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DEW
2001-Nov-18, 05:01 PM
This is my first post to this site, which I stumbled across about a week ago much to my delight. First off, as indicated above I am not a scientist though I was forced to take numerous math, science and engineering courses in college. As a side note people today ask me why I seem to be in such a bad mood to which my reply is, I am not, just the after effects of all those numbers courses so long ago.

After reading numerous responses to the, “We never went to the moon,” and the latest Apollo 13 thread running here it occurred to me that you have missed a vital point. (Another side note, on most message boards I have seen within three or four responses to an original post the whole thread being reduced to scurrilous name calling. I salute the regulars here for their ability to provide reasoned and supported responses and for their unflagging sense of courtesy.)

Ah, now what vital point can this nut be referring to you ask? This, you know they are wrong but it is the general public, like me, that you are really responding to, to prevent them from being taken in by such claptrap. But you cannot do so unless you make the science and engineering accessible to those with no background in it. Hence, you are forced to communicate complex ideas in understandable terms. (Please note I do not say simplistic terms.) If you never did this then people like me would be denied an elementary understanding of the wonderful world of nature.

Therefore you should welcome the HBers for it one, excites interest on the subject amongst the general public that might not otherwise exist, two, gives you the opportunity to educate a public that would probably have not been listening otherwise, and three, may even excite a mind to delve further thus gaining a member to the arcane halls that you tread.

In closing I would like to thank the Bad Astronomer for putting this site together and all of the bright, witty people, that can actually make me interested in such arcane things as the reflective properties of asphalt.

The Curtmudgeon
2001-Nov-18, 06:26 PM
On 2001-11-18 12:01, DEW wrote:
...(Another side note, on most message boards I have seen within three or four responses to an original post the whole thread being reduced to scurrilous name calling. I salute the regulars here for their ability to provide reasoned and supported responses and for their unflagging sense of courtesy.)
Well, it's not like we don't get the occasional pointed reminder from Da Boss, BA Phil. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif You should have visited on the old BABB a couple or three months ago! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif



...Therefore you should welcome the HBers for it one, excites interest on the subject amongst the general public that might not otherwise exist, two, gives you the opportunity to educate a public that would probably have not been listening otherwise, and three, may even excite a mind to delve further thus gaining a member to the arcane halls that you tread.
The problem, DEW (hmm, my sister's initials--no, wait, I see you're posting from Joisey; never mind! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif ) is that nearly all HBs that post here do so as trolls: they post one argumentative post after another, but never stick around to listen to the well-reasoned and usually well-presented facts that show why their post is wrong. They have no interest in learning the facts, they just want to stir things, and people, up.

Now, currently there's a post going on started by [posters name deleted, as it's not really necessary here], in which he is diligently not listening very well to what's being posted, but he is reading and responding to the other posts. Compared to what we've seen on both the old and (to a very reduced extent, kudos to BA Phil!) the new BABBs, this makes him a welcome exception to the rule (well, to me at least--I'm sure a number of the posters who have been trying to get him to understand what they're saying are frustrated to no end).

Granted, there may be other readers, besides the troll who starts a particular thread, who do read and learn from the thread, and to that extent I'd agree with you. But while there's no real way to judge how many people, and who, read a thread without posting to it, certainly the appearance is that HBs are useless lifeforms that would do better under a goat-infested bridge somewhere in Medieval Europe. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif



In closing I would like to thank the Bad Astronomer for putting this site together and all of the bright, witty people, that can actually make me interested in such arcane things as the reflective properties of asphalt.

Yep, BA Phil deserves mucho kudos for the site, and also the great posters who take their time to fill it with very informative and/or entertaining posts.

The (I certainly enjoy my time here) Curtmudgeon

David Hall
2001-Nov-18, 08:04 PM
I completely agree with The Curtmudgeon's post. When a poster is thoughtful and shows an active interest in his topic, others here tend to treat him with respect and argue back in a {mostly} curteous and reasoned way. It's only the hit-and-run posters or the truly deaf that get on our nerves.

And your main point has been brought up before. In fact, occasionally there are debates about what the best action is. Not responding to a troll leaves his main points unchallenged, which is not exactly good in an educational sense. But if we continue to respond we often only inflame these hard-headed types to post more and more often, which is also not so good and tends to frustrate the regulars after a while.

One thing to remember is that after going through the same arguments over and over again for months on end, people tend to get sick of it and just want the whole thing to go away. This is when tempers start to fray a little at the edges and an occasional rude post gets through. And this has been the situation with most of the regulars here ever since the Fox hoax program aired. The BA now has greater control with the wonderful new board, so I think things are going to be calmer from now on.

That all said, I agree with you in one other way. I have learned more and found more useful information from the posts of people arguing against HBers than from any other type of thread. Sometimes it does take an inflamatory intrusion to bring out the best in people and motivate them to give the best responses. Thanks to the HBers, I've improved my knowledge considerably.

So DEW, thanks for the intelligent and well-reasoned post, and let me be the first one to welcome you to the board.

(Hey look! It's my 101st post. I'm an Intern now. Yippee!)

Donnie B.
2001-Nov-18, 10:36 PM
Ditto to all the above.

One of the great things this board does is allow people with a common interest in Astronomy (and space flight, and related topics) exchange ideas and experiences. Go check out the "Leonid report" thread in General Astronomy for a terrific example. Folks from all over the word sharing a common celestial experience -- wonderful!

As far as the HB's go, they are all welcome as long as they follow the BA's rules for the board. They may be frustrating at times, but at least they help the rest of us keep our minds right [/coolhandluke reference]

And welcome, DEW!



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Donnie B. on 2001-11-18 17:37 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Nov-19, 02:33 PM
Agreed, pretty much, DEW, and welcome.

Here is my take on it. (http://mentock.home.mindspring.com/nature.htm)

DEW
2001-Nov-19, 03:54 PM
First I would like to respond to several particulars raised by Curtmudgeon:

1. hmm, my sister's initials--no, wait, I see you're posting from Joisey; never mind!

Two things occur to me, one of us ought to be honored, just not sure who, and I think I smell another one of those folks who falls so easily for those dopey New Jersey jokes propagated by the jealous.

2. HBs that post here do so as trolls: they post one argumentative post after another, but never stick around to listen to the well-reasoned and usually well-presented facts that show why their post is wrong. They have no interest in learning the facts; they just want to stir things, and people, up.

I can certainly appreciate your frustration with these types of characters. However, in my post, and obviously not well said, I was making reference to the general public. More along the lines of your neighbor, as an example, who tells you about this really cool program they saw on FOX last night.

Forget those that have either religion or a scam going. There is little sense in arguing with them, they, as you know, are not interested. But I bet most neighbors, family, friends, etc, would be willing to listen, and in the end be a bit better for it.

As to David Hall’s response I can only say that in discussions in my field of expertise I have encountered the same frustrations. Again, my original comments were not directed towards this board, per se, but the general public. That said, thank you for the welcome.

Donnie B., rest assured that I was prepped for the show through the information I received here, and was happy to read the, in some cases near live, reports. Also rest assured that I have since killed my alarm clock for failing in its mission of getting me up in time to see it.

Looks like Grapes and I are in general agreement.

Thank you all for taking some time to share your perspectives with me.

Silas
2001-Nov-20, 12:07 AM
Isaac Asimov is particularly missed... He had the skill to take remarkably complex scientific issues and make the clear. He used analogies, but not to excess. His primary talent was the use of simple declarative sentences.

He was able to make quantum uncertainty clear; that's one heck of a task!

Yes, DEW is right: this is the ideal time for us all to hone our skills at making the complicated facts as clear as possible.

(e.g., if I may play cheerleader, the elegant note that airplanes with different surface paints will get hotter at different rates on a desert airport. That made things more clear than equations could have: once the concept is clear, *then* the equations are useful, but until the concept is communicated, the equations can't carry the image.)

The Apollo Hoax theme is valuable to us -- to the TRUTH! -- because it lets us "show" the truth, and then back it up with science.

re the Apollo Hoax, do HBs deny the return of laser beams from the A-11 landing site? To me, that's the single most unanswerable piece of evidence...

Silas

Donnie B.
2001-Nov-20, 12:58 AM
On 2001-11-19 19:07, Silas wrote:

re the Apollo Hoax, do HBs deny the return of laser beams from the A-11 landing site? To me, that's the single most unanswerable piece of evidence...



I think any HB who has addressed that question has simply pointed out that the laser reflectors could have been landed on the moon by unmanned probes. Which is true, of course... they could have been, but they weren't.

Russ
2001-Nov-20, 06:29 PM
Snip "...discussions in my field of expertise I have encountered the same frustrations."


Hey DEW, welcome aboard. If I'm not being tooooo nosy, what IS your field of expertise? I couldn't help notice you said it as if it were relevant to the conversation and you piqued my curriosity. I noted that your profile says "Management" but that's sorta like saying Working is your job.

I am an industrial controls engineer, Electronic Engineering. Currently managing the installation of 23 neural network based process optimizers at a major US utility. My avid interest in amature astronomy brings me here. How about you? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

DEW
2001-Nov-20, 10:43 PM
Russ, my area of expertise is in history, so yes that was germane to the comment. I confront bad history on a near minute by minute basis, and as you well know we have more than our fair share of conspiricay believers also.

Point well taken on the management comment, but my descriptive powers failed me at that moment.

My facination with things I know nothing about, which includes astronomy and its allied disciplines is what has lured me here.

(edited for spelling errors)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DEW on 2001-11-20 17:44 ]</font>

The Curtmudgeon
2001-Nov-20, 11:37 PM
On 2001-11-19 10:54, DEW wrote:
...I think I smell another one of those folks who falls so easily for those dopey New Jersey jokes propagated by the jealous.

No, I've actually been to Joisey, and one of my closest friends was born there. So I make my own jokes about it. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

The (South Joisey is actually very nice) Curtmudgeon

ToSeek
2001-Nov-21, 01:14 PM
On 2001-11-20 18:37, The Curtmudgeon wrote:
The (South Joisey is actually very nice) Curtmudgeon


My first exposure to New Jersey was the Delaware Water Gap area, which is gorgeous. For the longest time I couldn't understand what my Philly-area wife had against the state. Then I went on a business trip to downtown Camden....

Russ
2001-Nov-21, 11:46 PM
On 2001-11-20 17:43, DEW wrote:
SNIP I confront bad history on a near minute by minute basis, and as you well know we have more than our fair share of conspiricay believers also.


Oh, so you watch the history channel minute my minute? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif



Point well taken on the management comment, but my descriptive powers failed me at that moment.


Been known to happen to the best of us..., and me too. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


My facination with things I know nothing about, which includes astronomy and its allied disciplines is what has lured me here.


Thanks for the update. On the old BABB we had what became known as Megans Guest Book. Everyone signed in and gave a brief Biography. I was surprised how much it helped me relate to what people would write.

This little exchange gave me a better handle on you. Thanks.

Russ

Silas
2001-Nov-22, 12:57 AM
On 2001-11-20 17:43, DEW wrote:
My facination with things I know nothing about, which includes astronomy and its allied disciplines is what has lured me here.



This is way off topic, and I hope the B.A. will forgive me...

About fifteen years ago, I started writing fantasy fiction, set in Europe in the 1520's... Why that era? Because it was the era I knew the *least* about! I deliberately set out into my own personal darkness, and had the joy of my life researching it. What an incredible time! The battle of Pavia, the Sack of Rome, the Turkish siege of Vienna, the triumph of Spanish Infantry, the peasant's revolt in Germany...

An astronomer is someone who looks most closely at the sky where it is darkest...

The single best thing about ignorance: there's a cure!

Silas

jkmccrann
2005-Nov-01, 03:54 PM
In terms of hoaxes being good for business, I think they can be, as long as they are challenged and not left to soak up the seal of public approval by remaining as such. In terms of the Moon Hoax especially, I guess coming at it from this viewpoint one can see it as not being as harmful as various other conspiracy theories out there.

The main thing being, it can easily be disproved, point by point. I have to wonder also whether the whole Moon conspiracy industry acts as some sort of spur to get back in the saddle and get back to the Moon for all of us out there who can see through their fanciful arguments.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-01, 06:17 PM
Four years ago, now... I think this is somewhat of a record for you, Jkm.