent of our minds? Are we completely sure that sound works that way?
I mean, really? If you are going to question the basic physics behind sound, then perhaps you don't really want an answer to your OP question. What you really want to do, it seems, is argue that the skeptical POV itself is faulty and use that as the ground work for establishing that telepathy is real.

You can't do that. Well, I mean, you can but you can't then complain when people accuse you of not arguing in good faith/dishonesty.
__________________
Hello.

Last edited by zooterkin; 25th September 2018 at 08:01 AM.
xjx388 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 07:03 PM   #217
Nay_Sayer
I say nay!
 
Nay_Sayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Long Island
Posts: 3,552
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
So now I'm dishonest.
Edited by zooterkin:  Edited for rule 0 and rule 12
and yet here you are.
__________________
I am 100% confident all psychics and mediums are frauds.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"01010100 00110100 01110110 01101101 00110111 01100111 01010010 00110110 00001101 00001010"

Said the robot gleefully as he went on his rampage.

Last edited by zooterkin; 25th September 2018 at 08:01 AM.
Nay_Sayer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th September 2018, 09:07 PM   #218
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18,093
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
So now I'm dishonest.
Edited by zooterkin:  Edited for rule 0 and rule 12
Yay for hurling insults.

If we are all living in a simulation, then your imaginary telepathy is simply not real, merely simulated.

Your idea sucks.
__________________
Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?


...love and buttercakes...

Last edited by zooterkin; 25th September 2018 at 08:01 AM.
abaddon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th September 2018, 12:05 AM   #219
Ladewig
I lost an avatar bet.
 
Ladewig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 25,974
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
So now I'm dishonest.
Edited by zooterkin:  Edited for rule 0 and rule 12

“It's no wonder this forum is on its last legs”?

When one finds oneself saying the type of things that President Trump says then it is probably time to take a step back and evaluate things.

Perhaps you have an open-minded, well-read, and tactless friend who could read this thread and give you an honest opinion as to whether you are being treated unfairly or not.
__________________
I lost an avatar bet to Doghouse Reilly.

Last edited by zooterkin; 25th September 2018 at 08:02 AM.
Ladewig is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th September 2018, 08:29 AM   #220
kmortis
Biomechanoid
Director of IDIOCY (Region 13)
Deputy Admin
 
kmortis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Texas (aka Southern Tier)
Posts: 30,397
Mod WarningStop personalizing the thread.
Posted By:kmortis
__________________
-Aberhaten did it
- "Which gives us an answer to our question. What’s the worst thing that can happen in a pressure cooker?" Randall Munroe
-Director of Independent Determining Inquisitor Of Crazy Yapping
- Aberhaten's Apothegm™ - An Internet law that states that optimism is indistinguishable from sarcasm
kmortis is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th September 2018, 09:32 AM   #221
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,458
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
There are a number of metaphysical questions we can ask just from what I quoted. What do you mean by sound? Vibrations in the air, I take it. Well, does the air exist independent of our minds? Are we completely sure that sound works that way? That would require knowing that we don't live in a simulation, because if we do, there might not be anything like air in the real world, and our notions of what "sound" is could be completely off base.

How do you even judge the probability of whether this is a simulation or not? You can't, because you don't know how things would be different (if at all) if this was a simulation or not. All we have is what our senses tell us, and there's no reason to suppose they'd be telling us anything different if this were a simulation.
It doesn't matter if we are a simulation. We are observing and exploring the world as it behaves. We can prove it behaves in certain ways. We can prove that things happen whether someone observes them or not. You might assert that it is all a simulated world (however, the burden of proof would be on you), but we are then exploring the properties of the simulation program. A simulation must follow rules just like a real world must.

Quote:
Even the word "we" is a loaded term. Are you sure other people exist, or is this a convienent assumption we just make?
It doesn't really matter: They obviously behave like they exist. Just try and ignore other people for some time and see what happens.

Quote:
The problem of determining whether our mundane senses accurately reflect reality has been around since Plato's Allegory of the Cave.
They don't. This is the reason we have developed scientific methods to be able to find out what the world is really like.

Quote:
I'm not arguing for an extreme position like solipsism, but I'm pointing out that you can't escape metaphysics. It's always lurking in the background. Our conclusions about reality are influenced by whatever metaphysical framework we believe in, and I don't think materialism is a good framework. I've given my reasons why.
Metaphysics is just a way of describing certain properties of the world.

Quote:
Which is a problem for materialism because when you assert there exists mind-independent stuff, you must have an explanation for how conscious minds can arise from this stuff, otherwise don't bother asserting it.
Nonsense. Actually we do have a fairly good idea of how consciousness arises, but it is exactly the point of materialism that things exist and work, whether we know of them or not. We also don't know exactly how the sun functions. In fact, most of human history we had no idea at all, but the sun has functioned long before we even existed, and will probably function long after us.

Quote:
Why is the brain in my head conscious, but if you put it in a blender and send an electric charge through it, it's not conscious anymore? Why does one particular arrangement of neurons and electrical impulses lead to conscious experience while other arrangements don't? We don't have the slightest clue.
This is ridiculous! How does your computer work now, but if you put it through a shredder it will stop working? How does your house work as a house, but if you blow it up with dynamite it won't?

Because certain configurations of stuff have certain properties that other configurations of the same stuff don't.

Quote:
If materialism can't explain something as simple as how consciousness arises from matter, what good is it?
Does something have to be able to explain EVERYTHING to be useful?
If your city-map doesn't show the backside of the Moon, is it useless?

Quote:
Why are people so invested in this idea that physical matter exists? You don't need mind-independent stuff in order to do science. It's a completely unnecessary assumption, but if you question it, "skeptics" come out of the woodwork and call you names and impugn your motives. It's totally bizarre. It's like a religion to some people.
We're so invested in the idea because physical matter sure does act as if it exists. If you try to walk through a wall, you will notice that.

We may call you names because all arguments that try to show that the physical matter does not exist tend to be ridiculous.


Quote:
I don't think it's different. I think it's a good explanation for the occasional mental synchronicities that we all experience. Coincidence is also an explanation, but I don't think it's as good an explanation. I can see being agnostic about the two explanations, but skeptics put coincidence on an extremely high pedestal and that's always baffled me.
That, my friend, is called "argument from incredulity", and it is a fallacy. You see, annoying as it may be, the world doesn't give a damn whether some of us don't think it makes sense.


Hans
__________________
If you love life, you must accept the traces it leaves.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th September 2018, 10:37 AM   #222
Axxman300
Illuminator
 
Axxman300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central California Coast
Posts: 3,232
Quick point on Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" being misused (again) in this thread.

Plato was not talking about perception. In his story someone leaves the cave and goes out into the real world where he learns the truth, learns that there are things outside the cave. He returns to the cave to educate and free his fellow cave dwellers.

It's not about enlightenment, it's about public service. Plato was stressing the need to his then affluent young audience that they had an obligation to teach and share their education with the masses to make a stronger society.

Stoners get hung up on the shadows projected on the wall part every time.
__________________
Disingenuous Piranha
Axxman300 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:48 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.