|Comments for Sunday, July 26, 2015,
thru Friday, July 31, 2015:
July 31, 2015 - Yesterday, someone sent me an email with a link to a USA Today article titled, "FedEx no longer to transport bioterror germs in wake of anthrax lab mishaps." I'm not certain how serious this is. The article says,
So, it's probably not very serious - UNLESS something serious happens. They are currently looking for alternative ways to ship about 75 different kinds of biological material labeled as "select agents."
July 30, 2015 - I see the authorities are becoming more and more confident that the piece of a wing found on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion is from a Boeing 777. And there is only one missing Boeing 777: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Unfortunately, even if or when the plane is found, there will still be conspiracy theorists arguing that MH370 actually went somewhere else and the "authorities" moved it in order to cover up what really happened.
I made a mistake of mentioning DXer's email yesterday. So, today he sent me another meaningless missive. I'll stop mentioning them. Maybe they'll stop.
Meanwhile, I think my analysis of the Rational Scientific Methodists has reached some findings.
As of this moment, my analysis indicates that RS Methodists join Bill Gaede's cult because it offers an explanation for things the RS Methodists cannot otherwise understand. The Cult's explanation: You cannot understand because it really makes no sense and was simply created by people who are STUPID.
What is it the RSM cultists cannot understand? AMBIGUITIES. They want only CERTAINTY.
For example, physicists and astrophysicists do not know exactly what a Black Hole is. All they have is evidence that such "objects" exist.
RSM cultists cannot accept this. It is ambiguous. THINGS MUST NOT BE AMBIGUOUS. Therefore, Black Holes cannot exist. And EVIDENCE IS WORTHLESS because EVIDENCE CAN BE AMBIGUOUS.
RSM BELIEVERS feel it is better to believe something is impossible because Bill Gaede says so, than to not know for certain because the evidence is ambiguous.
SCIENTISTS understand that there are things they do not fully understand because the evidence is ambiguous. They have no problem living temporarily with unresolved ambiguity. However, instead of simply closing their minds and just believing it is "impossible," as RSM cultists do, they strive to figure things out by gathering more and more evidence and facts.
Scientists generate knowledge and move us forward
(and into possible dangers).
RSM cultists want things to go backward to some mythical time when philosophers supposedly knew everything, and all you had to do was ask a philosopher if you had a question about something ambiguous. The philosopher was the ONLY authority, so whatever he said could not be questioned and there could be no ambiguity in such a world.I think that about sums it up -- except for finding out what RS Methodists think about my findings.
July 29, 2015 - Ah! Someone just advised me of some possible news about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. They sent me a link to a Yahoo! News article titled "Mysterious plane wreckage sparks MH370 speculation." It seems a piece of aircraft debris just washed up on the shore of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, which is about 400 miles from Madagascar and within the fuel range of MH370. The piece of debris evidently has an identification number on it, which will help determine if it is from MH370 or not. One of the 300+ comments following the article says:
Keep in mind this could also be from Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961, which crashed in that vicinity in 1996. Not all of the debris was recovered. It could also be from Yemenia Flight 626, which crashed into the Indian ocean in 2009. At this point, it's all speculation that it might be MH370 or even a 777 (vice a B767 or an A310).We should probably find out within a day or two. If it is from MH370, a lot of people are going to have to reconsider the evidence that indicated the plane went down off the coast of Australia, roughly three thousand miles away. But, for all I know, ocean currents could have carried it that far.
Meanwhile, DXer sent me an email that said only "did ATCC [American Type Culture Collection] have irradiated Ames? if so, where did it get it?" Why anyone would care is anyone's guess. DXer seems to still live in 2002.
Also meanwhile, the arguments about science are flying fast and furious on my Facebook group about Rational Scientific Methodists & Their Beliefs. Mostly it is just arguments over the definitions of words, but occasionally an interesting point is made. Also, the Facebook group about the Rational Scientific Method that booted me off a few weeks ago and blocked me from viewing their group, has unblocked me and suggested I rejoin. I advised them that I would only rejoin if they can assure me that I would have no way of deleting threads created by others. That would mean they could not claim I somehow deleted a thread that showed how silly their arguments are. If a thread gets deleted, then it would have to be the group owner ("John Smith") who did it.
July 28, 2015 - Wow! I don't know how many posts there were to my Facebook group yesterday, but it seemed like hundreds. The largest number of the posts were by a new member who calls himself "Jay Kay," who offered to explain everything about "the Rational Scientific Method" to me. Another new member, David Robison, was also posting messages to me. So were a couple of others. And, of course, I was responding to those messages as fast as I could.
The most interesting parts of the discussion resulted from me trying to get them to define the word "rational" and asking them to explain the steps and purpose of their "method."
Rational was defined this way: Rational = consistent, unambiguous, and non-contradictory.
Of course, that is nothing like the dictionary's definition of "rational":
based on or in accordance with reason or logic.The discussion indicates that they are only concerned with the definitions of words. They want all definitions to be unambiguous. And they want everyone to use their definitions, which seem virtually incomprehensible.
When I asked Jay Kay to list the steps in their "method" and to explain the purpose of their "method," I received this response:
Use the hypothesis + Theory while being rational. This is where it gets "confusing" for some. RSM's "version" of the Scientific Method is not the same as the modern scientific method. The modern scientific method relies on reproducible experiments that yield empirical evidence. RSM stays far far away from anything to do with observation as you do not need to observe something for it to be true. Example, Gravity happens regardless of whether an observer is there to observe it or not. RSM "cares" more about the explanation part of "how" gravity occurs. They "care" about the phenomena and what objects mediate them more than the experiments you can run to verify theories. Now, to those "Steps" you ask for. During the hypothesis stage the OP must present the objects to be used in the theory stage, must define their terms rationally, and have the statement of facts to set the initial scene. Once this is done the OP goes ahead with their explanation or Theory in this case. In RSM theory = explanation. Example, you have heard them many times using theories that utilize the "ropes".. That is because the ropes are their hypothesis and they use the ropes as the objects in their theory to explain light, magnetism, and gravity. The whole point of this is to EXPLAIN how events happen the way they do(through surface to surface contact with objects). RSM prefers doing science this way as it is 100% objective. Experiments and tests are inevitably subjective because the observer needs to interpret the results. If one explains a phenomena exactly then what good does an experiment do? Does one need to run an experiment to explain something rationally?I think "OP" probably means something like "Objective Person." (Is there such a thing?)
It appears that this is the "purpose" of the "method":
"The whole point of this is to EXPLAIN how events happen the way they do (through surface to surface contact with objects)."So, the REAL "purpose" of the method is NOT to "EXPLAIN how events happen the way they do," but to CONCOCT an explanation that MUST involve "surface to surface contact with objects." In other words, the PURPOSE of the RS "Method" is make everything fit a DISTORTED view of reality - a view where everything results from "surface to surface contact with objects."
Using that PURPOSE as a starting point, the "steps" would appear to be for someone to:
#1. Choose an "event" to be distorted.And, of course, the so-called "theory" is entirely subjective, since it is just one person's way of distorting reality. And no one can challenge it, because it is assumed that by following the 3-step "method," NO ERRORS ARE POSSIBLE.
To top things off, they define "rational" as "consistent, unambiguous, and non-contradictory." That has nothing to do with reason. They could have simply said "rational = unambiguous."
David Robison provided this explanation about "science" that shows their view of "science" has nothing to do with science:
Part of the RSM argument is that the method removes belief, truth, proof, and knowledge from science. Evidence too except for the conclusion stage since ultimately the evidence is what we're trying to explain.So, my analysis of all this appears to show that "the Rational Scientific Method" should really be called "The Unambiguous Non-Scientific Theory Concoction Process."
Interesting. You learn something new every day.
July 27, 2015 - I awoke this morning wondering if I should turn my web page "Van Der Waals Forces & Static Electricity: How They Affect Bacillus Spores" into a "scientific paper." I know that some high schools use the web page in chemistry classes. Teachers have emailed me to tell me so. The fact that I now know of TWO places where I can "publish" such a scientific paper at no cost makes it tempting. Some day I'll be shutting down my web sites delete my web page on Van Der Waals Forces. But, if there is a "published" version of the page on the academic web sites, my scientific paper would theoretically be around forever. All I need to do is find the time to do it.
The publishing idea occurred to me while I was thinking about Bill Gaede's "rope hypothesis" and how his "hypothesis" seems to be an attempt to combine all four fundamental forces into one single force without explaining why there seem to be four forces. It's as if Mr. Gaede isn't aware of any force but gravity. When he explains how magnets work, he uses the same "rope hypothesis" to explain electromagnetism. But, I haven't been able to find any place where he explains how a permanent magnet is magnetized or why iron can be easily magnetized but aluminum and glass cannot.
The problem is: I'm no expert on the four fundamental forces. So, I'd have to research them and study them until I understood them well enough to explain why Mr. Gaede's single force "rope hypothesis" is fundamentally flawed (beyond the fact that it creates a universe of infinite ropes and infinite density). But, why should I bother if no Rational Scientific Methodist will listen? It might be educational for me, but it wouldn't be particularly "rewarding." It would only be "rewarding" to me if I could then explain it to someone else and get them to understand it, too. I won't really know if I truly understand it until I can do that.
July 26, 2015 - Hmm. My Facebook group "Rational Scientific Methodists & Their Beliefs" had 3 members at this time last week. As of this morning, it has 9 members, three times last week's number. At that rate, everyone on Earth should be a member of my Facebook group by early December! Unless there are people out there who do not want to join, of course. Is that possible? I guess I'll find out in December.
Last week I was repeatedly reminded of what John Lennon reportedly said, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."
I'm losing track of what my plans exactly were when I created that Facebook group, but it is definitely turning into something I hadn't planned. I think my idea was to discuss the psychology of Rational Scientific Methodists (RSMists). We are doing that, but I somehow also started debunking RSM theories. In the process of doing that, I compiled a definition of the word "universe" that fits their theory:
UNIVERSE - An infinite number of atoms connected by an infinite number of electromagnetic ropes creating an infinitely dense mass of infinite size and infinite age -- which inexplicably looks very different from what it really is.I then began thinking I should next try to debunk Bill Gaede's explanation of how a magnet works, since that's the only other theory of his that I'm even remotely familiar with. And since it uses the same "ropes" that connect all the atoms in the infinite universe, it seemed like it would be easy to debunk.
That was the plan. So, I began by looking for "scientific papers" by Bill Gaede that I can quote from, instead of suffering through watching his interminable videos filled with sarcasm and attacks upon the "mainstream" scientific community, with only vague explanations of his own hypotheses. The first paper I came across was "What is an Object?" from January 2003. It says,
Not a single textbook begins by defining what an object is. Therefore, in this paper, I begin by highlighting the deficiencies of three informal versions currently in use, and then propose a proper definition. I subsequently show that this fool-proof definition renders invalid widely-accepted, sine qua non hypotheses proposed by relativity and quantum theory.WOW! Those last two sentences appear to be all there is to the "rational science method." Bill Gaede creates NEW word definitions and then claims those word definitions DISPROVE established and proven scientific theories.
In the real world, of course, the established and proven theories show that Bill Gaede's "new word definitions" are worthless and silly.
Reading the rest of the paper is like reading a manifesto justifying a demand that there be a RULE or LAW that everyone must define word definitions before doing anything else. They must first agree with all others as to how words are defined, or, if it is an ad hoc speech, they they must use their word definitions consistently in what they write or say. Mr. Gaede decrees:
Unless the vocabulary is agreed upon, the proponents must begin by defining the crucial words to be used throughout the presentation. Although definitions may be personal or ad hoc, they must be used consistently. The proponents should not be allowed to introduce the word "object" as the aggregate of locations of a body and have it casually change into that which we can touch during theory or proof.All that is missing is Mr. Gaede's proposed punishment for violating his decree. Presumably, it is to have the speech or paper declared null and void.
Later in Mr. Gaede's paper, he wrote this about proposing an hypothesis:
If under rigorous scrutiny, the hypothesis is shown to be self-contradictory or inconsistent, the matter ends there. The advocates should not be allowed to continue to state their beliefs or demonstrate the alleged theory founded upon it.The exception, of course, would be Mr. Gaede's "rope hypothesis." Or any other hypothesis put forth by Mr. Gaede. His paper reaches this conclusion:
Ultimately, all topics, events and phenomena of Physics must be traceable to a physical object. Spacetime, singularities, and particles lack the one attribute—shape—that would enable us to classify them as objects and thus accept them as valid hypotheses. The prosecutors of relativity and quantum cannot visualize their own hypotheses, much less share them with the jurors. Such misconceived hypotheses cannot be admitted into Physics, nor can their advocates be allowed to continue to state their beliefs or attempt to prove them until these kinks are ironed out.The "kinks" are whatever it is that Mr. Gaede does not understand. He will not allow anyone to help him understand anything, of course. That would be admitting the possibility that he simply does not understand something. So, instead, Mr. Gaede simply decrees that everyone use his word definitions or be in violation of his decree. He doesn't seem to understand that his word definitions prevent his understanding.
No wonder they wouldn't explain their method for me. No wonder Bill Gaede's description of the method looks very different from Monk E. Mind's description. (Click HERE to see both descriptions.) They need to bury the "method" in a heap of meaningless blather in order to hide the fact that it is just an arbitrary decree from Bill Gaede! He decrees that only objects and concepts can exist, and he decrees that anything that isn't an object or concept by his definition is impossible. The "method," therefore is simply to use Bill Gaede's definitions to argue that the theories of "mainstream scientists" are "invalid." Why are they "invalid?" Because Bill Gaede has decreed it to be so. His disciples agree. And anyone who disagrees is proclaimed to be "stupid."
That's really all there is to "the Rational Scientific Method." It isn't "rational," because it is the product of a decree, not of logic. It is not scientific, since it does not allow any challenge to the decree. And, it is not a "method," it is simply the reciting of dogma in response to challenges.
And that is how they are able to seriously argue that the universe is an infinite number of atoms connected by an infinite number of electromagnetic ropes creating an infinitely dense mass of infinite size and infinite age -- which inexplicably and mysteriously looks very different from what it really is!
|Comments for Sunday, July 19, 2015,
thru Saturday, July 25, 2015:
July 24, 2015 - All the discussions seem to have temporarily stopped on the Rationalized Scientific Method Facebook page I've been watching. I'm not sure why things stopped, but the last series of posts was a long, weird discussion between Luiz A Gonzalez and "Mr. W." "Mr. W." is kind of scary. He is truly obsessed with his discovery about the universe, and any discussion with him seems like playing around with dynamite. You keep waiting for him to "go off."
Meanwhile, even though I haven't been writing about the subject, I have been checking on things related to anthrax and the Amerithrax investigation. This morning, I see the Department of Defense has released a new report on the "Inadvertent Shipment of Live Bacillus Anthracis Spores by the DoD." No one was harmed by the 86 shipments sent out by the DoD that mistakenly contained live spores, but it's still something that shouldn't have happened. I've made no comment on the mistake, because I find it understandable. Spores are like seeds. There's really no way to tell if the spore is dead or alive except to "plant" it to see if it will grow. If it grows, it's alive. If it doesn't grow, it's probably dead.
The problem is: You can't "plant" every seed or put every spore into nutrients in a Petri dish to see if they are dead. You won't have any left to ship out to labs and testing facilities that need dead spores/seeds for equipment testing. So, after irradiating an entire batch of spores, they just tested a random sample of about 5 percent. If that 5% seemed to be all dead from the radiation, then it was assumed that the other 95% were also dead. The problem is: they weren't. And, it's even possible that some of the spores that seemed dead, weren't really dead. The radiation may just have damaged them, causing them to germinate much more slowly than normal. I don't have any suggestions on how to do things better, so I haven't written anything about it. They'll probably end up just put a warning on the package, telling users that the sample may contain some live spores.
I also haven't written about the Anthrax Truthers who are still rabidly arguing their beliefs. DXer continues to rant endlessly, repeating the same arguments he made years ago, even referring to news articles from ten or more years ago. He doesn't appear to have changed his mind about anything. He's still arguing about the contents of Dr. Ivins' notebooks that he hasn't been allowed to read, he's still ranting about Muslims who he thinks could have been involved in the anthrax attacks of 2001, and he's still arguing about rabbit tests that he believes provided some kind of explanation for Dr. Ivins' unexplained evening hours in his lab.
There appears to be no way to change the minds of True Believers like DXer and Mr. W. You can try. (I tried for 13 years!) But, it will get you nowhere. If you are on a forum they can control, they'll just delete your arguments and pretend you never said anything. And they'll personally and viciously attack you for trying to change their minds. So why bother? It might be interesting for awhile, but sooner or later it becomes nothing but a boring waste of time. And you will need to start looking for a way to waste time that isn't boring.
July 23, 2015 (B) - I got bored (once again) with the arguments between others on the Rational Scientific Method Facebook page I've been following, so, I started trying to develop the story line for my new book. I thought of an idea that involves a form of espionage where a private company is spying on government officials for political purposes. I wondered exactly what form of espionage they would be committing. That made me wonder if there were Facebook groups for writers. A quick check found one called "Writing Fiction," which has 1,842 members and seems very active. But, the last thing in the world I need is to join another Facebook group. I need to write, not just talk or write about writing. Of course, that is what I am doing as I write this comment about writing.
July 23, 2015 (A) - I guess I'm officially involved in "social media." I recently created a Facebook discussion group called "Rational Scientific Methodists & Their Beliefs," and yesterday I accepted requests from a couple unknown "friends" to participate in the group. That resulted in a conversation that was supposed to be about the psychology of Rational Science Methodists (RSMists), but one or both of the new "friends" are mild supporters of the RS Method, so we are talking about word definitions, not about psychology. The word currently under discussion is "infinitesimal." Some RSMists claim it must be defined the same as "zero." So, I've asked about the diameter of one of the "ropes" in their "rope hypothesis." If it is "zero," doesn't that mean the rope does not exist?
It's good mental exercise, and it can be very educational. The "education" doesn't come from what the RSMists argue, but from thinking about how to explain to them that their arguments are illogical.
July 21, 2015 - Yesterday afternoon, I learned that the Rationalized Science Methodists do NOT believe every atom in the visible universe is connected by "ropes" to every other atom by approximately fifty thousand quadrillion vigintillion "ropes," as I wrote yesterday. That number represents only the atoms in the visible universe as created by the Big Bang. It seems that RS Methodists do not believe in the Big Bang. They believe that the universe is of infinite size and of infinite age.
That, of course, means that every atom in the universe is connected to an infinite number of other atoms by an infinite number of invisible "ropes." They find that easier to visualize than that some invisible "force" (like gravity) connects the atoms. (I certainly find the word "infinite" easier to use than "fifty thousand quadrillion vigintillion.")
An infinite number of "ropes" means that there can be no space between "ropes," just as there can be no space between stars when we look out at the sky at night to view an infinite universe of infinite age.
I was referred to a page where a RS Methodist explains why the night sky is mostly black instead of being white, as would be the case with an "infinite" universe. The page is titled "OLBERS' PARADOX - Explanation for the Dark Night Sky," and it rambles on and on and on. But, it seems it can be summarized into one simple sentence:
Light signals from celestial objects gradually fade over distances.Ah! How convenient! It's an answer that cannot be proved nor disproved. It can only be believed or disbelieved. That is what RS Methodists call "science."
July 20, 2015 - Yesterday, I was totally fed up with arguing with Rationalized Science Methodists, and I thought I'd just move on and try harder to get started on my new sci-fi novel. However, while eating supper, I recalled something Bill Gaede wrote and illustrated in his page about his "Rope Hypothesis":
The electromagnetic ropes converge upon an atom from every atom in the Universe. The rope consists of an electric thread (blue) twined around a magnetic thread (red). (The 'electric' and 'magnetic' labels are kept merely for reasons of convention: to be consistent with the traditional electric and magnetic 'fields'.) The electric thread continues straight to the center of the atom and comes out of the other end where it meets up with another magnetic thread. They both then continue onwards to another atom. Meanwhile, the magnetic thread forks out at the periphery of the atom, coils around and forms the electron shell that encapsulates the proton. The proton is merely a convergence of countless electric threads converging upon an atom from every atom in the Universe.Mr. Gaede illustrates a hydrogen atom being connected to every other atom of every type in the universe this way:
As I understand it, the illustration shows approximately 100 "ropes," each made up of a red thread and a blue thread. The blue thread of a "rope" enters the atom from one side, goes through the center and exits on the opposite side, where it soon reaches another atom and another, etc. The red threads, however, go no further than this atom. They "fork out" and form an electronic shell around the center of the atom. Hmm.
During supper, I began to wonder: How many atoms are there in the universe? And how would you illustrate that number instead of just 100? You can look up just about everything via the Internet, so this morning I looked up "How many atoms are in the universe?" and I found the answer:
it is estimated that the there are between 1078 to 1082 atoms in the known, observable universe. In layman’s terms, that works out to between ten quadrillion vigintillion and one-hundred thousand quadrillion vigintillion atoms.Okay. So, instead of the approximately 100 ropes connected to Bill Gaede's hydrogen atom in a neat, flat circle as illustrated above, he believes there are actually well over ten quadrillion vigintillion ropes coming from all directions. That means I am buried in a dense wall of ropes coming from all directions, a wall that is countless trillions of miles thick. And somehow, Mr. Gaede finds that easier to visualize and understand than any invisible "force" such as gravity and electromagnetism, as argued by "mainstream scientists."
Meanwhile, I'm looking for some explanation of how I can move through all those countless ropes to get myself a cup of coffee. More importantly, how can I move at all? What allows me to move around in this mass of ropes? What allows me to lift my hand away from the keyboard? What separates me from everything else?
Maybe I should ask the RS Methodists. I can't ask Bill Gaede. All he does is insult me if I ask a question, while also attacking my mother.
It seems like a question any RS Methodist should be able to easily answer. So, I asked it HERE.
July 19, 2015 - I have been spending nearly all day every day arguing with people on a Facebook page dedicated to the "Rational Scientific Method." Some of the arguments have been very interesting and thought-provoking. I keep trying to break it off and get to work on my book, but they keep dragging me back in with bizarre concepts that I need to try to figure out.
They don't believe in gravity. I'm currently in an argument with Jake Archer, who believes that "extended objects" would tear apart any spacecraft that tried to escape the solar system. I've been trying to get him to explain what these invisible "extended objects" are, but he evades the question. I suspect they are the invisible "ropes" that they believe hold things together instead of gravity. He argued this morning that the "extended objects" are slowing down the Pioneer 10 spacecraft. I couldn't recall reading anything about Pioneer 10 slowing down, so I had to do some research. It turns out that heat radiating from Pioneer 10's power supply is bouncing off the large antenna that is used to communicate with earth, and that is enough force to slow down the spacecraft ever so slightly. But the heat is fading as the power source fades, and it isn't enough to stop Pioneer 10 from continuing out into interstellar space and proving Jake Archer wrong.
As I was writing this comment, Mr. Archer replied, "we may see about pioneer 10..think of it as an experiment!" In other words, time will tell if Pioneer 10 continues to move off into interstellar space or if it gets torn apart by the "ropes" he calls "extended objects." Of course, Pioneer 10 will eventually run out of power and we won't know for certain what happened to it, so Mr. Archer will be able to argue that he is right - and no one will be able to prove him wrong.
One of their leaders, Bill Gaede, recently wrote on his Facebook page:
The almost perfect roundness of both Pluto and Charon can certainly be explained by the theory that these two celestial objects used to be binary stars in the distant past.The idea that planets were formerly stars can be disproved in so many ways that it is amazing that anyone believes it. I argued the idea with Mr. W, who seems to be the theorist behind the "stellar metamorphosis" theory, but he just deleted all my arguments and called me a "troll." Mr. Gaede probably doesn't believe that theory, either. He just promotes it because he believes everyone is entitled to believe whatever they want to believe and argue whatever they want to argue, and "establishment scientists" are supposed to listen to them all and publish all their papers whether the ideas make any sense or not. I found a video titled "Is it worth arguing with Bill Gaede" where "Finlarg" suggests that Bill Gaede needs to find a new word besides "science" to use when referring to HIS theories. The very interesting video was created in February 2012 and is followed by 483 comments, which are also sometimes interesting.
Hmm. Another Rational Science Methodist, Serge Kim, just posted a message arguing that Bill Gaede's "rope hypothesis" is "irrefutable." He adds, "The abstraction of force over distance needs fleshing out, silly. Forcing is what you do and not anything to be carried like a load."
I can't decipher that. Asking him to explain will just result in more meaningless blather. I really don't want to study Gaede's "rope hypothesis" to search for flaws in it. His talks on the subject are mostly just attacks on "mainstream science." The parts that aren't are just more meaningless blather. The Rational Science Methodists don't believe in evidence, so you can't use evidence to prove they are wrong. You have to argue opinions versus opinions. The problem is: They believe that only their opinions count.
Added note: After writing the above comment, something occurred to me. I wrote this about it on the Facebook group page (with a link added):
It just occurred to me that when I ran a small company that made hydraulic flow meters, we used to buy small rings of iron and we would MAGNETIZE them to use them in the meters.I'm not sure that they can't come up with some rationalized answer on how an outside "force" can alter the atoms inside a piece of metal to make all their fields of force line up in the same direction. But it seems easier to do with a force field than with invisible "threads" or "ropes" that must penetrate the metal.
|Comments for Sunday, July 12, 2015,
thru Saturday, July 18, 2015:
July 18, 2015 - Hmm. I located one of the two scientific articles mentioned in the article "Scientists suggest spacetime has no time dimension," but I thought I couldn't download the pdf version of "Replacing Time with Numerical Order of Material Change resolves Zeno Problems of Motion" without being a member of some society. Then "Clapton" on my interactive blog pointed out that since I was a member of Facebook I could download the pdf file. Duh. Yes, it was true.
Even more interesting than that, while going through the steps to download the pdf file, I was asked if I had any scientific papers to UPLOAD. Huh? Yeah, sure! I've got my "Time Dilation Re-Visualized" paper. So, I uploaded it. Here's the link: https://independent.academia.edu/EdLake1/Papers
I thought that the viXra.org site was the only "respectable" place where you could upload non-peer reviewed scientific papers for free.
Live and learn.
July 17, 2015 - While I'm no longer discussing the Rationalized Scientific Method with advocates of that "method," I have been watching them argue with one another over definitions of words. The only conclusion I can draw is that each RS Methodist has his own definitions of key words, and in arguments they each argue that only their definition is correct. And the opinions of outsiders are not even worth considering.
July 16, 2015 - I don't know if anyone cares or not, but I think my arguments about the "Rational Science Method" have come to an end. I had a very interesting discussion with a RS Methodist named Jake Archer today. I wouldn't call it an "intelligent discussion," but it more or less of proved that it is not totally impossible to have a discussion with a RS Methodist where they do not immediately attack you. The discussion went like this:
Ed Lake: What is the RS Methodist definition for the word "method"? Here are the definitions most people use:Why do RS Methodists follow this "method"? Evidently, because it allows them to feel superior to people who understand things the RS Methodists cannot or do not want to understand. Instead of trying to understand, they just declare that all non-RS Methodists are "stupid," and they declare that no non-RS Methodist can cease being "stupid" until they fully accept the RS Method as the only valid, "rational," "scientific" "method."
It is opinion versus opinion with the rule that only RS Methodists can be right.
July 15, 2015 - The discussions I've been having about Time and Time Dilation seem to be quickly coming to an end. Everything is turning into arguments over the definitions of words. There's little that I find more tedious than endless arguments over definitions of words. One of the final arguments I had with "Mr. R" about the Amerithrax investigation was over whether a jury in a criminal case gives an "opinion" or a "finding."
Rationalized Scientific Methodists ("RS Methodists") have fixed dogma that says everything must either be an "object" or a "concept." According to their dogma, Time cannot be an "object," because it has no shape. That means Time must be a "concept." And, according to their dogma, a "concept" cannot dilate because it is only an abstraction - i.e., an idea. Abstractions cannot physically dilate or change shape. Only "objects" can physically dilate or change shape.
Therefore Time Dilation cannot exist because it doesn't fit into their definition of an object or their definition or of a concept.
And their minds are closed on the subject, so there is no point in arguing that a new word is needed - such as "phenomenon" - to describe Time Dilation. Suggesting that their dogma is faulty would be blasphemy. Their dogma cannot be altered or questioned. Doubters will be stoned (or insulted).
As part of one discussion about this, a RS Methodist pointed me to a scientific article titled "Scientists suggest spacetime has no time dimension." I'd been arguing that Time is the "fourth dimension" of space, and producing the article was supposed to show me that time is NOT the fourth dimension of spacetime.
According to the article,
we never really measure t [time]. What we do measure is an object’s frequency, speed, etc. In other words, what experimentally exists are the motion of an object and the tick of a clock, and we compare the object’s motion to the tick of a clock to measure the object’s frequency, speed, etc. By itself, t has only a mathematical value, and no primary physical existence.So, is time the fourth dimension or not? I can't decipher that. It's not a separate dimension of spacetime called "time," it is just another dimension of space which shouldn't be called anything?
The article explains:
we never really measure t. What we do measure is an object’s frequency, speed, etc. In other words, what experimentally exists are the motion of an object and the tick of a clock, and we compare the object’s motion to the tick of a clock to measure the object’s frequency, speed, etc. By itself, t has only a mathematical value, and no primary physical existence.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2011-04-scientists-spacetime-dimension.html#jCp
we never really measure t. What we do measure is an object’s frequency, speed, etc. In other words, what experimentally exists are the motion of an object and the tick of a clock, and we compare the object’s motion to the tick of a clock to measure the object’s frequency, speed, etc. By itself, t has only a mathematical value, and no primary physical existence.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2011-04-scientists-spacetime-dimension.html#jCp
“The point of view which considers time to be a physical entity in which material changes occur is here replaced with a more convenient view of time being merely the numerical order of material change. This view corresponds better to the physical world and has more explanatory power in describing immediate physical phenomena .."And Albert Einstein reportedly once said, "Time has no independent existence apart from the order of events by which we measure it."
As I was writing this, the RS Methodist posting to my interactive blog suggested that instead of using the term "Time Dilation," we should talk about "Timeline Dilation." And that suggestion makes a great deal of sense to me.
Having written all this down, the process of writing was making things a bit more clear for me. But then, I continued reading and the article talks about 3D space AND the order of change. And it says,
In this 3D space there is no ‘length contraction,’ there is no ‘time dilation.’ What really exists is that the velocity of material change is ‘relative’ in the Einstein sense.Jeeze! So, there is no Time Dilation, there is only perceived Time Dilation? What does that mean in terms of the "Twin Paradox"? (I think it just means that both twins will always be the same age - based upon Earth orbits around the Sun, even though everyone will see that one twin appears to be older than the other. I started going through the 515 comments that follow the article, but it seems to be different people using different terminologies to explain their understanding or lack of understanding.
I can see why the RS Methodists might demand that everyone use the same set of words and the same definitions of those words, but I don't think they're going to make it happen. Nor do I think it would make everyone understand one another. It would only make everyone misunderstand everything.
My brain hurts!
BTW, I watched the movie "Ex Machina" last night. I really enjoyed it. It's about what could happen if you built a machine to have consciousness. The moral is: DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!
“The point of view which considers time to be a physical entity in which material changes occur is here replaced with a more convenient view of time being merely the numerical order of material change. This view corresponds better to the physical world and has more explanatory power in describing immediate physical phenomenaJuly 14, 2015 - Groan!! I didn't have time to write a comment yesterday, and I barely have time to write one today. My computer keeps beeping as one or another of several people posts a comment in one of three discussions I'm having on the "Rational Science and Technology" group Facebook page. I'm arguing with Bill Gaede, Earl Preston and Serge Kim, with Jake Archer occasionally popping in. It's getting pretty tedious, but I'm hoping they'll say something that will make it easy for me to stop responding. If I just stop posting in the middle of one of their arguments, they'll proclaim victory. It is a standard Truther tactic.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2011-04-scientists-spacetime-dimension.html#jCp
It's all my own fault, of course. If I hadn't gone on that Facebook page to ask questions and point out errors, I wouldn't have gotten into this situation. But, I also wouldn't have had to explain Time Dilation in a dozen different ways and thereby make the phenomenon more understandable in my mind.
While those discussions/arguments are going on, "Clapton" is posting to my interactive blog. He's arguing the same things the others are arguing. He also claims he is not the person I thought him to be, and I have no solid evidence to prove otherwise.
July 12, 2015 - I have an idea for my third sci-fi novel, but I think I need to explore the idea and expand upon it, probably including determining how the story will end, before I can start writing again.
Yesterday, on my interactive blog, "Clapton" claimed that he was NOT Bill Gaede, and he argued that he does not constantly hurl insults as Bill Gaede does. It was a persuasive argument, and I've changed my mind once again. I now think "Clapton" is a different Rationalized Scientific Methodist ("RSMist) who simply decided to argue his beliefs on my blog one day. While doing so, however, he used the word "progeria," which is a very uncommon word that an RSMist used yesterday in a discussion on his Facebook group page. It is "evidence" of who "Clapton" might really be, even though RSMists do not believe in "evidence."
Meanwhile, on that "Rational Science and Technology" Facebook group, I started arguing with Mr. Gaede. His arguments consist mostly of childish insults, but he occasionally brings up an interesting point. He doesn't seem to understand how there can be more than one definition for a word. Rationalized Scientific Methodists are rabidly adamant about their definitions of words being the only valid definitions. In other words, their definitions are "dogma":
DOGMA: a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted : a belief or set of beliefs that is taught by a religious organizationIn a later discussion with the operator of the group page, Jake Archer, we went round and round as Mr. Archer tried to argue that Time must either be an "object" or a "concept," since the word "phenomenon" is not part of their dogma.
The high priests of RS Methodism seem to believe that using fewer words will enable everyone to understand things more clearly. It is a truly bizarre belief, and all it seems to accomplish is to make certain the RSMists cannot understand real science, nor can they explain their "rationalized science" to outsiders.
Where but on the Internet would you encounter someone with such a bizarre belief and be able to discuss their beliefs with them?
I'm in the middle of such a discussion right now, so that's why today's comment on this web site is so short.
|Comments for Sunday, July 5, 2015,
thru Saturday, July 11, 2015:
July 10, 2015 - If anyone is interested, I'm in another discussion with Bill Gaede on the subject of Time Dilation. It's on a Facebook Group called "Rational Science and Technology." Anyone interested should be able to go straight to my first comment in the discussion by clicking HERE. I'm saving everything, just in case the operator of the page decides to delete the whole thread. Here's part of Mr. Gaede's first comment:
Ed Lake is a scholar who studies 'fizzix' by watching seminal Star Trek, Star Wars, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind movies. In his spare time he educates himself further by watching Twilight Zone and Time Tunnel reruns. He says that he has learned a lot over the dilated years. Recently, he experimentally verified and confirmed time dilation by watching Interstellar, a closely controlled experiment performed by Disneyland Labs, I believe. There is no doubt in his mind. Time ran slow for a traveling father, so much so that his daughter caught up with him and became his mother. We must explain this mysterious phenomenon of nature.Presumably, that will be the tone of all of his comments, while I continue to just calmly try to explain Time Dilation to him.
July 9, 2015 - Yesterday afternoon, I created a Facebook group page titled "Rational Scientific Methodists & Their Beliefs." I also created a page on my interactive blog titled "Bill Gaede's Misinterpretation of Time Dilation." So, if anyone wants to discuss the subject with me, those are the best places to do it.
Checking the Rational Scientific Method ("RSM") Facebook group page this morning, I found they had just deleted another entire discussion thread, and John Smith is again claiming the member did it. The thread was about Nicola Tesla, which seemed to irk Mr. Smith. He wrote this about the deletion:
I just don't have the time right now to save everything. If I did I would have saved Ed Lake's thread and ended the debate about censorship.I seriously doubt that the member had the capability to delete the thread, much less actually deleted it. But, I suppose it is possible that John Smith allows some other key RSMist to delete things (someone with computer skills who may have helped set up the Facebook page), and that person may have done it without informing Mr. Smith.
Also on the RSM Facebook page is a discussion about Time. Here is part of it:
John Smith: What's the difference between GPS, an egg timer, a wind up clock, and a sundial?It was an interesting discussion, until Bill Gaede stepped in to change the subject to be about Gravitational Time Dilation, and John Smith made his absurd sun dial argument. Why wouldn't an hourglass or pendulum clock in Death Valley run slower than one on top of Mount Everest? The problem is, such devices are so imprecise that there's no way to show that they are running at different rates by a fraction of a microsecond per day. And a sun dial is even less precise, plus it doesn't measure time, it shows the position of the sun, which can be interpreted to be the time. A sun dial 15 miles west of another sun dial will show a different time, not because it is a different time, but because the sun is at a different angle.
But, the key question is: What is "Time"? Clocks measure time, they are not Time itself and they certainly do not create Time.
When talking about Time Dilation, clocks are only used to measure the amount of dilation that occurs or would occur. What slows down is everything that is affected by Time, such as growing, aging and decaying.
Time is neither an object nor a concept. It seems to be a natural phenomenon that real scientists are still trying to understand. It is an observable occurrence or circumstance or event or fact that is known to exist, i.e., a phenomenon. And Time Dilation is a part of that phenomenon.
By setting up a purely arbitrary rule requiring Time to be either an object or a concept, RSMists create a barrier to understanding - a barrier built out of absurd word definitions like these:
Concept: two objects or two locations of an object (relationship between objects or, nested concepts) Concepts may relate real or imaginary objects.Plus, the RSMists seem to have forgotten that they have their own indecipherable definition of the word "time":
Time: The relation between two motions; motion plus memoryFor everyone else, Time is also the Fourth Dimension, and as a dimension it is measured from the beginning of Time - The Big Bang.
Time Dilation due to velocity allows an object to move from one point in time to another point in time at a slower rate than another object without ever being ahead of or behind the other in Time.
I keep thinking of a bus analogy:
A bus that goes at 60 mph around the block to get from 4th Street & Main to 5th Street & Main will arrive at the same time as a bus that traveled at 20 mph to go directly from 4th to 5th. Neither ever passed the other in Time. They just traveled at different speeds to get from one spot to the other. (And the high speed driver aged a fraction of a microsecond less than the slower driver.)
I can probably think of a better analogy, but I seem to have out of time for this morning.
July 8, 2015 - Ah! Cool! When I checked the Rational Scientific Method ("RSM") Facebook group page this morning, I found that RSMer Bill Gaede has just created a brand new YouTube video in which he attempts to debunk Einstein's theory of Relative Velocity Time Dilation. Here's the video:
It's interesting how professional the video looks. Mr. Gaede is either very skilled in creating videos, or he has a very skilled professional working for him. I strongly suspect it is the latter, since Mr. Gaede clearly has at least one other person handling the camera work when he gives his sermons before audiences.
Interestingly, the new video quickly shows where Mr. Gaede misunderstands Time Dilation. Not surprisingly, it has to do with a definition of a word. The word is "year." At about the 2:15 mark in the 4¼ minute video, Mr. Gaede explains that "a year has always been defined as one revolution of the Earth around the Sun." And he asks if the Earth went around the Sun one time or 50 times during the traveler's trip into space. "It certainly couldn't be both," Mr. Gaede observes. And then he argues that the traveling twin said that the Earth went around the Sun only once. Of course, the traveling twin never said any such thing. He said he aged one year.
The Earth went around the Sun 50 times for BOTH twins. Using the orbit of the Earth around the Sun as a clock is very much like the way I describe using a pulsar to keep time on my Time Dilation page. But, Mr. Gaede somehow seems to think that the Earth could only have gone around the Sun once if the traveling twin only aged "one year." He concludes his new YouTube video with this:
Someone might ask, "Where's the catch? GPS would not work if the twin paradox were to be found to be wrong."It's more mumbo jumbo having to do with what is "rational" and what is "irrational" according to RSMers. And it is suspiciously similar to the recent discussion I had with "Clapton" on my interactive blog page about Time Dilation. "Clapton" also argued that Einstein and I were saying that Time Dilation is caused by a clock running slow. "Clapton" wrote:
"The analogy is perfectly valid: if "Time Dilation" is caused by slowed down clocks, then "Space Expansion" is caused by a shrunken yardstick.Of course, no one claimed that Time Dilation is caused by "slowed down clocks." Previously, I thought that "Clapton" was "DXer" using a different name. Now this new evidence seems to very strongly indicate that "Clapton" was actually Bill Gaede. It seems highly unlikely two people could have that same bizarre misunderstanding about what causes Time Dilation while at the same time having a fixed and inviolate definition of the word "year."
No one said that the Earth went around the Sun a different number of times for one twin than the other. Just the opposite. Time Dilation says that the Earth went around the Sun the same number of times for both twins, BUT the traveling twin physically aged only one year while the stationary twin aged 50 years.
For Mr. Gaede, however, his apparent word-based religion says the word "year" is sacred and a twin cannot "age" 1 "year" while the Earth orbits 50 times. It is evidently blasphemous to claim the traveling twin "aged" 1 "year" when the word "year" decrees that he MUST have aged 50 years, just like his twin.
Yes, both twins aged 50 "years," based upon the number of times that the Earth went around the Sun, but the traveling twin could OBSERVE the Earth traveling faster based upon how time was measured aboard his space ship. This is where "Clapton" argued that two different "standards" for one year were being used. To Mr. "Clapton," fifty years passed for both twins, based upon the "standard" he uses for one year, and that is all that is important.
I countered by arguing,
NO, WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IS THAT THE CLOCK THAT MOVED SHOWS LESS TIME HAS PASSED THAN THE CLOCK THAT DID NOT MOVE.It appears that this is an "irrational physical interpretation" for Mr. Gaede. To be "rational" one can have only one definition for "year" and one definition for "aged." Definitions are sacred and to use them incorrectly is blasphemous and "irrational." A NEW WORD is needed to describe the physical change and the different view of Time the traveling twin experienced. Thou shalt not use "year," and thou shalt not use "age," since RSMers hold those words to be sacred and their definitions cannot be violated.
Among truly "rational" people, of course, some common ground could be found. But the RSMers have blocked me from posting to their Facebook page, and the ability to post comments has been disabled for the new video. That way they do not need to discuss anything or answer any questions. On the RSMer Facebook page, Mr. Gaede wrote this:
Einstein's Twin Paradox should be used to measure the level of idiocy of people. If you accept that a traveler will be 50 years younger than his twin brother simply because he travels fast, we violate not only the definition of the word 'twin', but more importantly of the word 'year'. Anyone believing this nonsense is really hopelessly hypnotized by authority.He makes it very clear: To RSMers, words are sacred and inviolate. Period.
"Idiots" like me and Albert Einstein should have used different words. Of course, RSMers have the final authority on how every word is defined. So, in effect, all explanations of real science are forbidden by the RSM word priests.
How can you communicate or discuss anything with a Truther who believes his definition of a word is the only valid definition (i.e. "the truth"), and he creates his own definitions for key words used in science?
Wow! There's a lot to think about in all this.
July 7, 2015 - I really really NEED to get to work on my new sci-fi novel. But, instead of working on it, I'm sitting around trying to think of what kind of comment I can write for this site. I'm also trying to find a way to summarize how Science Truthers think. I found a video (HERE) where a guy somehow believes that the International Space Station (ISS) cannot exist, because it is in the "Thermosphere," where he believes the temperature is about 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. How could anyone believe that it is 4,000 degrees outside the ISS?
Looking up "Thermosphere" on Wikipedia, it says,
The International Space Station has a stable orbit within the middle of the thermosphere, between 320 and 380 kilometres (200 and 240 mi), ...
The highly diluted gas in this layer can reach 2,500 °C (4,530 °F) during the day. Even though the temperature is so high, one would not feel warm in the thermosphere, because it is so near vacuum that there is not enough contact with the few atoms of gas to transfer much heat. A normal thermometer would be significantly below 0 °C (32 °F), because the energy lost by thermal radiation would exceed the energy acquired from the atmospheric gas by direct contact.So, it's really just a simple misunderstanding. But, instead of doing some simple research to find out how the ISS can exist where the temperature is supposed to be about 4,000 degrees, the guy just assumes that there are NO satellites, that everything everyone says about satellites is all faked and made up, and that only he knows "the Truth." Evidently, he finds a massive conspiracy to be easier to accept and believe than to even consider the possibility that he might simply be misunderstanding something. Doing research is somehow out of the question.
That seems to be more or less the basic modus operandi of all Truthers. All I'm doing is reaching the same finding over and over. The finding: Truthers assume that they are the only people who really understand "the truth." And they find all sorts of reasons to believe that everyone who disagrees with them is either just plain stupid or involved in some kind of plot to mislead the world.
I keep wanting to corner a Truther and somehow get him to answer questions which would clearly show what he believes is nonsense. But they always wiggle away.
I know it's time to move on. I just wish it was easier for me to give up on trying to communicate with Truthers. After 14 years, it's still really really difficult to just give up. The problem is that I know communication is not "impossible."
July 6, 2015 - Hmm. While I don't want to continue to point out how silly the beliefs of the Rational Scientific Method advocates are, I am still checking their Facebook page just about every day to see what they are talking about. This morning, I noticed they were having an argument/discussion with Flat Earthers, i.e, people who believe the Earth is flat. That led me to some videos created by people trying to use lasers to try to prove that the earth is flat. It's hard to tell whether they are serious or not, even though they certainly seem serious. It also seems that they simply do not understand what they are doing or talking about.
While looking at their videos, YouTube was showing me that there were other videos created by people who do not believe the International Space Station (ISS) exists. So, I had to check out some of those videos. The first one I viewed was a very good example of learning about science by listening to people trying to debunk what they see but cannot believe:
In the video above, the speaker points out what appears to be a drop of moisture floating away from the helmet of an astronaut doing a space walk, and the speaker is totally convinced it is really a water bubble and that the astronaut is really in the water tank at the NASA training facility in Houston, TX.
I had to think about that for awhile. Then I recalled that the astronaut space suits are water-cooled. So, the suit must have a tiny leak. The water accumulates around the hole, kept in place by surface tension, until the astronaut makes a sudden move which shakes loose a glob which quickly forms a sphere. How long does a drop of water exist as water in space? I dunno. But, they are in sunlight, so the outer surface of the space suit is probably pretty warm. There's a lot of science involved in understanding how that ball of water got ejected into space, and it is a hell of a lot more interesting than just assuming it is all faked.
Later, the speaker in the video watches a female astronaut moving around in the ISS and is totally convinced that the woman is actually aboard a "vomit comet" jet aircraft doing a zero gravity arc. A "zero-gravity" arc on a "vomit comet" only lasts about 25 seconds, so if a video showing zero gravity lasts significantly longer than that, you can be totally certain it wasn't shot on a "vomit comet" jet.
Most of all, the speaker on the video seems fixated on female astronauts' hair, and he wonders why their hair doesn't flow around with the air currents aboard the ISS. The obvious reason seems to be that they don't have the thin blonde hair he uses as a "standard," they have thicker black hair. But, it also seems very likely that female astronauts put something in their hair to keep it from floating over their faces and getting into their eyes. A little research found what a blonde with thin hair looks like in micro-gravity. Click HERE and HERE.
Then the speaker yaks on and on for about ten minutes about how people are still using an image taken by Apollo 17 astronauts nearly fifty years ago instead of replacing it on a daily basis with a more recent photograph. He uses that as evidence that there are no recent photographs of the Earth taken from space and the Apollo 17 photograph must also be faked. The guy who created the video seems to fit into the category I once called "The Cannot Believers." For some reason, he simply cannot believe that people all around the world would use the same famous photograph over and over in illustrations.
I've looked at parts of a half dozen videos of people who believe the ISS does not exist. When viewers point out that almost anyone can see the ISS pass overhead if they look for it at the right time of night, they immediately attack the viewer as being a troll. They attack anyone who doesn't believe as they believe. There are probably hundreds of videos of people "showing proof" that the ISS doesn't exist, that the moon landings were a hoax, that the earth is flat, etc.
We seem to be in a "new age" where people can proudly display their ignorance to the entire world. In the past, they could only display their ignorance to people who were unfortunate enough to pass them in a park where they stood atop soap boxes and preached their beliefs to passersby. But, on the positive side, you can now study them without risking them getting angry and physically attacking you.
I find it interesting because they sometimes bring to my attention interesting videos and scientific explanations that I wouldn't have seen if I hadn't watched the video of some Science Truther trying to explain why the videos are fake and scientific explanations are nonsense.
July 5, 2015 - I may have run out of things to say about the Rational Scientific Method and its advocates. It seems kind of petty of me to keep pointing out how silly their beliefs are if there's no one to defend them. I would like to debate their "method" with someone somewhere, but they've banned me from their Facebook page, and they won't post to my moderated blog, because I won't allow them to endlessly attack me personally while ignoring my questions about their beliefs.
So, today's comment is going to be mostly about watching TV.
The times are a changin'. I saw a news story the other day that said Netflix is now getting more viewers than NBC or ABC. And by next year it is expected Netflix will get more viewers than CBS and FOX.
I don't subscribe to Netflix, since I'm unaware of anything on it of that would be of interest to me. But, I don't even know what is on it, other than "House of Cards." I saw the first episode or two of "House of Cards" when I rented a DVD with 4 episodes from Redbox about a year ago. It definitely wasn't my "cup of tea." I generally can't stand movies or TV shows about despicable people. Maybe I encounter too many of them in my discussions on the Internet. But, there are certainly a lot of people who feel otherwise. It makes me wonder: Do despicable people like to watch TV series about despicable people?
I usually program my Digital Video Recorder (DVR) on Saturday evenings to record all the shows I want to see during the coming week. "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" is on a two week hiatus. That meant that when I set my DVR yesterday, I found I was going to record only two shows: "Zoo" on CBS and "Humans" on AMC. They're both new shows. I saw their first episodes last week. They were more or less okay, so, I was willing to check out their second episodes. On Friday evening, I'd recorded two shows I knew nothing about: "Killjoys" and "Dark Matter" from the Sci-Fi Channel. I hadn't yet watched them, so I hadn't set my DVR to record this coming week's episodes.
Was that all that was on TV that was worth watching? I started paging through the TV listing free flyer I pick up at the grocery store each Thursday. I noticed that there is a new episode of "Royal Pains" on this coming week. There was an "(N)" after the name of the show. I've been watching "Royal Pains" since it first aired on the USA network six years ago. It's now in its seventh season. And I didn't know it was back. How long had I failed to notice it was back?
So, I checked the On Demand list. I found it will be the sixth episode of "Royal Pains" for this season. But, all the previous episodes for this season are available for free On Demand. So, I can catch up.
There are so many networks these days, with no good way to know what is on them. There are even networks I never heard of. I started going through the On Demand lists of what is available for viewing. I paused to watch the first episode of "Schitt's Creek," which is on the POP network. I had never heard of the POP network! The only reason watched "Schitt's Creek" is because, with a title like that, I just had to check it out. (It wasn't bad. It was good enough for me to want to check out the second episode.)
As I was going through the On Demand list, I found that the episodes of "Killjoys" and "Dark Matter" I'd recorded on Friday were their third and fourth episodes. But, all previous episodes were available On Demand. And the same is true about "12 Monkeys" and "Mr. Robot" which I hadn't checked out or even noticed before. There were 13 episodes of "12 Monkeys" available On Demand. The entire season. And, for some reason, the whole first season of HBO's "True Detective" was also available for free On Demand. I tried watching the first episode of "True Detective," but it was too grim and slow for me. I couldn't get through it. But, it's still there waiting for me if I want to try again. I watched all of the first episode of "Mr. Robot," and I was really surprised. It's about a computer hacker going after bad guys. I thought it was VERY good.
So, now I've got at least a whole week's worth of TV viewing ahead of me -- assuming at least some of the other shows turn out to be watchable. FIVE of them are science-fiction shows, which I usually like if they are not about surviving after an apocalypse, or about zombies, or about vampires, and if they are not "soap operas" where nothing really happens in any episode other than mysterious stuff designed to get you to tune in the following week. I like each episode to have a complete story.
I've come to the conclusion that Netflix is probably very much like On Demand, but without the commercials. It results in "binge-watching." But, I still don't have any good way to know when a new series is starting, unless I repeatedly go through the On Demand list to see if anything looks new and interesting. Plus, when you watch On Demand shows you can't fast-forward past the commercials, which means that if a new TV show is being advertised, I'll see the ad for it.
That reminds me. While watching "Hacking the Universe" recently, I saw an ad for the return of another show on the Science Channel. I don't remember the name of the show, but I remember it was a series I enjoyed, and I think it is returning on the 16th or 18th. I'll have to keep an eye open for it.
TV viewing didn't used to be this complicated. I recall simply going through TV Guide to see what was new and worth watching. Now there are just too many networks and too many shows for magazine publishers to even try to do anything but list a few dozen networks and what times their "prime time" shows are on.
|Comments for Wednesday, July 1,
2015, thru Saturday, July 4, 2015:
July 3, 2015 - Everything seems pretty quiet at the moment. So, all I'm going to say is that I hope everyone has a safe and joyous 4th of July.
July 2, 2015 - My prediction came true. I did not get to work on my new sci-fi novel yesterday. Instead, I puttered around with Facebook. To me, Facebook is looking more and more like a tool for which I seem to have absolutely no use. And I'm probably not the only person who views Facebook that way.
On Tuesday, I rented a movie called "While We're Young," in which one of the lead characters (played by Ben Stiller) talks about trying to find cool new friends by using Facebook. He created a Facebook profile and then waited for new "friends" to visit. Nothing happened.
Coincidentally, that same evening I watched parts of "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore," on which a comedian did a comedy bit about how he tried to get back at a bully who had picked on him in high school by finding the bully's Facebook page so he could tell him off. He's still hunting for the page.
I've been looking at the Rational Scientific Method group Facebook page to see if they are talking about me. They aren't. And they aren't currently arguing with any other "disbeliever," either. They're arguing over the meanings of words. The big discussion at the moment seems to be whether a shadow is an object. I found pages created by one of the founders of "Rational Science" addressing such topics using gobbledygook language: What is an "object"? What is a "concept"?
I played around with the idea of creating a Facebook group to discuss "What are Rational Scientific Method Advocates trying to argue?" Or "Deciphering the Rational Scientific Method." Or "What Don't Rational Scientific Method Advocates Understand?" Or even "Are Rational Scientific Method Advocates Insane?" I wanted to understand what they are trying to do. Sometimes it seems like they are just trolls, who have nothing better to do than argue against science. Other times it seems like they simply cannot understand that there are still mysteries which science has not yet solved. And they just make up answers, either to be obnoxious or because that is what they think real scientists should do.
But, most often, it seems painfully obvious that they just do not understand what scientists are saying. Bill Gaede has a "scientific paper" on-line titled "What is an Object?" In it he says Stephen Hawking "says that SpaceTime is an object."
I checked, and on page 23 of my hardcover copy and on page 14 of a pdf version of "A Brief History of Time," Prof. Hawking does indeed say:
The theory of relativity does, however, force us to change fundamentally our ideas of space and time. We must accept that time is not completely separate from and independent of space, but is combined with it to form an object called space-time.So, Mr. Gaede's mission in life seems to be to get people to use the definitions of words that HE uses. To him, "space-time" cannot be an object.
Is there is a better word that Prof. Hawking might have used? The word "concept" might be "better," but "concept" is probably not what Hawking meant. Looking how Hawking uses the word "concept," he always seems to use is to describe a mental idea. But he wouldn't consider space-time to be an idea. It is more than that. It is a proven concept that can be USED to understand what is going on in the universe, so in that sense it is an "object." It is a "tool." And, as a "tool" it might be considered to be an "object."
What all this tells me is that the problem will NOT be solved by arguing over the meanings of words, it will only be solved by trying to understand what the other person is saying.
But Rational Scientific Method advocates don't seem to want to understand other people. They want only to argue. They want their definitions of words to be the ONLY valid definitions. And if someone else uses a word in what they consider to be a "wrong" way, then all discussion stops until the other person learns to use that word the "correct" way.
I all too frequently had the same problem with "Mr. R" while discussing the anthrax attacks of 2001.
I found a video HERE where a Rational Scientific Method advocate (RSMer") argues that "Predictions are not scientific" and he claims that science students are taught that "a hypothesis is a prediction or an educated guess." And he then discusses what a "prediction" is instead of discussing what a "hypothesis" is. He misunderstands the word "hypothesis." An hypothesis is "a tool" that might be used to make predictions, but an hypothesis is not a prediction.
If there is anything that will make me lose interest in debating with RSMers, it would be to have arguments over the meanings of words when matters can only be resolved by trying to understand one another - even if we do not use all words in exactly the same way.
Coincidentally, on my Kindle during breakfast and lunch for the past few weeks I've been reading "The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood" by James Gleick. It begins by talking about how, before there were dictionaries, everyone spelled words differently. And we've been trying to understand each others' words and terminology for centuries.
Trying to get everyone in the world to use your definitions of words seems like a fool's errand. It is much more productive to just try to understand what the other person is saying. Ask questions, if you do not understand. Correct the other person's terminology if you absolutely MUST. But, don't make that your objective. The objective should be to understand one another. What you do with that understanding is up to you.
Added note: In a truly strange coincidence, my brother in-law just sent me a video about the meanings of words you may have heard a thousand times but never had fully explained to you before. Here's the video:
July 1, 2015 - I've been keeping a journal since Saturday, Jan. 30, 1982, when I bought three blank journals at Barnes & Noble because they were on sale for 80 cents each. This evening, I'll be starting Volume #27. Basically, all I put in the journal is my current weight, what the weather was like, what movies I may have rented or bought, and a few lines summarizing the day. And, if I'm working on a book, I record how many pages I wrote that day.
The first entry in Volume #1 began with this paragraph:
After exercising 3 times per week at the Chicago Health Club since last October, I'm now down to 201½. I started at 215 or 218.The rest of the entry was about having worked at a new job for three months and what I thought about my boss, my boss's boss, and my boss's boss's boss.
The complete first entry in Volume #26 reads as follows:
Monday, May 20, 2013 Weight: 186.2My web site entry for that day included this picture of my journals:
This morning I weighed 188.0. It's clear and sunny, but cool. Today's journal entry will probably say that there were no more blog comments from "Clayton," and basically all I did all day was stare at a blank WORD page on my computer screen while continuing to try to get started on my 3rd sci-fi novel.
(Or maybe it will say I finally did get started on it. Time will tell. Having written that I didn't get started, I may have made another false prediction that I'll later have to correct. I hope so.)