|Comments for Sunday, June 28, 2015,
thru Tuesday, June 30, 2015:
June 30, 2015 - I'm becoming more and more convinced that the person posting as "Clapton" on my interactive blog is really "DXer" just being argumentative once again. Yesterday, "Clapton" mistakenly illustrated how he totally misunderstands Time Dilation. He wrote:
We use clocks to "measure" TIME, and we use yardsticks to "measure" SPACE.I patiently explained to him that Time Dilation is not by caused by "slowed down clocks," it is caused by moving at high velocities. But, in his post today he once again argued the same thing:
Since Homebody is using the "standard" YARD that everyone else on Earth is using, Traveler's YARD is clearly NON-standard. Traveler is experiencing "Space Expansion", i.e., Space has expanded DUE TO THE WETNESS [of the yardstick].I explained to him that, on this planet, yardsticks do not change to be ten times longer when they are ten times wetter. I showed him a Time Dilation calculator and explained how it works. And I told him,
You need to show how getting a yardstick wet changes its length depending upon how wet it is. When does the yardstick become of infinite length? When it is totally dry or when it is totally wet?So far, "Clapton" hasn't started attacking me personally, so I suppose it could still be called "an intelligent discussion." But, it seems clear that, unless he changes the subject or just stops posting altogether, "Clapton" will keep insisting that Time Dilation is like getting a yardstick wet, even though I can see no connection whatsoever. And he will blame me for the lack of progress in the discussion, because he can't get me to believe what he believes/argues.
June 29, 2015 - The more I think about it, the more convinced I become that when Rational Scientific Method advocates ("RSMers") use the word "rational," they mean "something that has been rationalized."
To "mainstream scientists," of course, the word "rational" means just the opposite: "based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings" because they know the definition of "rationalize" is:
"attempt to explain or justify (one's own or another's behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate."There is nothing "rational" about the Rational Scientific Method," but it definitely seems to be a "method" for rationalizing alternative explanations for scientific concepts that they disagree with or cannot understand - primarily issues where "mainstream" scientists admit they do not know all the answers. RSMers rationalize answers in order to feel and claim to be superior.
Meanwhile, the more I think about it the more convinced I become that the person posting to my interactive blog as "Clapton" is really "DXer" using another false name to argue his beliefs against logic and science. Answering his arguments gives me the opportunity to rephrase explanations and to look at scientific concepts from different angles, so find it interesting and educational. Right now "Clapton" seems to be arguing that the only important question in Time Dilation is Whose time is "correct?" The slowing down of time due to velocity or gravity seems of absolutely no interest to him. And he seems to feel that it should be of no interest to anyone else, either.
Too bad, since I and many scientists find Time Dilation to be of GREAT interest.
June 28, 2015 - In the discussion about Time Dilation with "Clapton" on my new interactive blog, Mr.? Clapton tried to compare Time Dilation to keeping a Bentley automobile in a vacuum chamber for 25 years:
An example: I bought a couple of Bentley cars 25 years ago, I had atomic clocks installed as extras on both of them.It's an interesting analogy that doesn't really fit the issue. Storing a Bentley in a vacuum prevents chemical reactions with oxygen. Nothing will rust, nothing will rot. But it has nothing to do with Time Dilation.
But it reminded me of what might be another form of Time Dilation: Cryostasis, which is a way of slowing down all chemical reactions by careful lowering of the temperature.
That, of course, brings to mind the Woody Allen movie, "Sleeper." The concept:
Health food store owner and wannabe jazz clarinetist Miles Monroe is involuntarily cryogenically frozen in 1973 after a mishap while in minor surgery. His still frozen body is found in 2173, and unfrozen by scientists Drs. Melik and Orva.One problem with viewing cryostasis as a temperature-based form of Time Dilation is that you are not awake during cryostasis, so Woody Allen/Miles Monroe would not have been able to view time slowing down for 200 years. With the velocity-based form of Time Dilation, all parties are awake and can see and report on how Time appears to be affected.
Another problem with viewing cryostasis as a form of Time Dilation is that I don't really know if the slowing down of atomic and molecular actions by lowering the temperature is truly comparable to slowing down of atomic and molecular actions by increasing velocity. But, it still makes for an interesting topic of discussion. I'm awaiting Clapton's response to my latest posts.
Meanwhile, I've been watching episodes of "Hacking the Universe" with Brian Cox that I recorded off the Science Channel either on Wednesday of this past week or the previous Wednesday. The two final episodes began with a quote from Richard Feynman that advertised the return of a different Science Channel series that starts in mid-July. The quote went something like this:
“I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but remain always uncertain … In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.” -- Richard FeynmanIt was like Brian Cox and Dr. Feynman were providing me with answers to the arguments from the Rational Scientific Method advocates ("RSMers"). The Rational Scientific Method seems to have been created because RSMers cannot comprehend the idea that Scientists seem to accept that they do not know all the answers. Evidently, to RSMers (like Anthrax Truthers), not knowing something means you are STUPID, not simply ignorant. But, either way, stupid or ignorant, it means your opinions and comments are worthless and cannot be trusted. The Rational Scientific Method evidently provides answers without any unknowns. All that is required is that you BELIEVE the answers without question. When you have no questions, additional answers are not required.
Yesterday, when I checked what was happening on the Rational Scientific Method Facebook group page, I found that someone else had tried to ask questions of the RSMers and was met with the usual hostility. Here's the exchange when the visitor complained:
Gabriel Esmar Rosas: come'on man, i've read the stuff, i disagree and i'm trying to debateThat response from "John Smith" was sweet and kind compared to the disgusting and vile insults Mr. Rosas got from Bill Gaede. The insults are too vile for me to repeat here, but as he did with me on the Rational Science Blog, Mr. Gaede even attacked Mr. Rosas's mother.
I think the current main question in need of an answer from advocates of the Rational Scientific Method" is: "What is your definition of 'rational'?"
They seem to have their own definitions for all sorts of words (universe, object, concept, space, exist, location, etc.), but I've found no place where they define the word "Rational." I suspect that they use it as if it is simply an adjective form of the verb "rationalize." Some Anthrax Truthers appeared to use the words in the opposite way. Click HERE for an example from January 2012 on my old anthrax debate blog where "Anonymous" wrote:
1) I really don't understand why you use the word "rationalizing" here. If you're calling the analysis 'rational' then I accept the compliment.Clearly, "Anonymous" (a.k.a "Mr. R") was thinking that "rationalize" is the verb form of the adjective "rational." I responded by writing this:
"1) I really don't understand why you use the word "rationalizing" here."An "ad hoc hypothesis" is definitely not the same as a Rational Scientific Method hypothesis, but they would probably become the same as soon as someone pointed out an error in an original RSM hypothesis.
The main point I'm trying to make is that "rational" is NOT simply the adjective form of "rationalized." I just needed some way to explain that. Since it seems like an issue that has probably come up a million times before between other people, I decided to research it on the Internet. I did a Google search for rational vs rationalization.
I found a web page HERE where someone wrote an interesting "soliloquy" about "Rationality vs. Rationalization." It begins with this:
"Rationality is scientific, rationalization is mythical."I also found another web page called "The Ultimate Truth" which explains things in great detail. Here is part of one paragraph:
‘Being Rational’ is to act upon reason or understanding. Rational explanation or rational behavior is an act where the explanation/behavior is based on hard facts, which do not change according to the whims and fancy of the ‘Rational’ person. Rationalization, on the other hand involves twisting and distortion of facts and reasoning to suit your own purposes (in the objective world, this is called cheating) – and this, dear readers is not the behavior of a ‘Rational animal’.I found some blogs where the subject is discussed. Click HERE for the best of the bunch.
I also found an interesting explanation of the difference between "rationale" and "rationalization":
When you’re explaining the reasoning behind your position, you’re presenting your rationale. But if you’re just making up some lame excuse to make your position appear better—whether to yourself or others—you’re engaging in rationalization.Here's a definition of "rationalization" from RationalWiki.org:
Rationalization in psychology is often understood to mean making excuses, or post hoc explanations, for some action. Lying could be considered a conscious form of rationalization. Rationalization may also occur at the unconscious level, commonly known as self-deception. There is evidence that this kind of rationalization can occur immediately after a decision is made. In some cases, the lie may come first and bleed into the unconscious, displacing the truth. This sometimes goes under the heading of "drinking one's own Kool-Aid." Rationalization is a way of reducing cognitive dissonance.There are a lot more explanations on the Internet. So, I know I'm not the only person on this planet who sees "rational" and "rationalize" as having VERY different meanings. The problem is to find out if the RSMers know that.
A few other questions I'd like to ask RSMers:
What is the purpose of creating an hypothesis in the RMS?It appears that the purpose to the Rational Scientific Method is to fabricate explanations/hypotheses for scientific issues where the "mainstream" scientists do not yet have all the answers. In other words, the Rational Scientific Method uses bullshit to fill in the holes in our knowledge and understanding of the universe. They consider rationalizing to be rational.
|Comments for Sunday, June 21, 2015,
thru Saturday, June 27, 2015:
June 27, 2015 - Ah! This morning, on my interactive blog, someone argued against my "Time Dilation" example (and against ALL explanations of "Time Dilation") by claiming that it was just a "switching and conversion of standards." In other words, after the experiment where one twin travels to a distant star and back, both twins were the same age using the "standard" of one Earth orbit around the Sun being one year. If that is the ONLY way to measure things, then the two twins would indeed be the same age - even though one LOOKS nine years older than the other. And, in the movie "Interstellar," the traveling father would have seen the same number of earth orbits during his trip as his daughter, even though, when the trip was over, the daughter LOOKS like an elderly woman and the father still LOOKS like Matthew McConaughey.
The argument from "Clapton" was an excellent example of how you need to look at things from a totally different angle when you argue with someone with a very different point of view. How do you argue that you cannot use one normal "standard" for measuring time as the ONLY standard when you are discussing Time Dilation? I gave it a try on my blog.
June 26, 2015 - My latest "term of service" as a juror in Racine County is over. I called the court house last night and was so informed. There are no jury trials starting today, and the "term of service" for prospective jurors is only one week. So, it will probably be another ten years before they send me another "summons."
Meanwhile, on the Rational Scientific Method (RSM) group page, the "RSMers" seem to have stopped talking about me. Someone else is now asking questions. In response to a question from Bastián Espinoza about Bill Gaede's "rope theory," Mr. Gaede actually seems to have attempted to explain something:
[Bastián Espinoza asked:] 1. “what material are they made of?”"It is irrational to ask how one deduced a hypothesis"?? Isn't that the same as saying, "Don't ask me how I came up with my hypothesis! I pull hypotheses out of me ass! That's the way it is always done in the Rational Science Method!"
And Mr. Gaede fails to tell us TO WHOM the "hypothesis" must make sense. It apparently ONLY needs to make sense to the person who dreamed it up. Most bizarre is the argument that in religion you must produce evidence, in science you just "explain." That is definitely a view from the other side of the looking glass.
An RSMer named "David Robison" provides another "explanation" about the "rope hypothesis." Here's part of it:
The thread is the fundamental unit of matter, it's not made of any subcomponent.Later, Mr. Gaede explains that "Science" is just "rational explanations." And Mr. Gaede further explains:
Science has NOTHING to do with:That explanation is followed by a tirade of insults against non-believers, with a few tidbits of further information buried amid the insults. Example:
In Science, we do not make gadgets, invent artifacts, or use our hands in any way. In Science, we use our brains.and
In Science, we are not really sure of how phenomena really work. Perhaps Gabby and Bastian believe that God makes things work. That’s THEIR OPINION. And I’m sure that everyone has their own. Perhaps Gabby and Bastian BELIEVE that a magnet attracts another by magic. That again is THEIR OPINION. In Science, however, we don’t care about what explanations people are really really sure of. We just care that the explanations is RATIONAL.At the end of the discussion, "John Smith" posted this additional comment:
Anyways, there's a difference been propositional logic and science and there is a difference between rational explanations and logical arguments.Wow! Evidently, being "rational" is totally different from being "logical." Going back through the discussion looking for their definition of the word "rational," I found this from "John Smith":
What is a rational explanation?And this:
What is a rational Person?It all seems to confirm that any RSMer can believe whatever he wants to believe. And clearly what RMSers preach is very different from what they actually do. They are ALL very much invested emotionally in their own theories and conclusions. If you try to explain to them that they are wrong, they'll attack you with every disgusting and vile insult they can put together.
It's all very interesting -- NOT scientifically, but from a psychological point of view. And, although these are supposedly "explanations," they really answer almost nothing and just seem to generate a lot more questions. You rarely see people in a "fringe" group explaining themselves so that outsiders can see how clearly ILLOGICAL their beliefs are.
I need to go through everything I have to see if I can find their definition of the word "rational." To me, "rational" means: "based on or in accordance with reason or logic" or "based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings." That is definitely not how RSMers use the word. Maybe they actually mean "Rationalized Scientific Method."
Ra·tion·al·ize - verbThat seems to fit perfectly with what they are doing.
I think I need to put together a few questions to help me understand what the RSMers are thinking. They won't answer any questions I ask, but maybe I can find some way for someone else to ask them.
June 25, 2015 - Once again the people at the court house told me last night that there are no jury trials scheduled to start this morning, so it appears I have only one more day to get through. When I call them this evening, if they say there are no jury trials scheduled to start on Friday, that will complete my civic duty to be a juror if needed. They probably won't ask me again for another 10 years.
Meanwhile, my foray into the world of Rational Scientific Method advocates ("RSMers") seems to be coming to a close. While they have permanently blocked me from viewing their Facebook page, I've figured out a simple way to get around their barricades. The only new comments I see about me this morning on their Facebook page are a couple posts by "Steve Schrader" who seems to believe that no one willingly gets into any field of science unless they want to "rock the boat" and show the mainstream scientists that they are all stupid. But, if they do somehow get a job as a scientist, instead of doing what they planned, the newcomers just agree with the mainstream scientists in order to "fit in" and be guaranteed of a steady income. In Mr. Schrader's words, they just become "pussyass dudes/dudettes."
Evidently, the only goal the RSMers like Mr. Schrader have in life is to shake things up and "rock the boat." It seems they simply cannot comprehend anyone just wanting to learn and understand our world and our universe through research and exploration. After all, why on earth would anyone want to learn when it's so much easier to just be an ignorant, obnoxious nuisance?
June 24, 2015 (B) - About 8 hours ago, "John Smith" started a new thread on his Rational Scientific Method Facebook group page that says:
Hey RSMers!Mr. "Smith" doesn't explain how he divines to know what I think. Mr. Smith then provides some definitions of the word "Truther." One definition: "a person who doubts the generally accepted account of an event, believing that an official conspiracy exists to conceal the true explanation; 'a conspiracy theorist'."
Mr. "Smith" argues that all the definitions of "Truther" simply pertain to people who "think for themselves." Then he says,
So idiots like Ed and other authority worshipers, want to apply this idea to us and call us Science Truthers.If Mr. Smith believes the findings and theories of mainstream scientists are a "House of Cards" that is "built on lies," doesn't that suggest that Mr. Smith believes he knows "the truth" that will someday collapse that "House of Cards" that he believes "is built on lies"?
June 24, 2015 (A) - I'm batting "3 for 3." When I called the court house last night to see if I would be needed for jury duty, I was again told that there were no jury trials pending for today, and that I should call again this evening to find out if I will be needed tomorrow. I feel a bit relieved that I'm not needed, although I sometimes feel it would be extremely interesting to be called as a juror.
Meanwhile, I seem to have fully proved that there is no easy way to intelligently discuss the "Rational Scientific Method" ("RSM") with an RSM advocate. They simply will not listen, and they will not explain their beliefs.
So, I wondered if there were any people on the Internet who had previously tried to communicate with RSM advocates. I then remembered that when I was looking for the "Rational Scientific Method" via Google, I saw some links that looked like criticisms of the RSM. So, yesterday I did a new search and looked over the hits and links. The first site of interest was a FreeThoughts blog thread from 2013 titled "The Absurdity of the ‘Rational Science’ Method." The article takes apart the RSM very neatly, and it's followed by 42 comments. Nearly all of the comments are in agreement. Here are a few of them:
I’m guessing this is an attempt to disguise what is essentially a gripe that all the counterintuitive weirdness in Relativity and Quantum Mechanics must be wrong because someone finds it philosophically unacceptable.Comment #4:
Was this garbage invented to push some sort of agenda, or does it exist on its own?Comment #7:
June 23, 2015 - Last night, I again checked to see if they needed me for jury duty today. The recorded message informed me that there were no jury trials scheduled for today. So, I'll have to check again this evening to find out about tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I've not only been permanently banned from The Rational Science Method Facebook group page, they've changed something so that I cannot even see the page. If I click on the link, all I see is a white page with this message:
On the Rational Scientific Method BLOG, "John Smith" gloated over what he'd done, and he wrote this:
Now you can't come back. AND you can't read what we're saying. You can't delete comments and get away with it. BUT rest assured, your comments are there forever showing how when given the chance to learn about RSM all you do is whine. ByeBye!What really happened is this:
While I was at the gym yesterday, "John Smith" claims he created a "Welcome page" for me, and then he says I immediately deleted it. He claimed that I deleted it just as he claims I deleted the first "Welcome Page" and all of its 119 messages.
I discovered all this when I returned from the gym. I found I could get onto the RSM group Facebook page to see everything and post, and I saw Smith's explanation for why there was no Welcome Page for me. I explained that I was going to try to determine if it was possible for me to have deleted the Welcome page. If it was NOT possible, that would almost certainly mean "John Smith" deleted both Welcome pages.
First I checked to see what the options were on what appears to be Bill Gaede's Welcome thread where I was posting. I clicked on the small v in the upper right corner and I took a print-screen snapshot of the four options that were displayed. I then posted the image showing that there was no option to delete:
We then argued a bit when Smith claimed that there was a delete option available in individual comments. I showed him there wasn't. I showed him there was only one option available to me on individual comments: to HIDE a comment.
Then, as you can see in the above image, John Smith once again claimed that if it was my "Welcome post (or page or thread)" I would have the option to delete. He explained that a "Welcome Post" looks like Umair Sagar's post. I pondered what to do next. Then I realized all I had to do was ask Umair Sagar and others who had Welcome pages to do as I did, take a picture of the options available to them, or just list them if they didn't know how to get a picture of the options.
But when I tried to access the site to ask those members, I found I was no longer allowed there. Evidently, John Smith had also realized what I could do to prove that I had no ability to delete my Welcome threads. So, he blocked me from posting and from seeing if anyone else realized they could resolve the argument by showing the available options on their Welcome page.
Ah well. It was all getting kind of tiresome anyway. I've often written that arguing with Anthrax Truther DXer is like arguing with an obnoxious 12-year-old. Arguing with Rational Scientific Method advocates is ten times worse. It's like an African American trying to discuss improving race relations at a Neo-Nazi convention.
I really wanted to try to get them to simplify their "method" down to three brief statements about the three "steps" of their "method," to see how they compare to the three steps I showed in the cartoon I put in yesterday's comment. But, just like Anthrax Truthers, RSM advocates seem to truly hate explaining. Or maybe they fear it, since it might show how truly silly their beliefs really are.
ADDED NOTE: Someone just sent me an email with an image of the current end of the Facebook thread where I was posting yesterday. It appears no one added anything else:
June 22, 2015 - When I called the court house last night to check if I was needed for jury duty, I got a recorded message that said there were no pending jury trials scheduled for today, and I should call again after 6 tonight to check to see if I will be needed tomorrow.
Meanwhile, The Rational Scientific Method advocates are proving my finding that there is no way to have an intelligent discussion with them. They posted a deluge of insult-filled messages in response to my comments on their Rational Scientific Method Blog. Here's a small part of one argument from Bill Gaede:
Since Idiot Ed Lake uses the word ‘Truthers’ so much, I am guessing that this moron probably also believes that WTC7 was brought down by Bin Laden and Mohammed Atta.On the other hand, there were a couple reasonable posts to my blog page about the "Rational Scientific Method Analyzed," and they have invited me to return to posting to their Facebook group. I'll be doing that, just to check the options to see if it is possible for me to delete a thread there.
I awoke this morning thinking about my analysis of their "methodology."
I've almost come to the conclusion that it should be called "The Troll Method," since its only purpose seems to be to create endless arguments against "the establishment."
June 21, 2015 - I'll find out this evening if I'm going to spend the coming week on jury duty. I don't know what the odds are. The last time I was notified that I might be called as a juror, when I called them on Sunday evening they just told me that there were no jury cases pending for that week, so I would not be needed. The time before that, I had to go to the court house on Monday morning, where we just sat around for an hour or so until we were told that a case that might have required a jury had just been settled out of court.
Meanwhile, I seem to have once again confirmed that there is simply no way to intelligently discuss anything with a "Truther." On Friday, against my own better judgment, I started a discussion on a Facebook page about "The Rational Scientific Method." On Friday, I mostly just discussed a few basic things with the owner of the page, "John Smith," trying to understand his "method." On Saturday morning, however, the discussions became hot and heavy as several others joined in, among them Bill Gaede who immediately began posting personal insults against me, Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman, which I suppose is a terrific compliment. Very soon, some of the others started attacking me and calling me names. So, I decided I no longer wanted to post there, I told them "Bye bye," and I stopped posting.
Then I started looking for a way to save the 119 post thread, because it was a terrific example showing why there's no way to have an intelligent conversation with "Truthers," particularly if you ask them to explain their beliefs. But, while I was trying to figure things out, "John Smith" evidently deleted the entire thread and claimed I did it. Here's the post about it:
I seriously doubt that it is even possible for some "member" to delete a thread on someone else's Facebook page. If it is, then the best bet is that Bill Gaede did the deletion. I couldn't even find a way to delete a partial comment I posted accidentally because I pressed ENTER instead of SHIFT + ENTER. To confirm who can delete threads, I checked on how to delete things from MY Facebook page, and then I checked to see if the same options are available on Jake Archer's Facebook page, where I am still a member. The delete option was NOT available to me. While I was on Mr. Archer's page, I looked for my posts from a week or so ago. They all seem to be gone. That certainly fits the pattern established by Anthrax Truthers. If they don't like your arguments, they delete them and pretend they never happened. I don't know what Mr. Gaede meant when he wrote above that he "copied what was relevant and created this thread." I see no link to anything on that page or on Bill Gaede's Facebook page.
So, there's no record of my posts on any Science Truther Facebook page, except for the first 23 posts. I saved a copy of the entire html file at that point. I've created a readable file from what I saved (click HERE), but it doesn't contain any of the juicy stuff - the personal insults from the next day. That kind of makes the whole discussion a total waste of time -- except for the experience gained.
And in the image above, John Smith says I "claimed scientists never are mean and disrespectful to each other." I seriously doubt that is true, since I spent 14 years trying to referee arguments between scientists who are conspiracy theorists and scientists who look at facts and evidence.
I should have been working on my sci-fi novel. Maybe my adventures posting to Facebook pages will serve as a lesson. The lesson: NEVER do that again.
On the other hand, this morning I awoke wondering if it would be worthwhile to create a Facebook group of my own, where people interested in science and psychology could discuss "Is The Rational Scientific Method" rational, scientific, or even a method?" Hmm. I'll have to do some thinking about that.
Meanwhile, since it seemed easy to do, I added two comments at the end of The Rational Scientific Method BLOG describing some of the problems I have with their "method." Maybe a conversation will be started there that people who are not on Facebook can also see. Or maybe the operator of the blog will just delete my comment or the entire page. If so, I've saved a copy of everything.
I tried to create a Facebook group page, but it appears that before I can do that I have to have a list of Facebook members to form the group. My plan was the create the group page, and then invite people to join. Nope. It doesn't work that way. So, I created a new thread for my blog and titled it "Rational Scientific Method Analyzed." I don't have any hope that any RSM advocate will attempt to post there, but the invitation is now open. Plus, I used most of the information I added to their page HERE, which means that if they once again delete what I wrote, there will still be a copy on my blog.
|Comments for Sunday, June 14, 2015,
thru Saturday, June 20, 2015:
June 18, 2015 - I'm slowly learning that Facebook is like another world. People do things differently there. Things work differently there. Yesterday, I found a description of "The Rational Scientific Method." There was a "Version 1" and a "Version 2." I assumed "Version 2" was the latest version, but today I discovered that "Version 1" is the PDF version, and "Version 2" is the WORD version. But neither can be viewed unless you are a member of Facebook.
I used a phase from the document to do a Google search and found an HTML version that seems available to people who are NOT on Facebook. Click HERE to view it. On the PDF and WORD versions there is no author identified. But on the HTML version, the author is identified as "Monk E. Mind." The PDF and WORD versions are found on a Facebook page created by "John Smith," another pseudonym used by "Monk E. Mind." The HTML version contains Monk E. Mind's "method," but then it is followed by a description of "The Gaedean Scientific Method," which I presume is Bill Gaede's "scientific method," even though it seems very much like the standard "scientific method." The HTML document appears to have been uploaded in December 2012.
If all this seems confusing, welcome to the club. I read "The "Rational Scientific Method" yesterday in WORD format. In yesterday's (A) comment I quoted large parts of it. Today, I tried reading it again in PDF format. I downloaded a copy so I could highlight passages and make notes. After making a few notes, I stopped, since I was getting nowhere. I've uploaded my PDF copy with my highlights and notes. Click HERE to view it. There seemed no point in continuing unless I could get Monk E. Mind to explain things. First, I'd have to join his group. It's a "public group," which seems to mean that anyone who is already a member of Facebook (like me) can join. You do not have to be invited in by some current member. Supposedly, the group already has 1,303 "members."
But how can I get an "explanation" from someone who has his own definitions of words? I tried that many times with Mr. R and got nowhere.
Am I just avoiding getting to work on my new sci-fi novel? I keep looking at "The Rational Scientific Method" as part of a new Rosetta Stone. If I could just provide a translation, I might be able to understand how all "Truthers" think. All Truthers seem to view facts and evidence as irrelevant, except for facts and evidence which can be twisted and distorted to fit the "hypothesis" they preach.
As I stated yesterday, "The Rational Scientific Method" seems to be a recipe for creating unscientific (i.e., "screwball") beliefs. Although most "Anthrax Truthers" are almost certainly unaware of this "methodology," they seem to practice it religiously. So, "Monk E. Mind" may have defined some basics about how all Truthers think. But is there any hope of getting him to explain things? From past experience with Anthrax Truthers, I have no reason to believe there is any such hope.
I really really need to get to work on my sci-fi novel!
June 17, 2015 (B) - IMPORTANT: This afternoon, I tried using my old computer to access some of the Facebook links I've been using, and I got very different results from what I get on my new laptop. So, I apologize if you cannot access any of the Facebook links, or if you get only a Facebook sign-in screen. I will try to avoid using such links in the future.
June 17, 2015 (A) - This morning, I looked through yesterday's access logs for this web site and found two accesses that were related to Facebook, both occurring at exactly the same time: 9:14 am EDT yesterday morning. The first, from various IP addresses in the range 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52, were traceable back to Facebook, Inc., in Menlo Park, California. (They use a different IP address to access each picture on this site.) The other access traced back to an Internet provider in London, England. It looked like the person in England (very possibly Jake Archer) clicked on a Facebook link that took them to my web site, and Facebook, Inc. simultaneously did something to validate the link. But, I don't think I have any links anywhere on Facebook that go to my web site. There could be some simple explanation that eludes me because I have so little experience with Facebook. They'd never visited before.
Needless to say, I was still thinking about my conversation with Mr. Archer. I was particularly puzzled by his definition of "science":
Rational (visualizable and non-self contradicting) explanations for phenomena.Huh? The Google definition is:
the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.Science is not explanations. Science is the study to find explanations. When I showed Google's definition to Mr. Archer, his response was that his definition "is shorter and to the rational science point."
Since I didn't want to argue with Mr. Archer, this morning I looked around his page to see if there was some other way to find out what he's talking about. I found another Facebook page and group about the "Rational Science Method," which is supposedly a "pubic group" run by "John Smith." And on that page is a link for downloading a WORD document supposedly describing the "Rational Science method." Looking at the document, I found this:
We visualize objects and we explain concepts. We do not explain objects - we point to them. We explain phenomena. The scientific method is based on hypothesis and theory. The conclusion is left to each individual. The hypothesis includes the statement of facts, the definitions of key terms, and the objects. The hypothesis describes the phenomena and illustrates the objects, defines the key terms, then makes the assumption(s). Assumptions are statements of the facts - not the facts themselves. Assumptions are neither true nor false. One does not define objects; one illustrates them. The theory explains the phenomena of the hypothesis. Everyone must decide for themselves.And these:
Each individual concludes that the theory is either possible or not possible. Science is about explaining. Science in general, and physics in particular are about physically present objects.
Belief, truth, evidence, and proof are not part of the scientific method; it is observer-independent. Experiments and observation are extra-scientific.I could go on and on. Nothing makes any sense. And it's supposed to be an explanation. It's more like a recipe for creating screwball beliefs. They say over and over that it is up to the individual to believe or disbelieve. Evidence and proof mean nothing. Evidently, the only thing that means anything is whether a specific individual can visualize it.
It's certainly something I'd like to discuss. I'd like to find out if the "Rational Science Method" is really as irrational and unscientific as it appears. It's clear there is no point in trying to discuss anything unless you use their terminology. And, it seems like their terminology doesn't allow you to discuss anything intelligently.
I don't think I could discuss anything with any Rational Science believer unless it was a one-on-one discussion and I could control the agenda by setting down some rules beforehand (I choose the topics, one topic at a time, no changing the subject, no avoiding answers by telling the other person to research it, etc.). I can't visualize that happening.
June 16, 2015 (B) - After a lot of back-and-forth where Mr. Archer just kept repeatedly telling me I should do a search for "the group" where "Rational Science and Technology" are discussed on Facebook, I finally realized that in order to see "the group" where Mr. Archer wanted me to post on Facebook, Mr. Archer probably first had to invite me into "the group." I explained that to Mr. Archer, and he immediately invited me in. That made the entry box for "the group" appear on his web page. Looking things over, one of the first things I saw was that Mr. Archer is also a "9/11 Truther." I probably should have expected that. The first thread in his "group" page is "pinned" in place, so that it always remains on top. In it, Mr. Archer gives his personal definitions of some words:
Science: Rational (visualizable and non-self contradicting) explanations for phenomena.There are 119 comments in the thread, a good share of them written by Mr. Archer arguing that what he says is true, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
And all of his other posts seem to be cryptic views on how he thinks the universe works, although he seems to also quote Bill Gaede a lot. Mr. Archer also does with scientists what DXer does with the FBI, i.e., pointing out every mistake made by some FBI agent as a way of "proving" that no FBI agent can be trusted. Only Mr. Archer does it with all the scientists in the world. That was enough for me, so I thanked him and quickly departed.
While there, I also noticed a YouTube video of Bill Gaede's presentation about "How Magnets Work" at the Rational Science Conference in Scotland last month. Click HERE if you want to view the video. If I have an hour to spare, I might watch it just to see if it shows the audience at the conference. I'm still curious about how many people attended. Other than that, I'm ready to forget about my entire adventure into Facebook Land -- although I'll probably leave my Facebook page as it is -- until I see some reason to change or delete it.
June 16, 2015 (A) - I'm learning more about Facebook every day. This morning, some one advised me that pressing SHIFT and ENTER will allow me to start a new paragraph in a Facebook comment. I tried it, and it worked. So, now I don't have to write big, long paragraphs any more.
Jake Archer tells keeps telling me to go to "the group" to discuss things, instead of his Facebook page, but he doesn't seem to have any clue as to how to tell me where I can find "the group." He suggested that I do "a search" for rational science and technology, but a Google search just leads me back to his Facebook page. That's how I found his page in the first place. I thought he was responsible for the video at THIS LINK, since his name is on it, but he tells me that it was created by "David Robson .. nee Jason Quinn."
I'm quickly losing interest in Facebook and the discussion with Jake Archer. If he didn't create the video, then I don't know what his beliefs are. And he doesn't seem to be able to do anything with his smart phone except type in short, cryptic messages and suggest I go the "the group," while seeming totally incapable of providing any meaningful directions (or a link) to "the group." I suggested we discuss his theories on MY blog, but he responded, "On my phone it is tricky to do that."
I recall finding Jack Archer's name on the Rational Science BLOG two days ago. Could that be "the group"? As far as I can tell, no one has used that BLOG since 2013, even though many messages are indicated as being from "3 hours ago" and "6 hours ago." And why would Mr. Archer think that blog is easier for posting via his phone than my blog? There's a "Community Forum" link at the top of the blog that takes you to a different kind of blog HERE. But no one has been on that blog for a year. And, even those few posts seem to be just futile attempts to get a discussion going.
I'm ready to give up. And also I'm ready to set Facebook aside as a place I have visited but didn't care for. There are a bunch of suspicious characters who want to be my "friend," but I think they just want to sell me something, or convert me to some religion, or maybe they want me to invited them to my home so they can see if I have anything worth stealing. I'm definitely not going to contact or become a "friend" to any of them. Nor do I plan to join any committee to run rummage sales, which is an ad that appears on my Facebook page under certain circumstances. And Facebook provides a list of hundreds of people on Facebook who I "may know" and wish to "add as a friend." I only recognize one name, and I can't really be sure it isn't someone else with the same name. Besides, why would I invite him to be my "friend" on Facebook when we can simply exchange emails?
What I SHOULD do, is get to work on my novel. I keep telling myself that, but it's easier said than done.
June 15, 2015 (B) - Hmm. I'm having a real communication problem with Mr. Archer. Yesterday, I found a message he had posted years ago where he asked for new definitions for the words "science" and "technology." I responded by asking what was wrong with the dictionary definitions. He responded,
Mine is shorter and to the rational science point. Technology is far wider a practice than is stated in that def...Maybe you disagree? Well get thee to the mainstream.I responded,
That doesn't provide any definition for "science" or "technology". So, there is nothing to disagree with. And, apparently, you are saying that if I disagree, then you do not want to discuss it. I should just go away, a.k.a. "Get thee to the mainstream." Am I right? Your YouTube video was created in 2012. You clearly wanted to discuss things then. Is that no longer the case? I'm only here because I thought you wanted to discuss your beliefs. If you do not want to discuss your beliefs with someone who may disagree with your beliefs, I fully understand.It appears Mr. Archer then deleted his post from years ago, but my response remains. About an hour ago, Mr. Archer wrote:
Debate is in the group.. this is just a message board.And I responded,
I'm new to Facebook. How do I find "the group"?He's evidently using a smart phone, and what he sees on his screen is far different from what I see on my 23-inch monitor. I can see on my new Facebook page that there is a way for me to create a "group," but Mr. Archer's page doesn't contain any indication of any group anywhere. It may be something that everyone who is familiar with Facebook knows how to access instantly, but I don't.
I also can't find any easy way to archive the questions and answers on Facebook pages. There are way too many windows to copy and paste things easily, and you have to constantly click on things to see all messages and entire messages.
Earlier today, Mr. Archer wrote:
Something causes the phenomena we want to explain in science..that something is an object..Objects can be at least pictured, they have a shape. Science without objects is only philosophy..And I responded with two messages:
You're stating a BELIEF that I do not fully understand. I can make no sense of "Science without objects is only philosophy." A definition of "science" is "the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment." In short, it's the STUDY of a subject in an attempt to UNDERSTAND it and HOW it works. Philosophy is more abstract, it's more about WHY things exist and less about HOW things work. At least, that's how I see it.and
You wrote: "Something causes the phenomena we want to explain in science..that something is an object." Why does it HAVE to be an "object"? What is your definition of "object"? Is an "orbit" an "object"? It can be pictured, and it has a shape. But it is not a "cause," it is an effect. Is the universe an "object"? It can be pictured. It has a shape. Scientists want to know HOW it works. Is there something wrong with that?I get a definite impression that Mr. Archer is keying in his messages with his thumbs on a smart phone. That's why they are so short and cryptic. I also have a feeling Mr. Archer is going to start deleting my posts pretty soon, since I'm asking questions he does not seem to want to answer.
June 15, 2015 (A) - Yesterday, I created a Facebook page for myself. I wanted to discuss science with a guy name Jake Archer, who has a Facebook page HERE where he supposedly wants to discuss "rational science." I also wanted to learn a bit more about Facebook, and I am doing that. I quickly learned that I can't click on ENTER to start a new paragraph. Clicking ENTER sends the comment. Which also seems to mean that a "comment" can only consist of one paragraph.
BUT, in addition to writing "comments," I can also "post." That means I can create a new topic in which I can also write multiple paragraphs. But, when doing that on someone else's Facebook page, it gets shifted off into a part of the page you have hunt for. It doesn't remain on the main page. It is also very easy to add illustrations and videos to comments and posts. Just providing a link to the video creates a clickable image for the video.
The problem now seems to be to get Mr. Archer to discuss his beliefs. His YouTube video indicated he was very anxious to discuss such things, but his video was created in 2012 and his Facebook page seems to have been created in 2013. So, maybe he's no longer so anxious.
Yet, he was a speaker at the 3rd annual "Rational Physics Conference" that was held in Scotland last month. So, he obviously hasn't change his beliefs. The only question seems to be whether or not he's still willing to discuss them. This morning, I wrote a single paragraph "comment" asking him if he wants to discuss his beliefs. I could assume that he doesn't, but I'd rather have him confirm it. I may have made him overly wary. My very first POST to his Facebook page included the Anthrax Truther cartoon I created a few weeks ago. That may have had the effect of separating him and his theories from all other Science Truthers. My experience indicates that most Truthers want to feel they are part of a much larger and powerful group, not what the really are: just one person arguing a personal belief that no one else in the world fully agrees with.
June 14, 2015 - I keep looking for news about the 3rd annual "Rational Physics Conference" that was held in Scotland last month. I wondered how many people attended, and I was hoping to view some of the presentations. But, I wasn't able to find any news stories or any youtube videos of presentations. Then, yesterday, I stumbled upon a short article dated June 5 in The Ayrshire Post that said:
An international conference was held in Dalmellington, with visitors from around the world attending.Hmm. According to the conference schedule, Jan Littlebaskets was supposed to have given three presentations (including one titled "Building Blocks for Physics"), Bill Gaede was supposed to give only one, and it was supposed to have been on the subject "How a Magnet Works." There were also supposed to have been five other speakers, including Jake Archer who was to talk about "The Principles of Rational Science." I also recall that Mr. Gaede is from Argentina. Could that mean that either Jan Littlebaskets or Jake Archer is from New York?
In my May 19 comment I speculated:
Maybe the main speaker, Jan Littlebaskets, bought The Black Bull and offered the meeting room for free if he could give three talks during the conference.If Mr. Littlebaskets was the "host" of the conference, that tends to suggest that he might indeed now own the Black Bull. So my speculation may not be as wild as it seemed at the time.
The conference is like a minor research project for me. I keep digging for information about the speakers and the attendees. I found a Rational Science Blog from 2013 where Bill Gaede expounded at length about his various beliefs. I found it by doing a search for Jake Archer, who was a speaker at the conference last month and is one of the people arguing on the blog. Mostly Mr. Archer seems to argue about words, supplying detailed definitions.
Researching Jake Archer further, I find that he appears to be an American. He appears to be the voice in the video rant found HERE. He appears to also have a Facebook page HERE, which has a blackboard illustration Mr. Archer apparently drew during his presentation at the Rational Physics Conference last month.
Against my own better judgement, I made a couple attempts to establish contact with Mr. Archer. I posted a comment after his video, and I sent him a message via the YouTube page. I just want to see if he can explain any of the things he seems to thoroughly believe is "the truth." I really enjoy discussing science, and it would seem ideal to discuss science with someone who has a very different point of view. Mr. Archer's rant on YouTube is mostly about how he truly wants to discuss rational science with "non-believers." The only question is: Can Mr. Archer actually discuss science, or can he only rant about his beliefs and how anyone who disagrees is "irrational"?
I think I've clearly proven that Truthers cannot intelligently discuss any subject. That is certainly true with Anthrax Truthers. But, as long as there's a Science Truther out there who claims he CAN discuss science intelligently, then my hypothesis has not been fully proven.
This morning I found no response from Mr. Archer. However, I awoke thinking about Facebook and how it might be a good idea for me to create a Facebook page for myself just to help me sell my books. It's free advertising. At least their main page says it's all free. I know next to nothing about Facebook, other than the guy who dreamed it up made a lot of money, and they made a pretty good movie about him. I've always thought about Facebook as being a place for small talk and gossip -- like Twitter. Maybe it is. But, it's a popular and busy place. And selling my books on a busy street corner should be easier than selling them on a dusty side road in the country where no one goes unless they are specifically looking for my book. The huge number of views I got for my YouTube handwriting video just because someone mentioned it on Reddit.com hasn't been forgotten. (They're still coming in at a good rate.)
It might be interesting to find out what is needed to create a Facebook page.
And, of course, once I sign up with Facebook, I can post a comment to Mr. Archer's page to ask him some loaded questions about "rational science."
Added Note: Zip Zap! Click HERE to visit my new Facebook page.
|Comments for Sunday, June 7, 2015,
thru Saturday, June 13, 2015:
June 13, 2015 - I guess this can't be "off topic" on a web site that is not about any specific topic, but I noticed a news story yesterday that gave me the chills. The story was about a 72-year-old man in Texas who got locked inside his 2007 Corvette and died of heat exhaustion. He was in the parking lot of a waffle house restaurant in broad daylight, not in his garage or on a lonely back road. He'd left his cell phone in the restaurant and evidently just went out to check on his dog. The dog also died.
It appears that after the man had gotten into the Corvette to check on his dog, the battery cable became disconnected. So, none of the electronic locks worked. And the horn wouldn't wouldn't work, either, of course. It appears to be a problem common to Corvettes. The guy tried to tear out the back seat to get out through the trunk, but he couldn't manage that either. If he tried to break a window to get out, there was no sign of it.
There's a mechanical switch somewhere in the Corvette to unlock the doors when there is no power, but the guy didn't know about it. He evidently didn't read the owner's manual.
So, this morning I read all about door locks in my Malibu owner's manual. It says that I can pull on the door handle to unlock the door, and then pull on it a second time to open the door. I tried that when I got into my car this afternoon. It worked. It seems to be entirely mechanical.
It's like being told that your shoes can kill you if you bend them the wrong way. Or that your morning orange juice can explode if you put salt in it. Until yesterday, getting locked inside my car was a danger I never imagined possible.
June 11, 2015 - Nuts! That web site in India is back again. They must have figured out that I blocked IP address 184.108.40.206, so they switched to a different IP address to access that one specific image on my old site. They accessed it over 4,200 times last night in one continuous burst of accesses:
Gigantic Network Solution of New Delhi, India, owns/controls IP addresses 220.127.116.11 through 18.104.22.168. So, rather than just block the new address they are now using, I blocked everything they own. I still have absolutely no idea what they were trying to accomplish, but I can't imagine any non-malicious reason for it.
Italian astronaut Samantha Christoforetti, along with a couple guys, returned to earth today in what one source called a "hard landing." Everyone's okay.
Meanwhile, I am waking up each morning thinking about my third sci-fi novel using "the greatest crime-solving device ever devised by man." The first book was about stopping a terrorist attack on Washington. The second book was about recovering a kidnap victim. So, the third has to be about something totally different - like solving a murder or solving some major crime involving national security. I just need to pick one and then start from the solution and work my way backwards to where the investigative team gets called in to solve the crime. Sounds simple, but all I've managed to do so far is to start thinking about it.
June 10, 2015 - While doing some research into "microgravity," I happened to stumble upon a new video that astronaut Samantha Christoforetti shot of her making a quinoa salad with tomato, mackerel and leek cream in a warm tortilla:
It doesn't sound particularly appetizing to me, but it's fascinating to watch her make the tortilla while in the "microgravity" of the International Space Station. While she did an excellent job of assembling the concoction, I spotted at least one glob of something that went whirling off into some corner.
There are other interesting videos made my Samantha Cristoforetti, including one of her showing where she sleeps in her private quarters on the ISS (click HERE), and another explaining how the toilet works (click HERE). Cristoforetti is also in the news today, because she just set a record for the amount of time spent in space by a female astronaut on a single mission.
June 9, 2015 - I watched StarTalk last night, and it was all about Twitter as a social phenomenon. I never really understood the popularity of Twitter, but today I had to look it over a bit more than I ever did in the past. Among other things, I found this picture apparently taken by comedian Steve Martin:
The chicken's motivation might still be a mystery to some.
Looking at science related tweets, I found a link to a video of astronaut Samantha Christoforetti explaining how astronauts "shower" and keep clean while aboard the International Space Station. Clipping fingernails is a BIG deal aboard the space station, since the bits of nail could float around and get into equipment. The video was interesting in many ways, not only in what she was explaining, but also in how everything she was using as exhibits for her talk was connected to the wall behind her either with magnets or Velcro.
Looking over recent "tweets" was an interesting way to spend an hour or so. But, I don't think it's something I'll be doing on any regular basis. It's just too clear that I'm just wasting time when I should be writing.
June 8, 2015 - Hmm. I just received an email from the StarTalk TV show. A few days ago, I posted a question about last Monday's episode, and I evidently posted it in the wrong place. So, they sent me an email telling me the correct place to post it. I did, and (probably not coincidentally) it answered someone else's question, someone who had posted 21 minutes before I did.
Meanwhile, I think the Reddit.com mention of my YouTube video may have had a side effect. Today I sold more copies of my book abut the anthrax attacks than I've sold in any recent month. Or maybe the folks at StarTalk did the buying. Or maybe the sales had nothing to do with Reddit or StarTalk. Maybe its just an effect of all the recent news about accidental shipments of live anthrax spores. I guess it's just another one of Life's never-ending supply of mysteries.
June 7, 2015 - I really need to get to work on my sci-fi novel. The few weeks I just spent exploring the realm of Science Truthers was fascinating, but I don't see any productive way to discuss anything further with them. It's a pity, since I can learn a lot from posing arguments and explaining faults in their logic. But, like Anthrax Truthers, Science Truthers quickly become hostile as soon as they see they cannot convert you to their beliefs. So, the education and entertainment benefit is soon lost amid the increasing hostility and personal attacks.
I haven't been able to find any videos or reports on the 3rd annual Rational Physics Conference, so it looks like I'll just have to continue to wonder what they (particularly Jan Littlebaskets) said at the conference.
The email problem I had has been fixed. So, I don't have to worry about that any more. It appears that the person or group in Africa who was using my email account to send out spam somehow figured out what my password was. I used the same simple password for 14 years, so it took them awhile. Hopefully, it will take them at least another 14 years to figure out my new password.
The block I put in place to stop someone in India at IP address 22.214.171.124 from accessing an image on my old site a thousand times a day, is working. He's still trying, and every try registers as a "hit" in my web site statistics, but all he gets is an error message telling him he is "Forbidden" from accessing my site. The bandwidth usage rate for my web site fell like a rock when I put in the block:
DXer is still the #1 visitor to my new site. He appears to have changed to a different computer (or cell phone or tablet). But, all that means is that the statistics for the first 5 days of June now show him as both #1 and #2 on the list in order by number of "hits":
I wondered who 126.96.36.199 was, and I found that he's a hacker trying to find FCKEditor on my site. The hacker just gets "Not Found" (404) error messages, so that's why he doesn't register as a "visit." For some reason, I've suddenly got a bunch of different IP addresses trying to access FCKEditor. Others:
FCKEditor apparently has some code that allows hackers to break into a web site. If the hackers persist, I'll have to set up a blocking program to prevent them from trying to hack my new site. I've been blocking the China group for years on my old web site. It seems to be run by a Chinese company with an office in Kansas City, MO. I wrote about it in my July 25 thru 31, 2013 comments.188.8.131.52 = China
Yesterday, someone in Paris, France, at IP address 184.108.40.206 made 688 unsuccessful attempts to POST a log-in file onto my site, probably as a first step into hacking into the site.
I don't think there is any special effort being made to hack into my site. I think it's all being done by "robots" (i.e, hacking programs) that just hunt the Internet looking for web sites they can hack into. My new site has now been around long enough for the "robots" to find it. They're out to "get" everyone. It's evidently some kind of a game to them. And, if I wasn't checking my logs every day, I wouldn't even know the hackers are out there trying to "get" me.
On the positive side, yesterday 45 more people viewed my youtube video about the handwriting on the anthrax letters and envelopes. That's up from 37 the day before, but down from 66 views the day before that. And, so far, 27 people took the time to indicate that they "like" the video, while only 2 indicated they "dislike" the video. It all seems to be the result of that one reddit.com posting. How can that be? I checked reddit on Wikipedia. They say,
Reddit //, stylized as reddit, is an entertainment, social networking, and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links, making it essentially an online bulletin board system. Registered users can then vote submissions up or down to organize the posts and determine their position on the site's pages. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called "subreddits."Evidently, it's a very popular way to waste time on the Internet. Some of the posts are kind of interesting.
I really, really NEED to get my mind off of all this distracting crap and to get to work on my sci-fi novel.
|Comments for Monday, June 1, 2015,
thru Saturday, June 6, 2015:
June 5, 2015 - Hmm. I noticed that my YouTube video about the handwriting on the anthrax letters got a lot of visitors recently. Apparently, there were about 1,220 viewings in the past week. Usually, there's only two or three a day. At first, I just assumed it had something to do with all the news about the screw-up in sending out anthrax spore shipments from Dugway. But, why would people go to the video and not to my web site? My web site didn't see any comparable surge.
I decided to check out the YouTube page for the video. I noticed a clickable box labeled "Analytics." I clicked on it and found that I could view a lot of statistics for the video. One chart showed the surge very clearly:
Anthrax letters handwriting analysis [Male][Hand movements][Pointing][Soft Voice] (x-post /r/asmr)
I have no idea how to decipher that, either. And I've run out of time for today. But, any day you learn something new is a good day. So, today was a good day.
June 4, 2015 - Last night, I watched Monday's episode of StarTalk from my VCR. Wow! What a terrific episode! It airs again tomorrow on the National Geographic Channel. The main guest was Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. I was amazed to learn that he created a music video while aboard the International Space Station. Here's the video:
The video was uploaded on May 12, 2013 and has had 25,625,545 views. And there are 76,872 comments following the video. But I never knew about any of it.
On StarTalk, Hadfield explained that there have always been guitars aboard space stations. And he talked about the astronauts watching movies together. I'd never before thought much about what the astronauts on a space station do during their "off hours." They're generally there for a minimum of six months, so they must have some free time to do things other than work.
There was a second astronaut on the show, Mike Massimino, who has only been into space aboard the shuttle and never went to the space station. But they both knew about the problem of adjusting to gravity once you return to earth. They talked about having to relearn how to balance your head on your spine and to not let an object go in mid-air because you've become so accustomed to how things happen in space. It reminded me of the book "Thinking, Fast and Slow." The "System 1" part of their brains had become accustomed to doing certain routine things without thinking, and they need to re-program it when they return to earth. It can take a long time. I bought my Chevy Malibu in mid-March, but if I'm thinking of something else when I walk to my car, I'll sometimes absentmindedly start looking for the Camaro key on my key ring, not realizing that the Camaro's basic car key was replaced by the electronic key that came with the Malibu. It's the "System 1" part of my brain still running an obsolete search program.
June 3, 2015 (B) - I was just advised that Newsguy shut down my email account because of all the crap I told them I was getting. I just need to set up a new password and the account will be active once again. Somehow I failed to realize that, in order to send out emails using my email address, the attacker must have figured out my password.
I was also informed that the "attack" came from IP address 220.127.116.11, which traces back to Benin, a small country on the west coast of Africa that I never heard of before. So, both of my Internet "enemies" are off the suspects list.
That reminds me: Last month I was also being "attacked" in a different way. My anthrax web site was being constantly accessed by IP address 18.104.22.168. Here are the Kilobyte totals for last month for www.anthraxinvestigation.com:
As you can see, that IP address was accessing ten times more frequently than the next IP address on the list. I finally got tired of it, and a couple days ago I put in a "block" to prevent accesses to my site from that IP address. When I checked my log files, it appeared that all they were doing was accessing a specific image over and over and over. Accessing an image apparently doesn't qualify as a "visit." Another statistics chart confirms that that was all they were doing:
That IP address traces back to New Dehli, India. I could assume that it's some kind of attack from one of Dr. Srinivasa Rao's disciples, but more likely it's just another one of thousands of web sites that seem to have nothing better to do but try to attack other web sites. Over the years, I've blocked hundreds of such IP addresses from accessing my old site.
So far, I haven't seen any attacks on my new site. Knock wood.
June 3, 2015 (A) - My email account was "attacked" twice in the past week. It was "attacked" on May 27, and then again yesterday. I put the word "attacked" in quotes, because they didn't really "attack" my account, someone used my newsguy email address to send out spam email messages to thousands of email addresses. As a result, my inbox was filled with error messages about emails that failed to get sent because the email addresses were no longer valid. On May 27, I found 887 "Returned mail: see transcript for details" messages in my inbox when I signed on in the morning. Yesterday, the messages were arriving while I was on my computer. I just deleted a stack of them every few minutes. I don't know how many I deleted, but it was probably no more than 200. After about twenty minutes or so they stopped coming, and things went back to normal. I contacted newsguy.com and they told me what the "attacker" was doing.
Yesterday's messages were all from hotmail.com addresses. I think the ones on May 27 were from some different free email host. Unfortunately, I didn't think to save any of them for analysis. I not only deleted them, I'd cleaned out the trash.
I could put 2 and 2 together and assume one the bloggers who view me as an "enemy" was behind the "attacks." I figured that if they didn't just pick my email address at random, and some "enemy" was "attacking" me personally, they'd also be checking my web site to see if I wrote a comment about it. My logs indicate that there were no visits from anyone in Florida (where one of my "enemies" lives) so far this month, but the other blogger who considers me to be his "enemy" has been visiting 10 times a day. He visited "only" 105 times in all of May, which computes to "only" about 3½ visits per day.
On the other hand, for some unknown reason, there were 350 "pageviews" to my anthrax blog yesterday. That's at least 300 more than "normal." Here's what the statistics look like:
Is there some connection between those pageviews yesterday and yesterday's email "attack"? I don't know. I'm guessing: Probably not. There was no similar surge in page views on May 27.
There was no harm done, but it's kind of interesting.
Also interesting, is an article in The New York Times magazine about the perils of using the Internet. A regular reader of my web site sent me the link. The title of the article is "The Agency," and the descriptive blurb says:
From a nondescript office building in St. Petersburg, Russia, an army of well-paid “trolls” has tried to wreak havoc all around the Internet — and in real-life American communities.The article begins by describing a fake disaster that was reported via the Internet:
Around 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 11 last year, Duval Arthur, director of the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, got a call from a resident who had just received a disturbing text message. “Toxic fume hazard warning in this area until 1:30 PM,” the message read. “Take Shelter. Check Local Media and columbiachemical.com.”It turns out the whole "disaster" was manufactured by the "Internet Research Agency," which is a propaganda organization in Russia that employs hundreds of people who do nothing but create false news accounts, complete with YouTube videos, faked photographs, Twitter reports from "eye witnesses," and copies of reports from (false) news agency web sites. The false information is sent to real people in the area where the fake disaster is supposedly taking place. The intent, apparently, is just to scare the hell out of people while breeding distrust.
The Times magazine article is very long and detailed, but it's worth a read.
Hmm. I just checked my newsguy email account and found that another "attack" is underway. Here's part of one error message:
----- Transcript of session follows -----If it happens too often, I may have to close down that email account. I probably should have closed it down years ago, since it is NOT a free account. But, I kept it running because I was too lazy to set up a free email account and to change all the places on my sites and blogs where I use the newsguy address (plus notifying people and businesses that the email address is no longer valid). Because I used the email address on my web site and blog, spammers found it and send ME a lot of spam emails. I have a hundred filters in place to get rid of spam before it even gets into my inbox. I could very easily just set up another filter to automatically delete any email message that has "@hotmail.com" in the body of the message.
The error messages stopped coming after I started deleting them immediately. I think I received only about 60 total. It's as if someone can tell that I am immediately deleting the messages. It could be someone at newsguy.com who is aware of the problem and blocks the emails before they get to my inbox.
Interesting. I'll keep looking for clues to who might be behind it. If it becomes an annoyance, I'll set up a filter.
June 2, 2015 (B) - I'm trying to avoid mentioning Mr. W, but yesterday he started an interesting new thread on his blog:
He views scientists whose theories he disagrees with as "the Enemy." And, he's talking about tactics on how to stop "the enemy." The links he provides don't seem to have much to do with what he is saying. The first link is about how scientists need to avoid being consumed by their work. They need to exercise and lead a normal life outside of their work. The second link is to a blog entry about a December 2014 conference on the "Panck Mission," which was a satellite launched in May 2009. No significant news was presented at the conference.
What Mr. W has done is thoroughly convince me that I should stop mentioning him on this site. I'm not an astronomer or a scientist, but me might still consider me to be an "enemy." I've already got "DXer" viewing me as "an enemy."
Meanwhile, I see my "scientific article" about Time Dilation has been accessed by 11 different IP addresses. I was undoubtedly one of them. So, about 5 people a day look at it. I don't know if that is good or bad.
My postings about science seem to be attracting a different audience. Recently, I've had two different people start arguments with me on YouTube about the anthrax attacks of 2001. (I suppose they could have found me while researching the news about the anthrax shipping mistake.) One yesterday (HERE), and one a week ago (HERE). I'm looking forward to someone starting an argument about science with me. I don't think it's a good idea for me to go to Science Truther's blogs, videos and viXra papers and to start arguments there. I like arguing and discussing things. It's a terrific way to learn new things. But, while arguing with True Believers might be interesting and educational, the True Believers will see everything differently. They'll see different beliefs and ideas as "a plot by the enemy."
June 2, 2015 (A) - Someone just sent me a link to an article titled "MH370 disappearance suit settled out-of-court in Malaysia." It's just about one case, the first to be settled. The article also says,
Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier, has been declared "technically bankrupt" as the airline announced Monday that it will slash 6,000 jobs as part of plans to recover from the twin deadly disasters and a long run of red ink.That caused me to do further checking on the status of the search for Flight M370. I found an article dated today that says they're still searching, and that the search found the wreck of a ship on the floor of the Indian Ocean. While the find is "fascinating," it's probably more important for confirming that the search methods CAN find things. The ship was smaller than MH370.
June 1, 2015 - Hmm. I was just notified that my "scientific paper" titled "Time Dilation Re-visualized" has been accepted and published by vixra.org. Click HERE to read the pdf file. As of this moment, it is the most recent submission in their Astrophysics Section. I submitted it yesterday. The paper is a rewrite of my web page on Time Dilation.
That makes me wonder if I shouldn't create a "scientific paper" out of my web page on "Van Der Waals Forces & Static Electricity: How They Affect Bacillus Spores." I created that web page in May 2008 to debunk a screwball theory promoted by an Anthrax Truther (a scientist who was once a science teacher), and my web page has been used by a lot of high school science classes ever since. I've had some science teachers write me about how they use it. It looks like it would nicely fit into viXra's "Physics of Biology" category.
But, of more immediate interest to me right now is a possible new paper that I might title "Einstein's Theory of Relativity Re-visualized," or something along those lines. It would take Einstein's 1905 paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" and summarize without mathematics what is being explained with mathematics by Einstein. The idea would be to show all the Science Truthers that they are seriously misinterpreting what Albert Einstein wrote. It would be along the lines of my blog thread "Time Dilation: Reality versus Relativity," except that it would wouldn't focus on Time Dilation. It would look at the whole paper. I don't know if I can figure everything out, but it might be interesting to try.
Added note: Oops. I wondered if someone else hadn't already tried to explain Einstein's theory without mathematics. I did some research and found "Einstein's Special Relativity for Dummies." It contains some information I should have been using in an email argument with an Anthrax Truther. Other web sites seem to have better explanations than I could ever come up with.
So, maybe I'll just forget about writing more "scientific papers" and try to get back to work on my sci-fi novel.