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StarLab
2005-Sep-06, 04:24 PM
I cannot find a link to the forum rules (for either and/or both). I started a string on the UN which so far has remained uninflammatory. However, if there is a rule about ANY kind of politics, even neutral ones about the UN, I cannot find it.

Fraser
2005-Sep-06, 04:28 PM
We haven't finalized the rules yet. This isn't the UT board any more, it's BAUT. New place different rules.

Right now we're just operating on one rule... "Be Nice".

StarLab
2005-Sep-06, 04:28 PM
LOL that's a good start...

Fram
2005-Sep-06, 06:10 PM
I replied in that thread to say basically 'what are you doing, that's politics?!', but I am glad to say I added that no rules are laid out yet here and I wasn't to certain of the current status. Still, it's perhaps better safe than sorry, as I thought the thread to have a very flammable potential (not anything you posted, but the topic in general). But I'll refrain from such comments until the new rules are around, as it was premature.

Jorge
2005-Sep-06, 09:54 PM
We haven't finalized the rules yet. This isn't the UT board any more, it's BAUT. New place different rules.

Right now we're just operating on one rule... "Be Nice".

Its sad that 'Be Nice' has to be a rules...
You should always be nice, even if it wasn't a rule.

PhantomWolf
2005-Sep-07, 03:17 AM
Well even the BABB didn't have a strict no politics rule, it was more a strong suggestion since threads on politics and religion often would get heated and lead to someone saying something they would regret and getting banned. As long as everyone kept their heads and were polite even while disagreeing, those threads were fine.

Chuck
2005-Sep-07, 05:20 AM
No rules yet? ALL RIGHT!!!

George W, The Pope, and Paris Hilton walk into a bar....

Oops, Jay Leno is starting. Someone finish this for me.

Maksutov
2005-Sep-07, 05:50 AM
No rules yet? ALL RIGHT!!!

George W, The Pope, and Paris Hilton walk into a bar....

Oops, Jay Leno is starting. Someone finish this for me.
Tony Blair, The Dali Lama, and Pamela Anderson, who are already sitting at the bar, all turn at once toward the entering trio and, in unison, say, "Is this another bar joke?"


No rules. Just right. And polite.

Wayne Smith
2005-Sep-07, 12:17 PM
So BA is banned?

Donnie B.
2005-Sep-07, 06:24 PM
[Thick Hollywood Mexican accent] Rules? We don' need no steenkin' rules! [/Thick Hollywood Mexican accent] ;)

Zanket
2005-Sep-07, 09:25 PM
Right now we're just operating on one rule... "Be Nice".

I think that’s a great way to operate. But it’s not the case. In a thread I started the moderator said today that the thread will be closed “based on the appearance of no new information and an increase in circular repetitive discussion.” Funny, numerous other threads are left open with no new information being added. And while discussion may stagnate in a thread for a while, it often happens that something new eventually comes out of it to kick it into a new fruitful direction. The discussion was still lively and polite. I would not have participated in this forum had I known beforehand that threads could be closed for such a whimsical reason—I abhor micro-moderation that smells like censorship. It should be clearly stated somewhere that threads may be closed for this reason, so that people like me will know in advance to stay away.

Fram
2005-Sep-08, 07:14 AM
If you have new, interesting information or arguments, you can always start a new thread.
Furthermore, it seems that the rules of banning, locking, moderating, ... are still under construction, and things will settle down (or azt least get clearer) pretty soon, I suppose.
But I think the word 'censorship' should be used sparingly and only for serious reasons, not for locking a thread.

Zanket
2005-Sep-08, 02:29 PM
Starting a new thread is inappropriate when it was the mod who thought the discussion had run its course, not me. When most threads are left open under the same conditions that some threads are closed, I think “censorship” is an appropriate word. My take is that the mod is expressing an opinion by way of closing the thread. Why else would only some threads be closed for such a silly reason? Why should the mod be determining whether the discussion has run its course? If people are still posting, they must want to keep the discussion going. Isn’t that what the forum is about, discussion? I will not participate in a forum with such a silly rule that smacks of censorship. My point here is that this rule should be clearly stated, because I know that a lot of people feel as I do about this.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Sep-08, 05:06 PM
Can you give me a link to the thread in question?

antoniseb
2005-Sep-08, 05:28 PM
I will not participate in a forum with such a silly rule that smacks of censorship.

For the record, I was the mod who made that post. We have been trying to maintain a different standard in the "Against The Mainstream" section, and it is true that some other ATM threads are starting to get circular, and only a few have been closed so far.

Personally I do not regard this effort as "silly". Our goal in ATM is to allow people who have alternative ideas to air them out, and expose them to criticism which they are expected to answer. I think you will find that this is more exposure than most serious science forums will give such ideas.

Now, you Zanket may well be someone who's idea can hold some water, but we need a mechanism to be able to move the subject along, and we need a mechanism to shut down people that tenaciously spout some undefensible idea, just because they want to be remembered as smarter than Einstein. Yet we must be polite to all.

If you have an Alternative Theory, and there is a thread about it which gets shut down because the thread stops making progress, and you discover that you have something new to add to the thread, all you have to do is contact a moderator (email or PM will work) and ask for it to be reopened.

I appreciate that you feel you were misused. For my part, I was responding to feedback from other posters in the thread, who felt that you had stopped trying to answer important questions. That is the measure we went by here.

So let me open this up for you to contribute to (while our rules are in their formative stages). What mechanism do you propose we use to keep Alternative Theorists living up to their obligation to use this forum to explain their position. What mechanism should we use to weed out discussion from people who are passionate about some gut instinct they have that is just wrong? BTW, I'd like to avoid ideological discussions of censorship here, we are dealing with some very practical matters.

Zanket
2005-Sep-08, 05:32 PM
Can you give me a link to the thread in question?

The thread is here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=551749#post551749). The posts by the mod are here (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=550162) and here (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=550484&postcount=158). The thread is still open. The mod says “We'll probably be closing this thread soon.” and “This thread closure was based on the appearance of no new information and an increase in circular repetitive discussion. With the promise of something new, we can keep it open.” That isn’t good enough for me. It should be kept open in the same way that most other threads are kept open even when there have been no posts in them for weeks. There were 5 posts on the same day the mod posted these comments, prior to the mod’s posting. Had I know that mods here would be randomly micro-judging the quality of posts and closing threads as a result, I would not have joined this forum.

ToSeek
2005-Sep-08, 05:37 PM
The thread is here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=551749#post551749). The posts by the mod are here (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=550162) and here (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=550484&postcount=158). The thread is still open. The mod says “We'll probably be closing this thread soon.” and “This thread closure was based on the appearance of no new information and an increase in circular repetitive discussion. With the promise of something new, we can keep it open.” That isn’t good enough for me. It should be kept open in the same way that most other threads are kept open even when there have been no posts in them for weeks.

If a thread is inactive, then there's no point in closing it. The threads to consider closing are the ones who have deteriorated into "'Is so!' Is not!' Is so!' Is not!'" and are eating up storage space without going anywhere at all.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Sep-08, 06:35 PM
ToSeek: Sounds reasonable to me. Besides, the BA always used to do this to keep things from degenerating into shouting matches.

Zanket
2005-Sep-08, 06:49 PM
Now, you Zanket may well be someone who's idea can hold some water, but we need a mechanism to be able to move the subject along, and we need a mechanism to shut down people that tenaciously spout some undefensible idea, just because they want to be remembered as smarter than Einstein.

Here you show that your stated reasons were disingenuous. Your real reasons, revealed here, are that you disagree with my idea and you think I’m seeking glory. (If your point here was not directed at me despite your “Zanket may well be someone who's idea can hold some water”, there’d have been no reason to mention it related to the thread in question.) It is a good thing for people to tenaciously support their ideas (I did not just spout mine). It is okay if the mod disagrees with those ideas or thinks a poster seeks glory. It is not okay for the mod to close a thread for those reasons. And it is shameful to lie about the reasons. You are unworthy of being a mod, IMO. If the administrator of this forum lets you do this, then that tells me that the forum is not worthy either.


If you have an Alternative Theory, and there is a thread about it which gets shut down because the thread stops making progress, and you discover that you have something new to add to the thread, all you have to do is contact a moderator (email or PM will work) and ask for it to be reopened.

We just learned that the thread is not under threat of being closed because it stopped making progress (which is a joke anyway, since the thread was in good swing when you made your comments), but rather for the reasons above.


For my part, I was responding to feedback from other posters in the thread, who felt that you had stopped trying to answer important questions. That is the measure we went by here.

Until you threatened to close the thread, I gave reasoned responses to every point put to me there. You should not be judging the quality of my posts based on what others say. Suppose someone gives me a detailed mathematical synopsis of why they think I’m wrong. If I spot a flaw in their overall logic that can be expressed without going through their math in detail, I will point that out instead of going through their math in detail; such is a more efficient response. That person may well feel like I have ignored their individual points, when I have actually addressed them all in a single counter point. That has often been the case in the thread in question, and it is my answers that are being ignored. That is typical, and if the discussion is allowed to continue it usually works itself out.


So let me open this up for you to contribute to (while our rules are in their formative stages). What mechanism do you propose we use to keep Alternative Theorists living up to their obligation to use this forum to explain their position. What mechanism should we use to weed out discussion from people who are passionate about some gut instinct they have that is just wrong? BTW, I'd like to avoid ideological discussions of censorship here, we are dealing with some very practical matters.

That’s easy. Keep threads open and deal with individual posters who become rude or make posts well off the topic, like this one (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=551749), where the poster is basically saying that if I disagree about the rules, I’m just whining. Avoid the urge to overstep your bounds when you disagree with ideas or think a poster is seeking glory. As a mod, don’t ever say that some idea is wrong. Do you really think that you are a perfect judge of that? (I’m not even convinced that my own paper is right—I’m here to discuss its validity with others.) If you think the idea is wrong, challenge it in a post as a normal user, not as a mod. If others complain that a thread-starter is ignoring important questions, look for yourself instead of summarily believing them, and if you agree with them, challenge the thread-starter in a post, without threatening to close the thread, and give that person a chance to explain themselves. If threads started by a normal user must be closable, the conditions for that should be clearly stated so that people can choose whether to participate to begin with.

Gillianren
2005-Sep-08, 06:59 PM
if it's the thread I'm thinking of, no, you didn't answer the questions. I think, in addition, that you're being a bit unreasonable in expecting the mods to fail to have opinions. further, as to mods not telling people they're wrong, what if what they're saying is wrong is something so incredibly basic that everyone should already know it's wrong, like that the seasons are opposite in the Southern Hemisphere as they are in the Northern Hemisphere? surely the first person to respond should clarify that.

I find that the people who complain most loudly that ATM threads get locked for no good reason are those who have the hardest time dealing with questions to their own belief. they can't answer anyone's questions, but they think we should all be forced to deal with their posts anyway. some of them, I suspect, believe in their heart of hearts that we should all be forced to read them and that, since they're so obviously right, we should all just give up our ideas, use theirs, give them a Nobel Prize, and allow them to never work again. (note: I'm not including you in that category, but I'm sure all of us can think of someone who fits it. probably more than one.)

you have been asked repeatedly for evidence that you have not shown. you fool no one into believing otherwise who actually takes the time to read the thread.

Zanket
2005-Sep-08, 07:17 PM
if it's the thread I'm thinking of, no, you didn't answer the questions.

There are none that I didn’t answer prior to seeing the mod’s comments. Point out one.


I think, in addition, that you're being a bit unreasonable in expecting the mods to fail to have opinions.

I just said that it’s okay for them to have opinions. It is not okay for them to overstep their bounds in expressing those opinions. You think it’s okay for the mod to close a thread for the stated reason of “no new information” when the real reason is that they think the thread-starter wants “to be remembered as smarter than Einstein”?


further, as to mods not telling people they're wrong, what if what they're saying is wrong is something so incredibly basic that everyone should already know it's wrong, like that the seasons are opposite in the Southern Hemisphere as they are in the Northern Hemisphere?

If the flaw is that basic, then it should be a simple matter to ask a question that cannot be answered without revealing the flaw. The mod can ask such question as a normal user. If the question is ignored, then the person touting the idea is in violation of etiquette.


I find that the people who complain most loudly that ATM threads get locked for no good reason are those who have the hardest time dealing with questions to their own belief. they can't answer anyone's questions, but they think we should all be forced to deal with their posts anyway. some of them, I suspect, believe in their heart of hearts that we should all be forced to read them and that, since they're so obviously right, we should all just give up our ideas, use theirs, give them a Nobel Prize, and allow them to never work again. (note: I'm not including you in that category, but I'm sure all of us can think of someone who fits it. probably more than one.)

The simple mechanism I gave in my previous point quickly weeds out such people.


you have been asked repeatedly for evidence that you have not shown. you fool no one into believing otherwise who actually takes the time to read the thread.

I answered every non-rhetorical question put to me (prior to seeing the mod’s comments), not necessarily directly (often many questions or points can be addressed in a single counter point, as I related above). I challenge you to point out where I have not done that. It is my counter points that are being ignored.

R.A.F.
2005-Sep-08, 07:35 PM
you have been asked repeatedly for evidence that you have not shown. you fool no one into believing otherwise who actually takes the time to read the thread.

Yep...that's the way I see it too.

antoniseb
2005-Sep-08, 07:37 PM
You are unworthy of being a mod, IMO.

Lets stick to discussion of the rules here.
BTW, Concerning the “to be remembered as smarter than Einstein”? comment I did not have you in mind when I wrote that, and still don't. Look for some ATM threads from people with big ideas and no math. You are a good exception to the trend.

More importantly you've put the challenge to other members to point out specific questions which you have not answered in the "Flaw" thread. I ask that anyone making such a list, please compose it nicely, and post it in the "Flaw" thread, not here.

Concerning your suggestion on how to deal with Alternative Theorists... I understand your position, but disagree. For the time being (until we resolve our rules better), we will probably use your approach as our status quo. Rudeness will close a thread, repetition and failure to answer are still to be determined.

Zanket
2005-Sep-08, 07:50 PM
Yep...that's the way I see it too.

Let's see, in your last post in that thread you disagreed with me saying "Did you know that when someone in this forum claims that a generally-accepted theory is wrong, the onus is on responders to refute that with a specific reason?" The post you took this quote from was clearly talking about a claim that is a paper detailing why the theory is wrong, but you acted like the claim was just something like “GR is wrong!” You took my comment out of context. That has happened a lot in the thread. No, a paper detailing why a theory is wrong cannot be refuted by simply saying “GR is right!”, and that is the kind of comment I was responding to.

Maybe you took my comment out of context because you weren't paying close attention, and maybe that is why you think I'm avoiding questions.

Zanket
2005-Sep-08, 07:59 PM
BTW, Concerning the “to be remembered as smarter than Einstein”? comment I did not have you in mind when I wrote that, and still don't. Look for some ATM threads from people with big ideas and no math. You are a good exception to the trend.

I’ll take you at your word and retract my comment. I apologize.


More importantly you've put the challenge to other members to point out specific questions which you have not answered in the "Flaw" thread. I ask that anyone making such a list, please compose it nicely, and post it in the "Flaw" thread, not here.

I think it would be good to discuss here in general terms what is happening in that thread that led to the thought that I am not answering questions there. It is my opinion that I have given reasoned replies to them all.


Concerning your suggestion on how to deal with Alternative Theorists... I understand your position, but disagree. For the time being (until we resolve our rules better), we will probably use your approach as our status quo. Rudeness will close a thread, repetition and failure to answer are still to be determined.

Just clearly state the reasons, is all I ask. I don’t like threads closed for rudeness, because then a thread I am interested in can be closed just because someone else is rude. If it becomes a free-for-all that’s a different story. Repetition often kicks a discussion into new territory eventually. I wouldn’t get too bothered about that as a mod. If people are still posting, they must be interested in the discussion.

Fraser
2005-Sep-08, 08:21 PM
Just clearly state the reasons, is all I ask. I don’t like threads closed for rudeness, because then a thread I am interested in can be closed just because someone else is rude. If it becomes a free-for-all that’s a different story. Repetition often kicks a discussion into new territory eventually. I wouldn’t get too bothered about that as a mod. If people are still posting, they must be interested in the discussion.

I think you make a really good point here. As the person who started the thread, and wishes to discuss your ideas with other people, you have the right not to have your thread closed because someone else gets rude. We should be warning, banning, people, but the thread stays open if you maintain your composure. We'll give you a lot of latitude, and rush to your defense when people attack you. Regardless of our personal opinion of your theories.

Lose your temper, and that's essentially the last word for your theory on this board. Any future attempts to ressurrect the discussion will just get redirected to the closed thread.

R.A.F.
2005-Sep-08, 08:33 PM
Maybe you took my comment out of context because you weren't paying close attention, and maybe that is why you think I'm avoiding questions.

Yep...that must have been it...

Nereid
2005-Sep-08, 09:06 PM
If I may add a comment that may be slightly OT?

There are, in my experience, very, very few (ATM/AT) threads like the one Zanket started. Not only few in BA/UT, but also anywhere that has 'good science' as a moderation criterion (not necessarily a dominant one); here in BA [union symbol] UT, only some of DGR/dgruss{nnnn}'s spring to mind (apologies if I missed others equally deserving).

Given the rarity of such, there is a danger that a 'Zanket thread' may fall victim to 'profiling'. I would very much like to find a way to avoid this from happening, and I'm pretty sure the admins and other mods have a similar desire.

However, IMHO, there's a very delicate balance to be struck here - the proponent of an ATM/AT idea can easily feel discouraged and personally attacked, when all that's really being challenged is the idea being proposed. Further, there can easily be a gap between what the proponent feels is the full scope of what he/she should defend and what others contributing to the thread feel (should be the full scope). Bringing that gap into full, clear view is not easy (but is something I personally am quite interested in).

Please, let's continue to discuss how best to instantiate rules (etc) that will allow a 'Zanket thread' (= initial post and first few sets of exchanges, if not the later part) to prosper, while also maintaining the BAUT desire for 'good science'.

Final note: for those interested, there was a related discussion, in another 'good science' forum, on how to address these issues. It's not directly relevant here (the issues were quite different), but if anyone is interested, please PM me, and I'll provide you with links.

Zanket
2005-Sep-08, 09:27 PM
As the person who started the thread, and wishes to discuss your ideas with other people, you have the right not to have your thread closed because someone else gets rude. We should be warning, banning, people, but the thread stays open if you maintain your composure. We'll give you a lot of latitude, and rush to your defense when people attack you. Regardless of our personal opinion of your theories.

I like these rules. I don't expect anyone to come to my defense, although that is always appreciated. :)


Lose your temper, and that's essentially the last word for your theory on this board. Any future attempts to ressurrect the discussion will just get redirected to the closed thread.

Agreed.

Zanket
2005-Sep-08, 10:11 PM
Further, there can easily be a gap between what the proponent feels is the full scope of what he/she should defend and what others contributing to the thread feel (should be the full scope). Bringing that gap into full, clear view is not easy (but is something I personally am quite interested in).

I am also interested in knowing about that gap, and I think it would be good for the ATM guidelines to be expanded to contain that info. Examples:

- One poster asks me things that can be easily looked up in the linked-to paper about which I started the thread. The poster gives no indication that the paper was examined prior to the questions. I don’t think I should have to answer those questions unless they are prefaced with “I looked but I can’t find this in the paper” or some such, and I’ve answered those questions to that effect. I don’t have time to regurgitate what’s clearly in the paper.

- Many posters have said in various ways that I have not shown any evidence to support my idea, or otherwise claim that I’m wrong, or claim that the theory I’m arguing against is right, all while seemingly ignoring the paper altogether. (For example, a couple posters said I had no experimental confirmation, when there's a section titled "Experimental Confirmation" in the paper.) I think challengers should be required to quote a specific part of the paper and say what they think is wrong with it. When I said that the onus is on challengers to do that, I got piled on with “you’re wrong!” In other words, they think they need only claim that the theory I’m arguing against is right, and that alone proves that the paper is wrong. Woe is science if that is the case.

- Posters have said, “your paper says...” followed by a long interpretation—their words—of what the paper says. I think it is beyond my duty in defending my paper to respond to these interpretations point by point. It can take a lot of time to determine if their interpretation is correct and if not, to explain why not. I think challengers should instead quote the paper directly and say what they think is wrong with it or ask a question about it. It should be okay for the challengee to ignore interpretations.

- Posters give reasons why they think I’m wrong, and then ignore my responses while repeating their reasons. Similarly, posters ask questions, and then ignore my responses while repeating their questions. Challengers should be required to respond to my points just like I respond to theirs.

Tensor
2005-Sep-08, 11:17 PM
The biggest problem, and the part, I believe, that made antoniseb consider closing the thread (correct me if I'm worng antoniseb), is that many of us, believe that Zanket doesn't understand how the math works and the math in the paper is wrong. Zanket believes his math is correct. The thread had come down to:

Poster A "You're math is wrong"

Poster B "No, the math is not wrong"

Poster A "No, the math is wrong"

Poster B "No, the math is not wrong"

Etc.

Short of actually posting the actual equations his/her system and claims are using, I don't think anyone, outside of Zanket, will believe the math is correct and you end up with the above. I'm not sure how to bridge that gap.

The other thing that bothers me is that Zanket posted the paper and when queried about certain aspects of that paper claims he/she doesn't have to do anymore, the minimum has been done or it's answered in the paper. That, IMHO, is not defending the paper, it's refusing to answer questions. Otherwise, other posters could post a claim or a paper and then consistently just refuse to answer questions on the posted paper, claiming it's done the minimum or just refer to the paper. I don't know of any academic paper or journal article where that would be allowed. If you publish a paper, you'd better be ready to defend it against all questions. I realize this is not the real scientific world with real papers, but the web sites that link to this BB are dedicated to maintaining scientific thought and if posters are not required to defend their claims, that bothers me.

__________________

worzel
2005-Sep-08, 11:31 PM
I'll defend you Zanket. Although I disagree with you a lot in the few cases where I understand what you, CM, Tensor, Fortis, et al are on about, I do learn a lot from your sort of ATM thread (maybe I just like a punch up more than a textbook). I appreciate how hard it is to mod (I mod on another, quite inconsequential, forum), but I think that I, for one, could learn a lot more through my subscription to your thread.

Ricimer
2005-Sep-09, 12:16 AM
Zanket: Those are good points, and ones you may very well wish to post in the thread in question.

It is one (you) against many. So it isn't in bad taste to set some ground rules. Asking that people quote specific portions of the paper when it applies, is a good idea.

Zanket
2005-Sep-09, 06:10 PM
The biggest problem, and the part, I believe, that made antoniseb consider closing the thread (correct me if I'm worng antoniseb), is that many of us, believe that Zanket doesn't understand how the math works and the math in the paper is wrong. Zanket believes his math is correct. The thread had come down to:

Poster A "You're math is wrong"

Poster B "No, the math is not wrong"

Poster A "No, the math is wrong"

Poster B "No, the math is not wrong"

Etc.

The way I see it went is like this:

Poster A "You're math is wrong because blah"

Me "No, blah does not show a flaw because of such-and-such"

Poster A "You're math is wrong because blah"

Me "You repeated your claim without responding to mine"


Short of actually posting the actual equations his/her system and claims are using, I don't think anyone, outside of Zanket, will believe the math is correct and you end up with the above. I'm not sure how to bridge that gap.

The paper does post the equations that support its claims. I think the gap can be bridged by people responding to my points instead of ignoring them. For example, your main point in that thread is that I am deriving an equation using an invalid method. In response, I showed that an equation need not have a derivation at all (that is, it need not be derived from other equations), therefore any method of derivation free of logical or mathematical errors is okay. Then you repeated your claim a couple more times, and, as far as I can tell, have not addressed my point.


The other thing that bothers me is that Zanket posted the paper and when queried about certain aspects of that paper claims he/she doesn't have to do anymore, the minimum has been done or it's answered in the paper. That, IMHO, is not defending the paper, it's refusing to answer questions. Otherwise, other posters could post a claim or a paper and then consistently just refuse to answer questions on the posted paper, claiming it's done the minimum or just refer to the paper.

I think you mean “any more”. Yes, I do say that, when it’s appropriate. For example, one of the things someone asked me to do, IIRC, is to show that my new metric works in Kruskal-Szekeres coordinates. But that goes beyond the points that the paper makes. Einstein didn’t have to show that either. That I won’t take the time to show that does not mean that it cannot be done. What if someone asked, “show us that your new metric works for a roller coaster having a corkscrew.” That could be shown; the metric is applicable to that situation. But I should not have to show that to support my claim that the metric is valid.

I will add this point to the list of things I posted above, that I think should be added to the ATM guidelines. The onus is not on the defender to respond to queries that ask them to apply their work to specific situations, provided that the defender has already showed good experimental confirmation; that is, some experiments, not any experiment a challenger can think up. When GR was published, it was approximately confirmed by only one observation, the anomalous orbital precession of Mercury. That was the only observation in which GR differed from Newtonian mechanics.

As far as referring to the paper, I should certainly be able to do that when the information requested is clearly in there. I should not have to regurgitate the paper into a post to satisfy those questions.


I don't know of any academic paper or journal article where that would be allowed. If you publish a paper, you'd better be ready to defend it against all questions.

Not all questions. If you were right about this, then any theory can easily be invalidated by simply thinking up a new question. No, a paper is reasonably defended if many major questions are answered. For example, the Schwarzschild metric of GR is supported by experiments of the four classical tests of GR. If someone thinks up a fifth classical test, the theory does not suddenly become invalid until it is confirmed by that new test. Rather, it is held to be valid until it fails that test. The new metric in my paper is comprehensively confirmed by experiments (it is shown to be confirmed by all of the four classical tests of GR), and that is good enough, unless someone can show that it fails a new test. Merely thinking up a new test, and asking me to either prove that it passes the test or drop my claim, goes beyond my duty in defending my paper.


I realize this is not the real scientific world with real papers, but the web sites that link to this BB are dedicated to maintaining scientific thought and if posters are not required to defend their claims, that bothers me.

I think you are being unreasonable as to what constitutes a reasonable defense of a paper. I have shown here that Einstein did not have to defend GR to the same standard you have recommended here. I have shown that anyone can easily invalidate any theory when your standard is the one used.

Duane
2005-Sep-09, 06:15 PM
I agree with Zanket's points in principle, however I just want to add one comment. It is never ok to use inflammatory, insulting remarks to defend either position. As the old BABB rules stated, you(meaning anyone proposing a new theory) came here to propose a theory, so be prepared to defend it. The people here will attack the idea with enthusiasm and glee, so be prepared for it.

At times, I have seen the tone of a reply carried beyond the courteousness we expect all members to compy with. In all cases, if you have the desire to spit vitriol, then walk away for awhile and come back later.

Kesh
2005-Sep-09, 06:30 PM
The paper does post the equations that support its claims. I think the gap can be bridged by people responding to my points instead of ignoring them. For example, your main point in that thread is that I am deriving an equation using an invalid method. In response, I showed that an equation need not have a derivation at all (that is, it need not be derived from other equations), therefore any method of derivation free of logical or mathematical errors is okay. Then you repeated your claim a couple more times, and, as far as I can tell, have not addressed my point.

I think this is the essence of where that thread broke down. You have a fundamental disagreement with the way mathematical models are developed in physics. People called you on that and your response was, "It's okay because I say so." People told you that's not how science works and your response was, "Yes it is, because I say so."

It's that fundamental block that's holding things up. And I don't think that's going to change, unfortunately.

Zanket
2005-Sep-09, 08:17 PM
I think this is the essence of where that thread broke down. You have a fundamental disagreement with the way mathematical models are developed in physics. People called you on that and your response was, "It's okay because I say so." People told you that's not how science works and your response was, "Yes it is, because I say so."

No, people did not call me on that, and this was my point above. Do not misquote me—that should be against the rules if it’s not; I did not respond as you quoted in either case. You should be careful about that. (You can say, “your response was something like ...) Nobody has refuted my counter point, which included specific examples. Some posters have addressed it, and I have responded to those. If someone thinks my counter point is wrong, they should say why, rather than just emptily saying I’m wrong or repeating their claim, and especially not by misquoting me to imply that I’m being obstinate.

Since this “fundamental disagreement” potentially affects the ATM rules and applies generally to many ATM threads, perhaps it is appropriate to resolve it here (if not, let me know, maybe I’ll start a new thread). My claim is that an equation can be made up, preferably—but not necessarily—based on observations. My claim is that such method of “derivation” is valid, and hence the resulting equation is valid unless it disagrees with observations. This was the method used by Einstein for his field equations, and this was the method used by Newton for his laws of motion (I showed evidence of that in the thread about my paper). I claim that, since this method of “derivation” is okay for any equation, any method of derivation free of logical and mathematical errors is likewise okay (because, after all, whatever equation results from that derivation could have simply been presented with no derivation). This is the point which has been ignored by some posters in the thread about my paper. I think it is a reasonable claim, and I provided evidence. Challengers should not be allowed to ignore it while repeating their claims to the contrary.

Kesh
2005-Sep-09, 10:59 PM
I did not mean to imply that you were being directly quoted. That was poorly written of me, and I apologize.

As for your second point, I don't think this is the appropriate place for such a debate. A seperate thread in ATM might be best.

Nereid
2005-Sep-09, 11:23 PM
First, I think this is a very valuable thread, with lots of good points for all of us who are serious to ponder on.

Second, the last few posts have highlighted part of what I meant by 'gap'. Some elaboration:

- all math and physics occurs in a context; no explication/derivation/new theory/whatever exists in a vaccuum ... ergo, it is the proposer's responsibilty to clearly delineate the domain within which the new theory/model/idea/whatever is intended to apply, via answers to questions from challengers, if necessary

- that there may very well be an explicitly stateable (if there is such a term) difference between the proposer and one or more challengers is at least implicit in any discussion; however, IMHO, it should not take more than a few posts to clarify this

- to the extent that scope/domain and content discussions/challenges/questions get confused, so does the frustration of the active participants ... 'talking past each other' may become the most accurate way to characterise the discussion, past this point

Hence my (tentative, working) conclusion: it is just as important for the proposer to be clear (and answer questions on) the scope/domain of the claim as it is to address direct questions on the content.

Wrt the thread we're talking about (apologies in advance if my summary/memory isn't fully accurate):
- Zanket's paper was very limited in its scope, which was not well appreciated by the challengers (or, dare I say it, by Zanket); examples include *match with observations/testability (even in principle) by observations; *overlap with the study of metrics in DG (inc, as a subset, GR); *physical domain in which the paper has any practical relevance
- challengers took Zanket at his word ("A Flaw in General Relativity"), and mounted challenges based on that assumption; in fact, Zanket's proposal has a far narrower scope than that of GR as a whole
- conflating 'checking the math' with 'checking out the idea'. This got in the way of both Zanket and his challengers: as an exercise in 'pure math', Zanket's idea/paper is fairly straight-forward to evaluate (and by very early in the thread, all possible 'errors' had been identified). However, Zanket's claim is much more than some 'simple math'; it relates to GR (a theory in physics), and the universe (i.e. a claim about the way the universe 'works', and, as such, potentially accessible to testing via observation and/or experiment).

I feel that identifying these 'gaps' is where the real value add of BAUT will come - for the proposer of an alternative (such as Zanket), in realising just how limited the work they propose is; for challengers, in understanding that the full domain/scope of the claims (and challenges) needs to be made as explicit as possible.

Thoughts?