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Author Topic:   The Cult Of The Amateur
Phat
Member
Posts: 15386
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 1 of 21 (480756)
09-06-2008 6:23 AM


OK, OK first off, I must admit that I have not finished reading this book. The Cult Of The Amateur

What happened was this: Mom had a problem with her car. We had to take it in to the shop to get a rear power window fixed...(ended up costing $500.00!!!!) While the car was getting fixed, we walked two blocks to Barnes & Noble, a place that is chock full of books! I happened to be captivated by this one and was able to read a third of it. The author basically asserts that the new information glut and the "democratization" of culture through mass blogs, uninformed opinions, and non-expert coverage of events is causing a cultural cacophony of non-information. The experts are no longer revered, and as a result, only opinions (however uninformed) are all that matter in this new media. (The author refers to the term, Web 2.0 which was coined by Tim O'Reilly...whoever the heck he is! :roll: )

The author uses Wikipedia as a prime example of what happens when a source of knowledge is run by a plethora of amateurs rather than a panel of experts. Although there is a lot of useful information, it becomes almost impossible to distinguish opinions and propaganda (often started by special interests) from true facts.

The author concludes that in this informational demassified cultural age, we no longer talk about the new media...we ourselves collectively are the new media...and he laments the effect this eventually will have on our culture. I eventually may buy the book in order to finish reading it, or I may stop by the bookstore and finish it...if I can focus on that one book while ignoring all of the other ones!

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 21 (480840)
09-06-2008 8:22 PM


Interesting read
Sounds interesting and worthy of picking up. I wouldn't mind delving in to it. Thanks for posting it.

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 21 (480847)
09-06-2008 9:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
09-06-2008 6:23 AM


Phat writes:

The author uses Wikipedia as a prime example of what happens when a source of knowledge is run by a plethora of amateurs rather than a panel of experts.

Panels of experts are needful, but be mindful that experts generally amount to products from the assembly line of programmed educational institutions which over time dwindles down to the mindset of the prevailing few who determine the criteria.

To keep the experts objective and honest the freedom and ability to access information from the grass root lay folks who are out there in the real world experimenting, researching, applying practical principles and techniques, observing, improvising, debating, etc becomes necessary for optimal understanding and improvement relative to understanding, technique, truth and knowledge.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Phat, posted 09-06-2008 6:23 AM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by subbie, posted 09-06-2008 11:11 PM Buzsaw has responded
 Message 5 by Rrhain, posted 09-07-2008 2:11 AM Buzsaw has responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 153 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 4 of 21 (480850)
09-06-2008 11:11 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Buzsaw
09-06-2008 9:52 PM


quote:
Panels of experts are needful, but be mindful that experts generally amount to products from the assembly line of programmed educational institutions which over time dwindles down to the mindset of the prevailing few who determine the criteria.

Please describe your personal experience in academia that qualifies you to express this opinion. Or are you simply parroting the same old line again, regardless of a supporting factual basis?


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Buzsaw, posted 09-06-2008 9:52 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Buzsaw, posted 09-07-2008 8:48 PM subbie has responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 770 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 5 of 21 (480856)
09-07-2008 2:11 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Buzsaw
09-06-2008 9:52 PM


Buzsaw writes:

quote:
To keep the experts objective and honest the freedom and ability to access information from the grass root lay folks who are out there in the real world experimenting, researching, applying practical principles and techniques, observing, improvising, debating, etc becomes necessary for optimal understanding and improvement relative to understanding, technique, truth and knowledge.

That's the point behind peer review and publishing: You put your work out there to be examined in excruciating detail by people who aren't you, aren't looking to support you, and actually want to find flaws in your work.

Amateurs are very important in science. A lot of everyday astronomy wouldn't happen if it weren't for amateurs. Yes, all the big, flashy science with space telescopes and X-ray satellites are impressive, but the search for new comets, asteroids, and the other near-earth debris flying around is often found by amateurs: They're the ones who have the time and inclination to just go out with a telescope and look up to see what happens to pass in front of the lens.

But notice the reason why it works so well: The "start-up costs," so to speak, are so low. It doesn't take a lot of work to do a bit of actual astronomy. You just need a telescope, a dark night away from city lights, and the desire to sit out in the middle of a field overnight. It's why mathematics has so many good amateurs in it, too: You just need paper and pencil and the willingness to slog through it.

Other fields are a bit more difficult to get involved in. Cooking is essentially chemisty and clearly there are brilliant amateurs out there, but doing deep chemistry requires equipment and materials the amateur simply doesn't have access to. Even simple chemistry requires chemicals that are often restricted. One of the physics experiments in my college physics class had the cliche statement: Everything will be OK so long as you don't eat the radioactive source.*

And with regard to biology, especially evolutionary biology, what sort of amateur has the means to study species for generations? Who can tag the individuals, safely take genetic samples, and sequence them? Do you have a DNA sequencer handy to run PCR?

But, just in case you do, that's the point behind publishing: You make your results public so that anybody anywhere can learn what you have discovered and try to duplicate your results.

At no time, however, does "grass root lay folks" enter into it. Even if you are an amateur, you still need to know what you're doing. Science isn't something you can "common sense" your way through. Things don't function the way you expect, there are variables that aren't obvious that need to be controlled for, and you always need to be willing to consider the possibility that everything you think you know about everything is wrong.

It is not enough to simply think you know what you're doing. You have to actually show it.

When was the last time you did any original research, Buzsaw?

* "Yes, it is radioactive and you will run a higher risk of cancer some 40 or 50 years down the line, but it is also highly toxic and poison you much more quickly."


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Buzsaw, posted 09-06-2008 9:52 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Wounded King, posted 09-07-2008 7:00 PM Rrhain has not yet responded
 Message 9 by Buzsaw, posted 09-07-2008 9:56 PM Rrhain has responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2993 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 6 of 21 (480930)
09-07-2008 7:00 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Rrhain
09-07-2008 2:11 AM


Do you have a DNA sequencer handy to run PCR?

You don't run a PCR on a DNA sequencer. Tsch, amateurs.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Rrhain, posted 09-07-2008 2:11 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 21 (480937)
09-07-2008 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by subbie
09-06-2008 11:11 PM


Dealing With Academia
Subbie writes:

Please describe your personal experience in academia that qualifies you to express this opinion. Or are you simply parroting the same old line again, regardless of a supporting factual basis?

Man, I've been dealing with academia people for 50+ years, including 5 years on this board, some of who don't have an ounce of common sense. Others who have a lot of sense and knowledge have taught me some things. Some have allowed me to teach them as well.

My pastor is about to get his doctorate. He comes to me who has no degree whatsoever for understanding in scriptures such as the prophecies, the doctrine of the trinity and other things. On the other hand his expertise on Biblical history and many other doctrinal topics has taught me much, though I've been in the Bible for a long time. He and I have the mutual opinion that iron sharpens iron. :cool:

Subbie, as for the old line insultive personal jab, nobody here always satisfies their opponents relative to supporting facts to substantiate the views they are debating.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by subbie, posted 09-06-2008 11:11 PM subbie has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Rrhain, posted 09-07-2008 9:22 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded
 Message 10 by subbie, posted 09-07-2008 10:03 PM Buzsaw has responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 770 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 8 of 21 (480940)
09-07-2008 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Buzsaw
09-07-2008 8:48 PM


Buzsaw writes:

quote:
My pastor is about to get his doctorate.

Then why are we talking to you when the person who has the knowledge of the subject is your pastor?

quote:
He comes to me who has no degree whatsoever for understanding in scriptures such as the prophecies, the doctrine of the trinity and other things.

Indeed, but what then makes you think you are capable of responding to us? Now, this is nothing more than an internet BBS. We're not really expecting the highest levels of evidence and standards of proof. But, we do need to have some process of justification in order to get beyond your statements simply being your opinion.

This was one of my biggest problems in becoming a mathematician: I understood everything intuitively but had a hard time formalizing it. "Repeat this process an infinite number of times" is not sufficient for actually proving something. Instead, it needs to be strictly described in terms of limits.

You need to provide more than just your say so.

quote:
He and I have the mutual opinion that iron sharpens iron.

Weren't you just claiming that "the grass root lay folks" are supposed to be in there, too? It would seem that air sharpens iron, too, according to you.

Science, however, relies on sunlight to sharpen it (points if you get the reference.)


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Buzsaw, posted 09-07-2008 8:48 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 21 (480941)
09-07-2008 9:56 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Rrhain
09-07-2008 2:11 AM


Rrhain writes:


At no time, however, does "grass root lay folks" enter into it. Even if you are an amateur, you still need to know what you're doing. Science isn't something you can "common sense" your way through. Things don't function the way you expect, there are variables that aren't obvious that need to be controlled for, and you always need to be willing to consider the possibility that everything you think you know about everything is wrong.

It is not enough to simply think you know what you're doing. You have to actually show it.

When was the last time you did any original research, Buzsaw?

* "Yes, it is radioactive and you will run a higher risk of cancer some 40 or 50 years down the line, but it is also highly toxic and poison you much more quickly."

1. Rrhain, for your information, some of the greatest technological feats, inventions, accomplishments in the history of the ages has been accomplished by amateurs, btw, who did know what they were doing, stuff which would never ever have been achieved were it left up to the educated elite.

2. The OP of this thread is relative to Wikipedia and such. Only a small percentage of what we're talking about has anything to do with peer reviews.

3. What has original research got to do with the ability of amateurs to contribute to knowledge and information? Let me ask you some questions. How many watches or clocks have you repaired, having no training for the job? How much of your auto repair can you do after the experts have failed to get it going? Do you know a little trick which will fix the leaky clutch cylinder when the experts say you need a new or rebuilt one? Have you ever repaired a pressure gage which the experts couldn't fix? Do you know how to clean a dirty mirror, window or other glassware without a drop of fluid of any kind, leaving no streaks or film whatsoever? Do you think you could keep yourself and your family well enough via alternative methodology, including removing the aching from teeth, dealing with fever, healing infections, gut problems, back problems, etc without a professional practitioner? Do you think you could become what Rush Limbaugh has achieved on his own?

Are you aware that the majority of the great inventors of the Industrial Revolution in it's earlier stages were non-professional and uneducated in science and technology?


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Rrhain, posted 09-07-2008 2:11 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Rrhain, posted 09-07-2008 11:24 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 153 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 10 of 21 (480942)
09-07-2008 10:03 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Buzsaw
09-07-2008 8:48 PM


Re: Dealing With Academia
Buzz writes:

Panels of experts are needful, but be mindful that experts generally amount to products from the assembly line of programmed educational institutions which over time dwindles down to the mindset of the prevailing few who determine the criteria.


subbie writes:

Please describe your personal experience in academia that qualifies you to express this opinion. Or are you simply parroting the same old line again, regardless of a supporting factual basis?


Buzz writes:

Man, I've been dealing with academia people for 50+ years, including 5 years on this board, some of who don't have an ounce of common sense.

Well, you'd have to try hard to be more vague than "dealing with." Taking classes? In a bowling league together? Mopping hallways outside their offices? Their meth connection? Saying you've been "dealing with" them tells us nothing about your foundation for your claim. As far as your 5 years on this board, it might give you some insight into the particular people whose posts you've read, but it tells you nothing about how academia functions.

Subbie, as for the old line insultive personal jab, nobody here always satisfies their opponents relative to supporting facts to substantiate the views they are debating.

Possibly, but you are certainly at or near the top of those who seldom provide substantiation for numerous opinions of questionable validity. Moreover, the fact that others don't always substantiate their opinions in no way justifies your failure to substantiate yours, particularly when specifically questioned about it.


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Buzsaw, posted 09-07-2008 8:48 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Buzsaw, posted 09-07-2008 10:35 PM subbie has not yet responded

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 21 (480945)
09-07-2008 10:35 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by subbie
09-07-2008 10:03 PM


Re: Dealing With Academia
Subbie writes:

.... in no way justifies your failure to substantiate yours, particularly when specifically questioned about it.

If you insist on these personal attacks you need to cite specifics and while you're at it, keep your own nose clean relative to factual substantiation of arguments. There's a forum for your complaints and it's not here.

We all consider our arguments to be substantial. You don't think mine are and I don't think yours are, but I don't go at you in the threads adnausium with these personal attacks. This appears to be what you do when you can't refute because it's easier for you to go at me than to substantially refute my arguments.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by subbie, posted 09-07-2008 10:03 PM subbie has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Rrhain, posted 09-07-2008 11:45 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 770 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 12 of 21 (480949)
09-07-2008 11:24 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Buzsaw
09-07-2008 9:56 PM


Buzsaw responds to me:

quote:
Rrhain, for your information, some of the greatest technological feats, inventions, accomplishments in the history of the ages has been accomplished by amateurs, btw, who did know what they were doing, stuff which would never ever have been achieved were it left up to the educated elite.

BWAHAHAHAHA!

Oh, that's just precious. You really do believe that, don't you?

No, I'm not saying that major discoveries haven't been made by amateurs. It's the attitude that they "would never ever [sic] have been achieved were it left up to the educated elite."

Most famous example of the "talented amateur" is probably Fermat. He wasn't what you would call the "educated elite," but was simply somebody who had an interest in mathematics and worked on it as a hobby. So why do we consider him such an important player in mathematics?

Well, it certainly wasn't because of his rigor. Fermat was sloppy as all getout. His explanations were often half-baked, over-simplified, and failed to actually prove what it was he was trying to prove. No, the reason why we consider him an important player is because he managed to be right.

But the only reason we know he was right is because the "educated elite" whom you seem to so despise did the work that Fermat was incapable of doing. Fermat's Greater Theorem has been proven, but it is clear that Fermat was not thinking of the proof that was finally required to get to the result. The reason why Fermat's name is even really known is because he kept sending his work off to Mersenne...who happened to be an actual mathematician. Liebniz was the one to prove Fermat's Lesser Theorem.

And he wasn't always right. "Fermat numbers," those of the form 22n + 1, are not always prime despite Fermat's claim.

Euler figured that out. You know Euler, yes? He's the one of whom it is said that if you removed him from 18th Century mathematics, it would have ground to a halt. The man averaged 800 pages of manuscript a year, wrote 500 books, and has over 800 references. Pretty much the reason we write mathematics in the notation we do today is because of him.

That's how it works: Amateurs are good, but they lack the ability to apply the rigor and scrutiny required of good science. It isn't out of stupidity but simply out of lack of resources. We've all heard of the story of the little girl who wanted to test the existence of "therapeutic touch," Emily Rosa. She ran an experiment where she had nurses who claimed to be able to manipulate the "human energy field" sit behind a barrier with their hands through it. Emily would then either place her hand above the subject's left or right hand, decided via coin flip, to see if the subject could detect her "human energy field."

They failed miserably.

But here's the thing: The publication of the study was done through normal channels. Emily's name is on it, but the bulk of the paper was written by the co-authors:

Linda Rosa; Emily Rosa; Larry Sarner; Stephen Barrett: "A Close Look at Therapeutic Touch" Journal of the American Medical Association, April 1998; 279: 1005 - 1010.

This idea of yours that the "educated elite" are some contemptuous of those that aren't professionals is laughable.

quote:
The OP of this thread is relative to Wikipedia and such.

The guideline of Wikipedia is that you document the claims (Citing Sources). In addition, no original research is to be used.

quote:
Only a small percentage of what we're talking about has anything to do with peer reviews.

And that's part of the problem. When we get onto these subjects, we find that those who are advocating for science come up with peer-reviewed sources while those who advocate against science...well...they often don't have any sources, but those that they do provide typically come from the popular press at best and more typically from vanity press.

quote:
What has original research got to do with the ability of amateurs to contribute to knowledge and information?

Because before you can comment on the state of the science, you need to be familiar with it. Have you not been following Nemesis Juggernaut's commentary on the Loving v. Virginia case? He admits that he hasn't read it. Then what on earth makes him think that he has any ability to make any intelligent statement regarding it, what it is about, what it says, how it justifies itself, or anything else about it?

Your right to have an opinion does not come with a concurrent guarantee of it being worth anything. You have to do your homework. You have to read up on the subject. You have to learn the fundamentals so that you can be sure you're not wandering off the ranch. And if you're going to make the extraordinary claim that the fundamental concept of all of biology is a load of crap, you had better have some outrageously detailed evidence to back it up.

quote:
How many watches or clocks have you repaired, having no training for the job?

I pesonally don't recall ever repairing a watch or clock. I had a weight-driven cuckoo clock I could never get to work because it had no instructions and I had no idea what I was doing.

I suppose if I decided to take the time to learn, I would, but I haven't and so I don't.

quote:
How much of your auto repair can you do after the experts have failed to get it going?

None. I am unskilled in automotive repair. I know how to check my fluids, change a tire, and I've installed a stereo, but such things aren't really "repair."

Again, if I decided to take the time to learn, I would. But, I haven't, so I don't.

I expect you are about to claim that you have done this...that you somehow "confounded the experts" by being able to do what they couldn't. Little old you, who is just a common, everyday person, were somehow blessed with brilliance of insight that all them damned "educated elite" were too stubborn to even consider.

I call bullshit. No, not that you didn't manage to do something an "expert" couldn't. No, what I mean is that it's bullshit that you were onto some grand statement about the universe that people who know what they're doing are actually poseurs and that real understanding can only come from people who are "untainted" by rigor and process.

quote:
Do you know a little trick which will fix the leaky clutch cylinder when the experts say you need a new or rebuilt one?

As I have no training of any kind with regard to combustion engines, the answer to that is no. Nor do I pretend to know.

I expect you are about to claim that you have done this...that you somehow "confounded the experts" by being able to do what they couldn't. Little old you, who is just a common, everyday person, were somehow blessed with brilliance of insight that all them damned "educated elite" were too stubborn to even consider.

I call bullshit. No, not that you didn't manage to do something an "expert" couldn't. No, what I mean is that it's bullshit that you were onto some grand statement about the universe that people who know what they're doing are actually poseurs and that real understanding can only come from people who are "untainted" by rigor and process.

quote:
Do you know how to clean a dirty mirror, window or other glassware without a drop of fluid of any kind, leaving no streaks or film whatsoever?

Define "dirty."

And what does this have to do with anything? Yes, I know you're playing a game of gotcha. Again, I expect you are about to claim that you have done this...that you somehow "confounded the experts" by being able to do what they couldn't. Little old you, who is just a common, everyday person, were somehow blessed with brilliance of insight that all them damned "educated elite" were too stubborn to even consider.

I call bullshit. No, not that you didn't manage to do something an "expert" couldn't. No, what I mean is that it's bullshit that you were onto some grand statement about the universe that people who know what they're doing are actually poseurs and that real understanding can only come from people who are "untainted" by rigor and process.

quote:
Do you think you could keep yourself and your family well enough via alternative methodology, including removing the aching from teeth, dealing with fever, healing infections, gut problems, back problems, etc without a professional practitioner?

Since "alternative methodology" is pretty much a quack, I know the answer to this is that you haven't, either.

Care to submit yourself and your family to the rigors of peer review? You're the one making the claim, so you're the one who needs to show the proof. Your say so is insufficient. Especially since you are clearly emotionally invested in the outcome, your testimonial cannot be trusted. Just in general, you are sure to be overlooking and misreporting data since I'm sure you don't follow research protocol over your daily life. But on top of that, because you have a vested outcome in the results, it is pretty much guaranteed that you will be unable to give an unbiased report of things (see Martin Gardner's book, Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus for a good accounting of what happens when people who are supposed to be reporting data objectively are not rabidly watched.)

quote:
Do you think you could become what Rush Limbaugh has achieved on his own?

You mean become an inveterate liar, drug addict, and hypocrite? Yes, I'm sure I could if I put my mind to it.

quote:
Are you aware that the majority of the great inventors of the Industrial Revolution in it's earlier stages were non-professional and uneducated in science and technology?

No, because that isn't true.

And just as a summary point: When did being one of the "educated elite" become a bad thing? If you needed heart surgery, would you want the "elite" heart surgeon or someone who has read some books, knows a lot of heart surgeons, but has never stepped foot inside an operating theater?

Now, this hardly means that the best surgeon in the world is perfect and that someone who graduated at the bottom of his class is a complete idiot. And I certainly don't want to give the impression that the argument from authority actually holds water. But expertise really does mean something. It doesn't mean we blindly accept what they have to say, but it does mean that we should listen because they actually have justification for their claims and can, or at least should be able to, walk you through the process.

That's what is happening here, Buzsaw: You're being asked to provide the justification for your claims and walk us through the process. And because you are an amateur, because you have no expertise, because you haven't done your homework, you are having a hard time. I understand the frustration of asking what you think is a simple question and getting flooded with reams of documentation showing you that what you thought was the answer is unjustified.

Get over it. If you have the evidence to support your claims, then bring them forward. Your say so is not sufficient.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Buzsaw, posted 09-07-2008 9:56 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Phat, posted 10-21-2008 8:36 AM Rrhain has responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 770 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 13 of 21 (480951)
09-07-2008 11:45 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Buzsaw
09-07-2008 10:35 PM


Buzsaw responds to subbie:

quote:
If you insist on these personal attacks you need to cite specifics and while you're at it, keep your own nose clean relative to factual substantiation of arguments. There's a forum for your complaints and it's not here.

We all consider our arguments to be substantial. You don't think mine are and I don't think yours are, but I don't go at you in the threads adnausium with these personal attacks. This appears to be what you do when you can't refute because it's easier for you to go at me than to substantially refute my arguments.


I'm sorry...was there an argument in there? It seemed to be nothing but ad hominem commentary.

You wanted some specifics? How about the entire Buzsaw Biblical Universe Origin Hypothesis vs Singularity Universe Origin Theory
thread? Many of us asked you many questions over and over and over again. Just at random from my own posts in the thread, Message 111:

Rrhain writes:

For the third time:

Have you ever had any formal training in physics? I mean real physics that you need calculus to figure out where you did the experiment of suspending a pendulum from the ceiling so you could directly calculate G (the constant of universal gravitation), where you recreated the Millikin experiment to directly measure the charge on an electron, where you measured the spectral lines of hydrogen, that sort of physics.

Again, that's high school level stuff. How much physics do you know?

Cosmology, on the other hand, is well beyond high school. Have you ever done any work in quatum physics? Calculated the wave-form of an electron? Run the two-slit experiment? When was the last time you had to deal with the calculations involved in a twisted tensor?

I asked you this previously, too, but apparently you decided to blow it off as well:

What do you think of the Hawking-Turok instanton?

The reason I ask these questions is because the questions you are asking show a severe ignorance of how physics works. This isn't something you can "common sense" your way through because the universe does not work the way you think it works.

You never did respond. Throughout that thread, I repeatedly asked you to directly justify how your definition of god could be reconciled with the second law (Message 127):

Rrhain writes:

What would happen if we hooked up your engine to a refrigerator? I wrote about this very specific example when discussing how one can derive the second law from scratch. It is a common example and is used in all three of my physics textbooks, which is why I also used it. You say that god expends work. That's fine. You say that god takes up energy back. That is fine, too.

You seem to think that this cycle can continue indefinitely, especially since you claim that universe is eternal. But this is a direct violation of the second law. Heat to work, work to heat, what does the second law tells about this?

You never responded. We have an entire thread of you not responding to direct questions put to you and you have the audacity to claim that someone pointing out this propensity of yours is a "personal attack"?

So when are you going to start answering the questions that are put to you?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Buzsaw, posted 09-07-2008 10:35 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
johnfolton 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4489 days)
Posts: 2024
Joined: 12-04-2005


Message 14 of 21 (480962)
09-08-2008 5:28 AM


The Professional verses the Amateur

Kind of reminds me of Usane Bolt winning the 100 yard dash think it really has something to do with a talent. I believe Bolt has a special God given talent to run faster than the professional it was awesome seeing him slowing down yet breaking the world record.

Edited by johnfolton, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by kuresu, posted 10-23-2008 8:31 AM johnfolton has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15386
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 15 of 21 (486479)
10-21-2008 8:36 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Rrhain
09-07-2008 11:24 PM


Warm Fuzzies versus Facts
Rrhain writes:

When did being one of the "educated elite" become a bad thing? If you needed heart surgery, would you want the "elite" heart surgeon or someone who has read some books, knows a lot of heart surgeons, but has never stepped foot inside an operating theater?

Good point, but it depends which field we are talking about. Take theology, for example. If I am interested in experiencing some "warm fuzzies" I may prefer a small prayer group led by the old lady who has a worn Bible, can quote mine with the best of them, and who flashes a warm and sincere smile and always has a word of comfort for every occasion rather than having the group led by a University Professor of comparative theology who dissects the quotes, questions the sources, and coolly and rationally concludes that "nobody really knows who wrote the book, anyway."

My point is that sometimes we don't want experts. Sometimes we would rather try the folk medicine at the local vitamin cottage and hear "expert" advice from the nutritionist who reads all of the anecdotal reports on the effectiveness of the herbs rather than going to a real Doctor who uses his hand held computer to order the prescriptions necessary and who has never read anything about Coenzyme Q-10 for heart troubles.

Amateurs have a role to play in society, I think. Sometimes I like reading blogs about the presidential debates and read unverifiable opinions and rumors rather than reading the New York Times. Sometimes I like hearing gossip at work rather than taking the time to ask people how they really feel about an issue. Sometimes folklore just makes me feel better than cold hard facts.

I think, (without having read more than a third of the book) that the authors point was that amateur sources and written content now threatens to overshadow legitimate sources and informational content and that it takes an astute and critical reader to be able to accurately discern real information.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Rrhain, posted 09-07-2008 11:24 PM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Rrhain, posted 10-23-2008 3:20 AM Phat has responded
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