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What is wrong with this site : General Discussions • SCEPCOP Forum








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What is wrong with this site

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What is wrong with this site

Postby spoirier » 13 Jan 2011, 09:13

Now that I have , I will enter here the core of the problem: I want to make a constructive criticism of your site because I agree with, and appreciate so much, most of what I found here, so I think it is a pity that some of its aspects are harming the credibitity of this site in the eyes of many scientists. The criticism I will write here may seem harsh, however I think it is the truth you need to understand if you want the situation to progress. I'm not trying to downsize you. I will just try to express what I think some other scientists reading this site may think and feel anyway, and after which they may just dismiss your views without bothering to explain these things to you.

Winston, the founder of this site, mentioned his psychological type as ENFJ. And that, if I understand well, he has many skills but his technical and logical background mainly consist in playing chess and developing web sites. But, while he may be one of the most amazing chess players on this planet, this is not all what science is about.

On the other hand, scientists, especially in hard sciences, are mainly of the types INTP (like me), INTJ, ENTP.
Do you know, as I read in some web site and as I will confirm from my own perception, the INTP are a quite rare type of people, that usually hardly ever communicate with anyone else except other INTPs, because, in their perception, peer INTP are more or less the only authentic truth seekers and worthy debaters.
So, your openness and skills, as an ENFJ, in communicating with people, your familiarity with the ways of thinking of the overwhelming majority of people, who are not scientists, as well as your understanding of many social, relational, religious, political and mediatic troubles, do not qualify you to understand scientists and how to communicate with them.

A characteristic of the INTP is that they directly look at the rational strength and consistency of arguments, disregarding their origin, the context and appearance around them, and the official scientific degrees of the author.
So, in principle, they should be able to directly go and check the core of the arguments present on this site, their internal logic, strength and validity disregarding anything else, and thus notice the rational strength and validity of most of these arguments.
But... there is a but.

While they are not sensitive to appearances in the same way that other types and non-scientists are, they have their own, different kind of sentitivity to appearances - based on some good reasons I will try to explain - and you seem to have completely missed this.

I know that, what you are trying to put forward, is mainly scientific works, made by other scientists (paranormal researchers).
Thus, if scientists are curious about the scientific works that have been done in parapsychology, they should not only look at this site but also refer to these other, effective works.
But still, their time and attention is limited, thus, as you name your site "Scientific comittee...", this will be interpreted by scientists visiting this site, as a claim of scientific-level quality for the contents of this site. So, they will visit this site and expect to only see contents of scientific quality; and if this is not what they find, then they will be tempted to dismiss your claims of being a "scientific committee", as a false advertising, and conclude that you are not being serious in your views.

Let's sum up the situation:

"Skeptics" claim that you (paranormal believers) are not true scientists, and that there is a gap between you and science.
You claim that the gap is not between you and science, but between "skeptics" and true rationality.

You claim that this world is full of lies, manipulations and deceptions.
"Skeptics" think the same; they see manipulations and deceptions all over the place, and they focus their attention on all the ridiculous superstitions that they find in society, and they dedicate their time debunking them.

Most "mainstream scientists" would not disagree with the same observation. However they usually gave up trying to fight against it, because they think such a fight would be hopeless and a waste of energy for them. Instead, they forget about this world, and decide to focus their energy and develop their life in their inner world, a sort of "" of scientific knowledge. They are protecting themselves from the harrassment of nonsense, manipulations and deceptions that you can find widespread in this world, by ignoring them altogether and taking refuge in this other world instead.
While our scientists seem to be physically present in this world, they are mentally absent from it, and living in another world instead, the world of the real search for truth that is the development of their scientific knowledge. All your understanding and familiarity with the mediatic, administrative and political problems, deceptions and manipulations in this world where you see most humans living; as well as all the popularity of your site you could get, remain vain if your purpose is to link yourself to, and be found in harmony with, the world of science as it really is.

"Skeptics" make another choice, by dedicating their energy to public communication, fighting against the worldly nonsense they can see. But this wastes their energy and somehow disconnects them from the deep understanding of science (as well quantum physics as works in parapsychology).
When "skeptics" want to speak about parapsychology, they don't examine it thoroughly (as it would be too big, since they dedicate most of their time to debunking other things), but instead they review a large panel of absurd superstitions, and as the paranormal claims somehow "look the same" and are found in similar contexts, they lightly assume that it should be the same.

And you, what do you do ? Well, you somehow fall in the same trap. You don't examine science thoroughly. You focus on "skeptics", you see their arguments to be weak, so you do as if it was all what can be said on the subject. You claim your positions to be scientifically solid, yet you focus on debates with the public and with skeptics, but this wastes your energy and cuts you off from the scientific community too.
You can't altogether dedicate your energy to impressive public communication, debates with "skeptics", and hope that it will link yourself with science and give you a true scientific credibility by the same method. You will have to make a choice.

(I'll continue explanations tomorrow)
spoirier
 
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Re: What is wrong with this site

Postby G. ADAM » 13 Jan 2011, 10:47

Your subject line is very apt, because you didn't actually say anything that was wrong.
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Re: What is wrong with this site

Postby spoirier » 13 Jan 2011, 22:21

spoirier
 
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Re: What is wrong with this site

Postby NinjaPuppy » 13 Jan 2011, 23:29

Wonderful post! Thank you.
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Re: What is wrong with this site

Postby spoirier » 14 Jan 2011, 02:36

Scientists who really try to communicate some of their science with the public (yet only targetting a quite enough educated public, to be realistic) are relatively few.
One example is John Baez.
As a way to deal with the tide of crackpot alternative theories of everything, he gave a few simple clues how to make a fast preselection of the (extremely rare) ideas or "theories" that may deserve attention, vs. those (so much frequent) that are just dumb and can safely be ignored, in the form of his famous, semi-humorous "". So you should visit this to get a glance of examples of "external appearances" that can make something look serious or unserious to scientists.
While our world is supposed to be dominated by science, most people still have no clue what science really is, so that they can easily be abused by many false claims about it. So, I recently started writing myself in relatively simple terms, as the second part of a 4 parts global presentation of my views; it may still take me a week or two to complete this Part II, and a couple of months to complete the whole series, but I wrote other important texts before which you can visit as well. (you can also check my )

(more remarks later)
spoirier
 
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Re: What is wrong with this site

Postby spoirier » 14 Jan 2011, 10:18

Now I'll specify a few appearances which I guess scientists will be sensitive to. As I said, many scientists visiting this site will not dedicate a lot of time examining the validity of the arguments, especially if the first impression is not right. So, here are things that will make quite a negative first impression on scientists visiting this site:

It is primarily designed for the general public, rather than for scientists. It goes against the scientific deontology for a "theory" to address itself directly to the public and try to get approval and support from there, when a prior support from the scientific community is lacking, and as if it could serve as a sort of subtitute to it; as if such a method of seeking for public support to make pressure to the scientific community (expecting to draw this way some credit or attention from scientists, could be fair. It is not fair because the public is generally less qualified than scientists to assess the validity of an idea. Therefore, this method is perceived by scientists as a strategy of public manipulation that goes against intellectual honesty. The resulting effect on scientists is self-defeating.

It is all designed as a commercial site, whose purpose is for the author to make money. It is fully linked to the datingabroad site that offers paying matrimonial services.
It has books to sell. You canot be an honest truth seeker and sell your ideas at the same time, because seeking the truth and making money from the public (well-known to be stupid and ignorant and to better believe nonsense than the truth), are incompatible puposes. No sane rational person can decently be required to buy a book for finding there arguments supporting a thesis to which one is not convinced yet, because for the a priori expected case that the book won't convince him, he will want his money back, and no guarantee is offered for this case. An argument that requires to buy a book to be read, just cannot be a valid argument.

One book on this list, "Everything you know is wrong", is just one of most ridiculous BS of the world, an outright insult to science. I agree that, in general, "attitude fanatism" is wrong, but once seen this display of the worst possible disdain to science, it would just be foolish to expect any decent scientist to take seriously anything else in this site.
I did not check the other books (how can I ? I don't want to pay for a book, just like most other scientists visiting this site), so I cannot give a review.

The site is infested with a sort of intrusive advertising system that turns many words from the contained text into advertising links.
It is proud of having impressive videos to show. Impressive videos are a tool of trickery and manipulation, not a method of intellectual honesty and rational understanding.
There is no space for any hard scientific content in this site. For instance, it claims to have its positions supported by quantum physics, yet tries to convince its readers about it without requiring them to have any mathematically accurate understanding of any effective aspect of quantum physics, from which to draw the conclusion. How can you pretend to deduce anything from what you have no clue of ?

Winston claims to follow a New Age ideology. But New Age is generally an antiscientific BS. There even is another pro-spirituality author (whose spirituality I do not endorse, but...) that debunked many New Age authors, and in particular, the .
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