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View Full Version : You say there is an invisible elf in your backyard. Here's how I prove you wrong.



Gigabyte
2009-Sep-30, 04:50 AM
Every time I see this sig file, I think of new ways to do it.

Then I think, maybe everybody should be in on the fun.

For starters, we use fine powdered flour. After we put a layer down over the entire yard, we set it up to sprinke it from the sky as well. When there are no footprints, we know the elf is standing still.

So we sprinkle the powder. When none lands on an invisible elf, we know there isn't one.

See? Easy.

Now before you start changing the elf into a magical somehow able to defeat the laws of physics elf, that isn't what you said. You said "invisible", not magical beyond physics.

There are other ways to do it as well.

Spoons
2009-Sep-30, 04:59 AM
Box in the backyard, then fill it with a layer of water so that the ground is submerged.

Then sweep the backyard with a long length of barbed wire.

If the wire is caught on anything you cannot see you know there is something there. If it jumps the wire to avoid getting caught on it you should find the water being disturbed.

Determining it's actually an elf would be another, much more complicated matter completely.

I prefer the method you mentioned in the OP though.

Neverfly
2009-Sep-30, 05:00 AM
Invisible elf, yes. But unless you are constantly raining powder or flour on the yard, you cannot guarantee that said elf does not come and go. Or simply transfer to the front yard to avoid getting floured.
Since the elf is invisible, you cannot feasibly guess his movements in order to jump out in front of him with a bag of flour.

So although you may demonstrate that the elf is not likely to be present in the yard at that moment, you cannot say with certainty that the elf did not see you coming and head out of town for a hiatus until you finished your shenanigans.

The elf is more wily than you gave him credit for- and no magic was needed.

ETA: this applies to Spoons as well. The point of the question is to "Prove the nonexistence of the invisible elf."

BigDon
2009-Sep-30, 05:16 AM
Well, I can tell you where they can't be, and can tell you where they can be, but I can't tell you where there are. Sorry for being Tweedledeeish.

Neverfly
2009-Sep-30, 05:17 AM
Well, I can tell you where they can't be, and can tell you where they can be, but I can't tell you where there are. Sorry for being Tweedledeeish.

'Tis better than being Tweedledum.

Van Rijn
2009-Sep-30, 05:39 AM
Every time I see this sig file, I think of new ways to do it.

Then I think, maybe everybody should be in on the fun.

For starters, we use fine powdered flour. After we put a layer down over the entire yard, we set it up to sprinke it from the sky as well. When there are no footprints, we know the elf is standing still.

So we sprinkle the powder. When none lands on an invisible elf, we know there isn't one.

See? Easy.


Won't work. Dust will float right through the elf, just as it would the air. Prove me wrong.



Now before you start changing the elf into a magical somehow able to defeat the laws of physics elf, that isn't what you said. You said "invisible", not magical beyond physics.


I didn't say that the elf's abilities were constrained to just invisibility.

Van Rijn
2009-Sep-30, 05:57 AM
Anyway, you have the problem turned around.

It isn't about proving there is an invisible elf in my backyard. You're being asked to prove that there isn't one.

Spoons
2009-Sep-30, 06:06 AM
This game was more fun before you embraced the CT strategies of vagueness and introducing new items to suit the argument. ;)

(I know, that's the point of it.)

But if matter goes straight through your elf, it is invisible, completely undetectable and therefore has zero interaction with our world then what does it's existence matter.

Were it just invisible, but otherwise normal (err, yes, I realise I just referred to an elf as normal) then either Robinson's or my method would show if it weren't there.

Gigabyte
2009-Sep-30, 06:08 AM
Exactly.

Gigabyte
2009-Sep-30, 06:09 AM
I knew as soon as a method was proposed to show there is no invisible elf, the conditions would change.

But it doesn't matter. I proved there is no invisible elf in the back yard.

Saying it moved out of the yard also means there is no elf in the back yard.

It's fun proving things that don't exist don't exist.

Spoons
2009-Sep-30, 06:14 AM
Blue ribbon for you Robinson!

Gigabyte
2009-Sep-30, 06:17 AM
Anyway, you have the problem turned around.

It isn't about proving there is an invisible elf in my backyard. You're being asked to prove that there isn't one.

No, if somebody says , "I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?", I explain how I would prove that person is wrong. That there is no invisible elf. If there is no iElf (invisible elf), then the person is wrong.

This isn't rocket science here!!! :D

Ara Pacis
2009-Sep-30, 06:17 AM
The elf hasn't been there for a long time. It simply told Van Rijn he was still there to mess with him. I know this because I have a direct line to the supernatural. Prove me wrong. :-P

sarongsong
2009-Sep-30, 06:18 AM
...and we haven't seen Van Rijn's backyard, either...

Gigabyte
2009-Sep-30, 06:18 AM
Be careful what you ask for ...

Neverfly
2009-Sep-30, 06:19 AM
Neverfly=chopped liver...

Ara Pacis
2009-Sep-30, 06:19 AM
...and we haven't seen Van Rijn's backyard, either...

No, but the invisible elf has and he told me about all the skeletons buried back there. ha!

Gigabyte
2009-Sep-30, 06:20 AM
This is going to go downhill fast ...

Ara Pacis
2009-Sep-30, 06:21 AM
This is going to go downhill fast ...

How'd you know his background was on a hill unless you'd seen it?

Spoons
2009-Sep-30, 06:24 AM
How'd you know his background was on a hill unless you'd seen it?

Invisible topographical map. Naturally.

Gigabyte
2009-Sep-30, 06:29 AM
Actually Ara Pacis told me.

sarongsong
2009-Sep-30, 06:38 AM
No, but the invisible elf...told me...Ah! A "witness!"---"Can you describe the defendent and did you hear a male or female voice, or could you tell?" :eek:

Spoons
2009-Sep-30, 06:41 AM
It was probably a high-talker, a la Seinfeld.

Besides, if it's a quantum elf you can't measure it's sex without changing it.

Van Rijn
2009-Sep-30, 06:42 AM
...and we haven't seen Van Rijn's backyard, either...

Apparently, you don't remember this (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/39521-proof-my-backyard-deer.html).

Neverfly
2009-Sep-30, 06:46 AM
Ad at the top of this thread page:
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Moving along...



ETA: Since looking at the picture, I can see a lot of Ivy in Van Rijn's backyard in which said elf can take refuge from falling flour.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Sep-30, 06:47 AM
Ah, another mythological creature.

sarongsong
2009-Sep-30, 06:55 AM
Apparently, you don't remember this (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/39521-proof-my-backyard-deer.html).:doh: There was a little voice going, "Are you sure---are you sure?", as I was typing that...Wow! definitely looks like elfin habitat to me---Robinson's got his work cut out for him! :)

Van Rijn
2009-Sep-30, 06:55 AM
I knew as soon as a method was proposed to show there is no invisible elf, the conditions would change.


If you managed to show there was an invisible elf in my backyard, you would support my claim.

If your method did not detect an invisible elf, you could not prove that it was an effective method for detecting invisible elves.

Ara Pacis
2009-Sep-30, 06:57 AM
Invisible topographical map. Naturally.

Funny you should mention it. That was my next point. The elf, being invisible, experiences a different gravitational gradient at said location, that makes his existence in Van Rijn's backyard a slippery slope. Now you know why he left.

Ara Pacis
2009-Sep-30, 07:00 AM
Ah! A "witness!"---"Can you describe the defendent and did you hear a male or female voice, or could you tell?" :eek:

It looked elvenish and used sign language. The invisible elf-herder had to translate for me.

The Backroad Astronomer
2009-Sep-30, 07:03 AM
I wonder how many invisible elfs do there have to be to keep a population going?
What do they eat?
How much water do they consume?
Is there waste invisible?
How do you know you are stepping in their wastes now?

The Backroad Astronomer
2009-Sep-30, 07:04 AM
Ah, another mythological creature.
What a date for any of us or the elf?

Spoons
2009-Sep-30, 07:08 AM
Dang, I'm so jealous of your backyard Van Rijn. And by backyard I am referring to the traditional meaning, not the hip hop culture version referring to booty.

And when I say booty I'm not referring to pirate treasure, I'm referring to... eh...

I still say an invisible elf would leave footprints. Unless it flies, in which case it's a fairy, not an elf.

Van Rijn
2009-Sep-30, 07:38 AM
Dang, I'm so jealous of your backyard Van Rijn. And by backyard I am referring to the traditional meaning, not the hip hop culture version referring to booty.


Thanks, though the downside is that there is a lot of work to maintain the yard.

captain swoop
2009-Sep-30, 07:55 AM
I like the way the Americans call it 'Yard Work' while inthe UK we call it 'Gardening'.
Does US TV and Radio have hour long progs like the BBC 'Gardeners World' 'Gardeners QuestionTime' etc that feature lots of Latin plant names and the best way to grow, remove, prune, plant or germinate an endless list of plants?

We get Live coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show and other such Gardening Festivals throughout the year as well.
(not that I want to take this off topic)

Ara Pacis
2009-Sep-30, 08:04 AM
I like the way the Americans call it 'Yard Work' while inthe UK we call it 'Gardening'.
Does US TV and Radio have hour long progs like the BBC 'Gardeners World' 'Gardeners QuestionTime' etc that feature lots of Latin plant names and the best way to grow, remove, prune, plant or germinate an endless list of plants?

We get Live coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show and other such Gardening Festivals throughout the year as well.
(not that I want to take this off topic)

It's only gardening if it's food plants or flower plants and you enjoy it. If it's just mowing and trimming the hedge and raking leaves, it's called yardwork. If you hire someone to do it for you, it's called landscaping.

Sticks
2009-Sep-30, 11:28 AM
Anyway his elf is no longer there as my drow friend processed the for-closure notice on his back yard home a while back and served the eviction notice. I am afraid that Van Rijn's elf was another victim of the credit crunch.

Sorry about that

BigDon
2009-Sep-30, 02:16 PM
Myself, I garden. Flowers. Roses, petunias, fushias, pansies, cyclamen, red alyssum, lobelias, three kinds of jasmine AND a nice lawn. At my parent's house.

I'm trying a orange tree as well.

Now Mr. Van Rijn, if I may ask you some questions? I wish to try and place your elf within the known heirarchies of such things.

Now sir, do you have school age children?

How close are the nearest churchs? Cemetaries? Can you hear church bells on Sunday in your backyard. Near major roads? Any intersections close at hand?

Any dogs, cats or cattle?

Has your wife ever found you sort of staring off into space in your backyard? Have you ever found your wife staring off into space in your backyard?

(That would be "pixilation" (not "pixelation") a self defense method employed by pixies. Like a mine field they will alter patches of ground, often marked by small tufts of grass, to have that effect on humans. I'm not privy to the actual methods used to do this.)

Any notable mounds in the area?

Has anyone ever had a heart attack or a stroke in your backyard, to your knowledge?

Do you or your wife bring fresh flowers into your house? If so, what kinds?

The first time you met your wife, was it a forested location? Even urban? If so, have you ever seen her bare back in a silvered mirror? Think about it now before you answer that one immediately.

(My concious dictates that I advise you to be very circumspect in doing that the first time. And it would be *best* if you were braced for a surprise.)

What's the mushroom situation in the backyard? Lots or none?

What's the local hydrographic situation? Creeks, ponds? Any drownings this summer?

Any mysterious dog sightings? Any fatal or non-fatal maulings?

Any bagladies in the area?

Any women wear traditional eastern/central European clothing while out walking at night?

Have you ever seen anybody washing cloths in the local waterways in the evenings? (Do NOT approach them!)

If dishes are left in the sink overnight does your wife complain of cramps or unexplained bruising the next day?

At night go into your yard and strike a sulfer match. Don't make a production of it as that which you look for knows this trick. Watch for eyeshine. Any color but yellow is good.

The Fallen often mimic the Fae and can be reveiled in this manner as their eyes shine yellow involuntarily in the light of burning sulfer, even when invisble. Remember even the least of the Fallen have ten times your attributes in any category. This trick works indoors as well.

Do you have any cast iron cookware?

Do you or the wife give blood?

What flowers DO grow in your yard? What flowers don't?

Who does the laundry, you or the wife?

Do you know what attercorn is?

Can you list the trees growing in your backyard?

Notice anything unusual concerning egg shells or snail shells? Even trivial things?

Mention you feel silly. Say you want to boil water in an egg shell in the fireplace and then watch the reaction of the wife and children. Actually doing so will cause changelings to reveil themselves and they will fly up the chimney like a waft of smoke. Never to be seen again. An open pair of scissors in the nursery will keep babies from being stolen in the first place though.

I know a few "others" who know more but they don't have phones and visiting them is...difficult and expensive. The last time it cost me the color of my beard, which is why I don't grow facial hair anymore. And visiting too often is like taking too much LSD over too long a time. You start to get "funny" after a bit.

Ivan Viehoff
2009-Sep-30, 03:00 PM
There's something invisible in my backyard, and none of your methods would find it. You can box in my backyard, sprinkle it with powder, fill it with water, sweep it with barbed wire, a membrane even, and my little friend would still hide from you.

You know what it is? Yes, it's a neutrino. I think someone has invented a neutrino detector, but it's very inefficient. Only if there were zillions of neutrinos in my backyard would you be able to find even one. Even then, they'd probably have to be of the right energy band to be detectable. I do admit, they travel at near the speed of light so it's only in my backyard very briefly.

I have a friend who thinks he has something in his backyard that is even harder to find. He calls it a WIMP. I don't know whether to believe him.

jokergirl
2009-Sep-30, 03:04 PM
Could be a very small elf... so maybe it's hiding under a blade of grass?

Edit: Beaten to the punch by Ivan. :doh:

;)

Spoons
2009-Sep-30, 03:07 PM
If only he were made of baloney.

Donnie B.
2009-Sep-30, 03:27 PM
The elf is still in Van Rijn's back yard. Problem is, he doesn't live there anymore.

Gigabyte
2009-Sep-30, 03:43 PM
I say there is an invisible monster in my pocket (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monster_In_My_Pocket#Toys). Prove me wrong.

Ara Pacis
2009-Sep-30, 09:14 PM
I say there is an invisible monster in my pocket (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monster_In_My_Pocket#Toys). Prove me wrong.

Ever have anyone fall for that one?

korjik
2009-Oct-01, 06:08 AM
Does anyone else have a feeling of deja-vu?

Ara Pacis
2009-Oct-01, 06:28 AM
Does anyone else have a feeling of deja-vu?

You're saying you actually fell for that one?

Sticks
2009-Oct-01, 03:25 PM
again?

aastrotech
2009-Oct-01, 03:40 PM
You say there's an invisible elf in your backyard.

Why is he invisible? Is he too small to be seen? Is he burried underground? Is he above your backyard in space so high he can't be seen? Is he in your mind when you're in your backyard?

Why should I try prove you wrong given the absence of further info on your elf? I don't see any a priori reason that you're wrong.

Neverfly
2009-Oct-01, 03:48 PM
You say there's an invisible elf in your backyard.

Why is he invisible? Is he too small to be seen? Is he burried underground? Is he above your backyard in space so high he can't be seen? Is he in your mind when you're in your backyard?

Why should I try prove you wrong given the absence of further info on your elf? I don't see any a priori reason that you're wrong.

It's a bit ironic you would post this right after I saw another person post this link...
But it answers your question to a T.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof#The_Fallacy_of_Demanding_Negative_ Proof

The purpose of VanRijns' invisible elf is to demonstrate the futility of disproving or proving a negative.

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-01, 09:06 PM
My friend Wonder Woman has an invisible jet plane. Prove her wrong!

Sticks
2009-Oct-01, 10:35 PM
Sorry, the bank repossessed that yesterday

The Backroad Astronomer
2009-Oct-01, 10:58 PM
Sorry, the bank repossessed that yesterday
They are trying to sell it on ebay but providing a picture is presenting a bit of a problem.

aastrotech
2009-Oct-02, 12:52 AM
It's a bit ironic you would post this right after I saw another person post this link...
But it answers your question to a T.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof#The_Fallacy_of_Demanding_Negative_ Proof
From your link "when anyone is making a bold claim"..."Unless attenuated by conventional knowledge which has been presumably derived from evidence, raw positive claims have the initial burden of proof."

I don't see any "bold" claimes here. "I have an invisible elf in my backyard". I have a plastic elf on my keychain. I lost the keychain in my backyard. I can't find it. It's invisible.

Unless you move the goalposts "there is a magical invisible elf in my backyard" the statment as it is written is not bold.




The purpose of VanRijns' invisible elf is to demonstrate the futility of disproving or proving a negative.

I understand VanRijns' intent but I would contend his intent is futile.

In science you look at the evidence and you don't jump to conclusions until all the evidence is in.

I know you're dying for a conclusion but remember most scientists died before they got a conclusion. Many who were satisfied with their conclusions gave up and were proven wrong.

grav
2009-Oct-02, 05:44 AM
Blow up the planet, then ask "What backyard?"

Van Rijn
2009-Oct-02, 07:47 AM
Okay, for those who weren't reading BAUT at the time, I'll explain again how the invisible elf line started.

I had noticed that many ATM proponents would say "You can't prove me wrong!" or something very similar. So, I started responding with the line in my signature and would ask why their idea should be taken more seriously than an invisible elf claim. That often led to interesting responses.

Eventually, another BAUT member suggested I put the line in my sig and I did. The rest is history. :)

Yes, it's about the problem of disproving a negative and about the problem of shifting the burden of proof. The "backyard invisible elf" part, though, is incidental. That was just meant to be a (hopefully) humorous example of an ATM claim.

Van Rijn
2009-Oct-02, 07:56 AM
Blow up the planet, then ask "What backyard?"

Blowing up the yard in the future will not prove that there is not an invisible elf in the yard now. I don't say there will always be an invisible elf in the yard.

slang
2009-Oct-02, 08:23 AM
Unless you move the goalposts "there is a magical invisible elf in my backyard" the statment as it is written is not bold.

(changed italics to bold*) Elf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elf)


An elf is a creature of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of minor nature and fertility gods, who are often pictured as youthful-seeming men and women of great beauty living in forests and underground places and caves, or in wells and springs. They have been portrayed to be long-lived or immortal and as beings of magical powers.

(bold* mine) Magical enough for me. I think you're inventing goalposts to claim they're moved :)

* typographic bold, not burden of proof bold

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-02, 09:42 AM
I think "invisible" elf is redundant. Elves and fairies by their very "nature" are impossible to see.

Click Ticker
2009-Oct-02, 11:56 AM
By use of eminent domain, I get the local government to reclaim your property because a new Walmart would be better for the local community. Property bulldozed, big box store constructed. No more back yard.

The elf might still exist, but it can't really be called your back yard anymore.

Click Ticker
2009-Oct-02, 11:57 AM
Blowing up the yard in the future will not prove that there is not an invisible elf in the yard now. I don't say there will always be an invisible elf in the yard.

Never mind. Should have read the thread first.

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-02, 12:17 PM
...I started responding with the line in my signature and would ask why their idea should be taken more seriously than an invisible elf claim.

I think that much was obvious.



Yes, it's about the problem of disproving a negative and about the problem of shifting the burden of proof.

In this case, it is about showing how to prove there is no elf.

My opening idea is deeply flawed of course. No need to add magical supernatural abilities to our elf. He could be inside a tree, or underground, in which case the flour idea is useless. He could simply wait until the experiment was over, or after moving around at night, when nobody is watching, sprinkle more flour over his tracks.

But rather than debate the facts, you tried to change the parameters of what you said.


Won't work. Dust will float right through the elf, just as it would the air. Prove me wrong.

And then after changing what you said, you tried to get us to prove your new claim wrong. If somebody can keep changing what they say, then there is no sense even having a conversation.

Even after I clearly predicted this would happen, you still said,


I didn't say that the elf's abilities were constrained to just invisibility.

It doesn't matter what you didn't say. All the things you didn't say are not relevant to the invisible elf.

Invisible does not always mean supernatural or mythical. Real objects can be invisible, as can real animals in your yard.

Invisibility is the state of an object which cannot be seen. An object in this state is said to be Invisible (literally, "not visible"). The term is usually used as a fantasy/science fiction term, where objects are literally made unseeable by magical or technological means; however, its effects can also be seen in the real world, particularly in physics and perceptional psychology.Wikipedia

The elf might be cleverly disguised, or in camo, or simply glass, and under water in the pond. Or it could be very very small.

While all this might seem pointless, it illustrates how science and logic work, rather than rhetoric or playing word games with people.

Blanket dismissal of what somebody says means you miss everything. Obviously some things are too absurd to consider, but in this case, there might really be an invisible elf in your back yard.

aastrotech
2009-Oct-02, 12:26 PM
I think you're inventing goalposts to claim they're moved :)


I didn't invent plastic elves but they do exist regardless of the existance or non existance of other elves. My elf is still missing and I didn't lose it in Van Rijn's backyard. :doh:

The point is the "invisible elf" is meant to represent a non falsafiable statement not a bold statement (though at first it sounds bold). But my point is that you have to be careful about what you classify as non falsafiable (or bold). Invisible elf is not the same as nonexistant elf or elf only I can see. When you classify the invisible elf as non falsafiable you are making unfounded assumptions.

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-02, 12:30 PM
With nanotechnology, there could be thousands, or millions of invisible elves in your backyard. You just need an scanning electron microscope to see them.

Hlafordlaes
2009-Oct-02, 12:52 PM
Wherever that Elf is, he keeps giving me server timeouts when I try to post about him. He's real! :eek:

Neverfly
2009-Oct-02, 01:01 PM
The purpose of debate is not to outwit or outmaneuver your opponent.

It is to provide the most compelling logic and support with evidence.

In this debate, the purpose seems to be driven to outwit the claimant. The invisible elf is an analogy used to describe futility in debates when others think that merely outwitting your opponent is the key to victory.

The irony of debating that in itself is most amusing.

Spoons
2009-Oct-02, 01:39 PM
Rather entertaining though at times.

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-02, 05:30 PM
Don't try and take this topic into the realm of reason and logic. Next you will want to discuss what is true. This will not fly. :D


The acceptance that some things are true while others are false raises the question of the nature of such things. Since there is no agreement on the matter, the term truthbearer is used to be neutral among the various theories. Candidates truthbearers include propositions, sentences, sentence-tokens, statements, ideas, beliefs, thoughts, intuitions, utterances, and judgments but different writers exclude one or more of these, deny their existence, argue that they are true only in a derivative sense, assert or assume that the terms are synonymous, [1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truthbearer#cite_note-0) or seek to avoid addressing their distinction, or do not clarify it.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truthbearer#cite_note-1)

Nereid
2009-Oct-02, 07:01 PM
Don't try and take this topic into the realm of reason and logic. Next you will want to discuss what is true. This will not fly. :D
I don't care about what's true; I just want to know what's real! ;)

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-02, 07:10 PM
That's the spirit!

Remember, if enough people agree on something, then it is real (http://wikiality.wikia.com/Wikiality).

Ara Pacis
2009-Oct-02, 08:05 PM
Reminds me of the time a friend said that she could see elves/fairies that I couldn't. I asked what would happen if I sat in a chair where the fairy was. She said it would move. I said what would happen if it didn't move: what would you see when I stood back up. She said a very squashed fey.

Sometimes, there's no winning that argument.

Van Rijn
2009-Oct-02, 10:47 PM
And then after changing what you said,


No, I didn't change it. I added to it. I didn't say "the elf is not invisible" or "the elf is not in my backyard." And, as I said at the time, I never claimed the elf was only limited to invisibility.

Anyway, you apparently haven't seen many ATM arguments. Adding additional claims (along with "prove me wrong") is a common tactic. This is intended to be an example of an ATM argument.

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-02, 10:48 PM
We know. And you did a fine job of illustrating what happens. :D

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-02, 10:56 PM
As long as you clean up after after him, it's up to you what you believe. But, if you begin to rely on the rest of us to clean up invisible elf droppings then......

SolusLupus
2009-Oct-02, 10:57 PM
So this was just a plot to seem pretentious?

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-02, 10:59 PM
As long as you clean up after after him, it's up to you what you believe. But, if you begin to rely on the rest of us to clean up invisible elf droppings then......

Well he did say the elf is not interacting with our Universe in any way, so the droppings would be the same. Makes you wonder what the elf eats.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-02, 11:08 PM
Well he did say the elf is not interacting with our Universe in any way, so the droppings would be the same.
um, hence their invisibility. Just like the elf.

If he can postulate that there's an elf there, even though it doesn't interact with our universe, we can postulate that we will know if he doesn't clean up after it. (Quod erat demonstrandum)

Van Rijn
2009-Oct-02, 11:18 PM
Well he did say the elf is not interacting with our Universe in any way,


No, I didn't say that. Someone else suggested that. On the other hand, I have never claimed (and never will) evidence for the existence of a backyard invisible elf.

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-02, 11:26 PM
You are doing a fine job.

R.A.F.
2009-Oct-02, 11:28 PM
The title of this thread states....


You say there is an invisible elf in your backyard. Here's how I prove you wrong.

So when are you going to get around to the "prove you wrong" part?

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-02, 11:31 PM
The title of this thread states....



So when are you going to get around to the "prove you wrong" part?
Hence my reply to 'you' rather than to any specific poster. :p

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-02, 11:32 PM
On the other hand, I have never claimed (and never will) evidence for the existence of a backyard invisible elf.

There goes the thread.

Nereid
2009-Oct-02, 11:33 PM
That's the spirit!

Remember, if enough people agree on something, then it is real (http://wikiality.wikia.com/Wikiality).
Pah! Humans, the fleas upon the fleas upon the fleas ... (you get the idea).

I'm talkin' REALITY! You know, MACHOs and WIMPs, DE and DM, sterile neutrinos and Majorana particles, virtual photons and the Casimir effect, u n me as waveparticles, ...

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-02, 11:40 PM
I'm talkin' REALITY!

Like how Pluto is no longer a planet?

Nereid
2009-Oct-02, 11:47 PM
Like how Pluto is no longer a planet?

What's in a name?
That which we call a Pluto
By any other name would smell as sweet ...

(Or is it 'planet', I forget my Tagore ...)

O Pluto, Pluto, wherefore art thou Pluto?

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-02, 11:53 PM
Like how Pluto is no longer a planet?
Planet is a classification, not a reality. It's not even a classification; specify the characteristics that define a planet. You can't specify the because they are not now nor have they ever been agreed upon.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Oct-03, 12:36 AM
The classification's useful insofar as it's a good indication of what questions are most likely to provide interesting answers.
Pluto got reclassified because the questions most likely to give interesting answers are the ones you ask of mini planets and Kuiper belt objects, not the ones you ask of major planets. That's the reason for the reclassification.

"The solar system consists on X planets" doesn't provide any interesting insight into the solar system anyway, whether X is 8, 9 or 10.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-03, 12:44 AM
The classification's useful insofar as it's a good indication of what questions are most likely to provide interesting answers.
Pluto got reclassified because the questions most likely to give interesting answers are the ones you ask of mini planets and Kuiper belt objects, not the ones you ask of major planets.
Exactly. That means there's no change in "reality" based on census, just a change in how it is viewed.

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-03, 01:44 AM
I can't tell if you are being really really funny, or you are serious.

But, either way, it's just how something is viewed, it doesn't have anything to do with reality.

Spoons
2009-Oct-03, 01:51 AM
I heard Anastasia can change colour pigmentation with her glasses. Are you calling my saucy source a liar?

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-03, 01:52 AM
Can a person who is color blind argue about hues?

Spoons
2009-Oct-03, 01:57 AM
With enough red schnapps in them, one can argue about anything.

I can neither confirm nor deny that this thread is an example.

Ara Pacis
2009-Oct-03, 06:06 AM
What about invisible schnapps?

slang
2009-Oct-03, 07:20 AM
Can a person who is color blind argue about hues?

Ewes are often white.

mugaliens
2009-Oct-03, 07:24 AM
Napalm.

You may have had an invisible elf in your backyard at one time, but not anymore!

BetaDust
2009-Oct-03, 11:04 AM
Napalm.

You may have had an invisible elf in your backyard at one time, but not anymore!

Nah, I think you underestimate this elf.

Someone tried nuking it from orbit (http://nukeitfromorbit.com/) once... The elf is still here. ;)

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-03, 01:31 PM
This is the problem with having elves.

Sticks
2009-Oct-03, 02:05 PM
What about drow?

Neverfly
2009-Oct-03, 07:46 PM
Robinson, I just want to seize the opportunity here.
Read this thread:
http://www.bautforum.com/against-mainstream/94399-something-strange-orbit.html#post1588632

captain swoop
2009-Oct-03, 08:04 PM
My friend Wonder Woman has an invisible jet plane. Prove her wrong!

Ask the Invisible Man!

captain swoop
2009-Oct-03, 08:16 PM
And then after changing what you said, you tried to get us to prove your new claim wrong. If somebody can keep changing what they say, then there is no sense even having a conversation.
Welcome to the world of Moderating the ATM and Conspiracy Forums, that's what we try to control every day.

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-03, 08:22 PM
Really? I say there is no ATM forum! Prove me wrong!!

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-03, 08:23 PM
Read this thread:
http://www.bautforum.com/against-mainstream/94399-something-strange-orbit.html#post1588632

There is no thread at that link.

aastrotech
2009-Oct-03, 09:39 PM
[QUOTE=]
And then after changing what you said, you tried to get us to prove your new claim wrong. If somebody can keep changing what they say, then there is no sense even having a conversation.


Welcome to the world of Moderating the ATM and Conspiracy Forums, that's what we try to control every day.

This thread began with assumptions about the invisible elf that the OP of the invisible elf did not say. Subsequent posters made additional assumtions, assertions and some aspersions. If it were in the ATM forum it seems to me your duty would have been clear. Which way would you have ruled?

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-03, 09:42 PM
This game was more fun before you embraced the CT strategies of vagueness and introducing new items to suit the argument. ;)

(I know, that's the point of it.)


No no! The point is to figure out how to prove there is no elf!!!

Since the elf is now made of air or something equally nebulous, the problem is a mite harder.

captain swoop
2009-Oct-03, 09:51 PM
[QUOTE=captain swoop;1588666]





This thread began with assumptions about the invisible elf that the OP of the invisible elf did not say. Subsequent posters made additional assumtions, assertions and some aspersions. If it were in the ATM forum it seems to me your duty would have been clear. Which way would you have ruled?

As it isn't in ATM and not subject to it's rules I can't give an opinion as it wouldn't have played out the way it has. try posting in and running a thread the way this one has been and you will find out :)

Nereid
2009-Oct-03, 10:58 PM
No no! The point is to figure out how to prove their is no elf!!!

Since the elf is now made of air or something equally nebulous, the problem is a mite harder.
Or that there is no elf; or, perhaps, that there is no elf there ...

Or that in their (VR et familia) backyard contains no elf ...

Or ...

aastrotech
2009-Oct-04, 02:48 AM
No no! The point is to figure out how to prove there is no elf!!!.

The scientist in me says I need more info about the elf before I could come to the conclusion that there is no elf. Like a few more falsafiable statements.

Notwithstanding vague assertions like;


Since the elf is now made of air or something equally nebulous, the problem is a mite harder

I would agree that "the problem" is a mite harder than it might seem to the non scientist applying non scientific, non rigorous rules.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-04, 04:41 AM
As a general rule it can be a waste of time to spend one's time trying to prove that things aren't true. There are exceptions, but it's still a good general rule.

For those who don't think so, here's one to work on: Prove that I didn't commit murder earlier this evening.

Neverfly
2009-Oct-04, 06:21 AM
Was it your sister?

mugaliens
2009-Oct-04, 08:56 AM
Nah, I think you underestimate this elf.

I think you overestimate that elf. He died a lot time ago. I buried him.

In pieces?

Nah!

In plasmized matter interspersed in the vapor of my engines as I flew around the world.

It's not chemtrails. It's elftrails!

If they can piece themselves back together, they're not elves. They're Gods.

Van Rijn
2009-Oct-04, 10:15 AM
Mugs: Prove it. :)

aastrotech
2009-Oct-04, 10:39 AM
Was it your sister?

And that's the right way to start. You ask questions before you come to conclusions. However the questions should be shaped by informed speculation. Just don't mistake informed speculation for a conclusion.

captain swoop
2009-Oct-04, 10:41 AM
Prove that the Elf died and you buried the elf

Sticks
2009-Oct-04, 01:40 PM
What about elf and safety?

Donnie B.
2009-Oct-04, 01:46 PM
Elf I know.

WaxRubiks
2009-Oct-04, 02:53 PM
I dunno about an elf, but look what I found when I blew up one of the photos of
Van Rijn's place.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2472/3980442660_f200410b5d_o.jpg

Sticks
2009-Oct-04, 03:32 PM
Uncle?

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-04, 03:33 PM
He stole that from me!!!

Hlafordlaes
2009-Oct-04, 03:42 PM
@ Van Rijn,

Change your first name to Alfred (origin: Elf-friend) and invite him in. Enough of this poor guy hanging out in the garden.

[Late edit: Picking my own nit: it's actually from "counseled by the Elves." -red is related to rede, an archaic equiv of counsel. Tolkien used it; haven't seen it elsewhere in modern English.]

crosscountry
2009-Oct-04, 07:05 PM
the elf is only there if you believe it is there. Since we all ignore it, it doesn't exist.

cosmocrazy
2009-Oct-04, 07:15 PM
I bumped into an old elf friend of mine the other day, she was telling me about the good old days when people had lots of greenery in their gardens and now how lots have minimalistic low maintenance stone, gravel and fancy paving. He was complaining somewhat but i did explain to her that he needs to move on with the times..:rolleyes:

crosscountry
2009-Oct-05, 02:28 AM
she -> he -> her....

well? which one is it? you're making the whole story up ain't ya?

Spoons
2009-Oct-05, 02:57 AM
Transgender elves rule the world surreptitiously.